Broadway veteran heats up her alma mater

By Leigh E. Rich
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Photo by Tim Fuller
Katie Forgette stars as Cory in the world premiere of Steven Dietz's "Private Eyes," a production of the Arizona Theatre Company.


"Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! How to Succeed in Musical Theatre ... Practice, Practice, Practice!"

While most UA students are winding down the spring semester and preparing for the advent of triple-digit temperatures, those in the Theatre Arts Department are sweating for different reasons. The air conditioning is on high in the Marroney Theatre for Star Struck '96, an annual musical theater benefit which combines showtunes and a pre-show buffet.

A mouthful of a title - "Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! How to Succeed in Musical Theatre ... Practice, Practice, Practice!" - this year's production features Broadway veteran and UA Theatre Arts alumnus Susan Rush in a story about the molding of professional artists.

The plot maps the journey of musical theater majors, which begins with the incipient auditions one must endure to be accepted into a program. It also comments on the fears and pitfalls one encounters along the way to fortune and fame.

This path is far from foreign to Rush, who, since her Broadway debut in the revival of "Knickerbocker Holiday," has starred in productions such as "Guys and Dolls," "Mame," "Fiddler On the Roof" and "Once Upon a Mattress." "Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!" brings her back to her alma mater. The revue itself comes full circle as the characters are joined by, literally and figuratively, successful alumni who share their experiences on the most famous street in America.

Sing along with Star Struck '96 as it highlights well-known musical numbers, from George M. Cohen's "Give My Regards to Broadway" to Disney's "When You Wish Upon a Star." The picnic-style buffet will be served in the Laboratory Theatre, and the show will be followed by dessert and coffee with the cast. There are only two performances - 2:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on May 4 - and reservations are required. Call the UA Fine Arts Box Office at 621-1162 for tickets and more information.

"Private Eyes"

Join the Arizona Theatre Company for an evening of intrigue, lust, and deception as it presents the world premiere of Steven Dietz's play, "Private Eyes." Formerly known as "The Usual Suspects," Dietz changed the title of his play after the release of the acclaimed movie by the same name.

"Private Eyes" invites the audience into the world of detection. It challenges its viewers to figure out the sorted affairs of the characters - a theater director, an actress, her husband and his shrink. Even though it is a comedy, Dietz's latest work is likely to stump even the craftiest of theater-goers.

Previews of "Private Eyes" begin Saturday (the official premiere is May 3) and the show runs through May 18 at the Temple of Music and Art (330 S. Scott Ave.). Call 884-8210 for tickets and information.

"When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?"

The Upstairs Theatre Co. has extended its run of "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" at the a.k.a. Theatre (125 E. Congress St.) through May 4. This play, with its eerie tale of a holdup in an American caf­, runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, and there is a student discount. Call 623-7852 for reservations.

"Deporting the Divas"
"Five Women Wearing the Same Dress"

The Borderlands Theater is gearing up for its summer season, which will include "Deporting the Divas" by Guillermo Reyes, and "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" by Alan Ball. The comedy "Deporting the Divas" explores the lives of five gay immigrants, and "Five Women" portrays the soul-searching of bridesmaids during a wedding reception. Watch for these shows as the temperature rises. Call the Borderlands Theater at 882-8607 for more information and for ticket reservations.