Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last chance to the Bergen County Players (BCP) presentation of Sordid Lives

This is the last weekend to see the Bergen County Players (BCP) presentation of Sordid Lives, a black comedy about white trash by playwright Del Shores.

Winner of 14 Drama Logue awards, including Best Production, Sordid Lives is a comedic twist on a story of unconditional love, acceptance and coming out in a Texas family as they all arrive for the matriarch?s funeral.

Under the direction of Carol Fisher-Gertner of Teaneck, Sordid Lives is performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell through June 5th, 2011 with shows at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays.  Tickets 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.

The play, which was also turned into a cult movie starring Delta Burke and Beau Bridges and eventually a TV series on the Logo Network, was Shores' own coming-out manifesto featuring outlandish Southern Fried comedy amidst true human tragedy.  His well meaning cast of characters, who in the end are simply looking for happiness, includes:  Ty, who is working with his 27th therapist in three years; Ty's mother, Latrelle, who is wound way too tight; her trash-talking sex-flaunting sister LaVonda; Bitsy Mae Harling, a singer at the local bar; Ty's uncle Brother Boy, a cross-dressing country western singing homosexual; G.W., a cheating heart whose wounded wife, Noleta, turns "Thelma & Louise" on him; G.W.'s friends (Wardell and Odell); Brother Boy's oversexed therapist Dr. Eve; and Ty's Great Aunt Sissy, who picked the wrong day to give up smoking. The play discusses all the unmentionables:  sex, infidelity, homosexuality, and of course, "what will the neighbors think."  But through it all, Sordid Lives provides a bellyful of laughs with broad, outrageous humor and a few tears backed by a strong message of hope and understanding.

Sordid Lives is directed by Carol Fisher-Gertner of Teaneck who states, "I am so excited to be working on this show.  The first time I read it I laughed the entire time. It is especially fun for me because I am from that part of the country.  These characters at times really hit home."

Fisher-Gertner is both a BCP performer and Director.  Her directing credits include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (at BCP); The Trip to Bountiful, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Working (Player's Guild of Leonia); and I Never Saw Another Butterfly (The Player's Theatre Company).  On stage at BCP, she was seen as Nurse Ratchet (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Sister Aloysius (Doubt), and Stella (Follies).

"I have been blessed with a wonderfully talented cast that I am sure will provide an evening of laughs for all," added Fisher-Gertner.

Keith Guthrie, who plays Ty, is from Norwood.  Sissy is played by Rachel Gordon of Paramus. Latrelle is played by Cheryl Woertz of Alpine, and LaVonda by Meg Renton of Ringwood.   Bitsy May is portrayed by Paula O?Brien of Park Ridge.  Joe Di Bartolo of Wanaque takes on the role of G.W. Nethercott, with Helen Boyadjian of Saddle River as his wife, Noleta.  Will Nolan of Bogota plays Brother Boy, alongside sex therapist Dr. Eve, played by Sharon Podsada of Emerson.  The cast is rounded out with Jonathan Deck of Norwood as Wardell, Chris Milone of Cliffside Park as Odell, and Janica Carpenter of Old Tappan as Juanita Bartlett .

The production team includes Kathie Robitz (Producer); Julia Heaney (Assistant to the Director); Marisa Dolkart (Stage Manager); Bill Cantor and Barbara Schwartz (Photography); Frank Avellino (Set Design); Joe Lanteri (Lighting Design); Michele Roth and Kathleen Ruland (Lighting Operators); Tim Meola (Lighting Assistant); Tim Larsen (Sound Design); Tom Lambrix and Josephine Peacock (Sound Operators); Bill Wetzel (Stage Décor); Anne Giesemann and Pat Bain (Props); Bunny Mateosian (Costumes); and Jennifer Cottone (Make-up).  The running crew includes Steve Mintz, Zach Tait, Dante Pasquale Cianni, Gloria Bumbaco, and Zachary Gertner.

This production contains adult situations and language.  Not appropriate for children.


All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949.  Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm (no performances Memorial Day weekend).

Tickets for Sordid Lives are $19 for Friday and Saturday performances and $16 for Sunday matinee performances, and can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.  Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.     Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can call (201) 262-0515.    Student Rush tickets are available for $5 for students age 25 and under with valid ID, 30 minutes prior to curtain. One ticket per ID. Cash only. Students can also guarantee their seats in advance either online or through the box office for the special student price of just $14.00.

Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.
Further information can be found at

The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters.

Auditions: The Summit Playhouse's Meet Me In St. Louis

A non-profit community theater
10 New England Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901

Audition Notice
  Meet Me In St. Louis (Regular season)
Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Playhouse? Want to work backstage? Help with costumes and make-up? We are always looking for assistance in our productions. Contact JoAnn Scanlon at 908-273-2192 or send mail to

Meet Me In St. Loius
Songs by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane Book by Hugh Wheeler Directed by Jay Mills Musical direction by Rich Lovallo Production dates: November 4 - 19. Rehearsals start early in September.
Audition Dates:
Tue, June 7 @ 7:00pm
Thu, June 9 @ 7:00pm
Callbacks on Sun, June 12 @ 7:00pm
Bring sheet music of your choice, sides will be provided.
All auditions are at The Playhouse, 10 New England Ave, Summit, NJ (directions).
Meet Me in St Louis is an adaptation of the movie musical which starred Judy Garland. Set in the early 1900's it is the story of the Smith family and their joys and tribulations in a time when things were simpler -- or were they? Humor, love and respect tells the family story enhanced by memorable musical numbers, The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, Whenever I'm With You and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, among others.
Mrs. Anna Smith Mother. 40's.
Rose Smith Beautiful, chic daughter. 18.
Esther Smith Lively, pretty, daughter. 17.
Agnes Smith 12 year old, tomboyish.
Tootie Smith Bright 6 year old girl.
Katie The family cook, Irish. 50's.
Lucille Ballard Charming young lady. Early 20's.
Mr. Alonso Smith Father, lawyer. 40's.
Lon Smith Princeton freshman. 19.
Grandpa A Civil War veteran. 60 plus.
John Truit Boy next door. 18.
Warren Sheffield Rose's suitor, from a wealthy family. Early 20's.
Postman Middle-aged Irishman.

LaBamba and the Hubcaps at special benefit for the Morris Museum and the Daytop School

Don't Miss this Chance to See
LaBamba & The Hubcaps with Quiet Storm
June 3 | 7:30 p.m.
LaBamba and the Hubcaps
LaBamba and the Hubcaps  
Come on out to the Morris Museum for a great night of music and entertainment.  Led by the dynamic vocalist and trombone player Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg -  who has toured with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, Diana Ross, and, for the last two decades has been a nightly fixture on television with Conan O'Brien - LaBamba and the Hubcaps will have you dancing the night away.

Light refreshments will be served.

This special evening benefits the Morris Museum and the Daytop School, a not-for-profit adolescent substance abuse treatment and education program.
Tickets: $45 | Box Office 973.971.3706
Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, New Jersey 07960
Friday, June 3 | 7:30PM
With Quiet Storm
Quiet Storm

"Quiet Storm is a Philadelphia acappella group that causes a sensation wherever they perform.  They've got marvelous voices and bountiful confidence."

Pamela Horner,

Your ticket to this performance includes admission to the critically acclaimed exhibition Jersey Rocks: A History of Rock & Roll in the Garden State. Arrive before the concert and tour Jersey Rocks. Read more
Jazzfest at College of St. Elizabeth Convent Station NJ
Save $10
Morris Museum Members receive a $10 discount on each Jazzfest ticket purchased. Mention your membership when you call the box office. This offer may not be combined with other discount offers.

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, New Jersey 07960

Comedy Night to benefit Chester Theatre Group

                           Corner of Maple and Grove in Chester, New Jersey

Auditions: Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for Tracy Letts' "Bug"

The Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for Tracy Letts’ BUG as their first main stage show of their 90th Season.  The production runs October 14 - 29, 2011 at the Chatham Playhouse. Bob Pridham directs.
Auditions will be held on Monday, June 20 at 7 PM and on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 PM at The Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham. Director Bob Pridham asks that actors be familiar with the script.  Sides will be provided at the audition.
The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Kristin Furlong at (732) 208-4184 or email her at For directions or additional information, please visit
From Tracy Letts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of August: Osage County, comes this mind-bending tale of love, paranoia and government conspiracy – a psycho-thriller that mixes terror and laughter at fever pitch…a high speed roller coaster ride into a crawling, buzzing, stinging nightmare.
Character Breakdown:(2 Women, 3 Men)
AGNES (mid-late thirties/early forties) Tough, frightened, weary, a victim, just this side of desperate.  Seen and been through a lot but doing her best to cope.  Still mourning the loss of her child, working things out on her own, for herself.  Edgy, skittish, nervous.  What’s next? 
R.C. (late twenties /late thirties) Pragmatic, down-to-earth.  Good time gal who calls it as she sees it.  Fiercely loyal.
PETER (mid to late 20s) Military vet.  High-tension focus, urgent, sharp.  Deceptively child-like, but all senses on alert, explosive physical potential, even when still.  Uncomfortable in his own skin, uncomfortable around other people.  Unpredictable: Diffident and distant one moment, then sudden and immediate.  The wheels are always turning. 
JERRY GOSS (late thirties/early forties) Ex-con, rough edges, laid-back demeanor but mean as a snake, and just as lethal. Country music, beer and a razor-sharp temper. Smiles before he strikes.
DR. SWEET (thirties to fifties) Government. Establishment. Practiced. Quick. And a liar.

Monday, May 30, 2011

SOPAC Spring gala to star the original cast of Jersey Boys


SOPAC 2011 Spring Gala featuring
THE MIDTOWN MENFour Stars from the Original Cast of Jersey Boys

WHEN: Saturday, June 4, 8 PM

WHERE: South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange
6:30 PM Pre-Performance Reception
8 PM Performance
10 PM Post-Performance Reception

TICKETS: $150 (concert w/ pre- & post-receptions); $100 (concert & post-reception); $75 (concert only)
$10 discount for all SOPAC Members + residents of South Orange/Maplewood.

A one-night only benefit performance featuring The Midtown Men, four stars from the Original Cast of Broadway’s mega-hit musical Jersey Boys. The Midtown Men are Tony Award Winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer.

The group’s jump-to-your-feet show features top hits from a who’s who of the ‘60s including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, and The Four Seasons, whose story they brought to life every night as stars in the original cast of Jersey Boys.

“The 60s produced some of the greatest songs ever written,” says The Midtown Men’s Christian Hoff, who won the Tony Award for his portrayal of Four Seasons bad boy Tommy DeVito, “so we’re having a ball adding our own style to those great songs everyone loves.” Their fans agree—in one week last summer, over 45,000 people of all ages came out to enjoy their incredible vocal style and legendary onstage chemistry.

Auditions: "Sweet Charity" June 1st

Auditions: Wednesday - June 1 at 6pm 9pm  (Fee required)

Quest Theater Company is holding final rounds of open call auditions for their 4th annual Summer Theater Workshop!

This years show is "Sweet Charity".

Audition Time: 6pm-9pm

Place: St Joseph Regional Medical Center
703 Main St
Seton Bldg
2nd Floor
Inside the Giggles Theater

Rehearses June 27-July 27 from 5-9pm

Performances are scheduled for July 28-30 @ WPU Shea Performing Arts Center!

Please bring 16 bars to sing and wear comfortable clothes to dance in. No experience necessary! Limited Enrollment. A nominal $250 fee is the cost of this 5 week workshop to help defray the cost of the production.

A portion of the proceeds will be going to the Giggles Theater and the MMC Childrens Hospital Fund. Together we can make a difference!
Previous shows include, All Shook Up, Godspell,13 The Musical,Guys and Dolls, Vanities,Rent,The Wizard of Oz,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paper Mill 2011-12 tickets on sale June 13th

Paper Mill Playhouse has announced that single tickets for all five mainstage productions go on-sale to the public on Monday, June 13th for 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). Investors Savings Bank is the proud sponsor of the 2011-2012 season.

Order tickets early to avoid shows selling out like Les Miserables. Paper Mill Playhouse will produce eight performances a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Single tickets range in price from $25-$92. Three, four and five show subscription packages are available starting at $82.50. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at The Box Office will be open from 10:00am till 6:00pm on Monday, June 13, 2011. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount on tickets and should call 973-379-3636, ext. 2438.

Paper Mill Playhouse season ticket holders can already purchase single tickets. Season subscriptions ensure that you get the best seats at the best price and a guarantee that you can get a ticket to see NEWSIES. Subscribers see unforgettable musical theater and receive exclusive perks and discounts all season long. Three, four and five show subscription packages are available now starting at just $82.50. Subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973-379-3717.

Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2011-2012 season with the premiere of a new Disney stage musical, Newsies (September 15, 2011 – October 16, 2011). Featuring music by eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid), lyrics by Jack Feldman and a new book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy), Newsies is adapted for the stage from the live-action Disney feature film musical. The production will be directed at Paper Mill by Tony® nominee Jeff Calhoun (The Will Rogers Follies, Grey Gardens).

“It’s been thrilling to return to my beloved Newsies and to revisit, revamp and expand upon the score Jack Feldman and I wrote; especially with the exciting addition of a new book by brilliant Harvey Fierstein,” says legendary composer Alan Menken. “This collaboration has been a total joy. And I can’t wait to see our new baby come to life.”

Newsies is inspired by the real life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ when newsboy Kid Blink led the ragged orphans and runaways known as “newsies” on a two-week-long action against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, the musical is the tale of newsie Jack Kelly, who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when Pulitzer and Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsies' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies his army of newsies to strike.

“We are thrilled that Disney Theatrical has chosen Paper Mill Playhouse to premiere this new musical,” says Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for the Millburn theater. “This is an important project for Paper Mill Playhouse as we help to bring this brand new Disney musical to our stage and beyond.”

May your ‘holi’days be merry and bright. Paper Mill Playhouse brings in the 2011 holiday season with the New Jersey premiere of White Christmas (November 16, 2011 – December 18, 2011). 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.

Brightening the winter season in January, Paper Mill Playhouse showcases the hit comedy Boeing-Boeing (January 18, 2012 – February 12, 2012). 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.

Just in time for spring training, Paper Mill Playhouse presents the legendary musical comedy Damn Yankees (March 7, 2012 – April 1, 2012). 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.

To close the 2011-2012 season comes a musical from the award-winning writer-composer team behind Ragtime, telling a tale of romance, tragedy, redemption and rebirth with sunny songs, captivating choreography and an irresistible Calypso beat in Once on This Island (May 30, 2012 – June 24, 2012).

“Paper Mill Playhouse is delighted to produce a season that appeals to a wide audience,” says Managing Director Todd Schmidt. “We could not produce such a season without the continued support of our partners at Investors Savings Bank.” Investors Savings Bank is the proud sponsor of Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2011-2012 season renewing its support for the fourth consecutive year.

“The Investors Savings Bank-Paper Mill Playhouse relationship continues, and Investors is pleased to be the proud season sponsor for its 2011-2012 shows,” said Kevin Cummings, President and CEO. “Paper Mill Playhouse is a performing arts treasure for the tri-state area, with productions that rival Broadway. Investors is glad to help keep live theater alive and well for our residents.”

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

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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Staged play reading at Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick

New Play Readings by the Dreamcatchers

Meet the Artist Series  --  new play readings

Don't miss the last of our new play readings for spring 2011! Two weeks ago our audience was treated to a very funny reading of five short plays by David Lee White.

Meet the playwrightsThis week we're presenting a single full-length new play by Suzanne Bradbeer that will have you laughing just as much as last time.

Wednesday, May 25
by Suzanne Bradbeer - A frustrated NYC actress seeks satisfaction by doing the classics in Sin City.

View photos of the arboretumWe're returning to the beautiful Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit. Come early to enjoy the gardens and stroll the paths of this bucolic location.

View photos of a readingWhat is a reading? Can I bring kids? Visit our Web site for answers to these and other frequently asked questions.

Event:      MEET THE ARTIST · New Play Readings   Info  
Date:        May 25
Times:      Wednesday at 7:30pm
Location:  Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit    Directions | Photos
Price:        free

Note: all readings are at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ.

Don't miss the informative Q&A with Dreamcatcher's artistic director Laura Ekstrand on our Web site!  Q&A 

Last chance to enroll... some weeks are nearly full! 

Kids enjoy the Summer Theatre ConservatoryDreamcatcher's THEATRE CAMP for KIDS!

Our Summer Theatre Conservatory is a four-week training camp for young performers. Each week of the program focuses on a different aspect of the actor's craft.
  • For kids age 10 to 17
  • No acting experience needed
  • Have fun while experiencing life in the performing arts
  • Professionals teach all classes
  • Students receive individual attention
  • Attend for one, two, three or all four weeks
At the Summer Theatre Conservatory, we believe in having fun while developing real skills.

Tuition ranges from $250 for 1 week to $800 for all 4 weeks.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
The Baird  -  5 Mead Street
South Orange, New Jersey 07079

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Ground Up's The Importance of Being Earnest

The Ground Up's production of Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest (A Trivial Comedy for Serious People) is.... Wilde-ly funny. The Ground UP's excellent production premiered this past weekend at the Summit Playhouse. The words wit and clever appear in most play reviews, but in this classic satire of Victorian ways they are truly required observations. Being Earnest may simply be the funniest play in the English language, and the greatest comedy in the language not written by William Shakespeare.

We should quickly note that The Ground UP is a a six year-old non-profit theater company, based in Manhattan. It has adopted as its second home that little jewel of a theater, the Summit Playhouse, in Summit New Jersey. The Importance of Being Earnest is their first full venture in New Jersey, and with The Ground UP's producing artistic director Kate Middleton now on the Playhouse Board we look forward to seeing more from this very impressive company.

Most of us are very familiar with Wilde's greatest comedy that so successfully spears the snobbery and hypocrisy of English aristocracy as it existed in 1895 when the play premiered in London. It is not only Wilde's most popular play, it is one of the most quoted plays in English theater and in constant production somewhere in the Western world... currently in New York by the Roundabout. Thus, the success of any production of such a familiar classic may depend almost entirely on the level of the performers.

Amelia White
Director Lon Bumgarner has not failed us. He has assembled a very talented cast of Equity and non-Equity performers with Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional theater experience. The marvelous cast includes, the aforementioned, Kate Middleton as Gwendolen, clearly princess material, Amelia White who excels as the formidable Lady Bracknell - this is the showpiece role of the play. All the costumes (by Amanda Jenks) are attractive and appropriate but, Lady Bracknell's gowns are outstanding, particularly her Second Act ensemble.

The male leads are Mark Thornton as the very wealthy young bachelor Algernon Moncrieff (Algy) and Josh Evans as Jack Worthing, his equally young and unmarried friend.  Their verbal sparring is pure fun, particularly in the First act, drawing laughs with fine comedy timing and excellent body language. They are nicely paired.

The other excellent members are Sarah Berk as Cecily, Jack's ward, Jerry Sipp as Rev. Chasuble the celibate 'man of the cloth' with eyes for Cecily's Governess, Miss Prism... played by (Tina Fey look-alike), Christine Mottram. Playing the two servants to perfection are Raymond James Hill as Algy's manservant Lane, and Phillip Ruvelas as Merriman, the butler. All the cast members handle the English accent exceptionally well.

Deserving of mention are director Lon Bumgarner's production crew; Travis McHale is the scenic and lighting designer, Ian Wehrle, sound designer, Amanda Jenks, costumes and Loretta Smith, dialect coach. The stage manager is Andrew Slater. Joshua B. Jenks is the production manager.

Performances of The Importance of Being Earnest produced by Ground UP Productions at The Summit Playhouse will run Thursday through Sunday at 8pm with Sunday matinee at 2pm until June 5, 2011. The Summit Playhouse is located at 10 New England Avenue in Summit, New Jersey. (

Note that tickets are only $20 for general admission, $12 for students. Plus, parking is free (on-the street). Excellent restaurants are nearby in the very fashionable Summit center. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling TicketLeap at 1-877-849-5327. Tickets can also be ordered at

For Group Sales or for more information about Ground UP Productions as well as information on the company’s education outreach program email: or call (212) 358-3921

More about the Ground Up and Summit Playhouse partnership:
Ground UP's Producing Artistic Director Kate Middleton explains the relationship, “In 2010, the two theater companies created a partnership that allowed both parties to expand in various ways. In addition to creating a "second stage" for Ground UP, we have also helped The Playhouse by expanding our educational outreach program, The UnderGround Project, joining the Playhouse Board, and producing and designing the set for their most recent musical production, Closer Than Ever ("A surprisingly rewarding night out," says The   Through this new-found relationship, we hope to help each other expand both our programs, our communities, our production possibilities, and our artistic passion.”

"Ground UP Productions produced the New York premiere of the smash hit musical The People vs. Mona by Jim Wann and Patricia Miller. The production was hailed as "Good natured, down home fun!" by The New York Times, "Consistently inventive!" by The New York Post, and “A hootin' good time!" by Variety. The company has also produced three other new works, including Jason Chimonides’ The Optimist (“Deliriously entertaining” raves The New Yorker), Hot Damn Holiday! by Ground UP and Guy Olivieri, and most recently, Letter from Algeria by Michael Walker. Ground UP prides itself on its acclaimed revivals of Barefoot in the Park, Proof, Burn This, Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Shape of Thing, as well as many, many others." 

"Ground UP Productions continues to break ground with “The New Classics”, reviving well-known theater in unique ways and producing new works destined for greatness."

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   May 21, 2011

Auditions: Circle Players “As You Like It”

One of the leading community theaters in Central New Jersey, the Circle Players will hold auditions for William Shakespeare's “As You Like It,” its first play of the 2011-12 season.

Auditions will held be at Circle Players, 416 Victoria Ave. in Piscataway, New Jersey, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15. Callbacks will be held June 21-22. 

Jessica Sherman of Summit will direct; Ed Faver of Roselle is the producer. Performance dates will be weekends, Sept. 15-Oct. 2.

This comedy of mistaken identities takes place in the present. Original music will be incorporated into the play, so musical abilities (composing, singing, instrument-playing, arranging) are welcomed. Most actors will be cast in double roles and some will play roles of both genders. 

Please prepare ONE of the following speeches for the auditions:
- The prologue from “Henry V,”
- The opening speech from “Romeo and Juliet,”
- The closing speech from “A Midsummer's Night Dream.”

All three speeches can be downloaded by visiting, and clicking on the download link on the audition page. 

Also, be ready to sing 16 bars of a favorite song, folk/pop/rock (a capella).

Roles include: 
Rosalind (25-35), Heroine of the play (also must play a boy, Ganymede, of same age); Celia, Rosalind's cousin; Phebe, a shepherdess (also must play a 60-70-year-old man); 

Audrey, a girl with loose morals (must be a singer; folk/rock sound preferred); Orlando, Rosalind's swain (could be a singer; could play the guitar); Oliver, Orlando's brother (falls for Celia); Touchstone, the duke's senior clown; Jacques, an attendant (also plays Silvius, a shepherd in love with Phebe); 

Charles, court wrestler (also plays Corin, a shepherd); Duke Senior, Rosalind's father (also plays Duke Frederick, Celia's father); LeBeau, a rude courtier (also plays William, a simple country boy, and Jacques de Boyse, Orlando's other brother); First Lord/Sir Oliver Martext, plays first lord to both Dukes, as well as Sir Oliver. Ideally a singer/guitar player.

A complete breakdown of ages and cast requirements can be found at the website under “auditions.”

Questions? Email the producer at

Circle Players will present And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little

Circle Players, 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway, will present “And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little” by Paul Zindel.  

The play made its Broadway debut in 1971 and has been produced across the country at least once a year since its Broadway debut.The three Reardon sisters have grown up in a house of women, dominated by their mother. Zindel's dark comedy explores the relationship the sisters after the death of their mother. Catherine is an alcoholic; Anna, a hypochondriac; and Ceil, an attention-starved socialite. When Ceil comes to dinner to press the need for committing Anna to an institution, the roiling resentments of many years burst forth and result in a shattering conclusion, with pathos, humor and searing honesty.
Fred Cuozzo of Green Brook directs; Faith Dowgin of Spotswood is the producer.

In the cast are Joyce Porter, Piscataway; Alison Byrne, Metuchen; Laurie Devino, Keyport; Elena Chalcraft, South River; Ed Faver, Roselle; Diane Bloise, Somerville; and Charlie Wright, Dunellen. 

Show dates are June 10-26; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday, June 26. A wine and cheese reception will follow the opening night performance.

For reservations, call 732-968-7555, or buy online at ($1 per ticket discount online.) Tickets are $17 for adults, and $16 for students and seniors. Sorry, no credit cards can be accepted at the theater box office, but may be used online.

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey receives a grant to support its Pay What You Can performance series

The Smart Family Foundation of Wilton, CT has awarded the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey a grant to support its Pay What You Can performance series, the Theatre announced today.  The Smart Family Foundation is an independent family foundation with a core mission to support primary and secondary school education.  In their most recent reporting year, the Foundation reported assets of more than $84 million.  
"The Smart Family Foundation is proud to support The Shakespeare Theatre in its efforts to make theatre accessible to people of all means," said David S. Stone, Managing Partner of the Short Hills commercial litigation firm Stone & Magnanini, and Trustee of The Smart Family Foundation.
Pay What You Can performances offer the opportunity for those who might not be able to attend the theatre to purchase a ticket at The Shakespeare Theatre for a price they are able to pay.  The first performance of each production is designated Pay What You Can.  Patrons can visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on the day of the first performance and purchase a ticket for what they are able to pay for that evening’s 7:30 p.m. performance. 
The Smart Foundation funds a variety of organizations, many of them arts and education related, including NJPAC, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Paper Mill Playhouse and Harvard Law School.  “We are very grateful to the Smart Foundation for their gift to support this very important program,” said Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie J. Monte. 
The Shakespeare Theatre’s  2011 Season – the 49th Anniversary Season of New Jersey’s only professional theatre dedicated to Shakespeare’s cannon and other classic masterworks – includes six Main Stage productions and one production on its Outdoor Stage. 

The 2011 Season begins with the 17th century comedy of manners The Misanthrope.  Moliere’s enduring masterpiece about the hypocrisy of polite society bites as sharply and as hilariously now as it did in Paris in 1666 where overzealous honesty proves as destructive as overwhelming sycophancy.  Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs The Misanthrope which runs June 1 through June 26. 

For its annual Outdoor Stage production at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, The Shakespeare Theatre will present the world’s most popular comedy, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  This newly conceived, exuberant, 90-minute production will be perfect for children and families of all ages.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream which will run from June 22 through July 31 and will include new 4:30 p.m. twilight performances on select Saturdays and Sundays in addition to 8:15 p.m. performances Tuesdays through Sundays.  

Back on the Main Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre will present Timon of Athens. This taut 90- minute version of Shakespeare’s rarely-produced play has been created by Brian B. Crowe and in his inventive hands will feature imaginative staging and a sublime blend of Grand Guignol, Vaudeville, and Brechtian theatricality.   Timon of Athens will run July 6 through July 24.  

Dario Fo’s brilliantly funny, irreverent political farce, The Accidental Death of An Anarchist, embodies the modern Fo-brand of commedia theatre that has helped define him as a playwright of the people. The Nobel Prize Committee called him a writer “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.” Inspired by a real-life event involving a man who “fell” from the window of a police station, Fo has invented an outrageously sly and caustic comedy filled with physical and linguistic acrobatics.   Accidental Death of An Anarchist begins performances on August 3 and continues through August 28. 

The Fall portion of the season will launch with Shakespeare’s great tragedy Othello.   This tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal remains as compelling today as when it first exploded onto the stage in 1604.  Othello will begin performances on September 7 and continue through October 2. 

Christopher Sergel’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved American classic To Kill A Mockingbird will begin performances on October 12 and continue through November 20.
Featuring the characters Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley who have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience, this Pulitzer-prize winning tale is considered to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century. 

The season will close with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett.  Neil Bartlett’s unique and inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale, and profoundly captures the true essence of the original novel.  With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production features a new visual landscape which conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale that, in the end is always beautifully touching.  A Christmas Carol will begin performances on December 1 and continue through January 1. 

Complete Works subscriptions, the best available seats to all six Main Stage productions, are now on sale.  Complete Works subscriptions range in price from $108 for Previews to $378 for Opening Nights.  Student subscriptions are available for $60.   Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600.   The Complete Works subscription features up to 43% percent savings off the cost of regular tickets, the best seats to all Main Stage productions; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance.  

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.  Contact the theatre for more information.   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.