Pianist Philip Fortenberry Jan 22 in Naperville

A true Southern gentleman, pianist Philip Fortenberry will tickle the
ivories whilst telling a story or two when he comes to Naperville.

Fortenberry will perform a cabaret-style show called “Give My Regards”
Jan. 22 at North Central College. The show begins at 6 p.m. in the
College’s Madden Theatre.

During the show, he will perform popular songs spanning all genres and
styles, interspersing them with his own recollections of the many
composers, directors and performers who continue to inspire him.

He has accompanied such legendary Broadway icons as Eartha Kitt, Betty
Buckley, Donna McKechnie and Laurie Beechman
in concerts in New York and
across the nation, and currently serves as the associate conductor of
“Jersey Boys” at the Palazzo Theater in Las Vegas.

“’Give My Regards’ is a show I’ve put together. I’ve had a career of
playing for great shows; great music of all sorts of genres from rock
music to Broadway, and I’ve worked with a lot of amazing artists —
singers, choreographers, conductors and composers,” he said. “This show
essentially pays homage to that music from my perspective. I tell
stories about the music that I play from my perspective as a pianist. I
offer a setting, you might say.”

His show is almost entirely him and the piano.

“I will usually do this number that Katharine Hepburn actually recorded, and who knew she could sing? I figured if she could do it, so could I,” he said with a laugh. “That’s the only reason I would ever sing. I talk, I tell the stories, and I play the songs, essentially.”

Some songs you will hear include medleys from “Mamma Mia” and “Saturday Night Fever;” plus songs from musicals like “Cats” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” You’ll even hear some ragtime and Liberace’s “Chopsticks.”

“It’s a variety of things,” he said. “It’s such a broad concept. It covers people and experiences in my life.”

Fortenberry has gone from being a four-year-old child plunking around on a toy piano in Southern Mississippi
to playing at the Palazzo Theater in Las Vegas.  It has been a
remarkable journey, he said, and it’s that journey he shares with the

“’Give My Regards’ — there are a lot of people who came across my path
and a lot of experiences I’ve had that are going to bring me to
Naperville, Illinois,” he said. “Never in my life did I dream that is
where I would find myself. It will be an honor to be there.

Get a sneak peak with this video!