Above Photo: Alice Ripley performing for the live audience Outside the Barn, on the lawn of the Duncan Smith Theatre. photo credit: Michael Kushner

HOLMDEL, NJ: The entertainment industry everywhere was turned upside down with the 2020 pandemic. Broadway went dark eight months ago, with the lights slated to remain off until at least June 2021. Locally, dining and entertainment venues came to an abrupt halt, only to have outside and then hybrid reopenings. Just thinking about it can make anyone pause, as many have, and just wait until it's all over.

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However, The Executive Director of The Holmdel Theatre Company (HTC), Colleen Cook, adapted and adjusted, pivoting the HTC's Broadway at the Barn Series, into Outside the Barn. According to Cook, it was Broadway star Alice Ripley who recommended the concept of performances Outside the Barn, with the intent of raising money for the Theatre. The Barn is The Duncan Smith Theatre, a historic landmark in Holmdel, named after Holmdel High School graduate, the beloved Duncan Smith. (READ MORE  IN A PREVIOUS TAPINTO ARTICLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE DUNCAN SMITH THEATRE:   Sharing Holmdel's Past Gives to us Today, Opening Night Sold Out at Duncan Smith Theater for The Outsiders)  

So, Cook organized a safe outside community event, featuring Broadway star Alice Ripley and local talent; Holmdel's very own George Lazarou. October 24, was the date and the weather cooperated with clear skies, after 3 days of rain.  The moon lit the sky as the show went live!

The talented Lazarou opened up for Ripley, performing a medley of songs that included Empty by Ray Lamontagne, If We Were Vampires by Jason Isbell, and a Jersey favorite; Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen.  

VIDEO: Watch a short clip of Lazarou performing here: 

The October 24, performance marked Alice Ripley's third time appearing at the theater in Holmdel. She was in the very first Broadway at the Barn series, and starred in the one woman play The Pink Unicorn.  In this last performance Ripley sang a variety of soaring melodies and smooth, powerful lyrics featuring songs by Judy Garland, Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), The Beach Boys, Barry Manilow, and more! If you missed the October 24, event, you can see it online: Livestream Tickets for Alice Ripley - Songs Under an Evening Sky are $20 and available for purchase online. The livestream will be held on November 16th at 7:00 p.m.

Alice Ripley commented to TAPinto,  "Hearing these songs under the moonlit sky outside the Duncan Smith Theatre was healing for all of us."

VIDEO: Watch a short video clip here of the talented Alice Ripley performing under the stars on the lawn of the Duncan Smith Theatre.

Colleen Cook commented "It was a great night for the Holmdel Theatre community and a reminder that nothing can ever replace the interaction of live performances.   It was good for the soul. We consider Alice Ripley a part of our HTC family and George Lazarou provided local talent at its best!"   Keri Todisco was in the audience and commented, “It was great to see our friend, George, perform in front of our town- not just in his backyard when we are winding down at night. The Theater should have open mic night- and see all of our local talents!”

Colleen Cook added, "We are so pleased with the success of this evening's event, and we could not make this happen without our generous sponsors. On behalf of HTC, I  would like to give a special thank you to Holmdel's Doreen Demarco and Kim Ardise. Both are generous sponsors of the Broadway at the Barn series and Outside the Barn."

Doreen DeMarco commented to TAPinto, "There are so many facets of Holmdel that make this a fabulous place to call home. Holmdel Theatre Company at the Duncan Smith Theatre is one of our Crown Jewels! We are so fortunate to have this unique theatre in our backyard. For over 30 years, The Duncan Smith Theatre has entertained us and the current board members are doing an outstanding job with their Broadway at the Barn series.  What a thrill it is to have these award-winning actors perform here and entertain us with their dynamic personalities, singing and comedic genius."

ABOUT HOLMDEL THEATRE COMPANY -Holmdel Theatre Company at the Duncan Smith Theater (HTC) is a non-profit, semi-professional theatre company dedicated to presenting fresh interpretations of classic plays as well as rarely presented modern dramas and comedies. HTC is dedicated to providing opportunities for students and non-professionals to work with professional theatre artists in a collaborative, artistic and educational exchange. Making this sophisticated informality possible is The Duncan Smith Theater. Congenial and warm, this historic, 125-year-old barn has been transformed into a modern black box theatre, making a fully accessible space for actors and patrons to enjoy incredible theatre and connect with the performing artists. Duncan Smith is a Holmdel High School graduate who while attending college became ill, passing at only 23 years old. Duncan had a passion for the arts, particularly theatre. Visit the Holmdel Theatre Comany website HERE. 

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36 Crawfords Corner or P.O. Box 182 Holmdel, NJ 07733. Call 732-946-0427