MCCC's Theater/Dance Program to RETURN TO FORBIDDEN PLANET at Kelsey Theatre

MCCC's Theater/Dance Program to RETURN TO FORBIDDEN PLANET at Kelsey Theatre

It's time to blast off for a good time as Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) Academic Theater and Dance program presents the campy jukebox musical "Return to the Forbidden Planet." This cult classic comes to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre Fridays, April 26 and May 3 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, April 27 and May 4 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, April 28 and May 5 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The community is invited to an opening night reception with the cast and crew on April 26.

A spaceship with Captain Tempest at the helm makes an emergency landing on the uncharted planet of D'Illyria. The only residents are the mad scientist Dr. Prospero, his daughter, Miranda, and their retro robot, Ariel. They were banished into hyperspace when Miranda was just a baby, and she has known no other world than this one. This tale of unrequited love, a scary space monster, dialogue in iambic pentameter, and lots of fun songs all adds up to one groovy show!

Loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest and the 1956 sci-fi film "Forbidden Planet," the show parodies 1950s sci fi, while paying homage to Shakespeare and much-loved rock 'n roll classics such as "Great Balls of Fire," "The Monster Mash" and "Good Vibrations," among others.

"We decided to celebrate springtime with some good fun," said Jody Gazenbeek-Person, coordinator of the Theater/Dance program and the show's producer/choreographer. "The actors are really enjoying rehearsals and our production team is large and enthusiastic. We expect audience members of all ages to enjoy themselves as much as we are."

The cast stars Jeff Rosenthal of Dayton as Captain Tempest; Darrell J. Watts of Ewing as Dr. Prospero; Kate Bilenko of Philadelphia, Pa., as Miranda; Sonia Perez of Princeton as Science Officer Gloria; Kristin Purdy of Clarksburg as Ariel; Diego Montealegre of Lawrenceville as Cookie; Natalie Bogach of East Windsor as Navigation Officer; and Tyler Fowler of Millstone as Bosun.

Members of the shuttle crew are Eva Hargis of Hamilton (Chief Protocol Officer), Krystan Ellis of Hamilton, Samir Kirkland of Ewing, Tina Kulick of East Windsor, Ereaunna La Cava of Ewing (dance captain), Sam Marquez of Ewing, Anna Perno of Hamilton, and Cerina Pocino of Hamilton.

The production team includes Co-Producer M. Kitty Getlik, Director LouJ Stalsworth, Vocal Director Josh Wilson, Music Director Scott Hornick, Set Designer John M. Maurer, Lighting Designer Chris Ghaffoor, Sound Designer Evan Paine, and Costume Designer Kate Pinner.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students/children and may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

Photo by Robert Terrano

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