Friday, November 6, 2015

Dreamweaver Marketing News, Cast Announced for Pittsburgh CLO’s 24th Annual Production of A Musical Christmas Carol

Contact: Aja Jones
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Cast Announced for Pittsburgh CLO’s
24th Annual Production of
A Musical Christmas Carol

Pittsburgh, PA • October 26, 2015 – Pittsburgh CLO is proud to announce casting for the 24th annual production of A Musical Christmas Carol this December at the Byham Theater.  An incredible group of talented newcomers and Pittsburgh CLO veterans has been assembled for this favorite holiday treat!  This year’s production will star Pittsburgh’s own Tom Atkins, returning for his eighth year as Ebenezer Scrooge. Tickets are now available by calling 412-456-6666, online at or at the Theater Square Box Office.

About the Cast
(Listed in alphabetical order)

Tom Atkins (Ebenezer Scrooge) returns for his eighth consecutive appearance in A Musical Christmas Carol. Mr. Atkins is perhaps best known for his numerous film and television credits, including “Escape from New York,” “The Fog,” “Creepshow,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Bob Roberts,” “Striking Distance” and “My Bloody Valentine 3D,” as well as “M*A*S*H,” “The Rockford Files,” “Homicide” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”  A Pittsburgh native, he has performed in numerous Pittsburgh Public Theater productions, most notably starring as Art Rooney Sr. in The Chief.  On Broadway, he appeared in The Changing Room and The Front Page.

Allison Cahill (Charity Worker/Ghost of Christmas Past/Peg) joins this Pittsburgh CLO tradition for the first time. She is from Saxonburg, PA and is an AADA Graduate (NYC).  Her recent credits include: My Fair Lady (Pittsburgh Public Theater) andAlways, Patsy Cline (Louise). Pittsburgh CLO: The Full MontyMusic Man, Sound of MusicOliver! (Mrs. Sowerberry).

Justin Fortunato (Fred/Businessman) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for a fourth time.  He is an actor and director who has worked for companies such as Pittsburgh Public, PICT, The REP, Pittsburgh CLO, Primestage, St.Vincent Summer Theatre and Dream Catcher Theatre. He is the co-founder of Carrnivale Theatrics and is currently the Artistic Producing Director of Lincoln Park Center for the Performing Arts.

Michael Fuller (Vendors/Topper) works as a professional actor and teacher in the Pittsburgh area. Most recently, he was the male swing for Boeing, Boeing at the CLO Cabaret. Other recent credits include Baines in Soldier’s Heart and Steve inBecky’s New Car at Point Park’s The Rep. He teaches at Point Park University, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 and Carnegie Mellon University.

Lisa Ann Goldsmith (Mrs. Cratchit) has performed with many notable companies regionally and Off-Broadway, most recently for Pittsburgh CLO as Gretchen inBoeing Boeing at the CLO Cabaret.  Ms. Goldsmith has appeared locally with Pittsburgh Public Theater, Quantum Theatre, PICT, The REP, Off the Wall, Saint Vincent Summer Theatre and Unseam’d Shakespeare.  She is also an SDC director, and has numerous SAG-AFTRA film and TV credits.

Ashton Guthrie (Dick Wilkins, Tom Watkins, The Undertaker) is returning to A Musical Christmas Carol for his second year. A senior at Point Park University, he was most recently seen as Hialmar Ekdal in the Conservatory's production of The Wild Duck. He also had the privilege of joining Pittsburgh Public Theater in last season's hit, My Fair Lady. A native North Carolinian, Mr. Guthrie has more than enjoyed his four years in Pittsburgh and plans to move to New York in the fall. Up next: Guys & Dolls at The Public.

Luke Halferty (Town Crier/Young Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut in A Musical Christmas Carol. A recent graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, he has appeared regionally with PICT Classic Theatre, The Rep, Conservatory Theatre Co., Playhouse Jr., St. Vincent Summer Theatre, and the All-University Choir with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Tim Hartman (Charity Worker/Businessman/Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present) is appearing in his 23rd year in Pittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol.  Broadway: A Tale of Two Cities and Finian's Rainbow. Regional Theater: C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha and Daddy Warbucks in Annie. Film: “Silence of the Lambs,” “The Mothman Prophecies,” “The Piano Lesson,” and “The Fault in our Stars.” Mr. Hartman is also an award-winning storyteller and cartoonist. 

Jeffrey Howell (Bob Cratchit) includes the following among his credits: Choir Boy at the REP, The Light in the Piazza at Front Porch Theatricals, Man of La Mancha andThe Wedding Singer at Pittsburgh CLO. Other favorites include Souvenir, Singin’ in the RainLost HighwaySunset Boulevard, Beauty and the Beast, Candide, Bells are Ringing, and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge.

Brian Knoebel (Peter Cratchit) was most recently seen in the Off-Broadway production of Whoopee with Musicals Tonight. Regional: Mirror Mirror (Tunnel Theatre Co.-Featuring Alice Ripley), as well as The REP, Primestage, St. Vincent’s Theatre, Living Room Theatre, among others. Graduate from Point Park University, Member of BrickaBrack Theatre Ensemble in NY.

Daniel Krell (Businessman/Marley) has appeared in over 35 productions with Pittsburgh CLO and acted in major roles in professional theatres such as the Pittsburgh Public, City Theatre, Quantum, Bricolage, PICT, and The Rep, and in regional theatres such as Clarence Brown Theatre and Gateway Playhouse. Mr. Krell is also a veteran of many films, commercials, industrials, and voice-overs. Up next: Guys and Dolls at the Public.

Julia Paladino (Missy Watkins/Martha Cratchit) is making her Pittsburgh CLO debut. Regional credits include The Fantasticks (Luisa), Sound of Music (Brigitta),Oliver! (Bet), Dames at Sea, South Pacific, Anything Goes, Cinderella, Carousel, and many more. In addition, some of her favorite roles Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Adele in Die Fledermaus.

Erika Strasburg (Bess/Belle) returns for her second year as Belle, and her third year with A Musical Christmas Carol. A proud Carnegie Mellon drama graduate, Ms. Strasburg has toured nationally, performed off-Broadway, and worked locally with City Theatre, Quantum Theatre and the CLO Cabaret.

Terry Wickline (Mrs. Dilber/Mrs. Fezziwig) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for the 16th year.  Credits include many Pittsburgh CLO productions, as well as Pittsburgh Public, PICT, Quantum, Unseam'd Shakespeare, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, West Virginia Public, St. Vincent’s Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre By The Sea. Watch for her this spring as Nancy Yates in the new television series “Outsiders.”

Mario Williams (Tiny Tim) is a 5th grader at St. Louise de Marillac School in Upper St. Clair enjoying his fourth appearance in A Musical Christmas Carol.  He recently starred as Michael Banks in Pittsburgh CLO’s Summer Season production of MARY POPPINS. He is currently in his 3rd year at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy.  In his spare time, Mario plays baseball for Collier Township, is an avid pianist and enjoys countless adventures with his five siblings.

Magan Dee Yantko (Fan/Alice/Laundress) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for the third time.  She graduated from Point Park University with a B.F.A degree and along with Pittsburgh CLO she has worked with companies such as Dream Catcher Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Carrnivale Theatrics, Primestage, and the Cleveland Public Theatre.

The cast is rounded out by a host of carolers and party guests.

John Dooley (Caroler) counts the following among his credits: Ensemble - Carousel(New York Philharmonic), Anthony - Sweeney Todd (Opera Roanoke), Captain Von Trapp -The Sound of Music (Arizona Broadway Theater), Bruce Granit - On the Twentieth Century (Theater at Monmouth), Soloist - The Best of Sondheim (Utah Symphony). Other companies: Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Amarillo Opera, Opera Delaware, Opera Memphis, Opera San Antonio.

Brittany Graham (Caroler) was recently seen performing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a featured vocalist. Credits: Sessions (Off-Broadway), The Club, Zombies from the Beyond, The Frogs, Ragtime and more. She holds a BA from Point Park University.

Lara Hayhurst (Caroler) returns to Pittsburgh CLO, where she was last seen as Margot in Legally Blonde. Ms. Hayhurst has also been seen at The Public Theater (Company) and Pittsburgh Musical Theater (Young Frankenstein, Legally Blonde, The Sound of Music).

Scott P. Sambuco (Caroler) counts numerous Pittsburgh CLO shows among his credits:  42nd St, Seven Brides.., 1776, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, Annie, She Loves Me, Funny Girl, Crazy For You,  Bye Bye Birdie,  Grand Hotel,  Pirates Of Penzance,  A Musical Christmas Carol (14 Years),  Pittsburgh Public Theater:  1776,  …Forum,  HMS Pinafore.  As well as PMT, Stage Right, TUTS, North Shore Music Theatre, Stages Theatre Company St. Louis-10 Seasons.

Several Pittsburgh CLO Academy students will also take part in the holiday production

Justin Bell (Turkey Boy) is in his second year of studies at the CLO Academy. Past performances with the Academy include High School Musical (Troy); Honk! (Father Duck); Mary Poppins (Michael Banks). He is thrilled to be performing in his first main stage production.

Ariel Cameroe (Cratchit Child) is 12 years old and making her Pittsburgh CLO debut. She has enjoyed many wonderful opportunities with the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, school musicals, talent shows and competitions and National Anthem performances.

Simon Nigam (Cratchit Child) returns to A Musical Christmas Carol for his fourth year. Theater credits include Rodelinda with the Pittsburgh Opera (Flavio), The Secret Garden (Colin Craven), Mary Poppins (Michael Banks) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Edmund). Mr. Nigam is a fourth grader at the Falk School.

Gracie Vensel (Cratchit Child) is a Pittsburgh CLO Academy student making her debut in A Musical Christmas Carol. Most recently, Gracie appeared in Prime Stage Theatre's The Crucible (Betty) and Pittsburgh CLO's GYPSY (Balloon Girl). She is in 5th grade at Steenrod Elementary.

About the Creative Team

Tim Gregory (Director) is back for an eighth year directing A Musical Christmas Carol.  He is the Founding Artistic Director of Provision Theater Company in Chicago, where some of his directing credits include Provision Theater’s Jefferson Award–Nominated productions of A Christmas CarolThe Hiding Place and the critically-acclaimed production CS Lewis On Stage.

McCrae Hardy (Musical Director) previously served as music director/conductor for the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh, NC from 1984-2005 as well as numerous other theatres. Currently, he is the Conductor for The Triangle Youth Symphony. He holds the Raleigh Medal of Arts “for extraordinary achievement in the arts.”

Andrew David Ostrowski (Lighting Designer) has a host of international credits including productions in France, Scotland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands and Switzerland. National credits: The Asolo, The Arden, Madison Opera, Merrimack Rep., Virginia Stage, North Shore Music Theater, Spoleto USA, amongst others. Local credits: City Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet, PICT, PNME, The Rep and many others.

This production features original scenery by D Martyn Bookwalter.

More Merry Musical InformationIn what has become A Musical Christmas Carol tradition, local choirs will perform prior to select performances. Musical groups from all over the Tri-state area have the opportunity to perform on the Byham Theater stage and take part in this special holiday celebration. The list to date includes:

December 127:00pmPittsburgh CLO Mini Stars & Academy Students
December 197:00pmWest Allegheny High School Show Choir
December 237:00pmEastern Valley Youth Chorale

A Musical Christmas Carol
 will be presented at the Byham Theater (6th & Fort Duquesne Boulevard) December 4-23Tickets range from $30.75 - $60.75 withhalf-price tickets for children 3-14 and are now available by calling 412-456-6666, online at or at the Theater Square Box Office.

Special events available for groups include School Matinees Dec. 9-11, 16-18 and 21-22, A Very Merry Meal with Lidia’s Pittsburgh on December 13, and two fantasticGirl Scout Pizza Parties December 11 & 13. Our dedicated staff will help you perfect your holiday outings with A Musical Christmas Carol, from choosing a nearby restaurant, to finding a pre-show drink spot.  For more information on these and other group events and discounts, please call Group Sales at 412-325-1582 or email

Pittsburgh CLO is also pleased to announce that together, with The Salvation Army, they will conduct a food drive during all performances of A Musical Christmas Carol.  Audience members are invited to help fellow Pittsburgh residents by dropping non-perishable food items in barrels stationed in the Byham Theater lobby this December.

Pittsburgh CLO gratefully acknowledges the support of our production sponsor First Niagara and Macy’s for sponsoring Half-priced Tickets for Kids.

A Musical Christmas Carol Public Performance Schedule

FridayDecember 47:00pm
SaturdayDecember 52:00pm & 7:00pm
SundayDecember 62:00pm & 7:00pm
FridayDecember 117:00pm
SaturdayDecember 122:00pm & 7:00pm
SundayDecember 132:00pm & 7:00pm
FridayDecember 187:00pm
SaturdayDecember 192:00pm & 7:00pm
SundayDecember 202:00pm & 7:00pm
MondayDecember 217:00pm
TuesdayDecember 227:00pm
WednesdayDecember 237:00pm
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Since 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the entire Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs, national tours and develops and invests in new works, including 20 Broadway shows (29 Tony Awards®) featuring the current productions of An American in Paris, Kinky Boots and Matilda. Its dedication to the musical theater art form extends to include such programs as the CLO Academythe CLO Mini Starsthe Gene Kelly Awards, theRichard Rodgers Award, the National High School Musical Theater Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and theCLO Cabaret.

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