SummerFest lets the casts out of the bag

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.

Demetrius Williams in the title role of SummerFest's 2011 production of 'Richard III.' He will play Orsino in 'Twelfth Night' July 2-13. © Herald-Leader staff photo by Rich Copley.

Demetrius Williams in the title role of SummerFest’s 2011 production of ‘Richard III.’ He will play Orsino in ‘Twelfth Night’ July 2-13. © Herald-Leader staff photo by Rich Copley.

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.

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