The Tennessee Williams Festival returns for its sixth year.  The headliner is a production of one of the playwright’s most important works, The Glass Menagerie, in the Central West End building where Williams lived and where the play was imagined.

“A year ago, we brought Tennessee Williams into your home ….this year we bring you into his!” said Carrie Houk, the festival’s Executive Artistic Director. “In 2020 we were lucky enough to flourish on the radio during a year that was so challenging for live theatre. In 2021, we return with a vengeance with a site-specific production of The Glass Menagerie at the very building in the Central West End where the Williams family settled when they moved to St Louis.”

“If theatre is ritual, our production of The Glass Menagerie is the equivalent of going to Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome,” explains Brian Hohlfeld, who is directing this production. “There’s no other city in the world where you can see this play in this venue, amid the same red bricks, alleys, and fire-escapes that inspired Williams to write it almost 80 years ago.  We’ve brought back most of our amazing cast from last fall’s radio version, and our entire team is thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to bring this site-specific production to life.”

The festival’s two main performances will be:

Brenda Currin
  • The Glass Menagerie… performed where it was first imagined

This cornerstone of American theatre launched Williams’ career as a playwright, enjoying a lengthy Broadway run and winning the 1945 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. TWStL’s The Glass Menagerie brings the story of Amanda, Tom, and Laura home to the very apartment building that inspired Williams’ quintessential family drama.

The cast includes: Brenda Currin*, Bradley Tejeda*, Elizabeth Teeter* and Chauncy Thomas*. Performances will take place at 8pm at The Tennessee (4633 Westminster Place, 63108) Thursday, August 19 through Sunday, August 22 and Thursday, August 26 through Sunday, August 29.

*denotes member of Actors Equity Association.

  • “You Lied to Me about Centralia:” by John Guare and based on Tennessee Williams’ short story “Portrait of a Girl in Glass”

Before Williams wrote The Glass Menagerie, he told the story of the dysfunctional St. Louis family in his short story, “Portrait of a Girl in Glass.” Picking up where both the short story and The Glass Menagerie end, John Guare’s adaptation of the story picks up where The Glass Menagerie ends, following the gentleman caller after he leaves the Wingfield home to meet his fiancée at the train station. With Williams’ voice reverberating throughout, “You Lied to Me about Centralia” shines new light on The Glass Menagerie. A conversation with Williams scholar Thomas Mitchell will follow the performance.

The cast includes: Chauncy Thomas* and Julia Crump. Performances will take place at The Tennessee (4633 Westminster, 63108) Saturday, August 21 and Sunday August 22.

Chauncy Thomas

*denotes member of Actors Equity Association.

Other festival programming includes: Scholars’ Panels, Walking Tour of Williams’ St. Louis, Tennessee Williams Tribute: “The Moon and Beyond” hosted by Ken Page, happy hour conversation with Blue Song author Dr. Henry Schvey, Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor reading, and more.

For fans who want to make an evening of it, a special Pre-Theater Garden Picnic will be available at Bowood by Niche (4605 Olive, 63108) from 6-8pm (or until sold out) on performance days. The menu includes a picnic basket for two, filled with a packaged assortment of Niche Food Group snacks and desserts. Three signature cocktails inspired by The Glass Menagerie and featuring local spirits and botanicals will be available for individual purchase. Food and drink can be enjoyed in Bowood’s garden up until performance time.

Free, secure parking is available at Holliday (4600 Olive, 63108)  for festival patrons and for pre-theatre dinner patrons at Bowood by Niche.

Lead sponsorship of the festival is provided by Emerson. Additional sponsors and the full festival itinerary can be found at twstl.org. Tickets can be purchased via Metrotix beginning Sunday, July 18.

About the Festival

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis was established in 2016 by Carrie Houk, the award-winning producer, casting director, actor, and educator.  The Festival, which aims to enrich the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic events that celebrate the artistry and life of Tennessee Williams, was named the Arts Startup of the Year Award by the Arts and Education Council at the 2019 St. Louis Arts Awards.

In 2014, Houk produced Williams’ Stairs to the Roof with such success that the ongoing annual Festival was established. The inaugural Festival was themed “Tennessee Williams: The St. Louis Years,” followed by “The Magic of the Other” in 2017 and “The French Quarter Years” in 2018. The 2019 festival featured Night of the Iguana and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. As the years have passed, the awards have mounted. In the last two years, the St. Louis Theater Circle has given them twelve awards. The Festival has attracted thousands to its readings, panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions, and productions.

About Tennessee Williams

Born Thomas Lanier Williams III in 1911 in Mississippi, Williams moved to St. Louis at age seven, when his father was made an executive with the International Shoe Company (where the City Museum and the Last Hotel are now located). He lived here for more than two decades, attending Washington University, working at the International Shoe Company, and producing his first plays at local theaters. He credited his sometimes difficult experiences in St. Louis for the deeply felt poetic essence that permeates his artistry. When asked later in life when he left St. Louis, he replied, “I never really left.” Most people are familiar with the famous works that have garnered multiple Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards, and Academy Awards, such as The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer. He also wrote hundreds of additional plays, stories, essays, and poems, many of which are only now seeing the light of day as his estate permits greater access. He is today considered by many leading authorities to be America’s greatest playwright.

The Muny announced today 27 principal cast members for its 2021
season in Forest Park. Complete company casting will be announced throughout June and July.

After what will be a 23-month intermission, The Muny’s 103rd season will open with the Muny
premiere of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, followed by the beloved classic The Sound of Music. The season
continues with a newly reimagined Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the Midwest regional and
Muny premiere of On Your Feet! and closes with Broadway’s longest-running American musical
Chicago. The Telsey Office is the official casting partner for The Muny.

“This is an amazing, thrilling, heart-stopping collection of talented artists,” said Muny Artistic
Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “Our return this year in many ways has as much
significance as our 100th season. It means so much to so many. I can’t wait for these amazing
people to share their gifts.”

SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE

The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
July 26 – August 1
Words and Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Sponsored by Ameren

CHARL BROWN (Sonny) is thrilled to be appearing on The Muny stage for the first time and at
this historic moment for theatre. He was nominated for a Tony Award for the role of Smokey
Robinson in Motown: The Musical and reprised this role opening the West End production. This
winter, he is slated to appear as Brick in Virginia Stage’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Other Broadway/tour: Jersey Boys, Sister Act, Hair. Select regional: The Who’s Tommy (Denver
Center, Kennedy Center), Ever After (Paper Mill Playhouse), Johnny Baseball (American
Repertory Theater), Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Six Degrees of Separation, Jesus Christ Superstar, A
Chorus Line. Select television: FBI, Evil, Madam Secretary. When not in an acting role, Charl
tours the globe with his group, The Doowop Project, including venues such as The Blue Note
Beijing, Disney Symphony Hall, Ottawa Symphony, City Winery Nashville and many others
worldwide.

MICHAEL CAMPAYNO (Rod) originated the role of Rob Camilletti in The Cher Show and also
starred as Fiyero in the hit musical Wicked on Broadway. A Pittsburgh native and graduate of
Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, he made his television debut as Rolf in the NBC live telecast
of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood and can be heard on the cast recording. His
other credits include Lancelot in Camelot starring Robert Sean Leonard and Barry Bostwick,
productions at Pittsburgh CLO, and in concert with the Phoenix Symphony and Carolina
Philharmonic. Television: The Other Two (HBOMAX), The Good Fight (CBS). Proud member of
SAG, AFTRA and AEA. Follow @michaelcampayno

MYKAL KILGORE (Little Walter) is an award-winning actor and a Grammy and NAACP Image
Award-nominated singer/songwriter. His debut album, A Man Born Black, is a gumbo of
American roots and modern feels that highlight his ability to go from Broadway showtune
storytelling to soul and jazz scatting to gospel. Mykal most recently starred in his online special,
Mykal Kilgore Live… on the Innanets! Broadway: Motown: The Musical and Hair. National tour:
The Book of Mormon. Other select credits: The Witch in Into the Woods at Barrington Stage
Company, The Who’s Tommy at The Kennedy Center, Songs for a New World at Encores! OffCenter.
TV/Film: NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, The Wiz Live! and Collateral
Beauty. Mykal has racked up 10M+ views on social media with his videos, including his viral
Reclaiming My Time video. #blacklivesmatter #translivesmatter #loveoneanother
MYKALKILGORE.COM

TIFFANY MANN (Willie Mae) Broadway: Be More Chill, Waitress. Off-Broadway: Jerry Springer:
The Opera (Lucille Lortel Award), Invisible Thread, Cabin in the Sky. Other select theater:
Dreamgirls (Effie), Live from Lincoln Center: Sweeney Todd in Concert. TV: New Amsterdam and
Rise for NBC, Orange Is the New Black. @iamtiffanymann

HAYLEY PODSCHUN (Annette) Originally from Kansas, Hayley returns to The Muny after playing
Dainty June in the 2018 production of Gypsy. Broadway: Wicked (Glinda, national tour), Hello,
Dolly!; Something Rotten, Chaplin (Mildred Harris), Anything Goes, Pal Joey, Sunday in the Park
with George, Hairspray (Broadway, national tour) and The Sound of Music. Off-Broadway:
Freckleface Strawberry (Freckleface, original cast). Select regional credits: Holiday Inn (Linda
Mason, Paper Mill Playhouse), I Married an Angel (Anna Murphy, NY City Center Encores!), The
Royal Family of Broadway (Gwen, Barrington Stage, world premiere), Holiday Inn (Lila Dixon,
Goodspeed, world premiere) Crazy for You (Polly, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Peter Pan
(Peter Pan, Artpark), Legally Blonde (Elle Woods, Arvada Center). Film/TV: Hairspray (Tammy),
The Blacklist, Louie, Isn’t It Romantic and Hail, Caesar; You can also find Hayley on QVC as a
guest host for Zodiac Shoes. IG: @hayley_podschun or www.hayleypodschun.com for more!

CHRISTOPHER SAMS (Cornelius) is ecstatic to join The Muny and Marcia Milgrom Dodge in
turning up the summer heat with Leiber and Stoller’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Broadway credits
feature Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King. National touring credits include The Lion King
(Ensemble, u/s Mufasa), The Color Purple (Ensemble/Grady/Buster), Ragtime (Coalhouse
Walker Jr.) and Rock of Ages (Ensemble/Ja’Keith). Became a proud AEA member doing Smokey
Joe’s Cafe with Ms. Dodge in 2016 and this is Chris’ third time rocking through the
neighborhood.

NASIA THOMAS (Pearl) was most recently seen as Cathy in Out of The Box Theatrics version of
The Last Five Years. In the fall, she can be seen as The Radio in the upcoming revival of Caroline,
or Change on Broadway. Most recently seen in Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the
Temptations on Broadway. Broadway: Little Eva in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. National
tour: Beautiful. Regional: Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations (Berkeley Rep,
Kennedy Center, Center Theatre Group, Mirvish Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (TUTS),
Hairspray, (Muny). BFA Musical Theatre, Elon ‘15, The Governors School for the Arts ‘11.
Member at DGRW Talent. IG: @nasiathomas.

JASON VEASEY (Doc) Jason is happy to be back in one of his favorite cities making his Muny
debut! Theatre credits include the Broadway and national touring companies of The Lion King,
the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop and a couple visits to Smokey Joe’s Cafe! He’s been at
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Denver Center and The
Public in New York. TV/Film credits include High Maintenance, Chicago Fire, Little Voice, Dash &
Lily, Flatbush Misdemeanors and I’m Not Him.


THE SOUND OF MUSIC
August 3– 9
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp
Sponsored by Edward Jones

KATE ROCKWELL (Maria Rainer) is thrilled to be back at The Muny! Previous Muny credits
include Beauty and the Beast (Belle) and Tarzan (Jane). On Broadway, she recently starred as
the original Karen Smith in Mean Girls: The Musical (Drama Desk nomination). Her previous
Broadway dumb blondes include originating the role of Skylar in Bring It On: The Musical, Rock
of Ages, Hair and Legally Blonde. She’s been seen recently as Nina Bennett on Fox’s Almost
Family, High Maintenance, Deadbeat and Sex and the City: The Movie. Upcoming: Harlem on
Amazon. She released her debut solo album, Back To My Roots, in 2018 on Broadway Records,
and has performed her solo concert by the same name at Birdland Jazz Club, City Winery and
other venues in NYC. She is a WSET-certified wine lover and has the two cutest dogs on the
planet.

MICHAEL HAYDEN (Captain Georg von Trapp) Broadway: All My Sons, Festen, Henry IV,
Judgement at Nuremberg (Tony nomination), Cabaret, Carousel. Off-Broadway: The Lady from
Dubuque, Measure for Measure, Dessa Rose, Far East. London: Cabaret, Carousel (Olivier
nomination). Regional: Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, Henry V, Richard II, Merrily
We Roll Along. Film: Patient 001, Charming Billy (American Film Institute Best Actor Award). TV:
Evil, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Law & Order and Murder One.

BRYONHA MARIE PARHAM (The Mother Abbess) is thrilled to be making her Muny debut in her
home state! Broadway: Prince of Broadway, The Book of Mormon, After Midnight, The
Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Ragtime. Off Broadway/NY: Promenade (NY City Center Encores!),
Candide (Carnegie Hall), Ragtime (Lincoln Center). National tour: Falsettos. World premieres:
Dave (Arena Stage), Prince of Broadway (Tokyo Theatre Orb). Concert: New York Philharmonic,
San Diego Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra (Bernstein’s Mass), Kansas City Symphony, 92nd
Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists series. Regional: The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (American Repertory
Theater), Ragtime (Kennedy Center), The Civil War (NETworks), Hair (Sacramento Music Circus),
Dreamgirls (Effie, North Shore), Little Shop of Horrors (Berkshire Theatre Group) and many
more! Television: The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!; Madam Secretary, Live from Lincoln
Center: Sweeney Todd in Concert (Beggar Woman) and Show Boat in Concert, 66th and 68th
Annual Tony Awards, The Today Show. Twitter/Instagram: @BryonhaMarie

ELIZABETH TEETER (Liesl von Trapp) is thrilled to return to the Muny stage after last being seen
off-Broadway as Lily in The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic Theatre Company). Broadway: Betty in
The Crucible, Young Elizabeth in The Audience, starring Helen Mirren; and Jane Banks in the
closing company of Mary Poppins. Other NYC credits include workshops with Kathleen
Marshall, Anne Kauffman, Leigh Silverman, Rachel Brosnahan and more. Regional: The Muny,
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Tennessee Williams Festival, Variety
Theatre. TV/Film: Leaving (short film), The Last O.G. (TBS). You can also see her this August as
Laura in The Glass Menagerie with the Tennessee Williams Festival. Eleven years ago, she
played one of the tiniest von Trapp children at The Muny and is honored for this full circle
moment. @elizabethteeterofficial

ANDREW ALSTAT (Rolf Gruber) is thrilled to be returning to The Muny for his second season!
Originally from Pomona, Illinois, Andrew is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati
College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre. He was last seen
on the Muny stage as Chuck Cranston in Footloose. Recent credits: The Rocky Horror Show
(Rocky) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Frederick) for CCM, Newsies (Albert, Wagon Wheel
Center for the Arts), Legally Blonde (Emmett) and Anything Goes (Billy Crocker) for McLeod
Summer Playhouse. @a_alstat. @andrewalstat_photography

JENNY POWERS (Elsa Schraeder) is thrilled to be back at the Muny where her credits include
1776 (Abigail Adams, 2019), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Monotony Singer/Hildy, 2018),
Mamma Mia! (Tanya, 2016); The Addams Family (Morticia Addams, 2014), Mary Poppins (Mary
Poppins, 2013), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Milly, 2011), Camelot (Guenevere, 2009) and
Oliver! (Nancy, 2006). Broadway: Rizzo in Grease and Meg in Little Women. Theatre highlights:
Marie Dancing Still (5th Avenue Theatre), Lois Lane in It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman (NY
City Center Encores!), Donnybrook! (Irish Rep, Drama Desk nomination); Dangerous Beauty
(Pasadena Playhouse), Happiness (Lincoln Center), Secondhand Lions (5th Avenue) and Little
Dancer (Kennedy Center). TV: The Mysteries of Laura, Blue Bloods, Power, The Good Wife,
Mercy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Nurse Jackie, All My Children. She is also the co- founder
of The Link Theatre Company thelinktheatre.org jenny-powers.com

JOHN SCHERER (Max Detweiler) has appeared at The Muny in Cinderella, Kinky Boots, Annie,
Young Frankenstein, The Buddy Holly Story, The Addams Family, Spamalot and Mame. He has
appeared on Broadway in LoveMusik, By Jeeves and Sunset Boulevard. Off-Broadway credits
include Dames at Sea, Olympus on My Mind and Preppies. Other NY credits include The Most
Happy Fella (NY City Opera) and Out of This World (NY City Center Encores!). He has toured
nationally in 42nd Street, Cats, Mame, Hello, Dolly! and White Christmas. His regional credits
include Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Kennedy Center,
Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse and many others. Television credits include Blue
Bloods, The Shield, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order (SVU and CI) and Titus. He is originally from
Buffalo, NY and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS

August 12 – 18
Book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Gene de Paul
New Songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Based on the MGM Film and
“The Sobbin’ Women” by Stephen Vincent Benet
Dance Music Arrangements by Sam Davis
Sponsored by U.S. Bank

Kendra Kassebaum

KENDRA KASSEBAUM (Milly Bradon) Muny: Guys and Dolls (Miss Adelaide, 2019). 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 nomination). Other New York: The
Receptionist (Manhattan Theatre Club) and the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated
production of Assassins. Kendra made her Broadway debut in Rent. For Roundabout Theatre,
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, American Conservatory Theater, Ordway, Florida Stage and her hometown St.
Louis Muny. Film: The Other Woman (with Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow).

EDWARD WATTS (Adam Pontipee) is delighted to make his post-pandemic debut at The Muny!
Broadway: Robert/David in Scandalous. Other New York: Superman (It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane…
It’s Superman), El Gallo (The Fantasticks), Joe (The Most Happy Fella) and Steve (Show Boa
Tours: The Book of Mormon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Les Misérables and The Little
Mermaid. Selected regional: The Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Old
Globe), Harold Hill in The Music Man (Goodspeed Musicals), Joe Bradley in Roman Holiday
(Guthrie Theater), Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (Michigan Opera Theatre), Thomas
Jefferson in 1776 (Goodspeed) and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing… Forum (Shakespeare
Theatre Company, Helen Hayes nomination). Television: NCIS: New Orleans, Quantico, The
Sopranos, Rescue Me. Proud member of AEA. EdwardWatts.net.


ON YOUR FEET!
The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
August 21 – 27
Featuring Music Produced and Recorded by Emilio & Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Book by Alexander Dinelaris
Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank


OMAR LOPEZ-CEPERO (Emilio) is deeply humbled to return to the Muny stage after appearing
in Paint Your Wagon (Armando) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Prior to the pandemic
shutdown, he was seen in the off-Broadway premiere of The Unsinkable Molly Brown
(Vincenzo). Broadway: On Your Feet! and American Idiot. Off-Broadway: The Public Theater’s
Central Park concert of The Capeman. Regional/tour credits: The Flamingo Kid (Alejandro) at
Hartford Stage, Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson) at Theatre Under The Stars, Evita as Che
(national tour, Fulton Theatre) and as Peron (Bay Street Theater). TV credits: Blue Bloods (CBS),
The Detour (TBS), Vegas (CBS). He is a graduate of The University of Miami Frost School of
Music with a degree in Vocal Performance. Alongside his performing career, he has developed
an acting and voice studio where he coaches professional artists and students to maximize their
potential. www.omarlopezcepero.com @omarlopezcepero

NATASCIA DIAZ (Gloria Fajardo) Most widely recognized for the documentary Every Little Step,
this three-time Helen Hayes Award-winner returns to The Muny after her “breathtaking” turn
as Velma Kelly in Chicago, and her award-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story. Broadway:
Seussical (Bird Girl), Man of La Mancha (Antonia, u/s Aldonza). Off-Broadway: Tick,
Tick…Boom!, Jacques Brel…; Washington DC: Petra (A Little Night Music) Rosalie (Carnival),
Aurora (Kiss of the Spider Woman). Her first Helen Hayes happened in a tie with Chita Rivera for
her transformation into Scottish rocker Monica in Rooms, and her second for her performance
in Brel. Other favorites: Jenny (The Threepenny Opera), Betty 3, Collective Rage (Woolly
Mammoth), Mariana (Measure for Measure), Savage (Savage in Limbo), Rafaella (Grand Hotel,
NY City Center Encores!) and winning her third award for her “obsessively watchable,
gorgeously sung” (Washington Post) role in a “career-defining performance” (BroadwayWorld)
as Fosca in Sondheim’s Passion. TV: FBI IG:@LadyDiaz777

ALMA CUERVO (Consuelo) Broadway: On Your Feet!; Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Titanic,
The Heidi Chronicles, Quilters, Is There Life After High School?; Censored Scenes from King Kong
and Bedroom Farce. She has toured nationally in Wicked, My Fair Lady, Cabaret, M. Butterfly
and Dancing at Lughnasa. Off-Broadway: Allegro (Classic Stage Company), Far From Heaven
(Playwrights Horizons) and Road Show (The Public). She received an OBIE for her performance
in Uncommon Women and Others and Philadelphia’s Barrymore Award for The Beauty Queen of
Leenane. Ms. Cuervo has worked extensively in regional theatre, most recently In the Heights at
Music Theatre Wichita and Yerma at Huntington Theatre. Film/Television: The Goldfinch, Bull,
Lisey’s Story, City on a Hill, Instinct, The Slap, and she was a regular on Norman Lear’s AKA
Pablo. She narrates many audiobooks and is a graduate of Tulane University and Yale School of
Drama.

LEE ZARRETT (Phil) Broadway: My Fair Lady, On Your Feet!; Hair, The 25th Annual Putnam
County Spelling Bee, Jane Eyre. National tours: Peter and the Starcatcher, Les Misérables. TV:
The Blacklist, High Fidelity, Gotham, Louie, Boardwalk Empire. Off-Broadway: NY City Center
Encores!, New Victory, Vineyard Theatre. Regional: Pittsburg CLO, La Jolla Playhouse.


CHICAGO
August 30 – September 5
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Foss
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Script Adaptation by David Thompson
Sponsored by Missouri Lottery

SARAH BOWDEN (Roxie Hart) Originally from Australia, Sarah most recently played Velma Kelly
in Chicago at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre with Denis Jones directing and is beyond excited to be
working with Denis again on this dream show! USA highlights include Cherry Sundae in the first
national tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, playing Cassie in A Chorus Line in 2016 at
The Hollywood Bowl opposite Mario Lopez, and her first Muny production of Jerome Robbins’
Broadway in 2018. Sarah spent many years in Germany playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Anita in
West Side Story, Doralee in 9 to 5, Gloria in Flashdance and lastly, Esmeralda in Disney’s The
Hunchback of Notre Dame, with Scott Schwartz (director) and Chase Brock (choreographer).
INSTA: @sarahbowden.de

J. HARRISON GHEE (Velma Kelly) is honored to be returning to The Muny playing Velma Kelly.
Many thanks to family, friends, and his agency Nicolosi & Co. for continued love and support.
Broadway/International tour: Kinky Boots (Lola/Swing), Mrs. Doubtfire (Andre Mayem).
Regional: The Color Purple (Ensemble), The Sting (Johnny Hooker). Television: High
Maintenance (Charles), Raising Dion (Kwame). Industrial: Tokyo Disney Sea’s Big Band Beat,
Norwegian Cruise Line. Proud graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NY)
@jharrisonghee

EMILY SKINNER (Matron “Mama” Morton) Muny: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Breakfast at
Tiffany’s, Billy Elliot. Broadway: Side Show (Tony nomination, Drama League Award), The Cher
Show, Prince of Broadway, Jekyll & Hyde, The Full Monty, James Joyce’s The Dead, Dinner at
Eight (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Billy Elliot (BroadwayWorld Award). Off-Broadway:
Picnic (Drama Desk nomination), Jerry Springer: The Opera (Carnegie Hall), Fiorello!; No Strings,
Pardon My English, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (all for NY City Center Encores!). She has sung
leading roles at Manhattan Theatre Club, WPA Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout
Theatre Company, York Theatre, Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Regional: The
Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Long Wharf, Old Globe,
Goodspeed, Bucks County Playhouse, Virginia Rep, and many others. She has sung with
symphonies around the globe and her numerous recordings may be found at Amazon.com.
www.emily-skinner.com

JAMES T. LANE (Billy Flynn) West End: The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line (Palladium, revival).
Broadway: Kiss Me, Kate (Paul), King Kong, The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates),
Chicago and A Chorus Line (Richie). National tours: Jersey Boys, Cinderella, Fame. Regional:
Guys and Dolls (Nicely Nicely, Virginia Stage Company), Mary Poppins (Bert, Drury Lane
Theatre), The Wiz (Tin Man), Promenade, Grand Hotel and Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (all for
NY City Center Encores!), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Sebastian, The Muny), Broadway at
Music Circus, The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theater and Dallas Theater Center.
Concerts: Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops, Ottawa Symphony and many more. James is
the creator of a one man show entitled Triple Threat: A Play That Moves and Sings. Look for
streaming information, booking, as well as performance dates at www.jamestlane.com. Mr.
Lane teaches music theatre dance when and wherever anyone will let him! Instagram:
@jamestlane www.jamestlane.com

ADAM HELLER (Amos Hart) Muny: Gypsy, 1776. 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 (Davenport), A Letter to Harvey Milk (Theater Row), Peer Gynt (CSC), Wings (Second
Stage), Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn and The Immigrant (New World Stages),
Merrily We Roll Along (York). Regional: The Flamingo Kid (Hartford Stage), Fiddler on the Roof
(Connecticut Critics Circle Award) and Rags (Goodspeed), The Chosen (Barrington Stage), My
Name is Asher Lev (Arden), Merrily We Roll Along (Kennedy Center). TV: The Bite, FBI: Most
Wanted; Ray Donovan, The Good Fight, Elementary, Unforgettable, The Americans, The
Sopranos, Law & Order (all), Oz, Submissions Only. Graduate: NYU/Tisch.

ALI EWOLDT (Mary Sunshine) is beyond thrilled to return to The Muny. She appeared here as
Philia in Forum, Martha Jefferson in 1776 and Maria in West Side Story. Other credits include
Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Cosette in Les Misérables
(Broadway, national tour), The King and I (Broadway, tour, Lyric Opera of Chicago), Maria in
West Side Story (national tour, international tour), Luisa in The Fantasticks (off-Broadway),
Fan/Mrs. Bonds in A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre) and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls
(Sacramento Music Circus). Concert/symphony work: Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall, NY Pops at
Carnegie Hall, Houston Symphony, American Pops Orchestra, Kaohsiung Symphony and The
Boston Pops with Maestro Keith Lockhart. Her TV/Film credits include The Michael J. Fox Show,
Yield, Mia and The Cactus. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina
American and member of Actors’ Equity. @aliewoldt

Current season ticket holders for the 2021 season will receive their season tickets later this
month. New season subscriptions for the 2021 five-show season are currently available, with
single tickets becoming available July 12. Tickets can be purchased online at muny.org or by
phone by calling (314) 361-1900 ext 1550. Currently, the box office in Forest Park is closed for
walk-up service until July 5.

To stay connected virtually and to receive the latest updates, please follow The Muny on their
social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Emerson is proud to be The Muny’s 2021 Season Sponsor.

Kate Rockwell

By Lynn Venhaus

It’s one thing to see a play; it’s another thing just to listen. A whole new world opens in your imagination, and the cultural icon Tennessee Williams is perfectly suited for such an experience.

To make its three remarkable radio presentations accessible, the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis has been extended through Nov.21-22, and you will be captivated by these three works anew. They are free to listen to at www.1073.org and www.twstl.org.

Williams has such a distinctive voice, and you hear his words interpreted with devotion and insight. The performances by the all-star cast assembled this year brings the works to a new level.

Through this fresh and innovative way, the festival continues to pay homage to St. Louis’ greatest playwright, who lived here during his formative years and was greatly influenced by this region.

All three works are richly rewarding aural and theatrical experiences:

Bradley James Tejeda

“The Glass Menagerie,” a beautifully rendered two-hour production of Williams’ most personal play and one of his greatest and most famous, now through Nov. 22.

“You Lied to Me About Centralia,” a delightful one-act by playwright John Guare, who imagines what took place after The Gentleman Caller left the Wingfields to meet his fiancé, Betty, now through Nov. 21.

“Glass,” an intriguing new play by Michael Aman that imagines the actress playing Amanda Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie” clashing with Tennessee when it opens in Chicago before it heads to Broadway, now through Nov. 21.

As always, stay after for a few moments to listen to Williams’ scholar-in-residence Tom Mitchell for his insight into each work. It’s interesting and informative, and really adds to the festival’s mission. They want us to know Williams intimately, and it shows. You can also take an audio tour of Williams’ St. Louis and hear education panels on his work.

The fifth annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis was going to take us to Italy this spring, showcasing “The Rose Tattoo” and other nuggets from Williams, who was happy soaking up European la dolce vita in a good stretch of his chaotic life.

Then the pandemic hit. The coronavirus public health crisis forced our regional theaters to cancel. Instead, Artistic Director Carrie Houk pivoted with two different sets of programming on radio, partnering with Classic 107.3 FM.

First, this summer, a divine series of Williams’ richly textured one-acts that showcased his yearning and his desire to fit in, all in his distinctive word play. The images of his characters with their fanciful stories were vivid, as were the Southern locations. The attention to detail was strong and the acting talent sublime.

All those engaging qualities have returned with “En Evant!” which means “forward.” We’re moving on, and Houk has discussed the fragility accompanying this year strengthening us in different ways. Williams was a fragile soul, but he also had a strength about him, so necessary to survive in his personal world. A previous season was built around “The Magic of Others,” and this year’s fest also has that aspect – the outsider, the guy not like the others.

In the memory play “The Glass Menagerie,” precious Laura, who is based on Tom’s fragile sister Rose, has too many self-doubts and anxieties to fit in, although she tries. Her inner world is soothed by glass figurines.

Glass – who knew 70 some years later this family’s themes of wanting to be normal, wanting to feel something, and not wanting to be mired in the past, in the fanciful world their mother has clung to all these years, would take on more significance throughout the decades

Elizabeth Teeter

The remarkably poised Elizabeth Teeter, showing her emotional range, will break your heart as Rose.

Brenda Curran is a sympathetic Amanda, although truly a pathetic maternal figure in the pantheon of great mother roles.

She contrasts well with Teeter and Bradley James Tejeda as the protective Tom (Tennessee’s alter-ego).

Tejeda, who is also in “Glass” and was in several of the one-acts this summer, is pitch-perfect in his Williams’ roles. He’s the MVP of 2020. It is a perfect match, like Olivier and Shakespeare, and his vocal work is outstanding. I could listen to him read the phone book.

But that just-right comfortable Southern drawl enhances the character’s development as he draws us in to what Tom is going through – or in “Glass,” what Tennessee is. He’s bursting to get out of town to begin the life he imagines for himself.

He smoothly presents these lived-in characters so we can identify right away. And Williams, ultimately a tragic figure in his own life, is so transparent about his thoughts and feelings that we have an instant attachment.

Chaunery Kingsford, who was in the stunning “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 2018, plays the Gentleman Caller with the right mix of concern and confusion.

Directed by Brian Hohlfeld, a St. Louis native who knows how creative passions will take someone away for their journey, understands the Wingfields. His version is a tidy two hours and hits all the feelings, emphasizing what isn’t said is as potent as what is.

This play takes on new meaning every time I dig in, and it’s never the same experience. If you haven’t read it since high school, listen here – it’s transformative.

Chauncy Thomas

Home, that running Williams’ theme, is used by Guare in “You Lied to Me About Centralia,” featuring the tremendous power of Chauncy Thomas as Jim and Julia Crump as Betty. Julia, who played this part when the TWFest produced it for the Grand Center Theatre Crawl several years ago, is well-suited to play Williams’ roles. She’s convincing as driven Betty, who is immediately defensive for taking a trip to Granite City to see an uncle. She has ulterior motives, which she spills during her conversation with Jim. Chauncy, one of the most powerful actors on stage during his years in St. Louis, exercises a new muscle here – only his voice, and it’s no less effective.

Julia Crump

Directed by Rayme Cornell, this play illuminates the themes of “The Glass Menagerie” in a fascinating way. Just think about how a step or two in another direction could change your life.

“Glass” is interesting in its exploration of personalities and artistic temperament. With Kari Ely playing the diva Laurette Taylor taking on the role of Amanda Wingfield, you can picture her condescending looks and withering stares. And then Tejeda gets in the skin of burgeoning artist Tennessee Williams. This duet is directed by Gary Wayne Barker, a solid veteran on the St. Louis scene.

Ely, an accomplished actress in St. Louis, is flamboyant as a near-has been who wants to be famous again. Will playing Amanda produce the results she seeks? Will Williams get what he wants with his first feature-length play? All conjecture, of course, but Ely and Tejeda are convincing playing these desperate people – one on the way up and one on the way down. This one-act is 90 minutes.

Kari Ely

The vocal work here lulls us into a comfortable place. It’s fun to hear these journeys as these performers create pictures in our minds.

One of the most soothing voices is contributed by Ken Page, who is a masterful speaker. He is the festival’s host and introduces each show with his silky vocals.

So, tune in, turn up the volume, and let the magic of theater take you to new (and old) places.

Presenting sponsor is Emerson.

Donations are appreciated.

By Lynn Venhaus

One of Tennessee Williams’ most humorous one-act plays, “A Perfect Analysis Given By a Parrot,” will be the next radio play presented by the Tennessee Williams Festival St, Louis on “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air.”

It will first air on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m. on 107.3 FM. You can listen live or you can listen later through several platforms. It is archived at the station’s website and there is an encore Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. They are available for nearly two weeks before the next one. This third show is sponsored by the Jane and Bruce Robert Foundation.

This one is a charmer. I enjoyed the production when it was first presented during the inaugural TWSTL in May 2016. It was staged at the Curtain Call Lounge, with this same cast, under the direction of Brian Hohlfeld.

Kelley Weber

Intrigued by the title? Set at a dive bar in St. Louis, “A Perfect Analysis Given By A Parrot” follows Flora and Bessie, two proud members of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Sons of Mars, who have traveled from Memphis for the annual convention. All Flora and Bessie want is a good time, but they have been ditched by the conventioneers they have followed. Unfamiliar with the territory, they wonder into a place intent on whooping it up. While drinking fishbowls of beer and listening to sentimental tunes, the pair begin a light-hearted conversation, then loosen up as old memories are stirred. The women, whose relationship could be considered “frenemies,” assess each other’s lives, revealing loneliness and longing.

As I recall, Rachel Tibbetts and Kelley Weber were very good as the two aging Southern Belles, and Bob Harvey, always fun to watch, was the waiter. Always a twinkle in his eye.

This should be a delightful radio play, to hear Williams’ distinctive wordplay, with an amusing display of merriment. Everyone so far has been an excellent listen and so different. This summer series celebrating Williams’ one-act plays is produced by Carrie Houk, artistic director, and programmed every other Saturday. Each episode is introduced by Ken Page, in his signature silky style. Don’t forget to stay afterwards to listen to University of Illinois professor Tom Mitchell provide insights about Williams’ work.

Nisi Sturges as Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore

“The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” was the first, on July 11, sponsored by Mary Strauss, which was terrific in establishing the time, place and characters. Set in a seedy New Orleans boarding house, a delusional long time tenant Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore is convinced that she owns a Brazilian rubber plantation. Shades of Blanche DuBois! (a prototype for sure). The landlady, Mrs. Wire, has always humored her, but when Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore can’t make her rent, the two women start to argue. As if the walls could talk, a young writer steps in, and his dreams are part of the fantasies of those living in this cockroach-infested place.

Williams’ yearning, his desire to fit in, his characters with their fanciful stories — all there. You create these Southern places in your head. The images are vivid, and the production values strong. Nisi Sturges, sublime in last year’s “The Night of the Iguana,” played Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore with impeccable Southern airs, while Rayme Cornell was various degrees of stern as the landlord and Bradley Tejeda intriguing as the mysterious writer (He could have had his own one-act. Maybe he did?).

“This Property is Condemned” was the second one, on July 25. Rising star Elizabeth Teeter, a fine young performer who has appeared in three Broadway shows and starred as Dorothy in the Variety Club’s enchanting “The Wizard of Oz,” played Willie with the right amount of bravado and wistfulness. Tony Merritt II, a Webster Conservatory student, was strong as Tom. It was directed by Tim Ocel, who has beautifully helmed some of the mainstage shows and is guiding five of this summer offering.

Elizabeth Teeter


You might recall “This Property is Condemned” as a 1966 movie starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. They play town flirt Alva and out-of-town railroad employee Owen respectively, who meet in Ogden, Miss., during the Depression. Alva dreams of getting out of the two-bit town.

The play, however, is told by Alva’s sister, Willie, who meets a guy, Tom, on the abandoned railroad tracks, and tells the story in flashback — about Alva, her mom, Owen and other characters. Williams’ frequent themes — grass is always greener, exaggerated grandiosity— are there, as are his finely drawn female characters.

Tony Merritt

What makes these radio plays – only about 20 minutes each – so special is that Williams’ voice is so recognizable in each of these one-act plays. He wrote many of them during his formative years here in St. Louis, and it’s interesting to see the progression of his work. What a bright, brilliant mind early on whose life influenced all his writings, from start to finish.

Don’t miss these little gems, featuring some of the best and brightest talents using another ‘muscle’ — their voice. For Aug. 8, if you are unfamiliar with Rachel Tibbetts, she is one of the best and most versatile actresses in town, and veteran actress/teacher Kelly Weber won a St. Louis Theater Circle Award last year for another Tennessee Williams one-act, “A Lovely Sunday in Creve Coeur.”

And it’s just fun to catch the names of the local landmarks.

Rachel Tibbetts

Next up: “Hello from Bertha” Aug. 22 5 p.m., streaming until Sept. 4, one of the “Rooming House Plays” that I adore.
Starring: Anita Jackson, Donna Weinsting and Maggie Wininger, directed by David Kaplan, sponsored by John Russell

“Summer at the Lake,” Sept. 5, streaming until Sept. 18
Starring: Donathan Walters, Rayme Cornell, Kelley Weber; directed by Tim Ocel, sponsored by Mary Strauss

“Mr. Paradise,” Sept. 19, streaming until Oct. 2
Starring: Elizabeth Teeter, J. Samuel Davis, directed by Tim Ocel, sponsored by Terry Schnuck

Anita Jackson. Photo by Ride Hamilton

Listen online through:

Live: https://classic1073.org/listen/

Classic 107.3 Apple app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/classic-107-3/id635075917

On Radio.com: Android or Apple app https://www.radio.com/classic1073/listen

On demand with SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/raf-stl

For more information: www.twstl.org/something-spoken

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (TWSTL) will increase its reach this summer with a new radio show. “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” is set to launch on July 11. The program will air every other Saturday at 5 p.m. on Classic 107.3 FM. The festival decided to embark on this new venture because “It is important now to unify, elevate and enrich humanity during this very challenging year,” explains Carrie Houk, Executive Artistic Director of TWSTL.

Each episode of “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” will consist of fully produced Williams’ one-act plays along with interviews with scholars, directors and actors. Specific details of each broadcast will be posted on the websites of both Classic 107.3 (classic1073.org) and TWSTL (twstl.org).

Ken Page

Broadway legend and St. Louisan Ken Page will narrate and noted Williams scholar Tom Mitchell will offer commentary on each episode. Performers will include: Nisi Sturgis; Rayme Cornell; J. Samuel Davis; Bob Harvey; Anita Jackson; Tony Merritt II; Elizabeth Teeter; Bradley Tejeda; Rachel Tibbits; Donathan Walters; Kelley Weber; Donna Weinsting and Maggie Wininger.  Brian Hohlfeld, David Kaplan and Tim Ocel will be directing.

“The peak of my virtuosity was in the one-act plays.

Some of which are like firecrackers on a rope.” – Tennessee Williams

“Williams felt that one-acts were his strongest format,” Houk points out. “He started out in St. Louis writing one-act plays, and one of his biggest breaks was winning a competition sponsored by the Group Theater in New York—the first time he signed his name as ‘Tennessee’ rather than ‘Tom.’  He wrote more than 70 throughout his career—sometimes edgy, often experimental, and always infused with his unsurpassed poetry.  Many of them have been presented at the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis.”

“Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” will be sponsored by Mary Strauss, Jane and Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation, Ted Wight, John Russell and Terry Schnuck, with more patrons to be announced in the coming weeks.

TWSTL’s reboot of their Fifth Annual Festival this fall will focus on Williams’ youth and time spent with The Mummers, an offbeat St. Louis theatre company that tried out a number of his early plays and is immortalized in Williams essay “Something Wild.” As long as conditions remain safe to produce, “Tennessee Williams: Something Wild” will run October 22 through November 1 at The Link Auditorium (thelinkauditorium.org), formerly The Wednesday Club and the theatre where The Mummers performed. 

About the Festival

Star on Walk of Fame in the Delmar Loop

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis was established in 2016 by Carrie Houk, the award-winning producer, casting director, actor, and educator.   The Festival, which aims to enrich the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic events that celebrate the artistry and life of Tennessee Williams, was named the 2019 Arts Startup of the Year by the Arts & Entertainment Council.

In 2014, Houk produced Williams’ Stairs to the Roof with such success that the on- going annual Festival was established. The inaugural Festival was themed “Tennessee Williams: The St. Louis Years,” followed by “The Magic of the Other” in 2017 and “The French Quarter Years” in 2018. The 2019 festival featured Night of the Iguana and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. As the years have passed, the awards have mounted. Last year’s St. Louis Theater Circle gave them eleven nominations and seven awards, and this year’s seven nominations garnered four more awards. The Festival has attracted thousands to its readings, panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions, and productions.

Lead sponsorship of the festival is provided by Emerson.  The Festival is also funded in part by Mary Strauss, Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, The Whitaker Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Humanities Council, Trio Foundation of St Louis and the Arts and Education Council.

About Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams drawing by Al Hirschfeld

Born Thomas Lanier Williams III in 1911 in Mississippi, Williams moved to St. Louis at age seven, when his father was made an executive with the International Shoe Company (where the City Museum and the Last Hotel are now located). He lived here for more than two decades, attending Washington University, working at the International Shoe Company, and producing his first plays at local theaters. He credited his sometimes difficult experiences in St. Louis for the deeply felt poetic essence that permeates his artistry. When asked later in life when he left St. Louis, he replied, “I never really left.” Most people are familiar with the famous works that have garnered multiple Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards and Academy Awards, such as The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer. He also wrote hundreds of additional plays, stories, essays, and poems, many of which are only now seeing the light of day as his estate permits greater access. He is today considered by many leading authorities to be America’s greatest playwright.

About Classic 107.3

Classic 107.3, “The Voice for the Arts in St. Louis”, broadcasts at 107.3 FM and on KNOU 96.3 HD2 with a mission to support the cultural landscape in the St. Louis region through programming and outreach efforts. Classic 107.3 plays a variety of music from classical to jazz, opera to blues, Broadway and more, and features local programming including the “Slatkin Shuffle”, hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin, and Musical Ancestries™, designed to educate school-aged children about world music. In addition, the station airs interviews with artists, musicians, creators and performers, bringing their stories and events to the attention of the St. Louis community. Classic 107.3 is a non-profit station, receiving support from listeners as well as organizations like PNC, the William T. Kemper Foundation and others. More information, as well as live streaming, archived interviews, and podcasts can be found at www.classic1073.org.