2004 Season - “Cats”

215 South Country Road • Bellport, NY 11713 • 631.286.1133
Long Island's Only Professional Musical Theatre.

July 7 - July 24
Patchogue Theatre

The theatrical phenomenon, Cats broke all possible box office records, and changed the course of modern theater. For the first time on Long Island, the Cats “meow” will become a gigantic roar as the stage transforms into a moonlit garbage-strewn alley inhabited by T. S. Eliot’s “allegorical cats, metaphorical cats, romantical cats, and pedantical cats,” who impress us with their amazing acrobatics and musical skills. Our most anticipated production and sure to be a “Memory” of a lifetime.



Associate Producer
General Manager
Artistic Director
Company Manager
Production Stage Manager
Costume Coordinator
Lighting Design
Set Designer
Costume Design
Musical Direction by
Associate Director and Choreographer
Directed and Choreographed by

(in alphabetical order)
Bombalurina LIZ GRIFFITH*
Bustopher Jones JIMMY BENNETT*
Jennyanydots NICOLE MANGI
Mistoffelees McCREE O’KELLEY
Munkustrap KEVIN DUDA*
Rumpleteazer KATHY NEJAT*
Rum Tum Tugger GAVIN ESHAM*
Skimbleshanks ADAM LENDERMON


Conductor Jeffrey Buchsbaum
Keyboard I Paul Feyer
Keyboard II Jeff Hoffman
Keyboard III David Jenkins
Guitar Joe LoShiavo
Cello Jon Preddice
Horn Amber Lane
Woodwind I (fl./clar./ten. sax/sop. sax) Mark Gatz
Woodwind II (clar./bari. sax/sop. sax) Brian Crook
Bass Mark Vervino
Drums Gregg Monteith 

Cast Biographies

JIMMY BENNETT (Bustopher Jones/ Asparagus/Growltiger) was last seen on the Gateway stage in 1998’s Phantom. He is co-creator and star of the off-Broadway “cult classic” The Nuclear Family as well as the extended family for the Sundance Film Channel/Viacom. He recently finished collaboration on the movie musical Say You Do, co-starring with Julia Murney, as well as the non-musical films Free Delivery and Last Men On Earth, due out this fall. He immediately comes from playing bluegrass in the hills of WVA. NY credits include NYTW, The York, Playwrights Horizon, The Belt, The Zipper, RIMT, Westside Theatre, Chekov Now, and The Peking. Jimmy thanks his family.

ALLISON BOHMAN (Sillabub) is delighted to be performing on the Gateway Main Stage this season. Previous Gateway appearances include the role of Jesse in the 2002 production of Annie Get Your Gun and Susan in the 2003 Holiday Spectacular. She has also appeared in Children’s Theatre productions of Pinocchio and The Fairytale Trio. Other stage credits include Sayville Middle School productions of Annie, Bye Bye Birdie and the title role in Oliver. She currently attends Sayville High School where she performs as a member of the Sayville Players. Allison has studied dance for 12 years, most recently at The American Ballet Center, and regularly performs with the American Dance Theatre of Long Island, both located in Bayport, NY. She has danced the role of Clara in ADTLI’s productions of Clara’s Dream, The Nutcracker. She also dances at Variations, A Dancer’s Studio, located in Huntington NY. Love and thanks go out to her parents, two younger sisters, friends and family for their constant love and support.

KEVIN DUDA (Munkustrap) is excited to be working at Gateway on a fun show with an amazing director. An aspiring producer, Kevin recently produced the World Premiere of M. Claudel, a new musical by Lori McKelvey. Kevin thanks family and friends for support and DJ for daily, creative inspiration. Rock on!

GAVIN ESHAM (Rum Tum Tugger) Europe: Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus). Off-Broadway: Dreams This Way…, Best of Raw Impressions, Primrose (Toby), Naked Boys Singing, The Normal Heart (Tommy), The Boiler Room, All is Full of Love. Regional: Jekyll and Hyde (Stride), Footloose (Travis), La Cage Aux Folles (Jean Michel), Follies (Young Ben). Thanks to Robin and DJ and to my friends…naughty bottoms.

WILLIAM THOMAS EVANS (Old Deuteronomy) appeared last year here as Jud in Oklahoma. He has performed as Santa Claus for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular; on Broadway occasionally the lead role in The Scarlet Pimpernel (Original Cast), and as Mordred in Camelot. He was also in the original pre Broadway production of Jekyll and Hyde. Other favorite shows include: I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, The Fantasticks, Man of La Mancha, and HFS Pinafore. He is excited to be back... Thanks Mom!!

THOM GRAHAM (Macavity) has just returned from nearly eight years working in the West End in London where he was in the original casts of Jesus Christ Superstar (Dance Captain/u/s Judas), Chicago (Dance Captain/u/s Billy Flynn), and Contact (Joe/u/s Husband). Other productions include Cats (Munkustrap), Starlight Express (Elektra), Evita, Fame, and West Side Story. Bullet Companies include Netherlands Dance Theater and Australian Dance Theater. Upon returning to the US he was seen in Encores! Can Can with Patti Lupone. He sends his love to wife Nathalie and children Daniel, Megan, and Claire.

LIZ GRIFFITH (Bombularina) Cats marks Liz’s debut at Gateway Playhouse. Her credits include the New York reading of The September 11th Project, two ArtsPower National Tours of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, and most recently nine months as a lead singer aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Favorite roles include: The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Sylvia in Sylvia, Sheep #1 in Candide, and Louise in Gypsy. Liz holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan. Much love to her family and friends—thank you for your unfaltering support! For Simon, Miss K., and most importantly, Jon.

RYAN HOLLY (Alonzo) Ryan is glad to be performing in Cats with Gateway. He recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Musical Theater. Some of his favorite credits include 42nd Street (Billy), Bat Boy (Bud, Daisy, Pan), A Chorus Line (Mike), and Grand Hotel (Jimmy 2). Ryan would like to dedicate his performance to his three smelly roommates.

HEATHER JANNECK (Jemima) is very excited to be performing Cats at the beautiful Gateway Playhouse. She wishes all the luck in the world to the cast and crew. Show credits include: Hot Mikado at the Fulton Opera House, Liza in 7 Brides... and Hello Dolly at the Fireside Dinner Theatre, Annie in Chicago and Older Wendy/Indian in Peter Pan at the New Bedford Festival Theatre. “Thank you: Mom for always putting my life into perspective, Dad for always giving me hugs when I need them, Koko for being the most encouraging theater sister a girl could know, and Jim for bringing sunshine into my life.”

HEATHER LANG (Cassandra) graduated from the BFA Dance program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Recently, she came back from Nights On Broadway II, where she performed a solo from Movin’ Out. She is excited to be a part of Gateway Playhouse and would like to thank her family for all their love and support.

ADAM LENDERMON (Skimbleshanks), a native of Memphis, has a BFA in acting from Adelphi University. His favorite roles include Skimbleshanks (Cats), Mark (A Chorus Line), Baker (Into the Woods), Adam/Noah (Children of Eden), and Adam (The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told). He would like to thank friends and family for their constant support.

ERIN MAGUIRE (Demeter) was most recently seen as Monica in I Love My Wife at Queens Theatre in the Park, Helen Hayes and Emelin Theatres. National Tours: Seussical with Cathy Rigby (Cat/u/s Gertrude), Forbidden Broadway (Liza/Julie/Bebe/etc.). Regional: Guys and Dolls at North Carolina Theatre (Adelaide), Suddenly Hope at Denver Civic (Leah), Reading Rainbow, The World Goes Round, and The Taming Of the Shrew. Erin would like to thank her own cat, Ella, for all the inspiration.

JENNIFER MALENKE (Jellylorum / u/s Grizabella) is happily returning to Gateway this year after portraying Lois Lane in last summer’s Kiss Me, Kate. Her Broadway credits include the Tony-award winning revival of Into The Woods. Regionally she has been seen in Baby (Lizzie), big,the musical (Abigail), Carousel (Carrie), Songs For A New World (Woman 1), Side Show as well as in various recordings, readings and commercials. She graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Love to Elliot, Sebastian, and Isabella.

NICOLE MANGI (Jennyanydots) is excited to be returning to Gateway for her second season. You might have seen her earlier this season in Carousel. She just recently completed her first national tour of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Favorite roles include Peggy Sawyer (42nd Street), Peter (Peter Pan), Amy (Company), and Martha (Secret Garden). TV: Guiding Light. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory. Nicole sends much love to her family and friends.

KATHY NEJAT (Rumpleteazer) is honored to be returning to Gateway to be a part of Cats! She was last seen here as Mimi in Miss Saigon, a role she also played at the Papermill Playhouse. Other favorites include West Side Story (Francisca) at North Shore Music Theatre and The King & I (Tuptim u/s) at the Fulton Opera House. She has also performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet, dancing in such works as Dracula, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and La Syphide, which was nationally televised as part of PBS’ acclaimed Dance in America series. Additional TV appearances include One Life to Live, The Miss America Pageant, and QVC. Other commercial/print work includes Verizon, Olympus, Hoover, Lucille Roberts, and Amena Communications. Following Cats, Kathy will join the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. So much love to Darin, Bella, and my amazing family!

McCREE O’KELLEY (Mistoffelees) began his dance training with Ann Brodie and the Carolina Ballet in his hometown of Columbia, SC. He then went on to study at the School of American Ballet and the North Carolina School of the Arts. McCree was a member of the Atlanta Ballet where he performed soloist roles in several ballets. He was Mr. Mistoffelees in the National Tour of Cats. Other credits include Tokyo Disney, The Music Man at Helen Hayes Theater Co., Carousel (Carnival Boy) here at Gateway, and the Off-Off-Broadway production of Pam Ann.

REGINA PELUSO (Tantomile) is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Regional Credits include The Guthrie Theatre, Carousel Dinner Theatre, Minneapolis Childrens’ Theatre, and The Rand Barn Theatre. Favorite shows include The Nutcracker with Ballet Minnesota, The Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily), Carousel (Louise), Brigadoon (Bonnie, Jean), The Secret Garden (Mary), The Grapes of Wrath, Chicago, and Cabaret. Thanks to my family for their constant love!

BENJIE RANDALL (Mungojerrie) is thrilled to be joining Gateway in Cats. Benjie holds a BFA from the Boston Conservatory, and originates from LA, California. Off-Broadway: Boobs the Musical, Grease (Roger) at the Papermill Playhouse. Favorite roles include Bobby (Crazy for You), Whizzer (Falsettoland), Dr. Frankenfurter (The Rocky Horror Show). This, and every performance is dedicated to the memory of Mychael-Adair Lynch.

LANNY SPIRES (Pouncival) All the way from Columbia, South Carolina, Lanny is pleased to be joining the cast of Cats in his first performance at the Gateway Playhouse. He would like to thank his friends and family for all the love and support, but most of all the laughter. And, to all the other cats, “MEOW!”

MICHELLE VARGO (Victoria) began her professional career dancing in musical theater with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. After moving to New York City, she trained as a contemporary dancer at The Juilliard School, where she received her BFA. She has danced several guest artist roles in such works as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty and has worked with Avila/Weeks Dance Co., Tressor Dance Co., and Company Rindfleisch, among others. This fall, she enters her eight season with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. A talented singer-songwriter, Michelle also plays frequently at NYC venues and within many of the East Coast jamband/political/folk music festivals. This is Michelle’s first production with Gateway Playhouse.

MATTHEW WINNEGGE (Genghis) is thrilled to be returning to Gateway Playhouse after debuting here this summer in Carousel. Most recently Matthew has performed in several shows at the Fireside Theatre, including Hello Dolly! (Barnaby) and The Sound of Music (Rolf). Other regional credits include A Chorus Line (Mark), Brigadoon (Harry Beaton) and West Side Story (Baby John). He has also been seen on ABC Daytime’s One Life to Live. Love to his family and friends.

JENNIFER ZIMMERMAN (Grizabella) has been seen on Broadway in Les Miserables. National Tours: The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marie, First National), Evita (Matinee Eva). Regional credits include: Jekyll & Hyde (Lucy, Arvada Center for the Arts), Footloose (Ariel, N. Carolina Theatre), The Last Five Years (Cathy, Florida Stage), Phantom (Christine, Gateway Playhouse), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marguerite, Virginia Music Theatre). She holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory. Jennifer is represented by Ziemba Talent and Associates. Thanks to Mom and Dr. Steven Zietels. ILY Presh! For Dustin.

PAUL ALLAN (Producer) For more than 20 years, Paul has produced successful shows from the East End to the Far East. Born into the theatrical family that started Gateway, Paul became involved in the theatre at an early age. In addition to his career as a producer, Paul co-founded a successful touring company, which mounted dozens of productions across the US and as far away as Taiwan and Singapore. Serving as technical director, sound engineer and master electrician for numerous productions when he first began working in the industry provided Paul with invaluable knowledge and hands-on experience. His expertise allowed him to act as consultant and advisor on the restoration and renovation of Patchogue Theatre, which under Gateway’s management, reopened in 1998 with Nutcracker On Ice. Gateway still stages shows there several times each year, with Cats and Fosse being this season’s productions.

DJ SALISBURY (Director/Choreographer), a good ol’ Kentucky boy, has directed and choreographed from coast to coast after having seen the nation from a performer’s perspective on four touring shows. As a director-choreographer, he has set Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha, several productions of The Will Rogers Follies (including the Dallas Summer Musicals tour starring Larry Gatlin), Swinging on a Star, Into the Woods, They’re Playing Our Song, Swingtime Canteen, Grease!, The Wizard of Oz, and many other shows for various theaters nationwide including Papermill Playhouse (NJ), Riverside Theatre (FL), Artscenter of Coastal Carolina (SC) and Gateway Playhouse (NY). Favorite experiences creating dance include Nine, Irene, Annie, the premiere of Great Expectations adapted by novelist John Jakes, and for Sacramento Music Circus, The Secret Garden, Gypsy, Paint Your Wagon and A Funny Thing/Forum. DJ has had the privilege of working on several original productions and workshops in New York: The Will Rogers Follies, Titanic, Time and Again, Femme Fatale, and Long Road Home Also a bookwriter/lyricist, DJ’s musical adaptation of Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King, written with Neil Berg (composer of Off-Broadway’s The Prince and the Pauper) will have a workshop in September 2004. Another of his shows, The Honey Boys, performs on cruise ships worldwide. Delighted to return to Gateway after directing last year’s Holiday Spectacular, DJ wishes to thank you for supporting live theater!

TESHA BUSS (Associate Director and Choreographer) is delighted to join the Gateway team for Cats. Off-Broadway: Heat Lightning, First Lady Suite (Drama Desk nomination for Best Revival), Peter Pan (Trinity Repertory Theatre), Loola (Best in Fest, MITF), Smokey Joe’s Café and Hello Dolly (Weston Playhouse), Gypsy (Theatre at the Center), The Easter Bonnet Competition and Nothing Like a Dame. Performing credits include Cats (Broadway), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theatre), Gypsy, Red Hot & Blue, Grease (Papermill Playhouse), and Sandy Duncan u/s in That’s Christmas. Thanks DJ!

JEFFREY BUCHSBAUM (Musical Director) is very pleased to return with Cats, which marks his 15th production at Gateway Playhouse, including Carousel, Ragtime, Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and last season’s Miss Saigon and Phantom. Other recent credits: Broadway Rhythm, produced in China for the Macao International Music Festival (also conceived, arranged, and orchestrated); The Magic of Musicals, produced in Athens, Greece (also conceived, arranged); The Skinflint (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). In New York: A Dash of Rosemary (also arranger); Tallulah’s Party with Tovah Feldshuh (Kaufman Theatre); and Michael Valenti’s Song by Song (West Bank). Tours include: Phantom of the Opera (European/South American), A Chorus Line (European), Romance, Romance (National); Song and Dance (National); Titanic (National). Jeffrey recently returned from Eastern Europe where he conducted a series of musical theatre recordings, four with the Warsaw Radio Philharmonic in Poland and two with the Pecs Philharmonic Orchestra in Hungary. Jeffrey is also a voice teacher and coach, and has taught at New York University, Baruch, Middlesex and Mercer Colleges.

ROBIN JOY ALLAN (Casting and Artistic Director) is grateful to have lived and breathed the arts all her life, beginning with performance as child actress here at Gateway as well as on the road, to traveling with a rock band as vocalist and keyboardist. Her background running the family business, included running the summer teen workshops, musical directing, writing, directing, choreographing and eventually, producing. After moving to NYC, she began a career in casting that took her to the West Coast. She was the Associate Casting Director on the feature films; Parenthood, When Harry Met Sally, Lord of the Flies, Side Out and Ghost. She also cast several television series, pilots and MOW’s. Along with her Artistic and Casting Director duties here, she is also the force behind Gateway’s Acting School Division. Her appreciation is for her family, her devotion is for her second family of students, her joy is in her daughter, Hayley Lynn, named after Harry and Libby, her maternal grandparents, who are her constant source of inspiration and a true example of eternal love.

KELLY TIGHE (Set Designer) is happy to return to Gateway to design Cats. Recent regional credits include: Titanic for Contra Costa Musical Theatre; Kiss Me Kate and Joseph/Dreamcoat for Ohio’s Carousel Dinner Theater; No, No, Nanette for Diablo Light Opera Company; A Christmas Carol, The Pavilion, and Senior Class for Center Repertory Company; and The Laramie Project for PPAS/NYC. Mr. Tighe served as the resident scenic designer for Western Michigan’s Cherry County Playhouse (The Music Man starring William Katt and Josie DeGuzman and the world premiere of Will’s Women starring Amanda McBroom), as well as Center Rep. Upcoming projects include: Summer and Smoke, Anything Goes, and Grease. Awards and recognitions: Northern California’s “Shellie”, the Drama-Logue, and The San Francisco Bay Area Critic’s Circle awards. Kelly resides in New York City.

DOUG HARRY (Lighting Designer) is happy to be designing another Gateway production. His past credits here include Carousel, and last year's Miss Saigon, Scarlet Pimpernel, Ragtime, Titanic, Dracula the Rock Opera and Holiday Spectacular on Ice. Doug holds a degree in Theatre Production and Stage Management from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK. He is currently the house designer for Mohegan Sun Casino. Doug's company DarkSide Design has also done design and programming work for General Motors, Six Flags Theme Parks and The Basketball Hall of Fame to name a few.

MARILYNN WICK (Costume Designer) is the founder and President of Costume World, Inc. Costume World’s Theatrical Division has costumed a diverse array of productions for legitimate theatre and special events. Her credits include Theatre of the Stars’ Will Rogers Follies, starring Marla Maples and Loretta Switt’s wardrobe for the Richard Akins production of Mame. Marilynn’s costumes for Singin’ in the Rain were nominated for the Chicago area’s Jefferson Award. 2004 marks the eleventh consecutive year that her costumes were showcased in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. A highlight of Marilynn’s career was designing and producing costumes for the first national theatre-in-the-round tour of Dreamgirls in conjunction with Casa Manana in Fort Worth. In 2001 Marilynn and Costume World were seen on The Today Show three times and she is proud to have been featured in the December issue of People Magazine.

JOVON E. SHUCK (Production Stage Manager) Broadway: Noises Off, The Graduate; New York: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Seagull (NY Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre), Lyrics and Lyricists Series (92nd Street Y) and 4 seasons with the Actors’ Studio Drama School. This fall will mark Jovon’s most ambitious project yet, marriage to his patient fiancée Sheila Marie.

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