Coming-of-Age Story Told with Actors, Puppets, Live Music at RVCC Theatre

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg will present Manual Cinema’s Lula del Ray, Sunday, January 31, at 2 and 7 p.m. The presentation is part of the Theatre’s Major Artists Series. Set in the mid-century American Southwest and inspired by the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline, Lula del Ray is a mythic reinvention of the classic coming-of-age story. It depicts the story of a lonely adolescent girl who lives with her mother on the outskirts of a radio astronomy observatory in the middle of the desert. The piece is performed almost entirely without dialogue. Instead, the story is told through the use of overhead projectors, shadow puppets, actors in silhouette, and live music. After a chance encounter over the radio, Lula becomes obsessed with a soulful country music duo, the Baden Brothers. Inspired by their music, she runs away from home and into a world of danger, deception, and disappointment. Loren Novek of has written of Manual Cinema’s Lula del Ray: “I feel like I’m not doing justice to explaining how magical this all was…unimaginably intricate.” Whenever possible, after each performance Manual Cinema invites the audience onto the stage to talk with the artists, touch some of the puppets, and gain an up-close view of how the work is created. Tickets cost $10 for the 2 p.m. performance and $20 for the 7 p.m. show. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at Subscribers’ packages are available for all Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances. Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium. RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s b