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Ambitious Theatre At Paper Mill

By Gary Wien

originally published: 04/26/2017

Ambitious Theatre At Paper Mill

Long before Paper Mill Playhouse received the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the theatre was already recognized as a place where shows heading to Broadway could be found first.  The 2017-2018 season continues that trend in a big way with 2 World Premieres and 2 East Coast Premieres on the schedule.  While much of the buzz deals with Half Time, I’m excited to see what they do with The Honeymooners as a musical comedy.

The season contains World Premieres of The Honeymooners and The Sting (based on the classic movie).  The East Coast premieres include The Outsider and Half Time.  Fan favorite Annie comes to the theatre for the holidays.

The Honeymooners opens the season on September 28. As a late night tv junkie raised on WPIX 11, The classic show following the exploits of the Kramdens and the Nortons has been a favorite of insomniacs like me for generations.

The Honeymooners is a brand new musical comedy inspired by the classic television series.  Ralph Kramden and his buddy Ed Norton are back and still shooting for the moon in this world-premiere musical.  After shocking their wives by winning a high-profile jingle contest, they are catapulted out of Brooklyn and into the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue advertising, where they discover that their quest for the American Dream might cost them their friendship. Filled with big laughs and an infectious score, The Honeymooners is bound to be a hit.

“We are excited to launch Paper Mill Playhouse’s new season with the world premiere of The Honeymooners, said John Rando, the show’s Tony Award-winning director. “This new American musical comedy celebrates the universal story of two underdogs striving to achieve their dreams, and the compromises of their married lives.  I believe this hilarious and touching show will strongly resonate with Paper Mill audiences.”



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The Honeymooners features Book by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss; Music by Stephen Weiner; Lyrics by Peter Mills; and is Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.

Ambitious Theatre At Paper Mill

Based on legendary Oscar-winning film starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, The Sting arrives at Paper Mill on March 29.

Taking place in Chicago circa 1936, The Sting brings the audience into a smoke-filled world of cons and capers, where nothing is what it seems and no one is who they appear to be.

The musical tells the tale of a pair of con men, small town grifter Johnny Hooker and big time hustler Henry Gondorff, who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer. The Tony Award-winning creative team includes director John Rando (On The Town), choreographer Warren Carlyle (Hello Dolly!), bookwriter Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), and an original score by composer/lyricist team Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (Urinetown). The Sting takes you back to an era where the blues reigns, the stakes are high, and the dice are always loaded.

“We are very excited to bring The Sting to Paper Mill; an American classic reinvented for the stage,” said the show’s Tony award-winning book writer Bob Martin. “It retains all of the wit and depression era charm of the original, the complex characters, the sophisticated story, the twists and surprises, and adds a sly self-awareness that keeps it relevant. The Sting is a rollicking musical comedy confidence game that we are eager to play with the Paper Mill audiences.”

Ambitious Theatre At Paper Mill

Buzz-wise, things don’t get much hotter than the buzz surrounding Half Time.  From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams who audition to dance at halftime for a major basketball team. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing—instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers—and the young coaches who inspire them along the way—as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game—it’s Half Time, which opens at Paper Mill on May 31.

“I am thrilled our new musical Half Time will be a part of the very exciting 2017-2018 Paper Mill season,” stated Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “Half Time celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together.  We can’t wait to share it with the amazing audiences at Paper Mill.”

Ambitious Theatre At Paper Mill

The Outsider makes its East Coast Premiere in January. At once a razor-sharp comedy and a sincere tribute to democracy, The Outsider by Paul Slade Smith is a timely and hilarious take on modern American politics. Ned Newley doesn’t even want to be governor. He is terrified of public speaking; his poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive chief of staff, Ned seems destined to fail. But a political guru named Arthur Vance sees things a little differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for… the worst candidate to ever run for office.

“With two of our recent productions currently playing on Broadway (A Bronx Tale and Bandstand), Paper Mill Playhouse has become one of the nation’s leading theater incubators, nurturing shows in multiple stages of development,” Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director. “This season we’re honored to collaborate with some of the finest creative talent in the industry including Tony Award winners Jerry Mitchell and John Rando.”

“Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2017-2018 season is one of the most exciting lineups in our theater’s history,” added Managing Director Todd Schmidt.





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"Kinky Boots" Comes To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in conjunction with TROIKA Entertainment is will present KINKY BOOTS, the smash-hit musical that brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Tony Award-winner for Best Score for KINKY BOOTS), at Sound Waves in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City from April 30 until May 5 with two performances on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets starting at $35.00.
The Panto Company Presents "Beauty and the Beast" at The Newton Theatre
(NEWTON, NJ) -- When you think of a dying rose and a clock, candlestick andteapot who talk... you are thinking Beauty and the Beast. One of this season's spellbinding family shows from The Panto Company USA stars Dame Dotty Potty, Loopy Louie, Gaston, Belle and of course The Beast!  The company brings their show to The Newton Theatre on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00pm.
La Strada Ensemble Theater Presents "La Bella Familia" by Edwin Sanchez
(OCEAN GROVE, NJ) -- La Strada Ensemble Theater presents La Bella Familia by Edwin Sanchez from January 18-20.  The play deals with a Puerto Rican hit woman and the gentlest man in the world move next door to the neighbors from hell and everyone learns, the hard way, that family comes first.
Art House Productions Presents "The Passion Project" by Reid Farrington
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Art House Productions presents the unique theatrical experience that is Reid Farrington’s The Passion Project performed by Laura K. Nicoll.  Eight performances will take place from February 21st to March 3rd. The Passion Project is a 30 minute vibration between performance, film, and installation. Carl Th.Dreyer’s 1928 immortal masterpiece, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is the main narrative along with the history behind the making of the film, a discussion with a Danish archivist, the story of making this project, as well as Joan’s own story –– her trial, torture, and execution. The Passion Project explodes the film into the three dimensions; placing the audience inside the film, sitting next to Joan, subjecting them to the relentless rhythm of 35 mm film projection.
4th Wall Theatre Presents "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage
(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- 4TH WALL THEATRE continues its 22nd season with a one weekend run of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel.  The show will be presented as part of the Black History Month celebrations on February 22, 23, and 24 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.  The show is directed by 4th Wall Executive Director Gwen Ricks-Spencer.


It's "Apple Season" at NJ Rep
Every family has stories. Some are funny. Some are sweet. Some are sad. And some are never shared. Those are often the most powerful.
Rise of the Goatman
Theater For The New City presents Beltsville/Rockville, Part 1: Rise of the Goatman, an original play by Englewood resident Matt Okin (Artistic Director of Black Box Studios), from December 27 through January 13. In this pseudo-Southern Gothic dark comedy, a vibrant group of teens from two very different suburban neighborhoods clash over class differences, drugs, and sex - and the existence of the legendary ‘Goatman’ in 1986. Cut to 2013, and the adolescent kids of those very same teens are struggling to make sense of their family histories - and the same “mythological” creature - that could be holding them back in life.
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.






Event calendar
Friday, Jan 18, 2019


MUSIC

John Forster at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

David Massengill - Folk Concert @ Christ Congregation Church, Princeton - 8:00pm

SAL "THE VOICE" VALENTINETTI @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

The Elvis Birthday Bash @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Annie Jr. @ The Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Some Girl(s) @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm







COMEDY

Big Apple Comedy Club @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


MISC

The Jason Bishop Show to Benefit CASA @ Pfleeger Concert Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro - 7:00pm

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