The Muny announces 21 principal cast members for its 99th season. Full company casting will be announced throughout April. The 2017 Muny season opens with Jesus Christ Superstar followed by Disney’s The Little Mermaid and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The season continues with the premiere of All Shook Up! and a newly re-envisioned The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Season 99 closes with A Chorus Line and the much-anticipated Muny debut of Newsies.
“We are so proud to announce our initial casting for our 99th season,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “Months of auditions and searching led by casting director Megan Larche Dominick resulted in this list of extraordinary artists. I’m so grateful so many talented people will be joining us for our 99th season.”
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (June 12-18)
BRYCE RYNESS (Jesus of Nazareth) Broadway: Matilda (Trunchbull), HAIR(Woof, Drama Desk nom), First Date, Leap Of Faith, Legally Blonde. Off-Broadway: Long Story Short, Fly By Night, Around The World in 80 Days, See Rock City…, Hair. Regional: Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Cabaret, Floyd Collins. National tours: Matilda, Rent. iTunes: RYNESS. Film/TV: Shades Of Blue,Tangled (Thug), Peter Pan Live! (Starkey); It Could Be Worse, Law & Order: SVU. Supports: World Vision, Charity: Water. Bryce and his wife, Meredith, have three terrific children and live in NY, CA, or wherever their continent-traversing RV happens to be parked. Here’s to facing our fears, folks; Proverbs 9:10
CONSTANTINE MAROULIS (Judas Iscariot) is an accomplished actor, producer, singer and songwriter best known for his Tony-nominated performance in Rock of Ages and his epic run as a finalist during the heyday of American Idol. Currently, Constantine is developing a number of creative projects in TV and film, including Tony-nominated work as a producer of Broadway’s revival of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening, as well as recently releasing the singles, “Here I Come,” “She’s Just Rock N Roll” and “All About You” from his upcoming album. Constantine recently closed out his starring role in the critically acclaimed Second Stage Theatre production of Friend Art. Find all his social media and tour dates at www.ConstantineMaroulis.com
CIARA RENÉE (Mary Magdalene) starred as the “Leading Player” in the recent Broadway revival of Pippin. On Broadway, Renée also appeared in Big Fish. Ms. Renée originated the role of “Esmeralda” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Paper Mill Playhouse). She has been seen in productions of The Wild Party, Sondheim on Sondheim, Dreamgirls, Carousel
BEN DAVIS (Pontius Pilate) just home after 18 mos. as Cpt. Von Trapp in Jack O’Brien’s tour of The Sound of Music. Broadway: Violet (Preacher), A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist, u/s Carl Magnus, Fredrik), Les Miserables (Javert & Enjolras), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme (Marcello, 2003 Tony honor). UK: BBC Proms’ Kiss Me Kate at Royal Albert Hall (Fred/Petruchio) and Sondheim at 85 with RTÉ Orchestra. Other credits: Anna Nicole the Opera at BAM (Billy Smith), Lincoln Center American Songbook Series, Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday (Brom Broeck) opposite Kelli O’Hara and Victor Garber, Westchester Philharmonic w/Kelli O’Hara, LA Philharmonic. Film/TV: “Papageno” in Mozart’s The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh. www.benjaminjaydavis.com
Disney’s The Little Mermaid (June 20-29)
EMMA DEGERSTEDT (Ariel) is a Swedish-American actress who began her career in Los Angeles. She spent her teenage years playing “Maris Bingham” on Nickelodeon’s teen sitcom Unfabulous and originated the role of “Kendra” in Jason Robert Brown’s musical 13 for which she received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. She was later nominated for LA’s Ovation Award for her portrayal of “Elle Woods” in Legally Blonde, which she has performed in six productions across the country. While completing her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, she starred in shows at the Pasadena Playhouse as well as Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Her television/film credits include: The Big Bang Theory, Hannah Montana, Life, Samantha Who and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Other theater work: Little Mermaid (Tuacahn Amphitheatre), Legally Blonde, Footloose,Xanadu, A Chorus Line and Sleeping Beauty.
EMILY SKINNER (Ursula) Broadway: Side Show (Tony nomination, Drama League Award), Jekyll & Hyde, The Full Monty, James Joyce’s The Dead, Dinner at Eight (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Billy Elliot (BroadwayWorld Award). National Tours: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, Billy Elliot, Disney’s On The Record. Off-Broadway: Picnic (Transport Group), My Life With Albertine(Playwrights Horizons), Jerry Springer The Opera (Carnegie Hall), Fiorello!; No Strings, Pardon My English, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (all at Encores!). Also originated roles at Roundabout Theatre Company, York Theatre, WPA Theatre, Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Gardens. Regional: multiple roles at The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, Ford’s Theatre, Virginia Rep, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, American Conservatory Theatre, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Goodspeed, Bucks County Playhouse, St. Louis Muny, and many others. She has sung with symphonies internationally and her numerous CD recordings may be found at iTunes and Amazon.com. www.emily-skinner.com
JERRY DIXON (King Triton) has starred on Broadway and off-Broadway in the original casts of If/Then (Stephen), Once On This Island (Daniel), Five Guys Named Moe (Nomax), Bright Lights Big City (Tad) and Tick, Tick… Boom!(Michael). Recent world premieres: Steve (New Group), Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival). TV/Film: Gotham (WB), He’s With Me (web-series), Everwood(WB), Law & Order (NBC), Peacemaker (DreamWorks). Regional: Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, MTC, Bucks County Playhouse, Ford’s Theater. Symphonic Soloist: Belgian National, Singapore, Taiwan, Kalamazoo. World premiere stage direction: A Proper Place, Barnstormer, Take Me America and Great Wall.Regional theater direction: Show Boat, Bernarda Alba, Two Gentlemen of Verona,Funked Up Fairy Tales and The Full Monty. Writing: Laugh Whore (Broadway & Showtime), The View (ABC), USO, CBS, VH1 and Comedy Central.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (July 5-11)
JORDAN GELBER (Pseudolus) Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George, Elf(Buddy), All My Sons, Avenue Q (original cast). Off-Broadway: Mike Leigh’s 2,000 Years, Tina Howe’s Birth and After Birth, Avenue Q. Film: Bleed For This, star of Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse, Everyday People (IFP/Gotham Award nomination for breakthrough acting), Riding in Cars with Boys, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Changing Lanes, Pelham 1-2-3. Television: currently recurring on the CBS series Elementary (CME Eugene Hawes), the upcoming Netflix seriesMindhunter, Mr. Robot, the inaugural three episodes of Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: SVU, Rescue Me, Nurse Jackie, Ugly Betty. Graduate of Stanford University and NYU Tisch Graduate Acting (Laura Pels Award recipient).www.jordangelber.com
JOHN TARTAGLIA (Hysterium) Broadway: Avenue Q (Tony nomination),Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Shrek the Musical. At 16 John was cast as a puppeteer on Sesame Street. He went on to create, executive produce and star in his own preschool series Johnny and the Sprites for Disney Junior (8 Emmy Award nominations). As a director: The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan and Shrek (The Muny), Dinosaur Train Live and Sid the Science Kid Live (national tours), Claudio Quest (NAMT), Lord Tom (York Theater), Shrek Halls (DreamWorks Theatricals),Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Rep.), amongst others. Current projects include cast member on Jim Henson’s Word Party and Julia’s Greenroom (Netflix) as well as creator, co-executive producer, and cast member of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles (PBS Kids). www.johntartagliaproductions.
ALI EWOLDT (Philia) played “Maria” in The Muny’s 2013 production of West Side Story and is thrilled to return to St. Louis! She is currently playing “Christine” inThe Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Other credits include: Les MiserablesBroadway revival (Cosette), The King and I Broadway revival at Lincoln Center,West Side Story Broadway revival 1st national tour (Maria), The Fantasticks off-Broadway (Luisa), Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film credits include:The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a B.A. in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com
ALL SHOOK UP (July 13-19)
CAROLINE BOWMAN (Natalie Haller) is thrilled to make her Muny debut! She was last seen on Broadway as “Elphaba” in Wicked. She was also in the original cast of Kinky Boots on Broadway. She has been seen in national and international tours of Evita (Eva Perón), Spamalot (Lady of the Lake), Grease (Rizzo), Fame(Carmen). She had the honor of reprising the role of “Eva Perón” in Evita with the Vancouver Opera. Recently, she made her solo concert debut at 54 Below in New York City and can be seen around the country performing with various symphonies and cabaret venues. She is forever grateful to Soffer/Namoff Entertainment and Innovative Artists for believing in her. www.carolinebowman.net
LARA TEETER (Jim Haller) a veteran song and dance man, is currently a Professor of Theatre and head of the Musical Theatre Program at the Webster Conservatory. He has performed in opera houses, national tours, and many Broadway shows, including the 1982 revival of On Your Toes, for which he received a Tony nomination. Lara has performed on the Muny stage since 1990 in such classics as Singin’ In the Rain, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. For the Variety Children’s Theatre, he has directed and choreographed eight shows including last year’s Beauty and the Beast which earned him a St. Louis Critics Circle nomination for best choreography. He and his wife, Kristen, are the proud parents of Charlie, Elizabeth, Katherine and Maggie.
LIZ MIKEL (Sylvia) is delighted to return to The Muny. Previous Muny credits include: Seussical (The Sour Kangaroo), Hairspray (
THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN (July 21-27)
BETH MALONE (Molly Tobin) originated the leading role of “Alison” in the 2015 Tony Award winning musical Fun Home, which earned her a Tony nomination. Her journey with Molly began with The Unsinkable Molly Brown production at Denver Center in 2015. Broadway and off-Broadway credits also include: Ring of Fire, Bingo, Fun Home and The Marvelous Wonderettes. Regional: Sister Act,Annie Get Your Gun. TV: BrainDead, The Good Wife, Reno 911!; Judging Amy,What’s On?; One Minute Soaps. Film: The Comedian with Robert De Niro, Hickwith Eddie Redmayne, The Interview.
PAOLO MONTALBAN (Arthur) is best known as the “Prince” in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (ABC- you know… the one with Brandy) and as “Kung Lao” in the martial arts action series Mortal Kombat: Conquest (TNT). Broadway: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pacific Overtures, The King and I. Off-Broadway: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in the Park, dir. Kathleen Marshall), The Romance of Magno Rubio (Ma-Yi Theater Co.) Regional: Bella (Dallas Theater Center – “Tommie Haw”), The King and I (Lyric Opera – “King”)/(Muny – “Lun Tha”), A Little Night Music (American Conservatory Theater – “Carl Magnus”),The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Denver Center- “Arthur”), The Orphan of Zhao(ACT/ La Jolla Playhouse – “Emperor”), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ogunquit Playhouse – “Clopin”). TV: Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Nurse Jackie, Law & Order: SVU. Film: Just Wright, The Great Raid. Tweet: @paolmontalban
WHITNEY BASHOR (Julia) reprises her role from the Denver Center production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Last seen on Broadway in The Bridges of Madison County (Clarence Derwent Award). Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks, Himself and Nora. Other credits include: Merrily We Roll Along (dir. Michael Arden/Wallis Annenberg Theatre LA), Light in the Piazza (dir. Joe Calarco/Philadelphia Theatre Co/Barrymore Award), Diner (dir. Kathleen Marshall/Signature Theatre), Edges (original cast recording). Concerts: Adam Guettel (54 Below), Ted Sperling (library of congress). TV: Law and Order SVU,Boardwalk Empire, Love Monkey, All My Children. Twitter @whitneybashor. Instagram @bashorw
A CHORUS LINE (July 29 – August 4)
BIANCA MARROQUÍN (Cassie) Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Bianca began her stage career in Mexico City in productions of Beauty and the Beast, Rent, The Vagina Monologues, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins and Chicago, later making her Broadway debut as “Roxie Hart” in Chicago. Other Broadway and theatre credits include: In the Heights, The Pajama Game and “Anita” in West Side Story (Carnegie Hall’s The Somewhere Project). Currently a judge on Univision’s Pequeños Gigantes.
MEGAN SIKORA (Sheila) is honored to return to The Muny this year after making her Muny debut last year as “Anytime Annie” in 42nd Street. She can be seen this fall in the new Netflix series Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts. Megan has performed in 10 Broadway shows, 2 off-Broadway shows, dozens of regional productions, and the nightly dance party that goes on in her living room with her 5-year-old son. She was most recently seen on Broadway in Holiday Inn as “Lila Dixon” at Studio 54. You can find out more at megansikora.com
NEWSIES (August 7-13)
JAY ARMSTRONG JOHNSON (Jack Kelly) can currently be seen on the ABC series Quantico. Broadway: the recent revival of On The Town, Hands On A Hardbody, Catch Me If You Can, Hair. Off-Broadway/New York credits: Candide(NYCO), Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic), The Most Happy Fella(Encores!), Wild Animals You Should Know (MCC), Working (Drama Desk Award; Prospect Theater Co.). Regional: The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe), On The Town (Barrington Stage Co.), 42nd Street (Muny), Hands On A Hardbody (La Jolla Playhouse), Pool Boy (Barrington Stage Co), Hairspray (Weston Playhouse). Concert: 35mm: A Musical Exhibition (on iTunes). TV/Film: Sex & the City 2, Law & Order: SVU. Jay made his solo cabaret debut at 54 Below last April; the live album is currently available on CD and iTunes. jayarmstrongjohnson.org
TESSA GRADY (Katherine Plumber) is thrilled to be making her Muny debut! Broadway: Dames At Sea (Ruby u/s, Joan u/s), Cinderella (Ella u/s), Annie (Star-to-be). Off and pre-Broadway: The New Yorkers (Encores!), Carefree: Dancing with Fred and Ginger, First Wives Club, Chasing Rainbows, The Anthem, Mother Jones. Regional: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), 42nd Street (Peggy), Next to Normal (Natalie). She has appeared in TV shows such as The King of Queens as well as studio singing work in The Santa Clause 3, Fred Claus and the Disney Princess CD series.
JEFF McCARTHY (Joseph Pulitzer) Muny: Camelot (Arthur), Les Mis (Javert),Roman Holiday (Joe Bradley). Off-Broadway: Kunstler. Other NYC: Chicago,Urinetown, Southern Comfort, Sidshow, Zorba, Sympathetic Magic, Dream True,Smile, Beauty and the Beast. Regional: The Guthrie, Long Wharf, Barrington Stage, Arena Stage including leading roles in: My Fair Lady, The Front Page, All My Sons, Sweeny Todd, The Price, The Misanthrope, Buried Child, The Underpants. Television: Elementary, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife,Schweitzer, Star Treks, Designing Women, Law & Orders, Cheers, Heat of the Night. Film: Starting Out in the Evening, Robocop 2, Consent, Rapid Fire,Cliffhanger.