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Summer Playhouse alum returns for variety show after finding success on Broadway

by TAYLOR INMAN
Bigfork Eagle | August 24, 2022 12:00 AM

A Bigfork Summer Playhouse alumni is making his return to the theater by the bay with his wife, and both performers are bringing years of Broadway experience to this one night only show. “Broadway In Love” is a musical concert celebration of Broadway’s most touching, hilarious and captivating love songs.

Stephan Stubbins’ professional performing career has been highlighted by his time on Broadway in “Mary Poppins”, in the pre-Broadway world premiere of the musical “Memphis”, singing an opening act solo for Frank Sinatra, headlining an opening act for Rita Moreno and working with artist legends on and off stage including Dick Van Dyke, Kristin Chenoweth, Conan O’Brien and more. His wife, Libby Servais was most recently seen playing “Glinda” in Broadway’s “Wicked”. She also performed the role with the National Tour and San Francisco company and was featured on NBC’s “A Very Wicked Halloween” television special. Additionally, Servais was in the original Broadway cast of “Lysistrata Jones,” and has found success in many other off Broadway roles, like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” for which she was awarded “Best Actress in a Musical” by Broadway World.

Stubbins and Servais met performing in a show together in 2013, fell in love and then married in 2019. Stubbins is also the co-founder of the “Broadway Under the Stars” concert series in wine country, California. He said their show “Broadway in Love” is inspired by some of those shows and really developed after the start of the pandemic.

“We did a couple live stream concerts over the pandemic with our Broadway friends, we would host like six or eight different performers along with ourselves and we would work on material. Then as we came out of the pandemic, we basically had this show put together,” Stubbins said.

“We've always sort of had this dream since we fell in love. We love performing together because when your singing partner is actually the person you love, it’s like a whole new level of specialness,” Servais said.

They performed “Broadway in Love” in Grass Valley, California in June, then a few select songs near Lake Tahoe, as well as Ohio— where both Servais and Stubbins are originally from. But, there’s something a little extra special about performing in Bigfork.

“Some of my happiest memories of performing on stage come from my time at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse,” Stubbins said. “It’s a dream come true to return to the Bigfork stage and to share it with the love of my life,”

Stubbins said he was pursuing being a performer in college when the Bigfork Summer Playhouse was auditioning for their next season in St. Louis. Stubbins’ uncle lived on Flathead Lake, so he was familiar with the little Montana village. He performed there for two seasons, in 1999 and 2000. He played the parts of Will Parker in “Oklahoma”, Cosmo in “Singin’ In The Rain” and George M in “George M”--- which he says is one of his favorite roles to date.

“It was such a transformational summer for me, in terms of the people I met and the community and just the beauty of Bigfork and the whole feel of it. Then I came back for a second season because I loved it so much,” Stubbins said.

He said Playhouse Owners Don and Jude Thomson and their son Brach have a whole slew of alumni and others supporting them from afar.

“They have such a warm and welcoming and wonderful kind of energy to them, that they have so many people in New York City, like performers who have worked out there, who just loved them and are rooting for Bigfork and long to be out there again someday,” Stubbins said.

“Broadway in Love” will feature some Broadway love song staples, as well as some comedic moments and “really dramatic moving favorites that people love,” says Stubbins.

Stubbins and Servais will be joined onstage by a live three-piece band featuring Bigfork local, K.C. Isaman on bass, Paul Merendino on drums and Todd Schreiber on piano.

“Broadway in Love” runs on Sunday August 28, beginning at 4 p.m. For more information visit BroadwayInLove.com.

The full 2022 Bigfork Summer Playhouse season runs through September 3.