The Muny Announces 105th Season Creative Teams
ST. LOUIS (January 31, 2023) — The Muny announced today the directors, choreographers and music director/conductors for The Muny’s 2023 Premier Season. The season which opens on June 12 with the Muny premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, includes four Muny premieres, the traditional family show and returning favorites.
|"This is a premier collection of artists, people I am so proud to serve, many of whom have created great work on our stage in the past,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “Our 2023 season promises to be a wonderful adventure for our audience and our community, and I can’t wait for June!"|
THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL
Book by Douglas McGrath
Words and Music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
MARCIA MILGROM DODGE(Director) is a Tony and Drama Desk-nominated director and choreographer for her stirring Broadway/Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Director). Muny: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Meet Me In St. Louis, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Young Frankenstein, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and The Addams Family. Her recent reimagining of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Olney Theatre) has received worldwide recognition. TV: appearing as herself in two episodes of Encore! on Disney+; choreographer for The Muppets in Sesame Street’s The Tango Festival and Elmo’s Wild Wild West. Dodge is also a wife, a mother, a teacher and a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Beautiful is dedicated to the memory of her sister, Carole, who shared her love of King’s songs.
PATRICIA WILCOX(Choreographer) Broadway: Motown the Musical (Astaire Award, NAACP Award) and A Night with Janis Joplin. Off-Broadway/national tours: Little Shop of Horrors (NY City Center Encores!), Annie, An Officer and a Gentleman, Children’s Letters to God;Bowfire, Blues in the Night (NAACP nomination), Seussical. Select Regional: A Swell Party (Kennedy Center), The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie (Goodspeed), The Secret Garden,Diary of a Wimpy Kid,Peter and the Starcatcher, Aida and Camelot (North Shore Music Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar,Hair, Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill), Houston Symphony, Minnesota Pops, Phoenix Symphony. International productions: Motown the Musical (West End), Falco (Vienna), A Funny Thing…Forum (Moscow), A Magic Night (Stockholm), Norwegian Cruise Lines and three Winter Olympics/Ice Dancing Choreographer. Guest Artist: Jacob’s Pillow. Proud member of SDC.
CHARLIE ALTERMAN(Music Director/Conductor) is thrilled to return to The Muny. Muny: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,Chicago (2012, 2021, 2022), Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Meet Me In St. Louis, All Shook Up and Young Frankenstein, as well as several Muny Magic at The Sheldon concerts. Broadway work includes Music Director for Pippin, Next to Normal, Godspell and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Other Broadway credits include Legally Blonde (Associate Conductor). National tours include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Grease. He recently served as Music Consultant/Vocal Coach for the NBC series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Concert appearances include shows with Brooke Shields, Frankie Avalon, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Dana Reeve, Emily Skinner, Billy Porter, Carol Woods and Ken Page.
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
JOHN TARTAGLIA(Director) Muny (Director): Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, Matilda, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Disney’s Tarzan and Shrek. Muny (Actor): Disney’s Aladdin (The Genie), Seussical (The Cat in the Hat), A Funny Thing…Forum (Hysterium, St. Louis Theater Circle Award). Director: The Secret Silk (Princess Cruises, writer/director), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Maltz Jupiter), Claudio Quest (NY Musical Festival), Shrek the Halls (DreamWorks) and many more. Broadway: Avenue Q (Tony nomination), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Shrek. Film/TV: Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock (currently on Apple TV+), The Happytime Murders (STX Films), Johnny and the Sprites (Disney Jr., Emmy nomination), Sesame Street (PBS Kids), Jim Henson’s Word Party and Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), creator, co-executive producer and star of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles (PBS Kids, Emmy nomination).
PATRICK O’NEILL(Choreographer) Muny: Guys and Dolls (Co-Choreographer), Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (Choreographer). Patrick was last represented on Broadway as the Associate Choreographer of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical School of Rock which he also staged in Sydney, Melbourne
and Seoul. Upcoming: Heart of Rock and Roll celebrating the music of Huey Lewis (Broadway), On The Edge (London), Radio 930, a new musical about a group of young rebels in East Germany who use banned rock music to bring about the fall of the Berlin Wall and Vacancy, a story that sheds light on the life of Norman Bates from the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Associate/Assistant credits: On a Clear DayYou Can See Forever, starring Harry Connick, Jr. (Broadway), Ever After (Alliance Theatre), Barry Manilow’s Harmony (Ahmanson Theatre and Alliance Theatre) and The Nutty Professor (Directed by Jerry Lewis). ,
BEN WHITELEY (Music Director/Conductor) Muny: The Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain;A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, The Addams Family, Spamalot, Pirates!; Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Music Man, Meet Me In St. Louis, South Pacific. St. Louis Symphony: A Little Sondheim Music and A Celebration of Muny 100. Music Director for 1776 at New York City Center Encores! Broadway/national tours: Hello, Dolly!; A Christmas Story, The Addams Family, Spamalot, The Full Monty, Cats, Grand Hotel, Falsettos, Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away with Elaine Stritch. Madison Square Garden: A Christmas Story. Sacramento Music Circus: Oklahoma!;Something Rotten! Choral Direction/Preparation: Carousel (NY Philharmonic/PBS) and 31 NY City Center Encores! productions. Other: Paper Mill Playhouse, 5th Avenue Theatre, University of Michigan, The Irish Tenors. Recordings: Allegro, Boardwalk Empire.
In Partnership with The Saint Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame
Music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Based on an idea by Tim Rice
JOSH RHODES(Director/Choreographer) is thrilled to return after directing Joseph…Dreamcoat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Jersey Boys, Paint Your Wagon and choreographing Young Frankenstein. In New York, Josh directed and choreographed Mack & Mabel and Grand Hotel at NY City Center Encores! For the Kennedy Center, he staged the critically acclaimed production of The Who’s Tommy. Josh’s other productions as a director include Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (Old Globe), Spamalot (The 5th Avenue Theatre) and Cabaret, The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls and Evita (The Asolo Repertory). Rhodes recently directed the award-winning musical film, Beau. On Broadway, he choreographed Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, It Shoulda Been You, First Date and Bright Star. On London’s West End, he choreographed Carousel (English National Opera) and Sweeney Todd, starring Emma Thompson.
JASON DEBORD(Music Director/Conductor) Broadway conducting credits include Shrek, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert; Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde, All Shook Up and Rent. He was resident music supervisor for both the Broadway and world tour productions of Once. Other New York credits include Bare: The Musical; Bat Boy: The Musical; TheRadio City Christmas Spectacular, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, New York City Center Encores!; and countless developmental productions of new works. DeBord played and conducted the national tours of A Chorus Line, Rent and Urinetown. Regionally, he has worked at The Muny, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, A.C.T., Alliance Theatre and The 5th Avenue Theatre. He is a faculty member in the University of Michigan Department of Musical Theatre.
LEE WILKINS (Associate Director/Choreographer) Muny: Joseph…Dreamcoat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Paint Your Wagon, Jersey Boys. Broadway (Associate Choreographer): Bright Star, It Shoulda Been You, First Date, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Broadway (Actor): Elf (original cast), Spamalot, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me, Kate. Other: Carousel (English National Opera), Mack & Mabel, Grand Hotel and Big River (NY City Center Encores!), Cabaret, The Sound of Music, Evita (Asolo Rep), Guys and Dolls (Old Globe, Asolo Rep), Spamalot (The 5th Avenue), On the Town (LA Philharmonic), Company (Avery Fisher Hall), Minsky’s (Ahmanson). TV: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), Hatfields and McCoys (NBC) and Alpha House (Amazon Studios). Direction: D23 (Disney), NBC Upfront (Radio City Music Hall), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Casa Mañana), First Date (Straz Center), Divas For Democracy (StageIt).
MICHAEL HORSLEY (Associate Musical Director) is the music supervisor for The Muny and the music director for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Broadway: Chicago, Seussical. National tours: White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago (with Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen), 42nd Street, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.Solo concerts for Lee Roy Reams, Judy Kaye, Luci Arnaz, Shirley Jones, Karen Mason and Tovah Feldshuh. Vocal direction: Detroit Symphony (holiday concert series), National Symphony and Birmingham Symphony. Select Regional: Roman Holiday (Guthrie Theater), White Christmas (Boston’s Wang Theatre, Detroit’s Fox Theatre and Toronto’s Sony Center), On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Music Theatre Wichita), Fiddler on the Roof (American Musical Theatre of San Jose), A Chorus Line (Pioneer Theatre) and The Full Monty (North Carolina Theatre).
WEST SIDE STORY
Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on a Conception of Jerome Robbins
ROB RUGGIERO(Director) Muny: Sweeney Todd, 1776, Gypsy, The Music Man, Oklahoma!; Hello, Dolly!; South Pacific and The King and I. Rob has also directed several award-winning productions at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, including Follies, Sunday in the Park with George, Take Me Out and Evita. His award-winning work has been seen at regional theatres all over the country. Broadway: High and Looped. Off-Broadway, he conceived and directed Make Me a Song (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations). In 2011, Rob directed a new version of Show Boat at Goodspeed Musicals where he had been a frequent collaborator. He is the Producing Artistic Director at TheaterWorks Hartford, where he has been affiliated for almost 30 years, and recently directed a successful production of Fun Home there.
PARKER ESSE(Original Choreography Reproduced by) is a multi-award-winning director-choreographer. Broadway/Regional: After performing on Broadway in Fosse, Parker collaborated as associate director/choreographer for Finian’s Rainbow, A Tale of Two Cities, Follies and five Encores! (NY City Center). Credits as Director and/or Choreographer: Oklahoma! (50th Anniversary, Arena Stage), Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis’ A Bed and a Chair (NY City Center Encores!) as well as New York, Regional and International theatres including Ed Mirvish (Toronto), Arena Stage (18 productions), Kennedy Center, Kennedy Center’s National Opera, Goodspeed, Omaha Symphony/NBC Holiday Televised Specials, Shaw Festival Canada, 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists, York Theatre, Signature, Ogunquit, Buck’s County, The Rev. Upcoming: The Light in the Piazza (NY City Center Encores!). BFA-NYU-Tisch.
JAMES MOORE(Music Director/Conductor) Muny: Sweeney Todd, 1776, Gypsy, The Music Man, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Hello, Dolly!; West Side Story, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Producers. Broadway: Miss Saigon, On the Town, Gigi, Follies, South Pacific, Ragtime, Steel Pier, Company. National tours: The Producers, Kiss Me, Kate; Crazy for You, And the World Goes ‘Round. Encores! Off-Center: Road Show. The Kennedy Center: The Music Man starring Norm Lewis, Camelot starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Fair Lady starring Jonathan Pryce, Mame starring Christine Baranski. Moore serves as music supervisor for the North American touring production of Les Misérables. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Upcoming: Ragtime in Concert with The Boston Pops.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Based on the film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith
MAGGIE BURROWS(Director) is thrilled to be returning to The Muny after directing On Your Feet! and Legally Blonde. She has directed and developed work with Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company, New York Theatre Workshop, WP Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Geffen. Member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, nominee for Yale’s Sudler Prize, 2018 Sagal Directing Fellow at Williamstown, and the 2018-2020 BOLD Resident Director at Northern Stage. Select credits: Indecent (Juilliard), Man of God (Williamstown, Geffen), TRAYF (Geffen), The Sound of Music (Northern Stage), Spacebar (Wild Project). Film: Condolences and the GOTV video for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization. Associate Director: My Fair Lady (Beaumont), The Taming of the Shrew (Delacorte) and Constellations (Manhattan Theatre Club). Upcoming: Mark Sonnenblick's new musical Devotion.
WILLIAM CARLOS ANGULO(Choreographer) is thrilled to return to The Muny where he choreographed On Your Feet! and Legally Blonde. Favorite projects include La Havana Madrid with Teatro Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre), In the Heights (Milwaukee Rep, Seattle Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse), Footloose (Marriott Theatre), MICHA: Visions (Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater) and Indecent with the Juilliard fourth years. He serves as Director of Education for Dance Lab New York and is under commission by Portland Center Stage, alongside Isaac Gómez and Micha Rodriguez, to devise a new musical about their families. He is a member of SDC and the Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists (ALTA).
ANDREW GRAHAM(Music Director/Conductor) Muny: Aida and Footloose. New York: Avenue Q, Wicked, The Book of Mormon. Las Vegas: Spamalot, Avenue Q. National tours: Moulin Rouge, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Avenue Q, Pippin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Music Man, Footloose. Regional: Signature Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Play House and Alley Theatre. Degrees from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and Trinity College of Music in London.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
LILI-ANNE BROWN(Director) is thrilled to return after directing 2022’s The Color Purple. The Chicago South Side native works as a director, actor and educator, and has directed, performed or produced many award-winning shows in Chicago and nationally. Recent direction includes Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Huntington Theatre), Ain't No Mo' (Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage), Once on This Island (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play; the world premieres of Ike Holter’s I Hate It Here and Lottery Day(Goodman Theatre), Acoustic Rooster... (Kennedy Center) and Put Your House in Order (La Jolla Playhouse). A former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, she focused on Chicago-premiere musicals and new works development with resident playwrights.
BREON ARZELL(Choreographer) A dedicated teaching artist from Detroit, specializing in hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and body percussion, and mentor to several universities, studios and theatres. Regional: The Color Purple (Muny), Once on This Island (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Acoustic Rooster… (Kennedy Center), Miss You Like Hell (Olney Theatre). TV: The 4400, Empire. Chicago: Kill Move Paradise (Jeff Equity Award, TimeLine Theatre), The Color Purple (Drury Lane), The Wiz and Head Over Heels (Jeff Award, Kokandy Productions), The Total Bent (Haven Theatre), The House That Will Not Stand (Victory Gardens), Marie Christine, The Scottsboro Boys, Little Shop of Horrors and more. Listed among ‘50 Players for Chicago’ (2018, 2020, 2023), he’s toured the US and internationally. Along with developing original works, he is restoring and reviving a historical black musical.
JERMAINE HILL(Music Director/Conductor) is thrilled to return to The Muny for Rent. Hill is an educator, administrator, award-winning music director, pianist, conductor and vocal coach. Recent credits: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Huntington), The Color Purple (The Muny, Drury Lane Oakbrook), Choir Boy (Steppenwolf), Spunk (Roundabout’s Refocus Project), We Are Out There, Nell Gwynn and Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare), Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies and Memphis (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Music Man (Goodman) and more. As an actor, he has worked with Erasing the Distance and appeared on television’s Chicago Med. Hill is currently Interim Dean of the Theater Division at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and maintains a small roster of private clients including Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley. Proud graduate of New England Conservatory and Ithaca College.
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner
Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture, Sister Act, written by Joseph Howard
DENIS JONES(Director/Choreographer) is excited to return to The Muny after 2022’s production of Chicago (St. Louis Theater Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical/Director/Choreographer). A veteran of 10 Muny productions, Denis is also a two-time Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominee. His work has been seen in Broadway’s Tootsie, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn and Honeymoon in Vegas. Other recent credits include Guys and Dolls (Kennedy Center), Hello, Dolly! (Marriott Theatre), Eurydice (Metropolitan Opera), Chasing Rainbows (Paper Mill Playhouse), A Chorus Line (Signature Theatre), The Flamingo Kid (Hartford Stage), Call Me Madam, Paint Your Wagon (New York City Center Encores!) and The Music Man (Goodman Theatre).
SHEILAH WALKER(Music Director/Conductor) Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Award for Best Revival, starring Topol), Don’t Get God Started;Arted. Music Supervisor (London): Ragtime (Olivier nomination, starring Maria Friedman). Conductor/Associate Conductor: Ragtime (Los Angeles, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell). Conductor: Porgy and Bess (A.R.T., starring Audra MacDonald and Norm Lewis). National tours: The Color Purple starring Fantasia, Fiddler on the Roof starring Theodore Bikel. Associate Conductor/keyboard: Drood starring Jean Stapleton and Sir George Rose, Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing, Singin’ in the Rain. Regional: Paper Moon (Paper Mill Playhouse). Walker has conducted and performed internationally in Europe, Canada, Japan and Puerto Rico. Choral Director: Dallas’ High School for the Arts. Voice coach/accompanist in New York City for over 10 years. Audition accompanist and orchestra pit player on Broadway.
BARRY BUSBY(Associate Choreographer) Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close
and Tootsie. Regional: The Muny, Goodspeed Musicals, Paper Mill Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theater Center, Theatre Under The Stars, Williamstown Theatre Festival and many more. In 2014 and 2016, he was featured in the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and can be seen in the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. Barry is co-founder of Broadway Imagined, a virtual studio bringing Broadway caliber classes to the homes of dancers and fans of musical theatre. ,
For creative team headshots, please click here.
The Muny’s 2023 Season includes Beautiful: The Carole King Story (June 12-18), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 22-30), Chess (July 5-11), West Side Story (July 15-21), Little Shop of Horrors (July 25-31), Rent (August 4-10) and Sister Act (August 14-20).
The Muny’s artistic staff includes Artistic Director & Executive Producer Mike Isaacson, Artistic Associate Michael Baxter, Production Manager Tracy Utzmyers and Music Supervisor Michael Horsley.
The Telsey Office is the official casting partner of The Muny.
Season tickets go on sale March 20, 2023. Single tickets go on sale May 22, 2023.
Muny gift cards for the 105th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.
The Muny’s mission is to enrich lives by producing exceptional musical theatre, accessible to all, while continuing its remarkable tradition in Forest Park. As the nation’s largest outdoor musical theatre, we produce world-class musicals each year and welcome over 350,000 theatregoers over our summer season. Celebrating 105 seasons in St. Louis, The Muny remains one of the premier institutions in musical theatre.
For more information about The Muny, visit muny.org