In the 299 seat upstairs space at Off-Broadway's premiere theatre, The Westside, a new sketch comedy musical, is making quite a splash.  "Rated P ... for Parenthood" with book and lyrics by Sandy Rustin (a Maplewood NJ resident) and Music and lyrics by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer (both from River Edge in Bergen County), is a 90 minute look at the hilarious and heartwarming ride of parenthood.

The average new Broadway musical has a seven year gestational period ... but not this baby.  "Rated P ... for Parenthood" came together in just 18 months.  Started by a group of friends  (who all happen to be acclaimed Broadway pros) and members of the South Orange, NJ theatre company, Midtown Direct Rep, "Rated P" started on a playground.  "We were hanging out with our kids one afternoon lamenting show business," said Rated P star and South Orange resident, David Josefsberg, "and Sandy (Rustin) said, 'well, I do have this one idea that I think would be fun.'  She pitched the idea to me, and I said, 'if you write it, I'll be in it.'  I never thought she's really do it!"  But did it she did, along with her friend from college, Dan Lipton and his long term writing partner, David Rossmer. 

Directed by Jeremy Dobrish (also a Maplewood resident and Co-Artistic Director of Midtown Direct Rep with Rustin), with musical direction by Meg Zervoulis (a Bayonne resident and Musical Director of Midtown Direct Rep), "Rated P ... for Parenthood" is a far cry from community theatre ... but  most certainly is theatre than began in a community.  This team of friends and collaborators had their first public reading of "Rated P" in August of 2012 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.  The audience response was so outstanding, that the creative team pushed forward developing the show further in order to present a workshop presentation to the public in January 2011.  By Mother's Day weekend, the team had raised nearly $50,000 to mount a full production at SOPAC.  The four performances were sold out and received standing ovations.  By Saturday, May 10th, Peter Filicia of the Star Ledger had written a love letter of a review with a headline of "P is Perfect!"  That sealed the deal.  Commercial producers started calling and before they knew it, this playground idea was scheduled to open in New York City.

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"Rated P ... for Parenthood" opened on February 29th.  The New York Times called the show "Energizing, moving entertainment."  WCBS said it is a "Nonstop barrage of hearty laughs and poignant tenderness."  Critics and audiences are raving about this small town show that crossed the river with style.  Says writer, David Rossmer, "this show is written for anyone who is or has ever had a parent."  And Parents Magazine blogged - "Go see this show!" 

Rated P ... For Parenthood plays at the Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St.  Show times:  Tues, Wed, Thurs at 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Wed & Sat at 2:30, and Sun at 3.  For a limited time our readers receive a special discount of 50% off.  Go to and enter code RPBUS44.  Visit for details.