My sisters (Sue, Kate and Christie) and I have been singing together since
we were kids. Our first professional endeavor was in the late 80's. Then, in some variation of The Launder Sisters, off and on over the years we have performed at Summerfest, Taste of
Chicago, Wisconsin State Fair, many festivals, special events and clubs. Most recently, March 23, 2007 we had a reunion concert
as part of the Oconomowoc Performing Arts Council 2007 Concert Series. All four of us had such a great time preparing for
the event. It was so wonderful to spend so much time with my sisters again. The concert consisted of original compositions
by Sue and Kate, and songs of our choice from all genre's - pop, rock, folk, country, jazz, and classical. It was a night
of making beautiful music together that I will always treasure.
There were different versions of Luke & The Coolhands over the years between 1989 and 1996. The picture on the left (from left to right)
is Mary Launder, Luke Nelson, Sandra Julian, and Roxonne Assof. The picture on the right (down low ) is Mike Spadaro, then(
left to right) is Gary Bristol, John Spiegel, Alice Kirwan, Luke Nelson, Mary Launder, Don Stiernberg. Other Coolhands included:
Olie Oshay, John Rice, Glenn DeMichele, Stewart Rosenberg, Mark Edelstein, Brad Goode, Jon Novi, Karl Montzka, Stewart Miller,
Dana Hall, Pat Mallinger, Paul Mckee, Jeff Newell and yes even my Father Russ Launder. We were celebrating all of the Coolhands
Birthday during one gig at the Roxie in Chicago. There was a song that Luke had written that called for a trumpet solo. I
asked my dad if he would play with us on that one gig as a birthday present to me. He agreed and he sounded great!! Luke
Nelson, the genius behind the band, wrote 100's of songs. The style was Western Swing Music, or as we ended up calling
it "Cowboy Jazz."
|Pump Boys & Dinettes, Apollo Theatre, Chicago IL
|Nunsense, Asolo State Theatre, Sarasota FL
Two musicals kept me employed as an Actress/Singer/Dancer for many years. Pump Boys & Dinettes and Nunsense.
I have performed Pump Boys & Dinettes at the Asolo State
Theatre, Sarasota FL; Madison Repertory Theatre, Madison WI; Apollo Theatre, Chicago IL; Forum Theatre, Berwyn IL; The Harrah's,
Lake Tahoe NV; and The Pump Boys & Dinettes Theatre, Branson MO. I have performed Nunsense at the Asolo State Theatre, Sarasota FL; Forum Theatre, Berwyn IL and The Charles Playhouse, Boston
MA. Over the years, before I started singing with various bands, I performed in many musicals and light Operas. Of which
some of my favorites were: The Music Man, Gondoliers, Pirates of Penzance,
Three Penny Opera, The King & I, Brigadoon, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Lady in the Dark and Street Scenes.
|Guys & Dolls, Oconomowoc High School
|Wizard of Oz, Wawautosa Recreation Drama Dept.
My theatrical history would not be complete without two very important musicals. Guys & Dolls and The Wizard
of Oz. It was 1975 and I was cast as Sarah Brown in Oconomowoc High Schools production of Guys and Dolls. The Director was Vic Passante or as we called him Mr. P. It was a very
special production. Vic was an amazing director and teacher at Oconomowoc High School. He taught and ran the drama dept.
there for over 30 years with endless energy, commitment and creativity.
When I was in 7th grade I was cast in my very first leading role, the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. The show was put on by the Wawautosa Recreation Dept. and we toured the
musical to grade schools around the area.
I do need to add one more role. The very first role I ever had was in
1st grade. I played a singing Christmas Tree. Sorry I don't have a picture of that, however, you can just imagine.
Top left corner photo, Sweet Pepprika and the Pump Boys and Dinettes picture by Jennifer