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'Starry Starry Night' Toasts Dominic Missimi's Career

Gala benefit performance featured alumni who are top Broadway musical theatre artists

June 2, 2010 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University students, faculty, alumni and theatre professionals from across the country sang and danced the praises of School of Communication theatre faculty member Dominic Missimi's 30 years at the University.

Called "Starry Starry Night," the stellar event attracted more than 800 people May 24 to Cahn Auditorium and raised almost $350,000 in gifts and pledges for University's new Dominic Missimi Fund for Music Theatre. For more information, visit http://www.communication.northwestern.edu/missimi/.

The gala spotlighted the talents of many well-known artists and Northwestern alumni, including featured performers Gregg Edelman, star of Broadway's "City of Angels," "Wonderful Town," "1776" and "Les Miserables''; Heather Headley, a Grammy-nominated recording artist and star of Broadway's "Aida" and "The Lion King"; Brian d'Arcy James, star of Broadway's "Time Stands Still" and "Shrek"'; and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998 and star of Broadway's "Legally Blonde."

Other celebrated alumni and star performers who have studied or worked with Missimi also appeared on stage, including singer and actress Mary Ernster; Broadway composer Larry Grossman; singer and actress Hollis Resnik; Chicago actress Alene Robertson; director and choreographer Marc Robin; choreographer and Jump Rhythm Jazz Project artistic director Billy Siegenfield; actor Bernie Yvon and others.

Also appearing on stage May 24 were members of this year's Waa-Mu production, "Keeping Time," and the cast of the Theatre and Interpretation Center's recent production of "The Who's Tommy."

Dominic Missimi

After 17 years, Missimi directed his last annual Waa-Mu production this spring, "Keeping Time," which ran from April 29 through May 9 at Cahn Auditorium. As executive director of the American Music Theatre Project, an incubator for developing new musicals by bringing new and innovative directors, choreographers, actors and stage designers to Northwestern, Missimi represents the future of musical theater. As a Northwestern faculty member, he has helped launch dozens and dozens of successful theater careers and, with others at Northwestern, continues to play an important role in invigorating Chicago's thriving theater scene.

Dominic Missimi Fund for Music Theatre

Northwestern's new Dominic Missimi Fund for Music Theatre will be used for needs of the Music Theatre Program and its students. Funds may be used to assist students traveling to the annual Senior Showcase in New York, bring guest artists to campus to work with students, establish a music theatre media library (CDs and DVDs of performances, sheet music, etc.) and more. Gifts to the permanent endowment fund are tax deductible. Gifts of $100 and more entitled donors to a seat at the May 24 "Starry Starry Night" benefit performance.

For more information or to make a gift to the Dominic Missimi Fund for Music Theatre, contact Amy Kahn, director of development, School of Communication, at (847) 467-5411 or e-mail a-kahn@northwestern.edu.