March 27, 2012....Burbank...The Colony Theatre is thrilled to present the sixth and final production of its 37th season of shows with the tap-dancing, musical sensation, DAMES AT SEA, book and lyrics by George Haimsohn & Robin Miller, music by Jim Wise , choreography by Lisa Hopkins, musical direction by Dean Mora and directed by Todd Nielsen. DAMES AT SEA will preview on Wednesday, April 11; Thursday, April 12; and Friday, April 13 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, April 14 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, May 13 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.
Small town girl Ruby arrives in the Big Apple with her tap shoes in her suitcase, a song in her heart, and a burning desire to be a Broadway star. Just off the bus she meets and falls in love with Dick, a sailor who just happens to be a song writer with aspirations of his own. They can sing a lovely duet, but can they save a Broadway show when calamity strikes? It’s an affectionate spoof of the grand and glorious Busby Berkeley movie musicals of the 1930s -- a singing, tap dancing delight with a cast of only six!
In May 1966, Dames at Sea opened in Greenwich Village at the off-off-Broadway Café Cino under the title Dames at Sea, or Golddiggers Afloat, and launched the career of newcomer Bernadette Peters, who starred as Ruby. It re-opened in the Off-Broadway Bouwerie Lane Theatre on December 20, 1968 and then transferred to the Theatre De Lys on April 22, 1969, where it played until its closing on May 10, 1970, with a total of 575 performances. Perennially popular, the musical continues to be produced throughout the world.
The award-winning Colony Theatre was founded in 1975 as a 99-seat Equity-waiver theatre in Silver Lake. Over the years the company was so successful artistically, and built such a large subscriber base, that in 2000 it was able to move into a 270-seat theatre created for it by the City of Burbank, becoming one of only 5 mid-size professional theatres in the LA area that produce a year-round season of plays and musicals, and that employ actors under contract with Actors' Equity Association. Since the move to Burbank, The Colony was named one of "25 Notable U.S. Theatre Companies" by the Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac for 9 years in a row and voted "Best Live Theatre in LA" in The Daily News Readers' Choice poll. The company's audience is so loyal that in an era when subscription is declining dramatically, and when the industry-wide "gold standard" renewal rate of 80% is considered unattainable, for the past two seasons The Colony has achieved a subscription renewal rate over 90%. This season, at a time when many theatres are shortening their seasons and canceling performances, The Colony is expanding, for the first time in its history presenting six shows instead of the usual five.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
GEORGE HAIMSOHN (Co-Author, Book & Lyrics) was born in St. Louis and served in the Navy in World War II. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where he had his first poetry published in the student literary journal. A resident of Greenwich Village since 1952, he was a professional photographer known as Plato in the early years of vintage physique photography. He also designed mobiles and collages, and wrote stories, advertisements, and limericks as well as gay pornographic fiction under the pen name Alexander Goodman. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 77.
ROBIN MILLER (Co-Author, Book & Lyrics) served in Palestine as a Grenadier Guard just after World War II. On leaving the army, he moved to New York and began his career as a journalist. He also wrote scripts, including a screenplay for The Canterville Ghost. Subsequently, he joined forces with George Haimsohn and Jim Wise to create Dames At Sea. He also wrote the book and lyrics for a musical version of Vanity Fair, and collaborated on the musicals Peg and Radio Times, all of which were produced in London. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 82. At the time of his death, he was working on a new musical with fashion guru and Dancing on Ice judge, Jason Gardiner.
JIM WISE (Composer) was born in Akron, Ohio in 1919. After graduating from Wooster College in 1941 with a degree in Classical Languages, he served in the Army’s Public Relations Division during World War II. He received his M.A. in English from Columbia University in 1948 and taught at Columbia’s School of General Studies, and then New Jersey Institute of Technology until his retirement in 1989. While continuing to teach, he wrote the musical Yankee Ingenuity, and the children's musical Olaf, with Don Price. In 1988 he founded the Allardice-Wise Scholarship at Wooster College in memory of his friend and classmate James B. Allardice. The scholarship continues to be awarded, on the basis of a competitive audition, to a senior Theatre major who has demonstrated exceptional talent and interest in theatre. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 81.
TODD NIELSEN (Director) returns to The Colony having participated in over 40 of their productions over the years. As Director/Choreographer he has received multiple awards and nominations for Colony productions including On the Twentieth Century, City of Angels, Rags, Working, The Diviners, King of Hearts, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Matchmaker, How to Succeed in Business, Guys and Dolls, Execution of Justice, and A Little Night Music. As a performer Colony audiences may remember Todd from productions including Side Show, Putting It Together, City of Angels, Incident at Vichy, Our Country’s Good, and An Ideal Husband. Recent directing projects have included The Wiz for AMDA, The Robber Bridegroom for International City Theatre, Urinetown for Chapman University, and 1776 for Glendale Centre Theatre. Todd served as Resident Director for the Cheetah National tour of Disney’s The Lion King. He also acted as Associate Director for the first annual Mystery Writer’s Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky. Other past projects include White Christmas for Cabrillo Music Theatre, Lend Me a Tenor and Godspell for Chapman, Phantom for Moonlight Stage Productions, No Sex Please We’re British for the Norris Theatre, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune and How the Other Half Loves at ICT, Plaid Tidings for the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Welk Resort, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for the Croswell Opera House.
Todd has also staged concert theatre presentations for the Musical Theatre Guild including A New Brain, Little Me with Jason Graae, Seesaw, Out of This World, Merrily We Roll Along, and The Roar of the Greasepaint.... Upcoming projects include a world premiere for the International Mystery Writer’s Festival, Peter and Wendy for the Nine O’Clock Players, and Company for Chapman University.
DEAN MORA (Musical Director) is happy to be back at the Colony Theatre, having previously worked on The All Night Strut, No Way To Treat A Lady, and The Immigrant. Other musical direction credits: One Touch of Venus, Fade Out Fade In, Good Woman of Setzuan, Seesaw, The Dead, The Threepenny Opera, Do Re Mi, Side By Side By Sondheim, Lady MacBeth Sings The Blues (Ovation Award Winner, Best Musical Direction), Jacques Brel Is Alive ..., The World Goes Round, A Little Night Music, Pump Boys and Dinettes, City of Angels, Two By Two, Baby, Man of La Mancha, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Forever Plaid, The Sound of Music, Weird Romance, Quilters, The Boyfriend, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Fantasticks, and Godspell. Outside of the theatre world, Dean leads his own big band.
(Choreographer) is active in the theatre world as a producer,
director/choreographer, and master teacher. She is a member of The
Broadway League of Theatrical Producers, and operates New York Stage
Originals, the theatrical production company she founded with creative
partner, composer Philip Stern. Hopkins & Stern created the hit
show Tap Kids which has been featured on stages nationally and
internationally, including a sold-out month-long run at the Edinburgh
Fringe Festival in Scotland where the show received a five-star review.
Lisa directed and choreographed the musical Scrooge which, in
addition to seasonal national tours, played off-Broadway at The Lamb's
Theatre and Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre. Other credits
include the musical Dream, which premiered at The Spencer Theatre in New Mexico; the musical play Talkies at the Century Center in NYC; Murder They Danced at Toronto's Premiere Dance Theatre, and 1940's Radio Hour at
The Emelin Theater in New York. Choreographic commissions include works
for Extended Dance Theater and Off-Center Dance Theater. She has been
billed as one of New York's leading choreographers for work in The Gypsy Project at
the Tribeca PAC in NYC. Lisa received a SSDC fellowship to work with
choreographer Kathleen Marshall on the Broadway revival of Stephen
Sondheim's Follies, where she acted as an assistant to the choreographer, and dance coach to leading man Treat Williams.
ABOUT THE CAST AND DESIGN TEAM
HEATHER AYERS (Mona) most recently appeared as Cynthia in the 2011 Broadway revival of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr. Her other Broadway credits include Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (Megan Mullally understudy) and Trevor Nunn's A Little Night Music (Desiree standby). Off-Broadway, she has appeared in Five-Course Love (Minetta Lane), Sarah: Plain and Tall (Lucille Lortel), Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back, and five City Center Encores! productions. Regionally, she has played The Yale Repertory, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Barrington Stage, George Street Playhouse, Kansas City Repertory, The O'Neill Festival, The Alley Theatre, New York Stage & Film, Repertory of St. Louis, among others. She can be heard on the original cast recordings of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, City Center Encores! Face the Music, and Five-Course Love. Her TV appearances include Z-Rock (IFC) and Lights Out (FX).
TESSA GRADY (Ruby) has been performing on stage since age six when she played the pea that went under the mattress in the musical Once Upon A Mattress. She is now 18 and since her portrayal of the pea she has been seen in countless shows. Some of her recent appearances are The Sound of Music (Liesl) 3D Theatricals; Happy Days (Joanie Cunningham) Cabrillo Music Theatre, and Annie (Star-To-Be) Cabrillo Music Theatre. Some of her other performances include The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Chicago (Velma), Songs for a New World (Woman 2), Little Women (Beth), West Side Story (Anybodys), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally Brown), and Crazy For You (Patsy). She has appeared in TV shows such as The King of Queens and has done various studio singing work including The Santa Clause 3, Fred Claus, and the Disney Princess CD series. When she is not on stage, she trains and performs as an aerial artist.
SHANON MARI MILLS (Joan) most recently returned from the national tour of Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan, where she played Curly and was understudy to Cathy Rigby and Kim Crosby (Mrs. Darling). Some favorite credits include Olive in Spelling Bee, Amy in the world premiere of the musical Mask at the Pasadena Playhouse, Ariel in Footloose!, Kathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain, Phyllis in 42nd street, Voice of Sonia in They’re Playing Our Song, Sr. Amnesia in Nuncrackers, Mary-Jane/Leslie Gore in Baby It’s You, Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, P. Burke in Weird Romance, and Val in A Chorus Line.
Shanon was also seen as Phyllis Who in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas with John Larroquette at the Pantages Theatre, and in South Pacific at
the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McEntire & Brian Stokes Mitchell. She
has had the opportunity to perform in concerts with Kristen Chenoweth,
Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers, and Gladys Knight.
DINK O’NEAL (Hennesey/Captain) returns to the Colony having appeared in Grand Hotel and On The Twentieth Century. He has toured with Forever Plaid and The Johnny Mann Singers, and worked regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Utah Musical Theatre, Arizona Spectrum Theatre, and Sacramento Music Circus, and locally at The Norris Center, Laguna Playhouse, Disneyland, and CLOs in Downey, Long Beach, San Gabriel, Santa Barbara, Irvine, and Mission Viejo. Dink has played Harold Hill in The Music Man, Peron in Evita, John Adams in 1776, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Curly & Jud in Oklahoma!, Rooster in Annie, Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly!, Applegate in Damn Yankees, 9 productions of Oliver! as Bill Sykes or Mr. Sowerberry, and even the musical version of Gone With The Wind, while working with Sally Struthers, Jack Jones, Ann Blyth, Dale Kristien, Jon Cypher, Eric McCormack, Shelley Berman, Tony winners Gary Beach and Kristen Chenowith, and Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden. His broadcast credits include Psych, Monk, Boston Legal, Drake & Josh, Wizards of Waverly Place, Lucky Louie, General Hospital, The Bold & The Beautiful, Port Charles, Days of Our Lives, City Guys, The Elf & The Magic Key with Jo Anne Worley, The Girl in the Cadillac with Erika Eleniak, and Hallmark Channel’s Backyard Wedding with Markie Post, Frances Fisher, and Diana Scarwid.
JEFFREY SCOTT PARSONS (Dick) is making his Colony Theatre debut in Dames at Sea. Favorite regional performances include Bobby Child in Crazy for You, Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, Sparky in both Forever Plaid and Plaid Tidings, Malcolm in The Full Monty, and Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In Los Angeles, he premiered productions of Hunger: In Bed With Roy Cohn (World Premiere) and Glory Days (West Coast Premiere), as well as 1940's Radio Hour and the Ovation-winning Kiss of the Spider Woman. He holds a BFA in Music Dance Theatre from Brigham Young University
JUSTIN MICHAEL WILCOX (Lucky) has appeared in the Reprise productions of Cabaret, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Other credits include Bark! The Musical, Oklahoma!, The Apple Tree, A Christmas Carol, and The Return to the Forbidden Planet, among many others. He is a graduate of American Musical and Dramatic Academy.