Broadway veterans Taylor Louderman, Ben Davis, Will Swenson, Adam Heller, Ashley Brown and Laura Michelle Kelly are among the 25 principal cast members the Muny has announced for the first season of its second century.
Complete company casting will be announced throughout April and May. The 101st season opens on a brand new, state-of-the-art stage with Muny favorite Guys and Dolls followed by the U.S. regional premiere of Kinky Boots. The season continues with 1776, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Footloose and a newly-reimagined Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. Season 101 closes with the highly-anticipated Muny debut of Roald Dahl’s Matilda.
“We’re beginning our second century on a new stage filled with outstanding talent,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “Last year, we celebrated history. This year, we’ll make history and I’m so grateful that so many extraordinary artists will join us.”
GUYS AND DOLLS
June 10 – 16
Proudly Sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
BEN DAVIS (Sky Masterson) Muny: Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate), Oklahoma!(Curly); South Pacific (Emile), Spamalot (Galahad). Ben was most recently seen as Cosmo Constantine in New York City Center’s Encores! Call Me Madam, opposite Carmen Cusack. Broadway: 2003 Tony Honor for La Bohème (Marcello), Dear Evan Hansen (Larry), Violet (Preacher), A Little Night Music, Les Misérables (Javert and Enjolras), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon). Tours: The Sound of Music (Georg von Trapp), Spamalot (Galahad). Regional: Kiss Me, Kate (Fred/Petruchio) at The 5th Avenue Theatre. UK: BBC Proms Kiss Me, Kate (Fred/Petruchio). Concerts: Philly Pops, Boston Pops, LA Philharmonic, RTÉ and many others. Film/TV: Blue Bloods, A Hand of Bridge, The Magic Flute, 30 Rock, Numb3rs. www.benjaminjaydavis.com
BRITTANY BRADFORD (Sarah Brown) Muny debut! Brittany was recently seen in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Merrily We Roll Along, staged by the critically-acclaimed Fiasco Theater. She made her Broadway debut last fall as Ophelia in Bernhardt/Hamlet opposite Janet McTeer. Additional credits: For Colored Girls… (Public Theater), Flyin’ West (Westport Country Playhouse), Family Resemblance (Eugene O’Neill), The Profane and Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theater Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ten Thousand Things Theater), Neighbors, Avenue Q and Next to Normal (Mixed Blood Theatre), Ragtime and Stick Fly (Park Square Theatre). 2018 graduate of The Juilliard School, Group 47. Credits: Father Comes Home from the Wars, Hoodoo Love, Triumph of Love, King Lear, Cymbeline, Christina Martinez and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. Co-Founder of HomeBase Theatre Collective. www.brittany-bradford.com
JORDAN GELBER (Nathan Detroit) Muny debut! Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George, Elf the Musical (Buddy), All My Sons, Avenue Q (original cast, special Outer Critics Circle Award). Off-Broadway: John Guare’s Nantucket Sleigh Ride (Lincoln Center Theater), Mike Leigh’s 2000 Years, Avenue Q, The Joke, Birth and After Birth. TV: Elementary, Mr. Robot, Mindhunter, Insatiable, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Rescue Me, Ugly Betty, first three Law & Order series (recurring on SVU), The Sopranos, 100 Centre Street. Film: (upcoming) The Kitchen, Bleed for This, Dark Horse, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Everyday People (IFP/Gotham Award nominee for Breakthrough Acting), Riding in Cars With Boys, Changing Lanes. BA, Stanford University; MFA, NYU Tisch Graduate Acting (2000 Laura Pels Award). www.JordanGelber.com
KENDRA KASSEBAUM (Miss Adelaide) Muny: A Chorus Line (Val). On Broadway, Kendra originated the role of Janice in the Tony-nominated production of Come From Away as well as Sam in Leap of Faith. She played Glinda in Wicked on Broadway, in San Francisco and on the first national tour (Helen Hayes nominee). Other New York: The Receptionist (MTC) and the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated production of Assassins, both directed by Joe Mantello. Kendra made her Broadway debut in Rent. For the Roundabout, she performed the role of Petra in A Little Night Music starring Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson. Kassebaum’s regional appearances include Actors Theatre of Louisville, The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, Ordway and Florida Stage. Film: The Other Woman (with Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow).
June 19 – 25
Proudly Sponsored by Missouri Lottery
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Music and Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper
Based on the Miramax motion picture Kinky Boots, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth
GRAHAM SCOTT FLEMING (Charlie Price) Muny debut! Broadway: Miss Saigon. Off-Broadway: TJ in Music City. Regional: My Very Own British Invasion. Canadian premieres: Mace Perry in Jukebox Hero, Charlie Price in Kinky Boots, Sam Wheat in Ghost: The Musical. Film: Love You Like Christmas (Hallmark).
J. HARRISON GHEE (Lola) is elated to make his Muny debut with the show that has changed his life. International tour: Kinky Boots (Lola/Swing). Regional: The Color Purple (Ensemble). Television: High Maintenance. Proud graduate of AMDA (NY) @jharrisonghee
TAYLOR LOUDERMAN (Lauren) Muny: Aida (Amneris), Grease (Sandy), Hairspray(Amber) and as a Muny Teen 10 years ago! This Tony-nominated actress from Bourbon, MO is currently starring on Broadway in Mean Girls as Regina. Taylor is reprising her role as Lauren after performing in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Her career began at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla where she currently serves on the board and contributes to rural Missouri’s theatre education. She made her Broadway debut starring in Bring It On: The Musical produced with The Muny’s own Mike Isaacson. Favorite credits: NBC’s Peter Pan Live! (Wendy), Nickelodeon’s Sunny Day (Blair), CBS’s The Good Fight, HBO’s High Maintenance, Showtime’s The Loudest Voice. @taylizlou
June 27 – July 3
Proudly Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Based on a concept by Sherman Edwards
ROBERT PETKOFF (John Adams) Muny: Young Frankenstein (Frederick). Broadway: All the Way, Anything Goes, Ragtime, Spamalot, Fiddler on the Roof andEpic Proportions. Off-Broadway: The Hard Problem, 39 Steps, More Stately Mansions, Avow. London: The Royal Family with Judi Dench and Tantalus. Tours: Fun Home (Bruce), Spamalot (Sir Robin) and The Importance of Being Earnest(Algernon). Regional: Title roles in Sweeney Todd, Hamlet, Troilus & Cressida andRomeo & Juliet, among others, at theatres such as Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Old Globe, DCPA and The Mark Taper Forum. Film/TV: Irrational Man, Milk and Money, Gameday, Vice Versa, Madam Secretary, Elementary, Forever, Law & Order, The Good Wife. Robert is also an award-winning audio book narrator with over 200 titles and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
ADAM HELLER (Benjamin Franklin) Muny: Gypsy. Repertory Theatre of St. Louis: Follies, Brighton Beach Memoirs. Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Elf, Baby, It’s You; Caroline, or Change; A Class Act, Victor/Victoria, Les Misérables. National tours: Titanic, Falsettos. Off- Broadway: Popcorn Falls, A Letter to Harvey Milk, Peer Gynt, Wings, Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn; The Immigrant, Merrily We Roll Along. Regional: The Flamingo Kid, Fiddler on the Roof (Connecticut Critics Circle Award/Best Actor), Rags, The Chosen, My Name is Asher Lev, Merrily We Roll Along(Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration). Television: The Good Fight, Elementary, Unforgettable, The Americans, The Sopranos, Law & Order (all), Oz, Submissions Only. Graduate: NYU/Tisch.
KEITH HINES, JR. (Thomas Jefferson) is thrilled to return to The Muny for its 101st season! Keith played Nick Massi in the regional premiere of Jersey Boys at The Muny last summer! Off-Broadway: Cougar the Musical (Buck), Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man (Stefan). National tour: Jersey Boys (Nick Massi). Other credits: Beauty and the Beast (Gaston, TUTS), Camelot (Lancelot) and 1776 (Thomas Jefferson, Pittsburgh Public Theater), The Crucible (John Proctor, New Ohio Theatre), Les Misérables (Enjolras) and Urban Cowboy (Bud, West Virginia Public Theatre). Master’s Degree in Music, Oklahoma City University and acting at Jayd McCarty’s The Studio/New York. For backstage shenanigans and more, follow on Instagram! @keithhinesjr
RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA
July 8 – 16
Proudly Sponsored by Edward Jones
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
New Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
MIKAELA BENNETT (Ella) Muny debut! Mikaela is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a celebrated singer, actress and concert artist. In 2019, Bennett was honored with a Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. On stage she made her professional debut as Penelope in The Golden Apple at NY City Center Encores! Mikaela originated the role of Norma in Scanlan and Dean’s new musical Renascence in New York City and originated the title role in Acquanetta a new opera by Michael Gordon at the Prototype Festival. In concert: BBC Proms (Maria/West Side Story) with the John Wilson Orchestra, New York Philharmonic under Leonard Slatkin, Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas. She has also appeared as a soloist at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
JASON GOTAY (Topher) is thrilled to be returning for his fourth summer at The Muny after previously appearing in The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Mamma Mia! (Sky) and Into the Woods (Jack). Broadway: Bring It On: The Musical (Original Broadway Cast), Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). NYC: Call Me Madam (NY City Center Encores!), Renascence (Transport Group). TV: NBC’S Peter Pan Live! (Tootles/Lost Boy). World premieres of Stephen Schwartz’s The Prince of Egypt, Disney’s Freaky Friday (Original Cast Recording), A Bronx Tale. He has also performed with the LA Philharmonic, Signature Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Theater Under The Stars, and North Carolina Theatre, among others. @jasongotay
ASHLEY BROWN (Marie) Muny: Crazy for You, Cinderella, Side by Side by Sondheim, Annie, Guys and Dolls, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Sound of Music. Brown originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations. Brown has also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour where she garnered a Garland Award for Best Performance in a Musical. Other Broadway: Belle (Beauty and The Beast). She starred in Jack O’Brien’s national tour of The Sound of Musicand in both Oklahoma! and Show Boat at Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Brown has performed with countless top orchestras including the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra, etc. Her PBS special, Ashley Brown: Call Me Irresponsible received a PBS Telly Award. TV credits: NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!
VICKI LEWIS (Madame) Muny: Young Frankenstein. Vicki has starred in the Broadway productions of Anastasia, Chicago and Damn Yankees. Off Broadway: Nassim and Pal Joey at NY City Center Encores!; The Crucible at Roundabout Theatre Company. TV/Film: NewsRadio, The Blacklist, Modern Family, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Voice acting: Deb/Flo in Disney’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Full list at IMBD.com.
July 18 – 24
Proudly Sponsored by U.S. Bank
Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie
Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford
Music by Tom Snow
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Additional Music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman
JEREMY KUSHNIER (Rev. Shaw Moore) can’t think of a better way to be making his Muny debut than with the show that was his Broadway debut 21 years ago. Other Broadway credits include Roger in Rent, Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys and most recently King Basilius in Head Over Heels. He has appeared on TV in The Good Wife, Person of Interest and Nurse Jackie. He can now be seen starring in the feature film The Idea of Manhood, currently on most streaming sites.
MASON REEVES (Ren McCormack) is an Arizona native and is thrilled to be making his Muny debut! Regional credits include A Chorus Line (Richie, Heritage Theatre Festival), Guys and Dolls (Bucks County Playhouse) and The Upside of Down (New Works Festival, Phoenix Theatre). University credits include We Are Proud to Present… (Actor 2), Passing Strange (Terry) and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Jesus of Nazareth). Film: Inhuman (Elliot). He is a rising senior pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Michigan. Instagram: @rasonmeeves
McKENZIE KURTZ (Ariel Moore) Muny debut! McKenzie is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Her latest roles at school include Nickie in Sweet Charity and Lady Jackie in Me and My Girl. Last year she worked with choreographers Robert Hartwell and Mara Greer, as well as Emmy-nominated director/choreographer Al Blackstone at Music Theatre Wichita for their 2018 summer season. There, she also played high school bully Savannah Sweetzer in the premiere of Disney’s Freaky Friday. @mckenziekurtz
LERNER AND LOEWE’S PAINT YOUR WAGON
July 27 – August 2
Proudly Sponsored by Ameren
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Revised Book by Jon Marans
Produced in Association with On the Wagon Productions and Garmar Ventures
MATT BOGART (Ben Rumson) Muny debut! Broadway: Jersey Boys, Aida, Miss Saigon, The Civil War, Smokey Joe’s Café (TV/DVD) and Camelot (tour). Off-Broadway: Himself and Nora. TV: HBO’s Vinyl, Smash, Law & Order (SVU and original). Recent: world premieres of Jane Eyre (Cleveland Musical Theatre), Snow Child (Arena Stage), Most Beautiful Room (Long Wharf), Ace (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Carousel (Wichita Symphony). Other favorite credits include La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Goodspeed, Cincinnati Playhouse and solo engagements at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Mr. Bogart is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), an Affiliated Artist of Arena Stage in D.C., playwright, theatre and record producer with solo recordings. www.MattBogart.com
MAMIE PARRIS (Cayla Woodling) is thrilled to return to the Muny! Muny: Joseph… Dreamcoat (Narrator), Hello, Dolly! (Irene Molloy). Broadway/national tour: Cats(Grizabella), School of Rock (Rosalie, Patty [original]), Wicked (Elphaba), 9 to 5: The Musical (Judy Bernly), Ragtime (revival), The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, Roundabout Theatre’s revivals of On The 20th Century (Agnes) and 110 in the Shade. Off-Broadway: Pump Boys and Dinettes (Prudie), See Rock City & Other Destinations (Dodi). Other notable credits include the acclaimed new musical Life After (Beth, Old Globe) and Dave (Ellen, world premiere, Arena Stage), as well as roles at Goodspeed Musicals and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Film/TV: The Blacklist, A Stand Up Guy and State of Affairs. Mamieparris.com, Twitter: @mamieparris, Instagram: @mamierocks
OMAR LOPEZ-CEPERO (Armando) is honored to return to The Muny after appearing in The Unsinkable Molly Brown two years ago. He joins directly from the world premiere of the new musical The Flamingo Kid (Alejandro) at Hartford Stage. Prior, he played Perón opposite his wife in a re-imagined version of Evita atBay Street. Broadway/NY: On Your Feet! (Warren and Emilio, Original Broadway Cast); American Idiot (Original Broadway Cast), The Capeman(Delacorte/Central Park). Regional: Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson, TUTS), Les Misérables (Marius, Fulton), The Pirates of Penzance (Frederick, Marriott Theatre). TV: The Detour, Vegas, Blue Bloods, Late Night with David Letterman, America’s Got Talent, The Grammy Awards, The Tony Awards. Proud University of Miami graduate. @omarlopezcepero
MARK EVANS (William) Muny debut! Mark most recently starred in The Play That Goes Wrong on Broadway and co-directed the play for its off-Broadway remounting. Other off-Broadway credits include the NY City Center Encores! productions of I Married an Angel and Me and My Girl, as well as the Irish Repertory Theatre’s critically-acclaimed revival of Finian’s Rainbow. U.S. regional credits: Mary Poppins, The Fix, Aida, Singin’ in the Rain and the national tour of The Book of Mormon as Elder Price. West End/London credits: Ghost, Wicked,Oklahoma!; Spamalot, The Rocky Horror Show. Film: Tower of Silence, Lake Placid 3 and Dead Hungry.
ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA
August 5 – 11
Proudly Sponsored by Emerson
Book by Dennis Kelly
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
WILL SWENSON (Miss Trunchbull) Muny debut! Broadway: Waitress, Disaster!; LesMisérables, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Hair, 110 in the Shade, Lestat, Brooklyn!Off-Broadway: Nantucket Sleighride, Jerry Springer: The Opera (Obie Award), Murder Ballad, Rock of Ages, Little Miss Sunshine, Adrift in Macao, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pericles. Tours/Regional: Miss Saigon, We Will Rock You, Camelot, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman!; The Pirates of Penzance, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Royal Family of Broadway. Film/TV: The Kitchen, The Greatest Showman, This is Where I Leave You, The Switch, Law & Order (SVU and CI), The Good Wife, No Tomorrow, The Code.
LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (Miss Honey) Muny: The King and I and South Pacific. Laura won an Oliver Award for her title role in the world premiere of Disney’s Mary Poppins. Broadway/NY: Finding Neverland, Me and My Girl, Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof. West End: My Fair Lady, Speed-the-Plow, Lord of the Rings, Beauty and the Beast, Whistle Down the Wind, Peter Pan, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia! US Regional: My Fair Lady and Camelot (Kennedy Center), The Royal Family of Broadway (Barrington Stage). Film: Sweeney Todd, Goddess. Album: The Storm Inside. Other appearances include Muny Magic, Cadogen Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Opera House, Millennium Stadium, Buckingham Palace, Broadway at the White House (PBS). www.Lauramichellekelly.net
ANN HARADA (Mrs. Wormwood) Muny: Gypsy, 42nd Street and Mamma Mia! Ann was the original Christmas Eve in Avenue Q on Broadway and in the West End. Other Broadway: Cinderella, 9 to 5, M Butterfly, Seussical, Les Misérables. Selected Off-Broadway: Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Company), Stuffed (WP Theater), Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre) and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Regional: Holiday Inn (Paper Mill Playhouse), The New World (Bucks County Playhouse). Film: Youth in Oregon, Sisters, Admission and Hope Springs. TV: Gotham, Blue Bloods, Younger, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Search Party, The Good Wife, Smash, 30 Rock, House of Cards, Master of None.
JOSH GRISETTI (Mr. Wormwood) Muny debut! Josh is an award-winning actor recently seen as Nigel Bottom in the Broadway production (and first national tour) of Something Rotten! Josh also originated the role of Marty Kaufman in Broadway’s It Shoulda Been You (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations) and won the 2015 Clarence Derwent Award. Other theatrical credits include: Off-Broadway’s Enter Laughing (Theatre World Award; Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Drama League nominations), Rent, Peter and the Starcatcher, Red Eye of Love, Candida, After the Ball and regional productions of Prince of Broadway (Tokyo), Diner (Signature Theatre), Camelot (Kennedy Center), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (LA, Ovation Award), Spamalot(Las Vegas) and others. Television: Like Magic, Nurse Jackie, The Gates, The Knights of Prosperity. Film: The Immigrant, Revolutionary Road, The Namesake. @joshgrisetti
The seven shows in the 2019 Muny season are: Guys and Dolls (June 10 – 16),Kinky Boots (June 19 – 25), 1776 (June 27 – July 3), Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (July 8 – 16), Footloose (July 18 – 24), Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon (July 27 – August 2) and Roald Dahl’s Matilda (August 5 – 11). For more information, visit muny.org.
Season tickets are currently on sale. Single tickets will be available beginning May 6. Muny gift cards for the 101st season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.
For updates and information regarding The Muny’s Second Century Capital Campaign, please click here.
World Wide Technology (WWT) and The Steward Family Foundation became the first overall season sponsor in the history of The Muny in 2014. They are committed to continuing in this role with their leadership gift as The Muny’s 2019 Season Presenting Sponsor.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.