Davis Gaines to Star in THE MUSIC MAN at Musical Theatre West, Beg. 2/14

Musical Theatre West presents the second production of their 61st season, Davis Gaines (Los Angeles' longest-running Phantom in The Phantom of The Opera) starring as Professor Harold Hill and Gail Bennett (Mary Poppins) starring as Marian Paroo in Meredith Willson's timeless and joyous, THE MUSIC MAN, book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, musical direction by Corey Hirsch, choreography by John Todd and directed by Jeff Maynard.

THE MUSIC MAN will preview on Friday, February 14, open on Saturday, February 15 and perform for three weeks only through Sunday, March 2 at The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, located at 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

Con man Harold Hill promises a boys' band to counteract the possibility of a pool table coming to River City. His persuasive patter fools everyone except the town librarian, Marian Paroo. Meredith Willson's score includes the timeless, "Goodnight, My Someone," "Seventy-Six Trombones," and "Till There Was You."

Davis Gaines (Harold Hill) performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles, (where he remains LA's longest-running Phantom), and in San Francisco, (where he received the Bay Area Critics' Award for Best Actor). Subsequently, he was chosen by Hal Prince and Lloyd Webber to play the leading role in the World Premiere of Whistle Down the Wind. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! (w/Carol Channing), Camelot (w/Richard Burton) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (w/Alexis Smith). Gaines' Off-Broadway appearances include Des McAnuff's The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed from Earth, Maury Yeston/Larry Gelbart's One Two Three Four Five, Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, She Loves Me and Forbidden Broadway. He recently appeared in Kiss Me, Kate (Cabrillo Music Theatre) and I Do! I Do! (Laguna Playhouse) and at Musical Theater West in 1776, Man of La Mancha (Ovation Award, Best Lead Actor in a Musical), Spamalot, Mack and Mabel In Concert, and directed Oklahoma! Other LA appearances include SILENCE! The Musical (LA Weekly Award, Best Male Musical Performance), Parade (Mark Taper Forum) and Side by Side by Sondheim (Rubicon Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse). Film work includes a featured role in Warlock: The Armageddon (with Julian Sands) and television credits include Desperate Housewives, Charmed, Chicago Hope, Veronica's Closet, Bodies of Evidence and Murder, She Wrote. Additionally, Gaines has sung for five U.S. Presidents and his voice can be heard over 30 cast recordings and compilation albums, as well as two solo CDs. For more information, visit www.davisgaines.com and www.facebook.com/DavisGainesActor.

Gail Bennett (Marian Paroo) performed the title role in Mary Poppins over 100 times on the First National Tour and Regional Premiere and played Usherette/ Lick- me Bite-me in the Las Vegas and Hollywood Bowl companies of Mel Brooks' The Producers, directed by Susan Stroman. Gail has worked at many of the best regional theatres in the country from Maine to California. Favorite roles include: Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady opposite Tony winner Jefferson Mays and Conrad John Schuck, Maria in The Sound Of Music opposite Rex Smith, Janet Van der Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone with Sally Struthers, Irene Malloy in Hello, Dolly, Betty Schaeffer in Sunset Boulevard, Betty Haynes in White Christmas, Claudia in NINE, Annie in Annie, Get Your Gun, Jellylorum in Cats, Dinah in Starlight Express, and Belle in A Christmas Carol with Christopher Lloyd and John Goodman. Gail has also starred in several feature films and on television, adores voice-over work, speaks French, and runs marathons. Her most treasured roles are Wife to Aaron and Mother to Baby Lydia.

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