Patina Miller, Heidi Blickenstaff, et al. Set for FIRST YOU DREAM at Kennedy Center

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced casting for its production of First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb in the Eisenhower Theater June 8 to July 1, 2012. The musical revue will star Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Alan H. Green, Leslie Kritzer, Patina Miller, and Matthew Scott. Originally produced at Signature Theatre in Virginia and co-conceived by David Loud and Eric Schaeffer, the production features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and will be directed by Eric Schaeffer. Jon Kalbfleisch will conduct the 22-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Press opening night is Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb celebrates the legendary five-decade partnership of songwriting duo John Kander and Fred Ebb who brought us Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Zorba. Songs include “The Cell Block Tango,” “Maybe This Time,” “Ring Them Bells,” “Sing Happy,” “Razzle Dazzle,” and many more.

John Kander and Fred Ebb’s long collaboration has created many Broadway standards and contemporary classics: Flora the Red Menace, Cabaret (Tony Award®), The Happy Time, Zorba, 70 Girls 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year (Tony Award®), The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award®), Steel Pier, Curtains, and The Scottsboro Boys. Their collaboration also transferred itself to movies and television, original material for the Academy Awards, Liza with a Z, Emmy Award and HBO’s Liza Minnelli’s Steppin Out (Emmy Award), Funny Lady, Oscar nominated for How Lucky Can You Get, Lucky Lady, New York, New York, Stepping Out and Chicago the movie. Oscar nominated for Move On. The song “New York, New York” became the official anthem of New York City in the mid-1980s. The Visit and All About Us have been produced regionally.

Director Eric Schaeffer’s Broadway credits include Follies, Million Dollar Quartet, Glory Days, and Putting It Together. In 2002 he served as artistic director of the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, where he directed Passion and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Schaeffer is the co-founder and artistic director of Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia (winner of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®), where he has directed many productions including Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Company, Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, Les Misérables, and The Witches of Eastwick, among others. In London, Mr. Schaeffer directed the world premiere production of The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2000 and Million Dollar Quartet. For the Kennedy Center, Mr. Schaeffer directed Mame starring Christine Baranski, in 2006, and most recently, Follies in its pre-Broadway run in 2011.

The Kennedy Center production of First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb will feature scenic design by James Kronzer, costume design by Kathleen Geldard, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Kai Harada. The production will include musical staging by Karma Camp, orchestrations by William David Brohn, music supervision and vocal arrangement by David Loud, and casting by Laura Stanczyk Casting.

Most recently on Broadway, Heidi Blickenstaff played Alice Beineke in The Addams Family. Other Broadway credits include Ursula in The Little Mermaid, The Full Monty, and her favorite Broadway role, playing herself in [title of show] with her friends and creative collaborators. Some Off-Broadway and regional credits include Now. Here. This and [title of show] both at The Vineyard Theatre, the solo piece, Mosaic (Ruth) with Primary Stages, Meet John Doe (Ann Mitchell) at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. (Helen Hayes Award), and Heidi was honored to be a part of the original company of First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb at The Signature Theatre. Heidi is a Duke University graduate.

James Clow’s original Broadway companies include Assassins, Blood Brothers. Broadway revivals: She Loves Me, Company, Wonderful Town, White Christmas. For City Center’s “Encores!” series: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Pipe Dream. Off-Broadway: Marc Blitzstein’s Juno. Mr. Clow has appeared in over three dozen regional theaters, in projects ranging from plays such as Romeo & Juliet (Romeo) to new musical works by Kander and Ebb, Sheldon Harnick, Cy Coleman, and Barry Manilow. National tours: Peter Pan (Captain Hook, opposite Cathy Rigby), Les Miserables (Javert), Jekyll & Hyde (Utterson), Oklahoma! (Curly), Sunset Boulevard (Artie), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter), and Into the Woods. Television appearances include The Good Wife and PBS’s “Great Performances” series (Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall and the 2005 Emmy-winning “Live from Lincoln Center” presentation of Passion, starring Patti LuPone). Mr. Clow holds a BFA from Syracuse University, has attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and has studied improv with The Groundlings. Mr. Clow appeared in the world premiere production of First You Dream at the Signature Theater in 2009.

Alan H. Green’s Broadway credits include Sister Act, Play On. Off-Broadway: Happiness (Lincoln Center). 1st Nationals: 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Swing!, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. TV: “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Guiding Light.” A few commercials and many workshops of new shows. Rice University graduate. www.alanhgreen.com

Leslie Kritzer’s Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair (Drama Desk nomination), Legally Blonde (Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Performer), and Hairspray. She received critical acclaim and a Time Out New York award for her sold-out Joe's Pub run of Leslie Kritzer is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (a performance she repeated at the Plush room in San Francisco). Off-Broadway and regional credits include Judas and Me (NYMF-2009 Outstanding Individual Performance Award), Rooms A Rock Romance (Outer Critics Circle nomination), On The Town (Encores!), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Drama Desk nomination), Bat Boy, Godspell, The Memory Show, Damn Yankees, the world premiere of POP! (Yale Rep), Broadway: Three Generations (Kennedy Center), Cabaret, Born Yesterday, the world premiere of Vanities, Urinetown (National Tour), Evita, and Funny Girl. She has performed at London's Royal Albert Hall as a guest soloist honoring Tim Rice and Alan Menken. Film credits include “17 Photos of Isabel.” Television credits include “3 LBS” (CBS) and “Jason and Jessica” (HBO).

Patina Miller recently concluded her celebrated run as Deloris Van Cartier in the Broadway production of Sister Act, earning Tony®, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for her performance. Miller originated the role of Deloris in the West End production of Sister Act, where she received an Olivier Award nomination and a WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Off-Broadway: Lost in the Stars (Encores!), Hair (Public Theater), Romantic Poetry (Manhattan Theatre Club). Regional: Sister Act (ALLIANCE THEATRE, Pasadena Playhouse), Being Alive (Philadelphia Theater Company). Workshops: Book of Mormon, Nightingale, American Idiot. Television: “All My Children.” Miller received a degree in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon University.

Matthew Scott’s Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim (cast album), Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Actors’ Fund). Matt’s performance in The Light in the Piazza for the Philadelphia Theatre Company garnered him a Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other regional: Becoming Chaplin (La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Theatre Critics’ nomination), First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb, Ace, and Side by Side by Sondheim (all for Signature Theatre), West Side Story (The MUNY, Kevin Kline Award nomination), Eden, Unknown Soldier (O’Neill Theatre Center), Ragtime, Carousel , and My Fair Lady (Paper Mill Playhouse), Tick, Tick…Boom! (Alliance Theater), Les Misérables, Swing!, and 1776 (all for Pittsburgh CLO), Bat Boy (PMT), Greenwillow (York Theater). Television: “All My Children.” BFA with honors from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Kennedy Center production of First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb runs June 8 to July 1, 2012. Performances will take place Tuesday through Saturday evenings in the Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, June 9 and no evening performance on Sunday, June 10. Tickets starting at $65 are available at the Kennedy Center box office, online, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600 . Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit us online at www.kennedy-center.org.

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