November 16, 2011 — Coral Gables — Tommy Tune, a triple-threat talent whose brilliance in acting, directing, and choreography catapulted him into the pantheon of Broadway legends, has brought his distinctive theatrical skills and vivid memories of New York in the 1970s to a novel theatrical collaboration with the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts.
The resulting production, Fifty*Four*Forever, performed at the University’s Jerry Herman Ring Theatre this fall, is a colorful musical tribute to Studio 54, a nightclub that drew into its magnetic orbit during the “swinging” ’70s an array of larger-than-life pop-culture idols—as well as thousands of less-famous souls who couldn’t resist the chance to be part of the scene. The show combines some of the era’s most famous disco anthems and a show-stopping new song—Lament for Three Jersey Girls—with a seriocomic look at the life of club impresario Steve Rubell.
Tune and librettist Mark Saltzman developed and workshopped the production with an unusual team of collaborators: Henry Fonte, chair of the University’s theatre arts department, and the program’s talented and high-energy performing arts students, who reach back to a time before many of them were born to dance, sing, and convey this over-the-top yet poignant tale in a stylized, eye-catchingly choreographed production. Tune and his UM team both hope this high-profile crowd-pleaser is just the start of a busy and beautiful friendship.
Read about Fifty*Four*Forever in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.
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