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Talented Raddatz is The Amorous Flea

Sedona favorite Mark Raddatz, Actors Repertory Theatre of Sedona (ARTS) producing artistic director, will star as Arnolphe in the upcoming production of The Amorous Flea, a musical comedy based on Moliere's School for Wives, Weds. - Sat., May 24 thru June 24, under the stars at Tlaquepaque at 8 pm.

In this tuneful farce, Raddatz plays Moliere's supreme sexist pig, Arnolphe, who believes that ignorance is the key to wedded bliss, but the head of the beautiful Agnes is not as empty as he might wish.

Raddatz has been active in Sedona theater for the past 17 years, working with Southwest Theatre, ARTS, Sedona Arts Center, Shakespeare Sedona and the Grand Canyon Shakespeare Festival. His acting roles have included King Arthur in Camelot, Charles Condomine in Blythe Spirit, Jud in Oklahoma, Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew, Seyotn in MacBeth, Claudius in Hamlet and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. He has directed numerous productions, including the musical Something's Afoot, which was held over at the Sedona Arts Center, and last summer's ARTS' hit The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

The stellar cast includes Michelle Dahlenburg, a senior voice performance major at Northern Arizona University, as Agnes, the swinish Arnolphe's would-be perfect bride. Dahlenburg has had leading roles in the NAU Opera productions of Guys and Dolls (Sarah), Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red), Mozart Opera Scenes (Pamina), and chorus roles in many other shows including She Loves Me, Cinderella, Godspell, La Boheme, and Merry Wives of Windsor.

Long-time Sedona favorite, Michael Peach, appears as Oronte. Peach most recently appeared in The Dining Room and The Glass Menagerie for the Oak Creek Theatre Company and starred in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and The Little Hut for ARTS in 1999. He also adapted and directed the hit 1999 ARTS season opener, The Scams of Scapin. Peach graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University and earned his master's degree of fine arts from California Institute of the Arts.

Kathleen O'Neill and Jason Gerace play Arnolphe's conniving servants. O'Neill, also the show's choreographer, has a degree in theatre from the College of St. Catherine. Her past roles include Hortense in The Boyfriend, Marian in The Music Man, Miranda in The Tempest, a hot-box dancer in Guys and Dolls and a principal in Medium Rare: A Sedona Roast at SAC. Gerace is a recent Northern Arizona University School of Performing Arts graduate. He has played Lloyd in Reckless, Lamar in Godspell, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and recently directed Baby with the Bath Water at NAU.

Also featured in the cast is Bill Frank, who has been involved in theater in the Verde Valley for the past ten years. He has been seen in The Pajama Game, Annie, Something's Afoot, Breaking Legs and The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (Abridged), as well as a multitude of cabaret shows, including Medium Rare: A Sedona Roast.

Don Fierro is featured as Horace, the determined young fellow out to spoil Arnolphe's plans and win Agnes for himself. Fierro has worked in Hollywood for many years doing television commercials and working with Saban Entertainment (which later became The Fox Family Channel) in post production. He is happy to be returning to his passion, musical theater.

The musical director is Robert Johnson who recently moved to Flagstaff from New York to pursue a master degree in music. He completed his undergraduate work in piano performance. Along with numerous solo recitals and appearances with local orchestras, he has worked with several theatres to produce Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, and The Three Penny Opera.

The June 1st performance of The Amorous Flea will be a benefit for the Verde Valley Sanctuary, a shelter offering emergency services for women and children in violent or potentially violent domestic situations. Audience members are asked to bring a donation (non-perishable food, small toy, new clothing, cash, etc.)

May performances sold out last summer, so audience members are encouraged to buy their tickets early. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for students and are available at the ARTS ticket outlets: the Tlaquepaque Information Booth 877-386-8687, Sedona Books and Music in Bashas' Center, and Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center or by calling the box office at 204-2064.

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