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Feb. 2, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Slippery Rock University presents ‘From Galway to Broadway’ concert

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Dublin-born tenor Ciarán Sheehan, star of Broadway’s “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Gay Willis, star of Broadway’s “Showboat,” will perform timeless classics from the Emerald Isle, show stoppers from the Broadway stage and inspirational favorites when they bring “From Galway to Broadway” to Slippery Rock University March 18.

The 7:30 p.m. concert, in Miller Auditorium, is the final show in SRU’s 2010-11 Performing Arts Series.

Sheehan and Willis were featured in the PBS presentation of the same name and at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall.

Sheehan, born and reared in Dublin, Ireland, first came to the attention of legendary Broadway director Harold Prince during the production of his award-winning play “Grandchild of Kings.” Recognizing his talent, Prince starred Sheehan on Broadway. After making his Broadway debut in “Les Miserables,” he was cast as the dashing young Raoul in “The Phantom of the Opera.” After two years, he starred in the role of “Phantom,” which he present more than 1,000 times.

Other New York stage appearances for Sheehan include; “Byzantium,” “The Hostage,” “The Irish…and how they got that way,” and “The Molly Maguires.” On television he has been seen in “Ciaran and Friends,” “The Irish…and how they got that way,” and “Galway to Broadway,” all on PBS; “Law & Order” on NBC; and “Late Night with David Letterman” on CBS.

Willis won world recognition in her world tour of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, in which she sold out houses in six countries. Willis starred as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” opposite Colm Wilkinson and later Sheehan.

Her other performances include Rapunzel in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Mabel, in “Pirates of Penzance,” “Bloomer Girl,” “Funny Girl” and “Nothing Like a Dame.” She completed more than 1,000 performances as Magnolia in Prince’s production of “Showboat” on Broadway, in Chicago and on tour with Cloris Leachman.

Dublin born concert pianist and Irish harpist Eily O’Grady Patterson has appeared in concert with the Boston Pops, and has performed on the BBC, London and Irish Television, and will be featured in the SRU visit.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for senior citizens and those age 18 or under; and $8 for SRU students. Reservations may be made by calling 724.738.2018.

AVI Food Systems Inc., the campus contract food vendor, is offering a 5:30 p.m., pre-performance dinner in the University Club at North Hall. Call 724.738.4245 for dinner reservations.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.