Theatre Students Share the Stage with Tony Nominee Terrence Mann

University of Miami theatre students set to appear in CRT’s Les Miserables

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) kicks off its 2015 Nutmeg Summer Series with a musical celebration of Les Miserables, directed by three time Tony award nominee Terrence Mann. Mann was last seen on the CRT stage in Man of La Mancha in 2012.

Joining CRT for this production are University of Miami students Jayne Ng (Ensemble) and Sean Ormond (Ensemble), as well as recent graduates Amandina Altomare (Ensemble) and Luke Hamilton (Ensemble).

They are joined by musical director Daniel Moctezuma, who is a staff member in the musical theatre department at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences. He returns to CRT after serving as Pianist and Conductor for the 2014 productions of Gypsy and A Chorus Line. Recent credits include Associate Music Director and Conductor for Moses Kaufman’s Afro-Cuban adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen. He has also worked as a keyboardist for the Broadway musical In the Heights, as well as for the Big Apple Circus. ‌

The second show of the season, Peter Pan, will be directed by University of Miami alum Cassie Abate. Abate is currently the Head of Dance in Musical Theatre at Texas State University. Her directing/choreography credits include Gypsy, A Chorus Line, The Music Man, The Drowsy Chaperone, Man of La Mancha, The Pirates of Penzance, Guys & Dolls and Seussical at CRT, Urinetown (Austin Critics Circle Award), Anything Goes (BroadwayWorld Award), Cabaret, Rent, and Kiss Me, Kate. She is joined in Peter Pan by current University of Miami students Kelly Murphy (Ensemble), and Sean Ormond (Tootles/Nana), as well as as alum Jose Luaces (Indian/Pirate).

Ndavid Williams, the Head of and the Music Director for the UM College of Arts and Science Department of Theatre and the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, will be returning to CRT later in the season as the Music Director for Xanadu, the third and final production of the 2015 Nutmeg Summer Series. Williams is a classical pianist and accompanist whose professional musical theatre credits include: Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, A New Brain, The Music Man, and Guys and Dolls. He has served as a guest pianist with the San Fransisco Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet, and Maximum Dance. Cassie Abate will be choreographing this production as well, and she and Williams are joined by current University of Miami students Jayne Ng (Muse) and Taylor Alexander Stutz (Muse), as well as recents graduates Amandina Altomare (Clio/Kira), Luke Hamilton (Sonny), and alum Ariana Shore (Melopomene/Medusa).

CRT’s current artistic director, Vincent J. Cardinal, who also serves as the Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, was the Chairman of the University of Miami Theatre Arts Department and the Artistic Director of the Jerry Herman Ring theatre, where his productions garnered international acclaim. As Artistic Director for the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, he has directed My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Romeo and Juliet, The Odd Couple, A Funny Thing Happened…, Spring Awakening: The Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Sunshine Boys, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, and Cloud 9.

The University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts serves to prepare students to work professionally in the film, television and theatre industries upon graduation. It focuses on conservatory-style training that offers concentrations in performance, musical theatre, theatre management, stage management, and design/production. The department is a firm believer in offering a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Students in the performance and musical theatre concentrations take classes in acting, voice/speech, movement, dance and singing.

Director Terrence Mann will also be reprising the role of Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, which he originated on Broadway. The classic musical tells the story of Jean Valjean, a man attempting to reinvent himself after being imprisoned for nineteen years. Along his journey, he encounters Inspector Javert, a ruthless police captain who is committed to returning Valjean to prison. The timeless tale of heartache, passion and determination reveals the true strength of the human spirit.

Valjean will be played by the internationally acclaimed Australian actor David Harris, who has starred as the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde, for which he won a Green Room Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Other notable cast members include Ariana DeBose, who just completed a sold out run of Hamilton at the Public Theatre, Philip Hoffman, who was in the original Broadway cast of Into the Woods (1987) and Liz Larsen, who is currently starring as Genie Klein in the Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

CREATIVE TEAM
The creative team includes: Terrence Mann (Director), Cassie Abate (Choreographer), Tim Brown (Scenic/Projection Design), Lisa Loen (Costume Design), Chuan-Chi Chan (Lighting Design), Michael Skinner (Sound Design), James Mountcastle* (Production Stage Manager), Daniel Moctezuma (Musical Director) and McCorkle Casting (New York Casting).

CAST
The cast includes: David Harris (Jean Valjean), Terrence Mann (Javert), Ariana DeBose (Eponine), Philip Hoffman (Thenardier), Liz Larsen (Madame Thenardier), Alex Zeto (Fantine), Will Bryant (Enjolras), Joe Callahan (Marius), and Chandler Lovelle (Cosette). The ensemble includes Amadina Altomare, Maggie Bera, Gabriel Bernal, Gerald Cesar, Jonathan Cobrda, Kent Coleman, Troyer Coultas, Allison Dixon, Conor Donally, Julia Rose Estrada, Michelle Beth Herman, Luke Hamilton, Chester Martin, Katherine McLellan, Kate McMillan*, Kelly Murphy, Sean Ormond, Cullen Reis and Alessandra Viviano.

INFORMATION
Performances take place in the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre on the UConn-Storrs campus. Ticket prices range from $12 to $55. Please call 860-486-2113 or visit crt.uconn.edu for a complete performance schedule, information and to purchase tickets.

July 07, 2015