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Clay Aiken, Paige Davis, Donna McKechnie, Darius Harper & More to Lead Pittsburgh CLO's 2022 Summer of Musicals

Productions include The Drowsy Chaperone, Sister Act, Kinky Boots, and more.

By: May. 25, 2022
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Clay Aiken, Paige Davis, Donna McKechnie, Darius Harper & More to Lead Pittsburgh CLO's 2022 Summer of Musicals  Image

Pittsburgh CLO's 2022 Summer of Musicals at the Benedum Center will be highlighted by Broadway and TV stars, as well as beloved Pittsburgh favorites. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE will be led by Broadway and TV's Clay Aiken, Paige Davis, and Donna McKechnie; SISTER ACT will feature Broadway and TV's Tamyra Gray and Anne Tolpegin; and Darius Harper will don the famous red boots as Lola in KINKY BOOTS.

"We are proud to offer audiences a summer of musicals created right here in Pittsburgh employing the talents of performers seen on Broadway, Television, and right here at home in Pittsburgh," said CLO Executive Producer Mark Fleischer. "Pittsburgh deserves the very best and that is what these actors will deliver on stage this summer."

Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 76 years of producing shows locally in Pittsburgh and sharing musical theater with audiences of all ages. The 2022 Summer of Musicals will feature the Pittsburgh CLO premieres of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE and SISTER ACT, in addition to KINKY BOOTS, GODSPELL, A CHORUS LINE, and the national tour of JERSEY BOYS, which the Chicago Tribune calls "the most exciting musical Broadway has seen in years."

The casts of Pittsburgh CLO's 2022 Summer Musicals include:

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Pittsburgh CLO Premiere)

June 21-26

Clay Aiken (Man in Chair) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after hosting the 75th Anniversary Broadway Musical Celebration at Heinz Field. Audiences may also recognize him as Teen Angel in the 2019 production of Grease. Clay also starred on Broadway, alongside Ruben Studdard, in Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show at the Imperial Theater. The New York Times called the production 'A Christmas Miracle.' This came ten years after Clay's critically lauded Broadway debut in Monty Python's Spamalot. On the heels of Idol, he became the first artist in history to have his first single debut at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. His subsequent album, Measure Of A Man, also debuted at #1 with the highest first week sales by a debut artist. His 2004 holiday release, Merry Christmas With Love, set a record for the fastest selling holiday album of the SoundScan era and remains tied for the highest charting debut of a holiday album in Billboard history. He served 9 years as a UNICEF Ambassador and in 2003, he co-founded, with Diane Bubel, what is now the National Inclusion Project to advocate and increase opportunities for children with disabilities to be included in extracurricular activities (such as summer camps and after-school programs) with their non-disabled peers. Additional TV appearances include: 30 Rock, The Office, Scrubs, Days Of Our Lives, and Law & Order: SVU. Additional 2nd place finishes include: The Celebrity Apprentice in 2012 and the NC 2nd District US House race in 2014.

Paige Davis (The Drowsy Chaperone) is best known as the effervescent host of the groundbreaking, Emmy-nominated design-reality show, Trading Spaces. Audiences may recognize Paige from her starring role in Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage at the CLO Cabaret, or as Maria in The Sound of Music. Paige kept up her hosting duties co-hosting Home and Family for the Hallmark Channel and was the host of OWN's Home Made Simple, for which she was nominated for a 2013 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel Program. Paige gave a triumphant return to her role as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway, and prior to shooting the reboot of Trading Spaces was seen in An Act of God, making Paige the first woman to play the role of God following in the footsteps of Jim Parsons and Sean Hayes. She also starred in the premiere of Mark St. Germain's Dancing Lessons, received rave reviews for her performance in MAME at North Shore Music Theater, and was seen as Gloria in the Tony Award-winning Boeing! Boeing! on Broadway. Paige also played Babette in the first national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, where she met her husband Patrick Page. She has appeared opposite Patrick in I Do! I Do! at The Old Globe. Additional credits include Val in A Chorus Line at the Austin Musical Theatre, April in Company at the Missouri Repertory Theatre, Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!, Katherine in Pippin, and others.

Donna McKechnie (Mrs. Tottendale) received the Tony Award for her performance in A Chorus Line. Other Broadway shows include How To Succeed...,The Education of Hyman Kaplan, Sondheim-A Musical Tribute (which she also choreographed), On The Town, Promises, Promises, Company, and State Fair, for which she received the Fred Astaire Award. She has starred in numerous productions in London's West End as well as Paris and Tokyo. Donna has also guest starred extensively with Symphony Orchestras throughout the country, as well as on television and in film. Ms. McKechnie's memoir, TIMESTEPS-My Musical Comedy Life, was published by Simon and Schuster. For more information:

Major Attaway (Feldzieg) is a Broadway, TV/Film, Voice Actor and Twitch Streamer from Fort Worth, TX, residing in Brooklyn, NY. Credits: Broadway: The Genie in Disney's Aladdin, Diet/Off-Broadway: Fatty Arbuckle in Mack and Mabel New York City Center, TV/Film: Orange is the New Black, Carter High, Voice Actor: OnePiece, Pokemon: The Secrets of the Jungle, Borderlands 3, Dragonball: Xenoverse. Twitch Affiliate: IPlayedMajor, Concert: The Genies Jukebox.


July 5-10

Darius Harper (Lola) attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. He has worked for the Disney company both nationally and in Tokyo, Japan. Darius was an original cast member in both The Book of Mormon (Chicago), and the Kinky Boots 1st national Tour (Lola). Other credits include: Kinky Boots (Fulton/Hangar/Phoenix Theatre), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), A Grand Night for Singing (Goodspeed) and Grease (FLMTF - Merry Go around).

Brian Sears (Charlie Price) Broadway/West End: The Book of Mormon, Lend Me a Tenor, Finian's Rainbow, Grease, and All Shook Up. TV: Law and Order: SVU, FBI, and Kevin Can Wait.


July 12-17

Roderick Lawrence (Jesus) is an actor, filmmaker and Blacktivist who recently founded Black Man Films. He created, produced and starred in the multi-award-winning short film Silent Partner, which premiered in August at the Oscar-qualifying RSF Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival and is currently on the festival circuit. A 2020 AUDELCO nominee, credits include Simba in Disney's The Lion King National Tour, Floyd Barton in Seven Guitars (Arena Stage), Ramses in the Broadway-bound The Prince of Egypt, Othello in John Leguizamo's Othello: The Remix and Guy in ONCE: The Musical. Comedy Central's Broad City. @rodericklaw

Luke Wygodny (Judas/John the Baptist) has toured the country in Broadway musicals Once, American Idiot, and Soul Doctor. He was also seen in Hundred Days with The Bengsons at La Jolla Playhouse & David Cromer's production of Rent in Chicago. He originated the role of "Jumping Jack the Acrobat" under the circus tent in Jahn Sood's folk opera The Disappearing Man at St. Louis Rep. As a singer/songwriter he has several records out on all music platforms & plans on touring this summer with his folk band The Heartstrings Project. @LukeWygodny @TheHeartstringsProject


July 26-31

Sarah Bowden (Cassie) originally from Australia, Sarah most recently played "Velma" in Chicago at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre with Denis Jones as Director, and starred as Roxie Hart at The Muny. USA highlights include, Cherry Sundae in the first national tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, In 2016 playing Cassie in A Chorus Line at The Hollywood Bowl opposite Mario Lopez. Sarah spent many years in Germany playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Anita in West Side Story, Doralee in 9 to 5, Gloria in Flashdance, and Esmeralda in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Billy Harrigan Tighe (Zach) Broadway: Pippin. West End: The Book of Mormon (Elder Price). Off-Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Anthony). National Tours: Finding Neverland (JM Barrie); The Book of Mormon (Elder Price); Wicked (Fiyero); La Cage Aux Folles (Jean-Michel); Dirty Dancing. Recent Regional: Into The Woods (The Baker) City Springs; Cinderella (Topher) Paper Mill; Heart of Rock and Roll (Tucker) Old Globe; Cabaret (Cliff) Ogunquit Playhouse; Secret of my Success (Brantley) Paramount Theatre.

Leigh Zimmerman (Sheila) appeared on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies, Crazy for You and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Nathan Lane and created the role of Go-To-Hell-Kitty in the 1996 Broadway production of Chicago. Leigh is also known for London's West End productions of The Seven Year Itch, Chicago (Velma Kelly), Contact (The Girl in the Yellow Dress), The Producers (Ulla), and A Chorus Line (Sheila), for which she won an Olivier Award in 2013.

SISTER ACT (Pittsburgh CLO Premiere)

August 9-14

Tamyra Gray (Deloris) most recently starred as Papa Ge on Broadway and in the First National Tour of the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on This Island. With the critical acclaim that followed her appearance on the inaugural season of American Idol Tamyra went on to guest star in a variety of network series including Boston Public, Half and Half, All of Us, What I Like About You, Las Vegas, Tru Calling, and The Rookie and All Rise. She also landed commercial projects with Coca-Cola and H&M. The Swedish clothing line made her the face of their '&Denim' collection, where Gray was featured in a globally promoted short film directed by David LaChapelle. On stage, Tamyra made her Broadway debut as the lead in the musical Bombay Dreams, was praised for her starring role on Broadway as 'Mimi' in Rent and played Kate in the first national tour of If/Then. In 2011 she starred in Debbie Allen's Twist at The Pasadena Playhouse for which she won a Beverly Hills / Hollywood NAACP Theatre Award. She's appeared on the big screen in the critically acclaimed Sony feature The Gospel and was featured in Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married. Tamyra has co-written 'You Thought Wrong' for Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson and the #1 Billboard Hot 100 single 'I Believe' for Fantasia.

Anne Tolpegin (Mother Superior) Broadway: A Tale of Two Cities, Les Misérables National Tours: Kinky Boots, Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia!, Ragtime. Off-Broadway: Standby to Marin Mazzie (Margaret) Carrie - MCC Theatre, Standby to Carolee Carmello (Mrs. Lovett) Sweeney Todd - Barrow Street. Favorite Regional includes Diana in Next to Normal - Fulton Theatre, Fosca in Passion - Chicago Pegasus Players, Peggy in Sting's The Last Ship - Pioneer Theatre. TV: USA's Mr. Robot (S2 recurring), Marvel's Iron Fist (S2). International Philharmonic performances in Mexico, Canada, Japan; National Anthem MLB/NBA. Northwestern University.

E. Clayton Cornelious (Sweaty Eddie Souther) is a Pittsburgh native and a 24-year Broadway veteran, who was last seen in the Broadway company of Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Broadway: The Caterpillar in Wonderland, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line, The Music Man, Kat & the Kings, and Disney's The Lion King. West End: Sammy Davis Jr. in Rat Pack Live from Vegas!. National Tours: Kinky Boots, Sister Act, Jersey Boys, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, Disney's The Lion King, A Chorus Line, The Goodbye Girl, and The Wiz. In addition to all his theatre credits, He is a 4-year Broadway Investor/Producer. Investments: Magic Mike Live, MJ-The Musical, Hadestown, Ain't Too Proud, & Caroline or Change. Producer: Little Girl Blue, Chicken & Biscuits, & When It Happens to You. He is a proud member of BIV (Broadway Inspirational Voices). @Eclaycorn

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Pittsburgh CLO gratefully acknowledges the generosity of PNC for its sponsorship of the PNC Spotlight Series, the Charity Randall Foundation for its sponsorship of The Charity Randall Marquee Series, and our Season Sponsors: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WTAE-TV.