Christian Álvarez (Ensemble/Gabriel/Cesar Rodriguez) is overjoyed to be with this incredible cast. Hailing from Queens, NY Saturday Night Fever and West Side Story are his debut performances at Ivoryton Playhouse. Past Credits include Javier at Milagro Theatre Group’s original Spanish production Óye Oyá, A Chorus Line, 21 Chump Street, and Hair. Special thanks to Mom and Papi for the endless encouragement and wisdom.
Alec Bandzes (Frank Jr.) returns to the Ivoryton stage after appearing in The Bells of Dublin: Part III this past December, and is thankful to be returning to the beautiful Connecticut River Valley he calls home to do such an incredible show. He was most recently on stage at The Kate in Barefoot in the Park as Paul Bratter. Other local credits include The Farnsworth Invention (Philo Farnsworth), Noises Off (Tim), Deathtrap (Clifford), and Moon Over Buffalo (Paul) with the Saybrook Stage Company, and Rabbit Hole (Jason) at the Chestnut Street Playhouse. Alec is a recent graduate of Fairfield University and now resides in New York City. Special thanks to everyone at the Ivoryton and his family and friends for their continuous support.
Sarah Mae Banning (Pauline) is thrilled to be returning to Ivoryton Playhouse! Last season she was rotting in jail as Liz the Merry Murderess, a.k.a. Pop, in Chicago. Favorite Roles: Mille in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Hartt), Ariel in The Little Mermaid (Summer Theatre of New Canaan), Amber in Hairspray (Mac-Haydn) and Connie Sue in Smile (Hartt). Other Credits: The Producers, The Drowsy Chaperone, West Side Story (Mac-Haydn), Barnum (Hartt), Pinkalicious, Flight School, Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas (Vital Theater Company’s NYC & National Tour), and The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Goodspeed). She proudly received her B.F.A. in musical theatre from the Hartt School. Thank you Todd, Paul, Jacqui, and everyone at Ivoryton for this groovy summer! sarahmaebanning.com
Cory Candelet (Ensemble/Salesman/Jay) a recent graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, is so happy to be doing his first professional show at Ivoryton Playhouse! Cory has performed with many Ivoryton alum at East Lyme Regional Theatre, a community theatre company in East Lyme, and is so happy to be finally make his debut. Some of Cory’s favorite roles include Ren in Footloose (ELRT) and Corny Collins in Hairspray (ELRT). Cory also spent 6 months traveling with Up With People on their 50th Anniversary world tour performing in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, and more. He would like to thank his parents, Erin Stanley, and Jaron for pushing him to be better each day. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
Viktoria Chiappa (Ensemble/Doreen/Dancer) is thrilled to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse where she has previously been seen in Footloose, I’m Connecticut, Oliver! and Barnum. After appearing in Footloose, Viktoria toured North America as Tinkerbelle’s understudy with Disney on Ice Presents; Princesses and Heroes. Viktoria is a recent Elon University graduate where she studied as an Acting BFA and Vocal Performance BA. She would like to thank the amazing cast and crew for all of their hard work! As well her family for their never ending support and love.
Jonté Jaurel Culpepper (Ensemble/Orderly/Chester Brinson) is a graduate from the University of New Mexico with his BA in Contemporary Dance and minor in Vocal Performance. Some of his credits include: (AC Slater) Bayside the Musical Off-Broadway, (Vulture/Garret Understudy) Sirens Den Off-Broadway, (Muscle) Naked Boys Singing National Tour, (Final Contestant) American Idol” Season 15, (Luke) “Altar Boyz”, and (Male Singer 2) “Epic Rock/Divas” Carnival Cruise Line. He is very thankful and blessed to be joining this amazing cast! Thank you to my family friends and fraternity brothers for always believe in me, showing me so much love and support, and pushing me to great heights!
Tom Difeo (Joey) started his dance training in Bucks County, PA. After graduating high school he earned his BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts. Tom also holds a certificate in acting from The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. Tom’s professional credits include Holland America Line, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, Depression Chic, and Centrifuge Artistic Collaboration. This is Tom’s second show of the season with Ivoryton! A big thank you and I love you for the undying support of my family
Tina Falivene (Flo Manero) This is Tina’s first time on the Ivoryton Playhouse stage. Tina has been part of Joey & Maria’s Italian Comedy Wedding cast since 2005. She had a lead role in Manhattan Towers at Wing’s Theater in NYC as Mona. Her roles have included Muriel Tate in Plaza Suite, Barbara Leonard in The Girl in the Freudian Slip and Chrissy, in the The Stand Up Girl. It is her great pleasure and honor to be part of this cast.
Nora Fox* (Annette) is thrilled to join this company having played Guenevere in Ivoryton’s first annual Women Playwrights Initiative. Originally from Stonington, Connecticut, Fox began performing in Annie and A Little Night Music (Goodspeed), The Sound of Music (Broadway), and graduated from Brown University with a BA in Literary Arts. She recently wrote for/performed in BARS at the Public Theater with Daveed Diggs, and had her writing produced by Anna Deavere Smith for the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at NYU. Fox has performed in Belarus’ Int’l Festival of Modern Dance, American Dance Festival, Women Center Stage, NY Musical Festival, Ocean State Theatre Co. (Mimi in Rent) and is working on her debut album. Endless gratitude to her family, friends and Brett Goldstein. NoraFoxMusic.com @nora_fox
Andy Garcia (Ensemble/Pete) is excited to be putting on his boogie shoes and make his Ivoryton Playhouse debut! He is Originally from Miami, Fl. but currently resides in the beautiful New York City! Favorite credits include: In The Heights (Sonny), West Side Story (Action), Ghost (Sam), Charlotte’s Web (Wilbur), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy Benson), Hairspray, On The Town, and Pajama Game just to name a few. Andy holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory class of 2016. Biggest thanks and love to my family and friends, Victor, and Ismelly. Follow him on Instagram: @andygarsha16
Josephine Gottfried (Ensemble/Waitress/Dancer/Shirley Charles) A recent graduate of the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. She is thrilled to make her return to the Ivoryton Playhouse. She was previously seen as a member of the ensemble and Alexi Darling in the production of Rent. Other theater credits include 42nd Street (Anytime Annie), Curtains (ensemble), Reefer Madness (Ensemble), Hairspray (Dynamite) and Urinetown (Ensemble). She would like to take the time to acknowledge her family and all the support and love they have shown her throughout her college and professional career.
Ashley Jeudy* (Candy) is excited to be back at Ivoryton Playhouse! She had previously performed in their productions of Footloose (Rusty) and Dreamgirls (Lorrell). Some of her other favorite productions include Aida (Aida), Seussical (Sour Kangaroo), Rent (Joanne), and the premiere on Invisible Life (Apollo Theater) to name a few. She is a proud graduate of Howard University where she earned her B.F.A. in musical theater. She would like to thank the incredible cast and team here at Ivoryton and her parents for all of their love and support.
Colin Lee (Gus) is incredibly excited to be spending his summer at Ivoryton Playhouse doing West Side Story and Saturday Night Fever! Tours: Beauty and the Beast (Swing, Asst. Dance Captain), Guys & Dolls (Angie the Ox) Regional: Footloose (Ren), Oklahoma! (Curly), West Side Story (Action), Grease (Eugene), A Chorus Line (Don), CATS (Tumblebrutus), Mary Poppins (Park Keeper). Many thanks to my ever-patient and supportive family & friends, along with GBM, Todd, and everyone at the Playhouse. IG: dcolinlee
Caroline Lellouche* (Stephanie Mangano) is so excited to return to Ivoryton Playhouse for the second year in a row! She was last seen here as Hunyak in Chicago, and has spent the last year with the national tour of Annie. Other favorite credits include The Donkey Show at American Repertory Theatre, and Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray at Summer Theater of New Canaan. Caroline has a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. THANK YOU family, friends, Paul, Eileen, and Mason for your endless love and support. Let’s groove tonight! @Lcaroline94
Joey Lucherini (Double J) Joey is thrilled to be back on the Ivoryton stage for Saturday Night Fever! Favorite credits include: Luis in West Side Story (Ivoryton Playhouse), A Chorus Line (Val), West Side Story (Pepe), James and the Giant Peach (Earthworm), Hello, Dolly! (Ensemble). Pace University, 2014. Thanks to his family and closest friends for their undying love and support, as well as the incredible Todd Underwood. Instagram: @joeylucherini
Amanda Lupacchino (Ensemble/Linda/Dancer) – is thrilled to be returning to The Ivoryton Playhouse this summer in West Side Story and Saturday Night Fever! Her previous Ivoryton credits include Memphis, All Shook Up, South Pacific and Hairspray. Other favorite theater credits include Angelina Ballerina the Very Merry Holiday Musical (NYC & tour), Annie (national tour), Back to the 80s and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Proud alumni of The New School! Huge thank you to all of my family, friends and everyone at the Ivoryton Playhouse for their continued support! www.amandaleighlupacchino.com
Rick Malone (Frank Sr.) Ivoryton Playhouse: West Side Story (Lt Schrank/Glad Hand); Equity: John W. Engeman Theater (NY): 1776 (Dr Josiah Bartlett), Miracle on 34th Street (DA Thomas Mara), West Side Story (Officer Krupke), Plaza Suite (u/s Sam Nash/Roy Hubley), South Pacific (Commander Harbison), The Odd Couple (u/s Oscar Madison), Other People’s Money (u/s Lawrence Garfinkle); Majestic Theater (MA): Iris (Monsignor Riley); Playhouse on Park (CT): The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Chas Weaver); Hartford Stage (CT): Our Town with Hal Holbrook (Farmer McCarty); AEA Equity Membership Candidate; Film: Flesh Is Heir To (Chief of Detectives); Katie Fforde 2015: Decision by the Sea (Paul Bleeker); Why Did I Say Yes (Mayor DeBlanco); SAG-AFTRA; www.nycasting.com/rickmalone
Pierre Marais (Bobby C.) Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Pierre is thrilled to be performing in West Side Story and Saturday Night Fever at Ivoryton this summer. Pierre was most recently seen in Rock of Ages on Norwegian Cruise Lines and in the National Tour of Flashdance the Musical. Favorite theatre credits include: Hanschen (Spring Awakening), Angel (Rent), Warner (Legally Blonde). Film: Young Scorpion King (Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior), Nicolas Archer (The Wake of Death), Stefan (The Legion of Grads). NYFA grad. Thanks to Dave at Daniel Hoff and the incomparable Todd Underwood. Love to my incredible parents. Instagram: @pierre_marais
Arianne Meneses (Ensemble/Dancer/Connie/Nurse/Maria Huerta) is thrilled to be be part of Ivoryton Playhouse’s second production here this summer! She is from Los Angeles, CA but moved to New York City to expand her dance education at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and is a proud alumni. Arianne’s favorite credits are Peter Pan (Tiger Lily), Wizard Of Oz (Featured Ensemble), and Fosse Tribute (Ensemble). Much love to her family and friends for their unending support. @arianne.meneses
Michael Notardonato* (Tony Manero) is very excited to be making his Ivoryton Playhouse debut! Michael returns to this show after playing Tony twice before, including 7 months traveling with Royal Caribbean International. He lives in New York City but is originally from Naperville, IL. Select regional credits: Grease (Danny Zuko) at New Bedford Festival Theatre, Hairspray (Link) at Wheelock Theatre, Cinderella (Prince), Hair (Berger), Gypsy (Angie), Les Misérables and Mary Poppins at Maine State Music Theatre. He is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory Class of 2015 where he holds a BFA in Musical Theatre. Proud member of AEA. Love to my family and friends! www.michaelnotardonato.com Follow on Instagram @mnotardonato1
Jamal Shuriah* (Monty) is a member of Actors Equity and graduated from the Hartt School with a BFA in Musical Theatre. His most recent accomplishment is in the Pre-Broadway show “Sousatzka,” as a Company member and featured Dancer. He played the role of “Gator,” in Memphis and returned as the “Seasons of Love soloist/Mr Jefferson/ and Dance captain in Rent, at Ivoryton the past 2 seasons. Others credits have been with “Labyrinth Dance Theatre Company” with two performances at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre as one of their lead dancers. SWING, at Mill Mountain Theatre, White Christmas, at Northern Stage, as well as the Int’l tour of Greenday’s American Idiot, as part of the ensemble and understudy for, Favorite Son. He’s played roles such as Simba in Golden Mickeys, and Jaq in Twice Charmed, on Disney Cruise Lines. He is very excited to be a part of this amazing production and thanks his family and friends for their love and support! Follow him on Instagram: 2Journey5
Max Weinstein (Ensemble/Fusco) is thrilled to be in his second show at the playhouse having just appeared in West Side Story (A-Rab). Other recent credits include A Chorus Line (Greg) at Playhouse on Park, as well as Lippa’s The Wild Party (Oscar D’Armano), and Danny and the Rocket (new musical) both at NYU Tisch where Max is a rising senior pursuing a BFA in Drama. West Hartford, CT native. Love and thanks to his supportive family, friends, and most of all Jacqui & Todd. IG: @maxjacobweinstein
Director and Choreographer: Todd Underwood
Musical Director: Michael Morris
Stage Manager: Theresa Stark*
Assistant Stage Manager: Katy Persutti*
Scenic Designer: Martin Scott Marchitto
Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott
Sound Designer: Tate R. Burmeister
Costume Designer: Lisa Bebey
* member of Actors Equity
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It’s a Disco Inferno!
Saturday Night Fever
at the Ivoryton Playhouse
Ivoryton – Put on your “Boogie Shoes” for Saturday Night Fever, one of the most loved dance stories of all time is opening up at the Ivoryton Playhouse on August 9th!
The year is 1979 and in Brooklyn, New York, Tony Manero, a young man with a dead-end job and an extraordinary ability to dance, has only one ambition in life – to become the disco king. When he meets Stephanie, who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, they decide to train together for a dance competition and their lives begin to change forever.
Based on the 1977 film that became a cultural phenomenon, the electrifying score is packed with legendary hits from the Bee Gees including the classics: “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “Jive Talking,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “How Deep is Your Love?”
Originally based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York Magazine article “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”, this stage adaptation premiered in the West End in 1998 at the London Palladium, and then at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre October 21, 1999, playing 27 previews and 501 regular performances before closing December 30, 2000.
Almost all of the songs from the original movie sound track are included in the stage musical. The album remained 24 weeks on the top of the U.S. album charts and stayed until March 1980 on the charts. In the UK, the album also achieved first place for 18 weeks and it is one of the most successful movie sound tracks of all time. In 1979 it won a Grammy as Album of the Year. In 2003 it reached # 131 of Rolling Stone’s “500 best albums of all time”.
The production stars Michael Notardonato* as Tony and Caroline Lellouche* as Stephanie. Lellouche was seen last year in Ivoryton’s production of Chicago. Notardonato is reprising the role of Tony which he has performed twice before to critical acclaim. “At Riverside, the Travolta role of disco-king Tony Manero is taken by Michael Notardonato who has the looks, moves and charms to carry the show handily. Unlike Travolta in the dramatic film which featured dancing to a Bee Gees soundtrack, Notardonato has to sing for his supper, as well as emote and dance the night away. No worries here – Riverside’s Tony has strong and expressive pipes and delivers his five numbers stylishly. He truly embodies the restlessness of the 19-year old stuck in a dead end job, frustrated at how his parents treat him, and who lives for those Saturday night’s at the 2001 Odyssey, the Brooklyn discotheque that serves as his weekly kingdom.” – BroadwayWorld.com
The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.
Please be advised that Saturday Night Fever, similar to the movie, contains adult language and situations.
Saturday Night Fever opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on August 9th and runs through September 3rd, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
Additional matinee performances on Saturday, August 19th at 2pm and September 2nd at 2pm.
Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org
(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
*denotes member of Actors Equity
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!