January 30, 2017
"True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan" brings together students, faculty and alumni in a live-action multimedia presentation that tells the story of the University of Michigan.
James Earl Jones, Sanjay Gupta, Darren Criss, Margo Martindale and Cecilia Muñoz are among many distinguished alumni scheduled to participate in this U-M bicentennial event.
Taking place at 7 p.m. April 8 at Hill Auditorium, the show incorporates live music, theater and dance, and features faculty and students from across many U-M schools and colleges, along with celebrated alumni. The show also features new music composed by faculty and alumni specifically for the bicentennial.
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Michigan Union Ticket Office, and online at 10 a.m. that same day.
For the general public, ticket prices are $25, $30 and $50. Student discount prices of $15 and $20 will end April 3, at which time they go up to $20 and $25. All seating is reserved.
Among the alumni scheduled to perform as part of "True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan" are, clockwise from upper left, Darren Criss, James Earl Jones, Christine Lahti, Margo Martindale, George Shirley and Jaqueline Toboni.
Audience members will see noteworthy achievements in U-M history — the testing of the polio vaccine, the launch of the Peace Corps, the writing of "The Victors" — come to life through dance, music and dramatic performances. In addition to live performances, multiple short videos will showcase notable alumni from across the country.
Interweaving the arts with testimonials from a spectrum of Michigan alumni and faculty, "True Blue!" celebrates the history, accomplishments, traditions, character and ethos that define Michigan.
Priscilla Lindsay, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, co-wrote the show along with alums Josh Buoy and Avery DiUbaldo from Snowday, a video production company originally founded by students at U-M.
"I think, overall, people are going to be so amazed and proud of the huge range of talent and accomplishments that are Michigan," Lindsay said. "It will be a spectacular evening of storytelling with an incredible cast of characters. There will a tribute to the Diag, a spoken-word 'Hamilton'-style song about the founding of U-M, a feature film about couples who fell in love here. And we're really excited that James Earl Jones will perform a dramatic reading of Willy Loman's speech from 'Death of a Salesman,' a play written by Michigan grad Arthur Miller."
"True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan" will highlight the UMich200 Spring Festival, the first of four bicentennial celebrations planned for 2017.
Among other alumni featured in the show: “Grimm" actress Jacqueline Toboni; multi-award-winning director and actress Christine Lahti; National Medal of Arts recipient and emeritus professor George Shirley; and Jeffrey Seller, Tony Award-winning producer of "Hamilton," "Rent" and "Avenue Q."
The show is a presentation of SMTD and the Bicentennial Office, with support from the Office of the Vice President for Communications.