Friday, May 31, 2019

The Bridges of Madison County at the South Orange Performing Arts Center June 20-30

American Theater Group and Producing Artistic Director James Vagias present the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County at the South Orange Performing Arts Center June 20-30. Based on the best-selling novel and hit film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller was developed by the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five YearsParadeSongs for a New World) and Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden, ‘night Mother).

The Bridges of Madison County is a sweeping romance and tells the story of an Italian war bride’s passionate affair with a charismatic travelling photographer from National Geographic.  This Tony-award winning musical features a celebrated romantic score and speaks to the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross. It asks the eternal question ‘what if’…”

 “Jason Robert Brown…brings layered textures of yearning to his songs for Francesca that make us experience the world through her startled, newly awakened senses.” – The New York Times

The production features Jennifer Ellis, Bryant Martin and Jared Bradshaw with Tait Ruppert, Deborah Tranelli, Alex Carr, Courtney Martin, Jodie Ann Evans, Brigitte Francis, Jackson Mattek and Andrew Winans completing the cast. The Bridges of Madison County is directed and choreographed by Merete Muenter with music direction by W.Brent Sawyer. Keith Levenson is the conductor and musical supervisor. Sawyer and Levenson have numerous Broadway credits and Levenson was the music conductor/supervisor for the First National Tour of The Bridges of Madison County.

The Bridges of Madison County runs June 20-30, 2019 at The South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange NJ. There will be an audio-described performance Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35-$39 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (973) 313-2787.

About the Featured Players: 

Jennifer Ellis (Francesca Johnson) has appeared in Merrily We Roll Along (Huntington Theatre), Shear Madness (New World Stages), Shakespeare in Love (IRNE Award), Bridges of Madison County (IRNE Award), Far From Heaven, My Fair Lady (Elliot Norton Award, IRNE Award), Wonderful Town (Elliot Norton Award), The Music Man, Love's Labour's Lost and the Comedy of Errors

Jared Bradshaw (Bud Johnson) comes directly from productions of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for A New World and Parade this year in Atlanta, GA. Jared starred in Forbidden Broadway for 3 years and on Broadway in Jersey Boys for 8 years. Jared was also featured in the original cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and understudied Willy Wonka.

Bryant Martin (Robert Kincaid) Sheriff Martin Green in Desperate Measures at New World Stages.  Featured in Oklahoma, The Bridges of Madison County and numerous regional credits at The Old Globe, Pioneer Theatre, PCLO, and others.  T.V.: Quantico, Forever, The Jack and Triumph Show.

Tait Ruppert (Charlie) Theatre credits include: Broadway: Candida, Off-Broadway: Album (Cherry Lane Theatre), Lone Star.  New Jersey Regional Credits include: Later Life, Accomplice, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz.   Other regional theatre credits include: Anna Christie (Odyssey Theatre, L.A.), Another Country (Long Wharf Theatre), The Matchmaker.  Film and TV credits include: Diner, Swordfish, Veronica’s Closet, Mad TV, Getting On.

Deborah Tranelli (Marge) has appeared in over 50 Off-Broadway, regional & tour productions. Most recently: Hereafter Musical (Snapple), Philosophy for Gangsters (Beckett), A Little Princess (premiere STC). Television/Film: Dallas (Phyllis 11 seasons), Law & Order, Murder in Manhattan (pilot), Three’s Company, Hart to Hart, Dance for One (indie) & more. Concerts: Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Lyrics & Lyricists, Jacksonville & Greenville Symphonies & hundreds more. Multiple Bistro Awards including her solo CD, A Lot of Livin’. ATG debut.

About American Theater Group

American Theater Group, a professional member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, is SOPAC’s theatre company in-residence. Headed by Producing Artistic Director James Vagias, the theatre company presents staged readings of new work in the SOPAC Loft and fully-staged productions on the SOPAC mainstage.

American Theater Group was launched in 2012 with co-founders Joe Mancuso, Rick Sordelet and then Mayor of Rahway Jim Kennedy that offers musicals and plays, a new musical reading series and arts-in education programming. Its focus is on producing new and classical works, primarily by American playwrights, with an emphasis on the development of new works and the rediscovery of undeservedly neglected older ones. American Theater Group’s Board of Trustees chairperson is South Orange resident and Tony Award-winning actress Michelle Pawk.


Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages.  To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC—a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory.  SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions.  SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in-residence, American Theater Group. For more information, visit

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' at Dover Little Theatre

Contains Mature Content
Not recommended for children under the age of 13

'Falsettos' benefit performances at Chatham Community Players


3 Benefit Performances
May 31, June 1 & 2

Nominated for 7 Tony Awards, and winner of Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
A benefit for The Trevor Project.

Falsettos to benefit the Trevor Project
The Chatham Community Players is excited to present William Finn & James Lapine’s musical, Falsettos and will be a benefit for “The Trevor Project” on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, June 2 at 7:00 pm at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham.

Tickets are $35 for premium seating (center section), and $25 for side sections with a student/senior price of $20.00 (side sections) and can be purchased at the door.  Directed by Gus Ibranyi and Salvador Navarro of West Caldwell.

Falsettos is a musical with a book by William Finn and James Lapine, and music and lyrics by Finn. The musical consists of March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, the last two installments in one trio of one-act Off-Broadway musicals. FALSETTOS revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It’s a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family… and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.

For more details and information about The Trevor Project, please visit


FRIDAY, May 31 @ 8:00 pm
SATURDAY, June 1 @ 8:00 pm
SUNDAY, June 2 @ 7:00 pm

NJSO to present Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert, the sixth film in the Harry Potter series. On October 26 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs Nicholas Hooper’s incredible score live from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while the entire film plays in high-definition on a 40-foot screen.

In 2016, CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, a global concert tour celebrating the Harry Potter films. Since the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert in June 2016, more than 1.3 million fans have enjoyed this magical experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, which is scheduled to include more than 900 performances across more than 48 countries worldwide through 2019.

As Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the Muggle and Wizarding Worldsä, Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing Harry for the battle fast approaching. Even as the showdown looms, romance blossoms for Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates. Love is in the air, but danger lies ahead, and Hogwarts may never be the same again.

Nominated for the 2010 GrammyÒ Award, Nicholas Hooper returns to the Harry Potter series with this magical score that debuted at number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart, thus making it the highest-charting soundtrack among all the six movie soundtracks released. Considered “emotionally churning” by Variety, Hooper’s score features soaring and unique motifs that could only represent the grandeur and scope of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Justin Freer, President of CineConcerts and Producer/Conductor of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, explains: “The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. It is with great pleasure that we bring fans for the first time ever an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen. This is truly an unforgettable event.”

Brady Beaubien of CineConcerts and Concert Producer for the Harry Potter Film Concert Series added, “Harry Potter is synonymous with excitement around the world, and we hope that by performing this incredible music with the full movie, audiences will enjoy returning to the Wizarding World.”

Tickets for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert go on sale May 31 at 10 am through the NJSO at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) and through NJPAC at or 1.888.GO.NJPAC (466.5722).

For more information on the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, please visit

Grease: MPAC's 7th Annual Spring Musical this weeekend

Grease: MPAC's 7th Annual Spring Musical
Friday, May 31 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 1 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 pm
Tickets: $20 - $30
At Rydell High, "greaser" Danny and new (good) girl Sandy try to relive the romance of their "Summer Nights" as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through Senior Year with such favorites as "Greased Lightnin'," "It's Raining on Prom Night" and "Alone at the Drive-In Movie."

MPAC's production of Grease features a dynamic cast of several dozen young performers, and the top-notch professional production values you've come to expect from MPAC's spring musicals! 
Buy Tickets

HTC Reading:"Purple Panties" by Mike Sockol

"Purple Panties" by Mike Sockol
June 3rd @ 7PM
Come on out June 3rd and join us for our Monday Night Reading of Purple Panties, a new play by Mike Sockol! You might remember Mike for his short piece Bagels which he premiered at our Evening of New Works -- now he's back for more!
This is a FREE event. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door. These readings are made possible by your generous support!

Purple Panties
A new play by Mike Sockol
Directed by Peter Reimann

Three friends celebrate a birthday darkened by the fear of death—a dog under the knife, a troubling medical prognosis, and the final embers of a secret affair. Anna, Dmitri, and Katia are not admirable people, but they are real ones, filled with faults and emotions that we see in others and hope we don’t see in ourselves.

Dawn Lanoue as Anna
Seth Newfeld as Dmitri
Sharon Coyle-Saeed as Katia

Mike Sockol has been a storyteller all his life—as a journalist, teacher, actor, and corporate communicator. He has written over 20 plays, including “Pets (and Their Humans),” which received two Perry Awards from the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters. Most recently, his plays were featured in Playhouse 22’s Third Thursday Play Reading Series, the New Voice Play Festival in Charles Town, West Virginia; Luna Stage’s Annual New Moon Short Play Festival; and The Theater Project’s ThinkFast Festival. His latest full-length work, Purple Panties, will have a staged reading at the Holmdel Theater Company on June 3rd. Mike also acted in several HTC productions, including “A Few Good Men,” “Becket,” and “Much Ado About Nothing."

Questions? Email us at OR call 732.946.0427
Want to get involved in our Monday Night Readings or show your own piece? Go here to learn more!

Peformed at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 (The white barn in front of the Holmdel High School)