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University Theatre to Present Neil Simon's
'Laughter on the 23rd Floor'

RELEASED: April 21, 2005

'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' graphicEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts will present Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor," at 7:30 p.m. May 5-7 in Riverside Theatre of the Haas Fine Arts Center. Other performances will be given May 8 at 1:30 p.m. and May 10-14 at 7:30 p.m.

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor" is based on Neil Simon's time spent as a writer for Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows." The characters are modeled after the other writers Simon spent his days with in Caesar's famous writers' room, including Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Lucille Kallen and Mel Tolkin. The writers were on an intense schedule and had to deal with the pressures of McCarthyism and censorship as they worked to create a new type of television programming. The play is seen through the eyes of Simon's alter ego, Lucas, and follows the group of writers as they play practical jokes on one another and vie for the attention of head-honcho Max Prince, a character modeled after Sid Caesar.

Sophomore Ben Seidman, Shorewood, is playing the role of Lucas; senior Daniel Largent, Mondovi, is cast as Milt; senior Joseph Dauer, Mound, Minn., is playing Val; sophomore John Harrigan, Coon Rapids, Minn., is appearing as Brian; junior Mark Saienga, Lakeville, Minn., is playing Kenny; senior Ashley Smith, Lone Rock, is playing Carol; senior Paul Bleier, Wautoma, is cast as Max Prince; sophomore Tera Kaminski, Waupaca, is playing the role of Helen; and junior Michael Evano, Minneapolis, Minn., is appearing as Ira.

The production is directed by Terry Allen, professor of theatre arts. Senior Sara Kostreva, Oconto Falls, is serving as stage manager for the show with the help of junior Aaron Loy, Rosemount, Minn., as assistant stage manager. Jody Sekas is creating the scenic and lighting designs with the assistance of junior Ryan Zirngibl, Medford, and senior Thomas Teer, Hayward. Senior Briana Hardyman, Darlington, is serving as props master for the production and Heidi O'Hare is in charge of the costuming.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727 or (800) 949-UWEC, are $9 for the general public, $7 for those 62 and older, $6 for children 17 and younger and faculty and staff with a university ID, and $5 for students with a university ID.

-30-

CW/NW

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