Liz on Theatre

July 28, 2018

‘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 ...

Read more »

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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

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 ...

Read more »

‘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” ...

Read more »

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,” ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

‘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 ...

Read more »

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – There’s a lot more to this musical than the engaging title alone. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” takes on a raft of couples’ issues, from first dates to wedding vows to funerals. Originally a long running New York hit about several years ago, writer and lyricist Joe ...

Read more »

‘Barefoot in the Park’ takes a frothy look at young newlyweds By Liz Keill CHATHAM, NJ – The Chatham Players has opened its 96th season with an early Neil Simon favorite, “Barefoot in the Park.” Originally on Broadway in 1963 with Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford, the play became a ...

Read more »

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey pays tribute to ‘Shakespeare in Love’ By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – Many audiences loved the film version of “Shakespeare in Love,” which won the best picture Academy Award in 1999, with dialogue by Marc Noonan and Tom Stoppard. Adapted by Lee Hall for the ...

Read more »

Smart, sassy production of ‘The Honeymooners’ takes off at Paper Mill By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – “And away we go” indeed. The creative team at the Paper Mill Playhouse has taken the seeds of “The Honeymooners” from 1950’s television and turned it into a smart, snappy musical. Ralph ...

Read more »

Sam Shepard’s “Simpatico” has a forceful workout at McCarter Theatre. By Liz Keill PRINCETON, NJ – If you’re at all familiar with the works of Sam Shepard, you know that he writes about gritty, unforgiving characters in what appear to be hopeless situations. In “Simpatico,” we learn that ...

Read more »

‘What the Butler Saw’ brims over with innuendo and farce By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – Joe Orton’s outlandish farce, “What the Butler Saw,” is a hilarious change of pace for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. While Shakespeare himself has written his share of comedies, Orton’s play, ...

Read more »

‘Foster Mom’ touches on emotional trade-offs in commitments and love By Liz Keill UNION,  NJ – Prestige Stages at Kean University debuted the 2017 play festival winner, “ Foster Mom” by Chris Cragin-Day.  Artistic Director John Wooten announced that 400 plays had been submitted to the ...

Read more »