Meet the Creatives!

WaistWatchers the Musical!

Written by Alan Jacobson
Originally directed by Matt Silva

Terence O’Connell – Australian Director

Since graduating from NIDA:s Directors Course, Terence has staged some 150 productions in theatres, concert halls, circus tents, cabaret rooms and comedy venues across Australia and internationally. His national touring shows include Barmaids, They’re Playing Our Song, Motherhood: The Musical andThe 39 Steps(HIT Productions), The Rocky Horror Show, Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story, Busting Out, Decadence, Bouncers, Circus OZ,  Flying Fruit Fly Circus and Certified Male.Terence has created many of his own productions including I Only Want To Be With You: The Dusty Springfield Story, Life On Mars: The Words And Music Of David Bowie, Cruising Paradise: Sam Shepard Tales, Greek Goddess: Melina Mercouri, Reviewing The Situation: At Home With Lionel Bartand Minefields And Miniskirts: Australian Women And The Vietnam War (Drover Award Winner-Most Popular Touring Production). He was Director of Spiegelworld’s outrageous circus burlesque Empireon its international tour and Circus Sensa at London’s Albany Empire. Terence helmed 9 Broadway musicals for The Production Company at Melbourne’s State Theatre and is currently adapting two Australian classics for the stage One Crowded Hour: Neil Davis, Combat Cameraman andI Can Jump Puddles.

Ana Mitsikas – Australian Musical Director

Ana is a graduate from the Rusden, Deakin University BA Performing Arts course. She also has an AmusA diploma in classical piano performance. For many years she has run her own private studio in Melbourne teaching piano and singing. Whilst in the UK Ana was the resident Musical Director for the Diploma course at Brooklands College, Surrey and was voice teacher at Britain’s largest part- time performing arts school. An experienced performer Ana has performed in the national tours of The Sound of Music, The Buddy Holly Story andWrung Outwith Glynn Nicholas. In London she had a recurring role in the popular TV show Family Affairs and has toured Asia with the musical Chang and Eng. Since returning to Australia in 2005 Ana has directed well received performances for PATMA music at BMW Edge including Peter and the Wolf.Over the last 5 years Ana has provided the Christmas entertainment for Hayman Island with her acapella group The Holly Belles. Ana has been a member of the advisory committee for the new AMEB Musical Theatre syllabus. Ana is also the proud Mum of Zak and Georgia.

Suzie Melloy – Australian Choreographer

Suzie is a professional dancer, singer & actress. Her early training was with Julie Cattach, Barbara Lynch, and Robert Sturrock. Suzie holds a Musical Theatre BA from WAAPA. Performances there included: Anita; West Side Story, Dance Captain/Placard Girl; Reefer Madness, Pearl Lady; Thoroughly Modern Millie, ensemble; Hair, Merrily We Roll Along. Suzie has performed Australia, Asia and Europe. Credits include Anything Goes (OA), Dance Captain/Ensemble; Loving Repeating (VTC), We Will Rock You (GFO), and most recently, Bombularina in Cats (GWB/ Really Useful Group) and Passepartout in Around The World In 80 Days (Ellis Productions/HIT Productions)

Matt Silva  – Original US Director

Matt is the Artistic Director of Playhouse Productions and directed the national touring companies of WaistWatchers The Musical. Matt holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and an MFA in Directing from Florida State University. In addition to directing the successful national touring prodution of Old Jews Telling Jokes, and the national touring production of WaistWatchers, a few of Matt’s favorite directing credits include: Hotel Suite, Rounding Third, The Love of the Nightingale, Crimes of the Heart and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (he received a Barrymore nomina on for Best Director of a musical for his 14-person adaptation of Joseph).

Dani Tucci-Juraga – Original US Choreographer 

Dani is a member of the Dance Educators of America, SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity. She has enjoyed a professional dance career as Principal Dancer for: (Broadway) Sesame Street at Madison Square Garden. Camp Broadway, (International Tours) Sesame Street Live (USA/Asia), The Magic School Bus Live and Disney Cruise Lines. (Film) “Silver Linings Playbook”. Dani is a guest-teaching artist at the Bucks County Playhouse, Adjunct Professor at Rider University (Musical Theater Department) and owns/operates the Downstage Center Dance Studio in Bucks County, PA. Other work includes choreography for NBC’s Hairspray Live (Kimmel Center) and is the real life choreographer to Director, Lou Volpe (NBC’s ‘RISE’). Beyond teaching, choreographing and performing she is a fitness expert and performs stunts for kids and voice overs. 

Dana Matthow – Producer

Dana is a Long Island-born native New Yorker whose theatrical career spans 35+ years of producing, general management, theatre management, advertising and promotions. His credits include Broadway, off-Broadway and Touring Productions: “Kingdoms” starring Roy Dotrice, Armand Assante and Maria Tucci, “A Jew Grows In Brooklyn”, “Carnival Knowledge”, a behind the scenes look at the astounding and disappearing world of the American Sideshow, “Magic Hands Freddy” starring Michael Rispoli and Ralph Macchio, “Underneath the Lintel”, “Maybe Baby It’s You”, “Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral”, (a/k/a the longest running funeral in history) “Hysterical Blindness” starring Leslie Jordon, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy!”, “You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!”, “RESPECT – A Musical Celebration of Women”, “My Son the Waiter a Jewish Tragedy”, “The Calamari Sisters” and his first show “Sea Marks” by Adventures in Paradise star Gardner McKay. For 10 years, Mr. Matthow owned and operated The Soho Playhouse in New York City. For the screen he produced the feature film “Silent Prey”. He is also the founder and original Publisher of City Guide Magazine, New York’s #1 weekly visitor and entertainment guide.

Alan Jacobson – Creator, Book & Lyrics

Alan is a producer, actor, director, acting coach, and with WaistWatchers The Musical, added playwright to his resume. Alan has produced more than 80 shows around the country, and two of his shows moved to New York. If You Ever Leave Me I’m Going With You starring Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna to Broadway, and Down the Garden Paths starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, Off-Broadway. Mr. Jacobson has written, produced and directed over 50 cabaret shows, and has a couple new ones in the works. Fu. Originally titled Food Fight, which Alan wrote in 2007 and set to existing songs, WaistWatchers The Musical premiered at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Florida in October 2007. It subsequently played in numerous cities under the original title, including Atlanta, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, Birmingham, Sarasota, and on a mini-national tour in 2010. In 2013, Alan changed the title to WaistWatchers The Musical, and productions included a 6 month run at the Plaza Theatre in Manalapan Florida and 3 months in Coral Springs Florida, amongst several others. He then turned over the producing to Playhouse Productions, and WaistWatchers The Musical has since played anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks in Phoenix (twice), San Diego, Philadelphia, Walnut Creek, San Jose, Sacramento (twice), Metuchen (NJ), Palm Beach Gardens (FL), Hollywood (El Portal Theatre), Upland (CA – Grove Theatre), and Lakewood (CO), with several others in the works. Alan envisions Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York runs, as well as many more stops nationally and internationally. Alan thanks his wife, Melissa, and two sons, Noah and Eli, for their love and continued support.

Vince Di Mura – Composer

Vince is a composer, arranger, Jazz pianist and musical director. He has appeared on concert stages and theatres throughout North America, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He currently serves as the Resident Composer and Musical Director for the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University. He has conducted theatre seasons at The Bethesda Nederlander Theatre, Laguna Playhouse and El Portal Theatre in California, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, the Augusta Barn Theatre in Michigan, Artpark and Company in Lewiston N.Y., Tennessee Repertory in Nashville, The Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre and American Stage in Florida, Passage Theatre, Act II Playhouse, The Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, The Muhlenburg Summer Theatre Festival, The American Theatre Group, and The Little Theatre in the Rockies.

Best known for his arrangements of “My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra,” (with over 600 productions nationally), Vince has musical directed productions at the Blowing Rock Stage Company and Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, Western Michigan’s Cherry County Playhouse, The Barter Theatre in Virginia, and Arkansas Repertory Company in Little Rock. In 2005, Vince co-created, arranged and musical directed American Stage’s premier production of “I Left My Heart”; A Tribute to Tony Bennett: Licensed by Summerwind Productions. There has been multiple productions of “I Left My Heart” since its premier, including successful runs the Laguna Playhouse (which he musical directed), Welk Resort Theatre in Escadido CA, Merry Go Round Theatre in New York, and the Phoenix Theatre in Arizona.

Vince has fulfilled many compositional commissions from Princeton University’s department of Theatre and Dance, Rutgers University, Rider University, the Pingry Foundation, the University of Colorado, The Scioto Society, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Passage Theatre, the University of Northern Colorado, and a host of scores for People’s Light and Theatre Company. As an arranger, Vince has fulfilled commissions from Summerwind Productions, Act II Playhouse, The Arden Theatre Company, MusicalFare in Buffalo NY, and Princeton Summer Theatre. Mr. di Mura is also the author and curator of “A Conversation With The Blues.” A 14 part web instructional series on improvisation through the Blues. Produced by Soundfly Inc.

He holds composition and jazz fellowships from the William Goldman Foundation, Temple University, Meet the Composer, CEPAC, the Union County Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Cultural Forum and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

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