April 03, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Department of Theatre and Dance will present "The Wild Party" April 13 through 16. With the exception of a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, April 14, each performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

Gary Grant, professor of theatre, will direct Michael LaChiusa's ground-breaking musical, which captures the desperation of a group of vaudeville performers in a dangerous period of American history. The production is suggested for mature audiences.

"LaChiusa's controversial musical is inspired by the insistent and hard-edged rhyming of James Moncure Marsh's 1928 banned-in-Boston poem and the jazz-infused music of the era," said Grant.

"As his opening lyrics suggest, LaChiusa uses the boozing and brawling and the urbane and debonair zeal of a knockabout all-night party in the Roaring '20s as the setting for his look at our search for authenticity in the drug-addled and highly sexualized milieu of our times," he said.

Dustyn Martincich, assistant professor of theatre and dance, directs the choreography for the production, with Bucknell faculty members Heath Hansum (lighting), F. Elaine Williams (scene design) and Paula D. Davis (costume design).

Bucknell junior Matthew Hacker designed and engineered the sound and sophomore Kaitlin Marsh serves as the stage manager.

Guest artist Lee Harris traveled from Texas to be the musical director and Samantha Phillips, adjunct professor, did the fight choreography. The pit orchestra was assembled from Bucknell students and local and New York City professional musicians.

"This dedicated production team has created a dazzling and moving production that transports us to the hard-knocks world of the late 1920s," said Grant.

Tickets are $10 general admission, and $5 for Bucknell students, senior citizens and youth under 18. Advance tickets are available through the Bucknell box office or by phone at 570-577-1000. Tickets also are available in person an hour before each performance.

Contact: Division of Communications

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