Sunday, January 30, 2011

Centenary Stage Company's open auditions for "How To Pray"

The Centenary Stage Company, a not for profit equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown New Jersey , will hold open auditions for Equity and Non- Equity performers for  the play "HOW TO PRAY " by MICHELLE CARTER  on Tuesday,  Feb 15th at the CSC theatre in Hackettstown from 11am-7pm.  The production will be directed by Margo Whitcomb.

       In “How to Pray,”  which won  the 2010 CSC Susan Glaspell Award for best new play,  Faith agrees to be a surrogate for her brother and his wife, then finds herself facing more complications than she bargained for .   With only a boyfriend she met on “” and a surly cat, she finds herself turning to her relentlessly optimistic dog for advice on how to view the world.      

Carter is a PEN USA Award winning writer whose work has been seen at NY’s Abingdon Theatre, San Francisco’s Magic Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum’s New Work Festival. 

Rehearsals will begin in early March and the production runs Apr 1 – 17, 2011.

·      ONE FEMALE ACTOR-, 33 to 40, plays FAITH.
·         2nd MALE ACTOR- plays:  JUDI (Faith's big-hearted transgender friend), ALEXIS, & voice of CAT, KID, DOG. Should be able to SING.

Additional information may be found at  Resumes may also  be sent to the theatre or faxed 908-979-4297.  For more information,  contact  908-979-0900.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stomp coming to the State Theatre in New Brunswick

State Theatre will present STOMP, the international percussion sensation on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 8pm and Saturday, February 12 at 3pm and 8pm. 

From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 13 years, having performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries worldwide. STOMP is part of the State Theatre’s winter festival, Hub City Carnivale, three weeks of performances, activities, and attractions for all ages. Prior to each STOMP performance there will be a FREE chocolate tasting in the State Theatre lobbies, courtesy of Thomas Sweet in New Brunswick (with purchase of STOMP ticket). Tickets range from $32-67.

“We’re making STOMP very affordable for all audiences this February. So share this exhilarating show with your whole family!” states Daniel Grossman, Vice President of Marketing at the State Theatre. “Just mention STOMP7 when you call for tickets and you’ll save $7 per ticket. That means Broadway quality close to home for as little as $25 per ticket, or $60 for the best seat in the hall. What a deal!”

STOMP OUT HUNGER! State Theatre in partnership with Elijah's Promise will hold a food drive during the performances of STOMP to benefit the Elijah's Promise Food Pantry in New Brunswick. People can help by bringing in non-perishable food items such as: canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, pastas, rice, and beans when they come to see STOMP. Those who cannot make the show can still drop off food items at the Ticket Office from February 11-13 during office hours.

STOMP, an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, and sell-out engagements, is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London's Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays. The young performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-creator/director Luke Cresswell. Stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments—trashcans, tea chests, plastic bags, plungers, boots, and hubcaps – to fill the stage with compelling and infectious rhythms.

Critics and audiences have raved: “STOMP is as crisp and exuberant as if it had opened yesterday,” says The New York Times. The San Francisco Chronicle declares “STOMP has a beat that just won’t quit!” The Los Angeles Times exclaims: “Electrifying! Triumphs in the infinite variety of the human experience.” “A phenomenal show! Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking—a joyous invention!” says the Chicago Tribune.

STOMP is directed and created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday 1pm to 5pm; and at least one hour prior to curtain on performance dates. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517.

What's on NJ Professional stages

Here's "What's On" from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance;
   Bickford Theatre, Morristown

Little Dog Laughed
By Douglas Carter Beane
Now through February 13 (New Jersey Premiere)
Mitchell Green is on the brink of movie super-stardom, thanks to his devilish agent Diane. But she encounters one obstacle.she can't seem to stop him from coming out of the closet. Will there be a Hollywood ending when the final credits role? This Tony-nominated comedy was called "tremendously funny" by The Star-Ledger.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 971-3706
Visit the Bickford Theatre website

The Growing Stage, Netcong
Clockwise from top left: Ryan Malyar, Robert Mintz, Jeff Higgins, Bryn Bennett and Lyndsey Brown. Photo by Steve Larsen.
Clockwise from top left: Ryan Malyar, Robert Mintz, Jeff Higgins, Bryn Bennett and Lyndsey Brown. Photo by Steve Larsen.
The Wizard of Oz
Based on the story by L. Frank Baum; music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.
February 4 - 27
The MGM musical classic - adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company - follows the adventures of Dorothy Gale, who, after surviving a twister, ends up in the Wonderful Land of Oz.  Together with her new found friends - the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, Dorothy is off to see the Wizard!
For more information, or to purchase tickets, call: (973) 347-4946
Visit The Growing Stage's website

McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton
The How and the Why
By Sarah Treem
Now through February 13 (World Premiere)

Evolution and emotion collide in this thought-provoking and sharp new play about science, family, and survival of the fittest. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. Featuring Tony and Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl, this intimate and keenly perceptive play explores the difficult choices women of every generation face.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (609) 258-2787
Visit the McCarter Theatre Center website

Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and Lyrics by William Finn; book by Rachel Sheinkin
Now through February 13

Craving a fun musical comedy to sweep you up in the action and keep you laughing all the way home? Then this Tony Award-winning story of six quirky competitors and three oddball adults in search of spelling bee glory is the show for you. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 376- 4343
Visit the Paper Mill Playhouse website

Pushcart Players, Verona
Megan MacKenzie Lawrence in Happily Ever After - A Cinderella Tale. Photo by Strotz Photography.
Megan MacKenzie Lawrence in Happily Ever After - A Cinderella Tale. Photo by Strotz Photography.
Pushcart Players is a founding member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and an award-winning touring, professional theatre. Take advantage of the opportunity and bring your favorite young people to see this wonderful company at one of three public performances in January.
Stone Soup and Other Stories
Adapted by Ruth Fost and Carole Wechter
Saturday, January 29 at 1pm
at Young People's Theatre at Terrill Middle School ~ Terrill Road, Scotch Plains

Story Theatre at its best with folk tales from around the world, providing a delightful introduction to theatre as well as to the cultures and customs of different lands.
Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call (973) 857-1115

Happily Ever After - A Cinderella Tale
Book and lyrics by Ruth Fost; music by Larry Hochman and Laurie Hochman
Sunday, January 30 at 2pm
at Tic Toc Theatre Arts at Benjamin Franklin Middle School ~ 335 North Van Dien Avenue, Ridgewood

Based on the beloved classic tale of Cinderella, Happily Ever After takes us on that sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but always compelling journey, fueled by inner beauty, courage and kindness as they triumph over greed, arrogance and bully behavior.
For tickets and directions, call (201) 447-9110, or visit
For more information about Pushcart Players - or to book them in your school or venue - visit their website

Two River Theater Company, Red Bank
A Thousand Clowns
By Herb Gardner
February 1 - 20

An uproarious, subversive and delightful comedy about a whip-smart kid who lives with his far-from-conventional uncle in 1960s New York. When child services knocks on his door, Uncle Murray is forced to make a decision: hold on to the kid, or hold on to his life of free-spirited fun. A Tony Award winner and classic movie with Jason Robards, this heart-warming tale is brought to the Two River stage with humor, vigor, and a fresh new spirit.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (732) 345-1400
Visit Two River Theater Company's website

Associate members
South Camden Theatre Company, Camden
Waiting for Lefty, by Clifford Odets - February 4 - 20
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit the South Camden Theatre Company website.

Show titles and dates may change.
Please call the theatre or check their websites to confirm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State Theatre announced cancellation of the show '500 Clown Macbeth'

The State Theatre has announced the cancellation of the show 500 Clown Macbeth scheduled to appear February 2-5, 2011, due to low attendance numbers.
Ticketed customers may exchange tickets for another State Theatre presented event within one year of the date of exchange; donate tickets back to the theater as a tax-deductible donation; or secure a full refund. To exchange, donate, or refund your tickets, please contact the STATE THEATRE TICKET OFFICE at 732-246-SHOW (7469).

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at

The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday 1pm to 5pm; and at least one hour prior to curtain on performance dates. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Paper Mill Playhouse.

Sunday, January 23rd was the official Opening Night at the Paper Mill Playhouse for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. 

Will Blum- Photo by Mark Garvin
Did we like it? Yes, big time. It is a delightful , adorable, very funny play that isn't trying to be high-brow theater. It is much closer to Pee-Wee Herman's Playhouse than Hamlet. It is pure fun, in the form of quirky characters, some silly costumes, and lines that generated many of the  rarest of commodities, 'good old fashioned' belly laughs. This is a very, very pleasant way to spend two hours.

The play was a hit on Broadway in 2005 and won two Tony Awards. It was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss. This wonderful production is directed by Marc Bruni, with clever choreography by Wendy Seyb. It represents the first collaboration with the Philadelphia Theatre Company, who hosted this production last Fall.

 All the action takes place on a single set; a middle-school gymnasium. An early comment from one of the competitors notes that she had never seen a three-wall gym before.

 The cast -Photo by Mark Garvin
The talented cast consists of six young competitors and three adults. Note that the non-adults are actually played by adults. 

Playing a very preppy, high achiever, with a sad personal story, Logainne Schwartzandgruenierree, is Ephie Aardema. She's a delightful bundle of energy. 

Next is Marcy Park, played by Olivia Oguma, with an even sadder story. She's a clear product of a 'Tiger Mom." Marcy is expected to win at everything she does...losing is not an option in her parents eyes.

Leaf Coneybear, played by Lyle Mackston, is a young man not sure he is up to the 'Bee' challenge. He offers this bit of poetry; If you like to laugh,If you like to spell, You'll like this competition very well, And feel your heart begin to swell, As you watch the spellers once again excel, You'll root for it to hang around for a good long spell.

Will Blum has the wacky role of the lonely William Barfee. Barfee, pronounced 'Barfey,' is only able to spell if he can use his "Magic Foot" to write out the answers on the gym floor. 
Brandon Yanez is excellent as Chip Tolentino, he is the product of a 'hippy' family and the second runner-up in his district, but got into the competition when the winner and first runner-up had to go to the winner’s Bat Mitzvah. He has great fun with his solo "Erection" opening the second act. 

Ali Stroker-Photo by Mark Garvin
The third girl, and most well-adjusted, but a bit shy is Ali Stroker as Olive Ostrovsky. Ali may be the first actress in a wheelchair to have a leading role in a professional musical. She sings and dances beautifully, yes, dances, albeit in her wheelchair.

The annual moderator, and winner of the third annual spelling bee, is Rona Lisa Peretti, who just happens to be the top real estate agent in the county. Rona is played to perfection by Marla Mindelle.

Playing the nerdy Vice Principal Douglas Panch, the word reader, is David Volin. The third adult is the "comfort" counselor Mitch Mahoney who is at the school doing mandatory community service. His rather intimidating role is to assist the losers firmly off stage. Mitch is played by Jerold Solomon who posses a very impressive singing voice.

A unique feature of the show has to be the fact that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young competitors. This is a particularly clever way of extending the length of this rather short play, under two hours with a 15 minute intermission.
Production Credits: Anna Louizos Scenic Designer,  Alejo Vietti Costume Designer, David Lander Lighting Design, Randy Hansen and Julie Pittman Sound DesignAndy Einhorn Music Director and Greg Jarrett Associate Music Director. The Production Stage Manager is Rebecca S. Fleming

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will run at the theatre through February 13, 2011. This show is recommended for patrons 13 years and older.

The performance schedule: Wednesdays at 7:30PM, Thursdays at 1:30PM and 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 1:30PM and 8:00PM and Sundays at 1:30PM and 7:00PM. Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25 to $92. Student rush tickets are $25 and are available the day of performance in person with current student ID.  

Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Paper Mill Playhouse's website:   Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount or more on tickets and should call 973-379-3636, extension 2438.  

The Paper Mill Playhouse is offering a series of free audience enrichment activities including: The  Conversation Club, every Thursday evening at 6:30pm and Q & A With the Cast on February 12 following the matinee. Visit for more details on Paper Mill Playhouse's Free Audience Enrichment Activities.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   January 23, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Jersey Rep Presents the World Premiere of Puma

The life-long obsessive love affair between Marlene Dietrich and Erich Maria Remarque simmers against the steamy backdrop of Hollywood during its Golden Age.

LONG BRANCH – The New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch,to present the world premiere of Puma by Julie Gilbert and Frank Evans, February 24 thru April 3, 2011.

What happens when two heavenly bodies collide? That is exactly what we encounter in Puma, a play that explores the life-long, obsessive and tempestuous love affair between Marlene Dietrich, the German actress who became a Hollywood icon, and Erich Maria Remarque, the celebrated author of All’s Quiet On The Western Front. As the inevitable conflagration of World War II loomed over Europe, both Dietrich and Remarque fled Nazi Germany to the United States. Remarque was already an acclaimed wunderkind and Dietrich had made her mark and had gained international fame with her performance as Lola in the film, The Blue Angel directed by Josef von Sternberg.

The play takes the audience through their unconventional relationship over the decades as they both work to establish themselves in their new homeland while struggling with the challenge encountered by all immigrants, displacement. Along the way they meet and sleep with an impressive cavalcade of Hollywood’s luminaries while at the same time attempting to accommodate their respective marriages. Jimmy Stewart and Paulette Goddard are also featured in the play as they are pulled into the powerful and seductive orbit of these two larger-than-life characters.

Puma provides a glimpse into a time in history when the true world order was being destroyed, and when long established cultures and societies were being swept aside while at the same time the fantastical illusion that we know as Hollywood was being created.

This compelling play is based on the personal diaries of Erich Maria Remarque that had been kept in a vault for years and were translated from the German and made accessible for the first time to Julie Gilbert, one of the playwrights. As a result it reveals previously unknown details about the lives of many of Hollywood’s most famous personalities.

The authors are seasoned writers. Julie Gilbert was born into a literary and theatrical family. Her mother was the actress, Janet Fox, and her great aunt was the renowned writer, Edna Ferber. Julie is a novelist and biographer who was nominated for a National Book Critic’s Circle Award for her biography, Ferber, and also received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Opposite Attraction: The Lives Of Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Goddard. Frank Evans is the lyricist for the off-Broadway musical, Abie’s Island Rose and Back Home, The War Brides Musical.

Puma is directed by NJ Rep’s Artistic Director, SuzAnne Barabas and stars Ylfa Edelstein (Marlene Dietrich), John FitzGibbon (Erich Maria Remarque), Christopher Vettel (James Stewart), Natalie Wilder (Paulette Goddard).

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm; Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00 pm, Feb 24 – April 3. Special reduced price previews are on Thursday, Feb 24 and Friday, Feb 25 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Opening night with reception is Saturday, Feb 26 at 8:00 pm. There is not matinee opening night.

Tickets are $40; Previews are $35; Opening night with reception is $60. Discounts are available to seniors, students, and groups of 10 or more.

For tickets call 732-229-3166 or visit for online ticketing.

Urinetown: The Musical at The Chester Theatre Group's Black River Playhouse Feb. 25

The Chester Theatre Group at the Black River Playhouse will present the Tony Award winning satirical musical comedy  "Urinetown: The Musical' by Mark Hollman (music and lyrics) and Greg Kotis (book and lyrics).

Friday and Saturdays at 8pm: Feb 25 - Mar 19, Sundays at 2pm: Mar 13 & 20, 2011.

"Don't let the title scare you off, If you love musical theater and off-beat humor, this show will make you laugh until you ... er, laugh your head off! "

It is about a town facing a water shortage where the government has banned private toiletries and the citizens must use pay-to-pee toilets regulated by a monopolistic company, the Urine Good Company, which charges exorbitant prices.Do the citizens rebel? You betcha! It not only pokes fun at local government, but, also the Broadway musical itself as a form.

Brian Hall and Jill Cappuchino

The show played on Broadway for  2 and a half years..965 performances... and won two Tony's (Best Musical Score and Best Book). The Director is Clifford Parrish. Choreography by Megan Ferentinos.
Admission: $24.  Seniors (over 65) & Students (under 18): $22,  Reservations : 908-879-7304. The Black River Playhouse is located at the corner of Maple and Grove in Chester, New Jersey.
More info:

SPECIAL PROJECT: Since Urinetown is a musical comedy satirizing a country in which the shortage of water requires everyone to “pay to pee, the cast and crew of  Urinetown have developed a special humanitarian project dubbed, Pennies for Potties. Named by cast member Roxanna Wagner who is heading up the effort. The money will be donated to the international non-profit organization, Foundation for Peace, based in Ironia, NJ.

The Foundation for Peace has provided much needed emergency care to many materially impoverished countries.  They are currently working tirelessly in Haiti by building schools, providing medical care and most importantly, building water filter and purification systems and latrines to stem the outbreak of cholera. Coin drops will be placed at the public rest rooms in the theatre through the run of the show. It takes $400 to build a latrine and the Urinetown folks are hoping to collect enough money to build two latrines.

 For more information about Foundation for Peace, go to

New Managing Director at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Kirby Theatre home of The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ
MADISON, NJ —The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey announced that Jeanne Barrett, general manager of The Shakespeare Theatre since late 2009, has been named Managing Director. Board of Trustees president Karl Meister made the appointment official at the Theatre’s annual meeting in December, 2010.  Ms. Barrett will oversee the business operations and finances of the Theatre, and, together with Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte and a team of six Senior Staff members oversee the production, artistic, education, development, and marketing operations. “Jeanne’s work over the past year has been exemplary, and we are thrilled to partner her with Bonnie J. Monte to guide this extraordinary institution as it reaches new heights,” said Mr. Meister.

Ms. Barrett spent 20 years as a Vice President with The Chase Manhattan Bank where she began in International Strategic Planning and later specialized in Client Management. She received her MBA at New York University, Stern School of Business. From 1995 through 2006, Ms. Barrett served on the Board of Trustees of The Shakespeare Theatre and from 2000 through 2003 served as Board President.
“I am thrilled to have Jeanne by my side as we approach our milestone 50th Anniversary Season,” said artistic director Bonnie J. Monte. “Jeanne understands the challenges we face and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, and she will be instrumental as we continue the great work of this Theatre.”  

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey recently announced its 49th Anniversary season which begins in June with Moliere’s The Misanthrope. The season also includes Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens and Othello, To Kill A Mockingbird and A Christmas Carol as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream on its Outdoor Stage. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.  The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described, captioned and sign-language interpreted. Contact the Theatre for more information.

Auditions for 2011 Summer Professional Training Programs at Paper Mill


Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to announce auditions for its 2011 Summer Professional Training Programs for talented young performers ages 10 to 18.

Paper Mill Playhouse's Professional Training Programs represent the ultimate opportunity - a chance for students to take their skills to the next level, while gaining the self-discipline and work ethic that will serve them throughout their entire career. Students will participate in demanding classes in singing, acting, auditioning, dance, and a series of guest artist workshops led by professional actors, directors and casting agents. Paper Mill Playhouse's programs build professional skills - so if you have the passion, talent, and drive it takes to be a performer, then Paper Mill Playhouse has the program for you.

Paper Mill Playhouse's Professional Training Programs are comprised of two tracks: the five-week Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory held in July, or the three-week August Musical Theatre Intensive.  To qualify for the programs, every student - including returning performers - must audition. Student tryouts are judged for vocal skill, dance ability, personality and song interpretation skills (acting through your song).  Students will be placed in a program based on their auditions.

Paper Mill Playhouse's Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory (June 27 to July 30, 2011) offers the unique opportunity for gifted and talented young performers, ages 10 to 18, to work at their own level and challenge themselves to achieve new goals and learn new skills.  The Conservatory is grouped into three companies, allowing each student to work on material that is appropriate for their age and skill level.  This five-week program of rigorous study allows students to enhance their individual performance potential while also developing a broad base of theatre experience and knowledge.

The Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory classes and workshops will be held at Kean University in Union, New Jersey in cooperation with the Department of Theater and its resident Equity theatre company, Premiere Stages.
The end of the Conservatory month is devoted to rehearsals for the NEW VOICES CONCERT, performed annually on the Paper Mill Playhouse Stage. Industry professionals are invited and attend the New Voices Concert.  The theme of the 2011 News Voices Concert is "I'll Take Manhattan", a look Broadway's love affair with its hometown.  The New Voices of 2011 concert will take place on July 29 & 30 on the main stage at Paper Mill Playhouse. Tickets go on sale March 1, 2011 at the Paper Mill Box Office (973) 376-4343 or on

Here's what some industry professionals had to say about last year's New Voice's Concert:
"The kids were great, the show was fun and entertaining, and the material was tailored so that each child shone. Well done!" - Nora Brennan, Nora Brennan Casting, Children's Casting Director - BILLY ELLIOT

"What an amazing group of kids you trained this summer!  I haven't enjoyed a showcase so thoroughly in a very long time and was so glad that I had a chance to attend."  - Victoria Kress
Youth Agent, Don Buchwald & Associates

Paper Mill Playhouse's August Musical Theatre Intensive (August 8 to 26, 2011) allows performers between the ages of 10 and 16 to build individual technique and learn about themselves as performers, explore their own abilities and refine their skills. Like the July Conservatory, admission to the August Intensive is by audition only.  Intensive students do not perform in the New Voices Concert, rather, the Intensive classes prepare a musical theatre showcase for family and friends in the Black Box Theatre at Paper Mill Playhouse. This allows our faculty to focus on strengthening skills and building self confidence in a non-competitive environment.  Accepted students are placed in one of two sessions according to age. The small class size in each session allows for individual attention and instruction from the faculty.

For young people who are truly serious about the performing arts, Paper Mill Playhouse's Professional Training Programs are exactly what you need to elevate your craft, but in order to be a part of this elite group, you must audition.

AUDITION DATES: Saturday, February 5, 2011 & Saturday, February 12, 2011
AUDITION LOCATION: Kean University Wilkins Theatre, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union NJ 07083
Auditions are not open calls and an appointment is required. To schedule an audition appointment call (973) 379-3636, EXT. 2133

Prospective students should select a portion of a song from a musical of approximately 32 bars (no more than one verse and chorus) that best demonstrates your vocal range, musicality, interpretive skills and acting ability.  Bring sheet music in a binder or single sheets taped together that contain full piano accompaniment, not just chord symbols.  An accompanist will be provided. Students may not perform a cappella or to an audio recording.  This audition is your only chance to impress our faculty. Make sure you are well-rehearsed and prepared.
Everyone will be asked to dance. Students will be taught a dance combination which will then
be performed in small groups. Evaluation will be based on skill, potential and the ability to
learn the routine.  For full audition instructions, including downloadable form, go to  Please wear or bring suitable footwear for your dance audition.

Students who are not prepared or who arrive without sheet music may not be allowed to audition.Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time to allow for paperwork and photography. To save time, download the forms from our website at Education/Summer Conservatory/Auditions and fill them out and bring them with you.  All students must bring one (1) document proving age and identification (i.e. copy of: birth certificate, student report card, student ID, passport). Parents will not be permitted in the audition room.  Digitally recorded auditions are accepted only for prospective students who live out of state.  Submissions must contain a singing performance of a Broadway song with accompaniment and a dance combination (ballet, jazz or tap) performed to music.

Featured performers in past Conservatory New Voices concerts have gone on to take the entertainment industry by storm! Academy Award® nominee ANNE HATHAWAY ("Rachel Getting Married," "The Devil Wears Prada"), Tony® winner LAURA BENANTI (Gypsy) and TV star PAUL IACONO (MTV's "The Hard Times of RJ Berger") all got their start on the famous Paper Mill Playhouse stage. Our alumni appear on Broadway, in National Tours and in television and films.

Here are just a few of their accomplishments:
Laura Benanti.................... 2008 Tony AwardÒwinner for GYPSY, Broadway's INTO THE WOODS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE WEDDING SINGER, SWING!
Anne Hathaway................. 2009 Academy Award nominee RACHEL GETTING MARRIED; THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and Disney's THE PRINCESS DIARIES
Paul Iacono........................ Star of MTV series "The Hard Times of RJ Berger", 2009 MGMFilms remake of "FAME, Paper Mill's MAME
Matthew Scott................... Broadway's JERSEYBOYS, A CATERED AFFAIR, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM
Jonathan Schwartz............. Broadway's SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK (Peter Parker understudy), Off Broadway's THE FANTASTIKS, TV Series "The Amazing Race"
Julia Knitel......................... Broadway's BYE, BYE BIRDIE
Alison Strong..................... Broadway's BYE, BYE BIRDIE
Veronica J. Kuehn............. Broadway's MAMMA MIA! and XANADU National Tour LEGALLY BLONDE
Robert McClure................. Broadway and National Tour's AVENUE Q (Princeton/Rod)
Eric Schneider.................... Broadway's JERSEYBOYS, National Tour THE FULL MONTY, Off-Broadway's ALTAR BOYZ and Paper Mill's HAPPY DAYS, A NEW MUSICAL
Constantine Rousouli.......... Broadway's HAIRSPRAY (Link), National Tour LEGALLY BLONDE, Paper Mill's HAIRSPRAY
Neil McCaffrey.................. Broadway's MARY POPPINS (Michael Banks), BYE, BYE BIRDIE (RandolphMacAfee), BILLY ELLIOT (Michael)
Frank Dolce....................... Broadway's BILLY ELLIOT (Michael), Miramax film "Doubt", TV series: "Sons of Tucson", Paper Mill's A WONDERFUL LIFE
Daniel Marconi.................. Broadway's MARY POPPINS (Michael Banks), Paper Mill's A WONDERFUL LIFE
Elizabeth Egan Gillies.......... Broadway's 13! THE MUSICAL, Niceklodeon TV Series "Victorious"
Jared Gertner..................... Broadway's THE BOOK OF MORMON, Broadway's THE 25TH ANNUALPUTNAMCOUNTYSPELLING BEE (William Barfee) and Paper Mill's LITTLE SHOPOF HORRORS (Seymour)
Monette McKay................. Broadway's MEMPHIS, Broadway & National Tour of MAMMA MIA!
Nikki M. James.................. Broadway's THE BOOK OF MORMON, Broadway's ALLSHOOK UP
Leah Greenhaus................. Broadway's SHREK THE MUSICAL (Young Fiona) and Paper Mill's MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
Antonio D'Amato............... Broadway's DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
Ben Liebert........................ Broadway & National Tour of WICKED (Boq)
Renee Marino.................... Broadway's WEST SIDESTORY (Anita understudy), National Tour of JERSEYBOYS
Christine Danelson............. National Tour of HAIRSPRAY; Paper Mill's HAIRSPRAY
Krista Pioppi...................... National Tour of SPRING AWAKENING, Paper Mill's THE SOUND OF MUSIC, DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
Natalie Weiss..................... Broadway's EVERYDAY RAPTURE; National Tour & Paper Mill's LES MISÉRABLES
Erica Cenci........................ National Tour of A CHORUS LINE
Tim Hackney..................... National Tour of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
Matthew Ban..................... National Tour of SPAMALOT
Sarah Mugavero................. National Tour of MAMMA MIA!
Jelani Remy....................... National Tour of DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL; Las Vegas Company THE LIONKING (Simba)
Emily Sheppard.................. National Tour of DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
Carly Maitlin...................... National Tour of DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
Barry Cavanaugh............... National Tour of PETER PAN with Cathy Rigby (John Darling)
Erik Ransom...................... Off Broadway's MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING
Ryan Malyar...................... New York CityCenterEncores' NO, NO NANETTE
Ali Stroker......................... Paper Mill's THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Victoria Meade.................. Paper Mill's DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
Allison Brutofski................. Paper Mill's THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Voice of animated character Piper O'Possum on Nickelodeon
Jordan Barrow................... Paper Mill's THE MIRACLE WORKER, PETER PAN
Zach Infante...................... Paper Mill's PETER PAN
Kathryn Raskin.................. Paper Mill's RAGTIME and PETER PAN
Josh Pins........................... Paper Mill's PETER PAN (Michael Darling)
Daisy Hobbs...................... Paper Mill's CINDERELLA
Lael Van Keuren............... Broadway's SISTER ACT, Paper Mill's CINDERELLA & HELLO, DOLLY!
Justin Bollero..................... Paper Mill's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Matthew Capodicasa.......... Paper Mill's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Adrian Arrieta.................... Paper Mill's DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, PETER PAN
Kyle McLaughlin................ Paper Mill's RAGTIME and SUMMER ANDSMOKE
Marissa Malanga................ Paper Mill's A WONDERFUL LIFE
Ereni Hrousis Sevasti.......... Paper Mill's THE SOUND OF MUSIC and The Kennedy Center's CARNIVAL
Jacob Shalov...................... TV series "Knights of Prosperity" (featured role)
Sarah Marable................... TV series "Gossip Girl" - several appearances
Allison Siko........................ recurring role on "Law & Order: SVU"(Kathleen Stabler)
Samantha Futerman............ Sony Pictures' "MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA" (featured role)

Auditions are not open calls and an appointment is required. To schedule an audition appointment call (973) 379-3636, EXT. 2133

The Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory andNew Voices 2011 are generously supported by the Investors Savings Bank Foundation, The Ambrose & Ida Fredrickson Foundation, and The Bloomingdale's Fund of the Macy's Foundation.  Additional major funding for Paper Mill Playhouse Education Outreach is provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and MetLife Foundation.     
PAPER MILLPLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional support is provided by generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Black Maria Film and Video Festival Returns to Madison

(Madison, NJ) - The 30th Black Maria Film and Video Festival will make a stop at the Chase Room of the Madison Public Library, 39 Keep Street, Madison, NJ, on Friday, February 18 at 8:00 pm. Tickets for the event are $10 and are available at the door. There are no advanced sales. The evening is sponsored by the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance, with generous support from Rose City Framemakers.

The evening will feature a number of short films and videos from 50 winning films selected from over 700 entries. Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers. Named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the "25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee," the festival is known for its national public exhibition program, which features a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection. Every program presentation in the tour is custom curated to specific audiences and virtually every program is presented by the Festival Director John Columbus. The festival is named after The Black Maria, Thomas Edison's film studio, the first such film studio in history. The festival website can be found at
"The Black Maria tour is an exciting evening of film and video. It's not often that we can see innovative and well-constructed short films in a community setting. The shows are balanced and excellently curated. John Columbus presents a compelling and knowledgeable narrative that places the films in context and helps us to gain an insight into the more challenging work," said John Pietrowski of the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance.

The program is part of the continuing efforts of the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance to promote and present quality arts and cultural offerings to Madison and the surrounding communities. A calendar of events and additional information on MACA can be found on their website at
About The Madison Arts & Culture Alliance
The Madison Arts & Culture Alliance (MACA) is a coalition of arts organizations, cultural institutions, neighbors, colleagues and friends dedicated to encouraging collaborations among the wide-ranging cultural offerings in "the Rose City." MACA facilitates exciting new connections, strategic partnerships and creative collaborations -- frequently between people and institutions whose paths otherwise might not have crossed. It brings together artists, arts administrators, educators, parents, businesspeople, community leaders and others, all with a common goal: to support the cultural institutions and programs that have such a positive impact on Madison's economy and quality of life. 

The Alliance evolved out of a roundtable of artists which meets every Wednesday for coffee and conversation. Modeled after the famous Algonquin Roundtable of the 1920s, the Nautilus roundtable is regularly attended by MACA members as well as other supporters of our local arts and culture community, and serves as a creative resource for MACA.

The goal of our website is to list the numerous artistic and cultural events available in Madison and to put you in touch with our members. We hope you use our calendar often and take advantage of the wealth of great programs and events happening right here in town. We also hope that you will support our efforts by becoming a member of MACA.

Provider: John Pietrowski Vice-President & Activities Committee Chair, Madison Arts and Culture Alliance
33 Green Village Road,PO Box 1295,Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 514-1787 X11

Summit Playhouse auditions Feb. 11 and 12

Summit Playhouse-Summit NJ
Maltby & Shire's Closer Than Ever
Directed by Susan Speidel
Musical Director Bill Houpt

Auditions: Friday, Feb. 11 @ 7 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 12 @ 2 p.m.

Callbacks: Sunday, Feb. 13 @ 2:00 p.m.

Audition Location: United Methodist Church of Summit, 17 Kent Place Blvd at DeForest Ave.

Performances: April 22 – May 7, 2011

This two act musical revue features self-contained songs which deal with such diverse topics as security, aging, mid-life crisis, second marriages, working couples, and unrequited love. Maltby and Shire based many of the songs on the real-life experiences of their friends!

We are looking for 6 to 8 singing actors ages 25 to 45.  Prepare a musical theater song that demonstrates personality and presence, as well as vocal range and ability.   An accompanist will be provided.  Please bring legible sheet music in the appropriate key.
Auditions are open to all; no appointment is needed.
This show is being produced with permission of Musical Theater International.

For more information, visit or call 908-273-2192.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

'The World Goes ‘Round' to Open at Women’s Theater Company

The music of  one of Broadway’s most successful teams, Kander and Ebb, is celebrated by The Women’s Theater Company in the production of The World Goes ‘Round, opening on February 11  for a run through February 27. The hit musical plays on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 3 pm
 Performances are at The Parsippany Arts Center, within the Parsippany Community Center, 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha
The show is directed by Lauren Mills of Lake Hopatcong.  Musical director is Warren Helms of Pompton Lakes
Kander and Ebb brought numerous hit musicals to Broadway, including Chicago,  
Cabaret and Zorba, among many others.
The cast includes Actors Equity performer Marc C. Dalio.  Also in the cast, Danny Arnold, Annette Coviello, Stearns Matthews, Emily Cara Portune, Jillian Schochet and Sandy Lynn Taylor. 
Tickets for performances are $20.00 and discounted for Senior Citizens.  Groups of 10 or more pay only $13.00 per person for any performance.
Please call 973 316-3033 to reserve seats for a performance. 
Groups please call 908 306-0881 for reservations or contact    
Ample parking is available at The Parsippany Community Center.

The Women’s Theater, founded by Artistic Producing Director, Barbara Krajkowski of Parsippany, is a professional Equity Theater, now in its 19th year.                 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: "The Little Dog Laughed" at the Bickford is a winner

Last night we were treated to the New Jersey premiere of a satire on Hollywood life, "The Little Dog Laughed" at The Bickford Theatre, in Morristown, NJ. The play written by Douglas Carter Beane was nominated for a Tony "Best Play." It is directed by Eric Hafen, the Bickford's Artistic Director.The fine cast is lead by Liz Zazzi as Diane, Mark Irish as Mitchell, Scott Tyler as Alex, and Cynthia Fernandez as Ellen.
It is the story of a Hollywood "Boy-next-door" matinee idol who is living the "big lie." He's gay and wants to exit the closet. The only thing stopping him is his brash powerhouse of an agent Diane, played with gusto by Liz Zazzi. She also doubles as the narrator.


LIZ ZAZZI (photo Warren Westura)

Our handsome hero, Mitchell Green, (Mark Irish) is on the brink of major stardom. On a business trip to Manhattan, Mitchell finds he needs more than the mini-bar in his room to fight his boredom. His solution is to call an "Escort Service" for a this case, a male prostitute. The young hustler, Alex, played convincingly by Scott Tyler ( a product of the Drew University Drama program), falls for the john. The feelings are clearly much so, that Mitchell is willing to risk his career, .....enter his agent Diane, a lesbian who apparently has no life of her own, quickly dominates the situation. Note that a good part of the action takes place in the hotel room....the bed to be exact. The men are in various levels of dress or undress, including brief frontal nudity, and kissing- executed with taste.

The fourth character in the play is Alex's beautiful girlfriend Ellen, played nicely by Cynthia Fernandez (a product of the Fairleigh-Dickinson Drama program).

As with most plays, the early portion of the first act is largely spent on establishing the characters, with most of the humor coming later in the play. Liz Zazzi is an absolute delight in the role of Diane...she clearly is having fun with this role. Easy to see why
Peter Filichia (Star-Ledger) awarded Liz a “NJ Obie” in 2009

Two scenes deserve special mention; the first is a description of a Hollywood lunch by Liz of the competitiveness of the diners ordering Cobb salads. The other very clever scene involves Diane and Mitchell meeting with an unseen self-righteous gay playwright at a table in a restaurant. The duo are attempting to negotiate the film rights of a play about two male lovers. Diane sees a major stardom opportunity for Mitch if they can get the rights. Of course, it would only work as long as Mitch is perceived by his hoards of female fans to be straight.

Will they be successful? Will Mitch find happiness with Alex ?...and what happens to young Ellen? What does the title mean? Sorry, you'll have to see this fine cast in action to find out.

(photo Warren Westura)
Production credit goes to Scenic Designer Jim Bazewicz with a clever three panel set, Lighting Designer Sarah Abby Hoke-Brady, with Costume Design by Alysson Shapiro, Sound Design by Andy Elliot, and Props by Heather Sehrt. Yumi Matsuura serves as Stage Manager.

"The Little Dog Laughed" runs through February 13. Main Stage Series performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 and 27, Thursdays at 2 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Please note there is no performance on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Tickets are $40 General Public, $36 Seniors 65 and up, $33 Morris Museum and Theatre Guild Members, $30 Groups of 10 or more, and $20 Students 18 and under or with valid college ID.

To purchase tickets or for further information, please contact the Box Office at 973.971.3706 or visit at www.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio Jan. 21, 2011