ICQ 2003/1Class Notes

Bullish on Broadway


Matt Cavenaugh '01 lassoed the lead role in the much-hyped new Broadway musical based on the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. The story follows the lives of Bud (Cavenaugh) and Sissy (played by Jenn Colella), two hardhat lovers who meet in a honkytonk bar and ride off into the sunset on a mechanical bull.

This is Matt's Broadway debut; in fact he secured his Equity card during this production. Despite his age -- "I was only two when the Urban Cowboy movie came out," he admits -- Matt is more than ready to fill the boots once worn by John Travolta. Last summer he played the title role in another Broadway hopeful, The Picture of Dorian Gray, at the Buell Theater in Denver, and he has been called one of the brightest young stars on the national theater scene.

Matt first learned that he had landed the role in Urban Cowboy on his 24th birthday and was immediately drawn to the musical. "It's a beautiful love story," he says. "Bud's a simple man who knows what he wants and goes after it. But he's vulnerable, too. He's had his heart broken."

The image of Matt astride the bull has been adorning the theater marquee and the advertising posters for the show, including a big one in the Times Square subway station. It's got more than a few hearts aflutter, we are told. The show opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 27.


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A. Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications, 29 April, 2003