Santino Fontana to Step Into the Cast of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE This Week

Through December 11, Fontana will be joined by understudies Benjamin Howes and Justin Scott Brown.

By: Dec. 07, 2022
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Santino Fontana to Step Into the Cast of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE This Week
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Tony Award winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie) will perform in the role of Father Kenny in Classic Stage Company's A Man Of No Importance, starting tonight, December 7.

"The understudies we have at A Man Of No Importance are an incredible group of artists, and we've been so lucky to have them rise to the occasion each and every time they're called upon," says Producing Artistic Director Jill Rafson. "When even they couldn't cover all the needs in this moment, we called in reinforcements to keep the show going. It's such a gift to have a performer like Santino drop everything and come to our rescue. For a musical that celebrates the way that theater can bring a community together, this has become such a clear moment of those values carrying over into CSC itself."

Through December 11, Fontana will be joined by understudies Benjamin Howes (Mary Poppins), as Alfie Byrne, and Justin Scott Brown (Anastasia), who will be going on as Ernie Lally. The three actors will perform this week (including the pre-announced special benefit performance on Sunday, December 11 at 7pm), while Jim Parsons, Nathaniel Stampley, and Joel Waggoner are out. A Man Of No Importance will conclude its extended run at CSC on Sunday, December 18.

Featuring a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, A Man Of No Importance is the final CSC production directed by John Doyle following his tenure as Artistic Director. A Man Of No Importance began performances on October 11, and will officially close on Sunday, December 18. A Man Of No Importance is produced by special arrangement with Tom Kirdahy and Mara Isaacs.

Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally's acclaimed musical A Man Of No Importance tells the story of an amateur theatre group in 1960s Dublin and their leader, bus driver Alfie Byrne (Jim Parsons). Determined to stage a production of Oscar Wilde's Salome despite the objections of local church authorities, Alfie confronts the forces of bigotry and shame over a love "that dare not speak its name." This evocative and award-winning musical illustrates the redemptive power of theater, love, and friendship, all for a man of seemingly no importance.

The cast of A Man Of No Importance features four-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons (The Boys in the Band) and two-time Emmy winner and Tony nominee Mare Winningham (Girl From the North Country) as siblings Alfie and Lily Byrne, respectively, as well as Shereen Ahmed (My Fair Lady) as Adele Rice, Alma Cuervo (On Your Feet!) as Miss Oona Crowe, Kara Mikula (The Cradle Will Rock at CSC) as Mrs. Curtain, Da'Von T. Moody (A.D. 16) as Breton Beret, Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil (Macbeth at CSC) as Mrs. Grace, Thom Sesma (Pacific Overtures at CSC) as Mr. Carney, Tony nominee A.J. Shively (Paradise Square) as Robbie Fay, Nathaniel Stampley (Paradise Square) as Father Kenny, Jessica Tyler Wright (Allegro at CSC) as Mrs. Patrick, Joel Waggoner (School of Rock) as Ernie Lally, and William Youmans (To Kill a Mockingbird) as Baldy O'Shea. Justin Scott Brown (Anastasia), Lee Harrington (Assassins at CSC), Benjamin Howes (Mary Poppins) and Beth Kirkpatrick (Les Misérables) serve as understudies.

The creative team includes John Doyle (Scenic Design), Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Design), Adam Honoré (Lighting Design), Sun Hee Kil (Sound Design), Craig Burns, The Telsey Office (Casting), Alex Wylie (Props Supervisor), Bruce Coughlin (Orchestrator), Caleb Hoyer (Music Director), Bernita Robinson (Production Stage Manager), and Hollace Jeffords (Assistant Stage Manager).

While most of the run is sold-out, some single tickets remain for performances of A Man Of No Importance through December 18, including the special added benefit performance on Sunday, December 11 at 7pm. More information is available at

ABOUT Classic Stage Company

Classic Stage Company (CSC) challenges the traditional perception of classic work by exploring and reimagining great stories across the world's repertoire that illuminate our common humanity. As a home for the classics, CSC collaborates with artists to produce work that is inclusive, relevant, and accessible. CSC believes that theater can both reflect and improve society by reaching across cultural divides in order to foster shared empathy and understanding.

In 1967, director Christopher Martin founded CSC Repertory in a 100-seat theater at Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street. Following short stints in small spaces, CSC grew to the point where it needed a permanent home. In 1973, the theater moved to its present premises on 13th Street, an intimate space that was formerly an East Village carriage house.

In the 55 years since, CSC has become a leading Off-Broadway theater that is a home for new and established artists, as well as audiences seeking epic stories intimately told. Productions have been cited by all major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.


Santino Fontana

has cemented himself as one of Broadway's foremost leading men as well as a formidable screen talent. In 2019, Santino won the Tony Award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his virtuosic performance as "Michael Dorsey"/"Dorothy Michaels" in Tootsie. He is widely known for lending his voice to the villainous 'Prince Hans' in Disney's Academy Award winning animated feature, Frozen. He was also seen in Universal Studio's Sisters, opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His independent film work includes the romantic comedy Off The Menu, psychological thriller Impossible Monsters, and comedy Papercop, for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Williamsburg International Independent Film Festival.

On television, Santino was seen on the most recent season of the critically acclaimed "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." He also starred on CW's comedy "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and NBC's drama series "Shades of Blue," opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, simultaneously. Other television credits include "Fosse/Verdon," "Mozart in the Jungle," "The Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie," and "Royal Pains," as well as the popular web series, "Submissions Only."

One of Broadway's brightest stars, Santino is highly regarded for his work onstage. He's received the Tony, two Drama Desks, an Outer Critics Circle, a Lortel, an Obie, and the Clarence Derwent Award for his work in both plays and musicals. The New York Times wrote, "Santino Fontana [is] one of the most promising actors to emerge in the New York theater." Santino received a Tony Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of "Prince Topher" in Cinderella. Other Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! opposite Bernadette Peters, Act One opposite Tony Shalhoub, The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), A View from the Bridge, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), Billy Elliot, and Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway, Santino was acclaimed for his performance in Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet. He also starred as 'John Adams' in 1776 and 'Elliot Rosewater' in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, both for New York City Center Encores!.

As a vocalist, Santino has performed in jazz venues such as Lincoln Center's Appel Room and Birdland. As an orchestra soloist, Santino has sung at Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and other top tier venues with symphonies, big bands, and smaller ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Pops and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Benjamin Howes

(Understudy for Alfie Byrne). Originally from Australia. Broadway: Mary Poppins, Scandalous, [title of show]. National Tours: Mary Poppins, Shrek The Musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. NYC/Off-Broadway: The View Upstairs and its recording, [title of show], Girl Crazy, The Charity That Began At Home. Regional: A.R.T. in the award-winning play The Shape She Makes, Old Globe, Goodspeed Opera House, MiIwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Asolo Repertory among many others. Film/Television: "Full Circle," "The Blacklist," "Gossip Girl," "The Deuce" (recurring), "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "Deadly Women," "Flight of the Conchords," "Easter Mysteries," "Miles," and a small but glamorous recurring role in "One Life To Live" as Shakespeare reciting drag queen, Alma Children. Artist Champion for HB Studio.

Justin Scott Brown

(Understudy for Ernie Lally) has appeared on Broadway in Anastasia and toured with the original cast of the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables (Marius). Other notable credits include the 1st National Tour of Spring Awakening and Far From Heaven Off-Broadway (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys (Capital Rep), Henrik in A Little Night Music (A.C.T.), Gabe in Next to Normal (Baltimore Center Stage), Into the Woods (Westport), Meet Me in St. Louis (The Muny), Smokey Joe's (The Rep). The 85th Oscars on ABC. BFA from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). IG: @justin_scott_brown.