College of Fine Arts and Design

Olympia Dukakis Among Highlights Of UCO's Broadway Tonight Series 2011-2012 Season

June 17, 2011

The University of Central Oklahoma's Broadway Tonight 2011-2012 season will bring a line-up of stars, including Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis and performances by "The Little Mermaid's" Jodi Benson, singer/actress Linda Purl, and former Supreme Mary Wilson.

Leading off the season at 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat., Aug. 26 and 27, is Tony Award-nominee Benson and the Young Voices of Edmond performing Disney and Broadway song favorites. Benson has received critical acclaim and worldwide recognition as the voice of Ariel in Disney's movie "The Little Mermaid."

"We had such a success including the community last year with Andrea McArdle that we wanted to do it again this year by presenting Jodi Benson with a local children's choir, the Young Voices of Edmond," Broadway Tonight producer Greg White said.

Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis will perform her West End and Broadway one-woman show, "Rose," at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Sept. 17. The play follows the life and reflections of an 80-year-old Jewish matriarch and her story of survival in the 20th century from Warsaw to today's Miami Beach.

"Olympia Dukakis is our headliner and this show will have wide appeal with older audiences who will appreciate where she is in life and younger audiences because she has been such a contemporary film success," White said.

"In theater acting ‘royalty,' she is right up front."

On Sat., Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Broadway Tonight presents actress/singer Linda Purl in concert, performing a romantic evening of standards.  Purl is best known for her major television movie roles on the Lifetime network and leading roles on television's "Matlock," "Happy Days," and currently "The Office."

 "Linda Purl really inhabits the American songbook...her voice is sexy and soulful," White said.

 Each year the Broadway Tonight series and UCO's Music Theatre division collaborate to produce their own musical. This season, they will partner for the Oklahoma City metro area premiere of "Sunset Boulevard," a Tony Award-winning musical based on the 1950 film with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

White will direct the production, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thurs. through Sat., April 12-14 and 2 p.m., Sun., April 15, 2012.

Wrapping up the season is "Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project," starring music legend Mary Wilson from the Supremes.  The production is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Sat., April 19, 2012, and includes live narrative from author James Gavin, vocals from Wilson, and actual film footage from Horne's career.

"I look forward to seeing what they do with her tumultuous story," White said.  "The show will be intimate and challenging."

White added he believes this to be one of the most diverse Broadway Tonight seasons to date.

"There is something for kids as well as shows with more depth and meaning, a diverse season that promises to enlighten, challenge, and inspire audiences."

To purchase season tickets, call the Broadway Tonight office at (405) 974-2609.  Single tickets go on sale July 15.  To view ticket prices and other information, visit the Broadway Tonight website at www.uco.edu/broadway.