Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I saw this show out at Chester Theatre Group in the summer, and it is a tour de force! Lots of fun! Maggie Graham is a real talent!

WHEN: November 9-11
Women’s Theater Company, 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha (in the Parsippany Community Center)
TICKETS:  $19 Seniors,$20 Standard for 70 minutes of fun


66215_428892453839938_250267045_n[1]AUDITION NOTICE:

Based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm
Produced by Eleanor Klinger

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 11, and Wednesday, Nov 14, at 6:00 PM
Bernards Township Community Center, 289 South Maple Ave., Basking Ridge

The Brementown Musicians is a participation play, involving the children in the events of the theater piece.

Casting for all roles, six actors required, age range 16 years of age and and older are needed to perform multiple roles in the production.

The audition will consist of improvisations and cold readings from the script.

Performers with all levels of experience are encouraged to attend.

Performances are at local libraries on Saturdays, January 12, January 19 and January 26, 2013.

For additional information regarding "The Brementown Musicians" auditions, please call Jaye Barre at 908.217.2714 or e-mail Jaye at

Monday, October 29, 2012


Cemetery Club e-flyer

WHEN: November 2-10; Fridays & Saturdays 8 PM; Sunday, Nov. 4, 2 PM
Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood (steps from the train station and great restaurants)
TICKETS: $16; $13 seniors/students
BUY TICKETS HERE or call  the box office 973.761.8453


Free First Thursday Nights

Docent-led tours are offered every hour (5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m.). Photo by Mike Peters. <br />

WHEN: Thursday, November 1, 5 – 9 PM: docent-led tours every hour (4:30, 6:30, 7:30 PM)
Montclair Art Museum, Bloomfield & Mountain Aves., Montclair

The Montclair Art Museum invites you to enjoy a night out at the Museum every first Thursday of the month.* Offerings will change on a monthly basis, providing something new to see or do at every First Thursday Night, but always include tours, live music, and a full service bar in partnership with Egan & Sons. See the full schedule of activities.

*October – June

Photo by Mike Peters


MAM is Reading! How Georgia Became O'Keeffe

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe, by Karen Karbo

WHEN: Thursday, November 1, 7 PM
Free; Coincides with MAM's Free First Thursday Nights

Author Karen Karbo will moderate a discussion on her book How Georgia Became O'Keeffe. In the book, Karbo traces the life of a Midwestern farm girl as she becomes a self-assured art world phenomenon and an utter original. At the age of 12, O’Keeffe was already telling people she planned to become an artist, even though, Karbo writes, that was the “equivalent of a modern preteen girl aspiring to be an army five-star general or an NFL quarterback.” Participants will gather at MAM’s Yard School of Art entrance and the Book Club Meeting will be held in Leir Hall.


Artist Trunk Sales

The Store at MAM welcomes local artists for Trunk Sales, featuring new collections and the opportunity to meet the artist.

  • November 1 - Juan Pablo Valencia
  • November 10 & 11 - Hilary Shank Kuhl
  • November 17 & 18 - Judy Beck

Read the artists' bios to find out more about them and their collections.


Closer Look Tour

WHEN: First Friday of the Month, November 2, 2 PM
Free; Coincides with the MAM’s Free First Fridays

Join us for informal 20-minute gallery talks that provide an in-depth examination of one to two works of art on view in the galleries. Tours led by MAM educators and docents.

Theme: Native American Art


Smokin' Hot Barbeque

WHEN: Friday, November 2, 7 – 10 PM
$75 Members, $100 Nonmembers; $500 Smokin' Hot Level (includes 2 tickets); $1000 Burning Hot Level (includes 4 tickets). Receive a 10% Membership discount at the Family Level or above when you join at the time of ticket purchase.

You're invited to MAM's Smokin' Hot Barbeque, an exciting friendraiser/fundraiser celebrating the exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico. Enjoy savory southwestern fare provided by Ruthie's BBQ & Pizza, margaritas and cocktails provided by Egan & Sons, and live DJ's, Darren DeVivo and Russ Borris, provided by WFUV. The event is offered in partnership with Elements Therapeutic Massage.

Attire: Brazen Boots and Country Denim
Chair: Gretchen Prater

Must be 21 to attend. All proceeds will benefit the Montclair Art Museum.


Painting Like O'Keeffe (Ages 8+)

Georgia O'Keeffe, Hill, New Mexico, 1935, oil on canvas. Private Collection. © Georgia O-Keeffe Museum. Courtesy of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.<br />

WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2:45 – 4:45 PM
$30 Members, $50 Nonmembers

In this workshop students will learn about Georgia O’Keeffe and her painting style. O’Keeffe spent her career painting a wide variety of subject matters, from Southwestern landscapes, to flowers, to still lives with skulls. Students will choose their subject matter and try their own hand at painting like O’Keeffe!

(Above: Hill, New MexicoI, 1935, oil on canvas. Private collection. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.)


Digitizing Your Portfolio (Ages 16+)

WHEN: Sunday, November 4, Noon – 4 PM
$50 Members, $75 Nonmembers

This one-day workshop for older teens is designed to help students explore the nuts and bolts of preparing their portfolios for application to postsecondary art programs. Mr. Cuneo, a long-time Portfolio Prep instructor at the Yard School and art and photography teacher at the Montclair Kimberley Academy, will teach students about the structure of their portfolio, as well as how to shoot slides, light their artwork for shooting, and optimize their images. Students will also have a chance to get hands-on practice shooting their work. Students should bring a portfolio of work with them, as well as their digital cameras (preferably SLR), their download cables, and a flash drive.


Georgia O'Keeffe in Glass

WHEN: Sunday, November 4, Noon – 2:30 PM
TUITION: $80 Members, $100 Nonmembers
INSTRUCTOR: Peg Kenselaar

In this exciting workshop, docent and MAM art educator Peg Kenselaar will lead a tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico exhibition before heading to the studio to create works in glass. The instructor will have examples of the artist’s works to serve as inspiration or you can bring an image of your favorite O’Keeffe painting. There are many fun ways to prepare glass to create a colorful and beautiful work of art to hang in a bright, sunny window! Pieces will be kiln fired and ready to hang in your window two to three weeks after the workshop date.


MAM Appraisal Day

WHEN: Sunday, November 4, 1 – 5 PM
ADMISSION: $15 Members, $18 Nonmembers
TICKETS. Ticket entitles appraisal of two items (or photos of a large item)

It’s time to dust off your treasures and bring one or two of your favorite family heirlooms to MAM for an appraisal. MAM’s Appraisal Day will be cohosted with Heritage Auction Galleries of New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Paris, and Geneva. Heritage Auction Galleries is a renowned venue for auction, private sale, and appraisal, with auction exhibitions in-house and online. Items can be appraised in a variety of categories: comics, coins, currency, fine art, decorative art, jewelry, photographs, tribal arts, and watches. Its experienced specialists provide unmatched personal service. Specialists from Heritage appear frequently on the hit PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

Cosponsored by Heritage Auction Galleries, 445 Park Avenue, New York, NY.


gingerbread wonderland

Call for Gingerbread Wonderland Entries

Creative cooks and bakers alert!  Families, schools, Scout troops and civic groups are invited to enter the

21st Annual Gingerbread Wonderland

WHEN: November 30 – December 9, 2012.
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township. 

photoThis Morris County holiday tradition takes place from Complete instructions and rules are listed at, along with an easy to complete Entry Form and recipes for gingerbread and royal icing.  The public may enter in one of these categories: Adult, Family, Child, School Group, Scout Group, Special Needs. 

All entries receive a fancy show ribbon and there is a special Green Ribbon for exhibits with an environmental theme.  Entries are viewed by thousands of visitors who may also vote for their favorite entry in the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Kings Super Markets. 

Traditional gingerbread houses are always popular but entries have also included replicas of family homes, pets, favorite sports team, a local store or mall, or a favorite movie or book character.  You do not need to be a professional baker to enter.  Creativity and imagination are the most important ingredients in this holiday event.  For inspiration and ideas, please visit and go to the Gallery to see previous year’s entries.

The Morris County Park Commission, the largest park system in the state of New Jersey, currently protects and maintains 18,600 acres at 38 distinct sites and a year-round calendar of events and activities.




WHEN: November 5, 7:30 PM
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly
TICKETS: $3 JCC members/$5 general admission.
For further information, please call Inbal Israeli 201.408.1492.

Harold Chapler’s popular film discussion series, Top Films You Might Have Missed, will feature I Know Where I’m Going, the Michael Powell, Emil Pressburger classic, starring Wendy Hiller. It is a modern folktale-romance filmed in the mysterious Outer Hebrides. Mr. Chapler has designed this series for film buffs to explore the director’s craft and the critical details that create a masterpiece.

I know Where I’m Going is a contemporary myth, complete with hero, maiden, a curse and a difficult trial in which the threat of death hangs in the balance. The setting is 1945. The love story is daringly mixed with near-documentary footage, giving it the feeling of a timeless legend. Wendy Hiller plays a quick-witted and determined young woman of humble means who is about to marry an aristocratic older man. As they journey by train up the coast of Scotland, a series of mishaps occur. Hiller is thrown together with a young passenger who introduces her to a world full of astonishing local color and inexplicable moments of fantasy and discovery.

The series continues on November 26, with Ernst Lubitsch’s romantic comedy Trouble in Paradise about Parisian thieves who disguise themselves as nobility to rob a lovely female owner of a perfumery; on December 17, with Shakespeare in Love, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Dench and Ben Affleck and on January 7, with a Preston Sturges comedy, The Lady Eve, starring Barbara Stanwyk as a beguiling con artist and Henry Fonda as a very rich, lovable bachelor.

Mr. Chapler gives interesting background information before the screening and invites the audience for a short discussion afterward.




By Ken Ludwig with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin

WHEN: November 2 – 18.  All shows are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM
Playhouse 22 at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick
TICKETS: $22 for adults or $20 for seniors and students, and available online at, by calling the Box Office at 732.254.3939 or at the Box Office window. 

Crazy for You is a musical set in the 1930s, about Bobby Child, the sweet son of a wealthy New York banking family, whose dream in life is to dance on Broadway. Despite protests from his battle-ax of a mother and wealthy soon-to-be-ex-fiancé, Bobby flees to Deadrock, Nevada where he falls in love with the only girl, Polly Baker, within 50 miles and achieves his dream.

Memorable Gershwin tunes include I Can't Be Bothered Now, Shall We Dance, Bidin' My Time, I Got Rhythm, Naughty Baby, They Can't Take That Away from Me, But Not for Me, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Embraceable You and Someone to Watch Over Me.

Crazy for You is a high energy, screw-ball comedy complete with mistaken identity, plot twists, fabulous dance numbers and classic Gershwin music.

(Photo: Joan Aniano as Polly Baker and Michael Miguel as Bobby Child)


clip_image002AUDITION NOTICE:

By Emily Mann
Directed by Jeremy Gold Jones-Kronenberg

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 PM. Sign-up begins at 6:30 PM, and auditioners must arrive no later than 8 PM.
Westminster Arts Center, 449 Franklin Street in Bloomfield, which is easily accessible by train or bus from Manhattan.

Rehearsals will begin in December and the performances are scheduled for February 21-24, 2013; performances will include student matinees and evening shows.

4th Wall Theatre, a non-union, professional theatre company, will hold open auditions for the role of Sadie Delany in Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years adapted by Emily Mann from the book of oral history by Sarah "Sadie" L. Delany and A. Elizabeth "Bessie" Delany with Amy Hill Hearth. The show will be presented as a part of Black History Month at The Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ, where the company is in residence.

Seeking: One female, African-American actress (45 or older) to portray 103-year-old Sadie Delany. The actress playing Sadie must possess an honest elegance, truthfulness and also a playful sense of humor. She is tenacious, has a deep strength and a positive approach to life. Sadie is the Yin to her sister Bessie’s Yang, the molasses to Bessie’s Vinegar. A bit of a mama’s girl, Sadie takes a more philosophical approach to life and its obstacles and is less easily ruffled and less confrontational than her sister. (The role of Bessie Delany has been cast.)

Please prepare a 1-2 minute serio-comic monologue that shows range and storytelling ability and a simple and personal connection to the audience.  In addition, sides from the show will be provided at the auditions.  Auditioners are encouraged to read the play in advance.  Please bring a headshot and resume stapled together, and be prepared to provide all potential conflicts for evening and weekend rehearsals beginning November 26, 2012, through February 20, 2013. Small Stipend / Non Union production.

For additional information, including directions to the theatre, please visit

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Us at Catoberfest 1By Sheila Abrams

Offering a welcome opportunity to escape from both dire weather warnings and political cacophony, New Jersey Ballet made its annual autumn visit to the Sitnik Theatre at Centenary College in Hackettstown with a richly varied Halloween-themed program called Ghosts of the Ballet.

The Livingston-based company is about as international in its personnel as the UN—and the dancers illustrate an ability to work together in spite of their differences that should serve as a model. The program, consisting of five pieces, showed off the variety of both the company’s repertoire and its dancers’ talents.

Death and the Maiden, choreographer Robert North’s interpretation of Franz Schubert’s Quartet No. 14 in D Minor of the same name, has held a unique position in the company’s repertoire for years. The work spans the divide between ballet and modern dance, with the influence of Martha Graham evident. The five women are wearing soft shoes and long, flowing dresses, the movements of which echo the movements of their legs.

In the story, a young girl, frolicking with her friends, is singled out from the group by a new partner. Dressed in black, his identity is never in question. Though she resists his advances, they are as seductive as they are controlling. A female friend tries to draw her back into life, but the dark partner has already staked his claim. The friend walks off. The girl ends up limp in the partner’s arms.

This powerful piece is of course defined by the exquisite score, music of a serious nature that rarely is heard at the ballet. Leonid Flegmatov filled the role of the dreaded partner with subtle authority, at the same time lover and killer. Christina Theryoung-Neira was superb as the hapless maiden, and company apprentice Carmen Gonzalez was surprisingly strong and precise as the friend.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is such an integral part of the American psyche that we hardly ever stop to ask what it so scary about it. A man, called the narrator, sits dreaming of his lost, presumably dead, love, Lenore, when a big black bird knocks at his door and comes in. What is it there for? To tell the writer that he will see Lenore “nevermore?” Well, he already knows that. And how come the bird can talk? (These questions all arose in my seventh grade class in The Bronx, N.Y., after the class visited Poe Cottage, where the poet once lived, and read the poem.)

In any case, it makes a good framework for a spooky ballet, choreographed by David Fernandez to a musical score by Elliott Goldenthol. Kerry Mara Cox was an ethereal Lenore, boureeing across the stage as if she were floating. Junio Teixeira was a handsome “narrator” and Albert Davydov, in a mostly crouched position, conveyed a sense of madness and menace.

The evening closed felicitously with a supremely entertaining piece, Masquerade, choreographed by Bettijane Sills to a familiar and luxuriously danceable score by Aram Khachaturian. Sills, who studied with and danced for Balanchine at New York City Ballet, shows his influence in this wonderful work.

Backed up by a corps of eight women, gorgeously dressed in many-hued tulle-skirted ball gowns, three women dance with and seemingly compete for two tail-coated men. Two of the women, Elisa Toro Franky and Ana Luiza Luizi, flirt from behind masks, trading partners in a light-hearted way. But, if there is a menace here, it comes in the form of the third woman, a temptress, perhaps a threat. She could easily steal a male heart or two, as danced by Ekaterina Smurova. The two men, elegant in black tie, were Oliver Beres and Martin Vignolo, both new to NJ Ballet this season.

A nod here has to go to Myra Tang, the company’s Wardrobe Mistress, who designed the gorgeous costumes. The layers of colored and black tulle in the skirts that move so fluidly with the dance add a great deal to the success of the piece.

The program began with two classics, The Kingdom of the Shades from La Bayadere and The Black Swan Pas de Deux.

New Jersey Ballet will be at the Mayo Center in Morristown next Saturday evening with a George Balanchine-Jerome Robbins program.


Ask any Brit his favorite monarch and he's sure to name Henry V, the king who defeated the vastly superior (in numbers) French at the battle of Agincourt. Henry captured the imagination of his subjects by his youth and vitality, not to mention his rather wild days frequenting the taverns of London where he hobnobbed with the hoi polloi in the company of the drunken fat knight, Sir John Falstaff.

Indeed, in subsequent centuries, Shakespeare's eponymous play has served a variety of ends. To the Elizabethans, Henry V embodied English values triumphant over their traditional enemies, the foppish French. In 1940, Sir Laurence Olivier's film version glorified war and the patriotism exhibited by the British during the German blitz. And Sir Kenneth Branagh's 1989 adaptation showed war in a far less romantic light, complete with mud and gore, turning it into an anti-war/buddy movie.

Henry V Election Sign - Two River TheaterNow, the Two River Theater Company has produced a Henry V for the 21st century, an introspective study of the nature of leadership, a topic that seems to be much on everyone's mind during this election season. Here, the battles are thrilling, the machinations of old warmongers are self-serving, and the king is so sympathetic and, at times, charming that we find ourselves rooting for the English to win, even when, almost 600 years to the day after it occurred—October 25—we already know the battle's outcome!

The play is usually labeled a “history” play, but Shakespeare plays fast and loose with some of the details, collapsing time, making sure the French nobles appear ridiculous and providing scenes that appear in no history book. Against overwhelming odds, newly-crowned Henry leads his troops against the larger, more unified French army to assert his right to the French crown through his mother. The cause is ridiculous, but the Church supports the war, hoping to derail an embarrassing proposal to cut their revenues. The nobles are eager for a fight and the profits which may follow, and some lowly foot soldiers have joined to support their ruler. At the battle of Agincourt, Henry rallies his men, defeats the French and cements his place in history.

Henry V trtc 200..Henry V, by William Shakespeare, at Two River Theatre, 10/20/12.Director: Michael Sexton.Lighting Design: Allen Hamm.Set Design:Andromache Chalfant.Costume Design:Tilley Grimes..© T Charles Erickson. Michael Sexton's intelligent, skilled direction, Jacob Fishel (right)turns in a masterful performance as Henry: ruthless with traitors, compassionate toward his frightened soldiers, and merciless ordering the death of enemy prisoners in reprisal for the slaughter of defenseless English boys guarding the luggage in the rear. When he declares that ceremony is all that separates him from other men, we ache for him, and learning the successful outcome of the battle, we share his exhaustion and elation. Wooing Princess Katherine, he is awkward with the courtly language, and when he calls on his men to join him in battle, we want to spring to our feet and enlist!

Henry V trtc 008..Henry V, by William Shakespeare, at Two River Theatre, 10/20/12.Director: Michael Sexton.Lighting Design: Allen Hamm.Set Design:Andromache Chalfant.Costume Design:Tilley Grimes..© T Charles Erickson. large cast of characters is well served by actors doubling (and sometimes tripling) in various roles As the voice of the playwright, the Chorus, superbly played by Suzzanne Douglass (left), exhorts the audience to imagine the armies of England and France, along with their horses and equipment, on “this unworthy scaffold.” Michael Genet stands out as the stalwart Exeter, Evander Duck as a regal King Charles VI of France and Ben Mehl as a very foppish Dauphin. Bardolph, Nym and Pistol, Henry’s former drinking buddies, are played by Thom Sesma, Jesse J. Perez and Geoffrey Owens, respectively, as jive-talking, finger-popping scoundrels. And Ismenia Mendes breaks hearts as the Boy who meets his end while guarding the luggage.

As the Welshman Fluellen, whose thick accent and penchant for citing military history and ancient battles at every opportunity engender laughs, Brendan Titley convincingly conveys the man's honesty and courage. Ben Mehl (Captain Jamy, a Scotsman) and Ian Lassiter (Captain MacMorris, an Irishman) provide superb support, especially the latter whose hair-trigger temper almost gets him in trouble with the king.

On the distaff side, the domestic scene between the Princess Katherine and her nurse Alice provides a needed respite from the rhetoric of war. Ismenia Mendes delightfully attempts to study English by learning, and mispronouncing, the names for parts of the body in English (her French sounds fluent). At the end, however, showing that she understands far more than she has let on, she holds Henry at arm’s length, refusing to kiss him before marriage, giving in only when he admonishes her that “nice customs curtsey to great kings.”

Henry V trtc 366..Henry V, by William Shakespeare, at Two River Theatre, 10/20/12.Director: Michael Sexton.Lighting Design: Allen Hamm.Set Design:Andromache Chalfant.Costume Design:Tilley Grimes..© T Charles Erickson. outstanding production values enhance the fine performances. Andromache Chalfant has positioned a huge red Mark Rothko-like painting at the back of the stage to remind us of the bloody aspects of war; during battle scenes, it glows eerily. And the rectangular wooden playing platform morphs from the polished floors of the palace to the muddy, hilly terrain of the battlefield merely by lifting or shifting panels up or sideways. Tilly Grimes' costumes are important in a production where everyone is dressed in modern attire. Henry's boyish blue jeans give way to a soldier's khaki pants tucked into military boots; the foppish wear blue suits and berets (the Dauphin even sports an ascot); the English wear grey business suits and military trench coats instead of armor. And Katherine resembles a modern teenager in capri pants and ballet slippers, lounging on her bed! Allen Hahn's lighting and Brandon Wolcott's sound and original music convey an macabre feeling, and fight direction by Thomas Schall excitingly evokes the larger battle occurring offstage.

Two Rivers' production of Henry V shows us a young man whose initial boyish stature grows as he deals with traitors brutally and ruthlessly, to become a leader demanding discipline in others and himself, stern but knowing when to unbend, able to stir the hearts of his subjects and possessing an overwhelming sense of his own responsibility. Underneath his crown, Henry is a commoner at heart; his humility makes him able to successfully connect with foot soldiers and nobles alike. It's the perfect treatment for an American audience about to elect or re-elect a leader for unsettled political and economic times. Both Romney and Obama would do well to take a lesson from the Bard.

Henry V will be performed at the Two River Theater Company, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, through November 11. For information and tickets, call the box office at 732.345.1400 or visit online.

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

Thursday, October 25, 2012



Kristallnacht Commemoration

WHEN: Monday evening, November 5th, 7:30 - 9:15 PM
The College of St. Elilzabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown 

This program is co-sponsored by the Holocaust Council of MetroWest, and will take place at the College of Saint Elizabeth's Dolan Performance Hall.  Everyone is invited to attend this commemoration and the Dessert Reception in Honor of Holocaust Survivors.  We look forward to welcoming you and demonstrating that we are committed to remembering, and will not forget....

Also, please note that Fred Heyman, Holocaust Survivor, will be speaking at the College of Saint Elizabeth on Thurs. Nov. 1 after a screening of the film Rosenstrasse at 7:00 PM (link on graphic will not work)


This musical is a lot of fun and perfect for the entire family (G-rated). It is a classic and a good introduction to the theater for children above the age of 10 and teens. And you don’t have to trek across the Hudson River (and drop a bundle of dough) to see it! Patronize your local theaters!

clip_image001 (link on graphic will not work)


Darress Theatre Logo

WHEN: Sunday, October 28, 1-3 PM
Darress Theatre,615 Main Street, Boonton, NJ 


Vita and Virginia

Starring Mona Hennessy (Virginia Woolf) and Rachel Black Spaulding (Vita Sackville-West). Photo by Steve Lawler.


Don't Miss the Final Weekend...

WHEN: THROUGH OCTOBER 28 ONLY! Thurs at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Sun at 3 PM

Vita and Virginia
By Eileen Atkins
Based on correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

"Intelligent & resonant...a worthwhile & fascinating play." - The NY Times

"Witty & engaging dual-character study." - The Star-Ledger

Audiences are calling Luna's NJ Premiere of Vita and Virginia "terrific", a "high-caliber theater experience" with "great direction and fabulous acting"!

For Tickets: Call (973) 395-5551 or Buy Online Here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hudson Theatre Works LogoStarring Elizabeth by Joanne Hoersch

TICKETS: $10 suggested donation; $5 for Seniors and Students

About the Play:
It is 2010 in New York City, at the height of the recession. At Carthage Financial, the members of the IT Department have to come to terms with the new reality of cutbacks, policy changes and the shifting sands of corporate double-speak and hidden agendas, as they all struggle to grapple with jobs that appear to have no meaning, and interpersonal relationships that probably have never existed. Strange goings on in the universe at large push them into a strange new land of myth, magic and the struggle to simply survive.

Playwright Joanne HoerschJoanne Hoersch is a recipient of a 2012 grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts for her first play, Jackson is Gone, which was also selected for a roundtable reading at the Lark Theatre. Prior to becoming a playwright, she was a fiction writer. She received a Woolrich fellowship for fiction from Columbia University, was a semi-finalist in the Heekin Foundation's national short story contest, and was a 1998 grantee from the NJ State Council on the Arts for her short story, "Josie Going Places."  She is currently working on a new play about the Romantic poet Percy Shelley. Joanne is honored to be participating in HTW's  PlayWorks series.


  • Vincent Sagona - Jasper Donleavy
  • Katrina Ferguson - Elizabeth Ballen
  • Tara Cioletti - Maria Sonora
  • Ryan Scott - Charlton McGalvin
  • Heather Sabella - Bethany Spencer-Hogg
  • Charlotte Glass, blow up doll - As Herself


WHERE: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn

Administrative Offices Phone: 973.379.3636  |  E-mail:

Box Office Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM-6 PM, Sun 12-6 PM l  Open until 9 PM on performance days

Box Office Phone: 973.376.4343   Fax: 973.376.2359 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


American country/pop singer and two-time Grammy Award winner LeAnn Rimes has sold over 37 million records worldwide and has placed over 40 single on American and international charts since 1996. <br />$55-$75 Standard price <br />

2 for 1 Ticket offer for


WHEN: Friday, Oct 26, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Enlow Hall, North Ave., East campus of Kean University, Union
TICKETS: $55-$75 Standard price
Call the Box Office Wednesday, October 24, from 2 PM-4 PM to receive this offer.

American country/pop singer and two-time Grammy Award winner LeAnn Rimes has sold over 37 million records worldwide and has placed over 40 single on American and international charts since 1996


Experience an evening of striking music ans auditory bliss. The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has been instrumental in developing and introduction Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community.<br />

National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba

WHEN: Sunday, October 28, 3 PM
Wilkins Theatre, Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave., Union
TICKETS: $55-$75 Standard price
Call the Box Office Wednesday, October 24, from 2 PM-4 PM to receive 2 for 1 offer. Free Admission with Kean ID.

Experience an evening of striking music and auditory bliss. The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has been instrumental in developing and introduction Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community.

Bring the family to this grand cirque spectacular. Direct from Beijing the National Circus of the People's Republic of China.<br />


WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 7:30 PM
Wilkins Theatre
TICKETS: $55-$75 Standard price
Call the Box Office Wednesday, October 24, from 2 PM-4 PM to receive 2 for 1 offer. Free Admission with Kean ID.

Bring the family to this grand cirque spectacular. Direct from Beijing the National Circus of the People's Republic of China. (NOTE: I saw this kind of circus in China and it is fabulous! Bring the kids!)

The King's Singers and Sean Curran Company combine talents for a project which will include music from acclaimed composer Joby Talbot.<br />


WHEN: Sunday, November 11, 3 PM
WHERE: Wilkins Theatre
TICKETS: $55-$75 Standard price
Call the Box Office Wednesday, October 24, from 2 PM-4 PM to receive 2 for 1 offer. Free Admission with Kean ID.

The King's Singers and Sean Curran Company combine talents for a project which will include music from acclaimed composer Joby Talbot.

Kean Stage Box Office
Monday,10 AM-3 PM; Tues.-Thurs., 10AM-6 PM; Friday, 10 AM-3 PM

Monday, October 22, 2012


TICKETS: $28 adult;$26 senior; $23 groups/students (link on graphic will not work)

What good is sitting alone in your room. Come hear the music play.....'

Kander and Ebb's groundbreaking musical Cabaret will inaugurate the the Axelrod FALL season. Originally directed on Broadway in 1966 by Harold Prince, Cabaret won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical inspired the eight-time Academy Award-winning 1972 film, starring Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles. "Cabaret is a cautionary tale about a society in trouble, and I think that still resonates today." With a creative set design featuring the orchestra on the Axelrod Stage, you will be drawn into an infamous Berlin cabaret." 

With the same Award Winning creative team as 42nd Street, South Pacific and many more Axelrod hits, you are sure to experience one of the most exciting productions yet!




Sunday, October 21, 2012


If you have seen The Man of La Mancha in any of its iterations—the 1966 original production, the 1972 film or the 2002 Broadway revival—I suggest that you park your expectations at the door of the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre when you pick up your tickets for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's version of the iconic musical which opened on Saturday night and runs through November 18.

Reimagining the show for a smaller stage (and a smaller budget), Director Bonnie J. Monte has eschewed traditional casting too. While the role of Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote remains as monumental as ever, two supporting roles, those of the squire Sancho Panza and the whore/lady Aldonza/Dulcinea have been so muted that they—especially Sancho—are almost unrecognizable among the multitude of prisoners re-enacting Cervantes' epic tale of knight errantry.

LaMancha_IMG_0267Based on one of the seminal works of Western literature, The Man of La Mancha uses the conceit of the author's being thrown into prison by the Inquisition where, while awaiting interrogation, he is put on trial by his fellow prisoners. To defend himself, he opens his trunk and hands out costumes and props to perform a "charade" that recounts the misadventures of a lunatic country squire who, besotted with tales chivalry, dons knight's armor, recruits a peasant to act as his squire and, in search of adventure, fights a monster and some Moors, meets a lady to whom he dedicates his quest and is dubbed a knight, before dying in his own house, stripped of his idealism and lunacy.

The great divide between Don Quixote's mad fantasies and brute reality provides much of the humor in the play, and in the opening scene, Cervantes' ability to transform this rag-tag group of prisoners into various characters is spellbinding. As he puts on make-up and a beard and wig to "become" Don Quixote, the actors' faces register disbelief and delight at his transformation. When they too don various bits of costume, they morph into various characters and perform their roles with relish.

Once again, the production values of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey are superb. Michael Schwiekardt's set, dominated by a huge trefoil, staircase and stone walls, is a constant reminder that this is a prison cell, and a dank one at that. Michael Giannitti's atmospheric lighting and Michelle Eden Humphrey's wonderfully ragged and overtly theatrical costumes add to the show's power. And Rick Sordelet's agile fight choreography conveys the violence prevalent both in prison and in the dung heap that is the real world of early 17th century Spain.

LaMancha_IMG_0008William Michals's Cervantes/Don Quixote commands our attention throughout the play's two and a quarter hour running time. As Cervantes, he goes from frightened, newly arrived prisoner to confident stage director to main character, moving from sanity to lunacy with ease. His nobility in the midst of squalor (in prison and the outside world) is touching and inspiring, especially when he sings the show's anthem, "The Impossible Dream"; his rich baritone soars to fills the theater auditorium. His fine performance is matched by Drew Dix as the Innkeeper and Patrick Boll as Dr. Carrasco, fiancé of Don Quixote's niece. The former, though bemused by his strange guest, goes along with the fantasy that his inn is a castle; the latter imperiously sets out to "cure" the Don of his insanity by cruelly scaring the old man into relinquishing his folly, leading to his sad demise. The innkeeper is likeable; the Doctor is not.

LaMancha_IMG_0199However, director Monte has not done similar justice to the two characters so important to the plot: Sancho Panza and Aldonza/Dulcinea. Traditionally, Sancho Panza has been portrayed by a portly actor (his name, "Panza," means belly or paunch). In this production, Blake Pfiel's slight stature and voice unfortunately mute the larger-than-life vulgar wit and earthy skepticism so necessary as an antidote to the knight's elevated diction and wild flights of fancy. His recital of Sancho's ever-ready proverbs falls flat so that, instead of being a worthy—and very funny—sidekick, Pfiel's Sancho Panza blends into the background to become just another prisoner actor.

While not the lusty, luscious whore of previous productions but a plain-looking creature who has been beaten down by life, Jane Pfitsch's appearance works well to convey the idea that an ordinary woman can be ennobled when someone (in this case Don Quixote) notices her and thinks she's beautiful. As he extols her beauty in "Dulcinea," Pftisch's chin trembles and her eyes fill with tears to produce a very touching moment. But these moments are intermittent: Her rather diffident performance in Act I fails to convey disgust and anger at the life she leads but improves markedly after the intermission (and her rape by the muleteers). This gamble on the part of the director to cast against the accepted type would have worked better had Pfitsch's performance been stronger from the very start.

Accompaniment is provided by musicians seated to the back of the stage left and right and by several prisoners who played the guitar. I don't know what the sound was like throughout the theater, but from my second row center aisle seat, there were times I had difficulty hearing the singers (they do not wear microphones), either because they didn't sing loudly enough or the accompaniment drowned them out.

The total impression, therefore, is of a diminished version of The Man of La Mancha. It's not the smaller stage, but smaller performances that rob this wonderfully theatrical play of its power, humor and truth. Without the raw reality provided by the common characters of Sancho and Aldonza, Don Quixote's lunatic fantasies look, well, nutty, rather than the idealism to which we all should aspire. And that's the point of the play.

The Man of la Mancha will be performed at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the Drew University campus in Madison through November 18. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.408.5600.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


In these days of easy pick-ups and hook-ups, the idea that high school girls would dress up and attempt to enter a club would not surprise most adults (unless they're parents who refuse to consider that their teens would ever do that), but that grown men would be fooled by the ruse and act on their impulses like randy high school boys is mind-boggling!

That is exactly the point of Jailbait, a drama with comic relief penned by Deidre O'Connor, a production by Alliance Repertory Theater now onstage at the Edison Valley Playhouse where it runs through October 27. Under Michael Driscoll's taut direction, four talented actors take us on a rollercoaster ride through such a bar scene and its uncomfortable aftermath.

Of course, the title says it all. Wild child blonde bombshell Emmy convinces her more serious "friend" Claire to sneak out of the house, pose as a college girl and join her on a visit to a club where she plans to hook up with a guy she met the week before. Depressed since her father's death earlier in the year and flattered by Emmy's attention, Claire reluctantly assents. What she doesn't know is that the two "guys" are men in their early thirties, one of them, Mark, an oversexed hunk and his friend Robert, who is still grieving since his girlfriend of six years dumped him and who has been coerced by Mark to move on by joining him at the club for some fun. That they want to fake being 21 again presents dangers for them too.

O'Connor mostly focuses on the interplay between Claire and Robert, with intermittent boozy appearances by Emmy and Mark. The latter couple gets completely blotto, while the former tentatively get to know each other while remaining relatively clear-headed. What ensues when Mark finds out the girls are only fifteen is both hilarious and sobering. By the final scene, all four characters, most notably the girls, have learned some sad and profound lessons about the friendship and the sexual vicissitudes of life.

197500_10151218970354432_1753949160_n[1]Probably the hardest roles to play are those of the two girls, but Melinda Grace (left) and Melissa Toomey (right) manage to convey the impression that they actually are high school sophomores. O'Connor has written dialogue for them, especially Emmy, that is full of teenage verbal tics, which makes them more convincing. Grace is over the top as the chick hot for a night on the town with an older guy; evidently she's done this before, and her enthusiasm for the adventure makes her sad utterances at the end all the more poignant. Toomey's hesitation is writ so large that we want to yell "Stop!" before she agrees to go with Emmy, so great is the danger for this serious, na561664_10151218972689432_174476106_n[1]ive young woman. Toomey's continual pushing her hair behind her ears and her awkward stance in a very short dress and stiletto heels should set alarm bells off in her "date" Robert's head. Indeed, I kept waiting for him to discover the ruse, but that doesn't happen until the penultimate scene.

One reason Robert doesn't realize Claire's extreme youth is evident in Carmine Coviello's convincing portrayal of a man so depressed by a recent breakup (and a six-year hiatus from the club scene) that he's flattered by a young woman's attentions and her willingness to listen to him. Coviello's hangdog expression conveys sadness very well, and his reaction to learning that the underage girl he has just had sex with is jailbait (statutory rape would be the charge) is both measured and considerate. In contrast, 391656_10151218974404432_1542032544_n[1]Peter Kendall's Mark (left) is literally off the wall when he comes to Robert's apartment to deliver the horrible news; he's more concerned with his saving own hide than what has happened to the girls. Kendall hops around the stage like a teenager, all swagger and smuttiness, anxious for a hook-up and not too discerning about his partner's age and/or experience. Robert may feel like a dirty old man who asks, "Did 21 get younger all of a sudden," but Mark carries condoms in his pocket and offers one to Robert like they are chewing gum!

12693_10151218976124432_1862260290_n[1]Kevin Gunther's use of blank panels and a bunch of props (there's even a toilet for the ladies' room!) make it easy to change scenes with little ado, which makes the 90 minutes or so fly quickly by. Michael Driscoll and Brad Howell's music is appropriate for club dancing, and Lilli Marques's costumes help convey the characters' inner psyches very well. Emmy's orange mini-dress screams sex while Claire's black number, while equally as short, seems more subdued. (I especially loved the fact that Claire wears her ponytail elastic on her wrist!)Ditto Mark's corduroy pants and plaid sport shirt (though they look more rumpled than club sharp) show his cluelessness while Robert's business slacks and shirt (he’s removed his tie to make his outfit more casual) illustrate just how out of touch with the dating scene he is.

Jailbait presents us with the sad consequences of what can happen when teens adopt fake identities and sneak into nightclubs meant for those 21 and older. But it's not just the girls who are affected by the experience; the two older men learn a lesson the hard way about being more vigilant about the women they approach with more than just a drink on their minds. Alliance Rep once again shows us they can bring off-beat and unsettling plays to the public's attention and do it well. With Jailbait, this theater troupe shows us why it deserves our support.

Jailbait will be performed at the Edison Valley Playhouse, 2196 Oak Tree Road, Edison, through October 27, Friday & Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Thursday, October 25, at 8 PM and Sunday, October 21, at 2 PM. For information and tickets call 908.755.4654 or visit online at

Photos by Howard Fischer.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Last year,two friends and I went to McCarter Theatre for the 8-hour performance of Gatz, based on F.Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. It wasn’t really based on the novel, it WAS the novel, “performed” word for word. It was an exhilarating experience! Now the same company, The Elevator Repair Service, turns their hand to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. If you are a fan of Hemingway or love unusual theater, you won’t want to miss this production:

limited engagement!<br />october 26 – november 4, 2012<br />The SELECT (The Sun also rises)<br />based on the novel<br />The Sun Also Rises<br />by Ernest Hemingway<br />created by: Elevator Repair Service<br />directed by John Collins<br />From the people who brought you GATZ!<br /><br />SPECIAL OFFER<br />– BUY 1 TICKET, GET 1 TICKET FREE!*<br />PROMO CODE: BOGO<br />*Selected dates, Zone B and C seating only<br />October 26 – 8pm November 2 – 2pm<br />October 27 – 8pm November 3 – 2pm<br /><br />Tickets for all other dates START AT $20<br />Buy tickets today!<br /><br />609-258-2787 |<br />Support provided in part by the Edward T. Cone Foundation

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TICKETS, CLICK HERE (link on graphic will not work)

WHERE: McCarter Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton
Ticket Office: 609.258.2787

ERS completes its trilogy of classic American works with The Select (The Sun Also Rises), an inspired staging of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece novel. With cutting wit, doomed romance, and a live bullfight that has to be seen to be believed, this is an exquisite, wine-soaked homage to one of the finest novels ever written. The Select promises a smart and compelling conclusion to ERS’ exploration of some of the greatest American literature.


AUDITION NOTICE: interACT Youth Productions are performances intended to be cast with children who are currently enrolled in K-8th grade


By Joseph Robinette and E.B White
Directed by Shona Roebuck

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 23, and Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM; Callbacks will be Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1:00 PM
WHERE: The Baird Theater, 5 Mead St. 3rd Floor, South Orange (within walking distance from the South Orange train station)
Performance dates: Feb 1-3, 2013

If you are not available for these days but would still like to audition, please indicate this on the form below and you will be contacted by our director about possible alternate dates. APPOINTMENTS ARE STRONGLY SUGGESTED; however, walk-ins welcome and will be seen at first available time slot.

  • All Auditions will be by cold reading. Monologues will not be seen. Charlotte’s Web is a non-equity production.
  • All children auditioning will be expected to be available for a callback session on Sat Oct 27 at 1:00 PM.
  • Parents will be required to attend a parent informational meeting Sat Nov 3 at 1:00 PM
  • General rehearsals will be held Tuesday Wednesday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, please come prepared with all conflicts for those days.
  • Please see audition and production details below the audition form.

To Schedule an Audition, please fill out the following information. A confirmation will be sent to the email address that you provide with your audition time and details.

The Children’s Literature Association named this “the best American children’s book of the past two hundred years,” and Joseph Robinette, working with the advice of E.B. White, has created a play that captures this work in a thrilling theatrical presentation.

The story is filled with memorable characters and their relationships—the Arables, the Zuckermans, the farm animals and the townspeople. Charlotte’s Web is the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. This is a beautiful, knowing play about friendship that will give actors and audience an evening of enchantment.


  • FERN ARABLE – Female – a young girl who understands what animals say to each other and has a pure sense of justice
  • JOHN ARABLE – Male – Fern’s father
  • MARTHA ARABLE – Female – Fern’s mother
  • AVERY ARABLE ­ – Male – Fern’s older brother who enjoys teasing her
  • HOMER ZUCKERMAN– Male – Fern’s uncle
  • EDITH ZUCKERMAN – Female – Fern’s aunt
  • LURVY – Male or Female – a caring, hired hand at the Zuckerman farm
  • WILBUR­ Male or Female – a small, lovable young pig
  • TEMPLETON – Male or Female – a gluttonous rat who can be talked into a good deed
  • CHARLOTTE – Female – a spider who proves to be “a true friend and a good writer”
  • GOOSE – Female – a motherly animal on Zuckerman’s farm
  • GANDER ­ Male – a fatherly animal on Zuckerman’s farm
  • SHEEP – Male or Female – a knowing animal on Zuckerman’s farm
  • LAMB – Male or Female – a not very welcoming animal on Zuckerman’s farm
  • TOWNSPEOPLE/FARM ANIMALS who include The Storytellers, Reporter, Photographer, Spectators, Judges, Fairgoers, Announcer, Uncle ­ Male or Female – this group narrates the story and becomes various characters throughout the play
  • BABY SPIDERS ­ Male or Female – Charlotte’s children