Saturday, September 10, 2016

Center Players of Freehold announce upcoming 2016-17 season

Freehold, NJ – Center Players is pleased to announce its upcoming 2016-17 season of six main stage productions to be performed from October through August at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ.

Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” kicks-off the season, running Oct. 21-Nov 20. Directed by Ray Parnese, this comedy follows the attempt by a young theatrical agent to re-unite his elderly uncle, a former vaudevillian great, with his long-time stage partner for a TV reunion. Despite their celebrated reputation, the two old men have not spoken in 12 years. Besides remastering their sketch, the two men have numerous issues to work out before they are ready to return to the public eye.

Next will be an “I Do Love the Holidays (Sometimes)” show running Dec. 9 – 18. This charming, clever musical revue will feature vignettes and holiday music and will be directed by Leslie Hochman, who co-wrote the show with David McGrath.

“The Dinner Party” by Neil Simon will follow, running from Feb. 10-March 5th, and directed by David McGrath. The Dinner Party marks Simon’s 31st play, and revolves around a hilariously chaotic French dinner party. Six strangers have been invited to dine in a fancy Parisian restaurant. There is an air of mystery in this comedy, because the diners do not know why they have been brought together. The dinner addresses damaged relationships and whether or not they can be reconciled.

Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” is next, with performances April 21-May 21. The murder mystery will be co-directed by Center Players Artistic Director Bernice Garfield-Szita and Zach Berman. Set in the 1940s in the observation saloon of the paddle steamer Lotus on the Nile traveling between Shellal and Wadi Halfa, the play tells the story of Simon Mostyn, who has recently married a rich woman after having broken up with his former lover Jacqueline. The couple are honeymooning on the paddle steamer, accompanied by a bevy of memorable characters, including Jacqueline, and plenty of intrigue.

Leslie Hochman’s original musical “Doodle” will run June 16-25. Hochman will also direct the production, which is a celebration of Americana, and features uplifting music and patriotic messages.

Concluding the season will be Tom Griffin’s “The Boys Next Door” which will be directed by David McGrath and will run Aug. 4-20th. This comedic-drama centers around four intellectually disabled men who live together in a small apartment, and Jack, their caring social worker who is on the verge of career burn-out.

Taking place over the course of two months, the play offers scenes and vignettes to illustrate the daily lives of Jack and his wards.

Most performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are priced at $23-$25 and are available online or by calling 732-462-9093. Season ticket subscriptions are also available by calling the box office by Dec. 18th.

Celebrating its 16th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in historic downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants.

Center Players was founded in 1996 and gained status as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and sought to establish a permanent presence in historic downtown Freehold. After performing at various locations around town, the group leased a storefront property at 35 South Street. The space was custom renovated with interior design by New York City designer Nelson Kuperberg into an intimate,49-seat theatre, which opened in March, 2001 with a production of Crossing Delancey.

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