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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Guest Review: ‘Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa’ at Chatham Playhouse

by Ruth Ross (

Image may contain: 1 person, standingIt’s an off year for their biennial holiday production of A Christmas Carol, so the Chatham Community Players have reprised their 2013 offering, Christmas Cards, by G. David Post. While I didn’t see the original, I am decidedly underwhelmed by the production currently onstage at the black box playhouse on North Passaic Avenue in Chatham.

Subtitled Letters to Santa and featuring a sketch by guest playwright Steven Ruskin, the 2017 version of Christmas Cards suffers from Amy Sellars’ sluggish direction, meandering scripts that often go nowhere and actors who do not project their voices enough to be heard over the rustling of candy wrappers and popcorn consumed by the youngsters in the audience.

The 10 playlets and four letters mostly fall flat, although a few approach charm and humor. Connie Masterson’s droll letter asking Santa (above) for items decorated by a rainbow unicorn (who knew there could be so many?) opens the show with promise. Unfortunately, I can barely recall the other letters except to say that the writers (Andrew Palmieri, Molly Farrell and Aidan English, and Howard Fisher) narrate them with composure and ease.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoorThe opening skit, “A Different Kind of Claus” features a Jewish boy, Marc (Andrew Palmieri, wearing a yarmulke) who approaches a department store Santa (Howard Fischer) with a request that he visit their home (in an old Mercedes instead of the de rigueur sleigh) so his little brother Josh won’t be disappointed. What could have been a charming scene is marred by Post’s invocation of two distasteful stereotypes: Sounding like a slick businessman, Marc tells Santa he should “expand his horizons,” and the old Mercedes reference plays into the idea of the penny-pinching Jew. I found both offensive and inappropriate for a community playhouse filled with families and children at holiday time.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoorThe second sketch, “A String of Pearls,” involves newly married Bill (David Kapferer) who brings a variety of gifts—all deemed inappropriate, according to the mall wrapper Pearl (Maria Brodeur), because of their practicality, color and impersonality. Over four visits, she schools the young man about what to buy a wife to make her feel valued and feminine. The surprise ending is a nice touch; too bad playwright Post used a similar version less effectively in “Todd Bless Ye Merry Gentleman,” starring Prestera and Julie Anne Nolan. In each instance, Nolan plays a daughter/sister who makes a startling discovery; her angry delivery overshadows the poignancy of the situation and derails the endings.

Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor and nature“Stupid Bobby Harris” feels interminable, as three kids (Aidan English, Molly Farrell and Julia Hearne) camp in their yard in hopes of taking a photo of Santa as he visits, repeating the title mantra over and over as they cavort around the stage. “Dear Santa” by Steven Ruskin addresses a similar situation, only this time the kids (with Masterson replacing Farrell) are in their bedroom, ostensibly asleep but jumping up to write letters to St. Nick in between their mother’s opening the door to check on them. The similarity of both playlets dulls their effect.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and people on stage“Thief of the North Pole” addresses the reason Santa’s sleigh/reindeer can fly by framing it as a crime story involving the Arab Ali (played by a scenery-chewing Prestera) who has come seeking someone called Dolly Ma-kar (a dolly-making elf played by Farrell), who has ostensibly stolen his magic carpet. The resolution of the problem could serve as a good lesson to the current Congress as it tries to craft laws!

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and nightThe ghostly “The Haunting of Tannenbaum” features George Bailey (Prestera) and Clarence “the Angel” Odbody(Post) watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” as Natalie (Joëlle Bochner (left) and Kelly (Nolan) are visited, respectively, by specters of Mom (Ginny Crooks) and Stan (Kapferer)—one, baking cookies and the other, decorating a small tree. The premise could have been charming, but the action feels endless, and at first, it’s difficult the spooky situations aren’t obvious.

“Really? One of Those?” addresses the introduction of a new pet into a household at Christmastime. The reactions of the animals already residing there (Hearne as the kitty Tinkerbell, Post as Fernando the Chihuahua and Masterson as the new unnamed puppy) are quite comical, but Brodeur’s elegant, snooty cat Sparkle steals the show. Crooks gamely attempts to keep peace among her furry friends.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and nightThe best written (and performed) sketch is “8 Little Angels,” beautifully performed by Bochner (left) with superb timing and an ability to voice various characters. Post provides the onstage sound effects in this standout performance.

However, the final playlet, “The Three Christmas Witshes,” drags on and on as three crones, reminiscent of those in Macbeth, attempt to steal a letter sent to the post office for delivery to the North Pole. The point of the plot is completely lost on me; all I can recall is 12 actors talking over each other and witches sinuously moving around the stage.

Because their productions are uneven and often involve folks with very little to no previous acting experience, I hesitate to review community theaters, but for the past 21 years, the Chatham Community Players has been at the top of my list. I have been consistently impressed by their professionalism and, since the 2009-2010 season, the expansion of their dramatic vision by producing more modern, edgy dramas, like Pillowman and Angels in America. And during the same period, I have seen myriad productions of A Christmas Carol, which never gets old.

However, on a dramatic level, this production of Christmas Cards: A Letter to Santa disappoints. Oh, the child actors are cute and work very hard (as do several adult actors), but the material is thin and not really worthy of this usually fine troupe. Post (and Ruskin) strive mightily to capture the flavor of the season, but some editing for repetition and tightening of the scripts would serve the production well.

Christmas Cards: A Letter to Santa will be performed through December 16 at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave., Chatham. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.635.7363 or visit online.

Two dates remain for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Edison Valley Playhouse

Director - Eric C. Schwarz
Musical Director - Jim Sabo
Choreographer - Anthony David Ward

WHEN: Remaining dates- Friday & Saturday December 15, 16, 2017 at 8 PM
Edison Valley Playhouse, 2196 Oak Tree Rd., Edison
TICKETS: Adults $20; Students, Seniors, Military personnel $15
To reserve and pay for your tickets online go to: ORDER TICKETS
To reserve tickets for pickup and payment on the night of the show, call the box office at 908-755-4654 and leave a message with your name, date of the show you wish to attend, the number of tickets needed, and your phone number. Pay for your tickets when you arrive to pick them up on the night of the show. You will only receive a call back if there is a problem with your reservation.

Come and see this charming musical that shows an average day in the life of Charlie Brown and your favorite Peanuts characters. It is a day made up of little moments picked from all the days of Charlie Brown. From Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human) and strung together on the string of a single day, from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening.  Run time about 2 hours with intermission.

Starring: April Coleen, Alexis Grace, Elle Michaeli, Andrew Mullis, Anthony David Ward, Ryan Winn

Studio Players to present hit comedy ‘Almost Maine’ in March

Almost Maine

By John Cariani

Directed by Amy Fox

Come enjoy what The New York Times called “A comedy comprising almost a dozen two-character vignettes exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows”. Using a series of eleven short scenes following nine different stories, this charming, delightful, and funny play explores love and loss with a touch of realism in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine.

March 9*, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm
*Opening Night, Buy 1, get 1 Free

Tickets are $20 for adults and $17 for students/seniors, and can be ordered at Brown Paper Tickets or by calling our box office at 973-744-9752.


VISIT:  for current production


Friday, December 8, 2017

Evening of One-Act Plays at Chester Theatre Group


3 Dates · Dec 8 - Dec 10

One Weekend Only!

Chester Theatre Group

Directors, Rachel Lichter and George Seylaz present 5 comedy one act plays for a night of relationships, dating, marriage, babies and a cowboy in a coffin! One weekend only so make your reservations now!


Black-River-Playhouse-chesterGetting to CTG


Take Route 206 south into Chester Borough and turn left at the light onto West Main Street (Rt. 24). Go approx. 1/4 mile and turn right onto Grove Street. The theater is located 1 block ahead on the right, at the corner of Maple Avenue. Our building is a restored, historic farmhouse painted yellow.


Take Route 206 north into Chester Borough and turn right at the light onto West Main Street (Rt. 24). Go approx. 1/4 mile and turn right onto Grove Street. The theater is located 1 block ahead on the right, at the corner of Maple Avenue. Our building is a restored, historic farmhouse painted yellow.


There is limited parking behind our theater (entrances on both Maple Avenue and Grove Street), and alongside our building on Maple Avenue. Our guests are permitted to park in the lot at Grove Street Park, one block south of our building along Grove Street. Ample street parking is also available and we advise all of our guests to strictly observe local parking regulations.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

JCTC-KIDS’ Heart-Warming, International Holiday Tale with Shadows


The children’s programming division of Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) is presenting an international tale bound to make any holiday season complete.

JCTC-KIDS Presents Shadow Theatre is a live, story-telling experience where fairytales, folklore and children’s literature from around the world are performed using shadow puppets – a form of puppetry that dates back to ancient times.  The visually evocative, hand-crafted silhouettes and other forms of shadow puppetry are manipulated by trained shadow puppeteers and accompanied by professional actors and musicians. The result is engaging and dreamlike, a unique form of storytelling and children’s theater rarely seen in today’s world.

“Families, not just in Jersey City and Hudson County, but from throughout the Tristate area have been very supportive of JCTC-KIDS programing,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “Parents have asked us for more programming and with Shadow Theatre we have found quality work that emphasizes diversity and positive messages. With JCTC-KIDS Presents Shadow Theatre, the stories we will be telling will be taken from folklore from all around the lore and told through one of the oldest forms of storytelling, Shadow Theatre.”

The first production of JCTC-KIDS Presents Shadow Theatre is a wintery, holiday tale from Scandinavia –Mishka, a beloved story about a little teddy bear who runs away from the house of a spoiled little girl. Walking alone in the forest, he discovers the joy of living in the world and meets an actual reindeer! But tonight is Christmas, when everyone is generous and kind, and Mishka realizes he must give up what he holds most dear - his newly found freedom – to stay with a sick little boy.

The stories themselves come from around the globe, each carefully chosen for originality, poetic narrative and themes of humanity, tolerance, and mutual understanding.  JCTC-KIDS Presents Shadow Theatre stories are selected for the relevance to today’s kids and the life-lessons taught by the subject matter. the aim is for kids to become global citizens by traveling to different nations and experiencing different cultures through stories and theatre.

JCTCKIDS_Mishika_pressrelease-pressphoto_MARION jpg (1)Marion Schoevaert – Educational Program Coordinator at JCTC and creator of Shadow Theatre (photo) – is an international theater professional with more than 25-years experience as a director, producer and choreographer, and has worked in  New York, Seoul and throughout France. For the past 13 years, Marion has created shadow puppet plays in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic (33 sold out performances!). The music and narration for Mishka  is provided by Tiphanie Doucet, an internationally known singer/songwriter ( who is  a regular performer on Spirit Cruises and appeared in the French TV series Chante!, a Gallic version of Glee.

“In making theater for the young audience, I always strive to base stories on today's life, to create performances using many different artistic forms in order to encourage our children to dream,” said Schoevaert. “Shadow Theatre and its music and storytelling is a rich theatrical experience which will captivate kids and parents alike." 

Mishka performances are held in the black box theater at Merseles Studios, which Studios features an inviting, welcoming and comfortable theater space. A truly interactive theater experience for children, Mishka includes performances, workshops and post-show shadow puppet demonstration with a Question & Answer Session.

Family shows of Mishka are held Saturdays, 2:00pm. JCTC-KIDS also schedules special school shows of Mishka during the week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10-11am.  Mishka runs from December 16 to January 13.

The final show of JCTC-KIDS presents The Prince & The Magic Flute by Puppetworks takes place Sunday, December 10,  at 1:00pm at Merseles Studios. Puppetworks resumes programming on Sunday, February 18 with Pinocchio (school and group shows with discounted pricing  of Pinocchio are also be available). 

In 2018, JCTC will be presenting complete weekends of programming for children (3-12) on Saturdays at 2:00pm (Shadow Theatre) and Sundays at 1:00pm (Puppetworks), not to mention soon to be announced, family friendly productions at White Eagle Hall. “JCTC is committed to affordable programming for families and children,” added Levina. “Theater and the arts should be for all people, no how matter how old they or if they can afford to go into Manhattan or not.”

December 16 to January 15
Family Shows: Saturdays 2:00pm
School Shows: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday 10:00am

Advance Tickets/online sales: $9 for children; $10 for adults. At the door: $12 and $15 

Tickets: School & group Sales: $8 per child (groups of 20 or more)

To purchase tickets visit:
To book school groups for Mishka: contact Marion Schoevaert/, (917) 935-1595

Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386 

Photos: Marion Schoevaert and Mishka

NJSO Winter Festival Week II, America, Inspiring: Ravel & Rachmaninoff

Montclair resident Terrence Wilson performs Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G

Program features Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, NJSO premiere of Martinů’s Thunderbolt P-47

NJSO Accents include Performance & Painting, wine tasting, panel discussion

Fri, Jan 19, at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Sat, Jan 20, at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sun, Jan 21, at NJPAC in Newark

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents the second program of the 2018 Winter Festival, “America, Inspiring,” January 19–21 in Princeton, New Brunswick and Newark. The influence of American jazz runs through Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances; Czech composer Martinů pays homage his adopted home inThunderbolt P-47, heard in its NJSO premiere.

Montclair resident Terrence Wilson performs Ravel’s concerto; Andrew Constantine conducts.

Performances take place on Friday, January 19, at 8 pm at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton; Saturday, January 20, at 8 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick; and Sunday, January 21, at 3 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

The 2018 Winter Festival highlights the myriad ways America has inspired not only those who call it home but also those who have visited its welcoming shores. Leveraging the power of art to transcend differences, a series of NJSO Accents and special events further explore the immigrant experience and how foreign artists have illustrated American inspiration in their work.

NJSO Accent events include two pre-concert panels (January 19 and 21) hosted by Naomi Lewin, who discusses with a panel of experts the political climate in Europe that drove many of the Winter Festival’s composers to come to America. After the January 21 performance, patrons can watch creative inspiration in action as artist Ken Ahlering paints in response to a performance by the NJSO Chamber Players.

A pre-concert wine tasting on January 20 features wine and music expert Ron Merlino. Tickets for this Accent event are $15; reservations are required. More information is available

For more information on the Winter Festival and related events, visit


Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).


Get the most from the Winter Festival with a Festival Pass! For just $150 you get a prime seat for any—or all—of the nine Festival concerts, a ticket to one of the chamber music concerts, complimentary entry to either wine tasting and a reserved front-row seat for all Festival Accent events.


Winter Festival Week II – Ravel & Rachmaninoff

Fri, Jan 19, at 8 pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Sat, Jan 20, at 8 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sun, Jan 21, at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Andrew Constantine, conductor

Terrence Wilson, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

MARTINŮ Thunderbolt P-47 (NJSO Premiere)

RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major

RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances


Panel Discussion—Fri, Jan 19, at 6:45 pm and Sun, Jan 21, at 1:45 pm

Host Naomi Lewin and a panel of experts discuss the political climate in Europe that drove so many of the Winter Festival’s composers to come to America.

Wine Tasting—Sat, Jan 20, before the concert

Join wine and music expert Ron Merlino in an exclusive tasting of wines made of old-world grapes in new-world soil. $15 for the tasting, reservations required.

Performance & Painting—Sun, Jan 21, after the concert

Watch creative inspiration in action as artist Ken Ahlering ( paints in response to a performance by the NJSO Chamber Players.

Full concert information is available at

Sleigh Ride with the Paper Mill Broadway Show Choir

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

‘The Calling’ A Psychological Thriller at NJ Rep

                       Ames Adamson and Jared Michael Delaney

 New Jersey Repertory Company opens its 2018 season of new plays with the world premiere of The Calling (January 4 – February 4, 2018), directed by Evan Bergman (Jericho) and starring Ames Adamson (Butler) and Jared Michael Delaney (Mad Love). Joel Stone’s thought-provoking and delightfully quick-witted thriller was commissioned by Stage Exchange (Stage X), a partnership formed between NJPAC and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance to develop cutting-edge works by notable New Jersey playwrights. NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch.

Father Dan is preparing to lock up after Mrs. Callahan’s funeral. Having dispatched his parishioner’s soul to its eternal reward and her mourners to their next stops, his work is done for the day. Or so he assumes, unaware that an epic and life-changing test of his faith and convictions lies ahead and, in fact, lies asleep at that moment in one of the pews.

Carl is an ICU nurse who cared for the deceased during her final days. He’s burned out and desperately searching for something: answers, relief, absolution? Maybe even revenge on a God that would choose to be so cruel. The front-row seat on suffering that comes with Carl’s job has put him at odds with Father Dan’s more transcendent views on the subject. Each deeply devoted to his calling, a comfortable man of the cloth and a troubled man of medicine take on life’s biggest questions in a heart-pounding, mind-bending battle of wits that arrives at a shocking conclusion.

Under the direction of Evan Bergman (Jericho, The Substance of Bliss), Ames Adamson returns to NJ Rep to play Father Dan. (Adamson originated the role of Civil War General Benjamin Butler in Butler that had its world premiere at NJ Rep and its subsequent Off-Broadway debut at 59E59 Theaters). Father Dan meets his match in Carl, played by another audience favorite, Jared Michael Delaney (seen last season in Mad Love and Multiple Family Dwelling). Joel Stone is an award-winning playwright (Horrors of Doctor Moreau, The Speck of Dust in Bugsy’s Eye), former Artist Director of NYC’s Theatre Asylum and current literary manager at NJ Rep.

Tickets, Subscriptions, Reservations

The Calling runs January 4 through February 4, 2018. Previews are Thursday and Friday, January 4th and 5th at 8pm, and Saturday, January 6 at 3pm. Opening night with reception is Saturday, January 6 at 8pm. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 2pm, through February 4, 2018. Tickets are $46 (opening night, $60; premium seating +$5). Annual subscriptions are $225 per person, and include unlimited attendance of all shows and staged readings. Reservations by phone: 732-229-3166 or online at


Writers Theatre of N J’s annual reading series starts January 2 with ‘The Patriot ‘ (UPDATED)

A New Year Brings New Plays to NJ

Madison, NJ —  Writers Theatre of New Jersey’s annual Soundings reading series will kick off on January 2 with Pulitzer Prize nominee, Joe Sutton, sharing his latest play, “The Patriot,” at the Dreyfuss Theatre on the Madison campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The series will run through January 15, showcasing one new play each night, and will feature plays from Kilroy Award winner, Donna Hoke; Emmy winner, Hal Corley; and eleven other talented writers. There will be a discussion after each performance where the audience is invited to talk with the playwright and the director about the play.

This year’s plays are:

Tuesday, January 2 – “The Patriot” by Joe Sutton

Wednesday, January 3 – “Like Saltwater” by Pia Wilson

Thursday, January 4 – “Nichiiwad” by Hal Corley

Friday, January 5 – “Hurricane Colleen” by Tammy Ryan

Saturday, January 6 – “And Their Sons, Too...” by Seth Rozin

Sunday, January 7 – “Encounters” by Yasmine Rana

Monday, January 8 – “Memoirs of a Forgotten Man” by D.W. Gregory

Tuesday, January 9 – “Teach” by Donna Hoke

Wednesday, January 10 –  “Wolf at the Door” by Richard Dresser

Thursday, January 11 – “Redux” by Rob Zellers

Friday, January 12 – “Ghost Story” by Lia Romeo

Saturday, January 13 – “The Excavation of Mary Anning” by Ian August

Sunday, January 14 – “The Real Story” by Robert Clyman

Monday, January 15 – “Branwell (and the other Brontës): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Brontë” by Stephen Kaplan

“We are working on an extraordinary group of plays this year, many of whom are by writers familiar to WTNJ audiences, including Seth Rozin, who wrote “Two Jews Walk into a War,” D.W. Gregory, the author of “Radium Girls,” Richard Dresser who wrote “Augusta,” Tammy Ryan, author of “Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods,” and Robert Clyman who wrote “Where the Sun Never Sets,”” said Artistic Director John Pietrowski. “As always, we will follow up the readings with the quality discussions our audiences have come to expect.”

Staged readings, like those in the Soundings series, allow playwrights to hear their work read aloud by professional actors and to see the reaction of audiences to their play; the performances and reaction help the playwright determine what changes, if any, are needed to further develop the script. For audiences, this is a way to become part of the creative process and to help shape brand new plays. It’s also an inexpensive way to see a lot of great, professional theatre close to home.

Soundings will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Dreyfuss Theatre, on the university’s Madison, New Jersey campus, and each performance will begin promptly at 7 PM. The readings are free with a suggested donation of $10 or you can purchase a Soundings pass for $25, which gets you into all fourteen readings.

For more information on the individual plays and playwrights and for tickets, please visit the theatre’s Soundings page by clicking here.

For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Auditions: Strollers of Maplewood Dec. 4 & 5


Director Carol Cornicelli is seeking a multi-ethnic cast of adults, teens and child actors who can sing for:

The ELECTRONIC DRAGON is a musical fantasy for the whole family.  George Jones, a young actor in 1984, finds himself magically transported to the year 2020, where life in America is very much like one continuous Sci-Fi TV program. 

Book by Lee Frank Turner with additional material by Carol Cornicelli

Music by Joshua Stone, Lyrics by James Beloff

Musical Direction by Ebony Wiggins

Auditions are Mon, Dec 4 and Tues, Dec 5 from 7:30-9:30P (callbacks are Fri, Dec 8 at 7:30P)
at theBurgdorff Center, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ  07040

Come prepared to sing a song (bring sheet music) and to do some movement.  Script sides will be provided.

Rehearsals are generally Mon, Tues and Thurs evenings from 7:30 – 9:30P (young children can leave earlier).   There is a break for the holidays.

Performances are Fri, Feb 2 & 9 at 7:00P, Sat & Sun, Feb 3 & 4 and 10 & 11 at 2:00P.

Character Break-Down [Note: All characters can be any ethnicity.]:

George Jones (early 20’s-early 30’s) – idealistic actor from 1984. (1 solo, lead in a group song, 1 duet)

Our Leader (any age from 25 up) – charismatic female talk-show-host turned “President.”  (Lead in 2 songs.)

Jane – OL’s comedic side-kick. (Duet and ensemble)

Henrietta 045-72-0869-F (40+) – married to Harvey, mother to Miranda and Henry; the dutiful housewife and mother who once was a librarian. (2 duets plus ensemble)

Harvey 069-73-4512-M (40+) – married to Henrietta, father to Miranda and Henry.  A recently unemployed doctor. (2 songs plus ensemble)

Miranda 425-62-7311-F (late teens-early 20’s) – Henrietta and Harvey’s daughter.  A dreamer and doodler who is not as absorbed by technology.  (2 duets with solo sections plus ensemble)

Henry (late teens-early 20’s) – Henrietta and Harvey’s son who is sullen and silent until…  (Ensemble)

TV Actors: Ensemble of adults, teens and children who act in commercials and play other featured roles.  (Ensemble with harmony, some featured solos, commercial jingles - lots to do!)

For more information about The Strollers, go to or email us at

We hope to see you next week!


The Strollers

PO Box 83

Maplewood, NJ 07040

Find us online!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Auditions: ‘Father’ in Manhattan Sunday!

connie k

Call for ACTORS -
this SUNDAY DEC 3-
5:30- 9:30pm
Dramatists Guild Foundation

FATHER by Coni Koepfinger (photo)

Directed by Amos Dreisbach

FATHER is a memory play, told by Fr. Frank. Set in the present, only he can see the ghosts of the other characters whose lives he help to ruin by his then narrow perception.

Non-equity actors for various roles in FATHER as part of a short play festival being performed at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Fr. Frank (LEAD): Male, 20 - 35, ​A Catholic Priest now forlorn, seeking to make meaning of his life and purpose; Ethnicity: White
Dale (LEAD): Male, 20 - 35, ​A long-distance truck driver, a loner wearing the scars of his horrible past on his face​, uneducated, Rural Southern accent; Ethnicity: White
Woman (SUPPORTING): Female, 30 - 50, Ethnicity: All Ethnicities
Girl (SUPPORTING): Female, Ethnicity: All Ethnicities
Little Girl (SUPPORTING): Female, Ethnicity: All Ethnicities
Judge (SUPPORTING): Any Gender, 30 - 60, Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

What To Prepare
Prepare a contemporary dramatic monologue.

Where & When
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Dramatist Guild Foundation
Music Hall
356 West 40th Street

Send headshot / resume

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Xian Zhang conducts NJSO 2018 Winter Festival Jan 11-14

NJSO with Xian Zhang at NJPAC 008 bow - credit Fred Stucker

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Music Director Xian Zhang conducts a pair of NJSO premieres in the first program of the 2018 Winter Festival, “America, Inspiring.” The program—presented January 11–14 in Englewood, Newark and New Brunswick—features Chinese-American composer Chen Yi’s Ge Xu and Respighi’s Fountains of Rome.

In a nod to Zhang’s own journey to America and New Jersey, she leads Respighi’s Pines of Rome—a work she conducted in her first-ever performances with the NJSO in 2010. Chinese pianist George Li, the 22-year-old silver medalist of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, performs Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto.

Performances take place on Thursday, January 11, at 7:30 pm at bergenPAC in Englewood; Saturday, January 13, at 8 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; and Sunday, January 14, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

The 2018 Winter Festival highlights the myriad ways America has inspired not only those who call it home but also those who have visited its welcoming shores. Leveraging the power of art to transcend differences, a series of NJSO Accents and special events further explore the immigrant experience and how foreign artists have illustrated American inspiration in their work.

NJSO Accent events during the Festival’s first weekend include two post-concert talkbacks with NJSO musicians. On January 11, members of the Orchestra’s international roster of musicians describe their own journeys to the United States and New Jersey. On January 14, Principal Bassoon Robert Wagner discusses the NJSO’s efforts to reach out to the many diverse communities in the Garden State.

A pre-concert wine tasting on January 13 features wine and music expert Ron Merlino. Tickets for this Accent event are $15; reservations are required. More information is available

For more information on the Winter Festival and related events, visit


Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).


Get the most from the Winter Festival with a Festival Pass! For just $150, you get a prime seat for any—or all—of the nine Festival concerts, a ticket to one of the chamber music concerts, complimentary entry to either wine tasting and a reserved front-row seat for all Festival Accent events.


Winter Festival Week I – America, Inspiring: Respighi & Prokofiev

Thu, Jan 11, at 7:30 pm | bergenPAC in Englewood

Sat, Jan 13, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Jan 14, at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Xian Zhang, conductor

George Li, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

CHEN YI Ge Xu (NJSO Premiere)

PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI Fountains of Rome (NJSO Premiere)

RESPIGHI Pines of Rome


Talkback—Thu, Jan 11, after the concert

Listen as members of the NJSO’s international roster of musicians describe their own journeys to the US and New Jersey in the opening panel of the Winter Festival, America, Inspiring.

Wine Tasting—Sat, Jan 13, before the concert

Join wine and music expert Ron Merlino in an exclusive tasting of wines made of old-world grapes in new-world soil. $15 for the tasting, reservations required.

Talkback—Sun, Jan 14, after the concert

Principal Bassoon Robert Wagner discusses the NJSO's efforts to reach out to the many diverse communities in the Garden State.

Full concert information is available at


Xian Zhang, conductor

In an acclaimed first season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Xian Zhang “clearly made her mark,” NJ Advance Media writes. “Now it’s time to see how high [the Orchestra] can soar.” Zhang continues her tenure in 2017–18 with performances of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Mahler’s First Symphony and Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, among others.

In September 2016, Zhang assumed the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, becoming the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC orchestra; the season culminated in a televised BBC Proms performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, anticipating the start of a two-year project devoted to the composer’s complete symphonies. Her 2017–18 BBC NOW season includes a concert tour of Wales. Zhang is also Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, following completion of her tenure as Music Director from 2009–16.

Forthcoming engagements include returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orquesta Nacional de España and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as debuts with the San Francisco Symphony and NAC Orchestra, Ottawa. Zhang is a regular conductor of the London Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras; recent highlights include her debut with The Cleveland Orchestra and a gala concert with Renée Fleming and the China NCPA Orchestra.

Born in Dandong, China, Zhang made her professional debut conducting The Marriage of Figaro at the Central Opera House in Beijing at the age of 20. She trained at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and serving one year on its conducting faculty before moving to the United States in 1998. She was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor in 2002, then became its Associate Conductor and first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.

George Li, piano

Pianist George Li possesses brilliant virtuosity and effortless grace far beyond his years. He captured the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Recent and upcoming concerto highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel, San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, Hamburg Philharmonic with Manfred Honeck, a tour of Asia with the London Symphony Orchestra with Giandrea Noseda, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, Philharmonia Orchestra with Long Yu, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mälmo Symphony, Verbier Festival Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Sydney Symphony and Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He frequently appears with the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev.

Recital highlights include Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, the Mariinsky Theatre, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Ravinia Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, Edinburgh Festival and Montreaux Festival.

An active chamber musician, Li has performed chamber music with James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Benjamin Beilman, Kian Soltani, Pablo Ferrandez and Daniel Lozakovich.

Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist; his debut album, released in October 2017, was recorded live from the Mariinsky. Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of 10 and, in 2011, performed for President Barack Obama at the White House in an evening honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among his many prizes, he was the first-prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and a recipient of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award.

Li is currently in the Harvard University/New England Conservatory joint program, studying with Wha Kyung Byun.

2018 WINTER FESTIVAL: America, Inspiring

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Xian Zhang present the 2018 Winter Festival—“America, Inspiring”—in January at eight venues across the state. The Festival celebrates foreign artists and composers whose experiences connect them to the nation’s legacy as a source of inspiration and beacon of ideals for people from all over the world.

Spanning three weekends, January 11–28, the Winter Festival includes orchestral performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. The NJSO Chamber Players perform a special chamber music concert at St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church in Rumson and Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit.

WEEK II: America, Inspiring: Ravel & Rachmaninoff

Fri, Jan 19, at 8 pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Sat, Jan 20, at 8 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sun, Jan 21, at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Andrew Constantine, conductor

Terrence Wilson, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

MARTINŮ Thunderbolt P-47 (NJSO Premiere)

RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major

RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

‘A Woman of No Importance’ in NYC




Poster image MADAME X by John Singer Sargent

David Staller, artistic director * Alyce Stark, general manager * Stephen Brown-Fried, associate director

Lincoln Center Shakespeare Program workshops needs assistants ($25 per hour)

Lincoln Center Theater’s education department is looking for assistants to support our Shakespeare Program workshops at Lincoln Center for students from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
on three dates:

Monday, December 4
Tuesday, December 5
Tuesday, December 12

Assistants will help usher student groups into and throughout the theater and help them find the restrooms, get settled in, etc. Assistants may also be asked to support the workshop instructors by helping to model activities or work with a small group.

Assistants are offered a fee of $25/hour.

If you are interested in assisting, please contact Alexandra López, Lincoln Center Theater’s Associate Director of Education at Please be sure to indicate which dates you are available to work.

THE BOX: Don’t Miss Your Last Chance for Fear in Jersey City


You have one more chance to experience Fear at Merseles Studios, in Jersey City, when Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents The BOX: Fear Edition – an evening of Music, spoken-word, poetry, dance and other performances exploring the many forms of Fear on December 8th.

The BOX – named for the ‘black box’ theater at Merseles Studios – concludes JCTC’s latest thematic series, Fear. JCTC selects topics global in scope, yet relevant to the community then explores that theme using visual arts, theater, dance, monologues, and other performances. 

Fear, which kicked off in September with the opening reception of the Art Show, featured more than a dozen separate events, looked at the many facets of Fear, asking thought-provoking questions – on social, political and philosophical levels – as to why sometimes fear paralyzes us into action, while other times it provokes us to achieve things we may not have thought possible before feeling so scared.

JCTC solicited submissions for The BOX: Fear Edition, through notices in Backstage and other publications, as well as entertainment and theater blogs and social media. A panel, including members of JCTC’s Creative Board, reviewed all the submissions, using as a criteria artistic excellence, originality and how effectively the work reflected the Fear theme.

Fear may inspire inaction in some circumstances, but when it came to The BOX, the theme inspired an extraordinary number of submissions. In addition, some submissions were from well-known Hudson County performers who created pieces specifically for The BOX: Fear Edition.

“What's most intriguing about this theme is that the artists were really honest in the work they submitted,” said Dan Pieraccini, Manager, JCTC, who is also the curator for The BOX: Fear Edition. “It’s amazing the range of fear represented. We have superficial fears, and we have deeper, more existential ones.”

In addition to such local music-scene stalwarts such as Nick Ciavatta, Sylvana Joyce, the Sensational Country Blues Wonders and a Super-Group formed specifically to debut at The BOX: Fear Edition: Terry Haman, Ariel Guidry and Alishia Taiping (of Forget the Whale), other performances feature Fernando Ayres, Kenny Jaworski, Frank Ippolito, MahJ, Alicia Rivas (performing a monologue written by Summer Reyes), Jason Coletta, Rachel Therres, Zeynep Jane Bozok, Max DiBiaggio, Nancy Mendez-Booth, Gina Tolentino  and Shaun Fletcher. Co-emcees for the BOX: Fear Edition are Anthony Wills Jr. and Elena Zazanis.

Audience members might well be advised to expect the unexpected: “I'm curious to see how the audience will react to the dimly lit path these performers have chosen,” said Pieraccini. “As a major fan of the late 1800s Gothic literature of Britain, I appreciate progressive ideas and forces – personified as 'monsters’ – that threaten the established order. Dracula, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Gray all represent agents of change and social transgression. The Greek myths hid similar taboos in their Minotaurs and Medusas. I'm excited to see what our performers identified as their 'monsters,' and how terrible we'll find them."

The BOX also closes the Fear Art Show in the gallery at Merseles Studios. Curated by Lucy Rovetto, Visual Arts Coordinator, the gallery is open during all JCTC events. The BOX is the last opportunity to view the Fear exhibition, which includes site-specific installation pieces and about 20 individual artists.

The Box - Fear Edition Friday December 8

Doors: 7:00/Show: 7:30
$5 (Suggested Donation)

For more information, visit:

Photo: Sylvana Joyce of Sylvana Joyce & The Moment, will perform  a new song, I am Disease at The BOX/Fear Edition

Bickford Film Series Continues The Story of the American Impressionist Movement

To Be Screened on Wednesday, December 6

The Bickford Theatre’s new Film Series continues with “The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism” on Wednesday, December 6 at 7:30PM. Produced by the critically acclaimed Exhibition on Screen, this gorgeous documentary tells the story of the American Impressionist movement over a 40-year period, travelling to studios, gardens, and iconic locations in the United States, Great Britain, and France.

This mesmerizing film is a feast for the eyes as it tells the story of America’s pioneering artists who embraced the work of Monet, Renoir, and Degas at the same time as these remarkable artists were being criticized in their homeland. Directed by Phil Grabsky and narrated by Gillian Anderson, the film begins in 1886 when the French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel brings some of his impressionist paintings to New York, changing the course of art in America forever. American artists flocked to Giverny, France, the home of master impressionist Claude Monet and celebrated the French new wave.

As the film explains, this transformation of American art came at the same time reformers in the country began to push for public parks and gardens, and in turn the gardens provided unlimited inspiration for artists. As the country made its transition from a nation of farmers to a land of factories, the American Impressionists created a sumptuous visual language that told the story of a major era in our history. 

The critics have praised this film and the entire series of art films from Exhibition on Screen. Town and Country Magazine called the film “captivating” and The Guardian wrote that it was “documented with meticulous care.”

The series continues on Wednesday, March 7, with a screening of the 50th anniversary of one of the Academy Award nominated films of 1968, fifty years ago. On hand to discuss the film, which has not been announced yet, will be film experts and critics including the New Jersey Film Commission’s Executive Director Steve Gorelick.

Morris-Museum-Black-Maria-Film-Festival-logo-listingOn April 18, the Black Maria Film Festival returns with the 2018 winning shorts from the juried competition. Entries to the international competition honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey’s most famous inventor and the creator of the motion picture.

The Film Series concludes on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 with the screening of “Vincent Van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing.” This film blends reenactment scenes and curatorial interviews from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to explore both Van Gogh the painter and Van Gogh the person. Robin Neal of On the Box called the film “one of the best I’ve seen depicting the life of Vincent Van Gogh.”

Tickets for the Bickford Film Series are $15 for the General Public; $12 for Museum Members; and $10 for Students (18 & under or with valid college ID). Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office. The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike), and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

‘The Nutcracker’ at CSC Dec. 15-17


The critically acclaimed New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet returns to Centenary Stage Company’s Lackland Performing Arts Center for their charming holiday family favorite The Nutcracker December 15 through 17.  Perfect for ages 4 – 104, the New Jersey Civic Youth ballet features international guest artists.

Your theatre ticket becomes an invitation to Dr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum's Christmas Party.  As the theater darkens, and some of the world’s most beautiful music plays and Clara takes you on a storybook adventure. At the family’s annual Christmas party, Clara’s Godfather, Drosselmeyer, danced by Vitaly Verterich, (former soloist with the Moscow Ballet), presents his magic show of dancing dolls, and marionettes, mesmerizing each quest. He has gifts for all but only one touches Clara's heart, an ugly Nutcracker.  As Clara falls asleep under the Christmas tree the noise of mice wake her. To save Clara, the Nutcracker toy and his army, battle the giant Mouse King. A spell is broken and the ugly Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince. Clara and her prince travel through an enchanted forest to his spectacular palace. Through Clara’s narration, young children understand a fanciful fairytale, that this is truly a story of life, love and the holiday spirit.

International and national guest artists in this year’s Nutcracker are Sara Seger and her partner Sabatino Verleszza from the Rioult Dance Company, an international performing group based in New York City, and Ilya Kozadayev from Russia and his partner, Cuban born and trained, Milena Garcia. Kozadayev and Garcia will dance the lead roles of Cavalier and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Kozadayev received his training from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia and has performed as a soloist with Colorado Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, and Houston Ballet.  Garcia, a graduate of the National Ballet School in Cuba in 2010 has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Florida Classical Ballet.

Of course, Nutcracker is never complete without its child dancers. Lead roles of Clara Stahlbaum will be danced by Grace Lazzarotti and Sophia Musal both of Mt. Olive and Natalie D’Alessio from Panther Valley with Maya Papendick from Green Township, share the role of Fritz, Clara’s naughty little brother. Gracing the stage again this year, is World Ballet Competition Gold Medalist Emma Crow from Hackettstown dancing as Dew Drop, Sundaymatinee.

Tickets for the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker December 15 through 17 are $28.00 for adult orchestra and $25.00 for adult balcony seating.  Children under 12 are $15.00 for all seats.  Tickets are available on – line at or by phone at (908) 979 – 0900.  The Centenary Stage Company box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ and is open Monday throughFriday from 1 – 5pm and two hours prior to performance time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

‘Elf The Musical, Jr.’ at Summit Playhouse


Kaleidoscope Theatre for Youth at The Summit Playhouse presents Elf The Musical, Jr. Based on the hit film, Elf JR. features songs by Tony Award-nominees, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, with a book by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

Tickets available here:
Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and that his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Directed by Julie Anne Nolan
Choreography by Jessica Lombardi
Music Direction by Courtney Hirschey

Due to high demand we are adding TWO additional performances of Elf The Musical Jr! Tickets for Sunday, December 10 at 11:30am and Sunday, December 17 at 11:30am are on sale now! Very limited tickets remain for all other performances.

Tickets available here:

10 New England Ave Summit, New Jersey

Get Directions @thesummitplayhouse

Chat Now  Call (908) 273-2192

Chatham Community Players to present ‘Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa’

Chatham Community Players is excited to present Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa, an evening of heartwarming holiday sketches by playwright G. David Post. Crazy cat ladies, wide-eyed children, sock-knitting witches, ghosts and geese and angels and elves abound in this holiday romp that will be fun for the whole family.  Join us for a delightful evening (or matinee) of laughter and holiday fun by Post and guest playwright, Steve Ruskin, from December 8 – 16, 2017. Amy Sellars of Ridgewood is making her directorial debut at the Chatham Playhouse.

Christmas Cards 2017

Christmas Cards 2017

Comprised of actors from four surrounding NJ counties, this talented and lively bunch includes Connie Masterson, Molly Farrell, Andrew Palmieri and Julia Hearne of Chatham, Joelle Bochner of Springfield, Howard Fischer and Aidan English of Berkeley Heights, Julie Anne Nolan of Little Falls, Chip Prestera of Stirling, David Kapferer of West Orange, Maria Brodeur of Rockaway, Ginny Crooks of Bloomfield and Glen D. Post of Sparta.

Delightful for audiences of all ages.

Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa

All seating is reserved.


FRI, December 8 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, December 9 @ 8:00 pm
FRI, December 15 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, December 16 @ 8:00 pm


SAT, December 9 @ 3:00 pm
SUN, December 10 @ 3:00 pm
SAT, December 16 @ 3:00 pm

Tickets are $25 for Adults, $23 for Seniors (65+)
& $15 for Youth (18 and under)
Please present your TICKET BARCODE at the door.
HANDICAPPED SEATING can ONLY be guaranteed by contacting the Box Office at least 24 hours prior to performances by emailing
or calling 973-635-7363
For Box Office information, visit

Buy Tickets Now

Sometimes written in crayon, sometimes pencil, on notepaper, construction paper, with drawings and without.  We smile at the innocence of children reaching out to Mr. Kringle, whether they ask for one thing or for a list that needs three pages.  These are expressions of faith in kindness and hope for happiness.  These are the Letters to Santa Claus. Post says, “I love Christmas and I love to make people laugh.  There is nothing I’d rather do than to help people connect with their humanity and tap into the joy that is theirs for the taking.”

Kathleen Turner in ‘An Act of God’ at GSP

An Act of God GSP 11-17 079An Act Of God, by David Javerbaum, directed by David SaintGeorge Street Playhouse 11/26/17Timothy R Mackabee: Set DesignerSeung Kyu Shin: Assistant Set DesignerEsther Arroyo: Costume DesignerJason Lyons: Lighting Designer Catherine Clark: Associate Lighting DesignerPhoto Credit: T Charles Erickson© T Charles Erickson

From the mind of 13-time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum, former head writer and executive producer of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,' comes the hilarious An Act of God.

An Act of God GSP 11-17 026An Act Of God, by David Javerbaum, directed by David SaintGeorge Street Playhouse 11/26/17Timothy R Mackabee: Set DesignerSeung Kyu Shin: Assistant Set DesignerEsther Arroyo: Costume DesignerJason Lyons: Lighting Designer Catherine Clark: Associate Lighting DesignerPhoto Credit: T Charles Erickson© T Charles Erickson Photographytcepix@comcast.netFollowing Her recent sold-out Broadway run, God arrives in New Brunswick — and she looks a lot like Kathleen Turner! Called “deliriously funny” by The New York Times, God takes human form in An Act of God and doesn’t hold back about what She’s seen and heard. In this hilarious comedy by Emmy Award-winner David Javerbaum (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), God, along with two archangels (Stephen DeRosa and Jim Walton), answers many of the deepest (and not so deep) questions that have plagued mankind since Creation.

With its longtime venue in downtown New Brunswick razed to make way for a new performing arts center that will serve as George Street Playhouse’s future home, the Playhouse has taken residence in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture at 103 College Farm Road on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus through its 2018-19 season. George Street Playhouse is expected to return downtown to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in time for its 2019-20 season.

Tickets start at $85 for all performances. Located in the first three rows, “Heavenly Seating” offers patrons the opportunity to be close to God. Tickets in the “Heavenly Seating” section are limited and offered at $100.  

unnamed (1)Visit our new website (, which allows patrons to select their own seating locations when ordering tickets online. Located right off Route 1 amidst a vast bucolic setting on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse’s new, interim venue features expansive lobby spaces, an outdoor patio and free nearby parking. The entrance into the building and to all areas of the theatre are barrier-free. For directions to George Street Playhouse, visit the Playhouse website ( and click Directions on the homepage.

New Brunswick’s favorite restaurants are less than two miles from College Farm Road. For a list of restaurants, visit the Plan Your Visit section of the website. And keep a lookout for unique dining options offered by George Street Playhouse.


Photos by T. Charles Erickson

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Performances added for NJSO ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ in Concert at NJPAC


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Performing Arts Center announce an additional performance of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert on Saturday, March 3, at 2 pmat NJPAC in Newark. Tickets are still available for the previously announced March 3 performance at 7:30 pm. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will perform the magical score live from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while the entire film plays in high-definition on a 40-foot screen.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series, which is another magical experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, kicked off in June 2016 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and is scheduled to include hundreds of performances across more than 35 countries around the world through 2018.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, Ron and Hermione, now teenagers, return for their third year at Hogwarts, where they are forced to face escaped prisoner, Sirius Black, who seems to pose a great threat to Harry. Harry and his friends spend their third year learning how to handle a half-horse, half-eagle creature known as a Hippogriff, repel shape-shifting Boggarts and master the art of Divination. They also visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade and the Shrieking Shack, which is considered the most haunted dwelling in Britain. In addition to these new experiences, Harry faces a werewolf and must overcome the threats of the soul-sucking Dementors. With his best friends, Harry tackles advanced magic, crosses the barriers of time and impacts the course of life changing events for those around him.

Earning an Oscar-nomination for the score, the spellbinding and incredible music composed by John Williams became an instant classic, conjuring beautiful, soaring motifs continuing the adventures of Harry Potter on his magical journey.

This film concert series has been created by CineConcerts, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and will be conducted by its creator and producer, Justin Freer. He explains, “The Harry Potter film series continues to be a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that delights millions of fans around the world. It is with great pleasure that we introduced for the first time ever an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen. This will be another unforgettable event.”

Brady Beaubien of CineConcerts and Concert Producer for the Harry Potter Film Concert Series added, “Harry Potter is synonymous with excitement around the world and we hope that by performing this incredible music with the full movie, audiences will enjoy returning to this world, and to the many wonderful characters that inhabit it.”

Tickets for both performances of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert range in price from $39 to $89. Tickets for the 2 pm performance go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 1, at 10 am and will be available for purchase from the NJSO online at or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). They will be available for purchase from NJPAC online at or by phone at 1.888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722).

For more information on the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, please visit


Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People, NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide.

For more information about the NJSO, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.


New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey—where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors (including more than 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. NJPAC is a proud partner of Newark Celebration 350.

For more information about NJPAC, visit or call 1.888.GO.NJPAC (466.5722).

CSC Young Performers Workshop Winter Festival of Shows

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Centenary Stage Company’s critically acclaimed Young Performers Workshop returns with their annual Winter Festival of Shows running December 9 through December 17.  These talented young thespians between the ages of 8 and 18 fill the Little Theater with musical theatre favorites including The Pajama Game, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and A Class Act.  Young Performers will also be featured in Centenary Stage Company’s Family Holiday Spectacular Disney’s Newsies The Musical (photo below) which runs November 24 through December 10 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

_6JG4901Hailed as a “state treasure” by Peter Filichia of the Star Ledger and bringing in youth from Morris, Warren, Hunterdon and Sussex counties, Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performance Workshop is one of the few young actor training programs in the country that combines formal training with practical application.  Performances of The Pajama Game, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and A Class Act will be held in the Little Theatre located at 400 Jefferson Street, Hackettstown.

Base on the novel, 7 ½ Cents by Richard Bissell and featuring a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell with music and lyrics by Jerry Ross and Richard, The Pajama Game was awarded the 1955 Tony for Best Musical and, over half of a century later, claimed the award for Best Revival of a Musical, proving that the story is truly timeless. With an energetic score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (Damn Yankees), The Pajama Game is brimming with songs and dances that have become musical theatre standards, including "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway."  Conditions at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory are anything but peaceful as sparks fly between new superintendent, Sid Sorokin, and Babe Williams, leader of the union grievance committee. Their stormy relationship comes to a head when the workers strike for a 7 ½ cent pay increase, setting off not only a conflict between management and labor, but a battle of the sexes as well.  Performances will run Saturday, December 9 at 5PM; Friday, December 15 at 8PM; Saturday, December 16 at 5PM and Sunday, December 17 at 7PM.

One of the most enduring shows of all time, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors.  Told entirely through song with the help of a main character Narrator, the musical follows preferred son Joseph. After being sold into slavery by his brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.  The magical musical is full of catchy songs in a variety of styles, from a parody of French ballads (“Those Canaan Days”), to country-western (“One More Angel in Heaven”) and calypso (“Benjamin Calypso”), along with the unforgettable classics “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.”  Performances will run Sunday, December 10 at 5PM; Saturday, December 16 at 2PM and Sunday, December 17 at 1PM.

The Tony Award winning lyricist of A Chorus Line, Edward Kleban was determined on writing both the words and music for a Broadway show, a goal unrealized in 1987 when he died of cancer at the age of 48.  Kleban’s music and lyrics combined with a book by Linda Kline and Lonny Price the biographical musical A Class Act garnered the acclaim Kleban always deserved.   Ed got his start in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop where he largely amasses the charismatic songbook that has been arranged in A CLASS ACT to dramatize Ed's often hilarious, ultimately heartbreaking journey. An ensemble of 7 inhabit the colorful gallery of friends and loved ones in Ed's life including the legendary acerbic Lehman Engle, the relentlessly peppy Marvin Hamlisch, and Uber-creative Michael Bennett.  Fourteen years after his death, one of the theater's unsung champions finally got the recognition he always deserved in this vibrant musical about musicals.  Performances will run Sunday, December 10 at 7PM; Saturday, December 16 at 8PM and Sunday, December 17 at 4PM.

_6JG4123Finally, Centenary Stage Company’s main stage Family Holiday Spectacular Disney’s Newsies The Musical, running November 24 through December 10 will feature Young Performers Workshop students in various principle and ensemble roles.  The 2012 Tony – Award winning musical featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Feirstein is based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White.  It is New York City 1899 and Jack Kelly and his ragtag of newsboys make a meager living selling newspapers on the city streets.  But when the prices of "papes" are hiked and the newsies are hung out to dry, there is nothing left to do but "open the gates and seize the day"! (READ OUR REVIEW)

The YPW program has been led by Broadway, film and television veteran, Michael Blevins, for over 20 years. YPW is dedicated to the enrichment of young lives through experience in the theatre arts, and serves as a venue for cultivating young theatre performers. The program is one of only a handful in the nation that offers both formal training and production experience for young people.  The Young Performers Workshop is part of the educational arm of the professional Centenary Stage Company, a professional Equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary University.

Tickets to the YPW Winter Festival of Shows (not including Disney’s Newsies The Musical) are $12.50 for adults and $10 for children under 12.  Tickets for Disney’s Newsies The Musical range from $29.50 to $32.00 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the CSC Box Office at (908) 979-0900.  Performances for The Pajama Game, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and A Class Act will take place in the Little Theatre located on the campus of Centenary University at 400 Jefferson Street in Hackettstown, New Jersey. All performances of Disney’s Newsies The Musical will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, New Jersey.