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"Five Guys Named Moe" Brings a Modern-Day Vibe to this Jumpin' Jive Jukebox Musical

Posted February 6, 2015 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND, OH (January 6, 2015) Cleveland Play House is gearing up to “Let the Good Times Roll” as Five Guys Named Moe makes its debut on the Allen Theatre stage. This infectious high-energy production of the Broadway musical written by Clarke Peters, has been brought into the 21st century with a sleek, updated feel. Using the catalogue of legendary jazz and blues bandleader Louis Jordan, the “Moes” dole out relationship advice through song and dance, as they are accompanied by a 6-piece band live on stage. Directed by Robert O’Hara and co-produced with Arena Stage, Five Guys Named Moe will run from Jan. 23 – Feb. 15 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare.

Five Guys Named Moe begins with the distraught young Nomax, who is feeling down and out after his girlfriend has left him. Lucky for Nomax, five guys named Moe magically step out of his radio to give him relationship advice through the swingin’ songs of Louis Jordan. Audience members will feel as though they’ve been transported to a swanky nightclub as the Moes belt out several upbeat versions of Jordan’s hits including “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Caldonia,” “Let the Good Times Roll” and the title song “Five Guys Named Moe.” With smooth choreography by Byron Easley and a 6-piece band consisting of some of Cleveland’s most popular local musicians, Five Guys Named Moe will have audiences up on their feet and feeling the beat.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley adds: “This sizzling musical features six of the hottest and most talented guys around. When programming for January it’s essential to have a production that will add some heat and get the blood moving—Five Guys Named Moe is just the show to do that. It will certainly chase away any winter blues.”

Five Guys Named Moe Cast

SHELDON HENRY (Big Moe) is a native New Yorker and has a BFA from The Hartt School of Music. Some of his recent/favorite credits include South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Dreamgirls, Central Avenue Breakdown (NYMF/DIMF), Five Guys Named Moe, The Buddy Holly Story, Tommy, Parade and A Christmas Carol. Sheldon is also a proud alum of the Boys Choir of Harlem. He would like to say thank you to his family and friends for their continued support and is very excited to be on stage performing the great music of Louis Jordan once again.

KEVIN McALLISTER (Nomax) is making his Cleveland Play House debut. Credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Violet, Ford’s Theatre; Cinderella, Olney Theatre Center; and Signature Theatre’s world premiere of Brother Russia. He received a Helen Hayes nomination for his portrayal of Newt Lee/Jim Conley in the Ford’s Theatre production of Parade. He has also performed regionally in Aida at ArtPark. Other notable credits include Sideshow and The Wild Party, Teatro 101; Ragtime and Rent, Toby’s Dinner Theatre; and the national tour of The Phantom Tollbooth at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He will be seen next in the world premiere of Freedom’s Song at Ford’s Theatre.

PARIS NIX (Eat Moe) is ecstatic to be welcomed into the Cleveland Play House family to perform this amazing role. His favorite credits include Once on This Island, TheatreWorks in the Silicon Valley, which won three TBA awards; Broadway national tour of Seussical The Musical, Theatreworks USA; Shrek the Musical, Weathervane Repertory Theatre; and Ragtime, Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. Paris is an accomplished violinist who has been featured in Broadway's Rising Stars Concert at Town Hall in New York City. He has also made appearances in the Harlem Gospel Singers international tour as both a featured singer and violinist, along with debuting the world premiere of R & B Juke Box for Universal Studios Japan. Paris was born and bred in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from the American Musical Dramatic Academy. Paris would like to thank his entire family.

JOBARI PARKER-NAMDAR (No Moe) is honored to make his Cleveland Play House debut. Additional credits include My Fair Lady and readings of Oracle and Redhand Guitar, Arena Stage; A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination, Outstanding Actor in Supporting Role); The Stephen Schwartz Project, Metro Stage; Hairspray and Showboat, Signature Theatre; From My Hometown, The Ensemble Theatre; and Three Little Birds, The New Victory Theatre. Jobari was also an artist in residence at the prestigious Strathmore Music Center.

TRAVIS PORCHIA (Four-Eyed Moe) is thrilled to be making his Cleveland Play House debut! Favorite regional credits include Hair, American Theater Company; The Color Purple, The Mercury Theater Chicago; Sweet Charity, Writers' Theater; Hairspray, Drury Lane Oakbrook; Chicago, Peninsula Players; Pippin, BoHo Theater; and The Petrified Forest, Strawdog Theater. Television credits include Jennifer Hudson's music video Where You At? and the AT&T U-verse commercial Boulevard. Travis would like to thank his mom, dad, CS, Will and family of friends for their love and constant support! www.travisporchia.com

CLINTON ROANE (Little Moe) was in the original Broadway cast of The Scottsboro Boys. He toured with the show regionally to The Old Globe, ACT, The Ahmanson Theatre and The Philadelphia Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical) and performed in the U.K. premiere at the Young Vic Theatre in London. Other credits include Hello! My Baby!, Goodspeed Musicals; My One and Only, Marriott Lincolnshire; and Frosty the Snowman, Adventure Theatre. Clinton was a background vocalist on Jason Mraz's Mr. A-Z album. He holds a BFA from Howard University and also trained at CAP21. For Grandma and Reggie. www.clintonroane.com

Five Guys Named Moe Creative Team

CLARKE PETERS (Playwright) is an actor, singer and writer. He earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical for writing the revue Five Guys Named Moe. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh (Theatre World Award) and in the revival of Chicago. Clarke’s London credits include Guys and Dolls, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Passion and Dispatches at the Royal National Theatre. His West End credits include Blues in the Night, Porgy and Bess, The Witches of Eastwick and Chicago. In regional theater he has appeared in Driving Miss Daisy, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Carmen Jones and The Amen Corner. Clarke is familiar to television viewers for his roles on The Wire, Treme and The Divide. His film credits include Mona Lisa, Notting Hill, Marley & Me, K-Pax and Freedomland. As a director, his credits include Blues for Mr. Charlie, Fascinating Aida, King and Martin Luther.

LOUIS JORDAN (Composer) was a bandleader in the 1940s who pioneered a wildly popular blend of jazz and blues. The swinging shuffle rhythms played by singer/saxophonist Jordan and his Tympany Five got called “jump blues” or “jumpin’ jive,” and it served as a forerunner of rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. At the height of his career he scored 18 number one hit records and four of his songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance. Jordan performed songs that appealed to millions of black and white listeners. Able to "straddle the fence" between these two audiences, Jordan emerged as one of the first successful crossover artists of American popular music.

ROBERT O’HARA (Director) received the NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed. He received the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an Obie Award for his direction of the world premiere of the critically acclaimed In the Continuum. He wrote and directed the world premieres of Insurrection: Holding History and Bootycandy. Other directing credits include the world premieres of The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2) and Wild with Happy. He is currently an adjunct professor at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

DARRYL G. IVEY (Music Director) is pleased to return to Cleveland Play House. Originally from Hampton, Virginia, Darryl is now based in New York City. He has been heavily involved in the fields of jazz, rhythm & blues, pop and musical theatre since 1986. He made his Broadway debut as assistant musical director for Five Guys Named Moe. Darryl has worked with many wonderful people across the spectrum of musical performance artists such as Cab Calloway, Melba Moore, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Phylicia Rashad, Charles McPherson, Regina Belle, Peabo Bryson, Jennifer Holliday, Vanessa Rubin, Carla Cook and T.V. talk show host Rosie O'Donnell.

BYRON EASLEY (Choreographer)’s off-Broadway credits include Langston in Harlem. His regional credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Arizona Theatre Company, Center Stage (Baltimore), Pasadena Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Trinity Repertory Company and Two River Theater Company. Honors include a 2011 Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Joe A. Callaway Award and an Audelco Award for excellence in choreography for Langston in Harlem and Suzi Bass Awards in choreography for Sophisticated Ladies and Jelly’s Last Jam. Byron is an associate arts professor at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and the head of dance for musical theater training at the New Studio on Broadway.

The Design Team for Five Guys Named Moe includes: CLINT RAMOS (Scenic Designer), DEDE AYITE (Costume Designer), ALEX JAINCHILL (Lighting Designer), LINDSAY JONES (Sound Designer), JEFF SUGG (Projection Designer). The Assistant Director for this production will be JEREMY ALAN RICHARDS and the Assistant Choreographer will be TAYLOR DANIELS. The Stage Manager for this production is JOHN GODBOUT and the Assistant Stage Manager is TOM HUMES.

Five Guys Named Moe Special Events

Behind-the-Scenes: Five Guys, One Choreographer
January 24, 2015 @ 11:00am - 12:30pm

There are five guys named Moe, but only one guy who gives them all their moves: Choreographer Byron Easley. Sit back and observe, or put on your dancing shoes and learn a step or two, as he reveals how choreography enhances this exhilarating musical and its sensational songs with every step.
RSVP to InsideCPH@Clevelandplayhouse.com required. Details sent upon registration.

Talkback: Five Guys Named Moe

February 01, 2015 – Immediately following the 2:30 p.m. performance
Stay after the show to continue the conversation our plays start! TalkBacks offer the chance to interact with the cast and CPH Artistic Staff in an open and lively Q&A about the play and the questions it raises.

Talkback: Five Guys Named Moe
February 03, 2015 - Immediately following the 7 p.m. performance
Stay after the show to continue the conversation our plays start! TalkBacks offer the chance to interact with the cast and CPH Artistic Staff in an open and lively Q&A about the play and the questions it raises.

Talkback: Five Guys Named Moe
February 08, 2015 – Immediately following the 2:30 p.m. performance
Stay after the show to continue the conversation our plays start! TalkBacks offer the chance to interact with the cast and CPH Artistic Staff in an open and lively Q&A about the play and the questions it raises.

Ticket Information

Five Guys Named Moe will take place in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Tickets range in price from $49-$79 each. Students under the age of 24 with a valid ID will be offered a special $15 ticket price. Tickets are also just $25 for anyone under age 35, sponsored by Scene Magazine. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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