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WEST SIDE STORY
CAST (click photos for larger images)
DESIREE ABEYTA (Swing) just relocated to Los Angeles in December and is thrilled to already be cast in an MTLA production! A native of Las Vegas, NV, Desiree graduated with a BA in Theatre before immediately shipping off to perform in China for 13 months. She is now happy to be home and eager to start the next chapter of her life. Many thanks to those who keep her going strong.
JOEY ACUNA, JR (Chino) is currently playing the role of Casey in the Playhouse Disney Live Show at Disney’s California Adventure. He has been in several independent films and is working on a few at the moment. His past shows with MTLA are Chicago and Ragtime. For more info, Joey would be happy to talk to you after the show ends. To see his headshots and resume, go to www.lacasting.com/joeyacunajr

STEPHEN ANGLIN (Moose) is a Native of Inglewood, California. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, has been studying the performing arts for almost ten years, and has performed at the Seatle Moore, Arkansas Rep, and the Kennedy Center. This is Stephen’s second performance with MTLA. He was last seen in their production of Ragtime.
PATTY BUATHONG (Margarita) (Dance Captain) is excited to make her MTLA debut with the cast of West Side Story. She was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and moved to the States at the age of five. Patty received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Cal State University, Long Beach. Her credits include Connie Wong from A Chorus Line, featured dancer in Raven Simone’s Back Flip Music Video, and various street show and parades at the Disneyland Resort.
KAITLYN CASANOVA (Pauline) (Maria US), is very excited for her first performance with MTLA! She graduated in 2006 from Central Michigan University with a BFA in musical theatre performance. She recently finished a contract as a lead singer on a cruise ship and Belle Fezziwig in a National Tour of A Christmas Carol. Some of her favorite roles include Louisa in The Fantasticks, Fredericka in A Little Night Music, and Liesl in The Sound of Music. Thank you MTLA for this great opportunity!
FERNANDO CHRISTOPHER (Indio) is happy to be making his début at the Hudson Theatre for MTLA. Although it’s his fourth production of West Side Story, he has worked all over Southern California in such productions as Xanadu Live, Side Show, Pippin, Evita, and many others. Including industrials, musical revues, and as a solo artist. He thanks his parents, husband Michael, and friends for love and support.
KALIN COATES (Anybodys - 1st, 4th weekend) Kalin hails from Chicago where she graduated from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater. She has been is such shows as One Night Stands: Sex Comedies (Angie) at the Avery Schreiber Theater with director Paul Storiale, Company (Amy), and The Wizard of Oz (Munchkin/Flying Monkey) with Theater Hikes Chicago. She has also done several independent films such as Decker (Rookie Cop) with Chiopolis Productions. Having only lived here for two months, Kalin is grateful to be working with a truly professional theater company and such a talented cast and crew. Kalin would like to thank her Mom, Dad, Joe, and her family and friends for always supporting her dream.
LAURA DARRELL (Maria). Laura is finishing undergrad at the USC, after two years at Tisch. She recently performed in shAme in Hollywood, and lead roles in The Crucible, Sunday in the Park with George, Carousel, Our Country’s Good at USC, and Wild Party with MTR at USC. Professional regional credits include shows at Ogunquit Playhouse, Portland Stage, Good Theater, and MSMT. She has sung professionally at Lincoln Center, and was nominated for a New England Emmy Award for her performance in Laura Darrell, A Very Special Christmas, produced on PBS. She thanks the creative team, Victoria, Jacole and Jo at KSR, and her family. Visit www.lauradarrell.com
ANNETTE SINTIA DURAN (Estella). Annette is thrilled to perform in her favorite musical again! This show holds a special place in her heart. Theatre Credits include Cabaret, Anything Goes, Hair, Guys and Dolls, and Once upon a Mattress. She thanks her family for their never ending support, her MTLA family, and Ken Gray for introducing her to the world of theatre 6 years ago. “This one’s for Rich.”
SARAH ERRINGTON (Anybodys - 2nd, 3rd weekend) is a recent graduate from Azusa Pacific University. APU credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Flannery), Pride and Prejudice (Mary). Other credits: Dames at Sea (Ruby); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally); West Side Story (Anybodys); Bye, Bye Birdie (Ursula). Love is a warrior raccoon.
CLAYTON SHANE FARRIS (Action). This is Clayton’s sophomore production with MTLA. He was last seen as Harry K. Thaw in MTLA’s production of Ragtime. Favorite roles include Lucas in Bare, Puck in Midsummer... and Romeo in Shakespeare’s R&J. Clayton hails from Dallas, TX, but is now pleased to call Los Angeles home. He is an MTLA company member and feels blessed to have found such a wonderful theatre family. Clayton is represented by the Jana Luker Agency.
NATHAN FRIZZELL (Riff) SAG/AFTRA. Nathan is excited to be a part of this production. He wishes to thank Arthur, Kevin, and the rest of the cast and crew for helping him learn so quickly. Other LA stage credits include Four (LA Weekly Nomination, Ensemble), Beautiful Thing (Ovation Award Nomination, Play; Ticketholder/Garland Nomination, Best Actor) (both at Celebration Theatre) and the world premiere of Matt Lutz’s Who Matters? Regional credits include roles at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Swine Palace Theatre, and Southern Repertory Theatre. TV: Veronica Mars, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. AMDG.
BOOTER GRIFFIN (Snowboy, Baby John US). Seen most notably in the cult hit JUNK: A Rock Opera at the Lyric Theater in Hollywood, Booter is thrilled to be a part of MTLA’s production of West Side Story and work with a wonderful cast, crew, and artistic staff. Ever the capricious rapscallion, Booter is grateful for the continued support of his faithful friends and family.
TOM HAAKE (A-Rab). Tom has appeared in over twenty productions since 1994. Credits include The Emcee in Cabaret (Stella Adler), Howard in Life during Wartime (Vox Humana), and Jack in Into the Woods (Fullerton). Tom appears daily at Universal Studios portraying Shaggy from Scooby Doo. He would like to thank Mom, Dad, and Barb for all their support. Cracko Jacko!
GREG HARDASH (Gladhand). Greg is excited to be performing in West Side Story, which marks his second show with MTLA, and his first time playing a role he holds very dear to his heart: a teacher! When not performing on stage, Greg can be found in his classroom working with his 32 fifth graders. Some of Greg’s favorite past shows include The Sound of Music, Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, Ragtime, Oklahoma, Annie, The Boyfriend, My Fair Lady, and The King and I. Greg wishes to thanks all of his family, friends, colleagues, and students for their continued support of his stage work, and a special thank you to Arthur and Greg for the opportunity to bring this fun role to life.
JOSH HEISLER (Baby John). Josh is thrilled to be part of this wonderful cast. Recent credits include Seussical the Musical (Horton), Kimberly Akimbo (Buddy), Three Sisters (Kulygin), Much Ado about Nothing (1st Watchman), Woyzeck (Showman), Property Rights (Kyle MacManus), and he recently appeared as Pete in the world premiere of Plumfield, Iraq. Josh recently received his BFA from UC, Santa Barbara. For more information on Josh, visit www.joshheisler.com. Josh’s company, The Theatricians Theater Group, has upcoming shows. For information visit Theatricians.com.
JANET KRUPIN (Anita). Originally from Washington State, Janet has been onstage since age seven and performed in over 40 productions. Her favorite roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Martha in The Secret Garden, and Diana in A Chorus Line. She is currently a junior at USC majoring in cinematic arts with a double minor in musical theater and philosophy. Janet would like to thank her spectacular and loving family.

HEATHER LANGHAM (Velma) is an Arizona native, is happy to make her first appearance with the Musical Theatre of Los Angeles. After receiving her degree from Arizona State University, she performed in Chicago, Swing, Cabaret, and A Chorus Line as Kristine with The Phoenix Theatre. Heather has been in the dance industry her entire life as a student, performer, teacher, and choreographer. “I would like to dedicate this performance to my mother Without her, I would not be the dancer that I am.”
LUIS JOSE LOPEZ (Bernardo). Luis is scheduled to appear on February 15th on CSI:NY in the guest starring role of Enrico Palmero. He just completed work on four independent feature films including Playball (the #1 film in 2008 in the Dominican Republic), The Sno Cone Stand, Inc. (with Morgan Fairchild and Tony Sirico), Sexina: Popstar P.I. (official selection of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival) alongside the veteran actor Adam West. He is currently filming The Singer based on the life of Hector Lavoe where he plays the role of Willie Colon. He is set to star in the upcoming feature Los Fabulosos ma Mejores in the Dominican Republic. He currently hosts the music theme show Latin Beat on BET.
DEREK LUX (Tony). Derek makes his LA stage debut with this production! He recently completed a two year run in Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco. Other theater: BABY (Danny); The Boy Friend (Tony); West Side Story (Tony); Ragtime; City of Angels; Force of Nature; Smoke and Mirrors; Anne of Green Gables. He has appeared in various print ads, voiceovers, commercials, and independent films. Derek recently wrapped the lead in the feature, Hush Hush, premiering this summer. Before life as an actor, Derek spent nearly 10 years training and teaching in Tae Kwon Do, attaining the rank of second degree black belt. Proud AEA member. “Te adoro, Lauren.” For more information, please visit www.dereklux.com.
GEORGE MACKEY (Lt. Shrank). This production marks George’s first musical and his return to the stage after a two year working hiatus. He is thrilled to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones. George has been recognized by the KCACTF as a director, production coordinator, and for ensemble acting. He was last seen in Ken Gray’s original play Something’s Missing at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival. He can be seen on ABC’s Private Practice and in the upcoming Time Heals, a Jada Pinkett-Smith project.
BETH MAIQUES (Minnie). Beth is thrilled to be a part of this opportunity (thank you Patty)! Aside from her love for the theatre, she is planning to become an elementary school teacher. She would like to thank her family (esp. Mom and Dad) and friends for their never ending support.
CARLO MORELLI (Anxious) is thrilled to be playing Anxious in this production of West Side Story. He would like to thank Ken Gray for giving him this opportunity. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius
LESLIE MORRERO (Francesca) (Dance Captain) is excited to perform back to back shows with MTLA. Credits include Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, Music Man, Nutcracker, and A Christmas Carol. She trained with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet in San Francisco and Cal. State Los Angeles. She has taught at numerous studios and schools, including East LA College. Love to family, friends and Mike for all their support.

ALLAN PENALES (Luis) hails from the Philippines, was a member of Powerdance, Ballet Philippines, and the founding head and Artistic Director of Teatro Kristiyano. Taught theater and dance throughout Asia and Europe with Impulsetanz and with professional companies like Kaleidoscope and Ballet Pensacola, Revive, and Triple Impact. Last season, Allan was last seen in Gypsy at Westchester Playhouse and La Cage aux Folles at Knightsbridge. He is happy to be a part of this great production!
JAMES PETRILLO (Officer Krupke). James Petrillo has forged a memorable career on stage and screen creating incendiary roles in a wide range of shows including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the MTLA’s recent smash-hit revival of Chicago. He just finished playing Henry Ford and a half dozen other parts in Ragtime: The Musical. His most recent film appearance was in the award-winning short E.L.I.
MARINA PHILLIPS (Ginger) has been in Pipin and Cabaret, she is very excited to be a part of this production of West Side Story! Marina is so grateful to study and teach Jazz under Jill Strauss. She is so thankful for all the love and support from her button.
TANIA POSSICK (Rosalia) is a UC Berkeley graduate. Choreography and stage credits include: Chicago: The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She recently performed in Dubai, UAE, with Belly Twins Dance Co., and produced and directed her first dance show earlier this year. Tania is also an MTLA company member and is very happy to be working with the team once again!
ANDERSON REID (Big Deal). Anderson is thrilled to be Big Deal in his debut performance at the Hudson Theatre. He would like to thank his family and friends for their undying support, as well as God for giving him the opportunity to perform with such a talented cast. He can also be seen in AFI short films and on The Office. Anderson is represented by Bicoastal Talent.

KATRINA RENNELLS (Clarice). Katrina is one of the founding members of MTLA. She is so proud to see yet another amazing production come to life. Some of Katrina’s previous theater credits include: West Side Story, The Music Man, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Odd Couple, Guys & Dolls, The Wild Party (Kate), and Ragtime. Thank you to the immensely talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication, and thank you to her endlessly supportive family and friends. Nico - so happy we’re sharing the stage again!
NICO RENNELLS (Rosie). As a company member of the MTLA, Nico is thrilled to be a part of West Side Story. She has participated in the last two Gala events, and played an immigrant in MTLA’s Ragtime. Nico would like to thank her friends and family for the continual support of her crazy aspiration to be in this industry. She is truly excited to work with such a talented cast and crew on this amazing production.
ELISA RICHTER (Lily) was recently seen in Bus Stop at the Long Beach Playhouse and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Garage Theatre. She received her BA from Cal State Long Beach where she was in Into the Woods, Titus Andronics, Out Loud, and many others. Elisa would like to thank her family and friends for all their love, laughs and support.
RAFAEL ROJAS (Pepe) is thrilled to be working with MTLA. Rafael received his AA in Theatre from AADA, American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Film Credits: Adventures of Power (shown at Sundance to great reviews); Kissing Cousins. Other Credits: Hannah Montana; Richard III; Grand Union (NBC Pilot); Olsen Twin Movies; Costume Party; Billboard Dad; and Breaking the Surface-The Greg Louganis Story.
SARAH ROSENBLOOM (Teresita) (Dance Captain). Sara is excited to be part of MTLA for the first time in such a wonderful production of West Side Story. She received a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Arizona. Her recent credits include The Who’s Tommy, Side Show, and The Rocky Horror Show, among others. She is proud to be part of such a talented cast.
RICHARD SHARRAH (Diesel). Richard is excited to perform with such a talented cast in Musical Theatre of Los Angeles’ production of West Side Story. Richard was last seen touring the Midwest with Light Opera Oklahoma in South Pacific, The Sorcerer, and El Barberillo de Lavapies. Before touring he won critical acclaim for his performances in David Ives’ All in the Timing. Past credits also include Grease. Richard was recognized in the Burbank Leader under the headline Acting Strength for his portrayal of John Westhead in Patrick Wilde’s What’s Wrong with Angry. Richard is represented by Martin Berneman at Precision Entertainment.
DANA TOMASKO (Graziella) is pleased to join WSS. She received her BA in Theatre Arts from Azusa Pacific University. Credits include: Beauty and the Beast (Belle); Lucky Stiff (Rita); Joseph…Dreamcoat (Narrator); Into the Woods (Little Red Ridinghood); The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor); Play On! (Aggie); The Boys Next Door (Clara); Robin Hood (Lady Quigley). She thanks her family and friends for their love and support. John 16:33
CLAUDIA VAZQUEZ (Consuelo) has a BFA (Acting) from the Guthrie Theatre Program and graduated from HSPVA in Houston. She began performing at 4 and has since dedicated her life to all aspects of storytelling. Claudia’s a recipient of a Minneapolis Playwright’s Center Fellowship, a member of AEA and VASTA, and former voice of NPR’s Zocalo Radio. Favorite roles of her over 40 productions: Matilde (The Clean House); Bride (Blood Wedding); Viola (Twelfth Night); Marela (Anna in the Tropics). Seeking representation. www.claudiavazquez.com
RICHARD LEWIS WARREN (Doc) was recently on the stage as Eddie in Conversations with My Father, Tom ‘Boss’ Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth and as the lead in the films An Angel Named Billy, Mother’s Day and Counter Clockwise. In addition to being an actor, he composed, orchestrated, arranged and conducted the music for the hit TV series’ Remington Steele, Dallas, Rhoda and many others. “When I was 9 my sister took me to see West Side Story and at the moment the violin snuck in with the first notes of Somewhere as Maria holds a dying Tony in her arms, I knew I wanted to be in show business. I am very grateful to be a part of this wonderful production.”
PRODUCTION STAFF (click photos for larger images)
ARTHUR L. ROSS (Director) (Choreographer) is honored to have his choreographer’s debut with MTLA. Arthur is an Adjunct Faculty member at Cypress College teaching tap and hip-hop. MFA degree in Acting from UNLV - ‘07, BAC degree specializing in directing/choreography from BGSU - ‘03 where he won numerous awards for his concert and theatrical choreography. In ‘07 he won the ACTF Merit Award in choreography for a UNLV One Act Play Festival.

GREG HAAKE (Musical Director) (Conductor) is a graduate of UCLA. This is Greg’s second stint with MTLA, having conducted the 2008 production of Ragtime. He has conducted or performed in over 40 musicals in the last twelve years, including The King & I, Fiddler on the Roof, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods, Pajama Game, and Little Women. Greg would like to thank Lori for her support, Vicki for teaching me musical theater, and Bonnie for this fantastic opportunity.”
MAGDELENA GUILLEN (Costume Designer). A native of South East Los Angeles, she began sewing her sophomore year of high school in Mrs. Barnes’s home economics class. One of her first theater jobs was velcro-ing the mermaid fin on The Little Mermaid for a staged Disney show, Animazement. Currently, Guillen is reinventing herself by studying Photography. When she is not shedding tears over reshooting her Photography assignments you can find her working at the Museum of Latin American Art with the Collection Department. Guillen is a dedicated mother and friend. She thanks Erin and Amanda who are the real heroes of these costumes!”
JEFFREY PORTER (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer of theatre and special events. Besides designing West Side Story, his fourth show for MTLA, he has recently finished designing lighting for the Lexus, Toyota, and Scion booths for the LA Auto Show and the Peavey Electronics booth for The NAMM Show. He has also done theatrical design for several schools around California. Jeffrey is the Technical Director for Nathalie Gaulthier’s Le Studio in Santa Monica. He looks forward to continuing to work with MTLA in their 2009 season.
KEVIN VALANTINE (Stage Manager) has been helping to stage events and shows at Disneyland for 12 years, and has been active at Santa Fe Springs Community Playhouse. He is proud to work with this talented group and the great Arthur L. Ross.
ERICA MEYER (Associate Producer). Erica graduated from Emerson College with a degree in TV/Video and has worked in soaps for the past four years. She is grateful to participate in this first-rate musical theatre production! “Many thanks to Bonnie, Arthur, Greg, and Kevin for their tireless efforts, enthusiasm, and creativity during the production process.”
MARK MOELLER (Assistant Stage Manager). Mark Moeller is originally from Sacramento, CA, where he has gone to school perfecting his style and technique for 6 years. Shows include: Sacramento Music Circus, JRR Tolkeins The Hobbit as a Dunedain Rangers/Narator. Mark has appeared in Fiddler on the Roof at Magic Circle Theatre, and Taming of the Shrew at American River College.
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