The University of Findlay will present “An Evening with Matt Cavenaugh, Featuring Phil Reno,” as a part of the Donnell Broadway Concert Series on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Winebrenner Theological Seminary TLB Foundation Convocation Center.
Star of the 2009 Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” Cavenaugh played Tony, a member of the Jets gang, who falls in love with Maria, the sister of the Shark’s leader, Bernardo.
Cavenaugh will be accompanied by Phil Reno, Grammy-nominated Broadway conductor. Reno, who grew up in Tiffin, Ohio, has served as music director for the Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises,” “Elf The Musical,” “The Producers”, “The Drowsy Chaperone” and others.
A native of Jonesboro, Ark., Cavenaugh made his 2003 Broadway debut playing the title character of Bud in the musical version of “Urban Cowboy,” a role that was portrayed by John Travolta in the 1980 movie. Cavenaugh also was critically acclaimed in the musical, “Grey Gardens,” where he played both Joe Kennedy Jr. and Jerry. He appeared at the Walter Kerr Theatre playing Ralph Halloran in Harvey Fiersteins’ musical adaption of “A Catered Affair.”
As a member of touring companies that performed across the country, Cavenaugh has played Jimmy Smith, the playboy in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” the impassioned younger brother in “Ragtime” and Eugene, the bullied nerd in “Grease.”
Cavenaugh has appeared on “The View,” “The Today Show,” “The Caroline Rhea Show” and the 63rd annual “Tony Awards” in 2009. He also played Mark Solomon on “One Life to Live” (2004-2005) and Adam Munson on “As the World Turns” (2006-2007).
A graduate of Ithaca College in New York, Cavenaugh also has performed at the Mabel Mercer New York Cabaret Convention, the Lincoln Center, the Birdland jazz club and sang the national anthem for the New York Giants and the New York Mets.
He has recorded a debut album with his wife, Jenny Powers, “Gonna Make You Love Me.” In addition, Cavenaugh serves on the advisory board of Early Stages, a non-profit organization fostering literacy through the arts in the New York City public school system.
Thomas (’70) and Kathleen Donnell established the Thomas and Kathleen Donnell Broadway Concert Series Endowment Fund in conjunction with the Give Voice to Your Values campaign. The Donnell Broadway Concert Series enables noted Broadway artists to visit campus each academic year in the fall, in addition to the annual spring semester performance. The series provides entertainment for students and community members in concert, as well as opportunities for UF musical theatre students to learn from accomplished professionals in master classes.