Guest Artists

Berton Averre

Berton is first and best known as the lead guitarist and co-writer of The Knack. Their initial album, Get The Knack, set a record for a debut album by going gold in its first two weeks. “My Sharona,” co-written by Berton, was awarded Song of the Year for 1979 by Billboard magazine. As well as continuing his work in The Knack, Berton has played and/or recorded with such disparate performers as Bette Midler, The Doors’ Robbie Krieger, Sarah Brightman, Jack Tempchin, and The Cowsills. With his lyricist-collaborator, Rob Meurer, their first musical comedy, “The Party’s Over” received staged readings in Chicago at New Tuners, and several studio productions in the Southern California area. Their second show, a sendup of the Tarzan and Jane stories entitled “Jungle Man!” has received two successful sellout productions at the 600-seat Stage One in Wichita, in 2000 and 2002. Their latest musical comedy, “Robin Hood: The Untold Story” was featured at the ASCAP/DISNEY Workshop in 2001, chaired by Stephen Schwartz, awarded participation in the New Works project at the Kennedy Center, and also was performed in several L.A. locations in 2003. You can find out more about Berton at www.bertonaverre.com

Rob Meurer

A native of San Antonio, Rob Meurer first came to prominence through his keyboard and arranging work on fellow-Texan Christopher Cross’s Grammy-sweeping debut album, and he has since written and produced several albums of material with Cross. The ensuing years found him in various successful studio collaborations with Carole King, Johnny Otis, and Poco’s Paul Cotton. Rob has also written with Jennifer Warnes, Paul Williams, and hit Nashville writers Sandy Knox and Rory Lee, and toured the world in concert with Cross, J.D. Souther, and Karla Bonoff. In the mid-80s, he was Music Director for Shelley Duvall’s celebrated Showtime series, Faerie Tale Theatre which led to his work in productions by HBO for Billy Crystal, TNT, Spirit of Adventure, and Wonderworks. Rob has gold and platinum records in recognition for his work on huge-selling recordings (in the U.S, Japan, and Germany), and has thrice been cited for excellence by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 1993 he joined the Los Angeles chapter of the famed Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where he met his collaborator Berton Averre. You can find out more about Rob at www.robmeurer.com

Danielle Egnew

Danielle is a multi-award winning musician, producer, actress, director, writer, and psychic. As an actor, Danielle was honored to share the stage in the VDAY Valley 2011 three-day all-celebrity run of The Vagina Monologues alongside 60 other fantastic celebrity women from film and TV — an event she also Associate Produced. She has been honored to be part of the VDAY 2007 West LA celebrity cast of The Vagina Monologues with Jennifer Beals (The L Word, Flashdance), Alexandra Hedison (Designing Blind, the L Word), and a host of others. Danielle is an alumni of the New York 2006 VDAY cast of The Vagina Monologues alongside Ally Sheedy (High Art, The Breakfast Club) and Kathryn Erbe (Law and Order: Criminal Intent). Having received two full-ride scholarships for theater from two different Universities (The University of Arizona-Tucson and Montana State University-Billings) , Danielle has anchored the lead on the boards in many classical and contemporary stage productions ranging from Shakespeare’s As You LIke It to Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

You may even recognize Danielle Egnew from her appearances as herself, the Psychic / Medium on ABC, NBC, USA and TNT, or from her appearance on The Weakest Link: Psychic’s Edition, or from her many radio interviews including co-anchoring the LA Talk Radio Paranormal hit, Haunted Playground. Danielle has been a creative consultant on a number of hit paranormal TV series as well as part of numerous ghost hunting teams across the country. She has been called in to advise law enforcement on cold and active cases and is one of the co-founders of the Western-Pacific Paranormal Alliance.

As a writer, Danielle has penned screenplays, stage plays and sketch comedy, having her original screenplays optioned by Los Angeles production entities and her original dramatic plays produced on stages in Montana, Arizona, and Seattle. She has performed as a stand-up comic on the southwest circuit while writing and performing as a sketch comedy troupe member with famed college comedy group Comedy Corner, whose other notable alumni include Emmy-nominated writer Alex Baze (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), actress Nicole Johnson (Mad TV), and actor Paul Goebel (Will and Grace, Beat the Geeks, ).

Danielle has been the subject of several magazine cover stories highlighting her diverse career as a musician, actor, psychic, writer, director, and producer, as well as being featured in books about the music industry on Billboard Publishing.

More information about Danielle can be found at www.danielleegnew.com

PJ Griffith

P.J.’s theatre credits include the role of St. Jimmy in the Green Day musical American Idiot on Broadway, and the character of Jett Rink in Giant at the Dallas Theater Center and the Public Theater in New York City. He also played Sky in the first national tour of Abba’s Mamma Mia, Tom Watson in the Donmar Warehouse revival of Parade at the Mark Taper Forum, Roger in RENT at Musical Theatre West, and Cousin Kevin in the Los Angeles revival of The Who’s Tommy. P.J. is honored to have originated the role of Jan in The Blank Theater’s world premiere production of Set Up and Punch for which he received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Performance. He also played the role of Mercutio in the LaMama Experimental Theater Club’s production of Romeo and Juliet in New York City.

His television and film credits include Without A Trace, House, September 12th, One Life To Live, The Weathered Underground, Days of Our Lives, and The Dark Knight Rises. P.J. fronts the band Blue Movie and has shared stages with Lonestar, Green Day, Biohazard, The Misfits, Neil Diamond, Deborah Gibson, Jello Biafra, and Vanilla Ice.

P.J. is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Kelly Karbacz

Kelly has performed on Broadway as Maureen in RENT and as Louisa in The Sound Of Music. Off-Broadway, she has appeared in I Got Fired and But I’m A Cheerleader as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her work has also been seen in regional theaters throughout the nation, including First Date, a new musical produced by The 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT; the Ford’s Theatre production of Liberty Smith where she received a Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical; Center Theatre Group’s Nighthawks; the Center Theatre Group’s workshop production of Venice, a Hip-Hop musical, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; and the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of Without Walls.

On the big screen, Kelly played the character of Judy in Get Smart with Steve Carell and in the spinoff film Bruce And Lloyd Out Of Control. She was also featured in the films A Tale Of Two Pizzas, First Breath, and Rub Out.

Kelly has starred on television as Joanie Binder in the ABC sitcom Regular Joe alongside Daniel Stern and Judd Hirsch. Her guest appearances include roles on Do No Harm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order, as well as Without A Trace, Undeclared, Third Watch, and Queens Supreme.

Kelly has trained at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

Mark Saltzman

Mark began his career in New York with Jim Henson, writing for the Muppets. His “Sesame Street” sketches and songs (including “Caribbean Amphibian”) earned him seven Emmy Awards, but behind Kermit’s back, Mark was writing cabaret shows and musicals that played at The Ballroom, Soho Rep, 13th Street Theater, and the Village Gate, where he co-wrote the long-running revue “A, My Name is Alice.”

For network television, Mark collaborated with Jerry Herman on the tv movie “Mrs. Santa Claus” starring Angela Lansbury. For the movies, he wrote “The Adventures of Milo and Otis” and “Three Ninjas Kick Back” and has written and sold screenplays to SONY, Universal, and Disney. His TV movie, “The Red Sneakers” directed by and starring Gregory Hines, aired on Showtime in 2004 and was nominated for a Writers Guild Award.

Mark’s musical play, “The Tin Pan Alley Rag” opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1997 and was nominated for five Los Angeles Ovation Awards, including Best Musical. The show continued to play in theaters throughout America, including The Coconut Grove Playhouse, Goodspeed, and The Cleveland Playhouse and had a successful run at New York’s Roundabout Theater in the summer of 2009.

Mark’s stage musical, “Romeo and Bernadette” played at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and has been produced at the The Paper Mill Playhouse, as well as internationally in Seoul and Manila. Mark was especially proud that he was selected by the Rodgers and Hammerstein organization to adapt the classic Show Boat for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. His newest musical “Falling For Make Believe” opens in April 2013 at the Colony Theater in California. Mark is a graduate of Cornell University’s English and Theater Departments. For more information about Mark, visit www.msaltzman.com