Rocket Man blasts off the new season at Black Box Theatre

thumb8Typical of his entire life, Donny Rowan has been pressing the same crosswalk button at the same traffic light on the same street corner for 20 years. Finally, after placing all his possessions on his front lawn with a sign reading “Here’s my life, make me an offer,” he attaches that same button to the easy chair in his attic and uses it to take him into an alternate universe.

Steven Dietz’s Rocket Man, which continues through September 14 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall in Las Cruces, details his entertaining and engaging journey. NSTC has produced Dietz’s Becky’s New Car and More Fun than Bowling at the Black Box Theatre and his Dracula was performed at NMSU several years ago.

Rocket Man is directed by NSTC’s Artistic Director Ceil Herman and stars Shawn Whitty as Donny. Whitty, a psychologist for Las Cruces Public Schools, recently starred in The Foreigner at Las Cruces Community Theatre and has experience as a professional actor. Also starring in the show are Lauren Jacobs as Rowan’s daughter, Tricia; Julia McClenon as his ex-wife, Rita, Jamie Bronstein as his friend, Louise; and Gorton Smith as his best friend, Buck.

Rocket Man tells the story of someone who has lived a good life, but somehow didn’t get it right and so he goes in search of a parallel world and sacrifices everything and everyone he loves to find it,” said Herman. “I think this play is just miraculous. It has so much to say about life, spirituality, and love as it follows the main character through the choices he makes and the journey they take him on. I’m really excited to begin our fourteenth season at the Black Box Theatre with Rocket Man.”

Rocket Man cast members include (left to right) Shawn Whitty as Donny, Julia McClenon as Rita, Lauren Jacobs as Trisha, and Gorton Smith as Buck. Photos by Peter Herman.
Rocket Man cast members include (left to right) Shawn Whitty as Donny, Julia McClenon as Rita, Lauren Jacobs as Trisha, and Gorton Smith as Buck. Photos by Peter Herman.
Performances of Rocket Man will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, August 29 – 30, September 5 – 6 and 12 – 13, 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, September 7 and 14, and 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 11. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students, and all seats on Thursdays are $8. For reservations, call 523-1223 or email nstcreservations@gmail.com. Season tickets for the 2014 – 2015 will be on sale through the run of Rocket Man.

thetheatregallery, 430 N. Main Street, presents “The year in Retrospect,” a selection of Peter Herman’s photographs from the 2013 – 2014 No Strings Theatre Company productions at the Black Box Theatre. Photographic highlights from the company’s season opener, Rocket Man will accompany the exhibit. theatregallery is open an hour before performances and by appointment by calling 523-1223.