Utah Rep to Present Gala!, Featuring BONNIE & CLYDE Original Cast Member, 11/8

Utah Rep to Present Gala!, Featuring BONNIE & CLYDE Original Cast Member, 11/8

Utah Repertory Theater Company announces an evening of entertainment and celebration at its first Gala!

Performances will include musical scenes from the company's first year of productions and selections from "Bonnie & Clyde," which Utah Rep will produce in January. In addition, there will be a guest performer: Utah resident Talon Ackerman, who created the role of Young Clyde in the original production of the Frank Wildhorn musical on Broadway.

The theme of the evening is "Wanted! Dead or Alive," following the company's season-opener, "Bonnie & Clyde," which will be a Utah premiere. The announcement will be made of the company's 2014 season of productions.

Utah Rep's Gala! will be held at Utah Arts Alliance (663 West 200 South, Salt Lake City) on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m., which will allow guests to tour the under-construction Cube Theater being renovated by UAA as Utah Rep's resident theater.

Hosting the fund-raising event for the non-profit Utah Rep is Bethany R. Woodruff, the Internet sensation known as "The Poo-Pourri Girl," and Christian Busath, who performed the comic role of William Barfee in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" national tour.

Who should attend? "Any lover of theater!"

"One of the greatest things about being a theater company and artists in general is this amazing community we get to be a part of," says Gala! organizer Ashley Ramsey, Utah Rep Assistant Director of Development. "There are going to be fantastic performances, great food, and a fabulous silent auction with some wonderful prizes to take home."

"We want to celebrate a wonderful year of theater-and raise funds for another," Ramsey said. "We have been so blessed at Utah Rep with the level of talent that has been in our shows. This is our way to showcase these talented performers and entertain the Gala! audience."

Utah Valley University Theatre Department Chairman Chris Clark will be honored with a Theater Educator Award for "the passion he has to see his students succeed." The popular local director was recently recognized by the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for the university's production of "Vincent in Brixton."

Utah Rep to Present Gala!, Featuring BONNIE & CLYDE Original Cast Member, 11/8The Reppy Award (a local version of the Tony) will be given to company members for best actors and production team members, and recognition of outstanding contributions.

Students from Utah's premier charter school, Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, will perform "Seasons of Love" from "Rent," following a successful volunteer fund-raising event hosted by the students.

Along with introducing the theater community to "Bonnie & Clyde," the theme of the Gala! recognizes that Utah Rep is "a bit of a rebel in the theater community," Ramsey said. "The company is producing different shows than any other theater in Utah, and we are very passionate about these great, forgotten or ignored shows."

Utah Rep's inaugural season featured three state premieres, including "Side Show," and "Carousel," the first Utah production in more than 10 years of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Utah Rep to Present Gala!, Featuring BONNIE & CLYDE Original Cast Member, 11/8

Along with his New York City performance in "Bonnie & Clyde," Equity Actor Talon Ackerman performed on Broadway in "Leap of Faith" and the national tour of "Mary Poppins" as Michael Banks. His credits include "The Secret Garden" (Collin Craven), Peter Pan (Michael Darling), and "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" (Chip), along with film roles in "Daddy Day Camp," "The Reunion," and "One Good Man."

Scottish native and UVU student Bethany R. Woodruff is enjoying her fame as "Poo Princess" following her hilarious national commercial for the Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, and has been featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and NBC's "Today Show." She performed a lead role in the Utah Rep production of "What the Bellhop Saw," and has also appeared in "The Curious Savage" and "The Crucible."

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" actor Christian Busath has also appeared as Henry in "The Fantasticks" and worked on Broadway in "The Lion King." Following his association with Amy Poehler's The Upright Citizen's Brigade improvisational comedy company, Busath appeared in the notable YouTube video, "Real Life Fruit Ninja," which has garnered 25 million views.

Gala! tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at UtahRep.org or at the door.

Captions, top to bottom:
Guest Performer Talon Ackerman, "Bonnie & Clyde" original cast member
Co-Host Bethany R. Woodruff, "The Poo-Pourri Girl" and Utah Rep company member
Co-Host Christian Busath, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" national tour actor

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Blair Howell Blair Howell's career is in the professional publishing arena (for more years than he cares to remember), with a longstanding interest in theater. He found it to be great fun to live in New Canaan, Connecticut, with easy access to the Great White Way. But now, Blair lives in Salt Lake City (a long, not interesting story). The much-lamented move has allowed him to be more active in regional theater. He now covers theater and the arts for the Deseret News, Utah's oldest, continuously-published metro daily newspaper, and has written for various theater-related national magazines and websites.


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