Kelsey Theatre Announces 2012-13 Season: BORN YESTERDAY, NEXT TO NORMAL and More
Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre celebrates its Ruby Pink 40th Anniversary with a "Salute to the Ladies" during its 2012-13 season. Nineteen full-length adult and family productions will feature strong, determined, feisty women, like the adventurous Maria in "The Sound of Music," and the fashionista turned lawyer Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde – The Musical." The Kelsey Kids Series offers 12 productions featuring traveling professional companies and local troupes, in fun family shows like "Charlotte's Web" and "Cinderella." Kelsey Theatre is conveniently located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Discounted series packages are on sale now; subscribers will receive more than 45% off regular ticket prices. Current subscribers must renew by August 19 to receive priority seating. New subscribers and tickets for single shows will be processed after August 26.
Full-length performances appealing to both the young and young-at-heart kick off with the Tony Award-winning musical "Pippin," as performed by the Pennington Players Sept. 7-16. Next up is the Yardley Players in "Born Yesterday," a timeless and timely comedy about politics and the power of female persuasion, Sept. 21-30.
Pierrot Productions presents the emotional powerhouse musical "Next to Normal," the tale of one family's struggles with madness, sorrow, rage and forgiveness, from Oct. 5-14. A lighter take on relationships – including one very mean plant! – follows in the rock 'n roll classic "Little Shop of Horrors," performed by Playful Theatre Productions from Oct. 19-28.
Up next, the Perry Award-winning Maurer Productions Onstage presents "A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody" Nov. 2-11, when bumbling Matthew has made it his New Year's resolution to murder his wife before the year is out.
The mood turns decidedly more celebratory in December when the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre returns to Kelsey with "El Sueno," a unique adaptation of The Nutcracker holiday classic Dec. 7-8.
PinnWorth Productions starts off the new year with the visually and musically stunning masterpiece "Sunday in the Park with George" Jan. 25-27. Then, it's time for poodle skirts and leather jackets when Kelsey Theatre presents the "Grease! Movie Sing-Along" Jan. 25-27.
Telling the story of two miraculous women, "The Miracle Worker," presented by the Pennington Players, is the century-old story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, coming to Kelsey Feb. 1-10. It will be followed by "Love Letters," a show for romantics by A.R. Gurney, to be presented by M&M Productions over Valentine's Day weekend, Feb. 15-17.
In a tribute to Bob Dylan and members of the group that became known as The Band, the Reock & Roll Revue returns to Kelsey Feb. 22-24 to perform "The Band and Music From Big Pink." Then, from the production company that wowed audiences with "The Drowsy Chaperone" in 2012, Maurer Productions Onstage is back March 1-10, with a musical that has nothing to do with Jim Henson Company, The Muppets, or Sesame Workshop. (Stay tuned for the name of this one, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical).
Kelsey Theatre celebrates spring with three traditional musicals and one new show stopper. Head back to the 1920s and the dawning of Burlesque with the classic musical, "Gypsy," performed by Pierrot Productions March 15-24. Then, the Roaring '20s and the darker mood of the 1930s are revealed in "Cabaret," performed by MCCC Theater and Dance students April 5-14. Next up is lighter fare in the form of "Legally Blonde – The Musical," based on the 2001 MGM film of the same name, presented by Playful Theatre Productions April 19-28. The Yardley Players recreate one of the most popular musicals of all time when they present "The Sound of Music" May 3-12.
On May 18 and 19, The Mercer Dance Ensemble, featuring MCCC Dance students and community dancers, perform a varied and fast-paced modern dance production entitled "Shades of Pink." The theme returns to relationships in the hilarious and heartfelt comedy "Lovers and Other Strangers," performed by Pierrot Productions May 31-June 9. PinnWorth Productions completes the season with the wise and touching story of a devoted elderly couple in "On Golden Pond" June 14-23.
The Kelsey Kids Series provides its own special thrills for the younger set – from a talking dog to a girl no larger than a thumb. Children's shows run approximately 60 minutes and feature award-winning professional touring troupes and local companies.
The season starts with Theatreworks/USA production "Martha Speaks" Oct. 6, a musical based on the book series and PBS TV series starring a dog named Martha, followed by KaleidoscopeTheatre's "Sleeping Beauty" on Nov. 3, the traditional fairytale told with delightful musical numbers.
Four children's shows celebrate the holiday season at Kelsey, starting with ArtsPower's hit musical "A Little Princess Christmas" on Nov. 10, followed by "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,"about a couple trying to put on a Christmas pageant with a group of raucous kids performed by The Kelsey Players and Tomato Patch performers from Nov. 16-25.
Two additional holiday classics follow. The Kelsey Players perform the annual favorite "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," Nov. 30-Dec.2, and the New Jersey Youth Ballet presents a family friendly, hour-long version of the classic ballet "The Nutcracker" Dec. 14-16.
Kelsey's youth audiences can ring in the new year with ArtsPower's dynamic, song-filled adventure "The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle" on Jan. 26, followed by Theatre IV's joyous musical adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "Thumbelina" on Feb. 16. Next up, Theatreworks/USA presents E.B. White's treasured story of the friendship between a pig and a spider in "Charlotte's Web" on April 20.
The Kelsey Kids Series continues with Theatre IV's square-dance-meets-sock-hop retelling of the Aesop's Fable "The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse" on April 27 and finishes withKaleidoscope Theatre's delightful rendition of the classic musical "Cinderella" on June 1.
Ticket prices for most full-length musicals are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students/children. Prices for non-musicals are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students/children. Tickets for most shows in the Kelsey Kids Series are $10 for all. Discounted subscriber packages include premium seating, exchanges for performances of the same show, special "add-a-show" rates, and advance sales of single tickets. Group discounts are also available.
E-tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net and printed out at home. Tickets may also be purchased with a credit card by calling the Kelsey Box Office at (609) 570-3333; by mail with checks made payable to MCCC/Kelsey Theatre, P.O. Box 17202, Trenton, NJ 08690; or by ordering in person at the Box Office. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon; and one hour before show time for in-person purchases only. Gift certificates are available in any amount. To request a print copy of the 2012-13 season brochure, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Box Office. The brochure is also available online at http://digital.turn-page.com/i/75897.
Kelsey Theatre has open auditions for many of its productions and welcomes assistance from community volunteers to usher and work behind the scenes. The theater gratefully accepts donations to cover needed upgrades to the lighting and sound systems. Call (609) 570-3581 or visit the website for more information.
The theater is wheelchair accessible and has secure lighted parking. Funding for performances is made possible in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.