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June 14 - July 8

Million Dollar Quartet

Back by Popular Demand! On December 4, 1956, four young musicians got together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would become one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Put on your blue suede shoes and join Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins for the recording session of a lifetime. Loaded with classic rock ‘n roll hits such as “Great Balls of Fire,” “Sixteen Tons,” “I Walk the Line,” “Hound Dog” and many more.

By Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott

Directed by Hunter Foster

1hr, 50 minutes, including intermission. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

 

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CHRIS DAMIANO | Johnny Cash

CHRIS DAMIANO (Johnny Cash) is excited to be making his Geva Theatre Center debut with Million Dollar Quartet! Chris performed JOhnny Cash in the Chicago cast of MDQ for four years and has had the pleasure of reprising the role under the direction of Hunter Foster at The Gateway Playhouse and Casa Mañana. A fan of the man in black, Damiano has performed Johnny Cash tribute concerts across the country. Love to Laura and the kitties.

SARAH ELLIS | Dyanne

SARAH ELLIS is thrilled to be upstate again, having spent last summer with Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival playing Molly in Ghost: The Musical and last winter in Buffalo with the First National Tour of the Tony Award-winning A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  Other regional credits include productions at Riverside Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Northshore MT, KC Starlight, Westchester Broadway Theatre, and WV Public.  NYC credits include The Road to Ruin, Dear Jane, Stardust Road: The Hoagy Carmichael Musical, and Hazel Flagg with Musicals Tonight. Sarah is a frequent Guest Artist with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and holds a B.F.A. from Penn State (WE ARE!).  Endless love and gratitude to my teachers and family. Thank you to Hunter and my MDQ BAND-ily.  www.meetsarahellis.com   INSTA: @sarahruthliss

TAYLOR GRAY | Jerry Lee Lewis

TAYLOR GRAY is beyond ecstatic to be returning to Geva Theatre Center as the Killer! He’s performed the role multiple times, including the most recent National Tour and at the Actors Theatre of Indiana. Other credits include being the Assistant Music Director and keyboardist on the 17/18 National Tour of A Night with Janis Joplin. He received his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre at the University at Buffalo in 2014. Taylor also arranges and produces a cappella recordings and karaoke tracks under his production company, TIG Music. All the love goes to his family, friends, and the entire cast! Get ready to rock ‘n’ roll tonight!    taylorigray.com          tigmusic.net

JAMES DAVID LARSON | Brother Jay

JAMES DAVID LARSON made his Geva Theatre Center debut in The Other Josh Cohen earlier this season. He appeared on Broadway in Roundabout’s production of Into the Woods. Off-Broadway include Atomic (Acorn Theatre) and Illyria (Prospect Theatre Company). National Tours include Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Buddy Holly Story and A Band Called Honalee. Regional credits include The Buddy Holly Story (Bucks County Playhouse), Luck Be a Lady (Asolo Rep), Hound of the Baskervilles (Gulfshore Playhouse), Too Marvelous for Words (Florida Rep) and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Oregon Cabaret Theatre). Other NYC credits include Pope: An Epic Musical (NYMF) and Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist (NYMF). Film/TV credits include Madonna and the Breakfast Club (Guy Guido Productions) and “I’d Kill For You” (ID). www.JamesDavidLarson.com

JAMES LUDWIG | Sam Phillips

JAMES LUDWIG is thrilled to be returning to Geva Theatre Center in Million Dollar Quartet!  Broadway credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot (Original Cast) and Little Shop of Horrors. Off-Broadway credits include Two Point OhBlue Man GroupBubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin at Playwrights Horizons; De la Guarda and the original cast of John & Jen. Tours include the Las Vegas production of Monty Python’s Spamalot and the First National Tour of 101 Dalmatians. James has worked at many storied regional theatres around the US, including Buck’s County Playhouse, Baltimore CenterStage, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, George Street, Arena Stage, and McCarter Theatre to name just a few. Film/TV credits include Daylight Raiders (as Jimmy Stewart), “News to Me,” “Lipstick Jungle,” “Chappelle’s Show” and Ghost Town. James owns Back40 Films, which produces the wildly popular series “The Happy Hour Guys” (thehappyhourguys.com). He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), an M.F.A. from the University of Washington PATP, and is a proud Actors’ Equity Member. Twitter: @JimmyLudwigNYC. Best gigs ever: Husband to KB, and Dad to nine-month-old Jake Matthew.

TRENT ROWLAND | Elvis Presley

TRENT ROWLAND made his Geva Theatre Center debut last season in Million Dollar Quartet. Originally from Bucyrus, Ohio, he honed his interest in Theatre at Ohio State University. He has since taken part in numerous plays, musicals and films.  Most recently, Trent appeared in the Academy Award nominated Carol opposite Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as well as the film Goat opposite James Franco and Nick Jonas.  He has performed on stage in productions of Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis), City of AngelsZombie Prom (Jonny Warner) and the title role in Henry V. Trent is humbled for the opportunity to continue playing the legendary Elvis Presley as part of the Million Dollar Quartet at Geva. He wishes to thank his friends and family for their endless support. Trent currently resides in Los Angeles.

SAM SHERWOOD | Carl Perkins

SAM SHERWOOD is thrilled to be part of Million Dollar Quartet here at Geva. Originally from Naples, NY, Sam is happy to be back in Rochester. NYC Theatre includes Woody Sez (Irish Repertory Theatre); and  Fancy: A Country Musical (Developmental lab). Regional credits include Million Dollar Quartet (Riverside Theatre); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Cotton Patch Gospel, and Pump Boys & Dinettes (Flat Rock Playhouse); The Road: My Life with John Denver (People’s Light); Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (NC Theatre, Theatre By The Sea); Stand By Your Man (Ivoryton Playhouse); Ring of Fire (Riverside, People’s Light, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Adirondack Theatre Festival, others); Dream a Little Dream (Phoenix Theatre); The Music Man (National Tour); Titanic (National Tour). Sam has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, 54 Below, and other venues across the country. www.sherwoodsounds.com

AARON STAEBELL | Fluke

AARON STAEBELL is excited to join this production of Million Dollar Quartet, after previously playing drums for last year’s Million Dollar Quartet, In the Heights and Little Shop of Horrors at Geva. He hails from Buffalo and has lived in Rochester since 2001. He earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He has played with such visionaries as Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider and Tony Malaby. He has performed with smooth jazz trumpeter Rick Braun, jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and is a member of the Brownman Electryc Trio (Toronto, CA). He is the drummer for Dave Chisholm’s Instrumental project, a full length album that accompanies a 200-page graphic novel. He was a member of Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Collegiate Jazz Ensemble” in 2009 with the ESM New Jazz Ensemble and Dave Rivello. In 2014, he debuted his project “soloDRUMsolo” that featured commissions from over 20 composers, writing works for the drumset. His debut album was released in June of 2011, and was met with outstanding reviews. It was named by iTunes to its “New and Noteworthy” list on the day it was released. He also appears on albums by Ben Thomas (with Tony Malaby), Jennifer Bellor and Dave Chisholm. An active educator, Staebell is the Teacher on Special Assignment in charge of music for the Greece Central School District, and also teaches instrumental music at Olympia Middle and High School. He lives in Brighton, with his wife Sarah and their two children, Keeley and Owen.

COLIN ESCOTT | Book

COLIN ESCOTT, born in England, lives near Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of Good Rockin’ Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the first in-depth account of the Sun Records story. His book Hank Williams – The Biography has been adapted into the movie I Saw the Light, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen. His multi-CD box set, The Complete Hank Williams, won a Grammy, and another of his productions, B.B. King – King of the Blues, was nominated for a Grammy. Million Dollar Quartet received three Tony nominations, including Best Book and Best Musical. Escott was part of the writing/producing team adapting the show for CMT/Viacom. The first season aired in 2016.

FLOYD MUTRUX | Book

FLOYD MUTRUX apprenticed at the Alley Theatre in Houston and worked at Second City in Chicago; he attended Columbia University. He has conceived, written, directed, or produced 50 films, including Dusty and Sweets McGeeFreebie and the BeanAloha, Bobby and RoseThe Hollywood KnightsAmerican Hot WaxDick TracyAmerican MeBlood In, Blood OutThere Goes My Baby; and Mulholland Falls. With his wife Birgitte, he is preparing a new film Moon over Memphis (a rock-and-roll Field of Dreams.) He also co-wrote the musical Baby It’s You! With Colin Escott and helped adapt Sun Records, the new television series based on Million Dollar QuartetMillion Dollar Quartet received three Tony Award nominations in 2010, including best book and best musical.

HUNTER FOSTER | Director

HUNTER FOSTER made his Geva Theatre Center directing debut last season with Million Dollar Quartet and directed The Other Josh Cohen earlier this season. Hunter is an Artistic Associate at the Bucks County Playhouse where he has directed Clue, Guys and DollsCompany, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Buddy Holly Story, National Pastime, The Rocky Horror Show (2013, 2014 and 2016), Summer of ’42, and It’s a Wonderful Life. He most recently directed the world premieres of two new musicals: One Hit Wonder, for The University of Michigan, and A Connecticut Christmas Carol for Goodspeed Musicals.  Other directing credits include The ForeignerCabaret, My Fair Lady (Cape Playhouse); Grease (North Carolina Theatre); Monty Python’s Spamalot (Casa Mañana); and productions of Million Dollar Quartet for the Paper Mill Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse and the Westchester Broadway Theatre. As a book writer, he has written the books to the Off-Broadway musicals Jasper in Deadland and Summer of ’42 (Outer Critic Award nomination). Other book writing credits include The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Clyde and Bonnie: A Folktale (New York Musical Theatre Festival, Aurora Theatre), The Hollow (Signature Theatre) and Blue Ridge Sky. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.F.A. in Musical Theatre).

WHITNEY G-BOWLEY | Associate Director

WHITNEY G-BOWLEY is a New York-based performer, choreographer and producer. She is very excited to be back in her hometown after working as Associate Director with Hunter Foster on The Other Josh Cohen here at Geva earlier this year. She was most recently Associate Choreographer to Lorin Latarro on the new punk musical, Home Street Home and Assistant Choreographer to Lisa Shriver for Goodspeed Musicals’ original show, A Connecticut Christmas Carol. Whitney’s own choreography was previously featured in Project Broadway’s Kicking And Screaming, directed by Noah Racey and Lorin Latarro, at Symphony Space, as well as Little Lord’s Now Is The Time… at Abrons Arts Center and their 2015 NY Times Critics’ Pick, Bambif*cker/Kaffeehaus. She is the Artistic Director of GIG, a collaborative show-cycle that has been presented in NYC’s Highline Ballroom, Joe’s Pub, The Performance Project @ University Settlement, Steps on Broadway, GK ArtsCenter and at TEDxYouth here in Rochester. Whitney also assists Terrence Mann and Charlotte d’Amboise and teaches at their Triple Arts musical theatre intensives every year. www.whitneyg-bowley.com

ADAM KOCH | Scenic Designer

ADAM KOCH returns to Geva Theatre Center where he previously designed In the Heights, Million Dollar Quartet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Five Course Love and Sweeney Todd. Internationally: Dreamgirls (O.D. Company, Seoul, South Korea). He received Helen Hayes nominations for both Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Signature Theatre) and Bat Boy (1st Stage). Credits across the United States include productions at Ford’s Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Ogunquit Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Serenbe Playhouse, Portland Stage, as well as New World Stages and Theatre Row in NYC. For the past three years Mr. Koch, along with Steven Royal, has also designed the official events for New York City Pride.  Education: Carnegie Mellon University. See more at adamkochassociates.com and on Instagram @instadamkoch.

CASEY McNAMARA | Costume Designer

CASEY McNAMARA is a Rochester- based theatrical designer and costume shop manager.  He received a B.F.A. in Theatrical Design and Technologies from Avila University and a M.F.A. in Scenography from the University of Kansas.  His credits include Costume Design for Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End at Geva, Assassins at the Polsky Theatre (2017), Associate Costume Design for the SALT-nominated production of Parade at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse (2017), Lighting and Scenic Design for Reckless at the William Inge Theatre (2016), Co-Costume Design for Evil Dead: The Musical for Egadz! (2016), Lighting Design for A Raisin in the Sun at the Crafton-Pryor Theatre (2015), and Lighting Design for A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at Canterbury Theatre (2015).

KIRK BOOKMAN | Lighting Designer

KIRK BOOKMAN’s first production for Geva Theatre Center was Edith Stein in 1988. His Broadway credits include The Sunshine Boys (with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (with Julie Harris and Charles Durning) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Additional New York productions include: Nine Circles, God Of Vengeance, SweeteeCloser Than EverRight You Are, What Then (Ohio Theatre), The Cook (Intar 53 Theatre), Recent Tragic Events (with Heather Graham, Playwrights Horizons), Shanghai Moon (with Charles Busch), The Green Heart (Manhattan Theatre Club), Mondo Drama, Havana Is Waiting, Force Continuum, My One Good Nerve (starring Ruby Dee), The Shawl, Rude Entertainment, The Book of Liz (with David and Amy Sedaris), Les MIZrahi, Hope is the Thing with Feathers, As Thousands Cheer, June Moon, Bedbound, Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara. Mr. Bookman’s regional credits include Goodspeed Opera House; Coconut Grove Playhouse; and Utah Shakespeare Festival. He has all so worked with English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Budapest Ballet. For the San Francisco Symphony he has designed: Of Thee I Sing, The Thomashefskys, Oedipus Rex, The Nightingale and A Flowering Tree, directed by Peter Sellars.

IAN HILDRETH | Sound Designer

IAN HILDRETH has been with Geva Theatre since 2007. Past designs include The Other Josh Cohen, Million Dollar Quartet, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Spamalot!, the world premiere of The Road to Where, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pump Boys and Dinettes, MoM: A Rock Concert Musical, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Fences, 3 Mo’ Divas and Carry It On. Associate designs include The Whipping Man, Dracula, Two Jews Walk Into a War and Radio Golf.

STEVEN ROYAL | Associate Scenic Designer

STEVEN ROYAL is the recipient of the 2015 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Bat Boy: The Musical in Washington, D.C. Steven has created experiences all over the world working as Creative Director for The Becker Group and Global Experience Specialists including set designs for Harry Potter: The Exhibition, touring worldwide since 2008. Additionally, Steven has collaborated with Adam Koch on over 100 musicals, plays and live events in New York City and internationally. Other selected design credits include: Tectonic Theatre Project’s The Album and Gross Indecency (Directed by Moises Kaufman), Saving Kitty (Starring Jennifer Coolidge), Broadway Bares (Directed by Jerry Mitchell), and Lincoln Center Originals (Directed by Lonny Price). 

JEAN GORDON RYON | Dramaturg

JEAN GORDON RYON serves as New Plays Coordinator at Geva Theatre Center where, among other duties, she produces the Regional Writers Showcase and the Young Writers Showcase. She has been dramaturg for

many Geva productions, the most recent being A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Christmas Carol, Million Dollar Quartet, and In the Heights. Ms. Ryon holds a degree in Drama from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College. Her most recent directing credits in the community include The Gin Game for Blackfriars; The Entertainer and The Royal Family for Screen Plays; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead for The Shakespeare Players of Rochester Community Players; and The Field; Philadelphia,

Here I Come; and Closing Time for The Irish Players of Rochester Community Players. Ms. Ryon is also the Artistic Director of The Geriactors (a traveling troupe of mature performers) and an Artist-in-Residence at the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC).

JENNY DANIELS | Stage Manager

JENNY DANIELS is very excited to be in her tenth season at Geva Theatre Center.  Most recently at Geva Ms. Daniels has assistant stage managed Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Carol, In the Heights, Million Dollar Quartet, and Other than Honorable. She has also stage managed Red on Geva Theatre Center’s Wilson Stage, as well as  the world premiere of The Road to Where, A Body of Water, Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant, Black Pearl Sings, Stranded on Earth, and I and You in Geva Theatre Center’s Fielding Stage.  Ms. Daniels currently resides in Rochester with her supportive husband and their wonderful puppy.

JENN LYONS | Stage Manager

JENN LYONS is a Rochester native happy to be working at Geva. Previous shows at Geva include One House Over, The Other Josh Cohen, In the Heights, Private Lives, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Miracle on South Division Street, Red, The Mountaintop, Little Shop of Horrors, The Odd Couple and Clybourne Park.  National Tours include Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (starring Eartha Kitt), Showboat and The Who’s Tommy. New York credits include work at Roundabout Theatre and Circle Repertory Theater as well as the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid.  Her two favorite productions are Maddie and Jack.