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PR #13 August 27, 2007

THEATRE AT RVCC ANNOUNCES 2007-2008 SEASON

From comedy, musical theatre and modern dance, to traditional Celtic tunes and the swinging sounds of jazz, the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College?s (RVCC) 2007-2008 season offers performances to suit every style and taste.

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 .

?There is no feeling like the beginning of a new season and that time is quickly approaching,? said Theatre Director Alan Liddell. ?With 40 shows from seven different countries, The Theatre at RVCC is proud to welcome friends old and new to a host of wonderful, diverse programs on this beautiful campus,? Liddell continued. The 2007-2008 Major Artists Series will include the following performances:

Capitol Steps , Saturday, October 20, at 8 p.m.; $29 & $34

The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. Although not all of the current Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, together the performers represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. The Capitol Steps have recorded 27 albums, including the group?s latest, Springtime for Liberals.

Dances of the Caucasus , Sunday, November 4, at 7 p.m.; $23 & $28

The folkloric heritage of the former Soviet Union is vast and ancient. These cultures share a vibrant and colorful bond in the ongoing celebration of their heritage through music, song and dance. Just as the great Hungarian composer Bartok was inspired by his meticulous research and transcription of Romanian and Hungarian folk songs and music, Dance of the Caucasus opens a window into this thriving art form.

Caroline Rhea , Friday, November 30, at 8 p.m.; $25 & $30

In 1989 Caroline Rhea ventured to New York to start her career in stand-up comedy. She studied in the New School of Social Research?s stand-up program and trained at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club. Rhea soon became an integral part of the city?s comedy scene, with nightly gigs at New York?s venerable clubs. Her career was further boosted by numerous appearances on MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour, Comic Strip Live and Caroline?s Comedy Hour. For the past 17 years, Rhea has continued to perform to sold-out audiences in top comedy clubs all over the country and in Canada.

A Christmas Carol (Nebraska Theatre Caravan), Saturday, December 1, at 7 p.m.; $35 & $40

Welcome to the London of Charles Dickens, artfully created by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan. The period?s chilling poverty and luxurious wealth both serve as a thrilling backdrop to this stage production, which weaves the spellbinding fable of a man who is given the rarest of gifts: the chance to change. A beloved theatrical tradition since 1979, the production has delighted thousands of audience members with a staging of the story that captures the warmth, the wisdom and the joy of the season.

The Great Russian Nutcracker (Moscow Ballet), Friday, December 7, at 4 & 8 p.m.; $37 & $42

Moscow Ballet?s Great Russian Nutcracker opens with Masha?s Uncle Drosselmeier in his workshop, consulting an ancient book of magic as he prepares the dolls for Stalhbaum?s Christmas party. This captivating scene begins the most enchanting event of our season?one that has become the most unforgettable for many of our patrons. As always, students of Gotta Dance will take the children?s parts and dance alongside the professional dancers.

Little Women (Windwood Theatricals) Sunday, January 27, at 7 p.m.; $37 & $42

Based on Louisa May Alcott?s own family experiences, Little Women follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March growing up in Civil War America. This wonderful narrative has been brought to life as an exhilarating new musical filled with glorious music, dancing and heart. Little Women embodies the complete theatrical experience, guaranteeing a night filled with laughter, tears and a lifting of the spirit.

The Parsons Dance Company , Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m.; $23 & $28

The Parsons Dance Company is committed to works of extraordinary artistry that are enjoyed by audiences throughout the world. Sexy, athletic and exuberant, the company?s style is a fusion of the modern dance vocabulary, coupled with the discipline of a classical company. Parsons Dance comes to our stage with some of its greatest hits, including the company?s masterpiece, Caught, which has been thrilling international audiences for more than 20 years.

Russian National Ballet , Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m.; $29 & $34

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded to bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov ballet companies. Leading dancers from across Russia, along with stars of the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, have forged an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet, staging new productions of such timeless classics as Giselle, Paquita and Carmen. Our program will feature an evening of ballet?s greatest hits, including Bolero, Scheherazade and Les Sylphides.

The StepCrew , Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m.; $27 & $32

The StepCrew performs a new, high-energy style of dancing that combines Irish, Ottawa Valley and modern tap with some blazing fiddle work?think a blend of Tap Dogs, Nathalie MacMaster and Savion Glover. This Celtic-inspired show features top talents who have danced and played with the Chieftains, Seven Nations and Bowfire. Composed of six outstanding dancers and backed by a five-piece band, The StepCrew takes Celtic dance to the next level, moving from modern interpretations of traditional Celtic music and dance to completely original musical compositions and choreography created especially for this show.

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m.; $20 & $25

The dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art, taking the audience beyond cultural boundaries. Nai-Ni Chen is an artist whose work defies categorization, as she continually incorporates influences from around the world into her work. Her mesmerizing and dramatic contemporary choreography has gained increasing recognition among domestic and international theatres and festivals.

The Roches , Friday, April 25, at 8 p.m.; $27 & $32

Known for swirling harmonies and extraordinary lyrical perspective?as well as smart, fun performances?New York City sisters Maggie, Terre and Suzzy have created what is perhaps best described as ?Roche Music.? Their debut album, The Roches, was hailed as the best record of the year by The New York Times. After 10 years of working in different venues and with other artists, The Roches have reunited to record a new CD of their own songs, Moonswept.

Count Basie Orchestra , Friday, May 23, at 8 p.m.; $21 & $26

During his 80 years of life, William ?Count? Basie brought the jazz art form to such heights that his legacy is regarded as an American institution by music?s connoisseurs around the world. So perhaps it?s not surprising that the orchestra he founded in 1936 is still thriving. Today?s Count Basie Orchestra is composed of 19 performers committed to upholding and advancing this institution. Some members are new, yet the majority of the sound still swings from musicians handpicked by Count Basie himself.

The 2007-2008 Merck Series, made possible for the past 16 years by a generous grant from The Merck Company Foundation, will include:

Crystal Gayle Christmas , Saturday, December 8, at 8 p.m.; $40 & $45

Crystal Gayle began her musical career in country music when she was still in school, but it wasn?t long before she was striking fame with country/pop crossover ballads. In 1977 she became the first female artist in country music history to achieve platinum album sales with We Must Believe in Magic. The album featured her signature song, ?Don?t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,? a #1 country hit that rose to #2 on the American pop charts. In 2003 All My Tomorrows, a collection of American standards, demonstrated that Gayle?s musical talents were nearly boundless. Join us for some Christmas cheer, as this industry giant sings her greatest hits as well as everyone?s Christmas favorites.

Theatre of Illusion (The Spencers), Friday, January 25, at 7 p.m.; $20

Is it possible for a person to be folded inside a 12-inch box, to walk through the whirling blades of an industrial fan, or to escape from a water-filled container? Audience members will cross over a threshold of disbelief mere moments after the Spencers take the stage. Theatre of Illusion is a magical concert for the eyes, combining theatrical elements with cutting-edge illusions. The Spencers have propelled the age-old art of magic into the 21st century.

Moscow Circus , Friday, February 29, at 7 p.m.; $30 & $35

A Moscow Circus performance begins as the audience enters the lobby and walks directly into a traditional Russian folk festival. The group?s current show, A Russian Folk Fair, is based on centuries-old Russian traditions and fables. Using folk musicians, singers, dancers, human puppets and ornate costumes and backdrops, the show combines drama, cultural history and the theatrics that can only be created by some of the greatest circus performers on earth.

The Four Freshmen , Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m.; $25 & $30

The Four Freshmen was one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s, forming the bridge between the '40s ensembles like the Mel-Tones and the later, harmony-based groups like the Beach Boys and The Manhattan Transfer. New lineups of the group have continued the legendary vocal tradition of the original band, while adding new touches. In 2000 the Four Freshmen was voted Vocal Group of the Year by Down Beat magazine?s readers. Join us for a wonderful, wide-ranging, musical evening with some of the most talented musicians on the road today.

Children?s Theatre

The Theatre at RVCC?s 2007-2008 season features a wonderful collection of performances for children and families. 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 each. The following shows will be offered:

Junie B. Jones (TheatreworksUSA), Sunday, October 7

Tom Chapin & Friends , Sunday, December 9

Winnie the Pooh (TheatreworksUSA), Sunday, January 13

Snow White (Matthias Kuchta), Sunday, February 10

Peter & the Wolf/Beauty & the Beast (New Jersey Ballet Company), Sunday, March 2

Charlotte's Web (TheatreworksUSA), Sunday, April 6

Dr. Dolittle (TheatreworksUSA), Sunday, April 27

Gizmo Guys , Sunday, May 4

The Theatre?s 2007-2008 Family Series ?for families with children ages eight and older?will feature the following artists and performances. All performances will be held at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20 each.

Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats, Friday, November 2

Theatre of Illusion (The Spencers), Friday, January 25

Addy: An American Girl Story (Seattle Children?s Theatre), Saturday, February 9

Les Parfaits Inconnus (Perfect Strangers), Saturday, April 26

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. This year?s series will include:

Anne of Green Gables (TheatreworksUSA), Tuesday, October 9, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ( TheatreworksUSA), Tuesday, October 16, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats , Friday, November 2, at 11 a.m.

Around the World and Back Again (Tom Chapin), Monday, December 10, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (TheatreworksUSA), Thursday, December 13, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Seussical (TheatreworksUSA), Wednesday, January 16, at 10 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Big Wooden Horse), Thursday, February 7, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Snow White (Matthias Kuchta), Friday, February 8, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Freedom Bound (Mad River Theatre Works), Wednesday, February 20, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia), Thursday, February 21, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

The Mystery of King Tut (TheatreworksUSA), Wednesday, March 12, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Dragon?s Tale (Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company), Friday, April 18, at 11 a.m.

Max and Ruby (TheatreworksUSA), Wednesday, April 30, at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

For the fourth year in a row, Courier News readers voted The Theatre at RVCC as the ?Best of the Best? in 2007 in the ?Playhouse/Theater? category. A variety of subscribers? packages are available for all Theatre series. 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.

The Theatre offers birthday parties. Parties cost $16 per child (minimum of 10) and include invitations, tickets to a Sampler performance, birthday announced from the stage, use of party room for 45 minutes after the performance, refreshments and a gift for the birthday child. Additional elements can be included for extra fees. For further information, call 908-725-3420. Parties are also available for Family Series events; please call for more information.

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 80 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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