Penn State Centre Stage premiering new show

Altoona native and Grammy Award-winner Mike Reid has co-written a musical for Penn State Centre Stage entitled “The Last Day,” which debuts at 8 p.m. today and continues through June 22, at the Penn State Downtown Theatre.

A former Penn State Nittany Lion defensive lineman, Reid collaborated with lyricist Sarah Schlesinger on both the play and the same-titled book. The production is directed by John Simpkin with musical director Jennifer Peacock and choreographer Dario Natarelli.

A Penn State Musical Theatre-commissioned the piece in its first-ever production, “The Last Day” is about a young man tormented by a secret he has never shared. As he ends his junior year of musical theatre university training, he is dropped from the program as his secret overtakes him. Over the course of one night, his peers attempt to show him the value of his life and they all discover much they never realized about themselves.

Schlesinger is the chair of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and associate dean of performing arts at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Reid is the writer/composer of more than 30 top-10 country and pop hits, including Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” a song that has been recorded by 538 artists, including Adele, and is number eight on the list of the 100 Greatest Songs of All Time. Reid was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.

Prior to pursuing his songwriting career, he was an All-American defensive tackle at Penn State; the number one draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals; an inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame and recipient of the Outland Trophy.

For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling 863-0255 or 1-(800)-ARTS-TIX. Cost is $25 and $12.50 for students.

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