On April 27, the Friends of Niagara University Theatre will host the 28th annual Friends of Niagara University Theatre Gala, including a 4 p.m. production of "Into the Woods" at the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall.
Niagara University Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine fairytale musical, "Into the Woods" from April 18-28. Associate professor Doug Zschiegner will direct the production, while associate professor Terri Filips Vaughan is choreographer and music adjunct Randy Andropolis will provide musical direction. The production premiered on Broadway in 1987, and most recently received critical acclaim at New York's Central Park this past summer.
On the day of the gala, the musical matinee will be followed by a cocktail reception, dinner and silent and live auction at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. Auction items include gift certificates to area stores, restaurants and businesses, paintings, entertainment and sports-related memorabilia, gift baskets and much more.
Dr. Nancy McGlen and her husband, Joseph Gadawski, are this year's honorary gala chairs. McGlen is dean of NU's College of Arts and Sciences and Gadawski is retired from his position as the vice president of Clark Container, formerly a Division of Mark IV Industries. Long-time supporters of NU Theatre, the honorary chairs said they are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide leadership for this important fundraiser.
Auction committee co-chairs include Friends board members Maria Arena of Clarence, Pamela LeCuyer of Getzville, Lori Presti of Youngstown, and Adair M. Saviola of Buffalo. Arena is board secretary and decorations chair of the event, and Saviola is board president. Dinner committee chair is Friends' board vice president, Russell Papia of Williamsville.
Funds raised from the annual gala will benefit the theater program and its students, from needed theater equipment and supplies to workshops and mentoring by guest artists with such professional credits as the Broadway stage, television shows and films. Tickets for the gala are $150 per person. For more information about the gala, contact Ann Heuer, office and media coordinator at 716-286-8480.