Five Broadway Stars…One Unforgettable Evening.
There’s an old adage that states “Behind every great man, there’s a great woman”. On Broadway, it might be more appropriate to say “Behind every great musical, there’s a great leading lady”. Roles like Elphaba and Glinda (Wicked), Christine Daae (The Phantom of the Opera), Fantine and Eponine (Les Miserables), Angelica Schuyler and Eliza Hamilton (Hamilton), Nala (The Lion King), Kim (Miss Saigon), Maria (West Side Story), Miss Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly (Chicago), Sally Bowles (Cabaret), Nellie Forbush (South Pacific), Donna Sheridan (Mamma Mia!) and countless others have left an indelible impression on the Broadway stage.
Produced and hosted by New York Casting Director Stephen DeAngelis exclusively for the Historic Park Theatre and Event Center, BROADWAY DIVAFEST will showcase the talents of five of Broadway’s finest vocalists and will celebrate the roles and musical selections that underscore the leading lady’s influence in the “Great Bright Way”. The cast will recreate their most memorable musical moments and career highlights as well as display their versatility, share backstage behind-the scenes-anecdotes, and participate in an enlightening and entertaining question-and-answer session with the audience.
The event will take place on Saturday evening, September 10that 8:00 PM. Scheduled artists are Emily Bautista (Kim in Miss Saigon; Eponine in Les Misérables, Elodie in “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” on HBO Max.), Kennedy Caughell (Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Elphaba in Wicked; Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; Paradise Square), Sara Jean Ford (Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera; Jellylorum in Cats; Smitty in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; A Little Night Music; Finian’s Rainbow), Drama Desk Award nominee Judy McLane (longest running Donna in Mamma Mia!; Kiss of the Spiderwoman; Aspects of Love; Chess) and Kissy Simmons (longest running Nala in The Lion King). The Musical Director/Accompanist will be Rachel Dean (Hamilton; Moulin Rouge! The Musical). Musical selections will include the best of classic and contemporary musical theatre. Shows represented will include Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Lion King, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Frozen, The Sound of Music, Six The Musical, My Fair Lady, Evita, Waitress, The Wiz, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Smokey Joe’s Café and Swing!
Join us for what is certain to be an unforgettable evening full of Broadway showstoppers certain to delight audience members of all ages.
Tickets: $38-$120 *with limited meet and greet available. Doors open one hour prior.
EMILY BAUTISTA is best known for her portrayal of Kim in Miss Saigon both in the show’s most recent Broadway revival and on the company’s national tour. She also starred as Eponine in the North American touring company of Les Misérables. Most recently she has been seen in London at the Hackney Empire in the world premiere of Vanara the musical and as Linda in the developmental reading of the musical adaptation of Brave New World. Current television credits include Elodie in “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin”.
KENNEDY CAUGHELL most recently appeared in the Broadway company of Paradise Square. She was raised on a small Oklahoma ranch and is now based out of New York City. She got her BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University. Shortly after graduating, she performed across the nation and abroad as Heather in American Idiot. Kennedy then traveled the country by broomstick in the National tour of Wicked, playing the role of Elphaba. She performed on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 with Josh Groban, and was most recently seen playing Carole King in the Broadway and National Touring production of Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. Some of her favorite regional roles include Mary Poppins (Mary), White Christmas (Betty), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Peter Pan (Peter), and Into the Woods (Little Red). You will soon also be able to catch her in the starring role of Katherine in the original cast of the new Broadway-bound musical SuperYou!. TV: “Law & Order: SVU”, “Parked For Love”, and “The Outlier”.
SARA JEAN FORD is best known for starring as Christine Daaé on Broadway and the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera Other Broadway: Cats (Jellylorum), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty), A Little Night Music (Mrs. Anderssen, Anne/Petra cover) and Finian’s Rainbow (Arlene, Sharon cover). Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa, Revival Cast Recording). Broadway in Chicago: Wicked (Glinda/Nessarose cover). Regional: The Music Man (Marian), Into The Woods (Cinderella), Sunday in the Park With George (Dot), Candide (Cunegonde), Carousel (Carrie), and originated the role of Nellie Oleson in Little House on the Prairie: The Musical. Concerts: Dream of Now, Dream of Then: Anyone Can Whistle at City Center Encores!; Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz and Eric Whitacre at Lincoln Center and Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
JUDY McLANE starred in over 4,000 performances as Donna Sheridan and Tanya in the Broadway company of Mamma Mia! making her the longest-running lead in the show’s history. Judy received critical acclaim creating the role of Vienna in the Off-Broadway production of Johnny Guitar garnering a Drama Desk Nomination and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in the Theater. Other Broadway credits include Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman performing duets with the legendary Chita Rivera, Aspects of Love with John Cullum, and Chess. She created the role of Lillian in the two-person musical and World Premiere of Los Otros by Michale John LaChuisa at the Everyman Theatre. Her National and International Tours include Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond, Mrs. Baskin in Big, and Side By Side By Sondheim directed by Rob Marshall. Favorite roles include Maria Callas in Master Class (Theatre Raleigh), Diana in Next to Normal (Syracuse Stage SALT Award, Riverside Theatre, Pioneer Theatre), Margaret in Light in the Piazza (Raleigh Theatre, Broadway World Award) Phyllis in Follies (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination), Eva Peron in Evita, the title character in Victor/Victoria, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Luisa in Nine, Nancy in Oliver!, Florence in Chess, Lily in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paper Mill Playhouse), Fiona in Brigadoon, Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (St. Louis MUNY), Mrs. Walker in The Who’s Tommy, Rebecca in Rags (American Musical Theater of San Jose), Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar (Sacramento Music Circus), and Ann in 1940’s Radio Hour (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Isabella in Wuthering Heights (Olney Playhouse), and Lucy in Wildhorn’s Jekyll & Hyde (Casa Manana). As a worldwide concert and cabaret artist, she has performed as a soloist with countless symphony orchestras including the Bolshoi Orchestra in Moscow, the National Orchestra of Lyon, France, National Symphony of Canada, National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee, Naples, Oklahoma City, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis, Southwest Florida, Toronto, and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras and Chess in Concert at Carnegie Hall, among many others. Film: Donna in the cult classic film, “Were the World Mine” and Val in “Hiding in Daylight” which was selected for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. TV: “Madame Secretary”, “Elementary,” “The Blacklist”, “Guiding Light” and “Another World.” Judy can be heard on the recordings of Johnny Guitar and Sundance the Musical. Judy most recently garnered rave reviews and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her performance as Camille Penza in the hit Off-Broadway musical Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn.
KISSY SIMMONS, a native Floridian, attended the University of South Florida on a Track and Field scholarship. She grew up playing the keyboard and singing in church. Before moving to NYC, she had a successful modeling career and played numerous roles in theatrical performances in the Tamp Bay area. She was last seen on Broadway in The Lion King playing the role of Nala for nine years (which makes her the longest-running Nala ever!). Ms. Simmons has appeared in several national commercials, print ads, and voiceovers. TV/Film credits include “Smash”. “30 Rock”, “Hope & Faith” and “Six Degrees of Separation” to name a few. She currently appears around the world as a special guest vocalist in concerts produced by Disney on land and sea.
RACHEL DEAN (Musical Director/Accompanist) is a New York City-based composer, pianist, and music director. She is a rehearsal pianist for the Broadway companies of Hamilton and Moulin Rouge! The Musical as well as a staff pianist at NYU Steinhardt. Most recently, she was music director and arranger for a virtual benefit for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Billy Rose Theatre Division featuring artists such as Stephanie J. Block, Annaleigh Ashford, and Alex Brightman. An ASCAP award recipient, Rachel’s work has been performed in New York (including Lincoln Center), Miami, Tokyo, Ohio, Arizona, Michigan, and New Jersey. Musicals in development include The Anxiety Project (with David Brush), Medusa (with Wes Braver), and The Ballad of Janis Matthews and the Dodo Scouts (with Giancarlo Rodez). Rachel is a member of ASCAP, Local 802 AFM, and the Dramatists’ Guild.
STEPHEN DEANGELIS (Producer/Host) was born and raised in Providence and is excited to return to He has produced over 300 different Broadway concerts at venues in New York and across the United States featuring a multitude of Broadway stars including many Tony Award and Drama Desk Award winners and nominees, stars from hit television series and films whose roots are on stage and Broadway’s fastest rising young performers. Throughout his career, he has worked with over 100,000 performers across all entertainment mediums. He is also the Producing Artistic Director and Host of this Performance, the critically acclaimed concert series that has showcased the talents of over 1100 Broadway Standbys, Understudies, and Alternates since October 2003. His work as a Producer of the ongoing series was acknowledged in BroadwayWorld’s List of “Best Club, Cabaret and Concert for 2021”. He has cast over 3600 network television and radio commercials for Manhattan’s leading advertising agencies for such clients as DirecTV, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, E*TRADE, Febreze, Cover Girl, Pantene, Advil, Robitussin, Downy, and Hewlett-Packard and has contributed to many historic and award-winning spots and campaigns including many which have been recognized with Platinum, Gold and Silver Lions at Cannes. Stephen also cast the six-time Emmy Award-nominated Playhouse Disney series “Johnny and the Sprites” starring Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia which was seen on the Disney Channel. His work has been seen in New York and regionally in over 300 theatrical productions for companies including Musicals Tonight!, York Theatre Company, The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, The Drama League, Casa Mañana, North Shore Music Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Stage One, Studio Arena Theatre, American Stage Company, Geva Theatre, Starlight Theatre of Kansas City, the St. Louis Municipal Opera (The MUNY) and Dallas Summer Musicals among others as well as numerous festival showcases, workshops, and readings. Other credits include The World AIDS Day All-Star Concert Revivals of Pippin and The Secret Garden, the All-Star production of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, and the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Hair. He is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has staged musicals in major theatres across the country in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Dallas, and St. Louis and throughout New York and New England. Recent productions include the All-Star concert version of Into the Woods, the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Tommy album as well as a variety of productions for the Drama League. Stephen is the Producing Artistic Director of the new Pocono Center for the Arts which is now scheduled to open in late 2023. He has worked with Actors, Singers, Dancers, Directors, Choreographers, Composers, Lyricists, and Playwrights who have been recognized with the following distinctions across all mediums: 263 Tony Award wins, 863 Tony Award nominations, 262 Drama Desk Award wins, 976 Drama Desk Award, nominations, 32 Drama League Award wins, 208 Drama League Award nominations, 197 Primetime Emmy Award wins, 843 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, 129 Daytime Emmy Award wins, 487 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, 53 Academy Award wins, 159 Academy Award nominations, 23 Olivier Award wins, 77 Olivier Award nominations, 145 Grammy Award wins, 454 Grammy Award nominations, 109 Golden Globe Award wins, 366 Golden Globe Award nominations, 5 Pulitzer Prize wins, 8 Pulitzer Prize Award nominations and 8 Kennedy Center Honors recipients.