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Sheldon Henry, Kevin McAllister & More to Star in FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE at Arena Stage

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Come and dance the blues away with Five Guys Named Moe! Helen Hayes Award winner Robert O'Hara (Bootcandy, director of The Mountaintop at Arena Stage) returns to Arena Stage to direct an explosive, reimagined tribute to the "King of the Jukebox"-legendary composer and saxophonist Louis Jordan. This modernized production features new orchestrations for classic songs, including "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," and a contemporary twist on the five Moes, now a hit boy band set in 2014. This dynamic musical revue features musical direction by Darryl G. Ivey (assistant music director for original Broadway production of Five Guys Named Moe) and choreography by Byron Easley (off-Broadway's Langston in Harlem). A co-production with Cleveland Play House, Five Guys Named Moe runs November 14-December 28, 2014 in the Kreeger Theater.

The cast features Sheldon Henry (South Pacific national tour) as Big Moe, Kevin McAllister (Ford's Theatre's Violet) as Nomax, Paris Nix (Seussical national tour) as Eat Moe, Jobari Parker-Namdar (Arena Stage's My Fair Lady) as No Moe, Travis Porchia (Drury Lane Theatre's Hairspray) as Four-Eyed Moe and Clinton Roane (Broadway's The Scottsboro Boys) as Little Moe.

"As with One Night with Janis Joplin and Smokey Joe's Café, we are reminded of the wealth and depth of American popular music," says Artistic Director Molly Smith. "Louis Jordan was at the forefront of the rock 'n' roll era, and it's great to get a modern take on his music through Robert O'Hara's production of Five Guys Named Moe."

"I love musicals, absolutely adore them, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to reinvent this show using a modern vernacular," adds O'Hara. "When you listen to the original music of Louis Jordan, you hear the roots in rock 'n' roll, hip-hop and many of today's genres, therefore with this production you're going to hear Louis Jordan in a different way. We're in the age of Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, so it's not going to be soft-it's going to be loud, it's going to be in your face, it's going to be sexy and fun."

Louis Jordan (Music and Lyrics) has been called the "King of the Jukebox" and the "Grandfather of Rock 'n' Roll." As a bandleader in the 1940's, he pioneered a wildly popular blend of jazz and blues. The swinging shuffle rhythms played by singer/saxophonist Jordan and his Tympany Five got called "jump blues" or "jumpin' jive," and it served as a forerunner of rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll. At the height of his career he scored 18 number-one hit records and four of his songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance. Jordan performed songs that appealed to millions of black and white listeners. Able to "straddle the fence" between these two audiences, Jordan emerged as one of the first successful crossover artists of American popular music.

Clarke Peters (Playwright) is an actor, singer and writer. He earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical for writing the revue Five Guys Named Moe. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh (Theatre World Award) and as Billy Flynn in the revival of Chicago. Clarke's London credits include Guys and Dolls, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Passion and Dispatches at the Royal National Theatre. His West End credits include Blues in the Night, Porgy and Bess, The Witches of Eastwick and Chicago. In regional theater he has appeared in Driving Miss Daisy, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Carmen Jones and The Amen Corner. Clarke is familiar to television viewers for his roles on The Wire, Treme and The Divide. His film credits include Mona Lisa, Notting Hill, Marley & Me, K-Pax and Freedomland. As a director, his credits include Blues for Mr. Charlie, Fascinating Aida, King and Martin Luther.

Robert O'Hara (Director) directed The Mountaintop at Arena Stage. He received the NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed. He received the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for his direction of the world premiere of the critically acclaimed In the Continuum. He wrote and directed the world premieres of Insurrection: Holding History and Bootycandy. He directed the world premieres of Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2) and Wild with Happy. He is currently an adjunct at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

Cast Biographies
Sheldon Henry (Big Moe) is a native New Yorker and has BFA from The Hartt School of Music. Some of his recent/favorite credits include South Pacific national tour (Seabee, U/S Henry), Guys and Dolls (Benny), Dreamgirls (Curtis), Central Ave Breakdown (NYMF/DIMF), Five Guys Named Moe (No Moe), Buddy Holly (Apollo Singer), Tommy (specialist, harmonica player), Parade (Newt Lee) and A Christmas Carol (Ghost of X-Mas Present). Sheldon is also a proud alum of Boys Choir of Harlem.

Kevin McAllister (Nomax) makes his Arena Stage debut. Other Washington appearances include Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Flick in Violet at Ford's Theatre, Lionel in Cinderella at Olney Theatre Center and Anton in Signature Theatre's world premiere of Brother Russia. He received a Helen Hayes nomination for his portrayal of Newt Lee/Jim Conley in the Ford's Theatre production of Parade. He has also performed regionally at ArtPark (Mereb in Aida). Other notable credits include Teatro 101 (Jake in Sideshow, Burrs in Lippa's The Wild Party), Toby's Dinner Theatre (Coalhouse in Ragtime, Collins in Rent) and the Kennedy Center (national tour of The Phantom Tollbooth). He will be seen next in the world premiere of Freedom's Song at Ford's Theatre.

Paris Nix (Eat Moe)'s favorite credits include Once on This Island (Daniel) for TheatreWorks in the Silicon Valley, which was nominated for six TBA awards; the Broadway national tour of Seussical the Musical (Horton u/s, Wickersham Bro 1&3) with Theatreworks USA; Les Miserables (Enjolras); Shrek the Musical (Donkey) for Weathervane Repertory Theatre; and Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.) at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. Paris is an accomplished violinist who has been featured in Broadway's Rising Stars Concert at Town Hall in NYC. Additionally, he has made appearances in the Harlem Gospel Singers international tour, as both a featured singer and violinist, along with debuting the world premiere of R&B Juke Box for Universal Studios Japan. Paris was born and bred in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from the American Musical Dramatic Academy.

Jobari Parker-Namdar (No Moe) returns to Arena Stage after performing in My Fair Lady. Additional credits include readings of Oracle and Redhand Guitar at Arena Stage, Snail in A Year with Frog and Toad at Adventure Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination, Outstanding Actor in Supporting Role), Jobari in The Stephen Schwartz Project at Metro Stage, Hairspray and Showboat at Signature Theatre, Schroeder in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown at Adventure Theatre and Detroit in From My Hometown at The Ensemble Theatre. Jobari was also an artist in residence at the prestigious Strathmore Music Center.

Travis Porchia (Four-Eyed Moe) makes his Arena Stage debut. Favorite regional credits include Hair (American Theater Company), The Color Purple (The Mercury Theater Chicago), Sweet Charity (Writers' Theater), Hairspray (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Chicago (Peninsula Players), Pippin (BoHo Theater) and The Petrified Forest (Strawdog Theater). On TV, Travis has appeared in Jennifer Hudson's music video "Where You At" and the AT&T U-verse commercial "Boulevard."

Clinton Roane (Little Moe) was in the original Broadway cast of The Scottsboro Boys. He toured with the show regionally in the role of Roy Wright to The Old Globe, ACT, The Ahmanson Theatre and The Philadelphia Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical) and performed in the U.K. premiere at the Young Vic Theatre in London. He has also performed at Goodspeed (Noble T. Jones in Hello! My Baby!), Marriott Lincolnshire (New Rhythm Boy in My One and Only) and Adventure Theatre (Joey in Frosty The Snowman). Clinton was a background vocalist on Jason Mraz's "Mr. A-Z" album. He holds a BFA from Howard University and also trained at CAP21.

The creative team for Five Guys Named Moe includes set designer Clint Ramos, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Alex Jainchill, sound designer Lindsay Jones, projection designer Jeff Sugg, New York casting director Paul Fouquet, stage manager Willliam E. Cruttenden III and assistant stage manager Marne Anderson.


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