Monday, June 30, 2014
If you love the Great American Songbook as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this event at NJPAC:
American Songbook at NJPAC
WHEN: Saturday September 20, at 7 PM; Sunday, September 21, at 3 PM
The two exciting lineups include:
Marilyn Maye (Favorite of Tonight Show viewers)
John Pizzarelli (N.J.’s own GRAMMY-nominated jazzman)
ADMISSION: General admission seating tickets, now on sale, are $49 (orchestra) and $39 (mezzanine). Tickets are available by phone at 1-888-466-5722, online www.njpac.org and at NJPAC’s box office, 1 Center St., Newark.
Please note: these sessions are taped for future broadcast on NJTV, WNET and WLIW21. Audience members may appear on screen.
American Songbook at NJPAC is presented, in part, through the generosity of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust and benefits NJPAC’s arts education initiatives.
Single-performance tickets are available online at njpac.org, via phone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722) or at the NJPAC Box Office, One Center St., Newark. For groups of 10 or more, call the NJPAC sales desk at 1-888-MY-NJPAC (1-888-696-5722). All tickets purchased online and via phone are subject to a per-ticket handling charge.
The NJPAC Box Office is open Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 6pm and Sunday from noon-5pm. The Box Office is closed on Mondays. Phone calls to 1-888-GO-NJPAC (466-5722) for single-performance ticket orders are answered seven days a week, from 9 AM to 9 PM. Phone calls to 1-888-MY-NJPAC (696-5722) for groups of 10 or more are answered Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. Artists, dates, times, venues, programs and prices are subject to change.
Questions or comments? Please e-mail email@example.com.
© 2014 NJPAC - Administrative Offices: 973-642-8989
Box Office (Toll Free): 1-888-466-5722
WHERE: Greek Theatre, College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Road, Convent Station (Morris Twp.)
Photo © Jerry Dalia, 2014. Clark Scott Carmichael as Trissotin and Marion Adler as Philaminte
Sunday, June 29, 2014
If you missed any of these films, you can catch them at the State Theatre in New Brunswick this summer:
Summer Movies at the State Theatre
- Wreck-It Ralph - Monday, July 7, 2014, 10:30 AM and 7 PM
- Frozen - Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 10:30 AM and 7 PM
- The Lego Movie - Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 10:30 AM and 7 PM
- Despicable Me 2 - Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:30 AM and 7 PM
WHERE: The State Theatre, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $5 – $8
Ticket Office: 732-246-SHOW (7469)
Wreck-It Ralph tells the story of video game character Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and his journey to shed his Bad Guy image and become a hero. When a first-person shooter game arrives at the arcade, Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game intending to win a medal but soon wrecks everything, accidentally unleashing a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope, Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated racing game, must teach him what it means to be a Good Guy.
Frozen, presented by Walt Disney Animation Studios, features the story of Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), the fearless optimist, as she embarks on an epic journey to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), who uses her icy powers to trap the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Anna teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven who she meets along the way.
The LEGO Movie is an animated film that follows lead character, Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt), a completely ordinary LEGO mini-figure who is identified as the most “extraordinary person” and the key to saving the LEGO universe. Emmet and his friends go on an epic journey to stop the evil tyrant, Lord Business (voice by Will Ferrell), and his diabolical plans to freeze the world.
Despicable Me 2 continues the story of Gru (voice of Steve Carell), the ex-supervillian, as he adjusts to family life and attempts an honest living in the jam business. A secret Arctic laboratory is stolen and the Anti-Villain League decides it needs an insider’s help and recruits Gru in the investigation.
For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732.246.SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Wednesday 11 AM to 7 PM; Friday 10 AM to 5 PM; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732.247.7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.
State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98.3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre. United is the official airline of the State Theatre.
They were the "it" girls of 17th century France, upper-class women, enamored of the new zeal for Reason, who held regular salons attended by learned men who talked about literature, science and philosophy. Despite having scant education themselves, these women fancied themselves learned ladies, attaining knowledge just by hobnobbing with the intellectual elite of the age. And, they had big hair.
Of course, their self-important pomposity was ripe for deflation, and no one did it better than Molière, as in his effervescent and mordant comedy, The Learned Ladies, the summer production of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, currently glowing with wit and humor at the Greek Amphitheater on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station. With sharpened quill, France's greatest comedic writer takes aim at academic fools and those who indiscriminately worship them. Oh, and did I mention that they had really big hair?
The plot involves a marriage between young aristocrat Henriette and her penniless suitor Clitandre, a match condoned by the bride-to-be's father Chrysale but violently opposed by her battle-axe of a mother Philaminte, who thinks the foolish philosopher Trissotin is a better match for her younger daughter. Abetting Philaminte in getting her own way are older daughter Armande and sister-in-law Bélise, both "learned ladies" (with big hair) who look down their noses people like Henriette, whom they consider to be stupid and materialistic, especially because she wants to become a wife and mother. (Above, l-r: The “learned ladies” [Alison Weller, Marion Adler, Susan Maris] voice their high-brow disapproval of poor grammar.)
Director and sound designer Brian Crowe's choice of sprightly harpsichord music sets the tone from the very outset, as servants cavort around, performing their chores while reading books! The energy level thus established, Crowe keeps translator Richard Wilbur's snappy rhymed verse dialogue flowing nonstop, as when big-haired Philaminte pontificates on the need for good grammar and Trissotin reads his sonnet with (unintended) comic expression and often misplaced emphasis as the listening women, so moved by inanities, faint with pleasure. (Left, The pseudo-scholarly poet Trissotin [Clark Scott Carmichael] performs an impassioned original composition as an amazed Armande [Susan Maris] watches.)
Dressed in wonderfully evocative and silly-looking costumes designed by Paul Canada, the talented cast confronts Molière's satire head on, slinging his barbs against those who worship wit, the prominence of mind over body, but know nothing of what's happening in the real world. And these learned ladies and gentlemen certainly do have big hair. Philaminte and her posse wear huge white wigs that look like lambs on their heads, with a magnifying glass, book, globe, and a quill pen and scroll perched precariously on the tops. Their gold and white attire is decorated with words, math equations and geometry symbols to ram home that these wackos eat, sleep and drink knowledge, yet remain supremely uneducated!
Everyone turns in a first-rate performance, from Marion Adler as the harridan Philaminte, who plans to banish all verbs and nouns the ladies do not like and who terrorizes her milquetoast husband Chrysale (deliciously played by John Hickock as a bowl of quivering jelly whenever she appears) to the unable to be intimidated Henriette, played charmingly with a steel backbone by Rachael Fox. As the older sister Armande, Susan Maris has great fun inveighing against marriage (which she calls "slavery") but who continues to pursue Clitandre even after she has dumped him. Allison Weller's ample Bélise sails around the stage like a frigate as she, too, pursues Clitandre, despite his rejection of her. Of course, these two women are supremely deluded hypocrites, and Molière revels in taking them down a notch or two! And John Hickock does double duty as Vadius, dressed in all-black (his wig looks like a helmet) as the savant who expounds in Greek, saying, of course, nothing that sounds reasonable. (Above: The imperious matriarch Philaminte [Marion Adler] silences her husband Chrysale [John Hickok])
Clark Scott Carmichael has a field day as the Greek scholar Trissotin, performing lots of physical comedy with aplomb, looking quite serious as he spouts idiocies, poses with his leg extended (called "making a good leg") and avidly pursues Henriette, who clearly does not welcome his attentions. Lindsay Smiling turns the small part of Ariste, brother to Chrysale and Bélise, into an important source of equanimity in the face of disaster, as does Christine Sanders as the wise maid Martine, dismissed because of her poor grammar by Philaminte in the beginning of the play, only to return to utter truths about human nature, even if she does so in an inartful way! (Left: The aspiring poet Trissotin (Above: Trissotin [Clark Scott Carmichael] wows Philaminte [Marion Adler] with his cultured “learning.”)
The set, designed by Charlie Calvert, glows in the descending darkness, with curving walls imprinted with words and a white marble floor furnished simply with four chairs and piles of books (some of which protrude from under the stage to form steps so the actors can exit gracefully). Hamilton E.S. Smith's lighting completes the jewel box effect.
As Clitandre says, there is "no fool like a learned fool," and with The Learned Ladies, Molière and the folks at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey provide dramatic proof of that axiom. Of course, it's all performed with style, elegance, precise comedic timing, and the ability to recite verse without it sounding sing-song-y yet amusingly charming. And many of Richard Wilbur's clever rhymes will make you laugh out loud with their wit!
So grab a low-backed chair or cushion, a picnic dinner or snacks, grandma and the older kids, and head over to Convent Station for a rollicking 95 minutes in the company of The Learned Ladies. You will be glad you did!
The Learned Ladies will be performed at the outdoor Greek Amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth , 2 Convent Road (entrances off Park Avenue and Madison Avenue/Rte. 124), Convent Station, through July 27. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sundays at 7:30 PM and special twilight performances Saturday at 4:30 PM. Tickets are $15-$35 for adults; children under 5 go free (although I do not think they will enjoy the play's witticisms). For information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 973.408.5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org online.
Photos © Jerry Dalia, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Spectrum a LGBT Youth Drop-In Night sponsored by Garden State Equality, The Hetrick-Martin Institute: Newark , Newark LGBTQ Community Center, meets the second and fourth Friday of the month from 4-9pm at the Newark LGBT Center located at 11 Halsey Street near Rutgers University.
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Alliance Repertory Theatre will hold auditions for the role of Tom in
by Adam Bock
WHEN: Tuesday, July 15, beginning at 7 PM
WHERE: Mondo , 426 Springfield Ave., in Summit NJ
Performance dates: Sept 19th - Oct 4, 2014.
Rehearsals begin in August.
Tom is a gay, professional hockey player. Athletic, 25-39. Serious and fun loving. Non-Equity only.
Readings will be from the script.
Book and lyrics are by James Rado and Gerome Ragni
Music by Galt MacDermot
Directed by Alan Van Antwerp
Musical direction by Jack Bender
Choreography by Megan Ferentinos
Cindy Alexander is the show’s producer
WHEN: July 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20. All Thursday, Friday & Saturday shows are at 8 PM while all Sunday performances are 2 PM matinees. (No show July 4th.)
WHERE: 54 Grove Street in downtown Chester, NJ at the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue
TICKETS: $25 with a $2 discount available for seniors aged 65 and over and students under 18.
Tickets can be purchased online on the theater’s web site: www.chestertheatregroup.com or requested by phone by calling 908.879.7304.
It was rejected by countless Broadway producers as “too controversial,” but in 1968, Hair—the American Tribal Love Rock Musical—entered the theatrical pantheon as the show that captured the zeitgeist of the 1960s like no other. Hair tells the story of the “tribe,” a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the “Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.
The Chester Theatre Group’s own interpretation of the hippie-generation classic, set in an abandoned church, features an ensemble cast comprised largely of young newcomers (plus a few CTG veterans. Note: The production will NOT include any nudity.
Chester Theatre Group theater is a charming, intimate, 100-seat, in-the-round venue that makes for a unique and memorable theatergoing experience for all.
The Learned Ladies
Translated into English Verse by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Brian B. Crowe
WHEN: Begins June 18 – July 22; Tuesday – Sunday
Run time: Approximately 90 minutes
WHERE: Greek Amphitheatre, College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station
This is a "festival seating" performance—the seats are on a first come,
first served basis when you arrive for the performance.
Doors open 1/2 hour prior to start of performance.
The Shakespeare Theatre’s popular Outdoor Stage will ring with laughter as the “It Girls” of the 17th century, who bear a hilarious and uncanny resemblance to the “It Girls” of the 21st century, frolic, flirt and flaunt in grand style in this silly, fun farce that is perfect for audiences of all ages—especially families with teens!
Is there a stranger house in Christendom
Than mine, where women are as mad as hatters,
And everything is known except what matters?
BERGEN COUNTY PLAYERS ANNOUNCES OPEN AUDITIONS FOR NEIL SIMON’S "45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY" ON JULY 7 AND 8
OPEN AUDITION NOTICE:
45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY
By Neil Simon
Directed by Iris Weinhouse
WHEN: Monday, July 7 at 7:30 PM; Tuesday, July 8 at 7:30 PM (in order of arrival); Callbacks (by invitation only): Thursday, July 10 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell
Performance dates from October 25 to November 15.
45 Seconds from Broadway is Neil Simon’s affectionate look at the “Polish Tea Room,” the nickname the Broadway community has given to the thoroughly unpretentious coffee shop of the Hotel Edison (Note: one of the NJ Art Maven’s faves), with outlandish characters interacting throughout numerous hilarious plotlines that are woven together with Borscht Belt Humor.
Cast Breakdown (Please note: The age ranges listed are the characters' ages, not necessarily the ages of the actors.)
- Mickey Fox - 60ish, vigorous and alert - Jewish Comedian with strong New York accent – always “on”
- Andrew Duncan - 50-60 – British theatrical agent who adores Mickey – British accent
- Bernie – 70+ owner of the coffee shop – Polish/Yiddish accent - good natured – schmoozer – but don”t fool with him
- Zelda – 70 – his wife – Polish/Yiddish accent – big hearted - always trying to help starving actors – loves to cook
- Megan Woods – 20’s - fresh from the Midwest to make it big on Broadway. Sweet and very naïve
- Solomon Mantutu – 20-30 African American – South African accent – shy and deferential – hoping to be a playwright
- Rayleen – 50s+ - thinks of herself as the “Grand Dame” (think Norma Desmond) – lives is in a different world
- Charles – 60s her husband – very quiet – but understands his wife’s problems
- Arleen and Cindy 40-50 – typical suburban housewives – come into the city to enjoy the theatre but they are like a Greek chorus commenting on the state of the theater. Need good comic timing
- Bessie – 40+ - African American – warm - an old “friend “ of Mickey”s – has been around the theater for a long time but is passionate about it
- Harry Fox – 60s – Mickey’s older brother – New York accent - tired of living in Mickey’s shadow
If you have any difficulties with these dates, want more information about the roles or need a copy of the script, please contact the producer, Paul Reitnauer III at email@example.com
By M. Lennon Perricone
Reprinted from www.newbrunswicktoday.com
In addition to reviewing for NJACT for 9 years, Playwright M. Lennon Perricone has his work staged in New York, Kansas City, Flint Michigan and throughout New Jersey. He is currently writing his sixth novel.
For decades, theater goers have waited for the return of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s pop operetta redo of Billy Wilder’s classic drama of Hollywood’s underbelly.
Wrangled in legal ownership issues, cost overruns, a fired Patti LuPone, feuds, and being labeled one of Broadway’s flop hits, Sunset Boulevard’s non-Equity rights were not available until recently.
Producer/Director Gary P. Cohen took full advantage of these rights and provided the New Jersey premiere of this eerie yet compelling musical about a forgotten silent screen icon and the young down-at-heel writer whose paths cross in that spooky and decaying mansion located 100086 Sunset Boulevard.
One of the advantages a non-Equity theater can be that return on investment isn’t always the primary motivation for a production.
Cohen, his cast and crew obviously unencumbered with the baggage that plagued the Equity production across the river, delivered a powerful and dark musical drama filled with pathos and tenderness that compelled all to remain seated till its fruition.
Though a work of fiction, Sunset Boulevard brings to mind several popular cases that exposed skeletons in Hollywood’s closet.
In this story, a struggling wannabe screenwriter is found dead in the Hollywood mansion of a reclusive icon… life imitating art, or perhaps the other way around.
Leading the cast as the conflicted Joe Gillis is Billy Piscopo, who seemed to be right out of central casting, giving a great performance.
His equal was the talented Julie Waldman Stiel, who didn’t play Gloria Swanson, she played Norma Desmond. Bravo to you Ms. Stiel for not taking the easy path and taking ownership of the part.
Scott Daniels was on his game as the enabling and obsessed Max von Maryling. Emma McGahan was both charming and pitiful as Betty Schaefer Joe’s moral compass who realizes she can’t redeem him.
Abe Vorensky as Sheldrake, Kirk Geritano as Artie, Jeffrey O’Neill as Manfred and Bob Nutter as CB DeMille all delivered outstanding peformances and all involved in this production made this an absorbing night of musical drama.
On a practical note, the seats are only seven dollars. That’s less than a movie.
Up next in Roosevelt Park will be performances of Shrek and that’s followed by Bye Bye Birdie.
WHERE: Roosevelt Park, off Route 1 South, Edison
Bring a chair and a picnic. You can enter, set up your chair, and leave to grab a bite at any one of the spots on Rte. ! or off in the picnic area. When you return, your chair will be where you left it!
You can see Menopause: The Musical at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown this summer. Grab your girlfriends and be prepared to laugh—a lot!