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Sunday, April 29, 2018

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

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