Dan Gallagher, Michael Milton and Cheryl Dennis Found Producer Circle Co. in Manhattan
On Monday evening, April 8th at the finale of Marty Richards' star-studded-sold-out Memorial to benefit his beloved New York Center For Children, which he co-founded with his wife Mary Lea Johnson Richards, Chita Rivera quieted the crowd to make an important announcement regarding the future of the American Theatre and the New York centric film and television's East Coast community.
Dan Gallagher and Michael Milton, Mr. Richards' co-workers and right-hand visionaries for over fifteen years, have power-teamed with Producer/General Manager, Cheryl Dennis, to form the new Producer Circle Co. with offices in Manhattan.
The announcement also included the triumvirate's most recent addition of Ryan Dodson as the company's first Associate Producer.
The team's first triumphant production, Mr. Richards' Memorial, which raised well over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for The Children's Center, will be followed with pending deals for the development of Broadway plays, independent films and a ground-breaking fictionalized documentary for television.
Quite comfortable with winning awards and developing worldwide audiences during their stint with the original Producer Circle Co., Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Milton along with Ms. Dennis and Mr. Dodson are spreading their nets even wider.
About Dan Gallagher, Producer/Co-President, The Producer Circle Co.: Dan Gallagher grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey, as the oldest of four children. He spent most of his early years working in his parent's delicatessen.At age 8 he began studying dance and began his love for the performing arts. He graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Theatre; was an Executive Board Member and Special Event Chair for the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He was on the board of the University's theatrical producing society STAGE II, as well as the honorary theatrical fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. He performed the role of Gato the Cat in their musical PINOCCHIO; was Assistant Stage Manager for their CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, and oversaw the lighting team for their CINDERELLA. He was a performing member of the ESU Concert Choir, and was featured in their BERNSTEIN'S MASS. He was a soloist and featured dancer with the ESU Pop Jazz Singers, through which he headlined a European tour for the ExtraordinaryStudents of America at the Fall of the Berlin Wall European Music Festival. During his college years, Mr. Gallagher was also a founding company member of the Far Off Broadway Players of the Poconos, playing the roles of Rogers in TEN LITTLE INDIANS, and Woodstock in SNOOPY!. He was featured in CAMELOT and gained critical acclaim for the role of the Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ , both with the Pocono Lively Arts. He was also a company member of the Stroudsburg Ballet Theatre and performed the title role in their production of THE NUTCRACKER. His first paid job in theatre was as the follow spot operator for MAME at Shawnee Playhouse. He originated three roles on tour for American Family Theatre, Al the Dinosaur in DINOSAUR EXPRESS , Jack-In-The-Box in TOM THUMB IN TOYLAND, and Sir Guy in ROBIN HOOD; and he danced the role of Carnival Boy in Brundage Park Playhouse's production of CAROUSEL. His first NY job was as a Personal Shopper at the world famous toy store FAO Schwarz. During his time there he also had the opportunity to work as a Production Assistant on several video/film shoots for Kathi Lee Giford, Diana Ross, and Woody Allen. He was also the toy consultant on the FAO produced Broadway production of BIG. It was as a personal shopper that Mr. Gallagher met one of the most influential people in his career, producer Marty Richards. A founding partner of the theatre/film Production Company The Producer Circle Co., Mr. Richards made him what felt like the offer of a lifetime...a receptionist position in his office, or as he saw it...access to Broadway. Marty and his business partner Sam Crothers took him under their wings and taught him all about the producing side of the business. With them he was a Production Associate on the original Broadway productions of THE LIFE and SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, a Production Executive for the 2005 Tony winning revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, an Associate Producer for the Broadway musical Chita Rivera: THE DANCER'S LIFE; and was a Production Executive on the Academy Award winning film, CHICAGO. Independent of Producer Circle, Mr. Gallagher freelanced with the NY press agency The Jacksina Company, through which he was Associate Press Representative for the Broadway revival of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW; the Off -Broadway production of THE DONKEY SHOW; the Grand Opening of THE LAUGH FACTORY in Times Square; the re-launch of the world famous dance troupe CHIPPENDALES in both New York and Las Vegas, as well as a Production Associate on their E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY. He was a development consultant for the Off Broadway production of NOBODY DON'T LIKE YOGI, starring Ben Gazzara; and he produced developmental readings of theatre/film projects JUST DESSERTS, JACK THE STRIPPER RIPPER, and BOUNCIN' DIMES. Mr. Gallagher worked briefly as a Manager with LTM Artists, and then as Executive Assistant to the CEO of Ambassador Theatre Group-New York. Through ATG he was a Production Associate on the Broadway productions of GUYS AND DOLLS, and EXIT THE KING, and a Production Assistant on THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, BOEING BOEING, THE SEAGULL, and ROCK 'N' ROLL. He was most recently involved with the Broadway revival of GODSPELL, was Company Manager for READING UNDER THE INFLUENCE at the DR2, and TREASURE ISLAND at Irondale Arts Center in Brooklyn. Philanthropically, Mr. Gallagher co-produced several events including a concert of the musical FARAWAY BAYOU for American Cancer Society, Marty Richards' 80TH BIRTHDAY GALA for the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Institute, and most recently Marty Richards' MEMORIAL BENEFIT for The New York Center for Children, and several of The Producer Circle's annual RED BALL. He has also been involved with various events for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, The Actor's Fund, Gay Men's Health Crisis, The Human Rights Campaign, and The American Cancer Society. Mr. Gallagher's latest endeavor is the re-launch of The Producer Circle Co., for which he will serve as Co-President along with his business partners Michael Milton and Cheryl Dennis, Their intent is to carry on the legacies of the original company founders, Marty Richards and Mary Lea Johnson Richards by continuing to produce quality forms of entertainment with the same level of artistic integrity and imagination for which The Producer Circle has come to be known.
About Michael Milton, Producer/Co-President, The Producer Circle Co.: Michael Milton has a BA in history from Santa Clara University. Following college, he decided to dip his toe into law school but left after a year to pursue graduate theatre studies at San Diego University. While going to graduate school, Mr. Milton--acquired his Equity Card...and the 'show biz' part of his long and unique career began. In San Diego Michael performed in a long string of musicals including HELLO DOLLY, CABARET, MAN OF LA MANCHA, SOUTH PACIFIC, PAL JOEY, OKLAHOMA and THE FANTASTICKS. He then went to do a two year stint in the HELLO HOLLYWOOD HELLO musical revue at the MGM Hotel in Reno, Nevada as a lead singer. He also worked on the SS Norway for 9 months in a show logically entitled SEALEGS. He then decided make NYC his permanent home where he studied acting with Uta Hagen and voice with Hulda Rossini and Gayle Swymer. He was featured in SOAP, the first Network television show with openly gay characters. He has been featured Regionally at Cleveland Lyric Opera in SHE LOVES ME and STRIKE UP THE BAND as well as Nationally in BRIGADOON, KISS ME KATE, THE FOREIGNER, CAROUSEL, THE MUSIC MAN before deciding to focus on his writing. Within months his ground-breaking piece for the NY Times 'About Men' column entitled 'Where Have You Gone, Billy Boy?' was published. Mr. Milton also wrote for House Beautiful and The James White Literary Review. He co-wrote, with Tim Hunt, a screenplay for actress Kathy Najimy-BAMBOOZLED-at one time in development at Disney with producer and currently sitting on Mr. Milton's desk with a note to think about producing again. He also co-wrote a musical, THE NIGHTINGALE with songwriter and musical director Gerald Stockstill of which a reading was produced at The Vineyard Theatre. In 1995, Marty Richards and Sam Crothers hired Mr. Milton to come to work for The Producer Circle Co.-initially as a writer to work on a new piece they were developing with songwriter Lesley Gore. He never left. During those two decades, Mr. Milton was an Associate Producer on Broadway musicals THE LIFE, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, and CHITA-A DANCER'S LIFE. He won a personal Drama League Award for LA CAGE, and his shows garnered a total of 4 Tony Awards. He also developed a musical based on a book of his own fashion, FARAWAY BAYOU. Mr. Milton was also an Executive Producer on the Best Picture Academy Award winning film CHICAGO. Mr. Milton's work at the company also included the many philanthropies Mr. Richards and wife, the late Mary Lea Johnson Richards either established or generously supported. This work included co-producing the annual Red Ball, a much publicized evening first at The old Plaza Hotel, later at the Waldorf Astoria and The Pierre Hotels, which benefited two of Mr. Richards favorite charities, The New York Center for Children and the NYU Medical Center Liver and Kidney Transplant Wing. Mr. Milton sits on the Board of Directors for the NYCC and also is a co-head of his own foundation fashioned from the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Charitable Trust. He continues to sing with the prestigious New Amsterdam Singers most recently performing at the White House Annual Christmas Party. Mr. Milton offers his sincerest of thanks to his mentors, Bobby Fryer, Sam Crothers and of course, Marty Richards and a special thanks to his business partner for years, Dan Gallagher for his seeming endless belief in pipe dreams that actually DO happen.
About Cheryl Dennis, Producer/Co-President, The Producer Circle Co.: Cheryl Dennis has worked as a producer, general, company and theatre manager for the past 16 years on over thirty distinguished productions on and off Broadway. She was born in south Georgia in 1976, the same year Producer's Circle was founded. She grew up in Clearwater FL and spent her youth immersed in the community theatre scene. She attended the Pinellas County Center for the Arts, where she performed in many plays and produced her very first show as a senior in high school. She moved to New York City in 1994 to attend Fordham University's theatre program as an actress. While there, she performed in many plays such as Blue Window, Les Liaisons Dangerous, and Savage in Limbo. During this time she also tried her hand at directing Orphans and Fool for Love. But Dennis found her real love during her final year at Fordham when she entered the world of commercial theatre. She received an internship with Elizabeth Ireland McCann and Roy Gabay, where she started out sitting on a step ladder for a chair and fetching coffee for some of her theatrical idols. Eventually she worked her way up to literary manager where she was evaluating the commercial viability of new works. When Gabay branched out to opened his own office, Dennis joined him as the office manager. From there she worked as associate company manager on the ground breaking production of True West at Circle in the Square Theatre with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly switching off in the roles. Her first solo company management gig was the commercial transfer of LAByrinth Theatre Company's Jesus Hopped the A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgus directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This was also the show that taught her the true lesson of "the show must go on"....there was a city wide power outage on the sold out closing night performance in the dead of winter. The actors performed under emergency lights, with no heat or sound, and a treasurer was borrowed from another theatre to deal with the lack of ticketing system. The audience sat mesmerized in their winter coats through the two hour performance and leaped to their feet at the end. It remains her favorite theatrical moment to date.Passion Play and Jonathan Larson's Tick Tick Boom (Drama Desk Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award-Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical) were her next off-Broadway productions. She made the jump to Broadway company management on the commercial transfer of Metamorphoses at Circle in the Square Theatre. Other Broadway company management credits include Barefoot in the Park, Steel Magnolias, Frozen (TONY Award nomination), Golda's Balcony (TONY Award nomination for Ms. Feldshuh), 'night, Mother, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam (TONY Award-Best Theatrical Event, Drama Desk Award-Best Theatrical Experience), Off-Broadway; Altar Boyz (Outer Critics Circle Award-Outstanding, Our Lady of 121st Street (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics circle nominations), The Last Five Years. In 2006, Cheryl took a hiatus from working on theatre to focus on the birth of her son. She returned to the theatre in 2008 as general manager of the off-Broadway production of Stain by Tony Glazer. She has subsequently general managed two more of Mr. Glazer's plays - In the Daylight (McGinn Cazale Theatre) and Reading Under the Influence (DR2 Theatre) - and has produced his most recent play American Stare at NJ Rep), which is slated for an Off Broadway production this coming Fall. She returned to her favorite Broadway house, Circle in the Square Theatre, in 2008 as a theatre manager. There she has worked on such productions as The Norman Conquests, Lombardi and Godspell.She is currently working on the upcoming Broadway transfer of Treasure Island which ran off-Broadway Irondale in 2011, directed by Tony Award winner BH Barry and starred Tom Hewitt. She has several other productions in development. Ms. Dennis is a member of The Private Theatre Company, a company founded by former LAByrinth Theatre Company's Artistic Director, John Gould Rubin. The Private Theatre Company has been committed to the production of both new and classical work and has a tradition of employing nontraditional theatrical conventions and staging productions in unexpected venues. Their past two productions were the sold out production of Hedda Gabler, which was staged at a private NYC residence and Playing With Fire which was presented at NYC's renowned and notorious nightclub The Box. www.theprivatetheatre.org. She returned to Fordham University two years ago to serve on the board of their alumni theatre company and is very excited to be a part of the relaunch of their summer theatre and film festival this coming summer.
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