Sunday, April 25, 2004

NKU students will perform Moliere

College showcase

Nathan Gabriel (from left) as Beralde, Mindy Heithaus as Beline and Andrew Bernhard as Argan in NKU's The Imaginary Invalid.

Northern Lights, a showcase of the students in Northern Kentucky University's fine arts program, is set for 4 to 7 p.m. next Sunday in the Fine Arts Center of the Highland Heights campus.

The first-time event will feature 10- to 20-minute student performances in dance, theater and music, and the university's top art students will display work in a range of media.

There will be an opening sampler in Greaves Hall featuring the String Orchestra and Dance Troupe. The schedule also includes opera, musical theater, brass choir, improv, piano, jazz and children's theater.

Tickets are $50 general admission, $25 students over 10, free to children under 10 and $75 for patrons (which includes a pre-event reception beginning at 3 p.m.)

Proceeds will go toward fine arts scholarships. For more information, call (859) 572-5810.

NKU closes its 2003-04 theater season with The Hypochondriac (aka The Imaginary Invalid), Moliere's satire about a self-indulgent bourgeois, his long-suffering household, his plan to marry off his daughter to a physician (so he can get free treatment) and the less-than-honest medical men he enlists to consult on his nonexistent ailments. (It makes you wonder what Moliere's take would be on 21st century American health care.)

Along with a new title, the NKU production sports original songs by Jamey Strawn, composer-in-residence for NKU's Department of Theatre & Dance.

At the request of director Joe Conger, Strawn took on the challenge of writing six melodies in period style (Invalid is from the 17th century) set to the rhyme scheme of his "lyricist" Moliere.

The project took about a month, starting when he attended a read-through "and listened to the inflections of the actors when they spoke through the lyrics."

Strawn will be on stage at all performances to provide accompaniment.

The Hypochondriac plays at 3 p.m. today and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For reservations and information, call the box office at (859) 572-5464.

Jackie Demaline

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