Cast, Creative Team Announced for ANIMAL CRACKERS at Mad Cow Theatre

Mad Cow Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for Animal Crackers, the rollicking Marx Brothers musical comedy opening June 2, 2017 as the seventh production of Mad Cow Theatre's Season 20.

"Disorder is the order of the evening, and lowbrow humor is its highest calling," wrote The Washington Post about the recent revival of the 1928 comic musical. A wacky romp for those in the know and a madcap initiation for those unfamiliar with the classic antics of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo Marx, Animal Crackers takes us into Mrs. Rittenhouse's oh-so-dignified weekend party as it is upended by Captain Spaulding and other dubious guests. Lunacy ensues, dignities are compromised, and romance reigns in what The Washington Tribune called "a nonstop riot - a profusion of puns, gags, and hysteria with only an occasional pause (or maybe, gasp) for breath."

Animal Crackers was the Marx Brothers' second Broadway hit and their final appearance on the Broadway stage. Successful in vaudeville, on Broadway and in the movies, the brothers are widely considered to be among the greatest and influential comedians of the 20th century.

Starting out as a New York family comedy act consisting of five brothers, the Marxes began crisscrossing the country on the vaudeville circuit in the first decade of the 20th century and began developing the roles for which they became known.

Each picked up a nickname along the way - Groucho, the wisecracker with the bushy eyebrows, mustache, glasses and cigar; Chico (pronounced Chick-o, because he chased after the chicks), the Italian-accented con man who played the piano; and Harpo, the wide-eyed, bushy-haired innocent who didn't speak but liked to steal silverware and play the harp. Zeppo, the youngest, usually played the handsome straight man. (The fifth brother, Gummo, only briefly stayed in the act.) The Marx Brothers liked sharp humor and loved physical action. Groucho, who relied on verbal wit, always had a fresh zinger up his sleeve.

At Mad Cow Theatre, the cast of Animal Crackers features Jeffrey Todd Parrott* (The Big Meal, The History Boys) as Groucho, Spaulding, and the King of France; Adam Scharf (making his Mad Cow debut) as Harpo, the Professor, Musketeer, and Guest B; Chris Metz* (also in his Mad Cow debut) as Chico, Emanuel Ravelli, Musketeer, and Guest A; and Adam Reilly (Three Sisters, Long Day's Journey Into Night) as Zeppo, John Parker, Horatio Jamison, Musketeer, and Butler.

Also appearing: Brian Chambers (The Philadelphia Story, Sunday in the Park With George) as Hives, Roscoe W. Chandler, and Majordomo; Margaret Cross (Orlando Cabaret Festival 2014, Guys and Dolls) as Grace Carpenter, Mary Stewart, and Girl A; Matt Horohoe* (Sunday in the Park With George, Death of a Salesman) as Wally Winston, M. Doucet, and Sgt. Hennessey; Heather Kopp* (Orlando Cabaret Festival 2017, The Secret Garden) as Arabella Rittenhouse, Mrs. Whitehead, and Madame DuBarry; and Karel K. Wright* (1776, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Mrs. Rittenhouse and the Queen of France.

Ron Schneider (writer-director of several It Was A Very Good Year cabarets) directs Animal Crackers. Robin Jensen (The Light in the Piazza, Sunday in the Park with George) is music director and pianist. Scenic design is by Rob Wolin^ (Pygmalion, My Name Is Asher Lev); lighting design is by Eric Craft (Three Sisters); and costume design is by Constance Blackman Lee in her Mad Cow debut. Previous work with Mad Cow in (parentheses). An asterisk indicates a member of Actors' Equity Association. An "^" indicates Member of United Scenic Artists Local USA 829.

Animal Crackers runs June 2-July 2, 2017 in the Harriett Theatre at Mad Cow Theatre, 54 W. Church Street (second floor) in downtown Orlando. (Click here for directions.) Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays, with additional performances Saturday, June 2 at 2:30 p.m. and Mondays, June 12 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening night is Friday June 2 at 7:30 p.m. This performance will be followed by Mad Cow's traditional champagne reception in the lobby. Preview performances are May 31 and June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Monday Nights: Each Harriett production includes two discounted Monday night performances. Monday night performances for Animal Crackers will be held on June 12 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Second Saturdays: Join us on the second Saturday of each production for a special matinee. The Saturday matinee for Animal Crackers will be held on June 10 at 2:30 pm.

Talkbacks take place after each Thursday and Sunday performance. Talkbacks are free to audience members, and the public may attend at no extra cost.

Regular tickets start at $33. Preview tickets are $15. Discount Monday night performances start at $18. Tickets are available online at or by calling the Mad Cow Theatre box office at 407-297-8788 ext. 1.

Other discounts are available for students and active military. More information is available online on our Savings Programs page.

All tickets are subject to a $2 facility fee. Students receive a $7 discount with ID. Active military receive a $10 discount with ID. Seniors 65+ receive a $3 discount. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Student groups of 10 or more are eligible for a 50% discount on full-price tickets.

Tickets may be purchased by calling Mad Cow Theatre's box office at 407-297-8788 ext. 1 by visiting

Parking Information is available here. Our theatre is located on the second floor at 54 West Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801.

Mad Cow Theatre is a 501(c)(3) arts organization funded by the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs; United Arts of Central Florida; the Downtown Development Board; the Florida Theatrical Association; Orange County government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs program, and members of the Central Florida community like you.

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