Embrace Theater in 2012

Make getting involved with what's happening on stage one of your New Year's resolutions

Why not make supporting North Jersey’s theater scene one of your New Year’s resolutions? You can start early by attending one of the final performances of “A Christmas Carol” at the Shakespeare Theatre or wait until “Marvin’s Room" comes to the Barn Theater.

And this is also a great time to get involved with a theater near you. Audition opportunities abound at the Barn and at Pax Amicus Castle Theatre. And registration is going on for classes at Centenary College, Brundage Park Playhouse and the Growing Stage Company.

There are also some children’s shows and concerts to see as 2011 comes to close. And be sure to read the On Stage Scoop throughout the year for your
weekly theater update. The Scoop runs every Tuesday.


Bah Humbug! is concluding its 49th season with Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” through Jan. 1. The Shakespeare Theatre’s artistic director, Bonnie J. Monte, directs. The production features a cast of nine playing more than 50 roles, with Philip Goodwin leading the way as Ebenezer Scrooge. The cast also includes John Ahlin as Fezziwig and Greg Jackson as Bob Cratchit. Performances are at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of in Madison. For tickets and information, call 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.

All Aboard For Magic: will host “Choo Choo Charlie’s Magic Show" on Dec. 27 with performances at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. In the show geared for kids ages 3 to 8, Choo Choo Charlie is an engineer who creates a traveling magic show on a magical train. Tickets cost $12. The theater is located at the , 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township. For more information, call 973-971-3706 or go to the theater’s website.

This Queen is Cool: The will present two performances of “The Snow Queen” on Dec. 28, beginning at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. This version of the Hans Christian Anderson story about a cold-hearted queen is told by the Hudson Vagabond Puppets and features music by Arcangelo Corelli. Tickets cost $12, $10 for Morris County Museum members. The theater is located at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township. For more information, call 973-971-3706 or go to the theater’s website.

Audition Alert, “The Little Mermaid:” Pax Amicus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake is holding open auditions for “The Little Mermaid,” on Dec. 29 and Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. The production is part of the theater’s Generation Next Productions. Everyone between the ages of 13 and 18, beginners and experienced performers alike, is invited to audition. The only things you have to bring are a smile and a sense of fun. Performances will be in February. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For more information, call 973-691-2100 or visit PaxAmicus.com.

Magical Mystery Tour: The Brook Arts Center in Bound Brook is hosting the Nelson Illusions Smoke & Mystery Tour, with performances on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. The center describes the show as “an extraordinary display of magic and illusion.” Tickets cost $15 to $20 for adults and $10 to $12 for kids, and are available at Mama Rosina’s, Lou’s Sub Shop and Pranzatelli’s Audio Outlet, and online at TicketWeb.com. For more information, go to BrookArts.org.

Ring in 2012 at Villagers Theatre: Villagers Theatre in Somerset is presenting its 10th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala Benefit, with two shows on Dec. 31. This year’s show is “The History of Musical Theatre (Part 1)” and will feature a timeline of songs and skills illustrating the evolution of Broadway starring Villagers performers. The early show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $25. The late show begins at 9:30 p.m. and costs $60 per person, including a post-show party with hors d’oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast. For more information, go to VillagersTheatre.com.

First and Foremost: First Night Morris’ 20th anniversary celebration will take place on Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. The festival features more than 70 performances held throughout downtown Morristown, including the . There will be classical music, funk, gospel, blues, salsa, Broadway songs and more. Family fun includes poetry, juggling, face painting, a flea circus and the Harlem Wizards. Buttons cost $25 ($90 for a four-pack). Buttons can be purchased here. For more information, go to FirstNightMorris.com.

Audition Alert, “By Jeeves:” The Chester Theatre group will host auditions for “By Jeeves” on Jan. 8, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 10, 7:30-1 p.m. at the Black River Playhouse at the corner of Maple and Grover in Chester. Needed are six male performers and two female performers for lead roles, and three ensemble performers (two female, one male). Click here for a character breakdown. Note that vocal ranges are approximate as this is not a big singing show. However, all auditioning must have impeccable British accents, except for the actor playing Budge, who has an over-emphasized American accent). Also being sought are musicians for the orchestra (piano, woodwinds, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar). “By Jeeves” is a musical comedy by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn, based on the “Jeeves” novels of P. G. Wodehouse.

Audition Alert, “Slush:” Pax Amicus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake will hold an open cast call for adults 18 and over for “Slush,” the adult version of “Snow White and 7 Dwarfs” on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14 at noon. Neither experience nor talent is necessary, but the ability to have fun and be absurdly ridiculous while running amok is. A combination of Monty Python, “Grimm” and “Family Guy,” “Slush” follows the travails of a less-than-pure princess caught up in palace intrigue where deceit, murder and witchcraft run rampant. Seven randy dwarfs, a murderous huntsman, a less-than-heroic Prince and a Desperate Housewife Queen complete the ensemble. One of the most popular shows in the castle’s 42-year history, the revival will be performed March 3, 10 and 18 at 8 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For more information, call 973-691-2100 or visit PaxAmicus.com.

Love, Life and Laughter: will present Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” Jan. 13-29 at the theater, located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville. In the show, Bessie, who has been caring for her ailing father Marvin and Aunt Ruth, learns that now she too is sick and turns to her sister for help, bringing to surface long-buried resentment and overwhelming love.  Tickets cost $15 and can be ordered by calling 973-334-9320. The box office is staffed every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, go to BarnTheatre.org.

It’s Time For Jazz in Hackettstown: The Denise King Sextet will kick off Centenary Stage Company’s Jazz in January series with a concert on Jan. 14, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Center. Advance tickets cost $22.50, $17.50 for 18 years and younger. Tickets at the door cost $27.50 for all ages. The series will also feature the DIVA Jazz Orchestra on Jan. 21 and an All Star Jazz Jam on Jan. 28. Tickets for the entire series are available for $70. The theater is located at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, on the campus of Centenary College. For tickets and information, call 908-979-0900 or go to CentenaryStageCo.org.

Funny Business: Standup comedian Bobby Collins will bring the laughs to  for a concert on Jan. 13, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $37 to $57.  The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org. This performance will include mature themes and language.

Audition Alert, “Lend Me a Tenor:” is holding auditions for Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” on Jan. 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. Ron Mulligan will direct this farce about the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, whose members are ready to welcome the world’s greatest tenor for one grand performance, until the star passes out. The theater is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville. For more information, go to BarnTheatre.org.

Dance Classes at Centenary College: Registration is open for dance classes at The Conservatory of Dance at Centenary College. Classes begin Jan. 17 and will be held in the Lackland Center, located at 715 Grand Ave. in Hackettstown. Classes are taught by Centenary College dance faculty and guest artists. Classes are offered in modern, jazz, ballet, and theater dance. Beginner and advanced classes are also available. Prices are $130 for one class a week, $195 for twice a week and $275 for three a week. Register before Jan. 6 and receive a 15 percent discount. For more information please contact Professor Lea Antolini-Lid at 908-852-1400, ext. 2421 or visit CentenaryStageCo.org.

Winter Theatre Classes at Brundage Park Playhouse: Brundage Park Playhouse will begin its winter theater classes on Jan. 30. Classes are being offered in acting, musical theater dance, modern dance and more. Click here for class descriptions, schedules and prices. Randolph Township is also hosting a Stars on Stage program for children with special needs, beginning Jan. 12 and continuing through March. Click here for more information.

Winter Programs for Kids at Growing Stage: Registration is open for the Growing Stage theater’s Winter Creative Arts Program. Classes are offered for kids ranging from pre-kindergarten to ninth grade. Classes include Creative, Dramatics, Performing Arts Workshop, The Actor Speaks and Musical Performance Lab. The theater is located at 7 Ledgewood Ave. in Netcong. Classes begin Jan. 28 and continue through April 21. Click here for more information.

Giving Plays a Chance: Premiere Stages is seeking submissions to the Eighth Annual Premiere Stages Play Festival. The competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental opportunities to four playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut). The winner of the festival will be awarded $2,000 and a full Equity production in Premiere’s 2012 season. The runner-up will receive $750 and an Equity workshop in June. Two other writers will receive staged readings in March and a cash prize of $500. Entries are evaluated by a panel of theater professionals in consultation with the artistic director and resident dramaturge. Agents may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. Postmark deadline is Jan. 15, 2012. No entry fee. Complete submission guidelines available at Kean.edu/PremiereStages.


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