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Tony Winner Karen Ziemba to Star in GYPSY at Sharon Playhouse; Klea Blackhurst, Elizabeth Franz & More Also on Tap for 2016 Season

Sharon Playhouse, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Simpkins and Managing Director Justin Ball, announces casting and creative teams for the 2016 summer season of musicals and plays Gypsy; Big River; Quartet; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; and the new musical, Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court.

Broadway veteran and Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba (Curtains; Contact) stars in Gypsy from June 16 - July 3, directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford (In My Life) and music directed by Joshua Zecher-Ross. Ziemba is joined by Rufus Collins (Herbie) and Kyra Kennedy (Louise). Based loosely on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and often referred to as the perfect American musical, Gypsy follows Rose, the ultimate show business mother, and her dreams to raise two daughters to perform on the stage. Gypsy was created by the legendary musical theatre team of Jule Styne (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), and Arthur Laurents (book).

John Simpkins directs the seven-time Tony Award-winning Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn running July 21 - 31. Featuring Broadway's Nicholas Ward (On The Town) as Jim, Joseph Allen (Huck), and Thomas Cannizzaro (Spamalot) as Duke. Based on Mark Twain's classic novel, Big River moves down the mighty Mississippi as Huck helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom. Their adventures are set to an award-winning score by country music artist Roger Miller and book by William Hauptman. Jennifer Werner (The Book of Mormon) choreographs and James Cunningham is Music Director.

Quartet, a play by Academy Award-winner Ronald Harwood (The Pianist), runs August 18 - 28 and features Tony Award-winner Elizabeth Franz (Death of a Salesman). Four elderly opera-singers have ended up in the same retirement home for artists. A concert is about to take place to celebrate Verdi's birthday. Will these four singers be able to recreate their youth and perform their acclaimed quartet from Rigoletto? Quartet was adapted as a 2013 film that starred Maggie Smith. John Simpkins directs.

Klea Blackhurst (Hazel) returns to Sharon Playhouse to star in the new musical Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court on Stage 2 in the Bok Gallery from July 7 - 17. With music by Michael Kooman and book & lyrics by Christopher Dimond, Judge Jackie rules over her reality television courtroom with an iron fist, presiding over a three-ring circus of America's most chaotic civil cases. But, when a drop in ratings brings her face to face with the liability of her own love life, the judge must learn to navigate the ludicrous laws of love in this over-the-top courtroom comedy. Judge Jackie premiered at Pittsburgh C.L.O. and is based on a concept by Van Kaplan. John Simpkins directs, with music direction by Joshua Zecher- Ross.

The 2nd longest running Off-Broadway musical in history - I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change - plays Stage 2 in the Bok Gallery from August 4 - 14. The celebration of the relationship takes center stage in this hilarious revue that pays tribute to those who have loved, lost, and dared to ask "What are you doing Saturday night?" Jennifer Werner (The Book of Mormon) directs and choreographs the show, with music direction by Joshua Zecher-Ross, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts.

Additional Sharon Playhouse artists-in-residence for 2016 include Scenic Designers Michael Schweikardt, Jack Mehler, Josh Smith, and Lauren Mills; Lighting Designers Chris Dallos, Jack Mehler, Jamie Roderick, and Ken Wills; and Costume Designer Michelle Humphrey. Geoff Josselson is Casting Director.

Season subscriptions ($90-$180) are on sale now. Single tickets ($15-$47) available online and at the Sharon Playhouse Box Office by calling (860) 364-7469.


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