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Waa-Mu Show ‘GOLD’ Offers Several Special Perks This Year

Northwestern’s 2015 production will be staged from May 1 to 10 at Cahn Auditorium

  • Special half-price opening night ticket offer for Northwestern faculty, staff and students
  • Exhibit celebrating Northwestern Olympians to be displayed in Cahn Auditorium lobby
  • Popular Waa-Mu Show-inspired frozen custard returns to Andy’s during the month of May
  • Waa-Mu to partner with Evanston’s DMK Burger & Fish and The Celtic Knot 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “GOLD,” Northwestern University’s 84th Annual Waa-Mu Show -- an original full-length musical that tells the story of ambitious athletes on their quest for Olympic glory -- offers several bonuses this year. The production opens Friday, May 1.

A special Northwestern photo exhibition during the run of the show will honor alumni who have participated in previous Olympic games. There also is a half-price opening night discount ticket offer for Northwestern University community members, as well as Waa-Mu-related food and beverage incentives offered by several Evanston businesses.

Presented by the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University and the Waa-Mu Show team, “GOLD” will be staged from May 1 to 10, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., on the University’s Evanston campus.

Inspired by the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games -- one of the most celebrated international competitions in history -- “GOLD” is a new fully-staged musical written, composed, choreographed and co-produced by more than 100 Northwestern students.

Some Northwestern alumni who have competed in previous Olympic games have included the following medal winners: swimmer and former world record holder Sybil Bauer (1924); runner Betty Robinson Schwartz (1928 and 1936), winner of the first Olympic 100 meter for women; two-time Olympic gold medal sprinter Annette Rogers Kelly (1932 and 1936); 110-meter hurdler William “Bill” Porter (1948); and six-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Matt Grevers (2008 and 2012). All living Northwestern Olympians have been invited to attend the production of “GOLD.”

Undergraduate student co-chairs Hannah Dunn, Kylie Mullins and Maxwell Rein -- all seniors -- lead the 2015 production team with artistic direction by David H. Bell. Bell, a Northwestern professor of music theatre in the School of Communication and an award-winning professional director, has worked extensively around the world.

“GOLD” follows a team of determined American athletes during their journey to Berlin to compete in the 1936 Olympic Games. Along the way they meet the Olympic press corps with similar hopes and dreams of capturing their career defining moment in history. Upon their arrival in Germany, both the athletes and journalists encounter personal and political obstacles that threaten their one shot at victory. The struggles and triumphs of this particular competition prove to be greater than they ever imagined. United in their passion to triumph, unique friendships are made when the group discovers there is more to life than winning the gold.


• On Wildcat Opening Night (May 1) alumni, faculty, staff and students can save 50 percent on the price of their tickets by using the code WILDCAT, on advance purchase only. Offer is not available for (in-person) door sales on May 1. Call the Box Office at 847-491-7282 or order online at

• The 84th Annual Waa-Mu Show, in conjunction with Northwestern University Archives, will present a special lobby display honoring former Northwestern Olympians. A century of photos, articles and memorabilia from Northwestern Athletes who competed in the Olympic Games from 1912 through 2012 will be on display. This one-of-a-kind exhibit will only be on display in the Cahn Auditorium lobby during the run of the May 1-10 production.

• The Waa-Mu Show will partner for a second year with Andy’s Frozen Custard. The “Waa-Mu Show Concrete” sundae will be sold only in May at the Evanston location at 719 Church St. This special promotional “golden” concrete is a tasty mixture of caramel and cheesecake blended with Andy’s famous frozen custard.

• In addition, DMK Burger & Fish at 815 Noyes St., will offer the Waa-Mu Show Burger of the Month until May 11 only. The grass-fed burger includes German bratwurst, spicy onions, golden yellow mustard and butterkase German cheese.

• Also, The Celtic Knot Public House at 626 Church St., is offering a special GOLD-themed drink titled the Golden Flame, a custom cocktail with Fireball whiskey and ginger ale. Patrons also can enjoy free appetizers with any dinner entrée with proof of their Waa-Mu Show 2015 ticket stub.


David H. Bell, the Waa-Mu production’s supervisor and director, is an internationally renowned director and choreographer. Bell, Northwestern’s Donald G. Robertson Director of Music Theatre, has been nominated for 44 Joseph Jefferson (“Jeff”) Awards and has won 11. Bell also has been nominated for London’s prestigious Laurence Olivier Award, among others.


Ryan T. Nelson, the School of Communication’s music director, is the show’s conductor and music supervisor. He also is the resident music director of the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.  


Spring 2015 Waa-Mu performances of “GOLD” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 10.


Tickets for the 2015 Waa-Mu Show are $30 and $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; and $10 for full-time students with valid IDs (at the door).

For more information, or to purchase tickets through the Wirtz Center Box Office at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, phone 847-491-7282 or visit


The Waa-Mu Show began as a joint effort of the University's Women's Athletic Association (WAA) and Men's Union (MU) during the 1928-29 academic year. It soon garnered a reputation as one of  “the greatest college shows in America” and has been an important launching pad for many respected performers.

Past cast members include Walter Kerr in the 1930s; Claude Akins, Sheldon Harnick, Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlotte Rae and Tony Randall in the 1940s; Warren Beatty, Penny Fuller and Garry Marshall in the 1950s; Karen Black, Frank Galati, Ann-Margret and Tony Roberts in the 1960s; Laura Innes and Shelley Long in the 1970s; Gregg Edelman, Ana Gasteyer, and Megan Mullally in the 1980s; Zach Braff, Brian d'Arcy James, Heather Headley, Jason Moore and Kate Shindle in the 1990s and, more recently, Jenny Powers.

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