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UW-Eau Claire's Production of
'The Merry Widow' to Open Feb. 22

RELEASED: Feb. 13, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's production of "The Merry Widow" opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in Gantner Concert Hall located in the Haas Fine Arts Center. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-24 and March 1-3, with a matinee at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 4.

"The Merry Widow," with music by Franz Lehar, performed in the English translation by Sheldon Harnick, is one of the world's most popular operettas. Set in Paris at the turn of the 19th century, the recently widowed Hanna Glawari is pursued by members of the Pontevedrian embassy who are eager for her to marry another Pontevedrian husband so her inherited millions will stay in the poverty-stricken Pontevedro. The fun and chase begin at a decadent Parisian ball in honor of the Grand Duke and continue through a Slavic garden party and on to the cabaret. The operetta features a captivating musical score filled with exuberant waltzes, including the "Merry Widow Waltz," and irresistible melodies such as "I'm Going to Maxim's," "Vilia" and of course, the can-can!

Senior Stephanie Holte, Sheboygan, will perform the role of Hanna Galwari, with junior Reid Larsen, Waconia, Minn., as Count Danilo and junior Allison Wells, Eau Claire, as Praskowia. Sophomore Kevin Newell, Edgar, will play the role of Count Camille de Rosillon, senior Amanda Verstegan, Appleton, sings Valencienne, and senior David Peet, Dawson, Minn., will play Bogdanovich. Junior Chris J. Goltz, Marinette, is cast as St. Broiche, and senior Mark Chester Lundin, Blaine, Minn., will play the role of Zeta. Junior Aaron Verber, Wausau, is cast as Kromov, with senior Lauren Tompkins, Eau Claire, as Olga, senior Kyle Robl, Merrill, as Cascada and sophomore Amy Stanfield, Lake Geneva, as Sylvianne. Freshman John Turba, Platteville, will play Pritschitsch, and freshman Tim Jacobs, Hampton, N.H., is cast as Njegus.

Dancers include juniors Andrea Fuss, Waupaca, Caitlin Nelson, Green Bay, and Ryan Metcalf, Eau Claire; sophomores Sheena Thompson, River Falls, Sarah Meddaugh, Madison, and Monika Zinter, Wayzata, Minn.; and freshmen Chelsey Dahm, Middleton, and Tara Metcalf, Eau Claire. Chorus members include senior Emily Weber, Marshfield, and junior Kristine Becker, Crystal, Minn.; sophomores Dominique Sicard, Neenah, Ben John, Hartland, Abby Bordak, South Milwaukee, Tammie Delveaux, Grafton, Emily Worzalla, Madison, Angela Nieman, Milwaukee, Stephanie M. Benson, Mankato, Minn., and Eddie Neve, De Forest; and freshmen Pat Dolan, Lancaster, and Jonas Marcel Hacker, Lake Delton.

Mitra Sadeghpour, assistant professor of music and theatre arts, directs "The Merry Widow." Nobuyoshi Yasuda conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and Toni Poll-Sorensen is the choreographer. Music direction is by Kathryn Proctor Duax, Alan Rieck and junior Caitlin Nelson, Green Bay. Set and lighting design are by Kevin Gawley. Costume design is by Heidi O'Hare and sound design is by Art Gulig.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, are $10 for the general public; $8 for those 62 and older; $7 for children 17 and younger and faculty and staff with a university ID; and $6 for students with a university ID.

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CKW/NW

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