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Disney's TARZAN Gets Chicago Premiere This Spring

To celebrate its 10th Anniversary, NightBlue Performing Arts Company opens its 2017 season with the Chicago premiere of "Disney's TARZAN: The Broadway Musical" at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont.

This musical, Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock legend, Phil Collins, and a book by Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang. High-flying excitement and hits, like the Academy Award winning "You'll Be in My Heart," as well as "Son of Man" and "Two Worlds," make Tarzan an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan. Apart from striving for acceptance from his ape father, Tarzan's life is mostly monkey business until a human expedition treks into his tribe's territory, and he encounters creatures like himself for the first time. Tarzan struggles to navigate a jungle, thick with emotion, as he discovers his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts. "Disney's TARZAN: The Broadway Musical" runs April 12, 2017 through May 14, 2017. Press night is Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $35, $32, and $25. For tickets visit or call the box office at 773-327-5252.

"Disney's TARZAN: The Broadway Musical" is being Directed and Choreographed by multi-Jeff Award winner Kevin Bellie, with Music Direction by Michael Kaish.

The cast of "Disney's TARZAN: The Broadway Musical" includes (in alphabetical order): Jonathan Allsop, Tamara Anderson, Tim Casey, Jordan DeBose, Jomar Ferreras, Garrett Wade Haley, Mia Hart, Paige Hauer, Juwon Perry, Khaki Pixley, Rachel Quinn, John-Eduard Rodriguez, Kara Schoenhofer, and Ryan Smetana.

The rest of NightBlue's 10 Anniversary season includes "Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical" (August 30, 2017 through October 7, 2017) and "If/Then" (February 21, 2018 through March 25, 208) all presented at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont, in Chicago.

In the past 10 years, NightBlue Performing Arts Company has presented over 30 mainstage productions including critically acclaimed, and Jeff-nominated and award winning shows like "Avenue Q", "Rent", "Miss Saigon" and Monty Python's "Spamalot!" (all of which were original Chicago premieres!)

"NightBlue isn't a name. It's a concept. We use innovation, intensity and immersion as the building blocks of a deep and diverse environment where vivid performance and honest exploration of craft is deeply valued by all patrons and participants."

NightBlue Performing Arts Company presents the Chicago Premiere of "Disney's: TARZAN: The Broadway Musical" opening with a special press night on April 12 at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont at 7:30 p.m. Evening tickets are $35, with discounts available for students and seniors. For tickets and information visit


Kevin Bellie (Director/Choreographer) is happy to return to NightBlue after choreographing 2016's Mary Poppins. Recent Credits include Director/Choreographer I Left My Heart (Mercury Theater),Damn Yankees (Light Opera Works), Choreographer Avenue Q (JEFF Recommended) and Director/Choreograher Grand Night for Singing(The Mercury Theatre- JEFF nominated Best Direction/Best Revue), Direction/Choreography at CircleTheatre-Urinetown (Jeff Award Outstanding Choreography), The Baker's Wife (Jeff Recommended), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (JEFF Nominated), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(JEFF Nominated), Can-Can (JEFF Nominated), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (JEFF Nominated), Mack & Mabel (JEFF nominated), Sweet Smell of Success (JEFF Nominated), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (JEFF Nominated), Nine (JEFF Award), The Life (JEFF Award), Grand Hotel (JEFF Award.) Kevin has directed/choreographed A Chorus Line(McLeod Summer Playhouse), Let's Fall in Love, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Tafettas, Roasting Chestnuts and Drood (Fox Valley Rep), choreographed The Music Man (Light Opera Works), choreographed Anyone Can Whistle (Pegasus Players), A New Brain(Porchlight, JEFF Nominated), Closer Than Ever, Gypsy (Porchlight Music Theatre, JEFF Recommended and After Dark Award Recipient). Kevin is on the Fine Arts faculty at Saint Ignatius College Prep.

Michael Kaish (Musical Director) is a Chicago-based music director, accompanist, and orchestrator. Recent credits include Company (Writers Theatre), Ride the Cyclone, Sense and Sensibility (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Mamma Mia! (Paramount Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Secret Garden (Court Theatre), The Addams Family (Mercury Theater), The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre), and The Sound of Music (Brightside Theatre). He also wrote new orchestrations for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production of Into the Woods. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University, where he continues to work as an accompanist and faculty member for the NHSI Musical Theatre "Cherubs" program. He has also worked as a teaching artist at Columbia College Chicago and the Chicago Academy of the Arts.

Bob Knuth (Scenic Designer) is very happy to be making his design debut with NightBlue Theatre. Bob has been nominated for 15 JEFF Awards and received two for Best Set Design (Enchanted April and Steel Magnolias) for his work at Circle Theatre. JEFF Nominated productions include Little Women, Philadelphia Story, Hay Fever, An Ideal Husband, The Women, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Meet Me in St. Louis, Analytical Engine, Design For Living, The Life, Triumph Of Love and The Secret Garden (JEFF Award winner for Best Production, nominated for Direction & Set Design). Other Chicago area set designs include: The Addams Family and The Color Purple at Mercury Theater; Let's Misbehave, Breaking Up is Hard To Do, Mystery of Edwin Drood and Spelling Bee at Pheasant Run; and numerous sets for The Second City. During the day, Bob is the Creative Director for The Second City (Chicago, LA, Toronto) and UP Comedy Club. Check Bob out at

Jomar Ferreras (Tarzan): Jomar is a Chicago-based singer and actor most recently seen in Lyric Opera's The King and I with Kate Baldwin, Paolo Montalban, and Ali Ewoldt. Chicago: Jeff Nominated Jesus Christ Superstar (Theo Ubique) and A Christmas Wish (Quest Theatre Ensemble); The Guide to Being Single (Underscore Theatre), South Pacific (Music Theatre Works). Regional: I Love You, You're Perfect... (Crossroads Rep), Sweeney Todd (FRC Players), Disney's Believe (DCL).

Rachel Juncker (Jane): Rachel is thrilled to be returning back to the Chicago stage making her NightBlue debut. A previous company member with Circle Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Jeff Nomination), Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Jeff Nomination), Lois/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate and Cinderella in Into the Woods. Rachel would like to thank Kevin, Carolyn and her family for all of their encouragement with a special thank you to the most supportive and loving husband there is.

Jordan DeBose (Kerchak): Jordan is happy to be making his NightBlue debut! From Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jordan has been seen in Porchlight MT's In The Heights as Kevin Rosario and Quest Theatre's The Fantasticks as Bellomy. Other credits include RENT (Tom Collins), The Full Monty (Horse), Miss Saigon (The Engineer), Once On This Island (Agwe), and more. He is a trained stuntman and can do high falls, prat falls, stage combat, and stage burns. He'd like to thank NightBlue for trusting him with this opportunity and his family and friends for their constant love and support.

Khaki Pixley (Kala): Khaki Pixley (Kala) is excited to make her NightBlue debut! Chicago credits include: Applause and A Class Act (Porchlight); Haymarket (Underscore); The Wild Party (Bailiwick, Jeff Award Best Ensemble); Jesus Christ Superstar, Time after Time (Theo Ubique); Pippin, The Baker's Wife, A Little Night Music (Jeff Nomination) and Death Takes A Holiday (Circle Theatre). She is currently on break from touring internationally with The Man In Black Show; A Tribute to Johnny Cash. Thanks to Kevin!

Juwon Tyrel Perry (Terk): Juwon is delighted to be making his debut with NightBlue. He is a student at Columbia College Chicago where he studies Musical Theatre. A native of Osceola, Arkansas he is happy to be living his dreams in the big city. He wants to thank his family for their support in this wild journey called theatre; without them this would still be a dream.

Garrett Haley (Clayton/Father/Ensemble): Garrett is very excited to make his NightBlue debut in Tarzan! A recent Chicago transplant from Oklahoma City, he has been doing theatre for a number of years. Favorite shows include Floyd Collins, American Idiot,and A Chorus Line. He studied voice with Dr. Kevin Eckard and acting with Greg White, Steven Smeltzer and Shannon Hurleigh at The University Of Central Oklahoma. He made his Chicago debut in Phillis: American Revolutonary at ETA Creative arts this past January.

Tim Casey (Porter/Ensemble): Tim is happy to return to Night Blue after appearing as Admiral Boom & the Bank Chairman in "Mary Poppins." Recent roles include Marley in "Scrooge & Marley" for New Lenox Rotary Club, Igor in "Young Frankenstein" for Oak Lawn Park District and Sir Bedevere/Mrs. Galahad (u/s Arthur) for "Spamalot" at Metropolis Performing Arts Center. Favorite roles include Harold Hill, Nathan Detroit, Barnum and Mr. McAfee, to name a few. Tim sends his love to his beautiful wife of 13 years, Eileen and their sons Sean (11) & Todd (10).

Jonathan Allsop (Snipes/Ensemble): Jonathan is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he received a B.A. in Music. Even though he is a business analyst during the day, he loves to sing his heart out at night! Jonathan has participated in musical theater ever since high school and loves to perform. Being new to the Chicago area, this is Jonathan's first musical theater production in Chicago, and he is excited to be working with such amazing people. Jonathan will also perform at Davenport's Piano Bar, and can't wait to be in more performances throughout the city.

Tamara Anderson (Ensemble/ u/s Kala): Tamara is pleased to be making her NightBlue Theatre Debut! Chicago Credits: Tinsel (Lil Buds Theatre); Bare: A Rock Opera (Cuckoo Bird Theatre); Smokey Joe's Cafe (Theatre Ubique U/S); Legally Blonde (JPAC); Road to Freedom & Odyssey (Greatworks Theatre). An Alumni of Lees McRae College, she is also a self declared Thumb War champion. Tamara is grateful to her Husband Marvin for his everlasting support and would like to thank God for his incredible Grace and Mercy. Romans 8:28

Paige Hauer (Ensemble): Paige is thrilled to be making her NightBlue debut in Disney's Tarzan! You may have seen her most recently on the Black Ensemble stage in My Brother's Keeper: The Story of the Nicholas Brothers, The Other Cinderella, and Sounds So Sweet. Other credits include Theo Ubique's A Newley/Bricusse Songbook as the Woman, The Heartland Festival's Mary Poppins as Mary Poppins and Revival Theatre Company's Midwest Premiere of DOGFIGHT as Rose. Paige holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Viterbo University and is a proud student of Chicago's Black Box School of Acting. She'd like to thank David Walters and the NightBlue team for the opportunity to bring one of her favorite Disney movies to Stage 773! "You'll be in my heart... always."

Ryan Smetana (Ensemble): Chicago and regional credits include The Young Playwrights Festival (Pegasus Theatre), Almost, Maine (Saltbox Theatre Collective), A Fabulous 50's Christmas (Towle Theatre), Pericles, The Tempest (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), Goat Song (Tennessee Williams Literary Festival), Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar (Lincoln-Way Area Summer Stock Theatre). Ryan received his BFA in acting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where his credits include The Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Not About Nightingales, The Duchess of Malfi, The Skin of Our Teeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Clybourne Park, and Now. Here. This.

Mia Hart (Ensemble): Mia is grateful and thrilled to be making her debut at Night Blue Theater in Tarzan! She is currently a BFA Musical Theatre Performance major at Columbia College Chicago. Her most recent credits include Heather Duke in Heathers the Musical at Oakton Community College and Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie with the Starlight Theatre of Wilmette. She would like to thank Night Blue Theater for this great opportunity, as it has been an honor and a privilege to be part of such a talented cast. A shout out goes to her family and friends for all their love and support. Enjoy the show!

Kara Schoenhofer (Leopard/Ensemble) - is excited to be back with NightBlue! Previous productions include FIRST DATE ( Williams Street Rep), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, DAMN YANKEES, THE MERRY WIDOW, SOUTH PACIFIC, GUYS AND DOLLS (Light Opera Works), LEGALLY BLONDE (Big Noise), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Living Room Theatre Co.) and MARY POPPINS (Night Blue Performing Arts). Kara also teaches and choreographs for NightBlue at Everest Academy and Infinity Arts Academy in Chicago. Kara hails from Lima, Ohio and is a proud graduate of Ball State University! Thank you to my amazing family and friends for your constant support and encouragement! Enjoy!

Jean-Eduard Rodriguez (Young Tarzan): Jean-Eduard is a nine year-old Chicago native whose first acting debut began at the young age of three where he played the role of Peter Pan in a small production coordinated by Stage Play Kids. He has since taken vocal lessons from Beyond the Stars Academy and participated in Disney's Shrek and Peter Pan musicals directed by NightBlue Performing Arts Company. Jean-Eduard loves to produce funny and quirky videos for his YouTube channel, and is currently working on creating his very own video game. He is ecstatic to have been given this amazing opportunity and is incredibly thankful to NightBlue Performing Arts Company for the encouragement and confidence they have shown him. He would like to thank all of his family for their love and support and would like his parents to know that it is because of them that he truly believes in himself and is confident that with his dedication and hard work all of his dreams can come true!

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