Friday, April 22, 2011


A Musical Comedy about Parenthood


WHEN: Thursday, May 5 – Saturday, May 7, at 8 PM & Sunday, May 8, at 3 PM
WHERE: South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange
TICKETS: $45/$35. To purchase, contact SOPAC at 973.313.ARTS or visit

Presented by the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) and Midtown Direct Rep, RATED P makes its long-awaited première at SOPAC.  With book and lyrics by Maplewood’s own Sandy Rustin, this sketch musical comedy explores the wonders and lunacy of raising kids from conception to college drop-off. Starring local Broadway veterans from SOPAC’s Midtown Direct Rep Theatre Company, RATED P brings the audience along with the actors on a hilarious and touching journey of both the joys and the drama of parenthood.

As a mother of two, Rustin’s own experience of parenthood serves as the impetus for RATED P. “Becoming a mother has fueled my life in so many ways and has certainly provided a constant flow of loving, funny, and relatable source material,” says Rustin, Co-Artistic Director of Midtown Direct Rep. While awaiting her older son’s first day of kindergarten, Rustin expressed her anxiety in the form of a poem about a mother’s wish for her child on the first day of school. 

“A Prayer for Ellie” has since evolved into a song in RATED P. “Much of RATED P is inspired by my stories and my friend’s stories—either from our childhoods or our lives now as parents.” Back in August 2010, the local community got a sneak peek of Rated P at the musical’s first public reading, and subsequently provided valuable feedback, comments and criticisms.  After nearly a year of re-writes, revisions, and rehearsals, RATED P takes the leap from page to stage. 

“We’re thrilled to have served as the incubator of Midtown Direct Rep’s first original musical production,” says Michael Bollinger, Executive Director of SOPAC. “We’ve nurtured RATED P and watched it grow from a staged reading to workshop, and now to a full production. I’m jazzed to see it come to fruition!”

Rated P is truly a collective experience for both the audience and the cast.  In fact, in addition to Rustin, almost every artist of RATED P has been touched by parenthood. Director of RATED P, Jeremy Dobrish, is a father of two living in Maplewood. He promises that, “if you’re parent, a grandparent, someone thinking about becoming a parent or if you’ve ever HAD a parent, RATED P will resonate with you.” 

- Cast + Crew
Book & Lyrics: Sandy Rustin
Music & Lyrics: Dan Lipton & David Rossmer

Cast: Courtney Balan (Millburn), Bradley Dean (South Orange), David Josefsberg (South Orange), & Joanna Young (Maplewood)

Director: Jeremy Dobrish
Musical Director: Meg Zervoulis
Musical Staging: Rachel Bress
Set Designer: Steven Capone
Lighting Designer: Michael Gottlieb
Costume Designer: Bobby Pearce
Sound Designer: Jill DuBoff