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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Plans for new home for Trilogy Repertory Company and Light Opera of New Jersey before Bernards Township Planning Board

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“With a zoning change now in place, the Fellowship Village retirement center, in Bernard’s Township, is one step closer to pursuing a project that would expand its services and provide a new community theater,” according to the Bernardsville News.

“The project has two main components – a 57,000-square-foot addition with a variety of health care services for seniors both in and outside Fellowship Village; and a 240-seat auditorium and theater that would serve not only the complex but two local theater groups, Trilogy Repertory Company and Light Opera of New Jersey.

A zoning amendment to permit the changes received approval from the Township Committee on Oct. 29. Last week, plans were filed with the township’s Planning Board.

The plans will undergo a completeness review at the board’s second meeting in December, according to Board Secretary Frances Florio. Assuming the plans are deemed complete, a public hearing would then be scheduled.

“It all goes down to our mission,” said Brian Lawrence, president and chief executive officer of Fellowship Senior Living, a not-for profit group that runs the Allen Road complex. “We’re here to serve seniors – serving them better, on and off campus.”

Lawrence said if the plans receive approval from the board, and the health center component receives approval from the state Department of Health, construction would likely start next spring.”

Surflight Theatre’s Big 2014 Schedule

Surflight

Surflight Theatre, the landmark summer theatre on the Jersey Shore, celebrates its 65th Anniversary of "Broadway at the Beach" in 2014 with a season of musicals from June through September.

The season kicks off with the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue Some Enchanted Evening (June 11-15); followed by Jekyll and Hyde (June 18-July 6); Fiddler on the Roof (July 9-27); Monty Python's Spamalot (July 30-August 24) and A Chorus Line (August 27-September 14).

Here is the 2014 schedule:

A Grand Night for Singing!
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were the dynamic duo of the golden age of Broadway, writing such masterworks as Carousel, The King and I, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and more. Some Enchanted Evening (June 11 -15) showcases their greatest hits boasting over 30 songs performed by Surflight'sActing Company. For all lovers of classic musical theater, it doesn't get any grander than this!
This is the Moment!
A dark and dangerous love story between good and evil is brought to life in the musical sensation Jekyll and Hyde (June 18-July 6). A well-meaning Dr. Henry Jekyll desperately seeks a cure for the evil in the world but is instead pitted in a cruel battle against his own evil alter ego, Edward Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson's epic tale of both undeniable romance and unspeakable evil sets the stage for this captivating musical that took Broadway by storm! Featuring the remarkable music of Frank Wildhorn including "Someone Like You," "This Is The Moment" and "Once Upon A Dream."
Tradition!
Packed with memorable music, rousing dances and a touch of human wisdom, the beloved classic, Fiddler on the Roof (July 9-27) features a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, with a book by Joseph Stein, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem. Celebrating its 50thAnniversary of its Broadway debut, this award-winning musical captures the colorful story of one Jewish father's struggle to hold on to his family's traditions amidst the rebellious antics of his three independent daughters and the turmoil of an ever-changing world. The universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness. One of the beloved musical scores in the history of the American theatre includes "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Sunrise, Sunset."
Find your Grail!
Monty Python's Spamalot (July 30-August 24) is an outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." With music and lyrics by the Grammy-Award winning team of Eric Idleand John Du Prez and book by Eric Idle, Spamalottells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their madcap quest for the Holy Grail. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls, flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and show-stopping musical numbers?
A Singular Sensation!
A Chorus Line (August 27-September 14) is the ultimate celebration of the American Musical. Share in the backstage story of 17 aspiring dancers competing for a few coveted spots in the chorus of a Broadway musical. Through the audition they bare their souls while sharing stories of their childhood, ambitions, fears, and experiences in show business. This groundbreaking Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is for anyone who has ever put it all on the line, whether it is for promotion, for attention, for approval, or for love. Marvin Hamlisch's iconic score features such classics as "The Music and the Mirror," "What I Did for Love," "One (Singular Sensation)," and "I Hope I Get It."
Holiday Production
TBA (November 28 - December 21)
We can't mention the title of our 2014 Holiday show, however we will announce in mid-June.
Three-show and six-show subscriptions plans ranging from $129-$243 are on sale now. Groups (10 or more) $35 are available now. Single tickets are $45 on sale March 3, 2014. For information call 609-492-9477 or visit www.surflight.org.

Surflight Theatre, located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey, is the area's oldest professional Equity theater.

‘Elephant Man’ final performance tonight!

By Bernard Pomerance  Directed by Stephen Catron

The true story of John Merrick, a man first treated as a fairground freak because of his hideously, repulsively deformed body and later exploited more subtly by Victorian society. When this carnival attraction is rescued by a young doctor, Merrick is cared for well—but also shrewdly exploited. Tony® Award winner for best play of 1979.

featuring

Dale Monroe • Frank Blauer • Ruth Morley and Jon-Luc Bourget • Kevern Cameron • Zachary Catron • Lewis Decker • Robert Dumpert • Rosanne Ferrara • Staci Gelatka • William Horwitz • James Houston • Kathy Mierisch • Paul Rivellese

FINAL SHOW – Tonight, Nov. 30 at 8PM READ OUR REVIEW

Gen. admission $20 • Seniors (65+) & Students (under 18) $18

For reservations, call 908-879-7304

or visit www.chestertheatregroup.org
54 Grove Street (corner of Maple Ave.), Chester, NJ

A holiday ‘twist’ at Paper Mill Playhouse… ‘Oliver’

Oliver please

Paper Mill Playhouse continues its 75th Anniversary Season with the classic Charles Dickens musical Oliver!, with a holiday “twist” for the entire family. With a book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, Oliver! is directed by Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee with original choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter.

Oliver!  features David Garrison (Fagin), best known for his role as Steve Rhoades on the hit television series Married…with Children, Betsy Morgan (Nancy), John Treacy Egan (Mr. Bumble), Jose Llana (Bill Sikes), David Hess (Mr. Brownlow),Ethan Haberfield (Artful Dodger) and introducing Tyler Moran as Oliver. Oliver! will also feature 16 local boys from across the state of New Jersey who auditioned from a pool of over 200.  Oliver! will play the Millburn, New Jersey theater from November 21 through December 29.  The official press opening night is Sunday, December 1, 2013, at7:00pm.  Paper Mill Playhouse's 75th Anniversary Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens, this beloved classic musical will enthrall audiences from the start with the miraculous tale of a young orphan's quest to find home and family in Victorian London. Dickens' larger-than-life characters sing and dance their way into your heart with iconic songs including "Food, Glorious Food," "Who Will Buy?," "As Long As He Needs Me" and "Consider Yourself." Oliver!, one of the most popular musicals in the world, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the 1968 film version won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. Paper Mill Playhouse will present this extraordinary musical with a holiday ending certain to warm the hearts of your entire family.

Oliver! will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday (check PaperMill.org for special holiday schedules) plus a special Christmas Eve matinee on Tuesday, December 24, 2013.  Family-friendly performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.  Tickets are on sale now and range from $27 to $98. 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 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.

oliver boys bread"There is no better way to bring your family together than a world-class musical produced by Paper Mill Playhouse," remarked the theater's Producing Artistic Director and show director Mark S. Hoebee.  "Charles Dickens and Victorian London are the perfect combination for holiday magic.  Our production of Oliver! will be like no other with a special holiday treat at the end of each performance."

Oliver! features a cast of Broadway veterans and amazing young talent.  David Garrison (Fagin), best known as Steve Rhoades on television’s Married…with Children, began his career as a member of the resident company at Tony Award-winning Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. His Broadway credits include Serge B. Samovar in A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and a Drama-Logue Award, J. Bruce Ismay in the Tony-winning Titanic, the Wizard of Oz in Wicked, and Sandor in the Faith Prince revival of Bells Are Ringing, as well as C. Edgar Sloan in Strike Up the Band (City Center Encores), Arnold Beckoff in Torch Song Trilogy, the Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance, and David in Christopher Durang’s A History of the American Film. Garrison’s other television credits include Norman on It’s Your Move and Stan on Working It Out, as well as guest appearances on Law and Order, The West Wing, The Practice, NYPD Blue, Without a Trace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Judging Amy, Murphy Brown, Murder She Wrote and Ed.

Betsy Morgan (Nancy) returns to Paper Mill following her critically acclaimed performance as Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables a role she also played on the national tour. Morgan's Broadway credits include the original casts of A Little Night Music (revival), Disney's The Little Mermaid and High Fidelity. Jose Llana (Bill Sikes) appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as the original Chip Tolentino (Drama Desk Award); Wang Ta in Flower Drum Song; Angel inRent; Jessie-Lee in Streetcorner Symphony; and Lun Tha in The King and I. Mr. Llana is also a recording artist with a best-selling solo album, VIVAJohn Treacy Egan (Mr. Bumble) returns to Paper Mill following his hilarious performance as Tito in Lend Me a Tenor.  Egan appeared on Broadway in Sister Act, Bye Bye Birdie, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Producers and Jekyll and Hyde.  On television Mr. Egan was featured on Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock and many more.  Paper Mill alum David Hess (Mr. Brownlow) appeared on Broadway in Sweeney Todd and Annie Get Your Gun.  At Paper Mill, Mr. Hess appeared in Ragtime and She Loves Me.

The title role of Oliver will be played by 11-year-old Tyler Moran.  Moran starred as Oliver in Worchester Light Opera's recent production of the show.  He appeared in The Sound of Music (Kurt) at Woodland Theater Company and in productions at Hanover Theatre and Assumption College.  Ethan Haberfield (Tenafly, NJ) will portray the Artful Dodger. Haberfield began his professional career as a member of the New York City Opera, performing in Don Giovanni at Lincoln Center. Soon after, Ethan was cast as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway. After a one-year run, he was cast as Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird at the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre. Haberfield was featured in the film Sinister starring Ethan Hawke.

Kristen Smith Davis (Bet) was featured in the national tours of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, South Pacific and The Wizard of Oz. Michael Di Liberto (Mr. Sowerberry) appeared in the national tours of Annie, Cinderella and Strike Up the Band. Dierdre Friel (Mrs. Sowerberry) appeared on Broadway in Leap of Faith and on television in The Sopranos. Juliane Godfrey (Charlotte) has been featured in regional productions at Goodspeed, Woodstock and UCLA.  Broadway regular Barbara Marineau (Mrs. Bedwin) appeared in six shows on the Great White Way including three original casts.  Ms. Marineau played the role of Nancy in Paper Mill Playhouse's 1976 production of Oliver! with John Carradine and Michael Kermoyan. Jeremy Morse (Noah) received a Drama Desk nomination for Joe Iconis’s Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova. Jessica Sheridan (Widow Corney) is back at Paper Mill, where she played Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie last season. Her Broadway credits include Sister Act, Follies, Mary Poppins and Les Misérables.

Rounding out the ensemble are: Adrian Arrieta (Summit, NJ), Kate Bailey, Casey Beidel (Rutherford, NJ), Monica Bradley, Stephen Mitchell Brown, Casey Erin Clark, Will Flamm (Montclair, NJ), Kyle Garvin, Matthew Hooper, Devin Johnson, Mary Claire King, Hunter Kovacs (Maplewood, NJ), Jimmy Larkin, George Merrick, Sarah M. O'Connor (Wayne, NJ), Patrick O'Neill, PJ Palmer, Jason Pintar, Jeff Sullivan, Bronwyn Tarboton, Joseph Torello and Joseph C. Townsend.

The Workhouse Boys were cast at an open call audition at Paper Mill Playhouse and competed against more than 200 children for these roles.  The Workhouse Boys include: Bobby Axelrod (Montclair, NJ), Luke Berninger (Wayne, NJ), Jake Cedar (Haddonfield, NJ), James Freedson-Jackson (South Orange, NJ), Chance Friedman (Basking Ridge, NJ), Lucas Imhoff (Madison, NJ), Jeffrey Kishinevskiy (Tenafly, NJ), Colton Maurer (Mahwah, NJ), Tyler Pelton (East Brunswick, NJ), Jake Walsh (Wall, NJ), Arthur Wawrzyniak (Morristown, NJ) and twin brothers Lee Rosenthal and Ryan Rosenthal (Cranford, NJ).

MARK S. HOEBEE (Director, Producing Artistic Director) joined the artistic team at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2000. Under his artistic leadership, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh, Paper Mill launched the American premiere of the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables in 2010 and, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, was home to the world premiere of Newsies in 2011. On Broadway, Mark directed the Actors Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. He directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Grammy winner Toni Tennille; Dreamgirls; Company; and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. Directing credits at Paper Mill include Dreamgirls; Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh; Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons; Meet Me in St. Louis; The King and I; Miss Saigon; Disney’s High School Musical; Peter Pan; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Damn Yankees; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Curtains; and The Full Monty starring Broadway legend Elaine Stritch.

JOANN M. HUNTER (Choreographer) is back at Paper Mill after previously collaborating with Mark S. Hoebee on Curtains. Hunter choreographed the world premiere of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis (Broadway World Award, Best Choreography). On Broadway, Ms. Hunter choreographed On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, She Loves Me (Roundabout benefit), Curtains (Associate Choreographer), The Wedding Singer (Associate Choreographer) and All Shook Up (Associate Choreographer). As a performer, her credits include 12 Broadway shows including Gloria in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Suzanne in Thou Shalt Not, Lois/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate, June and dance captain in Chicago and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She is currently developing an original ballet with words, Secondary Impact.

CRAIG BARNA (Music Director) recently served as Music Director for Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of  Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Barna musically directed the Broadway productions of Peter and the Wolf (Brian Blessed), Peter Pan (Cathy Rigby), Jesus Christ Superstar (Ted Neeley/Carl Anderson) and the national tours of Camelot(Michael York/Lou Diamond Phillips), Cats, Singin’ in the Rain and Grease (Jack Wagner). Television credits include A&E’s Peter Pan, the 1999 Tony Awards, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Today Show, and CBS This Morning.

LIONEL BART (Music, Lyrics & Book) is credited with helping to revive the English musical in the late 1950s and ’60s. Oliver! was his biggest hit; it opened in London in 1960 and ran for more than 2,600 performances, and the 1963 Broadway premiere earned Bart a Tony Award for Best Score. His other musicals include Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, Lock Up Your Daughters, Blitz!, Maggie May, Twang!, and La Strada. In addition to the film version of Oliver!, Bart wrote theme songs or scores for more than 20 major films, including The Tommy Steele Story and From Russia With Love. As a pop songwriter, he wrote many hits for many stars, including Adam Faith, Anthony Newley, and Cliff Richard.

The Oliver! design team includes:

AMANDA SEYMOUR (Costume Design) has designed for theaters and universities across the United States including Paper Mill’s 2012 production of The Sound of Music. Recent design credits include: Paul’s Case (UrbanArias); Exile, Lawnpeople (Cherry Lane Theatre); Don Pasquale (Juilliard School); Bumbug the Musical (Clurman/Theatre Row); Armide (Juilliard School); Alcina (Pocket Opera of New York at Atlantic Stage 2); Lydia (Yale Rep). Seymour served as assistant on Broadway for Chaplin, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Present Laughter and A View from the Bridge.

F. MITCHELL DANA (Lighting Design) has designed lights for Paper Mill Playhouse for many years including The Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, Carousel, Baby, She Loves Me, South Pacific, Peter Pan, Man of La Mancha, and many others. He has won Barrymore, Carbonell, Phoebe, and Drama-Logue Awards. Broadway designs include The Suicide, Monday After the Miracle, Freedom of the City, Man and Superman, and The Inspector General. Opera designs include Turandot for the Royal Opera (1984 Olympic Arts Festival, Wembley Arena, Covent Garden, US simulcast); Carmen (Expo ’92); LA Opera; and New York City Opera.

RANDY HANSEN (Sound Design) is Paper Mill Playhouse’s resident sound designer. Additional credits include Sting: A Winter’s Tale and the Sacred Duke Ellington Concert starring Jessye Norman. He is audio consultant and sound designer for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, and he completed the sound installation at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Numerous television broadcasts include Broadway on Broadway, Victoria’s Secret Christmas specials, and the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the recording studio, he has produced and engineered award-winning albums for many artists, including Nancy LaMott and Laurie Beechman.

LEAH J. LOUKAS (Hair & Wig Design) designed wigs for the Broadway productions of Irena’s Vow, American Idiot, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, as well as hair and makeup design for A Night with Janis Joplin. She was the associate designer for Motown on Broadway.  At Paper Mill Playhouse Loukas designed The Sound of Music and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

TIMOTHY R. MACKABEE (Set Coordination) recently designed the set for Broadway’s Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth and Off Broadway’s Luce (LCT3). Mackabee has designed for many regional theaters including Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Yale Rep, Asolo Rep, Philadelphia Theater Company and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Mackabee has also designed for television and film including Margot at the Wedding, Smash and The Today Show.

Michael Rossmy (Tale of Two Cities) will serve as Fight Choreographer. Shane Ann Younts (Newsies) will serve as Dialect Coach.  Original scenery is designed by Mark Morton. The Production Stage Manager is Andrea Cibelli.

Free Audience Enrichment Activities for Oliver!

Thurs. December 5 Learn more about the show you are about

Thurs. December 12 to see, led by members of Paper Mill’s

Thurs. December 19 Artistic and Education Departments.

Sat. December     14 Following Matinee      Orchestra                   Q&A with the Cast

Meet the cast and ask actors questions about the show or the role they are portraying.

Oliver! at Paper Mill Playhouse photos by Jerry Dalia;

1- From left to right: Jessica Sheridan (Widow Corney), John Treacy Egan (Mr. Bumble) and Tyler Moran (Oliver).2- The Workhouse Boys of Oliver!

Free Reading at Holmdel Theatre Company December 2

Up next MONTHLY PLAY READING SERIES
Selections from...
Holidays on Ice
Written by David Sedaris
Directed by Tom Frascatore
Monday, December 2 @7:00 p.m.
Free Admission
Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, NJ
Holidays on Ice is a collection of holiday-themed fictional stories and personal essays written by David Sedaris, the best-selling humorist. David Sedaris's darkly playful humor is a common thread through the book, worming its way through "Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" a chipper suburban Christmas letter that spirals dizzily out of control, and "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," a vicious theatrical review of children's Christmas pageants. Holidays on Ice is laugh out loud funny, and die-hard Sedaris fans need to spend their holidays hearing this collection.
Featuring:
Cody Dalton, Eric McDonough, Dave Murray, Brian Remo and Geoff Shields*
*member, Actors' Equity Association
Admission is free. Coffee will be served.
Please Note: “At this Reading, HTC will be collecting gift cards and unwrapped toys for RAINE's Holiday Toy Drive. Please be as generous as you can for this worthy, local charity.  Thank you!”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Year-End Fundraising Drive by The Company

circle fund appealunnamed

A Message from Dreamcatcher Rep-A Belated Thank You.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

“In the spirit of Thanksgiving we would like to share with you a few of the many things for which Dreamcatcher Rep is thankful:

  • We are thankful for the generosity of our individual donors and foundation grantors, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; all of your donations add up and make it possible for us to entertain you throughout the year
  • We are thankful for our 12-member resident acting ensemble, whose joy of performing and commitment to excellence is the essence of our heart and soul
  • We are thankful for the loyalty of our patrons, like you, who attend our performances and tell your friends and family about us; you are the reason why we perform, and your loyalty is fueling our growth
  • We are thankful for the families of our ensemble, board and staff, for sharing your loved ones with us on nights and weekends when you want them at home the most 
  • We are thankful for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the thriving performing arts culture of New Jersey
  • We are thankful for the City of Summit and the staff of Oakes Center, for opening your arms and welcoming us to town with such enthusiasm
The staff, board of trustees, interns, and twelve-member resident acting ensemble of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.”

Coming up next!

Dreamcatcher's Very Special Special“The first weekend in December is just 1 week away. That means it's time for A Very Special (HOLIDAY) Special, our terrific annual holiday variety show. You'll enjoy seasonal songs, comedy sketches, readings, music and lots of good old-fashioned fun.” 

The show is all-original every year. Prior shows have included:

  • "12 Days of Christmas Lawn Ornaments"
  • Staged readings of two one-acts
  • All-inclusive holidays jingle
  • 5-minute "Nutcracker"
  • Vegas-style opening number
  • Plus several song spoofs & improv

ONE WEEKEND ONLY!

The Very Special Special runs Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7.  Tickets


SAVE 10% (advance only)     Enter code HOHOHO at checkout


Event:
A VERY SPECIAL (HOLIDAY) SPECIAL Info

When:
Friday, December 6 at 8pm         One weekend only!
Saturday, December 7 at 8pm

Location:
Oakes Center
120 Morris Avenue, Summit     Directions

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

Price:
$20 all adults
$15 kids 15 and younger
See discount below! Buy tickets nowNo fees!

Discount:
Our e-mail friends SAVE 10% (advance only). Enter code HOHOHO at checkout. 

Note to 7-show season passholders: don't forget to reserve your seats! E-mail for help

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Oakes Center   *   120 Morris Avenue   *   Summit, NJ 07901

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Music is the Medicine Foundation to present PL@Y

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Ever get the desire to power down your computer and open up your mind? This Thanksgiving weekend, Music is the Medicine Foundation presents PL@Y, a fun-filled theatrical evening that combines theater and a rock show into one spectacular opus.  The world’s first ever Theaterockshopus.
   
PL@Y tells the story of a typical 21st century teenager whose addiction to technology leads her down the digital “rabbit hole” into a strange and fantastic new world of imagination, danger, and fusilli pasta. It’s hilarious, innovative, and offers a fascinating portrayal of our technology-obsessed society and the creativity within all of us.

PL@Y is an original work written by local playwrights Nick Norcia and JD Wilson, featuring the live music of The Amboys, a local rock band who will be performing their original songs onstage, accompanied by the choreographed dancing of the talented Let’s Dance Studios company.

The two performances will be Friday November 29th and Saturday November 30th at 7 p.m. at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan. Any and all profits raised from the event will directly benefit the Ashley Lauren Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides help and hope for children with cancer.

Tickets and more information are available at mitmfoundation.com, at the MITM Foundation Facebook page, or by calling 732-998-4027. This November 29th and 30th, give yourself the gift of a once in a lifetime experience, and come out to PL@Y.

MUSIC IS THE MEDICINE FOUNDATION
1401 Whitty Road
Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 998-4027
www.mitmfoundation.com
theaterockshopus@gmail.com

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES 19TH ANNUAL RISING STAR AWARD APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE Deadline for submissions is January 8, 2014

rising

Since their inception in 1996, The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater have ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey.

Among the early nominees and winners are Academy Award® winner Anne Hathaway, Tony® award winners Laura Benanti and Nikki M. James, and Tony® award nominee and star of Broadway’s CHAPLIN, Rob McClure.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s program is modeled after the Tony® Awards and serves the entire state of New Jersey with 100 entered productions from public, private and parochial high schools. Paper Mill Playhouse conceived and created the awards in 1996 to provide schools the opportunity to showcase their musical arts programs on a state level. The musicals are adjudicated by Paper Mill Playhouse throughout the spring by a group of seventy evaluators with each school receiving four independent evaluations.

The 2014 Rising Star Awards gala ceremony at Paper Mill Playhouse is set for June 3, 2014 when the nominees perform and recipients are presented with a crystal award. Any New Jersey school that produces a musical between January 16th and April 13h, 2014, is eligible to participate. Only the first one-hundred schools to apply will be entered into the program. Applications are available on the Paper Mill Playhouse’s website—www.papermill.org. The deadline for submissions is January 8, 2014 at 5 p.m.

“What’s happening in high school musical productions here in New Jersey and around the country is remarkable. Programs like the Rising Star Awards have raised the bar and create opportunities for student performers and theater technicians to be recognized for their achievements, while giving them access to thousands of dollars in scholarship money,” commented Paper Mill Director of Education, Lisa Cooney. “Many of Paper Mill’s Rising Star nominees and winners are now working professionally and we consistently hear from top tier colleges and casting directors that the Paper Mill Rising Star Award is a significant accolade for an aspiring theater artist.”

In addition to honors in performance, design and production categories, the Rising Star Awards recognize other aspects of the production process. Student Achievement Awards (based on nominations made by teachers and evaluations by a select committee) and an Educational Impact Award (recognizing a school’s effort to connect their musicals production to the district’s curriculum) are presented each year. In addition, the Rising Star “Theater for Everyone” Inclusion & Access Award is presented to a school that recognizes excellence in the promotion and practice of creative inclusion of students and adults with disabilities as performers, designers, musicians and production staff. Additionally, this award also seeks to recognize and reward a school that takes steps to ensure their performances are accessible to audiences with disabilities.  This award is co-sponsored by VSA New Jersey and the New Jersey Theater Alliance.

Paper Mill Playhouse also awards over $50,000 in scholarships at the Rising Star Awards. Five $1,000 cash scholarships are awarded to outstanding individual students participating in entered Rising Star Award productions, who plan to continue studying theater performance or technical theater in college. Students receiving final nominations in leading actor and leading actress categories receive a full scholarship to attend Paper Mill Playhouse’s competitive Summer Musical Theater Conservatory, a professional training program, which along with advanced classes in singing, acting and dance, offers the nominees an opportunity to perform on the stage at Paper Mill in our August season finale concert, “New Voices of 2014: “Oh, What a Night!,”a tribute to the magical shows and unforgettable moments that made us fall in love with the American musical. Additionally, students receiving final nominations in supporting actor and supporting actress categories will receive a 50% scholarship to attend the program.

Rising Star scholarships are made possible by John Burgio & Ruth Bedford in Memory of Jane Burgio and the Douglas Michael Krueger Arts Foundation.

“There is amazing energy and excitement for high school musical theater right now.” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “Seeing so many past Rising Star nominees and winners working professionally on Broadway, in national tours and at regional theaters around the nation is a huge validation of the extensive process our Paper Mill team has designed to locate and identify the best young talent from all corners of the great state of New Jersey.  The culmination for many New Jersey high schools is the prestigious honor of a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination and we are proud to present these awards to the schools in our community”

Rising Star Awards are also generously supported by The Bloomingdale’s Fund of the Macy’s Foundation.

Rising Star scholarships are made possible by John Burgio & Ruth Bedford in Memory of Jane Burgio, Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund Trust, VSA New Jersey and the New Jersey Theater Alliance.

Major funding for Paper Mill Playhouse Education Outreach is provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and MetLife Foundation.

This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family Holiday Spectacular ‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ at Centenary Stage Company

cc cs

“A tonic for children and adults…a transfixing journey…,” raved the New York Times about the show that ran for ten years in Madison Square Garden.  Back by popular demand, Centenary Stage Company presents this season’s Family Holiday Spectacular A Christmas Carol: The Musical, running November 29 through December 15 in the Sitnik Theatre of The David and Carol Lackland Center. Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas classic is reborn in this musical extravaganza with a live orchestra and 75 performers appearing in dazzling dance numbers and moving songs.

This beloved tale gets the full Broadway treatment by the legendary Broadway team of Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast," "Little Mermaid,"), Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Seussical") and Mike Okrent ("Crazy For You," "Me and My Girl. A Christmas Carol retains its emotional power and pure joy, thanks to the marvelously-told story filled with beautiful melodies and emotional lyrics. The Star Ledger says, “Centenary Stage Company grandly picks up where Madison Square Garden left off.”

Directed by Broadway veteran, Michael Blevins, A Christmas Carol features a cast hailing from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The holiday musical is meant to celebrate all the programs of the Centenary Stage, including talents from professional Equity actors as well as members of the acclaimed Young Performers Workshop (YPW), Centenary theatre students, and local performers.

CC Cs 2 ScroogeOsborn Focht (Hoboken, NJ) returns in the lead role of “Scrooge” for another phenomenal performance. Focht is best known for his appearance in Paul Simon’s The Capeman on Broadway, and as Benny Andersson in Kristina at Carnegie Hall.  Other returning performers include last season’s lovable “Cowardly Lion,” Jeremy Hilgert (Delaware Water Gap, PA) as Mr. Fezziwig; Equity Actor and CSC favorite Lea Antolini-Lid (Sparta) as “The Ghost of Christmas Past;” Sarah Lichty (New York, NY) as “The Ghost of Christmas Present” and regional actor Dave Scheffler (Easton, PA) as “The Ghost of Marley.” Making his professional CSC debut is David Yawger (Columbia) as “Tiny Tim,” who has worked his way up through CSC’s educational programs starting with Tyro at a very young age and was one of the stars of this summer’s YPW show A Year with Frog and Toad.

The Friday, December 6th performance of A Christmas Carol will coincide with Hackettstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration, which will include the arrival of Santa in a horse-drawn sleigh, carriage rides through Historic downtown, a parade featuring the Colonial Musketeers, an illumination event at Centenary College, and a holiday bazaar. For more information on the celebration, visit the Hackettstown Business Improvement District website at hackettstownbid.com.

Performances for A Christmas Carol are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2 PM, Wednesday December 4 at 2 pm, and Wed, December 11 at 10 am (school matinee), with an additional preview matinee on Friday, Nov 25 at 2 pm. Ticket prices are $27.50 for adults on Matinees and Fridays and $29.50 on Saturdays with discounts for seniors, students and children under 12. Thursday evening tickets are $27.50 with a two-for-one Family Night discount when purchased at the door.There will also be two performances where Scout Troops can get a discount when coming as a group. Friday, December 6th and Friday, December 13thscouts and their leaders can purchase tickets at $15 when they come in uniform. Reservations are required.

1007LacklandBldgTickets may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org, at the CSC Box Office in The Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, or by calling908-979-0900. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 1-5 p.m., and 2 hours prior to performance times. CSC also operates a second Box Office during the season at 217 Main Street in Hackettstown open Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m. where patrons can enter to win dinner for two at Prickly Pear Restaurant.

A Christmas Carol is sponsored in part by Heath Village, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, and Andrea’s Dining Room in Restaurant Village.
The 2013-14 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,  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, Bronze Sponsors The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Photos by Bob Eberle

1-Foreground: Jeremy Hilgert as "Mr. Fezziwig" and Rita Medina as "Mrs. Fezziwig" with Fezziwig Guests

2-Jared Cowley as "Young Ebenezer", Osborn Focht as "Ebenezer Scrooge," and Nikki Miller as "Emily"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rhino Theatre announces additional performances of ‘Les Miserables’

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Rhino Theatre has extended their run of “Les Miserables” and added show dates of December 13th, 14th, and 15th.  The show has been on wait list for most of their performances, so the theatre is excited to offer this additional chance for audience members to see their version. 

“Les Miserables” is perhaps the most popular musical of all time, as it is the world's largest running musical, seen by over 60 million people in 42 countries, and Tony Award winner for Best Musical in 1987. Audiences will be astounded and moved by the explosion of talent and excellent performances by the cast as well as the brilliant songs that will keep you engaged throughout the entire show. 

For tickets, please call Rhino Theatre at 973-248-9491 or get tickets online at RhinoTheatre.com.  Rhino Theatre is located at 247 Wanaque Avenue, Pompton Lakes NJ, 07442.

Performance Times;   8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Sunday)

Photo: Scene from Rhino Theatre’s “Les Miserables”

Centenary Stage Company at Drumthwacket

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When the Drumthwacket Foundation approached the New Jersey Theatre Alliance earlier this year for a once in a lifetime opportunity, the Alliance and its members responded swiftly and enthusiastically. The request was for the members to collaborate on a project to decorate the Governor’s mansion in Princeton with a theatrical flair for the holidays—Drumthwacket on Stage. Centenary Stage Company was among the groups eager to be a part of a grand tradition in New Jersey and help the Drumthwacket Foundation create a memorable experience for all visitors this holiday season.

Though this project would coincide with one of the busiest times of the season for CSC with their annual holiday musical production just around the corner, CSC Associates Rita Medina and Maria Brodeur decided that this would be a great way to spread the word about the theatre and entertainment opportunities happening in Northwest New Jersey. Medina recruited Centenary College faculty member Julia Sharp, who also serves as costumer for the main stage shows, to spearhead the design for CSC. Sharp specializes in Fashion and Visual Merchandising among other subjects and was able to bring in help from Centenary College Fashion students Sarah Greenstone and Christina “Tina” Medina.

When Medina and Sharp went on their first visit to Drumthwacket, they were given a tour of the mansion and as they walked into the majestic library with the impressive fireplace, they knew that it would be the perfect room for them to bring in elements from their 2011 holiday production of "A Christmas Carol: The Musical."  CSC is currently remounting the adaptation written by Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent running through December 15th in Hackettstown.

The beautiful room has been set up with production photos and two beautiful costumes constructed especially for this installation, one of The Ghost of Christmas Present and the other of a Victorian Caroler.  The room also includes props made specifically to fit with the room and a display of set designs from past CSC Equity productions by Emmy Winning designer Bob Philips. Board Member, and photographer, Bob Eberle also lent a hand putting together a video displaying other photos from past professional productions.

The Drumthwacket Foundation also works in conjunction with the Garden Clubs of New Jersey to help create an inspiring display overall. CSC’s Artistic Director Carl Wallnau stated that “Centenary’s proud to be a part of this holiday tradition and we’re looking forward to sharing our talents with New Jersey residents who come out to see this installation.” Other members in the Alliance have volunteered their time and efforts contributing to a display of props, costumes, set models and photos throughout the entire mansion to insure a magical experience for visitors coming through the home this December.

The Foundation will hold three Open House events on Wednesday, December 4th; Sunday, December 8th; and Wednesday, December 11th. Visitors who wish to attend can make reservations by visiting their website at www.drumthwacket.org<http://www.drumthwacket.org/>. A $5.00 donation to the Drumthwacket Foundation is suggested.

The 2013-14 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,  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, Bronze Sponsors The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Review: Joe DiPietro’s ‘Clever Little Lies’ with Marlo Thomas a hit at the George Street Playhouse

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Playwright Joe DiPietro,* a Jersey Boy (Oradell High School, Rutgers/New Brunswick)​​, has been so successful with Broadway and Off-Broadway hits he has achieved every writer's dream "he gave up his day job!" DiPietro is one of the few playwrights making a living writing full time for the theater....and he never had a writing course....totally self-taught. Several of DiPietro's Broadway hits include "Memphis," "Toxic Avenger" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It," plus the longest-running musical revue in off-Broadway history "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change." One of our favorite DiPietro plays is the fine family comedy/drama "Over the River and Through the Woods." What makes this play work so well is his marvelous, spot-on use of language (not bad for a writer!). The warm, tender, amusing family situation and the dialogue all flow so naturally, translation: It all sounds so real. That is also the case with his latest play "Clever Little Lies" now having its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. 

"Clever Little Lies" is a beautifully written and performed story of secrets and confessions about love, marriage, and fidelity. The exceptional cast includes the award-winning actress Marlo Thomas as Alice, theater and television veteran Greg Mullavey as her husband Bill (fans of the classic Norman Lear series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" will remember Greg as Louise Lasser's husband). Playing their son, Bill Jr, is Jim Stanek and the daughter-in law Jane is Kate Wetherhead, both with extensive Broadway and off-Broadway credits. The director is David Saint, the artistic director of the George Street Playhouse.

Without venturing too deep into the plot, the story involves just four people, a mother and father, Alice and Bill, and their grown son, Bill Jr. and daughter-in-law Jane. Oh yes, also the young couple’s baby. Over the course of 90 minutes (no intermission) we are exposed to their secrets, some of which are decades old, in the signature DiPietro manner of holding up a mirror for us to see the truth about ourselves, no matter how painful, all the time making us laugh. And, we do laugh at this clever tale while touched by the poignant manner in which the conflict is resolved.

The play starts in a posh locker room with father and son dressing after their weekly tennis match. This day is special, since Bill Sr. has for the first time defeated his son, 30 years younger. Quickly, the father senses that his son is harboring a secret (the son's tears are a bit of a clue!). Problem at work? Has he lost his job? No, the son confesses to his father that he is cheating on his wife. In fact, he is in love, having wild sex three times a week, with his gorgeous gym trainer. The son makes his father swear that he will never reveal his secret. Except for a quick, impressive scene in a car, the story is cleverly played out in Bill and Alice's living room. We go no further with the plot.

Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey are both marvelous as the parents who will go to any length to save their son's marriage. Thomas beautifully shows her talent for both comedy and drama. One minute you want to cry with her, the next you're laughing with tears in your eyes. Mullavey is pure perfection as the father who is overwhelmed by the pain inflicted by the revelations of the day.  Jim Stanek is terrific as the conflicted son, particularly in the exchange with Mullavey in the locker room. Kate Wetherhead as the young wife, with a three month old baby, may be a bit lighter in experience than her excellent co-stars, but she shines nicely in this most sympathetic role. 

Scenic designer Yoshi Tanokura has delivered impressive sets, from the locker room, to the moving car, to the up-market Westchester home.  Other production  credits: Esther Arroyo costume design; Christopher J. Bailey lighting design; Scott Killian original music and sound design; Kyle Gates production stage manager.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  November 24, 2013

Performances for "Clever Little Lies" began on November 19 and continue through Sunday, December 22. Individual tickets begin at $38. Contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office at 732-246-7717 or visit the Playhouse website,www.GSPonline.org, to purchase tickets, or receive show information and parking and dining recommendations. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in the heart of New Brunswick’s vibrant downtown scene, steps away from public transportation, parking and dining of every cuisine and budget.

​*​Joe DiPietro won the 2012 Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book for the recent Broadway hit Nice Work If You Can Get It. He won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score for Memphis, which was also awarded the 2010 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. His other shows include All Shook Up; ​​I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical). His plays include the much-produced ​​Over the River and Through the Woods, The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play), Creating Claire and The Last Romance. His work has been produced thousands of times across the country and around the world. Two previous works have had their premiere at George Street Playhouse: The Toxic Avenger and Creating Claire.

Photo: Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey (T. Charles Erickson)

WVL Radio Theatre’s Presentation of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at RVCC

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The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg will offer WVL Radio Theatre’s Presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Wednesday, December 18, at 2 and 7 p.m.

The production is featured in the Theatre’s Major Artists series. Tickets cost $10 for the 2 p.m. show and $25 for the 7 p.m. show.

It’s Christmas Eve in 1945, and only a handful of WVL Radio’s actors have braved the blizzard to perform that evening’s broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life”—the only hope for keeping the station afloat.

This clever stage adaptation breathes new life into the poignant story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls. The story is juxtaposed against a time of failing banks, devastatingly high unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing. The circumstances are eerily familiar, and more than 60 years later, this story remains as fresh and relevant as ever. Its message of hope and optimism is the perfect antidote to holiday cynicism.

To purchase tickets or for additional information, contact the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for a variety of performances.

[photo caption]: A scene from WVL Radio Theatre’s presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Photo courtesy of WVL Radio Theatre

RVCC Theatre is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.

Auditions: ‘Ravenscroft’ comedic mystery at Circle Players

 

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WHEN: Monday, Dec. 16, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7:30-9:30 PM; Callbacks by invitation only will be 7:30 PM Thursday, Dec. 19
WHERE:
Circle Players, 416 Victoria Ave, Piscataway

A read-through is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 22. Regular rehearsals will begin after the holidays.

PERFORMANCE DATES: 8 PM Fridays and Saturdays, March 7-22, with a 3 PM. matinee Sunday, March 23.

For more information, e-mail director Alicia Harabin at circleplayersnj@gmail.com.

What begins as a typical Gothic thriller—a remote country estate, a murder, a detective, falling snow—quickly turns into a darkly comedic examination into the nature and value of truth. Inspector Ruffing is called out to Ravenscroft manor to investigate the death of the family’s only male servant, who took a headlong plunge down the main staircase. As he interrogates the five women of the manor, ranging from the widowed lady of the house to the lowly housemaid, he begins to uncover more (and less) truth than he bargained for.

Alicia Harabin of Somerville is the director, and Ed Faver of Roselle is the producer.

Characters needed:

Inspector Ruffing (M, 35-55) - Relegated to a country post, inquiring on the gentry in the midst of a snowstorm, Ruffing is nonetheless insistent upon truth at all cost. A wearied and serious man, Ruffing finds himself trapped in a house full of eccentric and exhausting women.

Marcy (F, 25-30) - “A person with a clear sense of reality,” Marcy is governess to Gillian Ravenscroft. She is an outsider both upstairs and down, and, one suspects, in the world at large. But why?

Mrs. Ravenscroft (F, 35-55) - Seemingly a distractible eccentric, the widowed Mrs. Ravenscroft is head of her household. Quite the flirt, she is confident that she is not past her prime. Nothing gets her down, not even a little death or two.

Gillian Ravenscroft (F, 17) - “Delicate” Gillian speaks the truth, as she sees it, much to her mother’s chagrin. She is at once flighty and deeply insightful. She believes wholeheartedly in ghosts, but sees straight through Inspector Ruffing.

Dolly (F, 18-25) - As the kitchen maid, Dolly holds the lowest position in the household, and perhaps rightly so. She is treated with pity upstairs, but mightily abused by Mrs. French below. “I’m a poor orphan, I swear. You can ask my mother.”

Mrs. French (F, 40+) - A bulldog of a servant, but no less of a woman for it, Mrs. French rules the kitchen. She has a clear sense of her place and her duty and clear expectations of those around her as well.

NOTE: Ages listed are the ages of the characters. Actors of any age will be considered as long as they can play within the listed range. All roles in this show are meaty and will require stamina as all characters will be visible to the audience throughout the play.

Audition sides will be provided.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Next at Tri-State Actors Theater ‘A Christmas Carol’

Tri Carolnnamed

Tri-State Actors Theater celebrates its 26th Season with its 9th annual presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Tri-State’s Artistic Director and Founder, Paul Meacham. A CHRISTMAS CAROL runs December 12 through December 22 at the PSE&G Student Center Theater, Bldg. D, of Sussex County Community College, Newton. This heart-warming holiday classic has delighted tri-state audiences since 2005, making it a well-loved holiday entertainment tradition for the tri-state region.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a wealthy man, rich in money and poor in spirit. He is the surviving partner of Scrooge and Marley, a “business” that places profit above all else. He’s locked his solitary heart into a cashbox and forgotten where he’s put the key. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is his usual miserly self. But that night, Scrooge is visited by three spirits of his past, present and future that show him the desolate path he has chosen. Scrooge journeys from the painful losses of his youth to the human kindness and deep joy of a glorious Christmas morning. It is a story that continues to touch hearts, no matter how often it has been seen.

As well as adapting Dickens’ classic story, Paul Meacham* will direct A Christmas Carol and play Scrooge. Returning cast members include: Nicholas Wilder and Lauren DeVore. New to the acting company this season are Peter Kendall, Tom Walker, and Elizabeth Weitzen. Also, Wendy Snow* joins the company as the production stage manager. (*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.)

A Christmas Carol plays Thursday, December 12 through Sunday, December 22. The running time for A CHRISTMAS CAROL is approximately two hours, with intermission. Appropriate for ages 6 and above. Advance ticket purchases are always recommended. Tri-State offers Group Rates and a special discount for SCCC students and staff for all performances. Tickets for are all performances are available on-line at www.tristateactorstheater.org or sussex.edu - click on Box Office. Large print programs, accessible parking, and wheelchair access are available for patrons with special needs. For tickets, information, and special services, please contact the theater at 973 383-0510. On day of performance, the Box Office at the Student Center Theater, Bldg. D, is open 60 minutes prior to curtain time. (Please note: This season A Christmas Carol is being presented in the SCCC Student Center Theater, Bldg. D, not in the Performing Arts Center.)

A Christmas Carol

PERFORMANCE DATES AND TIMES

December 12 – December 22

Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 pm

Friday, December 13 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 pm, 2:30 pm preshow Holiday Concert by the SCARC Choir

Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 pm

Friday, December 20 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 22 at 3:00 pm

Tickets: Friday, Saturday and Sunday - $28, $25 – Seniors (60+), $20 – Students

Tickets: Thursday Evening - $23, $20 – Seniors (60+), $18 – Students

Advance ticket purchases are always recommended. Tri-State offers Group Rates and a special discount for SCCC students and staff for all performances. Large print programs, accessible parking, wheelchair access and elevator service are available for patrons with special needs. For tickets, information, and special services, please contact the Tri-State at 973 383-0510. Tickets for are all performances are available on-line at www.tristateactorstheater.org orsussex.edu - click on Box Office. On day of performance, the Student Center Theater Box Office is open 60 minutes prior to curtain time. Signs will guide patrons from parking to the Student Center Theater.

Joyous music! Festive dancing! Meacham’s adaptation joins the modern Christmas season in the theatrical world with Dickens’ 19th century world. This adaptation is an intimate and warm retelling of Charles Dickens’ most famous Christmas Story and will appeal to those who love live theater and real Dickens. Capture the holiday spirit when your family joins the Tri-State family for this timeless Dickens classic. Great for families! It’s a Sussex County tradition!

Additional information about Tri-State Actors Theater and its programs and services is available on the web at www.tristateactorstheater.org. Funding for Tri-State Actors Theater has been made possible by the generous support of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.       

‘The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t’ at Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre-Single Performance December 8

Christmas that almost

The Morris Museum has announced that a production of The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t will be held at the Bickford Theatre on Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm.

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't provides a special behind-the-scenes peek at the hustle, bustle, and near disasters of the Christmas season. Adapted entirely from stories written by children, the play includes three acts. In Dinky, The Dancing Reindeer, one of Santa’s reindeer can't decide if she wants to be a dancer or a member of the sleigh team. How Santa Got Well tells the story of an illness that keeps Santa at home on Christmas Eve until a cure appears from the most unlikely of places. Finally, in Santa and the Witch, Santa falls under a witch’s sleeping spell.

The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t is recommended for children ages three to nine. The play is produced by Child's Play Touring Theatre of Chicago, Illinois.

Tickets

Tickets are $10 for Museum members; $12 for non-members; $9 for groups (20 or more). To purchase tickets, please call 973.971.3706.

About Child’s Play Touring Theatre

Founded in 1978, Child’s Play Touring Theatre was the first theatre company to realize the value of children’s own writing and perform exclusively stories and poems written by young authors.  Combining the important, imaginative writings of children with the craftsmanship of professional theatre artists and educators, they created a unique stage where children’s voices can be heard, examined and treasured.

Photo: Scene from The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t /MM

News From Across The River: Ballets with a Twist at Stage 48

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“White Russian” Photo by Nico Malvaldi

Ballets with a Twist, New York City’s next-generation dance company, invites audiences in from the cold with a sizzling new production of its signature show, Cocktail Hour, at Stage 48 on Monday, December 16 at 8:00 pm.

Presented in full floorshow format by nightlife icons John Blair and Beto Sutter, the company’s second appearance at Manhattan’s hot new multi-level lounge and entertainment venue rounds out a spectacular season of engagements nationwide, from Lincoln Center to Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare. Program highlights include original music performed live and the New York theatrical debut of classical cocktail fantasia, “White Russian.” Complimentary snow will be provided!

For those who care to capitalize on their Cocktail Hour experience, Stage 48’s own Z Bar Restaurant and Sky Lounge will be on the scene with a special menu of flavorful Euro-Latin cuisine — and cocktails, of course! Full ticketing details can be found at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/392916.

The Show

Conceived and choreographed by celebrated dance-maker Marilyn Klaus — whose background ranges from vaudeville and show dancing, to Isadora Duncan and classical ballet — Cocktail Hour is a sassy suite of dances, each inspired by a well-known beverage. The show infuses ballet with an irreverent pop sensibility while paying respect to the rich creativity of cocktail culture. You’ve never seen cocktails like these!

Cocktail Hour features original music by Stephen Gaboury, who has collaborated with Klaus for over 20 years. His music has been heard in film and on television, and he has performed with many A-listers, including Patti Labelle, Suzanne Vega, and Ute Lemper. In 2004, he received a Grammy nomination for his work with pop/rock legend Cyndi Lauper. Gaboury also contributed as co-writer for selections in Lauper’s Broadway musical, Kinky Boots, which earned thirteen Tony nominations and six wins (including Best Original Score and Best Musical) this year.

Catherine Zehr is the artistic force behind Cocktail Hour’s glamorous costume design. Her exquisite creations evoke the origins and spirit of each libation with vivid colors and embellishments.

Critics and audience members agree: Cocktail Hour is an artistically seductive must-see. The Huffington Post raves that Klaus is “blasting the boundaries between high art and entertainment,” and that her style is a distinctive mix of “Hollywood glitz and New York polish,” while The New York Times praises her as “witty and fantastic.” Ballets with a Twist has also caught the attention of The Wall Street Journal, New York City’s PIX11 Morning News, and WKYC-TV in Cleveland.

Craving more cocktail culture? Visit www.balletswithatwist.com.

The Venue

Stage 48, located at 605 West 48th Street, is a four floor, multi-use venue that hosts concerts, nightlife events, and private/corporate events. Built in the 1950s as a horse stable, the building has been completely remodeled, utilizing the beauty of the old industrial architecture and incorporating complementary modern elements to create an ambience not found anywhere else in New York City.

For more information, please visit https://stage48.com.

‘Nunsense II – The Second Coming’ at Historic Edison Valley Playhouse

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Next at ‘The Historic Edison Valley Playhouse’ is the mad-cap comedy “Nunsense II – The Second Coming” with book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin.

Like the original, NUNSENSE II takes place in the "gymnatorium" of Mt. Saint Helen's School. It features the same five nuns, six weeks later, now bitten by the theater bug and ready to put on a "Thank-You Program" for all the people who supported them in their first benefit. This time, the set is dressed with props from the musical, The Mikado. For all those patrons who didn't attend the first benefit, Sister Hubert has written a "high-speed" synopsis for the Sisters to act out, immediately bringing everyone up-to-date. So original NUNSENSE fans will be greeting old friends, while first-timers at NUNSENSE II will feel completely at home with new friends

Production Credits: Director:  Linda Viel; Musical Director:  Emily Bengels; Choreographer: Samantha Tirone.

The cast: Kelly Brandt, Arlene Britt, Jill Mesonas, Sandy Sainvil and Sharon Underberg.

Performances: Friday & Saturday December 6 - 21, 2013 at 8 PM, Sunday December 15, 2013 at 2 PM.

Tickets: Adults $20  Students/Seniors (age 55 and over) $15

EVP_photoTo reserve and pay for your tickets online go to www.evplayhouse.com or call (908) 755-4654 to make a reservation to pick up and pay for your tickets the night of the show.

Historic Edison Valley Playhouse, 2196 Oak Tree Rd,Edison, NJ 08820

Sunday, November 24, 2013

‘How To Be Old-a Beginners Guide’ a delight at Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

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A funny thing happened on the way to a retirement community for Jan Slepian, the celebrated author of​  28 books for children and young adults​. Slepian "retired" to a senior living facility in Maplewood, New Jersey...but, there was no way to keep her from "pen and paper".... remember composing on paper instead of a computer keyboard?  Regardless of method, she began writing essays for her retirement community’s newsletter particularly on the funny foibles of her fellow residents, all properly unidentified. Her columns, first collected into a book, have become the source material for "How To Be Old-a Beginners Guide." Enter the artistic director of the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, in nearby Summit, New Jersey, Laura Ekstrand. Laura has created a funny, very clever, sixty minute gem of a playlet performed as a highly effective staged reading.

She has created a series of vignettes that; "​guide us along the sometimes tricky journey through an enlightened old age, and include reflections on the difficulty of such ordinary routines as getting in and out of cars, mastering technology and finding matching socks" she states​.​ Spoiler alert: the secret of a senior getting in and out of a car is simply the "RF" method.....Rear First! A big audience favorite concerned the mention of the greatest gift a grandchild had given his grandmother. She, of course, had lavished a considerable number of gifts and other considerations on him for many years. His priceless gift to a now slightly immobile granny was "Google!" The ability to Google Search miraculously  transformed​ her world.

​"How To Be Old: A Beginner's Guide" is clearly destined for a long life on tour at senior residences, communities and centers in the Garden State and beyond. This is not exactly new territory for Dreamcatcher. The play is  ​a follow-up to ​their ​ 2011's sold out hit, ​Jan Slepian's ​ ​"​Astonishment,​"​ that went on to tour the state for ​two years.​
NF TS DTThe very special extra element to the success of the play rests with the spot-on casting. Three very talented actresses, all with delightful comedy styles, combine to make ​ "How To Be Old: A Beginner's Guide" ​into a truly special event, dare I say "senior moment?" The ladies, all ​veteran actresses​,​ are: Dreamcatcher regular Noreen Farley​ (we selected Noreen last year for our "2012 Footlight Award" for her performance in Dreamcatcher's "Blood: A Comedy"); Terri Sturtevant, fresh from her successful Bickford, Hunterdon Hills and Chatham Players recent performances; and Daaimah Talley, blest with marvelous acting ability (sings too!) that has taken her to impressive venues in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She toured for the past two years with the staged reading of "Astonishment."

​​"How To Be Old: A Beginner's Guide" ​ is four star entertainment designed perfectly for the "young at heart" (over 60's).

Credits: Based on the book by Jan Slepian; Adapted for the stage by Laura Ekstrand, Directed by Laura Ekstrand; Technical Director is Amy Gilbert.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  November 23, 2013

PRICE: $20 all seats- Cash only at the door; buy in advance to pay by credit card
TIMES: Friday Nov. 22 at 8pm, Saturday Nov. 23 at 2pm, Sunday Nov. 24 at 2pm
LOCATION: Oakes Center • 120 Morris Avenue • Summit, NJ 07901   Directions
PARKING: free parking on streets, in our lot on Ashwood Ave. and at the Summit Rec Center   Maps
AGE APPROPRIATENESS: roughly middle school (age 12) and older
RUN TIME: How to Be Old runs about 60 minutes with no intermission
NOTE: As this performance is a staged reading, you should expect the cast to be reading from a script at times
Buy tickets call 800-838-3006 (24/7)
Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible. As always, assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available by prior arrangement.

Photo by Steve McIntyre: L-R Noreen Farley, Terri Sturtevant and Daaimah Talley

Review: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ returns to The Growing Stage even better than last season

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Attention parents and grandparents: After 12 sold-out performances last season, the remarkable theatre treasure that is The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is happily celebrating the holidays with a revised version of last season’s hit musical, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

Even if you had the good fortune to see this fun event last December with your family, don’t hesitate to return, it is a nicely revised production. In addition to several attractive set and costume changes, the instrumental music (pre-recorded) is all new, lighter and brighter than last year. (Read last year's review)

The Growing Stage is one of only four theatres (Dallas, Chicago and Orlando) in the U.S. performing this charming production.

After 12 sold-out shows, Executive Director Stephen L. Fredericks (he plays Santa) felt this is the perfect show to bring back for the holidays.  Fredericks states, “We grew up watching the show every year during the holidays, listened to its music by Johnny Marks, and the characters created to tell the story have stayed with us.  It's a holiday piece centered around a theme of acceptance, of overcoming the odds and its told in a warm and funny manner.  What's not to like?”

This production will run to December 22nd with performances Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 4 PM. Friday November 29thmarks a special “Alumni Night”, inviting artists, young and old from the past thirty two years to celebrate with the company.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  tells the timeless story of a true misfit who transforms into a beloved hero.  Adapted by Robert Penola from the popular 1964 television special still shown today with music and lyrics by Johnny Marks.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is set in a magical, holiday world in and around the North Pole, and populated by endearing characters – from a talking snowman to flying reindeer. This stage production is under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks with musical direction by Laura Petrie and choreography by Jillian Petrie.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features the talents of 6 professional performers in the cast.  Returning in their roles are Becky Nitka in the title role of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; P.J. Schweizer as Hermey the Elf; William Ward as Sam the Snowman; David Spellman as Yukon Cornelius; Steve Fredericks and Jenna Morris as Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Becky Nitka is the “The Gold and Silver” in “Rudolph,” She quickly charms with even a wink and nod as her professionalism shows at every turn. P.J. Schweizer nicely repeats his role as the maverick Hermey. The Elf who wants to be a dentist. Central to the entire proceedings is the marvelous veteran actor with credits that stretch from New York to Paris and beyond, William Ward as the narrator, Sam, the Snowman. David Spellman IS Yukon Cornelius, the life-saving prospector with a heart of gold.

Returning as Mr. Donner is one of our favorite non-equity performers, Steve Nitka (doubles as the Elf Boss). Steve plays Rudolph’s father, a bit of type casting…..Becky is his real-life daughter. Rounding out the cast are twenty four community artists that are mostly of the junior “elf” size, bursting with enthusiasm, projecting their great joy in being a part of the production. Young Bryn Bennett, is a perfect example, as Charley, a misnamed “Jack” in the Box.  Rachel Thomas as Clarice, who is first to befriend Rudolph, shows the hint of bigger and better things stage wise in her future, if she so chooses. Ralph Wallace, a fine local community performer, is new to the cast this year as Coach Comet, Clarice’s dad. The complete list of performers and their roles is below.

On the other side of the footlights are: Stage Manager Steve Graham; Set/Prop & Puppet Design Perry Arthur Kroeger; Designer Assistants Alice Romano, Debbie Tuxhorn; Costume Design & Construction Lori B. Lawrence; Costume Assistants Sue Brizek, Joanne Miceli, Robin Miller,Tern Scarpone; Sam the Snowman Costume Scaramouche Costumes; Lighting Design S.L. Fredericks; Light Board Operator Briana Young; Spotlight Operator Sarah Kochan; Dance Captain Mackenzie Miller; Company Intern Matthew Fralley

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  November 22, 2013


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 purchase tickets, please visit the website at www.growingstage.com or contact the Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or boxoffice@growingstage.com  Group rates and Birthday Party packages are available.

The Growing Stage is located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in and possibly introduce your youngsters to the special magic that is live theatre with Rudolph Netcong, New Jersey. 

The Cast:

 Rudolph – Becky Nitka                                                                                 Hermey, an Elf – P.J. Schweizer                                                                       Sam, a Snowman – William J. Ward                                                               Yukon Cornelius, a Prospector – David Spellman
Santa Claus – Stephen L. Fredericks
Mrs. Claus – Jenna Morris
Donner/Boss Elf – Steve Nitka
Mrs. Donner – Adrienne M. Reuss
Coach Comet/Abominable Snow Man/King Moonracer – Ralph Wallace
Clarice – Rachel Thomas                                                                              Fireball – Dalton Allison
Charlie, a Jack in the Box – Bryn Bennett
Doll – Alanna Claffey
Spotted Elephant – Amanda Beck
Train – Ethan Graham
Boat – Matthew Fralley
Cowboy – Nicholas Profito
Bird – Mackenzie Miller                                                                                    Baby Rudolph – Daniela Palmucci

Bucks & Does
Dalton Allison     Amanda Beck     Bryn Bennett     Alana Claffey     Matthew Fralley
Ethan Graham     Lexi Halbur     Mackenzie Miller     Justin Watt   

Santa’s Elves
Vanessa Adams     Giselle Gonzales     Kelcie Keenan     Jacob Meth
Matthew Murray     Elizabeth Pietz     Nicholas Profito     Sarah Riley
Woodland Creatures
Daniela Palmucci     Marisa Palmucci     Alexandra Schultz     Jennifer Schultz

Photo: Steve Fredericks and Jenna Morris as Mr. & Mrs. Claus with Rudolph-- Becky Nitka