Liz on Theatre

October 24, 2017

‘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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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‘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, ...

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‘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 ...

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‘Jersey Voices’ scores with direct, intimate relationships and some fun, too By Liz Keill CHATHAM, NJ – “Jersey Voices,” Chatham Players’ annual series of one-act plays by New Jersey playwrights, gets off to a rollicking start with “Knock Out.” This play by G. David Post and directed by A.

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MORRISTOWN, NJ – Actress and writer Candice Guardino is bringing her one-woman show, “Italian Bred,” to The Bickford Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6. The Saturday evening performance is at 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. The show has nothing to do with cooking, she emphasized, ...

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PRINCETON, NJ – You know you’re in for a treat with super sleuth Agatha Christie at the helm. Princeton Summer Theatre put on an entertaining production of the play through July 23. Although it’s too late to see this show, upcoming offerings include “The Crucible, July 27-Aug. 6th and ...

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UNION, NJ – Premiere Stages, in its quest for new, richly layered plays, is now presenting “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morrisseau. The playwright had her play “Follow Me to Nellie’s” work shopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut several years ago. That was followed by s fine ...

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Moliere’s ‘The Bungler “flits along on Shakespeare stage By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – It’s always refreshing to see a play that just isn’t done that often. Such is the case of “The Bungler,” an early Moliere play from 1655. Most of the dialogue is in rhyme, although every now and then the ...

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‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ lights up the sky for Shakespeare Theatre By Liz Keill MADISON, NJ – For its annual outdoor production at the amphitheatre at St. Elizabeth College, the Shakespeare Theatre choice of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the perfect gossamer fantasy. This well known play ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – It’s lively, it’s heart-warming and it’s a superb ending to the Paper Mill Playhouse season.   “Mary Poppins” should entice audiences to come back for more spectacular theatre in the fall.   Elena Shaddow is the strict yet magical nanny who descends on the Banks family with an ...

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MADISON, NJ – “The Merchant of Venice” has plenty to say about prejudice, suspision, money and cruelty. Yet it has redeeming features as well, with Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech and Shylock’s insistence that Jews are individuals with feelings, thoughts and emotions as much as any other man ...

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The little known lives of African Americans form the basis for Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel.” The play takes place in lower Manhattan, 1905. Quincy Tyler Bernstiine as Esther conveys strength and determination while trying to please those she depends on. Esther lives in a boarding house and ...

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‘Million Dollar Quartet’ strums and thrums with nostalgia, manic beat By Liz Keill MILLBURN, NJ – There really was a meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on Dec. 4, 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis.   Record producer Sam Phillips took a picture to prove ...

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‘Murder on the Orient Express’ streams along in sizzling suspense By Liz Keill PRINCETON, NJ – Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, “Murder on the Orient Express,” has received a terrific stage adaptation by Ken Ludwig. He’s taken a few liberties with the numerous characters, but has tightened ...

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SUMMIT, NJ – Playwright John Patrick Shanley is no slouch when it comes to probing, high-powered explorations of the human condition, such as his award winning “Doubt,” both on stage and screen. “Defiance” is no exception in this moving, emotional story at The Summit Playhouse. The action takes ...

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CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

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CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

Read more »

CHATHAM, NJ – Once again, playwright Ken Ludwig is having a New Jersey moment. His fast-paced comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" from 1995 is receiving a rip roaring production by the Chatham Players. The plot centers on a theatrical couple, George and Charlotte Hay, who spend most of their careers ...

Read more »

SUMMIT, NJ – You may be in for a high seas adventure if you visit “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself).” This 90-minute play by Donald Margulies has plenty to keep you entranced. Margulies has won just about every theatre award ...

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Anyone who has the opportunity to head to George Street Playhouse will be stunned, shaken and haunted by “American Son,” this beautifully written play by Christopher Demos-Brown.  Directed by David Saint with a distinct sense of the heartache and emotion that takes place, it is superbly ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – Following up on his earlier farce, “Lend Me a Tenor,” playwright Ken Ludwig has written a sequel with equally zany scenarios of mistaken identities and slapstick actions. But the problem with any farce is that it needs a light touch. In this case, while the actors work hard and all ...

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MILLBURN, NJ – You won’t go wrong if you opt for “The Bodyguard,” the blockbuster musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. From gun shots to strobe lights to spotlights and glitter, the show blasts away like a rocket. Yet there are quite moments as well. There’s also a psycopathic killer ...

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MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales. The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions ...

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – If you love a love story, the enchanting musical “Daddy Long Legs” will speak to your heart. Yes, there are plenty of clichés when it comes to love, but this musical has a freshness and intimacy that are hard to beat. With music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John ...

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Despite the Warren Commission, an Oliver Stone movie and various speculations, in the long run it seems that Lee Harvey Oswald acted on his own in assassinating President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. But Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby before his motives could be ...

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MADISON, NJ – A taut, compelling production of “Richard III,” that cunning, evil king, will mesmerize you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Director Paul Mullins has kept the action at full tilt, even as a raft of henchmen and royalty people the stage. Of course you need an actor as ...

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MADISON, NJ – A taut, compelling production of “Richard III,” that cunning, evil king, will mesmerize you at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Director Paul Mullins has kept the action at full tilt, even as a raft of henchmen and royalty people the stage. Of course you need an actor as ...

Read more »