Stories & Cast Interviews

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stuart Marland as Pulitzer in Newsies.

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Stuart Marland began his professional career in 1979 as one of Disneyland’s “All American College Singers.” This summer marks the 40th Anniversary of that life-changing experience where he performed with 14 singer/dancers, a stage band and a marching band - all auditioned from across the USA.  

Stuart's professional affiliation with Disney continued when he was asked to join the Disney mascot group, “The Kids of the Kingdom,” performing for another 3 years on the stages of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. 

Many years later, he would return to his Disney roots, playing ‘Lumiere’ in “Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway. His Disney affiliation came full circle in 2012 when Stuart was asked to participate in the developmental workshop production of “Disney’s Newsies” in New York City. That presentation was followed by the full original production at Paper Mill Playhouse, where he created the role of ‘Snyder.’ A Broadway transfer followed, where the show won Tony Awards for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and Best Choreography. 

Stuart also understudied and performed the role of ‘Joseph Pulitzer’ during both the entire two-and-a-half-year Broadway production and for a 2-month contract during the record-breaking First National Tour.

Westchester Broadway Theatre’s production marks Stuart’s 6th “Newsies," including Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (directed by this production’s director, Mark Martino and choreographed by Shea Sullivan) and Broadway at Music Circus-Sacramento, where he played Nunzio, Snyder and Jacobi.

In addition to performing, Stuart has been an active fund-raiser with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, and a guest teacher with “Broadway Classroom” in New York City, where he teaches acting, singing, comedy for the stage and theatrical history workshops to young performers from around the World. Those workshops often include specialized sessions focusing on  “Newsies” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

 

'79 Disneyland’s “All American College Singers            “Beauty and the Beast” Marquee on Bway

  

“Newsies” Fundraising for Bway Cares/Equity Fights Aids         Closing performance of “Newsies” on Broadway 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Meet Daniel Scott Walton as Jack in Newsies!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I Grew up in Upstate New York, Rochester area with my Mom, Dad, and brother, Michael. I went to school in Brockport, just outside of Rochester. I Have always been heavily involved in music and theatre, performing in many plays/musicals 

Theatre was always in my bones. Loved playing different characters, dancing and singing around the house like a lunatic. All of my teachers over the years have been great mentors to me, but I particularly owe my college voice teacher, Kerry Deal, a tremendous amount of gratitude. Over the course of my 4 years at school, she patiently helped me find the voice that I am very proud of today.  She helped me break down the walls that I never thought possible.  

Funny story. Newsies was the very first musical that I performed in as a 12-year-old. A local community theatre put on a kids version of the movie, and I played Davey. I completely fell in love with the musical, I think I sang the songs around the house for the next 2 years non-stop. I then got to be in the show again 2 years ago at Tuacahn Center of the Arts in St. George, Utah. I played Davey and understudied Jack Kelly. So. this is my third official time in the show and it still doesn't get old. I feel very fortunate that I have gotten the chance to play both Davey and Jack. 

I performed as Frank Schultz in Show Boat at WBT 3 years ago here at WBT, as well as two of the previous Christmas shows.  I love working here, the WBT family have been very great to me, we tease each other constantly and it always feels like home. 

I did know the movie. I performed a staged version of the movie over a decade ago and that is when I first saw the movie. I loved what they did when they finally made it into a full stage version. 

I have many favorite shows and dream roles, but a few that pop out are Miss Saigon, Come From Away, and recently Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

A few dream roles are Finch in How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Mark in Rent.

I am the Finance Manager of a Broadway driving company which I very much enjoy doing when I am not acting. It fuels the finance side of my brain that I definitely got from my family. I also love playing card games/board games with friends, exercise, and catching up on my guilty pleasure tv shows. 

I listen to a wide variety of music, but a few friends recently labeled my taste in music as "Underwater music". Artists like Maggie Rogers, Sara Bareilles, Troye Sivan Khalid, and Yebba are some of my favorites. 

  

 In Showboat                       In  Cristmas Inn                                  In  The Christmas Voyager

 

 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Anita Welch is keepin ' out of mischief in Ain't Misbehavin'

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I’m a California girl born and raised.

I fell in love with theatre when I was a young girl. My father introduced me to musicals and he and I would rent musicals on tape from the public library. My all time favorite was the 1999 film version of Annie

As for singing- music always had a huge presence in my household growing up. I had Chronic Asthma as a child and spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. My parents put me in voice lessons to help me learn breath support and to strengthen my lungs. Anytime I was afraid my mother would ask me to sing a song. Music helped shape who I am. 

I learned about Ain’t Misbehavin' while I was  studying at AMDA. I worked in the school library and went through a stage where I would watch the 1978 recorded performance they had on copy over and over. 

Ain’t Misbehavin' also happened to be my first equity show. I had the pleasure of doing this show about nine years ago. And get this! I was along side my current co-star Tony Perry! I’m thankful to be doing this show again. This time directed by the creator Richard Maltby Jr! Also working with assistant director A. Curtis Farrow, and Music director Billy McDaniels.  DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON MY LOVE FOR THIS CAST! 

I love the show Dear Evan Hansen. When my friend Charley and I went to see it we were enthralled. But, I can’t really choose a favorite. I also love The Color Purple, Porgy and Bess, and of course Ain’t Misbehavin'. 

As for my dream role, I don’t think it exists yet. It is my dream to originate a role on Broadway. To play a character that touches the lives of those who see it; One that is three dimensional and dynamic. I’ve been fortunate enough to originate some wonderful women in new works. 

When not on stage, I spend time with my dog. I have a beautiful chocolate Labrador named Chance. He makes life fun and reminds me to smile and live in the moment.

My partner and I just made a playlist on Spotify for our game nights titled “The Everything”.  Lately pre-show, I’ve been listening to music that nourishes my soul like India Arie’s "Songversations."

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Richard Maltby Jr. Honored at WBT

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

 Richard Maltby Jr. (left) with A. Curtis Farrow.

The AUDELCO BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPECIAL PIONEER AWARD is presented to Richard Maltby, Jr.
Celebrating 40 Years of the Musical Ain't Misbehavin' and how your creation has touched humanity  through the music of Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller.

The award was presented by Curtis Farrow on February 1, 2019 at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY.

The AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee, Inc.) is an organization that acknowledges and honors Black Theatre and its artists in New York City. Established and incorporated in 1973 by Vivian Robinson (1926-1996), to stimulate interest in and support of performing arts in black communities. Developing relationships with individuals, local groups, churches, and other organizations to introduce new audiences to non-profit performing arts. The annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition, “The VIV”Awards are the only formally established awards presented to the black theatre community. 

AUDELCO’s Young Audiences Series addresses the need for positive cultural experiences for children between the ages of 10-17.  This series provides entertainment and cultural experience for the youth in non-academic settings. The Black Theatre Archives: A collection of books, tapes, original scripts, costumes and set designs, photographs, playbills and extensive clippings on current theatre groups and activities. Their many Seminars, Lectures, and Forums address the general awareness about the contributions of Blacks in the cultural and socio-economic environment. They publish two publications; Intermission, (A newsletter to stimulate interest in the performing arts) and The Overture (a black theatre magazine to document exciting work done by Black theatre artists.)

Richard Maltby, Jr. Broadway: Conceived and directed two Tony Award Best Musicals: Ain't Misbehavin' (1978: also, Tony Award for Best Director); FOSSE (1999:). Director/lyricist: BABY (1983); Lyricist: BIG (1996). Co-lyricist: MISS SAIGON (1989); THE PIRATE QUEEN (2007). Director/co-lyricist: SONG & DANCE (1986); Director: RING OF FIRE (2006); THE STORY OF MY LIFE (2009). OFF-BROADWAY: Director/lyricist STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW (1977) and CLOSER THAN EVER, (1989). Director: JUST JIM DALE, Roundabout Theatre (2014), VAUDEVILLE, London (2015). REGIONAL: Lyricist, TAKE FLIGHT, Chocolate Factory (2010), McCarter Theatre (2012); book/lyrics, WATERFALL, (Pasadena, Seattle (2015). FILM: Screenplay, MISS POTTER, (2007). Contributes cryptic crossword puzzles to Harpers Magazine. Son of well-known orchestra leader; Five children: Nicholas, David, Jordan, Emily and Charlotte.