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MSU Spring Dance Concert Resurrects Vaudeville

(Poster design courtesy MSU Theatre and Dance)

Missouri State University Theatre and Dance Department presents their spring dance show "Strutting and Fretting", coordinated by Ruth Barnes, choreographed by MSU faculty and danced by students, Friday and Saturday May 1st and 2nd at 7:30pm and Sunday the 3rd at 2:30pm in the Craig Hall Coger Theater.

The concert is  loosely based on the elements of an early 20th-century vaudeville show: charming skirt dancers, flashy hoofers, elegant ballerinas, powerful vocalists. Says Ruth Barnes, "We wanted to make something entertaining and light--and different." There are 17 short numbers in the show, and they'll be introduced by an M.C. Thus, no printed cards or placards on-stage to announce each act... there will also be no hook to forcibly remove acts from the stage! However, there is a poetry recitation--"really bad poetry," says Ruth! Also, no animal acts such as you'd see in old-time vaudeville.  And as this is vaudeville and not burlesque, no strippers!

They've updated this early 20th-century family entertainment to affectionately acknowledge the history of the elusive art of performance.  Stories of love and friendship are told with a tongue-in-cheek twist.  It's a program of fun, playful new works with the musical emphasis on nostalgia.  Tunes by Scott Joplin, Victor Herbert, Noel Coward and even Debussy are featured, as well as the quartet "Lyda Rose" from Meredith Willson's The Music Man, sung by four tenors.  Also featured will be MSU Music faculty members, mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Daehn and pianist Peter Collins.

Tickets are $14 adults, $12 students/senior citizens; or $8 in advance with MSU ID. For information call the MSU TIX number, 836-7678 or visit

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning Arts News. Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Ozzie Award in 2006.