While “Flashdance the Musical” is in Wichita next week, cast members of the touring show are going to volunteer their time and talents for a fundraiser to benefit a local teen theater troupe.
They won’t be performing numbers from “Flashdance” itself, says Ryan Neal Green, who plays Nick, one of the two leads in the show. Instead, the 18 cast members will present mini-showcases from their personal repertoires.
“This is fun for us. It’s also good for us because we do the same show every day and this gives us a chance to put our creative energy into different directions,” Green says. “It’s also an opportunity for us to give back to the local theater community. I know I wouldn’t be a professional today if I hadn’t had the opportunity to experience theater early on. This is to encourage the next generation of performers.”
The beneficiary will be the Heather Muller Black Box Theatre, a showcase for junior high, high school and college-age actors that’s a part of Wichita Children’s Theatre & Dance Center at 201 S. Lulu. It was dedicated in 2004 in memory of Muller, a teacher with a passion for theater who was one of the victims of the Carr brothers’ murder spree in 2000.
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“We’re such a small, intimate organization – smaller than most – so it’s hard to raise funds,” says Kelly Wonsetler, executive director of the theater. “It all came up at the last minute. It’s been such a surprise.”
The show will be at 11 p.m. Wednesday at Roxy’s Downtown, 412½ E. Douglas (upstairs). Cast members will arrive following their Wednesday night “Flashdance” performance in Century II for Theater League. Julia Macchio, daughter of film star Ralph and star of “Flashdance,” said she will be there, although more as moral support than a performer because of exhaustion from the touring show’s demands.
“But you never know,” Macchio teases.
Tickets are $5 at the door, and all proceeds plus part of the bar receipts go to the teen theater, says John Hammer, owner of Roxy’s, who volunteered the cabaret space.