Rider Theater Presents Striking 12

Rewired version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rider University will present five performances of the musical Striking 12 in the Yvonne Theater on Rider’s campus in Lawrenceville.  Previews are Thursday, November 11 and Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m.  Performances are at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20.  Trent Blanton is director and Nathan Hurwitz is musical director.

Striking 12 is a unique, funny, brilliant and loveable rewired version of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Match Girl with the book, music and lyrics written by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda. Originally written and performed by the pop trio GrooveLily, this new expanded version features a funky contemporary score that will have the audience humming along. Through simple, unpretentious theater created by the voices and instruments of the performers, Striking 12 reminds the audience that "the world looks like new... on the first day of the year.”

Trent Blanton is an assistant professor of theater at Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts. A member of Actor’s Equity, his professional acting credits include Les Miserables at Actors’ Playhouse; A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville; 1776 at Ford’s Theatre and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera; Fiddler on the Roof at Starlight Musicals of Kansas City and The MUNY of St. Louis; A Christmas Carol and Romeo & Juliet at Alliance Theatre; and Masada at York Theatre in New York. Blanton was in the Broadway National Tour of Les Miserables and the musical’s Chinese premiere with Colm Wilkinson at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. He is also an active presenter with the Southeastern Theater Conference and production respondent for the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.

Nathan Hurwitz has been a musical director, conductor, arranger and pianist in a career spanning from Broadway to regional theatres to some of the great theaters and concert halls of the United States and Europe. His Broadway credits include Blood Brothers, Dream and Phantom of the Opera.  His international tours include Phantom, West Side Story and The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber. His domestic tours include Blood Brothers with Petula Clark and David Cassidy, Funny Girl with Debbie Gibson, Company, The Who's “‘Tommy,” Annie, Leader of the Pack, The Sound of Music and Nunsense.  His regional credits include work at Syracuse Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and the Two River Theatre Company in Red Bank, NJ.   He joined the faculty of the Rider University this fall and is making his Rider debut with Striking 12.

Admission to preview performances is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors available only at the door beginning at 6 p.m. Admission to regular performances is $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For tickets call the box office at 609-896-5303 or e-mail ticketbooth@rider.edu

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Rehearsing for Striking 12: Katilyn Frotton, Elyse Langley, Nick Williams