Pittsburgh CLO announces RING OF FIRE cast

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Pittsburgh CLO is proud to announce the cast for the rousing musical hit Ring of Fire, which will run May 22 through August 17 at the CLO Cabaret. Tickets start at $34.75 and are available at CLOCabaret.com, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

Cast (In Alphabetical Order)

Jay Hitt is a gifted singer/songwriter and accomplished guitarist who last appeared at the CLO Cabaret in Always…Patsy Cline.  He was voted Best Acoustic Musician by the readers of Pittsburgh City Paper twice.  His song, “Tracy Loves Ray” was named Best Song in the Canadian Narrative Music Contest, where he also received an Honorable Mention for “Through The Window.”  Mr. Hitt is the recipient of Best Song awards on Broadjam.com, Songwriter Universe and Songoftheyear.com. With the release of his seventh CD, “Greetings from the Wilderness,” Mr. Hitt continues to “honor his gifts, work at his craft, respect his audience and achieve excellence,” as one reviewer put it.

Paul Koudouris is a graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Program making his Pittsburgh CLO debut.  Regional Theatre: RENT (Roger), All Shook Up (Chad), Chess (Anatoly), Oklahoma! (Curly) and A Night with Janis Joplin (Guitarist/Singer).  Mr. Koudouris has also released an original pop/folk music album which can be found at www.paulkmusic.com.

Mitch Marois just completed his BFA in Musical Theatre at Carnegie Mellon University.  As a member of Theatre Plastique he appeared in Saints!, winning Best Musical at the 2013 New York Fringe Festival.  A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Mr. Marois has appeared in productions of 4 Saints in 3 Acts, Romeo and Juliet, You Can’t Take it With You and The Wild Party (Lippa) while at CMU.  He also choreographed and assisted on productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Urinetown! The Musical, Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Once on This Island, The Wild Party and various dance concerts.

Jon Rohlf is a Musical Theatre graduate from Point Park University where he last performed as “Band Leader” in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  Other Point Park credits include “Huck” in Huck Finn and “Floyd” in Dark of the Moon. Other roles include “Antony” in Sweeney Todd and “Kyle” in Legally Blonde The Musical among others.

Nicole Stefonek is a Wisconsin native who holds a BFA in musical theater performance from St. Mary’s University of Winona, MN.  After graduating and performing extensively throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, she moved to New York City where she wrote and performed for numerous Off-Broadway and cabaret venues.  Favorite productions include: The Jamal Lullabies (P.S.122 NYC), What the Folk?! (The Duplex Cabaret), Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding (Minneapolis), The Rocky Horror Show (Minneapolis) and Side Show (St.Paul).

Erika Strasburg is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate making her Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret debut. Other Pittsburgh credits include A Musical Christmas Carol and Pittsburgh CLO’s Gallery of Heroes program, Quantum Theatre and City Theatre Company.

Santino Tomasetti is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  Credits include “Holiday Songbook” at Lincoln Center (writer) and Vietnam at 50 for the New York Historical Society.  Mr. Tomasetti is joining Pittsburgh CLO for the first time.

The Creative Team

Guy Stroman (Director & Choreographer) directed and choreographed Forever Plaid for the inaugural production of the CLO Cabaret.  He also directed and choreographed that show for the fifth anniversary of the theater, as well as Plaid Tidings in 2007 and 2013.  He has directed numerous productions of plays and musicals around the country and in New York, including: Driving Miss Daisy and The Glass Menagerie, both starring Sandy Duncan, The King and I, starring Lou Diamond Phillips (Best Director Award), Twelfth Night, Loot (Best Production Award), 1776 (Best Director Award), Man of La Mancha (Audience Favorite Award), and Shakespeare’s R&J, to name a few.  Mr. Stroman originated the role of Frankie in the original Forever Plaid in New York, London’s West End, and Los Angeles, where he won the L.A. Drama Critics Award for Best Actor.

Chris “Red” Blisset (Music Director) is joining Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Other credits include: Stand By Your Man (two national tours – Actor, MD), Ring of Fire (Director, MD, Actor, all over the country), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Director, MD, Actor, all over), Cotton Patch Gospel, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night, Keep on the Sunny Side, Smoke on the Mountain, Plaid Tidings, Honky-Tonk Highway and Civil War (Actor/Musical Director/Director in various projects). He can be seen coast-to-coast and on YouTube doing stand-up comedy.  He comes from New York City where he is developing the new musical Basquiat.

The Story

Ring of Fire is a journey into the heart of America, courtesy of one of our most beloved musical poets–Johnny Cash. In Ring of Fire, a remarkable cast of performers and musicians will pay homage to his music with the strength, humor and honesty that made Cash one of the greatest songwriters and most revered storytellers in American music. Ring of Fire features over 30 of the music legend’s songs such as “Country Boy,” “A Thing Called Love,” “Five Feet High and Rising,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “I Walk the Line,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “The Man in Black” and his final hit, “Hurt.”

Performance Schedule for Ring of Fire

Wednesdays   7:30pm
Thursdays      1:00pm* & 7:30pm * Thursday matinees – 6/26, 7/31, 8/14
Fridays           7:30pm
Saturdays       2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays          2:00pm


Tickets start at $34.75 and are available online at CLOCabaret.com, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more can call the Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 to learn more about special discounts, priority seating and corporate discounts. Visit pittsburghCLO.org for more information.

2014 CLO Cabaret Series

Ring of Fire will join the world premiere of Judge Jackie Justice and the hilarious return of Dixie’s Tupperware Party to complete the 2014 Cabaret Series.  Three-Show Cabaret Series Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased for $100 (a 25% savings!) by calling 412-281-2822.  Individual tickets for Dixie’s Tupperware Party will be on sale at a later date.

Pittsburgh CLO media members may access photos and other show materials by visiting the Press Room at pittsburghCLO.org. When prompted, simply enter “pressroom” as the username and “pittstadium” as the password.

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