‘SISTER’ ACT: New Late Night Catechism show debuts at Bass Hall’s McDavid Studio!

FB_CoverPhoto.jpgPlaying this week at McDavid Studio, SISTER’S BACK TO SCHOOL CATECHISM: The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales is a hilarious, one-nun-show in which Sister is the teacher and you – the audience members – are her students.

We sat down with the Sister, otherwise known as actress Denise Fennell, for a quick teacher/student conference.

Q: How can I stay out of trouble in the Sister’s classroom?
A: A good Catholic learns the rules so they know how to break them. First off, try to show up on time, and girls, please wear suitable attire. Gum is not allowed and unless you are going hiking in Arizona, bottled water is frowned upon. Wine and beer are fine, as we are Catholics and Catholics are allowed to drink.

bass hall denise headshot.jpg

Denise Fennell

Q: PThis is the latest show in the  who haven’t seen the show may think you’re going to make fun of Catholicism, but you actually embrace it. You even deliver a few history lessons.

A: A lot people mistake this class as an opportunity to make fun of the Catholic religion and other religions in general. It could not be further from the truth. First off, I was raised Catholic and I certainly don’t want to go to Hell for making fun of it.

The show was created and written by Maripat Donovan and is based on her life experience. She loves the nuns, and so do I. My goal is to bring humor to truth and make people step away from their lives for a couple hours and laugh.

This is a class, so I am actually going teach a few things along the way, and hopefully everyone will learn something. We welcome all religions and I love learning about the other religions from my class, the audience.

This is interactive so the audience will be involved, but remember we are all there to have fun to have fun, I promise you are safe. After all, I am not allowed to use the ruler any longer. It’s illegal!

Q: Tell us about yourself – where you grew up, went to school, how you got into theater.
A: I’m a “neighborhood girl” from Boston. I grew up in a small little Italian section of town called The Lake. I grew up Catholic. My grandma went to church about three times a day, so I know a lot about Catholicism. I decided to move to New York to become an actress – not technically with my parents’ wishes or blessings, but eventually they came around when they saw me in the habit.


Denise in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.

When I moved to New York, I was cast in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. It’s one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows. I starred in that for many years in New York. I toured all over the United States and Japan, and of course, we played Bass Hall. It was in the role of Tina where Maripat found me and cast me as Sister in Late Nite Catechism ― which is bizarre because I was this gum-chewing, loud-mouth Italian girl. I guess she saw something in me that she thought was special.

Q: Who have been some of your role models – actors, actresses whose work you’ve admired and has made an impact on you and your career?
A: Truth be told, I was obsessed with being Annie. She was the reason I wanted to be an actress. Now later in life, I learned the art of funny, and discovered Lily Tomlin. I was able to see her perform live and it was like watching a master class on comedy.

Then a couple years ago I was lucky enough to get cast in her one-woman show Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. The role was written for her by Jane Wagner., and Lily one a Tony Award for her portrayals of over 12 characters. It was one of the most challenging roles I have ever played.

I also grew up watching Laverene and Shirley, and I love Joan Rivers. She is someone to be admired. I was in New York City when they dimmed the Broadway lights in her honor it was so beautiful to see so many people come out to honor her work.

Who do I admire the most and who are my role models? That would have to be my parents, as crazy and dysfunctional as my Boston family is. They instilled greatness in me and gave me the endurance to survive in this crazy world of show business. I love them for allowing me to follow my dreams. Nothing makes me happier than when they are in the audience smiling and laughing. I love you Bill and Vera!



Denise in her natural ‘habitat.’

Q: What’s next for you?
A: A vacation. I just finished a three-month run of the hilarious comedy whodunit Shear Madness, then jumped right back into the habit. After teaching Halloween Catechism Class it’s off to Italy to relax, eat PASTA and meet the POPE!

Q: Do you ever just wear the nun outfit around town? You could probably get some free lunches out of it.
A: How do you think I’m going to meet the Pope! Being dressed like a nun gets you VIP access to just about anywhere – except for HELL!!!

The show runs Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 9, at McDavid Studio, adjacent to Bass Performance Hall. For tickets, click here or call 817-212-4280. 

New Phantom Unmasked!


poto_27x51_poster_150dpiCameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber announced today that Derrick Davis, Jordan Craig, Trista Moldovan and Emily Ramirez will join the principal cast of the spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA currently on national tour.   With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM, one of the most successful musicals of all-time, is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.


Derrick Davis will play the Phantom.

Beginning October 20 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Derrick Davis will portray the man behind the mask, ‘The Phantom,’ with Jordan Craig assuming the role of ‘Raoul,’ Trista Moldovan as ‘Carlotta Giudicelli’ and Emily Ramirez as ‘Meg Giry.’

They join current cast members Katie Travis as ‘Christine Daaé,’ David Benoit as ‘Monsieur Firmin,’ Price Waldman as ‘Monsieur André,’ Anne Kanengeiser as ‘Madame Giry’ and Phumzile Sojola as ‘Ubaldo Piangi.’

Derrick Davis has been seen on Broadway as ‘Mufasa’ and ‘Scar’ in The Lion King as well as on national tour.  His regional and opera credits include Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Amahl and the Night Visitors and Die Fledermaus. As a recording artist, his two albums A Christmas Journey and Life Music are available online.

Katie Travis continues in the role of ‘Christine Daaé” after two years with the spectacular new production.  She has performed principal roles at The MUNY (Les Misérables, Cosette), Fireside Theater, Liederkranz Opera Theater and was a 2014 winner of the Lys Symonette Award (Lotte Lenya Competition).

Jordan Craig has performed at the Houston Grand Opera (Billy Bud, Tosca, Carmen) as well as the Alliance Theater, Geva Theatre Centre, Actor’s Express and Atlantic Lyric Theatre.


Trista Moldovan will play Carlotta Giudicelli.

Trista Moldovan played the role of ‘Christine Daaé’ in the Brilliant Original Production’s historic 10,000th performance on Broadway.  She has also been seen on national tour in White Christmas, Bridges of Madison County and The Phantom of the Opera.

David Benoit’s Broadway and National Tour credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Avenue Q, Les Misérables, Dance of the Vampires, Young Frankenstein and All Shook Up. Price Waldman joins the Phantom tour after two and a half years on Broadway in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Additional Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Grinch and The Lion King. Anne Kanengeiser has been seen on Broadway in the original companies of Little Women, Ragtime as well as the 3rd National Tour of The Phantom of the OperaPhumzile Sojola has been seen on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Lord Pinkleton – original cast) and The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Peter). Emily Ramirez has performed with BalletMet and the Charlotte Ballet. She has been seen regionally in The Addams Family, Cabaret, Stage Kiss and Rock of Ages.

The current company plays at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, CA through October 2 and then the Saroyan Theater in Fresno, CA October 5-16 with Chris Mann as ‘The Phantom,’ Katie Travis as ‘Christine Daaé,’ Storm Lineberger as ‘Raoul,’ Jacquelynne Fontaine as ‘Carlotta’ and Morgan Cowling as ‘Meg Giry.’

The Ensemble includes Krista Buccellato, Jordan Craig, Steve Czarnecki, Kaitlyn Davis, Tynan Davis, Dan Debenport, Mark Emerson, Jordan Ensign (beginning October 5), Jim Hogan (beginning October 5), Robert Anthony Jones, Edward Juvier, Ted Keener, Jay Lusteck, Laura Mann, Adryan Moorefield, Sarah Mossman, Shane Ohmer, Quinto Ott, Rebecca Robbins, Eric Ruiz, Ally Taylor Sacks, Travis Taylor, Victor Wallace, Marguerite Willbanks. The Corps de Ballet includes McKenna Birmingham, Sarah DeBiase, Julie Eicher, Daniela Filippone, Abigail Mentzer, Lily Rose Peck, Ally Taylor Sacks and Tara Sweeney.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “Having received great critical acclaim in the U.K. and North America, I am really pleased that Laurence Connor’s new production of PHANTOM will continue to tour the U.S. playing in tandem with the Broadway production which soon celebrates 30 years.”

Cameron Mackintosh said, “With PHANTOM still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 28 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I’m delighted that this spectacular new production of PHANTOM has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 2.5 million people across North America since it opened in November 2013. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson’s amazing costumes, the new PHANTOM is thrilling audiences and critics alike all over again. With the production continuing to be such a success, we are delighted to welcome our exciting new stars to keep the music of the night soaring for many years to come.”

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is presented by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, and NETworks Presentations. Directed by Laurence Connor (who co-directed the new production of Les Misérables that just finished a hugely successful two and a half year revival on Broadway and will start a North American tour in the fall of 2017, directed the award-winning new production of Miss Saigon coming to Broadway in 2017 and national tour in 2018, and also directed the stage version of the movie School of Rock now playing at Broadway’s Winter Garden and opening in London’s West End at the New London Theatre this November), with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter, and musical supervision by John Rigby.  The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe); book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber; orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it.  He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Cameron Mackintosh’s brilliant original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA continues performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world.

To purchase tickets click here!



This is not a typo! Book of ‘Moron’ coming to Bass Hall’s McDavid Studio!


Robert Dubac will debut his new show, THE BOOK OF MORON, in Fort Worth at McDavid Studio July 27-31. 

This is not an auto-correct fail! There really is a show called THE BOOK OF MORON and it’s coming to Bass Hall’s McDavid Studio July 27-31!

THE BOOK OF MORON is creator Robert Dubac’s follow-up to his critically-acclaimed one-man-show, THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?, which played at McDavid Studio in 2015.

Likewise, THE BOOK OF MORON is receiving critical kudos. The New York Times raved: “Riding shotgun with intelligence and absurdity, THE BOOK OF MORON crashes head first into the barriers of sex, race, religion, politics and the media. It may be offensive to some but there’s laughter for all!”

Robert Dubac belongs to a unique breed of humorists, bringing to mind the best of Lily Tomlin and Mark Twain. He creates characters that boggle our minds with biting wit and rapid-fire satire while simultaneously crafting a simple story that binds us all together.

His ability to combine the raucous laughter of stand-up comedy with the thrill of live theater continues to fill seats everywhere.

In THE BOOK OF MORON, Dubac portrays ROBERT, an everyman who has lost sight of the bigger picture. He’s been bombarded by so much hype and spin he can’t remember who he is or what he believes. Does he have a purpose? Can he think for himself? Is the truth in the details or in the pudding? He hasn’t a clue. He racks his brain searching for answers but finds nothing but voices.

It’s all for one and one for all as ROBERT’S inner voices take him on a freight train of provocative thought to find the bigger picture and wake up from the coma of modern day life.

McDavid Studio is at 301 E. 5th St., adjacent to Bass Performance Hall.

Tickets are $30-$40 and are on sale now! To charge tickets by phone, call 817-212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

Native North Texan returns home in 42nd STREET!


Sarah Fagan

Hi! It’s Sarah Fagan here, ensemble member of the national tour of 42nd Street, coming to Bass Performance Hall this week. I’m happy to share some of the experiences I’ve had on tour and get y’all excited to see our show!

While you may see me claim to live at 333 Park Avenue in New York as my character Diane Lorimer, I’m from Arlington, Texas! I am lucky to have a supportive family who took me to see theatre at the Bass Performance Hall from a young age.

In fact, my grandparents took me to see 42nd Street at the Bass Hall years ago, so I am thrilled to get to perform the same show for them all these years later on the same stage!

We started rehearsing 42nd Street in New York back in August, and have been touring the country since September. Fort Worth will be our 64th city on this 65 city tour!

We’ve seen sights including Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park, the Liberty Bell and Niagara Falls. We’ve performed in such exciting cities as Chicago and Los Angeles. Even so, nothing compares to the excitement I have to finally be back home performing in Fort Worth!


The ladies of 42nd Street strike a pose in front of Mount Rushmore! 

The best part of being an ensemble member is the amount and variety of dancing we get to do. There’s tons of tap dancing of course, but there’s also ballet, ballroom, jazz, and even a few showgirl kick lines. And for every dance, there’s a different gorgeous costume. I have 11 costumes, six pairs of shoes and two wigs!


That’s me on the left with my friend Kahila Davis in the iconic costumes from “We’re in the Money.” 

One of the hardest parts of tour is being away from home. That is made easier when you have a little bit of home with you! Three other Texans travel alongside me, including Matthew J. Taylor, who plays director Julian Marsh, and Caitlin Ehlinger, who stars as Peggy Sawyer. Mandy Modic, fellow DFW native and ensemble member, happens to be my roommate! We bonded fast and I can’t imagine tour life without her!

Touring with 42nd Street has been a dream come true. It is an honor to perform this iconic choreography by Randy Skinner and share the story of this heartwarming backstage musical co-written by our director Mark Bramble. Our spectacle of a show is sure to wow Fort Worth! Come meet our dancing feet!


That’s me in the middle starring in 42nd Street as Diane. Photo by Christian Dionne. 



The 2016-2017 Broadway at the Bass season is here!


Performing Arts Fort Worth proudly announces its 2016-2017 Broadway at the Bass Season at Bass Performance Hall! Season ticket packages are on sale NOW! 

The season is made up of eight shows, six of which are making their Bass Hall debuts.
“For the first time ever, we’re offering eight shows, many of which have never played in Fort Worth before,” says Dione Kennedy, President & CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth. “And as we always strive to do, we’ve put together a season that offers something for everyone, from families to serious Broadway buffs to everyone in between. It’s really a dynamite season.”

Kicking off the season in January, 2017, will be the family favorite ANNIE, returning to the Hall in an all-new production. The Chicago Tribune called the show “one of the best family musicals ever penned.”

The series will close in November, 2017, with another show back by popular demand, IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS.

In between will be the direct-from-Broadway AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, the acclaimed, Tony Award-winning musical about love and mystery in the City of Lights; the ultimate tribute to The Beatles, LET IT BE; MATILDA, based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl and winner of 50 international awards, including four Tonys; THE BODYGUARD, a musical retelling of the hit 1992 film featuring singer Deborah Cox; BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, which tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom; and the 20th anniversary tour of the Broadway sensation RENT.

In addition, there will be three add-on specials: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE and, returning to the Bass Hall stage, GREATER TUNA.

Performing Arts Fort Worth will once again co-present several of the shows with Dallas Summer Musicals: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, LET IT BE, THE BODYGUARD and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER.

These shows will play both venues, allowing Broadway lovers across the North Texas area ample opportunities to experience the Best of Broadway.


Broadway at the Bass



Heidi Gray stars in ANNIE, coming to Bass Hall January, 2017. Photo:

ANNIE (January 17-22, 2017)
The world’s best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of ANNIE will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original. Featuring book and score by Tony Award®-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, ANNIE includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”


AN AMERICAN IN PARIS’ first national tour will make a stop at Bass Hall Feb. 14-19, 2017. Photo: Matthew Murphy.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (February 14-19, 2017)
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award®-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season! The New York Times raves, “AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is a triumph! Pure joy!” Don’t miss this stunning Broadway hit when it arrives in Fort Worth on its first national tour!


The ultimate tribute to The Beatles, LET IT BE makes its Bass Hall debut March, 2017. Photo: Paul Coltas.

LET IT BE (March 21-26, 2017)
The end of The Beatles era was never thought to be in sight when The Beatles played their last show on the roof of Apple Offices in 1969. Imagine what would have been if The Beatles continued their journey. Enter a time capsule and turn back in time to what would have been John Lennon’s 40th Birthday – October 9, 1980. For one night, the fab four come together again on stage after a decade apart, performing hits like Back in the USSR, Live and Let Die, Got to Get You Into My Life, My Sweet Lord, Hey Jude and many more hits The Beatles never performed live. Imagine a night that never happened!


Matilda arrives at Bass Hall June 13-18, 2017. Photo: Joan Marcus.

MATILDA (June 13-18, 2017)
TIME magazine’s No. 1 show of the year! Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway, in London’s West End, and in Sydney, Australia. The Wall Street Journal says, “The makers of MATILDA have done the impossible – triumphantly! It is smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun.”

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Deborah Cox stars in THE BODYGUARD, coming to Bass Hall August, 2017.

THE BODYGUARD (August 1-6, 2017)
Based on the smash-hit film, the award-winning musical will star Grammy® Award-nominee and R&B superstar DEBORAH COX! A breathtakingly romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including “Queen of the Night,” “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and one of the biggest selling songs of all time, “I Will Always Love You.” Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film and adapted by Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris, THE BODYGUARD had its world premiere in London’s West End, where it was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical; it won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.

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Abby Mueller portrays Carole King in BEAUTIFUL, coming to Bass Hall Sept. 12-17, 2017. Photo: Joan Marcus.

BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Featuring a stunning collection of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, BEAUTIFUL took home two 2014 Tony® Awards and the 2015 Grammy® for Best Musical Theater Album.

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The 20th anniversary tour of RENT is coming to Bass Hall Oct. 17-22, 2017.

RENT (October 17-22, 2017)
In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters: love.


WHITE CHRISTMAS returns to Bass Hall Nov. 14-19, 2017! Photo: Kevin White.

This holiday season, discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Start with a timeless tale of joy and good will, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs and top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow! The New York Times says to “put it on your wish list.” IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. This must-see show is full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written! Give everyone the gift they’re dreaming of with this merry and bright holiday musical.

Broadway Specials/Add On’s

The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and back onto Bass Hall’s stage this holiday season. See all of your favorite characters come to life in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL

Reindeer Soaring

One part Christmas show, one part death-defying Cirque performance, CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE visits Bass Hall in December.

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE (December 3-4, 2016)
Cirque Dreams lights up the 2016 holiday season with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza, Cirque Dreams Holidaze. It’s a new cirque show, Broadway musical and family Christmas spectacular all in one! The New York Daily News calls it a “delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleighload!” Be amazed by this holiday spectacle with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from every corner of the globe.

Great Tuna Art

GREATER TUNA (March 29-30, 2017)
GREATER TUNA is a hilarious and irreverent comedy about Texas’ third smallest town, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. The eclectic band of Tuna citizens – men, women, children, and animals alike – are portrayed by ONLY 2 performers, making this satire on life in rural America both crazy and delightful. Called “a good ol’ down-home laugh-out-loud fest,” by DC Metro Theater Arts, GREATER TUNA has enjoyed worldwide success, including long-running engagements both on and Off-Broadway, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Late Night with David Letterman, and as an HBO special. 2 Actors, 20 Characters, 20 million laughs.

Hamilton wins 11 Tony Awards!


Hamiton won 11 Tony Awards. Photo: Joan Marcus.

As expected, the runaway hit Hamilton, a hip-hop musical about U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, won most of the awards for which it was nominated at the 70th annual Tony Awards, held tonight at the Beacon Theater in New York.

Created by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show took home 11 statues, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actor in a Leading Role/Musical for Leslie Odom Jr. It was nominated for 16 awards; two of the categories featured multiple Hamilton nominees.

The show, whose Broadway run is sold out until next year, needed to win 13 awards to beat the record for most Tony wins for a musical. The current record-holder, The Producers, won 12 in 2001.

The Humans, a stirring play about family dynamics, was the other big winner of the night. The show won four awards, including Best Play. Completely shut out was the tap dance-driven musical Shuffle Along, nominated for ten awards.

A mass shooting early Sunday at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Fla., cast a somber shadow over the event. Many of the stars and performers paid tribute to the victims of the shooting, which has left an estimated 50 dead and dozens of others injured.

“Hate will never win,” said host James Corden. “Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle.”

During his acceptance speech for winning Best Score, Lin-Manuel Miranda recited a sonnet that referenced the shooting.

“We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they’re finished songs and start to play,” he said. “When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day.”

The complete list of winners of 2016 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards:

*** denotes winner

Best Play
The Father
*** The Humans
King Charles III

Best Musical
Bright Star
*** Hamilton
School of Rock—The Musical
Shuffle Along

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
*** Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical
*** The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical
Bright Star
Steve Martin
*** Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock—The Musical
Julian Fellowes
Shuffle Along
George C. Wolfe

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bright Star
Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Lyrics: Edie Brickell
*** Hamilton
Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock—The Musical
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
*** Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
*** Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
*** Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
*** Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
*** Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
*** Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
*** Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
*** Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
*** David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along
*** David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
*** Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
*** Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Play
*** Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
*** Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
*** Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
*** Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Choreography
*** Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Best Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
*** Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Sheldon Harnick
Marshall W. Mason

Special Tony Award
National Endowment for the Arts
Miles Wilkin

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Paper Mill Playhouse
Millburn, NJ

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Seth Gelblum
Joan Lader
Sally Ann Parsons



WIZARD OF OZ cast has followed Yellow Brick Road around the country!


The Wizard of Oz lands at Bass Hall June 7-12! Photo: Daniel A. Swalec. 


Rachel Womble

Hi y’all! It’s your very own Glinda, Rachel Womble, writing to you from the last leg of the North American tour of The Wizard of Oz!  We may be coming to a close, but in my mind we are just getting to the best part, TEXAS!

Since I’m from the Lone Star State, Texas is the place I have been the most excited to play, but we have been to some pretty amazing locales already.

Travelling to these new cities and seeing the sites is one of the best parts about being on the road. Despite our busy schedule of eight shows a week, we try to find the best of what each city has to offer. Here is a look at some of our adventures!


Beaver Tails in Canada! 

Early on in the tour we were fortunate enough to spend three weeks travelling through Canada. In Ottawa, their nation’s capital, we had so much fun playing in the snow, exploring parliament, and eating delicious Canadian treats! My favorite thing was a pastry called a Beaver Tail; yummy fried dough with toppings like chocolate, Nutella, lemon and cinnamon sugar. They were truly a Canadian delicacy!

Beaver Tails weren’t our only culinary adventure. We also tried different local restaurants in every city with our “nunderstudy club.” Each week our wonderful understudies would have rehearsal so they could be ready at the slightest notice. Those of us who didn’t attend those rehearsals decided to start a club and enjoy some extra exploring of the local cuisine. Those lunches always had lots of fun conversation and ended with some local ice cream!


(Nunderstudy club meeting+A little too much sunshine=This silly photo :))

Trying new foods was fun, but it was not our only new experience. We climbed a waterfall in the rain in Portland, hiked through caves in California, and rode segways in Washington DC. We shopped in Boston’s Fanueil Hall, saw the animals in San Diego’s amazing zoo, and enjoyed the view at Niagra Falls.


All of these experiences were wonderful new adventures, but the truth is that there really is no place like home. Those of us who call Texas home could not wait to make it to this part of the tour.

We arrived last week with pit stops at Bucee’s and as much Tex-Mex as we can handle! It is such a dream come true to play these Texas stages where many of us grew up attending shows.

For me, that stage will be Bass Performance Hall. I have been looking forward to bringing our wonderful show about the importance of cherishing where you came from, and embracing who you are, to the place that shaped me growing up! I can’t wait to see you all next week when “There’s no place like home,” will be more meaningful to me than in any other city!  See you soon, Fort Worth!!







North Texas native following Yellow Brick Road back home!


Kaley Were

Hey, y’all! This is Kaley Were, ensemble member of the North American tour of The Wizard of Oz, coming to Bass Hall June 7 – 12. I’m so excited to share a little bit about me and my journey down the Yellow Brick Road as I travel home to Texas next month!

I grew up in Allen, Texas, and graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre last May, so I cannot wait to be back in the good ol’ South for the last leg of the tour as we travel through Austin, San Antonio, and Fort Worth.

Growing up in the North Texas area, I used to see shows at Bass Performance Hall and dream about being up on that stage, and I feel so lucky to be living out that dream on this tour!

As a member of the ensemble, I have what I think is one of the coolest jobs in the show – I get to travel along the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy as a munchkin, a glamorous citizen of Oz, a soldier-like Winkie, and much more!


I get to wear so many gorgeous costumes throughout the show. Here’s my favorite, a bejeweled skirt and corset I wear in the Emerald City scene.

Transforming myself into so many different characters and getting to dance and sing in so many different styles forces me to stay present in every moment of the show, and keeps my job thrilling every evening!

I also have the honor of understudying two principal characters – Aunt Em, played by Canada native Emmanuelle Zeesman and Glinda, played by fellow Texan and my dear friend, Rachel Womble.

I am so lucky to have so many fellow Texans on the road with me, and getting to spend time with and learn from Rachel is no exception!


Here I am in full Glinda garb for a dress rehearsal in Denver.

Being on the road and living out of a suitcase definitely has it’s challenges, but being surrounded by so many loving and supportive people has made this journey an incredibly special one. I cannot wait to bring this magical show home to the North Texas area. Every night that I get to perform,  I am reminded that there truly is no place like home! I hope to see you there in June!

Farewell, New York. Also: WE SAW HAMILTON!


The cast of Hamilton. Photo: The New York Times.

Jason Wise with Performing Arts Fort Worth here with some final words on our recent trip to New York.

It’s always a little bittersweet when The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference comes to an end.

As usual, we had a blast seeing old friends and making new ones, checking out all the new shows and discussing with our industry peers hot topics in the Broadway world.

Jason Wise

But we’re coming home to a very exciting time for Bass Hall and Performing Arts Fort Worth. We’re putting the final touches on our 2016-2017 Broadway at the Bass season, our biggest and best Broadway season ever. You guys are going to absolutely love it!

Mark your calendars for June 5. That’s when we’re announcing the titles in our new season.

Before we move on, here are recaps of the final shows I saw in New York.

This masterpiece is truly a game-changer for live theater. You are witnessing history in the making as HAMILTON tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and first Secretary of the Treasury. This outstanding musical, penned by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, features a stellar cast and one of the finest musical scores in Broadway history.

We don’t want to give too much away about this life-changing theatrical experience, other than to say with 16 Tony Award nominations and sold-out performances through early 2017, all the hype and publicity is truly justified. We can’t wait to have the opportunity to present HAMILTON on the Bass Hall stage one day (no, we don’t have any dates confirmed yet for the tour, but are working with the booking agent as tour plans get finalized).


Waitress stars Jessie Mueller. 

This lighthearted fun, romantic comedy stars Jessie Mueller and features an infectious musical score by pop princess Sara Bareilles. Mueller’s electrifying performance provides a night of fun entertainment at the theater. It’s easy to see why this show is up for several Tony Awards next month, including Best Musical. And you can even get your own little piece of pie in the theater! Who doesn’t love that?

‘Til next year, New York!

– Jason Wise, Director of Programming, Communications & Sales

On Your Feet had us on our feet, we loved She Loves Me, and Something Rotten was anything but!

On Your Feet! tells the story of singer Gloria Estefan

Performing Arts Fort Worth marketing staff here with another update from New York, where we’re attending The Broadway League’s 27th annual Spring Road Conference. 

We’ve spent the past few days discussing with our industry peers hot topics in the Broadway world, from booking shows to uncovering new ways to reach new audiences. The great thing about this conference is the amount of passion and enthusiasm attendees bring to these sessions. We always come home with a lot of new ideas. 

We also come home with a lot of ticket stubs. Our days here may be devoted to panel discussions but our nights belong to the shows. Among our team of five, we’ve seen nearly a dozen shows, and we still have a day or two to go. 

One of our favorites has been On Your Feet!, a musical based on the life and career of influential pop singer Gloria Estefan. It’s truly an inspirational show that’ll lift your spirits and move your feet. As producers in the show through the Independent Presenters Network, we look forward to bringing it to Bass Hall.

She Loves Me has been one of our favorite shows.

We can’t gush enough about the musical revival She Loves Me. The movie You’ve Got Mail was based on it. The show follows a similar storyline about love-stricken pen pals. 

Also very impressive was Bright Star, the bluegrass-driven musical written by Steve Martin and Dallas-bred singer Edie Brickell. Both made cameo appearances at the conference yesterday. 

Another show we absolutely loved was Something Rotten!, a musical comedy about Shakespeare that had us rolling in the aisles from the second the curtain went up. It’s another show we’re hoping to bring to the Hall in the future. 

Later this week we’ll offer thoughts on some of the other shows we’re seeing, including Waitress, The Humans, Shuffle Along and, yes, Hamilton. We’re seeing it soon! 

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