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Friday, September 7, 2018

Brandon Victor Dixon and Deborah Cox Will Perform at U.S. Open Finals

Brandon Victor Dixon

Both artists will offer a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Singer-songwriter Deborah Cox (Jekyll & Hyde, Aida) and Tony-nominated actor Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, Hamilton, Jesus Christ Superstar Live!) will perform “America the Beautiful” prior to, respectively, the women and men’s U.S. Open Finals on September 8 and 9.

Cox will also perform “I’m Every Woman,” and Dixon will sing “We Are the Champions” as a celebration of the female and male champions of the past 50 years of the U.S. Open in Flushing, New York.

Dixon was a 1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theatre.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Play That Goes Wrong is extended on Broadway

Preston Truman Boyd

2004 Donna Reed Scholar stars in production

Broadway’s The Play That Goes Wrong, starry Preston Truman Boyd, will stick around for longer than previously announced. Despite posting an August 26 closing notice, the comedy is now scheduled to play the Lyceum Theatre through January 6, 2019.

By then, the production—currently the longest-running play on Broadway—will have played 27 previews and 745 regular performances. A national tour will launch in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in September.

Boyd was a 2004 Donna Reed Scholarship recipient in both Vocal Music and Musical Theatre.

Read the entire article

Monday, July 2, 2018

Brandon Victor Dixon Joins NBC's MACY'S 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular

Brandon Victor Dixon

1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theatre

American Authors and Brandon Victor Dixon join the incredible slate of performers for NBC's annual "Macy's 4th of JulyFireworks® Spectacular," which airs Wednesday, July 4 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) with an hourlong encore presentation at 10 p.m. Dixon will be joined by the iconic Harlem Gospel Choir for a rendition of the patriotic "America the Beautiful."

American Authors and Dixon join the previously announced acts, including Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban, whose performance will feature hitmaker Julia Michaels for a song during his set.

Monday, June 25, 2018

'Tag' director comes home to Cedar Rapids for movie debut

Jeff Tomsic was 1995 Iowa Donna Reed Scholarship recipient in film

Jeff Tomsic was born in Chicago but raised in Cedar Rapids. He was back in town for the debut of his first major motion picture-- one he just happened to direct.

The Washington High School graduate is behind the new movie "Tag." Tomsic made it into the big dance at Sundance with a short film in 2011. This month, he waltzed into the big leagues.

“Tag,” his feature film directing debut, opened third at the box office, raking in $14.6 million — more than half of its $28 million price tag — in its first weekend.

The comedy is based on a true story about a group of friends who've stayed together into adulthood by playing tag every year.

Children’s Musical Theatre Workshop Wraps Up with production of Disney’s The Jungle Book, KIDS

Director Laurel Olsen works with students on the set
of The Jungle Book, KIDS. -photo by Dan Mundt.

Six days, 52 kids, one great musical production

The curtain closed on another successful musical theatre workshop for kids on Saturday, June 16 with a performance of Disney’s The Jungle Book, KIDS. Director Laurel Olsen, along with a volunteer production crew of 15, worked with students in kindergarten through eighth grade. In six days they were able to learn dialogue, musical numbers, and choreography, as well as experiencing how a musical production is put together.

This was the 14th year for this popular workshop sponsored by The Donna Reed Foundation.

Read Dan Mundt’s article in the Dension Review.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"TAG" Directed By Former Donna Reed Scholarship recipient

Jeff Tomsic

Jeff Tomsic was 1995 Iowa Scholarship recipient in film

Every summer, there is no shortage of new films to blow audiences away at theaters -- and blow away records at the box office. This year, director Jeff Tomsic has a new Warner Bros. movie in the mix.

Tag is based on a true story that was featured in The Wall Street Journal about a group of friends who have been playing a no-holds-barred version of the children’s game Tag for the last 30 years.

Mark Steilen and Rob McKittrick penned the script.

See more of his work.

Jared Grimes featured in video for Joey Alexander's Take on "Moment's Notice,"

Jared Grimes

Grimes is 2001 Donna Reed scholarship recipient in dance

If you happened to be wandering the streets of upper Manhattan one night this winter, you could have stumbled onto a video shoot for pianist Joey Alexander.

The video — for a version of “Moment’s Notice,” by John Coltrane — features an interpretive performance by dancer Jared Grimes, with Joey and a boombox on the sidelines.

The director is Yas Rowan, who has worked on several of Joey’s previous videos. He came up with the premise for the shoot after considering a suggestion from Joey’s father and manager, Denny Sila. “I knew all we needed was the right dancer, and the right location, after that everything would come together, and it did,” Rowan says. “Jared was a no-brainer. He had the right style, the right look, and he had the talent. He was perfect. He liked the piece, he wasn't intimidated by the idea of improvising, and he was very excited about the whole project.”

Grimes has choreographed the musical Holler If You Hear Me with Kenny Leon, 42nd Street at Drury Lane Chicago with Michael Heitzman, and The Scottsboro Boys with Joe Calarco at the Signature Theater in DC.

Read the WBGO article and watch the video