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Already highly regarded as a talented young actor Wilson Cruz is once again making waves on stage, television, and the big screen. He co-stars alongside Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Anniston in “He's Just Not That Into You” for New Line (Feb. 6 release). Last year he starred in the independent feature “Coffee Date”, for which he received critical praise and continued his groundbreaking role as HIV positive Dr. Junito Vargas on LOGO's original series “Noah's Arc.” Wilson also returned to the stage to star in the 1st National tour and West Coast premiere, at the Rubicon Theatre, of the Jonathan Larson musical “tick, tick…BOOM!” This summer Wilson was heard as the voice of Evan Martinez in LOGO's new animated series “Rick and Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in the World.”
Cruz first won the hearts of audiences playing ‘Rickie’, a troubled, introspective teenager on the critically acclaimed series, “My So-Called Life.” He again earned fans and critical acclaim for his role of ‘Angel’ in “RENT” which he began at the Ahmanson Theatre in LA and continued on Broadway. RENT became a theatrical phenomenon, winning both the Tony and Pulitzer Prize for Best Musical, while Wilson received the Theatre LA Ovation Award and the Dramalogue Award for his performance. While theatre audiences enjoyed the opening night of “RENT,” television audiences simultaneously appreciated Wilson's widely ranging talent, with his dramatic and memorable guest appearance as a tortured transvestite airing on a special Christmas episode of David E. Kelley's hit series, “Ally McBeal.”
Hot off the success of “RENT,” Cruz landed a series regular role on the FOX hit drama “Party of Five” and his character quickly became an integral part of the show. Other television credits include guest appearances on the highly rated NBC dramas “ER” and “The West Wing,” the WB's” Related,” TNT's “The Closer,” and CBS's” NCIS.” Currently, he is a series regular on TNT’s hit new drama series, “Raising the Bar.” Cruz’s television career easily translated to the big screen with roles in such films as MGM’s sci-fi thriller “Supernova” and Disney’s “Nixon,” directed by Oliver Stone. He is also no stranger to the indie film world, starring in such films as “Johns” and “All Over Me;” both screened at the Sundance Film Festival and “Joyride,” starring opposite Tobey Maguire. Wilson also starred in the film “Party Monster “a hip, edgy story about infamous party promoters with Macauley Culkin and Seth Green. Wilson has recently completed shooting several independent features “Ode,” “The Green Flash,” “The People I’ve Slept With,” and “Convincing Clooney.” This is Wilson's first appearancein a "Helpis the Way" performance.
Spencer Day, a uniquely American singer/songwriter, has been enjoying a remarkable musical career. The release of his much anticipated third CD, “Vagabond” is his most ambitious and accomplished musical endeavor to date. “Vagabond” spotlights his own distinctively expressive style of American contemporary music, a blend of jazz, pop, soul and folk. His smooth baritone voice interprets his original compositions with compassion and a touch of humor. “Vagabond” sets the tone for the 21st-century American Songbook.
Spencer’s easy-listening voice, versatile piano playing, unpretentious original compositions and charming personality have earned him acclaim from coast to coast. He has appeared on national television four times and performed at some of the finest and established music venues in the United States.
Born in Utah, Spencer was raised in rural Arizona, primarily by a single mom who is a music teacher, lyric soprano and a devotee of musical theater. His mother, Jeannie, has had a profound influence on his musical pursuit. Spencer currently resides in Los Angeles. Largely self-taught, Day’s work reveals the influences of such diverse composers as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Joni Mitchell, Carol King, John Lennon and Paul Simon. In his music, one can hear his humanism, vulnerability and universal melodic phrasing.
A prolific composer and self-proclaimed perfectionist, Day has devoted himself to his career. His hard work has been paying off. Since he was a featured performer at the 2007 San Francisco Jazz Festival, he has been a perennial favorite in the Bay Area, headlining at Yoshi’s, the Plush Room, the Great American Music Hall and the Herbst Theatre. In New York City, Spencer received rave reviews in Time Out and Backstage magazines, having performed to enthusiastic audiences at the Town Hall, Joe’s Pub, and the Canal Room. He has headlined at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, The Sheldon Concert Hall in St Louis, and the Dakota in Minneapolis.
Spencer recently opened for Rufus Wainwright at the Napa Valley Opera House and appeared at both the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, by the invitation of Jazz legend Marian McPartland in celebration of her 90th birthday.
Spencer recorded his newest CD with Yair Evnine, his longtime guitarist/cellist; Grammy-nominated master drummer Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter) and renowned bassist Jon Evans (Tori Amos). Artistically, it’s a triumphant collaboration. Day’s creativity also includes composing musical theater. In 2005, he collaborated with Rafe Chase on a full-length musical, “Someday, Love,” which was performed at San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theater. Spencer starred in the show in addition to writing its score. He has composed more than 60 tunes and recorded two well-received albums, “Introducing Spencer Day” (2004) and “Movie of Your Life” (2005). The song “Movie of Your Life” won San Francisco Academy of Art University’s 2005 competition for best original song. The resulting music video, produced by the school’s faculty and students, was selected by Dolby Laboratories as a demonstration video for the global launch of the Dolby 7.1 system.
“Ultimately, what matters most is the music,” says Spencer. “Whatever I do, whatever I sing, my primary goal is to keep it pure and h." This is is Spencer's third appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Equally at home on stage or on screen, award-winning actress Loretta Devine has created some of the most memorable roles in theatre, film and television. Devine first captured national attention in the role of Lorrell, one of the three original “Dreamgirls” in Michael Bennett’s classic award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. She followed that performance with a fiery portrayal of Lillian in Bob Fosse’s critically acclaimed stage production“Big Deal.” Subsequent work in George C. Wolfe’s “Colored Museum” and “Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill,” cemented Devine’s status as one of the most talented and versatile stage actresses.
Film roles soon followed including a poignant turn as a single mother opposite Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett and Gregory Hines in “Waiting to Exhale” which earned her a NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress. Devine also won an NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Penny Marshall’s “The Preacher’s Wife.” Devine also received an IFP “Spirit” Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in “Women Thou Art Loosed.” Devine was featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Crash” and thehit movie of “Dreamgirls.” Additional film credits include appearances in the successful “Urban Legend” franchise, “I Am Sam” opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Sean Pean, “Kingdom Come,” “What Women Want,” “Punks,” “Hoodlums,” “Down in the Delta” and “Stanley and Iris.” Devine also appeared in “Sticky Fingers,” “Amos and Andrew,” “The Breaks,” “The Price of Kissing,” “Lover Girl,” “Class Act,” “Living Large,” “Caged Fear” and “Little Nikita.” Most recently Devine co-starred in two Sony Screen Gems films, “This Christmas” and “First Sunday”. Both films opened Number 1 at the box office. Rounding out her 2007 slate of films was the film festival favorite “Dirty Laundry” and the 2008 release of the animated feature “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” for Disney starring Drew Barymore. Ms Devine voices the character of Delta, the chocolate brown toy poodle.
On television, Devine can be seen in ABC’s sophomore series, “Eli Stone” , as well as her recurring role as Adele on the hit ABC medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy.” She received three NAACP Image Awards for her role on David E. Kelly’s Fox series “Boston Public.” Additional credits include series roles in “A Different World” and Lifetime Television’s “Wild Card.” Devine also provided the voice of Muriel Stubbs on the beloved animated series, “The PJ’s.” Devine graduated from the University of Houston and later received a Master of Fine Arts in Threatre Arts from Brandeis University. She currently resides in Los Angeles. This is Loretta’s third appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. .
Terese Genecco is a 2008 MAC Award Winner for Best Recording, a 2007 Backstage Bistro Award Winner, a 2008 MAC Award-nominee for Best Female Vocalist (Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets & Clubs), and Time Out Magazine in NYC’s Top 10 Best Cabaret Shows of 2006 and 2007. Genecco is best known for her jazz/musical creation, “DRUNK WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO FRANCES FAYE!” Terese pays tribute to the spirit, sound, and style of Frances Faye, the 1950’s bi-sexual, nightclub icon. This show made its world premiere in S.F. at the New Conservatory Theatre in July 05, and ran for 5 weeks, before moving to NYC for a debut run at The Encore Showroom, followed by four repeat engagements at The Metropolitan Room. Genecco has also performed as a headliner at San Francisco’s Rrazz Room, Jazz At Pearl’s, The Empire Plush Room, The Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, ODC Theater and more. In NYC, Terese has performed at Jazz @ Lincoln Center, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Birdland, The Iridium Jazz Club, The Metropolitan Room (where she appears again on Oct 28 and Nov 1, 2008,) and The Encore. She has also appeared in Hollywood at The M Bar & Restaurant, where she appears again with Jack Costanzo and the Hollywood “little big band” on November 14, 2008.
Ms. Genecco is a graduate of Syracuse University (BFA in Music Theater) where she studied voice, dance, acting, choreography, piano, percussion and jazz theory. In addition to her jazz and cabaret concert engagements, Terese was the lead singer and guitarist in the all-girl rock band, TREMR and has performed stand-up comedy. She won the debut vocalist category and the overall “Entertainer of the Year” award at the SF Cabaret Competition in 2003. Genecco ‘s MAC Award-Winning CD “Drunk With Love: A Tribute to Frances Faye!” was recorded live at The Metropolitan Room in NYC and released in April ‘07 on the BUG:OUT:MUSIC label. The CD is available at CD Baby, Apple iTunes, Amazon.com, and in Bay Area music stores This is Terese's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Originally from Southfield, MI, Danny has been performing on and off-Broadway for the last 11 years. He made his New York debut playing the Nurse in the off-Broadway hit "Shakespear's R & J," a 4-man re-telling of the Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet. Other off-Broadway credits include "The Thing About Men, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told," Manhattan Theatre Club’s "Captains Courageous," as well as the original companies of "Kuni-Leml, A Majority of One" with Phyllis Newman, " A New Brain" at Lincoln Center and "Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Poof Odyssey."
On Broadway, Danny made his debut as Hal in "The Scarlet Pimpernel." He also stood stark naked onstage for over 500 performances as Malcolm in "The Full Monty." Other Broadway appearances include "Urinetown," Laurie in the musical adaptation of the classic "Little Women," and most recently the Encores! revival of "Kismet" as the all-mighty Caliph. Danny also played Henrik in the New York City Opera’s "A Little Night Music," a role he recreated later at the Los Angeles Opera. He originated the same role in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration production, culminating in an all-star concert at Avery Fisher Hall.
Numerous recordings and regional productions include plays and musicals at the Philadelphia, Delaware, Source, and Pioneer Theatre Companies, as well as the Muny and McCarter Theatres, Sacramento Music Circus, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the Geffen and La Jolla Playhouses as well as the O’Neill Theatre Center and Sundance Theatre Lab. Danny has also performed at the Library of Congress, twice with Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony, the New Haven Symphony and guest starred on NBC’s “Law & Order”. As a guest artist Danny has taught at the Showchoir Camps of America, Las Vegas High School of the Performing Arts, Western Michigan University’s Musical Theatre Program, and is currently on the faculty of AMDA in Los Angeles. Danny holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. This is Danny's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
A native of Cumming's, GA, RJ Helton was thrust into TV & music stardom via the breakout hit TV series "American Idol," where he quickly rose to fame with his captivating performance as a Top 5 Finalist in the first seas on. RJ was one of the featured performers on the “American Idol” cast album which went Gold and reached No. 1 status on the Billboard charts in the Soundtrack category. He also participated in the national radio and media promotional tour which became a nationwide phenomenon.
With a passion for positive, uplifting music and finding comfort in faith, RJ found a natural home at B-Rite Music/Zomba Records, the pop music imprint of music industry powerhouse Gospo Centric Records. Produced by Tommy Sims (CeCe Winans, Michael McDonald, Kelly Clarkson), Reed Vertelney (Luther Vandross, Heather Headley), Bernie Herms (Natalie Grant, Plus One, Darwin Hobbs), New Tone Productions (Dana Glover, Black Eyed Peas, Eric Benet) and acclaimed songwriter Sam Mizell (Chris Rice, The Martins, Billy Ray Cyrus, Matthew West), RJ released his debut album, the Christian-oriented REAL LIFE which made the Billboard Christian Top 20. During that time, the Latin crooner was managed by Matthew Knowles, father of pop diva Beyonce.
The silky-voiced tenor has since appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, (performing with Kirk Franklin and Friends), “The Today Show," "Good Morning America," CNN, MTV’s “Total Request Live," and other major television outlets. RJ has also been featured in publications including “Billboard,” “Radio & Records Magazine,” “People Magazine,” “US Weekly,” “Entertainment Weekly. “ Metro Source and many more. Having co-written much of his own material on REAL LIFE, RJ is currently back in the studio working on his sophomore album with producers from Atlanta, Houston, New York and other major cities. With renewed faith and passion for music, RJ intends to break all boundaries and showcase his music as it has never been heard before. This is RJ’s second appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production..
Tim Hockenberry, a musician who has been referred to as "one of the best singers in the Bay Area...," moved West in 1990 and began performing as a jazz and R&B vocalist. While he predominately performs in both public and private venues, Tim also works for numerous advertising agencies both as a commercial singer and music producer. He has performed and/or produced commercial music for numerous clients including Wal-Mart, Time Magazine, Subway, Kawasaki, The Kirstie Alley show, 'Fat Actress', Fantasy Springs Casino, the NFL Network, The Oakland A's, and KC Masterpiece, as well as original music scores for numerous independent films.
In 2004 he released two original songs on a recording featuring Bob Dylan's music entitled 'Mostly Dylan' along with supporting musicians including Bonnie Raitt, George Marinelli, and Ricki Fatar. Also in 2004, Tim recorded a holiday single entitled 'Christmas By The Bay' with composers Nolan Gasser and Clark Sterling. The song enjoys major radio airplay on over three hundred radio stations throughout the country during the holiday season.
He is currently signed as an artist with Warner Brothers' independent label, About Records, and is due to release his first recording with them in early 2007. This is Tim's fifth appearance in a "Help on the Way" production.
Holland is a stellar presence on the West Coast jazz scene. Writing in
the L.A. Jazz Scene, renowned critic Scott Yanow predicts that Sony’s
recent CD, “Out Of This World” will introduce the sultry singer
to a wider audience and adds, “Her voice and style fit the standards
she interprets perfectly.” The SF Chronicle calls her a “decidedly
modern jazz diva… Her voice combines the pop-styling of Nancy Wilson
and the open-throated bell
Sony has made three tours of ASIA in the past two years, including lengthy runs in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Bangkok. Still, she centers her activity at home in San Francisco. The charismatic vocalist adds, “I love San Francisco and sooner or later everyone shows up here. It’s a great place to live and perform.” That love has been returned, as Sony Holland has become “a local treasure” to quote Jim Harrington of the Oakland Tribune.. This is Sony's third appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Celebrated by audiences and critics alike, vocalist and musical theatre performer, Meg Mackay, is a popular and distinguished member of the San Francisco Bay Area performing arts scene. Meg has been a frequent performer in Bay Area cabarets and theaters for over fifteen years. A sophisticated actress with a distinctive voice, Meg has received an amazing eight Drama-Logue/Dean Goodman awards and seven Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle awards.
Her long-awaited debut album, "So Many People" was released in 1994. It was followed by her second CD, "Legally Blonde" in 1998. A professional singer since the age of 12, Meg studied opera at Wichita State University and went on to perform with the Santa Fe Opera Company. While a student, she also began singing R&B and jazz in small clubs and hotels. These performances would pave the way for her arrival in San Francisco, where she quickly secured a featured role in San Francisco's long-running hit 'Beach Blanket Babylon."
Meg is best known for her diverse repertoire that includes both the familiar and the rarely-heard: American pop songs from the 30's and 40's, Broadway show tunes and original works. Her one-woman cabaret show has been well-received in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles and at San Francisco's famous showcase, the Plush Room. Her accompanist is her long-time collaborator (and husband), Billy Philadelphia.
Mackay's versatility as a performer is further demonstrated by her shining list of musical performance credits. Following "Beach Blanket Babylon," she toured for two years (and played two roles) with the National Touring Company of the Tony award-winning play, "Torch Song Trilogy". Back home, her more recent credits include performances with the Marin Symphony, 'Putting It Together," "She Loves Me" and 'The World Goes 'Round" at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, "A Karen Carpenter Christmas" at the Marsh in San Francisco, two Stephen Sondheim revues at Marin Theatre Company, the original company of the award-winning, "And What, Give Up Show Biz?" and both the San Francisco and Los Angeles companies of "Stardust." Most recently she played the title roles in both the Mountain Play's production of "Hello, Dolly!" and 42nd Street Moon's "Call Me Madam." This is Meg's 12th appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Billy Philadelphia is one of those rare performers who is equally at home on stage or behind the scenes. He has been Musical Director for several Bay Area television shows including a year and a half on KRON-TV's "SFO with Steve Jamison" (for which Billy wrote and recorded the theme song), over 60 appearances on KGO-TV's "AM San Francisco," and numerous shows with Bill Raferty on "Good Time Cafe," last seen nationwide on A&E. On these shows he had the opportunity to accompany such artists as Andy Williams, Nell Carter, Little Richard, Vanessa Williams, Ben Vereen, James Galway, et. al.
More recently he accompanied the incomparable Dame Edna in her hit show," The Royal Tour," at Theatre on the Square in San Francisco. He also accompanied actress Mariette Hartley in her cabaret debut at the Plush Room. He has been musical director for shows at San Jose Repertory Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. Billy also had a long-running spot as the "Man About Town" on the Frank and Mike Show on KNBR-AM.
He has led bands of all kinds in numerous Bay Area clubs, cabarets and hotels -- from the Blues to Bar Mitzvahs -- as well as opening for Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, The Lettermen, Leon Redbone and Flo & Eddie. He has also played with Chuck Berry, Commander Cody and Asleep at the Wheel.
He is an actor as well -- Cocky in "Roar of the Greasepaint-Smell of the Crowd" and Billy as Hoagy Carmichael Christian in "Cyrano de Bergerac" -- as well as several commercials. His favorite role was songwriter/actor Hoagy Carmichael in "Hoagy," written by Billy and Bruce Dettman. The show has had successful runs at the Zephyr Theatre in San Francisco and the prestigious Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Billy frequently performs in cabaret with vocalist (and wife) Meg Mackay. They have gotten rave reviews and concertize throughout the country, both in public and for corporate events. The San Francisco Chronicle has dubbed Meg and Billy the "First Couple of San Francisco Cabaret." Billy produced and arranged Meg's two CD's, "So Many People" and "Legally Blonde." This is Billy's third appearance in a "Help is on the Way"production.
Sharon McNight made her Broadway debut in 1989 in Starmites, creating the role of Diva. She received a Tony Award nomination as “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her performance, and is the recipient of the coveted Theatre World Award for “Outstanding Broadway Debut” which was presented to her by Carol Channing. She has six solo recordings to her credit. The most recent is Songs To Offend Almost Everyone. In contrast is The Sophie Tucker Songbook,’which contains the music of the one- woman show based the show business legend. The Sophie Tucker Songbook debuted at New York’s Rainbow & Stars as part of an ASCAP Sunday night showcase March ‘96.
Since then, she developed it into a one-woman musical, Red Hot Mama, which was workshopped at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Lucille Lortell’s White Barn Theatre, and has finished a successful three month run Off-Broadway at the York Theatre. Her regional credits include Amanda McBroom’s Heartbeats at the Pasadena Playhouse, and an award-winning Dolly in Hello Dolly! at the Peninsula Civic Light Opera (a role she repeated in her hometown, Modesto). Sharon was Sister Hubert in Nunsense in LA and SF, where she was presented with the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for “Best Performance in a Musical”. She is the narrator of the documentary, There That Night, the story of the Provincetown, MA fire, and was featured in the recent A & E documentary, It’s Burlesque, for her research on Mae West and Sophie Tucker.
In SF, she plays The Plush Room, Great American Music Hall, and anywhere else the check doesn’t bounce. She has played from the Moose Hall to Carnegie Hall, from LA to Berlin, and this year celebrated her twenty-fifth year in cabaret. She has won six San Francisco Cabaret Gold awards, a MAC award, a Bistro award, and is most noted for her movie reenactment of The Wizard of OZ and for being one of the few real women to impersonate Bette Davis.
Ms. McNight received her Masters of Arts degree in direction from SF State College in nineteen none of your business. As an only child, her parents kept her busy with all kinds of lessons: ballet, tap, hula, flute and piano. She is single and resides in Hollywood, but “lives” in SF. She has been in the forefront in the fight against AIDS since the early eighties, and was featured in Randy Shilt’s book, And The Band Played On. She can be seen on an upcoming episode of "Hannah Montana". The exact date of its airing will be posted on her website - www.sharonmcnight.com. She says the greatest day of her life was the day she quit smoking. This is Sharon’s ninth appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Ms. Moreno is one of a select group of performers to have won all four of the most prestigious show business awards: the Oscar, the Emmy, the Tony and the Grammy. The Oscar was for her performance as Anita in the 1962 motion picture "West Side Story." The two Emmys she has won were for her 1977 variety appearance on "The Muppet Show" and for a dramatic guest appearance on "The Rockford Files" in 1978. The Tony was for her 1975 triumph on Broadway as Googie Gomez in "The Ritz." The Grammy was for her 1972 performance on "The Electric Company Album" for children which was based on the long-running children’s television show of the same name.
Along the way she received dozens of other show business awards, most notably The Golden Globe Award for her role "West Side Story," The Golden Apple Award, and in 1968 the Joseph Jefferson Award as best actress in Chicago’s theatrical season in 1968 for her brilliant performance as Serafina in "The Rose Tattoo." In 1985 she repeated her Chicago triumph and was awarded the prestigious Sarah Siddons Award for her portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of "The Odd Couple." In 1995, Ms. Moreno received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ms. Moreno was born
Rosa Dolores Alverio in Humacao, Puerto Rico. When she was five years
old she and her mother moved to New York. The following year, she started
dance lessons. At age 13 she made her Broadway debut in "Skydrift"
which starred Eli Wallach. Then, in the true tradition of Hollywood, a
talent scout arranged a meeting for the seventeen-year old with Louis
B. Mayer and she was signed for a contract with MGM. From that point on
her career advanced steadily. She made some thirty films early in her
career, too often typecast as a Mexican spitfire or an Indian maiden.
During that period she appeared in films with Richard Widmark, Esther
Williams, Mario Lanza, Susan Hayward, Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper. She
appeared in the marvelous "Singin' in the Rain" starring Gene
Kelly. She was also featured as Tuptim in "The King and I" with
Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, but it was only after she won an Academy
Award for her outstanding performance as Anita in "West Side Story"
that she was finally recognized as a major talent. In 1962, she moved
to London where she was featured in Hal Prince’s "She Loves
Me." Rita then returned to New York to star in the Lorraine Hansbury’s
"The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window." On Broadway, she
has also appeared as the female lead with Robert Shaw in "Gantry,"
in "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" opposite Jimmy Coco, followed
by a Tony Award nomination for her role in "The National Health."
Rita then starred in "The Ritz" for which she received the Tony.
In 1981, she returned
to Broadway and appeared once again opposite Jimmy Coco in "Wally’s
Cafe." Her most recent Broadway appearance was in the female version
of Neil Simon’s "The Odd Couple." In 1996, she starred
as Norma Desmond in the London production of "Sunset Boulevard."
In 2004 Ms. Moreno received rave reviews for her interpretation as Maria
Callas in the Terrance McNally play "Master Class." In 2006
she received similar acclaim for her portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in
the Berkeley Repertory production of "The Glass Menagerie."
Ms. Moreno has also been the guest star on a wide variety of television productions both here and abroad. She is proud to have been a featured artist for many years on "The Electric Company," the highly regarded educational television program for children. She starred in her own TV series, the sitcom version of the film "9 to 5." She then played opposite Burt Reynolds in "B.L. Stryker." In 1994 Ms. Moreno returned to New York to appear as a series regular with Bill Crosby in the NBC "Crosby Mystery Series." Most recently she was one of the leads in the highly acclaimed HBO series "OZ." In 1995, Ms. Moreno returned to the New York stage in Anne Meara's "After Play" and in Circle Repertory's production of "Size of the World."
She continues to keep
busy performing concerts across the country and as a guest artist with
symphony orchestras. In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Clinton's
inauguration and later that month she performed at the White House. Ms.
Moreno's latest endeavor has been in cabaret where she has met with critical
acclaim. In 202 she appeared as the guest artist with the San Francisco
Symphony in a production of "Candide."
Shawn Ryan is one of the rising stars performing jazz and standards today - having what the LA Times calls “a charm that is rare!” Most recently, Shawn joined forces with writer Bruce Vilanch to create "Shawn Ryan Live" with debuted August 24th, 2007 at The Herbst Theatre to a sold out crowd and will tour Internationally in 2008 to over 40 cities. After placing in the semi-finals of NBC's 2006 Summer hit, America's Got Talent, Shawn’s star continues to ascend. He currently has two albums, numerous national TV appearances, and 3 National Tours. The first national tour brought a nomination for the prestigious MAC Award (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) as “Best Musical Comedy Show.” Shawn’s career in film and TV is on the ascend. Shawn appeared in the films American Pie 3, First Daughter, and in Boston Public on TV. Now based in LA, this young, openly gay performer lives with his partner of six years, actor John Ainsworth. Shawn has two CD’s currently available. Shawn Ryan The Debut with the Kelly Park Trio, spotlights this "new jazz wunderkid", and his newest album “Blue Skies” (LML Music) continues to garner rave reviews as Shawn heads out on his 4th national tour this year. www.shawn-ryan.com. This is Shawn's third appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
KT Sullivan's Broadway credits include “The Three Penny Opera” with Sting, the play “Broadway” directed by George Abbott, and the leading role in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She also played feature roles in the national tour of “Annie Get Your Gun” as well as the workshop production of “Easter Parade” with Tommy Tune. Off-Broadway, KT appeared in “Splendora” and “A My Name is Still Alice.” With Mark Nadler she co-wrote and starred in “American Rhapsody: George Gershwin to the World,” receiving Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations and winning the MAC Award for best musical revue. Her regional theatre credits include the Old Globe Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Municipal Opera of St. Louis, Missouri Rep, Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse and The Great Lakes Theater Festival, where her roles have ranged from Frances in “Light Up The Sky” and Carrie in “Carousel” to Meg in “Brigadoon” and Billie Dawn in “Born Yesterday.”
KT has been featured several times at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Lincoln Center and The Caramoor Festival. She has also performed at The Spoleto Festival, La Nouvelle Eve in Paris, The Chichester Festival in the U.K. and several times at The Adelaide Festival in Australia. Since 1992 KT has been a regular headliner at the Oak Room of New York's Algonquin Hotel and for several years has starred at the Sabarsky Café of the Neue Gallerie on Fifth Avenue and Live on the Park in London. She made her West End debut in Vienna to Weimar at London's Jermyn Street Theatre in 2004 and has returned annually in Noel Coward and Irving Berlin revues. In addition, KT has recorded seven albums on the DRG label, including “Crazy World” (voted #1 in the vocals category of Tower Records' Pulse Magazine) and “Live From Rainbow and Stars: The Songs of Bart Howard,” which won Backstage magazine's Bistro Award. Her latest CD of the songs of Cole Porter with Mr. Nadler and saxophonist Loren Schoenberg was recorded in the fall during an extended engagement at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.
On television, KT has guest starred on “Police Squad,” “Night Court,” “Remington Steele,” “Hardcastle and McCormick,” “Cabaret 13” with Michael Feinstein and “In Performance at the White House,” with Mary Martin. Liza Minelli presented KT Sullivan with the Manhattan Association of Cabarets' Outstanding Female Vocalist Award and Irish America Magazine named her one of its Top 100 Irish-Americans. On that note, KT is proud to be married to outstanding Irish-American Steve Downey. This is KT’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” performance.
Tuck & Patti. You are either a fan...or you haven't heard them yet. For nearly three decades, this unique vocal/guitar jazz duo has cast its passionate musical spell worldwide, capturing the hearts of lovers, the respect of jazz buffs, and the jaw-dropping awe of guitarists. With 29 years of performing together, and 26 years of marriage, the devotion forged by this extraordinary couple shows no sign of dimming from the pressure of familiarity. For them, this pressure creates more diamond than dust. Their instinct for refining their music, their technique and their career—their home studio makeover—their house and garden renovation—never wavers from their credo: It’s not done if it’s not from the heart. And what comes from the heart demands excellence.
Onstage and off, guitarist Tuck Andress and vocalist/arranger Patti Cathcart might, at first impression, strike you as an odd couple. The obvious difference in skin color is quickly overshadowed by the contrast of their personalities. Patti exudes the soft, centered yet powerful graciousness of a gospel singer; Tuck almost wears his brain on his skin, anticipating the thousands of musical decisions he’ll have to send to his ten fingers during the course of a performance. Seeing the virtuosity and complexity of Tuck's guitar work, most are surprised to learn that Patti is the actual writer, arranger, and producer. Without even blinking, Tuck-the-problem-solver brags, “Patti writes and arranges; I am just the orchestra.”
Meanwhile, Tuck might update their database and website. For I Remember You, Tuck worked out parts drawn from a Count Basie recording, then painstakingly figured a way to play all the parts on his guitar. “We might not even use any of it,” says Tuck, “You can't do it all at once, just on one guitar. But as a way to explore it, I would try to do it all at once. We hope we are suggesting it somehow.” Both Tuck and Patti were fortunate enough to be part of musical families where records of all types were spinning on the turntable. Tuck’s father had been a leader of a jazz band in college, and his older sister inspired him with her studies of classical piano. “Little did I know that I was getting tremendous ear training that would serve me for a lifetime.” Tuck also took piano lessons, as well as latching on to her love of pop music.
Patti seemed to be born singing. "As a little girl," she recalls, "instead of talking, I'd sing a running, stream-of-consciousness commentary on life. Many people in my family sang; I started singing in church, was leading youth choirs at age 10, and directing the adult choirs before I was 16.” Patti also studied classical violin for 11 years, and in school was involved with school choirs, musicals, and various bands. She performed with many rock and jazz groups during the historic San Francisco sixties musical scene, and saw countless key performances by rock, blues, gospel and jazz greats of the day.
“The Fillmore, Avalon Ballroom, Carousel Ballroom, Keystone Korner and Winterland were like home to me,” she continues. “Bill Graham always looked out for me. Jimi Hendrix called me ‘Foxy Lady’ on my birthday one year. I jammed with hundreds of musicians!” Tuck, too, was influenced by Jimi Hendrix, but the rocker’s sonic textures were so explosive, that Hendrix actually drove Tuck deeper into jazz. It was two years before he felt confident enough to figure out Hendrix’s songs and style. The sixties scene brought Tuck to the West Coast, and in 1970, he enrolled as a music major at Stanford University. During breaks he tried out the LA studio scene. He was given the opportunity to be guitarist for the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, but decided to reject this commercial detour. Later he spent four years with the GAP Band, his “graduate degree in soul music.” Meanwhile he doggedly continued studying recordings of guitarists of every style, developing a knack for playing the guitar as several instruments at once. For years, Tuck and Patti played in various Bay Area bands without meeting. Tuck, introspective and unambitious, contrasted with Patti’s persona of bandleader, one who would and did jam with every hot musician in the area. In 1978, Tuck was already guitarist for a cover band when Patti walked in to audition. “Within a few seconds of hearing her sing,” recalls Tuck, “I knew I had found my lifetime musical partner.” ”It was that immediate for me too,” says Patti. “I immediately knew that the band ‘wasn't happening,’ but that I was going to steal the guy playing guitar in the corner!” The two both explain that musicians always have this radar going, sweeping for their musical soulmate, that special someone that they can communicate and collaborate with. They stayed with the band for a few months, but really got to know each other as they shared a ride to rehearsals. They became best friends. They plotted another course. Jammed with other musicians. They realized they both had such extensive musical backgrounds that they knew hundreds of songs in common.
They formed a duo, guitar and vocalist. Landing live gigs with this sparse instrumentation took a little persuasion. Once booked, however, the rooms quickly filled with repeat fans. ‘We had never had so much fun, nor been so challenged,” says Tuck. “We went to play at a venue and forgot to take breaks.” For this duo, from then on, there has not been a break. Friendship and collaboration grew to love, and the two were married in 1981. Their recording career took off when Windham Hill Jazz signed them for 1988’s groundbreaking Tears of Joy. This and several other Windham Hill albums put them on the map (Love Warriors, Reckless Precision, Dream, Hymn, Carols and Songs about Snow, Best of Tuck & Patti, Paradisse Found, Taking the Long Way Home, and As time Goes By), and they’ve been solidifying their career, their musical conversation, their technique, and their love together ever since. Tuck and Patti now have their own recording studio, as well as their own record label, T&P Records, which licenses their CDs to major labels for distribution around the world. They tour Asia and Europe so much that they know that home is with each other, regardless of location. They are looking forward to, at long last, taking occasional time off from touring to teach at their Bay Area home, as well as doing workshops while on tour. A concert DVD, Tuck & Patti Live in Holland, with a behind-the-scenes documentary, As We Travel Round this Circle, was released in 2005. Their new album, I Remember You,was released through Universal Music in 2007 in Asia, and released worldwide in early 2008. What's on the album? Love songs of course, from the Great American Songbook, inspired by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass. This is Tuck & Patti’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.
It was JoAnne Worley’s crazy brand of humor which landed her a 4-year stint on the Emmy-Winning NBC Television show “Rown and Martin’s Laugh-In.” Her instinctive comedic timing and irrepressible laugh made her an audience favorite. Since then, she has accumulated a list of stage credits which reads like the Best of Broadway. In new York, she appeared in “Follies” – for Encores, and “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Grease” on Broadway. JoAnne has appeared in “Wicked” at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. She has starred in the National companies of “Wizard of Oz,” “Annie,” “Carnival,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” and toured exclusively with (to name a few): “Mame,” “Hello Dolly,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Anything Goes,” “Cal Me Madam,” “Nunsense,” “Steel Magnolias,” and “Gypsy” (for which she won her 5th Drama-Logue award). When she starred on Broadway in “Grease,” she got her caricature on the wall at Sardi’s in New York.
For the last few years, JoAnne has been showing up TV on the Food Network, on the popular cooking shows “Ready, Set, Cook!” and “Chef Du Jour.” She has had starring roles on TV in “Mad About You,” “Boy Meets World,” “Caroline in the City,” “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place” for Disney. Her work runs the gamut from TV, movies, and stage productions, to game shows, talk shows, commercials, cartoons and opera. Yes, that is her voice as the “Wardrobe” in the Disney Academy Award-winning movie “Beauty and the Beast.” She has appeared in concert with the Unites States Air Force Band in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. She starred in the West Coast premiere of “Moon Over Buffalo” at the Pasedena Playhouse. She also starred as the witch in the NY and LA productions of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Ms. Worley is the president of Actors and Others for Animals, a charitable organization which promotes humane treatment for all animals. JoAnne was born in Lowell, Indiana. One of 5 children raised on a farm, she says: “I was the middle child. I started being funny in self defense…A bid for attention.” She attended a 2-room country school for 8 years, then as an honor-roll student at Lowell High school, her talent began to win her recognition. She was voted school comedienne as a freshman and the “Drama Award” at Lowell High – which is now called the JoAnne Worley Award. After graduation she headed for the Blauvelt, NY, “Pickwick Players” with the money she earned as a waitress in a Truck stop on highway 41. There she apprenticed so enthusiastically that she was awarded a drama scholarship to Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, TX. She stayed there 2 years before taking a LONG bus ride to LA where she attended LA City College and the historic Pasadena Playhouse. She auditioned for, and was cast, in her first musical as Ruth in WONDERFUL TOWN, and began formal singing lessons (with a 3 octave range!). However, her first real break was a non-musical pantomime that charmed Billy Barnes into signing her for his musical review, “The Billy Barnes People,” which was taken to Broadway. The show closed, but JoAnne received an excellent personal review. Walter Kerr of the NY Times wrote 2 paragraphs…about her mouth. Then at auditions of the National Tour of “Carnival” in New York, Gower Champion ran on stage after her audition to tell her she was “perfect”! So JoAnne toured with the show for a year and a half, but was snatched back to Manhattan by Champion to stand-by for Carol Channing in the original Broadway hit musical, “Hello Dolly!” When the show was in Washington, D.C., I was vocalizing in the hall when Carol peeked out from her dressing room and said that she was very healthy.” Carol never missed a performance, which was all right with JoAnne because she was moonlighting, performing in the “Second City Review” Off-Broadway.
Deciding to begin nightclub work in earnest, she appeared at the Bon Soir and Upstairs at the Duplex in Greenwich Village. It was there that Merv Griffin caught her act and was so impressed that he invited her to guest on his show. Which she did…more than 150 times. One of those times, George Schlatter was looking to cast the new “Rown and Martin’s Laugh-In” special. Saw her, liked her, and signed her. The rest, as they say, is history. This is JoAnne’s second appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.
Since their first American tour in 2000, the Ballroom and Latin dance show "Burn the Floor" has performed to sold out houses in103 cities around the world. Now they are back with their brand new show, Burn the Floor presents FloorPlay. The Company of 18 of the Worlds best dancers perform a brand new collage of dance styles including swing, tango, rhumba, salsa, cha cha and waltz. The London Independent called it "breathtaking" And with the whole world seemingly dance crazy the timing for this show could not be better!
David most recently directed "My Trip Down the Pink Carpet" written and starring Leslie Jordan currently on a 30 city tour and the 24th annual S.T.A.G.E. benefit "Blame it on Bacharach" featuring a one-act version of "Promises, Promises". Other recent efforts include" Falsettos" for The Actors’ Fund," Like a Dog on Linoleum," written and performed by Leslie Jordan, which has played to standing room only audiences in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia and the world premiere of Out Late in Los Angeles.
Other work includes "Always…Patsy Cline" with Sally Struthers in Palm Springs, "Madly, In Love" at the Odyssey Theatre and "Rod McKuen in Concert" at New York’s Carnegie Hall. For Singapore Rep he helmed "The Fantasticks." Musical Theatre West credits include "Mame" starring Carol Lawrence, Ruth Williamson and Sally Struthers, "Show Boat" starring Dale Kristien and Sean McDermott and "Brigadoon." His direction of the musical revue" Blame It On the Movies," which he co-originated with Billy Barnes and Ron Abel, played Off-Broadway and he repeated the staging for a Pasadena Playhouse main-stage production. Other Los Angeles productions include" Lettice and Lovage," "Alone Together" with Nancy Dussault, "The Lion in Winter" with Carole Cook and Tom Troupe at the Pasadena Playhouse, "The Gay 90s Musical" (Celebration), "Blame It On the Movies II", "Cabaret" (East West Players), "Angry Housewives" (Odyssey), "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening," "Fortune and Men’s Eyes," "Slings and Eros," Filumena (Court Theatre), "Trouble in Tahiti" (Skylight)," Triplets in Uniform," "Jesus Christ Superstar" (La Mirada)," Falsettos," "Gifts of the Maji" (Coast) and" Lullaby of Broadway" (Tiffany Theatre).
For the past 24 years he has directed and co-produced the annual S.T.A.G.E. fundraisers for AIDS charities, saluting the theatre music of noted composers and lyricists. He has co-produced recordings of nine of the events: "Strouse, Schwartz and Schwartz," "Dream, the Lyrics and Music of Johnny Mercer," "Jerome Kern: Life Upon the Wicked S.T.A.G.E.;" "Harold Arlen, Over the Rainbow;" "George & Ira Gershwin: A Musical Celebration"; "Cole Porter, A Musical Toast;" "Lerner, Loewe, Lane and Friends;" "ABC Adler, Bock & Coleman;" and "Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration." He has also helmed all of the S.T.A.G.E. Too benefits for The Actors’ Fund of America – "Kurt Weill: The Centennial," "Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman," "The Richard Rodgers Centennial – Something Wonderful," "Sing Happy, The Words and Music of Kander and Ebb," "The Best is Yet to Come – The Music of Cy Coleman," "Hooray For Love – A Celebration of the Music of Harold Arlen," "Everything’s Coming Up Roses: The Jule Styne Centennial" and most recently "Falsettos." Galligan co-produced the Actors’ Fund recordings "Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman" and "Kurt Weill: The Centennial" as well as Dale Kristien’s first solo recording –" Beauty of Broadway" and Pamela Myers’ debut CD "The Chance to Sing". For The Center Theatre Group he directed" Loesser is More" at The Doolittle Theatre and "An Evening With Noel Coward" as well as Lanford Wilson’s "A Poster of the Cosmos" with Brian Kerwin paired with The Los Angeles cast of "The Phantom of The Opera" performing Leonard Bernstein at the Taper. Among his other recent credits, the original musical "Vampire Virgins from Venus" and the writing and staging of Valarie Pettiford’s new one woman show" Finding My Voice." He stage directed the Ford Motor Company’s special "Heroes for the Planet" starring Charlotte Church and Haley Joel Osment that aired on the A&E network. He also staged "IMPACT at Ford Field," the opening extravaganza of the new Detroit Lion’s Stadium, starring Gladys Knight. David Galligan, a native San Franciscan, began his career at the famed Opera Ring under the guidance of Irma Kay to whom he owes an eternal debt of gratitude., He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance’s Ovation Career Achievement Award for 2005. For the last twelve years Galligan has staged the" Help is on the Way" AIDS benefits as well as all nine of the "Help is on the Way for the Holidays" in San Francisco.
©2002 by Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.