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Diabetes musical hits Bijou Theater stage

12:09 AM, Jun 25, 2012   |    comments
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A trio of ladies in sequined outfits belted out tunes punctuated by the chorus "type one, type one diabetes!"

Strutting about the stage, the girl group informed main character 'Andy' that "he's got the symptoms."

"Andy and The Beats" uses humor, infectious tunes, and a hefty dose of charisma to entertain and inform the audience about the signs, symptoms and need for a cure for Type I Diabetes.

It's the senior thesis project of UT graduate Andy Rogers.

The biochemistry major and theater minor crafted the idea as a way to fulfill both requirements.

It took him six months to write the hour and fifteen minute musical, and every verse packs a punch.

"It started out as a joke, I thought it would be funny to write a Type I Diabetes musical," explains Rogers.

But the show developed into a coordinated, choreographed production, complete with live band and some incredible voices.

Rogers says he wants the show to engage the audience in the fight for a cure.

"You usually start caring when someone really close to you is affected. But now you can relate to this kid 'Andy'," says Rogers.

He sold tickets to the event as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He hopes to donate $3,000.

Many of those on stage Sunday wore red high-top sneakers, a symbol Rogers says of the Walk For A Cure fundraiser.

"We can't sprint to the finish line, we can't sit on our butts and do nothing," says Rogers. "Diabetics have to be patient yet persistent."

For the show's finale, more than a dozen children took to the stage, each of them living with Type I Diabetes.

They all sang the closing song together.

"That's definitely my favorite part," says Rogers.

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