(Morristown, NJ)—Clever Little Lies, which premiered to critical acclaim in 2013 at the George Street Playhouse (Read our review) and then recently enjoyed a successful stint Off-Broadway, will be presented at the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre from April 21 through May 7 with a preview performance on April 20. This new production of the comedy-drama, directed by Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen, stars the popular Harriett Trangucci as Alice.
Playwright Joe DiPietro, a Tony Award-winner for the musical Memphis and the author of the long-running comedy I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, has been most often compared to Neil Simon. He writes rapid-fire comic dialogue of which there is plenty in Clever Little Lies which the New York Times called “good old-fashioned comfort food for theatregoers … with maybe just a hint of sting.”
For the sometimes chaotic and always very funny story of love and marriage, director Eric Hafen has assembled an experienced cast of actors familiar to New Jersey audiences.
Reprising the role of Alice, made famous by Marlo Thomas, is Summit resident Harriett Trangucci (photo left) who has previously appeared on the Bickford stage in It Had To Be You, Breakfast with Les & Bess, and Our Town. A regular at the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, she has appeared on their stage in several productions, including The Neighborhood. Her other regional and New York credits include shows at the New York Fringe Festival and at The Theater Project. The Star-Ledger named her best featured actress for her role in The Skin of Our Teeth.
Bill Sr., Alice’s more subdued husband, brings Mendham’s Bob Mackasek (photo left) to the Bickford stage for the first time, but he is no stranger to New Jersey’s regional theaters. Mackasek has appeared in productions at Two River Theatre Company, the Chatham Playhouse, the Barn Theatre, the Princeton Festival, and the Summit Playhouse.
The besieged young couple features Rachel Matusewicz of Randolph as Jane and Ohio native Ben Kaufman as Billy. Matusewicz, who is a graduate of the Randolph High School has appeared with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Luna Stage and the Hudson Shakespeare Company. Kaufman, who plays her restless husband Billy, has been seen at New York City’s The Flea Theatre as well as New Jersey theaters Dreamcatcher Rep and 12 Miles West.
Artistic Director Eric Hafen has more than 25 years theater experience having acted in and directed productions throughout New York, New England and New Jersey, including works Off-Broadway and in New Jersey. About Clever Little Lies, he says, “When I saw the show several years ago, I knew it was perfect for our Bickford Theatre audiences. It is a swiftly-paced comedy that has a very poignant side to it, providing great entertainment yet much food for thought. It is as much fun for the audience as it is for the actors without losing its ability to touch our emotions.”
The production team for Clever Little Lies includes Rose Pancirov of Madison (Assistant to the Director), Leanne Long-Hulin of Lincoln Park (Production Stage Manager), Roman Kilma of Howell (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Ric McAllister of Union City (Costume Designer), Pasquale DeNigri of Wanaque (Sound Designer), Danielle Pietrowski of Long Valley (Properties), and Laurel Smith of Linden (Box Office).
Tickets for Clever Little Lies 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.Clever Little Lies contains adult language and adult situations.
Tickets may be purchased online at morrismuseum.org, 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, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00am to 5:00pm.
Thursday, April 20 (Preview Performance) and April 27, 7:30 pm; May 4, 2:00 pm (audio described performance)
Friday, April 21 (Opening Night), April 28 & May 5, 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 22 & 29, 8:00 pm; May 6, 2:00 pm
Sunday, April 23, 30 & May 7, 2:00 pm
Harriett Trangucci of Summit: (Alice) – Bickford Theatre: It Had To Be You, Breakfast with Les & Bess, Our Town; Off-Broadway: Jackie, An American Life, NY Fringe Festival; NJ Regional: Dreamcatcher Rep, The Theatre Project; Film: A Match in the Rain, Long Shadows
Bob Mackasek of Mendham (Bill Sr.): NJ Regional: Two River Theatre Company; Other NJ Theatre: Summit Playhouse, Chatham Playhouse, Barn Theatre, Princeton Festival; TV: The Park Bench
Ben Kaufman of NYC (Billy): NYC: The Flea Theater; NJ Regional: Dreamcatcher Rep, 12 Miles West; Other Regional: Horse Trade Theatre, Julti Theatre Company
Rachel Matusewicz of Randolph (Jane): NYC: Hudson Shakespeare Company; NJ Regional: Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Luna Stage; TV: Formula 12 (Web Series)
About the Bickford Theatre
The Bickford Theatre is a professional theater that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children’s Theatre series, a Jazz Showcase Series, and other concerts. The theatre is an Equity Producing Theatre member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theaters throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). From its beginnings in 1994 to the present, tens of thousands of theater-goers from across the tri-state area have enjoyed the Bickford Theatre’s many entertaining and diversified offerings in theatre, music and dance.
About the Morris Museum
Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through high-caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums.
The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Location and Hours
The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members. For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit www.morrismuseum.org.
*Our review from GSP http://www.njfootlights.net/2013/11/review-joe-dipietros-clever-little-lies.html