January 16, 2012

Actress and 1984 alumna Niffer Clarke

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Department of Theatre and Dance spring semester will open Friday, Jan. 20, with the one-woman show, "Beyond the Ingenue: Julie Andrews, Shirley Jones, Barbara Cook and Me."

New York actress and 1984 Bucknell alumna Niffer Clarke and pianist Richard Carsey will present one performance only at 8 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall. Admission is free.

Directed by William Theisen, the show is an homage to the golden-voiced sopranos Clarke grew up idolizing. These musical theatre icons endowed the ingenue — the "girl-next-door" — with wit and spine and spirit. As their careers progressed, they even re‐invented themselves. Their journeys have inspired Clarke on her own voyage of self‐discovery and revelation.

Songs will include "In My Own Little Corner" from "Cinderella," "Show Me" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" from "My Fair Lady," "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma! "I Have Confidence" from "The Sound of Music," "My White Knight" (original version) from "The Music Man" and "I Wish It So" from "Juno."

Niffer Clarke
Clarke, who has been performing onstage since she was 6 years old, has appeared in everything from straight plays to musical theatre to operetta and opera. Recently seen in "Encores! Bells Are Ringing" at New York City Center, she has appeared in the award-winning off‐Broadway musical "Adding Machine: A Musical" as well as "Garbo and Me" (York Theatre), "The Contents of Your Suitcase" (Emerging Artists Theatre) and "Banjo Boys" (New World Stages). Her film/TV credits include "Meet the Robinsons" (Walt Disney Pictures), "Angel of Death" (Discovery Channel), "Michael Stahl‐David: Behind the Star" (Sony Pictures) and "Only Criminals" (Fringecamp), as well as numerous commercials and industrials.

Recordings and concerts include "Meet the Robinsons" soundtrack, "Adding Machine: A Musical" (PS Classics), "A Night at the Oscars with Shirley Jones and the Hollywood Concert Orchestra" (soprano soloist), "London Symphony Orchestra Tribute to Leonard Bernstein" (Marin Alsop, cond.), "People Will Say We're in Love" with tenor John D. Smitherman, and with the band They Might Be Giants. Her CD, "Beyond the Ingenue," is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and on her website at www.NifferClarke.com.

Richard Carsey
Carsey, who is a conductor, arranger, pianist and actor, provided music coaching for the recent Broadway production of "House of Blue Leaves" starring Ben Stiller and Edie Falco, and was music supervisor for Josh Schmidt's "A Minister's Wife" at Lincoln Center Theater. In 2010 he was music director for the first national tour of the new musical "Little House on the Prairie," starring Melissa Gilbert and directed by Francesca Zambello. For eight seasons the artistic director of the Skylight Opera Theater, he has conducted more than 60 productions including the world premiere of Richard Wargo's opera "Ballymore," Argento's "Waterbird Talk," and Britten's "Rape of Lucretia"  as well as "Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni," "Cosi Fan Tutte," "Eugene Onegin" and "Carmen. "

In September 2011, he conducted the world premiere performances of Kirke Mechem's opera "The Rivals" and in November "The Music Man," both at Skylight. As an actor, he has appeared in "2 Pianos, 4 Hands" at the Milwaukee Rep, Actors' Theater of Louisville.

Contact: Division of Communications