Finian’s Rainbow Cast

DSC_9937James Alexander (Second Gospeleer) 1st National/Tours: Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey ll stand by/Jerry Zaks, dir.), Five Guys Names Mo (Big Moe/Kevin Ramsey, dir.), Off Broadway: A Brief History of White Music (Star/Kenneth Roberson, dir.), Nunsense A-Men (Sr. Mary Hubert/Dan Goggin, dir.), Regional: World Premiere: The First Noel (Pastor Greenwood/Steven H. Broadnax III), Children of Eden (Father/Arvada Center), The Wiz (Cowardly Lion/Downtown Cabaret Theatre), Once on This Island (Ton Ton Julian/Lyric Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Marcus Lycus/Cherry County Playhouse), World Premiere: Josephine Tonight! (Father Jones/Maurice Hines, dir.). Europe: Starlight Express (Papa/Arlene Phillips, dir.).  Mr. Alexander is a recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his performance in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Playhouse On The Green/Saundra McClain, dir.).  He also starred in industrials, short films and full length features, including Winning New York (Pimp) and The Witches of Oz (Cop #1).  Proud to be one of the premier New York photographers for headshots, portraits and events.


Erik Alexis web


Erik Alexis (Buzz Collins)  is excited to be performing with Live Arts Maryland again. He has appeared in several productions here, including roles as Avram/Mendel in Fiddler on the Roof, The Jester in Once Upon a Mattress, and Benny in Guys and Dolls. Other roles include Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Theatre AACC and The Chairman/Mayor Sapsea in The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. He most recently played the role of Mozart, the narrator, in Opera AACC’s production of Don Giovanni.




Jason_buckwalter feb 11Jason Buckwalter (Og) is known for his “super-sized characters” (The Sybaritic Singer) and “theatrical fire.” (Baltimore City Paper) A native of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, Mr. Buckwalter now lives in Baltimore and performs throughout Maryland, Virginia, DC, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Equally comfortable in opera, musical theater, oratorio, and song repertoire, he has performed with a wide variety of companies including the Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, Annapolis Chorale, and the Young Victorian Theatre Company. Mr. Buckwalter is excited to be back with Live Arts Maryland, where he was last seen as Billy Bigelow in this season’s Carousel.  His other LAM roles include Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls, Will Parker in Oklahoma! and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes!.  In March, he will play Wagner in Faust with the Annapolis Opera and Lescaut in Manon with the Opera Company of Brooklyn in April. Visit for Mr. Buckwalter’s full calendar.



Kim_Christie_LowResKimberly Christie (Sharon McLonergan) is thrilled to return to the wonderful Live Arts Maryland stage for Finian’s Rainbow! Her other appearances with Live Arts Maryland include Carrie Pipperidge (Carousel), Hodel (Fiddler on the Roof), Winnifred (Once Upon A Mattress), Victoria (Grand Night for Singing), Adelaide (Guys & Dolls) and Bonnie (Anything Goes!). Ms. Christie also performs with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera, with whom she made her chorister debut this past September in Bizet’s Carmen. Ms. Christie is equally skilled in opera, oratorio and musical theater.  In November, she performed as Clara in The Light in the Piazza with Bootless Stageworkz in Wilmington, DE, and as soprano soloist for part one of Handel’s Messiah at St. James’ Parish in Lothian, MD.  In December, Ms. Christie was the soprano soloist for Central Maryland Chorale’s Poulenc Gloria and the annual Messiah sing-a-long. Ms. Christie is based in Baltimore, MD, and holds a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory. To learn more and for information for upcoming performances, visit





Bernard Dotson (First Gospeleer) is a native of Los Angeles California. He began his singing career traveling Nationally and Internationally singing the Walt Disney Songbook. While working for the Disney Company he has been featured on TV shows singing in English, French, German, and Japanese. New York Concerts include singing the music of Frank Loesser with The New York Philharmonic, 2012 hit Encores production of Merrily We Roll Along, directed by James Lapine, Finian’s Rainbow, Encores Broadway Bash, and Dreamgirls to benefit the Actors Fund.  Mr. Dotson has been seen on Broadway in Finian’s Rainbow, (First Gospeleer, Original Revival Cast), Chicago, (Billy Flynn), Imaginary Friends, (Leo, Original Cast), starring Swoosie Kurtz, Cherry Jones, and Harry Groener, Sweet Smell Of Success (Club Zanzibar Singer, Original Cast) starring John Lithgow and Brian d’Arcy James, Jesus Christ Superstar, (Original Revival Cast), and the Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime, (Original Cast). With a host of Regional, National, and International Tours, Mr. Dotson has been seen in such shows as Smokey Joe’s Cafe, (Ken), Five Guys Named Moe (No Moe), Kiss Me Kate (Paul), Xanadu, (Danny Maguire/Zeus), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, just to name a few.  Mr. Dotson can be heard on six cast recordings and can be seen performing his critically acclaimed One-Man Show Unexpected Songs.


Kevin Thomas Garcia Photography


Matt Gibson (Woody Mahoney) This is Matt’s Live Arts Maryland debut. He’s excited to team up with music director J. Ernest Green again, having worked together on a benefit concert of Sweet Smell of Success in NYC this past spring. BROADWAY: Gypsy; OFF-BROADWAY: The Underclassman (Prospect/ The Duke), New Girl in Town (Irish Rep); FAVORITE REGIONAL AREA ROLES: Bob and Phil (White Christmas), Jimmy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Slank/ Hawking Clam (Peter and the Starcatcher), Curly and Will (Oklahoma!), Tulsa (Gypsy), Claude (Hair), Lt. Cable (South Pacific), Cornelius (Hello, Dolly!); WORKSHOPS: I Am Anne Hutchinson/ I Am Harvey Milk (Spruce Lake Theatrical), Queen Mother (Goodspeed Musicals); OTHER: Woody (Toy Story: the Musical) Disney Cruise Line, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Metropolitan Opera, PBS Great Performances, I Am Harvey Milk (Avery Fisher Hall), On the Rocks Film (co-founder). BFA: NYU Tisch/CAP21






Elysia Greene Merrill
(Choreographer and Susan Mahoney), graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory with her BFA in Dance and the 2013 Outstanding Senior Award for choreography and most outstanding conservatory graduate.  Since then, she has danced for companies such as ARCOS Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and now Motion X Dance DC performing in DC and NYC.  Musical credits include Annie Jr., The Frog Prince Unraveled, The Wizard of Oz and Fiddler on the Roof (Chava).  Choreography credits include Once Upon A Mattress, The Master’s Plan, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (for which Ms. Merrill received DC Metro’s Best Choreography honor) and (upcoming) Sleeping Beauty.  She is excited to be playing the sister of her real-life husband, David.  Find out more about Ms. Merrill at


IMG_0784Rick Hammerly (Director) has worked as an award-winning, DC-based actor/director for nearly three decades. He has directed more than 20 theatre productions nation-wide and was selected as a current participant in The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s inaugural Director’s Studio program for 2015/16.  He has performed Off-Broadway, regionally, and locally, receiving a Helen Hayes Award for his turn as Hedwig in Signature Theatre’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as well as nominations for his work in Angels in America (Signature Theatre), Me and Jezebel (MetroStage) and Oliver! (Adventure Theatre MTC).  Mr. Hammerly is a founder and the current producing artistic director of Factory 449: a theatre collective, which has received multiple Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, including the 2011 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.  He will next act in The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s all-male version of The Taming of the Shrew in DC and direct Driving Miss Daisy with actress Karen Grassle (Mrs. Ingalls in the long-running TV series Little House on the Prairie) at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in VA.


Duncan Hood for webDuncan Hood (Senator Billboard Rawkins) is so glad to be back for another spring fling with Live Arts Maryland! He was last seen as Carl Bolton in Morning’s at Seven, and Dr. Chausible in Ernest in Love at Colonial Players, two roles for which he has been nominated for best supporting role in the regional WATCH competition. Over the past 20 years, he has performed such roles as Clown 1 in 39 Steps; George in Moon over Buffalo; Scrooge in Christmas Carol; Emcee in Cabaret; Flint in Something’s Afoot; The Man in 52 Pickup; The Playwright in Enter the Guardsman; VanSweiten in Amadeus; Jethro Crouch in Sly Fox; Michael in Dancing at Lughnasa; The Narrator in Blood Brothers; Inspector Rough in Angel Street; Hysterium twice and Psuedolus once in three productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum; Major General in two productions of Pirates of Penzance; Pap in Big River; Porter and Ross in Macbeth; and Dr Kalmar in Studio Theater’s production of A New Brain. His voiceover credits include national and regional commercial, book and industrial projects. Video game credits include three characters in Star Trek, Next Generation and five characters in Fallout 3; by Bethesda Softworks. Film credits include the Radio Announcer in the Clint Eastwood film J Edgar, and the Man at the wake in That Night. Mr. Hood has been an international sailing instructor trainer for the American Sailing Association since 1984, and holds a 100-ton USCG Master’s license.




Trent Armand Kendall (Rawkins) BROADWAY/NEW YORK: Into the Woods revival (NAACP BEST SUPPORTING nominee), Purlie! (Encores), Hair, The Wizard of Oz, Louis-and-Ella! by Trent Armand Kendall, OFF BROADWAY: Bat Boy, Nunsense, A-Men!, Picture Incomplete (writer/star-Best Musical United Solo), INTERNATIONAL: Cats, NATIONAL TOURS: The Color Purple, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, THEATRE: The Cocoanuts (Guthrie Theater), The Scottsboro Boys (LA Premiere), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Cincinnati Playhouse), My One and Only (Goodspeed), Children of Eden (American Premiere), LONDON: Five Guys Named Moe, Hey Mr. Producer! TV/FILM: Nicki, Blue Bloods, Law & Order SVU, BL Stryker, Strangers with Candy, CDs: Picture Incomplete, Introducing Trent Kendall [iTunes], TRAINING: University of Missouri-Columbia.



John E. Lucas


John E. Lucas (Third Gospeleer) Off-Broadway: Generations (Soho Rep Theater) International: Jesus Christ Superstar Euro Tour, Festival Of The Lion King (Scar/Hong Kong Disneyland) Regional: JUBILEE! (Principal Vocalist/ Bally’s Las Vegas), South Pacific (North Carolina Theater), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Fox Palace Theater-Detroit), Camelot (Arena Stage Theater), Swing! (Band Leader/ Downtown Caberet Theater).  Mr. Lucas is a native of Joliet, IL. and attended Millikin University.





Tom Magette (Finian McLonergan), is a frequent performer in Live Arts Maryland productions, most recently in the 2015 production of Fiddler on the Roof and prior to that in A Grand Night for Singing. Other roles here include Billy Crocker in Anything Goes!, a role he first performed at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre in the last century and reprised with Live Arts Maryland, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Lt. Cable in South Pacific, Charlie Dalrymple in both our productions of Brigadoon, Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music, the Padre in Man of La Mancha, Henrick in A Little Night Music, Motel in Live Arts’ first production of Fiddler on the Roof, Dickon in The Secret Garden, Merlin in Camelot, Enoch Snow in Carousel, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, and Captain Andy in Show Boat.  He also sang the role of the Sailor in the Live Arts’ production of Dido and Aeneas.  Mr. Magette has appeared frequently at Colonial Players and ASGT, where he has appeared in more than 400 performances.  Among his favorite roles there are Che in Evita, the title role in Pippin, Rooster in Annie and of course that spell-binding cymbal salesman, Mr. Hill.  He has served as the music director for several local shows, including Annie, Pippin, Grease, They’re Playing Our Song, and Colonial Player’s ever-popular production of A Christmas Carol.  Mr. Magette is with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he manages the nuclear consulting practice.


Merrill-PhotoDavid Merrill (Henry) is excited to be back with Live Arts Maryland!  He received his MM in Voice from Shenandoah Conservatory and his BM from Methodist University.  Recent musical theater roles include John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jean Valjean in Les Miserablés, Sir Galahad in Spamalot, Mr. Snow in Carousel and Adam/Noah in Children of Eden.  Recent opera roles include Sam in Street Scene, Camille in The Merry Widow, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Paolino in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Edwin in Trial By Jury and Alfred in Die Fledermaus.  Mr. Merrill has had the pleasure of working with Colonial Players, Woodbrook Players, Annapolis Summer Garden Theater, Victorian Lyric Opera, Central Maryland Chorale and the Calvert Memorial Hospital in past concerts.  Currently, he is the director of music and fine arts at Woods Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, MD.  Mr. Merrill would like to thank his wife and family for all their love and support.  You can read more about Mr. Merrill at


Tony's Formal Headshot_4.3.07tony2Tony Spencer (Howard) is an independent Vocal Performer managing a performing artist career that has included appearances with Jimmy Smith, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, War, The Soul Stirrers, The Dixie Humming Birds, The Gospelaires, The Pilgrim Jubilee, James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar, for the Fishnet Festival with Larry & Bobbi Andes (1986-90), BeBe & CeCe Winans, Larnelle Harris, Carmen, Jesse Dixon, Twila Paris, First Call, The Bill Bather Vocal Band, Doug Ollgum, Michael W. Smith, Raheem DeVaughn, and many others. He has performed with various entities including internationally with the Calgary Alberta Philharmonic Orchestra, in Alba, Italy, where he performed the Mozart to Motown and More Concert with St. Mary’s College, Stefan Scaggiari, Sue Matthews, Brian Ganz and other international artists in the 2003 Saluzzo Spring Festival, and with Maestro J. Ernest Green and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, in Tampa, Florida. In February ’06, Tony accompanied Stefan Scaggiari to his hometown of Evansville, Indiana, to perform the Mozart to Motown concert with the Evansville Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Along with his poetic and vocal gifts, Tony, is a freelance model and has executed various levels of acting, including The Meeting with Kevin McClavain and Greg Alan Williams of Bay Watch, Remember the Titans, and The District, for Isuzu Rodeo: visual and voice-over, and a number of industrial videos for the FCC, the FAA, Motorola, and Radialkeratonomy with Dan Powell of Take One Video, Inc. Find out more about Mr. Spencer at

Also appearing from the Annapolis Chorale are:

Ray Landrum as the Narrator

Ned Criscimagna as Mr. Robust

Maureen Mitchell as the Maid

Steve Streetman as Mr. Shears

Members of the Annapolis Chorale as sharecroppers.