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Pittsburgh CLO Announces Cast for UP AND AWAY

Pittsburgh CLO Announces Cast for UP AND AWAY

Pittsburgh CLO is proud to announce the cast of the world premiere of UP AND AWAY, January 25 - April 15, 2018 at the CLO Cabaret. As part of its Next Generation Capital Campaign efforts, Pittsburgh CLO debuted a staged reading of this new musical comedy this past spring during New Musicals Weekend at the Benedum Center. Tickets are now available online at, by phone at 412-456-6666 or in person at the Theater Square Box Office. UP AND AWAY is also available as part of a CLO Cabaret Series subscription package.


Five actors take on the roles of over 50 different characters in this high-flying world-premiere comedy guaranteed to keep the suspense high and the laughs rolling!
Not much happens in Farmtown, USA, home of brothers Joe and Jerry Jessup. So when Joe realizes he has superpowers, he high-tails it out of town to seek fame and fortune in "Big City." When he finds trouble instead, jittery Jerry is forced to follow - and their boring life is turned upside down into a rip roarin' adventure! Toss in an eccentric billionaire, plucky reporter and dastardly villains, and you've got one epic tale of the world's FIRST superhero.


Michael Greer (Joe Jessup) returns to the CLO Cabaret where he was last seen in Altar Boyz (Luke). Favorite credits: Hand to God (Timmy) with City Theatre, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! (Jeff Kahn) at the Denver Center, Shrek: The Musical (Big Bad Wolf) at North Shore, Full Monty (Keno) and 25+ Productions with Pittsburgh CLO.

Christine Laitta (Player 2) returns to the CLO Cabaret after appearing in Girls Only, I Love You You're Perfect..., Forbidden Broadway and Forbidden Broadway SVU. Regional Credits: Pittsburgh Public Theatre's The Diary of Anne Frank (Edith Frank), Sister Act (Sr Lazarus), Annie (Miss Hannigan), Singin' in the Rain (Dora) , Fiddler on The Roof (Yenta), Carousel (Carrie), To Kill A Mockingbird (Scout), On The Town (Lucy Schmeeler), The Sound of Music (Maria), Emmy Award winning PBS's Scientastic! Ms. Laitta originated the role of Ms. Frizzle in The Magic School Bus Live!, She continues to perform her hit TV Tunes Sing-A-Long! and co-authored The Dramatically Different Classroom (Kagan Publishing).

QUINN PATRICK SHANNON (Player 1) is returning to for his sixth production at the CLO Cabaret. Previous CLO credits include Plaid Tidings (Frankie), The 39 Steps (Clown 1) and The Toxic Avenger(White Dude). He recently appeared as Nicely Nicely Johnson in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of Guys and Dolls and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame for PMT.

ERIKA STRASBURG (Susie Dare) returns to Pittsburgh CLO where she previously appeared in Ring of Fire, Pump Boys & Dinettes and A Musical Christmas Carol. Other local credits include City Theater, barebones productions, Quantum Theater, Kinetic Theater and Lincoln Park. Carnegie Mellon Drama graduate. Next: Hamlet at Pittsburgh Public Theater.

John Wascavage (Jerry Jessup) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after previously appearing as "The Suspects" in Murder For Two. National Tour/Canadian Premiere: The Suspects in Murder For Two. Pittsburgh CLO: A Grand Night For Singing, 'S Wonderful. NYC/ Regional Credits: Robert Jamison in The Cocoanuts (Utah Shakespeare Festival), James Monroe in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Piper Theatre), Ensemble in Supersoldier (Fundamental Theater Project), Candide in Candide (Quantum Theatre), Posner in The History Boys (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre). AEA. Twitter/ Instagram: @JohnWascavage

WASEEM ALZER (Understudy) is making his Pittsburgh CLO debut. Favorite roles include Tateh (Ragtime), Berger (HAIR), Angel (RENT), Giuseppe Zangara (Assassins) and Melchior (Spring Awakening). East Carolina University MT '17.

Julianne Avolio (Understudy) is a local actor, improviser and teaching artist. Recent credits include The Liar with Kinetic Theatre, various Midnight Radio performances with Bricolage, Girls Only at the CLO Cabaret, among others. She also had the privilege of performing with Tony Award®-winning Mark Rylance on a new work this past year in Homestead.


KRISTIN BAIR (Music) is making her Pittsburgh CLO debut. Musicals with Kevin Hammonds include: The Sell from Portraits (Prospect Musical Theatre Lab), The Phobia Phobes (Prospect Theater Summer Intensive), Queen with a Crown and King of Kong (developed at the BMI Workshop); as well as commissions from URock Theatricals and NYC Children's Theatre. She also wrote Dustin Gavins P.I. with Sarah Ziegler for 4@15 Musicals (UC Irvine). Recipient of 2015 Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement (BMI Foundation). Member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop. Pittsburgh native and Pine-Richland High School graduate.

KEVIN HAMMONDS (Book & Lyrics) is also joining Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Musicals include Hope and Mr. Christmas (published by Rodgers & Hammerstein); When Midnight Strikes (Finborough Theater - London, cast recording available on iTunes); Brenda Bly: Teen Detective (Bridewell Theatre - London), published by Samuel French. Other London productions include No One in the World, R.S.V.P.A.S.A.P. and Big Top. New York Productions include Kiss and Makeup; Heads Up and Crescendo Falls. Musicals with Kristin Bair include Queen with a Crown and King of Kong, as well as commissions from URock Theatricals and NYC Children's Theatre. Mr. Hammonds is a proud two-time recipient of the Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement (BMI Foundation).

Marlo Hunter (Director & Choreographer) will make her Pittsburgh CLO directorial debut with UP AND AWAY. As Director/Choreographer: Unlock'd (The Duke - Prospect; Callaway Award), My Life Is a Musical (Bay Street), Date of a Lifetime (NJ Rep), Island Song (also Story co-creator) (Adirondack Theatre Festival). Director, Co-Conceiver - The Theatrical Culinary Project, written by Jeff Augustin, Martyna Majok, Daniel Pearle, Harrison David Rivers & Julian Sheppard in collaboration with Chef Carla Hall. In development (as director): Teeth by Anna K. Jacobs & Michael R. Jackson (workshop - Sundance Theatre Lab), Costs of Living by Timothy Huang (readings - Playwrights Horizons, Village Theater), among others. Marlo has directed, choreographed and developed new work at Second Stage, Long Wharf, Williamstown, Roundabout, The Atlantic, and EST, among others. Princeton University.

DOUG LEVINE (Music Director) last appeared at the CLO Cabaret as music director for First Date. In addition to musical directing, Doug has composed or arranged music for companies including: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, City Theatre, Microscopic Opera Company, The Warhol, Playhouse REP, Attack Theatre, Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh International Children's Theater Festival, Playhouse Junior, Dreams of Hope, Gateway to the Arts, Playhouse Conservatory Company, Renaissance City Women's Choir, Junior Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Musical Theater and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh.

Leon Dobkowski (Costume Designer) has numerous credits including: Annie, Mary Poppins, Vanya and Sonia... (Paper Mill), The Wizard of Oz, Mamma Mia, Newsies, Seussical (St. Louis Theater Circle Award), Tarzan (Judy Award-Muny), South Pacific (Asolo Repertory), The Weir, The Dead 1904 (Irish Rep), The Little Mermaid, Legally Blonde (Music Theatre of Wichita), The Wiz (Maltz Jupiter), Mickey and Minnie's Doorway to Magic (Disney Live), Romeo and Juliet (Yale Rep), Peter and the Starcatcher, Once (Weston Playhouse), Claudio Quest (NYMF, Outstanding Overall Design). MFA Yale School of Drama.

RANDY KOVITZ (Fight Director) has staged fights for hundreds of stage, film and television productions around the country. His work has been seen in theaters on and off Broadway, and at numerous regional theaters. Career highlights include the world premiere productions of Angels In America, Burn This and the Broadway production of The Kentucky Cycle. He served as Fight Director for Pittsburgh CLO's 2017 Summer Season production of Disney's NEWSIES.

Reid Thompson (Set Designer) is a Brooklyn-based designer of scenery for theater, musicals and opera. Recent theater and musical credits include: Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Roundabout, Alliance), Disgraced (Asolo Rep), A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep), A Delicate Ship (Playwright's Realm), A Little Night Music, Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop Of Horrors (Berkshire Theater Festival), Speech and Debate (Barrington Stage), Into The Woods (Princeton), Merrily We Roll Along (Yale Drama) and Sundayin The Park With George (Yale Drama). Opera Credits: Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Dido and Aeneas, Kafka-Fragments (Heartbeat Opera), Lucretia (Stony Brook Opera), Erismena (Yale Baroque Opera). MFA: Yale School of Drama. Member Wingspace and USA-829.

Keith A. Truax (Lighting Designer) returns to the CLO Cabaret after Xanadu, Pump Boys & Dinettes, First Date, Altar Boyz and The Toxic Avenger. PICT Classic Theatre's: Sive, The Lion in Winter, The Merchant of Venice, Two Tales of Terror, Oliver Twist, Sharon's Grave, How The Other Half Love and Women and Scarecrow. NYMF 2017 Ben, Virginia & Me (The Liberace Story), Seven Angels Theatre Trav'lin The Musical, John Engeman Theatre Jekyll & Hyde, NYC Fringe Festival Walken on Sunshine,Othello: The Remix at The Westside Theatre Downstairs.

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