THANK YOU FINDLAY UNIVERSITY! Feb 17–21: SMILE THE MUSICAL. This Production by University of Findlay. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Thank you Findlay, OH!

THANK YOU FINDLAY UNIVERSITY! Feb 17–21: SMILE THE MUSICAL. This Production by University of Findlay. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Thank you Findlay, OH!

For the record: FINDLAY, OH: Something to Smile About: Beauty Pageant Intrigue Subject of Spring Musical

SMILE THE MUSICAL at Findlay Univ.

Happened: Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 17–21

The John & Hester Powell Grimm Theatre in the Frank J. Egner Center for the Performing Arts.



Smile The Musical:

Follows the fictional story of a beauty pageant via The University of Findlay’s production of “Smile: The Musical,” staged on Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 17–21, at the John & Hester Powell Grimm Theatre in the Frank J. Egner Center for the Performing Arts.

Because the performance featured mature themes and language, the University asked that attendees be at least 13 years old.


Next productions at Findlay U: Visit Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ Box Office, 200 W. Main Cross St., by calling 419–423-2787, and by visiting


The touching, satiric, and mature story of “SMILE: The Musical” follows the intrigue and exploits onstage and behind-the-scenes of the fictional California Young American Miss beauty pageant. The main characters include Robin Gibson and Doria Hudson, two contestants who befriend and help each other throughout the pageant week; Brenda DiCarlo Freelander, an ex-Young American Miss runner-up that is running the pageant; and Brenda’s husband, Big Bob, an RV Salesman trying to help his wife through the week.

Listen to the song DISNEYLAND from Smile, The Musical:

The original production of “SMILE: The Musical” opened on Broadway on Nov. 24, 1986 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and closed on January 3, 1987 after only 48 performances. It is loosely based on the 1975 original comic screenplay by Jerry Belson, whose television credits included “The Dick Van Dyke Show”; “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”; “The Odd Couple”; “The Drew Carey Show”; and many others.

The music is by Marvin Hamlisch, the Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning composer of the musicals “A Chorus Line,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “The Goodbye Girl,” “The Sweet Smell of Success”, as well as the movies “The Way We Were,” “Ice Castles,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Sting,” etc.

The book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman, the Golden Globe award-winning lyricist of “Little Shop of Horrors,” as well as Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Aladdin.”

SMILE: The Musical” originally was directed by Ashman with musical staging by Mary Kyte. It received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical as well as Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and Outstanding Costume Design.

The production team for the University of Findlay production of “SMILE: The Musical” included Dr. Micheal F. Anders, music director; Vicki McClurkin, stage director; Brenda Hoyt-Brackman, choreographer; and Dr. Carl Walling, scenic & lighting designer/technical director. Other members of the production team were Kelly Lewis, rehearsal accompanist, Kathy Newell, costumer; Jessica Leszkowicz, props mistress; J. J. Ladd, hair designer; Jeff Dean, sound designer; and Matt Stimmel, technical adviser/shop foreman. UF student Molly O’Reilly is stage manager, along with assistant stage managers Sarah Bornhurst and Anna Ritchy-Moore.


The musical production at Finlday University was accompanied by a 16-piece live orchestra.


The action of the University of Findlay production was moved from 1986 to the present, and there were many contemporary pop culture references that appeared throughout show.



(all are UF students unless otherwise noted – #UF Faculty/Staff)

smile debutant Musical at U of Findlay OH 2016

Pageant Contestants:

Robin Gibson, Antelope Valley: Allison Dilbone

Doria Hudson, Yuba City: Abigail Land

Sandra-Kay MacAffee, Bakersfield: Makenna Fox

Maria Gonzales, Salinas: Tabitha Kittle

Shawn Christianson, La Jolla: Meghan Lasher

Valerie Sherman, Sacramento: Jocelyn Wilson

Heidi Anderson, Anaheim: Lacey Gray

Patti-Lynn Bird, El Centro: Rebekah White

Debralee Davis, Eureka: Kyra Shober

Trudi Lee, San Francisco: Katherine Swank

Kimberly Lyons, Palo Alto: Maaya Ono

Gina Minelli, San Luis Obispo: Sarah Black (former UF student)

Diana Simpson, Sausalito: Isabel Wolke (Findlay High School student)

Connie-Sue Whipple, Visalia: Adrianna Powell

Cookie Wilson, Carson: Rachael Flood

Joanne Marshall, last year’s winner: Becca LaMancusa

Other Roles:

Brenda DiCarlo Freelander, runs the pageant: Cheri Hampton-Farmer#

Robert “Big Bob” Freelander, head pageant judge: Jeff Lee (UF ’86)

Tommy French, pageant choreographer: Donovan Callahan

Dale Wilson-Shears, pageant chairman: A.J. DuFresne#

Ted Farley, master of ceremonies: Brent Hoggatt

Carol Stewart, Brenda’s personal pageant assistant: Diana Montague#

Tony Craven, pageant volunteer: Matt Greer

Robin’s mom: Sharinda Welton#

Marlene Epstein, pageant judge: Sean Farmer#

Ed Springfield, pageant judge: Roger Fell#

Father David Murphy, pageant judge: Buzz Dyer#

Louise Richie, pageant volunteer: Rachel Coberley

Nannette Guzman, pageant volunteer: Jessica Flake

Dave Schultz, photographer/reporter: Jacob Sarver

Richard Miller, musical director: Michael Knight

Robert “Little Bob” Freelander, age 12: Jeremey Gobrogge (middle schooler, home school)

Freddy Sanders, age 11: CJ Miller (Findlay middle schooler)

Trudi’s mother (prologue): Elkie Burnside#

Heidi’s dad (prologue): Brent Hoggatt

Sandra-Kaye’s brother (prologue): CJ Miller


SOURCE: by Joy Shaw Jan 29, 2016

Read more about SMILE THE MUSICAL — (Broadway Musical)

See Pictures from Previous productions of SMILE THE MUSICAL

Get License for your next production of SMILE THE MUSICAL


Source: Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch