LAURA Theodore is an award-winning jazz singer and actor, PBS chef, radio host, television producer and personality, and published author. Ms. Theodore has made guest appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, and USA Networks, and was recently featured on the Insider, Entertainment Tonight Online, News 4-NBC Washington, D.C., Better Show, and CBS Radio. Laura has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, New York Post, VegNews, Family Circle, PBS Food, Vegetarian Times, JazzTimes, People, Variety, and Time Magazine, among others.
Laura is presently the on-camera host and co-producer of the "Jazzy Vegetarian" cooking show on National Public Television, now in its second season. Ninety percent of television households across the nation are now able to view broadcasts of Jazzy Vegetarian. In addition, Ms. Theodore hosts the weekly show, "Jazzy Vegetarian Radio," a talk/music format that focuses on delicious, easy to prepare, plant-based recipes, eco-entertaining tips, celebrity interviews, and upbeat music, served up with a bit of fun on the side!
Laura’s critically acclaimed duo CD, with the late, great Joe Beck entitled Golden Earrings has been released by Whaling City Sound and was selected to appear on the 52nd Grammy Award list sent to voting members, from which the final five Grammy nominees were selected. (Best Jazz Vocal Album).
photo credit: Joe Orrechio
Laura has recorded five critically acclaimed Jazz and Blues CDs. Her debut disc, Tonight’s The Night, garnered a Musicians Magazine BUBS Award. What Is This Thing Called Jazz? followed and Live at Vartan Jazz was produced by the Vartan Jazz label. Her Adult Contemporary CD, We’re Only Human, is featured on the Etherean Music roster. What the World Needs Now is Love is described by jazznow.com as “a must buy for those who like Jazz vocals.” Her recordings feature such fine musicians as Randy Brecker, Joe Beck, Andy Snitzer, Eric Wollman and pianist/co-writer Don Rebic.
photo credit: Sue Ann Miller
Laura has starred in countless theatrical productions, and has toured throughout the US with her critically acclaimed one woman show Celebrating the Great Ladies of American Song. She has headlined at the top New York City clubs, including The Bottom Line, Town Hall, The Village Gate, The China Club, Studio 54, and The Rainbow Room.
Laura’s national television appearances include Good Morning America, America’s Talking, Phil Donahue, Robert Klein Prime Time, and the CBS New Year’s Special. She has also been featured at many jazz festivals, and has headlined at major events such as Night of 100 Stars, Fire & Ice Ball, and The American Film Awards. She is the title cut vocalist on producer Jim Steinman’s cult classic Original Sin (which has since been covered by artists such as Meatloaf and Taylor Dayne). Her first starring film role was in the Indie film Paradise Cove, with Ben Gazzara.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Laura grew up in the theatre and developed a passion for film and musical theatre as a young girl. She was often seen in the East Ohio Gas Television series based on popular fairy tales, and decided at the ripe old age of ten that she would move to New York City to become a stage actor and rock star when she grew up.
Laura studied acting and improvisation for three years with the late Marilyn Bianchi (co-founder of Cleveland’s famous Dobama Theatre) and acted at the Children’s Heights Youth Theatre with director Jerome Leonard for seven years. It was there that she appeared in over forty dramas and musicals in such diverse roles as Jo in Little Women, Maria in The Sound of Music, Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Winnifred in Once upon a Mattress, Peter Pan in Peter Pan and Nancy in Oliver.
Laura went on to graduate from Cleveland Heights High School at 17 and earned a Drama Scholarship to Ohio University. Finding out quickly that campus life was not for her, she packed up and went on the road with her first rock band.
Laura traveled the US and Canada for several years, moving to Denver for a while, and then to Boston to study jazz composition and music theory at the South Shore Music Conservatory. She then moved on to the Big Apple to try her hand at becoming a stage actor and jazz/cabaret artist. She became noted in both fields, performing regularly in New York's hottest spots, including Sweetwaters, The Bottom Line, Dangerfields, Town Hall (with Mercer Ellington) and a three month sold out run at The Cookery opening for the late, great singer/composer, Alberta Hunter.
It was while doing a local television spot that Laura was discovered by manager Sid Bernstein (remember the Beatles at Shea Stadium?), with whom she signed for three years. She appeared as a guest artist on many records and soundtracks, including Jim Steinman’s Pandora’s Box (on the title track, Original Sin), and in the 1995 film, The Shadow. She also became a fixture in the jingle world, singing the Jordache Jeans jingle among others.
In the early 1990s Laura co-founded the hard driving all Original Rock group Q with star guitarist Larry Mitchell, which quickly developed a loyal cult following. Q played all the NYC rock hot spots including the Cat Club, CBGB’s and the Bitter End.
Laura landed her trademark role as Janis Joplin in the Off Broadway hit Beehive, which earned her a Backstage Bistro Award. The subsequent cast album won critical acclaim, and gave Laura her first national television exposure.
It was out of the Beehive project that Laura was first introduced to superstar song writer Jerry Ragovoy (author of Piece of My Heart, Cry Baby, Try, Get it While You Can, Time is On My Side, and other hits). She has recorded many projects with Ragovoy over the years, and worked with him in the world premiere production of Love Janis, for which she received the Denver Drama Critics Circle Award. The following year she co-starred again at the Denver Center for Performing Arts in the premiere production of It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues.
photo credit: Sue Ann Miller
A love for great music and good food has created a joyous life path for Laura Theodore!