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Omaha Performing Arts Presents TRUE COLORS, 7/16

Some of the area's finest talent will join Broadway's best triple threats in True Colors, a one-night-only Broadway concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center, Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 for reserved seating and are on sale now through Ticket Omaha, online at, by phone at 402.345.0606 or in person at the Ticket Omaha Office inside the Holland Center, 13th and Douglas streets.

Omaha Performing Arts has partnered with The Broadway Dreams Foundation (BDF), a national non-profit performing arts training program that teaches aspiring actors, singers and dancers how to kick start their careers. BDF provides local performers the opportunity to work with and learn from Broadway professionals and to better understand the musical theatre industry from the audition, through the rehearsal and to the opening night performance.

The True Colors concert will showcase the results of a weeklong intensive series of workshops July 11-17 presented by the Broadway Dreams Foundation. More than 100 students successfully auditioned for a place in the workshops. For a tuition cost of $695, participants will receive more than 40 hours of training in acting, dance and vocal performance by savvy Broadway veterans who will share their invaluable insider knowledge on the skills needed to make it in show business. They'll also have the opportunity to audition for national talent scouts. All will be cast in True Colors where about two dozen will have featured roles with the Broadway professionals.

Among the Broadway performers and BDF workshop faculty featured in True Colors are: Richard Jay-Alexander, best known for his association with Producer Cameron Macintosh, running the day-to-day operations of Mr. Macintosh's American company for 10 years. Richard Jay-Alexander served as Associate Director and Executive Producer of the original Broadway, touring and Canadian companies of LES MISÉRABLES, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and MISS SAIGON. He has worked with some of the world's greatest entertainers, including Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Monheit, Lea Michelle, Julie Andrews and Bernadette Peters.

Dave Barrus, who is a co-founder of The Broadway Dreams Foundation. He performed in the Broadway and National tour of LES MISÉRABLES. Regional credits include: the West Coast premiere of SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED, THE FULL MONTY, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE BOYS NEXT DOOR. Craig Burns, casting director in Manhattan. His Broadway, Off-Broadway and National Tour casting credits include 9 TO 5, WICKED, LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL, THE COLOR PURPLE, HAIRSPRAY, CRY-BABY, JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA, ALL SHOOK UP and many more. Burns attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Paul Canaan, BDF Artistic Director, who appeared in LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. Canaan traveled in the National Tour of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and performed in the NEW YORK RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR. Quentin Earl Darrington, best known for his recent leading role as Colehouse in the Broadway revival of RAGTIME. Quentin also toured with THE COLOR PURPLE and will soon be on the road with MEMPHIS. Tyler Hanes, who can be heard in the original cast recordings of THE BOY FROM OZ, THE FROGS, SWEET CHARITY and A CHORUS LINE. In 2005, Hanes was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his breakout performance as Ren McCormick in the Chicago production of FOOTLOOSE. James Kinney, BDF choreographer, who appeared in the original Broadway production of FOSSE and the 2005 revival of SWEET CHARITY which starred Christina Applegate. Kinney has performed at Carnegie Hall, The White House and with Liza Minnelli for "Rosie Live" on NBC. Nikki Snelson, best known for originating the role of exercise queen Brooke Wyndam in LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL and she can be heard in the cast recording of the show. Snelson has also appeared in the revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, the 2005 revival of SWEET CHARITY which starred Christina Applegate, A CHORUS LINE and the new Frank Wildhor musical WONDERLAND: ALICE'S NEW MUSICAL ADVENTURE. Snelson received her training at the Boston Conservatory.

The students performing July 16 will experience the full impact of a Broadway show as they appear in costume, under stage lights and before a live audience. They will have attended classes that will include perfecting auditioning skills, vocal coaching, pop styling, song selections and several will have successfully auditioned for a featured role in the show. They'll also see firsthand the dedication and talent required to pull off a show of this magnitude in just five short days.

With the success of wildly popular television shows like "Glee" and blockbuster films like Hairspray and Fame, the world of musical theater is more popular than ever, according to BDF Executive Director Annette Tanner.

"Our students undergo amazing transformations during this workshop," Tanner explains. "Our extremely talented faculty works with each student to train them for success on Broadway. Quentin Earl Darrington, for example, is one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever seen. We are beyond thrilled to have Quentin and the rest of the amazing professionals as faculty in Omaha."
"We have seen national success stories with some of our past local participants," says Joan Squires, President of Omaha Performing Arts. "Last winter, six Nebraska teens were nominated by a member of the Broadway Dreams Foundation to perform with more than 40 Broadway professionals in a benefit production for the Broadway Dreams Foundation in New York City. This opportunity came about through the experience and connections they gained by having participated in last year's Summer Intensive."

In addition to Omaha, BDF has offered its unique program to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and San Diego. Over one thousand students have participated in the BDF program and some have gone on to star on Broadway, pursue careers in the arts or attend prestigious theatre programs in universities throughout the United States. For more information on The Broadway Dreams Foundation, please visit

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