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

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

Arizona Broadway Theatre Hosts Fun-filled Annual Holiday Luncheon

Arizona Broadway Theatre presents the annual Holiday Ladies Who Lunch, an opportunity for ladies to get together and enjoy good food and entertainment.  This much anticipated annual fun-filled event will take place on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“We have a lovely luncheon planned for the women of the Northwest Valley,” commented Tracy Williams, ABT’s Director of Patron Services. “We will also have boutiques set up in our lobby that will include items from a wide range of vendors. Many of our guests will be groups of ladies looking for a holiday lunch with their friends and an opportunity to do some shopping for unique and handcrafted gifts.”

Tickets for Ladies Who Lunch are $35 and can be purchased online here. Each ticket includes an entree, iced tea/coffee, dessert, gratuity, and door prizes. Following lunch, holiday entertainment will be provided by the theatre on the mainstage. For more information about Ladies Who Lunch, please contact the ABT box office at 623-776-8400.

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.

Funny Girl

Meet the Cast of Funny Girl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

headshot-poster-funny-girl

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.