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John Ellison Conlee Departs Encores! Off-Center's THE WILD PARTY; Ryan Andes Steps In

BroadwayWorld has learned John Ellison Conlee, Tony nominee for THE FULL MONTY, has had to depart Encores! Off-Center's upcoming production of Andrew Lippa's THE WILD PARTY due to a scheduling conflict. Ryan Andes, who last starred on TV in PETER PAN LIVE! and in Broadway's BIG FISH, steps in.

Led by Tony winner Sutton Foster, the cast also features Steven Pasquale (who made his New York stage debut and understudied the role of Burrs in the MTC production of THE WILD PARTY), Brandon Victor Dixon, Foster's YOUNGER co-star Miriam Shor, Joaquina Kalukango and Talene Monahon, along with Renée Albulario, Penelope Armstead-Williams, James Brown III, Rachel DeBenedet, Raymond J. Lee, Kenita R. Miller, Sydney Morton, Clifton Oliver, Charlie Pollock, Britton Smith, Ryan Steele and Samantha Sturm.

Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, THE WILD PARTY will run July 15-18 at New York City Center. FUN HOME Tony winner Jeanine Tesori is the Artistic Director of Encores! Off-Center and Chris Fenwick is Music Director.

According to press notes, "Andrew Lippa's THE WILD PARTY, adapted from the Jazz Age narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, is the story of one tragic, decadent night in a Manhattan apartment shared by Queenie (Foster) and her menacing lover Burrs (Pasquale). The couple decides to throw the party to end all parties, where Queenie meets a handsome stranger (Dixon) who wants to lure her away. The show opened at Manhattan Theatre Club on February 24, 2000 and played 54 performances."

Tickets to THE WILD PARTY start at $25, and can be purchased in person at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at 212-581-1212, or at www.NYCityCenter.org.


Ryan Andes (Eddie) recently played Admirable Crichton in NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" His New York theater credits include Karl the Giant in Big Fish on Broadway and the New York Philharmonic's production of Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center, which aired on PBS. Ryan has done regional work at Paper Mill Playhouse, MUNY, and Theatreworks USA. His film/TV credits include "Person of Interest," The Widowers and "As the World Turns."

Brandon Victor Dixon (Black) originated the role of Berry Gordy in Broadway's Motown: The Musical (Grammy nomination, Drama League Award nomination). A graduate of Columbia University, Brandon starred in the Encores! productions of House of Flowers and Cotton Club Parade and originated the role of Adult Simba in the Cheetah Company of The Lion King. Brandon then starred as Harpo in The Color Purple on Broadway, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. Off-Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys (Olivier, Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations) and Ray Charles Live! (Ovation Award nomination). His television credits include "The Good Wife," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "One Life to Live."

Sutton Foster (Queenie) currently stars in Darren Star's TV Land series "Younger." She starred on Broadway as the title character in Violet (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critic Circle award nominations), a role she originated in the Encores! Off-Center production. Other Broadway credits include Anything Goes (Tony Award), Shrek, Young Frankenstein, The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony Award), LES MISERABLES, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease. Off-Broadway: Trust (Second Stage) and Anyone Can Whistle (City Center Encores!). She has traveled all over the United States and internationally with music director Michael Rafter, performing songs from her two albums: Wish and An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Café Carlyle. On television she starred in Amy Sherman Palladino's "Bunheads" (Critics' Choice Television Award nomination), and made appearances on "Psych," "Royal Pains," "Law & Order: SVU," "Flight of the Conchords," and "Sesame Street." She holds an honorary doctorate from Ball State University, where she also teaches.

Joaquina Kalukango (Kate) has performed on Broadway in Holler If Ya Hear Me and Godspell and Off-Broadway in Our Lady of Kibeho, Antony and Cleopatra, Emotional Creature, Rent and Hurt Village (Theatre World Award and Drama Desk Award nomination). Her regional credits include Camae in The Mountaintop (Arena Stage, The Alley Theatre) for which she received a Helen Hayes Award, Sarah in Ragtime and Ti Moune in Once On This Island at the Hanger Theater.

Talene Monahon (Mae) recently appeared as Jeanie in Permission (dir. Alex Timbers, MCC) by Robert Askins); and in Here's Hoover! (Les Freres Corbusier) and The Chocolate Show! (47th St. Theater). Regionally, she was seen in The Seagull, Our Town, Carousel and The Importance of Being Earnest. Talene's solo show, All in Good Fun, was a bestseller at the United Solo Festival and has been produced across New England.

Steven Pasquale (Burrs) made his NY Stage debut in the original MTC production of The Wild Party. He most recently starred in Carousel at Chicago Lyric Opera and on Broadway in The Bridges of Madison County (Drama Desk, Drama League nominations). Other New York credits include Far From Heaven, The Intelligent Homosexual..., A Soldier's Play, A Man of No Importance, Beautiful Child, Spinning Into Butter and The Spitfire Grill. He originated the role of Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza (Seattle's Intiman Theatre). Television credits include "Rescue Me," "Do No Harm," Sofia Coppola's "Platinum," and "The Good Wife." He is the executive producer, director and star of the DirecTV comedy "Almost There" and is currently filming the highly anticipated F/X show "American Crime Story." His solo album, Somethin' Like Love, was released in 2009.

Miriam Shor (Madelaine True) began her career with several acclaimed Off-Broadway productions, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell. She reprised her role of Yitzhak in the critically-lauded 2001 film adaptation. Miriam has appeared on television in "The West Wing," "Damages," "Mildred Pierce," and "The Good Wife." She can currently be seen as Diana Trout on TV Land's "Younger" (created by Darren Star) and she'll next appear in the film Puerto Ricans in Paris opposite Luiz Guzman when it makes its world premiere at the LA Film Festival.

Photo of Ryan Andes by Isaac James.

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