Cast & Creative Team

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IN THE MOOD tours with 19 performers and a 4 person production staff. Below is our current cast of singers/dancers, musicians, technical staff and the creative team. If you are interested in auditioning for a position with IN THE MOOD please click here.

IN THE MOOD Singers & Dancers

Emilie Bienne headshotEmilie Bienne (Vocalist) is thrilled to be returning to the cast of IN THE MOOD. She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in its Musical Theatre program and is a resident actor at the Flea Theater in New York City. Most recently, Emilie sang selections from Phantom of the Opera at Lincoln Center. Previous theater credits include Big Band Beat (Tokyo Disney) and Stage to Screen (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line). She is active in the music community and writes music, most recently with her band E Vex. Emilie would like to thank her friends and family for their love and support.

Sarah Lindsey head shot

Sarah Lindsey (Swing Dancer, Vocalist) is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre. She attended AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) and trained as a Singer/Dancer/Actor under a conservatory program. Sarah is pleased and beyond excited to make her National Tour debut with IN THE MOOD. To go back into the 1930s and 40s is such a treat and she is grateful to share this experience with all involved! Past credits include traveling the world on AIDA Cruises, where she was a Dancer/ Singer for 2 years. Sarah would like to thank the IN THE MOOD team for this wonderful opportunity and is ready for the amazing journey ahead!

Daniel FuentesDaniel Fuentes (Vocalist) is originally from South Florida and is based out of the Atlanta and Chicago areas. He received his BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Florida. This is Daniel’s second time touring and is excited to return to the IN THE MOOD family once again. When Daniel is not on tour you may find him playing soccer, recording music or cooking a mean fettuccine. If none of the above apply, then he is probably somewhere auditioning for the role of Alexander Hamilton. He thanks his high school teacher, Lori Sessions, for making him take a leap of faith all those years ago.

Alex Markowitz

Alex Markowitz (Vocalist, Narrator) is thrilled to be rejoining his IN THE MOOD family for one last hurrah! He just recently wrapped up a new project in New York, entitled Yosef, The Musical!Cinderella at the Players Theatre in Greenwich Village, Lt. Joe Cable in South Pacific at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, Curly in Oklahoma! at the Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre, and Danny Zuko in Crane River Theatre’s production of Grease. As always, he would like to thank his friends and family for their constant love and support. In this period of disunity, the arts are more important than ever. Keep supporting and enjoy the show, it’s the bees knees!

Laura LaCara Headshot

Laura LaCara(Vocalist) is thrilled to be back on tour with IN THE MOOD . She is originally from Huntington, WV and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Wright State University. Laura has worked regionally across the U.S. as well as around the world. Favorite past credits including singing at Greenbrier Resort, My Fair Lady and The World Goes Round at the Broward Stage Door Theater, and Hello Dolly and Sweeney Todd at WSU. She most recently returned from sailing the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean as lead soloist for AIDA Cruise Lines. When she isn’t travelling, Laura lives in New York. Big love and thanks to her family for their support and the IN THE MOOD team for this opportunity.

Brian Bandura Headshot

Brian Bandura(Swing Dancer, Vocalist) is thrilled to join the IN THE MOOD tour! He is a proud Chicago native with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from Indiana University. Most recently he was seen performing around the world as a principle singer with Norwegian Creative Studios. A few of his favorite regional credits include: 42nd Street (Andy Lee), The Little Mermaid (Jetsam), and Into the Woods (Wolf). Brian would like to thank Bud Forrest and Alex Sanchez for this amazing opportunity! He wouldn’t be where he is today without the unyielding love and support from his incredible family. This goes out to Mom, Dad, Thomas and Nick. Love you guys!

String of Pearls Orchestra

Bud Forrest

Bud Forrest (Music Director and Pianist) is a former Juilliard student who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and did graduate work in music at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He was accompanist to the world famous “Singing Sergeants”, the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Throughout his thirty years in Washington, DC he had been pianist for events at many of Washington, DC’s political events including performances at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, Bud was a pianist for touring Broadway shows appearing in the Washington, DC area. In 1993, World USO selected IN THE MOOD to be an official entertainment for the 50th Commemoration of World War II. From 1994 to 2017 this show has traveled to over 48 states (Alaska and Vermont here we come!), Canada, Europe, New Zealand and three times to Australia for over 80 sold-out performances. In 1997, Bud and his String of Pearls Orchestra were featured at an Inaugural Ball for President and Mrs. Clinton. Now celebrating the 24th year of touring, Bud and IN THE MOOD are looking forward to many more years of bringing the best decade of 20th century American popular music—the 1940s and the Big Band era to fans worldwide.

Bill Repavich headshot

Bill Repavich (Drums) is a freelance percussionist who dreams of making records and having the opportunity to use music to travel the world. He completed his BM in Percussion Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with Dr. Alison Shaw and his MM in Jazz Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma with Mr. David Hardman. He has served as an adjunct instructor for both Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma and has been a guest clinician at several other universities. He can be found regularly in Oklahoma City and Tulsa performing in a wide variety of musical settings including jazz clubs, popular dance, orchestra, and musical theatre. After filling in for the wonderful Tom Dupin in the 2016 tour of Australia, Bill is excited to carry on the great tradition that is IN THE MOOD.

Stephen Schultz

Stephen Schultz (Bass) is a versatile bassist and guitarist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Stephen studied music performance at Northeastern State University, and Transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma where he became involved with the jazz program and local music scene. Stephen has had the opportunity to perform with many jazz greats including Terrell Stafford, Bob Mintzer, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer, Vince DiMartino, and others. Stephen is thrilled to be traveling and playing with IN THE MOOD.

Christian Ortiz

Christian Ortiz (Lead Alto Saxophone) is thrilled to be joining the String of Pearls Orchestra and the rest of the IN THE MOOD cast! Originally from Walnut Creek, CA, Christian studied saxophone, clarinet, and flute with accomplished Stan Kenton alum, Mary Fettig, who taught him the value of learning each instrument as if it were his primary one. From 2011-2015, Christian continued his education at the University of North Texas where he studied saxophone with Brad Leali. While at UNT, he recorded on an album with the renowned Two O’ Clock Lab Band and on two Downbeat Award winning albums with the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Christian has toured in Europe, performing at the North Sea, Montreaux, and Umbria Jazz Festivals among others, and has performed and recorded recently with jazz greats James Morrison, Jon Faddis, and Bob McChesney. He is currently based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, and would like to thank all his friends there for making this opportunity possible.

Gene ThorneGene Thorne (Alto Saxophone) is a former member of the sax section, arranger and featured soloist with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors from 1975 to 2009. He attended the University of Miami from 1972-1975, later earning his Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Catholic University in 1984 and a Master of Music in composition from the University of Maryland in 1995. Gene has written arrangements that featured jazz great Phil Woods as well as pops arrangements that have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the New York Pops and the Seattle Symphony conducted by the late Marvin Hamlish. He is now active as a clinician and freelance musician in the Baltimore, MD – Washington, DC area as well as many many years with IN THE MOOD.

John DeSalme, Baritone SaxJohn DeSalme (Tenor Saxophone) is an alumnus of the University of Iowa. From 1974-1981, he played in rock, pop, polka and swing bands in the SE Iowa area. In 1981, he became a member of the Jazz Ambassadors, the United States Army’s premier touring jazz ensemble. In 1988 he won the audition for the prestigious Army Blues, the official jazz ensemble of the United States Army based in Washington, D.C., from which he retired in 2012. John toured the Middle East in a USO show in 2002. He was also a member of a newly formed component called Swamp Romp, a Dixieland/traditional jazz ensemble, which traveled to New Orleans to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity and played concerts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has played and recorded with D.C. Wammie award winning artists including Jon Carroll, Tom Principato, and the Texas Chainsaw Horns. He was a regular performer for 6 years with the D.C. area Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. John has been a part of the ongoing education-based Hal Leonard Play Along instructional series recording project. He has been fortunate to have played with many jazz and pop luminaries including Tony Bennett, Slide Hampton, Frankie Valli, and The Temptations.

Noah Vece Headshot

Noah Vece(Baritone Saxophone) is happy to be joining the Winter/Spring 2018 tour of IN THE MOOD! Noah graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2011 and has been an active freelance musician in the Atlanta area ever since. Noah studied saxophone, flute, and clarinet with renowned artists such as Sam Skelton, Dan Higgins, and Tony Carere among many others. His experience playing a wide range of instruments has made him an in-demand musician in the Atlanta theatre scene, with over 25 Broadway musical credits to his name since 2014. Noah has traveled the world performing with Royal Caribbean Cruises, and is thrilled to be on tour with the String of Pearls Orchestra!

David WislerDavid Wisler (Trumpet) has always appreciated the importance of music in his life. The son of a piano and voice teacher, he started music lessons at age 3, and by 5 was studying the trumpet. At age 13, he started playing in jazz bands and orchestras and has been doing so ever since. Always striving for excellence, Dave has become an excellent performer in solo, orchestral, jazz, and commercial idioms. Over the years, Dave has performed and recorded with such artists as: Wayne Newton, Dianne Schur, Marvin Hamlisch, Misha Dichter, Byron Stripling, Wycliff Gordon, Frank Mantooth, Sandi Patty, and Ray Boltz. With extensive performances across the U.S., Dave has also played throughout Europe, including the Montreaux and North Sea jazz festivals. Dave has a BA from Anderson University (1995), an MM from Bowling Green State University (1999), and has completed all course work toward a Doctor of Arts from Ball State University.

Eric TrevinoEric Trevino (Trumpet) is originally from Temple, Texas. He attended the University of North Texas from 2012-2015 where he played Jazz Trumpet in the esteemed Two O’ Clock Lab Band. While at the University of North Texas, Eric had the privilege of studying trumpet with Michael Steinel and Rodney Booth. He has been in regular demand as a Lead and Jazz trumpet player for Big Bands and Latin bands in the DFW area. In addition Eric has recorded with Jazz greats Jon Faddis, Dave Stahl, Brian MacDonald, Steve Reid, and Paul Stephens, and has performed with Latin greats Frankie Negron and Mala Fe. This is Eric’s second season with IN THE MOOD.

Scott Whitford, TrumpetScott Whitford (Trumpet) is excited to return for another season with IN THE MOOD. Hailing from Indiana, Scott is a graduate of Ball State University where he played lead trumpet in the esteemed BSU Lab Jazz Ensemble. While at Ball State, Scott had the privilege of studying under Larry McWilliams, of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and Mark Buselli. Scott is in high demand as a trumpet player and clinician throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was a featured performer at Busch Gardens Europe and has worked throughout the world aboard Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise lines as a lead trumpet player and musical director. Scott has performed with numerous groups including the Heartland Big Band from Indianapolis, Global Jazz Orchestra in Osaka, Japan, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra in San Francisco, The Rat Pack, Reunited, and many others. Scott wishes to thank his beautiful fiancé, Heather Beck, for her love and support.

Joakim Toftgaard headshotJoakim Toftgaard (Trombone) is from Stockholm, Sweden currently living in Denton, TX and is an active performer, studio musician, arranger, and educator in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. As a founding member of the group Dallas Horns, Joakim spends his time in the studio, arranging and recording music in a variety of genres including the 2016 Dallas Horns album Christmas. During 2016 and 2017, he was the youngest member on the jazz faculty at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he taught jazz trombone, brass pedagogy, and directed the UTA jazz trombone ensemble. In recent years, he backed a number of prominent musicians including Bobby McFerrin, Patti LaBelle, Ranjit Barot, Louiz Banks, Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Greene, Denis DiBlasio, Billy Harper, Chuck Findley, Don Chelton, Doc Severinsen, Marvin Stamm, Wycliffe Gordon, Andy Martin, Michael Dease, and Tom ‘Bones’ Malone. Joakim earned an undergraduate degree from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas where he enjoyed a two-year residency with the One O’Clock Lab Band. He is featured as a soloist on albums Lab 2014, and Grammy-nominated Lab 2015. Joakim also directed two of the school’s big bands and taught jazz trombone classes. Joakim is very pleased to be with the IN THE MOOD tour for the first time.

Jonathan Dowd headshotJonathan Dowd (Trombone) is from the Long Island, New York area. This is his debut tour with IN THE MOOD and he could not be more excited for the experience. Jonathan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Music Performance from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. Afterwards, he attended the University of North Texas where he went on to receive his Master’s of Music Degree in Trombone Performance under the tutelage of Tony Baker. While at North Texas, Jonathan has had the opportunity to be part of the Trombone Consortium and the highly regarded Two O’Clock Lab Band. He can be heard on the band’s latest album Two More Twice. When Jonathan is not on tour with IN THE MOOD

Matthew SolisMatthew Solis (Bass Trombone) is in his debut tour with IN THE MOOD. Originally from the North Texas area, Matt has a BM in euphonium performance and is pursuing a MM in bass trombone performance from the University of North Texas. A versatile musician, Matt has played with a wide range of ensembles during his time in school, playing with the Two O’Clock Lab Band directed by Rodney Booth, the Wind Symphony under Eugene Migliaro Corporon, and the Symphony Orchestra under Maestro David Itkin. Matt is also an alumnus of the Disneyland All-American College Band, directed by Ron McCurdy. His primary teachers include Jan Kagarice of Musician’s Wellness of North America, and Dr. Brian Bowman, professor of euphonium at the University of North Texas.

Production Team

Michael Barahura (Lighting Director) is excited to make his touring debut with IN THE MOOD. Previously, he has served as an electrician for the Ogunquit Playhouse, Royal Caribbean, SeaWorld San Diego, numerous theatre companies, and production rental houses. Recent lighting design credits include the world premieres of The Color of Light (Vantage Theatre) and Hope (Talent to aMuse), Avenue Q (Aubrey Award, Coronado Playhouse), The Gin Game (Aldea Award, OnStage Playhouse). Much love to the family in Sandy Eggo, especially the siblings.

John Nocera (Sound Engineer) is originally from Providence, RI, and now resides in Connecticut. He has 29 years of international touring as a freelance engineer. Most recently John has toured with Nuclear Cowboyz and Disney on Ice. This is his third tour with IN THE MOOD and is excited to be a part of this experience.

Kristin Ginther(Wardrobe Supervisor) has been working in theatrical wardrobe for seven years and recently moved back home to the Midwest after living and working in Seattle. She has had the privilege of taking care of costumes in a broad range of productions from the circus to musical theater and everything in between. One of her more memorable wardrobe experiences was the summer working at the Santa Fe Opera where she’s certain that she’ll never forget the incredible sunsets! Kristin is excited to be on her first tour with IN THE MOOD and the many travels ahead with a fantastic cast and crew.

Creative Team

Bud Forrest (Creator and Executive Producer) is a former Juilliard student who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and did graduate work in music at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.. He was accompanist to the world famous “Singing Sergeants,” the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Throughout his thirty years in Washington, D.C. he had been pianist for events at many of Washington, D.C.’s political events including performances at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, Bud was a pianist for touring Broadway shows appearing in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1993, World USO selected IN THE MOOD to be an official entertainment for the 50th Commemoration of World War II. From 1994 to 2015, IN THE MOOD has traveled to over 48 states (Alaska and Vermont here we come!), Canada, Europe, New Zealand and three times to Australia for over 80 sold-out performances. In 1997, Bud and his String of Pearls Orchestra were featured at an Inaugural Ball for President and Mrs. Clinton. Now celebrating the 25th year of touring, Bud and IN THE MOOD are looking forward to many more years of bringing the best decade of 20th century American popular music—the 1940s—and the Big Band era to fans worldwide.

Alex Sanchez (Stage Director and Choreographer) is pleased to serve in his eighth season as director/choreographer of IN THE MOOD. New York credits: Red Eye of Love , Amas Musical Theater/Dicapo Theater(Joseph Callaway Award Winner Best Choreography). Far From Heaven, Playwrights Horizon, Fiorello, New York City Center Encores! Where’s Charley?, New York City Center Encores. Giant, The Public Theater (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination). Regional credits: Directed and choreographed Evita, The Marriott Theater. Choreographed Wonderful Town, The Goodman Theater, West Side Story, The PaperMill Playhouse, Guys and Dolls, Goodspeed Opera House (Connecticut Critic Circle Award Nomination). Far From Heaven, Williamstown Theater Festival, Roman Holiday, Guthrie Theater, 42nd Street, Stratford Shakespeare Festival,(Broadway World Toronto 2012 Award Winner). Giant, Dallas Theater Center, Follies, Chicago Shakespeare Theater,(Broadway World Chicago 2011 Award Winner & Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination), On the Town, Marriott Theater (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination). A Little Night Music, Berkshire Theater Group. Camelot, Glimmerglass Opera, Aladdin, St. Louis Muny, The Little Mermaid, St. Louis Muny & Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Mary Poppins, St. Louis Muny, Kansas City Starlight & Marriott Theater, Beauty and the Beast , Alabama Shakespeare Festival. SDC Dancebreak Alumni. Alex performed in 10 Broadway shows and was a soloist ballet dancer with Ballet Chicago. A special thank you to Lainie Sakakura, Avelina and Isabela Sanchez for being my inspiration, love and support. Website:

Vic Schoen (Arranger) was an icon of Hollywood. It is impossible to list all his credits but they do include being the arranger/conductor for over 20 years for the Andrews Sisters. He was music director for Paramount and Universal Pictures. Vic scored Road to Morocco with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and The Inspector General and The Court Jester with Danny Kaye.  Television specials include those of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Andy Williams, Ethel Merman, Shirley MacLaine, Perry Como, Maurice Chevalier and Pat Boone. He was the arranger/conductor for the Dinah Shore television series for 3 years. Vic arranged/conducted all of Patti Page’s hit recordings. Other collaborations include Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jolson, Dick Haymes, Betty Hutton, Carmen Miranda, Mel Torme and Eddie Fisher. He was an arranger for many of the famous big bands including Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Les Brown. A number of the music arrangements for IN THE MOOD are from the pen of Vic and we are very proud to carry on his great tradition as we dedicate each performance to his memory.

David Bandman (Arranger) a native of Waukegan, IL, David is a graduate of The University of North Texas where he played trombone in the premier One O’Clock Lab Band. As a euphonium player he was the winner of the first ITEC (then TUBA) international jazz euphonium competition. David is a composer/arranger for the Big Apple Circus in New York City and for the world traveled IN THE MOOD. He has written dozens of big band charts that are being played in high schools and colleges all over the country. David is retired from The United States Air Force Band, Washington D.C. where he played trombone and euphonium and is now a freelance musician, writer and teacher. He has recently released his first highly acclaimed jazz euphonium CD Can I Play Too where he arranged the music of Herbert L. Clarke arranged for big band and available at “Solo work reflects musicianship by one of the greatest soloists I’ve ever heard!…tailored arrangements made everything “fit” perfectly and are superb”…Sammy Nestico.

Linda Tomlin (Costume Designer) has worked with IN THE MOOD since 2000. Through the lens of historic materials and early Vogue publications, she has brought the memory of the 1930s and 1940s to the show. Originally from New England, Linda has spent most of her life in California. Currently residing in Virginia, she is wife to Bud Forrest, creator of IN THE MOOD. Linda’s passion for design includes costumes, period textiles, restoration and conservation, fine linen, and needlework. She is president of her own company, Details In Design, LLC, specializing in fine hand embroidered linens for churches and the home décor industry as well as hand embroidered monograms. Linda is also the director of the Williamsburg School of Needlework dedicated to teaching hand embroidery to help students start their own businesses throughout the U.S.

Jeff Greenberg (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer for theatre, dance and opera. His recent credits include Grease at the Eldorado Hotel/Casino in Reno, NV; the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story; Man of La Mancha starring John Davidson, Titanic the Musical and Nunset Boulevard at the Ocean Professional Theatre Company. He also designed the 100th Anniversary national tour of Titanic the Musical for Boebe Productions and Windwood Theatricals which toured the U.S. and Canada during the fall of 2012. Other credits include the world premier of Starry Messenger, and Questions About Angels at Theater for the New City; The Sea Gull at Montclair State University; On Your Toes, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ragtime, Lady Be Good, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Stand By Your Man, It’s Only a Play, Dial M for Murder, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Surflight Theatre; The Odd Couple, Clue the Musical, and Oklahoma at the Allenberry Playhouse; and the world premier musical A Girl Called Dusty at the Provincetown Repertory Theatre. Other theatres where he has designed include Blue Heron Performing Arts Center, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey; New Jersey Repertory Company; 12 Miles West, the Penobscot Theatre Company, and Lake George Opera. From 2004-2007 Jeff was the lighting designer and production manager for the international tour of IN THE MOOD, a 1940s musical revue, and prior to that he was the Lighting Supervisor with the American Indian Dance Theatre. In 2005, Jeff was nominated for a Vivian Robinson/Audelco award for outstanding lighting design for his production of Robeson in New York. His lighting for The Brothers Karamazov received the Newark Star Ledger’s Best Lighting award for the 2002-2003 New Jersey theatre season. He has an MFA in Lighting Design from Brandeis University, and a BFA in Technical Theatre from Ithaca College.

Casting Consultant:

Arnold J. Mungioli, CSA

Bow Ties obtained from

Some of the vintage women’s shoes obtained from

Women’s pants and swing dance outfits obtained from