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Newly named Jones Cabaret Series launches with first show of the 2019-20 season

Rodgers Before Hammerstein: The Music of Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern

On October 18 and 19, CMU's Department of Theatre Arts will present its first cabaret of the 2019-20 season and the final cabaret in its three-year American Songbook cycle. Everyone knows the music of famous Golden Age duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, but this cabaret focuses on the catalogue of over 500 songs created by Rodgers while working with Lorenz Hart — My Funny Valentine, The Lady is a Tramp, Where or When and I Could Write a Book. The cabaret will also feature songs by Jerome Kern, many of which were written with Oscar Hammerstein — All the Things You Are, I Won’t Dance and Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine.

The cabaret series, formerly known as the Bravo Cabaret Series, was recently re-named the Jones Cabaret Series in memory of alumnus Landen Manning Jones. The series was established in 2016 by Jeremy R. Franklin for the purpose of bringing cabaret-style entertainment to the Grand Valley. The series also allows music theatre students to explore and perform contemporary vocal styles with a live band and has raised scholarship funds for music theatre students. Since the inaugural year, nearly 100% of the series’ proceeds have been used to fund music theatre students’ educations.

In January 2019, the CMU theatre community was saddened to learn of the tragic death of alumnus Landen Manning Jones, '04. Landen was a vibrant singer and dancer best known at CMU for his portrayal of Jesus in the 2000 Mesa State production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The cabaret series is dedicated to his memory, with all proceeds from the series being used to create the Landen Manning Jones Scholarship Fund through the CMU Foundation.

Rodgers Before Hammerstein: The Music of Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern will be presented in the Moss Performing Arts Center Mesa Experimental Theatre October 18 and 19 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students. Tickets may be purchased online.

Donations to the Landen Manning Jones Scholarship Fund may also be made online.