San Diego Musical Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Teams for WHITE CHRISTMAS and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET A LIVE MUSICAL RADIO PLAY
By BWW News Desk
San Diego Musical Theatre is proud to announce the cast and creative teams for its two holiday productions this season. For the final year SDMT brings Irving Berlin‘s White Christmas to the historic Spreckels Theatre, with book by David Ives and Paul Blake, directed by Todd Nielsen. White Christmas runs November 25th- December 4th with press opening on Friday, November 25th. SDMT will also present the World Premiere of Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play directed by Colleen Kollar Smith, adapted by Lance Arthur Smith, with original music by Jon Lorenz. Miracle on 34th Street runs December 1st – 23rd at the Horton Grand Theatre, with press opening on Thursday, December 8th.
Based on the beloved, timeless film, Irving Berlin‘s White Christmas is a heartwarming musical adaptation and features a score of Irving Berlin classics, spectacular production numbers and of course, snow! Following World War II, Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act. En route to their Christmas show at a magical Vermont lodge, the duo find love with two beautiful singing sisters under the mistletoe. Musical Director Don LeMaster leads a 22-piece orchestra through this dazzling score, which features well-known standards such as Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean, and the perennial favorite, White Christmas.
“White Christmas has captivated audiences during the holiday season over the past five years,” said SDMT Artistic Director Jill Townsend. “Our holiday shows are a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the season and we are delighted to bring White Christmas to our audience one last time, while also beginning a new holiday tradition with Miracle on 34th Street.”
Additional cast includes: Amy Beth Batchelor, Jessica Christman, Philip Cobb, William Cobb, Crystal Davidson, Janie D’Avignon, Karla Franko, Donny Gersonde, Natalie Graham, Kyle Hawk, Ed Hollingsworth, Katey Konderik, Missy Marion, Catie Marron, Gabriel Navarro, Alex Nemiroski, Matthew Ryan, Janissa Saracino, Claire Scheper, Doug Schmitt, Kaleb Scott, Tara Shoemaker, Michael Van Allen, and Debra Wanger.
The creative team for White Christmas is comprised of Don LeMaster (Music Director), Kennon Hooks (Choreographer), Michael Von Hoffman (Lighting Design), Kevin Anthenill (Sound Design), David Medina (Properties Design), Bret Young (Production Manager), and Craig Campbell (Stage Manager).
In addition to White Christmas, SDMT will produce the World Premiere of Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Musical Play at the Horton Grand Theatre. Adapted from the Lux Radio Hour Broadcast by Lance Arthur Smith with original music by Jon Lorenz, this classic tale will be told in the tradition of 1940s radio. Complete with a live foley artist and versatile cast of 7 multi-talented performers – 4 of whom will voice dozens of characters.
Miracle on 34th Street will be SDMT’s inaugural production at the Horton Grand Theatre as well as the first piece Executive Director Colleen Kollar Smith will direct for SDMT.
“At the Horton Grand, we wanted to create a new holiday tradition for our audiences by taking something familiar and putting a little twist on it. With Miracle on 34th Street, we are adapting the radio broadcast of the classic Academy Award-winning film, adding original music and fresh arrangements of favorite holiday tunes, and creating an experience where our patrons will feel like they are a key-player as the live-studio audience.” Kollar Smith shared.
The cast for Miracle on 34th Street features Jim Chovick (Kris Kringle), Julia Van Skike (Susan), Cris O’Bryon (Foley Artist and Announcer), Janaya Jones (Doris and Others), Matthew Malecki(Fred and Others), Lise Hafso (Utility Gal), Eric Hellmers (Utility Guy).
The creative team for Miracle on 34th Street includes: Jon Lorenz (Musical Director), Brian Rickel (Assistant Director), Michael McKeon (Set Design), Beth Connelly (Costume/Wig Design), Kevin Anthenill (Sound Design), David Medina (Properties Design), Bret Young (Production Manager), and Matthew Bantock (Stage Manager).
Todd Nielsen – (Director- White Christmas) We are so excited and honored to be bringing this delightful Christmas gift to all of you one final time! Todd last had the pleasure of appearing onstage for SDMT in their production of 42nd Street. Behind the footlights, Todd directed SDMT’s productions of Singin’ in the Rain and The Sound of Music. Other recent directing projects include Mr. Scrooge for the Nine O’Clock Players, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure for Glendale Centre Theatre and Closer Than Ever for International City Theatre. Todd had the pleasure of being Resident Director for Cheetah National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King. He has garnered awards and nominations for multiple shows throughout his career. Other recent shows include The 39 Steps for Glendale Centre Theatre, Don’t Dress For Dinner, Let’s Misbehave, Master Class and The Robber Bridegroom for ICT in Long Beach, Proposals for Palos Verdes Center for Performing Arts, Dames at Sea for The Colony Theatre, Company, Urinetown, Godspell and Lend Me a Tenor for Chapman University, A New Brain for Musical Theatre Guild, The Wiz for AMDA, Plaid Tidings for Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for the Croswell Opera House in Michigan and Phantom for Moonlight Stages in Vista. Other shows as performer include All Shook Up for Moonlight Stages and six productions for the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Gt. George, Utah.
COLLEEN KOLLAR SMITH (Director-Miracle on 34th Street): Credits Include: Big River, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Nutcracker (New Village Arts); 100 Hours of Stories, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, miXtape (co-creator), Guys and Dolls, Music Man, The Fantasticks, Godspell, Joseph…, Light in the Piazza, Book of the Dun Cow, and American Christmas (Lamb’s); Midsummer the Musical (Intrepid); Man of La Mancha, Dirty Blonde, and Private Lies (Cygnet Theatre); Ring Round the Moon and You Never Can Tell (Moonlight Stage Productions); and Gone Missing (USD). Colleen is the recipient of two San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel awards, one for choreographing West Side Story at Lamb’s and the other for her performance in Bed and Sofa at Cygnet. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program and is proud to be the Executive Director of San Diego Musical Theatre.
Performances for White Christmas run November 25th – December 4th at the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. Performances for Miracle on 34th Street run December 1 – 23rd at the Horton Grand Theatre in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. Showtimes for White Christmas are Thursdays at 7:30PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:00PM and 8:00PM and Sunday at 2:00PM. Showtimes for Miracle on 34th Street are Thursdays at 7:30PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 4:00PM and 8:00PM and Sundays at 2:00PM, with 7:30PM performances on Tuesday, December 20th and Wednesday, December 21st.
For more information on our holiday shows and other upcoming SDMT productions, call the box office at (858) 560-5740 or visit www.sdmt.org.
Founded in 2006, San Diego Musical Theatre is dedicated to passionately producing and providing musical theatre that ignites the human spirit.