passaic-valley

Liz on Theatre

June 20, 2022

MADISON, NJ — It’s a welcome sign to see The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey opening for its 60th Anniversary Season. “Enchanted April” is a charming and moving choice with warmer weather coming on. The play also speaks to us on a number of levels, especially after our long hiatus during ...

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MILLBURN NJ — “Sister Act” is a perfect way to end the Paper Mill’s 2021-2022 fall and spring season. This high energy musical is based on the popular 1970s movie with Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie  Smith. But the current performers shine and make it their own. Nicole Vanessa Ortiz is the sexy ...

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CHATHAM, NJ — This delightful play, set in Yorkshire, England, lends a risque air to the Women’s Institutes at a local church parish. The play and film were based on a true story of middle-aged women who were seeking a fundraising idea for Leukemia Research. They’re desperate to find a way to ...

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Millburn, NJ - Fans of Dion and lovers of 1960's rock are in their element with this fast moving tribute to Dion, combining a swinging cast, sharp choreography and solid musical backup. Director Kenneth Ferrone has kept the tempo going, with a smooth balance of dialogue, musical highlights and a ...

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CHATHAM, NJ - The lyrical “Tuck Everlasting” drew a full house to the Chatham Players' latest production on opening night. The musical, which only runs for two weekends, features a large cast, some strong voices and touches of humor along the way.  Jeffrey Fiorello has smoothly directed the ...

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MILLBURN, NJ - What could be more chilling than a gothic mansion, dead bodies and multiple suspects? No, it isn’t Agatha Christie, but “Clue,” based on the board game, offers plenty of distraction in this highly entertaining farce. Paper Mill Playhouse has put on a show with style and posh ...

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MADISON,  NJ - How we long for the days of close family ties, of joy and forgiveness, of connecting in real time with our friends and family. And  who knew we would be living in a world of masks and distance, when just trying to feel ‘normal’ is such a challenge? Thanks to Bonnie Monte and The ...

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MADISON,  NJ - How we long for the days of close family ties, of joy and forgiveness, of connecting in real time with our friends and family. And  who knew we would be living in a world of masks and distance, when just trying to feel ‘normal’ is such a challenge? Thanks to Bonnie Monte and The ...

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The Summit Playhouse brings a touching production of  “Talley’s Folly” to the stage after an almost two-year hiatus, due to the covid disruption. This two-character play by Langston Wilson is the last of a trilogy about the Talley family in Lebanon, Missouri. Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize for the ...

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Millburn, NJ - Yes, Paper MIll Playhouse has now reopened with a dazzling production of “Songs for a New World.”   There are plenty of precautions before entering the theatre, including masks for the audience, proof of vaccination and photo i.d. (probably a driver’s license.)  Still, it’s good ...

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Chatham, NJ -  Although we’ve been in a time warp these last two years, this smart and savvy play by Donald Margulies takes us out of ourselves and into other lives. The Chatham Players have brought a nicely nuanced production to its audience, ably directed by Tait Ruppert.  As Catham Players ...

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UNION, NJ - After two years of closure, Premiere Stages on the campus of Kean University has re-opened with a stirring production of Erik Gernand’s play, “Year One.” The time is 1933, the place, a city in Germany.  As Germany rebuilds after the devastation of World War I, a close-knit family is ...

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CHATHAM, NJ - Now in its 27th season, a new collection of short plays by New Jersey playwrights is back in business after our covid hiatus. Once again, perceptive writers, astute directors and talented actors make it all work. No doubt everyone has their favorites in the lineup of seven brief ...

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Florham Park, NJ - There’s nothing like the theatrical commentary of George Bernard Shaw to explore love, lust and over-the-top intrigue to make for a stimulating evening. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers another romp at its outdoor location at the Thomas H. Kean Theatre Factory in ...

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Florham Park, NJ - It’s such a treat to see a live performance in these difficult times. But leave iit to Shakespeare Theatre’s fearless director, Bonnie Monte, to deliver a delightful and provocative evening of Moliere and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The setting is the outside lawn at the Thomas ...

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NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ - A riveting, timely play is now on view at George Street Playhouse, exploring the conflict between Senators Margaret Chase Smith and Joseph McCarthy. With the red scare taking place in the U.S., Smith became concerned that McCarthy had created an atmosphere of fear, where ...

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The Summit Playhouse riveting production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” drew a large, responsive audience on opening night.  The enduring appeal of this story is no less potent than when the actual events occurred, beginning in 1942. Most of us have read the diary, seen the film or a stage ...

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No doubt Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most prolific composers in recent years. We’ve all heard the music of “Cats” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Evita” and a host of others. Paper Mill Playhouse honors him in this moving tribute The show is  quite a pistache of well known, and not so well known, ...

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CHATHAM, NJ - The setting is a two-bedroom apartment in Yonkers, NY. The time is 1942. We learn that two young boys, Jay and Artie, are about to move in with their cold,domineering grandmother. There’s a lot going on in this taut, smartly written play by Neil Simon. Braden Mellina as Jay, the ...

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New Brunswick, NJ - The play based on Cris Bohjalian’s successful novel, “Midwives,”  is receiving a thoughtful, haunting production at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. The stirling cast brings each character to life during a stormy winter in Vermont. The first act takes place in a ...

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PRINCETON, NJ - Three long-time friends gather at a cabin in the woods in this startling original play by Rachel Bonds. Borrowing from the children’s story, “Goodnight Moon,” the play explores the fraught lives of those trying to reconnect. We learn that Nan is an artist, who one summer had an ...

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MADISON, NJ - When the spirited production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” begins, you’re inclined to think it’s a comedic take on grouchy Ebenezer Scrooge. But we soon see that the Neil Barlett adaptation of the tale does dwell on the dark side. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has ...

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MILLBURN, NJ - The story of Cinderella and her prince seems to have ongoing appeal for all ages. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical glitters and shines with strong voices and sharp choreography by Joann M. Hunter. Director Mark Hoebee has brought a loving, affectionate touch to this production.

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SUMMIT, NJ – You wouldn’t think a follow-up to Henrik Ibsen’s play about Nora Helmer in 19th century Norway would be especially relevant today. But the smart, funny sequel by Lucas Hnath has much to say about marriage, the cost of independence, abandoning one’s family and other issues that ring ...

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No matter how often, or how rarely, you may have seen Shakespeare’s love letter to “Romeo and Juliet,” it still returns with blazing life, in the romantic balcony scene, in the hard lessons we learn about Capulets and Montagues and in the eternal flame of lives snuffed out too soon. The ...

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MILLBURN, NJ  - Judy Garland has made an amazing comeback, with both this charming musical at Paper Mill Playhouse and the new film starring Renee Zellweger. It’s also the anniversary of ‘The Wizard of Oz,” a film that never seems to lose its appeal. Garland’s early career is the focus of “Chasing ...

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MADISON, NJ - “The Rainmaker” is a play that speaks to the heart and done with such elegance and simplicity that it is unforgettable. Written by N. Richard Nash, this play isn’t often performed.  Under the guidance of Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte, the story is beautifully rendered by a cast ...

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COOPERSTOWN, NY – Glimmerglass Opera Festival has an outstanding reputation for first-rate singers, strong orchestras and glittering productions. This year, the company also takes on a number of issues that are relevant to our time. “Blue” stands out as an innovative study of racial bias, family ...

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CHATHAM, NJ – “Jersey Voices” is now in its 25th season, presenting new works by area playwrights at its intimate theatre on North Passaic Avenue. This year’s selections are also an homage to Artistic Director Bob Lukasik, who recently died. As president of the Chatham Community Players, he was ...

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‘The Wake’ travels through loss and forgiveness at Premiere Stages By Liz Keill UNION, NJ – In a new play by Tammy Ryan, we learn about family angst in the midst of a hurricane in Florida. The complicated, rambling plot involves Maggie (Kathy Rae O’Donnell) who wants to scatter her dead ...

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