Liz on Theatre

October 29, 2018

‘Charley’s Aunt’ charms with comedic flair at Shakespeare Theatre By LIZ KEILL MADISON, NJ – Who knew that “Charley’s Aunt” would be such a riotous, ridiculous success?  This 1892 play written by Brandon Thomas has all the elements of farce, disguise, intrigue and absurdity to make it a hit, ...

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‘Trial of Donna Caine’ translates real-life story to stage drama By Liz Keill NEW BRUNWICK, NJ – “The Trial of Donna Caine” raises questions of loyalty, initiative and guilt in this George Street Playhouse production. Written by Walter Anderson and directed by David Saint, the play pits Staff ...

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‘Other Desert Cities’ unfolds with family secrets at Chatham Playhouse By LIZ KEILL CHATHAM, NJ – “Other Desert Cities,” the stirring drama by Jon Robin Baitz, revolves around a family’s loyalties and deceptions in a tony Palm Springs household. “Other Desert Cities” refers to the signs along ...

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‘The Color Purple’ flashes by with verve at Paper Mill By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – This Tony-award winning musical caught audiences up in its stunning story of African American life in the deep south over a 40 year period, from 1909 until 1949. Based in the novel by Alice Walker and a ...

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‘Dead and Buried’ explores parent/child loss By Liz Keill SUMMIT, NJ – Nothing is as it seems and how much is really resolved remains a mystery in the drama “Dead and Buried” by James McLindon. Three actors keep the play moving, with touches of humor and some emotional outbursts, despite ...

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‘Buried Child’ draws on chilling family secrets via Shepard By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – The dysfunctional family, with its dark, disturbing secrets, is at the heart of Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child.”  The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents a taut, insightful production, under the ...

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‘Age of Innocence’ captures Wharton’s 1870’s New York By LIZ KEILL PRINCETON, NJ – Leave it to author Edith Wharton to decode the lives of staid, wealthy New Yorkers as she does so hauntingly in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Age of Innocence.” Douglas McGrath adapted the novel for ...

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‘Brick City’ takes journey through high school angst By LIZ KEILL UNION, NJ – Premiere Stages at Kean University presents a new play by Nicole Pandolfo. “Brick City” is an exploration of two seniors in high school and their search for meaningful lives, while their teacher/mentor, Veronica, is ...

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Glimmerglass Opera offers range of shimmering productions, traditional to innovative By Liz Keill COOPERSTOWN, NY – Whether it’s rain or shine, high humidity or a downpour, the world is magical on the stage of Glimmerglass Opera, near Otsego Lake, just north of Cooperstown, NY. Yes, the ...

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‘Blithe Spirit’ sparkles with elegance and wit at Shakespeare Theatre By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – There’s no one quite like Noel Coward for flair and sophistication, as talented actors deliver bon mots and clever, cutting comebacks, often while swirling martinis. And so it goes with “Blithe ...

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‘Titus Andronicus’ roars with bloody revenge at Shakespeare Theatre By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – “Titus Andronicus,’ considered one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest, torture-filled plays, nevertheless receives a spellbinding production at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Tautly directed by ...

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Teenage bullying, cyber and otherwise, takes its toll in ‘Linger’ By LIZ KEILL UNION, NJ – Craig Garcia’s stirring, heartbreaking play “Linger” opened at Premiere Stages this past weekend. The playwright struck a nerve with this intense family drama, the incalculable damage done in this ...

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‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season. With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents. The ...

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‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season. With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna ...

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‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist By Liz Keill PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang. His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ...

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SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott ...

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‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse By LIZ KEILL MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn. Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a ...

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‘Crowns’ honors African-American culture and traditions By Liz Keill PRINCETON, NJ – The musical “Crowns” at McCarter Theatre is a tribute to the women who wore fancy hats (and unquenchable spirit) to African American churches on Sundays.  It spans the changing times, from African rituals to ...

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‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production By Liz Keill NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General. Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served ...

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‘Steel Magnolias’ steals hearts and minds in moving production at Chatham Playhouse By Liz Keill CHATHAM, NJ – A strong ensemble cast brings the 1987 play, “Steel Magnolias,” to life in a funny, sad tale of southern friends in Louisiana.  Like the title implies, these southern belles have ...

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‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies By Liz Keill SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles. Ekstrand has said that the germ of the ...

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‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street By Liz Keill NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown. Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic ...

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Paper Mill’s ‘The Outsider’ takes broad sweep at politics By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – It’s politics as usual…but with a twist. And on opening night the audience was eating up this slick new comedy by Paul Slade Smith. The plot centers on Ned Newley, who has suddenly been thrust into the ...

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ shows surprising appeal as radio/stage production By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has selected a nostalgic and heartwarming version of the classic Frank Capra movie from the 1140’s to entertain holiday audiences. “It’s a Wonderful Life” ...

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The Chatham Players have introduced a twist on their annual holiday show. This series of vignettes by G. David Post and Steven Ruskin is directed by Amy Sellars and features a mixed cast of children and adults. Some of the scenarios work very well. Joelle Bochner’s narrative, “8 Little Angels,” ...

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‘An Act of God’ takes leap of faith at George Street Playhouse By Liz Keill NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – If anyone can portray God, it must be Kathleen Turner. Local theatre goers are fortunate indeed, to have the throaty, stage smart Turner in our midst. Turner, of course, is not only an acclaimed ...

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‘Annie’ gives off exuberance at Paper Mill By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – “Annie” is the perfect holiday treat, with its message of hope for “Tomorrow” and its Christmas tree décor in Act II. This long-lasting musical opened on Broadway in 1977 and its enduring appeal says something about the ...

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‘Bakersfield Mist’ explores art versus reality By Liz Keill MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Bickford Theatre presents a touching, often hilarious, two-person play about a woman in a trailer park in Bakersfield, California, who thinks she has purchased an original Jackson Pollock at a thrift ...

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