Liz on Theatre

Christmas Cards Takes New Spin at Chatham Playhouse

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,” is a touching and hilarious as she shifts from narrator to little ones at Christmas. She’s accompanied by Foley Artist, Glen D. Post, with appropriate sound effects.

“A String of Pearls” takes a different tack on the value of giving, with David Kapferer, Maria Brodeur and Julie Anne Nolan. Set in a department store, Pearl (who apparently wraps gifts) is trying to convince Bill that he should give his new wife something more romantic than a vacuum cleaner. As he returns with other gifts, she manages to say ‘no’ they wouldn’t do. Until, of course, he comes up with a piece of jewelry she likes. The plots has adds another layer as we delve beneath the surface.

Sign Up for E-News

Some children read their letters to Santa, which is quite charming. Another entertaining skit involves a Puppy, played with verve by Connie Masterson who yells ‘bark’ whenever she’s addressed.

Then we have “Thief of the North Pole,” with the always amazing Chip Prestera as Ali, who visits Kris Kringle to take back his magic carpet. After the dolly maker (Molly Farrell) explains why they need it one day a year, they all ended up with an agreeable tradeoff.

But some of the scripts are overly long, especially in Act II. And, occasionally some of the youngster’s voices couldn’t be heard on opening night. This seems to be a problem at the Chatham Playhouse. I’m sure they’re fine in rehearsal, but when the audience is there, the sound is absorbed, so these kids need more projection.

A couple of the vignettes didn’t make much sense. “The Haunting of Tannenbaum” seems to be a mix of two guys watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” while a mother and daughter are baking cookies and a husband and wife are decorating their Christmas tree. But the link among the three groups really isn’t clear and what is the message?

Nevertheless, the actors, large and small, make this a fun-filled holiday evening. They include Howard Fischer, Aiden English, Molly Farrell, Julia Hearne, and Ginny Crooks.

The backstage crew did a fine job, with set design by Roy Pancirov, costumes by Beverly Wand, lighting by Eric Holgerson, sound and projection by Joe DeVico.

Chatham Players should be commended for introducing a new vision. Performances continue through Dec. 16 at The Chatham Playhouse, 23, North Passaic Avenue in Chatham. For tickets, call 973-635-7363 or visit chathamplayers.org.

 

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

Lincoln Park's Sustainable Health & Wellness Initiative Celebrates 5 Years at Annual Music Festival

July 15, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The 13th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival is expected to draw more than 50,000 attendees to Newark’s Lincoln Park for a three-day festival featuring jazz, gospel, house and hip-hop beginning July 27th.

But the festival is not just about the music.

For the fifth year in a row, the festival will feature a Sustainable Health and Wellness Village (SHWV) that will offer free ...

3rd Annual Newark International Film Festival Accepting Submissions

July 13, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Three days filled with celebrity guests and showcases from both local and international filmmakers are coming to the city in September.

The third annual Newark International Film Festival will return Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 9, 2018. The festival has grown each year since it was first created, with the city last year hosting 10,000 attendees seeing films across ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_18646f90caebd91790c7_grand_opening_-_instagram

Sun, July 15, 11:00 AM

The Eclectic Chic Boutique, Montclair

Grand Opening of The Eclectic Chic Boutique

Mon, July 16, 7:30 PM

Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers

Arts & Entertainment

Montclair Police Blotter: Business Burglary, DWI Arrests and More

July 8, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was released on July 3, 2018 from the Montclair Police Department:

Arrest:
06-28-2018 (Porter Place) Mr. Lonnial Hargrove (48yoa from Irvington) was arrested and charged with
DWI.
06-29-2018 (Bellevue Avenue) Mr. Avi Shvetz, 52yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged with
DWI after striking a parked vehicle.
06-30-2018 (Lackawanna Plaza) Mr.

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘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 through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

July 13, 2018

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...