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Best of Both Worlds

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  • NOV 21, 2009 - JAN 3, 2010

  • Loeb Drama Center

  • Run Time: 2 hours with one intermission.

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Best of Both Worlds takes us on a journey through the rich musical tapestry of R&B, rediscovering Shakespeare’s characters with smooth sounds and funky beats. When jealousy rips apart love and friendship, only the revelatory power of gospel can restore the enduring bonds of faith, family, and forgiveness.

The production will feature a rotating roster of Boston’s most celebrated gospel choirs, including community, university, and church choirs from throughout the city.

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Credits

Cast

Ezekiel

Gregg Baker

Ezekiel

Gregg Baker

Ezekiel in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: Raisin, Timbuktu (with Eartha Kitt), The Wiz (with Stephanie Mills). OTHER THEATER: Godspell, US tour; Porgy and Bess (Crown), Radio City Music Hall; Carmen Jones (Husk, Miller) West End, London; NBC’s New Performers (principal). OPERA: 20-year career includes Porgy and Bess (Crown, Porgy); Aida (Amonasro), Carmen (Escamillo), Samson and Delila (High Priest), Das Rheingold (Donner), I pagliacci (Silvio), and L’elisir d’amore (Belcore), Metropolitan Opera; Carmen (Escamillo), Royal Opera Covent Garden (also Rome & Japan); numerous leading European and American opera houses. CONCERT: with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Danish Symphony, Radio Stuttgart Symphony, among others. Grammy Award nomination, Lawrence Olivier Award nomination.

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Serena/Daughter of Joy

Jeannette Bayardelle

Serena/Daughter of Joy

Jeannette Bayardelle

Serena/Daughter of Joy in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: The Color Purple (Celie). NATIONAL/ INTERNATIONAL TOURS: The Color Purple (Celie), Big River, Rent, Sister Act. OFF-BROADWAY: Best of Both Worlds. FILM: Disney’s The Little Mermaid 3: Ariel’s Beginning. AWARDS: NAACP Theater Award (best lead Actress in a Musical) for the Role of Celie in The Color Purple. CD Projects: Praise Report (2005), Transferable (New Release 2009).

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Violetta/Daughter of Joy

Mary Bond Davis

Violetta/Daughter of Joy

Mary Bond Davis

Violetta/Daughter of Joy in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle, original cast); The Women; Jelly’s Last Jam (Miss Mamie, original cast); Marie Christine (Prisoner #3, original cast); Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; Show Boat; Mail; Grease. OFFBROADWAY: Scapin (with Bill Irwin), Hysterical Blindness... . REGIONAL: Heartbeats (Best Friend, original cast), Shout Up a Morning (Leah, original cast). FILM: Romance and Cigarettes; New York Minute; Coming To America; The Preacher’s Wife; Hook; Jeffrey; The Art of Dying; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling. TELEVISION: Twin Peaks, Bing Crosby Christmas Show (with Fred Astaire), Gimme a Break! PILOTS: Piece of Cake, The City. RECORDINGS: Hairspray, Marie Christine, Jelly’s Last Jam, Songs from Ragtime, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Ann-Margret), Broadway by the Year: 1929, Broadway by the Year: 1933, Broadway Unplugged II.

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Mamillius

Sebastien Lucien

Mamillius

Sebastien Lucien

Mamillius in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. Credits: Children’s Folktale, Summer Revels 2006; Boston Children’s Museum; Annual piano recital (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), Duxbury Performing Center; National Piano Guild auditions (May 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; Gold medal award winner); Youth and Family Empowerment piano recital, Berklee College of Music; Piano performance and Michael Jackson impersonation, Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN TV-23). Performed classical piano and guitar at numerous cultural events and private functions in Boston, Washington, New York, Portland. As a young guitar player, he frequently accompanies his father, a folklore storyteller, during his performances. Recipent of the National Piano Guild awards during two consecutive years as a gold medal finalist. He has been a student of the South Shore Conservatory, learning guitar and piano, and received theater training at Derby Summer Arts program in Hingham.

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Rain

Brianna Horne

Rain in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. Recent Wagner College graduate with a B.A. in music theater. REGIONAL: All Shook Up, Ogunquit Playhouse; Once On This Island, Hangar Theatre; AIDA, TRI Arts Sharon Playhouse; In Sun and Snow, Walnut Street Theatre; St. Louis Woman, West Side Story, Prince Music Theatre. My Broadway Debut (Winner), CBS; Tangy’s Song, BET.

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Camillo/The Bear

Nikkieli DeMone

Camillo/The Bear

Nikkieli DeMone

Camillo/The Bear in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY (National and International): RENT (Collins), Miss Saigon (John), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Ken), Once on This Island (Agwe). REGIONAL: Drowning Crow (Yak); Crowns (Preacher); Twelfth Night (Viola); The Amen Corner (David); A Christmas Carol, Goodman Theatre; Side Show (Jake; Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Northlight Theatre; Miss Saigon (John; Joseph Jefferson Award nomination Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Marriott Theatre; Crowns (Preacher), Arena Stage and Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre; The Full Monty (Horse), Barksdale Theatre; The Amen Corner (David), Huntington Theatre. FILM/TV: California Dreams, NBC; Magic Door, Bad Street (Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor), CBS; Take2! (Artistic Director), Urban Theatre
Company.

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8-Ball/Tariq

Lawrence Stallings

8-Ball/Tariq

Lawrence Stallings

Tariq/8-Ball in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: Passing Strange (“Youth” standby). OFF-BROADWAY: Passing Strange; Shafrika; The White Girl. REGIONAL: Sizwe Bansi is Dead (Sizwe); Songs For A New World (Man 1); Sam Cooke: Forever Mr. Soul (One Man Show), Milwaukee Rep and Delaware Theatre Company; From My Hometown (Detroit); Death and the King’s Horseman (Olunde); Life Is A Dream (Segismundo); Sparkle, The Musical. TV/FILM: The Rebound; TLC’s Diagnosis X (recurring); 1000 Ways To Die; A Royal Birthday (mini-series). MFA-Acting, Temple University.

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Sweet Daddy/Narrator

Cleavant Derricks

Sweet Daddy/Narrator

Cleavant Derricks

Sweet Daddy/Narrator in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: Dreamgirls (James Thunder Early; Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and LA Drama Circle Award winner for vocal arrangements); Bob Fosse’s Big Deal (Tony & Drama Desk Awards nominee for Best Actor); Revival of Hair; Vinette Carroll’s Your Arms Too Short to Box with God; But Never Jam Today; Brooklyn the Musical. TOURING: The Full Monty (Horse; NAACP Theatre Award for Best Male). REGIONAL: Cy Coleman’s Like Jazz, Mark Taper Forum. FILM: Moscow on the Hudson; The Slugger’s Wife; Offbeat; Carnival of Souls; Bluffing It; World Traveler. TV: When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate, PBS Company Company (composer, musical director, and featured actor); Sliders; Thea; Drexell’s Class; Good Sports; Whoops!. Guest appearances on Touched by an Angel; Charmed; The Practice; The Bernie Mac Show; Cold Case; David E. Kelly’s Wedding Bells. Other awards include the “Heroes and Legends Award” for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.

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Maurice

Darius de Haas

Maurice

Darius de Haas

Maurice in Best of Both Worlds, A.R.T. debut. BROADWAY: Rent, Carousel, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Marie Christine, The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm; Dreamgirls, Hair. OFF-BROADWAY: Running Man (directed by Diane Paulus, OBIE Award), Music-Theatre Group; Saturn Returns, NYSF; The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (premiere), Playwrights Horizons. REGIONAL/ TOURS: Children Of Eden (US premiere), Papermill Playhouse; Cry, The Beloved Country, Goodman; Once on This Island, 1st National Tour; I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky (premiere); Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL, Alliance Theatre. TV/FILM: Chicago, Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone, My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs, The View. CONCERTS: Venues include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Disney Concert Hall, and London’s Royal Festival Hall. RECORDINGS: Darius de Haas, Day Dream: Variations on Strayhorn (PS Classics), several Original Cast recordings.

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Band

Keyboard

Michael Mitchell

Keyboard

Michael Mitchell

Michael has performed with Bob Mintzer and Marcus Baylor, Corey Glover, Jim Widner, Leonard Hokinson, Randy Salman, Marc Fields, The American Musical Ambassador Concert Band (European tour), the John Philip Sousa Concert Band, and many others. He recently performed at China’s national Music and Arts Festival. TOURS: Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley (Conductor/Music Director). REGIONAL: Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel (Music Director; Suzi Bass Award Nominee for Best Musical Director), Alliance Theater; Crowns (Pianist; directed by Regina Taylor). CONCERTS: 3 Mo’ Divas (Assistant Music Director); Composed/Arranged/Produced both Hot, Live & More with David A. Tobin’s Ministry of Song and Melodies of the Heart with Arlene Frink. RECORDINGS: Evolution with Yewende (Lotus Records) and Smashing Musical Barriers with 3 Mo’ Divas. Michael has a Music Business degree from DePaul University, and has received many regional and national awards in both piano and percussions, including honorable mention from the Stravinsky International Piano Competition.

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Guitar

James Peterson

Fred Woodard

Bass

Wesley Wirth

Drums

Yoron Israel

Credits

Scenic Design

Riccardo Hernandez

Scenic Design

Riccardo Hernandez

A.R.T.: Over twenty productions, including most recently, Jagged Little PillThe White Card, Arrabal, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Prometheus Bound, Best of Both Worlds, The Seagull, Julius Caesar, Britannicus, and Marat/Sade. Broadway: Indecent, The Gin Game; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; The People in the Picture; Caroline, or Change, National Theatre London; Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Old Vic; Topdog/Underdog, Royal Court; Bells Are Ringing; Parade (directed by Hal Prince, Tony, Drama Desk nominations); Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, The Tempest. Recent productions include: The Skin of Our Teeth, TFANA; The Invisible Hand (Henry Hewes Design Award); Red Speedo (Drama Desk Nomination); Grounded (directed by Julie Taymor). International: Théâtre du Châtelet, Avignon (Cour d’honneur Palais des Papes); Oslo, National Theatre; Abbey Theatre. Recipient, Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Design. Hernandez is on the faculty at Yale School of Drama.

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Costume Design

Emilio Sosa

Lighting Design

Aaron Black

Sound Design

Brett Jarvis

Sound Design

Brett Jarvis

Recent projects: Burnt Part Boys, New York Shakespeare Festival; The Glass Menagerie, Guild Hall; The Slug Bearers of Kayroll Island, Vineyard Theatre; Speech and Debate, Roundabout Theatre Company; Revolution, Joyce Theatre; Kiki and Herb—Alive on Broadway!; Two Trains Running (2007 Audelco Award Nomination), Landscape of the Body, The Trip to Bountiful, Signature Theatre; and Best of Both Worlds, Women’s Project Theatre. Other: People Be Heard, Playwrights Horizons; Bill Irwin’s Mr. Fox: A Rumination, The Regard Evening, and Harlequin Studies, Signature Theatre; Avenue Q (Lucille Lortel Award 2003), The Karaoke Show, Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching; Eli’s Comin’, Vineyard Theatre; Swimming with Watermelons and Brutal Imagination (Lucille Lortel Nomination 2002, co-design); Running Man, Music-Theatre Group; Mark Dendy’s Dream Analysis; and the long running hit The Donkey Show.

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Music Director

Michael Mitchell

Music Director

Michael Mitchell

Michael has performed with Bob Mintzer and Marcus Baylor, Corey Glover, Jim Widner, Leonard Hokinson, Randy Salman, Marc Fields, The American Musical Ambassador Concert Band (European tour), the John Philip Sousa Concert Band, and many others. He recently performed at China’s national Music and Arts Festival. TOURS: Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley (Conductor/Music Director). REGIONAL: Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel (Music Director; Suzi Bass Award Nominee for Best Musical Director), Alliance Theater; Crowns (Pianist; directed by Regina Taylor). CONCERTS: 3 Mo’ Divas (Assistant Music Director); Composed/Arranged/Produced both Hot, Live & More with David A. Tobin’s Ministry of Song and Melodies of the Heart with Arlene Frink. RECORDINGS: Evolution with Yewende (Lotus Records) and Smashing Musical Barriers with 3 Mo’ Divas. Michael has a Music Business degree from DePaul University, and has received many regional and national awards in both piano and percussions, including honorable mention from the Stravinsky International Piano Competition.

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Associate Music Director/Choir Coordinator

David Freeman Coleman

Associate Music Director/Choir Coordinator

David Freeman Coleman

Holds a Bachelor of Music in both piano performance and composition from Boston University and an M.A. in composition from Tufts University. Currently the Director of Choral Music at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, David has been choral directing for 20 years, and is also actively involved in gospel music throughout New England. He is the director of the gospel ensemble Confirmation, and has performed for the New England Patriots, the Democratic National Committee, and Pope John Paul II. David is also currently the director of the 225-voice Tufts University Third Day Gospel Choir, and has also directed several area choirs with performances at the House of Blues, the Wang Center, and Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops. He has worked with choirs for many popular artists like Bobby McFerrin, Patti Labelle, Phish, and most recently Academy Award Nominee Ryan Gosling. He leads workshops in gospel music for the American Choral Directors Association and for the NAIS People of Color Conference, and he is the 2007 recipient of the Thomas A. Dorsey Award from the New England Conservatory.

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Movement

Tracy Jack

Movement

Tracy Jack

Actor, dancer, director and choreographer currently residing in NYC;. a company member and the resident choreographer for the Classical Theatre of Harlem; founding director of Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy, an intensive training program designed for teenagers who have a strong desire to work in the entertainment industry. Choreography Credits: Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, Classical Theatre of Harlem; The Black Nativity (Mary), Duke Theatre; Hip Hop Monologues: Inside The Life and Mind of Jim Jones, J Kyles Korner Entertainment; Sweet Sweetbacks Baad Aaaasssss Song The Musical (principal dancer/Assistant Director), Melvin Van Peebles; Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio); Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death (The Dyke/Assistant Director), Classical Theatre of Harlem National Tour; Macbeth (First Witch), Bonn Biennale (Germany).

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Line Producers

Ariane Barbanell

Ari Barbanell is the Director of Special Projects, and the Associate Producer for the A.R.T.'s second stage and club theater, OBERON. Ari serves as the A.R.T.'s Producer for The Emerging America Festival, a collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company and ICA/Boston that presents groundbreaking American performance. In 2000, she co-founded the New York City-based theater company One Year Lease, and now serves on its Board of Directors. Ari worked in New York with many theatre artists including The Wooster Group, Fovea Floods, and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, and in Boston as a grant writer for The Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She holds a Masters in Arts Administration from Boston University and received her BA from Vassar College with a degree in Drama.

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Line Producers

Chris De Camillis

A.R.T.: Thirty-five productions including Wild Swans, Johnny Baseball, The Seagull, Oliver TwistWings of Desire, Island of SlavesRomeo and Juliet, Three SistersDesire Under the Elms, DidoQueen of Carthage, OedipusA Midsummer Night’s DreamLady with a Lapdog, Uncle VanyaLysistrata, Marat/Sade, Richard II, Mother Courage and Her ChildrenThe Winter’s Tale, Full CircleIvanov, The Merchant of VeniceNew York: Lincoln Center Theater; Lucille Lortel Theatre; New York Theatre Workshop; Vineyard Theatre; Theatre for a New Audience; W.P.A. Regional: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Berkshire Theatre Festival (three seasons), George Street Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, San Antonio Festival, Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, The Acting Company (five seasons). Chris is in his fourteenth year at the A.R.T. as Resident Stage Manager and his twelfth as Artistic Coordinator.

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Dramaturg

Ryan McKittrick

Beck Holden

Dramaturg

Ryan McKittrick

Received his M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training and his B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard. His articles on theater have appeared in The Boston Globe, Correspondence, A.R.T. News, ARTicles, Theatre, and The Boston Phoenix. Mr. McKittrick is a recipient of the TCG New Generations Award and the NTC Scholarship Award. He is also a Lecturer in Theater Arts at Brandeis University. His co-translations with Julia Smeliansky include Anton Chekhov’s Lady with a Lapdog, Rezo Gabriadze’s Forbidden Christmas, and The Selected Letters of Olga Bokshanskaya.

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Assistant Dramaturg

Laura Henry, Joe Pindelski

Assistant Director

Allegra Libonati, Laura Savia

Stage Manager

Katherine Shea

Stage Manager

Katherine Shea

A.R.T.: Stage Manager: Prometheus Bound; The Blue Flower; Cabaret; Johnny Baseball; Paradise Lost; Best of Both Worlds; Romance; Endgame; The Communist Dracula Pageant; When It’s Hot, It’s Cole; Donnie Darko. Assistant Stage Manager: The Seagull; Oliver Twist; The Onion Cellar. Production Associate: Island of Slaves; Desire Under the Elms. A.R.T. Institute: Stage Manager: The Front Page; Arabian Night; Zoya; Mayhem; A Bright Room Called Day; The Island of Anyplace; The Bacchae; Spring Awakening; Donnie Darko. Gloucester Stage Company: Production Stage Manager: The Woman in Black. Lyric Stage Company: Production Stage Manager: Kiss Me, Kate; Three Tall Women; Adrift in Macao. Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Stage Manager: King John.

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Assistant Stage Manager

Amanda Robbins-Butcher

Assistant Stage Manager

Amanda Robbins-Butcher

A.R.T: Assistant Stage Manager: Romance, Endgame, Production Associate: The Communist Dracula Pageant, No Man’s Land, Wings of Desire. ART Institute: Stage Manager: Pinter One Acts (The Room & Celebration), Lacy Project, The Discreet Charm of Monsieur Jourdain, Expats, Gray City, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Phoenician Women, Kate Crackernuts, The Island of Anyplace, Melancholy Play. B.A. from St. Olaf College, Northfield MN.

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Casting

Stephen Kopel

Casting

Stephen Kopel

A.R.T.: The White Card; Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women; Witness Uganda; O.P.C.; The Glass Menagerie; Once; Ajax; The Blue Flower; Johnny Baseball; Best of Both Worlds. Casting director for Roundabout Theatre Company & Encores! Off-Center. Broadway credits include: Moulin Rouge (upcoming), The Play That Goes Wrong, Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, Sunday in the Park with George, Amélie, Violet, Winslow Boy, The Glass Menagerie, Mystery of Edwin Drood, Harvey, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Once, Road to Mecca, On A Clear Day..., Anything Goes, Brief Encounter, Scottsboro Boys, Sondheim On Sondheim, Hedda Gabler.

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Music Copyist

Kevin Massey

Dialogue Coach

May Nazareno

Associate Sound Designer

Justin Stasiw

Production

Carpenters

Dan Black, Alan Boyer, Tom Ibbitson, George Kane, Andrew Remillard

Audio Engineers

Clive Goodwin, Jason Van Sleet

Properties Intern

Katie Flemming

Assistant Charge Artist

Kristin Knutson

Assistant Charge Artist

Kristin Knutson

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Audio Associates

Doug Mullen, Alexis Rodriguez-Carlson

Scenic Painter

Katie Richmond

Wigmaster

Rachel Padula-Shufelt

A.R.T.: Charlotte’s Web (Costume Design); Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women; Fingersmith; In the Body of the World; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; Waitress; CrossingThe Heart of Robin Hood; All the Way; The Glass Menagerie; Pippin; Marie Antoinette; The Blue Flower; Cabaret; Death and the Powers; Best of Both Worlds; Donnie Darko; Julius Caesar; Copenhagen; The Communist Dracula Pageant. Broadway: Waitress, The Glass Menagerie. Regional: The Colored Museum, Huntington Theatre Company.

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