THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG Begins Performances 12/13 at St. Luke's
Joe Shepherd is from College Station, TX and has his BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. He has danced professionally in Houston, Texas with modern companies Hope Stone and NobleMotion. Joe has also worked in regional theatre, performing with TUTS in BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, as well as appearing in other Texas venues in musicals such as WEST SIDE STORY, THE FANTASTICKS, and many more.
Antoinette Henry has played Ethel Waters in THE MELODY LINGERS ON, Martha Fae Williams in ALL AMERICAN GIRLS, Muzzy Van Hossemere in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, and the Best Friend in Jazmine Sullivan's Holdin You Down Music Video. She was also deemed one of the top Black Bloggers to watch in 2012 by The Root.com.
Director and Musical Stager Gene Castle grew up on the Broadway stage as a featured actor and lead dancer in several original Broadway shows including GYPSY, FLOWER DRUM SONG, HIGH SPIRITS, HENRY SWEET HENRY, GEORGE M! & OH KAY!. In LA he choreographed STRIKE UP THE BAND for REPRISE/LA, MOVIN' ON, an original Sondheim musical for the Laguna Playhouse, THE DYBBUK at the Mark Taper Forum, CINDERELLA at the Long Beach CLO, OH COWARD! at the Coronet, as well as tributes to Ginger Rogers and other celebrity award shows at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Gene wrote, directed & choreographed nine shows for DR PEPPER & thirteen for PRINCESS CRUISES and won the BAY AREA THEATRE CRITICS OUTER CIRCLE AWARDS for BEST DIRECTION, BEST CHOREOGRAPHY and BEST MUSICAL for his production of ON THE TOWN for the San Jose CLO. Since moving back to New York in 2008, he directed, choreographed [& performed in] TIN PAN ALLEY & BABALU-CY Off Broadway & did the musical staging for LOVE DIVIDED BY, DIETRICH & CHEVALIER and DANNY AND SYLVIA, also Off Broadway, as well as the national tour of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. Other choreographic credits include the EMMY AWARDS starring Jason Alexander, the television specials BONNIE AND THE FRANKLINS & the Doc Severinsen SHOW, and the film KISS ME GOODBYE starring Sally Field and James Caan.
Born in 1905, Harold Arlen began playing with local bands, movie houses, vaudeville troupes and cabaret as a teenager in his home town of Buffalo, NY. His early collaboration with Ted Koehler, beginning in 1930, lead to writing such hits as "Between the Devil and the Deep blue Sea" and "I've Got the world on A String" for the famed Cotton Club In 1939 he won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Over The Rainbow" from THE WIZARD OF OZ and earned 8 more Academy Award nominations including "The Man That Got Away" from "A Star is Born". Arlen was enshrined in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971 and passed away in 1986 at age 81. George Bugatti, Co-Founder (with Sam Arlen) of the Harold Arlen Foundation, said: "If Arlen has just written "Over the Rainbow" he would be assured of his place in the Great American Songbook. Aside from being Judy Garland's life-long signature, Rainbow was rated #1 by the Recording Industry Association of America and the named one of the "Songs of the Century" by the National Endowment for the Arts."
The Musical Director for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG will be Frank Ponzo with arrangements by Steve Rawlins, Arty Schroeck and Chris Hoffman. There will be a 4 piece on-stage band. Set and lighting design are by Josh Iacovelli with costumes by Amy Pedigo and additional artistic scenic design by Steve Colucci. Jessimeg Productions is General Manager.
The performance schedule for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG is: Mondays @ 7, Wednesdays @ 2 and Thursdays @ 8. Tickets at $69.50 & $39.50 are available through TeleCharge at www.Telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200. (The performance on December 20th will begin at 7 PM instead of 8 PM and there will be no show on December 24th.)
The show runs approximately 80 minutes without intermission.
For more information on THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG visit www.thewonderfulwizardofsong.com.