Norm Lewis, Max von Essen, Sarah Uriarte Berry and More Featured in Sacramento Music Circus Summer Season

News   Norm Lewis, Max von Essen, Sarah Uriarte Berry and More Featured in Sacramento Music Circus Summer Season
The 2004 summer season at the Sacramento Music Circus has been announced.
Sarah Uriarte Berry
Sarah Uriarte Berry

Now in its 54th year, the Circus will kick off its season with The Wizard of Oz, July 6-18. The Fantasticks follows, July 20-25, with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! set for July 27-Aug. 1. The remainder of the season comprises The Pirates of Penzance, Aug. 3-8; Footloose, Aug. 10-15; The Scarlet Pimpernel, Aug. 17-22; and Jesus Christ Superstar, Aug. 24-Sept. 5. A host of Broadway veterans will be part of the seven-show theatre-in-the round season, including Max von Essen, Teri Bibb, Brad Little, Jason Graae, Norm Lewis and John Herrera.

The Wizard of Oz, based on the classic film of the same name, will feature Juliana Ashley Hansen as that famed Kansas gal Dorothy. The company will also include Eric Leviton as the Cowardly Lion, John Bisom as the Scarecrow, Chad Borden as the Tin Man, Teri Bibb as Glinda, Mary Gutzi as the Wicked Witch, Zale Kessler as the Wizard and Doug Carfrae as Uncle Henry. The musical — with such tunes as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "If I Only Had a Brain" — will be directed and choreographed by James Rocco with musical direction by Steven Smith.

Norm Lewis, most recently seen on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago, will play El Gallo in Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's The Fantasticks. He will be joined by Yuka Takara and James Snyder as the young lovers; their fathers will be played by Steve Routman and Don Mayo. Sal Mistretta, a Broadway veteran of Evita and Sunset Boulevard, will play the Actor with Chris Weikel as Mortimer and Debbie Furhman as the Mute. Karen Azenberg directs and choreographs; Valerie Gebart is the musical director.

Those starring in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! include George Merrick (Curly), Sarah Uriarte Berry (Laurey), Robert Gallagher (Jud Fry), John Scherer (Will Parker), Jennifer Cody (Ado Annie), Jason Graae (Ali Hakim), Lucinda Hitchcock Cone (Aunt Eller), Doug Carfrae (Pop Carnes). The dream ballet will be danced by Jared Nelson, Robyn Cohen and Richard Bulda. The musical will feature direction by Leland Ball, choreography by Bob Richard and musical direction by Dennis Castellano.

Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance will feature the talents of Paul Schoeffler as the Pirate King, David Burnham as Frederic, Kimilee Bryant as Mabel, Patrick Quinn as the Major General, Mary Gutzi as Ruth, Eric Leviton as Samuel and Roger Preston Smith as the Police Sergeant. Glenn Casale will direct with choreography by Mark Esposito and musical direction by Jeff Rizzo. With a book and lyrics by William S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan, some of the operetta's songs include "When Frederic Was a Little Lad," "Poor Wandering One!," "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," "A Rollicking Band of Pirates We" and "No, I Am Brave." The musical version of the hit film "Footloose" will star James Royce Edwards as Ren, the role created on Broadway by Jeremy Kushnier. Edwards, who recently toured in Mamma Mia!, will be joined on stage at the Sacramento Music Circus by Megan Reinking as Ariel, John Herrera as Rev. Shaw Moore, Mary Gordon Murray as Vi Moore, Tia Speros as Ethel with Alex Back, Lindsay Matthews, Shelly Thomas and Theresa Marie Sanchez as Ren and Ariel's friends. Gary John La Rosa, Bob Richard and Darren Cohen will be, respectively, the director, choreographer and musical director of Footloose.

Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel will boast The Phantom of the Opera's Brad Little as Percy with Leah Hocking as Marguerite, William Michals as Chauvelin, Doug Carfrae as Ozzy, Shannon Stoeke as Armand and Christy Morton as Marie. Glen Casale directs and Dan Mojica choreographs with musical direction by Tom Griffin. Pimpernel, which features music by Wildhorn and lyrics by Nan Knighton, includes such tunes as "Storybook" and "Into the Fire."

The summer season concludes with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. Max von Essen, recently seen Off-Broadway in Finian's Rainbow, will star in the title role with Sophina Brown as Mary Magdalene, Charlie Pollock as Judas Iscariot, John Herrera as Pontius Pilate, Ric Stoneback as Herod, Marc Cedric Smith as Caiaphas, Zach Hanna as Annas and Telly Leung as Simon. The creative team includes Stafford Arima (direction), Patti Wilcox (choreography) and Dennis Castellano (musical direction).

The Sacramento Music Circus is located at 1419 H Street in Sacramento, CA. Call (916) 557-1999 for tickets. For more information, visit

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