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The Playhouse's 4th Annual Holiday Special Presentation Set for This Weekend

Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Chuck Tobin today announced the Playhouse's fourth annual holiday benefit show to raise funds for the non-profit theater company's 2015 summer season.

Collaborating with the Vergennes Opera House, the Playhouse will present Home for the Holidays. Performances are tonight, December 5 at Vergennes Opera House (7:30 p.m.), and Saturday, December 6 at Saint Michael's Playhouse (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).

This is the fourth year that Saint Michael's Playhouse has presented Broadway Direct and the eighth year for the Vergennes Opera House. This annual holiday favorite brings professional actors from NYC, Boston, and Montreal to the area to perform hit Broadway musical numbers to an appreciative North Country audience. This is the first year, however, that the two theaters are completely combining the shows and adding local youth talent to the mix.

"I am a huge fan of the work that the Vergennes Opera House is doing to keep the arts vibrant and alive in their community. Integrating our efforts on this show will allow the Playhouse to reach into the Addison County Market while also giving local students the opportunity to share their talent on our equity stage in front of a new audience. This is very exciting and perhaps the beginning of more such outreach efforts we do with the Opera House," said Chuck Tobin, Producing Artistic Director of Saint Michael's Playhouse.

Four Saint Michael's Playhouse stars, Bill Carmichael (Young Frankenstein, Drowsy Chaperone), Charlotte Munson (Fiddler on the Roof, Shout!), Chris Blisset (Ring of Fire) and Amanda Ryan Paige (Marvelous Wonderettes, Nunsense, Ring of Fire) will appear in this holiday themed show that will be presented at the Vergennes Opera House on Friday, December 5th and then move on for two shows at Saint Michael's Playhouse on Saturday, December 6th.

This event also features five outstanding young actors from the area, Jonny Barden, Max Chlumecky, Victoria Fearn, Stella Pappas, Maddy Smith, and Caitlin Walsh. "This is an incredible opportunity for our local students to actually work alongside the Playhouse's professional acting company members on an equity stage", said Vergennes Opera President Gerianne Smart. "Finding creative ways to nurture, encourage and strengthen our local talent is paramount to the Opera House's mission. This collaboration is a natural and exciting outgrowth of this effort."

The musical theme of this year's benefit will feature popular holiday tunes peppered with humorous and heartwarming stories lead by local resident and Broadway veteran Bill Carmichael who has performed in numerous productions at Saint Michael's Playhouse. Broadway Direct was created by Bill Carmichael over eight years ago as a way to raise money for the non-profit Vergennes Opera House. It has grown over the years and four years ago it expanded into Saint Michael's Playhouse.

Bill Carmichael appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Cats, and Peter Pan. Off-Broadway Mr. Carmichael was in the original production of Forbidden Broadway and can be heard on the original cast recording. In Los Angeles he was in the original US premiere of Ragtime, Forever Plaid, Sweeney Todd with Kelsey Grammer. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Pirates of Penzance, Barnum, Blithe Spirit, Drowsy Chaperone, and Unnecessary Farce.

Amanda Ryan Paige appeared in the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Off-B'way in Zanna Don't!, Charlie Brown, Henry and Mudge. Other NYC credits include Trailer Park, Awesome 80's Prom, Lucky Stiff. Regional credits include Ring of Fire, No No Nanette, Noises Off. Ms. Paige's Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Nunsense, Unnecessary Farce, Marvelous Wonderettes, Boeing Boeing, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Arsenic and Old Lace and Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash. .

Chris Blisset appeared in the National Tours of Stand by Your Man, Ring of Fire Pump Boys and Dinettes. Regional credits include Cotton Patch Gospel, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night, Keep on the Sunny Side, Smoke on the Mountain, Unnecessary Farce, Plaid Tidings, Civil War. He is currently in development for the new musical Basquiat. Mr. Blisset made his Saint Michael's Playhouse debut this past summer in Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash.

Charlotte Munson appeared in New York in Princes, Disenchanted, and Hedge Fun. Regional credits include Blithe Spirit, Urinetown, Rome and Juliet, and Quilters. Ms. Munson is the recipient of the Boston Lotta Award, Lyric Theatre Award, and the New Horizon's Playwright's Award in LA for her play Look at Me. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Shout!, Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, and The Pirates of Penzance.

Scott Nicholas (Music Director/Pianist) has performed in Europe, Latin America and throughout the United States with groups including Borromeo String Quartet, the US Air Force Wind Ensemble, Claflin Hill Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and The Boston Pops. Mr. Nicholas has appeared extensively throughout the New England region in solo and chamber performances and made his Saint Michael's Playhouse debut two seasons ago as Music Director of Fiddler on the Roof.

Rich Magnuson (Percussion) is the leader The Swingin' Vermont Big Band and its smaller combos. Mr. Magnuson has played percussion at Saint Michael's Playhouse for seventeen seasons in a myriad of shows that include The Drowsy Chaperone, The Pirates of Penzance, Big River, Fiddler on the Roof, Shout, Young Frankenstein, and Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash.

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