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Saturday, October 21, 2017

‘My Name is Gideon: I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually’ at CSC

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Hailed as "Eccentric and exhilarating.  The best possible combination." By Stephen Sondheim, Centenary Stage Company closes the annual Fringe Festival with the award winning My Name is Gideon: I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually November 16 through 19 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

After sold out performances in New York City and 5 stars from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Gideon Irving a theatrical couch – surfing troubadour brings his incredibly unique solo show to Hackettstown. Irving, who has hopped from one town to the next on bike, rollerblades, and automobiles, performing and sleeping in 504 homes of perfect strangers, now invites audiences to his own living room on stage.  With a host of eclectic instruments, astonishing stories, warm charm and an infectious sense of humor Irvingcasts a spell that transports audiences out of this world.  The NY Times review notes, “It’s a mishmash of twangy songs and stories about his mother, his friends and his travels. Other odds and ends are tossed in: jokes, audience participation, a magic trick… There’s charm in that shagginess, and in Mr. Irving’s folksy and welcoming manner

Performances for My Name is Gideon:  I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually are Thursday, November 16 at 7:30PM; Friday, November 17 at 8:00PM; Saturday, November 18 at 8:00PM and Sunday, November 19 at 2:00PM.  All Performances are held in the Kutz Theatre in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Ticket prices are $25.00 for adults and $15.00 for children under 12 on Friday and Sunday performances.  Saturday evening’s performance is $27.50 for adults and $25.00 for children under 12.  Thursday evening’s performance is $25.00 for all seats with a Buy One/Get One Rush Ticket Special.  To qualify for the BOGO offer tickets must be purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office as early as two hours prior to performance time.  BOGO offer not valid for advance ticket sales.

Next at The Strollers ‘Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’

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The Strollers proudly presents:
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
by Ed Graczyk

​In a small-town dime store in West Texas, the Disciples of James Dean gather for their twentieth reunion. Now middle-aged women, they were teenagers when Dean filmed Giant two decades ago in nearby Marfa. One of them, an extra in the film, has a child whom she says was conceived with Dean during the shoot. The ladies congenial reminiscences mingle with flashbacks to their youth; then the arrival of a stunning-but-familiar stranger sets off a series of confrontations that smash their delusions and expose bitter disappointments.

Director - Wanda Maragni
Stage Manager - Alanna Libbrecht
Set Design - John Mendlovitz
Producer - Georgiana Hart
Props Mistresses - Yvonne Perry and Laura Iacometta
Lighting Design - Dianne Nigro
Sound Design - Molly Holzbauer

Cast:
Linda Hatcher
Sally Jayne
Sam Mullaney
Janet Pane
Jessica Phelan
Tracey Randinelli
Cindy Ross
Jacqueline Schreiber
Michelle Womack

Performances:
Friday, November 3 @ 8pm
Saturday, November 4 @8pm
Sunday, November 5 @2pm

Friday, November 10 @8pm
Saturday, November 11 @8pm

Venue:
The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
10 Durand Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Tickets:
General Admission: $20
Seniors/Students: $15

For more information, reach The Strollers at their
Facebook - at www.facebook.com/TheStrollersMaplewood
Twitter: @MplwdStrollers
Email: TheMaplewoodStrollers@gmail.com

The Strollers

PO Box 83

Maplewood, NJ 07040

REVIEW: UPDATED TAKE ON DATING & MARRIAGE A HOOT @ GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE

Review By Ruth Ross

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My young friends tell me that the dating scene has undergone a sea change since Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Robert’s musical comedy, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, opened at New York City’s Westside Theatre in 1996; by the time it closed in 2008, after 5,003 performances, it was the second longest running Off Broadway musical. Translated into over 17 languages, it has been produced all over the globe, so it must have touched a nerve with the thirty-somethings who came to see it. (Above: George Merrick, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis and Karen Burthwright)

Nowadays, instead of meetings in bars or clubs, or being set up by friends or relatives, today’s relationships begin online with Tinder, OK Cupid and other dating apps. Prospective partners communicate by text or email, and often never talk to one another in person until they meet face-to-face for a drink, coffee, lunch or dinner. To me, who came of age in a very different time, it all seems rather impersonal, detached.

I guess that’s why David Saint, Artistic Director of New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse thought it would be a good idea to have DiPietro and Roberts revise I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change to serve as the first production of the 2017-2019 season and to inaugurate the playhouse’s interim residence on the Cook College campus of Rutgers University. An updated production would replicate the original’s popularity while appealing to a younger audience.

x-defaultDiPietro has tweaked his original lyrics a bit, with lots of references to navigating the online dating scene; he has added one song and replaced another. Speed dating for “busy, busy” people is hilariously recounted as a couple (Right: Lindsay Nicole Chambers and George Merrick) goes from first date to breaking up to reconciling in the blink of an eye! The number’s title, “I Have Better Things to Do Than You,” doesn’t promise a successful conclusion to a date that began with a few swipes on a cell phone screen. “A Picture of This” replaces a song about him calling her, only this time he sends her a picture of his penis! Is this a peril of online dating? Other musical numbers in the first half of this revue involve some age-old problems facing new couples: men not listening while his date talks; his having to attend a teary movie she chose; a gal cooking lasagna for her new beau; meeting and disappointing the parents; and even matchmaking in Attica Prison. Most of it will touch a nerve no matter what the age of the audience members; some things apparently never change.

The second half of the evening revolves around problems that crop up once the couple has tied the knot. “Always a Bridesmaid” (Chambers, left) is a droll assessment of the plight of the single friend forced to purchase multiple ugly dresses and submit to the brides’ tyranny. On the flip side, new parents often become so googly-eyed over their new baby that they sound moronic; “The Baby Song” depicts male parents talking nonsense as they wield baby toys and discuss their offspring. It’s sickeningly hilarious. Being stuck in the car with the family (or using the car to escape them) and the interminable waiting while a spouse is shopping/watching a football game really hit home. Especially droll is newly widowed Rose Ritz, who sets out to make her first dating video; her ineptitude is tempered by her unvarnished candor, much to our merriment.

Fortunately, DiPietro hasn’t fiddled with two songs late in the show, both of which are poignant and affecting. “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love with You” conveys the sweetness of mature love very well, a nice contrast to the busy, busy people speed dating in the first number. And the couple “meeting cute” at a wake for someone neither of them knows is both funny and bittersweet. Honestly reciting their shortcomings, the two conclude “I Can Live with That,” a rueful acceptance that getting old is difficult and lonely, but less so when you’ve got someone to share life’s ups and downs.

x-defaultThe quartet of actors splendidly presents the material with great comedic timing and wonderful stage presence. Karen Burthwright and Lindsay Nicole Chambers give us a window into the female psyche. Chambers makes our heads spin as the speed dater on steroids but brings her energy level way down when her character discovers love in the funeral parlor. Burthwright’s excitement at making lasagna for her new beau is infectious, and we are as outraged as she when she receives the offensive photo from a guy she just met!

Mitchell Jarvis and George Merrick go beyond the usual guy clichés to provide their characters with humanity. Jarvis is especially fine as the new father (above, with Merrick and Burthwright) and the mature lover; Merrick is especially funny as the husband waiting for his wife as she shops and will touch your heart in the funeral scene.

There’s a reason I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change ran for over a decade: Joe DiPietro really nailed the vicissitudes of dating and marriage, and he’s done it again. Yes, the revue is funny, but the lyrics dig deeper to expose the insecurities, as well as the touching aspects, of love in all its forms. But this fresh, contemporary take on love is exclusively available George Street Playhouse patrons, so if you loved the original, admire DiPietro’s work (four of his works have premiered at the playhouse) or just need a pick-me-up, you won’t want to miss I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change before it closes on November 12.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will be performed at the George Street Playhouse’s interim location in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, 13 College Farm Road, just off Route 1 South on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus. For information and tickets, visit www.georgestreetplayhouse.org online.

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

NJSO’s one-week sale runs Oct 23–27


The NJSO’s one-week sale runs Oct 23–27,

Use promo code PRESALE to unlock the savings today!

Special Sale Prices
P, A and P1 sections:
$52 (reg $55–$90)
B and P2 sections: $37 (reg $40–$55)
C section: $20 (reg $30–$42)
D and P3 sections: always $20

This great deal includes almost all* of this season’s concerts at the NJSO’s six regular venues—including:

Beethovens Fifth Symphony

An American in Paris in Concert with the NJSO

Stephen Hough plays Rachmaninoffs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Sci-Fi Spectacular: Music from Star Wars, Star Trek & Beyond

Mozarts Requiem

Pines & Fountains of Rome Respighis most famous works

Dvořáks Ninth Symphony, From the New World

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Bachs complete Brandenburg Concertos

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert with the NJSO ™ & © Universal Studios

Gil Shaham plays Brahms Violin Concerto

... and much more!

Even more great deals! Buy early, seats are limited.

Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy and Handel’s Messiah concerts are also on sale!
See below for special pricing information for these two performances:

Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy: P & A sections: $62 | B section: $42 | C section: $25
Handel’s Messiah at NJPAC in Newark: $59 and $41 (includes facility fee)

» Browse all of the available concerts* and save when you buy today. Remember to use promo code PRESALE to unlock the savings.
Plus, when you buy tickets during the sale period, you’ll only be charged a flat $7 order fee instead of the $3 per-ticket fee—saving you even more!

Music Director Xian Zhang will lead the NJSO in Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony during the 2018 Winter Festival.
How to purchase:

  1. For detailed information about each concert and to hear music clips of the program,visit the sale concert calendar.
  2. Click the “buy” button next to your concert date and enter the promotion codePRESALE before selecting your seats. Don’t wait—once the discounted seats have been sold, any additional seats in that section will be sold at full price.
  3. Review your order, select a delivery method and add your order to the cart. Finish the transaction by checking out, where you’ll be prompted to create or log into your account and enter payment information.
  4. Forward this offer to your friends!

This offer is only available online and is only available starting 12:01 am on October 21 and ending 11:59 pm October 27, 2017. This offer may not be combined with any other offers or discounts and is not retroactive. Seating is subject to availability and may be limited for some performances. Seating at these discounted prices is limited for some performances. If there are no discounted seats available, the regular ticket price will show when you select your seats. Each order is subject to a $7 handling fee.
*Excluded concerts include: All family concerts, Nutcracker concerts and all concerts on Oct 28, Dec 15,Jan 25 and Mar 25. Handel’s Messiah on Dec 17 has special pricing for this sale: $59 and $41 (includes facility fee). Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy has special pricing for this sale: P & A sections: $62 | B section: $42 | C section: $25
Additional restrictions may apply.

‘The Mecca Tales’ next at Crossroads on the Road


Love & Happiness

www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org

Purchase Tickets Here!

Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:

American Express

Johnson & Johnson

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund

Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders

New Brunswick Cultural Center

New Jersey Council on the Arts/ Department of State,

a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last Chance to see ‘Barefoot in the Park’

Rick Busciglio Writes
"Laughs Galore at Chatham Players"

Only 2 More Shows!

Rick Busciglio writes, "Chatham Players Barefoot in the Park clearly delivers…belly laughs, aplenty."  Read his review at New Jersey Footlights.

Barefoot in the Park in 60 seconds!  At the Chatham Playhouse.

Watch highlights from Barefoot in the Park in 60 seconds!

The Chatham Community Players open their 96th Season with Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, a play that is at once a charming and romantic comedy, and a commentary on love and compatibility. This production has only 2 more performances, October 20 and 21. Michael Hegarty from Highland Park directs.

Barefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park

Buy Tickets Now


Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find – too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s too staid, too boring, and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous.  Running “barefoot in the park” would be a start.


Barefoot in the Park

Producer, Mara Lundstrom of Maplewood added, "This Neil Simon classic brings lightness and levity to the stage. CCP’s production captures the nuances in Simon’s marvelous writing about love, family, friends, and NYC. The set and scenic design have become an additional character in CCP’s production, adding a convincing look at life in NYC in the 1960’s. A funny, witty, and friendly comedy, Barefoot in the Park will tickle everyone’s fancy for a fun night of theater.”

Barefoot in the Park


For more information, including the cast and production team, please visit ChathamPlayers.org.

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK
Final 2 Performances

All seating is reserved.
FRI, October 20 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, October 21 @ 8:00 pm

Tickets are $25 for Adults and $23 for Seniors/Youths
Please PRINT YOUR TICKETS with BARCODE.
We don't scan cell phones, but we do print free duplicate tickets.
HANDICAPPED SEATING can ONLY be guaranteed by contacting the Box Office at least 24 hours prior to performances by emailing BoxOffice@ChathamPlayers.org
or calling 973-635-7363
For Box Office information, visit ChathamPlayers.org/Tickets.

Buy Tickets Now

Thursday, October 19, 2017

JCTC Begins Halloween Weekend with Double-Bill of “FEAR” Shows

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What better way to begin Halloween Weekend than with two Fear shows in one night?

As part of its ongoing Fear series exploring the many forms of social and personal anxiety, JCTC presents a double-bill of thought provoking, topical tales of fright – Anna in the Darkness and HORROR.

merseles-studiosjpg-554f4617009bfc3fThis two for the price of one theater event takes place on October 28th at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, N.J.

​Anna in the Darkness – starring Anthony Wills Jr. – follows a small town teacher, who after being accused of committing a horrible crime, barricades herself in her house as an angry mob, howling for blood and justice, gathers outside. This haunting psychological thriller will have you pondering what is real and what is delusory up until the very end. Playwright Jeremy Menekseoglu has crafted a tale where the menace is truth, thus far scarier — and far more profound — than brainless zombies or thirsty vampires.

Anna in the Darkness has been performed to critical acclaim in Chicago and this will be its first Jersey City performance. About Anna in the Darkness, the Chicago Reader raved: “a devilish torture on the imagination.”

“This amazing play that has been performed annually in Chicago by Dream Theater for the past 10 years,” said Wills. “Not only does it display the fear a person in this situation experiences but also how fear drives the town to do the things it does. I’ve adored this play for years and also find myself a little frightened to take on this extraordinary character.”

HORROR – created by and starring Elizabeth Anne Keiser – is a multimedia, and purely objective dark comedy, examining without explanation or comment, the bleak state of current events. Utilizing interactive video, music, visual art, poetry, and humor, HORROR tracks the challenges in our public schools, politics, and media. HORROR highlights juxtapositions such as heralded children's literature depicting crass violence, good intentions by greedy narcissists, and bare naked souls afraid to be physically nude. Although often terrifying, the play offers a glimmer of hope and the cathartic laughter needed by everyone.

HORROR has been performed and developed at the Aurora in  Providence, Rhode Island.  HORROR culminates with a fashion show designed by Jennifer Avery (Jenniferlavery.com), who has an upcoming 3-month installation at The Palais de Tokyoin in Paris.

“HORROR connects with the theme of Fear, as demonstrated by current events, because the result of acting out of fear is horror,” said Keiser “I’m looking forward to sharing this show with the eclectic and savvy audience drawn to JCTC for its reliably innovative programming.”

Wills is Artistic Director of A.P.P. (Artistic Pride Productions) is an actor and performance artist who's performed all over the country including JCTC, The New Museum, Steppenwolf, Utah Shakes, Milwaukee Rep. He’s performed with Susan Sarandon, Philip Glass, and Tony nominee Marla Schaffel

Elizabeth Anne Keiser took a hiatus from theater to run a literacy-based behavior intervention program in Rhode Island. She is now returning to the New York/New Jersey area, where previously she produced her shows: The Big Red Wagon, Perversion Incognito (for which she was awarded the RISCA Playwriting merit), The Fowl Seducktion, Time for a Home, Be A Walking, Mechanisms, and assorted comedy pieces at EST, Catch a Rising Star, the West Bank, the Westbeth, and NYTW. Her television credits include: AMC, Lifetime, and PBS. For over six years she was an actor with the O'Neill Playwriting Conference and the 52nd Street Project.

Anna in the Darkness/HORROR
Friday/October 28
Doors 7:30/ Show 8:00
(there will be a 15 minute intermission between performances;
a talk-back with both artists concludes the show)

Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

Tickets: $20 ($15 for Students & Senior Citizens, Valid ID required)
To purchase tickets visit: www.JCTCenter.org)

*Press Passes, Interviews and Additional Photography Available*

Fear and Anna in the Darkness/HORROR was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life. 

Auditions: Holiday 3 Act Event at The Barn Theatre in Montville

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The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey, is holding open auditions on October 29th & 30th for its upcoming holiday production of three one act plays. Directed by Jeff Knapp.

AUDITION DATES: Sunday October 29th 7pm to 9 pm, Monday October 30th 6pm to 8 pm

PERFORMANCE DATES: Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 11am Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2pm Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 2pm

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Three zany, fun-for-the-whole-family stories to help ring in the holiday season! 

  • Lights... Camera.. Christmas by Sally Carpenter
  • Murray, The Motion Sick Dreidl by Jeff Knapp
  • What Could Go Wrong The Night Before Christmas? by Kim Kao Hines

CAST REQUIREMENTS:

There will likely be doubling.  There is a NARRATOR character who will link all the shows together and take a larger role in WHAT COULD GO WRONG....

LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS

AROUND HIGH SCHOOL AGED:

  • J.D. high school aged, film director
  • SANDY plays Eve in the film
  • MARCY plays Mother in the film
  • CHARLIE plays Father in the film
  • FILM EXTRA female, plays a Christmas Tree
  • GOPHER runs errands

ADULTS

  • MR. BIG the studio boss
  • CAMERA PERSON works the movie camera

COULD BE EITHER

  • SET DESIGNER male or female
  • LIGHTING DIRECTOR male or female
  • PROPERTIES MISTRESS female
  • COSTUME DESIGNER male or female
MURRAY, THE MOTION SICK DREIDL
  • MURRAY, A Dreidl of Indeterminate Age
  • SHLOMO, A Dreid of Indeterminate Agel
  • DOCTOR, An Adult Doctor
  • LEFTY, A Kid
  • SAM, A Kid
WHAT COULD GO WRONG ON THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
  • HOST (doubles as NARRATOR for the show)
  • CHILDREN (at least 6 kids needed; ages flexible - no infants please; but if your child can sit still and be quiet, it might be a good fit!)
  • STAGE MANAGER
  • OWEN, a surfer bum mouse, kid aged or older
  • CHAD, a "regular guy" mouse, kid aged or older
  • NERMAL, a nerd mouse, kid aged or older
  • MAMA, She wears the kerchief, adult
  • PAPA, He wears the cap and throws open the sash, adult
  • SANTA: Stocky, not obese, adult - should be comfortable posing for pictures with the audience in the lobby afterwards

Actors are asked to arrive to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the event. If interested, please contact info@barntheatre.org

***IMPORTANT: You will be asked to list ALL potential conflict dates AT THE TIME of your audition, (NOT after casting). Please be prepared with your calendar and out-dates, as a rehearsal schedule will be generated based upon availability of staff and cast.

The Barn is an all-volunteer organization

A Christmas Carol Set Load-In Timelapse - McCarter Theatre



Follow Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future and watch as our entire community—including 35 members from the greater Princeton area—bring this story to life around you! This exciting production will usher you into the spirit of the season with all the joy, wonder, and generosity that Scrooge himself discovers. Share the happiness of Dickens' perennial masterpiece and join us in celebrating this McCarter tradition with your friends and entire family.

Award-Winning Show Next at Bickford Theatre with Four-time Daytime Emmy Award Winning Actress Kim Zimmer

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  Kim Zimmer and Carl Wallnau in rehearsal for Bakersfield Mist.

The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum will produce the award-winning comedy/drama Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs from October 26 to November 5 under the direction of the Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen. The play, which received the Elliott Norton Award for Best New Play in 2013, was a smash hit when it opened for a limited run on London’s West End. It contains Adult Language.

Leading the cast in the role of Maude Gutman is the very popular Kim Zimmer, a four-time Daytime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress. Kim will share the stage with Carl Wallnau, the celebrated Artistic Director of the Centenary Stage Company. He will play Lionel Percy.

Inspired by true events, this hilarious and thought-provoking comedy/drama asks timeless questions about what makes art and people truly authentic. Maude Gutman, a 50-something unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, has bought a painting for a few dollars from a thrift store. At first she almost throws it away but instead convinces herself that it is a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollack worth millions. So to evaluate the painting, world-class art expert Lionel Percy travels from New York to Maude’s home in Bakersfield to determine whether it is authentic or not. What ensues is a fiery, entertaining, and wonderfully funny debate over class, truth, and what we perceive as valuable.

It is a play loved by both audiences and critics. When it opened in London, The Telegraph called it “…one of the best plays on now in London.” And during the run in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times said it was “a perfect marriage of emotion and ideas!” Vanity Fair praised Bakersfield Mist, proclaiming that it was “not to be missed” and the Orlando Sentinel gushed that it was “cleverly funny….”

Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen has more than 35 years of theater experience having acted in or directed productions throughout the Northeast, including shows off-Broadway and in New Jersey. When asked about Bakersfield Mist, he said, “When I read the play, I knew that it was perfect for the Bickford Theatre because of our affiliation with the Morris Museum. Stephen Sachs tackles the large questions on creativity and the value of art with wit and humor. And our audience will love it.”

Playwright Stephen Sachs is the author of eleven plays produced both here and abroad and has received many awards not only for his plays, but also for his work as an artistic director and theatre director. As the co-founder and co-artistic director of The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, he has won multiple awards including the prestigious Ovation award twice. And he has twice been a finalist for the PEN Literary Award for Drama.

Bakersfield Mist opens on Friday, October 27, at 8:00 PM with a Preview Performance on Thursday, October 26. The production runs through Sunday, November 5. 

Tickets for Bakersfield Mist are $45 for the General Public; $40 for Seniors; $38 for Museum Members; and $20 for Students (18 & under or with valid college ID). Group rates are available. There is a $3 service charge per ticket. The show contains Adult Language.

Tickets may be purchased online at morrismuseum.org, by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office. The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

# # # # #

Performances

Thursday, October 26 (Preview Performance) and November 2, 7:30 PM

Thursday, November 2, 2:00 PM

Friday, October 27 (Opening Night) and November 3, 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 28, and November 4, 8:00 PM

Sunday, October 29, and November 5, 2:00 PM

There will be a conversation with the cast and creative team on Thursday, November 2, following the evening performance.

Cast

Kim Zimmer headshotKim Zimmer of Verona, NJ. Television: The Guiding Light (CBS), One Life to Live (ABC), Santa Barbara (NBC), The Doctors (CBS); Episodic Television: Designing Women, Seinfeld, MacGyver, Models Inc., Babylon 5; Off-Broadway: Love, Loss, and What I Wore; North American tour of Broadway’s Wicked; Regional Theatre: Connecticut Reperatory, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Barn Theatre (Michigan).


Carl Wallnau head shotCarl Wallnau of Hoboken. Artistic Director of Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ; Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Fine Arts Department of Centenary University. Broadway and National Tour: Titanic; Regional: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Centenary Stage, Hartford Stage, Bristol Riverside, Orlando Shakespeare Company, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Arden Theatre, Asolo Theatre. Author: Mary Todd: A Woman Apart (Centenary Stage, NJ and Samuel Beckett Theatre, NYC).

Laughs Galore at Chatham Players


After several years and 300 plus play reviews we still marvel that the line between professional and community theater in New Jersey is so frequently blurred. This past Sunday afternoon at the Chatham Playhouse we saw an outstanding production of Neil Simon’s now classic comedy, Barefoot in the Park. Far from being an outdated 1960’s play, this story was just as relevant today, even with the sprinkle of references to the period.

bare coupleThe cast, under the direction of Michael Hegarty, includes Crystal Ann Bennet as the carefree bride Corie; Matthew Cronin as Paul a freshman lawyer (photo right); Arnold Buchaine as the unconventional neighbor-in-the attic, Velasco; Joyce Slous as Ethel Banks, Corie’s omnipresent mother; Dominick DeNucci as the Telephone Repairman; and Chip Prestera as the Delivery Man. They are giving Broadway level performances. In fact, this production could easily move across the river and compete with the best of Off-Broadway. Again, remember the Chatham Players is a community theater group, not a professional (paid) Equity company.

It is important to note that comedies can be ranked based on the type of laughs they generate. It can range from a giggle to a chuckle to unrestrained laughter all the way to the loud hearty belly laugh. Chatham Players Barefoot in the Park clearly delivers in the latter category…belly laughs, aplenty.

Do you remember the plot from the 1967 movie with Robert Redford, and Jane Fonda? The many challenges or adjustments facing a young newly married couple today are still the same. In this case, the question is “Can Corie and Paul survive starting married life in a tiny, 5th-floor walkup apartment in a Manhattan brownstone with a lack of heat, a skylight that leaks snow, several long flights of stairs, oddball neighbor Victor Velasco, and Corie's well-meaning mother? Spoiler Alert: the answer is YES.

bare tel

Dominick DeNucci, Crystal Ann Bennett and Matthew Cronin

Crystal Ann Bennet and Matthew Cronin nicely nail their parts. The supporting players are all outrageous, major contributors to the belly laugh department. First, is Dominick DeNucci as the Telephone Repairman (photo above). When he arrives, severely out of breath, Corie says: “Yes, it’s five flights. If you don’t count the front stoop” Repairman:” I counted the front stoop.”

Arnold Buchaine is marvelous as Velasco, blessed with some of the best lines. Joyce Slous has fun as Corie’s mother. Her arrival after surviving the climb may be worth the price of admission alone. Then there is Chip Prestera, a Chatham Players’ comedy treasure, as the super exhausted deliverer of wedding gifts. He proves that there is no such thing as a small part. His one scene is a gem. (Note: Chip alternates with Howard Fisher in this role).

bare group

Joyce Slous, Arnold J. Buchiane, Matthew Cronin and Crystal Ann Bennett

Director Hegarty explains that, “Barefoot in the Park has stood the test of time as one of Neil Simon's most enduring plays. Since its premier on Broadway in 1963, followed four years later by a film adaptation (as well as a short-lived sitcom), it has remained a mainstay in professional and amateur theaters across the country. What make this play so universal are its themes of love and compatibility, as well as its focus on conventionality versus unconventionality. It truly is a classic.”

The creative team includes: the Producer is Mara Lundstrom, Production Coordinator Tom McDonald, Scenic Designer Sean McCarthy, Stage Manager Nicole Miceli, Costume Designer Bev Wand, Lighting Designer Richard Hennessy and original music is composed and performed by the Sound Designer, Joe DeVico.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio October 15, 2017

Box Office Information – Online Ticketing

The two remaining performance dates are October 20 and 21 at 8pm. Performances are at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior.

Tickets can be purchased at our Box Office or Online. To access the theater’s new online ticketing service, where you can now reserve your particular seat, simply go to ccp.booktix.com. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. For phone reservations call  (973) 635-7363.

Note: There isn't a bad seat in the house. The audience is seated on three sides, in this not quite, theater-in-the-round. Parking is free and plentiful. The theater is blessed with a good number of truly excellent restaurants within easy walking of the theater, as is the Chatham train station with express service to NYC.

Enjoy!

PHOTOS BY HOWARD FISHER

‘Harvey’ next at Bergen County Players

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Bergen County Players (BCP) continues
its 85th season with Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning
comedy-of-errors, HARVEY. The play is co-directed by veteran
directors Jerry Hurley and Steve Bell and will be presented onstage
October 28th - November 18th. Performances will take place at the
Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell with
curtain at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets
may be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200
or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.

harvey b
Elwood P. Dowd may enjoy his martinis, but he is still a friendly and likeable enough fellow…he just possesses one somewhat glaring eccentricity. He claims his best friend is an invisible fairy known in
Irish folklore as a Pooka. And this Pooka, according to Elwood, has taken on the form of a giant, six-foot three rabbit named Harvey.


Much to the horror of his sister, Veta, Elwood loves to tell everyone
he meets about his invisible Pooka friend. So hoping to spare her
daughter and the rest of the family from the embarrassment of his
eccentric behavior, Veta carts Elwood off to the local sanitarium to
have him committed…where her own eccentric behavior lands her in the
sanitarium instead of Elwood. What ensues is a comedy-of-errors that
forces Veta to question which reality is best - the often harsh
reality the rest of us live in or the “delusional” reality Elwood has
created for himself.

A Life Member, Past-President, and Board of Governors member, director
Steven Bell of Hackensack has been active with the Players for over
thirty years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The
Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ruthless! The
Musical, Urinetown, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, and The King & I, to
name a few. 

The talented cast of HARVEY includes Mara Karg of Nanuet, NY as Mrs.
Chumley, James Perlas of Cresskill as Doctor Sanderson, Sarah Medcalf
of North Plainfield as Veta Simmons, Matthew Rofofsky of Fort Lee as
Elwood P. Dowd (photo), Iris Weinhouse of Hillsdale as Mrs. Chauvenet, Michael Seymour of Leonia as E.J. Lofgren, Ed Gross of Westwood as Judge Gaffney, Andrew Whitney of Ramsey as Doctor Chumley, Kathleen Flynn of Ramsey as Myrtle Mae Simmons, Liz Gonzalez of Skillman as Miss Ruth Kelly and Joseph O’Connor of Upper Saddle River as Duane Wilson.

The crew of HARVEY includes: Jerry Hurley (Co-Director), Steve Bell
(Co-Director), Ron Siclari (Assistant Director), Paul Reitnauer III
(Producer), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Michael Smith (Set Design),
Rhea Smith (Set Décor), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Jill
Hendrickson (Lighting Operation), Arno Austin (Sound Operation),
Jennifer Cottone (Publicity), Edie Orlando (Make-up), Lisa Dahlborg
(Properties), Susan Faccone (Properties), Michael Smith (Photography),
Margie Druss Fodor (Program Bios), Janica Carpenter (Member at Large)
and Randi Kestin (Crew).


TICKET AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION
•       All performances for HARVEY take place at The Little Firehouse
Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County
Players since 1949. Performances run October 28 through November 18,
2017 with show times on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at
2pm.
•       Tickets for HARVEY are $21 for Friday/Saturday performances and $17
for Sunday matinees, and can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org,
by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298
Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa,
Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Romance takes center stage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

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Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps and Jon Barker as Will Shakespeare. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.

Opening this past weekend at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey was Shakespeare in Love, the romantic comedy based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.

At the outset, I must admit to not being a fan of the film, with the exception of the participation of the fabulous Judi Dench as the Queen. However, particularly if you share that opinion of the film… let me stress that this production in the hands of director Bonnie J. Monte is an absolute gem.

As we have come to expect from Ms. Monte and the STNJ….Shakespeare in Love (a/k/a Shakespeare Lite) is outstanding in every area from costumes, set, music, props, lighting, and, of course a spot-on cast. The equal of any production either side of the river (ok…most). The play has adulterous love, rousing sword fights, mistaken identities, nasty backstage intrigue and more.

The superior cast includes several of our favorite performers, veterans of both the STNJ and NYC ….Jon Barker, Ames Adamson, Edmond Genest, Anthony Marble and David Andrew MacDonald.

Jon Barker is impressive, as always, as poor Will Shakespeare. Poor in that when we meet him at his desk at the opening, he is suffering from a massive case of “writer’s block” which has contributed to his dire financial position. He’s overdue with his new play—Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter !

STNJ_SIL_1Salvation comes in the form of advice from his great contemporary Christopher Marlowe (Anthony Marble photo right) and the amorous attention of a beautiful noblewoman, Viola de Lesseps (Whitney Maris Brown). Lady Viola is to marry a titled fortune hunter, Lord Wessex (Marcus Dean Fuller).

One very big problem, she is in love with a man far below her station….a man of the theater! (you may have already guessed that their love inspired Shakespeare to change his play to Romeo and Juliet…his best-loved play.

STNJ_SIL_6Lady Viola (photo right) has a love beyond Will Shakespeare. It is the theater….and not only as a patron, but as an actor. However, in the 1600s London it was a forbidden area for a woman. By royal decree, no woman was permitted to appear in a play. The penalty was severe… a loss of a theater’s charter. This does not deter our Lady who disguises herself as a young man, Thomas Kent, to audition to be an actor. “He” naturally wins the part of Juliet.

The Queen, we must mention, is a fan of the theater…. particularly, if the play contains a dog! No dog …means her pleasure is severely diminished!

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  Pictured (left to right): Javon Johnson as the Queen’s Guardsman, Erika Rolfsrud as Queen Elizabeth I, Colin McPhillamy as Tilney, and Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps.

Meantime back at the castle: Viola, betrothed to Lord Wessex, must appear before Queen Elizabeth for permission to marry Lord Wessex. Once obtained she is obligated to honor the royal decision. The plot thickens when Will accompanies Viola and Wessex disguised as Viola's chaperone-"Miss Wilhelmina . . . gowned and bonneted." Before Viola’s departure to the American colonies with Wessex, she plays Juliet to Will's Romeo. The Queen is in attendance, and settles that Romeo and Juliet does indeed illustrate the "very truth and nature of love." (Photo (left to right): Javon Johnson as the Queen’s Guardsman, Erika Rolfsrud as Queen Elizabeth I, Colin McPhillamy as Tilney, and Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.)

Enough of the plot, to go further would spoil your enjoyment. This is a light hearted, fun production once again confirming that the STNJ is a New Jersey treasure. The same can be said of artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.

In fact, we give Ms. Monte the last word: ‘“We’re very excited to be the first company in our region to bring this wonderful theatrical gift to our audience. This is the kind of play, as was the film it’s based on, that has something for people of all ages. It is a glorious conglomeration and celebration of history, imaginative fiction, music, romance, comedy, high and low wit, companionship, and the sublime mystery of the act of artistic creation. We are thrilled to bring it to life for what will hopefully be a broad and diverse audience.”

The excellent cast of 20 includes: Ames Adamson as Fennyman, who finances the plays and Edmond Genest is Mr. Henslowe the producer at the Rose. Both deserve special recognition. They give standout performances. The duo has a clever discussion about theater: Henslowe: “Mr. Fennyman, let me explain about . . . the theater business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.” Fennyman “So what do we do? Henslowe “Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.” Fennyman “How?” Henslowe” I don't know. It's a mystery.”

Special note about Ames Adamson, save the Queen (Erika Rolfsrud), he clearly wins the “best dressed’ honor.

The other key players are: David Andrew MacDonald as imposing Richard Burbage the lead actor and owner of the Curtain Theatre; Colin McPhillamy as the stern Lord Chamberlain (another great outfit); Aurea Tomeski as the faithful Mistress Quickly, the wardrobe mistress to Lady Viola; and Seamus Mulcahy as the young actor wannabe and traitor John Webster.

Rounding out the cast: Julian Blake Gordon; Ryan Halsaver; Javon Johnson; Spencer Lackey, Garrett Lawson, David H. Littleton; Quentin McCuiston; Patrick Toon; and Joelle Zazz.

The key part of Spot is played to perfection by the Boston Terrier, Dublin Delancy McFinnigan. The program notes that “he enjoys working with Jon Barker.” (ok, we didn’t say he was “spot-on”)

Ms. Monte’s creative staff includes: Denise Cardarelli production stage manager; Brian Clinnin scenic designer; Nikki Delhomme costume designer; Julie Foh dialect consultant; Kris Kukul music director; Danielle Liccardo period dance consultant; Steven Rosen lighting designer; and Rick Sordelet fight director.

Purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue, Madison,by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

Auditions: ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Chatham Players

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The Chatham Players will hold auditions for Robert Harling’s touching, “Steel Magnolias” on Monday, November 6thand Tuesday, November 7th at 7:00pm. All auditions will occur at The Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave. Production dates are February 23 thru March 10, 2018 with rehearsals to begin mid-December. Jeffrey Fiorello directs.

Steel Magnolias (the basis for the much-loved multi Oscar-nominated film) is the bittersweet story of six women who gather under the dryers at Truvy’s Beauty Salon to share gossip, laughter, recipes and beauty secrets on four significant days across three years of their lives in a small US Southern town. When tragedy strikes, they face it with sass and strength, supporting each other through thick and thin. Steel Magnolias is a heartwarming portrait of friendship and love.

Director Fiorello seeks six women to fill out his cast. Please arrive by 7:30. There will be readings from the script, based upon the character you wish to be considered for, as well as type. Audition Sides will be available at the audition. To access the audition form, please visit our website at http://www.chathamplayers.org/auditions.html .

Character Breakdown

The women are witty, intelligent, and above all, real characters. They are in no way, shape or form meant to be portrayed as cartoons or caricatures.

Truvy Jones (40-50) Owns the town beauty shop. Vivacious, knows everyone’s business and shares it with anyone who will listen. Dispenses advice with lots of hairspray.

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto (20 – 30) Very shy, newly haired assistant. Moves from unsure to wild to religious.

Clairee Belcher (60-70) Widow of former mayor. Grand dame. Sarcastic member of the group. Elegant, sophisticated. Loves to laugh and poke fun at the little things others cry over.

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie (20 – 30) Prettiest girl in town. Loves pink. Strong willed, and passionate.

M’lynn Eatenton (40 – 50) Shelby’s mother. Over protective at times. Always knows what’s best. Strong, stubborn, the heart of the piece.

Ouiser Boudreaux (60 – 70) Wealthy curmudgeon. Acerbic, but loveable.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Gus Ibranyi at (201)-563-0362 or emailcasting@chathamplayers.org. For directions or additional information, please visit www.chathamplayers.org

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Hold Annual Home Gala

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The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, will launch the new season with the annual Home Gala Benefit in October, followed by the start of the 2017-2018 concert series in November in Leonia, New Jersey.

The new season will begin with the annual Home Gala Benefit held at a private home in the borough on October 22 at 7:30 p.m. The benefit will feature short, classical music selections performed by The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society's members Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Roy Lewis, violin; Maggie Speier, viola; and Daryl Goldberg, cello.

During the benefit, The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society’s professional musicians, drawn from the major concert halls in New York City and worldwide, will generate the excitement of a live performance. A reception of elegant desserts and champagne will be served.

All proceeds from this special event will support The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc.'s 2017-2018 concert season and the organization's mission to enrich the community's cultural environment by presenting a series of high quality, affordable, and accessible chamber music concerts.  Admission is $50 per person and tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

As seating is limited, reservations are highly recommended. For reservations and information, contact Ms. Daryl Goldberg at 201-947-3923 or dgcello@aol.com.