Mary Callanan and Bob Gaynor Lead Cast of '68 – A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL at NYMF

By: Jun. 28, 2018
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The creative and production teams for '68 - a new American musical are pleased to announce the cast for its debut performance on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at the Acorn Theater at Theater Row, 410 W. 42nd St., New York. Featuring a compelling book and lyrics by Albee Fellow Jamie Leo and authentic, unforgettable score by award-winning composer Paul Leschen, this official selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival (NYMF) will have four additional festival presentations on Thursday, July 26, Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, 2018. For festival details and information about purchasing individual tickets or a NYMF pass, visit

A fiercely original work that shares lessons learned, '68 - a new American musical is inspired by and debuts 50 years after the volatile 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Forging a narrative and a eulogy, it tells unexpectedly moving tales about characters at the center of turbulent times -- research librarians, hotel housekeepers, street cops, campaigners, protesters and community organizers. The production uses passion, humor, insight and highly memorable musicality and performances to haunt and inspire audiences of baby boomers and new generations alike.

Directed by Joey Murray, with musical direction by Rob Baumgartner, the exceptionally talented '68 ensemble represents multiple characters whose lives were impacted by 1968 Democratic Convention in profound - and unexpectedly hilarious - ways. The cast features a stellar line-up spanning significant breadth and depth of talent including several Broadway and Off-Broadway favorites including Mary Callanan and Bob Gaynor.

The ensemble includes:

Delphi Borich was most recently seen as in Gloria (Kendra) at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Nationally she's toured in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (u/s Ella.) Her regional appearances include Peter and the Starcatcher (Molly) at the Barn Stage Company and Peter Pan (Wendy) at Syracuse Stage. She is a graduate of Syracuse University BFA Musical Theatre.

Mary Callanan most recently played in last season's BANDSTAND (Jean Ann Ryan). Previously, Mary played in the first national tour of The Bridges of Madison County (Marge.) Broadway performances include Mama Mia! (Rosie - final company) and ANNIE (Mrs. Pugh/ Miss Hannigan understudy.) On tour, she's appeared in Mamma Mia, Sound of Music, Big and Damn Yankees and regionally her credits include Gypsy, BBAJ, Make, Les Mia, Falsettos, Follies, Batboy, Sweeny Todd, Sunday in the Park, Chicago and Violet.

LEANDRA ELLIS-GASTON has been seen in Memphis (Felicia,) the European tour of Hair and NCL's After Midnight, as well as Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Once on this Island, and much more. She also runs a YouTube channel called Girl Meets Broadway. She received her bachelor's degree from AMDA Los Angeles.

Bob Gaynor played in several original Broadway casts: Leap of Faith, Catch Me If You Can, Sweet Charity (Vittorio/us,) Boy George's Taboo (Leigh Bowery/us), Elton John's Aida (Radames /sb.) At the New York City Center, he appeared in Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad,) Applause, and Stairway to Paradise. Regional credits include An Audience with Meow Meow (Jonathon) Berkeley Rep, Next to Normal (Dan) Broadway World nominee, Leap of Faith, First Wives Club, Smokey Joe's Café (Michael) and A Chorus Line (Zach.) Film and television appearances are Broadway 4D, Across the Universe, The Mask, The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood, Blue Bloods, Law & Order, All My Children (Mitch Morrison), One Life to Live, As the World Turns and the American Music, Emmy and Academy Award shows. Educated at Cal State University Long Beach, Bob has toured with artists including Reba McEntire, Paula Abdul, Cher and Cheyenne.

Maggie Hollinbeck makes her NYMF debut following national tours with Once (Baruska standby,) Annie (Connie Boylan,) Off-Broadway appearances in Red Roses and Green Gold (Miss Glendine) and a NYC appearance in Richard III (Queen Elizabeth.) She's performed regional works at the Pasedena Playhouse, The People vs. Mona (Miss Frye,) and at the Goodspeed Opera House, Finian's Rainbow (Sharon,) Little Fish (Charlotte) and See What I Want to See (Kesa/The Wife/An Actress.)

Joe Joseph is a NYMF first-timer with Off Broadway and NYC works including Loveless Texas, Baghdaddy, The Queen's Dilemma, Genet Porno and regional works including Strait of Gibraltar, HAIR, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Sister Act, and Making Porn. Television work includes A Crime to Remember, Redrum and ads for Newport and Disaronno. Joe is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit Jesuit.

JEREMY KONOPKA has regional credits including Dogfight (Fector,) Spring Awakening, (Georg, Otto,) We Are Proud to Present...(Another White Man) and This Wonderful Life (Narrator et al.) He has collaborated on demos and workshops of new works in NYC and Philadelphia and performed in cabarets and concerts at The Broadway Comedy Club and Feinstein's/54 Below. He is a graduate of The University of the Arts.

Uton Onyejekwe is a singer, actor and musician with NYC work in Signature, Ma-Yi and regional works at Sierra Rep, Skyline, 4th Wall and ReVision. As a musician, he's played at Stone Pony, Knitting Factory, Bitter End, and NJPAC, among other venues countrywide.

Jonathan Spivey appeared on Broadway in The Front Page, Act One, (Lincoln Center, televised for PBS) and Off-Broadway in Summer and Smoke (Classic Stage/Transport Group.) Regionally, he's performed at Yale Rep, Long Wharf, The Old Globe, Barrington Stage, Maltz Jupiter, Milwaukee Rep, Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Virginia Rep and Heritage Theatre Festival. With a master's in fine arts from Old Globe/University of San Diego, he is a playwright, jazz pianist, composer and lyricist.

Nicole Paloma Sarro makes her NYMF debut. On national tour, she appeared in In the Heights and regionally her credits include Gypsy (Rose), Les Miserables (Madame Thenardier,) and Legally Blonde (Paulette).

Leo stated, "To hear our songs, with Paul Leschen's unforgettable melodies, airborne by the breathtaking voices of this cast, and Rob Baumgartner's keen musical directing... people are in for a very singular theater experience."

The production receives support from the Gregory J. Coenen Family Foundation, New York-based Tom Coenen and Chicago-based Tim Coenen.

Information for '68 - a new American musical


Individual tickets and passes to the New York Musical Festival presentation of '68 are available at

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos