Sophie Hayden, Shira Gregory, Janine DaVita Join When Midnight Strikes

Sophie Hayden, Shira Gregory, Janine DaVita Join When Midnight Strikes

The Hive Theatre will present WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES by Kevin Hammonds and Charles Miller, being performed as part of The Hive's Exposed Series; staged readings of new and underexposed plays or musicals. The Hive Exposed Series is designed to nurture the artistic development of playwrights, book writers and lyricists. WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES will be performed on Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th at The Cell at 8pm.

This free staged reading of WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES will star Sophie Hayden (Tony nominee for The Most Happy Fella), Shira Gregory (Broadway: Frost/Nixon), Janine DaVita (Broadway: Grease), Alan Winner (Gone with the Wind in the West End with Trevor Nunn), and Chris Critelli (The New Hopeville Comics Off-Broadway). The cast is rounded out by John Ambrosino, Ron Bopst, Dana de Celis, Alyssa Malgeri, Marissa Parness, and Kristin Piacentile. Admission is FREE and tickets will be distributed at the door on evening of each performance starting at 7:30pm on a first come, first served basis.

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES is set in New York City on New Year's Eve, 1999. Jennifer and Christopher West, the seemingly perfect, sophisticated married couple, are throwing an intimate dinner party to ring in a brand new millennium. As doubts swirl regarding fears of Y2K and the end of the world, Jennifer, the consummate hostess, has worries of her own to contend with, after discovering that her husband is having an affair.

The stage is set for the party of the millennium. As the hosts confront their unraveling marriage, old friends and new strangers grapple with their resolutions, past mistakes, and an uncertain future. When midnight strikes, and the world doesn't end, the guests still find themselves saddled with the same problems and distractions. Tired of keeping up the act of "Little Miss Perfect", Jennifer comes to terms with her own demons, throwing out the social niceties that have confined her, and starts letting the guests know exactly how she feels. This brutal, but refreshing, honesty sends the guests into a tailspin, launching these twelve characters into an explosive and life-altering evening. WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES is a party you don't want to miss.

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES was first written in year 2000 for The London School of Musical Theatre. With an unwieldy cast of 24, the musical was re-written four years later with a scaled down cast of twelve, and received a critically acclaimed professional production at The Finborough Theatre in London. After being hailed as "a witty and entertaining piece of musical theatre that restores one's faith in musical theatre " by the British Theatre Guide, it has since enjoyed productions regionally across the United Kingdom, and was also translated into Norwegian and performed in Norway. Although the show has enjoyed great success in Europe, The Hive's production will be the American debut of WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES.

CAST INCLUDES:
John Ambrosino - BRADLEY
Ron Bopst – EDWARD
Chris CritelliChristopher West
Dana de Celis – Jennifer West
Janine DaVita – NICOLE
Shira Gregory – JOSEPHINA
Sophie Hayden – ZOE
Alyssa Malgeri – RACHEL
Marissa Parness – MURIEL
Kristin Piacentile - TWYLA
Alan Winner – GREG WEST

All performers appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES
By Kevin Hammonds (book and lyrics) and Charles Miller (music)
Directed by Ryan McKinney
Musical Direction by Andy Roninson
Produced by The Hive Theatre (Matthew A.J. Gregory, Artistic Director)
Stage Management by Scott Andrews

the cell (www.thecelltheatre.org)
338 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
December 9th and 10th at 8pm

BIOS

John Ambrosino (Bradley) - Las Vegas: Jersey Boys (Bob Crewe) and Jersey Boys (Billy Dixon and Others). 1st National Tour: The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Flat Stanley). Regional: Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod), Rent (Mark), Pageant (Miss Deep South), The Wild Party (Oscar D'Armano), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! (Man #1), and David the Musical (Young David).

Ron Bopst (Edward) – Ron is a New York based actor who most recently appeared in The Hive Theatre's critically-acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Prior to that, Ron appeared in Toy Box Theatre Company's The Short Fall by David Caudle, a backer/industry reading of the new rock musical Connections and a reading of the new play, Pushing Daisy by Lauren Epsenhart at Planet Connections Festivity. Also with Toy Box, Ron appeared in Woyzeck (Mayor and Carny), 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Friar and Donado), as well as their NY International Fringe Festival production of How to Draw Mystical Creatures (Santa Claus). Ron made his Off Broadway debut in Emerging Artists Theatre's Claymont and received critical acclaim in the productions of Together This Time (an original rock musical at the New York International Fringe Festival), The Country Wife (Sir Jasper – Odyssey Productions), and as Dr. Einstein in Dysfunctional Theatre Company's Arsenic and Old Lace. Ron was seen in the GLAAD-nominated, smash hit Bernadette and the Butcher of Broadway and its sequel, Tonylust! Regionally, Ron has performed such diverse roles as Andrei in Chekhov's Three Sisters, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet and Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore.

Chris Critelli (Christopher) - Chris Critelli is ecstatic to be bringing When Midnight Strikes to life in The Hive Theatre's 2nd Annual Exposed Series! A proud founding member of The Hive, Chris is an NYC based actor/singer/writer. Off-Broadway: The New Hopeville Comics (Perfect Man). Off-Off: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck), Kidnapping Laura Linney (Steve - Best Actor nom, MITF), the Playwrights Horizons workshop of Sense & Sensibility directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime) as well as myriad readings, concerts & performances. Regionally: Tinyard Hill (David Kingsley - World Premiere, SFTCC Best Actor nom), All Shook Up (Chad – opposite Sally Struthers), Othello (Cassio), Urinetown (Bobby Strong),and A Man of No Importance (Robbie Fay).

JANINE DAVITA (Nicole) - Janine first appeared in New York Off-Broadway in The Day Before Spring at the York Theatre. From there she was cast in the World Premiere of A Tale of Two Cities, directed by Michael Donald Edwards and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. Then, still within a year of graduating from college, Janine made her Broadway Debut as Betty Rizzo in the 2007 Broadway Revival of Grease, directed by Kathleen Marshall. In this production, she starred opposite American Idol heart-throb Ace Young. She has also performed regionally at notable theatres such as Portland Center Stage, Arena Stage, and Walnut Street Theatre. Janine was nominated for a Barrymore Award for her portrayal of Nancy in Walnut Street Theatre's Oliver!. Janine has also been very involved with readings and workshops of new works in NYC. She has recorded for composers including Benj Pasek, Paul Fujimoto, Brett Boles, William Scott Duffield, to name a few. Janine also works in the commercial and print industry, having filmed several commercials and print campaigns for various products. Most recently, Janine completed a nearly year-long run starring as Elizabeth Benning in the National Tour of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein directed by Susan Stroman.

DANA DE CELIS (Jennifer West) – Dana is new to the NY scene, is happy to be a part of this reading. Previous regional/tours include Hello Muddah,Hello Faddah (Sarah) Fiddler on the Roof (Chava) Fame (Serena) Grease (Patty Simcox). Television- CSI NY, How I Met Your Mother, Resurrection Blvd, Ali G in da House, Lizzie McGuire. Dana recently had the opportunity to co- host a live 1 hour special for Nintendo Wii in Times Square.

Shira Gregory (Josephina) - Shira Gregory is an Israeli-American actor and visual artist. Acting works include: Broadway: Frost/Nixon (Evonne Goolagong); Off-Broadway: The Morning After/The Night Before (Bridget); Off-Off: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hermia); Film: IFC's Breaking Upwards (Poly-amorist); Birchwood (Dr. H). Shira studied at CayMichael Patten Studio with Ms. Patten, and through the summer intensive courses at the Yale School of Drama. She is a founding member of The Hive Theatre, with whom she is currently developing several projects. To view her portfolio and other fun odds & ends, please visit www.shiragregory.com.

Kevin HammondS (Lyrics/Book) - Originally from Texas, Kevin has had a remarkable fifty-four productions in New York, London and around the world. Together, he and Charles Miller have collaborated on numerous shows, including Hope (London, Switzerland, Germany); Brenda Bly: Teen Detective, which received rave reviews at London's Bridewell Theatre, was published by Samuel French Ltd., and is currently playing in theatres worldwide; Mr. Christmas (London, Pennsylvania, winner - Best Musical, NEPTA Awards); R.S.V.P.A.S.A.P.; Fabula; This Is New York, and No One In The World. Plays include Crescendo Falls (NYC, Seattle, Chicago, Houston), Heads Up (New York and London productions), December Moon, Piece of Cake (New York and London productions), Game Night, The Man On Her Arm and Board Stiff. Recordings of his lyrics can be found on Julie Atherton's first solo CD A Girl of Few Words, Mark Joseph's CD Clear Blue Sky, Gemma Atkins CD Yesterday Today Tomorrow, and released last year, an collection of Charles Miller/Kevin Hammonds songs called Miller and Hammonds: It's Just The Beginning. Kevin is a proud member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop and The Dramatist Guild. www.kevinhammonds.com

Sophie Hayden (Zoe) – Sophie is a Tony nominated actress who has appeared on Broadway, Off Broadway and in theatres around the country. Broadway: Edith Frank in The Diary Of Anne Frank, Amy in The Show Off, Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella (Tony Nomination), and Adriana in Comedy of Errors. She has also played at Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, the Goodman Theatre, and Indiana Rep among others.

Alyssa Malgeri (Rachel) - Tour: Hairspray (Penny Pingleton). Regional: Spelling Bee (Olive), Sisters of Swing (Patty Andrews), High School Musical (Sharpay), The Human Comedy (Bess), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Crazy For You (Polly), Baby (Lizzie). Alyssa most recently finished up a long run of The Greenwich Village Follies at Manhattan Theatre Source. BFA: NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

RYAN McKINNEY (Director) - Ryan McKinney currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts for the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College and maintains an active career as an actor, director-choreographer and theatre manager. As an actor & director, he has worked at such theatres as The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Moonlight Amphitheatre, Little Theatre on the Square, Shawnee Playhouse, The Fireside Theatre and NBC's Law & Order: SVU. As a theatre manager, Ryan has worked for Manhattan Theatre Club, The Vineyard Theatre, Forbidden Broadway and currently serves as General Manager for the touring production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. He has served on the theatre faculties of Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College, Five Towns College and Western Connecticut State University. He serves as Chair of Musical Theatre for Region 1 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and is a frequent presenter at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's Annual Conference. He holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and a B.A. from Fairfield University where he double majored in Theatre and International Studies. In February, Ryan will stage the Florida premiere of The Bikinis: A New Musical at The Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida.

Charles Miller (Composer) - Charles Miller has composed a number of musicals with Kevin Hammonds: the highly acclaimed Brenda Bly: Teen Detective which opened at The Bridewell Theatre, London, and has been performed around the world; No One In The World, which played three seasons at the Cochrane Theatre, London, and had a successful NYC run at The Producers Club; and Hope, which is enjoying international success with a production in Zug, Switzerland and another in Germany following its London premiere at The Bridewell Theatre. With Adam Bard, Charles has written numerous stand-alone songs, forming successful revues including Anthology at The Bridewell and Living On An Island at The Talk Of London. Charles' songs are featured on a number of recordings: the best selling album A Girl Of Few Words by Julie Atherton, Clear Blue Sky by Marc Joseph and the compilation album It's Just The Beginning - The Songs Of Miller & Hammonds featuring West End & Broadway stars including Caroline O'Connor, Brenda Edwards and Pia Douwes. Other composing credits include the incidental music for The Borrowers at Birmingham Old Rep, Clive Francis' adaptation of Three Men In A Boat and a musical version of The Canterville Ghost which toured the UK starring Ron Moody. www.charlesmiller.org.uk

MARISSA PARNESS (Murial) - Marissa Parness is a New York based Actress/Singer. A proud graduate of Circle in the Square theatre school and Interlochen Academy, Marissa has been an on and off actor for the past six years. Honored to be a member of The Hive, When Midnight Strikes marks her second Hive Exposed series production. Marissa also appeared as Petra Quince in The Hive's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She can be seen in the Webby Award winning webseries Drawn By Pain (www.drawnbypain.com) and upcoming work in the webseries Status Kill (www.statuskill.com), both written and directed by 'My Damn Channel' Director of Content, Jesse Cowell.

Kristin Piacentile (Twyla) – Currently, Kristin is pursuing a BFA in Drama at NYU, she has studied at CAP21, RADA in London, and Stonestreet Studios for film and television. She has appeared as Helena in All's Well That Ends Well (RADA), Ariel in Footloose (White Plains PAC), Kirsten/Kit in American Girls Revue (American Girl Place), and Eponine in Les Miserables (Westchester Broadway Theatre).

ANDY RONINSON (Musical Director) - Andy Roninson is a music director and composer currently living in Harlem. He is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop, where he was awarded the Harrington Musical Theater Award in 2010 and the Robert B. Sherman Scholarship in 2009. He has written music and lyrics for two full-length musical comedies, For The Birds (2009) and Exorcism on Aisle Five (2008).

Alan Winner (Greg) - Alan Winner was a part of the original cast of When Midnight Strikes when it made its world premiere at the Finborough in London. Originally from Texas, he studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and made his West End debut in Gone With The Wind with Trevor Nunn. Since moving to New York, he has started writing and collaborating and is now a company member of The Hive.

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