Tuesday, July 31, 2018


'HAIR' is a Joyous Blast from the Past from Centenary University’s NEXTstage Repertory

Brandon Conti-center

The revolutionary 1960’s anti-Vietnam war musical Hair is now on stage in an exceptional joyous, high energy production at the Centenary Stage Company featuring members of  Centenary University’s NEXTstage Repertory. Amazingly, it is 50 years since this very first rock musical moved from Off-Broadway to Broadway. Reviews were mixed, but audiences loved the show.

Unlike most rock musicals of today, the lyrics were understandable! It also means they shocked with words and actions never seen or heard before in an uptown theater e.g. full cast nudity at the end of the first act,  but omitted in this version. It was also ground breaking for the slim plot. Manhattan high schoolers and drop-outs are protesting the war and the universal military draft. Hatred of the war was exacerbated by the extensive nightly television coverage of the carnage in the jungles of Vietnam. The core of the plot is about Claude a pacifist  who unsuccessfully attempts to resist his draft notice.

Director/choreographer Lea Antolini-Lid has assembled a marvelous highly talented diverse cast of about 30 young people. Actually, with most of the cast on stage in spirited movement for the entire play, it might be more accurate to identify her as ‘ringmaster’ in place of ‘director.’ Regardless of the name, the multi-talented Lea Antolini-Lid has “mothered” an exciting, first class theater production equal to many now playing across the Hudson.

Hair is the creation of  Gerome Ragni and James Rado (book and lyrics) and music by Galt MacDermot. Three of the songs have become classics: Aquarius (the anthem of the entire national hippie movement), Let the Sunshine In, and Good Morning Starshine.

Andy Martinez & Brandon Conti
Not only did Ragni and Rado create Hair, they starred in the initial Off-Broadway run as Berger and Claude. In this production, Berger, the leader of the “tribe,” is impressively played by Brandon Conti. His opening First Act turn is a powerful audience grabber that sets the high energy tone for the rest of the play. The key role of Claude, the nice Polish boy from Queens who is about to be drafted, is played to perfection by Andy Martinez. He drips “sincerity.” 

Other ‘spot on’ memorable performances are by: Megan Schmiedhauser as Sheila, Berger’s girlfriend and roommate to the two boys. She is high energy blessed with a fine powerful voice. Standout songs are I Believe in Love, Easy to be Hard, and the classic Good Morning Starshine with Alyssa Ramsey; Jesse Bush is Woof, an over the top Mick Jagger fan; Julie Ullmann is the lovable Crissy; Nicole Boscarino is Jeanie; Brianna Javis is Ronny (wonderful Aquarius); Saquan Williams is Hud (has fun with Colored Spade).

Megan Schmiedhauser
Other cast members are Joe Anthony, Nick Bettens, Lisa Kosak (terrific as Claude’s mother), Sean C. Fowley, Dominick Garatino, AJ Lewis, Ryan Robert Washington, Allen Marchioni, Zack Clark, Jake Jackson, Mollie Gash, Cina Gabel. Liz Kent, Mariel Letourneau, Lily Randall, Jibril Scott, Stephanie Rosario, and Najee Esmond.

Special ‘tip of the hat’ to the outstanding musicians: keyboard and conductor Greg Paradis; guitar Rick Merino; Ben Weiss; bass Nate Lienhard; drums Justin Kemp. The band is positioned on the right side of the stage on a platform fully visible to the audience and via their exuberant playing become part of the show.

The Creative Team:  Director/choreographer Lea Antolini-Lid; stage manager/ assistant director James Russo; Co-choreographer Mariel Letourneau; assistant stage manager Victoria Pulido; lighting designer Ethan Newman; and costume designer Deanna DeGraff.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio

Four more chances to see Hair- August 2-5 at the
Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center

Thursday, August 2 at 7:30PM
Friday, August 3 at 8:00PM
Saturday, August 4 at 8:00PM
Sunday, August 5 at 2:00PM

Ticket Pricing:
Fridays Evening = $27.50 Adult / $17.50 Child (-12)
Saturday = $29.50 Adult / $17.50 Child (-12)
Sunday = $25.00 Adult / $17.50 Child (-12)
*Thursday (BOGO) = $27.50 ALL SEATS
*BOGO OFFER: Valid ONLY in person at the CSC Box Office

SPECIAL OFFER: $5.00 RUSH TICKETS! Any Student/Any School. Valid only in person. Must present a current student ID when purchasing tickets.

*Discounts available for Centenary students, faculty & staff.

 More pictures:

Saturday, July 28, 2018


The Strollers are proud to announce auditions for 

by Ken Ludwig
directed by Alan Foster

For full information, see the attached announcement or visit our website.

Monday, Aug 27 @ 7:30-10pm
Tuesday, Sept 4 @ 7:30-10pm
(Callbacks Fri, Sept 7 @ 7:30pm if needed)

Performance dates
Fri & Sat, Nov 9&10, 16&17 @ 8pm
Sun, Nov 11 @ 2pm

Auditions and performances take place at
The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Rehearsals will take place at the BCPA and other nearby venues.

Auditioners will read with others from sides provided. Cold reading is fine, but sides are available for review on the Auditions page of our website. 

Please come prepared with a complete list of your conflicts for the entire rehearsal and production time frame.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Center Players Dessert Theater special “singles night” performance of Dinner with Friends

Center Players Dessert Theater will host a special “singles night” performance of Dinner with Friends on Friday, August 10th at 8pm at Center Playhouse, located at 35 South Street in downtown Freehold. 

 While all are welcome to attend the play, single audience members will have an opportunity to mingle and enjoy light refreshments together after the performance. 

 Dinner with Friends was written by Donald Margulies and is directed by Leslie Hochman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the complexities of marriage and friendship, focusing on the relationship between two married couples: food writers Gabe and Karen, whose apparent domestic bliss is demonstrated as they prepare gourmet meals, and artist Beth and hotshot lawyer Tom whose marriage is breaking up due to Tom’s infidelity. 

 “This wonderful ‘dramedy’ illuminates marital love, friendship and the effect divorce can have on a couple’s best friends,” noted Center Players Artistic Director Bernice Garfield-Szita. “We believe it will provide an interesting backdrop for those seeking to explore a new relationship.” 

Performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm through August 26th. Tickets are priced at $25-27 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. 

Celebrating its 17th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players Dessert Theater is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in downtown Freehold. In addition to their Signature Play Series, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants. 

‘Hair’ now at Centenary Stage Company’s 2018 Summer Jamfest

HAIR CentStgCo (2)-small

Centenary Stage Company’s 2018 Summer Jamfest continues with the first ever summer musical production. Centenary Stage Company will present "Hair" July 27 through August 5 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center.
        The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of this first rock musical to hit the 'Great White Way'.   "Hair" was  the product of hippie counter-culture and the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and the ground-breaking production established the genre of "Rock Musical", a mantle carried later by shows as diverse as "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Rent".  With music and lyrics by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot, "Hair"  celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory, to an infectiously energetic rock beat with songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” “I Got Life,” and “Let the Sun Shine.”   Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, "Hair"  remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world.
        Centenary Stage Company's production of "Hair" runs July 27 through August 5. Specific performance dates are Fridays, July 27 at 2:00pm, 8pm and August 3 at 8pm; Saturdays, July 28 and August 4 at 8pm; Sunday August 5 at 2pm and Thursday, August 2 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $27.50 for adults on Fridays. Saturday evenings are $29.50 for adults. Sunday matinees are $25.00 for adults. Thursday evening is $27.50 for all seats with a buy one/get one rush ticket special when purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30pm. Discounts are available for students & children.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm and two hours prior to every event. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.
        The 2017-2018 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, Zonta Morristown Chapter and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, The House of the Good Shepherd, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Cast photo by Chris Young

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chatham Playhouse's 'Jersey Voices' Opens Friday July 27!


Opens This Friday Night

Watch the Trailer!

Watch the trailer for Jersey Voices 2018!  (Length: 1 min)
Jersey Voices 2018
The Chatham Community Players will present their annual one-act play festival from July 27 - August 5, 2018.

Presented One-Act Plays are:

“The Rub of the Green” by Tom Tunnington, Directed by Elizabeth Rogers: after many years, a combat veteran goes to the only place that he can still be with his comrades.
The Rub of the Green
The Rub of the Green
“Romance 101” by Brianna Keller, Directed by George Seylaz: Unlucky in love, Travis decides to learn from the ladies of the ROMANCE 101 book club.  Join Patti, Meredith, Sally and Gladys as they teach young Travis a thing or two about Love and Romance.
“Foster” by Jerrod Bogard, Directed by Joann Scanlon: Foster parents meet with their social worker about  issues with their foster son. The parents don’t share the same perspective, but important choices must be made.

“Free Pass” by Tom Baum, Directed by Arnold Buchiane: A widower in his late 60s meets a woman in her 40s at a hotel bar – is there love after the death of a loved one?
Free Pass
Free Pass
“Bug Rescuing” by Judy Klass, Directed by Lauri MacMillan: Joan joins Michael on his corporate retreat. How do a couple navigate their differences?

“The King” by Nicole Pandolfo, Directed by Steven Ruskin: a late night backstage meeting - a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator meets someone who might just be the genuine article.

“Squirrel Tames Human” by Luigi Jannuzzi, Directed by Kevern Cameron: Chip has bet Junior a winter’s stash of acorns that he is the squirrel that knows how to train human behavior.
Squirrel Tames Human
Squirrel Tames Human
For more information, please visit

JERSEY VOICES Performance Dates

(There is no matinee performance.)

FRI, JUL 27 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, JUL 28 @ 8:00 pm

FRI, AUG 3 @ 8:00 pm
SAT, AUG 4 @ 8:00 pm
SUN, AUG 5 @ 7:00 pm


All tickets are $15.00
Please present your TICKET BARCODE at the door.
HANDICAPPED SEATING can ONLY be guaranteed by contacting the Box Office at least 24 hours prior to performances by emailing or calling 973-635-7363

For Box Office information, visit

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' at Bickford

A Work of Heart Productions (WHP) presents
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Fri, July 27 at 8:00P
Sat, July 28 at 2:00P and 8:00PSun, July 29 at 2:00P 
at The Bickford Theatre of Morris Museum

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Joseph… is a re-imagining of the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers, and his "coat of many colors." Told entirely through song, the story comes alive in this irresistible family musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber that spans a multitude of musical genres from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock and roll, including the unforgettable classics, "Any Dream Will Do" and "Close Every Door."
Strollers member Carol Cornicelli joins the 40-strong cast for this musical romp.
The production team includes producer and WHP Founder/Artistic Director Nicole Lippey, director and WHP Artistic Director Angelo De Fazio, musical director Susan Braden, choreographer Ally Hern, creative associate Jenna Rocca, assistant choreographer Bobby Ellis, and stage manager Anthony Foti. 
or call the Morris Museum's Box Office at (973) 971-3706.

PO Box 83
Maplewood, NJ 07040

“Popularity Lies,” a New Musical, Opens in Madison

Madison, NJ – “Popularity Lies,” an original musical written by elementary and middle school students, will be presented this summer as part of Writers Theatre of New Jersey’s Summer Youth Theatre program, in partnership with the Madison Recreation Department. Performances will be Friday, August 3 at 7:30 and Saturday, August 4th at 2 PM at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts’ Directing Lab, at Drew University at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Reservations and information are available online here or by calling 973-514-1787, extension 31. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. (Senior citizens who are Madison residents can receive free tickets by calling the Senior Center at 973-593-3095). There is a Google map showing the location of the venue on the ticket purchase page to make it easy for patrons to locate the building on campus.

“Popularity Lies” tells the story of twins Rosie and Ronnie as they navigate the social structure of their new town, Siphic City, where popularity is dependent on economic status. Their new classmates, including Laurie, Abigail, and Lynne are dealing with their own insecurities in the image-focused world they inhabit. The students soon sweep up Ronnie and Rosie in a scheme to avoid bullying from the popular kids, Mackenzie and Jason, and maybe even gain their friendship. Lying seems like the only way to be popular in a place where even the principal takes sides. Their plans soon unravel, however, when the truth comes out about Ronnie and Rosie’s lack of money.

Under the direction of professional actor, director, and musician Jane Keitel, eight young theatre artists have devised the musical’s script, lyrics, and music over the past several weeks. Student artist and cast member of the senior show, Loren Donnelly, has also been an indispensable addition to the production as Assistant Director. Other members of the cast/creative team include Camryn Morales, Calvin Peterson, Devon Donnelly, Emma Cipriani, Nathan Beland, Cailyn Kouh, and Katie Varga.

“It has a solution in the end where everything works out and on the way it's very funny,” said Nathan Beland when asked about his favorite part of the show.  Calvin Peterson, who is also a musician, added that he enjoys "The costumes, rehearsal, and I also play cello in the background.”

Writers Theatre of New Jersey would like to thank the Borough of Madison, the Madison Recreation Department, Drew University, and the staff of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, without whose support none of this would be possible. For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit, or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or

About Writers Theatre of New Jersey:
Writers Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, professional (Actors’ Equity) theatre and a community of professional playwrights, theatre artists, and arts educators that provides opportunities for writers to develop their works in a nurturing environment and connect with new audiences. Our New Play Development Program is a multi-step process through which playwrights, theatre artists, and audiences collaborate to bring selected texts from rough draft to finished production.
Our Education Programs introduce students of all ages and backgrounds to the possibilities inherent in thinking and communicating creatively. Writers Theatre’s New Jersey Writers Project provides hands-on workshops led by professional writers-in-residence to students in schools and community centers throughout the state. We place an equal emphasis on Development and Educational activities, and encourage our community and audiences to participate fully in both.

We are honored that, every year since 2003, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) has designated Writers Theatre as a Major Arts Institution. This means that the Council considers Writers Theatre to be “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”
Funding for our activities comes from: the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.