Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Growing Stage will present THE BULLY SERIES

As a fan of live theater may I suggest a visit to one of the most unique professional theater companies in Northern New Jersey....The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey? They are located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey.

The Growing Stage will next present THE BULLY SERIES as a part of their continuing Studio Presentation productions beginning May 6th with rotating performances of The Secret Life of Girls and The Lord of the Flies till May 28th.  All performance are at 7:30 PM and suggested for young adults 5th grade and older. ('s approved for us adults too, ...and a perfect all family event).

The Secret Life of Girls written by Linda Daugherty and directed by Lori B. Lawrence focuses of the effects of cyber-bullying and the impact it can have not only on a teenager, but their family as well.   "I'm going to tell you a secret—and I don't want you to tell. The secret is about me—about my life—how it will never be the same again." In this honest and unflinching dramatization of teen-girl angst, a window is opened into the tumultuous and destructive world of girls' bullying. Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, the play highlights the impact of "cyber bullying," the facilitation of mean-spirited behaviors through the use of cell phones, text and instant messaging, e-mail and chat rooms.

TGS Executive Director, Stephen L. Fredericks and company artist David Spellman direct The Lord of the Flies adapted by Nigel Williams from the award-winning book by William Golding.  A plane crashes on a deserted island. The only survivors are a group of school boys. They live in a land of bright exotic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are inhabited by a terrifying beast.  Before long this well behaved group has turned into a bloodthirsty and murderous tribe… William Golding’s first published novel, The Lord of the Flies, is a modern classic. Years later he said that writing the book was 'like lamenting the lost childhood of the world'.

The Studio Presentation Series provides young people with the opportunity to work with the professional production team of the company.  The cast of The Secret Life of Girls features the talents of Lizzi Scarpone, Liz Rosa, Jorgi Smith, Mackenzie Miller, Dana Kluczyk, Catherine Berry and Ashley Brace.  The cast of The Lord of the Flies ensemble features Michael Grant, Ben Fredericks, Joe Feula, Jacob Meth, Pierre Got, Dominick Garatino, Matthew Fralley, Dalton Allison, Zac Baccaro, and Jake Wallace.

Cast of recent production of
"The Wizard of Oz"
The Growing Stage is located on Route 183, 7 Ledgewood Avenue in Netcong... north of I-80..  All tickets are only $12 and can be reserved by calling (973) 347-4946 or by logging onto the company’s website at
The Growing Stage is a professional member theatre of the Association of Actor’s Equity and is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two backstage comedies premiere at The Paper Mill and The Bickford

Both the Paper Mill Playhouse and The Bickford Theatre are ending their 2010-2011 seasons with backstage/show biz comedies that premiere this weekend.

The Paper Mill Playhouse's final production of the 2010-2011 season Curtains is running at the Millburn theater from now through May 22, 2011.   Curtains brings to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer reunited after spending years as the on-screen, power couple Josh and Reva on Guiding Light.

Newman plays aspiring actor and detective Lt. Frank Cioffi who is investigating the rising body count on the set of a Broadway-bound show, and starting a romance with one of the actors. Can he solve the case without becoming one of the victims?

Curtains is based on the original book and concept by Peter Stone and modified by Rupert Holmes, this Broadway gem features the razzle-dazzle musical style of celebrated songwriting duo John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), the same pair behind hits like Cabaret and Chicago.  Additional lyrics by Kander and Holmes.

is directed by Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee, who directed last season's hit productions of Smokey Joe's Café and Peter Pan.

For tickets and schedule info call 973-379-3717, or visit the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at


Meanwhile, in Morristown, just a few miles from Millburn, The Bickford's season ender is I Hate Hamlet. Actor Andrew Rally seems to have it all: fame from his starring role in a hit TV series, a rich, beautiful girlfriend, the perfect New York apartment, and the chance to play the greatest role of all time--Hamlet in Central Park! There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise: Andrew’s series has been cancelled, his 29-year-old girlfriend is clinging to her virginity, and he absolutely hates Hamlet!

I Hate Hamlet stars Rick Delaney as John Barrymore, Andrew Rein as Andrew Rally, Kathleen Huber as Lillian Troy, Katrina Ferguson as Felicia Dantine, Madeline Orton as Deirdre McDavey, and Gary Martins as Gary Peter Lefkowitz. Bickford Theatre Artistic Director, Eric Hafen, directs.

Performances of I Hate Hamlet are Thursday April 28 and May 5 at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays May 12 and May 19 at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. A Special “SchoolTime” Performance will be offered on Thursday, May 19, at 10 a.m. There are no performances on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14.

On Sunday, May 15, the Bickford Theatre and the Morris Museum will be participating in “BE OUR GUEST,” as part of media Day for National Tourism Week. With a donation of canned goods for the Interfaith Food Pantry, the Museum will be offering free admission and the Bickford Theatre will be offering Buy 1/Get 1 Free tickets to I Hate Hamlet.

Reserved seats are $40 for General Public, $36 for Senior Citizens, $33 for Museum and Guild Members, and $20 for Students (18 or under or with valid college ID). To purchase tickets or for further information, please contact the Bickford Theatre Box Office at 973.971.3706 or visit us 24/7 at

We'll be attending the Friday night performance of I Hate Hamlet at the Bickford, and Sunday night we'll be at the opening of Curtains at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Look for our reviews Sunday and Monday.

Dreamcatcher 'Meet the Artist' free play readings in Summit in May

Laura Ekstrand, the highly respected Artistic Director of the DREAMCATCHER REPERTORY THEATRE, the professional Theatre in Residence at the Baird Center in South Orange, informs us that the DRT will offer two free readings of new plays as part of its “Meet the Artist” series in May.

Note...the location will not be their Baid Center theatre. The readings will be presented at a special location, at the beautiful Reeves-Reed Arboretum at 165 Hobart Avenue in Summit. Visitors will be able to enjoy the spring blooms on the beautifully cultivated grounds of the Arboretum before repairing to the Wisner House for the evening play readings.

Laura says “Meet the Artist” has been a favorite feature in the Dreamcatcher season since the company’s inception sixteen years ago; this series allows playwrights to hear their work performed by professional actors, and then provides them the opportunity to receive feedback from the audience. After each new play reading, the floor is opened to discussion between the playwright, director, actors and audience to allow the writer to instantly discover which aspects of the play are effective, and which need more attention to be fully realized. It is also an opportunity for Dreamcatcher to hear works under consideration for future production in the coming season."

On Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., the company will read RANDOM HORRIBLE THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE by David Lee White, the Associate Artistic Director of Passage Theatre Company in Trenton. This is a collection of five short comedies that were developed independently and performed for the first time together here. This script will be directed by Laura Ekstrand, and will feature DRT company members Clark Carmichael, Harry Patrick Christian, David Miceli, Jessica O’Hara-Baker and Harriett Trangucci, with special guest Angela Della Ventura.

On Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m., Dreamcatcher will read a new play by Suzanne Bradbeer, SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS, a comedy about a frustrated New York actress who decides to take an offer to perform with a new classical company in Las Vegas, with hilarious results. Dreamcatcher has previously produced two of Bradbeer’s plays, FULL BLOOM and YOU MISS THEM WHEN THEY’RE NOT AROUND. Directed by John Pietrowski, the Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, the reading will feature Dreamcatcher company members Laura Ekstrand, Scott McGowan, and Jessica O’Hara-Baker, joined by guests Jaclyn Ingoglia and Matt McCarthy.

RANDOM HORRIBLE THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE will be read on Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., and SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS will be read on Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Again, the performances are at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum at 165 Hobart Avenue in Summit.

For information on this or any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079, 973-378-7754, ext. 2228,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bergen County Players to present Schisgal's The Tiger

Next at the outstanding community theater...The Bergen County Players (BCP) is The Tiger, a dark comedy by Murray Schisgal. It will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell for two performances only: Saturday, May 14 at 2pm and Sunday, May 15 at 7pm. This is one of nine productions from the BCP this season.

Tickets are only $10, 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.
Native New Yorker Murray Schisgal, co-writer of the hilarious and heartfelt Oscar-nominated film Tootsie, began his career with this Off-Broadway two-character gem, which won him the Drama Desk Award in 1963.

'When disgruntled mail carrier Ben kidnaps bored, suburban housewife Gloria, he intends only to exact revenge against the world that's wronged him. But he gets more than he bargained for when he finds his intended victim has an equally complicated relationship to the world."

The Tiger is directed by Jerry Pettinati of Fair Lawn. Jerry has been a member of BCP for more than 30 years. He started directing in 1974, and has helmed more than twenty productions since, including Plaza Suite, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife on the BCP stage.

Nick Pascarella and Leigh Adel-Arnold (PHOTO: BCP)
Nick Pascarella of Ho-Ho-Kus returns to BCP in the role of Ben, having most recently been seen in last year's Plaza Suite.  Nick has recently appeared in Murder at Café Noir and the Playwright's Showcase with The Players' Guild of Leonia, Neil Simon's Chapter Two with Teaneck New Theater and several appearances at the Shades Repertory Theater in Haverstraw, New York. Leigh Adel-Arnold of Teaneck in the role of Gloria. Most recently she appeared in the BCP production of Comic Potential, for which she received a 2010 Perry Award Nomination for Best Actress. Additional BCP credits include Rapunzarella and Doubt.

The Tiger is produced by Rhea Smith, who has produced more than 13 plays for Bergen County Players, serving as Assistant to the Director for many others. She lives in Oradell with her husband, Michael, the set designer and photographer for The Tiger. Michael has designed over 14 sets for the theatre, and has been nominated for a Perry Award for set design.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Summit Playhouse's 'Closer Than Ever'

This past weekend the historic community theater The Playhouse Association at the Summit Playhouse (93rd year), in Summit New Jersey, premiered their latest production, a musical revue CLOSER THAN EVER. This is a clever, often witty two act musical revue that consists of self-contained songs about aging, mid-life crisis, marriage, divorce, parents, working couples, unrequited love, and other of life's dramas. Your reaction to the songs will, in large part, depend on how you relate to the topic or message.  

CLOSER THAN EVER was created by Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics) and David Shire (music) from material they produced over a thirty year period. Maltby describes it as "a collection of songs we wrote about our lives and the lives of people we know." Some are funny, some clever and some sad.

 The original 1989 off-Broadway revue won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The Summit cast of six includes Arlene Britt, Cara Heary, Miriam Salerno, Jason Cesare, Sean Finnerty, and Peter Oliff. Music support comes from pianist Joe Elefante (Paper Mill Playhouse and Jersey Boy credits) and John Zimmermann on bass and electric guitar.

The almost two hour show (one intermission) includes 23 numbers, a few highlights: "One of the Good Guys" with Peter Oliff exploring a successful man's nagging feeling that he's missed the joys of life. "Fandango" with Cara Heary and Sean Finnerty engaged in the morning dance that a husband and wife do on the day that both of their careers are on the line and no one is available to babysit their infant child.  "There's Nothing Like It" a full company number that pokes fun at the fitness movement.“The Bear, The Tiger, The Hamster and The Mole,” in which Miriam Salerno has fun as a biologist who probes the animal kingdom to justify her distrust of men. "Another Wedding Song"  explores the awkwardness of making eternal vows at a second wedding, nicely done by Arlene Britt and Peter Oliff.

We particularly enjoyed Cara Heary's comic piece "Miss Byrd." the story of  a prim real estate agent who squirms in her swivel chair as she relives a sexual encounter of ''not more than 20 minutes ago'' with the superintendent in a basement apartment that she should have been busy renting, and the very professional Arlene Britt's touching "Life Story," a divorced woman wondering whether her life alone is better... than life with her former husband. The full company numbers particularly "The Sound of Muzak", a comically frightening scenario of how technology alters our lives. and "The March of Time" about the aging process, were fun and well staged.

The primary challenge this revue presents to an audience is the fact that the music is not familiar, and almost classical...far from the more traditional cabaret type, for example. Understand... this is not a Gershwin or Cole Porter type songfest in which you will be humming the music for days.  Also, since each number is a self-contained story, again unfamiliar, it is imperative that each word register in order to appreciate the cleverness of Maltby's words and, as we said earlier, enjoyment may be in large part how you relate to the life situations. If you suffer from ADS, for example, you may find yourself lost in the stories.

The actors do a good job with the acting requirements, and are good singers, however, their greatest challenge is maneuvering through the incredible variety of musical forms David Shire uses. The result is often merely 'pleasant' which may not be the case with more experienced performers.

Bottom line, If you are looking for an "Anything Goes" Cole Porter type musical experience you may not enjoy "Closer Than Ever." But, if you are more adventurous and prefer wit over melody (and plot) you may find Closer Than Ever a surprisingly rewarding night out.

The creative & production team for CLOSER THAN EVER includes Susan Speidel (Director), Bill Houpt (Musical Director), Kate Middleton (Producer), Betty Kaus (Associate Producer), Bill Roome (Lighting & Sound Designer), Justine Bailey (Stage Manager), Jaci McCoy (Asst. Stage Manager), Jim Mayfield (Set Builder), Travis McHale (Set Designer), Tina White (Set Décor), and Beverly Wand (Costume Designer).

Closer Than Ever will play until May 7, 2011
. There is on-street parking available. The theater is located at 10 New England Avenue, Summit, New Jersey. There is train service from Penn Station in Manhattan. Travel time is under an hour.

Tickets for CLOSER THAN EVER are $25 for adults and $20 for students (18 and under). Performances run every Friday and Saturday until May 7 at 8p.m. There are also two additional performances: Thursday, April 28 at 8p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. The Sunday, May 1 performance is also a signed performance and an audio description is available if requested two weeks in advance. A loop-compatible Assisted Listening System is available for all performances.
For tickets: visit or call 908-273-2192

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio    April 23, 2011

It's fundraising time at the Paper Mill-Gala set for May 13

Paper Mill Playhouse  (photo PMP)

The Paper Mill Playhouse will be hosting its largest fundraising event of the year, The Center Stage Celebration on Friday, May 13th at the Hilton Short Hills.

Tables and individual tickets are now on sale.  For more information on Paper Mill Playhouse’s Center Stage Celebration or to purchase tickets please contact Roberta Morton at 973-315-1663, or visit Paper Mill Playhouse’s website,

The annual gala celebration will offer an evening of dinner, dancing, auctions and entertainment with students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s arts education programs and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Laura Benanti.

Ms. Benanti was the first Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award winner for a Leading Actress in a Musical. She was honored with the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Drama League nomination for her portrayal of Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee in the Patti LuPone revival of Gypsy. She previously starred in the Encores! production. Broadway: The Sound of Music (Maria, opposite Richard Chamberlain), Swing! (Tony nomination: Best Featured Actress), Into The Woods (Cinderella; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, LA Ovation and Tony nominations), Nine (Claudia, opposite Antonio Banderas; Outer Critics Circle, Drama League nominations), The Wedding Singer (Julia Sullivan), In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (Lincoln Center), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Lincoln Center). Encores: Gypsy (Louise), Wonderful Town (Eileen). Benefits: The Secret Garden (Lily), Hair, Pippin (Catherine) and Children of Eden. Off-Broadway: Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Time and Again (Julia, MTC). LA Opera: A Little Night Music (Anne). Williamstown: The Winter's Tale (Perdita, opposite Kate Burton). Film: Falling for Grace (Princess Alexandra), Take the Lead. Television: "Open Books" (CBS), "Life on Mars" (ABC), "Eli Stone" (ABC), "Starved" (FX). Recordings: several Broadway cast recordings, as well as "NEO," "The Stephen Schwartz Album" and "The Maury Yeston Songbook." Laura Benanti was raised in Kinnelon, New Jersey.

“It is thrilling to see Ms. Benanti come full circle through Paper Mill Playhouse’s stellar arts education programs and go on to win a Tony Award and now return to headline our celebration,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director.  “We are equally excited to feature students and alumni from Paper Mill Playhouse’s many arts education initiatives in a Broadway Cabaret at our celebration.”

Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr., New Jersey Senate Republication Leader will be honored with the Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award.  The first Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award was presented to Brendan Byrne and Tom Kean, Sr. in 2010 for their passionate work on behalf of New Jersey’s arts community. “We are thrilled to present Tom Kean, Jr. with the Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award this year,” remarked gala co-chair Carolyn Ferolito.  “At the core of Tom Kean is the noble ambition that through public service and the determination to turn ideas into action, one person can make a lasting difference. Tom has proven this as an advocate for the arts in New Jersey and we are excited to honor him at our Center Stage Celebration.”

The reception and silent auction begin at 6:00pm followed by dinner and dancing featuring the Eddie Bruce Band.  The 2011 Celebration  sponsor is Hilton Short Hills.  “We are thrilled to partner with Hilton Short Hills on our Center Stage Celebration,” said gala co-chair Jane Higgins.  “The support of Hilton Short Hills is priceless.  They are a true community partner.”

“The Center Stage Celebration is a wonderful event to commemorate the many facets of Paper Mill Playhouse, from our critically acclaimed productions to our award-winning education and access programs, this wonderful fund raising event supports our work in the community,” commented Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director Todd Schmidt.  “Attending Paper Mill Playhouse’s celebration is a rewarding way to support our not-for-profit arts organization.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

2011-2012 Paper Mill season subscriptions on sale May 2


The Paper Mill Playhouse has announced that New Season Subscriptions go on-sale Monday, May 2nd, for the 2011-2012 season. After a sharp rise in the number of subscribers for the 2010-2011 season, Paper Mill Playhouse is offering the general public the opportunity to purchase season tickets with all the exclusive benefits that come with a season subscription.  Investors Savings Bank is the proud sponsor of the 2011-2012 season.

Paper Mill Playhouse is offering an exciting lineup of four musicals and one play, including a brand new Disney musical.  In September, Paper Mill Playhouse opens their season with the premiere of the new Disney stage musical, Newsies (September 15, 2011 – October 16, 2011), adapted for the stage from the live-action Disney feature film musical. In November, celebrate the holiday season with the New Jersey premiere of White Christmas (November 16, 2011 – December 18, 2011). Brightening the winter in January is the hit comedy Boeing-Boeing (January 18, 2012 – February 12, 2012). Then enjoy the legendary musical comedy Damn Yankees (March 7, 2012 – April 1, 2012) just in time for spring training. To close the 2011-2012 season comes a musical tale of romance, tragedy, redemption and rebirth in Once on This Island (May 30, 2012 – June 24, 2012).

Season subscriptions ensure that you get the best seats at the best price! A Paper Mill Playhouse Subscription guarantees that you won’t miss out on sold out shows like last season’s Les Miserables. Subscribers see unforgettable musical theater and receive exclusive perks and discounts all season long. Beginning May 2nd, 2011, three, four and five show subscription packages are available starting at just $82.50. Subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973-379-3717, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at  Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 35% discount on tickets and should call 973-315-1678.

“Paper Mill Playhouse subscribers are the backbone of our theater,” says Todd Schmidt, Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director. “Without the support of subscribers, we would not be able to meet our mission of providing high-quality innovative theatre, world-class arts education programs and important outreach initiatives.”

The Five Show Package includes: the best seats in the house, unlimited free exchange privileges up to noon the day of performance, advanced single ticket sales (single ticket purchases available to subscribers prior to the general public on sale date), 10% off additional Mainstage tickets, half price Mainstage tickets for your kids (when accompanied by you), additional friends for just $30 (for two), a Behind-the-Scenes look with a Back Stage Tech Tour (one per subscription), an intermission cocktail on us (two vouchers for a free intermission cocktail, with the purchase of a pre-performance cocktail), and 10% off gift shop purchases.

The Four Show Package includes: the best seats in the house, unlimited free exchange privileges up to noon the day of performance, advanced single ticket sales (single ticket purchases available to subscribers prior to the general public on sale date), 10% off additional Mainstage tickets, half price Mainstage tickets for your kids (when accompanied by you), the ability to bring two friends for half off (two vouchers for 50% off additional Mainstage tickets), a Behind-the-Scenes look with a Back Stage Tech Tour (one per subscription), an intermission cocktail on us (one voucher for a free intermission cocktail, with the purchase of a pre-performance cocktail), and 10% off gift shop purchases.

The Three Show Package includes: the best seats in the house, unlimited free exchange privileges up to noon the day of performance, advanced single ticket sales (single ticket purchases available to subscribers prior to the general public on sale date), and 10% off additional Mainstage tickets.

 “Paper Mill Playhouse is excited to produce another stellar season that appeals to such a wide audience,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director of the Millburn Theater. “We could not produce such a season without the continued support of our subscribers.”

Paper Mill Playhouse 2011-2012 Season

Newsies (September 15, 2011–October 16, 2011)
Music by                 Lyrics by                Book by
Alan Menken         Jack Feldman       Harvey Fierstein
Read all about it! Paper Mill Playhouse is proud to present the premiere of a brand new musical, Newsies, adapted for the stage from the popular Disney film. Based on the 1899 true story of a courageous group of scrappy newsboys who become unlikely heroes when they rally forces to fight an unscrupulous newspaper tycoon, Newsies features a book by Harvey Fierstein, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and music by eight-time Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken. With its rousing score, rollicking choreography, and defy-all-odds inspirational story, Disney’s Newsies will have you cheering — and Paper Mill Playhouse is the ONLY place you can see it! 

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas — The Musical (November 16, 2011–December 17, 2011)
Music & Lyrics by            Book by
Irving Berlin                    David Ives & Paul Blake
Don’t worry about the weather forecast — it’s going to be a White Christmas at Paper Mill Playhouse! Based on the beloved Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film, this merry musical tells the tale of two famous song-and-dance men who stage a show in a scenic, snow-topped Vermont inn — and end up finding love with two singing sisters under the mistletoe. With laughter, crazy plot turns, Broadway-size production numbers and the unforgettable music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin, White Christmas is a brightly wrapped holiday gift.

Boeing-Boeing (January 18, 2012–February 12, 2012)
By Marc Camoletti
Bernard, an American playboy in swinging ’60s Paris, juggles three flight-attendant fiancées — one American, one French and one Italian. With the help of airline timetables and a phenomenally efficient housekeeper, he convinces each she is his only love. But then — mon dieu! — a fast new Boeing jet puts the flight attendants on a collision course, hurtles his cunning deception toward disaster, and provides the lift-off for laugh after laugh. 
Damn Yankees (March 7, 2012–April 1, 2012)
Lyrics & Music by                                Book by
Richard Adler and Jerry Ross          George Abbott & Douglass Wallop
Joe Boyd loves the Washington Senators baseball team a little too much. The proof: When a devilish dealmaker offers the chance to beat the “damn Yankees” in return for Joe’s soul, Joe takes it. But as the Senators’ stats soar, Joe realizes he’s losing his beloved wife and looks for a loophole. Enter sizzling-hot temptress Lola, a charter member of the Homewreckers Hall of Fame. “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets,” goes the well-known song. Who will win? We’re not telling!

Once on this Island (May 30, 2012–June 24, 2012)
Book and Lyrics by            Music by
Lynn Ahrens                     Stephen Flaherty
Take a trip to an island paradise where palm trees sway in Caribbean breezes. Can a poor peasant girl find true love with the rich young man whose life she saves? Not if quarreling island gods have anything to do with it! This tropical treat from the award-winning writer-composer team behind Ragtime tells a tale of romance, tragedy, redemption and rebirth with sunny songs, captivating choreography and an irresistible Calypso beat.


Have you ever wanted to sneak a peek behind the curtain? Or wondered what the director was thinking, or how the cast prepares for a show? Well, here’s your chance! Join us for one of these revealing insider’s experiences. See you backstage!

Wednesdays, one hour prior to curtain is a chance to gain insight into our director’s point-of-view! To kick off new productions, we’ll be hosting a pre-show discussion in the Renee Foosaner Art Gallery and the coffee’s on us.
♦September 21 ♦November 16             ♦January 18                  ♦March 7                     ♦May 30
Patrons gain insight into each performance from our directors’ points of view and enjoy coffee on us.

Join us Thursday evenings, one hour prior to curtain, for an informal and informative gathering with our Artistic and Education Departments.  Prior to curtain, you’ll learn more about the performance you’re about to see and perhaps catch a glimpse of the stage being set!

What really goes on behind the scenes? Here’s your chance to ask the cast yourself! Directly following the final Saturday matinee of each production, stick around for a lively Q&A with cast members.
♦October 15                ♦December 17             ♦February 11               ♦March 31            ♦June 24


Narnia, The Musical with a cast of 50 next at The Theater League of Clifton

One of our leading community theaters, The Theater League of Clifton, in cooperation with ATC Studios, will next present NARNIA, The Musical, based on C.S. Lewis' time-honored classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The TLC is mounting a truly 'full scale' production of NARNIA...with nearly 50 actors, singers and dancers!

The script was adapted by Jules Tasca, with music by Tom Tierney and lyrics by Ted Drachman. Show dates are May 20, 21, 22 & 27, 28, 29, Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 & 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM. All performances will be at School No 3, 365 Washington Ave, Clifton, New Jersey (Minutes from the Lincoln Tunnel).

"Come along with four children as they open the door to a wardrobe, step in, push past the clothes only to find themselves in a magical land. They have been transported into a fantastical place where animals speak and the White Witch has ruled it to be "always winter and never Christmas."
But Aslan, a lion and true King of the land, returns after a long absence bringing back the beauty of spring. Where are you? You are in NARNIA!"

Kathleen Kellaigh, the artistic director of ATC, is the director. Musical direction is by Barry Spatz.
Produced by Mark Peterson and Maryann Irizarry. Edward Obssuth is Stage Manager. Fight
choreography by Chris Robertson. Stage Design by Ken Kida and Julie Chrobak. Costumes
by Maryann Irizarry. Lighting by Matt Locker and Jen Burkhardt. Sound by Kurt Irizarry. The
original NYC production of NARNIA, in 1986, was produced by Ms. Kellaigh. This will be her
fourth production of this enchanting show now with nearly 50 actors, singers and dancers bringing
NARNIA to life.

Assisting with the show’s production is Cindy Helfman, assistant to the Director. Assistant Musical
Director Matt Wilson. Assistant Stage Manager Christine Peskosky and Prop Handler Katie
Scorziello. Wrangler Sapphire Smith. Costume Assistant Jeannie Kempa and Sound Assistant
Carly Hawrylko. Internet and Tech Consultant is Matt Perosi.

Tickets: $20/Adults, $15/Students & Seniors, $10 children under 12. Special group pricing is
available for groups of 20 or more, please call for more details.
For additional information and to purchase tickets on-line visit the website or call 973-928-7668 . (Please do not call the school).
Also visit on facebook at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Wakes cast completed at the McCarter Theatre-Opens April 29

McCarter Theatre announced today complete casting and creative team for Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a new musical featuring a book by Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and a score by composer Brendan Milburn and lyricist Valerie Vigoda, both of the acclaimed trio GrooveLily. 

The production, which runs from April 29 through June 5, will be directed by Rebecca Taichman, who delighted McCarter audiences with her 2009 production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. (Opening Night is set for Friday, May 6). Following the McCarter run, the production will move to La Jolla Playhouse.

In Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a young beauty is brought to a sleep disorder clinic, and soon all the patients find themselves sharing a familiar dream. The show reunites two members of the acclaimed rock trio GrooveLily – Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda – with Tony Award-winning librettist Rachel Sheinkin, who last collaborated on the inventive holiday tale Striking 12. With beguiling characters, hypnotic lyrics, and a rocking score, Sleeping Beauty Wakes delves into the magical space between dreaming and waking in an unexpected twist on a classic tale.

The cast will feature Broadway veterans Kecia Lewis-Evans (Broadway: Chicago, The Drowsy Chaperone, Once on This Island, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Gospel at Colonus, Big River, Dreamgirls); Bryce Ryness (played Woof in the recent hit revival of HAIR, Drama Desk nomination); Bob Stillman (Broadway: Grey Gardens, Dirty Blonde, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Grand Hotel); and Aspen Vincent (Broadway: American Idiot).

Rounding out the ensemble will be Adinah Alexander (Broadway: Wicked); Jimmy Ray Bennett (Encore’s Damn Yankees, and White’s Lies with Betty Buckley); Steve Judkins (London’s West End: The Full Monty);  and Donna Vivino (Broadway: Les Miserable, Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame Becomes Me opposite Martin Short).

The production will feature choreography by Doug Varone, musical direction by James Sampliner, scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Miranda Hoffman, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, projection design by Peter Nigrini, and sound design by Leon Rothenberg. Production Stage Manager is Cheryl Mintz.

Tickets for Sleeping Beauty Wakes start as low as $20 (student tickets $15).  For tickets, call (609) 258-2787; toll-free at (888) 278-7932; visit online; or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ.

Groups of 10 or more save and receive premium seating. For more information, call (609) 258-6526 or e-mail

McCarter Theatre Center is easily accessible by car via US Route 1, Interstate 95/295 and NJ Route 206. Or take the train to McCarter:  New Jersey Transit serve Princeton Junction via the Northeast Corridor Line. Then it’s a ride of four minutes on New Jersey Transit’s “Dinky” train to Princeton Station–McCarter is directly across the street at 91 University Place.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paper Mill Playhouse has completed casting of the Kander & Ebb musical "Curtains,"

Paper Mill Playhouse has completed casting for their next and final production of the season Curtains. Directed by Mark S. Hoebee, with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, Curtains will run at the Millburn theater from April 27 through May 22, 2011. Family Week is April 27 through May 1 and during this period, children 18 and under receive half off the regular ticket price (certain restrictions apply).  Curtains is a co-production with Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, Texas.

Curtains will play the following performance schedule: Wednesdays at 7:30PM, Thursdays at 1:30PM & 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 1:30PM & 8:00PM and Sundays at 1:30PM & 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:

Paper Mill Playhouse gift cards, available in any denomination, can be purchased at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive a 25% discount or more on tickets and should call 973-379-3636, extension 2438. Curtains is generously supported by a gift from Allen and Joan Bildner.

Aspiring actor and detective Lt. Frank Cioffi is investigating the rising body count on the set of a Broadway-bound show, and starting a romance with one of the actors. Can he solve the case without becoming one of the victims? This musical mystery-comedy was created by the team responsible for both Cabaret and Chicago. Curtains will have you on the edge of your seat. laughing!

Director Mark S. Hoebee comments, "I am thrilled to bring this fantastic cast and wonderful Kander and Ebb musical to Paper Mill Playhouse.  Curtains was a great success on Broadway and I am excited to revisit this work with television stars Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman, who will bring a new energy to this spirited musical comedy."

Curtains brings a superb cast to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer reunite onstage for Curtains after spending years as the on-screen, power couple Josh and Reva on Guiding Light.

Robert Newman (Lt. Frank Cioffi) is a four-time nominee for the Soap Opera Digest Award and two-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee. He is best known for his role as Joshua Lewis on Guiding Light. Regional credits include: North Carolina Theatre's Annie; Algonquin Theater's Sessions, The Musical; Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's A Little Night Music, and extensive work in Los Angeles theatres.

Kim Zimmer (Carmen Bernstein) won four Daytime Emmy Awards for 'Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series' for her portrayal of Reva Shayne on Guiding Light. Her theater experience includes off-Broadway's Love, Loss, And What I Wore and Four Dogs and a Bone.

 Ed Dixon (Christopher Belling) appeared in the Broadway productions of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Les Misérables and The Three Musketeers, among several others. National tours include: The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Pippin and Sunset Boulevard. At Paper Mill Playhouse, Mr. Dixon portrayed the Major General in Pirates!, King Charlemagne in Pippin, Max in The Sound of Music, Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, among others. 

Amanda Rose's (Niki Harris) credits include the Broadway production of Wicked and the national tours of Wicked, Dr. Doolittle and Oklahoma!

Kevin Kern's (Aaron Fox) credits include: Broadway's Wicked, The Wedding Singer, and Les Misérables as well as the pre-Broadway runs of 9 to 5: The Musical and Next to Normal.

Helen Anker (Georgia Hendricks) made her Broadway debut in the revival of Promises, Promises after appearing in recent West End (London) productions of Beautiful and Damned, On The Town and Parade.

David Elder (Bobby Pepper) starred in the original Broadway production of Curtains and boasts credits that include; the national tour of Damn Yankees and Broadway's 42nd Street, Kiss Me, Kate! and Guys and Dolls.

Aaron Galligan-Stierle's (Daryl Grady) Broadway credits include: Ragtime and Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.

Dick Decareau's (Oscar Shapiro) Broadway credits include: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Raggedy Ann and the national tours of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ragtime and Annie.

Rye Mullis's (Johnny Harmon) credits include tours with Young Frankenstein and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Anne Horak (Bambi Bernstein) appeared in Broadway's Young Frankenstein and White Christmas.

Daniel Marcus (Sidney Bernstein) starred in the original Broadway cast of Urinetown.  His other Broadway credits include: Pal Joey, 1776, The Women in White, among others.

Rounding out the cast are Monique Alhaddad, Ashley Arcement, Colin Bradbury, Joshua James Campbell, Lauren DeCierdo, Mathew DeGuzman, Taurean Everett, Becca Kloha, Mary Ann Lamb, Ian Liberto, Patrick O'Neill, Happy McPartlin, Molly Tynes, Kyle Vaughn and Dana Winkle.
Based on the original book and concept by Peter Stone and modified by Rupert Holmes, this Broadway gem features the razzle-dazzle musical style of celebrated songwriting duo John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), the same pair behind hits like Cabaret and Chicago.  Additional lyrics by Kander and Holmes.

Curtains will be directed by Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee, who directed last season's hit productions of Smokey Joe's Café and Peter Pan.    He has directed the Paper Mill productions of Disney High School Musical; Meet Me in St. Louis; Dreamgirls; The Will Rogers Follies; Victor/Victoria; The King and I; Miss Saigon; Grease; Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons; Hello, Dolly!, starring Tovah Feldshuh; Romance/Romance and Paper Mill Playhouse's critically acclaimed production of The Full Monty, featuring Elaine Stritch.  Mr. Hoebee directed the Actor's Fund Benefit Concert of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the August Wilson Theatre which starred Terrence Mann, Emily Skinner, and Jennifer Hudson. Hoebee has directed national tours of Company; Victor/Victoria; and Dreamgirls. His Broadway performance credits include: Victor/Victoria, Beauty and the Beast, Nick & Nora, and Jerome Robbins' Broadway.  He served as an Adjunct Professor in the Dance and Theatre Department at Northwestern University.

Curtains also features the work of choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter, whose productions include: Broadway's Spring Awakening, Curtains, The Wedding Singer and All Shook Up, as well as the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Joining Hoebee and Hunter on the creative team are: Tom Helm (Music Director), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design) Robert Kovach (Scenic Design), and Tracy Christensen (Costume Design). The production stage manager is Thomas J. Gates.

In conjunction with Curtains, Paper Mill Playhouse will offer a series of free audience enrichment activities including: The Director's Viewpoint, April 27th at 6:30pm, Conversation Club, every Thursday evening at 6:30pm and Q&A with the Cast on May 21st, following the matinee. Visit for more details on Paper Mill Playhouse's free audience enrichment activities.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  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 the generous contributions of 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. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

John Schreiber is the new president at the NJPAC

The Board of Directors of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center announced today the appointment of John Schreiber as its new President and CEO, effective July 1st.

 Schreiber currently serves as Executive Vice President, Social Action & Advocacy for Participant Media, a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital media.  Participant's award winning films include An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night and Good Luck, The Cove, Waiting for Superman, Food Inc., Charlie Wilson's War, The Kite Runner, Syriana and many others.  Mr. Schreiber is responsible for managing the creation, development and execution of unique social action and advocacy campaigns for each Participant film.  A resident of Montclair, New Jersey since 2001, where he has three children in the public school system, Mr. Schreiber has been commuting to Los Angeles weekly for the past four years.

Schreiber will replace founding NJPAC President and CEO of twenty-two years, Lawrence P. Goldman, who will lead the Arts Center's new subsidiary, the Theater Square Development Corporation, focused on advancing NJPAC's founding mission to develop the land adjacent to the Arts Center.

"As we celebrate the many wonderful contributions Larry Goldman has made over the past two decades to New Jersey, the City of Newark, and our rich and diverse cultural environment, we simultaneously warmly welcome his very accomplished and capable successor John Schreiber to lead NJPAC," said William J. Marino , Chairman of the NJPAC Board of Directors who headed up the committee that conducted an international search for the Arts Center's new leader. "John brings great energy and a passion for the Arts Center's mission which he will enthusiastically apply to continue the wonderful traditions we have begun at NJPAC.  The Board and all the communities we serve welcome him with open arms and look forward to our successful collaboration."

"John is a talented and experienced leader with the right skills at the right time," said John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc., a member of NJPAC's Board of Directors, and member of the search committee.  The committee, comprised of eight members of NJPAC's Board of Directors, conducted in-depth interviews over a period of several months with ten candidates from a large pool of applicants.

Termed "a visionary producer" and "impresario of brand names" by The New York Times ,  Schreiber's career has encompassed award winning theater, television, concerts, festivals, documentary film, branded entertainment, and a host of other cultural and cause-related events.  His producer credits include the nationwide KOOL and JVC Jazz Festivals, the Newport Jazz Festival, the weekly television concert series Hard Rock Live (VH-1), the Benson & Hedges Blues Festivals, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (PBS), the New Yorker Literary and Arts Festival, the American Express Gold Card Grammy Festiva l, and, with the trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, the Harman: How to Listen music education program.  He received Emmy® and Tony® Awards as producer of the Broadway and HBO hit Elaine Stritch At Liberty.

"I'm delighted to be coming home to New Jersey to join the remarkable NJPAC community," said Schreiber.  "Larry Goldman's visionary leadership has resulted in a performing arts center unlike any other: a place where great performers, diverse audiences and unique arts education outreach combine to offer transformative experiences for audiences of all ages. I am excited and honored to offer my ideas and experience in the service of NJPAC's bright future."

Prior to joining Participant Media, Schreiber was President of George Wein's Festival Productions, Inc., the world's largest producer of music festivals, and The John Schreiber Group, an entertainment marketing firm he operated for ten years.  He was also President of Lafayette Productions LLC, a joint venture with the Margeotes Fertitta Powell advertising agency.

Schreiber's other credits include producing The President's Summit for America's Future, a multi-day event that inaugurated Colin Powell's America's Promise volunteer effort, plus the companion Fox network special Keeping America's Promise. For the Chinese government, he produced the New York cultural exhibition A Close Look at China .  He created, developed and was lead producer of the multi-media musical George C. Wolfe's Harlem Song, which ran for six months at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater and was lauded for the positive economic impact it delivered to Upper Manhattan.

"John Schreiber is the perfect choice to lead NJPAC," said Lawrence J. Wilker, former President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and President and CEO of TheatreDreams.  "He is a brilliant programmer, inspiring leader, and cares very much about community."

Schreiber curated and produced Carnegie Hall's American Popular Song celebration for seven years, as well as the Kennedy Center's Open House multi-cultural festival. He produced Santana: The Celebration for the Grammy Foundation at Universal Amphitheater and Carole King: Making Music with Friends at Madison Square Garden for People Magazine's 25th anniversary. He produced America's largest comedy celebration, the Toyota Comedy Festival in New York, for 10 years, and developed the Marshall's Women In Comedy Festivals. He has been a producer of gala events at the White House for five Presidents.

He has consulted, developed and produced cause-related entertainment marketing initiatives for the American Museum of Natural History, National Public Radio, Partnership for A Drug Free America, Children's Television Workshop, Comedy Central, Bravo, the Juilliard School, the New York Pops, the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, General Mills, Loew's Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, Altria, Pilot Pen, Mellon Bank, and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

Schreiber is on the national board of First Book, which provides hundreds of thousands of books to children in need across America each year. He is an honorary board member of the S.L.E. Foundation, which provides research and support for people with Lupus.

"Our search committee did a first-rate job in choosing John Schreiber to lead the Arts Center in its next chapter," said Lawrence P. Goldman, the Arts Center's founding President and CEO.  "He is a widely respected professional with a history of achievement and sensitivity to the values that NJPAC has tried to embody in its young life.  I can only wish John the same sense of joy and fulfillment that I have been privileged to experience these past twenty-two years."

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is the sixth largest performing arts center in the United States.  As New Jersey's Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State's and the world's best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over 6 million visitors (more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit for more information.
NJPAC is a wheelchair accessible facility and provides assistive services for patrons with disabilities.  For more information, call 888-GO-NJPAC.
SOURCE New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Auditions: Chester Theatre Group's 'Grey Gardens' Today and Monday

A Reminder: The Chester Theatre Group will hold open auditions for the musical, GREY GARDENS TODAY, Sunday, April 17th at 2.00pm and Monday, April 18th at 7.00pm at The Black River Playhouse (corner of Grove St & Maple Ave in Chester, NJ).
Performances are planned for weekends in July, 2011 (Friday & Saturday evenings and 2 Sunday matinees). Those interested in auditioning are asked to arrive in the first 30 minutes of the audition, and shoul...d bring music in an appropriate key (accompanist will be provided). Each Auditioner will sing first and may be asked to stay and read from the script. Call Backs (if needed) will be by appointment. This CTG production will be co-directed by Jeffrey Fiorello and Mark Happel, with musical direction by Clifford Parish and choreography by Billy Brisley.
Available Roles:

Edith Bouvier Beal (Act I) / ‘Little’ Edie Beal (Act II): (Female: plays mid 40's - mid 50's). Must be excellent actress and a singer with a large, flexible range (ability to sing both legit and belt).
Edith Bouvier Beal 1970's (Act II): (Female: plays 70's). Must be an excellent actress and a singer with a strong belt style voice (and an ability to sing legit).
‘Little’ Edie Beal (Act I) / Ensemble (Act II): (Female: plays mid 20's). Excellent singer, strong soprano mix.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (Act I) / Jerry (Act II): (Male: plays mid 20's). Strong singer; lyric baritone.
George Gould Strong (Act I) / Ensemble (Act II): (Male: plays mid 30's - 40's). Strong tenor voice; this character is accompanist of Edith Beal - piano skills are a plus, but NOT required.

J.V. ‘Major’ Bouvier (Act I) / Norman Vincent Peale (Act II): (Male: plays early - mid 70's). Character Actor; baritone.
Brooks Sr. (Act I) /Brooks Jr. (Act II): (Male - African American: plays 30's).
Jacqueline Bouvier: (Female, 12-16 yrs old: plays 12 years old) Edith’s niece; will become Jacqueline Kennedy.
Lee Bouvier: (Female, 10-14 yrs old: plays 9 years old) Edith’s niece, a bit of a tom-boy; will become Lee Radziwell.

GREY GARDENS is based (in part) on the Albert & David Maysels documentary concerning the relationship between Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric aunt and cousin. The touching and heart felt musical explores the unconventional mother-daughter relationship between former socialite Edith Bouvier Beal and her adult daughter Little Edie “body beautiful” Beal. GREY GARDENS tells an entertaining and poignant story of two unconquerable women, once known as two of the brightest stars in the social register, who later become East Hampton’s most infamous “reclusive inhabitants”, sharing a rundown 28 room mansion with 52 stray cats and rabid racoons. From the glittering high society of 1940's New York to the tabloid headlines that rocked the Kennedy clan in the 1970's, GREY GARDENS hurls you into American royalty and leaves you to ponder the questions: “when do private lives become public fascinations?; How much is too much?; and Where does it stop?”
Visit the CTG website.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Audition: Maurer Productions OnStage's Aida


Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida
Presented by Maurer Productions OnStage

Performed at The Kelsey Theatre
Mercer County Community College
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ

Producers: John Maurer, Diana Gilman Maurer, Dan Maurer
Director: Dan Maurer
Music Director: Tony DiDia
Choreographer: Jane Coult
Stage Manager: Jeff Cantor
Props/Set Dressing: Alycia Bauch-Cantor


Auditions will be on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College. Check the Kelsey Theatre for room location.  See address above.

Sat. July 16, 2011 (9AM-5PM)

Sun. July 17, 2011 (12PM-5PM)

Note: if you can't make these audition dates, contact Maurer Productions and we will work with you to schedule another day and time.

Auditions are open to all, but we ask that you make an appointment
online at

The show will run for 8 performances over 2 weekends at the Kelsey Theatre. The performance dates are as follows:

Friday, November 18 at 8PM
Saturday, November 19 at 2PM and 8PM
Sunday, November 20 at 2PM
Friday, November 25 at 8PM
Saturday, November 26 at 2PM and 8PM
Sunday, November 27 at 2PM


Part Broadway musical, part dance spectacular and part rock concert, AIDA is an epic tale about the power and timelessness of love. The show features over twenty roles for singers, dancers, and actors of various races and will be staged by the award winning production team that brought shows like Man of La Mancha and Singin’ in the Rain to Kelsey Theatre.

Winner of four Tony Awards when Disney’s Hyperion Theatrical Group first brought it to Broadway, AIDA features music by pop legend Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, who wrote the lyrics for hit shows like Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Set in ancient Egypt, the story focuses on the Nubian princess, Aida, who is captured by an Egyptian captain, Radames. He saves her from a life of hard labor by giving her as a handmaiden to the Egyptian princess Amneris, his future bride.  Amneris and Aida become close friends, even as Radames and Aida secretly fall in love. When this dangerous love triangle clashes with a plot to kill the Pharaoh, it shakes the ancient world to its core. A tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, Aida is ultimately the story of three people who are forced to make difficult choices for love, choices that will alter the course of history forever.


NOTE:  We need a large multi-racial cast – Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc. – everyone is encouraged to audition. Where roles require a specific ethnicity, they have been noted below. Otherwise, assume color-blind casting when choosing a role to audition for.  The ages for the characters listed below represent the general age of the actor can “play” on stage.  (For example, a man is 55, but can pass for 30.)

Radames (Male, 20s-30s)
(Tenor: A flat - B flat)
A handsome, Egyptian Captain, son of Zoser, who enjoys the adventures of war without realizing its devastation.

Zoser (Male, 40S-50S)
(Baritone: F – F)
A manipulative and evil Chief Minister of Egypt, father of Radames. He is power-hungry and lives without scruples.

Mereb (Male, 16-19)
(Tenor: G - B flat)
A young Nubian slave and servant to Radames, who is faithful to his Nubian heritage and dreams of a better life for his people. Black actor preferred, but will consider all ethnic performers.

AmonasrO (Male, 40s-50s)
King of Nubia and father of Aida. An honorable and peaceful man. Black actor preferred, but will consider all ethnic performers.

Pharaoh (Male, 40s-50s)
Leader of Egypt and father of Amneris.

Male Ensemble/Dancers (8-10 Males, 20s-30s)
(Low G – High A)
To double as both Egyptian military, and Nubian slaves.

Aida (Female, 20s-30s)
(Mezzo-Soprano: Low F - High F)
A beautiful Nubian Princess, daughter of King Amonasro, who truly loves her people and will sacrifice everything for their happiness. Black actor preferred, but will consider all ethnic performers.

Amneris (Female, 20s-30s)
(Mezzo-Soprano: Low E - High F)
A beautiful, if materialistic, Egyptian Princess, daughter of the Pharaoh.

Nehebka (Female, 20s-30s)
(Mezzo-Soprano: A – D)
A Nubian slave and friend of Aida’s. Black actor preferred, but will consider all ethnic performers.

Female Ensemble/Dancers (Female 20s-30s)
(Low B flat - High A flat)
To double as both Egyptian handmaidens and Nubian slaves


In order to book an audition appointment, you must register online with our CastMe system by visiting and following the instructions.  Once you have created an account on the CastMe system, you must upload your resume and headshot, as well as any additional information you feel would be appropriate and helpful in the casting process.  A series of online video tutorials are available to help you with the registration process.

Be sure to download the Audition Packet from our website and read it thoroughly.

Call Maurer Productions OnStage at 609-882-2292 or send email to

NJ Theatre Alliance current plays: Final weekend for 'How to Pray' and 'James and the Giant Peach'

Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown
Colin Ryan, Steven Patterson and Amanda Duarte in How to Pray.
Colin Ryan, Steven Patterson and Amanda Duarte in How to Pray.
How to Pray
By Michelle Carter
Now through April 17 (World Premiere)
Faith never wanted to have children, but agrees to be a surrogate for her brother and his wife. Soon she is facing complications she never bargained for, prompting her to turn to her lover, priest, cat, transgendered, Karaoke-singing best friend and her relentlessly optimistic dog for advice on how to live. Winner of the 2010 Susan Glaspell Contest for best new play.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (908) 979-0900
Visit the Centenary Stage Company website
Read our review
Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick
A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry
April 13 - 24

The award-winning classic comes to Crossroads for the first time. The compelling story of a family striving to achieve the American dream, but each member has a different version of the dream. The title comes from lines in a Langston Hughes' poem: What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

For more information, or to purchase tickets: (732) 454-8100
Visit the Crossroads Theatre Company website

George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick
Michael Mastro, Amy Hohn and Peter Scolari in Fox on the Fairway.
Michael Mastro, Amy Hohn and Peter Scolari in Fox on the Fairway.
The Fox on the Fairway
By Ken Ludwig
EXTENDED through April 23
A laugh-out-loud romp around the golf greens from the author of Lend me a Tenor.
Sex and water hazards collide in this madcap adventure about love and golf. With a ridiculous personal wager at stake, two arch-rival country club execs go head-to-head over their annual golf tournament. Hopes are dashed and domestic happiness threatened when the star player switches sides at the last minute - until a hilarious chain of events leads to missing valuables retrieved, secret liaisons revealed and an unlikely golfer recruited, who just might save the day.
Check out a preview video of the show here.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, call: (732) 246-7717
Visit the George Street Playhouse website
Read our review
The Growing Stage, Netcong
Robert Mintz, Jenna Morris, Trent Harden and Danny Campos in James and the Giant Peach. Photo by Steve Larsen, artwork by Perry Arthur Kroeger.
Robert Mintz, Jenna Morris, Trent Harden and Danny Campos in James and the Giant Peach. Photo by Steve Larsen, artwork by Perry Arthur Kroeger.
James and the Giant Peach
By Richard R. George; adapted from the book by Roald Dahl
Now through April 17
This amazing adventure of James Henry Trotter and a magical peach will fulfill the fantasy of anyone who ever dreamed of escape. Roald Dahl's story comes to life in this staged adaptation that reveals the wickedness of some, the goodness of other, and the indecision encounted by many when faced with crisis. You will see James (as he cleverly gets the peach out of danger), the wise Old-Green-Grasshopper and the pessimistic Earthworm. You will also see James’ mean Aunt Spiker and cruel Aunt Sponge come to a suitably sticky end.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, call: (973) 347-4946
Visit The Growing Stage website

Luna Stage Company, West Orange
The Tallest Building in the World
By Matt Schatz
April 14 - May 15 (World Premiere)
With equal measures of ego and genius, a young New York engineer sets out to build the world’s tallest building — an easy task, as long as he can get his architect, the owner of the Empire State Building, and the Laws of Physics to cooperate. Based on actual events, The Tallest Building in the World examines the 1960s birth of the World Trade Center towers and what is gained and what is lost when we try to reach to the sky.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (973) 395-5551
Visit Luna Stage Company's website

Associate Members
Alliance Repertory Theatre Company - performing in Edison
Reasons to be Pretty - By Neil LaBute. April 15 - 30

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Alliance Repertory Theatre Company's website or call (908) 755-4654

Women's Theater Company - Lake Hiawatha
Enchanted April - By Mathew Barber, from the novel by Elizabeth Von Amim - Now thorugh April 23
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the the Women's Theater Company website or call (973) 316-3033 ext 1.  Read our review

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