Monday, May 10, 2010

Stuart Zagnit, The Original Mayor of Whoville Joins the Cast of “They Changed Broadway”

The Original Mayor of Whoville Joins the Cast of “They Changed Broadway”

Stuart Zagnit, who created such memorable characters on stage such as The Mayor of Whoville in “Seussical” and Goldberg in “The Wild Party” joins the cast of “They Changed Broadway: From Berlin to Bernstein and Beyond”, a one-night only revue at The Forum Theater Arts Center, June 13, 2010 benefiting Congregation Neve Shalom.

“I am excited to be part of the revue working alongside Michael Colby, Michael Goldfried, Leah Horowitz, Jonathan C. Kaplan, Michael Lavine and Neva Small,” says Mr. Zagnit.

Mr. Zagnit adds, “A revue featuring the Jewish Contribution to the American Musical is a wonderful idea with a very broad appeal and Michael Colby really knows how to put together a great show. I know the audience will have a fantastic time.”

The Jewish contribution to the American musical goes beyond Jewish themes. “They Changed Broadway” features hand-picked songs from Broadway’s iconic musicals woven into a two-hour, one-night program featuring well-known, sought after and award-winning Actor’s Equity performers.

“We can’t be happier to have Stuart Zagnit agree to perform in ‘They Changed Broadway’,” says Hope Serratelli, Neve Shalom board of director and fundraising vice-president. “He’s a wonderful actor who brings a lot to the show.”

“They Changed Broadway” gives Middlesex County residences a chance to see veteran Broadway performers in their own backyard at the historic and intimate 500 seat Forum Theatre in Metuchen, New Jersey.

From a fundraising perspective, the revue reaches an audience beyond Congregation Neve Shalom’s 500-family membership creatively expanding its ability to raise funds to benefit the Youth and Elderly, Meals on Wheels, and the Edison-Metuchen-Colonia-Woodbridge and surrounding Middlesex County, NJ community at large.

Tickets for “They Changed Broadway” are on sale now with advance purchase discounts available. Call (732) 548- 2238.

About Stuart Zagnit
On Broadway, Stuart created the roles of The Mayor of Whoville in “Seussical” and Goldberg in “The Wild Party” (original cast recordings as well). He was Bela Zangler in the National Tour of “Crazy for You”, Buzz Richards in the revival of “Applause” with Stefanie Powers, Mendel in “Falsettos”, the Baker in “Into the Woods” and Charlie in “Tintypes”.
Stuart Zagnit’s off-Broadway credits include Seymour in the original “Little Shop Of Horrors”, “A Dybbuk” at The Public Theatre, “Lucky Stiff”, “All In The Timing”, “The Grand Tour”, and “The Majestic Kid”. Stuart also received critical acclaim for his performance as the title character in “Kuni-Leml”.

Regional audiences have seen Stuart in “Windy City” at the Walnut St. Theatre in Philadelphia, “Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do” (the Neil Sedaka Musical) in Albany and Florida, “Enter Laughing” at Berkshire Theatre Festival, “The Sound Of Music” at Sacramento Music Circus, to name a few.

On television, Stuart has been featured on all three of the “Law & Order” programs, “All My Children”, “One Life To Live”, and can be seen in the independent feature film, “Christmas Present”.
For several years Stuart was Dentist #4 in the hilarious Trident Gum 'Four out of five dentists' commercials, and frequently lends his voice to animated cartoons and commercial tags. He lives in New York with his wife, composer and author Carolyn Sloan and son Sam.

About Michael Colby
Michael Colby ( is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as “Charlotte Sweet” (Drama Desk Award nomination), “Tales Of Tinseltown, North Atlantic” (Show Business Award), “Slay It With Music”, “Mrs. McThing”, “They Chose Me!”, and “Ludlow Ladd”. He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has been a frequent writer for The NY Festival of Song as well as the Theatre By the Blind. Michael’s “Meester Amerika” was acclaimed as “Best Score [of the New Jersey theatre season]” and “A superb celebration of Yiddish Theatre… Show music of the highest order,” by Peter Filichia, The Star-Ledger.

Among the personalities for whom Mr. Colby has written material are: Linda Lavin, Tony Randall, Tovah Feldshuh, Savion Glover, Dina Merrill, Susan Stroman, Michael Feinstein, Jack Gilford, Andrea Marcovicci, Kristin Chenoweth, Bruce Adler, Cliff Robertson, Lainie Kazan, Jane Powell, Eric Stoltz, Julie Wilson, Alison Fraser, Mary Cleere Haran, Stephanie Pope, Donna McKechnie, & Cicely Tyson.

About Michael Goldfried
Michael Goldfried ( is a sought-after New York City-based director and a current recipient of the prestigious NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. His work in New York includes “Novel and Gardening Leave” (Summer Play Festival) “Shangri La” (Queens Theater in the Park); Charles Ludlam’s “Stage Blood” (KGB) and “Something Wonderful Right Away” (HERE).

Recent work with the Drama League of New York includes “Mama’s Boy” (New Directors/New Works); “Kahn and Kant” (DirectorFest); “Living Purgatory” (New American Play Initiative with University of New Mexico) and “365 Plays” (Joe’s Pub/Public Theater). New play development includes the Public Theater; the New York Theater Workshop; Youngblood/E.S.T; Dramatists Guild; Freedom Train Productions and Ars Nova.

Michael has adapted and directed numerous comedies including “Twelfth Night”, “Tartuffe”, “The Imaginary Invalid” and “The Rover”. Michael has also directed numerous plays as Associate Artist in the 2010 Take 10 New Plays festival in Aspen, CO.
Michael is on the directing faculty at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), visiting faculty/guest director at Brown University, NYU, Fordham University at Lincoln Center and S.U.N.Y. Brockport and is a founding member of the League of Independent Theaters (LITNY).
About Leah Horowitz
Leah Horowitz ( has Broadway credits including Les Miserable (Cosette), The Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, White Christmas, La Cage Aux Folles, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Regional credits include Meet Me in St Louis (Rose), West Side Story (Maria), and Marry Me a Little. Leah does extensive work on jingles and has recorded demos for Barbie, Zest, Visa, NY Lotto. You might recognize her voice singing “Mm, mm, good!” on Campbell’s Soup TV spots.

About Jonathan C. Kaplan
Jonathan C. Kaplan ( won The Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Tony® Award playing "Jason" in Falsettos. Other roles include Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (Broadway; starring Natalie Portman & Linda Lavin), Benjamin in The Graduate (National Tour), and Mitchell in The Loman Family Picnic (Manhattan Theatre Club). Films include Loving Leah and Life with Mikey. TV appearances include Law and Order: CI, Law and Order: SVU, and As the World Turns.

About Michael Lavine
Michael Lavine ( has musically directed the Outer Critic's Circle Awards, Broadway Cares Teddy Bear Auction (as he's done the past 13 years) and the Astaire Awards earlier this year. He co-produced the American premiere recording of “Honk!” which he has musically directed twice. Michael musically directed the Comden and Green musical “Billion Dollar Baby” at the York Theatre in New York City starring Kristin Chenoweth, Marc Kudisch and Debbie Gravitte (cd available) and the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner musical “Carmelina”, also at the York with Debbie Gravitte. He shared the stage with Mimi Hines and Peter Howard (his mentor) at the Kennedy Center in a Rodgers and Hart revue, “This Funny World”.

About Neva Small
Neva Small ( has distinguished herself as a singer and actress in theaters, in concert halls across America, on film, and on television. Her signature role of Chava in the film version of “Fiddler on the Roof” remains a classic. Recently returning to the spotlight after raising a family, Neva starred with Michael Feinstein in “Michael Feinstein: Now & Then” at Carnegie Hall, released her best selling first solo CD, “Neva Small: My Place in the World”, and was a guest artist with the Walla Walla Symphony.

Neva Small’s cabaret show “Not Quite An Ingenue” is so successful it transferred to an Off-Broadway theater where it is currently being performed. Neva has appeared on television in Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, the TV movie “Hijacking of the Achille Lauro” and is an accomplished writer, producer and performer of children's educational programs.

About The Forum
The Forum Theatre Arts Center ( is a nonprofit performing arts organization and has been the Cultural Arts Center of central New Jersey since 1928, when it was built as a theatre and vaudeville tryout house, then soon after as a neighborhood movie house. The Forum Theatre has presented hundreds of American and World Premieres with an emphasis on musical theatre, as well as numerous A-list concerts.
The Forum Theatre is located at 314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840. Phone: (732) 548- 5600
About Congregation Neve Shalom
For 75 years, Congregation Neve Shalom ( has been providing religious services and Jewish Education for its Conservative Egalitarian members. Neve Shalom maintains a vibrantly active and welcoming community with educational programs, religious services and lay leadership. Neve Shalom's annual Suzy Schwartz Concert, and Book and Author Events are well-known to surrounding residents for their ability to draw well-known and famous performers, authors, and lecturers.

Congregation Neve Shalom is located at 250 Grove Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840. Phone: (732) 548- 2238

For tickets, requests for interviews or more information about “They Changed Broadway” call (732) 548-2238 EXT. 24 or visit

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