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Amazing Grace Cast and creative team

Amazing Grace Cast and creative team

Meet the Cast       Meet the Creative Team

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Whitney Bashor WHITNEY BASHOR* (Mary) National Tour:  Happy Days (Joanie Cunningham), Whistle Down the Wind (Swallow).  Off Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa).  New York Theatre Workshops: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Lincoln Center), Disney’s High School Musical 2 (Sharpay), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (McCarter).  Regional: Light in the Piazza (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrymore Award Winner), The Hollow (Signature Theatre), Broadway Three Generations (Kennedy Center), Edges (Capital Repertory Theatre).  TV: “Boardwalk Empire,” “Love Monkey,” “All My Children.”  Film: Off The Black. BFA U of Michigan.
Mike Evarsite
MIKE EVARISTE* (Thomas/Keita) Ecstatic to be making his Goodspeed debut with this amazing cast and show! Broadway/NY: Hair Revival (Original Cast), South Pacific Revival (Original Cast), Les Misérables Revival (Montparnasse), Motown (Workshop), Bliss (The Public Theatre). National Tours: Hair (HUD), South Pacific, Rent, Smokey Joe's Café, and Fame. Commercial: Anti-Tobacco Truth commerical. Bachelor of Music from Florida State University. Thanks and Love to Nanny, Maya, my family, Tiffany, the Posse, the FAME-ly, The Mine, and God.
Harriett D. Foy HARRIETT D. FOY* (Princess) Broadway: The American Plan, Mamma Mia, Once on This Island. Off-Broadway: The Total Bent, On the Levee (AUDELCO Nomination), Crowns (AUDELCO Award), and Lone Star Love (OBCR). Regional: F2M (Powerhouse), The Women of Brewster Place (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes Nomination), Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Yale Rep), After The War (ACT), Seven Guitars (Center Stage), and Ambassador Satch (Dubai). Film/Television: All Good Things, In the Family, “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order,” “Rescue Me.” Howard University. “WGATAP!” harriettdfoy.com
Chris Hoch CHRIS HOCH* (Major Grey) Broadway: La Cage aux Folles (2010 revival), Shrek, Spamalot, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast. Off-Broadway: Rated P For Parenthood (Westside); Play It Cool (Acorn); Die, Mommie, Die! (New World Stages); Face the Music (Encores!).  Regional: Dracula, Zhivago, Palm Beach, Private Fittings (La Jolla Playhouse); Candide (Prince Music Theatre); Picasso at the Lapin Agile (City Theatre); Caraboo, Princess of Javasu (Goodspeed). Television: "Gossip Girl", "The Good Wife," "30 Rock," "Third Watch," "Guiding Light," "All My Children," "One Life To Live."
Laiona Michelle LAIONA MICHELLE* (Nanna/Ayotunde) Recipient of a NAACP for her work in Tazewell Thompson's Constant Star. Nominated Best Lead Actress by the Helen Hayes 2005 Awards for Yellowman at Arena Stage. Has starred in several world premieres including, most recently: Dan Dietz's Clementine in the Lower 9, Robert O'Hara Booty Candy. Some of her TV and Film credits includeLaw and Order,” “All My Children,” and the award-winning independent film Lift. Laiona Michelle earned her MFA from Brandeis University.
Dennis Parlato DENNIS PARLATO* (Captain Newton) Highlights include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Graduate, Salome, The Sound of Music, Chess, Annie, and A Chorus Line on Broadway; Cyrano, Barrymore, The Master Builder, Hello Again, 33 Variations, The Seafarer, The Tempest, Fool For Love, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Guys & Dolls, Educating Rita, 42nd Street, and  Happy End off-Broadway/Regionally; and Johnny Suede in film.
Chris Peluso CHRIS PELUSO* (John) Broadway: Assassins, Mamma Mia! (Sky), Lestat. National Tours: Wicked (Fiyero). Off-Broadway: The Glorious Ones. Regional: Sunset Boulevard (Joe Gillis),  Music Theatre of Wichita; Bonnie And Clyde (Ted Hinton), La Jolla Playhouse; West Side Story (Tony), Barrington Stage Company; Les Misérables (Marius), Marriott Lincolnshire. Thanks to MTW, family, Christine, and the weasel.
Olivia Bowman-Jackson OLIVIA BOWMAN-JACKSON (Ensemble) performed on “Sesame Street” and danced with Jacques Damboise's National Dance Institute before graduating from LaGuardia High School of The Performing Arts. Scholarships from North Carolina School of the Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem, and The Ailey School. Has danced with Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Jonathan Burke JONATHAN BURKE* (Ensemble) Off-Broadway: Urban Stages, Langston in Harlem (Junior Addict).  Tours: A Christmas Story,  Cats (Mungojerrie).  Regional favorites: Hangar Theatre, Rent (Angel); Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Hairspray (Seaweed).  “TVLand Awards” with Liza Minnelli.  Commercial: Joe's Crab Shack.  BFA Ithaca College.  Thanks to God, family, the creatives, McCorkle Casting, DDO, and DAH!
Merideth Kaye Clark MARIDETH KAYE CLARK* (Ensemble)  Wicked (Elphaba Standby, First National Tour), Evita (Eva Peron, Northern Stage), Twelfth Night (Olivia, Alabama Shakespeare), many others. I am a traveling singer/songwriter from Kansas City with a degree in Neuroscience from Emory University and an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State. Original music available on iTunes!
Rheaume Chrenshaw

RHEAUME CRENSHAW* (Ensemble) is excited for her Goodspeed debut.  Some of her credits include  Full Monty (Paper Mill Playhouse), Disenchanted! (Peter Jay Sharp Theater), Ain't Misbehavin (Crossroads Theater), Yeast Nation (NYIFF), The Princess and the Blackeyed Pea (NYTW), The Buccaneer (New Dramatists), Home: The Musical (St. Louis Black Rep.), Black Nativity (Goodman/Congo Square), Show Boat (MUNY).  Love to Penrose.  Thanks to Stewart Talent!  G-O-D always with me!

Andrew Crowe ANDREW CROWE* (Ensemble) is honored to make his Goodspeed debut. He is an actor/singer/multi-instrumentalist whose favorite credits include The Public Theatre's Twelfth Night, and the National Tours of Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, and Stand By Your Man. Regional credits include Ring of Fire, Pump Boys & Dinettes, and Fame. Andrew is also a singer/songwriter. AndrewCrowe.net
Tyrone Davis, Jr.  TYRONE DAVIS, JR.* (Ensemble) is thrilled to be working with Goodspeed Musicals. National Tours: Shrek: The Musical (1st National), The Mystery of King Tut. New York: Archbishop Supreme TartuffeCoriolanusThe Rape of the Lock. Regional: Ain't Misbehavin' (Dir. André DeShields), Pure ConfidenceKing Lear. BFA, New World School of the Arts. AEA.
Rachael Ferrera

RACHAEL FERRERA* (Ensemble) has participated in two readings of Amazing Grace and is thrilled to see this story live and breathe onstage at Goodspeed! Rachael has a BFA from NYU. Favorite roles include Ragtime (Sarah), West Side Story (Maria), and Once on This Island (Ti Moune). Thanks and love to her mom!

Liam Forde  LIAM FORDE* (Ensemble) is a native of West Hartford, Connecticut and is thrilled to be making his Goodspeed debut with Amazing Grace. Tours/Regional: Seussical (dir. Marcia Milgrom Dodge), How To Succeed…, The Rocky Horror Show, and Gypsy. Many thanks to family, friends, and the Krasny Office. Liam is a vocal coach in NYC. BFA, Boston Conservatory.
Abdur Rahim Jackson ABDUR-RAHIM JACKSON* (Ensemble) BFA, The Julliard School. Featured in PBS’s American Masters documentary “Julliard.” Danced in Ailey II, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; guest artist with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Created ballets for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Complexions Contemporary Ballet; co-choreographed Beyonce's "Halo" music video and fashion/dance shoots for VIBE and PAPER magazines.
Allen Kendall ALLEN KENDALL* (Ensemble) NYC: Annie (Madison Square Garden), Sweeney Todd (NYCO). National Tours: Annie (30th Anniversary Tour), The Phantom of the Opera (Music Box Company). Regional credits include 33 Variations, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Full Monty, Les Misérables, Damn Yankees, The Most Happy Fella. Thank you for supporting live theatre.
Alex Krasser ALEX KRASSER* (Ensemble) Connecticut native and Goodspeed debut! Regional: Bittersweet (Bard SummerScape), Miracle on 34th Street (Engeman), Annie (Tarrytown Music Hall). NYC: The Araca Group, The Snapple Theatre, 13P, Prospect Theatre, the Metropolis Opera Project (including Billy in Billy Blythe), TRU, Superhero Clubhouse, Vital Theatre. BFA Ithaca College. Love to Mom and Dad!
Kate Marilley KATE MARILLEY* (Ensemble) Previous credits include: Billy Elliot 1st National Tour, White Christmas (Judy Haynes), Singin' in the Rain (Kathy Selden), 42nd Street (Peggy Sawyer), Seven Brides... (Ruth) tour, Half a Sixpence (Flo Bates), A Chorus Line (Sheila), Silk Stockings (Ninotchka Yoshenko), and more. Much love to her parents and her fiancé Marcellus!
Logan Rose Nelms LOGAN ROSE NELMS (Ensemble) a 2011 graduate of the University of Miami, is thrilled about joining Goodspeed in this wonderful production. Selected credits: Annie Get Your Gun (Annie), I Love You Because (Marcy), Cats (Bombalurina), Lend Me A Tenor (Diana). Thanks to the creative team, her family, Stoop, and About Artists.
Danny Rothman DANNY ROTHMAN* (Ensemble) Goodspeed: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Other credits include productions with Portland Center Stage (Drammy Award) Ragtime, The Old Globe, Signature Theatre, Northshore Music Theatre, The Rich Forum, Cincinnati Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, Fulton Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, among others. BFA CMU.  Love to Mom and Dad!
Gavriel Savit GAVRIEL SAVIT* (Ensemble) is pleased to be making his Goodspeed debut in Amazing Grace. Other credits include Jud Fry in Oklahoma! (Encore Musical Theatre Co, Michigan), von Asterberg in The Student Prince (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pennsylvania) and The Voca People (Off-Broadway and International Companies). Proud Michigan Wolverine and AEA member.
Victoria Thornsbury VICTORIA THORNSBURY (Ensemble) Goodspeed debut! Disney Cruise Lines: Disney Dreams plus eight other main stage musicals. Favorites: Company (Playhouse on Park); I Never Saw Another Butterfly the Musical (NYC Assembly Hall); The Fantasticks, Miss Saigon (Company Theatre); Sweeney Todd (Metro Stage Company). Lives in New Haven with her fiancé, Colin.
Paul Michael Valley PAUL MICHAEL VALLEY* (Ensemble) Film: On Music Row, My Best Friend’s Wife, One More Time. TV: “Another World,” “Third Watch,” “Guiding Light,” “SVU,” “One Life to Live,” “Ed.” Broadway/Off: 1776, Silence! The Musical, Any Given Monday, Arms and the Man, Hurrah at Last; Shakespeare Theatre, Old Globe, Denver Center, Cleveland Playhouse. Training: Juilliard, VCU.
Charles E. Wallace CHARLES E. WALLACE* (Ensemble) is excited to be at Goodspeed. His Broadway and off Broadway credits include Miss Saigon (John), Smokey Joe's Cafe, Jekyll & Hyde, Dinah Was (Boss/Chase) and George Wolfe's Harlem Song at the Apollo Theatre. Regionally: Urinetown (Lockstock), A Soldier's Play (Davenport), Play On (The Duke) and Jesus Hopped the "A" Train (Lucius).
Toni Elizabeth White TONI ELIZABETH WHITE* (Ensemble) Off-Broadway: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Gwen/Ensemble) Tours: Guys & Dolls National (Ensemble), Aida China (u/s Aida & Nehebka), Aida National (Swing/Ensemble). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Peter Pan (Tiger Lily), Curtains (Ensemble). Thanks to God, Justin Stoney, John Frank. Love & gratitude to Mom, Dad, and Jon Boy!
Noah Zachary NOAH ZACHARY (Ensemble) Excited to be making his Goodspeed Debut! Off-Broadway: Dear Edwina (D.R.2.), Once Upon a Time in New Jersey (Prospect Theater). Regional: Spring Awakening (Revision Theater), Hair, Tommy, Rent, Seussical (Connecticut Repertory Theatre). BFA in acting from the University of Connecticut. Special thanks to Pat and Joe, DBA, and my amazing family.


Creative Team

Christopher Smith

CHRISTOPHER SMITH (Book, Music, and Lyrics Amazing Grace is Chris’ first work of professional writing. He is the concept creator, composer, lyricist, and co-author of the book. Chris is entirely self-taught. The show was born while Chris was working as a police officer and Youth Outreach and Education Director in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Chris thanks his best friend and wife Alana; his children Joshua, Alana, and Alexandra; his parents; investors; and, above all, God, who made this whole impossible dream a reality.

Arthur Giron

ARTHUR GIRON (Book) has written fifteen plays. Among them, Emilie’s Voltaire, winner of the Galileo Prize, was just seen in Portugal; Becoming Memories won a Los Angeles Critics Drama-Logue Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Writing,” and Flight toured 120 US cities. He was named “one of our best contemporary dramatists” by critic Rosette LaMont when Edith Stein opened in New York. He received a commission to write a libretto for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Arthur was Head of Graduate Playwriting at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a founding member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, where he lives with his wife Mariluz.

Gabriel Barre

GABRIEL BARRE (Director) off-Broadway: Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party; Summer of ’42 ; Stars in Your Eyes; Honky-Tonk Highway; john & jen; and Almost, Maine. National Tours: Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt, Pippin. Goodspeed: Pippin, Sweeney Todd, Finian’s Rainbow, Houdini, and many other new musicals. Other Regional: Flower Drum Song, Little Shop of Horrors, American Musical Theatre of San Jose; Private Lives, Seattle Repertory Theatre; Tom Jones, Memphis, Camelot, North Shore Music Theatre; Stand By Your Man, Ryman Auditorium; Hay Fever, Pericles, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. International: Carmen, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, Karlin Theatre, Prague; Tears of Heaven, Seoul, Korea. As an actor he has been nominated for a Tony Award and has appeared often in film and on TV.


Benoit-Swan Pouffer

BENOIT-SWAN POUFFER (Choreographer) is currently Artistic Director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a position he has held since 2005. Born and raised in Paris, Pouffer’s distinguished career as a professional dancer includes a seven year tenure with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, seasons with Philadanco, and Donald Byrd/The Group. Last year, Pouffer choreographed Dangerous Beauty at Pasadena Playhouse, directed by Tony Nominee Sheryl Kaller. Mr. Pouffer is a regular visiting artist at New York University, Rutgers University, and Marymount Manhattan College.


DAVID LEONG (Fight Movement and Military Director) Fight choreography in 15 Broadway productions, including the recent Billy Elliot The Musical. Regional theatres include Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre, ART, ACT, Seattle Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre. London West End credits include Napoleon the Musical and Jitney at the National Theatre. He is Chair and Producer of the VCU Department of Theatre and is one of 15 Certified Fight Masters in the US.



Kimberly Grigsby KIMBERLY GRIGSBY (Music Supervisor) Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark; Spring Awakening; The Light in the Piazza; Caroline, or Change; The Full Monty; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Twelfth Night (Jeanine Tesori). Off Broadway: Coraline; Mother Courage and Her Children; Two Gentlemen of Verona; Songs From An Unmade Bed; The Immigrant (Steven Alper); Radiant Baby; Twelfth Night (Duncan Sheik); Love’s Fire (Adam Guettel). Education: Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music.

Jodie Moore

JODIE MOORE (Music Director) Broadway: American Idiot, Hair, 9 to 5 the Musical, Spring Awakening, and Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Fat Camp the Musical, Rent, Toxic Avenger. 1st National Tours: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hairspray, Aida, Rent, and Footloose the Musical. She has played in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway orchestras, most recently Spiderman, Catch Me If You Can, Avenue Q, and Rent. She was the Music Director of Virginia’s Stage Company’s premier of SCKBSTD written by Bruce Hornsby.

Beowulf Boritt

BEOWULF BORITT (Scenic Design) designed Pippin and Abyssinia for Goodspeed. Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Nomination), Rock of Ages, Sondheim On Sondheim, ...Spelling Bee, LoveMusik, The Two And Only. Off-Broadway: More than 50 shows including The Last Five Years, Toxic Avenger, Miss Julie, Public, Roundabout, MTC, 2nd Stage, Vineyard, MCC, New Group, Pearl, American Place, Keen Company. Other Designs: The Seven Deadly Sins (New York city Ballet) Paradise Found (London), Reel to Reel (Beijing) and 2 editions of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He received a 2007 OBIE Award for sustained excellence in set design.


 KEN BILLINGTON (Lighting Design) 96 Broadway shows including Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys, Sondheim on Sondheim, White Christmas, [title of show], The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose, Sweeney Todd; the Broadway revivals of Bye Bye Birdie, Finian’s Rainbow, Sunday in the Park with George, Annie, Hello! Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof; and hundreds of touring productions.Other: Shamu One Ocean and Shamu Rocks for the three Seaworld Parks, Jubilee! for Bally’s Las Vegas: Awards: Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Lumen (Architecture), Ace (Television).

Toni-Leslie James

 TONI-LESLIE JAMES (Costume Designer) Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys, Finian's Rainbow, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, King Hedley II, One Mo’ Time, The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Footloose. Off-Broadway: Lincoln Center Theater, Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre, Second Stage, Playwright's Horizons, City Center “Encores!”. Awards: Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel nominations; Hewes Design Award and additional nominations; Connecticut Critics Circle; Irene Sharaff Young Masters; 2009 Obie for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design.  Director of Costume Design, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kenny Seymour KENNY SEYMOUR (Orchestrations) Broadway/Off-Broadway credits: Memphis: A New Musical (Music Director/Conductor),The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Co-Composer & Lyricist, Orchestrations), The Wiz (Dance Music Arranger), Hot Feet: The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire (Synth Programmer). Film: The Fringe (Composer), Talking with the Taxman About Poetry (Composer). Music Arranger/Orchestrator for shows on Fox, BET and NBC. Mr. Seymour has performed around the world, from the Legendary Apollo Theatre to the Montreux Jazz Festival. Education:  Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music kennyseymour.com
  JAY HILTON (Sound Design) is proud of his long association with Goodspeed, having designed countless productions at the Goodspeed Opera House and Norma Terris Theatre. In addition to his design duties Jay serves as the Lighting & Sound Supervisor for all of Goodspeed’s productions. Jay’s work has been heard on Broadway, National Tours, and at regional theatres from coast to coast. Jay and his wife, Goodspeed’s Line Producer Donna Lynn Hilton, make their home (and garden) in Hadlyme.

ROBERT-CHARELS VALLANCE (Wig & Hair Design) Broadway: Little Shop of HorrorsLong Day's Journey, The Play What I Wrote, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Our Town, Hollywood Arms, The Elephant Man, Dance of Death, Amy's View, The Blue Room, Master Class, Blood Brothers. Tours and Off-Broadway: Race for Love, Cinderella (Broadway Asia); Les Misérables ;(Dominican Republic) I Love a Piano, Marvelous Wonderettes, Enter Laughing, Dessa Rose, Lost in Yonkers (TACT); My One And Only (Goodspeed). Resident designer, Irish Repertory Theatre. Proprietor, The Broadway Wig Company. broadwaywigs.com




*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.