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Hunter Foster, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and More Set for PIRATES! at the Muny

The Muny has announced principal casting for the sixth show of its 94th season, Pirates! (or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd), July 30 - August 5, directed by Gordon Greenberg and choreographed by Denis Jones. Conceived by Gordon Greenburg, Nell Benjamin and John McDaniel, Pirates! (or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd) features lyrics by W.S. Gilbert, and music by Arthur Sullivan. Revised book and lyrics are by Nell Benjamin, and music supervision, new arrangements and orchestrations are by John McDaniel.

Hunter Foster makes his Muny debut as the Pirate King. Joining him is Broadway veteran Ed Dixon as General Stanley, and Kathy Fitzgerald as Ruth. Rounding out the cast are Alan Mingo Jr. as The Sergeant, Analisa Leaming as Mabel, and Jay Armstrong Johnston as Frederic.,P> "We're thrilled to bring this hilarious new adaptation to The Muny," said Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. "Gordon, Nell and John have given Gilbert & Sullivan's classic a delicious new sheen, and we've got a dream cast. We're proud to be a part of the development of this exciting new show."

The Muny's production features original scenic design by Rob Bissinger, adapted for The Muny by Steve Gilliam. Sound design is by Jason Krueger, lighting design by Seth Jackson, and costume designs by David Woolard and Robin McGee. Ben Whiteley serves as the musical director, and the production stage manager is Harold Goldfadden.

Hunter Foster (Pirate King) Broadway: Million Dollar Quartet, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic nominations), Urinetown (Outer Critic nomination), Les Misérables, Grease, Footloose and King David. Off-Broadway: Happiness (Drama Desk nomination), Ordinary Days, Frankenstein, Dust, Modern Orthodox, Urinetown (Lucille Lortel nomination). Regional: Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination), The Government Inspector, Martin Guerre (Guthrie), Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Children of Eden (Paper Mill), Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Boeing Boeing (Cape Playhouse). National Tours: Cats, Martin Guerre, The Producers. As a writer, he wrote the librettos for the musicals Summer of '42, Bonnie & Clyde: a Folktale and The Hollow. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Ed Dixon (General Stanley) has been featured on Broadway in Anything Goes; MARY POPPINS; SUNDAY IN THE Park with George; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Gore Vidal's The Best Man; The Iceman Cometh; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Les Misérables; Cyrano; The Three Musketeers; King of Schnorrers; No, No, Nanette and Bernstein's Mass. Drama Desk nomination for Shylock, which he adapted and composed, and Helen Hayes award for Max in Sunset Boulevard. Ed is the author/composer of Cather County (Leon Rabin award), Richard Cory (NYMF Festival and Audience Prize), Fanny Hill (Drama Desk nomination), Whodunit…The Musical and Cloak and Dagger.

Kathy Fitzgerald (Ruth) Kathy has most recently come from the Broadway company of Wicked, where she played the role of Madame Morrible. Other Broadway credits include: Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 (Roz), Outer Critics nomination, original company of Mel Brooks's The Producers (Shirley Markowitz), Swinging on a Star, Drama Desk nomination. Off-Broadway: Damn Yankee's (Doris) at Encores!, with Sean Hayes; Secrets Every Smart Traveler…; Disaster, with radio host Seth Rudetsky. Regional: A Christmas Carol; All in the Timing, Cincinnati Playhouse; Emmet Otter, Goodspeed; Nite Club Confidential with Scott Bakula; Quilters; School for Wives and Minor Demons with The Arizona Theater Company; Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sedona Shakespeare; The Kathy and Mo Show; The Search for Signs... TV/Film: Curb Your Enthusiasm; Mercy; One Life to Live; The Next Three Days, with Russell Crow; Our Idiot Brother, with Paul Rudd; The Producers and Comedy Central's The Gregory Brothers.

ALAN MINGO JR (The Sergeant) Recently starred as Donkey in Dreamwork's first national tour of Shrek the Musical. Broadway: Sebastian and original cast member of Disney's The Little Mermaid and Tom Collins in Rent. Before joining Rent on Broadway, Mingo staged, choreographed and performed in the Italian version of Rent, produced by Luciano Pavarotti, as well as both national companies. Other national tours: Seaweed in Hairspray and Simba in the Los Angeles company and first national tour of Disney's The Lion King. Regional: Papa Ge in Once on This Island at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse, A Christmas Story: The Musical at Kansas City Rep and Jaques Brel… at Olney Theatre. TV Credits: Law & Order and Frasier. MFA from the University of California, Irvine.

Analisa Leaming (Mabel) is thrilled to be making her Muny debut! In New York, Analisa has been seen in Pipe Dream and Where's Charley? at the City Center Encores!, as well as off-Broadway in The Fartiste. Tours: Annie (Grace Farrell) and The Sound of Music (u/s Maria, Sister Sophia). Regional: The Music Man (Marian) at the Geva Theatre, Hello, Dolly! (Irene Molloy) at the North Shore Music Theatre, The Game (Emilie) and Sweeney Todd at the Barrington Stage Company. Analisa is a winner of the Lotte Lenya competition and holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music. Huge thanks to her wonderful family and the gang at Gage.

Jay Armstrong Johnson (Frederic) Broadway: Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnate Jr. standby), Hair (Claude u/s). Off-Broadway: Wild Animals You Should Know (MCC). First National Tour: A Chorus Line (Mark). Regional Theatre: Hand On A Hardbody (Greg Wilholte), La Jolla Playhouse, Pool Boy (Nick), world premiere, Barrington Stage, Hairspray (Link) Weston Playhouse, Godspell (Jeffrey) Casa Mañana. Workshops/Readings: Small Engine Repair (Chad), 8 (the play) on Broadway (Spencer), Newsies (Jack), Tio Pepe (Jamie), Tales of the City (Mouse), Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace), Bring It On (Steven) and Mrs. Sharp. Darling Concerts: 35mm, Birdland, The Kennedy Center, Joe's Pub. Film: Sex and the City 2. TV: Law & Order SVU and The Apprentice. Ridiculous amounts of love to Dad, Deb, Mae and D. @Jay_A_Johnson

-more- (continued) The Muny Box Office is now open from 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week. The remaining shows of the 2012 season are: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat July 23 - 29 Pirates! (or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder'd) July 30 - August 5 The King and I August 6 - 12 The Muny's group sales office offers a 20% discount for groups of 20 or more, and is taking orders now. For more information or to make reservations, call (314) 361-1900, extension 308. Single tickets are available at The Muny Box Office in Forest Park, online or by phone. For more information, call (314) 361-1900 or visit American Airlines is the official airline of The Muny.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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