Comedian Josh Blue Headlines Winter Carnival

Josh Blue is tc5124d211b7c56334cb44e5dd81e5e9a3e5cdd12his year’s Winter Carnival Comedian. The Rozsa Center, Student Entertainment Board, Blue Key Honor Society, and the MUB Board have partnered again this year to present the Winter Carnival Comedian.

Perhaps best known as the comedian who puts the cerebral in cerebral palsy, he will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at the Rozsa Center. Blue centers much of his self-deprecating act around his disability. He exploded onto the national comedy scene by capturing the attention and endearment of the country as the winner of “Last Comic Standing.”

Having already established himself as one of the most sought-after comedians on the college circuit, his weekly appearances on “Last Comic” in the summer of 2006 expanded his fan base exponentially. In 2011, Josh starred in “Comedy Central Presents: Josh Blue,” which received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.

Most recently, Blue debuted a one-hour comedy special on Showtime, “Sticky Change,” where he cracks jokes and tells stories about everything from being a white African-American, to dealing with cabbies who think he’ll pay in sticky change. The special is currently available on Netflix. He has appeared twice on “Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops” on CMT and made his late-night television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Blue was the first comedian to perform stand-up on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest for his appearance on “Live with Regis and Kelly” and made a standout guest appearance on “Comics Unleashed.”

He was a member of the US Paralympic Soccer Team and competed in Athens at the Paralympic Games, the world’s second largest sporting event. Blue is a single father living in Denver, Colorado with his son, Simon and daughter, Seika.

Tickets are on sale now, $15 general admission and no charge for Michigan Tech students. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


Diversity in Jazz at ‘Club Rozsa’

32454304261_38295e8c57_mJoin Jazz Studies Program Director Mike Irish and the Michigan Tech Jazz ensembles for a Rozsa Club Jazz Showcase: Backstage at the Rozsa at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 26 and 27).

According to Irish, “Diversity in Jazz. That’s what you get with the Jazz Combos Backstage at the Rozsa. Three dynamic small jazz groups will be featured. The mainstream jazz offering will be handled by JazTec, featuring two horns and a four-piece rhythm section. Momentum is a funk and fusion ensemble with three horns out front and an electric rhythm section. The guest group for both evenings will be the Dan Fuhrmann Trio, providing the best in piano trio jazz. Music by some of the greatest names in Jazz including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane and many others. There will be something for every taste. Live jazz provides energy, creativity, surprises and is a treat for all of the senses. Join us and immerse yourself in the diversity.”

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee, available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


Faculty, Students Win at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

IMG_1272.JPGKent Cyr was recognized at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region III with a faculty service award for Innovative Teaching. The KCACTF Region III festival was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, January 9-14 at the University of Indianapolis. The goal of the festival is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs.

Also, a number of our Visual and Performing Arts students were recognized. Congratulations!

Design Storm!

Student consults with other designers, dramaturg, and director to create a key scene in a play, prepare initial sketches, basic ground plan/rendering, and discusses how the design illustrates personal ideas and production intention/concept.

  • Hunter Storie (Scene Design) and Ethan Troyer (Dramaturgy) Most Wretched Deathbed Dreams of Edgar Allen Poe

Regional Design Projects

Regional Design Projects are intended to serve Region III student designers with the opportunity to showcase their work for non-realized design projects, and to receive a response to their work that will help them improve their design skills and grow as designers. Seven students presented in Sound Design and two in Costume Design.

  • Sarah Calvert (Winner), His Dark Materials, Sound Design
  • Noah Schumaker (Finalist), Insurrection, Sound Design
  • David Brown (Finalist), Galileo, Sound Design

Realized Design Projects

National-eligible for consideration in all design areas. Winners are invited to present at the Kennedy Center National Festival in April.  Three students participated and two were finalists.

  • Chris Wilson (Finalist), Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Music Composition
  • Alex Weber (Finalist), West Side Story, Lighting Design

Tech Olympics Individual Best Times

Performance is judged on time and/or accuracy in setup, skill, and performance.

  • Kity Williams and Brendan Espinosa, Sound
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Stori, Lighting
  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Knots
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, Costumes and Props

The Games of The Technological Olympiad Overall

  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Third Place
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Storie, Second Place
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, First Place

LA Theatre Works Presents “The Mountaintop” at Rozsa

Martin Luther King 50 years of the dreamThis year, in conjunction with Michigan Tech’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion present LA Theatre Work’s brand new production of Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. What happened inside room 306 the night before the killing is a mystery. In her internationally acclaimed play, Hall imagines what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

“The Mountaintop” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Immediately following the play, there will be a panel discussion and Q & A in the Rozsa lobby with student members of Michigan Tech’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), members of the cast and staff from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Beverages and dessert will be served.

“The Mountaintop,” is directed by award-winner Shirley Jo Finney and stars Gilbert Glenn Brown (CBS TV’s “The Inspectors” and the upcoming feature film “The Best of Enemies”) and Karen Malina White (“The Cosby Show,” “A Different World,” “Malcolm and Eddie”). The production will travel to 38 cities across the United States.

This performance is supported in part through funding from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group. Also sponsored by WGGL, Minnesota Public Radio and Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Tickets are on sale now: $22.00 for adult, $10.00 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech Fee. To purchase tickets in advance, call 7-2073, go online at mtu.edu/rozsa, or visit ticketing operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). Tickets will also be available at the Rozsa Box office the evening of the performance.


Alumnus Appears in Skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Curtis Fortier speakingMichigan Technological University alumnus Curtis Fortier, BSME ’91 and MSME ’94, currently working as an actor and comedian in Los Angeles, was featured on the ABC late night program “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Fortier was in a skit that spoofed a recent incident on the game show “Jeopardy.”

While at Michigan Tech, Fortier was active in theatre productions and was a member of “The Troupe” improvisational comedy group. He was the 1991 winner of the Claire M. Donovan award, the last current student to be so honored.

In the skit, Fortier is seated at the far right and is featured at the very end with rap artist Coolio. Watch the skit here.


Ken Steiner Memorial Concert at Rozsa

kenA benefit concert in memory of Ken Steiner will be held Friday (Jan. 12) in the Lobby of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Steiner, a well-known local musician, chef, and volunteer, died on New Year’s Day, 2017.

Friday’s concert will benefit Steiner’s favorite charity, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. The evening will feature good food, a cash bar and music by many of Steiner’s friends. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with music playing until 11:30. The lineup features:

  • Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club, 7 p.m.
  • Uncle Pete’s All Star BBQ Blues Band, 8:15 p.m.
  • OUTLAW’D, 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $10, $20 and $30 with 100 percent of ticket sales donated in Steiner’s name to Little Brothers. Ticket purchases are considered donations and are tax deductible. Tickets are available online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by phone at 7-2073 or at the Rozsa Center box office the night of the concert.


“The Sound from Within Us” Saturday

soundThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts present a concert by the Michigan Tech Concert Choir and Superior Wind Symphony. “The Sound from Within Us,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 16) in the Rozsa Center.

The concert celebrates themes of common humanity and features music by American and British composers, including Vincent Persichetti’s “Celebrations,” Lee Hoiby’s “Hymn for a New Age,” Charles Ives’ “Psalm 90” and “Circus Band,” and John Rutter’s “Gloria.”

According to Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech’s director of bands, “From the many possible ways humans have invented for making music, groups of singers and wind instrumentalists have in common that the human breath initiates all sounds. There are many more instruments that are struck, bowed, plucked, etc. that are ‘inspired by expiration.’ And the human voice is the first true musical instrument, the most universal, so it seemed like a logical conclusion to concertize together.”

VPA Chair Jared Anderson adds “‘The Sound from Within Us’ celebrates the fact that wind players and singers both create music by using perhaps our most common trait, breath. The capacity to make beautiful sounds is within us all. The texts of the music that will be performed emphasize what we share as individuals and communities, the need for connection and kindness. It is a great opportunity to hear beautiful music and to celebrate in the midst of the holiday season.”

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa box office the evening of the performance. Note: the Rozsa box office only opens two hours prior to performances.


“Fires in the Mirror” Opens Wednesday

Performances are Wednesday and Thursday of this week (Nov. 15,16) with additional performances Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening at the McArdle Theater, Walker Arts and Humanities Center room 207.

“Fires in the Mirror” chronicles the viewpoints of people from two different communities, Black and Jewish, connected directly and indirectly to the Crown Heights riot which occurred in Brooklyn in August 1991.

How can these things happen? A child is hit by a car while playing on the sidewalk. In retaliation, a young man is stabbed to death. A community turns inward upon itself, neighbor set against neighbor. Can an out of balance world be set right?

Smith interviewed members of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights Community and using their own words assembled a retelling of their solemn road from hate and violence to understanding. “Fires in the Mirror” is an unusual evening of theatre taking us to the heart of disaster and understanding and bringing us home safe.

Tickets are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or on the night of each performance at the McArdle Theatre beginning one hour prior to show time.