An Evening With Groucho - Cast & Creative Team
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September 6 - November 3, 2019
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September 17 - October 27, 2019
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Cast & Creative Team

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Frank Ferrante

Frank Ferrante, Writer/Groucho 
Frank is an actor, director and producer described by The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera co-author Morrie Ryskind called him “the only actor aside from Groucho who delivered my lines as they were intended.” Discovered by Groucho’s son Arthur when Frank was a drama student at the University of Southern California, Frank originated the off-Broadway title role in Groucho: A Life in Revue (written by Arthur) portraying the comedian from age 15 to 85. For this role, Frank earned New York’s Theatre World Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. He reprised the role in London’s West End and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Comedy Performance of the Year.’ Frank played the Groucho role in the off- Broadway revival of The Cocoanuts and has played Captain Spalding in several productions of Animal Crackers winning a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his portrayal at Goodspeed Opera House and a Helen Hayes nomination in Washington D.C. at Arena Stage. In Boston, he played the Huntington Theatre in the record-breaking run of Animal Crackers that landed Frank on the cover of American Theatre Magazine. Frank has now performed the Groucho role over 2500 times in more than 400 cities. His other regional roles include Max Prince in Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre (which Frank also directed); George S. Kaufman in By George (a one-man play written by Frank); Oscar in The Odd Couple and leads in The Sunshine Boys, Lady in the Dark and Anything Goes. Frank directed “M*A*S*H” star Jamie Farr in the Kaufman & Hart comedy George Washington Slept Here and revivals of Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound and Lost in Yonkers. In 1995, he directed and developed the world premiere of the Pulitzer finalist Old Wicked Songs. In 2001, Frank directed, produced and starred in the national PBS television program “Groucho: A Life in Revue.” Frank has played over 1200 performances as the comic Latin lover ‘Caesar’ in the cirque show Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle and San Francisco and in Palazzo in Amsterdam. Recently, Frank toured An Evening With Groucho for eight weeks in Australia. On television, Frank played a speaking mime on Rob Corddry’s Emmy Award-winning comedy “Childrens Hospital” and can be heard on the animated series “Garfield” as the voice of Lyman, Odie’s first owner and on “SpongeBob SquarePants” as Patrick’s boss. Frank stars in the web series “Caesar’s World” now viewable on Funny or Die. He is a question on the TV program Jeopardy. “He took his portrayal of Groucho Marx to New York in 1986.” The answer: “Who is Frank Ferrante?” “Like” AN EVENING WITH GROUCHO on Facebook! 

Gerald Sternbach

Gerald Sternbach, Accompanist
Mr. Sternbach is one of the busiest musical directors in LA with twelve Ovation nominations (2006 win), seven Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nominations, and two Garland Awards. He has accompanied a variety of artists including Marilyn Horne, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Carol Burnett, Adam Lambert, Nancy Wilson, Lainie Kazan, John Lithgow, Judith Light, Paul Gemignani and Mel Brooks.  Southern California credits include Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen (filmed for HBO), World premiere of Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking, Stephen Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Grey Gardens, (associate conductor, Ahmanson Theater), I Only Have Eyes For You (arranger/musical director, Montalban Theater), Sondheim on Sondheim, Closer than Ever (International City Theater), Love, Noel, Enter Laughing (Wallis Annenberg Center). Broadway/National Tour credits as associate conductor for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Merlin, and The Tap Dance KidLes Miserables (LA company) National tour Song and Dance.  He’s an adjunct professor at Cal State University for over eight years and was musical director at the Jerry Herman HS Music Theater Awards held at the Pantages Theater for four years.  As a songwriter/composer, Jerry has contributed songs to three Ringling Brothers' Circuses, Heartbeats (with Amanda McBroom), A-5-6-7-8! (with Faye Greenberg), Club Mom (with Elin Hampton) and Biting Broadway! (with Jordan Beck, Richard Hochberg). His song (written with Faye Greenberg) “Mary,” a tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, was sung by Eric McCormack on the 2004 TVLand awards in the presence of the original cast of the landmark sitcom, one of the thrills of his life. 

Dreya Weber, Director
Dreya produced and starred in The Gymnast and A Marine Story, collectively honored with 48 US and international festival awards including seven ‘Best Actress’ honors. Dreya co-directed and wrote the recently released independent feature Raven’s Touch in which she plays the title role. She conceived and directed “Caesar’s World”, now viewable on Funny or Die. Dreya writes extensively for many cirque/ theater venues including Teatro ZinZanni, Palazzo and Le Studio. Her stage credits include As You Like It at LAWSC, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings at CTG and the award-winning West Coast premiere of Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow in which she played Vivien Leigh. On the East Coast, she appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Comedy Of Errors, Childhood (with Glenn Close), Inadmissible Evidence and Macbeth. Dreya conceived and choreographed Pink’s performances at the 2010 and 2014 Grammy’s and was associate choreographer for Michael Jackson’s This is It. For more than a decade, Dreya has created the aerials for all of Pink’s record breaking international tours. Her creative direction and aerial choreography has been featured in over 15 international arena tours including those for Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Madonna, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue.

Groucho Marx 
The New York Times summed up the comedy genius as “America’s most gifted funny man.” Born Julius Henry Marx on October 2, 1890, Groucho was the third of five sons born to poor immigrant parents Sam and Minnie Marx. Chico and Harpo preceded him. Gummo and Zeppo followed. Straight from the streets of New York’s upper Eastside, Groucho was thrust onstage at age 15 as one third of the singing Leroy Trio. Eventually, brothers Harpo, Chico, Gummo and Zeppo joined the act that began as the singing Four Nightingales and evolved into the world’s funniest vaudeville act known as the Marx Brothers. After twenty years of touring their act all over the country, the Marx Brothers finally hit pay dirt with a musical comedy called I’ll Say She Is. Audiences and critics went wild over the brothers’ irreverent humor, the expert pantomime, the wisecracks, the physical shtick, the outrageous musical talent. Said one local Philadelphia critic about the show, “It was as if a tornado hit town. We’ve never seen anything like the Marx Brothers.” I’ll Say She Is moved to Broadway in 1924 and was an instant sensation legitimizing the Marx Brothers as world-class talents. Two more Broadway hits followed - The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers introducing audiences to Groucho’s most renowned incarnation - Captain Spalding, the African Explorer. In 1930, Groucho and his brothers moved to Hollywood and changed the face of lm comedy forever. There they made Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, The Big Store, A Night in Casablanca and Love Happy between 1931 and 1949. The Four Marx Brothers appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in1932. As a solo, Groucho launched a career on radio and television with his Emmy Award winning work as the host of the comedy quiz show “You Bet Your Life”. The show flourished for fourteen highly rated seasons from 1947 to 1961 on ABC radio then NBC television. Groucho was a major fixture in 1950’s television with his “secret word” and a duck that dropped from the sky to pay wacky contestants “an extra hundred dollars.” In the late 1960’s, a renewed interest in the anarchic hijinks of the Marx Brothers swept across the nation - particularly among college age students. Fortunately, Groucho Marx survived long enough to experience his renaissance. He made TV appearances, performed at Carnegie Hall at age 82 and received a special Academy Award in 1974 for “the brilliant and unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers”. On August 19, 1977 Groucho Marx died at age 86. His final request? “Bury me next to Marilyn Monroe.” 

Aaron Lichamer, Lighting Designer
Aaron is The Rep's lighting and video director, and is excited to design for The Rep again. Based out of Chicago and Milwaukee, some of his prior credits include the 2015 and 2016 seasons at Tibbits Summer Theater including Pippin and The Addams Family respectively, Eurydice with BoHo Theater, and Rep Lab 2016. He holds a BFA in Lighting Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Erin Paige, Sound Designer
Erin Paige is thrilled to be back in the Stackner Cabaret, having previously designed McGuire, The Doyle & Debbie Show and I Left My Heart. Other Milwaukee credits include Mole Hill Stories, Goldilocks, and Spookley the Square Pumpkin at First Stage, King Lear at The Alchemist, and Phaedra's Love at The World's Stage. She has previously composed for Annex Theatre in Seattle and Looking Glass Theater NYC. She holds a B.F.A. in Sound Design from Southern Oregon University. 

Richelle Harrington Calin, Stage Manager
Richelle has been stage managing for 25 years and with Milwaukee Rep since 2004. Milwaukee Rep credits include: Bach at Leipzig, The Clean House, Intimate Apparel, Gem of the Ocean, A Christmas Carol, The Voysey Inheritance, Life Could Be a Dream, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Night is a Child, I Am My Own Wife, Greater Tuna, Pride and Prejudice, Shear Madness, The Lady with All the Answers, Yankee Tavern, Route 66, Cabaret, Bombshells, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Yellowman, Othello, The Mountaintop, How the World Began, Venus in Fur, End of the Rainbow, Ain’t Misbehavin’, after all the terrible things I do, The Beautiful Music All Around Us,  Five Presidents, Back Home Again, Of Mice and Men, Sirens of Song, The Royale and McGuire. 

» Return to An Evening With Groucho play page.