Unauthorized Karaoke Parody Musical PRAIRIE-OKE! to Return to the Cavern Club, 11/6-22
Originally conceived, written and directed by Dane Whitlock with choreography by Joseph Corella, PRAIRIE-OKE! conjures up memories of classic television from days of yore and then mashes them up with cross-generational karaoke standards that will surely appeal to all!
PRAIRIE-OKE!'s award-winning, internationally acclaimed cast features comedy and internet sensation, Drew Droege and "SNL" alum, Melanie Hutsell, with a special guest appearance (November 6-7) by the TV's original Nellie Oleson, Alison Arngrim, in the role of Mrs. Moleson. Also appearing are Groundlings and Groundlings Sunday Company alums, Mitch Silpa, Kevin Berntson, and Amy Procacci, and returning ITKWYDLDS cast members, Libby Baker; Frances Chewning; Rae Dawn Hadinger; Matthew Herrmann; and Ben Palacios; as well as recent New York transplant, Melanie Wildman.
Largely known for his viral video spoofs of Chloe Sevigny, Drew Droege was awarded the Outfest Film Festival's Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent and was featured in OUT Magazine's Out 100. In 2012, Droege was cited by LA Weekly as one of Los Angeles' Top 10 Comedy Acts to Watch. He regularly appears on stage, TV, and film, and in the wildly popular web series, "Hollywood Acting Studio" and "Not Looking".
Second City and "SNL" alum, Melanie Hutsell first gained attention in Chicago's Annoyance Theater's The Real Life Brady Bunch. Known on "SNL" for playing "Jan Brady", Tri-Delt "Di", Tori Spelling, Monica Seles, and Tonya Harding, she's appeared in numerous TV shows and films including, "Transparent", Bridesmaids, as Paula Dean on the Food Network, and on stage in the recent, parody hit, Golden Girlz Live.
Best known for her portrayal of TV's Nellie Oleson, Alison Arngrim has performed her one woman show, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch to packed houses in NY, LA, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Green Bay, SF, Seattle, and in France. A NY Times' Best Selling author of the book of the same name, Alison has appeared on stage, TV, film, at various Laura Ingalls' historical events, and as the host of "Nasty Nellie's Tour of Hollywood".
Dubbed the "mash-up king" by Frontiers magazine, Dane Whitlock has written and directed three hit musical parodies (Are You There God? It's Me Karen Carpenter, Prairie-oke!, and I (Totally) Know What You Did Last Donna Summer) which have all played to critical acclaim and SRO crowds in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. In 2014, Dane moved from LA to Hendersonville, NC, to work as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Flat Rock Playhouse, State Theater of NC.
Produced by Matthew Herrmann and Vickie Mendoza, PRAIRIE-OKE! runs for three weekends, November 6-22, at the Cavern Club Celebrity Theatre at Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Avenue, Silverlake CA 90026. Performances on Friday and Saturday at 9 PM, Sunday at 7 PM. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Online ticketing is available at Brown Paper Tickets - prairie-okethemusical.brownpapertickets.com.
For more information, visit www.cavernclubtheater.com.
ALISON ARNGRIM (Mrs. Moleson) - Special Guest on November 6th & 7th - NY Times' Best Selling author of Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, Alison Arngrim is best known for her portrayal of TV's nasty Nellie Oleson. Her one woman show, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch has played to packed houses in NY, LA, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Green Bay, SF, Seattle, and in France, where Alison performs entirely in French. Alison has headlined at the Laugh Factory, the Comedy Store, and the Improv as well as at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NY and at assorted comedy venues all across the US and Canada. Currently, she stars in two comedy pilots: "Life Interrupted" and "C.P.R. - Child Performers Resurrection Talent Agency", and has appeared on TV and in films that include Make the Yuletide Gay, "Livin' the Dream", Tinder & Grinder, The Bilderberg Club, For the Love of May with Ru Paul and Patricia Neal, "The Last Place On Earth" with Billy Dee Williams and Phyllis Diller, and in the French detective comedy, Le Deal. Alison's stage work includes The Vagina Monologs, Sirena: Queen of the Tango, Dear Brutus, The Wool Gatherer, the French bedroom farce, In One Bed And Out The Othet, AIDS/US II, Last Summer At Bluefish Cove, Joni and Gina's Wedding, and the Ovation Award Nominated musical-drama, Flirting with Morty. In her spare time, Alison make appearances at various Laura Ingalls' historical sites and takes tourists on the rollicking comedy bus tour, "Nasty Nellie's Tour of Hollywood".
LIBBY BAKER (Lauren) originated the role of Lauren Pringells in Prairie-oke! and is thrilled to be reprising it once again. Recent L.A.acting credits include, A Woman of No Importance (Mrs. Arbuthnot, alt) at Sacred Fools where she is a proud company member, I Totally Know What You Did Last Donna Summer (Sissy Boudreaux) and Are You There God? It's Me, Karen Carpenter (Janie/Karen Carpenter) at the Cavern Club Celebrity Theatre and Palm Desert Theatre, Company (Sarah), Dangerous Corner (Freda Chatfield), and Boy's Life (Maggie) at Crown City Theatre Company. Favorite T.V. and film credits include: "Modern Family"; "Up All Night"; an upcoming TV movie about the Donner Party; and numberous commercials. Libby recently adapted and directed the Hollywood Fringe premiere of Tom and Barry, Two Nights Only! She also wrote and directed the short film Ancestry Addicts Anonymous on Funny or Die, and won Honorable Mention in the 2014 15 Fresh Voices Screenplay competition.
KEVIN BERNTSEN (Pa) Kevin Berntson is an alum of the Sunday Company, and an instructor since 2007 at the Groundlings school. A graduate of the UC San Diego MFA acting program, he has appeared onstage at South Coast Rep and La Jolla Playhouse, and has appeared on 'Inside Amy Schumer', '2 Broke Girls', 'Private Practice' as well as dozens of commercials. Kevin has played in the Crazy Uncle Joe Show and Cookin' With Gas at the Groundlings, and has studied improv with Bill Steinkellner, and studies acting with Tom Irwin of Steppenwolf West.
FRANCES CHEWNING (Ms. Wildest) is an LA-based actress/improviser. This one of three shows she has done with the wonderful Dane Whitlock. Previously she performed I (Totally) Know What You Did Last Donna Summer and Are You There God?, It's Me, Karen Carpenter. Other LA credits include her one-woman show (with friends), Murder in Beaver Brook at the Upright Citizens Brigade. In New York she did web and live comedy with "The Mimi & Flo Show" and theater including Jo in Blues for Mister Charlie, Ophelia in Hamlet, Cory in Playing House, and Anna Politkovskaya in A Tough Line. Regionally, she played Cassandra in the premiere of Adam Rapp's Animals & Plants and Masha in 3 Farces and a Funeral at the American Repertory Theater. You may have seen her on your TV selling coffee, candy, clothes, or car insurance. She has an MFA in acting from the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard.
DREW DROEGE (Mellie) is best known for his online videos impersonating Chloe Sevigny, which have been featured in New York Times, NY Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Advocate, and Huffington Post. His podcast, "Glitter In The Garbage", was deemed "lowbrow and brilliant" in New York magazine's Approval Matrix. He's an Outfest award winner, one of OUT magazine's Out 100, and named one of LA's Top Comedy Acts to Watch by LA Weekly. He performs improv/sketch/wig comedy around Los Angeles, namely The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Casita del Campo. He's also a member of the Solo Collective at the VS Theatre, where he recently performed his solo show, Bright Colors And Bold Patterns. He has recently been on episodes of "Drunk History", "2 Broke Girls", "Bob's Burgers, "Kroll Show", "Comedy Bang! Bang!", "Chozen", "Sean Saves The World", "Key & Peele", "Happy Endings", and "New Girl". He will be in Paramount's upcoming Scouts vs. Zombies, as well as the indie features You're Killing Me, Ass Backwards, Sassy Pants, Eating Out: Drama Camp, and Who's Afraid Of Vagina Wolf. Also, check out Drew's web series, "Hollywood Acting Studio" on YouTube, "Not Looking" on funnyordie, and "Paragon School For Girls" on paragonschoolforgirls.com.
RAE DAWN HADINGER (Merry) Rae Dawn originated the role of Blind Merry in Prairie-oke! and was an original cast member (Laura Denker/Edna Klackenbush) in Dane Whitlock's first parody smash hit, Are you There, God? It's me, Karen Carpenter. She performed in the USA and Canada in the first national tour of She Loves Me. At Actors Theatre of Louisville, she appeared in The Cocoanuts, Romeo and Juliet, 67201, A Christmas Carol, and The Killing Game. Her Chicago credits include Candida, Merrily We Roll Along, The Rivals, Sweet and Hot - The Songs of Harold Arlen, The Playboy of the Western World, and Love's Labor's Lost. Favorite musical theater roles include Mitzi in Over Here! and Delores in Olympus on my Mind.
MATTHEW HERRMANN (Alfred/Producer) Acting credits include...Los Angeles: Tom and Barry-Two Nights Only, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, War Letters, Woman with Pocketbook, Invincible: the Legend of Billie Jean, Bronies the musical and original cast of the cult hits I Totally Know What You Did Last (Donna) Summer, Prairie-oke!, and Are You There God? It's Me, Karen Carpenter. Regional: Lincoln: Upon the Alter of Freedom, Balm in Gilead, Reefer Madness, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Film/TV: "A League of Their Own", "Dog Tags", "Undying Love", "The Surf Ballroom", "Harper's Globe" (CBS), "America's Next Top Model" (CW). Matt is the founder of the concert series Soda Pop Revisited and has directed over 35 productions for the beloved French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. Producing credits: Tom and Barry-Two Nights Only, Jack, the musical life of JFK (York Theatre Company), NINE and Sweeney Todd (Princeton University). Upcoming Projects: the 48th anniversary production of Michael Butler's HAiR. Matt is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
MELANIE HUTSELL (Ma) is an actress, comedian, writer, and producer. Originally from Maryville, Tennessee, Melanie studied drama at the University of Tennessee before moving to Chicago to study improv at The Second City under Mick Napier. In Chicago, she became a founding member of The Annoyance Theater where she gained attention for her break-out performances in The Real Life Brady Bunch and The Miss Vagina Pageant. A cast member of "Saturday Night Live" from 1991-1994, Melanie played characters including "Jan Brady" (reprised from TRLBB for Weekend Update and more), Tri-delta sorority girl "Di" (alongside Siobhan Fallon Hogan and Beth Cahill) and impersonted Tori Spelling, Monica Seles and Tonya Harding. Melanie's recent television credits include Amazon's "Transparent" (recurring), "Bob and Dave Show", "Suburgatory", "Wolf Girl", "United States of Tara", "Waffle Hut", "In the Motherhood", "Working Class", "Paula's best Dishes" (Self/'Paula Dean), "Brotherly Love", and her recent film appearances include Grown Ups 2 and the Academy Award-nominated, Bridesmaids. In 2011, Melanie wrote, produced and acted in a short film called "Harold and Hilda Jo" and has also appeared in independent films including, He's Such A Girl and in the would-be cult 80s musical, Can't Stop Dancing alongside Ben Zook, Margaret Cho, Fred Willard, Janeane Garafalo, Tyler Negron, Noah Wiley, to name a only a few. On stage, Melanie's receent credits include the sold out parody hit, Golden Girlz Live (with Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Jackie Beat, and Sherry Vine), the tour of Celebrity Autobiography, and numerous monologue/sketch comedy performances at Bang!, Fanatic Salon, The Empty Stage. The Lillian Theatre, Powerhouse Theatre and Comedy Central Stage. She appeared at Paula Dean at Drunk On Stage at the Akbar and her one person show, Party Mom! was presented at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Melanie is married to composer and owner of Static Music, Fred Rapoport. They live in Los Angeles with their two awesome kids, Carly and Leo.
BEN PALACIOS (Alonzo) Ben Palacios: Actor, Singer, Baboon. A Vassar College alum, Ben has studied and performed in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Wales, Sri Lanka, Canada, France, and all over AMURICA! He enjoys hiking, vegan apple pie, and long walks on the beach. Ben is the founder/owner of HUNKAPPELLA, the sexiest all-male acappella group in the universe... seriously. Most recently, Ben toured nationally with Spank! Harder, the outrageous 50 Shades parody musical, where he starred as America's favorite BDSM billionaire. He's also Enrique Iglesias' hand double, but that's a whole 'nuther story. Look out for Ben in the hit web-series "Wish It Inc.", the horror-comedy feature, Love In The Time Of Monsters, and on his youtube channel WatchBenSing... where you might even get to see him kiss Katy Perry!
AMY PROCACCI (Mrs. Moleson) is an alum of The Groundlings Sunday Company, IO West, and UprightCitizen's Brigade and is currently a promo writer/producer for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon". Amy has produced television for ABC, NBC, Bravo, Food Network, HGTV and TLC. In addition to co-writing and performing in Dane Whitlock's I Totally Know What You Did Last (Donna) Summer (Tiny, original cast), Amy is an original cast member in Whitlock's other hit musical parodies Are You There God? It's Me Karen Carpenter (Gretchen) and Prairie-oke! (Mrs. Moleson).
MITCH SILPA (Mr. Moleson) has been a main company member of the Groundlings since 2001 and has appeared in the films Bridesmaids, Spy, The Heat, Welcome to Me, Along Came Polly, as well as the upcoming The Boss (with Melissa McCarthy) and Unforgettable. TV credits include "Cougar Town", "Anger Management", "The Middle", "Mike Tyson Mysteries", "Jimmy Kimmel live!", "Ben and Kate", "2 Broke Girls", "In Plain Sight" (recurring), "Reno 911!", & "Gilmore Girls" (recurring). He co-executive produced, wrote & starred in the pilot "Just Posted" for FOX. He also played the fake David Blaine in the "David Blaine Street Magic" series. He & Edi Patterson perform their two person show Mitch and Edi Making Love regularly at The Groundlings.
MELANIE WILDMAN (Kerry) Melanie is making her LA debut in Prairie-oke! A native New Yorker, she has previously performed on London's West End with West Side Story, along with both the National & International touring companies, playing the role of "Anybodys". She can also be seen on Season 10 of FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance", and MTV's new reality TV show, "Todrick". Also known as DJ PennyWild, she can be seen dancing, choreographing, and DJing across iconic venues & festivals such as Webster Hall, Verboten, The DigiTour, etc. Thanks to Madre, Faj & the DABS.
JOSEPH CORELLA (Choreographer) has been seen from the stage to the screen with such credits as: "MTV Video Music Awards", "MTV Dance Marathon", Lifetime's reality TV show "Dance Moms", 98 Degrees' Music Video "Microphone", Dane Whitlock's I (Totally) Know What You Did Last Donna Summer, Prairie-Oke! and Are You There God? It's Me Karen Carpenter, and Julie Brown's hit musical Homecoming Queen's Got a Musical! Most recently, Joseph choreographed the spring season finale for the CW's TV show "Hart of Dixie" and the 2014 Hollywood Fringe "Best Musical" winner, Bronies The Musical. As a performer some of Joseph's credits include: Broadway's All Shook Up, National Tour of Grease (Dance Captain), West Side Story, Surf, the Musical (Las Vegas), "Wizards of Waverly Place", & Disney's TV movie, Geppetto. Joseph is also the owner of Broadway Bodies LA where he teaches group cardio dance classes that are held in Hollywood.
DANE WHITLOCK's (Original Direction, Book) is a director, writer, actor, and marketing guru. Dubbed the "mash-up king" by Frontiers magazine, Dane concieved, wrote and directed three musical parodies (Are You There God? It's Me Karen Carpenter, Little House on the Prairie-oke! and I (Totally) Know What You Did Last Donna Summer) which all played to critical acclaim and SRO crowds in Los Angeles and Palm Springs since 2012. At the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs, Dane helmed the productions of Hairspray, Spamalot, and 9 to 5. As an actor, he recently appeared in leading roles in I (Totally) Know What You Did Last Donna Summer (Windy Storms) at the Cavern Club Theater in LA and in 9 to 5 (Frank Hart), Bye Bye Birdie (Albert Peterson - DTL nomination), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Lady Enid - DTL nomination), The Music Man (Harold Hill - DTL nomination), and Little Shop of Horrors (the Dentist - DTL winner for Best Supporting Actor in a musical) at the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs. In addition, Dane was a Vagabond at the Flat Rock Playhouse, State Theater of North Caolina, and had a very successful career as an actor in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles with innumerable national, international, regional and stock credits. Dane recently moved from Los Angeles to Hendersonville, North Carolina, to begin working as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Flat Rock Playhouse. Dane holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory and is a native of Florence, South Carolina.
Sandra Kuker - PUBLICIST - SANDRA KUKER PR - Sandra Kuker is an entertainment industry expert. Her 3-decade background in Music, Film & Television and Theatre has created a client list of diversity and successful campaigns. Sandra's experience also includes chartering ships for theme cruises, casting for Film and Television, as well as the Reality Television and Scripted Television & Documentary's. She is unstoppable and her personal commitment to each client provides the energy to excel in media. Her highlights include My Child Mothers Of War, Voice Lessons, Adam Baum & The Jew Movie starring Richard Kind, Drop Dead by Billy Van Zandt, Serial Killer Barbie The Musical, Almost, Maine directed by Marty Papazian, Happy Face Sad Face produced by Russell Boast, Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, author Bill Ratner of Parenting For The Digital Age, Adam & Eve And Steve, Lobby Hero, Ghoulmaster's Haunted Playhouse, God: The Early Years, A Picasso and she is working with Retronuvo Media on Reality TV and scripted television & Documentaries. Sandra works with theatrical clients, authors, and entertainment professionals. Utilizing the strength of personal relationships, alongside social media and traditional PR, promoting events, news releases and individually tailored media positioning for clients centered in Entertainment and helps build a branding presence with innovation, integrity and style. Website: www.SandraKukerPR.com