Camelot

Meet the Cast: Camelot

GAVIN ANDERSON (Tom of Warwick) is excited to have been given the opportunity to perform again with Arizona Broadway Theatre playing Tom of Warwick in Camelot. He just finished performing with ABT in A Christmas Carol at the Herberger Theater where he played young Scrooge and Jonathan. Gavin caught the “acting bug” performing in a neighborhood Christmas play. Gavin’s free time is most often spent playing the ukulele, making science experiments (and messes in the kitchen), practicing soccer, & hanging out with his family. He would like to thank his family for their continued support & to the Directors & cast for all of their encouragement!

STEPHANIE EASTERDAY (Guenevere) is thrilled to be back at ABT! She was here for the Sound of Music in 2013; since then she’s been on national tours of Beauty and the Beast and Nice Work if You Can Get It. Regional faves include Wizard of Oz (Glinda), Cats (Jellylorum/ Griddlebone), and The Tempest (Ariel). Many thanks to James, Kurtis, Cass, and Kiel for having me back (I can talk this time!!!). Matt, you’re the bee’s knees. This one’s for Debbie & David: Happy Anniversary!

JOSHUA HANRAHAN (Knight/Squire Dap) is a recent graduate of DeSales University with a BA in Musical Theatre. He is overjoyed to be making his regional debut with the Arizona Broadway Theatre. He can’t wait for this experience and everything else that his future in theatre has in store. He would like to thank the cast, crew, friends, family, and Joseph for their constant love and support. For My Mom.

ALEX HERRERA (Knight/Arthur Cover) is very excited to be joining the Knights of the Round Table here at ABT! He just finished a contract at The Palace Theatre as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. Some of his favorite credits include: the North American National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof (Mendel/Motel u/s), the National Tour of All Shook Up (Dean) and most recently Disney Cruise Lines as Aladdin in Aladdin, A Musical Spectacular. He would like to thank his friends, family, cast and crew!

STEPHEN HOHENDORF (Mordred) is THRILLED to be back at this amazing theatre! Previous ABT credits include: Fiddler on the Roof and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Stephen spent his summer performing at the historic Ft. Peck Summer Theatre in Ft. Peck, Montana (Man of La Mancha, Mary Poppins) followed by a very successful off-Broadway run of Stinky Kids the Musical in NYC. Other credits include National Tours of The Full Monty and Sesame Street Live! In New York: MRT, MuSe, Grex Group, and Mt. Caramel Theatre Co. Regional: Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr., Liberty Theatre, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Stephen will be making his choreography debut this summer with the musical Grease at the Ft. Peck Summer Theatre. A big thank you to Kurtis, Cass, and Kiel for this amazing opportunity. And a big thank you to YOU for continuing to support live theatre!

JUSTIN JUTRAS (Knight/Lancelot Cover) Previously at ABT: Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad Birdie), Grease (Kenickie), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Duke). National Tours: Bullets Over Broadway (Cheech u/s), The Wedding Singer (Sammy), Grease! starring Frankie Avalon (Doody). Love and thanks to my family and friends! Special shout out to that random guy in a Rhode Island shopping mall in 1994 that told my parents I sang like Robert Goulet…this one’s for you. BA from Rhode Island College.

RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Nimue/ Morgan Le Fey) is so excited to be back on the ABT stage in this stunning production. This marks her 13th show with ABT! Some of her 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). 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, Kurtis, James and Josh for their never ending support! BUNNY! www.ReneeKathleenKoher.com

CAELAN KOTH (Tom of Warwick) is excited to be performing in his seventh ABT mainstage production having just finished playing the role of “Flick” in A Christmas Story: The Musical. Caelan’s enthusiasm for musical theater began at the age of 10 when his older sister convinced him to audition with her for ABT’s production of The King and I, where they were both cast as Royal Children of Siam. Caelan has also been a part of ABT’s productions of Little Mermaid (youth ensemble), Christmas Carol (Peter Cratchit), Carousel (Snow child), and Shrek: The Musical (young Shrek, Baby Bear, rat tapper, and Grumpy the dwarf). He also enjoys participating in ABT’s Academy for Young Performers where he has been in Little Mermaid Jr. (Grimsby) and Shrek Jr. (Shrek). Caelan loves playing lacrosse and creating videos for his YouTube channel (CeeJay Vlogs). He is thankful to God and his family for believing in and supporting him. He would like to thank Cassandra and Kurtis for giving him the opportunity to be part of such a beautiful show!

NICHOLAS KUHN (Sir Lionel) is absolutely thrilled to be working with Arizona Broadway Theatre again! He previously was seen in A Christmas Carol (Fred), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Aggie), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Charlie Brown), and The Little Mermaid (Ensemble/Eric u/s). His New York credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), Whoopee (Ensemble), America’s Sweetheart (Ensemble). Other Regional credits: My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Nice Work if You Can Get It (Mac-Haydn Theatre). Nick would
like to thank ABT for the opportunity and his friends and family for all their support. nicholaskuhn.com

JON MCHATTON (Sir Sagramore) is a proud born and bred Arizonan and excited to make his debut with ABT! He was last seen swinging a sword in Mesa while touring with Phoenix Entertainment’s national tour of Camelot. Past recent credits include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas directed by Carl Rajotte in Manchester, NH, and the role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast in Indiana at the Beef and Boards. A big thank you to his friends and family who support and believe in him. This one is for the Big Guy upstairs.

CAROLYN MCPHEE (Lady Catherine) is so grateful to be part of this talented cast! Since moving back to the Valley from Texas, Carolyn has been kept busy by ABT. Just closed A Christmas Story (Mother), Funny Girl (Mrs. O’Malley), Church Basement Ladies (Karin) and will be Virginia in this summer’s Hands On A Hardbody. Carolyn has 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). Other favorite local credits include Broadway Palm tour of Meet Me in St. Louis (Mrs. Smith) (AZ&FL), Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse… (AZ&FL), Honky Tonk Angels (Sue Ellen), Anything Goes (Reno) in AZ&FL (ariZoni nomination) and the PEG Tour of CATS (Grizabella). Carolyn has been lucky enough to work for Jeff Kennedy & iTheatre for five Christmases at The Herberger, and performed in Smokey Joe’s Café at Phoenix Theatre (ariZoni nomination). Originally from Chicago, Carolyn attended NIU and appeared throughout Chicago including Drury Lane, Apollo Theatre, Apple Tree, Theatre at The Center, Light Opera Works, Borealis and Pheasant Run Dinner Theatre. 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.

LAUREN MORGAN (Lady Anne) is excited to return to ABT. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she was previously seen in Rock of Ages, White Christmas as 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!

JAMIE PARNELL (Lancelot du Lac) is delighted to be starting 2017 on ABT’s stage. Jamie studied vocal performance and BA Theatre at the University of Montana. His first production at ABT was in 2009 in their production of A Christmas Carol and has since been involved in a number of their productions including Phantom, Footloose, Sweet Charity, Fiddler on the Roof, and, this fall, appeared as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl. Jamie spends the summer months in Fort Peck, Montana, at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre where he serves as Residence Manager, Actor and Stage Manager. This one, like all the others, is for you, M.

STEVEN RUSSELL (Sir Dinadan) is a New York-based actor and a graduate of SUNY Fredonia, with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance. Since graduating, Steve has performed across the country at such theaters as the Paramount Theatre in Chicago, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, and the New Huntington Theatre. Favorite credits include Les Misérables (Marius), 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor), Stop the World (Littlechap), A Little Night Music (Henrik), Fugitive Songs (Matt), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear).

MATTHEW C. THOMPSON (King Arthur) ABT: Secret Garden. Regional: Les Misérables (Riverside, PA Shakespeare), Secret Garden (Stages St. Louis), Camelot (Goodspeed, Pittsburgh Public), 1776 (Paper Mill), South Pacific (Riverside), Parade (SpeakEasy). MM in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory, BA in Sociology from Boston College, and a Fulbright Scholar (Germany). Teaches a private voice studio in NYC. Proud AEA member! Thanks to Cass, Kurtis, Kiel and the whole team – glad to be back! @MTRepCoach, www.matthewcthompson.com

CHAUNCEY TRASK (Lady Sybil/Guenevere cover) is delighted to be working with Arizona Broadway Theatre! Credits include: Island  Song (New York Drama League, Balagan Theatre), Les Misérables (Village Theatre), Varna’s Opera and Revue Series (International Tour), My Fair Lady (Coeur d’Alene Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Mount Baker Theatre), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Centerstage). Favorite roles include Jo March in Little Women, Wendy Darling in Peter Pan, and Jane Morgan in Rebel Girls. BFA in Musical Theatre from Central Washington University. Special thanks to MJ&D and P&M! www.chaunceytrask.com

MICHAEL WEAVER (Merlin/Pellinore) last appeared at ABT as The Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and as Mr. Whitney in Anything Goes. He performed in the National Tours of Fiddler on the Roof and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and has been seen in Regional Theatres all across the country in Never the Sinner (Clarence Darrow), White Christmas (The General), It’s a Wonderful Life (Uncle Billy), Shear Madness (Eddie), The Drowsy Chaperone (Man in Chair), Little Shop of Horrors (Mushnik) as well as in 9 productions of the Greater Tuna series, among many others. Michael also directs extensively, including the first reduced-cast production of Our Town sanctioned by the Thornton Wilder Estate. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of Actor’s Repertory Theatre in Washington, directing the late Oscar winner Patty Duke in Humble Boy, among others. He can be seen as Dr. Widesworth in the cult classic horror film Tiki.

Meet the Adults of A Christmas Story

CORBAN ADAMS (Randy) is excited to be in his first production on the Arizona Broadway Theater stage! Some of his past favorite roles have been: Charlie Bucket at Spotlight Youth Theater, the Narrator in The Greatest Gift (church), and Aladdin in Aladdin Jr. (SYT) singing the Aladdin song “One Jump.” Corban attends Cactus View Elementary School as a 10-year-old Honor Student in the 5th grade. Corban spent a year singing with the Phoenix Children’s Chorus and also plays the trumpet. He has been bitten by the “theatre bug” and wants to give a big thanks to ABT for this amazing opportunity!

CHANEL BRAGG (Ensemble) is grateful to return to Arizona Broadway Theatre, after last being seen in the production of Rock of Ages. Chanel is proudly an Equity Membership Candidate, and her favorite roles include: Effie in Dreamgirls, Kala in Tarzan, Joanne in Rent, Jewel in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Justice in Rock of Ages – and many more. In addition to ABT, Chanel has worked professionally with Childsplay, Fort Peck Summer Theatre, and Phoenix Theatre. Chanel is co-creator of the Soul of Broadway Cabaret Troupe, and a supporting vocalist in Phoenix Afro Beat Orchestra. Much Thanks to ABT for this opportunity. Merry Christmas, baby sis. Love to Asher forever and always; and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

MICHELLE CHIN (Ensemble) is delighted to be returning to ABT’s mainstage after last appearing as the Fairy Godmother in Shrek. Other ABT credits include Steel Magnolias, Grease, Hairspray, Baby, Gypsy, My Fair Lady, and several of the Theatre for Young Audiences productions. Recent credits include: One Man, Two Guvnors (Fort Peck Summer Theatre), The Wizard of Oz (Phoenix Theatre), Goodnight Moon and A Thousand Cranes (Childsplay). Michelle is also a percussionist and enjoys making music throughout the valley. She would like to thank everyone at ABT for this opportunity and her truly amazing friends and family for being so supportive. She holds a BM in Music Theatre performance from ASU.

IAN CONNOR (Ensemble) is ecstatic to be in his second show 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 (Ensemble) is thrilled to be at Arizona Broadway Theatre! 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!

EASTON DANA (Ralphie) is thrilled to be performing as Ralphie in A Christmas Story. Easton previously played Tiny Tim in 2015’s A Christmas Carol, the Musical. He is a 7th grader at Candeo Elementary School in Peoria, AZ. In his spare time, Easton performs magic tricks, watches sports with his dad, and plays a plethora of sports. He loves to entertain and make his friends and family laugh. He was honored to be nominated for the National Youth Arts Award “Outstanding Supporting Actor (Junior Division) for his role as “Scarecrow” in The Wizard of Oz. Other notable roles include “Hook” in Peter Pan, “Aladdin” in Aladdin and “Tumnus” in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

TREY DeGROODT (Ensemble) is a graduate from LHS and Cutting Edge Style Academy. Previous credits include: Shrek and Legally Blonde (ABT), RENT (Roger, SYT), Avenue Q (Princeton DFT, Nicky TW), A Chorus Line (Paul, SYT). He has also hair and makeup designed many shows over the years, including Fairytale Courtroom, Wedding Singer, Rugrats, Narnia (SYT), and Jungle Book and Smokey Joe’s Café (DFT). Love and thanks to my family, Rylee, and all the people that support me!

BARRET HARPER (Ensemble) is excited to celebrate the holidays with his fourth show at Arizona Broadway. Previously at ABT he played Franz in Rock of Ages and the Springtime Tenor in The Producers as well as dancing away in White Christmas. A Colorado native, he received his BFA Theater Performance and BA Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Regional: Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center, Central City Opera, Broadway Palm, Colorado Light Opera. Thanks to my beautiful wife, friends and family for always encouraging me to dream. BarretHarper.com

CYRUS HILDING (Randy) is so excited to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut as Randy! Cyrus is 9 and a 4th grader at Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics. Some of his recent roles include Mike TeaVee (Willy Wonka Jr.), Peter (Cinderella, A Rock n Roll Fairytale) and The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Fairytale Courtroom) all at SYT. He also enjoys cohosting his YouTube channel, The Dare Brothers, with his big brother. Cyrus would like to give a huge thank you to Rob, Kurtis and everyone at ABT for this incredible opportunity!

DAVID JOHNSON (The Old Man) recently starred as Max Bialystock in the US National Tour of Mel Brooks’ The Producers. National Tour credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod) and Broadway’s 1st National Tour of She Loves Me (Headwaiter). He’s performed Off Broadway in NYC and several regional theatres throughout the US including Ogunquit Playhouse, Arkansas Rep, North Shore, Riverfront, Music Theatre North, STONC, and Music Theatre Hall of Fame. He can be seen nationally in commercials, print ads, and TV programs and is currently starring in ABC’s I, Witness airing in January 2017. David is a proud alumni of NYU’s theatre program. David also owned the popular HEAVEN nightclub in Manhattan, NYC. He is THRILLED to be a member of the ABT family and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. Enjoy the show!!

TRISTAN KLAPHAKE (Ralphie) After “breaking hearts four shows a week” as Gavroche in ABT’s acclaimed production of Les Misérables, swimming with Ariel as Flounder in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and melting Scrooge’s cold heart as Tiny Tim in 2015’s A Christmas Carol, ten-year old Tristan Klaphake is “super excited” to return to the ABT Mainstage! Other favorite roles include: Michael Darling in Peter Pan; The Narrator in Three Piggy Opera; The Itsy Bitsy Spider in Squirm! and The Littlest Monkey in Disney’s The Jungle Book (all ABT Academy). Additional shows include Shrek Jr., Joseph…Dreamcoat (ABT) and Alice in Wonderland (MCT). When he is not singing and dancing, Tristan also enjoys Legos, Minecraft and Harry Potter.

ALYSSA McGUIGAN (Miss Shields) is thrilled to be joining Arizona Broadway Theater! She is a graduate from Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Theatre Arts with minors in Musical Theatre and Drama Therapy. After recently completing a Theatreworks national tour as Miss Nelson in Miss Nelson is Missing, Alyssa is very excited to be playing Miss Shields in A Christmas Story! Previous theatre credits include Disney Cruise Line (Ursula & Fairy Godmother), Quiet Clock, the Musical!” (Swing, u/s Mrs Yawns and Gypsy), Legally Blonde (Vivienne), Rags (Rebecca u/s and Rosa), Anything Goes (Hope Harcourt), Bye Bye Birdie (Ursula Merkle), Hello, Dolly! (Minnie Fay). To learn more about Alyssa, please visit www.alyssamcguigan.com.

CAROLYN McPHEE (Mother) 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 Theater 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.

ANDY MEYERS (Jean Shepherd/Narrator, u/s The Old Man) couldn’t be happier that A Christmas Story is his 30th production at Arizona Broadway Theatre!! Favorite ABT credits include Mr. Enoch Snow in Carousel, Oscar in Sweet Charity, Uncle Max in The Sound of Music, Ernst in Cabaret, Grantaire in Les Misérables and Fezziwig in the first three productions of A Christmas Carol, and he has directed The King and I (Broadway World Awards Best Director), The Secret Garden, The Winter Wonderettes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie, and last season’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in which he also played Melvin P. Thorpe. Andy is currently the Artistic Director of Fort Peck Summer Theatre in Montana and was previously Managing Director for Performing Arts at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island, NY. He appeared in the national tours of Annie and Bus Stop, and as Dick in the 35th Anniversary NY Revival of Dames at Sea. Andy is a graduate of Wagner College in New York City and holds his Masters from University of Montana. He thanks Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake for so many wonderful opportunities, and looks forward to the next 30!

EMILY RHEIN (Ensemble, u/s Miss Shields). 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

BONNIE ROMNEY (Ensemble) is a newly transplanted Utahn enjoying her AZ Broadway debut. Recent credits include Edith Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (HCTAZ), Fiddler on the Roof (Pioneer Memorial Theatre), Anybodys in West Side Story (Ziegfeld Theater), A Christmas Carol (HCTWV) and Hold Me Touch Me in The Producers (Ziegfeld Theater). Much love to Miles, Max, Bea and Gigi and to you for supporting the arts.

MEGGIE SIEGRIST (Ensemble, u/s Mother) is overjoyed to be celebrating this holiday season at ABT after appearing earlier this year in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She spent her summer in Kentucky performing at Jenny Wiley Theater as Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins, and as Margaret (u/s Dora Lee, Judy, and Violet) in 9to5. Other credits include Mrs. Crachit (A Christmas Carol), and Audrey (Leading Ladies) at the Great American Melodrama, and Ensemble in shows such as Copacabana, Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain at Derby Dinner Playhouse. She would like to thank everyone involved in A Christmas Story for their hard work on this production, and for treating her like family during the holiday season. She’d also like to say a very special thank you to Cass and Kurtis for giving her the opportunity to come back to ABT. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

PHIL SLOVES (Ensemble, u/s Jean Shepherd/Narrator) is so glad to be back at ABT! Past ABT: Eddie Ryan (Funny Girl) 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 Kiel, Cass, Kurtis, Rob, My family, @gripless, and my beautiful girlfriend Gabby. www.philsloves.com

Funny Girl

ABT Launches 12th Season with Iconic Funny Girl

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s twelfth season begins on October 14, with the Broadway hit Funny Girl which will run through November 13.

“We’re excited to be leading off our twelfth season with such an iconic show,” said Kiel Klaphake, founder and CEO. “ABT has become known for bringing incredible professional productions to Phoenix’s West Valley, and this year features some of Broadway’s biggest hits. Add in our recent upgrades, including upgraded chairs in our auditorium, and a fantastic show menu by renowned chef Jon Mortimer, and ABT is without a doubt one of the best entertainment experiences in the Valley.”

About the Cast

Cassandra Klaphake, ABT’s Casting Director and Artistic Producer, has gathered a cast of new and familiar faces for ABT’s version of Funny Girl. Liz Fallon will portray Fanny Brice in the part that made Barbra Streisand a household name. Currently a resident of New York, Fallon appeared as Fiona in ABT’s production of Shrek this summer, as Charity Hope Valentine in the 2015 ABT production of Sweet Charity as well as West Side Story and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Appearing as Nick Arnstein, Fanny’s love interest, is Jamie Parnell. A native of Montana, Jamie has been seen in ABT productions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel; A Christmas Carol, Sweet Charity, Phantom, and Footloose.

Also returning to the ABT stage are: Phil Sloves (A Christmas Carol, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) as Eddie Ryan; T. V. Reeves (White Christmas) as Florenz Ziegfeld; Tim Shawver (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Lucky Stiff, Church Basement Ladies, It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Play) as Tom Keeney; Johanna Carlisle (Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misérables, Annie) as Mrs. Strakosh; Carolyn McPhee (La Cage Aus Folles; Bye Bye Birdie; Lend Me a Tenor; The Drowsy Chaperone; Grease; Into the Woods) as Mrs. O’Malley; Anasofia Gallegos (Shrek) as Mrs. Meeker; Tony Blosser (The Secret Garden, Lucky Stiff, Fiddler on the Roof, Shrek) as Renaldi.

About Funny Girl

Funny Girl is the semi-biographical story of Fanny Brice as she follows her dreams of becoming the greatest star despite the discouragement of friends and neighbors. Made famous by the Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning performance of Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl is a triumphant story of success and a bittersweet love, cast in the elegance of 1920s Broadway. Featuring unforgettable songs like “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

About Arizona Broadway Theatre

ABT, Arizona’s one-of-a-kind, award-winning, state-of-the-art professional dinner theatre, showcases locally and nationally acclaimed artists both onstage and behind the scenes. ABT’s twelfth season includes Funny Girl (October 14 – November 13), A Christmas Story (November 25 – December 28, 2016); Camelot (January 13 – February 11, 2017); Jesus Christ Superstar (March 17 – April 16, 2017); Oliver! (April 28 – May 21, 2017); Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 2 – July 2, 2017); Saturday Night Fever (July 21 – August 20, 2017); and Hands on a Hardbody (September 1 – 24, 2017)

ABT’s luxurious Mainstage showroom comfortably accommodates 400 guests with unobstructed views from every seat, each one new this year. The theatre offers a number of performances year-round with a variety of prices and times to fit every lifestyle. Gracious wait staff serve made-to-order selections created by Executive Chef Jon Mortimer, author of The Idaho Table, host of the weekly wine and food radio show Radio Café, and adjunct professor to Boise State University School of Culinary Arts and the California Culinary Academy. The theatre can facilitate luncheons, meetings, parties, and special events in its private banquet room, expansive lobby or Mainstage showroom. Groups can purchase an entire performance as exclusive entertainment. Discounts are extended to groups of 10 or more.

ABT is conveniently located south of West Bell Road off Loop 101, in the P83 District east of the Peoria Sports Complex. Parking is free. For tickets and additional information about gift cards, special events packages, Theatre for Young Audiences, the Academy for Young Performers program, or to become an ABT subscriber, call the Box Office at 623.776.8400 or visit www.azbroadway.org.

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s twelfth season is proudly sponsored by Arrowhead Cadillac.

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!)

Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Great Plains

Miss Great Plains, Bonnie Louise Cutlett!

Miss Great Plains, Bonnie Louise Cutlett, is delighted to be upholding her regional title as both the first and second runner up were unavailable for this Miss Glamouresse Pageant. The youngest daughter of Connie and Carl Cutlett, Bonnie spent the first four years of her life mistaken for a boy by fourteen of her seventeen brothers and sisters. As a farm girl, Bonnie is no stranger to hard work. Whether she’s milking the goat or castrating a bull, there’s nothing that brings her greater joy than rolling up her sleeves and getting to work. In addition to farming, Bonnie also enjoys crochet, bridge, needlepoint, and hammer throw.  

This is Bonnie’s third pageant in her life and she couldn’t be more excited to be here. Brought into the pageant world by her mother, Connie Cutlett, for the Lake Okabogee Mother-Daughter Pageant (which she did not win), she made the realization that there is more to life than manure. When she’s not working on the farm or practicing walking in a straight line, she enjoys bringing environmental awareness to the world through motivational speaking and bake sales. If Bonnie wins the Miss Glamouresse Pageant, she will look out into that great audience and say, in the words of one of the greatest American women, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “Thanks.”

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

I would wish for a world with no war and no GMOs. Because we should be able to raise our children and pets in a world without senseless violence and no one should have to eat corn that can’t die.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

When I was twelve, I grew a banana squash for the Keokuk County Fair that weighed 38 pounds. I came in second but felt like it was a great contribution to society.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I really like my nails. I had them done for the Pageant and before that I didn’t really know what they looked like. As far as dislikes, I don’t have many. If I had to pick one, I would say my voice… I’ve always wanted to have a voice like Anita Bryant.

What is the essence of being a woman?

I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s estrogen.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

My mom is my best friend. She’s probably the best mom in the whole world. As a mother of 18, she’s taught me the importance of name tags.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

My guinea pig, Walter. His anxiety really flairs up when he’s away from me.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

Our pig, Gretchen, is having piglets very soon. I’ve never missed the birth of a single pig on our farm in the last ten years, but I know my siblings, Betty, Brenda, Barb, Brett, Bart, Bradley, Brent, Brian, Barley, Boomer, Billy, Beatrice, Barnaby, Blaine, Blaire, Beau, Bronson, and Carl will be able to hold down the fort while I’m gone. 

Pageant Contestant: Miss West Coast

Here she is, Miss West Coast, Karma Quinn!

I’m not the best at writing and all, but I’m super excited to share a little about me. They said to, “write in 3rd person” but what’s special about me is that I have been reincarnated so many times I could literally do this in the 11th or 12th person. So, 35” 22” 35”. Umm, Gemini. Pink, obvi. When I was younger my favorite movie was, “A Walk to Remember” but now that I’m grown I’m really into, “Inside Out” (just as good for adults). Dirty blonde. Yoga, beach, salad. I recently started the pageant circuit after my ex-boyfriend’s director friend suggested I should try out modeling. I was like, “modeling would be so fun, but I have more to offer than just looks. I also ribbon dance.” Pageants seemed to be the natural next step. Not really into the competing, so it’s like low stress and I meet some great, strong, crazy smart ladies and I learn something new every day. Like, did you know that in Texas you can backhand someone when they say something stupid? I learned the hard way cause Kitty Bob tends to follow Texas rules in the dressing room. In my free time I like to stencil, visit vortexes, and paint my friends’ nails. Thanks to my mom, dad, stepdad, Todd, my brother Leaf and little sisters Sedona, Moon, Rainstorm and Hopitaki Tutu (adopted but still just sweet and sassy). Now you know me. In a weird way, we’re kinda connected. Like, I’m in your mind. You are reading this right now in your head, but the voice you gave me in your head is like my voice or your interpretation of my voice. So, I’m kinda like in your head…part of you. Heavy.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

If I had a magic wand I’d keep it very safe because you do not want to lose a thing like that. Then I’d wish for world peace because that would be great! Then for like, a woman president, cause Hillary, duh. Then I’d wish for everyone to get what they want. Then I’d probably have to wish for world peace again cause, ya know, you can’t have everything. Like, it can’t be peaceful forever, right? So, I’d need to use that wand every so often. Keep people in line.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution has taken over 300 years. Throughout all my past lives I have slowly been building my great contribution to the world. I can’t tell you what it is, but it’s gonna be great. And glittery. 

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

What I like best about myself is probably my intuition. I’ve always been able to intoot since I was a little girl. What I dislike is probably, I usually don’t talk about this, but my left eye is a little smaller than my right. 

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is mainly water and then I think it is carbon or carbide. Hair and nails, and that is basically it. Crazy to think that such complex things are all made of the same few elements. Oh, and skin.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

The most important lesson my mother ever taught me was to “stop using the blow dryer in the shower.” You can get electrocuted that way. My neighbor’s cousin did that and ended up in the ICU for like a week.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

If I were stuck on a desert island the one thing I would def bring is my magical wand I keep hidden away. 

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

I don’t believe in animal sacrificing and I’d prefer not giving the topic more thought.

Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Bible Belt

Presenting Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Ann Ruth!

Ruth Ann Ruth, Miss Bible Belt, was born on the Sabbath and considers every day to be a holy and blessed one. She is an active member of Pure Holiness Missionary Pentecostal Baptist Church of God in Christ where her father, The Honorable Reverend Reuben Vance Ruth, serves as pastor. It was her mother, Wynona Elizabeth Ruth, that introduced Ruth Ann to her true ministry, song. Even though Wynona served as choir director, Ruth Ann had to audition for her first solo at the age of 8. From a very young age, Ruth Ann has known the value of hard work and that nothing in life is handed to you. In addition to her rigorous studies at Bob Jones University, Ruth Ann leads worship at her church’s 5 weekly services and serves as chair of the Ladies of Virtue Prayer Circle. Since attaining her crown as Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Ann has spread God’s word around the world, performing missionary work in Guam, Costa Rica, and East Harlem. While Ruth Ann is honored and grateful to compete for the coveted title of Miss Glamouresse, she knows that the greatest crown isn’t the one made of jewels but the one made of thorns worn by our heavenly father on Calvary. 

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

I would wish for the whole world to know the love and joy that my Lord and savior brings me each and every day.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution to society is my passionate and fervent prayers.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I love my musical talents. I don’t dislike anything about myself. The good Lord doesn’t make mistakes.

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is simplicity: God, family, career (in that order).

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

My mother was a living breathing example of the golden rule: treat others the way you would want them to treat you.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

I would bring my Bible because spiritual food is the only kind that truly nourishes.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

Some may consider foregoing tasty desserts a sacrifice, but I know Lord will use my personal sacrifice for his glory, just like He did for his only begotten son.

Pageant Contestant: Meet Miss Deep South

Meet Miss Deep South, Laurinda Summerford!

Born on a harvest moon in her hometown of Valdosta, Georgia, Laurinda Summerford is the pride and joy of Rev. Elliot Summerford and his wife Constance, a direct descendant of prolific Southern writer Margaret Mitchell (Gone With The Wind). An only child, Laurinda’s flair for the dramatic was discovered early on. From the age of 5, her parents nurtured her many talents, including classical singing, puppetry, dancing, and recitation of dramatic monologues. In high school, she had many friends, and was voted “Most Likely to Get Married Before 25.” In addition to various philanthropic efforts, and being secretary of the drama club, she acted in and directed shows at the Drama Depot. Among her favorite roles, she’s played are Scarlett O’Hara (in a 6-hour adaptation of Gone with the Wind that she penned herself), Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Truvee in Steel Magnolias. After high school, she went full force into the pageant circuit and has found that is where her true passion lies (in addition to cancer research, of course.) When she wins she will devote her reign to making sure the world is a more beautiful place and to seeing that traditional gender roles are reinstated in our society. After all, what good is a woman if she doesn’t have a man to take care of?

“I have always believed in the kindness of strangers.” – Tennessee Williams*

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for and why?

If I had a magic wand I would wish for a return to the dignity and grace of yesteryear. A time when people dressed for dinner. When ladies and gentleman knew their place in society, and didn’t have to be confused about who was in charge of what. When people spoke in modulated tones and didn’t curse so freely. In short, a return to manners and gentility.

What is your greatest contribution to society?

My greatest contribution to society is my art. If I didn’t give that to my community, the world would be a less beautiful place. Between that and my cancer research, I would say I contribute significantly to my community and the world at large.

What do you most like about yourself? Dislike?

I love everything about myself, but first and foremost I love my beauty (both inside and out) and my generosity of spirit. I think we should all spend more time being positive and grateful for what we have instead of focusing on things we don’t have or don’t like about ourselves.

What is the essence of being a woman?

The essence of being a woman is beauty and grace. If we didn’t have those things, we wouldn’t be women. We’d just be sad, genderless creatures.

What is the most important lesson your mother taught you?

The most important lesson my mother taught me is to always make your man feel valued. He is your prince charming, and you should never take that for granted. Let him know he’s special to you, and make him feel like he’s always in charge. After all, you may pull the strings behind the scenes, but he doesn’t have to know 😉

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what one thing would you want with you and why?

If I were shipwrecked on a desert island, I would want to take my makeup. Because even if times are tough, I don’t have to look it. Beauty can, and should, still exist in even the most desperate of circumstances.

What sacrifices have you made for this pageant?

What sacrifices have I made? What haven’t I sacrificed? I’ve sacrificed time, social opportunities, money to buy dresses and jewels, and most of all, I’ve sacrificed some of my golden years in pursuit of this crown so I can make the world a better place. And I don’t regret a minute of that time. Because the Miss Glamouresse crown is all I’ve ever wanted. Well, that and a rich husband 😉

What IS Pageant?

Pageant is not a drag show; it’s a wacky display of mind, body and spirit. Just as male actors in Shakespearean times took on Juliet and Beatrice, we have embodied the world of beauty queens. It’s just like Shakespeare, right? OK, maybe a little more spray tan and glitter, but I promise in no time at all you’ll forget that each lady has “Something Extra.”

These “women” pull out all the stops as they vie for your vote in a good old-fashioned beauty pageant. The audience has a role to play, too. Lucky for you, it doesn’t involve shaving or double-sided tape; all it requires is cheering and applause. Through this, you have the power to change the course of this performance by choosing which could-be-beauty-queen takes home the crown.

Expect a show that’s unlike yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, and, whether it be based on their talent, personality, beauty, salesmanship or any combination thereof, rooting for your favorite gal is encouraged and will affect the outcome! You choose the winner!

Give in to our hilarious competition and may the best (your favorite) contestant win! “Who will it be?”

Seth Tucker
Director / Choreographer