Tessa Grady, Matt Bogart for Modern Millie, as full casting announced for Music Theatre Wichita's 2017 Season, with Newsies, Hairspray, Hunchback and More
Press release: April 28, 2017
Casting is announced for Music Theatre Wichita 46th Season, “Hollywood to Broadway,” featuring five lavish stage musicals inspired by films, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hairspray, and the Kansas premieres of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Disney’s Newsies.
Broadway personalities Tessa Grady, Matt Bogart (pictured at right), Jeremy Stolle, Catherine Charlebois, Sam Zeller, Gaelen Gilliland, Erin Clemons, Stephen Mark Lukas, and Hal Davis are featured throughout the season, guided by artistic teams including Peggy Hickey, Larry Raben, Al Blackstone, Mark Madama, Mara Newbery Greer, Brian J. Marcum, Nicholas Palmquist, and producing artistic director Wayne Bryan, who is celebrating his 30th year at the helm of the organization.
With large casts and full orchestras, the five-show season runs from June 14 through August 20 in the 2100-seat Century II Concert Hall, with the first four productions each playing 7 performances, and the season finale Newsies running 11 performances. For additional information, or to purchase season tickets, visit www.mtwichita.org.
Musical director Thomas W. Douglas returns for all five productions, along with associate Chuck Koslowske. Other key artistic personnel include scenic designers J Branson and Bruce Brockman, costume designers George T. Mitchell, Dixon Reynolds and Debbie Roberts, lighting designer David Neville, sound designer David Muehl, Production Manager Mitchell Southerland, and producing associate Nancy Reeves.
Tony Award-winning Best Musical Thoroughly Modern Millie stars Tessa Grady (Cinderella, Dames at Sea) as Millie Dillmount, Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys, Aida) as Trevor Graydon, and Nedra Dixon (Bubbling Brown Sugar) as Muzzy van Hossmere, with Kyle McClellan as Jimmy, Karen L. Robu as Mrs. Meers, Cassie Austin Taylor as Miss Dorothy, Sam Hamashima as Ching Ho, Harry Robert Perrin as Bun Foo, and Patty Reeder as Miss Flannery. The show runs June 14-18, directed by Mark Madama and choreographed by Mara Newbery Greer (A Christmas Story).
Photo: Tessa Grady and company in MTWichita's 2014 production of 42nd Street.
A robust new rendition of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers plays June 28-July 2, directed by Larry Raben (Falling for Eve) and choreographed by Peggy Hickey (Anastasia). Starring as Adam and Milly are Jeremy Stolle (Phantom of the Opera) and Catherine Charlebois (Wicked).
Welcoming back the 1960s in the ever-timely Hairspray are Sam Zeller (Peter Pan) as Edna, Claire Manship as Tracy, Larry Raben (The Producers) as Wilbur, and Gaelen Gilliland (Kinky Boots) as Velma, with Altamiece C. Cooper as Motormouth Maybelle, Steve Hitchcock as Corny Collins, Lily Kaufmann as Penny, Taylor Sherry as Amber, Commodore C. Primous, III as Seaweed, and Lena Owens as Little Inez. Hairspray plays July 12-16, with direction by Mark Madama and all-new choreography by Al Blackstone (The View UpStairs).
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (July 26-30) will feature an innovative multimedia environment created by set designer J Branson and video artist Timothy Babb, with colorful costumes by George T. Mitchell. Starring as Quasimodo is Skyler Adams (Pippin National Tour), opposite Erin Clemons (Les Misérables) as Esmeralda, Monte Riegel Wheeler (The “It” Girl) as Claude Frollo, and Stephen Mark Lukas (Book of Mormon) as Captain Phoebus, with Britton Hollingsworth as Clopin. Wayne Bryan directs, with Nicholas Palmquist (American Dance Machine) creating the musical staging.
Disney’s Newsies concludes the season August 11-20, directed by Wayne Bryan with choreography by Brian J. Marcum (Elf), and featuring scenic design by Bruce Brockman and costumes by Dixon Reynolds. Trevor McChristian stars as Jack Kelly, with Melissa Steadman Hart (Newsies National Tour) as Katherine Plummer, Hal Davis (Titanic) as Joseph Pulitzer, AnnEliza Canning-Skinner as Medda Larkin, Alec Cohen as Davey, and Lily Kaufmann as Hannah.
Season tickets remain on sale until May 19 and range from $270 to $120 (prices subject to change). Single tickets go on sale May 30. Additional information can be found at www.mtwichita.org or by calling 316.265.3107. Music Theatre Wichita offices and Concert Hall are located at Century II Performing Arts Center, 225 W. Douglas, Wichita, KS, 67202.
About Music Theatre Wichita - Founded in 1972, MTWichita is internationally recognized for self-producing five high-quality Broadway-scale productions each summer during an intense 10-week period, while providing unparalleled learning experiences for young up-and-coming artists. It has been the site for the world premiere of the revised Good News!, the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and the regional premieres of such Disney titles as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and High School Musical. MTWichita has also created cast albums for Honk! and Good News!
Notable artists who began careers in Wichita include Kelli O’Hara, Kristin Chenoweth, Matt Bogart, and choreographers Andrew Palermo, Josh Rhodes, Josh Prince, Sara Edwards, and Dontee Kiehn. MTWichita alumni performing on Broadway this season include Eloise Kropp, Caesar Samayoa, Robert Hartwell, Jenni Barber, Devin Ilaw, Shina Ann Morris, Ashley Park, Jeremy Davis, Wes Hart, Kim Fauré, Kaleigh Cronin, Gilbert L. Bailey II, Cory Lingner, Max Clayton, Alex Finke, Johnny Stellard, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Molly Rushing, Kathryn Boswell, Elliott Mattox, Becca Petersen, Dan Horn, Taurean Everett, Michael Hartung, Paul Heesang Miller, Christiani Pitts, Max Kumangai, Stephanie Martignetti, Lauralyn McClelland, Bret Shuford, and many more.