Muny Announces 2020 Season Creative Teams

Season Update Announced – April 27, 2020
With careful and ongoing consideration, we are planning a late July season start date with the hope of presenting five of the seven productions we originally announced for our 2020 lineup. The remaining two productions are postponed until 2021.

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ST. LOUIS (Jan. 8, 2020) – The Muny announced today the directors, choreographers and music directors for its 2020 season, which opens June 15 with Kander and Ebb’s internationally-acclaimed Chicago. Among the talented list are a mix of Muny favorites and newcomers. In addition to casting, a comprehensive list of design teams for each production will be released later this spring. Telsey + Company is the official casting partner for The Muny.

“This is a thrilling group of artists to create this wildly adventurous season on our glorious new stage,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer, Mike Isaacson. “It’s wonderful to see the return of many friends and talents, while also welcoming some new voices. Here we go, Muny 2020!”

CHICAGO
June 15 – 21
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Script Adaptation by David Thompson

CHRIS BAILEY (Director/Choreographer) Muny: Jerome Robbins’ Broadway; Newsies (St. Louis Theater Circle Award), The Music Man, Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, Tarzan, West Side Story and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Broadway: Gettin’ the Band Back Together; Cyrano de Bergerac (movement director, Roundabout Theatre Company). Other New York Credits: Jerry Springer the Opera (New Group, 2018 Chita Rivera nomination), The New Yorkers and 1776 (New York City Center Encores!). 2013-2015 Academy Awards (Assistant Choreographer), the iconic 2013 opening number of The Tony Awards, The Entertainer (West End), Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory). Upcoming: Back to the Future (2020, England).

CHARLIE ALTERMAN (Music Director/Conductor) returns to The Muny where he served as music director for the productions of Meet Me In St. Louis (2018), All Shook Up, Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2017), Young Frankenstein (2016), Hairspray (2015), Chicago (2012) and Legally Blonde (2011), as well as three Muny Magic at The Sheldon concerts. Broadway credits include Pippin, Godspell, Next to Normal, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me (music director/actor) and Legally Blonde (associate conductor). Tours: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Next to Normal (music supervisor) and Grease (US/Asia). Regional includes: The Old Globe Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Theatre Under the Stars, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Trinity Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse, Huntington Theatre and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Concert appearances include shows with Brooke Shields, Frankie Avalon, Emily Skinner, Dana Reeve, Billy Porter, Carol Woods and Ken Page.

The Muny’s Production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS
A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film
June 24 – July 2
Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellowes
New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh

JOHN TARTAGLIA (Director) Muny directing credits: MatildaAnnieThe Wizard of Oz, Tarzan and Shrek. As actor: Aladdin (The Genie), Seussical (The Cat in the Hat), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hysterium, St. Louis Theater Circle Award). Broadway: Avenue Q (Tony nomination), Beauty and the Beast and Shrek. Director: Stephen Schwartz’s The Secret Silk (Princess Cruises, writer/director), Beauty and the Beast (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Mamma Mia! (Bucks County Playhouse); Shrek the Halls (DreamWorks Theatricals) and many more. Film/TV: Johnny and the Sprites (Disney Jr., Emmy nomination), Sesame Street (PBS Kids), Jim Henson’s Word Party and Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles (PBS Kids, Emmy nomination as Splash), Sunday Funday (Sirius XM On Broadway). Instagram/Twitter: Johnnytartags

PATRICK O’NEILL (Choreographer) Muny: Guys and Dolls (co-choreographer). Other credits: An Evening with Kelli O’Hara and The Boston Pops, as well as musical numbers for Mario Cantone on The View celebrating Barbara Walters. Associate choreographer credits: School of Rock (Broadway, U.S. national tour, Australia and Korea), The Heart of Rock & Roll (Old Globe Theatre), Ever After (Alliance). Assistant choreographer credits: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Broadway), Harmony (Ahmanson, Alliance) and The Nutty Professor (directed by Jerry Lewis). www.patrickoneill.me

BRAD HAAK (Music Director/Conductor) Muny: Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the RoofInto the WoodsSouth PacificThe King and I and Gypsy. Broadway: An American in Paris, Mary Poppins, Lestat and Il Divo – A Musical Affair. National tours: The Lion King, Miss Saigon. Music supervision and orchestrations for John Caird and Paul Gordon’s Daddy Long Legs (off-Broadway, London, Tokyo, Seoul) and for director John Caird’s A Knight’s Tale (to be presented in 2020 with the Tokyo Philharmonic). International: Sousatzka (Toronto), An American in Paris (Paris), Honk! (Singapore and Philippines); Jane Eyre (Tokyo). Numerous regional credits include: Ragtime (Theatre Under The Stars), Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Follies (Jeff Award for music direction), Sunday in the Park with George, Children of Eden (Kennedy Center). Orchestrations for New York and Boston Pops, National Symphony, L.A. Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic.

SWEENEY TODD
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
A Musical Thriller
July 6 – 12
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond
Originally Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

ROB RUGGIERO (Director) Muny: 1776Gypsy (starring Beth Leavel), as well as past productions of The Music ManOklahoma!Hello, Dolly!; South Pacific and The King and I. He has also directed many award-winning productions at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, including FolliesSunday in the Park with George and the recent production of Evita. Broadway: High and Looped. Off-Broadway he conceived and directed Make Me a Song (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations). Rob also recently directed Oliver!, his 11th collaboration with Goodspeed Musicals, with whom he also adapted and directed a new version of Show Boat.  He is the Producing Artistic Director for TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut.

JESSICA HARTMAN (Associate Director/Musical Staging) is thrilled to return to The Muny for her seventh show after choreographing Footloose (2019), Annie (2018), All Shook Up (2017), Mamma Mia! (2016); Hairspray (2015/Co-Choreographer) and Seussical (2014/Associate Choreographer). Broadway: Lysistrata Jones (Associate Choreographer), The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman (Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain). Off-Broadway: Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! (Choreographer, New Victory Theater). Other credits include: A Chorus Line, Memphis, Mamma Mia! (Choreographer, Theatre Under the Stars); Norwegian Creative Studios (Choreographer), Disney Jr. Dance Party (Associate Show Director/Choreographer), Universal Studios/The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Associate). Up next: A new Mo Willems musical for The Kennedy Center and national tour/concert for the United States Air Force. Jessica is the Artistic Director of Broadway Theatre Connection and a proud member of SDC. JessHartman.com

JAMES MOORE (Music Director/Conductor) Muny: 1776, Gypsy, The Music Man, Holiday Inn, Hello, Dolly!; West Side Story, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Producers. Broadway: Miss Saigon, Gigi, On the Town, Follies, South Pacific, Ragtime, Steel Pier, Company. National tours: The Producers, Kiss Me, Kate; Crazy for You, The World Goes ‘Round – The Songs of Kander and Ebb. The Kennedy Center: Mame (starring Christine Baranski), The Music Man (starring Norm Lewis and Jessie Mueller), Camelot (starring Brian Stokes Mitchell), My Fair Lady (starring Jonathan Pryce). Regional: Signature Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse. Recordings: On the Town, Follies. Music Supervisor for the North American touring productions of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. Upcoming: Titanic (Broadway). Mr. Moore holds master and bachelor’s degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE
The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
July 14 – 20
Words and Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

MARCIA MILGROM DODGE (Director) is a Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated director/choreographer. Muny: CinderellaMeet Me In St. Louis, The Little Mermaid, Young Frankenstein, The Buddy Holly Story and The Addams Family. Television: Disney+ Encore!’s (Theatre Director). Broadway: Ragtime (Kennedy Center/Helen Hayes Award). Tours: Ragtime, Curious George, Seussical, Cookin’. Career Highlights: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Drury Lane/Jeff Award); Closer Than Ever (original off-Broadway production), Romance in Hard Times (Public Theater), The West End Horror (co-written with Anthony Dodge/Bay Street/Edgar nomination), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (The Rep/Cincinnati Playhouse), The Secret Garden (Cincinnati Playhouse/Center Stage), Evita (Riverside/Drury Lane), Once (Olney). TV/Video: Sesame Street/Elmo’s Wild West. Dodge is also a wife, a mother, a teacher and a proud SDC Executive Board Member.

JOSH WALDEN (Choreographer, based on Original Choreography by Marcia Milgrom Dodge) Muny: Cinderella (2019), Meet Me In St Louis (2018), The Little Mermaid (2017) and The Buddy Holly Story (2015). Broadway: Ragtime (associate director/associate choreographer). Most recently, Josh was the co-choreographer for Mary Poppins (Drury Lane Theatre) and choreographer for Encore! on Disney+, airing January 24, 2020. Josh directed/choreographed On the Town (Capital City Theatre), A Chorus Line (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Freaky Friday (Take It From the Top), Legally Blonde (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse) and the rock opera Fallen Angel (New York International Fringe Festival). Other credits include: Des Moines Metro Opera, Signature Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, Doonce Productions, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Gateway Playhouse.

ABDUL HAMID ROYAL (Music Director/Conductor) Broadway/International/Regional: Five Guys Named Moe, Twist, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Jelly’s Last Jam, The Wiz, Truly Blessed, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Betsy Brown, Concerts for the Earth, Colors of Christmas, Smokey Joe’s Cafe; The Life. Awards for Musical Direction: The Gospel at Colonus (Ovation, LA Drama Critics Circle and SAGE Awards), Five Guys Named Moe (NAACP Image Award), Recorded in Hollywood (NAACP Image and Stage Scene LA Awards). He has worked with acclaimed artists including Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, Cy Coleman, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Liza Minelli, Jennifer Holliday, Melba Moore, Grover Washington Jr., Patti LaBelle, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Phil Collins, Billy Porter and others.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC
July 23 – 29
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp

MATT KUNKEL (Director) is thrilled to be returning for The Muny’s 102nd season! Muny: An Evening with the Stars, A Celebration of Muny 100 with the St. Louis Symphony (staged) and has served as an Associate Director on over 20 Muny productions! Recent directing: Sunset Boulevard, Elf the Musical (Engeman Theater) and Fallingwater (reading for The Met). Recent associate credits: Footloose, Tommy, The Music Man (Kennedy Center), Candide (Carnegie Hall), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Actors Fund), Elf the Musical (MSG and national tour), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Theatre Under the Stars); 17 Again (National Alliance for Musical Theatre) and Renascence (Transport Group). Education: University of Michigan and Long Island High School for the Arts. Proud SDC Member. mattwkunkel.com @mattwkunkel

BETH CRANDALL (Choreographer) returns to The Muny after choreographing Matilda last season and serving as associate choreographer for Newsies, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, An Evening with the Stars and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She recently choreographed West Side Story for Abilene Opera. Broadway/NYC associate choreography: Gettin’ the Band Back Together; Jerry Springer the Opera, High Button Shoes, The New Yorkers and 1776. Recent associate choreography: Footloose and The Music Man (The Kennedy Center), Because of Winn Dixie and The Drowsy Chaperone (Goodspeed Opera House) and the Gucci Showtime Campaign. As a performer, Beth has been seen on Broadway, in national and international tours, in six Muny shows, on SNL and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Proud member of SDC. www.BethCrandall.com

BEN WHITELEY (Music Director/Conductor) Muny: Singin’ in the Rain; A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, The Addams Family, Spamalot, Pirates!; The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Music Man, Meet Me In St. Louis, South Pacific and A Celebration of Muny 100 with the St. Louis Symphony. Broadway/national tours: Hello, Dolly!; A Christmas Story, The Addams Family, Spamalot, The Full Monty, Cats (conducted final original Broadway performance), Grand Hotel, Falsettos, Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away with Elaine Stritch. Choral direction/preparation: Carousel (New York Philharmonic/PBS) and 31 City Center Encores! productions, including: 1776, Paint Your Wagon and The Most Happy Fella. Other: Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theatre, Broadway Sacramento, University of Michigan. Recordings: Allegro, Boardwalk Empire (Grammy Award), Merrily We Roll Along.

ON YOUR FEET!
The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
August 1 – 7
Featuring Music Produced and Recorded by Emilio & Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Book by Alexander Dinelaris

MAGGIE BURROWS (Director) Muny debut! A theatre and film director living in New York, Maggie has developed works with Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company, NYTW, WP Theater, Williamstown and The Geffen. She is a member of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, nominee for Yale’s Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts, 2018 Boris Sagal Directing Fellow at Williamstown and BOLD Resident Director at Northern Stage. Select associate work: My Fair Lady for Bartlett Sher (Beaumont), The Taming of the Shrew for Phyllida Lloyd (Delacorte) and Constellations for Michael Longhurst (MTC). Film work includes her short film Condolences and a GOTV video for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization. Select credits: Man of God (Geffen/upcoming), Damsels (Williamstown), The Sound of Music (Northern Stage), Spacebar (Wild Project) and Mark Sonnenblick’s new musical Devotion. 

JON RUA (Choreographer) Muny: Jesus Christ Superstar and Aida. Credits: Isn’t It RomanticWest Side Story (Milwaukee Rep), Phish, Coheed and Cambria. Co-Choreographer: (individual production numbers) Broadway’s The Cher Show, SpongeBob SquarePants, The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! Nickelodeon. Jon has danced for Mariah Carey, Phish, Don Omar, Soulja Boy, Target, Billboard, Puma, Reebok, IBM and Panasonic. As an actor, Broadway: Hamilton (OBC Charles Lee, Hamilton u/s), SpongeBob (Patchy), Hands on a Hardbody (Jesus), In the Heights (Sonny & Graffiti Pete). Off-Broadway: Kung Fu, Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Damn Yankees (Encores!). Regional: Annie (Muny), Somewhere (Old Globe Theatre, Craig Noel nomination), Bring It On: The Musical. TV: Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Verizon. Film: Fall to Rise, First Reformed, Isn’t It Romantic. Digital: Mas Mejor.

LON HOYT (Music Director/Conductor) Broadway: Beautiful, Escape to Margaritaville, On Your Feet!; Catch Me If You Can, Rock of Ages, Hair, Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Show, Footloose, Street Corner Symphony. Off-Broadway: Song of Singapore, Forever Plaid. Regional: Last Days of Summer, My Very Own British Invasion, Diner (Sheryl Crow), Some Lovers (Burt Bacharach), The Nightingale (Sheik/Sater). Music Supervisor: On Your Feet! (Holland); Hairspray (NBC Live, national tours, Toronto, Las Vegas, London, Johannesburg and Cologne productions, Hollywood Bowl), Hair (Hollywood Bowl), Lennon. Film: Annie, Hairspray, Joyful Noise, Band Slam, Boys on the Side. Actor: Tommy, Baby, Leader of the Pack, Starlight Express, Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5000 Years.

SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
August 10 – 16
Book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Gene de Paul
New Songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Based on the MGM Film and
“The Sobbin’ Women” by Stephen Vincent Benet
Dance Music Arrangements by Sam Davis

JOSH RHODES (Director/Choreographer) is thrilled to return to The Muny after previously directing Paint Your Wagon, Jersey Boys and choreographing Young Frankenstein. Josh directed and choreographed Grand Hotel (NY City Center Encores!), Tommy (Kennedy Center), Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (Old Globe Theatre), Paint Your Wagon, Guys and Dolls (Old Globe Theatre), Spamalot (5th Avenue Theatre), Show Boat (Bucks County Playhouse), The Sound of Music, Evita and Guys and Dolls (Asolo Rep), and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He also choreographed the Broadway productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CinderellaIt Shoulda Been You, First Date and Bright Star. In London’s West End, he choreographed Carousel at the English National Opera and Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson. Other choreography credits include Company starring Neil Patrick Harris and Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (PBS), the U.K. tour of Doctor Dolittle and Scotland, PA (Roundabout). Josh is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.

SINAI TABAK (Music Director/Conductor) is an NYC-based music director, pianist and arranger who recently served as the associate conductor of The Cher Show on Broadway. Select regional credits: Paint Your Wagon (Muny), The Sound of Music (Music Supervisor, Asolo Rep), Footloose (Kennedy Center), Evita, (Asolo Rep), Josephine (Asolo Rep), Guys and Dolls (Asolo Rep and Old Globe Theatre), Les Misérables (Dallas Theater Center), Bells Are Ringing (Berkshire Theater Festival), The Rocky Horror Show (Bucks County Playhouse), Johnny Baseball (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Family Album (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Off-Broadway: Stars of David (DR2 Theatre), Goldstein (Actors Temple) and workshops of Los Otros (59E59), The Total Bent (Public Theater), American Psycho and Damascus Square. Film: Hello Again. Sinai received a degree in Music Composition from NYU.