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American Southwest Theatre Company hosts gala with live music

The American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC) will host its spring gala, "Swing Into Spring," from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, April 5, in the Las Cruces Hilton ballrooms.

and High Society Orchestra will provide live swing music for the event. High Society Orchestra leader Ron Theilman has played lead trombone with such bands as Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo, Les Elgart and Dick Jurgens. High Society Orchestra's library consists of more than 1,000 arrangements that vary from Dorsey to present-day pop standards. The orchestra also plays some country, rock, Latin numbers and Dixieland tunes.

The event will feature champagne, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and free swing dance lessons from 8:30 to 9 p.m. Gifts from local merchants will be auctioned, including perfume, cosmetics, art and evenings at the Las Cruces Hilton. Dance lessons will be provided by Regis Cassidy and Jessica Friend, lead dancers from ASTC's 2001 production of "Much Ado About Nothing."

The money raised at the gala will help provide guest artists for the New Mexico State University theater department through ASTC. Recent ASTC guest artists include Emmy-nominated costume designer Shawn Dudley; set designer Keith McQueen, who worked on the movie "Titanic;" and composer Roger Butterley, whose latest musical, "Eagle Song," is slated for Broadway.

Tickets are available at New Mexico State's Hershel Zohn Theatre box office. Tickets are $40 for adults, $75 for couples and $25 for students. For ticket and other information call the ASTC box office at (505) 646-4515 or 1-800-525-ASTC.

Sarah Wheeler
March 18, 2002