Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) presents the high-stepping musical Yankee Doodle Dandy, running from tonight, July 17 – July 22, 2012 at 8:15 p.m. each night.
This production recounts the life of the first giant of American musical theatre, George M. Cohan, and marks TUTS' 45th summer of free musicals at Miller Outdoor Theatre (6000 Hermann Park Drive). A dynamic showbiz saga, Yankee Doodle Dandy offers an intimate portrayal of the trials and tribulations of "the man who owned Broadway."
In real life, Cohan started performing in his teens and wrote more than 50 Broadway musicals and dramatic plays before his death from cancer at age 64. He wrote more than 500 songs during his career, many of which are now part of the American musical landscape, and received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941 for his song "Over There." Join TUTS for the musical version of Cohan's sometimes upbeat, and other times gritty, life. Filled with astonishing tap dance numbers and unforgettable tunes like "Give My Regards To Broadway" and "You're A Grand Old Flag," the entire family will love Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Presented in a narrated revue format, multiple actors will portray Cohan and his closest colleagues throughout the years. Serving in the leading male roles will be Greg McCormick Allen, Robb McKindles and Matt Owen. Making his TUTS debut, Allen brings more than two decades of regional theatre and dance experience to the stage. A staple among the Seattle theatre scene, Allen Won the prestigious Footlight Award from the Seattle Times and was credited by the paper as the "hardest working hoofer in showbiz." McKindles has appeared in the Broadway production and National tours of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease as well as the national tour of Meet Me in St. Louis. Also making his TUTS debut, Owen is a regular performer at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. Owen has performed off-Broadway in Sodom! The Musical and at the NYC Fringe Festival in Swimming Upstream.
Melinda Cowan, Cynthia Ferrer and Tari Kelly will portray the female leads. Cowan, a two-time recipient of the revered Kevin Kline Award, toured nationally with White Christmas and possesses several years of regional theatre experience. Ferrer's credits range from the first national tour of Singin' In The Rain to several appearances in film and television. TUTS audiences will remember her from TUTS' 2009 presentation of Happy Days - A New Musical. Kelly's credits include Broadway's Anything Goes, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Boy From Oz, and Show Boat as well as the national tours of Little Shop Of Horrors, Show Boat, and Beauty and the Beast. Her most recent appearance at TUTS was 2008's White Christmas.
Bearing several different titles, James A. Rocco will serve on-stage as the narrator for the show and off-stage as the director and choreographer. He is the vice president of programming and producing artistic director for the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Rocco has served as both director and choreographer for previous TUTS productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Singin' In The Rain, and 2008's White Christmas. Other notable credits include Broadway's The Wizard of Oz and London's Doin' What Comes Naturally. His re-visioned stage version of Singin' in the Rain has been seen around the world.
Rounding out the cast are Xavier Alcala-Herrera, Scott Brateng, Caitlin Cannon, Marybelle Chaney, Gabe Corey, Michael Ericson, Brittany Halen, Brittany Jamieson, Miles Marmolejo, Brent McBeth, Taryn Molnar, Chris Murry, Bridgette Noltimier, Kym Chambers Otto, Max Pierce, Charles Swan and Erin Wasmund.