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‘Tom Jones’ romps into the new year for Creighton theater

Eddie McGonigal as the eponymous character in Creighton Theater's upcoming production of "Tom Jones," is surprised by the kiss of Sophia Western, played by Hailee Domagalski.Even by today’s standards, few plots can get as raucous, bawdy, witty and riotously funny as the one found in “Tom Jones,” the first 2016 theatrical offering of the Creighton University Fine and Performing Arts Department, running Feb. 23 through 28.

Based on English author Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel “The Adventures of Tom Jones, a Foundling,” widely regarded as one of the first true novels in the English language, the story follows the exploits of the title character, Tom Jones, an amiable young orphan with a fondness for the fairer sex. Tom (played by Creighton student Eddie McGonigal), finds himself in love with two women — the local beauty Molly (Rachel Schmidt) and the refined daughter of a squire, Sophia Western (Hailee Domagalski). Banished by his benefactor Allworthy (Benjamin Gliedt) for his misplaced affections, and in true picaresque style, Tom embarks on a series of misadventures in his quest for a happy ending.

The Creighton production, taking place on the Mainstage of the Lied Education Center for the Arts, is a new adaptation by playwright Jon Jory. The novel was most memorably adapted for the screen in 1963, when it earned Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Film Adaptation. “Tom Jones” the film also marked the first time in Academy Award history that three actresses from the same film were nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

The all-student cast for “Tom Jones” features several actors in multiple roles, including Aaron Ponce, Daniel Carraher, Manny Onate, Allexys Johnson, Kathryn Walsh and Krista Bergren.

Live music in the production is adapted and performed by Nina Noronha, dance choreography is by Alexia Lorch and set design is by Kristi Walsh. All three are Creighton students. Fight choreography is by Terry Doughman.

“Tom Jones” opens Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m., and continues with performances on Feb. 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Tickets are $5 for Creighton students, $12 for seniors and $15 for the general public. Ticket purchases can be made by calling the box office at the Lied Education Center for the Arts at 402-280-1448, or by visiting the box office website.

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