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'Broadway' Returns to Chatham With Annual Show

Chatham native Carl Forsman brings professional performers to the local playhouse.

The Chatham Community Playhouse hosted performers from Keen Co., an off-Broadway theater company in New York City, for their annual benefit show, "Broadway in the Boro."

Former Artistic Director Carl Forsman, a Chatham native who had his first on-stage kiss in a local production of "The Music Man," brought some of Keen's performers to the Chatham Playhouse for the event.

Forsman left Keen in 2012 to become the dean of the North Carolina School of the Arts. The new artistic director at Keen, Jonathan Silverstein, hosted the benefit, along with Forsman and actor Matt Servitto.

The performers—Katie Donohue, Ryan Jesse, Sara King, Kat Nejat, Spencer PLachy and Hayley Treider—sang two songs each, accompanied on the piano by Logan Culwell. They also shared personal stories, some about their song selections, others about their history and experiences performing.

Nejat, for example, shared a story about her role as second understudy in "West Side Story" on Broadway. She is the only performer on Broadway to play both Maria and Anita on Broadway, and both times, she said, "was in the middle of a show."

After "West Side Story" closed, Nejat landed another Chita Rivera role—that of Rosie in "Bye Bye Birdie." She closed her performance with "Spanish Rose" from that show.


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