Based in Seattle, SHOWTUNES creates concert versions of rarely staged musicals, and is dedicated to the appreciation, preservation and advancement of musical theater.

Matt Wolfe, Artistic Director

Matt Wolfe is a veteran of an original Broadway cast, a national tour, two original cast recordings, five Broadway development productions and countless new works for music theatre. He leads a thriving career as a regional actor, director and theatre arts educator, while maintaining a successful on-camera and voice-over business.

Matt has directed professional productions of West Side Story, Man of La Mancha, and Legally Blonde as well as a fully-produced youth theatre production of Young Frankenstein. He served as an assistant director under Steve Tomkins (Village Theatre), and assisted Linda Hartzell (Seattle Children’s Theatre) on the world premiere of Mwindo in 2014.

Matt starred as “Cornelius” in the national tour of Hello Dolly! starring Sally Struthers, and made his Broadway debut in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, playing several roles in the ensemble and understudying George Hearn in his roles of “Brother Bob” and “James Kennedy.”

In addition to his passion for the SHOWTUNES mission of producing concert versions of the many unsung musicals, Matt is also committed to helping develop new musicals for the theatre. He has worked with the finest talent in Seattle as well as a long list of Tony Award-winning artists and legendary Broadway veterans including: Martin Charnin, Jack O’Brien, Jerry Mitchell, Casey Nicholaw, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Alan Menken, and Terrance McNally. His 5th Avenue Theatre credits include: Catch Me If You Can, A Christmas Story, Disney’s Aladdin and Saving Aimee. He is featured as “Santa” in the song “Up on Santa’s Lap” on the original cast recording of A Christmas Story. Matt’s Village Theatre credits include: The Music Man, 42nd Street, The Producers, Hello Dolly! and Tommy. As an actor in Village Theatre’s Festival of New Works he participated in readings and workshops for Iron Curtain, Chasing Nicolette, and Million Dollar Quartet. At Seattle Children’s Theatre, Matt helped develop Goodnight Moon and Richard Scarry’s Busytown and they are now performed for children all around the country. Matt holds a B.F.A. Magna Cum Laude in Music Theatre from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Maggie Stenson Pehrson, Executive Producer

Executive Producer Maggie Stenson Pehrson, a company founder, has guided the company’s lauded productions from the inaugural show at Seattle’s Town Hall, to celebrated seasons at Kirkland Performance Center, The Moore Theatre, at Benaroya Hall, and now in their added venue at ACT Theatre as an ACTLab company.  As a working Pacific Northwest actor, Maggie has also enjoyed diverse stage, TV, film, industrial, voiceover and vocal recording projects for over 25 years.

History

We formed SHOWTUNES in 1999 to create concert performances of the many unsung gems of the American musical theater. Company co-founders and co-Producing Artistic Directors were Maggie Stenson Pehrson and David Edward Hughes. Our inaugural production was a sold-out concert presentation of Anyone Can Whistle at Town Hall in January of 2000.

In subsequent years we presented concerts in a variety of venues, including Meany Hall, Meydenbauer Center and Village Theater. In 2005, SHOWTUNES began producing concerts at the Kirkland Performance Center, and we enjoyed four seasons there. Our audiences weren’t growing, however, and we had as many people coming from Seattle as we did from the Eastside.  It seemed time to move back to Seattle proper. In 2009, David retired from the organization, Maggie became Executive Producer, and Broadway veteran Martin Charnin joined SHOWTUNES as its first Artistic Director. The move to downtown Seattle became a reality when, in 2010, the company entered into a producing partnership with Broadway Across America and Seattle Theatre Group, and moved productions to The Moore Theatre.

In 2014 we made another move – this time to the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall.  Centrally located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the hall boasts a “not too big, not too small” stage size as well as audience capacity that seamlessly works for our concert productions.  In addition, accessible parking choices and a wealth of nearby restaurants sweetens the experience for our patrons.

At a September 2015 fundraising event, Martin turned the Artistic Director reins over to Matt Wolfe, saying, “I’ve been honored to be a part of SHOWTUNES’ grand and noble purpose for the past six years. However, I am now living and working in New York; what seems prudent is to have a hands-on Seattle-based artistic director continuing in my position. Maggie and I realized soon after Matt joined the board that he would be an ideal successor. He imbues the right amount of talent, dedication, and knowledge. His passion and energy are devout. I will happily remain on the board, and am only a call, text, email, or Skype away. The excitement around this season is palpable. I am confident that this organization has a bright future in Matt’s extremely capable hands.”

While continuing to produce concerts at Benaroya Hall,  last season saw us branch out to a second stage as we became an ACTLab Partner.

Our 2017-18 Season marks the company’s 18th, and we’re affectionally referring to this as the “Showtunes’ Coming-of-Age Party!”  This 18th season will be the year Showtunes builds a foundation for its “adulthood” and long life to come as a vital contributor to the Seattle Music Theatre community. We’re continuing our ACTLab Partnership, and are excited to present the northwest premiere of The Bridges of Madison County in the Allen Theater at ACT Theatre from October 27 to November 5th. We’re doubly excited that, for the first time, Showtunes will have a two-week run of a show! In March we’re back at Benaroya Hall and are producing The Boys From Syracuse the weekend of March 23 – 25 (with 4 performances). This concert is in association with Village Theatre, and is part of the city-wide “Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare” festivities coordinated by the 5th Avenue Theatre next spring.

SHOWTUNES is excited to continue to diversify our offerings while demonstrating our unparalleled devotion to this all-American art form. We do what we do “for the love of musicals!”