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Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra

CAST LIST FOR The Mikado

Synopsis    Production History

Actors


    The Mikado - Colin Dahms
    Nanki-Poo - Chris Rubino
    Ko-Ko - Ray Murphy
    Pooh-Bah - David Duke
    Pish-Tush - Ed Nealley
    Yum-Yum - Alexis Droke
    Pitti-Sing - Megan Falasco
    Peep-Bo - Laura Carrasco
    Katisha - Carol Connolly
    Townspeople of Titipu
School Girls
    Kat Carr
    Kim Dahms (Peep-Bo on Wednesday)
    Felicia Gaus-Woollen
    Shana Gordon
    Sarah Norton
    Sally Sapega
    Cathy Wakefield
    Julie Zaffarano
Nobles
    Richard Brenner
    Bruce Conley
    Willy Dahms
    John Klinges
    Michael Krencicki
    Doug Kurtze
    Jack McEwen
    George Saxe
    Jeff Stafford
    Dave Zaffarano

Production

    Stage Director - Robert Moore
    Music Director - Justin Adams
    Assistant Stage Director - Martha Smilie
    Producer - Bill DeFeo
          Mikado graphic

If You Want to Know Who We Are

listed alphabetically

Justin Adams (Music Director) is thrilled to conduct The Mikado with Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra. Justin resides in Philadelphia but hails from the great state of Maine where he studied music at the University of Southern Maine.  Most of Justin’s work has been focused on musical theatre, but he is extremely pleased to be working on his first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Some of his favorite credits include The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, etc. A huge thank you to the entire production team, actors and orchestra! He would also like to give a big thank you to Joshua and his extremely supportive roommates Caleb and Shannon. He hopes you enjoy the show!  

Bruce Bogdanoff (Accompanist) joined RCVO in 1989 as pianist for The Mikado.  With RVCO, he made stage debut in Me & My Girl as Peary King, and other roles include Sandy Dean in Brigadoon, Beauregard in Mame, and Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady.  Thank you RVCO for all these great years. 

Richard Brenner (Chorus) is making his debut with the Rose Valley Chorus. With other groups, previous baritone roles he has enjoyed performing include: Mr. Sowerberry in Oliver!, Lord Mountararat in Iolanthe, the Notary in The Sorcerer, Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, the Boatswain in HMS Pinafore, the Foreman of the Jury and the Usher in Trial By Jury, Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance and King Hildebrand in Princess Ida. When not involved with theatre, he is behind an ophthalmoscope performing things ocular and singing with his vocally talented daughter, Jami and her husband, Stephen Green.

Kat Carr (Chorus) is excited to join the other 3 Dahms family members for the first time on stage together.  She performed most recently with the Williamsburg Players in Virginia as Brooke in Noises Off!, Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew, and Lillian in I Hate Hamlet on Christopher Newport University’s mainstage.  Outside of the theater, Kat can be found poking holes in fabric and occasionally her fingers, performing miracles of kitchen chemistry that sometimes turn into cake, or inventing new colorful metaphors while renovating her house. Kat would like to thank her incredible husband Pete for encouraging her to return to her first love: performing on stage.

Laura Carrasco (Peep-Bo) is thrilled to be making her debut performance with RVCO! She was most recently seen in The Grand Duke with the Ardensingers. Other past G&S credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, and The Gondoliers with the Savoy Company. By day, Laura works as a pharmaceutical trial manager and lives in Pottstown with her husband, Steve, and their four cats. This performance is dedicated to Lily. 

Bruce Conley (Chorus) is happy to be in the ensemble for this production of The Mikado.  He has been a part of RVCO since 1988 and has performed in more than three dozen shows.  He has also enjoyed assisting the group in many administrative ways.  He also especially thanks his wife Rae for her help and support.

Carol Connolly (Katisha) is pleased to make her debut RVCO performance as her favorite G&S character.  Carol has performed most of G&S’s lush contralto/mezzo roles with the Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society. A latecomer to the stage, Carol, mother of seven, has also enjoyed recreating many strong female characters like the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Nettie Fowler in Carousel and Fruma Sarah in Fiddler.  Carol has also performed with Yale Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and CET Opera Theatre, at the Smyrna Opera House in Annie and The Sound of Music and most recently, as the Baroness in the Ardensingers’ production of The Grand Duke. Carol sends hearty thanks to my husband Jack, family, friends and everyone who has “trod the boards” with me. You have tirelessly encouraged and supported in countless ways my passion for creating and renewing life through song, story and laughter.  There would be no Katisha today without you.  I am truly blessed.  Cheers and bravo!

Colin Dahms (The Mikado) - This is Colin's sixth appearance on Rose Valley's stage, and he's increasing bewildered as to why they keep bringing him back. He persists nonetheless, if only because he's otherwise not allowed to behave this way in public. HUGE thanks to those who give so much of themselves to make these moments possible.

Kim Dahms (Peep-Bo on Wednesday, Chorus) is thrilled to be joining RVCO's production of The Mikado as Lord High Understudy!  She wants to thank her dad for doing all of the driving to and from rehearsals, and the honeybutt for letting her muck about on stage for several hours a week.

Willy Dahms (Chorus) is delighted to be performing with Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra once  again. He has been a Gilbert and Sullivan fan for many years and has been performing their works since 2002.   The Mikado is the very first production Willy was ever in, and he is especially proud to be performing with all three of his “kids” in this show.

Bill DeFeo (Producer, Vice President) is really excited about producing his second show for RVCO in G&S’s The Mikado as a follow-up to Iolanthe. Guided by past producers Bruce Conley and Bill Michael, he has enjoyed this end of the spectrum and is really thankful for the opportunity.  Bill is also our Vice President, and has performed in eight shows with RVCO including The Pirates of Penzance, Evita, The Gondoliers, Kiss Me, Kate, Thespis, Nunsense II, The Music Man, and Annie Get Your Gun. He is the Controller for The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

William "Pete" Dorwart (Music Engraver), a cellist with the RVCO for more than 30 years, is a professional music engraver.  Music engraving is the art of drawing music notation at high quality for the purpose of publication. Pete created the new edition of The Mikado score and instrumental parts being used in this production. He has engraved most of the G&S canon, plus shows like The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus, which have been used by major opera companies including the Metropolitan in New York.

Alexis Nicole Droke (Yum-Yum) is glad to be back for a second show with RVCO! Alexis attended college at the University of Delaware and graduated cum laude with a double major in Vocal Performance and Vocal/Choral Education. Alexis has performed as a soloist and ensemble singer for The UD Chorale, UD’s Schola Cantorum, and The Newark Symphony Chorus, and recently returned from a tour of Israel where she performed as a chorister with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Her notable stage roles include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro (UD Opera Theater), Despina in two productions of Cosi fan tutte (UD Opera Theater, OperaLancaster), Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore (Ardensingers), Phyllis in Iolanthe (Rose Valley Opera Chorus) and most recently Lisa in The Grand Duke (Ardensingers). Upcoming engagements include the Faure Requiem with the Newark Symphony Chorus and the title role in the Ardensingers production of Patience this spring. In addition to her acclaim as a performer, Alexis is an experienced choral conductor and voice teacher, working previously with the UD Opera Theater Chorus, the New Ark United Church of Christ, the Tatnall School, and the Episcopal Church of the Advent. Alexis currently maintains a roster of private students and teaches from her home voice studio. Alexis wishes to especially thank her loving husband, David, and sweet fur-babies, Tucker and Toby, for their love and support.

David W. Duke (Pooh-Bah) is so excited to make his RVCO debut in a role he first performed many years ago in graduate school. What fun! David has been active in music for many years, as a singer, conductor, music director, composer/songwriter and teacher. He sings with Main Line Opera Guild in performances at nursing homes and senior living facilities, and was recently featured with them on their fundraiser for Stage One in Media. He has appeared in the title role in Don Giovanni (Rome Festival Opera, Rome, Italy), as Escamillo in Carmen (University of Illinois Opera Theatre, Urbana, IL), Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (Williamsport Symphony, Williamsport, PA), Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz with the Cape Fear Regional Theater(Fayetteville, NC) and Ravenal understudy/ensemble in Show Boat (Media Theatre). David’s formal training includes undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University (Provo, UT, B.M. Music Education), and graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign (M.M. and D.M.A. in Vocal Performance). His voice teachers and coaches include Sylvia Stone, Richard Kennedy, Kurt Klippstatter, Eric Dalheim and John Wustman. Originally from Orem, Utah, David currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two of his children, and a cat, and tries to see his oldest daughter and two grandchildren as often as possible. Merely corroborative detail intended to give artistic…well, you get the picture!

Meg Falasco (Pitti-Sing) is thrilled to be making both her G&S and RVCO debuts! Outside of the classical sphere, Meg continues to test her vocal chops in musical theatre. Favorite roles include Rona Lisa Peretti (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods), Georgia Hendricks (Curtains), and Dido (Dido & Aeneas). Okay – that last one’s classical! Meg would like to thank RVCO and her castmates for their support throughout this process.

Felicia Gaus-Woollen (Chorus) is pleased to be making her debut with RVCO! Shoutouts to Carol and Alexis for being awesome! Thanks to my parents Terry and Kathie for supporting me.  Next up Patience next spring with the Ardensingers.

Shana Gordon (Chorus) is thrilled to make her debut with Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra.  Shana has been singing Opera for 6 years, and has been in competitions and can sing in any language.  She was in a version of a Cabaret with her scholarship group called “Through the Woods.” She would like to thank the wonderful production staff and cast for their support.

Lawrence Hicks (Set Designer) is pleased to be designing Rose Valley’s The Mikado as well as the previous shows Thespis, The Music Man and Annie Get Your Gun. Other Philadelphia area shows he’s designed include The Savoy Company’s Trial By Jury and The Sorcerer; Vulcan Lyric Opera’s Heathers: The Musical, La Hija da Rappaccini, and Maren of Vardo; and most recently GSSCC’s Ruddigore.  Rose Valley is grateful to The Savoy Company for providing several of the set elements from their 2012 production of Mikado (designed by Mark Duska).  The fence, stone work and lamp posts are all products of Mr. Duska’s supreme talent while the tea house was designed and built by Mr. Hicks.  By working together, local community production companies have found ways to keep their costs in check and provide outstanding theater for their patrons.

John Kampmeyer (Accompanist) is glad to be a part of this production.  This is John's second show with RVCO.  Previously, he served as Music Director for the St. Francis Players.  John lives in Springfield (Delco) with his wife Jeanne, two children (John, III and Evelyn), puppies (Sophie and Dobby) and cat (Coal).  While not helping out with RVCO, John is a Senior Fire Protection Engineer with Jacobs and a Minister of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Broomall.  He is looking forward to a great show and future productions with RVCO (especially as the Music Director for The Drowsy Chaperone in the Spring of 2018)!

John Klinges (Chorus) is delighted to be joining RVCO for The Mikado.  In recent years, he has performed with the Savoy Company of Philadelphia (The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore), the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Chester Country (Ruddigore), the Methacton Community Theater (Evita) and the King of Prussia Players (Ragtime).

Sharon Kope (Accompanist) started with RVCO in 2001 playing violin in the pit.  In 2003, she was asked to accompany for Die Fledermaus and has helped out in that capacity ever since.  She has her BM in church music and is the Director of Traditional Worship at Mt. Hope United Methodist Church in Aston.  She also helps out with the music program at Chichester High School and accompanies the chorus at Hershey’s Mill.  When not doing music, Sharon loves photography and traveling with her wonderful husband, Bob. 

Michael Krencicki (Chorus) appeared last season as Tommy in RVCO's Annie Get Your Gun. He is client service manager for Lincoln Healthcare. For Angelica and Alex.

Doug Kurtze (Go-To, Chorus) has appeared with Rose Valley as Timidon in Thespis, Giorgio in The Gondoliers, and the Foreman in Trial by Jury; as Old Adam in Ruddigore with Thespis, Etc., and with Ardensingers as the Carpenter's Mate in HMS Pinafore and most recently as the Herald in The Grand Duke.  Off stage, look for him dancing with the Kingsessing Morris Men.

Jack McEwen (Chorus) was General in Evita, Lord Boxington in My Fair Lady, Ike Pilersham in Plain and Fancy, Piet in The Red Mill, Liver-Lips Louie in Guys and Dolls, and Bob Barking in Me and My Girl.  He joined RVCO in 2000. In addition to frequently joining the chorus, Jack helps out a lot with set construction and other behind the scenes activities, and is inspired by his lovely wife, Erma, our Props Mistress.

Robert Moore (Stage Director, Executive Board. Make-Up Designer) is a proud RVCO Life Member and is the Chair for the Show Selection Committee. He holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and has directed many RVCO shows in the past, the last being The Music Man which he co-directed with Kate Nealley in Spring 2016. He has also created a wide variety of character roles in RVCO shows including Pawnee Bill (Annie Get Your Gun), Second Gangster (Kiss Me, Kate), Mordred (Camelot), Will Parker (Oklahoma!), Jigger (Carousel), Jeff Douglas (Brigadoon), Wilfred Shadbolt (The Yeomen of the Guard), Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) and many others! He has performed in venues throughout the tri-state area and has professional credits in theatre, film, and touring companies. This past summer, he was thrilled to play the role of Maurice (Belle's father) in Beauty and the Beast) at Longwood Gardens! He dedicates his direction of this production to his parents, Alan and Dorothy, who introduced him to the world of theatre at a young age and to his wonderful cast, staff, and crew and special thanks to his AD / Artistic Consultant Martha Smylie whose knowledge of The Mikado was invaluable!! Enjoy the show everyone and please come back next Spring for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE!

Raymond Murphy (Ko-Ko) is grateful to be cast as Ko-Ko.  He has appeared onstage and off with RVCO since 1985, and played second trombone in his first production of The Mikado.  His most recent performances with RVCO are in The Music Man, and Nailed in Vegas.  He has also worked with Players Club of Swarthmore, Opera Delaware, Wilmington Drama League, Thespis, Etc., Candlelight Dinner Theatre, Artists Theater Association, Delaware Childrens Theater, and Harrington Theater Arts Company.   He spends his days as a gardener at Nemours Estate in Wilmington, DE.  You can also find him using his God given abilities at New Hope Christian Church in Broomall.   He gives thanks for the patience and support of his family and his wife Janet.  

Edwin Nealley (Pish-Tush) is extremely pleased to return in Rose Valley's 2017 production of The Mikado. Ed recently completed his double canon of the G&S operettas, and has played over 30 different G&S roles in as many years.  Recent roles at RVCO include the Lord Chancellor (Iolanthe), Mayor Shinn (The Music Man), Thespis (Thespis), General Howell (Kiss Me, Kate), the Duke of Plaza Toro (The Gondoliers), Samuel (The Pirates of Penzance), and Mr. Lundie (Brigadoon).  Roles with other local companies include Ludwig (The Grand Duke) with the Ardensingers, J.W. Wells (The Sorcerer) with the G&S Soc. of Chester County, and Captain Corcoran (H.M.S. Pinafore) with Bucks County G&S Society  He would like to thank all these companies and their audiences for so many opportunities to perform onstage.  Ed would also especially like to thank his wife Kate and his daughter Sara: a loving and supportive family with a shared love of music and theater is a priceless gift.

Sarah Norton (Chorus)  is delighted to be joining RVCO again for the Mikado! As Sarah's third Gilbert and Sullivan production ever, she's excited to be more comfortable singing on stage, which is a new challenge after many years of embracing the preforming arts as a "band geek," playing oboe and participating as a member of the Color Guard throughout high school and college. Sarah has a passion for working with kids and individuals with special needs and is the proud mommy of four rescue hounds.

Chris Rubino (Nanki-Poo) has had the pleasure of performing with RVCO since his debut in the chorus of Patience in 2011. He has played Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe, Apollo in Thespis, Charlie in Brigadoon, and Freddy in My Fair Lady. His past affiliations include the Philadelphia Gilbert & Sullivan Union, the Penn Singers, and the Penn Glee Club. “Much love to my wife Meagan and to our two sons, Marc and Brian, for indulging me in my craft, and inspiring me always, on stage and off.”  

Sally Sapega (Chorus) loves being part of RVCO.  The fun of being onstage, the amazing costumes, and the wonderful friendships keep her coming back year after year.  When not in performance mode, Sally is director of Internal Publications for Penn Medicine and an avid supporter of animal rescue.

George Saxe (Chorus, Painter) grew up with Gilbert and Sullivan music and is a life-long fan.  He is delighted to be performing with Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra in his first G&S play. Much thanks to Rande, his wife, voice coach and 11 year RVCO singing and acting veteran.

Martha Smylie (Assistant Stage Director and Artistic Consultant, Playbill) is a newbie to the life of directing, but is grateful for every minute of Bob Moore’s genius tutelary! Joining RVCO in 1981, Martha is a proud Life Member and a former president.. Last fall she played the Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe. An avid fan of G&S, she has portrayed all the contralto roles in the full canon of 14 operas, some many times over and including the role of The Learned Judge in a delightful reverse-gender Miss-Trial By Jury production. In her stage “career,” Martha has performed leading roles in 80-some different productions throughout the region including G&S, other musical comedy, as well as straight plays and comedies including nearby Hedgerow Theatre. She has also been president of five Delaware Valley G&S companies. “Like Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, ‘I was born to rule!’” Martha gratefully thanks Bob Moore and Justin Adams for their collaboration, and the entire cast and crew for their patience, cooperation, and friendship.

Jeff Swafford (Chorus) enjoys opera and performing when his schedule allows. The Mikado is his second Gilbert & Sullivan opera; his first was in the late 80s when he portrayed the Pirate King in the The Pirates of Penzance for Center Stage Productions. Offstage, he’s a programmer analyst for a Main Line behavioral health referral service and is very active with his two boys and their Scout troop as an adult leader in Springfield.  He's also very involved with his school district's music program and sings for his parish's choir.  Oh yes... Jeff loves Italian food and good wine!

Cathy Wakefield (Chorus, Sponsors, RVCO Board Member) is so proud to be a Lifetime Member of RVCO, having been involved with the group for over 35 years! Favorite shows include The Pirates of Penzance, Guys and Dolls (1984, 2004), Plain and Fancy (1986 onstage with my daughter, Kerri), Mame (2007, Cousin Fan), My Fair Lady (2012, Lady Boxington) and The Music Man (2016, Mrs. Squires). Thanks to my supportive family and friends!

Dave Zaffarano (Chorus) has performed with RVC&O since 2006 with his lovely wife Julie. Some favorites are Ewert Dunlop in The Music Man, Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma!. and Ezra in Plain and Fancy.  He sings in church as a cantor and also with the St. James Alumni Choir.  Thanks to Bob, Martha, and Justin for their hard work, patience and dedication.

Julie Zaffarano (Chorus, Fundraising, Road Shows) has enjoyed performing with Dave and the RVCO family since 2006. Her love of theatre includes playwriting and she has had recent productions/readings in six states. Summer 2017 productions: The PlayMakers in South Carolina, Destiny is a Careless Waiter in Pittsburgh, and Hotter Than Thoreau in Florida.  Kentucky Lemonade was named semifinalist in the 2017 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

© 2015 Rose Valley Chorus, Inc.