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Friends of Niagara University Theatre celebrate 50 years of NU Theatre at annual gala

by jmaloni

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Mon, Mar 24th 2014 05:45 pm

On May 3, the Friends of Niagara University Theatre will celebrate 50 years of Niagara University Theatre and the contributions of the theater program's late co-founder, Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., when they host the 29th annual Friends of Niagara University Theatre Gala.

The festive event includes a 4 p.m. production of "Curtains" at the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall. 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; a Broadway trip; and much more.

NU alumnus John T. Overbeck, Class of 1975, is this year's gala chair. Overbeck is a faculty fellow in NU's College of Business Administration. He previously served in a number of executive sales positions for IBM for more than 30 years. A long-time supporter of NU Theatre, Overbeck has also acted on its stage in a number of its productions, including "That Championship Season," "The Death of a Salesman," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Our Town," to name a few. Overbeck said he is thrilled to have the opportunity to provide leadership for this fundraiser.

Auction committee co-chairs include Friends board members Maria Arena of Clarence, Pamela LeCuyer of Getzville, Margaret Lacki of Grand Island, 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, or $175 per person for those individuals who wish to be listed as sponsors. For more information about the gala, contact Jennifer Stahlman at 716-286-8483.

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