Beauty and the Beast – Meet the Cast!


CORBAN ADAMS (Chip) is so excited to be back on the ABT stage again this season! Other roles Corban has enjoyed playing are Oliver in Oliver! and Randy in A Christmas Story at ABT, Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka Jr. and the Prince in Thumbelina at Spotlight Youth Theater. Corban is an honors student at Cactus View Elementary and also enjoys playing the trumpet and singing with the musical group, Confetti. Corban would like to thank the ABT staff for another amazing opportunity!
MARTY CRAFT (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre! He was previously in Funny Girl and A Christmas Story here at ABT. 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!
TRISHA HART DITSWORTH (Ensemble/Belle Cover) couldn’t be happier to be part of this beautiful show. ABT credits: Maria (The Sound of Music), Martha (The Secret Garden), Penny (Hairspray), Pickles (Trailer Park), Rapunzel (Into the Woods), Annabel (Lucky Stiff), Enid (Legally Blonde), Sweet Charity, Joseph, Hello, Dolly! and Annie. Favorite Phoenix Theatre credits: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Sarah (The Toxic Avenger), Percy (The Spitfire Grill), Catherine (Pippin), Hope (Anything Goes), and most recently Eden (Bullets Over Broadway). She has a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Arizona and has lived and worked out of both New York and Chicago. Thank you to Mom, Dad, and my fiancé Matravius for your endless love and support!
TONY EDGERTON (Beast) is thrilled to be making his Arizona Broadway debut! This New York actor has been seen performing throughout the country in National tours, Off-Broadway shows, and in regional theatre everywhere. Some notable credits include Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour), Jake in Brunch the Musical (Off-Broadway). Regional favorites include Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in Curtains (Broadway World nominated for best leading actor in a musical), Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown the Musical, Jerry in The Full Monty, Fredrick in The Pirates of Penzance, and many more. Tony would like to thank the talented cast, crew, and entire creative team for such a wonderful experience. Special thanks to friend and mentor Clayton Phillips. And as always thank you to SW Artists for their continuing support. www.TonyEdgerton.com
HANNAH FAIRMAN (Enchantress/Silly Girl/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her ABT debut! Recent credits include Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s Grease (Frenchy) and Shrek (Fairy Godmother), The Drowsy Chaperone, The Boy Friend (Nancy), Beauty and the Beast, Footloose, and Oklahoma! BFA Musical Theatre, Point Park University. Insta: @fannahairman
JON GENTRY (Maurice) last appeared at ABT in Pageant as Frankie Cavalier. Previous roles include Anything Goes, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Around the World in 80 Days, Angels in America, The Producers, and The Pillow Man. Jon has spent the last 35 years with Childsplay as an Ensemble member and Associate Artist where productions include A Year with Frog and Toad, The Cat in The Hat and the original production of The Yellow Boat. In 2009, Jon was awarded a Lunt-Fontanne Acting Fellowship, one of the first 10 actors in America to receive the Fellowship.
CODY HERNANDEZ (Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to ABT after a successful run of Jesus Christ Superstar! Cody has been seen in various productions in New York and other regional venues. In New York, he appeared in The Golden Bride off-Broadway which received the NY Times Critic’s Pick and two Drama Desk Nominations. Other favorite credits include the off-Broadway revival of Urinetown, Pride and Prejudice (Darcy), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius). He can be found at codyahernandez.com and @codyahernandez. Much love and thanks to all of his friends and family and to Mom, Dad, and Ileana…always.
MELISSA JONES (Babette) is delighted to return to the enchanted castle after two years of performing with the national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She’s shared this beautiful story with every state in the continental US (except Montana!) as well as all over Canada. Originally a southern California native, Melissa moved to NYC to attend American Musical and Dramatic Academy and received her BFA in Theatre from The New School. She currently lives in NYC with her wonderful boyfriend, Ryan and their three-legged cat, Smidgen. All my love to my sweet Mot. Many thanks to Mom, the family, and Dave.
RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Silly Girl/Ensemble/Wardrobe Cover) is so excited to be revisiting one of her favorite Disney Musicals! This marks her 16th show with ABT! She was most recently seen in ABT’s production Oliver! as Mrs. Sowerberry. Some of her ABT favorites include Kate (Kiss Me, Kate), Doatsy Mae (Best Little Whorehouse…), Fruma-Sarah (Fiddler on the Roof), Mrs. Mullins (Carousel), The Ghost of Christmas Past (A Christmas Carol), Nimue/Morgan LeFey (Camelot). Other Regional Theater includes Sally Bowles (Cabaret), Violet Newstead (9 to 5), Vi (Footloose), Fastrata (Pippin), Sister Act, Sweeney Todd, JCS, Disney Cruise Line and Tokyo Disney Resort. Huge thanks to Mom, Dad, Ryan, Cass, Kiel, Berger, Clayton and Kurtis for their never-ending support! BUNNY! www.reneekathleenkoher.com
NICK KUHN (Ensemble/Gaston Cover) is absolutely thrilled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre! Past ABT credits include Oliver! (Ensemble), Jesus Christ Superstar (Apostle), Camelot (Sir Lionel), A Christmas Carol (Fred), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Aggie), and The Little Mermaid (Ensemble/Eric u/s). Other credits include Whoopee, America’s Sweetheart (Musicals Tonight!), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Palace Theatre), My Fair Lady, Nice Work if You Can Get It!, South Pacific (Mac-Haydn Theatre). Nick would like to thank ABT for the opportunity, and his amazing friends and family for their never-ending support! Kabocha! nicholaskuhn.com
BRADLEE LAIGHT (Carpet/Ensemble) is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he grew up dancing at his family’s dance studio! He performed with the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, appeared on “Good Morning America” with fitness expert Denise Austin, and has won numerous regional and national dance competitions! A recent graduate of American Musical and Dramatic Academy, his musical credits include CATS (Mungojerrie), Hazel Flagg “Off Broadway”, The Little Mermaid (Chef Louie/Ensemble) and, most recently, ABT’s production of Oliver! (Noah/Ensemble). He’s so grateful for the love and support from his family and friends.
EDDIE MALDONADO (Monsieur D’Arque/Ensemble) An Arizona native, Maldonado was recently seen on the ABT stage in Jesus Christ Superstar and Pageant as the mystifyingly talented and picante hot Miss Industrial Northeast. With incredible support from his family, Maldonado is now a NY-based actor who has been entertaining around the country and at sea. Credits include Disney Cruise Line (Simba), The Buddy Holly Story US Nat’l Tour (Ritchie Valens), NY Theatre Barn’s Altar Boyz (Juan), ABT’s The Full Monty (Ethan), and Phoenix Theatre’s La Cage Aux Folles (Jacob). Maldonado attended Brophy Prep in Central Phoenix and Arizona State University. He has worked on local and national commercials, short films, and can be seen on Tina Fey’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ on Netflix.
JENNIFER MAURER (Ensemble) is ecstatic to return to ABT after performing in Funny Girl last fall! She then went on to perform with the Indianapolis Symphony in their annual Christmas show, featuring Josh Kaufman, winner of The Voice season six. Jenn 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, God for His unwavering support, and to Cass, Kurtis, and Kiel for having her back! www.jennifermaurer.com, @jmau91
CHRISTOPHER MICHAELS (LeFou) is an NYC based actor making his ABT debut! Credits include OFF-BWAY: The Christians (Choir); NYC: The Nose (Police Chief Crookakoff), Yosef: An Epic New Musical (Abu, Baker), Casper the Not-So-Friendly Ghost (Casper). REGIONAL: My Fair Lady (Zoltan Karpathy/Quartet), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story (Nathan Leopold), The Boys in The Band (Emory), Damn Yankees (Rocky), H2$ (Mister Gatch, TV Announcer, Bud Frump U/S), Bare: A Pop Opera (Alan), Stone Soup (Simon), and Closer Than Ever. He is also the founder and resident director of Calendar Boys Productions in NYC.
LAUREN MORGAN (Silly Girl/Ensemble) is excited to be in her third ABT show this season. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she was previously seen in Jesus Christ Superstar, Camelot, Rock of Ages, White Christmas (Rhoda), The Producers, and Hairspray as Lou Ann. Favorite regional theater credits include Mary Poppins, CATS, Anything Goes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Chicago. She has a BFA in Dance from Wright State University. Much love to Mom, Andrew, Matt, and Josh. Enjoy the show!
CONNER MORLEY (Ensemble) is so excited to back at Arizona Broadway Theatre in one of his favorite Disney shows! He is a rising Junior at the University of Arizona in their BFA Musical Theatre program. He was recently seen as Greg in their production of Hands on a Hardbody and Tango Dancer in Evita. Past Arizona Broadway Theatre shows include Peter Pan, Angry Housewives, and Shrek! The Musical. He was also seen around the valley at Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics, Spotlight Youth Theatre, and Valley Youth Theatre. He would like to thank the production staff for this opportunity. He would also like to thank his mom, dad, brother, and Colton for their never-ending love and support. Follow my journey on Twitter and Instagram – @connerrm. Enjoy the show!
TJ NELSON (Gaston) is excited to be making his debut at Arizona Broadway Theater! Previous credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (George), The Shawl (Charles), Henry VI pt II (Warwick), and Pericles (2nd Fisherman/ensemble). A native of Cornelius, North Carolina, T.J. currently resides in Manhattan and is an alumnus of UNC School of the Arts Drama School. Aside from acting, T.J. enjoys spending time as a musician, athlete, and personal trainer. Much love to his friends and family, especially his Mom and Dad for all of their love and support.
LAUREN PALEY (Ensemble/Silly Girl Swing) is delighted to return to the Arizona Broadway Theatre stage in a childhood favorite, Beauty and the Beast! Last seen in ABT’s Oliver!, she has performed regionally in Funny Girl, Carousel, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma, and Hairspray and is so grateful for every experience. Lauren is a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she majored in Theater and Dance. Very special thanks to Cass, Kiel, and Kurtis for welcoming her into this community of artists and offering her the special opportunity to perform here once again. She sends all her love to her Mom, Dad, Will and family for their never-ending support and love.
  ZACHARY SPIEGEL (Cogsworth) is elated to make his ABT debut doing this beautiful show for the second time. Off-Broadway: The Golden Bride (2016 Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Musical). Selected regional credits include Chicago (Ivoryton Playhouse and Potsdam Music Theatre), Les Misérables (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Junior Claus (Little Theatre on the Square), and Pirates of Penzance (Bristol Riverside Theatre). BA Muhlenberg College. Thanks to Avalon and the ABT team. Love to Mom, Dad, Mel, and Steph. For Jillian. Instagram: zachary_spiegz www.ZacharySpiegel.com
BEN STASNY (Lumière) is ecstatic to be making his debut with ABT and returning to the role of Lumière! This is Ben’s third time performing in B&B. His first experience was as M. D’Arque while in high school. His second was as Lumière while in college. The opportunity to be revisiting Lumière in the professional world is a dream! Ben holds a BFA in Acting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Some favorite past credits include Genie in Aladdin on Disney Cruise Line, Cat in the Hat in Seussical at Highland Summer Theatre, and Lord Farquaad in Shrek at Crane River Theater. Ben currently lives in NYC and is deeply indebted to those who have made that dream a reality.
ELEONORE S. THOMAS (Madame de la Grand Bouche/Mrs. Potts Cover) is elated to be returning to ABT to help tell this “tale as old as time!” She was most recently seen on the ABT stage as the Iowa Housewife in Menopause the Musical. Tours: The Royal Christmas Tours starring Andrea Bocelli & Julie Andrews. NYC: The Medium (Taksu Theatre Co.), Diet Monologues: The Musical (MITF), Fairy Tale (NYMF). Regional: Mrs. Fezziwig, A Christmas Carol (Walnut Street Theatre); Bloody Mary, South Pacific (Arizona Broadway Theatre); Mother Abbess, Sound of Music (New Candlelight Theatre); Saraghina, Nine (City Theatre Company). When not traveling the nation to perform, Eleonore can be found inspiring young creative minds in the sciences as a tour guide and educator at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. Proud alumna of Westminster Choir College. (www.savewestminster.org).
GERRI WEAGRAFF (Mrs. Potts) is thrilled to return to ABT after appearing as Mrs. Brice in Funny Girl last fall. Recent performances include Vi Moore in Footloose at Eldorado Theatre in Reno and Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd at Candlelight Theatre in her home state of Delaware. National tour: Fiddler on the Roof (Golde). Regional: Unnecessary Farce, Act II Playhouse; Into the Woods, Eagle Theatre; The Light in the Piazza, Villanova Theatre; Lend Me A Tenor, Beef & Boards; Miles and Ellie, Montgomery Theater. Other favorite roles: Miss Hannigan (Annie), Dorothy Brock (42nd Street), Phyllis Stone (Follies), Sister Amnesia (Nunsense). Thanks to my family for their love and support, and to the ABT family for welcoming me back! gerriweagraff.com
JILL-CHRISTINE WILEY (Belle) is so excited to be back in the provincial town! Audiences may remember her most recently as Carrie Pipperidge in R&H’s Carousel and as a certain red headed Mermaid named Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (BroadwayWorld Phoenix: Award for Best Actress). Other Credits: Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (Nat. Tour), The Fantasticks (Luisa), Little Women (Beth), High School Musical 2 (Sharpay), Oliver! (Bet/Strawberry Seller). Love and thanks to ABT, Gregg Baker Mgt., this incredible cast and crew, and to all the Disney lovers out there in the audience…yes, YOU! For mum and dad – xo! Live in the happy! @jilljcw