KC Rep announces Sondheim cast, crew


Side by Side by Sondheim

Jan. 27 – Feb. 19, 2017 at Spencer Theatre

Cast & Creative Team Overview

About the Artists

JENNY ASHMAN (Ensemble) KC Rep: Evita; Off Broadway: Sleep No More; Regional: The Little Mermaid in Concert (The Hollywood Bowl); Evita (Opera North); Sweeney Todd (The Production Company); As You Like It (The Next Stage Theatre); Romance Language (Seven Angels Theatre); Little Women (The Lyric Theatre); A New Brain (Orlando Repertory Theatre); Awards: Nominated for a Los Angeles Ovation Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for Sweeney ToddUpcoming: Bea Stein in J.D. Salinger biopic, Rebel in the Rye (directed by Empire creator Danny Strong);  Education: University of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre – www.jennyashman.com – AEA Member.

SHANNA JONES (EnsembleKC Rep: The Diary of Anne FrankSunday in the Park with George, Stillwater, Hair: Retrospection, The Santaland Diaries (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016); New York: Phaedra’s Cabaret, Undone, and Decline and Fall (New York Theatre Workshop); Chicago: Tug of War; Foreign Fire & Civil Strife (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre)Regional: Les Misérables (Pioneer Theatre Company); Romeo and Juliet (Utah Shakespearean Festival); Saturday’s Voyeur (Salt Lake Acting Company); Education: BA, the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah (2008) – www.shannajonesmusic.com – AEA Member.

ORVILLE MENDOZA (Ensemble) made his KC Rep debut in the world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical directed by Eric Rosen. He is thrilled to be back in Kansas City where he was most recently seen as “The Engineer” in Miss Saigon at Starlight Theatre. Orville is excited to be performing Side by Side by Sondheim having worked with Stephen Sondheim in three of his shows: Pacific Overtures, which was Orville’s Broadway debut; Road Show, directed by John Doyle, original company member and original cast recording (Nonesuch Records); and the 2013 Classic Stage Company revival of Passion, also directed by John Doyle, cast recording (P.S. Classics). He’s also appeared on Broadway in the original company of Peter and the Starcatcher, co-directed by Alex Timbers and Roger Rees. Off-Broadway credits include: Romeo and Juliet (with Lauren Ambrose and Oscar Isaac at The Public Theater/NYSF, directed by Michael Greif), Timon of Athens (with Richard Thomas at The Public/NSYF, directed by Barry Edelstein), Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (world premiere by Lloyd Suh at National Asian American Theatre Company, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, NY Times Critic’s Pick), Ivanov, The Seagull, Antigone (all at NAATCO), Found (world premiere at Atlantic Theater Company, by Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree, and Eli Bolin). Regional credits include: Found (Philadelphia Theatre Co.), premiere of The Blue Sky Boys (Capital Rep.), The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Des McAnuff), premiere of The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theatre & La Jolla Playhouse – directed by Cary Perloff – 5th Avenue, Goodspeed, Long Wharf Theater and East West Players to name a few). He is a Barrymore Award winner and Drama Desk nominee for creating the role of “Tempura” in Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick’s musical Adrift in Macao. He had the privilege of singing with the New York City Ballet and their orchestra at Lincoln Center and this past year in Paris in NYCB’s production of West Side Story Suite. He can be seen on television in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Blacklist” and many commercials. For Penguin, always. www.orvillemendoza.com.

OLIVER THORNTON (Ensemble) is one of the U.K.’s leading musical theatre performers. Career Highlights:  His award-winning performance as Adam/Felicia in the entire West End run of Priscilla Queen of The Desert, and recreating the role of Frank ’N’ Furter in the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Show;  Other West End Credits include: Adam in Children of Eden, Mark in Rent, Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Enjolras in Les MisérablesChicago and The 24 Hour Musicals Celebrity Gala at The Old Vic;  U.K. Tours/Regional: title roles in both Aladdin and Beauty and The Beast, Rusty in Starlight Express, live performances throughout Europe with Sony BMG’s Teatro; U.S. Regional: Bianca in Taming of The Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC), Claude in Hair (Sacramento Music Circus), King Arthur in David Lee’s Camelot (Two River Theater), Lancelot in Camelot (Capital Rep) and Avi in Moses Man (Geva Theatre)- FB: @OliverThorntonActor

STEPHEN SONDHEIM (Playwright) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974),                                       Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981),                     Sunday In The Park With George (1984), Into The Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99) and Sondheim On Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores of the films “Stavisky” (1974) and “Reds” (1981) and songs for “Dick Tracy” (1990) and the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: “Finishing the Hat” (2010) and “Look, I Made A Hat” (2011). In 2010 the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed in his honor.

ERIC ROSEN (Director) was the founding Artistic Director of Chicago’s About Face Theatre (AFT) from 1995 to 2008, and is a writer, director and producer. Original projects include Venice (KC Rep, Center Theatre Group-LA, Public Theater-NYC, “Best Musical of 2010”–TIME Magazine); Wedding Play (Steppenwolf/AFT, Jefferson nomination); Winesburg, Ohio (Step­penwolf/AFT-Jeff Award, Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company—Barrymore Award, KC Rep); Clay (AFT, Lookingglass Theatre-Chicago, Center Theatre Group, KC Rep, Lincoln Center/CT3-Drama Desk Nomi­nation, Jeff Award); and Undone, Whitman and Dream Boy (Jeff Award, several productions across the country). In addition to Venice, other KC Rep directing credits include: Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical! (a hit musical on Broadway—three Tony nominations, including Best Musical); Cabaret; August: Osage County; The Whipping Man; Pippin; Death of a Salesman; Ro­meo and Juliet; and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Additional directing credits include productions at Lincoln Center, Center Theatre Group, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Alliance, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Hartford Stage, 5th Avenue, Prince, Cincinnati, Melbourne (Australia) and workshops at Sundance, O’Neill, Playwrights Horizons, and the Public Theater. He has developed and produced over 40 world premieres, including Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I am My Own Wife and work by Mary Zimmerman, Frank Galati, Stephen Flaherty, Moisés Kaufman, David Cale and The Civilians, among others. He holds a doctorate in performance studies from Northwestern University, has twice served as an NEA panel­ist, and serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of non-profit theatres.

The design and production team includes:                                                                                                                 Mary R. Honor (Production Stage Manager), Rachel M. Dyer (Asst. Production Stage Manager), Anthony Edwards (Music Director), Jack Magaw (Scenic Design), Sarah Beers (Costume Design), Cory Pattak (Lighting Design), Alex Hawthorne (Sound Design), Jeff Cady (Projections) and Daniel Doss (Piano 2).

Performances run January 27 through February 19, 2017 at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus. For tickets and information contact the KC Rep Box Office at 816.235.2700 or tickets@kcrep.org.

Note: All tickets originally issued for The Fabulous Fitches will be honored for the same date and time of the performance of Side by Side by Sondheim; no exchange is necessary.

About Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation’s creative crossroads. KC Rep’s mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region’s creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. KC Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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