Cast Announced for Dames at Sea

Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, is proud to announce the cast of the tap-happy musical comedy “Dames at Sea” with book and lyricsby George Haimsohn and Robin Miller and music by Jim Wise.  “Dames at Sea” runs for three weeks, July 26 through August 13, and is generously sponsored by Alibi Marina and Harbor Guest House with support from the Cordon Family Foundation.

Ruby steps off a bus in 1930s Manhattan with nothing but tap shoes in her suitcase and a dream in her heart.  She is soon cast in the chorus of a Broadway show starring a temperamental diva.  Hours before opening night curtain, the cast learns their theater is being demolished, so with the help of some adoring sailors, it is “all hands on deck” to find a stage to put on the show.   Will the show go on?  Will Ruby become a star?  Will she meet the sailor of her dreams?   Featuring show-stopping tap dancing, love at first sight, joyful music and a boatload of laughs, this glittering musical showcases six actors and everything you need to sweep your troubles away.

Maya McQueen portrays Ruby, the bright-eyed dreamer who hopes to become a star. McQueen made her Peninsula Players Theatre debut this season as Edith in Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.”  McQueen is a Seattle native who graduated from Indiana University with a BFA in musical theatre.  She has recently performed in both “The Sound of Music” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Marriott Theatre.

Ben Dow makes his Peninsula Players Theatre debut as Dick, the dreamy sailor and aspiring songwriter.  His previous Chicago stage credits include “Elf: The Musical”, “Grease”, “Forever Plaid” at Drury Lane Theatre; “Shakesfest: Chicago Shakespeare in the Park” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and “Into the Woods” at Timberlake Playhouse.

Heidi Kettenring, (“Blithe Spirit,” “The Taffetas”) portrays the temperamental and glamorous diva Mona Kent.  Theatregoers may recognize Kettenring from her time at Broadway in Chicago as Nessa in “Wicked” or as Belle in the National Tour of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”  Earlier this year, Kettenring portrayed Dolly in “Hello, Dolly!” and Sandra in “Big Fish” at Marriott Theatre.

Kelly Felthous portrays Joan, the clever and comedic dancer.  “Dames at Sea” is her Peninsula Players Theatre debut.  Felthous began touring professionally at age 12 as Brigitta Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” Since then, she performed in the national tours of “Grease” and “Wicked.”  Felthous’s Chicago credits include Roxie in “Chicago” and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” at Drury Lane Theatre, as well as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” at Paramount Theater.

Joey Stone plays Lucky, a loveable sailor and Joan’s beau.  Stone portrayed Norman Whitfield and understudied Smokey Robinson on Broadway and in the First National Tour of “Motown the Musical.” Stone also performed in Aleshea Harris’ “What to Send Up When It Goes Down” at Congo Square and Lookingglass Theatres.

Jackson Evans (“Blithe Spirit,” “The Full Monty,” “Peter and the Starcatcher”) plays both Hennesey, the theater producer, as well as the ship’s Captain.  Previous credits include “Ride the Cyclone” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre,  “Boys in the Band” at Windy City Playhouse, “Fiddler on the Roof” at Lyric Opera, and “Dad’s Season Tickets” at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.  

Linda Fortunato, Peninsula Players Theatre artistic director, serves as the director and choreographer for this spirited production.  This is her second season as artistic director, though her credits at the theater in a garden are many.  Some credits include performing in “Talley’s Folly,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and “Noises Off;” directing “The Rainmaker,” “Lend Me a Tenor,” and “Ghost the Musical” and choreographing “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”  She was previously the artistic director at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana where she performed in, choreographed or directed dozens of productions. She received both the Equity and Non-Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Choreography in the 2013-2014 season, garnering Theatre at the Center their first award for her choreography of “42nd Street.”

The “Dames at Sea” creative team includes scenic designer Jack Magaw who returns for his 18th season.  Magaw’s previous Peninsula Players Theatre designs include “I and You,” “Talley’s Folly,” “Silent Sky” and more.  He has also worked at theaters such as Shattered Globe Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre and more.  Costumes are designed by Kärin Simonson Kopischke, who has designed more than 50 productions in her 22 seasons at Peninsula Players Theatre.  She has received the Jeff Award, AriZoni Award and a Prague Quadrennial nomination for her designs.  Lighting designer Guy Rhodes returns to the theatre where he previously designed “A Rock Sails By,” “Ripcord,” “The Rainmaker,” and “Ghost the Musical.”  He has worked regionally, on National Tours and concerts for artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Anthony Hamilton.  Sound designer Joe Palermo (“Murder for Two”) is a Chicago-based sound designer and digital technologist.  Palermo has been recognized at the Cannes Film Festival, Chicago Merrit Awards and University of Glasgow for excellence in design and design concepts.

The audience pavilion’s side panels, doors and vents will remain open throughout the summer season.  Patrons should dress for the weather and be prepared for shifting temperatures and breezes off the bay.  Peninsula Players Theatre is a smoke-free campus.  Smoking is prohibited on the grounds at all times. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early for a pre-show beverage or snack at the Luna Bar and Canteen.  The grounds open 90 minutes before the show.  Student and group tickets are available.  “Dames at Sea” performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m.  To purchase tickets for groups of 15 or more, please phone the Box Office between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (920) 868-3287.  The theater and its offices are closed on Mondays.  For more information, visit