The Pocono Center for the Arts announces the launch of its new Broadway Cabaret Series to be held on a regular basis at the legendary Deer Head Inn. Produced and hosted by Producing Artistic Director Stephen DeAngelis, the new series will complement their ongoing Mainstage Broadway Concert Series that occurs every other month and will feature musical theatre's fastest rising performers who will be given the opportunity to display their talents in an intimate atmosphere. The series kicks off on Monday, May 20th at 7 PM with Mia Gentile (Kinky Boots), Storm Lever (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) and Drama Desk Award nominee Evan Ruggiero (Bastard Jones). Musical Director/Accompanist will be Eugene Gwozdz. This initiative provides a rare chance to see the "Stars of Tomorrow" today.
MIA GENTILE made her Broadway debut in Kinky Boots and was very grateful to spread the show's message of love and acceptance in her Broadway debut. She also enjoyed her wild and irreverent run in Forbidden Broadway: Comes Out
Swinging! where she got to lovingly roast her favorite shows and Broadway legends. Mia was interviewed on "Good Morning America" for her viral YouTube video "The Stanley Steemer Variations". She has also been heard in concert with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Symphony singing the songs of Rent, La Boheme, and Moulin Rouge under the baton of conductor Robert Moody. Her favorite roles include Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Natalie in Next to Normal, and Maureen in Rent.
STORM LEVER made her Broadway debut starring as young Donna Summer ("Duckling Donna/Mimi") in the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Off Broadway: The Wringer (Dorothy). Regional: Freaky Friday(Savannah)at the Signature Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theater, and Cleveland Playhouse. Emotional Creature at the Berkeley Rep (u/s). Kansas City Choir Boy at the Arsht Center in Miami (Siren). Other favorite roles include Emmie inCaroline, or Change; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Little Red in Into the Woods; Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Dorothy in The Wiz. Shoutout to my B.F.Amily at the University of Michigan (musical theater department), my supportive BRS/Gage Family, and my chosen family in NYC.
EVAN RUGGIERO began dancing at the age of five in his hometown studio and by age ten, he was accepted into the famed New Jersey Tap Ensemble. Upon entering his Sophomore year at Montclair State University while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, Evan was suddenly diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer of the right leg. Enduring nine surgeries in a six-month period in an effort to save the leg, the cancer returned more aggressively than the original diagnosis. He was faced with the ultimate decision of amputation in order to stop the cancer and save his life, as well as undergoing chemotherapy for sixteen months. Eighteen months after the amputation, and only two days after receiving his "peg-leg", Evan was tapping again. In 2018 he received a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Actor, a Chita Rivera Award Nomination for Best Dancer, and was awarded a Clive Barnes Award in Theatre for his portrayal of Tom Jones in NYC's Off-Broadway hit Bastard Jones. This past year he performed at the 90th Oscars with "This Is Me," the hit song from the feature film "The Greatest Showman", and at Carnegie Hall. He has performed for many notable individuals such as Ellen DeGeneres, Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, and most recently Egypt's sixth and current president, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
EUGENE GWOZDZ (Musical Director/Accompanist) is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and now resides in NYC. Eugene is the Music Director/Arranger for the American Dance Machine 21, and the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts.. Eugene was the MD/Arranger for Our Guy, Cy, a musical concert tribute to Cy Coleman, starring Tony Award Winners, Randy Graff, Cady Huffman, and Lillias White which received rave reviews from the NYC critics; MD/Arranger for the Jerome Robbins Awards honoring Chita Rivera, Harold Prince, and Stephen Sondheim. Music Director and Pianist/Arranger for Tony Award-winning "Princess and the Frog" star Anika Noni Rose at the Lincoln Center American Songbook Series; Drama league Tribute to Patti Lupone; orchestrated and arranged music for the critically acclaimed revival of It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman. Music Director andMusic Director/Pianist/Arranger for the hit show, Thrill Me, and the critically acclaimed 20th Anniversary Revival Production of Maltby & Shire's Baby at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Broadway: The Full Monty and Oklahoma!. Broadway National Tours: Sunset Boulevard (with Petula Clark), Flower Drum Song, Swing!, The Color Purple, The Phantom of the Opera, The Will Rogers' Follies and West Side Story (Conducted and played keyboards).He has worked with many Broadway stars including Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Norbert Leo Butz, James Monroe Iglehart, Shuler Hensley, Stephanie J. Block, Patti Lupone, Cady Huffman, Chita Rivera, Leslie Uggams, Donna McKechnie, Andre DeShields, Lee Roy Reams, Ken Page, Patrick Wilson, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Shirley Jones, Will Chase, Betty Buckley, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Will Chase, LaChanze, Nikki James, Victoria Clark, Kelli O'Hara, Andrea McArdle, Chris Seiber, Rachel York, Norm Lewis, Megan Hilty, Kristin Chenowith, Brent Barrett, Valisia Lekae, John Tartaglia, Laura Benanti, Melissa Errico, Karen Ziemba, N'Kenge, Mark Kudisch, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Laura Bell Bundy.
STEPHEN DeANGELIS (Producer/Host) is excited to return to the Poconos as early in his career he was the first Artistic Director of the Shawnee Playhouse. Last year as Producing Atistic Director of the Pocono Center for the Arts, he produced and hosted Broadway Divafest and Broadway Spotlight where he showcased the talents of Broadway's finest vocalists. Stephen has produced over 300 different Broadway concerts at venues in New York and across the United States featuring a multitude of Broadway stars including many Tony Award and Drama Desk Award winners and nominees, stars from hit television series and films whose roots are on stage and Broadway's fastest rising young performers. He is also the Producing Artistic Director and Host of At This Performance... , the critically acclaimed concert series that has showcased the talents of over 1000 Broadway Standbys, Understudies and Alternates since October 2003. He has cast over 3600 network television and radio commercials for Manhattan's leading advertising agencies for such clients as DirecTV, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, E*TRADE, Febreze, Cover Girl, Pantene, Advil, Robitussin, Downy and Hewlett-Packard and has contributed to many historic and award-winning spots and campaigns including many which have been recognized with Platinum, Gold and Silver Lions at Cannes. Stephen also cast the six-time Emmy Award nominated Playhouse Disney series "Johnny and the Sprites" starring Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia which was seen on the Disney Channel. His work has been seen in New York and regionally in over 300 theatrical productions for companies including Musicals Tonight!, York Theatre Company, The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, The Drama League, Casa Mañana, North Shore Music Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Stage One, Studio Arena Theatre, American Stage Company, GeVa Theatre, Starlight Theatre of Kansas City, the St. Louis Municipal Opera (The MUNY) and Dallas Summer Musicals among others as well as numerous festival showcases, workshops and readings. Other credits include The World AIDS Day All-Star Concert Revivals of Pippin and The Secret Garden, the All-Starproduction of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens and the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Hair. He is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has staged musicals in major theatres across the country in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Dallas and St. Louis and throughout New York and New England. Throughout his career, Stephen has cast over 100,000 actors across all entertainment platforms. Recent productions include the New York premiere of Unexpected Joy by two-time Tony Award nominee Bill Russell (Original Cast recording on JAY records, the Off-Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Marry Me a Little and the All-Star concert version of Into the Woods. He also was nominated for two 2018 BroadwayWorld Awards.