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PTC Presents New Musical Version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 11/30-12/15

Pioneer Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol: The Musical November 30 – December 15, 2012.

Following a ten-year run of sold-out performances at Madison Square Garden, this new musical by the eight-time Oscar-winning composer of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid is sure to provide a festive evening of entertainment for the whole family.

Jamie Jackson plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Jackson's theatre credits include: The 39 Steps (off-Broadway), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (National Tour), Sweeney Todd, Phantom, My Fair Lady (Gateway Playhouse), Annie, Michael Archangel (Fulton Theatre), The Brain That Wouldn't Die! (NYMF), Great Expectations (Goodspeed Opera), King Lear, The Crucible, Henry IV, Part 1 (Sydney Theatre Company). His TV credits include Zero Hour and Flight of the Conchords, and he appeared in the film My Man Is a Loser. This is his PTC debut.

The cast of characters that interact with Scrooge on that famous Christmas Eve include Kevin Earley as Bob Cratchit, Ephie Aardema as The Ghost of Christmas Past, Gerry McIntyre as The Ghost of Christmas Present, JUSTIN IVIE as Jacob Marley, Robert Anthony Jones and Keala Settle as Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, and ANSON BAGLEY as Tiny Tim.

Kevin Earley, a recent Drama Desk Nominee for the title role in Death Takes a Holiday at Roundabout Theatre Company, has Broadway credits that include Les Misérables, Thoroughly Modern Millie and A Tale of Two Cities. Earley's other awards include: 2012 Jeff Award Nominee for The Pirates of Penzance, the Joseph Jefferson Award (Assassins), LA Drama Critics Circle Award (1776) and four LA Ovation Award Nominations for leading roles in Can-Can, Sleeping Beauty Wakes, It Came From Beyond and Side Show. He can be heard on the original cast recordings of Death Takes a Holiday and A Tale of Two Cities. This is his PTC debut.

Ephie Aardema originated the role of Lucy Honeychurch in the new musical A Room with a View at The Old Globe and appeared off-Broadway in the title role of Dear Edwina. Her national tours include The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof. She has appeared at regional theatres across the country, including St. Louis Rep, PCPA, Paper Mill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Co. and others. In 2007 she received a CongressionAl Gold Medal for Outstanding Youth. She's an international award-winning tap dancer as well as the youngest-ever graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City, and she returns to PTC after appearing in last season's Next to Normal.

Gerry McIntyre played the role of The Ghost of Christmas Present the last three years at Madison Square Garden with Tim Curry, Jim Dale, and F. Murray Abraham. Broadway appearances include Uptown It's Hot, Anything Goes, Once On This Island (original cast), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Off-Broadway he appeared in The Audience (Drama Desk Nomination, Best Musical), Enter Laughing (Drama Desk Nomination Best Revival), Broadway Jukebox, Sidd, Joan of Arc at the Stake with Glenn Close and William Hurt. His film credits include Stealing Martin Lane, The Kiss, Broadway Damage, The Next Step, and Joseph…starring Donny Osmond. This is his PTC debut.

Justin Ivie returns to PTC after roles in many shows, including The Producers, My Fair Lady, Paint Your Wagon, Othello, Julius Caesar and 23 others. Utah audiences have also seen him in Amadeus at the Old Lyric, White Christmas at the Egyptian and in Kiss Me, Kate at UMT, among many others. Ivie received an MFA from Northern Illinois University where he appeared in Three Sisters, Measure for Measure, Baby and the English language premiere of the nine-hour epic The Terrible but Unfinished Story of Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia.

Robert Anthony Jones has played Mr. Fezziwig twice on national tour, twice with The Gateway Playhouse, and once for the Fulton Opera House. His New York credits include The 101 Dalmatians Musical (National Tour, originating the role of Jinx Baddun), Dorian Gray at the York Theatre, and The Prince and the Pauper (Original Cast and Original Cast Recording). Regional credits include The Producers and Anything Goes at West Virginia Public Theatre, Chicago at Riverside Theatre and Sweeney Todd at Gateway Playhouse. This is his PTC debut.

Keala Settle appeared on Broadway in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Hands on a Hardbody, and in the national tours of South Pacific and Hairspray. A Hawaii native, she has been seen at regional theatres across the country. This is her PTC debut.

Local actor Anson Bagley, playing the role of Tiny Tim, has been seen in Salt Lake as Chip in Beauty and the Beast and Winthrop in The Music Man. Bagley's film credits include 17 Miracles and several local TV and radio commercials. This is his PTC debut.

The ensemble features Ginger Bess as The Blind Old Hag, Ashley Gardner CARLSON as Sally, Laura Hall as Emily, Geoffrey Hemingway as Young Scrooge, SHALEE MORTENSEN SCHMIDT as Mrs. Cratchit, AUSTIN John Smith as Fred, and DANIEL T. SIMONS as Smythe.

Ginger Bess was recently seen as Roxie Hart in Chicago with The Dark Horse Company Theatre, of which she is a founding company member. She was featured in Rent, Sunset Boulevard and Les Misérables at Pioneer Theatre Company and received national recognition as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Berstein's Mass with the Utah Symphony. A graduate of Weber State University, she has performed in theatres from coast to coast.

Ashley Gardner Carlson most recently was seen at the Grand Theatre as Cinderella in Into The Woods and as Kira in Xanadu. She also appeared with the Utah Symphony in the Jewish American Songbook Concert. She returns to PTC after appearing in Annie, Miss Saigon and others.

Geoffrey Hemingway appeared on Broadway in Good Vibrations, and in the national tour of Mamma Mia. A graduate of BYU, he has appeared at regional theatres across the country and returns to PTC after last appearing in Les Misérables.

Shalee Mortensen Schmidt has appeared locally in The Sound of Music, The Drowsy Chaperone, Great American Trailer Park Musical, Hairspray, Steel Magnolias, Hello, Dolly! and Lucky Stiff. She has appeared with the Utah Opera in The Gondoliers and The Magic Flute. This is her PTC debut.

Austin John Smith is a sophomore in the Musical Theatre Program at the University of Utah. Recent roles include Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd, Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, Eddie in The Wild Party and Walter/Tribe in Hair. He just returned from New York City after working with Open Jar Productions. This is his PTC debut.

Daniel T. Simons, another founding member of The Dark Horse Company Theatre, was recently seen in the title role of that company's production of Jekyll & Hyde. Other regional credits include The Who's Tommy, Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick…Boom! and others. He returns to PTC after appearing in many productions, including Rent, Sunset Boulevard, 42nd Street and others.

The ensemble also includes actor/singer/dancers Jessica Azenberg, JARON BARNEY, JESSICA BLAIR, Lenny Daniel, IAN DOHERTY, Cecily Ellis-BILLS, ALEXANDRA HICKEN, DAVID GUY HOLMES, Jeff Kuhr, GREGORY NEFF, ADAM PELLEGRINE, and Dance Captain NIKOL WOLF. Child actors CHRISTIAN LABERTEW, NOAH MAYFIELD, ABIGAIL SCOTT, MAGGIE SCOTT, EMILY TERRAN and FYNN WHITE round out the cast.

PTC's Artistic Director Karen Azenberg directs and choreographs the production. A Christmas Carol: The Musical marks her directorial debut since assuming the position of PTC Artistic Director. In previous seasons as a guest artist, Azenberg directed the regional premiere of Next to Normal, as well as Rent and Miss Saigon. She created the musical staging for the record-breaking 2007 production of Les Misérables. Originally from New York, her work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained, and choreography for Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle (Roundabout). Other credits include national tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Regional Theatre Premiere at Geva), West Side Story (over 15 productions; Dramalogue Award for Outstanding Choreography), A Christmas Memory (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Same Time Next Year (Indiana Repertory Theatre). Azenberg is on the board of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and is the President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Tom Griffin is the show's musical director and conductor. Griffin was the musical conductor of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on two national tours and music-directed the West Coast and Los Angeles premieres of The Last Five Years, Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd and The Music Man; the West Coast premiere of Spitfire Grill; Annie, West Side Story, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bye Bye Birdie; the national tour of My Fair Lady for Theatre Of The Stars; and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's productions of A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Peter Pan and A Christmas Memory. This is his PTC debut.

Scenic design is by PTC resident artist George Maxwell. Some of Maxwell's PTC designs include Next to Normal, Rent, Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Les Misérables, The Importance of Being Earnest, West Side Story, Proof, Peter Pan and Miss Saigon. He has designed the sets for Utah Opera Company's The Coronation of Poppea and The Ballad of Baby Doe, productions for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and 21 productions for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Maxwell is a member of United Scenic Artists.

CAROL WELLS-DAY designs costumes for this production. Wells-Day is one of PTC's resident costume designers and the costume shop supervisor. Her recent designs for PTC include Next to Normal, Sunset Boulevard, Dracula, Is He Dead?, Dial 'M' for Murder and The Light in the Piazza, among dozens of others. She was assistant designer for Inherit the Wind at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C., and worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival for 13 years as a costume shop supervisor and designer.

Lighting design is by guest designer Phil Monat. Monat's Broadway designs include Legends starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans, Sly Fox starring Richard Dreyfuss, Finian's Rainbow, Sally Marr & Her Escorts and Three From Brooklyn. Recent off-Broadway designs include Woman Before A Glass (Obie Award), Adult Entertainment, American Rhapsody, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill and Visiting Mr. Green. He returns to PTC after lighting several productions, including Hamlet, Touch(ed), My Fair Lady and Chicago – among many others.

Hair and makeup design is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH. Sound design is by PTC resident designer MATTHEW TIBBS.

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