THE PERFECT GAME: A SLAM DUNK NEW MUSICAL to Open Off-Broadway at Theatre Row

The production will run January 19-27, 2024.

By: Jan. 08, 2024
THE PERFECT GAME: A SLAM DUNK NEW MUSICAL to Open Off-Broadway at Theatre Row
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THE PERFECT GAME: A SLAM DUNK NEW MUSICAL will make its Off-Broadway Premiere this January for a limited engagement January 19-27, 2024. The Perfect Game features an original book, music and lyrics by John Grissmer, direction by Danny Salles (Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List), choreography by Ashley Marinelli (Stranger Sings), music direction by Matthew Stephens (The Body Politic), and arrangements & music supervision by Russ Kassoff (Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away). The engagement begins previews January 19, 2024 at Theatre Row (410 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036). Opening night is January 21, 2024 and the limited engagement runs through January 28, 2024. Tickets are now on sale at For further information, visit
The Perfect Game: A Slam Dunk New Musical is a new musical comedy that weaves together the historic story of Jim Naismith, a young teacher who invests a new indoor game for the YMCA – basketball – with the modern day story of two basketball coaches, Nancy & Frank, who are struggling with personal and professional issues. Jim and his wife, Maud, enter the modern world to help the two coaches get back on track and rediscover their love of the game as they prepare for the big final match of the season.
Anthony Sagaria (Wicked, Disney’s Frozen) stars as basketball inventor, Jim Naismith, leading a company that includes David Beach (Something Rotten, It’s Only a Play), Tyler Belo (Hamilton Tour), Nick Bernardi (Annie Tour), Milena J. Comeau (The Outsiders), Jesse Lynn Harte (Legally Blonde Tour), Akina Kitazawa (New York, New York), Alec Ludacka (Kinky Boots Pittsburgh CLO), Steve McCoy (Spamalot Tour), Lukas Poost (Unlock’d), Elena Ricardo (Beautiful), Jamal Shuriah (Shout Sister Shout Ford’s Theatre), Danielle J. Summons (Baby), Scott Whipple, and EJ Zimmerman (Les Misérables),
The Perfect Game is executive produced & general managed by Visceral Entertainment. Casting is by Daryl Eisenberg, CSA / Eisenberg Casting, and the Associate Producer is Joseph Fusco. David Goldstein is the Scenic Designer, Matthew Solomon is the Costume Designer, Andrew Garvis & Jamie Roderick are Co-Lighting Designers, and Brendan McCann is Production Props. William Spinnato is the Production Stage Manager, Miranda Shaffer is the Assistant Stage Manager, Tuan Malinowski is the Associate Director, and Brian Nelson is the Associate Choreographer.


Anthony Sagaria (Jim Naismith) is thrilled to be on stage at Theatre Row! Broadway: American Psycho (OBC), Frozen. National Tours: Wicked. NYC/Regional: Kinky Boots, The Bad Years, Murder Ballad, Into the Woods. TV/Film: “Orange Is The New Black,” “Madam Secretary,” “Dead Sound.” Big thanks to DGRW and Eisenberg Casting. @Anthony_Sagaria.
David Beach (Dr. Luther Gulick) Broadway: Something Rotten, It's Only A Play, Fish In The Dark, Mamma Mia!, Urinetown, and Moon Over Buffalo. Tv/Film: Veep, New Amsterdam, Elementary, Dangerous Book for Boys, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Submissions Only, Delocated, Blue Bloods, Sopranos, L&O, among others. NYT Modern Love column: Just Don;t Call Me Mom, Graduate: Dartmouth and LAMDA 
Tyler Belo (Pat & Others) is a Long Island, New York native. National Tour/International credits include the Angelica Tour of Hamilton (Hercules Mulligan/James Madison) and the Gander production of Come From Away (Bob & Others). Tyler has also been seen in NY at the Argyle Theatre in Spring Awakening (Otto). Television: Blue Bloods. He is a Five Towns College Alum (BFA 2019) and an Irene Ryan Acting Finalist. Tyler sends love to Whole Artist Management, and most importantly, to his family.
Nick Bernardi (Coach Frank) Nick has performed all around the globe. Favorite credits include: Rooster in the most recent Annie National Tour, Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages Hollywood, Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. Forever Love to his Family, Friends and his dog Indiana Bones. @bernardi_nick
Milena J. Comeau (Cheerleader & Others) dreams of humanity in movement. Up next: The Outsiders; Recent: Bandstand and Jesus Christ Superstar on tour; Lempicka at La Jolla Playhouse; MCC’s Alice By Heart (Dance Supervisor); Dance Lab New York. Proud Pittsfield native, Harvard grad. For Gramps -- Maroon & White // Go Huskies @milenajcomeau 
Jesse Lynn Harte (Julie & Others) is freshly off the Legally Blonde National Tour (Margot) and thrilled to be joining this stellar team! She’s recently played some other iconic cheerleaders, like Patty Simcox (Grease) at The Argyle, and Serena (Legally Blonde) at The Palace Theatre. Thanks to the fam, Carl, Broad Talent, and Eisenberg/Beans Casting. @JesseLynnHarte
Akina Kitazawa (Cheerleader & Others) is excited to join The Perfect Game. She was born and raised in Japan. Favorite Credits: “New York, New York” (Dance Captain, OBC), “Christmas Spectacular” (Radio City Music Hall), “Candide” (Carnegie Hall), “The King And I” (National Tour), “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” (Eliza) Instagram: @akinakitazawa
Alec Ludacka (Frank Mahan/Ensemble) is ecstatic to be making his professional NYC debut! Regional: The Drowsy Chaperone and Kinky Boots (PCLO). Television: “Mayor of Kingstown.” Film: Anything’s Possible (Mike). LINK. Huge thanks to Eisenberg Casting, the creative team, his management team, friends, and family! Proud Carnegie Mellon graduate. All glory to God! IG: classic_al_2000
Steve McCoy (Dr. Ladd/Coach Roach) just spent the last two months playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge the Musical at The Fireside Theatre. Veteran of nine national tours including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Grandpa Joe), and Spamalot (King Arthur) for which he holds the world record of playing the role more than any other professional actor. Proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Lukas Poost (Lonnie Stagg) is so grateful to be here with you! NY Credits: Unlock’d (Prospect Theater Co), Black Hole Wedding (NYMF), That Bachelorette Show (Davenport). Recent: Jersey Boys (Gaudio at The Gateway Playhouse), Gent’s Guide (Monty, The Hippodrome), Kinky Boots (Charlie, Gateway, Moonlight, 3-D). Let’s be good to one another! @lukaspoost
Elena Ricardo (Maude Sherman Naismith) was most recently seen performing across the country as the title role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Broadway: Mamma Mia! (Sophie Sheridan), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (u/s Carole). Regional: The Nutty Professor (Stella), Peter Pan (Peter), Spring Awakening (Wendla), Bring It On! The Musical (u/s Campbell/Eva). TV: Modern Love, Law and Order, The Last OG, New Amsterdam. For family and Paul. 
Jamal Shuriah (Student & Others) was most recently seen performing at Ford's Theatre in Shout Sister Shout, as Little Richard and others! Other credits: The Nutcracker (CT Dance), Passing Strange (SLC Acting Company) and Hair (Geva Theatre). Other favorite credits include touring Internationally with Green Day's American Idiot, playing the role of “Simba/Jafar/Scar/Jaq,” on Disney Cruise Line as well as featured dancer work on POSE, and the movie Hello Again. BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School. 
Danielle J. Summons (Bobbie) Off-Broadway: Pay the Writer (Gigi), Baby (Pam), Dorothy Dandridge Musical (Vivian). National Tour: Les Misérables (Eponine/ Ensemble), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Janelle). Regional: The Color Purple (Shug Avery) The Signature Theatre, Sister Act (Deloris Van Cartier) Geva Theatre. TV/Film: The Time Traveler’s Wife (HBO Max).
Scott Whipple (Student & Others) is excited to be making his NYC and Off-Broadway debut with this incredible show! Previous credits: Mary Poppins, Count of Monte Cristo, Matilda, Newsies, Oklahoma!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Scott would like to thank this amazing creative team, his agen Katie, and his family! Much Love! @scottwhipple  
EJ Zimmerman (Ex-Coach Nancy) Broadway: Les Misérables (Eponine u/s, Ensemble). National Tour: Avenue Q. Other favorites: Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Nancy in Oliver!, Kim in Miss Saigon, Reza in Once, Julia in Writing Kevin Taylor, Mira in The Porch on Windy Hill, Iris in Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria, and all the roles originated and developed in workshops and readings. Representation matters.
John Grissmer (Book, Music & Lyrics) has taught courses in Theater Arts at The University of Connecticut, American University, and at Xavier University. He is the producer /writer of the feature film The Bride, starring Robin Strasser and John Beal, also the writer and director of the feature film Scalpel starring Robert Lansing and Judith Chapman, and director of the feature film Blood Rag starring Louise Lasser. He is also the author of the Civil War novel, The Ghosts Of Antietam. His comedy How to Write An Irish Play will soon be produced Off-Broadway. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Danny Salles (Director) is writer/director/producer for television and theater. He directed the holiday movie, The Christmas Thief for ION TV and 4 seasons of the ABC comedy The Middle. He was showrunner and director on various comedic reality series: Joan Rivers’ Joan and Melissa (WeTV), Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo, Emmy nomination), Dice Undisputed (VH1), The Joe Schmo Show (Spike), Todrick (MTV), and this year’s Emmy-winning “Recipe for Change” (YouTube). For the stage, Danny wrote book and lyrics and directed the original musical comedy satire The First Annual Trump Family Special in LA and Off-Broadway starring Gina Gershon. Danny is Director of Creative Development at Visceral Entertainment.
Ashley Marinelli (Choreographer) is so happy to have found a show that combines her love of dance and basketball! Favorite Choreographic credits include Stranger Sings: The Parody Musical (Off Broadway, Winner of Broadway World’s “Best Off-Broadway Choreography” Award), A Musical About Star Wars (Off Broadway),The True and Unquestionable Account of Dr. Joseph Snodgrass (Players Club, NYC), Mystic Pizza (Engeman Theater), Techies (Miller Theater, Winner of Kennedy Center CTF’s “Outstanding Choreography” Award), Once Uponzi Time (McCarter Theater), American Psycho (Little Theater) and The Singularity Play (NYC Premiere). 
Russ Kassoff (Music Supervisor & Arranger) is an accomplished jazz pianist, music director, orchestrator, and arranger throughout the music world. Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra by request from '80-'91 with "The Ultimate Event Tour" ('88-'89) featuring Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli touring for 18 years ('82-'01). On Broadway he was MD/Conductor for Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away (2010) and conductor/pianist for Charles Aznavour in concert (’98). Russ continues as music director with the legendary EGOT recipient Rita Moreno - since 2003. Russ has enjoyed a musical collaboration with John Grissmer since 2001.
Matthew Stephens (Music Director) is an NYC based Music Director, conductor and pianist who has performed alongside Broadway and opera luminaries in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Club Cumming. NATIONAL TOUR: The Sound of Music (Associate Conductor), NEW YORK/OFF BROADWAY: The Body Politic (NYMF), King of Pangaea (NAMT). REGIONAL: RENT (Madison Theatre), The CHER Show (Gateway Playhouse), GYPSY (Arizona Broadway Theatre). CONCERT: Yours Sincerely, Stephen Sondheim (Princeton Festival), My Fair Lady (Utah Symphony). A passionate advocate for new works, Matthew collaborates with the music teams for the American Opera Project, NYU-Tisch MT Writing Program and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. @maspianist 
Joseph Fusco (Associate Producer) is a film and theater director, actor, and producer from New York City. Theater directing credits include: Agatha Christie's The Stranger (Players Theater), To Love For (UCPAC), and Hoyt St (Theater Row).
David Goldstein (Scenic Designer) Off Broadway: Black Odyssey, Emojiland, Trump Family Special, Mr. Parker, Winnie The Pooh Show, Church and State, Stalking the Bogeyman, That Golden Girls Show (Also US Tour), The Portal, Very Hungry Caterpillar Show(Also West End, Tour), Soul Doctor. Regional: Portland Stage, Barrington Stage, Zoetic Stage Miami, Sierra Rep, Timberlake Playhouse, Tibbets Opera House, Seattle Children's Theatre, NCStageCo, WVPublic Theatre, Penguin Rep, and many others.
Matthew Solomon (Costume Designer) Solomon’s works include: Blue Bloods, The Food That Built America, The Mega Brands that Built America, CocoMelon, Monster High Live!, “Pose” (FX), Jesus Christ Superstar Live!, Live with Kelly and Ryan!, and A Chorus Line. Solomon has also worked at theaters such as the Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Roundabout, Fifth Avenue, North Shore, Cape Playhouse, New York Stage and Film.
Andrew Garvis (Co-Lighting Designer) is a New York City based Lighting and Video Designer. He is thrilled to work on The Perfect Game . His work spans across theatre, dance, opera, concerts, and live events. His work has been seen in NYC, Dallas, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. 
Jamie Roderick (Co-Lighting Design) Off-Broadway: Make Me Gorgeous, Small, ¡Americano!, Disney's Winnie The Pooh, Emojiland, Stranger Sings, Midnight at the Never Get (Drama Desk Nomination), Arms and The Man, Candida, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Caesar & Cleopatra, Safeword., Accidentally Brave, We Are The Tigers, Red Roses, Green Gold, The Woodsman, Afterglow, A Dog Story. London: It Happened in Key West. Regional: Super You, Denis DeYoung's Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Bikinis!, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, Midsummer, Macbeth, Hamlet.
Brendan McCann (Production Props). Recent design/production credits include: Make Me Gorgeous, ...Wholesale at CSC, Stranger Sings: A Parody Musical (2023 Drama Desk Nominee - Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Production Props) alongside Walt Spangler, The Prom, A Gentleman's Guide..., and more. Instagram: @bren_bash 
William Spinnato (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be bringing this musical to life with a wonderful cast and crew! Thanks to Danny, Chase and Jen for this opportunity and to his wife Ariel for her support and taking care of their feline son Oswald while he’s at the theatre. IG: DJWillySpinnz
Miranda Shaffer (Assistant Stage Manager) is a NYC based Stage Manager who is excited to be a part of this production! Some credits include: The Minutes, Macbeth, Hamilton, & Juliet, Heartbreakers in Hell, and In The Trenches. IG: miranda.shaffer9

Daryl Eisenberg, CSA / Eisenberg Casting (Casting Director): Broadway: Gettin’ The Band Back Together. NY Theatre: White Rose, Love & Science, Baghdaddy, SuperHero, Powerhouse, Bedlam, WP Theater, DVRF, Cherry Lane. Regional: Dallas Theater Center, May We All, Heartbreak Hotel (Broadway in Chicago), Folger Theatre, Theater J, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Arizona Theatre Company. Film: The Cathedral (Sundance), Hey, Viktor! (Tribeca), The MisEducation of Bindu (Peacock), Menorah In The Middle (Hulu), Hands That Bind, Kendra & Beth, Angry Neighbors, Shadows (HBO). Audio: Limetown, Shipworm, Academy, The Callisto Protocol, City of Ghosts