Colella, Rigby, Hewitt, von Essen, Stout, Williamson Among Pittsburgh CLO Stars in 2008

News   Colella, Rigby, Hewitt, von Essen, Stout, Williamson Among Pittsburgh CLO Stars in 2008
Creative teams and principal casting have been announced for the summer 2008 season of Pittsburgh CLO, which features new productions of Peter Pan, Mame, Smokey Joe's Café, Annie Get Your Gun and West Side Story.
Jenn Colella
Jenn Colella Photo by Ben Strothmann

Tom Hewitt, Max von Essen, Cathy Rigby, Ruth Williamson, Jenn Colella, Mary Stout, Donna Lynne Champlin and Ali Ewoldt are among Broadway names on the bill.

"As one of the nation's largest musical theatre producers, Pittsburgh CLO continues to attract Broadway actors, directors and choreographers to our summer season at the Benedum Center," executive producer Van Kaplan said in a statement. "These talented teams of individuals are certain to give our patrons another unforgettable summer of spectacular shows."

Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby will return to the role of Peter Pan June 21-July 2, opposite Tom Hewitt (Broadway's The Rocky Horror Show, Dracula) as Hook. Glenn Casale, who had shepherded the show in the past (on tour, for TV and for the Tony-nominated Broadway revival) directs. Broadway veteran Dana Solimando will make her CLO debut as choreographer for Peter Pan. Her Broadway credits include Swing!, Peter Pan and Cats.

Richard Sabellico will direct Mame July 8-13. Casting for the title role has not been announced, but Ruth Williamson (of the Broadway revivals of La Cage aux Folles and The Music Man) will play Vera, Donna Lynne Champlin (Broadway's recent Sweeney Todd and Hollywood Arms) will play Gooch and Mary Stout (Beauty and the Beast) will play Madame Branislowski, Mrs. Upson and Mother Burnside. Richard Stafford will choreograph.

The pop revue Smokey Joe's Café, July 15-20, will be directed and choreographed by Barry Ivan, recently named executive producer of North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Annie Get Your Gun, July 22-Aug. 3, will star Jenn Colella (Broadway's High Fidelity and Urban Cowboy) as Annie Oakley. Charles Repole will direct.

Max von Essen (Broadway's recent Les Miserables) will play Tony in West Side Story Aug. 5-17 under the direction of Van Kaplan. Von Essen's Les Miz co-star Ali Ewoldt will play Maria. Pittsburgh CLO executive producer Kaplan's directing credits include Kopit & Yeston's Phantom, On the Town, Sweeney Todd with Candy Buckley, South Pacific with Cathy Rigby, Nunsense, Shear Madness, Ruthless, She Loves Me, Guys and Dolls with Georgia Engel and the regional premiere of Andrew Bovell's Speaking in Tongues. Mark Esposito will choreograph.

Additional casting will be announced. For more information about Pittsburgh CLO, visit

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