Friday, September 6, 2019

CENTER PLAYERS ANNOUNCES 2019-20 SEASON Lend Me a Tenor Kicks off Season Oct. 18th

Center Players Dessert Theater is pleased to announce its upcoming 2019-20 season of both well-known and new works to be performed from October through August at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ.

Kicking off the season will be a production of Ken Ludwig’s farce, “Lend Me a Tenor,” directed by Michael Tota, and running Oct. 18-Nov. 10th. In this high-energy play of mistaken identity, world-renowned tenor Tito Merelli has signed on to play Pagliacci at a Cleveland opera company in the fall of 1934. He arrives late and, through a set of crazy circumstances, passes out after mixing wine with a huge dose of tranquilizers.

Next will be “A Year with Frog and Toad,” a musical written by brothers Robert and Willie Reale, based on the Frog and Toad children's stories written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The musical follows the year-long woodland adventures of two amphibious friends, a worrywart toad and a perky frog, with their assorted colorful hopping, crawling and flying companions. It will run from Dec. 6-15th and will be directed by Center Players’ Artistic Director Bernice Garfield-Szita, while Mafalda Cavanaugh will serve as Assistant Director.

Same Time Next Year by Bernard Slade, will follow, running from Feb. 14 - March 8th and will be directed by Anthony Marinelli. This 1975 romantic comedy focuses on two people, married to others, who meet for a romantic tryst once a year for two dozen years. Over the course of the next 24 years, they develop an emotional intimacy deeper than what one would expect to find between two people meeting for a clandestine relationship just once a year.

California Suite by Neil Simon will run May 15 - June 14 and will be directed by Dave McGrath. This1976 play is similar in structure to Simon’s earlier Plaza Suite, and the comedy is composed of four unconnected scenes set in Suite 203-04, which consists of a living room and an adjoining bedroom and bath, in The Beverly Hills Hotel. The scenes are titled: In Visitor from New York, the Visitor from Philadelphia, The Visitors from London and The Visitors from Chicago.

An original musical, Coyote, will be next, running July 17-26directed by Bernice Garfield-Szita. Creator, composer and lyricist Tim McCorry brings the audience on an inspirational journey from Guadalajara, Mexico to Lopez Island, Washington. Inspired by a true story, Coyote is a modern American tale of love, magic and adventure. Pedro and Bernadice are young lovers, determined to be re-united, who turn to a mysterious figure known only as Coyote to help them make a perilous crossing from Mexico into the United States.
Rounding out the season will be Jitney by August Wilson, running Aug. 21 – 30, and directed by Darrell Willis. The drama takes place in Pittsburgh in 1977, in a gypsy cab station, during Pittsburgh’s period of so-called “urban renewal.” As the city tries to shut down businesses -- including the cab station -- to make way for new building, five gypsy cab drivers struggle to survive. The playexamines the tumultuous relationship between father and son; husband and wife; black and white Americans; and the interactions between the jitneystation regulars. 

“We are pleased to offer another well-rounded season of award-winning plays, featuring outstanding local actors and directors,” noted Center Players President Sheldon Fallon. “And we look forward to supplementing the season with play readings, acting classes and other special events.”

Performances generally run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets for most productions are priced at $26-28 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. Season ticket subscriptions are also available by calling the box office by Dec. 15th.

Celebrating its 19th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants.

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