CAST OF CHICAGOANS AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE” STARRING DEE SNIDER AT THE BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE NOVEMBER 2014

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Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the casting and creative team for the world premiere of DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE, written by and starring iconic rocker Dee Snider, directed by Adam John Hunter and produced by John B. Yonover in association with Vicki and Bob LiggettCharles Brennan and Mary and John Cooper.  DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE will play the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E Chestnut) Nov. 4, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.

Dee Snider will play the role of narrator accompanied by the cast of Chicagoans including Bill McGoughAdam MichaelsChristina NievesDan Peters, Wilam Tarris, Keely VasquezTaylor Yacktman and Milwaukee nativeTommy Hahn.

DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE is choreographed by Robert Tatad, with music supervision and arrangement by Doug Katsaros.  The production features scenic design by Rob Bissinger, costume design bySuzette Guilot-Snider, lighting design by Heather Gilbert and sound design by Nevin Steinberg.

“We’re excited to bring this rocking new family holiday musical, DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE, to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and showcase Chicago’s own talent,” says producer John Yonover, himself a Chicagoan.

DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE tells the story of Däisy Cütter, a heavy metal bar band looking to make it big even though the 80s are LONG over.  This year, these four guys are ready to take the ultimate step and, in mythic rock tradition, sell their souls to the devil in exchange for success beyond their wildest metal dreams!  But every time they try to seal the infernal pact, their head-banging anthems turn into warm-hearted carols.  Soon these rockers are forced to realize their dreams of stardom are no match for the Christmas spirit.  Dee Snider, infamous lead singer of Twisted Sister, has created a VERY funny, VERY rocking and (sshhh!) VERY sweet new holiday musical, guaranteed to rock your whole family’s holiday and twist your Christmas.

Guitars for DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE are supplied exclusively by ESP Guitars.  The show is proud to be sponsored by Wintrust Bank, Northwest Comprehensive, Paris Club, Studio Paris, and The Original Pancake House.

TICKET INFORMATION

DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE tickets for groups of 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Individual tickets for DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE will go on sale on August 22, 2014.  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

CAST

Dee Snider (Narrator) is best known as the lead vocalist and front man for legendary rock/metal band Twisted Sister.  The band has released six studio albums, six live albums and their hugely successful 2006 holiday record, A Twisted Christmas (Razor & Tie).  1984’s Stay Hungry produced the classic singles “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.”  Dee Snider has been a mainstay in pop culture, appearing as a commentator on several VH1 productions, as well as his own A&E reality show “Growing Up Twisted” and ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap.” As a “Celebrity Apprentice” alumnus, Dee was one of the few chosen to appear on the “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.”  Snider also starred as Dennis Dupree in a three month run in the Broadway hit ROCK OF AGES.  Dee also has his own nationally syndicated radio show “House Of Hair,” which airs on more than 200 stations in North America.

Tommy Hahn (Tank)—A Milwaukee native, Tommy’s most recent credits include LES MISERABLES (Enjolras), RENT (Roger) and PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES (Eddie) with Skylight Music Theatre.  Other regional credits include the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Madison Opera. Tommy is the lead singer and bass player in the award-winning Milwaukee rock band, Revolush.

Bill McGough (Scratch) has recently been seen in OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES (Royal George Theatre), PAULUS (Silk Road Rising), INVISIBLE MAN (Court Theatre), and both THE FRONT PAGE (Jeff Nomination: Ensemble) and THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION (Jeff Award: Ensemble) with Timeline Theatre.  He received a Jeff Citation Nomination for his portrayal of Willie Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN (The Hypocrites). Film: “In Memoriam”, “The Christians”, “Let’s Go to Prison”, Design. Television: “Sirens”, “Chicago Fire”, “Shameless”, “The Chicago Code”.

Adam Michaels (D.D.) – Chicago credits: Roger in RENT, Woof in HAIR, and ROUTE 66 (Paramount Theatre); SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE (Theo Ubique).  An accomplished songwriter with a rock background, the front man for Searchlight, he opened for such bands as Goo Goo Dolls (Mandalay Bay) and KISS (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally).  Adam wrote “Contagious” which was featured on the “Resident Evil: Extinction” film and soundtrack. Check out his latest endeavors and artwork at adamsartbox.com

Christina Nieves (Angel) – Theatrical credits include: LES MISERABLES (Drury Lane), IN THE HEIGHTS (Paramount Theatre), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET (Steppenwolf Theatre), EL NOGALAR, THE SINS OF SOR JUANA (Goodman Theatre), DEPRAVED NEW WORLD (Second City), WELCOME TO ARROYO’S (American Theatre Company), ROMEO & JULIET (Apollo Theater), ALL MY SONS (Cardinal Stage), THE MAGIC OFRENDA (The Theatre Building), LUNATICAS & S-E-X-OH! (Teatro Luna). Miss Nieves is the lead singer of the band Nina & the Specifics. Christina is an ensemble member with Teatro Vista and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. 

Dan Peters (Johnny) is delighted to take a break from his career as a struggling rock guitarist to play the role of a struggling rock guitarist!  His critically acclaimed rock trio The West Side Winders has two albums & has toured the U.S. and Europe.  Recent credits include ROCK OF AGES (Broadway), BLUE MAN GROUP (NYC) & UNDER THE STREETLAMP.  Dan has also performed with Kristin Chenoweth, Jools Holland & Otis Rush. Much love & thanks to my family, the cast & everyone involved in this production. For a full bio visit www.shredabilly.com.

Wilam Tarris (Ralph) – A native New Yorker, Wilam attended the H.S. of Performing Arts, and first found a love for beats by tap dancing on the streets of NYC. Wilam holds a BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and has worked with many Chicago theaters including The Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He has also been in award-winning independent films such as “The Half Life of Mason Lake” and “Bull Run.”

 Keely Vasquez (Suzette) – Keely returned to Chicago last year after eight years performing in Las Vegas with Barry Manilow and traveling with him to over 50 US cities, several countries and appearing on “Ellen,” “Jay Leno,” “The Today Show,” “The Emmy Awards,” “The AMA’s,” “The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert,” PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” as well as six DVD specials. Recent Chicago theatrical credits include: IN THE HEIGHTS at the Paramount Theatre, HAIRSPRAY and SEUSSICAL at the Drury Lane Oakbrook theatre, as well as roles at Theatre at the Center, The Mercury Theatre, and The Goodman Theatre.

Taylor Yacktman (Angie) was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She has been professionally training, performing, and entertaining in singing, dance, and acting since a very young age. Taylor is a recording artist by the name of Sashé Taylor. She has been writing and recording records for a few years, and currently is working on a contemporary blues record soon to be released. She has performed at some of the top night clubs and hotels in Chicago, performed for the 2012 McDonald’s Thanksgiving parade, she did a 15-city two month tour across Southern China, and continues to grow to become the best all-around entertainer she can be.

CREATIVE TEAM

Adam John Hunter (Director) Adam was the Associate Director for the Broadway, London, Toronto and Melbourne companies of ROCK OF AGES.  On Broadway, he has been the Associate Director on COMPANY and A CATERED AFFAIR.  Off-Broadway, he was Associate Director on ROAD SHOW at the Public Theater and PASSION at Classic Stage Company.  He staged the National Tours of SWEENEY TODD and ROCK OF AGES.  He has been the Production Stage Manager on Broadway for BRONX BOMBERSRELATIVELY SPEAKINGROCK OF AGESSWEENEY TODD, and A CATERED AFFAIR.  Adam has been working with Dee Snider on the development of this exciting new Christmas musical from the get go. He lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters who are way smarter than he is.

Robert Tatad (Choreographer) has staged and choreographed numbers featuring Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, Jane Krakowski, Kristen Chenoweth and Gwen Stefani as well as corporate events for TMobile, Walmart, Coty, and Vidal Sassoon.  Other credits include TheatreworksUSA’s THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD (Lortel Theatre), ROMANTIC POETRY(NYS&F), FUNNY GIRL (Actors’ Fund Concert), MISS SAIGON (Ogunquit Playhouse).  On Broadway, Robert served as the Associate Choreographer for ROCK OF AGES (also National Tour, Toronto and Australian companies).  Other selected Broadway and Off-Broadway Associate Choreographer credits include LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2econd Stage),DREAMGIRLS (Actors Fund Concert), GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (New World Stages), JUNIE B. JONES(Lortel Theatre) and the 2005 Tony award-winning revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.

Doug Katsaros (Music Supervisor/Arrangements) is an Emmy winning composer who has been making some kind of noise for years conducting, composing, orchestrating, arranging on and off Broadway for shows like FOOTLOOSE, THE LIFE, ROCKY HORROR, ALTAR BOYZ, THE TOXIC AVENGER and A…MY NAME IS ALICE.  He is the composer for Broadway’s upcoming SOMEWHERE IN TIME and his ORPHAN TRAIN musical was featured as part of Grand Central Terminal’s 100th year anniversary.  He has written and conducted TV and film scores for Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Loggia and Sandra Bullock.  He is on dozens of gold and platinum CDs for artists such as Kiss, Sinéad O’Connor, Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra, Todd Rundgren, Rod Stewart, Judy Collins, B. B. King, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Richie Havens, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Michael Bolton, and Peter Paul & Mary.  He orchestrated Dee Snider’s Heavy Metal Broadway tribute, DEE DOES BROADWAY and on TV, he garnered Emmy nominations for his scores to “The Tick” and “Mancuso F.B.I.” and wrote themes for “The Jim Henson Hour” and the “ABC Sunday Night Movie.” He has conducted PBS’s “Great Performances” and the Boston Pops.  He writes special material for Ringling Brothers Circus, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks and their Thanksgiving Day Parade, winning the Emmy for Best Original Song. He tours the world with Argentinian pianist Raul Di Blasio, whose latest CD, Primavera, he co-produced. He has four grown sons and daughters, and lives in New York with his wife, composer/keyboardist Elise Morris. And yes, he is the guy who wrote “By Mennen”.    

Rob Bissinger (Scenic Design) Rob has been designing for the theatre for over 10 years.  His work has been seen all over the United States regionally in such productions as: DAMN YANKEES, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE FULL MONTY (Paper Mill), HALF A’ SIXPENCEPIRATES! (Goodspeed), HUNTERS/GATHERERS (the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre) and EVERYTHING’S DUCKY at the St. Louis Rep, for which he received a Garland Award. Rob’s Off-Broadway credits include: LUCKY GUY (The Little Schubert Theatre), CITY CLUB (The Minetta Lane), and the wildly popular JACQUE BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS (The Zipper Theatre).  In addition to Art Directing large scale projects like the Venetian Phantom Theatre in Las Vegas, and the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he has also been a long-time Associate Designer for countless Broadway productions including SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. Audiences nationally and internationally have seen his designs for such touring productions as 3 MO’ TENORS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SCOOBY DOO IN STAGEFRIGHT, DISNEY’S BELIEVE and most recently, MYTHBUSTERS: BEHIND THE MYTHS.  See www.robbissinger.com for more.

Suzette Guilot-Snider (Costume Design) has been working closely with recording stars and entertainers since she got her start at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.).  While still in college, Suzette was hired by multi-platinum recording artists Twisted Sister to be their exclusive costume designer and personal stylist. Her success in the fashion industry—including designing, producing and marketing her own national boutique line of high-end clothing—led to a coveted position as a stylist on Howard Stern’s first television show. Soon after, Suzette returned to school to pursue a career as a professional makeup artist. She has worked in all medias (print, international television and film) and for a litany of celebrities (Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman, Donald Trump, Laurence Fishburne and Pavarotti, to name just a few).  Most recently, Suzette has done hair, makeup and wardrobe for the international award winning short films “Fool’s Day” and “All That Remains”, FEAR.NET’s sitcom “Holliston” and various rock videos.

 

Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design) has been designing lights for the theatre for close to twenty years. Her designs have been seen on most of Chicago stages including the Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Hypocrites, Next Theatre, Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, and so many more.  She has also worked at many regional theatre including Kansas City Rep, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Alley Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville.  International credits include the Almeida in London and Singapore Repertory Theatre. Heather works frequently with acclaimed directors such as David Cromer, Sean Graney, Ron OJ Parson, Kimberly Senior and many others.  In 2012, Heather received the 3Arts Award in Chicago.  She was a recipient of the prestigious NEA/TCG Career Development Grant for Designers from TCG.  Heather received her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio and her MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.  Since 2006, she has served as the head of the lighting program at Columbia College Chicago, and also frequently creates architectural lighting design around Chicago.  Heather is an Artistic Associate at Next Theatre.

Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design) A seasoned Broadway sound designer, Nevin is a passionate collaborator on a wide range of live events and theater productions.  His recent projects include Terrence McNally’s MOTHERS AND SONS on Broadway, and the world premiere of John Kander and Greg Pierce’s musical THE LANDING at The Vineyard Theatre, continuing his dedication to the creation of new work.  He received his sixth Tony Award nomination for RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA in 2013. In addition to his theater design work, Nevin serves as the Audio Consultant for Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. As a former founding principal of the prolific sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, Nevin provided sound design services for dozens of Broadway shows including such diverse Tony Award winners as IN THE HEIGHTS, HAIR, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, AVENUE Q and LA BOHÈME.  Nevin is Trustee of the Town Hall Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and support of The Town Hall, a cultural and education center as well as a national historic landmark in the center of Times Square.

John B. Yonover (Producer) has supported and invested in over 25 productions on Broadway, Chicago and London’s West End, including MEMPHIS, HAIR, ENRON, ADDAMS FAMILY, COME FLY AWAY, THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE, LOMBARDI, DEAD ACCOUNTS, THE PERFORMERS, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE MOUNTAINTOP, THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT, CHINGLISH, GHOST THE MUSICAL and the Chicago production of TO MASTER THE ART.  John was an Associate Producer on MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL the US Tour and appeared as a guest judge on one episode for Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” alongside Daryl Roth and Kristen Chenoweth.  John is currently an Associate Producer on the West End Production of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL.  His last Broadway projects were the musical, FIRST DATE and a stage adaptation of John Grisham’s A TIME TO KILL.