(MANASQUAN, NJ) -- Broadway’s back in New York City this fall, but fans of musical theatre at the Jersey Shore only have to wait another month. Algonquin Arts Theatre will be producing Broadway musicals Godspell and Rent this summer. Showtimes are Friday & Saturday nights at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Godspell runs for eight performances from July 16 to July 25. Rent runs from August 13 to August 22. The 2021 Summer Series is sponsored by Broadway Ray.
GODSPELL was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden); and it took the world by storm.
Led by the international hit, "Day by Day," Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "All for the Best," "All Good Gifts," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side."
Through the musical, a small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.
Kevin Thrower returns to the Algonquin stage to reprise his role of Jesus that he played in a 2015 Algonquin Youth Ensemble production of this same title. Donovan Lee plays Judas, and they are joined by a dynamic ensemble featuring Gavin Bailey, Maggie Blaise, Aisa Feratovic, Maddy Fernandez, Jayden Fusco, Julia Lupi, Liam McGettigan, Lindsey Monaco, Willie Naess and Hannah Teza.
Godspell is directed by Ian Moore with musical direction by Stephen Strouse and choreography by Lizzie Legregin.
RENT - Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages.
Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, Jonathan Larson's Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble.
Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.
A dynamic cast features Aaron Richard Burt (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Mark Cohen, Rob Ryan (Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story) as Roger Davis and Alicia Dishon (Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story) as Mimi Marquez. Kewarn Dobson, who last appeared as King Triton in The Little Mermaid, makes his return to the Algonquin as Tom Collins.
Four actors debut in an Algonquin production: Melinda Gioe as Maureen Johnson, Mackenzie Uplinger as Joanne Jefferson, Ian Duhart as Benjamin Coffin III, and James Chianese as Angel Schunard. The ensemble includes Amber Tanzi, Arianna Scarano, Cameron Schlussler, Daniel Mucha, Nick Buonvicino, Shannen Michael Doyle and Thomas Krey. Director Gina Lupi, musical director Mark Megill and choreographer Jessica O’Brien lead the Rent production team.
All performances, except August 21 at 8:00pm, will feature distanced seating and a limited capacity of approximately 33 percent. Per CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines, masks are optional for fully vaccinated patrons. Masks are required indoors for unvaccinated individuals.
On Saturday, August 21, for closing night of Rent, the Algonquin is promoting “Vaxed to the Theatre Night.” For this one performance only, the theatre will open to full, 500-seat capacity and everyone in attendance must show proof of vaccination.
Tickets are available for purchase online at algonquinarts.org or by phone. When purchasing online, patrons will need to select a seating “bubble” that is the exact number of seats purchased. For custom group sizes and phone orders, the Box Office can be reached Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 10:00am to 3:00pm by calling 732-528-9211.
With limited capacities at all but one performance, shows are expected to sell out in advance. The public is encouraged to purchase as soon as possible.
Algonquin Arts Theatre is located at 60 Abe Voorhees Drive in Manasquan, New Jersey. It is an integral part of the Shore region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. A journeyman house, AAT features the work of young and emerging artists, designers and directors working alongside seasoned professionals. AAT provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering greater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.