The 2021-22 Clarion University Theatre season will continue Feb. 23-27 with the award-winning musical “[title of show].” Created by writer/actors Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, the witty autobiographical script is practically a love letter to musical theatre. The premise of the show is simple: Two nobodies (also named Hunter and Jeff) in New York join forces to write, in the words of one of their songs, “a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical.”
Totally unique, "[title of show]" chronicles its own creation, from the initial idea to the opening on Broadway.
"The backstage story is a standard trope in American Musical Comedy, from "42nd Street" through "Kiss Me Kate" and "Gypsy. '[title of show]' is different, as the show portrayed behind the scenes is the actual show that the audience is watching," said Robert Levy, director. "A number of years ago, a few students ran into my office demanding that I listen to this new score. I was intrigued and excited by it and was determined to present the show. It was initially scheduled for last season, but during the shift to online production, we felt that such an homage to theatre needed to be presented live to an audience."
The playwright and composer are played by D'Andre Thompson, an acting major from Toronto, Ohio, and Caleb Thompson, an environmental biology major from Shippenville. Their friends and partners-in-creation are played by Shelby Hostetler, an acting and education major from Summerhill, and Jessica Yarger, an early childhood education major from Glen Hope. The role of Larry, the musical director, is played by Brent Register, professor of music at Clarion. Adanna Maltony, an art and psychology major from Washington, is understudying all of the roles.
Scenic design is by Caitlin Morgan, a design major from Milheim; sound design is by Sam Santangelo, a design major from North Wales. Lighting is designed by theatre professor Edward J. Powers, and costumes are designed by theatre faculty member Julie Findlan-Powell. Production stage manager Tylar Nardei, a design and communication major from Aliquippa, is assisted by Erika Waldron, an art and communication major from Glenshaw.
"[title of show]" will be presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 23-26 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre. Tickets are available at www.clarionuniversitytickets.com or by phone at 814-393-2787. Because of adult language, this production is not recommended for children. Patrons are reminded that masks must be worn in Clarion University buildings.