Musicals at Richter

See you under the stars soon!


  • Book by Music and Lyrics by ROGER O. HIRSON STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
  • Directed by GEORGE VOLLANO
  • Music Director SABRINA POST
  • Choregraphy by JENNIFER TUREY
  • Set Design by ANDY KNAPP
  • Costumes by DEE & DON'S COSTUMES
  • Technical Director EVE CLULOW
  • Stage Manager AMANDA MURO

Cast & Bios:

CRISTINA BALSAMA (BERTHE) is beyond words to express how exuberant she is to be making her debut at Richter. Previous roles throughout her varied life experiences include Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth", Jocasta in "Oedipus Rex", Morgan le Fey in "Camelot", Mrs. Malloy in "The Matchmaker", various fairy tale characters in children's theater, and appearances in the ensembles of "Bye Bye Birdie", "The Pajama Game", and "The Wiz". Cristina teaches French and Spanish at the Middle and High Schools in Rye, New York where she also directs and produces the Middle School Spring Drama, offers an afternoon Drama Club, and helps backstage with the High School musicals. She's decided to follow Berthe's advice, "time to take time", by returning to the stage to fulfill one of her loves in life. She thanks the cast of "Pippin" for their warmth and care. Speaking of which…Cristina is crazy about her husband, Barney, and their three dogs. She sends thanks to Jennifer H. for her help and encouragement and wants Catherine and Greg to know how much she loves them. Hi to all the Rye people and the Civil Air Patrol guys. Hi Mom - Hi Dad! Love you - thanks for all you've done. Feel the magic!

DANIEL BAYER (PLAYER) Daniel is ecstatic to be returning to the MAR stage, as his last performance was in "The Wiz" so long ago. Since then, Daniel has not been absent from the performing arts, however. He has performed in the roles of Albert Peterson in "Bye, Bye Birdie", John Darling in "Peter Pan", and Snowboy in "West Side Story" at Danbury High School. Daniel has also been on the competitive dance route with Lori's Center Stage competition troupe, receiving awards, including: Broadway Bound, Personality, Entertainment, and Comedy awards, 2nd Runner-Up Mr. Starpower 2000 & 2001, 2nd Runner-Up Access Broadway Triple Threat, 1st Runner-Up Mr. Showbiz 2000 & 2001, Mr. On-Stage America 2001, and Mr. Superstar 2001. For the past three years, he has been invited to perform with the Starpower Power Pak Dance Tour. In 2000, he competed in a national competition at Walt Disney World and placed 3rd overall. Daniel is currently a junior and honors student at Danbury High School, where he is active with the yearbook, literary magazine, and mock trial team, which went to state semi-finals this year. In his spare time (WHAT spare time?) he is a movie connoisseur. Daniel would like to thank his parents for looking at colleges while he was at Pippin rehearsals, and would like to show them, through his performance, that it was all worth it!

JOHN CONGDON (PIPPIN) John is very proud to be performing at MAR, for his second consecutive season, after a truly amazing summer of 2000, where he portrayed Jesus in Godspell, and Che in Evita. He just finished a run of The Pirates of Penzance as Frederic, and will next be playing Teen Angel in Grease at MAR. Past favorites include: Archibald (Secret Garden), Sky (Guys and Dolls), Ralph Rackstraw (H.M.S. Pinafore), Giuseppe AND Marco in different productions of The Gondoliers, and The Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance). Besides performing, John can also be found at Daniels Farm Elementary School teaching kindergarten! Much love to family, friends, members of the cast and crew, but mostly to His Heavenly Father who makes all things new, and who DOES give my life meaning and purpose! Enjoy!

ALICE DAOOD (PLAYER) Alice has been flirting with her spot on the chorus line since her junior high school days. She sang and danced for St. Louis Community Theater and school productions of "The Pajama Game," and "The Music Man." From 1997-1999, she belonged to St. Joseph's Choir in High Bridge, New Jersey. Upon moving to Connecticut in 1999, Alice studied voice with Jane Ryan and Lynn Paulella at the Music Learning Center of Danbury. For her thirtieth birthday, she dared herself to audition for a show. Alice is back on stage and thrilled to be in the middle of her first season with Musicals at Richter.

JULIETTE GARRISON (PLAYER) originated the role of Doris Duke in the new musical "Rubirosa" at the Lambs Theatre in NYC this past fall. Favorite theatre credits include Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" and Tessie Tura in "Gypsy" both here at Richter, Gloria in "Damn Yankees", "The Taffetas" and Godspell. She will be seen later this season as Nancy in Richter's production of Oliver! She has just finished a run as Nickie in "Sweet Charity" at Curtain Call, Inc. At the Ethel and Sydney Kweskin Theatre in Stamford. Juliette is a member of the board of Musicals at Richter. She can be seen daily playing her favorite role of Spencer and Luke's Mommy!! I love you, Patrick!!

ED GONZALEZ (LEWIS) Eddy is very excited to be making his debut at Richter this summer. He is currently studying Theatre at NYU, where he performed Laertes in "Hamlet", Northumberland in "Richard II", and Prometheus in "Prometheus Bound". Other credsits include Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls", Cinderella's Prince in "Into the Woods", Emile de Beque in "South Pacific", Bobby in "A Chorus Line". Much thanks to a great cast and crew.

ANTHONY GRASSO (PLAYER) is very glad to be participating in this season's production of "Pippin" as a Player and "Grease" as Sonny LaTierri, having debuted here last year in "Godspell" and "Evita". Since then Anthony has worked for RFKT in "Meet Me in St. Louis" (Lon), Pathos Players in "The Good Doctor" (Sneezer), "The Actor's Nightmare" (George Spelvin), The Little Vicotry Players with "Sea Mark", Delhi Players in "The Butler Did It" (Chandler) and "Flying Feathers (Tunnicliffe). Other roles include Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof", Rooster in "Annie", Sam in "L'il Abner", Teddy in "Arsenic and Old Lace", Billy in "Play On", Sir. Lawerence in "Ten Little Indians" and a trumpeter in "The Music Man". Anthony will be leaving for Walt Disney World on the college program this September to work in the parks operations and take communication classes, as well as get a great tan. Anthony wants to thank his family for sharing him with his other family here at MAR.

DEBRA LEIGH HANUSICK (PLAYER) Debra has been dancing and performing since the age of five. She recently graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York where she studied art, music, and acting. She has appeared in numerous plays, musicals, and short films. Past roles include: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (Sally), Actor's Nightmare (Ellen), Pelleas and Malisande (Pelleas), Jesus Christ Superstar (Annas), Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank), and Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel). Debra is proud to be a part of Richter's summer season and wishes to thank all those involved. She would also like to thank her parents, family, and future husband, Jake.

JENNIFER HO (PLAYER) is a 16 year-old honor roll student at Danbury high School who has been dancing for 8 years. Jen is involved in track, volleyball and S.A.D.D. 'This is my first play at Richter and it is a lot of fun!'

SARAH JOHNSON (PLAYER) Sarah Johnson, who will be attending Ithica in the fall, is happy to be back with Musicals at Richter for the third time. Some of her favorite credits include: Ado Annie- Oklahoma, Lucy- Snoopy, Louise- Carousel. She would like to thank DA, DR, JK, CP, EL and her family for all of their support. She would also like to wish the cast and crew the best of luck! XOXOX

MELISSA LAHOUD (PLAYER) Melissa is 18 years old and a graduate of DHS Class of 2001. Melissa has been dancing for 15 years and is a Company Dancer at Lori's Center Stage D/S. She has competed regionally and nationally receiving Platinum and Elite Gold awards. She was the 3rd Place Senior Soloist at Walt Disney World's Contest of Champions and also holds the prestigious dance titles of Miss Headliner 1999 and Miss Senior Star Systems 2001. She is the recipient of many dance scholarships, such as, Tremaine Dance Company and Steps on Broadway. Melissa theatre credits include "The Nutcracker" where she played "The Snow Queen" and The Arabian Dancer". Melissa is a member of the original "Power Pak", an elite group of dancers chosen nationally to represent the Starpower Dance Competition. Melissa traveled to Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX & Las Vegas, NV and had the opportunity to take master classes with world re-nowned choreographers. In addition to her dance studies, under the direction of Lori Novella-Murphy, Melissa also takes classes at Steps on Broadway with Katherine Sullivan. Melissa hold the title of Miss Connecticut American United States Teen 2000. She recently was on Channel 11, WPIX, where she helped raised funds for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Melissa is proud to be a part of Musicals at Richter this year and wishes to thank her family, parents Nancy & David, sister Sarah, and Josh for all their love and support.

EDDIE LOPEZ (PLAYER) Eddie is a sophomore at Norwalk Community College majoring in Liberal Arts. He hopes to go into musical theater once he graduates from NCC. This is his first time on the Richter stage. He is very thrilled to be working with such a talented group of individuals. Past Credits include: "Gypsy" (Detroit), "The Music Man" (Salesman), "BIG, the musical" (Trip), "Joseph..." (Dan), "Carousel" (Carnival Boy), and "Sweet Charity" (Ensemble). He would like to thank his family for their love and support and he would also like to thank Dee, Don, and George for giving him this wonderful oppurtinity. To the cast and crew....Break a Leg!!!

ALICIA MAGLIARO (PLAYER) is a 14 year old Freshman at Brookfield High School, who is thrilled to be returning to Musicals at Richter for her third season, having previously appeared in the productions of "Evita", and "Carousel." She has also performed in DMC's "Nutcracker" for the past 3 years in various featured roles. This year she danced a solo role as the Toy Soldier. Alicia has been dancing for 12 years, and studying voice for 1 year with Dr. Lou Negri. As a company dancer at Lori's Center Stage Dance Studio, Alicia has won numerous competition awards. This was her BEST year yet, as she was awarded the title of 'Miss Dance Capers 2000', named 2nd place Grand National Junior Soloist at Disney World's Contest of Champions, and 1st Runner Up for Triple Threat at "Access Broadway." She also won special judges awards for 'personality Plus' and 'Poetry in motion', plus three platinum medals. This summer Alicia will be touring with "Starpower" on the Power pak Performance Tour, where she will be traveling to Ocean City, Maryland and orlando, Florida as a dancer.

BRIAN MAHER (CHARLEMAGNE) is happy to be returning to Musicals at Richter for a third season. Previously at Richter, he has been seen in "Gospell" (the Juggler), "Guys and Dolls" (Sky Masterson), and "The Fantasticks" (El Gallo). Brian is a middle school English teacher in Greenwich where he directs the school's Spring musical, and resides in Stamford. 'Oh, how I have enjoyed the construction on 84.' Brian can be seen as Vince Fontaine in Richter's upcoming production of "Grease". Thanks to HS, DR, LB, ML and my family.

SARAH LEE MICHAELS (FASTRADA) Sarah is excited to be back at Richter to play Fastrada in "Pippin", after performing the very different but exciting role of Eva Peron in EVITA last summer. Tours include "Ziegfeld"(national road tour), a Bob Hope USO tour to the Orient, and a promotional tour of the "Louisiana World's Fair" to Europe. Last fall, she originated the role of Barbara Hutton in a new musical "Rubirosa" in an Equity showcase at the Lamb Theater in NYC. Past favorite credits: Evita (Eva), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Mother), Side by Side by Sondheim, Love Letters (Melissa), Forum (Panacea), Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary), and operas "Elixir of Love" (Giannetta) and Orpheus and Eurydice. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in voice, she performed as a cabaret singer in NYC, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Currently a singer in a nat'l. touring company of an original one-act children's musical "The Adventures of Zak", she also teaches acting, voice and dance lessons at the Ridgefield School of Performing Arts in Ridgefield. Her next local role will be as the Beggar Woman in "Sweeney Todd" at Theaterworks in New Milford. Special love to Juliette, John and George, and the wonderfully talented cast! Big hugs and kisses to my favorite two stars, "Natalie and Christopher". You make it all worthwhile!

ALYSSA NORTHROP (PLAYER) is happy to be performing on the Richter stage yet again. Past shows have include "The King and I", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Music Man", "Gypsy","The Wiz", "Evita", "42nd Street" and "Guys and Dolls".Alyssa just completed playing the role of 'Miss Adelaide' in the Immaculate High School spring production of "Guys and Dolls". Alyssa has been dancing at City Center Dance Factory (formerly Jacki's Dance Factory) and studies voice with Erin Volpintesta. Look for Alyssa in Richter's production of "Grease", as she plays the role of Frenchie. She would like to thank all her friends for the support that they have given her. Cara, I'll miss you! She would especially like to thank her family. Much love to her parents for putting up with her.

STEPHEN PETROVICH (PLAYER) Stephen is thrilled to make his debut on the Musicals at Richter stage in Pippin. He has been involved in the theatre and performing arts since age 3. His more recent performances include Newtown Middle School productions of "How To Eat Like A Child" and "Wake Up Secret Theatre", "We've Got A Show Tonite: A Broadway Review". He was involved in the 2000 Summer Theatre Connections production of "Annie" and will perform in this summer's musical "Peter Pan". Apart from the theatre, Stephen studies piano and voice. He would like to thank his mom and dad, Madalyn, Nick, Mrs. Carlson, and family and friends for their endless support and enthusiasm. He hopes you enjoy the show.

BRETT POND (THEO) Brett has played piano for four years and is in Chorus at Meeting House School in New Fairfield and Holy Trinity in Sherman, CT. He has also taken four years of Irish dancing.Brett was in Artists for Theatre Studies, Inc. (ARTS Inc.) For the summer of 1999. He received a two week scholarship there and participated in four plays "Vaudeville Act", "Balknakers Dilemma", "Godspell" and "The Great Kapok Tree". He was part of the Peanuts gang in "Charlie Brown" at the Congregational Church in 2000.

BRET POULTER (LEADING PLAYER) Bret is very happy to be on the Richter stage once again. He last performed here in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado". During the year Bret can be found with his second grade class at St. Mary School in Waterbury. He also teaches drama and voice for The Warnet Theatre, Torrington, CT and CT Dance Theatre, Watertown, CT. Since playing a chorus member in his high school production of "Pippin" Bret has been waiting to play this part for 10 years!

HEATHER RYAN (PLAYER) This is Heather's third season with Richter. In the previous seasons she performed in Carousel (Louise), Guys & Dolls, and Evita as well as stage managed Godspell. This summer she will be performing in Pippin as well as assistant choreographing Grease. Heather will be a Junior at the University of MUSICALS AT RICHTER Michigan where she is studying business. She'd like to thank her friends and family for coming to see EVERY show - no matter how far they have to drive. Special thanks to Dee for her incredible support.

PRISCILLA SQUIERS (CATHERINE) Priscilla Squiers (Catherine) is honored to be back on the Richter stage with old friends and new. Previous roles here include Dorothy Brock in "42nd Street", Julie in "Carousel", Guenevere in "Camelot", Anna in "The King and I", Reno in "Anything Goes", Chairy in "Barnum", and Helena, the "fiery woman of mystery" in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood". Other recent credits include Maria in "The Sound of Music" at the Warner Theatre, "Angels Over Broadway" at Ridgefield Theatre Barn, Judy/Ginger in "Ruthless!" at Norwalk Community College, Annie in "The Steward of Christendom" at The Schoolhouse in Croton Falls, and Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Sherman Playhouse, a role she'll reprise in July at the Hammond Museum in North Salem. She sends a special "love song" to stalwart husband Kyle Minor and their 4-1/2-year-old-son Kieran, another aspiring vocalist.

HEATHER SLATER (PLAYER) is excited to be involved in her firstproduction with Musicals at Richter. Heather is a veteran of both professional and community theatre whose credits include Amalia Balash in "She Loves Me", Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors", Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" and most recently:  Arminy in "Carousel" with St. Catherine'sPlayers and Linda in "Pal Joey" with Connecticut Playmakers.  Heather also performs as a singer/songwriter and guitar player with the musical group "The Well" and has performed with the Irish legends, "The Chieftains" on their Homeward Bound tour. She spends herdays as Director of Education for Curtain Call Theater and Program Coordinator for the Greenwich Arts Council.  Thanks to Betsy and Lou for letting me out from behind the desk!!

ANDREW WHEELOCK (PLAYER) This is Andrew's first time performing with Musicals at Ricther. He is 14 years old and attends Brookfield High School. He is very excited to be performing with such a talented group of people and knows he will have fun and benefit from this experience. He has performed the role of Sir Luce in BHS's production of "Once Upon a Mattress." He also was Father Christmas in BHS's Childrens Play. During the summer of '98 he performed in Camp Sloane's production of "My Little Princess" as Ramdass. Also during the summer of '98 he was a Crow and an Emerald City Resident in BT&D's "Wizard of Oz." He has been taking voice lessons for three years with Lynn Paulella. He also plays soccer, swims, and runs track on his school's teams. He would like to thank his voice instructor for everything she's done for him and a special thanks to his family who supports him at everything.

GEORGE VOLLANO (DIRECTOR) George Vollano spent 20 years as director of New Canaan Summer Theatre where his first production as producer, "Fiddler on the Roof" was named best summer production by the Darien Dinner Theatre Youth Awards . He won the Connecticut Drama Prize for Darien High School's "Whose Life is it Anyway" and has didrected shows for many organizations in Fairfield County including Wilton PLayshop, Darien Players, Connecticut Playmakers and Barlow Summer Theatre . He has appeared on stage countless times and toured in Godspell. He appeared at Darien Dinner Theatre, Westport Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and in the opening production of the Hartman Theatre in Stamford. George is director of Wilton Childrens Theatre and at Immaculate High School in Danbury. He is currently artistic director of Musicals at Richter in Danbury.

SABRINA POST (MUSIC DIRECTOR) Sabrina is currently the choral director at Wilton High School and holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in music education. She has been a choral director in the area for over twenty years , teaching in such towns as Darien, Westport and Redding/Easton. In addition to directing three choral ensembles at the school Sabrina has directed and choreographed numerous musicals throughout the area. Some of these include Evita, West Side Story, Anything Goes, Blood Brothers, Little Shop of Horrors and Carousel.She feels priviledged to have been asked to participate in musicals at Richter this summer and is looking forward to working with such a talented group of performers. Sabrina lives in Newtown with her husband Roger and four children Michael, Christopher, Mylis and Colin.

JENNIFER TUREY (CHOREGRAPHER) is thrilled to be making her Richter debut as choreographer of Pippin. She has trained intensively in New York City under Fosse extraordinare Chet Walker, co-choreographer of Broadway's Fosse. This past winter, Jen assisted the choreographer and performed in the Westchester Broadway Theatre's production of Crazy For You in Elmsford, NY. Most recently, her choreography was shown at the Greenwich Street Theatre in NYC in the production of Antigone's Last Dance. Other choreography credits include The New England Independent Critic's Award for Best Production of a Musical, Crazy For You, in 1999 for the Reagle Players in Waltham, MA. and co-choreographer for the grand opening ceremony for the "E-Walk" and Loews Theatre on 42nd Street in NYC. Professionally, Jen has toured nationally and internationally with companies of 42nd Street, The Will Rogers Follies and Crazy For You as the Dance Captain and swing, kicked up her heels as a Radio City Musical Hall Rockette and regionally performed as Gloria "Bye, Bye Birdie", Gertie "Oklahoma", Cabaret, Good News, Showboat and Guys and Dolls. She now is the proud owner of Dance Etc. in Newtown, CT. where she plans to share her knowledge of dance and the musical theatre world with her students.

ANDREW KNAPP (SETS) Andrew Knapp (Set Designer) Andy's eclectic career has found him as a stage and production manager with the Metropolitan Opera, a portrait photographer for Bachrach, his own typesetting business, raising Borzoi (Russian Wolfhounds), as well as painting and designing sets throughout Fairfield County. Highlights so far this year have been Man of La Mancha at Newtown High School and Kismet at Wilton High School. He was producer of the award-winning New Canaan Summer Theatre for 15 years before re-creating it as Barlow Summer Theatre. Andy most prefers working in high schools where he can share and instill his love of the Arts. The most important project to him has been creation of murals for the auditorium of Joel Barlow High School in Redding depicting legends of the performing arts: separate murals on Musical Theatre and Drama with Music in creation and Dance yet to come. This Summer at Richter includes Andy's sixth production of Oliver! while the Grease production originated in Redding at Joel Barlow High School before moving to Stamford and next spring will move to New Canaan. Besides theatre shows, Andy also produces dog shows: "Only the cast is different!"

AMANDA MURO (STAGE MANAGER) Amanda is pleased to be back at Richter once again as stage manager for "Pippin" and "Oliver!". Previously she has stage managed "Evita" and "Sweet Charity" here at Richter and "Ten Little Indians" at JFK High in Somers. She has spent many hours in various small tech booths and is delighted to be working under the stars at Richter. She would like to say 'break a leg' to the cast, thank the crew and tech staff for all their hard work, and thank Joyce, Eve and George for everything!

EVE CLULOW (TECHNICAL DIRECTOR/LIGHTING DESIGNER) This marks Eve's second year at MAR. She has stage managed national tours of "The Will Rogers Follies" and "Beauty and the Beast", and national repertory tours for John Housman's The Acting Company, including "Henry V", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Arms and the Man", "As You Like It", "The Glass Menagerie" and the world premiere of Lynn Nottage's "Mud, River, Stone". Off-Broadway credits include the premieres of "Sheba" and "Identical Twins From Baltimore". Eve has also worked as a teaching stage manager for NYU's musical theater conservatory CAP 21.Since returning to Fairfield County, Eve has stage managed and produced numerous productions at the Wilton Playshop, as well as serving at its Executive Producer.

KRISTINA BJELKO (TECHNICAL STAFF) is happy to be back at MAR for the 6th year. She will be playing the role of 'tech girl' in "Pippen", "Grease", and "Oliver!" this summer. She spends her weekdays employed by the Westport CT Police Department and attending graduate school at Fairfield University. She is thrilled to be teamed up with her fellow "tech girls", Rachel and Anjali, and Eve our tech director, once again. The Tech Girls Strike Again!

ANJALI NANDA (TECHNICAL STAFF) Anjali is excited to be spending her 6th summer under the stars as both a performer and a 'tech girl'. Previous shows include "Camelot", "Guys and Dolls", and "Evita". Anjali has recently graduated with her Masters degree in Elementary Education and is looking forward to playing the role of her dreams in an elementary classroom! Anjali would like to thank her family and friends for all their support.

JOYCE NORTHROP (PRODUCER) always looks forward to working with the diverse group of talented people that lend their time and enthusiasm to creating this wonderful summer theatre for the community. Having had the opportunity to produce most of the MAR shows these past 4 years and being Vice-President of MAR the past 7 years has been very fulfilling. Thanks to all who come and support our theatre and special thanks to my husband Ged for his patience while I "play" at Richter each year.




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