Colorado State University Theatre’s Â??side Man’ Selected to Compete in Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival

The Colorado State University production of "Side Man," presented by the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, has been selected as one of five plays to be presented at the 37th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival regional conference on Feb. 19 at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.

Prior to presentation at the seven-state regional festival, "Side Man" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8 at the Lory Student Center Theatre. Proceeds from these two special performances will be used to provide funding for the 23-member student company to compete at the prestigious festival.

Directed by Laura Jones, Colorado State’s production of "Side Man" brings the stage to life by portraying an era when jazzmen were as heroic as baseball players.

"The very rhythms of the play have a sense of jazz syncopation," said Jones. "This is a play about a special time in the development of popular music known as ‘the birth of the cool.’"

"Side Man" integrates both live and recorded jazz music into the story of a dysfunctional family with a father figure whose job as a side man is being sidetracked by the advent of rock and roll.

The plot loops in and out of four decades as Clifford tries to come to terms with his parents, his personal history and the life ahead of him. With a mix of past, present and future, the audience witnesses Clifford live and learn despite his parents’ debilitating co-dependence. Ironically, Clifford is the stabilizing force in their world. As he tells his story, he preserves their legacy and engages our empathy.

"Side Man" was Playwright Warren Leight’s first full-length work and received the 1999 Tony Award for Best New Play. His writing includes everything from stand-up comedy to screenplays. For Leight, Sideman is semi-autobiographical. Other works by Leight include "High Heeled Women," "The Loop" and Stray Cats.

Tickets for the two Colorado State special performances are $7. For ticket information, call (970) 491-4TIX or e-mail  bxoffice@lamar.colostate.edu. Tickets can be purchased via phone with Visa or MasterCard, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from noon-2 p.m.

For more information about the performing arts at Colorado State, visit the Web at www.csumusic.com.

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