To many stu­dents’ dismay, Debbie Reynolds, who starred in the 1952 film “Singing in the Rain,” will not be attending the Romantic Comedies CCA this weekend, but, to the joy of many musical-lovers, Mitzi Gaynor will be speaking in her place.

Tim Caspar, director of the Center for Con­structive Alter­na­tives, said Reynolds will not be able to attend because of illness. While it’s not life-threat­ening, her doctor advised that she stay at home.

Sophomore Matalyn Vander Bleek said she was very sad Reynolds would not be attending.

“I don’t get to meet a figure that was really important in my childhood,” Vander Bleek said. “She was the voice of Char­lotte in ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ Cathy from ‘Singing in the Rain,’ and now my dreams of reen­acting scenes with her are totally dashed. And she got to kiss Gene Kelly, and he’s the man.”

Caspar said Reynolds expressed her apologies.

“She was very sorry she could not come, but was very helpful in sug­gesting Mitzi Gaynor to us,” Caspar said. “So she put us in contact with Mitzi Gaynor and her staff, and she gra­ciously agreed to come and to speak for us.”

Gaynor will be speaking about the movie “South Pacific,” in which she starred.

While the CCA speakers are planned months in advance, some­times the CCA office does have to face can­cel­la­tions.

“It’s pretty rare to have speakers cancel, but it does happen. Maybe it’s once every couple years. Usually it’s on short notice, like a flight was can­celled or a speaker fell ill, so we can’t really find someone within 24 hours.”

The CCA office first decides what topics would be inter­esting, and then, after some research, decides which speakers they should invite.

“By doing some research and reading around on things, we might find some people who would be good on the topics, but not everyone’s available,” Caspar said. “When the program is set and in place you don’t really think about replace­ments. After that, we might go back to our list, or if there’s time, we might try to go back to find new ones.”


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Amanda Tindall
Amanda Tindall is the features editor of the Collegian. From northeastern Nebraska, she hopes to move back to the east coast after graduation in 2016. She has worked at the Washington Post Express and the Toledo Free Press, and her favorite form of writing is long-form features and magazine pieces. Email: