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Kara Mikula to Star in CLO Cabaret's JUDGE JACKIE JUSTICE Musical; Full Cast Announced!

Pittsburgh CLO has announced the cast for the WORLD PREMIERE of the hysterical original musical comedy Judge Jackie Justice, which will run January 31 through April 27 at the CLO Cabaret. Tickets start at $34.75 and are available at, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

Cast (In Alphabetical Order):

Maggie Carr (Woman #1) previously worked with the Pittsburgh CLO on last summer's Kopit & Yeston's Phantom. Ms. Carr is a Pittsburgh native and graduate (BFA) of Point Park University. Regional theatre credits include A Funny Thing Happened... (Theatre Barn), Suite Surrender (St. Vincent Summer Theatre), Mid-Strut (The REP), The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Black and White Theatre Co.), and Sweeney Todd (Carrnivale Theatrics). Film/web: Conversations w/ My Ex (52AND9 Productions), Knuckle Sandwich (dir. Bailey Donovan). Her original play Open House was published last year, and she is a cofounder of Black and White Theatre Co. and Carrnivale Theatrics.

Jason Coll (Henry) returns to Pittsburgh CLO and the CLO Cabaret where he served as the Associate Artistic Director for many years. Acting credits include shows with Bricolage Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, WV Public, City Theatre, as well as numerous commercials and voiceovers. Mr. Coll has had six of his musicals produced by Pittsburgh CLO and has written and produced two original television pilots, "WRITE ON!" and "MUNHALL." CLO directing credits include A Musical Christmas Carol, The Big Bang and numerous Richard Rodgers Awards. His company, Frog Prince Creative, produces dynamic events and theatrical productions. Mr. Coll currently serves as Music Director at St. Sylvester Parish.

Connor McCanlus (Man #1) is making his CLO Cabaret debut. Local credits include Unseam'd Shakespeare (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] and The Tempest, or The Enchanted Isle), Prime Stage Theatre (The Elephant Man and A Wrinkle in Time), Miniature Curiosa, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company, and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks. He is an improv comedian and musical improviser at Steel City Improv Theater and Arcade Comedy Theater; his work has been featured in festivals in New York City (UCB, PIT, Magnet) and Chicago (Athenaeum). Mr. McCanlus is also the co-creator and director of HELLO DONNY: A Showtunes Sing-Along! at Backstage Bar.

Kara Mikula (Judge Jackie) returns to the CLO Cabaret after playing Lita Encore in Ruthless! The Musical. Her Pittsburgh CLO credits include: Annie (Sophie/Mrs. Pugh), Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music (Sister Margaretta), Oliver! (Mrs. Bedwin) and A Musical Christmas Carol. Other credits: Grease (Cha-Cha) at The Gateway Theatre; Funny Girl (Mrs. O'Malley) at the Riverside Theatre; The Music Man (Ethel Toffelmier) at KCStarlight; The Boys from Syracuse (Luce) at Surflight Theatre. Ms. Mikula is a graduate of Point Park University.

Caroline Nicolian (Understudy) was last seen in Side by Side by Sondheim and A Grand Night for Singing at the CLO Cabaret. A native of Pittsburgh, she has worked for numerous theater companies in the city such as Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Carrnivale Theatrics, and QM Productions. She received her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University and her credits there include Jane Eyre the Musical, Can-Can!, Assassins, and Parade. One of her proudest moments was singing the National Anthem for President Barack Obama.

Quinn Patrick Shannon (Understudy) previously appeared in Plaid Tidings and A Grand Night for Singing at the CLO Cabaret. You may have also seen him as Wladek in Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre's Our Class. Other regional credits include The Playhouse REP, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, and Theatreworks USA.

Jonathan Visser (Shane) has worked with Bricolage, The City Theater, The REP, PICT, and Pittsburgh CLO as Sylvia St. Croix in Ruthless! The Musical. He is a graduate of the Masters program at the University of Tennessee, 2010. Other regional credits include Dallas Theater Center, Casa Mañana, Clarence Brown Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Hope Summer Repertory and PCPA.

The Creative Team:

Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book & lyrics) are recent recipients of the 2013 Fred Ebb Award. They previously received the 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KC/ACTF Musical Theatre Award, an Anna Sosenko Grant and numerous ASCAP Plus awards.

Their musical Dani Girl has been work-shopped at the Kennedy Center, American Conservatory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop, the Festival of New American Musicals, and was featured in the 2011 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. The show has seen recent productions in Toronto, Dallas, Boston, and Australia.

In 2013, their musical Orphie and the Book of Heroes will premiere at the Kennedy Center. Their original musical The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes has been part of the O'Neill Music Theater Conference, the Human Race Theatre New Works Festival, and the Village Theatre New Works Festival.

The duo's other works include Golden Gate (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (London's Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), the family-friendly Christmas musical Junior Claus and the short film "Flour Baby."

Michael and Chris are proud members of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. They were Dramatists Guild Fellows, received a fellowship at the O'Neill National Music Theater Conference, and attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriting workshop. Their debut album, "Out of Our Heads," featuring an all-star lineup of Broadway performers, is now available on iTunes.

The Dramaturge for Judge Jackie Justice is Mary Jane Brennan.

Van Kaplan (Director/Pittsburgh CLO Executive Producer) returns to the CLO Cabaret after directing You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! in 2012 and Ruthless! The Musical in 2011. He made his Pittsburgh CLO directing debut in 2002 with Guys and Dolls at the Benedum Center, and has since directed She Loves Me and West Side Story. He is the director each year for The Jimmy Awards at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre. His other directorial credits include the critically acclaimed production of Kopit and Yeston's Phantom at North Shore Musical Theater, On the Town, Shear Madness, Sweeney Todd with CAndy Buckley, Nunsense starring Jo Anne Worley, Guys and Dolls starring Georgia Engel and South Pacific starring Cathy Rigby. Mr. Kaplan has worked with such celebrities as Betty Buckley, Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, Natalie Cole, Carol Channing, Jerry Seinfeld, Johnny Mathis and Debbie Reynolds. As a producer, he has produced the Broadway productions of Evita, The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, Come Fly Away, and the upcoming production of An American in Paris as well as over 100 regional Theater Productions and tours.

Mr. Kaplan has consulted for the National Endowment for the Arts, a former Theatre Panel chair for the Texas Commission on the Arts, and has served as adjunct professor for Carnegie Mellon's Masters of Arts Management Program. He has been a Tony Awards voter for over 20 years, is on the Board of The Broadway League, serves on the Investment Committee of the Independent Presenters Network (IPN) and is a past president of The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), of which Pittsburgh CLO is a founding member.

Kiesha Lalama (Choreographer) has created more than 40 works to date. Kiesha continues to work towards launching The Bench, Journey Into Love for professional production. The conceived and choreographed full-length dance theatre production, The Bench received rave reviews and was honored to be named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's "Best of Dance" Top Ten list in both 2009 and 2010. Other recent choreography highlights include In the Heights, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," the National High School Musical Theater Awards on Broadway, as featured in the PBS series Broadway or Bust, Shed for DCDC-Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Clairvoyance for Wright State University, All Shook Up for North Shore Music Theatre, Alegria for Giordano Dance Chicago and Torque for the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble. Lalama has created works for companies such as Ballet Arkansas, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Jazz Dance World Congress, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, the Youth American Grand Prix, Kansas City Starlight Theatre and the film Sorority Row. In 2009, Ms. Lalama was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" and has been awarded a Leo's Award for choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress. The Youth American Grand Prix has twice named Lalama to the coveted "Top 12" and honored her with the Outstanding Choreography Award.

As an educator, Ms. Lalama serves as an Associate Professor in the Point Park University Dance Department and as the Education Director for the Pittsburgh CLO. Master class and workshop highlights include: Cirque du Soleil, DCDC, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, numerous universities, and Dance Educators of America. Ms. Lalama graduated with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and has her BA in Dance from Point Park University. Ms. Lalama is a proud member of SDC.

Michael Moricz (Music Director) has arranged material for John Lithgow, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Linda Lavin, Marvin Hamlisch, Renee Fleming, Ashley Brown, B.E. Taylor, the Nederlander Organization and many others. He has composed original music for the Showtime, Disney, Discovery, Fox and PBS networks; incidental music for the Pittsburgh Public Theater; and arranged and conducted theatrical and special events nationwide, including CLO's Gene Kelly Awards. Michael is the music director for Broadway's annual "Jimmy Awards" featured in PBS's "Broadway or Bust" mini-series. His extensive work with dance includes long associations with ABT, Mark Morris Dance Group, Houston Ballet, PBT and Juilliard. He is especially proud to have been the music director for several seasons of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and composed the ID music you hear daily on WQED-TV.

The Story - Judge Jackie Justice: You've been summoned for a brand new musical comedy! The musical courtroom of Judge Jackie Justice is now in session at the CLO Cabaret. Behold "real" cases involving zombies, spaceships, furries and more! TV's hottest Judge relishes in ruling on the personal affairs of people just like you, but what happens when the tables are turned? You won't "object" to this brand new musical comedy with book and music by award-winning songwriters Kooman and Dimond, conceived and directed by Van Kaplan.

Performance Schedule for Judge Jackie Justice:

Wednesdays 7:30pm

Thursdays 1:00pm* & 7:30pm * Thursday matinees - 2/27, 3/27, 4/24

Fridays 7:30pm

Saturdays 2:00pm & 7:30pm

Sundays 2:00pm


Tickets start at $34.75 and are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more can call the Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 to learn more about special discounts, priority seating and corporate discounts. Visit for more information.

2014 CLO Cabaret Series: The premiere of Judge Jackie Justice will join the Pittsburgh CLO premiere of Ring of Fire and the hilarious return of Dixie's Tupperware Party to complete the 2014 Cabaret Series. Three-Show Cabaret Series Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased for $100 by calling 412-281-2822. Individual tickets for Ring of Fire and Dixie's Tupperware Party will be on sale in February.

Since 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the entire Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs, national tours and develops and invests in new works, including 18 Broadway shows (24 Tony Awards) featuring the Current Productions of Cinderella, Kinky Boots and Matilda. Its dedication to the musical theater art form extends to include such programs as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award the National High School Musical Theater Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and the CLO Cabaret.

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