Miracle on 34th Street Cast Announced

KATERINA ANDERSON (Hendrika) is 10 years old and thrilled to make her ABT debut in this holiday classic! Katerina’s love for the stage began as a dance student at the age of 5 and quickly evolved into a passion for musical theater. Katerina’s past performances include Peter Pan in Shrek the Musical, July in Annie, Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka, Jr., and Ludmilla in Hamlet: A Tragedy in Three Rings. Katerina thanks everyone at ABT for this amazing opportunity and her family for their love and support!

 

EMILY GRACE ANTON (Susan) is excited and proud to be making her Arizona Broadway debut. Emily is in the 7th grade and attends Pinnacle Peak Preparatory in Scottsdale. Local audiences have seen her in Annie (Annie), The Little Mermaid (Flounder), and Celebration of Christmas (Joy) at Dream City Church. When she’s not performing she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Emily dedicates her performances this season to her late grandmother, Jean Feely, who always supported her love of performing. Instagram: @emilygraceanton

 

MEREDITH ARENDS (Girl) a fifth-grade student at Arizona School for the Arts, is happy to be making her ABT debut. She was last seen as an orphan in Valley Youth Theatre’s production of Annie at the Herberger. When not on the stage, Meredith enjoys dancing, writing songs, and playing the flute.

 

TONY BLOSSER (R.H. Macy) is ecstatic to be returning to the ABT stage after a brief hiatus. He recently could be found backpacking through the Himalayas or spelunking the Waitomo Glowworm Cave in New Zealand, and, after reading Astral Projection For Dummies, he was able to do all this while binge watching Netflix from the comfort of home. Tony is a proud new member of the Equity Membership Candidate Program. Thank you, dear patron, for spending your Holiday Season with us! I usually order the chicken. #teamthrilled.

 

KATY CALLIE (Mrs. Finfer) is beyond thrilled to be back on the ABT stage! She was last seen in Man of La Mancha (Prisoner/ Housekeeper U/S). A native Tucsonan, she moved to Phoenix in 2008 and has been frolicking across Valley stages ever since. Her favorite roles include Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot (MET), Lulu in Cabaret (DST), Miss Casewell in The Mousetrap (DST) and Vesta Virile/Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge in Rouge (MET). Katy is also a choreographer and holds a BFA in Dance from Arizona State University. Offstage, she can be found daydreaming, singing karaoke, and watching Gilmore Girls with her cat. www.katycallie.com

 

MJJ CASHMAN (Kris Kringle) is happy to be invited to return & repeat one of his favorite roles at one of his favorite venues. He’s especially eager to help introduce a new generation of young audiences to live theatre. Thanks to life upon the wicked stage, MJJ has traveled to all contiguous lower 48 states & performed in all but 3: NV & both Dakotas. Besides Kris, ABT audiences may remember him as Mr. Mushnick, Colonel Pickering, RF Simpson & Prof Porter. Since his last appearance here he has received one knee & two full hip replacements, but, as you’re likely to notice but too polite to mention, has the same two left feet.

 

CHAE CLEARWOOD (Miss Simms/Mrs. Beeler) is so excited to return to the ABT stage! She was most recently seen as Charlotte Cardoza in Titanic, Mrs. Brill/Bird Woman in Mary Poppins, and The Bridges of Madison County. A few of her other favorite credits include Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Rizzo in Grease, and Dolly in One Man, Two Guvnors. Chae recently graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and also holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Montana State University, Billings. Chae would like to thank the numerous friends and family who have supported her dreams and ambitions over the years, without which none of this would be possible.

 

JULIANNE CREED (Hendrika) is in 7th grade and loves to perform. Last summer was a dream when she performed as Jane Banks in ABT’s Mary Poppins! Her past performances include Young Fiona in NCS’s production of Shrek, Jr., Young Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, and Gracie Shinn in The Music Man. She has performed as Cinderella in Cinderella and as part of the Ensemble in White Christmas for Pinnacle Creative Arts. She loves gymnastics, family and friends, singing, and being creative/crafty! She’s thankful to be part of the ABT family!

 

EVAN DOLAN (Mailman) is delighted to miss yet another winter to perform in sunny Arizona in both Miracle on 34th Street and An American in Paris! Some of his favorite credits include the Jeff Award-winning production of Sweeney Todd (Paramount Theatre), Disney’s Mary Poppins & Funny Girl (Arizona Broadway), Cabaret (Thingamajig Theatre Co.), West Side Story (Woodstock Playhouse), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Broward Stage Door), and Kiss Me, Kate (Alhambra Theatre). He sends a massive “THANK YOU” to his family for supporting him in all of his adventures and everyone at ABT for their continued generosity!

 

FRED GERLE (Judge/Mayor) Arizona Broadway Theatre’s holiday production of Miracle on 34th Street is Fred’s fourth appearance here. He enjoyed his roles in Carousel in 2016 (Starkeeper/Dr. Seldon), in 2017’s Oliver! (Mr. Browlow), and, most recently, as Isidor Straus in Titanic, The Musical. In the past year, he was also seen in the Phoenix area in West Side Story (Lt. Schrank, Scottsdale Musical Theater Company) and A Christmas Carol (Jacob Marley/Old Joe, TheaterWorks). He is currently providing one of the character voices for the soon-to-becompleted web series Benefactors. Special thanks go out to Kiel, Cassandra, and Kurtis for this wonderful opportunity and to his beautiful, supportive wife, Kerry!

 

CODY GERSZEWSKI (Fred Gaily) is incredibly grateful to be returning to ABT after his time playing Steve Baker aboard the Show Boat last winter. NYC credits: Hope for the Flowers (Developmental Readings- Jeff Whiting). Regional credits: Jane Eyre (Cleveland Musical Theatre-Revised World Premier), […] Trailer Park Musical (Sierra Repertory), Jane Eyre (11th Hour Theatre), South Pacific, Mamma Mia! (Fireside Theatre). Proud graduate of Theatre NDSU (Fargo, ND 2015) and the Open Jar Institute (New York, NY 2016). Immeasurable gratitude to Cass & Kiel Klaphake, Kurtis Overby, and Ron Pfeiffer. Love to his parents and to “Philly.” @cgerszewski www.codygerszewski.com

 

PHILLIP GIANDILETTI (Climber/ Watchman) is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance major and is excited to be returning to ABT! He was recently a performer in Mary Poppins at ABT as Neleus/Ensemble. Originally from New Jersey, Phillip lived in Chandler, Arizona, for 4 years and is so glad to be back again for the Holidays. Other theatre credits include Danny Zuko in Grease (The Firehouse Theatre), Evita (Casa MaЦana Theatre), Al Deluca in A Chorus Line (Uptown Players), Newsies (Oscar Delancey/Ensemble/Dance Captain), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Nathan); Music Theatre Wichita, West Side Story (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), and 42nd St. (The Lexington Theatre Company).

 

JACOB HERRERA (Bailiff) has a passion for musical theater and is very grateful for the opportunity to share his love for the arts with audiences. Previously at ABT he was in Saturday Night Fever, the Juan/Luke swing in Altar Boyz, Officer Lightoller in Titanic, and has assisted in the ABT Academy summer camps. He recently spent the summer at Fort Peck Summer Theater. Locally, Jacob has also been seen in his NYA award-winning and ariZoni nominated role of Joseph in Joseph…Dreamcoat at Desert Stages and Warner in Legally Blonde at Spotlight Youth Theater. Jacob would like to thank the Foremans, Andy Meyers and the Fort Peck family, the ABT family, his friends Bryce and Samantha, and all of the others who have supported him along the way. Enjoy the show and happy holidays!

 

CYRUS HILDING (Tommy) is ecstatic to return the Arizona Broadway Theatre’s stage for Miracle on 34th St. Cyrus is 11 and a sixth grader at Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics. Some of his favorite recent roles include Chi Fu (Mulan Jr.) and Mike TeaVee (Willy Wonka Jr.) at SYT, and Randy (A Christmas Story) and Workhouse Boy (Oliver) at ABT. He is a Nerf, Star Wars, and Lego enthusiast who loves playing the saxophone and tinkering with electronics. Cyrus would like to give an enormous, heartfelt thank you to Cassandra, Kiel, Rob, Kurtis, and everyone at ABT for this amazing opportunity!

 

JOHN KNISPEL (D.A.) is so humbled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre for his 2nd season! After performing in Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol, Show Boat, and Hair last season, he knew he’d have to do what he could to come back to this winter paradise! Favorite past credits include Emcee in Cabaret, Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet, Ritchie Valens in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Lord Farquaad in Shrek: The Musical, and Princeton in Avenue Q. A Billings, Montana, native, John graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. John would like to give a huge thank you to his family, Paul, Berta, Jessica, and Anica for being so supportive over the years.

 

RENÉE KATHLEEN KOHER (Miss Crookshank) is so happy to be back “home” at ABT for the holidays! She was last seen as on the ABT stage as Mary Poppins in Disney’s Mary Poppins. ABT credits include Christmas Past (A Christmas Carol), Kate/Lily (Kiss Me, Kate), Doatsy Mae (Best Little Whorehouse), Nimue/Morgan Le Fay (Camelot), Bridges of Madison County, Hair, Tarzan, and many more! Other credits include Missy (Marvelous Wonderettes), Dee Dee (SUDS), Sally Bowles (Cabaret), Fastrata (Pippin), Disney Cruise Line, Tokyo Disney Resort and many others! Huge thanks to Mom, Dad, Ryan, Cass, Kiel, Kurtis, James, and the rest of this amazing cast and crew! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! BUNNY!! www.reneekathleenkoher.com

 

NICK KUHN (Alvin) 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 member), 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), and The Bully (Steve). Other favorite credits are The Fantasticks (Matt) and Godspell (Jeffery Track) at 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!

 

SAM LAWRENCE (Harry) is excited to be making his debut performance on the ABT stage as Harry Finfer. He lives in Surprise, Arizona, with his family and is currently in the 5th grade. Last spring, Sam performed as Charlie Bucket in Theatre Works’ Kid’s Alive performance of Willy Wonka Jr. When not pursuing piano, voice, and theatre, Sam likes to play soccer, draw cartoons, create origami, and travel. Sam would like to thank his directors and teachers (former and present) and his family for their support and encouragement.

 

AARON McCASKILL (Harry) is a 7th grader and is home-schooled. He has performed in over 29 musical theater productions. His favorite roles have been Michael Banks in Mary Poppins at Arizona Broadway 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 Theater, and Piglet in A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tale at Valley Youth Theater. When Aaron isn’t on stage he enjoys playing piano, writing his own songs, cooking, singing, and dancing. He’s excited to be back at ABT for another production.

 

DREA METZGER (Girl) is overjoyed to share ABT’s stage with Actors/Crew she admires! Drea loves singing, ballet, and baking. Favorite roles are Shprintze (Fiddler on The Roof) and Young Fan (Christmas Carol) at ABT; Flounder (The Little Mermaid) at BPA; and Duffy (Annie) and Baby June (Gypsy) at DFT. Drea thanks her family for their support! Special thanks to Cassandra Klaphake & Kurtis Overby for their guidance and this amazing opportunity, Renée Koher for her encouragement and insight, and Jacqueline Dunford for inspiring her.

 

ANDY MEYERS (Shellhammer) just appeared as Radioman Bride in Titanic and can’t imagine spending the holidays anyway other than at ABT, where other recent projects include Bud in The Bridges of Madison County, Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Jean Shepherd (Narrator) in Christmas Story, Enoch Snow in Carousel, and King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as directing South Pacific, The King and I, Oliver, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Secret Garden, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, among many others. He is currently in his 8th year as artistic director of Fort Peck Summer Theatre, where he had led the company to recording breaking seasons, and was previously managing director for Performing Arts at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY. Other favorite performance credits include the national tours of Annie and Bus Stop. Andy is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Boston, Wagner College in NYC and holds his Masters from University of Montana. This holiday season at ABT, he will also be directing Charlie Brown Christmas!

 

MELISSA MITCHELL (Doris Walker) is truly thrilled to be spending the holidays here at ABT! Originally from San Diego, she now calls NYC home. Previous ABT credits include Titanic (Kate McGowan), Bridges of Madison County (Ens, Francesca cover), Legally Blonde (Gaelan, Elle cover), Whorehouse (Eloise), Shrek (Humpty, Fiona/Dragon cover), Mary Poppins (Miss Lark, Winnifred/Correy/ Andrew cover), and Sweeney Todd at HTC. Recent regional credits include A Christmas Carol (Ens, Dilbur/Fezziwig cover) at North Shore Music Theatre and Sister Act (Ensemble, Michelle cover) at The Palace Theatre. When in NYC she is a Broadway Classroom Rep for Broadway.com. She wants to thank Cass, Kiel, Kurtis, and Rob for this amazing opportunity, and for embracing her into the ABT family! All the gratitude to God, and her family for their unwavering love and support! This one is for my Grammy! Merry Christmas! BA from LU ‘11. Jer 29:11 www.melissasmitchell.com

 

AVA NEWTON (Susan), 10, is excited to be back on stage at Arizona Broadway Theatre for this heartwarming holiday classic. She is in the fifth grade at Montessori Kingdom of Learning. She was most recently seen at TheaterWorks in The Little Mermaid (Flounder) and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Lucy). She is so thankful for this opportunity and wants to thank Cassandra, Kurtis, and Rob. She would also like to thank her family and friends for all their support.

 

JAY ROBERTS (Mr. Sawyer) is incredibly excited to be back in Arizona! Previous ABT credits: Edgar Beane in Titanic, Old Joe in A Christmas Carol, Mr. Sowerberry in Oliver, and Schroeder in Charlie Brown Christmas. Jay is finally applying his degree in architecture, designing a historical wing for the Pioneer Museum in Glasgow, Montana, and has been scenic designer for several shows at Fort Peck Summer Theatre. A few of his previous roles include Arthur Kipps in The Woman in Black, the Jeff Barry in Leader of the Pack, and Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre. Jay is overjoyed to be returning to the ABT family. Thank you to Cass and Kurtis for this amazing opportunity.

 

TIM SHAWVER (Mr. Gimbel/Tammany O’Halloran) is overjoyed to spend the holidays at ABT! He’s previous appeared at ABT in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Funny Girl, Church Basement Ladies, Lucky Stiff, and It’s a Wonderful Life: the Radio Play, as well as directed ABT’s Theatre for Young Audience productions of Charlotte’s Web and Junie B. Jones: the Musical. His favorite acting credits include work at Phoenix Theatre (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Childsplay (Busytown, Junie B. Jones), Actors Theatre (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Southwest Shakespeare Company, and Stray Cat Theatre. Tim is a co-founder of A/C Theatre Company where he serves as Director of Artistic Operations, and he’s a third generation Phoenix native.

 

MEGGIE SIEGRIST (Girl Scout) was last seen on the ABT stage in their productions of Titanic and Hair. Other credits include Ursula in The Little Mermaid (Fort Peck Summer Theater), Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (Jenny Wiley Theater), The Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha (ABT), Ellie Greenwich in Leader of the Pack (Fort Peck Summer Theater), and Audrey in Leading Ladies (The Great American Melodrama). She would like to give a huge shout out to her entire ABT family for making Arizona the best home away from home a girl could ask for.

 

CREEDENCE WEISBERG (Tommy) has loved performing from a young age, and he says he is “born to be on Broadway.” Creed is thrilled to be performing and has done local theater in the Lion King Jr and was Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical Jr. When he is not singing or directing shows with his friends, Creed enjoys the life of a 9-year-old playing video games and being with his friends and family.

 

KARA ZIRINGER (Dutch Girl’s Mother/ Clara) is thrilled to be spending her second holiday season with ABT! She graduated from the Florida State University in May of 2016 and has been living in New York City ever since. Her previous ABT credits include Mary Poppins (Ensemble/Mary Cover), Show Boat (Ensemble/Magnolia Cover), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble) and A Christmas Carol (Ensemble.) Other favorite credits include A Chorus Line (Maggie), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), and Legally Blonde (Serena.) She would like to thank her family and friends for their unwavering love and support. Enjoy the show!