denville

Liz on Theatre

July 18, 2017

UNION, NJ – Premiere Stages, in its quest for new, richly layered plays, is now presenting “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morrisseau. The playwright had her play “Follow Me to Nellie’s” work shopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut several years ago. That was followed by s fine ...

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Moliere’s ‘The Bungler “flits along on Shakespeare stage By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – It’s always refreshing to see a play that just isn’t done that often. Such is the case of “The Bungler,” an early Moliere play from 1655. Most of the dialogue is in rhyme, although every now and then the ...

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‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ lights up the sky for Shakespeare Theatre By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – For its annual outdoor production at the amphitheatre at St. Elizabeth College, the Shakespeare Theatre choice of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the perfect gossamer fantasy. This well known play ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – It’s lively, it’s heart-warming and it’s a superb ending to the Paper Mill Playhouse season.   “Mary Poppins” should entice audiences to come back for more spectacular theatre in the fall.   Elena Shaddow is the strict yet magical nanny who descends on the Banks family with an ...

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MADISON, NJ – “The Merchant of Venice” has plenty to say about prejudice, suspision, money and cruelty. Yet it has redeeming features as well, with Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech and Shylock’s insistence that Jews are individuals with feelings, thoughts and emotions as much as any other man ...

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The little known lives of African Americans form the basis for Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel.” The play takes place in lower Manhattan, 1905. Quincy Tyler Bernstiine as Esther conveys strength and determination while trying to please those she depends on. Esther lives in a boarding house and ...

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‘Million Dollar Quartet’ strums and thrums with nostalgia, manic beat By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – There really was a meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on Dec. 4, 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis.   Record producer Sam Phillips took a picture to prove ...

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‘Murder on the Orient Express’ streams along in sizzling suspense By Liz Keill PRINCETON, NJ – Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, “Murder on the Orient Express,” has received a terrific stage adaptation by Ken Ludwig. He’s taken a few liberties with the numerous characters, but has tightened ...

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SUMMIT, NJ – Playwright John Patrick Shanley is no slouch when it comes to probing, high-powered explorations of the human condition, such as his award winning “Doubt,” both on stage and screen. “Defiance” is no exception in this moving, emotional story at The Summit Playhouse. The action takes ...

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CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

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CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

Read more »

CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

Read more »

SUMMIT, NJ – You may be in for a high seas adventure if you visit “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself).” This 90-minute play by Donald Margulies has plenty to keep you entranced. Margulies has won just about every theatre award ...

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Anyone who has the opportunity to head to George Street Playhouse will be stunned, shaken and haunted by “American Son,” this beautifully written play by Christopher Demos-Brown.  Directed by David Saint with a distinct sense of the heartache and emotion that takes place, it is superbly ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – Following up on his earlier farce, “Lend Me a Tenor,” playwright Ken Ludwig has written a sequel with equally zany scenarios of mistaken identities and slapstick actions. But the problem with any farce is that it needs a light touch. In this case, while the actors work hard and all ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – You won’t go wrong if you opt for “The Bodyguard,” the blockbuster musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. From gun shots to strobe lights to spotlights and glitter, the show blasts away like a rocket. Yet there are quite moments as well. There’s also a psycopathic killer ...

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MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales. The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions ...

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – If you love a love story, the enchanting musical “Daddy Long Legs” will speak to your heart. Yes, there are plenty of clichés when it comes to love, but this musical has a freshness and intimacy that are hard to beat. With music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John ...

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Despite the Warren Commission, an Oliver Stone movie and various speculations, in the long run it seems that Lee Harvey Oswald acted on his own in assassinating President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. But Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby before his motives could be ...

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MADISON, NJ – A taut, compelling production of “Richard III,” that cunning, evil king, will mesmerize you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Director Paul Mullins has kept the action at full tilt, even as a raft of henchmen and royalty people the stage. Of course you need an actor as ...

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MADISON, NJ – A taut, compelling production of “Richard III,” that cunning, evil king, will mesmerize you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Director Paul Mullins has kept the action at full tilt, even as a raft of henchmen and royalty people the stage. Of course you need an actor as ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – Yes, it’s "Springtime for Hitler" in the Paper Mill Playhouse zany production of “The Producers.” The show was a big Broadway hit with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick a few seasons ago and has been given a fast-paced reprise under the direction of Don Stephenson. The original ...

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PRINCETON, NJ – Although this  play by Nilo Cruz is set in 2015, reflecting both Cuba and Miami, the theme is closer to struggles at least 30 years earlier.  A priest who falls in love would more likely become an Episcopalian or even a Unitarian. So this dichotomy makes the whole premise less ...

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UNION, NJ – “Las Cruces,” the new play by Vincent Delaney, is the winner of the 2016 Premiere Stages Play Festival award. And for good reason. This riveting story is about a man who leaves his Connecticut home in search of peace and quiet (or perhaps escape) in the bold, barren stretches of New ...

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MADISON, NJ – There’s dying and then there’s dying in long, drawn-out agony. Well, if you’ve been king for 400 years, you won’t disappear quietly. No doubt King Berenger thinks he’s immortal and, like many of us today, lingers long after he’s of any use to himself or others. The king on "Exit ...

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COOPERSTOWN, NY – What an amazing musical mix meets audiences who make the trip to Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie” is perhaps the most surprising of the four operas presented this summer. Not as well known as an operatic version of Arthur Miller’s “The ...

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PRINCETON, NJ – Leave it to Stephen Sondheim to find the cutting edge in the kaleidoscope of American events. What he wrote in 1990 is even more potent today, hard on the heels of the Orlando gay nightclub terrorist attack. These assassins, from 1865 until the 1970s, cover not just presidents ...

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MILLBURN, NJ - Although “West Side Story” first came to Broadway in 1957, it still resonates today, not only for its poignant love story but for its underlying theme of culture clash and hatred. The Jets and the Sharks are opposing gangs, one Italian, the other Puerto Rican. They’re both ...

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MADISON, NJ – There’s never been anyone quite like Noel Coward for wit and wisdom in equal measure, as so beautifully rendered in the opening production of The ShakespeareTheatre’s season, with “A Song at Twilight.” Edmond Genest and Laila Robins are worthy adversaries, former lovers and well ...

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PHILDELPHIA - When the American Theatre Critics Association met in Philadelphia during the month of April, there was plenty of food for thought and discussion revolving around some absorbing, ingenious plays. One of my favorites was “He Who Get’s Slapped,” a play by Leonid Adreyev and loosely ...

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