Photo Flash: Sneak Peek at ELF THE MUSICAL, Coming to TUTS Starring Tommy J. Dose and More!
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) today announces the cast for the new holiday classic, Elf The Musical, running tomorrow, Dec. 6 - 22 at Hobby Center's Sarofim Hall. Making his TUTS debut as the loveable "elf" Buddy is Tommy J. Dose. He played Alfred Doolittle in the national tour of My Fair Lady and has circulated the regional theatre scene with companies including the Fulton Theatre, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and the Cumberland County Playhouse. Scroll down for a look at the Seattle production and stay tuned for original production photos from TUTS!
Playing Buddy's parents Walter and Emily Hobbs are Mark Jacoby and Cynthia Ferrer. Jacoby originated this role for the Broadway production of Elf The Musical, and he counts Show Boat, The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd and Ragtime among his other Broadway credits. Jacoby appeared most recently at TUTS in Jekyll & Hyde. Ferrer's credits range from the first national tour of Singin' In The Rain to several appearances in film and television. TUTS audiences will remember her from TUTS' presentation of Happy Days - A New Musical and Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Mallory Bechtel and McKenna Marmolejo, two teenage students at TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre, will split the role of Buddy's kid sister Michelle. Both girls boast several credits with TUTS. Bechtel has appeared in White Christmas, Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors and The Sound of Music. Marmolejo has played in Disney's When You Wish and Whistle Down The Wind.
Texas native Jessica Rush will play Jovie, Buddy's love interest. She has performed on Broadway in Jersey Boys, Guys and Dolls and Gypsy. Her national tour credits include playing the leads in Cinderella and Mamma Mia. Rush most recently graced the TUTS stage in Miss Saigon.
Julia Krohn will portray Deb, Mr. Hobbs' secretary. Julia's recent work at TUTS includes A Chorus Line, Spamalot, Man of La Mancha, Camelot and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She appeared in the original Las Vegas company of Jersey Boys, and she lists Joy and ABBA's Kristina among her New York City credits. Michael Tapley will appear as the Macy's Manager. Tapley has previous worked in Broadway's The Who's Tommy as well as the national tours of Evita, 42nd Street, Mame, The Who's Tommy, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. TUTS' audience members will remember him from shows such as A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Annie and Man of La Mancha.
Adam Heller will play Mr. Greenway, a role that he also performed in Elf The Musical on Broadway. His other Broadway credits include Baby It's You!, Victor/Victoria and LES MISERABLES. Of course, no performance of Elf The Musical would be complete without an appearance from Santa! William Hartery, who works year-round as a professional Santa Claus, will portray the festive seasonal character. He has also toured nationally with Cats.
A special holiday treat, Houstonians will experience the best of Houston's young talent as part of the show. The cast of elves will be played by students from TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. The elves include Natalie Davidson, Lauren Dodds, Promise Facciponte, Alexa Magro, Savannah May, Garret Morris, Carlie Sachs and Lauren Santana.
Ensemble members include Caitlin Cannon, Venny Carranza, Logan Keslar, Megan McGuff, Alaina Mills, Dennis O'Bannion, Elizabeth Racanelli, Mark C. Reis, Shay Rodgers, Adrienne Storrs, Michael Anthony Sylvester, Paxton Tanner, Marrell West and Karley Willocks.
Creative team includes director Bruce Lumpkin and choreographer Michelle Gaudette. A husband-and-wife team, Lumpkin and Gaudette have collaborated at TUTS for Man of La Mancha and Miss Saigon. Lumpkin previously worked on several Broadway titles including Grand Hotel, My One and Only, Nine, Stepping Out, and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Additionally, Mr. Lumpkin co-directed Grand Hotel on London's West End and served on the creative team for the national tours of Dr. Doolittle and Nine. He received the Barrymore Award for Best Director and Best Musical for his revisionist look at Cabaret. Gaudette has performed internationally throughout her career, and she toured nationally in Will Rogers Follies. She also performed for 9 years as a member of the Radio City Rockettes in New York City.
Jeff Rizzo will serve as the musical director and conductor. Rizzo's previous shows at TUTS include Spamalot, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, and The Sound of Music. Rizzo has toured nationally with Annie, The Wizard of Oz and 42nd Street. Also joining the creative team are sound designer Kit Bond and lighting designer Richard Winkler.
Elf The Musical is originally based on the New Line Cinema film written by David Berenbaum starring Will Ferrell. The musical features a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. Meehan is the Tony Award winning librettist who wrote Hairspray and Annie and co-wrote The Producers, and Martin is the librettist for The Drowsy Chaperone. Music is by Matthew Sklar and lyrics are by Chad Beguelin, who both earned Tony Award nominations for their work in Broadway's The Wedding Singer.
Tickets (starting at only $24) are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882, or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, located at 800 Bagby at Walker, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. An audio described performance is available Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m.; open captioning is available Sunday, December 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Hobby Center is wheelchair accessible. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Group tickets may be purchased by calling (713) 558-8888 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka