College of Fine Arts and Design

Tribute to Award-Winning Broadway Composer and Director Frank Loesser Set at UCO Jazz Lab

Feb. 18, 2011perfectly frank

"Perfectly Frank," a celebration of the music and shows of prolific Broadway composer and director Frank Loesser, will be performed at 8 p.m. March 3-5 at the UCO Jazz Lab by the University of Central Oklahoma's musical theatre division.

"Perfectly Frank" will feature UCO's music theatre students in a rousing revue of Loesser's songs from his Tin Pan Alley days of popular music through the Hollywood and Broadway years.  The production was created and directed by Billie Thrash, adjunct faculty member at UCO and the former director of Central's music theatre division.

"As if the lyrics, music and shows of this Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist weren't cause enough for celebration, this past year was the Frank Loesser centenary," Thrash said of the composer, who was boron June 29, 1910.

Songs included in the revue include such standards as "On a Slow Boat to China," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?,"  "I Wish I Didn't Love You So,"  "Two Sleepy People," plus hit songs from his films and Broadway shows including "Hans Christian Anderson,"  "Where's Charley," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," "The Most Happy Fella" and perhaps Loesser's most well-known musical, "Guys and Dolls" which has enjoyed five hit Broadway revivals since the original production in 1950.

"Loesser created such a variety of music that it makes it easy to match individual music theatre students with songs that showcase each one's specific abilities whether interpreting a ballad, having fun with a novelty piece or cutting loose with a lively song and dance number," said Thrash.  

Sandra Thompson, DMA, an assistant professor of music at Central, will serve as the musical director for "Perfectly Frank" with UCO Music Theatre alum Shannon Hurleigh handling additional choreography for the production.

Tickets to the show are $15 and reservations are strongly recommended.  For seat reservations, call the UCO Jazz Lab at (405) 359-7989.

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