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UMFK to host dinner theatre on opening night of next week's 125th anniversary musical

April 9, 2004


Even the menu of opening night dinner theatre for "UMFK 125: The Musical", an original production that will be staged at the University of Maine at Fort Kent April 22, 23, and 24, will reflect the rich history of the institution.

From Cyr's Caesar Salad to Cost's Crepes with fresh berries, dinner guests will be treated to more than a serving of delicious food. They will also get a plate full of UMFK history at the meal, which will precede the curtain raiser on Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room.

A limited number of tickets are on sale for the dinner theatre through the campus university relations office. The $20 charge will get you an elegant and delicious buffet meal followed by an evening of great original music and comedy 125-years in the making.

"We really wanted to pull out all the stops for this one," said Jason Parent, UMFK director of university relations and chairperson of the 125th anniversary committee. "Our faculty, students, staff and community members have been working so hard at staging the musical. It will certainly be a most memorable production, one that people will be talking about and still laughing over weeks afterwards."

Pulling out all the stops has meant planning an opening night dinner reflective of the evening's theme. While the musical will feature 14 original songs and a unique script that will take audience members through history using each of the nine university administrations as a framework, the meal will also serve as a culinary roadmap, using the same premise.

Parent worked with Jason Carter, UMFK dining services manager and Barry Pelletier, head chef for ARAMARK dining services at the university to plan exactly the right menu.

Dinner theatre guests will begin their meal with Cyr's Caesar Salad, named in honor of the first administrative head of the Madawaska Training School, a forerunner of UMFK.

Cyr's salad will be followed chronologically and gastronomically by a feast, which will include Nowland's Near East Wild Rice, named for Principal Mary Nowland; Crocker's Coq au Vin, in honor of Principal Richard Crocker; Fox's Filet of Salmon, for long-time President Joseph Fox; Spath's Strawberry Spinach Salad, a tribute to President Richard Spath; Leondar's Lyonnaise Potatoes, for former President Barbara Leondar; Dumont's Delectable Dinner Rolls, so called for President Richard Dumont; and Lyon's Legumes, for former UMFK and current University of Maine at Augusta President Charles Lyons.

The main course will be followed by a special dessert: Cost's Crepes with fresh berries and crème. The sweet, scrumptious final touch to the tasty meal is named after the current and ninth UMFK President Richard Cost.

"I am thrilled to have the dessert named in my honor. Anyone familiar with my sweet tooth can attest to the fact that it is most appropriate that this dish bear my name," said a tongue in cheek President Cost.

Following the dessert, dinner theatre attendees will move into the Fox Auditorium for the premiere of "UMFK 125: The Musical".

A cast has been working for months with the UMFK Campus/Community Chorus to bring "UMFK 125: The Musical" to life on April 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Fox Auditorium. A variety of musical genres will be featured including a square dance, ballads and a rap.

The musical is a collaborative effort of UMFK faculty members Charles "Chuck" Closser, Scott Brickman, and Joe Zubrick. The production takes a 'noteworthy' look at some of the most memorable moments in the 125-year history of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, from the school's founding as the Madawaska Training School in 1878 to the inauguration of current president Richard Cost.

Tickets for the production, apart from the dinner theatre event, are also on sale for each of the three nights of the musical.

"UMFK 125: The Musical" ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Tickets can be purchased in the UMFK university relations office and at any of the ten local Key Bank branches that span Northern Maine from Lincoln to Fort Kent.

For more information, contact the university relations office at 834-7557.