Matters of life and jest

The Shorthorn: Marc Chartrand
  Cabaret diva Colleen Mallette and pianist Sheild-Collins Bray performed at the University Center Monday at noon. They are currently on tour to promote their album, Saints and Sinners.

Performer kicks off arts gala with tunes about love, living

by Sally Claunch
  Special to The Shorthorn


  EX-CEL Campus Activities kicked off Arts Festival ‘99 with the comedy and musical styling of diva Colleen Mallette on Monday.
  "Buddy (the piano accompanist) and I are rabble rousers," she said. "Being a serious classical performer is a lot of hard work and self discipline — one needs to have fun and balance."
  Mallette performed her show "The Lemaze School of Singing: How to Birth a Song" in the UC Atrium.
  She bills herself as a local cowtown soprano and "American Cabaret and Comedy Diva." She was accompanied by Shields-Collins "Buddy" Bray, who is the principal pianist for the Fort Worth Symphony.
  Bray said they titled the show "The Lemaze School of Singing" after one of his former voice instructors.
  "We would walk down the halls in the music school and could hear her shouting at her students, ‘push!' and we thought it was funny," he said.
  Mallette performs opera parodies and bawdy songs about a woman who, among other pursuits, poisons her lovers.
  "This show presents a variety, a hodgepodge, no one will be left wanting," Mallette said.
  As students passed by and looked in to see what was happening, Mallette called out to them.
  "Hey come on in have a seat, this is a party," she said.
  Art freshman Laura Dye said she came out to hear the music.
  "I like music. I couldn't understand the first two songs she sang — they were in a foreign language," she said. "These other two (songs) are pretty funny."
  Jim Walther, director of graduate recruitment and support services, said he used to have a jazz combo and likes to come to the atrium to hear the students play the piano and sing during lunch.
  He also purchased one of Mallette's CDs.
  In addition to pursuing her performing career, Mallette also teaches vocal instruction at Texas Christian University and produces a show on a local Arlington cable channel.
  Susan English, assistant director for student activities, said she gets grants from the Texas Commission for the Arts to have performance artists come to the university. She said she gets a roster from which she can choose a performer.
  "She (Mallette) was on the list, and we thought it would be fun," she said. "We thought it (the show) would be a good way to kick off the festival."

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