Saint Aubyn, Stanley Wayne Mathis & More to Lead PERSONALITY: THE LLOYD PRICE MUSICAL Chicago Premiere

The musical begins performances on June 2, 2023 at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago.

By: Mar. 09, 2023
Saint Aubyn, Stanley Wayne Mathis & More to Lead PERSONALITY: THE LLOYD PRICE MUSICAL Chicago Premiere
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Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical has announced the cast for the show's Chicago premiere. The new musical celebrating the life, career, and unforgettable songs of Lloyd Price, including "Stagger Lee," "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," and his trademark song, "Personality," begins performances on June 2, 2023 at the beautifully renovated Studebaker Theater at the historic Fine Arts Building (410 South Michigan Avenue). Opening night is Wednesday, June 14.

Saint Aubyn who created the role of Lloyd Price in the world premiere of Personality last year at People's Light in Pennsylvania, will once again play the trailblazing Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend. Aubyn starred on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and was an original cast member of Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.

Broadway veteran Stanley Wayne Mathis (Jelly's Last Jam, The Lion King, Kiss Me, Kate), will play Harold Logan, Price's longtime promoter, collaborator, and business partner. Mathis also created the role of Harold Logan in the People's Light production.

Darian Peer, whose credits include Choir Boy at Yale Rep and Part of the Plan at Tennessee Performing Arts Center, will play Young Lloyd Price.

Chicago native Alexandria Reese, who has appeared in Intimate Apparel at Weathervane Theatre and Raisin at Axelrod Performing Arts Center, will play the role of Price's first wife, Emma.

The cast, including several Chicago natives, also features Miles Boone as Little Richard/Sam Cooke/Olisaemeka, Brian Grey as Art Rupe, Donnie Hammond as Rosetta Tharpe/Ma Nora, Donterrio as Dave, Alanna Lovely as Ma Naan, DeMone Seraphin as Mr. Price/Don Robey, Steven Strafford as Levy, and Uria Bennett, Christian Denzel Bufford, Sabrina Edwards, Marcus Hardy, Josh Houghton, Nissi Shalome, and Whitney Wandland.

Book is by B. Jeffrey Madoff, based on extensive conversations with Price. Personality is directed by Sheldon Epps (the Tony and Olivier-nominated Blues in the Night), choreographed by Edgar Godineaux (Associate Choreographer for Broadway's Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, Memphis), and musically directed by Shelton Becton (Broadway and HBO's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill with Audra McDonald.

The World Premiere of Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical played last year at People's Light in Malvern, PA.

From humble beginnings in his hometown of Kenner, Louisiana, Lloyd Price overcame incredible obstacles on his way to a revolutionary musical career. As a young Black rec0rding artist in the segregated Deep South of the pre-Civil Rights Era, Price's success was even more remarkable. Armed with determination and a soulful sound, Price skyrocketed to stardom in 1952 when his single "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" hit No. 1 on the R&B charts, making him the first teenager to sell over a million records and to earn a Gold Record. Price became a crossover hit, popular with both Black and white kids, shattering the "race records" barrier. However, the path to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was a winding one: immediately after the success of his first record, he was drafted to fight in the Korean War in 1953. But Price, a master of reinvention, would find his footing time and again. He became the first Black man to open a nightclub below Harlem in New York City, and the first recording artist of any color to create his own record label, generating more hits like "Stagger Lee" and "Personality," and spreading the New Orleans R&B sound throughout the world.

Scenic design is by Tony Award winner David Gallo (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Viveca Gardiner (Miss Maude, Big Apple Circus), costume design is by Raquel Adorno (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre), lighting design is by Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher), sound design is by Tony Award winner Rob Kaplowitz (Fela!) and Jordan Tani, projections are by David Gallo and Steve Channon (Memphis, The Mountaintop), and hair, wig and make-up design is by J. Jared Janas (Good Night, Oscar, &Juliet).
Production Stage Manager is Shawn Pryby.

Personality is produced by The Hard Kill LLC. Adam Hess serves as Executive Producer.


Saint Aubyn

(Lloyd Price) is an artist who strives to entertain his audiences with hopes that they leave each performance feeling fulfilled. Broadway: Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations (For this role he's been awarded the prestige of being a Grammy nominee); Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Regional/tours: Smokey Joe's Cafe (20th Anniversary Tour), Dreamgirls (Gallery Players and NCT Theatre). Film/Television includes Bojangles; Admissions, Co-Host of the Salute THEM Awards with Loni Love and Yo-Yo. He has also shared the stage with Miss Patti LaBelle! IG: @iamsaintaubyn

Stanley Wayne Mathis

(Harold Logan) hails from Washington D.C. His Broadway credits include Oh, Kay!,Jelly's Last Jam, The Lion King, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Kiss Me, Kate, Wonderful Town, Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Book Of Mormon. Stanley has performed
nationally and internationally from regionals to The Royal Court Theater in London. Film and TV credits include Dark Streets, Santa Baby, Brother to Brother, Shame by Steve McQueen."Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "20/20," "Gossip Girl," and NBC's "RISE!" as Principal Evan Ward.

Darian Peer

(Young Lloyd Price) is beyond thrilled and grateful to be returning to the Midwest. He is a proud native of Davenport, Iowa. He was seen recently in Choir Boy at Yale Repertory Theatre. TV: "Love Life" (HBO Max). Selected credits include the world premiere of Part of the Plan (TPAC), Swing! (Norwegian Cruise Line), Porgy and Bess (Princeton Festival/Palacio de Bellas Artes). A graduate of Millikin University School of Music (B.M.) and Morgan State University (M.A.). HBCU Proud! Grateful for the endless love and support Mom, Dad, Andrea, Shawn, friends, and MTA. @_truthordarian

Alexandria Reese

(Emma) is a Chicago native, based in NYC and a recent graduate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Her most recent credits include Sarah in Call Me From the Grave, an original Off-Broadway musical, Beneatha Younger in Raisin, Mayme in Intimate Apparel, Soul Girl and featured dancer in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Lois in A Chorus Line. She loves her family and thanks them for their support. IG: @aleexreese

Uria Bennett

(Ensemble) is a Chicago native. She began her training in ballet at the age of three and since then has trained with Joffrey Ballet, Deeply Rooted, Hyde Park School of Dance and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She has recently performed with Theater 47 in the productions Living All Alone and Imitation of Life. She is grateful for her family's continued support in her endeavors and is filled with gratitude and excitement to work with the cast of Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical!

Miles Boone (Little Richard/Sam Cooke/Olisaemeka) is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a graduate of George Mason University. Theatre/Film: Miles was recently seen on the tour of An Officer and a Gentleman. He has also appeared in the film 12:01. Miles is ecstatic to join the all-star cast of Personality. Thanks to friends, family, and the Most High! "Be the change you wish to see in the world." IG: @miles.boone

Christian Denzel Bufford

(Ensemble) is a Chicago-based multi-disciplinary artist who blends the lines of theatre, dance, and film. Chicago theatre credits include Marriott Theatre, Paramount Theatre, The House Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and The Black Ensemble Theatre. Other regional theatre credits include American Repertory Theatre, Lincoln Center, Nice Work If You Can Get It (First National Tour), Stages St Louis, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Riverside Theatre, The Engeman Theatre and three seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Christian is a graduate of the drama school at the University of NC School of the Arts and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Representation: Gray Talent Group. IG: @ChrixtianBuffxrd

Sabrina Edwards

(Swing) is a Chicago-based performer and is thrilled to be working with this incredible team for Personality's Chicago premiere! Favorite regional credits: Ragtime (Sarah), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmeralda), Avenue Q (Gary), A Chorus Line (Judy). London: Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Working (Delores/Roberta). Much love to Mike, and her amazing family for their endless love and support! Proud graduate of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Represented by Shirley Hamilton.

Brian Grey

(Art Rupe) is a Chicago-based actor and voice over artist. Chicago credits include SS! Romeo & Juliet, Othello, and Pericles (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Closer (Spartan Theatre), and The Oxford Roof Climber's Rebellion (Caffeine Theatre - Jeff Nomination) among others. Regional: Million Dollar Quartet (Village Theatre - TPS Gregory Nomination), Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, She Loves Me, Henry IV Pt 1 (Texas Shakespeare Festival), and Death of a Salesman (SJDC - SARTA Ellie Award) among others. Television: "Chicago Med" (NBC); "APB" (FOX). Film: Ashburn, The Last Hour, The Persistence of Memory. Brian holds an MFA from CCPA/Roosevelt University. When not acting, Brian enjoys teaching Yoga and snuggling his wife, cat Masha and his new baby boy, Ian! IG: @actinggrey.

Donnie Hammond

(Rosetta Tharpe/Ma Nora). Regional: Personality (People's Light), In the Heights (Geva Theatre & Hangar Theatre), Hands on a Hardbody (TUTS). Philadelphia: Little Women: the Musical (Quintessence Theatre), Shrek: the Musical (Walnut Street Theatre), King Lear (Quintessence Theatre Group), The Color Purple (Theatre Horizon), In the Heights (Walnut Street Theatre), Ghost (Media Theatre), Rent (Bucks County Playhouse).

Marcus Hardy

(Ensemble) is a native of Garner, NC. He received his BFA in Dance Performance at East Carolina University in 2012. Soon after, he moved to Chicago to dance professionally with Inaside Chicago Dance where he was a company member for five years. Marcus has also performed with Chicago Dance Crash, SueMo Dance Company and Water Street Dance Company as a guest artist. Marcus has had the opportunity to dance alongside musical artists such as Chesca, Brian McKnight, and Stacey Kay. He has been a part of many productions of The Nutcracker across the Midwest, performing as Drosselmeyer, Arabian soloist, and Snow King. Most recently, he has been blessed with the opportunity to perform in Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up In My Bones as well as Fiddler on the Roof at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


(Dave) is a Professor of Musical Theatre at Roosevelt University, with a demonstrated history of work both onstage and off in the performing arts industry. Donterrio is the former Artistic Director of the LGBTQIA+ theatre company PrideArts. He is also on the Artistic Board of the Sarah Siddons Society and the Chicago Artist Guide. It's DONTERRIO's mission to cultivate art that doesn't end at the theater but art that changes you a bit as you go back into the world. With a strong media and communication background, he advocates for multi-hyphenated artists. Follow DONTERRIO on all social media platforms @DonterrioLive #ChooseJoy

Josh Houghton

(Ensemble). Chicago Theatre: Mitzi/Tick in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Mercury Theater Chicago); The Sound of Music (Paramount Theatre). Other credits: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (National Tour, Grand Ole Opry); Buddy in Elf (Arvada Center, Media Theatre); Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast (Theatre by the Sea); Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (Fireside Theatre); The Who's Tommy, Hair, Spamalot (Short North Stage). TV: "Chicago P.D." Represented by Gray Talent Group.

Alanna Lovely

(Na Naan). Select Chicago credits include: The World Goes Round and The Wizard of Oz(Marriott Theatre); Shrek: The Musical (Drury Lane); The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Lookingglass Theatre); A Christmas Story: The Musical (Paramount Theater); Nina Simone: Four Women (Northlight Theatre); Merrily We Roll Along (Porchlight Theatre); and Ragtime (Griffin Theatre). Regional Credits: Million Dollar Quartet (Alabama Shakespeare); The Wanderers (Forward Theatre); Nina Simone: Four Women (Merrimack Rep); Mother Divine and The Music Man (Western Playhouse). Recent recurring TV credit: "Empire" (Fox). Other TV credit: "Power Book IV: Force" (STARZ); "Chicago Fire" (NBC). IG: @lannalynette

Nissi Shalome

(Ensemble) could not be more stoked to make her Studebaker debut with this incredible company. She is a native to the Chicagoland area and has her BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Illinois University. Chicago credits: World Premiere of The Factotum (Lyric Opera), A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane), Dreamgirls (Paramount). National Tour: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Other Regional Credits: Ain't Misbehavin', Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin (Timberlake Playhouse). IG: @NissiShalome

DeMone Seraphin

(Mr. Price/Don Robey) is an actor, director, artistic director, and educator. As an actor, DeMone has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally as a principal or featured performer in such shows as Ragtime, Miss Saigon, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, Memphis, Side Show (Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Ain't Misbehavin', The Best of Both Worlds, Uncle Vanya, Othello, Once on This Island, Big River, Crowns, and Sweet Charity. On screen, DeMone has appeared in "Person of Interest," "Law & Order: SVU," The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, Hush, The Subject, The Magic Door, and Bad Street. As a director DeMone's work has been seen Off-Broadway, internationally, and regionally. Most recent directing credits include the World Premiere of Billy and George at Avant Bard Theatre, Five Guys Named Moe at The Fulton Theatre, the regional premiere of Chicken and Biscuits at Virginia Rep Theatre, Topdog/Underdog (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Play), The Gospel at Colonus, and How I Learned What I Learned at Avant Bard Theatre where he serves as a Lead Producing Partner. Other directing credits include the German premiere of August Wilson's Jitney, Once Uponzi Time: An American Scheme at The McCarter Theatre in association with Princeton's Triangle Club, the Off-Broadway revivals of Dutchman and Split Second, and the world premiere of The King: The Final Hours An Elvis Presley Musical. As an educator DeMone has been a guest lecturer, artist in residence or visiting professor/director at such prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Princeton University, Ryder University, NYU Steinhardt, University of Virginia, and the University of Utah. DeMone is also a member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Steven Strafford

(Levy) is an actor and playwright. He played Prince Herbert in Spamalot (Original Vegas Cast) and appeared in the national and international tours of Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Grease! In Chicago, he has appeared at the Goodman, About Face Theatre, Windy City Playhouse, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, and First Folio. He has played men, women, rivers, giraffes, and aliens. He is the author and performer of the award-winning solo show, Methtacular! His plays, Small Jokes About Monsters, Greater Illinois, The Match Game, Mona Quimby: Age 38, and The Model Congressman, have been produced and workshopped around the country. Small Jokes About Monsters will be published and licensed by Broadway Licensing.

Whitney Wandland

(Ensemble) is an actress, dancer, and choreographer, born in Chicago, IL. As a multi-disciplinary performer, Whitney's training began with the prominent Deeply Rooted Dance Company and later continued at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Some of her credits include "Empire" (FOX), "Soundtrack" (Netflix), Usher, and "Power Book IV: Force" (Starz). Whitney is very excited to be performing as a cast member of Personality.
B. Jeffrey Madoff (Book) began his career in fashion, becoming one of the top 10 designers in the US before switching careers to film and video production. He has directed award-winning documentaries and web content for clients around the world, including Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, and Radio City Music Hall. Madoff is an Adjunct Professor at Parsons School of Design, and his bestselling book, Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas, is based on the class he teaches. He has been a featured speaker at Wharton School, Princeton University, NYU Steinhardt, NC State and Google Next on the topics of creating a brand and creativity. In the fall of 2022 Madoff curated and moderated a series of panels on Recasting the Artist as Entrepreneur sponsored by the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale University. He is on the Board of Advisors for Artolution, a global organization that is focused on developing local leaders in the arts to use collaborative artmaking as a tool for communities to share their stories with the world. Madoff graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in philosophy and psychology.

Lloyd Price

(1933-2021) (Music & Lyrics). Lloyd Price's first song, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," was released in 1952. It hit #1 and was "R&B Record of the Year" in both Billboard and Cashbox magazines. Price was awarded Cashbox's "Best New R&B Singer of 1952." "Lawdy" was the first song by a teenager to sell over a million copies, knocking down the race music wall and opening the doors to both Black and young musicians. His career came to a halt when he was drafted and sent to Korea. Before he left, he got Little Richard his first recording contract. When Price returned home, he released two of his biggest hits back-to-back, "Personality" and "Stagger Lee." As an entrepreneur, Price was the first musician of any color to start his own label as well as the first Black person to open a nightclub below Harlem in New York City. In 1995, "Lawdy" was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's list of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." Price was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Sheldon Epps (Director) was Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse for two decades. Currently he continues to serve The Playhouse as Artistic Director Emeritus. He has also served as Artistic Advisor for Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. Prior to that he was Associate Artistic Director of The Old Globe Theatre. Mr. Epps has directed numerous plays and musicals at many of the country's major theatres including Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, and The Goodman Theatre. He conceived and directed the highly acclaimed musicals Play On! and Blues in the Night, which both received Tony Award nominations on Broadway. Blues was also nominated as Best Musical for the prestigious Olivier Award in London. He also co-directed the Tony-nominated production of Baby, It's You! Mr. Epps also has had a busy career as a television director helming episodes of shows such as "Frasier," "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Girlfriends," the new Netflix series "The Upshaws," and many others. He is a longtime board member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, and currently serves on the SDC Foundation Board of Trustees. He is the recipient of the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University. Recently he was appointed Senior Artistic Advisor at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.

Shelton Becton (Music Supervisor) is a pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, conductor, and vocal coach. He has served as the musical director for many heralded singers such as Judy Collins, Patti Austin, Phylicia Rashad and Roberta Flack. His Broadway credits include Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald, Shuffle Along... directed by George C. Wolfe, The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', The Color Purple, Memphis, and Baby It's You! He recently received the 'VIV' (Audelco) Award for Outstanding Music Director for the CSC production of Carmen Jones.

Edgar Godineaux

(Choreographer). Awards include Barrymore Award for Outstanding Choreography/Movement (Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole) and NAACP nomination for Best Director/Choreography for Larger Theatre in LA (Memphis the Musical). Current projects include choreography for The Harder They Come at The Public Theater, co-directed by Tony Taccone and Sergio Trujillo. Godineaux has a collaborative relationship with Trujillo and was Associate Choreographer for Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations (Tony Award, Best Choreography), Memphis the Musical(Tony Award, Best Musical; Olivier Award, Best Choreography), Leap of Faith, and Flashdance the Musical. As a dance performer, Godineaux toured with Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Karyn White and Diana Ross. He has performed on "Dancing with The Stars," "Sunday Night at the Palladium," the Oscars, AMAs, Grammy Awards, MTV Awards, Emmys, and Motown 30th Anniversary (associate choreographer). Broadway performance credits include Aida, Swing!, The Pajama Game, Dance of the Vampires, and Merrily We Roll Along (Kennedy Center). TV and film credits as a performer include "Law & Order" (CI & SVU), "Glee," "How I Met Your Mother," and as a choreographer include "Dancing with the Stars," "SYTYCD Canada," "Awkwafina is Nora from Queens," Chicago, Jersey Boys (associate choreographer), and The Five Heartbeats (associate choreographer). He was associate choreographer to Hinton Battle for Idlewild, Boldin, and The Great Observer.

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