Sunday, July 29, 2018

THE SUN’LL COME OUT TOMORROW – BUT THE STARS COME OUT AT NIGHT AS ANNIE CLOSES OUT THE SPRINGFIELD MUNI SEASON




The Springfield Muni Opera’s season of leading ladies comes to a close starting Friday, August 3, with the youngest of the group – the beloved orphan Annie.

Based on the adventures of the plucky comic strip heroine Little Orphan Annie, this timeless favorite tells the story of little Annie (Caroline Dahlquist), who toils away in the orphanage run by mean Miss Hannigan (Tiffany Williams), but who never loses sight of her dream to find her real parents. Annie’s plans take an unexpected twist when billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (Gus Gordon) decides to spend the Christmas holiday with an orphan. His assistant Grace (Kristen Wolfe) thinks Annie would be the ideal choice, and her arrival in Warbucks’ life will change them both forever.

This Tony Award-winning musical first appeared on the Broadway stage in 1977, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan. It features some of the most popular songs ever to emerge from a stage production, including “Tomorrow” and “Hard-Knock Life.” Director Carly Shank says her goal with this production is to emphasize that families come in many different forms.

Annie is sponsored by RSM. The show runs August 3-5 and 8-12. Please note the early start time for this production with curtain time is 8:00 p.m. each night. Reserved seats are available in advance by calling (217) 793-MUNI or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium box office. Tickets (both reserved and general admission) are also available on show nights at the box office at the Muni site.

Even after the regular season is done, there is still more fun to come at the Muni before summer ends. The Muni Incredibles! will feature children who have taken part in the Muni’s Children’s Audition Program. Children have spent the summer learning what it takes to be a part of the magic of a Muni production. They will show what they have learned in two performances on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18 at 8 p.m.
Tickets for these special performances are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-18. Kids two and under are free. All tickets will be available on show night at the Muni box office, and all seats are general admission; audience members may sit in the reserved seating section or may bring lawn chairs.
Get more details at themuni.org.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

MUNI’S 2018 SEASON GOES PINK FOR LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL



OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS! MUNI’S 2018 SEASON GOES PINK
FOR LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL
                       
            The Springfield Muni Opera will be in the pink for the third show of the 2018 season – the Muni premiere of Legally Blonde: the Musical.
            This adaptation of the hit 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon still tells the story of everyone’s favorite law student, Elle Woods (played here by Zoey Zara). But now the story of Elle’s journey from sorority girl to courtroom force comes with peppy and memorable songs from husband-and-wife team Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with book by Heather Hach (Freaky Friday).
            Elle thinks she’s about to be engaged to perfect boyfriend Warner (Dalton McGhiey), only to find instead that she’s getting dumped because Warner doesn’t think she’s serious enough. So Elle sets out to prove him wrong by applying to join him at Harvard Law School. But Elle soon finds that law school is a long way from the Delta Nus, and she has to use all of her unique skills and talents to balance the scales of justice for a famous client, and for herself.
            Just as pink is Elle’s favorite color, audience members are also encouraged to “Paint the Muni Pink” on the second Saturday of the show, July 21. Everyone attending the show that night is invited to wear pink, and there will be several opportunities to donate to the American Cancer Society. More details are available at the Springfield Muni Opera Facebook page.
            Legally Blonde: The Musical is directed by Anna Bussing Maisenbacher, and is sponsored by UCB. The show runs July 13-15 and 18-22. Showtime is 8:30 each night. Reserved seats are available in advance by calling (217) 793-MUNI or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium box office. Tickets (both reserved and general admission) are also available on show nights at the box office at the Muni site on Lake Springfield. The 2018 season of memorable leading ladies will close with the final production of the summer, Annie, opening August 3. Get more details at themuni.org.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Springfield Muni Opera’s 2018 season of great leading ladies continues Friday night (June 22nd) with the opening of the summer’s second show, Sister Act.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (June 20, 2018) The Springfield Muni Opera’s 2018 season of great leading ladies continues Friday night (June 22nd) with the opening of the summer’s second show, Sister Act.

Based on the hit 1992 film comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act was adapted for the musical stage in 2006, with music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), lyrics by Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock), book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner (Cheers) and additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu).
Nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Jasmine French) is in danger after discovering the criminal activity of her boyfriend, Curtis (Roger Finnell). Deloris runs to the police and reconnects with her old friend Eddie (Lex Glover), who decides she needs to be hidden away in the last place Curtis would look – a convent. From there it’s a culture clash as Deloris (now undercover as Sister Mary Clarence) tries to adapt her Vegas dreams to the cloistered life of a nun – or perhaps to get the nuns to loosen up and put a little “Wow!” in their worship.

In keeping with the show’s theme of sacrifice for a greater good, the Springfield Muni Opera will conduct a food drive on the second weekend of the show, June 29-July 1. Anyone bringing non-perishable food items to benefit Kumler Outreach Ministries will be entered into a drawing (one entry per donated item) for four tickets to our third show of the season, Legally Blonde the Musical. Thanks also to Landmark Automotive Group for assisting with storage of the donated items.

Sister Act is co-directed and choreographed by Morgan Kaplan and Andrew Maynerich, and is sponsored by Edward Jones. The show runs June 22-24 and June 27-July 1. Showtime is 8:30 each night. Reserved seats are available in advance by calling (217) 793-MUNI or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium box office. Tickets (both reserved and general admission) are also available on show nights at the box office at the Muni site on Lake Springfield. And don’t forget the rest of Muni’s 2018 season, Legally Blonde the Musical, and Annie. Get more details at themuni.org.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Little Shop of Horrors Cast

Little Shop of Horrors Cast


The staff of Little Shop of Horrors would like to thank everyone who auditioned for the 2018 season. Casting decisions were difficult due to the many wonderful auditions that took place this year. The cast for Little Shop of Horrors is listed below.  All cast members should watch emails closely for communications about cast pictures, workdays, and rehearsal schedules. Thanks again to everyone who auditioned


  •         Seymour - Kevin Hart
  •         Audrey - Courtney Wick
  •         Audrey II - Kevin Ford
  •         Mr. Mushnik - Jim Leach
  •         Orin Scrivello - Matt Ratz
  •         Crystal (Trio) - Calia Cole
  •         Chiffon (Trio) - Lindsey Rudd
  •         Ronnette (Trio) - Brianna Gude-Price
  •         P. Martin 
  •         Wino    
  •         Mr. Bernstein - Chuck McCue
  •         Mrs. Luce - Katina Price
  •         Skip Snip - James Weitzel
  •         WSKID Radio Announcer             
  •         Customer           
  •         Ensemble - Logan Baskett, Angela Covert, Rachel Douglas, Ava Giacomini, Gabrielle Gray, Regina Ivy, Alexsis Page, Ben Selsor, Leanne Telger, Bradyn Wambach, Samantha White, Hunter Woods, Natalie Young

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Legally Blonde Cast

Legally Blonde Cast


The staff of Legally Blonde would like to thank everyone who auditioned for the 2018 season. Casting decisions were difficult due to the many wonderful auditions that took place this year. The cast for Legally Blonde is listed below.  All cast members should watch emails closely for communications about cast pictures, workdays, and rehearsal schedules. Thanks again to everyone who auditioned


  •          Elle Woods - Zoey Zara
  •          Emmett Forrest                - Ryan Fisher
  •          Warner Huntington III - Dalton McGhiey
  •          Professor Callahan - Eric Huber
  •          Paulette - Courtney Wick
  •          Vivienne Kensington - Lindsey Rudd
  •          Brooke Wyndam - Hope Cherry
  •          Kyle B. O'Boyle - Jacob Deters
  •          Enid Hoopes - Meredith Vogel-Thomas
  •          Nikos Argitakos/Padamadan - Matthew Woodson
  •          Aaron Schultz - Luke Petersen
  •          Carlos - Bradyn Wambach
  •          Whitney - Malone Moretti
  •          Judge/Store Manager - Katina Price
  •          Mrs. Woods - Julie Staley
  •          Mr. Woods - Chuck McCue
  •          Chutney - Hannah Levin

                               
Delta Nu                             
  •          Margot - Hannah Siehr
  •          Serena - Sophie Lanser
  •          Pilar - Olivia Huber
  •          Leilani - Brianna Gude-Price
  •          Kate - Hannah Levin
  •          Shandi - Hope Cherry
  •          Gaelen - Malone Moretti
  •          Gabby - Ashley Miller
  •          Veronica - Jocelyn Holmes

                               

  • Ensemble - Emily Bland, Justin Brandon, Carson Cole, Sydney Compton, Cece Donathan, Alec Glisson, Daniel Guttas, Michael Lanham, Jocelyn Holmes, Amanda Little, Dale Mason, Autumn Meyer, Elizabeth Moose, Linda Rainford, Carly Stroud, Drew Stroud, Emily Smith, Grace Tolley, Lisa Tossi

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Annie Cast

Annie Cast

The staff of Annie would like to thank everyone who auditioned for the 2018 season. Casting decisions were difficult due to the many wonderful auditions that took place this year. The cast for Annie is listed below.  All cast members should watch emails closely for communications about cast pictures, workdays, and rehearsal schedules. Thanks again to everyone who auditioned


    • Annie - Caroline Dahlquist
    • Oliver Warbucks - Gus Gordon
    • Miss Hannigan - Tiffany Williams
    • Grace Farrell - Kristen Wolfe
    • Molly - Carmen Lecocq
    • Kate - Grace Klenke
    • Pepper - Claire Sagins
    • Tessie - Anna Headman
    • Duffy - Madigan Sweeney
    • July- Nadia Mitchell
    • Rooster Hannigan - Craig Williams
    • Lily St. Regis - Maddie Booth
    • Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Rich Beans
    • Bert Healy - Kevin Hart
    • Drake - Gil Opferman
    • Harold Ickes - Greg Runyard
    • Judge Brandeis - Anthony Rimkus
    • Cordell Hull/Ensemble - Mark Zink
    • Lt. Ward/Ensemble - Patrick Lyons
    • Henry Morganthau/Ensemble - Jeff Guy
    • Star-to-Be/Ronnie Boylan/Ensemble - Lizzie Wakelin
    • Connie Boylan/Ensemble - Jazmine Patton
    • Bonnie Boylan/Ensemble - Megan Costic
    • Frances Perkins/Ensemble - Sydney Weber
    • Sophie/Ensemble - Andrea Stonecipher
    • Mr. Bundles/Ensemble - James Weitzel
    • Orphan - Sydney Williams, Annelyse Warren, Rylin Killen, Mary Donathan, Rylee Kate Brinkman, Rachel Wakelin, Lydia Ressler, Reese Wolfe, Nevaeh Woods
    • Ensemble - Jack McLaughlin, Austin Crawford, Cody Newcomb, Jacob Pahde, Ben Selsor, Alicia Huntley, Claire Huntley, Paula Zink, Kate VonDeBur, Annie Fulgenzi, Ann Opferman, Fiona Reed, Chloe Franks
    • Louis Howe        TBD



                                                          Tuesday, March 13, 2018

                                                          Sister Act Cast

                                                          Sister Act Cast

                                                          The staff of Sister Act would like to thank everyone who auditioned for the 2018 season. Casting decisions were difficult due to the many wonderful auditions that took place this year. The cast for Sister Act is listed below.  All cast members should watch emails closely for communications about cast pictures, workdays, and rehearsal schedules. Thanks again to everyone who auditioned


                                                          •          Deloris Van Cartier - Jasmine French
                                                          •          Eddie Souther - Lex Glover
                                                          •          Mother Superior - Deb Rudis
                                                          •          Sister Mary Robert - Grace Cohlon
                                                          •          Sister Mary Lazarus - Karen Gerdes
                                                          •          Sister Mary Patrick - Cana Roth
                                                          •          Curtis - Roger Finnell
                                                          •          Monsignor O’hara - Brett Rutherford
                                                          •          Michelle - Sydney Assalley
                                                          •          Tina - Angelica Ikejiaku
                                                          •          Tj - Peyton Knowski
                                                          •          Joey - Nicholas Nielson
                                                          •          Pablo - TBA
                                                          •          Sister Mary Martin of Tours - Carla Wilson
                                                          •          Sister Mary Theresa - Lacey Shiffer
                                                          •          Ernie - Eric Albrecht
                                                          •          Featured Nun - Lizzie Wakelin , Amy Strohman , Emily Ducaji, Savanah Milspaugh
                                                          •          Ensemble Nun - Melissa Williams, Sydney Weber, Hillary Hines, Christie Lazarides, Laura Mitkos, Kathy Sees, Amanda Neubauer
                                                          •          Ensemble/ Dance Captain - Lisa Mayes
                                                          •          Ensemble - Rebecca Heckel, Daniel Cavanagh, Campbell Coker, Kylie Rogers, Emma Dowding, Sarah Kline

                                                          Monday, February 12, 2018

                                                          Announcing the Principal Staff of Annie!


                                                          We are proud to wrap up our season with the crowd favorite, Annie! Sponsored by RSM, Annie will run August 3-5, 8-12. A heart-filled production of a family favorite, Muni’s 2018 production of Annie will be full of poignant comedy and attention to historic detail as it explores the question of what makes a family.   

                                                          Plucky and optimistic, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage that is run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC, making her way from the Hooverville shantytown to the palatial mansion of billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Along the way, with the help of Warbucks’ personal secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's schemes, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and finds a new home and family. The sun’ll come out this summer at the Muni!









                                                          Director: Carly Shank
                                                          Carly directed Muni's Sweeney Todd and Oliver! and appeared on stage last summer as Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins. She has also directed Next to Normal and Joseph... for the HCFTA, The Crucible and Mr. Lincoln for TIP, and STC's production of Rent.  Carly works as Director of Audience Development for Sangamon Auditorium, and is delighted to lead the team for this summer's production of Annie, having been in the casts of three previous Springfield productions of Annie, going back to Springfield's very first first production of the beloved musical in 1983. 










                                                          Producer: Dennis O'Brien
                                                          Dennis has been involved in Muni productions onstage, backstage, and as board member of both the Board of Managers and Board of Trustees for several decades. A three time President of Muni, he knows where most of the bodies are buried, and it is rumored he planted several of them personally. That makes him a perfect candidate for the position of Producer.  He is an attorney with Livingstone, Mueller, O’Brien & Davlin, P.C., and he is the proud father of Sean, Kate, Betsy and Conor, all of whom have graced the Muni stage on numerous occasions. 















                                                           
                                                          Assistant Director: John Sivak
                                                          John is very excited to be on the staff of Annie this summer! This is his 20th year of involvement with the Muni, he previously directed Muni’s South Pacific in 2016 and has performed in and directed several shows around the area. This is John’s third production of Annie, he was in the chorus of the 2003 STC production and was FDR in the 2010 Muni production. He is very much looking forward to creating new memories with the cast and staff of this year’s show.

















                                                          Vocal Director: Christie Lazarides
                                                          Christie is so excited to be a part of the Annie team! This will be Christie’s 11th year on staff for Muni, having most recently vocal directed Muni’s RENT, Shrek, Spamalot, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Mary Poppins. This will be Christie’s fourth time being involved in a production of Annie. She performed as an orphan twice, including once as Pepper in one of Muni’s productions. Annie was also the very first show Christie ever vocal directed. 

















                                                          Choreographer: Casey Tester
                                                          Casey is an English teacher at Riverton High School where she has directed, assisted with, and/or choreographed nearly twenty shows, including most recently Legally Blonde, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shrek; but this is her first time participating in a community theater production, other than supporting and enjoying it from the audience. She is thrilled to be joining the Muni family, and especially for the opportunity to work with Carly, who is the first person to inspire in her a love of musical theater through an unforgettable camp during the summer of 1992 (where she just so happened to perform Annie's "Maybe"). Twelve years ago, Annie was Casey's first opportunity to try out her choreography skills, and she is so grateful to revisit its magic again this summer! 







                                                          Assistant Vocal Director: Haley Muller
                                                          Haley is thrilled to be on staff for Annie! She is a vocal music education major at Millikin University where she is in multiple student and music organizations. She has been in numerous Muni performances including Les Miserables, Little Mermaid, and Mary Poppins. She has been a cast member in many shows in the Springfield area and is excited for her first time on staff, especially for Annie, having played the role of Annie in sixth grade at Cantrall Intermediate School and it being the first show she was in as an orphan at the Muni in 2010.
















                                                           
                                                          Stage Manager: Seth Wheeler
                                                          Seth served as Assistant Director for Mary Poppins, Apprentice Director for The Little Mermaid, and Stage Manager for Shrek the Musical and Les Miserables in previous Muni seasons. Long ago one might have found him on the Muni stage, faking his way through tap dances with Kevin Kulavic in Crazy for You or trying to pass as a Shark in West Side Story. While he likes being on stage and performing, he's going back to his comfort zone which is backstage, bossing people around and making sure that the audience gets a great show every night. During the day, Seth is the Facilities Manager at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. This will be Seth's eleventh consecutive summer at the Muni and he is excited to work on Annie with yet another amazing Directing team. It may be a hard-knock life, but not when you're doing what you love!   
                                                              

                                                          Tuesday, February 6, 2018

                                                          Announcing the Principal Staff of Legally Blonde the Musical!


                                                           


                                                          We are excited to have Legally Blonde the Musical make its Muni debut as our third show this summer! Sponsored by UCB, Legally Blonde will run July 13-15, 18-22. Oh my God, oh my God, you guys! Based on the fabulous movie, Legally Blonde the Musical is a fun, award-winning show that is follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she bends and snaps stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. You guys. We can’t. Elle has like the ultimate #TransformationTuesday. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. When the musical starts, Elle literally has it all: she’s in a sorority, she has a killer wardrobe, she owns an adorable Chihuahua named Bruiser, and she snagged a hottie boyfriend with Roman numerals after his name. But her life is totally turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law! It’s like, so sad. So Elle charms her way into the prestigious law school to win him back, but gets totally bummed out when her fellow classmates, professors, and ex are total haters completely underestimate her. Ugh! But with the support of some new friends, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to be so much better than before.

















                                                          Director: Anna Bussing Maisenbacher
                                                          Anna has been involved with The Muni for approximately 25 years. She has directed and choreographed West Side Story and All Shook Up, choreographed Hairspray and High School Musical, and was most recently on stage at Muni as Betty Haynes in White Christmas. Anna works as the coordinator for the audiology department at SIU Medicine. 
















                                                          Producer: Jake Smith
                                                          Jake is thrilled to join this staff. This is his sixth show to produce for the Muni most recently producing Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In addition, Jake is serving a co-chair for publicity this year for the Muni. He is excited to see this season materialize and share it with his family (Mary Kate, Stella, Jesse, and Jude.)

















                                                          Assistant Director: Cory Blissett
                                                          Cory Blissett has been performing in the local theater scene for over 20 years.  Some of his favorite performance moments at The Muni include Angel in RENT, dean Hyde in All Shook Up, Huck Finn in Big River, and Younger Brother in Ragtime.  Cory is a licensed counselor and the Director of Outreach at Hope, which is a non-profit in Illinois serving individuals with developmental differences.  Fun fact, a part of that job includes co-directing the spring musical each year.  Cory is also a youth group co-leader at Phoenix Center and an actor at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  This is Cory's first time on staff at the Muni and he is excited to be working alongside some truly talented artistic innovators. 














                                                          Assistant Director/Choreographer: Julie Ratz
                                                          Julie is the Artistic Director of the Springfield Ballet Company. She has performed with SBC; ISU Dance Theatre; Twin Cities Ballet Company; Scottish American Ballet in Edinburgh, Scotland; and Harvard University Summer Dance. Julie holds a B.S. in Dance Performance/Choreography from Illinois State University (ISU); and she has studied dance in Chicago at Lou Conte and Joseph Holmes dance studios, and the Ruth Page Foundation. She has received the Springfield Area Arts Council choreography award, and has been a member of the Illinois Arts Council Partners in Excellence and Dance panels. Julie has performed in, choreographed and directed many productions for Over the Moon Productions (OTM), Springfield Theatre Centre (STC), Muni and the Hoogland Center for the Arts (HCFTA).















                                                          Vocal Director: Mary Kate Smith

                                                          Mary Kate is excited to be back on Muni staff for the first time since 2011's Wizard Of Oz. She has been on stage at Muni in the meantime starring, most recently, in the title role of last season's hit Mary Poppins.  She has long been a vocal coach, teacher and instructor as well as a musician and recording artist. Her favorite thing about Muni is sharing it with her family (Jake, Stella, Jesse and Jude) as well as her extended Muni family.  That, and the peach green tea you can only get there and, like, two other places.






                                                          Apprentice Director: Craig McFarland
                                                          Craig is extremely excited that Legally Blonde marks his first time on a Muni staff. He's been involved in Springfield area theatre for the past eight years, playing numerous roles from Hubert Humphrey in HCFTA's All the Way to Patsy in STC's Spamalot. This past Muni season he was in our White Christmas. Craig also has directed and assistant directed shows for Springfield Theatre Centre. He's currently a member of the Muni Board of Managers, where he is serving as Co-chair to the Muni's publicity committee. He works as an Academic Advisor at UIS. When he's not busy with theatre he is at home with his lovely wife, Anna, and his adorable son, Liam.
















                                                          Stage Manager: Kevin Kulavic
                                                          Kevin most recently played Roger in our production of Grease. His resume is very extensive from performing and staffing numerous shows throughout the area. To pay his bills, Kevin is Deputy Director at the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. He will be busy this summer at the Muni, Kevin is also the assistant director of our Little Shop of Horrors.