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Oct. 19: Carnegie Mellon School of Music Performs Tony Award-Winning Musical "Nine" Oct. 25-28


Eric Sloss                           

Carnegie Mellon School of Music Performs Tony
Award-Winning Musical "Nine" Oct. 25-28

PITTSBURGH — The Carnegie Mellon University School of Music presents the popular Broadway musical "Nine" Oct. 25-28, with director Dorothy Danner and conductor Robert Page.

"Nine" is based on "8 1/2," a 1960s Federico Fellini film that won Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design. It was adapted as a musical by Maury Yeston, who wrote the music and lyrics. "Nine" opened on Broadway in 1982 and had 729 performances. It won the 1982 Tony Award for Best Musical and was revived on Broadway in 2003, when it ran for 283 performances and won two additional Tony Awards, including one for Best Revival. "Nine" is in two acts. School of Drama alumnus and director Rob Marshall ("Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Chicago") is producing a film version of "Nine" to be released in 2008.

"I've always had wonderful experiences at Carnegie Mellon, but 'Nine' has been a particularly rich one. I really love the work ethic here, the way the students are trained and the diversity in the program. Where else could I do 'Nine' in a university setting?" Danner said.

The musical follows Guido Contini, a struggling Italian film director in the middle of a midlife crisis trying to recreate his early success with actress Claudia Nardi. He also has to balance his wife, his mother, his producer Liliane and many others. In the end, Contini loses his mind and reverts to how he behaved at the age of nine.

The cast consists of one male main character, 22 women and four other men. "Nine" also requires a young boy to play the young Guido, which will be performed by Danny Lawrence, the son of School of Music faculty member Betsy Lawrence.   

"We chose 'Nine' this year for two reasons. It is a marvelous vehicle for the development of sophisticated characters so different from 2007 society, and because it affords an opportunity for every voice major in the junior and senior classes," Page said.

Danner has directed more than 170 plays throughout the United States, Canada and Belgium. She has worked with the opera companies of Atlanta, Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and with companies such as Papermill Playhouse, Skylight Opera Theatre and The Virginia Opera. She has taught at The Juilliard School of Music and The Curtis Institute of Music.

Page is a Grammy Award-winning choral conductor and is the Paul Mellon University Professor of Music and director of choral activities and opera studies at Carnegie Mellon. Page was assistant conductor and director of choruses for the Cleveland Orchestra from 1971 to 1989, and director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh from 1979 to 2006.

Performances of "Nine" are at 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m., Sunday in Kresge Recital Hall in the College of Fine Arts on Carnegie Mellon's Oakland campus. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students and children. Tickets can be reserved by calling 412-268-2383.