TrueNorth Announces Cast for Updated Version of Maltby and Shire's BABY, Opens 3/5

TrueNorth Announces Cast for Updated Version of Maltby and Shire's BABY, Opens 3/5

TrueNorth Cultural Arts has announced the cast for their upcoming production of the updated version of the Maltby and Shire musical, BABY. The cast stars Michael Dempsey as Alan, Natalie Green as Lizzie, Bernadette Hisey as Arlene, David Robeano as Nick Shane Joseph Siniscalchi as Danny, and Maggie Stahl-Floriano as Pam. The musical opens at TrueNorth March 5th and runs through March 21st.

The cast also features BrIan Bowers, Douglas M. Brill, Jessica Mester, Kimberly Aldrich-Ceja, Lauren Skirbunt, Lydia Hall, and Susan Watson.

Baby tells the story of three couples on a university campus as they deal with the painful, rewarding, and agonizingly funny consequences of this universal experience. There are the college students, barely at the beginning of their adult lives; the thirty-somethings, having trouble conceiving but determined to try; and the middle-aged parents, looking forward to seeing their last child graduate from college when a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started.

A smart, energetic show with loads of charm, Baby has a modern, up-to-date sensibility, with strong female characters, a hysterically insightful book by Sybille Pearson and a tuneful, contemporary score of show-stopping numbers by David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr. (Starting Here, Starting Now, Closer Than Ever and Big, The Musical). Warm, intimate, and immensely likable, Baby is a perfect show for anyone who's ever had a baby... or anyone who's ever been one!

Kimberly Aldrich-Ceja (Nurse, Ensemble) is happy to be performing again at TrueNorth at French Creek. A singer, songwriter, actress and playwright, she has performed on stages across the greater Cleveland area, including The Cleveland Play House, Mercury Summer Stock and Beck Center for the Arts. Favorite roles include the drummer in We Gotta Bingo (Playhouse Square's 14th Street Theater, Cleveland), the wedding singer in Tony ‘n Tina's Wedding (Hanna Theater, Cleveland) and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (Lorain Palace). Her commissioned play, Blooms of Steel, an historical drama about the families and community that grew around the steel industry in Lorain, played to sold-out audiences at TrueNorth at French Creek in May 2008. She also wrote the book and music for a full-length musical, Pale Mary. Kim earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She works as a freelance graphic designer and writer.

BrIan Bowers (Professor Weiss, Mr. Hart, Ensemble) is excited to be working with Fred again, after last appearing in his production of Man of La Mancha at the Halle Theater/JCC. No stranger to the True North stage, Brian has previously performed in their productions of Working, Swingtime! 1944, Side by Side by Sondheim, and in the January 2010 production of The Last Five Years. His work on the stage includes performances at The Cleveland Playhouse, Playhouse Square Center, the Idea Center, Beck Center, Cesear's Forum, Dobama, Clague Playhouse, Lakeland Theater, Kalliope, and the Barn Theater in Augusta, MI. By day, Brian is the owner/operator of Braedy Photography and writes for his blog for the entertainment community. He is also active in the local film community, serving as moderator for the New Vision Film Club, Cleveland Producer of the 48 Hour Film Project, and producing and consulting work for many filmmakers, writers, and performers.

Douglas Brill (Doctor, Dean Webber, Ensemble) has performed at Beck Center, Clague Playhouse, Huntington Playhouse, Lorain Community Music Theater, Mighty Goliath Theater, Rocky River Community Theater, and the Old Firehouse. Favorite roles include Juror #8 in Twelve Angry Men, Uncle Max in The Sound of Music, Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, Clem in Will Rogers Follies, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, and Chief Sitting Bull in Annie Get Your Gun.

Michael Dempsey (Alan) Michael's written for network television (CBS's CyBill Starring Cybill Shepherd) and is a theatre writer, actor and director. His plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and regional theaters like Actors Theatre of Louisville. Original productions staged in Ohio include Hail to the Chef, Mrs. Claus Has A Gun! and The Romeo and Juliet War. Local stage appearances include The Seagull (Medvedenko), 1776 (Wilson) and Fiddler On The Roof (Avram) at the Beck Center for the Arts and Fiddler On The Roof (Mordcha) at Cain Park. Michael studied acting at Ohio State University, Actors Theatre of Louisville and the National Theatre of Great Britain Acting Programme (Shakespeare). A member of the Writer's Guild of America, Michael's a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship for playwriting. Michael has just completed his first novel. A Youngstown native, he is on the board of several Youngstown-area theaters and is deeply committed to growing the arts there to aid in the city's cultural and economic rebirth. He recently directed Into The Woods in the area and will direct the musical Curtains and Macbeth in 2010. Currently, he divides his time between Ohio and New England.

Natalie Green (Lizzie) is a 2005 graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts with a degree in Theatre Arts - Musical Theatre Concentration. Prior to attending Point Park, she studied Classical Vocal Performance, Theatre and Education at Mount Union College. Onstage, Natalie is best known in the Cleveland area for her portrayal of Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the Beck Center (2005-2007). Since returning to Cleveland, she has been seen as Seada in Necessary Targets at Fine Arts Association, Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice at Lakeland Theatre, Laverne Andrews in Boogie Woogie Baby at the Cleveland Play House Club, and as Hanna in A Shayna Maidel with the Jewish Community Center of Cleveland. She has also worked in the Cabaret Shows at Pickwick and Frolic. As a singer, she was the Lead Vocalist with Collision Jazz and was a Semi-Finalist on American Idol, Season 3. Natalie is currently a lead singer with the Grand Avenue Band.

Lydia Hall (Narrator, Operator, Ensemble) began performing as a child in North Dakota, where she grew up, and has been fortunate to perform in five European countries and with the Wesley Balk Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, the American Singers' Opera Project in New York City, New York, Boston Opera Collaborative in Boston, Massachusetts and with OperaWorks in Los Angeles, California. Locally, Ms. Hall has appeared in productions with The Cleveland Public Theatre, Tri-C West, Opera Cleveland and with The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Festival Choruses. Other favorite roles include the Witch in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, Dinah in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, and Woman 1 in Adam Guettel's Myths & Hymns. Lydia holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from The Boston Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.

Bernadette Hisey (Arlene) has performed at Beck Center, Cain Park, Cassidy Theatre, CAMEO Productions, Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, JCC at Tri-C East, Lorain Community Music Theatre, TrueNorth, and most extensively with Mighty Goliath Productions where she has been the drama director, music director, choreographer, historian, and marketing manager as well as having played leading and supporting roles. Favorite roles include Mrs. Anna in The King and I, Kate/Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me, Kate, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance and Annie Oakley in Annie, Get Your Gun.

Bebe Weinberg Katz (Choreographer & Costume Designer) , B.A., M. Ed. Bebe's credits extend into deep into the arts. She has danced, choreographed, staged, designed, directed, taught, written and illustrated. As an educator, Bebe has taught dance, movement education and /or fitness and wellness to children, teens and adults in the public schools, Baldwin-Wallace College, Cleveland State University, the Jewish Community Center, in her own studio, in private dance studios and Camp Wise. Her dance credits extend from Purcell's Opera The Fairy Queen and The Cathy Powel Dance Company in Pittsburgh to the Dancing Mimes at DanceCleveland, as well as her own company, Center Motion at the JCC. While holding the position of resident choreographer at Euclid High School Bebe worked with the show choir "Varsity Choral" and choreographed the school's productions of The Music Man, Hello Dolly, Anything Goes, Pajama Game, Pippin, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz and Grease. She currently works in both Shaker Heights schools and Cleveland Heights / University Heights school. Bebe is the choreographer for Shaker's "Chanticleers," and Cleveland Height's nationally ranked show choir "Singers." At CHHS she choreographed and designed the costumes for Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story and The King and I and, as well as doing costume design for the latter two. At the moment Bebe is in the middle of choreography for the Ohio premier of Thirteen (FPAC) and Baby (TrueNorth). Bebe has production credentials spanning the 35 years she has lived in Cleveland. She was dance and drama specialist at Camp Wise, and performed the choreographer duties for Mame at Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Anything Goes at Euclid Community Theater, Joseph, Holy Moses, Rock Pinocchio, The Grand Tour and Fiddler on the Roof at the Cleveland JCC. She also directed The Apple Tree for the JCC and was costume assistant for The Wall and The Merry Widow. She also has written and illustrated a number of books. The M.I.M.E Set, an activity book the integrates movement and academics, and three middle grade chapter books titled Princess Claudia and the Freckles, A Best Friend for Claudia and Sibling Wars. This summer Bebe will be returning to Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory (FPAC) as the supervisor for the Production Workshop and also the new Dance specialty.

Jessica Mester (Lady, Ensemble) has been active in the community theater scene since moving to Cleveland about two years ago. She has appeared on stage twice before at True North - Martha in The Christmas Schooner and Dawn/Rusty parts in Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas!. Other favorite roles have been Lieut. Nancy Phillips in Brecksville Little Theater's M*A*S*H and Laurie/Dance Captain in Lorain Community Music Theater's A Chorus Line. Jessica is also a member of the Oddyfest theater troupe on Cleveland's east side, which performs new independent works on a monthly basis. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Jessica first performed on stage with Ballet Midwest and danced multiple principal roles including Clara in The Nutcracker and Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee. Favorite high school musical and theater roles included Antonia in Man of La Mancha, Laurie Morton in Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.

David Robeano (Nick) is excited to return to Cleveland and to be under the direction once again of FrEd Sternfeld. Previously for Fred, David appeared in two acclaimed, award-winning productions: Hank in Beck Center's Saturday Night (Cleveland Scene - Best Musical 2002) and Sancho in Man of La Mancha (5 Times Tribute Awards 2002) at the JCC Halle. Currently David is the Director of Entertainment for The Jekyll and Hyde Club in NYC, appearing there as Aloysius Goole and responsible for a cast of thirty incredible actors. He has been seen Off Broadway in the Moran/LaChiusa opera Desert of Roses, Home and the River, and If the Shoe Fits, starring Michelle Pawk and musically staged by Marge Champion. Favorite Cleveland credits include the Ohio Premiere of Floyd Collins (Floyd), A New Brain (Gordon Schwinn), and Eating Raoul (Paul Bland) for The Beck Center, The Red Shoes at the Cleveland Playhouse, and the inaugural AIDS Taskforce benefit production of Falsettos (Marvin).

Shane Joseph Siniscalchi (Danny) is thrilled to be working alongside both Fred and Rick again. He has performed at Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory, Cassidy Theatre, Lorain County Musical Theatre, Olde Towne Hall, ESTA, Joe E. Brown Theatre and more. He recently played Jesus in a production of Godspell that went on to place first in the state at the Ohio Community Theatre Association conference in September. Other recent acting credits include Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Dearly Beloved, 1940's Radio Hour, Joseph...Dreamcoat, High School Musical, The Music Man and A Christmas Carol. He is a student at Kent State University and is currently in his third year working as choreographer for Avon High School. Last summer, Shane was director of TrueNorth Cultural Arts' youth summer camps and directed /choreographed the production of Honk! In 2007 he had the pleasure of performing on a dance team in Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Lauren Skirbunt (Lady, Ensemble) is excited to be working with such an amazing cast and crew for Baby! It's been 3 years since she's been on stage and she's thrilled to be back! During the day she works as the Property Manager of Bridgeview and Perry Payne Apartments in downtown Cleveland. She is a graduate of Miami University where she studied psychology and neuroscience. Her recent credits include Sausage Curl Girl / Measuring Spoons in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Ensign Janet McGreggor in South Pacific, Missy in By Jeeves, Jocaste in Oedipus Rex, Robin in Godspell, and The Dining Room, among others.

Maggie Stahl-Floriano (Pam) is really happy and excited to be doing Baby, the favorite show of her best friend... Maggie has had the joyful opportunity to work at various other Cleveland theaters in some wonderful shows. To name a few; Yonah in Children of Eden at Cassidy Theater, Hope in Urinetown at The Beck Center and Mother in Ragtime, the musical at Tri-C East in partnership with the JCC.

FrEd Sternfeld (Director - Baby, the musical) most recently directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning Yellowman at Karamu Performing Arts Theatre. At Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory (FPAC) he directed teen productions of Into the Woods and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as the inaugural professional production of The Odd Couple. Fred is widely represented on Northeast Ohio stages through diverse projects, garnering numerous honors and awards. Recently he directed the award-winning productions of Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Beck Center and Ragtime, the musical at the JCC. He previously served as Artistic Director at Lakewood Little Theatre - Beck Center for the Arts and the Cleveland, Seattle & Dallas Jewish Community Centers. Other selected credits: Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver! & The Sound of Music at Cain Park; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife & The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at Dobama Theatre; A Shayna Maidel, Jolson and Company, Man of La Mancha, Modern Orthodox, Rags, From Door to Door, South Pacific, The God of Isaac, Beau Jest, Crossing Delancey, The Twilight of the Golds, The Immigrant & Conversations With My Father for the Cleveland JCC; Bad Seed at Ensemble Theatre; Amadeus at Willoughby Fine Arts; Table Settings, Isn't It Romantic, The Diary of Anne Frank & Broadway Bound at JCC Center Stage in Seattle; Peter Pan (1987 & 2008), On the Town, Of Mice and Men, La Cage aux Folles, Saturday Night, Foxfire, Noises Off, Children of a Lesser God & The Importance of Being Earnest at Beck Center; Proof at GLTG and All My Sons & Enter Laughing at the Dallas JCC. His next directing projects will be at Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory (FPAC) - Eat (It's Not About Food), opening in April, and Children of Eden, opening in July.

Susan Watson (Lady) is thrilled to be making her True North debut with this incredible cast and crew! She just finished playing Cassie in Rumors at Olde Towne Hall and Mrs. Pugh et al. in Annie with Mighty Goliath Productions. Her favorite roles include Jewel in GI Jukebox and Mother Superior in Nuncrackers both at Workshop Players, where she can always be found either onstage or behind the scenes.

TrueNorth performs at the French Creek Nature Center. Tickets for BABY may be purchased by calling the box office at (440) 949-5200.

For more information, visit www.fredsternfeld.com.

 

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