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Saturday, October 21, 2017

‘My Name is Gideon: I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually’ at CSC


Hailed as "Eccentric and exhilarating.  The best possible combination." By Stephen Sondheim, Centenary Stage Company closes the annual Fringe Festival with the award winning My Name is Gideon: I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually November 16 through 19 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

After sold out performances in New York City and 5 stars from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Gideon Irving a theatrical couch – surfing troubadour brings his incredibly unique solo show to Hackettstown. Irving, who has hopped from one town to the next on bike, rollerblades, and automobiles, performing and sleeping in 504 homes of perfect strangers, now invites audiences to his own living room on stage.  With a host of eclectic instruments, astonishing stories, warm charm and an infectious sense of humor Irvingcasts a spell that transports audiences out of this world.  The NY Times review notes, “It’s a mishmash of twangy songs and stories about his mother, his friends and his travels. Other odds and ends are tossed in: jokes, audience participation, a magic trick… There’s charm in that shagginess, and in Mr. Irving’s folksy and welcoming manner

Performances for My Name is Gideon:  I’m Probably Going to Die, Eventually are Thursday, November 16 at 7:30PM; Friday, November 17 at 8:00PM; Saturday, November 18 at 8:00PM and Sunday, November 19 at 2:00PM.  All Performances are held in the Kutz Theatre in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Ticket prices are $25.00 for adults and $15.00 for children under 12 on Friday and Sunday performances.  Saturday evening’s performance is $27.50 for adults and $25.00 for children under 12.  Thursday evening’s performance is $25.00 for all seats with a Buy One/Get One Rush Ticket Special.  To qualify for the BOGO offer tickets must be purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office as early as two hours prior to performance time.  BOGO offer not valid for advance ticket sales.

Next at The Strollers ‘Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’


The Strollers proudly presents:
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
by Ed Graczyk

​In a small-town dime store in West Texas, the Disciples of James Dean gather for their twentieth reunion. Now middle-aged women, they were teenagers when Dean filmed Giant two decades ago in nearby Marfa. One of them, an extra in the film, has a child whom she says was conceived with Dean during the shoot. The ladies congenial reminiscences mingle with flashbacks to their youth; then the arrival of a stunning-but-familiar stranger sets off a series of confrontations that smash their delusions and expose bitter disappointments.

Director - Wanda Maragni
Stage Manager - Alanna Libbrecht
Set Design - John Mendlovitz
Producer - Georgiana Hart
Props Mistresses - Yvonne Perry and Laura Iacometta
Lighting Design - Dianne Nigro
Sound Design - Molly Holzbauer

Linda Hatcher
Sally Jayne
Sam Mullaney
Janet Pane
Jessica Phelan
Tracey Randinelli
Cindy Ross
Jacqueline Schreiber
Michelle Womack

Friday, November 3 @ 8pm
Saturday, November 4 @8pm
Sunday, November 5 @2pm

Friday, November 10 @8pm
Saturday, November 11 @8pm

The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
10 Durand Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

General Admission: $20
Seniors/Students: $15

For more information, reach The Strollers at their
Facebook - at
Twitter: @MplwdStrollers

The Strollers

PO Box 83

Maplewood, NJ 07040


Review By Ruth Ross


My young friends tell me that the dating scene has undergone a sea change since Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Robert’s musical comedy, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, opened at New York City’s Westside Theatre in 1996; by the time it closed in 2008, after 5,003 performances, it was the second longest running Off Broadway musical. Translated into over 17 languages, it has been produced all over the globe, so it must have touched a nerve with the thirty-somethings who came to see it. (Above: George Merrick, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis and Karen Burthwright)

Nowadays, instead of meetings in bars or clubs, or being set up by friends or relatives, today’s relationships begin online with Tinder, OK Cupid and other dating apps. Prospective partners communicate by text or email, and often never talk to one another in person until they meet face-to-face for a drink, coffee, lunch or dinner. To me, who came of age in a very different time, it all seems rather impersonal, detached.

I guess that’s why David Saint, Artistic Director of New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse thought it would be a good idea to have DiPietro and Roberts revise I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change to serve as the first production of the 2017-2019 season and to inaugurate the playhouse’s interim residence on the Cook College campus of Rutgers University. An updated production would replicate the original’s popularity while appealing to a younger audience.

x-defaultDiPietro has tweaked his original lyrics a bit, with lots of references to navigating the online dating scene; he has added one song and replaced another. Speed dating for “busy, busy” people is hilariously recounted as a couple (Right: Lindsay Nicole Chambers and George Merrick) goes from first date to breaking up to reconciling in the blink of an eye! The number’s title, “I Have Better Things to Do Than You,” doesn’t promise a successful conclusion to a date that began with a few swipes on a cell phone screen. “A Picture of This” replaces a song about him calling her, only this time he sends her a picture of his penis! Is this a peril of online dating? Other musical numbers in the first half of this revue involve some age-old problems facing new couples: men not listening while his date talks; his having to attend a teary movie she chose; a gal cooking lasagna for her new beau; meeting and disappointing the parents; and even matchmaking in Attica Prison. Most of it will touch a nerve no matter what the age of the audience members; some things apparently never change.

The second half of the evening revolves around problems that crop up once the couple has tied the knot. “Always a Bridesmaid” (Chambers, left) is a droll assessment of the plight of the single friend forced to purchase multiple ugly dresses and submit to the brides’ tyranny. On the flip side, new parents often become so googly-eyed over their new baby that they sound moronic; “The Baby Song” depicts male parents talking nonsense as they wield baby toys and discuss their offspring. It’s sickeningly hilarious. Being stuck in the car with the family (or using the car to escape them) and the interminable waiting while a spouse is shopping/watching a football game really hit home. Especially droll is newly widowed Rose Ritz, who sets out to make her first dating video; her ineptitude is tempered by her unvarnished candor, much to our merriment.

Fortunately, DiPietro hasn’t fiddled with two songs late in the show, both of which are poignant and affecting. “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love with You” conveys the sweetness of mature love very well, a nice contrast to the busy, busy people speed dating in the first number. And the couple “meeting cute” at a wake for someone neither of them knows is both funny and bittersweet. Honestly reciting their shortcomings, the two conclude “I Can Live with That,” a rueful acceptance that getting old is difficult and lonely, but less so when you’ve got someone to share life’s ups and downs.

x-defaultThe quartet of actors splendidly presents the material with great comedic timing and wonderful stage presence. Karen Burthwright and Lindsay Nicole Chambers give us a window into the female psyche. Chambers makes our heads spin as the speed dater on steroids but brings her energy level way down when her character discovers love in the funeral parlor. Burthwright’s excitement at making lasagna for her new beau is infectious, and we are as outraged as she when she receives the offensive photo from a guy she just met!

Mitchell Jarvis and George Merrick go beyond the usual guy clichés to provide their characters with humanity. Jarvis is especially fine as the new father (above, with Merrick and Burthwright) and the mature lover; Merrick is especially funny as the husband waiting for his wife as she shops and will touch your heart in the funeral scene.

There’s a reason I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change ran for over a decade: Joe DiPietro really nailed the vicissitudes of dating and marriage, and he’s done it again. Yes, the revue is funny, but the lyrics dig deeper to expose the insecurities, as well as the touching aspects, of love in all its forms. But this fresh, contemporary take on love is exclusively available George Street Playhouse patrons, so if you loved the original, admire DiPietro’s work (four of his works have premiered at the playhouse) or just need a pick-me-up, you won’t want to miss I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change before it closes on November 12.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will be performed at the George Street Playhouse’s interim location in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, 13 College Farm Road, just off Route 1 South on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus. For information and tickets, visit online.

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

NJSO’s one-week sale runs Oct 23–27

The NJSO’s one-week sale runs Oct 23–27,

Use promo code PRESALE to unlock the savings today!

Special Sale Prices
P, A and P1 sections:
$52 (reg $55–$90)
B and P2 sections: $37 (reg $40–$55)
C section: $20 (reg $30–$42)
D and P3 sections: always $20

This great deal includes almost all* of this season’s concerts at the NJSO’s six regular venues—including:

Beethovens Fifth Symphony

An American in Paris in Concert with the NJSO

Stephen Hough plays Rachmaninoffs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Sci-Fi Spectacular: Music from Star Wars, Star Trek & Beyond

Mozarts Requiem

Pines & Fountains of Rome Respighis most famous works

Dvořáks Ninth Symphony, From the New World

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Bachs complete Brandenburg Concertos

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert with the NJSO ™ & © Universal Studios

Gil Shaham plays Brahms Violin Concerto

... and much more!

Even more great deals! Buy early, seats are limited.

Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy and Handel’s Messiah concerts are also on sale!
See below for special pricing information for these two performances:

Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy: P & A sections: $62 | B section: $42 | C section: $25
Handel’s Messiah at NJPAC in Newark: $59 and $41 (includes facility fee)

» Browse all of the available concerts* and save when you buy today. Remember to use promo code PRESALE to unlock the savings.
Plus, when you buy tickets during the sale period, you’ll only be charged a flat $7 order fee instead of the $3 per-ticket fee—saving you even more!

Music Director Xian Zhang will lead the NJSO in Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony during the 2018 Winter Festival.
How to purchase:

  1. For detailed information about each concert and to hear music clips of the program,visit the sale concert calendar.
  2. Click the “buy” button next to your concert date and enter the promotion codePRESALE before selecting your seats. Don’t wait—once the discounted seats have been sold, any additional seats in that section will be sold at full price.
  3. Review your order, select a delivery method and add your order to the cart. Finish the transaction by checking out, where you’ll be prompted to create or log into your account and enter payment information.
  4. Forward this offer to your friends!

This offer is only available online and is only available starting 12:01 am on October 21 and ending 11:59 pm October 27, 2017. This offer may not be combined with any other offers or discounts and is not retroactive. Seating is subject to availability and may be limited for some performances. Seating at these discounted prices is limited for some performances. If there are no discounted seats available, the regular ticket price will show when you select your seats. Each order is subject to a $7 handling fee.
*Excluded concerts include: All family concerts, Nutcracker concerts and all concerts on Oct 28, Dec 15,Jan 25 and Mar 25. Handel’s Messiah on Dec 17 has special pricing for this sale: $59 and $41 (includes facility fee). Jason Alexander: The Broadway Boy has special pricing for this sale: P & A sections: $62 | B section: $42 | C section: $25
Additional restrictions may apply.

‘The Mecca Tales’ next at Crossroads on the Road

Love & Happiness

Purchase Tickets Here!

Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:

American Express

Johnson & Johnson

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund

Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders

New Brunswick Cultural Center

New Jersey Council on the Arts/ Department of State,

a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last Chance to see ‘Barefoot in the Park’

Rick Busciglio Writes
"Laughs Galore at Chatham Players"

Only 2 More Shows!

Rick Busciglio writes, "Chatham Players Barefoot in the Park clearly delivers…belly laughs, aplenty."  Read his review at New Jersey Footlights.

Barefoot in the Park in 60 seconds!  At the Chatham Playhouse.

Watch highlights from Barefoot in the Park in 60 seconds!

The Chatham Community Players open their 96th Season with Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, a play that is at once a charming and romantic comedy, and a commentary on love and compatibility. This production has only 2 more performances, October 20 and 21. Michael Hegarty from Highland Park directs.

Barefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park

Buy Tickets Now

Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find – too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s too staid, too boring, and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous.  Running “barefoot in the park” would be a start.

Barefoot in the Park

Producer, Mara Lundstrom of Maplewood added, "This Neil Simon classic brings lightness and levity to the stage. CCP’s production captures the nuances in Simon’s marvelous writing about love, family, friends, and NYC. The set and scenic design have become an additional character in CCP’s production, adding a convincing look at life in NYC in the 1960’s. A funny, witty, and friendly comedy, Barefoot in the Park will tickle everyone’s fancy for a fun night of theater.”

Barefoot in the Park

For more information, including the cast and production team, please visit

Final 2 Performances

All seating is reserved.
FRI, October 20 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, October 21 @ 8:00 pm

Tickets are $25 for Adults and $23 for Seniors/Youths
We don't scan cell phones, but we do print free duplicate tickets.
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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

JCTC Begins Halloween Weekend with Double-Bill of “FEAR” Shows


What better way to begin Halloween Weekend than with two Fear shows in one night?

As part of its ongoing Fear series exploring the many forms of social and personal anxiety, JCTC presents a double-bill of thought provoking, topical tales of fright – Anna in the Darkness and HORROR.

merseles-studiosjpg-554f4617009bfc3fThis two for the price of one theater event takes place on October 28th at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, N.J.

​Anna in the Darkness – starring Anthony Wills Jr. – follows a small town teacher, who after being accused of committing a horrible crime, barricades herself in her house as an angry mob, howling for blood and justice, gathers outside. This haunting psychological thriller will have you pondering what is real and what is delusory up until the very end. Playwright Jeremy Menekseoglu has crafted a tale where the menace is truth, thus far scarier — and far more profound — than brainless zombies or thirsty vampires.

Anna in the Darkness has been performed to critical acclaim in Chicago and this will be its first Jersey City performance. About Anna in the Darkness, the Chicago Reader raved: “a devilish torture on the imagination.”

“This amazing play that has been performed annually in Chicago by Dream Theater for the past 10 years,” said Wills. “Not only does it display the fear a person in this situation experiences but also how fear drives the town to do the things it does. I’ve adored this play for years and also find myself a little frightened to take on this extraordinary character.”

HORROR – created by and starring Elizabeth Anne Keiser – is a multimedia, and purely objective dark comedy, examining without explanation or comment, the bleak state of current events. Utilizing interactive video, music, visual art, poetry, and humor, HORROR tracks the challenges in our public schools, politics, and media. HORROR highlights juxtapositions such as heralded children's literature depicting crass violence, good intentions by greedy narcissists, and bare naked souls afraid to be physically nude. Although often terrifying, the play offers a glimmer of hope and the cathartic laughter needed by everyone.

HORROR has been performed and developed at the Aurora in  Providence, Rhode Island.  HORROR culminates with a fashion show designed by Jennifer Avery (, who has an upcoming 3-month installation at The Palais de Tokyoin in Paris.

“HORROR connects with the theme of Fear, as demonstrated by current events, because the result of acting out of fear is horror,” said Keiser “I’m looking forward to sharing this show with the eclectic and savvy audience drawn to JCTC for its reliably innovative programming.”

Wills is Artistic Director of A.P.P. (Artistic Pride Productions) is an actor and performance artist who's performed all over the country including JCTC, The New Museum, Steppenwolf, Utah Shakes, Milwaukee Rep. He’s performed with Susan Sarandon, Philip Glass, and Tony nominee Marla Schaffel

Elizabeth Anne Keiser took a hiatus from theater to run a literacy-based behavior intervention program in Rhode Island. She is now returning to the New York/New Jersey area, where previously she produced her shows: The Big Red Wagon, Perversion Incognito (for which she was awarded the RISCA Playwriting merit), The Fowl Seducktion, Time for a Home, Be A Walking, Mechanisms, and assorted comedy pieces at EST, Catch a Rising Star, the West Bank, the Westbeth, and NYTW. Her television credits include: AMC, Lifetime, and PBS. For over six years she was an actor with the O'Neill Playwriting Conference and the 52nd Street Project.

Anna in the Darkness/HORROR
Friday/October 28
Doors 7:30/ Show 8:00
(there will be a 15 minute intermission between performances;
a talk-back with both artists concludes the show)

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

Tickets: $20 ($15 for Students & Senior Citizens, Valid ID required)
To purchase tickets visit:

*Press Passes, Interviews and Additional Photography Available*

Fear and Anna in the Darkness/HORROR was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life. 

Auditions: Holiday 3 Act Event at The Barn Theatre in Montville

barn logo

The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey, is holding open auditions on October 29th & 30th for its upcoming holiday production of three one act plays. Directed by Jeff Knapp.

AUDITION DATES: Sunday October 29th 7pm to 9 pm, Monday October 30th 6pm to 8 pm

PERFORMANCE DATES: Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 11am Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2pm Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 2pm

Three zany, fun-for-the-whole-family stories to help ring in the holiday season! 

  • Lights... Camera.. Christmas by Sally Carpenter
  • Murray, The Motion Sick Dreidl by Jeff Knapp
  • What Could Go Wrong The Night Before Christmas? by Kim Kao Hines


There will likely be doubling.  There is a NARRATOR character who will link all the shows together and take a larger role in WHAT COULD GO WRONG....



  • J.D. high school aged, film director
  • SANDY plays Eve in the film
  • MARCY plays Mother in the film
  • CHARLIE plays Father in the film
  • FILM EXTRA female, plays a Christmas Tree
  • GOPHER runs errands


  • MR. BIG the studio boss
  • CAMERA PERSON works the movie camera


  • SET DESIGNER male or female
  • LIGHTING DIRECTOR male or female
  • COSTUME DESIGNER male or female
  • MURRAY, A Dreidl of Indeterminate Age
  • SHLOMO, A Dreid of Indeterminate Agel
  • DOCTOR, An Adult Doctor
  • LEFTY, A Kid
  • SAM, A Kid
  • HOST (doubles as NARRATOR for the show)
  • CHILDREN (at least 6 kids needed; ages flexible - no infants please; but if your child can sit still and be quiet, it might be a good fit!)
  • OWEN, a surfer bum mouse, kid aged or older
  • CHAD, a "regular guy" mouse, kid aged or older
  • NERMAL, a nerd mouse, kid aged or older
  • MAMA, She wears the kerchief, adult
  • PAPA, He wears the cap and throws open the sash, adult
  • SANTA: Stocky, not obese, adult - should be comfortable posing for pictures with the audience in the lobby afterwards

Actors are asked to arrive to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the event. If interested, please contact

***IMPORTANT: You will be asked to list ALL potential conflict dates AT THE TIME of your audition, (NOT after casting). Please be prepared with your calendar and out-dates, as a rehearsal schedule will be generated based upon availability of staff and cast.

The Barn is an all-volunteer organization

A Christmas Carol Set Load-In Timelapse - McCarter Theatre

Follow Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future and watch as our entire community—including 35 members from the greater Princeton area—bring this story to life around you! This exciting production will usher you into the spirit of the season with all the joy, wonder, and generosity that Scrooge himself discovers. Share the happiness of Dickens' perennial masterpiece and join us in celebrating this McCarter tradition with your friends and entire family.

Award-Winning Show Next at Bickford Theatre with Four-time Daytime Emmy Award Winning Actress Kim Zimmer


  Kim Zimmer and Carl Wallnau in rehearsal for Bakersfield Mist.

The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum will produce the award-winning comedy/drama Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs from October 26 to November 5 under the direction of the Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen. The play, which received the Elliott Norton Award for Best New Play in 2013, was a smash hit when it opened for a limited run on London’s West End. It contains Adult Language.

Leading the cast in the role of Maude Gutman is the very popular Kim Zimmer, a four-time Daytime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress. Kim will share the stage with Carl Wallnau, the celebrated Artistic Director of the Centenary Stage Company. He will play Lionel Percy.

Inspired by true events, this hilarious and thought-provoking comedy/drama asks timeless questions about what makes art and people truly authentic. Maude Gutman, a 50-something unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, has bought a painting for a few dollars from a thrift store. At first she almost throws it away but instead convinces herself that it is a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollack worth millions. So to evaluate the painting, world-class art expert Lionel Percy travels from New York to Maude’s home in Bakersfield to determine whether it is authentic or not. What ensues is a fiery, entertaining, and wonderfully funny debate over class, truth, and what we perceive as valuable.

It is a play loved by both audiences and critics. When it opened in London, The Telegraph called it “…one of the best plays on now in London.” And during the run in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times said it was “a perfect marriage of emotion and ideas!” Vanity Fair praised Bakersfield Mist, proclaiming that it was “not to be missed” and the Orlando Sentinel gushed that it was “cleverly funny….”

Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen has more than 35 years of theater experience having acted in or directed productions throughout the Northeast, including shows off-Broadway and in New Jersey. When asked about Bakersfield Mist, he said, “When I read the play, I knew that it was perfect for the Bickford Theatre because of our affiliation with the Morris Museum. Stephen Sachs tackles the large questions on creativity and the value of art with wit and humor. And our audience will love it.”

Playwright Stephen Sachs is the author of eleven plays produced both here and abroad and has received many awards not only for his plays, but also for his work as an artistic director and theatre director. As the co-founder and co-artistic director of The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, he has won multiple awards including the prestigious Ovation award twice. And he has twice been a finalist for the PEN Literary Award for Drama.

Bakersfield Mist opens on Friday, October 27, at 8:00 PM with a Preview Performance on Thursday, October 26. The production runs through Sunday, November 5. 

Tickets for Bakersfield Mist are $45 for the General Public; $40 for Seniors; $38 for Museum Members; and $20 for Students (18 & under or with valid college ID). Group rates are available. There is a $3 service charge per ticket. The show contains Adult Language.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office. The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, 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.

# # # # #


Thursday, October 26 (Preview Performance) and November 2, 7:30 PM

Thursday, November 2, 2:00 PM

Friday, October 27 (Opening Night) and November 3, 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 28, and November 4, 8:00 PM

Sunday, October 29, and November 5, 2:00 PM

There will be a conversation with the cast and creative team on Thursday, November 2, following the evening performance.


Kim Zimmer headshotKim Zimmer of Verona, NJ. Television: The Guiding Light (CBS), One Life to Live (ABC), Santa Barbara (NBC), The Doctors (CBS); Episodic Television: Designing Women, Seinfeld, MacGyver, Models Inc., Babylon 5; Off-Broadway: Love, Loss, and What I Wore; North American tour of Broadway’s Wicked; Regional Theatre: Connecticut Reperatory, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Barn Theatre (Michigan).

Carl Wallnau head shotCarl Wallnau of Hoboken. Artistic Director of Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ; Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Fine Arts Department of Centenary University. Broadway and National Tour: Titanic; Regional: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Centenary Stage, Hartford Stage, Bristol Riverside, Orlando Shakespeare Company, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Arden Theatre, Asolo Theatre. Author: Mary Todd: A Woman Apart (Centenary Stage, NJ and Samuel Beckett Theatre, NYC).

Laughs Galore at Chatham Players

After several years and 300 plus play reviews we still marvel that the line between professional and community theater in New Jersey is so frequently blurred. This past Sunday afternoon at the Chatham Playhouse we saw an outstanding production of Neil Simon’s now classic comedy, Barefoot in the Park. Far from being an outdated 1960’s play, this story was just as relevant today, even with the sprinkle of references to the period.

bare coupleThe cast, under the direction of Michael Hegarty, includes Crystal Ann Bennet as the carefree bride Corie; Matthew Cronin as Paul a freshman lawyer (photo right); Arnold Buchaine as the unconventional neighbor-in-the attic, Velasco; Joyce Slous as Ethel Banks, Corie’s omnipresent mother; Dominick DeNucci as the Telephone Repairman; and Chip Prestera as the Delivery Man. They are giving Broadway level performances. In fact, this production could easily move across the river and compete with the best of Off-Broadway. Again, remember the Chatham Players is a community theater group, not a professional (paid) Equity company.

It is important to note that comedies can be ranked based on the type of laughs they generate. It can range from a giggle to a chuckle to unrestrained laughter all the way to the loud hearty belly laugh. Chatham Players Barefoot in the Park clearly delivers in the latter category…belly laughs, aplenty.

Do you remember the plot from the 1967 movie with Robert Redford, and Jane Fonda? The many challenges or adjustments facing a young newly married couple today are still the same. In this case, the question is “Can Corie and Paul survive starting married life in a tiny, 5th-floor walkup apartment in a Manhattan brownstone with a lack of heat, a skylight that leaks snow, several long flights of stairs, oddball neighbor Victor Velasco, and Corie's well-meaning mother? Spoiler Alert: the answer is YES.

bare tel

Dominick DeNucci, Crystal Ann Bennett and Matthew Cronin

Crystal Ann Bennet and Matthew Cronin nicely nail their parts. The supporting players are all outrageous, major contributors to the belly laugh department. First, is Dominick DeNucci as the Telephone Repairman (photo above). When he arrives, severely out of breath, Corie says: “Yes, it’s five flights. If you don’t count the front stoop” Repairman:” I counted the front stoop.”

Arnold Buchaine is marvelous as Velasco, blessed with some of the best lines. Joyce Slous has fun as Corie’s mother. Her arrival after surviving the climb may be worth the price of admission alone. Then there is Chip Prestera, a Chatham Players’ comedy treasure, as the super exhausted deliverer of wedding gifts. He proves that there is no such thing as a small part. His one scene is a gem. (Note: Chip alternates with Howard Fisher in this role).

bare group

Joyce Slous, Arnold J. Buchiane, Matthew Cronin and Crystal Ann Bennett

Director Hegarty explains that, “Barefoot in the Park has stood the test of time as one of Neil Simon's most enduring plays. Since its premier on Broadway in 1963, followed four years later by a film adaptation (as well as a short-lived sitcom), it has remained a mainstay in professional and amateur theaters across the country. What make this play so universal are its themes of love and compatibility, as well as its focus on conventionality versus unconventionality. It truly is a classic.”

The creative team includes: the Producer is Mara Lundstrom, Production Coordinator Tom McDonald, Scenic Designer Sean McCarthy, Stage Manager Nicole Miceli, Costume Designer Bev Wand, Lighting Designer Richard Hennessy and original music is composed and performed by the Sound Designer, Joe DeVico.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio October 15, 2017

Box Office Information – Online Ticketing

The two remaining performance dates are October 20 and 21 at 8pm. Performances are at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior.

Tickets can be purchased at our Box Office or Online. To access the theater’s new online ticketing service, where you can now reserve your particular seat, simply go to The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. For phone reservations call  (973) 635-7363.

Note: There isn't a bad seat in the house. The audience is seated on three sides, in this not quite, theater-in-the-round. Parking is free and plentiful. The theater is blessed with a good number of truly excellent restaurants within easy walking of the theater, as is the Chatham train station with express service to NYC.



‘Harvey’ next at Bergen County Players


Bergen County Players (BCP) continues
its 85th season with Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning
comedy-of-errors, HARVEY. The play is co-directed by veteran
directors Jerry Hurley and Steve Bell and will be presented onstage
October 28th - November 18th. Performances will take place at the
Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell with
curtain at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets
may be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200
or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.

harvey b
Elwood P. Dowd may enjoy his martinis, but he is still a friendly and likeable enough fellow…he just possesses one somewhat glaring eccentricity. He claims his best friend is an invisible fairy known in
Irish folklore as a Pooka. And this Pooka, according to Elwood, has taken on the form of a giant, six-foot three rabbit named Harvey.

Much to the horror of his sister, Veta, Elwood loves to tell everyone
he meets about his invisible Pooka friend. So hoping to spare her
daughter and the rest of the family from the embarrassment of his
eccentric behavior, Veta carts Elwood off to the local sanitarium to
have him committed…where her own eccentric behavior lands her in the
sanitarium instead of Elwood. What ensues is a comedy-of-errors that
forces Veta to question which reality is best - the often harsh
reality the rest of us live in or the “delusional” reality Elwood has
created for himself.

A Life Member, Past-President, and Board of Governors member, director
Steven Bell of Hackensack has been active with the Players for over
thirty years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The
Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ruthless! The
Musical, Urinetown, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, and The King & I, to
name a few. 

The talented cast of HARVEY includes Mara Karg of Nanuet, NY as Mrs.
Chumley, James Perlas of Cresskill as Doctor Sanderson, Sarah Medcalf
of North Plainfield as Veta Simmons, Matthew Rofofsky of Fort Lee as
Elwood P. Dowd (photo), Iris Weinhouse of Hillsdale as Mrs. Chauvenet, Michael Seymour of Leonia as E.J. Lofgren, Ed Gross of Westwood as Judge Gaffney, Andrew Whitney of Ramsey as Doctor Chumley, Kathleen Flynn of Ramsey as Myrtle Mae Simmons, Liz Gonzalez of Skillman as Miss Ruth Kelly and Joseph O’Connor of Upper Saddle River as Duane Wilson.

The crew of HARVEY includes: Jerry Hurley (Co-Director), Steve Bell
(Co-Director), Ron Siclari (Assistant Director), Paul Reitnauer III
(Producer), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Michael Smith (Set Design),
Rhea Smith (Set Décor), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Jill
Hendrickson (Lighting Operation), Arno Austin (Sound Operation),
Jennifer Cottone (Publicity), Edie Orlando (Make-up), Lisa Dahlborg
(Properties), Susan Faccone (Properties), Michael Smith (Photography),
Margie Druss Fodor (Program Bios), Janica Carpenter (Member at Large)
and Randi Kestin (Crew).

•       All performances for HARVEY take place at The Little Firehouse
Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County
Players since 1949. Performances run October 28 through November 18,
2017 with show times on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at
•       Tickets for HARVEY are $21 for Friday/Saturday performances and $17
for Sunday matinees, and can be purchased online at,
by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298
Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa,
Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Romance takes center stage at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey


Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps and Jon Barker as Will Shakespeare. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.

Opening this past weekend at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey was Shakespeare in Love, the romantic comedy based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.

At the outset, I must admit to not being a fan of the film, with the exception of the participation of the fabulous Judi Dench as the Queen. However, particularly if you share that opinion of the film… let me stress that this production in the hands of director Bonnie J. Monte is an absolute gem.

As we have come to expect from Ms. Monte and the STNJ….Shakespeare in Love (a/k/a Shakespeare Lite) is outstanding in every area from costumes, set, music, props, lighting, and, of course a spot-on cast. The equal of any production either side of the river (ok…most). The play has adulterous love, rousing sword fights, mistaken identities, nasty backstage intrigue and more.

The superior cast includes several of our favorite performers, veterans of both the STNJ and NYC ….Jon Barker, Ames Adamson, Edmond Genest, Anthony Marble and David Andrew MacDonald.

Jon Barker is impressive, as always, as poor Will Shakespeare. Poor in that when we meet him at his desk at the opening, he is suffering from a massive case of “writer’s block” which has contributed to his dire financial position. He’s overdue with his new play—Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter !

STNJ_SIL_1Salvation comes in the form of advice from his great contemporary Christopher Marlowe (Anthony Marble photo right) and the amorous attention of a beautiful noblewoman, Viola de Lesseps (Whitney Maris Brown). Lady Viola is to marry a titled fortune hunter, Lord Wessex (Marcus Dean Fuller).

One very big problem, she is in love with a man far below her station….a man of the theater! (you may have already guessed that their love inspired Shakespeare to change his play to Romeo and Juliet…his best-loved play.

STNJ_SIL_6Lady Viola (photo right) has a love beyond Will Shakespeare. It is the theater….and not only as a patron, but as an actor. However, in the 1600s London it was a forbidden area for a woman. By royal decree, no woman was permitted to appear in a play. The penalty was severe… a loss of a theater’s charter. This does not deter our Lady who disguises herself as a young man, Thomas Kent, to audition to be an actor. “He” naturally wins the part of Juliet.

The Queen, we must mention, is a fan of the theater…. particularly, if the play contains a dog! No dog …means her pleasure is severely diminished!


  Pictured (left to right): Javon Johnson as the Queen’s Guardsman, Erika Rolfsrud as Queen Elizabeth I, Colin McPhillamy as Tilney, and Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps.

Meantime back at the castle: Viola, betrothed to Lord Wessex, must appear before Queen Elizabeth for permission to marry Lord Wessex. Once obtained she is obligated to honor the royal decision. The plot thickens when Will accompanies Viola and Wessex disguised as Viola's chaperone-"Miss Wilhelmina . . . gowned and bonneted." Before Viola’s departure to the American colonies with Wessex, she plays Juliet to Will's Romeo. The Queen is in attendance, and settles that Romeo and Juliet does indeed illustrate the "very truth and nature of love." (Photo (left to right): Javon Johnson as the Queen’s Guardsman, Erika Rolfsrud as Queen Elizabeth I, Colin McPhillamy as Tilney, and Whitney Maris Brown as Viola de Lesseps. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.)

Enough of the plot, to go further would spoil your enjoyment. This is a light hearted, fun production once again confirming that the STNJ is a New Jersey treasure. The same can be said of artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.

In fact, we give Ms. Monte the last word: ‘“We’re very excited to be the first company in our region to bring this wonderful theatrical gift to our audience. This is the kind of play, as was the film it’s based on, that has something for people of all ages. It is a glorious conglomeration and celebration of history, imaginative fiction, music, romance, comedy, high and low wit, companionship, and the sublime mystery of the act of artistic creation. We are thrilled to bring it to life for what will hopefully be a broad and diverse audience.”

The excellent cast of 20 includes: Ames Adamson as Fennyman, who finances the plays and Edmond Genest is Mr. Henslowe the producer at the Rose. Both deserve special recognition. They give standout performances. The duo has a clever discussion about theater: Henslowe: “Mr. Fennyman, let me explain about . . . the theater business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.” Fennyman “So what do we do? Henslowe “Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.” Fennyman “How?” Henslowe” I don't know. It's a mystery.”

Special note about Ames Adamson, save the Queen (Erika Rolfsrud), he clearly wins the “best dressed’ honor.

The other key players are: David Andrew MacDonald as imposing Richard Burbage the lead actor and owner of the Curtain Theatre; Colin McPhillamy as the stern Lord Chamberlain (another great outfit); Aurea Tomeski as the faithful Mistress Quickly, the wardrobe mistress to Lady Viola; and Seamus Mulcahy as the young actor wannabe and traitor John Webster.

Rounding out the cast: Julian Blake Gordon; Ryan Halsaver; Javon Johnson; Spencer Lackey, Garrett Lawson, David H. Littleton; Quentin McCuiston; Patrick Toon; and Joelle Zazz.

The key part of Spot is played to perfection by the Boston Terrier, Dublin Delancy McFinnigan. The program notes that “he enjoys working with Jon Barker.” (ok, we didn’t say he was “spot-on”)

Ms. Monte’s creative staff includes: Denise Cardarelli production stage manager; Brian Clinnin scenic designer; Nikki Delhomme costume designer; Julie Foh dialect consultant; Kris Kukul music director; Danielle Liccardo period dance consultant; Steven Rosen lighting designer; and Rick Sordelet fight director.

Purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue, Madison,by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at

Auditions: ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Chatham Players

steelmag audition-web

The Chatham Players will hold auditions for Robert Harling’s touching, “Steel Magnolias” on Monday, November 6thand Tuesday, November 7th at 7:00pm. All auditions will occur at The Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave. Production dates are February 23 thru March 10, 2018 with rehearsals to begin mid-December. Jeffrey Fiorello directs.

Steel Magnolias (the basis for the much-loved multi Oscar-nominated film) is the bittersweet story of six women who gather under the dryers at Truvy’s Beauty Salon to share gossip, laughter, recipes and beauty secrets on four significant days across three years of their lives in a small US Southern town. When tragedy strikes, they face it with sass and strength, supporting each other through thick and thin. Steel Magnolias is a heartwarming portrait of friendship and love.

Director Fiorello seeks six women to fill out his cast. Please arrive by 7:30. There will be readings from the script, based upon the character you wish to be considered for, as well as type. Audition Sides will be available at the audition. To access the audition form, please visit our website at .

Character Breakdown

The women are witty, intelligent, and above all, real characters. They are in no way, shape or form meant to be portrayed as cartoons or caricatures.

Truvy Jones (40-50) Owns the town beauty shop. Vivacious, knows everyone’s business and shares it with anyone who will listen. Dispenses advice with lots of hairspray.

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto (20 – 30) Very shy, newly haired assistant. Moves from unsure to wild to religious.

Clairee Belcher (60-70) Widow of former mayor. Grand dame. Sarcastic member of the group. Elegant, sophisticated. Loves to laugh and poke fun at the little things others cry over.

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie (20 – 30) Prettiest girl in town. Loves pink. Strong willed, and passionate.

M’lynn Eatenton (40 – 50) Shelby’s mother. Over protective at times. Always knows what’s best. Strong, stubborn, the heart of the piece.

Ouiser Boudreaux (60 – 70) Wealthy curmudgeon. Acerbic, but loveable.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Gus Ibranyi at (201)-563-0362 or For directions or additional information, please visit

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Hold Annual Home Gala

The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, will launch the new season with the annual Home Gala Benefit in October, followed by the start of the 2017-2018 concert series in November in Leonia, New Jersey.

The new season will begin with the annual Home Gala Benefit held at a private home in the borough on October 22 at 7:30 p.m. The benefit will feature short, classical music selections performed by The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society's members Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Roy Lewis, violin; Maggie Speier, viola; and Daryl Goldberg, cello.

During the benefit, The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society’s professional musicians, drawn from the major concert halls in New York City and worldwide, will generate the excitement of a live performance. A reception of elegant desserts and champagne will be served.

All proceeds from this special event will support The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc.'s 2017-2018 concert season and the organization's mission to enrich the community's cultural environment by presenting a series of high quality, affordable, and accessible chamber music concerts.  Admission is $50 per person and tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

As seating is limited, reservations are highly recommended. For reservations and information, contact Ms. Daryl Goldberg at 201-947-3923 or



Pop Up Theater -- performances in unexpected places -- continues in Union’s Downtown Center when The Theater Project presents the radio drama DRACULA in a cleverly converted annex at Union’s Unity Bank. The Theater Project will recreate the Lux Radio Theater circa 1932 where 8 actors, a musician and one extremely overworked sound technician – all that thunder and wolf howling! -- prepare for the big radio broadcast of the classic vampire story around the time of the original film’s depression era premiere. Audiences enjoy the thrills and chills of the vampire legend “live” along with the novelty of seeing the mechanics of a retro radio broadcast.

DRACULA is part of a series of Pop Up theater events sponsored by a Union County HEART grant and Union’s Downtown Improvement District, designed to bring more foot traffic to the township’s central business district. The series has been hosted by Unity Bank in their Stuyvesant Avenue branch, with the support of the Union Chamber of Commerce. The Theater Project has added a directory of Union Center eateries to its web site to encourage audiences to explore the area. Tickets ($15) for Dracula are available at

The Theater Project, an award-winning company that has just celebrated its 23rd anniversary, presents its main stage season at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood. It offers many programs, including classes for kids and showcases for new writers, in Essex and Union Counties, all on display at their web site.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dia de Los Muertos: Interactive, Theatrical Production Explores Mexican Culture at JCTC


While some want to build a wall, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) embraces diversity and celebrates our multicultural society.

On October 29th, JCTC presents an acclaimed, theatrical production about the culture, history and traditions of our neighbor to the south, Mexico.  Dia de Los Muertos: Mexican Myth, Legend and Ancestry will be presented through JCTC-KIDS – JCTC’s children’s programing division – at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

Created by Mexico Beyond Mariachi (MBM) – a Music and Dance company, whose theatrical productions are intended to redefine the perception of Mexican culture for the next generation – Dia de Los Muertos is a bilingual, family friendly, interactive multimedia performance show told through storytelling, live music and dance.

MBM was created 15 years ago as way for audiences to experience traditional Mexican performance culture. Formed by a select group of artists in Mexico – as well as those practicing their art in the United States – its mission was to create in-depth arts in education and school performance program and the company has presented programming to more than 100,00 students in over 250 schools and community venues on the East Coast.  In 2015, MBM built on their success by mounting a full scale touring show of Dia de Los Muertos and playing performing arts centers  to further help tell the Mexican story to young audiences and families nationwide. The acclaimed production has performed for sold-out shows at major  venues and international children’s festivals, reaching new audiences with its message of equity, tolerance and unity.

“The Mexico Beyond Mariachi program appeals to the non-Latino community as an introduction to a culture that, like the country of Mexico, is just beyond the horizon of mainstream American culture,” said Timothy G. Hart, Division Director, Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission. “Using a judicious mix of Spanish and English, the program creates cross-cultural impact.”

The White Eagle Hall presentation will be its first Jersey City production of this company, which actually has Hudson County roots. “As a longtime member of the Hudson county community I’m thrilled to be performing at the newly renovated White Eagle Hall in an authentic celebration of Dia de los Muertos,” said Peter Basil Bogdanos, Co-founder, Executive Director of MBM, and a long-time North Bergen resident.

Dia de Los Muertos – is a vibrant  production that interweaves traditional Mexican music and dance with the stories, myths, and legends of the Day of the Dead (November 2), a holiday whose history actually predates Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Conquest of the country now called Mexico. Both vibrant stage musical and interactive lecture – Dia de Los Muertos is an informative, transformative and entertaining show that spans more than 2,000 years and takes audiences to the heart of  Mexican culture, past and present. Using the Day of the Dead traditions as a beginning point, the dramatically narrated program covers the roots of  Mesoamerican civilization and continues chronologically demonstrating how time, geography, climate and foreign influence have affected Mexican cultural and artistic modes of expression.

An American Classic, Our Town Opens Friday, November 3rd at CTG

by Thornton Wilder

Directed by Kate Lyn Reiter

November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 at 8:00 PM
November 12, 19 at 2:00 PM

The Chester Theatre Group presents, what many consider, the most famous American play of all time, Our Town starting on Friday, November 3rd and extending for eight shows through Sunday, November 19th. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18. Tickets may be purchased online at

Our Town could be Chester N.J. or Any Town, USA. It's about the day to day events in a small town from 1901 to 1913. The paper is delivered, the milkman visits, Mom makes breakfast for children going to school, time passes and life continues.  It is only when such routines are interrupted that the fleeting beauty of the everyday is brought more clearly into perspective. A Stage Manager guides us through this elegant metaphysical portrait of the ordinary but remarkable joys and sorrows that define our lives. Our Town is a great American play celebrating the magic that makes a community.

Ever since it's first performance at the McCarter Theater in 1938, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town has been beloved by audiences and lauded by critics everywhere. Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning portrait of small-town life in the early twentieth century has enjoyed four acclaimed runs on Broadway, a film, several musical and television adaptations, and countless productions at theatres across the country and all over the world.

chipThe talented cast of Our Town includes Sarah Henley of Washington; Will Roper of Berkeley Heights; Bobby Becht of Morris Township; Arden Henley of Washington; Colleen Grundfest of Watchung; Alexa Yudoff of Succasunna; John Santucci of Watchung; Chip Prestera of Stirling photo; Karen Thornton of New Providnce; Gayle Hendrix of Chester; Kevern Cameron of Hamburg; Gloria Lamoureux of Succasunna; Jackie Jacobi of Edison; Steve Nitka of Hackettstown; Bob Sackstein of Chester; Paula Roper of Berkeley Hts; and Roseann Ruggiero of Ledgewood. The production is director by Kate Lyn Reiter

Black-River-Playhouse-chesterThe Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhbouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member. The theater is located on the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue. For more information, visit the CTG website at

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Circle Players Presents: ‘The Marriage of Bette and Boo’


Circle Players presents “The Marriage of Bette and Boo”. Written by Christopher Durang, “The Marriage of Bette and Boo” is an illuminating, hilariously dark dissection of marriage and the family in contemporary America by theatre’s master satirist. Conveyed in a series of dazzlingly inventive interconnected scenes, the play moves wickedly on through three decades of divorce, alcoholism, and madness—all with farcical brilliance.

Performances of the play will take place as follows:

· Fridays: November 3, 17 at 8:00pm

· Saturdays: November 4, 11, 18, at 8:00pm

· Sunday: November 12, 19 at 3:00pm

A talkback will be held following the Sunday, November 12 performance

The production is directed by Richard Butler of Dunellen and produced by Faith Agnew Dowgin of Spotswood.

Appearing in the cast are:

Kevin Albanese of Woodbridge as Matt; Alicia Harabin of Somerville as Bette Brennan; Bobby Marusiefski of Rahway as Boo Hudlocke; Nancy Jean McBride of Bernardswille as Margaret Brennan; J.D. Robinson of Highland Park as Paul Brennan; Kate Murray of Somerville as Joan Brennan; Adriana Spizuoco of West Orange as Emily Brennan; Lewis Decker of Millington as Karl Hudlocke; Alison Byrne of Metuchen as Soot Hudlocke; Bob Dumpert of Franklin as Father Donnally.

Audiences are invited to join in a special wine and cheese reception in the theater lobby following the opening night performance.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway. Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after 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 Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

TWO RIVER THEATER: Original cast recording of new musical THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO


TWO RIVER THEATER is thrilled to announce that THE MUSICAL COMPANY will release the original cast recording of the celebrated new musical THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO on November 10, 2017. The album will be available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes from October 13, with the song “Unbuttoning The Buttons” available immediately on purchase. For more information on the album’s release, visithere.

FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club, will present an album release concert featuring members of the cast and band at FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW (254 West 54th Street) on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 9:30 PM. Tickets are $35, include a CD and are available here. Tickets on the day of performance after 4PM are only available by calling 646.476.3551.

lit billy jo

Daniel K. Isaac, Teal Wicks, Jane Bruce, and Eric William Morris (Photo by Amanda Crommett)

In summer 2017, THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO played an acclaimed engagement at TWO RIVER THEATER in Red Bank, NJ, starring Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland), Eric William Morris (Be More Chill, Mamma Mia!), Jane Bruce (Elf, The Theory of Relativity), and Daniel K. Isaac (According to My Mother, Billions). The company also included Cole Burden, Brian Flores, Leenya Rideout, Christopher M. Russo, Perry Sherman, Kristin Stokes, Ian Michael Stuart, and Barbara Tirrell.

THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO by Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter), Sarah Schlesinger(lyricist, co-bookwriter), and John Dias (co-bookwriter) is inspired by the real-life-story of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman from late 19th century Boston who made a new life in an Idaho mining town disguised as a man called Jo.

Grammy Award-winning, multi-Platinum songwriter Mike Reid (whose many hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me”) and Sarah Schlesinger together have received the Kleban Prize, Richard Rodgers Award, Gilman & Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Original MusicalNew Work for THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO.

John Dias, TWO RIVER’s Artistic Director, made his TWO RIVER directorial debut with this production, which featured choreography by Marc Kimelman.

The album was produced by Sean Patrick Flahaven, CEO of THE MUSICAL COMPANYand a producer on over two dozen cast albums for Stephen Sondheim and others, nine of which were Grammy-nominated, including the triple-Platinum, Grammy-winning Hamilton.

The band consists of John O’Neill (conductor/piano) and Martin Agee (violin), Troy Chang (cello), Philip Coiro (drums/percussion), Simon Hutchings (reeds), Justin Rothberg (guitar), and Joseph Wallace (bass).

Friday, October 13, 2017

‘Sleuth’ at Maurer Productions OnStage at Kelsey- Final Weekend Only 3 performances left!

Anthony Shaffer's

The ultimate game of cat-and-mouse
played out as only two English gentlemen can!


"George Hartpence is fantastic as Andrew"
"Dan Keyser deserves more praise,
but heaping it on would ruin a few plot turns"
"Direction by Diana Gilman Maurer is pitch-perfect"
"Set by John Maurer is one of the best I've seen at Kelsey"
Read Full Review by By Anthony Stoeckert
Viist MPOnStage on the Web

Final Weekend
Only 3 performances left!

See Video Promo

About the Show
Maurer Productions OnStage presents Anthony Shaffers' Tony Award winning play. The ultimate game of cat-and-mouse is played out in a cozy English country house owned by celebrated mystery writer, Andrew Wyke. Invited guest Milo Tindle, a young rival who shares not only Wyke's love of the game but also his wife, has come to lay claim. Revenge is devised and murders plotted as the two plan the ultimate whodunnit.
The cast features George Hartpence of New Hope, PA as Andrew Wyke; Dan Keyser of Bridgewater, NJ as Milo Tindle; Phillip Farrar of Morristown, NJ as Inspector Doppler; Harold K. Newman of Mahwah, NJ as Detective Sergeant Tarrant; and Roger Purnell of Wayne, NJ as Police Constable Higgs. The show is directed by Diana Gilman Maurer, co-founder of MPO with her husband, John M. Maurer. She notes that Sleuth is a classic drama where you don’t really know what to expect – until the very end.
Other members of the production team are Master Carpenter Jeff Cantor, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik, and Sound Designer Judi Parrish. Costumes are by Anthony Remer and the stage manager is Stacy Maurer.
Tickets are $18 for adults; $16 for seniors; and $14 for students/children. They may purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

NJ Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Shooting for the Stars’ family concerts

Concerts take young audiences on an intergalactic musical adventure

Program features music from Star Wars and Star Trek, Holst’s The Planets, Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and more

Interactive Pre-Concert Adventures include instrument petting zoo, fun activities

Sat, Nov 18, at NJPAC in Newark

njpac_centerThe New Jersey Symphony Orchestra takes concertgoers on an intergalactic adventure in “Shooting for the Stars” family concerts on Saturday, November 18, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The program features music inspired by the far reaches of space—including Holst’s The Planets and the otherworldly main themes fromStar Wars and Star Trek—and music that will inspire concertgoers to shoot for the stars and dream their own dreams.

Performances take place at 2 pm and 3:30 pm in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater; Interactive Pre-Concert Adventures begin in the lobby one hour before each performance. Nicholas Hersh conducts; actor Sid Solomon hosts.

The bold, booming percussion and jets of brass in Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra opens the concert with music for explorers on the edge of a never-before-seen world.

The program travels to Mars and Jupiter with Holst’s The Planets, a work inspired by the ancient Roman gods who gave the planets their names. Mars is named after the god of war, and the music alternates between a quiet tense pulse with bursts of orchestral sound like the sound of open battle. Jupiter, by contrast, is a musical portrait of a jolly god; the orchestra passes melodies from section to section in this festive planetary celebration.

The last movement of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony opens with a simple four-note theme that dives and weaves in and out of a heavenly tapestry of musical ideas.

Beethoven’s deafness didn’t derail his dreams, and he proved that you should always shoot for your own stars. His Fifth Symphony opens with some of the most famous notes in classical music. This symphony describes Beethoven’s own epic journey: from fear of deafness and despair (some listeners hear those famous first chords as fate, chasing Beethoven down and knocking at his door) to a triumphant finale. The program also features music from Beethoven’s epic Seventh Symphony.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek theme uses an unusual instrument—the theremin—to make futuristic sounds, punctuated by blasts that sound like spacecraft hurtling into through galaxies. The theme from Star Wars by John Williams completes this trip, contrasting a fanfare of brass with lush strings to tell an epic tale of heroes, love and loyalty.

Pre-Concert Adventures

Learn more about the music and participate in fun hands-on activities during this interactive time that’s perfect for the whole family, with an instrument petting zoo and other special activities in the lobby. The Pre-Concert Adventure begins at 1 pm for the 2 pm performance, and at 2:30 pm for the 3:30 pm performance. Ticketholders should attend the Pre-Concert Adventure immediately prior to their concert.


Shooting for the Stars

Sat, Nov 18, at 2 pm and 3:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Jeffrey Grogan, conductor

Sid Solomon, host

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Program features selections from:

STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra

HOLST The Planets

MOZART Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

GOLDSMITH Main Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture


More information is available at

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey presents the 2017–18 NJSO Family Series.


Nicholas Hersh, conductor

Nicholas Hersh is associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of  the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras. Since joining the BSO as assist ant conductor in 2014, he continues to make his mark on the mid-Atlantic region with exciting, innovative programming. Hersh directs the BSO’s educational and family programming, including the celebrated Academy for adult amateur musicians, as well as a variety of classical and popular programs.

As guest conductor, Hersh made his debut with the North Carolina Symphony in 2017, and has appeared with the New World, New Jersey, Auburn and Southern Great Lakes symphonies and the National Repertory Orchestra. He is a frequent collaborator and guest faculty at the Peabody Conservatory as well as the BSO’s OrchKids program for Baltimore City schoolchildren.

Hersh grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and started his musical training with the cello. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Stanford University and a master’s degree in conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagen. More information is available at

Sid Solomon, host

Brooklyn-born actor and teaching artist Sid Solomon has performed with theater companies across the country, including The Acting Company, New York Classical Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Virginia Stage, Riverside Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Florida Rep, Florida Stage, Georgia Shakespeare and Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, among many others.

He also has served on the teaching faculties of Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Acting Company and Children’s Theatre Company. He is currently in his sixth year as the host of Musical Explorers, a concert series for elementary-school students at Carnegie Hall.

Solomon received his training at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and LaGuardia Arts High School in New York. He has been a member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2010; he was elected to its National Council in 2015.


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.