Brookings goes Broadway


Patti LuPone will perform on Thursday, Oct. 27 to SDSU students and the Brookings community, and like a scene out of Glee’s spring season finale, six students will meet the two-time Tony Award winning and Broadway star at a luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Rina Reynolds of the SDSU Foundation has been working for four years to bring LuPone to Brookings. She frequently visited national booking conferences, but LuPone was always busy with projects and wouldn’t book any performances. It wasn’t until this fall that she had any openings. Immediately after performing in

Brookings, LuPone will be off to Denver to work with the Denver Symphony.

“Part of it is luck and part of it is having a great reputation with a great hall and appreciative audiences,” Rina said.

Patti LuPone is a very private person, but Rina says she “always tries to get student interaction at some level, even if it’s just a handful of students whose lives would be changed by this.”

LuPone was willing to meet with students because all of the proceeds from the concert will go toward the Woodbine Scholarships. There are two types of Woodbine Scholarships available to music majors – a 4-year renewable scholarship and an annual award.

“Students entered an essay contest,” said Dave Reynolds, Music Department head. “Each entrant had to turn in a one-page essay detailing what meeting LuPone would mean to his or her career. Each student also had to write a few questions they would ask LuPone if they had the opportunity to meet her.”

Some of the winning questions included what struggles she overcame before she found success, what education and training does she find valuable to get a career in the theatre and music business, and what she feels was her most rewarding performance.

“We had some really great entries. Out of the 12 we received, only six were chosen by a committee,” David said.

One of the winners, Rebecca Bailey, a senior communication studies and theatre major, is extremely excited to get this opportunity.

“I am really looking forward to meeting one of Broadway’s greatest leading ladies. I have been performing since I was a child and hope to pursue a career teaching theatre and performing. With all of her experience, I am hoping to learn a little about her creation process. She has played so many roles that any performer would love to portray. Having a glimpse into her experiences, I hope, will guide me into being a more successful performer and teacher,” Bailey said.

This is a gala event that gives the students and community members the opportunity to dress as though they were right in New York City on Broadway.

“Many of the people in the Midwest spend thousands of dollars to get the chance to see Patti LuPone, but now people are being given the chance to see her for the same price as it would be to go to a movie and buy a popcorn,” David said.

“Those people who go see this show will never forget it, ever. And those who don’t go will regret it,” Rina said. “I truly believe the art is about the human experience. You can never get the same experience with YouTube, MP3s or even CDs. Our PAC was built so students can learn and the audience can enjoy it. The human experience makes something like this unforgettable.”

Tickets for SDSU students are just $15 while community members will pay $28 to $48. All seats are assigned. Tickets are available at the Music Department office in Lincoln Music Hall. The show is at 7:30 p.m., but David recommends people show up at 7 p.m. A coat service will be provided and hors d’oeuvres served.