The Real Love: A New Musical – Cast
Joanna Ampil (THANH)
AWARD-WINNING SINGER / ACTRESS
Award-winning international theater actress Joanna Ampil is an enchanting sensation in London’s West End and abroad, as well as the pride of her native Philippines. She has starred in numerous coveted musical roles, and collaborated with great composers Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and songwriter Jason Robert Brown, to name a few, plus some of the best theater directors.
As a child, Joanna always dreamed of becoming a performer; with her exceptional voice, she built confidence participating in school programs. Then, overnight at age 17, she found herself starring as Kim in Miss Saigon on the prestigious West End in London, UK. It was her first professional theater appearance that began in 1993 and was followed by her opening the original Australian production and starring in the first UK and Southern Ireland Tour.
As more major roles were offered, Joanna decided to stay in London, where she was selected by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to play Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar’s 1996 revival and shined as Sheila Franklin in Hair, June in Musicals of Musicals, and Heidi in I Sing. In Les Misérables at London’s Palace and Queen’s Theatres, she played the roles of Eponine then Fantine. She has also been featured in Rent as Mimi (European Tour) and Avenue Q as Christmas Eve at the Noel Coward and Gielgud Theatres.
Joanna has performed before the British Royal Family, heads of state and other dignitaries, singing as Fantine in a special production of Les Misérables at the Windsor Castle. There, Cameron Mackintosh introduced her to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. The blessed Joanna has also shared the stage with celebrated British actress Dame Judi Dench, and has appeared in numerous television and radio programs including BBC Television.
She returned to her homeland from London to charm audiences in the role of Maria in West Side Story. She also gave her own solo concerts, “Joanna Ampil – I Love…“ in Manila in 2009, and “Joanna Ampil – West End Girl“ in 2010, accompanied by the famed orchestra FILharmoniKA. The same year, she starred as the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio: A New Musical in Singapore. She has also been invited to perform in concerts throughout Asia. As a recording artist, following a solo album titled Joanna Ampil, she released a 12-track pop album Try Love with Sony Music Philippines featuring her renditions of favorite songs. She can also be heard on the International Symphonic Recording of Miss Saigon as Kim, Mary Magdalene in the Jesus Christ Superstar revival album and in the recently recorded “The Postman and the Poet“ as Beatriz.
Joanna Ampil was nominated for the Australian Mo Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Miss Saigon, and was nominated for Manila’s Aliw Award, both for Best Actress for West Side Story and for Best Live Performance in a Concert. She also won the Aliw Award for her contributions to live entertainment internationally, and is a Global Filipino awardee.
Daisy Eagan (GRETA)
Daisy began her career at the age of two, playing a Bag of Wool in a preschool production of Baa Baa Black Sheep. From there, she went on to become the youngest female ever to win a Tony Award for her performance as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden (Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations). Her other theater credits include Les Misérables (Broadway), James Joyce’s The Dead (Original Broadway production), Be Aggressive (world premiere at La Jolla, Garland Award honorable mention, and regionally at TheaterWorks), On the Mountain (world premiere at South Coast Reparatory), A View from the Bridge (South Coast Reparatory), The Wild Party (The Blank Theater Company, 2006 LA Weekly Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical) and a whole bunch of other plays and musicals.
Her film and TV credits include Losing Isaiah (Paramount), Ripe (Trimark), Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding (Green Street Films), Without a Trace, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs and The Unit. Daisy is a co-creator, co-writer and performer in Krystal Park, a soap opera set in a trailer park, pieces of which can be found on YouTube.
After taking three years off to finish school and regain her sanity, Daisy has returned to performing, premiering her one-woman show Still Daisy After All These Years in 2010 in Los Angeles. The show premiered in New York City at the Laurie Beechman Theater on March 28. She can also be seen around Los Angeles in various cabarets and benefit performances.
In her extremely limited free time she likes to write bios, paint, knit (only things that are rectangular or square), read and cook. Daisy became a published writer with her creative non-fiction piece “Red, Grey and Blue” in the online publication Splinter Generation (www.splintergeneration.com). She is also a frequent contributor to AADA alum Kurt Bloom’s news magazine, Antiochracy.
Cady Huffman (ELSA)
Cady Huffman was born and raised in beautiful Santa Barbara, California where her love for the arts blossomed. She studied tirelessly throughout her childhood and at the age of 18 set out to conquer Broadway. Success came early. Her Broadway debut was as a teenage drag queen in La Cage Aux Folles. She never looked back.
Cady is perhaps best known on Broadway for her Tony Award-winning performance as Ulla in The Producers. This led to her unforgettable recurring role on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where she very nearly became Larry David’s 10th anniversary present. Prior to The Producers, Cady was Tony-nominated for her role as Ziegfeld’s Favorite in The Will Rogers Follies with Keith Carradine. Other Broadway productions have included Steel Pier, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour and Bob Fosse’s last original musical Big Deal.
In feature films Cady was seen most recently in John Wells’ The Company Men opposite Ben Affleck and Chris Cooper. Other film work has included John Turturro’s star-studded musical film Romance & Cigarettes, Hero with Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia, and starring roles in the Indy films Dare, $20 Drinks, Billy’s Dad Is a Fudgepacker, Space Marines and Throw the Hoolihan. Cady also produced Sunday on the Rocks which was directed by Joe Morton. In it she stars along with her good friends, Julie White and Suzzanne Douglass. The film won 2nd Place Feature at the New Haven Film Festival.
Her television credits include guest appearances on The Good Wife, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The George Carlin Show, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Mad About You and Frasier. On Daytime TV she was the second Dr. Paige Miller on One Life To Live. She can currently be seen for the ninth consecutive season judging fine cuisine in Kitchen Stadium on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America.
Cady lends her talents and resources to several charitable causes, including Creative Alternatives of New York, AIDS awareness, breast cancer research, women’s heart health and animal rights. As an advocate for the arts, she has traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak to Senators and Members of Congress. She has spoken on panels at the Sundance Film Festival, Brown University and Harvard University, focusing on the Arts and First Amendment rights. She is passionate about keeping the Arts in public schools and helping young people realize their potential.
Adam Pascal (ROLF)
Some of the most cherished roles in recent Broadway history were created by Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal, who is also an Off- Broadway Award and Theatre World Award winner.
He soared to stardom for his role as rock guitarist Roger Davis in the original US and UK casts of Rent, the 1996 Broadway blockbuster musical that also starred Taye Diggs and Anthony Rapp. Adam’s performance – his musical debut – garnered him the Tony Award nomination. He went on to star in Rent’s 2005 film version, 2007 production, and 2009 Broadway Tour across the US as well as abroad.
In addition, Adam originated the lead role of the Egyptian general Radames in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which premiered in Chicago in 1998 and on Broadway in 2000. He starred in the opening original cast from 1998 to 2000 and again for the closing cast in 2004, after the beloved musical had run for an impressive 1,852 performances on Broadway.
He was also featured as the Master of Ceremonies in the 1998 acclaimed revival of the Broadway musical Cabaret, directed by Sam Mendes.
In 2008, Adam played the role of Freddie, the American, alongside Rent co-star Idina Menzel and Josh Groban in Chess for two sold-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The recorded performance was televised on British and American television, including on PBS’s Great Performances series, and was also released on DVD.
Along with reprising his principal cast role in the film version of Rent, he has also appeared in other films such as SLC Punk!, School of Rock, the movie musical Temptation and independent movies such as Falling Star. His television appearances include Cold Case and The Backyardigans.
With his powerful rock-and-roll tenor voice that sets him apart from the beginning, Adam Pascal’s dream has always been to be a musician, having been in several bands before his Broadway career. Through a solo recording contract on Sh-K-Boom Records, co-founded by his Aida co-star Sherie Rene Scott, he has released two solo rock albums, Model Prisoner (2000) and Civilian (2004). He also contributed a cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” to the CD titled Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays.
Forming a band called Me and Larry with songwriter and pianist Larry Edoff, Adam has performed original songs as well as Broadway favorites in smaller venues throughout the US, winning the 2007-2008 Golden Icon Award for Best Small Venue Concert. The band’s first album is the acclaimed Blinding Light, released in 2008 on the singer’s own label. In 2008, he recorded a ballad titled “Eva Wanted” with Broadway actress and recording artist Maya Days. Me and Larry, lauded for its diverse stylistic range, lyrical depth, and expressive vocals, continues to present shows across the country and is currently creating a new CD of fresh interpretations of Broadway musical songs.
Robert Torti (KLAUS)
Multi-award-winning actor Robert Torti has performed prolifically in theater, film and television. His many memorable performances include his portrayal of Greaseball in the original production of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 1987.
Robert’s other colorful Broadway and London credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in which he played an Elvis Presley-style Pharaoh. Later, Lord Lloyd-Webber invited Robert to play the Pharaoh again in the hit film version of the musical with Donny Osmond as Joseph. His performance in Godspell as Jesus won him a Drama-Logue Award for Best Actor. It was also a Godspell performance as a teenager that earned him a signing as a contract player to Universal Studios at the age of 17. He has also won an Ovation Award for Best Actor for his role as Jesus and Jack in the musical Reefer Madness. Furthermore, he originated the role of Bob in the London and Broadway hit Smokey Joe’s Café, in which his gifted wife and actress DeLee Lively-Torti also appeared. He has been featured in West Side Story; Jesus Christ Superstar; Grease; To Sir, with Love; Sneaux and Little Fish.
Meanwhile, Robert Torti has been sought after in many television and film productions since his debut in 1981 as a guest actor on the popular drama series Little House on the Prairie. Currently, he is known as Kurt, the rock-and-roll band member dad of the twin main characters on the popular Emmy Award-nominated Disney series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. He has also starred in Vinnie & Bobby as Bobby with Matt LeBlanc, and had regular roles in The Drew Carey Show as Jay and the soap operas Generations and The Young and the Restless as Salvatore Staley. He has guest starred in over 60 episodes of shows including P. I. Private Investigations, Family Passions, Beverly Hills 90210, South of Sunset, Days of Our Lives, Melrose Place; sitcoms including Family Ties, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; sci-fi series such as Quantum Leap and Out of This World, and many others.
In film, he was cast in 1996 as teen idol Freddy Frederickson in the Academy Award-nominated musical film That Thing You Do!, Tom Hanks’ directorial debut film. Robert’s performance garnered him a gold record. Known as a Fickman comedy player, Robert has taken on leads and supporting leads in director Andy Fickman’s films, including Race to Witch Mountain, The Game Plan, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, Who’s Your Daddy? and She’s the Man.
He also lent his voice to the 2009 computer-animated film, Foodfight, which featured other celebrity voices. Robert has just completed the lead role of Damien alongside Eric Roberts in the 2011 independent comedy film White T.
Dubbed “the Voice of Broadway” by New York Magazine, the internationally acclaimed Betty Buckley received the Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in the original cast of Cats.
Ms. Buckley also played Hesione in Triumph of Love, which led to her second Tony nomination, and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, which received an Olivier Award nomination. Her other Broadway credits include 1776, Pippin, Song and Dance and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. With Off-Broadway appearances including White Lies, Elegies and The Eros Trilogy, along with many regional credits, she also starred in the London production of Promises, Promises.
Ms. Buckley starred in the hit television series Eight Is Enough and the HBO series Oz while guest starring in many other programs. She has appeared in films such as Carrie, Tender Mercies, The Happening and Woody Allen’s Another Woman.
Admired for her deeply expressive voice, the Broadway legend has released 12 CD albums, including the Grammynominated Stars and the Moon: Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar. She received her second Grammy nomination for the audio book The Diaries of Adam and Eve. For over four decades, Ms. Buckley has also taught workshops across the US on the art of performing.
ITALIAN POP, CLASSICAL STAR
Italian singer Filippa Giordano grew up in a musical family loving both opera and pop. In 1998, she released her first album, Passioni, whose international version, Filippa Giordano, was released by Warner Classic UK in 1999. The record climbed to the top of world classical charts and she achieved Gold Status in Australia and Japan. She was also the honored guest at the first British Classical Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall. In 2000, HRH Prince Charles of Wales invited her to hold a concert for his gala and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted a dinner in her honor.
With the song “Amarti Si,” she participated for her second time at the Sanremo Festival, this time in the “celebrities” category. A winner of the German ECHO Classical Music Award in the Music Without Borders category, she has sung with ABBA’s Frida and Oscar winner Vangelis, and performed on four occasions for Pope John Paul II. In 2007, her Prima Donna reached Gold Status in Mexico and she went on tour. In 2008, she achieved yet another gold record with the album With Love to Mexico. More recently, she has given concerts in Mexico’s most prestigious venues such as Castillo de Chapultepec, Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional, and at the 10,000-plus-capacity Auditorio Telmex with Maestro Armando Manzanero, Gianluca Grignani and the Pandora Trio. Her new album will feature arrangements that blend Mexican and Italian cultures for the first time.
Filippa Giordano is a committed vegan.
Oscar winner and 3-time Emmy nominee Shirley Jones already showed signs of extraordinary talent by age six as the youngest member of her church choir. She impressed America’s #1 musical show masters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein during an audition for South Pacific. She quickly got the lead role in Me and Juliet and also earned the coveted role of Laurey in Oklahoma! among scores of contenders. Movie follow-ups came one after another for America’s new Cinderella Sweetheart such as Carousel, yet another Rodgers and Hammerstein classic motion picture musical, in which she co-starred with Gordon MacRae; The Courtship of Eddie’s Father opposite Glenn Ford; Bedtime Story with David Niven and Marlon Brando; The Happy Ending with Lloyd Bridges; and The Cheyenne Social Club with Henry Fonda and James Stewart, plus more.
She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1960 for her powerful performance in the film Elmer Gantry opposite Burt Lancaster. For The Music Man with Robert Preston, everyone knew that only Shirley Jones could play Marion, which she did superbly. She is also well-known for The Partridge Family series as the matriarch of the family’s successful rock and roll band. Meanwhile, she has appeared in significant TV-movie specials, including the Emmynominated Silent Night, Lonely Night and There Were Times, Dear, and toured the world performing her symphony concerts.
Had she not found a career in the entertainment industry, she would have followed her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. Ms. Jones remains a devoted animal lover who has several adopted animal companions.
The sensational Tony winning actor, dancer and singer Trent Kowalik made his theatrical debut in 2007 at age 12 as Billy in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, with music by Sir Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. He then performed his starring role on Broadway from 2008 to 2010. With 250 impressive performances to his name, at age 14, he earned one of the musical’s 10 Tony Awards, for Best Actor in a Musical, as well as a Theater Fans’ Choice Award, Fred Astaire Award, Theatre World Award and Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award.
At the tender age of four, Trent Kowalik began tap and ballet lessons at Dorothy’s School of Dance and studied Irish step dancing with the Inishfree School of Irish Dance in Long Island, USA. Through diligent training, by 2006, at age 11, he won the World Irish Dancing Championship in step dancing.
Now 16 and determined in his performing career, he continues private voice lessons along with his dance education at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.
Tony winner Kiril Kulish, age 17, is an actor, dancer, singer, musician and all-around sensation. He is best known for playing the starring role of Billy in Sir Elton John and Lee Hall’s Billy Elliot the Musical for its Broadway opening in 2008. For his fantastic performance, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and more recently a Fred Astaire Award, Theatre World Award and Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award.
At age 12, he garnered the Hope Award for Best Overall Performance at the Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition, winning the top honors again at age 13 with the Youth Grand Prix Award. Also at 13, Kiril won a national competition and became a US Ballroom Dance Champion. He went on to perform globally with the San Diego Academy of Ballet, Junior Company, and received scholarship offers to the world’s most prestigious ballet schools.
Also gifted as a concert pianist, Kiril Kulish is currently working on screen and theater projects while performing at special venues to inspire people to follow their dreams.
Emmy Award-winning Faith Rivera is a singer, songwriter and “positive music artist.” Her far-reaching, inspirational music has been featured on popular television shows including ER, Scrubs and Passions.
Faith received an Emmy Award in 2003 for Outstanding Original Song with “Forever Near.” She has released six solo CDs and won numerous accolades including 2006 New Age Album of the Year, 2006 Most Uniting Song and 2005 Best Music Video by the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival.
She has amazed audiences across the US, Australia and Japan with her high-energy, mind-opening performances. Her transformational songs have been made theme songs for organizations and events. The Philippine artist collaborated with many musicians such as Al Jarreau and Brian McKnight in recording the song “Give Your Love” to call for peace. She also supports endeavors by spiritual authors and teachers such as Marianne Williamson and Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith.
Faith is a Peace Ambassador for Fine & Performing Artists for World Peace as well as a peace-exemplifying vegan.
ACTOR / SINGER
He has performed on Broadway in the revival of an Irving Berlin musical that ran 701 times at the Marquis Theatre, and starred in show-stopping dual roles in Jekyll & Hyde. Recently, he appeared as Captain von Trapp in the Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music.
He also starred as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera in European productions. Off- Broadway, he was featured in The Great Debate and Queen of Hearts. In regional and other theater productions, he has been featured in The Who’s Tommy with Alice Ripley (Ricardo Montalban Theatre), I Do! I Do! (Pasadena Playhouse) and The Little Foxes.
Hugely praised for his tenor voice, Tom has an impressive list of over 40 film and television credits over the past nine years, with recurring roles in at least 14 of them. He has been seen on Medium, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, Scrubs, CSI: Las Vegas and CSI: Miami, Bones, Charmed, Gilmore Girls and more. Megöleli és megcsókolja his bride Anita and toddler Oliver.
Dick Van Patten
The tremendously accomplished Dick Van Patten has been in 27 Broadway plays, 600 radio shows, and dozens of feature films and television series. He is best known as the loving patriarch Tom Bradford on the hit sitcom series Eight Is Enough, for which he earned the #33 spot in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.
Mr. Van Patten began as a child actor on Broadway, starting with Tapestry in Grey. Later featured in Mama, Young Dr. Malone, Happy Days, The Love Boat, and many others, he has contributed to the popular shows of every decade, from I Dream of Jeannie in the 1970s to The Facts of Life in 1987 to Touched by an Angel in the 1990s and 7th Heaven in 2004. The prolific actor has starred in films such as Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Soylent Green, Spaceballs, and the Oscar-winning movie, Charly. He recently appeared in Freezerburn alongside Peter Dobson, David Faustino, Robert Hays and Rachel Hunter.
Mr. Van Patten has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The author of several bestselling books including How To Get Your Child into Show Business, he more recently co-wrote, Eighty Is Not Enough, sharing his insightful journey in the entertainment industry.
He is a lover of all animals and works to rescue those in need.
A charming soprano and talented actress, Lynne has appeared in several musicals, including Richard Maltby and David Shire’s Off-Broadway hit Closer Than Ever, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She also starred on Broadway in the Tonynominated Rodgers and Hammerstein revue titled A Grand Night for Singing. She is featured on both original cast albums.
Her other Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Annie with her long and successful role as Grace Farrell, the revival of Company and Richard Cory for which she won the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s Best Actress Award. In regional theater, Lynne has presented numerous newer musicals including the West Coast premiere of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, for which she received a Los Angeles Ovation nomination. She was also invited to Chicago’s prestigious Orchestra Hall to recreate Pam Sakarian in Maltby and Shire’s Baby.
In television, she appeared in shows such as Law & Order, Total Security, Big Brother Jake, Saved by the Bell and One Life to Live. As a recording artist, Lynne has sung with some of America’s most reputable symphonies and composers and continues to collaborate with Academy Awardwinning composer David Shire on their Film & Broadway Pop’s concert series. This Christmas she returns as featured soloist along with maestro Carl Topilow and her hometown Firelands Symphony Orchestra.
OSCAR AND 5-TIME EMMY WINNER
Bill Conti is one of Hollywood’s most prominent film and television composers and conductors. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Right Stuff (1983) and two Oscar nominations for Best Original Song: one for Gonna Fly Now from the 1976 blockbuster film Rocky, and one for the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981), performed by Sheena Easton.
A graduate of the Julliard School of Music, Mr. Conti has composed for over 70 diverse feature films, including The Karate Kid movies, The Thomas Crown Affair and The Adventures of Huck Finn. His prolific works include recognizable themes for television broadcast such as Good Morning America, The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, ABC Sports and Inside Edition. Moreover, two of his five Emmy Awards were for his creative concept and scoring for the livetelevised New York City Marathon.
Mr. Conti served as music director for the internationally live-broadcast Academy Awards ceremony for an amazing 19 times. A sought-after conductor of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, he was also music director for the 4th of July gala at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC with US President Barack Obama. Among Mr. Conti’s many accolades is a star bearing his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2-TIME OSCAR WINNER
Al Kasha is a gifted composer and brilliant lyricist who has made hit records over an illustrious five decades, with works sung by artists such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Donna Summer.
His songs, “The Morning After” from the The Poseidon Adventure and “We May Never Love Like this Again” from The Towering Inferno, each won an Academy Award for Best Song. Mr. Kasha created these plus many more acclaimed scores, including for Walt Disney’s beloved classic Pete’s Dragon, which garnered two Oscar nominations. Also to Mr. Kasha’s credit are the animated classic All Dogs Go to Heaven (Fennecus Award for Best Song/ Score), the Golden Globe-nominated Disney film Freaky Friday and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer starring John Goodman and Whoopi Goldberg.
In theater, Mr. Kasha received two Tony Award nominations, one for Best Original Score for his work on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which continues to tour nationally and internationally in the United Kingdom, and another for Copperfield, the Broadway musical based on Charles Dickens’ classic.
Also recognized with two Grammy Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, and the People’s Choice Award, Mr. Kasha accepted the MovieGuide Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2011.
The multi-talented Doug Katsaros is a remarkably sensitive and dedicated composer, arranger, orchestrator, vocalist, conductor, and keyboardist. He has crafted unique soundscapes for some of the most popular artists, including Donny Osmond, Rod Steward, and Gloria Estefan, and collaborated with Sir Elton John, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Peter Paul & Mary, Cher, and Kiss, among many others.
†For theater, Mr. Katsaros composed, arranged, conducted and/or orchestrated for a host of Broadway and Off Broadway productions such as Laughing Room Only, The Life, Footloose, The Rocky Horror Show, Diamonds and the Outer Critics Circle Award-winning A… My Name Is Alice, The Toxic Avenger, and even starred in Hair. For his contribution to Off-Broadway’s Altar Boyz, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations.
His work on the popular animated series The Tick, Macuso FBI starring Robert Loggia and the ABC Afterschool Specials garnered Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Music Composition.
Other compositions and performances on television include The Jim Henson Hour, ABC Saturday Night Movie and Larry King Live, and films such as If Lucy Fell with Sarah Jessica Parker and Me and the Mob starring Sandra Bullock.
Mr. Katsaros’ versatile commissioned projects further range from nationally televised special events to personalized symphonies performed as gifts for loved ones. And yes, he is the man who wrote “By Mennen.”
TONY AND EMMY WINNER
One of Broadway’s most esteemed musical directors as well as composers, Donald Pippin has contributed to productions including Cabaret, Mack and Mabel, Mame and La Cage aux Folles. He won a Tony Award for Oliver!, an Emmy Award for Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Styne, a Drama Desk Award for “consistently outstanding musical direction and commitment to the theater,” and a Gold Record Award for the original cast album of A Chorus Line.
Complementing his celebrated Broadway career is his 12 years as music director of New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall. A guest conductor of leading orchestras worldwide, including the famed Boston Pops Orchestra, Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic orchestras. Mr. Pippin was invited to be music director for An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner as seen on PBS, the gala for the 100th birthday of Cole Porter at Carnegie Hall and London’s Prince Edward Theatre, and Jerry Herman’s Broadway, a starstudded Hollywood Bowl television special. He has also led performances honoring Ira Gershwin’s 100th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He created programs and toured with Marilyn Horne including her performance at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
As a classically trained pianist, Don Pippin has accompanied great entertainers such as Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews and Tony Bennett.
He lives with his gentle wife, both animal lovers, and enjoys spending time with many adopted animal companions.
OSCAR AND 2-TIME GRAMMY WINNER
David Shire’s outstanding, prolific legacy shines across the realms of theater, film, television and recordings. He received the Academy Award, with Norman Gimbel, for the song “It Goes Like It Goes” from Norma Rae (1979) and two Grammy Awards for his original music for Saturday Night Fever (1977). Among his numerous feature film scores are those for The Conversation, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, All the President’s Men, and Zodiac. His songs have been performed and recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Melissa Manchester, Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Warrens, Julie Andrews, and Billy Preston & Syreeta (the international hit “With You I’m Born Again” with lyrics by Carol Conners), to name just a few.
For Broadway, Mr. Shire has composed, with lyrics by Richard Maltby, the music for the musicals Baby and Big, both of which garnered Tony nominations for Best Score. Off-Broadway shows include the Grammy-nominated Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, which won the Outer Critics Circle Award.
His numerous television scores have earned five Emmy nominations, and include Sarah, Plain and Tall starring Glenn Close, Rear Window with Christopher Reeve, Raid on Entebbe, and The Women of Brewster Place produced by Oprah Winfrey, as well as the theme song, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, for NBC’s Alice.
With his talented wife, actress Didi Conn (Grease), Mr. Shire is co-developing the children’s musical television series Didi Lightful. He is a Society of Composers and Lyricists Ambassador, serves on the Dramatists Guild of America’s executive council, and is a Rockland Conservatory of Music trustee.
Multi-award-winning Christopher Shelton is a tremendously accomplished stage director as well as a much sought-after film and television director/writer/producer.
In theater, he is the winner of two Best Director Awards from Drama-Logue for his work on Candida and Tartuffe, performed at Bank Playhouse, as well as a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for directing Mysteries and Miracles, shown at the Hillside Repertory. Mr. Shelton’s production of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town was featured in the Los Angeles Times’ Best Theater of 1999.
Other directing projects have included The Odd Couple, Orpheus in the Underworld, Threepenny Opera, School for Wives, As You Like It, Private Lives, Under Milk Wood, Blithe Spirit, Letty and The Great God Brown.
For the last four years, he has served as a judge for the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards, whose grants have helped to develop Pulitzer Prize-nominated plays.
Mr. Shelton is also the performance director at the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood, where his multi-media planetarium shows, featuring full-dome animation and narration by live actors, are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each week.
Equally skilled in television and film, he is a frequent producer/director for ABC’s on-air promotions, including recent campaigns for Lost, No Ordinary Family, the Country Music Awards and Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Over the years, he has directed numerous award-winning television commercials, such as those for Toyota, Home Savings of America, IBM and Disneyland. His special 3-minute commercials for Mobil, featuring the famous Pilobolus Dance Theatre, won three national CLIO Awards.
In over 30 years of filmmaking, Mr. Shelton has directed, produced and written many television programs and series for PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, TLC, Animal Planet, Home and Garden and Travel Channel. His shows include: History Detectives, Unusual Suspects, Spec-Ops Mission, The Science of Summer, Lance Armstrong: Survivor Stories, Amazing Medical Stories, Transplant as hosted by Dr. Oz, Reel Homes and Hollywood’s Greatest Stunts.
The films he has directed have garnered many awards in at least eight major film festivals across the country.
Mr. Shelton is a Directing Fellow of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute.
He has also created and directed specialized programs for humanitarian organizations including the International Rescue Committee and other diverse institutions.
Kate Bergh’s designs are seen in notable Los Angeles and Chicago theaters’ productions, including Gigi, They’re Playing Our Song, How to Succeed in Business, A Funny Thing Happened…, The Fantastiks, Dangerous Beauty, Les Seours, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Diary of Anne Frank, Kiss Me, Kate, Prisoner of Second Avenue and currently Cabaret, South Street, and Next Fall. Designing for the stage is her first love and she is happy to be working with everyone in The Real Love.
On Broadway, Rick Geyer’s designs were part of The Kentucky Cycle and Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby. Regional theater credits include world premieres and classics at Los Angeles’ esteemed theaters and opera houses. Over 18 years as wig master for LA Opera, he has designed for more than 140 productions, including the world premiere of Grendel and a televised La Traviata starring Renee Fleming. Current projects include designs for Reprise!.
Keith Dixon is the president and owner of Patterson Avenue Productions providing turnkey production services to multi-national companies. With over 25 years of experience, he was the executive producer of over 75 corporate theater events with audiences of up to 50,000; producer/director of over 3,000 corporate television productions; live television director for more than 400 interactive television broadcasts. Some have won him CINE Golden Eagle Awards, Telly Awards and Davey Awards.
Michael Donovan, CSA
Michael Donovan is the recipient of five Casting Society of America’s Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. His credits include productions at the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Falcon Theatre, Colony Theatre, and more. Newest projects include Hairspray, South Street, Heavier Than and How To Train Your Dragon’s new live-version tour. Other credits include tours of Aida, Beauty and the Beast and Buddy, numerous films, nine TV series and over 1,200 commercials.
Frank Evans co-wrote the Off-Broadway musical, Abie’s Island Rose, biographical play Puma and Chicago produced musical version of Dinner at Eight, which garnered a Jerry Bock Award. With his work named “Best of the Year” by multiple media, his Back Home, the War Brides Musical won the Spirit Award for Best New Work. He serves on the Tony-winning BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop’s steering committee, and is producing director of Musical Mondays Theatre Lab in New York.
Paula Holt is an independent producer and president of Tiffany Theatricals, currently developing I/Elizabeth. She created and ran The Tiffany Theatres in West Hollywood. She is the Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, faculty member at the University of Southern California School of Theatre and Los Angeles Stage Alliance board member. She has won the James A. Doolittle Award for Leadership in Los Angeles Theatre, four Ovation Awards, Garland Award and Drama-Logue Award.
Mark Knowles has directed/choreographed over 300 productions, including La Cage aux Folles’ South American premiere, Big Bang! in Singapore, Los Angeles’ The Good-bye Girl starring Tony-winner Debbie Gravitte, Off- Broadway’s Hysterical Blindness and the Radio City Rockettes. His bluegrass musical That Other Woman’s Child is set for London and Broadway. He is the author of three books, The Tap Dance Dictionary, Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing, winner of the American Library Association’s 2004 Choice Award, and The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances.
Cricket S. Myers
On Broadway, Cricket Myers won a 2011 Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination for Best Sound Design for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Marvelous Wonderettes, The Little Dog Laughed and In the Wake. With over 200 Los Angeles productions, she has earned 13 Ovation Award nominations, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award and Back Stage Garland Award. She is a vegetarian.
David O is a multi-award-winning musical director, composer and pianist. His composition “A Map of Los Angeles” was commissioned, and performed twice, by the LA Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Some of David’s noted theatrical productions include 33 Variations, Harps and Angels, Toy Story: the Musical, Ubu Roi, The Wild Party and 13.
In a career spanning over four decades, Darryl Palagi brought lighting to many early rock ‘n’ roll concert stages. He has been the lighting director for corporate events in over a dozen countries with multi-national corporations, and served as director of photography for classics such as The Golden Girls, Alf, Boy Meets World, and recently The Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana and The Suite Life on Deck. He is a vegetarian.
Tom Shelton is a longtime playwright, songwriter, and actor whose musical adaptation of the juvenile classic Caddie Woodlawn, written with Susan Hunter, has enjoyed productions nationwide, is published by Samuel French, and won the Landers Theatre National Playwriting Award. He co-authored a series of musical comedy mystery scripts successfully produced by The Gourmet Detective, an interactive dinner theater company, as well as original works and classic fairy tales musically adapted for Hollywood’s Barnsdall Theater.
Jason H. Thompson
Broadway: Baby It’s You! Off-Broadway: Remember Me (Parsons Dance Company, Joyce Theatre/ National Tour), This Beautiful City (Vineyard Theatre). Recent: Venice (Kirk Douglas Theatre, KC Rep), Ordinary Days (South Coast Rep), The Night is a Child (Pasadena Playhouse), Distracted (Theatreworks). Jason also designs video content for Stars on Ice 2006-2011 USA and Canadian Tours, and is an adjunct professor at UCLA.
Hethyr (Red) Verhoef
Hethyr’s work has been seen at the Mark Taper Forum in Parade, the Main Street Theatre Company, on A Year with Frog and Toad, Cinderella, The Gingerbread Man, and for Reprise Theatre Co. A Funny Thing… and They’re Playing Our Song with Jason Alexander. Hethyr has worked for many years on numerous productions as lead flyman and deck lead. Some favorites are Mask, Sisterella, Sister Act, Ray Charles Live, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Old Settler, Doubt, Purlie, and many, many more. Kisses to Isara Naya.
Producing Director – Pasadena Playhouse: 26 world premieres with 7 Broadway transfers including Accomplice (Jason Alexander); Solitary Confinement (Stacy Keach); Looped (Valerie Harper); Sister Act the Musical and Baby It’s You!. Executive Producer – Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles: Much Ado About Nothing (Helen Hunt); The Trial of Hamlet (US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy); and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Tom Hanks, Kenneth Branagh). President – Production Solutions: providing global production services (Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw).
Sherilyn Stetz’s work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Modern Bride, FHM and Glamour magazines, on screen including in Baywatch, Ally McBeal, Desperate Housewives, What Women Want, In Her Shoes, Bridesmaids and currently Conan, and in the recent play Perseus. With numerous celebrity clients such as Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt, the MAC Master Class instructor also started Project ButterflyLA helping formerly homeless job seekers look and feel better.
Gary Wissman is the winner of numerous Drama- Logue and other awards. He has designed for 29 productions at the Pasadena Playhouse alone. In over 30 years, his impressive scenery has been seen in Los Angeles’ respected theaters such as The Ensemble Theatre Santa Barbara and Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, across the USA, and in Canada, Germany and Austria, plus a recent production that opened in New York’s Beacon Theatre and concluded at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.
“The Real Love” Song
Cheryl began as assistant choreographer to Gene Kelly and Kenny Ortega, and worked with Meryl Streep and Jason Alexander. She has worked on 20 films including Xanadu, Tap, Pennies From Heaven, 500 Days of Summer, and The Muppet Movie; on television, Glee, General Hospital, Academy and Golden Globe Awards, How I Met Your Mother and Community, to name a few. She directed and choreographed for theater nationally and abroad, recently for the Cabrillo Christmas Spectacular (Shirley Jones, Patrick Cassidy).
Scott Lavender has had an eclectic career as music director for singers Glenn Yarbrough and Toni Tennille, and currently as Johnny Mathis’ conductor and pianist. He has worked with noted US orchestras and artists, and composed or shaped over 200 symphony orchestra pieces. Recently, acclaimed television commercials featured music from West Side Story which he arranged, orchestrated, and conducted. He is flattered to be involved with so many talented people in this spectacular production.
On Broadway, National Tour, or in Los Angeles, David has been the Production Stage Manager for Wicked, The Lion King, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Aida, The Ten Commandments, Sunset Blvd, The Light in the Piazza, Caroline or Change, and Saturday Night Fever. Recently, in Los Angeles, David was the Production Stage Manager for 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda, Burn This, and the hip hop rap musical Venice.