Thursday, July 31, 2014

Casting Announced for Dirty Dancing at National Theatre

Photo Credit: David Scheinmann (2008)

From our friends at the National Theatre...

Tour Marks the 10th Anniversary of the Global Stage Phenomenon

National Theatre Engagement Runs August 26 - September 14

Samuel Pergande and Jillian Mueller will star as Johnny Castle and Frances “Baby” Houseman in the North American tour of Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage. The stage musical of the worldwide smash-hit film begins performances August 26 in Washington, D.C., prior to a September 2 opening night at the National Theatre, 10 years after the original stage production received its world premiere in Sydney, Australia.

Pergande and Mueller lead a company of 26 that also includes Doug Carpenter (Billy Kostecki, Singer), Jerome Harmann-Hardeman (Tito Suarez), Caralyn Kozlowski (Marjorie Houseman), Jesse Liebman (Neil Kellerman), Gary Lynch (Max Kellerman), Herman Petras (Mr. Schumacher), Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman), Mark Elliot Wilson (Dr. Jake Houseman) and Jenny Winton (Penny Johnson). The ensemble comprises John Antony, Rachel Boone, Amanda Brantley, Jon Drake, Josh Drake, Sam Edgerly, Rashaan James, II, Joshua Keith, Alexandra Matteo, Kevin Munhall, Phoebe Pearl, Virginia Preston, Michael Thomas Pugliese, Jennlee Shallow and Nicole Spencer.

Ticket prices start at $48 plus applicable service charges, and are on sale now and available at the National Theatre box office, online at, or by calling (800) 514-3849. Group orders of 10 or more may be placed by calling (855) 486-2516. For more information, call (202) 628-6161.

“The company that we have assembled for our North American tour is beautiful and truthful,” says Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical. “I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance. And since the movie first appeared, the openhearted audience response has made me believe that everyone has a secret dancer inside them, one they feel could connect them to the physical world in the way they dream. This remarkable cast brings those dreams to life through their extraordinary talent and exceptional skill and it’s a thrill for us to have this group of people bring Dirty Dancing home to North America.”

The production’s book is written by Eleanor Bergstein and the North American tour will be directed by James Powell, with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion. The creative team also includes Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Bernie Ardia (hair design), Conrad Helfrich (music supervisor and orchestrations), and Alan Plado (music director).

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia in November 2004 before embarking upon a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany in March 2006 where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history.

The production began performances on London’s West End in October 2006 with an £11 million advance and went on to become the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre. It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year UK national tour and then returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. It is currently represented by a new UK tour, which launched March 2014 in Bristol, and a German tour, which launched April 2014 in Berlin. The show will return to Australia with a new company set to premiere in late 2014 in honor of the stage production’s 10th anniversary. Future productions are planned for Italy (October 2014) and France (January 2015.)

The North American tour of Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment, and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions.

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About the National Theatre:
Located at 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the National Theatre opened in 1835 and is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the nation. Over the years, the National has hosted a multitude of memorable events, including the pre-Broadway presentations of the musicals Show Boat; Hello, Dolly!; and West Side Story. Many of the world’s greatest performers have graced the National Theatre stage including Robert Redford, George C. Scott, Will Rogers, Helen Hayes, James Earl Jones, Eartha Kitt, Sir Laurence Olivier, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Katherine Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Ian McKellen, Debbie Reynolds, and Audrey Hepburn. National Theatre Group, a partnership between JAM Theatricals, Ltd. and SMG, oversees the programming for and management of the theater.


SAMUEL PERGANDE (Johnny Castle) began his training at the Milwaukee Ballet School. Mr. Pergande was coached and trained exclusively by Yves de Bouteiller. He continued his training at distinguished schools such as San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi in Vail and the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. In 1995, Mr. Pergande was accepted to the American Ballet Theater Studio Company and shortly acquired an apprentice contract with the American Ballet Theater. He toured extensively with the company nationally and internationally dancing in Manon, Don Quixote, La Bayadere and Giselle. He later joined the Joffrey Ballet under the direction of Gerald Arpino. Mr. Pergande danced principal roles such as Lucencio in John Kranko’s Taming of the Shrew, Romeo in Kranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Cavalier in Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker, Faun in Nikiski’s Afternoon Of A Faun, Aston’s Monotones II and Blue Pas in Jiri Kalian’s Return to a Strange Land. His repertoire also includes leading pas de deux’s from Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain, Suite Saint Saens, Italian Suite, Reflections and Round of Angels. Mr. Pergande has danced in international festivals in The Netherlands, United Kingdom and New York. He is also a cast member in the movie The Company directed by Robert Altman. After his ballet career, he joined the North American cast of Dirty Dancing and later joined the London cast as Robbie and covering Johnny. Other stage credits include Billy Elliot (U.S. national tour and Toronto) playing Older Billy. Recently, Mr. Pergande was with Cirque du Soleil as one of the leading characters of La Nouba.

JILLIAN MUELLER (Frances “Baby” Houseman). Jillian just finished starring in Flashdance-The Musical! She got her start on Broadway in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and then Bye Bye Birdie starring John Stamos and Gina Gershon. At 17 years old, she went on the 1st National tour of Green Day's American Idiot followed by Memphis. TV: “One Bad Choice” (MTV), “A Gifted Man” (CBS). Thanks to the Dirty Dancing team, teachers and mentors along the way and love to her mom, dad and brother Jack. @jillimueller

DOUG CARPENTER (Billy Kostecki). Education: BM in Voice from UNLV, MM in Voice from UCLA. Regional: South Pacific(Cable) at Papermill Playhouse, Most Happy Fella (Joey) at Goodspeed, Dallas Lyric, Camelot (Lancelot) at Pasadena Playhouse,  Oklahoma (Curly) at Penn Shakes, FCLO, West Side Story (Tony) at FCLO, See What I Wanna See (Thief) at Blank Theatre, Cinderella (Prince) at CLOSBC, Miss Saigon (Chris) at Moonlight Amphitheater, and Summer of Love (Curtis) at Ogunquit. NYC Theatre: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy) at NYMF, Skip in Life Could Be A Dream (Skip) LADCC Winner. Doug is the only singer to win both the American Traditions Competition (2011) and the Lotte Lenya Competition (2013).

JEROME HARMANN-HARDEMAN (Tito Suarez). Previous credits include: Broadway, Off Broadway, National Tours, Regional, International: SWING the musical (The Guy), Kiss of The Spiderwoman (Gabriel) with Chita Rivera, The Fantasticks (Bellomy), Queen of The Stardust Ballroom (Dave) with Tyne Daly, Dreamgirls (Curtis), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Simeon), Cats (Macavity, Alonzo), Ragtime, (Coalhouse), Once On This Island (Agwe), The Full Monty (Horse Simmons), Five Guy’s Named Moe (No Moe, Four Eyed Moe), Floyd Collins (Ed), Smokey Joe’s Café, (Adrian), The Man of La Mancha (Innkeeper/Gov.) A Soldiers Play (Private Smalls), Julius Caesar (Cassius), The Laramie Project (Narrator), Adam Clayton Powell (Fatcat), The Long Dance (Brim), Es Geht Mir Gut (Narrator), Television: “One Life To Live” (Vega’s boxing coach), “30 Rock” (Cablecom Executive), “All My Children” (FBI agent Johnson), “Glee” (Subway dancer). Film: Annie 2014 (Easy Street), The Green Jacket (Detective Wright), Curtain Call (Sewerman),“The Peacemaker (Major Smith), Malcolm X (Savoy Dancer), The Hurricane  (Inmate).

CARALYN KOZLOWSKI (Marjorie Houseman) Bio forthcoming

JESSE LEIBMAN (Neil Kellerman) is thrilled to be on his first US National Tour. Selected credits: Did You Hear About The Morgans?, The Girl's Guide To Depravity. A graduate of Princeton University and The New Actor's Workshop, Jesse has studied with George Morrison, Mike Nichols, and is a current student of Michael Howard. Other Film/TV credits: Percentage, Taxi Brooklyn. Love to Kimiye and thanks to everyone at BLF and HCA.

GARY LYNCH (Max Kellerman). Broadway: Les Miserables (Jean Provaire/Javert), Mamma Mia! Original Cast, North American & US Premieres/1st National (Sam Carmichael); 2 time National Broadway Award nominee, Dirty Dancing Original Cast - US Premiere/1st National (Moe Pressman). Numerous Credits include: Off Broadway, Regional, International, Stock, TV and Film. Gary serves on the board of directors and teaching staff at the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts. Proud member AEA SAG/ AFTRA

HERMAN PETRAS (Mr. Schumacher) was most recently in Noises Off (Selsdon) and Gaslight (Inspector Rough) at Florida Rep. Before that he appeared in Glorious (St. Clair Byfield) at Arkansas Rep, in Camelot (Merlyn, Pellinore US) at the Goodspeed Opera House, in Over The River And Through The Woods (Nunzio) at the John W. Engeman Theater, and She Loves Me (Mr. Maraczek) at Bristol Riverside Theatre.  He has toured Europe and Southeast Asia with West Side Story (Doc) logging in nearly 200 performances.  National tours include the dual role in Kiss Me, Kate (Harry/Baptista), Fame: The Musical (Mr. Scheinkopf), and Hello, Dolly (Horace Vandergelder) opposite Carol Channing.  Regional credits include Beauty And The Beast (Maurice), The Merchant of Venice (Shylock), King Lear (Gloucester), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Launce), and various television appearances on “All My Children,” “Law & Order” and “Saturday Night Live.”  He is a very proud member of Actors’ Equity!

EMILY RICE (Lisa Houseman). National Tour: A Chorus Line (Swing). Regional: A Chorus Line at Pittsburgh CLO (Maggie). Other Credits: The Sound of Music (Maria), BFA Music Theatre, Elon University. All glory to God! Job 33:28 #normal

MARK ELLIOT WILSON (Dr. Jake Houseman). Film: Experimenter, Sam & Amira, The Girl in the Book, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Pistol Whipped, World Trade Center, Noise, The Theory of Love, Personal Vendetta.  Television: “Elementary,” “White Collar,” “Damages,” “Fringe,” “The Bronx is Burning,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Dream On,” “Flying Blind,” “Love Street,” “The Guiding Light,” “All My Children.” New York Theatre: Salomé (with Al Pacino), Ghosts, Unidentified Human Remains, The Love Talker, Rebecca, and Summer Shorts. Favorite Regional Credits: Big Love at CT Rep, Dracula, A View from the Bridge, A Streetcar Named Desire at The Pioneer Theatre Company, The Constant Wife at A.C.T. and Seattle Rep, Maggie’s Riff at The Vineyard Playhouse, Terra Nova at Capital Rep, and a Scandinavian tour of Barefoot in the Park.

JENNY WINTON (Penny Johnson) was born in San Francisco, CA. She trained at the San Francisco Ballet School under Lola de Avila, Pascale Leroy, Gloria Govrin, and Shannon Breshnahan. She danced with Pennsylvania Ballet II in 2008, and joined the Joffrey Ballet in 2009. Upon finishing her fifth season with Joffrey, she was invited to the 2014 USA IBC where she competed as a Senior Female Soloist.

JOHN ANTONY (Ensemble). Broadway & Broadway Tours: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, 42nd St, Titanic, Sunset Blvd, Annie Get Your Gun, Pal Joey (Encores!). National Tours: Dirty Dancing (US Premiere), High School Musical, The King & I (directed by Baayork Lee). Off-Broadway & Regional: Aida, Dangerous Beauty, Legally Blonde, Mata Hari, Hurricane, Chicago, Prairie (w/ Patrick Swayze & Melissa Gilbert), Sweet Charity, Funny Girl, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Cast Recordings: Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Out Of This World, Pal Joey, Mata Hari. Film & Television: Nothing In Common (w/ Tom Hanks & Jackie Gleason), Night Eyes, “General Hospital,” “As The World Turns,” “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “One Day At A Time,” “Chips.”

RACHEL BOONE (Ensemble) is delighted to be on the road with this amazing production! National Tours: CATS.  Regional: NC Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Westchester Broadway Theatre, TBTS, and MSMT.  She is a NC native and got her BFA from FSU. All my love and thanks to my beautiful family! To God be the glory.

AMANDA BRANTLEY (Vivian Pressman, Ensemble) is excited to make her national tour debut with Dirty Dancing! Native Hoosier and graduate of CAP21. Favorite credits include: Barbie LIVE! Int’l Tour (Swing, u/s Barbie), Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Sarah), Carousel, and West Side Story. Endless love and thanks to her amazing family and friends.

JON DRAKE (Moe Pressman, Ensemble) starts his second national tour with Dirty Dancing.  His musical theater debut was the national tour of West Side Story (Action) followed by the KC Starlight production of Footloose (Lyle/Ensemble). Local performances include Insanity of Mary Girard (Fury), Murders of Lidicea (German Officer) and Frumpled Fairy Tales (Big Bad Wolf/Narrator). Other acting credits are The Americans, WebTV series Crew (Frank) and World Amazing Stories (Alan), independent films and commercials.

JOSH DRAKE (Swing, Assistant Dance Captain). Touring debut! Top theatre credits include: Dreamgirls (Ensemble/Dance Captain), The Muny, St. Louis; Chicago The Musical (Understudy Fred Casely), Royal Caribbean; A Chorus Line (Paul San Marco), North Carolina; Les Miserable (Marius), North Carolina.  Huge thanks to everyone involved with this timeless project! Let’s have the time of our lives! This is for mom and “Boo Boo”. Training: The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NYC).

SAM EDGERLY (Robbie Gould, Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of this amazing production. Regional credits include Orphie and the Book of Heroes and Camelot in Concert (The Kennedy Center), Gypsy (Signature Theatre), A Chorus Line (Olney Theatre Center). NYC readings include The One. Love to Mom, Dad, Kels, Bill and Angela.

RASHAAN JAMES II (Ensemble) is so excited to be a part of this show!! Rashaan went to University at Buffalo for a BFA in Musical theatre and a BA in dance.  Some of his favorite credits include, Joseph…Dreamcoat at Dallas Theater Center (Naphtali), Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday (Tru-Tone/5 Tuxes), Swing! (Sexy Couple), The Wiz at MSMT (Featured Ensemble), West Side Story 50th anniversary international tour, South Pacific 1st National Tour (Swing/Henry u/s) and the 42nd Street National Tour.  Proud member of AEA. Thanks to HC, MG and Mom for your love and support!

JOSHUA KEITH (Ensemble) is thrilled to be joining the Dirty Dancing Family!  A Christmas Carol (NSMT), In The Heights (Walnut Street Theatre), All Shook Up (NSMT), A Chorus Line (MSMT), Cutman (Goodspeed Musicals), Debbie Allen's Oman! Oman! (Kennedy Center). Joshua 1:8.

ALEXANDRA MATTEO (Swing) is elated to be touring the country with this iconic show! Broadway: Annie (u/s Grace, u/s Lily) National Tours: Anything Goes, Addams Family (u/s Wednesday). Training: BoCo. Thanks to my agents at The Mine. All my love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Michael and my wonderful fiancé Mario. I am so excited to come home and marry you!

KEVIN MUNHALL (Ensemble). Broadway/NY: Anything Goes (Roundabout), The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall), Bells Are Ringing (Encores), Hansel and Gretel (Avery Fisher Hall). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Kansas City Starlight, Ogunquit Playhouse, MTWichita, Tuacahn Amphitheater. TV: “One Life to Live,” “Smash.” Proud graduate of The University of Michigan.

PHOEBE PEARL (Ensemble) is over the moon to be making her national tour debut with Dirty Dancing! Favorite credits include Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Rockette), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Pearl Lady; Ogunquit Playhouse), A Funny Thing Happened...Forum (Geminae; Bay Street Theatre). Thanks to everyone on the creative team and at Laura Stanczyk. All love to Mama, Dada and God! Nobody puts Phoebe in a corner.

VIRGINIA PRESTON (Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing in her first national tour! A native Memphian, she has trained at Ballet Memphis, Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Boston Ballet. In 2015, she will graduate from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Thanks to my family and friends for their constant support.

MICHAEL THOMAS PUGLIESE (Swing) is a proud graduate from SUNY Fredonia (BM in Music Ed.) He is very excited to make his National Tour debut with this production. Lastly he would like to thank his friends, family and TEACHERS for all of their support throughout the years.

JENNLEE SHALLOW (Ensemble). A native of Trinidad & Tobago. The Lion King (Nala) Germany/Australia, Ragtime (Sarah) The Kennedy Centre, and (Lead-Singer) in Cirque Du Soleil's Viva Elvis Las Vegas and Franco Dragone's Taboo Macau-China, including recent Nat'l Honeywell commercial starring John Slattery.

NICOLE SPENCER (Swing, Dance Captain) is thrilled to be making her Broadway National Tour debut. Upon graduating from Florida State University with a BFA in dance, she traveled the world as a dancer with Princess Cruises. Thank you to my Mom, Dad and family for your incredible love and support over the years!