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From a Bomber to a Jet

Written by Meredith Farley

Matt Cavenaugh '01 stars in "West Side Story," opening on Broadway this month.

Matt Cavenaugh '01 didn't always plan on being an actor -- it wasn't until high school, when he saw a production of West Side Story, that he got bit by the acting bug.

These days the Jonesboro, Arkansas, native gets rave reviews on Broadway, and things have come full circle: Cavanaugh will star as Tony in the modern, bilingual production of West Side Story, opening at the Palace Theater this month.

The actor has also made a name for himself in films and on- and off-Broadway productions of Urban Cowboy, Grey Gardens, and A Catered Affair.

"I had an incredible teacher by the name of Keith Salter, who was a real mentor and father figure to me and helped me out immensely," Cavanaugh recently told Playbill magazine. "I made the decision that, hey, maybe I could do this for a living. So we researched what we felt were the top programs in the country, and we spent a lot of time working on my audition. My first visit to Ithaca, it felt like home right away. I know it sounds corny, but it is such a gorgeous, gorgeous part of the country, a great college town, a beautiful campus. I thought, if I get in here, this is it. And I did."

Follow the link in the box at right to read Cavenaugh's complete interview with Playbill.

Watch Matt perform "It Don't Get Better Than This" from the Broadway production of Urban Cowboy.

Take a backstage video tour with Matt!






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