Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: ‘Inherit the Wind’ is Exciting First Class Theater

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The Barn Theatre in Montville is an all volunteer, non-professional community theater that is in its final week of presenting the classic play "Inherit the Wind."  This production directed by Todd Mills impressively blurs the line between professional and community theater. Mills has created an absolutely first class theater event the equal of most of the activity across the river.

First, the play is the powerful story of a small bible belt town that places on trial a high school teacher for violating a law that forbade the teaching of Darwinian evolution. Yes, it is a fictionalized version of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 where a high school teacher named John Scopes was put on trial in Tennessee for teaching evolution. In the trial, the three time candidate for the Presidency William Jennings Bryan, and a fundamentalist hero who believed the Bible should be interpreted literally, spoke for the prosecution and the distinguished Chicago lawyer (and agnostic) Clarence Darrow for the defense. The trial was the key battle of biblical literalism versus science and reason and is considered one of the most important trials in United States history. However, Darrow considered the trial primarily about the right to think.

The authors, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, in their adaptation, that premiered on Broadway in 1955, changed the names of the principal characters involved: Bryan became "Matthew Harrison Brady," Darrow became "Henry Drummond," the Baltimore newspaperman H. L. Mencken became "E.K. Hornbeck," and John Scopes became "Bertram Cates."

ITW_1JG7452 The cast is a marvelous group of mostly veteran actors who would impress on anyone's stage. The six leads are truly outstanding: Kevern Cameron is a perfect Matthew Harrison Brady. His verbal sparring with Drummond that leads to a violent crescendo is live theater at its exciting best. Christopher Gibbs, who is a cross between liberals Henry Fonda and Sam Waterston, is equally perfect as Drummond. These two actors carry the play up to a  rarified level. The cynical reporter, E.K. Hornbeck, is in the impressive hands of John Hopko. The "fire and brimstone" fundamentalist preacher, Rev. Brown is played forcefully by Hank Barre. The teacher Bertram Cates is ably played by William Darche. Cates' friend and colleague Rachel Brown, the Rev. Brown's daughter, is the properly supportive Elizabeth Sherpa.

Major supporting roles are: Greg Moran as the Judge; Sam Mullaney as Howard Blair, a 13-year-old high school student; Payton Casarico as Melinda Loomis, a 12-year-old girl who believes strongly in the Bible; John Hawes as the district attorney Tom Davenport; and Robert Loucks as the Mayor, deeply concerned about the economic future of his town.

ITW_1JG7268 Others in the cast (many with minor speaking roles): Michael Burkett as Meeker, the bailiff; Laura Kennedy as Mrs. Sarah Brady, Matthew Harrison Brady's wife; Sharon Moran as Mrs. Krebs, leader of the Ladies' Aid Society; Brad Ireland as Mr. Bannister, a local citizen; Steve Nitka as Elijah, the illiterate Bible salesman; Dave McDonald as Harry Esterbrook, the radio reporter; Francis Tomitz as Jesse Dunlap, a local farmer; Steven Frommeyer as George Sillers, an employee at the feed store; Cheryl Bear as Mrs. Blair; Roy Bogert as Mr. Goodfellow; Gianna Esposito as Mrs. McLain; Cy Friedman as Hot Dog man/reporter; Jeff Kinkade as the Reuters man; and Lauren Pinto as Mrs. Loomis.

The key creative staff includes: Jay Mills, consultant to the Director; KC Cameron and Todd Mills, set design; Todd Mills and Tommy Pravata, lighting design; Rich Wittenberg, sound design; Janice Schopper, costumes; Nancy Zeidenberg and Marie Bogert, props; Lauren Moran Mills, hair/make-up design; Alice Moynahan, stage manager. All aspects of the staging, set, costumes, etc. contributed greatly to this theater experience.

"Inherit the Wind" is an excellent play that remains as relevant as ever as religious fundamentalists continue to try to blur the separation of church and state.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   March 29, 2015

The play's title comes from Proverbs 11:29, which in the King James Bible reads: "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart." It is in Act Two, Scene One, Brady admonishes Reverend Brown with this Bible quote for alienating his daughter when he gives a fiery sermon against Cates.

The remaining performances will be on April 3 and 4 at 8pm;  Tickets are $18. The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287. For  reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn Theatre on the web at www.barntheatre.org

 

1:Top photo: Courtroom

2: Standing- K.C. Cameron left, Christopher Gibbs right

3: William Darche left, Elizabeth Sherpa right

Photos by Joe Gigli

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dreamcatcher to present the New Jersey premiere of “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” a smart new comedy

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Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional theatre in residence at Oakes Center in Summit, is producing the New Jersey premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s “Rapture, Blister, Burn.” This smart new comedy, a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, recently played Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. “Rapture, Blister, Burn” plays April 16 through May 3, 2015, with talkbacks following the April 19 and April 26 matinees.

In this comedy about family, equality and twenty-first century gender politics, Catherine and Gwen chose opposite paths after grad school. Catherine built a career as a powerful academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs—the prize being Gwen’s husband. When “Rapture, Blister, Burn” played at Playwrights Horizons in 2012 The New York Times called it an “intensely smart, immensely funny new play.”

The production is directed by David Christopher (Cranford) and features Dreamcatcher ensemble members Nicole Callender (West Orange), Harry Patrick Christian (Montclair), Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), Noreen Farley (Clinton) and Jessica O'Hara-Baker (Manhattan).

“Rapture, Blister, Burn” will run at Dreamcatcher from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, May 3, 2015. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets range from $20 to $35, with special rates for subscribers and groups. Purchase tickets at www.dreamcatcherrep.org or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006. Special dates: Thursday, April 16 is a preview performance; all tickets $20. Friday, April 17 is opening night. Sunday, April 19 is Senior Sunday; seniors age 65+ pay $20 (advance purchases only).

Performances are at Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre at 20 Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center, 100 Morris Avenue. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available for free by prior arrangement.

To purchase tickets or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, visit www.dreamcatcherrep.org or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, business phone 908-514-9654.

Photo: Laura Ekstrand and Nicole Callender (DRT-Steve McIntrye)

McCARTER THEATRE CENTER CLOSES ITS 2014/2015 THEATRE SEASON WITH RACHEL BONDS’ FIVE MILE LAKE

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Winner of the 2014 Weissberger Award for Playwriting to receive its East Coast Premiere directed by McCarter Artistic Director Emily Mann.

Jason Babinsky, Kristen Bush, Nathan Darrow, Mahira Kakkar, and Tobias Segal are featured in this heartfelt look at small-town life.
Five Mile Lake runs May 1 – 31 on McCarter’s Berlind Stage.

“Jamie (Tobias Segal) enjoys a quiet life in his small Pennsylvania town, fixing up his grandfather’s old lake house and pining after Mary (Kristen Bush), his troubled coworker. When his brother (Nathan Darrow) comes back to town with a new girlfriend (Mahira Kakkar), Jamie’s peaceful world is thrown into disorder. What follows is a tender and heartfelt tale about regret, lost loves, and the murky depths that lie beneath still waters.”

Continuing its proud tradition of introducing major new plays and writers to the American Stage,(Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Convert, and Anna in the Tropics) McCarter Theatre Center is pleased to present the East Coast Premiere by playwright Rachel Bonds, whose work contains a “sublime tone” (The New York Times) in its well-constructed mix of character, potent dialogue, and nuanced subtext.

Five Mile Lake was presented as part of the 2013 McCarterLab Reading Series.  Costa Mesa, CA’s South Coast Repertory presented the world premiere in the spring of 2014 with a script lauded as “a gift for actors” by the Los Angeles Times.

In the words of director Emily Mann, “I am exceedingly proud of McCarter’s reputation as a home and a hub for original work and emerging artists. Rachel’s writing is exquisite. Her plays capture quiet moments and interactions that have large, life-changing implications for the characters, all of whom are vividly drawn, familiar, and lovable. Five Mile Lake is about a small town—not unlike the small towns from which both Rachel and I hail. When I read it, I immediately connected to the story, which seems, in so many ways, to capture elements of my own young adulthood.”

The cast of Five Mile Lake includes returning McCarter artists Kristen Bush (Proof) as Mary, Tobias Segal (Antony & Cleopatra) as Jamie, and Mahira Kakkar (Miss Witherspoon) as Peta. Newcomers to McCarter include Jason Babinsky (Billy Elliot and Ghost on Broadway) as Danny and Nathan Darrow (known for his role as Secret Service Agent Edward Meechum on Netflix’ House of Cards) as Rufus.                                                                  

McCarter is supported by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and over 3,000 individuals, corporations, and foundations. McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information, www.mccarter.org.

Five Mile Lake – Production Facts
Creative, Production, and Design Team

Written by: Rachel Bonds
Direction: Emily Mann
Scenic Design: Edward Pierce
Costume Design: Jennifer von Mayrhauser
Lighting Design: Jeff Croiter
Original Music and Sound Design: Daniel Perelstein
Casting Director: David Caparelliotis, CSA                                        Associate Artistic Director: Adam Immerwahr                                                Production Stage Manager:   Cheryl Mintz                                           Director of Production:   David York                                                  Managing Director:  Timothy J. Shields


CAST (in order of appearance)

Jamie: Tobias Segal
Mary: Kristen Bush
Rufus: Nathan Darrow
Peta: Mahira Kakkar
Danny: Jason Babinsky

Ticket Information and Performance Schedule

Single tickets for Five Mile Lake start as low as $25 and are on sale now online at mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.
Five Mile Lake will be performed on the Berlind Stage. The production will be one hour, forty five minutes with no intermission.
Friday                    May 1                                    8:00 p.m.
Saturday              May 2                                    8:00 p.m.

Sunday                 May 3                                    2:00 p.m. (Community Think post-show event)

Tuesday               May 5                                    7:30 p.m.
Wednesday        May 6                                    7:30 p.m.
Thursday             May 7                                    7:30 p.m.
Friday                    May 8                                    8:00 p.m. (Opening Night/Press Opening)
Saturday              May 9                                    3:00 p.m.
Saturday              May 9                                    8:00p.m.
Sunday                 May 10                                 2:00 p.m. (Dialogue on Drama)
Tuesday               May 12                                 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday        May 13                                 7:30 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Thursday             May 14                                 7:30 p.m. (Pride Night)

Friday                    May 15                                 8:00 p.m.

Saturday              May 16                                 3:00 p.m.
Saturday              May 16                                 8:00 p.m.
Sunday                 May 17                                 2:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Sunday                 May 17                                 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday        May 20                                 7:30 p.m.
Thursday             May 21                                 7:30 p.m.
Friday                    May 22                                 8:00 p.m.
Saturday              May 23                                 3:00 p.m. (Open Captioning Performance)

Saturday              May 23                                 8:00 p.m.
Sunday                 May 24                                 2:00 p.m.
Sunday                 May 24                                 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday               May 26                                 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday        May 27                                 7:30 p.m. (Audio Described Performance)

Thursday             May 28                                 7:30 p.m.
Friday                    May 29                                 8:00 p.m.
Saturday              May 30                                 3:00 p.m. (ASL Interpreted Performance)
Saturday              May 30                                 8:00 p.m.
Sunday                 May 31                                 2:00 p.m. (Closing Performance)                 

The opening night of Five Mile Lake is sponsored by Munich RE. 


Five Mile Lake
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 and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more info about Five Mile Lake, please visit the production’s dedicated website.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS


Live at the Library

A discussion with Director Emily Mann and Playwright Rachel Bonds

Community Room – Princeton Public Library  - Wednesday, April 15 – 7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public

McCarter Theatre Artistic Director Emily Mann and playwright Rachel Bonds participate in a moderated discussion about Five Mile Lake, receiving its East Coast premiere May 1- 31 at McCarter Theatre Center. Directed by Mann, the play paints a portrait of a group of young people yearning to make the right choices as they journey into their thirties in a rapidly changing world.

Community Think
Sunday, May 3 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.*

Terra Teatro in the West Lobby

* Immediately following the third preview performance of Rachel Bond’s Five Mile Lake.
Join us for our final Community Think event of the 2014/2015 season. Community Think is a series of in-person gatherings and online surveys designed as a listening tour of McCarter's audience and community. The information we learn through this listening tour helps us create and refine meaningful engagement programs.
Dialogue on Drama
Sunday, May 10 immediately following the 2:00 p.m. matinee – a free event, no RSVP req.

Post-Show Discussions

Post-show discussions at McCarter are highly interactive audience-based conversations facilitated by a member of McCarter’s artistic staff, often featuring cast members. These discussions focus on a range of topics including how artistic choices were made for the production, the actors’ process, and reflections and questions from audience members. Post-show discussions occur directly following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wed.,
May 13 and following the 2:00 p.m. performance on Sun., May 17.

Inside Story

Join us 45 minutes before any performance of Five Mile Lake for a 20-minute talk led by a member of McCarter’s artistic staff. Hear about what inspired the play, its unique creation and style, and much more. All Inside Story talks for Five Mile Lake will take place in the Berlind Theatre.

Construction Updates

Construction continues around McCarter for Princeton University’s Arts & Transit project and the expansion of the Lewis Center for the Arts. This will have an impact on parking, traffic, and transit in and around McCarter through the summer of 2017. Stay informed by visiting mccarter.org/VisitorInfo to get the latest construction updates.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo next at Playhouse 22

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1997 Tony Award Winning Comedy to Run this Spring

Playhouse 22, East Brunswick’s Community Theater troupe, to present The Last Night of Ballyhoo, a comedy by Alfred Uhry, running April 17 – May 3.   

Directed by Marie Fiorello, the comedy is set in the upper class German-Jewish community living in Atlanta in December 1939. Hitler has recently conquered Poland, Gone with the Wind is about to premiere, and Adolph Freitag and his sister Boo and nieces Lala and Sunny - a Jewish family so highly assimilated they have a Christmas tree in the front parlor - are looking forward to Ballyhoo, a lavish ball sponsored by their country club.

P22_BallyhooPoster-FINAL-webbanner The Last Night of Ballyhoo was inspired by the playwright’s childhood memories of Atlanta. It was commissioned by the Olympic Arts Festival for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was staged at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre that year.  A year later it opened on Broadway and garnered a Tony Award for best play.  Uhry’s other work includes Driving Miss Daisy.  

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

Tickets are $22/adults and $20/seniors and students and can be purchased online at Playhouse22.org, by calling the Box Office at (732) 254-3939 or at the Box Office window. 

Playhouse 22 is conveniently located at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick.

 

DO YOU ENJOY OUR PRODUCTIONS?

The clock is ticking, so PLEASE donate now…or we may not be here in the future.

Expenses continue to rise, and Playhouse 22 is no exception to feeling the impact of a slow economy.  Right now a group such as ours relies solely on tickets sales and donations for revenue.  However, donations are down, and ticket sales do not cover additional, non-show related expenses.  Since moving to the East Brunswick Community Arts Center after the sale of our Dunhams Corner Road home of many years, the Township of East Brunswick has required Playhouse 22 contractually to give to the Township $2 of every ticket sold towards the maintenance of the building that our theater occupies.  In addition, we are also required to pay half of the total yearly utility costs incurred for the entire building, regardless of the select times our group occupies the theater-related to rehearsals and subsequent productions .  This equates to approximately $25,000 ongoing per year for both expenses for our group!!  To date, the maintenance fees alone we’ve paid amount to almost $40,000, spread over the last four years!  These are two very large ongoing expenses for a non-profit group such as ours, and greatly impact our operation.    We need your support to help keep pace, and we need it NOW!  Not only to ensure we can continue to bring to you the high level of affordable entertainment you’ve come to expect from us, but that we will be here to celebrate our 55th year of operation now, and  for years to come!

Donating is easy – and tax deductible – please click here to donate online.  Or, please send your check Playhouse 22 – PO Box 181, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. Finally, you can donate now by placing your gift in the envelopes provided and place in the designated area in our lobby.  Thank you so much for your help!

The Board of Directors,
East Brunswick Community Players/Playhouse 22

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Light Opera of New Jersey to present THE TIMELESS TONYS: An Original Revue!

 

THE TIMELESS TONYS An Original Revue!

Light Opera of New Jersey to present THE TIMELESS TONYS: An Original Revue! Escape the cares of your life for the glitter of the Great White Way and enjoy over eight decades of Broadway hits, including favorites from The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, Hairspray, and many more! The show was created by Karen Cantor and by music director Greg Paradis, with stage direction by Bill Corson. Featuring the talents of rising stars from across New Jersey, including Lauran Dwane, Samantha Sharpe, Madison Washer, Priscilla Pyram, Andre Williams, Jarrett Smith, Lucas Turner, and Will Carey.

Tickets are $20-$30. Buy tickets online here or by calling 908-655-6023

TWO WEEKENDS, TWO VENUES, FIVE CHANCES TO SEE THE TIMELESS TONYS!

April 24th and 25th at 8:00 PM, April 26th at 2:00 PM

Macrae Theater, The Pingry School, 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

May 1st and 2nd at 8:00 PM

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Acting Classes at Tri-State Actors Theater

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Tri-State Actors Theater in Newton is registering children, teens and adults for its spring session of Acting Classes for Children and Teens, and Advanced Acting Workshops for Adults. Teens and Adults classes meet Mondays, starting April 6, at High Point Regional HS, Wantage. Children’s Classes meet on Saturdays starting May 2, at The SpringBoard Shoppes, 145 Spring St., Newton.

The Advanced Acting Workshop is for adults, 18 and over, with or without acting experience. Workshops, taught by actor and teacher, Tara Bowles, will be held from 7 pm to 9 pm on Mondays, beginning April 6 and end on Monday, June 8 at High Point Reg. HS. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $260.00.

Teen Classes are for students ages 13-17 and will be taught by Artistic Director/Actor/Teacher Paul Meacham. Students will learn basic skills of acting, work on monologues and 2-character scenes, with individual instruction for every student.

Spring Acting Classes meet on Mondays, from 5 pm until 7 pm, April 6 and end on Monday, June 8. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $230.00.

Children's Creative Drama Class, for ages 6-12, will be taught by Patricia Meacham, theater professional and teacher. The classes will focus on creative dramatics and theater games. Spring classes will be held on Saturdays, from 10:00 am until noon, May 2 through Saturday, June 6. The class registration fee (6 sessions) is $200.00.

Acting lessons are a wonderful way to build self-confidence, to create and to be creative both mentally and physically. For more information or to register, email tristateactorstheater@centurylink.net or call 973 383-0510.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Theater Project showcases local actors in Moonlight & Magnolias

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Known for presenting off-Broadway-quality theater in an intimate environment, The Theater Project will usher in spring with the presentation of Moonlight & Magnolias on March 26th at the Burgdorff Cultural Center in Maplewood, New Jersey.

The production features a talented cast of actors including veteran improv comedy performer and Glen Ridge resident Deborah Maclean, professional actor and Maplewood resident Rick DeLaney, veteran actor Gary Glor of Union, and professional actor Michael Irvin Pollard.

Ms. Maclean has appeared in New York at venues such as The West Bank Theater where she played multiple roles in Kill the Performance Artist and in Los Angeles in theaters like the Odyssey Theater where she played Madame Olevskaya in Diplomacy. In Moonlight & Magnolias, Ms. Maclean uses her comedic talents to play the role of the secretary Miss Poppenghul.

Mr. DeLaney has multiple New York City shows and dozens of regional theater performances to his credit including productions such as The House of Mirth and Look Back in Anger in theaters like the Metropolitan Playhouse and The Seeing Place Theater. Mr. Delaney assumes the part of Victor Fleming in Moonlight & Magnolias.

Mr. Glor who plays David O. Selznick has appeared in numerous performances by The Theater Project and other regional theater companies including productions such as The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler.

Mr. Pollard is an experienced regional and stock theater performer having appeared in productions such as Wait Until Dark at the Bickford Theater. Mr. Pollard also has several New York stage roles to his credit and plays the role of Ben Hecht one of Hollywood’s most talented writers in the production.

6417923_orig Set in 1939 Hollywood, Moonlight & Magnolias tells the story of the mid-production rewriting of the original screenplay to Gone with the Wind, one of the most successful and beloved films of all time. The production of Moonlight & Magnolias will run on Thursdays through Sundays from March 26th through April 12th with Thursday through Saturday productions at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. There will be no performance on Easter Sunday, April 5th. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for students. T ickets are on sale at The Theater Project’s website at www.thetheaterproject.org and will be available at the door.

About The Theater Project (TTP) :

Founded in 1994, The Theater Project under the leadership of Mark Spina, Artistic Director has stimulated New Jersey audiences with award-winning thought provoking theater. The Theater Project offers venues for actors, writers and directors of all ages. In addition TTP awards scholarships and incentives for young playwrights, young filmmakers, and young actors engaged in the tasks of organizing and telling a story.

Providing a forum to express ideas that spark the imagination, The Theater Project presents its main stage season and children’s classes at the Burgdorff Cultural Center in Maplewood, New Jersey. TTP also maintains a strong presence in Cranford, New Jersey through a monthly staged reading and discussion series showcasing the work of TTP’s Playwrights Workshop. For more information visit www.thetheaterproject.org

Photo: Rick DeLaney rear left, Gary Glor lower front, Michael Irvin Pollard rear right. (The Theater Project)

The Company to present: ‘Time Stands Still’ by Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright Donald Marguliese

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"Time Stands Still" by Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright Donald Margulies

Opening June 12th - 9 Shows only over 3 weekends.

Discount tickets on sale now:  www.theatrecompany.biz/tickets

Synopsis:
"When I look through that little rectangle ... Time stops. It just ... All the noise around me ... Everything cuts out. And all I see ... is the picture."
~ Sarah Goodwin, Time Stands Still


After barely surviving a bomb blast in Iraq, photojournalist Sarah Goodwin finds herself caught in a tug of war between her career and the quiet of domestic life. From Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies comes a moving and often hilarious story of relationships, mid-life crisis and the ties of friendship.
The New York Times says “[it] crackles with bright wit and intelligence....”
This Broadway-hit play is a witty, intelligent look at what happens when ordinary life is refracted through the lens of war.
"★ ★ ★ ★"
–Chicago Tribune

www.theatrecompany.biz/tickets

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ next at Circle Players

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Circle Players will present “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a scalding comedy by David Mamet. The play won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for four Tony Awards.

Small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen try to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers in a never-ending scramble for their fair share of the American Dream.

Here is Mamet at his very best, writing with brutal power about the tough life of tough characters who cajole, connive, wheedle, and wheel and deal for a piece of the action -- where closing a sale can mean a brand new Cadillac but losing one can mean losing it all.

The play is directed by John Dowgin and produced by Faith Dowgin, both from Spotswood.

Appearing in the cast are Kevin C. Carr, Union City; Bob Chiavaroli, Somerset; Michael Ferentinos, Cranford; Todd W. Jones, Cranford; Mike King, New Providence; Rob Nissen, New Providence; and Kirk White, Scotch Plains.

Performances run 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, April 17-May 2; with one 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 3.

The audience is invited to a wine and cheese reception in the lobby following the opening night performance.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway. Because of the unique layout of the theater, latecomers cannot be seated once the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at www.circleplayers.com. Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors. Sorry, no credit cards may be used at the box office, but will be accepted online.

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, A New Musical With Book By Tony Winner JOE DiPIETRO to close GSP season

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George Street Playhouse and Artistic Director David Saint have announced that a new musical, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, will close their current season, bowing April 22 and running through May 17, 2015.

This production replaces the previously-announced production of Six Degrees of Separation, which will be postponed until next season. The musical’s book is by Tony Award-winner JOE DiPIETRO (Memphis, Clever Little Lies at George Street), with music and lyrics by BRENDAN MILBURN and VALERIE VIGODA from the power-pop trio GrooveLily. Ms. Vigoda also comprises half of the cast, alongside WADE McCOLLUM (Priscilla Queen of the Desert). The production is directed by Lisa Peterson The Model Apartment, Slavs!). Opening night is set for Saturday, April 25 (changed from the original date).

In Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, a sleep-deprived single mom and video game music composer is contacted across time by the famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. Inspired by her music, he shares his epic Antarctic journey with her in video and song. Together they struggle toward and conquer new horizons in this cross-time love affair for the ages. Ms. Vigoda and Mr. McCollum not only act and sing, but accompany themselves (with one other musician) onstage, with the use of keyboards and drum machines, sound loopers, electric violins and an acoustic banjo in a score that encompasses all musical styles. The world of the play, which encompasses video, Skype technology and green screen imagery, are the work of production designer Alexander Nichols.

Individual tickets, beginning at $28 are currently available, as are flexible admission and smaller subscription packages through the George Street Playhouse Box Office, 732-246-7717. Play information, tickets, as well as parking and dining suggestions are available on the Playhouse website: www.gsponline.org. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick’s lively downtown.

Actor and Lyricist Valerie Vigoda is a classically-trained musician, honors graduate of Princeton University and former Army lieutenant. She has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper (opening for Tina Turner and Cher), Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She founded GrooveLily (originally “The Valerie Vigoda Band”) in 1994, with the critically-acclaimed CD Inhabit My Heart. Along with her husband and longtime collaborator Brendan Milburn, Valerie is a 2009 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre.

Actor Wade McCollum starred in the first national tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as Tick/Mitzi. Previously, Wade was seen as the Velociraptor of Faith in the off-Broadway musical Triassic Parq, Norm Waxman in Jersey Boys, Prior in Angels in America, Dracula in Steven Dietz’s Dracula, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries, the Emcee in Cabaret (Dallas Fort Worth Critics Circle Award for Best Actor), Charlotte in I Am My Own Wife, Batboy in Batboy the Musical and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch for which he garnered Backstage’s Garland Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actor. While in Los Angeles, Wade originated the role of Woody in Toy Story the Musical in several workshops for Disney. Wade can currently be seen on season two of the popular BroadwayWorld Web series Submissions Only!! He is a 2009 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre.

Playwright Joe DiPietro is well known to George Street Playhouse audiences as the writer of the hit comedy Clever Little Lies, scheduled for a New York Production in 2015, as well as Creating Claire and Toxic Avenger. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his work on Nice Work if You Can Get It, and won the Tony for the musical with his Toxic Avenger colleague David Bryan, Memphis. 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 Things About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical). His plays include the much-produced comedy Over The River and Through the Woods; The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play); Creating Claire and The Last Romance.

Composer Brendan Milburn graduated from Pomona College and NYU’s Master of Fine Arts program in Musical Theatre Writing. He does a lot of arranging for GrooveLily, and he’s an accomplished record producer as well. His music and lyrics have been featured in a number of shows both off- and on Broadway.

Lisa Peterson (director) New York: The Model Apartment by Donald Margulies (Primary Stages); Slavs! By Tony Kushner, Traps and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire by Caryl Churchill (OBIE Award),The Waves, adapted from Virginia Woolf (two Drama Desk nominations)all at New York Theatre Workshop; The Scarlet Letter, adapted by Phylis Nagy (CSC, world premiere). Regional: Collected Stories by Donald Margulies (South Coast Rep, world premiere, DramaLogue Award); Ikebana by Alice Tuan (East West Players, world premiere, Drama Logue Award); The Batting Cage by Joan Ackermann, July 7, 1994 by Donald Margulies, Tough Choices for the New Century by Jane Anderson, Trip’s Cinch by Phyllis Nagy (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, world premieres); Good Person of Setuan adapted by Tony Kushner, Triumph of Love adapted by James Magruder, Arms and the Man by Shaw, The Swan by Elizabeth Egloff (La Jolla Playhouse); A Moon for the Misbegotten, by O’Neill, My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard, Fefu and her Friends by Irene Fornes (Yale Rep); Reckless by Craig Lucas (Hartford Stage). New Play Development: Sundance, The Playwrights’ Center, New Dramatists, Young Playwrights’ Festival, Taper New Works Festival, Audrey Skirball Kenis, NY Stage and Film, Royal Court London.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists.  Kelly Ryman was appointed Managing Director in 2013. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the recent Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse will be represented by two productions in New York: the Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You, scheduled to open in April, and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, opening off-Broadway in March. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse.

Auditions: Strollers seeking Hairspray performers

strollerlogoen

The Strollers of Maplewood are seeking four final performers to complete the cast of our spring musical, Hairspray. If you know anyone who fits - or if you fit - into one of these roles, please let us know! The character descriptions are below along with rehearsal times and performance dates. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. We need to fill these roles as soon as we possibly can. Thank you for your time.

Characters needed:

- 2 white, female council kids. Must look high school age. Must sing and dance.

- 1 white, male council kid. Must look high school age. Must sing and dance.

- Mr. Spritzer/Mr. Pinky/Guard/Principal - Male, 40s. No singing. Dancing not required.

Rehearsals are Sundays from 12-3, Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30, Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30, and Thursdays from 7:30-9:30.

Performances are May 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 8pm (7pm call) and May 3 and 10 at 2pm (1pm call).

Visit website: http://www.thestrollers.org/

 

c1301d73fcffb60e5d51cbd019dfaa3c The community theatre company in residence at

The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts

Maplewood, New Jersey

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pennington Players to present ‘Picasso At The Lapin Agile’ by Steve Martin

 

agile

Find out what could have happened if Picasso and Einstein had met once in a bar in Paris in 1904.

Presented by the Pennington Players, Picasso At The Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin), comes to Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre Fridays, April 24 and May 1 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, April 25 and May 2 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, April 26 and May 3 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on April 24th. There will be a “Talk Back” Session after the May 1st performance.

Written by the iconic comedian/actor/screenwriter/banjo-aficionado Steve Martin, in the witty and hilarious style he is known for, Picasso At The Lapin Agile imagines what might have happened if Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso met in Au Lapin Agile, a bar in Paris, 1904. Both are on the verge of their greatest achievements as they discuss the nature of talent and genius. Both Picasso and Einstein are in their early twenties and fully aware of their amazing potential. One year later, Albert Einstein published the Special Theory of Relativity. Three years later, Pablo Picasso painted his 'Les Demoiselles D’Avignon'.

In addition to the two historical figures, the play is also populated with an amusingly incontinent barfly (Gaston), a gullible yet lovable bartender (Freddy), a wise waitress (Germaine), and a few surprises that trounce in and out of the Lapin Agile.

The opening moments of Picasso at the Lapin Agile informs the audience that this play will be making several detours into the land of silliness. The fourth wall (the imaginary wall between the stage and audience) is broken and there are noticeable cracks in the time-space continuum. It’s obvious that the audience is asked not to take this play too seriously.

Leading the cast of Picasso at the Lapin Agile as Pablo Picasso is Frank Falisi of Freehold, who has performed in theatres across the Central New Jersey area, and who will be making his Pennington Players and Kelsey Theatre debut. As Albert Einstein, Michael Gilch of Princeton will be making his first appearance as an actor on the Kelsey Stage. Mr. Gilch is best known around Kelsey and Central New Jersey as an accomplished pianist and musical director.

Completing the cast are Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, PA, as Freddy; David Christoffersen of Lawrenceville as Gaston; Nicole Farina-Machin of Columbus as Germaine; Sean Downing of Lumberton as Sagot; Sarah Stryker of Lawrenceville playing the roles of Suzanne, the Countess and an Admirer; Justin Derry of Langhorne, PA, as Schmendiman; and Kevin Palardy of Doylestown, PA as the Visitor.

The production is being produced by Judi Parrish of West Trenton and directed by Peter Bisgaier of Princeton. The production staff is completed by Stage Manager, Vicki Kaiser of Hamilton; set design by Bryan Schendlinger of Langhorne, PA; lighting design by M. Kitty Getlik; costume design by Michelle Rittmann of Ewing; and properties by Dottie Farina of Hamilton.

Kelseytheatre (1) Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.  Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Top photo: Michael Gilch as Einstein and Frank Falisi as Picasso (photo by John Maurer)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Renowned Director and Accomplished Cast Bring Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play PROOF to Holmdel Theatre

proof

Renowned director Kathy Hendrickson returns to the Holmdel Theatre Company to bring David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Proof, to the Duncan Smith Theater. This production opens Friday, April 10th and runs through Saturday, April 25th, 2015.  The play features an accomplished cast of local actors including Amanda Deltuvia, Eric Rolland, Colleen Clinton and John Bergeron.  Mr. Rolland and Ms. Clinton are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.

Proof stars Amanda Deltuvia as Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician portrayed by Eric Rolland. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire (Colleen Clinton), and the attentions of Hal (John Bergeron), a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. “Proof is the one you won’t want to miss…” —NY Magazine.

kathy-150x150 The Holmdel Theatre Company is very excited to welcome back Kathy Hendrickson (photo) as director.  Ms. Hendrickson is an actor, educator and director who served as assistant director along side Mike Nichols for the recent Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman starring the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Jersey City Children's Theater. In her nearly 20 years of teaching and as Vice President and Senior Faculty of the New Actors Workshop in New York City, she has taught hundreds of classes and workshops both in the United States and around the globe.

“‘Proof’ is an almost perfect play,” says Ms. Henrickson, “in that it appears simple, but as with life, it is very complex.  What I like most about it is that we can all connect to the ‘real-life’ of it. We were all the geek in high school, and the event of the play might just be that Hal and Catherine (two geeks) find each other.  I believe it is a love story: between father and daughter, sisters, lovers, and of course... love of math.”

Amanda-Deltuvia-Headshot The HTC is proud to welcome back two veteran actors to this production.  Amanda Deltuvia (photo right) returns to the HTC stage after her appearance as Meg in 2013’s production of Little Women. 

Eric Rolland (below right) exemplifies the HTC mission of nurturing budding talent.  He worked with the HTC at the beginning of his professional career, appearing as Reverend Lee in The Foreigner in 2009 as the Stage Manager in Our ERIC-ROLLAND-732-337-4400 Town in 2011. He has since starred in the History Channel's Emmy-winning The Men Who Built America as J.P. Morgan and will star as Thomas Edison in American Genius on the National Geographic Channel this spring. Mr. Rolland recently toured Europe for 11 months in West Side Story. He returns to us as both an actor and a mentor, fulfilling HTC’s unique mission of creating a fellowship of novices and theatre professionals to cultivate the next generation of theatre artists.

The HTC welcomes Colleen Clinton and John Bergeron (photos below), who will be making their Duncan Smith Theatre debut.  Ms. Clinton counts recurring guest roles on prominent shows such as Blue Bloods and Days of our Lives among her many credits.   She has graced the stage at The Barrow group several times and has also appeared in Law & Order, Rescue Me, Third Watch and several pilots.  Mr. Bergeron joins us fresh from a run as the Emperor in Amadeus at Playhouse 22.

“The cast is pretty sensational,” Ms. Hendrickson muses.  “Each and every one of them were cast because they are so much like the characters, or who I perceive the characters to be.  Eventually, after we dissect it all, we will just have to show up and tell the story.  We got very very lucky.  I love working in Holmdel, and I am so fortunate to be directing here for a second year.  The service that they provide this community is priceless. I am honored to be asked back.”

Proof will open on Friday, April 10th and play for eight performances on the following dates and times: Fri, 4/10 at 8pm, Sat, 4/11 at 8pm, Sun, 4/12 at 2pm, Fri, 4/17 at 8pm, Sat, 4/18 at 8pm, Sunday, 4/19 at 2pm, Fri, 4/24 at 8pm and Sat, 4/25 at 8pm.  All performances are at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel, New Jersey in front of the Holmdel High School.  Ticket prices are $22 general public ($17 for seniors and $12 for students). Reservations may be made via the website at www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org.

ABOUT THE HOLMDEL THEATRE COMPANY

The Holmdel Theatre Company (HTC) is a non-profit, semi-professional, student-focused theatre company dedicated to presenting classical theatrical experiences as well as fresh interpretations of modern dramas and comedies. The Company's unique mission is to integrate young people and non-professionals with professional actors, technicians, designers and directors in a collaborative artistic and educational exchange. HTC's efforts to raise the level of performance through the fellowship of novices and theatre professionals enable all to grow in the field.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES AT THE HTC

There are many opportunities for students to become a part of the Holmdel Theatre Company.  We offer several workshops and classes helping students explore their specific interests.  The HTC casts roles for many of the main stage productions from students at the middle school and high school level.  We are also looking for assistant stage managers, running crew, lighting board operators and many other technical positions for students interested in apprenticeships. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available at the Holmdel Theatre Company, please email us at info@holmdeltheatrecompany.org.

Colleen John-Bergeron

Reading of Ben Clawson's ‘Blairsburg Realty’ in Montclair

StrangeDog. Theatre's photo.

StrangeDog Theatre is to re-present a revised re-reading of our re-resident playwright Ben Clawson's "Blairsburg Re-Realty" . . . I mean "Blairsburg Realty" March 26 at 8 pm.

A tale of young ordinary folks who want extraordinary lives . . . at any cost. We had so much fun presenting Ben's rough draft last year we wanted to show you good folks what you might have missed: a giant stuffed marlin, a big old bag of cash, and a guy named Floyd.

tierney tavern montclair Don't miss our closing event of the FREE! Beer Battered New Works Series, Thursdays in March at Tierney's Tavern (134 Valley Rd, Montclair, New Jersey 07042)

And stick around afterwards for the musical stylings of Adam Streicher at 9:30 pm!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Nothing Random About This Act of Kindness: Kean Players to Present Theatre for Young Audiences

kean peter pan

Kean University senior Becca Dagnall is no stranger to the art of theatre or the art of teaching.  In fact, she’s a rare double major pursuing a B.A. in Theatre and New Jersey’s Early Childhood certification.  “I don’t see these as two separate disciplines,” Ms. Dagnall explained during a recent break from rehearsing Dennis Foon’s Kindness, a play for ages 6 and up. “All theatre teaches, and teaching is a form of performing.” Kean’s upcoming production, which Ms. Dagnall directs, will perform April 1 – 8 on the campus of Kean University, then tour to local elementary schools.

Kean’s Department of Theatre periodically offers a spring course called “Children’s Theatre on Tour,” a performance experience for academic credit.  The ensemble of students prepares the show from January until spring break, performs on campus, and then takes the play into the community. “I learned so much about engaging children when I performed in the 2012 tour of A Fairy Tale Life: The Story of Young Hans Christian Andersen,” stated Ms. Dagnall. “I saw the effect we were having on the young people in the audience, and I knew what we were doing was important.” It was after that experience Ms. Dagnall expressed interest in directing a tour herself. 

“The Department prepared me well to take on this challenge,” said Ms. Dagnall.  “I’m bringing everything I learned in the last four years to the project.”  A Piscataway native graduating in May, Ms. Dagnall selected the play, and - during the fall of 2014 - prepared with Theatre Education professor and advisor Rachel Evans before auditioning the actors.  From the beginning of this semester, her last one at Kean, Ms. Dagnall has been leading the design and rehearsal process.

Kindness, by playwright and screenwriter Dennis Foon (the former artistic director of Green Thumb Theatre), uses the real-world experiences of young people to address the importance of compassion and empathy in children’s development.  Touching on issues like bullying, loss, and self-esteem, Kindness depicts a group of youngsters as they navigate through relationships and feelings.  With twelve Kean students in the cast, the production will run in the Zella Fry Theatre before hitting the road for ten days in schools from Paterson to Elizabeth. 

When it came to inventing ideas for the look of the play, Ms. Dagnall knew she wanted to make the production elements as simple as possible.  “I call it ‘rucksack theatre’ - everything the actors need, like costumes and props, should fit in backpacks,” said Ms. Dagnall. “I’m using brightly colored hand-prints as the main visual image, hoping the message of ‘lending a hand’ gets through to the audience.”

The theme of the project seems to be reaching the actors as well, according to participant Mike Antonelli. “Becca encouraged us to practice random acts of kindness, called RAKs, whenever we were outside of rehearsals,” said Mr. Antonelli, a North Arlington junior who wants to be a theatre teacher when finished at Kean in May 2016. “Not only was I more aware of my own unkindness sometimes, but I saw new chances to do little things to help others. I can see how doing plays like Kindness could be good for the high school students I hope to teach. We could use performing theatre as its own act of kindness.”

In addition to Ms. Dagnall and Mr. Antonelli, the production involves Kean students Kerry Borowski, Charlie Centinaro, Chris DeBono, Tristina DiBlasio, Brianna Garrick, DeAngelo Miller, Marissa Parrot, Matt Petrassi, Morgan Rabush, Lorin Tompkins, Kyiana Vargas, and Mark Zebro.

Kindness performs in The Zella Fry Theatre, located in Vaughn Eames Hall on Kean University’s main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue, on April 1 at 10:00am, April 6 at 5pm and 7pm, April 7 at 5pm, and April 8 at 10am.  Tickets are available at the Kean Stage Box Office, located in Wilkins Theatre; online at www.keanstage.com; and by phone at (908) 737 – 7469. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for Kean University students and faculty.

Photo: Kean University students in the Department of Theatre's February production of Peter Pan, directed by Holly Logue. Photo by Ben Gancsos

‘Proof’ next at Holmdel Theatre Company

proof

PROOF by David Auburn
Directed by Kathy Hendrickson
Produced by Laurie Devino and Laura Casey

Cast:
Catherine - Amanda Deltuvia
Robert - Eric Rolland*
Claire - Colleen Clinton*
Hal - John Bergeron
*Appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

The daughter of a recently deceased mathematician must fight to prove the authorship of a landmark proof that is discovered among her father's papers, while also dealing with her father's legacy of genius and mental illness.

The Holmdel Theatre Company (HTC) is a non-profit, semi-professional, educational theatre company dedicated to presenting fresh interpretations of classic plays as well as rarely-presented modern dramas and comedies. The Company’s unique mission is to integrate young people and non-professionals with professional actors, technicians, designers and directors in a collaborative artistic and educational exchange. This initiative is used to raise the level of performance and to help all performers grow artistically from the exposure to professionals in the field.

**This program is made possible in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.**

Cast set for Paper Mill Playhouse’s world-premiere musical ‘Ever After’

Christine Ever After

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) has announced complete casting for the world-premiere musical Ever After, directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award® winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes, Nice Work If You Can Get It), featuring a book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich

Ever After will star two-time Tony Award®-winner Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street) as Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, Tony Award® nominee Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Leonardo da Vinci,  Emmy Award® winner Charles Shaugnessy (Urinetown, “The Nanny”) as King Francis, James Synder (If/Then) as Prince Henry and Drama Desk Award nominee Margo Seibert (Rocky) as Danielle de Barbarac.

Ever After will also feature Tony Award®-nominee Charl Brown (Motown The Musical), Mara Davi (The Drowsy Chaperone), Annie Funke (Hairspray), Julie Halston (You Can’t Take It With You), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies) and an ensemble including Jill Abramovitz, Ashley Blanchet, Nick Corley, Stephanie Elise Gandolfo, Gregg Goodbrod, John Hillner, Sean Martin Hingston, Gwen Hollander, Fred Inkley, Will Mann, Liz McCartney, Alison Morooney, Kevin Munhall, Kevin Michael Raponey, Rachael Scarr, Justin Schuman, Jonathan Shew and Aléna Watters.

Paper Mill Playhouse presents the world premiere of a new musical based on the 1998 film starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston.  This is no fairy tale.  Ever After sets the record straight on the fable of Cinderella. Her name was Danielle and it was always about her wit, her smarts, her strength and her good friend Leonardo da Vinci.  She makes her own dreams come true. Warm and romantic, funny and smart, this is the musical you’ve been waiting for.

“We’re thrilled to present the world premiere of this beautiful musical,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for the Millburn theater. “I am delighted to showcase a new musical with strong, female leads, created by strong, female artists including Kathleen Marshall, Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.”

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans will feature Derek McLane (scenic design), Jess Goldstein (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Nevin Steinberg (sound design), Mary-Mitchell Campbell (music supervision), David Gardos (music direction), Leah Loukas (hair and wig design), Rick Sordelet (fight direction) and casting by Telsey + Company.

Ever After begins performances Thursday, May 21, 2015, and runs through Sunday, June 21, 2015. 

Ever After is sponsored by J.P. Morgan. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2014-2015 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Ever After will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. 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 $28 to $99. 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.  College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

BIOGRAPHIES

Christine Ebersole (Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent), a Maplewood, NJ, resident and two-time Tony Award®-winning actress, has captivated audiences on the Broadway stage, television series and specials, films, concert appearances and recordings.  Ms. Ebersole is a Paper Mill Playhouse favorite who starred in several Paper Mill shows including Mame, Paper Moon and Shenandoah.

One of her first jobs was as an understudy in the Broadway musical On the Twentieth Century, followed by her turn as Ado Annie in Oklahoma! From there it was on to Ryan’s Hope, One Life to Live and Saturday Night Live before landing the high-profile role of Guinevere opposite Richard Burton in Camelot.

Ms. Ebersole then shifted her focus from stage to screen and soon headed to Hollywood, appearing in many hit movies, including Amadeus, Tootsie and Richie Rich. She added an extensive list of television credits as well, including The Cavanaughs, Valerie and the title role in Rachel Gunn, R.N.

Her ensuing New York stage performances include her Tony Award®-winning performance as Dorothy Brock in the smash hit revival of 42nd Street, Steel Magnolias, The Best Man, and Dinner at Eight, for which she received both Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations.

Ms. Ebersole received virtually every Off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award® for Leading Actress in a Musical for her dual role as Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie” Beale in Grey Gardens. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, the show was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and its CD was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Ms. Ebersole’s career continued to arc with her starring role in Blithe Spirit on Broadway with Angela Lansbury and her many guest appearances on innumerable popular television series, including her recurring role as Ms. “New Parts” Newberg in the hit cable show Royal Pains. Ms. Ebersole continues to appear in numerous concert halls and cabaret venues throughout the country, including performances in City Center Encores!, at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Feinstein’s and Café Carlyle.

Margo Seibert (Danielle de Barbarac) is, according to USA Today, “a Broadway newcomer with a delicately compelling presence and a throbbing, textured singing voice that lets us hear the character coming out of her shell.”  Last season, she made her debut on the Great White Way singing the music of Ahrens & Flaherty as Adrian in Rocky, as well as giving a tour-de-force (and Drama Desk-nominated) performance in the original musical Tamar of the River.  Across the board, she has been recognized for her depth of character and nuanced vocal performance.

James Snyder (Prince Henry) has been seen on stage and screen, notably in Broadway’s If/Then and Cry-Baby, for which he received a Drama League Award nomination. His additional theater credits include Johnny Baseball at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Fanny at New York City Center, Broadway: Three Generations at The Kennedy Center, Rock of Ages (Los Angeles, Las Vegas), Oedipus the King, Mama (Troubadour Theater Co.), Happy Days, The Fantasticks (Sacramento Music Circus), Hamlet, Sneaux, Oklahoma! and Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes. On television, he has appeared in Blue Bloods, Drop Dead Diva, CSI, Without a Trace, Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, among others. Mr. Snyder’s film credits include She’s the Man, An American in China, Anderson’s Cross, Shuttle and Pretty Persuasion (Sundance Film Festival).

Charl Brown (Captain Laurent) received a 2013 Tony Award® nomination for best performance by a featured actor in a musical for his performance as Smokey Robinson in Motown. Brown was also seen in the Broadway companies of Jersey Boys and Sister Act.

Mara Davi (Marguerite de Ghent) appeared in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, A Chorus Line and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. In addition to playing Dana on The Good Wife, Ms. Davi had recurring roles on Smash and Blue Bloods.

Annie Funke (Jacqueline de Ghent) was seen on Broadway in Hairspray and off-Broadway in Silence! The Musical. Ms. Funke has worked at regional theaters around the country including The Kennedy Center, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Stages St. Louis and Music Theatre Wichita.

Julie Halston (Queen Marie) was recently seen on Broadway in You Can’t Take It With You. Ms. Halston’s other Broadway credits include Anything Goes, Hairspray, Twentieth Century, Gypsy, The Women and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Ms. Halston was a guest star on Law & Order and had recurring roles on Sex and the City and All My Children.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Gustave) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he previously appeared as Crutchie in Newsies. Mr. Keenan-Bolger’s Broadway credits include Newsies, Mary Poppins, Seussical, Beauty and the Beast and A Christmas Carol. As a filmmaker, Andrew is co-creator of the web series Submissions Only, now in its third season.

Charles Shaughnessy (King Francis) was seen on Broadway in Urinetown. Mr. Shaughnessy starred in the successful CBS show The Nanny opposite Fran Drescher for six years. Mr. Shaughnessy’s other television credits include Castle, Days of Our Lives, CSI: NY, Mad Men, Law & Order, Hot in Cleveland and more. He appeared in the feature film Denial with Jason Alexander and Patrick Dempsey, Second Chances, The Painting, and Kids in America as well as several TV Movies.

Tony Sheldon (Leonardo da Vinci) was nominated for a Tony Award® and won the 2011 Theatre World award for his performance as Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. He also played the role in Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada. Mr. Sheldon has appeared in many Australian productions including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Producers, Into the Woods, The Glass Menagerie and more.

Zina Goldrich (Composer), along with lyricist Marcy Heisler, is the 2009 winner of the Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting. Last season, Ms. Goldrich earned a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Music for her work on the DR2 Theatre production of Dear Edwina.  She also composed the score for Junie B. Jones, which completed three successful off-Broadway runs for Theatreworks USA and was twice nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award. Other scores include Allison Under the Stars and Adventures in Love. She has composed for Johnny and the Sprites and Pooh’s Learning Adventures, and she was a staff songwriter for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Ms. Goldrich studied under Jerry Goldsmith in the USC Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program. She is the recipient of ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the Seldes-Kanin Fellowship, a Jonathan Larson grant and numerous scholarships. On Broadway she played keyboards for Avenue Q, Bombay Dreams, Oklahoma and Titanic, where she also conducted. Currently, Zina Goldrich is scoring episodes of Wonderpets for Nickelodeon and Third and Bird for the BBC.

Marcy Heisler (Book and Lyrics) is co-recipient, with composer Zina Goldrich, of the 2009 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting.  She earned a 2009 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Lyrics for Dear Edwina and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Junie B. Jones, Other collaborations with Zina Goldrich include Adventures in Love, Allison Under the Stars, and The Marcy and Zina Show, which tours throughout the U.S. and Canada.  As a lyricist, Ms. Heisler has contributed songs for many Disney projects, including Johnny and the Sprites, Pooh’s Learning Adventures, and The D Show. As an adaptor, she wrote new versions of 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book for Disney Theatricals, and she collaborated with composer Michael Picton on songs for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus 137th Edition. Ms. Heisler has collaborated with composer Zina Goldrich since 1993, and they are past recipients of ASCAP's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and the Seldes-Kanin Fellowship. 

Kathleen Marshall (Director and Choreographer) has received three Tony Awards® (out of nine nominations), three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Marshall directed and choreographed the Broadway productions of Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, Grease, The Pajama Game and Wonderful Town. She choreographed the Broadway productions of Boeing- Boeing, Little Shop of Horrors, Follies, Seussical, Kiss Me, Kate, Ring Round the Moon, 1776 and Swinging on a Star, as well as the West End revival of Kiss Me, Kate.  She served as assistant choreographer to her brother, Rob Marshall, on the Broadway productions of Kiss of the Spider Woman, She Loves Me and Damn Yankees

Ms. Marshall is an Artistic Associate of City Center Encores!, where she was the Artistic Director for four seasons.  For Encores!, she directed and choreographed I’m Getting My Act Together . . . , Bells Are Ringing, Applause, 70 Girls 70, House of Flowers, Carnival, Hair, Wonderful Town and Babes in Arms

For the New York Shakespeare Festival, she directed and choreographed Two Gentleman of Verona, and for Second Stage Theatre, she directed and choreographed Saturday Night, the New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim's first musical. 

For ABC/Disney, she directed and choreographed Once Upon a Mattress, starring Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett, and choreographed The Music Man, starring Matthew Broderick (Emmy nomination). She also choreographed the musical sequences in the film My Week With Marilyn

She recently directed Joe DiPietro’s Living on Love at the Williamstown Theatre Festival starring Renée Fleming, which is opening on Broadway this spring. Ms. Marshall is an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company. 

Free Audience Enrichment Activities for Ever After

Wed. May 27              6:00pm                        Art Gallery                 The Director’s Viewpoint

Enjoy coffee on us as Director Kathleen Marshall discusses Ever After.

Thurs. May 21            6:00pm                        Mezzanine                   Conversation Club

Thurs. May 28 Learn more about the show you are about

Thurs. June 4 to see, led by members of Paper Mill’s

Thurs. June 11 Artistic and Education Departments.

Sat. June 20                Following Matinee           Q&A with the Cast

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

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for Ever After on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at 1:30 pm and Saturday, June 20, 2015, at 1:30 pm.  Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes.  There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, June 21, 2015, at 7:00 pm. 

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 the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.   

Christine Ebersole photo: Feb. 15, 2015 file photo