January 21, 2010

SSU Theatre Arts Offers Sondheim, Moliere and a 40-year Dance Retrospective in Spring Season

company.jpgStephen Sondheim's "Company," Molieire's "Imaginary Invalid" and a 40-year dance retrospective by a well-known and loved dance professor are the highlights of the theatre arts and dance season at Sonoma State University this spring semester.

Whether it is an offering of Steven Sondheim's innovative music, a hilarious look at universal health care issues (17th century style) or Nancy Lyon's dance concert down memory lane, the season promises months of entertainment at an affordable price.

COMPANY by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth. The award-winning musical is filled with brilliant rhymes and wordplay about relationships, isolation, alienation, conformity, adult identity, and the pressure to marry. Set in modern day Manhattan, Company takes place on committed bachelor Bobby's 35th birthday. Through a series of vignettes and reminiscences featuring his best friends (5 couples) and his past loves (3 girlfriends); Bobby examines the pros and cons of a committed relationship to determine whether it's time to find one for himself. Company features some of Sondheim's best known and most beautiful songs, including "Another Hundred People," "Getting Married Today," "Marry Me a Little," "Barcelona," "Ladies Who Lunch," and "Being Alive." The production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1970 and Best Revival of a Musical in 2006. Musical Direction by Lynne Morrow. Stage Direction by Adrian Elfenbaum. February 19-28 in Evert B. Person Theater.

THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière. Eccentric and very rich Argan, a self-centered hypochondriac preoccupied with body functions, will do anything to defeat his fear of dying-- including marrying his daughter Angelique to an idiot man-boy whose main qualifications are that he is in Med School, that his father is a doctor and that his uncle is a pharmacist. Witty, wily servant Toinette creates in a series of outrageous tricks and disguises that force Argan to accept that his greedy second wife the scheming for his money, and to see that Angelique truly loves him. The Imaginary Invalid targets medical quacks and unfaithful wives --while skewering those who imagine they are sick at the expense of others. The Imaginary Invalid explores self-image, hypochondria, fear of dying, fear of being stuck with the wrong spouse, parental tyranny, miserliness, young people trying to fight off their parents' impositions. What happens when you pretend you are phyiscally sick? When do you start to believe your own lies, and what happens when pretense becomes a new reality? Directed by Paul Draper. March 19-27 in Evert B. Person Theatre.

. A celebration of Dance Professor Nancy Lyon's 40 years of dancing, teaching and making dances in Sonoma County, bringing together three generations of dancers, from "old school" alums to rookie teens, building and engaging community through a love of dance. Celebrate the vitality and longevity of the dance program at SSU with imaginative dance theatre that embraces humor, musicality and investigation of humanity. Performed by this year's ensemble of especially dynamic, skillful and spirited dancers. Alumni night on Saturday, May 1 invites all alums of the dance program at SSU to a special reception before the performance. Directed by Nancy Lyons. April 30-May 8 in Evert B. Person Theatre

Tickets for performances range from $8-12 with special rates for seniors, students and alumni.

For further information and ticket sales, visit the School for Performing Arts website at www.sonoma.edu/performingarts/perf/boxoffice.shtml or phone Jenny Juhl, (707) 664-2325.

ABOVE, Digeo Garcia plays Bobby in Stephen Sondheim's "Company" who wrestles with the various issues surrounding long term commitment, and three past girlfriends, played by (left or right) Skye laFontiane, Brenda Weaver and Fionna Lane. (Photo by Linnea Mullins).

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057