February-March 2017

Theater Offerings This Spring

The University is staging three productions this semester — from an award-winning musical to stage adaptations of well-loved classics — that theater lovers will enjoy.

Musical, Drama Productions

This semester, “Legally Blonde, The Musical™,” an award-winning production, and “The Idiot,” an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevky’s celebrated novel, will be presented by the visual and performing arts department in Dreyfuss Theater, Dreyfuss Building, Florham Campus.

Legally Blonde

Based on a book by Heather Hach, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, “Legally Blonde” follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal. Determined to win her boyfriend back after he dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law School, Elle uses her charm to get into Harvard, where she discovers her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. from Friday, March 24, through Saturday, March 25, and from Thursday, March 30, through Saturday, April 1; and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, and on Sunday, April 2. A high-school matinee at 11 a.m. will also be held on Friday, March 24. In addition, a special early performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. The show will be directed and choreographed by Cynthia Loewus, musical theater (Flor), with musical direction by Dimitri Nakhamkin, an independent entertainment professional.

In his stage adaptation of “The Idiot,” Simon Gray chose some of the most vivid and contrasting episodes recounting the strange life of Prince Myshkin. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburg, Russia, for his idiocy (epilepsy), generosity and innocence, Myshkin finds himself at the center of a struggle between a beautiful, kept woman and a gorgeous, virtuous girl, both of whom win his affection.

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. from Wednesday, May 3, through Saturday, May 6; and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. An 11 a.m. matinee for high school students will be held on Friday, May 5.

Tickets for both productions are $5 for students, senior citizens and the FDU community and $15 for others. To purchase tickets for either performance in advance call 973-443-8644. For more information go to http://view2.fdu.edu/academics/becton-college/visual-and-performing-arts/theater/this-season-on-stage/.

Dinner and Show

The visual and performing arts department and the FDU Alumni Association Board of Governors will host a special evening featuring dinner and “Legally Blonde, The Musical™” at the Florham Campus on Saturday, April 1. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall, followed by a performance (see above description) at 8 p.m. in Dreyfuss Theater, Dreyfuss Building.

Cost is $40 per person and includes dinner and a theater ticket. Registration for the dinner/show is necessary. To register and for information contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 201-692-7013, email email fdualumni@fdu.edu or go to http://www.myfdu.net/legallyblonde17.

Wilder’s ‘Our Town’

The University Players, the student theater group on the Metropolitan Campus, will be staging Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” from Thursday, April 20, through Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m., at the Russell H. Ratsch Experimental Theatre, Lower Level, University Hall, Metropolitan Campus.

Our Town

First produced and published in 1938, Our Town won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and, in 1989, won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival and the Tony Award for Best Revival. Set in Grover’s Corners, a small, fictional American village, it is Wilder’s best-known work as a playwright. The show’s minimalist theatrical style sets it apart from other productions, with its sparseness suggesting the author’s intention to make Grover’s Corners representative of all towns.

Introduced and narrated by the Stage Manager (a role Wilder played for two weeks in its 1983 Broadway production), the three-act play follows the lives of the Webb and Gibbs families with the first act focusing on daily life, the next on love and marriage and the last on death and dying. Most critics agree that “Our Town” is a “microcosm of the life cycle.”

The play is co-directed by James Rana, BA’98 (Metro), theater/speech (Metro), and Athos Vardouniotis, communication, Petrocelli College (Metro). Thomas Swanzey, associate dean, Petrocelli College (Metro), is one of its cast members.

Ticket prices are $10 for the public and $5 for senior citizens and FDU faculty, staff, veterans, military people on active duty and students. For information email theuniversityplayers@gmail.com.