Aleks Knezevich* (Danny) is excited to return to CDT after performing in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Camelot. Aleks has performed across the country in the Jekyll and Hyde national tour, and has been seen locally at Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theater, Theater Latté Da and Artistry. Favorite roles include Gaston and Jekyll/Hyde. “Much love to my wife and family, praise to God for all things, and gratitude to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for the continued work.”
Laura Rudolph* (Sandy) is delighted to be on stage at CDT! Favorite CDT credits include: Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act, Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! (Irene Molloy), The Little Mermaid (Ariel/Alanna), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Ensemble/Narrator U/S), All Shook Up (Natalie), Nunset Boulevard (Sr. Leo); First national tour: Nunset Boulevard (Sr. Leo); Guthrie Theater: South Pacific, Roman Holiday, H.M.S. Pinafore, She Stoops to Conquer reading; Artistry: Thoroughly Modern Millie. Proud member of AEA.
Ruthanne Heyward* (Rizzo) is delighted to be back at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. She was last seen on the Main Stage in Beauty and the Beast (Belle), preceded by Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph…Dreamcoat, and Christmas Together (on the Fireside Stage). Local credits include Skylark Opera (On the Town, Mlle. Modiste, Wonderful Town and The Vagabond King) and The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company (Patience, H.M.S. Pinafore). Ruthanne thanks her family for their constant support of her theatrical endeavors. Ephesians 3:20. ruthanneheyward.com
Ben Bakken (Kenickie) is in his sixth year as theatre director at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood. CDT credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Ivey Award), Hairspray, Footloose, Oklahoma!, All Shook Up, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Altar Boyz. Local credits include History Theatre (Teen Idol), Theater Latté Da (Aida), Ordway (The Rocky Horror Show), Children’s Theatre Company (High School Musical), Bucket Brigade, (’Til Death and Kingdom Undone), COLLIDE (Zoot Suit Riots). Ben is ecstatic to be back on Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Main Stage for the first time in over five years!
Kasano Mwanza* (Teen Angel) is excited to be back at CDT! He was most recently seen in Contempo Physical Dance Company’s Balacobaco, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres' Sister Act. Kasano has previously worked with Theater Latté Da, Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company and many more! For more information on Kasano, and to hear some of his original work, go to kasanomusic.com. “To my family & friends, I love you!” kasanomusic.com
Shinah Brashears* (Frenchy) is elated to be playing Frenchy and understudying Sandy and Patty in her first CDT production. She was last seen in The Kennedy Center national tour of Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play! as the title character Piggie. Favorite Twin Cities productions include Theater Latté Da (Dainty June and Agnes in Gypsy and Little Red and Lucinda in Into The Woods), 7th House (Francesca in The Great Work), Guthrie Theater (Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man). “All my love to Darci.”
Renee Guittar* (Patty Simcox) is over-joyed to be back at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres after appearing in Camelot and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! Past credits include Guthrie (The Music Man), Ordway (A Chorus Line), and Old Log (The Wedding Singer). Company Member of Collide Theatrical Dance Company. National tour: The Magic of Jared Sherlock. Minnesota Fringe Festival: Clocked and Circulate (producer/co-director). Teaching: Zenon Dance School, Ashley Ballet Arts Academy. Training: Gustavus Adolphus College. “Love to family, friends and Rush!”
Derek Prestly* (Eugene Florczyk) is thrilled to return to the CDT stage. Previous credits include Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Flounder), Fiddler on the Roof (Mendel), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Swing) and Bye Bye Birdie (Harvey Johnson). Derek has also been seen with Theater Latté Da, Children’s Theatre Company and MMT. Derek is a founding company member of 7th House Theater and has been seen in their productions of Hair, Jonah and the Whale and The Passage.
Jessica Fredrickson* (Marty) is thrilled to be back at CDT! Past credits include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s Mary Poppins, Minnie Fae in Hello, Dolly!, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, State Fair, and Kim in Bye Bye Birdie. Other credits include Ordway (Cinderella in Cinderella, White Christmas, and Contemporary Broadway Songbook), Broadway Asia (Joseph …Dreamcoat), Guthrie (The Cocoanuts), Theater Latté Da (Clara in The Light in the Piazza and Mistress in Evita), Skylark Opera (Mlle. Modiste), Artistry (Crazy For You, The Music Man, Fiorello, Clara in Light in the Piazza and Laurie in Oklahoma!). Love to Aleks!
Therese Walth* (Jan) was last seen as Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act, as well as in Bye Bye Birdie (Ursula) and Hairspray (Tracy Turnblad). Other credits include Guthrie Theater (The Music Man, The Two Gentlemen of Verona), Jungle Theatre (As The World Goes ’Round and Urinetown), Ordway (Broadway Songbook: Gershwin), Second Fiddle Productions (Lizzy Curry in 110 in the Shade), Minnetonka Theatre (Mame), Open Window Theatre (The Lilies of the Field), Bloomington Civic Theatre (Les Misérables and Kiss Me, Kate). Therese is also the Choral/Vocal Music Director at Hill-Murray School, and a member of AEA.
Evan Tyler Wilson (Roger) enthusiastically joins the cast of Grease at CDT. Regional credits include Uncle Monty in C. and Pirelli in Sweeney Todd both at Theater Latté Da; Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at The Duluth Playhouse; and Grantaire in Les Misérables at Phoenix Theatre. Evan is a “Slytherin” with a BM in Musical Theater from Arizona State University’s Lyric Opera Theatre and teaches voice and piano at Linden Hills House of Music. “Thanks to cast, creative, family, and friends.” evantylerwilson.com
Andrew Hey* (Doody) is excited to return to CDT! Credits here include: Fiddler on the Roof; Hello, Dolly!; Camelot and three Disney productions — Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and his career-defining role as the Starfish in The Little Mermaid. He has performed with the Ordway in The Pirates of Penzance and Minneapolis Musical Theatre in Leap of Faith. Andrew has his MA in Counseling Psychology from Saint Mary’s University of MN and also works as a mental health counselor. He thanks his family for their support. @andrewchey
Alan Bach (Sonny) is happy to make his Chanhassen Dinner Theatres debut in Grease! Alan has a degree in Vocal Performance from North Central University. He has been seen in A Christmas Carol at Guthrie Theater, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Theater Latté Da, and Footloose at Seven Angels Theatre in Connecticut. He has most recently been singing and dancing aboard Holland America Line cruise ships. “Huge thanks to CDT for the opportunity, and to my supportive family and wife, Janette.”
Maureen Sherman Mendez* (Cha-Cha) is thrilled to return to the CDT stage! CDT credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 42nd Street, The Producers, Footloose, All Shook Up, Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bye Bye Birdie, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Maureen was most recently seen in Kingdom Undone and ’Til Death with Bucket Brigade Theater. Maureen choreographs and does creative for local theaters, high schools, and Hennepin Theatre Trust. “Love and thanks to Ben, friends, and the CDT family.”
Michelle Barber* (Miss Lynch) has appeared in over 60 CDT productions. Favorites include: Fiddler on the Roof (Golde), Hello, Dolly! (Dolly, Mrs. Molloy), and Disney’s Mary Poppins (Bird Woman). Other credits include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Martha), Hamlet (Gertrude) at Jungle Theater, Caroline or Change (Grandma Gellman), Pen (Helen Bayer), Roman Holiday (The Countess), Other Desert Cities (Silda) at the Guthrie Theater, Henry IV, Part I (King Henry) at Ten Thousand Things, and most recently Mama Rose in Gypsy at Theater Latté Da. She loves her family more than the world.
Keith Rice* (Vince Fontaine) marks his 42nd CDT production with Grease. Highlights: Camelot (King Arthur), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye), Les Misérables (Javert), I Do! I Do!, Annie, The Music Man, Phantom, Disney’s Mary Poppins. Originally from NY, he has performed leading roles from there to California, including Chess, Carousel, Camelot, Damn Yankees, and the first national tour of Les Misérables. Favorite role: François Villon in The Vagabond King for Houston and San Francisco operas. His greatest blessings: Dena (wife), Luke, Theresa, William and Amber.
Tony Vierling* (Johnny Casino) recently appeared as Mordred in Camelot. CDT credits include Disney’s Little Mermaid, Cats, 42nd Street, Crazy For You, West Side Story, and Singin’ in the Rain. Guthrie credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, 1776, She Loves Me, and The Pirates of Penzance. Regional credits include White Christmas (TUTS) and Little House on the Prairie (Paper Mill). National tours: A Chorus Line and Little House on the Prairie. Off-Broadway: We the People.
Mark King* (Old Man Drucker/Soda Jerk/Swing) was last seen on Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Main Stage in Camelot. His Main Stage roles have included Lumiére in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Bert in Disney’s Mary Poppins, Chef Louis in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain, and Carmen Ghia in The Producers. Other favorites are Nachum in Fiddler on the Roof, Sir Evelyn in Anything Goes, Xanadu, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Serena Brook* (Mrs. Schneider/Swing) is thankful to be back at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres! Cast member of the Royal Academy of Radio Actors on “A Prairie Home Companion” with Chris Thile. Past Chanhassen Dinner Theatres credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), Sister Act, Disney’s Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast. 7th House Theater credits include Jonah and the Whale. She played Mama Who in the national tour of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical and played Off-Broadway as Kelli in Dear Edwina. serenabrook.com
Jordan Oxborough (Janitor's Assistant/Swing) is honored and blessed to make his Chanhassen Dinner Theatres debut! Jordan grew up in Eagan, MN, and studied at Minnesota State University, Mankato, from which he earned his BFA in Musical Theatre. He has also collaborated with the History Theatre, Minneapolis Musical Theatre and Lyric Arts. Favorite credits include Balladeer in Assassins and Valentin in Kiss of the Spiderwoman. “Much love to Sarah, Mom, Dad and the whole fam for their endless support!”
Michael Brindisi (Artistic Director) happily celebrates his 29th year as Resident Artistic Director for Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. In addition, Mr. Brindisi is proud to serve on Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ ownership team (established in 2010). While he continues at the artistic helm, he adds the title of president to his “credits,” seeing and actively responding to the daily operations of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. (On your visit, you might see him walking through the dining room, holding a door for a guest, taste-testing a new menu item or assisting where an extra pair of hands is needed.) He directed his first Chanhassen production, Private Lives, in ‘88. Since then, Mr. Brindisi has well over 100 Chanhassen productions to his credit. He previously spent several years in freelance directing, overseeing 40 productions in seven consecutive seasons of summer stock; three as Artistic Director of Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan Playhouse and four with Minnesota Festival Theatre. He directed The Two-Character Play and Translations for Actors Theatre of St. Paul and Once in a Lifetime for Theatre in the Round. Other directing credits include The Beauty Part, The Robber Bridegroom, and Twigs for the Chimera Theatre and a Minnesota Music Theatre summer stock series with Winona St. Mary’s. Prior to directing, Mr. Brindisi enjoyed a successful acting career. CDT productions include: Annie Get Your Gun, What the Butler Saw, Loot, The Robber Bridegroom, My Fair Lady, The Matchmaker, and his favorite production, Fiddler on the Roof (he appeared in the 1978, 1987 and 2013 productions). He performed the role of Kenickie in the national tour of Grease and appeared in the Broadway revival of Once in a Lifetime with John Lithgow and Treat Williams. In 2002, he made a guest appearance in the Ordway’s production of Anything Goes with Sandy Duncan and also in their production of Singin’ in the Rain. He was honored by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization to co-develop and direct the World Premiere of Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade, which debuted on CDT’s Main Stage in 2007. In addition, when able, he takes time to guest direct locally and around the country. Some credits include: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and A Grand Night for Singing at Ordway Center; and Grease and Hair at the Historic Pantages Theatre. He had the unique pleasure of directing Elmo, Big Bird and friends in the Sesame Street Live national tour of Can’t Stop Singing. On a personal note, life in the theatre is a family affair. Michael is married to actor Michelle Barber. They have a daughter, Cat, who is married to actor and director, David Darrow, and all are regularly seen on Twin Cities stages.
Tamara Kangas Erickson* (Choreographer) is Vice President at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, as well as its resident choreographer since 2004. She has been a part of the CDT family since 1981 when she appeared as Marta Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Tamara was named “Outstanding Choreographer of 2005, 2006, and 2008” by the Star Tribune for Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, and 42nd Street and received an Ivey Award in 2008 for her choreography in 42nd Street. In the Fireside, she directed and choreographed Respect, choreographed Altar Boyz, and in the Playhouse she directed The Musical of Musicals: The Musical. Tamara has also performed in numerous CDT shows including 42nd Street, Cats, Oklahoma!, Can-Can, Crazy For You and Hair. Other TC credits include The Wild Party (Cardinal Theatricals); Faust and The Merry Widow (MN Opera); The Most Happy Fella (Skylark Opera), and The Flying Foot Forum.
Richard Long (Music Director) has been associated with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for over 30 years, first appearing as an actor in Joseph …Dreamcoat in 1983. Memorable onstage roles include Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! and Father Virgil in Nuncrackers. He joined the CDT orchestra as principal keyboard player in 1992, and in the years since has served as music director for Chanhassen’s productions of My Fair Lady, Camelot, The Sound of Music, Annie, Grease, Les Misérables, The Producers, I Do! I Do! (2010), Xanadu and Sister Act. He has performed similar duties for shows at other theatres, including Minnesota Festival Theatre, History Theatre, Old Creamery, Circa ‘21, the Cricket, and Children’s Theatre Company. In 2011, he conducted Guthrie Theater’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore, which was videotaped and broadcast nationally on PBS. Richard is also an accomplished composer. His opera, Ever After, was both a critical and popular success when it premiered at Minnesota Festival Theatre, and his cabaret songs and church music have proved to have a lasting appeal.
Scenic Designer - Nayna Ramey
Costume Designer - Rich Hamson
Lighting Designer - Sue Ellen Berger
Sound Designer - Russ Haynes
Hair/Makeup Designer - Paul Bigot
Production Stage Manager - Dan Foss*
*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association.