(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- From bluegrass music and theatrical comedy, to a sensory-friendly dance performance for children, to a puppet show about Chilean minors and one-person plays on topics ranging from the segregated South to Betty Davis—The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College has an eclectic month of presentations for all ages in February.
The following shows will be presented:
Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry (The HillBenders) Friday, February 3, at 8 p.m.; $15 & $25 (Reserved seating) Forty-five years after its initial release, The Who’s iconic rock opera Tommy has been transformed by The HillBenders into a full-length bluegrass tribute—with all of the original record’s energy, instrumental showmanship and rock star vocals intact. The dynamic bluegrass quintet, known for its ability to bridge the gap between musical genres and fans, has recreated the legendary album with a banjo, Dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar. Dubbed the “Bluegrass Opry,” The HillBenders’ performance brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying homage to its creators. The show covers the entire original album and includes audience participation.
Chiflón, el silencia de carbon (Silencio Blanco), Friday, February 10, at 7 p.m., $20 (General admission); Saturday, February 11, at 3 p.m., $15 (General admission; special matinee pricing) Chiflón, the Silence of Coal explores the story of a young miner forced to work in one of the most dangerous mines in Chile. As he toils in peril deep underground, his family faces a day-to-day struggle of uncertainty and anxiety. High imagination and modest scale conspire to create a deeply engaging puppet work for adults. Brimming with creativity and rich in detail, this exquisitely eloquent retelling of a story by the distinguished Chilean author Baldomero Lillo is played out in silence using simple white marionettes.
Tetris (Arch8), Sunday, February 12, at 2 p.m. (sensory-friendly performance) & 5 p.m.; $15 (Recommended for ages 6 and older; general admission seating) Inspired by the game Tetris, this extremely physical dance quartet explores how we connect with one another. The group builds a private language to communicate and then invites others to enter into the dancers’ world. The performance is designed for the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb the walls, and those who can imagine further than they can see.
The 2 p.m. sensory-friendly performance is designed especially for children with autism or related conditions who experience heightened sensory sensitivity, providing a safe and judgment-free space that is welcoming for all families. Seating is general admission, allowing families to choose a comfortable seating space. Families who have not been to The Theatre at RVCC before are invited to visit the Theatre and explore the seating areas two hours before the show. They also may visit in advance by making an appointment date. For information, contact the Box Office, 908-725-3420.
Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till (Mike Wiley), Friday, February 17, at 7 p.m.; $20 (Reserved seating) In 1955, a 14-year-old black Chicago youth traveled to the Mississippi Delta with country kinfolk and southern cooking on his mind. He walked off the train and into a world he could never understand—a world of thick color lines, of hard-held class systems and unspeakable taboos. Young Emmett crossed that line and stepped into his tragic fate by whistling at a white woman. This riveting play chronicles the murder, trial and unbelievable confession of the men accused of Till’s lynching.
Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Walnut Street Theatre), Saturday, February 18, at 8 p.m.; $25 & $35 (Reserved seating) In the heat of the 1960s sexual revolution, a middle-aged married man sets off to celebrate the decade of free love—before it's too late! Overworked and overweight, Barney Cashman attempts to set up covert trysts with three potential lovers. Mishaps and hilarity follow as Barney begins to rediscover his humanity and learn what is actually missing in his life. Walnut Street Theatre brings its national reputation and unique artistic vision to this wonderful new production of Neil Simon’s classic comedy.
Bette Davis Ain’t For Sissies (Jessica Sherr), Tuesday, February 21, noon and 7 p.m.; $15 (Recommended for ages 14 and older; general admission seating; includes discussion and light refreshments) It’s early evening of the 1939 Academy Awards. Young Bette Davis is nominated for Best Actress in Dark Victory, and the Los Angeles Times leaks the Oscar winners early: “This year Vivian Leigh will take home the Oscar for Best Actress.” Newspaper in hand, a bold, defiant and disillusioned Bette decides to leave the awards ceremony. In Jessica Sherr’s one-woman show, audiences get a glimpse into the actress’s most defining moments as a tenacious young starlet fighting her way to the top, battling to win freedom from Hollywood’s studio moguls.
For additional information or to purchase tickets for any Theatre production, contact the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances