Performer Bios

Starring Tony Danza, Klea Blackhurst, and Howard McGillin.

Featured Host and Performer: Tony DanzaPerhaps best known for starring on some of television's most beloved and long-running series, including "Taxi" (1978-1983) and "Who's the Boss" (1984-1992), Tony Danza has also established himself as a stage and screen star, New York Times Best-Selling Author, and is indisputably one of America's most iconic performers.

Tony was most recently seen on Broadway in the hit musical "Honeymoon in Vegas". Danza received rave reviews for his on-stage performance, including from the The New York Times which called his performance, "A career high" and "sly genius".

Tony also recently debuted new cabaret act, Tony Danza: Standards & Stories, at the world famous Carlyle Hotel in NYC. The show features a selec;on of Tony's favorite songs from the Great American Songbook, performed by Danza and his band, personal stories, and more. Performances in other ci;es will soon be announced.

In September 2013, Danza starred on the big screen, playing Joseph Gordon Levitt's father in "Don Jon". The film also starred Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.

In September of 2012, Crown Publishing (a division of Random House) published Tony's book about the experience, entitled "I'd Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year As a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High". The critically acclaimed book spent 5 weeks on the New York Times Best-Sellers List.

Amongst Tony's previous television experience is his role as attorney Joe Celano on the CBS dramatic series "Family Law" (2000-2002), his Emmy nominated performance on David E. Kelley's award-winning series "The Practice"(1998), and ABC's "The Tony Danza Show," a talk show that was broadcast live in New York from 2004-2006. He also starred in and executive produced the ABC comedy series "Hudson Street", NBC's "The Tony Danza Show", and hosted numerous award shows, including the 2001 "Miss America Pageant," and the 2003 "People's Choice Awards".

Tony's additional film credits include Walt Disney's "Angels in the Outfield", "She's Out Of Control," "The Hollywood Knights", and "A Brooklyn State of Mind".

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Danza received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in History Education. Discovered at a boxing gymnasium in New York, Danza was ultimately cast in the critically acclaimed ABC series "Taxi," earning him a place in television history. He followed "Taxi" with a starring role in the classic ABC comedy series "Who's the Boss?," which ran for eight seasons.

Eventually Tony explored his love for the stage, and amongst his many stage credits is his exciting run on Broadway in Mel Brooks hit musical "The Producers" playing 'Max Bialystock' (2006-2007), and his reprise of the role in the Las Vegas production at Paris Las Vegas (2007). For his theatrical debut in "Wrong Turn at Lungfish" (1993), he earned an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination. Other stage credits include the critically acclaimed "The Iceman Cometh", opposite Kevin Spacey, Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning play "A View From The Bridge", and "I Remember You."

In 2009, Tony took on his most challenging and rewarding role yet - teaching 10th grade English at Philadelphia's Northeast High School. His amazing experience working as a real teacher was featured as a documentary series on A&E, titled TEACH. The teaching experience led to Tony being named one of 2011's ten most inspirational people over 50 by the AARP.

Klea Blackhurst has received accolades for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything the Traffic Will Allow. Her other shows are Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke's Broadway and Dreaming of a Song: Klea BlackhurstThe Music of Hoagy Carmichael, in collaboration with Billy Stritch. She is currently working on a new musical based on the iconic maid Hazel, with music by Ron Abel and lyrics by Chuck Steffan. It is being directed by Lucie Arnaz. New York theater credits include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bingo, Radio Gals, Oil City Symphony. She has performed at 14 Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Conventions, the Royal Albert Hall, London Palladium, Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Klea starred in Goodspeed Opera's 50th anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! and the premiere of the Marvin Hamlisch/Rupert Holmes musical, The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis, in Nashville. Regional credits include Rose in Gypsy at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago and Annie Get Your Gun at Glimmerglass Opera. Klea's radio and television credits include "The Knick," "Onion News Network," "Sesame Street" and "A Prairie Home Companion." Klea is a distinguished Alumna of the University of Utah and a member of Trinity Boxing Club NYC.

Howard McGillin Having appeared most recently with Betty Buckley in "Grey Gardens" at Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre, Howard is best known for his record-setting performance in the title role of "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. He has appeared extensively in leading roles on Broadway and London's West End in addition to appearances in film Howard McGillinand television. Seen last season on Broadway in "Gigi" with Vanessa Hudgens, Howard's other leading roles on Broadway include "The Kiss Of The Spider Woman", "She Loves Me", "The Secret Garden", "Anything Goes" (with Patti LuPone, for which he earned Tony and Drama Desk nominations), "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, received the Theatre World Award), and "Sunday in the Park with George". On London's West End, Howard starred in "Mack and Mabel" and in "Anything Goes". He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his New York theatrical debut in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of "La Bohème" with Linda Ronstadt. Howard has appeared at the Irish Repertory Theatre as George Bailey in "It's A Wonderful Life", and in "A Child's Christmas In Wales". Regionally, he appeared in the George Street Playhouse of  "It Shoulda Been You" (with Tyne Daly) and "The 39 Steps". Howard also appeared as Mr. Applegate in "Damn Yankees" at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He starred in the Stephen Sondheim/John Weidman musical "Bounce" directed by Harold Prince in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and later at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award.  Howard has sung on concert stages around the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Israel Philharmonic Hall in Tel Aviv. He has appeared in New York's famed Cafe Carlyle, 54 Below, Feinstein's at the Regency, and the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room. Seen recently on the CBS series "Elementary", Howard has also narrated numerous episodes of "Nature" for PBS, and recorded numerous audio books in addition to providing voices for the animated feature films "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" and "The Swan Princess". His solo CD "Howard McGillin: Where Time Stands Still" is available online at cdbaby.com.

With: Ashley Amber, Blue Cervini, Tony D'alio, Anthony Johnson, Sam Lips,  and Kara Walsh

Ashley Amber

Ashley Amber broadway credits include AIDA, Dance of the Vampires, All Shook Up, The Wedding Singer, Curtains, Cry Baby, Promises Promises, and the revival of Evita. She was nominated for an Astaire Award in 2012 for her performance in Evita. Tour credits include Fame the Musical, The Producers, and Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Blue Cervini

Blue Cervini, born and raised in New Orleans, began training in dance at the age of seven. After high school, she was hired by a National Dance Convention Tour, Showstopper, where she continues to share her passion for dance today. Her professional credits include: U.S. National and International Tours of West Side Story (Dance Captain, Jet Girl, Swing); CATS (Victoria); Just Dance by Debbie Allen; The Nutcracker (Arabian Soloist); and Quixotic Fusion (Guest Artist/Contortionist). Film/T.V. credits include: MGM film 21 Jump Street and ABC Studios' new T.V. series Astronaut Wives Club.

 

Ed Caccavale (Music Coordinator/Drummer) began his career in "bebop" bands alongside musicians such as Duke Jordan, Teddy Kotick, Frank Wess, and Larry Young. Big Band credits include working with Billy May, Si Zentner, Larry Elgart, and Buddy Morrow. He has accompanied and recorded with a multitude of artists including Judy Garland, Neil Sedaka, Elvis Costello, Lainie Kazan, Peter Nero, Morgana King, and Dianne Carrol. Ed has also toured with Mel Torme, Caremen McRae, Billy Ecstine, Johnny Mathis, and Tony Danza. His numerous Broadway credits include Annie, Gypsy, Me & My Girl, Crazy For You, Barnum, 42nd Street, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies, and The Goodbye Girl.  Ed was also the drummer and percussionist in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris during it's original run at The Village Gate. An experienced contractor for recordings, concerts, and special events, Ed is the current Musical Director for Lainie Kazan,  and the drummer for Tony Danza.  Ed studied at the Undergraduate Department of The Manhattan School of Music.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson was most recently on stage performing the role of Tulsa in Gypsy choreographed by Mary Ann Lamb and Lisa Gajda at Harbor Lights Theatre Company. Prior to Gypsy, Anthony was seen in two back-to-back productions of West Side Story, at Riverside Theatre (A-Rab) and Westchester Broadway (Tony). Other credits include: National Tour: Hairspray. Regional: Pippin (Pippin) at Phoenix Theatre. Grease (Sonny/ u/s Danny Zuko) at North Shore Music Theatre. West Side Story (Action/ Tony u/s) at Harbor Lights. Hairspray and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Paper Mill Playhouse. Anthony is excited to dance for Mary Ann and Lisa again and for all of you tonight!

Sam Lips

Sam Lips most recently played Pippin in the first national tour of PIPPIN. Broadway credits include: PIPPIN (swing/Pippin us), CINDERELLA (ensemble/Prince Topher us). National tours: WICKED (ensemble/Fiyero us). Regional: St. Louis MUNY, Pittsburgh CLO, Music Theatre of Wichita. BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan. 

CAP21 students

Julie Montalbano

Julie Montalbano a sophomore in the Molloy/Cap21 BFA Musical Theatre Program, is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where she studied musical theatre at NOCCA, Louisiana's Arts Conservatory.  She graduated with honors from Chalmette High School.  Julie is a member of Actors' Equity and SAG-AFTRA.  Julie has performed in numerous school and community theatre productions in New Orleans, and she was also the lead in Xanadu Junior in New York City, where she had the opportunity to perform for the playwright of the Broadway musicals Xanadu and Cinderella, Douglas Carter Beane.  In addition to musical theatre, Julie has appeared in a principal role for a national television commercial. Julie received numerous awards for interpretive reading at the city, state, and national levels, and she was the recipient of the Outstanding Youth Vocalist Award in the 2011 AACT Louisiana State Festival.  Julie was nominated for an Ambie Award for the Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Little Red in JPAS' Into the Woods.  Some of her stage credits include Cinderella (Cinderella), Anything Goes (Hope Harcourt), The Secret Garden (Lily Craven), Carnival (Lili), Xanadu (Kira), Into the Woods (Little Red), Drop Dead (Victoria Le Pewe), and Bugsy Malone Junior (Tallulah).  Julie will be playing Alice in the Madison Theatre's upcoming performance of Alice In Wonderland.  Julie would like to thank her loving parents, family, and friends for their support, as well as CAP21 and Molloy College for the opportunity to grow as a performer.

Hannah Mount

Hannah Mount is a sophomore CAP 21 BFA Musical Theatre student, she has performed all along the east coast from the Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa, Florida to right here on The Madison Theatre stage. She was last seen this summer in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina playing Nancy and The Rose Seller in Oliver. Last year she debuted on Long Island in An Evening With Marvin Hamlisch, An Afternoon With Henry Mancini and the Molloy Performing Arts Club Production of Legally Blonde as Elle Woods. Some of her other favorite productions include Seussical (Mayzie La Bird), The Secret Garden (Mary Lennox), The Sound of Music (Louisa Von Trapp), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Godspell, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Snoopy), and most recently the sketch comedy show Blake & Beef Live! originating the role of Blake's cheerleader girlfriend, Laura Maiola.

Heather Sawyer

Heather Sawyer is a sophomore in the Molloy College and CAP21 program. She is so excited to be back for another show with the Madison Theatre. Some of her favorite productions have been the Marvin Hamlisch Concert and A Honalee Christmas, in which she got to share the stage with many of her amazing peers. She would like to thank all those involved in the production, as well as her friends and family for all their support.

Aaron Gandy (Music Director, Conductor) is very happy to return to The Madison Theater, where he conducted the 2011 Gala Opening Concert starring Martin Short.  Other Madison Theater concerts include tributes to Henry Mancini and Marvin Hamlisch, and engagements by A Band Called Honalee and The Highland Divas. His other concert appearances include The New York Tenors¹ current international tour (including a return engagement to Carnegie Hall on December 10).  He has concertized with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Paley Center for Media, Chicago Humanities Festival, Symphony Space, and venues nationwide.  His producing credits include Frank Loesser: From Hollywood to Broadway for Chicago¹s Grant Park Music Festival.  NYC theatre credits include The Lion King, Just Jim Dale, Urinetown, The Shaggs, and Dora the ExplorerLive!  at Radio City Music Hall.  Upcoming projects include Can Can directed by David Lee and Hit The Deck directed and choreographed by Noah Racey.  He concertizes frequently with the Library of Congress, most recently Life Begins at 8:40 starring Faith Prince, Brad Oscar and Kate Baldwin, which was recorded by PS Classics.  Other recordings on that label include Through The Years (premiere recording), Jule Styne In Hollywood, Fine and Dandy, and The Musicality of Vincent Youmans on Jay Records. A specialist in restoring vintage musicals, his current restorations include Vincent Youmans¹ Great Day and Walk With Music by Vernon Duke and Yip Harburg.  Mr. Gandy is a graduate of Florida State University¹s School of Music.  Visit www.aarongandy.com.

South Shore Symphony
Since its inception in 1986, the South Shore Symphony has been an important part of the Arts on Long Island. The Symphony (SSS), considered one of Long Island's top orchestras, performs regularly at Molloy College's Madison Theatre, St. Agnes Cathedral, Mill River Park, Eisenhower Park and in the RVC Schools. Under the Direction of Maestro Scott Jackson Wiley, the SSS will present its eighteenth annual production of the "Nutcracker", a full length ballet in collaboration with Leggz Ltd. Dance in December along with top professional dancers. In tonight's special collaboration, members of the SSS accompany the voices of the Long Island Opera in a the "Mozart's Marriage of Figaro." Later in November the SSS will perform with Guest Jazz Flutist Hubert Laws and Pianist Jeffrey Biegel in a Premiere of Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano" ar­ranged for Symphony Orchestra, accompany Tony Danza in a performance for the Molloy College Gala, and present many other concerts and perfor­mances.  The organization is a part of the Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts, a not-for profit organization that was founded over thirty five years ago supporting the Arts. President Wayne Lipton is also principal Cellist and has been its leader for almost Twenty- Five Years. www.sssymphony.org

Dancers:

KC Fredericks

A California native, KC's love for the arts began at a young age. KC grew up training classically in all genres of dance, gymnastics, and musical theatre studies. KC has worked coast to coast in the commercial and theatrical industries of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New England, New York City, and regionally at theatres across the country. He was a founding member of RhetOracle Dance Company of Long Beach, CA and Nickerson-Rossi Dance of Long Beach, CA and Philadelphia, PA, and also danced for Odyssey Dance Theatre of Salt Lake City.

KC has toured with the North American Tour of Cats, internationally playing Chistery in the Broadway National Tour of Wicked, and was most recently seen in the Broadway-bound musical Tuck Everlasting. He can be seen in film & television airings of Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, The American Mall, Live From Lincoln Center, From Broadway With Love, PBS, the Property Brothers on HGTV, as well as in music videos for artists Danny Blu & Chrissi Poland. He can also be seen in commercials and print work for Smash, Ford, MAC Cosmetics, O.C. Tanner, Ward's Boxing Club, Nokia, and dancing backup for Nicki Minaj. KC currently resides in New York City where he continues to pursue life on the stage and screen.

Kara Walsh began her dance training at The School of Performing Arts under the direction of Arlene Begleman and Robert Maiorano. Kara has studied with teachers Graciela Kozak, Elizabeth Parkinson, Maria Calegari, Jillana,  and Mary Ann Lamb. Professionally, Kara has worked with choreographers Donald Byrd, Francesca Harper,  Benoit-Swan Pouffer  Celia Rowson Hall, and Adbur-Rahim Jackson.


Writer:

EUGENE PACK is the creator of the hit comedy sensation "Celebrity Autobiography" which won him the Drama Desk Award in the category of "Unique Theatrical Experience." The show runs in NY at the Triad Theatre, now in its sixth  year, and has toured internationally including the West End, Scotland, and the Sydney Opera House. Pack is also an Emmy Award-nominated writer and producer.  He was nominated for Outstanding Writing for Variety, Comedy or Music for the special "America: A Tribute to Heroes," which won the Emmy for Outstanding Special.  Pack is the creator and executive producer of the popular CMT series "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team," now in its record-breaking tenth season, "Back to the Grind" (TV Land), "What I Hate About Me" (Style Network), "Signs of Life" (VH1) and the Bravo special "Celebrity Autobiography" in which he also appeared.  He has written and performed the critically acclaimed one man comedy shows "The Senior," "Something Flexible With Meaning," and "Undisputed: My Night with the Queen of Soul."   His full-length play "Hitherto" is slated to open in NY next year.  His play  "Columbus and Amsterdam" was workshopped with the Naked Angels at Vassar College's NY Stage and Film Company.  Pack collaborated with Motown founder Berry Gordy on the autobiographical musical "To Be Loved."  He is a graduate of NYU where he studied with David Mamet and the Practical Aesthetics Workshop and Playwrights Horizons.

Choreography by: Lisa Gajda and Mary Ann Lamb

Mary Ann Lamb and Lisa Gajda have recently worked on  Again (Royal Family Theater Company), Gypsy (Harbor Lights Theater Company), A Nightingale Sang (Westport Country Playhouse), numerous youth ballets, and several joyous events for Molloy College!   They have performed in a combined 28 Broadway shows, appeared in Chicago the movie, the Academy Awards and many other TV and film events. 

Musicians: 

Ed Caccavale (Music Coordinator/Drummer) began his career in "bebop" bands alongside musicians such as Duke Jordan, Teddy Kotick, Frank Wess, and Larry Young. Big Band credits include working with Billy May, Si Zentner, Larry Elgart, and Buddy Morrow. He has accompanied and recorded with a multitude of artists including Judy Garland, Neil Sedaka, Elvis Costello, Lainie Kazan, Peter Nero, Morgana King, and Dianne Carrol. Ed has also toured with Mel Torme, Caremen McRae, Billy Ecstine, Johnny Mathis, and Tony Danza. His numerous Broadway credits include Annie, Gypsy, Me & My Girl, Crazy For You, Barnum, 42nd Street, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies, and The Goodbye Girl.  Ed was also the drummer and percussionist in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris during it's original run at The Village Gate. An experienced contractor for recordings, concerts, and special events, Ed is the current Musical Director for Lainie Kazan,  and the drummer for Tony Danza.  Ed studied at the Undergraduate Department of The Manhattan School of Music.

John Arbo studied at Manhattan School of Music. He has been the bassist for Les Paul and many singers including Susannah McCorkle, Nell Carter, Tom Wopat, Elaine Paige, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lesley Gore and Nancy LaMott, and has toured with Woody Herman, Liza Minnelli, The Shirelles and presently Tony Danza and the English rock band, Renaissance.  He has also had the bass chair at several B'way shows including "Cyrano", "Miss Saigon", "42nd St"., "Good Vibrations", "The Producers" and  "A Catered Affair". He's appeared on the B'way stage in 2007's "Coram Boy" and playing the role of Jonas Fogg (and the bass) in the critically acclaimed 2006 Broadway revival of "Sweeney Todd".  John taught bass at New School University in NYC for 15 years and is the author  of the eMedia Bass Method, an instructional CD rom.

Daniel Pearson has toured all over the world, from London to Del Rio to Tokyo performing musicals and jazz.   But he is most excited when he is back performing in New York- the music capitol of the universe, where he grew up and studied at the Manhattan School of Music.

Conduction and Musical Direction: Aaron Gandy

Tony Danza's Musical Director: John Oddo

Choreography by: Lisa Gajda and Mary Ann Lamb

Directed by: Angelo Fraboni

Scenic Design: Michael Clark

Lighting Design: Edward McCarthy

Musicians: Ed Caccavale (Drums) and John Arbo (Bass)

With the South Shore Symphony