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Monday, April 30, 2018

‘Pippin’ now at Brundage Park Playhouse

Pippin-program-coverPIPPIN

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by Roger O. Hirson

Directed by Larry Turner

Performance Date: April 20, 21, 27, 28 and May 4, 5 (Fridays & Saturdays) at 8:00 pm and April 22, and 29 (Sundays) at 2:00 pm

In a story-within-a-story format, this TONY Winning musical is about a young prince named Pippin who is trying to find his way in the world, to live up to his father’s expectations. But will the advice of The Leading Player lead Pippin to the happy ending he seeks?

CAST LIST:
Clare Capuzzi – Leading Player
Gabriel Weiss – Pippin
Brian George – Charles
Jay Cavalieri – Lewis
Chelsey Caufield – Catherine
Julie Kenyon – Fastrada
Steven George – Theo

Ensemble:
Vanessa Oates
Paul Flanagan
Morgan Carlson
Kya Cafaro
Amanda Claas
Emily Alworth

Friends of New Jersey Festival Orchestra Tour of Notable Homes

sn0624njfestivalorchestrajpeg-8ca784a09fdd29a7Celebrate Mother's Day with

A TOUR OF NOTABLE HOMES

presented by The Friends of New Jersey Festival Orchestra

SATURDAY MAY 12 | 10am-3pm


Positioned in one of Westfield’s prime neighborhoods, this magnificent mid-century center hall Colonial offers many interior surprises rendered by a savvy interior design team working with owners’ vision for a Malibu Beach style interior. Stunning, high-end quality, with opulent and peacefully harmonious fabrics and trimmings throughout.


Newly constructed in 2017, this classic-meets-contemporary southern style home was designed for family casual comfort and easy entertaining. However, casual does not mean indifferent: four resplendent floors (all open to visitors) of spacious, bright rooms demonstrate the owner’s chic expression of style.


This traditional Westfield Colonial has been modernized for the times with a beautiful open kitchen area and yet its elegant roots are evident throughout in the home’s décor. Serenely beautiful landscaping enhances the private yard and pool area. Covered entertainment spaces create delightful outdoor rooms enjoyed by the owners and guests.


Passion for the native flora of New Jersey sets this mid-century Colonial apart. It is perched on a terraced knoll amid specimens that attract songbirds. The woodlands have been ushered into the home through an abundance of the homeowner’s professional artwork. Many enticing attributes, geared to entertaining friends, colleagues and constituents in style, are a must-see.


Your tour includes:

Musical interludes in all homes

Local vendor tastings

Upscale raffles and door prize

Refreshments

All proceeds to benefit New Jersey Festival Orchestra

ADVANCE TICKETS $40 ($45$ DAY OF TOUR)

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Tickets also available at

Baron’s Drugs and Town Book Store in Westfield

Christoffers Florist in Mountainside

For more information go to www.njfestivalorchestra.org

or visit the Friends of NJ Festival Orchestra on Facebook.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Behind the Build - Turning Off the Morning News

Ferber Festival at NJ Rep


LONG BRANCH - NJ Rep presents a celebration of the works of Edna Ferber including salon readings of 5 brand new one-act plays adapted from Ferber's short stories, a lecture on the story behind Show Boat told by Ferber's great niece and biographer, Julie Gilbert, and a concert reading of Selina Peake written by the Pulitzer prize winning playwright, Horton Foote, based on the Pulitzer prize winning novel, So Big. All presentations will be at West End Arts Center, 132 West End Avenue in Long Branch.

Festival Schedule

Thursday, May 31 at 8pm - The Story Behind Show Boat - as told by Ferber’s great niece, Julie Gilbert, who was named after Julie in Show Boat. The novel that was published in 1926 was an immediate best seller, as it quickly followed Ferber’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1924 novel, So Big. The novel of Show Boat was based on research that Ferber did while living on a show boat in North Carolina. It is a considerably darker tale than the groundbreaking 1927 musical conceived by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. Ms. Gilbert will navigate through the many differences between the novel and musical.  She will also screen scenes from all three film versions: 1927, which was a mostly silent film that was closest to the novel; the 1936 version starring Irene Dunne and Paul Robeson and the glossy MGM 1951 version starring Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel and Ava Gardener.

Friday, June 1 at 8pm - Salon readings of three plays adapted from Ferber’s short stories:
That’s Marriage by Marisa Smith, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum – Orville and Theresa’s marriage is tested at the breakfast table one morning in Ferber’s timeless take on an age-old problem. Can this marriage be saved? And will Theresa ever serve Orville another egg?
The Sudden Sixties by D.W. Gregory, directed by Kelly O'Donnell – When Hannah Winter loses her footing in a hotel lobby, the gentleman who helps her up, turns out to be the boyfriend she left behind 40 years earlier. Now, after nearly a lifetime, Hannah is in the mood to rebel.
Mother Knows Best by Julie Gilbert, directed by Wendy Peace – Fanny Seldon, a domineering mother forces her daughter, Sally, to choose a career over her one chance at love.

Saturday, June 2 at 8pm - Salon readings of two plays adapted from Ferber’s short stories:
You’re Not the Type by Julie Weinberg – It’s 1940 and the great depression is over, but not for Vivian Lande. After years of starring roles, she desperately seeks her comeback, but even her faithful agent can’t resuscitate her waning career.
Every Other Thursday book, music, lyrics by Sheilah Rae and Debra Barsha, musical director Rob Baumgartner, director/choreographer Laura Brandel – The time is 1927, Helmi is a Finnish maid working for the Mawson family of New York’s upper West Side. Her day off is every other Thursday. What she does on every other Thursday is her secret and hers alone, much to the consternation of the people she works for.
Sunday, June 3 at 4pm - The festival finale is a concert reading of a three-act play, Selina Peake, based on Ferber’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, So Big. This re-discovered, never produced play was written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Horton Foote, and will be heard by audiences for the first time. This one-time reading is presented by permission of the Horton Foote Estate and the Edna Ferber Estate.

Tickets: $25 per day ($20 for subscribers) – Festival Pass: To all events $75 ($70 for subscribers).  Five By Ferber will be presented at West End Arts Center, 132 West End Avenue in Long Branch. Free on-site parking. For tickets call 732-229-3166 or visit njrep.org

New Jersey Repertory Company

Saturday, April 28, 2018

First annual 6th Borough Comedy Fest June 7-10 in Jersey City with Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried photo crop 

Art House Productions (Meredith Burns, Executive Director, Ari Miller and Rich Kiamco, Producers) are proud to announce the first annual 6th Borough Comedy Fest (6BCF) from June 7th-10th. 6BCF will be held in Downtown Jersey City with over 70 performers both local and national. The fest will feature Stand Up, Sketch, Improv, Comedy Podcasts and more. Gilbert Gottfried headlines the fest on June 9th at Art House Productions. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.6BCF.com

Art House Productions has long awarded adventurous and diverse performing artists with a stage to expose audiences to their ambitious and challenging projects. Like the theater, 6BCF puts a premium on diversity and inclusion in comedy. Festival performers and teams include Nathaly Aucar, Jeffrey Baldinger, Bryan Berlin, Jeena Bloom, Caroline Castro, Chucho, Keanne Cobb, Dwayne Paul Cullen, Danger Noodle, Melissa Diaz, Dinosaur Jones, Ariel Evans, Jarrod Fortune, Woody Fu, Pedro  Gonzales, Gilbert Gottfried, Isabel Hagen, Blair Harris, Victoria Hoffman, Improv Technicians, Sammie James, Boris Khaykin, Rich Kiamco, Kyle Mara, Jake Mattera, Pat May, Sam Morrison, My Dark Little Corner, Jenny Nelson, Opening Night, Darin Patterson, Jason Planitzer, Khalid Rahmaan, Harpreet Sehmbi, Kate Sisk, Tristan Smith, The Great American Country Drifters, Luke Touma, WTY - We There Yet? Podcast, Bryan Yang, and the Youngins Podcast.

“If you attend the fest, we can guarantee one of the following: This festival will make you laugh. Or this festival will rekindle your marriage,” says Ari Miller.

Venues participating in Jersey City’s premiere comedy fest are FM Bar, 340 3rd Street at Newark Avenue and Art House Productions Theater at the Cast Iron Lofts located at 262 17th Street btw Coles St. and Jersey Ave.

Friday, April 27, 2018

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces auditions for Newark Voices

NJSO with Xian Zhang at NJPAC 008 bow - credit Fred Stucker

Project-based community choir to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with NJSO and Xian Zhang on 2018–19 Opening Weekend

Auditions to be held May 16 & 20

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will hold auditions in May for Newark Voices—a project-based community choir formed to engage talented singers and experienced choral musicians from the Greater Newark community. Newark Voices will partner with the Montclair State University Chorale to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the NJSO and Music Director Xian Zhang at two Newark performances for the 2018–19 season’s opening weekend in October.

Auditions will be held at the Newark School of the Arts on May 16 and 20; advance registration is required. The choir seeks experienced musicians with a passion for classical choral singing and professional-level artistry. Prospective members must pass a 10-minute audition comprising vocalization, prepared excerpts from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and sight reading. Auditions are open to advanced-level high-school students and older.

Newark Voices will be conducted by Heather J. Buchanan and accompanied by Steven W. Ryan. Newark Voices will join the Montclair State University Chorale for performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 5, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 7, at 3 pm.

To view full audition requirements and excerpts and to sign up for an audition, visit www.njsymphony.org/newarkvoices.

For more information or questions, contact Monika Szumski, Education & Community Engagement Coordinator, at education@njsymphony.org.

The Opening Weekend program pairs Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the US premiere of Whitley’s Speak Out. For more information on the program, visit www.njsymphony.org/beethoven9.

NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, currently led by José Luis Domínguez; and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners Program.

For more information about the NJSO, visit www.njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

‘The Music Man’ at Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts

mmRising Stars Youth Performing Arts at Axelrod Performing Arts Center, proudly presents Meredith Willson's iconic Broadway musical “The Music Man” for four performance Sunday, May 6 and Sunday, May 13 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Joseph GrisanzioThe cast features Joseph Grisanzio (Howell) as Harold Hill (photo), Carlie Goldfarb (Howell) as Marian Paroo (photo), Simon Clissold (Manalapan) as Marcellus Washburn, Gillian Finnegan (Millstone) as Mrs. Paroo, and Max Borish (Old Bridge) as Winthrop Paroo.

Other cast members include Max Fischtchal (Manalapan) as Mayor Shinn, Claudia Tawil (Ocean Township) as Zaneeta Shinn, Zoe Seitz (Freehold) as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn and Markos Eugenis (Ocean Township) as Tommy Djilas.

Lisa Goldfarb, Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts Director stages “The Music Man,” with choreography by Wendy Roman and musical direction by Randal Hurst. Completing the artistic team are scenic designer Fred Sorrentino, lighting designer Jim Lyle, sound designer Gerry Gironda, with props by Susan Bloir and costumes by Donna Silogy-Gigante & Joanne Deluca of Playtime Costumes.

Carlie Goldfarb“The cast, Wendy, Randy and I are all having an absolutely fantastic time exploring this classic musical. bringing this all-American feel-good show to life, with energetic dance numbers, fun music, and quirky characters. It's an incredibly entertaining family-fun musical,” says director Lisa Goldfarb.

Musical director Randal Hurst finds it “so rewarding to see young people discover this classic score for the first time. The students can’t believe that Meredith Willson incorporated ‘rap music’ into a Broadway score 70 years before ‘Hamilton.’”

A sparkling homage to a bygone era, “The Music Man” follows a fast-talking travelling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize – despite the fact that he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef! His plans are foiled when he falls for the spirited Marian the librarian, who transforms him in to a respectable citizen by curtain's fall. With such songs such as “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Till There Was You,” and “Lida Rose” this award—winning classic boasts a brilliant score of rousing marches, barbershop quartets, sentimental ballads, and, yes, even a rap (“Trouble!”) that have earned a place among musical theater's most cherished standards.

Tickets at $22, can be purchased online at www.axelrodartscenter.com; by phone (732) 531-9106, x14; or in person at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park. The theater offers ample free onsite parking and is completely handicap accessible.

“The Music Man” is presented through special arrangements with Musical Theatre International (MTI).

About Axelrod's Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts Program

The Axelrod’s Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts Program is directed by Lisa Goldfarb and produces two musicals a year (winter and spring). The program is opened to young people ages 8 to 19 years. Rising Stars focuses on teaching the basic fundamentals of musical theater—singing, acting, dancing—with the end result of presenting a fully staged musical overseen by the Axelrod’s professional theater staff. The production team has been nominated for multiple awards by the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters over the past few years.

In addition to instilling a passion for the performing arts, the program offers young people the opportunity to learn the importance of responsibility, discipline and focus, encouraging a positive attitude, team building, public speaking, self-confidence and much more.

About the Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center is New Jersey’s newest professional theater, offering main-stage musicals with casts and production teams from New York City and beyond as well as original concerts throughout the year. The Axelrod fosters artistic excellence by showcasing varied and distinct cultural programs that enrich the imaginative, intellectual, and creative soul, while cultivating an appreciation of diverse communities through the pursuit of the arts. For more information, please visit www.axelrodartscenter.com.

PHOTOS:

1-JOSEPH GRISANZIO of Howell (junior at Howell HS)..............Harold Hill

2-CARLIE GOLDFARB of Howell (senior at Howell HS)...............Marian Paroo
(this is Carlie's final Rising Stars production. She's been in the program since 2nd grade)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Centenary Stage Company’s YPW Spring Festival of Shows



Centenary Stage Company’s critically acclaimed Young Performers Workshop returns with their annual Spring Festival of Shows running May 25 through June 3. These talented young thespians between the ages of 8 and 18 fill the Little Theater with musical theatre favorites including Hello Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific.

Hailed as a “state treasure” by Peter Filichia of the Star Ledger and bringing in youth from Morris, Warren, Hunterdon and Sussex counties, Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop is one of the few young actor training programs in the country that combines formal training with practical application. Performances of Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific will be held in the Little Theatre located at 400 Jefferson Street, Hackettstown.

Based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers (which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955), Hello, Dolly! is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart. The show follows the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi (a strong-willed matchmaker), as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the miserly "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder. In doing so she persuades his niece, his niece's intended, and Horace's two clerks to travel to New York City. Performances are Friday, May 25 at 8pm, Sunday, May 27 at 4pm, Saturday, June 2nd at 8pm, and Sunday, June 3 at 1pm.  

Based on the novel, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop, Damn Yankees the Broadway mega-hit and winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, hits it out of the park! The winning score by Adler and Ross and a devilish book by George Abbot have made this sporty musical comedy a true American classic. It tells of the middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd, trades his soul to the Devil, also known as Mr. Applegate, for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. As young baseball sensation, Joe Hardy, he transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life that he's left behind. Joe ultimately outsmarts Applegate, returns to his former self and shepherds the Senators to the World Series. Light, fast-paced and devilishly clever, Damn Yankees is a homerun hit, featuring all-American subject matter and an irreverent sense of humor. Performances are Saturday, May 26 at 2pm, Sunday, May 27 at 7pm, and Sunday, June 3rd at 4pm.

Named by the Children's Literature Association the "the best American children's book of the past two hundred years," Charlotte’s Web tells the theatrical story of a group of farm animals that enchantingly explore relationships.  All of the animals from the famous book are here: Wilbur, the irresistible young pig who desperately wants to avoid the butcher; Fern, a girl who understands what animals say to each other; Templeton, the gluttonous rat who can occasionally be talked into a good deed; the Zuckerman family; the Arables; and, most of all, the extraordinary spider, Charlotte, who proves to be “a true friend and a good writer.” Determined to save Wilbur, Charlotte begins her campaign with the "miracle" of her web in which she writes, "Some pig." It's the beginning of a victorious campaign which ultimately ends with the now-safe Wilbur doing what is most important to Charlotte. This is a beautiful, knowing play about friendship that will give your audience an evening of delight. Performances are Saturday, May 26 at 5pm, Sunday, May 27 at 1 pm, Saturday, June 2nd at 5pm, and a special school matinee on Thursday, May 31 at 10am.

Set in an island paradise during World War II, South Pacific tells two parallel love stories that are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile's proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he's fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe's life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices. Performances are Saturday, May 26 at 8pm, Friday, June 1 at 8pm, Saturday, June 2 at 2pm, and Sunday, June 3 at 8pm.

The YPW program has been led by Broadway, film and television veteran, Michael Blevins (photo), for over 20 years. YPW is dedicated to the enrichment of young lives through experience in the theatre arts, and serves as a venue for cultivating young theatre performers. The program is one of only a handful in the nation that offers both formal training and production experience for young people.  The Young Performers Workshop is part of the educational arm of the professional Centenary Stage Company, a professional Equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary University.

Tickets to the YPW Spring Festival of Shows are $12.50 for adults and $10 for children under 12.  Tickets may be purchased online at centenarystageco.org or by calling the CSC Box Office at (908) 979-0900.  Performances for Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific will take place in the Little Theatre located on the campus of Centenary University at 400 Jefferson Street in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop is sponsored in part by Panther Valley Pharmacy.  Centenary Stage Company is sponsored in part by season sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and series sponsor The House of the Good Shepherd.

The 2017 -18 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.




Two River 25th Anniversary Season to feature eight productions



RED BANK, NJ— Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the lineup of productions for its 25th Anniversary Season in 2018/19, which will feature eight productions including world premieres, musicals, modern classics, and theater for family audiences.

“Over the past eight years, Two River has built a robust initiative to develop and foster a pipeline of new plays and musicals, and to produce original work and classics interpreted by some of the country’s leading theater artists,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “To celebrate this landmark 25th Anniversary Season, we look to our own history—our founder’s vision, our expansive mission, our family of artists—as we forge our way into the future of the American theater.”

Full-season subscriptions are on sale now from 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit tworivertheater.org for more details. Single tickets will go on sale in August 2018. 

TWO RIVER THEATER’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
WORLD PREMIERE
PAMELA’S FIRST MUSICAL BY WENDY WASSERSTEIN AND CHRISTOPHER DURANG
MUSIC BY CY COLEMAN
LYRICS BY DAVID ZIPPEL
DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY GRACIELA DANIELE
RECHNITZ THEATER
SEPTEMBER 8 – OCTOBER 7 / 2018
It’s Pamela’s birthday, and Aunt Louise is taking Pamela to her very first Broadway musical! A beautiful story that speaks to everyone who has ever felt like an outsider, Pamela’s First Musical captures the wonder of a child’s first experience with the spectacular, splendiferous world of musical theater. Pamela’s First Musical is written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Wendy Wasserstein (The Heidi Chronicles), based on her own book, and Tony Award-winner Christopher Durang (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel (who shared the Tony Award—one of three for Coleman—for their previous collaboration, City of Angels). Ten-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele directs, with music direction by Kevin Stites.
AUGUST WILSON’S KING HEDLEY II
DIRECTED BY BRANDON J. DIRDEN
MARION HUBER THEATER
NOVEMBER 10 – DECEMBER 16 / 2018
Obie Award winner Brandon J. Dirden (August Wilson’s Jitney, The Americans) has appeared in five Two River Theater productions including, most recently, A Raisin in the Sun; he made his directing debut here with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He returns to direct King Hedley II, a sequel to Seven Guitars that picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set nearly four decades earlier. The year is 1985 and King Hedley II, Ruby’s son, has returned from prison looking to rebuild his life, save some money, plant a backyard garden, and start a family. King Hedley II grapples with how hope can spring from even the hardest of soil. The production is the halfway mark of Two River presenting the 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle

JOURNEY TO OZ: A WIZARD OF OZ STORY WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER PARKS
MUSIC COMPOSITION/SOUND DESIGN BY JOSH TOTORA
RECHNITZ THEATER
NOVEMBER 23-25 / 2018

Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s original stories, this clever adaptation puts the audience front and center —literally—as they are invited on a journey to Oz with Dorothy. Kids and their adults become part of the cast in this interactive production, singing, dancing and acting alongside professional actors. The audience will help the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Lion, and all the citizens of the Emerald City on this adventure. Journey to Oz is recommended for ages 2 and up. 

NOISES OFF
BY MICHAEL FRAYN
DIRECTED BY SARNA LAPINE
RECHNITZ THEATER
JANUARY 12 – FEBRUARY 3 / 2019
Produced at Two River Theater 20 years ago in the company’s 5th Anniversary Season, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off belongs on any list of the funniest plays ever written. In this celebrated backstage farce-within-a-farce, mayhem ensues as a third-rate touring theater troupe rehearses and then performs the ill-fated Nothing On. Sarna Lapine, whose credits include the acclaimed recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, directs.

A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE
MARION HUBER THEATER
JANUARY 25 – FEBRUARY 2 / 2019

Celebrating its 6th season as one of Two River’s most popular programs, A Little Shakespeare engages young artists and audiences with the work of the Bard. A 75-minute version of one of Shakespeare’s plays—adapted, directed and designed by professional artists—will be performed by local high school students in the Marion Huber Theater. The play title will be announced shortly. A Little Shakespeare is recommended for ages 9 and up. 
WORLD PREMIERE
THEO
BY MARTIN MORAN
DIRECTED BY CAROLYN CANTOR
MARION HUBER THEATER
FEBRUARY 23 – MARCH 24 / 2019
When 70-year-old Margret finds her health deteriorating, her son Theodore returns to their Catskills home after many years away. There, he finds his sister, Beth, struggling to deal with their ailing mother and her transgender child. Theo confronts the shameful events of his youth and reconnects with his mother’s home aid, an acquaintance from his earlier high school years. A moving look at how families change—and how they don’t—in this warm portrait of kinship, love, and the pursuit of one’s true self. Playwright Martin Moran performed his solo plays The Tricky Part and All the Rage in repertory at Two River Theater in 2014 at which time Theo, his first play for other actors, was commissioned by the Theater. Carolyn Cantor will direct this world premiere production.
THE BELLE OF AMHERSTSTARRING MAUREEN SILLIMAN
BY WILLIAM LUCE
DIRECTED BY ROBERT RECHNITZ
RECHNITZ THEATER
APRIL 13 – MAY 5 / 2019
Maureen Silliman stars as Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst, the classic American drama originally written for Julie Harris in 1976. Drawn from Dickinson’s poems, diaries and letters, The Belle of Amherst offers a window into the life of one of America’s greatest poets. The production will be directed by Two River founder Robert Rechnitz, who was a Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University for 35 years. Maureen Silliman first performed at the Two River Theater in 1998 when she was cast in The Real Thing and went on to appear in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Our Town. Also at Two River, she appeared as Sonya in Uncle Vanya and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie under the direction of Robert Rechnitz, as well as in the world premiere of his play (written with Kenneth Stunkel), Lives of Reason.
OO-BLA-DEE BY REGINA TAYLOR
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY DIEDRE L. MURRAY
DIRECTED BY RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
RECHNITZ THEATER
JUNE 8 – JUNE 30 / 2019
Golden Globe-winning actor and playwright Regina Taylor (I’ll Fly Away, Crowns) won the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award for Oo-Bla-Dee when it premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The play—a shimmering portrait of a female bebop band of African-American musicians traveling the country following the end of World War II—has its first major revival with new music by two-time Obie-winning jazz composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess). Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) directs.
Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit tworivertheater.org

Ticket Information

Full-season 6-play subscriptions are on sale now; prices range from $180 to $315. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit tworivertheater.org for more details.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, 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.  Individual show tickets will go on sale August 2018.

Tickets for Journey to Oz are $20. Tickets for A Little Shakespeare are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

 Sponsorship

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation,  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, US Trust, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Kessler Foundation,  Investors Foundation, The John Ben Snow Foundation, VNA Health Group, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

'Doubt' Free at Bradley Beach This Weekend Only


Dreamcatcher Offers “Meet the Artist” New Play Readings on May 16 & 23


Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will present its annual Meet the Artist new play reading series on Wednesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 23 at 7 pm at the Oakes Center.

The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward.  Feedback from these evenings helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work. These evenings provide a fun and lively way to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher’s mainstage in the future.

On May 16, Dreamcatcher will present a reading of Psychodrama by Phoebe Farber. The play is a seriocomic story of the members of a weekly divorce group, held in the basement of the Unitarian church. The members are suddenly left stranded when Mitchell, their leader, leaves halfway through. Luckily, Barb has appeared to be the new group leader. Her methods are unconventional, to say the least. The reading will be directed by Betsy True, and the cast will be Harry Patrick Christian, Laura Ekstrand, Julian Gordon, Anna Marie Sell and Harriett Trangucci.

Phoebe Farber’s plays have been seen around New York and New Jersey. Her play Scrimmage was seen at The Players Theatre (best play, NYC), The Short Play Lab (best play, NYC) and Strangedog short play festival (NJ). Home Care was seen in the Strawberry One-Act Festival (Finalist, NYC), The Aery Theatre’s One-Act Play Festival (NY),Variations Theatre Group (NYC) and at Lab at Luna through Luna Stage (NJ). Jump It was a finalist at The Depot Theater 20/20 festival in Garrison, New York, and appeared at The Everyday Inferno Theater Festival (NYC) and at Lab at Luna (NJ). Class Reunion was seen at The Cell Theater (NYC) and Strangedog short play festival (NJ). Readings have included Jump It and Nina at Fresh Produced Reading Series (NYC) and Dancing in Captivity at Horsetrade Theatre Group (NYC). Her plays have been published in Applause Theatre & Cinema Books and The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival. Phoebe lives in Montclair, New Jersey, has a private psychotherapy practice and is a professor at Montclair State University.

May 23’s play, Wolf at the Door by Richard Dresser, is a comic allegory for our time. An upper west side apartment building has a new owner, and the residents are spooked. Why are their neighbors steadily disappearing? Why are the Norwegians being confined to the top floor? And what are the intentions of their landlord, who has yet to keep any of his promises? The reading, directed by Laura Ekstrand, will feature Nicole Callender, Clark Carmichael, Kat Choe, Noreen Farley, Scott McGowan and Jason Szamreta.

Richard Dresser’s plays have been produced in New York, regional theater, and Europe. They include Rounding Third, which started in Chicago, appeared off-Broadway and has had hundreds of productions.  It was recently made into a film starring John C. McGinley and Garret Dillahunt for release in 2016.  Below the Belt and Gun-Shy, both started at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville before moving off-Broadway.  Below the Belt was made into the film  “Human Error” directed by Robert M. Young which appeared at Sundance.  His trilogy of plays about happiness in America includes Augusta (working class), The Pursuit of Happiness (middle class), and A View of the Harbor (upper class).  Other plays are: The Last Days of Mickey & Jean, Something in the Air, The Downside, Alone at the Beach, Wonderful World, and Better Days, plus many short plays. ​

The readings are at the Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit.  Admission is $10, and tickets can be purchased at www.dreamcatcherrep.org or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006. The parking lot is accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theatre. For information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at the Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654, www.DreamcatcherRep.org.

ASPIRE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY HOLDS AUDITIONS FOR SUMMER 2018 MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTIONS

 On Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, 2018, Aspire Performing Arts Company will hold auditions for its upcoming summer musical theatre productions: Disney’s The Lion King Jr. for children ages 7-11, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, for pre-teens/teenagers ages 11 through 18.

Aspire’s Junior Performing Ensemble will take on Disney’s The Lion King Jr. Based on the beloved Disney film, The Lion King JR. follows the epic adventures of a curious cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. Along the way, the young lion encounters a colorful cast of characters while fighting to claim his rightful place on the throne and save his beloved Pridelands. The Lion King JR.features classic songs from the 1994 film such as “Hakuna Matata” and the Academy Award®-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

Aspire’s Senior Performing Ensemble will kick up their heels with Thoroughly Modern Millie. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie was the 2002 season's most awarded new show on Broadway. Set in the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when "moderns" – including a young flapper named Millie Dillmount – were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, and rewriting the rules of love. This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there.

Aspire PAC, established in 2011, has earned a strong reputation in the Northern New Jersey area for its high-quality theatrical productions and professional arts experiences for local youth. Aspire recently partnered with Disney Theatrical Group and Music Theatre International on several pilot productions, and in both 2016 and 2017, Aspire PAC was nominated for multiple New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT) Awards and National Youth Arts Awards.

Summer 2018 auditions are open to all local children and teens ages 7 through 18. Pre-registration for auditions is preferred. For more information, visit www.aspirepac.com or call/email Aspire PAC at 201-220-4933 or aspirepac@gmail.com.

Summer 2018 Productions
Disney’s The Lion King Jr.
Junior Performing Ensemble: Ages 7-11
Auditions: May 19 and 20, 2018
Production DatesJuly 27 and 28, 2018

Thoroughly Modern Millie
Senior Performing Ensemble: Ages 11-18
Auditions: May 19 and 20, 2018
Production DatesJuly 20-22, 2018

Auditions and rehearsals for both productions will take place at Our Lady of Consolation on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne.

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s mission is to provide educational workshops and production opportunities for children and teens, offering a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. Formed in January 2011 by Lisa Beth Vettoso, Aspire PAC represents the culmination of her 20+ years of experience in the performing arts. Ms. Vettoso has dedicated her life to arts education and has worked with prestigious art organizations including The Art School at Old Church, The New York Pops, American Repertory Ballet, and Carnegie Hall.

For more information on Aspire Performing Arts Company, please visit www.aspirepac.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aspirepac

All production rights are granted by Music Theatre International.