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, at ACT Theatre as an ACTLab company, and now to their new venue, the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center.  As a working Pacific Northwest actor, Maggie has enjoyed diverse stage, TV, film, industrial, voiceover and vocal recording projects for nearly 30 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 am confident that this organization has a bright future in Matt’s extremely capable hands.”

In addition to productions at Benaroya Hall,  in 2016 we branched out to a second stage as we became an ACTLab Partner for two seasons.

Our 2018-19 Season marks the company’s 19th year, with another venue change. This season we’ll be producing both of our shows at The Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, and each production will receive two weekends of performances.

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!”