Meet the Cast - Hits! The Musical


JJ Carandang


JJ is a multi-talented, well-rounded, 11-year-old boy with a deep passion for dancing, singing, acting, and modeling. He started his career at the young age of 6, thanks to Rage Complex for discovering his talent in dancing. His dance repertoire includes hip-hop, breakdance, tumbling, and freestyle. JJ has had many accomplishments at such a young age. He was chosen to be a NBA Kid Clippers dancer at the age of 7 (the team’s youngest dancer then) and stayed with the team for 4 years. He is currently a dancer for the WNBA LA Sparks. He also appeared in numerous national TV commercials and other media platforms for Old Navy, Gap, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Mattel. He also appeared in music videos with famous artists Travis Scott, Rosalia, and Kidzbop. Playing basketball is also one of his many talents. He plays as a point guard and looks up to Stephen Curry as his basketball guru. Meanwhile, his musical prowess is inspired by Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson. Despite his busy schedule, JJ also manages to stay on top of his schooling. Math is his favorite subject. JJ is a humble, kind-hearted, loving, hardworking young lad. He comes from a tight-knit Filipino family who loves to travel. With his grit, passion, talent, work ethic, and supportive family, JJ is set to achieve his dreams and he is proud to represent his Filipino heritage along the way. He is an epitome of a boy who dreamed big and worked hard to achieve his dreams. JJs dream is to be an Engineer and a professional basketball player.

Karsen Taylor

Karsen Taylor hails from Louisville, KY. She is in the 5th grade in the advanced program at her school. She has been singing since she was 3 years old. Her favorite singer is Michael Jackson. Her favorite sport is Cheerleading. She was a flyer on a National Championship cheer team. Her favorite TV show is Cheer seasons 1&2. Her dog’s name is Mocha; she is the cutest poodle. She has a big sister in the 9th grade that plays Basketball ball. Karsen’s dream is to become an actress and singer and to have her own TV show one day when she grows up.

Nella Hilden


Nella, 11, lives in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. Nella started singing and acting as a young child through her local high school. More recently, Nella started performing at SALT Performing Arts, a nearby community theater. Her favorite roles include Molly (Annie), Young Fiona/Baby Bear (Shrek), and Gomez (Addams Family, School Edition). In 2021, Nella was runner up in The Star, a local singing competition. Nella loves to spend time with her two dogs, Cooper and Beatrice, as well as her hamster, Finn. She also loves to watch old episodes of Glee for inspiration. Nella’s dream is to star on Broadway some day!

Mia Leberknight

Mia is a 13 year old singer born and raised in NJ.  She is thrilled to be joining the amazing cast of the Hits Musical on her first national tour. Mia’s passion is performing on stage and sharing her love of music with others. When she was 9, she performed in an acapella group opening for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall NYC and fell in love with Broadway. She followed with several local musical theater productions (Seussical, Shrek Jr.).
Mia is a lead singer and plays the keyboard for a rock band, performing live shows at notable stages in NY and NJ. She plays the piano and loves to compose classical and pop songs.  She’s also a trained dancer and appeared in KidzBop music videos and professional ballet company productions.
When not on stage, Mia likes to travel and meet new friends, explore different cultures and languages, go to the beach, play sports, and spend time with her family and Boston terrier Pickles. Her dream is to be on Broadway and signed to a record label to record her own songs.
Fun fact: Mia loves roller coaster rides and scary movies.

Jacob Vella

Jacob is beyond excited to be a part of this extraordinary cast! He discovered his love of performing at the age of seven while participating in community theater with his siblings. He has been dancing at RMDC in Mesa, AZ for the past five years. Currently Jacob’s favorite genre of dance is contemporary. At an early age Jacob began singing in the car to annoy his older siblings and his family also instituted a “no signing at the dinner table” rule. Jacob also loves Kenpo Karate, online gaming with friends, and listening to Pentatonix when he isn’t busy with rehearsals. Past roles he has had the pleasure of playing include Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, Fletcher Blake in Freaky Friday at the Hale Theater in Gilbert, AZ, and JoJo in Seussical the Musical Jr. at the Queen Creek Performing Arts. Jacob dreams of performing on Broadway and having a career in computer coding and game design.

Josef Wright


Born Josef Larrell Wright on April 19th, 2010, in the splendid city Jacksonville, Florida. Josef began his acting career at the age of 4 along the side of his mother (Jessica) who introduced him to “The Arts”. At that point Josef was bitten by the acting bug and ever since then has been attracted by theater and wanted to get into singing and dancing on stage. Josef has performed in many plays in his city and surrounding areas. His first debut was with Stage Aurora Theatrical Company where Josef performed in an ensemble in “God’s Trombone” a play written by Jacksonville’s very own James Weldon Johnson. Josef also worked in various musicals with Amelia Playhouse in Fernandina Beach, FL. The more plays he performed in, the deeper the love for acting grew. Josef now attends Lavilla School of The Art as a 7th grader which his major is in Theater. Outside of performing Josef loves to spend time with his family and close friends. He is also a foodie, and his favorite dish is his aunt (Melinda) sweet potato pie! Josef is thrilled to be a part of the 2023 production of Hits! The Musical! And undoubtedly believe this opportunity is a dream come true! Josef’s dream is to someday act in a motion picture as a Marvel character.

Brooke Neuman

Brooke is from Tenafly, NJ and has had a passion for performing for as long as she can remember. She began dancing at 2 1/2 years old and has been a competitive dancer for the last 7 years. She has been trained in multiple genres, including ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical. Brooke also enjoys playing travel soccer and has professional experience as an actress and model. She has participated in campaigns with companies such as: Abercrombie Kids, J Crew, Classic Prep, Samsung, and Hard Rock Hotels. Brooke’s favorite TV show is “Friends.” She loves collecting crystals and rocks and going on fun family hikes in Maine. Brooke is thrilled to be part of the cast of Hits! The Musical. Her dream is to make it as a performer on the big screen or on Broadway!

Loren Prisuta


Loren Prisuta (age 13) is a young performer from Pittsburgh, PA, with a powerful voice and a kind heart! She has a true passion for the arts, and identified at an early age that she felt at home when performing on stage. Loren started vocal training at age eight, and has never looked back! She is determined to become a triple threat and is in her ninth year of studying dance at Wexford Dance Academy, taking classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, and tap. She has grown up loving theater, and is a member of Jeter Backyard Theater, where she has been acting and singing since the age of five. Favorite roles include Moana (Disney’s Moana, JR), Peter Pan (Peter Pan, JR) and Maleficent (Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Kids). She loves to travel with her theater team to iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals each year to compete and celebrate amongst thousands of like-minded youth. Loren was also recently cast in iTheatrics Academy’s summer workshop of School of Rock Youth Edition, and had a great experience spending a week at the 52nd Street Project in NYC piloting this show adaptation and making new friends. She is learning to play the piano, and is in her third year of lessons.


When not singing or spending time in the studio, Loren loves to read (especially fantasy genre novels), write scripts for short stories and plays, and choreograph the neighborhood kids’ mini-performances! She is idolized by her younger sister, loves animals (sloths in particular), and enjoys spending time socializing and hanging out with her friends and family. She loves swimming in the ocean, riding her bike on local trails, and going on ATV trips with her Dad. The outdoors is one of her favorite places to be, always inspired by the beauty of nature! Loren is ecstatic and truly grateful to be cast as a singer in Hits! The Musical, and is honored to become a part of the Hits! Family!


“My dream is to share my love of singing and performing with the world by selling out arenas or Broadway theaters one day! I’d love to be able to earn a living in the arts by doing what I love and pouring my heart out on stage. And ultimately, I want to teach the arts to children. I’d love to inspire and develop the next generation, just like my mentors and teachers have inspired me to “keep pushing” and go after my dreams!”

Mckenzie Lewis


Mckenzie Lewis, also known as M.J., is a CEO, dancer, actress, choreographer, and dance teacher. M.J. has been dancing since she was 2 1/2 years old. She has experience in ballet, pointe, modern, hip hop, Latin Fusion, African, Horton, Graham, contemporary, and jazz. She has also been featured in commercials and films with Straight Talk Wireless, Wrap-A-Loc, Loco Cookers, Fracture, and several Dhar Mann videos. When Mckenzie is not dancing and acting, she enjoys reading, teaching virtual beginning ballet classes, riding her bike, going to the beach, writing songs, and spending time with her family. Mckenzie’s dream is to join a company like Alvin Ailey or Alonzo Lines while continuing to operate her dance studio, the Mckenzie Jordan School of Dance.

Jaedon Diaz


Jaedon Diaz is 15 years old and lives in Southern California. At the age of four he began dancing after watching his sister dance at a local studio. Since then he has fallen in love with the art and has not stopped dancing. His favorite styles of dance are contemporary and ballet, but also trains in jazz, musical theater, hip hop and tap. He has been a competitive dancer for 7 years. Over those seven years he has earned many awards, titles and scholarships. Jaedon is signed with the McDonald/Selznick Associates agency. Some of his favorite credits include role of dancer in Lythgoe Panto-Peter Pan and Tinker Bell and dancing in the Rose Parade Opening Spectacular with Chaka Chan. He can also be seen on commercials for Target and Jr. NBA. Jaedon is thrilled to be traveling with Hits! The Musical. Dancing and sharing his passion on stage, his hopes are to bring joy and smiles to all. “My dream is to grow as a dancer, have a successful career and one day have my own family.”

Genevieve Godlesky


Genevieve Godlesky is a dancer & performing artist based in New York City. She is represented by Resolute Artists Agency in NYC and ATL. Genevieve trains at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and has been performing in BDC’s prestigious A.I.M Company for the past 4 years.
Mindfulness and affirmative positivity are very important to Genevieve. She spends time writing in her gratitude journal daily, and is a member of the Youth Ambassadors with We Are Queens. She also loves quality time with her parents, younger sister Arianna, and her cat Pixie! Genevieve’s dream is to pursue a professional dance career and empower others with her positive spirit!

Matthew Jost


Born a NYC rocker, Matthew Jost is a guitar player, singer, and songwriter focused on blues, pop, R&B, and rock. At 11 years old, Matthew made his Broadway debut as Zack the guitarist in School of Rock playing in the iconic Winter Garden Theatre in front of 1,000s each night through to the show’s close. Matthew is the lead guitarist and singer for his band Mischief Boys, part of hip-hop/pop/R&B group Backroomz, plays with the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, and has performed at The Bitter End, City Winery, Green Room 42, The Iridium, and Terminal 5. Matthew enjoys sharing his original music and jamming with other performers busking around NYC. In his spare time Matthew records and produces tracks for himself and others and plays Forza. His dream is to make memories with his music each night for audiences all over the world. Follow as his dream comes true at @matthew.jost and

Jacob Rassi


Jacob Rassi is 15 years old and is from Bel Air, Maryland. Jacob’s love for music and dancing began at a very young age when he started having dance battles in the kitchen with his Dad. Jacob joined a local dance studio at age 6 where he studied hip hop, break dancing, tap & contemporary dance. His love for performing continued to grow so with the help of his parents, they found several other places for him to continue his dance training ranging from New York to California. Jacob can be seen in several national commercials for Target, Spin Master Games, Kingsford Charcoal & several videos for Kidzbop. Jacob also had the wonderful opportunity to appear on Disney’s Fam Jam where he had a chance to perform on stage and win the grand prize with his family. Most recently, Jacob was featured dancing in New York City for 13 The Musical on Netflix.

When he is not performing or training, Jacob loves to travel and spend time at his family beach home in Ocean City, Maryland with his parents, siblings & 2 dogs. One of Jacob’s goals was to go on tour and he is so grateful that this dream has become a reality with Hits’ the Musical. His future dream is to become a choreographer where he can share his creativity with other young performers.

Kaylie Molina

Instagram: @itskayliemolina

TikTok: @kaylie_molina @yeswearesisters_

Kaylie Molina is a 16 year old Puerto Rican dancer and actress who lives in both Miami and Los Angeles.  She is represented by The Osbrink Agency.  She is the youngest of three siblings.

Kaylie started dancing when she was 3 years old and trains in all styles of dance including hip hop, jazz, jazz funk, musical theatre, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, Latin, and ballroom. She was a competitive dancer for 6 years.  She was also a member of one of the top Varsity dance teams in Florida, the Somerset Academy Pantherettes, who have won multiple state and national championships. Unfortunately, she resigned to further pursue her career in dancing and acting.

Kaylie is currently studying acting with some of the most eminent acting coaches whose students have appeared on many popular series and films. She’s done a Spanish voiceover as “Little Red Riding Hood” and has filmed educational videos for a homeschool program. Kaylie has made multiple appearances on the Disney Channel’s show Fam Jam and has danced in commercials for Walmart, Netflix, JCPenney, and most recently, Nike’s Back to School commercial.

Aside from dancing and acting, Kaylie has recently begun vocal training.  On her downtime, she really enjoys doing makeup looks, painting her nails, making TikTok’s, doing funny skits with her sister, listening to Justin Bieber and rewatching Stranger Things. She is a very positive, grateful, and persistent young lady who is notable for her great work ethic. She would like to major in Psychology with a minor in Business. Being a cast member of Hits! The Musical has fulfilled two of her dreams which were being in a musical and going on tour. Her biggest dream is to star in a world-renowned series and/or film.

Assata Sun


Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Naimah developed a love for singing at the age of six. She currently attends the Cincinnati School of Creative and Performing Arts studying vocal music. Her favorite genre to sing is jazz and blues. She enjoys shopping for the latest fashion styles and listening to all different genres of music. Her favorite artists are Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Naimah is very family oriented and loves to spend her free time attending concerts, watching movies, going to the park to take photos, and eating out with friends and family. “My dream is to become a successful singer and actress along with
mentoring aspiring youth to develop their talent.

Shawn Taylor


Shawn began dancing at the age of 5, at Savage Dance Company, in Sykesville, Maryland. He is skilled in several genres of dance, including jazz, contemporary, ballet, musical theater, hip hop, and variations of these genres. Shawn was a competitive dancer for approximately 11 years, and competed and procured many first place titles with his former dance company, within the dance competition circuit.Shawn has been nominated as a Monster’s Kids Cast member; participated in securing a 1st place win, with his former dance company, at two World of Dance competitions, in New York and the other in New Jersey. He was also a mini, junior, and teen male finalist at The Dance Awards. Shawn’s credits include a NFL Promo commercial; background work on Showtime’s series ‘Billions’; lead actor in a music video for ‘Let Go’ off of the Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse soundtrack; lip synch actor in ‘Call Yourself a Lover’ music video; a PSA on child homelessness in Los Angeles; and print work for Splish Splash Waterpark, in New York. Shawn’s other interests include drawing anime, gaming, music- old school and new, learning to play the guitar, singing, hanging at the beach, spending quality time with close friends and family, and caring for his puppy, Astro. Shawn’s dream is to be successful in everything he does, live his life to the fullest, and be happy.

Kaitlin Yamano


Kaitlin has been dancing since she was three, always loving to be on stage and the center of
attention! The middle child of five siblings, Kaitlin is not one to let herself go unnoticed.
As a competitive dancer for 10 years, Kaitlin won many titles and awards. She currently trains in
Brea, CA at The Space TV, with a professional, audition only, training program – LAUNCH.
Kaitlin trains in all styles of dance, including hip hop, tap, ballet/pointe, ballroom, contemporary,
and tumbling, but her favorite style is jazz.Kaitlin’s professional career started at age ten when she signed with her first agent. Since then she has worked on many global and national commercials (H&M, McDonalds, and Hersheys, among others) as well as performed in music videos for artists such as Sia and Say Grace. In addition, Kaitlin guest starred on Chicago Fire, On My Block, and Single Parents. Always having a passion for the stage, Kaitlin loved performing in Oklahoma with 3 D Theatricals, Billy Elliot
with San Diego Musical Theater, Aladdin with Lythgoe Panto, and Oliver! with Musical Theater
West. When she isn’t dancing, Kaitlin loves to surf! She spends any free time she has at the beach.
Kaitlin also loves to paint, has two cats (Cricket and Daisy),is active in her church youth group,
and has many family adventures at their cabin in Lake Arrowhead, CA.

“My dream is to make a career as a professional dancer.”

Belle Bongiorno


Belle, 18, has had a strong passion for performing from a young age. Growing up on Long Island, she was very involved in the performing arts in, and around New York City. Between annual performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, performing at community and school events, attending summer intensives in NYC, and even just taking classes at Broadway Dance Center, she found her love for performing. She also enjoys teaching dance classes at her dance studio, Miss Colleens Elite Dancentre, where she hopes to inspire young dancers to pursue their dreams. Belle’s biggest inspirations have been her dance teachers, who taught her how to be a true performer! Belle has also been learning how to play instruments such as guitar, bass, and ukulele. Belle is beyond excited and thankful for being offered a spot in the cast of Hits! The Musical as a featured singer! Aside from the arts, Belle is always doing something spontaneous, whether it’s being out on the water, hiking, going to concerts, taking road trips, going to the beach, traveling, or exploring the city! Over the summer, Belle works at a bay cruise boat company where she runs karaoke cruises. Her fun-loving, bubbly, and energetic personality shines on stage and off! Belle’s dream is to travel the world as a performer, and share my love and passion for singing, dancing, and performing with many audiences, hoping to inspire generations to come!

Julia Davo


Julia Davo is an extremely unique and versatile performer who loves nothing more than to share her truth through the arts. The rock and pop singer/songwriter/actress achingly believes in the power of song and self-expression. If she’s not playing gigs or putting on one woman shows in Manhattan, you can find Davo walking her teacup Yorkie around Brooklyn, or watching really bad movies with her friends. She enjoys long car rides with the radio turned up, ironic situations, and fashion.

Her most recent theater credits include Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical on Theater Row and Morticia Addams in The Addams Family at The Flamboyant Theater (both Off-Broadway). She was recently in her first National Commercial for America’s Next Investment, which airs regularly on CNBC. Julia Davo is a recording artist and her original songs can be found on all music streaming platforms.
In 2022, during her first year attending NYU Tisch, Davo decided to leave, with hopes of pursuing performing full time. “I’m sorry, I just want to be a rockstar- and I really hate math”, she said, in a final email to her teachers. Working five jobs at just 18 years old, Davo threw herself into the NY and LA music/theater scene, determined to make a name for herself.

“I may be lost, but I’m lost in the right direction”, she would continue to tell herself.

Words cannot express how excited and humbled Julia is to be in the original touring cast of Hits! The Musical. This is a complete dream come true for her. Davo cannot wait to bounce around the country, and do what she was born to do! Julia’s dream is to be this generation’s next female rockstar.

Jaleel Battles Jr.


Jaleel Battles Jr. was born to be on the stage. Raised in High Point, NC, he quickly discovered his many gifts and talents. He has performed across the East Coast since he was 7. His most recent accomplishments include performing in the ensembles of the productions of Mamma Mia!, Pippin, and Head over Heels. He is currently a sophomore at East Carolina University. Jaleel is more than excited to join the Cast of Hits! The Musical and can’t wait to create memories that will last a lifetime! In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and family and he enjoys trying new foods. Jaleel’s Dream is to perform across the world making a positive impact on people’s lives.

Connor Closs


Connor Closs is a Singer/Actor based out of New Jersey. In his early years of High School, he played basketball and ran track competitively. It wasn’t until his Junior and Senior year that he began performing on stage. Ever since then, he has fallen in love with music, performing, and the excitement of live theater. Before being offered a role in Hits! The Musical, he was headed into his sophomore year studying Musical Theater at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Connor is absolutely thrilled to be performing alongside such amazing cast mates, and under the direction of an outstanding creative team. “My dream is to eventually perform my own music around the world, and to have the same effect on people’s lives as I know so many artists have had on mine.”

Madeline Underwood


Madeline grew up in Jamestown, North Carolina in the competition dance world. She began competing at age 10 and won numerous Regional and National first overall awards during her time competing. She was featured on season 7 of Dance moms and in Bloch’s “dance with confidence “ campaign shot by Jordan Matter. She moved to Brea, California her senior year of high school to train at the launch program at the Brea space under the direction of Krista Miller. Since arriving in California, Madeline has appeared in music videos commercials, dance wear photo shoots, as the lead of a short film titled “Saturday Night”, in an episode of “This is Us” and is a new member of Jaclyn Royal’s company Royal Flux. She loves the beach, all things California and misses her dog Archie the most! Madeline’s dream is to have a long career as a professional dancer.

Jaaziah Vallano


Jaaziah Vallano (He/Him) is a New York City based Actor, Singer, Dancer, Musician, and songwriter. He is so excited to be a part of the Hits Family! Jaaziah has been performing since he was just five years old! He has been in over 60 productions over the years both professionally and locally. Jaaziah’s most recent project was the 2021 Jimmy Awards where he was a Semifinalist for Best Actor. Some of Jaaziah’s favorite roles include Jamie Wellerstein (The Last Five Years), Ren McCormack (Footloose The Musical), Race (Newsies! The Broadway Musical), Twig (Bring it On the Musical), and many more. He also plays Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Drums, Mandolin, and Cello. Jaaziah’s main inspirations are Stephen Sondheim, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, and Stevie Wonder. 

Aside from performing, Jaaziah enjoys days at the park or hanging out at home with his three roommates Mya, Boots and Theo. (Boots and Theo his kitties). He spends his free time taking care of his plants and friends and going out on adventures with them!

“My dream is to spread positivity through telling stories and art. Creating deep connections with anyone who walks into a theater and making them a part of our story.”

Lili Greenberg


Lili is thrilled to join the cast of Hits the Musical for her first national tour. A classically trained vocalist, she graduated from New York City’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts with a concentration in vocal music. Lili’s extensive dance training and performance includes current enrollment in the UMass Amherst BFA Dance Program and two years with the Paul Taylor Dance Preprofessional Performance Company. She loves to travel, experience different cultures, spend time with family and friends and live life with joy. As a regional leader in an international progressive Jewish youth movement, Lili is strongly committed to community building and inclusiveness through shared human experiences. Lili’s passions are people and possibilities and her dream is to create art through her songwriting and choreography that curates human connection which she believes is the path to a better world. Follow her journey @lilissimone on Instagram.

Colin Mash


Colin Mash, 20, is a high school graduate of 2020 and had been studying musical theater in college. He has always had a passion for performing since 3rd grade and cannot see his life without it. Colin is from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. He got much of his training through his school’s music and theater programs. Additionally, he could be seen in local community theater productions in his summer and occasional fall seasons. It wasn’t until his senior year when he began proper vocal training to enhance his vocal ability for a career. Once graduated (in the midst of the 2020 pandemic), he continued to train by studying musical theater at Temple University. Colin also takes honor in his work in being on the directing staff for local youth productions. Colin loves to help the young enhance their craft and help them be their fabulous selves everyday. Also, Colin could be seen during the fall time at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia as a scare actor for their Halloween attractions.

When off stage, Colin loves to spend his time with his loved ones. He enjoys going on adventures with his friends. Adventures as crazy as spontaneous traveling or as chill as getting snacks at Wawa. Colin also enjoys spending time at the Jersey shore, fun karaoke nights, and even simple things like driving around town late at night with friends listening to music. Still able to tap into his childhood, he loves nostalgic movies/TV shows from his childhood like High School Musical and Victorious. And Colin could not live without his biggest inspirations, the musical divas that came before him. Those divas include Janis Mash (his mother), Katy Perry, Cher, Britney Spears, The Cheetah Girls, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, and of course, Selena Quintanilla. Everyday Colin likes to live a life of joy and helping other people be happy, to shine and sparkle.

Colin’s dream is to help the world be happy, escape the troubles of life through performance and to impact the world for the better. I wanna positively impact society the same way my favorite musical divas impacted me.

Alyssa Raghu


Alyssa Raghu is an American singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida. As a recent finalist in the Top 8 on American Idol, Alyssa showcased her talents excelling in Pop, Ballads and R&B music during Seasons 16 & 17. Her roots lie within Guyanese/Indian & Mexican heritage and enjoys connecting with fans across the world through culture, music and live performances. Alyssa loves relating to her fans across the globe and spreading meaningful messages through music. Ever since she was a child, her inspirations included female artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Aaliyah and Rihanna. Known for putting unique soul elements within modern hits and original songs, Alyssa is always ready to put on a show. Her dream is to sign a record deal, win a Grammy and sell out Madison Square Garden.

Kassidy Gavagan


Kassidy (age 21) has been performing since she was 6 years old and has shared a passion and love for music ever since. She grew up in Tampa, Florida doing musical theater before becoming a 7 year cast member of Tampa’s prestigious performance ensemble “Entertainment Revue,” where she got to learn the intense lifestyle of being a professional performer and the drive it takes. She has also been a part of several A Capella groups that performed all over the Tampa Bay Area, one of which is Berkeley Preparatory Schools “Mello Divas,” where she received the Best Vocalist Award in New York’s Sing Strong ACapella competition. She attends Berklee’s College of Music online but currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Aside from performing, Kassidy loves all things wellness and has a huge passion for helping others grow and be healthy! A big part of her inspiration has been the amazing vocal coaches she has had along the way who have taught her to always go for her dreams and never give up. Kassidy is excited to perform alongside the talented cast of Hits! The Musical.

“My dream is to share my voice and love for music with others and be a part of something insanely special, like Hits!”

Nasir Butler


Residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nasir has been singing since the age of 4 years old. He has participated in the Afro American Music Institute Boys Choir of Pittsburgh since the age of 8. He started doing theater during his 10th grade year of high school and has loved it ever since. He is most known in the city for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in Les Mis, which earned him a Gene Kelly Award for Best Actor. In his free time, he enjoys watching action movies and listening to music of all genres. He is very excited to be a part of the original cast of Hits! The Musical. He wants to give thanks to his parents, grandparents and friends and family for believing in him and helping him get this far. Nasir’s dream is to join the Broadway production of “The Lion King”.

Executive Producer

Bob Gries

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Robert Gries is CEO and founder of the Gries Investment Funds. Mr. Gries has over twenty-five years of investment experience. This experience ranges from being a mezzanine lender to real estate to acquiring companies.

The Gries Investment Funds are most recognized for its investment in and growth of Public Power, a deregulated electricity supplier in Connecticut. The company was acquired in 2009 for $13 million, taken public and sold to Vistra Energy in 2019 for $486 million.

In addition to his business interests, Mr. Gries’s family has a longstanding history with professional sports. Mr. Gries’s grandfather was a founding member and owner of the Cleveland Rams in 1936 and the Cleveland Browns in 1946. The family’s minority ownership ended sixty years later in 1996 when Mr. Gries’s father refused to be part of moving the Browns to Baltimore and sold the family’s ownership interest. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Mr. Gries served on the board of the Cleveland Browns with his father. Mr. Gries also owned Arena Football teams in Tampa and Orlando and was owner of the Tampa Bay Storm teams when they won championships in 1991 and 1993.

Philanthropy and helping young people are passions in Mr. Gries’ life today. In addition to being an active philanthropist, Mr. Gries has assisted many charitable organizations, including serving as Co-Chair of the Tampa Boys & Girls Club annual fundraising drive in 2018 and 2019 which raised record amounts each year. He has served on many non-profit and civic boards including the University of Tampa, Berkeley Preparatory School and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. He also founded a charitable program in Tampa, called Heart of a Champion, which provides 70 college scholarships a year to student-athletes in the Tampa Bay area.

Mr. Gries is the owner of OTVA, one of the largest youth volleyball clubs in the country. OTVA currently has approximately 700 young women, ages 10-18, and is ranked #1 in the state of Florida and #3 in the country.


Thaddeus M. Bullard

Thaddeus M. Bullard is an accomplished athlete, philanthropist, and father. Best known as global WWE Superstar “Titus O’Neil, his passion for charitable causes has raised millions of dollars for organizations such as the United Way, Susan G. Komen and Special Olympics.


  • Goodwill Gator Community Service Award, 1998, 1999, 2000
  • Inductee, University of Florida Hall of Fame, 2000
  • Humanitarian and Community Service Award, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund, 2014
  • Sports Community Hero, Tampa Bay Sports Commission, 2014-2015
  • MEGA Dad of the Year, Everything for Dads, 2015
  • Spirit Award, Fathers Incorporated, 2016
  • Lamp of Knowledge Award, Hillsborough County Public Schools and Hillsborough Education Foundation, 2016
  • Lightning Community Hero, NHL Tampa Bay Lightning 2017
  • Recipient, Drum Major for Justice, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Foundation, 2018
  • Award, Reverend Hosea Williams, NAACP, Hillsborough County Branch, 2018
  • Cox Media Community Hero Award, 2018
  • Metropolitan Ministries Bridge Builder Award, 2018
  • Named Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Honorary Deputy, 2018
  • Ebony Magazine Power 100 most Influential African Americans in the world honoree 2018
  • Named Tampa Police Department Honorary Officer, 2019
  • Judeo Christian Health Clinic Humanitarian Award 2019
  • 2 Time Nominee for ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award 2020 and 2021
  • Recipient of the Cynopsis Sentinel Sports Media Award 2020
  • WWE Hall of Fame Warrior Award Recipient, 2020
  • NHL Community Hero for NHL “We Skate for Black Lives” Campaign, 2020
  • University of Florida Graduating Class Commencement Speaker, Spring 2020
  • Hillsborough County School Board unanimously voted to rename Slight Middle Magnet School to Thaddeus M. Bullard Academy, 2021


  • 1996, USA Today Parade All American
  • 1998, Citrus Bowl, University of Florida football team
  • 1999, Orange Bowl, University of Florida football team
  • 2001 – 2002, Professional football player, NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 2003 – 2007, Professional football player, Arena Football League
  • 2015 – WWE Tag Team Champion
  • 2019 – WWE Inaugural 24/7 Champion


  • A. Sociology, University of Florida, 2000
  • Student Body Vice President, 1999-2000
  • Member, Florida Blue Key Leadership Honor Society


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Thaddeus M. Bullard is a global entertainer, accomplished athlete, and philanthropist. Bullard went from being a resident of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches as a troubled, underperforming young man to being a mentor, role model and honorary Deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Bullard’s passion and commitment to not only succeed personally but also to help others succeed is derived from an early seed planted at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, where many invested in him when, in his words, “they had nothing to gain in return.”  Bullard has meaningfully supported various organizations, locally and globally, by giving of his time, talent, and finances.  Although Bullard, a product of a rape, lacked a strong male role model in the home, his commitment to family, most notably his two sons, TJ (17) and Titus (15), are nothing short of remarkable. Bullard’s first priority is being a father and role model to his children.  For the past ten (12) plus years his “Joy of Giving” holiday event has garnered over 15,000 gifts annually to underprivileged children and families in need throughout the Greater Tampa area.  Bullard is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity incorporated, the president of the Bullard Family Foundation (an organization that provides programs and resources to help build character and improve outcomes in the community) and a member of Revealing Truth Ministries in Tampa, Florida, where he resides.


Cynthia Nekvasil

Cynthia Nekvasil is the founder of Entertainment Revue, and served as its artistic director and choreographer for 26 years until retiring in 2015.

Cynthia was a sophomore studying political science at the University of Tampa when she was offered a position as an “after school” music instructor at a small local elementary school. That opportunity led to a summer music camp, which she directed, and Entertainment Revue was born in 1989.

During those final years in college, Cynthia developed a presence in the community by becoming active in the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Visitors Association, and successfully secured a corporate sponsorship from the Pepin Distributing Company.

Entertainment Revue became a well-known group in the Tampa Bay area and began building a repertoire to fulfill the demands of their new corporate clients.
In 1992, Cynthia formed a non-profit organization and set up an educational scholarship fund. Cynthia’s intention was to provide “need-based” tuition grants, as well as establish a college scholarship fund for cast members. To date, Entertainment Revue has awarded over $500,000 in educational scholarships, which have been paid out to girls in universities all over the country.

Over the years, Cynthia has used her talents to develop television and music projects. In 1997, Cynthia wrote and directed a pilot for a childrens’ television show “DIVAS.” The show was optioned by the FOX network for development and Cynthia worked alongside the network developing scripts. When the show wasn’t picked up, the plan was to resubmit it to other networks, but the Teen Pop music scene had taken over and Cynthia instead focused her attention on developing music projects. Her first act “PYT” was picked up by Epic Records, and within months the quartet were touring as an opening act for N’SYNC and Britney Spears. Cynthia followed up with the development of 12 year old singing sensation Chloe Lowery, who was signed by RCA records. In those three short years, eight of the ER girls signed major record deals and Cynthia split her time traveling with her musical artists and directing the Entertainment Revue back home.

In December of 1999, Cynthia and her husband Bob adopted Zoe from China. That next year, Cynthia made the decision to end her traveling and activities in the music industry to spend more time with Zoe and refocus on her first love – Entertainment Revue.

Over the years, the group has grown in size and popularity, and has been honored to have performed for three Presidents, at national conventions, charity events, professional sporting events, and maintained a strong presence in the community. ER girls have been featured on shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice. 2013 was an exciting year as three of our ER girls landed leading roles in Broadway productions.

2014 marked the 25th Anniversary of Entertainment Revue. Holding her Final Curtain performance in May 2015 featuring notable ER alumni and current casts, Cynthia took her final bow as Director. She remains connected to the group and spearheads the alumni network of former ER girls.

Cynthia is now remarried and enjoying new adventures in her retirement. She loves her life in St. Pete/Cape Cod and enjoys a rich network of friends, boating, entertaining, and spending time with her lifelong friends made through ER.

Associate Director

Chloe Lowery

Chloe Lowery is an American singer/dancer/actress/songwriter born in Largo, Florida. By the age of nine she was performing professionally at corporate events and by age 12 she was signed to RCA Records. She was featured on two movie soundtracks during that time, “Boys and Girls” and “Joe Somebody.”

While honing her crafts at prestigious music and acting schools in Boston and New York City, she toured with Big Brother and the Holding Company filling Janis Joplin’s shoes. Chloe simultaneously worked closely with world-renowned producer, Ric Wake that led to her collaboration with Yanni. Chloe lent her vocals and songwriting talents to the 2009 Yanni Voices Project produced by the Disney Pearl Imprint. She was featured on PBS as a featured artist in “Yanni Voices Live from Acapulco.” Her most successful performance/release, Change, quickly became a fan favorite. After US and Mexico Tours with Yanni, she was signed to Disney/Hollywood Records as a solo artist. Chloe has since been featured on Yanni’s 2013,2014, and 2016 releases: Truth of Touch, Inspirato, and Sensuous Chill as vocalist and songwriter.

In the spring of 2010, Chloe joined multi-platinum selling rock band, Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing as Theresa on their Beethoven’s Last Night Tours. Lowery joined their annual winter tour in 2011 to rave reviews for her renditions of For the Sake of our Brother (Oh Come all Ye Faithful), Prince of Peace, and Music Box Blues. Chloe continues to work with TSO on stage and in the studio.

Lowery has since had the privilege to tour with Chris Botti, perform with the New York City Ballet as a featured vocalist, and contribute her songwriting talents for artists like Everclear, among other accomplishments.

In 2018, Lowery made her Broadway Debut in Rocktopia leading the show with the likes of Pat Monahan (Train), Dee Snider (Twister Sister), and Robin Zander (Cheap Trick). She continued to tour the project and be part of their acclaimed PBS special.

Other recent credits include; Trans Siberian Orchestra Live at Wacken and Winter Tours, featured vocalist on Joel Hoekstra’s 13 Album, featured artist on Phantasms “The Deviant Hearts” Album, lead vocalist in The Rock Tenor, Broadway Rox, The Music of Queen, CHAMELEON, Forbidden Saints and Friends @ Nokia L.A Live and many more.

In 2019, Lowery released her critically acclaimed debut solo album, “The In-Between,” which she self-penned and produced from her Brooklyn Apartment. The album touches on the emotional phases one goes through when facing monumental change. It explores the highs and lows of heartbreak ending with the emotional “Don’t Let Yourself Down,” which touches on the root of self-discovery and acceptance. Not only did she record a full-length album that seamlessly flows as one storyline, but she also created music videos as a visual background to every song and interlude on the record furthermore depicting the full emotional ark of the album. The record is available on all streaming platforms as well as her website: All links to videos and live performances are linked as well.

Currently Chloe is working on her long-awaited solo follow up, touring the symphony world in shows like “Bond and more” and “Broadway Rocks,” as well as working on several other upcoming projects.

In 2020, Chloe established her Vocal Production company, Vocals By

Chloe Lowery. The company caters to voice lessons, vocal coaching, castings, recordings, masterclasses, and production. She has extended her knowledge to over 100 students and has been the casting director for shows such as; Avalona.

Chloe is excited to be joining Hits The Musical as an associate director in early 2023.

Musical Arranger / Composer

Tony Bruno

For the last 12 years, Tony has worked with Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, K’naan, Karmin, Delta Goodrem to name a few. Tony is responsible for all facets of live shows, awards shows and TV shows, working closely with the artist, Audio and Visual people as a team. “We try never to repeat ourselves on TV shows. Its important, especially with YouTube out there. You’re basically giving your audience a small collection of videos.”

His TV credits include The Grammys, Americas Got Talent, La Voz Kids, X-Factor, the AMAs, Jay Leno, Top Of The Pops, MTV Music Awards and TRL, and Wetten Das, and countless others. Tony has written and produced songs for top artists including Mandy Moore, Donna Summer, INXS, Colin Hay and Enrique Iglesias. His song Daylight in Your Eyes for German artists No Angels was the 2nd best selling German single of all time.

He currently lives in Brooklyn and has a studio there and is writing for TV and Film.

TV and Film writing Credits

“The Loud House” -Nickelodeon (2015)
NBC Sports
“Suicide Party” – Feature Film (release date TBD)
Game of Arms (AMC)
“A Walk to Remember” – Feature Film (2001)
Mobil 1
“13 Million Voices” – Documentary (2015)
“Catwoman” – Feature Film (2004)
CBS Sports
“Brando” – Indie Film (2008)
Sochi Olympics
Gucci – Rihanna Tattoo Heart Documentary

TV Credits (Music Director/Producer)

NBA All-Star Game Halftime
La Voz Kids season 1
Grammys 2009, 2010, 2011
X-Factor season 3
American Music Awards
Radio Music Awards
MTV Music Awards
Video Music Awards
Fashionably Loud (MTV)
Howard Stern
Jay Leno (Tonight Show)
David Letterman
Carson Daily Show
The Star Academy
Wetten Das
Good Morning America
Today Show
Ellen Degeneres
The View
Rosie O’Donnell
Wetten Dass
A Tribute To Heroes Telethon 9/11
Top Of The Pops
Latin Grammy’s
Good Morning America
A Home For The Holidays (NBC Special)
Echo Awards
Men Strike Back (VH1, Diva Special)
NFL Kickoff

Tours (Lead Guitarist / Music Director / Programmer)

Rihanna “Good Girl Gone Bad” 2007 (non-performing-MD)
Rihanna “Rated R” 2009 (non performing-MD)
Rihanna “LOUD” tour (in preparation)
Enrique Iglesias “Enrique” tour 2009
Enrique Iglesias “Insomniac” 2007
Donny Osmond Live in Vegas 2009 and 2011
Anastacia ‘Encore Tour’, Europe 2005
Enrique Iglesias, “7” World Tour. 2004
Enrique Iglesias, ‘Escape’ World Tour, 2002
Enrique Iglesias World Tour, 2000
Enrique Iglesias, ‘Cosas Del Amor’ World Tour, 1998
Colin Hay (Men At Work), U.S. & Brazil, 2004
Nena, ‘Nena Live’ Germany Tour, 1998
Nena, ‘Jamma Nich’ Germany Tour, 1997
Joan Jett 1992 – 1996
Mitch Malloy 1991
Michael Bolton 1990

Studio Performances:

Brendan James, Capitol
Mandy Moore, Sony
Enrique Iglesias, Universal
Cherie, Lava
Hadas, Sony
Radio Music Awards
MTV Music Awards
No Angels, Polydor
Xandy Barry, BMG
Nena, Polydor
Rosenstolz, Polydor
New Life Crisis, Tommy Boy
David Charvet, Universal
Joan Jett, Warner Brothers
Cathy Lee Gifford, Sony
Faithless, Cheeky Records
Becky Bealing, Universal
Joe Lynn Turner, Epic
Danger Danger, Sony
Taylor Dayne, Epic
Aldo Nova, Portait
Movies, Videos, Live DVD’s, etc.
Anastacia ‘Live At Last’ DVD
Enrique Iglesias
‘Escape’ Video
Enrique Iglesias
‘Maybe’ Video
Enrique Iglesias
‘Don’t Turn Off The Lights’ Videos
Enrique Iglesias
‘Diary’, MTV
Nena ‘Nena Live’, CD & Video
Joan Jett ‘Boogie Boy’V


Rock Of Ages (guitar)
Rocktopia (co-creator)


Grady Bowman

Grady’s work has been seen across many different genres including Broadway, off-Broadway, television, circus, dance companies & numerous universities. Most recently, he was nominated for a Helen Hayes award for his choreography of Singin’ in the Rain at the Olney Theatre Center (DC). Select choreography credits include The Cher Show (Broadway; Finale Co-choreographer), Big Apple Circus (Lincoln Center), World’s Got Talent (Fremantle Media/Hunan TV; China), The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Off-Bway), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Drury Lane – Chicago), My Fair Lady (Olney Theatre Center – DC), and A Night with Janis Joplin (Capital Rep/Barter Theatre/Laguna Playhouse/NC Theatre/Ivoryton Playhouse). Grady has also created 4 original dance pieces commissioned by NC School of the Arts. Associate Director credits include Big Apple Circus (Lincoln Center), A Night with Janis Joplin (Regional Tour), and The Great American Mousical (Goodspeed Opera House; Dir. Julie Andrews). Associate Choreographer credits include Dogfight (Off-Bway; Choreo. Chris Gattelli), In Your Arms (The Old Globe/NY Stage & Film), and Top Hat (NY developmental lab). In his previous life as a performer, Grady was in the original Broadway companies of Billy Elliot, South Pacific (2008 Lincoln Center revival), Honeymoon in Vegas, Wonderland, and The Pirate Queen. He toured internationally with Fosse and Pilobolus Dance Theatre and also appeared in the films Forrest Gump and The Last Five Years.

Musical Director

Camille Trust

To know Camille Trust is to love her soul-baring, unapologetic music. The New York City-based singer/songwriter released her debut EP No Other Way in May 2018 and has quickly established herself as a strong female force in the music scene, garnering praise from the likes of Billboard, Nylon, DuJour, Popdust and more. Her singles “Scandalous” and “Lavender” were each named one of TIME Magazine’s ‘5 Songs You Need To Listen To This Week.’

Her YouTube channel has over 500k views on music videos she has single-handedly directed and choreographed as well as over 2 million streams on Spotify as an independent artist. She released her debut full-length album, NY to FL in September of 2021. Camille is a proud member of the Resistance Revival Chorus and is one of the founders of Brooklyn’s all-female led jam session called “Femme Jam.”

She also sings back-up for various artists including Shawn Mendes (SNL & VMAs), Jim James (Spotify Sessions) Fleet Foxes (Colbert), Chelsea Cutler (Colbert) and Nathaniel Rateliff (SNL).

Assistant Director

Courtney Lopez

Courtney Lopez grew up on the stage! She was a 13 year cast member of Tampa’s prestigious  “Entertainment Revue” all-star cast; performing in hundreds of shows across the Southeastern US.    In addition to performing Courtney has worked as a professional model and actor; appearing in national commercials for Disney, Universal, Seaworld  Busch Gardens and Amtrak, just to name a few.  Courtney expanded her creative talents by experiencing the other side of the camera in the capacity of Assistant Director of “Entertainment Revue” for 4 years, under the direction of Cynthia Nekvasil.

Courtney has a Bachelors of Arts in Integrated Animal Biology from the University of South Florida and has worked as a veterinary technician for 4 years. She has taken a hiatus to reconnect to her creative roots and true passion of song and dance. Courtney is beyond excited to be back on stage and to once again join forces with Cynthia Nekvasil as Assistant Director of “Hits! The Musical.” Let the journey begin!

 Set and Lighting Designer

Barry Lather

Barry Lather, award winning career, has 35 years of experience with both small and large-scale entertainment, from television, video, film to arena spectaculars. His knowledge, creativity and easy going personality are a true asset to productions of all sizes and budgets. Barry started his choreography career working with superstars Janet jackson, Prince & Michael Jackson….winning several awards and receiving a prestigious Emmy nomination.

Barry has conceived, directed, or choreographed world tours for such artists as: Usher, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Miguel, John Fogerty, Ciara and the Pussycat Dolls. He has also served as a creative director for TV performances with Justin Bieber, P Diddy, Usher, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Pharrell Williams, Demi Lovato, Trey Songz and Blake Shelton on the Grammys, American Music Awards, the VMA’s, Billboard Awards, BET Awards, and CMA’s. In addition, Barry has lent his talents to the top reality competition series: So You Think You Can Dance, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, and Dancing With The Stars. Barry worked with John Legend, Robin Thicke, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles on the series “Duets” producing multiple staged performances. He also directed & choreographed the arena tour Nuclear Cowboyz, featuring high flying freestyle motocross riders, stilt walkers, parkour and fire performers in an elaborate spectacle show for Feld Entertainment. The Superbowl Halftime Show, the Academy Awards, theme parks, ice skating and cruise ship shows are also among Barry’s prestigious credits in dealing with global large-scale productions…as well as the ground breaking event of “Qiddiya” in Saudi Arabia in 2018 & “diriyah” in 2019, both major productions for the king and crowned prince.

Barry launched the las vegas residency show for worldwide pop sensation robbie williams, along with his hyde park summer show in 2019. also recently, barry directed carrie underwood’s in the round massive production, “the cry pretty tour 360” and “reflection” the new residency show in las vegas at resortsworld, and just finished Hans Zimmer’s European tour as part of the creative team. Barry’s current show “Rockumentary”, for celebrity cruise lines, just won a magellan award for best entertainment show in the cruise industry for 2021.

Costume Designer

Cynthia Nordstrom

A blend of fashion and costume, Cynthia’s wide range of designs, and characters have been seen worldwide on stage, tour, ice, and theme parks to Broadway.

Based in the NYC area, Cynthia designed One the Musical in Amsterdam and was an Opening designer for Universal Studios Beijing resort.

Current tours include: Blippi the Musical, Cocomelon Live, Marvel Universe Live Arena tour, Rock of Ages 10th Anniversary tour, Cocomelon Live.

Off-Broadway credits: current Sistas, Evil Dead the Musical, Silent Laughter, Jewtopia, This Property called Garland, That Championship Season.

Broadway: Rocktopia. @cynthianordstromdesigner.

Social Media Director

Genesis Viera

Genesis Viera is a highly accomplished Social Media Director with a strong background in communications and marketing. With a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in Health Administration, Genesis possesses a unique blend of expertise that sets her apart in the field. From an early stage in her career, Genesis displayed an unwavering passion for social media and its potential to shape and amplify brand messaging. While excelling as a Division 1 college volleyball player and later as a professional overseas, Genesis actively pursued various social media projects, showcasing her exceptional multitasking abilities and dedication. After retiring from Volleyball she transitioned to marketing and social media full time and is excited to venture in the entertainment industry.

Marketing Analyst

Catelyn Franks

Catelyn Franks has grown up singing and dancing and loves to be on stage. She has grown up in the group Entertainment Revue, based out of Tampa Florida. She performs in many shows all around Florida every year under director Cynthia Nevkvasil. Catelyn attends high school in Tampa, FL and has spent the past year getting Hits the Musical off the ground. She travelled the entire United States running live auditions alongside Bob Gries. In addition to her social media work for Hits the Musical she also works behind the scenes in the marketing department.