Monday, August 31, 2015

The Growing Stage Announces 34th Main Stage Season!

gst marquee

The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey is proud to present its 34th Main Stage Season:


REALLY, ROSIE:  October 2 – 18, 2015

Book and Lyrics by Maurice Sendak

Music by Carole King

Rosie, the sassiest kid on her block of Brooklyn's Avenue P, entertains herself and her friends by acting out show biz fantasies, notably directing and starring in an Oscar winning movie.

Written by the author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are and other popular children's books, Really Rosie is a jewel for children and adults. Author, Maurice Sendak, is a winner of a Caldecott Medal, National Book Award, and a National Medal of the Arts. Composer, Carole King, is a winner of a National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award, a Grammy Trustees Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Library of Congress's Gershwin Award for Popular Song.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – The Musical: November 20 – December 20. 2015

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens

Based on the story by Charles Dickens

Broadway heavy hitters Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty And The Beast, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Little Shop Of Horrors); Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once On This Island) breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated "Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he's forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present, & Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful "Happy Christmas" before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him. A Christmas Carol is a spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens's most well-known story.

THE BOOK OF D – World Premiere:  February 12 – 21, 2016

Book by Cody Daigle-Oriens

D is a young outcast who escapes into a world of stories. He keeps a book, The Book of D, to grapples with the tough things in his life — his parents’ divorce, his lack of friends, and the reasons for everything. When he makes a new friend, Blu, who introduces him to Greek

mythology, friendship becomes a new story for D to write.

JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH:  March 11 – April 3, 2016

Book by Timothy Allen McDonald

Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Based on the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

TYA Version

Roald Dahl's James & The Giant Peach is now a Theatre for Young Audiences musical for the whole family to enjoy! Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dogfight and A Christmas Story the Musical) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley), critics rave James & the Giant Peach is a "masterpeach!"

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach - and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities, but after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean; the group faces hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements. Thanks to James' quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. The dangerous voyage is a success, but the adventure takes a whole new twist once they land on the Empire State Building.

A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, the creative possibilities with James & The Giant Peach are endless. Actors will love playing the outlandish characters and performing brand new material from one of Broadway's hottest duos.

HOW I BECAME A PIRATE:  May 13 - 22, 2016

Book, Music and Lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt & Mark Friedman

Based upon the book "How I Became a Pirate"

Written by Melinda Long and Illustrations by David Shannon

TYA Version

Sail off on a fantastic musical excursion when a band of comical pirates lands at North Beach looking for an expert digger to join their crew. Braid Beard and his mates enlist young Jeremy Jacob, as they try to find the perfect spot to bury their treasure. Jeremy finds that adventuring can be lots of fun, but also learns that love and home are treasures you can't find on any map!

The whole family will love this delightful and swashbuckling musical adventure! Terrific songs like A Good One to Boot, Green Teeth, I'm Really Just a Sensitive Guy, Talk Like a Pirate, Soccer by the Rules, Pirates Dot Arrgh, and many others will have your audience rolling in the aisles and leaving the theatre secretly wishing for Captain Braid Beard and the gang to one day pay them a visit. Arrgh!

Ticket Information:

The Growing Stage continues FUN-tastic Fridays with all tickets $15! Saturday and Sunday tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for children.  2015 - 2016 Season Ticket Packages go on sale August 1st.   To place your reservation or order a ticket package, please visit or contact the Growing Stage Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or e-mail at  Group rates and Birthday Party packages are available.

About The Growing Stage

The Growing Stage-The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey is a non-profit professional performing arts center dedicated to theatre for young audiences. A member theatre of the Association of Actor’s Equity, we provide opportunity for all to learn and grow through participation in the arts.

‘Doubt’ next at Chester Theatre Group


By John Patrick Shanley

Directed by Kevern Cameron

September 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 at 8:00 PM
September 20, 27 at 2:00 PM

Sister Aloysius, the strict principal of St. Nicolas Elementary School, learns from young Sister James that Father Flynn, the new priest, has met with the school’s first black student in private. Certain that Father Flynn has molested the boy, she determines to get him removed from the parish. Their battle and the boy’s story cast doubt not only on the priest and the church, but on conviction and faith itself.


Dale Monroe as Father Flynn

Tasha R Williams as Mrs. Muller

Diane Gilch as Sister Aloysius

Jackie Jacobi as Sister James

All seating is General Admission: Tickets  $20.00: senior citizen (age 65 and over) and students (under 18)  $18.00:
For groups of 10 or more, ALL tickets will receive the discounted price of $18.00

Black-River-Playhouse-chester Black River Playhouse-54 Grove Street (at the corner of Maple Avenue), Chester, NJ 07930 • 908-879-7304 •

Auditions: The Strollers casting ‘The Shadow Box’

SB Art work

On September 8th and 8th at 7:30PM The Strollers will be casting "The Shadow Box" by Michael Cristofer at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.

Seeking a multi-ethnic cast of actors, one male actor who looks 14-16, one 20+ and two 40-60 yrs old. Also three women, 40+ and one woman 60+. Finally one character 30+ who may be either male or female.

Rehearses weekday eves; Runs Nov. 6, 7, 13, and 14 (8 p.m.) and Nov. 8 (2 p.m.) at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Rd., Maplewood, NJ (right across from the NJ Transit train station).

The Strollers is a membership community theater. Actors who are cast must pay dues.

c1301d73fcffb60e5d51cbd019dfaa3c Further information at, at the auditions tab or at our facebook page, The Maplewood Strollers.

Mel Brook’s hit musical ‘The Producers’ to Open at Playhouse 22/Auditions ‘A Few Good Men’



The Producers, a musical by Mel Brooks, and Tom Meehan, will open at Playhouse 22 on Friday, September 11. 

Tom Frascatore directs Playhouse 22’s production with musical direction by A.J. Meeker and choreography by Shona Roebuck.

The Producers is about a down-and-out Broadway producer and a naïve accountant who together scheme to producer the worst musical of all time; however, the musical becomes an instant hit leaving them at wits end.  It is based on Brooks’ 1967 hit movie and, as a musical it garnered a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. 

Performances are Friday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.  There will be no performance on Saturday, September 19; however, there will be two performances on Saturday, September 26.  The first performance will be a matinee show at 3 p.m. and a second performance at 8 p.m.

Due to language and content, the show is for mature audiences. 

Tickets are $22/adults and $20/seniors and students and can be purchased online at, by calling the Box Office at (732) 254-3939 or at the Box Office window. 

Playhouse 22 is located at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, New Jersey.



Playhouse 22 will be having open auditions for A Few Good Men on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. Callbacks by invitation will be held on Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The show dates are November 6 – 22, 2015. All shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8…for more information click here.

Lucia di Lammermoor next at Bergen Performing Arts Center's Verismo Opera


The Bergen Performing Arts Center's (bergenPAC) house opera company, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), will conclude its 26th season with Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. The tragic, dramatic work in the bel canto style will be performed on Sunday, October 18 at 3:00 p.m. at the theatre, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

Amara Under Artistic Director Lucine Amara, the only grand opera company in Bergen County, New Jersey, will bring this dark, romantic tale of family honor, betrayal and madness set in the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland in the 17th century to bergenPAC's stage for the second time in a decade. Stage Director and Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif will direct the fully staged production with the cast singing in Italian. Coloratura soprano Hea-Ran Kim from Ridgewood, New Jersey will perform the role of Lucia. The Bergen Record of New Jersey described her as “a phenomenon that must be heard to be believed".

This tour-de-force of Italian Romantic opera will be presented in three acts with the libretto by Salvadore Cammarano loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, The Bride of Lammermoor. English supertitles will be projected for the audience to follow.

Maestro Anthony Morss will conduct the Verismo Opera Orchestra for the last time. Morss, the company's Principal Conductor and Music Director for two decades, will step down at the end of the current season. Chorus Director Mara Waldman will direct the Verismo Opera Chorus comprised of singers from the region.

The complete cast will appear in period costumes designed by Costume Designer/Wardrobe Director Barbara Konig, Assistant Costumer Elaine McKhann and Costume Consultant Catherine Mirabella. Jeromy Hunt will return as Stage Manager and Adam Greene will join again the Verismo Opera staff as Lighting Director.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets may be purchased online at, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center's (bergenPAC) box office, or by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW. The theatre is located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

Verismo Opera is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible to all. Street parking is available with designated handicapped parking spaces. bergenPAC is handicapped accessible. Hearing assist systems are available upon request to the house manager in the lobby. Members of the public requiring a special accommodation or with specific questions about the physical features of a facility where Verismo Opera performs may call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks prior to the event.


The 2015 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., Mary Casella Briggs Fund, and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

For further information about the opera or Verismo Opera, call (201) 886-0561 or send an e-mail to

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For over 26 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

The organization provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the Bergen Performing Arts Center and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information about the nonprofit opera company, visit its web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, Twitter @NJVerismoOpera or Pinterest at; or call (201) 886-0561.


Photo: A scene from the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

Dreamcatcher season pass subscriber call



  “Love our shows? Want to continue supporting quality, local and intimate professional theater? Why not get a season pass to Dreamcatcher?!”

Benefits of Subscribing

DISCOUNT - Season tickets give you the biggest savings available-20% off all shows.

BONUS - Every season pass comes with a guest ticket that allows you to bring a friend to one show for free; that's a $35 value!

CHOICE - Choose the full 7-show season through September 12 or the 3-show mainstage season through October 1.

FLEXIBILITY - Pick your dates whenever you want, and get unlimited free date changes (up until 3 hours before your scheduled performance).

SPECIAL INVITES - Season passholders sometimes get invited to private readings and other special events not open to the public.

Read more...!season-passes/c1m23

                   Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Oakes Center  *  120 Morris Avenue  *  Summit, NJ 07901

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


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jazz vocalist SARAH PARTRIDGE to perform for The Strollers fund raiser


The Strollers will present a benefit performance starring jazz vocalist SARAH PARTRIDGE and her Trio and also featuring the whimsical singing ensemble THE LOOSE CANONS. ONE NIGHT ONLY! Saturday, September 19th - doors open at 7:00P at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ.

All Tickets are $30 and include refreshments, a Silentc1301d73fcffb60e5d51cbd019dfaa3c Auction, a 50/50 raffle and more!

For tickets and more information, go to

Review: Wonderful ‘must-see’ tribute to actor Jack Lemmon by his son Chris


Chris Lemmon

Hurry!  Final two performances of A Twist of Lemmon TODAY at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown (2pm and 7 pm).

This is a wonderful homage by Jack Lemmon's son Chris. It is a "must see" for fans of the two-time Academy Award winner (Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger) and the Golden Age of Hollywood. It is a wonderful, touching, very personal portrait of one of our favorite actors written and presented with great love by his multi-talented son.   In A Twist of Lemmon, Chris Lemmon shares family tales and anecdotes from and about his dad.

Chris, who bears a strong physical resemblance to his dad, uniquely presents the program entirely in the voice of his Dad with perfect spot-on physical mannerisms (in so doing displays his own first rate acting and musical talents).

chris l ann camera Twist, as you would expect, is filled with stories of movie stars and directors who were Jack's close friends like Clint Eastwood, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Marilyn Monroe, John Ford and Jimmy Cagney, plus a special tribute to his best friend Walter Matthau.

Personal favorites are the stories of Jack's casting in Mister Roberts and the making of Some Like It Hot with the tardy Marilyn Monroe (Chris delivers Joe E. Brown’s climactic “Nobody’s perfect” line from Some Like It Hot perfectly) the professional "marriage" of Lemmon and Matthau starting with The Odd Couple. They teamed in a series of box office winners. To Chris Matthau was Uncle Waltz.

11896140_10207063752810282_2204459678821819106_n Twist is based on Chris Lemmon's book A Twist of Lemmon which, of course, tells the story of his dad who starred in over 60 films. He was the first actor to win both an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (Mister Roberts), and Best Actor (Save the Tiger).

The program's warmest moments are when Chris discusses the impact of his parents' divorce (he was only three). Each remarried (his step-father was Cliff Robertson), with the result his memories of his father are based more on specific activities like fishing in Alaska, golfing at Pebble Beach and sharing a love of the piano. As Chris states, Jack made a concerted effort to remain a part of his son's life.  "I adored and idolized Pop," and "I know he never doubted that I loved him," Chris says. "He was a great father and a man who was a hell of a lot of fun to be with. I miss him an awful lot,  So for 90 minutes every night, I get to be on stage with him. That’s the way it feels to me. I even call out to him. I say, ‘Pop, here we go’ right before I come on. Then I say ‘Magic Time,’ which was his line. Then I go out there and I just have a ball for 90 minutes. It’s so much fun.”

You can experience part of the fun by seeing this truly wonderful tribute by a son for his father. Remember you only have today at 2pm and 7pm.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   August 29, 2015  2pm

289369-morris_museum Ticket Prices:

$40 General Public/Seniors
$38 Museum/Theatre Guild Members
$35 Groups (10 or more)
$25 Students (18 and under or with a valid college ID)

*Please note that “A Twist of Lemmon” is not part of the subscription package.

Box Office: 973.971.3706

Visit for more info and directions:

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07960

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Theater Project to present Three Plays in Three Weeks!

Theater Project Returns With Three Plays In Three Weeks

After its summer hiatus, The Theater Project comes roaring back to life with Three Plays in Three Weeks, an entire season of entertainment delivered in less than one month. The professional theater company at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood allows theatergoers to experience a mini theater season over three weekends -- and save money if they buy a three play package for $45. Artistic Director Mark Spina said, “By offering three different plays, we give new patrons a menu of choices, and create an opportunity to see our current fans more often – which is always a pleasure.”  The shows will run Sept 24 - Oct 18, Thursdays through Sundays, at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ.  Actors greet the audience after each performance, and talkbacks are held every Friday night.

The lineup includes:

TEACHER IN THE HOUSE (Sept 24 – Sept 27), about the challenges facing a teacher assigned to home school children, will be performed by its author: character comic Susan Jeremy, who has toured the US, Canada and Europe with one-woman shows about her experiences as a teacher. Jeremy returns to Maplewood after presenting A TEACHER GROWS IN BROOKLYN with The Theater Project last year.

FOR WHOM THE SOUTHERN BELLE TOLLS and other theater parodies by Christopher Durang (Oct 1 – 4) satirizes the classic plays of Tennessee Williams, such as The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Director Mark Spina says, “You will never see these stories again in quite the same way after you see what has been done to them by Christopher Durang.” (Durang, called “one of the funniest playwrights alive” by The New Yorker, is the author of the recent Broadway hit VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE.)  The cast includes Gail Lou of Englewood, Gary Glor (Union,) Barbara Guidi (Scotch Plains), Will Budnikov (Woodbridge) and Dennis DaPrile (Spring Lake).

BUYER AND CELLAR (October 9 -- 12) by Jonathan Tolins, a one-man show about an out-of-work actor who lands a job as the “curator” of Barbra Streisand’s basement, was a hit in New York and New Brunswick. Jason Gillis (Springfield) plays all the characters and David Christopher (Cranford) directs.

At the door admission is $30 adults, $15 students. Special discounts are available when buying tickets prior to Sept 21:  purchase tickets to see three plays for $45, two plays for $40, or one play for $25. Tickets: Information: 908-809-8865.

tpphoto The Theater Project, now in its 22nd year, presents its main stage season at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood. It also offers programs such as a playwrights workshop, new play presentations, and classes for kids in theater, juggling and music, in Essex and Union Counties. All are on display at their web site:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey to present the New Jersey premiere of Bill Cain’s Equivocation


Next up on the Main Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present the New Jersey premiere of Bill Cain’s Equivocation. When the Bard and his troupe of players receive a royal commission to dramatize the events surrounding the infamous Gunpowder Plot, the artist must confront the demons of his past, his present, and his obligations to the truth and artistic integrity. Equivocation was described in Variety as “one of the most bracingly intelligent, sizzlingly theatrical American plays in a decade.”

Performances begin Wednesday, September 16th and continue through Sunday, October 4th at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Tickets start at $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Student rush tickets for all performances are $15, available a half-hour before curtain with a valid Student ID. Both individual tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting

Cain’s inspiration for Equivocation came directly from the Bard himself. In a 2010 interview with, Cain talks about the vacation that kicked off the writing process. “I spent time at the Globe Theatre and time in the Tower of London. I saw inscriptions chiseled into the walls there from prisoners of conscience of the time of Shakespeare. I began to wonder about the relationship between this man who had churned out so many words and defined his time, and people of conscience who just had a few words to write for taking a stand at the same time. The moral issues of Shakespeare began to come to mind.” Cain immediately returned to London and began writing what would become his second play.  Equivocation has enjoyed a number of well-received performances across the nation since its world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2009. Reviewed by the LA Times, critics lauded the show as “an ambitiously sprawling work of historical fiction,” and Talkin’ Broadway praised the play as “intellectually challenging… A play that portrays the balance and struggle between politics and art as well as an insight into the working mind of Shakespeare.”

The Playwright:

Bill Cain is the author of How To Write A New Book For The Bible, which premiered in the 2011-2012 season at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. His play 9 Circles was awarded the Sky/Cooper Prize by Marin Theatre Company where it received its world premiere production. It has gone to productions around the country including theatres in Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles.  In addition to its world premiere production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Equivocation had its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, and has been produced at the Geffen Playhouse (Ovation Award for Best Play), Seattle Rep, Marin Theatre, and Arena Stage. Other works include Stand-Up Tragedy, which earned six LA Critics Awards (including best production and distinguished writing) for its premiere at the Mark Taper Forum before moving around the country and eventually to Broadway. Screen credits include the series Nothing Sacred (co-creator/writer/producer) which aired on ABC, an adaptation of Clover for the Hallmark channel and HBO, Nightjohn which was named best American film of the year by The New Yorker, Thicker Than Blood (TNT), which was an adaptation of Stand-Up Tragedy, Everything That Rises (starring Mandy Patinkin), Papa’s Angels (starring Scott Bukula, Cynthia Nixon, and Eva Marie Saint), and Sounder. He is the founder of the Boston Shakespeare Company, where he was Artistic Director for seven seasons, directing most of the Shakespeare canon. Awards include: Steinberg New Play Award (first ever recipient two years in a row), multiple Edgerton grants, Helen Hayes awards, the Joe A. Callaway Award, a Peabody, the WGA Award for Episodic Drama, and a Christopher Award, among others.

The Cast:

In his twenty-third season with The Shakespeare Theatre, James Michael Reilly takes the stage as famed playwright Shag. Mr. Reilly’s company credits include 2014’s The Alchemist as well as Our Town, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew (2010 and 1993), The Grapes of Wrath, The Comedy of Errors, The Rivals, The Three Sisters, That Scoundrel Scapin, and The Grouch. Off-Broadway, he was seen in The Comedy of Errors at the Aquila Theatre Company. Regionally, Mr. Reilly has performed at The Denver Center Theatre Company, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Geva Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the Human Race Theatre Company. Television credits include Unforgettable, The Blacklist, Boardwalk Empire, Elementary, Person of Interest, Law & Order, and Louie. Mr. Reilly holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Indiana University

Making her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Judith, Therese Barbato is in her first season with the Theatre. Off-Broadway, she has appeared alongside David Oyelowo in Prometheus Bound at the Classic Stage Company. Additional off-Broadway credits include Mourning Becomes Electra (The New Group), Wonder (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), and numerous projects with Slant Theatre Project. Regional credits include work a The Huntington Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Geva Theatre, and Boise Contemporary Theatre. Ms. Barbato is a recent graduate of The Julliard School, where favorite credits were Angels in America, Wild Blue, As You Like It, and Dancing At Lughnasa

Also making a Shakespeare Theatre debut is Dominic Comperatore, playing Nate. Recently, Mr. Comperatore was seen on Broadway in Tony Nominated View From the Bridge, directed by Michael Mayer. Off-Broadway credits include director Jenn Thompson’s Lost In Yonkers (Drama Desk Nominee), Clash By Night, and The Merchant of Venice. Regional credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Secret Love-Life of Ophelia, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Julius Caesar, Talley’s Folly, Burn This, All My Sons, Italian American Reconciliation, and Lonely Planet, among others. Film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s The Good German (opposite George Clooney), and Room 32 (Best Actor nominee, Method Fest). TV credits include work on Orange is the New Black, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Entourage, Alias, The Shield, Boston Legal, and CSI Miami.

In his seventh season with The Shakespeare Theatre Kevin Isola will play Armin. Company credits include The Alchemist, The Liar, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Around the World in Eight Days, and As You Like It. Mr. Isola performed on Broadway in Brooklyn Boy and Off-Broadway at Second Stage, Transport Group, 59E59 Street Theatre, The Women’s Project, The Play Company, Playwrights Horizons, NYSF/The Public Theatre, and The Cherry Lane. Regionally, he has appeared at two River Theatre, the McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Provincetown Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The Hudson Theatre, The Tiffany Theatre, and Yale Repertory. TV and Film credits include Passing Harold Blumenthal, Frank the Rat, The New Bozena, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Uninvited, 24 Nights, Academy Boyz, The New Yorker, Fringe, Damages, Boston Legal, Law and Order, The Summer of Ben Tyler (Hallmark Hall of Fame), All My Children, and Viva Variety.  Kevin received his MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program.

Playing Richard, Rob Krakovski is in his sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Company credits include A Most Dangerous Woman, Around the World in Eighty Days, Measure for Measure, and Julius Caesar. Recently, he has appeared in Secret Order at the San Jose Rep, A Christmas Story at Geva Theatre Center, and productions of Twelfth Night and Beard of Avon at Portland Center Stage. Off-Broadway, he originated the role of Bill Wilson in Bill W. Regionally, he has performed at the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Hartford Stage. Internationally he has appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Georgian Republic Arts Festival in Tbilisi with Vanessa Redgrave. Selected film credits include Ryan Fleck’s Astata (selected for Sundance) and Heads Up (Producer; winner “Best Film” in Madrid, London, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles).

In his first season with The Shakespeare Theatre, Matthew Stucky plays Sharpe, Tom Wintour, and King James I. Regional credits include A Lion in Winter at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Romeo and Juliet at the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Titus Andronicus, Richard II, The Beaux Stratagem, and Love’s Labour’s Lost at The Shakespeare Theatre Company D.C., as well as work at Shakespeare & Company, The Studio Theatre D.C., Syracuse Stage, and The Hangar Theatre. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s B.F.A. Acting program.

The Director
Now in his twenty-fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, director Paul Mullins has helmed a number of productions. Company credits: Henry VII, The Devil’s Disciple, The Playboy of the Western World, The Liar, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Lion in Winter, Noises Off!, Private Lives, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Richard II, Illyria, King John, The Illusion, Tartuffe, Rhinoceros, Measure for Measure, All’s Well That Ends Well, and The Threepenny Opera. Other credits include Good People, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Macbeth at The Old Globe, Henry V at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and a number of other regional productions that include work at The Studio Theatre D.C., Chautauqua Theatre Company, Portland Stage, the Dorset Theatre Festival, and the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. Mr. Mullins is a graduate of New York University, the Yale School of Drama, and The Julliard School.

The Artistic Staff:

The world of Equivocation comes to life with the help of scenic designer Michael Schweikardt, costume designer Nikki Delhomme, lighting designer Michael Giannitti, and sound designer Karin Graybash. Alison Cote serves as production stage manager.


Single tickets for Equivocation start at $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $15 with a valid Student ID. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600, visit, or email

Special Performances:

Discount preview performances for Equivocation take place on Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30 PM, Thursday, September 17th and Friday September 18th at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, September 19th at 2:00 PM. Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience. As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can Night. Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and performance-time on Wednesday, September 16th to purchase a ticket for that evening’s 7:30 PM show, at a cost that is affordable to you. Offer subject to availability.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances are offered for each show, and include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff. Symposium performances for Equivocation will be Tuesday, September 22nd at 7:30 PM and Saturday, September 26th and Saturday, October 3rd at 2:00 PM.

For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 PM, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on the production. The Know the Show performance will be held on Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 PM, and is free of charge.

One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, The Shakespeare Theatre 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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August Wilson’s Seven Guitars at Two River Theater


Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced the full cast and creative team for its production of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Brandon J. Dirden, an award-winning actor who is making his directorial debut with this production.

Seven Guitars is the third play in Wilson’s American Century Cycle produced by Two River, following the theater’s acclaimed mountings of Jitney and Two Trains Running. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, September 12 and continue through Sunday, October 4. The opening night performance is Friday, September 18 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or The lead production sponsor is Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor.

Among his many credits as an actor in the plays of August Wilson, Brandon J. Dirden made his professional debut in a 1990 production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Alley Theatre and was honored with an Obie Award for his performance in The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre in 2012. He made his Two River Theater debut in Wilson’s Jitney. He has also appeared at Two River in the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine and in Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. On Broadway, his credits include Clybourne Park (in which he appeared with his wife, Crystal Dickinson) and, most recently, All the Way, in which he starred as Martin Luther King Jr. opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon Johnson. On television, he can be seen as Agent Aderholt in the FX series The Americans.

Seven Guitars is the 1940s play in Wilson’s 10-play cycle exploring the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. Set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1948, it tells the story of Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, played at Two River by Kevin Mambo (Fela!), a blues guitarist who sits on the edge of stardom. The production will feature original music by acclaimed jazz musician Jason Moran.

Featured in the cast are Brittany Bellizeare (Ruby), Brian D. Coats (Hedley), Crystal Dickinson (Louise), Jason Dirden (Canewell), Charlie Hudson III (Red Carter), and Christina Acosta Robinson (Vera).

The creative team for Seven Guitars includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Driscoll Otto, and sound designer David Margolin Lawson. The fight direction is by Unkle Dave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths and Kate Murray, and the production stage manager is Laura Wilson.

redb7 “One of the things we are proudest of here at Two River is our track record for giving actors new challenges that stretch them as artists,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “Some years ago, Brandon mentioned to me that he wanted to direct, and I have been searching for the right project for him ever since.  We found it in August Wilson’s beautiful and wrenching Seven Guitars.”

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

Review: ‘Nobody's Girl’ provocative new drama at NJ Rep in Long Branch


nobodysgirl Reviewed by Michael T. Mooney

New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch NJ

Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 8pm

The 'girl' in the title of Rick Viede's new play currently onstage at NJ Rep is Currah, a young Muslim who claims horrific abuse at the hands of her father in an Iranian cellar. Her world also includes Ant, a scheming social worker, Ronnie Lowe, a slick literary agent, and Tyrelle, Ronnie’s campy gay assistant. When Currah’s controversial memoir (also titled Nobody’s Girl) hits the bestseller list and vaults her to mega-stardom, the power struggle between the foursome twists and turns as they ruthlessly play the fame game – for keeps.

Viede's play is actually a revised version of one he wrote in his native Australia. Now a New Yorker, the play has been re-tooled, re-titled, and re-thought for American audiences. An award-winning young writer and performer, Viede takes on the monstrous topic of fame – questioning who we choose to put on a pedestal in our Kardashian-crowded world. To wield his dramatic sword, he utilizes the recent phenomenon of the 'misery memoir' – biographical tomes so horribly bleak that we question their authenticity as well as the veracity of their authors. Luckily, in Nobody's Girl, precious few bother to question Currah's tale of abuse and redemption. We soon learn that the social worker has aspirations to be a famous writer - at any cost – and NJ Rep audiences quickly put the puzzle pieces together (even if Currah's adoring public doesn't). Complicating matters, Viede has Currah claim she actually enjoyed being sexually abused, making it difficult to imagine a world where Nobody's Girl (Currah's biographical tome and perhaps the play itself) might earn favor with the public. Viede chooses razor sharp wit to put forth his themes (at least in Act One) and it is his first-rate cast that help him achieve his vision.

judith hawking Nobody's Girl is vaguely reminiscent of the work of playwright Douglas Carter Beane, especially his 1997 pop culture satire As Bees In Honey Drown. Beane's most recent exercise in quip-filled satire was Shows for Days at Lincoln Center Theater. Lincoln Center had Patti LuPone - NJ Rep has Judith Hawking (photo right). Hawking plays fast-talking Ronnie Lowe, who eagerly (one might say greedily) helps Currah transform from wide-eyed waif to media darling. Physically and vocally, however, Hawking's take-no-prisoners style owes more to Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada than Ms. LuPone.

Greg Haney Teamed with Gregory Haney's Tyrelle (a self-hating homosexual fashionista- photo right), they deliver Viede's dishy dialogue with the split second timing of a gold-plated Rolex.

Jacob A. Ware's Anthony (or Ant, as he constantly insists on being called), is a mass of nervous tics about his behind-the-scenes role in the plan. Viede's skillful writing allows Anthony / Ant to put forth the most despicable deception imaginable, yet remain a charming loser at the same time.

Layla Khoshnoudi As Currah, Layla Khoshnoudi (photo right) grows from a scrappy climber to a manipulative schemer who allows fame and fortune to go to her pretty (but empty) head. Khoshnoudi more than capably holds her own against powerhouse Hawking, especially in the play's grimmer second half, where the fame game escalates to life-or-death mode.

The show is billed as “a provocative new play for American audiences.” Perhaps the description refers to the play's earlier origins down under, or perhaps it is a sly condemnation of our national fascination with the sordid stories that fill our media. Either way, Nobody's Girl certainly lives up to its claim of being provocative.


NOBODY'S GIRL directed by Erica Gould


Gregory Haney
Judith Hawking
Layla Khoshnoudi
Jacob A. Ware

set design by Jessica Parks
lighting design by Jill Nagle
sound design by Merek Royce Press
costume design by Patricia E. Doherty
technical director, Brian Snyder
stage manager,
Jennifer Tardibuono

Nobody's Girl plays through September 20th at New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey. For tickets call 732.229.3166 or visit


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mile Square Theatre open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream a success

MST_12th Night crowd

“Mile Square Theatre ended its open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Frank Sinatra Park. We were blessed with perfect weather over the three-week run, and for the first time, we didn’t have a single rain out. Over 3,000 people saw this dazzling production, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Hudson River and the New York City skyline. Many of them came from Hudson County, but in polling our audience, we found that a significant amount came from other parts of New Jersey and from New York City.

Milesqlogos It was a strong showcase of our county’s commitment to art and culture. We want to thank the many entities and individuals that supported the project through their financial support and tireless advocacy for the arts: Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken, County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, Freeholder Anthony Romano and his colleagues on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, The Rockefeller Group, Bijou Properties, Party with Purpose, the Hoboken Family Alliance, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the countless individuals who have contributed to our non-profit theatre. They all make it possible for MST to present free theatre in the park. In the coming months, MST will build its new theatre facility at the Artisan in North Hoboken.

We are thrilled to continue our work in the community in this beautiful space by bringing quality theatre productions and events and to advance theatre and arts education to our region’s youth. We invite all theatre and art lovers to join us as we build a sustainable arts institution right here in Hoboken.”
Chris O’Connor
MST Founder and Artistic Director
Zabrina Stoffel
President of the MST Board of Trustees


Photo from recent production of ‘12th Night’-used with permission

Friday, August 21, 2015

Kean University Department of Theatre Announces 2015-2016 Season


With construction now complete on their state-of-the-art scene shop and several new design/technology classrooms, the Kean University Department of Theatre has announced an ambitious season for the coming academic year. The 2015-2016 Department of Theatre season, slated to begin October 16th, will include the Greek tragedy Elektra; Children of Eden, a musical based on the first nine chapters of the Book of Genesis; Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s timeless political exposé; and John J. Wooten’s riotous farce, Kiss the Bride.

“This year the Department of Theatre celebrates the opening of our new scenic construction facility, where students' exposure to all of the behind-the-scenes components will be enhanced,” stated longtime faculty member and department spokeswoman Holly Logue. “Having been recognized as one of the top ten most underrated college theatre programs in the northeast by, we hope to continue to raise awareness of all the good things that are happening at Kean. We also celebrate our ongoing partnership with Premiere Stages, the professional theatre on campus, by producing one of [artistic director] John J. Wooten's plays, the contemporary farce, Kiss the Bride.”

The 2015-2016 season opens with Sophocles’ Elektra (October 16 – 24, 2015), directed by faculty member E. Teresa Choate, in Kean’s Zella Fry Theatre. A tragedy first performed in the ancient city of Athens, Elektra charts an escalation of unreasoning hatred that erupts into matricidal frenzy.

Years before the action begins, a father sacrificed his eldest daughter so that the gods would allow the winds to blow and carry him and his fleet to the Trojan War. When he returned victorious, his wife, in revenge for her daughter's murder, slaughtered him with an axe. As queen, she took a lover and ruled in his stead. A young son was smuggled away; another daughter remained to mourn her father and nurture a festering hatred for her mother.  The story of Elektra begins when the son, now grown, returns and joins with his sister to plot the assassination of the woman who gave them birth. Director E. Teresa Choate has opted to use a translation and adaptation by Ezra Pound and Rudd Fleming for the production.

“During another war, millennia later, a famous and infamous American poet, Ezra Pound, was possessed of an unreasoning hatred for his homeland,” said Ms. Choate, who most recently directed The Importance of Being Earnest for the University. “Arrested in 1945 on charges of treason for making anti-American broadcasts during World War II, [Pound] was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C.  During his imprisonment, the mad American poet forged an alliance with this mad daughter of ancient Greece. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the asylum, he translated the Greek of Sophocles’ poetic tale of murderous madness into English that resonates with 1940s America and the genius of Pound’s poetic gift.”

The Department of Theatre will follow Sophocles’ enduring tragedy with Children of Eden (November 13 – 21, 2015), a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith by Broadway legends Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked) and John Caird (Les Miserables, Candide). Based on a concept by Charles Lisanby, Children of Eden will be performed in the Wilkins Theatre, and feature direction by Holly Logue, musical direction by Meg Zervoulis, and choreography by Michele Mossay. Drawing on the Old Testament as its primary source material, this enchanting musical retells the human story from the moment of Creation until just after the Flood, bringing vibrant new life to our shared ancient history.

Children of Eden causes us to ask important questions about family, love, and social responsibility as it sweeps us along on a tide of music and lyric,” stated director Holly Logue. “The show challenges us as it reaffirms our beliefs. It validates our own daily struggles, comforts us as we try to make sense of sadness, and sustains us as we seek the light that illuminates each of our lives.  The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: that the hardest part of love is letting go."

The Department will hold an open call for children ages 9-12 for the roles of young Cain and Abel in the production. Auditions will take place Saturday, September 12 at 11 a.m. in Vaughn Eames Hall, Room 212.  Children interested in auditioning should prepare one verse of any Broadway song. To schedule an audition appointment, please call 908-737-4420.

The Department of Theatre will begin its spring semester with another classic of the Western theatrical canon, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (February 19 - 27, 2016), directed by faculty member Ernest Wiggins in the Wilkins Theatre. Julius Caesar, a celebrated military leader, has just been publicly announced as a permanent dictator with absolute political control. As with all granted political power, envy quickly ensues.

“[Julius Caesar] tells the story of the conspiracy to murder Caesar and the power struggle that follows after his death,” explained director Ernest Wiggins.  “It also asks us to examine such themes as friendship, power, gender, manipulation, and love.  Join our Company as we explore this powerful and provocative play and attempt to not only understand Roman politics, but the politics of our day.”

The Department of Theatre’s 2015-2016 season concludes with John J. Wooten’s Kiss the Bride (April 1 - 9, 2016, Zella Fry Theatre), directed by Wes Grantom, a founding member of New York’s Slant Theatre Project.  In this madcap comedy, a groom schemes to murder his frequently married and very wealthy bride on their wedding night. Having hired a couple of bumbling bad guys to do the job, the groom mistakes an introverted wedding guest for the hired killer, sending him upstairs with his wife. Soon after, the real hit man arrives, having kidnapped an unsuspecting bride at the wrong reception. The kidnapped bride soon escapes from the trunk of their car and, with the help of crazed couples and uninvited guests, sends the newlyweds fleeing and the audience rolling down the aisle with laughter.

kean dept Standard tickets to all Department of Theatre performances are $15, with $12 tickets available for Kean faculty, staff, and alumni, and $10 tickets available for students. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage box office at 908-737-SHOW (7469), email, or visit

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, Kean University's Department of Theatre mirrors the university's mission to provide a core educational foundation based on the liberal arts. Our curricula are designed to educate theatre students to enter the realm of professional theatre, theatre education or advanced graduate studies. For more information, please call (908) 737-4420, email, or visit

Photo: Recent production of Peter Pan-used by permission

Bergen County Players kick off 83rd season in high style with the classic musical "Guys and Dolls


The Bergen County Players will kick off their 83rd season in high style with a production of the classic musical "Guys and Dolls", celebrating the incredibly entertaining musical's 65th anniversary, over five weekends beginning Saturday, September 12th and concluding Saturday, October 10th. The curtain for Friday and Saturday performances will rise at 8 pm with Sunday matinees at 2 pm and will be presented at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road, in Oradell. Tickets are available to be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.

Winner of 5 Tony Awards (including Best Musical),the show was extremely fresh and different when it premiered on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1200 performances, and there’s still nothing like it today because the gangsters, gamblers and other New York underworld “guys” it portrays speak the unique dialect legendary writer Damon Runyon was known for – a mix of stilted formal language and slang. The original Broadway production of "Guys and Dolls" opened to unanimously positive reviews, with the Daily News declaring that "The book is a work of
easy and delightful humor. Its music and lyrics...amount to an artistic triumph."

The story is set in motion by a bet between gamblers Sky Masterson, (Jody Laufer of Fair Lawn) and Nathan Detroit (Steve Bell of Hackensack), about taking Sarah Brown (Chloe Nevill of Ringwood) to dinner in Havana. That presents quite a challenge since Sarah works at the Save-a-Soul mission with her superior, General Matilda Cartwright (Andrea Pieper of New Milford), her grandfather Arvide Abernathy (Bill Cantor of Woodcliff Lake) and fellow band members (Frank McDonnell of River Edge, Randi Kestin of Fair Lawn and Jeff Pieper of New Milford). Nathan is romantically involved with Miss Adelaide (Janet Gaynor-Matonti of River Edge), a featured performer with the Hot Box Girls (Lauren Salaterski of Mahwah, Elisabeth Erdmann of Nutley, Rosella DeVincenzo of Oradell, Honor Friberg of Dumont, Debbie
Zika of Hillsdale and Emily Cooper of Westwood). More often, though, he hangs around with other suspect types that include Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Brian Eller of Wyckoff), Benny Southstreet (Paul Aiello of Jersey City), Harry the Horse (Frank Favata of North Arlington), Big Jule (Howell Mayer of Saddle Brook) and the other gamblers (Matthew Blum of Paramus, Daniel Reid of Emerson, Jim Kelly of Park Ridge and Richard L. Field of Cliffside Park) who are all pursued by Lieutenant Brannigan (Mark Herrmann of Mahwah).

Director Dottie Fischer is thrilled, after many years, to tackle it for a second time. She believes “It’s really a perfect show, with lyrics that are true to the dialog and songs that spur the action. It's noisy, humorous, salty and tough and a great opportunity to once again be rocked by the show-stopping "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat".”

In addition to director Fischer, the production team includes Paul Reitnauer III (Producer and Stage Manager), Geri Berhain (Assistant to the Director), Jalmari Vanamo (Music Director), Sharla Herbert (Choreographer), Steve Moldt (Set Designer), Marci K. Weinstein (Set Décor), Lynne Lupfer (Costume Design), Michele Roth (Costumes), Christopher R. Hughes (Sound Design), Andrew Whitney (Sound Operation), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Kathleen Ruland (Lighting Operation), Christine Francois (Props), Corrine Sarro (Makeup), Jennifer Beza, Gloria Bumbaco, Richard Ciero and Roy Harry (Crew), Steve Mintz and Barbara Mintz (Photography), Ed Gross (Publicity) and Marci K. Weinstein
(Program Notes).

firehouse_75a_small All performances for Guys and Dolls 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.   Tickets for Guys and Dolls 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.   Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theatre.

Further information can be found at

Full Cast and Creative Team set for ‘The Bandstand’ at Paper Mill Playhouse


Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2015-2016 season with the world premiere musical The Bandstand. As previously announced, Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde), Corey Cott (Newsies, Gigi) and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, 42nd Street) will star in The Bandstand.

The Bandstand will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, Bring It On, In the Heights). The Bandstand features a book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor and music by Richard Oberacker. The Bandstand begins performances Thursday, October 8, 2015, and runs through Sunday, November 8, 2015.  The official press opening night is Sunday, October 18, at 7:00pm. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2015-2016 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Set in 1945, The Bandstand tells the story of a mismatched band of military veterans who join together to compete in a national radio contest in New York City with a prize that will guarantee instant stardom to the winners. But with complicated relationships, the demands of the competition and the challenging after-effects of war, going all the way for a win in the contest seems like a dream that may break these musicians. The original score is strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music and much of it is played onstage by the characters who make up the band. The show races towards a “live on air” finale that has an emotionally charged and surprise twist ending that requires every ounce of talent, stamina and raw nerve that these musicians possess.

The Bandstand will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and range from $29 to $102. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.  College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

"I’m thrilled that The Bandstand will receive its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse,” remarked director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.  “Like so many of us in the theatre, I feel it’s like being back at home.  The show follows a group of young musicians, having recently returned home from the war.  When this sizzling music and swing dancing explodes onto the stage, I know that the audiences are going to go wild.”

The Bandstand will star Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes as Julia Troy, Broadway favorite Corey Cott as Donny Novitski and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel as Mrs. Adams, Julia’s mother.

Laura Osnes was seen on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde, Anything Goes, South Pacific and Grease. Ms. Osnes won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for outstanding actress in a musical for her performance as Ella in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Ms. Osnes recently starred as Julie Jordan in Carousel at the Lyric Opera of Chicago opposite Steven Pasquale. In New York City, Ms. Osnes was featured in The Threepenny Opera, The Band Wagon, Randy Newman’s Faust, Pipe Dream, The Sound of Music and more. Ms. Osnes appeared on television in Elementary (CBS), The Miraculous Year (HBO), Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (Avery Fisher Hall), Six by Sondheim (HBO) and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Corey Cott (Donny Novitski) most recently appeared on Broadway in Gigi starring opposite Vanessa Hudgens. Weeks after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University Mr. Cott starred as Jack Kelly in Newsies on Broadway. Last year Mr. Cott made his solo concert debut at the Kennedy Center as part of the ASCAP Centennial Celebration. Mr. Cott was a guest star on CBS’ Madam Secretary and will appear as a guest star on TNT’s Public Morals. Mr. Cott’s film credits include The Intern, The Teacher, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and What You Get.

Beth Leavel (Mrs. Adams) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where she last appeared as Berthe in Boeing-Boeing. Ms. Leavel received Tony, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. Ms. Leavel’s other Broadway credits include Baby It's You! Elf, Mamma Mia!, Young Frankenstein, 42nd Street, Crazy for You and more. Ms. Leavel was also seen in the New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette as Lucille.  Ms. Leavel’s film and television credits include ER, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Unusuals and more.

Joe Carroll (Johnny Simpson) appeared on Broadway in Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet and Once. Mr. Carroll was involved in New York City readings of Bandstand, August Rush, An Incident at Vichy, Michael John LaChiusa and Graciela Daniele’s The Nine Fathers of Ariel and Fly by Night.

Brandon J. Ellis (Davy Zlatic) was seen on Broadway in Once and Company. Mr. Ellis’ film and television credits include 30 Rock, Naked Brothers Band, She Wolf Rising and The Callback and he will be featured in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming HBO show Vinyl.

James Nathan Hopkins (Jimmy Campbell) appeared off-Broadway in What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined and Here’s Hoover! A Berklee College of Music alumnus, Mr. Hopkins has traveled the country performing in various ensembles.

Geoff Packard (Wayne Wright) was seen on Broadway in Matilda, Rock of Ages and The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Packard appeared in national tours of Wicked and The Phantom of The Opera, and he earned critical acclaim for his performance in the title role of Candide at the Goodman and Huntington theatres.

Joey Pero (Nick Radel) was a featured performer at President Obama’s second inauguration. Mr. Pero has performed with Jersey Boys in Las Vegas and at the Composers Showcase of Las Vegas. Mr. Pero is making his acting debut in The Bandstand after graduating from the Juilliard School and New England Conservatory.

Rounding out the cast are: Tanya Birl, Thomas Cannizzaro, Max Clayton, Daniel Cooney, Matt Cusack, Andrea Dotto, Stacia Fernandez, Marc A. Heitzman, Ryan Kasprzak, Andrew Leggieri, Lauren Mufson, Mike Nappi, Jessica Lea Patty, Jeff Pew, Keven Quillon, Corey John Snide, Emily Tate and Mindy Wallace.

Andy Blankenbuehler (Director and Choreographer) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he last choreographed A Wonderful Life. On Broadway, Mr. Blankenbuehler choreographed Hamilton, In the Heights (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards), Bring It On (Director-Choreographer), 9 to 5, The People in the Picture, The Apple Tree and Annie. Mr. Blankenbuehler’s other work includes the world premieres of Hamilton (Public Theater—Drama Desk, Lortel, Obie Awards), Fly (Dallas Theater Center), and Lippa’s A Little Princess, as well as The Wiz (Encores) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (US tour). As a performer, Mr. Blankenbuehler danced on Broadway in Fosse, Contact, Man of La Mancha, Saturday Night Fever, Steel Pier, Big and Guys and Dolls.

Richard Oberacker (Music, Book and Lyrics) is currently conducting Cirque du Soleil’s in Las Vegas. Mr. Oberacker’s conducting credits include Cirque’s Dralion and national tours of Disney’s The Lion King, Show Boat, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music of the Night and Cats. As a composer, co-lyricist, and co-librettist, Mr. Oberacker’s original musicals include A Little Theater (Aurelia Theater), In That Valley (NAMT), Dracula (Corbett Theater), The Gospel According to Fishman (Signature Theatre), Ace (NAMT, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Old Globe, Signature Theatre), Journey to the West (NYMF), The Parenting Project (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati) and The Sandman (NAMT, Fredericia Theater of Denmark).

Robert Taylor (Book and Lyrics) taught foreign languages and ornithology in New York, English and music in China, served as music critic for the Albany Times Union, founded and directed several nonprofits and worked as a freelance musician and writer in Manhattan and as a translator in Europe and Asia. As lyricist and co-author, Mr. Taylor’s musicals include Ace (NAMT, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Old Globe Theatre, Signature Theatre), Journey to the West (NYMF), The Parenting Project (Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Ensemble Theatre) and The Sandman (NAMT, Fredericia Theater of Denmark).

David Kreppel (Music Director/Vocal Arranger) served as the associate music supervisor for The Lion King on Broadway. Mr. Kreppel’s other Broadway and touring credits include A Chorus Line, Mamma Mia, Saturday Night Fever and The Little Mermaid.

Bill Elliott (Orchestrations) won a Tony Award for An American in Paris and earned a Tony nomination for Nice Work If You Can Get It (also a Grammy nomination as co-producer of the cast album). Additional credits include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Anything Goes on Broadway; Lady, Be Good! (Encores); Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival). Arrangements for TV and film include Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Northern Exposure, and Wedding Crashers.

Greg Anthony Rassen (Orchestrations, Dance & Incidental Music Arrangements) conducted the Broadway productions of An American in Paris, Bullets Over Broadway, The Little Mermaid, The Book of Mormon, and Cinderella. Off Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (New World Stages), Brundibar (New Victory). As a featured pianist: A Chorus Line (revival), An American in Paris, and Lady, Be Good! (Encores).

The Bandstand design team includes:

David Korins (Scenic Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after recently designing Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Mr. Korins designed sets for many Broadway shows including Hamilton, Misery, Motown, Annie, Passing Strange and more. Mr. Korins won a Drama Desk Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, three Henry Hewes Awards and an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Set Design.

Paloma Young (Costume Design) won the 2012 Tony Award for best costume design of a play for her work on Peter and the Starcatcher. In New York City Ms. Young also designed costumes for Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino—Lortel Award), Fly by Night, Here’s Hoover!, Preludes, Brooklyn Babylon and more. Ms. Young also has worked regionally at La Jolla Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival and more.

Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design) won the 2012 Tony Award for best lighting design of a play for his work on Peter and the Starcatcher. Mr. Croiter served as lighting designer for many Broadway shows including Something Rotten, Mothers and Sons, Jekyll & Hyde, Newsies and more.

Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design) received a 2013 Tony Award nomination for his sound design of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Mr. Steinberg’s other Broadway credits include Hamilton, It Shoulda Been You, Mothers and Sons, Hair, Ragtime, Legally Blonde and more.

J. Jared Janas (Hair, Wig & Makeup Design) has worked on many Broadway shows including Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Motown, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Next to Normal. At Paper Mill Playhouse Janas designed wigs for Can-Can, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Curtains and Peter Pan.

Tara Rubin Casting (Casting) is a leading New York casting firm whose Broadway credits include Aladdin, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia! among others. Tara Rubin Casting’s regional credits include Yale Repertory, Westport Country Playhouse, Bucks County Playhouse and more. The lead casting director on this project is Lindsay Levine, CSA.

The Production Stage Manager is Mark Dobrow.