True Blue! tribute to highlight distinguished alumni


James Earl Jones, Darren Criss, Sanjay Gupta and Cecilia Muñoz are among the distinguished alumni who will join U-M students and faculty in a live multimedia performance celebrating Michigan’s 200 years.

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At a glance

“True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan” will highlight the UMich200 Spring Festival, the first of four bicentennial celebrations planned for 2017. Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale, former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello, and Jeffrey Seller, Tony Award-winning producer of “Hamilton,” “Rent” and “Avenue Q,” also are among the alumni to be featured in the Hill Auditorium show.

“We are thrilled that so many prominent graduates of Michigan are returning to help tell the university’s story in a unique and entertaining way,” said Priscilla Lindsay, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Drama and artistic director of the show. “In addition to being a magnificent opportunity for audience members, the show is a once-in-a-lifetime event for our faculty and students who also will be on stage.”

Longtime favorites the RFD Boys, who have performed together since they were U-M students in 1969, will be one of several musical acts.

Jones is a 1955 graduate whose acting resume stretches from Broadway to Hollywood. He earned Tony Awards for his lead roles in “The Great White Hope” and “Fences,” several Emmy Awards, and a Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. The True Blue! show will be the first time he has performed on a U-M stage since he was a student.

Jones’ film credits range from “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Hunt for Red October” to “Malcolm X” and “Field of Dreams.” Just as distinctive as his acting is Jones’ sonorous baritone, a voice associated with Darth Vader of “Stars Wars” films, Mufasa of “The Lion King” and the voiceover tagline of CNN.

Distinguished alumni who will appear in “True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan,” include Darren Criss (left), shown in a 2008 student production, and James Earl Jones, shown in a 1952 campus play. (Photos courtesy of University Productions and the Bentley Historical Library)

Criss is a 2009 graduate who rose to fame on the hit TV show, “Glee,” where he portrayed an openly gay student and singer. He is currently starring in a national tour of the musical “Hedwig & The Angry Inch.” He has also played J. Pierpont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway.

Sanjay Gupta

Cecelia Muñoz

Gupta holds both U-M undergraduate and medical degrees and is recognized globally as CNN’s chief medical correspondent. He is associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and a faculty member at the Emory University School of Medicine. He regularly performs surgery at Emory and Grady hospitals. He delivered the commencement address at Michigan Stadium in 2012.

Muñoz, who graduated in 1984, is director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. A Detroit native, she received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius grant,” in 2000 for her work in immigration and civil rights policy. She has devoted much of her career to leadership roles with the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited from its original version to add new information.



  1. Barbara Hilbert
    on December 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Please let us know when tickets go on sale for the Saturday event.

    • helen kerwin
      on January 11, 2017 at 9:35 am

      I would like 3 seats with extra leg room for an 87 year old husband.

  2. Barbara Hilbert
    on December 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Please let us know when tickets go on sale for the Saturday event.

  3. merry clark
    on December 16, 2016 at 6:32 am

    tickets when?

  4. Tiffany Butzbaugh
    on December 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Tickets? When?

  5. Rory McAtee
    on January 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Looking forward to tickets for this event!

    • Judith Premsky
      on January 13, 2017 at 10:12 am

      I would like to purchase two tickets for the April 8, 2017 concert at Hill Aud. True Blue!
      A tribute to Michigan. I need first floor seats on an isle please.
      Please contact me as to where I call to purchase said tickets or how to purchase tickets on
      Thank you Judith A. (Daley) Premsky grad of SMTD 1964

  6. Jane Book
    on January 9, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Please publish ticket info!

  7. Julie Trombly
    on January 9, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    When will tickets go on sale? Any advance purchase available for UM SMTD Power Center subscribers?

  8. Carla Dustin
    on January 10, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Please notify when tickets will be on sale.

  9. Roger Jimenez
    on January 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Please notify us when tickets become available.

  10. Linda Rayle
    on January 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Please notify me when tickets will be available.

  11. Candice Crane
    on January 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Please let me know when tickets will be available.

  12. Gail Hubbard
    on January 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I would like 4 tickets on main floor for True Blue concert on April 8,2017 @ Hill.

  13. Mary Kinlely
    on January 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I would like two tickets on the main floor for the True Blue
    Concert on April 8, 2017. Contact me when tickets go on

  14. Cathy Magliola
    on January 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    please advise when tickets go on sale

  15. Elliot Gold
    on January 27, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I, too, would like to purchase tickets when they become available. Please advise

  16. Makayla Blinco
    on January 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    When will tickets go on sale?

  17. Jamie Iseler
    on January 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Tickets for this event will go on sale Feb. 3. For details, go to

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