THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES to Razzle Dazzle at Pioneer Theatre Company; Cast Announced!
Pioneer Theatre Company presents The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue, running May 5 - 20, 2017. The musical was the toast of Broadway when it premiered in 1991, winning the 1991 Tony Award for best musical.
The life of the legendary cowboy, entertainer and American folk hero Will Rogers is given the razzle-dazzle treatment in this glittering musical, complete with tap dancing chorus girls, rope-twirling cowboys, a Tony Award-winning score and, at the center of it all, the humorous and gently satirical observations of one of the most original American heroes of the twentieth century.
Equity actors Jessica Azenberg, Tom Berklund, Lisa Brescia, JONATHAN CABLE, Sally Glaze, LEAH HASSETT, Norman Large, Alicia Lundgren, David M. Lutken, LINDSEY D. SMITH, CASSIDY STONER, CODY WALKER and Chryssie Whitehead are joined by 16 non-Equity actors, including 4 children.
David M. Lutken plays the rope-twirling, song-singing, phrase-coining Will Rogers. Lutken previously appeared in the Broadway production of The Will Rogers Follies, as well as in Broadway productions of Inherit the Wind, Ring of Fire and The Civil War. He has also appeared off-Broadway and in regional productions in both the U.S. and the U.K., including Man of La Mancha, The Man Who Came to Dinner and Bonnie and Clyde.
Will's wife, Betty Blake, is played by Lisa Brescia, whose Broadway credits include Donna in Mamma Mia!, Elphaba in Wicked, Cleo in The Times They Are A-Changin', Amneris in Aida and Marion Halcolmbe in The Woman in White. Brescia has also played Helena in All's Well that Ends Well, Tatiana Racon in the World Premiere of A Comedy of Tenors, Gertrude in Hamlet and Sally in Cabaret, among others.
Norman Large plays Clem Rogers, Will's father (and Hastings, Will's butler). Large was part of the original broadway cast of Les Misérables, appeared in the movie Pretty Woman and was a standby for Michael Crawford in The Phantom of the Opera. He was also seen in numerous episodes of "Star Trek" and once toured Europe as Tony in West Side Story.
Ziegfeld's Favorite, a beautiful chorus girl, is played by Chryssie Whitehead, who has just completed a run on Broadway as Kitty in Chicago. Some of her other credits include the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line and Lincoln Center's production of Company, in which she co-starred with Neil Patrick Harris. Whitehead has also appeared in television and film, as well as in regional productions and National Tours.
Wiley Post, an aeroplane pilot, is played by JIM BENNETT, who returns to PTC after appearing in A Few Good Men, One Man, Two Guvnors and a staged reading of Wendy MacLeod's Slow Food. Bennett is a former artistic director of the Tuacahn Center for the Arts and is now a columnist for Deseret News.
Donny Osmond provides the recorded voice of Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld. The Utah-born entertainer's career began in the 1960's when he was 5 years old. Osmond is known for The Osmonds, solo hits like "Go Away Little Girl" and "Puppy Love," the "Donny & Marie" show, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Disney's Mulan and much more. Osmond is currently performing with his sister, Marie, in the Las Vegas rendition of "Donny & Marie."
Will's children, Will Junior, Mary, James and Freddy are played by KIMBALL STINGER, AVA HOEKSTRA, NATHAN ELIASON and MILA HOWELLS, respectively.
Guest Director/Choreographer DJ Salisbury has been involved in nearly a dozen productions of The Will Rogers Follies during his long career in theatre. Some of his favorite directing experiences have been Les Misérables, The Full Monty, Man of La Mancha, Evita and Ragtime. He has worked with Broadway masters like Tommy Tune, Jerry Mitchell, Rupert Holmes, Jeff Calhoun and Susan Stroman, as well as with stars of television and film. Some of the many theatres to produce his work are Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus, Orlando Shakespeare Festival and Ogunquit Playhouse.
Phil Reno returns to PTC as the musical director and conductor after this season's concert musical of Chess and 2014's Sweet Charity. He has been the musical director/conductor for Broadway shows such as Something Rotten, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers and Cats. His other credits include Chess off-Broadway, the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, regional productions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Happy Days, and the film production of The Producers. He has been nominated twice for a Grammy for his work as co-producer of Something Rotten and The Drowsy Chaperone cast albums.
Ann Cooley is the assistant director/choreographer. The New York City-based director/choreographer has worked with DJ Salisbury before, and her credits include The Will Rogers Follies with David M. Lutken, Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors, The Producers, Gypsy, Singin' in the Rain and Ragtime.
Scenic design is by George Maxwell. He has been the resident scenic designer at Pioneer Theatre Company for over 25 years and has designed over 90 productions for the company. His most recent PTC designs were Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof and It Happened One Christmas.
Costume Designer PATRICK HOLT designed PTC's Sweet Charity in 2014. He has also designed for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Public Theater, HBO, CBS and others. Some productions of note are West Side Story, As You Like It, Dracula and On the Town. He is currently the head of the Costume Design Program and an associate professor at the University of Arizona.
Lighting design is by guest designer YAEL LUBETSKY. Lubetsky's most recent designs include NYC, Windfall and the World Premiere of Stuffed at WP Theatre. On Broadway, she has designed for Once, The Will Rogers Follies, Sister Act, The Addams Family, A Chorus Line, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan and Urinetown.
Hair and makeup design is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH; sound design is by PTC resident designer JOSHUA C. HIGHT. AARON HUBBARD is the production's live mix engineer. ADRIAN RIES serves as the production's rehearsal pianist.
IF YOU GO:
Pioneer Theatre Company presents
The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue
May 5 - May 20, 2017
New Curtain Times 2016-2017 Season
Mondays - Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.
At Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City
Prices: $40 - $62 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show
Kids in grades K-12 are half-price on Mondays and Tuesdays
Box Office: 801-581-6961 (Open 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Mon - Fri)
Pioneer Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah's only fully professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.