Welcome to the February edition of the NETworks newsletter!

Flat Stanley recently visited the companies of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the new 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables, Shrek The Musical, and Young Frankenstein The Musical. Click here to view the photos of Flat Stanley’s adventures on the road!

The national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast recently performed in Anchorage, Alaska! Click here read a review by the Anchorage Daily News.

Visit the Facebook page for Beauty and the Beast on tour to view photos of the company attending a movie screening of Beauty and the Beast in 3-D!

For tour dates and more information, please visit www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.

If you think you or someone you know has what it takes to star on stage as one of the most exciting young characters ever created, check out BEBilly.com to learn more about the audition process for the leading role of 'Billy.'

Don't miss the national tour of Billy Elliot the Musical, now playing at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through February 12. The tour makes stops in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida next.

For more cities and ticket information, please visit www.billyelliottour.com.

What a feeling! The national tour of Flashdance The Musical kicks off January 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Click here to read the announcement on Playbill.com.

For more tour information, please visit www.flashdancethemusical.com.

The Washington Post called the national touring production of La Cage aux Folles “vivacious and endearing.” Click here to read the complete review!

Also, don’t miss this great Metro Weekly piece featuring La Cage co-stars George Hamilton and Christopher Sieber!

For more tour information, please visit www.lacage.com.

The new 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables will perform in Buffalo, New York at the end of this month. Click here to watch a video shout-out from Max Quinlan, who plays Marius!

Les Misérables recently performed in Orlando, Florida. Click here to read a review by the Orlando Sentinel.

Visit www.lesmis.com for more information about Les Misérables.

NETworks Presentations’ national tour of Mary Poppins officially takes flight this week in Providence, Rhode Island! Click here to read a feature about the production’s preview period in North Charleston, South Carolina!

For more information, visit www.marypoppins.com.

Shrek The Musical roars around the country, the touring cast experienced a happy co-ink-y-dink. Shrek, Lukas Poost, and Fiona, Liz Shivener, played back to back hometowns. Liz is from the Columbus, Ohio area and Lukas is from just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Their local press had a field day feting the hometown heroes. Michael Grossberg, theatre writer for the Columbus Dispatch wrote:

“Reynoldsburg native Liz Shivener plays Fiona. “She’s a spitfire,” said Shivener, 24. “Fiona has a vision of the princess she is supposed to be but fails miserably. She can’t help but be herself - kooky and clumsy, but a beautiful soul.”

Shivener, a graduate of Reynoldsburg High School and Otterbein University, was cast after playing Belle in a recent national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In September, she began playing Fiona in the non-Equity tour of Shrek. (The tour uses paid actors who don’t belong to Actors’ Equity Association, the national union for stage actors.) “One of the skills I honed in school is physical comedy, and that lends itself so well to finding the humor in the princess,” Shivener said. “What’s challenging is adding the truth to the slapstick so that people laugh with you rather than at you.”

Tom Graham of the Scranton Times wrote in a Q&A style of Lukas:

How did you land the role of Shrek?

I graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in May, 2011. The school performed a senior showcase in New York in front of agents and directors, and one of the casting directors from NETworks, who’s producing this tour, saw me. They called me in, I did a couple rounds of auditions and here I am.

What do you enjoy most about playing Shrek?

Outside of actually doing the show, which is a blast, the fact that I’m touring is incredible. Until now I’ve never been past Chicago. I did the whole west coast. I’ve seen the ocean and I’ve seen the desert. It’s been a real incredible experience and I feel blessed to be here. The show itself is amazing. It’s a character I always enjoyed. When I originally heard they were making Shrek into a musical and I heard the music, I always knew I wanted the role.

Shrek The Musical opened in Rochester on January 31. The Rochester Broadway Theatre League invests a lot of time and energy in educational outreach. Six hundred urban middle school students creatively explored the theme I Am Who I Am! based on the positive messaging in the show. The program encouraged them to find out about themselves, their friends, learn about diversity, and most importantly how to accept themselves for who they are. The program is partially funded by a grant from The Broadway League.

Click here to watch a clip with NBC coverage of the program.

For more information, visit www.shrekthemusical.com.

Click here to watch a video of South Pacific cast member Shane Donovan performing “Younger Than Springtime” on ABC 15 in Tempe, Arizona!

Watch Hsin-Yu Liao, who plays the role of Liat in South Pacific, share stories from her audition and rehearsals for the tour!

For more information, visit www.southpacificontour.com.

In February, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will perform in Vancouver, British Columbia; Portland, Oregon; Kennewick, Washington; Seattle, Washington; and Eugene, Oregon. For tickets and more information, visit www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.
This month Billy Elliot The Musical performs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida! For tickets and more information, visit www.billyelliottour.com.*
In February, the national tour of Blue Man Group performs in Columbus, Ohio; Little Rock, Arkansas; Springfield, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; and Tyler, Texas! For tickets and more information, visit www.blueman.com.
This month, La Cage aux Folles plays in Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and Naples, Florida! For tour dates and more information, visit www.lacage.com.*
The new 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables performs in Tampa, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Syracuse, New York; and Buffalo, New York in February. For more information, visit www.lesmis.com.*
Mary Poppins will play in Providence, Rhode Island; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin this month! For more information, visit www.marypoppins.com.*
This month, Shrek The Musical will perform in Utica, New York; Waterbury, Connecticut; New London, Connecticut; Knoxville, Tennessee; Lexington, Kentucky; Easton, Pennsylvania; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan! For more information, visit www.shrekthemusical.com.
In February, South Pacific on tour will perform in Nashville, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; and Peoria, Illinois. For more information, visit www.southpacificontour.com.
This month, Young Frankenstein The Musical will play in Bellingham, Washington; Olympia, Washington; Rapid City, South Dakota; Fresno, California; San Luis Obispo, California; Modesto, California; Thousand Oaks, California; and Santa Barbara, California! For more information, visit www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com.
*The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association.

Elf The Musical Shrek The Musical Beauty and the Beast Billy Elliot Blue Man Group National Tour Mary Poppins War Horse Les Miserables South Pacific on Tour Young Frankenstein Networks Presentations, LLC Flashdance The Musical La Cage Aux Folles