Whoa, Mama! Meet the Full Cast of BRIGHT STAR, Opening Tonight on Broadway
With direction by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreography by Josh Rhodes, Bright Star began performances on February 25th and opens officially tonight, March 24th, 2016 at at the Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street). Scroll down to learn more about the company and watch a promo for the show!
Carmen Cusack makes her Broadway debut as Alice, a role she originated in BRIGHT STAR's world premiere production in San Diego, and is joined by co-stars Paul Alexander Nolan, Tony Award nominee Michael Mulheren, A.J. Shively,Hannah Elless, Tony Award nominee Stephen Bogardus, three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty, Stephen Lee Anderson, Emily Padgett, Tony Award nominee Jeff Blumenkrantz, along with Maddie Shea Baldwin, Allison Briner-Dardenne, Max Chernin, Patrick Cummings, Sandra DeNise, Richard Gatta, Lizzie Klemperer, Michael X. Martin,William Michals, Tony Roach, Sarah Jane Shanks and William Youmans.
Inspired by a real event, this original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past - and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives.
Broadway debut! Credits include - West End: LES MISERABLES (Fantine), The Secret Garden (Rose, Royal Shakespeare Company), Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (Chest Prospects, the Venue), Personals (Kim, Apollo Theatre). UK tours include: The Phantom of the Opera(Christine), Over the Rainbow (Eva Cassidy). North America: South Pacific (Nellie Forbush, Lincoln Center's 1st nat'l tour), First Wives Club (Annie McDougan, Oriental Chicago), Sunday in the Park with George (Dot/Marie, Chicago Shakespeare), Carrie (Lynn Gardner, MCC NY), Wicked (Elphaba, Chicago/1st national tour; Melbourne, Australia). She is beyond thrilled to introduce you to Alice Murphy.
PAUL ALEXANDER NOLAN
(Jimmy Ray Dobbs)
Nolan most recently was Off-Broadway in Daddy Long Legs directed by John Caird. Broadway: Doctor Zhivago (Pasha/Strelnikov, 2015 OCC nomination), Once (Guy), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus). Regional: Aida (Kansas City Starlight); JCS and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots(La Jolla Playhouse); six seasons with the Stratford Festival, including As You Like It (Orlando), The Grapes of Wrath (Al), Cyrano de Bergerac (Valvert), West Side Story (Tony, dir. Gary Griffin), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus) and The Who's Tommy (Cousin Kevin).
(Mayor Josiah Dobbs)
Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominee for Kiss Me Kate. Other Broadway: Spider-Man, Looped, The Farnsworth Invention, Deuce,La Cage, The Boy From Oz, Titanic and On The Waterfront. Off-Broadway: Floyd Collins, The Fantasticks and The Cocoanuts. Television: All NYC Soaps, recurring roles on "Salem," "Person of Interest," "Rescue Me," "Royal Pains" and "Law and Order." Guest Spots on "Gotham," "The Good Wife," "Blue Bloods" and 20 other series. A bakers dozen films by such directors as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Richard Donner. Love always to Amanda, Conor and Fiona.
Broadway/ NY: La Cage aux Folles; Brigadoon (Benefit Concert). Nat'l Tour: The Sound of Music. Off-Broadway: February House (The Public), Unlock'd (Prospect); ...Guide To A Successful Marriage (Cherry Lane), Things To Ruin (Second Stage), Little Airplanes Of The Heart (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Regional: Old Globe, Center Stage, TUTS, George Street, Long Wharf, TheatreWorks, Gulfshore Playhouse; Sharon Playhouse. TV/Film: "The Daily Show;" Syrup; HairBrained, Nobody Walks In L.A., From Nowhere, No One Asked Me (upcoming). BFA: University of Michigan.
Elless returns to Broadway after making her debut in the revival of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell. TV/Film: "Glee" (FOX), The Lake Effect,Before Winter and the upcoming film When Mary Met Ally. Off-B'way: The Other Josh Cohen. Select theatre: Hamlet (Ophelia), Phaedra(Aricia), Henry V (Katharine), Private Lives (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Ms. Elless is also an accomplished musician, playing more than six instruments. For my Grandfather.
Bogardus has appeared on Broadway in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Old Acquaintance, Man of La Mancha, James Joyce's The Dead, High Society, King David, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Tony nom., Obie Award), Falsettos, The Grapes of Wrath, LES MISERABLES, and West Side Story. Off-Broadway: Passion (CSC), Go Back To Where You Are, March of the Falsettos, and Falsettoland (Playwrights Horizons) and The Pavilion (Rattlestick). TV and Film: Gold (2016), Julie and Julia, Love! Valour! Compassion!, "The Blacklist," "Elementary," "The Good Wife" and "Smash."
Hoty played Aunt Alicia in Gigi on Broadway last season. She earned Tony nominations for starring roles in Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, and The Will Rogers Follies. Dee starred on Broadway and in eight major U.S. cities as Donna in Mamma Mia!More Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie (Roundabout), City of Angels (Outer Critics Circle Nominations), Me and My Girl, Big River, The Five O'Clock Girl and Shakespeare's Cabaret. Otterbein College graduate/Honorary Doctorate. Proud member Actor?s Equity.
STEPHEN LEE ANDERSON
Theatre: Richard III, Old Vic (London) and BAM, dir: Sam Mendes, The Iceman Cometh, BAM. Broadway: 10 productions including Spider-Man, Wicked, Julius Caesar, The Crucible, Footloose, The Capeman and The Kentucky Cycle. Off-Broadway: Violet, Floyd Collins (Playwrights Horizons), Atlantic Theater Company, Vineyard Theatre, MTC. Regional: San Diego Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre (IRNE Award Best Supporting Actor, Bus Stop), Long Wharf, Denver Center (seven seasons). Film/TV: The Treatment, "Daredevil," "Public Morals," "OITNB," and more.
Broadway: Side Show (Daisy Hilton), Rock of Ages (Sherrie Christian), Legally Blonde, and Grease. Regional: Side Show (La Jolla, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award; Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Nomination), Waterfall (Pasadena Playhouse), White Noise (Royal George Theatre). First National Tour: Grease (Sandy), Flashdance The Musical (Alex Owens). TV: "Louie," "America's Got Talent." NY Workshop: Nobody Loves You dir. Pam MacKinnon, Diner dir. Kathleen Marshall.
Actor: Broadway: Into the Woods, Threepenny Opera, Damn Yankees, How to Succeed..., A Class Act. Off-Broadway: Murder for Two(Lortel nomination), Anyone Can Whistle (Encores!), Forever Plaid. NY Philharmonic: Sweeney Todd (Live from Lincoln Center), Candide(Great Performances). TV/Film: "30 Rock," "The Good Wife," Joseph ... Dreamcoat, "Will and Grace," "Law and Order(s)." Composer: 2011 Fred Ebb Award, Urban Cowboy (Tony nomination), The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast, I've Been Played: Alysha Umphess Swings Jeff Blumenkrantz.
MADDIE SHEA BALDWIN
(Swing, u/s Margo Crawford)
Broadway debut! Regional credits: Make Me Bad (Daisy, BPP), Ace (Sidekick, Old Globe), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Bootsie Who, Old Globe), Little Women (Amy March, North Coast Rep). Indiana University MT Grad 2015. Special thanks to the Bright Star team, Nicolosi & Co, my supportive family and God, who makes all things possible.
(County Clerk, Ensemble, u/s Mama Murphy)
Bright Star: Old Globe Theatre, Kennedy Center. Broadway: Mamma Mia!. National Tours: Follies at The Ahmanson LA, Mamma Mia!,White Christmas, LES MISERABLES, Titanic. Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway, Listen to My Heart, Return to the Forbidden Planet. More than 25 regional theatre credits. TV: "The Carrie Diaries," "Law and Order," "SVU," "All My Children," "One Life to Live."
(Max, Ensemble, u/s Daryl Ames, Billy Cane)
Broadway debut. Recent credits include: Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre), Claudio Quest (NYMF), Bright Star (Old Globe, Kennedy Center). Readings: I Love You, Anita Bryant (Ars Nova), and Darling (Weston Playhouse). TV: "Mozart In The Jungle," and "The Family." Various concerts at Joe's Pub, 54 Below and Town Hall. CCM Alum. Much love to friends, teachers, Nicolosi & Co. and my family.
(Station Master, Ensemble, u/s Jimmy Ray Dobbs)
New York: New Girl in Town, Donnybrook and Transport (Irish Repertory Theatre), It Must Be Him (Peter J. Sharp Theatre), and Happiness (Mitzi Newhouse Theater). Regional: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Kansas City Starlight, Moonlight Amphitheater, Musical Theatre West and more. T.V./Film: "Hostages" (Robert Harper) and Pittsburgh!. BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon. Thanks to CGF, Alessa and my family for their steadfast support.
(Edna, Ensemble, u/s Alice Murphy, Lucy Grant, Mama Murphy)
Atlanta native and NYU Grad. Broadway: Kinky Boots (OBC), A Gentleman's Guide.... 1st National Equity Tours: Rent, Parade, Saturday Night Fever, Hairspray (Penny), Jersey Boys, Shrek. TV/Film: "ER," "Gilmore Girls," "That 70's Show," Georgia Rule. Thanks to SMS Agency. Much love and gratitude to Dad, Jenny, and Ryan. For Mom...the brightest star in the sky.
(Dance Captain, Swing, u/s Daryl Ames)
Gatta is excited to be making his Broadway debut. NYC/tours include Zorba!, Cinderella (1st Nat'l), Billy Elliot (Asst. Resident Choreographer), Fiddler on the Roof w/ Topol and Harvey Fierstein, The Pajama Game, Grease (Asia). Northeast Ballet Co. (Assistant Artistic Director). Special thanks to Josh Rhodes!
(Swing, u/s Margo Crawford)
NYC: A Christmas Story, The Most Happy Fella, Fiorello! Tours: The Addams Family, Little House on the Prairie. Regional: The Music Man(Marian), Les Miserables (Eponine), Hair (Crissy), Big River (Mary Jane). Proud University of Michigan graduate. Many thanks to dedicated agents at Nicolosi & Co., my family and Evan.
MICHAEL X. MARTIN
(Dr. Norquist, Ensemble, u/s Daddy Murphy, Mayor Josiah Dobbs)
Kennedy Center: Little Dancer, Bright Star. Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Bridges of Madison County, Nice Work If You Can Get It,Catch Me If You Can, Ragtime, 9 to 5, Curtains, All Shook Up, Man of La Mancha, Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate; 1776, King David, LES MISERABLES. TV/Film: "Boardwalk Empire," "Law and Order" trilogy, The Producers, Easter Mysteries (post-production).
(Swing, u/s Mayor Josiah Dobbs, Daddy Cane)
Broadway: South Pacific (Emile), Beauty and the Beast (Beast, Gaston). Title roles: Man of La Mancha, Sweeney Todd, The Most Happy Fella, The Music Man, Phantom. Also: Javert, Billy Flynn, Fred/Petruchio, von Trapp, Fredrik, Lancelot, Chauvelin. Recent:The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Menken/Schwartz). TV: "Law & Order," "Blue Bloods." Opera/Symphony: NYC, Denver, San Francisco, Taipei, Hong Kong. XO to Liam, Kalen, and Baby!
(Ivan, Ensemble, u/s Billy Cane, Jimmy Ray Dobbs)
Recent work includes Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson, Goodspeed Opera House), The Metromaniacs, his second world premiere (alsoThe Liar) by David Ives at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC, where he works frequently; Hamlet at Hartford Stage (Darko Tresnjak, director); and Showtime's "The Affair." In NYC, Tony is a proud company member of TACT. MFA, ART/MXAT at Harvard. B.A., Columbia.
SARAH JANE SHANKS
(Florence, Ensemble, u/s Alice Murphy, Lucy Grant)
Broadway: Promises, Promises, Shrek, The Apple Tree, Wicked, Wonderful Town. Old Globe: Bright Star, Goodspeed Opera House: Singin' in the Rain (Kathy), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Alice). NYMF: Unlock'd (Belinda), City Center Encores: Bye Bye Birdie, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Applause. Love to Justin. Romans 8:38-39.
(Stanford Adams, Ensemble, u/s Daddy Murphy, Daddy Cane)
Broadway: Wicked, The Farnsworth Invention, Billy Elliot, Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, Big River, Titanic, Little Foxes (w/ Elizabeth Taylor), Finian's Rainbow, The Pirate Queen. Film/TV: Birdman, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Mrs. Soffel, Compromising Positions, Nadine, Fresh Horses, A League of Their Own, "The Little Match Girl," "Separate But Equal," many more. Off-Broadway: Road Show (Sondheim), Henry V (Public), many more. "Member, Actors Center."