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The Muny Announces Creative Teams for 2015 Season; Marc Bruni, Gary Griffin, Marcia Milgrom Dodge & More!

The Muny announced today the directors, choreographers and music directors for the Muny's 2015 Season, which opens on June 15 with My Fair Lady. "This is a thrilling roster of artists," said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. "We look forward to bringing their vision and talent to our grand stage."

MY FAIR LADY

Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Music by Frederick Loewe

MARC BRUNI (Director) returns to The Muny after previously directing Thoroughly Modern Millie, Legally Blonde, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, My One and Only and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Marc recently made his Broadway directorial debut with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and directed The Sound of Music for the Chicago Lyric Opera this past spring. Bruni's directing credits also include: Pipe Dream and Fanny for the NY City Center Encores! series where he will direct Paint Your Wagon in March, The Explorers Club (Manhattan Theater Club), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre and Royal George in Chicago), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Underground), Nerds (NC Theatre), Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Paper Mill Playhouse), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Paper Mill Playhouse and Philadelphia Theatre Company). He has been associate director on numerous Broadway productions and tours including most recently The Book of Mormon.

CHRIS BAILEY (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing The Muny's productions of Tarzan (2014), West Side Story (2013) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012). Chris also choreographed the historic opening number of the 2013 Tony® Awards, and served as assistant choreographer for the 2013 and 2014 Academy Awards. Chris was the associate choreographer for the Broadway revival of Evita; the Broadway productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Promises, Promises and Cry-Baby. In London's West End, Chris choreographed Assassins at the Menier chocolate factory, was the associate choreographer for Guys and Dolls, Evita, Once in a Lifetime and Candide. Tour credits as choreographer include Evita, The Wedding Singer (US), Guys and Dolls (UK, Australia) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK). Chris was also the Movement director for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cyrano De Bergerac on Broadway.

BEN WHITELEY (Music Director) Muny: The Addams Family, Spamalot; Pirates!; The Sound of Music (twice); Beauty and the Beast (twice); Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Music Man; Meet Me in St. Louis; South Pacific. Broadway/National tours: A Christmas Story, The Addams Family, Spamalot, The Full Monty, Cats (conducted final Broadway performance), Grand Hotel, Falsettos, Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away (with Elaine Stritch), Carnegie Hall Salutes Comden and Green. Choral Direction: Carousel (NY Philharmonic/PBS), City Center Encores!: Assoc. Musical Director and choral preparation for 27 productions including last season's The Most Happy Fella and this season's Paint Your Wagon. Other: Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theatre, University of Michigan. Recordings: Allegro, Boardwalk Empire (Grammy® Award), Merrily We Roll Along.

HAIRSPRAY

Book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan

Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

Music by Marc Shaiman

DAN KNECHTGES (Director/Choreographer) made his Muny debut directing last season's production of Seussical. Dan's Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones (Direction and Choreography), Xanadu (directed by Chris Ashley, Tony® nomination, Drama Desk nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in The Shade (starring Audra McDonald), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (directed by James Lapine). His off- Broadway credits also include Tail! Spin! (starring Rachel Dratch), My Favorite Year at the York Theatre, Lysistrata Jones for the Transport Group, Merrily We Roll Along for Encores!, Vanities and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. Other credits include Give It Up! (Dallas Theatre Center), Vanities (Theatreworks Palo Alto), Girl In The Frame (Goodspeed), Guys and Dolls (Playhouse Square Center), Elf (Pioneer Theatre), Boys From Syracuse (Centerstage Baltimore), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), Oklahoma!, The Wiz, Cats, My Fair Lady, Chalk Circle, Sound of Music, Joseph (Hangar Theatre), Mame, Angel Street, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Surflight Theatre), Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera), Carousel, The Merry Widow, and West Side Story (Opera Illinois). He also has had the pleasure of working on almost every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta including The Grand Duke, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, The Mikado, Patience, The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Sorcerer, all with the Blue Hill Troupe in NYC. Dan's film and TV choreography can be seen in the Todd Solondz's movies Dark Horse and Palindromes, Fatboy Slim's music video It's a Wonderful Night, which reached No.1 in the U.K., White Collar, and the 2011 TVLand Awards starring Liza Minnelli. Dan holds a BFA in musical theatre from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, and hails from Cleveland. He also serves on the Board of SDC.

CHARLIE ALTERMAN (Music Director) returns to The Muny where he served as Musical Director for the productions of Chicago (2012) and Legally Blonde (2011). Broadway credits include Pippin (Musical Director), Godspell (Musical Director), Next to Normal (Musical Director), Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me (Musical Director/actor), and Legally Blonde (Associate Conductor). Tours: Next to Normal (Music Supervisor) and Grease (US/Asia). Off-Broadway favorites: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver and Silence: The Musical!. Regional includes: La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Trinity Rep, Huntington Theatre, and nine seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Concert appearances include shows with Brooke Shields, Frankie Avalon, Emily Skinner, Dana Reeve, Billy Porter, Carol Woods and Ken Page.

Irving Berlin's HOLIDAY INN

Book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge

Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin

GORDON GREENBERG (Director) returns to The Muny where he directed the 2013 production of West Side Story. He wrote and directed Holiday Inn for Universal Pictures and Goodspeed Opera House, as well as directed and conceived the Muny's production of Pirates!. Other directing/writing credits include: the 60th Anniversary U.K. production of Guys & Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre), Working (Drama Desk Award, 59 E 59, Old Globe, Broadway in Chicago, Asolo), Jacques Brel... (Zipper Theatre, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Award nominations), Johnny Baseball (Williamstown), Scramble Band (writer, Disney Channel original movie), Rags (Roundabout, workshop), The Single Girls Guide (writer, Dallas Theatre Center, Ars Nova), Band Geeks! (co-writer, Goodspeed, M.T.I.), Pirates! Or Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder'd (created with Nell Benjamin for Goodspeed, Paper Mill, Huntington, Muny), Yentl (Asolo), Guys & Dolls (U.S. National Tour), The Baker's Wife (Goodspeed & Paper Mill), Disney's Believe (Disney Creative), Disney Fantasy Celebration with Neil Patrick Harris and Jerry Seinfeld, 33 Variations (Capital Rep.), and Floyd Collins (Signature). Current projects include adapting and directing The Secret of My Success for Universal Stage Productions, directing the stage adaptation of Tangled for Disney, and developing a new musical with Broadway legend Jerry Herman. Gordon is the director of new musical development for the acclaimed New Group in New York. Education: Stanford University, NYU Film School, RADA, Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

DENIS JONES (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after directing and choreographing the 2014 production of Grease, directing and choreographing the 2013 production of Spamalot, directing and choreographing the 2012 production of Chicago, and choreographing the premiere of Pirates!. He recently choreographed the Broadway production of Honeymoon In Vegas, as well as the premiere of Holiday Inn (Goodspeed Opera House). Denis also directed and choreographed the off-Broadway premiere of Piece of My Heart. Other recent projects as choreographer include The Sound of Music (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Honeymoon in Vegas (Paper Mill Playhouse), Damn Yankees (Paper Mill and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre), Elf (5th Avenue), Disaster! (St. Luke's), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Johnny Baseball, She Loves Me (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and the international tour of My Fair Lady. Denis was the associate choreographer for Broadway's Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

JAMES MOORE (Music Director) returns to The Muny where his previous productions include: Hello, Dolly!; West Side Story; The Producers; Meet Me in St. Louis and The Music Man. For his work on West Side Story, he received a nomination for outstanding musical director from the St. Louis Theatre Circle. Currently, James serves as music director for the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of On The Town, and the pre-Broadway revival of Gigi. Other Broadway credits include Follies, South Pacific and Ragtime. Recent appearances include The Pirates of Penzance for The Public Theater with a cast that included Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Martin Short and Eric Idle; My Fair Lady for The Kennedy Center starring Jonathan Pryce; Camelot with the National Symphony Orchestra and Brian Stokes Mitchell; Hello, Dolly! at Ford's Theatre; and engagements with the Santa Barbara Symphony. James has conducted the first national touring companies of The Producers; Kiss Me, Kate; Crazy for You and The World Goes 'Round - The Songs of Kander and Ebb. A native of Arlington Heights, Illinois, James holds Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY

Book by Alan Janes

Featuring the music recorded by Buddy Holly

MARCIA MILGROM DODGE (Director) This award-winning director & choreographer made her Muny debut last season directing The Addams Family. Her work has been seen throughout the United States, Canada, England, Denmark, Asia and the Middle East. Dodge's celebrated 2009 Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime moved to Broadway after its sold-out run in Washington, D.C. (Tony® Award Nomination for Best Director of a Musical.) Dodge has worked in such acclaimed theatres as the New York City Opera, John F. Kennedy Center of The Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Glimmerglass Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Huntington Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Music Circus, Flat Rock Playhouse and abroad at the Nanta Theatre in Seoul, S. Korea, Fredericia Teater in Denmark, Royal Opera House in Muskat, Oman, and the Wintergardens Theatre in Blackpool, England. Dodge is also a teacher, a wife, a mother, a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and a published and produced playwright.

JOSH WALDEN (Choreographer) directed/choreographed The Rocky Horror Show for The University of Buffalo, Legally Blonde for Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and A Chorus Line for Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Theatre Memphis. He has also choreographed for The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, DR2 Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, Theatreworks USA, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Gateway Playhouse, Doonce Productions, Riverside Theatre in Florida, D.A.R.E., Tisch School of the Arts, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre and Morag Productions for the Seabourn Sun Cruise Ship. On Broadway, Josh was the Associate Director/Associate Choreographer for the Tony® nominated revival of Ragtime. He had the opportunity to direct/choreograph Fallen Angel: a Rock Opera, which won Best Musical in the New York International Fringe Festival. In that same year, Josh's dance company, Walden Dance Theatre, had its first dance musical, All Is Love, produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival receiving an honorable mention for Direction/Choreography. His film company, Walza Productions, had its first film, I Love You, Anna, accepted into the New York City Independent Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. As a performer, Josh appeared in the Broadway Revivals of 42nd St, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line and Ragtime.

MICHAEL HORSLEY (Music Director) is the music supervisor for The Muny. In his 22 years with The Muny, some of the shows he has conducted include Grease (2014), Mary Poppins (2013), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012), 42nd Street (1996, 2009), Godspell, Irving Berlin's White Christmas (2000, 2006), Damn Yankees (1998, 2010), Sleeping Beauty, Singin' in the Rain and many more. He is the music supervisor for the national tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. National tours include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, Cinderella, Irving Berlin's White Christmas and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Among his other regional theatre credits are Roman Holiday at the Guthrie Theater; On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at Music Theatre Wichita; Fiddler on the Roof at AMT San Jose; A Chorus Line at the Pioneer Theatre; and The Full Monty at North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. He also vocal directed the Christmas Concert Series for the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. He is on staff as music director for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

INTO THE WOODS

Book by James Lapine

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

GARY GRIFFIN (Director) returns to The Muny after directing Mary Poppins (2013) and Disney's Aladdin (2012). He recently directed the Broadway production of Honeymoon In Vegas and the Encores! production of Fiorello!. Gary's highly-acclaimed production of Follies in Chicago was the recipient of six Joseph Jefferson Awards. During his tenure at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Gary has directed Passion, A Flea in Her Ear, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific Overtures, The Herbal Bed, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream and Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet. Other Broadway directing credits include The Color Purple (11 Tony® nominations including Best Musical) and The Apple Tree (Tony® nomination for Best Musical Revival). Gary has received 10 Joseph Jefferson awards for directing and has twice been named a "Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts" by the Chicago Tribune. For the Stratford Festival of Canada, he has directed West Side Story, Evita, Camelot, 42nd Street, and Antony & Cleopatra.

CHRIS BAILEY (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing The Muny's productions of Tarzan (2014), West Side Story (2013) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012). Chris also choreographed the historic opening number of the 2013 Tony® Awards, and served as assistant choreographer for the 2013 and 2014 Academy Awards. Chris was the associate choreographer for the Broadway revival of Evita; the Broadway productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Promises, Promises and Cry-Baby. In London's West End, Chris was the associate choreographer for Guys and Dolls, Evita, Once in a Lifetime and Candide. Tour credits as choreographer include Evita, The Wedding Singer (US), Guys and Dolls (UK, Australia) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK). Next year, Chris will be the choreographer for the eagerly-anticipated Back to the Future in the West End, London.

BRAD HAAK (Music Director) most recently conducted the Broadway bound production of An American In Paris (Paris, France). Previously at The Muny: South Pacific (2013), Gypsy (2006) and The King and I (2012). Broadway credits: Music director for 6-year run of Disney's Mary Poppins, Elton John's Lestat, and piano for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty. Concert highlights: music direction for Chance and Chemistry - 100 Years of Frank Loesser (featuring Sir Paul McCartney); orchestrator for the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Boston Pops, National Symphony. Assistant conductor for 1st national tour of Disney's The Lion King. As music supervisor and orchestrator for composer Paul Gordon: 13 U.S. and 4 international productions of Daddy Long Legs; Jane Eyre in Tokyo, Japan; Jane Austen's Emma at AZ Theatre Company, and the Old Globe in San Diego. Recent regional highlights include Follies (Jeff Award for music direction) and Sunday in the Park With George, both at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Graduate of Northwestern University.

Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Book by Linda Woolverton

Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Music by Alan Menken

MATT LENZ (Director) returns to The Muny where he has directed productions of Hairspray, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Nunsense: Muny Style, and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. Matt recently directed the off-Broadway revival of Pageant: The Musical and the national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical. Other directing credits include the off-Broadway hit comedy The Irish Curse, the national tour of Catch Me if You Can, The Foreigner at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, [title of show] at the George Street Playhouse, LES MISERABLES and God of Carnage at Zach Theatre in Austin, and Idaho! for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (Best Director and Best of Fest awards). He was the Associate Director for the original production of Hairspray on Broadway, national tours, Las Vegas, Toronto and in Cologne, Germany. He directed Hairspray productions in the United Kingdom, and at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, NJ, as well as the NETworks national tour and the ground-breaking production in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was also the Associate Director for Catch Me If You Can and The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway and Resident Director for Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and for the national tours. Matt received the 2010 Kevin Kline Award for Best Director of a Musical for Hairspray at The Muny. He is a teaching artist for The Broadway Dreams Foundation and a member of SDC.

VINCE PESCE (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing The Addams Family (2014) and Shrek (2013). He performed in the original Broadway companies of Beauty and The Beast; Victor/Victoria; High Society; Kiss Me, Kate; Wonderful Town; The Pajama Game; and in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls. He served as Kathleen Marshall's Associate Choreographer on the Broadway productions of Anything Goes, (2011 Tony® Award - Choreography), The Pajama Game starring Harry Connick, Jr. (2006 Tony® Award - Choreography), Wonderful Town (2004 Tony® Award - Choreography), and Little Shop of Horrors. Direction/Choreography - National tours: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, 'S Wonderful, and Victor/Victoria. Choreography - National/International tours: Cinderella starring Lea Salonga, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Oliver!. Choreography - Television: Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed starring Tracey Ullman (HBO), Clash of the Choirs and Grease: You're the One That I Want (NBC/Series Choreographer).

BEN WHITELEY (Music Director) Muny: The Addams Family, Spamalot; Pirates!; The Sound of Music (twice); Beauty and the Beast (twice); Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Music Man; Meet Me in St. Louis; South Pacific. Broadway/National tours: A Christmas Story, The Addams Family, Spamalot, The Full Monty, Cats (conducted final Broadway performance), Grand Hotel, Falsettos, Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away (with Elaine Stritch), Carnegie Hall Salutes Comden and Green. Choral Direction: Carousel (NY Philharmonic/PBS), City Center Encores!: Assoc. Musical Director and choral preparation for 27 productions including last season's The Most Happy Fella and this season's Paint Your Wagon. Other: Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theatre, University of Michigan. Recordings: Allegro, Boardwalk Empire (Grammy® Award), Merrily We Roll Along.

OKLAHOMA!

Book by Oscar Hammerstein II

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Music by Richard Rodgers

ROB RUGGIERO (Director) returns to The Muny after directing Hello, Dolly! (2014); South Pacific (2013); The King and I (2012) and The Music Man (2004). St. Louis audiences also know his work at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, where he most recently directed The Other Place, his seventh show. He also directed The Rep's acclaimed productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Take Me Out. His Broadway credits include Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony®-nominated performance) and High (starring Kathleen Turner). Other New York credits include conceiving and directing the original musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn (Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Regionally, Rob has earned national recognition for his work on both plays and musicals, having received numerous awards, including six Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, a Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago, and has the distinction of being the only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards. He conceived and directed the world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Ella. He recently directed a 50th anniversary revival of Fiddler on the Roof at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut, where he has also directed productions of 1776, Big River, Camelot, Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Carousel and The Most Happy Fella. Rob will be directing another production of Fiddler On The Roof in Athens, Greece in April of 2015. He is the producing artistic director for TheatreWorks in Hartford, Connecticut.

KEVIN STITES (Music Director) returns to The Muny after music directing the 2013 production of LES MISERABLES and the 2010 production of Titanic. Most recently he served as music director/principal conductor of the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, and conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl. He also conducted Titanic in concert at Avery Fisher Hall, two PBS specials for IL VOLO, and was music director for a Barbra Streisand Tribute at Avery Fisher Hall. In the spring of 2015, he will be the Music Director for the Broadway Revival of On the 20th Century, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher. He was the music director and conductor for the 25th Anniversary national tour of LES MISERABLES, as well as the musical director for The Producers at the Hollywood Bowl, directed by Susan Stroman, and conductor for Perfectly Frank: From Hollywood to Broadway at the Grant Park Music Festival. Kevin also recently worked as the music supervisor for the German premiere of Rebecca in Stuttgart, as well as the music supervisor/conductor for the world premiere of Maury Yeston, Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan's Death Takes a Holiday at Roundabout Theatre Company, and as music director/pianist for Deborah Voigt's Voigt Lessons at The Glimmerglass Festival. Broadway: South Pacific (Lincoln Center), Tale of Two Cities, The Color Purple, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, Pamela's First Musical, Children and Art, LES MISERABLES, Threepenny Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Oklahoma!, On The Town, Nine to Five (additional musical arrangements). National tours: Little House on the Prairie, The Color Purple, Martin Guerre, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, LES MISERABLES, Titanic. Regional: world premiere The Master Butchers Singing Club by Marsha Norman (composer/music arranger) at The Guthrie and Take Flight at The McCarter Theatre. Film/Television: Rosie Live!, Reefer Madness, Letterman, Rosie, several Tony® Awards Telecasts, Macy's Fourth of July Spectacular, NBC's Christmas at Rockefeller Center, and others. Guest conductor: Grant Park Symphony (Sondheim, Bernstein, and Gershwin tributes), Hollywood Bowl's Guys and Dolls and LES MISERABLES. Awards: Six Joseph Jefferson Awards for Sweeney Todd, Chess, Pal Joey, Sunday in the Park with George, Baby and Windy City. Teaching: Guest Faculty, UNC School of the Arts. Education: Bachelor and Master of Music, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Awarded the Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship.

Season tickets go on sale March 7, 2015. Single tickets go on sale May 30, 2015.

World Wide Technology (WWT) and The Steward Family Foundation haves once again made a leadership gift of $175,000 to continue as the Muny's 2015 Season Presenting Sponsor. World Wide TechnologyThey became the first overall season sponsor in the 97-year history of The Muny in 2014 and will now continue in that role through 2015.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos


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