Sunday, August 31, 2014

Future Equity Member Owen Coughtry Makes Special Appearance in Queens! Mother Nisi Sturgis Doing Fine.

Jordan and Nisi
Congratulations: Jordan Coughtry and Nisi Sturges, they just had their first child, a boy, Owen!
A bit of background: In 2012  they appeared, as a couple, in Trelawny of the Wells, at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. It was during one of those performances that Coughtry proposed to Sturgis. They were married Sept. 21, 2013, at Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Since that time, they have appeared a second time as a couple in the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of Our Town (photo below).
“We did two days of rehearsals, flew back to Arkansas to get married and headed back to finish rehearsals and the play,” Sturgis said with a laugh.
“And in January, we attended the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards,” she said. “Boardwalk Empire was nominated for an ensemble award, and they were kind enough to include me. We got to go [to Los Angeles] and rub elbows with all the stars.”
Sturgis plays June Thompson on Boardwalk Empire, a drama on HBO that is in its last season.
More later. Congratulations Jordan and Nisi!
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fall production of ‘The Lion in Winter’ cancelled at Holmdel Theatre Company

“Due to circumstances beyond our control The Holmdel Theatre Company is regretfully canceling our fall production of The Lion in Winter. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience.”

Holmdel Theatre Company
at The Duncan Smith Theater
36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733
(on the grounds of the Holmdel High School)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rhino Youth Group to Present ‘Legally Blonde’

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Happy Birthday to Steve Fredericks of the Growing Stage

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Meet TGS founder and executive director Steve Fredericks. He’s been there since the beginning (obviously!), wearing more hats than you can count—actor, director, designer, playwright, mentor, friend, problem-solver-in-chief, painter, carpenter, janitor, etc., etc., etc.! Recently, Steve took a few minutes to answer a few questions for the TGS blog. (photo: Steve and wife Lori)

What do the performing arts mean to you?

They have been so much a part of my life since I was first put on stage at a very young age by my dad, who directed community plays, that I actually don’t remember a time without them. I strongly believe that the performing arts are freedom expressed creatively. The performing arts should aspire to create a connection between artist and audience, as immediate as a reaction to what one is saying, seeing or hearing, and as long-lasting as a memory that lives in our minds forever.

If you could have any career you wanted (talent or education not required) what would it be and why?

A master gardener because I love working outdoors, planting and watching things grow. I love sculpture, but have no talent for it, so I appreciate the ability to create and change environments with plants. I also appreciate the peacefulness the hard work brings and the reward of watching a plant grow through its stages.

How many places have you lived? Where?

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and lived there for about five years; moved to Rochester, NY, and lived there till I completed fourth grade; then moved to Dallas, TX, for 11 months; Framingham, MA, for 15 months; and then Chester, NJ, just as seventh grade was to begin. Daddy was a salesman. I went to college at Arizona State University, so I have had the opportunity to see a lot of our country, but I still would like to explore the Northwest.

What is your favorite TGS memory?

In Chester, we performed in the Williamson Building’s old gymnasium that we had converted into a makeshift theatre. The windows weren’t blacked out, so you clearly saw the audience at our matinees. I was onstage playing the herald or something like that in one of our fairy tale pieces, and as I was reading from a scroll, a young boy, sitting next to his mother and eating popcorn, was so entranced that he fell off his seat. He did so without taking his eyes off the stage or spilling his popcorn! From the stage, I watched his mother slowly take him by the shoulders, lift him back onto the seat and mouth to me, “He’s okay.”

If you could invite any three people that ever lived for dinner, who would they be?

I think it would be my grandfather, my favorite uncle and one of my Tantas (Norwegian for great-aunt). I wasn’t old or mature enough to fully appreciate or learn from them when they were alive, and I have lots of questions!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

The “thank you s” from young people who come back to the theatre as adults and share their memories of and appreciation for our work. I am always very grateful for that and can’t hear enough of it.

If you could play any role in a show at TGS, what would it be and why?

Annie. ‘nuff said.

Visit the Growing Stages’ Palace Theatre in Netcong (Steve is Santa):

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What’s Upcoming on New Jersey Stages (Aug 29-Sept 7)

Chorus line surflight

BEACH HAVEN  “A Chorus Line,” musical by Marvin Hamlisch, Ed Kleban, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, and conceived by Michael Bennett. Aug. 27 through Sept. 14. $45. Surflight Theater, 201 Engleside Avenue. (609) 492-9477;


CAPE MAY Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse “Blithe Spirit,” comedy by Noël Coward. Through Sept. 19. $15 to $35. Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette Street.; (609) 770-8311.


CAPE MAY East Lynne Theater Company, the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May “Zorro!” — action drama adapted by James Rana. Through Aug. 30. $15 to $30. East Lynne Theater Company, the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes Street. (609) 884-5898;


LONG BRANCH New Jersey Repertory Company, Lumia Theater “Lucky Me,” comedy by Robert Caisley. Through Aug. 31. $35 to $42. New Jersey Repertory Company, Lumia Theater, 179 Broadway. (732) 229-3166;

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MADISON F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater, Drew University “The Alchemist,” by Ben Jonson. Through Aug. 31. Starting at $15. F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater, Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue.; (973) 408-5600.

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PRINCETON McCarter Theater Center “Antony and Cleopatra,” by Shakespeare, starring Nicole Ari Parker as Cleopatra. Sept. 5 through Oct. 5. $25 to $87.50. McCarter Theater Center, 91 University Place. (609) 258-278;


UNION Premiere Stages at Kean University “Janice Underwater,” by Tom Matthew Wolfe. Sept. 4 through 21. $15 to $30. Premiere Stages at Kean University , 1000 Morris Avenue. (908) 737-7469;

Improv, Acting and Audition classes at Dreamcatcher


Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, the professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will offer Improv, Acting and Audition classes for kids, teens and adults this fall and winter, with the first class beginning on September 20.

Improv expert Lulu French (Maplewood) will teach a 5-week Improv Comedy for Teens and Adults class, running from September 20 through October 18 on Saturdays from 12:00-2:00 pm. The class delves deep into the craft of improv with more complex games as the weeks progress.

This class is great for all levels of improvisers, and also for actors who want to add another dimension to their skills. Improv is a valuable skill for countless situations such as public speaking, auditions and job interviews as well. Lulu French has long performed with and taught for Gotham City Improv in New York City, and has taught improv to theatre students at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, among many other places. The cost for this class is $200.

harry c_thumbActing Skills for Middle and High School Students will run October 25 through November 22 on Saturdays from 12:00-2:00 pm, and will be taught by Harry Patrick Christian (Montclair). In a supportive, fun environment, students will hone their talents and explore new dimensions to their acting ability. Through a variety of games and exercises, they will learn the skills they’ll need to develop characters, be great collaborators, and make active choices.

This class empowers and inspires students to acknowledge their own creative abilities and fosters collaboration and teamwork in a creative setting. Harry Patrick Christian is a member of Dreamcatcher’s acting company with a long career acting onstage and onscreen, and is an experienced teaching artist with such organizations as the Pushcart Players and Essex Youth Theatre.

The cost for this class is $200. Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), Artistic Director of Dreamcatcher, will teach Monologue Prep for College and Professional Auditions on January 3, 10 and 17, Saturdays from 12:00-2:00 pm.

This class is ideal for students preparing for college auditions or actors working on a new monologue (or brushing up a familiar one). The instructor will give the feedback and coaching needed to make the best possible impression, and to make sure the monologue communicates the particular strengths and individuality of the actor while telling a cohesive and compelling story in a matter of a few minutes.

Laura e_thumbLaura Ekstrand, a former casting director, has been coaching auditions both privately and in class settings for over twenty years, with students enrolled in such programs as NYU, Carnegie Mellon and Mason Gross School of the Arts. The cost for this class is $120.

Classes will be held at The Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre on Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center on Morris Avenue. The facility is wheelchair accessible. To register for the classes or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, visit or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654.

Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment. We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Company’s Fall Acting Program Set to Start Early September


The Company has announced The Company’s Academy for the Performing Arts Fall Acting Program

Foundation I: Great Acting Begins With A Solid Foundation

An 8 week course: 2 hours on Monday evenings.

Teens will begin at 6 pm.  Adults will begin at 8pm

Taught by The Company’s Artistic Director: Lou Scarpati

Beginning Sept 8th. Continuing Sept 15th, Oct 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, Nov 3rd, & 10th.

This is the first course in a six course acting program that will give the aspiring actor both the skills and confidence to succeed on stage and in front of a camera. Upon successfully completing the program, actors will be invited into company membership, as well as have a chance to audition for upcoming company productions and readings.

The 8 Week Course is just $199.95.

If you're interested or want more details check out our website: or email at:

Seating is limited, so please act now if you have an aspiring actor in your house or you are one yourself.

You can lock in your seat by mailing a check to:

The Company Theatre Group

c/o Lou Scarpati

134 Locust Ave.

2nd Floor

Dumont, NJ 07628

Auditions: ‘Harvey’ for Centenary Stage Company

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The Centenary Stage Company, the not-for-profit professional equity theatre located on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown will hold Equity and Non-Equity Auditions for the production of “HARVEY” by Mary Chase, on Wednesday, September 3th from 10:30 am-7:30 pm at the Lackland Center, located at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown.   Lunch break will happen between 12:45 pm-1:30 pm.

The production will run Oct. 3-19th, with the first rehearsal on September 15,  and it will be directed by CSC Artistic Director Carl Wallnau.

Seeking both Equity and Non- Equity performers for the following roles:


º Myrtle Mae Simmons:  Late 20’s to late 30’s- Niece of Elwood. Comic Character

º Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet: 50’s to 60’s, Society Matron

º Ruth Kelly, RN:  20’s, attractive nurse at Chumley’s, romantically involved with Sanderson

º William Chumley, MD:  50’s to 60’s, Man of science whose life is turned upside down when he runs across Harvey

º Betty Chumley:  50s to 60s, Wife of Dr. Chumley

º Judge Omar Gaffney:  50s to 60s, Family Lawyer for Veta and Elwood

º Duane Wilson: late 20’s to late 30’s, Attendant at Chumley’s sanitorium, who develops a romantic attachment to Myrtle Mae

º E.J. Lofgren: 50’s – 60’s Taxi Driver who changes the course of the play

o CAST - Elwood P Dowd

o CAST - Veta Louise Simmons

o CAST – Lyman Sanderson, M.D.

Performers should bring a photo and resume, stapled back-to-back. Actors may read sides from the script which will be provided at the audition, or perform a monologue for the audition. Visually-impaired performers may request an advance copy of the sides when making an audition appointment. Actors can call 908-979-0900 ext  8 to schedule an appointment.  Actor without an appointment will be seen as time allows.

CSC operates under a SPT Actors Equity Association contract, with a weekly salary of $332.00 for union actors, and a stipend for non-union actors.  

Alliance Repertory Theatre to present ‘Five Flights’ at Mondo in Summit


Siblings Ed and Adele inherit an enormous aviary that their late father built for his deceased wife, whose soul, he believed, transformed into the body of a wren. The grown children are now faced with the dilemma of what to do with the crumbling structure -- sister-in-law Jane wants to build tidy houses; friend Olivia wants to build a church honoring birds; and Ed just wants the building to fall to the ground. Nominated for The American Theatre Critics Award, The Osborn Award and winner of The Glickman Award for Best New Play, FIVE FLIGHTS tackles issues of religious conviction, fear of commitment and the way Russian ballet resembles a hockey game.

Directed by: Michael Driscoll
Presented by: Alliance Repertory Theatre

Ed - Gus Ibranyi
Adele - Alexandra Landau
Jane - Kelly Maizenaski
Olivia - Heidi Carter Hart
Tom - FJ DeRobertis
Andre - Brad Howell

Show Dates:
Friday, Sept 19th at 8pm
Saturday, Sept 20th at 8pm
Friday, Sept 26th at 8pm
Saturday, Sept 27th at 8pm
Sunday, Sept 28th at 2pm
Thursday, Oct 2nd at 8pm
Friday, Oct 3rd at 8pm
Saturday, Oct 4th at 8pm


Mondo Summit 426 Springfield Ave, Summit, New Jersey 0790

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Auditions: ‘The Lion in Winter’ for Holmdel Theatre Company

The Holmdel Theatre Company is holding open auditions for 


Directed by: LAURIE DEVINO Wed 9/3 and Thu 9/4, 7 - 10pm
Possible callbacks on Sat, 9/6 at 2pm

Needed are several performers, ranging in age, including some high school aged performers. Those auditioning need attend only one of the regular audition dates. Monologues are welcome but not required. No pre-registration is required. Audition sides from the script will be provided at auditions. ALL ROLES ARE OPEN. More information including character breakdown is available via our Facebook page. Special Appearance Actors' Equity contract is available.

Sibling rivalry, adultery and dungeons – Lion in Winter, by James Goldman, is a modern day classic.  Comedic in tone, dramatic in action – the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family who are locked in a free for all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. The queen, and wealthiest woman in the world, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been kept in prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II.  Let out only for holidays, the play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over both a kingdom, as well as King Henry’s paramour during the Christmas of 1183. 
"A work of intelligence, astringent wit, and much theatrical skill." - The New York Times.  "Marvelously articulate language, with humor that bristles and burns" – The Los Angeles.

Rehearsals will run through September and October. Performances are November 1 - 16. Cast members must keep scheduling conflicts to a minimum.
Auditions, Rehearsals and Performances are held at DUNCAN SMITH THEATER
(Located in front of Holmdel High School).

Please email with any questions.

        Holmdel Theatre Company at The Duncan Smith Theater
36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733 (on the grounds of the Holmdel    High School)

Monologues @ MONDO with Dreamcatcher’s Harriett Trangucci

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Final Reading: 4 Dreamcatcher actors read 4 monologues in 4 weeks!

Monologues @ Mondo

“While the mainstage season is on summer break we have a special treat for you. Dreamcatcher is teaming up with our friends at MONDO in Summit to present "Monologues @ MONDO." This 4-week series features 4 Dreamcatcher actors reading 4 one-person shows on all 4 Wednesdays in August.”

This week: HARRIETT TRANGUCCI reads "Grounded" by George Brandt!  Wed, Aug 27, 8pm 

                                          Harriett Trangucci

                                Grounded Info by George Brandt

Doors open at 7:30pm and performance starts at 8pm.

LOCATION: MONDO is at 426 Springfield Avenue in downtown Summit.  Directions

FOOD: Beverages and food are available for purchase.   Info

TICKETS: $20 cash or check at the door.
Advance reservations are recommended. E-mail: or call 917-969-4534.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Oakes Center  *  120 Morris Avenue  *  Summit, NJ 07901

Tickets: 800-838-3006   *   Info: 908-514-9654

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces September Dates for College Discovery Seminar for High School Students

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New Education Initiative Assists Students in College Discovery and Audition Coaching

Paper Mill Playhouse has launched a new education service for high school students whose aim it is to study theater or musical theater in college.  Paper Mill Prep is a college discovery and audition coaching program.  “Paper Mill has an extensive statewide education and outreach effort that already has us working closely with the strongest young talent in New Jersey, and this extension of our Conservatory professional training program and Rising Star Awards will allow us to support these students as they begin the process of looking at college theater programs.” shared Director of Education, Lisa Cooney.  “Our goal is to help them determine and gain admission to the college programs that benefits them the most.”

Paper Mill Prep kicks off the college audition season with a two-day College Discovery Seminar for students and their parents on Sundays, September 7th & 14th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Millburn theater.  These valuable group information sessions will introduce motivated high school juniors & seniors to the various theater and musical theater degrees available to them, review the ever-evolving college audition timeline and requirements, and discuss what will be expected of applicants at college auditions and the Unified Auditions.  Limited seats for the two-day College Discovery Seminar are now open to the public for the registration fee of $300 per family (one student with one parent).  To reserve seats, contact coordinator Jason Gillis at 973-315-1668 or

Following the seminar, individual students may also opt to prepare for their college audition with our experienced and knowledgeable faculty through a series of private coaching sessions.  Following an assessment workshop with Paper Mill Prep faculty, a coach will work with each student and their parents to navigate their options, select and prepare their audition monologues and songs, and provide ongoing guidance and communication throughout the fall and winter months.

“Commercial college audition coaching businesses exist in New York City with huge packaged price tags and costly commutes for New Jersey students.  As a non-profit community arts organization with ties to Broadway and a 75 year history of producing world-class plays and musicals, Paper Mill Playhouse’s goal is to provide a New Jersey based option for serious students with our trusted faculty at reasonable prices that make the decision to enroll an easy one,” Ms. Cooney added.  “In this very competitive landscape of college admissions, it has become clear that their college audition may very well be the most important audition of these young performers’ lives.  With very limited spots to fill at the most prestigious college theater programs, it pays to make a modest investment to ensure that the student is as prepared as possible for the few minutes they get to make an impression on the admissions panel.  And with the latest trend of some top tier programs now requiring an applicant to submit a pre-audition video in the fall to be invited to audition live that winter, the hurdles are higher than ever to be selected for a coveted freshman spot at colleges of note.”

Paper Mill Prep’s primary coaches have each had long tenures on our esteemed faculty.  Coaches Stephen Agosto, John Robert Armstrong and Sara Louise Lazarus have many years’ experience training young actors and are supported by Paper Mill Musical Director, Meg Zervoulis.

College Prep Faculty

Stephen Agosto is a graduate of DePaul University (Acting, BFA) and The Neighborhood Playhouse, home of The Meissner Technique. He has directed, choreographed or provided musical staging for such shows as The Drowsy Chaperone (The Blue Hill Troupe), Triangle Logic (Crosshatch Theatre Co.), West Side Story (Westminster), Modotti (Off-Broadway), Methtacular (Cincinnati and NYC Runs), Assassins and The Wild Party(Fordham), Scene and Be Seen (The Neighborhood Playhouse), and more. In 2011, Stephen directed The New York Musical Theatre Festival “Best of Fest” winner, Crazy, Just Like Me. He has directed various concerts and cabarets around the city including three shows for Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre and Separate: Battle Songs of Youth at Ars Nova.

John Armstong is an experienced actor, director, and instructor with years of experience in the professional theatre. While performing as an equity actor in all genres of theatre, from classical plays to contemporary musicals, John has continually used the acting studio as a proving ground for developing effective and efficient performance techniques. John holds a bachelor's degree in musical theatre and an MFA in acting from Indiana University. He began his training as a classical singer, eventually discovering his passion for acting. He was instrumental in the development of curriculum for musical theatre at Indiana University and Ohio Northern University (where he served as professor of acting and musical theatre for five years).

Sara Louise Lazarus is currently on the faculty of Circle in the Square Theatre School, where she teaches, directs, and developed their musical theatre curriculum. As one of NY and LA’s foremost musical performance teachers, Sara has coached actors appearing in the Broadway and National tours of Once, Book of Mormon, Wicked, The Producers, Phantom of the Opera, The Scottsboro Boys, Les Miserables, Bridges of Madison County and on TV’s Smash and Glee. She counts among her former students Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga!) Sara has a certificate in acting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. In her former life, Sara played leading roles on and off Broadway and in National tours of Follies, No, No Nanette, and Fiddler on the Roof.

Meg Zervoulis Off-Broadway: Chuckleball at the Snapple Theatre. Regional: Oliver at Paper Mill Playhouse, Rated P...for Parenthood at SOPAC (Midtown DirectRep). Workshops/Concerts: Kooman and Dimond’sDani Girl in the ASCAP/Disney Workshop with Stephen Schwartz. Meg has provided Musical direction for many special events including collaboration with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Max Weinberg, Christiane Noll and more. Meg also arranges and accompanies many Paper Mill special events including Master Classes and Benefit Galas. As a Musical director/Pianist, ROCK THE AUDITION with Sheri Sanders. Film: New Brooklyn and Blaming George Romero. Current Residencies: Paper Mill Playhouse, Midtown Direct Repertory Company and the NJPAC. Previous: Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Ballet, Carnegie Mellon University, Wrecking Crew Music, and Mile Square Theatre. Meg is also a Musical Director and Adjunct Keyboard Professor at Montclair State University. Education: Carnegie Mellon University - B.F.A. University Honors in piano performance and conducting. Meg was selected internationally as one of 20 musical directors for the inaugural Goodspeed Opera House Musical Direction Intensive. She is a member of Local 802 AFM NYC.

For complete faculty bios, a list of upcoming seminars and assessment workshops, and details on the available coaching packages, visit

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Auditions: ‘Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks’ for Women's Theater Company in Parsippany


The Women's Theater Company is holding another set of auditions Wednesday night, August 27th for Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. Non-equity auditions will be held tomorrow, August 27 at 8pm. Actors should prepare a short comedic monologue.

The play consists of one woman and one man. The cast break down includes Lily Harrison (65-70), a well kept, conservatively dressed widow, looking several years younger than her age and Michael Minetti (40-45), an attractive acerbic gay man, trying to look 35.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks will run September 26-October 12 at the Parsippany Playhouse.

For more information or for the script, please e-mail info@womenstheater.

Monday, August 25, 2014

‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ at Bergen County Players

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Celebrating 82 Years of continuous community theater, the Bergen County Players (BCP) presents The Drowsy Chaperone. With book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and reg Morrison, this charming and slightly wacky tribute to the musicals of the 1920s is a rare combination of modern wit and classic musical comedy. Under the direction of Steve Bell, The Drowsy Chaperone will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from September 6th through October 11th, 2014. 

Shows will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm (with the exception of October 3rd and 4th) and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298
Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.

Regarded as “a musical within a comedy,” The Drowsy Chaperone begins when a modern day, die-hard musical theater fan known simply as “Man in Chair” plays his favorite cast album, the fictional 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone, on his turntable. As the overture starts the musical bursts to life in his studio apartment, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet giving up her life on the stage to marry her true love, and her producer so desperate to keep his showgirl that he will go to great lengths to stop the nuptials. With an elaborate cast of over-the-top characters, including the dashing groom, his best man, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a Latin
lover, and a drunken chaperone, The Drowsy Chaperone boldly addresses a great unspoken desire in everyone’s heart - to be entertained.

The Drowsy Chaperone is directed by Steve Bell of Hackensack. A Life Member, Past President, and member of the Board of Governors, Steve has been active with the Players for over 30 years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The Sing-Along Sound of Music, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, Urinetown, the Musical, Gypsy, The King and I and last season’s Perry Award-nominated Ruthless! The Musical. Steve also served as musical director for various shows, including Aladdin, Man of La Mancha, Beehive, and The Music Man, among others. As a performer, he appeared in such shows as Follies (in a Perry Award-winning performance) Anything Goes, City of Angels, Into the Woods and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Steve teaches vocal music at Teaneck High School, and is the Artistic Director of the Teaneck Community Chorus.

The talented cast of The Drowsy Chaperone includes Will Nolan (Man in Chair), Janica Carpenter (Mrs. Tottendale), Brian Feldman (Underling), Craig Woodward (Robert Martin), Bill Cantor (Feldzieg), Debbie Zika (Kitty), Paul Aiello (Aldolpho), Danielle Valencia (Janet Van de Graaff), Marian McCabe (Drowsy Chaperone), Nadiya Braham (Trix), Marisa Gore (Gangster), George Kelly (Gangster), Elisabeth Erdmann (Ensemble), Justin Flores (Ensemble), Dan Giordano (Ensemble) and Nikki Simz (Ensemble).

The production team is comprised of Steve Bell (Director), Michele Roth (Producer), Jalm Vanamo (Music Director), Sharla Herbert (Choreographer), Jim Kelly (Assistant to the Director); Paul Reitnauer III (Stage Manager), Greg Cilmi (Set Design), Allan Seward (Lighting Designer), Kathleen Ruland (Lighting Operation), Peter Oliff (Sound Operation), Ellyn Essig (Décor), Lynne Lupfer (Décor), Lauren Zenreich (Décor), Katie Lupfer (Costumes), Melissa Miller (Costumes), Annette Jacobs (Props), Rosemary Deflorio (Props), Marty Obolsky (Props), Pat Bain (Props), Marian Mccabe (Makeup), Joyce Ghia (Dresser), Larry Braverman (Crew), Andrew Whitney (Crew), Alan Zenreich (Photography), Steve Mintz (Photography), Barbara Mintz (Photography) Marci K. Weinstein (Program Notes), Jennifer Cottone (Publicity) and Andrea Pieper (Member At Large).

•        All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949.  Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. There are no performances on October 3rd and 4th in observance of Yom Kippur.

•        Tickets for The Drowsy Chaperone are $24 for all performances, and can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
•        Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can call (201) 261-4200 (Mailbox #6).
•        As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a “Questions & Artists” (Q&A) discussion following select performances. The Drowsy Chaperone Q&A will kick off immediately following the September 12, 2014 performance.  Admission is included in the cost of the ticket.
•        Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only.
•        Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932. Today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.

Top Photo: (l-r) Danielle Valencia, Nadiya Braham, Debbie Zika and (seated) Will Nolan.  Photo by Alan Zenreich

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Antony & Cleopatra: Behind-The-Scenes at McCarter Theatre

Antony & Cleopatra: Behind-The-Scenes - McCarter Theatre

She was the seductive queen of Egypt and he one of the generals of Rome. Their tempestuous love affair would tear empires apart. Nicole Ari Parker (Boogie Nights, Soul Food) and Esau Pritchett (Fences) join director Emily Mann for this sizzling production of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, one of literature’s great masterpieces. Full of romance, passion, and betrayal, don’t miss this intimate tale of two legendary lovers whose desires shaped the destiny of the world.
September 5 - October 5, 2014
McCarter Theatre Center
Princeton, NJ

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chester Theatre Group: ‘The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife’

Allergists Wife

The Chester Theatre Group will present THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE by Charles Busch as the first production its 2014-2015 Season.

Directed by Roseann Ruggiero and Produced by Penny Hoadley, the show will be presented beginning Friday, September 12, 2014 and continuing on Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm through September 27, 2014. There will be matinee performances at 2pm on Sundays, September 21 and 28, 2014.

Mr. Busch’s show explores the mid-life crisis of an aspiring intellectual and upper class matron Marjorie Taub. Marjorie’s malaise has brought her to the conclusion she never will be more than mediocre. This isn’t helped by her elderly mother's constant complaints about her shortcomings and her husband's altruistic dedication to serving the needs of the homeless. Following an emotional outburst, Marjorie retires to the safety of her home to wallow. Unexpectedly invading her depression is flamboyant childhood friend Lee who becomes entrenched in the Taub household as a seemingly permanent guest, not only drawing Marjorie out of her dark mood, but affecting her marriage as well.

Marjorie Taub......................... Lauri MacMillan
Ira Taub .................................Steven Nitka
Frieda Tuchman..................….Sharon Moran
Lee Green...............................Maryann Galife Post
Mohammed.........................….Rahul Sachdeva

Black-River-Playhouse-chesterThe Black River Playhouse is located in Chester, NJ at the corners of Grove and Maple Streets. There is free parking at the theater and in the surrounding area. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for Seniors (65+) and Students (under 18 with ID). For reservations call 908-879-7304 or visit our website to purchase your tickets online.

World Premiere of ‘Zorro’ at East Lynne Company in Cape May



Friday, August 22, 2014

Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" Next at Barn Theatre in Montville


The Barn Theatre of Montville, NJ will be presenting "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" directed by Craig Zimmermann. Performances will be on September 12, 19, 20, 26, 27, October 3 and 4 at 8pm; and on September 13, 14, 21, and 28 at 2pm. Tickets are $18 (senior/student tickets are $16 on matinees only).

Based on Sid Caesar's 1950's "The Show of Shows,"this play tells of the office antics of staff writers trying to put-out a weekly TV variety show.

The cast of "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" features Rudy Basso (of Garfield, NJ), Vanessa Bellardini (of Montclair, NJ), Frank Blaeuer (of Hewitt, NJ), Eric Heiberg (of Long Valley, NJ), Chip Prestera (of Stirling, NJ), Jonathan Rudolph (of Parsippany, NJ), Sam Salter (of West Milford, NJ), Les Stolarz (of Boonton, NJ), and Elissa Strell Kachtan (of Bedminster, NJ).

The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287. For more reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn Theatre on the web at


Top Photo: (Left to Right): Chip Prestera, Vanessa Bellardini, Frank Blaeuer, Jonathan Rudolph, Rudy Basso, Les Stolarz, Sam Salter, and Elissa Strell. [Photo by Tom Schopper]

What’s Playing on NJ Stages this week?

Here are several plays currently playing across the state.

BEACH HAVEN Surflight Theater “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” musical by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. Through Aug. 24. $45. Surflight Theater, 201 Engleside Avenue. (609) 492-9477;



CAPE MAY Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse “Blithe Spirit,” comedy by Noël Coward. Through Sept. 19. $15 to $35. Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette Street.; (609) 770-8311.



CAPE MAY East Lynne Theater Company “Zorro!,” action drama adapted by James Rana. Through Aug. 30. $15 to $30. East Lynne Theater Company, 500 Hughes Street. (609) 884-5898;



LONG BRANCH New Jersey Repertory Company “Lucky Me” by Robert Caisley, 179 Broadway, Long Branch, $35-$60,, (732) 229-3166



MADISON The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey “The Alchemist” by Ben Jonson-F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave., .  $15 to $75. 973-408-5600 or

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RED BANK Two River Theater “2014 Crossing Borders Festival,” new plays by Latino writers. Through Aug. 17. Free. Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue. (732) 345-1400;

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SUMMIT Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater Company. A reading of “Grounded,” by George Brandt, with the actress Harriett Trangucci. Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. $20. Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater at Mondo in Summit 426 Springfield Avenue. Advance reservations are recommended. E-mail: or call 917-969-4534.; (908) 514-9654.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Next at NJ Rep: ‘Dinner with the Boys’ by Dan Lauria

New Jersey Repertory Company presents The World Premiere of

September 11-October 5, 2014

New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, will present the World Premiere of "Dinner With The Boys" by Dan Lauria, directed by Frank Megna and starring Dan Lauria, Ray Abruzzo, Richard Zavaglia and Morris “Moe” Rosenbaum.

Dan LauriaStar of TV’s “The Wonder Years” and Broadway’s “Lombardi”, Dan Lauria (photo right), pens a killer comedy about a couple of old time wise guys who just want to have a good Italian meal, a few laughs, and tie up some loose ends before dessert.
"Dinner With The Boys" begins preview performances on Thursday, September 11and celebrates its opening night on Saturday, September 13 at New Jersey Repertory Company (179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ), and runs through Sunday, October 5. Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or online at


DINNER WITH THE BOYS a killer comedy by Dan Lauria.


Auditions: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Chatham Community Players

Scrooge and Dickens

Children Only 1-4pm / Adults Only 4-6pm
“Become a part of a holiday tradition!” The Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for Philip Wm. McKinley's original musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' most famous work, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This biennial event has been pleasing audiences in Chatham since 1988.

Director Jeffery Fiorello seeks a large cast of varying types and ages, all of whom need to sing and move well. Megan Ferentinos is the Choreographer. Production dates are December 5 thru 21, 2014.

Auditions will be held for CHILDREN (16 years and younger) on Saturday, September 13th from 1-4 pm at Stanley Congregational Church - 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham.

Auditions will be held for ADULTS (17 years and older) on Saturday, September 13th from 4-6 pm at Stanley Congregational Church - 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham and on Thursday, September 18th at 7:00pm at The Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham.

Musical Director, Jack Bender, asks that auditioners be ready to sing a song, which shows their vocal range, and must bring sheet music in the appropriate key and marked with chord changes. An accompanist will be provided. Child actors without previous audition experience or material can choose a traditional holiday song or another non-rock song that they know well.

Charles Dickens - a tenor who narrates the show
Scrooge - the center of the production, requires a character baritone voice and an actor with both comic and dramatic range
Tiny Tim - a young boy (or girl) soprano with a winning smile
Bob Cratchit - a warm baritone
Mrs. Cratchit - requires a mezzo soprano with a big heart
The Ghost of Christmas Past - (a young girl or boy with a lilting soprano) Should be a dancer or have had dance training.
The Ghost of Christmas Present - (an imposing character tenor) Must be comfortable with music and be physically fit.
Belle - an ingénue soprano age 18-24
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig - comic character actors needed

Various Other Ensemble members portray a variety of roles including the Pawnbroker, Charwoman, Undertaker, Laundress, Cratchit Children, the Ghost of Marley, Young Scrooge, Fan, Scrooge's Nephew and Niece and Carolers.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Leslie Reagoso at (973) 769-3886 or email her at For directions or additional information, please visit

Photo by Howard Fisher/CCP