Stories & Cast Interviews

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Marines visit WBT!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (2)

Sunday night 11/24/13, WBT was proud to welcome a group of soldiers of the Marine unit stationed at Stewart Air Base in Newburgh NY and their Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ian Wallace and Mrs. Wallace. The 27 Marines enjoyed an evening of fine dining and entertainment. Irving Berlin's White Christmas was a wonderful show for ushering in the Holiday Season. A well-deserved respite from the intense life style that "our" heros live, all in the name of freedom.  

There are two units that are based out of Stewart AFB. VMGR 452 & MAG 49 Detachment B/ MALS 49. Both Units are staffed by active duty Marines and reservists.  Both units re-supply Marines who are stationed in forward bases. Ex: Afghanistan/Iraq. and maintain the aircraft that make the deliveries. Most of these Marines have been deployed numerous times.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sean Montgomery, our McDreamy, chats about White Christmas!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 12:00:00 pm Comments (1)
Sean Montgomery Plays Bob Wallace in White Christmas... He is smooth, he is dreamy... "Blue Skies"  never looked/sounded so good!  See what he says:
   I am fromTucson, AZ. My mother teaches second grade and always puts on a big class production every year. While watching them put up the set as a little kid I used to hop up on stage, grab the microphone and start telling jokes. My Mom had no idea where I picked it up, but I had her laughing so hard that she enrolled me acting classes. Soon after this she enrolled me in dance as well. I took my first tap class at the age of 5 and was hooked. My parents kept me heavily involved in many other extra curricular activities including sports, student council, and choir. However, performing was always the one thing that stuck with me. 
Luckily, I attended a high school that had a strong focus on the arts, which I took full advantage of while also working professionally in my hometown. After high school I auditioned for musical
theatre programs at many universities, and was lucky enough to be accepted at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where I received my BFA. Since graduation I have called NYC my home and have worked all across the US as well as internationally. 

I am not sure what influenced me to become an actor. There are no other actors in my family. I guess it was just a part of me all along.  
I actually heard of White Christmas when it was first produced as a musical. I had worked for Paul Blake (book writer) at The MUNY in St. Louis, and had heard a great deal about the production in addition to having many friends involved with the original production. I auditioned for the show many times as an ensemble member. I always made it through many rounds of dance cuts, but always fell short of booking the job. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to play Bob and to work with Randy Skinner on this amazing show! It's really been a long time dream come true! 

Two of my favorite shows are The Drowsy Chaperone and Crazy for You! I have done both of them a few times, and they very quickly moved there way to the top of my list! One of my dream roles was "Bert" in Mary Poppins (Dick Van Dyke has always been an inspiration for me in my career) and I was so grateful to be a part of the national tour of Mary Poppins this past year where I understudied the role of Bert  and was able to live out that dream.  

I am a huge TV fan. I love getting wrapped up in a good series or spending  a whole  Sunday watching football when I can. 
When I am not onstage I am working on directing. I love working on productions from both angles. Theatre is both a passion and a career for me, and I am so glad to have the opportunity to do what I Iove.  

My ipod is a huge mix of genres and styles! I like singer/songwriters a lot - like Jason Mraz and John Mayer. I am also a huge fan of jazz and big band music. Pandora is always my first choice, because different moods/days call for different music and it's all right there at your fingertips!
Monday, November 18, 2013

Jeremy Benton Taps his way to the WBT Stage!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
 Jeremy Benton Plays Phil Davis in Our Production of WHITE CHRISTMAS.. see what this tap-happy hoofer has to say about his career as a song and dance man!
I grew up on the country roads of Nashville, Tennessee. I thought I had invented tap dancing in my yard at about age 7 or 8. 
My grandmother sat me in front of a Gene Kelly marathon one Sunday morning when I was 9. The rest is history. 
 Director/Choreographer Randy Skinner gave me my first big break when I moved to NYC with 42ND STREET. He's been a friend and mentor ever since.

I first heard of the stage version of the movie classic WHITE CHRISTMAS  through Randy Skinner. They were developing the original company while I was in 42nd Street on Broadway. I remember working on the number "Sisters" with him briefly, trying to figure out some moves for the girl's fans. What fun! 

I have done productions of WHITE CHRISTMAS in San Francisco, Detroit, and the National Tour.   OF COURSE  I am a fan of the movie !!!!  You know, I believe the film sequence of "The Best. Things Happen While You're Dancing" is the longest dance sequence filmed with a single camera shot following the action.

 I have had the great fortune to do a lot of the shows on my dream list: Billy Lawlor in 42ND STREET, Bobby Child in CRAZY FOR YOU, Billy Crocker in ANYTHING GOES, Don Lockwood in SINGIN IN THE RAIN, and of course Phil Davis in WHITE CHRISTMAS.   

I would love to play Max in LEND ME TENOR.  Hear that, producers? (Wink, wink). And, after three Ambrose Kempers, I would really like the chance to play Cornelius Hackl in one of the best musicals ever, HELLO DOLLY!

I love biology and science. I love museums and really like to nerd out at any new exhibits or discoveries.  But now, being the proud new uncle of my nephew, Dexter, and my niece, Roxie, I try to find any reason to get back home and hug their necks.

My IPod has about 7,000 songs on it. I can't remember a time in my life when music wasn't a major part of my day.  So from Mel Torme' to Mariah Carey, from Mendelssohn to KD Lang, there's just about everything on my playlist at any given moment.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meet Kelly Sheehan of White Christmas!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
    Kelly Sheehan Plays the Lovely Judy Haynes in our Production of White Christmas! Here is a bit about what makes her such an outstanding Performer!

  I was born in Los Angeles California.  My mom was a dancer choreographer and my dad was a camera man for Michael Landon.  I had done some work as a kid, commercials, industrials, and constantly performing with my moms dance company for years until we moved to Toledo Ohio!  She felt I needed to be a "normal" kid for a while and moved to her home town!  I relocated to New York just after I had turned 18 to do the revival of 42nd Street on Broadway.  Which was amazing considering my mom was pregnant with me when she did the original production of 42nd Street!  I have been in New York ever since and still love every moment. 
Of course my main inspiration is my mom.  She is the best dancer and has always followed her heart and her career has paid her back in full!  Other inspiration comes from watching the old movie musicals, Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Debbie Reynolds, Anne Miller, and of course Vera Ellen
I was doing 42nd Street on Broadway when the first production of White Christmas came along.  However, as we closed the following year, I was able to audition for White Christmas and booked it!! My first year with the show was in Los Angeles in 2005 and I have been lucky enough to stick with the show ever since. It has taken me to sit down companies in St. Paul, Boston, Broadway both years, and 3 years of touring around the country with it!  Needless to say, it has truly become my Christmas tradition, and I can't imagine not being a part of it! 

My favorite shows are tap shows!  I love tap dancing and any show that includes that skill is ok by me! 
My life outside the theater is mostly spent sharpening my skills for when I am in a show!  Dance class, singing lessons, acting classes, and lots of auditioning.  I of course love NYC and all it has to offer.  Finding new fun spots and appreciating the energy of the city is always exciting.  And honestly, my little apartment is super cozy, and sometimes hard to leave!!! 
My i pod is a mash up, of pop, musicals, and lots of 40's and 50's.  Mostly around the holidays I stick to Ella Fitzgerald, Carpenters Christmas, and my favorite, Christmas with the Rat Pack!