Disney’s "Newsies"
April 18 - June 9, 2019

Stop the presses! This Disney film turned Tony-winning Broadway hit inspires everyone to fight for what’s right and seize the day.

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions.

Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family.

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Actor Bio’s

Ben-David Carlson

ROLE: Jack Kelly
A native of Newport Beach, California, Ben-David now lives in New York City and returns to our stage after appearing as Levi/Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sky in Mamma Mia!, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof and Doody in Grease. Previous credits include Tarzan at White Plains Performing Arts Center and Heathers: The Musical at the Hackensack Theatre Company, Bat Boy in Bat Boy the Musical, and Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Alex Skarmeas

ROLE: Katherine
Alex is from Danvers, Massachusetts, and lives in New York City. She is a recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory’s musical theatre program and is thrilled to be making her La Comedia debut. Previous credits include Vanda in Venus in Fur, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Rizzo in Grease, Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, Pirates of Penzance, and Rock of Ages.

Brooke Barker

ROLE: Seitz/Nun/Beauty
Brooke is thrilled to return to the La Comedia stage after appearing in Annie. She has been in theatre since she was eight and has participated in multiple school and community theatre productions. Other professional credits include Madge in Picnic and a featured role in Hollidazzel. She hopes you enjoy the show and thanks you for coming. John 3:16.

Baylor Browning

ROLE: Ensemble
Baylor is a native of Merced, California, now living in New York City. A recent graduate of the musical theatre conservatory at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, Baylor is excited to be making his professional debut. Previous credits include Evan Goldman in 13: The Musical, Link in Hairspray, Lucas Beineke in The Addams Family, and Ralphie in A Christmas Story.

Corry J. Ethridge

ROLE: Romeo
Corry is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, and now resides in New York City. A graduate of Skidmore College with a B.A. in dance, he is making his La Comedia debut. He has performed as Wolf in Theatre Raleigh’s production of The Wolf, on board Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, danced at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and played the role of Elliot in the web series History.

Kyle Fleig

ROLE: Mush
Kyle is from Dallas, Texas, and now lives in New York City. A graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in musical theatre, he is making his La Comedia debut. Credits include La Cage aux Folles, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Catch Me if You Can, The Boy From Oz, The Producers, Nice Work if You Can Get it, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Peter Pan, and 9 to 5.

Michael Guerriere

ROLE: Race/Elmer
Michael is from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is making his La Comedia debut. A graduate of DeSales University with a B.A. musical theatre, his previous credits include Guys and Dolls, Holiday Inn, Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, Tarzan, and Grease. Children’s theatre credits include Dinosaur the Musical, The Princess and the Paparazzi, Freckleface Strawberry, and Jack and the Bad Mood Giant. He would like to thank La Comedia for the opportunity to perform in his all-time favorite musical, his family and friends for their love and support, and for everyone who comes to watch Newsies.

Rachel Hoover

ROLE: Hannah/Nun
A graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a B.F.A., Rachel returns to the La Comedia stage after being a part of ten productions both on stage and behind the scenes. “I love what I do and thank God for the opportunities He gives me to do it!”

Digger Howard

ROLE: Snyder/Jacobi/Mayor
Digger is thrilled to be returning to La Comedia, after appearing as Gad/Baker in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Almost Heaven, and Grease. Having spent 10 years performing in Japan and two years touring the U.S., he is grateful to be home in Ohio again. Favorite roles include: Burrs in The Wild Party, Homer in Floyd Collins, Nicely-Nicely in Guys & Dolls, and Jamie in the Japanese premiere of The Last Five Years. He would like to thank his family and friends for all of their support, especially his awesome parents and Punkin Wasa.

Chris Kramer

ROLE: Pulitzer
Chris returns to La Comedia after recently appearing in Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver, as General Waverly in White Christmas, Professor Plum in Clue: The Musical and Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy. Previous La Comedia credits include F.D.R. in Annie, Stanley in Smoke on the Mountain, Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia!, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet, The Old Man in A Christmas Story, Emile De Becque in South Pacific, Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and Pastor Gunderson in four Church Basement Ladies productions. He studied theatre and acting at Northern Michigan University, New York’s HB Studio, CCM, and Xavier University. Regionally, he’s worked with Mad Anthony Theatre, New Stage Collective, Know Theatre, Miami University, New Edgecliff, Ovation, and Human Race Theatres. Chris has appeared in innumerable local, regional and national TV commercials, industrial videos, films and print ads. Much love to Cheryl.

Jonah Kramer

ROLE: Crutchie
Jonah is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in drama and returns to the La Comedia stage after appearing in White Christmas. He was also seen as Justin in the national tour of Amber Brown is Not a Crayon. Other credits include Berkshire Theatre Group’s productions of Oklahoma!, and A Chorus Line, Arpad Laszlo in She Loves Me, Twin/Lost Boy in Peter Pan, Bazzard in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He thanks his family and Angel for their boundless love and support.

Alexia Juniper Minton

ROLE: Bunsen/Nun/Beauty
Alexia is from Wilmington, Ohio, and is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with B.A. degrees in dance, creative writing, and theatre. She returns to the La Comedia stage after appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, White Christmas. Other credits include Hunchback of Notre Dame, Footloose, Cabaret, and Blood Wedding. She also performed as a dancer at the 54th Ohio Valley Emmy Awards, and choreographed Ohio Wesleyan’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.

El More

ROLE: Medda Larkin
El is a Dayton native and a music vocal performance graduate of Hampton University. She is thrilled to be returning to the La Comedia stage as the bold, brassy, performer extraordinaire, Ms. Medda Larkin. She is a program director at Breakthrough Cincinnati, the youth director at Enon United Methodist Church and teaches applied voice throughout the region. Favorite theater credits include Pam Sakarian in Baby, the Madam in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mama Euralie in Once on This Island, Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act, Celie in The Color Purple, Truvy in Steel Magnolias, and Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Next, she will appear in the Cincinnati Opera’s Porgy & Bess. El thanks her parents and sister for their ongoing support. Love to Brian and Mariel.

Tanner Neath

ROLE: Finch/Henry
Tanner is from Overland Park, Kansas, and returns to the La Comedia stage after appearing as Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Some of his previous credits include Mark in Roxy’s Downtown’s production of Altar Boyz, Bernstein in Dogfight, and Roosevelt University’s Tribute to E.Y. Harburg. Tanner has appeared in several TV commercials and short films and has performed for several years in show choirs in high school and community college.

Ernesto Olivas

ROLE: JoJo/Tommy Boy
Ernesto is from El Paso, Texas, and is making his La Comedia debut. He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Credits include Bert Healey in Annie and several productions on board Queen Mary 2 with Cunard Cruise Line.

Mark Reuter

ROLE: Wiesel/Roosevelt
Mark returns to our stage for his 14th production after most recently appearing as Ezekiel/Snoring Man in White Christmas, Monsignor O’Hara in Sister Act, Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, Jean Shepherd in A Christmas Story, Brackett in South Pacific and Mr. Macy in Miracle on 34th Street. He was also seen in Phantom, Peter Pan, Titanic, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Other professional credits include Rooster in Annie, Max in The Sound of Music, The King in Cinderella, and Beaver in Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. Mark would like to thank his family for their continued love and support.

Nelson Riley

ROLE: Oscar Delancy/Ensemble
Nelson is 15 years old and is from Carlisle, Ohio. He is making his La Comedia debut. He has previously been seen as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, and has 10 years of competitive dance training. He wants to thank his friends and family for supporting him.

Noah Rutkowski

ROLE: Les
Noah loves singing, dancing, and acting. He caught the acting bug at age 8, and since then has been cast in several productions including prominent roles with Town Hall Theatre in Centerville, Vandalia Youth Theatre, Dayton Theatre Guild, and The Human Race Theatre. Now, Noah is delighted to have the opportunity to charm audiences here at La Comedia.

Blaine Saunders

ROLE: Les
Blaine is in the 6th grade at Madison Elementary and is making his La Comedia debut. His previous credits include Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka, John in Peter Pan, the Mayor in Rats, Flounder in The Little Mermaid, and Geppetto in My Son Pinocchio. He was also seen as Joe Crowell, Sy Crowell and Wally Webb in Our Town.

Ben Shimkus

ROLE: Davey
Ben is from New York and is making his La Comedia debut. He is a graduate of Cortland State University with a B.A. in musical theatre. Credits include the national and international tour of PJ MASKS Live as Catboy, and the national tour of Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies. He has also performed in many regional productions including Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Addams Family, Peter Pan, Footloose, Pippin, Damn Yankees, and Oklahoma!

Dylan Turner

ROLE: Morris Delancy/Nunzio/Ensemble
Dylan is excited to be back on the La Comedia stage after previously appearing as Asher in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Dylan is a graduate of Edgewood High School and currently lives in Trenton, Ohio. He has appeared in many community theatre productions with Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre including Children of Eden as Abel, Damn Yankees as Linville, Legally Blonde as Nikkos, and The Addams Family as an Ancestor. Dylan currently studies dance at South Dayton School of Dance where he was recently in a production of The Nutcracker ballet. Dylan is also the assistant director for the Edgewood Middle School show choir, Overtures, and he plans on continuing down this path and eventually becoming a choir director.

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Awesome show !!!! Tonight we saw White Christmas and we loved it !!! Such a joyful play !!!! A huge thank you to the entire crew for singing Happy Birthday to my shy husband!!!

THANK YOU GUYS!!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!

Thank you La Comedia Dinner Theater for giving us such a great joy with every show !

Roxana Nicoleta

“Bravo! Enjoyed this tonight so very moving and perfectly blended with heart warming, soul lifting and belly laughing moments. Loved it and every single cast member. Also my server Elizabeth was phenomenal!!!”

Gina Allen

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