Thanks To The Haars, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Families Attend ‘Elf The Musical’

By Maddy Dowler

❄️Elf The Musical is made possible through the generous support of Dr. Keith & Kim Haar of Epiphany Dermatology.

Dr. Keith Haar and his wife Kim are long-time Peoria residents, business owners, and friends of Arizona Broadway Theatre. The couple moved out of the snowy winters of Scott Air Force Base in O’Fallon, Illinois in 1996 to the beautiful weather of Arizona where Keith finished his military career in the Air National Guard and Reserves. He opened his dermatology practice, Arrowhead Dermatology, in 1999 and sold it to Epiphany just last year. Keith and Kim have three sons and two grandchildren.

The Haars have been coming to ABT for 12 years. Initially, their oldest son was interested in theatre so they got season tickets to ASU Gammage. They then discovered ABT in the West Valley and immediately loved not having to drive the long distance with traffic to and from Tempe, find a place to
eat dinner quickly, and then look for paid parking.

“ABT was perfect,” said Kim. “Nearby location, easy free parking, top-notch Broadway-quality performance in a small venue and fantastic food!”

Keith and Kim had attended a dinner theatre in the Minneapolis area which was known for being a fun evening of entertainment but had a mediocre buffet-style dinner. “ABT far surpasses in the quality of production and food! Keith has told everyone that we’ve never had a bad meal at ABT,” admits Kim.

Keith and Kim took their relationship with ABT to the next level when they started going on the “ABT Takes Manhattan” trip and got to know ABT Founders Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake and other staff better. After spending time with them and seeing a real live dance audition, they grew to appreciate the value of what ABT brings to our own backyard!

“What talent we have at ABT! Yet everyone makes you feel like family,” says Kim.

As regular donors to ABT, the couple has taken generosity a step further by sponsoring the run of Elf The Musical with a substantial donation that will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital, another organization for which they are passionate. When asked why they give, they responded that they love to give people who may not be aware of ABT the opportunity to experience quality performances and delicious meals in their own community. Especially in today’s world, they believe few young people have the opportunity to see live theatre and are pleased to partner with ABT and Phoenix Children’s Hospital to bring quality family entertainment to the Valley, hopefully inspiring some future musicians and actors to the beauty and art of theatre-going.

Kim says the quote “Buddy is exposed to the realities of human nature, but is able to keep Christmas cheer alive, foster meaningful relationships, and eventually save Christmas,” is a good reminder for us all, not just at Christmas, but all year.

A Word From The Director Of ABT’s ‘Elf The Musical’

By Michael Whitney, Director, Elf The Musical at Arizona Broadway Theatre

“For inside every drop of water, if you look close enough, you will find an ocean.”

To me any theatre production, film, or piece of fine art allows the viewer to look at their own situation from a third person perspective to allow for analysis. If you take a moment to look at something that one would deem mundane, I bet you would be able to extrapolate plenty of beauty and or important thoughts from that idea once you take the time to examine it. At the start of designing ELF, I looked closely at the source material and asked myself, “What story did the film capture that allowed ELF to become such a modern classic?” After examination I landed on a myriad of themes, but the two that I felt would be most inclusive for our audience was the “Scrooge” element in the story, and the “fish out of water” theme that we all know. These human condition stories that have spanned literature became my key into creating not just a fun production with beautiful sets and costumes, but more importantly, a piece that audiences could relate to with characters to have empathy for right from the start.

In discussing all of this with my design team, and in creating a world in which the show would function, it was necessary to build a large and familiar juxtaposition between how Christmas is portrayed in Buddy’s home at the North Pole and that of Christmas in New York City. I ask you what is Christmas really about, and how does “Corporate Christmas” effect the holiday season? This question will help support Walter’s “Scrooge” element and make us re-think what is import about the holidays.

To help tell Buddy’s “fish out of water” story, it was very important to make New York City feel as real and gritty as possible, the exact opposite of our protagonist’s “Christmas Town.” This would also allow on a technical level for the humor to be heightened as the happy go lucky Buddy tries to navigate the mean streets of New York.

ELF truly has become a modern classic, and I wanted to support this. So in regards to the staging of the production, we designed our world to be as malleable and cinematic as possible. My hope was to create as many locations and moments that we all love and cherish from the film. We do this
by using rolling units that can literally dance on and off stage that allow for us to easily tip our hat to the film and create the splashy Broadway show that ELF truly is. My hope is that everyone leaving the theatre will not only enjoy the magic and Christmas spirit that was created onstage, but also feel as though they saw themselves within the characters, and have a bit more clarity or insight to what is truly important to them during the holiday season!

New Year’s Eve 2019 at Arizona Broadway Theatre: Viva Las Vegas!

Don’t let another year go by to find yourself sitting on the couch at 10:30pm on New Year’s Eve trying to stay awake just another hour and half. Just have to see. That. Ball. Drop. Let’s change all that now! Come out to Arizona Broadway Theatre and spend your New Year’s Eve with us, Vegas style!

Viva Las Vegas: A New Year’s Eve Celebration stars Vegas “Legends in Concert” favorites Chance Tinder and Sherie Rae Parker with tributes to Elvis Presley and Bette Midler! The evening’s entertainment will also include a special guest appearance by Arizona’s own comic magician, the incomparable Michael Finney!

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS NOW!

LONG LIVE THE KING, LONG LIVE ROCK!

Recognized as one of the top Elvis Presley tribute artists in history, Chance Tinder presents his hugely popular and unprecedented mash-up concert ROCK THE KING: A Hard Rock Tribute the Elvis Presley! Filled with the looks, sounds and the excitement of the ‘80s, ROCK THE KING is a leather studded performance of The King’s all-time rockers, power ballads and other up-tempo hits mixed with unrestrained enthusiasm of the ‘80s Hard Rock era! A nostalgia filled concert for both the good old days of Rock & Roll, and that of today’s generation!

 

WILL THE REAL BETTE MIDLER PLEASE STAND UP!

Sherie Rae Parker is the #1 Bette Midler tribute artist in the world with performances from Las Vegas to cities and countries around the world! Major production shows include Legends in ConcertAmerican SuperstarsStars in Concert (in Berlin), Serendipity (a musical comedy), A Really Big Show and Tribute the Concert have made Sherie their best Bette ever. With a voice that literally jumps out of the microphone, Sherie Rae bears an uncanny resemblance to the vivacious Divine Miss M and reproduces her bawdy sense of humor as well as her vocal acrobatics to perfection!

 

FUNNY MAGIC

Michael Finney is a comic’s magician and a magician’s comic. From comedy clubs, corporate events and world class cruise ships, Michael’s act has taken him all around the world, entertaining millions. His straight stand-up comedy entertains patrons of all ages combining comedy with amazing magic and audience participation creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Price includes a freshly prepared three-course meal presented by ABT’s own creative culinary team, concert, party-favors, and midnight 2020 countdown and champagne toast!

What’s for dinner? Here’s the menu:

APPETIZERS
Chef’s assorted selections – individually plated at table

STARTER

Winter Greens Salad
Winter greens, sliced English cucumber, baby heirloom tomatoes, mandarin orange segments, and crumbled gorgonzola cheese, served with a champagne vinaigrette

or

Cream of Cauliflower Soup
with Gruyère Cheese

ENTRÉE
(choice of)

Pan Seared Apple, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops
Topped with an herb butter, served with loaded mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and roasted tri-colored top-on baby carrots

Braised Short Rib
French short rib braised in a rich red wine and tomato broth reduction, served over a parsnip-potato purée, served with roasted yellow and green patty pan squash

Pan Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops
Served over red wine coated pasta, blistered baby heirloom tomatoes, asparagus tips, toasted walnuts, micro basil, fresh graded parmesan cheese, and pomegranate seeds

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Served with wild mushrooms and asparagus tips in a brown butter sage sauce with parmesan cheese

Dessert
Chef’s assorted selections

 

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS NOW!

Announcing the cast of Arizona Broadway Theatre’s Production of ‘Elf The Musical’

It’s all happening! Elf The Musical is coming to Arizona Broadway Theatre and everyone’s a-buzz! We had a chance to meet the cast on Monday when they reported for their first rehearsal day. So, without further ado, here’s your cast of Elf The Musical:

Buddy………………………………… Adam Vargas
Walter Hobbs…………………….. Bill Saunders
Emily Hobbs……………………….. Carolyn McPhee
Jovie………………………………….. Madison Cichon
Mr. Greenway / Santa……….. Rob Watson
Michael Hobbs…………………… Tristan Klaphake / Dane Shepard
Deb……………………………………. Hannah Clarke Levine
Matthews…………………………… Jeff Tierney
Store Manager…………………… Justin Emmanuel Parker
Charlotte Dennon………………. Christie Dabreau
Ensemble…………… Blair Beasley, Halley Daigle, Danny Durr, Alyssa Ishihara, Scotty Jacobson, Tyler Pirrung, Delaney Spanko, Caleb Summers, Erika Wasko, Brody Wurr

Tickets are going very quickly for this extremely popular show so don’t wait.

Buy your tickets by CLICKING HERE or visit or call the Box Office at 623.776.8400 x0.

An Arizona Broadway Theatre Gift Guide

If you Google what to give as holiday gifts, you might see lists like these:

  • 60 Best Gifts for Your Wife 2019
  • 55 Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas For 2019
  • 14 Inexpensive Homemade Gifts That Feel Extra Special
  • 12 Gift Ideas For Your Spouse If You Are On A Tight Budget
  • 21 Unique Christmas Gift Ideas for Married Couples
  • 100 Cool Christmas Gifts That Don’t Suck

But, we here at Arizona Broadway Theatre have a better list! How about this year, you treat friends, family, co-workers, and all the rest of them to a show! We have packed entertainment into every space in our theatre so that we can offer you this awesome holiday line-up:

  • Murder and a Meal Presents: The Holidays Can Be Murder* – November 14 & 21, 2019 (at the ENCORE)
  • Elf The Musical – November 22 – December 29 (Mainstage)
  • The Boys of D63 Christmas Show – December 2, 2019 (Mainstage)
  • A Broadway Christmas Carol – December 16-24, 2019 (at The ENCORE)
  • So This Is Christmas! American Idol Edition! – December 16, 2019 (Mainstage)
  • Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE Presents We3Trio – December 22, 2019 (at The ENCORE)
  • Viva Las Vegas: A New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31, 2019 (Mainstage)

So, get out your gift list and start matching your loved ones to the shows they would enjoy! If you want to see all that is on stage at ABT or purchase tickets, CLICK HERE, then click “On Stage.” Or, as always, you can visit or call the Box Office at 623.776.8400.

Happy Holidays!

*Not a production of Arizona Broadway Theatre

Arizona Broadway Theatre Rings In The Holiday Season With Elf The Musical, The Annual Community Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Toy Drive

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) kicks off the holidays in a big way with the wildly-popular, Elf The Musical and the Theatre’s annual Christmas tree lighting on November 22, 2019. Elf will continue to delight ABT audiences through December 29, 2019.

Based on the cherished 2003 holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised by Santa’s elves, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Elf The Musical opened on Broadway during the Christmas season of 2012-2013 and has seen a number of national tours around the United States during the past five years, most notably last year’s national tour which featured ABT’s own Tristan Klaphake as Michael Hobbs. Tristan is the youngest son of ABT’s Executive & Artistic Producers, Kiel & Cassandra Klaphake, and will be reprising his role in the ABT production.

“It’s hard to believe that almost fifteen years ago in the fall of 2005 we learned we were pregnant with Tristan at the very same time we were working to open our very first production of Anything Goes,” said Tristan’s mom, Cassandra. “No doubt the little guy was hearing a ton of musical theatre from day one, but I don’t think I ever thought he would take to the craft and profession as he has. I’m a very proud mom!”

Elf The Musical has become a staple for theater-goers during the holidays, and Arizonans will be pleased to know that they can find the heartwarming yet hilarious Broadway musical right in their own backyard at Arizona Broadway Theatre.

“This holiday season is special because it marks ABT’s 15th season of bringing high-quality Broadway musical theatre entertainment to the Valley of the Sun. We always take a moment during this time of year to appreciate our community and all of the many volunteers, patrons, sponsors and donors who have made ABT what it is today,” says Kiel Klaphake, Co-founder and Executive Producer, Arizona Broadway Theatre. “It’s our hope that Elf The Musical will be a time for family & friends to gather together this holiday season!”

The annual Christmas tree lighting will take place in the lobby of Arizona Broadway Theatre at 7701 W Paradise Lane, Peoria at 5:00pm on November 22 and is open and free of charge to the public.  Not only will the community enjoy the dazzling lights of the tree and lobby decor but also a short performance of festive holiday tunes by ABT’s youth company, HyRev. HyRev is specifically for young performers ages 13-19 with some previous music theatre/dance /show choir experience, and they truly know how to share the holiday spirit. The annual toy drive also kicks off on November 22 and will run through December 29, 2019.  New, unwrapped toys are welcome and can be brought to the ABT lobby whenever the theatre is open. Toys will go to “Helping Hands For Freedom,” a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the military families of the fallen, wounded, and deployed.

ABT’s production of Elf The Musical is made possible in part through the generous support of Dr. Keith & Kim Haar of Epiphany Dermatology. As part of the Haar’s generous support, members of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital community have been invited to attend opening weekend performances free of charge.

ABT’s Season 15 Broadway Series continues in 2020 with La Cage aux Folles (January 24 – February 28 (in Peoria) & March 6 – 22 (at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix) and Chicago (March 13 – April 19, 2020). For more information about these and other upcoming productions presented at Arizona Broadway Theatre, visit azbroadway.org or call 623.776.8400.

That time when Sweeney Todd swept me off my feet

My Date With Sweeney Todd
By Maddy Dowler, Communications Manager

As a new staffer at ABT, I am tasked with attending opening night showings of all of our shows. Normally, this would be great. However, there are two things I tend to veer away from in my entertainment choices — period pieces and evil stuff. And, it seemed Sweeney Todd had both.

But on opening night, I put on my big girl pants and headed to the show with my husband in tow. I chose to upgrade my meal to the short rib ravioli which was delicious while my husband dove into the meat pie. I tasted it as well — very yummy! With the specialty cocktail, Pirelli’s Elixir and a glass of house Chardonnay under my belt, I sat back to enjoy the show.

And, enjoy I did! I can’t believe the talent that erupted from the people onstage that I have been seeing in the hallways backstage and in the office. The overall humorously outrageous plot line made any “darkness” I feared dissipate. The “period” of London in the 1800’s that would normally make me yawn was brought to life with amazing costumes (which I actually saw being made last week!) and sets hand-crafted by those same people in the hallways.

Overall, I became a convert to Sweeney fandom — maybe you want to ‘take a stab’ at it yourself! See you in the hallways!

               

Meet the Cast of Xanadu

Rejoice! The cast of Sister Act is here!

Meet the Cast of Sister Act!

ALYSSA ARMSTRONG (Ensemble) is 17 years old and a recent graduate of Centennial High School. She is excited to be back on stage at Arizona Broadway Theatre and part of this incredible show! Alyssa has been performing throughout the valley over the past 10 years and received a National Youth Arts Award for her role as Catherine in Pippin (Spotlight Youth Theatre). Other favorite roles include Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Desert Stages Theatre) and Toula in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Spotlight Youth Theatre). She is also a member of Arizona Broadway Theatre’s elite performance group, Sonic Revolution/HyRev. Alyssa would like to thank Cassandra Klaphake, Kurtis Overby, Stephen Casey, Nathaniel Beliveau, and her friends and family for their constant support on this journey, and this amazing cast!

MATRAVIUS AVENT (Curtis) is elated to make his ABT debut in Sister Act! He’s even more excited to be home in Arizona and sharing the stage with his lovely wife, Trisha Hart Ditsworth. International: Big Band Beat – Tokyo Disney Resort. Regional favorites: Rent, Swing, Les Misérables, Memphis, Jekyll & Hyde, Passing Strange. BM, University of Denver; MM, Arizona State. Matravius sends love and thanks to Trisha and the fam. www.matravius.com @matravius

BLAIR BEASLEY (Michelle) is very excited to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre! She was previously in ABT’s production of MAMMA MIA! (Patrice/Rosie u/s), Jesus Christ Superstar (Disciple), South Pacific (Bloody Mary u/s) and Showboat (Stevedor Gal). Off-Broadway: Urinetown: The Musical (Revival) (Little Becky Two Shoes, American Theatre of Actors). Regional: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Madame/Congregation, The Ogunquit Playhouse), South Pacific (Bloody Mary u/s, Drury Lane Theatre), Footloose (Wendy Jo, Eldorado Resort Casino). Other credits include: RENT (Seasons of Love Soloist), The Wedding Singer (Holly). BFA Acting from Syracuse University. She would like to thank her family, close friends and her Nana for their limitless love and support.

DOMENEQUE CLAUDE (Sister Mary Patrick) is thrilled to be making her debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre! Currently residing in NYC, she holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College. Recent credits include Hairspray (Shelley, Brooklyn Players). NYC Concerts: Lindsay Mendez & RSO’s Actor’s Therapy at 54 Below, Les Mis: Broadway Dreams at Broadway In Bryant Park. All thanks go to God, Mama, teachers, family, friends and their families for their full encouragement, love, and support. Jeremiah 29:11 Follow her @domenequeclaude | domenequeclaude.com

JAZLYNN DAMASCO (Ensemble) is so excited to be in this wonderful production. She started out in the ABT Youth Academy Camps (The Little Mermaid Jr and Shrek the Musical Jr). Some past credits include Elf Jr, Mulan Jr (Mulan; ariZoni and NYA nominee), and Oliver. Jazlynn is also a part of ABT’s elite performance group, HyRev. She would like to thank Cass, Kurtis, cast and crew for this amazing opportunity. And a special thank you to her family and friends for their encouragement and loving support. Enjoy the show!

CHRISTIE DABREAU (Tina) is ecstatic to be joining Arizona Broadway Theatre again. Other past shows include Guys and Dolls (Ensemble), Kiss Me, Kate (Lois Lane), Legally Blonde (Margot), My Way (Woman #2), Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy Seldon u/s), and Broadway’s recent Head Over Heels (OSF workshop)! Special thanks to my Mom, Dad, and Big Bud for the infinite love, support, and music. Shine bright, everyone!

TRISHA HART DITSWORTH (Sister Mary Robert) is ecstatic to be a part of this show! Most recently she played Sarah Brown here in Guys and Dolls. Favorite credits: Maria (The Sound of Music), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Fanny Brice (Funny Girl), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Martha (The Secret Garden), Percy (The Spitfire Grill), Crissy (Hair), Penny (Hairspray), Pickles (Trailer Park), Annabel (Lucky Stiff), Sarah (The Toxic Avenger), Catherine (Pippin), Enid (Legally Blonde), Caroline (Titanic), Eden (Bullets Over Broadway), Lucinda (Ella Enchanted). She has a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Arizona and now resides in Phoenix where she spends free time teaching voice and acting lessons. “Thanks to Mom and Dad for your endless love and support!” Trisha could not be more excited to share the stage with her handsome husband, Matravius! www.trishaditsworth.com

LISA FRANKLIN (Mother Superior) is thrilled to be making her ABT debut as Mother Superior. Favorite regional credits include Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Reverend Mother in Nuncrackers (she makes a “habit” of playing a nun!!!), Margaret White in Carrie, Velma in Hairspray, Mama Rose in Gypsy, and Marie Lombardi in Lombardi at the Palace Theatre in WI, directed by the Associate Director of Hamilton on Broadway, Patrick Vassel. Lisa is a voice teacher to Broadway’s rising stars. Her students have appeared in the title roles in Matilda and Billy Elliot, Young Alison in Fun Home and numerous other roles on Broadway, national tours, Off-Broadway, regional theatres and Radio City Music Hall. Thanks to her agent, Dave Secor, Bob Cline, Susan Eichorn Young, Charles, and her family. www.lisafranklinonline.com

DARREN FRIEDMAN (Monsignor O’Hara) is proud to be making his tenth appearance with ABT. Originally from Edison, NJ, Darren has been residing in Phoenix for the past 20 years. Mr. Friedman is experienced in performing and teaching both classical and Musical Theatre repertoire. He has performed with the Arizona Opera, Phoenix Theatre, Herberger Theater, AZ Jewish Theatre, and, most recently, Arizona Regional Theatre. Mr. Friedman earned his BA from ASU in Vocal Performance, a MM in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory, and is a certified, nationally accredited teacher of music specializing in Voice. Show credits include Into the Woods, Working, Miss Saigon, Kiss Me, Kate, Sunset Blvd, Secret Garden, Songs for a New World, and As Bees in Honey Drown. Darren would like to express his gratitude to the ABT artistic staff for having him be a part of Sister Act. I love ABT… it feels like home.

ALAN GONZALEZ (Pablo) is ecstatic to be making his ABT DEBUT! A puppeteer and self-proclaimed “good mover” originally from El Paso, TX, he lives in NYC with his husband and is glad to make it back to the Southwest! Alan’s favorite roles include Sir (Side Show), Bobby (Cabaret), Rod (Avenue Q), Fighting Prawn (Peter and the Starcatcher), and Charlie Brown (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). Thanks to ABT, Chino, and my chosen family! @aeonalan07

LARON LEE HUDSON (Tj) So happy to be back at ABT for my 3rd show. Previous credits include South Pacific and Hands on a Hardbody. Tours and Regional credits include No Easy Road to Freedom, West Side Story, Home for the Holidays, Full Monty, Ragtime, Rock of Ages, American Idiot, Mary Poppins and Will Rogers Follies. Off and Off-off Broadway credits: Lysisarah, Christmas Carol, and Animal Story. #staymoisturized #hydrated #love

WILLIE MARTE (Ernie) s thrilled to be making his ABT debut! Past credits include: Piraguero (In the Heights), Lyons (Fences), Pablo (Sister Act), Ken (Smokey Joe’s Cafe). “Special thanks to the cast and crew, my friends and family for their continued support, and thanks to Roslyn for your endless love. Los amo a todos!”

MATTHEW MELLO (Joey) Hello, Peoria!! Matt is glad to be back at ABT with this talented cast. Matt is now a local Peorian. He is excited to be here on the regular! This is his seventh and hopefully not last production with ABT. Other ABT roles include Gomez Addams – Alternate in Addams Family, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic, Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can, Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Lonny in Rock of Ages. He is excited to start this new chapter in his life with his wife Dana and son Aiden. Matt would like to thank his family, Cassandra Klaphake, Kiel Klaphake, Kurtis Overby, and everyone at ABT from the Box Office and beyond for welcoming him and his family. “Art is beautiful. Art is love. Art is life.”

KATHI OSBORNE (Sister Mary Lazarus) is happy to be back at ABT. She is native New Yorker with over 500 shows under her belt. Kathi earned her equity card at the age of nine while performing at The Muny in St. Louis. She has performed with many wonderful actors including Jerry Lewis, Tommy Tune, Vincent Price, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, and Twiggy, to name a few. Kathi has had the pleasure of working at Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Broadway, Broadway Palm (30 shows), Hale Theatre Fountain Hills, and the Orpheum where she did Music Man and Singin’ in the Rain. Kathi was last seen at DST where she played Lavora Verona in the Arizona Premier of Disaster. She has been nominated and won many awards including 10 Arizona Theatre of Excellence and 2 Jeff awards in Chicago. Kathi has done commercials, television, national tours, night clubs, and movies, where she met her husband, Larry. Thank you, Cassandra, cast and crew for this exciting role.

JUSTIN EMMANUEL PARKER (Eddie) is elated to make his ABT debut with Sister Act! NYC Credits: Urinetown (Billy Boy Bill / understudy Bobby Strong), Hairspray (Duane). National Tour Credits: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! (O the Owl/ Music Man Stan/ Baker Aker/ King Friday). Regional Credits: The Color Purple (Mister), Scrooge No More (Ghost of Christmas Present), The Full Monty (Horse), Hairspray, Annie, Happy Days (Allenberry Playhouse). He would like to thank God, his family, and his friends for all of the love and drive they gave him. Thank you to Kurtis Overby, cast, and crew. AMDA Alumnus 1 Corinthians 2:9

RACHEL PERIN (Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours) originally hails from Cincinnati “Cincitucky”. Regional Credits: 42nd Street, Damn Yankees, Steel Magnolias, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, Fiddler on the Roof, A Funny Thing Happened…, How to Succeed.., Best Little Whorehouse, The Will Roger’s Follies, Spamalot, Meet Me In St. Louis, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Les Misérables, First Date, Godspell, Young Frankenstein, The Odd Couple, Fallen Angels. Asian Tour: Lounge at The Edge.

KHADIJAH ROLLE (Deloris Van Cartier) is a native of Miami, FL, and is elated to be making her Arizona Broadway Theatre debut as Miss Deloris Van Cartier! As they say “Third time’s a charm”! She received her high school diploma from New World School of the Arts and her BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She was last seen in Slow Burn Theater’s Production of the musical Memphis as Felicia Farrell. Other credits include The Marriott Theater of Chicago’s production of Ragtime, covering both Sarah and Sarah’s friend; Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette); Sister Act (Deloris Van Cartier); The Wiz (Dorothy); All Shook Up ( Lorraine); Hair ( Ensemble); The Color Purple (Nettie); The Fulton’s and Maine State Theater Production of Dreamgirls (Ensemble); and Junie B Jones The Musical National Tour (Lucille, Bobby Jean Piper, Jose). When not performing, Khadijah gives back to the community that helped mold her craft by offering and teaching Musical Theater Master Classes to the youth of Miami. She credits her gifts and talents to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She is forever grateful to ABT for the opportunity and dedicates all performances to her loving and supportive family.

TAYLOR UNDERWOOD (Ensemble) is elated to make her Arizona Broadway Theatre debut in Sister Act. Taylor was most recently seen in the Arizona premiere of Tuck Everlasting (Nana) at Valley Youth Theatre, Spotlight Youth Theatre’s production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and her high school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II). She would like to thank ABT for this amazing opportunity, and her friends and family for their everlasting love and support.

CHRISTY WELTY (Sister Mary Theresa) is thrilled to be making her debut with ABT in Sister Act. Favorite shows: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Anything Goes, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and La Cage aux Folles. A private voice teacher and associate instructor at ASU in Theatre. I want to thank Cass and Kurtis and this incredible cast: so excited for the fun! Love you Gene.

They’re Ooky, They’re Spooky – Meet the Cast of The Addams Family!

KIARA ADAMS (Ensemble) just finished her freshman year at North Canyon High School, where she is in the International Baccalaureate program and on the Danceline. Some of her favorite past roles include Penelope Square in Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical (Valley Youth Theatre) and Danielle in Bring It On (Desert Stages Theatre). She is in the HyRev Sonic Revolution performance troupe and was last seen on the ABT stage as a Royal Child in The King and I.

CORBAN ADAMS (Pugsley Addams) Corban Ad(d)ams is very excited to be returning to the ABT stage as Pugsley! Past credits include Beat Bugs A Musical Adventure (Mean Mr. Mustard at SYT), Elf The Musical (Michael at PT), Mary Poppins Jr. (Bert at ABT), and Oliver! (Oliver at ABT). Corban loves his family, friends, and playing the snare drum in his school band. He hopes you enjoy the show and “buckle your seatbelts!”

JASMINE BASSHAM (Wednesday Addams) is ecstatic to return to Arizona Broadway Theatre! Her past credits include Mamma Mia! (ABT), Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Fraulein Kost in Cabaret, Heather in American Idiot, and Thea in Spring Awakening. Jasmine would like to thank her friends, family, and everyone at ABT for all of the love and support. Special thank you to her father, Robert Bassham. Without him none of this would be possible.

DANNY DURR (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut in The Addams Family. Danny lives in New York City where he is a dance teacher, fitness instructor, and choreographer. He recently choreographed Ghost at Stage Door Theatre in Lauderhill, Florida, under the direction of Clayton Phillips. Favorite roles include White Christmas (Phil), Cabaret (Emcee), Pippin (Pippin), Happy Days (Richie Cunningham), The Last Five Years (Jamie), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), CATS (Macavity), West Side Story (Big Deal), A Chorus Line (Greg Gardner). www.dannydurr.com

LIZ FALLON (Ensemble) is so ecstatic to be back on the ABT stage! She recently finished a year and a half sailing around the Caribbean as Jennyanydots (and sometimes Jellylorum) in Cats on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. Favorite Arizona Broadway credits include Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity, and Angel in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Liz is a St. Louis native who graduated in 2012 with her BFA in Musical Theatre/Dance from Millikin University. So much love and many, many thanks to the entire ABT family. www.lfallon.com

LYNZEE FOREMAN (Alice Beineke) is thrilled to be back on the ABT stage in such an amazing show with even more amazing people! Lynzee was last seen at ABT in Mamma Mia! and HAIR (Jeanie). Previous shows include Jersey Boys (Lorraine, Phoenix Theatre Company), Godspell, Singin’ in the Rain (Lina Lamont), Trailer Park The Musical (Pippi) (both at ABT), and In The Heights (Daniela) at Phoenix Theatre. When not performing, she is blessed to work with the Valley’s best youth talent at ABT in the HyRev program and somehow finds time to ride her reining horses!  The MOST love to her family and her hubby Mark and baby girl Shiloh. This one is for you, Den.  

RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Morticia Addams) is beyond excited to be a part of this classic! Some of her favorite ABT credits include Disney’s Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Kiss Me, Kate (Lily/Katherine), A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Past), Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (Doatsy Mae), Camelot (Nimue/Morgan LeFay), Carousel (Mrs. Mullins), Fiddler On The Roof (Fruma Sarah), Rock Of Ages, Hair, The Bridges of Madison County, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Disney’s Tarzan. Other favorite Regional credits include The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), 9 to 5 (Violet), Pippin (Fastrata), The Secret Garden (Rose), Godspell, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Sister Act. A huge thank you to Mom, Dad, Ryan, and boyfriend Nick for always supporting her dreams, to Cass, Kiel, and Kurtis for being such an incredible family, to Danny and Adam for being our fearless leaders, and to this amazing cast, crew and production team. www.reneekathleenkoher.com

KRISTINA LEOPOLD JARVIS (Ensemble) is stoked to be working with ABT for the first time! Select credits include Nala in The Festival of the Lion King (Hong Kong Disneyland), Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (The California Theatre), Glinda in The Wiz (Center Stage Fontana), and The Witch in Big Fish (Inland Valley Repertory Theatre). Love to her wonderful husband! Romans 13:12

NICHOLAS KUHN (Ensemble) is absolutely thrilled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre! Past ABT credits include Camelot (Sir Lionel), A Christmas Carol (Fred), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Aggie), Hair (Tribe), and The Little Mermaid (Ensemble/Eric u/s) just to name a few. His New York credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), Whoopee (Ensemble), America’s Sweetheart (Ensemble), The Bully (Steve). Other favorite credits are The Fantasticks (Matt) and Godspell (Jeffery Track) (Artistree Music Theatre Festival)Nick would like to thank ABT for the opportunity, and his amazing friends and family for their never-ending support! Kabocha!

ALEXIA LORCH (Ensemble) is excited to be making her ABT debut!  She is a proud Phoenician and Creighton University Graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Favorite show credits include West Side Story (Minnie, Phoenix Theatre Company), Footloose (Urleen, Old Creamery), James and the Giant Peach (Miss Spider, Old Creamery), A Chorus Line (Bebe, u/s Kristine). She would like to thank her family for all their love and support! @alexialorch5 www.alexialorch.com

BARBARA McBAIN (Grandma Addams) is thrilled to return to ABT for this fun show! She was last seen as Vivien in Church Basement Ladies.  Some of her favorite roles include Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Miss Thorn in Ruthless and Dotty in Noises Off. Barbara has also appeared in film and television, most recently in commercials for Rebel Deck and Honeywell. In real life, her favorite roles are “Grandma Babs” and “Gary’s Fiancé.”

AARON McCASKILL (Pugsley Addams) is an 8th grader and is home-schooled. He has been performing since he was 7 years old. His favorite roles have been Michael Banks in Mary Poppins and Harry Finfer in Miracle on 34th Street at Arizona Broadway Theatre, Piglet in A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail at Valley Youth Theatre, Ching Ho in Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr., Dennis in All Shook Up, and Kevin in Robin Hood and his Merry Men at Actors Youth Theatre.  When Aaron isn’t on stage, he enjoys playing piano and guitar, writing his own songs, cooking, singing, and dancing. 

MATTHEW MELLO (Gomez Addams – Alternate) Hello, Peoria!! Matt is glad to be back at ABT with this talented cast. Matt is now a local Peorian. He is excited to be here on the regular! This is his sixth and hopefully not last production with ABT. Other ABT roles include Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic, Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can, Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Lonny in Rock of Ages. He is excited to start this new chapter in his life with his wife Dana and son Aiden. Matt would like to thank his family, Cassandra Klaphake, Kiel Klaphake, Kurtis Overby, and everyone at ABT from the Box Office and beyond for welcoming him and his family. “Art is beautiful. Art is love. Art is life.”

CESAR RAZZA (Ensemble) is so happy to be returning to ABT for another fantastic show! Credits include National Tours: The Wizard of Oz, Sid the Science Kid Live!, Clifford in Clifford the Big Red Dog Live. Regional: Young Frankenstein at The Fulton Theatre, Elf The Musical at The Fireside Theatre, and Neleus in Mary Poppins at The Palace Theatre. Cesar would like to thank “The Hungry Gal Pals”, Caitrin, Apryl, Forecast Talent, and his family for all their tremendous support. Follow Cesar on Instagram: @cesarrazza123 www.cesarrazza.com

SAMANTHA ROSS (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back in Arizona performing with ABT! Samantha was last seen in Catch Me if You Can here at ABT. Some of her favorite past credits include Hedy from How to Succeed in Business and Virtue in Anything Goes. Samantha is grateful for the love and support from her family and friends and would like to thank everyone involved in this production of The Addams Family.

LIONEL RULAND (Uncle Fester) hails from Parsippany, New Jersey, and has performed on stage in 46 US States (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, & Montana). Some of his favorite musical roles include Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, Roger Sherman in 1776, and King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar. When not performing, Lionel enjoys film producing, painting, and is a master level Reiki practitioner. Find out more at LionelRuland.com and follow him on Instagram @LionelOrLonnie.

NICHOLAS DANA RYLANDS (Lurch) Arizona Broadway Theatre Debut! Previous credits include 17th Century Apparition in A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage), Cpt. Robert Falcon Scott in Peter and the Starcatcher (Playhouse on Park), Ensemble in Passing Through, (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals), Romain Tournel in A Flea in Her Ear, Frid in A Little Night Music (Monomoy Theatre). Proud graduate of The Hartt School! “To my parents, I know I thank you in all of these, but there is no one more deserving. Thank you.”

JAKE SOKOLOFF (Ensemble) is thrilled to be joining the ABT Family! He is a graduate of Elon University’s BFA Music Theatre program. Most recently, Jake was seen internationally as Eugene in Grease for Royal Caribbean. In addition to performing, Jake is a fashion stylist and has his own styling company, STYLE BY SOKOLOFF, in New York City. @JakeSokoloff

NICK WILLIAMS (Lucas Beineke) is excited to be part of another Arizona Broadway Theatre production! He has spent his teen years performing in theatres throughout the Valley. Some recent credits include Big River (Jo Harper/Young Fool), Sweeney Todd (Anthony Cover/Ensemble), Tuck Everlasting (Jesse Tuck), Anything Goes (Billy Crocker), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Dan), and Grease (Roger). Nick would like to thank the talented cast, crew, and the entire creative team at ABT for this wonderful experience, as well as his friends and family for their continuous support.

MARK WOODARD (Mal Beineke) is thrilled to be making his ABT debut as part of this creepy, kooky, mysterious, and ooky family!  His recent credits include Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (The Resident Theatre Company), King Arthur in Spamalot, and Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (Palace Theatre in NH). Other regional credits: the 75th Anniversary production of Oklahoma! (Ogunquit Playhouse), The Producers, Bells Are Ringing, and South Pacific (Pittsburgh CLO).

BRODY WURR (Ensemble) is thrilled to be part of this amazing production of The Addams Family! Brody is honored to have been on the Arizona Broadway Theatre stage in Oliver!, Sweeney Todd, Titanic: The Musical, Mamma Mia!, and Guys and Dolls. He also recently played Andrew Jackson in Spotlight Youth Theatre’s rocking production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Brody loves being a part of Arizona Broadway Theatre’s new performance troupe, Sonic Revolution! Thank you to Cassandra, Kiel, Kurtis, Brad, and everyone at ABT for making dreams come true! Enjoy the show!

Brad York (Gomez Addams) hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the great state of Oregon. Brad first came to Arizona in 1996 on a full-ride out-of-state tuition vocal scholarship to Arizona State University. Brad holds a BA in Music from Linfield College (Oregon) and an MM in Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he lived and worked for ten years – marrying the life of an actor with steady jobs at an investment firm and as a waiter. Brad has performed at regional theatres around the United States, but you’ll probably recognize Brad from his many appearances on the ABT stage over the years. Roles include: Evelyn Oakleigh (Anything Goes ’05), Hysterium (A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum ’07), Man 1 (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change ’10), Harold (The Full Monty ’11), The Baker (Into the Woods ’13) and most recently as Igor in Young Frankenstein (’14). Brad returned to Arizona full-time in 2010 to work on “the other side of the table” at ABT in Audience Development and is currently the theatre’s Marketing Director.