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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






The Shakespeare Theatre Presents "The Winter's Tale"
(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 from December 5 to December 30. 
American Theater Group Announces Full Cast & Creative For "Tell Them I'm Still Young"
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- American Theater Group has announced the full cast and creative team for its World Premiere production of Tell Them I’m Still Young, a new play by Julia Doolittle, which will run at the South Orange Performing Arts Center from January 24 - February 3, 2019. Joining the previously announced Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Streets, Men of a Certain Age, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) andMichele Pawk (Hollywood Arms, Hairspray, Mamma Mia) are Janice Amaya (Seen/Unseen) and Seth Clayton (The Madrid).
Holmdel Theatre Company Presents 'ART'
(HOLMDEL, NJ) – The Holmdel Theatre Company (HTC) will present 6 performances of Yasmina Reza’s ‘ART’  from December 7th through December 16th. Translated from French by Christopher Hampton, the play tells the story of what happens when Serge buys an expensive painting, and the reactions of his two closest friends, Marc and Yvan, to his purchase. As what begins as a discussion about the quality of the painting that Serge has purchased quickly devolves into petty jabs and personal attacks, the three men border on destroying their friendships.
Pebble Players Presents "Heathers, the Musical: High School Edition"
(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Celebrating their 10th season, Pebble Players has been entertaining Summit residents and audiences from surrounding towns with sophisticated Off-Broadway quality performances. The 2018 Season opens with "Heathers The Musical: High School Edition," directed by Jayne Myers and choreographed by Jaimie Woodruff.  Performances are Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 18 at 2:00pm. 
NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies from Thursday, March 21, 2019 - Saturday, March 23, 2019. The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields (The Wiz). Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington, re-creates the original show’s elegant dancing and tapping as choreographer.


Broadway’s Next H!T Musical LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s Friday, October 26, 2018, and the Broadway’s Next H!T Musical cast is just about ready to take the stage at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ.
The Last Apple Pie: "Apples In Winter" Opens At Centenary Stage
Jennifer Fawcett’s new play centers around a mother in a kitchen, doing something countless people across America will take part in over the upcoming holiday season: making an apple pie.
See Andrea McArdle LIVE! in Annie at Deal Park’s Axelrod PAC!
Leapin’ Lizards! Annie’s finally made it to the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park, NJ, and it stars Broadway’s original Annie, Andrea McArdle, as Miss Hannigan!
"It's a Blast!" Go See Rock of Ages 10th Anniversary Tour NOW! at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino!
The five-time Tony award-nominated Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, returns to the stage with a 10th Anniversary Tour at Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino! Performed in the venue’s ultra-modern Sound Waves theater, Rock of Ages runs from now until November 4, 2018.
There's One In Every Family: "Charley's Aunt" at The Shakespeare Theatre
On stage now through November 18 at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, “Charley’s Aunt” is described as “part Oscar Wilde, part ‘Fawlty Towers,’ with a dash of South American spice!” This side-splitting British farce from 1892 has drag, mistaken identity, romance and plenty of physical comedy. Join Jesse and Dave at rehearsals in Florham Park to hear from the cast and director what makes this such a hilarious and enduring show.






Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


MUSIC

New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


THEATRE

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm







DANCE

PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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