Meet the Cast!

The Fireside auditions and hires professional singers, dancers and actors from all over the United States. Many come with Broadway and National Tour experience. All of them come with great talent and a passion for their craft.

Dan Embree (Host) is very pleased to be returning to The Fireside, which he thinks of as his “home away from home.”  Dan lives near Branson, Mo. where he has appeared in a number of Branson’s famous musical variety shows and theatrical productions, most recently as Mr. Potter in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE at the Silver Dollar City theme park.  Some of his Fireside credits include A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE, SWING ON A STAR and THOSE FABULOUS FIFTIES AND SIXTIES.

Steve Watts (Bandleader, Keyboards, Vocals) Fireside credits:  19 in all, including THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, 42nd STREET, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, DAMN YANKEES, and eight live band revues. New York:  MACBETH, HAMLET, and the world premiere of the original musical HURRICANE.  International: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan).  When I was 8 years old, my mother asked me if I would like to take piano lessons.  That question gave me a career.  It is to her memory that I dedicate this performance.

Bianca Denis is a graduate of SMU. “I’m so excited to be back in another band show!” Favorite credits include: HAIRSPRAY National Tour (Networks), HOW TO SUCCEED . . . (TBTS), LEGALLY BLONDE, VIVA VEGAS, HAIRSPRAY, (Fireside Theatre), A RATS MASS, REELING, (Hangar Theatre), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (DTC), INTIMATE APPAREL, FABULATION (SMU), AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (Fringe Festival), LOVER’S LAND (Horn Theatre). “All things are possible!” www.biancadenis.com

Ned Donovan is thrilled to make his Fireside Debut! Regional Credits: Merry-Go-Round Playhouse (MY FAIR LADY), Maine State Music Theatre (A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD), Ithaca Shakespeare Company (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, MACBETH), Hackmatack Playhouse (ALL SHOOK UP, BURT AND ME). Ned is also a fight director for stage and screen. "Love to my whole family, and all my wonderful friends!"  BFA Ithaca College. www.neddonovan.com

Maggie McDowell is thrilled to be returning to The Fireside where she was last seen as Serena in LEGALLY BLONDE. Recent credits: PINKALICIOUS! Off-Broadway and Doralee in 9 TO 5 at Theatre by the Sea. Other favorites: Janet van de Graaf in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Hope in URINETOWN, and Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Belmont University. Love to her family and friends for their continuous support, especially her husband, Stephen. www.maggiemcdowell.net

JT McKenzie is beyond excited and fortunate to be performing with such an incredible cast at The Fireside Theatre! Credits include: BLUESBIRD (Off-Broadway), 1776, HAIRSPRAY, WELCOME TO NEW YAWK and many other performing opportunities across the country. Much love and gratitude to friends and family. @JT_McK

Jonathan Mouton is a passionate and gifted artist from L.A.  Born into a musical family, he has worked hard to hone his own gifts with the help of his Mom who is a Gospel recording artist, vocal coach, and former Miss Black America.  Inspired by such artists as Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder, J's vocals are soulful and technical.  He loves Pop, R&B, and in addition to being a vocalist and songwriter, has several stage, film, and commercial credits. At just 21, he spent the last year in Osaka performing a lead role in Universal Studios Japan's live stage show of “Glee.”

Beth Mulkerron studied Musical Theatre at Cincinnati’s CCM and received her BFA from Florida State.  Stage highlights include the Off-Broadway musical REDHOOK, performing in concert with Davis Gaines, and locally at The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage, Skylight Music Theatre, and The Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret. Television and voiceover credits include Miller, GE, the WI Lottery and NBC. Beth has also appeared in independent films, and has enjoyed recording extensively for Hal Leonard.

Lindsey Powell is always delighted to be at The Fireside!  She hails from Raleigh, NC and spent last summer singing in Denali, Alaska!  Past Fireside credits: THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Liesl), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Chava), and 3 band shows.  Other favorite credits: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle) and LUCKY STIFF (Annabel).  BFA Musical Theatre, Otterbein University.  NC School of the Arts grad.  Many thanks to the Fireside family.  She is ecstatic to be playing the role of bride this spring.  Love to Joe!

Mathew Schwartz is so glad to be back at The Fireside where he has been seen recently in SCROOGE, HELLO DOLLY, LEGALLY BLONDE, HAIRSPRAY, VIVA VEGAS, and many more!  Elsewhere, some of his favorites include ANNIE (Rooster), SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Cosmo Brown), THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS - USA/Germany (Willy), and THRILL ME - SE Premiere (Nathan Leopold).  Thanks to Ed, Midge, Mare and the Klopcics for everything and also to his amazingly supportive family and friends!

Claude Cailliet (Trombone) grew up in Kenosha and spent 13 years in L.A. where he toured and recorded with such artists as Neil Young, U2, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and many others. Since moving to Madison in 1990, he founded and leads the group MadiSalsa, toured internationally for five years with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, TV performances with Neil Diamond on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as performances with Aretha Franklin, Peter Gabriel, Cheap Trick,  and Johnny Mathis. Claude is also Professor of Music at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County. 

Jim Doherty (Trumpet) is a  Madison area freelance musician who has vast experience in all style of music. He performs regularly with groups throughout the Midwest as both sideman and leader, most notably the Clyde Stubblefield Band, Janet Planet & the Urban World, the Main Line, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Chuck Howard, Dick Jurgens Orchestra, and most recently touring nationwide with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He is an active Classical musician, performing with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Madison Brass, and a leader of his own group the Bravo Brass Quintet. Jim studied trumpet at UW-Madison, Northwestern, and the Eastman School of Music in addition to studying jazz with the renowned tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.

Joe Gorman (Guitar) is a Milwaukee Guitarist who has been performing with a wide array of bands and projects over the last 25 years, ranging from country bands like the Phil Delta Group to Fusion bands such as Millennium and Street Life and many things in between.  He currently owns a studio, in which he records bands and does advertising production music for a wide range of clients.

Curt Hanrahan (Woodwinds) is Director of Jazz Studies at UW-Milwaukee.  As a freelance musician he has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Skylight Theatre, numerous Broadway productions and such artists as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Maureen McGovern, as well as with the Doc Severinson, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Dorsey, Nelson Riddle and Harry Connick Orchestras. Curt’s new jazz release on the blujazz label titled “Souljourner” also features Dave Wall and is available in the gift shop.

John Hibler (Woodwinds) enjoys a busy and varied performance career which includes radio and TV commercials, touring Broadway show pit orchestras, and performing as an extra with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. John was a member of the Melody Top Orchestra for 23 years, and plays on the soundtracks for Fireside productions. In 1999 the Brookfield East High School music department, under his leadership, won a  GRAMMY award for excellence in music education; and in 2009 he received  a Distinguished Alumnus Award from UW - Milwaukee.

Nick Moran (Bass) debuted in the Madison, WI music scene in 1993 while in 10th grade, and has continued to make music professionally ever since. He has performed and recorded with a diverse collection of internationally renowned acts, including Ben Sidran, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Clyde Stubblefield, David 'Fathead' Neuman (Ray Charles' sax player), Peruvian cajón ambassador Juan 'Cotito' Medrano (Susana Baca, Novalima), and hip hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc. Currently, Nick performs with MadiSalsa, dumate, and Phat Phunktion.

Dave Wall (Drums) The youngest of four children from a musical family in Green Bay, Dave grew up listening to jazz, big band swing, ‘70s fusion, and rock & roll.  After watching his father and older brothers play drums, Dave was hooked by age 10 and played his first gig at 13.  Later in his teens he studied with Carl Allen, Alan Dawson and Clyde Stubblefield.  Since then he has traveled across the U.S., Canada and Europe playing in a wide variety of bands including renowned composer/arranger John Harmon, world class vocalist Janet Planet and B3 artist Jack McDuff.  


  Coming Soon




 The Fireside Theatre, More to Love.
Celebrating Over 50 Years of Family Hospitality   Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin   800-477-9505