Or call the Box Office:
315.255.1785 / 1.800.457.8897
It’s the 1970s in a fictional town of Gilbert, Texas. Miss Mona and her girls are under fire from the religious televangelist Melvin P. Thorpe and, well, all hell breaks loose on the chicken ranch! Based on the true story of a legendary Texas brothel, this funny, sexy, high energy song and dance comedy about the oldest profession will laugh you right out of your seat! Fun fact: Auburn’s favorite son, Thommie Walsh, was the original associate choreographer for the Broadway production. Adult themes.
- Director/Choreographer: Parker Esse
- Associate Director/Choreographer: Tony Neidenbach
- Musical Director: Corinne Aquilina
- Assistant Musical Director: Jeff Cox
- Scenic Designer: Chad Healy
- Lighting Designer: Jose Santiago
- Costume Designer: Tiffany Howard
- Sound Designer: Bobby Johnston
- Wig Designer: Al Annotto
- Production Stage Manager: Suzi Bonnot
“THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS”
by Carol Hall, Larry King, and Peter Masterson
“Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
* indicates Talkbacks § indicates Signed Performances
Corinne Aquilina (Musical Director) New York and tour credits include Broadway pit of The Boy from Oz. Annie, Five Guys Named Moe, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Arranger/orchestrator: Menopause, The Musical. Corinne was Musical Director for the North American Premiere of From Here to Eternity and Theatrical Rights Worldwide’s Saturday Night Fever. Original works include music/lyrics: Treasure Island, A New Musical; Pump N Go; The Littlest Witch. Regional: Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Full Monty, Forty Second Street, Five Guys Named Moe, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Spelling Bee, Cabaret, Chicago, Miss Saigon, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Evita, La Cage, My Fair Lady, The King & I, The Sound of Music, Nunsense, Oliver, Tintypes, Brigadoon, Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes, Dames at Sea, Singin’ In the Rain, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Damn Yankees, and Daddy Long Legs. Corinne is Program Director/Assistant Professor for Musical Theatre at Nazareth College of Rochester. Member: Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and AFM Local 802. Here’s to you JT.
Suzi Bonnot* (Production Stage Manager) is delighted to be at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse this summer after working on Austen’s Pride in 2016. New York credits include Groundhog Day, Old Times at Roundabout, Fun Home, Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Fire This Time Festival, Target Margin Theater, Center for Contemporary Opera, Mannes Opera, The Drama League, Gallery Players, and NYMF. Regional credits include Syracuse Stage, The Hippodrome Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and six summers at The Muny. Graduate of OCU.
Terrance E. Caviness Jr. (Trumpet) is Director of Bands at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, New York and adjunct Professor of Music at SUNY Oswego. Mr. Caviness conducts the Allegro Youth Wind Ensemble at Syracuse University and is an active guest conductor and clinician. He maintains a very successful private trumpet studio and is an active professional musician, performing with the Syracuse Symphony, Symphoria, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and numerous other local and touring groups.
Michael J. Cirmo (Drums) holds a Master of Arts in Instrumental Performance with Honors from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with Honors and a Performer’s Certificate from Potsdam College, Crane School of Music. An active percussionist in the Central New York area, Mr. Cirmo has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse pit, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Skaneateles Festival, Catskill Symphony, Syracuse Symphony and Symphoria. He is frequently called upon as a guest conductor for music festivals at all levels throughout New York State. As a teacher, Michael has taught music at all levels since 1985. He is currently the Director of Bands at Marcellus High School, west of Syracuse, NY.
Jeff Cox (Assistant Musical Director, Pedal Steel Guitar) is a pianist, arranger, and conductor based in New York City. His recent credits include Austen’s Pride (music sup. Kevin Stites), Wicked (national tour key 2 sub), and conductor/arranger for Jeremy Stolle’s “The Unreachable Stars.” Regional work includes Parade, The Girl Who, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, Treasure Island, Sweeney Todd, The Light in the Piazza, West Side Story, etc. at FLMTF; Titanic at The Hangar Theatre; Cortland Repertory Theatre; Smokey Mountain Opry. Jeff is a faculty member at AMDA. He holds a master’s degree in conducting from Ithaca College. Love and gratitude to family, friends, and mentors. www.jeffcoxmusic.com
Parker Esse (Director/Choreographer) choreographed Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis’ world premiere A Bed And A Chair: A New York Love Affair at New York City Center’s Encores and is a five-time Helen Hayes best choreography nominee, receiving the award for Arena Stage’s Oklahoma!. Mr. Esse directed and choreographed Crazy for You and West Side Story at FLMTF. Additional choreography credits include Carousel, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Music Man, The Light in the Piazza, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and Christmas Carol 1941 at Arena Stage; A Wonderful Life, Fiddler on the Roof, The Most Happy Fella, and Carousel at Goodspeed Opera House; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Ogunquit Playhouse; West Side Story at Signature Theatre; Bells Are Ringing and Little Shop of Horrors at Berkshire Theatre Group; Sweet Charity and Guys and Dolls at Canada’s Shaw Festival. Associate choreographer for Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities, and featured performer in Fosse. Current projects include Me and My Girl at the Shaw Festival and Oklahoma! at Glimmerglass. Parker is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Broadway Master Class Series. www.broadwaymcs.com
Melissa Gardiner (Trombone) is thrilled to be back at the MGR this summer. Melissa has also played for Syracuse Stage, the New York City Ballet, Carnival Cruise Lines and Disneyland. She has had the honor of performing with many legendary musicians including Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Geri Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Gerald Wilson, and Patti Austin. Gardiner is the bandleader for the award winning Second Line Syracuse Brass Band and the MG3 Jazz Organ Trio. MM – The Juilliard School, BFA – The University of Michigan. www.melissamaymusic.com
Jen Grunfeld* (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to return to the festival for her third season. Past shows with MGR include Guys & Dolls, Oklahoma!, From Here to Eternity, Treasure Island, Million Dollar Quartet, Smokey Joe’s Café, West Side Story, The Light in the Piazza, Saturday Night Fever, and Sweeney Todd. Other stage management credits include Roundabout Theatre Company’s Spring Gala and Benefit Reading of The Man Who Came to Dinner; Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab 2016; national tours of Saturday Night Fever and Broadway Christmas Wonderland; All Aboard! off-Broadway; The Night Alive at Round House Theatre; Laugh, Choir Boy, Bad Jews, Belleville at Studio Theatre; and Camp David at Arena Stage. Love and Thanks to Becca, Mom & Dad.
Chad Healy (Scenic Designer) feels fortunate to again be a part of the FLMTF. This will be his third season here at the festival. He was brought on by scenic designer Czerton Lim as an assistant for West Side Story and Sweeney Todd two seasons ago, and as Czerton’s associate for Crazy For You, Treasure Island, and Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical last season, and Parade and Ghost The Musical this season. Last season, he also had the privilege of his first scenic design here at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse with Smokey Joe’s Café. www.chadhealydesign.com
Tiffany Howard (Costume Designer) is so happy to be designing this production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. After receiving her MFA and then teaching college for 5 years, Tiffany has had the pleasure of working at FLMTF/MGR and Youth Theatre for the last 8 years as Costume Shop Manager and a designer. Tiffany is also thrilled to be a part of the Youth Theatre program at MGR, helping to teach a whole new generation about the power of theatre. She also works occasionally with the Harlequin Players at CCC and the Auburn Players. You may have seen some of her work last season, including the SALT Award-nominated Crazy for You and Oklahoma!. Some of Tiffany’s favorite designs from past seasons include, West Side Story; Lost Highway, The Hank Williams Story; The Marvelous Wonderettes; and Cabaret. So happy to have the entire “World’s Greatest Costume Shop” return this season! And a huge shout out to the Wardrobe Team who make miracles happen every day! Couldn’t do this without all of you! As always, a huge thank you and all my love to Geoff Howard – the best darn husband a girl could ask for.
Bobby Johnston (Sound Designer) is an Atlanta based theatrical designer who has been designing and mixing sound for 20 years. He spent years touring as an audio crew chief and mixing engineer on large scale arena tours, and has worked on dozens of theatrical shows regionally and on many special projects around the country. He has designed world premieres and shows at places like the New York Musical Theatre Festival and Six Flags, and with directors like Hunter Foster, Jasmine Guy, and Kenny Leon.
Ann McIntyre (Violin) began playing violin in a family string quartet while growing up in Ohio. Before moving to Central New York, she attended the Tanglewood Music Institute and participated in both the Taos Chamber Music Festival and the Spoleto Festival. Ann graduated from Indiana University where she studied with Paul Biss and Josef Gingold, and currently lives in Camillus with her family. She was a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and has performed and recorded with the Society for New Music since 2007. Ann also enjoys musical theater; she has been a violinist for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse since 2005, and has performed in Syracuse with the national touring companies of CHICAGO and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
Tony Neidenbach (Assistant Choreographer) is thrilled to be back again this summer after serving as Assistant Director/Choreographer for the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival’s West Side Story and Crazy for You. From Gainesville, Georgia, he is a New York-based performer. He has worked regionally with theaters including DC’s Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, The Muny, Northern Stage, Pioneer Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Seaside Music Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow, and toured nationally with Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes. New York credits include off-Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, the 65th and 70th annual Tony Awards, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, and the HBO web series “High Maintenance.” He is a member of the critically acclaimed Liz Gerring Dance Company. Huge thanks to Brett and Parker!
Bob Piorun (Guitar) has taught and played music as his sole profession for over 50 years. He has taught over 8,000 people, put out 7 CDs of various styles, from classical to blues, and authored 3 music instruction books. He has performed with the Syracuse Symphony, James Galway, Michael Feinstein, The Platters, The Inkspots, The Coasters, and has a gold record for work with Manowar. He currently still teaches privately as well as working at Spotlight Studio, teaching music to handicapped adults with Ed Sayles, and performing in various duos and with Bob Piorun and the Swing Kats, who have just released a CD of his originals.
Darryl Pugh (Bass) a graduate of Berklee College and Eastman School, is a longtime bassist in the Syracuse area. A founding member of Symphoria, Darryl has performed extensively with Syracuse Stage, SU Drama, CNY Jazz Orchestra, and various other musical venues in the area. Darryl holds adjunct posts at local colleges including Colgate University, Hamilton College, Syracuse University, and Onondaga Community College. He resides in Syracuse with his wife Mary Ellen and sons Colin and Daniel. Darryl is thrilled to perform again with MGR Playhouse.
Jose Santiago (Lighting Designer) is excited to return to FLMTF. Past designs include Spamalot at North Shore Music Theatre; Rent, Anything Goes, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Sister Act, Young Frankenstein, and White Christmas at Gateway; Of Mice and Men at Bay Street Theatre; Man of La Mancha, La Cage aux Folles, and Mame at The Wick Theatre; and Smokey Joe’s Cafe at MGR. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from Florida State University. Much thanks to Brett for bringing me back. www.jsantiagodesign.com
James Spadafore (Tenor Saxophone) is excited to be playing in the pit with such outstanding conductors and musicians. As a freelance musician, James has performed with the likes of Marvin Hamlish, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Ben Vareen, Bob Hope, Petula Clark, The Fifth Dimension, The Spinners, Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. As a pit musician, Mr. Spadafore has performed with the national touring companies of City of Angels, The King And I, A Chorus Line, Peter Pan, Big, Chicago, The Producers, Hairspray, Spamalot, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera, Beautiful: The Carol King Story, and Motown the Musical. Mr. Spadafore is currently a member of the “Stan Colella Orchestra” and has performed at Syracuse Stage. James resides in Liverpool, N.Y. and wishes to thank his parents Pat and Fran, his three children Joel, Crista, and Samantha, and his significant other Betsey who inspires him each and every day.
* Members of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
** Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society