9 to 5, Jekyll & Hyde, et al. Lead Pittsburgh CLO's Summer Season
Pittsburgh CLO's 2011 Summer Season will fill the Benedum Center with performances audiences will remember well into 2012. In addition to favorite local performers, this summer will be highlighted by talented Broadway stars, accomplished recording artists and veterans of the stage and screen.
9 to 5: The Musical, May 31 - June 5
Diana DeGarmo makes her Benedum Center debut in the role Dolly Parton first made famous as the beautiful and misunderstood Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical. Ms. DeGarmo was runner-up on the third season of "American Idol" at age 16 and has since topped the chart of Billboard's Hot 100 Singles. Her already impressive list of theater credits includes Hairspray and HAIR the Musical on Broadway in addition to The Toxic Avenger off-Broadway and the National Tour of Brooklyn: The Musical (Brooklyn). Regionally, she has also appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story and Back to Bacharach and David.
Dee Hoty returns to Pittsburgh CLO as would-be felon Violet Newstead in 9 to 5: The Musical. In addition to her Pittsburgh CLO appearances in A Little Night Music and Cats, Ms. Hoty has earned three Tony® Award nominations for starring roles in Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and The Will Rogers Follies. She also starred on Broadway and in eight major U.S. cities as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!
Joseph Mahowald returns to Pittsburgh CLO in 9 to 5: The Musical after he last appeared in Chess 14 years ago. Mr. Mahowald will take on the role of the boss audiences love to hate, Franklin Hart, Jr. He starred in Boublil & Schönberg's The Pirate Queen on Broadway and previously starred on Broadway in the title role of Jekyll & Hyde and Javert and Enjolras in Les Misérables. He originated the role of Aaron James in Mike Reid's opera, Different Fields, commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera Guild. Mr. Mahowald also created the roles of Ace Gruver in Tony® Award-winning William Luce's Sayonara and Captain Phoebus in Dennis DeYoung's (Styxx) adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The national tour of 9 to 5: The Musical was directed by Pittsburgh native and Pine-Richland graduate Jeff Calhoun. He also served as the producer and director/choreographer for the Broadway production of Brooklyn the Musical, and the director/choreographer of the 1994 Broadway revival of Grease!, for which he received a Tony® Award nomination for Best Choreography. He last directed the smash hit Disney's High School Musical for Pittsburgh CLO in 2007.
Jekyll & Hyde, June 14 - 26
Kevin Gray reprises the title role he performed in Pittsburgh CLO's critically-acclaimed 2002 production of Jekyll & Hyde. Mr. Gray has also starred in the Pittsburgh CLO productions of The King and I and Miss Saigon. His remarkable list of Broadway and National Tour credits include: The Lion King, The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, Showboat, Kiss Of The Spiderwoman, The King & I, Titanic, Chu Chem, Night Of The Iguana, and The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Elizabeth Stanley makes her CLO debut as the ill-fated Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde. On Broadway she created the roles of Allison in the John Waters' musical, Cry-Baby, and April in the Tony® Award-winning revival of Company. She also starred as Dyanne in the 2010 Broadway premiere of Million Dollar Quartet and as Kira on the first national tour of Xanadu. Her television credits include: "Fringe," "The Chappelle Show" and "PBS Great Performances."
Jekyll & Hyde will be directed by Robert Cuccioli, who returns to the director's chair after directing the 2002 Pittsburgh CLO production of Jekyll and Hyde. He is a Tony® Award nominee for his original portrayal of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde on Broadway. He also starred as Javert in the Broadway production of Les Misérables. Mr. Cuccioli's previous Pittsburgh CLO performance credits include The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, Bells are Ringing and The Pajama Game. He will also appear in this year's productions of The Sound of Music as Captain von Trapp and Jesus Christ Superstar as Pontius Pilate.
The Sound of Music, July 19 - 31
Lisa Howard makes her CLO debut, fresh off the set of "Twilight: Breaking Dawn." Ms. Howard will transform from Irish vampire Siobhan to stern Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. Her Broadway credits include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific at Lincoln Center. Her other New York credits include: And the Earth Moved and Silence, The Musical! In addition, she has appeared in Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical and in Jim Henson's Emmet Otter at Goodspeed Opera House.
Jennifer Hope Wills returns to Pittsburgh CLO after starring in the 2005 production of Carousel to play lovable and quirky governess Maria in The Sound of Music. She starred as Christine in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera for nearly four years. Her other Broadway credits include: starring as Eileen in the critically acclaimed revival of Wonderful Town opposite Brooke Shields, The Woman in White and Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Wills also appeared as Della in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn with City Center's, Encores! Her regional credits include: Finian's Rainbow, Grease!, The Secret Garden and Noises Off!. Her voice can be heard as Liesel in the famous Salzburg Marionette Theatre's version of The Sound of Music, starring Christiane Noll.
The Sound of Music will be directed by Pittsburgh CLO veteran James Brennan. Mr. Brennan has directed productions of The Student Prince, Into the Woods, Crazy For You and The Sound of Music for Pittsburgh CLO, in addition to I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at the CLO Cabaret. On Broadway, he directed and choreographed the revivals of Cole Porter's Jubilee and Jerome Kerns' Sally. His Broadway performance credits include: 42nd Street, Singin' in the Rain, Me and My Girl, and Crazy For You.
Jesus Christ Superstar, August 2 - 14
Doug Kreeger makes his heavenly Pittsburgh CLO debut as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. He originated the role of Ian in Off- Broadway's Rooms: A Rock Romance and starred as Richard Loeb in Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story. His performances have been called "compelling" by both The New York Times & New York Post and "riveting" by Rex Reed in The New York Observer. He appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and toured internationally as Danny in Grease and Berger in Hair. He also appeared as Chita Rivera's boy-toy in the sold-out production of Kander & Ebb's The Visit at the Signature Theatre.
Billy Porter began his career at Pittsburgh CLO as a CLO Mini Star and now returns to his hometown as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. His previous Pittsburgh CLO credits include 110 in the Shade and Dreamgirls. Mr. Porter has been seen on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe's Café. His Off- Broadway credits include: Ghetto Superstar, Birdie Blue, Radiant Baby, The Merchant of Venice, Songs For A New World, Romance In Hard Times. Mr. Porter is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and is currently starring in Signature Theatre's 20th Anniversary production of Angels in America.
Jesus Christ Superstar will be directed by Charles Repole, who directed Pittsburgh CLO's unforgettable production of Curtains last season. He has directed numerous productions for Pittsburgh CLO including Barry Manilow's Copacabana, Annie Get Your Gun, 42nd Street, Annie, Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Carousel and Cinderella. He also directed the critically-acclaimed production of 42nd Street in 2008 at North Shore Music Theatre. His New York City and Broadway directing credits include the highly acclaimed concert versions of Dubarry was a Lady and Call Me Madam and the revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, among many others.