ABOUT THE STARS
DEBBIE GRAVITTE ["I Keep Christmas In My Pocket" fom PERFECT PICTURE] One of Broadway’s biggest personalities, Debbie received the Tony Award for her critically acclaimed performance in JEROME ROBBINS BROADWAY, along with the New York Showstopper Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG and went on to appear in BLUES IN THE NIGHT, PERFECTLY FRANK, (Drama Desk Award Nomination) ZORBA, AIN’T BROADWAY GRAND?, CHICAGO, and LES MISERABLES. Debbie appeared in London in Jerry Herman’s MACK AND MABEL at the Drury Lane Theatre. She’s also been seen in the ENCORES productions of THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, TENDERLOIN, and CARNIVAL at New York’s CITY CENTER. Debbie has performed her nightclub act worldwide, from New York’s RAINBOW AND STARS, to London’s PIZZA ON THE PARK. In Atlantic City, she’s had the honor to open for GEORGE BURNS and JAY LENO. Debbie has sung with over 100 orchestras worldwide, including the NATIONAL SYMPHONY with MARVIN HAMLISCH, CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, THE BOSTON POPS, CINNCINATTI POPS, PHILLY POPS, PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY, ATLANTA, SAN DIEGO, ST. LOUIS and HOUSTON SYMPHONIES. Overseas, she’s appeared with the LONDON, AALBORG AND BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS, STOCKHOLM PHILHARMONIC, the GOTESBORG and JERUSALEM SYMPHONIES, the ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA, NATIONAL SYPHONICA OF BRAZIL, MUNICH PHILHARMONIC, along with a special performance in Beijing with LANG LANG and the CHINESE PHILHARMONIC. Debbie is featured on many recordings, including her 3 solo CD’s: DEFYING GRAVITY, THE ALAN MENKEN ALBUM, and THE MGM ALBUM. Film: ISNT’ SHE GREAT, THE LITTLE MERMAID. Television: TRIAL AND ERROR(CBS), PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (NBC). Numerous PBS Specials including: BROADWAY PLAYS WASHINGTON, IRA GERSHWIN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY LIVE FROM CARNEGIE HALL, and IN CONCERT WITH THE BOSTON POPS. Debbie was featured in the Peter Martin’s ballet THOU SWELL with the NYC Ballet. www.debbiegravitte.com
RON HOLGATE ["Step Over The Frame" from PERFECT PICTURE] Ron Holgate won a Tony Award for his performance as Richard Henry Lee in 1776. He also received a Tony nomination for his performance in THE GRAND TOUR. In addition, Mr. Holgate appeared in the National Tour of URINETOWN as Caldwell B. Cladwell, greedy corporate villain and also starred as Don Quixote in a national tour of MAN OF LA MANCHA. He previously appeared in the Broadway revival of KISS ME KATE as "Harrison Howell" and as "Buffalo Bill" in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Other Broadway credits include: LEND ME A TENOR; GUYS AND DOLLS; 42ND STREET; MILK AND HONEY; SWEET CHARITY; SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY and the original production of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. In more recent years, Mr. Holgate also directed productions for the New York State Theatre Institute and Syracuse Opera. In addition, he co-authored the Civil War musical, REUNION: A MUSIC EPIC IN MINIATURE with Jack Kyrieleison. In Spring 2012, Ron was back on stage at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in the Kander and Ebb Tony Nominated Musical, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS.
MARK JACOBY ["Step Over The Frame" and "Think About the Future"from PERFECT PICTURE] most recently portrayed Dr. Warfield in the world premiere production of Jerry Lewis' THE NUTTY PROFESSOR after 15 months as The Wizard of Oz in the first National tour of WICKED. Broadway: Walter Hobbs. ELF; Father, RAGTIME; Gaylord Ravenal, SHOWBOAT (Tony, Outer Critics' Award nominations); the Phantom, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; Baron von Gaigern, GRAND HOTEL; Vittorio Vidal, SWEET CHARITY (Theatre World Award); Padre Perez, MAN OF LA MANCHA; JudgeTurpin, SWEENEY TODD. Off-Broadway: the Playwright, ENTER THE GUARDSMAN (Drama Desk nomination); Frank Willis, CRITICAL DARLING (American premiere, Thre New Group). Regional: Peter Dummermut, THE VISIT (Helen Hayes nomination); Guido Contini, NINE (Joseph Jeffereson Award); Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Barrymore Award); Oscar Jaffe, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Connecticut Drama Critics' Award); Julian Marsh, 42ND STREET (Barrymore nomination).
BETH LEAVEL ["Listen Up" from PERFECT PICTURE] Beth received 2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Broadway: Dorothy Brock in 42ND STREET (revival), Tess in the original company of CRAZY FOR YOU, Mrs. Bixby in the original company of THE CIVIL WAR, Ellie in Hal Prince’s SHOW BOAT, Anytime Annie in 42ND STREET. Other New York/Off-Broadway: Mrs. Ford in LONE STAR LOVE, Mary in THE JAZZ SINGER, Beth in AN UNFINISHED SONG. Regional: Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Countess in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Vera in MAME. TV: RYAN’S HOPE, NICKELODEON, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, numerous commercials. Member of Actors’ Equity since 1981.
ANDREA MCARDLE ["A Husband Is" from PERFECT PICTURE] Andrea first captured the hearts of theatergoers everywhere in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical ANNIE. Of course, she will always be remembered for her signature song, "Tomorrow," that she sings on the original cast album. As "Annie," Ms. McArdle became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She received the Theatre World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star in London's West End production. Years later, when famed film director and Academy Award nominee, Rob Marshall, directed the Disney/ABC television production of ANNIE, he made sure to cast the original Annie (now all grown up) in the role of the "Star to Be." Other leading Broadway musicals include JERRY'S GIRLS (also starring Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams), Andrew Lloyd Webber's STARLIGHT EXPRESS (the "sassy" smoking car, Ashley), Rodgers and Hammerstein's STATE FAIR (Margy Frake), LES MISERABLES (Fantine), and Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, earning the distinction of being Broadway's "longest running Belle." She toured nationally and internationally as Sally Bowles in CABARET, as Eponine in LES MISERABLES, and as herself in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. Some of her other favorite roles include starring as Esther (the Judy Garland role) in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, Sonia in THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS, Eva Peron in EVITA, Nancy in OLIVER, the Narrator in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Sandy in GREASE, and as Mama Rose in GYPSY. Most recent, regional credits include BLOOD BROTHERS in Naples, Florida, URINETOWN at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and in ANNIE, again, but this time playing the deliciously evil harridan, Miss Hannigan in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Long Beach, California. Andrea also completed a six week engagement, repeating her Broadway role of Fantine in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of LES MISERABLES. Ms. McArdle is equally at home in a cabaret setting. Just before heading off to Ogunquit, Maine, she performed her show, YOU DON'T KNOW ME, at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Robert L. Daniels of VARIETY wrote, "When Andrea McArdle sings, 'If He Walked Into My Life,' it appears as if an imaginary proscenium arch surrounds the singer on the intimate stages in New York and San Francisco. It is a fervent musical statement, and the vivacious redhead turns it into a theatrical anthem of the first order." Her most recent "rave reviews" accompanied her appearance at New York's newest Broadway Cabaret, 54 BELOW. Through the years, Andrea performed in concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, honing her craft with such entertainment legends as Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin, and Martin Short….just to name a few. On television, she appeared with television icons, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore. In addition to ANNIE, Andrea's other film and television credits include portraying Judy Garland in RAINBOW, appearing in THE LEADING LADIES OF BROADWAY on PBS, on ABC's daytime drama, ALL MY CHILDREN, and headlining her own PBS special, ANDREA McARDLE ON BROADWAY. Andrea resides in New York City with her daughter, Alexis Kalehoff.
EMILY SKINNER ["Mrs. Rockwell," "Think About The Future," and "The Divorce Scene" from PERFECT PICTURE] recently starred in the world premiere of THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL under the direction of Julie Andrews. Just before that, she originated the role of Monique McCandless in Stephen King/John Mellencamp's GHOST BROTHERS OF DARKLAND COUNTY at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, which will soon be cinecast in movie theaters nationwide. On Broadway , she starred in BILLY ELLIOT. Handpicked by acclaimed director Stephen Daldry, she was the very first American selected to play the role of Billy's dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson. She was nominated for a Tony Award and received a Drama League Award as Daisy Hilton (along with Alice Ripley) in the brilliant but short-lived SIDE SHOW. Her other original company Broadway credits include JEKYLL & HYDE, JAMES JOYCE'S THE DEAD, THE FULL MONTY, the revival of DINNER AT EIGHT (Outer Critics Circle Nomination), as well as The Actors Fund productions of THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS and DREAMGIRLS. She has toured nationally in both BILLY ELLIOT and Disney's ON THE RECORD. At Carnegie Hall, she has sung many times with The New York Pops as a soloist, as well as appearing in the New York Debut of Richard Thomas' JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA (with Harvey Kietel). She dazzled as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and in engagements at Merkin Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall (all in NYC) and in her solo concert at various performing arts centers around the country. Off-Broadway, she not only played leading roles in the City Center Encores! Series productions of NO STRINGS, PARDON MY ENGLISH, and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, but also created roles in productions at Manhattan Theatre Club, The WPA Theatre, The Paramount Theater at Madison Square Gardens, York Theatre, Playwrights Horizons and The Roundabout Theatre. Regionally, she has appeared in multiple productions at The Kennedy Center, as well as The Signature Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, The Old Globe, Ford's Theatre, McCarter Theatre, St. Louis MUNY, Goodspeed,TheatreVirginia and Theatre IV. Her numerous CD recordings include not only countless cast albums and audio books, but 20th Century Fox's animated feature ANASTASIA; RAW AT TOWN HALL, DUETS, and UNSUSPECTING HEARTS (all with Alice Ripley); ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS, AND RAGING QUEENS; THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM ALBUM; WALL TO WALL SONDHEIM; BELIEVE: THE SONGS OF THE SHERMAN BROTHERS; THE STEPHEN SCHWARTZ ALBUM; and her self-titled solo CD which may be found at Amazon.com. Next up: Hal Prince's new show PRINCE OF BROADWAY, opening on Broadway in November 2013.
RANDY SKINNER [On tap in "One More Batch of Cookies" from PERFECT PICTURE] is an award-winning director, choreographer, and performer whose work has been seen on Broadway, National and International tours, and Regional theatres. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Astaire nominations for his choreography for 42ND STREET. He also choreographed the acclaimed opening number for the 2001 Tony Awards television broadcast. Other shows include AIN'T BROADWAY GRAND (Tony, Outer Critics nominations), Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), STATE FAIR (Outer Critics nomination), AFTER THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC (MTC/Biltmore Theatre), DO RE MI, OF THEE I SING, FACE THE MUSIC, NO NO NANETTE, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (the last five at City Center Encores), GOTTA DANCE! (City Center), Garry Marshall's HAPPY DAYS (Los Angeles), STORMY WEATHER (with Leslie Uggams/Pasadena Playhouse), AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Alley Theatre), ABBY'S SONG (City Center), PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ (Kennedy Center), ON THE 5TH (Takarazuka Revue Company, Japan), LUCKY IN THE RAIN, GEORGE M, BABES IN ARMS (all three at Goodspeed Opera House), HELLO DOLLY, STRIKE UP THE BAND, PAL JOEY, and LONE STAR LOVE (Lucille Lortel nomination). He has received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award, the Connecticut Critics Award, and the Cleveland Times Theatre Award. Among Mr. Skinner's performances are roles in A CHORUS LINE, GYPSY, DAMES AT SEA, HELLO DOLLY, PAL JOEY, ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, HIGH SPIRITS, WALKING HAPPY, and BABES IN ARMS, directed by the legendary Ginger Rogers. His "taps" can be heard on the recordings THE ODD POTATO, LUCKY IN THE RAIN, SONDHEIM AT THE MOVIES, 110 IN THE SHADE, and STRIKE UP THE BAND. He most recently choreographed the West End production of LEND ME A TENOR THE MUSICAL. Mr. Skinner is a graduate of Ohio State University and he regularly teaches master classes throughout the country at universities and festivals.
LILLIAS WHITE ["Life is a Dangerous Dance," "One More Batch of Cookies," "The Divorce Scene," and "Perfect Picture" from PERFECT PICTURE] Most recently seen in the Bay Street Theatre mainstage as Maybelle Smith in BIG MAYBELLE: SOUL OF THE BLUES and the Broadway hit FELA! Ms. White is an accomplished actress and singer with a long list of honors, including Emmy and Tony awards. Her many memorable Broadway performances have earned her a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Peoples Choice Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical -- Broadway's Prestigious Quadruple Crown -- for her 1997 role as Sonja in THE LIFE. In 1990 she won The Obie Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Hennie in ROMANCE IN HARD TIMES. Ms. White's TV and film credits include featured roles in the films, THE GRINCH THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS, GLORIA, and Disney's HERCULES. In 1992, Ms. White won an Emmy Award for her role as SESAME STREET's Lillian Edwards. In addition to numerous recordings, her singing career has been highlighted by frequent concerts at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Ms. White is also a regular guest soloist on PBS specials such as, “A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald” and “In Performance at The White House.”
TOM WOPAT [“Life Is A Dangerous Dance” from PERFECT PICTURE] first came to public attention in the late-1970s as the freewheeling Luke Duke on the TV series THE DUKES OF HAZZARD. In 1977, he made his Broadway debut in Cy Coleman’s I LOVE MY WIFE. Wopat went on to perform in the Tony Award–winning CITY OF ANGELS and GUYS AND DOLLS. He received a Tony nomination for creating the role of Frank Butler in the Broadway revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, opposite Bernadette Peters. In 2008, Wopat returned to Broadway as Tom Hurley in A CATERED AFFAIR with Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein. Wopat spent much of 2011 on Broadway again starring as Frank Abagnale Sr. in the new adaptation OF CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Though Wopat had never done a sitcom before, he seized the opportunity when Chuck Lorre offered him a leading role in CYBILL. Other credits include a recurring role ON HOME IMPROVEMENT, the critically acclaimed NBC movie JUST MY IMAGINATION, HBO's TAKING CHANCE alongside Kevin Bacon, and most recently a spot on CBS' A GIFTED MAN. 2012 will see Tom starring in ABC's first ever movie musical ELIXIR alongside Jane Seymour, Chelsea Kane, Sara Paxton and more. Wopat has also become a successful recording artist with many albums to his credit, including A LITTLE BIT CLOSER, DON’T LOOK BACK, LEARNING TO LOVE, and THE STILL OF THE NIGHT. In 2005, he released DISSERTATION ON THE STATE OF BLISS—featuring the music of Harold Arlen—and his most recent offering, CONSIDER IT SWUNG, features a swingin' set of standards and interesting covers, including Frank Sinatra, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Joni Mitchell. The future sees Tom working on more films and TV roles, plus a lot of shows around the U.S. to perform his jazz and standards show live.
KAREN ZIEMBA ["Curiosity" from PERFECT PICTURE] received the TONY Award, the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of The Wife, in CONTACT at Lincoln Center Theatre. Other appearances on and off-Broadway include, CURTAINS (Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk, and TONY Award nominations), NEVER GONNA DANCE (Outer Critics Circle Award, TONY nom.), STEEL PIER (TONY, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle noms.), AND THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND (Drama Desk Award), I DO! I DO! (Drama Desk nom.), HERESY (The Flea Theatre), CHICAGO, A CHORUS LINE, 42ND STREET, CRAZY FOR YOU, New York City Opera’s 11O IN THE SHADE, CANDIDE, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, and for Encores! at City Center in ALLEGRO, BYE BYE BIRDIE, ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1936, THE PAJAMA GAME. Regionally she has appeared in SWEENEY TODD (Opera Theatre of St. Louis w/St. and Louis Symphony). SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, BROADWAY BOUND, THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, A ROOM WITH A VIEW (San Diego’s Old Globe), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Shakespeare Theatre Company, D.C. and Hartford Stage), THE THREE PENNY OPERA (Williamstown Theatre Festival), SYLVIA (New Haven’s Long Wharf), STEEL MAGNOLIAS (Cape May Stage), BOEING BOEING (Riverside Theatre), Her film and TV appearances include The Producers, Once More With Feeling, Scrubs, several episodes of the various NY Law and Order series, The Kennedy Center Honors in tributes to Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris, and for PBS’ Great Performances, ‘My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies’, ‘Gershwin at 100’, and ‘Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall’. Karen has recorded many original cast albums and audio books and received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Niagara University.
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PERFECT PICTURE showcases the score from the Bluestone sisters' New Musical about the legendary Norman ROCKWELL. If you like Broadway, you'll LOVE our cast!!!