Friday, June 28, 2013

Madison Recreation Department and Playwrights Theatre to present 'Side By Side By Sondheim'

The Madison Recreation Department and Playwrights Theatre will present "Side By Side By Sondheim" a musical entertainment, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and music by Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers, Jule Styne, continuity by Ned Sherrin, produced on Broadway by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell.

In a special arrangement with the Theatre Authority, the cast of the play will include professional Equity Actors who will be working alongside the student actors as mentors and fellow performers, all of whom will be familiar to New Jersey audiences.

The production (appropriate for teenagers and adults) will have three performances:July 25 and July 26 at 7:30 pm and July 27 at 2:30 pm. The production will be directed by Danielle Constance and musical direction by Karen Romero. The cast features student actors Rob Bazaral, Larry Bissett, Bernadette Bizer, Katharine Brundage, Kasey Colligan, Loren Donnelly, Mike Dreitlein, Brian Lang, Sharlys Leszczuk, and Chris Shoemaker.

Professional actors Clark Scott Carmichael, Najah A. Johnson, Sahirah Johnson, Jane Keitel, and Scott McGowan* will be donating their talents to the process. Local audiences will recognize all of these actors from shows at The Bickford Theatre, Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, The Growing Stage, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Single tickets are on sale now $10 for adults and $5 for students/child. For tickets, call the box office at 973-514-1787 X31. There will no charge for Senior Citizens who should call the Senior Center at 973-593-3095 to secure their tickets. Performances will take place at Madison High School, 170 Ridgedale Avenue in Madison, NJ 07940.

“This is our third year of working with the Borough of Madison on the summer recreation shows, and we are very excited that we can continue to expand the educational possibilities for the students working on the productions,” said John Pietrowski. “We are very grateful to the professional actors who are lending their extensive talents to the process. We anticipate a very exciting evening of high energy and good spirits.”

* Scott McGowan (photo) received our 2012 Footlights award for "I Do, I Do" at the Bickford and his work with Dreamcatcher.

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Senior Performing Ensemble's 'Legally Blonde' to play at Barn Theatre

 Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Senior Performing Ensemble is currently in rehearsals for its upcoming production of Legally Blonde, a  musical based on the hit movie of the same name! The production will feature local students ages 11-18 and will take place on Friday, July 19 at 8 pm and Saturday, July 20 at 3 pm and 8 pm at the historic Barn Theatre in Montville, NJ.

Harvard's beloved blonde takes the stage by pink storm in this fun, upbeat musical about self-discovery. Based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde stays true to form with a peppy score and playful book. This musical is ridiculously enjoyable from start to finish.

Legally Blonde is directed by Aspire PAC President and Artistic Director Lisa Beth Vettoso, with musical direction by Charles Linnell, Choral and Drama Director at Kinnelon High School. Tickets are $15 and available at the door. For more information or if you are planning to bring a large group, contact Aspire PAC at or at 201-220-4933.

You can also find Aspire PAC on the web at

Aspire Performing Arts was founded in January 2011 by Lisa Beth Vettoso. Ms. Vettoso has more than twenty years of experience in the performing arts and has been working with youth for more than a decade. Aspire Performing Arts Company’s mission is to provide educational workshops and full-length production opportunities for children and teens, offering them a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. Recent productions by Aspire PAC include Footloose, Annie Jr., Once on this Island Jr., G2K Cinderella, and 13.

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Production of Legally Blonde performances:
Friday, July 19 at 8 pm
Saturday, July 20 at 3 pm and 8 pm. 

Location: Performances take place at The Barn Theatre, located at 32 Skyline Dr. in Montville, NJ. (

The Barn Theatre

Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Fiddler on the Roof' selling out at Chester Theatre Group

By Popular Demand!


CTG's Fiddler On The Roof opens this weekend on Friday, June 28th, and it's already SOLD OUT for the entire opening weekend, as well as on July 7th and 13th!

Due to the unprecedented demand for this show, CTG is adding a special performance on Wednesday, July 10th at 8PM.

Make your ticket reservations by calling 908-879-7304 
or by visiting

Set in the Russian village of Anatevka in 1905, Fiddler follows the family of the poor Jewish milkman Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters. As this tightly-knit family struggles to survive and preserve their cherished traditions, the threat of ethnic persecution looms increasingly on their horizon. Many of its wonderful songs have become standards, such as “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were A Rich Man.”

Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Book by Joseph Stein
Directed by Clifford Parrish
June 28th – July 14th

Location: Black River Playhouse, Grove and Maple in Chester, New Jersey.

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Junior Performing Ensemble's Disney’s Aladdin Jr July 26-27

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Junior Performing Ensemble is working hard to prepare for its upcoming production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr., a children’s musical based on the Disney hit! The production will feature 29 talented local children ages 7-11 and will take place on Friday, July 26 at 8pm and Saturday, July 27 at 3pm at the Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park, NJ.

All of your favorite characters are here in Disney's Aladdin Jr., a stage adaptation of the Disney hit film. Filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides, audiences' spirits will soar with excitement. Most of all, the tuneful, Academy award-winning score with songs including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me" will certainly make this musical a favorite for many years to come!

Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is directed by C.J. Schwartz, with assistant direction by Christina Orazio.

Tickets are $10 and available at the door. For more information, contact Aspire PAC at or at 201-220-4933. You can also find Aspire PAC on the web at

Aspire Performing Arts was founded in January 2011 by Lisa Beth Vettoso. Ms. Vettoso
has more than twenty years of experience in the performing arts and has been working with youth for more than a decade. Aspire Performing Arts Company’s mission is to provide educational workshops and full-length production opportunities for children and teens, offering them a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. Recent productions by Aspire PAC include Footloose, Annie Jr., Once on this Island Jr., G2K Cinderella, and 13.

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr. Performances Friday, July 26 at 8pm, Saturday, July 27 at 3pm.

Performances take place at The Jacksonville Chapel located at 264 Jacksonville Road in
Lincoln Park, NJ. (

Tickets are $10 and available at the door. For more information, contact Aspire PAC at or at 201-220-4933, or visit us online at

News from the Crossroads Theatre Company

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poems, essays, short stories and plays by New Jersey residents wanted

The Unlimited Potential Theatre Co., a project of Very Special Arts (VSA) New Jersey, is seeking poems, essays, short stories and plays by New Jersey residents who are 18 years or older for its 20th annual Joyce Indik New Jersey Wordsmith Competition.

The contest is open to all writers, and submissions by writers with disabilities are especially encouraged.

All submitted works will be juried by a panel of judges, and winning works will be showcased at the New Jersey Readers’ Theatre in the spring of 2014.

The deadline for submissions is Sept. 30, 2013.

There is no entry fee. In lieu of a fee, a donation of any amount is welcomed and encouraged to cover the cost of the competition.

To request an application or to receive additional information, contact VSA New Jersey at 732-745-3885, or

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s 'As You Like It' outdoor production officially opens tonight

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s enormously popular annual summer venue for family theatre under-the-stars will transform into the Forest of Arden when the Theatre presents its Outdoor Stage production of William Shakespeare’s comedy "As You Like It" at the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township. This replica of an ancient Greek theatre nestled into the hillside of the bucolic campus offers a theatrical event unique on the East Coast. 

" As You Like It" began on June 19th, however the 'Opening Night' is Wednesday, June 26, and continues through July 28th. Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m. with additional twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. Tickets range from $28 to $33 for adults; tickets for ages 18 and under and students are $15. Children under age five go for free. For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for group discounts. The amphitheater is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township. (NJ Transit track repair will close the Madison Avenue/Rt. 124 entrance into the College of St. Elizabeth for several weeks in June. Patrons should check for updated information and directions to the Park Avenue entrance to the College.) 

The large lawn surrounding the amphitheater 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-lying beach chairs into the amphitheatre. Stadium seats are available for rental for $3.00 while supplies last. Seating is general admission. While supplies last, complimentary hand-held fans will be provided courtesy of Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus where the story of the dinosaurs is vividly presented on twenty acres of wild, unpredictable woods, mysterious pathways, and mountain trails. 


As You Like It is directed by Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie J. Monte. This splendid and pithy comedy is filled with some of Shakespeare’s most colorful and beloved characters and will delight all ages.

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

Outdoor Stage Inclement Weather Policy:

IF YOU HAVE TICKETS TO A CANCELLED PERFORMANCE, PLEASE CONTACT THE BOX OFFICE AT 973-408-5600 OR BOXOFFICE@SHAKESPEARENJ.ORG TO RESCHEDULE YOUR PERFORMANCE. It is our desire to complete every performance, and we will make every effort to "raise the curtain" and finish each show despite light rainfall.

In the event of heavy rains or winds, however, we may delay the start of the show, or the completion of the show, for up to two 15-minute intervals, in the hope that the weather will clear. Announcements will be made informing audience members of "holds." We may also pause to take precautions to ensure the safety and health of the performers and crew.

To find out if a show is cancelled prior to curtain time, please check “News and Events” on the homepage of our website or call the Box Office at 973-408-5600. A Box Office associate or a recorded message will advise you accordingly.If inclement weather necessitates canceling a show prior to curtain time, that decision will be made between one and two hours before curtain. The Box Office staff will contact all ticketholders by email and phone to announce a cancellation and reschedule tickets for another performance of the same production.  If you have tickets to a cancelled performance, please call the box office at 973-408-5600 to reschedule your performance.   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

' Love & Liquor' in Princeton in August-Three performances only

“Conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insulating and insidious something that elicits secrets from us just like love or liquor.”
— Roman Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Love and liquor generally don’t mix…unless, of course, you’re talking about the new theatrical showcase of short dramas called Love & Liquor. This intoxicating compilation of 6 emotionally-charged, character driven one-acts will feature 13 talented NJ actors and promises to explore everything from life & love… to family & fidelity… and sex & secrets. 

Written by NJ Playwright Robert Scott Sullivan (, Love & Liquor will be presented at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ for one week only from August 9-11, 2013.
For more information or tickets, call 609-945-1803 or visit

'Great Movie Musicals Tribute' at the Bickford Sunday at 2pm

Rick Busciglio

THIS FRIDAY -- Dreamcatcher performs at Discover Summit Arts Festival

ONE NIGHT ONLY... "An Evening of Summit Theatre"

Dreamcatcher Rep will perform a cabaret of selections from Broadway musicals such as "Spamalot," "City of Angels" and "Into the Woods." Performing are Dreamcatcher ensemble members Clark Carmichael, Laura Ekstrand, Dave Maulbeck and Scott McGowan, and special guest Vanessa Parvin, accompanied on the piano by the delightful Roberta Smith.

"An "An Evening of Summit Theatre" is a showcase of Summit's three resident theatres, all of whom will combine their talents for one night only at the Summit Playhouse on June 28. The evening will feature three acts, with each theatre taking a turn to showcase a variety of performances that represent the range of artistic experiences that audiences can enjoy throughout the year in Summit. 

Featured with Dreamcatcher:

Pebble Players Youth Theater will be performing a cabaret of new Broadway favorites including songs from "Newsies," "Bring It On" and Green Day's "American Idiot." Pebble Players is the youth division of Stony Hill Players in residence alongside Dreamcatcher at Oakes Center.
Summit Playhouse will showcase both youth and adult performers with an excerpt from Kaleidoscope Theatre's production of "Shrek: The Musical" and the Playhouse's recent production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

Discover Summit Arts is a week-long festival featuring art, music, theatre, film, live entertainment and other activities that celebrate the vibrant arts scene in the City of Summit.

Note: DSA events take place throughout the city of Summit. "An Evening of Summit Theatre" takes place at Summit Playhouse at 10 New England Avenue near downtown Summit.

What: AN EVENING OF SUMMIT THEATRE -- Discover Summit Arts Info

When: June 28 Friday at 8pm
Where: Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue, Summit Directions
Price: $16.52 Tickets

George Street Playhouse Announces Slate of Plays For Milestone 40th Season

George Street Playhouse and Artistic Director David Saint have announced four of the five plays comprising the New Brunswick theater’s 40th Season. The celebrations begin with the world premiere of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER - THE MUSICAL, with a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz and music and lyrics by Mark Allen and directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, GSP’s The Toxic Avenger); continues with the world premiere of Joe DiPietro’s CLEVER LITTLE LIES and Jacque Lamarre’s adaptation of Giulia Melucci’s memoir, I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI; and closes with the inaugural production of a landmark theatrical partnership between George Street Playhouse and Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts – Thornton Wilder’s OUR TOWN. One other selection for the theatre’s five play mainstage season will be announced at a later date.

“You only turn forty once,” said Mr. Saint, “so I thought we should celebrate this important milestone properly, with a season of theatrical events. Both Gettin’ The Band Back Together and Our Town have the largest casts seen on the George Street stage. Not only are we premiering a New Jersey-based rock musical, much in the same vein as The Toxic Avenger (also directed by John Rando and premiered at GSP), but we have forged a partnership between George Street Playhouse and the Mason Gross School of the Arts. It has been a long-held goal of mine, and I am thrilled that it has come to fruition. ”


As part of the season’s offerings, George Street Playhouse will continue their successful BOOK CLUB PROGRAM, now in its seventh year, with the choice of one of two productions -- I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti or Our Town. The book club package price includes a copy of Giulia Melucci’s memoir I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti or the published edition of Our Town, a study guide, a ticket for the production, and the opportunity to have a representative from the Playhouse visit their book club meeting to discuss themes of the play and share behind-the-scenes information about the creation of the production. For book club information, please contact the George Street Playhouse Group Sales Department by phone at 732-846-2895, ext. 134.

Five-play, three-play and flexible admission packages are currently on sale, as are tickets for groups of 10 or more. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick’s dining and entertainment district. For tickets and information, patrons may contact the Box Office directly at 732-246-7717 or may purchase online at Groups of ten or more should contact the Group Sales office at 732-846-2895, ext. 134 for group pricing and reservation information.

The Plays:

Gettin’ the Band Back Together - The Musical
(previously announced with the title Garage Band)
book by Ken Davenport and The Grudelshotz
music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson Award Winner Mark Allen
directed by Tony Award Winner John Rando

Move over Toxie…. Here’s MITCH!

In the same spirit as our 2008 hit The Toxic Avenger, we will open the season with the world premiere of another laugh-out-loud rockin’ musical comedy celebration of the great Garden State!

We’re gettin’ the band back together! Mitch Shapiro is 40. And he’s fired. When Wall Street cuts him loose, he moves back to Mom’s house (in Sayreville, NJ) and reconnects with the old gang for en epic high-stakes battle of the bands. Best buddies, old girlfriends, high school bullies that never grew up and one hot New Jersey momma make for fast times and a new start for this Jersey boy. Who says you can’t go home?

Gettin' The Band Back Together is performed by special arrangement with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Inc. and Roy Putrino.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together - The Musical will run September 24 – October 27. Opening night is set for Friday, October 4.

Clever Little Lies by Joe DiPietro and directed by David Saint
A mother always knows when something’s up. Bill Jr. is distracted, under pressure and off his game. Will a surprising evening with his parents send him further off-kilter? Secrets are exposed and clever little lies are crafted when a confidence shared between father and son escalates into an unexpected revelation that could change everything. A new comedy/drama from Tony Award winner JOE DiPIETRO, author of the Broadway hits Memphis and Nice Work if You Can Get It.

Clever Little Lies will run November 19 – December 22. Opening night is Friday, November 22.
I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
adapted by Jacques Lamarre from the memoir by Giulia Melucci
directed by Rob Ruggerio with Antoinette LaVecchia
“A Delightful Comic Evening... Charming, funny and warm, Ms. LaVecchia connects instantly with the audience, and she makes Giulia utterly irresistible.” The New York Times

Life is just a bowl of ... pasta! A mouth-watering comedy, this deliciously hilarious play celebrates Italian home cooking as both an expression of love and a source of comfort when the romance goes cold. Antoinette LaVecchia plays Giulia Melucci, conjuring up a culinary masterpiece before our eyes as she recounts stories about the men in her life and the meals that she made them. From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell-by date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all.

Special Bistro Table Seating: a limited number of on-stage bistro table seats will be available at each performance and will include a glass of wine and a serving of the antipasto, bread, salad and pasta prepared by Miss LaVecchia during the performance!

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti will run March 11 – April 6. Opening night is Friday, March 14.

Our Town by Thornton Wilder and directed by David Esbjornson
The inaugural production of a landmark theatrical partnership between Mason Gross School of the Arts and George Street Playhouse, in which a cast of twenty-four -- both professional actors and graduating superstars of one of the country’s most revered masters degree programs -- will bring to life Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play on the George Street Playhouse stage. Award-winning Broadway director (Broadway’s Driving Miss Daisy and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?) and Chair of the Mason Gross School of the Arts Department of Theatre, David Esbjornson will helm this history-making production of a true American classic. 

Our Town will run April 22- May 25. Opening night is set for Friday, April 25.
Plus one other selection to run January 28 – February 23. 

Prices and Information


There are several different Season Subscription Packages to choose from, designed to fit every budget, need, and schedule to assure audiences the most convenient theatergoing experience:

The Five-Play Subscription: Fantastic seats for all five plays, plus GSP’s full list of subscriber benefits. Choose from three seating areas. $125 - $280.

Choose Three Subscription: Perfect for the busy theatergoer! Choose any three plays in the season and the night of the week you wish to attend. $114 - $183

Student Subscription: Students with valid full-time ID see all five plays for $90. (Not valid Friday or Saturday nights or Sunday matinees. Recommended for high school students and older.)

Senior Citizen Discounts: (ages 65 and older) Seniors save when subscribing to the full five-play season. Please include proof of age with order. $115 - $270

Flex Passes: An extra flexible subscribing alternative! Patrons can purchase four, five or six admissions to GSP that can be redeemed for any performance (as long as there is availability) according to convenience. One couple can see 3 plays, one person can see all five, or in any other desired combination. $160 - $240

Sunday Symposiums: (3rd Sunday at 2 pm) This special series brings respected experts to the stage for a lively, in-depth post-performance discussion of the themes of the play. $153 - $245
Audio-Described Series: (3rd Thursday at 8 pm) Patrons who are blind or visually impaired will hear a live, unobtrusive and objective description of the stage action and other visual elements of the play over a headset. $90 for all 5 plays.

Open-Captioned Series: (4th Saturday at 2 pm) Patrons who are deaf or hearing-impaired can follow the dialogue of the play on a digital screen as the action occurs on stage. $115 for all 5 plays.

Monroe Township Bus Package (select Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 pm, and Thursday matinees) Tickets for all five plays at designated bus package performances plus round-trip bus transportation from centrally-located meeting places are provided for one nominal charge. For further information call (732) 846-2895, ext. 134.

Season Subscriptions for the mainstage can be ordered by calling the Box Office at 732-246-7717 or purchased online at

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For information call 732-846-2895, x. 134

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Paper Mill Playhouse Delivers Performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid for Children with AUTISM this Wednesday

This is the first ‘main stage’ production designed especially for children with autism from the theater that pioneered sensory-friendly performances!

When: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:00 pm

Where: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ 07041

This performance, designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, and planned in cooperation with Autism New Jersey and Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers, will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at 4:00 PM at Paper Mill Playhouse. This is the first time Paper Mill Playhouse has expanded its Autism-Friendly performances to a main stage production. The theater environment will be altered for this performance, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound.
Paper Mill Playhouse has long provided a Theater for Everyone model and in its 2010-2011 season the theater began offering a groundbreaking program, Sensory-Friendly, live-theater performances for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, which won the Cultural Access Network of New Jersey’s 2011 Innovator’s Award.

“I am thrilled that we are expanding our Sensory-Friendly performances to include a main stage production,” remarked Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Director of Education. “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience world-class, live theater, and Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID is the perfect show for all families to experience together.”

Additionally, Paper Mill Playhouse will host a free Open House titled Meet Your Seat on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. This is an opportunity for children who are new to the theatrical experience to visit the theater space before the show. Often children with autism or other developmental disabilities become anxious in new surroundings, new experiences, and they need time to transition. The Meet Your Seat open house provides an opportunity for children to come to the theater in advance of the performance and take time to feel comfortable in this new space. Autism-Friendly performances are supported, in part, by grants from The Merck Company Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Auditions: 'Marcus is Walking' at the Strollers

The Strollers will hold auditions for "Marcus is Walking," by Joan Ackerman on Wednesday 6/26 at 7:30 PM at the Burgdorf Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, New Jersey.

Populated by over 20 characters, men and women are sought for roles from all ethnic background and ages. Scenes include small children, teenage schoolgirls, 20 and 30 year-old couples, middle aged spouses, and even grandparents. In addition, there are two scenes devoid of dialogue, set entirely to music. Therefore, they are seeking dancers or actors who are comfortable with movement.

"The play consists of 11 scenes which examine the emotional landscape we roam as we travel in our cars. Control, navigation, love and escape, are some of the themes explored.

Scenes include a protective father shepherding his son through the neighborhood on Halloween; an actor on his way to perform Hamlet provokes a rear-end collision and confrontation with a Czech émigré cab driver; a devastated businessman who strikes up an unlikely alliance with a homeless woman who sleeps in his car. A whole family in a sedan, two separate couples, and a pair of guys just trying to escape all find themselves woven throughout the fabric of the play."

No appointment is necessary. Sides will be provided at the audition.

Performance dates are September 6th, & 7th at 8PM and September 8th at 2 PM. For further information please contact Jim Coe at or after 5pm at (201) 725-5802.

'Fiddler' opens at Chester Theatre Group this Friday

The milkman cometh! Tevye, the woeful milkman of the classic musical "Fiddler on the Roof," will take center stage at the Chester Theatre Group on Friday, June 28 for eleven performances that conclude on Sunday, July 14th. 
For nearly half-a-century, Fiddler has touched, tickled, and thrilled audiences from both the stage and the silver screen. It has earned its rightful place among our most beloved musicals with its timeless themes of family, community, heritage and love.

Set in the Russian village of Anatevka in 1905, Fiddler follows the family of the poor Jewish milkman Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters. As this tightly-knit family struggles to survive and preserve their cherished traditions, the threat of ethnic persecution looms increasingly on their horizon. Many of its wonderful songs have become standards, such as “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were A Rich Man.”

Fiddler will feature one of the largest casts to ever grace CTG’s intimate, in-the-round stage. The troupe of 35 will be led by Scott Jacoby of West Orange as Tevye. Ruth Fouda of Hopatcong will portray his wife Golde, and their daughters will be played by Bridget Hoke of Flanders, Stephanie Turci of Long Valley, Meghan Gehan of Bernardsville, Tessa Ferentinos of Cranford, and Melora LaVigne of Hackettstown. Also featured are Roseann Ruggiero of Ledgewood as the matchmaker Yente; Alan VanAntwerp (Little Falls), Peter Ogrodnik (Spotswood) and Zachary Halko (Long Valley) as the girls’ love interests; and Zachary Catron of Brookside as the Fiddler.

The show’s performance schedule is an unusual one for CTG: In addition to their typical Fridays 
and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., there will be two special performances on Wednesday July 3rd at 8 p.m. and Thursday July 11th at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25 with a $2 discount available for seniors aged 65 and over and students under 18. Tickets can be reserved by calling the theater box office at 908-879-7304 or by visiting

CTG anticipates that this will be one of its most popular shows in years, and encourages would-be ticket purchasers to make their reservations early!

The home of the Chester Theatre Group is the Black River Playhouse (photo) located at 54 Grove Street in downtown Chester, NJ at the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Last chance tonight to see 4th Wall's comedy 'Lucky Stiff''

4TH WALL THEATRE closes its 16th season tonight with the comedy "Lucky Stiff," the first musical by one of Broadway’s hottest writing teams, Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music). This musical farce is based on the book "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo" by Michael Butterworth. First produced at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway (Richard Rodgers Award) the show later went on to win Washington's Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical.

The show features Robert Rice and Chelsea Stavis of New York, Maggie Letsche of Clifton, Tom Schopper of Bloomingdale, Jason Tamashausky of Metuchen, Jordan Gulick of Astoria, Brian James Grace of Nutley, Julie Galorenzo of West Orange and Nelson Valentin and Kate Hoover of Bloomfield.

Josh Penzell returns to 4th Wall, having last directed "Funny Girl" in Concert two seasons ago. He is joined by Markus Hauck, of Montclair, who serves as the Music Director. Kathi Iannacone, formerly of West Orange, and Gwen Ricks-Spencer, formerly of Montclair, are the Production Managers, and Martha Thalheimer of Glen Ridge serves as the Stage Manager.

Described as “a zany, offbeat, and very funny murder mystery farce complete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds, and a corpse in a wheelchair,” Lucky Stiff has something to offer everyone who wants to have a good time at the theatre.

The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently-murdered Atlantic City uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing Uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn, and Harry really hates dogs.

Of "Lucky Stiff," director Josh Penzell says, “So often we spend our lives waiting for something special or magical or different or inspirational to happen to us. We work day in and day out, knowing that someday it will all be worth it; and all the while, our lives are passing us by. In Lucky Stiff, we meet this motley group of characters and fortunately for all of them, the outlandish dying wish of a casino manager to enjoy a vacation in Monte Carlo, even posthumously, is about to change all their luck.”

"Lucky Stiff" is playing at the Westminster Center for the Arts on the campus of Bloomfield College in Bloomfield with final performance tonight (6/22) at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are only $25, and discount tickets available for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-748-9000 ext. 1279. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted. Tickets may also be purchased online and additional information is available at

Picture: (right to left: Nelson Valentin, Robert Rice, Maggie Letsche, Chelsea Stavis and Tom Schopper) source-4th Wall

News from Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Company

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

NEXT FRIDAY -- Dreamcatcher performs at Discover Summit Arts Festival

Discover Summit Arts

ONE NIGHT ONLY... "An Evening of Summit Theatre"

Come see Dreamcatcher Rep perform a cabaret of selections from Broadway musicals such as "Spamalot," "City of Angels" and "Into the Woods." Performing are Dreamcatcher ensemble members Clark Carmichael, Laura Ekstrand, Dave Maulbeck and Scott McGowan, and special guest Vanessa Parvin, accompanied on the piano by the delightful Roberta Smith.

watch Laura on TV"An Evening of Summit Theatre" is a showcase of Summit's three resident theatres, all of whom will combine their talents for one night only at the Summit Playhouse on June 28. The evening will feature three acts, with each theatre taking a turn to showcase a variety of performances that represent the range of artistic experiences that audiences can enjoy throughout the year in Summit.

Featured with Dreamcatcher:
  • Pebble Players Youth Theater will be performing a cabaret of new Broadway favorites including songs from "Newsies," "Bring It On" and Green Day's "American Idiot." Pebble Players is the youth division of Stony Hill Players in residence alongside Dreamcatcher at Oakes Center.
  • Summit Playhouse will showcase both youth and adult performers with an excerpt from Kaleidoscope Theatre's production of "Shrek: The Musical" and the Playhouse's recent production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
Discover Summit Arts is a week-long festival featuring art, music, theatre, film, live entertainment and other activities that celebrate the vibrant arts scene in the City of Summit.

Note:  DSA events take place throughout the city of Summit. "An Evening of Summit Theatre" takes place at Summit Playhouse at 10 New England Avenue near downtown Summit.

What: AN EVENING OF SUMMIT THEATRE -- Discover Summit Arts  Info  
When:  June 28
Friday at 8pm
Where: Summit Playhouse
10 New England Avenue, Summit   Directions 
Price: $16.52   Tickets 
Thank you for supporting local Summit theatre! We hope to see you soon.

REGISTER NOW -- we have just a few spots open in all weeks!

kids have fun at Dreamcatcher's STC theater camp in Summit, NJDreamcatcher's THEATRE CAMP for KIDS!

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

Tuition ranges from $275 for 1 week to $880 for all 4 weeks.

View theatre camp photos

Note:  Enrollment is limited and is on a first come, first served basis.

When:  July 8 - August 2, 2013
Monday - Friday, 9am - 3pm
Where: Dreamcatcher Rep at Calvary Church
31 Woodland Avenue, Summit   Directions 
Price: $275 - $880   Register now 
Thank you for supporting local professional theatre! We hope to see you soon.

     Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
Oakes Center  *  120 Morris Avenue  *  Summit, NJ 07901

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pulitzer Prize Winner 'Clybourne Park' Makes its New Jersey Premiere

Premiere Stages to present the New Jersey Premiere of "Clybourne Park" by Bruce Norris from July 11th through July 29th in the Zella Fry Theatre at Kean University.
Directed by Wes Grantom, this Tony Award-winning play is an exceptionally witty and deliciously dry satire that explores the reactions of Clybourne Park’s 1950s all-white community when a couple unknowingly sells their house to a black family. The tables of gentrification turn when - fifty years later - the now all-black community greets the news of an impending sale to a white family with the same level of apprehension. 

Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece A Raisin in the Sun served as the inspiration for Clybourne Park and Premiere Stages will offer a free screening of the film to all ticket buyers as a preview to the production. The screening will take place onSaturday, July 6th at 3 pm in the STEM Building Auditorium. For information or to reserve tickets for the screening, please call 908-737-4092.

Playwright Bruce Norris is a graduate of Northwestern University, and has long been associated with the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago, where a number of his plays have received their World Premieres. He is a recipient of the Steinberg Playwright Award, and has been awarded the Olivier Award for Best New Play, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Premiere’s production will be helmed by director Wes Grantom, a co-founder of Slant Theatre Project in New York, for whom he recently directed The Steadfast at the Barrow Group Theatre. Grantom’s extensive associate directing credits include the current musical adaptation of Little Miss Sunshine by James Lapine and William Finn, as well as the Broadway revivals of Waiting for Godot and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Roundabout Theatre Company).

Clybourne Park will feature Frank Deal as Russ/Dan and Kate Goehring as Bev/Kathy. Deal recently appeared on Broadway in August: Osage County; Goehring originated the role of Harper Pitt in the National Tour of Angels in America. Premiere’s cast also features Tim McGeever (Karl/Steve), who recently appeared in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of Clybourne Park; Danielle Slavick (Betsy/Lindsey), seen in Adam Rapp’s Through the Yellow Hour at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Samuel Stricklen (Albert/Kevin), whose distinguished regional credits include the Old Globe; Brett Robinson (Francine/Lena), who appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Actors Theatre of Louisville; and Dustin Fontaine (Jim/Tom/Kenneth), who played Rodrigo in Lulu at New York’s Riverside Theatre.

Premiere Stages will partner with The American Conference on Diversity for the production. Founded in 1948, the Conference is one of the leading human relations organizations in New Jersey. The organization's goal is to create a positive, inclusive society by educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing New Jersey workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities.

Renee Ayers, Director of Professional Development at The American Conference on Diversity, will join Resident Dramaturg Clare Drobot in creating a customized talk-back program following the Sunday matinees on July 14th and July 21st. The talk-backs will focus on issues of both racism and gentrification. Admission to both post-show talk-backs is included with the purchase of a ticket to either Sunday performance. For more information on The American Conference on Diversity, please visit their website at

Clybourne Park runs Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $30 standard, $20 senior citizen, and $15 student. Significant discounts for groups of 10 or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469) or visit Premiere online at

Premiere Stages will host a special Opening Night party on July 12th. The event will feature a pre-show party with wine and hors d’ oeuvres at the new four-star gourmet restaurant Ursino, a ticket to the play and a post-show champagne toast and dessert reception with the cast, ALL of which is included for the low price of only $55.00! Tickets can be purchased by calling 908-737-4092.

All performances take place on the Kean University campus, located at 1000 Morris Avenue, in the Zella Fry Theatre of the Vaughn Eames Fine Arts Building.

Premiere Stages offers air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the fully accessible spaces. Free or discounted tickets for patrons with disabilities are available. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described, or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available upon request. Publications in alternate forms are available with advanced notice.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, The Provident Bank Foundation, The Hudson City Savings Bank Foundation, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance and through the generous support of individual patrons. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.

Auditions: Summit Playhouse's production of Ken Ludwig's 'The Game's Afoot'

The Summit Playhouse's first production of its 2013-2014 season is  “The Game’s Afoot” – Ken Ludwig’s clever, fast-paced twist on a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Open auditions will be held at 7 pm Tuesday June 25th and Saturday, June 29th at the Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue. Production opens November 1st, with rehearsals to begin in early September.

“The Game’s Afoot” is an intriguing comedy thriller that also blends fact and fiction. Its lead character is William Gillette, a real-life star of the American stage during the early 20th century.

Gillette owned a replica of a medieval castle, filled with remarkably forward-thinking gadgets, tricks and mirrors. This is where, in “The Game’s Afoot,” he invites fellow cast members for a weekend of fun, which takes a sinister turn when oneof his guests is stabbed to death. Gillette takes on the persona of Sherlock Holmes to solve the case before the killer strikes again.

Director Belle Wesel of Brooklyn – who recently directed “The 39 Steps” for the Chatham Community Players’ 2012-2013 season – requests that actors bring resumes and headshots if available. She is seeking eight actors to fill the major roles(three male and five female). Auditions will start with cold readings, in small groups, from sides provided. To access sides prior to the auditions, visit



Male,30’s to 40’s. Handsome, charming, leading man who can be funny and larger thanlife when necessary. (Actor with a capital “A”)


Female,mid-60’s. William’s mother. She is sweet and a bit vague, always has a drink inhand.


Male,30’s to 40’s. Funny, sarcastic, arch and flirtatious. Married to Madge.


Female,30’s to 40’s.Pretty, witty and sharp, smart-mouthed gal-about-town Rosalind Russell type.


Male,20’s. Cute, full of energy and good-will. Mad about Aggie.


Female,20’s. Lovely. Adorable and enthusiastic, bright-eyed and full of spunk.


Female 40’s to 60’s.British, eccentric, less overtly theatrical than the others, cleverer than she seems.


Female,30’s to 40’s. Stunning, extremely fashionable, pushy with a quick temper. A “diva”.

The Summit Playhouse has an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. 

Please call or email Joann Scanlon with any questions: 973-457-4121, For directions or additional information, please visit

About theSummit Playhouse

Since its founding in 1918, the Summit Playhouse hasproduced over 300 productions, making it one of the oldest continuouslyoperating community theaters in the United States. The historic institution isdevoted to maintaining the practice of theatre arts and encouraging thoseinterested in all aspects of the performing arts and its operations.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strollers in Maplewood looking for directors

Message from the fine community theatre group in Maplewood, New Jersey, The Strollers:

"We are opening our season with the wonderful showcase Marcus is Walking. The play is a collection of eleven (11) stand-alone scenes revolving around the connection everyone feels to their car. Just like in our cars, the characters in the scenes explore control, navigation, love, and escape. The reason you are receiving this notification is that as currently constituted, we only have directors for seven of our eleven scenes. We are looking for some more directors to take over the remaining scenes.

The process for this will be very simple, free, and easy. There will be a production meeting on Monday, June 24th at 7:30 at the Burgdorff and then open auditions will be Wednesday, June 26th at 7:30. From there, directors will have six weeks to organize their own rehearsal schedule and locations before coming together for tech rehearsals the last two weeks of August. Performance dates are Friday, September 6th, Saturday, September 7th, and Sunday, September 8th.

The four remaining scenes are as follows:
- Three high school girls fresh off of getting their licenses deal with the fallout when the driver runs over a tiny animal who didn't get out of the road quick enough. An entertaining scene with a genuine character arc. 3w

- A couple coming out of their first date get to know each other even better while heading home, all the while uncovering each other's anxieties and quirks. A sweet scene uncovering the heart of a relationship and what makes and breaks a great date. 1m, 1w

- A father drives his son trick-or-treating through their neighborhood, the whole time working out his distress on the phone with his wife. His son (Marcus, of the play's title) returns, each time with a new friend in tow. 1m, 3 children

- Two guys from the East Coast are ready to escape and have hopped in their car to head West. Now heading through the Nevada desert, they start to contemplate what it is they are running from: their past, their mistakes, their future if they can. 2m

If you are interested in any of these four scenes, please feel free to reach out to Jim Coe at his e-mail address: Make sure to include the subject line "Marcus is Walking Directors". E-mail works best for contacting him. If you'd prefer to call, however, feel free to call after 5 pm on his cell at (201) 725-5802."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Auditions: Rhino Theatre for 'Les Miserables'

The Rhino Theatre has announced auditions for 'Les Miserables"

The Rhino Theatre, located at 247 Wanaque Ave., in Pompton Lakes NJ, is casting for their season opening musical of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" 

Auditions dates will be July 30, 31, August 12 and 13 from 7-9 p.m. The shows will run weekends from November 8 thru December 1, 2013. 

Detailed audition information can be found on their website at

New Jersey Youth Theatre's production of 'West Side Story' to play Bickford and Centenary Stage theatres

New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT) has spent the 25 years producing and mounting professional-level musical theatre productions with casts consisting of children, teenagers, and young adults. In 1997, when the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) opened its doors, New Jersey Youth Theatre took residency in the PAC’s Victoria Theatre. Over a period of 15 years, NJYT and NJPAC produced award-winning shows that utilized the talent of over 600 young performers throughout the state. For the first time in 15 years, New Jersey Youth Theatre has separated from NJPAC and has ventured out on its own, returning to its community roots.

New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT), the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre in Morristown and Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown will join forces this coming summer by assembling a theatrical company of youth performers to present this summer’s eagerly anticipated Leonard Bernstein musical, WEST SIDE STORY. “This is the 10th Anniversary of NJYT’s award-winning production, so it seemed the right time to reprise this awe-inspiring show,” said Cynthia Meryl, NJYT’s Artistic Director. In 2003, NJYT’s production of WEST SIDE STORY won the Music Theatre International’s Award of Excellence, an award rarely given out and only once in the ensuing ten years.

Knowing that they would not be able to reap the benefits and comfort of NJPAC’s resources, New Jersey Youth Theatre turned to local community organizations and was met with much enthusiasm. The Westfield Community Center (Westfield) and Audio Incorporated (Roselle Park) are two of the organizations that responded positively and opened its doors to New Jersey Youth Theatre. Both venues are being used as rehearsal spaces throughout June and July. Northfield Bank Foundation also joined forces with NJYT and donated $10,000 toward the upcoming production. Two River Community Bank and the Westfield Foundation, realizing the significance of arts education and the value in a New Jersey Youth Theatre training, also contributed.

WEST SIDE STORY is a musical masterpiece setting a standard of excellence in American musical theatre that has seldom, if ever, been achieved since. The original stage production opened in 1957 with powerful direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins, biting lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a riveting book by Arthur Laurents, and a musical score by Leonard Bernstein featuring now-legendary songs such as “Tonight,” “Something’s Coming,” “Somewhere,” and “America.”

WEST SIDE STORY is the world’s greatest love story coupled with the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. The show takes us to the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City. This landmark Broadway musical transports the immortal Shakespearean story of Romeo and Juliet to Manhattan and explores the tragic rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two controlling teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

The work, a masterful interweaving of song, dance and dramatic action, deals with deadly prejudice and racism, and the transcendence of hope and advocacy for tolerance and respect for all people. The state of world events today has prompted the producers to choose WEST SIDE STORY to convey this powerful message to the young participants as well as to audiences.

As an additional note, every summer the NJYT casts are polled as to what plays or musicals they would like to experience. Undoubtedly, every year WEST SIDE STORY tops the list. Cynthia Meryl, Artistic Director, said, “We feel that NJYT is ready to tackle this challenge again, and we can finally fulfill the wishes of many young New Jersey performers and musicians.”

Meryl added: “We are especially proud and delighted that, for the first time, we will be collaborating with the Bickford Theatre and returning to Centenary Stage, where we had such a wonderful experience last summer. Considering the state arts budget cuts and the extreme need for arts funding, this kind of networking is key to theatre’s survival.”

Eric Hafen, Artistic Director of the Bickford Theatre said, “We are very excited to partner with NJYT on WEST SIDE STORY. This collaboration will give great opportunity to the young talent of New Jersey.”

For further general NJYT information, go to, or call 908-233-3200. For ticket and schedule information, or for group sale rates for WEST SIDE STORY at the Bickford Theatre, please call 973-971-3706, or; at Centenary, please call 908-979-0900 or go online at Tickets for Bickford and Centenary performances may also be purchased at the box offices. Group sale discounts are available for groups of ten or more.


[Pictured L to R: L. Wallace Brown (Treasurer, Westfield Community Center Board of Directors); Darielle Walsh (Trustee, Westfield Foundation); Laverne Moore (Trustee, Westfield Foundation); Ted Agress (Executive Director, New Jersey Youth Theatre); Chris Beck (President, Westfield Community Center Board of Directors); Stephanie Smith (Executive Director, Westfield Community Center); Mark LiGrippo (Member, Westfield Community Center Board of Directors)]