John Tartaglia, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Josh Rhodes, Denis Jones & More Join Creative Teams for The Muny's 2016 Season! Tickets on Sale, 3/5
BroadwayWorld and The Muny announces today the directors, choreographers and music directors for the Muny's 2016 Season, which opens on June 13 with The Wizard of Oz.
"Our 2016 season is ambitious, exciting and robust," said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. "Each of these remarkable creative teams is comprised of uniquely talented people, and they've already set out to create productions that will thrill our audiences. I'm honored to be working with them."
JOHN TARTAGLIA (Director) returns to The Muny after last being seen as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical (2014). He also starred as the Genie in The Muny's Aladdin (2012). As a director, John directed The Muny's productions of Shrek (2013) and Tarzan (2014). Other directing credits: Claudio Quest (New York Musical Theatre Festival, winner- Outstanding Direction, Best of the NYMF), Lord Tom (York Theater), Jim Henson's Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train Live! (Nat. Tour), Elmo the Musical, Live! (Sesame Place), Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theater), Resident Director of Avenue Q, off Broadway 2012-2015. As an actor, John is sometimes known best to parents and kids as "Johnny" from Disney's Johnny and the Sprites (nomination, Daytime Emmy award, Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series) on Disney Junior Worldwide. John made his Tony® award-nominated Broadway debut in Avenue Q, creating the roles of Princeton and Rod. Broadway credits include Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical, a role which he originated. At 16, John joined PBS's Sesame Street as a puppeteer, where he performed for more than 12 seasons. John is the creative talent behind ImaginOcean, which has enjoyed an acclaimed run off-Broadway, on national and international tours and will soon be a new Jim Henson Company series on PBS entitled "Splash!" with John serving as an executive producer and performer of the lead character. John is also the host of Sirius XM OnBroadway's acclaimed show, Sunday Funday. Find John Tartaglia online on Twitter and Instagram @johnnytartags
VALERIE GEBERT (Music Director) returns to The Muny after previous productions of Seussical (2014) and West Side Story (1995). She has toured North America with productions of Wicked, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, The Sound of Music with Marie Osmond, the award-winning revival of Cabaret, Disney's The Lion King, The Addams Family and most recently R&H's Cinderella. Regionally, she has performed at St. Louis Rep, Berkeley Rep and California Music Theater. Currently, Valerie is working on The Sandman (A Little Nightmare Musical) written by Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor. Valerie is originally from Fargo, North Dakota.
RALPH PERKINS (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing Hello Dolly! (2014 St. Louis Critics Circle nominee), South Pacific (2013) and The King and I (2012). Ralph just recently choreographed La Cage Aux Folles for Goodspeed Musicals. Other credits: South Pacific (Paper Mill Playhouse and The Asolo Repertory Theater), Camelot and 1776 (Goodspeed Musicals ), Sweet Charity (Barrington Stage Company), Sunday in the Park with George (The Repertory Theater of St. Louis), as well as Urinetown, The Musical and Kiss Me Kate in which he received Kevin Kline Award nominations for outstanding choreography. Residing in Las Vegas for several years, Ralph choreographed many shows, including EFX at the MGM Grand, Siegfried and Roy at The Mirage, Legends in Concert and Tournament of Kings. He was artistic director and cofounder of The New Works Project, a contemporary dance company in Las Vegas. Ralph has choreographed numerous musicals for The Monomoy Theater in Chatham, Mass. and New London Barn Playhouse in New Hampshire. He is currently the director of dance for the theater division, as well as a member of the dance division faculty at The Hartt School, University of Hartford in Connecticut.
DENIS JONES (Director/Choreographer) returns to The Muny having served as director/choreographer for Grease (2014), Spamalot (2013) and Chicago (2012), and as the choreographer of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (2015) and Pirates! (2012). Recent choreography credits include Moonshine: That Hee-Haw Musical (Dallas Theater Center), A Funny Thing... (Two Rivers), The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park), Honeymoon in Vegas (Broadway), Paint Your Wagon (NY City Center Encores!), Luck Be a Lady (Asolo Rep), The Sound of Music (Lyric Opera, Chicago), Damn Yankees (Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theatre), Elf (5th Avenue Theatre), A Funny Thing..., Johnny Baseball, She Loves Me (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Disaster! (St. Luke's) and national tours of My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha and Damn Yankees. Denis also directed and choreographed the off-Broadway production of Piece of My Heart. Upcoming projects include Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Broadway).
BEN WHITELEY (Music Director) Muny: The Addams Family (2014), Spamalot (2013), Pirates! (2012), Sound of Music (2005, 2010), Beauty and the Beast (2005, 2010, 2015), Kiss Me, Kate (2011), Oklahoma! (2007), Music Man (2004), Meet Me in St. Louis (2004), South Pacific (2003). Broadway/National Tours: A Christmas Story, Addams Family, Spamalot, The Full Monty, CATS (conducted final Broadway performance), Grand Hotel, Falsettos, Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away (with Elaine Stritch), Carnegie Hall Salutes Comden and Green. Choral Direction: Carousel (NY Philharmonic/PBS.) City Center Encores!: Music Director for this season's 1776, Assoc. Music Director and choral prep. for 29 productions including last season's Paint Your Wagon. Other: Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theater, University of Michigan. Recordings: Allegro, Boardwalk Empire (Grammy Award®), Merrily We Roll Along.
THE MUSIC MAN
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Meredith Wilson
ROB RUGGIERO (Director) returns to The Muny after directing Oklahoma! (2015); Hello, Dolly! (2014); South Pacific (2013); The King and I (2012) and The Music Man (2004). St. Louis audiences also know his work at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, where he most recently directed The Other Place, his seventh show. He also directed The Rep's acclaimed productions of Sunday in the Park with George, Urinetown: The Musical and Take Me Out. His Broadway credits include Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony®-nominated performance) and High (starring Kathleen Turner). Other New York credits include conceiving and directing the original musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn (Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Regionally, Rob has earned national recognition for his work on both plays and musicals, including six Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, a Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago, and has the distinction of being the only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards. He conceived and directed the world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Ella. He recently directed a 50th anniversary revival of Fiddler on the Roof at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut, where he has also directed productions of 1776, Big River, Camelot, Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Carousel, La Cage aux Folles and The Most Happy Fella. Last year, Rob directed another production of Fiddler On The Roof in Athens, Greece. He is the producing artistic director for TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut.
CHRIS BAILEY (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing Into the Woods (2015), My Fair Lady (2015), Tarzan (2014), West Side Story (2013) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012). Chris also choreographed the historic opening number of the 2013 Tony® Awards and served as assistant choreographer for the 2013 and 2014 Academy Awards®. Chris was the associate choreographer for the Broadway revival of Evita; the Broadway productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Promises, Promises and Cry-Baby. In London's West End, Chris choreographed Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory, was the associate choreographer for Guys and Dolls, Evita, Once in a Lifetime and Candide. Tour credits as choreographer include Evita, The Wedding Singer (US), Guys and Dolls (UK, Australia) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK). Chris was also the movement director for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cyrano De Bergerac on Broadway.
JAMES MOORE (Music Director) James returns to The Muny where his previous productions include: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (2015), Hello, Dolly! (2014), West Side Story (2013), The Producers (2008), Meet Me in St. Louis (2009) and The Music Man (2009). For his work on Hello, Dolly! and West Side Story, he received nominations for outstanding musical director from the St. Louis Theater Circle. He recently served as music director and conductor for the acclaimed Broadway revival of Leonard Bernstein's On the Town. Other Broadway credits include Follies starring Bernadette Peters, South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater, Ragtime (original and revival productions), Steel Pier, and the Roundabout Theatre's Company. He was also represented on Broadway last season as the music supervisor for the revival of Lerner and Loewe's Gigi. Off-Broadway, he helmed the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park gala performance of The Pirates of Penzance starring Kevin Kline, Glenn Close and Martin Short. His national touring credits include The Producers, Kiss Me, Kate, Crazy for You, and The World Goes 'Round - The Songs of Kander and Ebb. For The Kennedy Center, he has conducted Camelot starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Fair Lady starring Jonathan Pryce, and Mame starring Christine Baranski. He has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, The Santa Barbara Symphony, The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and at numerous regional theaters including Ford's Theatre and Signature Theatre. Recordings: On the Town and Follies (Grammy® nominee), both on the PS Classics label. Mr. Moore holds Master and Bachelor degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
MARCIA MILGROM DODGE (Director) This award-winning director & choreographer returns to The Muny after directing Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (2015) and The Addams Family (2014). Her work has been seen throughout the United States, Canada, England, Denmark, Asia and the Middle East. Dodge's celebrated Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime moved to Broadway following a sold-out run in Washington, D.C. (Tony Award® nomination.) Her new production of Ragtime is touring the United States for Phoenix Entertainment. Dodge has worked in such acclaimed theatres as the New York City Opera, The Public, Center Stage, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Glimmerglass Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Huntington Theatre, Bay Street, Maltz Jupiter, Goodspeed, Reprise, Music Circus, The Alley, Flat Rock Playhouse and abroad at the Nanta Theatre (Seoul, S. Korea); Fredericia Teater (Denmark); Royal Opera House (Muskat, Oman) and the Wintergardens Theatre (Blackpool, England). Dodge is a wife, a mother, a teacher, a published and produced playwright and a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.
JOSH RHODES (Choreographer) On Broadway Josh choreographed Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (Outer Critics Circle, Astaire Award, and Drama Desk nominations), It Shoulda Been You, First Date, and the upcoming Bright Star written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Other stage credits include Company starring Neil Patrick Harris (Screenvision/PBS), the Emmy winning productions of Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Sondheim's 80th Birthday Concert (PBS), Zorba (Encores), The Landing (Vinyard Theater) Broadway: Three Generations (Kennedy Center), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Shakespeare Theater Company/Helen Hayes Nomination) and the Drama Desk Award winning production of Working (Prospect Theater) Josh directed Ken Ludwig's Baskerville (Old Globe), and Spamalot (5th Avenue/ Gregory Award nomination).
CHARLIE ALTERMAN (Music Director) returns to The Muny where he served as music director for the productions of Hairspray (2015), Chicago (2012) and Legally Blonde (2011). Broadway music director credits include Pippin, Godspell, Next to Normal, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me (music director/actor), and Legally Blonde (Associate Conductor). Tours: Next to Normal (Music Supervisor) and Grease (US/Asia). Off-Broadway favorites: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver and Silence!: The Musical. Regional includes: La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Trinity Rep, Huntington Theatre, and nine seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Concert appearances include shows with Brooke Shields, Frankie Avalon, Emily Skinner, Dana Reeve, Billy Porter, Carol Woods and Ken Page. Upcoming: Gotta Dance, coming to Broadway this fall.
DAN KNECHTGES (Director/Choreographer) returns to The Muny after directing productions of Hairspray (2015) and Seussical (2014). Dan's Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones (Direction and Choreography), Xanadu (directed by Chris Ashley, Tony® nomination, Drama Desk nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in The Shade (starring Audra McDonald), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (directed by James Lapine). His off- Broadway credits also include Tail! Spin! (starring Rachel Dratch), My Favorite Year at the York Theatre, Lysistrata Jones for the Transport Group, Merrily We Roll Along for Encores!, Vanities and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. Other credits include Give It Up! (Dallas Theatre Center), Vanities (Theatreworks Palo Alto), Girl In The Frame (Goodspeed), Guys and Dolls (Playhouse Square Center), Elf (Pioneer Theatre), Boys From Syracuse (Centerstage Baltimore), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), Oklahoma!, The Wiz, CATS, My Fair Lady, Chalk Circle, Sound of Music, Joseph... (Hangar Theatre), Mame, Angel Street, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Surflight Theatre), Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera), Carousel, The Merry Widow and West Side Story (Opera Illinois). He also has had the pleasure of working on almost every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta including The Grand Duke, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, The Mikado, Patience, The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Sorcerer, all with the Blue Hill Troupe in NYC. Dan's film and TV choreography can be seen in the Todd Solondz's movies Dark Horse and Palindromes, Fatboy Slim's music video It's a Wonderful Night, which reached No.1 in the U.K., White Collar, and the 2011 TVLand Awards starring Liza Minnelli. Dan holds a BFA in musical theatre from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, and hails from Cleveland. He also serves on the Board of SDC.
JESSICA HARTMAN (Choreographer) is absolutely thrilled to return to The Muny after working on Hairspray (2015) and Seussical (2014). On Broadway, she served as the Associate Choreographer for Lysistrata Jones and was the Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain and swing for The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman. Off-Broadway/NY credits include Maltby and Shire's Waterfall (Associate Choreographer), Somewhere in Time (Associate Choreographer), Give It Up! (Associate Choreographer), Showtune (Assistant Director/Choreographer), Citizen Ruth (Associate Choreographer), Break Out in Song (Director/Choreographer). Other choreography credits include Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play (Choreographer/Kennedy Center), West Side Story (Associate Choreographer/Signature Theatre), Beaches (Associate Choreographer/Signature Theatre), Next to Normal (Associate Choreographer/Centerstage), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Assistant Choreographer/Arena Stage), Carousel (Assistant Choreographer/Goodspeed Musicals) and choreography for Oceania Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines. Jessica is the Artistic Director of Broadway Theatre Connection, bringing unparalleled musical theatre training to cities around the US, including St. Louis! She has a BFA from Florida State University.
MICHAEL HORSLEY (Music Director) is the music supervisor for The Muny. In his 22 years with The Muny, some of the shows he has conducted include Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (2015), Grease (2014), Mary Poppins (2013), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012), 42nd Street (1996, 2009), Godspell, Irving Berlin's White Christmas (2000, 2006), Damn Yankees (1998, 2010), Sleeping Beauty, Singin' in the Rain and many more. National tours include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, Cinderella, Irving Berlin's White Christmas and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Among his other regional theatre credits are Roman Holiday at the Guthrie Theater; On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at Music Theatre Wichita; Fiddler on the Roof at AMT San Jose; A Chorus Line at the Pioneer Theatre; and The Full Monty at North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. He also vocal directed the Christmas Concert Series for the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. He is on staff as music director for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
GARY GRIFFIN (Director) has previously directed the Muny productions of Into the Woods (2015), Mary Poppins (2013) and Aladdin (2012). On Broadway, he directed Honeymoon in Vegas, The Apple Tree and The Color Purple. Gary is Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater where he has directed Gypsy, Road Show, Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, Amadeus, Passion and Pacific Overtures. Gary has directed West Side Story, Evita, Anthony and Cleopatra, and this season A Little Night Music for the Stratford Festival of Canada. Recent credits include Moonshine at Dallas Theater Center, Road Show at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, and Parade at Avery Fisher Hall. He has received 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Direction and the Artistic Excellence Award from the League of Chicago Theaters.
ALEX SANCHEZ (Choreographer) has previously choreographed Muny productions including Mary Poppins (2013), Aladdin (2012), The Little Mermaid (2011). He is pleased to serve in his sixth season as director/choreographer of In The Mood. New York credits: Red Eye of Love, Amas Musical Theater/Dicapo Theater (Joseph Callaway Award Winner Best Choreography); Far from Heaven, Playwrights Horizon; Fiorello, New York City Center Encores!; Where's Charley?, New York City Center Encores; Giant, The Public Theater (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination). Regional credits: Guys and Dolls, Goodspeed Opera House (Connecticut Critic Circle Award Nomination); Far from Heaven, Williamstown Theater Festival; Roman Holiday, Guthrie Theater; 42nd Street, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, (Broadway World Toronto 2012 Award Winner); Giant, Dallas Theater Center; Follies, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, (Broadway World Chicago 2011 Award Winner & Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination); On the Town, Marriott Theater (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination); A Little Night Music, Berkshire Theater Group; Camelot, Glimmerglass Opera; Aladdin, The Muny; The Little Mermaid, The Muny & Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Mary Poppins, The Muny, Kansas City Starlight & Marriott Theater. SDC Dancebreak 2010 Alumni. Alex performed in 10 Broadway shows and was a soloist ballet dancer with Ballet Chicago.
BRAD HAAK (Music Director) most recently was the music director for An American In Paris in Paris and on Broadway. Previously at The Muny: Into the Woods (2015), South Pacific (2013), The King and I (2012) and Gypsy (2006). Other Broadway credits: Music director for Disney's Mary Poppins, Elton John's Lestat, and Il Divo's A Musical Affair. Concert highlights: music direction for Chance and Chemistry - 100 Years of Frank Loesser (featuring Sir Paul McCartney); orchestrations for the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Boston Pops, LA Philharmonic, National Symphony. Assistant conductor for 1st national tour of Disney's The Lion King. As music supervisor and orchestrator for composer Paul Gordon: Daddy Long Legs (most recently Off-Broadway, as well as 13 U.S. and 4 international productions) Jane Eyre in Tokyo, Japan; Jane Austen's Emma, and Sense and Sensibility (upcoming at the Old Globe in San Diego.) Other regional highlights include Follies (Jeff Award for music direction) and Sunday in the Park With George, both at Chicago Shakespeare Theater with director Gary Griffin. Graduate of Northwestern University
MATT LENZ (Director) returns to The Muny where he has directed productions of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (2005, 2010 & 2015), Grease(2007), Nunsense: Muny Style! (2013), and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (2006). Matt recently directed the off-Broadway revival of Pageant: The Musical and the national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical. Other directing credits include the off-Broadway hit comedy The Irish Curse, the national tour of Catch Me if You Can, Billy Elliot: The Musical and The Foreigner at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, [title of show] at the George Street Playhouse, Victor/Victoria at Ogunquit Playhouse, LES MISERABLES and God of Carnage at Zach Theatre in Austin, and Idaho! for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (Best Director and Best of Fest awards). He was the Associate Director for the original production of Hairspray on Broadway, national tours, Las Vegas, Toronto and in Cologne, Germany. He directed Hairspray productions in the United Kingdom and at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, NJ, as well as the NETworks national tour and the ground-breaking production in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was also the Associate Director for Catch Me If You Can and The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway and Resident Director for Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and for the national tours. Matt received the 2010 Kevin Kline Award for Best Director of a Musical for Hairspray at The Muny. He is a teaching artist for The Broadway Dreams Foundation and a member of SDC.
JON RUA (Choreographer) Jon Rua's talents have crossed all mediums from Broadway & TV/Film to Concert Work & Music Videos. Credits include Broadway: Hamilton (Ensemble/Charles Lee, u/s Hamilton), Hands on a Hardbody (Jesus Pena), In The Heights (Sonny & Grafitti Pete) Off-Broadway: Hamilton (Ensemble, Charles Lee) Kung Fu (Matthew, Fung Fung, Barry), Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Mace standby), Damn Yankees (Encores!). Regional: Old Globe's Somewhere (Alejandro-Craig Noel Leading Actor Nomination), Bring It On: The Musical (Twig-World Premier), La Jolla's Hands on a Hardbody (Jesus), Muny's West Side Story (Chino). Film: Fall to Rise (Magic) TV: Law & Order. Jon has danced for Phish, Mariah Carey, Don Omar, Soulja Boy, and more as well as commercial ventures for Target, BillBoard, Puma, Reebok, IBM, Panasonic. As a choreographer, his credits include Phish, ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap, Nick Blaemire & The Hustle, Brooklynettes, Broadway Bares, Emmy® AwardWinning Webisode 'Chaos Theory', Capezio A.C.E. Awards, The Adversary, MTV, and Off-Off Broadway in Union Square. He has assisted Tony® Award-Winner Andy Blankenbuehler, Tony® Award Nominee Sergio Trujillo, Insanity's Shaun T., Lorin Lotarro and more. He is a Guest Choreographer on such projects: Hamilton, On Your Feet, Flashdance, Bring It On: The Musical, Hands on a Hardbody, In The Heights, Insanity, NYCC's The Wiz. With years of experience sharing internationally, Jon teaches at Broadway Dance Center, spreading his movement THEGrit. www.JonRua.com http://www.instagram.com/jonrua_choreo
ANDREW GRAHAM (Musical Director). New York: Avenue Q, Wicked. Las Vegas: Spamalot, Avenue Q. National Tours: Wicked, Avenue Q, Pippin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical, The Music Man, Footloose and European tours of Hair and Grease. Regional: Aida, Annie, Footloose (Muny), Aida, Fame (NSMT) Beauty and the Beast, World Premier of Disney's When You Wish (Tuacahn). Degrees from both Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and Trinity College of Music in London.
Season tickets go on sale March 5, 2016. Single tickets go on sale May 28, 2016. World Wide Technology (WWT) and The Steward Family Foundation have once again made a leadership gift to continue as the Muny's 2016 Season Presenting Sponsor. They became the first overall season sponsor in the 97-year history of The Muny in 2014 and will continue in that role through 2016.