June 15-19, 2016
Music and Lyrics: George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book: Joe DiPietro
Inspired by material by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse (the musical “Oh, Kay!”)
Songs include “S’Wonderful,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Lady Be Good,” “Do-Do-Do,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” and many more.
CLYDE ALVES is delighted to make his debut at Music Theatre Wichita. Broadway shows include On the Town as Ozzie (Astaire Award nomination), Bullets Over Broadway, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, Wicked, Hairspray, Oklahoma!, and The Music Man as Tommy Djilas (Astaire Award Winner). He reprised his performance as Tommy Djilas in ABC’s The Music Man with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. National/ International Tours: A Chorus Line (Mike). He has performed Off Broadway in Altar Boyz (Juan) and New York City Center Encores in Follies, Anyone Can Whistle, and Bells Are Ringing. Regional Theatre: Oklahoma! (Will Parker) at The MUNY, Kiss Me, Kate (Bill Calhoun) at Shakespeare Theatre Company, where he was a Helen Hayes Award Winner. He was most recently seen reprising his performance in On the Town with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. Clyde is also a passionate singer-songwriter and guitarist who is heard playing his original music throughout NYC where he so happily resides with his wife and son!
ANNE HORAK is thrilled to be back “home” in Wichita! Broadway: Chicago (Roxie), White Christmas. National Tour: Young Frankenstein (Inga). NY: Music in the Air (City Center Encores!). Regional: Gretchen in Boeing-Boeing, Bambi Bernít in Curtains (both at Paper Mill Playhouse), Carol Heathrow in Diner (Delaware Theatre Company), April in Company (Bucks County Playhouse), May Milton in My Paris (Long Wharf Theatre), Shelby in Steel Magnolias (North Carolina Theatre), Polly Baker in Crazy for You (Sacramento Music Circus), Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Natalie in All Shook Up (both at Music Theatre Wichita), Hope in Anything Goes (Taipei National Theatre). Television: “Forever,” “Royal Pains,” “A Gifted Man,” “Eye Candy,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” BFA, University of Michigan. Love and thanks to Wayne, Madams, and Nancy!
JAMES BEAMAN won the Independent Reviewers of New England’s IRNE Award for his performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It at Ogunquit Playhouse, and is delighted to bring his Cookie to MTWichita! Recent credits: the acclaimed A Wilder Christmas Off-Broadway; Thenardier in Les Miserables at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre (Broadway World Award); and John Adams in 1776 at Cape Playhouse. James starred as Sir Robin in the first national tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot and has originated roles in two new musicals: Frog Kiss and The Road To Qatar! (Off-Broadway, Original Cast Album). Many thanks to Larry Raben, Peggy Hickey, Wayne Bryan and everyone at Avalon Artists. Visit James at: www.jamesbeaman.com.
KAREN L. ROBU is a regular with Music Theatre Wichita, where she has had the privilege of performing in 18 of the past 22 seasons. She has been seen as Rose in Gypsy, Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, Roz in 9 to 5, Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up, Ms. Darbus in High School Musical, Martha Watson in White Christmas, the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, Emma Goldman in Ragtime, Maureen / Lowbutt in HONK! (2001 and 2012 productions as well as the American recording), Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun, and Mayzie in Seussical. Karen’s credits as a director include Children of Eden, Cotton Patch Gospel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Violet, as well as her own original piece No Cross, No Crown, about suffragist Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Karen has also performed for most of the professional theaters in the Wichita area and taught classes for BCAPA, MGM Studio of the Dance, and Camp Allegro. Karen graduated in 2013 from Phillips Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She is Associate Minister for Plymouth Congregational Church, here in Wichita, where she is heading up their first annual “Fine Arts Series.” The first season, beginning this fall, will include two concerts, as well as a production of Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. In addition, Karen is visiting professor of Acting for Wichita State University. Thanks WB for all the wonderful opportunities. Love to husband Tim and daughters Katie and Francie.
TIMOTHY HUGHES is delighted to be back at Music Theatre Wichita this season! Last year at MTWichita, he appeared as Karl the Giant in Big Fish. He’s appeared on Broadway in Chaplin: The Musical, Paint Your Wagon at Encores!, and in the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Most recently, he performed as Valentin in the new musical My Paris (dir. Kathleen Marshall) at the Long Wharf Theatre. Other developments include Superfly! (Ralphie, dir. Bill T. Jones), Countess of Storyville, and Josephine. Favorite regional credits: Elf (Buddy, Fulton Theatre), Young Frankenstein (Monster, Maine State), Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow, Fulton Theatre), Legally Blonde (Kyle the UPS Man, North Shore/WBT), Footloose (Willard, Maine State) and favorite productions at Goodspeed Opera, MUNY, Cincinnati Playhouse, and alongside Patti LuPone in LA Opera’s Ghost of Versailles. Upcoming: the feature film The Dark Rite, and revisiting the Monster in Young Frankenstein at the MUNY! Proud NYU/ Cap21 graduate and AEA member. Huge thanks to Wayne, Larry, and Peggy for another amazing opportunity. Timothy would like to thank his family, his dear friends, and Brian for their unwavering support. As always, for Dad.
CASSIE AUSTIN is ecstatic to be back at MTWichita this summer! Originally from Libertyville, IL, Cassie is a rising senior in Brigham Young University’s Music Dance Theatre program. Favorite credits include MTWichita’s 2015 summer season, BYU’s The Count of Monte Cristo (Valentine) and Single Wide (Katy). Earlier this summer she toured South Africa and Zimbabwe with BYU’s Young Ambassadors. So much love and thanks to everyone at MTW, teachers past and present, Mom, Dad, Clarisse, and Seth for their immeasurable love and support.
JESSIE PELTIER is so excited and honored to be returning to MTWichita for her second summer, in Nice Work if You Can Get it (Jeannie) and Mamma Mia! She is a recent Dance Performance graduate of Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company for four years. Regional: MTW- Aida, Billy Elliot, Hello, Dolly!, Big Fish, My Son Pinocchio (Rosa); MUNY- The Music Man; SRT- A Chorus Line (Diana), 9 to 5 (Margaret), La Cage Aux Folles. Many thanks and love to Mom, Dad, Alyssa, Chris, and Wayne, Nancy, and Josh.
KEVIN NIETZEL is having a hard time finding a word to describe his excitement to be back in Wichita for another summer! A recent graduate of Florida State University, he plans on moving to New York City in the fall. Last year you may have seen him as Tony in Billy Elliot or Don Price in Big Fish. Other regional credits include Maine State Music Theatre, Wagon Wheel Theatre, and Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire. Endless thanks to Wayne, Nancy, & Josh for the opportunity, and also his incredible family for supporting him along the way.
TIMOTHY W. ROBU is grateful 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 Miserables, Bedevere in Spamalot, John Hancock in 1776, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Amos Hart in Chicago, Mr. Feldzeig in The Drowsy Chaperone, Herbie in Gypsy, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler, and in last year’s season as George in Billy Elliot and Amos in Big Fish. Tim also performs at several other venues in the Wichita area and served as Technical Director for the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program for more than twenty years. He now works as an Exhibit Technician for Exploration Place, Wichita’s science museum. When not working at Wichita’s fine theatres, Tim has plenty to keep him busy as father to his two daughters, Katie and Francie. 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. And special thanks to my wife Karen for making this whole love, life, work, and happiness thing make sense.
MARY LOU PHIPPS-WINFREY has enjoyed a long career as an actor, director, and playwright. Over the years, she’s performed locally for Music Theatre Wichita (most recently as Mother in Crazy for You), the Center for the Arts Theatre, Wichita Community Theatre (WCT), Cabaret Old Town, Crown Uptown, and Kechi Theatre. She’s directed for the Center for the Arts, WCT, Cabaret Old Town, Senior Class Acts, Cowtown, and Music Theatre for Young People. Her plays have been performed at Cowtown, Botanica, the Great Plains Nature Center. Recently she performed her play Goldie’s Bar as a fundraiser for Wichita Community Theatre. Upcoming projects include her show Reading the Obits, A Comedy and serving as director for 12 Angry Men, both at WCT. “Working with these amazingly talented folk has been a ‘hell of a ride.’ Thanks to Wayne, and thank you to the audience for supporting live theatre in Wichita!”
Caitlin Belcik is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to return to MTWichita for her third summer! Originally from Edmond, OK, Caitlin is a rising junior in the BFA Musical Theatre program at Penn State University. Favorite credits include: Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Annie Who, orig. cast; Little Who, revival); Regional: MTW 2014 and 2015 seasons, plus 2007’s White Christmas (Susan Waverly); Lyric Theatre Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie, Tarzan, Call Me Madam (choreographer’s assistant); PSU A Funny Thing Happened…, 110 in the Shade. Much love and thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and the entire MTW team for this wonderful opportunity, and to my parents and teachers for their support!
Lexis Danca is thrilled to be returning to Music Theatre Wichita for her second season! She is a recent graduate of Millikin University, where she received her BFA in musical theatre with dance minor. She sends all her love and thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and the rest of the MTWichita crew, along with her supportive friends and family who have helped her every step of the way. lexisdanca.com.
Cameron Anika Hill is ecstatic to return to MTWichita for her second summer after completing her BFA at CCM. Some of her favorite credits include last year’s season at MTWichita, American Idiot (Extraordinary Girl), Ragtime (Sarah), Once on This Island (Ti Moune), Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon), Carousel, Legally Blonde, and 110 in the Shade. Endless thanks to her incredible parents, Wayne, Nancy, and the whole cast and crew.
Taylor O’Toole is thrilled to be making her MTWichita debut! She is a rising junior at the University of Oklahoma, BFA Musical Theatre. Credits: The Rocky Horror Show (Columbia, OU) directed by Richard J. Hinds, Thoroughly Modern Millie (OU), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Kids Who Care). Love to my parents, little brother, and Moo for your unwavering support. For Beege, who never missed a show.
Katie Pohlman is thrilled to be making her professional theatre debut at MTWichita! A native of Omaha, NE, Katie will be a sophomore Dance major at Oklahoma City University where she has been a member of the American Spirit Dance Company. Past theatre credits include: Les Misérables (Cosette), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ruth), and A Christmas Carol (Lucy). She would like to thank her entire family and Andrew for their love and support.
Gina Ward is so excited to be back with her incredible Music Theatre Wichita family, having performed in all five of 2015’s shows! She would like to thank Wayne, Josh, and Nancy for truly making her feel loved and supported. Another giant thanks to her mom, dad, and sissy. Without them, she would never have the confidence to pursue her passion. <3
Alec Cohen is so grateful to be spending this summer at MTWichita! He is a rising senior at CCM where some of his favorite roles include Jimmy in 110 in the Shade and Xander in Lysistrata Jones. Regional credits include two seasons with Maine State Music Theatre. Huge thanks to Wayne and Nancy. For Pops.
Matthew Davies is thrilled to be included in MTWichta’s resident company this year! Favorite credits include Seven Brides (Frank), Mary Poppins (Neleus), Cats (Mungojerrie/Dance Capt.), The Fantasticks (Matt). A big thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for letting him be a part of this spectacular season! “Love to my family and friends!”
Willie Hill is a senior Music Theatre major from Tulsa, Oklahoma studying voice with Dr. Marilyn Govich. Willie’s favorite theatre credits include working with Music Theatre Wichita as well as a non-profit organization called “A Pocket Full Of Hope.” He was also Seaweed in Hairspray, Freddy in Working, Dance Ensemble in Billy Elliot, Featured Vocalist in Holidays at Home, Curtis/C.C. in Dreamgirls, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, Ensemble in Hello, Dolly!, and Ubaldo Piangi in Phantom of the Opera. He would like to thank his family and his parents for their love and support.
Kyle McClellan is beyond excited to be returning to MTWichita for the 2016 season! He is a rising senior at the University of Michigan, where his credits include Les Misérables (Prouvaire), The Tempest (Sebastian), American Idiot (Chase), and Hotel California (Yul). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse. Much love and many thanks to Mom, Dad, Ty, Zoe, the UMich faculty, Wayne, and Nancy for all of their endless support. GO BLUE!
Tanner Pflueger is elated to be returning to Music Theatre Wichita for his third summer! A Nebraska native, Tanner is currently studying dance at Oklahoma City University, where he has performed with the American Spirit Dance Company in their annual Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show. Credits: Broadway and West End: Billy Elliot (Billy) MTW: West Side Story (Snowboy), 42nd Street (Ensemble), and Big Fish (Zacky Price) Muny: Oklahoma! (Jess). Thank you to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and the rest of the team for the opportunity! Much love and thanks to his family and instructors for their constant support. Carpe Diem!
Cayel, from Orem, UT, is thrilled to be spending his summer with MTWichita! He recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Brigham Young University. He has performed in China, India, throughout Central Europe, and Southern Africa. Favorite regional credits include: Footloose (Willard), Young Frankenstein (Dance Capt.), Guys and Dolls (Dance Capt.). He was like to thank his parents for their endless support.
LARRY RABEN (Director) makes his MTWichita directing debut with Nice Work If You Can Get It, having previously appeared on stage here in Betty Blue Eyes, Spamalot, Curtains, and The Producers. Most recently Larry directed the world premiere of When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney (currently running at Phoenix Theatre) and Buyer & Cellar (in performances at Laguna Playhouse, Desert Star Award for Best Direction). He directed the world premiere of Tony winner Joe DiPietro’s Falling For Eve Off-Broadway in New York (York Theatre). He won the LA Ovation Best Direction Award for Singin’ In The Rain (Cabrillo) Recently: Nice Work If You Can Get It (Ogunquit Playhouse-IRNE Nom.), Cinderella (Gateway Playhouse), Catch Me If You Can (Moonlight Amphitheater), Tru, Greater Tuna, A Tuna Christmas (Coyote StageWorks—all received Desert Star Awards), La Cage Aux Folles (San Diego Music Theatre), Plaid Tidings (Walnut Street Theatre), Sweet Charity-ACE Nom. Buenos Aires), Sunset Blvd., The Wedding Singer, Hairspray, The Thing About Men, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Musical Theatre West), The Producers (Gateway Playhouse), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Fanny (Musical Theatre Guild), Nuttin’ But Hutton (NoHo Arts), Love Makes The World Go Round (Phoenix Theatre), Bark! (The Grove-IE Award), Meet Me In St. Louis, Always Patsy Cline (Welk Theatre). Also this summer: Titanic, The Musical (Moonlight Amphitheatre) and The Little Mermaid (Cabrillo). A founding member of Coyote StageWorks (Palm Springs) and author of a children’s book Ibby Makes A Wish, available at Amazon.com. Thanks Wayne and the MTW family for this amazing opportunity.
PEGGY HICKEY (Choreographer) is a frequent collaborator at MTWichita, where her previous shows include Big Fish, The King and I (twice), The Music Man, Curtains, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Meet Me in St. Louis, State Fair, and Annie Get Your Gun. Ms. Hickey made her Broadway choreographic debut with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which went on to win the 2014 Tony Award® as Best Musical, and can currently be seen on tour across the country. Peggy comes to us directly from the world premiere of Anastasia at Hartford Stage, which is scheduled for Broadway next fall. Other recent projects have included Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage and the Old Globe Theatre – Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award), The King and I (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris and Lyric Opera of Chicago), The Ghosts of Versailles with Patti LuPone (L.A. Opera), Alice in Wonderland (L.A. Philharmonic / Barbicon, London), Hansel and Gretel (director, Lincoln Center), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Gateway Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse), and the upcoming film Woodshock with Kirsten Dunst. Other credits: My Fair Lady (New York Philharmonic); Die Fledermaus with Plácido Domingo (PBS Live from The Kennedy Center); Hansel und Gretel (PBS Live From Lincoln Center); Carmen (Seattle Opera); La Bohème (LA Opera); Lucky to Be Me: The Music of Leonard Bernstein (New York City Opera); Lucio Silla (Santa Fe Opera), The Merry Widow, Aida, La Bohème, Falstaff, La Cenerentola, Carmen, and La Traviata (Houston, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Dallas, and LA Opera); Petroushka (LA Phil); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe, San Diego); Gigi (Reprise Theatre Company); A Little Night Music; On the Twentieth Century; Amour; Brigadoon (Goodspeed); Oklahoma! (Paper Mill Playhouse); The Music Man (Geva Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof (Mexico Company); Beauty and the Beast (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); TV/Film: The Brady Bunch Movie, “Heart of Dixie,” “Samantha Who?,” “90210,” “General Hospital,” “Port Charles,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Passions,” and the MTV Video “Beck’s The New Pollution.” www.peggyhickey.com
THOMAS W. DOUGLAS (Musical Director / Conductor) is back for his 17th season in Wichita! He has performed more than 200 opera, oratorio, orchestral, and musical theater productions nationally and internationally. Highlights include conducting Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Basel, Switzerland, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Anchorage Opera, and directing Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Malaysia. Thomas is currently the Music Director for the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, which is regularly receiving accolades for innovative, creative, and dramatically provocative productions. His MTWichita history includes ShowBoat with Kelli O’Hara, Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Café, 9 to 5, Ragtime with Darcie Roberts, Hairspray, The Full Monty, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, and Les Misérables, among many others. Thomas is the founder and Artistic Director of the Neighborhood Opera Company, which recently produced Mozart’s Don Giovanni with an African American cast. With the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, he has conducted jazz legend Nathan Davis’ opera Just Above My Head, Carmen Jones, and Porgy and Bess. Thomas has been the recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award and the Robert Frankle awards for his contribution to theatre in Wichita, KS and Pittsburgh, PA. Thomas has enjoyed the stage roles of Amonasro in Elton John’s Aida, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Serving as the Director of Opera Studies in the School of Music in addition to his position as Director of Choral Activities and Professor in the School of Drama, 2015-16 was Thomas’ 25th year on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.
DIXON REYNOLDS (Costume Coordinator) is thrilled to be back at Music Theatre Wichita after coordinating costumes for Aida, Billy Elliot, and Hello, Dolly! last season. His costume designs appeared onstage last summer, as well as in 2014 (Catch Me If You Can), and in 2013 (Betty Blue Eyes). He is an Associate Professor of Costume Design at State University of New York at Fredonia and a freelance designer. His designs are seen in a broad range of styles from Theatre, Dance, Opera, Film and his favorite: new and experimental theatrical works, including musicals! Dixon is the resident costume designer at the Kavinoky Theatre in Buffalo, NY. Some of his designs have been seen at The Irish Classical Theatre, ART Park, Summer Repertory Theatre, Buffalo United Artists, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, The Hartt School of Music, Triad Stage, and American Dance Festival. He has also worked in the Costume Departments at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Playmakers Repertory Company, Roanoke Festival Park, HBO Productions and CBS Productions.
TAYLOR MALOTT (Hair and Makeup Designer) is extremely grateful to be returning for her second season at MTWichita. She is a graduate from the University of Cincinnati (CCM) with a BFA in Theatre Production and Design with an emphasis in a Wig & Makeup Design. She also spent time in Orlando studying at Joe Blasco’s Professional Makeup Artistry Program and has been a cosmetologist for 6 years. Taylor spends the rest of the year as the Wig Assistant at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She has credits working for Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh.
DAVID NEVILLE (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to return for his 33rd 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, Paper Mill Playhouse, The University of Michigan, Penn State University, Portland Center Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Music Theatre West, Arkansas Rep, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, George Street Playhouse, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Off-Broadway. Upcoming designs include Wizard of Oz at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Suessical at Sacramento Music Circus, Carousel for MTW/ Wichita Symphony, Sister Act at Wichita State and Sister Act at Arkansas Rep. David’s favorite designs at MTWichita include Big River, Les Misérables, Ragtime, Once on This Island, 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.
DAVID MUEHL (Sound Designer) is in his twelfth season as MTWichita’s sound designer, having also served as sound assistant previously. During MTWichita’s off season, David is the audio producer for Wichita State University College of Fine Arts where he oversees audio recording and live sound for fine arts and other performances. He also serves as sound designer & advisor to technical theater student sound designers for WSU Opera and Musical Theatre productions. Some of his favorite sound designs have been for Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Les Misérables and Wizard of Oz. David has also been sound designer or engineer for WSU Musical Theatre productions invited to the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. David has also done sound designs for Wichita Center for the Arts, Cabaret Oldtown & Crown Uptown Dinner Theater. Special thanks to Josh and Event Systems, Inc. for their continued support of MTWichita.
JEREMY LITTLEFIELD (Technical Director) is elated to be joining MTWichita for his 1st season. Currently Jeremy is shop supervisor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. Jeremy is grateful for the overwhelming warm welcome he has received from MTWichita, and the Wichita theatre community. He would also like to thank his shop crew and the 190 Local—without them this wouldn’t be possible.
DEBBIE ROBERTS (Costume Shop Manager) has designed costumes for many shows here, including 42nd Street, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical, State Fair, Funny Girl, The Most Happy Fella, On the Town, West Side Story, 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 each season. While California remains my home, for over 25 years Wichita has been my summer home. I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
DALYN BOYD (Properties Master) first joined Music Theatre Wichita for the 2014 season and her first summer stock experience. She is thrilled to be returning after spending a summer at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Dalyn is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Scenic Design and is excited to begin her professional career here at Music Theatre Wichita.
AMANDA K. BOWMAN (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be home for her 12th season at MTWichita. After several years of the gypsy lifestyle working with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Theater Latte Da, Casa Mañana, and The Palace Theater in the Dells, she is excited to put her bags down in Minneapolis this coming fall. Additional credits include Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Crown Uptown, IATSE #190, Walt Disney World, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Ms. Bowman is a graduate of Wichita State University. Thanks and love to Wayne, Nancy, her family, and KBEAT. Proud Member of AEA.
TIFFANY K. ORR (Stage Manager) Originally from Oklahoma, Tiffany is returning for her seventh MTWichita season. She spends the other 9 months of the year in the Twin Cities where she is the production stage manager for Theater Latte Da. While in the Twin Cities, she has the pleasure to work with companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, 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 Phoenix Theatre, in Phoenix, AZ. Tiffany is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Missing you, Em!
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: A History of the Musical by Wayne Bryan
The rich legacy of music created by composer George Gershwin, often in collaboration with his brother Ira, seems to have the power to brighten any Broadway season, especially when showcased by fresh talents in newly-minted, vintage-styled productions like 1983’s My One and Only (roughly based on the 1927 Funny Face), 1992’s Crazy for You (a variation on the 1930 Girl Crazy), and the current hit An American in Paris (inspired by the 1951 film).
In 1926 the Gershwin brothers enjoyed one of their brightest successes with Oh, Kay!, a fluffy tale of comic gin-runners hiding out on a Long Island estate. The leading female character, a British noblewoman bootlegger named Kay, was played by English stage star Gertrude Lawrence, who had made a smashing American debut in Charlot’s Revue two years earlier. Her leading men were handsome Oscar Shaw, playing the often-married playboy Jimmy Winter, and comic Victor Moore, as wistful bootlegger “Shorty” McGee. For this fast-paced bon-bon of a show, the Gershwins provided a flavorful score, including the bouncy “Do, Do, Do” and the classic “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
Running 256 performances, Oh, Kay! became a fondly remembered success of its era. In the intervening decades, a few revivals of Oh, Kay! were attempted, on and off Broadway, but although the music was always celebrated, the loosely structured 1926 libretto (by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse) did not hold up as well, since musical theatre writing had taken a more serious turn in the post-Oklahoma! era.
Around 2000, however, playwright/librettist Joe DiPietro was invited to create a new Gershwin musical, invoking the style of the 1920s shows but with a tighter, funnier script. The Gershwin estate even suggested that Oh, Kay! might be the show to provide basic inspiration for the new production.
DiPietro was thrilled at the assignment, but set three goals for himself. First, he wanted to make sure any songs utilized would feel connected to the specific situations and to the characters who sang them. Second, he wanted the comedy to feel contemporary but still seem as if it could have been written for a Twenties show. Finally, he wanted each song to be heard in a way that felt new and fresh, but which maintained the integrity of Gershwin’s original work.
Keeping quite a few plot elements of the original story, the score was significantly enhanced with other Gershwin music, some songs from Broadway, some from the Hollywood films, and even some unused songs found in a warehouse in Secaucus, New Jersey, plus a clever smattering of the symphonic and instrumental works this prolific composer had created in his short 20-year career.
Initially entitled They All Laughed, the new concoction was tried out at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, in 2001. Clearly more work was needed, and it was another six years before the next incarnation surfaced.
A workshop production, now entitled Heaven on Earth, was held in November 2007, featuring Harry Connick, Jr. and Erin Dilly. Encouraged by its reception, a full production was announced, scheduled to open for a limited run at the Colonial Theatre in Boston in December of 2008. However, the premiere was “officially postponed,” and then canceled. Connick moved on to other projects.
With the enthusiastic guidance of Tony-winning director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall, working in partnership with musical supervisor / arranger David Chase, the production finally became made it into New York. Nice Work If You Can Get It opened on Broadway in April of 2012, garnering 10 Tony nominations (including Best Musical and Best Orchestrations), and winning two Supporting Actor Tonys for Michael McGrath as Cookie McGee and Judy Kaye as Duchess Estonia Duckworth.
We at MTWichita were particularly delighted to realize how many of our former company members all performed in the original Broadway production, starting with star Kelli O’Hara, and also including Kaitlyn Davidson, Kim Fauré, Robert Hartwell, Stephanie Martignetti, Shina Ann Morris, and Kristen Beth Williams.
And now, with this debut attraction of our 2016 season (incorporating original costumes and scenic designs from the Broadway production), we are also thrilled to add one more Nice Work original cast member to the MTWichita family! We welcome leading man Clyde Alves, along with our lovely Anne Horak and the rest of this spectacularly talented company, to kick off our summer with class, wit, and plenty of Gershwin.
Who could ask for anything more!