CATCO Presents I Do! I Do! through June 18

Staff Report

Fun-loving classic spanning 50 years of marriage

features real-life married couple Joe Bishara and Liz Wheeler

A Broadway classic, I Do! I Do!, has charmed audiences since it first appeared on Broadway in 1966 with Mary Martin and Robert Preston in the original cast. CATCO will close its 2016-17 season May 31-June 18 with the fun-loving musical featuring real-life married couple CATCO Associate Producing Director Joe Bishara and his wife Liz Wheeler.

From the creators of The Fantasticks, the musical spans 50 years of marriage between Agnes and Michael Snow and the changes that go with it. CATCO Producing Director Steven Anderson, who is also directing I Do! I Do!, credits the idea of using a real-life couple to perform in the two-person show to Ruth Boyd, one of CATCO’s costume designers. The idea is transforming into a unique experience for the creative team – and, ultimately, for the audience, too, Anderson said.

“I Do! I Do! is a show about how relationships work and evolve. The relationship that needs to be created on stage requires a certain depth that would be challenging to create within our tight rehearsal timeline. With Joe and Liz the chemistry they already have together is really palpable,” Anderson said.

Bishara and Wheeler have performed together in productions previously – Grand Night for Singing, Dark of the Moon, Evil Dead: The Musical, Chess, Forbidden Broadway and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – but this is the first time as the only actors and the first time performing together as a married couple.

“When you are on stage you need to have complete trust of the other actors up there with you. The really cool thing about being on stage with your significant other is that trust is already a given,” Bishara said. Bishara and Wheeler have other collaborations as well: They are the proud parents of baby Vivienne, who accompanies them to rehearsals; they also co-directed CATCO is Kids production of Anne of Green Gables earlier this month.

I Do! I Do!, book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, will be produced in the intimate Studio Two Theatre at the Vern Riffe Center, 77 S. High St., and feature memorable songs such as “My Cup Runneth Over,” “Flaming Agnes” and “Together Forever.”

“At once amusing, astonishingly touch and truly endearing,” says the New York Post.

Bishara has worked at regional theatres in Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida as an actor, director, producer, and administrator. At CATCO, he directed Sex With Strangers, James and the Giant Peach JR., The Kabuki Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Elephant and Piggie’s “We are in a Play!,” The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, [title of show], Master Class, A Christmas Carol, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Revenge of the Space Pandas, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Rude Mechanicals, and Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits: Vol. 1, and appeared in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Forbidden Broadway, The Story of My Life and Evil Dead: The Musical. Other acting credits include Titanic, Forbidden Broadway: SVU, The Rocky Horror Show and The Last Five Years. Additional directing credits include The Spitfire Grill, Madeline’s Christmas, Bat Boy: The Musical, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The House at Pooh Corner, Wind in the Willows, Encylopedia Brown, Peter and the Wolf, Beauty and the Beast (Isabella e la Bestia), and School House Rock Live!

Wheeler, who has been teaching at CSG since 2012, is an Equity actor, professional director and choreographer, has worked at theaters throughout Ohio, including the Human Race in Dayton, and regionally. She appeared in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Christmas Carol, Evil Dead: The Musical, and Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits: Vol. I at CATCO and CATCO is Kids’ production of If You Give a Mouse A Cookie. Directing credits at CATCO is Kids include The Hobbit, The Neverending Story and School House Rock Live! She was the choreographer for CATCO is Kids’ productions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Elephant and Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” and Go, Dog. Go! Bishara has won several Theatre Roundtable Awards for Acting and Choreography. She has also received a Best Actress Award from the Central Ohio Critics Circle.

Anderson’s directing credits include plays as diverse as the world premiere of Henry Ford’s Model E, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, An Act of God, Mothers and Sons, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Elephant Man, Avenue Q, and the highly acclaimed production of Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife. He has also directed Candide and Hair at The Ohio State University Theatre Department; Love! Velour! Compassion! and The Taste of Sunrise at CATCO; Big River and Pippin at Actors Theatre; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at New Harmony Theatre; and Greater Tuna, Little Shop of Horrors, and Assassins at the former Players Theatre Columbus where he served as Associate Producing Director.

Wednesday Morning Matinees

For I Do! I Do!, there will be 11 a.m. matinee performances: June 7 and June 14. Tickets are $20.

Ticket/Parking Information

Tickets for all other performances are Thursdays, $30; Sundays, $35; and Fridays and Saturdays, $40.

For I Do! I Do!, student tickets can be purchased for $15 for any performance based on availability and valid I.D. All tickets can be purchased at the box office at 39 E. State St. next to the Ohio theatre, by calling 614-469-0939, visiting or calling or visiting any central Ohio Ticketmaster location. Performances are in the Studio Theatres at the Vern Riffe Center, located at 77 S. High St., in Downtown Columbus at the corner of State and High streets. Attached parking is available in the Riffe Center garage, which is entered from Front Street.

CATCO’s 32nd season is sponsored by support from The Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans, and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

CATCO also appreciates the support of the Barbara B. Coons, Nina B. Pohlman, and Martha G. Staub Funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all of its citizens, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973. Other supporters include The Shubert Foundation Inc. and Nationwide Insurance Foundation.

CATCO’s season sponsor is L Brands; season partner is the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

To subscribe or for more information about CATCO’s 2017-18 season, visit


CATCO is central Ohio’s professional Equity theatre company, providing quality theatre and educational programs for all ages. The theatre organization has adopted an innovative strategy, building creative alliances that can sustain growth and development. For more information, visit Together, CATCO and CATCO is Kids provide quality theatre and educational programs for all ages.

CATCO Mission Statement

Theatre is a shared experience that illuminates the mysteries of our humanity. Its magic has the power to transform us whether on stage, in the classroom or in our diverse communities. CATCO creates theatre that delights, challenges, and transports.

Staff Report