Lyceum Theatre launches season with 'The Producers'

Monday, May 31, 2010
Dana Snyder (on chair, wearing hat) stars as down-and-out scheming producer Max Bialystock in the Lyceum season-opener, "The Producers." (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre's 50th Anniversary Season opens Wednesday, June 2, with the Lyceum premiere of Mel Brooks' "The Producers."

There will be two shows opening day, one at 2 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. The musical comedy will run through Saturday, June 12.

Winner of a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards in 2001, including Best Musical, this musical comedty tells the story of a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer, Max Bialystock. Max will be played by Dana Snyder, who is returning to the Lyceum stage after a 16 year hiatus.

(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

Snyder has appeared in many regional theatres from Austin to Cleveland. His television credits include "Brothers and Sisters" and "ER."

Master Shake on the "Aqua Teen Hunger Forc"e show, and the film "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters," both part of Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" franchise. Snyder can also be recognized as the voice of Gazpacho on the Cartoon Network series, "Chowder" and the voice of "Granny" Cuyler on the Adult Swim series, "Squidbillies." Most recently, Snyder has been touring the country in Adult Swim's" Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live!"

Playing Max's mild-mannered accountant, Leo Bloom, will be Lyceum alum Keith Gerchak. Gerchak's most recent Lyceum appearance was in "Sugar" in 2007. He also had parts in "1776" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in 2006.

Christopher Schmidt, who frequently appears in Lyceum productions, rehearses Saturday, May 29, the part of Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in "The Producers." (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

Gerchak's other stage credits include Nemo's father in Disney's "Finding Nemo the Musical," and "Fiddler On The Roof" alongside Paul Sorvino.

Playing Ulla, sexy Swedish siren and secretary to the scheming producers, is Danielle Kelsey. She is new to the Lyceum but has toured the world with rock legend Rod Stewart and danced at the Hollywood Bowl along side Joel Grey. She has also performed as one of the world famous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

Other notable Lyceum alumni starring in this production are Jeffrey C. Wolf as Carmen Ghia. Wolf's many perfomances on the Lyceum stage include "Sleuth" (Milo), "Arsenic and Old Lace" (Mortimer), "The Philadelphia Story" (Dexter), "Little Women" (Prof. Bhaer), and "Sugar" (Joe). His New York Credits include "Cloud 9," "Reckless," "Sundown," "God & Mr. Smith."

Ron Wisniski plays the part of Roger De Bris. He appeared at the Lyceum last season in "Hello, Dolly!" "You Can't Take It With You" and "The Diary of Anne Frank." His national tours include "Beauty and the Beast" (Lumiere), FDR in two tours of "Annie" and "Tintypes" (Teddy Roosevelt). His Off-Broadway credits include George Abbot's "Frankie," "A Most Secret War," "Pillars of Society," "Up Against It" (New York Shakespeare Festival) and "Tom Jones."

Lyceum favorite Christopher J. Schmidt returns to play the Nazi playwright, Franz Liebkind. His numerous Lyceum credits include Capt. Hook in "Peter Pan," Oscar in "A New Look At The Odd Couple" and Richard Henry Lee in "1776." He has been working for the past 10 years in Orlando Florida for The Walt Disney Company and can currently be seen as "Six Bits in The Hoop Dee Doo Revue."

Completing the cast are Jennifer Cordiner, Katie O'Brien, Miller Tai, Lincoln Ward Meg Maley, Andrew Laudel, Gabriel Beck, Thomas Gibbons, Jermaine Blackwell, Kelley Bradshaw, Hannah Marie Duncan, Stephanie Koenig and Cailan Robinson.

The Producers is directed by Lyceum Theatre Artistic Director Quin Gresham.

The production team is made up of Michael Baxter, choreographer; James Woodland, resident musical director; Dan Calandro, scenic designer; Randy B. Winder, resident lighting designer; Ryan Matthew Hall, sound designer; Evan Prizant, costume designer.

The production stage manager is Tony Dearing. Assistant stage manager is Emilee Buchheit.

"Our goal in assembling the Lyceum's 50th season was to create a fun and celebratory combination of musicals and plays befitting this major milestone," says Artistic Director Quin Gresham. "We think we have just such a line-up starting with 'The Producers.'"

Show times for "The Producers": 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 2; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6; 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, 2 p.m. Thursday, June 10; 2 p.m. Friday, June 11; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 12.

For ticket information, see the website below or call 660-837-3311.


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