New Performers Join Broadway Spectacular
Arts Ignite will host award-winning Broadway performers to support arts education.
RICHMOND, VA — For one night only, an ensemble of Broadway performers will gather for an evening of songs and stories for Arts Ignite Richmond: A Broadway Spectacular on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 PM at the Richmond Triangle Players’ Robert B. Moss Theatre.
Conceived by Richmond local Dr. Keith Bell and Mary-Mitchell Campbell, these artists invite an audience to witness a glimpse of Broadway’s living room, delving into their personal journeys and singing Broadway hits.
Joining previously announced performers Marissa Rosen (Legally Blonde, Footloose) and Rueby Wood (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Disney’s Better Nate Than Ever) are Melinda Doolittle (American Idol, Rockin on Heavens Door) and J Harrison Ghee (Kinky Boots, Mrs. Doubtfire, Netflix’s Raising Dion). Both artists’ powerhouse voices will add a compelling dynamic to this star-studded night. Acclaimed Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company, The Prom, Mean Girls) will provide music supervision.
Additionally, Richmond locals Scott Putman and Katherine Bell have been added to the cast of performers with Richmond’s Chris Hester serving as MC for the evening. The performance will be followed by a VIP reception.
This event will support arts education and benefit an international arts organization, Arts Ignite with the mission to support young people in developing agency through the arts.
Tickets for this performance may be purchased online at https://donate.artsignite.org/richmond
Melinda Doolittle is a soul-stirring songstress. She is a flawless vocalist with irresistible artistry and effortless style compelling her audiences to keep listening. Melinda graduated with a BA in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She became a highly sought-after background vocalist singing for musical icons including Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Aaron Neville, and Jonny Lang. Doolittle became a household name during season six of American Idol in 2007. She came in third in the voting, first with Simon Cowell calling her his “personal favorite” and quickly became the sweetheart of American Idol winning over the hearts of all with her stunning powerhouse vocals and her personal charm. Doolittle continues to thrill audiences everywhere from the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame to The White House, from the Copa Room to Carnegie Hall. In addition, she has been a featured guest with the Boston Pops, Charlotte Symphony, and the United States Air Force Orchestra to name a few, including a featured performer at the 2015 Boston Pops Fourth of July Spectacular. She is currently headlining her own soulful show Great American Soul Book.
J. Harrison Ghee is a North Carolina native who moved to New York City in 2007 to pursue a career in entertainment, studying at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. J. has been blessed to entertain the world from Tokyo Disney Sea Resort, cruise ships, and Broadway in Kinky Boots and Mrs. Doubtfire. Ghee was also recently returned to The MUNY to be Velma Kelly in Chicago. They have graced the television screen on HBO’s High Maintenance and Netflix’s Raising Dion. Ghee hopes that something he does or says reaches the heart of at least one person to inspire them to dream big and go full-out for those dreams.
Marissa Rosen has been featured on Broadway: For the Girls w/ Kristin Chenoweth and Off-Broadway: R.R.R.E.D., The Marvelous Wonderettes, My Big Gay Italian Wedding, BedBugs the Musical, Tony & Tina’s Wedding. Favorite regional/International/Tours: A Taste of Things to Come, Jawbreaker, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Bare, & Into the Woods & Grease. She can be seen dancing alongside Anne Hathaway on the Amazon Prime show Modern Love. Marissa works as a recording artist and backup singer for some of New York City and Nashville‘s finest! She has had the honor of singing backup for Kristin Chenoweth, Shoshana Bean, Patti LuPone, Jessica Vosk, Betty Buckley, Ariana DeBose, Krysta Rodriguez, Jason Gotay, Marty Thomas & Lillias White to name a few. Marissa has also released her debut album, “The Award Winning Holiday Album” with Marty Thomas which is available on all streaming platforms! She is proudly represented by The Talent House. Follow her at @themarissarosen on all platforms! For my grandpa, forever in the front row.
Rueby Wood is an actor, singer, and dancer who made his film debut as Nate in Disney+’s Better Nate Than Ever (2022). He also starred as Charlie in the first national Broadway tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2018-2019). Rueby’s background includes community and regional theater in and around his home in Central NY, where his roles include Michael Banks in Mary Poppins (Syracuse Stage, 2016-2017). Additionally, Rueby’s credits include voice work in a variety of digital media. In his free time, Rueby likes to write and edit short films.
Scott Putman is an Associate Professor of Dance & Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches contemporary movement practices in both ballet and modern in addition to the creative coursework for making dances. Putman brings a unique perspective to the work he shares within the curriculum through his work as the creator of the Elemental Body Alignment System© (EBAS). This re-education and structural integration technique informs all of the technical information he presents, as well as a focused exploration throughout the freshmen year for efficiency in functional mechanics. Scott is also the Artistic Director of Amaranth Arts creating special projects and collaborations to create sustainability through the art of dance. He has received awards for his work, including the distinguished Theresa Pollack Excellence in the Arts Award in Dance for his work with Amaranth, and the National Choreography Plan Award for exceptional choreography from RDA, Pacific. Putman received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine, where he was a Chancellor’s Fellow and William Gillespie Scholar., and his BA from Columbia College, Chicago.
Katherine Bell is a native of the Richmond area and was a part of music and dance while growing up. She earned her Bachelor’s in Child Life at East Carolina University and is currently working on her Master’s of Education in Counseling with a School Counseling concentration at The College of William and Mary. Katherine is working in a local high school in the School Counseling office as the Administrative Assistant and loving the hands-on experience she’s getting in the field. She is so excited to be a part of Arts Ignite Richmond as Scott’s Addition resident and a Broadway fan.
Chris Hester lives in Richmond and has gained notoriety as an actor and cabaret artist. He was last seen on the Richmond Triangle Player’s stage in his one-man show, “Nightmare on Altamont”. Chris has performed multiple times with Richmond Triangle Players, most memorably starring as the Emcee in “Cabaret” and Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz”. His last theater performance was the one-hander play “Every Brilliant Thing” by Duncan Macmillan. This December he will star in the regional premiere of James Hindman’s “Popcorn Falls”. Chris has been nominated by the Richmond Theater Critics Circle 6 times for his musical theatre performances. He received the 2016 award for Lead Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Peter Allen in “The Boy From Oz” and in 2017, he received the Ensemble Acting Award as part of the cast for “The Toxic Avenger”. Chris was voted by readers of Style Weekly as Best Local Actor in 2015 and Best Stage Performer in 2019 for its annual “Best Of Richmond” edition.
Richmond Triangle Player’s Robert B. Moss Theatre, is a 4000-square foot performing arts facility accommodating flexible seating arrangements for up to 90 patrons. A graceful lobby, which includes a generous bar, catering capability, and box office adjoins the theater, which features both traditional and cabaret-style seating. The building has fully ADA-compliant access, parking, and comfortable restrooms. Learn more here.