Broadway, Stage and Beyond
Merle starred as "The Lady of the Lake" in the hilarious romp lovingly ripped off from "Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail".
2005 – 2007 Tarzan
Merle originated the role of Kala. Months of yoga, capoeira, flight training, movement training and working along side Oscar and Grammy winning artist, Phil Collins, proved to be a tremendous and life-changing experience. She can be heard on the cast album singing "You'll Be in my Heart" and other original music.
2002-2005, 2007-2008 RENT
RENT had been a Broadway "home" to Merle for many years. Its message of love is timeless and continues to touch all generations.
2001 – 2002 AIDA
Merle opened the First National Tour of Aida as Nehebka and the Aida Standby. She quickly moved up the ranks to performing the title role on Broadway in 2002. This began her work with and love of her Disney Family.
2000 – 2001 Jesus Christ Super Star
Merle's Broadway debut. Under the inspirational direction of Gale Edwards, she first stepped foot on the Broadway stage as a Soul Girl and Mary Magdalene understudy. Then, onto the Radio City stage for the first time to perform for the Tonys.
SPAMALOT (Hollywood Bowl 2015)
Reprising her role of Lady of the Lake alongside Eric Idle as The Historian, Craig Robinson as King Arthur, Christian Slater as Sir Galahad, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Sir Robin, Rick Holmes as Sir Lancelot, Kevin Chamberlain as Sir Bedevere and Tom Deckman as Prince Herbert.
Kiss Me, Kate (Pasadena Playhouse 2014)
Merle stars opposite Wayne Brady in this new twist on a classic show with a soulful African American cast. Merle, as film star Lilli Vanessi, returns to her stage roots to play Kate in Taming of the Shrew opposite her ex-husband Fred Graham played by Wayne Brady. Gangsters threaten the show as old flames reignite.
By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Geffen Playhouse 2012)
Penned by the incomparable Lynn Nottage, Merle played Anna Mae (a black actress in the 20's passing as Brazilian) in the first act and Afua Assata Ejobo (a lesbian, activist, beat poet in the 90's) in the second act.
Hugh Jackman in Peformance (San Francisco, Toronto 2011)
In his pre-Broadway tour, Merle was featured in this extraordinary evening with Hugh.
The Last Goodbye (Williamstown Theatre Festival 2010)
In this modern take on Romeo and Juliet set to Jeff Buckley music, Merle played the conflicted Lady Capulet.
RENT (Broadway National Tour 2010)
Merle was very happy to find a few months free to tour with her New York Broadway costars including original cast members Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp.
Atlanta (Geffen Playhouse 2007)
The beautiful story of one of the last great Civil War battles penned by Grammy winner Marcus Hummon and Heroes star Adrian Pasdar.
Most Wanted (LaJolla Playhouse 2007)
In this story based on Andrew Cunanan, the Versace killer, Merle played Elizabeth Mitchell a reporter who became the killer's confidante fearing she'd "Crossed the Line" getting the story of a lifetime.
Showtune (Pasadena Playhouse 2002)
Jerry Herman himself oversaw this rollicking review of his best tunes in which Merle was featured.
Aida (First National Tour 2001-2002)
Merle understudied Aida and played the role of Nehebka in this First National Tour, before she left to play the title role on Broadway.
Ain't Misbehavin' (European Tour 1999)
Merle played the role originated by Charlain Woodard.
Smokey Joe's Cafe (U.S. Tour 1998-1999)
Merle was a swing covering most of the female roles.
The Kentucky Cycle (Pegasus Players 1996)
The mid-west premiere of a great American Legacy spanning several centuries.
Passion (Pegasus Players 1996)
In this mid-west premiere, Merle played the small, but impactful role of the Mistress.
As You Like It (O'Malley Theatre 1996)
Playing Rosalind was the beginning of her love affair with Shakespeare.