2009-10 OVATIONS season announced by Edison

Theater is challenging, educational and inspiring. It is also, lest we forget, fun.

For its 2009-10 season, Edison Theatre will present more than a dozen events by nationally and internationally renowned performing artists.

Courtesy Photo

Trailblazing company PHILADANCO brings its modern dance forms to Edison Feb. 19 and 20, 2010.

Shows range from provocative dance and multimedia rock opera to funk-infused klezmer (or is that klezmer-infused funk?) and whimsical twists on literary classics.

The Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series opens Sept. 25 and 26 with David Dorfman Dance in “underground,” which takes a subversive look at 1960s activism.

Dorfman (BSBA ’77) has emerged as one the most celebrated choreographers of his generation, acclaimed for his exuberant and “delightfully oddball” style.

The series continues Oct. 2 and 3 with the theatrical power-pop trio GrooveLily in “Sleeping Beauty Wakes,” their latest collaboration with Tony Award-winning librettist Rachel Sheinkin.

The story — a witty musical theater take on the timeless Grimm’s fairy tale — finds Beauty, awakening after a 900-year sleep, ensconced in a 21st-century sleep-disorder clinic, far from the land of far, far away.

Next up, on Nov. 14 and 15, is the rock opera dance piece “Remember Me,” a recent collaboration between New York’s acclaimed Parsons Dance Company and East Village Opera Company.

Olivier Award- and Tony Award-winning actor Roger Rees, a 22-year veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company, stops by Nov. 20 with “What You Will,” a one-man show combining William Shakespeare’s greatest soliloquies with side-splitting accounts of the funniest disasters ever perpetrated on the stage.

The spring semester begins with the return of ScrapArtsMusic Jan. 23.

Fusing world and pop sensibilities, this high-energy “action percussion” ensemble employs kinetic, one-of-a-kind instruments built from recycled and salvaged materials such as sewage pipe and artillery shells.

Aquila Theatre Company, the foremost producer of touring classical theater in the United States, takes the stage with Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” Feb. 12 and Henrik Ibsen’s thrilling “Enemy of the People” Feb. 13.

Next up, on Feb. 19 and 20, is the trailblazing PHILADANCO, a modern dance company rooted in African-American traditions. The troupe is followed Feb. 27 by Abraham Inc., an all-star ensemble fusing funk, jazz, hip-hop and klezmer, which is led by virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer, trombonist Fred Wesley and “beat architect” Josh Dolgin, also known as rapper Socalled.

The OVATIONS season concludes March 26 with the Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre, known for their incendiary, joyful performances of tibma, an irresistible mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and seductive rhythms.

Meanwhile, the popular ovations for young people series, which offers specially priced Saturday matinees for audiences of all ages, opens Jan. 16 with the eclectic clown, juggler, balancing artist and poet Jamie Adkins, whose “Circus Incognitus” transforms everyday objects into outrageous circus routines.

The series continues Jan. 23 with ScrapArtsMusic and Feb. 20 with PHILADANCO in “Rosa,” a tribute to civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

The ovations for young people series concludes May 8 with CORBIAN Visual Arts and Dance in “Darwin,” a unique theatrical experience that employs electroluminescent wire to create crayon-like characters and creatures in a heart-warming tale of a young dinosaur who discovers the true meaning of love.

Tickets to OVATIONS events are $20 for students and children; $28 for seniors, faculty and staff; and $32 for the public.

Subscriptions are available at the basic level (three, four or five events at $28 per ticket) and at the premiere level (six or more events at $24 per ticket).

The ovations for young people events are $10; subscriptions are available at $6 per ticket.

For more information or to order tickets, call the Edison Theatre Box Office at 935-6543 or e-mail Edison@wustl.edu.