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Midtown Direct Rep Announces Cast For Reading of HELEN OF TROY


(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- MIDTOWN DIRECT REP(MDR), the company that brought New Jersey the award-winning Rated P for Parenthood and Listen to Your Mother: North Jersey, returns to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) with a Theatre in the Loft reading of a new musical comedy based on The Iliad by Homer. Helen of Troy, with music and lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen (The Gig, No Way to Treat a Lady), book and lyrics by Zoe Samuel (Jihad! The Musical), will be directed by MDR company member Bradley Dean (The Last Ship), with musical direction by MDR company member Meg Zervoulis (Rated P for Parenthood). Helen of Troy is on Sunday, January 25 at 7:30 pm at SOPAC (One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079). The reading is open to the public, and $15 tickets are available at www.sopacnow.org.

The reading will star Catherine Brunell (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mary Poppins) as Helen, as well as Miguel Cervantes (If/Then), Bradley Dean (The Last Ship), Jamie LaVerdiere (Motown the Musical), Erin Maguire (Forbidden Broadway), Beth McCourt (Fiddler on the Roof), Marni Raab (The Phantom of the Opera), Elizabeth Ward Land (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Kevin Worley (Bullets over Broadway) and Joanna Young (The Drowsy Chaperone). Terrence J. Witter (Chicago) will be the Stage Manager.

Helen of Troy is a fresh take on the ancient story of a beautiful but spoiled princess, a tale that has previously been narrated for thousands of years by an extremely biased Greek Chorus. When Helen runs away from an arranged marriage, her brother-in-law Agamemnon launches a thousand ships to bring her back. Helen finds herself trapped between a self-obsessed Trojan prince, Greek soldiers thirsting for plunder, and meddlesome deities. If she is to undo the mess she has created, Helen will have to become more than just a pretty face.

As the Chorus sees Helen's story unfold one more time, they come to understand that they have been telling an outdated version of the tale that glamorizes the brutality of Agamemnon over unsung acts of heroism performed by Helen and friends. The Chorus learn that while they cannot change what has happened, they can tell a new, fairer version of the story more suited to today's audience.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or by calling 973-313-ARTS (2787). Same day student tickets are available for $10 at the Box Office only (subject to availability, one ticket per ID, two-hours prior to curtain).

About Theatre in the Loft
Midtown Direct Rep presents Theatre in the Loft at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange, New Jersey. This series of public readings of new plays and musicals showcases new work in development in an elegant and safe setting in front of a sophisticated and engaged audience. The series focuses on works that reflect the complexities of a uniquely diverse community; writers or subjects with a local connection; and roles that can be cast significantly from the MDR ensemble. Recent projects include work by Jack Canfora, Jeremy Desmon, Chad Hardin, James Hindman, Chisa Hutchinson, David Johnston, Kara Lee Korthron, David Myers, Sandy Rustin, John Walch, and others. In January, Academy Award®-winner Olympia Dukakis joined company members Sebastian Arcelus, Jenny Bacon, Stephanie Kurtzuba and others in Absence, a new play by Peter Flaherty.

About Midtown Direct Rep
With perhaps more professional theater artists than any suburb of NYC, Maplewood/South Orange (NJ) is "where Broadway comes home to sleep." MDR, a theatre company created by and for these NJ-based artists, develops and presents relevant, world-class theatre for its community.

Midtown Direct Rep company members include two-time Tony Award®-winner Norbert Leo Butz, Tony Award® nominees Stephanie J. Block, Megan Lawrence, and Christiane Noll, plus Sebastian Arcelus, Joel de la Fuente, Bradley Dean, Michele Pawk, and many others. The Company is led by Managing Director Jeffrey Shubart, Artistic Advisor Sandy Rustin, Producing Director Evan Fleischer, Artistic Producer Steven Tabakin, and Literary Manager Marni Raab.

For more information, visit http://www.middirrep.org.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.




Eagle Theatre Presents A Holiday Revue At Kathedral Event Center
(HAMMONTON, NJ) -- Eagle Theatre presents Season’s Greetings: A Musical Celebration of Holiday Traditions from Around the World from December 19 to December 23 at Kathedral Event Center. The show is guaranteed holly jolly fun for the whole family. Starring four all-star performers and a live band, this musical journey around the world, features over 40 holiday classics, a Dominick the Donkey sing-a-long, a salute to our military veterans, a cash bar, and a photo opportunity with Santa! This holiday revue takes audiences on a sleigh ride across the globe and straight into a Winter Wonderland. 
East Lynne Theater Company Receives $12,600 Travel and Tourism grant
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company is receiving $12,600.00 from the Cooperative Marketing Grant sponsored by the New Jersey Department of State: Division of Travel and Tourism. The award was given based on the scores of an independent evaluation and funding review committee that studied ELTC's application and marketing plan.
Writers Theatre of New Jersey Presents 2019 Soundings Reading Series
(MADISON, NJ) -- The Writer’s Theatre of New Jersey is kicking off their 2019 season with a series of new play readings in the new Madison Community Arts Center venue. This Winter Madison will be filled with writers eager to hear their pages come to life in front of an audience. Starting on January 3rd and going straight through until January 17th there will be 15 plays in 15 days.
Pixie Dust Players Presents Home for the Holidays at UCPAC
(RAHWAY, NJ) -- To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Pixie Dust Players, Union County Performing Arts Center is happy to present Home for the Holidays on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 7:30pm. The event consists of a gala and a benefit concert featuring over 150 performers and music from 24 different shows, all from the past ten years of Pixie Dust Productions. Prior to the concert, there will be a gala with light fare, a magician, and more. Not only is this a fundraiser for UCPAC’s Youth Programming, but also a celebration supporting the continuance of this exciting partnership.
Grunin Center Hosts Lightwire Theater's "A Very Electric Christmas"
(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- Lightwire Theater is traveling north from the members’ New Orleans home base to present “A Very Electric Christmas” at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts on Sunday, December 23 at 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Lightwire Theater is known for its signature brand of dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling, and music designed to evoke imagery. The group debuted their first “A Very Electric Christmas” in New Orleans in December 2013, and now takes this captivating and magical tale of adventure, friendship, and love – centered on a young bird named Max – throughout the country and around the world. This show brings a whole new meaning to “home for the holidays.”


PHOTOS from "The Winter's Tale" at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s concludes its 56th season with its sixth and final Main Stage production, The Winter's Tale. Last seen at The Shakespeare Theatre in 2008, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs this production of Shakespeare’s tragicomedic romance. Veteran company members Jacqueline Antaramian, Jon Barker, Erin Partin, John Keabler, Raphael Nash Thompson,Seamus Mulcahy, Patrick Toon, and Ames Adamson are among a cast of 20 actors. Performances run now through December 30. 
REVIEW: "It's A Wonderful Life" At Mile Square Theatre
Nestled in a corner of Hoboken, on the second floor, lies the studios of radio station WMST.  It’s a wonderful art deco studio, replete with fine wooden walls, embedded with colorful lights an applause sign.  On stage, we’ve got a few chairs, several microphones and a whole corner wedged with all the necessary props – piano, men’s shoes, sheet metal – to create the audio effects for the production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Betsy Aidem Puts A Woman's Touch On George Street Playhouse's "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Betsy Aidem is a veteran actress you might have seen on Broadway. Or maybe on an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.” Or maybe on the big screen last year in “The Greatest Showman.” But over the next few weeks in New Brunswick, Aidem is adding a brand-new section to her résumé — by helming a sequel (of sorts) to a classic play that’s more than 100 years old.
REVIEW: "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn" at Paper Mill Playhouse
One man’s ambition is comfortable yet to another it is anathema.  This is the simplest way to convey the central theme of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – now playing at Papermill Playhouse.  The show is a rich, effervescent, beautiful, fun, musical that is well worth booking tickets for.  It enthralled my phone addicted 13 year-old and earned a shout out on Instagram - high praise in and of itself.
REVIEW: "A Doll's House, Part 2" at George Street Playhouse
For well over a century the world has been wondering what ever happened to Nora Helmer from Henrik Ibsen’s classic play A Doll’s House.  Nora was a woman during the 19th century in male dominated Norway when women could not sign contracts without their husband’s permission.  She challenged this law, essentially committing forgery.  And, even though she committed a crime for the purpose of saving her husband’s life, her actions wound up destroying her marriage when someone tried to blackmail her. 






Event calendar
Monday, Dec 17, 2018


MUSIC

THE NEPTUNES @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 7:00pm

Holiday Express Benefit Concert @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm

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