cast and creative

RENÉE TAYLOR (Esther) this is the best of times for Renée Taylor. Her portrayal of the title character’s mom on the hit series, “The Nanny,” has earned her an Emmy nomination. The theatrical feature, Love Is All There Is, which she co-directed and co-wrote with her “husband and boyfriend of 35 years,” Joe Bologna, and in which they both appear, (along with Angelina Jolie in one of her earliest film roles) earned Cannes Film Festival raves and was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn in the fall of 1996. Taylor and Bologna’s play, The Bermuda Avenue Triangle, which they co-wrote and in which they starred, was the SRO Toast of Los Angeles and Broadway for eight months. Their current project, the semi-autobiographical comedy, If You Ever Leave Me, I’m Going With You, is currently touring the country, completing a successful run on Broadway, as well as in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Toronto and Las Vegas. Taylor is an accomplished actress, comedienne and director. She is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and Emmy Award winning writer. She has written for and starred on Broadway, in addition to appearing in almost every form of media in the known world. Taylor has proven herself as a source of artistic creativity for more than 30 years. Taylor portrayed the ever-caring and nurturing mother to Fran Drescher on the CBS series “The Nanny” (currently in syndication on Fox TV). In 1993, Taylor managed the incredible feat of juggling not only two but three television series on three different networks. Besides “The Nanny,” she also played Richard Lewis’ mom on the FOX comedy, “Daddy Dearest”, and Brian Benben’s outrageous mom on HBO’s “Dream On.” She re-teamed with HBO for the Billy Crystal directed and executive produced “61*” about the race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to beat Babe Ruth’s homerun record. Most recently, she co-starred with Bologna on Everwood, and on the new hit series, “The Wedding Bells.” A native New Yorker and graduate of the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Taylor supplemented her theatrical studies under the tutelage of Lee Strassberg, Stella Adler and Harold Clurman. While writing and per-forming in the off-Broadway review The Third Eye, directed by Elaine May, Taylor was spotted by Mike Nichols, who cast her as Anne Jackson’s understudy in the hit comedy Luv. Her performance in Luv attracted the attention of George Abbott, who cast her in his Broadway show Agatha Sue, I Love You. She then went on to other Broadway roles, including the restoration comedy The Rehearsal and the semi-autobiographical Lovers and Other Strangers, which she co-wrote and co-starred in with husband Joseph Bologna. Off-Broadway audiences have applauded her roles in Three Sisters and Machinal, which was directed by Gene Frankel. She also starred in the national companies of Annie Get Your Gun, Li’l Abner and Wish You Were Here. Following her motion picture debut in Jerry Lewis’ The Errand Boy, she and Bologna worked together professionally developing the film “Lovers and Other Strangers” and “Made For Each Other.” In 1987, Taylor co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred with Bologna in their third motion picture collaboration, “It Had To Be You.” She has had starring roles in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” with Alan Arkin, Elaine May’s, “A New Leaf” with Walter Matthau, “The Detective” starring Frank Sinatra, “Lovesick” star-ring Dudley Moore, and “Love, Sex and Marriage” with Marlo Thomas and Charles Grodin. Other film appearances included “Hollywoodland” with Sean Young, Sydney Pollock’s “White Palace” opposite Susan Sarandon, “Delirious” with John Candy, and “All I Want For Christmas” with Lauren Becall. She was seen opposite her husband, Joe Bologna, in the independent feature “Returning Mickey Stern.” Most recently, Renee appeared in “Alfie” with Jude Law, the 2006 hit film, “Boynton Beach Club,” and provided her vocal talents on “Ice Age II: The Meltdown.” Taylor and Bologna were nominated for an Academy Award for their first screenplay, Lovers and Other Strangers and earned an Emmy Award for their television special “Acts of Love and Other Comedies.” Always experimenting in other areas, Taylor is also the author of the best-selling satire spoof on “how to” celebrity health books, My Life On A Diet, published by Putnam. Taylor resides in Beverly Hills, California. The couple’s son Gabriel is currently following his parents’ lead in the dramatic arts as an actor and writer.

FARAH ALVIN (Marge) Broadway: Nine, The Look Of Love, Saturday Night Fever, Grease!(and national tour), and A Christmas Carol. Off-Broadway: I Love You Because (Marcy), Jewish Rep’s Kuni-leml(Libe), Cam Jansen (Linda) and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...(Imogene). Recent Regional: Mother in Ragtime, Mabel in the Pirates Of Penzance, Agnes in I Do! I Do! Farah has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphonies of The United States and Canada among others. In addition to her theater work, Farah is also an accomplished singer/song-writer. Her album of original folk/jazz music entitled “Someday” is available through farahalvin.com.

AMY GOLDBERGER (Lois) is thrilled to be a part of this production! New York credits: Austentatious/NYMF 2007, Go Go Beach/NYMF 2006, The Body Beautiful/York Theatre, The Prince and The Pauper/The Lambs Theatre. Regional: Little Becky in Urinetown/St Louis Rep, Daisy in Side ShowSignature Theatre (Helen Hayes nominee), Footloose/KC Starlight, Singing In The Rain/ Westchester Broadway Theatre. National Tours: Sound Of Music, Joseph..., Leader of The Pack with Mary Wilson. In August, Amy will be playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at the Merry Go Round Playhouse. Thanks to Gordon and Avalon Artists Group. Love to family. BFA/Ithaca College.

ROBB SAPP (Gabe) is happily making his Ogunquit debut. Broadway: Boq in Wicked; Off-Broadway: Tank in Zanna, Don’t! (cast recording), Turkey in Johnny Guitar(cast recording); Tour: Saturday Night Fever(First national Tour); Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Music Theatre of Wichita, Ford’s Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre; Film: “Across the Universe.” Robb has been a part of the development of Spring AwakeningThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Cry-baby, Zhivago (NY and London), and, most recently, Happiness (Lincoln Center, dir. Susan Stroman). Next, he will be playing Motel in Fiddler on the Roof(MUNY/Kansas City Starlight) and Marvin in Enter Laughing (off-Broadway, York Theatre Company). BFA from Syracuse University.

EDWARD STAUDENMAYER (Del Delmonico) originated the role of “Del” in the Albany and Miami productions of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. He comes directly from Spamalot in Las Vegas, and has had a 14 year connection with the infamous Forbidden Broadway taking him around the world and onto two cast recordings. On Broadway he played opposite Martin Short in Fame Becomes Me. Other Credits: Beauty and The Beast (National Theater Award nom.), Scarlet Pimpernel, Joseph..., Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Great Ostrovsky (Barrymore nom.), Newsical, On the 20th Century, Noises Off, Bye Bye Birdie, Children of Eden, 1776, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. UCLA Graduate. AEA, SAG, AFTRA, AGVA member.

STUART ZAGNIT (Harvey) Broadway: created the roles of Goldberg in The Wild Party and the Mayor of Whoville in Seussical (also original cast recordings). Off-Broadway: Picon Pie at the Lamb’s Theatre (co-starred and associate directed); Tony Kuschner’s A Dybbukat The Public, Mr. President, All In The Timing, Lucky Stiff, Seymour in the original Little Shop Of Horrors, The Golden Land, The Majestic Kid, Kuni-leml and The Grand Tour. National tours: Buzz in Applause, Zangler in Crazy For You, Mendel in Falsettos, The Baker in Into The Woods Tintypes. Regional: Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof at Syracuse Stage, Miracle Worker at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Enter Laughing at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Sound Of Music at Sacramento Music Circus, Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do at Capital Rep., Albany Television: “30 Rock” - as Richard Nixon! Featured on all three “Law & Order” series, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Feature film: “Greta,” starring Hillary Duff.

BRADFORD T. KENNEY (Executive Artistic Director) with a sincere sense of appreciation, Mr. Kenney continues his stewardship of “America’s Foremost Summer Theatre.” He is proud to include many wonderful theatrical productions and the guidance of some of the most significant theatre companies in New England as part of his career. Highlights include Ryan Landry and Eddie Mekka inHairspray, Lorenzo Lamas in The King and I, Rue McClanahan in Crazy for You, Sally Struthers in Hello, Dolly!, Andrea McArdle in  Cabaret and Leslie Uggams in Cinderella. While at Foothills Theatre in Worcester, MA, he produced such highlights as: Miss Saigon, Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, Proof, Cabaret(national Regional Premiere), Smokey Joe’s Café, Dick and Jimmy Van Patten in The Sunshine Boys, Romeo & Juliet, Titanic The Musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Regional Premiere),  Macbeth, Ten Little Indians, Chicago, Gypsy, Our Town and Ragtime. He is also founder of the Wachusett Theatre Company in Massachusetts with shows such as The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Disney/Elton John’s  AIDA (northeast Regional Premiere), Ted Lange from The Love Boat in Damn Yankees; and Eddie Mekka from “Laverne & Shirley” in Fiddler on the Roof, among others. His children’s theatres have produced Disney’s Jungle Book KidsSeussicalTYA (northeast premiere) and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids and the new production, Fairy Houses, The Musical. In addition to his producing credits, Brad has appeared on stage in the title role of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer with Salisbury Lyric Opera, Strephon in Iolanthe with the Savoyard Light Opera, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Barrett the Stoker in Titanic, Eric Burling in An Inspector Calls, Christopher Wren in The Mousetrap, Bobby in Company, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, the King in The King and I, Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! and Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as many other roles in shows throughout New England. He is a fourth generation artist, having studied at Rhode Island School of Design, Heartwood College of Art and Maine College of Art. Bradford dedicates this time in the theatre to the memory of Ryan Francis Curtis. 

ROBERT LEVINSTEIN (Director of Production) Broadway: Waiting in the Wings (with the legendary Lauren Bacall), Voices in the Dark, Parade (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: Clue: The Musical. Pre-Broadway Workshop: The Jazz Singer. National Tour: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Regional Tours: AIDA, Fame: The Musical. Regional Theatre: Resident PSM for North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA 2000/2001 Seasons. Resident PSM for the Ogunquit Playhouse 2003/2005 season which included Always Patsy Cline with the lovely Sally Struthers and Christa Jackson, Tale of the Allergists Wife with Karen Black and Auntie Mame with Charles Busch. 

GORDON GREENBERG (Director) most recently developed (along with Stephen Schwartz and Lin Manuel Miranda) and directed the critically acclaimed revised production of Working for Asolo Rep and, this spring, The Old Globe. He directed the Off-Broadway revival of Jacques Brel...at the Zipper Theatre (Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Award noms). He conceived (with Nell Benjamin) and directed a new adaptation of Pirates of Penzance for Goodspeed Opera and Paper Mill Playhouse. It will play this season at the Huntington and is currently being developed for Broadway by Bob Boyett and Fox Theatricals. He directed the new musical adaptation of Happy Days by Garry Marshall and Paul Williams (Goodspeed, Paper Mill, Boyett Theatricals), which begins a National Tour this fall. Other credits include the professional world premiere of Edges by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Capital Rep.), The Baker’s Wife by Stephen Schwartz and Joe Stein (Paper Mill, Goodspeed), Cam Jansen by Larry O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin (Lambs Theatre, Theatreworks USA), Assisted Loving (Daryl Roth), O. Henry’s Lovers (Goodspeed), Theory of Three (NY Stage and Film), the U.S. national Tour of Peter Pan(Big League); Floyd Collins (Signature Theatre), Breaking Up is Hard To Do by Neil Sedaka, Ben Winters and Erik Jackson (Capital Rep., Actors Playhouse, Harbor Entertainment), The Velvet Vise with Janeane Garafalo (NY Performance Works), Danny & Faye (Daryl Roth Productions), Immaculate Misconception(Hampstead New End Theatre), Jacques Brel... & Song of Singapore (Capital Rep.), Jesus Christ, Superstar, Joseph...,& Evita(Helen Hayes), The Mystery of King Tut (Theatreworks USA), Henry, Sweet Henry (York Theatre), the Broadway Divas tours of Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S., and many television commercials and industrials. Current projects include Happy Days (Goodspeed, Spring ’08, National Tour, McCoy/Rigby Entertainment), Half A Sixpence (Goodspeed, Summer ‘08), Barnum(Asolo, Fall ’08), Pirates (Huntington, 2009) and several television projects. He has been Creative Producer for J. Walter Thompson, Artistic Associate at Musical Theatre Works, founder and Artistic Director of the Broadway Classroom program and, currently, the Broadway Teachers Workshop and curator for Arsnova Theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Stanford University, NYU Film School and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab.

JOSHUA RHODES (Choreographer & Associate Director) is thrilled to choreograph his first production for the Ogunquit Playhouse. Josh recently choreographed a new production of Working at the Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida with director Gordon Greenberg. Josh choreographed Dreamgirls, and Chess at the North Carolina Theatre. In New York he choreographed Broadway By The Year 57 at Town Hall, and right after this he will choreograph All Singing, All Dancing at the same venue. Josh was the assistant choreographer for The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway, the West End, and the current national tour. He was the associate choreographer for Follies at Encores, and South Pacific at Carnegie Hall. As a performer, Josh has been seen on Broadway in Fosse, Bells Are Ringing, Sweet Smell Of Success, Urban Cowboy, The Boy From Oz, Man Of La Mancha, and Chicago. Josh can be seen in The Producers movie, and the next Russell Crowe film, State Of Play.

MICHAEL LARSEN (Musical Director) is the National Director for GFour Productions, and the Director and Musical Supervisor of their current Philadelphia, Louisville, Dallas and Las Vegas productions of Menopause the Musical. He also held these positions on the long-running hit productions of Menopausethe Musical in Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Birmingham, London, Boston, Toronto, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Denver. Michael’s New York credits include rehearsal/audition piano on the original Broadway productions of Annie42nd Street, and Nine: The Musical. Off-Broadway heard his keyboarding on The Golden Land and On Second Avenue. As a director, Michael’s regional credits include Only A Kingdom with Sally Struthers and Crista Moore, Avi Hoffman in A Funny Thing...Forum (Carbonell Award nomination - Best Director 2006), Ruthless! (Carbonell Award nomination 2002), Closer Than Ever, Me and My Girl(starring Bruce Adler), Annie Warbucks, Baby, The Actor’s Nightmare, and countless others. As musical director, Michael has conducted Shlemiel The First (ACT, San Francisco and Geffen Playhouse, LA), Come Fly With Me!, A New Brain (Carbonell nomination 2003), Zombie Prom, Songs Of Paradise, Abie’s Island Rose, Naked Boys Singing!, Perfect Harmony, and many more. As conductor and arranger, Michael has shared the stage with such diverse artists as Bruce Adler (more than 400 concerts over the last 20 years!), Theodore Bikel, Elaine Stritch, Judy Kaye, Avi Hoffman, Larry Kert, Gloria De Haven, Savion Glover, and many others. Michael’s proudest accomplishment has been his 24 seasons as Co-Artistic Director, Principal Stage Director and Master Teacher at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center, immortalized in the movie “Camp.” He is honored to point to the many students he taught who have gone on to enormous success.

LOUI STUCCI (Bass) Broadway: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Off-Broadway: Return to the Forbidden Planet; Cider House Rules (Atlantic); Woyzeck (Public), Menopause on bass and musical supervisor for The Joy Of Going Somewhere Definite (Atlantic). Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde and Warrior (2005/2006 NYMF). Co-wrote Artificial World for Wes Craven’s hit horror film, “SCREAM.” His song, “In My Other World,” was released on Martin Gore’s (Depeche Mode) solo album, Counterfeit 2 (EMI). Featured in The End, by George Furth & Doug Katsaros and American Duet, 2007 O’Neill Conference. Bass player for Harold Wheeler’s “Roller Derby.” Love to his wife Nancy Slusser.

TOBIN OST (Set Design) Broadway: Brooklyn—The Musical (costume and associate set design). Off-Broadway: Grace for MCC Theatre Company (set design); The Overwhelming for Roundabout Theatre Company (costume design and associate set design); Zanna–Don’t! (co-set and costume design); Almost Heaven–Songs of John Denver (costume design) and Fighting Words (set design). Regional: Nightingale with Lynn Redgrave for the Mark Taper Forum and Hartford Stage; Sleeping Beauty Wakesfor the Kirk Douglas Theatre; Shenandoah for Ford’s Theatre; Elegies for Barrington Stage Company; Himself and Nora for the Old Globe; Richard II for the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey; Rice Boy for the Yale Repertory Theatre and Indoor/Outdoor for Portland Stage Company. Current productions include: Pippin for the Mark Taper Forum; Home for the Williamstown Theatre Festival; Romeo and Juliet for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; and The Civil War for Ford’s Theatre. Tobin first designed Breaking Up for Capital Repertory Theater in Albany. This production is his first with Ogunquit Playhouse.

JAMES E. CROCHET (Costume Designer for Renée Taylor) has designed over forty productions; eight operas including The Merry Widow, La Traviata, The Tales of Hoffman and La Boheme; over twenty musicals, among them Les Misérables, The Full Monty, La Cage aux Folles, Mame, South Pacific, Cabaret, and West Side Story; and was Costume Coordinator for the national tours of The Music Manand Titanic. Among the theatres are the Ogunquit Playhouse, St. Bart’s Players, the Oberon Theatre Ensemble, the Helen Hayes Theatre Company, Theatre at St. Clements, Denver Civic Theatre, designing plays from playwrights Elmer Rice to Shakespeare. Mr. Crochet was Staff Designer for the famous Dodger Costumes and Head of Manufacturing for the equally famous Eaves-Brooks Costumes.

BYRON J. BATISTA (Hair/Make-Up Designer/Wardrobe Supervisor) Hailing from California and with thousands of credits to his name, Byron is thrilled to be returning to Ogunquit for his third summer. Most recently, Byron has been a Star Dresser with the Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Wicked/LA and Phantom of The Opera, as well as dressing Lorna Luft at the Hollywood Bowl. He also toured as the Star Dresser with the First National Tour of the Big, Fat Hit Musical, Hairspray! As an actor, Byron has also appeared on stage, screen and television: “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Disney’s Haunted Mansion,” “Surviving Christmas,” “ER,” “Roseanne,” “Crossing Jordan” and was a regular on “Just Shoot Me,” and “Will & Grace” to name just a few. Byron can be found on Facebook.

RICHARD LATTA (Lighting Designer) has worked in NYC, Ogunquit and elsewhere for the past twenty- some years, designing countless Off-Broadway, regional, and industrial shows. Credits include: theOgunquit Playhouse 75th Anniversary Season,  BlitheSpirit (Bloomsburg, PA,) The upcoming  Nunsense  25th Anniversary Tour starring Sally Struthers,  Nunsensations (Tour and TV Special),  Meshugganuns (Tour& TV Special.) As a Projection Design Photo Researcher:  Thurgood with Laurence Fishburne (Broad - way) Mazeppa (Metropolitan Opera), Thurgood (original production with James Earl Jones-Westport), and Distracted (Mark Taper Forum). At the American Ballet Theatre, Mr. Latta has been a teaching professional for the school’s program since 2002, mentoring students at Newarks’ Arts High School, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and other New York City schools. Thanks to Brad and all responsible for sparking the amazing growth of the Playhouse over the past three years.

ADAM RIGBY (Sound Designer) is excited to be back in Ogunquit. He is looking forward to an exciting summer.

PAUL O’TOOLE (ASM) is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, where he spent many seasons working at Foothills Theatre. He recently spent a year working as the Technical ASM for The Palm Spring Follies in Palm Springs, California. Paul is proud to be returning for his second season here in Maine. He would like to thank everyone at the Playhouse for their trust and support.

FRED RUBINO (General Manager) joined the Playhouse staff as the project manager in 2006, overseeing major renovations to the electrical and theatre rigging systems. Fred is a member of the Playhouse Theatre Guild and has volunteered many hours working on the restoration of the Playhouse building as well as the Checkoway Pavilion and Children’s Theatre facilities. Fred was appointed General Manager in 2007. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has extensive experience in financial management, human resources, and grant writing. Fred has lived and worked in the seacoast area since 1977. He retired after a 32-year career in law enforcement in which he was the Chief of Police for two local communities. 

ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org