OSWEGO — Paul Rajeckas will highlight a zany but loving Lithuanian family in his one-man musical “Love Cures Cancer” Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9 and 10, at SUNY Oswego.
The show, a featured element of the college’s “Telling Tales,” a fall-to-spring initiative across academic disciplines, will raise the curtain at 7:30 each night in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.
The veteran actor performed the critically acclaimed “Notes to the Motherland” at SUNY Oswego four years ago. He returns to the Artswego performing arts series with a second serving from his Lithuanian trilogy, the continuing saga of the immigrant Bombilitus family.
Living in Queens in the 1970s, twin brothers Damon and Pithias Bombilitus aspire to popular success in America. Damon is a fun-loving country songwriter whose adopted vocal twang annoys his more sensitive brother. Stage-struck Pithias has become a student of Eastern philosophy since falling off the roof of their house.
This zany family is upended when their construction worker mother, the rock of the household, is diagnosed with cancer. Each member struggles to sidestep the obvious: father Vitus tells fanciful stories about the old country, Damon composes saccharine guitar ballads and Pithias turns his angst into pantomime sketches that he performs on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But a deep reserve of family loyalty begins to show through the desperate antics.
Once again, Rajeckas portrays every character on the stage — deftly morphing from son to father or brother with only a subtle change of expression, gesture or costume elements. He also performs the songs.
A distinguished performer and educator, Rajeckas collaborated with the late Jonathan Wolken, co-founder of Pilobolus Dance Theater. His “Notes to the Motherland” was nominated for a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he also received a best actor nomination from Stage Magazine. He also teaches acting and communication skills to inner-city children with his friend and colleague Neil Intraub.
While at SUNY Oswego, Rajeckas will work with students and faculty as a “Telling Tales” visiting artist. He will participate in special classes linked to the theme and serve as an adviser to student-led creative projects.
Tickets to “Love Cures Cancer,” written by George Chieffet with original music by Rajeckas, are $15 ($12 for seniors ages 62 and over, children 17 and under and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $7 for SUNY Oswego students) may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office location, by phone at 315-312-2141 or online at http://tickets.oswego.edu. Parking is free in campus lots for those attending the performances.