Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: Holiday Musical Mary Poppins a Special Family Treat!



Centenary Stage Company is in "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” mode with it’s excellent high-flying production of the ​f​amily ​h​oliday ​m​usical Mary Poppins with a cast of 70! This version of the hit Broadway show pulls out all the stops: charming, now classic, story, with all the songs, impressive choreography, costumes and sets plus a large orchestra. The fine cast is a combination of CSC staff, Centenary University Theatre Department faculty and students, Young Performers Workshop students, local regional talent, and professional guest artists. 

This is the version from Disney and Cameron Mackintosh that was on Broadway for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier (London) and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Note that the stage musical is not a direct adaptation of the Disney film, but features elements of the film and the original books, plus original updated elements.

​Director and choreographer Michael Blevins has selected an outstanding cast: ​ First and foremost, there can be no Mary Poppins without a Mary who is charming, lovely, plus dances and sings beautifully..... Blevins selected a Mary with all those qualities, and more....McKenzie Custin (she was also  a standout ​as​​ Dorothy in the CSC's 2012 production of The Wizard of Oz. ​ In that review we wrote: ​"The very impressive young lady who is Dorothy Gale​--​-McKenzie Custin​,​ not only has a beautiful voice, but is a fine, charming actress who does the magic red shoes proud." Perfect in both classic roles.

Former YPW alumni, Justin Boccitto excels as Chimney Sweep/Sidewalk Artist ​‘Bert’. He can do it all; actor, singer and dancer. Centenary Stage Company favorite Osborn Focht ​(last season’s Scrooge in a ‘Christmas Carol’) is spot-on as the reserved to a fault father George Banks. His touching 'A Man Has Dreams'/ 'The Life I Lead' is a musical highlight. Mrs. Banks is played to perfection by, another CSC favorite, Maria Broduer. She is a properly warm and caring mother...very elegant in her Victorian era clothes and hair-do.(see photos at end of post)


The key parts of the Bank's children are played nicely by Olivia Berlingio as Jane and Sebastian Gutkin as Michael. They both are clearly at ease with the professional cast members around them. CSC veteran, Jeremy Hilgert, adds to the fun in the dual roles of Admiral Boom and the Bank Chairman. We were also impressed with Chris Kolwicz as Northbrook, the young entreprerneur seeking a bank loan. Making a quick effective cameo is, the CSC's artistic director, Carl Wallnau as the shady financier Von Hussler (perfect name!).

A standout turn( i,e. showstopper) is performed by Lea-Antolini as Miss Andrews, the nastiest nanny this side of Hades. Only one word describes her performance: wonderful. She was a NJ Footlights Award winner with her high-flying Peter Pan two seasons ago...here she returns to the air! ​​Special mentions are in order to Jane Bynes for her lovely 'Feed The Birds' and Tyler Donovan as the dancing statue Neleus.
​​
Rounding out the principle cast are; Cara Kramer, Jeff Foote, Megan McGill, James Russo, Donald Danford, Deirdre Bryant - Worth, Cindy Livingstone and Debbie Lockwood.

'The “Walk to Bethlehem' in Basking Ridge December 18th


A holiday note from Bill Corson of the Light Opera of New Jersey (and the Director of Music at Basking Ridge's St. Mark’s Episcopal Church):  

"If you’ve been in Basking Ridge, NJ during the holiday season, no doubt you have seen, or at least heard of, the “Walk to Bethlehem”. It’s an annual tradition that started 26  years  ago where members of the four churches in downtown Basking Ridge, participate in a half-parade, half-pageant, telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Members of all congregations and Christians everywhere are invited to “walk”, from one church to another.   

The festival starts at the top of the hill at St. James Roman Catholic Church and then travels on to St. Mark’s Episcopal, Bishop Jane Methodist and ends at the Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge. Inside each church, carols are sung, a gospel reading is read and music is performed. 

Parishioners, dressed as the biblical characters, lead the way. Mary and Joseph and a real donkey lead the entire crowd and are greeted by Angels, Shepherds and Kings along the way. It is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season! "The “Walk to Bethlehem” will be held Sunday December 18th starting at 4 pm at St. James."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

One-Night-Only Benefit with Rob McClure Kickstarts Bergen County Players' 85th Sapphire Anniversary Season





To help kickstart its upcoming 85th sapphire anniversary season, the Bergen County Players (BCP) is pleased to present acclaimed Tony Award-nominated and BCP alum Rob McClure (currently starring on Broadway as Nick Bottom in Something Rotten!) in a special one-night-only benefit concert performance on Sunday, December 11th at 7:30 PM. McClure returns to his roots at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell to celebrate his own personal journey through story and song, special guests (both people and puppets!), and lots of laughs and memories from McClure's leading roles in Something Rotten!, Chaplin: The Musical, Honeymoon in Vegas, Noises Off and Avenue Q. James Sampliner, veteran music director of New York and regional theater, will provide musical accompaniment and supervision. 

Tickets, priced at $65 and $50, can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, or by calling 201-261-4200, or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Included in the ticket price is a special dessert reception immediately following the performance where audience members can mingle with the artist. All net proceeds will go toward the purchase of new, comfortable seats and other d├ęcor renovations.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

'OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW': RING IN 2017 AT VILLAGERS THEATRE Annual celebration will include tribute to Frank Sinatra with live orchestra, vocalists


Villagers Theatre invites area residents to join them in New Years revels at the theatre's annual celebration.

The New Years Eve party has been a mainstay of Villagers Theatre for years, with options for those who want to stay until the new year, and those who have a party to attend elsewhere. The doors open at 7 p.m. Dec. 31 for those who only want the show, and at 9:30 p.m. for those who want the full experience.

Attendees at either show will be treated to a live performance of Frank Sinatra music by the SummerSwing Orchestra, with vocalists Stephanie Long and Kevin Gray. The 9:30 p.m.show also includes a hot and cold buffet, beverages, dessert, coffee and tea, and a champagne toast at midnight.

The 7 p.m. show costs $25. The 9:30 p.m. show costs $65 per person.

'Mary Poppins' matinee today at 2 pm


Everyone’s favorite practically perfect nanny takes flight this holiday season with Centenary Stage Company’s Family Holiday Musical Mary Poppins, through December 11 at the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

This “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” musical adventure is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, astonishing stagecraft and a live orchestra. Centenary Stage Company’s Family Holiday Musical not only signifies the start of the holiday season for many but celebrates all of Centenary Stage Company’s programming by combining local regional talent, CSC staff, Centenary University Theatre Department faculty and students, Young Performers Workshop students and professional guest artists.

Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

McCarter's A Christmas Carol


A Christmas Carol: The Musical at Chatham Players

Chatham Community Players

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Reserve Your Seats Now

Tickets are selling briskly, especially the matinee performances on December 10, 11, 17 and 18.  All seats at the Chatham Playhouse are reserved.
Chatham Players A Christmas Carol
The Chatham Community Players keeps their longstanding holiday tradition alive with its production of Philip Wm. McKinley & Suzanne Buhrer’s musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL opening Friday, December 9 and running until December 22. Returning to the Chatham Playhouse, Jeffrey Fiorello of Montclair directs the show, Jack Bender of Jersey City is the musical director and Dawn Afanador of Roseland is the Choreographer. This year’s production will have a “brand new look” to it courtesy of Jim Bazewicz‘s fresh new set design.
This marks the 18th time that the Chatham Players has produced this show. From 1988-1995, the group produced the show every December, and it now produces the show on a biennial basis. This unique production has become a popular family tradition for many in the area – entertaining more than 32,000 audience members since 1988.
BUY TICKETS NOW
With the purchase of a Ticket Package, you can reserve your seats to A Christmas Carol and save $10 or $13 on each packages, and pay NO ticketing fees!  The perfect holiday gift.
In this version, produced exclusively at the Chatham Playhouse since 1988, Dickens serves not only as narrator, but also as a character that befriends Scrooge and walks beside him during his life-changing journey through memories and premonitions. While the script remains true to the original story, the playwright also pulled from letters that Dickens wrote to family and friends. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge has become one of the most beloved of all holiday tales, and this unique production also reminds us that Dickens’ inspiration for penning the story goes much deeper.
Photos by Howard Fischer
For more information, please visit our website at ChathamPlayers.org.
EVENING PERFORMANCES

FRI, December 9 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, December 10 @ 8:00 pm

THU, December 15 @ 8:00 pm
FRI, December 16 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, December 17 @ 8:00 pm

*WED, December 21 @ 8:00 pm
*THU, December 22 @ 8:00 pm


MATINEE PERFORMANCES

SAT, December 10 @ 3:00 pm
SUN,
December 11 @ 3:00 pm

SAT, December 17 @ 3:00 pm
SUN, December 18 @ 3:00 pm


Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth (18 & under) & seniors (65+).
Final 2 performances, Dec. 21 & 22 are $30 for adults and $28 for youth & seniors.

All seating is reserved.
Please PRINT YOUR TICKETS with BARCODE prior to your arrival at the theater.  We are unable to scan cell phones, but we can print duplicate tickets at no cost.
For Box Office information, visit ChathamPlayers.org/Tickets.

Hearing impaired listening devices are available. Please inquire at the box office.

HANDICAPPED SEATING can only be guaranteed by contacting the box office at least 24 hours prior to performances at 973-635-7363 or emailing BoxOffice@ChathamPlayers.org.

Crossroads Matters !


7 LIVINGSTON AVE. NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901
www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org | 732-545-8100

Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:
American Express
Johnson & Johnson
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission
New Brunswick Cultural Center
New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

WORLD BALLET GOLD MEDALIST TO PERFORM AT THE LACKLAND CENTER IN NUTCRACKER.


  
The holiday season at the Centenary Stage Company concludes with a flourish as CSC welcomes back the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet and the annual performances of Nutcracker in the Lackland Performing Arts Center,  December 16, 17 and 18 in Hackettstown.

The performances this season include a special Gold Medal treat for audiences.  Emma Crow of Hackettstown, NJ is no stranger to the stage.  In fact, this local dancer has performed the leading role of Clara at the Lackland Center for two years with NJCYB holiday classic, “Nutcracker.”

A dancer since she was two, Emma takes ballet classes seven days a week at North Jersey School of Dance Arts in Hackettstown. This year, as Emma prepared to enter the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Fl., it became clear that her hard work and dedication would serve her well.   First there were hours of coaching with former Kirov ballerina and faculty member, Luba Gulyaeva , that began last November 2015.  Then an audition video was prepared and submitted. She was on her way, as the World Ballet adjudication panel accepted her application.

Dreamcatcher Brings The Neighborhood to the Livingston Library



Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, a professional theatre located in Summit, NJ, will bring a concert reading of their original musical, The Neighborhood, to the Livingston Library on Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 pm. The production, with book and lyrics by Artistic Director Laura Ekstrand and music by Joseph Zawila, was created from the stories of Dreamcatcher’s Resident Acting Company, and takes a loving and sometimes hilarious look at the way we live among the people around us who are not quite strangers, but also not quite friends.

This frank and funny collection of vignettes, monologues and songs will strike a chord with everyone who has wondered how much we really know about our neighbors, and how much we really want to know about them. These are the people we see every day on the train while commuting to work, the people next door whose dog drives us crazy, the people we wave at from a distance, and the people who cross the line from neighbor to friend by allowing us into their lives when it matters most.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Playwrights Wanted at The Barn Theatre of Montville


Playwrights Wanted: The Barn Theatre of Montville NJ is proud to announce the return of their Solstice Showcase One Act Festival.

The Barn Theatre is currently looking for playwrights to submit their original one act plays. The finalists will have their plays produced in the one act festival weekend this June. 

The Barn is also looking for: Directors, Designers, as well as Production Staff Submission deadline for playwrights to submit their plays is February 28th 2017 For full details and guidelines and to submit your play or application online, please visit: www.barntheatre.org/oneacts

A VERY SPECIAL (Holiday) SPECIAL at Dreamcatcher Rep.


And join us next week for: 

Kick off the season with your favorite Dreamcatcher actors! If you enjoyed the corny fun of those old-fashioned holiday variety shows starring Andy Williams, Perry Como and The Mandrell Sisters, you'll love A VERY SPECIAL (Holiday) SPECIAL.
The Dreamcatcher ensemble will entertain you with holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun. The show is appropriate for the whole family, and every year's show is completely original!

A VERY SPECIAL (Holiday) SPECIAL will get you in the holiday spirit on Friday and Saturday, December 2 & 3 at 8pm
  • PRICE: $20 adults, $15 kids 15  and younger - buy in advance; no fees!
  • DATE: December 2 & 3, 2016
  • LOCATION: Oakes Center * 120 Morris Avenue * Summit, NJ 07901.
  • RUN TIME: A Very Special Special runs about 2 hours with 1 intermission
Brown Paper Tickets
$20 adults, $15 students 15 and under.
Use Code HOHOHO
to get a 10% discount on advance online purchases.
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2552561

The Neighborhood: A Concert Reading
 
The Neighborhood, a musical created from the stories of Dreamcatcher's resident ensemble, was produced in 2012. Now it's receiving a concert reading at the Livingston Library!

It takes a loving and sometimes hilarious look at the way we live among the people around us who are not quite strangers, but also not quite friends. Dreamcatcher's artistic director, Laura Ekstrand, wrote the book & lyrics; Joseph Zawila wrote the music.

Come and enjoy the show again, or experience it for the first time!

Place: The Livingston Public Library, 10 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston, NJ 07039
Date and Time: Sunday, December 11 @ 3:00 pm
Tickets: Free and open to the public

Cast: 
Clark Carmichael 
Harry Patrick Christian 
Angela Della Ventura
Laura Ekstrand  
Scott McGowan 
Jason Szamreta 
Harriett Trangucci 
Stephanie Windland
Original cast of The Neighborhood

Original cast of The Neighborhood at Dreamcatcher Rep.
     Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
Oakes Center  *  120 Morris Avenue  *  Summit, NJ 07901

Monday, November 21, 2016

Meet Aedin Moloney


Aedin Moloney
2013 best actress NJ Footlights, Aedin Moloney, as George Eliot in the world premiere of A Most Dangerous Woman by Cathy Tempelsman at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, 2013. 
                          
Aedin Moloney
...is an award winning actor and theatre producer, who has worked extensively on the stage, in television and film, voice over and audio book worlds throughout the USA, Ireland and the UK.  Aedin is currently playing the role of Margaret Willoughby in Mint Theater Company'sproduction of Women Without Men at City Center NYC. 

 In 2014, Aedin starred as Dol Common (photo right) in the acclaimed production of The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, adapted and directed by Bonnie Monte  at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  She is founder and producing artistic director of Fallen Angel Theatre Company and has been producer of several Off Broadway hits, including the world premiere of Eva the Chaste  and the US premiere of Airswimming presented at The Irish Repertory Theatre in 2013.  

She recently co-starred with Peter Gerety and Dana Ivey in the premiere of Dubliners : A Quartet directed and written by award winner Arthur Yorinks and presented by WNYC NPR Radio. And again in Iron Will written by Arthur Yorinks and directed by Jim Simpson.

Aedin won best actress for 2013 by NJ Footlights for originating the role of George Eliot in the premiere of A Most Dangerous Woman by Cathy Tempelsman, at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  Directed by tony winner Richard Maltby and Bonnie Monte.


After graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, she started her career at the Gaiety Theatre, playing Molser in The Plough and the Stars directed by Joe Dowling. She went on to work throughout the UK at several theatres, including BAC, The Bristol Old Vic and Sheffield Crucible. She appeared in multiple British & Irish television productions such as The Bill, The Moth and Ballykissangel.  She has also appeared in Law and Order here in the US.

Amongst her theatre credits in New York, she is proud to say she has played 8 leading roles at the Irish Repertory theatre, including the role of Rose in the hit revival of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel.  She played the title role of Eva the Chaste and co-starred in Airswimmingboth with Fallen Angel Theatre Company.  Regionally she performs at theatres such as Hartford Stage where she played multiple roles in the production of  Under Milk Wood directed by Mark Lamos, and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Her film credits include: "Nora" - co-starring Ewan McGregor, "Far & Away", "Agnes Brown" & "The Captives".

Born in Ireland, Aedin grew up in a musical family (her father is Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains). Both father and daughter have recently collaborated on a full length audio version of the Penelope chapter from Ulysses by James Joyce, with music direction from Mr. Moloney. 

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