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Saturday, April 20, 2019

'Over The River' comedy at Hunterton Hills Playhouse

Hunterdon Hills Playhouse is conveniently located in Union Township, four miles west of Clinton, NJ, on Rt. 173 West, between Exits 11 & 12 off Interstate Rt. 78. Our accessibility from major highways makes us a natural stop on route to and from many East Coast attractions. We are easily reached from New York City, Philadelphia, and the entire tri-state area.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

'Home of the Great Pecan' Opens Friday, April 26th at CTG


The Chester Theatre Group presents Home of the Great Pecan starting on Friday, April 26th and extending for eight shows through Sunday, May 12th. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18. Tickets may be purchased online at www.chestertheatregroup.org.

Home of the Great Pecan is a hilarious, quirky southern comedy - think Greater Tuna meets Plan 9 From Outer Space! Set in a small Texas town in the 1980's, mayhem ensues when Seguin's prized landmark -- the Great Pecan -- is stolen! A minister on the make, aliens, a prom queen on the verge and a philandering fiancé are just a few of the wild cast of suspects.

he playwright,Stephen Bittrich, has many published plays, and for over 15 years has worked primarily with The Drilling Company, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Pecan had it's first workshop production. There he's had 13 new short plays and 2 full-lengths produced and he's also gone on to develop 4 new full-length plays: The Acquisition, Even, Healer, and Hole. His play Healer has been optioned for a possible independent feature film.

The Chester Theatre cast of Home of the Great Pecan includes Lily Boyle in the roles of Priscilla/Billy/Chucky; Will Palazzolo of Wharton in the roles of Johns/Francio/Les Glenehinkel; Lynn Langone of Cranford in the roles of Tammie Lynn/Mrs. Rottweiler; Steve Nitka of Hackettstown in the roles of Ed/Reverend Pat; Carol Holland of Long Valley in the roles of Sher.Bart/Deke/Mrs.Bart/Kitty; Dale Monroe of Morristown in the roles of Greeley/Deputy Diggity (photo); and Jill Bormann of Morristown in the roles of Rosy/Sonya.

The Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhbouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member. The theater is located on the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue. For more information, visit the CTG website at http://www.chestertheatregroup.org.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Black Box Studios Proudly Presents SWEAT by LYNN NOTTAGE

With shows such as Robert Askins’ Hand to God, Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9, Albee’s The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, and Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Black Box Performing Arts Center is quickly making a name for itself as the area’s premiere destination for immersive and cutting-edge plays. How to Transcend a Happy Marriage is the third main stage show of 2019, following the NJ premiere of Significant Other by Joshua Harmon and How to Transcend a Happy Marriage by Sarah Ruhl.

Sweat - presented in special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service - finds the heartbeat of America with the story of a group of factory workers whose friendship is tested as they explore issues of loyalty, finances, and race. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, Sweat is hailed as “…passionate and necessary…a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us…SWEAT communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there’s humor and abundant humanity…a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t know how to resist” (Time Out NY). BBPAC’s production is directed by Matt Okin and features the talents of Kymbali Craig, Michael Gardiner, Alex Hughes, Kirsten Lewis, Kentrell Loftin, Arthur Pogh, Ellen Revesz, and Laurence Wallace. Sweat is sponsored in part by Fairleigh Dickinson University. Special thanks to The Cottage Bar in Teaneck, NJ for use of the space for promotional photos.

The Black Box Performing Arts Center (home of Black Box Studios) continues to emerge as the Tri-State area’s premiere destination for both cutting-edge professional theater and collaborative performing arts education — in the heart of Teaneck, NJ— just a quick ride over the George Washington Bridge. Black Box was the recipient of the 2017 Teaneck Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Arts Award, and currently serves on the Chamber Board as the Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee. In addition to main stage productions, Black Box PAC hosts special events including Open Mic Nights, Comedy Nights, and staged readings.
Sweat plays Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm from May 4-19 (preview performances, open to the public, are 5/2 and 5/3) at the Black Box Performing Arts Center (200 Walraven Drive. (just off  Palisade Ave., GPS: 290 Walraven Drive), Teaneck, NJ 07666.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors.Tickets are now available at www.blackboxpac.com. Group rates for 10 or more are available by calling (201) 357-2221. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs free summer concerts at five NJ parks


Program features concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin
NJSO also performs at Giralda Music and Arts Festival
June in communities across New Jersey
 
NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs free concerts in five New Jersey parks in June, featuring a family-friendly program of diverse music from across the Americas. The NJSO performs free concerts at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside, Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, Ocean County College in Toms River, Branch Brook Park in Newark and Marine Park in Red Bank.

Rounding out its summer schedule, the Orchestra also will appear at the Giralda Farms outdoor festival in Madison and present a program of new music by the 2019 NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute composers in Princeton.

Patrons can enter the NJSO’s annual photo contest to win a three-concert Compose Your Own subscription for two for the 2019–20 season.

Free Summer Parks Programs
Celebrate the diversity of the Americas with the NJSO this summer. Explore the continents with concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Hear hits from West Side Story and Porgy and Bess, travel to Mexico with Arturo Márquez’s Conga del Fuego Nuevo and experience patriotic favorites along with Copland’s classic “Hoe Down” from Rodeo.

NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez conducts the summer parks concerts, which are an annual tradition that reflects the Orchestra’s commitment to bringing live symphonic music to communities throughout the state.

Free concerts take place on the following dates:
  • Friday, June 21, at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside (7:30 pm)
  • Monday, June 24, at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken (7:30 pm)
  • Tuesday, June 25, at Ocean County College in Toms River (8 pm)
  • Friday, June 28, at Branch Brook Park in Newark (7:30 pm)—with fireworks
  • Sunday, June 30, at Marine Park in Red Bank (8 pm)

Giralda Music and Arts Festival
Presented by Morris Arts

The NJSO performs at the Giralda Music and Arts Festival in Madison on Sunday, June 23, at 6 pm. Gates open at 4 pm for picnics and activities. Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the gate; children’s rates are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/4110260 or call 973.285.5115.

Scores: NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute Concert

On Saturday, July 20, at 8 pm at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Cristian Măcelaru conducts the dynamic works by the composers of the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a multi-faceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers. The Institute composers will briefly share the inspiration behind their pieces in an evening that will show the vibrant future of orchestral music.

General-admission concert tickets are $15 and are available for purchase online or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

Additional information about the Institute is available at njsymphony.org/institute.

Full event details for the NJSO’s slate of summer concerts are available at njsymphony.org/summer.

The June 21 concert is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Westfield Foundation and the Blanche M. and George L. Watts Mountainside Community Foundation. The June 23 concert is presented by Morris Arts. The June 24 concert is presented by the City of Hoboken. The June 25 concert is sponsored by JCP&L/First Energy Foundation and PNC Bank in partnership with Ocean County College. The June 28 concert is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and the County of Essex and is part of the 2019 Essex County Free Summer Music Series. The June 30 concert is presented by Red Bank River Center. The NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute is presented in collaboration with the Princeton University Department of Music and generously funded in part by The Edward T. Cone Foundation and Princeton University. The summer parks media sponsor is NJ.com affiliated with The Star-Ledger.

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 Center for the Arts 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, 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.

Tickets are available online at njsymphony.org, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services office is located at 60 Park Place, Suite 900, in Newark. Hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, and concert Saturdays, 11 am–5 pm.

For more information, visit njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org.

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.

'Heartland' Extends Through May 5 at Luna Stage-Read Reviews

Luna Stage’s “Heartfelt Masterpiece”


Reviewers call HEARTLAND “searing…powerful” and
“a privilege to watch” with "formidable performances"

Heartland, now playing at Luna Stage, will extend through May 5. The new play, which opened April 4, has received audience and critical acclaim. Broadway World called it a “heartfelt masterpiece rife with comedic brilliance and the triumph of the human spirit.”
Heartland features Kareem BadrBrian Corrigan, and Lipica Shah, giving what New Jersey Jewish News described as “formidable performances.” NJJN further describes the play by Gabriel Jason Dean as “searing…powerful… [a play] about relationships—how they are made and how they can break. Highly recommended."

Set in Omaha and Afghanistan, Heartland weaves back and forth through time, unraveling a mystery that illuminates the cost of defending an American Empire. NJ Arts Maven described it as exploring “compassion, responsibility, regret, redemption, forgiveness and, above all, love… [an] examination of the human heart…one you will talk about for days afterward.”

The production is directed by Luna’s Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith.  It is the final play of Luna’s 2018-2019 Season and will close following this limited extension.
As Out in Jersey wrote, “Heartland is a double-edged title for the play. It refers to the center of the United States as a geographical area. But it also refers to the land where one’s heart lies, that place where one feels a sense of belonging and rightness. Both meanings are displayed in this thoughtful and emotional play. It is a privilege to watch fine actors at work in such a well written and well directed theatre piece. You owe it to yourselves to travel to the Heartland.”

Heartland now runs through May 5, at Luna Stage in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District. Tickets are $16-39, and are available at LunaStage.org/Heartland or by calling 973-395-5551. Special events, including pre-show LunaLit book-related events and talk-backs with guest experts and members of the creative team, are scheduled throughout the run. The full schedule, including the schedule of talk-backs and events, is available at LunaStage.org/Heartland.



About the Artists

Kareem Badr is an actor, improviser, and teacher based out of Austin, TX. He is thrilled to be making his Luna Stage debut in Heartland. Recent stage credits include The Actor in Woman in Black, Brigham Young in For Time and Eternity, and Nazrullah in Vortex Rep's production of Heartland in Austin. He is a co-owner of The Hideout Theatre, and performs and teaches internationally with his improv troupe PGraph. (Photo center).

Brian Corrigan’s performance experience includes… Theater: Measure for MeasureAs You Like ItThe Taming of the ShrewGun ShyBelow the BeltSylviaBaby with the Bath WaterAll in the TimingEl Grande de Coca-Cola. Film & Television: The BlacklistInside Amy SchumerMaster of NoneThe Late ShowForeverHouse of CardsLaw & Order SVUBlow OutBeing ThereBest Friends. Over 40 years of radio and television commercials, primarily as a voice actor. (photo right)

Lipica Shah is a New York City-based actor/singer who thrives on collaborative work and has a passion for new script development. Luna Stage: Debut! Select NYC: India Pale Ale and Cost of Living (MTC), Assembled Identity (HERE), Bunty Berman Presents… (The New Group), Coping (Fringe); Select Regional: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOrangePassing Strange, and simultaneously originating the title roles in The Chronicles of Kalki and Shiv as part of the “The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy” (all at Mixed Blood), The Lake Effect (Geva Theatre), The Who and The What (Gulfshore Playhouse); Select Film/TV: A Silent VoiceAdmissionTime After TimeThe FollowingWhite CollarPokémonMobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. She is on the leadership team of Kalakars, an organization that nurtures South Asian and South Asian-American talent in front of and behind the camera. www.LipicaShah.com. (Photo Left.)

Gabriel Jason Dean’s plays have been seen or developed throughout the U.S. at theatres such as New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, The Flea, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and American Theatre Company. In Bloom was a finalist for the Laurents/Hatcher Award, received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Prize, and was runner-up for the Princess Grace. His play for children, The Transition of Doodle Pequeño received the AATE Distinguished Play Award, the NETC Aurand Harris Award and has been anthologized numerous times. Other notable plays include Terminus (2016 Austin Critic’s Table “Best Drama”) and Qualities of Starlight (2016 Broadway Blacklist, Kesselring Nominee). Fellowships include the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the Dramatist’s Guild Fellowship and the Sallie B. Goodman/McCarter Theatre Fellowship. Dean is currently an affiliated writer at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a usual suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. He earned his MFA at the University of Texas at Austin’s James A. Michener Center for Writers.

Ari Laura Kreith recently directed Luna’s production of Pirira. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy — three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages. NYC World Premieres: Mourning Sun (Theatre 167/Uganda), Pirira, Tina Howe’s Singing Beach. European premiere: Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns. Immersive, site-specific: Queens Museum, NY Transit Museum; touring excerpts of Marina Budhos’ novel Watched. Commissions: New Ohio; Queens Theatre. LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award; NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship. BA: Yale, MFA: UC Davis, Member: SDC. www.arilaurakreith.com

About Luna Stage
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Luna brings communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District—a crossroads of cultures—the Company celebrates the diverse voices that surround us. Luna Stage is dedicated to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists.
Luna’s classes for children and adults, and its developmental programs for early career artists, inspire community members to nurture their own creativity and vision.
Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 80 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Some of those plays have gone on to productions in New York City and beyond. Luna’s unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.

Heartland by Gabriel Jason Dean
Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
At Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ | 973 395 5551
Now Running | Closes: Sunday, May 5
Performance Schedule: Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 3pm
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes, no intermission