The casts and directors for SummerFest’s first year in the MoonDance at Midnight Pass amphitheater have been announced, with a number of familiar names to Lexington theater fans among them and a new director to open the festival.
Matthew Johnson, former associate artistic director of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and a new instructor in the University of Kentucky’s theater department, will direct William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to open the fest July 2 to 13. Many Lexingtonians saw Johnson in February, when he narrated the Lexington Philharmonic’s presentation of Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
His cast will include Demetrius Williams, last seen as Richard III, as Orsino; Dara Jade Tiller as Viola; Julie McCluskey as Lady Olivia; and Adam Luckey as scheming Malvolio, Also in the cast are Mike Van Zant, Bob Singleton and Cody Taylor, who is currently on Actors Guild’s stage in A Life in the Theatre.
Jenny Fitzpatrick, who directed 2012’s production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, returns to helm Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors. It stars long-reliable supporting player Matt Seckman as Seymour, Meaghan Sharrard as Audrey and Whit Whitaker as Audrey II, the Venus flytrap with a voracious appetite for blood. Little Shop runs July 23 to Aug. 3.