Lyceum preview: Theater season brings back familiar actors, begins with 'Wizard of Oz'

Friday, May 31, 2013

With the Friday, June 7, opening show only a few weeks away, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre is abuzz with activity, according to theater officials.

"With the technical staff already hard at work and rehearsals beginning next week, there is a great deal of work remaining to ensure that audiences will see the very best productions this summer," said Director of Marketing Jackie Buckley. "The 2013 season is one of the best line-ups I think we have had in my six years here. Early ticket sales tell me that our audiences agree."

The Lyceum will open the regular season with "The Wizard of Oz," June 7-16, followed by "Fiddler On The Roof," June 22-30; "Meet Me In St. Louis," July 10-21; "The Nerd," July 27-Aug. 3; "Agatha Christie's A Murder is Announced," Aug. 10-17; "Hank Williams' Lost Highway," Aug. 24-Sept. 1, "Steel Magnolias," Sept. 7-15, and finally "Tuna Does Vegas," Sept. 21-28.

"Of course, part of the charm of the Lyceum is its family atmosphere, fostered by familiar faces returning year after year in a variety of roles," Buckley said. "This year is no different as veterans Dana Snyder, Whit Reichert, Michael McKenzie, Mallory Hawks, Peggy Billo, Daryl Vaughan, Heather Schmidt, Andrea Dotto, and many others return to the Lyceum's stage."

Andrea Dotto, Dana Snyder and Whit Reichert partner up in "The Wizard of Oz" as Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Wizard, respectively.

Audiences will remember Dotto from last season's "The Music Man."

In addition to playing the role of Dorothy, Dotto will also perform in "Fiddler On The Roof" and "Meet Me In St. Louis."

Snyder was last seen on the Lyceum stage in the 2011 season's "Damn Yankees," "The Sound Of Music," "Run For Your Wife" and in 2010 as Max Bialystock in "The Producers."

Snyder's 2013 season at the Lyceum will also include playing Tevye in "Fiddler On The Roof" and Rick Steadman in "The Nerd."

Whit Reichert has been performing at the Lyceum since 2006. His many roles on the Lyceum stage include Bellomy in "The Fantasticks," Ben Franklin in "1776," J. B. Biggley in "How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying," George MacMillan in "Big, The Musical," Osgood Fielding in "Sugar," Dr. Chumley in "Harvey," Max in "Sound Of Music" and Al Lewis in "The Sunshine Boys."

In addition to "The Wizard Of Oz," Reichert will play the roles of Lazar Wolf in "Fiddler On The Roof," Grandpa Prophater in "Meet Me In St. Louis," Warnock Waldgrave in "The Nerd," Inspector Craddock in "A Murder Is Announced" and Fred "Pap" Rose in "Hank Williams Lost Highway."

Michael McKenzie was part of the Lyceum's 2010 50th anniversary season. He played the roles of Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady," Beverly Carlton in "The Man Who Came To Dinner" and Dr. Armstrong in "Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None."

This season, McKenzie will play the roles of the constable in "Fiddler On The Roof," Mr. Alonso Smith in "Meet Me In St. Louis" and Axel in "The Nerd."

Mallory Hawks returns to the Lyceum stage in 2013 playing the role of Esther Smith in "Meet Me In St. Louis." Hawks first appeared on the Lyceum stage in 2006 as Smitty in "How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying," Myrtle Mae in "Harvey" and Hoolya in "Oscar and Felix."

Lyceum favorite Peggy Billo will return this season in the role of Dora "Bunny" Bunner in the Agatha Christie thriller "A Murder Is Announced."

Her past performances on the Lyceum stage include Mrs. Paroo in "The Sound Of Music," Mrs. Higgins in "My Fair Lady," Mrs. Stanley in "The Man Who Came To Dinner," Mrs. Rodgers in "And Then There Were None," Penny Sycamore in "You Can't Take It With You," Mrs. Van Daan in "The Diary Of Anne Frank," Reverend Mother in "Nunsense" and Mrs. Norman in "Children of a Lesser God."

Since his first season at the Lyceum in 1983, Daryl Vaughn has been associated with more than 50 productions as an actor, director and choreographer.

He played the role of Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray" in 2009. He returned in 2010 and 2011 seasons for "Red, White and Tuna," and "A Tuna Christmas."

This year, Vaughn plays his half of the Tuna, Texas, community in "Tuna Does Vegas" alongside Lyceum Artistic Director Quin Gresham.

The 2013 season also brings back many of the talented production staff to the Lyceum.

"I feel we have a wonderfully, talented team that are instrumental in making each and every show at the Lyceum the best they can possibly be," Gresham said.

Returning directors are Len Pfluger, Peter Reynolds, Michael Evan Haney, Michael Rothhaar, David Hemsley Caldwell, Kat Singleton and Peter Bennett.

Tony Dearing returns for his 21st season as production stage manager. Also returning are Emilee Buchheit, assistant stage manager; Ryan Matthew Hall, resident sound designer; Randy B. Winder, resident lighting designer; Caitlin Ayer, scenic designer; and Jeff Baldwin, technical director.

For tickets to any of the Lyceum Theatre 2013 shows, visit or call 660-837-3311.

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