Funny Girl

Meet the Cast of Funny Girl

LIZ FALLON (Fanny Brice) Liz is SO ecstatic to be back at her favorite West Coast spot to tell this beautiful story with some of her favorite people! She was recently seen this summer as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical. Other ABT favorites include Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity, Angel in The Best Little…, and Graziella in West Side Story. Liz also spent a summer as the lead singer/dancer on Holland America’s MS Statendam. She is a proud St. Louis native, who graduated in 2012 with her BFA in Musical Theatre/Dance from Millikin University. So much love and many, many, many thanks to the entire ABT family. To friends & family who made the trek to the desert to see the show, (especially Aunt Donna, Jules, & Mac) I love you. And as always, shout out and kisses to Mom, Dad, and Brian. Y’all are the greatest! This one’s for you, BP. www.lfallon.com

JAMIE PARNELL (Nick Arnstein) a Montana native, is honored to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre for Funny Girl.  Jamie, who studied Vocal Performance and Theater at the University of Montana, has previously been on the ABT stage in A Christmas Carol (Young Marley, Bob Cratchit), Phantom (Ens., Phantom U/S), Footloose (Principal Clark), Sweet Charity (Vittorio Vidal), Carousel (Mr. Bascombe, Billy U/S), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Bandleader).  Jamie spends his summers working as an actor, stage manager, TD, and Residence Manager at the historic Fort Peck Summer Theatre, and has toured with the MRT’s Educational Outreach Tour, providing literature training through theatre to over 50 communities.   “This one, like the rest, is for you.  Thank you for the rain.”

PHIL  SLOVES (Eddie Ryan) is so glad to be back at ABT! Past ABT: Young Marley (Christmas Carol), Dexter Andrew (Dottie Maraschino Show), and CJ Scruggs/Aggie (Whorehouse). Favorite Regional Credits: Cliff Bradshaw (Cabaret), Mr. Braithwaite (Billy Elliot), Action (West Side Story). Thanks to Kiel, Cass, Kurtis, Rob, My family, @gripless, and my beautiful girlfriend Gabby. www.philsloves.com

GERRI WEAGRAFF (Mrs. Brice) is delighted to make her ABT debut! Gerri recently portrayed Vi Moore in Footloose at the Eldorado Theatre in Reno, and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd at The Candlelight Theatre in her home state of Delaware. From 2010 to 2012, she was in the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof, playing Golde the second year. Regional: Unnecessary Farce at Act II Playhouse; Into the Woods at Eagle Theatre; The Light in the Piazza at Villanova Theatre; Lend Me A Tenor at Beef & Boards; Miles and Ellie at Montgomery Theater. Other favorite roles: Miss Hannigan (Annie), Dorothy Brock (42nd Street), Phyllis Stone (Follies), Sister Amnesia (Nunsense). For Mom.

T.V. REEVES (Florenz Ziegfeld) first appeared as General Henry Waverly in White Christmas here at the ABT and now is proud and excited to appear in the role of Florenz Ziegfeld in Funny Girl. His career began by a SAG card in a Chrysler production just after graduation from college. Credits include television, film, radio, stage, and even some print work when he was young and in shape. He is a combat veteran of Vietnam and considers himself the luckiest man on Earth.

TIM SHAWVER (Tom Keeney) returns from ABT’s productions of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Lucky Stiff, Church Basement Ladies, and It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play. His Valley acting credits include shows at Phoenix Theatre (BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON), Childsplay (Junie B. Jones, Click Clack Moo) Actors Theatre (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Southwest Shakespeare Company, and Stray Cat Theatre (The Tomkat Project). Tim is a founder and the Director of Artist Operations of A/C Theatre Company, where he co-directed Lizzie and directed Murder Ballad. He is an Arizona native with a BA in Theatre from ASU.

JOHANNA CARLISLE (Mrs. Strakosh) is always happy to be returning to ABT where she has portrayed Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, Madame Thernardier in Les Misérables and Miss Hannigan in Annie. She also has performed in 5 of our Theatre for Young Audience shows!  Regional credits: Abuela Claudia (In the Heights), Mayor/Ma (The Toxic Avenger), Truvy (Steel Magnolias), Katie Nana/Mrs. Correy/Miss Andrew (Mary Poppins); Martha (White Christmas); Mazeppa (Gypsy); Rev. Mother (Nunsense 2); Effy (Spitfire Grill); Sarraghina (Nine),  Carmen Bernstein (Curtains); Mrs. Paroo (The Music Man, Phoenix Theatre/Phoenix Symphony). Local credits; Mary (The Whale); Mrs. Johnstone (Blood Brothers); Eddie/Dr. Scott (The Rocky Horror Show); Sister Hubert (Nunsense);  Guinevere (Camelot). BA in Vocal Performance from Cornell College.  Proud mom of actor, Maxx Carlisle-King. “Mad love to Maxx and Paul…without you, my world would not be as bright nor as adventurous.”

CAROLYN McPHEE (Mrs. O’Malley) is ecstatic to be back on the ABT stage! Carolyn has been lucky to have performed in shows here at ABT since the first season in And The World Goes Round.  Some favorites are The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Linoleum), 9 to 5: The Musical (Violet), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Woman 2), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Rhetta) and Forbidden Broadway (Liza/Barbara/Carol). Carolyn has been lucky enough to work for Jeff Kennedy & iTheatre for five Christmases at the Herberger Theatre Center, and Smokey Joe’s Café at Phoenix Theatre (AriZoni Nomination). Carolyn and her husband foster kittens and help rehome found pets.  Carolyn donates her entire salary to help with spay/neuter/dental costs of cats and dogs for people who cannot afford it and hopes to start a fund in 2017.

ANASOFIA GALLEGOS (Mrs. Meeker) is overjoyed to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre for her second show! Anasofia Gallegos recently graduated from Arizona State University, having received her dual Bachelor’s degrees in Voice Performance and Musical Theatre. She has enjoyed performing in several facets in the valley, including opera, musical theatre, straight theatre, film, church work and solo recitals. Some of her favorite roles in the valley include Martha in Heathers: The Musical, and Lead Poet in Women of War. “I want to thank my loving and supportive family back home, my voice teacher David Britton, and most of all my beautiful mother for everything she has done to make my dreams come true.”

TONY BLOSSER (Renaldi/Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre for another season and is humbled to be a part of such an amazing cast! He was last seen as a cross-dressing wolf in Shrek The Musical, where he learned that dancing in heels is MUCH harder. ABT has blessed him with the chance to be an eight-year-old, a ghost, a crotchety gardener, a macabre solicitor, a nun, an obsessed British naval officer, a cupcake fairy, a tavern owner, a king, and a terrified guard wearing the best wig ever! He even got to play a third of every Shakespearean character ever written in one fast-paced production. Tony would like to thank ABT, Cassandra, Kurtis, and all involved for welcoming him back time after time, and for making it more difficult to figure out his “Type.”  Here’s to another great season! #greenscarf

IAN CONNOR (Production Tenor/Male Ensemble) is ecstatic to be making his West Coast debut here at ABT! A recent graduate, Ian has enjoyed exploring the US, working for companies such as Ocean Professional Theatre (NJ), Interlakes Summer Theatre (NH), Wagon Wheel Theatre (IN), Artist’s Ensemble Theatre (IL), RWS and Associates (PA), Round Barn Theatre (IN), and Trumpet in the Land (OH). Ian is currently collaborating with NYC composing team Derek Gregor and Selda Sahin in writing the off-broadway adaptation of his original musical, THE MCDONOLOGUES! As a teacher, director, and producer, Ian operates ELEVATIONS: Theatrical Marketing & Design, offering personalized audition materials for actors and customized promotional materials for arts organizations around the world! “Your life is your career. All you need is a series of jobs to support it.” – Dannielle Robertson

MARTY CRAFT (Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be at Arizona Broadway Theatre for the first time! Favorite credits include National Tour- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Regional- A Chorus Line, Singin’ in the Rain, Oklahoma!, All Shook Up, Beauty and the Beast. He got his BFA in Music Theatre from Viterbo University. Thanks to his family for all of their support!

EVAN DOLAN (Male Ensemble) Evan is delighted to make his ABT debut in Funny Girl! Favorite regional credits include Cabaret (Emcee), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Jetsam), Giant (Jett Rink), West Side Story (Baby John), Shrek: The Musical (Lord Farquaad). Evan is a proud graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University. He sends all his love to his family for always supporting his adventures! #teamdolan

CHUCKIE DIXON (Male Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to the ABT stage!  A proud alum of ECU (go Pirates!), he is now living his dream in NYC. Some favorite credits include Clifford the Big Red Dog Live Tour (Clifford), Spamalot (French Taunter), South Pacific (Professor), Peter Pan (Slightly Soiled), CATS (Mungojerrie), A Christmas Story (Scut Farkus), and Fiddler on the Roof (Mendel). Thank you, ABT! Love to my Mom and my Aunt Karen – so grateful for your support! Missing my exquisite partner-in-crime: my Rumpleteazer, Mal!

DWAN HAYES (Female Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Funny Girl. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she has a BM in Musical Theatre from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Regional: All Shook Up (Sylvia), Blues in The Night (Lady From the Road), Buddy Holly Story (Apollo Performer), Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), Smokey Joe’s Café (B.J.). Tours: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Ms. Ross). Dwan would like to give special thanks to her family and friends for their love and support.

HALEY JONES (Female Ensemble) is originally from Burlington, KY, and now resides in NYC. She is thrilled to be performing in her first production at ABT! Professional credits include Ensemble/Mary Cover in Mary Poppins (Midtown Arts Center), Jennifer in The Starter (NYC International Fringe Festival), Marcy in The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Commonwealth Theater), Kate Roby in A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale (The Lincoln Amphitheater) and Ruby in Dames at Sea (OST). She has her BFA in Acting from Otterbein University. Haley would like to thank her family for being so supportive (and very funny!) For more info, check out haleyjones.com!

JENNIFER MAURER (Female Ensemble) is ecstatic to make her debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre! She is a graduate of the BFA Music Theatre program at Florida State University and currently resides in New York City.  Favorite regional credits include Grease (Sandy), A Man of No Importance (Adele), The Addams Family (Bride Ancestor) at The Fulton, and The Little Mermaid (Melody) at Maine State Music Theatre. Many thanks to family and friends for always traveling far to see her perform and God for His unwavering support.  @jmau91, jennifermaurer.com

LAUREN PALEY (Female Ensemble) is jazzed to be making her ABT debut in Funny Girl! Previous credits include Carousel at Reagle Music Theatre, White Christmas at the Jenny Wiley Theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Ogunquit Playhouse, and Hairspray at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Lauren is a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she received a BA in Theater and Dance. She is ever grateful to ABT for this unbelievable opportunity! Special thanks to Mom, Dad, Will, and all of her teachers along the way!

TYLER PIRRUNG (Male Ensemble) is so excited to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut in the ensemble of Funny Girl!  Tyler holds a BA in Theatre from Florida State University, where he also minored in Early Childhood Development. Some of Tyler’s favorite credits include Young Frankenstein (Igor), Hot Mikado (Ko Ko), Spring Awakening (Moritz), Merrily We Roll Along (Charley), Julius Caesar (Brutus), 42nd Street, Grease, and Shrek. Tyler would like to thank his family and friends for their endless love and support. To see what else Tyler has done and find out what adventures await him next, please visit tylerpirrung.com!

EMILY RHEIN (Female Ensemble) ABT Debut! Originally from Des Moines, Emily currently calls New York City home. Favorite credits include 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, and Little Women. “Love and thanks to my wonderfully supportive family, friends and Prevail Artist Management.” @EmRhein www.EmilyRhein.com

ALI WHITWELL (Female Ensemble) just graduated from Arizona School for the Arts and is thrilled to be back on the ABT stage! She was previously seen on the ABT stage as Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy in Shrek and in last season’s Legally Blonde. Some of her favorite previous credits include Julia Sullivan in Wedding Singer, Joanne Jefferson in RENT, Logainne in Spelling Bee (All at SYT), and Belle in Beauty and the Beast (ASPA). Ali was also the winner of the 2015 Arizona Young Artist’s Vocal Competition. She would like to thank Kurtis and Cassandra for honoring her with such an amazing opportunity, Mark and Lynzee 4man for always pushing her to be her best, her family and best friend, Mason, for their never ending support, and, finally, everyone at ABT for welcoming her into this unbelievable family.

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Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Texas

Yee-haw! Here she is, Miss Texas!

Most Likely To Succeed by high school vote, Kitty-Bob Ames is on her way to fulfilling this perceptive perception after winning the Texas Triple Crown of Beauty. You could say that pageants are in this young lady’s blood, with a mother and a grandmother who both won titles in their day. Kitty-Bob entered her first pageant, The Little Miss Armadillo Pageant, at the age of seven.

Being that she is the only child, Kitty-Bob’s daily life largely centers on her family. She works with her parents at their family-owned gun emporium. She also likes adding to the Precious Moments collection her grandmother started.

She looks forward to “competing” for the crown of Miss Glamouresse. With her pageant experience, she has the utmost confidence in winning the title and will be glad to serve as Miss Glamouresse for 2016.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?
If I had a magic wand, I would wish for everyone to be beautiful because beautiful people are happier people.

What is your greatest contribution to society?
My greatest contribution to society is my unending and tireless work with the beauty impaired. I’m trying to make the world a better place one unfortunate face at a time.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?
I love my wardrobe and my gun collection. As for dislike: No Comment.

What is the essence of being a woman?
I believe the essence of being a woman consists of making yourself as beautiful as a magazine cover, no matter what it takes.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?
Winners are better than losers.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?
My pistol for multiple reasons.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?
The only sacrifice that I’ve made is my constant advice that I give to the other contestants.

Pageant Emcee: Meet Frankie Cavalier

Here he is, that emcee of emcees, Frankie Cavalier!

Hello, my name is Frankie (short for Francis, just like Sinatra!) Cavalier. It is my great honor to tell you a bit about myself.

The Cavalier dynasty of involvement in this great business we call ‘show’ dates all the back the Ford Theater, in prestigious Washington DC and its historic production of ‘Our American Cousin’. In fact, the production was visited by the historic Gettysburg Address writer, Abraham Lincoln, who chose it to be his last Theatrical experience. Sad.

An under-rated piece of theatre, here’s was a review that was submitted, many years later :

“While I can’t speak for Mrs. Lincoln, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised: if not exactly funny, if not even somewhere in the vicinity of “good,” the play is better than its awful reputation as a mere repository of dated, cornpone gags, though it is that, too. But I think it is fair to say that if you are going to die a violent unexpected death, having a performance of Our American Cousin be the very last thing you see would be far preferable to having the last thing you see be Dallas, even on a nice day.”

The Cavalier’s have not been cavalier about their involvement in the Arts and have graced stages off-Broadway, VFW halls and cafe-gymnatoriums across the United States (and Canada!).

It is an honor for me to be introducing clips on America’s Goofiest People that show true Americana and Values while letting Americans know they have a silly side and are not just the HARDEST WORKING GROUP of people on the Earth (and beyond). I do wish people to know I am just the spokesman for the HAIR BARN, not a client—thanks, Great Grams Etta J !

I leave you with this personal philosophy:

Life is a play and we all play a part
The Lover, the Dreamer, the Clown
The Dreamer and Lover are always in tears
The Clown spreads sunshine around
The life with a smile is the life worthwhile
The Clown till the curtain comes down

(Fred Waring and his Orchestra, Laugh Clown Laugh)

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?
Peace….and Love… and perhaps a one man show.

What is your greatest contribution to society?
I get to do that EVERY DAY – make people happy.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?
There is very little I dislike about myself.

What is the essence of being a woman?
Ho Ho!!!   You tried to get me with a trick question, didn’t you! But honestly living in a climate with a good moisture balance in the atmosphere.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?
My mother died in a rather tragic show related accident, so unfortunately, I received no lessons from her.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?
A collection of Tolstoy. I assume it would take me a long time to get through.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?
While many, they have far been outweighed by watching the joy, intestinal fortitude, and sheer hard work of these young ladies striving to achieve the pinnacle of their young lives. (The lights are a bit harsh on my hair, but completely worth it for the opportunity!)