updated 9/29/2010 2:16:48 PM ET 2010-09-29T18:16:48

BOSTON, Sept. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Boston Conservatory, the oldest performing arts conservatory in the nation, today announces Tommy Tune as the honoree and special guest at the celebratory performance commemorating the grand opening of the "Hemenway Project," a $32 million, 16-month-long renovation of the Conservatory's theater building, Saturday, October 16th.

Known as one of the most prolific theater men of the Twentieth Century, Tommy Tune has enchanted audiences for the past 50 years with his charisma, vision and innovation. He has won nine Tony Awards for Broadway favorites such as My One and Only, Grand Hotel, The Will Rodgers Follies, Nine and Seesaw. Mr. Tune's talents extend beyond the stage, however. His film credits include Hello Dolly, The Boyfriend, Mimi Bluette, Fiore Del Mio Giardino and Hollywood Blvd. He has been honored with a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. Throughout his career, he has toured extensively in productions of Irma La Douce, Seesaw, Tommy Tune Tonight, My One and Only, Bye, Bye, Birdie and his act with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings. On several occasions, he collaborated with the late Thommie Walsh, a fellow Broadway director, choreographer and actor who attended The Boston Conservatory in the 1970s. Mr. Tune was a recipient of the The National Medal of Arts, the Country's highest honor for artistic achievement. This year, Mr. Tune marks his 50th year in show business with his latest tour, Steps in Time, A Broadway Biography in Song and Dance. 

"With Tommy Tune's career success, versatility and longevity, he models the talent, drive and work ethic our students aspire to achieve; we congratulate him on 50 phenomenal years in the industry," says Richard Ortner, President of The Boston Conservatory.

The Saturday evening performance -- which will feature a wide range of music dance and theatrical numbers performed by Conservatory students, faculty and guests -- will include a special return performance by Boston Conservatory Alumnus and 2010 Tony Best Actor Nominee Chad Kimball from hit Broadway show Memphis, winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical.

"I am honored to be a part of the grand opening event of the Hemenway Project," says Kimball. "Approaching 400 shows doing Memphis on Broadway, I've used every tool that was imparted to me through my education at The Boston Conservatory. I know this new facility will allow current and future students to learn and practice their craft on their path to successful careers as the next generation of highly trained artists -- taught at the best conservatory training program the world over."

Complete line-up of performances and events available at www.bostonconservatory.edu/openingnote.

Interviews available upon request.

High resolution digital images available on request.

About The Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its intimate and supportive multidisciplinary environment, the Conservatory offers fully accredited graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance and theater and presents more than 200 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. Since its founding in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has shared its talent and creativity with the city of Boston, the region and the nation, and continues to grow today as a vibrant community of artists and educators.

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