Meet the Cast: Jesus Christ Superstar

BLAIR BEASLEY (Ensemble) is very excited to make her debut at Arizona Broadway Theater! 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.

GEOFF BELLISTON (Apostle/Ensemble) is ecstatic to be back “home.” Previous favorite roles include Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol (ABT/HTC), Shrek in Shrek the Musical (ABT), Governor/Innkeeper in Man of La Mancha (Westchester Broadway), Camber in Foolerie (NYMF), Dave in Full Monty (ABT, Mac Haydn), and Feldzieg in Drowsy Chaperone (Arizona Broadway). Geoff recently has been getting into the voice acting world as well, and can be heard in Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V and the upcoming animated series Adventures in Duckport. Many, many thanks to my second family here at Arizona Broadway, my first family – the Belliston clan and all of my friends in my “Entourage.” This one’s for you Annie Jo!

LAURA BERGER (Mary Magdalene, Mar 28-Apr 2) is delighted to be back at ABT playing one of her “bucket list” roles. Most recently, Laura has traveled the state with several TAD Management productions including Those British Girls. Recent ABT credits: Joseph…Dreamcoat (Narrator), Tarzan the Musical (Kala), and Sunset Boulevard (Norma Desmond u/s, performed). Favorite credits: The Music Man (Marian), Into the Woods (Cinderella), Steel Magnolias (M’Lynn), Gypsy (Tessie Tura), The Who’s Tommy (Acid Queen), Reefer Madness (Mae), and The Taffetas (Kaye). Laura lives in Glendale with her husband (and fellow ABT alum) Jesse and plays life’s greatest role every day: mommy to Isaac and Ian! When not performing, Laura is a Teaching Artist for Childsplay, working in professional development programs that bring creative drama techniques to educators. Many thanks to her ABT family, Webb/Berger family, and friends everywhere for the love and support!

CHANEL BRAGG (Mary Magdalene, Apr 4-9) was most recently seen in the production of Menopause the Musical at Arizona Broadway Theatre. 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 Child’s Play, 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. Shout to my Mom, and love always to my baby sis.

DAVID BRUMFIELD (Annas) is thrilled to be returning to the ABT stage as yet another villain, Annas! You saw him last as the hilarious Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, David currently resides in Brooklyn. A graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, he received a degree in Musical Theatre Performance & Directing. David recently made his National Tour Debut last year in NetWorks’ Production of Elf the Musical as Chadwick. While on tour he understudied the roles of Santa, The Manager, & Mr. Greenway. More of his credits include Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot, Victor/Adrian in Smokey Joe’s Café, Mary Sunshine in Chicago, and countless others at Bigfork Summer Playhouse. Other favorite credits include William Barfee in …Spelling Bee and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest at NSU. To my Mom – like always, this one is for you! I know you have the best seats from up there.

LYNZEE FOREMAN (Mary Magdalene, Apr 11-16) is thrilled to be back here with Arizona Broadway Theatre! Lynzee was last seen in A Christmas Carol at Herberger, at Phoenix Theatre as Daniela in In the Heights and June in Chicago, and also at Arizona Broadway Theatre as Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde. Some of her favorite roles include: Erma in Anything Goes (Phoenix Theatre), Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain, Pippi in Trailer Park the Musical (both at ABT) as well as Maureen in RENT at Nearly Naked Theatre. When not performing herself, she is blessed to work with the Valley’s best youth talent at Spotlight Youth Theatre and also find time to ride her reining horses. Thanks so much to the entire ABT staff for being amazing! The MOST love to her fantastic family and her hubby, Mark and her baby girl Shiloh. “This one is for you, Den.”

LEON GLOVER (Apostle/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his ABT debut! Some favorite credits include: Spears: The Gospel According to Britney (Male Dancer), A Chorus Line (Richie), Kiss Me, Kate (Paul) and Crazy for You (Billy). Leon dedicates this performance to mom, Grams, Ev and all of his friends who have helped and supported him along the way. “…with every broken bone, I swear I lived.” BFA New World School of the Arts

CODY A. HERNANDNEZ (Apostle/Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing with ABT for the first time! Cody was most recently seen performing 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.

NICHOLAS HURM (Simon Zealotes/Jesus Cover) is a recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a BFA in Musical Theater. Nick developed a passion for the performing arts at a very young age in his hometown of Rockport, Indiana. He has been fortunate enough to perform in several of the largest theme parks in the country such as Busch Gardens, Hershey Park, and Cedar Point. Nick is proud to announce that he will be making his regional theater debut here at ABT in Jesus Christ Superstar.

CHAZ INGRAHAM (Apostle/Ensemble/Judas Cover) is thrilled to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut in Jesus Christ Superstar. Regional credits: JCS (Judas), Rent (Roger), Les Misérables (Marius), A Chorus Line (Paul). Chaz is currently pursuing his Broadway dreams living in New York City as an actor, Green Bay Packer fan, and Boston Terrier dad. Thank you friends, family, my beautiful and talented girlfriend, and Aaron Rodgers.

CASSANDRA KLAPHAKE (Mary Magdalene, Mar 17-26) began training for a career in the performing arts at a very early age. Her passion for theatre, combined with a flair for the dramatic, meticulous attention to detail, and superior standards of excellence, would unknowingly prepare her to one day lead the artistic wing of what has become one of Arizona’s leading professional theatre organizations. A former student of Patricia Craig (renowned American soprano of the Metropolitan Opera), Cassandra holds a Master of Music Degree in Voice from the New England Conservatory. An award-winning actress and musician, Cassandra has performed with opera companies and symphonies both nationally and abroad. Credits include the title role of Tosca with Rimrock Opera; Lilli Vanessi/Katherine in Kiss Me, Kate (ariZoninomination), Lucy Harris in Jekyll and Hyde, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Grizabella in CATS, Drowsy in The Drowsy Chaperone, Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, The Witch in Into the Woods, Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, all with ABT. As Artistic Producer, Cassandra concentrates her efforts on current as well as future artistic goals with a specific focus on the development of new and exciting programs and events. She attributes Arizona Broadway Theatre’s success to the incredibly creative and dedicated employees that are the heart of ABT. Cassandra is also a mother of two exceptional young boys, Kieran and Tristan, her most beloved and well-played role to date.

RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Disciple/Ensemble/Mary Cover) is so excited to be on the ABT stage in this amazing production! This marks her 14th show with ABT! She was most recently seen as Nimue/Morgan LeFey in Camelot. 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). 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, and Kurtis for their never-ending support! BUNNY! www.reneekathleenkoher.com

NICK KUHN (Apostle/Ensemble) is absolutely thrilled to be onstage once again at Arizona Broadway Theatre! He was previously seen in Camelot (Sir Lionel), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Aggie), A Christmas Carol (Fred), 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-Hadyn Theatre). Nick would like to thank ABT for the opportunity, and his friends and family for all their support. www.nicholaskuhn.com

EDDIE MALDONADO (Apostle/Ensemble) An Arizona native, Maldonado was last seen in ABT’s 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: NYC: iLLA: A Hip Hop Musical, NYMF (Matt); #LoveStory, FringeNYC (Holly). International: Disney Cruise Line’s The Golden Mickeys (Simba). National Tour: Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story (Ritchie Valens). Regional: Altar Boyz, NY Theatre Barn (Juan); Phoenix Theatre’s La Cage Aux Folles (Jacob, AriZoniAward nominee) and Spamalot (Prince Herbert, ariZoniAward winner); Legally Blonde, The Musical, Prather Entertainment (Carlos/Padamadan); ABT’s The Full Monty (Ethan, ariZoniAward winner) and Pageant (Miss Industrial Northeast). TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).

MATTHEW MELLO (Pilate) is excited to be back on the ABT stage in Jesus Christ Superstar! He was recently seen on the ABT stage as Lonny in Rock of Ages. Other regional credits include Joey in Sister Act at the Palace Theatre and Benjamin in Joseph… and his yeah, yeah, yeah coat. He would love to thank Cass, Kurtis and Kiel for welcoming him back and making us all feel at home. Lastly, shout out to my wife Dana and new baby boy Aiden, love you guys. Sit back and enjoy.

ANDY MEYERS (King Herod/Priest/Apostle) happily returns to ABT, having previously performed this season as Jean Shepherd (Narrator) in A Christmas Story.  His over 30 productions here include Oscar in Sweet Charity, Mr. Enoch Snow in Carousel, Uncle Max in The Sound of Music, Ernst in Cabaret, and serving as director for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The King And I, The Secret Garden, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Annie, as well as choreographer for Les Misérables.  Andy is currently Artistic Director of Fort Peck Summer Theatre in Montana and was previously Managing Director for Performing Arts at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, New York.  As an actor, he appeared in the national tours of Annie and Bus Stop and played Dick in the 35th Anniversary New York revival of Dames at Sea.  Andy is a graduate of Wagner College in New York and holds his Masters in Music from University of Montana.  Up next this season, he will Direct and play Mr. Bumble in Oliver.

LAUREN MORGAN (Disciple/Ensemble) is excited to be in her second ABT show this season. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she was previously seen in Camelot, 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 (Peter) A native of Montana, Jamie is delighted to be starting 2017 on ABT’s stage. Jamie studied vocal performance and has a BA-Theatre from 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, Funny Girl (Nicky Arnstein), and Camelot (Lancelot). 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.

JASON PLOURDE (Caiaphas) A native of Caribou, Maine, Jason is thrilled to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut as Caiaphas in this production of Jesus Christ Superstar. A classically trained singer and versatile performer, Mr. Plourde has credits spanning opera, theatre and musical theatre. Some of the most notable have included the title roles in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Verdi’s Falstaff and Macbeth, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical). He has also been seen as Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady), Dr. Craven (The Secret Garden), The Husband (Putting it Together), Stone (The Business of Murder), Tony Wendice (Dial M for Murder), and Eddie Kurnitz (Lost in Yonkers). He has performed with the Indianapolis, Sarasota, Central City, Bronx and New York City Opera companies as well as the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, the Broward Stage Door Theatre, the Missoula and Portland Symphony Orchestras and the Caramoor International Music Festival. And in 2007 he had the distinct pleasure of creating the role of Burton in Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera.

JONNY ROUSE (Ensemble) is so excited to be back at the Arizona Broadway Theatre! He was previously seen in Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Sweet Charity, and The King & I here at ABT. National Tours: Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas. Regional Credits: Singin’ in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot, Grease, Memphis, The Andrews Brothers, Annie, and Parade. He would like to thank his family for all of the love and support!  

KELSEY SCHERGEN (Ensemble) is ecstatic to make her debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre! She graduated from NYU with a BFA in drama and education. Most recently, Kelsey played Lambchops in the National Tour of Fame the Musical. Other credits include: Junie B. Jones (Lucille), Crazy for You (Irene), Once on This Island (Ti Moune), RENT (Mimi). Thanks to her friends and family for their endless support! www.kelseyschergen.com

SARAH JULIET SHAW (Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of this production! Her recent credits include Carousel, Legally Blonde, Rock N’ Roll Debauchery and Busch Gardens. She would like to thank her family, her boyfriend Andrew, and all of her friends and mentors for their continuous love and support.

MEGGIE SIEGRIST (Ensemble) is overjoyed to be returning to ABT after spending the Christmas season in ABT’s production of A Christmas Story. She previously appeared in 2016’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She spent last 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 the show for their hard work on this production. 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.

SHAWN W. SMITH (Judas) is overjoyed to portray Judas and join the Arizona Broadway family! Superstar was the first musical Shawn ever saw when he was very young and has since been a dream of his to be a part of. Other favorite past roles and shows include Chad in All Shook Up, Mark in Rent, Jesus in Godspell, Pablo in Sister Act, the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, the New York Regional Premier of Heathers, Dogfight, Carrie, Tarzan and Almost, Maine. www.shawnwsmith.com 1 Peter 4:8

BRETT TRAVIS (Jesus) is so excited to be part of the Arizona Broadway Theatre family. No stranger to the Southwest, Brett is a proud graduate of Santa Fe University of Arts and Design. Favorite past roles include Roger (Rent), John Denver (Almost Heaven: the songs of John Denver), Radames (Aida), and most recently, his clear favorite, Berger (Hair). In addition to acting Brett finds a ton of happiness crafting pottery for his company Muddy Hippie Pottery (check his work out on Instagram). Brett lives in New York City with his beautiful, wonderful, and extremely patient wife, a bunch of roommates, and his fabulous pet rabbit, Dolly Parton. www.brett-travis.com