Announcing Cast for Chicago: The Musical in Concert January 12-14, 2024 at Music Hall
Rob Fisher to Conduct the Pops in the Symphonic Adaptation of the Score
CINCINNATI, OH (December 14, 2023)—The Cincinnati Pops has announced the cast of its upcoming symphonic concert adaptation of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical Chicago on January 12-14, 2024 at Music Hall. The five-person cast, pulled straight from Broadway, plus the Cincinnati Pops will be conducted by the legendary conductor Rob Fisher.
Fisher, who has been involved with Chicago productions worldwide, comes to Cincinnati for this production. Dylis Croman, who has performed the role of Roxie Hart numerous times on Broadway, most recently in June 2023, will reprise her role along with Tari Kelly (Broadway’s Groundhog Day, Something Rotten!, Anything Goes) as Velma Kelly, Lewis Cleale (Broadway’s Book of Mormon, Once Upon A Mattress) as Billy Flynn, Tony Award-nominee Emily Skinner (Broadway’s Sideshow, The Cher Show, New York, New York) as Matron Mama Morton, and Matthew Deming (Broadway’s Chicago, The Visit) as Amos Hart. Pianist Andrew Resnick (Broadway’s Parade, Boop, The Cher Show, The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Book of Mormon, War Paint, Wicked) and Grammy-nominated drummer Ray Brinker will join the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for this production.
Created by Rob Fisher and Tom Thompson, this concert adaptation includes every song from the original score with intermittent spoken dialogue. Originally composed for just thirteen musicians, this arrangement by Bill Elliot for John Kander and Fred Ebb’s score reimagines Chicago with a full symphonic orchestra. The concert is produced by Alison Ahart Williams, Tim Fox and Georgina Ryder of AMP Worldwide LLC.
Chicago is the longest-running musical currently on Broadway, having opened in 1996. The winner of six Tony Awards, six Drama Desk awards, and the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, Chicago’s iconic wah-wah trumpets, finger snaps and jazzy score have secured its place as a musical theatre classic.
Tickets to Chicago: The Musical in Concert are currently on sale. To purchase, visit cincinnatipop.org or call the Box Office at 513.381.3300, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This production contains adult themes. Parental discretion is advised.
ROB FISHER is an internationally recognized music director, conductor and pianist, and a leading figure in American music and musical theatre. He has been a guest of virtually every major orchestra in the country as conductor or pianist. Fisher is currently represented on Broadway as the score supervisor and arranger for An American in Paris (Grammy nomination). Additionally, he is represented as the music supervisor and arranger for Chicago: The Musical, which recently celebrated twenty years on Broadway.
With the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted the acclaimed concert versions of Carousel (EMMY Nomination for Best Music Director) and My Fair Lady as well as Mr. Keillor at 70. Other recent highlights include debuts with the Boston and Chicago Symphonies and appearances with the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and National symphonies. At Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, he led gala performances of Guys and Dolls and The Sound of Music. He conducted The New York Pops on many occasions, sharing concerts with the late Skitch Henderson. As a pianist, Fisher has been soloist for Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F with orchestras across the country.
In addition to collaborating in concert with such artists as Renée Fleming, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O’Hara, Victoria Clark, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and David Hyde Pierce, he has conducted Patti LuPone’s engagements with the Pacific, Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Worth, and Chicago symphonies. He conducted the San Francisco Symphony in the Emmy-winning concert production of Sweeney Todd starring Patti LuPone and George Hearn. At the Chicago Lyric Opera, he led the record-breaking production of The Sound of Music.
Fisher was founding music director and conductor of the New York City Center Encores! series from its inception in 1994 until 2005. The series earned a 2000 Tony Award, and in 1997, Fisher was given the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement. He continues to be a regular guest music director for the series. Fisher has made numerous recordings for Encores!, including the Grammy Award-winning Chicago cast album. He is supervising music director for Chicago productions worldwide.
Fisher was music director for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s revival of Hair in Central Park, and was music supervisor for its Tony-winning run on Broadway. He served as music supervisor for the recent Tony-winning Broadway revival of Anything Goes. His Carousel with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall was broadcast on PBS Live From Lincoln Center and earned him an Emmy nomination. He was music director and conductor for “Ira Gershwin at 100,” a gala concert at Carnegie Hall, which was broadcast on PBS “Great Performances,” and he appeared twice on the PBS series “In Performance at the White House” during the Clinton administration.
Fisher has a long association with Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series as a producer and music director, creating tributes to the Gershwins, Bernstein, Cole Porter, and Kander and Ebb. The Porter program was also presented at the Ravinia Festival, and the Kander and Ebb evening was broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center. He has also made many appearances as music director for the Lyrics and Lyricists series at New York’s 92nd Street Y, often with his friend Sheldon Harnick as host. Fisher conducted the 2011 world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County at the Virginia Opera, followed by performances in Richmond, VA and Austin, TX.
Rob Fisher is known to A Prairie Home Companion fans from his 4 years as Music Director for Garrison’s Broadcasts, 1989-1993 and as the leader of the Coffee Club Orchestra during that time. Fisher has remained a frequent guest ever since, and he is also a frequent collaborator and arranger for the DiGiallonardo Sisters. A native Virginian, he lives in Manhattan and Connecticut.
EMILY SKINNER’s Broadway credits include New York New York, The Cher Show, Prince of Broadway (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Side Show (Tony nomination, Drama League Award), Jekyll & Hyde, The Full Monty, James Joyce's The Dead, Dinner at Eight (Outer Critics Circle nomination) and Billy Elliot (BroadwayWorld Award). She has been seen in national tours of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, Billy Elliot and Disney's On the Record, and her Off-Broadway credits include Picnic (Transport Group, Drama Desk nomination); My Life With Albertine (Playwrights Horizons); Jerry Springer the Opera (Carnegie Hall); and Fiorello!, No Strings, Pardon My English and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (all at City Center Encores!). She also originated roles at Roundabout Theatre Company, York Theatre, WPA Theatre and Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Gardens. Regional credits include multiple roles at The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Ford's Theatre, Virginia Rep, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, American Conservatory Theatre, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Goodspeed, Bucks County Playhouse, St. Louis MUNY, and many others. She has sung with symphony orchestras internationally, and her numerous CD recordings may be found at iTunes and Amazon.com. In the spring of 2024, she will appear in Suffs on Broadway. emily-skinner.com
LEWIS CLEALE continues to delight and offend audiences on Broadway as Joseph Smith/Mission President/Jesus (original cast) in The Book of Mormon. His other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, Spamalot, Amour, Once Upon a Mattress and Swinging on a Star, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination. He played opposite Tyne Daly in Call Me Madam for New York City Center Encores!, and his Off-Broadway credits include Time and Again at Manhattan Theatre Club, A New Brain at Lincoln Center and The Fantasticks. He has toured nationally as Joe Gillis opposite Petula Clark in Sunset Boulevard and as Lt. Cable with Robert Goulet in South Pacific, and he was Sam in the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! His TV credits include Elementary and BrainDead, and he's the voice of Cliff the troll in Disney's Frozen. Cleale has appeared as a soloist with the LA Philharmonic, as well as the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Kansas City, San Diego, Virginia, North Carolina and Stockton. He is featured as El Gallo in the first complete recording of The Fantasticks starring author Tom Jones as Henry (the old actor), to be released on Jay Records. In his spare time, Cleale owns and operates Nobletown Fiber Works, an artisan spinning mill in New York’s Hudson Valley.
DYLIS CROMAN started her professional career at the age of 17 in New York City dancing with The Feld Ballets/NY. She most recently starred as Roxie Hart in the Broadway musical Chicago. Other Broadway credits include A Chorus Line (standby Cassie/Sheila), Sweet Charity (understudy Charity), Thou Shalt Not (understudy Therese Raquin), Oklahoma! and Fosse (trumpet solo). She has appeared in national tours of Movin' Out (Brenda), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Applause and Chicago. Television and film credits include Smash on NBC, Guiding Light, Fosse (trumpet solo, filmed for PBS’ Great Performances in America), as well as many national commercials.
TARI KELLY is overjoyed to once again join Rob Fisher and company for Chicago in Concert. She is honored to have been a part of seven Broadway shows, most recently Mr. Saturday Night (OBC) starring Billy Crystal, followed by Groundhog Day (OBC), Something Rotten!, Anything Goes (OBC Roundabout Revival—Reno Sweeney understudy/replacement), The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman (OBC), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Mama Who) and Show Boat (OBC Revival). She has appeared in national tours of Anastasia (Countess Lily), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Show Boat (Ellie) and Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl). Among her regional credits are End of the Rainbow (Judy Garland—Henry Award), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie—Jeff Nomination) and Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney—Carbonell Award). In addition, she can be heard on the original cast recordings of Groundhog Day, Anything Goes, The Boy from Oz and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Tarikelly.com
MATTHEW DEMING made his Broadway debut in the company of Chicago. He also has performed Chicago: The Musical in Concert with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Other Broadway credits include The Visit, also by Kander and Ebb, starring Chita Rivera. He has sung both as a tenor and countertenor with various orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony, as well as with the professional choral groups Musica Sacra, NY Virtuoso Singers, Collegiate Chorale and St. Ignatius. He has worked regionally at the Huntington Theater Co., the Signature Theater in Virginia, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ogunquit Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse, Trinity Repertory and Williamstown Theater Festival. Operatic credits include the world premiere of Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, many seasons at Summerscape at Bard College, and Opera Roanoke, to name a few. Deming is also a voice teacher at Marymount Manhattan College, Bard College and privately, and happily, divides his time between New York City and Upstate New York.
ANDREW RESNICK is a Broadway music director, pianist and conductor whose credits include Parade, Boop, The Cher Show, The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Book of Mormon, War Paint and Wicked. Off-Broadway credits include The Last Five Years and Far from Heaven. He has music directed concerts for Ben Platt, Jonathan Groff and Kelli O’Hara and often serves as Patti LuPone’s pianist. He is composing a musical adaptation of The Giver. Resnick is a graduate of Yale University.
Drummer RAY BRINKER has received seven Grammy nominations as a recording artist and arranger. His drumming may be heard on Ray Charles' eight-time Grammy-winning Album of the Year, Genius Loves Company, as well as recordings by Joe Cocker, Natalie Cole, Pat Benatar, Norah Jones, David Lee Roth, Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Lea Salonga and James Taylor. He frequently performs live with the Tierney Sutton Band, of which he is a 30+-year co-founding member, and with Gordon Goodwin’s Grammy- winning Big Phat Band. His film credits include co-writing and arranging the score for Clint Eastwood’s Sully, Shrek, American Hustle, The 15:17 to Paris, Dear God, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Tangled, Lilo and Stitch, Zootopia, Lightyear, Ray: The Ray Charles Story, The Alamo and Assault on Precinct 13, while television credits include playing drums on five seasons of America's Got Talent.
Brinker remains active as a Los Angeles and Nashville studio musician.