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Malcolm Price Lab School "legends" to perform

October 21, 2011

Nadene Davidson, interim head of teaching, 319-273-6171,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS – Film star Annabeth Gish and Gary Kroeger of "Saturday Night Live" will headline a tribute to former Malcolm Price Laboratory School (MPLS) music and drama directors Les Hale and Ken Butzier at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, at MPLS, in the Butzier Auditorium.

"For more than a quarter of a century, Hale and Butzier launched actors, designers, opera singers and other professional musicians," said Kristin Teig Torres, who will co-host the tribute with Kroeger.  "Their students have become playwrights, directors, and film, music and drama critics."

The tribute will consist of special performances from MPLS alums, including songs from Broadway musicals sung by Kroeger, Teig Torres, Chris O'Connor, Rhonda Williams, Gavin Mauer and Stephanie Althof. Tony Tomlyanovich will sing an opera aria. Gish will appear via video, as she will be away filming a mini-series.

Butzier and Hale joined the MPLS faculty in 1960.  Over the years they directed plays, musicals, variety shows and their special madrigal dinners. Butzier died of Parkinson's disease more than a decade ago, but one of his sons will speak at the tribute. Hale will be present, with photographs and other memorabilia from 28 years of plays and music also on display.

A reception will begin at 6 p.m., in the auditorium lobby, along with a silent auction. Tickets for the event are $25, and all proceeds from this event will benefit the Ross A. Nielsen Fund, which supports students and faculty at MPLS, Iowa's Research and Development School.

Reservations can be made by calling 319-273-2185.