Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chester Theatre Group Specials in July

Black River Playhouse corner of Grove and Maple in Chester, New Jersey

Pushcart Players to present 'Red Riding Hood and other stories'

Premiere Stages will present the Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s renowned touring theatre for young audiences in “RED RIDING HOOD…and other stories” on Wednesday, July 25, at 11 a.m. in the Wilkins Theatre at Kean University. The Pushcart Players are celebrating its 38th year this season.
“In this fast paced, frenetic world, isn’t it comforting to know that some things never change?” posed Fost when asked about RED RIDING HOOD.... “One of them is the joy and enchantment of stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time.’ The timeless tales of ‘Princess and the Pea,’ ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ are dressed with a twinkle, a grin and a contemporary spin in this enchanting production.”
Pushcart Players is an award-winning professional theatre and arts-in-education company for young audiences. "Pushcart programs offer the finest artists and arts educators available in the field, bringing the best of theatre arts to young viewers in schools and local theatres with nearly four decades of excellence in theatre arts programming for young audiences."
Standard tickets are $15, with discounted rates available for groups of 20 or more. Wilkins Theatre is located on the Kean University campus at 1000 Morris Ave, Union. For further information, visit or call Kean Stage box office at 908-737-7469.
The performances are open to the public and school groups. Through sponsorships, blocks of free tickets and bus transportation are provided to groups demonstrating need. For group sales contact Paul Whelihan, audience services director at 908-737-4077 or

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Bill Corson (Hysterium) of Basking Ridge and David Rittenhouse (Pseudolus) of Stirling rehearse a scene from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." 

"A Funny Thing" will be produced by the Trilogy Repertory Company for Bernards Township's Plays in the Park.

Show goes up July 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 @ 8 pm at the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge.

Free admission.

NJ Theatre lecture

'The Comedy of Errors' outdoors at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ

(l to r)  Jay Leibowitz, Philip Mutz  and Phillip Christian*

Continuing the celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is currently presenting a hilarious slapstick comedy on its Outdoor Stage – the Theatre’s enormously popular annual summer venue for family theatre-going under-the-stars.
A family-friendly 95-minute version of the Bard’s hilarious comedy "The Comedy of Errors" began performances on June 20th and continues through July 29st. Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m. with additional twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road (off Madison Avenue/Rt. 124) in Morris Township.
The large lawn surrounding the Theatre is ideal for picnicking. Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase snacks and soft drinks on-site. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or low beach chairs into the amphitheatre. Stadium seats are available for rental for $3.00 while supplies last. Seating is general admission.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte said “What better way than to invite family audiences to the incredibly beautiful setting of our Outdoor Stage for a delightful evening of class comedy? We are so grateful to the College of St. Elizabeth, our gracious host, for making it possible for this wonderful, 6-week event to occur each year.”

* Photo by Jerry Goodstein

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Funny Things Happening at Plays in the Park, Basking Ridge

The Trilogy Repertory Company, the nice folks who bring you free  theatre in the park, opens another great summer season of Bernards Township’s “Plays in the Park” on July 12 at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge with Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”  The season will continue with the Lawrence and Lee drama, “Inherit the Wind,” which goes up on July 27.

“Forum,” directed by Jaye Barre of Basking Ridge, with musical direction by Marion Hagovsky Drew of Bernardsville, tells the story of the inhabitants of three houses in ancient Rome.  In the central house, we find Pseudolus (David Rittenhouse), a cunning Roman slave who tries anything and everything to win his freedom from his masters, including the philandering Senex (Mark Hewitt), his exacting wife Domina (Joanna Hoty Russell), their not-so-clever son Hero (Tyler Barnick), and head slave Hysterium (Bill Corson).  Complicating matters and adding to the fun are the residents of the brothel next door, run by Lycus (Michael Littman).

  A third house remains empty while its owner Erronius (Ed Shroeder)  searches for his long lost children, but the house is well-used in the slave’s plots.  Pseudolus’ schemes, which include magic potions, a soothsayer, disguises, escapes, and the classic chase, are devised to help Hero woo and win Philia (Lauren Doyle), the virgin who lives in the brothel and is promised to Miles Gloriosus (Brian Herrie), a famed Roman warrior. 

  Other citizens are played by Lizzy Buckley, Kailyn Cavaluzzo, Luke Chiafullo, Angie Cocuzza, Sophie Dewli, Rachel Estrada, Lauren Farnell, James Ford, Michael Giangreco, Mia Kissil Hewitt, Sophia Kinder, Lisa Littman, Max Littman, Molly Littman, Germaine McGrath, Catherin Pankow, Corey Pankow, Jillian Petersen, Kathie Schuster, and Emily Vaias.  This classic farce promises a night of great laughs, and theatergoers will enjoy themselves from the opening number, “Comedy Tonight,” through the “Finale.”

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, opened on Broadway on May 8, 1962, and ran for 964 performances.  The show won six Tony Awards, including the Best Actor Award for Zero Mostel  for his portrayal of Pseudolus.  It was revived in 1972 with Phil Silvers in the lead and won two Tony Awards, and once again in 1996 with Nathan Lane, who won the Tony for Best Actor.  The show has successfully played in London several times and appears regularly in regional and community theaters across the country.  The 1996 movie version starred Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, and Buster Keaton and won an Academy Award for Best Musical Score.

The partnership of Trilogy Repertory and Bernards Township has produced over twenty-five years of family entertainment and achieved several awards for both groups for excellence in theater programming.  Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programming.”  “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts,

             “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will be presented at the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park, Valley Road (next to the Veterans Hospital at Lyons), Basking Ridge, on July 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21, at 8:00 pm.  Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908-204-3003.  Website:

The Pennington Players reading of '8'

The Pennington Players, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, has announced a one-night-only reading of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film "Milk" and the film "J. Edgar," based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

The one-night only reading will be presented on July 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the Bart Luedeke Center Theatre on the campus of Rider University ( Information on the venue can be found at: Tickets can be purchased at: .

John Boccanfuso will be directing the production with several notable actors and actresses from the Greater Delaware Valley.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.

“8” had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The West Coast premiere reading of “8” featured an all-star cast led by Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker; and Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee George Clooney and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-

winner Martin Sheen as Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies and Theodore B. Olson. The benefit reading was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.

The Pennington Players have a long history of supporting and encouraging diversity and equality. They are also keenly aware of the large gay and lesbian community in the Great Delaware Valley area and felt this would be an excellent mechanism for showing their support for equality!

The story for “8” is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, and features the best arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 8 supporters’ star witness, David Blankenhorn, that “we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.”

On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark decision upholding the historic August 2010 ruling of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit concluded:

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”

For information on how your local theater can produce “8,” visit:


Jenn Gregg
Tia Brown
Gary Wellbrook
Tom Bessellieu
Jason Mangano
James Grausum
David Hamm
William Mercado
Faith Dowgin
Judi Parrish
Steven Blazejewski
Matthew Blazejewski
Jaimie McMillan
Sally Page
John Boccanfuso
Wesley Cappiello
Brian Bara
Alan Naidoff
Nick Pecht
Ethan Daniel Levy

July 28, 2012 7:30 PM

Bart Luedeke Center Theatre, Campus of Rider University
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Luna Stage’s 2012-2013 season to include 4 plays

  Luna Stage’s 2012-2013 Season will be the 20th Anniversary Season for the critically-acclaimed theatre. The season will feature the New Jersey Premiere of "Vita and Virginia," by Eileen Atkins, adapted from correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West; the world premiere of "Carnaval" by Obie Award-winning playwright Nikkole Salter; and a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s classic, "A Moon for the Misbegotten." The season will also see the return of "Mi Casa Tu Casa," the bilingual celebration of holiday tradition created by Michael Aquino, Deivis Garcia, Jane Mandel and Dania Ramos. The show premiered to great success last season and will be brought back for the 2012 holiday season.

Season Pass Packages and Single Ticket Orders are now on sale. Details and  information are available on the company’s website at, by calling 973-395-5551 or by visiting the theatre box office at 555 Valley Road, West Orange.

"Vita and Virginia" will open Luna’s 20th Anniversary Season, running from September 27th to October 28th.  The play, directed by Founder and Artistic Director Jane Mandel, tells of the long and complex relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, a wealthy socialite and aspiring poet. Told mostly through letters that sparkle with wit and insight, "Vita and Virginia" sheds an intimate and provocative light on these two visionaries as they negotiate what it means to be a sexual woman in their respective worlds.

"Mi Casa Tu Casa" is coming back by popular demand, running November 28th through December 16th. The original band and cast will all be returning with new songs and stories and a multi-cultural, bilingual bundle of holiday cheer!
The 2012-2013 season continues with the world premiere of "Carnaval" by Obie Award-winning playwright, Nikkole Salter, running January 31st through March 3rd. "Carnaval" follows three twenty-something young men as they travel Rio De Janeiro for a taste of the good life: sun, fun and, of course, women paid to serve. But what starts out as a joyride takes an unexpected turn and the three sex tourists find themselves in a situation that will change their friendships and their lives forever. "Carnaval" contains mature content and language.
The 20th anniversary season closes with a revival of O’Neill’s classic story of love, desire and betrayal, "A Moon for the Misbegotten," running April 4th through May 5th.
Luna Stage opened its doors in 1992 in a small space in Montclair, NJ. The theatre then spent seven years on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair before relocating to West Orange in 2009 to become a proud member of The Valley Arts District.

For information on Luna Stage’s 2012-2013 Season and all other events and programs at Luna Stage, visit the company 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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News from 'The Rising Stars'

We are pleased to run the following release, unedited, for Laura Rizzo, formerly of the Quest Theatre Company in New Jersey (Closed last Fall). Laura has relocated to Westchester as Artistic Director of "Rising Stars." Our best wishes Laura on your success with "Rising Stars."
Performing Arts Company:
Making Tomorrows Stars Today!
At the Greystone Jewish Center -600 North Broadway, Yonkers, New York 10701


"Do you have what it takes to be on the next, So you think you can dance? Or Dancing with the Stars?  Are you obsessed with American Idol, Americas Got talent, Glee and Smash? We have an amazing new performing arts company that’s looking for your talent. Come be a part of our four week workshops. All are filled with singing, dancing and acting for kids ages 8-18 who want to be the next Rising Stars.

Rising Stars PAC is an exciting, four-week musical theater adventure for youth of all skill levels! 

Space is limited. Each day is filled with a rehearsal process for our musical youth theater production of a Broadway Style Musical. This summer it will be "Seussical" and "Cabaret"!

The camp is divided into two sessions; for ages 6-18. Each day provides opportunities in a process-based and student-focused workshops followed by rehearsals for a condensed version of a musical theater production. The Rising Stars Performing Arts Company fosters creativity and self-confidence within each enrolled child participating in our performances. (The program for Session II will meet from 10am-1pm Mon-Thursday.) Extended Care is also available from 8:45am-3:00pm for an additional fee.

Each Workshop will include the following theatrical skills: Audition Techniques, Improvisation and Theatre Games, Dance, Singing, Intro to Stage Combat, Intro to Stage Make-up, Behind the Scenes exploration, including set, costume, stage crew, and/or Playbill graphic design.

The Final Showcase: When not in workshops, campers will perform their Final Showcase in which they will each make a mark on the Riverfront Library Auditorium Stage Live! Both sessions will have two public performances of their Final Showcase. In these performances, Session I will be  "Seussical" and Session II will be a condensed version of "Cabaret," the 40thAnniversary year of this legendary musical. 

For general questions or to enroll your child, email us, Hurry Limited enrollment! General registration:$25.00 Tuition is  $450 a session, or $850 for both sessions if paid in advance.

Tickets will be available the first day of each Session. Or call us at 914 613 7985 for group ticket sales inf

Monday, June 25, 2012

'Love Letters' in Cliffside Park June 29-30

The Italian American Repertory Company and Cliffside Park Arts Council are presenting the very charming  'Love Letters' by A. R. Gurney.

Starring are Robert Arcaro and Joanne Guarnaccia (photo above). Directing is John Fedele.

This special event will play two nights only - June 29th and 30th at 8 p.m. Tickets for live theatre are only $20!

The location is the Trinity Episcopal Church, 555 Palisade AveCliffside Park, New Jersey.  
Wine and cheese reception will follow each performance. For tickets call
- 201-708-6673.
The Italian-American Repertory Company mission is ''to give Italian-American writers, directors, actors and designers an opportunity to work on productions that explore their culture and heritage,'' 

'Nunsense' at the Bickford in July

The hit musical comedy,"Nunsense" , is coming to the Bickford Theatre’s stage this summer, starring Gwendolyn F. Jones as Reverend Mother, with performances Thursday, July 19 through Sunday, August 12, 2012.


Wednesday at 7:30 pm August 8
Thursdays at 2 pm August 2, 9                  
Thursdays at 7:30 pm July 19 [Preview], July 26
Fridays at 8 July 27, Aug. 3 & 10
Sat. at 2 pm July 28
Saturdays at 8 pm July 21 [Press opening], July 28, Aug. 4
Sundays at 2 pm July 22 & 29, Aug. 5 &12

Tickets:  Reserved seats are $45 for the General Public; $40 for Senior Citizens; $38 for Morris Museum and Bickford Theatre Guild Members; $20 for Students (18 or under or with valid college ID); and $30 Groups (10 or more)
For tickets or more information, please contact the Bickford Theatre Box Office at 973.971.3706 or visit

About Nunsense
The story begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show with music, dance, laughter and an audience quiz as they take over the Bickford Theatre this summer.

The Bickford Theatre’s Artistic Director, Eric Hafen, is directing this production. Commenting on the show, Hafen says, “I have produced Nunsensemany times. To me, it is the perfect summer entertainment for the entire family, full of laughs, great songs and the most unforgettable collection of nuns you will ever meet.”
Gwendolyn F. Jones as Reverend Mother

When it opened in New York, the show won four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical and Best Music. Nunsense’s book, music and lyrics are by Dan Goggin. The New York Times called Nunsense “A hail of fun and frolic!” and “A lively, ‘nun-stop’ musical.” Nunsense is recommended for audiences age 12 and over.

Gwendolyn F. Jones- (Reverend Mother Mary Regina) Broadway:  Radio City Christmas Spectacular; NYC:  Sophie Tucker (Sophie, Totie & Belle), Stella (Light Up the Sky); NJ Regional:  Paper Mill   Playhouse; Other Regional: Flat Rock Playhouse, Bristol Riverside Playhouse,  Beef & Boards DT, North Shore Music Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Candlewood Playhouse

Geraldine Leer- (Sister Hubert) Broadway: The Country Girl and Member of the Wedding (Roundabout Theatre); Regional: LaJolla Playhouse, Dallas Theatre Center, Westport Country Playhouse, Dallas Repertory Theatre; Film & TV:  Lorna (Mystic Pizza), Mary Pat (As the World Turns), guest star in Law & Order, Nash Bridges, Take Me Home Again (MOW)

Kristen Michelle- (Sister Mary Amnesia) National Tour: Theatreworks USA; NJ Regional:  Premiere Stages; Other Regional:  Waterfront Playhouse, Red Barn Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall

Amanda Yechechak- (Sr. Mary Leo) NYC:  Union Square Theatre, Vital Theatre, Theatre for a New City; NJ Regional: Garage Theatre, Yates Musical Theatre, Hackensack Theatre Company

Katie Mott
- (Sr. Robert Anne) NJ Regional Credits :  Gloria Thorpe (Damn Yankees), Jack’s Mother (Into the Woods), Nellie Forbush (South Pacific); graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory

Creative Team:
Director:  Eric Hafen, Artistic Director, Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
Music Director: Wayne Mallette of Plainfield, NJ
Choreographer:  Laurie Piro of Basking Ridge, NJ
Set and Lighting Designer:  Lewis Perlmutter of Madison, NJ
Costume Designer:  Andrea Dante of Ridgefield, NJ
Properties Designer:  Danielle Pietrowski of Long Valley, NJ
Production Stage Manager:  Yumi Matsuura of Madison, NJ

About The Bickford Theatre
The Bickford Theatre is a professional theater that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children’s Theatre series, a Jazz Showcase and Blues at the Bickford. Eric Hafen celebrated his 10th anniversary as the Bickford Theatre’s Artistic Director this season.

The theatre is a Senior Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theatres throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). From its beginnings in 1994 to the present, tens of thousands of theater-goers from across the tri-state area have enjoyed the Bickford Theatre’s many entertaining and diversified offerings in theatre, music and dance. 

The Bickford Theatre is conveniently located within the Morris Museum and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-up hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Auditions: Barn Theatre's 'Noises Off' July 15-16

"Noises Off" Auditions - July 15 & 16
“Noises Off”
A comedy by Michael Frayn
Directed by Tom Blewitt

Sunday, July 15, 7:30pm – 10pm
Monday, July 16, 7:30pm – 10pm.
Callbacks: TBD

Performance dates: September 7–29, 2012 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).

Show description: "Noises Off"  follows the on- and off-stage antics of a touring company stumbling through the final rehearsal of "Nothing On," a typical British farce, as it runs headlong into its disastrous opening night. But the real show is going on backstage, where every exit from the stage is an entrance into a comedy of errors, and every slamming door has everyone one step closer to becoming unhinged! Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Cast requirements: 5 Men and 4 Women. Seeking actors with great fast-paced comic timing, and strong physical comedy skills. Readings will be from the script. Actors should be prepared to demonstrate a British dialect.

DOTTY OTLEY Female, 50s. Established stage actress and a bit of a character. Plays Mrs. Clackett, the housekeeper in Nothing On, the play within the play. Cockney accent as Mrs. Clackett.

LLOYD DALLAS Male, 40s–50s. The director of Nothing On. Pretends to be upper class, but is not. Aging, but still tremendously appealing in a Sean Connery kind of way. Standard British accent.

GARY LEJEUNE Male, 30s. Pleasant looking but never able to complete a thought. Dotty’s love interest. Plays Roger, a high-powered real-estate agent in Nothing On. As Roger he is a bit of a pretender, confident about real estate, insecure and a bit awkward with women.

BROOKE ASHTON Female, 20s. Typical ingénue. Self-absorbed and not always sure what’s going on. Plays Vicki, Roger’s love interest in Nothing On. Pretty face - must be well put-together and comfortable wearing nothing but undergarments for much of the show. Great legs are an asset.

FREDERICK BELLOWES Male, late 30s–40s. Very handsome in a conventional and old-fashioned way. Plays Philip Brent in Nothing On. Upper class British Accent as Phillip. Good build. Should look like he was made to wear fine clothes.

BELINDA BLAIR Female, 30s. Leading Lady, handsome, rather than pretty. Tries to sort things out and help people understand each other. Plays Flavia, Philip’s wife, in Nothing On. Upper Class British Accent as Flavia. Should also wear fine clothes comfortably.

SELSDON MOWBRAY Male, 50s–70s. A reformed alcoholic (or is he?) who gives everyone a turn. Hard of hearing (or is he?) but always turns up in the nick of time. Plays the burglar in Nothing On. Middle class British accent as Selsdon, and a Cockney accent as the burglar.

POPPY NORTON-TAYLOR Female, 20s. Assistant Stage Manager of Nothing On. Pleasant looking, soft-spoken. a bit nervous and self-effacing, eager to please. Had an affair with Lloyd Dallas.

TIM ALLGOOD Male, 20s–30s. Stage Manager of Nothing On. Tireless good egg that keeps things running smoothly, understudies several roles. Character actor, medium build. Pleasant looking, but not handsome.

Please arrive within the first hour of the audition to register. Readings will be from the script, sides will be provided. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are welcome and encouraged. If you have any questions about the play or auditions, please contact Director Tom Blewitt at

The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47.
Click here for map/directions
(973) 334-9320P.O. Box 102
Montville, NJ 07045
For more information:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Auditions: Passion Players' 'Age 62 is Better'

Book by Michael Eli Schwartz

Directed by Dana Abatemarco 
Call  @ 732-276-6136

This run is at The Grange Playhouse, Howell

Produced by Passion Players 732-922-0483

Sept. 14 – 23 (6 Performances)

Characters: (Can be aged up or down to look the part)
HANK: (lead male) A newly retired grandfather; strikes me as the type of
guy who complains a lot but doesn't really mean any of it. Clearly loves
his family. Age 55 plus.

BEV: (lead female) Hank's wife; kinda gossipy, but mostly harmless. We
should roll our eyes at her, but secretly root for her, too. (Age 55 plus).

ANITA: Bev's sister. She's the type of woman who's hauled her sagging boobs
up to her chin so that young men will look at her. Again, harmless - but
she thinks she is the quintessential "cougar."  age 55 plus.

DIANNE: Hank and Bev's daughter (married to Alan). She's pretty
non-descript; a former lawyer, now a painter. (Age 42-50).

ALAN: Hank and Bev's son-in-law (married to Dianne). In my head he kow-tows
to whatever Dianne wants. (Age 42-50).

JEN: Hank and Bev's youngest granddaughter. She's always on the phone.
She's every 15 year old you've ever met. (Age 15).

SARA: Hank and Bev's eldest granddaughter. She's always on the phone. She's
every 18 year old you've ever met. (Age 18).

CECILE: A middle-aged waitress. I think she'd chew gum. Think Stephen

This audition is for Grange Production. 

Performances: Friday, September 14, 2012 through Sunday, September 23, 2012.
(They will also perform this show in October 2012 and Feb. 2013 in Tinton.)

The Grange Playhouse, Southard Grange Hall, 4860 Route 9 South, Howell, NJ 07731

The Plot Highlights: A family man Hank reaches his so-called retirement at Age 62. His clear funny bone sense of humor hits home for all men and women with his personal observations of life.

This Comedy has nine characters. It’s for all ages and social security in not required. Hank is married to Bev with one daughter (Dianne) and two grandchildren (Sara & Jen). His son in law (Alan) and sister in law (Anita) make up his immediate family. The play takes place during six months at two residences and a New Jersey Diner where we meet Cecile. Hanks determination to keep working introduces us to Ryan when he starts planning a new business. Bev and Anita find a new calling and the comedic dialogue between the two is delightful, insightful and just plain down to earth that all families can identify with. Sara and Jen, teenagers, add honest perspective about their whole family and take us back to the good old times.

Hank says, "This is my story and how I am coping. I should say, enjoying my official, new, early retirement at Age 62. Reflecting is what one does at all ages, but, I think you get better at it as you get older. You get a lot of practice, because, a lot of time you forget what you were reflecting about. There was a time when my short and long term memory as about the same.. Today, I have more time to think about it"      


What's playing this weekend?

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance's list of current professional plays;

East Lynne Theater Company, Cape May
Ruth Draper's Cast of Characters
By Ruth Draper
June 13 - July 21

Before Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg, Ruth Draper was the originator of the character monologue. For 40 years she performed humorous and touching scenes filled with characters from charwomen to divas. ELTC is the second production company — ever — to be allowed to produce this work since Draper herself.
For more information, or to purchase tickets: (609) 884-5898 
Visit East Lynne Theater Company's website
New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch
American Stare
By Tony Glazer
June 14 - July 22 (World Premiere)

Set in a trailer park in South Florida, this world premiere comic-drama, mines the visceral anger of the disenfranchised lower class. Following their spiraling lives, we are challenged to see the world through their eyes - a world led by a broken moral compass and tainted with the pervasiveness of special interests.
For more information or to purchase tickets: (732) 229-3166
Visit New Jersey Repertory Company's website
Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn
Syesha Mercado and cast in Once on this Island. Photo by Jerry Dalia.
Syesha Mercado and cast in Once on this Island. Photo by Jerry Dalia. 
Once on This IslandBook and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; music by Stephen Flaherty 
Now through June 24

Can a poor peasant girl find true love with the rich young man whose life she saves? This magical, musical love story is a tropical treat from the award-winning writer-composer team behind Ragtime that tells a tale of romance, tragedy, redemption and rebirth with sunny songs, captivating choreography and an irresistible Calypso beat.
For more information and to purchase tickets: (973) 376-4343
Visit the Paper Mill Playhouse website                               Read our review
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison
John Ahlin (center) as Falstaff in Henry IV. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.
John Ahlin (center) as Falstaff in Henry IV. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.
Henry IV, Part 1By William Shakespeare
Now through June 24

Falstaff, Prince Hal, Hotspur, Mistress Quickly, and a host of hot-blooded men make for a stirring and exuberant evening of theatre where fact and fiction blend seamlessly under Shakespeare’s sure hand as he paints the portrait of a young prince’s reformation and ascent to manhood.
For more information and to purchase tickets: (973) 408-3278
Visit The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's website      Read our review

Friday, June 22, 2012

Calling all Bergen County marching bands: perform in the BCP's 'Music Man'

Oradell’s Bergen County Players (BCP) will kick off its 80th season (2012-2013) with Meredith Willson’s classic musical, The Music Man. As part of BCP’s ongoing commitment to community engagement, the production will feature school and community music ensembles at performances between the dates of September 6th through October 6th, 2012. This exciting venture has been dubbed “The Music Man Band Project.”

One of the most beloved musicals of all time, The Music Man is described by the NY Times as “American as apple pie and a Fourth of July oration…a marvelous show, rooted in wholesome and comic tradition.” The Music Man revolves around Harold Hill, a traveling salesman and con man who stops in River City, Iowa and convinces the town that forming a boys’ brass band will solve all of their problems. 

Winner of six Tony Awards, this family favorite’s amazing score is worth the price of admission alone, including classics such as “76 Trombones,” “Trouble,” “Gary, Indiana,” “The Wells Fargo Wagon” and the romantic standard hit, “Till There Was You.”

At the climactic finish of the play, bands featured in “The Music Man Band Project” will make a grand entrance into the theater with a rousing rendition of “76 Trombones.”

In addition to the thrill of being a part of live theater in action, benefits of participating in “The Music Man Band Project” include the following:

Ensembles are invited to join the cast onstage for photos following the performance. (Groups will provide their own cameras; BCP will not supply a photographer.)
Groups are welcome to provide literature, display information or memorabilia to share at our Arts in Education table in the lounge on their performance date.

Groups are welcome to sell materials from their schools to help fundraise for their own projects.
The school or organization will receive 4 tickets to their musicians’ performance which can be used for a raffle/fundraiser.

BCP will provide a Group Code for each participating school or organization; every ticket purchased using that code will result in a $4 per ticket contribution from BCP back to the group.

BCP is still looking for bands to feature in “The Music Man Band Project”. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Joe Lanteri at 201-669-9388 /, Melissa Welz at 201-320-6089, or log onto

Shakespeare Theatre of NJ to present 'The Comedy of Errors' outdoors

Continuing the celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present a hilarious slapstick comedy on its Outdoor Stage – the Theatre’s enormously popular annual summer venue for family theatre-going under-the-stars.

Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors begins performances on June 20th and continues through July 29st. Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m. with additional twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road (off Madison Avenue/Rt. 124) in Morris Township.

For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit Groups of 10 or more are eligible for group discounts. The large lawn surrounding the Theatre is ideal for picnicking. Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase snacks and soft drinks on-site. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or low beach chairs into the amphitheatre.

 The Comedy of Errors, a family-friendly, 95-minute version of the Bard’s hilarious comedy is directed by Jason King Jones who also directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and The Servant of Two Masters on the Outdoor Stage. Two sets of identical twins, mistaken identities, outrageous characters and a madcap chase sequence (to rival all chase sequences!) conspire to make this caper a thrill for children and adults of all ages.

  Pictured: (l to r) Angelo the goldsmith played by Jay Leibowitz, Philip Mutz as Antipholus of Ephesus, and Phillip Christian as Balthazar the merchant. Photo: ©Gerry Goodstein

Next at Circle Players: 'The Adventures of Nate the Great' for children

The Circle Players (416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway) will present its summer children’s show, “The Adventures of Nate the Great” on July 14 and 21st. The play follows the plots and retains the style of Marjorie Weinman Sharmat’s beloved children’s books.

“Nate” is directed by Alicia Harabin of Somerville, and co-produced by Barbara Gianotto of East Brunswick and Bernice Woldman of Somerset.

Nate the Great is the sharpest kid detective ever to solve his neighborhood's mysteries. With his faithful dog Sludge and his friends, he solves important cases, always remembering to leave a note for his mother and wear his galoshes! It's a spoof of "B" movie mysteries and a perspective of a child's vision of life's everyday mysteries — when past, present and future all combine to create a wonderful now.

Cast members are: (from Piscataway) Alex Antonucci, Jay Hirsch, Dominic and Stephanie Scuccimarri, and Imanni Reeves; (from Green Brook) Adam, Jesse, Matthew, and Samantha Noble; (from Bridgewater) Patrick Blood, Abby Pollard, and Darcy and Shannon Schultz; Faith Bates of Howell; Daymiond Cuevas of Dunellen; Caden Dowgin of Spotswood; Victor Martinez of Rahway; and Adam Gill of Whitehouse Station.

Show dates are noon and 3 p.m., Saturdays, July 14 and 21. All tickets are $10.

For reservations, call 732-968-7555, or buy online at No credit cards can be accepted at the theater box office, but may be used online. The theater is located at 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway, New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

'Man of La Mancha' with John Davidson at the Ocean Theatre

The Ocean Professional Theatre Company premiered the " Man of La Mancha," starring the popular singer/actor of Broadway, movies and television  John Davidson (photo), last night (June 19, 2012) at the Bengal Theatre.

Directed by Andrew Glant Linden, the limited engagement continues through July 8 in Barnegat, NJ. "Man of La Mancha" features music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion with a book by Dale Wasserman.

Davidson, who was on Broadway in "State Fair" and "Foxy" and numerous network television appearances including as guest host of the "Tonight Show" and the Kraft Music Hall on NBC, plus Disney films, stars as Don Quixote. He is joined by Broadway producer and actress Heather Provost as Aldonza.

The cast also includes George Platis as the Barber, Barbi McGuire as Maria, Brittany Jeffery as Antonia, Dale Given as Captain of the Inquisition, Rick Grossman as Sancho, Steve Steiner as The Governor, Andrew Ryan as The Duke, Roy Richardson as RixPedro, Sam Sherwood as Jose, Keith Potts as Tenorio, Kenny Francoeur as Paco, John E. Elliott as Juan, Mark Alpert as Anselmo, Brittany Santos as Fermina, Christina Skleros as the Housekeeper, Chance Blakely as Padre and Sophia Swannell as the Moorish Girl. Rounding out the cast are Ashlie Roberson, Brandy Kostick, Andrew Troum, Catalina Gaglioti, Nathaniel Burich and Joe Connolly.

 Cervantes' seventeenth century masterpiece 'Don Quixote,' this play within a play performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners tells the passionate and poignant tale of a noble knight who lives in a world of madness and cannot see that chivalry has died. His holy quest is a mission of salvation to find compassion not for himself but for others. The score is a musical delight, and contains one of the most moving moments in musical theatre as Don Quixote relates his personal credo in 'The Impossible Dream.'"

Other members of the creative team include musical director Michael McAssey, set designer David Esler, lighting designer Jeff Greenberg, assistant director Beverly Brennan, sound designer Andrew Jacobson and properties desiger Gina Beswenger.

The Bengal Theatre is located at 180 Bengal Blvd in Barnegat, NJ. For more information and tickets, call (609) 312-8306 or visit

Monday, June 18, 2012

Barn Theatre hosting a Flea Market July 8

The Barn Theatre in Montville will be hosting a Flea Market on Sunday, July 8, 2012, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (rain date: Sunday, July 15).

Come shop from a variety of vendors, including local shops and crafts, all in one place, while supporting your local community theatre.

Spots for vendors are still available; contact Laura Kennedy at 201-513-0391 or for more information.

The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47.

For information or directions, call (973) 334-9320, or visit

Dreamcatcher Repertory schedule

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has announced its first season in its new home at The Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Entering its eighteenth year, this professional company will bring two world premieres and one New Jersey premiere to the stage in addition to improvisational comedy, new play readings, a holiday variety show and many programs for seniors and students. As always, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and their guests will tell stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor

Dreamcatcher’s fall mainstage production is the world premiere of THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a new musical with book and lyrics by Laura Ekstrand and music by Joe Zawila. This musical — written for and with Dreamcatcher’s Resident Acting Company — looks at how we deal with our daily proximity to people who are sometimes strangers, sometimes friends, and most often something in between. This frank and funny evening of vignettes, monologues and songs will strike a chord with everyone in the audience. THE NEIGHBORHOOD will open on September 29 and will play until October 14.

On Saturday, October 27, Dreamcatcher’s improv comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for the first of two evenings during the season. The second MPD show will be Saturday, May 4.

On December 7 and 8, Dreamcatcher will present A VERY SPECIAL (HOLIDAY) SPECIAL, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows. This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

Dreamcatcher will present its second mainstage production in January, the New Jersey premiere of Julia Cho’s hit THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE, which recently played at both the Roundabout in New York and South Coast Rep in California. This comedy of the heart explores the mysterious language of love, which often fails when it is needed most. This winner of the 2010 Blackburn Prize weaves together the stories of five people in the throes of love, from the durable to the disappointing to the unrequited. “A quirky but ravishingly well-written piece that is smart, funny, deep and tender,” wrote OC Weekly. THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE plays January 25 through February 10.

The third mainstage production of the season will be the World Premiere of Suzanne Bradbeer’s comedy SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS. A co-production with the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS tells the story of a disheartened actress from New York and a wise guy with a dream who go to Sin City to create a legit Shakespeare theatre. Will generations-old family secrets and a cast of I.Q.-challenged showgirls derail their plans? Bradbeer is an award-winning playwright whose plays FULL BLOOM and YOU MISS THEM WHEN THEY’RE NOT AROUND have appeared on the Dreamcatcher stage in past seasons. SHAKESPEARE IN VEGAS runs from April 5 through 21.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist” free new play readings will be held on May 15 and 22, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

After its month-long Summer Theatre Conservatory for students aged 10-17, Dreamcatcher will present its annual DREAMCATCHER JUNIOR production on Friday, August 2, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece. Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that ranges from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities. In addition, the theatre provides a menu of outreach programs for students and seniors that travel to other venues. All of Dreamcatcher’s activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together. The company’s work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available. The theatre at The Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, and audio description will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season. Performances will be held at the Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901. For more information and tickets for any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s programs, please call 973-378-7754, ext. 2228, and visit

New Jersey Youth Theatre to present 'Smokey Joe’s Café'

From “Jailhouse Rock” to “Stand By Me,” from “Spanish Harlem” to and “On Broadway,” Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote some of the most enduring rock-n-roll hits ever recorded. This summer, talented high school and college-age musical actors will bring the hits to life in "Smokey Joe’s Café," the annual collaboration between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Arts Education department and the New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT).

This year, the summer musical is going “on the road,” playing at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University on July 18th at 12:30 p.m.; July 19th at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m.; July 20th at 7:30 p.m.; July 21st at 7:30 p.m. and July 22nd at 2 p.m.

After closing at the Kasser, Smokey Joe’s Café will tour to the Sitnick Theatre in the Lackland Performing Arts Center, home to the Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown from July 26-29.

Tickets range in price from $30 to $35, $20 for students 18 and under, and are available by telephone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC, at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark, or at

Sets, props and wardrobe operations, onstage and backstage, will be in the hands of professional designers and technicians, assisted by interns in each area. This NJPAC/NJYT production features young actors from across the metro-area who go through a rigorous audition process and learn the demands of an Actors’ Equity-level rehearsal and performance. Stephen Mir, a lead in last year’s "Kiss Me, Kate," said, “After three years and taking part in four different shows with NJYT/NJPAC, I have a keen sense of what is professional. I’ve been made aware of respect and hard work.”

Smokey Joe’s cast members include: Chaance Barnes and Cindy Edwards of East Orange; Adam Biner of Fanwood; Erica Morreale, Maeve Lynskey and Matthew Stoke, all of Cranford; Benjamin Chavez of Rutherford; Carolyn Ferraro of Lebanon; Dion Grier of Roselle; Branden Mangan of West Orange; Kelly Plescia of Metuchen and Alex Thompson of Maplewood.

Smokey Joe’s Café is directed by Cynthia Meryl of Westfield, with musical direction by Ilene Greenbaum of Livingston and choreography by Assistant Director Sherry Alban of Edison.

New Jersey Youth Theatre is one of the most celebrated youth theater companies in New Jersey, enabling young artists to receive the highest caliber, professional level theatrical experience and education possible. Performers learn musical theater by participating in a full-scale, professional level production. In addition to the NJYT/NJPAC summer program, NJYT offers classes in drama, musical theater and dance in the NJYT studio in Roselle Park from October through May. For more information, see