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University Relations

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September 1, 2005
Contact: Charla Jenkins, University Theatre, (785) 864-2684.

KU theatre kicks off season with tribute to 'Jacque Brel Alive and Well in Paris'

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas Department of Theatre and Film's University Theatre kicks off its 2005-06 season with the cabaret-style revue, "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris."

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, and 24, and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 18 and 25 on Stage Too! in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre. General admission tickets are on sale in the KU ticket offices: University Theatre, 864-3982, and Lied Center, 864-ARTS, and online at kutheatre.com. Public tickets are $18, tickets for all students are $10, while senior citizen and KU faculty and staff tickets are $17. Both Visa and Mastercard are accepted for phone and on-line orders.

With music based on Brel's lyrics and commentary and a production conception, English lyrics and additional material by Blau and Schuman, "Jacques Brel" was first created in 1968 and ran Off-Broadway for seven years and 1,847 performances. The musical extravaganza features 23 of Brel's most unforgettable pieces.

John Staniunas, associate professor of theatre and film, is director, choreographer, and co-musical director with guest artist Barbara Puckett. Scenic designer is Mark Reaney, professor of theatre and film; Robert Sturner, Overland Park senior, is the lighting designer, and Summer Eglinski, a 2005 theatre graduate from Lawrence, is costume designer.

Born in Belgium in 1929, Brel had an extremely prolific and eccentric career as a composer, musician, singer, film director, and actor, not to mention a pilot and a sailor. His tunes are mesmerizing--music rich with a mid-20th-century European sensibility that still managed to be timeless.

"Brel's music reverberates with love, loss, joy, despair, and the changes that come with age while commenting on society, politics, and the human experience," Staniunas said. "And his lyrics are as timely today as when he originally penned them."

Puckett is the piano accompanist for the revue along with Egle Perkumaite, associate professor of piano at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnus, who is a visiting Fulbright Scholar this semester in the KU Department of Theatre and Film and the Department of Music and Dance. Trained at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Perkumaite specializes in training accompanists for singers. A previous Fulbright Scholar at the University of Miami in Florida, Perkumaite's visit to KU includes her investigation into accompaniment techniques for American musical theatre.

Members of the Jacques Brel ensemble are (listed by name, class, major, parents' names, and high school):

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Baldwin City
Jedidiah Kruger, sophomore, voice major, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kruger and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Gaugher, Hampton, NE; Hampton High School.

From Lawrence
Dylan Hilpman, senior, theatre/voice major, son of Dwight and Peggy Hilpman, Lawrence Free State High School.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe
Eric F. Avery, senior, theatre major, son of Mary Ann Avery and John and Vivian Avery, Highland Park High School, Topeka.
Amy Cahill, sophomore, voice major, daughter of Sharon and Dick Cahill, Olathe South High School.

From Overland Park
Patrick Lewallen, sophomore, theatre/voice major, son of Jim and Kim Lewallen, Shawnee Mission South High School.

From Roeland Park
Andi Porter, sophomore, theatre major, daughter of Scott and Carol Porter, Bishop Miege High School.

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Lansing
Lawrence P. Henderson, junior, theatre major, son of Terri L. Harris and Lawrence W. Henderson, Lansing High School.

NEMAHA COUNTY
From Sabetha
Meaghan Deiter, graduate student, voice major, daughter of Steve Deiter, Sabetha High School.

SALINE COUNTY
From Salina
Lauren R. Marshall, senior, theatre/voice major, daughter of Eric and Barbara Marshall, Salina South High School.

(End Kansas)

OKLAHOMA
From Norman
Kate Hurley, senior, theatre/voice major, daughter of Phil and Gail Hurley, Norman High School North.

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