Thursday, January 29, 2015

Application Deadlines Extended for New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's Auditions at Bergen Performing Arts Center for Roles in Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor



The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has extended the deadlines for soloists in all vocal categories to submit applications to audition for roles in the professional opera company’s 2015 productions. New Jersey residents are encouraged to apply. Applications for the February 9 auditions must now be received by January 30. An audition appointment is required and must be made in advance.

Auditions will be held for the roles of Morales, Lillas Pastia, and El Remendado in Georges Bizet's Carmen and Lord Arturo Bucklaw, Alisa, and Normanno in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Open auditions will be held on February 9 from 5:00 to 9:00 The Drapkin Cabaret and Lounge of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

Verismo Opera, the house opera company of bergenPAC, presents its 26th season with performances of Carmen on April 26 and Lucia di Lammermoor on October 18 in 2015. All the productions will be presented at 3:00 p.m. at bergenPAC.

Verismo Opera will present these grand operas fully staged with a live orchestra and chorus. The selected vocalists will receive free coaching from professionals in the field, including Artistic Director Lucine Amara, a Met Opera legend; General Manager/Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif, a Canadian soprano; and Maestro Anthony Morss. Professional photos and a DVD of the production will be available to use for future engagements and performances.


All applicants must have previous experience in a fully staged production and the necessary vocal training to perform leading or supporting roles. New Jersey residents are encouraged to apply. Although an accompanist will be provided, applicants may bring their own. For an audition appointment, call 201-886-0561 or send an e-mail to

Applicants must submit a bio listing current or past performances and roles sung, a resume, photo and an audio file, preferably in an MP3 format or on a CD, and a list of three arias by the application deadline to Verismo Opera Inc., P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024 or to A refundable $25 deposit must be submitted with all applications. Checks should be made out to Verismo Opera and mailed to P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07026.

The site is handicapped accessible. Designated handicapped parking spaces are available. Vocalists requiring a special accommodation should call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks before the audition.


The 2015 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

verismonjvoFor 26 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

The organization provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the Bergen Performing Arts Center and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers. An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information about the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, visit Verismo Opera's web site, or follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto


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Two River Theater awarded grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation


logo pantone compresTwo River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced that the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded the theater a generous grant of $125,000 to support its upcoming production of Be More Chill, a new musical written by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, with choreography by Chase Brock and direction by Stephen Brackett. The grant will also support an ongoing relationship between Two River Theater and the team of Iconis and Tracz.

Two River is one of only five theaters in the country awarded this honor in the first round of the DDCF’s new, two-round Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative, which supports  large-scale work by American playwrights and encourages long-term relationships between theaters and writers. The grant includes $75,000 to support Two River’s production of Be More Chill, which will run May 30-June 21, 2015: $25,000 to be awarded to composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and librettist Joe Tracz; and an additional $25,000 to support a commission and development activities for Iconis and Tracz to write a new musical for the theater. The other theaters awarded grants are Denver Center Theatre Company, Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Public Theater in New York.

“Two River Theater is deeply grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,” say Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. “Be More Chill is the largest musical and one of the most ambitious projects in our theater’s history. This invaluable new initiative allows nonprofit theaters to produce works of such scale—and supports sustained relationships between institutions and writers, the central generative artists of the American theater. We are proud to have connected songwriter Joe Iconis and playwright Joe Tracz; to be developing and producing their extraordinary new work; and to be launching them as one of the most exciting new teams in the American musical theater.”

Two River Theater also acknowledges support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which awarded Be More Chill a $20,000 grant, and from Lead Production Sponsor Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. 


A commissioned world premiere, Be More Chill is based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini. Jeremy Heere is just your average dork trying to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. When he swallows a pill-sized supercomputer called The Squip that promises to bring him everything he desires most, he is transformed from complete geek to the coolest guy in class. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?

Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400. Ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance.


The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, the environment, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. DDCF’s Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, visit


Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Investors Bank, Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Free reading of ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Holmdel Theatre Company

Free reading of
Steel Magnolias
By Robert Harling

Monday, February 2, 7:00 PM

Directed by Melanie Taylor

Carole Darché
as Clairee
Laura Herr
as Truvy
Kacey Perinelli
as Shelby
Sharon Saks
as M'Lynn
Alberta Thompson
as Ouiser
Sabrina Van Vliet as Annelle

Admission is FREE. Coffee is served.

Holmdel Theatre Company
at The Duncan Smith Theater
36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733
(on the grounds of the Holmdel High School)

Open Auditions for
by David Auburn
Sunday February 8th 5:00-8:00 & Monday February 9th 7:00-9:30
See our facebook event page for more information

‘tick, tick...BOOM!’ next at American Theater Group in Rahway



American Theater Group, New Jersey's newest professional theater company, will open its production of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! on Saturday, January 31 at 8pm. The production, produced at Union County Performing Arts Center's Hamilton Stage (360 Hamilton Street, Rahway), runs through February 8.

Preview performances started (1/28) through Friday (1/30) at 8pm, opening Saturday, 1/31 at 8pm, Sunday, 2/1 at 3pm.

Notes from The Producing Artistic Director

“In 1991, I had just begun my tenure as the artistic head of another theater company in Bergen County. The first production was a one-man show entitled Billy Bishop Goes to War starring a then unknown actor named Roger Bart. At the time, Roger suggested a friend of his, another struggling artist and aspiring composer, to serve as the production’s Music Director. The friend was hired, and the rehearsal process overflowed with the enthusiasm of these two young artists.

During rehearsals, I would have conversations with the Music Director, and listen to his dreams of one day writing for the Broadway stage. One could not help but be impressed by his passion, his dedication and his wit. And his talent.

So it came as little surprise when several years later, that young composer’s work would take the theatrical world by storm when Rent opened in New York. Jon Larson did not live to see the impact his work had; his death the night before Rent’s first public performance is now part of Broadway lore. Roger Bart, after whom one of the characters in Rent is named, would go on to acclaim on Broadway, TV and Film, as   well as become one of the inaugural Board members here at ATG. And Jon’s Rent would change the face of Broadway, inspiring a whole new generation of musical theater artists and audiences.

But before Rent , Jon wrote another show, tick, tick…BOOM – an autobiographical story about a young artist struggling to write the next ‘Great American Musical’. It is full of the same passion, wit and talent that infused those conversations years earlier. And indeed the story takes place (and was very likely written) right around the time that I first encountered Jon.

So it seems fitting that some 20 plus years later, ATG reconnects with that passion, wit and talent by producing tick, tick…BOOM. As a company that looks to find new and exciting voices in the American Theater, we look forward to producing a work that tells the story of one of those voices, told by the very person whose voice we now celebrate.

In tick, tick…BOOM, the lead character (Jon) proclaims “I want to sit down right now at my piano and write a song that people will listen to and remember, and do the same thing every morning for the rest of my life”. Such a rash, unrealistic wish is full of youthful bravado. Ironically, by virtue of his all too short life, Jon Larson’s wish came true. ATG is pleased to join those who sing his songs.”

‘Amadeus’ next at Playhouse 22 in East Brunswick



Playhouse 22, East Brunswick’s Community Theater troupe, presents Amadeus by Peter Shaffer running February 13 through March 1.  The drama focuses on the highly-fictionalized version of the relationship between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, a classic musical composer and contemporary of Mozart.

The original play won various awards for best drama including the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play.  A film adaptation featured Tom Hulce in the title role and F. Murray Abraham as Salieri was recognized with eight Academy Awards.  The American Film Institute has ranked Amadeus 53rd on its 100 Years... 100 Movies list.

The show is directed by Jon Heron of Monroe.   

All performances are Friday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for seniors and can be purchased online at, by calling the Box Office at (732) 254-3939 or at the Box Office window.  Playhouse 22 is conveniently located at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick.

Photo: Wayne Harris as Salieri and Michael Drake as Mozart


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NJ short plays wanted: Chatham Community Players ‘Jersey Voices’


The Chatham Community Players is seeking original, one-act plays, short musicals and/or original dance pieces, written by New Jersey authors, for Jersey Voices' 21st Annual Production.

It is once again time to be thinking about submitting one-acts for Jersey Voices. For those of you who have already sent along submissions for Jersey Voices '15 - thank you! For those of you who have not, we want to remind you that the deadline is coming up soon - this year’s DEADLINE is MARCH 15th, just under two months away!

So please put the finishing touches on those plays sitting on your desk/desktop and send them along. This year, like last year, we are only accepting submissions by e-mail to the address listed below.

Play submissions of any genre (including short musical and dance pieces), style and length up to 15 minutes running time (we're serious about this) will be accepted through March 15, 2015. Selected pieces will each be performed in our Black Box Theater in Chatham on the last weekend in July and first weekend in August.

If we've not chosen your work in the past, please don't give up on us. Each year we have produced new pieces by an author whose work we've passed over in the past; it usually has more to do with trying to balance 6 separate pieces for an enjoyable evening of theater than it has to do with the quality of the piece which has been passed over. In fact, under these circumstances, we have often held over a piece we've liked and given it consideration in the following year. Some of these 'holdovers' have subsequently been chosen, produced, and favorably received.

We are looking forward to seeing your work this year and, as we know that many of you come to see Jersey Voices, to seeing you again this summer. If you have not already introduced yourself, when you're in the audience please stay for the reception we have after each performance and introduce yourself. We'd love to meet you.

If you have any questions, visit our website at or send me an e-mail at

We're accepting scripts this year by e-mail only

‘In the Car with Blossom and Len’ world premiere at Centenary Stage Company


Centenary Stage Company to present World Premiere production of Joni Fritz’s Susan Glaspell Award Winning In the Car with Blossom and Len on February 20 and running until March 8 in the Sitnik Theatre of the David and Carol Lackland Center.  Work-shopped during last season’s annual Women Playwrights Series, In the Car with Blossom and Len proved that family dynamics can be the source of endless comedic material and received an overwhelming response.

In this funny and poignant new play, a basket full of unpaid bills for chemical engineer Lenny Gold’s laboratory is discovered by one of his adult daughters, unveiling a lifetime of secrets, a mysterious silent partner, and a few other challenges which must be met by this family.  A delightful family saga about growing up, growing older and where you put the keys.

Playwright Joni Fritz (photo) has worked in theatre and television as a writer and actress, with appearances in NYC and regional theatre, film, television and commercials.   Her writing credits run the gamut from theatre to videos, documentaries, and sketch comedy for USA Network. Most recently, Joni's play "Girl's Room," starring Broadway legends Carol Lawrence and Donna McKechnie, directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, enjoyed successful runs in NY and LA.  Her work has been seen in several theatres in the NYC area, including Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Women’s Theatre Company and Dreamcatcher Rep.  She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatist Guild, and resides in Pompton Plains, NJ.

Directing the production is Tony Award nominated and Broadway veteran director/choreographer Lynn Taylor Corbett.  Nominated for the 2000 Tony Award, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography for the musical Swing!, Taylor Corbett also received a 2000 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography. Her recent stage work includes both directing and choreographing the musical My Vaudeville Man!which, ran off-Broadway at the York Theatre Company from November 2008 through January 2009.  She received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography with her collaborator, Shonn Wiley, for My Vaudeville Man!.

Performances for In the Car with Blossom and Len are Wednesday and Sunday afternoons at 2pm, Thursday evenings at 7:30pm and Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm.  Tickets for In the Car with Blossom and Lenrange from $27.50 to $25.00 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12 with discounts for students and seniors.  Thursday evening performances are our popular Family Nights; $25.00 for all seats with a special 2 for 1 rush discount when purchased at the door 2 hours prior to the performance.

For a comprehensive performance schedule, a full listing of all CSC events or to purchase tickets visit us on-line at, call the box office at (908) 979 – 0900 or stop by the beautiful David and Carol Lackland center located on the campus of Centenary College at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to every performance.  CSC also operates a second box office during the season at 217 Main Street in Hackettstown, NJ open Monday through Friday 3 – 6pm.

The 2014-15 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.



Dreamcatcher presents the New Jersey Premiere of The Most Deserving



Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at Oakes Center in Summit, is producing the New Jersey premiere of Catherine Trieschmann’s The Most Deserving.  This comedy recently played Off-Broadway at The Women’s Project, after having made its debut at the Denver New Play Summit. The Most Deserving plays February 12 through March 1, with talkbacks following theFebruary 15 and 22 matinees.

The Ellis County Arts Council, a motley assortment of art enthusiasts and reluctant community members, is giving away the largest artist grant in its history. The trouble arises when they all must agree on who is the most deserving of this gift. Backroom dealings, romantic entanglements and old grudges come into play as they struggle toward making their selection. This recent Off-Broadway hit was called a “frisky new comedy” by The New York Times and “smart, hilarious, riveting” by The New Yorker.

The comedy will be directed by Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), and will feature Dreamcatcher ensemble members Noreen Farley (Clinton), Scott McGowan (Maplewood), Janet Sales (Montclair) and Jason Szamreta (Rahway). Also featured are Julie Chen (New York) and André DeSandies (Englewood).

The Most Deserving will run at Dreamcatcher from Thursday, February 12 through Sunday, March 1.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets range from $20-$35, with special rates for subscribers and groups.  Purchase tickets online at or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.  All tickets are $20 at the Thursday, February 12 preview performance, and seniors pay only $20 on advance purchases only on Senior Sunday, the February 15 matinee.

Performances are at Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit.  Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre on Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center on Morris Avenue.  The facility is wheelchair accessible.  Assistive Listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available by prior arrangement.  To purchase tickets or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please visit or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654.

About Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre:

Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment.  We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

Dreamcatcher's core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.

Dreamcatcher’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Area Public Foundation, the Manley-Winser Foundation, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals.  Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ at Paper Mill Playhouse


Reviewed by Ruth Ross (

The old adage, "The pen is mightier than the sword," aptly applies to the works of award-winning Montclair-born playwright Christopher Durang, who writes hilarious comedies with a fine sense of modern life’s absurdities, which he skewers with a rapier-sharp wit. He's taken on the Catholic Church, child abuse, our dependence on psychotherapy, even terrorism in works that feature sharp satire, crackling dialogue and off-the-wall comedy.

As is its wont in the month following the excitement of the holidays, the Paper Mill Playhouse eschews its usual musical comedy fare for a "straight" play, in this case Durang's 2013 Tony Award-winning (for Best Play) Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike now onstage in the Millburn theater through February 15.

In a wicked mash-up of Anton Chekhov's classic comedies—specifically, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard—Durang has fashioned a modern tale that, while referencing the Chekhovian themes of love and loss, satirizes our quest for eternal youth, our preoccupation with appearance and our infatuation with technology to the detriment of sharing and community.

Named by their community theater enthusiast parents after Chekhov's characters, middle-aged Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet single life in the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, stone farm house where they grew up, staying on after having cared for their aging and ailing parents for 15 years. The two spend their days reflecting on their lost chances, arguing whether the grove of nine cherry trees on the property constitutes an orchard and generally bemoaning their lot in life. Their gloomy (albeit peaceful) lives are turned topsy-turvy with the unannounced arrival of their overly dramatic movie star sister Masha with her latest beau, a 29-year-old would-be actor named Spike. Through two acts, along with three other characters, a wild weekend of raucous rivalry and regret ensues. Will Vanya and Sonia ever find happiness? Will Masha sell the house out from under her dependent siblings? And will Spike ever appear fully dressed?

You don't have to be familiar with Chekhov to understand all the in-jokes, for Durang provides much comedic fodder through his absurdist point-of-view. He does this through a series of monologues; each delivered by one of the four main characters. While this provides each actor with a chance to show his/her dramatic chops, most of them go on much too long. Too, as each character emotes, the others are left to stand around and just watch; I found it uncomfortable to watch them.


Mark Nelson (above right) is sympathetic and poignant as the gay Vanya, a man who has never held a job and hides an interest in playwrighting. He kind of moseys along agreeably until the penultimate scene, where he erupts in a eight-minute tirade about life in the fifties when people wrote letters, watched "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett," and licked stamps. As Sonia, who never tires of reminding everyone that she is adopted, Michelle Pawk (above left) morphs from dowdy spinster to begowned bombshell ("Sequins are a girl's best friend," she says) before our very eyes; she does a spot-on, and side-splitting imitation of Maggie Smith in "Plaza Suite" that brings down the house. And Carolyn McCormick (above center) as Masha is narcissism on steroids, swans around the morning room lamenting her inability to garner roles like her namesake in Three Sisters instead of the lead in a tacky franchise of "Sexy Killer" films. Returning from the costume party she has inveigled everyone to attend and miffed that her Snow White costume (a la Disney) has made her mistaken for Norma Desmond or a Hummel figurine, she throws the best tantrum by an adult I've seen in a long time.

As Spike, Philippe Bowgen (top 2nd from left) nails the male bimbo persona as he struts around the stage in his underwear. His hilarious monologue re-enacts his audition for a role in "Entourage 2," and he gets big laughs when, told to do a reverse strip-tease (get dressed), he swings his pants around his head and saws his belt between his legs. Extra laughs are provided by Gina Daniels as the maid Cassandra, who quotes Greek tragedy and predicts doom for this already gloomy assemblage. Rounding out the sestet is a winsome Jamie Ann Romero (top 2nd from right) as the lovely Nina, niece of the neighbors next door, who wanders over one afternoon, becomes enamored of the glamorous Masha and piques the aging actress's jealousy when Spike takes an inordinate interest in her. Sweetly, it is she who encourages Vanya's artistic endeavor and thus, brings an uncomfortable state of affairs to resolution.

Director Don Stephenson has directed this patchwork of a play with spirit and a sure hand. That actors have to stand around and observe as one delivers a long monologue owes more to Durang's inability to let an idea go than to sluggish rhythm. David Korins has designed a bucolic set reminiscent of the houses in Bucks County; Leon Dobkowski's dynamite costumes add to the fun. Mark Bennett's original music and Stephen Terry's lighting design are atmospheric and suggest very well the passage of time.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike may not be top-drawer Durang. While all of the characters are droll, much of the comedy is over the top and the various parts of the play don't always connect very well. But those who love the theater (especially Chekhov) and great comedic talent won't go wrong spending a warm two hours with this motley crew at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, through February 15. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.376.4343 or visit online.

Photos by Matthew Murphy/PMP

Monday, January 26, 2015

Due to Inclement Weather, RVCC Theatre Presentation Rescheduled


Due to the snowstorm, the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s presentation of The Other Mozart, originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 3. The show will be presented at noon and 7 p.m. on March 3.

Tickets for the original date will be honored at the March 3 presentation. For additional information, contact the box office at 908-725-3420, weekdays, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg.



‘Bell, Book and Candle’ next at Bergen County Players


Celebrating 82 Years, The Bergen County Players (BCP) to present Bell, Book and Candle. In a nutshell: Girl meets Boy. Girl loses Boy. Girl gets Boy. Sure, that’s a classic plot device, but what’s so special about it? Well, how about because the girl is a witch and the boy is a mortal? Sound familiar? It
should, because this magical rom-com, which originally starred Rex
Harrison on Broadway and then Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak in the
popular film, eventually became the genesis of television’s memorable
comedy “Bewitched”. Seen for the first time on the BCP stage and sure
to fit in with the Valentine’s season, this “enchanting and charmingly funny
mid-century bewitching romantic comedy is sure to beguile!”

Bell, Book and Candle, written by John Van Druten (whose play I Am a
Camera eventually became the musical Cabaret) will be performed at the
Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from Saturday, February 14th
through Saturday, March 7th. Friday and Saturday performances are at
8:00 PM and are priced at $21, while Sunday matinee performances begin
at 2:00 PM and feature a $17 price. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box
office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office

Bell, Book and Candle is directed by Jerry Pettinati, a Life member
and past President of BCP and a member of BCP’s Board of Governors. He
has directed more than 20 plays including A View From the Bridge, Of
Mice and Men, The Crucible, Sideman and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. He
has also appeared on stage in That Championship Season, How to Succeed
in Business Without Really Trying and Amadeus. He resides in Fair Lawn
with his wife, Marilyn, who is also a life member of the Players.

The talented cast of Bell, Book and Candle includes: Joanne Guarnaccia
(Gillian) of Englewood Cliffs, Penny Kaspar (Miss Holroyd) of
Ridgewood, Bill Porterfield (Shepherd Henderson) of Ridgewood, Matt
Rofofsky (Nicky Holroyd) of Fort Lee and Glenn Woertz (Sidney
Redlitch) of Warwick, NY.

The crew includes: Rhea Smith (Producer, Bios), Marisa Dolkart (Stage
Manager), Michael Smith (Set Design and Construction, Photography),
Gerard Bourcier (Lighting Designer), Neil Kahn (Sound Designer), Cliff
Dreispan (Sound Operation), Lori Milchman (Light Operation), Kathleen
Ruland (Assistant to the Director), Matt Rofofsky (Publicity), Michele
Roth (Costumes), Rosella DeVincenzo (Décor), Marilyn Pettinati
(Makeup), Barbra Murtha (Crew/Props) and Geri Berhain (Member-at-Large).

•        All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre
at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players
since 1949.  Performance times are Friday/Saturday at 8pm and Sunday
at 2pm.
•        Tickets for Bell, Book and Candle are $21 for Friday and
Saturday performances and $17 for Sunday performances. Tickets can be
purchased online at, 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
•        BCP’s popular Questions & Artists talkback session will be
held following the performance on Friday, March 13th. The session is
included in the cost of the ticket to that performance.
•        Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can
call (201) 261-4200 x6 for further information and group pricing.
•        Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID
are available in advance for $14 by phone or walk-up only. Student
Rush tickets can be purchased for $5 at the window starting 30 minutes
before curtain, depending on availability. There is a limit of one
Student Rush ticket per person and only cash is accepted.
•        Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the
street, one-half block north of the theater.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a
small community theatre when it was founded in 1932; today, more than
300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the
nine productions presented each season.

Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-equity, non-profit community theater
company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of
the community.

Further information can be found at

Photo: (seated l-r) Bill Porterfield, Joanne Guarnaccia and Matt Rofofsky and
(standing l-r) Glenn Woertz and Penny Kaspar      Photo by Michael Smith


Auditions: ‘Aesop’s Fables’ A Modern Adaptation at Women’s Theater Company


The Women’s Theater Company, a professional theater company located in Parsippany, NJ, will hold non-equity auditions on Thursday, January 29 from 5pm to 7pm for its production of Aesop’s Fables: A Modern Adaptation, in conjunction with The New Jersey Theater Alliance’s Stages Festival. The Stages Festival is the state’s largest annual theatre festival that provides discounted and free theatre performances, workshops and, events for all ages throughout the month of March.


Aesop’s Fables: A Modern Adaptation is a fun-filled, action-packed show that will keep young audiences on their toes! It takes the audience on a journey through 6 fables:

The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

The Fox and the Grapes

The Oak and the Reed

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Miller, Her Son, and the Donkey

The Tortoise and the Hare

Seeking: Two female actors: non-Equity; 20s

One male actor: non-Equity; 20s

All of the actors must be able to portray several different characters, have lots of energy on stage, and be comfortable interacting with a young audience.

Auditions are by appointment only. Please e-mail, for an appointment. Sides will be provided. Auditions will be held at the Women’s Theater Company, in residence at the Parsippany Playhouse, located at 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha, NJ.

Aesop’s Fables: A Modern Adaptation will run March March 13th, 14th, 15th,  and 20th, 21st and 22nd. Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3pm at the Parsippany Playhouse. For more information, please e-mail


The Stages Festival offers over 100 performances, workshops, classes, and events at the states professional theatres, performing arts centers, libraries, schools, senior centers, museums and other community venues. The program was developed to encourage New Jersey’s residents to attend their local professional theatres by making the experience affordable, accessible, and fun. Since its inception 18 years ago, the program has served over 90,000 people. To receive a full schedule of events for The Stages Festival please visit


World Premiere of ‘The M Spot’ next at NJ Rep

m spot

New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, is set to present the World Premiere of The M Spot by Michael Tucker, star of TV’s L.A. LAW. 

Jerry and Maddie have been married–forever–and are looking for something to recapture the former vitality of their marriage. They've been through the mill when it comes to therapists and well-meaning advice, so when the opportunity arises for them to go on a retreat to a new-age spa, complete with nude massages, Jerry is all for it.  Maddie, on the other hand, is a bit more reserved, and is naturally skeptical about the process and her husband’s motives. But when Maddie finally let’s go of her inhibitions with the aid of a lovely young masseuse, Jerry is left scratching his head wondering what he missed.

The cast includes Michael Tucker, Jill Eikenberry and Carey Van Driest and is directed by Evan Bergman. Sneak preview performances to this limited engagement begin Thursday, February 26 with opening night Saturday, February 28 at New Jersey Repertory Company (179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ), and will run through Sunday, March 29. Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or online at

The production team includes: Jessica Parks (Set Design & Props), Jill Nagle (Lighting Design), Merek Royce Press (Sound Design), Patricia E. Doherty (Costume Design), Michael “Rusty” Carroll (Technical Director), and Jennifer Tardibuono (Stage Manager).



Saturday, January 24, 2015

'Repairing a Nation' next at Crossroads in New Brunswick

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

Playwrights reading tonight-cancelled due to inclement weather

Forum Reading Series
Reading Cancelled January 24 2015
Due to inclement weather, the reading of Yasmine Rana's Jasmine Spring has been cancelled for January 24, 2015
There are predictions of additional freezing rain and icy road conditions for this evening, Saturday, January 24. For the safety of our audience and artists, we have decided to cancel the reading of Jasmine Spring. When we have a date to reschedule, we will contact all patrons via e-mail.

The final reading of the series is tomorrow Sunday January 25 at 7 pm with Chisa Hutchinson's play The Wedding Gift.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The safety of our patrons and artists is very important to us. There are many speed reductions and travel restrictions posted today, please look at local weather alerts to see conditions in your area, as conditions seem to vary depending upon location.

John Pietrowski
Artistic Director