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Apr 26, 2018

Cast and Creative Team Announced for The LEX’s 2018 Summer Season

Broadway Stars join Collegiate and Local Talent, as The LEX presents The Music Man and A Chorus Line, at The Lexington Opera House.

LEXINGTON, KY (April 26, 2018) - The LEXington Theatre Company is pleased to announce full cast and creative team for their fourth summer season. For the first time, the company will produce TWO musicals in the season, combining “Today’s Broadway Stars and Tomorrow’s Broadway Hopefuls.”  The Music Man will play the Lexington Opera House (July 12-15), followed by A Chorus Line (August 2-5), with a cast and creative team from Broadway, the Bluegrass and beyond.  The 2018 Season is presented by Variety Live at the Opera House, along with Co-Producing Sponsor, KentuckyOne Health.  The Music Man will be directed by Mark Madama (Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at University of Michigan, and long-time guest director at Music Theatre Wichita).  Louisville native, Mara Greer, (Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, and more) will create new choreography for the production.  For A Chorus Line, The LEX Artistic Director Lyndy Franklin Smith will direct, and recreate the original Broadway choreography, by Michael Bennett.  Smith made her Broadway debut in the 2006 Original Revival Cast ofA Chorus Line.  The LEX Resident Music Director, Brock Terry, will Music Direct both productions.

For the season, Lexington’s own Tanya Harper will serve as Lighting Designer, after designing their first three productions.  Joseph D. Sibley, (SUMMER, Bandstand, On Your Feet) will return for his fourth season as Wardrobe and Hair Coordinator.  Kevin Nedberg (MTWichita) and Marcus Ross (Blue Man Group) join the team this season, as Production Coordinator and Sound Designer, respectively.  Emily F. McMullen (The Huntington Theatre) and Brandon T. Holmes (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati) return as to round out the Equity Stage Management team. Kathrin Thawley (UK & Asbury Univ.) will be Assistant Music Director on The Music Man.  And Lexington’s Michael Rintamaa will serve as Rehearsal Accompanist.

The LEX combines Broadway veterans, local Lexington actors, and college students from across the country, alongside the local and national Creative Team.  In doing so, The LEX continues to fulfill its mission of providing first-rate, locally produced, professional theatre, while serving as a training ground for up-and-coming artists.  After an extensive audition tour, seeing over 1,000 talented artists, The LEX is proud to announce its Summer 2018 Cast. 

The cast of The Music Man will be led by Broadway Veterans Danny Gurwin (The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Full Monty, Urinetown, Little Women) as Professor Harold Hill, and Mara Davi (Dames at Sea, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Drowsy Chaperone, A Chorus Line) as Marian Paroo.  They will share the stage with some of Lexington’s favorite local actors including long-time SCAPA Drama Teacher Paul Thomas (as Mayor Shinn); WUKY’s Karyn Czar (as Eulalie Shinn) and Melissa Rae Wilkeson (as Mrs. Paroo.)  Hill’s nemesis, Charlie Cowell, will be played by Aaron Gaines (Irish Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre D.C. and Utah Shakespeare Festival.)  And the fun-loving Marcellus Washburn will be played by Justin Robertson, an accomplished actor who is also known as theatrical illustrator “Squigs,” and has been the resident artist for leading theatrical news sourceBroadway.com since 2010.  Youth Apprentices Owen Scott (SCAPA – Bluegrass) and Taylor Riordan (The Lexington School) will play Winthrop Paroo and Amaryllis.

Rounding out the cast are terrific local actors -  Gabrielle Barker, Andy Clifton, Katie Feola, Jessica Pearl French, Gregory Hancock, Katie Owen, Darian Sanders and Joseph Wrightson.  Central Kentucky natives, now based in NYC, Nathan Fister and Elizabeth McGuire, will return home for the production.

College students and recent grads joining the cast include Laura Guley (Penn State) who will play Zaneeta Shinn, Trevor McChristian (Elon) who will play Tommy Djilas, Audrey Belle Adams (UK), Jessica Bayne (UK), Elle Brooks (Texas State), Brian Corkum (Texas State), Bailee Endebrock (CCM), Gabriella Enriquez (OCU),Peter Garza (Ithaca), Sam Keith (CCM), Jacob Major (Elon), Ashley Martin (NKU), Matthew Marvin (Marymount Manhattan), Resa Mishina (Rider), Aaron Robinson (Univ. of Michigan), and Daxx Jayroe Weiser (OCU).

Lining up to lead A Chorus Line are Sarah Bowden (A Chorus Line at The Hollywood Bowl, European Companies of Cabaret, West Side Story, 9 to 5, Flashdance, Kiss me Kate and more) as Cassie and Denis Lambert (Broadway’s A Chorus Line, Doctor Zhivago; Bert in Mary Poppins at The LEX) as Zach.  They will be joined by Broadway Vets Anne Horak (Chicago, White Christmas) as Sheila, and Eloise Kropp (Cats, Dames at Sea, On The Town) as Val. 

Many of the local/collegiate ensemble members from The Music Man will stay on to play roles in A Chorus Lineincluding Elle Brooks (Judy), Brian Corkum (Mike), Bailee Endebrock (Maggie), Gabriella Enriquez (Diana), Nathan Fister (Larry), Peter Garza (Paul), Laura Guley (Bebe), Ashley Martin (Vicki), Jacob Major (Don), Trevor McChristian (Al), Elizabeth McGuire (Kristine), Resa Mishina (Connie), Darian Sanders (Butch), and Daxx Jayroe Weiser (Greg).  They will be joined by Emilia Bustle (Tricia) from UK, James Spencer Dean (Bobby) from Boston Conservatory, Miller Kraps (Frank) from Carnegie Mellon Univ.,Trey Paris (Roy) from NKU, Ben Toomer (Richie) from Texas State Univ., John Eric Viso (Tom) from Ball State Univ., and Ethan Zeph (Mark) from CCM.

The LEX Orchestra is comprised of spectacular instrumentalists from across Central Kentucky.  The pit orchestra will have 27 musicians for The Music Man!  The A Chorus Line pit orchestra will feature 16 musicians.  The LEX is thrilled to continue their commitment to providing a live, full orchestra for their productions.

Over 40 Central Kentucky students will take part in the Youth and High School Apprentice Program  - both onstage and behind the scenes.  The students represent public, private, and home schools from Fayette, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Franklin, Harrison, Jessamine, Nicholas, Scott, and Woodford counties.  Most of these students will participate in The Music Man.  Four High School students were selected to apprentice on A Chorus Line.

Participants in the College Technical/Administrative Internship Program include Hayden Bennett (UK), Lucy Buchanan (Belmont), Chris Copley (Univ. of Chicago), Kelli Jo Crawford (UK), Carson Hardee (UK), Emily Misali (UK), and Alaina Short (UK).  Tates Creek High School rising Senior, Elia Zonio also joins the Intern team.  Kate Pozner (CCM) returns as Assistant Stage Manager for The Music ManEmilia Bustle (UK) also joins the team as the Youth & Teen Dance Captain for The Music Man. Both Bustle and Pozner interned with The LEX last summer.

The Music Man will play the Opera House, July 12-15 and A Chorus Line will follow, August 2-5.  Both productions are presented by Variety Live at the Opera House, with Co-Producing Sponsor, KentuckyOne Health; Media Sponsor WKYT-Channel 27; and Sponsor Central Bank.  Additional grant/subsidy support is from the Opera House Fund, The Lexington Rotary Club, and LexArts.

Season Subscriptions are currently available at the Lexington Center Box Office, or by phone at (859) 233-3535.  Single Tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, April 27 at the Lexington Center Box Office, by phone at (859) 233-3535, or online at Ticketmaster.  For more information or to make a donation, please visit the organization’s website, www.lexingtontheatrecompany.org

 

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Contact:

Lyndy Franklin Smith, Artistic Director
The Lexington Theatre Company
(859) 940-4450
[email protected]

Full Bios for Equity Actors:

THE MUSIC MAN:

Danny Gurwin (Harold Hill) is a MAC and Arty-Award winning director and a BroadwayWorld, Eddon, and Barrymore award-winning actor and singer. Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Full Monty, Urinetown, Little Women, Kismet, A Little Night Music, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  Off-Broadway, Danny has starred in Forbidden Broadway, The Thing About Men, and many others, in addition to TV (“Desperate Housewives”; “The Bold and the Beautiful”) and regional shows, concert work, and cast recordings. As a renowned director, teacher, clinician & guest artist, Danny has taught at The University of Michigan, UCLA, University of Colorado at Boulder, Western Michigan, Youngstown, and Clark Universities to name a few and is currently Head of Musical Theatre and Co-Chair of the Integrated Acting/Musical Theatre Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan.

Mara Davi (Marian Paroo) has appeared on Broadway in Dames at Sea (Astaire Nomination), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Drowsy Chaperone, and the Original Revival Cast of A Chorus Line. Other New York credits include Death Takes A Holiday with the Roundabout Theatre Company, No, No, Nanette and Of Thee I Sing with City Center Encores! Regionally, Mara appeared in My Parisat Long Wharf Theatre (CT Critics Circle Award), Ever After at Paper Mill Playhouse, Company and Kiss Me Kate at Barrington Stage,Beaches at the Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes Nomination), The Toxic Avenger at the Alley Theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Sacramento Music Circus, Dancing In The Dark at the Old Globe. Mara toured America and Japan as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. Her television credits include “Mysteries of Laura,” “The Good Wife,” “Taxi Brooklyn,” “Smash,” and “Blue Bloods.” On film, Mara can be seen in Kensho at the Bedfellow and New Year’s Eve as well as Every Little Step, the documentary about the making of the revival of A Chorus Line. Her album, Unspoken by Mara and the Bitter Suite available on iTunes.

Justin Robertson (Marcellus Washburn) comes to us directly from Music Theatre of Wichita where he played Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls. He has also been seen on stages across the country such as The Paper Mill Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Casa Mañana, Reprise!, The Disneyland Resort, Moonlight Amphitheatre, Musical Theatre West, and the Pasadena Playhouse. Justin, also known as theatrical illustrator Squigs, has been the resident artist for leading theatrical news source Broadway.com since 2010 and is the co-creator of The Lights of Broadway Show Cards™, trading cards for Broadway fans. See more at squigsonline.com. He is proud to be a member of Actors Equity Association as well as the illustrator of its commemorative centennial book Performance of the Century.

Aaron Gaines (Charlie Cowell) has appeared Off-Broadway with the Irish Repertory Theatre, Peccadillo Theatre Company, Metropolitan Playhouse, and Shakespeare Forum.  Regional credits include the Shakespeare Theatre (D.C.), Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Utah Shakespeare Festival.  Since 2010, he has been a teaching artist with the Utah Shakespeare Festival both on tour and as part of the festival’s annual High School Shakespeare Competition.  In 2014, he was a guest actor with Lyrica Chamber Music’s presentation of The Kreutzer Affair, featuring the award-winning Enso String Quartet.  Aaron graduated from California State University Fullerton and has studied with the McCaskill Studio and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Love to SB and BB.

A CHORUS LINE:

Sarah Bowden (Cassie) is thrilled to be returning to the role of Cassie, having played the role in A Chorus Line at the Hollywood Bowl. Originally from Australia, Sarah was cast in Cats at the age of 16. Sarah was in the original production of Dirty Dancing in Australia as well as on the West End in London. She then moved to Germany, where she played leading roles in Cabaret, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, 9 to 5, Flashdance, Kiss me Kate, and most recently, Esmeralda in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Many thanks to my mentor, Miss Baayork Lee, my Mum, and my management, The Cooper Company.  www.sarahbowden.de

Denis Lambert (Zach) At The LEX: Bert in Mary Poppins. Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, A Chorus Line. National Tours: White Christmas, The Producers (also L.A.& Toronto). Other credits: Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, Encores!, Dallas Theater Center, Paper Mill, Pittsburgh CLO, Walnut Street, Berkshire Theatre Group, Asolo Rep. Favorite roles: Burrs in The Wild Party, Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, The Visitor in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Denis was recently featured in the Public Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Gala From Hair to Hamilton at the Delacorte Theatre. He has had two solo cabarets play in New York and also runs a private coaching studio in the city. Denis is a graduate of CCM’s Musical Theatre program and this fall he will earn a MA in Classical Acting from LAMDA. Plays at LAMDA include John Webster’s The White Devil, Lope de Vega’s Punishment Without Revenge and Margaret Of Anjou, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses plays. This is Denis’ fifth production of A Chorus Line, having previously played or understudied Greg, Zach, Mike, Al, Bobby, Don, Larry, Roy, Butch, Tom and Frank. No other musical means more to him. @emiledenis1

Anne Horak (Sheila) Broadway: Chicago (Roxie), White Christmas. National tour: Young Frankenstein (Inga). NY: Crazy For You (Manhattan Concert Productions at Lincoln Center), The Merry Widow (The Metropolitan Opera), Music in the Air (City Center Encores!). Regional: Gretchen in Boeing-Boeing, Bambi Bernét in Curtains (both at Paper Mill Playhouse), Carol Heathrow in Diner(Delaware Theatre Company), April in Company (Bucks County Playhouse), May Milton in My Paris (Long Wharf Theatre), Shelby inSteel Magnolias (North Carolina Theatre), Polly Baker in Crazy For You (Sacramento Music Circus), Hope in Anything Goes (Taipei National Theatre), Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It (Music Theatre of Wichita). Television/Film: The Irishman, “Forever,” “Royal Pains,” “A Gifted Man,” “Eye Candy,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” BFA, University of Michigan.

Eloise Kropp (Val) Eloise Kropp is thrilled to be making her debut at The Lexington Theatre Company this summer!  She has performed on Broadway in Cats (JennyAnyDots), Dames At Sea (Ruby), and On The Town (Claire U/S). Other credits include City Center Encores!, Goodspeed Opera House, Papermill Playhouse, Kennedy Center in DC, and many more! All the love in the world to my family, CGF, Liz, Jonathan and Amy, and my pup Chloe. Xx

 

Full Bios for Director/Choreographers:

THE MUSIC MAN:

Mark Madama (Director) is happy to be working at The LEX for the first time. He has directed productions from coast to coast, and as far away as Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. He’s directed in thirty consecutive seasons at Music Theatre of Wichita where he first met Lyndy Franklin and Jeromy Smith as ensemble and principal performers, then as collaborators in productions of Sunset Boulevard, 9to5 and Ragtime. Mark has with partner Wayne Bryan, co-authored writing a revised version of Good News!, which has received over 300 productions throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Among his directing credits are productions ofCaroline or Change, Sunday In the Park With George, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, Hairspray, Oklahoma!, Violet, Guys & Dolls, Into The Woods, City of Angels, A Little Night Music, The Full Monty, Assassins,  Thoroughly Modern Millie,  Sweet Charity, My Fair Lady and many more. He also works as a teacher, giving masterclasses throughout the country and is an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Michigan.

Mara Newbery Greer (Choreographer) is thrilled to be choreographing a show in her home state! Mara grew up in Louisville, KY and is a YPAS/Manuel graduate. Directing and choreography credits include Matilda (Tuacahn), Guys and Dolls and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Music Theatre Wichita), A Christmas Story, the Musical (Paper Mill Playhouse/Fulton Theatre), 9 to 5 and Legally Blonde(Sacramento Music Circus), Big Fish (Front Porch Theatricals), Toxic Avenger (Pittsburgh CLO), The Drowsy Chaperone (University of Michigan), the 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards, and the world premiere musical Double Threat Trio (2018 Spark Festival). As a performer, Mara has worked on Broadway, National Tours, and regional theaters across the country. BFA University of Michigan. Following this show, she will be choreographing Candide for Chatauqua Opera. Endless thanks to my parents for always believing in me, and to my phenomenal husband, Michael, for never missing an opening night.

 

A CHORUS LINE:

Lyndy Franklin Smith (Director/Choreographer) is thrilled to revisit A Chorus Line, after making her Broadway debut in the Original Cast of the 2006 Revival of the production.  She served as Dance Captain and covered the roles of Maggie, Bebe, Judy, Kristine, Connie, Tricia, Vicki and Lois.  During that time, she also appeared on television in the 2007 "Tony Awards" and on "Dancing With The Stars" (with Mario Lopez and the cast of A Chorus Line).  Other favorite performing credits include Broadway’s The Little Mermaid, three holiday seasons at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Spectacular, touring companies of Fosse and Irving Berlin's White Christmas and numerous regional productions.  As Artistic Director of The LEX, she Co-Directed The LEX Productions of Legally Blonde (with long-time friend, Laura Bell Bundy); as well as Mary Poppins and 42nd Street, (with her husband, Jeromy.)  At Music Theatre Wichita, she and Jeromy, directed and choreographed Joseph...Dreamcoat and choreographed Finian's Rainbow, Sunset Boulevard, 9 to 5, and the American premiere of Betty Blue Eyes.  For the University of Kentucky, the couple directed and choreographed Ragtime and South Pacific (UKOT), Spelling Bee and Spring Awakening (UK Theatre) and choreographed eight seasons of UK Opera Theatre's It's a Grand Night For Singing.  She is also Co-Director of Town & Village School of Dance, in Paris. Lyndy is a Lexington native, graduate of Sayre School and Oklahoma City University School of American Dance and Arts Management, proud AEA member and "Mommy" to Ben (6 years) and Andrew (3 years).