Search This Blog

Monday, December 31, 2012

Luna Stage's new play reading series

For Tickets: Call (973) 395-5551 or buy online!

News from The Barn

The Barn Theatre PresentsDecember 31, 2012
 
Our 2012-2013 Season
Noises Off!
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!
Fuddy Meers
God of Carnage
A Chorus Line
    
The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47.
Click here for map/directions
 
CONTACT INFO:
(973) 334-9320P.O. Box 102
Montville, NJ 07045
info@barntheatre.org
 
For more information:
www.barntheatre.org


 
Plus:  Auditions for "GOD OF CARNAGE" on Jan. 13 & 14
and submissions for our summer Once Act/Dance festival
as our 85th ANNIVERSAY SEASON continues!
"FUDDY MEERS" opens January 11!
[Photo by Tom Schopper]
The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey is proud to continue its 85th Anniversary Season with the offbeat comedy "FUDDY MEERS."   Performances will be on January 11, 19, 25, 26 and February 1 & 2 at 8pm; and January 12, 13, 20 and 27 at 2pm. Tickets are $18 (senior/student tickets are $16 on matinees only). 

Fuddy Meers finds Claire with a rare form of amnesia that erases her memory whenever she falls asleep. With the help of her husband and a scrapbook she rebuilds her life each day. But today is not her usual stroll down amnesia lane. Get ready for a wild adventure with Claire and the most outrageously dark yet funny characters to visit the Barn's stage in years. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, the Barn Theatre's production of "FUDDY MEERS" is directed by Todd Mills.

The 7-person cast of "
FUDDY MEERS" features Jill Bormann (as Claire), Fred Halperin (as Richard), Jean Habrukowich (as Gertie), Anthony Duke Claus (as Kenny), Caroline Crafton (as Heidi), Joe Guadara (as Millet) and Michael Reddin (as Limping Man).

The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287. For more reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn on the web atwww.barntheatre.org



AUDITION INFO
 
"GOD of CARNAGE" Auditions -
Jan. 13 & 14
 
The Barn Theatre in Montville will be holding auditions for the 2009 Tony award-winner "God of Carnage" by Yazmina Reza. The show is directed by Jeff Knapp. Auditions are Sunday and Monday, January 13 and 14, 2013 from 7:00-10:00 pm. No callbacks, but there will be a read-thru with the cast on the evening of January 15.
All rolls are open. Performance dates are March 15 - April 7, 2013 (please note: there will be no performance on March 30, 2013 in observance of Easter).
Show description: It starts simply enough: one kid knocks another kid’s two front teeth out with a stick. It ends with parents at odds trying to come to grips with the events of the day as much as their own place in it and inflicting just as much carnage upon each other, though none of it, in this case, is physical. Their meeting starts like an easy superficial domestic comedy, but later (with the aid of some rum) veers into a darkly comedic territory where harsh truths are revealed, principles are questioned and who is going to clean up the mess? Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Cast requirements (2m, 2w):
  • Veronica Novak (40s) - married to Michael, they have an eleven-year-old son named Henry. A writer, she works part-time in an art history bookstore. Dedicated and devoted to her children; with a judgmental, type “A” personality, she has a way of getting her way in most familial situations.
  • Michael Novak (40s). Married to Veronica. Owner of a wholesale company that sells household goods, Michael is a peace-maker on the surface but reveals himself to be uncouth and neurotic.
  • Alan Raleigh (40s). Married to Annette, they have an eleven-year-old son named Benjamin. A corporate lawyer, he is smart, quick, rational - but also rude and completely centered on his job.
  • Annette Raleigh (40s). Married to Alan; she works in wealth management. Often passive and polite, she and her husband enjoy an affluent life style. But her calmness erodes as she teeters on the edge of a panic attack.
Readings from the script will be provided. Sides for the auditions (page numbers from the Dramatists Play Service publication) are:
• pg 5-7 (thru Alan's line "Excuse Me")
• pg 11-12 (starting with Veronica's line "So what does Benjamin have to say about it?" and ending on bottom of 12.)
• pg 24-25 (starting with Alan's line "If anyone calls me a snitch..." and ending with Annette's line "Me too" on bottom of 25)
• pg 31-33 (starting with Veronica's line "Listen, Mr. Raleigh..." and ending with Michael's line "Of course I believe it")
• pg 41-43 (starting with Annette's line "Let's get out of here, Alan..." and ending with Annette's line "Alan, let's go! What are we doing, staying in this dump?")

Please arrive within the first hour of the audition to register. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are welcome and encouraged. If you have any questions about the play or auditions, please contact the director, Jeff Knapp, atcarnage@barntheatre.org

The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47. For more information or directions, call (973) 334-9320, or visitwww.barntheatre.org




 Info regarding our upcoming
One Act and Dance Festival
(coming June 2013).... 

 
Attention PLAYWRIGHTS - DIRECTORS - CHOREOGRAPHERS - DESIGNERS: we are still accepting submissions!!
 
The Barn Theatre is proud to announce the return of The Solstice Showcase, its annual festival of original one act plays and dance compositions. This three day event showcases new works of up and coming writers from the NJ/NY area and beyond as well as other theatrical talent.
Aspiring playwrights and newcomers wishing to try their hand at directing or designing are especially welcomed and encouraged to become involved.

We are now accepting applications for:

For full details and guidelines and to submit your play or application online, please visit:
 
 

 
 
 
 
 The Barn Theatre  |  32 Skyline Drive, Montville, NJ 07045  |  BOX OFFICE: 973-334-9320  |  www.barntheatre.org

Thursday, December 27, 2012

News from Luna Stage


TONIGHT@ Luna StageThis weekend at Luna Stage
Supernatural - A Special Luna Stage Event, Saturday, January 5, 2013
Don’t miss this full-day event featuring vendors selling natural hair products from 2pm-6pm and a staged reading of Supernatural by Candace Kelley, Audrey Kelley & Gilda Rogers at 7:30pm.

Vendors include Fab, one of a kind pieces of jewelry, natural hair specialists, reiki masters, funky t-shirts, head wrapping sessions, nutritionists, clothing, purses, massage therapists and everyone will receive discount tickets to local restaurants.

Admission to the vendor area is free.

Admission to the 7:30pm reading of Supernatural is $20. Tickets can be purchased online atlunastage.org, in person Tues.-Fri. from 10am-3pm, or by phone at 973-395-5551.

Set in none other than Brooklyn, New York in Bed-Stuy, Supernatural is the funny and insightful play about Natural Hair journeys. Women from all points of the globe are gathering by the droves to celebrate their natural hair, leaving chemicals behind and making the bold statement that their hair is just fine. The play explores the lives of six women who are forced to confront their natural hair and themselves. Filled with stories of triumph, these women are guaranteed to make you laugh and will inspire you to think about what God gave you.

For more information on the whole day of events, visit lunastage.org.
Spaces Are Still Available For DEFINE "BULLY!"
A Free Workshop For High School Students 
bully
Don't Forget To Mark Your Calendars for the Next Stand-Up Comedy Night - Thursday, January 10 at 8pm 
Stand-Up Comedy Night at Luna hosted by comedy circuit favorite Monroe Martin III (Broadway Comedy Club).
Luna Stage’s Stand-Up Comedy Nights feature stand-up comedy from the tri-state area’s up-and-coming comics seen on MTV, NBC, Comedy Central, and in comedy clubs across the country. For mature audiences only!

Tickets: $10. To get your tickets, click here. Or call the box office 973-395-5551

Request for support from Crossroads Theatre Company

HAPPY HOLIDAYS
FROM THE
CROSSROADS THEATRE COMPANY
TO ONE AND ALL !

An Appeal from André De Shields
- Two-time Tony Award nominee
- Emmy Award winner - Ain't Misbehavin'

Greetings, Friends of Crossroads:

First and foremost, as 2012 transitions into 2013, I am writing to wish both spiritual abundance and material prosperity for you all.

Part of life's prosperity has to do with how we choose to heal and inspire our lives. Here at Crossroads, we like to think that we are your partners in that process. And we do that through our artistic mission of presenting the best theatre, plays and musicals, at affordable prices.

Productions at Crossroads reflect the diversity and tell the stories of not only the multicultural communities of New Jersey, but communities across the nation and around the globe.

Service to the community is the very purpose of not-for-profit art centers such as Crossroads. I cannot stress enough how your support of that vision and artistic process makes it possible for the Crossroads Theatre Company to continue its pursuit of excellence.Money is not why we do what we do, but it is a necessary element of how we do what we do.

In the world of not-for-profit theatre the price of a ticket alone cannot pay the total cost of quality productions. That is why I am making this appeal on behalf of my artistic home, Crossroads Theatre Company. Art matters; theatre and the artists who create it have value.

Make that value a part of your daily lives by supporting Crossroads.

Gratefully,

André De Shields
Photo Credit: Lia Chang
7 LIVINGSTON AVE. NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901
www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org | 732-545-8100

Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:
American Express
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
The Prudential 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
Crossroads Theatre Company is a Senior Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance
and a member of the Theater Communications Group

Bergen County Players 80th Season Drama to open on January 12


Arthur Miller’s engrossing and fascinating take on family loyalty makes its Bergen County Players’ (BCP) stage debut as part of the troupe’s landmark 80th season. "The Price" will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from January 12th through February 2nd. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets 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.

Hailed as “scintillating, powerful, and moving” by the Telegraph of London, The Price explores how the choices of one’s youth determine the outcome of one’s life, focusing on two estranged brothers. Walter, a prosperous physician (J. Edmund Fond), and Vincent (played by Andrew Lionetti), a veteran cop struggling to make ends meet confront each other for the first time in 16 years to sell their recently deceased father’s belongings and divide his crumbling estate.

However, all is not as it seems as family secrets—and their father’s duplicity—are revealed, thrusting the brothers into conflict, and bringing into sharp contrast the stark choices between familial duty and personal ambition.

Originally staged at the Morosco Theatre in 1968, and nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play, this character-driven drama features a fiery combination of deft staging by veteran director Peter Colletto (The Solid Gold Cadillac, Lend Me a Tenor, Fuddy Meers, and the female version of The Odd Couple) and a slate of powerhouse local actors, including Andrew Lionetti (Westwood), J. Edmund Fond (Secaucus), Sharon Posada (Emerson) and Ed Gross (Westwood), promising an evening of unforgettable theater.


The production team includes Peter Colletto (Director), Noel Schoonover (Producer), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Joanne Misha (Assistant to the Director), Michael Smith (Set Design), Brian Eller, Rosella DeVincenzo and Robin Johnson (Set Décor), Bunny Mateosian (Costume Design), Ray Poquette (Lighting Design), Neil Kahn (Sound Design), Laura Bateman (Properties), Peter Oliff (Lighting Operation), Rosemary DeFlorio (Sound Operation), Edie Orlando (Makeup), John Ade (Publicity), Michael Smith (Photography), Joanna Bell Koster (Program Bios), and Kathie Robitz (Member-at-Large).

TICKET AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION

• All performances of "The Price" take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.

• Tickets $20 for all Friday and Saturday performances, $16 for all Sunday performances, and can be purchased online at
www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

• Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets at a discounted rate may call (201) 262-0515.

• As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a "Questions & Artists" (Q&A) discussion following the first Friday night performance on January 18th.

• Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or as a $5 walk-up “rush” ticket starting 30 minutes before curtain.

• 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 theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

Further information can be found at
www.bcplayers.org.


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

Hudson Theatre Works fundraiser news

Happy New Year 2013
Happy Holidays from
Hudson Theatre Works
Hudson Theatre Works It's officially the last minute!
Kickstart "Of Mice and Men" Today

A message from Artistic Director, Frank Licato, and our Board of Trustees, Karen Brady, Greg Erbach, Gary Frazier, Tom Jeszeck, Ann Lowe, Joan LeFosse Paulsen, Sally Ponzio, and Donald Stark.

Dear friends,

We've come a long way since we started our Kickstarter fundraising campaign for "Of Mice and Men" at the end of November and are so close to reaching our goal. Thank you so much if you have already donated and shared our campaign via Facebook, Twitter, or email - we really appreciate your support!

It's officially the last minute! Kickstarter campaigns are successful because many people make donations. At our new donation level of $25 you can pre-pay for your ticket to the show or there are t-shirts and our opening night party at higher levels. So why not buy your ticket in advance or consider coming to our opening night?
Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition, designed so projects that deserve to get funded, get funded! There are just a few days left so please join our supporters, friends and board of trustees and pledge today to help bring this wonderful production to life this spring. Remember, the online Kickstarter campaign ENDS this Sunday, December 30th .

Please visit www.kickstarter.com to watch our video and make your pledge.

Happy New Year from all of us at Hudson Theatre Works and Thank You for Supporting Great Theatre in 2013.

P.S. There is lots more on our 2013 agenda: our first two mainstage productions; our first Holiday show; our 3rd PlayWorks Series; The Forge - a playwrights/actor workshop; arts in education opportunities; and bringing theatre to under served audiences.
Join Our Mailing List!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'The Company' theatre group seeking new home


During hard economic times, grant funding for the arts is an easy target for the chopping block, with regional dance companies and theatre groups feeling the brunt of dwindling financial support and audiences limiting entertainment choices due to reduced disposable income. Despite such dire circumstances, one Dumont couple is refusing to let the current state of the arts dim their dream of keeping regional theatre alive and well in Bergen County.

Theatre Company’s Born

In 2007, eager to bring their style of collaborative theatre to local audiences, Louis Scarpati and Andrea Prendamano, partners in life, joined forces with three like-minded friends who were actors, writers or directors to form one of Bergen County’s only professional theatre companies.

“Back then, we met in Louis’ living room, and drawing inspiration from the acclaimed Group Theatre, decided the time was right to start our own repertory company,” recalls Prendamano, actor and group secretary. Today, she, along with Scarpati, and two other original members of The Company Theatre Group, Inc. (affectionately known as “The Company”) are more determined than ever to provide thought-provoking entertainment to everyone who comes to their productions.

The group is guided by five basic principles: to create outstanding Theatre; present “life in fiction” in every performance; develop a safe, non-judgmental home where artists can grow, take risks and explore the creative process; produce exciting, thought-provoking and interesting plays and support new artists and playwrights through workshops, classes, and readings.

Prendamano explained the group’s unique philosophy: “We differ from other companies in that our shows are just about completely spontaneous, almost improv-like. If you see a show on Saturday and come back to the same show on Sunday, you will have a different experience. This is because Lou, who currently directs all of our productions, prefers that rehearsals and performances be both completely communal and team-oriented where the actors are encouraged to bring their ideas and just ‘play.’ This gives them the freedom to continually discover who their characters are and portray those characters honestly and without restraint, even during a performance.”

As a result of this novel approach, The Company has an opportunity to virtually bring a play to life on the stage, and since every performance is highly organic, no two shows are ever the same. As Scarpati, the managing artistic director puts it: “When we’re firing on all cylinders, a typical audience member feels as if they are seeing real life unfold right before their eyes. In large measure this is because it is the first time the show is being performed in exactly that way. Our talented actors live in the moments of a production. And just like in real life, things can go in many different ways, so that’s what happens each night on stage as well.”

Taking on such a venture, while a noble undertaking, is no easy task, especially when working on a limited budget while striving to keep the doors open and offer North Jersey quality, professional theatre.

“As with most arts organizations, funding and ticket sales are always a struggle,” Scarpati notes. “Additionally, our location is not ideal, and we do not get any real ‘walkups’ to the box office.” (The group currently rents space from the city at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center.)

“We are looking to get a new and permanent home to help alleviate that,” Prendamano adds.

Notwithstanding such challenges, it’s the mission that motivates this company. According to Scarpati, “We have a shared love of theatre, reality based-production, and creating characters, which comes through in all of our shows. Even though budgets are tight, The Company offers free public readings of classic and new plays, as well as donates a substantial number of tickets to every senior center in Bergen County.”

“We believe in presenting authentic human behavior on stage; ‘life in fiction,’ we like to call it,” Prendamano notes. “Our goal is to create an environment and experience where each audience member can feel like the proverbial fly on the wall, watching the lives of real people unfold—and sometimes unravel—right before their eyes.”

It’s a page that could be taken from the Group Theatre, which was established in the 1930s by a community of actors, directors, writers and composers with the intention of mounting original American plays that would reflect the times. In due course, they actually altered the direction of American theater.

“We hope to model ourselves on the kind of repertory company that they created, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that,” says Scarpati.

To that aim, The Company, which now consists of Prendamano and Scarpati, a team whose credits include several off-Broadway productions, including Last Jew in Europe and Queue; Joe Curran, a founding member and set designer who works both in front of the audience and backstage; and David Russo, actor and the fourth founding member, consistently adds talented actors and theatre professionals to its ongoing roster. This year, the group celebrated its fourth year in operation. Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, The Company Theatre Group continues its search for a permanent residence. In March 2013, group members will present an evening of one-act plays at the Nunnbetter Dance Theater in Bergenfield and in June they’ll be back at The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center with the comedy Cahoots.

For More Info, visit www.theatrecompany.biz

New Jersey Footlight Awards for 2012

As the year comes to a close we looked back at the 56 plays that we had the opportunity to review since January 2012. The plays we covered included mostly professional plus a small group of community theatre productions.

Due to overlapping schedules and travel concerns because of weather and other considerations it was, of course, not physically possible to cover the nearly 100 productions that invited us to review. That said...here (with our review comments) is our selection of performers and/or productions that we award a "Footlight" for excellence. This was no easy task, the level of performances were equal to most of the activity across the Hudson. Not surprising since much of our talent works both sides of the river. Simply put...theater is alive and well in New Jersey. 


INDIVIDUALS

John Bedford Lloyd and Aisha Hinds


"Aisha Hinds, (George Street Playhouse "Best of Enemies") a television and film veteran, is superb (this may be an understatement) as Ann Atwater, a tough, sarcastic woman who has suffered much of her life. Married at gunpoint, abandoned by her husband and recently unemployed after being dismissed from a longtime position in a wealthy white home for objecting to constant demeaning treatment, she has the courage to stand up to the discrimination and becomes a voice for her community. Aisha can convey more with a raised eyebrow than most can do with a page of script."

Scott McGowan and Noreen Farley
  
"Noreen Farley (fabulous in last season's "Blood...a comedy") and Scott McGowan were truly outstanding in Dreamcatcher's world premiere production of "Neighborhood" by Artistic Director Laura Ekstrand.

Scott McGowan and Christine Marie Heath
  
Scott McGowan also for "I Do! I Do!" at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown last May. "This was an utterly charming gem of a production."


William Michals (right) and cast of "The Man of La Mancha"

 William Michals (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ's "Man of La Mancha") "Back to the word 'spectacular,' what lifts this production from merely 'excellent' to the spectacular level can be stated in two words....William Michals. His magnificent baritone voice, whether speaking or singing, as well as his physical appearance and performing skills are superior to a very fine cast. Please understand, this is a very fine cast, all excellent actors worthy of any national stage. Michals, however, is world class. It may be an overused expression, but in this one case I believe to be completely true..."it is worth the price of admission to see and hear William Michals."


Howard McGillin and Stacie Morgain Lewis

Howard McGillin (George Street's "39 Steps") "Leading the fun parade is two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin. McGillin is perfect as the John Cleese-like 'man-on-the run' Richard Hannay. Whether comedy or drama, McGillin always impresses (he just finished as The Devil in the Paper Mill's 'Damn Yankees' and of course, his record-setting performance in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway)."


Liz Zazzi
  
Liz Zazzi: "A quirky gem of a comedy is on stage at the Burgdorf Cultural Center in Maplewood featuring the the lady we consider 'The Queen of New Jersey comedy' the always wonderful Liz Zazzi. Zazzi always amazes us with her special talent to lift any production she is in. However, no special lift is needed in The Theater Project's off-the wall production of Jeff Whitty's "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler."


Pascale Armand
   
Pascale Armand: (McCarter Center's "Convert") "This is an outstanding cast, led by Pascale Armand, in a powerful, thoughtful drama...(with a) dramatic, kick in the stomach Act Three... and the thunderous standing ovation that followed."



Carl Wallnau
  
Carl Wallnau: (Centenary Stage Company's "Ladies Man") "This handsome production is directed by the CSC's Artistic Director and frequent star, Carl Wallnau. Not only a fine director of comedy, he is also a master of casting. He wisely chose for the leading role, Dr. Hercule Molineaux, the star of CSC's 2010 'Oliver' (Fagan) Carl Wallnau. Carl is perfect in this wacky role."

Mark Linn-Baker
Mark Linn-Baker: (George Street Playhouse's " One Slight Hitch") "The show is a belly-laugh event for most of the evening largely due to two superior comedy actors who play a long-married couple, Lisbeth Mackay as Delia Coleman, a Broadway veteran who recently played Delia in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production and Mark Linn-Baker as Doc Coleman, also a Broadway veteran, plus film and television." The show was a star-turn for Mark and he shined."


J.C. Hoyt (upper right) with cast of "The Fantasticks"

J.C Hoyt: (Women's Theater Company' "The Fantasticks") "It is small scale musical, with minimalist set design, that has a cast of eight including veteran actor, J.C Hoyt, who performed in the original Sullivan Street production. Hoyt's spot-on performance as the faded Shakespearean actor Henry, who makes his entrance by climbing out of an old trunk, is worth the price of admission alone." 
Steve Graham

  
Steve Graham: (Growing Stage's "Suessical") "The play is beautifully designed to entertain all ages, grandparents, parents, teens, and youngsters down to three. Everything about this production that features six excellent equity performers, plus a cast of adult and junior community players is a delight. This, of course, is what we have come to expect from Steve Fredericks and company. The large cast of 31 is led by Steve Graham as The Cat in the Hat. He is absolutely perfect as the exuberant narrator and ringmaster.


PLAYS

Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" (McCarter Center) "A new play from Christopher Durang at the McCarter Theatre Center. Following the McCarter, on October 25 it opened at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater."

"Not only is it a very funny evening of absurd satire from the master of satire Durang, it is blessed with a fantastic cast that includes three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver,
four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce, and Obie Award winner Kristine Nielsen."



"12 Angry Men" (George Street Playhouse) "A flawless, thrilling performance by a superior cast of film, tv and Broadway veterans. This is an ensemble effort where it may be wrong to single out anyone performer....each was excellent in their role."



"The Sound of Music" (Paper Mill Playhouse) "For every lover of this America classic this is a must see event. For those who simply love live musical theater this is a spectacular treat for both the eye and the ear."



"A Chorus Line" (Paper Mill Playhouse) "The Paper Mill Playhouse's production that premiered this past Sunday...like the song "One" it is a singular sensation. The production is excellent...exciting from curtain to curtain, for a show almost 40 years old it is anything but stale. It should not, of course, come as a surprise since the cast of 26 that director and choreographer Mitzi Hamilton assembled are largely veterans of the recent Broadway revival and the national touring company."



"The Liar" (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey) "What takes this play to a special level, adding greatly to the enjoyment, is that the entire play is delivered in very clever, very amusing modern rhyming verse. "The Liar" is a fun romantic event that, of course, has a happy ending (with a nice twist)."




"The Mousetrap": (Centenary Stage Company) "New Jersey fans don't have to cross the Atlantic to see an absolutely first rate production of "The Mousetrap." The producers are now permitting productions outside London.This past weekend the very creative folks at Centenary Stage Company premiered their faithful version of "The Mousetrap." We saw the play in London in its 40th year and the production we saw this week in Hackettstown is the equal to London. First: the set is perfect, an impressive recreation of the Great Hall of a small English country inn by Emmy Award-winning set designer Bob Phillips. Second: There is the matter of the cast; perfect again, director Carl Wallnau has a terrific cast of eight, all but two are Equity professionals; and Third: the superior Agatha Christie "whodunit" plot with a twist ending, which the audience is traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre."




"Man of La Mancha" "The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's spectacular production of the musical "Man of La Mancha." Director Bonnie J. Monte has produced an exciting retelling of the story of Miguel de Cervantes' creation "Don Quixote." 



 COMMUNITY THEATRE


Katherine LeFevre as Sally Bowles at the Kit Kat Klub

"Cabaret" The final production of the 2011-12 season at one of New Jersey's premiere community theatres, the Chatham Community Players in Chatham, is a 'must-see' masterful staging of one of the great musicals of all time, the Tony Award winning musical, "Cabaret."




"Noises Off": (The Barn Theatre) "We saw a stunning production of "Noises Off" with a wonderfully talented cast out Marx-ing the Marx Brothers at their madcap, door slamming, door opening wild best. Plus a most impressive moveable set far above what might be expected from a community theatre of non-professionals. But of course, this is The Barn Theatre that has for many years (85th season) won raves for the quality of its productions, certainly equal to Off-Broadway and very often better."
  
  
Photos-Chatham: Howard Fisher;  Shakespeare: Gerry Goldstein; McCarter, George Street Playhouse and Paper Mill: T. Charles Erickson; Liz Zazzi and Steve Graham: Rick Busciglio; Centenary:  Carl Wallnau; Barn: Tom Schopper.

Christmas greeting from the cast of 'Sound of Music' at the Paper Mill Playhouse

Here is a fun video from the cast of "The Sound of Music"






From our review:

For every lover of this America classic this is a must see event. For those who simply love live musical theater this is a spectacular treat for both the eye and the ear. 
 
The Sound of Music will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater to December 30, 2012. It will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday.

Single tickets range from $26 to $97. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Pennington Players' 'The Miracle Worker' next at Kelsey Theatre

Isabel Kinney as Helen and Jennifer Nasta Zefutie as Annie


The Pennington Players bring William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker to the Kelsey Theatre stage. The story of The Miracle Worker is one of the most inspiring of our times, relating the triumph of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, February 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, February 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

In keeping with the theme and subject matter of the play, the Pennington Players are offering the audience the experience of an ASL interpreted performance for the deaf, hard of hearing and ASL community at the 8pm performance on Saturday, February 9, 2013. At the American Sign Language interpreted performance, two professional ASL interpreters will use their skills to convey the live theatrical performance. Select seating is available for those who wish to be closest to the ASL interpreters; interested patrons must request to be ticketed in these designated seats. The performance is open to everyone for the same price as the other performances.

The performance will be interpreted by Allwynn Baskin and Lisette Weiland and will be done in conjunction with the actual performance provided by the cast. American Sign Language (ASL) is used for interpreting the performing arts for deaf or hearing-impaired audiences. Two interpreters will located on a corner of the stage will translate the dialogue into American Sign Language. ASL is a visual-gestural language used by many deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and Canada. It is a complete language with its own grammar and syntax. It is not merely pantomime nor is it English using the hands. It is not universal. 

In 1880s Tuscumbia, Alabama, an illness renders 19 month old Helen Keller blind, deaf, and consequently mute (deaf-mute). Pitied and badly spoiled by her parents, she learns no discipline and grows into a wild, raging creature by the age of six. Desperate, the Kellers hire Anne Sullivan to serve as a governess and teacher for their young daughter. After several fierce battles with Helen, Anne convinces her parents she needs two weeks alone with her if she is to achieve any progress in her education. In that time, she teaches her discipline and language through the use of the manual alphabet, and finally a breakthrough that has a direct effect on everyone's life and the way they live it.

The play centers on the relationship between young Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, who, through perseverance and guile, reaches into Helen's world and brings her the gift of language: sign language. "This play is a journey from darkness to light on many levels, and not just for Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, but also for the entire cast and the audience," says Judi Parrish, director of the production.

Originally a teleplay written by William Gibson, The Miracle Worker premiered on Broadway in 1959, starring Patty Duke as the irascible Helen Keller, and Anne Bancroft as the unyielding Annie Sullivan. The play was then adapted into the famous feature-length film, in which Duke and Bancroft reprised their roles. 

The leading role of Annie Sullivan will be played by Jennifer Nasta Zefutie, of Cranbury, with 11 year old Isabel Kinney of Cranbury playing the role of Helen. Both actresses are making their Kelsey Theatre debuts. They have spent numerous hours learning the American Sign Language Manual Alphabet and working through the several physically challenging scenes between Helen and Annie. 

In another connection to the subject matter, Isabel Kinney (Helen) is an official puppy raiser for the Seeing Eye. On November 23rd, she received her first puppy, a black lab named ALu. Until a Seeing Eye dog is ready for training, it spends its time with a "foster family", a family that gives the dog love, gentle guidance, and consistent care. Isabel and her family are happily undertaking their first puppy training. When it’s time for the puppy to begin formal training, the dog returns to The Seeing Eye to learn to assist a blind person in leading a more independent, fulfilling life. The Seeing Eye, Inc. is the oldest existing guide dog school in the world. Since 1929, The Seeing Eye has partnered with people who are blind who seek to enhance their independence, dignity, and self-confidence through the use of Seeing Eye dogs. 

Completing the cast are Morgan Petronis of Delran as Kate Keller; Moot Davis of Hamilton as Captain Keller; Graham Mazie of Ewing, NJas James Keller; Laurie Hardy of Hamilton as Aunt Ev; Tia Brown of Lawrenceville as Viney; Justin Saintil of West Windsor as Percy; Isis Henderson of Hamilton Square as Martha and Scott Karlin of Plainsboro as the Doctor and Mr. Anagnos. The blind girls from the Perkins School are played by Amanda Banks of Princeton, Taylor Buffa of New Egypt, Marissa Marciano of Plainsboro, Julia Patella of Cranbury, and Julia Weingaertner of Princeton Junction. Voice over roles are being performed by Simon Hamilton of Princeton as Jimmie Sullivan, with the adult voice over parts performed by Scott Karlin and Rosie Karlin of Plainsboro; M. Kitty Getlik of Hamilton and Laurie Hardy. 

The show is produced by Beverly Kuo Hamilton of Princeton, directed by Judi Parrish of West Trenton, stage management by Eliza Burwell of Hopewell; technical direction by Bryan Schendlinger of Langhorne, PA; lighting design by M. Kitty Getlik; costume design by Kathy Slothower of Plainsboro and properties by Dottie Farina of Hamilton.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre box office at 609-570-3333, or order online at http://www.kelseyatmccc.org.

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Arthur Miller's 'The Price' to open BCP's 80th season

Arthur Miller’s engrossing and fascinating take on family loyalty makes its Bergen County Players’ (BCP) stage debut as part of the troupe’s landmark 80th season. "The Price" will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from January 12th through February 2nd. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets 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.

Hailed as “scintillating, powerful, and moving” by the Telegraph of London, "The Price" explores how the choices of one’s youth determine the outcome of one’s life, focusing on two estranged brothers. Walter, a prosperous physician (J. Edmund Fond), and Vincent (played by Andrew Lionetti), a veteran cop struggling to make ends meet confront each other for the first time in 16 years to sell their recently deceased father’s belongings and divide his crumbling estate.

However, all is not as it seems as family secrets—and their father’s duplicity—are revealed, thrusting the brothers into conflict, and bringing into sharp contrast the stark choices between familial duty and personal ambition.

Originally staged at the Morosco Theatre in 1968, and nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play, this character-driven drama features a fiery combination of deft staging by veteran director Peter Colletto (The Solid Gold Cadillac, Lend Me a Tenor, Fuddy Meers, and the female version of The Odd Couple) and a slate of powerhouse local actors, including Andrew Lionetti (Westwood), J. Edmund Fond (Secaucus), Sharon Posada (Emerson) and Ed Gross (Westwood), promising an evening of unforgettable theater.

The production team includes Peter Colletto (Director), Noel Schoonover (Producer), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Joanne Misha (Assistant to the Director), Michael Smith (Set Design), Brian Eller, Rosella DeVincenzo and Robin Johnson (Set Décor), Bunny Mateosian (Costume Design), Ray Poquette (Lighting Design), Neil Kahn (Sound Design), Laura Bateman (Properties), Peter Oliff (Lighting Operation), Rosemary DeFlorio (Sound Operation), Edie Orlando (Makeup), John Ade (Publicity), Michael Smith (Photography), Joanna Bell Koster (Program Bios), and Kathie Robitz (Member-at-Large).

TICKET AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION
• All performances of The Price take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.
• Tickets for The Price are $20 for all Friday and Saturday performances, $16 for all Sunday performances, and can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
• Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets at a discounted rate may call (201) 262-0515.
• As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a "Questions & Artists" (Q&A) discussion following the first Friday night performance on January 18th.
• Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or as a $5 walk-up “rush” ticket starting 30 minutes before curtain.
• 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 theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

Further information can be found at www.bcplayers.org.

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