Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Justin Guarini, Julia Murney, Ann Harada, Jenny Powers and More Set for MAMMA MIA! at The Muny, July 21 – 28

Updated: 7/22/16

Justin Guarini

Justin Guarini

Ann Harada. Photo by Lia Chang

Ann Harada. Photo by Lia Chang

The Muny is presenting MAMMA MIA! directed by Dan Knechtges, choreographed by Jessica Hartman and music directed by Michael Horsley, July 21 – 28, 2016. The Muny is located at #1 Theatre Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112.  For more information visit muny.org.

Justin Guarini (Sam Carmichael) will join the previously announced Julia Murney (Donna), Ann Harada (Rosie), Jenny Powers (Tanya), Mike McGowan (Bill Austin), Ben Nordstrom (Harry Bright), Jason Gotay (Sky) and Brittany Zeinstra (Sophie). With Alexander Aguilar, Sara Gallo, Michael Samarie George, Kate Arrington Johnson, Wonza Johnson, Sean Jones, Alex Larson, Yvette Lu, Tyler McKenzie, Jessie Peltier, Riza Takahashi, Raven Thomas, Daryl Tofa, Halli Toland, Brion Watson and Kevin Zak. The company will also be joined by The Muny teen youth ensemble and the Muny/Webster Intensive participants.

Scenic design is by Tim Mackabee, with costume design by Leon Dobkowski, lighting design by Nathan W. Scheuer, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, and video design by Greg Emetaz. Wig design is by John Metzner and the production stage manager is Larry Smiglewski. Mamma Mia! is proudly sponsored by US Bank.

JUSTIN GUARINI (Sam Carmichael) The Muny: Chicago (Billy Flynn), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Joseph). Broadway: Wicked (Fiyero), Romeo & Juliet (Paris), American Idiot (Will), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Carlos, original cast). Regional: Moonshine (world premiere, Gordy), Company (Bobby), Paint Your Wagon (Julio), Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (world premiere, Drake), Rent (Roger), It’s A Wonderful Life (Jake). Solo albums: Justin Guarini (RCA Records), Stranger Things Have Happened. Film: Fast Girl (Darryl), From Justin to Kelly (Justin) TV: American Idol season 1 (Fox), Run of the House (Fox), Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney), TV Guide Network (host). http://www.justinguarini.com

JULIA MURNEY (Donna) Julia is thrilled to return to The Muny after appearing as Princess Fiona in Shrek and Mayzie in Seussical. She last appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked after playing the role on the national tour for which she received an Acclaim Award. Other New York credits include Lennon, The Wild Party (Drama Desk nomination), Falling (Drama Desk nomination), A Class Act, The Landing, Queen of the Mist, and Time and Again (Lucille Lortel nomination). TV credits include Madam Secretary, 30 Rock, Sex and the City, all the Law & Orders, First You Dream and about a gazillion voiceovers. A Syracuse University graduate, recordings include the Grammy nominated Actor’s Fund Benefit of Hair and her solo album I’m Not Waiting.

ANN HARADA (Rosie) Muny: High School Musical. Originated the role of Christmas Eve in Avenue Q on Broadway and the West End. Other Broadway: Cinderella, 9 to 5, M Butterfly, Seussical, LES MISERABLES (revival). Film: Youth in Oregon, Sisters, Admission, Hope Springs, and The Art of Getting By. TV: The Jim Gaffigan Show, The Good Wife, SMASH, 30 Rock, House of Cards, Master of None.

JENNY POWERS (Tanya) Muny: The Addams Family, Oliver, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Camelot. World premiere of Little Dancer at the Kennedy Center. Broadway: Grease, Little Women. Highlights include It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman and Of Thee I Sing at Encores!; Donnybrook! at the Irish Rep (Drama Desk nom); Dangerous Beauty at the Pasadena Playhouse; Happiness at Lincoln Center; Secondhand Lions at The 5th Avenue Theatre; TV/Film: The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Blue Bloods (CBS), Power (Starz), The Good Wife (CBS), Mercy (NBC), Law & Order: CI (USA & NBC), Six Degrees (ABC), Nurse Jackie (Showtime), I Think I Love My Wife, Confessions of a Shopaholic. www.jenny-powers.com

After 14 years and nearly 6,000 performances on Broadway, the worldwide megahit Mamma Mia! sails into The Muny like a breath of fresh island air. Set on the Greek island of Kalokairi, Sophie, a 20-year-old bride-to-be, is on the search for her father. After reading her mother’s diary, she discovers there are three potential suitors. Unbeknownst to her mother, Donna, Sophie invites each of them to the island in hopes of having one of them walk her down the aisle. As the big day draws near, emotions run high, surprises abound and old flames burn just as strong as new. This feel-good show, packed with 22 ABBA hits, will have Muny audiences leaving singing “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” more!

The seven shows in the 2016 Muny season are: The Wizard of Oz (June 13 – 22), 42nd Street (June 24 – 30), The Music Man (July 5 – 11), Young Frankenstein (July 13 – 19), Mamma Mia!(July 21 – 28), Fiddler on the Roof (July 30 – August 5), and Elton John and Tim Rice‘s Aida (August 8 -14). Season tickets are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale May 28, 2016.

The Muny’s mission is to enrich lives by producing exceptional musical theatre, accessible to all, continuing its remarkable tradition in Forest Park. For more information visit muny.org.

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 Playbill.com.

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