MEET THE CAST AND CREW OF MAMA / MOON
A play about the unlikely friendship between “Mama" Cass Elliot — of the Mamas and the Papas - and Keith Moon, original drummer of The Who. The sweetest, heavyset singer of all time and the wildest, womanizing, party animal in Rock 'n Roll. Together. For one night. What could possibly go wrong??
By Tom Frattare. Directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz.
March 9th | March 25th. MAINSTAGE Theatre.
Nici Romo (Mama Cass Elliot) is very excited to be playing Momma Cass Elliot at Ensemble Theater. Nici is from the Akron area and is a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Theatre, Art, and Design. She is a Co-Founder of the alternative theatre company Dunamis Theatre and also works as a theatre teaching artist for the Artful Living and Learning Program based in Stark County. Some of her favorite roles are Flo (Picnic), Donna(Blue,Miss Billie) ,Duke Senior and Duke Fredrick (As You Like It) , and storytelling with Wandering Aesthetics; also based in Akron. Directing credits include Yellow by Del Shores, Hot N' Throbbing by Paula Vogel, and A Long Christmas Ride Home and many others. She would like to thank her family for their constant support and to Josie, Colton, and Roar for letting her live her dreams.
August Scarpelli (Harry Nilsson/Technical Director) is excited to be performing in his first new play. He has loved Schmilsson's music since he was a kid and the opportunity to perform as Nilsson has a special place in his heart. August has worked with Ensemble as an actor, artistic associate, carpenter,set designer, and assistant director since the 2015 season. You may have seen him onstage in Death of a Salesman, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Jerusalem, The Phantom Tollbooth, or The Hairy Ape. He is also the Technical Director for the 2017/2018 season, and one of the co-founders of the Shahrazad Theatre Company that Ensemble has been generous enough to incubate. He would like to thank Tom and Ian for this opportunity.
Chris Bizub (Oliver) is thrilled to being performing at Ensemble Theatre production for the 7th time! Some of the favorite roles he has played here were in The Iceman Cometh (Hugo Kalmar), Waiting for Lefty (Miller), Farragut North (Paul Zara), and Run Kingsbury Run (Lemmory) just to name a few. Chris has a Masters’ in Arts Administration from the University of Akron as well as a Bachelors’ degree in Theatre from Baldwin Wallace College. He currently works at French Creek Theatre as a Program Reservationist. Some recent credits include Equus (Harry Dalton) at Blank Canvas Theatre, Our Town (Stage Manager) at French Creek Theatre, Of Mice and Men (Curley) at Coach House, and Richard III (Richard III) at Rubber City Shakespeare Company. When he is not performing, Chris also directs. Some of the recent directing projects he’s most proud of were As You Like It at Rubber City Shakespeare Company, A Christmas Carol at Geauga Lyric Theater Guild, All in the Timing at Medina County Show Biz Company, Panache at Clague Playhouse, and The Odd Couple, Play On, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] at Strongsville Community Theater.
Jordan Renee Malin (Michelle/Inge) is humbled to be making her Ensemble debut! She has been performing all over northeast, Ohio since she was 9 years old. From the Cleveland Play House, to Beck Center, to Blank Canvas and Pickwick and Frolic. Favorite roles include; Louise/Gypsy in Gypsy , Maureen in Rent, Donna in Debbie does Dallas, and Roxie in Chicago. She loves and thanks her parents and puppies for keeping her strong and for their support.
Aaron Elersich (George) has been a staple in Northeast Ohio Theatre for the better part of the last decade. In addition to his work with Ensemble, Aaron has directed and produced critically acclaimed projects with the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, and has been seen on numerous stages throughout the region including The Cleveland Playhouse, The Beck Center, and Lakeland Civic Theater. He is excited to return for another turn about at a role in a NEW play as part of the Colombi New Plays Festival. He has directed Twelfth Night for Ensemble and as a MainStage actor most recently appeared as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and Peter in Prelude to a Kiss in previous seasons.
April Needham (Honey). This is April's second time performing at Ensemble Theatre, and she's thrilled to be back. She was last seen in the production Well in the Fall. She is playing the role of Honey, Keith Moon's girlfriend in MAMA / MOON. This has been such a rewarding experience as an actor working on this play. Not very often do you get to give your perspective on the character your playing during the script writing process. It has been an amazing journey to be a part of. I hope you all enjoy this piece of rock n' roll history as much as we all have been working on it.
Kyle Huff (Treat/Neil) is elated to be doing another production at Ensemble Theatre where he was most recently in the critically acclaimed The Hairy Ape. Kyle has been involved at Ensemble Theatre for many seasons, both on stage and behind the scenes. He directed Farragut North and Assistant Directed The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail. Kyle was seen on stage at Ensemble as Artax in The Never Ending Story, Ensemble in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Ensemble/Chester in The Great Gatsby, and Lee Piper in Jerusalem. He has also worked at Beck Center, Actor’s Summit, and French Creek Theatre, and is a Care Lite Instructor for Cleveland Playhouse. Kyle's most recent production endeavor was opening the new Shahrazad Theatre Company with Kayla Davis and August Scarpelli, and directing it's inaugural show, Caucasian Chalk Circle. Kyle would like to thank Becca (his new fiancé!,) Ian and Celeste, his folks, his friends, and everyone else.
James Rankin (Keith Moon) is excited to be a part of another Colombi New Plays Festival production, having been in the inaugural years production of Dancing with N.E.D. James has appeared in several Ensemble productions over the seasons, including Beyond the Horizon (Robert) and The Iceman Cometh (Parrit) and The Great Gatsby (Nick Carraway.) He recently appeared in the inaugural production of Sharhazad Theatre Company's Caucasian Chalk Circle. He has also appeared in productions at Dobama, Cleveland Playhouse, Great Lakes, Beck Center, French Creek, CPT, and Ohio Shakespeare Festival. James would like the thank Ian and Celeste for all their guidance over the years, the cast for all their work, and the audience for supporting the theatre and he would love to thank his father, for making him the person that he is today. He will be seen completing the second part of Angels in America: Perestroika in April & May at Ensemble, playing the role of Joe Pitt.
Santino Montanez (Allan) is proud to be appearing in Mama Moon which marks his fourth show at Ensemble. Most recently he appeared in The Hairy Ape as a crew member as well as having understudied the role of Yank. Last spring he appeared as Khadim Azman in The North Pool by Rajiv Joseph and prior to that he appeared as Tio Villaneuva in The Bloodless Jungle by Peter Lawson Jones. Santino started acting at a young age and studied theatre arts at John Carroll University where he appeared as Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, as A Player in Pippin, and as Patrick O'Reilly in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. He has also appeared on television in several episodes of Crime Stoppers and in the the short film Honor Society by Tiffany Ann Laufer. He is looking forward to continuing his work in Cleveland's professional theatre scene. He would like to thank Director Ian Hinz for the opportunity to work alongside such a talented group of individuals and Tom Frattare for writing such a powerful multifaceted play, and Stage Manager Becca Mosley for keeping a rowdy bunch if actors safe, on time, and in order. He would also like to thank all of his family and friends who have come to see the show, especially his mom Betty who tirelessly helped him run his lines. Most of all he would like to thank you, the audience, for without your patronage there would be no show. He would like to dedicate his performance to the memory of the real life Allan Carr.
Mia Radabaugh (Lena/Stuardess). This is Mia’s first production with the Ensemble Theater. She graduated with a BFA in Acting from Ohio University where she played such roles as Alex in On the Verge, Mrs. Linde in A Doll’s House, and 1st Citizen/Adrian/ 1st Murderer in Coriolanus. Mia also has a background in improv and dance, making regular appearances with Fairmount Center for the Arts. She can be seen in September in the Spirit Walk with Valley City historical society. She appreciates this opportunity to come back to the stage after a brief hiatus to climb the corporate ladder where her background in acting and improv has truly been put to the test.