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'Plays in Park' to Add Third Show

"The Taming of the Shrew," as produced by The Troupe of Friends, scheduled to extend "Plays in the Park" series in Basking Ridge.

Theater lovers in the Basking Ridge area will receive a bonus this summer —  the township's Trilogy Repertory Co. and are bringing a third production to the "Plays in the Park" summer series, with The Troupe of Friends' two scheduled performances of William Shakespeare’s "The Taming of the Shrew" later in August.

Performances are scheduled for two nights only on Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25, at the outdoor amphitheater at in Basking Ridge.

"It's a win-win situation for everyone," said Hank Barre, a principal in Trilogy who will be in 'Shrew' as well as this year's previous He also will be part of the upcoming production later this week, and

Barre said he made the offer to the Westfield Group so that they would get to put on two extra performances. The stage, audience and lighting already are in place for the third play, and Parks Director Jennifer Gander gave the go-ahead, he said this week.

Troupe of Friends, a Westfield-baed theater company, will add the Bernards performances to their shows in Mindowaskin Park in Westfield at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sept. 2.

The rowdy production of the Shakespean comedy is directed by Joe Penczak of Westfield who appeared in the lead role in Trilogy’s With Juliet Brines of Bridgewater as Kate and Penczak as Petrucchio this popular battle of the sexes will entertain local audiences once more.

In addition, many Trilogy “Plays in the Park” regulars including Peter Curly of Maplewood, Matt Marino of Scotch Plains, Allan Gershensen of Linden and Hank Barre of Basking Ridge will appear in this rollicking production. All performances are free to the public and donations are gratefully accepted.

"It takes a bit of re-blocking and some additional help from our local volunteers but we are pleased to produce the show here for our local audiences," Barre said.

The added production also brings Shakespeare back to the park in Bernards Township, where the summer season often includes an offering from the Bard, and widens the audience for the Westfield troupe, Barre said.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair to the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park, adjacent to the Lyons VA Hospital on Valley Road in Basking Ridge, and enjoy a night of theater under the stars. For additional information, please call 908-872-6247.

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