Show Boat – Meet the Cast!

SHAUNICE ALEXANDER (Stevedore’s Gal/Ensemble) is thrilled to make her Arizona Broadway Theatre debut alongside such an amazing creative team and group of artists! Shaunice is a New York based performer and a graduate of The New School who was recently the understudy for both Sarah and Sarah’s Friend in Park Playhouse’s Ragtime. Favorite past credits include Sister Act (Ensemble / Deloris u/s), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), As You Like It (Celia) and Fanny in the world premiere of From the Fire composed by Tony winner Elizabeth Swados. Thank you to her mom, dad, sister, friends and her lovely boyfriend for their incredible support! Jeremiah 29:11 shaunicealexander.com

BLAIR BEASLEY (Stevedore’s Gal/ Ensemble) is very excited to be back at Arizona Broadway Theater! She was previously in ABT’s productions of South Pacific (Lt. Genevieve Marshall) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Disciple). Off-Broadway: Urinetown: The Musical (Revival) (Little Becky Two Shoes, American Theater of Actors). Regional: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Madame/Congregation, Ogunquit Playhouse), Footloose (Wendy Jo, Eldorado Resort Casino). Other credits include West Side Story (Anita), RENT (Seasons of Love Soloist), The Wedding Singer (Holly). BFA Acting from Syracuse University. She would like to thank her beautiful family, friends, and angels for all of their love and support.

TONY BLOSSER (Windy/Jim Greene/Ensemble) began his life on a sultry July day in Kansas many years ago. Some of his fondest memories growing up were of traveling along the Mississippi with a good pal, faking his own death, and convincing all the neighborhood children to paint his fence. Granted he never actually did any of this, but he did read a lot of Mark Twain. Years later, he discovered acting while in High School, which allowed him to finally grow out of that awkward phase of wanting to be a Biochemist. He is pleased as punch to be joining this amazing cast of Show Boat, although he isn’t sure how pleased punch can really be. Thank you, Dear Reader, for supporting the arts. The cheesecake is always a wise choice.

CHRISTOPHER CODY COOLEY (Sheriff Ike Vallon/Gambler/Ensemble) is excited to be joining the Arizona Broadway Theatre company for Show Boat. He graduated with a BA in Acting from Rider University: Westminster College of the Arts. Credits include Crazy for You, Mamma Mia (Post Playhouse), Shrek the Musical, 42nd Street, The Fantasticks (Forestburgh Playhouse); Cole (St. Vincent Summer Theatre), The Wizard of Oz, Chicago (Toby’s Dinner Theatre); Our Town, Metamorphoses (Rider University). Thank you to friends and family for their support! www.christophercodycooley.com

CODY GERSZEWSKI (Steve Baker/Ensemble) Arizona Broadway Theatre debut! NYC credits: Hope for the Flowers (NYC Developmental Readings-Jeff Whiting), Canadaland (Stamp Bros. Productions). Regional Credits: The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Sierra Repertory Theatre), South Pacific, Mamma Mia (Fireside Theatre), Falsettos (Empire Theatre), RENT (WF Summer Arts). Proud graduate of Theatre-NDSU (Fargo, North Dakota 2015) and the Open Jar Institute’s Musical Theatre Residency (New York, New York 2016). Thanks to the staff/creative team/cast at ABT for the incredible opportunity, and to his Fargo family for their constant support. @CGerszewski www.codygerszewski.com

LEON GLOVER (Stevedore/Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to ABT for this long overdue and historic musical! Leon teaches Broadway and Beyoncé-themed dance-fitness classes at Broadway Bodies as well as other studios around the NYC/Westchester areas. A few past credits include Rhinoceros, Breaking Points (Short Film), Jesus Christ Superstar (ABT), Spears: The Gospel According to Britney, A Chorus Line and Kiss Me, Kate. Leon dedicates this performance to his mom, Grams. BFA New World School of the Arts.

EARL HAZELL (Joe), Basso Cantante and Executive Director of Jazzoperetry®, Inc., is developing a multi-faceted career through the embrace of opera, literature and modern jazz. A native New Yorker, Earl has performed a variety of roles in numerous productions of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess around the world, including in San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Semperoper of Dresden, the Royal Albert Hall of London, and the Teatro dell’ Opera of Rome. Earl lives in Tempe, Arizona, with his wife, dramatic mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis Hazell, with whom he performs nationwide in their flagship recital series Earl & Alexis: AMERICAN SONGS.

MIA HURLEY (Kim, child) is so excited to be in her first production at Arizona Broadway Theater! She is in fourth grade at Copperwood Elementary School and was most recently seen in Spotlight Youth Theatre’s musical production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Beth) and Theater Works YouthWorks’ production of Annie Jr. (Molly). She would like to thank her family and friends for all the support and encouragement over the past three years, and special thank you to everyone at ABT for this amazing opportunity!

JOHN KNISPEL (Charlie/Backwoodsman/Gambler/Ensemble) is happy to be in his third ABT production this season, having portrayed Young Marley in A Christmas Carol at the Herberger Theater Center and The Scorpion/Pedro in Man of La Mancha. His favorite credits include Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet, Ritchie Valens in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical, Princeton in Avenue Q, as well as Music Director of the University of Montana’s 2015 production of A Chorus Line. A Billings, Montana, native, John graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. John would like to give a huge thank you to his family, Paul, Berta, Jessica, and Anica for being so supportive over the years.

RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Town Girl/Governess/Lottie/Ensemble) is thrilled to be back on the ABT stage with this beautiful production! Recent ABT credits include: Christmas Carol (Christmas Past), Oliver! (Mrs. Sourberry), Camelot (Nimue/Morgan LeFey), Best Little Whorehouse (Doatsy Mae), Kiss Me, Kate (Lilly/Katherine) and many more. Other credits include The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), Godspell (Peggy), 9 to 5 (Violet) Pippen (Fastrata), Sister Act, Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disney Cruise Line. Huge thanks to Mom, Dad, Ryan, Cass, Kiel, Kurtis, Josh and BUNNY for being the most supportive team a girl could ask for! reneekathleenkoher.com

ANNE-LISE KOYABE (Queenie) is thrilled to be back on the ABT stage after last appearing in Hairspray. Favorite roles include Sarah in Ragtime, Glinda in The Wiz, and Oda Mae Brown in Ghost: The Musical. Thank you to Cassandra, Kurtis, and all of the ABT staff, cast, and crew for this fantastic experience. Thank you to my amazing family for their constant love and support. And thank you to you, the patrons, for supporting theater.

NICHOLAS KUHN (Willy/Gambler/Ensemble) is beyond thrilled to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre! Favorite ABT credits include A Christmas Carol (Fred), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble/Gaston cover), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Ensemble/Eric Cover), Camelot (Sir Lionel), Oliver! (Ensemble). Other credits: Godspell (Artistree Music Theatre Festival), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (The Palace Theatre), My Fair Lady, South Pacific (Mac Haydn theatre), Whoopee!, America’s Sweethearts (Musicals Tonight!). Nick would love to thank Cass, Kiel, Kurtis, Rob, and all the people who make up the ABT family for the wonderful opportunity. And, as always, a huge shout out to his family, friends, and wonderful girlfriend Renée for all their undying support! Nicholaskuhn.com

MARC-ANTHONY LEWIS (Stevedore/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre. He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). Favorite regional credits include Smokey Joe’s Café (Fred), Memphis (Bobby), and Sister Act (Curtis). Love you always, Mom, for the constant support. Instagram: Marcc.Anthonyy

ASHLEY NICOLE MARTIN (Town Girl / Nun / Kim, adult / Ensemble) is thrilled to be spending her winter with the ABT family! Regional: Hairspray (Tammy), White Christmas (Mrs. Snoring Man), Legally Blonde (Serena, Plays-In-the-Park), Footloose (Wendy Jo). NYC: Wonderland (Dance Capt./Ensemble) at the York. Thanks to every member of the cast and crew as well as her family and friends for their tireless hard work and love. Proud MMC grad. Proud Instagrammer @ashwithasplash

LAUREN PALEY (Ellie May Shipley) is over the moon to return to ABT and to be a part of this American musical masterpiece. Last seen in A Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, and Oliver! here at ABT, Lauren’s other favorite credits include White Christmas, Carousel, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She’s a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she majored in Theater and Dance. She is endlessly grateful to Cassandra, Kurtis and Kiel for the opportunities to perform here; each show has mattered immensely. Thanks, and all the love to Mom, Dad, Will, and Frank, too!

JAMIE PARNELL (Gaylord Ravenal), a native of Montana, is delighted to be spending the winter once more with ABT. Jamie, who studied voice performance and has a BA in Theatre from the University of Montana, performed for the first time on the ABT stage in the 2009 production of A Christmas Carol as Young Marley. Since then he has been lucky enough to work with them in Phantom, Footloose, and as Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity. Having spent Season 12 in ABT productions of Funny Girl (Nick Arnstein), Camelot (Lancelot), Oliver!, and Jesus Christ Superstar, Jamie is looking forward to a shift in gears and to helping to bring this classic show to Phoenix audiences.

TYLER PIRRUNG (Frank Schultz) is so happy to be returning to ABT for his fourth show! He holds his BA in Theatre from Florida State University. Tyler was previously seen on the ABT stage in the ensembles of Funny Girl, Oliver!, and A Christmas Carol. Other recent credits include Young Frankenstein (Igor), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), A Christmas Carol (Christmas Past), Hot Mikado (Ko-Ko), and Spring Awakening (Moritz). He would like to thank his family, Charlie, and his friends for their endless love and support and also Kiel, Cass, and Kurtis for bringing him back out West! To see what else Tyler has done and to find out what adventures await him next, visit www.tylerpirrung.com!

CLAXTON RABB III (Stevedore/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his ABT debut and to be a part of this wonderful production. His most recent credits include National Tour: Three Little Birds (2nd National Tour). Regional: Choir Boy (David Heard), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter), 8 by Dustin Lance Black (Spencer), Freedom Summer (James Forman). Collegiate: RENT (Angel), A Year with Frog and Toad (Toad), Spring Awakening (Otto), The Rocky Horror Show (Phantom), The Way of Water (Jimmy). Proud graduate with honors from American University, BA Musical Theatre. All the love and thanks to my family and my tribe for their endless support. www.claxtonrabb.com Instagram: @claxtonrabb #ownyourhappiness

MATTHEW RUFF (Peter Gavin/Jeb/Ensemble) is delighted to be in Arizona for this amazing production. Matt is an NYC actor pursuing his passion for acting. He graduated from UF with his BFA in Musical Theater in ‘15. Recent roles include Professor (South Pacific AZ), Padre (Man of La Mancha AZ), Charles Ingalls (Laura Ingalls Tour NYC), Soapy Smith (Days of 98 show AK), Rev. Smith (Henry Box Brown NYC), Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd FL), and Lil Jake (Annie Get Your Gun FL). He thanks God, his family, and friends for their love and support.

BRITTANY SANTOS (Magnolia Hawks) is thrilled to return to ABT, having previously played Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof and Maria in West Side Story. She recently performed at NY City Center as part of Victoria Clark’s Front & Center series. Other credits: West Side Story (Maria) and A Chorus Line (Diana) at Cortland Repertory Theatre; Sweeney Todd (Johanna); A Chorus Line (Judy); Spelling Bee (Olive). Brittany holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from Rider University and a Master of Music Education from Westminster Choir College. She sends much gratitude to Cassandra, Kurtis, and everyone at ABT. Love to Mom and family. brittany-santos.com

LACY SAUTER (Julie LaVerne) hails from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is delighted to return to ABT after playing Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof in the 2007/8 season. During this 10-year hiatus, she has been pursuing her operatic career. Favorite roles include Countess, Mimi, Violetta, Rosalinde, and Juliette with such companies as Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Nashville Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and The Santa Fe Opera. Past local credits include Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Anna in The King and I, Lilli/Kate in Kiss Me, Kate with Fountain Hills Theater, Desert Stages and Hale Centre Theatre. Catch her later this season in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera. Many thanks to the ABT family for this opportunity to work and play at home! www.LacySauter.com.

LILA SHIPLEY (Kim, child) is a bright and funny 11-year-old who is an accomplished synchronized swimmer and loves to make others happy. Lila enjoys music of all genres, currently plays percussion in her school’s band, and is a member of the chorus. She was a featured dancer and singer in the children’s chorus in Dream City’s Celebration of Christmas. Lila is very excited about her debut on the stage at Arizona Broadway Theater. She would like to thank her family for supporting her in all of her activities and would like to give a special thanks to her older brother Jacob who is always challenging her to give her best.

MEGGIE SIEGRIST (Mrs. O’Brien/Mother Superior/Old Lady/Ensemble) could not be happier to be back on the ABT stage with some of her favorite human beings at her home away from home. She was last seen at ABT in South Pacific and Man of La Mancha, as well as Oliver!, Jesus Christ Superstar, and A Christmas Story last season. She would like to thank the entire cast and crew who, as usual, put their hearts and souls into this production. She would also like to give a huge shoutout to Cass, Kiel, and Kurtis for always giving her an opportunity to grow as a person and performer.

MARK TUMEY (Cap’n Andy) is excited to make his debut at Arizona Broadway Theater as Cap’n Andy! Originally from Indianapolis, he has been involved in more than 40 productions in Central Indiana, including favorites such as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, John Adams in 1776, and Felix Unger in The Odd Couple. He has also performed in and directed Shakespeare productions there. In the Phoenix area, he has performed at Theater Works in Peoria and Hale Theater in Gilbert. When not involved in Theater, Mark enjoys travel and spending time with his seven grandchildren! Thanks to Bernadette for her support of his passion, and thanks to the ABT family for this great opportunity!

GERRI WEAGRAFF (Parthy Ann Hawks) is thrilled to be returning to ABT! Previous ABT appearances: Flo Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Brice in Funny Girl. A Delaware native, Gerri performed in the 2010 – 2012 National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof (Golde). Regional: Footloose, Eldorado Theatre; Sweeney Todd, Candlelight Theatre; 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: Dorothy Brock (42nd Street), Phyllis Stone (Follies), Sister Amnesia (Nunsense). Many thanks to ABT and to my family! gerriweagraff.com

KARA ZIRINGER (Town Girl/Nun/Dottie/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her official ABT Mainstage debut after having just appeared in their production of A Christmas Carol at HTC! Kara graduated from the Florida State University in May of 2016 with a BFA in Music Theatre and has been living in New York City ever since. Some of Kara’s favorite previous credits include A Chorus Line (Maggie), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), Legally Blonde (Serena), Young Frankenstein (Dance Captain/Ensemble), and Newsies (Newsboy/Bowery Beauty). She would like to thank her family and friends for their unwavering support and love, as well as the rest of the Arizona Broadway family for this wonderful opportunity. Enjoy the show!