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Pittsburgh CLO Sets cast for 23rd Annual A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS CAROL

Pittsburgh CLO has announced casting for the 23rd annual production of A Musical Christmas Carol this December at the Byham Theater. This talented cast will feature Pittsburgh CLO veterans and an exciting group of newcomers, led by Pittsburgh's own Tom Atkins as Ebenezer Scrooge. Tickets are now available by calling 412-456-6666, online at pittsburghCLO.org or at the Theater Square Box Office.

Tom Atkins (Ebenezer Scrooge) returns for a seventh consecutive appearance in A Musical Christmas Carol. Mr. Atkins is perhaps best known for his numerous film and television credits, including "Escape from New York," "The Fog," "Creepshow," "Lethal Weapon," "Bob Roberts," "Striking Distance" and "My Bloody Valentine 3D," as well as "M*A*S*H," "The Rockford Files," "Homicide" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." A Pittsburgh native, he has performed in numerous Pittsburgh Public Theater productions, most notably starring as Art Rooney Sr. in The Chief. On Broadway, he appeared in The Changing Room and The Front Page.

Patrick Cannon (Town Crier/Young Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) recently appeared as Jack in HEADS at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Rep, George Gibbs in Our Town at Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Eteocles in Oedipus with No Name Players. Mr. Cannon has worked with companies throughout the country including Drury Lane Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Garage Rep, Pittsburgh CLO, The Strange Tree Group, Stage 773, Street Tempo Theater, The Barnstormers Theatre and Cape May Stage.

Justin Fortunato (Fred/Businessman) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for a third time, having previously played both Dick Wilkins and Fred. He is a 2011 graduate of Point Park University where he earned his BFA in musical theater. Mr. Fortunato has worked as an actor and director for companies in and around Pittsburgh including The Pittsburgh Public, PICT Classic Theatre, The REP, PMT, Primestage Theatre, and St. Vincent Summer Theatre. He is the co-founder of Carrnivale Theatrics as well as a proud member of Actor's Equity Association. Up next Mr. Fortunato will be traveling to Miami, Florida to direct a production of Into the Woods at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

Julia Geisler (Missy Watkins/Laundress) has a BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and an MM in Opera Performance from the University of Kansas. She has worked locally with Gemini Children's Theater and the Lincoln Park Center for the Performing Arts where she appeared this summer as Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music.

Lisa Ann Goldsmith (Mrs. Cratchit) has performed with many notable companies regionally and Off-Broadway, most recently as Mame in Mame at The Human Race Theatre Company in addition to roles locally with Pittsburgh Public Theater, Quantum Theatre, PICT, The REP, and Unseam'd Shakespeare. Ms. Goldsmith is also an SDC director, and has numerous SAG-AFTRA film and TV credits.

Ashton Guthrie (Dick Wilkins, Tom Watkins, The Undertaker) is currently a student in Point Park's Conservatory of Performing Arts making his Pittsburgh CLO debut. This January you can see him in Pittsburgh Public Theatre's production of My Fair Lady. Recent credits: As You Like It (Charles, Corin), The Playboy...Western World (Mahon), Oklahoma!, Honk! (Turkey, Greylag).

Tim Hartman (Charity Worker/Businessman/Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present) is a native Pittsburgher, and has been professionally acting, singing, writing, cartooning and storytelling since 1982. Though known primarily for his work on the stage, including nearly 300 hundred plays and musicals, and appearances on Broadway in A Tale of Two Cities and the Tony Award-nominated Finian's Rainbow, Mr. Hartman's favorite job is performing his own brand of stand-up comedy storytelling. It is estimated he has performed for over 2 million children over a thirty year period. Favorite roles include C.S. Lewis in the Pittsburgh premiere of Shadowlands, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha and Daddy Warbucks in Annie, and his 22nd year in A Musical Christmas Carol. Film roles include "Silence of the Lambs," "The Mothman Prophecies," "The Piano Lesson," and "The Fault in our Stars." Mr. Hartman is also an award-winning political cartoonist and illustrator. www.timhartman.com

Jeffrey Howell (Bob Cratchit) most recently appeared in Souvenir at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Other favorites include Singin' in the Rain, Lost Highway, Sunset Boulevard, Beauty and the Beast, Candide, Bells are Ringing, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, and Chicago. Television credits include "All My Children," "The Young and the Restless," and "Equal Justice." Films: "The Cemetery Club," "Sudden Death," and "The Dark Half." Work with the Pittsburgh Symphony includes A Tribute to Lerner and Loewe, Of Thee I Sing, Classical Rap and Peter and the Wolf.

Daniel Krell (Businessman/Marley) has appeared in over 30 productions with Pittsburgh CLO and has acted in major roles in the area's professional theaters such as the Public, City Theatre, Quantum, Bricolage, PICT, and the Playhouse Rep, to name a few and in regional theatres such as Clarence Brown Theatre and Gateway Playhouse among others. Mr. Krell is also a veteran of many films, commercials, industrials, and voice-overs. Up next: My Fair Lady at the Public.

J. Alex Noble (Vendors/Topper) is back on stage with Pittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol for the 3rd time. He is a Greensburg native and graduate of Point Park University most recently seen onstage in PICT's Macbeth and as Motel in Stage Right!'s production of Fiddler on the Roof. This year he will be making his Pittsburgh Public Theater debut in My Fair Lady.

Rocky Patera (Peter Cratchit) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol after a 10 year absence. After getting his start touring with the late Marvin Hamlisch, Mr. Patera has continued to perform in and around Pittsburgh. A recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he intends on moving to NYC at the start of 2015 to pursue theater.

Amanda Serra (Charity Worker/Ghost of Christmas Past/Peg) returns to the cast of A Musical Christmas Carol for the 14th time. Other Pittsburgh CLO credits include: Music Man, Hello, Dolly, Me and My Girl and The Sound of Music. Regional credits: Evita, Oliver!, Light in the Piazza, Two By Two, Pajama Game and Bells Are Ringing. Television credits include Criminal Minds, Newsreaders, and Outrageous 911 Calls as well as numerous independent films.

Erika Strasburg (Bess/Belle) recently appeared as the female swing in Pittsburgh CLO's Ring of Fire at the CLO Cabaret and in the CLO's Gallery of Heroes production of The Invention of Edison. Other Pittsburgh credits include Quantum Theatre (Pantagleize) and City Theatre (Young Playwrights Festival).

Terry Wickline (Mrs. Dilber/Mrs. Fezziwig) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for the 15th year. Her credits include many Pittsburgh CLO productions, as well as Pittsburgh Public, PICT, Quantum, Unseam"d Shakespeare, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, West Virginia Public, St. Vincent's Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre By The Sea. Up next, Ms. Wickline will play Mrs. Pearce in Pittsburgh Public Theatre's production of My Fair Lady.

Magan Dee Yantko (Fan/Alice) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for the second time. She is now an alumna of Point Park University with a musical theatre B.F.A. degree. She has worked with companies such as Carrnivale Theatrics, Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr., Primestage, and the Cleveland Public Theatre.

Matei Zivanov (Tiny Tim) was born in Pittsburgh. He is a first grade student at Pittsburgh Colfax, attends the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, and enjoys playing piano and practicing martial arts. Besides English, Matei is fluent in Serbian.

The cast is rounded out by a host of carolers and party guests.

Tsilala Brock (Caroler) recently graduated in May 2014 with a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University. Credits include Pittsburgh CLO's CATS, Moira Hopkins in a staged reading of Kansas City Swing directed by Ricardo Khan, Tituba in Carnegie Mellon's The Crucible, and Olivia in The Vineyard Playhouse's Twelfth Night.

Brian Knoebel (Caroler) returns to Pittsburgh CLO for his third year. Regional: Mirror Mirror (Tunnel Theatre Company-Featuring Alice Ripley), The Girl Who Came to Supper (Musicals Tonight), A Child's Guide to Heresy (The REP-World Premiere) Pretty Little Mouth (Living Room Theatre) Film: Front Cover, Legion, Last of Kin. Graduate from Point Park University.

Erin Lindsey Krom (Caroler/Martha Cratchit) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for her third year. Other credits include appearances with Playhouse on Park, Pittsburgh REP, Geva Theatre Center and Cape Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Secret Theatre, Totem Pole Playhouse, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Dog & Pony Show and Tuacahn Amphitheatre.

Scott P. Sambuco (Caroler) counts numerous Pittsburgh CLO shows among his credits: 42nd St, Seven Brides.., 1776 Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, Annie, She Loves Me , Funny Girl, Crazy For You, Bye Bye Birdie, Grand Hotel, Pirates Of Penzance, A Musical Christmas Carol (14 Years), Pittsburgh Public Theater: 1776, ...Forum, HMS Pinafore. As well as PMT, Stage Right, TUTS, North Shore Music Theatre, Stages Theatre Company St. Louis-10 Seasons.

Several Pittsburgh CLO Academy students will also take part in the holiday production.

Felicia Niebel (Cratchit Child) attends Sewickley Academy (6th Grade) and studies at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy where she is a member of the CLO Mini Stars. Pittsburgh CLO productions: A Musical Christmas Carol, Annie, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker.

Simon Nigam (Cratchit Child) is a Pittsburgh CLO Academy student returning to A Musical Christmas Carol for a third year. Most recently, Simon appeared in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Edmund) at COMTRA Theater. He is currently in the 3rd grade at Falk School.

Lucia Williams (Cratchit Child) is a 7th grader at St. Louise de Marillac School (Upper St. Clair), returns for her sixth show with the Pittsburgh CLO. In addition to A Musical Christmas Carol for the past two years, she has had roles in Annie, Fiddler on the Roof and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She is currently a student at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and a member of the CLO Mini-Stars.

Mario Williams (Turkey Boy) is a 4th grader at St. Louise de Marillac School (Upper St. Clair) enjoying his third run in A Musical Christmas Carol. He is currently a student at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy.

About the Creative Team

Tim Gregory (Director) is back for a sixth year directing A Musical Christmas Carol. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Provision Theater Company in Chicago, where some of his directing credits include Provision Theater's Jefferson Award-Nominated productions of A Christmas Carol, The Hiding Place and the critically-acclaimed production CS Lewis On Stage.

McCrae Hardy (Musical Director/Keyboards) previously served as music director/conductor for the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh, NC from 1984-2005 as well as numerous other theatres. Currently, he is the Conductor for The Triangle Youth Symphony. He holds the Raleigh Medal of Arts "for extraordinary achievement in the arts."

Andrew David Ostrowski (Lighting Designer) has a host of international credits including productions in France, Scotland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands and Switzerland. National credits: The Asolo, The Arden, Madison Opera, Merrimack Rep., Virginia Stage, North Shore Music Theater, Spoleto USA, amongst others. Local credits: City Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet, PICT, PNME, The Rep and many others.

The stage manager for this production will be Fredric H. Orner. This production features original scenery by D Martyn Bookwalter.

More Merry Musical Information

In what has become A Musical Christmas Carol tradition, local choirs will perform prior to select performances. Musical groups from all over the Tri-state area have the opportunity to perform on the Byham Theater stage and take part in this special holiday celebration. The list to date includes:

December 12

7:30pm

Clearfield Elementary Chorus

December 13

4:00pm

Howe Elementary 5th Grade Chorus

December 19

7:30pm

Connoquenessing Elementary Chorus

December 20

8:00pm

West Allegheny High School Show Choir

December 21

2:00pm

Pittsburgh CLO Mini Stars & Academy Children

A Musical Christmas Carol will be presented at the Byham Theater (6th & Fort Duquesne Boulevard) December 5-21. Tickets range from $30.75 - $60.75 with half-price tickets for children 3-14 and are now available by calling 412-456-6666, online at pittsburghCLO.org or at the Theater Square Box Office.

Special events available for groups include School Matinees Dec. 4-5, 10-12 and 17-19, A Very Merry Meal with Lidia's Pittsburgh on December 7, and two fantastic Girl Scout Pizza Parties December 6-7. Our dedicated staff will help you perfect your holiday outings with A Musical Christmas Carol, from choosing a nearby restaurant, to finding a pre-show drink spot. For more information on these and other group events and discounts, please call Group Sales at 412-325-1582 or email Groups@PittsburghCLO.org.

Pittsburgh CLO is also pleased to announce that together, with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Pittsburgh CLO will conduct a food drive during all performances of A Musical Christmas Carol. Audience members are invited to help fellow Pittsburgh residents by dropping non-perishable food items in barrels stationed in the Byham Theater lobby this December.

Pittsburgh CLO gratefully acknowledges the support of our production sponsor First Niagara and Macy's for sponsoring Half-priced Tickets for Kids.


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