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Beach, Hoty, et al to Appear in Sacramento Music Circus 2010 Season

Sacramento Music Circus has announced the casting for its sixtieth summer season. The seven-show season will include the Music Circus premieres of "Spamalot," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "The Marvelous Wonderettes" and new stagings of "Oklahoma!," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "42nd Street" and "Funny Girl," the latter returning to Music Circus after an 18-year absence.

The season will open with the Music Circus premiere of Monty Python's "Spamalot," which won the Tony Award® for Best Musical in 2005. Written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez and based on the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Spamalot" will play a 13-performance run July 9-18. The comedy tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and includes a bevy of beautiful show girls, cows and a killer rabbit. The Broadway production played for over 1,500 performances in New York and had an extensive national tour. Music Circus will present the major regional theatre premiere of the show. The production, to be staged by CMT Artistic Director Glenn Casale, will include the Tony-nominated original Broadway costume designs.  The production will star Gary Beach, of the original Broadway cast of "The Producers," as King Arthur.  It will also feature Lesli Margherita (The Lady of the Lake), Mika Duncan (Sir Lancelot), John Scherer (Sir Robin), Ron Bohmer (Sir Dennis Galahad), Steven Strafford (Prince Herbert), Andy Taylor (Patsy), and Ron Wisniski (Sir Bedevere).

The season will continue July 20-25 with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." This early work by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is a favorite for Music Circus audiences, with its vibrant costumes and its energetic songs. "Joseph" is a fanciful retelling of the Bible story of Joseph, whose talent for interpreting dreams takes him on incredible adventures through Egypt. Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford, who has staged a national tour of the show, this summer's production will use the new London script for the first time, utilizing a 40-person choir of local children.  The production will star Max Von Essen (Joseph), Jennifer Paz (Narrator), Paul Ainsley (Jacob/Potiphar), David Engel (Pharaoh/Levi), Shannon Stoeke (Reuben), Lain Gray (Judah), Jeff Skowron (Simeon), and Naomi Hubert (Mrs. Potiphar).  Tickets will be half-price for children 4-11.

The works of Rodgers and Hammerstein are the foundation of the American musical theatre as well as Music Circus. To celebrate the 60th Music Circus season, "Oklahoma!," the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, will return to Music Circus July 27-August 1. Perhaps the most American of musicals, "Oklahoma!" celebrates the pioneer spirit on the Western frontier and features many of the most recognizable musical classics, including "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top." Marcia Milgrom Dodge, whose production of "Ragtime" just completed its critically acclaimed Broadway run, will direct "Oklahoma!" for Music Circus.  The production will star Jeremiah James (Curly), Brandi Burkhardt (Laurey), Heather Jane Rolff (Ado Annie), Michael Jablonski (Will Parker), Kevin Earley (Jud Fry), Amir Talai (Ali Hakim), Kay Walbye (Aunt Eller), Ron Wisniski (Andrew Carnes), John Williford (Dream Jud), Patrick Pulkrabek (Dream Curly), and Amanda Peet (Dream Laurey).

The second of three Music Circus premieres this summer will be the recent Broadway hit "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," August 3-8. The musical comedy, which ran for over two years on Broadway and was nominated for ten Tony Awards®, is an adaptation of the 1988 film about two charming con men on the French Riviera and their competition to swindle a beautiful young American woman. Being presented for the first time in-the-round, this production will be directed by Richard Stafford, who directed last summer's Music Circus production of "Cats."  The production will star Timothy Gulan (Freddy Benson), John Scherer (Andre Thibault), Burke Moses (Lawrence Jameson), Cynthia Ferrer (Muriel Eubanks), Amy Bodnar (Jolene Oakes), and Jessica Rush (Christine Colgate).

By popular demand, "Funny Girl," the 1964 musical biography of Vaudeville legend Fanny Brice, will return to Music Circus for the first time in 18 years August 10-15. The celebrated musical comedy includes extravagant Ziegfeld-style production numbers as well as intimate songs like "People" as it follows Brice's career from ugly duckling to headliner. Artistic Director Glenn Casale, who directed the 1992 Music Circus production starring Laurie Beechman, will direct the 2010 production.  "Funny Girl" will star Vicki Lewis, best known for the sitcom NewsRadio, as Fanny Brice.  It will also feature Brad Little as Nicky Arnstein, along with Alix Korey (Mrs. Brice), Helen Geller (Mrs. Strakosh), Michael Paternostro (Eddie Ryan), Ron Wisniski (Florenz Ziegfeld, Junior), and Jennie Scott (Mrs. Meeker).

The original creative team of the recent New York hit "The Marvelous Wonderettes" will recreate the magic  along with members of the original off-Broadway cast August 17-22. This Music Circus premiere will take the audience back to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where they will meet the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their voices. Nearly every song from the era that was made famous by a girl group or female vocalist is highlighted in this cotton candy-colored blast from the past, including "Lollipop," "It's My Party" and "It's In His Kiss." Creator Roger Bean will direct.  The production will star Lindsey Mendez (Betty Jean), Lowe Taylor (Cindy Lou), Misty Cotton (Missy), and Bets Malone (Suzy).

The season will close with "42nd Street" August 24-29. The stage adaptation of the 1933 movie musical is being produced at Music Circus for the first time since 1999 and only the third time ever. The winner of the 1981 Tony Award® for best musical, "42nd Street" is famous for its show-stopping precision tap dancing, its unforgettable Harry Warren songs like "We're in the Money," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "Lullaby of Broadway," and for being the quintessential chorus-girl-becomes-a-star backstage musical.  The production will star Patrick Ryan Sullivan (Julian Mars), Dee Hoty (Dorothy Brock), Zachary Berger (Billy Lawlor), Melissa Lone (Peggy Sawyer), Susan Cella (Maggie Jones), James Patterson (Bert Barry), Kim Arnett (Anytime Annie), Ron Wisniski (Mac/Thug/Doctor), Gordon Goodman (Pat Denning), and Lew Lloyd (Abner Dillon).

Music Circus was founded in 1951 as the first professional musical theatre in the round west of the Mississippi. Until 2002, its first-class summer stock productions were presented under a canvas tent, the last of its kind in the country. In 2003, the company introduced its new, modern tent-theatre, the Wells Fargo Pavilion, which combines the traditional Arena Stage with improved audience comfort. Music Circus is the largest, continually operating musical theatre-in-the-round in the country, making it a landmark in the professional theatre community. Music Circus operates under a contract with Actors Equity Association, the union for professional actors in the United States, and the majority of the principal and ensemble cast have extensive Broadway and national tour credits.

Season-ticket reservations can be made by phone at (916) 557-1999. The seven-show packages are $299 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $235 for Thursday matinee and $285 for all other performances.

Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more by calling the group sales department at (916) 557-1198. Groups can reserve seven-show or single-show packages.

Single show tickets are $53 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $41 for Thursday matinee and $50 for all other performances. All ticket prices include a facility fee.  Three-show Mini-Series ticket packages are also available.

For more information, visit the theater's website at http://www.californiamusicaltheatre.com/

 

Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi


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