FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2017
Contact: Tina Slak • 610.282.WILL, ext. 4
Center Valley, PA –
Jason Forbach, who was recently featured in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables and Phoenix Best who made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple will star in this summer’s production of Evita at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.
Forbach, who played Enjolras in the 2014 Tony Nominated Broadway revival and the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Les Misérables, will play the role of Eva Perón’s first love, the tango singer Agustin Magaldi.
“I’m thrilled to be joining such a prestigious company in one of my favorite shows. I think this production will be incredibly epic,” says Forbach who has appeared in the Las Vegas company of The Phantom of the Opera and is currently in the Broadway bound revival of The Secret Garden now playing at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, Washington.
Best, who made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple last year, will play Juan Perón’s mistress. She comes to the Festival following her recent performance as Deena Jones in Dream Girls at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars.
“I am so excited to make my return to PSF this season in Evita! I cannot wait to work with Dee Roscioli and to come back to the place I called home,” says Best a DeSales University theatre graduate and a former PSF young company member whose Festival credits include Les Misérables , The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V, Oklahoma!, Beauty and the Beast, and the leading role in Cinderella.
As previously announced, Broadway’s Dee Roscioli will play the title role of Eva Perón, opposite international opera star Paulo Szot as Juan Perón, and with Broadway and television actor Dan Domenech as Che.
Roscioli is best known for her long run as Elphaba on Broadway, and in the Chicago, San Francisco, and national touring productions of the hit musical Wicked.
Szot won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Emile De Becque in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater.
Domenech is best known for starring in the role of Drew in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages and for his recurring role on Fox television’s hit series Glee.
This production will be directed by PSF Associate Artistic Director, Dennis Razze, veteran director of all PSF musicals.
Evita runs June 14 through July 2 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University.
As in past season’s, the musical is expected to sell-out all 22 performances. The Festival encourages patrons to order tickets early for best seating options.
In addition to Evita, the season will include two Shakespeare titles: the comedy As You Like It and the Festival’s “Extreme Shakespeare” production of Troilus and Cressida, which is not often produced. [With “Extreme Shakespeare,” actors arrive with their lines learned, rehearse on their own, wear what they can find and open in a matter of days.]
The summer season includes a mystery comedy, The Hound of the Baskervilles, in which three actors play 16 roles, a la the Festival’s 2013 production of The 39 Steps; and Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling The Three Musketeers, adapted by playwright Ken Ludwig and directed by world-renowned fight choreographer Rick Sordelet.
The summer season also offers two children’s productions: The Ice Princess — a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen — and Shakespeare for Kids.
The season runs June 2 through August 6.
The Festival’s season is sponsored by David B. Rothrock and Patrina L. Rothrock. Associate Season Sponsors are the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, and the Szarko family. The season media sponsor is The Morning Call.
The schedule is:
Main Stage Theatre
Evita • June 14 – July 2
The Three Musketeers • July 12 – August 6
As You Like It• July 20 – August 6
Shakespeare for Kids • July 26 – August 5
The Hound of the Baskervilles • June 21 – July 16
Troilus and Cressida • July 26 – August 6
The Ice Princess • June 2 – August 5
Media Reps.: High res photos available Please contact Tina Slak, 610.282.WILL  or Tina.Slak@pashakespeare.org
Jason Forbach played Enjolras in both the 2014 Tony Nominated Broadway revival and the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Les Misérables.He is currently in the Broadway bound revival of The Secret Garden now playing at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, Washington. ALSO: National tour: Phantom (Vegas). Off-Broadway: Music Teacher (New Group), Regional: Paper Mill, SMC, Kennedy Center, North Shore, Carnegie Hall.
Phoenix Best made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple, (Swing; understudy: Squeak and Olivia). Regional Theatre, Deena Jones, Dream Girls, Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars; Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: Les Miz, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V, Oklahoma!, Beauty and the Beast, Much Ado About Nothing, and the leading role in Cinderella.
Dee Roscioli was most recently seen in John Kander’s new musical KID VICTORY at the Vineyard theatre directed by Liesl Tommy.
Dee is best known for her record-breaking run as Elphaba in Wicked where she played the role on Broadway and across the US.
Other credits: Fiddler on the Roof (2015 Broadway revival), Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Love/Sick (written by John Cariani) Rock and Roll Refugee (Royal Family), Little Miss Sunshine (Second Stage dir by James Lapine), Murder Ballad (MTC workshop and NYSF production dir by Trip Cullman), and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.
Dee has also sung with various symphonies around the world including the Philly Pops and will offer a concert at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival this summer.
Paulo Szot is one of the most acclaimed and versatile baritones in the world, having garnered international acclaim as both an opera singer and an actor. Born in São Paulo to Polish immigrants, Mr. Szot has appeared with many major opera companies throughout the world in Europe, the United States, and his native Brazil. In 2008, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Emile De Beque in the Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre.
Szot’s engagements for the 2016/17 season include Don Alfonso in a new production of Cosi fan tutte at Opera National de Paris and a solo recital at Teatro Royal de Madrid as a salute to Frank Sinatra’s recordings of Antonio Jobim’s bossa novas. He will also create the roles of Alexander Hamilton, Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney in the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s The New Prince at Dutch National Opera.
In the 2015/16 season, Szot sang Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Opera Municipal de Marseille, and performances of Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony in São Paulo. He also returned to New York City’s famous 54 Below for a run of critically acclaimed solo performances. In the 2014/15 season, Szot sang the Captain in The Death of Klinghoffer at the Metropolitan Opera, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Bahrain, Escamillo in Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo. He also appeared in a series of solo performances at 54 Below. Engagements for the 2013/14 season included Kovalev in The Nose and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin at Opera Australia, and a series of solo performances at 54 Below.
Szot’s engagements for the 2012/2013 season included his debut at Washington National Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni, his debut as Filippov in a new production of A Dog’s Heart at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and Kovalev in a new production of The Nose at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. He also returned to Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra and performed in an acclaimed solo concert with the NY Philharmonic. In the 2011/12 season, Szot sang Lescaut in Manon at the Metropolitan Opera, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro for his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Escamillo in Carmen for his debut at San Francisco Opera. He also returned to New York City’s Café Carlyle for a series of concert performances.
Szot’s engagements for the 2010/11 season included the title role in Don Giovanni for his debut at Dallas Opera, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte for his debut at Opera National de Paris, and a two week engagement at the famous Café Carlyle in New York. He also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Escamillo in Carmen and appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall with Deborah Voigt and Collegiate Chorale. In the 2009/10 season, Szot made his highly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of The Nose by Shostakovich, conducted by Valery Gergiev, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops Orchestra in a program of Lerner and Lowe. He appeared in South Pacific on Broadway throughout the season as well.
In addition to his performances in South Pacific, Mr. Szot’s engagements during the 2008/09 season included his New York Philharmonic debut in a concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, alongside Liza Minnelli, and his debut at the Ravinia Festival in concert with Kelli O’Hara. He also appeared in concert in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of the American Songbook Series. In the 2007/08 season, Szot sang Marcello in La boheme at Opera National de Bordeaux and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro for his debut in Antwerp at De Vlaamse Opera.
Paulo Szot was born in São Paulo and raised in Ribeirão Pires, Brazil. He began his musical training at the age of five, first studying piano and later adding violin and dance. Szot studied at Jagiellonian University in Poland, the country from which his parents had emigrated following World War II. He began singing professionally in 1990 with the Polish National Song & Dance Ensemble “Slask”, and he made his operatic debut in a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro Municipal de São Paulo.
After starring in the Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre, Szot won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic’s Circle and Theater World Awards for his portrayal of Emile De Becque in 2008, becoming the first Brazilian actor to receive such honors.
Dan Domenech is best known for starring in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages and for his work on the Off-Broadway cult hit Heathers: the Musical. He’s also known for appearing on Fox television’s Glee and Gotham.
A Long Island native, Domenech was an active member of the Long Island theater community before booking his first tour in the Tony Award-winning musical RENT. He went on to originate roles in the pre Broadway runs of Wonderland and Sister Act: The Musical as well as donning 6 inch heels in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra theater in Toronto.
Following his run in Evita, Domenech will be appearing with the Missouri Symphonyon July 14th as part of the concert series Rock On.
Other Theatre: Tarzan, Tarzan, Atlantis Theatre (Manila); Aladdin, Alladin (Tuacahn Ampitheatre); Alter Boyz, Juan, (Musical Theatre West); The Who’s Tommy, Tommy, (Media Theatre).
Choreographer/Dancer, TV: Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Academy Awards, MTV Movie Awards. Film: Fame, Tropic Thunder, Semi Pro, Step Brothers.
About Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, Managing Director Casey Gallagher, and Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays all of which can all be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a greater range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks’ time.
The Festival’s award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests,” is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.
Founded in 1992 and now the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF’s mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, and from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. With 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 25 years, PSF has offered 161 total productions (69 Shakespeare), and entertained 850,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 38,000+ in attendance each summer season, plus another 15,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. In 2013, leaders of the world’s premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival hosted the international STA Conference.
The Festival’s vision is for world-class work.