Rodgers & Hammerstein's CAROUSEL Opens Friday at Actors' Playhouse

By: Jan. 30, 2017
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Actors' Playhouse will present the Tony Award-winning musical Carousel, with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

Named the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine, Carousel follows Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan through their journey of love, loss and redemption and soars with unforgettable songs including "If I Loved You," "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Directed by award-winning Actors' Playhouse Artistic Director David Arisco, and featuring Musical Direction by Caryl Fantel and Choreography by Ron Hutchins, Carousel runs February 1 - 26, 2017 in the Mainstage of The Miracle Theatre.

"Carousel and I have a long history dating back to 1973 when I first encountered this incredible musical playing the part of Billy Bigelow," said Arisco. "It has always been one of my favorite musicals of all time. The singer/dancer/actors we have assembled will bring to South Florida the finest that musical theatre has to offer. Don't miss this amazing opportunity to see one of the all-time great classics live on stage at the Miracle Theatre."

Arisco has assembled a 25-member cast to present this Tony Award-winning musical. Raised in South Florida, Michael Hunsaker is excited to make his Actors' Playhouse debut starring as Billy Bigelow. Hunsaker's Broadway and national-tour credits include Steven Schwartz's Children of Eden (Original Cast Album), Chess, Chance and Chemistry and Ragtime. He originated off-Broadway roles in Listen to My Heart, The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, My Deah and The Odyssey. Actors' Playhouse favorite Julie Kleiner (national tour of Big) returns following her appearance in last season's production of The Toxic Avenger to star alongside Hunsaker as Julie Jordan. Lauren Lukacek (national tour Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, international tour of My Fair Lady) makes her Actors' Playhouse debut as Julie's pal Carrie Pipperidge, with AP veterans Lourelene Snedeker (Sondheim on Sondheim) as Nettie Fowler and Laura Turnbull (The Tin Woman, August: Osage County) as Mrs. Mullin.

The large cast also features Mark Sanders (Ragtime, Murder Ballad, Next to Normal at Actors' Playhouse) as Enoch Snow and Nick Duckart (Ragtime, In the Heights [Carbonell Award for Best Actor in a Musical] at Actors' Playhouse) as Jigger Craigin. Other roles include Kevin Reilley as Bascombe/Principle, Peter Haig as Starkeeper/Dr. Seldom, Sean Dorazio as Heavenly Friend, Macia McGeorge as Carnival Boy and Alexandra van Hasselt as Louise.

Rounding out the ensemble are Nikki Allred (Dance Captain), AJ Cola, Diana D'Ambrosio, Austin Ryan Hunt, Kimmi Johnson, Nicole Kinzel, Brent Kuenning, Victoria Lauzun, Taylor Hilt Mitchell, Hugo E. Moreno, Lauren Tepper, Brian Varela and Kelly Ziegler.

The creative team for Carousel includes Scenic Design by Tim Bennett, Lighting Design by Eric Nelson, Sound Design by Shaun Mitchell, Costume Design by Ellis Tillman and Properties Design by Jodi Dellaventura.

The show will open on Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m. and play through February 26, 2017. Evening performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Sunday at 3 p.m. A special weekday matinee is scheduled on Wednesday, February 8 at 2 p.m.

Director David Arisco will lead a discussion group with actors and community guests following the performance on Friday, February 10, 2017 as part of the company's new "Second Fridays" series.

Tickets for weeknights and matinees are $57, and on Friday and Saturday evenings $64. The theatre offers 10 percent off all weekday performances for seniors and $15 student rush tickets to any performance 15 minutes prior to curtain with identification. Discounts are based on availability.

Group discounted rates are offered for 15 or more through the group sales department. Single tickets may be purchased through the box office at 305-444-9293 or online at


David Arisco (Director) has been a part of Actors' Playhouse for 29 years, 22 of them here at the Miracle Theatre. His diverse career spans over forty years as director, actor, musical director, stage manager, symphonic conductor and instrumentalist. Stage acting credits include starring roles in our critically acclaimed productions of Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, A Thousand Clowns, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Same Time, Next Year, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Plaza Suite and The Odd Couple. Film and television credits include "Offbeat", "Tollbooth", "Miami Vice", "America's Most Wanted" and "Key West". Mr. Arisco has directed over 150 shows here at Actors' Playhouse, including the Carbonell awarded productions of In The Heights (2013), LES MISERABLES (2009), AIDA (2005), Floyd Collins (2003), Violet (2001), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2000), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (1998), West Side Story (1997) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1991), all of which won for Best Production of a Musical. Mr. Arisco is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, and was awarded the Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre from the Florida Professional Theatre Association.

RON HUTCHINS (Choreographer) is happy to return to Actors' Playhouse after last season's critically acclaimed production of West Side Story, and recent productions of Ragtime and Monty Python's SPAMALOT. Ron is the recipient of the 2014 Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Choreography in recognition of five productions that he choreographed throughout South Florida, and the 2014 Carbonell Award for 42nd Street at the Wick Theatre. The Joseph Jefferson Committee has also acknowledged his work for Joseph and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Arizoni for Disney's Aida. He has choreographed a multitude of musicals internationally and served as guest artist for some of the county's finest musical theatre programs.

CARYL FANTEL (Musical Director) is a Silver Palm Award recipient and Carbonell nominee. Her credits range from Off-Broadway and Carnegie Hall to regional theatres throughout the U.S. and include: Music Director: Annual Carbonell Awards ceremonies; Assassins and Passion (Zoetic Stage); The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Spring Awakening and others (Slow Burn); multiple productions and staged readings with Actors' Playhouse, Theatre Lab, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Wick and Outré; Stars of David tour produced by Daryl Roth (Assoc. MD). An adjunct professor at Lynn University, Caryl is also a private teacher/audition coach, workshop presenter and member of the Broward County Cultural Council. She regularly accompanies auditions for NYU, AMDA, So. FL Theatre League and others.

Michael Hunsaker (Billy Bigelow) Having grown up in South Florida, Michael is thrilled to be making his Actors' Playhouse debut! Michael has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and all over the United States. Michael holds a BFA in Music Theatre from Florida State University and an MFA in Film Production from Full Sail University. Favorite roles: Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), Brick (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar). Michael has written several musicals including Measure for Measure, Out of Frame and Fetching Water. For more information please visit

Julie Kleiner (Julie Jordan) Julie is simply thrilled to be back home. This will be her 9th show here with her most recent work as Sarah in The Toxic Avenger. Other notable credits are the Broadway National tour of Big and the film Camp. Julie continues to work in many reputable theaters in South Florida and was last seen at The Maltz as Sally in Me and My Girl. She is a Carbonell winner, an NYU graduate, a mother to two beautiful children, wife to an extremely supportive husband and grateful to be part of this company.

Lauren Lukacek (Carrie Pipperidge) Tours: R + H's Cinderella (First National - u/s Marie, u/s Madame), My Fair Lady (Int'l - u/s Eliza). New York/Regional: Sound of Music (Maria), White Christmas (Betty), Beauty and the Beast (Babette); Carousel (Carrie); Edith Stein (York Theatre Co.), Insomnia (MITF), Genesius (TADA - World Premiere), plus North Shore Music Theater, Ogunquit Playhouse, Engeman Theater. B.F.A. Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory. Lauren is also a comedy writer and novelist.

LOURELENE SNEDEKER (Nettie Fowler) At 5, Lourelene was in her first musical, Carousel, with her mother as Nettie Fowler and her father as Mr. Snow in a 2000 seat Charotte Opera Association production, marking the course of her life. A Carbonell winner (4), Curtain Up winner and Lillie Stoates nominee, she is delighted to be able to tackle this role in her parents' honor. Her work this past season has included Mame (freeFall Theatre), On Golden Pond (Mill Mountain Playhouse), It's Only a Play (Gablestage) and Sondheim on Sondheim (Actors' Playhouse). Lourelene founded Seaside Music Theatre, does concert work, coaches' young actors and is a proud 35-year member of Actors' Equity Assoc.

Nick Duckart (Jigger Craigin) is beyond thrilled to be returning to Actors Playhouse! Previous AP credits: In the Heights [Carbonell Award for Best Actor in a Musical], First Date, Ragtime, Godspell, Joseph..., Next to Normal [Carbonell nomination], and others. FAVORITE REGIONAL: Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, LaJolla Playhouse, Artists Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Gulfshore Playhouse, GableStage, Caldwell Theatre, Florida Stage, among others. TV: Burn Notice and The Arrangement. EDUCATION: BFA in Music Theatre from University of Florida/New World School of the Arts. Nick is a multiple Carbonell Award Winner, Silver Palm Award Winner, and Silver Knight Award Winner. Proud AEA member.

Mark Sanders (Enoch Snow) returns to Actors' Playhouse where he was last seen as 'Father' in Ragtime, 'Michael' in Murder Ballad, and 'Dan' in Next to Normal. He portrayed 'Perchik' on the Broadway National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof starring Theodore Bikel and has performed at such prestigious theatres as Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Pittsburgh CLO, North Shore Music Theatre, and Sacramento Music Circus. Credits include: Passion (Zoetic Stage), The Secret Garden, Music Man with Jeff Goldblum, Jesus Christ Superstar, Blood Brothers, Phantom, Miss Saigon, and Jekyll & Hyde. Mark's debut solo CD, This Moment, can be found on iTunes and

Laura Turnbull (Mrs. Mullin) Laura Turnbull is delighted to return to Actors' Playhouse having appeared here earlier this year in The Tin Woman. Previous productions at Actor's include August, Osage County and Becky's New Car, and last season she appeared in Daniel's Husband at Island City Stage and I'll Eat You Last at GableStage. Laura has worked at nearly every professional theatre in South Florida as well as Broadway, Off Broadway, National Tours and Regional Theatres around the country. She is proud to have been nominated over a dozen times for the Carbonell Award, winning several times, and for being a long standing member of Actor's Equity, but her greatest pride comes from her two incredible daughters!

Peter Haig (Starkeeper/Dr. Seldon) is happy with the Equity pension he earned by working with many fine South Florida theatre groups (and some lousy ones) since 1978. In the 60's he trained and worked in NYC with George C. Scott, Joseph Papp, and other theatrical notables. During the 70's he performed and directed in North Carolina, founding the African-American Theatre Group, Willis Richardson Players in Wilmington. He has won the usual awards and was proud to be Carbonell-nominated for his performances in She Loves Me and as an ensemble member in Making God Laugh, both here at Actors Playhouse.

SEAN DORAZIO (Heavenly Friend/Ensemble) Recent credits: The Rothschild's (Broward Stage Door), Hair (MNM Productions), Carnival (Broward Stage Door), Dial 'M' For Murder (Broward Stage Door), Ragtime (Actors' Playhouse), The Pride (Island City Stage)

Kevin Reilley (Bascombe/Principle) was seen here last year and the one before in consecutive incarnations of Ebenezer Scrooge, more recently in the phantasmagorical The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, which followed the award-winning Earl Maulding's production of A Christmas Carol. This year, Kevin was privileged to participate in three Broward premieres, Who Killed Joan Crawford and Feeding the Bear with Island City Stage, and Invasion of Privacy for PigsDoFly. From Gablestage, he may be remembered as Charlotte in Casa Valentina, or as Angel Gabriel in An Act of God, among many others.

ALEXANDRA VAN HASSELT (Louise/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her Actors' Playhouse debut! Recent regional theatre includes Swing, Swing, Swing! and Evita at the Broward Stage Door Theatre. Other credits include: Bye, Bye, Birdie (Kim), A Catered Affair (Janey), Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), The Little Mermaid (Ariel).

MACIA McGEORGE (Carnival Boy/Ensemble) is very happy to be returning to the Actor's Playhouse stage in this production of Carousel. After the recently successful run of West Side Story a year ago, he has been invited back as a feature figure for this large scale musical production. Macia is a Miami Showman classically trained actor, singer and dancer who has studied locally, nationally and internationally. He is an accomplish lyricist and songwriter who has written an extensive list of original compositions and multiple musical plays.

NIKKI ALLRED BOYD (Dance Captain/Ensemble) is thrilled to return to Actors' for one of her favorite shows! South Florida performing credits: Actors' Playhouse- West Side Story, Joseph, Hairspray; Maltz Jupiter Theatre-Singin' in the Rain, A Chorus Line; Palm Beach Dramaworks-110 in the Shade. Other credits include 42nd Street Fireside Theatre and Carousel "Louise" Cumberland County Playhouse. Nikki is also a full-time dance instructor at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale.

AJ COLA (Ensemble) is beyond thrilled to be performing at Actors' Playhouse! Past credits include: South Pacific (Thomas O'Brien), The Lost Colony (The Runner), Evita (Dancer), and Alexander and the... (Nick/Albert). He would like to thank his family and friends for all their love and support! You can see him next at Slowburn's Production of Aida in May 2017.

DIANA D'AMBROSIO (Ensemble) Diana is glad to be back at Actors' after last being seen in The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge. She has been singing, acting and dancing since the age of 7. Since then, her career has spanned every facet of the performing arts arena. Starting from a child actor in traveling repertoire theatre and children's television series, commercials, TV, film, print, voice-overs and seeing the world many times over as a lead singer on various cruise ships including the QE2, SS Norway, and numerous Cunard and Norwegian ships. Some of her favorite theatrical roles include RosaBud (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Cunegonde (Candide), Margot (The Desert Song), Josephine (HMS Pinafore), Marian (The Music Man), Magnolia (Showboat) and Kate (Kiss Me Kate) to name a few.

Austin Ryan Hunt (Ensemble) is Chicago-Native Theatre artist and educator. After graduating in 2015 from Lipscomb University in Nashville with a BFA, Austin spent a year performing with Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Spamalot, Magic Tree House, and the World Premier of Ellen McLaughlin's The Adventures of Pericles, for which he also provided the original choreography. Most recently he was the swing for the Broadway in Chicago production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Other favorite roles include: Truffaldino (The Servant of Two Masters), Fender (Hairspray), Feste (Twelfth Night), Riff (West Side Story).

Kimmi Johnson (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back home in South Florida. Upon graduating from Elon University with a BFA in Acting, she was an actor and educator throughout the 2015-2016 season at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Her most recent credits include A Christmas Carol (Belle/Actors' Playhouse), The Who's Tommy (Ensemble/Outre Theatre), West Side Story (Swing), Spamalot (Ensemble), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), and The Tempest (u/s Miranda) at Orlando Shakes. She is the choreographer for the theatre programs at Somerset Academy and Cooper City High School.

Nicole Kinzel (Ensemble) is thrilled to return to her Actors' Playhouse Family! After graduating with her BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of the Arts, she has remained onstage as Ursula in Sweet Charity (Broward Stagedoor), Jeanie in Hair (MNN Productions), and Big Fish (Slowburn). This opportunity couldn't be possible without the support of Dave, Ron, Caryl, Earl, and the entire staff here at The Playhouse. You can catch her spreading her joy of musical theatre with 5th and 6th graders or inspiring the power of a strong mind body connection through fitness classes at the Barrecode here in Miami.

BRENT KUENNING (Ensemble) is excited to be making his Actors' Playhouse debut in Carousel. Off-Broadway and National Tours: Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Smokey Joe's Café, Annie Get Your Gun, Hello Dolly! and Kiss Me Kate to name a few. He has also "bared it all" numerous times in the acclaimed "Broadway Bares" in NYC under the direction of Jerry Mitchell. Numerous TV/Film & Printwork. He is also currently performing a duo show with his best friend nationwide called "2 of a Kind".

Victoria Lauzun (Ensemble) is a graduate of AMDA, NYC, and she is excited to be making her debut with Actors' Playhouse! Regional Credits: Ragtime (Mother) and The Music Man (Marian Paroo) at the Westchester Broadway Theatre, NY; Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia) with Infinity Repertory Company, NY. Off-Off Broadway: Alba (Magdalena) at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC. Local Credits: The Who's Tommy (Mrs. Walker); Into the Woods (Baker's Wife); YoungFrankenstein (Inga); Piaf (Edith Piaf); South Pacific and They're Playing Our Song at The Wick; Evita at Broward Stage Door.

Taylor Hilt Mitchell (Ensemble) is thrilled to make his Actors' Playhouse debut with this iconic show and talented cast! National Tours: Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Tumbling Carpet), The Wizard of Oz (Mayor of Munchkin City), Suessical: The Musical (Wickersham Brother/Vocal Captain). Regional: Ocean State Theatre: Anything Goes (Dance Captain), White Christmas (Dance Captain), Fiddlehead Theatre: Showboat (u/s Frank), Capital Rep: A Christmas Story (Chief Male Elf), Barrington Stage: Fiddler on the Roof (Boris/Shloime).

HUGO E. MORENO (Ensemble) is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL and attended school in Ithaca, NY, at the school of theatre and dance at Ithaca College. Hugo has been performing in the South Florida region for about 10 years. Recently part of Outre Theatre's Tommy, Actors' Playhouse's West Side Story, M&M and Broward Stage's A Chorus Line. He is also a principal dancer with the contemporary Dance Company "Impulsik."

LAUREN TEPPER (Ensemble) Lauren is thrilled to be making her Actors' Playhouse debut. Previous credits include Footloose (Marquee Theater Co.), Gypsy, Carnival (Broward Stage Door), Rainbow Magic LIVE, Rumpelstiltskin National Tour (Panto Company USA), Camp Kappawanna (City Theatre) and Spring Awakening (NWSA, Colony Theatre). She holds a BFA from New World School of the Arts.

BRIAN VARELA (Ensemble) is so honored to be back at the Actors' Playhouse in Carousel! Regional Credits include West Side Story, Ragtime (Actors' Playhouse); A Chorus Line (Maltz Jupiter Theatre); Night of the Iguana (Palm Beach Dramaworks); Oklahoma!, Peter Pan (The Wick Theatre); Big Fish, Dogfight, Spring Awakening (Slow Burn Theatre Company). Brian Is an EMC actor from Boca Raton, FL as well as a certified Personal Trainer. Proud FSU COM alum.

KELLY ZIEGLER(Ensemble) is beyond thrilled to be making her first appearance at Actors' Playhouse in this production of Carousel! She is a recent graduate of New World School of the Arts, where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of her recent credits include: Louise in Gypsy at Stage Door Theatre, Agnes Nolan in George M at the Wick Theatre, Sweet Charity at Stage Door Theatre, Curtains at the Wick Theatre as well as South Pacific and Geminae in A Funny Thing...Forum.

Actors' Playhouse is the nonprofit resident theatre company and managing agent of the historic Miracle Theatre on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Actors' Playhouse, which has brought home 87 regional Carbonell Awards for artistic excellence, is a Florida Presenting Cultural Organization and one of 13 major cultural institutions in Miami-Dade County. In addition to its Mainstage season, Actors' Playhouse offers a year-round season of Musical Theatre for Young Audiences, a Theatre Conservatory and Summer Camp Program, as well as educational arts outreach programs for underserved youth, and has initiated a Young Talent Big Dreams contest for children in partnership with The Children's Trust.