Connecticut Playmakers present original musical revue, Callbacks

The original musical revue, Callbacks will be presented by the cast and crew of Connecticut Playmakers Oct. 21-22 and 28-29, at 8 p.m. (doors open 7:30), at the Albertson Memorial Church, 293 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich. The play features the best of Broadway, jazz, and pop favorites.

Seating is limited, so advance purchase is recommended. Visit CTPlaymakers.org to purchase tickets online or call 203-561-5247 to order by mail. Tickets: $25.

Connecticut Playmakers Callbacks is directed by Michele Grace, co-produced by Peggi de la Cruz and Leslie Duchin, and accompanied by Chris Coogan. The cast of accomplished and talented singers has performed on television, radio, NYC clubs such as Kitano, Dangerfield’s and Catch a Rising Star, the Bob Button Big Band, stand-up comedy showcases at Caroline’s, recorded CDs, and more. It includes Jed Wolf of Fairfield; Leslie Duchin and Maryann Ramos of Greenwich; Caryn and Mickey Raimondi, Rosalind Cormier, Norris Wakefield, Laura Skutch and Dana DiCerto of Norwalk; Karen Joyce Miller, Ellynne Rey and Karen Mitchell of Stamford, Chris Coogan of Weston; and Dan Swartz of Pound Ridge, N.Y.

Director Michele Grace is a professional singer and actor who has performed in the U.S. and abroad. Michele portrayed Shirley in the play “Fifth of July” starring Tim Daly, opened for the celebrity singer/pianist Bobby Short at New York City’s The Carlyle, has been a featured singer at popular venues like New York’s Le Cirque and the Yale Club and performed at the CT Critics Circle Awards at the Westport Country Playhouse among others. She served as a Musical Theatre Professor at Connecticut’s prestigious Regional Center for the Arts and taught at New York’s renowned theatrical HB Studios, where she studied acting with the legendary actress Uta Hagen. As a playwright, Michele has written children’s musicals for Connecticut’s Polka Dot Playhouse, as well as her original “Peacocks and Peanuts” musical which she directed at United Kingdom’s famous Edinburgh International Festival.  She is a director for local non-profit theatre groups including Curtain Call and Connecticut Playmakers, a professional private vocal coach and conducts theatre arts workshops. She performs with accompanist Chris Coogan at local political, fundraising, and entertainment events.

Piano accompanist Chris Coogan is an award-winning jazz and gospel musician, choral director, composer/arranger, accompanist, producer, teacher, and performer hailed by The New York Times as “a masterful pianist.” Chris has played with celebrities including Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Ronnie Spector, Phoebe Snow, Jose Feliciano, Kristen Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara, among others.  He has performed at parties for Martha Stewart, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and was asked to perform for President Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Chris has performed at Manhattan’s Blue Note and Birdland as well as the Montreaux Jazz Festival.  He has written and performed original Gospel music for PBS’ documentary on Amy Semple McPherson, manages the Chris Coogan Quartet, writes jingles, released several CDs, teaches jazz piano, founded The Good News Gospel Choir, and leads international Gospel workshops.

Since 1947, non-profit Connecticut Playmakers (ctplaymakers.org) has presented over 226 Broadway shows and musical revues.  The popular theatre group has earned a reputation for bringing the best of Broadway and the American songbook to the greater Greenwich community and southwestern Connecticut. Connecticut Playmakers strives to produce a well-rounded array of theatrical offerings throughout the year.

The cast of CT Playmakers led by director Michele Grace and accompanied by Chris Coogan (front row) rehearse for the musical revue Callbacks. Back row are cast members Leslie Duchin of Greenwich; Rosalind Cormier, Norris Wakefield, Caryn and Mickey Raimondi, and Dana DiCerto of Norwalk; Dan Swartz of Pound Ridge; Karen Joyce Miller, Ellynne Rey and Karen Mitchell of Stamford, and Jed Wolf of Fairfield. Absent are Laura Skutch of Norwalk and Maryann Ramos of Greenwich — Photo by CT Playmakers.

The cast of CT Playmakers led by director Michele Grace and accompanied by Chris Coogan (front row) rehearse for the musical revue Callbacks. Back row are cast members Leslie Duchin of Greenwich; Rosalind Cormier, Norris Wakefield, Caryn and Mickey Raimondi, and Dana DiCerto of Norwalk; Dan Swartz of Pound Ridge; Karen Joyce Miller, Ellynne Rey and Karen Mitchell of Stamford, and Jed Wolf of Fairfield. Absent are Laura Skutch of Norwalk and Maryann Ramos of Greenwich — Photo by CT Playmakers.

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