On Stage: Performances Heat Up for Summer

Check out Shakespeare, a show for kids, comedy or select from list of area concerts.

While many area theaters have wrapped up their main stage performance seasons, there's no shortage of entertainment taking place at theaters in North Jersey.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one company that starts its season in the summer, and has two productions to offer—an acclaimed production of "Henry IV Part One," which is running through June 24 and its annual outdoor production, "The Comedy of Errors," opening June 20.

is also active during the summer and is presenting "Our Town" while Villagers Theatre is presenting "The Music Man."

Other theaters are presenting special programming for the summer: Growing Stage children's theater is presenting "The Box & the Box" on June 16 as part of its sandbox series and Dover Little Theatre will host the improv group, "Out of Order."

There are also plenty of concerts to enjoy and lots of audition opportunities for the performers out there. Read the On Stage Scoop every week to find out all about them.


Premiere Stages Announces 2012 Season: Premiere Stages, the professional theater in residence at Kean University in Union, has announced the details of its 2012 season.

The entertainment will launch with a workshop of Michael Dowling’s "Tamarack House," June 22-24, directed by Anders Cato. In this topical new play, a compelling group of discarded misfits, caught in the whirlpool of a fleeting American dream, struggle to hold on to the stately boarding house that defines them. Admission is free. Talk-backs with the playwright and audience follow each reading.

The winner of the 2012 Premiere Stages’ Play Festival, Kathryn Grant’s "Handicapped People in Their Formal Attire," will be performed July 12-29. This provocative new play takes place in 1968 at a black tie fundraiser for people with disabilities. The honoree is Agnes Sheenan, who is quadriplegic, escorted by her sister, Theresa, who is able bodied. The siblings make the most of the celebration until unforeseen events force them to confront the true meaning of sacrifice.

"Farragut North" by Beau Willimon will performed Sept. 6-23. Directed by Michael Barakiva, this New Jersey premiere is a behind-the-scenes exploration of politics. 

Premiere Stages Play Factory will offer two productions of musicals for young audiences: Pushcart Players presents “Stone Soup…and other stories” on July 18 at 11 a.m., and “Little Red Riding Hood” on July 25 at 11 a.m. 

Camp Premiere is a creative summer program, offered in two sessions: Session 1: “Let’s Put on a Show” is a performance and playwriting camp for ages 11-14 (July 16 through July 27); Session 2: “Taking the Stage” is an acting camp for ages 14-18 (July 23 – Aug. 3). The camp costs $295. Scholarships are available, with preference given to Union County residents. Registration forms are available on the Premiere Stages Website.

Premiere Stages will also offer two new initiatives this year. The first is a staged reading of "iDream" by Suzanne Trauth and Eileen Trauth, directed by John Wooten. The script will be presented at the Kean University Little Theatre (Oct. 11-13) and follows the journey of three high school girls exploring the male-dominated field of information technology. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the presentation features talkbacks with the playwrights.

The second initiative is “Liberty Live,” which commissions new works by New Jersey playwrights. Funded by the Westfield Foundation and the New Jersey Historical Commission, Liberty Live presents the world premiere of a short play by EM Lewis (Nov. 1 – 4) in the Carriage House at the Liberty Hall Museum. The play spotlights Westfield’s historical significance to the State. The event features guided tours of Liberty Hall Museum’s grounds and a Q & A with a local historian.

All performances take place on the Kean University campus, located at 1000 Morris Ave., Union. For more information, call 908-737-4092 or visit www.kean.edu/premierestages.

Get Ready For a Wilde Time in Newton: Tri-State Theater is presenting Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," through June 17 at the Performing Arts Center, Sussex County Community College in Newton. For tickets and information, call 973-383-0510 or go to TriStateActorsTheater.org.

You'll Be Glad to Spend Some Time Together, with "TV Classics:" Pax Amicus Castle Theatre is staging "TV Comedy Classics Live on Stage" through June 16. The show features scenes from "The Carol Burnett Show" and "All in the Family." Performances are June 9 and 16 at 8 p.m. and June 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For reservations, call 973-691-2100.

Royal Drama: is opening its 50th anniversary season with "Henry IV, Part One," through June 24. The history play features the title king, who tries to protect and expand his empire while struggling with revolt and an irresponsible heir to the throne. It also includes the legendary comic character of Falstaff. Performances are at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University in Madison. For information, go to ShakespeareNJ.org.

Come visit "Our Town:" is performing Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," through June 24 at the Somerset Valley Playhouse, 689 Amwell Road in Hillsborough. The classic play follows a young romance in small-town, turn-of-the-century New England. Tickets cost $15, $13 seniors/students. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or go to SVPTheatre.org.

That’s a Lot of Trombones: Villagers Theatre in Somerset is staging Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man" through June 24. The classic show features some of the most loved Broadway tunes of all time, including "Till There Was You," "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "(You Got) Trouble." Tickets cost $18, $16 seniors/students. For more information, call 732-873-2710 or go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Wanna Talk to the Dead? Theresa Caputo—The Long Island Medium will host a program at the on June 15 at 7 p.m. Caputo is a typical Long Island wife and mom who claims she can communicate with the dead. During her appearance she will share her story, answer questions and share readings. Tickets cost $55-$65. 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.

Audition Alert, "The Best Man:" The Summit Playhouse will hold auditions for Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," June 16, 1-3 p.m. Callbacks are scheduled for June 22, 7-9 p.m. Actors are asked to present a one- to two-minute monologue in the style of the play. All auditions are at The Playhouse, 10 New England Ave. in Summit. Click here for more information, including a character breakdown.

What a Bunch of Maniacs: 10,000 Maniacs will make a stop at the Newton Theatre as part of the band's 30th anniversary tour on June 16. Fans can expect the band's hits such as "These Are the Days," "Hey Jack Kerouac," "Because the Night" and more. Tickets cost $39-$49. The theater is located at 234 Spring St. in Newton. For more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

They Can Dance: Nicole's Broadway Dance Company will take stage at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, June 16 with performances starting at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $16. 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.

Those Old Sweet Songs Keep Ray Charles on Our Minds: The Newton Theatre will present "Forever Ray," a tribute to Ray Charles, June 17 at 3 p.m. The concert will showcase musicians who toured with Charles and other artists such as Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Prince, The Temptations, Frank Sinatra and many others. The opening act will be TreNovo, featuring members of the Forever Ray band playing jazz, funk and jazz-rock. The show is a benefit for the Father John's Animal House. Tickets cost $34-$59. The theater is located at 234 Spring St. in Newton. For more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Audition Alert, "Dial M For Murder:" will hold auditions for "Dial M For Murder" on June 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. Callbacks will be held June 25 at 7 p.m., if necessary. Needed are five adult males and 1 adult female. In this British thriller, an ex-tennis player blackmails an old colleague into assassinating his wealthy wife, but things do not go as planned. English accents preferred but are not necessary. Rehearsals will begin in late August. Performances are Oct. 20-Nov. 4. Auditions are held at the theater, located at 689 Amwell Road in Hillsborough. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or go to SVPTheatre.org.

Playwrights Theatre Informational Meeting: The Madison Department of Recreation, in partnership with Playwrights Theatre, will hold an information meeting on June 12 at 4 p.m. at Madison Civic Center, 28 Walnut St. in Madison. The meeting is for parents of Madison students in grades 4 through 8 and will be about the theater's Broadway showcase, to be produced in August. The showcase will be performed at Madison High School on Aug. 10-11. The audition dates will be determined at the meeting and will be based on available times for those interested in participating. For additional details, email Kasey Colligan at madisonsummershowcase2012@gmail.com.

Audition Alert, "Damn Yankees:" Pax Amicus Castle Theatre will hold auditions for "Damn Yankees" on June 16 at 1 p.m. and June 19 at 7 p.m. Everyone over 18 is welcome to try out. Performances will take place weekends in August. For more information, call 973-691-2100.

Everyone's "Out of Order!" The improv comedy troupe Out of Order will perform at Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott St. in Dover, on June 16 at 8 p.m. For reservations, call 973-328-9202.

"The Boy & The Box" at Growing Stage: Growing Stage children's theater will continue its Sand Box Series with a performance of "The Boy & The Box" on June 16 at 11 a.m. The story by the theater's founder and executive, Steve Fredericks, is about a boy who would rather play with a box and turn it into something special instead of a new toy. In this hands-on performance, the audience creates its own tale. Tickets cost $10. For more information, go to www.growingstage.com.

Audition Alert, "Oliver!" will hold auditions for its production of "Oliver!" on June 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. The classic musical is based on the novel by Charles Dickens and includes the songs "Consider Yourself" and "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two." Needed are 6 adult males (ages 30-75); six adult females (ages 22-75); 10 boys (ages 9-21) and 5 girls (ages 12-20). Dress comfortably.  Please bring and be prepared to sing 16 bars from a Broadway show. An accompanist will be provided. Also be prepared to present a good Cockney or proper British accent. Performances are in September. Auditions will be held at the Somerset Valley Playhouse, 689 Amwell Road. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or go to SVPtheatre.org.

Laugh it Up with "The Comedy of Errors:" will perform "The Comedy of Errors" as its annual outdoor stage at the Greek Theatre on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township, June 20-July 29. The family-friendly production features two sets of identical twins, mistaken identities and a chase sequence to rival all chase sequences. For tickets and information, go to ShakespeareNJ.org.

He's a Joker and he's Coming to Morristown: The Steve Miller Band will perform a concert at , June 21 at 8 p.m. The band's hits include “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Rock ‘N Me,” “Jungle Love,” “ Jet Airliner,” “Swingtown,” and “The Joker." Tickets cost $85-$150. 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.

Greetings from the Asbury Jukes: Jersey Shore legends Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will perform at the Newton Theatre, June 22 at 8 p.m. The band's tunes include "I Don't Want to Go Home," "Talk to Me," "The Fever" and more. Tickets cost $39-$59. For tickets and more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Chase the White Rabbit to See Jefferson Starship: Jefferson Starship will perform at the Newton Theatre, June 23 at 8 p.m. Fans will be treated to favorite tunes such as "White Rabbit," " Somebody to Love" and many others. Tickets cost $37-$47. For tickets and more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

What is Love? Maybe Howard Jones Knows: Howard Jones will take stage at , June 23 at 8 p.m. to perform his '80s hits such as "New Song,” “What is Love?,” “Like to Get to Know You Well,” and others. Tickets cost $37-$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.

In the Mood for Klezmer? will present The Hester Street Troupe performing traditional Klezmer music, June 24 at 2 p.m. Klezmer features the clarinet imitating human emotions through songs from the Yiddish vaudeville and Second Avenue traditions; as well as classic and contemporary Jewish melodies. Tickets cost $25, $20 seniors, $15 students. For more information, go to MorrisMuseum.org.

Audition Alert, "The 39 Steps:" will hold open auditions for "The 39 Steps" June 24 and 26 at 7 p.m. The fast-paced comedy is based on the novel by John Buchan and the film by Alfred Hitchcock.

The production runs Oct. 5-20 at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave. in Chatham. Rehearsals start in early August.  Bell Wesel directs.

Needed are four extremely versatile actors with great comic flair to play a multitude of Roles. Must be physically agile and creatively fearless. Characters are: Richard Hannay: 30s to 40. Attractive, comic leading man type. Upper class British. Slightly full of himself but totally engaging. Annabella/Pamela/Margaret: 20s to 30s. Attractive and adaptable, great with physical comedy. Must play three distinct characters, Upper class British, German and Scottish. Clown 1 and Clown 2: Two wildly versatile and energetic male actors to play over 100 roles (Upper and Lower class British, Scottish, German, some male, some female and some inanimate objects). Great with verbal and physical Comedy and quick changes.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. All roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Call Leslie Reagoso at 973-769-3886 or email her at lesliereagoso@yahoo.com. For directions or additional information, please visit www.chathamplayers.org.

Audition Alert, "There's No Business Like Show Business:" Brundage Park Playhouse will hold auditions for this year's Kids Cabaret, "There's No Business Like Show Business, June 27-28, 5-8 p.m.

Kids ages 9 to 20 are invited to audition for this year’s “For Kids By Kids” Kid’s Cabaret. Please come prepared with at least 32 memorized bars of show tune.

Callbacks will be held June 30, 9 a.m. to noon. Rehearsals will begin July 1, and will be held on Sunday evenings and two or three other evenings each week. Until run-throughs begin on or around July 30, each cast member will normally not be called more than three times per week. No outdates can be accepted between July 30 and August 19.

Run-throughs (Acts and/or Full Show) will be held the evenings of July 30, 31, Aug. 1, and 5. Tech will be the evenings of Aug. 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 14 and the morning of Aug. 9.

Performances will be held evenings Aug. 15-18 with a matinee on Aug. 19.
For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Chester Theatre Group cancels "Xanadu:" will not be performing the musical "Xanadu" as its summer production. The theater is attempting to replace the show with various evenings of entertainment in July, including performances of one-act plays July 27-28. For more information, visit www.chestertheatregroup.org.

Centenary Stage Company Announces 2012-2013 Theater Season: Agatha Christie's record-breaking mystery, "The Mousetrap" will kick off Centenary Stage Company's 2012-13 theater season, Oct. 5-21. The production will be directed by Carl Wallnau, the company's artistic director.

Centenary Stage's Black Box Festival will include "A Couple of Blaguards" by Frank and Malachy McCourt Nov. 1-4; Parallel Exit will perform "Room 17B" Nov. 8-11 and Bill Bower's “Under a Montana Moon” will be performed Nov. 15-18.

The family musical "The Wizard of Oz" will have a holiday run, Nov. 23-Dec. 9. Martin McDonagh’s comedy-drama “The Cripple of Inishmaan" will be performed Feb. 22-March 10.

From CSC’s Women Playwrights Series comes the world premiere of “The English Bride” by New Jersey playwright Lucile Lichtblau, April 5-21.

Tickets for productions cost $20-$29.50. The Box office is open.  1-5 p.m. in the Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave. in Hackettstown. A new Main Street ticket location is scheduled to open soon.

For tickets and more information, call 908-979-0900 or visit www.centenarystageco.org.

Summer Shakespeare Master Class at Centenary Stage Company: Centenary Stage Company is presenting a master class titled "Returning to the Source: The Merchant of Venice," July 10 through July 26. The class is being taught by Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso and will offer actors the opportunity to study Shakespeare by returning to the source material on which "The Merchant of Venice" is based. Participants will explore the play word by word and scene by scene in the contest of the time and place in which it was created. Kim and Occhiogrosso founded the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in 1981. Occhiogrosso had directed "Hamlet," "The Tempest," "Romeo and Juliet," "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "The Merchant of Venice," and many other classic works. The class is limited to 15 participants. Class will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m. July 10 through 16 at Centenary Stage Company on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown. Tuition is $350 if paid and registered before June 25; $400 after June 25. To register, call the Centenary Stage Company Box Office at 908-979-0900. 

Summer Camp at Brundage Park Playhouse: Registration is open for summer theater camps at Brundage Park Playhouse in Randolph. The camps offer three different groups: “Budding Stars” for kids 5 to 7, “Summer Stages” for kids ages 8 to 14, “Budding Stars” for kids 5 to 7, and an “Advanced Performers Workshop” for students in grades 7 through 11. For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Summer Camp at Playwrights Theatre: Registration is open for the ’s Creative Arts Academy summer camp for kids and summer theatre program for teens beginning June 25 and running all summer long in two-week sessions. Summer programs include a Full-Day Theatre Academy. Also being offered are a Half-Day Summer Camp, and a Getting Ready To Audition class for high school students. For more information, call 973-514-1787 or visit ptnj.org.

This post is shared across Patch sites serving Morris, Somerset and Sussex communities. Comments below may be by readers of any of those sites.

Hank Barre June 12, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Don't forget Trilogy Repertory's productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum on July 12,13,14 19, 20 and Inherit the Wind July 27, 28 and August 2,3,4. Presented at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge as part of the "Plays in the Park" program these performances are free to the public. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a night of theater under the stars. Several small speaking and non-speaking roles remain available for Inherit the Wind, a drama based on the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial". Call Nancy Becker at 908 766-7832 if you are interested.
elizabeth June 15, 2012 at 01:30 PM
So many good shows, all at the same time! Feel I need to recommend the only one I've seen so far - very highly! I saw Music Man on its opening weekend last weekend - this is a must see! It's playing the next 2 Friday and Saturday nights at 8, and Sunday at 2. For more info & tickets: http://www.villagerstheatre.com/
Minx McCloud June 17, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I would like to add Stephen Sondheim's dark musical, "Assassins," to the list. We have one more weekend to run -- 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24. Circle Players, 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway, 732-968-7555. Tickets are $20.


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