'S Wonderful


June 1 – 18
at the Gateway Playhouse


‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin musical, is an all singing, all dancing musical revue, featuring over 42 songs by the beloved Gershwin Brothers, including, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “I’ve Got Rhythm”, “Embraceable You”, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”, “Our Love is Here to Stay” and more. The melodies flow through five mini-musicals inspired by stories of young love, beginning in 1920s New York City, moving to Paris in the 1930s, Hollywood in the ‘40s, New Orleans in the 1950s and ending in the present day. ‘S Wonderful takes you on a nostalgic ride that has been called “a gem for Gershwin lovers, young and old”.


June 2011














































ASHLEY BETTON (Nina) Ashley is thrilled to be back at Gateway, working with such an amazing creative team.   A native of Colorado, Ashley got her BA from the University of Northern Colorado. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Peep Diva in Peep Show, Betty Lou in National Pastime, Titania in Midsummer Nights Dream, and Dawn in Making Moves. When she is not on the big stage Ashley is performing with her Jazz/Blues band in New York City. To book the band, send an email to ashleybetton@me.com. Ashley would like to give special thanks to Matt and her parents for believing in her. She would also like to thank the wonderful team at Gateway for their continued support.
 MATTHEW CROWLE (Harold) Matthew is grateful to be returning to Gateway Playhouse, and for the opportunity to tell a new story with Gershwin! He was seen in last season’s production of Hello Dolly! as Cornelius Hackl, and as George in the 2009 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.    Matthew performed in the Broadway company of Monty Python’s Spamalot, Off-Broadway in Take Me Along  (The York Theatre Company), and tap danced across the country with Tommy Tune in the national tour of Doctor Doolittle. Other regional credits include Drury Lane Oakbrook, Marriott Linconshire, The Arkansas Rep, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. He’d be nothing without his Ma, Pa, and Sis. www.matthewcrowle.com
DEIDRE HAREN (Leslie) Deidre is thrilled to be a part of this new production. She grew up watching Turner Classic Movies with her Dad and adores Gershwin music! Originally from San Diego, she graduated from UC Irvine with honors in musical theatre. Some favorite credits include Hairspray at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz (MTW) and Jo in Little Women (Sierra Rep). Special thanks to Ray and Vince and especially to my supportive family. Jer 29:11

STEPHANIE KOENIG (Jane) Stephanie is thrilled to be making her Gateway Playhouse debut in ‘S Wonderful. She thinks ‘S wonderful to be working with such a talented cast. She’s really ‘S excited to be here, but is ‘S worried that she’s taking this “S” joke too far. A proud graduate of Michigan State University, regional credits include Nellie Forbush in  South Pacific, Audrey in  Leading Ladies, and Janice in  The Effect of Gamma Rays. This August Stephanie will be playing Janet Weiss in  The  Rocky Horror  Show  at the Hangar Theatre. Principal roles in feature films include  Cripple, Highland Park, and Home Run Showdown. Stephanie thanks her loving family and Professor Roznowski for encouraging her comical insanity.

SEAN WATKINS (Gene) Sean received his B.F.A. in Theatre and B.A. in Spanish from Marshall University. NYC Credits: Bruce Lee: Journey To The West (Ensemble), Warsaw (Richter/Nazi), APATHY (Filander), Big Man On Campus (Romeo). Select Regional Credits: The Drowsy Chaperone (George), The Producers (Nazi Tenor), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Les Miserables (Marius), West Side Story (Action). He is thrilled to be working at Gateway with Ray and Vince, and would like to thank his friends and family for all their support! Love you all.

RAY RODERICK (Writer/Director) directed and adapted the book for Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang national tour (UK Tour and Licensed by MTI); associate director A Christmas Carol Madison Square Garden and Broadway revival of The Music Man and director of 3 year North American Tour; co-writer/director/choreographer Irving Berlin’s I Love A Piano 3 year National Tour/Japan, writer/director ‘S Wonderful The New Gershwin Musical. Off-Broadway: director/co-writer The Prince And The Pauper; director/choreographer The Ark, Lamour The Merrier and The Story Goes On. Regional: director My One And Only, Singin’ In The Rain and 42nd Street at Goodspeed; co-writer/director/choreographer A Christmas Survival Guide, I Love New York, Heaven Help Us!, Director/Choreographer The Last 5 Years, The Taffetas, Five Course Love, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! (Denver’s longest run); founding artistic director Tri-State Center for the Arts; co-owner of Miracle or 2 Productions (Miracleor2.com) creating/producing/licensing new musicals including Are We There Yet?, Coming To America and The Bikinis! (touring and Florida Stage 2011/2012); Creative Director Tennis Association’s US Open and Director “Arthur Ashe Kids Day” for CBS; English writer/director “Chun Yi, The Legend Of Kung Fu Beijing,” London’s West End, international tour; director “Believe,” award winning “Shamu” show SeaWorld, San Diego. Ray resides in New York, is married to Broadway actress Karyn Quackenbush and is the proud father of SUNY Purchase student and lighting designer Jamie Roderick.
JOSE SANTIAGO (Lighting Designer) Recently received a Masters of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from Florida State. Past designs include: Anything Goes, The Illusion, Meet Me in St. Louis,   The Drowsy Chaperone, Waiting for Godot, The Miser, Later the Same Evening and many dance pieces at Florida State. Many thanks to Paul for allowing me to go from an electrics intern nine years ago to Lighting Designer today. And much thanks to Patrick for being supportive and allowing me to work on my craft over the past few years. (www.jsantiagodesign.com)

MATTHEW S. KARR (Production Stage Manager) Matthew S. Karr is excited to be working with the talented folks here at Gateway Playhouse! Following business school, Matt received a Masters Degree in Theatre specializing in Stage Management from Michigan State University. His past credits also include productions with The Virginia Opera, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, 86thegroove.com, and the American Cancer Society. He would like to thank his enthusiastic friends, his family around the world, and his always supportive parents, to whom he dedicates all of his achievements.
BRITTANY LOESCH (Scenic/ Projection Designer) graduated with a BFA in Theater from Pace University in New York City. Previous designs include Violet, Kiss of The Spider Woman, A Perfect Ganesh, and Iboga at Pace University, Language of Angels at the Abrons Art Center and Quiet Cry (Passajj Productions) on Theater Row. Previous Gateway credits include Sophisticated Ladies, The Drowsy Chaperone, Avenue Q, as well as I Love a Piano for both set and projection design. Her 10 year journey from Intern to Designer has brought her all over the country touring with Rent and Mooseltoe, as well as designing various children’s theater productions. She has also just finished her first season as Properties Designer for the Actor’s Studio Drama School in New York City. It’s wonderful to be back working with such a great team this season!

NATHAN W. PERRY (Musical Director/Conductor/Pianist) Nathan is pleased to return to Gateway for ‘S Wonderful after performing in its 2010-2011 national tour. Previously at Gateway: A Christmas Carol (2006) and Show Boat (2008). National tours: The Pajama Game, Ring of Fire, Shout! the Mod Musical and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Regional credits include Hairspray, Big River, A Grand Night For Singing, La Cage Aux Folles, The Robber Bridegroom and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. In 1991, Nathan portrayed Huck Finn in the Mark Twain Musical Drama (Elmira, NY), and has since been confined to orchestra pits and bandstands. He holds a degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music, which immediately landed him a job as a pizza deliveryman, and has been seen tickling the ivories at sea from Halifax to Hong Kong. His performance in ‘S Wonderful is dedicated to the memory of his grandmother, Helen.

VINCE PESCE (Choreographer) Choreography: National tours: Joseph…Dreamcoat, Victor Victoria, ‘S Wonderful, Cinderella (Lea Salonga), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Oliver!. New York: Abraham Lincoln’s BGDP (Off Broadway), Dancing With Abandon, Lucky Break. Television: “Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed” (HBO), “Clash of the Choirs” (NBC), “Grease: You’re The One That I want” (NBC); Regional: A Funny Thing…Forum, Hello Dolly!, White Christmas, Guys and Dolls. Associate Choreographer: Broadway productions of Anything Goes, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, and Little Shop of Horrors. Website: www.vincepesce.com.

JOSE M. RIVERA (Costume Designer/Glad Hand) is thrilled to continue his association with The Gateway Playhouse and to be part of this new journey. An award winning designer, recent credits include:   Crazy For You for The Maltz Jupiter Theatre; A Chorus Line, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Joseph...Dreamcoat and Gypsy for The North Shore Music Theatre; Hairspray and Plaid Tidings for The Cape Playhouse; Dial M For Murder for The Sierra Repertory Theatre and The Feature Film “Collar.” You can catch his work on The Lifetime Network with the films: “The Perfect Nanny,” “The Perfect Wife,” “Blind Obsession,” “Facing The Enemy” and “She’s No Angel;” On SoapNet with “One Minute Soap Opera;” On VH-1 and Reality TV with “Strip Search” and in local video stores with “The Storyteller;” “Evil Alien Conquerors;” “National Lampoon’s TV The Movie” and “Destination Mars.” His designs have been worn by such stars as: Rebecca DeMornay, Tom Sizemore, Tori Spelling, Deidrich Bader, Beth Grant, Ann Walker, Chris Parnell, Bruce Boxleitner, Tracy Nelson, Tracy Gold, Dee Wallace Stone, Marla Maples, Grace Jones, CeCe Penniston, Peabo Bryson and Bill Hayes. Mr. Rivera has won the 2011 Carbonell Award for Best Costume Design for La Cage Aux Folles and The 2008 Carbonelle Award for Best Costume Design for The Boyfriend  both at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre; The ITL Award for Best Costume Design for The Will Rogers Follies in Los Angeles; An Emmy Award for Groucho: A Life In Revue and The Barrymore Award for My One And Only. He dedicates his work to the spirit and energy of his parents and to his mentor, Theoni V. Aldredge.
ROBIN JOY ALLAN (Artistic Director) In her life bio, Robin includes 40 years performing, casting, teaching and directing, with much of that overlapping, taking her from one coast to the other and back. The films “When Harry Met Sally,” “Lord Of The Flies,” “Parenthood,” and “Ghost” are on her casting resume as well as one-hundred and thirty-nine Main Stage productions for Gateway. She feels blessed and hopes to continue to give back to the universe as much as she has been given. Robin lives in Brookhaven Hamlet with her amazing daughter Hayley and constant companions Lucy Dog, Mopsy and Momma Kitty.
PAUL ALLAN (Producer) has been producing the seasons here at Gateway since the 1980’s. Paul’s grandfather (Harry Pomeran) was the first producer of Gateway in 1950, followed by his uncle (David Sheldon), his parents (Ruth and Stan Allan), and together with his sister Robin. Paul has been able to work in NYC on various shows in different capacities, run a touring company with shows traveling around the country and abroad, operate a sister theatre in Connecticut, act as consultant and facilitator for the restoration and reopening of the Patchogue Theatre, and maintain a set rental business - where Gateway scenery is used in theatres across the country after appearing on the Gateway stage. Paul appreciates, admires and honors his family’s dedication to the arts and is proud to help continue the legacy. Paul lives in Bellport with his wife Annmarie and their 2 children - Luke 6 and Alexa 4.


Steve Parks
June 7, 2011

They got rhythm in ' 'S Wonderful'

Most of the songs the Gershwin brothers wrote for Broadway were wasted on shows with plots and characters so preposterous they can't be revived for modern audiences that expect to be treated like reasonably intelligent adults.

"Girl Crazy," for instance, had to be rewritten into "Crazy for You" by Ken Ludwig so we could enjoy such classics as "Embraceable You" in a Broadway context. So why not five mini-shows in one to support a repackaging of more than 40 George and Ira songs?

Five appealing Broadway hopefuls pump youthful exuberance into " 'S Wonderful," making its New York debut at Gateway Performing Arts Center. Crisply directed by Ray Roderick, who created the show around which these, yes, wonderful songs are constructed, " 'S Wonderful" premiered last summer in Pittsburgh.

Each story -- surprise! -- leads to romance. First, we meet Harold, played by Matthew Crowle, in 1924 New York. He's a newspaper typesetter who'd rather be an investigative reporter. In trying to break a story during lunch hour, he finds himself handcuffed to a beauty (Deidre Haren) with expensive tastes. They're a winning song-and-dance pair on "Nice Work If You Can Get It"/"I Got Rhythm," whirling in Jose Rivera's flashy period costumes.

Nina's story, sung by Ashley Betton, is bittersweet. Her boyfriend and best friend run off together, leaving her on her own in 1957 New Orleans, belting out a soulful "It Ain't Necessarily So."

Next, Haren tells Leslie's story set in wartime Paris to the tune of -- what else? -- "An American in Paris," the Jazz Age classic played by music director Nathan Perry and his lush onstage orchestra on an Art Deco bandstand by Brittany Loesch. Leslie meets and, of course, falls for a hunky sailor (athletic Sean Watkins), who returns from combat for the "Our Love Is Here to Stay" duet.

Then it's Jane's turn. A Hollywood makeup artist played by Stephanie Koenig lives out a 1948 on-screen fantasy through such rollicking numbers as "Do Do Do (What You Done Done Done Before)."

In the modern-day finale, Watkins receives a gift from Grandma: an iPod crammed with one dreamy gem after another, including a smashing "They Can't Take That Away From Me," choreographed for five by Vince Pesce.

A Gershwin musical time-travelogue, " 'S Wonderful" is "swell."

Production Photos

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Download the Playbill
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Conductor/Piano NATHAN W. PERRY

Board of Directors 

President Paul Allan
Vice-President Bob Durkin
Secretary Gale Edwards


Executive Producer Ruth Allan
Producer Paul Allan
Associate Producer Jeff Bellante
General Manager Dom Ruggiero
Company Manager Michael Baker
Director of Development/ Assistant to the Producer Scot Patrick Allan
Administrative Assistant Lauren Windsor


Artistic/Casting Director Robin Joy Allan
Associate Casting/Artistic Director Jessica Harrison
Director/Writer Ray Roderick
Choreographer Vince Pesce
Musical Director Nathan W. Perry
Costume Design Jose M. Rivera
Lighting Designer Jose Santiago
Scenic/Projection Designer Brittany Loesch
Resident Sound Designer Cody Spencer
Production Photographer Jeff Bellante
Musical Contractor Jeff Hoffman

Box Office

Box Office Manager Laurie Parr
House Manager Joanne Famiglietti
Box Office Staff Beth Harrison, Nadine Hazard, Diane Koerber, Christina Montaldo, Don Rebar, Kyle Reitan, Francesca Welhous


Production Manager Brian Loesch
Production Stage Manager Matthew S. Karr
Technical Director Mo G. Guiberteau
Wardrobe Supervisor Marianne Dominy
Master Electricians Jose Santiago
Sound Engineer Adam Shubert
Scenic Artist Keeley Dorwart
Props Master Robert Bursztyn
Assistant Production Manager Justin Hoffman
Assistant Master Electrician Matthew Daurio
Assistant Stage Manager Lindsay Sigler
Assistant Technical Director Dennis Berfield
Shop Foreman Charlie J. Bell
Technicians Maxx Henry, Joseph Loesch, Greg Marullo, Elizabeth Nosewicz, Alex Olsen
Flyman AJ Lebenns
Wigs & Makeup Supervisor Trent Pcenicni
Wardrobe Assistant/Sticher Natalie Ferris
Wardrobe Assistant Vanessa Pynn


Company Management Intern Cassandra Levey
Assistant Stage Management Interns Bethany Sortman
Electrics Interns Keelia Liptak, Justin Michel, Kenneth Nicholas
Sound Interns Christina Verde
Wardrobe Interns Sam Abbott, Amber Mallon, Grace Czerniawski
General Technician Interns Kendell McNichols, Erica Oliner


Facilities Manager Mark Frederick
Concessions and Hospitality Manager Blake Armitstead
Cleaning Contractor Elio Sanchez, Maria Sanchez, Ray Tobia
Grounds Maintenance HTM Landscaping Company
House Staff Ethan Bellante, Julia Bellante, Ryan Hudak, Ajay Persaud, Jonathan Smaldone, Kevin Spellman, Ed Wacera, Ray Tobia
General Counsel Ann L. Nowak