Kelsey Theatre season will open with ‘The Sound of Music’ on Sept. 12

The curtain will go up on Kelsey Theatre’s 46th season on Sept. 12 with the Rodgers and
Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music,” to be followed by other major musicals, dramas, comedies and shows for the entire family.

Kelsey Theatre is on the campus of Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. The theater is wheelchair accessible and free parking is available next to the theater.

“Over the years, we have drawn patrons from a wider and wider area. Once they discover the magic that happens on our stage, they often become Kelsey Theatre regulars,” said M. Kitty Getlik, the theater’s artistic director.

“Each season we strive to present a diverse array of shows – some that pull at the heartstrings, others that offer lots of laughs, and still others that give folks a chance to ponder the big questions. And we offer a special series for youngsters. There is truly something for everyone at Kelsey Theatre,” Getlik said.

Unless otherwise noted, ticket prices for musicals are $22 for adults and $20 for seniors and students/children; tickets for plays are $20 and $18 (there is a small surcharge for order processing). Orders may be placed by calling 609-570-3333, by mail, or online at www.KelseyTheatre.org

“The Sound of Music,” presented by Pierrot Productions, will run from Sept. 12-22. Maria wins the heart of a widowed naval captain and his seven children, but happiness is short-lived when Austria is invaded by the Nazis. Thursday evening and Saturday matinee shows have been added to the schedule, according to a press release.

The mood shifts to light-hearted hilarity with “Leading Ladies,” Sept. 27 through Oct. 6. In this Ken Ludwig farce, “Twelfth Night” meets “Some Like It Hot.” Two fading British actors are willing to go to extreme measures to turn their luck, and their fortunes, around.

More laughs are in store with “Tartuffe,” Oct. 11-20. A new translation of Molière’s 1664 classic, its themes of lust, deceit and false piety are strikingly relevant today, according to the press release.

“Catch Me If You Can” touches down at Kelsey Theatre next, starring the larger-than-life faux pilot, doctor and lawyer Frank Abagnale. Presented by the Pennington Players, Oct. 25 through Nov. 3, this high-flying musical is based on Abagnale’s true story and the hit film.

From Nov. 8-17, the Yardley Players retell an age-old biblical story, “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” A memorable musical score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice adds to the drama of this colorful show, according to the press release.

“Scrooge,” a family musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” will be performed from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1.

“Calendar Girls” starts the new year with a sizzle. When 11 “mature” women pose nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, they create quite a stir in their small British town. “Calendar Girls” is based on a true story and will be presented from Jan. 3-12.

A courtroom stir is about to ensue in “12 Angry Men,” Jan. 17-26. Once the defense and prosecution have rested, it’s the jurors’ turn to take up the case. Only one has the courage to explore the prejudices and preconceptions that turn an open-and-shut case on its head, according to the press release.

Theater To Go is ready to recreate the unbridled night life of Berlin in the 1930s in “Cabaret” from Jan. 31 through Feb. 9. With numbers such as “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” two love stories are set against the scary backdrop of Hitler’s rise to power.

Next up is a misguided search for love in “Last Of The Red Hot Lovers,” presented by the
Yardley Players, Feb. 14-23. The Neil Simon classic tells the story of Barney Cashman, deep in the throes of a midlife crisis, but determined not to miss the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

A full throttle musical event takes center stage March 6-8. The Rock and Roll Revue returns to Kelsey Theatre with a Grateful Dead tribute concert. The revue’s new show will be a journey through the first 10 years of this iconic American band’s studio recordings, along with a video history.

The theme of musical genius continues with Moises Kaufman’s “33 Variations,” March 13-22. Late in life, Beethoven wrote 33 variations on an uninspired waltz and a modern-day music scholar wants to know why. The drama is enhanced by a live pianist playing the variations, according to the press release.

The epic musical “Parade” is presented by Playful Theatre Productions, March 27 through April 5. Set in 1913 Georgia, it tells the true story of a Jewish, Brooklyn-raised factory manager accused of an unthinkable crime.

This compelling show, with its beautiful, touching musical score, combines a murder mystery, a courtroom drama and a lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance, according to the press release.

Life’s myriad possibilities is the theme of the musical “If/Then,” presented by Mercer County Community College’s Academic Theater and Dance Program, April 17-26. Newly divorced Elizabeth moves to New York City, where she quickly makes two friends, one who suggests that she seek new experiences and the other who advises her to focus on her career. As “Liz” and “Beth” each explore separate paths, they grapple with questions of fortune, self-determination and personal growth.

The story of a teen’s personal growth offers a decidedly lighter perspective in “13, The Musical,” May 1-10. Accompanied by Jason Robert Brown’s upbeat rock score, this coming-of-age story is about fitting in, standing out and the friends people make along the way.

When the Mercer Dance Ensemble takes to the stage May 16-17, audiences will be
mesmerized by a troupe of the college’s most talented students, faculty and alumni, plus guest choreographers and dancers, as they perform original works.

The celebrated Shakespeare ’70 returns for its annual tribute to The Bard with “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” May 22 to 31.

Maurer Productions OnStage presents the musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” June 5-14. When an heir to a family fortune decides to get rid of the eight pesky relatives ahead of him in line, what could possibly go wrong? Just ask his mistress, fiancée, and eight pesky relatives!

Three musicals will close the Kelsey season: “Evita,” “Oliver” and “Mamma Mia!”

Kelsey Theatre’s Kids Series kicks into gear with an interactive movie event, “Annie – The Movie Singalong,” Oct. 19. A musical adaptation of “Thumbelina” is up next on Nov. 2.

The whole family can celebrate the holidays with two Kelsey Theatre traditions in December: ” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” presented by the Kelsey Players, Dec. 6-8, and “The Nutcracker,” presented by Dance Connection, Dec. 13-15.

“Rosie Revere, Engineer,” based on the children’s book series with a STEM focus, will be presented Jan. 25.

Mercer County Community College’s own Tomato Patch Workshop troupe will bring “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” to the stage, Feb. 29 and March 1. Then it’s time for “Chicken Dance,” a barnyard musical, March 21. Virginia Rep on Tour returns May 2 with the musical adventure “Treasure Island,” based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Kelsey Theatre welcomes a new company to perform the season’s final show. Traveling Lantern Theatre Company will present “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” an epic musical journey set in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, on May 30, according to the press release.

Kelsey Theatre welcomes community volunteers. Positions include ushering, sewing costumes, building scenery, distributing show posters and running the light and sound board. Volunteers see the shows for free. For more information, call 609-570-3566 or email projects@mccc.edu