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Look for Alumni on TV, on Stage and at the Movies

Oct. 30, 2012

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Class of 2004 music graduate Reneé Tatum performed this month with Renee Fleming at the Metropolitan Opera in “Otello.”

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Music and theatre arts alumni continue to land roles on both the stage and screen. Among them:

  • Danielle Bisutti, Class of '98, has been booked for a recurring role on the CBS hit drama series "NCIS." Recently, she completed filming in Canada for Universal's "Curse of Chucky," the latest sequel in the "Child's Play" horror franchise, for which she plays domineering older sister Barb. Most of her recent work has been on television. The singer and actress was a guest star on an October episode of "Criminal Minds," where fellow grad Kirsten Vangsness is a regular, portraying computer ace Penelope Garcia. Earlier this year, Bisutti appeared on episodes of "Castle" (ABC), "Leverage" (TNT) and "CSI Miami" (CBS), plus the sitcom "Last Man Standing" (ABC). Before that, she portrayed Amanda Cantwell on the cast of the popular Nickelodeon comedy "True Jackson, VP" which aired from 2008-11.
  • Valorie Curry, Class of '09, is in New York filming as part of the cast of a new drama series starring Kevin Bacon, "The Following," which Fox is scheduled to debut in January. Meanwhile, filmgoers can see Curry next month when "The Twilight Saga: "Breaking Dawn-Part 2" opens. She portrays nomadic vampire Charlotte. Curry appeared this spring in an episode of "Psych" on the USA Network and had a recurring guest-star role on the CW Television Network's former series "Veronica Mars." In her student days, she performed in campus productions of "Bus Stop" and "The Diviners," which was selected for staging at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in the spring of 2007. Noted Joe Arnold, dean of the College of the Arts: "I remember Valorie taught my cast traditional Irish dancing when I directed "Dancing at Lughnasa."
  • Curry's husband, Joe Calarco, also a Titan, earned an M.F.A. in theatre arts-acting in 2009 and worked as an actor in Chicago before moving West. The couple are ensemble members of the LA-based Coeurage Theatre Co. For Coeurage, Calarco just directed the West Coast premiere of "The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide," while Valorie designed the set for the production, staged Sept. 28-Oct. 28 at the Actor's Circle Theatre in West Hollywood. The pair have been cast as Fick and Darlene for the company's Jan. 28-March 4 production of Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead."
  • Alumni Chris Duir, Class of '10, and Micaela Martinez, who graduated in May with B.F.A. in theatre arts-musical theatre, open Nov. 2 in "Hairspray" at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. As members of the ensemble, both are part of the 3-D Theatricals production, also staged at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium Oct. 12-28. Duir, who performed the lead role of the Engineer in the campus production of "Miss Saigon," also understudies one of the featured roles from "Hairspray," Corny Collins.
  • Alumnus Jason Oles has been cast in the Las Vegas company of "Rock of Ages," as a member of the ensemble and understudy for the roles of Lonnie, Dennis, and Hertz. The musical opens Dec. 18 at Venetian Hotel & Casino and continues on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The setting is LA's Sunset Strip in 1987 for a tale about a boy from Detroit and a small-town girl, both in L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. It features hit songs from the era, including "I Wanna Know What Love Is" and "Don't Stop Believin'". Oles tied the knot this month with CSUF alum Bethany Mangum, Class of '10. She performed on stage in August in Rancho Cucamonga in "Rabbit Hole," and is planning to pursue a graduate degree in acting. The couple are making their home in Las Vegas.
  • Reneé Tatum, who earned a bachelor of music-voice in 2004, was on stage at the Metropolitan Opera this month appearing as Emilia, with Renee Fleming in Verdi's "Otello." The mezzo-soprano is in her final year of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindermann Young Artist Development Program. She made her Met debut in the 2010 season as Inez in "Il Trovatore" and is scheduled to return next spring to portray Adonella in "Francesca da Rimini." Zandonai's opera was inspired by an episode from Dante's "Inferno." In 2011, Tatum was a winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition and a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition. She was a 2010 Grand Prize winner of the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition and recipient of the Jensen Foundation Award from the Chautauqua Opera.

Cal State Fullerton theatre arts students are being cast locally for touring productions and dinner theater shows while they study for their bachelor's degrees. Among them:

  • Sophomores Brandon Burks and Jaclyn Kelly, both pursuing the musical theatre concentration, shared the stage Sept. 29-Oct. 28 in "Broadway ... Sings it Again!" at the Encore Dinner Theatre & Club in Tustin. In the variety show, Burks performed "Stars" from Les Misérables" and was an ensemble member. Kelly was featured singer for "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music," "Chicago's" "Cell Block Tango," "Defying Gravity" and "Popular" from "Wicked" and "Rent's" "Seasons of Love."
  • Salisha Thomas, a junior studying for her B.F.A. in theatre arts-musical theatre, is a member of the singing trio, the Dynamites, in the 3-D Theatricals production of "Hairspray," staged Nov. 2-4 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and throughout October at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton. She is featured in the "Welcome to the '60s" number in the first act, sharing the stage with Broadway veterans, as well at the two CSUF grads noted above.

By: Paula Selleck, 657-278-4856

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