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PR # 7 July 22, 2008


As the curtain rises on The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College?s (RVCC) 25th anniversary season, the Theatre can take pride in providing the community with a cultural centerpiece, offering outstanding entertainment for the entire family to enjoy.

?The Theatre?s 25th anniversary season is a time for celebrating past achievements and future potential?for the Theatre, the College and the entire community. We are proud to continue the long tradition of offering a wonderful array of international cultural delights for families to enjoy, right in their own backyard,? said Alan Liddell, director of the Theatre.

The Theatre first made its mark on the community in March 1985. That first opening night, featuring a black tie gala hosted by Kitty Carlisle Hart, ushered in an abbreviated season that included a performance by Pearl Bailey and many other talented artists. The 23 outstanding seasons that followed included such diverse talents as Tito Puente, The Peking Acrobats, Judy Collins, the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Rockapella, Capitol Steps, Lee Greenwood, Tom Chapin, Second City, Eileen Ivers, New Jersey Ballet, and so much more.

The 2008-2009 season promises not to disappoint audiences. The coming year will offer a new series, Tuesdays with Stories , which features great American literature performed by solo actors from The American Place Theatre. And for younger audiences, the Theatre will present three series geared specifically for children and teens: the Sampler Series , the Family Series and School-Time Performances .

The remaining line-up promises something for everyone: from the hilarious comedy of Colin Quinn, to the dramatic dancing of Urban Bush Women, to the contemporary sounds of the East Village Opera Company and much more.

The 2008-2009 Major Artists Series will include the following performances:

Colin Quinn , Saturday, November 15, at 8 p.m.; $25 & $30

Whether you know comedian Colin Quinn from HBO, Saturday Night Live or Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn ?you know him as a funny man. Enjoy his crazy antics as he?s standing up live on the Theatre?s stage.

Great Russian Nutcracker (Moscow Ballet), Sunday, December 7, at 4 & 8 p.m.; $40 & $45

This captivating ballet is one of the most beautiful and beloved events of our season and has become one of the most unforgettable holiday memories for many of our patrons.

Christmas Around the World (Quartetto Gelato), Friday, December 12, at 8 p.m.; $27 & $32

Experience reverence, melancholy and joy as the program celebrates Christmas in America, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Israel. The program is inspired by the range of emotions that audiences feel at this time of year.

Jose Feliciano Christmas (Jose Feliciano), Saturday, December 20, at 8 p.m.; $40 & $45

Acclaimed by critics around the world as our ?greatest living guitarist,? Jose Feliciano brings his Grammy Award-winning repertoire to North Branch for an unforgettable Latin Christmas.

East Village Opera Company , Friday, January 23, at 8 p.m.; $27 & $32

The band reinvents classical music?s greatest arias, turning them into memorable rock anthems. The program features renditions of Puccini?s Nessun dorma, Bizet?s Au font du temple saint and La donna e mobile .

ICONS (Turtle Island String Quartet & Cyrus Chestnut), Saturday, February 7, at 8 p.m.; $30 & $35

ICONS is a feast of the ears featuring music from such jazz giants as Ellington, Davis, Coltrane and Armstrong, as well as bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe.

Urban Bush Women , Friday, February 13, at 8 p.m.; $31 & $36

UBW is a dance ensemble that engages a diverse audience by producing life-affirming work based on women?s experiences, African-American history and the cultural influences of the African Diaspora.

DIVA (Sofie Krog Teater), Saturday, February 21, at 7 & 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 22, at 5 & 7:30 p.m.; $20

An almost wordless performance in an intricate, rotating, puppet theatre, Diva will redefine your definition of theatre. The production is intended for adults and children over 14. It?s not to be missed.

Celtic Crossroads (Music at the Crossroads), Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m.; $27 & $32

Seven world-class musicians?playing over 20 instruments?and two champion dancers offer a fusion of the various forms of Celtic music from Europe and the rest of the world.

Project , Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m.; $17 & $22

Project excites audiences with energy and a style that can only be described as a fusion of jazz, hip-hop and world music?balanced by an allegiance to its classical roots.

Night of Jazz , Saturday, April 4, at 7 p.m.; $20 & $25

Presented in cooperation with the New Jersey Jazz Society, the program features a survey of great music by three artists selected from around New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic region.

Doo Wop Live & at Its Best (Cornell Gunther?s Coasters, The Marvelettes & The Platters), Friday, May 22, at 8 p.m.; $29 & $34

The music and the era live on when these three groups take the stage. The Theatre at RVCC will close out its 25th anniversary season with an evening of classic hits and great memories.

The 2008-2009 Merck Series , made possible for the past 17 years by a generous grant from The Merck Company Foundation, will include:

Capitol Steps , Saturday, October 11, at 8 p.m.; $31 & $36

The Theatre first presented the Capitol Steps with its Indecision 2000 tour, and local audiences have been laughing ever since. Looking for humor as the November election approaches? This is where and when you?ll find it.

A Christmas Carol (Nebraska Theatre Caravan), Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m.; $37 & $42

Both chilling poverty and luxurious wealth serve as a thrilling backdrop to this stage production, which weaves the spellbinding fable of a man who is given the rarest of gifts.

War of the Worlds/The Lost World (L.A. Theatre Works), Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.; $25 & $30

Join L.A. Theatre Works, America?s premiere radio theatre company, for a special double bill of chills, thrills and great literature as it presents two masterpieces of science fiction and adventure.

Bye Bye Birdie (Windwood Theatricals), Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m.; $40 & $45

Plenty of laughs and great songs, including the parents? lament, ?What?s The Matter With Kids Today,?? have made this hit Broadway show one of the most memorable musicals of all time.

Family Theatre

The Theatre at RVCC?s 2008-2009 season features a wonderful collection of performances for children and families. The Family Series ?for families with children ages eight and older?will feature the following artists and performances. Tickets cost $20 & $25 each.

Tapeire (James Devine), Sunday, October 12, at 7 p.m.

The Legacy of Galileo: An Encounter with Genius (Parnassus Productions), Friday, January 9, at 7 p.m.

Aga-Boom (Clown Action Productions), Saturday, January 31, at 2 & 7 p.m.; Sunday, February 1, at 2 p.m.

Peking Acrobats , Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m.

Magic of Lyn (Lyn Dillies), Saturday, April 25, at 7 p.m.

The Theatre?s Sampler Series is designed for children ages four and older and their families. All Sampler Series performances will be presented at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 & $12 each. The following shows will be offered:

Frog in the Clouds (Theatre Terra), Sunday, October 19

A Christmas Carol (TheatreworksUSA), Saturday, November 29, at a special location: Clinton Middle School

The Gruffalo (Tall Stories), Sunday, November 30

The Snow Queen (Das Puppenspiel), Sunday, December 21

Aesop?s Fables II (Jim West), Sunday, January 11

Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia), Sunday, February 15

Cinderella (New Jersey Ballet Company), Sunday, March 29

Clean Machine (Tom Chapin & Friends), Sunday, May 17

This year?s newest series, Tuesdays with Stories , offers an exciting new way to experience great American literature. The presentations are being offered by The American Place Theatre?s Literature to Life Arts in Education Program and are adapted for the stage and directed by Wyn Handman. Each performance begins at 7 p.m. and includes a pre- and post-show discussion, as well as light snacks. The series is recommended for individuals age 14 and older. Tickets cost $20 each.

The Secret Life of Bees , Tuesday, September 16

Set in 1960s South Carolina during the Civil Rights ear, The Secret Life of Bees depicts the story of a young girl whose search for the truth about her mother leads her to three beekeeping sisters and the real meaning of family.

The House on Mango Street , Tuesday, November 18

A young Chicana faces the harsh realities of her neighborhood, yet holds onto the dream of what she will someday become.

Black Boy , Tuesday, January 20

A verbatim adaptation of the classic American autobiographical work, Black Boy dramatizes Richard Wright?s journey from childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South.

Teacher Man , Tuesday, March 17

Frank McCourt, a dedicated teacher, charming storyteller and eloquent writer, shares the riches of his 30 years of experience in high school classrooms. As he writes, ?I thought I was teaching. I was learning.?

The Kite Runner , Tuesday, May 19

A touching and dramatic portrayal of the difficult relationship between two boys?Amir, a privileged Pashtun, and Hassan, his Hazara servant?set before the tumultuous backdrop of 1970s Afghanistan.

The Theatre also will present School-Time Performances , a series for teachers and their students. Ticket prices vary, depending on the group size and performance time. Groups of 15 or more: tickets cost $7 each for a.m. shows, $6 each for p.m. shows; groups fewer than 15: tickets cost $10 each for a.m. shows, $9 each for p.m. shows, unless otherwise noted. This year?s series will include:

The Secret Life of Bees (American Place Theatre), Tuesday, September 16, at 12 p.m. (Recommended for grades 9 & up); all tickets $10

Jason & the Argonauts (Visible Fictions), Friday, October 10, at 9:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades 3-7)

The House on Mango Street (American Place Theatre), Tuesday, November 18, at 12 p.m. (Recommended for grades 9 & up); all tickets $10

Max & Ruby (TheatreworksUSA), Monday, November 24, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades Pre-K-3)

Charlotte?s Web (TheatreworksUSA), Monday, December 15, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades K-5)

The Legacy of Galileo: An Encounter with Genius (Parnassus Productions), Friday, January 9, at 11 a.m. (Recommended for grades 3-7)

Black Boy (American Place Theatre), Tuesday, January 20, at 12 p.m. (Recommended for grades 9 & up); all tickets $10

Freedom Train (TheatreworksUSA), Wednesday, January 21, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades 3-9)

If You Give a Pig a Pancake (TheatreworksUSA), Tuesday, January 27, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades K-4)

Stellaluna (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia), Thursday, February 6, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades K-4)

Seussical (TheatreworksUSA), Friday, February 20, at 10 a.m. & 12:15 p.m. (Recommended for grades Pre-K-4)

Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks (Mad River Theatre Works), Friday, February 27, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades 3 & up)

Peking Acrobats , Friday, March 6, at 11 a.m. (Recommended for grades 3 & up)

Junie B. Jones (TheatreworksUSA), Tuesday, March 10, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades K-5)

The Lost World (L.A. Theatre Works), Thursday, March 12, at 11 a.m. (Recommended for grades 7 & up)

Teacher Man (American Place Theatre), Tuesday, March 17, at 12 p.m. (Recommended for grades 9 & up); all tickets $10

Project , Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m. (Recommended for grades 4 & up)

Generations of Jazz (New Jersey Jazz Society), Friday, April 3, at 11 a.m. (Recommended for grades 4 & up)

Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Two Bean Productions), Friday, May 8, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades Pre-K-4)

Clean Machine (Tom Chapin & Friends), Monday, May 18, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Recommended for grades Pre-K-4)

The Kite Runner (American Place Theatre), Tuesday, May 19, at 12 p.m. (Recommended for grades 9 & up); all tickets $10

For the fifth year in a row, Courier News readers voted The Theatre at RVCC as the ?Best of the Best? in 2008 in the ?Playhouse/Theater? category. A variety of subscribers? packages are available for all Theatre series. In celebration of the Theatre? 25th anniversary season, tickets for any of the Theatre?s public series may be purchased at 25 percent off, if bought before the September 16 presentation of The Secret Life of Bees . When ordering online, use the pull-down menu, located next to the ticket price, to select the appropriate discount for each ticket. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org . Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for a variety of performances.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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