Black Box Theatre's ROCKET MAN, 'MUSIC NIGHT' Seek House Managers For This Weekend

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Typical of his entire life, Donny Rowan has been pressing the same crosswalk button at the same traffic light on the same street corner for 20 years. Finally, after placing all his possessions on his front lawn with a sign reading "Here's my life, make me an offer," he attaches that same button to the easy chair in his attic and uses it to take him into an alternate universe. Steven Dietz's "Rocket Man," which opens August 29 and continues through September 14, 2014 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall in Las Cruces, details his entertaining and engaging journey. NSTC has produced Dietz's "Becky's New Car, "Still Life With Iris," and "More Fun than Bowling"at the Black Box Theatre and his "Dracula" was performed at NMSU several years ago.

"Rocket Man" is directed by NSTC's Artistic Director Ceil Herman and stars Shawn Witty as Donny. Witty, a psychologist for Las Cruces Public Schools, recently starred in "The Foreigner" at Las Cruces Community Theatre and has experience as a professional actor. Also starring in the show are Lauren Jacobs as Rowan's daughter, Tricia; Julia McClenon as his ex-wife, Rita, Jamie Bronstein as his friend, Louise; and Gorton Smith as his best friend, Buck.

"Rocket Man" tells the story of someone who has lived a good life, but somehow didn't get it right and so he goes in search of a parallel world and sacrifices everything and everyone he loves to find it," said Herman. "I think this play is just miraculous. It has so much to say about life, spirituality, and love as it follows the main character through the choices he makes and the journey they take him on. I'm really excited to begin our 14th season at the Black Box Theatre with "Rocket Man," said Herman.

Performances of "Rocket Man" will be at 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, August 29-30 and September 5-6 and 12-13, 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, September 7 and 14, and 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 11 at 7:00. Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens and students, and all seats on Thursdays are $8.00. For reservations, call (575) 523-1223 or email nstcreservations@gmail.com. Season tickets for the 2014-2015 will be on sale through the run of "Rocket Man."

From the Netherlands, duo Denise Marie and Marcel Koster will be performing at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces, on Sunday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m. They play original Americana, Blues and Euro-Swing; guitar, accordion, percussion and harmony vocals. She's a finger-picker and song-writer from way back and he can swing with the best of the Dutch accordion players.

Denise lived in New Orleans, New Mexico and upstate New York before meeting Marcel while on tour in Holland in 2007. Denise Marie was born with a gypsy soul. At sixteen she bid adieu to the upstate New York farm and moved to the wild west of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she befriended hippies, cowgirls, Indians and studied jazz guitar. But when she learned to finger-pick the blues a whole new universe of possibilities opened up. In 1995 she moved to the center of music on planet earth, New Orleans, where she was encouraged to perform the original songs she had hidden in an old shoe box. There she embraced trumpets, saxophones, Cuban percussion, violins and well.....just about everything to do with music, BIG HUG. She recorded with such legends as Johnny Vidacovich, James Singleton, "Sunpie" Barnes and worked with a long list of talented musicians. By 2005, she had toured in Europe several times and was there when hurricane Katrina blasted old New Orleans. As a result she stayed in Europe for almost two years.

While visiting the "night mayor" of Den Haag in 2007 she was introduced to her now husband and music partner Marcel Koster. He was born with drumsticks in his hands. In school he often found himself tapping on his desk and legs with pencils and hands flying, driving his teachers mad. He played snare drum in the marching band for ten years and finally got an entire drum kit up in the attic, driving his father mad. When he picked up the accordion and began to croon old Dutch classics he was accepted as the musician of the family. Well, that's the drummers cross to bear. Marcel has played with such Dutch legends as Johnny Hoes, Joke Bruijs, Gerard Cox, Pierre van Duijl, Kees Korbijn, Philip Kroonenberg, Peter te Bos, Federique Spigt and Arthur Ebeling. Marcel has toured in Russia, China, Europe and The United States. Nowadays he plays in several bands and as a duo with his wife. Denise Marie plays electric, acoustic, slide and tenor guitars, sings, writes songs and plays the riqq (middle eastern tambourine). Marcel Koster plays accordion, drums, percussion, piano and sings.

Like the small country where they live, they are known for creating a cozy atmosphere on stage. For more information about their music, visit www.denisemarie.com. Admission is $10.00. Reservations and Information (575) 523-1223.

NOTE: ***The Black Box Theatre could use house managers for all performances this weekend. "Rocket Man" performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and the Music Night starts at 7:00 p.m. House managers would need to be at the theatre an hour before performance times. If you are interested and available, call the theatre at (575) 523-1223 or e-mail back to me at nstcbbt@zianet.com!

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