Friday, January 2, 2015


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By Bruce Norris

WHEN: January 10 – 31; Friday and Saturday performances at 8 PM and Sunday performances at 2 PM
WHERE: The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell
TICKETS: $21 for Friday/Saturday performances and $17 for Sunday matinees
Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201.261.4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can email or call the main number and press #6.
Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only, and student rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There is a limit of one rush ticket per student.
Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theatre.

There is no doubt that race is a sensitive issue, as borne out by numerous events across the nation over the past six months. It can be difficult to explore, and while many politicians and social scientists call for a national conversation, it is often the arts world that leads the way in holding up a mirror to American society about this topic. While most take a serious approach, the Bergen County Players, one of the region’s most acclaimed theatre companies, has decided it is also possible to face the subject head on by presenting the wickedly funny and provocative Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning play Clybourne Park.

Playwright Bruce Norris picks up quite literally where the well-known Raisin in the Sun left off, in Chicago in 1959. In fact, the show is set in the very home into which playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s Younger family was ready to move. The plot even features one of her characters, Karl Lindner, who wants to stop the sale of the home to an African-American family. Fifty years later, in Act 2, the situation is reversed but the strife is surprisingly similar, except this time the objections are to the plans of a white family ready to buy the same house as the neighborhood gentrifies.

Having grown up in Chicago, the play’s director, Alan Demovsky, feels a real affinity for the characters and the situation. As he says, “I remember that about that time my own family sold our home to African-Americans and within a year the entire neighborhood had changed.”

Clybourne Park is truly an ensemble piece with seven actors each portraying multiple characters. Janet Donofrio of Montclair and Andrew Lionetti of Westwood play Bev and Russ, who in Act 1 are anxious to sell their home but in Act 2 play the lawyer Kathy and the contractor Dan. Andrew Beadle of Highland Mills, NY plays Jim, the local minister who stops by for a chat in Act 1 and also appears in dual roles (as Tom and Kenneth, a lawyer) in Act 2. Francine and Albert, Bev’s maid and her husband, are played by Nadiya A. Braham of Hackensack, who later plays Lena, and Sheldon Roberts of Nyack, NY, who also is Lena’s husband Kevin. Tom Olori of Pearl River, NY is Karl and also plays Steve, while his deaf wife, Betsy, is portrayed by Tiffany M. Card who later plays Steve’s pregnant wife, Lindsey.

In Ben Brantley’s rave review in the New York Times, he said, “Clybourne Park provides the eternal and undeniable satisfactions of watching supposedly civilized people behaving like territorial savages … in this strong, ferociously smart play.” In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2011 and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2012, Clybourne Park won Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play and Best Scenic Design.

In addition to director Alan Demovsky, the Bergen County Players production team includes Paul Reitnauer III (Producer), Andrea Pieper (Assistant to the Director), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Ron Drobes (Set Designer/ Technical Director), Steven Anderson (Fight Director), Jeff Pieper (Set Décor), Ruth Morley (Costumes), Christopher R. Hughes (Sound Design), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Teri Noel (Props), Craig Woodward (Sound Operation), Joann Lamneck (Makeup), Jenny Imor (Hair/Wigs), Michael Smith (Photography), Ed Gross (Publicity), Margie McDonough (Programs Notes), and Paul Aiello, Dan Giordano, Brian Eller and David Luke (Crew Members).

As it has for the past few seasons, BCP continues to offer a "Questions & Artists" (Q&A) discussion following select performances.

The Clybourne Park Q&A will take place immediately following the January 16, 2015 performance. Admission is included in the cost of the ticket.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theatre when it was founded in 1932; today, more than

300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.

Further information, including photos, can be found at

(Image: l-r: Tiffany M. Card, Janet Donofrio, Nadiya A. Braham, Sheldon Roberts, Andrew Lionetti, Tom Olori and Andrew Beadle. Photo by Michael Smith)