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Luna Stage’s Solo Fest

originally published: 11/22/2017

Luna Stage’s Solo FestFor two weeks this December, Luna Stage presents five extraordinary solo performances from five New Jersey artists. From the legacy of female codebreakers in World War II to the intense absurdity of the social work system; from a musical celebration of extraordinary black women to a gently humorous coming of age story in the wake of mental illness, all culminating with a musical performance by a reluctant holiday jam-band, there is something for everyone. 

Phenomenal Woman - December 8-10  |  Performed by Ami Brabson. Directed by Corinna Sowers Adler. With a little help from strong women like writer/activist Ruby Dee, songstress Phoebe Snow and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Ami Brabson explores the many facets of being a phenomenal woman. This evening of music, poetry and storytelling celebrates women who have dared to speak their minds. Phenomenal Woman stars Ami Brabson and features Corey Wachala on piano, Christian Fabian on bass, Brian Crooks on drums



Call Me Crazy: Diary of a Mad Social Worker - December 9-10  |  Written and Performed by Helena D. Lewis.  After being assigned more cases than she can handle, social worker Lewis has a nervous breakdown, tries to kill her boss, and is committed for psychiatric observation. It’s all in a day’s work. While being restrained, Lewis recalls her true-life experiences working with prostitutes, drug addicts and prisoners, portraying twenty-five different characters from pimps to menopausal women. Call Me Crazy is a funny and moving look at the highs and lows of working for peanuts while trying to save the world one client at a time.



Panther Hollow - December 15  |  Written and Performed by David Lee White.  Directed by John Augustine. Part stand-up comedy confessional, part examination of the cultural taboo of mental illness, Panther Hollow details storyteller and monologuist David Lee White’s struggle with love, sex, and clinical depression while he was 25 and living in a one-hundred- year-old house under a bridge in the eerie Panther Hollow neighborhood in Pittsburgh.



Once in...Never Out! - December 16  |  Written and Performed by June Ballinger. Directed by Janice L. Goldberg. An 80-year-old British former codebreaker at Bletchley Park looks back on her life and all the secrets about her work and identity that she has held onto for 50 years. Will she ever be truly known by her children? How will she be remembered? Was her contribution worth the sacrifices? Written and performed by June Ballinger, this piece is inspired by her own mother’s work at Bletchley Park during WWII. The story was created through memories, letters, and a diary discovered after her mother’s death in 2013.





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 Trent Armand Kendall’s Reluctant Holiday Jam! featuring Brass ILLUSION - December 17  |  Written by Trent Armand Kendall. They’re snowed in and the band is “SCOOGE’D”! Ripping through the hits of Louis Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Sam & Dave, Ella Fitzgerald, Donny Hathaway, Johnny Mathis, Prince, Annie Ross, Blood Sweat & Tears, Manhattan Transfer, Luther Vandross, Lee Ann Womack, Maroon 5 ... and more contemporary favorites!

Trent Armand Kendall - Book & Vocals; Martin Askinazi - Arrangements & Bass; Louie DiNatale - Piano; Stu Seiderman - Saxophone; Paul Somer - Trombone; Frank Rizzo - Drums



All performances take place at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ






Pegasus Theatre Company presents "Human Error"
(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- Pegasus Theatre Company presents Human Error from September 21-30 at the West Windsor Arts Center. The play by Eric Pfeffinger asks: What does it take for people on opposite sides of the political spectrum to see past their differences and even become friends? According to Human Error, it takes a blundering fertility doctor and a case of mistaken identity, which force two couples to face an absurd situation together. 
East Lynne Theater's "Arsenic and Old Lace" Is Breaking Records
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning East Lynne Theater Company has seen many successes since its founding in 1980, but none like "Arsenic and Old Lace."  Although first produced on Broadway in 1941 by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, Joseph Kesselring’s comedy is still the most produced play in this country today. Yes - It' just that good!
Old Library Theatre Presents "Bat Boy"
(FAIR LAWN, NJ) -- Old Library Theatre, Fair Lawn Recreation Department's resident theater company and NJACT's 2017 Community Theater of the Year, presents "Bat Boy" from September 14-16.  When a half boy/half bat creature is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia, the local sheriff brings himto the home of the town veterinarian. Though he’s eventually accepted as a member of the family, when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded townspeople, they turn on him.
Premiere Stages To Present Brick City
(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages at Kean University will present Nicole Pandolfo’s Brick City from September 6-23 in Kean University’s Bauer Boucher Theatre Center in Union, NJ.  In the play, worlds collide in Ms. Pandolfo’s topical and compelling new play when Jessie, a combative high school senior with a disability, and Darnell, the star player of the high school basketball team, find themselves together in extended study hall during the most important marking period of their lives.  As Darnell inches dangerously close to throwing away a lucrative college scholarship and Jessie a potential career as an artist, both discover things aren't always as simple as they may seem.
Candace O’Donnell To Perform "Sarah Bernhardt-La Divine" To Benefit Cape May Stage
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Candace O’Donnell will be performing her latest work “Sarah Bernhardt-La Divine” as a benefit for Cape May Stage on August 27th at 8:00pm. In the play, written & performed by O’Donnell, Sarah Bernhardt survived the siege of Paris, an amputation, vicious anti-Semitism, and many tempestuous love affairs to become the toast of Europe and indeed the world.


REVIEW: "Fern Hill" at NJ Rep
(LONG BRANCH, NJ) — The latest World Premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company is Fern Hill by Michael Tucker.  Wonderfully directed by Nadia Tass, the play features an all-star cast and a story about three couples in the latter half of their lives who come up with a rather intriguing way to avoid a retirement home.
Deconstructing The Myths Of Bruce Springsteen
When Bruce Springsteen was about to release his debut album, the record company wanted him to say he was from New York City, but he refused.  It’s somewhat ironic that over 40 years later, he has turned a legendary Broadway theatre into his home five nights a week with Springsteen on Broadway - a show that has performed in front of over 150,000 people and grossed more than $75 million since making its debut on October 12, 2017 after several preview performances. 
15 World Premiere Plays
New Jersey may be a short ride to Broadway, but its home to great theatre as well.  In addition to wonderful revivals and productions of recent Broadway and Off-Broadway hits, the state offers audiences the first chance to see many plays each year.  The 2018-19 season lineups for many theatres have been announced and here are 15 World Premieres taking place in New Jersey that caught our eye.
REVIEW: "Linger" at Premiere Stages at Kean
(UNION, NJ) — Craig Garcia’s new play, Linger, gives new meaning to the term “nuclear family” and offers a powerful story, terrific performances, and fine direction by John J. Wooten.  Sadly, it has also changed the way I'll remember my favorite song by The Beach Boys.  I will never hear it without thinking of this play.
Difficult Questions "Linger" at Premiere Stages
There are two key questions at the heart of Craig Garcia’s play “Linger”: How well do parents actually know their children? And what things — even terrible things — are they capable of?






Event calendar
Monday, Aug 20, 2018


MUSIC

Asbury Park Industry Ball 2018 @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

FINDING FEEBAS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Alex Laurenzi Quartet @ 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, Ewing - 8:00pm


FILM

Eighth Grade @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 7:00pm

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