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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Fiorello Cast/Crew Photos/Bios
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Phil Accogli is a Grade 8 teacher at St. Ursula School.  New to the stage in his adult life, Phil finds himself cast as a “really seedy man”.  Fiorello is a multicultural musical, Phil says;  “It’s Italian, it’s Jewish, it’s American… It’s AMAZING!”
Julie Adams is no stranger to the stage.  She is presently enrolled in the Theatre Arts Program at Seneca College.  Her past musical experiences have included Cabaret, Evita and Bye-Bye Birdie.  Julie has enjoyed rehearsing with the Staff Arts group and is looking forward to performing with “such skilled and energetic people”.
Edith Andler (Chorus)teaches at St. Dunstan School.  This year, she is a chorus member as well as one of the show’s producers.  Edith has a long history of theatre experiences.  A member of Staff Arts since 1990, she has performed in shows such as My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man and Damn Yankees.  Edith fell in love with the theatre as a performer with IBM Music Theatre and Spotlight Musical Productions.  While teaching in Australia, she also worked in a local musical theatre group.  Edith says, “Fiorello is an unknown but pleasant musical that can be enjoyed by all!”
Diane Arruda is a Grade one/two teacher with the T.C.D.S.B.  A rookie in the theatre scene, Diane is in the chorus of this year’s show.  She believes that a little dinner and taking in a musical is a great way to spend an evening.  Why not Fiorello?
 
Paul Aves (Chorus) is a retired principal who has enjoyed many years with Staff Arts.  He began singing in the Choir in 1972, and then moved on to play Perchik in the 1983 production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Since that time he has appeared in 15 other musicals, acting, singing and dancing in a variety of leading and supporting roles.  Paul says, “This year’s production of Fiorello is full of fun and life, and will provide an evening of enjoyment for the audience and cast alike!"
Raymond Azzopardi (Chorus) is a Child and Youth Worker at Holy Family School.  This is Raymond’s first time on stage in a musical, after performing with the Staff Arts Choir at Christmas 2001 and working on props for the 2002 Staff Arts Comedy The Odd Couple.  Normally a “behind the scenes” kind of guy, Raymond brings his talent as Mr. Lopez to this year’s production of Fiorello.       He believes that the show is “infectious and wonderful”!
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Wendy Baker (Dancer) is a Behaviour teacher at St. Paul School. A Staff Arts veteran, she has performed in Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees, and looks forward to playing the role of Nina in this year’s production.  Wendy says, “We will never be the same following the tragedies of September 11th.  In honour of the heroes of New York City, we dedicate our rehearsals and performances to those whose lives were tragically changed.  We count our blessings each day that we gather and celebrate our precious families and friends.”
Maria Bernardi (Dancer) is a Grade One/Two teacher at St. Paul School.  She returns to T.C.D.S.B. Staff Arts for her fourth show as a member of the chorus and dance group.  Maria’s other shows include Camelot, The Music Man and Crazy for You.  Maria wants you to “come and be a part of it… New York, New York!”
Anne Bolger  (Musical Director) is a Vocal Music Resource Teacher with the T.C.D.S.B.  No stranger to Staff Arts, Anne is the Musical Director for this year’s production of Fiorello.  With many musical experiences under her belt, Anne brings her light-hearted spirit and enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge to our rehearsals.  Anne says that “Fiorello is a fascinating look at early 20th century New York and the man who led the people of the city out of an oppressive, corrupt state.  It’s a story filled with interesting characters, great music (she would know!), good humour and inspiration!”
Dawn Burke (Dancer) is a Grade One teacher at St. Antoine Daniel School.  She began her involvement with Staff Arts four years ago as a member of the chorus in The Music Man and enjoyed dancing in Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  She returns as a dancer and chorus member in this year’s production.  Dawn encourages everyone to “come and see the energy and excitement of New York in Fiorello!”
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Jason Cannon (Mr. Lopez) is a Grade Two teacher at Holy Name School.  In his second year with Staff arts, Jason has also appeared in such productions as Biloxi Blues, Oliver, Mary Poppins, Our Town and The Seagull.  Jason believes that “traditional musicals rule!”  He says that Fiorello has “corruption, attitude, poker, politics and all things sordid… you’ll love it!”
Anthony Cavaiola (Neil) is a Grade Eight teacher at St. Joachim School.  He has a Drama in Education degree and is qualified to teach both Drama and Vocal Music.  He performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Gondoliers during high school and university.  Playing the role of Neil in Fiorello, Anthony has a superb voice and excellent footwork!  He is enjoying his debut with T.C.D.S.B. Staff Arts and encourages everyone to come out for a laugh!
Bob Carter (Set Producer) is a teacher-librarian at Cardinal Leger School.  He is this year’s Set Producer, having taken on this role for the Staff Arts productions of Crazy for You and Damn Yankees over the past two years.  This year he also ventured on-stage, to rave reviews, in the Staff Arts comedy The Odd Couple. Bob’s set constructions, past and present, have brought our shows to life.  Without Bob, there would be no show!
Jan Carter (Chorus) returns to Staff Arts as a member of the chorus in her fourth musical.  She has enjoyed singing and dancing her way through Camelot, The Music Man, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  According to Jan, “we are chock full of talent!   What a fitting year to pay tribute to New York City!”  Jan is a Grade Three teacher at St. Barbara School.
Mary Cerisano (Dancer) is a Grade Eight teacher with the T.C.D.S.B.   Her previous theatrical experience was as the prop mistress in the Staff Arts production of The Music Man.  Watching the fun unfold on stage brought Mary to this year’s auditions for Fiorello.  She believes that this show is a great family night out!
Paul Coady (Morris) is better known at rehearsals as “Moisha, Moisha, Moisha!”   Currently a Vice-Principal at Brebeuf College, Paul is proud to be in this year’s production of Fiorello.  His spirit, smile and positive energy light up the stage.  Paul sees this musical as “a high-energy, heart-stopping, social-consciousness-raising two hours (maybe a little longer)”.  Never mind that… come watch him dance!
Catherine Copeland (Chorus) works in Outdoor Education in the Community Living Programme.  She has performed as a member of the chorus in three previous Staff Arts Productions:  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls and Crazy for You.  Catherine recommends you come to see Fiorello to enjoy the great music!
Cathy Crispo (Chorus) is a Grade Six teacher at Father Serra School.  She performed with Italtheatre in Tutti a Tavola and joined Staff Arts in Damn Yankees in 2001.  This year she returns as an active member of the chorus.  She is also in the process of completing her Master’s Degree in Drama at the University of Toronto.  Cathy says that Fiorello is a “must-see production!”
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Leda DiMaria (Assistant Stage Manager) is a Grade 7 teacher at St. Aidan School.  She was a producer for this year’s Staff Arts production of The Odd Couple and is currently the Assistant Stage Manager for Fiorello.  In her years with Staff Arts, she has performed as a chorus member in Camelot, The Music Man and Crazy for You, as well as looking after ticket sales, costumes and publicity for several shows.  Leda says, “This is a feel-good show! It is a great escape from our everyday lives… Join in with the music and dance!”
Edie Di Pede (Pianist) is a Vocal Music teacher with the T.C.D.S.B.  Where would we be without Edie?  We would be “music-less” at all of our rehearsals and lacking the sweet sounds of the piano in the orchestra pit!  Edie’s fingers are magical…   She sometimes is required to play for four to five hours without a break!  Edie has been the pianist for many Staff Arts musicals, including Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  She has also directed many musicals at her schools.  A real gift in our lives, Edie says, “The music in Fiorello is great!  It is refreshing to play something that is new to us.”
Lisa Drago (Thea) is a Dramatic Arts teacher at Brebeuf College School. She has had extensive training in the Arts and has used her talents effectively in the Staff Choir as well as a number of Musicals including Joseph and Damn Yankees where she played the temptress Lola. Lisa is also working as a producer for Fiorello and sits as a member of the Board of Directors for Staff Arts. She is very much looking forward to her next major role which will take place in July.
Erika Dykes (Dancer) is a Grade Five/Six teacher at St. Florence School.  She returns to Staff Arts for her second year, having performed in last year’s production of Damn Yankees.  In Fiorello, she is a dancer and member of the chorus.  Erika says about this year’s musical: “It’s Yiddish, it’s Italian… it’s more multicultural than the United Nations!”
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Pat Elia (Fiorello La Guardia) has been a featured member of all three Staff arts performing groups for a number of years.  After a career of teaching vocal music with the T.C.D.S.B., Pat hopes to return to the professional stage this September.  His background includes drama training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, an apprentice contract with Toronto Workshop Productions and a two-year stint as music director of the Smile Company.  Pat’s film work has included television commercials and a short film (Sugar and Spice) directed by David Cronenberg.  On stage he has played leading roles in productions from The Odd Couple to Shadowlands. 
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Loretta Iaboni (Dancer) is a Grade Five teacher at Regina Mundi School in her second year with Staff Arts.  Last year she performed as an enthusiastic baseball fan/chorus member in Damn Yankees.  Loretta has always had a passion to sing and “dance, dance, dance!”  Now she has her chance…she is thrilled to be a dancer and member of the chorus in this production of Fiorello.
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Anne Johnston (Dancer) is a Biology teacher at Brebeuf College.  She brings her dress and design experience to Staff Arts as this year’s Costume Coordinator.  Anne has been a member of the chorus and dance group for Anything Goes, Carousel, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  This year once again she’ll be dancing up a storm in Fiorello.  Anne claims, “If you love New York, you’ll love Fiorello!”
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Gerry Keating Mr. (Zapatella) is a Grade Five teacher at Father Serra School.  A Staff Arts veteran; you may remember him as the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof or the “flasher” in Guys and Dolls.  He also performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Damn Yankees, and worked backstage in Crazy for You.  Gerry says that Fiorello is a love story in song and dance… a combination that’s hard to beat!
Norm Kelly (Chorus) has been involved with T.C.D.S.B. Staff Arts for 25 years.  He has a great deal of experience with set construction and technical theatre.  On stage, he has played many roles, both major and supporting, in musicals such as Damn Yankees, Crazy for You, The Music Man, and Guys and Dolls, to name just a few.  Norm has also spent 6 years working with the cabaret group Spotlight Music Productions.  Norm’s love of life and the stage keeps us all smiling.  He thinks that Fiorello is “the greatest musical nobody knows!”
Lucie Kipp (Mrs. Pomerantz) is the French Department Head at Francis Libermann High School.  She has performed in many previous Staff Arts productions, including Anything Goes, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, and Out of Sight, Out of Murder.  During rehearsals, Lucie is known to use her zany sense of humour to lighten the moods of intense artists at work.  She says that the production of Fiorello is filled with fabulous music…come and hear for yourself!
Diane Krotofil (Dancer) is a Special Education teacher with the Arrowsmith Learning Disability Programme.  This is her first time under the big lights!  Diane enjoys working with the cast of Fiorello, “an awesome group of unique and talented individuals”.  She invites you to come out and enjoy a terrific show!
George Komorowski (Floyd MacDuff) teaches at St. Marcellus School. George’s accomplishments include playing Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, Brannigan in Guys and Dolls, Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, Jonathan in Arsenic and Old Lace, and many other major roles with Arabeska Theatre. George has also been on stage with the Canadian Opera Company.  He believes that it’s the right time for Fiorello… “Greed, patronage, amalgamation, down-sizing, disinformation; Fiorello, we know you’re very smart but more than that, you’ve got a heart just like the angels.”
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Guy Leger (Set Construction) is a master carpenter who has been working on sets for a number of shows, both plays and musicals. Initially, he designed the lighting and operated the board for the very first show, A Friend is a Friend, in 1980. Guy now enjoys life as a retired Superintendent of the MSSB. Still, he gives of his time feely as he continues to support Staff Arts activities. In addition to carpentry, Guy is very knowledgeable in the field of computer technology, and has made comments and suggestions to help improve the newly constructed Staff Arts website  
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Joanne MacLean (Chorus) is a Vocal Music and E.S.L. teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School.  This is her third year with Staff Arts.  Her past theatrical experiences in Germany led her to both the Staff Arts Choir and musical productions.  Joanne was a member of the chorus in Crazy for You and Damn Yankees, and uses all she has learned through her participation to direct children’s musicals with her lucky students.  This year Joanne returns as a member of the chorus in Fiorello.  She says, “The music in Fiorello is great!  Join us for a terrific time!”
Cheryl Madeira (Mitzi) is a Science teacher at Marshall McLuhan Secondary School.  She is no stranger to musical theatre, having been a dancer and chorus member in Staff Arts productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Camelot and Crazy for You.  She believes that the story of Fiorello H. LaGuardia is topical, energetic and fun!
John Marrelli (Chorus) is the Head Caretaker at Father John Redmond High School.  He has been with Staff Arts for three years, as a member of the chorus in Crazy for You, Damn Yankees and now Fiorello.  In this year’s production, John has snagged a few one-liners, which he delivers with an incredible Italian accent!  He’s sure that when you’ve seen Fiorello once, you’ll want to see it again!
Pat McCarthy Pat McCarthy (Chorus) is in her second year with Staff Arts.  She appeared as a member of the chorus in the 2001 production of Damn Yankees.  Her theatrical experience also includes roles in Hayfever and On the Bridge at Midnight.  This year she is enjoying being a part of the chorus in Fiorello.  Pat, a Grade Two teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School, encourages everyone to come out and enjoy this little-known story about a mayor who championed the poor, performed by a multi-talented cast of T.C.D.S.B. employees!
Mary Jane McKeen (Reporter) is a Special Education teacher at Transfiguration School.  Over the past 12 years, she has performed in such Staff Arts productions as South Pacific, Carousel, Fiddler On the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  As our Staff Arts prayer leader, Mary Jane encourages you to leave your troubles and cares at home… Come out for an evening of music, dancing, fun and laughter.   A great musical!  Never heard of it?  Then come out and see; have we got a story for you!
Gerard Miceli (Chorus) is a Communication Facilitator at St. Raymond School.  This is his second year with Staff Arts.  Last year he was a member of the chorus and a ball player in Damn Yankees.  He also works hard behind the scenes, constructing and painting sets.  Gerard says, “In honour of the citizens of New York who lost their lives, we dedicate this musical to one of their greatest mayors, Fiorello LaGuardia.”
Carol Ann Miller (Stage Manager) is a Grade Six/Seven teacher at Precious Blood School.  She is in her second year as Stage Manager for the Staff Arts musical, having been the Assistant Stage Manager for Crazy for You, The Music Man and Camelot.  Carol-Anne has the important responsibility of energizing the cast and crew on show nights with her donations of ju-jubes and jellybeans.  Carol-Anne believes that in this year’s production of Fiorello, “ an all-star cast pays tribute to New York!”     
Mary Lou Mills (Chorus) is a principal with the T.C.D.S.B.  Now in her third year with Staff Arts, Mary-Lou grew up singing and dancing.  As a matter of fact, she paid her university tuition by teaching at a dance school in North York.  She was a member of the chorus in Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  She enjoys working with her staff members to bring positive musical experiences to her students.  Mary-Lou says, “Fiorello is a great night out!  This musical is sure to become one of your favourites!”
Marissa Montanari (Chorus) is a secretary at St. Marcellus School.  She is a member of the chorus in this year’s production.  This is her first time in the “big leagues”, although she admits that she does sing a mean psalm at church!  Marisa encourages everyone to come and “fly high with Fiorello!”
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Bernardine Nelligan  (Choreographer) is the Program Coordinator for the Arts with the T.C.D.S.B.  She has been involved with Staff Arts since 1983, when she joined the choir.  In 1984, she danced in Guys and Dolls and has been involved in the musicals ever since.  She became the choreographer for Mame in 1989.  With Fiorello, she is now choreographing her 14th musical.  Bernardine is pleased to be working with the wonderful cast and production team for Fiorello.  She is also thankful for the support from her husband and five children, which lets her stay involved in something she loves to do!
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Michele O’Dowd (Dancer) is a teacher at St. Michael School in her second year with Staff Arts.  In 2001, she performed as a member of the chorus in Damn Yankees.  This year you will enjoy her fancy footwork, as she is cast as a dancer and chorus member in Fiorello.  Michele says, “Fiorello is not a well-known musical, but it has something for everyone:  music, romance, dancing and even politics!  Come and see it!”
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Lou Paonessa (Director) teaches English among other things at Brebeuf College School and directs most of the school’s productions. Lou has sung in the Staff Choir and performed in a number of Musicals. Most notably he was Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls. ” Lou has also directed the mystery/comedy Out of Sight …Out of Murder and the Musical Damn Yankees. In addition to directing and performing, Lou sits as a member of the Board of Directors for Staff Arts. Lou is very impressed with the life of Fiorello La Guardia and looks forward to bringing his story to life on the stage
Mario Pinon (Chorus) is a teacher at St. Paul and St. Joseph Schools and has enjoyed many years with Staff Arts.  Perhaps you’ve seen him acting, singing and dancing up a storm in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Camelot, The Music Man or Crazy for You.  This year Mario is a member of the chorus in Fiorello.  He says, “It’s like a hamburger/kosher/pasta combo special… a real multicultural feast!” 
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Joanne Rice (Chorus) is a teacher-librarian at St, Nicholas of Bari School.  Her first time on stage, Joanne is a member of this year’s singing and dancing chorus.  She says that this year’s production of Fiorello is “timely, energetic and new!”
Jennifer Roe-Dorion (Dora) is a Grade Two/Three teacher at Holy Rosary School.  This is Jennifer’s third year with Staff Arts, having been a member of the chorus in The Music Man and playing Doris in Damn Yankees.  This year, Jennifer finds herself cast in the role of Dora following a very creative and interactive audition.  Jennifer encourages everyone to “come out for a fun-filled night of entertainment!”
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Matteo Santucci (Ben) is a Senior System Analyst with the T.C.D.S.B.  A man who has worn many hats in his years with Staff Arts, Matt enjoys working on stage as well as behind the scenes.  His debut was in Fiddler on the Roof in 1983, and he has not looked back since, performing in Staff Arts productions including Hello Dolly, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees and The Odd Couple, to name just a few.  Matt’s incredible stage presence and superb singing bring the character of Ben to life in Fiorello.
Brad Swanek (Chorus) is a Vice-Principal at St. Jane Frances School.  He has been with Staff Arts since 1983, and there is never a dull moment with Brad around!  He has performed in many musicals and comedies over the last 19 years, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, and Damn Yankees.  His knowledge of production, set construction and publicity all bring an enormous amount of experience to this year’s musical.
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Sandra Trott (Chorus) is a Senior Kindergarten teacher at St. Boniface School.  She has been an active chorus member in TCDSB Staff Arts productions since 1991, performing in South Pacific, Anything Goes, Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Camelot, The Music Man, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  Sandra strongly believes that “Fiorello is fantastic!”  Come and see for yourself!
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Linda Vachon (Executive Producer/Chorus) is a Special Education teacher at St. Boniface School.  Linda has worn a variety of hats in her years with Staff Arts; she has been the Costume Coordinator and the Executive Producer, as well as being an active member of the chorus in productions such as Anything Goes, Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, and Fiddler on the Roof, among others.  Linda has also assisted with plays and musicals at various schools, including Cardinal Leger and St. Maria Goretti.  Linda says, “The music, the plot, the cast, the sets, the costumes and the orchestra are all great!   Don’t miss Fiorello!”
Trish Vergata (Marie) is a Grade One teacher at St. Margaret School.  This is her sixth year with Staff Arts.  She enjoyed being a member of the chorus in Guys and Dolls and Camelot, before moving on to featured roles in The Music Man, Crazy for You and Damn Yankees.  This year Trish is cast as Marie, Fiorello’s loyal secretary who helps him to keep working “On the Side of the Angels”.  She invites you to come out for an evening of fun and great music!
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Mary Walker (Chorus) is a secretary at Notre Dame High School.  This is her first year on the stage.  A member of the chorus, Mary has always enjoyed singing and has been a part of the Staff Arts Choir for two years.  Mary says that this year’s production of Fiorello is full of fun and energy!