Theater Critic: Pending season gets two thumbs up

Every year, the theater program at Rider gets bigger and better and this season is absolutely no exception. With a brand new season that ranges from a rock opera to an old fashioned farce, this will be a fun and exciting time at the theater for Rider. So, the question now becomes, “What shows should I see, and which shows should I skip?”

The season will kick off with Striking 12, a new rock opera from the musical group GrooveLily. The show starts out as a three-person concert and grows into a full-scale musical. Striking 12 tells the story of a man who is trying to put his life back together through the classic story of “The Little Match Girl.” With its rock ’n’ roll score, Striking 12 is a fun and exciting new show that will offer everyone in the audience a brand new experience. This is definitely a must-see show. Directed by Trenton Blanton, Striking 12 opens in the Yvonne Theater on Nov. 11.

The second show of the season is The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. This play focuses on the age-old question, “Is it fair to blame Judas for the death of Jesus Christ?” It follows Judas’s court hearing that debates whether or not he deserves to spend eternity in damnation; after all, someone had to turn in Jesus in order for him to resurrect and save mankind, right? This is a highly provocative and controversial play that challenges the way people view life and religion. While this play may not appeal to everyone, I feel that it is an extremely important piece. This show is not to be missed by anyone. Directed by Miriam Mills, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot plays at the Yvonne Theater starting on Feb. 17.

The final show of the season is The Importance of Being Earnest. This is high comedy, depicting the follies and foibles of the rich and famous in and around London during the Victorian era. “Oscar Wilde found the Victorian culture pompous, arrogant and bigoted,” said director Dr. Patrick Chmel. It is the ever-funny case of disguise, miscommunication and trickery. The play is a fun comedy that is sure to delight everyone who comes to see it. The Importance of Being Earnest plays in the Spitz Theater starting on April 13.

If these three shows are not enough theater for you, there are two other shows being done this year on the Princeton campus (Westminster Choir College). The first show is The Light in the Piazza, which tells the story of an American who visits Italy in the spring of 1953 and falls in love. It has a beautiful score, and will be debuting at The Playhouse on Oct. 22. The other show is The Drowsy Chaperone, which shows the power of theater when a cast recording comes to life in a man’s apartment. With non-stop laughs, The Drowsy Chaperone will be showing at the Princeton High School Theater starting on March 4.

As you can clearly see, this is a theater season not to be missed, and it is sure to provide entertainment for people of all ages.

– Ryan Oliveti

Junior elementary education & theater major

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