ST. LOUIS THEATER CIRCLE AWARDS RETURN FOR IN-PERSON GALA APRIL 3, 2023

TO HONOR OUTSTANDING WORK IN LOCAL PROFESSIONAL THEATER IN 2022

The Muny leads with 21 nominations, Stages St Louis has 19, The Black Rep 17 and Stray Dog Theatre 15

First In-Person Gala Since 2019 Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

ST. LOUIS, February 6, 2023 – After a four-year hiatus of not holding an in-person ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 through 2022, the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards will return April 3, 2023  in a ‘live’ ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the campus of Webster University. The previous two events were streamed online by HEC Media.

Tickets at $23 apiece will soon be available at the box office of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis at www.repstl.org or 314-968-4925, and also at the box office one hour before the ceremony.

Nominees in more than 30 categories will vie for honors covering comedies, dramas, musicals and operas produced by local professional theater and opera companies in the calendar years 2022. Approximately 90 productions have been considered for nominations for this year’s event. This compares to roughly 120 productions normally considered in one year alone prior to the pandemic.

Three productions – “Chicago” at The Muny, “A Christmas Carol” at The Rep, and “Head Over Heels” at New Line Theatre – were ineligible because the same production was presented within the last three years at the respective venues.

Nationally recognized playwright, theater producer, and long-time advocate for the arts Joan Lipkin will be honored with a special award for lifetime achievement.

The eighth annual award ceremony, which was to have been held at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the campus of Webster University, was cancelled in February 2020 due to the escalating number of cases of COVID-19. Instead, that event, honoring outstanding local theater productions for the year 2019, was held virtually in a highly polished presentation produced by HEC Media and streamed on HEC’s YouTube channel and web site.  A ninth annual ceremony similarly was streamed on HEC Media for the combined years of 2020 and 2021.

The nominees for the 10th annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards are:

Bronte Sister House Party, SATE. Photo by Joey Rumpell

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Comedy, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Cassidy Flynn, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
Hannah Geisz, “The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild 
Jilanne Klaus, “Barefoot in the Park,” Moonstone Theatre Company 
Bess Moynihan, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
Valentina Silva, “The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Comedy, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Ted Drury, “The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild 
Joel Moses, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
Bradley Tejeda, “The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 
Chauncy Thomas, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
Eric Dean White, “Hand to God,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio 

Molly Burris, Dear Jack Dear Louise

Outstanding Performer in a Comedy, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Colleen Backer, “Hand to God,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio 
Molly Burris, “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” New Jewish Theatre 
Rayme Cornell, “The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 
Claire Karpen, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
Rachel Tibbetts, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE

Jeff Kargus, Jason Meyers, “The Lonesome West” Photo by John Lamb

Outstanding Performer in a Comedy, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Mitchell Henry-Eagles, “Hand to God,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio 
Jeff Kargus, “The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild 
Ryan Lawson-Maeske, “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” New Jewish Theatre 
Jason Meyers, “The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild 
Stanton Nash, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Joe Clapper, Behind the Sheet, Photo by Philip Hamer

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play 

Amina Alexander, “Stick Fly,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 
Jesse Alford, “The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 
Joe Clapper, “Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
Jasmine Williams, “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea,” The Black Rep 
John Wylie, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Sound Design 

Lamar Harris, “Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca, “House of Joy,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 
Jackie Sharp, “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea,” The Black Rep 
Rusty Wandall, Kareem Deanes, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
Amanda Werre, “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” New Jewish Theatre

Joel Moses in “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” New Jewish Theatre, Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Outstanding Costume Design in a Play 

Dorothy Marshall Englis, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
Liz Henning, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
Liz Henning, “Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company 
Oona Natesan, “House of Joy,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 
Michele Friedman Siler, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Set Design in a Play 

Dahlia Al-Habieli, “House of Joy,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 
Dunsi Dai, “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” New Jewish Theatre 
Bess Moynihan, “Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company 
Kyu Shin, “Stick Fly,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 
Josh Smith, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 

Riley Carter Adams, right, The Bee Play, New Jewish Theatre. Photo by Jon Gitchoff.

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Drama, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Riley Carter Adams, “The Bee Play,” New Jewish Theatre 
Sarajane Alverson, “The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Rachel Hanks, “The Christians,” West End Players Guild 
Rachel Tibbetts, “Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company 
Sumi Yu, “House of Joy,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Drama, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Cameron Jamarr Davis, “The African Company Presents Richard III,” The Black Rep 
Joseph Garner, “The Christians,” West End Players Guild 
Michael James Reed, “Proof,” Moonstone Theatre Company 
Joey Saunders, “The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Jeffrey Wright, “The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre

Summer Baer, Michael James Reed “Proof,” Moonstone Theatre Company.

Outstanding Performer in a Drama, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Summer Baer, “Proof,” Moonstone Theatre Company 
Lavonne Byers, “Good People,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Kelly Howe, “Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company 
Chinna Palmer, “Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
Jennifer Theby-Quinn, “Iphigenia in Splott,” Upstream Theater

Outstanding Performer in a Drama, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Kevin Brown, “Jitney,” The Black Rep 
Jeff Cummings, “Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
Olajuwon Davis, “Jitney,” The Black Rep 
Joel Moses, “The Christians,” West End Players Guild 
Stephen Peirick, “The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre 

“Jitney,” The Black Rep, Phillip Hamer photo

Outstanding New Play 

“Bandera, Texas,” by Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend, Prism Theatre Company 
“Brontë Sister House Party,” by Courtney Bailey, SATE 
“The Good Ship St. Louis,” by Philip Boehm, Upstream Theater 
“Roll With It!” by Katie Rodriguez Banister and Michelle Zielinski, The Black Mirror Theatre Company 
“Winds of Change,” by Deanna Jent, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Achievement in Opera 

Daniela Candillari, “Carmen,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 
Thomas Glass, “Harvey Milk,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 
Karen Kanakis, “La Rondine,” Winter Opera Saint Louis 
Robert Mellon, “Falstaff,” Union Avenue Opera 
Sarah Mesko, “Carmen,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Union Avenue Opera’s production of A Little Night Music on August 17, 2022.

Outstanding Production of an Opera 

“Awakenings,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 
“Falstaff,” Union Avenue Opera 
“The Gondoliers,” Winter Opera Saint Louis 
“Harvey Milk,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 
“A Little Night Music,” Union Avenue Opera

Outstanding Musical Director 

Cullen Curth, “Jerry’s Girls,” New Jewish Theatre 
Jermaine Hill, “The Color Purple,” The Muny 
Walter “Bobby” McCoy, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
James Moore, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Andrew Resnick, “The Karate Kid – The Musical,” Stages St. Louis 

The Karate Kid – The Musical, Phillip Hamer photo.

Outstanding Choreographer 

Dena DiGiacinto, “A Chorus Line,” Stages St. Louis 
Keone and Mari Madrid, “The Karate Kid – The Musical,” Stages St. Louis 
Patrick O’Neill, “Mary Poppins,” The Muny 
Josh Rhodes, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” The Muny 
Luis Salgado, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Tami Dahbura, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
Melissa Felps, “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre 
Nicole Michelle Haskins, “The Color Purple,” The Muny 
Grace Langford, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Dawn Schmid, “Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre

Marshall Jennings, Melissa Felps “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Luis-Pablo Garcia, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
Clayton Humburg, “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre 
Jeffrey Izquierdo-Malon, “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre 
Marshall Jennings, “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre 
Jordan Wolk, “Assassins,” Fly North Theatricals

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical 

Tyler Duenow, “Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Bradley King, “The Karate Kid – The Musical,” Stages St. Louis 
John Lasiter, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Sean M. Savoie, “A Chorus Line,” Stages St. Louis 
Sean M. Savoie, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis

“In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis, Photo by Phillip Hamer.

Outstanding Set Design in a Musical 

Edward E. Hayes, Jr. and Greg Emetaz, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” The Muny 
Anna Louizos, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
Derek McLane, “The Karate Kid – The Musical,” Stages St. Louis 
Michael Schweikardt, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Josh Smith, “Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical 

Eileen Engel, “A Little Night Music,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Eileen Engel, “Assassins,” Fly North Theatricals 
Samantha C. Jones, “The Color Purple,” The Muny 
Brad Musgrove, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
Alejo Vietti, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 

Anastacia McCleskey, “The Color Purple,” Phillip Hamer photo.

Outstanding Performer in a Musical, Female or Non-Binary Role 

Carmen Cusack, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Jeanna De Waal, “Mary Poppins,” The Muny 
Eileen Engel, “Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Melissa Felps, “Urinetown,” New Line Theatre 
Anastacia McCleskey, “The Color Purple,” The Muny 

Outstanding Performer in a Musical, Male or Non-Binary Role 

Ryan Alvarado, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis
Corbin Bleu, “Mary Poppins,” The Muny 
Ben Davis, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Stephen Henley, “Assassins,” Fly North Theatricals 
Jovanni Sy, “The Karate Kid – The Musical,” Stages St. Louis

Stephen Henley, The Balladeer, Fly North Theatricals.

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy 

“Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
“Heroes,” Albion Theatre 
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” New Jewish Theatre 
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
“Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama 

“The African Company Presents Richard III,” The Black Rep 
“Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
“The Christians,” West End Players Guild 
“Jitney,” The Black Rep 
“The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre

The Christians, West End Players Guild, Photo by John Lamb

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical 

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Stray Dog Theatre 
“A Chorus Line,” Stages St. Louis 
“The Color Purple,” The Muny 
“In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
“Sweeney Todd,” The Muny

Outstanding Director of a Comedy 

Robert Ashton, “The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild 
Eddie Coffield, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” New Jewish Theatre 
David Kaplan, “The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 
Keating, “Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
Bruce Longworth, “Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

“Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company, Photo by Joey Rumpell

Outstanding Director of a Drama 

Gary F. Bell, “The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre 
Joe Hanrahan, “Rodney’s Wife,” The Midnight Company 
Ron Himes, “The African Company Presents Richard III,” The Black Rep 
Ron Himes, “Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
Ellie Schwetye, “The Christians,” West End Players Guild 

Outstanding Director of a Musical 

Lili-Anne Brown, “The Color Purple,” The Muny 
Scott Miller, “Something Rotten!” New Line Theatre 
Bradley Rohlf, “Assassins,” Fly North Theatricals 
Rob Ruggiero, “Sweeney Todd,” The Muny 
Luis Salgado, “In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis

“Much Ado About Nothing,” St Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Production of a Comedy 

“Brontë Sister House Party,” SATE 
“Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” New Jewish Theatre 
“The Lonesome West,” West End Players Guild                   
“Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Shakespeare Festival 
“The Rose Tattoo,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

“The African Company Presents Richard III,” The Black Rep, Photo by Phillip Hamer

Outstanding Production of a Drama 

“The African Company Presents Richard III,” The Black Rep 
“Behind the Sheet,” The Black Rep 
“Good People,” Stray Dog Theatre 
“Jitney,” The Black Rep 
“The Normal Heart,” Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Production of a Musical 

“Assassins,” Fly North Theatricals 
“The Color Purple,” The Muny 
“In the Heights,” Stages St. Louis 
“Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre 
“Sweeney Todd,” The Muny

“Ride the Cyclone,” Stray Dog Theatre, Photo by John Lamb

Special Award 

Joan Lipkin, for lifetime achievement 

Joan Lipkin

The mission of the St. Louis Theater Circle is simple: To honor outstanding achievement in St. Louis professional theater. Other cities around the country, such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., pay tribute to their own local theatrical productions with similar awards programs.

Members of the St. Louis Theater Circle include Steve Allen (stagedoorstl.com); Mark Bretz (Ladue News); Bob Cohn (St. Louis Jewish Light); Tina Farmer (The Riverfront Times); Michelle Kenyon (snoopstheatrethoughts.com and KDHX); Gerry Kowarsky (Two on the Aisle, HEC Media); Chuck Lavazzi (KDHX); Rob Levy (Broadwayworld.com); Judith Newmark (judyacttwo.com); Lynn Venhaus (PopLifeSTL.com); Bob Wilcox (Two on the Aisle, HEC Media); and Calvin Wilson (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Eleanor Mullin, local performer and arts supporter, is group administrator.

For more information, contact stltheatercircle@sbcglobal.net or ‘like’ the St. Louis Theater Circle on Facebook.

By Lynn Venhaus

“Attention must be paid.”

In Fly North Theatrical’s hard-hitting “Assassins,” as the vainglorious actor John Wilkes Booth, a mesmerizing Jordan Wolk reminds us of those words, which were written by Arthur Miller in “Death of a Salesman” in 1949. With that, he connects these two commentaries on the American Dream.

This show, bending time and space, plunges us into a nightmare that we vividly recall but one, as the company makes clear, is no longer in the far-distant past.

Such is the unnerving grip of Stephen Sondheim’s 1990 musical, with book by John Weidman, based on a concept by Charles Gilbert Jr., as it delves into the twisted minds and violent motives of infamous criminals – four murderers and five would-be killers of U.S. presidents.

Weidman’s loose narrative features these footnotes in American history meeting, interacting, and inspiring each other in set pieces. He acknowledges the strange brew of celebrity culture colliding with deranged misfits, and Far North presents it with a raw, painful intimacy in the .Zack space.

This is Fly North’s first foray into presenting a classic landmark after offering original works in St Louis since 2017 (“The Gringo,” “Madam,” “Forgottonia.”)

The collaborative duo, music director and founder Colin Healy and director Bradley Rohlf, are at the helm, leading a creative team and cast that zealously dives into the deep end, uncompromising on the musical’s dark and disturbing nature. Its perspective is fresh, voices virtuoso and focus laser-like with minimal staging.

Lighting Designer Tony Anselmo’s work is outstanding, establishing an eerie mood through shadows and light. Costume designer Eileen Engel outfitted each character with period appropriate outfits, Healy created the sound design to add historical texture and Rohlf handled the projection design to enhance the visuals. Brian McKinley is the assistant director.

The .Zack has had some sound/microphone issues since it opened, and continues, in various degrees with an array of productions, but usually it affects musicals more than straight plays. In “Assassins,” some of the more intricate vocals are difficult to discern, but the singers project and enunciate with a lot of effort to overcome those moments, but it still happens. There is always this feeling, when you attend a show there, of “let’s hope the sound is OK.”

Thirty-two years after its off-Broadway premiere, this bold, ambitious, and revolutionary musical continues to haunt in a different way. It is one of those seminal works of the American theater, although at the time considered one of Sondheim’s least accessible. Interpretations change through the years, uniquely tapping into current political climates and realities.

The ensemble includes the mentally unstable killers of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy, and would-be murderers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford (two!) and Ronald Reagan.

Basically, mostly losers who wanted desperately to be winners, these are the little guys tired of being oppressed by the rich and powerful, railing against injustice. Or they’re just extremists on the fringe, American psychos craving attention.

In the jaundiced group number, “There’s Another National Anthem,” Sondheim wrote “For those who never win” — The ensemble sings: “No one listens.” and “Where’s my prize?”

As the Proprietor entices the group to fame and glory, sweet-voiced Eileen Engel sells the devastating “Everybody’s Got the Right” like a QVC barker — but no doubt would administer death penalty lethal injections or place a hangman’s noose with a big smile.

The seeds are planted for disaffected and alienated souls, and their insatiable need to be someone. The song, also used in the finale, is almost sinister in context by the end of the 100-minute one-act.

“Look at me!” “Attention must be paid!” (see also @prescon2022, which prepares future leaders, because #EverybodysGotTheRight to be president).

Healy and Rohlf were forced to delay their plans for this musical several times because of the coronavirus pandemic. But perhaps it couldn’t be a timelier presentation.

With razor-sharp cynicism, the clever, whip-smart creative team has produced a fully immersed take, transforming the .Zack into Prescon 2022 – you must get there early (half-hour before) to take part in “Tinfoil Hat Origami,” “Q, no A, with Marjorie Taylor Greene,” “White Collar Crime and How to Get Away With It” and “Tips and Tricks For a Perfect Rose Garden,” sponsored by Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

The run started during the Independence Day holiday weekend, at an unsettling time when political divisions are at a fever-pitch with nasty midterm campaigns heating up a summer of primaries, hearings, and mass shootings.

Of course, the musical was ahead of its time when the original off-Broadway production premiered at the Playwrights Horizons, and while still controversial, the acclaimed 2004 Roundabout revival on Broadway won five Tony Awards and a stripped down version was mounted off-Broadway by John Doyle in late 2021.

Rohlf’s re-imagining of the original carnival framing, a fairground shooting gallery, is a bull’s eye with the convention panel and recreation of vignettes, as narrated by The Balladeer, a riveting Stephen Henley, projecting melancholy and despair in a measured tone. He is the play’s soul.

As in other productions, The Balladeer performer transitions to play a conflicted Lee Harvey Oswald, and Henley imbues JFK’s assassin with a soul-crushing sadness. He is goaded into the deed by Booth, cunning in his persuasion while Oswald wrestles with his demons.

Sensitive to the issues of gun violence, Fly North uses mostly toy guns, but gunfire is used for the Kennedy assassination.

And it is jarring, and powerful, most effective in that one use, and leads up to the evocative and moving “November 22, 1963,” and “Something Just Broke,” which features Americans’ personal accounts from that day of infamy. The impact reverberated for years, as historians tell us, and anyone alive that day can recount in universal details about hearing the news and what it meant.

Such is the indelible Dealey Plaza in Dallas. And the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C., Bayfront Park in Miami, and parades, motorcades, and wherever death changed the course of history.

 “Assassins” is not just the JFK-Oswald Special, nor is it all about Booth, but Lincoln’s assassin is a major catalyst. As written by Weidman, the Confederate sympathizer is embodied more dimensionally in Wolk’s fiery orations, starting with “The Ballad of Booth.”

On the evening of April 14, 1865, Booth entered the Ford Theatre’s presidential box, where Lincoln was watching the comedy “Our American Cousin,” in the third act, and shot him in the back of the head with a .44-caliber derringer. Lincoln died the next morning. Booth escaped with another conspirator, David Herold, and they fled to a barn in Virginia, where they were finally cornered. Herold gave himself up, but Booth refused to surrender and was fatally shot by a police officer. He died on April 26, at age 26.

The show features other characters we may not know much about beyond their names. The bizarre cases of two women, who both attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford within three weeks of each other in California in 1975, are played for laughs — only they are not in on the joke.. While dark, the ineptness and the looney-tunes perception of Charles Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and accountant-turned-hothead Sara Jane Moore is further enhanced by the manic performances of Avery Lux and Kimmie Kidd-Booker.

Lux portrays the brainwashed cultist believing Manson is the son of God and savior of the world as a woman not tethered to any reality while Kidd-Booker depicts easily agitated Moore as a loose cannon. Weidman has used creative liberties here in teaming up the unstable women.

Fromme was first, and the Manson Family mainstay, on Sept. 5, 1975, in Sacramento’s Capitol Park, was hoping to talk to President Ford about the redwoods. Armed with a Colt semi-automatic pistol that had four rounds, she aimed at Ford but there was no bullet in the magazine chamber and was immediately apprehended by Secret Service. She was 26 and received life imprisonment, paroled in 2009 after serving 34 years.

Moore, 45, had 113 rounds of ammunition when she fired a single bullet at President Ford, who was about 40 feet away, and uninjured, while she was in a crowd across the street from the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Moore later admitted to radical political views and expressed regret. She served 32 years of a life sentence and was released on parole in 2007, at age 77.

As one of the three would-be assassins not killed, Jaymeson Hintz portrays John Hinckley Jr. as a pathetic mentally ill young man who had an unhealthy obsession with actress Jodie Foster, then a student at Yale. At age 25, in Washington D.C., he shot President Reagan . on March 30, 1981. With a .22 caliber revolver, he also  wounded police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy. Press Secretary James Brady was left permanently disabled in the shooting.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent over three decades in psychiatric care. He is now released.

His duet with Fromme, “Unworthy of Your Love,” is one of Sondheim’s most heart-breaking ballads.

As the meeker but fixated marksman, Hintz holds his own on stage with the showier roles. He nails Hinckley’s schizoid personality disorder, among other diagnoses. Hintz also has some fun acting as bumbling President Ford.

This musical is not constructed to be a documentary, so the historical figures are shaped by their known backstory but in a more snapshot-type way than a History Channel recap.

Attorney Charles J. Guiteau is portrayed by Bradley Rolen as a delusional gasbag whose increasingly grandiose ramblings are dismissed as nonsense. He considered himself a “Stalwart,” the “Old Guard” faction of the Republican party, supporting Chester A. Arthur, then vice president. He purchased a gun he “thought would look good in a museum,” and followed President James A. Garfield several times, losing his nerve until destiny happened at a train station.

On the morning of July 2, 1881, as the 20th leader of our country departed for New Jersey, Guiteau shot him twice with a revolver. Garfield had only been president for three months when he died Sept. 19, from complications attributed to his doctors, and Guiteau was executed by hanging the next June. He was 40.

“The Ballad of Guiteau” and the chilling “The Gun Song” are part of his repertoire – “pull the trigger, change the world.”

After his second inauguration, the 25th president, William McKinley, another Ohioan, embarked on a six-week tour of the nation. Stopping in Buffalo, New York, to greet people at the Pan-American Exposition Hall’s Temple of Music on Sept. 6, 1901, disgruntled factory worker Leon Czolgosz concealed a handgun in a handkerchief.

The young laborer had become disillusioned by the country’s economic and social turmoil, later involved with a radical socialist group and influenced by anarchist Emma Goldman. Speaking with a Polish accent, Eli Borwick channels that anger and frustration in his powder-keg reactions.

When Czolgosz made it to the front of the line, he shot McKinley twice in the abdomen at close range. The president died a week later. Caught in the act, Czolgosz was quickly tried, convicted, and executed in an electric chair seven weeks later. He was 28.

Borwick’s bombast suits the character, particularly in his songs “The Gun Song” and “The Ballad of Czolgosz.”

As troubled Italian immigrant Guiseppe Zangara, Ryan Townsend conveys the bricklayer’s severe abdominal pain, which in his autopsy was attributed to adhesions on his gallbladder, but he had never received relief in life, even after an appendectomy.

Zangara attempted to kill president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt during a night speech in Miami, 17 days before his inauguration, on Feb. 15, 1933. He shot a .32 caliber pistol five times but missed Roosevelt, striking four others.

Without remorse, when taken to the Dade County Courthouse, he said: “I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists.”

He was charged with their attempted murders, but when a victim, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, died 19 days later from peritonitis, Zangara was upgraded to a first-degree murder charge and sentenced to death. He was electrocuted in the Florida State Prison’s electric chair, nicknamed “Old Sparky,” at age 32.  

Townsend uses a thick accent that sometimes makes it hard to understand his rants. He’s part of “How I Saved Roosevelt” and group numbers, displaying a strong voice.

One of the more amusing portrayals is Sarah Lantsberger as Sam Byck, who really thought he would be a hero if he hijacked a plane and flew it into the White House in hopes of killing the much-despised Nixon. On Feb. 22, 1974, he put his plan into motion – trying to hijack a plane flying out of the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, but during the bungled incident, he killed a policeman and a pilot. He was then shot by another policeman and turned the gun on himself, death by suicide.

In two scenes, Byck is shown taping his diatribes, one to Leonard Bernstein (?!) – which can get very meta, connecting Sondheim’s contributions to “West Side Story”, and another to Nixon. Lantsberger commits to earnestly delivering his grievances. She also portrays Emma Goldman in scenes with Borwick..

Of note are Trey Marlette as a Secret Service agent and Layla Mason as Billy, Sara Jane Moore’s son that she brings along to the crime scene.

The vocals are exceptional, and the 11-piece band smoothly covers the complexities of Sondheim’s score that mixes tones and genres. Ryan Hinman, keyboards, Nicki Evans keyboards, Adam Lugo guitar, Teddy Luecke bass, Des Jones percussion, Lucille Mankovich reeds, Linda Branham Rice reeds, John Gerdes horn, Ron Foster trumpet, Joe Akers trumpet, and Adam Levin trombone, led by conductor Healy, are superb.

The ever-inventive Sondheim, whose brilliance encompassed writing lyrics of irony, emotional pain, humanity’s foibles and hunger for connection, has penned some of his most perturbing ones on our inalienable rights here. And now, after his passing in November, his words resonate from beyond the grave. “Made me wonder who we are” — “Something Just Broke.”

With the political chaos of the past decade and continued death threats against our political leaders and public servants, we have yet to fully comprehend the “Twilight Zone”-like reality that is life in 2022. After all, seditionists and malcontents tried to thwart democracy and nearly hung the vice president last year.

And after this show opened, a 22-year-old loner — who legally obtained five guns despite the ‘red flag laws,’ ripped a community apart from a rooftop as it was celebrating our 246th Independence Day.

This cogent “Assassins” certainly gives one pause about the current state of the union — If it doesn’t raise the hair on your arms, you are not paying attention.

After all, “Attention must be paid”!

Stephen Henley as The Balladeer, using his cellphone to pull up information on the assassins. Photo by John Gramlich.


Fly North Theatricals presents “Assassins” from July 1 through July 23, with a special July 4 show at 4 p.m. for $17.76. Other performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. July 7-9, July 14-16 and July 21-23, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. July 3, 10, and 17 at the .Zack building,  It runs 100 minutes and is presented in one act without an intermission. The show contains strong language, use of a racial slur as well as the use of prop firearms in the house in proximity to audience members. For more details, refer to the content warnings – which contains spoilers. For tickets, visit www.MetroTix.com and for more information, visit the website, www.flynorththeatricals.com

By Lynn Venhaus
Filled with whimsy and good cheer, “A Year with Frog and Toad” is a delightful example of clever staging and accessible theater for multi-ages.

The innovative Fly North Theatricals is presenting this sweet, sentimental show about friendship for free to all who can show their vaccination card and matching ID at the door. No ticket needed but there is limited seating because of social distancing.

The musical continues this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at The Marcelle Theatre in the Grand Center Theatre District.

Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf, two creatives who founded Fly North Theatricals in 2019, are making sensible, affordable art and have established a Theatre for All initiative as part of their mission.

In this make-believe adventure, they are doing double-duty as the two amphibious leads. Rohlf plays the popular perky Frog while Healy is the grumpy worry-wart Toad as they journey through four seasons.

They are joined in their woodland by a Snail, Turtle, Bird, Mouse, Mole and several other frogs. The young actors playing these characters sing and dance in musical numbers that recall vaudeville and merry make-believe.

The students of Fly North, who take voice and/or dance lessons, are cast members who bring a youthful energy to the production: Claudia Taylor, Trey Perlut, Ella Penico, Aislyn Morrow, Sarah Brown, Aiden Gildehaus and Julie Harris.

Earnestly directed by Alicia Like with a young audience in mind, she keeps the 85-minute show bright and breezy. Music Director Jermaine Manor smoothly kept the focus on entertaining all ages.

Their year begins in the Spring, as they wake from hibernation. They plant gardens. They swim in the Summer, rake leaves in the Fall and go sledding in the Winter.

As the two best friends celebrate their differences that make them unique and special, they learn life lessons along the way. In a non-cloying way, they tackle anxiety and fears – blissfully free of corny cheesy jokes.

The musical, based on the beloved children’s book series by Arnold Lobel, was nominated for three Tony Awards in 2003, including Best Musical. Because of its success, it was heralded as mainstreaming a children’s production as “regular” theater.

An enchanting score by brothers Robert and Willie Real is brought to life by conductor Jeremy Jacobs, also on keyboards, who leads the four -piece band with aplomb. Luke Mankovich is on reeds, Jacob Mreen on bass and Matthew Clark handles percussion.

Choreographers Angela Brandow and Carly Niehaus used a light touch in the peppy numbers to keep the show up-tempo and fun.

Stellar work is evident from light board operator Mason Hagarty and sound board operator Matthew Garrison, with fine lighting and strong sound without any difficulty.

Lauren Perry has designed the simple set with imagination in mind while costumer Sam Hayes mixed 19th and 20th century outfits and included animal accoutrements, like turtle shells, when necessary. Old-timey hats complete Frog’s and Toad’s appearances well.

An appealing romp for those young at heart who see imagination as a wide canvas, “A Year with Frog and Toad” is a good way to ease back into bringing young people to the theater. And watching such a cheerful presentation will make you smile underneath your mask!

To support their “Theatre for All” initiative, find out more: https://www.flynorthmusic.com/theatre-for-all

And/or attend their VIP fundraising brunch on Sunday, Nov. 14. Doors open at 11 a.m., and each ticket comes with one reserved seat for the closing performance of “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

The brunch will include a Breakfast Taco Bar from The Fifth Wheel of the Bailey’s restaurant family, bottomless mimosas and coffee and performances from cast members. The Studio Open House will be at 3617 Grandel Square in St. Louis.

Tickets are available on their website and all proceeds go toward future productions and resources for FNT students. Single tickets are available for a $100 minimum donation.

Part of FNT’s mission of promoting education through performance is to involve the students of its private voice and dance studio on and off stage in every show. This production has students work alongside their teachers to produce something wacky, fun, formative, and memorable. For more information, visit www.flynorththeatricals.com

NOTE: In accordance with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s recent COVID policy update, all attendees of “A Year with Frog And Toad” must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test conducted less than 72 hours prior for admittance.

Article originally appeared in Arts For Life’s Feb. 18 newsletter. Article written by Kim Klick and Lynn Venhaus

After working as a professional actor and singer for more than 30 years in Las Vegas, including performing opera at the Venetian Hotel on the Strip, Kimmie decided to move back to her hometown.

To leave her comfort zone and start over at 45 years old was daunting.

“More than a few people thought I must have been crazy!” she said.

But she knew it was time for a change and she did have support.

She was hired to work at Nordstrom Department Stores and found an apartment in Valley Park.

“I thought I’d be satisfied with all of that, but I wasn’t. Frankly, I was quite miserable. I was lonely, broke and terribly homesick! Most of all, I missed performing.”

However, things slowly fell into place. She not only found her way into the St. Louis theatre scene but reconnected with childhood friends, settled down here and married Gregg Booker. They grew up in the same neighborhood, and found each other on Facebook.

She started researching St. Louis theater companies, sending out letters and headshots, hoping to be acknowledged, but no response.

One day in 2012, she came across an audition for an upcoming production of August Wilson’s “Fences” at Hawthorne Players.

“I hadn’t even heard of August Wilson! Can you believe that? Someone like me, who has done theatre her entire life, had not heard of August Wilson?”

She showed up, prepared but “terrified.”

“A little-known fact about me is that I had never done a ‘straight play’ before! I had always done musical theatre. So, to put myself in a position where I had to just ACT, well, it was unchartered territory for me, to say the least!”

She was offered the part of Rose, the long-suffering wife who is married to the lead character, Troy.

Kimmie Kidd-Booker in “Fences” at the Hawthorne Players. Photo by Larry Marsh

“It’s one of the most important, historical, emotional, heartfelt roles to exist in American Theatre. I thought, ‘What the hell did I get myself into?’” she said.
She did not need to fret.

“This was one of the best and most fulfilling theater experiences of my career,” she said.

For the record, August Wilson was not only an African American playwright, but also was an amazingly talented award-winning playwright who died too soon at the age of 60, Kidd-Booker explained.

“Fences” is part of Wilson’s celebrated “Pittsburgh Cycle,” sometimes called “The Century Cycle,” in which he wrote 10 plays, each set in a certain decade of the 20th century.

Set in the 1957, it is the sixth play of the cycle, premiered in 1985, and like the others, explores the evolving African American experience and among other themes, examines race relations.

Troy is a Negro Baseball League player who now works as a garbageman – but can’t be a driver (yet). His bitterness is apparent and affects his family – wife Rose and sons Lyons and Cory, and disabled brother Gabriel.

“Fences” won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.
“I am honored and privileged to say I performed in an August Wilson play! Being in an August Wilson play was both thrilling and terrifying. The context is historic and genuine and dramatic. His words are thoughtful and compelling and emotional,” she said.

 While “Fences” is her only August Wilson play to date, she said she is optimistic that moving forward, there will be more opportunities to educate, perform, explore and share the African American experience with everyone.

“Black History Month is just a drop in the bucket. But it is certainly a start. My hope moving forward is that we can continue to gain an understanding of each other and continue a dialogue and put fears to rest. We have many differences, but we must continue to be reminded that we are more alike than we’d like to think,” Kimmie said.

Before she debuted in “Fences,” after a year here, she was considering returning to Las Vegas.

But once she started rehearsals with the cast and crew, then bonding with everyone, she decided to stay.

“My love for theatre kept me here in St. Louis. As I began to meet other theatre people and make more and more theatre connections, I knew that this is where I belonged. These are my People!” she said.

As Eliza Haycraft in the original musical “Madam”

Kimmie recently became part of the AFL Board of Directors. She has won two Best Performance Awards for Best Featured Actress as Glinda in “The Wiz” at Hawthorne Players in 2014 and as Estonia Dulworth in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” at the Kirkwood Theatre Guild in 2019.

She was nominated as Best Actress in a Featured Role as Sister Mary Hubert in “Nunsense” at Hawthorne Players in 2015 and as The Witch in “Into the Woods” at Curtain’s Up Theater in 2018.

Among her roles in regional professional theater, she played Tom Robinson’s wife in “To Kill a Mockingbird” at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, as Lady Bird in Stray Dog Theatre’s “Spellbound: A Musical Fable”and in the ensemble of “Sweeney Todd,” as “Aunt Missy” in The Black Rep’s “Purlie” and as Evangeline Harcourt in “Anything Goes” at New Line Theatre. In January 2020, she starred as brothel owner and philanthropist Eliza Haycraft in the original musical, “Madam.”

About August Wilson

August Wilson

Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel in Pittsburgh, Penn., on April 27, 1945. His mother, Daisy Wilson, was of African American heritage. His father, Frederick Kittel, was a German immigrant.

As a child, Kittel attended St. Richard’s Parochial School. When his parents divorced, he, his mother and his siblings moved from the poor Bedford Avenue area of Pittsburgh to the mostly white neighborhood of Oakland. After facing the relentless bigotry of his classmates at Central Catholic High School, he transferred to Connelly Vocational High School, and later to Gladstone High School.

When he was 15 years old, Wilson pursued an independent education at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where he would earn his high school diploma.

Following his father’s death in 1965, a 20-year-old Wilson adopted the pen name “August Wilson” — reportedly an homage to his mother — and declared himself a poet. In 1968, Wilson and a friend, Rob Penny, co-founded the Black Horizon Theater.

Wilson remained primarily focused on making it as a poet — largely to no avail — until moving to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1978.

Wilson wrote his first notable play in 1979,” Jitney,” for which he earned a fellowship at the Minneapolis Playwright Center.

The following year, his new play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” was accepted at the Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. The year 1982 was particularly fruitful for Wilson, as it marked his introduction to Lloyd Richards, who went on to direct Wilson’s first six Broadway plays.

“Joe Turner,” the second part of the cycle, opened on Broadway in 1988.He took home another Pulitzer Prize in 1990, this time for The Piano Lesson, following its Broadway premiere.

Wilson died of liver cancer on Oct. 2, 2005, in Seattle. His new play, “Radio Golf,” had opened in Los Angeles just a few months earlier.

Information from www.biography.com is included here.

Mrs. Harcourt in “Anything Goes” at New Line Theatre 2018

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
When composer and music director Colin Healy first heard the story of wealthy
brothel madam and philanthropist Eliza Haycraft, he was intrigued. On Aug. 16,
“Madam,” the musical about this infamous St. Louisan that he wrote the book,
music and lyrics for, had its world premiere at the Bluff City Theatre in
Hannibal.

Bluff City Theater commissioned the musical, where Healy has been the music director for the theater since 2017, and a branch of the Haycraft family is involved with BCT. Healy is artistic director of his own companies, Fly North Music and Fly North Theatricals.

“After one of the shows, they told me Eliza’s story. I was
fascinated ever since,” he said. “I said ‘Wow, that’s a musical.’ About a year
later, Joe Anderson, the artistic director, called me up and said in so many
words ‘Let’s make it a musical.’”

Rosemary Watts and Larissa White

Bluff City Theatre’s executive director wrote in his recent
blog: “Madam the musical is a totally new play we commissioned to end our 2019
season dedicated to the theme of The American Experience,” he said. “We follow
the story of a group of women who, for a variety of reasons found themselves
without the means to support themselves and turned to the only profession open
to women like them — prostitution. Madam Eliza Haycraft rose from obscurity to
become the richest woman in Missouri, much-loved by the general public, and a
major philanthropist with a special emphasis on Civil War widows and orphans. Yet,
despite the fact that her houses were well-frequented by the rich and powerful
men who ran the city, she was shut out of polite society.”   

“Madam introduces other characters who are historically
based on some of the remarkable women who defied the norm to claim their place
in the country at a time when they had few legitimate rights. One, an escaped
slave, disguised herself as a man to fight in the Union Army.  One is sister to Victoria Woodhull, candidate
for president in 1872,” he continued. “In addition to being a lesson in America
history, Healy’s musical is bright and lyrical. The cast is amazing. And you
can be among the first to see what is sure to be a hit.”

Healy’s score features St. Louis style jazz and blues, “Madam” is directed by Sydnie Grosberg -Ronga. The musical stars Rosemary Watts as Madam, Brett Ambler as The Benefactor, and Eileen Engel, Kimmie Kidd, Cameron Pille, Gracie Sartin and Larissa White as the ladies she protected.

There are only nine performances in Hannibal. Five are left
– Wednesday through Saturday. For tickets or more information, visit
www.eventshannibal.com or call 573-719-3226. The show is sponsored by Harold
and Kathleen Haycraft.

The first-run weekend is over, and seeing it happen has been
something special.

“Realizing work on stage is quite literally turning something practically two-dimensional — many many sheets of paper — into something truly three-dimensional,” Healy said. “In any other aspect of life, suddenly perceiving a whole new dimension would be beyond life-altering. Well, that’s what realizing a work of theatre is and it hasn’t gotten old yet.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew. Sydnie
Grosberg-Ronga, in addition to being an effective and incredible director, has
been an even better mentor, dramaturg, and sometimes-therapist,” he said. “Rosemary,
Lari, Cameron, Kimmie, Gracie, and Eileen have all been amazing to work with—
and as a millennial and member of the meme generation, I’d be remiss if I
didn’t say I’ve been a little starstruck getting to work with the Kazoo Kid — love
ya, Brett!”

Healy considers the musical a work in progress, but the
fact that Bluff City Theater encourages new and emerging work is music to his ears.

“What Joe Anderson is doing in Hannibal is remarkable. Bluff City Theatre is producing new and emerging work every year and filling houses with it. Go support them. They’re doing it right up there,” he said. The journey has been an interesting one, but it won’t end when the show does on Aug. 24. Plans are for his company, Fly North Theatricals, to perform “Madam” in St. Louis in 2020, from Jan. 10 to Feb. 2 at the .Zack Theater, 3224 Locust St.

Brett Ambler, Larissa White

And that is not the only plan, either.

“I’d love for it to someday reach a wider audience — whatever
that means. There are already plans for ‘Madam’ in the near future, so stay
tuned,” he said.

Not much is known about the real Eliza Haycraft, but this
much we do know. Haycraft, born in 1820, arrived in St. Louis from Callaway
County when she was 20, cast out by her parents. She had been seduced by a
lover. Destitute, she sold herself as a courtesan to support herself. When
prostitution was legal, for only a brief time, in St. Louis, she became owner
and manager of a brothel, doing well even though she couldn’t read or write. She
bought commercial and residential property and rented it back out. She was known
for helping the city’s poor, offering them help and financial aid.

In the last year of her life, the richest and most powerful men in St. Louis were hellbent on taking it all away from her, he said. She died in 1871, at age 51, leaving an estate valued at over a quarter million dollars. More than 5,000 people attended her funeral, and she was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Healy’s musical focuses on a dying Haycraft as the owner of
five brothels and the richest woman in St. Louis. She hates men. She once
empowered her employees by giving them the right to refuse service to anyone. She
had three simple rules: Respect, Consent and Pay Up Front. Then, the passage of
The Social Evils Act of 1870 made her business legitimate, but it also took
away her right to say “no.”

While based loosely on real events, the musical tells the fictionalized
story of her search for an heir to her sex empire while also taking a romp
through first-wave feminism and sexism in America at the time of
Reconstruction. It is told through the lens of Eliza’s courtesans.

“St. Louis had passed the Social Evils Ordinance, which
under the guise of legalizing prostitution actually served to deny the women
affected by it of many of the rights they had previously enjoyed. Eliza
Haycraft was a remarkable woman — a pragmatic feminist who mistrusted men,
especially those who used their positions of power to control the rights of
women, the poor and the marginalized. But she knew how to operate in a
male-dominated world. As she neared death, Eliza sought to purchase a burial
plot in Bellefontaine Cemetery, then the largest and most prestigious in the
city. The trustees of the cemetery, all clients of hers, attempted to block the
purchase until Haycraft countered by suggesting that she would take her case
directly to their wives.  They relented,”
Bluff City Theater blog said.

The poster design

Healy said he likes the show’s message.

“The show at its core is about the vulnerability of aging
and the power of ‘no’ — so for now, I just hope people like it and take away
something from it,” he said.
Bluff City Theater raved: “Audience attendance is already at a record for any
show we’ve produced here at Bluff City Theater…Don’t take our word for it — talk
to anyone who has seen the show so far. ‘Madam’ is one of the most exciting new
musicals to come along this decade.”

Healy has written five original musicals, including “The
Gringo,” which was the local headline act at the St. Louis Fringe Festival last
summer, and was the best-selling show in its history. Like “Madam,” it was
based on a real story.

Riley Dunn in “The Gringo”

He began writing “The Gringo” in 2013 after the wrongful
death of Miami teen Israel Hernandez at the hands of police. Healy had attended
high school with Hernandez, although they were not acquainted. He became
intrigued as details emerged in the fallout surrounding his death, especially
by the stark differences between their lives.

Healy moved to St. Louis during the Ferguson riots in
summer 2014. “The Gringo” then went in a different direction, instead of
confronting privilege but about fighting for your home.

“The Gringo” tells the story of art bringing together a
community facing injustice and rapid gentrification. On the morning of the
biggest art festival in Miami, a beloved local street artist is wrongfully
gunned down by police. Through the lens of a successful painter, her wannabe
lover, a drug dealer, his mule, and the white boy from out of town bearing
witness to it all, “The Gringo” is about what it means to fight for your home
in spite of it all.
Through its workshop and staged reading, a funding campaign raised enough to
record a full-length and fully orchestrated album.

“The Gringo”For the premiere of ‘The Gringo,” he also directed and was the music director. He always seems to be juggling multiple projects at once. For instance, he was contracted as the music director for “Into the Woods” this July at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA). He currently directs the Adagio Music Company at COCA and serves as the resident music director at East Central College in Union, Mo. where he has done five mainstream shows, plus his original musical “Forgottonia” last year.

Colin Healy

While living in his native South Florida, he composed
“Anthem,” which was presented in Fort Lauderdale in 2009 and 2011, and “Translation,”
which was part of the Florida Theatre Conference in 2015.

After graduating from South Broward High School in
Hollywood, Fla., he became the music director for the theater department.

Beginning at age 15, he was a touring singer/songwriter and
his work as a recording artist in the South Florida-based rock band, The
Republik, was recognized by Billboard and College Music Journal. He recorded
three full-length studio albums as a performer – Last Chance Planet, 2006; The
Unexpected Answer, 2010; and We Are the Wild Things, 2012, with the last one
recorded at the legendary Stratosphere Studios in New York and produced by
Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls. They received radio play nationwide.

In 2017, he established Fly North Music as a St.
Louis-based creative company that serves as the production house for his compositions.
He now has three components: Fly North Music, Fly North Studios, and Fly North
Theatricals.

In early 2018, his private vocal studio had grown,
therefore Fly North Studios was born.

Then, after “The Gringo” was successful, he and his friend Bradley Rohlf decided to establish a new theater company, Fly North Theatricals this year.

They plan to promote education through performance by utilizing both their students and a local community of actors to create new, local, accessible, high-quality works of musical theatre, Healy said. “Neat, huh?”

His five original musicals have seen production at the
educational, community, and professional levels.

“Assassins” announcementFly North Theatricals is planning to present “Assassins”
next summer, July 4 – July 26, at the .Zack Theatre, 3224 Locust St., St. Louis,
with auditions set for Sept.16 and 17.

Fly North Theatricals said it will be a new take on Sondheim and Weidman’s classic where our nations’ most notorious assassins gather on stage to violently pursue a twisted American Dream.

“While many characters represent historical figures, our
vision for this cast requires performers that visually represent our local
community, not necessarily the real people being portrayed,” the audition
notice states.

Their website states: “A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force, Assassins combines Sondheim’s signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it, embodied by America’s four successful and five would-be presidential assassins. Bold, original, disturbing and alarmingly funny, “Assassins” is perhaps the most controversial musical ever written.”

For more information, visit www.flynorthmusic.comOur Questions with Colin Healy

Colin Healy on drums1. Why did you choose your profession/pursue the arts? “I’ve never really done much else. I’ve played music since I was 5 and went to performing arts schools my whole life — not really a great background to go into medicine or finance.”

2. How would your friends describe you? “I don’t know. I annoy myself a lot but at least they don’t have to around me all the time. So, there’s that.”

3. How do you like to spend your spare time? “I don’t understand the premise of this question.”

4. What is your current obsession? “I’m answering these questions from rehearsals for my new musical, ‘Madam!’ — so I guess that.”

5. What would people be surprised to find out about you? “People are always surprised to hear that I played baseball for 10 years, which I guess is playfully insulting? Like, why are you surprised?! Do I not strike you as the model of athleticism?! (OK, I get it.)”

6. Can you share one of your most defining moments in life? “My father passed away last month (July) so… that. That will certainly be informing a lot of my writing and teaching in the future (not that he didn’t when he was alive).”

7. Who do you admire most? “Angela Brandow and Bradley Rohlf and Stephen Sondheim and William Finn.”

8. What is at the top of on your bucket list? “Probably a bucket.”

9. What is your favorite thing to do in St. Louis? “Eating all the food, drinking all the beer, and riding my bike (because you have to burn the calories somehow).”

10. What’s next? Shameless plug: My new theatre company, Fly North Theatricals, kicks off its inaugural season this January at the .ZACK. Stay tuned to our social media (@flynorththeatricals) for more information.

More about Colin Healy

Colin Healy, circa 2015

Age: 29
Birthplace: Hollywood, Fla.
Current location: St. Louis
Education: Studied acting and music education, with a focus in voice, at
Florida International University.
Day job: I’m a full-time music director, composer, and voice teacher.
First job: Waiter
First role: Pharaoh in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
Favorite roles/plays: “Man 1 in “Songs for a New World”
Dream role/play: George in “Sunday in the Park with George”
Awards/Honors/Achievements: Uhhh — I don’t know! I got a dog. He’s pretty
cool. Getting featured on the cover of RFT for “The Gringo” last year was
pretty neat. I make a pretty mean egg sandwich.
Favorite quote/words to live by: “Fail better.”
A song that makes you happy: Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”