Alumni Return for 'Songs I wish I Were Cast to Sing'
Songs I Wish I Were Cast to Sing is taking center stage at the Leary Theatre on Nov. 12 and 13. This production is a benefit for the nonprofit organization Friends of Niagara University Theatre. Started in 1986, the group raises money to support the theatre.
Greg Fletcher, Niagara University director of theatre, says that all proceeds go directly to the theatre department. The funds will benefit the students by purchasing equipment, scholarships, and bringing in guest artists.
This production's cast is composed of 10 Niagara University Theatre alumni, ranging from classes of 1987 to 2009. Fletcher explains that alumni were notified, asking them to be a part of this production.
Cast members have been totally giving of themselves for this benefit, says Fletcher.
Songs I Wish I Were Cast to Sing is a cabaret style production featuring more than a dozen songs from musical theatre. Fletcher says that the cast is going to introduce themselves and explain why they chose their songs “ songs that they never had to opportunity to sing while at NU.
Fletcher says that cast members are at different stages of their careers, but they are all able to give back to the department. For instance, this production features 1987 alumnus Michele Ragusa.
Ragusa performs around the country and is a huge talent, says Fletcher. She starred on Broadway in Young Frankenstein.
In addition to Ragusa, the cast includes Nick Cocchetto from '09; Peter Bennett, Alison Nusbaum, and David Autovino from '03; Paschal Frisina III from '00; Kristen (Nixon) Frisina from '02; Stephanie Bax from '93; and Carol Flanagan Propp and Paul Todaro from '87.
Songs I Wish I Were Cast to Sing will be performed in the Leary Theatre on Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 for general admission, $23 for NU employees and senior citizens, and $20 for students. NU students do not get their usual free tickets since this is a benefit production.