September 8 - October 15, 2023

The Cast

Cast Bios

B NOEL THOMAS* (Lola/Simon) (She/Her) is an award-winning performing artist and vocal coach, currently based in New York. Her versatile baritone-to-soprano voice has allowed her to be able to play roles that run the gamut of gender and vocal range. A selection of her credits includes ABC's American Idol Season 3, Theatre Forward 2021 Virtual Gala (Featuring Jason Robert Brown, Kate Baldwin, George Salazar, Anika Noni Rose & More), The Toxic Avenger (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award winner, Theatre Bay Area Award nominee), Sister Act (Deloris; Theatre Bay Area Award nominee) @BNoelThomas

SETH HANSON (Charlie Price) (He/Him) is excited to be making his Berkeley Playhouse debut in Kinky Boots! No stranger to the Bay Area, Seth was recently seen in Ray of Light Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening as Melchior. Other shows include Lucas in Addams Family at Landmark Musical Theater, Laurie in Little Women, and Flip in The Apple Tree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A New Mexico native, Seth has performed across the Albuquerque area in shows such as Newsies, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and All Is Calm. Seth is a senior at the Conservatory under Grammy-winning baritone, Matthew Worth.

GRACE MARGARET CRAIG (Nicola) (she/they) is a crossover artist specializing in both musical theatre and opera. She graduated from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music in May of 2023. Her recent theatre credits include Jo March in Little Women at SFCM, and Ensemble/Swing in Into the Woods with Mountain Play. Grace is a recipient of the Emerging Talent Award in the 2022 Lotte Lenya Competition. She is also a classically trained cellist and a mediocre barista. Grace would like to thank her parents and her friends for the constant support. She would also like to thank Monica for always sending her audition notices! IG: @gracecraaaig TikTok: @gracemargaretsoprano

NO'EAU KAHALEKULU (Lauren) is so excited to be in the factory with this incredible group of artists! Some credits include Little Mermaid (Berkeley Playhouse), Freaky Friday (Center Rep), The Descendants (Lucky Penny), and Matilda (CCMT). She would like to thank her mother for always supporting her and her friends for keeping the vibes immaculate. To see what future adventures await, follow her on IG: @noeaukahalekulu

DANNY COZART (Don) has been an active Bay Area Actor, Director & Musician for the past 20 years. This is Danny's 7th production at Berkeley Playhouse, after playing in the pit for Fun Home, Hairspray and Little Shop of Horrors, the cast of To Kill a Mockingbird and Directing Avenue Q and Urinetown (TBA winner) Danny would like to thank his family Marisa, Sawyer and Emery for all their love and support.

MAIA CAMPBELL (Pat) (she/her) is overjoyed to be returning to the Berkeley Playhouse stage after a brief hiatus following her roles in Fun Home (Medium Alison) and Matilda the Musical. Recently she has been seen in Spring Awakening (Martha) at Ray of Light Theater. Other favorite credits include Rent (Mimi) at Landmark Musical Theatre, and Legally Blonde (Elle Woods), Firebringer (Zazzalil), and Reefer Madness (Mary Lane) with the MIT Musical Theatre Guild. Instagram: @maiaic

ELENA RUGGIERO (Trish) (she/her) is beyond honored to be making her debut performance at Berkeley Playhouse in this beautiful story with such a talented cast! After a brief hiatus, she has made her way back to the stage and recently performed with Coastal Repertory Theatre as Nefariosa (Christmas in Oz),  Landmark Musical Theatre as Commissioner Doyle (Annie Warbucks) and Spindrift School of Performing Arts as Patti DiMarco (School of Rock). Elena is also a teaching artist and choreographer for young performers. She is so grateful to her family and friends for providing endless love and support! She dedicates this performance to AJ, Addie & Audriana: may they always have the freedom to be just who they are!

CJ SMITH (George) began acting in children’s theatre in his native Louisville, KY. He is delighted to return to Berkeley Playhouse where was last seen as Mr. Simmons in Memphis. He has performed widely in the Bay Area. Performances include the premieres of The Untamed Stage and Shocktoberfest 17: Pyramid of Freaks with The Thrillpeddlers, the Boxcar Theatre production of The Speakeasy, (95 performances), The Exonerated, 12 Angry Men, Dangerous Corner, and Glengarry Glen Ross. Most recently he was seen at Altarena Playhouse in The Meaning of Life. CJ would like to thank his greatest teacher and mentor, the late Jean Shelton, who took her final bow last year.

BILLY RAPHAEL (Mr. Price / Moishe / US George) most recently performed at Berkeley Playhouse as Friar Tuck in Becoming Robin Hood. Other Berkeley Playhouse credits include Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors; Alexandros in Mamma Mia; Uncle Henry / Guard in Wizard of Oz; Drake in Annie; Smee in Peter Pan; and George in Billy Elliot. Other Bay Area performances include Tall Brother in Drowsy Chaperone, Louie in Lost in Yonkers, Marvin in Bleacher Bums, and Wilson in Harvey at CCCT; Sir Toby in Twelfth Night and Chebutykin in Kill the Debbie Downers at Shotgun Players; Zeller in Sound of Music and Charlie Cowell in Music Man at CCMT; and Audrey II puppeteer in Ray of Light's Little Shop of Horrors. Billy would like to thank his Megan and Baby Rey Rey for all the love and support.

KYLE HERRERA (Simon Sr. / Locke / Delivery Man / Unhoused Man / US Charlie) is thrilled to be a part of Berkeley Playhouse’s production of Kinky Boots! Kyle is a fourth-year student studying Musical Theatre and Acting at CSUEB. Previous credits include Tri Valley Repertory Theatre’s production of Newsies as Davey, Sunnyside Production’s Trail to Oregon as the Father, Ray of Light’s production of Annie as Rooster, and Sunnyside Productions' production of Into the Woods Jr. as Jack. He would like to thank everyone who has ever supported him in his theatrical endeavors.

JARON LICLICAN (Harry / Crispin) (he/him) is a singer-songwriter from Oakland. He has previously participated in several productions throughout the Bay Area, including Redwood City Community Theatre's Mamma Mia as Sky, San Jose Children's Musical Theater's The Little Mermaid as Prince Eric, and Youth Musical Theatre Company's West Side Story as Bernardo. He has also performed in several revues with JB Presents. Additionally, Jaron has appeared on the The Voice (of the Philippines) and NBC’s The Sing-Off with his a cappella group SanFran6. It has been 4 years since he last set foot on stage for a full-on musical production (we have COVID to thank for that!), and is very thrilled to be back and to help build more Filipino representation in the theatre community. Huge houtout to his wife Noelle for encouraging him to get back into performing, his friends and family for the continuing support, and his son Jayce -- who is his absolute everything and the reason he stays passionate doing what he loves to do. Thank you Berkeley Playhouse for his first-ever opportunity to perform on your stage! Instagram: @jaronolic / Youtube:

JOSE GALLENTES (Richard Bailey / Paddington / US Harry) (He/Him) is excited to make his Berkeley Playhouse debut! Jose is back in the Bay after graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City.  He has performed in the Bay Area with Children’s Musical Theater San Jose, Hillbarn Theatre, and Pied Piper Players. Some of his favorite credits include: Shrek in Shrek the Musical, Usnavi in In the Heights, Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde, The Escapologist in Matilda, and Fred Casely in Chicago. Last summer, Jose originated the role of Kris in Come See About Me, a new musical created by Broadway alums, Donald Jones Jr. and Brandon Kelly at Cedar Point in Northeastern Ohio. @josegallentes

MARKAILA DYSON (Maggie / US Lauren) most recently appeared in Ray of Light’s production of Caroline or Change as Emmie Thibodeaux. Markaila grew up in San Francisco and was lucky enough to explore the various different avenues of theater within the city. Markaila received her theater training from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts’ Musical Theater Department and the San Francisco Arts Education Project. Outside of performing Markaila is currently training to be a dance and theater teacher for school aged children. This is Markaila’s first production with Berkeley Playhouse and she is eternally grateful for this opportunity and this cast. She thanks her family and friends for their endless love and support.

AUSTINE DE LOS SANTOS (Mutt / Hooligan / US Mr. Price / Richard Bailey) is a Bay Area raised, Pilipinx artist. They are grateful to be returning to Berkeley Playhouse for another great show. Along with the playhouse, Aus has also worked with The Peripatetic Players, Plethos Productions, and most recently, Masquers Playhouse. When they’re not on stage, Aus enjoys eating a sweet treat or dancing. They give their love to their friends and family for all the support and care. A big shout out to their ever encouraging and darling little brother, Arren Kyle. “Love you, bud.”

TOSCA MALTZMAN (Gemma Louise / US Trish) (she/her) is thrilled to return to Berkeley Playhouse with this amazing Kinky Boots cast! She recently appeared on the Berkeley Playhouse stage as Wren in Becoming Robin Hood, and previously in Hairspray. Tosca is a Bay Area native who graduated from Tulane University with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre and Digital Media Production. Past credits include: Olive in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Contra Costa Musical Theatre), Poopsie in The Pajama Game (42nd Street Moon), Lucy in Bright Star, Whatsername in American Idiot, Wednesday in Addams Family (Contra Costa Civic Theatre), and Ilse in Spring Awakening (Tulane University). Love to Marco & Sonnet and mom & dad.

WILL THOMPSON (Hooch / Hooligan) is thrilled to return to the Berkeley Playhouse stage! He’s been acting since early high school, and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop any time soon. He is a senior at Saint Mary’s College, where he majors in Theatre while making time for ultimate frisbee, Mario Party, and P.A. announcing for the college’s many sports teams. Prominent credits include Fun Home (Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy) at Berkeley Playhouse, as well as The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Simon) and Everybody (Chorus/Understanding) at Saint Mary’s College. He gives all the gratitude he can to the Berkeley Playhouse creative team, his family, and his friends.

SUMMER VANCE (Marge / Stage Manager / US Nicola) (she/her) is thrilled to be making her debut with Berkeley Playhouse! Recent credits include The Addams Family (Landmark Musical Theater), Shrek The Musical (Pied Piper Players), and Mamma Mia! (Redwood City Community Theater). Summer is currently pursuing her PhD at UC Berkeley in wildlife genetics and conservation. When she's not on stage or in lab, Summer can be found rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, or being a cat mom to her four rescued lab cats. Summer would like to thank her family for their unending support!

MILES MECKLING (Angel / US Lola) (He/Him) is overjoyed to return to Berkeley Playhouse for Kinky Boots. He is excited to debut Miz Hazel his Drag Persona and to help tell this story of love & acceptance during these times. Last seen on the Playhouse stage for In the Heights and Little Shop Of Horrors. Regional credits include 42nd Street Moon: The Scottsboro Boys  Sierra Rep: West Coast Premiere of Elvis the Musical, Center REP: A Christmas Carol, Woodminster Summer Musicals: On Your Feet, Sacramento Theatre Company: Mamma Mia, HMS Pinafore, Classic Theatre: The Gift of Magi. He thanks family and friends for the love and support. Follow his journey on Instagram @Leroi23

JESSE CORTEZ (Angel) (he/him) Jesse is gooped and gagged to be returning to the Berkeley Playhouse stage for this amazing production! Member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, he was last seen on this stage as Piraguero in In the Heights (Berkeley Playhouse). Other recent theater credits include The Producers (Hillbarn Theater), Assassins (Hillbarn Theater) and La Cage Aux Folles (Altarena Playhouse). He would like to thank his boyfriend, Timothy, for his support. Follow him on Tiktok/Instagram: @jessecortezmusic

MALCOLM KOZACHENKO-LEON (Angel / Dance Captain / US Simon Sr.) (he/him) is pleased to be returning to Berkeley Playhouse. Previously Malcolm was seen in the ensemble of "In The Heights" as well as the choreographer of "Addams Family" youth stage both being at Berkeley Playhouse. Other performance credits include: Ensemble/Dance Captain in "Tarzan" and Seaweed in "Hairspray"(Redlands Bowl). Some Choreographer credits are as followed but not limited to: In The Heights (Rialto Community players [Broadway world nomination]), The Wiz "Center Stage", American Idiot (Broadway world nomination). He’d like to thank his Husband and loved ones for all of the love and support they’ve shown. IG: @Pirwete_777

LOU COOPER (Angel) (they/them) is ecstatic to make their Berekely Playhouse debut with a show that combines some of their favorite things: drag, a whole lot of dancing, and good gay vibes! Their recent credits include Sam in The Day You Begin (Bay Area Children's Theatre) and Stew the Pirate in Life is a Cabernet (SPARC). They are also a choreographer and teaching artist with Pleasanton Youth Theater Company and their award-winning teen improv troop Creatures of Impulse. Additionally, Lou is in their senior year at Saint Mary’s College where they are a Dance Major. You can check them out on Instagram at @Superduperlcooper. They hope you enjoy the show!

KEENAN MORAN (Young Charlie) is a 6th grader at St. Perpetua School in Lafayette. He is thrilled to be making his second appearance with Berkeley Playhouse after playing Eric in Matilda last season. Other recent credits include Merrily We Roll Along (Frank Jr/42nd Street Moon), Newsies (Les/Tri- Valley Repertory Theatre) and Fun Home (John/42nd Street Moon). Keenan is a recent winner of the 2023 Lamorinda Idol vocal competition and can be seen playing Sam in the upcoming feature film No Address scheduled to hit theaters spring 2024. He would like to thank his family and his mom for teaching him so many theater skills. @keenanthomasmoran

JACKSON (JACK) RANNEY (Young Charlie) (he/him) is a sixth grader at King Middle school in Berkeley. He played Chiron in the Berkeley Playhouse Youthstage production of The Lightning Thief directed by Megan McGrath. He also played Cooper in the Berkeley Playhouse Afterschool performance of Becoming Robin Hood, in addition to other school and Berkeley Playhouse programs.  He loves acting, singing, and playing music. He also loves animals. He thanks his 5th grade teacher Robert Fredrick for his encouragement and after-school chorus lessons, and his drama teacher Mariah Castle and Berkeley Playhouse educators for helping him with his singing and acting skills.

TENZIN FORDER (Young Lola / Simon) has found a real passion for performing. Tenzin’s roles include Young Lola/Simon in Ray of Light Theater's production of Kinky Boots.  At Berkeley Playhouse Theater, Tenzin has played Gingy in Shrek the Musical, Bruce in Matilda, the Musical, the Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Little John in the first ever production of Becoming Robin Hood. He has just performed in Monty Python's Spamalot there this summer. Tenzin received great reviews in June as Danny Torrence in Opera Parallel’s The Shining.  When not performing or rehearsing, Tenzin likes to play D&D with their awesome friends and draw characters for their many imaginative stories

LILLITH ERA (Swing / Understudy) (she/they) is thrilled to be returning to Berkeley Playhouse in Kinky Boots! Berkeley Playhouse credits include Fun Home (US Alison and Joan.) Other local acting credits include Eurydice (Orpheus) at The Actor’s Space, Heroes of the Fourth Turning (US Emily and Theresa) at the San Francisco Playhouse, and Endlings (White Stage Manager) at Oakland Theatre Project. Lillith sends her love to her extraordinary friends, family, and partner. Instagram: @lillithera

SCOUT DEL REAL (Swing / Understudy) (he/him) is overjoyed to be back at Berkeley Playhouse after Becoming Robin Hood this past June. Scout has been performing his entire life, but is thrilled to be doing his first show as a swing! He’d like to dedicate this show to his fellow trans and gender non-conforming friends and colleagues, and especially his newfound drag family at Club 1220 in Walnut Creek. 

MATT DAVIS (US Don) was last seen on the Berkeley Playhouse stage as The Old Man in A Christmas Story The Musical. Other Berkeley Playhouse credits include Bill in Mamma Mia, Will Conklin/Henry Ford in Ragtime, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown, and King Triton in The Little Mermaid. Other favorite roles include Bank Manager in Once at 42nd St. Moon, Schlatko in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Top Shelf Theatre Co. and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Altarena Playhouse.

*Denotes member of Actor's Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.