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Thursday, September 14, 2017

RVCC Theatre Slates Musical Theatre, Drama, Puppetry, Political Humor, Music, Dance in October

The Capitol Steps

October is an incredible month at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, with a roundup that includes musical theatre, dramatic adaptations of great literature—including a presentation featuring beloved TV actor Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H)— puppetry representing the refugee crisis, folk music and more. The month ends on a high note with the always timely political humor of The Capitol Steps. The following shows will be offered:

Legally Blonde The Musical (Big League Productions), Friday, October 6, at 8 p.m.; $25 & $35 (Reserved seating)

Harvard's beloved blonde takes the stage by storm in this fun, upbeat story of self-discovery. A fabulously entertaining, award-winning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde The Musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. The action-packed production explodes on stage with memorable songs and dynamic dancing. Equal parts hilarious and heart-warming, this musical is so much fun, it should be illegal.

Sense and Sensibility (Aquila Theatre), Saturday, October 7, at 8 p.m.; $25 & $35 (Reserved seating)

One of Jane Austen’s most popular novels, Sense and Sensibility revolves around the lives of two sisters. After their father’s untimely death, both sisters and their mother are uprooted from their comfortable lives, while their half-brother and his wife inherit the family estate. The sisters’ only hope is a profitable marriage. Seduction, courtship, love, heartbreak and surprise abound in this classic romantic comedy, adapted for the stage in a bold and exciting new production.

As a special treat for Jane Austen fans, the evening will begin with a free lecture at 7:15 p.m. RVCC faculty member Dr. Lynne DeCicco will present “Jane Austen in Context: Her Life, Times, and Work.” A professor at RVCC for 33 years, Dr. DeCicco regularly teaches courses on English literature and women in literature. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and a B.A. from Rutgers College.

Symphonie Dramatique (Cas Public), Saturday, October 14, at 7 p.m.; $10 (General admission; recommended for ages 8 and older)

Symphonie Dramatique depicts the story of Romeo and Juliet told through dance, in an exciting adaptation created especially for young people. Fusing ballet, contemporary and hip-hop dance styles, eight dancers tell the tale of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers with contagious energy, shedding new light on the most famous love story of all time. Passion, innocence, arrogance, rage and impetuousness are communicated through richly detailed choreography in this vibrant and witty reimagining of the story. The dancers perform to a compelling original soundtrack that draws on Romeo and Juliet music written by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Gounod and others. Clever staging and costumes further enhance the appeal of this intriguing, multilayered performance.

Tuesdays With Morrie featuring Jamie Farr, Tuesday, October 17, at 7 p.m.; $25 & $35 (Reserved seating)

Tuesdays with Morrie is the autobiographical story of Mitch Albom, an accomplished career-driven journalist, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor. Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch learns that Morrie has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. What starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage—and a last class in the meaning of life. Jamie Farr (best known as Corporal Max Klinger on the beloved TV series M*A*S*H) stars in the stage adaptation of Mitch Albom’s New York Times best-selling memoir.

Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards, Thursday, October 19, at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.; $15 (General admission; audience members may pre-order a $5 box lunch and dine before the 1 p.m. show. The 7 p.m. show includes light refreshments.)

Propelled by rich vocal harmonies and arresting original songs, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards has emerged as one of the most intriguing, versatile and refreshing groups in the bountiful New England folk scene. Solidly grounded in traditional fiddle styles, this all-female string group offers its original compositions, arrangements and interpretations of old-time, bluegrass, country and Celtic music. The group’s sound is bold and elegant, schooled in the lyrical rituals of folk music and backed by grooves that alternately inspire Cajun two-stepping and rock-n-roll hip swagger.

Babylon (Sandglass Theater), Friday, October 20, at 7 p.m., $20; Saturday, October 21, at 3 p.m., $15 (Special matinee pricing; reserved seating for both performances)

In this striking new production, the fallen mythic civilization of Babylon becomes a metaphor for the refugee crisis affecting much of the world. Using puppets and moving panoramic scrolls, Babylon tells the story of seven refugees and the challenges they face; their relationship with their homelands, lost and new; and the conflicts that exist within the countries to which they flee. The blending of actual testimony with unreal figures offers a view into how one responds to the crisis and stays interested in someone else’s journey—one that does not necessarily end with arrival in a new land.

The production is being presented by Sandglass Theater, an internationally known, award-winner theatre company specializing in combining puppets with music, actors and visual imagery.

The Other Mozart (Samantha Hoefer), Tuesday, October 24, at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.; $15 (General admission;includes discussion and light refreshments; audience members may pre-order a $5 box lunch and dine before the 1 p.m. show)

The production shares the true, forgotten story of Nannerl Mozart—the sister of Amadeus—who was a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer. Nannerl performed throughout Europe with her brother, to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history. The performance transports the audience into a world of outsized beauty and delight, but also of overwhelming restrictions and prejudice. There, this “other Mozart” at last shares her story with the audience.

The Capitol Steps, Saturday, October 28, at 8 p.m.; $35 & $45 (Reserved seating) PHOTO AT TOP

After more than 35 years and at least that many albums, The Capitol Steps have become a Washington, D.C. institution. The group tours widely and has appeared on The Today Show, Nightline, Entertainment Tonight and numerous NPR specials. With these equal opportunity satirists poking fun at all side of the issues, an evening with The Capitol Steps may be the only thing sure to earn bipartisan support. The troupe’s latest album is titled Orange is the New Barack. Capitol Songs include “Hey Mr. Tangerine Man,” “Oops, I Tweeted Again,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alt-Right” and “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” What more would one expect from the group that puts the “MOCK” in Democracy?

To purchase tickets for any of October’s offerings at the Theatre, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available for most Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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