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School of Theatre Alums Featured in Broadway’s “Chaplin the Musical”

Published September 18, 2012

By Ariel Backer

Justin BowenLeslie Donna FlesnerTallahassee, FL (September 17, 2012) – Alumni from the School of Theatre at Florida State University, Justin Bowen (’09) and Leslie Flesner, (’08) are performing in Chaplin the Musical – “the big musical about the little tramp.”

On Monday, September 10, Chaplin the Musical debuted at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The plot revolves around the ever-so memorable Charlie Chaplin, the man who changed the way America went to the movies – his life, career and legend.

Written by Thomas Meehan (HairsprayThe Producers, Annieand Christopher Curtis, and music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis, this 22-person musical discloses the truth behind the headlines and follows the path of the man who brought us from the workhouses of London to the heights of Hollywood.

Being able to make my Broadway debut in the original cast of a new musical… has been thrilling and a dream come true. One of the best parts about it, though, has been getting to share the experience with fellow FSU alum (and college roommate), Leslie Flesner. To go from midnight scene rehearsals in our living room five years ago to rehearsing together on a Broadway stage has been surreal. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and I can’t wait for people to see the show,” Bowen said in an online interview.

Justin Bowen (BM Music Theatre) is making his Broadway debut in the ensemble. Previous credits include: Paper Mill Playhouse (Hero, A Funny Thing…Forum), Goodspeed Musicals (Mickey, Hello! My Baby), Stages St. Louis (Tom Sawyer, Big River!), Yale Institute for Music Theatre, as well as CBS’ My Broadway Debut.

Leslie Flesner (BFA Music Theatre) will be seen as the female swing in the production. Her previous credits on Broadway include Finian’s Rainbow (Melinda, u/s Susan the Silent) and Follies (Young Dee Dee, u/s Young Heidi). At City Center Encores she was seen in Fanny and Finian’s Rainbow. Regional credits include the Ahmanson Theater, the Kennedy Center, MUNY, North Shore Music Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, Portland Center Stage, and Ogunquit Playhouse. She has appeared in HBO’S Boardwalk Empire.


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For additional media or information contact: David J. Valdez – (813) 624-3034 or