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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
News Bureau • Schofield Hall 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
Multimedia Musical Science Show
Offered at UW-Eau Claire Oct. 6
MAILED: Sept. 21, 2001

         EAU CLAIRE — “Cosmic Cabaret,” a multimedia music show on science, technology and the universe performed by physicist and science entertainer Lynda Williams, will be presented Saturday, Oct. 6, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
         Williams will perform her cabaret-style astrophysics revue at 2 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. A reception in the Fine Arts Center lobby will follow the Forum “Special,” which is co-sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire department of physics and astronomy, and the Professional Development Program.
         A physics and astronomy instructor and doctoral student by day, by night Lynda Williams is the Physics Chanteuse, an alter ego she has called “my vehicle for expressing my observations about physics.” Williams describes her alter ego, who uses original songs, parodies, repartee and mixed-media presentations, as “Bette Midler meets Carl Sagan, with a touch of Tom Lehrer and Mae West added to the mix.”
         The cosmic siren’s lively grooves and witty lyrics prompted People magazine to write “Williams puts the fizz back in physics.” The New York Times described her as “the tall woman in the silver lame jumpsuit prancing around the Charles Hagar Planetarium of San Francisco State University, singing original love songs to quarks and leptons in a voice that is somewhere between Madonna and Eartha Kitt.”
         Williams’ second career as a science entertainer began in the mid-1990s while she was working on her master’s degree in physics.
         “I think I was singing and dancing since the day I was born,” Williams told The New York Times. “I’ve worked as a dancer, and I’ve taught mixed media production at the San Francisco Art Institute. When I was in graduate school at San Francisco State University, I found myself writing songs about what I was studying. Physics is such a lyrical subject, and I just naturally wrote songs about it.”
         Williams performs original songs that elucidate the wonders of the universe, from the Big Bang to DNA, and sets old standards to new lyrics. One song is a play on “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, “ written and performed by Williams for the 44th Annual Midwest Solid State Conference:
         A lithium dose may just cure your depression
         But carbon is a girl’s best friend.
         Gold may be grand but it won’t put a fire in your BBQ
         Or put the toot in your choo-choo...
         The songs may be heard on Williams’ CD, “Cosmic Cabaret” (2000), and on her Web site.
         Williams has sung the praises of science on shows such as “Good Morning America” and “The Osgood Files” and been praised by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and others for making science fun and accessible to a wide audience. As the Physics Chanteuse she has performed for such prestigious professional science organizations as the American Physics Society and the American Astronomical Society.
         Williams taught introductory physics and astronomy at San Francisco State University from 1997 until her recent move to New York City, where she is working toward her Ph.D. in science education at the City University of New York. She has appeared on the TV game show, “To Tell the Truth” (“Will the real science singer please stand up?”) in a program that will be broadcast this fall.
         Tickets for “Cosmic Cabaret” are $3 ($1 for those age 17 and younger, 62 and older, and UW-Eau Claire students) at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
         The Physics Chanteuse will also be featured at a “Physics Friday” presentation on Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. Williams’ Friday performance on science themes is designed for an academic university-community audience. Admission is free.

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Updated: Sept. 21, 2001