The fundraising party is over at the Ritz Theatre Company. Now it's time for 'The Wild Party.'

Andrew Lippa's edgy, sexy rock musical -- a departure from the mainstream fare that has been the Ritz' signature -- opens Friday, May 1. Performances  continue through May 25 at the theater on the White Horse Pike in Haddon Township, NJ.

"I don't remember a time we were more excited about an opening!" says Bruce Curless, founder and director of the company. "Not only is it wild -- it is full of artistry, with gifted vocalists and dancers.  It's provocative and captivating...It has the ... impact of 'Sweeney Todd'  and the flair and style of 'Chicago.'"

Much of the drama at the Ritz has been offstage recently. An early April fundraiser that turned the auditorium into a lively (if not wild) party, and a passionate Facebook plea by Curless together raised about $100,000.

The outpouring of support for the beloved institution eased an immediate cash-flow crisis. But a long-term deficit remains.

For now, however, the show -- make that, 'The Wild Party' -- will go on.

--KEVIN RIORDAN

Provided photo: Kyrus Keenan Westcott as 'Black' and  Martha Wasser as 'Queenie' in the Ritz Theatre Company production of 'The Wild Party.'