Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Edward Albee's 'A Delicate Balance' is superb theatre at the McCarter Center

L-R  John Glover, Kathleen Chalfant and Penny Fuller (Photo-Richard Termine)


Edward Albee's 1966 Pulitzer Prize winning play "A Delicate Balance" opened this past weekend at the McCarter Center in Princeton. This is the now classic study of a privileged, but highly dysfunctional American family. In the hands of Director Emily Mann (also McCarter's Artistic Director) "A Delicate Balance" is a truly outstanding production. First, the play itself may have been written in the 1960s, but the story of regret over past decisions, emotional insecurities, missed opportunities, loss of a loved one and the extent of friendship is timeless. The strained family situation in 1966 still rings true in 2013. 

Then second, there is the matter of the cast....exceptional...marvelous....superb.... are just a few adjectives which apply to all. The cast includes two-time Obie Award-winner and Tony nominee Kathleen Chalfant as the domineering Agnes and Tony Award-winner John Glover as her retired businessman husband of 40 years, Tobias. They live a very comfortable suburban life centered around their country club and the family martini shaker. 
The other permanent member of the household is Agnes', 50 or 60 something, unmarried alcoholic, sister Claire, who resides with them at the generosity of Tobias. She probably is most aware of the origins of the constant emotional turmoil between sister, brother-in-law, their four-times married daughter Julia and herself. 

Playing Claire, the wit of the family, who is almost always tipsy is two-time Tony nominee Penny Fuller. Claire insists she is not an alcoholic but rather a willful drinker. Daughter Julia who has returned home after her fourth failed marriage is played by Francesca Faridany.

Whenever any two of them are in the same room, in the plays case, the handsome living room, verbal fireworks follow. All four in the same room produce a pyrotechnic display worthy of Macy's Fourth of July extravaganza or that other dysfunctional couple from Albee’s other huge Broadway hit "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?."

Oil is added to the fire when Agnes and Tobias's best friends, Edna and Harry arrive "to stay." Seems they are frightened in their own home and assume their best friends will accept them willingly into their household on a permanent basis. Their claim to Julia's old bedroom keeps her in an almost constant state of hysterics Playing this duo are Roberta Maxwell as Edna and James A. Stephens as Harry.

Each of the six members of the cast are excellent, with Kathleen Chalfant (photo), John Glover and Penny Fuller truly outstanding in the lead roles. John Glover's (and the plays) great moment comes in the third act when he cracks up and delivers what Albee refers to as Tobias' aria. 
Some of the relationship difficulties and emotional expressions of the play may resonate uncomfortably with those of us who are of a certain age. Albee's response (from a past interview) "If I wrote plays about everyone getting along terribly well, I don’t think anyone would want to see them. . . . You have to show people things that aren’t working well . . . in the hope that people will make them work better."
“One of the great joys of my life is having a working relationship with Edward Albee,” says director Emily Mann. "My admiration and respect for him is unshakeable. It’s an incredible privilege to be working on Edward’s masterpiece with him still here and very, very, clear in his needs, feelings, and desires for the place. He and I don’t mince words with each other. We’re honest with each other. We respect each other. We have a good banter, a good relationship, and also I learn so much from him. "A Delicate Balance" is one of the greatest American plays.”

For the third outstanding part of the production... credit Emily Mann's production team for providing a visual treat. To begin, the set by Daniel Ostling is most impressive...clearly the home of  wealthy country clubbers, spot-on costumes by Jennifer von Mayrhauser and very effective lighting by Lap Chi Chu. The casting director is Laura Stanczyk and production stage manager Alison Cote.
The play is in three acts (two intermissions). Total time with intermissions is about three hours. It is presented in the very comfortable, stadium seating Berlind theatre.
You have until February 17 to see this most remarkable production. This is superior theatre at every level. Next stop Broadway?

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio January 30, 2013


Tickets for Edward Albee’s "A Delicate Balance" range from $20-$65, and are available online at www.mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, and in person at the McCarter Theatre ticket office (91 University Place, Princeton). Student and group rates are also available.

McCarter Theatre Center is easily accessible by car via US Route 1, Interstate 95/295, and NJ Route 206. Or take the train to McCarter: New Jersey Transit serves Princeton Junction via the Northeast Corridor Line. Then it’s a ride of four minutes on New Jersey Transit’s “Dinky” train to Princeton Station. McCarter is directly across the street at 91 University Place.
Penny Fuller and Francesca Faridany (Photo-Richard Termine)

CTG's 'Love, Loss and What I Wore' starring author Ilene Beckerman

 

CTG is presenting Nora and Delia Ephron’s touching and comic adaptation of Ilene Beckerman’s book “Love, Loss and What I Wore” for one weekend only February 1 – 3, 2013.

Ilene Beckerman, author of the bestselling LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, will be part of the seven member cast of the Chester Theatre Group’s production to be held at the Black River Playhouse (Corner of Maple and Grove in Chester, New Jersey) Friday and Saturday, November February 1-2 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 3 at 2 p.m.

Directed by Cindy Alexander, the play, which was adapted for the stage by Nora and Delia Ephron, ran successfully off-Broadway for several seasons garnering rave reviews. The New York Times called the show “Funny, compelling” and “Brought down the house”. It weaves stories about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects and their impact on moments in their lives.

There will be a talk back with the cast after each performance. In addition to Ms. Beckerman, who will portray the part of Gingy, the cast features Ellen Fraker-Glasscock, Kathleen Campbell Jackson, Carla Kendall, Gloria Lamoureux, Jodi Maloy, and Roseann Ruggiero. Tickets are $20.00.

For reservations or more information call the theater box office at 908-879-7304 or visit www.chestertheatregroup.org

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Talkback Schedule for Carnaval at Luna Stage


TONIGHT@ Luna StageTthis weekend at Luna Stage
Talkback Schedule for Carnaval
Audience members attending the show on other dates are welcome to join us for the scheduled talkbacks. The talkbacks will begin immediatelyfollowing the performance. It is estimated that the performance will run approximately 2 hours,10 minutes but please phone the box office to confirm the running time of the show. 973-395-5551.
Sunday, February 3rd
Nikkole Salter
Nikkole Salter
Sunday February 3rd following the 3pm performance, there will be a talkback with Playwright Nikkole Salter, Director Cheryl Katz and Artistic Director Jane Mandel. 
Sunday, February 17th
Photo Credit: Deirdre Wilson-Redmond
Photo Credit: Deirdre Wilson-Redmond
Sunday February 17th following the 3pm performance, there will be atalkback with Reverend Sandye Wilson, Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew & Holy Communion in South Orange. 
Thursday, February 21st
Thursday February 21st following the 7:30pm performance, there will be atalkback with Darryl C. Walls, Founder and CEO of MINDS (Mental Intensity Naturally Determines Success). 
Sunday, February 2th
Sunday February 24th following the 3pm performance, there will be atalkback with Karen Hunter, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, author and publisher. 
Thursday, February 28th
Thursday February 28th following the 7:30pm performance, there will be a talkback with Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes). 
Performance Dates and Times
January 31st - March 3rd
Thursdays, 7:30pm • Fridays, 8pm • Saturdays, 8pm • Sundays, 3pm

Tickets:
Preview Showings 
(Jan. 31st - Feb. 7th): $25
Opening Night 
(Feb. 8th): $35
Thursdays:
 $25, Fridays: $35, Saturdays: $35, Sundays: $35
Student Ticket w/ID: 
$10 (Subject to availability) , Group Sales Available

For tickets visit lunastage.org or call the Box Office at 973-395-5551.

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's exciting line-up of plays for its 2013 Season




On the heels of its record-breaking 50th Anniversary season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey today announced the line-up for its 2013 Season. The roster will include six productions on its Main Stage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison and one summer production on the popular Outdoor Stage – the Greek amphitheater on the campus of The College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township as well as several special events and programs.

The Shakespeare Theatre’s 2013 season begins in late May and will continue through December. Advance orders for full season Complete Works discount subscriptions are now available and include tickets to all Main Stage productions as well as the opportunity to add the annual Outdoor Stage production at a significant discount. For information or to purchase a subscription, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The season will open with Ireland’s legendary masterpiece by J.M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World. This famed playwright, poet, and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre has penned a grand adventure, part tall-tale and part tragi-comedy. A young country lad’s transformation from beaten-down weakling to celebrated “playboy” captures the poetic heart of the wild Irish spirit in magnificent Gaelic style. The Playboy of the Western World begins performances on May 29th and continues through June 23rd.

“All the world’s a stage” and this summer the Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage will transform into the Forest of Arden. At the beautiful and family-friendly amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s spirited and pithy comedy As You Like It will delight all ages. The Outdoor Stage production of As You Like It will run June 19th to July 28th.

Next up on the Main Stage is Noël Coward’s rarely-produced Fallen Angels. This frothy delight by one of the world’s masters of wit features two tour-de-force roles for women and is sure to raise eyebrows andthe roof with laughter. This comedy will run from July 3rd to July 28th.

“We were thrilled and honored when The National Endowment for the Arts provided us with a special grant to produce the long-forgotten comedy Tovarich by Jacques Deval, translated by famed American writer Robert E. Sherwood, and we will present it this August,” said Bonnie J. Monte. “I am very excited to introduce our audiences to this wonderfully eccentric, improbable romance about an indomitable Russian Grand Duchess and her dashing Prince of a husband hiding out in Paris. The provocative issues of the play are given hilarious life by this master of the American stage.” Tovarich will begin performances on August 7th and runs through August 25th.

Next, Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby, Jr. makes his Shakespeare Theatre directorial debut with the world premiere of Cathy Tempelsman’s A Most Dangerous Woman which explores the extraordinary life of Mary Ann Evans – better known by her pen name George Eliot – the infamous and groundbreaking author of the Victorian era. A woman of extraordinary passion and intellect, born into a time and society that closed most “doors” to women, Eliot finds a way to unleash her talent despite all odds. A Most Dangerous Woman will run September 18th through October 6th.

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town had its very first performance at the McCarter Theatre in 1938 and The Shakespeare Theatre will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of this iconic and beloved American classic with a production in the fall. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play paints the portrait of an ordinary town and its inhabitants and weaves a captivating and timeless tale about life, love, and mortality. Our Town runs October 16th to November 17th and features several school-time matinee performances. Associate Artist Joseph Discher directs.

The 2013 season will close with a fantastical odyssey epic filled with perilous adventures, courageous acts, and a thrilling and climactic rejuvenation. Shakespeare’s Pericles is not often produced and director Brian B. Crowe will create a newly-imagined, shimmering vision of this tale that takes audiences across the icy seas in search of new worlds and lost souls. Pericles will begin performances on December 4th and continues through December 29th.

Discount Subscriptions

Advance orders for Complete Works discount subscriptions, including tickets to all six Main Stage productions, are now being taken. Complete Works discount subscriptions start at $135 for previews. Student subscriptions are available for an amazing deal at only $60 for all six Main Stage productions. Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600. The Complete Works discount subscription features tickets as low as $22.50 per show, the best seats to all Main Stage productions; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance. Call the box office at 973-408-5600. Look for more information at www.ShakespeareNJ.org. Dates and titles are subject to change.

Special Events

A series of special events is also planned for the 2013 Season. Back by popular demand are Something Wicked This Way Comes and Something Merry This Way Comes. Titled from a line in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Something Wicked This Way Comes features esteemed actors from The Shakespeare Theatre company as well as guest artists presenting a 90-minute collage of dramatic readings from the classic canon of the macabre. This one-night-only event will be held on October 28th.

Hearkening back to a time when families read to each other, Something Merry This Way Comes is a cornucopia of sparkling and inspiring holiday tales, songs, and poems read by members of The Shakespeare Theatre’s company of actors. Something Merry This Way Comes is appropriate for all ages, and provides a simple and pure antidote to the commercial glitz that inundates lives each year at holiday time. Something Merry This Way Comes will be held on December 16th.

Lend Us Your Ears, the Theatre’s acclaimed play reading series, returns for the 2013 season and provides patrons the opportunity to join The Shakespeare Theatre’s directors, actors and artistic staff in exploring diverse and exciting plays. These script-in-hand readings feature members of The Shakespeare Theatre’s esteemed company of actors as well as prestigious guest artists. Reading titles will soon be announced.

For more information about these special events, visit ShakespeareNJ.org or call the box office at 973-408-5600.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

Scenes from past seasons:







Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1936 anti-war play at Theater Project in Maplewood


'Charlotte’s Web' to be performed by children’s theater group




The Garage Theatre Group celebrates its 20th Anniversary season along with the 60th anniversary of "Charlotte's Web," one of the most popular children's stories of all time. Michael Bias directs the show, which features original music by Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye Bye Birdie). Imaginative costumes created by Terry Thiry are featured among the feathered and furred barnyard characters.



Joseph Robinette's play, "Charlotte's Web," is based on the children's classic by E.B.White. Witten in 1952 and a Newberry Honor award winner, it is a story of loyalty and friendship. Though she is small in stature, Charlotte the spider has a big heart that leads her friend Wilbur the pig to understand and accept his place in the world.

The cast also includes a little girl named Fern who also loves Wilbur, a less-lovable rat, Templeton, and a barnyard full of lively farm animals whose story is as strong and as delicately magical as a web itself.

"Charlotte’s Web" is will be presented at the Becton Theatre on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m, Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m, and Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. The theater is located at 960 River Road in Teaneck, on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Parking is free and plentiful in the FDU lot adjacent to Route 4. The theatre is a short walk away along the Hackensack River.



Tickets for each performance are $18 for adults and $16 for children 12 and under and senior citizens. For tickets, visit www.GarageTheatre.org or call 201-569-7710.

Additional performances of "Charlotte’s Web" can be arranged for school groups during daytime hours. Prices are $10 per student with one free adult admission for every 15 students. Call the theater to make arrangements.

Monday, January 28, 2013

'Beehive, The 60s Musical' next at Bergen County Players

                            L. to R. Joanne Moldt, Sara Feinmark, Paula O'Brien, Jaime Hayer, Nadiya Braham,                                      Joanne Guarnaccia, Staci Block

Celebrating 80 years, the Bergen County Players (BCP) will present "Beehive, The 60s Musical," a rollicking revue of a musical decade dominated by historically powerful female  performers.

Under the direction of Dottie Fischer, Beehive will be  performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from February 16th through March 9th.   Shows will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets may 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.  Tickets are $22 or $18 for groups of 20 or more.

L to R: Staci Block, Joanne Guarnaccia, Sara Feinmark, Joanne Moldt
Left to Right: Paula O'Brien, Nadiya Braham, Jaime Hayer

Reading of 'The Hemings Diary' at Luna Stage


Local Community Theatre Company to present 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'



The next production by Pleasant Valley Productions, a community theatre company based in West Orange, is the classic musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s adaptation of the well-known Biblical tale will be presented at Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange.

Performances will be Saturday, February 9 and 16 at 7 p.m., Sunday, February 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. and President’s Day, Monday, February 18 at 3 p.m. The show is directed by Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, with music direction by Ilene Greenbaum and choreography by Cindy Jung McArthur.

For more than 30 years, this joyful, family-friendly musical has been giving audiences a new appreciation of the story of Jacob’s favorite son. Joseph, a boy blessed with the ability to interpret dreams, is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt. He endures a series of trials and triumphs, from being thrown into jail to becoming Pharaoh’s second in command. Years later, Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt, starving and in need of help. Not recognizing their brother, they beg Joseph for assistance; eventually he reveals his identity and grants them all they desire. The story is told entirely in song, spanning musical styles from rock ‘n’ roll and country- western to calypso, pop, and more.

Pleasant Valley Productions was formed last year by theatre colleagues, Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, Ilene Greenbaum, and Howie Tilkin. The company’s mission is to create a professional theatre experience for local area performers, audience members, students and volunteers while providing a broad range of musical theatre works.

After presenting their inaugural production, the critically acclaimed "Songs for a New World" last March at the Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church, they have continued to grow their company’s presence in the community by offering free concerts at the West Orange Public Library as well as an after-school musical theatre enrichment program at Roosevelt Middle School.

The ten-week workshop enabled 7th and 8th graders to experience the world of live theatre from auditions through rehearsals and culminated in a performance for family and friends in December. The partnership with the West Orange schools is an integral part of the company's arts education mission and dedication to engaging students in theatre, both on stage and off. In addition to future theatrical events, PVP plans to continue and expand its arts education program and free concert series.

Performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be held at Roosevelt Middle School, located at 36 Gilbert Place, West Orange, NJ 07052. For more information, visit www.PleasantValleyProductions.org. For tickets, please visit www.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006.




Photo: Sean Elias as Joseph with his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Photo Credit: Samuel Dantowitz

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Theater Project to discuss Irwin Shaw’s 1936 Anti-War Play 'Bury The Dead'

Anna Berlinrut and Madelyn Hoffman are among those who will represent the Essex County chapter of Military Families Speak Out and New Jersey Peace Action at The Theater Project’s staged reading of BURY THE DEAD, Irwin Shaw’s 1936 anti-war play.

“Shaw’s play against the brutality of war is unfortunately as relevant today as it was over 75 years ago,” says Theater Project artistic director Mark Spina. “We have invited New Jersey Peace Action and Military Families Speak Out to help us discuss the issues raised by the play in our post performance talkbacks with audiences. Our goal is to stimulate dialogue in our community on this issue.”

The drama focuses on six soldiers killed in battle who rise up and refuse to be buried and forgotten, in spite of the pleadings of generals, their families, and society.

In August 2000, Madelyn Hoffman began her tenure as Executive Director of New Jersey Peace Action (NJPA), one of the nation's oldest grassroots organizations dedicated to nuclear disarmament. She is an adjunct professor of political science, a regular contributor to OpEd News and Bloomfield Life’s “Bloomfield Public Square.”

Anna Berlinrut is a co-founder of the Essex County Chapter of Military Families Speak Out. Her son is a Marine currently serving in Afghanistan on his 6th deployment in harm’s way. She believes in the necessity of a strong military for defensive purposes. Ms. Berlinrut was a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against President George W. Bush to have the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq declared unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress lacks the authority to delegate its responsibility to declare war to the President.

The Theater Project, an award-winning New Jersey theater company at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, is known for presenting outrageous comedy as well as drama with social commentary. Last November, the company tackled marriage equality, presenting a one-night-only reading of “8” by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, the play chronicling the historic California challenge to same-sex marriage.

"Bury The Dead" brings together twenty Theater Project actors, and will be directed by Artistic Director Mark Spina, who was awarded a 2012 best director award by the Star-Ledger. Each script-in-hand performance will be followed by a discussion with the audience and special guests, February 1 and 2 at 8 p.m, and Feb 3 at 2 p.m. at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ. Tickets ($20) may be reserved by calling 973.763.4029 or purchased through The Theater Project website, thetheaterproject.org

Auditions: 'Fantasticks' at Chatham Community Players



The Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for the musical, "The Fantasticks", book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt.
The production runs May 3 – 18, 2013 at the Chatham Playhouse.  Frank Licato directs, Patrick Horan is Musical Director.  Rehearsals to begin during the last week of February.
Auditions will be held on Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12 at 7pm at Stanley Congregational Church at 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham, NJ.  Please prepare a song (in the style of the show), and bring sheet music in the appropriate key.  
 An Accompanist will be provided.  Actors auditioning for the roles of Henry, Mortimer and The Mute are asked to prepare an appropriate 2 minute monologue.  Headshots and resumes are not required but gladly received. 
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 Leslie Reagoso at (973) 769-3886 or email her at lesliereagoso@yahoo.com.   For directions or additional information, please visit www.chathamplayers.org
Synopsis:
 
Transporting the audience to a day in September, the narrator, El Gallo, tells a story of love and magic. Two young lovers, Luisa and Matt, must meet in secret, because their fathers, Hucklebee and Bellomy, are sworn enemies. Hucklebee and Bellomy have built a wall between their gardens to separate the young people, but Luisa and Matt are sure their love can conquer anything – even a wall – and they will be together forever.
Not everything goes according to plan, however, and ultimately Matt and Luisa venture out into the world alone. Finding themselves at the mercy of a cruel world, they start to wonder: is adulthood nothing but a place of pain and broken dreams, or is happiness waiting somewhere just out of sight?
 
Character Breakdown:
 
El Gallo (Narrator): (strong baritone, low A to F above C) Man, 30-50. Seeking a ruggedly handsome, charismatic actor with sex appeal. Should have a facility for verse and excellent comedic skills. Moves very well.  Magic skills a plus.
 
Matt (The Boy): (strong tenor/baritone, low A to F above C) Looks around 20. Seeking a strong actor and singer, energetic, with some dance.
 
Louisa (The Girl): (strong soprano: low B to high C) Looks 20 or younger, requires very strong acting and singing. Some dance.
 
Hucklebee (The Boy’s Father): (baritones, low A to F (D flat) above C) An ex-Navy chief. A bit sloppy. Seeking a strong character actor. Some dance. Must be able to handle harmony.
 
Bellomy (The Girl’s Father): (baritones, low A to F (D flat) above C) A button-maker. Neat. Seeking a strong character actor. Some dance
 
Henry (The Old Actor): Seeking an excellent character actor able to play very old, with strong stage presence.  Shakespearean experience an asset. Non-singing role.
 
Mortimer (The Indian): Henry's sidekick. Seeking an “ageless” character actor with good pantomime ability. Non-singing role. Magic skills a plus.
 
The Mute: Not a mime. Must move very well and have excellent concentration. Magic skills a plus.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

'Murder in Green Meadows' next at Bickford in Morristown




Bickford Theatre will present “Murder in Green Meadows” by Douglas Post, a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with performances Thursday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 17.

Performance times include: Thursday, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 1, 8 and 15 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2, 9, 16 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 3, 10, 17 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 7, and 14 at 2 p.m.

"Thomas and his wife Joan have moved into their dream house in the quiet suburban town of Green Meadows. As a close friendship develops with their new neighbors, Carolyn and Jeff, an even closer friendship develops between Joan and Jeff. When Thomas finds out about their affair, his violent nature surfaces and he makes two demands of his wife: One, she must stop seeing Jeff. Two, she must kill him. What follows is a diabolical plot with sex, deception and mind games."

Adult languageMay not be suitable for children under 13. Parental discretion advised.

The theatre is located within the Morris museum at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

Tickets: Reserved seats are $45 for the general public, $40 for senior citizens, $38 for Morris Museum and Bickford Theatre Guild Members, and $20 for students (18 or under or with valid college ID). Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more.

For tickets or more information, contact the Bickford Theatre Box Office at 973-971-3706 or visit morrismuseum.org.

Now at Bergen County Players- Arthur Miller’s 'The Price




Currently making its Bergen County Players’ (BCP) stage debut as part of the troupe’s landmark 80th season is Arthur Miller’s engrossing and fascinating take on family loyalty "The Price." It will be at the BCP's Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell through February 2nd.

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 is directed by veteran director Peter Colletto. The cast includes Andrew Lionetti (Westwood), J. Edmund Fond (Secaucus), Sharon Posada (Emerson) and Ed Gross (Westwood).

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for all Friday and Saturday performances, $16 for Sunday performances, and can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200, or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards accepted.

All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949.

Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot across the street, one half block north of the theater.

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

'Beehive, the 60s musical next at Bergen County Players



Celebrating 80 years, the Bergen County Players (BCP) will present "Beehive,"The 60s Musical, a rollicking revue of a musical decade dominated by historically powerful female performers. Under the direction of Dottie Fischer, "Beehive" will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from February 16th through March 9th.

Shows will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m, and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets may 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. Tickets are $22 or $18 for groups of 20 or more.

Whatever you think or remember of the 60s, Beehive is a celebratory 60s musical revue of the famous female vocalists of that time. This fun revue is all about the songs and how these incredible women singers were influenced by their social and political times. So while there was a lot of excitement, turbulence was always in the air. Women were questioning their roles in society and standing up for themselves in ways never before attempted.

As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a "Questions & Artists" (Q&A) discussion following select performances. Beehive, The 60s Musical Q&A will kick off immediately following the February 22, 2013 performance. Admission to the Q&A is included in the cost of the ticket.

Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available in advance for $14 by phone or walk-up only. A 'Student Rush' ticket can be purchased for $5 at the box office window starting 30 minutes before curtain with proper ID; this is a cash-only with a limit of one ticket per student.

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. The remaining season includes: Better Late (March 23rd, April 20th, 2013) and Boeing-Boeing (May 4th, June 2nd, 2013)."

Further information can be found at www.bcplayers.org where tickets can be purchased at no additional fee.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Improv Comedy class for adults and teens at Dreamcatcher




Adult class this Saturday!

IMPROVAPALOOZA

Intro to Improv Comedy for Adults and Teens-Get your comedy groove on while gaining confidence and having FUN!

Have you seen our improv comedy shows and thought "that looks like so much fun"? Do you envy the ease at which some people face a crowd? Are you an actor exploring comedy? If yes, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE... this course is just for you!
Dave Maulbeck

GREAT OPPORTUNITY to try improv comedy in this two-hour workshop taught by professional improv master Dave Maulbeck.

The teen class is for grades 7 - 12.
The adult class is for college age and up.

- NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!
- Learn traditional improv games
- Develop spontaneity and learn how to shed your inhibitions
- For actors who want to try another angle on performing
- Not just for actors: for anyone who wants to develop these skills

Tuition & Registration

Course:
IMPROVAPALOOZA Info

When: ADULTS Saturday, January 26, 10am - 12pm
TEENS Saturday, February 2, 10am - 12pm

Location: Oakes Center
120 Morris Avenue, Summit Directions

(entrance on Russell Place, parking lot on Ashwood Ave.)

Tuition: $30 in advance
$35 at the door Register now

Note: enrollment is limited and is on a first come, first served basis.

Meet the IMPROV MASTER on our Web site

'Carnaval' next at Luna Stage

January
Terrell Wheeler – playing RAHEEM 
Terrell Wheeler attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and recently made his Off-Broadway debut in Katori Hall's"Children of Killers" as Vincent. Other credits include "Kings River"(Foxhole Entertainment, Medicine Show Theatre), "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" as Pontius Pilot (Wide Eyed Productions, Richmond Shepard Theatre) and "Mourning Sun" (Shaggae's Song Performing Arts Collective, Five Angels Theater. 

Click here to find out why Terrell wanted to be part ofCarnaval.
Jaime Lincoln Smith – playing JALANI 
Recent Theatre Credits: Holla' if Ya' Hear Me (Wkshp) dir. Kenny Leon, SEED (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Felony Friday, (feat. John Amos) NYC Fringe Festival, Ruined (original cast) Manhattan Theatre Club,Lights Rise on Grace - 45 Bleeker Street, Birthright - Billie Holiday Theatre. Regional: Gleam – Baltimore Centerstage, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet - City Theatre, PA. TV/Film: NYC 22Law and Order, Knights of Prosperity, Titans of G.E.F.A., As the World Turns, MTV's Human Giant, 14085, Shades of Brooklyn, Remember the Titans.
Education: MFA - Rutgers University, BA - Clark Atlanta University.

Click here
 to find out why Jaime wanted to be part of Carnaval.
Anton Floyd – playing DEMETRIUS 
Anton Floyd, known for his charm and quick wit has been gracing stages nationwide. This Texarkana, Arkansas native decided to pursue acting while attending Alabama State. After four years of service in the United States of America Marine Corp he attended Penn State for Masters Training. While at Penn State, he completed two years of study and decided it was time to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional actor. Anton Floyd's professional roles include: Grant Wiggins, A Lesson Before Dying; Cory, Fences (Black Theatre Troup, AZ); Darren Lemming, Take me Out (Provincetown Theatre, MA); Booth, TopDog UnderDog (New Horizon Theatre, PA); Sterling Johnson, Radio Golf; Toledo, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Kuntu Repertory Theatre, PA).
Click here to find out why Anton wanted to be part of Carnaval
The World Premiere of Carnaval by Nikkole Salter
January 31st through March 3rd 
Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and
Sundays at 3pm


Tickets range from $25 to $35 and
can be purchased in person (Tues.-Fri. 10am-2pm),
on the phone at (973) 395-5551,

'Love, Loss and What I Wore' with Ilene Beckerman at CTG one weekend only




Chester Theatre Group is presenting Nora and Delia Ephron’s touching and comic adaptation of Ilene Beckerman’s book “Love, Loss and What I Wore” for one weekend only February 1 – 3, 2013.

Ilene Beckerman, author of the bestselling LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, will be part of the seven member cast of the Chester Theatre Group’s production to be held at the Black River Playhouse Friday and Saturday,  February 1-2 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 3 at 2 p.m.

Directed by Cindy Alexander, the play, which was adapted for the stage by Nora and Delia Ephron, ran successfully off-Broadway for several seasons garnering rave reviews. The New York Times called the show “Funny, compelling” and “Brought down the house.”

It weaves stories about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects and their impact on moments in their lives. There will be a talk back with the cast after each performance.

In addition to Ms. Beckerman, who will portray the part of Gingy, the cast features Ellen Fraker-Glasscock, Kathleen Campbell Jackson, Carla Kendall, Gloria Lamoureux, Jodi Maloy, and Roseann Ruggiero.

Tickets are $20.00. For reservations or more information call the theater box office at 908-879-7304.

The historic Black River Playhouse in Chester, New Jersey

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Auditions: 'Sunday in the Park' at Playhouse 22




Playhouse 22 will be having open auditions for "Sunday in the Park with George," a musical by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Jonathan Wierzbicki with musical direction by Rory Chalcraft on Sunday, January 27 at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 7 p.m.

The show dates are April 19 - May 5, 2013. All shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Auditions will be held at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.

Questions about the production can be emailed to sundayinthepark@playhouse22.org.

Full character descriptions and audition information can be found at www.Playhouse22.org.

East Coast Premiere of 'With Two Wings' next at Growing Stage



The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey will next present the East Coast Premiere of "With Two Wings" from February 1st through February 24th. Performances are Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., plus Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.

"With Two Wings" created by Anne Negri is the winner of our 2011-2012 New Play Reading Festival.  Also, the play was a recipient of the 2009 Playwrighting Award from the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences playwrighting competition.

It was further developed at Write Now (formerly The Bonderman Playwrighting for Youth), a national playwrighting competition and symposium presented by Indiana Repertory Theatre and Childsplay in Arizona.

"With Two Wings" is under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks, The Growing Stage’s Executive Director.

The play takes place in a world where people are born with wings and the ability to fly. The story centers around a young boy named Lyf, who lives a hidden existence in the woods with his parents.  One day, a pair of twins, Meta and Taur, stumble upon Lyf’s isolated home.  Meta gives Lyf secret flying lessons and Taur begins to ask questions about Lyf’s mysterious family.  When Lyf discovers his father’s top-secret invention, he must confront his parents and face a reality that will either tear them apart or bring them closer together.  It is a story of trust, taking risks, forgiveness, sensitivity about our differences and most importantly about taking ownership of one’s own story.

"With Two Wings" features the talents of  five professional equity performers in the cast.  P. J. Schweizer of Doylestown, PA, who recently played the role of Hermey the Elf in our production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, returns to our stage as Lyf; Rosemary Glennon of Tewksbury and Josh Carpenter of Queens, NY portraying Meta and Taur.  Also in the cast are Lori B. Lawrence of Hackettstown and Sam Kitchin of Sparta playing Mom and Dad.

The Growing Stage continues FUN-tastic Fridays with all tickets $15! Saturday and Sunday tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children and seniors.  To place your reservation, contact the Growing Stage Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or e-mail at boxoffice@growingstage.com  Group rates and Birthday Party packages are available.

Palace Theatre  Entrance
Palace Theatre stage

Review: Quirky comedy 'Fuddy Meers' a winner at The Barn Theatre


"Fuddy Meers" is the name of a very funny, very quirky dark comedy now playing at the Barn Theatre in Montville. With the 85th season lineup including such Broadway Tony winning or nominated productions as "Noises Off," "God of Carnage" and "Chorus Line" The Barn and director Todd Mills selected for their mid-season play the lesser known, but still very entertaining, "Fuddy Meers" by David Lindsay-AbaireIt was Lindsay-Abaire's first play and debuted off-Broadway in 1999.

One reviewer proclaimed Lindsay-Abaire a "comic genius." He also earned several awards during the initial run, including Most Promising Dramatist in 1999. Since then Lindsay-Abaire received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, which also earned several Tony Award nominations. He wrote the book and lyrics for the new musical Shrek the Musical which opened on Broadway in 2009  and several films including "Rabbit Hole" with Nicole Kidman. 

As his first play "Fuddy Meers" may not have the polish of his later plays, but nonetheless it is a unique, outrageous, highly entertaining play populated by seven unforgettable characters. Here is the difficult or awkward part for a reviewer...the plays success is built on a barrage of plot twists and surprises that naturally we are not about to reveal.

The play centers on a married woman, Claire, who lives in a suburban home with her husband Richard and 17 year old son Kenny. The husband operates the MRI at the local hospital were he met Claire, a school nurse. Sounds very normal...except several years ago Claire was in an accident (or was she?) that left her with a rare form of amnesia that erases her memory whenever she falls asleep. Each morning she is reintroduced to her husband, son and the rest of her world.... including her own name. The husband's clever method of restoring at least some of her memory is to review with her a scrapbook he assembled including photographs of family members and others all properly labeled.

The play covers one day and begins in the morning in the master bedroom with Claire awaking to find a strange man lurking in her room.....husband Richard or is he?  Before her day is over she is kidnapped or is she? Her husband plans to kill her or does he? She is involved with thieves, a cop, her stroke-afflicted mother and a "potty" mouthed puppet.  Any further plot or character description will lead us into "spoiler" territory.

Ok, the plot is bizarre and often defies logic, but it is fun and it has a very able cast led by Jill Bormann (Chester Theater Group regulars will remember Jill from "Mauritius") she's wonderful as Claire...a role that requires spending the entire play dressed in pajamas!  Nicely playing Richard, her slightly nerdy husband (or is he?), is Fred HalperinCaroline Crafton is Heidi, a specially attractive cop. Particularly well cast, i.e absolutely perfect in their roles, are Jean Habrukowich as Gertie, Claire’s mother, a cerebral hemorrhage victim who speaks in “stroke talk.” She's simply marvelous. Anthony Duke Claus as Kenny, Claire's son,  Joe Guadara as not so bright Millet and Michael Reddin as The Limping Man are each outstanding. Oh, so is the real charmer of the cast Hinky-Binky played to perfection by Handrew Soxx with an assist from Joe Guadara.

As with most of the productions we've seen at The Barn Theatre these performances are at or near professional level. Director Todd Mills, of the Mills family of directors, has produced another winner for this distinguished community theatre. Todd Mills not only directed he is responsible for set, lighting and sound design. Assisting Mills are Claire MacDonald stage manager, Dave McDonald props, Brian James Grace hair and make-up, Christine Morgan costume design and Carol Offermann and Sean Byrne light and sound operation. The co-producers are Janet Lazar and John Weiss.

As to the question "What does the title "Fuddy Meers" mean? Sorry you'll have to see the play.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  January 20, 2013

Remaining performances will be on January 25, 26 and February 1 and 2 at 8 p.m; and January  27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 (senior/student tickets are $16 on matinees only).

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 at www.barntheatre.org.

Photo by Tom Schopper-Top Row L-R:  Fred Halperin, Anthony Duke Claus, Caroline Crafton and Jill Bormann. Bottom row: Jean Habrukowich, Handrew Soxx, Michael Reddin and Joe Guadra.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Next week NJ premiere of 'The Language Archive' at Dreamcatcher Rep



Dreamcatcher Rep is the first New Jersey theatre to present "The Language Archive," Julia Cho's hit play that recently ran at both the Roundabout in New York and South Coast Rep in California.

This comedy of the heart explores the mysterious language of love as it weaves together the stories of five people in the throes of love. OC Weekly said that this 2010 Blackburn Prize winner is, "A quirky but ravishingly well-written piece that is smart, funny, deep and tender."

"The Language Archive" runs 3 weekends only, Jan. 25 - Feb. 10. Info * Tickets (SAVE 10% (advance only) Enter code TALKLOVE at checkout). 

Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. The location: Oakes Center 120 Morris Avenue, Summit -Directions. (entrance on Russell Place, parking lot on Ashwood Ave.)

Price: $30 adults-$25 seniors 65+, with ID Seniors, see special date below- $25 students 25- with ID

See discount below. Buy tickets now No fees!

Special Dates: Fri. Jan. 25 is opening night -- free post-show reception
Sun. Jan. 27 is Senior Sunday -- seniors pay $15 (advance only)
Sun. Jan. 27 free post-matinee talkback with the cast and creative team
Sun. Feb. 3 free post-matinee talkback with an expert plus the cast

Note to season passholders: don't forget to reserve your seats! E-mail for help

MORE INFO ONLINE: Our current season | The Language Archive