August 6-10, 2014
“Come and meet those dancing feet!” Broadway’s liveliest tap-dance extravaganza triumphantly returns to Music Theatre Wichita, bringing all its lively humor, gorgeous costumes, and exhilarating dance numbers. 42nd Street is the ultimate in spectacular feel-good entertainment, featuring an unprecedented array of magnificent songs: “The Lullaby of Broadway,” “Young and Healthy,” “You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me,” “We’re in the Money,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” ”Go Into Your Dance,” “About a Quarter to Nine,” and the hypnotic title tune.
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Based on the Novel by Bradford Ropes
Original Direction and Dances by Gower Champion
Originally Produced on Broadway by David Merrick
The use of all songs is by Warner Bros., the owner of music publishers’ rights
Damon Kirsche happily returns to MTWichita, where he has been seen as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, King Arthur in Camelot, Franklin Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5, Galahad in Spamalot, Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, and in concert with Kelli O’Hara. Damon previously appeared as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street at California’s Carpenter Center and as Rick Anderson in the new Harold Arlen musical One For My Baby at the New 42nd St. Studios. Favorite roles include Kodaly in She Loves Me and Granite in On the 20th Century (Reprise!), Logos in Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows & Wings (Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall), Curly in Oklahoma! (CLOSBC), Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music (South Coast Repertory), the Dentist (and others) in Little Shop of Horrors (Cabrillo Music Theatre), and numerous appearances with NY’s Encores Series and L.A.’s Musical Theatre Guild. Recent concerts: the “American Showstoppers” series with the Fred Barton Orchestra at NY’s Schimmel Center, Bruce Kimmel’s “Kritzerland” cabaret series in LA, and with vintage swing orchestra Dean Mora and his “Modern Rhythmists,” with whom he appeared for the 25th Anniversary of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series. Damon can be heard on various recordings with Dean Mora and His Orchestra and on the recently released “Lyrics and Music by Charles Bloom: In Here.” He appears as Harry McCarthy in the Civil War film Gods and Generals and as the first “Nuu’bari” on the “Star Trek: Voyager” TV series. Training: Juilliard. DamonKirsche.com.
Tracy Lore returns to Music Theatre Wichita where she has been seen as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone, as Betty Blake in The Will Rogers Follies, as Lady Jaqueline in Me and My Girl, as Ethel McCormack in Footloose, and as ambitious Joyce Childers in the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes. She made her New York debut as Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby, and has played Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street (Musical Theatre West) and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (Moonlight Amphitheatre). Other regional highlights include Hairspray (Velma), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), The Full Monty (Vicki), Young Frankenstein (Frau Blücher), All Shook Up (Sandra – Ovation nominee), Crazy for You (Irene), The Producers (Hold Me-Touch Me), Carousel (Mrs. Mullen), Brigadoon (Meg), Happy Days (Mrs. Cunningham), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Mrs. Meers), The Wizard of Oz (The Witch), Into the Woods (The Witch), Company (Joanne), and Chicago (Velma – AriZoni Award). Non-musical productions include Boeing, Boeing, Proposals and Noises Off. Member of The Musical Theatre Guild and Actor’s Equity.
Music Theatre Wichita debut! Tessa has followed this show for many years, with every production being led by the talented Jon Engstrom. First as a 15-year-old in the ensemble, then as Peggy at 18 just before moving out to New York. Now, two years later, she is beyond excited to continue the fun for #3 at beautiful Wichita’s most renowned company! Credits include: Broadway: Annie (Star-to-Be). Off-Broadway: The Anthem (Berenice), Mother Jones and the Children’s Crusade (Sally Owens/ Nancy Wakeman). Having grown up in sunny California, her west coast regional roles include: Next to Normal (Natalie), Grease (Frenchy), Sound of Music (Liesl), Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), West Side Story (Anybodys), Little Women (Beth March), and the Brave Disney movie premiere at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre. She has appeared in TV shows such as “The King of Queens” and has done various studio singing work including “The Santa Clause 3,” “Fred Claus,” and the Disney Princess CD series. Love to mom, Joe, Nick, and hi Uncle Ronny! Huge thanks to Sasha at KMR, and Jon for letting me “go into my dance” again.
Shonn is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita, having previously performed as a member of the company from 1996-1998. Favorite roles with MTW are Charlie Darlymple in Brigadoon (97) and Wayne Frake in State Fair (98). Broadway / Tours: Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys (Chicago); Jack Seward in Dracula – The Musical; 42nd Street (Revival). Off-Broadway: Junior Dolan in On Your Toes; Tom Trainor in No, No, Nanette; Stairway to Paradise, On a Clear Day … (Encores!); Richard Loeb in Thrill Me (York Theatre); The View from Here (cast album). Shonn co-starred as vaudevillian Jack Donahue and received Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel award nominations for best choreography for My Vaudeville Man (York Theatre). Regional: Younger Brother in Ragtime (Paper Mill Playhouse); Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd (Barrington Stage); Dickon in The Secret Garden (5th Avenue Theatre); I Love a Piano (Denver Center); Bobby Child in Crazy for You (WBT). Film: “Confessions of a Shopoholic,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Red Hook.” Shonn is a member of the retro-rock group Under the Streetlamp and has been touring nationally and internationally in support of two live concerts that were filmed for PBS. They will be appearing at the Orpheum Theatre December 5th and music from their first PBS special is available on iTunes. Underthestreetlamp.com BFA: Carnegie Mellon University. For Mom and Dad!
Patty is so very excited to be back! Patty is the owner of Mosley Street Melodrama in Old Town here in Wichita and is currently the Vice-President of WAAL (Wichita Area Action League) Animal Rescue. She has a degree in theatre from WSU, but performed all over the country before settling back in Wichita. You might remember her as evil goddess Calliope in Xanadu, trumpet playing Mazeppa in Gypsy, Betty Blast in Footloose, Maggie in our previous 42nd Street, or from her performances in Damn Yankees and The Full Monty. Right on this very stage! Thanks to Wayne for having her back, to Jon for his expertise, Nancy for her support, and Steve for holding down the MSM Fort. This one’s for Bryan.
Robert is honored to be in his third season at MTWichita, where roles this summer have included Professor in South Pacific, Chino in West Side Story, the Butler in Joseph / Dreamcoat, and FBI Agent Dollar in Catch Me If You Can. Originally from Queens, NY, Robert is a recent graduate of The University of Michigan. UM credits include Dance with Me (Featured Singer), Disney’s workshop of Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Radio Singer), Crazy for You (Bela Zangler), Sunday in the Park with George (Mr./Lee Randolph), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), and Next Fall (Brandon). Robert was the recipient of the 2013 Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award from Actors’ Equity Association, and recently received the Lys Symonette Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition. Thanks to everyone at MTW and my friends/ family at UM and in NY.
Amy is thrilled to join the MTWichita family again, where she has choreographed Camelot, HONK!, and Gypsy (Mary Jane Teall Award) and was in the Resident Company for five summers, including her first experience with 42nd Street, directed by the wonderful Jon Engstrom. Amy is the Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre/ Choreographer for The School of Performing Arts at Wichita State University where she teaches tap, jazz, theatre dance, and recently directed and choreographed Crazy for You. Her work has also been showcased at the New York Jazz Choreography Project (Alvin Ailey Studios, NYC), Traditions in Tap Showcase (NYC), the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (FL), and across northern Italy. Amy has enjoyed a professional performing career in NYC and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. Highlights include playing Phyllis Dale on the First National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street, performing with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Singin’ in the Rain at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Amy is proud to have completed her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University and her BFA in Musical Theater from WSU. She is extremely passionate about the preservation of original Broadway choreography and mentoring students to help them make a living doing what they love.
Jacob has been thrilled to return to Wichita for his third summer, and loved playing Action in West Side Story and Levi (the Country Western brother) in Joseph / Dreamcoat. Originally from Edmond, OK, he just finished his senior year at the University of Oklahoma—Boomer Sooner! OU University: On The Town (Chip), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), … Forum (Protean), Carousel. Lyric Theatre OKC – Xanadu, 42nd Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Broadway Rose (Oregon): The Drowsy Chaperone (George). And of course, 14 fabulous MTWichita productions over the past few years—here’s to one more! Thanks and love to family, friends, and the whole MTWichita team!
Tim is delighted to be a part of this year’s MTWichita season, as well as many previous ones. Audiences may remember Tim in past roles such as Thenardier in Les Misérables, Bedevere in Spamalot, John Hancock in 1776, Billis in South Pacific, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Amos Hart in Chicago, Oscar Shapiro in Curtains, Mr. Feldzeig in The Drowsy Chaperone, Herbie in Gypsy, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler, Roger Strong in Catch Me If You Can, and Abner Dillon in our previous 42nd Street. Tim also performs at several other venues in the Wichita area, including Mosley Street Melodrama and the Crown Uptown Theatre. Tim served as Technical Director for the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program for over twenty years. He now works as an Exhibit Technician for Exploration Place. When not working at Wichita’s fine theatres, Tim has plenty to keep him busy as father to his two daughters, Katie and Francie. An added bonus to this year’s season is the chance to once again perform with his talented wife Karen. Thanks to Wayne and all the folks in Wichita who produce theatre, perform theatre, and enjoy theatre. They make the Wichita area a great place to work, live, and bring up kids in.
Ryan has been thrilled to spend another summer at MTWichita, where this season he has been featured as Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific, Tony in West Side Story, and the Pharaoh in Joseph / Dreamcoat. Previous MTW appearances include Legally Blonde (Warner), HONK! (Greylag), and 9 to 5 (Joe). Other credits include Les Misérables (St. Louis Muny), Next to Normal (Farmers Alley Theatre), Bat Boy, and Spring Awakening. Proud University of Michigan Graduate. Love to my family, friends, and Wayne, all for daring to have so much faith in me.
Katie loved spending a second season at MTWichita! She recently graduated from CCM with a BFA in musical theatre and is a 2013 winner of the Kurt Weill Foundation of Music Emerging Talent Award and the Actors’ Equity Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award. At CCM: Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, Sally Slaton in Parade, The Arbiter’s Assistant in Chess, Les Misérables, Into the Woods, Oklahoma!, and Out of This World. At Tent Theatre, roles included Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. Katie thanks Wayne, Nancy, and MTW for another wonderful summer, and her family for their support. www.katiewesler.com
Becca has been very excited to spend her second summer with MTWichita! She is originally from Carmel, Indiana, and recently graduated with a BFA in Music Dance Theatre from Brigham Young University. Favorite credits: The Light in the Piazza at BYU (Clara), Thoroughly Modern Millie at The MUNY (Lucille/ Ensemble), Dreamgirls at The Muny (Sweetheart/ Ensemble), plus Spamalot (Laker Girl), West Side Story (Velma), South Pacific, Joseph / Dreamcoat, Catch Me If You Can, Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, and Mary Poppins at MTW. Becca would like to thank everyone at MTW for this wonderful experience. Also a big thank you to her family and friends for their endless support!
Steve is proud to return for his 21st summer as the Apprentice Program Director. A Wichita resident for twenty two years, Steve worked for Friends University, the Wichita Center for the Arts, and Shakespeare in the Park. Steve moved to the Kansas City area eight years ago for a teaching position. As an educator, Steve continues to be very excited about working with the apprentices in this unique training program (and MTW is deeply grateful for Steve’s creative dedication to our young people!).
Caitlin is thrilled to be a first-year MTWichita company member after last performing here at age 11! Caitlin just graduated from Edmond North H.S. in Oklahoma and will be a freshman musical theatre major at Penn State University this fall. Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Annie Who); Regional: White Christmas (Susan Waverly) – MTW; Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie, Tarzan, Sound of Music, HSM2, Fiddler, Oklahoma!, Annie – Lyric Theatre; A Little Night Music (Fredrika) – OCU; Annie (Annie) – Sooner Theatre; West Side Story (Maria) – ENHS. Much love and gratitude to Wayne, Nancy and the entire MTW team for this wonderful opportunity, and to my parents and teachers for their support!
Matthew is beyond stoked to be making his MTWichita debut this season! A St. Louis native, he will start his senior year this fall with the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at The University of Oklahoma. Credits: OKC Philharmonic: The Christmas Show (Mistletoe Dancer). Lyric Theatre OKC: Bye Bye Birdie (Harvey Johnson). OU University: The Drowsy Chaperone (Superintendent), Carousel (Dance Captain), On The Town (Ensemble), Seussical (Ensemble). Endless thanks to Wayne and Nancy for this amazing opportunity; so much gratitude and love to the Big Man Upstairs, family, friends and teachers for their constant love and guidance. BOOMER!
Donnie has been incredibly enthused throughout his first summer in MTWichita’s resident company! It has been a high priority goal of his to perform as a Company member and he hopes that everyone can share in his delight! Credits include Wichita State University’s productions of Good News and Guys and Dolls. Other highlights include International Dance Tours with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre to Italy and Mexico. Thanks and love to his parents, Marylou and Don, and to his brother Luke and sister Shauna. Also, great thanks to his mentors, instructors, and colleagues at WSU for pushing him and believing in him, and to Wayne Bryan, Josh Larson, Nancy Reeves and the entire crew of MTW!
Kevin is a junior at Penn State pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Favorite roles there include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and John in John and Jen. Kevin spent last summer performing at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Indiana where he had the pleasure to play Pinocchio in Shrek, Barnaby in Hello, Dolly!, and Jinx in Forever Plaid. So far this summer, he has been seen as McCaffrey in South Pacific, A-rab in West Side Story, Simeon (the French brother) in Joseph / Dreamcoat, and Agent Branton in Catch Me If You Can. He has had a great summer here at MTWichita! Thanks to mom, dad, and Crew 15!
“Q” is beyond thrilled to return to MTWichita, having performed here in The Will Rogers Follies (Freddy), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Chip), and Seussical (JoJo). Though based in California, Wichita has always felt like home! Regional credits include Young Frankenstein (Sasha), 42nd Street (Oscar), White Christmas (Scooter), A Chorus Line, Gypsy (Yonkers), Ragtime (Little Boy –IETLAward), Oliver! (Oliver), The Full Monty (Nathan), On Your Toes (Young Junior). Q looks forward to beginning his journey towards a BFA in Musical Theatre at Belmont University this fall. Heartfelt thanks to Mom, Dad, and Mollie Rae for your unending love, support and encouragement! Much love and gratitude to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this incredibly awesome opportunity! Q thanks God for abundant blessings!
Caleb is thrilled to be returning for his third summer! You may remember him from several MTWichita shows, including West Side Story (Gee-Tar), South Pacific (Quale), Joseph / Dreamcoat (Napthali / Dance Captain), Fiddler on the Roof (Russian), Honk! (Barnacles), Spamalot (Flying Nun), and Mary Poppins (Dancing Statue). Originally from Ohio, he is a recent dance performance graduate from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he has performed in the American Spirit Dance Company’s Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show, as well as Legally Blonde (Kiki) and The Wedding Singer (Billy Idol). He would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and his family.
Rebecca is overjoyed to join the MTWichita family again for her second season, and especially loved playing Anybodys in West Side Story. Rebecca is a Wichita native who recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. Other favorite performing opportunities include A Chorus Line (Bebe) at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theater and The King and I (Topsy) at MTW and The MUNY. She would love to thank Wayne Bryan for this amazing opportunity, all the directors and choreographers for such hard work and dedication, her parents, sisters and Rile for their endless love and support, and to God for such a blessing of a life.
Claire, a Wichita native, couldn’t be happier to spend another summer with MTWichita, where credits include Disney’s Mary Poppins (Mrs. Banks), Betty Blue Eyes (Mrs. Metcalf), South Pacific (Nellie u.s.), and Joseph / Dreamcoat (Mourning Wife / Narrator u.s.). She is a recent musical theatre graduate of Wichita State University where she was last seen in the title role of Violet, directed by Stephen Kopel. While a student at Maize High School, Claire was selected to represent the Jester Awards in the Leading Actress category at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City and was awarded “The Spirit of the Jimmys” award. Endless thanks to Wayne and the incredible MTW family for all they have done for her. Love to Linda, Amy, Marie, Bret, Pina, Mom & Dad.
Megan is ecstatic to make her MTWichita debut by shuffling into 42nd Street! After spending the first portion of her summer at Western Playhouse as Mother in the Second Body in Mother Divine and Mrs. Maud Dunlop in The Music Man, she is honored to be welcomed into the company. Megan is a recent graduate of Wichita State University and has plans of heading off to New York City this fall. Favorite credits include Church Basement Ladies 2 (Karin), State Fair (Emily Arden), Far Away (Joan), and Crazy for You. She would love to thank Wayne and Nancy for this lovely opportunity and Amy for her guidance the past four years. Love to Mom, Dad, Spencer, Caleb and Joelle!
Michael is thrilled to be spending his first summer with MTWichita, and enjoyed playing Stewpot in South Pacific, Bernardo in West Side Story, Reuben in Joseph / Dreamcoat, and FBI Agent Cod in Catch Me If You Can. He has recently been seen traveling America with the First National Tour of Catch Me If You Can. Regional Credits: Forestburgh Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Reagle Music Theatre. Favorite roles: Bernardo (West Side Story), Rocky (Rocky Horror Show), Kyle (Legally Blonde). A recent Vassar College grad with a BA in Drama. Love to his amazing teachers, family, and friends.
Hayley could not be more excited to be taking the MTWichita stage for the first time! She is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University in the Musical Theater program. Her favorite OCU credits were Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and Doralee in 9 to 5. Hayley plans to move to NYC at the end of the summer to pursue a career in Musical Theater. Thanks to Wayne, Nancy and Josh for this incredible opportunity. It’s a dream. All glory to God! Jer. 29:11.
Catherine is so excited to join Music Theatre Wichita for a third summer season. A recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati and its College Conservatory of Music’s Musical Theatre Program, Catherine would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this incredible opportunity to be a part of the MTW family, and her parents and family for their endless love and support. Favorite MTW credits include Catch Me If You Can (Cheryl Ann), West Side Story (“Somewhere” soloist), Betty Blue Eyes, Les Misérables, Honk!, Mary Poppins (Katie Nana), and Fiddler on the Roof.
Wonza is a current BFA Musical Theater junior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This is his first summer with MTWichita and he couldn’t be more excited to be working with such an amazing organization. All thanks go to his beautiful Mom, Dad and his newborn sister Evelyn. Past Roles: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), West Side Story (Bernardo). At MTW: Henry in South Pacific, Pepe / Dance Captain in West Side Story, Isaachar in Joseph / Dreamcoat. “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”
Lily couldn’t be more excited to be in her debut season at MTWichita! Lily just completed her freshman year at Florida State University where she is pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre. As a native Kansan, Lily has worked in theaters in Kansas City such as KC Starlight, New Theatre Restaurant, Theatre in the Park, Music Theatre for Young People, and more. Favorite credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van DeGraff), Seussical (Mayzie), Bye Bye Birdie (Rosie), Spamalot (u.s. Lady of the Lake/ Laker Girl), My Favorite Year (Alice), and Urinetown (Little Becky Two Shoes). Endless love goes out to her unbelievably supportive family, friends, mentors and MTW for this wonderful opportunity!
Brooke, a 2014 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Musical Theatre, is truly grateful have had a third magical MTWichita summer before bidding farewell to the Midwest and moving to NYC this fall! Some of her fondest MTW memories include Joseph / Dreamcoat (Mrs. Potiphar), Spamalot (Laker Girl), West Side Story (Allison), Les Misérables (Factory Girl #5), and Mary Poppins (Fannie). Favorite OU credits include: Carousel (Julie Jordan), On The Town (Dance Capt./ Ens.), and Seussical (Bird Girl). Tremendous amounts of love and thanks to her wonderful family for their support, and to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for providing such an inspirational, challenging, and supportive learning environment that has largely contributed to the performer and person she is today!
Stevie will attend Pace University (NYC) as a Commercial Dance major in the Honors Program this fall. This is Stevie’s 4th show at MTWichita and she is thrilled to be back as an MTWichita Summer Intern. Stevie has been accepted into the Rockette Invitational for the 3rd year and awarded a Scholarship. As Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen 2012, Stevie was featured as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Rising Performing Artist. The recipient of two 2014 Jester Awards, Stevie would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, Josh, Miss Diane and the Koch Foundation for these awesome opportunities to grow and to be around incredible talent. www.stevieannmack.com
Trevor, a Wichita native, is beyond excited to be returning for his fourth summer and first full summer as a company member here at MTWichita! In summer 2013, he was honored to represent MTWichita’s Jester Awards in New York City at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards for his role as Finch in How to Succeed. Favorite credits include Betty Blue Eyes (U.S. Premiere), Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Joseph / Dreamcoat, in which he played the Butler and understudied the Brothers (going on as Asher, with two hours’ notice). He sends many humble thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, Thomas, Amy, Doris, and his family for their abundance of support.
Macy, 14, is a freshman vocal music major at Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City. Credits: The Christmas Show (Oklahoma City Philharmonic), Cats (Mistoffolees), Little Mermaid (Ariel), Aladdin Jr. (Genie, Iago), Honk Jr. (Cat, Frog), and Camp Rock (Peggy Dupree). She’s a 4-time National Tap Dance Champion and was named “Oklahoma’s Outstanding Junior and Teen Dancer.” Macy gives a big thank you to the Koch Foundation, Wayne Bryan, Joshua Larson, and everyone at MTWichita for this incredible opportunity.
Alex is honored to return to MTWichita for a second season. Alex is a rising junior at the Univ. of Michigan. Credits include MTW: West Side Story (Diesel), Mary Poppins (Bert u/s), Joseph / Dreamcoat (Dan), Les Misérables (Jean Prouvaire), Betty Blues Eyes, South Pacific. U of M: Rent (Angel), Les Misérables (Foreman), Crazy For You, A Little Night Music. Lyric Theatre of OK: Oliver!, Hairspray. Alex wishes to graciously thank Wayne, Nancy and MTW family for this spectacular summer opportunity. Love always to Mom, Dad and Elle. Thank you to the UMich faculty for your time and dedication to our education in performing arts. GO BLUE!
Carolyn is so happy to be returning to MTWichita for her second summer! She is an incoming senior at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Her favorite regional credits include MTWichita: Les Misérables (Eponine), Catch Me If You Can (Brenda Strong), and the American Premiere of Betty Blue Eyes (Veronica Allardyce); Wagon Wheel Theatre: Legally Blonde the Musical (Kate), Catch Me If You Can (Brenda), and Peter Pan (Lost Boy, Twin 2). Chicago College of Performing Arts: Amadeus (Constanze Mozart). Carolyn is so glad to be back and working with her MTW family again! She wishes a wonderful show to all her fellow castmates and a big thank you to her loving, and supporting family and friends! I love you, Anthony!
Kelsey is from Stuart, FL and is so excited to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department where she has played Fredrika in A Little Night Music and Susie in Crazy For You. Other favorite roles include Eponine in Les Misérables and Ti Moune in Once On This Island. Many thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity and to her family for their unending support. She sends love to MT14 and forever Go Blue!
Tanner is so excited and honored to be making his Wichita debut this summer. A Nebraska native, Tanner is currently studying at Oklahoma City University as a dance performance major. While at school, he has performed in the American Spirit Dance Company’s annual Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show. Credits include Broadway: Billy Elliot (Billy); West End: Billy Elliot (Billy); Regional: Grease (Johnny Casino/ Teen Angel), Seussical (Wickersham Brother), West Side Story (Snowboy), and Beauty and the Beast (Chip). Much love and many thanks to his family, teachers, and mentors for their constant support.
Emily, a Wichita native, is elated to have made her MTWichita debut this season, performing West Side Story and Joseph/ Dreamcoat, and playing keyboards for Catch Me If You Can! She recently graduated from Wichita State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Accompanying. Favorite WSU and local credits: Ilona (She Loves Me, dir. Wayne Bryan), Patsy (Crazy For You), Sr. Amnesia (Nunsense), Brenda (Hairspray), Woman 2 (Edges), and Sadie (I Love A Piano) at Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre. She recently music directed and played piano for Violet at WSU (dir. Stephen Kopel). Emily is beyond grateful to Wayne and the MTW staff for this incredible opportunity. Much love to all her teachers and family for their constant support.
Julian is a recent graduate from Indiana University in Musical Theatre and couldn’t be more excited to have joined the MTWichita family this summer. He was delighted to be featured as Judah (the Calypso brother) in Joseph / Dreamcoat. For Rocky Mountain Rep: A Chorus Line (Richie), How To Succeed (Toynbee/ Pirate Dancer), and Peter Pan. In 2012 he attended the School at Jacob’s Pillow for Jazz/ MT Dance under Chet Walker. Favorites at IU include: [title of show] (Jeff), Hair, Damn Yankees, Chicago, and touring China with the Singing Hoosiers. So much love and thanks to Mom, Pops, Mis Abuelos (Te quiero mucho), Wayne, Nancy, and my crazy B-Town Family!!
Nicholas is so excited to be returning to MTWichita for his third summer. You may remember him as Young Don in Singin’ in the Rain. Some of his favorite roles include Drowsy Chaperone (Robert) and Little Women (Prof. Bhear). Beginning this fall he will be a freshman at Oklahoma City University pursuing a BFA in Acting. He would like to thank Mr. Carter, Monica, Wayne and the whole MTW team, as well as the Koch Foundation for sponsoring this opportunity.
Luke has enjoyed his MTWichita debut season, including West Side Story (Big Deal), Joseph / Dreamcoat (Asher), and Catch Me If You Can. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Luke is currently pursuing his BFA in musical theatre at The University of Michigan. Recent U of M Credits: Crazy for You, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Disney Theatricals Workshop), Romeo and Juliet and In the Next Room. Luke has also performed with the Pittsburgh CLO in Singin’ in the Rain, The Music Man, Grease, and Oklahoma!, and at Theatre Aspen as Schroeder in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! Luke is also a National YoungArts Foundation winner in spoken and musical theatre. Many thanks to family, friends, and MTW for this wonderful opportunity.
Andy is currently a student at OU’s School of Musical Theatre (2015). His most recent OU credit was Carousel. Regional credits include Tarzan at the St. Louis MUNY, and Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, Mary Poppins, and Catch Me If You Can, all here at MTWichita. He is thrilled to be returning to MTW and was delighted to perform with his brother Daryl in Catch Me If You Can and in MTWichita’s StarNight.
Halli is excited to have made her MTWichita debut with all five shows this summer! She is a rising sophomore Musical Theatre major at the University of Michigan, and is originally from Toledo, Ohio. Some of her favorite roles include Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde, Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, and Graziella in West Side Story. She would like to thank her instructors Brent Wagner, Linda Goodrich, and Catherine Adams, as well as her family and friends back home and at UM for their love and encouragement. Lastly, special thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity. Go Blue!
Hayley is thrilled to return to MTWichita for her second summer! Hayley is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in dance management. OCU credits include the American Spirit Dance Company’s Home for the Holidays, Spring Show, and OCU’s production of Legally Blonde. Favorite shows here at MTW include West Side Story, Catch Me If You Can, Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, and Mary Poppins. Hayley would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this amazing opportunity and would also like to thank her husband Zachary, Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Grandmommy for their support!
Daisy is absolutely thrilled to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! Originally from St. George, UT, Daisy is an upcoming junior Musical Theatre major at the University of Oklahoma. Her credits include: OU University Theatre: On The Town (Ivy u.s./ Ensemble); The Drowsy Chaperone (Mrs. Tottendale u.s./ Ensemble). OKC Philharmonic: The Christmas Show (Dancer). Infinite love and thanks to everyone at MTW for this incredible opportunity, and to mom, dad, family, friends, and teachers past and present, for their continued love and support.
Kathy is a native of Wichita. According to Kathy, “My career as a building principal prepared me for the show’s tap dancing. Thank you to my husband, John, and son, Nathan, for supporting me in my debut and retirement from the stage.”
This is the third time that Jon has been invited to direct and choreograph 42nd Street for MTWichita, and he could not be happier! He always knows that Wayne Bryan will give him a fabulous cast and crew to work with, and this time is especially exciting for him because he is doing the show with a brand new set designed by Bruce Brockman and new costumes designed by Deborah Roberts. Jon was a dancer and Dance Captain of the original production of the show on Broadway, and it is a joy for him to be able to continue and pass along the work and legacy of the show’s original director and choreographer, Gower Champion. Since then Jon has worked throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Productions that Jon has directed and choreographed for major venues along with 42nd Street include Anything Goes; The King and I; White Christmas; Annie Get Your Gun; Damn Yankees; West Side Story; Singin’ in the Rain; Hello, Dolly!; Evita; Mame; No, No, Nanette; Can-Can; My Fair Lady; Fiddler on the Roof; The Will Rogers Follies; Oklahoma!; Oliver!; Into the Woods; My One and Only; Sweet Charity; Guys and Dolls; Meet Me in St. Louis; Brigadoon; and Stepping Out. Prior to directing, choreographing, Jon danced with San Francisco Ballet and the Eliot Feld Ballet Company and then went on to be a featured dancer in five Broadway Musicals: No, No, Nanette, The Pajama Game, Very Good Eddie, Whoopee!, & finally 42nd Street. Jon has been fortunate to have his performing dreams come true!
Director/ Choreographer credits include Off-Broadway: Gimme a Break and Concert of Excellence (Lincoln Center); Regional: A Chorus Line, Bye Bye Birdie, Godspell, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, White Christmas; Opera: Carmen; Commercials: “Scope” with Ryan Seacrest. Performance credits include Broadway / Tours: Evita, 42nd St, West Side Story (Chino); Workshops: Thoroughly Modern Millie; Regional: A Chorus Line (Paul, Mark, Larry, with Bebe Neuwirth), Mame (Ito u/s with JoAnne Worley), No, No, Nanette (with Susan Egan); Concerts / Revues: “Gypsy Awards” (with Donna McKechnie), “Broadway Bares” (with Jane Krakowski), “Revelations” (with Jasmine Guy), “Love is all that Matters” (with Christina Applegate). Film: “Cool as Ice.” TV: “Backstreet Boys in Concert,” “Dr Phil,” “Regis and Kelly” Music Videos: Björk, Ice-T, Foo Fighters. Special thanks to Jon and Wayne for bringing him out to Wichita, and to Dion for the love and support.
Thomas is thrilled to continue his 15th season with his wonderful artistic family at MTWichita, having led 54 productions with this remarkable company. Thomas has done more than 200 musical theatre, opera, orchestral and oratorio productions, including conducting Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Switzerland. Highlights include Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Bizet’s Carmen Jones, Master Class and Mondo Mangia with the late Jillene Ringle. As the Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, he is receiving acclaim for adventurous, innovative debuts and premiere programs, including Carmina Burana Africana, Messiah in Space, and a concert of standard choral masterpieces with a fusion rock band and string orchestra accompaniment, plus a presentation of Charlie Chaplin shorts with an all Bach soundtrack. On stage he has enjoyed the roles of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Amonasro in Aida, and Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’, both in the U.S. and in Malaysia. Thomas is the Director of Choral Activities and on faculty of both the Drama and the Music schools at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is the proud recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award, and is the Musical Director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, there having commissioned an original orchestration of Maury Yeston’s December Songs with Broadway leading lady, Sara Jean Ford. Thomas most recently conducted an exciting contemporary production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Neighborhood Opera Company in Pittsburgh where he is the Producing Artistic Director.
Bruce Brockman works as a professional freelance scene designer and scenic artist. In addition to MTWichita’s popular Les Misérables, other design credits include Finian’s Rainbow, Oklahoma!,Camelot and White Christmas for Music Theatre Wichita, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, The Pajama Game and Into the Woods for University of Michigan’s Music Theatre Program, and Putnam County Spelling Bee for the University of Arizona. Other credits include Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Montana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Idaho Repertory Theatre, KUID Public Television, and numerous productions for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Idaho, and Oklahoma State University. He is Director of the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Arizona, and is delighted to be back at Music Theatre again!
Debbie has designed costumes for many shows here, including White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical, State Fair, Funny Girl, The Most Happy Fella, On the Town and West Side Story, plus special costumes for Aida, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha, Crazy for You, The Sound of Music, My One and Only, and various Festival of Broadway shows. A graduate of Friends University, Debbie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Ballet. “I am so proud of the work that Music Theatre Wichita does, it is always a pleasure to work here each season. While California remains my home, for over 20 years Wichita has been my summer home. I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
Megan is extremely grateful to be spending her fifth season working with what she loves, hats. Her interest as a crafts artisan all started with MTWichita, and 42nd Street embodies her growth and passion. She is a recent graduate from Sterling College with a B.A. in Theatre and Art with an emphasis in Illustration. Credits include, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Disney’s and Cameron McIntosh’s Mary Poppins and Singing in the Rain (MTWichita). Many many thanks to Debbie, Jeff, and her parents.
David is thrilled to return for his 27th season of “Camp MTW.” In addition to many productions at MTWichita, David has designed lighting for North Shore Music Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Omaha Symphony, The United States Air Force, Stage One, Ordway Music Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, The University of Michigan, Penn State University, Portland Center Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Musical Theatre West, Arkansas Rep, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, George Street Playhouse, The 5th Avenue Theatre and Off-Broadway. David’s favorite designs at MTWichita include Big River, Cats, Ragtime, Once on this Island, Children of Eden and Jesus Christ Superstar. David also teaches lighting and scenic design at Wichita State University. He makes his home in Wichita with his wife Robin and his kids, Ryan and Jocelyn.
David concludes his ninth season as MTWichita’s sound designer, having also served as the sound assistant previously for a season. During MTWichita’s off season, David is the audio producer for WSU’s College of Fine Arts where he oversees audio recording and live sound for fine arts and other performances. He also serves as sound designer for WSU’s Opera and Musical Theatre programs and is the sound advisor to student musical theatre & opera sound designers and engineers. Some of his favorite sound designs have been Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Les Misérables and Wizard of Oz. David has twice been sound designer for invited productions to the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. David has also done sound design for Wichita Center for the Arts and Cabaret Oldtown. Special thanks to Dave, Jeff and the rest of the crew of Clearwing Productions in Phoenix and Josh with Event Systems for their continued support of MTWichita.
Alena is happily returning for her fifth year at MTWichita. She lives in Wichita and spends most of the year working at Shine Salon. For her work with MTW, Alena is the recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Merit Award for the hair and makeup department. She has spent fifteen years doing hair, and has spent four years as an Aveda color educator. She has worked on Pirates of Penzance and Guys and Dolls for WSU, and worked for the last two years on shows for Wichita Grand Opera, including Otello, Marriage of Figaro, Don Pasquale and William Tell. Alena is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people at MTWichita.
Maria is an Arizona native who has recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in theatre production, technology, and design, with emphasis in Scenic Design. She has currently worked as an assistant scenic designer for the Arizona Repertory Theatre’s production of The Man Who Came to Dinner and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maria was also the assistant scenic charge artist for ART’s Oklahoma and prop master for their production of Cymbeline. This is Maria’s second season with Music Theatre Wichita and would like to thank Jeff Taylor and Wayne Bryan for the opportunity.
Joseph is excited to be spending his summer at MTWichita. Originally from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Joseph graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in Theatre with triple focus in Design, Performance and Directing. He has also worked with Maine State Music Theatre, IATSE local 114 (Portland, Maine) Riverside Theatre and Theatre West Virginia. Much love to Kristin, Andrew and his ever loving mother, RIP.
Jeff is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 13th summer at MTWichita. Throughout the years since 2000, he’s had the chance to apprentice, build, design, and even act for MTWichita, and has now become the year round Production Manager, working closely with the awesome MTW staff. A loyal Kansan, Jeff graduated from East High and earned his BA in Musical Theatre from Friends University in 2006. In 2011, he earned an MFA in Design and Technology from UMKC. Many thanks to the MTWichita Crew, Wayne and Nancy, and his fiancée Sarah.
Mitchell is very excited to be spending his first summer with Music Theatre Wichita. He is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma (OU), graduating with a BFA in Drama with an emphasis in Scenic Technology. While an undergraduate, Mitch was recognized by both the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for his work as a technical director. Additionally, he was fortunate to lead OU’s USITT chapter as President for two consecutive years (2013-2014). Mitch’s previous credits include two summers at The Santa Fe Opera Company as stage crew apprentice and supervisor (2012 & 2013); technical director of OU’s The Drowsy Chaperone; and assistant stage manager for OU’s Carousel (2013).
AJ is glad to be back for another season at MTWichita. Since last summer, AJ has worked for Goodspeed Musicals, The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, The Public Theater and the Actor’s Studio Drama School. AJ would like to thank everyone at Music Theatre for the opportunities and support they have given him throughout the past 9 years. A special thanks goes out to AJ’s parents and his sister Laura.
Brian just completed his first year in the MFA Scenic Technology program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Dubuque, IA, Brian has worked professionally at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Evansville in Indiana with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology and a minor in Mathematics.
Madelynn is a recent graduate of Wichita State University where she received a BFA in theatre design and technology. Her previous credits include Lighting Designer for 1940’s Radio Christmas Hour (Prairie Pines Dinner Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Wichita State University), and Production Stage Manager for Laughing Feet Performers. Madelynn is thrilled to be a part of her 8th season at MTWichita. She is so thankful for their summer apprentice program. If it was not for that program, she would not be where she is today. She would like to thank all of the wonderful mentors in her life as well as her family who have always supported her.
Steve is proud to return for his 21st summer as the Apprentice Program Director. A Wichita resident for twenty two years, Steve worked for Friends University, the Wichita Center for the Arts, and Shakespeare in the Park. Steve moved to the Kansas City area eight years ago for a teaching position. As an educator, Steve continues to be very excited about working with the apprentices in this unique training program (and MTW is deeply grateful for Steve’s creative dedication to our young people!).
WOW! 39 seasons! Being one of the oldest members of the production staff, this year will mark summer productions numbering 192 to 196. In the off season, I still keep my hand in stage managing for Ballet Wichita Orchestra (18 years) and Opera Kansas (23 years) while keeping our ever growing rental business running. I seem to get around a lot but only inside Century II. My life remains happily engaged in larger and more complex tasks working for my favorite employer. My thanks to WB… I offer my deepest love and respect to all who work in this fabulous building and for our organization. No one can do it alone. Happy 65th Anniversary to Joe and Dorothy!
Emily is back for her 15th summer with MTWichita. Previous productions here include Les Misérables (twice!), Mary Poppins, The King and I, Legally Blonde, Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Sunset Boulevard, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Gypsy, Crazy for You, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Big River, …Forum, Seven Brides…, Sweet Charity, Phantom!, Seussical, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Chicago, Good News!, and ShowBoat. Throughout the year, she is the Production Stage Manager at Merrimack Repertory Theatre outside of Boston and also teaches stage management at Tufts University. She has stage managed for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, North Shore Music Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Capital Repertory Theater, Musical Theatre Guild, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Broadway Texas, Theatre Emory, and The Shadowland Theatre. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Tiffany is originally from Oklahoma. She spends the other 9 months of the year in the Twin Cities where she works as the production stage manager for Theater Latte Da. While in the twin cities, she has also worked with companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Director’s, and the Guthrie. Prior to her move to the Twin Cities she worked on more than a dozen productions as part of the stage management team at the Phoenix Theatre, where she became a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.
Jesse is amazed to find himself in his 11th consecutive season with MTWichita! He conducted the Festival of Broadway orchestra for five years, and enjoyed music directing High School Musical 2 in 2009. Last year he made his debut with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony as piano soloist, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with Maestro Douglas. Throughout the year, Jesse can be found at the new Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, conducting and musical directing. “My deepest gratitude to Wayne and Thomas for these special months of rich musical fulfillment at MTWichita, and to my incredible family for their laughter and love.”
Joshua has choreographed for Wichita State University, Friends University, and at various high schools, studios, organizations, and theatres in and around the Wichita area, with his choreography earning him four Jester Awards. His choreographic and directing talents have been used at MTWichita as the staging director for the Teen Choir (2006-present); director/ choreographer of Festival of Broadway (2008-2010, 2014) and Curtain Up! (2013-present); and choreographer/ adjudicator for the dance portion of MTWichita’s national audition tour (2013-present). Joshua received his undergraduate degree in dance performance from Oklahoma City University and his Master of Liberal Arts (with a Theatre Concentration) from Baker University. He has traveled the country evaluating national dance competitions including Starbound and The Elite Dance Cup. Performing credits include shows at Carnegie Hall, on the Holland America Line, and with the following groups: MTWichita, Stiletto Entertainment, Tuacahn, Silver Tree Productions, Oklahoma City University, Windwood Theatricals, and The American Spirit Dance Company.
Linda continues her relationship with MTWichita, having performed in My Fair Lady, Oliver!, Cabaret, and The Sound of Music, and having conducted the Teen Choir and assisted with MTWichita’s apprentice program. Currently serving as the Director of the School of Performing Arts at Wichita State University, Linda has also served as Associate Director of the Opera and Music Theatre program there, and taught voice for more than 30 years. She has directed for Opera Kansas, WSU Opera Theatre, WSU Theatre, Wichita Community Theatre, Wichita Children’s Theatre, and the Center for the Arts. In 2005, her production of Pippin was chosen to be an alternate for the American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
I’m thrilled for my sixth season at MTW. I would like to thank Wayne and all the super talented people at MTW for including me in the magic! During the year I work at a Goddard school, and lead Deaf Ministry at Central Community Church for the past 7 years; where I interpret services, concerts, conferences, classes, and support groups. I’m involved with Wichita Deaf Ministry Outreach and Deaf Teen Quest. I’ve been signing for 10 years and am focused on musical performance interpreting, having trained in Nashville, TN under Gate Communications. My goal is to create a performance that’s as impacting for the Deaf as it is for the hearing. Thanks to my girls Kara and Stephanie, and my husband for their support. Most importantly God, for the blessings He’s given me and the opportunity to work in such an amazing place. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Nancy joined MTWichita in 1988 as a bookkeeper and soon took on other responsibilities. She first took over the position of Company Manager and more recently added Producing Associate to her job description. As Company Manager Nancy’s duties include coordinating auditions, handling thousands of submissions each season. Other duties include handling the travel and housing accommodation arrangements for guest artists, and maintaining active communications with all department and department heads throughout the season. As Producing Associate Nancy attends auditions and participates in casting decisions, works with agents and participates in contract negotiations. Her long tenure at MTWichita and close personal connections to people throughout Wichita allow her to be an outstanding resource for MTWichita and for artists working in Wichita during the summer season. She can quickly connect a need to a resource, whether that is a qualified rehearsal pianist, an appropriate caterer for a donor appreciation event or a convenient hotel room for a guest artist.
Wayne concludes his 27th season at Music Theatre Wichita, where he has now produced 135 Broadway-scale musicals, including dozens for which he also served as director or performer. Raised in southern California, Wayne began his professional career as both actor and director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, while stationed as a Navy officer in Coronado. Wayne’s performing credits include Good News!, Rodgers and Hart, and Tintypes on Broadway, the First National Tour of Joseph / Dreamcoat, and TV appearances on such shows as “M*A*S*H” (CBS), “American History” (PBS), and “Keystone” (A&E). His directing credits include award-winning productions on both coasts, including Festival at New York City Center. Wayne is co-author with Mark Madama of a revised version of the collegiate musical Good News!, whose 1993 Wichita premiere has been followed by over 300 subsequent productions around the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, plus an internationally acclaimed cast album. Wayne was a 2002 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award as an Individual Artist, and received the NCCJ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, recognizing individuals who fight discrimination and encourage diversity. Thanks to all our supporters and patrons; to the performers, artistic teams, and crew members; to the musicians; to the box office staff; to the Guild and the Board of the Directors; and to the wonderful year-round staff, all of whom make this job so joyful and fulfilling.
42nd Street, the quintessential fairy tale of Broadway, also represents some of the most remarkable beginnings and endings in American musical history.
The movies learned to talk – and sing – when Warner Bros. presented Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer in 1927, and for the next few years all the studios cranked out movie musicals – sometimes as many a six a month! These films generally had inane plots, and were filmed as if a stationary camera were welded to a theatre seat. The static nature of these clinkers so numbed the public that by 1932 theater owners were advertising “Not a Musical!,” in an effort to attract customers.
But visionary film producer Darryl F. Zanuck, new to Warners, optioned a gritty backstage story by Bradford Ropes, assigned it to screenwriters Rian James and James Seymour, and to director Lloyd Bacon. Composer Harry Warren (1893 – 1981) and his lyricist Al Dubin (1891 – 1945) had just signed with the studio, so they were also attached to the project. Starring was Broadway’s young Ruby Keeler in her Hollywood debut, along with Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. And in charge of the musical numbers was a “wild card” named Busby Berkeley.
Born to theatrical parents in Los Angeles in 1885 as William Berkeley Enos, he grew up in traveling troupes until he was enrolled in a military academy. During those five years as a cadet, he began creating the elaborate drill formations that would eventually provide the foundation of his kaleidoscopic style. By the end of the Roaring Twenties, he had established himself as one of Broadway’s leading “dance directors,” and Hollywood beckoned.
In 42nd Street, and the series of Depression-era musicals that followed, Berkeley brought an astonishing imagination to the screen, along with innovatively fluid camerawork, plus a realistic and often dark sensibility. With the successful arrival of 42nd Street (hawked as “A New Deal in Entertainment,” to tie in with Roosevelt’s “New Deal” presidential campaign), the art of the movie musical was born.
Almost half a century later, 42nd Street again made entertainment history, this time for Broadway. Producer David Merrick had previously collaborated with director-choreographer Gower Champion on such shows as Hello, Dolly! and Carnival, and Merrick envisioned this “fable of Broadway” as the pinnacle to their careers. No one could have predicted how dramatic the journey would be to opening night.
After a tryout at the Kennedy Center in Washington, during which the show underwent constant changes, the production moved into the Winter Garden on Broadway. For weeks, Merrick kept postponing the date for the official opening, insisting that a messenger from God would tell him when it was ready, and barring audiences from the theatre.
Jon Engstom, director of MTWichita’s past and current productions of 42nd Street, was in that original company, and shared with us how cast members would bring teddy bears from home and put them in the theatre seats, so that they would have an “audience” to play to.
At last, the official opening came, and the performance received a tumultuous ovation. As first nighters were cheering wildly, Merrick stepped out onstage and silenced them. “This is a tragic moment,” he said, and many laughed, thinking he was jolking. “Gower Champion died this afternoon,” he continued, and the audience broke into silence, then sobbing. The cast, who had been uninformed until that moment, were stunned, with Jerry Orbach finally calling for the curtain to come in.
Of course, it was front page news all over the country the next day, and Gower Champion’s final glowing achievement had been launched on a run that would exceed eight years, the longest running musical of the 1980s, with successful national tours and London edition, too. It was successfully revived on Broadway in 2001 (featuring several MTWichita alumni) and ran another 1524 performances.
This marvelous testimonial to the power of musical theatre, to the value of traditions, to the spark of innovation, and to the celebration of bright young talent, seems a perfect conclusion to our 2014 season.
The songs in 42nd Street come from the following Warner Bros. films, all with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin (unless otherwise noted):
Musical Synopsis of Scenes
The action takes place in New York City and Philadelphia
42nd Street Theatre, New York City
|Audition||Andy Lee and Ensemble|
|Young and Healthy||Billy Lawlor, Peggy Sawyer|
|Shadow Waltz||Maggie Jones, Dorothy Brock and Girls|
|Shadow Waltz (reprise)||Dorothy|
Gypsy Tea Kettle
|Go Into Your Dance||Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Andy, Lorraine, Phyllis|
|You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me||Dorothy, Billy, Peggy, Ensemble|
Dorothy Brock’s Dressing Room
|Getting Out of Town||Entire Company|
Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia
|Dames||Billy and Ensemble|
Regency Club and Dorothy Brock’s Suite at Hotel Stratford
|I Know Now||Dorothy|
Opening Night, Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia
|I Know Now (reprise)||Billy and Girls|
|We’re in the Money||Billy, Annie, Peggy, Lorraine, Phyllis and Ensemble|
|Act One Finale||Dorothy, Peggy and Ensemble|
Backstage, Arch Street Theatre, One Hour Later
|Sunny Side to Every Situation||Annie and Ensemble|
On Stage, Arch Street Theatre
Broad Street Station, Philadelphia
|Lullaby of Broadway||Julian and Full Company|
42nd Street Theatre, New York City
Peggy’s Dressing Room
|About A Quarter To Nine||Dorothy and Peggy|
Opening Night of “Pretty Lady,” 42nd Street Theatre, New York City
|Shuffle Off to Buffalo||Annie, Bert, Maggie, Girls|
|42nd Street||Peggy, Billy and Ensemble|
|42nd Street (reprise)||Julian|