New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


This article is from our magazine. To view it in its original format, click here

A look at PL@Y & The Amboys

By Gary Wien


When Hurricane Sandy hit the area, J.D. Wilson and Nicholas Norcia found themselves stuck in a blackout for two weeks. With no power to use computers or watch television, they began writing the script for a play. The two had always been fans of the Jersey band, The Amboys, and were inspired to write a play based on the characters from the band's songs. The end result was a production entitled PL@Y which was first produced in 2013 and is being performed November 21-22 at The Strand in Lakewood, NJ.

"They've always been fans of our music and used our record Led Into The Woods as a spring board for all of this," explained Daniel Effenberger of The Amboys. "They'd take characters from the songs and incorporate them into their story. Then they started using our other albums for more material, and worked those songs into the script. They've created an alternate reality with all of this. It's hilarious, thought provoking, inspiring, and oddly enough family friendly. In a nutshell, PL@Y is a modern day Alice In Wonderland, mixed with themes from The Matrix, in the vision of Pee Wee Herman, sprinkled with bits of....Ahhh yea....you just gotta see it."

Throughout the play, The Amboys perform various songs live on stage, making the experience event more surreal. It's part theatre, part live concert — something unlike anything else you've ever seen.

"The experience was deeply gratifying for sure," said Effenberger, recalling the original production. "We were just extremely flattered that our music had inspired them to write this story. And as we got closer to opening night it turned into this surreal feeling of, whoa, this is really happening. We had a blast."

The Amboys have been in the studio lately recording what was originally intended to be a 3-song EP that has evolved into a full-length album. Effenberger says the band has been compiling a wide assortment of songs over the past two years and realized the songs were working well together. The record is expected to be available early next year.

"The alt-country/americana sound is still a piece of the puzzle, but we've moved into much wider territory," said Effenberger. "The songs have been picked apart and pulled back together and the structures are all over the board, from straight ahead indie-pop, to some things that I think will surprise a lot of people. If you've been an Amboys fan then I think you'll appreciate the progression we've made as a band. And if you've never heard of us, I think this will be a great first impression.

"A tour hasn't been set yet," he continued. "If the album does well and we can get some support through a record company, we'd love to hit the road again in some facet. We're just having fun creating and making albums at this point."

PL@Y is presented by Music is the Medicine Foundation (MITM), which was started a few years back by Daniel Effenberger and his brothers so the band's shows could have a greater impact on the local community. MITM has raised funds for organizations including the Wounded Warrior Project, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Oceans Of Love, Providence House Women's Shelter, and The Ashley Lauren Foundation.




For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
NJPAC Presents Yellowjackets, Jazz Fusion Legends
NJPAC Presents Yellowjackets, Jazz Fusion Legends
Cher To Perform at Prudential Center
Cher To Perform at Prudential Center
Joan Baez To Perform At McCarter One Final Time In April 2019
Joan Baez To Perform At McCarter One Final Time In April 2019
NJPAC Presents Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride & Brian Blade and Special Guest Joey Alexander
NJPAC Presents Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride & Brian Blade and Special Guest Joey Alexander






Event calendar
Friday, Mar 22, 2019


MUSIC

East Coast In Lullaby @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

LIONEL RICHIE @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Swingadelic Featuring Rob Paparozzi @ Roys Hall (Blairstown), Blairstown - 8:00pm

Carolyn Messina at Table 42 @ Table 42, Dover - 7:00pm

Tom Chapin with Dan Pelletier at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

Finding Neverland @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Music of Cream @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Summer of Love IX @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

WARRANT @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 6:00pm

Selwyn Birchwood @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Mamma Mia @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Native Gardens @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 8:00pm

The Source by Jack Canfora @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Sassy Mamas presented by Dunbar Repertory Company @ Middletown Arts Center, Middletown - 8:00pm

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE GOLDEN MEATBALL @ The Growing Stage: The Childrens Theatre of New Jersey, Netcong - 7:30pm

Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Ken Ludwigs The Gods of Comedy @ Matthews Theatre @ McCarter Theatre, Princeton - 8:00pm

Theo @ Marion Huber Theater @ Two River Theater, Red Bank - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Comedy Night at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


FILM

Hairspray Sing-Along with host Jeremy Grunin! @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm


KIDS

Celebrate Holi @ iPlay America, Freehold - 4:00pm

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.