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Comedic musical opens at University Theatre

Friday, March 27, 2015

LAWRENCE — Set in the Bohemian world of artists and activists in Depression-era New York, “Flora, the Red Menace” follows the intrigues of a young woman whose love life becomes complicated by the Communist Party. This comedic musical was the first collaboration of the celebrated songwriting team that produced the later hits “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” “Flora, the Red Menace” opens next month at University of Kansas University Theatre.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 10, 11, 14, 15 and 16 as well as 2:30 p.m. April 12 in the Inge Theatre at Murphy Hall.

“Although the show was Liza Minnelli’s Broadway debut, for which she won a Tony Award, the show itself was a bit of a flop. It was reimagined in the '80s and has gained in popularity thanks to its comedy and themes of youth, hope and future,” said John Staniunas, director, choreographer and theatre professor. “The talented cast and the visual concept for our production are going to make for a delightful evening of theatre.”

The heroine of “Flora, the Red Menace” is an out-of-work yet optimistic fashion illustrator who falls in love with an intense young artist who convinces her to join the Party. She comes to regret that decision after landing a good-paying job and promptly losing it when copies of “The Daily Worker” are found in her locker.

The company includes Kendra Hacker, St. John sophomore, as Charlotte; Lily Lancaster, Lawrence junior, as Maggie; Jacob Miller, Louisburg sophomore, as Kenny; Cale Morrow, Dodge City sophomore, as Harry; Christoph Nevins, Overland Park junior, as Mr. Weiss; Jaclyn Nischbach, St. Louis junior, as Flora; John Ruzzin, Olathe freshman, Mr. Stanley; Abby Sharp, Rossville sophomore, as Elsa; Michael Wysong, Larned sophomore, as Willy; Pamela Rodriguez-Montero, Heredia, Costa Rica, graduate student, scenic and lighting designer; Emily Rose Stanley, Carencro, Louisiana, junior, assistant director; and Katie Turkalo, Topeka senior, stage manager.

Other crew members include Ryan McCall, University Theatre musical director, and Kansas City guest artist Shannon Smith-Regnier, costume designer.

Tickets for “Flora, the Red Menace” are on sale now at KU ticket offices and online at www.kutheatre.com. Tickets are also available by calling the University Theatre, (785) 864-3982, and the Lied Center, (785) 864-ARTS. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. KU student tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

For more information on the Department of Theatre visit www.theatre.ku.edu. For more information on the University Theatre, visit www.KUTheatre.com. Follow KU Theatre on Twitter and Facebook.