MJTC Announces the Opening of Stars of David


January 20, 2015



Based on the book by Abigail Pogrebin

Directed by Michael Kissin 

“You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy. Touching, humorous, and often moving.”

                                     -The New York Times

 St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is pleased to announce the opening of a rousing musical revue, Stars of David. This regional premiere runs on weekends from February 14 - March 8 at the Highland Park Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Tickets range in price from $19 - $28. Student and group discounts are available. To order, call (651)647-4315 or visit mnjewishtheatre.org. Press passes are available for the performances on Saturday, February 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 15 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

This captivating musical revue, based on the best-selling book by Abigail Pogrebin and conceived by Aaron Harnick , shines with engaging personal portraits of over 30 accomplished Americans as they reflect on their Jewish heritage and the role it has played in their lives.  With original songs by some of theater’s most noted composers and lyricists, including Duncan Sheik, Marvin Hamlisch, and Sheldon Harnick, we hear the stories of admired people such as Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Al Franken, Kenneth Cole, Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joan Rivers, Fran Drescher, Aaron Sorkin, and many more 


Laura B. Adams returns to MJTC where she previously played Claire in My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. She has appeared in numerous TV commercials and voice-overs. Stage credits include Hamlet (Park Square Theatre), Mishagas! (Actors Theater of MN), Michele! A Musical Bachumanntary (Theatre Garage), and Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Frank Theatre). She was most recently seen in Three Penny Opera (Frank Theatre). She has been an actress with The Mystery Cafe for 25 years.

David Carey makes his MJTC debut in this production. Previous Twin Cities credits include Company and 1776 (Theatre in the Round), Private Lives (Park Square Theatre), How To Talk Minnesotan (Plymouth Playhouse), Sunday In The Park With George (Bloomington Civic Theatre), and Our Town (Theater Latté Da). 

Bryan Porter returns to MJTC where he previously appeared in My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. Other recent credits include Buddy Holly  (History Theatre), Alice in Wonderland  (Flying Foot Forum), One Arm (2014 MN Fringe), The Three Musketeers  (Walking Shadow/Guthrie), Dear White People  (Lionsgate), Gershwin Songbook Series  (Ordway), and Sherlock Holmes (Park Square Theatre). 

Daisy Macklin Skarning returns to MJTC where she previously appeared in The God of Isaac. Her credits include Yellow Tree Theatre, Gremlin Theatre, History Theatre, Old Log Theater, Theatre Latté Da, Starting Gate Productions, Illusion Theater, The Playwrights' Center PlayLabs, Jungle Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Brave New Workshop, and Hey City Theater.  Film and television credits include Public Domain and ShopHQ Guest Host.  

Creative Team:

Michael Kissin (Director) is a freelance actor, musician, and college educator.  A company member at Mixed Blood Theatre for over 20 years, Michael also served as Artistic Director at Minnesota Festival Theater and Paul Bunyan Playhouse. At MJTC, he directed Talley’s Folly, Goats, and My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, and starred in Boychik. Other directing credits include Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square, TRP, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, and Acadia Rep (Maine).  Many onstage roles include the fiddler in A Christmas Carol for 13 seasons at the Guthrie Theater.

Kevin Dutcher (Music Director) has been a part of MJTC for over 18 years. He appeared onstage  in Old Wicked Songs and Parade, directed The Last Five Years, and music directed My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,  Chutzpah á go-go, and The Odd Potato. He combines his passions for theater, music and teaching by directing plays for the Spring Lake Park and Fridley school districts, and teaching music at Horace Mann Elementary School in St. Paul.

Liz Josheff Busa (Costume Design) is a Red Eye Theater company member, where she has collaborated on over 40 productions.  Her theater work includes costume, set, and projection design. In addition, she has designed for film and television, and has worked in arts education as a teaching artist.

Paul Epton (Lighting Design) has designed regularly for MJTC (over 50 shows, including Photograph 51, Handle With Care, Goats, My Name is Asher Lev, Women's Minyan, The Triangle Factory Fire Project, Rose, Old Wicked Songs, The Chosen), Mixed Blood Theatre, Off-Leash Area, Torch Theater, and the Jon Hassler Theater.

Michael Hoover (Scenic Designer) is making his MJTC debut with this production. Michael has designed sets locally for many theaters, including the Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, Theater Latté Da, Gremlin, and Torch.  He most recently designed Death and the Maiden for Torch and Gremlin Theaters. In addition to his freelance career as a scenic designer, Michael is on staff as the Lead Scenic Artist at the Guthrie Theater.

C Andrew Mayer (Projections) has worked previously for MJTC in New Jerusalem, The History of Invulnerability, Photograph 51, The Last Word…, and The Action Against Sol Schumann. He was a McKnight Theatre Fellow and won an Audelco Award for his design for Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence at 59E59 in New York City. In summers, he serves as Producing Director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine.

Shelli Place (Choreographer) has staged plays, musical reviews, and fashion shows in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She has created live shows for museums and major cruise lines. She was Creative Director for Disney Business Productions, where she developed shows for ADP, Wells Fargo, HP, Liz Claiborne, and directed the NFLA-Player of the Year Awards for several years during Super Bowl Week.  She recently choreographed Life Could be A Dream (Old Log Theatre). 

Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager) has been the regular stage manager for MJTC since 2011. She is proud to be working on her 20th production at MJTC, Stars of David. She stage managed the Ivey Award-winning productions Rose and Our Class. Other credits at MJTC include New Jerusalem, Handle with Care, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Photograph 51, and others.  

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit mnjewishtheatre.org, email [email protected], or call (651)647-4315.


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