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Broadway veteran Karen Akers to hold master class
Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Broadway veteran Karen Akers to hold master class

Karen Akers

A touch of Broadway will descend upon Fredonia when Tony Award nominee Karen Akers conducts a master class with six students, majoring in Musical Theatre or Vocal Performance, on Sunday, Oct. 18 from noon to 2 p.m. in at Diers Recital Hall.

Ms. Akers will also present a concert on Oct. 16 at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.

The master class is free and open to the public.Student participants will include:

 Master class participants and alternates include, (front row, from left): Micayla Greco, Melita Kingston and Anna Chicco;
and (back row from left): Kevin Stevens, Michaela Tramuta, Jacob Badding, Maggie Austin and David J. Rivera.
  • Jacob Badding, sophomore, B.F.A. Musical Theatre, West Seneca, student of Daniel Ihasz;
  • Anna Chicco. senior B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Hightstown, N.J., student of Dr. Angela Haas;
  • Micayla Greco, junior, B.F.A. Musical Theatre, with a minor in Communication, Gates Chili (Rochester), student of Dr. Robert Strauss;
  • Melita Kingston, sophomore B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Geneseo, student of Ihasz;
  • David Rivera, senior, B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Syracuse, student of Lynne McMurtry and Ihasz; and
  • Kevin Stevens, senior, B.F.A. Acting, Depew, student of Laurie Tramuta.

The first alternative is Maggie Austin, sophomore, B.F.A. Musical Theatre, with a minor in Business Administration, Syracuse, student of McMurtry; and the second alternate is Michaela Tramuta, sophomore, B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Fredonia, student of Haas.

The eight were selected from among 20 students following auditions conducted by Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Paul Mockovak and Adjunct Instructor Tramuta of the School of Music. They will be accompanied by School of Music faculty member James Welch.

The master class was arranged by Mockovak and Rick Davis, executive director of the 1891 Fredonia Opera House and an adjunct professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Ms. Akers has appeared on Broadway as one of the original stars of the Tony Award-winning musical “Grand Hotel,” directed by Tommy Tune, and made her Broadway debut in 1982 in “NINE,” which earned her a Theatre World Award and Tony Award nomination.

While at Fredonia, Akers – considered one of America’s most successful concert and cabaret stars – will present a concert at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Akers has appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, in addition to the White House. She starred in two PBS television specials – “Presenting Karen Akers” and “Karen Akers: On Stage at Wolf Trap” – and has appeared in several films, including Mike Nichols’ “Heartburn” and Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo.”

Fredonia native Don Rebic, whose distinguished career spans Broadway, jazz, cabaret and classical music, will serve as musical director for Akers at her opera house performance. He conducted the 1977 Broadway revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar” as well as “Dancin’” and “Anything Goes” and has also worked with Akers for the last 23 years. Ticket information is available at the opera house.

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