Saturday, July 20, 2013

Closing on a high note ;)

I am so thankful for the Sasquatched! experience, and thankful to everyone who shared it with me. It's always fun to be part of a new show, and NYMF, the NY Musical Theatre Festival, is something to be a part of as well! :) They host 23 new musicals in a few short weeks, and these are full productions! For Sasquatched, we had it all: costumes, set, lights, sound, an awesome rock n roll band, and wonderfully responsive audiences! It was a real "family" experience, and I miss them all already!

Cole Canzano, me, and TJ Mannix in Sasquatched! The Musical

We closed on a high note. I performed at 54 Below with my partner from Sasquatched, Patrick John Moran. His character and mine fell in love in the show, and it was a pleasure to embody this unexpected love story between a park ranger and seismologist. :)

We performed at 1 AM, but the crowd at 54 Below was robust and clapped along in time with the music to my song. It was a really cool way to "go out."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Performing at 54 Below Tonight!

I am seriously psyched to be singing at 54 Below tonight as part of the Late Night Writer's Block.

Starting at 11:30 PM, many of the writers from this season's NY Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) will be showcasing their work. I'll be singing my "Eco-friendly... Park Ranger" song from Sasquatched! the Musical, as well as joining Patrick John Moran in the love song from the show, "Landslides, Earthquakes, Tremors and Volcanoes." He was splendid as Chris the Seismologist, and I'm delighted to do our duet again!

I'm really excited to perform tonight in this legendary space and hear songs from other original new musicals. NOT to be missed! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Passionate Park Rangers

I'm a big research nut, so when I won the role of Pat the Park Ranger for Sasquatched! The Musical, I started researching right away. I was surprised to discover what passionate people park rangers are. They're champions of the environment, and I've added that element into my characterization of Pat, for sure! I really do see park rangers as super heroes. :)

 (me as Pat the Park Ranger in Sasquatched! The Musical)

One of my favorite sites about park rangers is, hosted by a lovely lady named Carol who used to be a park ranger. It's a highly competitive job, but you can see that these people love what they do! :)

(The Lodgepole Interp gang of Sequoia National Park, courtesy of

As Pat, I sing a song about being "an eco-friendly, multi-cultural, left of the center, politically correct, highly interpretive, big recycler, a bonafide tree-hugger aware of global warming danger, contemporary, fully inclusive park ranger." :) It is such a great anthem and I feel so honored to sing it!

Big thanks to Phil Darg for writing the show, and to him and Jules Darg for bringing me on board. As one audience member remarked, "It's FUN and educational too!" ;)

 Phil and Jules Darg

If you'd like to catch Sasquatched! The Musical, we have 3 more performances at the Pearl Theatre at 555 West 4nd Street:
Tickets are $25:

Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 08, 2013

An Original New Musical: Sasquatched!

When I first came to New York, it was my goal to perform in original, new plays and musicals. As I look back on my career here, I am delighted to realize I have done exactly that!

I'm adding another new show to my resume with the NY Musical Theatre Festival Production of "Sasquatched! The Musical!" Rehearsals have been an incredible experience, working with such a superbly talented cast and crew. To quote my character, Pat the Park Ranger, "It takes a village!"

We rehearsed with the band today, and it was such a rush to hear the electric guitar and feel the beat of the drums. Talk about rock 'n roll! Can't wait to share all this with an audience!

The story is about a gentle sasquatch named Arthur who finds a lost boy in the woods and encounters a crazy bunch of characters (cast below). At times it's like a giant cartoon, but there's also a strong heart beneath the humor, and I've found myself in tears in various scenes. I hope audiences will love it as much as we do.

We open at The Pearl Theatre Company's PTC Performance Space on 555 West 42nd Street.

Tuesday, Jul 9th, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Wednesday, Jul 10th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 13th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Saturday, Jul 13th, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 14th, 2013 at 11:00 am 

Hope to see you there! :)

Tix are $25 and can be found via the link to NYMF below:

Monday, July 01, 2013

Meet the Cast and Crew of Sasquatched! The Musical!

I'm very thankful NYMF picked Sasquatched the Musical for this season. I love working with these people! :)

Phil Darg Phil Darg (Book, Music & Lyrics)

is an actor, playwright, writer, and composer. He has been seen in many roles in recent years both on stage and in local television including Charley in Where’s Charley?, Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, Patrick O’Reilly in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, and Charlie Fox in Speed the Plow. He has also appeared on local television and in several independent films. Phil is the author of more than a dozen plays and musicals, and the composer/producer of more than an estimated 200 musical works (some of which have been composed for the stage, and broadcast on MTVThe History Channel, and Turner South). His latest creation is Sasquatched! The Musical. Phil has a B.A., M.A., M.A. and Ph.D. (ABD). Phil would like to thank all those that made this incredible opportunity a reality

Leasen Beth Almquist

Leasen Beth Almquist (Thelma)

Broadway: revival of Annie Get Your Gun (u/s Dolly), Broadway tour of Joseph and the Amazing Dreamcoat. Off-Broadway: Go Go Killers,The Queen, Broadway workshops 9 to 5 and Eve’s Turn. Regional: Cabaret atPittsburgh Public for Ted Pappas. PBS My Favorite Broadway with Julie Andrews. Indie film feature Transatlantic Coffee (Carole). Assistant choreographer Legends in Concert John Stuart Productions. Choreographed Really Bad Things for NYMF in 2012 and Assistant Director for Standby the Musical at the New York Fringe Festival in 2012. Leasen is very pleased to be a part of this production and sends her love to her “familia” and friends!

Cole Canzano

Cole Canzano (Sam)

Cole C. Canzano has a passion for acting, singing and dancing and hopes to become a great actor someday. Over the past four summers, he spent four weeks at the Mid-Summer Theatre Company Summer Program. He has performed with the Gas Lamp Theatre in Beauty and the BeastAnnie and Just So. He has also performed with the CDC Community Theatre in Gypsy, the ATC Studio Production Company of Narnia and with the Montclair Operetta House in Oliver. Other credits include Independent filmFool’s Day with Director Cody Snider, Sesame Street, and a Hess Commercial. He has also taken art classes and piano classes. His parents introduced him to the theatre at the age of five and ever since he has enjoyed performing onstage. His motto is “the sky’s the limit and I will always believe in myself."

Laura Daniel

Laura Daniel (Pat the Park Ranger)

Winner of the NYMF Award for Outstanding Individual Performance as the title character in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, Laura has fallen in love with other "monsters," playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and Sally the Great White Shark's love interest in JAWS The Musical! Other New York credits include playing Judy Garland and Janis Joplin in Hell's Belles, Rita in Lucky Stiff, Kandy in Kaboom at Cherry Lane, and working with F. Murray Abraham in the play, Sin. Laura received the Inland Theatre League Award for Educating Rita and the NYU Craft Award for the lead role in the film Sincerely Yours. Endless love to Robbie, my friends and family, and Table

Ryan Dietz

Ryan Dietz (Bert)

New York: A Wonderful Life with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Judy Kuhn, Chess with Josh Groban, Illyria & Rites of Passage with the Prospect Theater Company, Star Messengerwith The Talking Band, as well as numerous readings and workshops for Theatreworks, The York, Second Stage, Abingdon Theatre Company, etc. Ryan has also written and performed his solo show, The Box Turtle Incident, about being bullied in middle school, which premiered at The People's Improv Theater. National/International tours include: 1776All the Great Books (Abridged), and was an original cast member of Disney's Villains Tonight for Disney Creative Entertainment.  Regional credits include: Paper Mill Playhouse, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House, Riverside Theatre, Northern Stage, Hangar Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre. Film/TV credits include: Celebrity Ghost Stories (Biography Channel),Target Audience (Showtime), The JokeOffice Jam and commercials for Twingings Tea and Virginia Lottery. He is BMMT graduate of Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory.

Chris Gleim

Chris Gleim (Chaz)

NYMF: Tess, A New Rock Opera (Alec d'Urberville), Sophia's Fall (Beelzebub). NY Theatre: The Radio City Xmas Spectacular; Junk, A Rock Opera. Appearances at the York Theatre, Naked Angels Workshop Series, and Joe's Pub. National Tours: Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter, u/s for Ted Neeley as Jesus). Regional: Titanic (Barrett), Godspell (Judas), The Threepenny Opera (Street Singer). TV/Film: Boardwalk Empire, All My Children, Blue Bloods, and The Good Shepherd (directed by Robert De Niro)

Leslie Henstock

Leslie Henstock (Cindy)

Leslie is very excited to be a part of her first NYMF show! A Michigan native (but New Yorker for 12 years), Leslie earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. Off-Broadway: Frankenstein (Justine/Agatha u/s and Original Cast Recording). Tours: The Light in the Piazza (Clara u/s), Les Miserables (Cosette), A Christmas Story, The Musical (Mother u/s). Regional Shows include: Kathy in Company, Maria in The Sound of Music, Woman 2 in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Film/TV: HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Investigation Discovery's Deadly Devotion (Sharon). Founding member of the concert series, People You May Know

T. J. Mannix

T. J. Mannix (Arthur, the Sasquatch)

Previous NYMF appearances include: Howe and Hummel (2012), Hurricane (2009), The Piper (2007), and Warrior (2006). T.J. spent the last few years touring with Chicago's The Second City as well as flying over the stage in a fat suit in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. T.J. is a voiceover and commercial actor, appearing in over 80 TV and radio commercials. His television credits include: Law and OrderLaw and Order: Criminal IntentAll My ChildrenOne Life to LiveAs the World Turns, and Late Night with Conan O’Brian. T.J. is a comedy improv veteran and the founder/producer of the 5th annual NY Musical Improv Festival A proud member of Actor’s Equity, T.J. admits to spending a very dark year as a Mouseketeer.

Don Meehan

Don Meehan (Zeke)

Off Broadway: Play Dead, Drama Desk nominated one-man show, Directed by Teller (Penn &); Vieux Carre, Nightingale u/s Pearl Theatre, (Austin Pendleton/Director); Regional credits: To Kill a Mockingbird at NJ Shakespeare; Frankenstein – A Rock Musical (Alphonse), Ontario Canada; European production of  Fame – The Musical(Myers); Best Actor Nominee in Strawberry One-Act Festival; Threepenny Opera - NJ Shakespeare; A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) Jenny Wiley Theatre, KY; Footloose (Shaw), Phoenix, AZ;  Film/TVThe Men Who Built America (Thomas Scott), As The World TurnsHouse Of Cards, new NBC Pilot Believe, A&E’s The Fugitive Chronicles, and the upcoming Love, Lies and Seeta.

Patrick John Moran

Patrick John Moran (Chris the Seismologist)

Originally from New Jersey, Patrick received a BA from Greensboro College and a Master’s degree from UCF. Favorite credits: William Morris Barfe√® in The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Broadway in Chicago), Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse), Norman Bulansky in The Boys Next Door (Identity Theater), Nicely-Nicely in Guys and Dolls (Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre). He also wrote/starred in a 2-man show entitled A 16 Bar Cut: The History of American Musical Theatre. He would like to thank everyone and anyone willing to financially support him over the next few years.

Laura Oldham

Laura Oldham (Dakota)

Laura Oldham is thrilled to be a part of Sasquatched! The Musical. Some of Laura’s favorite quirky roles include Stubb in Moby Dick: the Musical!, Kazoo Girl in Bawdy!(, and a singing/dancing polar bear with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Much love to mom, dad, and Morgan.

Jonathan Randell Silver

Jonathan Randell Silver (Steve)

Jonathan is thrilled to be back in NYMF!  Last time he played Harpo in the award winning NYMF production of the new Marx Brothers musical The Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid!  Other recent theater credits include: The Marathon (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Shear Madness! (Charles Playhouse); The Fantasticks! (Long Wharf Theatre); Robin Hood Prince of... Monsters! (Irondale Theater); Charlotte's Web(TheatreWorks USA); Under Milk WoodThreepenny Opera (Williamstown); Peter Pan & Wendy (A.R.T.); The Lower Depths (Connelly). Film/TV credits include: Rover (fall release); Mary & Louise (fall release); Keeping the FaithJackDear JohnBored To Death; and Royal Pains.

Billy Clark Taylor

Billy Clark Taylor (Jim)

Billy Clark Taylor is excited to be a part of Sasquatched! The Musical. This show marks his fourth appearance in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other NYC credits include work with the West Village Musical Theatre Festival, Musicals Tonight, Inside Broadway, Emerging Artists Theatre, and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Billy’s voice can be heard on P.S. Classics’ recordings of Vernon Duke’s Sweet Little Devil and George Gershwin’s Sweet Bye and Bye. Favorite roles include Dan Goodman in Next to Normal, Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, and Man 2 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Billy is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Donald Brenner

Donald Brenner (Director/ Choreographer)

Directed the NYMF production of the new Marx Brothers’ Musical, The Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid which won the NYMF Award of Excellence in 2010. Other Off-Broadway productions include Emmy Award Winner Sherman Yellen's December Foolsand Mike Vogel’s March Madness at Abingdon Theatre Company, Joanne Sydney Lessner’s Critical Mass at the Lion Theatre, and A Tale of Two Cities at the Mint Theatre. He directed an original adaptation of Ali Baba at Lincoln Center, and the world premiere of Beyond Gravity by Ruth Wolff at New Jersey Repertory Company. His over seventy regional theater directing credits include Jeffrey Hatcher’s Wilde Goes West for the Pioneer Theatre in Salt Lake City and The Gym at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Other regional credits include The Light in the PiazzaPhiladelphia, Here I Come! and Our Town. His production of 1776 was named one of the "Top San Diego Productions of the Year" by PBS and earned him a "Best Direction of a Musical" Robby Award Nomination. Recently, he directed and adapted the stage version of The Christmas Sweater for a sold out national tour.

Joshua Zecher-Ross

Joshua Zecher-Ross (Musical Director)

Joshua is thrilled to join the Sasquatched! family.  Joshua’s New York credits include Ludo’s Broken Bride: A Rock Opera (conductor) at the Ars Nova ANT Fest 2013. The Little Theatre on the Square (Sullivan, IL): over 25 productions as resident musical director and artistic director including the 2010, 2011, and 2012 summer seasons, as well as Pete ‘n’ KeelyWhite Christmas, and most recently, Les Miserables. He also created new musical arrangements for the 2011 and 2012 Little Theatre Christmas Shows and Baggy Pants Burlesque, and is the composer of the children’s musicalRescuing Rapunzel. Cohoes Music Hall (Albany, NY): 20 productions includingDreamgirlsCatsThe Full MontyThe ProducersThe MikadoSweeney Todd, andDames at Sea. Mac-Haydn Theatre (Chatham, NY): Over 25 shows onstage and in the orchestra pit including Crazy for YouSweet CharityA Chorus LineBeauty and the Beast, and 110 in the Shade. Upcoming: Next Thing You Know at TriArts (Sharon, CT). Joshua is a vocal coach and accompanist in New York and is a proud graduate of the program in Vocal Performance at the Steinhardt School at New York University. Many thanks to Phil, Jules, and Donald, and love, as always, to Mom and Dad.

Andrew Lu

Andrew Lu (Scenic, Lighting and Props Design)

Andrew Lu is a New York-based set and lighting designer for theater, dance and performance art. He has worked with some of the most celebrated and award winning artists and theater companies in the United States and Canada. He specializes in cultivating and designing new original works in world premiere performances on stages across the United States and Canada including New York City, San Francisco and Toronto. In a recent review, the New York Times said of Andrew's design, “The unabashed star of the production is the striking design . . . a giant tangled tree, built of seemingly endless ropes, transform the Abingdon Theatre Company’s black box theater into another world — perhaps one where plays meet their full potential.” Andrew earned his MFA in design from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Kima Baffour

Kima Baffour (Costume Design)

Kima is presently based in NYC after working extensively in London. While there, she created the costumes for the feature film Internal which will be screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.  London costume designs include the promenade opera The Secret Consul andThe Importance of Being Earnest, music videos for many local London artists inclduing "Coco Channel"  by Tina Barrett, "Make the Call" by Camo and Krooked ft TC, "Sheer Heart Attack"  by the renowned Queen Tribute Band -The Bohemians. She co-designed Upper Lip and American Star at New York's East Village Theater for the New City.  Her styling work has been featured in Italian Vanity Fair. Kima would like to thank her family for all their love and support.

Telba Cavero

Telba Cavero (Make-up Design)

Telba has a BFA in Theatre (concentration in Performance and Directing) from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She is currently working for City Harvest as a Spanish Interpreter and translator. This is her first time collaborating with NYMF. She is excited to be part of the team for Sasquatched! The Musical!

David Cohen

David Cohen (Stage Manager)

David is glad to be in the woods with Sasquatched! The Musical. His Broadway credits include: The Normal Heart and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Additional venue credits include: Georgia Shakespeare, Lees-McRae College, The Juilliard School, Holland American Cruise Lines, World Science Fair, Interactive Media Labs and Food Play! Much love to Jimmy and the pack, and many thanks to the cast and crew.

Stanley Ralph III (Assistant Stage Manager)

Stanley hails from Long Island, New York, and has been working as a Stage Manager for over ten years. He has worked the New York Musical Theater Festival, the New York Fringe Festival, the West Village Musical Theater Festival, and many Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway venues. Various theatre tours has taken him around the world to many countries and now it has taken him back to NYMF.

Jules Darg

Jules Darg (Producer)

Jules received her B.A. in Theater/Speech and has over 15 years of formal training in piano and voice which led to her love of musicals. Favorite roles include: Nancy (Oliver!), Susan (All American), Reno (Anything Goes), Audrey (Little Shop of Horrors), Philia (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Wife (Rashomon), and Karen (Speed the Plow). Past work projects include planning, promotion, and management for visiting film artists, including film directors Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce), and Ali Selim (Sweetland), and also coordinating independent film festivals at the University of Minnesota. She has earned a Master of Science degree and is currently completing her Ph.D. Jules is delighted to co-produce this show along with her partner, Phil Darg, and is proud to be part of this amazing, creative team for the world premiere of Sasquatched! The Musical.

Gordon Green

Gordon Green (Assistant Music Director)

Gordon is a conductor, pianist, bassist, and composer originally from Atlanta, GA. He graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in 2008 and earned a B.M. in Composition. With a minor in Conducting and a concentration in Bass performance, Mr. Green has built the foundation for a varied career. In addition to music directing, he has played bass and guitar in numerous musicals in Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York. When he is not conducting or composing, Mr. Green is also a private instructor for guitar, bass, cello and piano in New York, and is very excited to be participating in his first NYMF show!

Deepika Mirchandani

Deepika Mirchandani (Production Assistant)

Deepika Mirchandani is a Vice President for Global Compliance with a leading U.S.-based bank. She holds over ten years of international banking experience specializing in transition of businesses across international locations and change management with compliance and operations as her major streams. Rising from a family which had theater, literature, music and arts as their first love, Deepika was strongly influenced to remain involved with the arts. Sasquatched! The Musical will be her debut at NYMF and certainly a beginning to many more events!

Jenny Prada

Jenny Prada (Producer's Representative)

Jenny is currently a consultant and arts producer of Estrata, a dynamic  production company based in Lima, Peru, which specializes in  musicals and workshops with talent and performing arts organizations from New York and Lima. She has collaborated with the New York Latino Film Festival, HBO, The Food Network, Food & Wine Festival, Tribeca, Fringe Festival, and NY-Teatro Stage Fest. This will be her second year with NYMF. Jenny is working on the creation of Broadway Live: One Night in New York, a cabaret-style concert inspired in New York with songs from beloved musicals completely in Spanish.

Mark Dundas Woods

Mark Dundas Woods (Dramaturg)

Mark has worked for New Professional Theatre since 2000, and for the New York Musical Theatre Festival on the shows Marrying Meg (Mark Robertson, 2009), The Great Unknown (William Hauptman/Jim Wann, 2010), Man of Rock (Daniel Heath/Kenneth Flagg, 2011), and Living With Henry (Christopher Wilson 2012). His reviews and articles have been featured in Backstage and American Theatre, and his features and news blurbs appear regularly on the entertainment which he co-founded with Michael Roman in 2010. Mark is a graduate of the Columbia University MFA program in dramaturgy.