The Muny’s 94th season kicks off with Thoroughly Modern Millie, directed by Marc Bruni and choreographed by Chris Bailey, and starring Broadway veteran Tari Kelly as Millie Dillmount, Tony Award winner Beth Leavel as Mrs. Meers, and legendary performer Leslie Uggams reprising her Broadway role of Muzzy. Also appearing are Andrew Samonsky as Jimmy, Megan McGinnis as Miss Dorothy, Stephen Buntrock as Trevor Graydon, Francis Jue as Ching Ho, Darren Lee as Bun Foo and Tory Ross as Miss Flannery.
The production features scenic design by Sam and Steve Gilliam, sound design by Jason Krueger, lighting design by Seth Jackson and costume coordination by Tracy Christensen. Michael Horsley serves as the musical director, and the production stage manager is Peter Hynds.Francis Jue (Ching Ho) returns to The Muny, where he has appeared in The Little Mermaid, Damn Yankees, Miss Saigon, Peter Pan, The King & I,and Mame. On Broadway, Francis originated the role of Bun Foo in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Other Broadway credits: M. Butterfly and Pacific Overtures. Francis won Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards (plus Drama Desk and Drama League nominations) for Yellow Face. Other favorite NYC credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost, Coraline, Falsettoland, A Language of Their Own, No Foreigners Beyond This Point, Hamlet,and King Lear. Francis has won regional theatre awards for In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Cabaret, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Into the Woods, The Illusion, Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon,and Red. TV: “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order.” Film Debut: Joyful Noise. Francis Jue, At Home on the Stage
Tari Kelly (Millie Dillmount) was most recently in the Tony® Award winning revival of Anything Goes on Broadway where she understudied and performed the role of Reno Sweeney over 50 times. Other Broadway/national tour credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Show Boat (Ellie), The Boy From Oz (Trio, u/s Liza Minnelli), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Mama Who) and Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl, u/s Babette). Some of her favorite regional credits are Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney -2011 Carbonell Award Winner), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie – Jeff Award Nomination), Once Upon a Mattress (Winnifred), Chicago (Velma Kelly) and White Christmas (Judy Haynes). Additionally, she can be heard on the original cast recordings of The Boy From Oz and Anything Goes.
Beth Leavel (Mrs. Meers) was last seen at The Muny as Miss Hannigan in Annie in 2009. She received Tony, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle and L.A. Drama Critics Awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. Beth also received a Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nomination for her role as Florence Greenberg in Baby It’s You. She recently performed the role of M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias at the North Carolina Theatre and the much put upon maid, Berthe, in Boeing-Boeing at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Other Broadway roles include Emily in Elf, Donna in Mamma Mia!, Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein, Dorothy Brock in the revival of 42nd Street, Tess in the original company of Crazy For You, Mrs.Bixby in The Civil War, Ellie in Hal Prince’s Showboat, and Anytime Annie (her Broadway debut) in 42nd Street. Ms. Leavel was also seen in New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette as Lucille. Numerous Off-Broadway, regional theatre, commercials, and TV, including the final episode of “ER.”
Andrew Samonsky (Jimmy) played Lieutenant Joseph Cable in Lincoln Center’s Tony® Award winning production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, where he was also seen on the Live From Lincoln Center PBS broadcast. He recently received a Drama Desk nomination for the role of Frank Russell in Michael John LaChiusa’s Queen of the Mist off-Broadway. This last year he was seen in New York City Center’s Merrily We Roll Along, and originated roles in James Lapine and William Finn’s Little Miss Sunshine at The La Jolla Playhouse, and the Scissor Sisters’ Tales of the City at A.C.T. You can hear him on the cast recordings of Merrily We Roll Along, Queen of the Mist, and Disney’s On The Record.
Megan McGinnis (Miss Dorothy) returns to Thoroughly Modern Millie, having performed in the Broadway company for a year. Other Broadway credits include Lés Misérables (Eponine), Little Women (Beth), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Diary of Anne Frank, and Parade. She has appeared in the tours of Daddy Long Legs (LA Ovation Award, Chicago Jeff Nomination, Cincinnati Acclaim Award), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), The Sound of Music (Liesl), and James Joyce’s The Dead (Lily). Film/TV credits include: Anywhere But Here; A Goofy Movie; “Sister, Sister”; “Dear John”; “Wings” and “Blossom” (recurring). Megan can be heard on the original cast recordings of Daddy Long Legs, Little Women, Parade, and also Sutton Foster’s “Wish,” singing the duet “Flight.”
Stephen Buntrock (Mr. Graydon) is currently starring in the Encore Series production of Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Other Broadway engagements include starring opposite Bernadette Peters as Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, Curly in Oklahoma!, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, St. John in the original cast of Jane Eyre, Barrett in Titanic, Enjolras in the Tenth Anniversary Cast of Lés Misérables, Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and creating Teen Angel for the latest revival of Grease! He has toured extensively across the United States and Canada as Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Rueben in Joseph…Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, originating the role of Arnaud du Thil in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Martin Guerre, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Tory Ross (Miss Flannery) has been seen on Broadway in Cry-Baby (Hatchet-Face) and 9 to 5 (Candy Striper). National tours include Wicked (Mid-wife), White Christmas (Mrs. Snoring-Man) and The Producers (Shirley Markowitz). She also appeared in the London production of Silence! the Musical (Agent Clarice Starling). She has been seen at Carnegie Hall in Jerry Springer the Opera (Jerry Cam Stripper), and at The Grand Ole Opry in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mrs. Claus). Favorite regional credits include Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (Rosemary Clooney, Human Race Theatre), Mame (Cousin Fan; Kennedy Center), Merrily We Roll Along (Gussie, Signature Theatre). Movie appearances include Sex and the City 2 and The Producers.
To purchase Season Tickets by phone, call (314) 361-1900, extension 550, or order online at www.muny.org. The Muny Box Office is now open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
The 7-show line-up is:
Thoroughly Modern Millie June 18 – 24
Chicago June 25 – July 1
Disney’s Aladdin July 5 – 13
Dreamgirls July 16 – 22
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat July 23 – 29
Pirates! (or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder’d) July 30 – August 5
The King and I August 6 – 12
Season Ticket buyers will enjoy their reserved seats for Aladdin from July 5 – 11. Additional performances (July 12 and 13) are non-subscribed, and offer exceptional seating opportunities for groups. The Muny’s group sales office offers a 20% discount for groups of 20 or more, and is taking orders now. For more information or to make reservations, call (314) 361-1900, extension 308. Single tickets will be available beginning Saturday, June 2 at The Muny Box Office in Forest Park, online or by phone. For more information, call (314) 361-1900 or visit www.muny.org.
Other Articles by Lia Chang
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