Sunday, May 31, 2015


WHEN: June 6 & 7, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Grace Episcopal Church, Main Street, Madison
TICKETS: General admission tickets are $25 at the door ($20 for students/seniors).
Tickets may be purchased online at
You may also send an email to or call 973.538.6969 for more information. Large print or Braille programs will be made available if requested in advance.

The 100-voice Harmonium Choral Society, led by Artistic Director Dr. Anne Matlack of Madison, N.J., presents its 2014-2015 concert season finale, Apocalypse Now. The concert features Randall Thompson's The Peaceable Kingdom, and works about the end times, both scary and comforting, by Stanford, Takach, Bernstein and others. The Harmonium Chamber Singers will present works by Lassus, Parry and the band Imagine Dragons in an arrangement by Harmonium singer Jake Sachs.
This concert also premieres a work by 2015's Grand Prize winner of the Harmonium High School Student Choral Composition Contest, Mendham High School junior Zachary Catron (left). His work Fire Unfelt is based on a poem by Christina Rossetti, "Earth Grown Old," set for piano and chorus.
"I've interpreted Christina Rossetti's poem as the quiet passing of the earth and of humankind," Zachary said. "The person has grown old and tired, but maintained warmth and spirit through their long and well-lived life." Zachary has been composing for three years, studying with Dr. David Sampson.

"This concert includes works about the end-times both scary and comforting," explains Dr. Matlack. "It is a rare opportunity for the audience to hear a hair-raising performance of Randall Thompson's 1936 a cappella masterwork for double choir, and to join in the singing of a lilting Celtic ballad. Stanford's "For Lo I Raise Up" with Ian Tomesch, organ, should also be a barn-burner to burn all barns!"

Harmonium's annual High School Student Choral Composition Contest has previously won the prestigious Chorus America Education and Outreach Award. The runners-up in this year's contest are Reshma Kopparapu, a current freshman at Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey in second place, and Carl Hausman, a freshman at Mount Olive High School, third prize.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


The Centenary Stage Company will host the

fundraiser for the Hackettstown-Mansfield PBA (Local 369)

WHEN: Saturday, June 6, at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $30 in advance and $35 at the door on the day of performance.
They are available online at, or by calling the box office at 908.979.0900. Tickets may also be purchased through the CSC Box office at 715 Grand Ave., open 1-5 PM Monday through Friday, and 2 hours prior to each performance.

“New Jersey’s Bad Boy” Mike Marino will headline the night’s entertainment, which will be hosted by comedian Bob Gonzo, and will open with “The Reverend” Bob Levy (above, right).

NJ Comedy Hall of Famer Mike Marino (left) has performed in every major comedy club from New York to Los Angeles, and has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. He currently can be seen nightly as a headliner in such legendary clubs as The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store in Hollywood. With appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The Martin Short Show,” the “Rascals Comedy Hour” and many more, Marino was inducted in the NJ Comedy Hall of Fame in 2008. 

The annual PBA Comedy Night raises funds for local community initiatives, such as the DARE program, the Special Olympics, Teen Nights, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the annual Christmas toy drive for needy families and the food bank. Funds from Comedy Night are also dedicated to scholarships for local high school students. A Silent Auction will be held throughout the evening to further support the many programs funded by the Hackettstown-Mansfield PBA-local 369.

The PBA Comedy Night Fundraiser is led by Detective Aaron Perkins and Sgt. Darren Tynan of the Hackettstown Police Department.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Don't miss this opportunity for young actors and singers!
interACT Theatre Productions is once again offering an exciting summer drama camp program!


WHERE: The Baird Theatre on Three, 5 Mead St., South Orange, NJ
TUITION: $280/week (members) $290/week (non-members)
For additional information, please call 973.544.8489 or email
Registration is ongoing at The Baird, 5 Mead Street, South Orange in person, or online @  by clicking on View Activities and searching for "interACT Summer Theater Camp."

In this fun-filled drama camp children entering 2nd - 6th grades will learn acting, play writing, musical theatre performance, choreography and other fundamental theatre skills. Working as an ensemble, the children will collaborate to write, create, and design their own original theatre piece, which will be performed for an audience on the final day of camp. Included in the camp will be a workshop with special a guest artist from the professional theatre world.  

Each week will have similar formats, but different themes:

·       Week One we'll explore Courage
·       Week Two we'll focus on Strength.
·       Campers can attend for either or both weeks.

We are thrilled to welcome back Tasha Arroyo, who recently directed interACT's 2015 youth production, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. featuring a cast of nearly 40 children. Tasha has a theatre degree from Fordham University College at Lincoln Center where she studied with Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer and Yolanda King. Tasha has been involved in over 20 productions, was Assistant Director and Choreographer for interACT Sings! On the Air in 2014, and has worked for the Belleville School District for the past two years.



Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the lineup of productions for its 2015/16 Season.
“The 2015/16 season is built around the theme of family,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “Both in the content of the plays, which each deal with the complicated bonds between families—those you are born to and those you build within a community—and for Two River Theater itself. We are welcoming back several artists who are part of our family, and introducing several we have long wanted to bring into the fold. We have always believed that theater is a place for artists and audiences to come together and examine and celebrate the bonds that connect us as humans, and Managing Director Michael Hurst and I are proud that our season will be full of these rich opportunities.”

Season Subscriptions are on sale now at 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit for more details. Ticket prices for individual shows range from $15 to $65.


August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS
Directed by Brandon J. Dirden
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
WHEN: September 12-October 4, 2015
Two River Theater opens its season with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Two River’s third American Century Cycle production following its acclaimed productions of Jitney and Two Trains Running. Seven Guitars takes audiences to Pittsburgh, 1948, where local blues guitarist Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton sits on the edge of stardom. Brandon J. Dirden is making his directorial debut with this production. As an actor, Dirden has appeared at Two River in Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and August Wilson’s Jitney. On Broadway, he played Martin Luther King, Jr., opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon Johnson in the Tony Award-winning All the Way. His Off-Broadway credits include The Piano Lesson, for which he received Obie, Theatre World, and AUDELCO Awards, and Drama League and Lortel nominations. On television, he can be seen as Agent Aderholt in the FX series The Americans. Seven Guitars will feature cast members Crystal Dickinson (Broadway’s You Can’t Take It With You and Clybourne Park) as Louise and Jason Dirden (Two River’s Topdog/Underdog and Broadway’s A Raisin in the Sun) as Canewell.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Choreographed by Denis Jones
Directed by Jessica Stone  
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater
WHEN: November 14-December 13, 2015

Director Jessica Stone returns to Two River, where she made her debut last season with Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular, to direct A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, winner of the 1963 Tony Award for Best Musical. The production will be choreographed by Denis Jones (Honeymoon in Vegas). Inspired by Stone’s acclaimed 2010 Williamstown Theatre Festival production, Two River’s …Forum will feature an all-male troupe of actors led by Christopher Fitzgerald (An Act of God, the original cast of Wicked, Young Frankenstein) as Pseudolus, a slave who tries to win his freedom by playing matchmaker for his innocent young master.
By Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel
Directed by Jonathan Fox
WHERE: Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
WHEN: January 9-February 7, 2016

Set at an English Department faculty party, Lives of Reason exposes the challenges of intellectual life—and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode and her authentic self is revealed. This world premiere is written by Two River founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel, and directed by former Two River Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, who currently serves as Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. The cast will include John Ahlin (Off-Broadway’s Orson's Shadow, Two River’s Charlotte’s Web) and Maureen Silliman (Two River’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Glass Menagerie). This production will be sponsored by Monmouth University.

By Bárbara Colio
English Translation by Maria Alexandria Beech
Directed by Lisa Rothe
WHERE: Marion Huber Theater
WHEN: February 20-March 20, 2016

In this beautiful and universal story about forgiveness, love, and loss, three brothers rendezvous at an airport to meet the father who abandoned them as children, and who is now the most famous tightrope walker of all time. Written by Bárbara Colio, one of Latin America’s leading contemporary playwrights, Ropes will be directed by Lisa Rothe (Hold These Truths at Epic Theatre Ensemble), Director of Global Exchange at the Lark Play Development Center in New York. Two River Theater will present select performances of Ropes in Spanish as part of its ongoing Nosotros program, which is dedicated to engaging Monmouth County’s Latino community and furthering the work of Latino theater artists.

By William Shakespeare
Original Music and Additional Lyrics by Rinde Eckert
Directed by David Schweizer 
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater
WHEN: April 16-May 8, 2016

Shakespeare’s thrilling and epic tale of adventure, shipwreck and romance will be brought to new life with original songs by Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rinde Eckert, who will also appear in the production, directed by David Schweizer. Eckert and Schweizer’s previous collaborations include And God Created Great Whales, an Obie Award-winning operatic adaptation of Moby-Dick. In connection with its production of Pericles, Two River will produce A Little Shakespeare, a 75-minute version of Pericles performed by high school students. Performances will be presented in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater in December 2015.

By John Van Druten
Directed by Jack Cummings III
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater
WHEN: June 4-26, 2016
Ten veteran powerhouse actresses (led by Barbara Andres as Mama) will perform all 25 roles in John Van Druten’s beloved classic about a working-class Norwegian family in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. The Transport Group’s production of I Remember Mama, directed by Jack Cummings III, was celebrated as one of the best theater productions of 2014 in The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Based on the Book by Maurice Sendak
Directed by Kim Selody
Produced by Presentation House Theatre, Vancouver, Canada
Originally Adapted for the Stage by Tag Theatre of Glasgow
WHEN: June 9-12, 2016

Adapted from Maurice Sendak’s landmark children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are is an intimate “guided play” experience for kids ages 3 to 7 and their adults. Max’s bedroom is transformed into the various landscapes of his adventures, from a rolling ocean to a forest. The audience then becomes the Wild Things as each child is each given a mask and encouraged to “let the Wild Rumpus start!” 

Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit


WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM
WHERE: Parsippany Playhouse, 1130 Knoll Rd., Lake Hiawatha


a world-premiere play by Alexis Kozak

WHEN: Friday, June 12, Saturday, June 13, and Sunday, June 14, at 8:00 PM
WHERE: Count Basie Theatre’s new Performing Arts Academy building, at 111 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
TICKETS: free, but reservations are strongly recommended. 

For more information or to reserve tickets, log onto, call 732.207.5573, or email

Consisting of five scenes, each set in a Toms River cemetery and centered around a different pair of characters (newlyweds, cancer cluster-affected ex-friends, a gay couple, a brother and sister, and a divorcing husband and wife), the play creates an interwoven patchwork that is a meditation on death in New Jersey and toys with the question of why we pass through Toms River, but why Toms River won’t just goddamn die?!

The play takes its title from the iconic American classic Spoon River Anthology, a book of interrelated poems by Edgar Lee Masters.  “I spent a lot of time in Toms River as a kid at my aunt’s house, which I loved.  At the same time, I heard people around me trashing the town.  So, I grew up with, literally, a love-hate relationship with the place,” says playwright Kozak.  “I’m trying to do it justice—show both sides—and play with some existential dilemmas as well.” 

“Our measure of success is the recognition that the stories, lives, and voices of our state and region are worthy of giving our attention to onstage, are as important as the Greek tragedies or Shakespeare’s kings and queens.  Maybe more so, because they are ours.  They are us,” says fellow playwright and Black Box board member Mary Kelly.

 Kozak, who holds an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University, says that the longer he writes, the more “place” becomes more important in shaping his characters and story.  “The more I write, the more I tend to be drawn to stories about New Jersey.  I have a one-act play set in the space between Staten Island and Perth Amboy.  I’m also working on a “dream play” that is a fractured history of Asbury Park.  I sort of have this whole play cycle in my mind about New Jersey that I want to call The Land of Blue Eye Shadow.”

With the goal of honoring local stories, Black Box intends to make the play accessible to everyone by presenting the play free of charge.  “The most important thing to us is sharing the communal experience of knowing New Jersey lives are worthy of putting onstage,” Kozak says. 

Black Box—a multi-cultural arts incubator whose mission is to help local artists gain greater exposure for their work and that has produced primarily in Asbury Park—has found a partner in Count Basie Theatre’s Performing Arts Academy, located adjacent to the historic theatre, in the recently purchased Wawa building, the former location of Phoenix Productions, on the corner of Monmouth Street and Pearl Street.  “Yvonne Scudiery, who is the driving force behind the Performing Arts Academy, asked if I might have ideas for programming for the space.  I asked her if she would be interested in presenting new plays, she said yes, and we were off to the races,” says Kozak.  This is an opportunity for Black Box to branch out into more communities and take advantage of its tri-city location.  “We would love to have a presence in Asbury Park, Red Bank, and in Long Branch,” says Mary Kelly. 

Kozak, who teaches performance and technical theatre at Middletown High School South, recently won a Basie Award for his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.”  “I am excited to be able to use some of my graduates and current and ex-colleagues,” he says.  The play features Anthony Forte, Kelly Lozo, Scott Visco, JMe Marcinczyk, Steven Koumoulis, Paul Caliendo, Greg Plakoudas, Allie Brand, Renee Panagos-Felice, and Evan Krachman. 


UCPAC & LuceGroup present
Limited Sight / Unlimited Vision
An exhibit by NJ Artists who are blind or have low vision.
WHEN: June 5-25, Opening Reception: Friday, June 5, 4-7 PM
1500 Irving Street, Rahway Arts District.
ADMISSION: free and open to the public; the exhibit can be viewed during regular bank hours, Monday through Saturday. For daily exhibit hours, visit or call 732.388-1800.

On Saturday, June 6, from 11:00 AM-noon: artist/art instructor Sandra Frank will offer a free workshop for those who wish to make art instruction accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision.
WHERE: Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway, and outlines simple, fun techniques and materials that can be used in the teaching process.
RSVP: Participants must call 732.499.8226 to reserve a spot.

Click here for more info on this extraordinary exhibit.

Click here for video trailer of a special documentary film.



WHEN: June 13 & 14
WHERE: St. John the Baptist is located at 69 Valley Street, Hillsdale NJ.
ADMISSION: Performances and Art Show are open to the public and free of charge.
For questions or more information, please email

Present pastor Rev. John Korbelak has created a venue for drawing people of the community together to celebrate the expressions of the human spirit found in the Arts. This year’s festival offers a wide variety of visual art and music. Admission is free for all performances.

Saturday, June 13, at 2:30 PM: David Glukh, Piccolo Trumpeter and Liya Petrides, Organist/Pianist/Soprano will kick off the musical performances. Baroque music by Torelli and Handel, Tangos by Astor Piazzolla, Jazz selections, traditional European music and romantic favorites by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky will be performed.

Saturday, June 13, at 6:30 PM: 14-year-old Concert Pianist Brielle Dulce Perez will perform works of Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy and Scriabin. Brielle has won more than 20 National and International piano competitions and has appeared at Carnegie Hall and numerous major European capitals.

Saturday, June 13, at 8 PM: Leading American opera stars will perform an Opera & Broadway Gala. The concert will feature favorite arias and songs from Carmen, Rigoletto, Lohengrin, Don Giovanni, Barber of Seville, Phantom of the Opera, Carousel, South Pacific, Dreamgirls, and Songs of a New World.  Featured singers are mezzo-soprano Sara Louise Petrocelli, dramatic soprano Brittany Hines-Hill, tenor Cody Austin, and baritone Chad Armstrong. Other special guest singers will also be present.

Sunday, June 14, at 2:00 PM: the Arts Festival comes to a close with Flamenco-Blues Guitarist/Vocalist Tony Rivera, graduate of the Juan Orozco School of Flamenco Guitar and the American Institute of Guitar, as he performs traditional Flamenco classics, contemporary sacred music, and selections by Train, Crosby Stills and Nash and Ray Charles, among others. Guest singers Jillian Turner, Mary Kate Buckman and Lisa Gordon will join Mr. Rivera for select songs.
The Festival Art Gallery will be open for viewing Saturday, June 13, from 1:00 PM until 8:00 PM and Sunday, June 14, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. A combination of age groups, open themed two- and three- dimensional work, and unrestricted medium will allow for an exciting and visually diverse show.  Admission is free.
A delicious, full Italian buffet dinner prepared by Munno’s of Pearl River will be offered on Saturday, June 13 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM in the Parish Center adjacent to the church. Meet the artists appearing throughout the afternoon’s performances while enjoying fantastic food and great company. Tickets are on sale now at $25 per person. To RSVP, please call the Parish Center at 201.666.2707 or visit the Parish Center front desk Monday – Friday between 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.


WHEN: Sunday, May 31, and Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 PM
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham
Performances will take place on July 31 and August 1, 7, 8 and 9. Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995.
Looking for men and women, ages 20 to 70, to fill roles for six one-act plays and one dance piece.
  • Actors may read from sides available at the auditions or they may present a monologue. 
  • For those who are interested in becoming familiar with the one-acts, full scripts will be available for reading at the Library of The Chathams—across the street from the Playhouse.
  • Dancers should be prepared to learn a modern dance routine at the audition, please wear appropriate attire.
by John AC Kennedy
Directed by Joann Scanlon
Remember… from childhood… as real as yesterday.
  • One man, 20's, youthful, funny, full of life
  • One woman, older than the man, straightforward but can dream
A Love Story
by Walter Placzek
Directed by Arnold Buchianne

A poignant look at familiar love. 
  • One man, 30's-60's,
  • Two women, one in their 40's and one in their 70's.
I Thought I Liked Girls…
by Nicole Pandolfo
Directed by Eric Holgerson
Lucy has some big news for her parents—after 10 years she is ready to share.
  • Lucy – late 20’s-early 30’s, Lucy has finally found true-love and is anxious and nervous about how to explain her new engagement to her parents.
  • Mom – 50’s-60’s, a middle-aged housewife with a carefree acceptance of her daughter’s lifestyle
  • Dad – mid 50’s – 60, Dad is a distinguished looking but trying to be hip.
Two Perfect Strangers Meet At The Jet Lag Cafe
by Ralph Greco, Jr.
Directed by Kevern Cameron 
At four AM in an all-but-empty Paris café, two Americans strike up a conversation that, for a moment, distracts each other and leads to a new found kinship.
  • Suitor - late 60’s-70’s, an ex-pat who retains grace and elegance though the majority of his life is ruefully behind him
  • Jack - 40-45, married for ten years, childless, with unpublished novels, poems and essays. He is in Paris with his wife who is asleep in their hotel room
Rodin in Movement
by Kimberly Jackson
Directed and Choreographed by Kimberly Jackson
A dance piece that explores the stories behind the famous bronze sculptures that Auguste Rodin used in his masterpiece "The Gates of Hell."
Looking for 7 dancers with strong modern technique who are open to collaboration.
  • Eve (female) - Eve has realized she is naked, and is constantly covering herself in shame after she has sinned against God.
  • Despair (male or female) - Contorted and twisted, Despair is the personification and representation of the numerous souls ensnared in the circles of hell.
  • Prodigal Son (male) - The Prodigal Son is at the pinnacle of realization that he has squandered his inheritance, and is agonizingly begging his father to take him back.
  • Three Shades (male or female) - this trio is forever connected to each other, guarding the entrance to the gates of hell.
  • The Thinker (male or female) - The Thinker is the guardian and seer of the gates, and is tormented with wanting to save the souls he sees, but helpless as to what or how to save them.
Gentlemen's Pact
by Karen JP Howes
Directed by Lynn Polan
A wry and witty look at fidelity, friendship and 21st century marriage.
  • Bill 35-40, English professor; a meek man with heroic dreams; fearful of failure
  • Arthur 45-50, ironic and somewhat detached; intellectual, college history professor; married to Evelyn
  • Evelyn 40-ish, attractive, worldly, no nonsense, down to earth; married to Arthur
Holy Grill
by Gary Shaffer
Directed by Scott Baird
A soon-to-be bride, a nervous groom and two retired cops asking all the right questions; things could get interesting. 
  • Mrs. Reilly - a matronly church lady
  • Meg - 20's, happily engaged
  • Peter - 20's, nervously engaged
  • Sussman - retired bad cop
  • Maehrlein - retired good cop
The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition.
Any questions please call Leslie Williams at 973.769.3886 or email her at
For directions or additional information, please visit

Thursday, May 28, 2015




by Tracy Letts

WHEN:  Thursday, June 11, and Monday, June 15 at 7:30 PM.
WHERE: The Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham

Production dates: October 7–22, with rehearsals to begin mid-August.

Winner of both the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play. This play is about a vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you've got a major new play that unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.

"This is a play that will leave us laughing and wondering, shuddering and smiling, long after the house lights come back on." —NY Newsday.

"This original and corrosive black comedy deserves a seat at the dinner table with the great American family plays." —Time Magazine.

Director Jeffrey Fiorello seeks six men / seven women (one able to play teenager) to fill out his cast.

  • Auditions will consist of cold readings from sides provided in small groups.
  • Sides and Auditions Form are available prior to the auditions. To access sides and form, please visit our website at
Character Breakdown  (Ages given are only approximate)
  • Beverly Weston: (69) Patriarch of the family. Polite, soulful, melancholic … and ultimately suicidal.
  • Violet Weston: (65) Devious matriarch of the family. Addicted to pills. Sharp-tongued with a shrewd awareness of the many family secrets which she does not hesitate to reveal.
  • Barbara Fordham: (46) Eldest Weston daughter. Trying to control everything and everyone. Cynical.
  • Bill Fordham: (49) Barbara’s estranged husband. College professor (having an affair with one of his students).
  • Jean Fordham: (14) Barbara and Bill’s “pot-smoking” daughter, vegetarian. Bitter about her parents’ split. 
  • Ivy Weston: (44) Middle daughter, known as “mom’s favorite,” though Violet constantly tells her that she is plan and needs a man. Teaches at the local college. Has a dark secret or two.
  • Karen Weston: (40) Youngest daughter. “Fled” to Florida. Claims to have never been happy in her life, but is not happily engaged to Steve, whom she considers the “perfect man.”
  • Mattie Fae Aiken: (57) As jaded as her sister Violet. She is naïve but also controlling and belittles her husband Charlie and especially their son Little Charles.
  • Charlie Aiken: (60) Mattie Fae’s husband of 40 years. A genial man who was a lifelong friend of Beverly’s. Hen-pecked and timid … till he finally puts his foot down.
  • Little Charles Aiken: (37) Mattie Fae and Charlie’s son. His mother calls him a “screw up.” Has a dark secret.
  • Johnna Monevata: (26) Cheyenne Indian woman, hired by Beverly as a live-in housekeeper shortly before his disappearance. Not many lines, but is the most compassionate and morally grounded of all—swoops in like a warrior-angel saving characters from despair and destruction.
  • Steve Heidebrecht: (50) Karen Weston’s fiancé, business man in Florida. Loathsome, lecherous character.
  • Sheriff Deon Gibeau: (47) High-school classmate / boyfriend of Barbara. Investigates Beverly’s disappearance.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition.
Any questions, please call Leslie Williams at 973.769.3886 or email
For directions or additional information, please visit


Trilogy Repertory and Troupe of Friends announce auditions for
by William Shakespeare

WHEN: Sunday, May 31, 1-3 PM
WHERE: the gazebo in Mindowaskin Park, E. Broad St., Westfield, NJ.

WHEN: Monday, June 1, 7-9 PM
WHERE: Community Room, 425 E. Broad Street, Westfield.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 3, 7-9 PM
WHERE: The Bernards Township Community Center, 289 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge

All roles are open. Sides from the script will be provided.

Performance dates will be Aug 27, 28, 29 at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge and Sep 3,4, 5 at Mindowaskin Park in Westfield.

Rehearsals will be in June, July and late August. Vacations will be considered and worked around.

For more information contact Joe Penczak, Director, at
917.299.5102 or

Click here to buy tickets to the show!

Click here to learn more about our cast!
Click here to learn more about David Orban
Click here to buy tickets to the event!
Click here to RSVP




To reserve your seat for THE NEWSCASTER'S MOTHER please visit our website

Seating is limited. Make your reservation today! or call 973.514.1787 X10


Dear Readers,

If the NJ Arts Maven blog looks a little different, please understand that I am having trouble posting with software I have used for the past 6 years.

Until the problem is resolved, I will post directly from Blogger, which will require a lot more work to get the blog to look the way I want.

Please bear with me until the problem is fixed.

Thank you for being loyal readers,

Ruth Ross


Summit Playhouse


by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts
produced by Arnold J. Buchiane
directed by Mary Lynn Dobson.
Performance Dates: November 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. Evenings at 8 PM with two matinees (November 8 and 15) at 2 PM.
With respect for actors' upcoming summer plans, rehearsals begin immediately after Labor Day. Sides will be available the beginning of June.

Looking for an ethnically diverse cast of 7 men and 2 women. All roles are open.
WHEN: Friday, June 19th at 7:00 PM; Saturday, June 20th at 12:00 PM; Callbacks, Sunday, June 21st at 12:00 PM
WHERE: Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Ave, Summit, NJ 07901
Arthur owns a decrepit donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Defeated and unambitious, he goes through life basically existing. Franco Wicks, a young, charismatic African-American college student with a past, finds his way into the shop and asks to be hired. Arthur ends up giving him a job and in turn Franco ends up giving Arthur hope, leaving both men changed forever.
This comedy-drama by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship.
  • Arthur Przybyszewski: Must read late 50's - Polish American. A hold-over from the 60's, his daily routine consists of carrying on the legacy of his father's dated donut shop. He is literate, well-educated, gruff with a wonderful dry humor. A draft dodger, he still hasn't reconciled his actions and his anti-establishment beliefs linger in his values. The actor must be comfortable doing stage combat for a fight sequence.
  • Franco Wicks: Must read early 20's - African-American. The spark plug of the play. He has written what he calls, the new great American novel. He is quick witted, street smart, wise beyond his years and undeniably likable. A versatile wordsmith he can go from the hood to ivy league in a flash. He is very good at talking his way in and out of situations, but when a gambling debt catches up with him, this proves futile. The actor needs to have verbal and physical dexterity.
  • Max Tarasov: Must read 45 to 50's - Russian immigrant. A video store owner who came to Chicago to pursue the American dream. He is driven, hard-working and is larger than life. He has many of the play's funniest lines. Ability to speak in a Russian accent a plus.
  • Luther Flynn: Must read 40 to 50's. Irish/Italian-American. A small time boss/loan shark/bookie and a person you don't want as an enemy. He has an ulcer and is constantly medicating himself. Although he has a minion to do his dirty work, he will not run from a fight. The actor must be comfortable doing stage combat for a fight sequence.
  • Officer Randy Osteen (female): Mid to late 40's - Irish American. A Chicago beat cop and Officer James' senior partner. She is single, the middle child of seven brothers and a big sports fan. Underneath her cop exterior, she has a big heart and is at times funny without realizing it. She can be tough but around Arthur she displays a charming awkwardness. She cleans up nicely.
  • Officer James Bailey: 30's to 40's - African American. A Chicago beat cop and Officer Randy's partner. He understands the neighborhood and its people. Like a good cop he is part cop/part social worker. In his off time he is a Star Trek fanatic.
  • Kevin Magee: 20 to 30s - Irish American. A thug who flaunts his place in the small-time mob world. Serves as the physical back up for Luther when collecting bad debts, etc. Needs to look like he can handle himself in a fight.
  • Lady Boyle (female): Must read late 60's to 70's - Irish-American. A part-time recovering alcoholic homeless lady, who is often a bit less than lucid. She can always count on Arthur for a donut.
  • Kiril Ivakin: 20s-30s - Russian immigrant. Max's nephew who has just come to the United States from Russia. A gentle giant that could hurt someone on demand. Speaks no English but will speak a line or two in Russian. Familiarity with Russian a plus, but not necessary.


featuring Almita Vamos

Gain insight into the music and the artistic process in this intimate, public coaching with Almita Vamos, a professor of violin at Northwestern University and the Music Institute of Chicago. Part of the Sylvia and Jacob Handler Master Class series. (Image: Photographer: Mike Canale)

WHEN: Thur, Jun 11, 4 PM
WHERE: JCC Thurnauer School of Music, Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly, NJ

Chorus 2014-12-14 (9 of 63)

Shirah Choir: Bernie and Ruth Weinflash z"l Memorial Concert

The Shirah Choir performs secular and sacred songs from the Jewish musical tradition. This year’s concert will honor the memory of Bernie and Ruth Weinflash z"l, the long-time, founding visionary supporters of the Shirah Choir. Cantor Israel Singer of Temple Emanuel in Closter, will be featured as guest soloist, under the direction of founding director and conductor, Matthew Lazar and associate conductor Marsha Bryan Edelman. Supported by founders Bernie and Ruth Weinflash z"l and their SHIRAH Fund in Tribute to Matthew Lazar, the Ethel and Irving Plutzer Fund for the SHIRAH Choir, and the Rhoda Toonkel Fund for the SHIRAH Choir.

Tickets subsidized by the Weinflash family; there will be a post-concert dessert and coffee reception for all attendees.

WHEN: Sun, June 14, 7 PM
WHERE: JCC Thurnauer School of Music, Tenafly, NJ.
TICKETS: $8 JCC member/$10 nonmember

(Image by Jane Kicks)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



WHEN: Sunday, May 31, at 7 PM
George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: Order online or call the box office at 732.246.7717

The Italian Chicks Comedy and Variety Show is a passionate blend of comedy, characters, music, song parodies and Italian-American culture. When these four dynamic, multi-talented women hit the stage, they will make you remember things you paid your shrink to forget.

It’s a celebration of food, family, memories and Italian tradition. Whether you're Italian or not, The Italian Chicks will bring you back to a place and time that will have you roaring with laughter and dancing in the aisles.

But you don’t have to be Italian to love this show—all you need are family memories and a love of tradition and culture.”

The Italian Chicks Comedy & Variety show is endorsed by Danny Aiello.


Newest Americans in collaboration with Rutgers Professor Nick Kline, Artist-in-Residence Adrienne Wheeler, Endless Editions, Dr. Samantha Boardman and RU-N Book Arts Class is excited to present an upcoming event surrounding Glassbook Project: Provisions.

Started in 2009, the GlassBook Project is an ongoing, socially engaged, collaborative artwork by Nick Kline, his students at Rutgers University-Newark, other artists-in-residence, writers, and local organizations. “Provisions” is an exhibition of artist books, photographs and sound inspired by the recordings of the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection, Newark, NJ.

WHEN: June 4, 2015, from 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
WHERE: The Gateway Project, 2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ.
Please contact Nick Kline at with questions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Book by Anne Beatts - Music and Lyrics by Ellie Greenwich & Friends
Based on a Concept by Melanie Mintz
Additional Material by Jack Heifner
Directed by Nicholas J. Clarey
Music Direction by Holland Jancaitis

WHEN: MAY 29-31, June 5-7 & 12-14, FRI & SAT 7:30 PM SUN 4:00 PM
WHERE: The Baird (3rd floor), 5 Mead St., South Orange
TICKETS: Adult Online - $20, Student/Senior Online - $17, All Tickets At The Door - $25

Leader of The Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical is packs together favorite songs such as "Chapel of Love," "Da Do Ron Ron," "Be My Baby," "Hanky Panky," Do Wah Diddy," "And Then He Kissed Me" and, of course, the title song in a musical retrospective that celebrates the life and times of songwriter Ellie Greenwich, whose doo wop sounds skyrocketed to the top of the sixties charts. The story of Ellie's rise to fame and fortune is punctuated with the virtual Hit Parade of her music and familiar talented names from the era.

Nadiya Braham - Darlene Love
Elena Stremlin - Annie Golden/Rosie Greenwich
Kayla Stewart - Young Darlene Love
Julie Funesti - Teen Ellie Greenwich/Waitress
Samantha Tropper - Teen Shelley/Young Shelley/Lounge Singer
Sophia Heriveaux - Teen Mickey
John M. Olsen - Gus Sharkey
Chelsea Varga - Young Ellie Greenwich
Joshua Williams - Jeff Barry
Joanna Haupt - Young Annie Golden
Noelle Heriveaux - Young Mickey
Tasha R. Williams - Gina Taylor
David Wren-Hardin - Keith McDaniel/Disc Jockey
Lucas Sverdlen - Danny Herman/Chez Smooch Dancer
Ian McDonald - Peter Neptune/Maitre 'd
Laura Brenden - Pattie Darcy/Shelley
Melody Lieberman - Ellie Greenwich
Sam Mullaney - Lon Hoyt
Jessica Kaiser - Zora Rasmussen


Eric Jacob presents

A Night of Comedy

WHEN: Saturday, June 6, at 8 PM
George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick

Eric Jacob presents "A Night of Comedy featuring 4 great comedians who will bring laughter to New Brunswick, New Jersey. The night will bring to the stage Angela Cobb, Jason Pollock, Scott Friedman and Eric Jacob headlining. 

The performance will be filmed for purpose of a  DVD: "From Jersey! Live with Eric Jacob."  So don't miss this opportunity to be part of this live filming. 



Seating is general admission. 
To reserve tickets for pickup and payment on the night of the show, call the box office at 908.755.4654 and leave your name, the date of the show you wish to attend, the number of tickets you require, and your phone number. You will receive a callback only if there is a problem with your reservation.  To reserve and pay for tickets on-line for pickup on the night of the show visit our website at

Monday, May 25, 2015



By Neil Simon
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Directed by Director Pete LaBriola
Music Director Pam Sharples
Conductor Lou Woodruff
Choreographer Haley Ackermann

WHEN:  Fridays, May 29 and June 5 at 8 PM; Saturdays, May 30 and June 6 at 8 PM; and Sundays, May 31 and June 7 at 2 PM. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night show on May 29.
Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre  Kelsey Theatre, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor
TICKETS: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students and children.
Free parking is available next to the theater. 
Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609.570.3333.

When an accomplished Broadway composer connects with a talented young lyricist, their professional success seems like a sure thing. But as the partnership gets personal, life gets complicated.

First performed on Broadway in 1979, "They're Playing Our Song" is a two-character musical, with Vernon Gersch as the established composer and Sonia Walsk as the eccentric lyricist. In a clever plot device, the story is told not only by Vernon and Sonia, but also by their alter egos at different ages and stages of life. The story is based on the real-life relationship between Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager. Neil Simon’s comic script is complemented with music by Hamlisch and lyrics by Bayer Sager.

Appearing in the main roles are Thomas Coppolecchia 0f Bordentown as Vernon Gersch and Rachel Gitel of Philadelphia, Pa., as Sonia Walsk.  Vernon’s alter egos include Zack Treusch of Burlington, Mike Wemer of Westampton, and Devon Wheeler of Ewing. Appearing as Sonia’s alter egos are Haley Ackermann of Marlton, Jaclyn Biancaniello of Hainesport and Kailee Graham of Ewing. (Above: clockwise from lower left: Kailee Graham, Haley Ackermann, Rachel Gitel as Sonia (sitting on piano), Devon Wheeler, Mike Wemer, Jaclyn Biancaniello and Tom Coppolecchia as Vernon [on bench].)

For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey webpage or call the box office for a brochure.