Monday, October 31, 2011

New Jersey Ballet rescheduled at The Centenary Stage Company

Anyone who has spent time in the beautiful, hilly region of Northwest New Jersey knows there’s nothing like a slip n’ slide down Schooley’s Mountain to introduce adrenaline into one’s veins and give a person pause about traveling on a snowy night. 
            That vivid experience was in the minds of the performers and directors of the New Jersey Ballet and the Centenary Stage Company staff last Saturday evening, when the snow began to fall earnest in Warren and Morris County.   

What is now recognized as a storm of historic proportions was the cause of only the second cancelled performance in Centenary Stage Company’s 25 year history.   In a series of rapid phone calls and weather surveys, the performance of the NJ Ballet’s Latin Beat II evening was quickly rescheduled to the following weekend, and will now be performed on Saturday, Nov 5 at 2 PM, hopefully without further weather challenges. 

The Centenary Stage Company announced that patrons holding tickets for the Saturday Oct 29th performance will have their current tickets honored on Nov 6.    Additional tickets are also available for sale at the CSC Box office (908-979-0900) . 

The company will perform “Ballet with a Latin Beat II” on Nov 6, inspired by the golden age of Spanish Baroque, and celebrating the rhythms and cultures of Brazil, Cuba and Mexico.  Featured choreographers will include Pedro Ruiz (recently featured on the PBS Television  program “Coming Home”), Humberto Teixeira and Junio Teixeira. 

For further information about the reschedule performance, contact the CSC Box Office at 908-979-0900, or visit online at, where tickets may also be purchased. 

Lackland Center home of the CSC
The 2011-12 season of performing arts events at Centenary Stage Company is made possible (and affordable) through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ Council of the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and Centenary Stage Company members and sponsors, including Premiere Sponsors Skylands Community Bank and Health Village Retirement Community, as well as Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and Mama’s Café and Baci.

The Wedding Singer next at The Barn Theatre

The cast of the Wedding Singer
The Barn Theatre is to present ‘The Wedding Singer,’ book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Based on the New Line Cinema film written by Tim Herlihy. Directed by Erin Gilgur, with Musical Direction by Jack Bender, and Choreography by Desiree Caro, from November 11 to December 3, 2011.
Presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

It’s 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He’s the life of the party - until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. Only trouble is Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of the decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

‘The Wedding Singer’ features Allie Acquafredda (of Lodi), Victoria Barth (of Sayreville), Claudine Boucher (of Lincoln Park), Jill Cappuccino (of Morris Plains), Philip Casale (of Nutley), Lyle Dungee (of Plainfield), Michal Efron (of Summit), Laura Fraenkel (of Springfield), Joe Guadara (of Boonton), Fran Leonardis (of Ringwood), Shannon Ludlum, Daniel Mages (of South Amboy), Brian Merrill, Carrie Nagy (of Clifton), Shauna Schopper (of Andover), Alan Van Antwerp (of Little Falls), Esteban Vasquez (of Rockaway), and AJ Velez (of Matawan).

Performances run November 11, 19, 25, 26, and December 2 and 3 at 8 PM; November 12, 13, 20, and 27 at 2 PM. Tickets are $20 ($19 for seniors/students on matinees only). For tickets call (973) 334-9320 or visit our box office Saturdays, 4-7 PM, now thru December 3.

The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47. For more information, call (973) 334-9320, or visit

Esteban Vasquez (of Rockaway) as Robbie Hart, and Allie Acquafredda (of Lodi) as Julia

(Photos by Tom Schopper)

Jesus Christ Superstar Bursts Onto the Westminster Arts Center Stage

scene from Jesus Christ SuperStar

 The Montclair Operetta Club will present Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s Rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar on November 4, 5, 11, & 12 at 8pm, and November 6 & 13 at 2pm at the Bloomfield College Westminster Arts Center, 449 Franklin Street Bloomfield, NJ 07003. Under the Direction of Bob Cline, Musical Direction by Gonzalo Valencia and produced by Rosa Lantigua, the show features Bobby Wolfe Jr. of Bedminster as Jesus Christ, Uton E. Onyejekwe of Maplewood as Judas Iscariot, Nikki Ashe of Lake Hiawatha as Mary Magdalene, Richard Colonna of Garwood as Pontius Pilate, Danny Egan of Bloomfield as Caiaphas, Elizabeth Ann Flemming of New York City as Annas, Matt Shafer of Woodland Park as Peter, Chris Frazier of Whippany as Simon Zealotes, and  Lionel Ruland of Parsippany as King Herod.

Rounding out the ensemble are: Jared Cardenas of Bergenfield, Dana Daddio of Lyndhurst, James Houston of Bound Brook, Kelly Kline & Kristina Palazzo of South Plainfield, Nina Kompanek of New York City, Scott A. Manginelli-Elmwood Park, Mitchell Olson from Vermillion, South Dakota, Eric Parkin of Belleville, Danielle C. Pennisi of Cedar Grove, Adrienne Reuss of Morristown, Nicholas Riccardi of Woodland Park, Laura Marie Rondinella of West Orange, Diane Schwan of Bayonne, Knight Velour Wilson of Montclair, and John Villa of Franklin Lakes.

Based on a rock opera concept album project written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice before its first staging on Broadway in 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar chronicles the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. As seen through the eyes of his disciple, Judas Iscariot, who has become disillusioned with the movement, the musical is based loosely on the Gospels’ account of the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem, and ending with the crucifixion.

“If you were in NYC during 911, but had grown up Christian in the Midwest” says Director, Bob Cline, “you've already thought, ‘What if Jesus came again today, or what if Judgment Day is right now’. Well that is where my ideas for this show came from. How would Jesus be treated, if this man were walking on earth today." When asked about working with M.O.C. Cline continued, “I love working in New Jersey theatre because it feels like the audience is an audience of experience. They know theatre. This gives me the added challenge of trying to make sure my ideas are new and fresh, as much as my need to respect the work that they are coming to see.”

The Montclair Operetta Club has been producing high caliber musical theatre since 1925 with its first production of The Pirates of Penzance. Tickets are $25 for Adults, $22 for Senior Citizens, $15 for Students with a valid ID, and $4 for Bloomfield College Students with a valid ID and are available online at or by calling 973.744.3133. The box office at the theatre opens one hour before curtain.  The house opens for seating thirty minutes before curtain. All seating is general admission. Credit cards cannot be accepted at the theatre.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Support the South Street Players

NEXT FALL opens at the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

DREAMCATCHER REPERTORY THEATRE, professional Theatre in Residence at the Baird Center in South Orange, will present the New Jersey premiere of NEXT FALL by Geoffrey Nauffts from October 28 through November 13. The “funniest heartbreaker in town,” (NY Times), this Tony nominee for Best Play in 2010 explores the difficulties of reconciling faith with the realities of love and family. Witty and complex, the play manages to address serious topics in a surprisingly funny way.

When it played in New York, the Associated Press called NEXT FALL “compassionate, laugh-filled and enormously entertaining.” The play tells the story of Adam and Luke, who have a long-term relationship in spite of the fact that Luke is Christian and Adam is a non-believer. When Luke is involved in a serious car accident, his conservative parents arrive in New York and meet Adam for the first time. Through a series of flashbacks and scenes in the present day, we see the characters struggle with themselves and each other as their convictions and love for one another collide. Time Out New York wrote of the 2010 production, “The best new American play of the Broadway season, NEXT FALL leaves you thinking about rapture and rupture. If you go, which you should, be prepared to laugh some, perhaps to cry some, and then to rise in appreciation."

Kevin Sebastian and Harriett Trangucci
Dreamcatcher’s production of NEXT FALL features Resident Acting Company members Scott McGowan (Maplewood), Jessica O’Hara-Baker (New York), and Harriett Trangucci (Summit). Completing the cast are guests Rick Delaney (Maplewood), Kevin Sebastian (Jersey City) and Jason Szamreta (Rahway). The Stage Manager is Harry Patrick Christian (Montclair) and the Assistant Stage Manager is Taylor Hamilton (South Orange). The show is directed by Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), Dreamcatcher’s Artistic Director.

NEXT FALL will run at The Baird from Friday, October 28 through Sunday, November 13. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors and students, with special rates for subscribers and groups. Purchase tickets online at or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Students pay only $15 on Student Saturday, October 29, and seniors pay only $15 on Senior Sunday, the October 30 matinee.

Performances are at The Baird, located at 5 Mead Street in Meadowland Park, a few blocks from the center of downtown South Orange. The facility is wheelchair accessible. As always, Assistive Listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available by prior arrangement.

Scott McGowan and Jason Szamreta
To purchase tickets or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please visit or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at The Baird, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079, 973-378-7754, ext. 2228.

                Photos by Steve McIntyre

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Time Machine a RadioTheatre production at the Centenary Stage Company

2010 Drama Desk Nominee H.G. Wells The Time Machine, performed by RADIOTHEATRE, makes its way to the Centenary Stage Company for a limited engagement, November 3rd through November 6th, 2011, in the Edith Bolte Kutz Black Box Theater at the David and Carol Lackland Center. One of the greatest science fiction stories ever written, The Time Machine is told in a unique, creative, exciting and theatrical way in this production by RadioTheatre.  Variety Magazine hailed the production as “A sound extravaganza,” and Time Out NY Magazine called the piece, “spooky, shocking, horrific!”  By combining a unique presentation with unnerving sound effects, symphonic background music, lighting, and dramatic tension, RadioTheatre brings a modern innovative piece of work to contemporary audiences, while also celebrating the genre of audio drama which inspired the production. 

Frank Zilinyi
The RadioTheatre production of The Time Machine is directed, written, and sound-designed by Dan Bianchi, who has spent over 35 years in theater, film, and fine arts. Bianchi’s awards include being a 3-time Best Director in the Off-Broadway circuit, The Billy Rose Musical Theater Awards, ASCAP Musical Theater Award, National Endowment Grant, The MacDowell Fellowship, The Beckett Prize, and The National Writers Guild Screenwriting Award.  He has founded four international theater companies, written and directed over 60 plays and musicals, and directed 7 motion pictures with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Bianchi is a Visual Fine Artist as well,  who has exhibited his works at MOMA, NYC and MOMA Australia.

Bianchi founded RADIOTHEATRE in 2004 and has since produced over 40 live shows and 240 performances at New York City venues.   He has been nominated for a 2010 Drama Desk Award and has won 2 NY Innovative Theater awards for Best Sound and Best Music. 

The cast of The Time Machine features Frank Zilinyi and Kate Siepert.   Returning for his 35th show with Radiotheatre, sound engineer Wes Shippee is a Drama Desk-nominated sound designer, audio engineer, and musician.  His notable projects include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and multiple New York Innovative Theatre Awards during his four years  with RADIOTHEATRE.

Now in its 7th season, the RadioTheatre company combines the artistry created during the Golden years of Radio with Story Telling. Using great voices, music and sound effects, as well as the individual imaginations of its audiences, the company calls up the primary ingredients to provide a memorable, live, theatrical experience.   With 21st Century touches, such as cinematic scripts, fully scored orchestral sound tracks , a plethora of aural effects and, a few visuals effects as well, the company creates a unique production with a non-traditional, modern, innovative stage presentation.

The Time Machine will open Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 7:30pm at CSC, with performances on Friday, November 4th at 8pm, Saturday, November 5th at 8pm, and Sunday, November 6th at 2pm. Ticket prices range from $20-$25 with discounts for seniors and students.  Thursday evenings are “family night” at CSC, with a two-for-one “rush” ticket price, available at the door on the night of performance.    Tickets may be purchased  online at, by phone at 908-979-0900, or at the CSC Box Office at the David and Carol Lackland Center, located at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown. The box office is open 1-5 Monday through Friday, and two hours prior to each performance.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Arts Council of Morris Area and Mayo Center's 2nd Annual Pumpkin Illumination

Halloween Event and it is free; It is the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Illumination

Presented by the Arts Council of the Morris Area and the Mayo Performing Arts Center...Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 5 pm!
Get into the spirit of Halloween as we join with the Arts Council of the Morris Area for Pumpkin Illumination.

Enjoy free storytelling on our stage from 5 pm - 5:45 pm, followed by the illumination of over 100 pumpkins around the Vail Mansion reflecting pond.
Other scary treats await. It's great for families and adults. Carved pumpkins not required -- but welcomed!

• 4:45 PM to 6:00 PM - Bring your already- carved pumpkin to the reflecting pond in front of the Vail Mansion

• 5:00 PM to 5:45 PM - Scary Storytelling at the Mayo Performing Arts Center

• 6:00 PM - Return to the reflecting pond to light your Pumpkin and enjoy the Illumination of over 100 pumpkins!

• Special Guest - Grow it Green Morristown’s GIANT Pumpkin

• 5:00 to 6:00 Cemetery Tour, reservations for the tour through Morris County Tourism, tour ends at Vail Mansion

Review: The Dangers of Electricity at The Luna Stage

The Luna Stage premiered last week an engrossing new play, The Dangers of Electricity, by local playwright Ben Clawson.  Title a clue to the subject matter? It is if you know that this attractive, intimate and comfortable theater in the round is now located in West Orange, New Jersey. This city just happens to have been the longtime research center and home to the world's most famous inventor, Thomas Alva Edison. Edison's gifts to the world included; the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the incandescent light bulb. History has crowned Edison "more responsible than any one else for creating the modern world.  No one did more to shape the physical/cultural makeup of  present day civilization.... Accordingly, he was the most influential figure of the millennium...." per The Heroes Of The Age: Electricity And Man

Thus, with this mammoth historic presence in the new home of the Luna Stage (they moved from Montclair in 2009) Artistic Director Jane Mandel commissioned this fascinating play about Thomas Edison. “I didn’t want the piece to be dry and solely scientific.  I wanted to explore the humanity, the frailty of these geniuses, to make the men, their accomplishments and their failures, accessible and engaging.  I knew Ben (Clawson) was the writer to bring levity and resonance to this story.”

Ben Clawson
has delivered a very entertaining and, forgive the word, illuminating play. His script focuses (forgive again) on the battle between Edison and the brilliant Yugoslav immigrant Nikola Tesla who championed alternating current (AC), over Edison's direct current (DC). Tesla won the battle, with the aid of Edison's hated rival George Westinghouse, but, in the end, (reread the quote above from the The Heroes Of The Age: Electricity And Man), Edison won the world wide fame.

 What makes this play particularly engrossing are the flawless performances of the all male cast and the beautiful animated direction by John Henry Davis. Leading the group is the astonishing actor James Glossman as Edison. He could not be more perfect in this very demanding role. Glossman is almost never out of view. How does anyone memorize that much dialogue?
His adversary,Tesla, is played by the excellent actor, and veteran of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Jon Barker. Barker's Tesla could not be more different than Thomas Edison; Edison, largely home schooled, far from a scholar with no time for social niceties, would wear the same clothes for days. Whereas Tesla was a more sophisticated European gentleman, fluent in many languages, art and literature lover, a true scientist who's electrical skills exceeded those of Edison and his vast staff. Baker uses a fine easy to understand accent.
His introduction to Edison is in the form of a letter of recommendation from Edison's confidante, Batchelor (Joseph Langham). Batchelor tells Edison that "He is one of two great men, the other is Tesla." Edison's mammoth ego prevents him from accepting how valuable this young electrical genius would be to his team even after Tesla demonstrates his skills. Tesla, finds George Westinghouse (Frank Anderson, he doubles nicely as Ben Franklin) ready, willing and financially able to back his pursuit of perfecting alternating current. Edison considers AC to be too dangerous compared to direct current. In 1889, he writes a paper "The Dangers of Electric Lighting" (thus, the title of the play) stressing the dangers of AC.

Rounding out the perfect cast is B. Brian Argotsinger who plays Brown, a little man in every sense of the word, on a crusade against the adoption of alternating current.

Director Davis' production staff includes; Andreea Mincic set designer, Paul Hudson lighting designer, Deborah Caney  costume designer, Randall Eng original music, Damien Hennessy sound design and Danielle Constance stage manager.

Bottom line, this is an entertaining play that painlessly slips in some fascinating American (and local) history, blessed with a superior cast of five gentlemen, with James Glossman in a fine star turn. We give it four stars.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   October 22, 2011

This was our first visit to The Luna Stage. The facility is excellent. The theatre is intimate, (OK small), with about 80 seats, but comfortable with great sight lines. A variety of restaurants are nearby. Note below the package that includes dinner at the superior Manor Restaurant. Parking is free, with mostly street parking.
Luna Stages  world premiere of The Dangers of Electric Lighting, runs through November 13th.  Performance times are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.  Tickets are on sale now, $20-$30 per person, and can be purchased in person, on the phone at 973-395-5551, or on the Luna Stage website:

On Sunday, November 6th the 3pm performance will be accessible for people with hearing loss through the use of open-captioning.
On Thursday, October 27th  there is a talk-back session with Paul Israel, Managing Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University, will discuss the development of the documentary legacy of America’s most prolific inventor and innovator. 

Special Dinner Package; Luna Stage is proud to be a new force in West Orange culture.  Understanding the importance of collaboration and community partnership in highlighting some of the wonderful places in West Orange, Luna Stage, the ManorRestaurant and the Thomas Edison National Park Museum have teamed up to offer a special West Orange Package: two tickets to the Edison museum (can be used anytime), a prix fixe dinner for two at The Manor and two tickets to The Dangers of Electric Lighting for any Saturday evening or Sunday matinee performance after opening – all for only $150.00.
For information on this production, the open-captioned performance, the special West Orange package, and all other events and programs at Luna Stage, visit the company website:  Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. 973-395-5551. The theatre is handicapped accessible and assisted listening devices are available.

James Glossman as Edison and Jon Barker (Tesla)

 Photo:Luna Stage

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Phaedra Backwards at The McCarter Theatre

Three distinguished ladies of the theater have combined their considerable talents to present the world premiere of the remarkable, highly creative, modern adaptation of the Phaedra myth... Phaedra Backwards at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

First, the author, one of Ireland’s premiere contemporary playwrights is
Marina Carr. Ms. Carr, in an all too rare situation, was commissioned by the McCarter to adapt the Greek myth to the stage. The unique result is a fascinating non-linear telling of the tragic, yet funny story. It starts, not unlike the film noir detective movies of the 1940's, with the end first....then journeys to the beginning, (but with a sort of ending) all via a combination of dialogue and visual techniques (still and live action big screen projection)...thus the title Phaedra Backwards.

The second is the director....the multi-award winning Director and Playwright Emily Mann, who is in her 22nd season as Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre.  Director Emily Mann has stunningly staged the production, and, of course, had the vision to provide Marina Carr with the opportunity to experiment with form, both aural and visual that has produced this exhilarating tale of multi-generational lust.

The third, is the actress
Stephanie Roth Haberle who is brilliant as Phaedra. She projects a free-spirit of considerable beauty, yet wild, loving, and even funny...all with great sensuality and in the end... tragic

The plot ? When it comes to dysfunctional families this one certainly makes any one's top ten list.  But what do you expect when grandma, Pasiphae (
Angel Desai) has fallen in lust with a white bull and borne him a son, Phaedra's half-brother, the Minotaur (Julio Monge), who gets along beautifully with his two (normal) sisters, Phaedra and Ariadne (Mariann Mayberry). All is well until grandpa, Minos (Sean Haberle)  arrives home from years of travel. His reaction to his wife's infidelity with a bull is beyond dark and violent. He, with daughter Ariadne's help, kills the Minotaur. Skip forward to an adult Phaedra who has married her late sister's husband, Theseus (Randall Newsome) who lusts after a constant stream of women, in turn she lusts after her step-son (and nephew) Hippolytus (Jake Silbermann)..who lusts after her. Meantime, Hippolytus's girlfriend, Aricia (Julienne Hanzelka Kim) lusts after him, but can not compete, and will not compete with his stepmother Phaedra. Follow? 

One of the most remarkable and memorable scenes is when 
Christopher Coucill as the Inventor produces a full sized steel frame version of a cow for Phaedra's mother Pasiphae (Angel Desai) to enter in preparation for her white bull mating (you read it correctly). Ms. Desai, for the sake of art, bares her backside (you read that correctly too). Comic touches are provided nicely by Susan Blommaert as Nanny, the housekeeper. She was nanny to Phaedra and her siblings when they were children. and stays to be housekeeper providing care for Phaedra's daughter (Elsa Rodriguez).

In the scenes of Phaedra's childhood are
Hope Springer as Phaedra, Alexandra Erickson as Adriadne and Noah Hinsdale as the Minotaur.

The design team includes Rachel Hauck (set design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Mark Bennett (original music and sound design), Peter Nigrini (projection design), and Peter Pucci (movement director). The production stage manager is Cheryl Mintz. Stage manager is Alison Cote.

The play is 90 minutes long and is presented without an intermission and contains adult themes and language.

Phaedra Backwards is a very powerful, creative, imaginative modern retelling of the Greek myth delivered by an outstanding cast.  This is an important play, that if you appreciate serious drama, I urge you to see. It may be worth the price of admission just to see Stephanie Roth Haberle's  performance. I leave you with Emily Mann's comment: “As a director, I lie awake at night dreaming about this play and the visual world it evokes. I am thrilled by the immense power of the piece and excited to introduce our audiences to such innovative work.” 

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   October 21, 2011

Tickets for Phaedra Backwards start as low as $20 and can be purchased online at, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540. Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

McCarter is committed to making live theater available and affordable to all members of the community. Public Rush makes unsold tickets available for half-price on the day of selected performances, and is not available in all seating locations. 

McCarter Theatre will present Marina Carr’s Phaedra Backwards  through November 6, 2011. 

Strongly Recommended: A free 20 minute pre-show talk led by a member of McCarter’s artistic staff, will take place 45 minutes before each and every performance of Phaedra Backwards in the West Lobby of the Matthews Theatre. This is an excellent sneak peek of things to watch for as you experience the play, how the play was developed and intriguing tidbits about the production process....all designed to contribute to your enjoyment (and understanding) of Phaedra Backwards.

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 serves 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.

More about Marina Car
r: McCarter Theatre has been privileged to be the American artist home of Marina Carr, one of Ireland’s premiere contemporary playwrights.  Born in 1964, Marina was brought up in County Offaly and graduated from Dublin’s University College in 1987. Plays for the Abbey Theatre, Dublin include: 16 Possible Glimpses, Marble, Ullaloo, The Mai, Portia Coughlan, By the Bog of Cats, Ariel, andMeat and Salt. Other plays include On Raftery's Hill (Druid/Royal Court), Low in the Dark (Project Arts Centre), Woman and Scarecrow (Royal Court), The Cordelia Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company), and The Giant Blue Hand (The Ark). Awards: The Macaulay Fellowship and the E.M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was the 1932 fellow at Princeton for 2008. She currently teaches playwriting at Trinity College where she is an honorary professor and lives in Kerry with her husband and four children.

To learn more about this production, visit

Stephanie Roth Haberle and Julio Monge

Stephanie Roth Haberle, Angel Desai and Sean Haberle
Photos by  T. Charles Erickson

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance's 30th Anniversary Ovation Gala Auction closes for online bids tonight!

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance's on-line auction offers you an opportunity to support the work of this award-winning service organization, while giving you a chance to win some unique items and unrivaled experiences.

Though the online auction closes at 8:45 tonight, October 24th. you'll still be "in the game" at the live event - which contines at the Ovation Gala on October 27. Our Gala Auction Proxies - armed with your highest bid offer - will continue to do your bidding. Winners will be informed no later than Monday, October 31.
The New Jersey Theatre Alliance On-line Auction - with something for everyone!
Items range from dining certificates, personal electronics and home services to premier seating for theater and sporting events, rounds at exclusive golf clubs, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
There are items to fit every budget and every interest: opening bids range from $25 to $1,500; there's something for everyone ...

The funds will support ...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Proceeds from the auction will strengthen the Alliance's critical role as a resource for the state's theatre and arts community. Your support will directly impact the arts in New Jersey for everyone, advancing the Alliance's growing programs to benefit children, people with disabilities, and the theatre-going public.
Some of the Alliance's public programs include:
  • The annual Stages Festival;
  • The NJTA bi-annual calendar;
  • - an online ticketing website;
  • The Cultural Access Network Project - a program (including a website) that provides support and services state-wide for patrons with disabilities;
  • The Coming Up on New Jersey's Professional Stages e-newsletter that keeps you in the loop about all of NJ's wonderful professional theatres.
This auction is a win-win! Help the New Jersey Theatre Alliance raise funds that support our programs while having a chance to win some unique items and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Crimes of the Heart to Open at Women’s Theater Company

Beth Henley’s  comedy about three sisters from a dysfunctional Southern family, who reunite at Grandaddy’s home, opens on November 18 for a run through December 4,2011, playing Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 3 pm. 

Performances are at The Parsippany Arts Center, within the Parsippany Community Center, 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha.New Jersey.

The play features Jacqueline Holloway as Lenny Macgrath, Michele Danna as Meg Macgrath, Elizabeth Mackintosh as Babe, and Actors Equity Performers Billy Edwards as Doc and  Jason Szamreta as Barnette. Also featured, Carie Ivanovski as Chick.

Tickets for performances are $20.00 and discounted for Senior Citizens to $18.00.  Groups of 10 or more pay only $15.00 per person for any performance.

Please call 973 316-3033 to reserve seats for a performance.
Groups please call 908 306-0881 for reservations. 

Ample parking is available at The Parsippany Community Center.
Barbara Krajkowski
The Artistic Director and Co-Founder of The Women's Theater Company is  Barbara Krajkowski.

County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle at the RVCC Theatre

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg will present Lemon Andersen’s County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle, Tuesday, November 15, at noon and 7 p.m. The performance is part of the Theatre’s Tuesdays with Stories series.

Down These Mean Streets, originally planned for the same day, has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict.

County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle has been produced off-Broadway at the Public Theatre and performed around the world. In this poetic solo-play, hip-hop artist Andersen spins his version of the coming-of-age memoir with this jarring and poignant performance. Andersen’s unique voice seamlessly flows from hard-edged drama to urban poetry, creating a vivid portrait of his difficult yet at times humorous experiences growing up in New York City during the birth of hip-hop. The piece was developed and directed by Elise Thoron, The American Place Theatre’s associate artistic director.

A Drama Desk nominee, Andersen has been a regular on HBO’s Def Poetry and is an original cast member and writer of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Andersen has taught performance art workshops at colleges and institutions throughout the nation, including Harvard, Princeton, University of Massachusetts and Sing Sing prison. He studied acting with Wynn Handman at Carnegie Hall. 

The Tuesdays with Stories series is recommended for individuals age 14 and older. Tickets cost $10 for noon performances and $25 for 7 p.m. shows. Light refreshments are included.

For the eighth year in a row, Courier News readers voted The Theatre at RVCC as the “Best of the Best” in 2011 in the “Theater” category. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at A variety of subscribers’ packages are available for all Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for a variety of performances.

RVCC’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. 

Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 40 years, the College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. RVCC @ Bridgewater, located at 14 Vogt Drive, offers technical, trade, credit and non-credit courses. For further information, visit

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Charles Ross' Star Wars Trilogy at McCarter Theatre

Travel to a galaxy far, far away with this one-man comic voyage through Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi !

Make sure your light sabers are ready, because Charles Ross (Above) is bringing his wildly entertaining One-Man Star Wars Trilogy to McCarter Theatre on Tuesday, November 8 (2011) at 8 pm. The show has been performed all over the world since 2002, from London to Dubai to George Lucas-endorsed Star Wars conventions. When it appeared off-Broadway, Ross's success prompted a licensing agreement.

In his hilarious, kinetic solo piece, Canadian writer/performer Ross plays all the characters, recreates the effects, sings the music, flies the ships, and fights both sides of the battles from the original Star Wars trilogy, punctuating his virtuosic performance with captivating factoids and editorial asides. No costumes, no props, no sets just Ross using his yoga-limber body, remarkable knack for voices, subtle changes in facial expression, and manic levels of energy to put his own distinct stamp on the Star Wars universe.

Did he spend too much of his childhood in a galaxy far, far away? Well, let's just say that by age 10, he had seen the first Star Wars film more than 400 times and committed virtually every line to memory. Ross has since parlayed this childhood obsession into a one-of-kind theatrical piece, which he has performed in more than 180 cities around the globe. Where does he get his strength? It flows from the Force, of course.
Patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars character.

Tickets for One-Man Star Wars Trilogy start as low as $20 (student tickets $15 with proper ID) and can be purchased online at; by calling (609) 258-2787; or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office at 91 University Place in Princeton.

Performed with permission of Lucasfilms Ltd. All Star Wars' elements property of Lucasfilms Ltd. All rights reserved.

New Jersey Ballet and Gershwin Tribute at The Centenary Stage Company

Busy weekend coming up at the Centenary Stage Company's Sitnik theater in Hackettstown;

First: The state's premiere dance company, the New Jersey Ballet, makes their annual return to the Centenary Stage this weekend with a high-voltage performance celebrating the rhythms and cultures of Brazil, Cuba and Mexico.

The Performance  is on Saturday, Oct 29 at  8 PM  in the Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center on the campus of Centenary College.

Second: On Sunday, Oct 30 at 4 PM, pianist Hyperion Knight brings "A Tribute to George Gershwin" to the Sitnik Theater.
Hyperion Knight

The David and Carol Lackland Center is at 715 Grand Ave, Hackettstown, New Jersey. For Tickets and information, contact the box office at 908-979-0900 or

The Centenary Stage Company is a not-for profit professional performing arts series in residence at Centenary College.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre to present Next Fall

Next Fall at Dreamcatcher Rep  
Cast of Next Fall 
Dreamcatcher Rep is thrilled to bring you the New Jersey premiere of Next Fall, Geoffrey Nauffts' brilliant 2010 Tony-nominated show for Best Play.

Next Fall takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. Going beyond a typical gay love story it forces us to examine what it means to "believe" and what that belief, or the lack of it, might cost us.   

Don't miss the informative Q&A with director Laura Ekstrand on our Web site! Read Q+A 

Visit our Web site for cast, photos, tickets and more!

Event:       NEXT FALL   Info 

When:       October 28 to November 13
                 Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm 

Location:  The Baird
                5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ   Directions 

Price:       $30 adults, $25 seniors & students w/ ID 
                See discounts below!   Buy tickets now     no fees! 

Discounts:  Our e-mail friends SAVE 10% (advance only). Enter code NEXT10 at checkout.
                 Students pay just $15 on Saturday October 29 only
                 Seniors pay just $15 on Sunday October 30 only

SAVE EVEN MORE when you buy a season pass, including our new 3-play mainstage only pass!
See below for details. 
Season Tickets -- choose the full 6-show season or the new 3-play mainstage season 
Love our shows? Want to continue supporting quality, local and intimate professional theater? Why not buy season tickets to Dreamcatcher?!

Season tickets give you the biggest savings available--20% off all shows. And every season pass comes with a guest pass that allows you to bring a friend to any show for free; that's a $30 value!

New for 2011-2012   Check out our brand new 3-play mainstage only season pass. So now you have your choice of the full 6-show season, or the 3-play mainstage package. Also new: book all your shows online and manage your subscription throughout the year.

PRICES  (All passes save 20% off individual ticket prices)

Buy season tickets Mainstage 3-play season:
   $72  Adults              
   $60  Seniors 65+ & students 25-

Full 6-show season: (prices reduced... 5 shows left)
  $100  Adults
    $88  Seniors 65+ & students 25-

Buy your season passes now and lock in the savings for the whole season!
Looking for a fun show to see this weekend? Why not check out our friends at The Theater Project in West Orange?


FULLY COMMITTED at The Theater Project

For tickets and more info, visit The Theater Project's Web site. 

Auditions: Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor THIS WEEKEND

MPO is taking audition appointments for its production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor. All roles are open. All actors are welcome. Laughter will audition October 22 from 9am to 5pm and October 23 from 12pm to 5pm on the West Windsor, NJ campus of Mercer County Community College. Actors may click here to book audition appointments online.
Ahead of the auditions, the show’s director, John Maurer, sat down to talk about what MPO is looking for.

Q: What advice do you have for people who aren’t sure if they should audition for Laughter?
John: My motto is this: when in doubt, try out. Auditioning is difficult for actors because there is so much that is beyond their control. It’s not always just about having the best read, it’s more than that. It also has to do with how well you fit the role compared to the next actor, how you fit with the rest of the cast, etc. Things you just can’t control. With so many obstacles between you and a role, you don’t want your own self doubt, or false assumptions about what the director wants, to be the reason you weren’t considered. Like the Lotto guy says, you gotta be in it to win it.

LaughterQ: What are you looking for in the actors who audition?
John: Laughter features lots of rapid fire dialog within a group of comedy writers. We are looking to cast a group of actors that are able to riff with each other quickly and capture the energy of these critical scenes.

Q: The show contains a lot of adult dialogue, will you be softening any of that for this production?
John: No. Neil Simon is a wonderfully talented writer and has crafted this show to give you an inside look at the people and personalities of the period. These are men and women who struggled to pull together 90 minutes of comedy gold every week, It would be ridiculous to have them say "Gosh Darn" when things go wrong.

Q: Are any of the roles in your production of Aida pre-cast?
John: No, We don't believe in pre-casting. Having all the roles available means you get a wider talent pool trying out for the show. We are proud of the fact that we have helped to introduce some new talent to the Kelsey Theatre. It is a great feeling when you see someone new at auditions and they just blow you away. In our November production, Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, (click here to order tickets), roughly half the cast was madeup of people we’d never worked with before and some of those have never performed at the Kelsey before.

Cast set for Elton John & Tim Rice's AIDA

Maurer Productions OnStage is pleased to announce the cast for their production of Elton John & Tim Rice's AIDA, opening at Kelsey Theatre on November 18.

The production team, led by producer/director Dan Maurer, and producers John and Diana Maurer, is thrilled to see so many new faces.

"We're one of those companies that loves to find new talent and turn them into new friends," said the show's director, Dan Maurer. "So we couldn't be more thrilled with the cast of AIDA. Out of the 25 actors we are now working with, over twenty of them are working with Maurer Productions for the first time. And they bring with them just the kind of talent we need to pull off this amazing show."

This high energy, romantic, pop/rock epic won four Tony Awards when Walt Disney’s Hyperion Theatrical Group first brought it to Broadway in 2000. The show features music by pop legend Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, who penned the words to such Broadway blockbusters
A few cast members of AIDA at music rehearsal. Front row, from left to right, Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, Sheilla Teio, Yakenya Moise. Second row, left to right, Ben Menehem, De Haven Rogers. Back row, Thomas Coppolecchia

as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. After their successful partnership creating the music for Disney’s The Lion King, the mouse house tapped them to create a Broadway musical for grown-ups, and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida was born. Set in ancient Egypt, Aida is the story of an enslaved Nubian princess, her conflicted Egyptian captor, and a forbidden love that rocks the ancient world to its core.

Joining the cast is a tapestry of familiar faces and new friends. Rehearsals are underway and going very well. Performances are scheduled for November 18-27, 2011. Tickets are on sale now at the Kelsey Box Office. To order, call 609-570-3333, or order online.

We are pleased to introduce the cast and production team of AIDA.

Meera Mohan as Aida
Tom Coppolecchia as Radames
Kimberly Suskind as Amneris
Jahmir Scott as Mereb
Brian Meltzer* as Zoser
Scott Karlin as Pharaoh
Yakenya Moise as Nehebka
Alwynn Baskin* as Amonasro 

Jen Baranowski
William Burke
Steven Dunagan
Melissa Geerlof
John Glace
Cheryl King
Beverly Kuo-Hamilton*
Alexa Lupinacci
Brian Maguire
Ben Menahem
Abby Oliver
Julia Procaccino
Arielle Rabano
Leia Rochester
De Haven Rogers
Mollie Rubinstein
Sheilla Telo

Director -- Dan Maurer*
Producer -- John Maurer*
Producer -- Diana Maurer*
Producer -- Dan Maurer*
Music Director -- Tony Di Dia*
Choreographer -- Jane Coult*
Stage Manager -- Jeff Cantor*
Asst. Stage Manager -- Kelly Branin
Property Manager -- Alycia Bauch*
Costume Design -- John Maurer*, Diana Maurer*, Tina Heinze
(* NJACT Perry Award Nominee or Winner for past productions)