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Friday, June 30, 2017

SWEENEY TODD is only two weeks away!

SWEENEY TODD


ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY FROM OPENING NIGHT!

BUY TICKETS

Enjoy this Behind the Scenes Look at Sweeney Todd!
A conversation with director, Jeffrey Fiorello, and cast members Ken Garcia (Sweeney Todd), Julie Galorenzo (Mrs. Lovett), and Shane Long (Anthony).

South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079 

Tickets $35, $40 and $45 Reserved Seating
Tickets are available for purchase HERE or by calling (973) 313-2787.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SHOW

This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program.

Light Opera of New Jersey, 120 Governor Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

NJTA’s July Schedule of Plays

Beat the heat with a show this July, in order of opening date.


Cape May, NJ
Will Rogers' U.S.A.
NJArtsTix Discounts Available
June 14 - July 22


Madison, NJ
A Midsummer Night's Dream
June 14 - July 30

New Jersey Repertory Company
Long Branch, NJ
Halftime with Don
June 22 - July 30


Cape May, NJ
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
June 28 - August 4


Madison, NJ
The Bungler
Check Back for NJArtsTix Discounts
July 5 - July 30


Union, NJ
A Cinderella Tale...happily ever after
NJArtsTix Discounts Available
July 8


Union, NJ
Skeleton Crew
NJArtsTix Discounts Available
July 13 - 30


Cape May, NJ
Ah, Wilderness!
Check Back for NJArtsTix Discounts
July 26 - September 2


Summit, NJ
The Realistic Joneses
NJArtsTix Discounts Available
July 14 - July 29

Shows and dates are subject to change; call theatres or visit the New Jersey Theatre Alliance websiteto check details and confirm.


Save 25% or MORE on your tickets

Many of our producing theatres and presenting venues participate in our last-minute online discount ticketing website, NJArtsTix.org. Be sure to visit our site to get the latest deals on New Jersey stages.

NJArtsTix offers are added frequently, and sometimes tickets sell out, so lock-in on savings now and check back often!

NO READING MONDAY JULY 3 AT HOLMDEL…Enjoy your Independence Day!


NO READING MONDAY JULY 3

Enjoy your Independence Day!

Please Join us August 7th for our next reading




Great music and side-splitting humor collide when four life-long friends share their post-50 journey of men going through manopause. An upbeat, hilarious comedy revue, The ManOpause Boys is always funny, clever, and delivers a memorable evening of laughter! Songs include My Prostate is the Size of a Buick, I Just Took A Pill Called Viagra, and My God I Am My Father.


The ManOpause Boys

Written by

Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore

with music by Wayland Pickard

Starring

Jeff Babey, Tom Frascatore, Glenn Jones,

and Billy Van Zandt
July 21, 22, 28, 29 at 8pm
July 23, 30 at 3pm
All Seats $25


36 Crawfords Corner Rd
Holmdel, NJ 07733
For more info contact info@holmdeltheatrecompany.org

Paper Mill Playhouse New Voices 2017


Students Will Present Fully Produced Original Concert

NEW VOICES 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog, July 28 & 29

Paper Mill Playhouse has selected students to be a part of the theater’s prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for 2017. Members of the competitive Conservatory who earned coveted spots in the Senior (ages 15-18), Junior Plus (ages 13-14), and Junior companies (ages 10-12) are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert on the Paper Mill mainstage titled New Voices of 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog! The concert is the culmination of the five-week program. Also appearing are numerous winners and nominees of the 2017 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards presented by the Investors Foundation, who won scholarships to attend the Conservatory. The Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and New Voices are generously supported by the Investors Foundation.

Performances of New Voices of 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog! will be held on Friday, July 28th at 7:30pm andSaturday, July 29th at 1:30pm and 7:30pm at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ. Tickets range in price from $25 to $45. Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, online at www.papermill.org, or visit the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted.

“From the first day of class all the way through opening night of New Voices, we require our students to rise to the demands of this rigorous program,” stated Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education. “We ask them to work harder than they ever have before as young performers, and we strive to build an incredible ensemble company, while each student hones their own individual performance skills. Our faculty pushes the students to believe in themselves as professional artists and treats them as such. We find summer after summer that our students meet our expectations and more. When they move on to college or the professional world, they are ready for the challenges they’ll face, and time and again they thrive and ultimately live their dream of being a professional performer. It’s gratifying when they make a name or themselves on Broadway or in Hollywood, but even if they do not, the skills they learn and the work ethic they develop will serve them in any field.”


The Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory is a program of rigorous study allowing students to enhance their individual performance potential while developing a broad base of theater experience and knowledge. Students participate in intensive classes including musical theater performance, acting, dance, and improvisation, while also attending guest workshops led by professional actors, directors, and casting agents. The final weeks are devoted to rehearsals for the New Voices Concert, performed annually on the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. The Conservatory offers the unique opportunity for gifted and talented young performers to work at their own level and challenge themselves to achieve new goals and learn new skills. Key to the curriculum is the development of self-discipline, respect, and a commitment to excellence that will serve these young artists throughout their lives.

“New Voices is an amazing opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director. “This fully produced, original concert features over 100 incredible performers. It is amazing to see these young performers grow into professional artists and grace our stage with an inspiring, heartfelt performance.”

Students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Conservatory have gone on to appear in numerous Broadway productions, film, television, and regional theater.

Conservatory Alumni include:

Anne Hathaway - Twelfth Night, Film: Les Misérables (2013 Academy Award Winner), Rachel Getting Married (2009 Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee), Get Smart, Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada, & Disney’s The Princess Diaries

Laura Benanti - Broadway: She Loves Me, Gypsy (2008 Tony Award winner), Into the Woods, The Wedding Singer, Swing!

Julia Knitel – Broadway: Beautiful: the Carole King Musical (u/s Carole King); Bye Bye Birdie

Robert McClure - Broadway: Something Rotten, Honeymoon in Vegas, Chaplin, Avenue Q

Shanice Williams- NBC’s The Wiz Live!

Joshua Dela Cruz - Broadway’s Disney’s Aladdin (Aladdin Understudy)

Ali Stroker – Broadway: Spring Awakening, Oxygen’s The Glee Project: Season 2; Paper Mill’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive Ostrovsky)

Nikki M. James - Broadway: Les Misérables, Book of Mormon (2011 Tony Award winner), All Shook Up

Avery Espiritu: Broadway: The King and I

James Ignacio – Broadway: The King and I

Alex Drier – Broadway: Finding Neverland, Assembled Parties

Daisy Hobbs – Broadway: Disney’s Aladdin

Matthew Scott - Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair (Ralph), Sondheim on Sondheim

Collin Kelly-Sordelet – Broadway: The Last Ship (Young Gideon)

Jared Gertner - 2014 Olivier Award nominee West End, Broadway & National Tour of The Book Of Mormon (Elder Cunningham)

Veronica J. Kuehn – Broadway: Mamma Mia!, Xanadu; Off Broadway: Avenue Q

Neil McCaffrey – Broadway: Mary Poppins (Michael Banks), Bye, Bye Birdie (Randolph Macafee), Billy Elliot (Michael)

Monette McKay – Broadway: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Memphis, Mamma Mia!

Constantine Rousouli - Broadway: Hairspray (Link), Ghost the Musical, Wicked

Jonathan Schwartz - Broadway’s Disney’s Aladdin (Omar)

Elizabeth Egan Gillies - Nickelodeon’s Victorious; Broadway: 13! The Musical

Lael Van Keuran – Broadway: Sister Act

Matt Ban – Broadway: Rock of Ages (Dennis)

Connor Buckley - Star of Fox-TV’s Surviving Jack with Chris Meloni (role of “Jack Dunlevy”)

Junior Players Summer Bootcamp in Dover

Junior Players Summer Bootcamp

Are you looking to get rid of your kids for a couple hours for two and a half weeks this summer? Look no further.

DLT Junior Players Summer Camp Registration

Student’s Name: ______________________________________________
Parent or Guardian: ____________________________________________
Address: ____________________________________________________
Home Phone: ____________________ Cell Number: ___________________
Parent’s Email: ________________________________________________
Emergency Contacts:
Name:___________________________________________________________
Phone#: ___________________________________________________________
Please list any health concerns or allergies: ___________________________
____________________________________________________________
If your child has any other condition that will need to be managed, while at
camp to ensure your child’s safety, please explain on the back of this form.
*************************************************************************
I grant permission for my child to be photographed for publicity purposes. I
understand that these photographs and my child’s name may appear in the
newspaper, future publications, and/or on the theater website.
Additionally, I understand that participation in a theater production requires
that my child be at all scheduled rehearsals and all shows associated with
those rehearsals.
Signature: __________________________________ Date: ______________
Printed name: ___________________________________________________
Fee Paid: _________ Check # ____________ Cash ____ Date: ____________
Please make checks out to Junior Players and send to:

Reesa Jenkins
523 Mt. Hope Ave.
Dover, NJ 07801

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Auditions: ‘Man Who Came To Dinner’ at Westfield Community Players

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WCP to hold auditions for The Man Who Came to Dinner, the comedy by George Kaufman and Moss Hart.
Synopsis: Sheridan Whiteside, having dined at the home of the Stanley's, slips on their doorstep,breaking his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid;ex-convicts are invited to meals;and transatlantic calls brings a $748 phone bill. The arrival of strange gifts from his friends further destroys domestic tranquillity. It would take a stoical housewife to harbor penquins in her library, an octopus in her cellar, and 10,000 cockroaches in her kitchen.

Role descriptions:
Sheridan Whiteside: (male -stage age: 40s-60s+) A middle-aged, Falstaffian-girthed celebrity.

Maggie Cutler: (female – stage age: 20s-40s) Whiteside’s private secretary & chief interference runner for the past ten years.

Mr. Earnest W. Stanley: (male - stage age: 40s-60s) Frustrated & discomfited host to the demanding invalid Whitside.

Mrs. Stanley (Daisy): (female – stage age: 40s-60s) Highly strung wife of Mr. Stanley.

Richard Stanley: (male – stage age: 18-25+) Grown son of Mr. & Mrs. Stanley, talented amateur photographer.

June Stanley: (female – stage age: 18-25+) Grown daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Stanley, young union organizer. Hopelessly in love with Sandy.

Harriet Stanley: (female – stage age: 50+) Earnest Stanley's eerie sister, floats in and out when Whiteside is alone, elderly, eccentric, live-in sister with a sinister past.

Miss Preen: (female -stage age: 30s+) A spinsterish nurse who attends to Whiteside. A humorless prude.

John: (male – stage age: 40s+) The Stanley’s star-struck Butler who has been around awhile.

Sarah: (female – stage age: 40s+) John’s wife, the talented household cook who has been around awhile.

Miss Dexter: (female - stage age: 30s+) Star-struck neighbor, visiting society friend of Mrs Stanley

Mrs. McCutcheon: (female – stage age: 30s+) Star-struck neighbor, visiting society friend of Mrs Stanley

Dr. Bradley: (male – stage age: 50s+) Whiteside’s doctor, he diagnoses Whiteside's injuries by looking at the wrong X rays. He is also a late-blooming author who tries to get Whiteside to read his book, Forty Years an Ohio Doctor.

Bert Jefferson: (male – stage age: 20s-40s+) An interesting-looking young man. He is "an interesting looking young man" who has written a producible play. He naïvely and ambitiously allows himself to be lured by the chance of making it to the big time, even if it means the sacrifice of personal happiness.

Professor Metz: (male – stage age: 50s) A strange-looking little man. An entomologist. He is the first of three eccentrics to visit Whiteside during his convalescence. He brings the great man a present of a colony of ten thousand roaches.

Lorraine Sheldon: (female – stage age: 30s-50s)A temperamental, acid-tongued, self-serving actress, beautiful.

Sandy: (male – stage age: 20s) Handsome young man who is June’s Union-organizer boyfriend

Beverley Carlton: (male – stage age: 30s-50s) Flamboyant English entertainer, a Noël Cowardish character who dashes around the world composing and writing plays and being devastatingly charming.

Banjo: (male – stage age: 30s-60s+) A famous Hollywood comedian, a grown-up adolescent. He is as loony off-screen as on-the Marx brothers all wrapped into one

other roles: 20's-40's, to play multiple smaller & non-speaking roles, including
Mr. Baker Prison Guard
3 convicts
Expressman
Westcott
Radio Technicians
Deputies
Choir
A Plainclothes Man
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If wishing to audition, please visit: http://www.westfieldcommunityplayers.org/WCPauditionform.html and complete audition form....

Auditions: ‘Ragtime’ at 4th Wall in Bloomfield

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4th Wall Theatre, a non-union theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles for the opening production of its 2017-18 season, RAGTIME In Concert, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Terrence McNally. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at Westminster Arts Center on the campus of Bloomfield College, where the company is in residence. Rehearsals will begin at the end of July, and three performances are scheduled for September 22, 23, and 24.

ABOUT THE SHOW
Based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, Ragtime won Tony Awards for Best Score, Book, and Orchestrations and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America. 4th Wall’s “Off The Wall” Concert production will not be fully produced with sets and costumes, and the performers will carry scripts. The characters will be fully drawn, and the music and character arcs will be the focus of the production. There will be some staging and some choreography involved.

ABOUT THE AUDITIONS
Auditions are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, July 17 and 18, from 7:00-10:00 pm; auditioners only need to attend one of those days. Sign-up begins at 1/2 hour prior to the audition start time, and anyone auditioning must arrive no later than 8:00 pm each night. Auditions will be held at Westminster Arts Center, located at 449 Franklin Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey, easily accessible by train or bus from Manhattan. Callbacks will be Thursday, July 20, also at the theatre, beginning at 7:00 pm.


Centenary Stage Summer Jazzfest to feature The Doo Wah Riders

doo riders

Centenary Stage Company welcomes The Doo Wah Riders to the Lackland Performing Arts Center on Saturday, July 22 as the second installment of the 2017 Summer Jamfest series. Based out of Southern California, the band has been delighting audiences all across the United States with their unique sound, a blend of country music with Cajun influences. Their set list includes classic country tunes audiences know and love, as well as some original music infused with their own youthful energy. The Doo Wah Riders’ are known for their tight musicianship, powerful arrangements, and being “A real crowd pleaser!” as Rey O’Day exclaims. Since 1993, they have released seven albums and one live-concert DVD.

Two of the band members, Kenny Lee Benson and Lindy Rasmusson, have been making music together since they were in grade school at the Dick Grove Music Workshops in Studio City, California. It started as a western swing sound, but the music has evolved as they’ve traveled across the US and gotten to collaborate with other musicians and other genres of music. Benson noted, “When I was out in New Mexico, I met a friend who was making Cajun zydeco music and playing accordion, and I loved the sound. I started playing accordion specifically to make that kind of sound and it’s been a huge influence for our style”.

                Since they write all their own music, they’ve been able to pick up sounds and stories they’ve loved. Benson, the lead writer, says, “If you’re going to be a songwriter, you need to be a fly on the wall and respond to what’s going on around you.  Sometimes the best time to write will be by yourself and letting your mind be open, but a lot of times, things will pop into your head while at the store, while talking to people, and you’ve got to just run with it.”

Bickford Summer Jazzfest-Four Concerts in July and August

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Bickford Summer Jazzfest

Combines Great Music and Great Food

Four Concerts in July and August

At the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre

Great music and great food always seem perfect together so for Bickford Summer Jazzfest the theatre will serve up great swing and hot jazz with some of the region’s best Food Trucks on-site before each concert. Different food trucks will be at each show so that both ticket holders and the general public can picnic on the beautiful Morris Museum grounds or tailgate in the spacious parking area from 5:00 to 7:30 on festival nights.

Bickford Summer Jazzfest begins on Monday, July 10, with the third annual Dan Levinson’s Midsummer Night’s Jazz Party (photo), an evening of hot, swinging jazz played by some of the best young jazz stars in the country. Reedman Dan Levinson will be joined by the popular singer Molly Ryan who also plays guitar in the group. The rest of the band includes Mike Davis on trumpet, Mark Shane on piano, Harvey Tibbs on trombone, Rob Adkins on bass, and Kevin Dorn on drums.

On Thursday, July 20, the Full Count Big Band rolls in with “A Night in Las Vegas,” celebrating singers who headlined on the Strip. The talented vocalist Joe Ferrara will front the big band as they swing their way through songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Louis Prima, Buddy Greco and Dean Martin. With an approach that incorporates many different influences, Joe Ferrara is not only a great big band singer, but also a talented performer who has worked with the likes of Manhattan Swing, Lou Pallo, and the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra. The 17-piece Full Count Big Band has been entertaining metropolitan New York/New Jersey audiences for more than a decade.

Support the NJSO


Symphony Friends provide critical support for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

There are just three days remaining in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2016–17 season, and we are counting on our Friends! We are very excited to share that, through June 30, all Symphony Friends gifts will be matched dollar for dollar. Now is the very last chance for you to help us meet our year-end fundraising goals and have your gift DOUBLED.

Here's a look at the NJSO’s annual impact by the numbers:

  • 16,000 music lovers enjoy our free summer parks concerts in seven NJ counties
  • 13,000 students attend Concerts for Young People
  • 1,500 young people participate in our Newark Preschool Program
  • 200 musicians play in NJSO Youth Orchestras ensembles
  • 35,000 people of all ages experience the NJSO’s REACH Chamber Music Programthroughout our state

We can’t do it without you. Altogether, our Symphony Friends help produce artistically excellent concerts and meaningful music education and community engagement opportunities for as many as 140,000 New Jerseyans each year. Give a gift that gives back to your community by donating to your NJSO. A gift of any size helps us to fulfill our mission of engaging and building community through music. This matching challenge only lasts until June 30, so please give today!

For your convenience, you may donate online any time through our secure server. If you have any questions or would like to make a donation over the phone, please call973.735.1730.


Mailing Instructions:
Print out the Annual Fund Membership Form and mail along with your gift to:

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Attn: Development Department
60 Park Place, 9th Floor
Newark, NJ  07102
Note: In order to qualify for the match, all gifts must be received or postmarked by June 30.

Great music is here and so are you!
Englewood | Morristown | NJPAC | New Brunswick | Princeton | Red Bank

Proud to be the resident orchestra of New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
60 Park Place, 9th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102
Patron Services: 1.800.255.3476 (1.800.ALLEGRO)
Local Phone: 973.624.3713
Summer Hours: Monday–Thursday from 9 am–5 pm and Friday from 9 am–1 pm.

Questions or comments may be sent to: tickets@njsymphony.org.

‘Show-Score’ new theater marketing tool: Weekly Standings for Broadway and Beyond

BroadwaySign

DEAR THEATER PROFESSIONAL

I’m delighted to let you know that we just passed 10,000 completions of our “Wish List” game, which is a fun way for our members to select the shows they want to see. The average person selects almost 10 shows they want to see, which means that we now have almost 110,000 data points about what shows our members want to see on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. 

This database is a powerful marketing tool for shows, in three ways: 

  • Many producers are now working with Show-Score to deliver offers to our members who want to see a show, in a highly-targeted way. Producers no longer have to guess who is interested -- we know.  Members respond enthusiastically.
  • Producers now have ways to rapidly discover “look-alike” audiences for their shows, based on taste. Since we know who wants to see what, and what those people have liked previously, we have a detailed view on audience characteristics, well before the new show even starts previews. This information can be used to fine-tune the targeting of marketing campaigns on Google, Facebook and other platforms.
  • “Wish List” activity is a unique way to measure awareness about a new show, even before marketing has started in earnest. Likes and tweets in social media are also interesting, but don’t necessarily correlate with ticket sales. By putting a show on his or her Wish List, the consumer is actively saying that s/he wants to buy a ticket.

NEW SHOWS TRENDING THIS WEEK!

Dominique Morisseau's "Pipeline" at Lincoln Center is grabbing the attention of theater fans this week. 23 have given the show a collective 86. John 74, a retiree who averages 2-3 shows a week over the last five years, was particularly enthralled:

The Off-Broadway one-man show "Zero Hour", about the life of theater legend Zero Mostel, is getting attention from Show-Score members. RSeegs, a theater fan who tries to see at least a show every two weeks, had this to say:

"Me The People" hits our trending list this week with 39 reviews from members. The musical, satirical mockumentary about Trump's presidency is capturing the hearts and minds of members like Brian K, who had this to say about the show:

Also trending this week is "Bastard Jones", The Cell's new rock musical based on Henry Fielding's bawdy novel, "The History of Tom Jones". The show has received an 80 from critics and members like no detective, who wrote:

Sign up for your own Show-Score account here, and find out as it happens in real time!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

REVIEW: MAGICAL PRODUCTION OF “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” ENCHANTS @ STNJ

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By guest reviewer: Ruth Ross (njartsmaven.com)

Comedies—especially those by Shakespeare—are the perfect outdoor fare for summer. En plein air¸ the silly quotient rises, magic and incongruity feel almost normal, and we can lose ourselves for several hours in the opportunity to spend a few hours detangling mistaken identities and sorting out misunderstandings (or as the Bard calls them, misprisions) as we watch the mayhem escalate onstage.

Shakespeare’s comedies run the gamut from wacky farce (A Comedy of Errors) to dark, almost tragic (Measure for Measure). Lying somewhere between these two, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of his funniest and most accessible. The play's poetry is glorious and very funny. And as he pokes rude fun at what today would be a community theater production, Shakespeare has a grand time with "inside" theater jokes, much to our merriment—and, I suspect, his.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is replete with loads of conflict, a plethora of physical and verbal humor, and zany performances showing that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” The plot itself is ludicrous. Driven by a tyrannical father, his daughter and her beau escape to the dark forest, another couple experiences unrequited love and there’s discord in the fairy kingdom occasioned by a marital spat between royal spouses. Misapplied love potions result in chaos—on the part of both mortals and fairies—until order is restored, three couples are wed and the “rude mechanicals” (read: common workmen) perform their play to celebrate the event. (Left: Earl Baker, Jr. and Felix Mayes)

Acting as director, set, costume and sound designer, STNJ Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte has outdone herself for this production. Keeping the hilarity humming along at a brisk pace without letting the wacky high jinks get in the way of the dialogue or characters, she has invented a true otherworldly milieu. Fairy costumes, constructed of items normally found in a landfill (indeed, a neon sign marks the fairy kingdom as “Junk Yard”), transform trash into whimsical treasure: CDs sewn together to make Queen Titania’s cloak, what look to be credit cards strung together for Moth’s wings, gold lame for Mustardseed and varicolored flowers for Peaseblossom. The sprite Puck sports a Mohawk hairdo of multi-colored spikes, repeated as his epaulets. Rear stage panels revolve, from Greek-looking marble walls to glittery backdrops, again constructed of CDs. The Athenian mortals are dressed more conventionally, with Hermia’s youth accentuated by a party dress, culottes and sneakers; her adversary, the taller, more athletic Helena, bounds onstage in a tennis dress, along with a badminton racquet.

Nine actors portray 27 different characters, changing costumes backstage very quickly; the dressers are to be commended for their speed! Earl Baker, Jr. is majestic as Duke Theseus and petulant as the fairy king, Oberon who, when he doesn't get what he wants, throws a mega-tantrum that causes all the mayhem. A regal Vanessa Morosco (far right) is forceful as the duke’s new wife Hippolyta and the fairy queen Titania, both of whom refuse to be bullied by male privilege; however, she is quite tender as she strokes the head of the ass into which Bottom the weaver has been transformed. As Hermia’s dominating father Egeus and the rustics’ stage manager Peter Quince, Bruce Cromer brings an annoying pomposity to his portrayal of the former and enlists our compassion for the latter, a man trying to “herd cats” to mount the production of “Pyramus and Thisbe” for the duke’s nuptials.

The two sets of lovers are appropriately goofy making their bewitchment in the dark forest all the more credible. Courtney McGowan (Hermia) and Jonathan Finnegan (her boyfriend Lysander), and Nike Kadri (Helena) and the object of her unrequited love, Austin Blunk (Demetrius), give their characters just the right comedic touch. The two women are especially effective in a scene where Helena complains that all the men (read: Demetrius, for whom she pines) like Hermia because she’s petite while Hermia makes fun of Helena’s height. That Kadri is tall and McGowan a peanut makes their exchange about height even the funnier. And as Puck, a very agile Felix Mayes scampers and climbs around the stage like a circus acrobat as he carries out Oberon's missions and then has to right his mistakes. (Above L-R: Austin Blunk, Nike Kadri, Jonathan Finnegan, Courtney McGowan and Felix Mayes)

STNJ_Midsummer_5

But the play's true comedic heart lies in the workmen who have come into the forest to get away from civilization to rehearse their play, which they hope to perform at the Duke's wedding the following day. Peter Quince (Bruce Cromer) tries mightily to control his rag-tag band, especially the obnoxious Nick Bottom (Ian Hersey) who is hilarious whether he's "auditioning" for every part in the play or whinnying with delight at the ministrations of Titania and her fairy attendants. Blunk, as Francis Flute, broadly plays a buxom Thisbe, complete with false breasts and high heels; Finnegan does double duty as Snout/Wall; Kadri’s Starveling/Man in the Moon and McGowan as Snug the Joiner/Lion deliver their silly lines with an aplomb appropriate to the seriousness with which they approach their efforts. McGowan’s depiction of Lion is funnier because of her short stature and feeble attempts to roar. The latter four actors also play fairies, along with Tyshon Boone, Katlyn Tilt and Joelle Zazz, all members of the 2017 Summer Professional Training Program. (Above L-R: Austin Blunk as Francis Flute, Bruce Cromer as Peter Quince, Courtney McGowan as Snug, Ian Hersey as Nick Bottom, Nike Kadri as Starveling, and Jonathan Finnegan as Snout.)

This is the third outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that STNJ has mounted in the amphitheatre; the first two were streamlined, 90-minute versions, but this one’s two and a half hour running time seems to fly by. The current enchanting production magically reveals “what fools these mortals be,” and you’ll be a fool if you don’t grab your family and head over to the College of St. Elizabeth Greek amphitheater to catch the production before it closes on July 30. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 8:00 PM, with a special twilight performances on Sundays at 4:30 PM. The Theatre once again offers free tickets for young people 18 and younger. For information and tickets, call the box office at (973) 402-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org online.

Photos by Jerry Dalia.

MPAC’s Summer FREE movie series!


Join us this summer for our FREE movie series!

Tickets may be reserved now at MayoArts.org.

You may reserve up to 8, but please be aware seating is limited and these events are in high demand. If your plans change, please let us know so we can release the tickets.

The Secret Life of Pets

Monday, July 17 at 7:00 pm

Two mismatched mutts get lost and must find their way home. During their journey, they encounter a bunny who plans to lead a group of abandoned pets on a mission of revenge against humanity. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart.

Jaws

Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 pm

Steven Spielberg's epic blockbuster about a police chief, a fisherman and a marine biologist who set out to battle a great white shark set the standard for summer blockbusters - and scared everyone out of the ocean when it was originally released in 1975. Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Moana

Tuesday, August 22 at 7:00 pm

An adventurous teenager leaves the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, she convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds as she fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she's always sought -- her own identity.


Music Beyond Borders Begins Tuesday!

Mayo Performing Arts Center and Morris Arts team up to present the 8th annual Music Beyond Borders free lunchtime summer world music concert series on the Morristown Green.

Four concerts will take place between June 27 and August 8. Concerts begin at 12:30 and last approximately one hour.

Each Music Beyond Borders concert will feature a performance of world music reflecting the diverse culture and population of the area. Brown bag a meal, stop by while walking your dog and experience a world music celebration while getting to know your neighbors.

Coming this Tuesday:


June 27: Brian Conway/Irish Fiddle Music
Irish (and other) eyes will be smiling at the music of All-Ireland fiddling champion Brian Conway. Considered one of the best Irish sligo style fiddlers, Conway has performed widely and recorded to critical acclaim. He will be accompanied by guitarist John Walsh.

MPAC offers free movies, concerts and events throughout the year to create opportunities for everyone to share in arts experiences without economic barriers.

Click here to learn more about supporting MPAC's non-profit mission!


Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit performing arts organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey.