The Sounds of Rodgers & Hammerstein will feature entertainment at its best with a series of romantic and comedic vignettes along with show-stopping songs as conceived in this musical revue directed by Michele Grace, musically directed by Chris Coogan, and produced by Peggi de la Cruz. Favorites from film and theatre will be showcased including popular hits like Some Enchanted Evening, Oklahoma!, Wash that Man Right out of my Hair, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Getting to Know You, Do Re Mi, Nothing Like a Dame, and many more classic tunes. “From the professional set design and costumes to the talented performers, this is one production that I know will delight fans of all ages,” says Michele Grace. Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals integrate the formula-musical technique with thought-provoking plots, comedy, song, dance, and drama. “The string of 1940s and 1950s hits in this show are a tribute to one of the most successful partnerships in American musical theatre history,” explains Chris Coogan. Producer Peggi de la Cruz notes that “Connecticut Playmakers attracts singers and actors from across Fairfield and Westchester counties, giving us a great pool of solo and ensemble talent.”
The show’s director, Michele Grace, is a professional singer, actor, playwright, teacher, voice over talent, vocal coach, and music entrepreneur who has performed all over the U.S. and abroad. Michele played the role of Shirley with Tim Daly in the play “Fifth of July,” opened for the celebrity singer/pianist Bobby Short at New York City’s The Carlyle, and served as Musical Theatre Professor at the Regional Center for the Arts and taught at New York’s renown theatrical HB Studios, where she studied acting with the legendary actress Uta Hagen.
Musical director Chris Coogan is an award-winning jazz and gospel musician, choral director, composer/arranger, accompanist, producer, teacher, and performer who has been hailed by The New York Times as “a masterful pianist.” Chris has played with celebrities including Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Ronnie Spector, Phoebe Snow, Jose Feliciano, Kristen Chenoweth, Kelli O’Hara, Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult, among others. A seasoned singer and pianist, Chris has performed in the tri-state area at parties for Martha Stewart, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and was asked to perform for President Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The cast and crew include Linda Colucci, Peggi de la Cruz, Virgil de la Cruz, Renee Escaravage, Cathy Hickey, Jodi Maxner, and Barbara Occhino from Stamford; Caryn Raimondi, Mickey Raimondi, Christine Mallardi, Laura Skutch, Chris Balestriere, Martin Diamond, Matt Vousé, and Rosalind Cormier of Norwalk; Jed Wolf, Michele Grace, Kathleen Alexander, and Susan Lovallo of Fairfield; Chris Coogan and Melissa Middleton Coogan of Weston; Frank Callahan of Bridgeport; Leslie Duchin and Dan Swartz of Greenwich; Janice Rudolph of Ridgefield; and Catherine Rose of Westport.
After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/