The Show | The Company
Michael Paul Levin
Michael Paul Levin studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He can be seen in the film Hiding Victoria, which filmed extensively in the Palm Beach area. In Minnesota, he has worked extensively as an actor in theatre, commercials, and voice-overs. He portrayed Groucho Marx in A Life in Revue at Paul Bunyan Playhouse, and Harpo Marx in both Minnie's Boys at Center Stage and in The Cocoanuts at Illusion Theatre. Other notable performances include The Chosen for both Minnesota Jewish Theater and Park Square, Born Yesterday at Park Square, and Illusion Theatre's Midwest Premiere of Denial. His portrayal of George Gershwin has taken him across the U.S., from the San Diego Repertory Theater to the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and most recently at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. His portrayal of Haskell in The Immigrant at Great American History Theatre earned the Best Performance award from The Twin Cities Reader. As a writer, he has won the FMCT Playwrights Competition and the Morrow-Heus Screenwriting Fellowship. He is one of the co-creators of We Gotta Bingo! which opened in November of 2005 and is currently St. Paul's longest-running theatrical event. Mr. Levin lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four sons.
Bruce A. Henry
Bruce A. Henry was born in West Point, Mississippi, home of Howling Wolf, and began singing publicly at the age of five in his Baptist Church on the West side of Chicago. As a child Henry immersed himself in the work of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, both favorites of Bruce's father, a pianist and Bruce's first musical mentor. Although Henry was classically trained at the American Conservatory of Music, his love for improvisation proved to be a stronger calling. Influenced by Nina Simone, Al Jarreau and John Coltrane, to name a few, Henry's musical journey has resulted in an eclectic style of world-influenced jazz vocals and composition. Mr. Henry possesses a three-and-one-half octave range, a pure voice with versatility and depth that few can match.
Prudence Johnson's career has taken her from honky-tonks to Carnegie Hall, from the theater stage to the Silver Screen, from the Midwest to the Middle East. A regular guest on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, broadcast on National Public Radio stations nationwide, Prudence Johnson was cast as one of the 'regulars' in Robert Altman's 2006 movie, A Prairie Home Companion. Her motion picture credits also include Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It. With roots in folk and country music, Prudence also developed a passion for jazz and the work of the twentieth century's great songwriters. Her discography features twelve albums, including Moon Country, The Music of Hoagy Carmichael, 'S Gershwin with pianist Dan Chouinard, and Little Dreamer, a collection of international lullabies. Prudence has, in recent years, been busy creating works for the concert stage that blend music with her interests in history and literature.
The Cincinnati Enquirer said, "Prudence Johnson is a quartet ... a jazz singer, a country songbird, a polished ballad interpreter and an urban folkie." Prudence Johnson is the creator of A Girl Named Vincent, which features the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay set to music. She is producer of the CD and touring production, Gales of November, a musical about the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. A winner of a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and an Artists Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Prudence also enjoys a steady schedule of concert appearances across the US, Canada, and Sweden.
An opera singer and cantorial artist for more than 35 years, Marinoff has held ten Cantorial positions with congregations throughout the U.S., while also performing in operas, oratorios and as a guest artist with symphonies. He has performed with the Florida Orchestra, the Colorado Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Southwest Florida Orchestra, Denver Symphony and Wuerzburg Symphony, to name a few. Among his many opera roles are Rudolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, Tamino in The Magic Flute. As Oratorio Soloist, he has performed works such as Schubert's Mass in C, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Elijah, and Mozart's Requiem. Mr. Marinoff makes his home in the Ft. Myers, Florida, area, where he served as Cantor at Temple Beth El from 2002-2006 and continues to perform as a solo artist.
A leading creator and performer of contemporary Jewish music and the only North American group at 1999's Twelfth International Klezmer Festival in Tsfat, Israel, Klezmerica has appeared twice on Israeli national television. The band's CDs have been received with near-universal praise. Writing about their most recent recording, Jerusalem Of Blue, Ari Davidow in The Klezmer Shack said, "Klezmer as it could be played only in America, with a healthy dose of jazz behind the krechts... In many of the best ways, this recording exemplifies the type of mainstream klezmer many of us Jewish-Americans would like played at our weddings, music that reflects both the Americanized (but still, to us, very Eastern European Jewish) klezmer, and straightforward, well-played, American Jazz. Unlike most crossovers, Klezmerica has managed to do this without losing the soul of the music." And jazz critic Cynthia Roth Pierpont wrote in wrapping up her January 2005 piece in The New Yorker on the timeless ubiquity of Gershwin, "...listen... to the Minnesota Klezmer Band's recent "Gershwin the Klezmer"—and he is everywhere."
Klezmerica has performed in every kind of venue—synagogues and churches, jazz hotspots and rock clubs, concert halls, and on live television and radio. In The Soul of Gershwin, George Gershwin delivers a line, "I don't do weddings and Bar Mitzvahs." It will surprise no one, Klezmerica does...
Peter Moore has directed in Minnesota at the Guthrie, Torch Theater, Park Square, Hennepin Stages, History Theatre, University of Minnesota, Illusion Theater, The Playwright's Lab, Theatre L'Homme Dieu, Theatre in the Round and Actors Theatre of Minnesota. Other directing credits include Off-Broadway's York Theater, Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Playwright's Premiere Theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the San Diego Rep. As an actor he has appeared at the Guthrie, Florida Stage, Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Detroit's Meadow Brook Theater and the Virginia stage company. He was stunt coordinator for the films Factotum and Embrace of the Vampire, and the Broadway production of Disney's The Lion King. He has directed numerous live industrial shows and videos, as well as the Star Wars: Dark Forces audio-cassette series for Lucas Film and the live radio drama Neither Free Nor Equal for Minnesota Public Radio.