Oklahoma composer Ben Harrell enjoys working in varied positions, styles, and capacities, such as contemporary classical, jazz, musical theatre, children's music, and film. He has a Bachelor's of Music in Composition from Oklahoma City University and Masters of Music in Composition from The Boston Conservatory. His teachers include Edward Knight, Marti Epstein, Jan Swafford, and Chris Vassiliades. As an arranger, his music has been heard in the New York Fringe Festival in Broken Moments, and The American Pops Orchestra, featuring Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole, conducted by Luke Frazier. His own compositions have been played in Boston, New York, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. As a theatre composer his music has been featured in The Marshall Experimental Theatre Company's production of Jackie, and productions of his own original pieces Election Day and Walk. Most recently his music has been featured in the award winning short film The Escort, starring Doris Roberts.
Cristela Carrizales is a respected Oklahoma City actor, singer, improviser and director. She has appeared in a number of stage productions around OKC. Highlights include Veronica in The Motherf**ker With The Hat at KnockDown DragOut; Sponge in James & The Giant Peach and Phantom in The Rocky Horror Show at Lyric Theatre; Christmas Eve in Avenue Q at The Pollard Theatre; Helen in Fat Pig and Susan in [title of show] for Ghostlight Theatre Club; Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dionne in Hair, Charlotte Lucas in Pride & Prejudice for Reduxion Theatre. Directing credits include The Man From Earth for Ghostlight Theatre Club and Same Time, Next Year for Oklahoma City Theatre Company. In addition to her scripted work, Cristela regularly performs at OKC Improv with troupes Chairold, BitSing, After Hours, Down to Funny and NEXT! Other credits include producing and starring in her one-woman show Short, Round & Brown. One-Woman. Plus. and appearing in the films in Cowgirls 'n Angels starring James Cromwell and Just Crazy Enough starring Chris Kattan. Cristela has taught acting to children, teenagers and adults intermittently since 1992 and is currently the Artistic Director of OKC Improv. Cristela is seasoned workshop facilitator, doing educational and corporate trainings on leadership and team building through improv. www.CristelaImprovs.com.
Kendon Lacy has performed in many different avenues, most notably with the musical improv troupes Night Rhymers & BitSing, where he has performed at the Chicago Improv Festival, Dallas Comedy Festival, Austin, TX & Kansas City. His non-musical improv troupes inlude Kyle & Kendon, Reunited, as well as The HubBub Improv Group, performing every Thursday Night at 7:30pm at District House. Kendon serves on staff for OKC Improv as Program Director. In theatre, Kendon's most recent projects have been Impression Live's regular Holiday show "This Christmas" as well as playing the role of Ralph D in KnockDownDragOut's "The Motherf*cker With The Hat." He performs regularly as a local stand-up comedian and was a finalist in the 2012 Loony Bin Comedy Contest. For more on Kendon's shows and work, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @kendonlacy.
Rachel Ryan Nicholes comes all the way from British Columbia, Canada, and is here studying to get her masters in music at Oklahoma City University. Some of Rachel's favorite Musical Theater roles include: Maria in West Side Story, Judy Haynes in White Christmas, and Bakers Wife in Into the Woods. While she is not studying or singing Rachel loves to hike, crochet, and go on adventure with her husband.
Ronn Burton is thrilled to be joining The City Cabaret OKC! A native Oklahoman, he left to attend college at Shenandoah Conservatory (BFA Musical Theatre) and then landed in New York City. He now splits his time between NYC and OKC working as an actor, director, and filmmaker. He teaches voice and acting at Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy in OKC, and Shuffles Musical Theatre School in NYC. Selected Acting credits include: TV/Film: Celebrity Ghost Stories (playing John Cusack) and Enchantments (with 30 Rock's Kevin Brown, Soho Film Fest Official Selection). Off-Broadway / New York Theatre: Carnegie Hall concerts with Kelli O'Hara and Stephen Sondheim, Angelina Ballerina the Musical at Union Square Theater, and Wonderful Town. Oklahoma Theatre: Red and …Charlie Brown (CityRep), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Hello, Dolly! (Lyric), Little Women and The Last Five Years (Poteet). Selected Directing: Stage includes Grease (Sooner Theatre), Rock Of Ages (Lyric Theatre - Asst. Director), and The Agony and The Agony (Carpenter Square). Film includes Breathe (Tiny Film Festival Official Selection), Abandon, and the FIRST live webseries Watch Us Fail. Proud member of Actors Equity. Twitter/Instagram: @RonnBurton.
Courtney Crouse is a mezzo soprano and professor of voice at Oklahoma City University. Prior to moving to OKC to join the faculty of the Wanda L. Bass School of Music in 2012, Dr. Crouse was a featured soloist with The New York Virtuoso Singers under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum, The Coterie and L’Harmonie des Saisons, a group based in Montréal and New York City under the direction of baroque specialist Eric Milnes. Since moving Oklahoma, Dr. Crouse has performed with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma as Mrs. Anderssen in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, with the Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra as a featured soloist, as the alto soloist in the Messiah for the Kemp Concert Series, a Jazz Recital on the Distinguished Artist Series at Oklahoma City University and has joined the professional vocal ensemble Tactus. She is also a member of the the guitar and voice duo: Crouse and Denman. Dr. Crouse is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, TX and the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Check out CourtneyCrouse.com for upcoming performances.
Isaiah J. Williams, is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University where he received his BFA in Acting with minors in Directing and Costume Technology. Some of his favorite credits include Horatio in Hamlet (Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park), the Watchman in House of Atreus: Part 1 (TheatreOCU), and Big Julie in Guys and Dolls (UCO Summerstock). He would like to thank God for all the opportunities He has given him. He also thanks his family and friends for their constant support and Cristela for this wonderful opportunity. “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
Chelcy Harrell has trained and performed in various cities across the country such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, Boston and New York City. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at Oklahoma City University with a minor in Directing. Some of her favorite roles include Peter and Tiger Lily (Peter Pan), Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Annie/Six (Chicago) and Nadine (Wild Party). After college, she shifted her focus to training in various forms of Circus Arts. She has trained extensively in Aerial Silks and Partner Acrobatics and performed with numerous aerial companies in New York City in showcases, variety shows, and music videos. Though the Circus has her heart, the Theatre is her home. Chelcy is the Artistic Director of Fresh Paint Performance Lab, a performing arts company in Oklahoma City dedicated to producing and developing new works. www.chelcyharrell.com
Austin Thompson is a native of OKC and, despite being a consistent flight risk, is planning to stick around for a little while. He is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University, where he studied Music Theatre. His proudest roles to date include Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie, Monty in Violet, Gretta in Bent, Man on Couch in the newest Bob Mill’s furniture commercial, and Hostess in Packard’s New American Kitchen. Austin is a current student of Catherine McDaniel. He would like to thank Corie and everyone at City Cabaret for allowing him to join a team as talented and creative as this one.
Mahalia Gronigan is proud to debut with The City Cabaret OKC! Mahalia’s played Bonnie; Bonnie & Clyde, Lucy; Dracula, Carrie; Carousel, among others. She received Michigan’s Oscar Wilde Award for Best Actress in a Musical for both her portrayal of Nancy in Oliver! and Violet in VIOLET. She’s married to the man of her dreams and has two daughters she loves to drive nuts! You may have seen her recently in The Sooner Theatre’s A Christmas Story playing the Mother, and you can catch her again this March in Lyric’s JUNIE B. JONES!
THE CITY CABARET BAND
Corie Melaugh (piano) Corie Melaugh is a music director, vocal coach, pianist, and orchestrator/arranger in the Oklahoma City metro area. She earned degrees in piano and violin performance from Oklahoma City University (OCU) and a master of Music in Vocal Coaching from the same. She has worked at renowned summer festivals around the US, including Brevard Music Festival. She is co-founder and music director of The City Cabaret, co-founder and past music director of OCU OPERAtions, and serves as music director for OCU's performances and summer intensives with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in Tianjin, China.
Michelle Hedges (drummer) is a pianist, drummer, teacher, and improviser in the OKC area. She gives private lessons in brass, percussion, ukelele, and piano. Michelle has a Bachelor Degree in Trombone Performance from Southeast Missouri State University. She’s played piano, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, french horn, and drums in a wide range of musical styles in St Louis, Mo and Atlanta, Ga. Since moving to OKC, she has played drums in Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s Gypsy in 2012 and Jesus Christ Superstar in 2014. She also played percussion in the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band and drums in the Nichols Hills Band. Currently, Michelle plays drums in the Louis Hemphill Jazz Orchestra. Michelle’s new found love is improvising. She is a founding member of the improv troupe, Horse Feathers. You will find them performing at OKC Improv.
Danny Gering is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Oklahoma City University. He graduated from OKCU in 2011 with degrees in Music and Psychology, and attended the University of Florida for graduate school. He loves coffee, pens, disc golf, the Chicago Cubs, and most of all, his wife Jeana. Chris Black, Bassist, is a native of Oklahoma City and a graduate of Oklahoma City University in music education and business. He has performed in a wide range of genres including orchestra, music theatre, big band, jazz, rock, pop, bluegrass, and mariachi. His current projects include Grassland Caravan, a progressive bluegrass band, and The Savoy Trio, a combo focusing on the golden era of jazz.