August 1, 2005
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
Ms. Andreas recent engagements at the Café Carlyle and the Algonquin’s Oak Room prompted the New York Times to extol: “The Carlyle has selected the most obvious candidate from the next generation of Broadway sopranos”…”She delicately kills with the sheer beauty of her voice ”…”She finds a blend of lyricism and sweet sensuality that only the finest Broadway voices can conjure.” Liz Smith was moved to write: “Christine Andreas is everything anyone who loves romantic pop music could want - simply sine qua non.” Her Carnegie Hall debut was hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘delicious’ and ‘sexy’ in Variety.
Best known for her work on the Broadway stage, Ms. Andreas burst onto the New York theatre scene starring a Eliza Doolittle in the 20th Anniversary production of “My Fair Lady” opposite the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Ian Richardson and garnering the Theatre World Award.
Ms. Andreas received two Tony nominations for her work as Laurey in “Oklahoma!” at the Palace Theatre and as Frankie Frayne in “On Your Toes” directed by the legendary George Abbott. Other Broadway credits include “Words and Music” with the late Sammy Cahn, Nancy in “Angel Street” with Dina Merrill, Rebecca in “Rags,” the short-lived Alice in the short-lived “Legs Diamond with the late, great and wonderful Peter Allen, and the Broadway bound and derailed Erte production of “Stardust.” Ms. Andreas created the role of Marguerite St. Just on Broadway in the recent production of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” opposite Douglas Sills and Terrence Mann. The last two months of 2002 Ms. Andreas received rapturous notices for her portrayal of Vera Simpson in the Prince Music Theater’s production of Rogers and Hart’s “Pal Joey” in Philadelphia. Philadelphia rewarded her performance with a 2003 Barrymore Award for Best Actress in a Musical and a sold-out three-week engagement of her one-woman show, “Here's To The Ladies…”
Television credits include: “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Cosby Show,” PBS’ “Musical Comedy Tonite,” the evil shrink Taylor Benson on “Another World,” and as Ava Gardner in Fox’s mini-series, “Mia, Child of Hollywood.” Regionally, she has embraced Shakespeare to Sondheim from Alaska to Washington, D.C. Ms. Andreas has appeared in concert with the Richmond Symphony with Charles Strouse, the Tulsa Symphony with Peter Nero, the Detroit Symphony and the Boston Philharmonic last month conducted by Benjamin Zander . She opened the spring season of ’02 at the renowned Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY and the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs, California.
Collaboration with composer Martin Silvestri led to Andreas’ West End debut starring in his musical “The Fields of Ambrosia at the Aldwych Theatre in London followed by concerts in London, Paris, Rome and The White House and culminating in the release of her CD “Love Is Good.” “Here's To The Ladies',” their second CD collaboration, recorded in London with a 45 piece orchestra, was released by PS Classics and selected by USA Today as one of the top 10 CDs of 2002. The following year, USA Today once again honored Ms. Andreas by choosing her latest recording, “The Carlyle Set,” a sophisticated new CD of contemporary standards recorded with a quartet of New Yorks' most oustanding musicians, as one of the top ten CD's of 2003. After the release of the CD she returned to The Cafe Carlyle in New York for a repeat performance and repeated it at The Catalina Grill in Los Angeles. The LA Times called her a "mesmerizing musical presence". She just returned from the Jazz Series at the Kennedy Center and six sold-out performances. This is Christine’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP
It was over 30 years ago that Susan Anton first burst into public consciousness and, ever since she has been captivating theater, television, and film-going audiences with an ingratiating style and easy charm that is found among only a handful of performers. Her five and a half year tenure in Las Vegas as Special Guest Star with the Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular and its renowned Rockettes, preceded by a 2 year U.S. national tour of the same production, makes her not only one of the most popular and glamorous stars on the Las Vegas Strip, but a true veteran of the theatre. During time off from the Radio City show, Susan headlined her own one woman show to sold-out audiences for two months at the prestigious Desert Inn Hotel and brought back to Las Vegas a type of entertainment rarely found there today.
Far removed from the glamour and lights of Las Vegas, however, was Susan’s early life…a life that bore more than just a slight resemblance to television’s Walton’s. The daughter of a police detective and the eldest of five children, Susan was raised in the small town of Oak Glenn, California on an apple ranch. Susan attended high school in the neighboring valley of Yucaipa. And, it was there, that her life began to change dramatically. On a dare from her high school boyfriend, she entered the Miss Redlands beauty contest. Entranced with the charisma of such performers as Doris Day, Susan Hayward, and Ginger Rogers, Susan elected to sing the torch song, “Since I Fell for You.” The powerful performance, aside from her intellect and obvious beauty, left the judges with no decision other than to award her the Redlands title. Susan continued her success in pageants by winning the Miss California crown in 1969 and went on to become second runner-up to Miss America in 1970
Susan appeared in numerous television commercials as the Muriel Girl. Her co-stars in those spots often included other budding stars such as Treat Williams and Tom Selleck. The campaign, hugely popular with the American public, was the catalyst for many appearances on the Las Vegas Strip, the first in which she headlined a production called “Turn it On” with French heartthrob Jean-Paul Vignon at the Hacienda Hotel. From that point forward, she appeared frequently on “The Merv Griffin Show” and quickly became one of Merv’s favorite guests. Susan’s appearances on Merv placed her firmly in the national spotlight and served as a launching pad for her transition into theater, films and television.
Susan made her Broadway debut by replacing Candice Bergen in David Rabe’s Tony nominated play “Hurleyburly,” directed by Mike Nichols. The show not only featured Susan, but a cast of both established stars and newcomers, including Danny Aiello, Kevin Spacey, and Frank Langella. Preceding “Hurleyburly,” she starred in the U.S. national touring company of the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlisch musical “They’re Playing Our Song” and toured the U.S. with Elizabeth Ashley in “A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking”. She returned to Broadway in 1991 to co-star with Keith Carridine and the original Broadway cast of Tommy Tune’s Tony award winning musical “The Will Rogers Follies.”
Susan returned to the stage when she starred in Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at the Alcazar Theatre in San Francisco (June 2001), the Canon and Coronet Theatres in Los Angeles (August 2001) and the Cashman Center Theatre in Las Vegas (October 2002). She continues to perform in Las Vegas and around the country annually.
emerged on the big screen in the film “Goldengirl,” and went
on to appear in such other films as “Making Mr. Right” (with
John Malkovich), “Cannonball Run II” (with Shirley MacLaine
and Burt Reynolds) and “New Jersey Turnpikes” (with Kelsey
Grammer). And, as she has in every other medium, Susan has been a significant
star on the small screen. For three seasons, she was part of the cast
of the world’s most popular television series “Baywatch”
playing the role of Jackie Quinn. She starred in the international series
“Sail Away with Susan Anton”, as well as The Travel Channel’s
“Las Vegas!” produced by Susan and her husband, Jeff Lester.
She also hosted “Perfect Buns”, one of the most prominent
exercise infomercials on television.
Debby Boone became a household name after seven years of touring with her sisters and father, Pat Boone, when she made an unprecedented entrance to solo performing by recording "You Light Up My Life" which was #1 for ten weeks, outranking even the Beatles. The song won an Oscar as Best Song in a Motion Picture and Debby won a Grammy as Best New Artist. Even when music tastes began to change from pop to heavy metal, she continued her recording career in the contemporary Christian category winning two more Grammy's. Debby's stage career has included starring as Maria in Sound of Music for the Lincoln Center's 30th Anniversary production, garnering her a Drama Desk nomination. She next starred on Broadway in Grease as Rizzo, a character she loved doing because it was "so against type for me" as well as starring in the national tour of Meet Me In St. Louis. During the summer of 1998 she starred in a musical revue, Pizzaz for three months at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Last Christmas, Debby took her live stage show to Branson, Missouri and performed with her father, Pat Boone, at the Andy Williams Theatre. She has made many guest appearances on television, in musical variety shows as well as the ABC hit series, Step By Step. She recently starred in the very successful ABC TV movie Come On, Get Happy about the Partridge Family playing Beth Aarons, David Cassidy's manager. She also stars with Jim Varney in the family comedy, Treehouse Hostage, for Porchlight Pictures on the Disney Channel.
Debby's most recent book, Counting Blessings, published in 1998, is the latest in a series of very successful children's books she has written in collaboration with her husband, Gabriel Ferrer, who created the illustrations. Harvest House Publishers published her previous five books. Debby resides in Los Angeles with her husband Gabriel, their four children, two cats and one dog. While Debby appeared in Help is on the Way for the Holidays II in 2000, this is her third appearance in a Help is on the Way production.
is a 34 times regional and international dance champion and is a
Ms. Garretts first love has always been the stage. She trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where she studied dancing with Martha Graham and acting with Sanford Meisner. Her first appearances on the New York stage were with Martha Grahams dance group and Orson Welles Mercury Theater. She went on to understudy Ethel merman in Something For The Boys, was featured in Jackpot and then starred in Call Me Mister, for which she won the Donaldson Award (forerunner of the Tony). Other Broadway shows have been Olsen & Johnsons Laffing Room Only, Beg, Borrow, or Steal, A Girl Could Get Lucky, Supporting Cast, Meet Me in St. Louis and Spoon River, which originated in Los Angeles at Theatre West, the 40 year old workshop of which she is one of the founding members. This past May she directed the 40th anniversary revival production of Spoon River Anthology at Theatre West in Los Angeles. It was at this workshop she developed her one-woman show Betty Garrett and Other Songs, winning her the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award and the Bay Area Critics Award.
In 2002, Betty returned to Broadway where she appeared in Stephen Sondheims Follies, singing Broadway Baby. She has appeared twice at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in Oliver Haileys Whos Happy Now? and Barbara Damasheks Quilters. All of these adventures are related in Ms. Garretts recently released autobiography Betty Garrett and Other Songs.
Betty is the widow of Larry Parks, of Jolson Story fame. She has two sons; Garrett, a musician/composer, and Andrew, an actor. Ms. Garrett is a grandmother to Madison Claire, daughter of her son Garrett and daughter-in-law Karen Culliver (singer/actress). Her fondest memory as a performer was when she and her husband Larry played the famous London Palladium.This is her third appearance with Help is on the Way.
In the world of television, Dorian holds the unique distinction of having portrayed the two largest roles in the most widely seen network AND non-network mini-series in the history of television! In the role of Simon Haley (father of the author Alex Haley) in "Roots: the Next Generations", the three-time NAACP Image Award winner aged from 17 to 70 years old, creating the largest role in the combined 26 hours of "Roots" I and II. And he is probably most recognized from his award-winning portrayal of 1936 Olympic champion and American hero Jesse Owens, in "The Jesse Owens Story".
Dorian has starred in several television series, including most recently "Seventh Heaven" for Aaron Spelling, "Viper" for NBC, "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" with Sharon Gless (CBS), "Strike Force" with Robert Stack (ABC), "Trauma Center" (ABC), "The Hoop Life" (Showtime), "Glitter" (NBC) and the highly acclaimed NBC series "I'll Fly Away", for which he won the NAACP Image Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series. He has most recently starred in the soon-to-be -released "Walter & Henry", directed by Daniel Petrie and produced by Norman Jewison, "The Triangle" for TNT, "The Last Debate", directed by John Badham and "The Jimi Hendrix Story". He was the voice of baseball's Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron in the Academy Award nominated documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream", narrated the 4 hour A&E special "Christianity: The Second Millenium" and has starred in numerous television movies and series guest appearances, including "Siege", "Foster and Laurie", "High Ice", "God Bless the Child", "China Beach", "Matlock", "Murder She Wrote", the Disney musicals "Polly" and "Polly: One More Time" and the CBS kidnap thriller "The Cradle Will Fall".
Dorian's feature film credits include Stanley Kubrick's phenomenal anti-war film "Full Metal Jacket", "Sudden Death" with Jean-Claude Van Damme, "Against All Odds", "Sparkle", "The Falcon and the Snowman", "Pacific Heights", "Looker", "Archibald the Rainbow Painter", "Sudden Impact" and "Tank". He starred in the prestigious remake of the 1957 Academy Award nominated MGM classic "Twelve Angry Men", directed by Academy Award winner William Friedkin and starring Academy Award winners George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon, and appears in Mariah Carey's feature film debut, "All That Glitters", which will be released in 2001 by Columbia/Tri-Star.
In the world of live theater, Dorian Harewood has performed before Broadway theater audiences as well as live theater audiences across the country, having starred in the Tony Award winning musicals "Kiss of the Spider Woman" with Chita Rivera, "Two Gentlemen of Verona", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Over Here" with the Andrew Sisters and most recently, "The Pajama Game" in Los Angeles, "Purlie" at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in Washington D.C., and "Crumbs From The Table Of Joy", for which he won his third NAACP Image Award. He has also starred in the Broadway dramas "Streamers" directed by Mike Nichols, "Don't Call Back", "The Mighty Gents" and the fateful musical "Miss Moffat", opposite the late great Bette Davis, the woman responsible for his decision to become an actor.. TOP
Tim Hockenberry, a musician who has been referred to as "one of the best singers in the Bay Area..." began his love of music at an early age. In Minneapolis, he studied trombone and piano extensively before touring with the Clark Terry Big Band in 1983. Hockenberry moved West in 1990 and began performing as a jazz and R&B vocalist, sharing the stage with acts such as Robert Cray, David Sanborn, George Benson, BB King, Ben Harper, Roberta Flack, and Bonnie Raitt.
While he predominately performs in both public and private with his swing band, Tim also works for numerous advertising agencies in San Francisco both as a commercial singer and music producer. This is Tim's second appearance in a "Help on the Way" production.TOP
In fact, Sally
has always lived both in the acting and music worlds, often combining
the two disciplines. She’s sung in several of her movies, including
performing two songs written for her by Burt Bacharach in the musical
extravaganza, “Lost Horizon,” several more in the highly acclaimed
PBS production of “Verna, USO Girl,” with Sissy Spacek and
William Hurt and two completely produced tunes in the network television
film, “Dempsey” with Treat Williams. One of her most inspired
moments came when she sang an on camera blues rendition of “Black
Coffee” for the film, “Limit Up” that immediately followed
a performance by Ray Charles. Sally has worked with a number of highly
respected producers including Bobby Womack, Paul Rothchild, Jerry Crutchfield,
Barry Manilow, Adler and Muscle Shoals veterans Terry Crutchfield and
Clayton Ivey in addition to the Paiges.
Whether playing Jodie Foster’s mom in Adrian Lyne’s “Foxes,” creating sparks with Susan Sarandon and Shirley MacLaine in “Loving Couples” or energizing Alan Rudolph’s “Welcome To L.A.,” Sally displayed an almost uncanny ability to infuse a film with edginess and passion. Playing Julie Andrews eccentric neighbor in the Blake Edwards film “That’s Life” with Jack Lemon and produced by her husband, Jonathan Krane, Sally displayed just how far she could reach to give her role an extra dimension. Similarly, her performance in “Boris And Natasha” and her dry, understated presence in Altman’s 1994 “Ready To Wear/Pret-a-Porter” with Julia Roberts, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall and Stephen Rea proved that Sally has the ability to be completely at home in any genre—from adult drama to comedy.
If versatility is the hallmark of a performer’s career, Sally has also distinguished herself in a number of stage roles. She played the part created by Katherine Hepburn in “Holiday” opposite Kevin Kline, which enjoyed a three month run at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, then abruptly switched gears to star in “Women Behind Bars,” an over-the-top camp smash that had crowds at the packed Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood on their feet. Sally was the standby for Mary Tyler Moore in the David Merrick/Abe Burrows musical Broadway production of “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” in which she also played the part of Meg and sang two songs. She’s done “Virginia Wolf” at Harvard, J.P Donlevy’s “A Singular Man” and played the title role in a much lauded production of “Mame.” In 2002, Sally appeared in “The Vagina Monologues” with Teri Hatcher and Regina Taylor at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills. In 2004, she played Madame ZinZanni in the San Francisco production of “Teatro ZinZanni,” eliciting rave reviews, including San Francisco Chronicle writer Jesse Hamlin’s declaration that she is”…Long Tall Sally…the Marlene Dietrich of rock and roll.” Sally tries to do at least one play every couple of years when her touring schedule permits and plans to return to the role of Madame ZinZanni in the summer of 2005.
When not making films or performing with her world class band, Sally is ubiquitous as the commercial voice for Hidden Valley, Woolite, Volvo, Clairol, ADM and Mercedes Benz, to name a few. Since debuting as a singer on the “Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” she’s made countless TV talk and variety show appearances (she was a regular guest on Merv Griffin’s show), including one as host of “Saturday Night Live,” in which she became the first host allowed to perform a musical number on the show. She also turned heads when she sang with Gladys Knight and the Pips on their special. It’s not surprising that she’s been offered several opportunities to do her own musical variety program both on US network television and Canada’s CBC.
In the past year Sally was guest of honor at the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, NY, receiving the Susan B. Anthony Award and was a juror at the Hampton Film Festival on Long Island, NY. She’s enjoys lending her time, energy and instantly recognizable voice to a variety of causes including The Hereditary Disease Foundation, Planned Parenthood, AIDS research, the environment Ted Danson’s Oceana. She remains excited about the various film, TV and music offers that come her way, yet stays grounded, devoting as much time to raising Jack and Hanna, her teenage twins, as she does to the creative arts. As she looks ahead, Sally is excited about completing her recording project with legendary songwriter/producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and supporting the release of her current CD project, “Gratitude” as well as the long awaited album, “Body Parts.” She taped two Granada TV specials about M*A*S*H* which the UK company aired this spring and recently joined fellow cast member, Tom Skerritt for a satellite media tour promoting the 35th anniversary celebration of the film by AMC as part of its Memorial Day Weekend Movie Marathon. Sally is currently working on a book about her experiences in the film business and is about to begin promoting the release of the new Susan Seidelman film, “Boynton Beach Bereavement Club,” in which she stars. This is Sally’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.TOP
Internationally, Michael has performed the role of Vernon Gersch opposite Lea Salonga in Neil Simon’s “They’re Playing Our Song.” He has been seen in several guest-starring spots on television and a handful of independent films. Also an arduous writer in his own right, Michael is currently working on two screenplays of his own, a romantic comedy and a movie musical. This is his first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.TOP
At 19, she eagerly returned to Broadway starring in the Neil Simon hit musical “Promises, Promises.” She earned the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) "Rising Star of the Year" Award. Lorna continued on the NY stage as ‘Peppermint Patty’ in the musical “Snoopy” and then took a dramatic turn in” Extremities”. In addition to regional theatre and international productions of “The Boy Friend,” “Grease,” “Carnival,”” Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” “Girl Crazy,” “Mame” and “Gypsy,” she starred in national tours of “They're Playing Our Song,” Jerry Herman's Broadway Years, and as ‘Miss Adelaide’ in Jerry Zaks' world tour production of “Guys & Dolls.”
Concurrent with her theatrical career, Lorna is also a gifted concert performer. Her exuberant engagements have introduced her to the world’s most prestigious venues where she’s triumphed at The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, The London Palladium, and Prince Edward Theatre. She's had the honor of performing for the Royal Family in concerts honoring Sammy Davis, Jr. and Ira Gershwin, both held at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Throughout the years Lorna also stepped into the recording studio. She participated, at Ms. Ira Gershwin's personal request, in the highly praised Electra Records recording of the original soundtrack to George and Ira Gershwin's “Girl Crazy.” The next year she recorded the title song on an all-star benefit album entitled “The Christmas Album... A Gift of Hope.”
Lorna may be familiar to TV audiences for roles on “Love American Style,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Caroline In The City,” “The Nanny,” and for her supporting role as ‘Nurse Libby Kegler’ on the CBS medical drama, “Trapper John M.D.” She’s performed on the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” “Christmas at Rockefeller Center,” joined half-sister, Liza Minnelli, in an electrifying duet on “The Tony Awards” and performed on PBS’s Jerry Herman's “Broadway at the Bowl.” In 2004 she was the subject of a highly rated BBC documentary titled “Somebody's Daughter, Somebody's Son.” In movies, Lorna is most remembered as Pink Lady ‘Paulette Rebchuck’ in the camp classic “Grease 2” and for her humorous role in “Where the Boys Are '84.”
In 1998 Lorna added a new dimension to her multi-faceted career, that of NY Times best-selling author upon the release of her critically acclaimed memoir – “Me and My Shadows.” It was optioned by ABC-TV which broadcast a 4 hour miniseries starring Emmy winners Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard. Lorna served as Co-Executive Producer on “Life with Judy Garland: Me & My Shadows.” Airing in February 2001 it garnered the highest ratings of the season and won 5 Emmy Awards.
Recently she began her most ambitious project to date, the highly acclaimed multi-media production of “Songs My Mother Taught Me--A Celebration of the Music of Judy Garland.” After decades of avoidance, Lorna finally approaches her mother's legendary songbook for the first time and the result is truly phenomenal. This newly staged theatrical extravaganza melds one of the world‘s most familiar songbooks with personal, often funny memories of mother and legend, Judy Garland. “Songs My Mother Taught Me,” which Variety called “a rousing, dramatically riveting musical event,” played 11 weeks at the historic Canon Theater in Beverly Hills and was awarded two LA Theatre Alliance Ovation Awards (Best World Premiere Musical & Best Musical Direction.) The LA Times said “Songs My Mother Taught Me” is “heart-stopping and thrilling… an incandescent revelation not to be missed.” In the summer of 2004, “Songs My Mother Taught Me” completed an 8 week season in London’s West End. Lorna is currently at work on the soundtrack of the show for a release in Fall 2005.
In addition to performing Lorna takes pride in her participation of various Children's and AIDS related charities including the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and The Children's Wish Foundation International. She's been an advocate for drug rehabilitation and a keynote speaker for The Council on Alcohol & Drugs. She was honored in 2001 with a Golden Achievement Award by the Roosters Foundation for her tireless humanitarian efforts. Lorna invites you to visit her online at www.lornaluft.com. This is Lorna’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP
Meg Mackay is thrilled to be back with “Help is on the Way.” She has been a fixture on the San Francisco cabaret and musical theatre scene for 20 years. Meg is the winner of 7 Drama-Logue / Dean Goodman Awards and 7 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for her work in “Hello, Dolly!,” “Roberta,” “The Grass Harp,” “A Karen Carpenter Christmas,” “And What, Give Up Show Biz?,” “Torch Song Trilogy” (National Tour), “And the World Goes Round,” “She Loves Me” and “Putting It Together.” She played Momma Rose in the TheatreWorks production of “Gypsy,” was Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls” for PASCo and starred in 42nd Street Moon's productions of “Dear Worl” and “Call Me Madam.” She also sings in cabarets nationwide with her husband, pianist Billy Philadelphia. They have recorded two critically acclaimed CD's, “So Many People” and “Legally Blonde.” This is Meg's tenth appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP
Jon is a versatile actor, performer and interpreter who has made a niche for himself within the entertainment industry. Recent theater work includes West Coat premiers of “The Language of Flowers,” “Hot Mikado,” and “ The Actor’s Fund.” Additional theatre credits include “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” performed before the opening of Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival, “Hoboland,” “She Had it Coming,” “The Gay 90’s…” and the West Coast premier of “F.L.O.W.” Jon is frequently referred to as The Sign Language Guy for his interpreted performances in productions such as “Self Defense,” “The Mysteries,” “The Exonorated,” “The Guys” “Spoon River Anthology,” “Master Class,” “Angels in America,” “Death and the Maiden,” “By Jeeves,” LosAngeles Master Chorale, Dream Foundation, S.T.A.G.E., and numerous other events. Film credits include “Baby Sitters Club,” “Carlton’s Death,” “Farce,” “Kiss Me Later,” and “June.” Television credits include “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Pretender,” “The Red Cross Christmas Special,” “Twice Tried,” “The Marilu Show,” The Mo Show,” and “Comedy Tonight.” He is also a past winner of the Great West Comedy Competition. This is Jon’s seventh appearance in a “Help is on the Way” performance.
She managed to save enough money to go to drama school, with the urging of her mother. She was ultimately signed by Howard Hughes for his production of “The Outlaw,” (1943), the film that was to make Jane famous. The film wasn't a classic by any means, but was geared to show off Jane's ample physical assets. Although the film was made in 1941, it wasn't released until two years later and then only on a limited basis due to the way the film portrayed Jane's assets. It was hard for the flick to pass the censorship board. Finally, the film gained general release in 1946. The film was a smash at the box-office.
Jane didn't make another film until 1946 when she played Joan Kenwood in “Young Widow.” She had signed a seven year contract with Hughes and it seemed the only films he would put her in were those that displayed Jane in a very flattering light due to her body. Films such as 1951's “His Kind of Women” and “The Las Vegas Story (1952) did nothing to showcase her true acting abilities. Probably the pinnacle of her career was in 1953's “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as Dorothy Shaw, with Marilyn Monroe. This film showed Jane's comedic side very well. Jane did continue to make films throughout the 1950s, but the films were at times not up to par, particularly with Jane's talents being wasted in forgettable movies in order to show off her sexy side. Films such as “Gentlemen Marry Brunettes” (1955) and “The Revolt of Mamie Stover” (1956) did do Jane justice and were able to show exactly the fine actress she was.
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown” (1957) in 1957, Jane too a hiatus from films,
to dabble a bit in television, returning in 1964 to film “Fate is
the Hunter.” Unfortunately, the roles were not there anymore as
Jane appeared in only four pictures during the entire decade of the sixties.
Her last film of the decade was 1967's “The Born Losers.”
After three more years away from the big screen she returned to make one
last film called “Darker Than Amber” in 1970. Her last play
before the public was in the 1970s when Jane was a spokesperson for Playtex
bras. Had Jane not been wasted during the Hughes years, she could have
been a bigger actress than what she was allowed to show. This is Ms. Russell’s
first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production..
Mark starred as Lancelot in the new musical “Madly in Love” at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles and performed as Patrick Dennis with Carol Lawrence and Sally Struthers in “Mame” for Colony Theatre, for which he was nominated for a Robby Award. He reprised his role of Phoebus, in “Notre Dame de Paris” on London’s West End after originating the role in the American premiere production. Mark created the lead roles of Nelson in the world premeire of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” and Mikey in “The Ballad of Little Mikey.” He has also performed in “Pippin,” “Hello Dolly!” “Godspell,” “Anything Goes,” “1776,” “Cinderella,” “Count to Ten,” and “Where’s Charlie.” His televison credits include: “General Hospital,” “Port Charles,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “The Young and the Restless.”
Besides regular charity performances throughout Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mark has starred in the most recent S.T.A.G.E. benefit in Los Angeles, celebrating the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cy Coleman, Harold Arlen and Marvin Hamlish. He has performed as the lead singer and dancer in over 80 Disney productions and Disney Symphonic tours, including singing with the Metropolitan Opera Ochestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been the Disneyland Goodwill Ambassodor to Canada. Mark was born and raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the storytelling capital of the world. This is Mark’s first appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP
At age 18, after attending college at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, Spirtas headed to New York City. Using the stage name Kevin Blair, he landed his first professional job on Broadway: the role of Mike ("I Can Do That") Costa, in “A Chorus Line.” Spirtas also appeared on Broadway in the role of Warren Sheffield in “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Other stage credits include: “Chess” (ANATOLY), “Company” (Robert), “Damn Yankees” (Joe Hardy), “No. 9 Rue D’Antin… The Legend of Camille” (Baron de Varville), “3 Naked Guys From the Waist Down” (Phil Kunin), “Into the Woods” (Rapunzel's Prince), “Bye-By Birdie” (Conrad Birdie), “Little Me” (George Musgrove) “Gypsy” (Tulsa), “To Sir With Love” (Denim).
guest starred on numerous television shows including “L.A. Heat,”
“V.I.P.,” “Fired Up,” “Silk Stalkings,”
and “Quantum Leap.” In 1996 Spirtas received a Los Angeles
Drama-Logue Award (Best Actor) for the role of Nick Brenner in Chuck Ranberg's
critically acclaimed comedy, “End of the World Party.”
Paula was fueled by a determination to find the best music and communicate it in her own way. Born into a Marine Corps family in San Diego, California, she was initially exposed to classical music. "My parents didn't have a lot of jazz records," remembers Paula "My father linked to listen to classical music." Paula began listening to jazz singers such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn while in college.
After college, Paula moved to San Francisco, unsure of what she wanted to do with her life. Buying old records from thrift shops, she studied them and then began singing classes. As she became more secure in her talent, she ventured into jam sessions, places where an open mike gave her a chance to perform before an audience. It was at one of these sessions that she met a pianist who would join her in the climb to her own musical identity and her musical success. His name was Ken Muir, and he continues as her accompanist today. Paula went on to study with Faith Winthrop, developing her unique tone and delivery. She learned how to sustain a note without a vibrato, which is now almost a Paula West trademark.
Paula worked as a waitress until pianists Muir and Larry Luckovich hired her to work with them at San Francisco's Ritz Carlton Hotel's Terrace Restaurant, and Dick Whittingham featured Paula at the Maybeck Recital Hall. Later she met Donald Smith, founder of the Mabel Mercer Foundation, which is the force behind the Cabaret Convention. In 1995 he included her in the Cabaret Convention, then arranged for her engagement at the Algonquin HOtel's famous Oak Room in 1996. This led to various bookings, allowing Paula to make a name for herself on the East Coast. Paula's cortically acclaimed CD, “Tempation,” was released in 1995, and includes old songs she loves such as "Temptation," "You'll See" by Carrol Coates and "Peel Me A Grape" by Dave Frishberg. It was followed by “Restless,” and her latest release is titled “Come What May.” Paula chooses songs she likes personally and can be as unconventional as "Don't Fence Me In" or the Pearl Bailey favorite "Tired."
Paula West has learned her craft and honed her talent, finding audiences far beyond her San Francisco home. She has played in New York and Philadelphia, has appeared on both European and American broadcasts, as well as appearing in Switzerland and Italy several times. In 1997, she had a sold-out deut at the Maison de la Musique in Paris. She has opened for Rosemary Clooney and Jimmy Scott. Her film credits include “Bicentennial Man” and “Teknolust.” This is Paula’s seventh appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP
RON ABEL, Musical Director
Ron won both the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards for his score for "Twist of Fate." His other well-received stage musicals include "Is This Your Life?," "Rockwell: Life on a Palette" and "To Sir, With Love". Ron is the co-creator of the Off-Broadway musical "Blame it on the Movies." His musicalization of the Dumas classic "Camille" premiered in Los Angeles. Film and television credits include composing, arranging and/or orchestrating for Michelle Pfeiffer, Kim Basinger, Lily Tomlin, Bea Arthur and Carol Burnett. He wrote the television theme songs for "Animal Court" and "Nitecap." Ron was also the on-camera musical director for ABC's "Nitecap" as well as "Name That Tune." As an actor, he appeared on the hit series "Cheers" in a featured role. He scored and supervised film music for "Awakening Pictures." Ron music directed and arranged the long-awaited albums from Petula Clark and Helen Reddy. He helmed the debut album of actress Linda Purl as well as producing a first album for television favorite Stephanie Kramer (Hunter). He co-produced the album "George and Ira Gershwin: A Musical Celebration."
As arranger and conductor, Ron has appeared live on-stage with Bette Midler, Johnny Mathis, Liza Minnelli, Shirley Jones, Lucie Arnaz, Sam Harris, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Jason Alexander, Joely Fisher, David Hyde Pierce and opera diva Julia Migenes. He has music directed, arranged, orchestrated and conducted the annual S.T.A.G.E. benefits in L. A. for the past fifteen years. This is his seventh musical direction of "Help is on the Way." TOP
DAVID GALLIGAN, Director
David Galligan most recently staged “Rod McKuen in Concert” at New York’s Carnegie Hall as well as the new musical play “The Last of The Honky Tonk Angels” at the Globe in Los Angeles. Other recent efforts include “The Richard Rodgers Centennial-Something Wonderful” for the Actors’ Fund of America as well as “Mame” starring Carol Lawrence, Ruth Williamson and Sally Struthers, “Show Boat” starring Dale Kristien and Sean McDermott and “Brigadoon” for Musical Theatre West. 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, capturing an Ovation nomination for his direction as well as winning a Drama-Logue Award. He garnered additional Drama-Logue wins for “Lettice and Lovage” (Pasadena Playhouse), “The Gay '90's Musical” (Celebration) and “Lullaby of Broadway” (Tiffany Theatre). For the past nineteen 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 helmed the S.T.A.G.E. Too benefit for The Actors' Fund of America, “Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman” which followed “Kurt Weill: The Centennial” in 2000. He has co-produced five of the events as CD albums: Jerome Kern: “Life Upon the Wicked S.T.A.G.E.” Harold Arlen, “Over the Rainbow;” “George & Ira Gershwin: A Musical Celebration;” “ABC Adler, Bock & Coleman” and “Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration.” He also co-produced the new Actor's fund “Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman” CD as well as recordings of “Kurt Weill: The Centennial” and Dale Kristien's first solo recording, “Beauty of Broadway.” Galligan has staged and directed several special events for the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatres, and for the last five years he has returned to his native San Francisco to stage the “Help Is On the Way” AIDS benefits at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. 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. He co-produced Pamela Meyers’ debut CD “The Chance to Sing” with Billy Barnes, Stephen Flaherty, Billy Goldenberg, Larry Grossman, John Kander, Shelly Markham, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse and Joseph Thalken at the piano. This is David’s fourteenth staging of a “Help is on the Way” production. TOP