Grease Opens the 82nd Season of the Ogunquit Playhouse! Beloved Musical Features Mo Gaffney of "Absolutely Fabulous"
For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2014
The Ogunquit Playhouse, America’s Foremost Summer Theatre, kicks off its 82nd season with Grease, the musical that Ogunquit audiences rated as the No. 1 show they wanted to see in 2014. It’s the beloved rock n’ roll celebration of teen angst, fast cars and first loves all set in the fabulous fifties. This all-new production is on stage May 21 to June 21 and features the irresistible songs from the Tony Award nominated Broadway show and hit movie, including "You're The One That I Want," "Grease Is The Word," "Summer Nights," "Hopelessly Devoted To You," "Greased Lightnin'" and many more.
The Ogunquit Playhouse is delighted to announce that television and film star Mo Gaffney joins the cast as Miss Lynch. Ms. Gaffney has numerous television credits including her recurring role as Bo in the BBC hit sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. She gained national attention when she wrote and starred with her friend Kathy Najimy an off-Broadway show, The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives. She won an Obie Award for her critically acclaimed performance in Parallel Lives which was taped and aired on HBO and Comedy Central, and then went on to win two Cable Ace Awards, "Best Comedy Special" and "Best Performance in a Comedy Special." She won the same awards again when she produced and starred in her second HBO special The Kathy and Mo Show: The Dark Side .Ms. Gaffney hosted and co-produced the ground breaking half-hour comedy/talk show, Women Aloud! on Comedy Central, earning her two Cable Ace Award nominations and produced and starred in the Fox talk show The Mo Show. Included in her many television credits are recurring roles in That 70s Show as Joanne Stupak and in Mad About You as Dr. Sheila Kleinman. Her guest appearances include Friends, Hart of Dixie and Justified. In addition, she has appeared in many films including Drop Dead Gorgeous and Other People’s Money. On stage she starred in the award-winning off-Broadway production of Paula Vogel’s Minneola Twins with Swoozie Kurtz for the Roundabout Theater in NYC and the New York production of The Vagina Monologues with Marsha Mason and Lynn Whitfield.
Grease follows love-struck bad-boy Danny and girl-next-door Sandy in a thrilling injection of pure fun with astounding dancing and amazing songs. Matthew Ragas returns to the Ogunquit Playhouse to play Danny. He appeared last year as the Pharaoh in the hit production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Warner in Legally Blonde in 2012. Mr. Ragas has performed in many National Tours including Hairspray and Legally Blonde and in regional theatres across the country. Mary Little is making her Ogunquit debut as Sandy. She is a recent graduated of the University of Michigan and has performed many roles including Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Polly Baker in Crazy for You and most recently, Eponine in Les Miserables.
Get out your leather jackets and pull on your bobby socks with Rydell High's senior class of 1959. Making her Ogunquit debut is Madeleine Barker who plays bad girl Rizzo. She has performed many roles including Vanessa in In the Heights, Jo in Little Women and Judy Garland in the new musical Tinseltown Christmas. “Greaser” Kenickie is played by Preston Ellis who performed as Corny Collins in Hairspray at the 2012 Tony Awards and on the Taylor Hicks Grease tour. Jillian Gottlieb plays high school drop-out Frenchy. She has performed in many theatres across the U. S. including Prospect Theatre Company, The Duke on 42nd Street, and at The Metropolitan Opera.
Director-choreographer for Grease is DJ Salisbury who helmed the record-breaking production of Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story for the past two seasons at the Ogunquit Playhouse. In addition, he hasdirected and choreographed for theaters nationwide, including Paper Mill Playhouse, Theatre of the Stars-Atlanta, Sacramento Music Circus and Riverside Theatre-FL. As director-choreographer he has worked on many shows including Man of La Mancha, Into The Woods, La Cage Aux Folles, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, Evita, Ragtime and nine productions of The Will Rogers Follies. In New York he directed numerous readings, workshops and concerts including a revised Mystery of Edwin Drood (featuring Sally Struthers) and the Lincoln Center solo concert of Disney composer Alan Menken, among others. Mr. Salisbury has worked in various capacities with Broadway heavyweights Jerry Mitchell, Kathleen Marshall, Lynne Taylor Corbett, Susan Stroman, Jeff Calhoun and Tommy Tune. As choreographer he worked on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Road Trip and The Rachael Ray Show. He was also head writer/lyricist for the Emmy-winning Oklahoma Centennial TV special starring Reba McIntyre, Vince Gill, Kelli O’Hara and Shirley Jones. Mr. Salisbury is attached as director and contributing writer to the new musical CHIX 6 which is slated for a Broadway bow in 2015. He is currently the acting Artistic Director of Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts in Smithtown, NY.
Tickets and season subscription packages are on sale now. Buy early to guarantee the best seats for the best price. Single ticket prices start at just $39 per show and season tickets start at only $175 for a five-show subscription or $99 for a three-show subscription. To learn more about becoming a member, season subscriber or to purchase tickets and gift certificates, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org, call the Box Office at 207-646-5511or visit the new “Downtown Box Office” located at 102 Main Street (Route 1) just south of the Ogunquit village center.
Next on stage is the astonishing international musical sensation Billy Elliot the Musical running from June 25 to July 26. This inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true is heightened by the unforgettable music by Elton John, sensational dance and powerful storyline. The practically perfect Mary Poppins will fly over the rooftops of London and into the Ogunquit Playhouse from July 30 to August 30. This beloved family musical features the delightful songs from the popular Disney film including “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The Ogunquit Playhouse was selected by Cameron Mackintosh to be the American Northeast premiere of his hit musical stage adaptation of The Witches of Eastwick, on stage September 3 to 27. This sexy new musical comedy is based on the Warner Brothers hit motion picture starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Cher about small-town New England women who wish for the man of their dreams ― and get far more than they bargain for when the devil incarnate arrives to liven things up! “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky!” The Addams Family closes the Ogunquit season October 1 through 26.