Did you know that last year only 17% of creative leadership roles on Broadway were held by women? To help change the stage, The Green Room 42 presents Changemakers: A Celebration of Women and StateraArts on Thursday, August, 22nd at 7 PM. Join veterans from Broadway, Television, and Film for tales of sisterhood, challenges in the workplace, and overcoming adversity.
The evening will uplift, amplify, and advance female-identifying artists, featuring Tony/Drama Desk nominee Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody) and a panel talk led by Rachel Spencer Hewitt, founder of the Parent Artist Advocacy League. Broadway veteran and three-time SAG Award winner Dale Soules, widely-known as inmate Frieda Berlin on Orange Is The New Black, will host. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the StateraArts Mentorship program, the national organization that brings women into full and equal participation in the arts.
Cast members donating their talents include: Lianah St. Ana (Miss Saigon), Gina Naomi Baez (She's Gotta Have It), Emily Borromeo (Broadway Bounty Hunter), Galway Girls (feat. Meredith Beck, Janice Landry, Caitlin McKechney), Carly Kincannon (America's Sweethearts), Liisi LaFontaine (Dreamgirls), Kara Lindsay (Newsies), Jennifer Lorae (Hard Times), Shoba Narayan (Hamilton), Andrea Prestinario (Side Show, Jeff Award), Kristine Reese (Finding Neverland), Hannah Rose (Olay Live!), Talia Suskauer (Be More Chill), America's Sweethearts (feat. Barrie Kealoha, Annemarie Rosano, Sarah Stevens), and Aurelia Williams (Once On This Island).
The evening is Directed and Produced by Mara Jill Herman with Assistant Direction by Ashley Ruth Jones and Music Direction by Julianne B Merrill.
The Green Room 42 is located at 570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street inside the Yotel on the 4th floor. Tickets range from $20-$50. There is no food or drink minimum. To purchase tickets call 646.449.7792 or click here.
Those who can’t make it but want to donate to the event are invited to contact Mara Jill Herman: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018 BWW LA Regional Awards are out, and some of the productions I've been a part of this year have been nominated! Take a look (and cast your vote) for this year's awards!
Leading Actress in a Musical: I was nominated for my role as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street
Best Musical - Local: 42nd Street at PVPA
Best Choreography: Christine Negherbon, 42nd Street
Best Director: Michael Arden, Annie
Leading Actor in a Musical: Kevin Bailey, 42nd Street
Best Musical Direction: Bill Wolfe, Daddy Long Legs
Special Theatre Event: Annie at the Hollywood Bowl
Congratulations to the cast and creatives of "42nd Street" at Palos Verdes Performing Arts for being recognized by StageSceneLA for the following awards for the 2017-2018 season:
Thank you to all who came out to see "Annie" at the Bowl! Here are some of my favorite photos from our production:
"But even if you have seen it before, I cannot stress enough how miraculous the current production is at the Hollywood Bowl, directed with creative ingenuity by Michael Arden" - BroadwayWorld
"Kudos to the entire 15-person ensemble for assisting in the transformation of the set into the many locales needed during the production, along with their dedication to adding in so many wonderful characters" - BroadwayWorld
"There's also a dreamy list of top-notch, theater-trained adult actors honed in musical comedy and divalicious vocals that automatically elevate everything around them." - BroadwayWorld
"A proven crowd-pleaser for decades, and now thoughtfully upscaled with great enthusiasm for the Hollywood Bowl, ANNIE, to put it mildly, is just the kind of escapist musical we may all need right now. Chockfull of admirable optimism, infectious joy, and the timeless message of hope, love, and kindness, ANNIE is definitely a throwback worth savoring now in such harsher, more volatile times that we live in." - BroadwayWorld
"Foley’s brilliance manifested itself in terrific fashion with numbers that especially utilized the ensemble, such as “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover,” “I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” the reprises of “Tomorrow,” and the title song. Whether it was the orphan girls, depression-era squatters, Warbucks’ help staff, or even Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his presidential cabinet, everyone vivaciously got in on the act, showing off a precision that is observed in only the best of the best." - LAExcites
Thank you to Sarah Ellis for having me over this summer to record the demo for the title track of the new musical "These Girls Have Demons," Meghan Brown for your killer (too on the nose?) lyrics, and Ryan O'Connell for orchestrating the final track! This song is so much fun and I can't wait to hear and see more from "These Girls Have Demons." (And congrats to Meghan and Sarah for just finishing up another round of workshops and readings for this show at Spark by PCLO!)
Coming up next... I am so excited to be a featured ensemble member in Annie at the Hollywood Bowl! This beloved family musical will be directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden (Best Direction of a Musical - Once on This Island, Spring Awakening) and will feature choreography by Eamon Foley. The LA Phil will be conducted by Todd Ellison. The cast will feature a variety of stars from stage and screen, including Lea Salogna, Ana Gasteyer, and Megan Hilty.
I watched the 1999 ABC version of Annie religiously as a seven-year-old, so to be part of this production is very special to me. I cannot wait to perform at the legendary Hollywood Bowl once more this summer!
For more information regarding tickets and casting announcements, visit the Hollywood Bowl's box office website.
Check out what the critics are saying about 42nd Street at Palos Verdes Performing Arts and get your tickets to join us!
"Jones’s Peggy combines equal parts spunk, vim, and charm, sings sensationally, and makes us believe that a Broadway neophyte could indeed tap her way to overnight stardom [...] all four Equity leads [show] off Broadway-caliber vocal chops."
- Stage Scene LA
Peggy [is] masterfully performed by Ashley Ruth Jones.
- Broadway World
I am so excited to be stepping back into my tap shoes and into the role of Peggy Sawyer, this time with Palos Verdes Performing Arts! Directed and choreographed by Christine Negherbon, this production will use the original Broadway staging, with musical direction by Ryan O'Connell. Come down to Palos Verdes and enjoy the spectacle of this classic dance musical!
For tickets and other information, click here.
"Intelligence, perception and equanimity are the hallmarks of Jones’ portrait. Even as she blossoms under the warmth of an education, her Jerusha is no bright-eyed, eager beaver, but pensive, and highly inquisitive. Through Jones’ work, one sees Jerusha’s sense of feeling isolated and different."
“There’s nothing stuffy or remote in director Mary Jo DuPrey’s staging, with Jones and Nicandros’ superb acting bringing the story’s themes to the forefront and their characters’ concerns down to earth. The result is a sweet, skillfully told story of two lost souls who somehow find an oddly kindred spirit, and someone to love, in one another. […] All told, “Daddy Long Legs” is a beautifully lyrical tale grounded in the realities and complexities of human nature and the human heart.” (Eric Marchese - OC Register)
“Jones as Jerusha sing[s] emotively and excellently, sustaining the complex notes of [her] songs […] Jones expresses Jerusha’s growth beautifully through her singing.”
“Artistic direction and the actors’ talents combine to create an immersive, unusual and riveting emotional experience that will carry you away on its long legs.” (Anita W. Harris - Signal Tribune)
"Ashley Ruth Jones embodies this wry and clever character physically, musically and psychologically.” (Ben Miles - Beachcomber)
“Jones is a vibrant, impetuous, and eminently lovable Jerusha. She anchors the production with a solid vocal performance and brings the audience with her every step of the journey.” (Michael Van Duzer - ShowMag)
"Jones is delightful vocally as she portrays the naive young woman’s budding interest in learning and frustration [...her] spirited transformation from unsophisticated miss to confident young woman gives the story resonance.” (Melinda Schupmann - Arts in LA)
“Jones’ endearing voice guides most of the musical […] Without a doubt, “Daddy Long Legs” is an impeccable musical comedy with a brilliant cast.” (Francisco Reyes - LOL-LA)
“Ashley Ruth Jones and Dino Nicandros prove themselves more than capable of handling the material. Their charming performances are easily worth the price of admission. They have exquisite singing voices, both individually and when they sing together." (Chris Carpenter - Grunion Gazette)
“Ashley Ruth Jones and Dino Nicandros are brilliant together singing flawlessly and passionately to tremendous effect. [...] When they are together as Jervis and Jerusha, they move together in subtle, synchronous choreography. And once again, their singing is glorious and deeply moving.”
“Daddy Long Legs is a triumph for ICT, and fully deserves the spontaneous standing ovation rendered by the audience on the evening I saw the show.” (Paul Mryvold - Theatre Notes)
"The musical is strongly and admirably held together by a two-person cast – Dino Nicandros as Jervis and Ashley Ruth Jones as Jerusha – who share a lovely camaraderie and chemistry"
"Ashley Ruth Jones is relatable, heartfelt, and inspiring as the orphan who yearns to grow out of her past to become the woman she was always meant to be [...] Jones is excellent at portraying her persona’s burgeoning individuality by capturing a breadth of feeling that is of impressive and affective range. Jones is also able to get across very discrete sentiments when uttering the words of a single letter that she is writing [...] or when she uses the beautifully clear coloratura and vibrato in her voice.” (Imaan Jalali - LA Excites)
Ashley will star as Jerusha Abbott in International City Theatre's production of Daddy Long Legs. Previews begin February 21 and performances begin February 23 at the Beverly O'Neil Theater in Long Beach. Directed by Ovation nominee Mary Jo DuPrey, this musical is full of wit and heart!
A heartwarming Cinderella story about a witty and winsome young woman and her mysterious benefactor, based on the treasured novel that inspired the classic 1955 film starring Fred Astaire. Jerusha Abbott is the “Oldest Orphan in the John Grier Home” until a mysterious benefactor decides to send her to college to be educated as a writer. Required to write him a letter once a month, she is never to know the benefactor’s identity – so she invents one for him: Daddy Long Legs. Although she knows that he will never respond to her letters, she grows more and more fond of this elusive and kindly “old” gentleman. Yet, there is one startling fact that Jerusha has yet to uncover – a fact that will change her life forever.
For more information regarding tickets and performances visit ICT's website.
Ashley is so excited to be on stage with Mostly Musicals once again for their "In Dreams" cabaret! Come se some of LA's best perform at the E Spot Lounge in Studio City on May 22!
Take a look at the feature about this show and it's fabulous cast on BroadwayWorld and get $10 tickets with the code "MOSTLYMUSICALS."
Coming up in 2017, Ashley will play Gretel in "Hansel and Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat." In this production, animated backdrops and a score by Grammy-nominated children's songwriter Justin Roberts tell the story of this classic fairy tale in a fresh and innovative way.
The first performance of Hansel and Gretel takes place on January 22nd at the Valley Performing Arts Center, but more performances willl follow in theaters around Southern California! Check out VPAC's website for ticket information.
Each year Stage Scene LA recognizes the best of Los Angeles and San Diego theater. I am thrilled that productions I was a part of have been included on this year's list! I also received the individual recognition of "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role" for my performance of Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act. To see the full list, visit www.stagescenela.com.
"Sister Act" - Musical Theatre West
"La Cage Aux Folles" - San Diego Musical Theatre
I am beyond excited to be a part of the cast of "A Chorus Line" in it's special presentation this summer at the Hollywood Bowl! As a cut dancer and understudy, I can't wait to get back to the show that started my love for musical theater!
This cast features a variety of Broadway and screen stars, including Mario Lopez, Krysta Rodriguez, Spencer Liff, and many more from the 2006 Broadway Revival. The production is directed and choreographed by Baayork Lee (the original Connie Wong on Broadway and director/choreographer of the 2006 Broadway Revival) using Michael Bennet's original choreography, and will be accompanied by the LA Philharmonic.
"A Chorus Line" was the first musical I ever performed in, and I had the opportunity to be a part of UCLA's production while I was a student there. It holds a very special place in my heart, and this production is sure to be incredible!
There are only three performances at the Bowl with this cast: July 29th, 30th, and 31st. For information on how to buy tickets, visit Goldstar or go to: www.hollywoodbowl.com
The reviews are in, and everyone is singing along to "The Lullaby of Broadway" at the Speckles! Critics and audiences alike are loving San Diego Musical Theatre's "magical" production of 42nd Street! This production must close on June 12th, so get your tickets at sdmt.org before it's gone!
Here is some of the praise for the production and Ashley's performance as lead Peggy Sawyer:
"San Diego Musical Theatre’s crackling new production of the classic is eye-popping and effervescent even by the standards of this much-loved, nostalgia-drenched musical."
I am so excited to announce my next project: I will be stepping into the role of Peggy Sawyer in San Diego Musical Theatre's production of "42nd Street!" This production is directed by James Vasquez and choreographed by Jill Gorie, with performances running from May 27 to June 12 at the historic Spreckles Theater in downtown San Diego.
My first introduction to the performing arts was with tap classes when I was six years old... I can't wait to get out my taps and take on this dream role!
For more information regarding tickets and performances, visit: www.sdmt.org!
Critics and audiences alike are praising Musical Theatre West's production of "Sister Act!" This show only runs until April 24th, so get your tickets at musical.org before it's gone!
Sister Act is one contemporary musical that has flavorful tunes to make you move, groove, sing along and completely...REJOICE! On an entertainment scale of 1 to 10, 12!
Ashley is excited to announce she will be Sister Mary Robert in Musical Theatre West's production of Sister Act! Based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy, this musical features a score by Alan Menken and a hilarious cast. This production is directed by Michael Matthews and choreographed by Daniel Smith, with Musical Direction by David Lamoureaux.
This production opens April 8th and runs until April 24th at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.musical.org/sisteract or Goldstar.
What better way to start off the new year than with some new music? Ashley will be performing new work in "A Little New Music 11" at the Rockwell! It'll be an evening of new works from writers across the country in one of LA's favorite performance spaces.
For tickets and more information, go to: alittlenewmusic.org
!After a successful opening, take a look at the cast of "La Cage" and get a sneak peek of our production! Get your tickets now, as this show only runs until October 11... You don't want to miss it!
The Stage Scene LA "Scenie Awards" are given to outstanding theater productions in Southern California. I am so excited that many of the shows I have been a part of in the last year were recognized! See the full list of all categories at www.stagescenela.com.
"The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll" - The Theatre @ Boston Court
"Les Miserables" - Musical Theatre West
"Singin' in the Rain" - Musical Theatre West