The Gig

5/2/2006 - 5/2/2006

It's 1975 and a used car salesman, a dentist, a real estate agent, a financial advisor, a deli owner and a music teacher put their careers and families on hold to pursue their passion – music – with their first professional 'gig' in the Catskills. The results are funny, touching, and unexpected as this musical focuses on the necessity of living a dream, no matter where it takes you.


Stephen Berger (Abe)

Stephen happily returns to The Gig for the fourth time, having first performed it at the O’neill Festival. Broadway: The Pajama Game, Into the Woods, The Dinner Party, True West, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and Little Me. Off Broadway: Niteclub Confidential; Beau Jest; That’s Life; Isn’t It Romantic; and Hello Muddah, Hello Fudduh. National Tours: Annie, Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera and Rumors. Television: Damn Right, All My Children and Law & Order. Stephen is married to the beautiful and talented actress Jan Leigh Herndon.

James Judy (Jack)

Broadway: Into the Woods, The Scarlet Pimpernel, A Christmas Carol the Musical. Off-Broadway: La-Boheme-NYSF, Fiorello- Encore Series City Center, J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation- EnGarde Arts, Catch Me If I Fall-Promenade 'Theatre, 1.2,3.4.5 and The Gig Manhattan Theatre Club. Nat'l Tours: Deaf West's Big River and South Pacific. Regional: Most recently Shakespeare in Hollywood at The Wilma Theater and Enchanted April at the Pioneer Memorial Theatre. James has worked many seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival among many other theaters across the country. TV credits include The Cosby Show, Trinity, All My Children and One Life to Live. Endless Devotion and Gratitude to Kathy and "The Mooch".

Herndon Lackey (Georgie/Vince)

Broadway credits include Hugh Dorsey in Parade, Tom Davenport in Inherit the Wind, The Warden in The Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Javert in Les Miserables, Neville Landless in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the Squire of Dinidan in Camelot. Off-Broadway Herndon was most recently seen playing Jacob Witting in Sarah, Plain and Tall. Other Off-Broadway shows: Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas CarolRichard Cory; The Audience; Bloomer Girl, and Forbidden Broadway. Regional credits include Bounce at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and the Kennedy Center, 3hree at the Prince Music Theatre and LosAngeles' Ahmanson Theatre, and productions at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and the Papermill Playhouse.


Michael James Leslie (Marshall)

Michael James Leslie is a former lawyer who made his show business debut in the Broadway revival of Hair.  He then became the Lion in the original Broadway production of The Wiz repeating that role in theaters throughout the country. Michael also originated the role The Voice of the Plant in Little Shop of Horrors in Los Angeles, on the original national tour, and in London, where the production won the prestigious Olivier Award for Best Musical. Other productions in which Michael has appeared include, the Broadway productions of Senator Joe and Little Shop of Horrors (2003), the National tour of Beauty and the Beast, Sweeney Todd, Guys and Dolls, Boys from Syracuse,  Ain’t Misbehavin', Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar (German tour), The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Call Me Madam starring idol and friend, Leslie Uggams, Once On this Island, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and My One and Only. Michael has performed as a guest artist with Peter Nero and the Philadelphia Philharmonic, and on tour with recording star Stephanie Mills. Michael also appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in duet with Little Shop of Horrors star Ellen Greene. Recently, Michael had the honor of performing with Tim Rice in An Evening with Sir Tim Rice in Barbados. In December, Michael was nominated Best Supporting Actor by the Denver Post Ovation Awards for the National Broadway Tour of Little Shop of Horrors.


Michael McCormick (Arthur)

Michael McCormick is currently on Broadway in The Pajama Game. He started in the recent revivals of 1776 (John Adams), and Kiss Me Kate (lst Gangster). Other Broadway credits: La Bete, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Marie Christine, and the Sam Mendes revival of Gypsy (Uncle Jocao/Cigar). Blessed to play Herbie opposite Bernadete Peters, numerous times. In September he worked on Doug Cohen's and Douglas Carter Beane's The Big Time. Off-Broadway: A Man of No Importance, (Lincoln Center), The Prince and the Pauper, An Empty Plate in the Cafe on Grand Bouef (Primary Stages), Mafia on Prozac (EST), Scapin and Arturo UI (CSC), In a Pig's Valise (Second Stage), The Regard of flight (With Bill Irwin), Charlotte Sweet, Tom Foolery and Coming Attractions. National Tours: The Producers (Franz Liebkino) and Les Miserables (As Thenardier). TV: The three Law and Order Series, Cosby, PB's MY Favorite Broadway, and the staged concert of Candice. Film: The Gutter Song, A Couch in New York, The Producers and Charlie Busch's upcoming A very Serious Person. A graduate of North Western University. He lives in Conneticut with wife Alison and son Dylan, member of Actor's Equity since 1964.

Jill Paice (Lucy)

Broadway: The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie), Nothing Like a Dame 2006. West End: World Premiere The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie), Night of 1000 Voices (Royal Albert Hall). York Theater: Weird Romance (Delphi, Susan). Vegas: Mamma Mia (Sophie, original cast). Tour/Regional: Les Miserables, Gypsy. Graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College.

William Parry (Marty)

Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George and Passion, The Leaf People; Agamemnon (Lincoln Center), Jesus Christ Superstar (original), Into the Light, Rockabye Hamlet, Sgt. Pepper's...., Gypsy (with Bernadette Peters). Off Broadway: Dessa Rose; Assassins (original); Cymbeline, Dispatches, The Knife (NYST-); Once Around the City, more. National Tours: A Few Good Men, Camelot (u/s - Richard Burton), Titanic (Capt. Smith). Regional favorites include: Saint Joan, Biloxi Blues, Arturo Ui, The American Clock, Time and Again, Happy End, The Gig, Blanco, The King and I. Film&TV: Domestic Disturbance, In & Out, Sweet Liberty, Law & Order, The Pretender. Radio: A Prairie Home Companion. Most recently: The Rainmaker at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Michele Pawk (Rickie Valentine)

Broadway: Hollywood Arms (Tony Award), Chicago, Seussical, Cabaret (Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle nominations), Triumph of Love, Crazy for You (Drama Desk Nomination), Mail. Off-Broadway: The Paris Letter (Drama Desk Nomination), Reefer Madness, After the Fair, Hello Again, Merrily We Roll Along, john &jen, A Little Night Music (NYC & LA Operas). Regional: Bounce (Helen Hayes nomination), Hollywood Arms, Dirt, A Class Act (Japan), Oedipus-Private Eye, The Gig. Film: Cradle Will Rock, Jeffrey, The Girl in the Watermelon, Flight of Black Angel. Television includes: "Law&Order," "Law&Order SVU," "Quantum Leap," "Dear John," "Golden Curls," Recordings: Bounce, Seussical, Cabaret, Crazy for You, After the Fair, Hello Again, Merrily We Roll Along, Lost in Boston III, Broadway Bound, The Stephen Schwartz Album, The Stephen Sondheim Album, The Sherman Brothers Album, and numerous recordings of books on tape for Simon & Schuster.

Charles Pistone (Gil)

Acting credits include Joe in the Broadway revival of Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella (Cast Album), Frank Manero in the Broadway production of Saturday Night Fever, Valentin in Kiss of the Spiderwoman (London and New York productions), Javert in the First National Company of Les Miserables. and the title role in Phantom at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. He most recently created the role of Sal Penza in Romeo and Bernadette at the Papermill Playhouse. Charles has also been featured in many Off-Broadway, stock, and regional theater productions, including four regional productions of The Gig. Concert work includes appearances with the Hartford Symphony, BBC Radio Orchestra, BBC Symphony, and Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. On television, he has been featured on Law and Order, All My Children, One Life To Live, Another World, and in the NBC movie: Howard Beach: Making the Case for Murder.

Steve Routman (Aaron)

Steve is thrilled to return to The Gig, having played Aaron at Sacramento Music Circus and American Stage Company. Steve made his Broadway debut in Broadway, directed by the legendary George Abbott. He starred in Allan Knee's Off-Broadway romance Shmulnik's Waltz at the John Houseman. Other NY appearances include Much Ado About Nothing and Love's Labor's Lost (NYSF), The Skin of Our Teeth (Kandcr/Ebb Workshop), The Glass Blowers (NYCO) and LingoLand (York). Recent regional work includes Doll (Sundance Institute Theatre Lab,) Awake and Sing! (Arena Stage) and Mendel in Falsettos (Huntington). Steve received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for his portrayal of Louis Howe in Eleanor at the Ford's Theatre. A member of the BM1 Lehman Engel Workshop, he has been working with Joy Son to musicalize The Fisher King.  Television: Remember WENN; L&O/SVU/CI; Welcome to NewYork, and ED. Upcoming: In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Keen Company. Steve's a proud graduate of Northwestern.

Karen Ziemba (Donna)

Broadway: Contact (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards), Never Gonna Dance (Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony nom.), Steel Pier (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle noms.), Chicago, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Crazy For You. Off-Broadway: And The World Goes 'round (Drama Desk Award), I Do! I Do! (Drama desk nom.), NYC Opera: 110 in The Shade, The Most Happy Fella, Candide. Encores! At City Center: Bye Bye Birdie, The Pajama Game, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Allegro. Regional: Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespearc Theatre Company, D.C./ Hartford Stage), Leading Ladies (Ford's Theatre, DC), House and Garden (Geva Theatre, NY), The Three Penny Opera (Williamstown Theatre Festival, MA,), The Opposite of Sex (Magic Theatre, San Francisco), TV & Film: The Producers (2005), Law and Orde, L&0: Criminal Intent, L&0: SVU, The Kennedy Center Honors. Pedalfoot; and for PBS, My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies, Gershwin at 100, and Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall.

Creative Team

Victoria Bussert (Director)

Victoria Bussert happily returns to Doug Cohen's The Gig having previously directed developmental productions of it at the National Music Theatre Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodspeed Opera House. In November, Victoria directed the 2005 Richard Rogers Development Award Winner, Dust and Dreams: Celebrating Sandburg by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman at The York Theatre. Regionally, her work has been seen at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Stage, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Pegasus Players, Skylight Opera, Piedmont Opera, Cleveland Opera and Anchorage Opera. She serves as Artistic Director for Cain Park, Resident Director for the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and Director of Music Theatre for the Baldwin-Wallace College, Conservatory of Music. Special thanks to Doug and Paulette.

Michael Cassara (Casting Director)


Michael Cassara is a New York based Director and Casting Director, dedicated to creating and fostering new musical theatre. As a Casting Director, recent credits include Red (2005 Richard Rodgers Award Winner, York 'Theatre workshop with Alison Fraser and Maty Testa), Joy (off-Broadway and workshop), The Unauthorised Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Makor, with Michael Arden and Celia Keenan-Bolger) and 7 shows in the New York Musical 'Theatre Festival. Michael is pleased to reunite with Douglas J. Cohen, having recently cast workshops of the new musical Barnstormer (written with Cheryl L. Davis.) A native Clevclander, Michael is a graduate of Otterbein College. Please visit

Douglas J. Cohen (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Douglas J. Cohen wrote the music and lyrics for The Opposite Of Sex, based on the Don Roos film, which will be produced this summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He won two Richard Rodgers Awards and the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation Award for No Way To Treat A Lady (Outer Critics Circle nomination Best Revival,York Theatre Company) and The Gig (O'Neill Conference, Goodspeed, MTC, Sacramento Music Circus). Doug was nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics for off-Broadway's Children's Letters To God (music by David Evans and book by Stuart Hample, recorded on Jay Records), and is the composer of Barnstormer (book/lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis, Lark Play Development workshop), which received a Jonathan Larson Grant. He is the composer/lyricist of The Big Time, (book by Douglas Carter Beane, ATYMF production directed by Chris Ashley); composer of Glimmerglass (produced at Goodspeed); and librettist/lyricist of The Reel Valentino. Doug recently contributed original songs for off-Broadway's Boozy, written and produced by the Obie award-winning Les Freres Corbusier.

David Evans (Musical Director)

David Evans is currently Associate Conductor of Wicked. His credits include recent Broadway revivals of Flower Drum Song and Bells Are Ringing, Marie Christine and Hello Again at Lincoln Center, and Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, Sills And Company and As Thousands Cheer Off-Broadway. Main regional productions, including productions of The Gig at Goodspeed, Sacramento MusicTheater, and American Stage Company. A composer as well, David received a Drama Desk Nomination for his score for Birds of Paradise (written with Winnie Holzman  and directed by Arthur Laurents), which ran Off-Broadway in 1987, and has since had many regional productions. His musical Children's Letters To God (with lyrics by Doug Cohen), recently completed an Off-Broadway run at the Lamb's Theater, and a national tour. Another, Love Comics, was produced at the George Street Plavhouse several seasons ago. He has written songs for several Off-Broadway shows including A..My Name Is Alice, and for television shows, including Sesame Street and Square One TV. He has written nine musicals for Theatreworks USA and two musicals for Tada.

Donald Fried (Production Stage Manager)


Broadway credits include Billy Crystal's 700 SundaysThe Producers, A Raisin In The Sun, Off-Broadway credits include A Mother, A Daughter, And A Gun, Manuscript, Addicted, John Leguizamo’s Freak, and three seasons as the PSM for the Signature Theatre Company. National Tours include Blast!Scooby-Doo and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Various workshops, readings, special events and recently has been a guest lecturer at SUNY Purchase. Donald is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and a member of Actors' Equity.


Michael Gibson (Orchestrator)

Michael Gibson  was best known for his work with Kander and Ebb, including Woman of the Year, Kiss of The Spider Woman, The Rink, The Visit, The Skin of Our Teeth, Steel Pier, and Cabaret, the last two earning him Tony nominations. His other works include Anything Goes, My One and Only (Drama Desk Award), The Boy From Oz, All Shook Up, and the film, Grease.

Frank D. Gilroy (Original Screenplay)

Frank D. Gilroy is a playwright, novelist, television writer, screenwriter, and director. His awards include a Pulitzer Prize—The Subject Was Roses, an Obie—Who'll Save the Plowboy! and a Silver Bear from the Berlin Film Festival— Desperate Characters. The Gig is one of four films he made whose genesis is detailed in "I Wake Up Screening - Everything You Need To Know About Making Independent Films Including A Thousand Reasons Not To," published by the Southern Illinois University Press. He is a former president of the Dramatists' Guild.

Howard Joines (Contractor, Conductor, Drummer, Pianis...)

Never Gonna Dance, Flower Drum Song, The Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I. Conductor, Radio City's Christmas Spectacular. Music director, national tour of Flower Drum Song. Conducted orchestras around the country with Marvin Hamlisch. Recordings/performances: Jewel, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, many others. Numerous jingles/film/television: Coca-Cola, Miller Beer, "Alamo," "Peggy Sue got Married," "Snake Eyes," "Femme T'atale;" on-camera: Maid in Manhattan, Guiding Light.

James Morgan (Producing Artistic Director)

James Morgan has been associated with The York Theatre Company for almost 31 years, as Scenic Designer and Associate Artistic Director, before becoming Artistic Director. Broadway designs include Sweeney Todd (York's revival, Drama Desk nomination); Anna Karenina (American Theatre Wing Design nomination); Taking Steps; The Miser; Getting Married. Off-Broadway includes: The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Pacific Overtures, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, Broadway Jukebox, Pigtown (Irish Rep; Hewes Design nom.) and 90+ York designs including Merrily We Roll Along, Facade, No Way to Treat A Lady (Drama Desk Nomination, Scenic Design), and The Show Goes On. National tours: On the 20th Century, The Sunshine Boys. Regional theatres include Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Coconut Grove, Cincinnati Playhouse, Portland Opera, Hippodrome State Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Caldwell Asolo, GeVa, Goodspeed, Chicago Lyric Opera. Directing credits include productions of As Bees in Honey Drown, Sylvia, Oh, Coward!, Falsettoland (Carbonell Awards, Best Director and Best Musical), and various York premieres: Clark Gesner's The Jello Is Always Red, Porterphiles, the Australian musical Prodigal, the John Latouche revue Taking A Chance on Love and the recent LingoLand.