Legendary musical-comedy performer Carol Channing will star in an intimate public performance and talk with students at California State University, Fresno during a visit to benefit students in the university’s Department of Theatre Arts.
Channing’s appearance at Fresno State is part of her tour of the 23 California State University campuses, which began in 2005. At each, Channing performs and shares her experiences as one of Broadway’s enduring stars and establishes a scholarship through her Dr. Carol Channing-Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts.
“We deeply appreciate the gift that someone of Carol Channing’s magnitude is giving to our theatre arts students,” said Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, which is sponsoring Channing’s visit with the Department of Theatre Arts.
“We know our students will benefit from hearing about her experiences and we anticipate her fans in the central San Joaquin Valley will welcome this opportunity to hear her perform in the intimate setting of our Arena Theatre,” Samiian added.
She will arrive on campus April 13 and lead a master class with Fresno State and University High School students, then join in a lunch for advanced Fresno State theater students and invited guests.
On April 14, she will perform at 2 p.m. in the Arena Theatre, Speech Arts Building. A reception will follow in the Lyles Gallery.
Channing, who made her Broadway debut in 1948’s “No for an Answer,” is best known for two starring turns. In the 1950s, she famously played Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” a character defined by the song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” She also played matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello Dolly,” which debuted in 1964. She received a Tony Award in 1995 for Lifetime Achievement.
Broadway’s “first lady of musical comedy” also has starred on television and in films and performed in concert around the world. In Fresno, her most recent performance was in December with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2003, Channing married Modesto real estate developer Harry Kullijian, who had been her junior high school sweetheart in San Francisco 70 years earlier. The next year, she received an honorary doctorate from California State University, Stanislaus.
Tickets to the performance are $50 per person and proceeds will benefit the Carol Channing Theatre Arts Scholarship at Fresno State.
Seating is limited. Tickets may be ordered online at http://www.csufresno.edu/Theatre or by calling the Carol Channing hotline at 559.278.5109.