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NU Theatre offers two Tony Award-winning musicals, three laugh-out-loud comedies, and a dark and lyrical mystery

by jmaloni
Tue, Aug 21st 2012 10:10 am

Press release

Niagara University Theatre has announced its 2012-13 season.

Steven Braddock, director of Niagara University Theatre said, "This season, you will find two Tony Award-winning musicals, three laugh-out-loud comedies by Neil Simon, Steve Martin (yes - that banjo strumming comedian) and Moliere, and a dark and lyrical mystery. In addition, our annual student-directed short play festival will offer comedies, dramas and everything in between. Also, our theater student group, the NU Players, will test their wings by entirely producing a contemporary adult drama about the searing effect of war on relationships."

"While many area theaters focus on producing one type of theater, here at NU, our season of theater is about variety and value. Now with our $3.1 million renovation two years behind us, our first-class facility can offer audience amenities like never before: a circular driveway drop off, a computerized box-office, an elevator, air-conditioning, listening devices, comfortable seats with arm and leg room, and an audience lounge for pre-show and intermission - complete with a photographic mural spotlighting dozens of NU Theatre productions from the 1960s through 2010."

From Oct. 18 - 22, NU Theatre will present "The Rimers of Eldritch." Directed by Braddock, this drama was an Off-Broadway success for its playwright, the late Lanford Wilson, one of the most distinguished American playwrights of the 20th century. On the surface, "The Rimers of Eldritch" is a mystery ... but beneath its skin, it is a probing look at the rhythms of Midwestern American life, compellingly rich, dark and lyrical. But be warned: this is not Norman Rockwell's America. The drama contains mature subject matter and is not recommended for children.

"The Rimers of Eldritch" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, and Monday, Oct. 22, and at 7:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Oct. 20, and Sunday, Oct. 21 (with post-show discussion).

From Nov. 8 - 18, Neil Simon's hilarious farce, "Rumors," will be presented. The production will be directed by adjunct speech professor, Amanda Lytle Sharpe. A true 20th century master, Simon noted in an interview that this classic comedy was his first farce, inspired in part by Moliere's comedies about wealthy people in outlandish situations.

As the comedy begins, four well-heeled couples arrive at the townhouse of a New York City deputy mayor and his wife who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. He's been shot in the head (only a flesh wound), she's missing, and his attorney attempts a cover-up that reaches the point at which nobody can remember which image-conscious guest has told what about whom. Doors slam and hilarity abounds as the affair descends into chaos. The production contains adult language and is not suitable for children.

"Rumors" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, and Thursday, Nov. 15, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, Saturday, Nov. 10, Friday Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17. Also, 2 p.m. matinees will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 10, Sunday, Nov. 11 (with post-show discussion), Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18.

From Dec. 6 - 16, NU Theatre will present the hit Broadway production, "Urinetown the Musical" by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann. This Tony Award-winning tale of love, greed and revolution is directed by Braddock, with choreography by associate professor Terri Filips Vaughan and musical direction by vocal adjunct Jason Bravo. An irreverent homage to the Great American musical theatre tradition, "Urinetown the Musical" is one of the most uproariously funny musicals ever to hit Broadway. The production satirizes capitalism, populism, bureaucracy, corporate corruption and municipal politics.

A horrendous water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government ban on private bathrooms. Citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by demanding payment for one of humanity's most fundamental needs. From out of the destitute masses, a hero arises to lead his fellows against the tyrannical regime.

The production is on stage in the Leary Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, and Thursday, Dec. 13, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, Saturday, Dec. 8, Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. Matinees will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, Sunday, Dec. 9 (with post-show discussion), Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16.

From Jan. 18 through Jan. 26,2013, NU Theatre's annual Short Play Festival makes for a fascinating dose of theater - and a great entertainment bargain. Three cycles of 10-minute plays written by various playwrights will be presented over two consecutive weekends. Comedies, dramas, and everything in between - our debut of nearly two-dozen student directors produces a smorgasbord of professionally published plays. If one production is not to your taste, you only have to wait 10 minutes before the next one. (With some plays, adult situations and language may be an appropriate warning to anticipate.)

The Short Play Festival will be on stage in the Leary Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 (Cycle A) and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 (Cycle A); on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 pm (Cycle B) and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 (Cycle B); and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 (Cycle C) and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 (Cycle C).

From Feb. 14 - 17, in collaboration with the Castellani Art Museum, NU Theatre will present "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" by Steve Martin. This absurdly comic play about the relationship between art and science, talent and genius, will be directed by artist-in-residence/recruiter Adriano Gatto. This production will be performed at the Castellani Art Museum amidst a specially curated art exhibit.

A celebrated comedian, musician, author and playwright, Martin has created a not-to-be-missed comedy about two icons and their chance meeting. Einstein and Picasso walk into a bar ... each on the verge of their greatest accomplishments, and a comically magical night ensues.

"Picasso at the Lapin Agile" will be staged at the Castellani Art Museum on the NU campus at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16. A 2 p.m. matinee will be held at the museum on Sunday, Feb. 17.

From Feb. 22 through 24, the NU Players will present an all student-designed and directed production of "Time Stands Still" by Donald Margulies. What's the more perilous place? A combat zone or a long-term domestic relationship?

Both funny and heartbreaking, this timely drama examines war through the lens of a young couple brought together by the conflict in Iraq only to have their relationship challenged by it.

The adult subject matter of the production is not suitable for children.

"Time Stands Still" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23. In addition, a 2 p.m. matinee will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 23 (with post-show discussion), and on Sunday, Feb. 24.

From March 21 through 26, Niagara University Theatre will present Moliere's delightful French classic, "The Learned Ladies," directed by Dr. C. Henrik Borgstrom, an associate professor of French and chair of Niagara University's department of modern and classical languages. This timeless masterpiece, translated and adapted by Freyda Thomas, spotlights a well-to-do household that is thrown into comic upheaval when an imposter arrives.

A most unliterary matron is intent on turning her home into a bastion of learning. She becomes easy prey for an ingratiating con artist who passes himself off as a famous poet and becomes a permanent houseguest, much to the chagrin of her husband. Worse yet, the poet has set his sights on marrying one of their two beautiful daughters.

"The Learned Ladies" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, Monday, March 25, and Tuesday, March 26. The production will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23. In addition, 2 p.m. matinees are on stage on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24 (with post-show discussion).

From April 18 through April 28, Niagara University Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine fairytale musical, "Into the Woods." Associate professor Doug Zschiegner will direct the production, while Vaughan is choreographer and music adjunct Randy Andropolis will provide musical direction. The production premiered on Broadway in 1987, and most recently received critical acclaim at New York's Central Park this past summer.

"Once upon a time?" "Happily ever after?" Not necessarily so in this Tony Award-winning musical with a moral about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children.

When a baker and his wife learn that they've been cursed by the witch next door and are unable to have children, they set out on a journey to break the spell. While on their quest, they encounter familiar characters from Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. And while Act One plays out as "happy" fairytales do, Act Two serves as a reality check, dealing with consequences traditional fairytales leave out.

"Into the Woods" will be on stage in the Leary Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, and Thursday, April 25. The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, Saturday, April 20, and Friday, April 26. In addition, 2 p.m. matinees will be held on Saturday, April 20, Sunday, April 21 (with post-show discussion), and Sunday, April 28.

On April 27, the Friends of Niagara University Theatre will host the 28th annual Friends of Niagara University Theatre Gala including a 4 p.m. production of "Into the Woods" at the Leary Theatre, and a cocktail reception, dinner and silent and live auction at the Niagara Falls Country Club. Tickets for the gala are $150 per person. For more information about the Gala, contact Peg Lacki at 716-286-8483.

During the summer of 2013, NU Theatre will once again present free children's theater for the community. The N.U.R.T. (Niagara University Repertory Theatre) troupe will present a rotating repertoire of children's stories during July and August. Suitable for children ages 3 through 10, the N.U.R.T. troupe will perform in the air-conditioned Leary Theatre, and at Artpark in Lewiston. Dates and times for performances will be announced in the spring. Reservations are not required and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Also, the N.U.R.T. troupe will present a fully staged theater for youth production.

To purchase tickets, visit http://theatre.niagara.edu/, stop by the box office in the lobby of the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall (Monday through Friday, 2:30 until 5:30 p.m., and one hour prior to curtain), call 716-286-8685 or email [email protected]. Voicemail messages and emails are returned as soon as possible.

Ticket prices for NU Theatre productions:

All Monday, Tuesday, Thursday productions of plays and musicals at an earlier curtain time of 7 p.m.:

Plays are $8 tickets for general admission; $7 for youth tickets

Musicals are $12 tickets for general admission; $8 for youth tickets

Plays, Readers' Theater & Short Play Festival (Friday-Sunday): $10 general admission for adults

Plays, Readers' Theater & Short Play Festival (Friday-Sunday): $8 for seniors 62 and over; Friends of NU Theatre; NU alumni; employees; retirees

Plays, Readers' Theater & Short Play Festival (all dates): $7 for youth 21 and younger (non-NU)

Musicals (Friday-Sunday): $14 general admission for adults

Musicals (Friday-Sunday): $12 for seniors 62 and over; Friends of NU Theatre; NU alumni; employees; retirees

Musicals (all dates): $8 - $10 for youth 21 and younger (non-NU)

NU Players Present: $6 for all audience members (no student rush available)

Tickets for NU Students: NU Students with a valid NU ID are entitled to one ticket per main stage production and readers' theater.

Student Rush Policy: Any non-NU student, 21 and younger, with a current student ID card, may be admitted free of charge when there are seats available. Such tickets will be distributed five minutes prior to curtain. To guarantee tickets, purchase a discounted youth ticket for between $7 and $10.

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