Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

The Love Boat’s Fred Grandy Joins Tina Fabrique, Riley Costello, Sarah Schenkkan and More in Connecticut Rep’s HOW TO SUCCEED…, Jun. 2 – 12

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) announces a change in the casting for their production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the musical comedy by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, with music andFredGrandy_0430(1)[1] lyrics by Frank Loesser.

Directed by CRT Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal, How to Succeed…kicks off the 2016 Nutmeg Sumer Series starring The Love Boat actor and former US Representative Fred Grandy as JB Biggley alongside Broadway’s Riley Costello as J. Pierpont Finch. Grandy replaces the previously announced Charles Shaughnessy. Performances of How To
will begin on June 2, 2016 and continue through June 12, 2016 at Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre. The Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut, 802 Bolton Rd, Storrs, Connecticut 06269. Tickets are available at or 860-486-2113.

Fred Grandy is a comedic and dramatic actor with decades of experience on stage and on camera. Grandy is probably most recognizable to audiences as Gopher on the long running sitcom The Love Boat, and his recent recurring role on The Mindy Project. In addition to his career as an actor, Grandy served four terms as a congressman for Iowa’s Sixth District.  Grandy began his career off-Broadway working at the Public Theater, and then initiated his career in television and film with appearances in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blind Ambition, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Welcome Back, Kotter and Law & Order. He has appeared on stage at regional theatres including Arena Stage and The Folger Theatre.

Riley Costello returns to CRT after leading last summer’s Peter Pan to rave reviews. Costello appeared on Broadway in 13: A New Musical, Bye Bye Birdie and Everyday Rapture. He appeared as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Metropolitan Opera and in the World Premiere of the Musical adaptation of Because of Winn Dixie at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Alongside Costello, CRT welcomes back Sarah Schenkkan as Rosemary who last appeared at CRT in Guys and Dolls. Schenkkan is currently playing Eleanor Browder in the new Amazon series Z, a bio-drama of the life of Zelda Fitzerald played by Christina Ricci. Last year Schenkkan starred in The Heart of RobinHood in its pre-Broadwayrun in Toronto and Winnipeg. Appearing as Miss Jones is regional favorite Tina Fabrique, who is reprising the role she played in both the Broadway and National Tour productions. Fabrique last appeared at CRT in The Sunshine Boys and Hairspray. Her previous Broadway credits also include Ragtime, Funk/Noise, Truly Blessed, and Gospel at Colonus.

The cast also includes: Ariana Shore (Hedy LaRue), Steve Hayes (Twimble/Womper), John Bixler (Bert Bratt), Robert Fritz (Bud Frump), Adria Swan (Smitty), and ensemble members Dalton Bertolone, Nick Nudler, Pearl Matteson, Chester Martin, Gerald Caesar, Elizabeth Brady, Rebekah Berger, Jacob Burns, Madison Coppola, Ty Taylor, Janayla Montes, Ross Thompson and Alessandro Viviano.

The creative team includes: Vincent J. Cardinal (Director), Cassie Abate (Choreographer) Tim Brown (Scenic/Projection Design), Christina Bullard (Costume Design), Michael Chybowski (Lighting Design), Michael Skinner (Sound Design), Tom Kosis (Production Stage Manager), John Pike (Musical Director) and McCorkle Casting (New York Casting).

Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Subscription package options range from $30 to $99. Single ticket prices range from $12 to $55.

Buy Tickets Online

Thursday June 2, 7:30 pm – Preview

Friday June 3, 8:00 pm – Opening Night

Saturday June 4, 2:00 pm

Saturday June 4, 8:00 pm

Sunday June 5, 2:00 pm

Tuesday June 7, 7:30 pm

Wednesday June 8, 12:00 am

Thursday June 9, 7:30 pm

Friday June 10, 8:00 pm

Saturday June 11, 2:00 pm

Saturday June 11 2016, 8:00 pm

Sunday June 12 2016, 2:00 pm

Children must be at least 4 years old to attend CRT productions. For additional ticket information or to charge tickets by phone, call 860.486.2113. All sales are final; no refunds. Play selections and performance dates are subject to change. Please call 860.486.2113 for tickets and additional information. Please call the box office or visit for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary.

Directions to the Harriet Jorgensen Theatre/Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Take I-84 East/West to Exit 68 in Tolland. Travel South on CT Route 195 about 6 miles to the University. There will be a light after you are on campus with a big white/brick church on your right. Turn right onto North Eagleville Road. Proceed about ½ mile to a light. Turn left onto Hillside Road. Free parking is available in Lot 9* and X Lot which will be on your right and paid parking is available in the North Parking Garage which will be on your left. Harriet Jorgensen Theatre (HSJ) will be on your left. The entrance to CRT is on the back side of the building.  Enter the doors and the box office will be in the lobby to your right.

CRT’s Community Partners for the Nutmeg Summer Series include Savings Institute Bank and Trust, UTC Aerospace Systems, XL Color and the UConn Dairy Bar.

CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. CRT productions are directed, designed by, and cast with visiting professional artists, including Equity actors, faculty members, and the department’s most advanced student artists. The synergy between professional and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and

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