Jennifer Werner, James Cunningham Lead Engeman's A WONDERFUL LIFE; John Simpkins to Direct
The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport is set to announce its holiday show A WONDERFUL LIFE. Previews begin on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.; with the official opening on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. and running through January 8, 2012. A WONDERFUL LIFE is adapted from the Frank Capra film "It's a Wonderful Life"with music by Joe Raposo.
Frank Capra's film classic has been brought to vibrant theatrical life through the remarkable collaboration of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Sheldon Harnick and Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Joe Raposo. The story of George Bailey and his wonderful life in Bedford Falls remains a timeless fable of dreams, disillusionment and the power of love. An uplifting chronicle of the extraordinary lives of ordinary folk, A WONDERFUL LIFE exhilarates the mind and heart as it celebrate the innate goodness in us all.
A WONDERFUL LIFE is produced by RICHARD T. DOLCE, the theater's Producing Artistic Director.
John Simpkins, the Director, has also directed Damn Yankees for the John W. Engeman Theater. His Broadway credits include: Bloodsong of Love (Joe Iconis, Ars Nova-3 Drama Desk nominations), The Bus (59E59 Theatres), Things to Ruin (director/ co-conceiver - Second Stage), ReWrite (Urban Stages), The Black Suits (SPF- Public Theatre), The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Lucille Lortel). Some Regional credits include: Hairspray (North Carolina Theatre), Annie & Cabaret (Sacramento Music Circus), Evita (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Rent, ...Forum, The Wedding Singer (TriArts Sharon Playhouse). New Works: ReWrite (Goodspeed Opera House); When the World Ends (Blaemire); Hellraisers (Barrington Stage); Next Thing You Know (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Fantasy Football, the musical; Party Come Here (Kirshenbaum/ Goldfarb).
Jennifer Werner, the Choreographer, is currently the Resident Director of THE BOOK OF Mormon. She is the Associate Director for: Follies (City Center/Encores!); Winnie the Pooh (International Tour). Jennifer's diverse body of work as a choreographer includes ABC's "Ugly Betty;" NFL National commercials; "As Long As We Both Shall Laugh" (Roundabout); My Fair Lady (Ogunquit Playhouse-IRNE Nomination); Phantom (NC Theatre); and numerous Regional productions of Cabaret.
James Cunningham, the Music Director; credits include the National Tours Irving Berlin's White Christmas (First National), Spamalot (First National), Evita and Cats. Regionally he has conducted productions of Little Shop of Horrors (The MUNY), Cats (The MUNY), Maury Yeston's Phantom (NCT), Singin' in the Rain (Cape Fear Regional Theatre) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Tarrytown Music Hall).
The Design Team includes: Michael Schweikardt, Scenic Design, whose recent credits include Motherhood The Musical for G4 Productions; ELLA a musical about jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald; critically acclaimed productions of Showboat, Annie Get Your Gun, 1776, Big River and Camelot for Goodspeed Musicals, and Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova.
MICHELLE EDEN HUMPHREY, Costume Design rejoins the John W. Engeman Theater after designing the costume for last season's Damn Yankees. Her other recent projects include The Bus (59E59 Theaters), Dally with the Devil (Rachel Reiner Productions, Theater Row), Ghostlight (NYMF Signature Theater), Bloodsong of Love, Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular (Ars Nova).
Chris Dallos, Lighting Design; has collaborated with Mr. Simpkins on many projects over the years including The Bus and Bloodsong of Love. Off-Broadway, his work has been represented in over 50 productions. His designs for James Taylor's One Man Band Tour were seen in over 40 cities.
CRAIG KAUFMAN, Sound Design; his recent credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Run for Your Wife, Cabaret, Hairspray and Camelot at The John W. Engeman Theater. His off-Broadway credits include Things To Ruin, Rewrite: The Musical and The Black Suits. Other recent credits include SUNDAY IN THE Park with George at Porchlight Theatre in Chicago; Bye Bye Birdie for the American Musical Theatre Project; Perez Hilton the Musical at The New York City Fringe Festival and The Encore Series; My Pal George, Mornings at Seven and Two Headed at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Mark Adam Rampmeyer, Hair and Wig Design; returns for his fifth season at the John W. Engeman Theater. Currently his work can be seen on Broadway in the new musical Lysistrata Jones. Recent Broadway credits include West Side Story and The Farnsworth Invention with Hank Azaria. Mark is also the Associate Artistic Director for the John W. Engeman Theater in addition to his design responsibilities.
The Casting Director is STEPHEN DeANGELIS who has been a member of the John W. Engeman Theater since its inception and has cast all of the main stage productions as well as the ongoing Broadway Concert Series. Stephen is on staff at Grey NYC having cast over 2,200 network television and radio commercials.
The Production Manager is MICHAEL J. LESLIE. The Production Stage Manager is TARA KELLY.
The Cast of A WONDERFUL LIFE features: Will Reynolds (George Bailey) whose credits include The Illusion by Tony Kushner (Off Broadway, Signature Theater) and the Tour of Mamma Mia! His regional credits include Emma (Frank Churchill) at The Old Globe, Big River (Huck Finn) at Goodspeed, Ordinary Days (Jason) at the Adirondack Theater Festival, Candide (Candide) and Oklahoma! (Curly) for Chicago Light Opera Works. Alison Walla (Mary Hatch) returns to the Engeman, where she appeared as both Maria in The Sound of Music and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Her Broadway credits include A Tale of Two Cities, Fiddler on the Roof, Into The Woods, and A Little Night Music at the New York City Opera. She has also appeared in the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol (Chava). Ryan Hilliard (Mr. Potter) whose Off Broadway credits include: See Rock City and Other Destinations; Grey Gardens (Major Bovier); Ritual of Faith (Cardinal Santini); Godspell (Jesus). With the Bill T. Jones Dance Company, Reading, Mercy, and The Artificial Nigger (First Voice). With Anna Netrebko at the Met, Don Pasquale (Major Domo) and with Chita Rivera, Anything Goes (Eli Whitney). John Shuman (Clarence) appeared on Broadway in La Cage Aux Folles (revival). Off-Broadway he appeared in: The Dishwashers (59 E. 59th), The Fantasticks (revival), The Hot L Baltimore, Moonchildren. Regional shows include Taming of the Shrew at Yale Rep, The Alchemist at Pittsburgh Public, Mr. Popper's Penguins (Mr. Popper) at Bay Street Theatre. Bruce Rebold (Uncle Billy) has been seen at the John W. Engeman Theater in Hairspray (Wilbur Turnblad), Fiddler On The Roof (Avram), Miracle On 34TH Street (Judge Harper) and Oliver! (Dr. Grimwig). Other regional credits include: The Light In The Piazza (Signor Naccarelli-Broward Stage Door Theatre, FL), Hairspray (Wilbur Turnblad - Palace Theatre, NH), Fiddler On The Roof (Avram-Fulton Theatre, PA), The Sound of Music (Baron Elberfeld-Ogunquit Playhouse), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), and South Pacific (Emile DeBecque). Lance Rubin (Sam Wainwright) has appeared in Bloodsong of Love, Things to Ruin, and The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks. Film/TV: The Music Never Stopped, Herman and Shelly, NBC's Mercy. Regional he was seen in: The Opposite of Sex at Williamstown, Hellraisers at Barrington. Ronald L. Brown (Tom Bailey) has received popular and critical acclaim for his numerous portrayals of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Juan Peron in Evita, and Daddy Warbucks in Annie and its sequel Annie Warbucks. PHYLLIS MARCH (Milly Bailey) has been a proud member of LI Regional Theater for 25 years. Her credits include Light in the Piazza (Margaret), Grey Gardens (Edith/Edie), Nunsense (Sister Amnesia), Phantom (Carlotta), Fiddler (Golde), Falsettos (Trina), Musical of Musicals (Abby). She has completed three short films for SLTM Project 52 (Bored Games, Cracked Up, Captain Flagwaver and the Boy Scout). Jeremy Morse (Ernie) returns to the John W. Engeman Theater after appearing in Camelot (Mordred), Damn Yankees (Rocky) and My Fair Lady (Harry). His other credits include Bloodsong of Love (Lo Cocodrilo/Hick) for which he received a 2010 Drama Desk Nomination. He also appeared at the North Carolina Theatre in Hello Dolly! (Barnaby), Barrington in Hellraiser and theGateway Playhouse in Spamalot (Patsy). Evan Teich (Bert) recently completed a two-year run with Theatre Three Productions' Educational Touring program. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Red Masquerade (Staged Reading), Assassins, TOMMY, The Drowsy Chaperone, Doubt, Jewtopia (Long Island Premiere), The Graduate, A Christmas Carol and The Producers.
The Cast also includes: DIANA ROSE BECKER (Ruth Reynolds) My Fair Lady; Miracle on 34th Street; The 25th...Spelling Bee; The Marvelous Wonderettes. Summer Broyhill (Violet Bick) Hairspray; National Tours: Hairspray, I Love A Piano. ERIC BYRD (Paul) 42nd Street; The Drowsy Chaperone; A Christmas Carol. JENNIFER COLLESTER-TULLY (Mrs. Hatch) The Pajama Game; TOMMY; The Drowsy Chaperone. Daniel FeldMAN (Tommy Bailey) The Music Man; Peter Pan; Guys and Dolls. Juliane Godfrey (Dorothy) A Chorus Line; Anything Goes and Hair. AUSTIN RILEY GREEN (Stuart) Oklahoma!; White Christmas; A Little Night Music. ANNA CLARE HUDGINS (Ensemble) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; ChristmasLIVE; blink/drEam. Elizabetta Malagon (Beth Bailey) Annie; Meet Me In St. Louis; The King & I. PETER McCLUNG (MR. Martini) Sweeny Todd; Little Shop; Chicago; also a member of The Capitol Steps. Travis Mitchell (Mr. Hepner) The Bus; National Tour: Spring Awakening; Clue, The Musical. MACKENZIE ANN MULLAHEY (Zuzu Bailey) The King & I; My Favorite Year. Jared Ross (Tommy Bailey) Camelot; The Sound of Music. ALANA Peyton Smith (Beth Bailey) Annie. KRISTIN SWEENY (Ernie's Wife) Les Miserables; Much Ado About Nothing; Ragtime. JORDAN STANLEY (Harry Bailey) Three Rounds with Joe Iconis; At The Edge; Wingspan Arts' As You Like It. MEGAN TRAGESER (Zuzu Bailey) Annie; Willy Wonka; Cinderella. Donnalynn Waller (Mrs. Martini) Nunsense; Nine; Ragtime & Assassins.
Press Opening is Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm
A WONDERFUL LIFE will play the following performance schedule: Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Thursdays at 8:00 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.