New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Tune into Radio Jersey with Lee Mrowicki every Monday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Broadcast on Asbury Music!

Mike Binder

By Gary Wien


The Search for John Gissing. The new DVD by Mike Binder (Reign Over Me, The Upside of Anger) made the film festival rounds six years ago, but never wound up with a distribution deal even though the film featured a stellar cast including Alan Rickman, Janeane Garafalo, Juliet Stevenson, Frank Harper, and Mike Binder. This despite the fact that the film is extremely funny and is probably funnier than about 75% of the films released in the last decade.

The Search for John Gissing is an comedy that Mike wrote, directed, self-financed, and currently is being distributed independently on his website www.thefreebird.com

Set in London, the film follows Matthew Barnes (Binder) and his wife (Garafalo) as his job transfers him to London during a corporate change in management. Meanwhile John Gissing (Rickman) - the very person who was supposed to help Barnes - is trying to ruin him in order to save his own job. As they begin to realize what Gissing is up to, they decide to strike back as well and the result is a hilarious look at the dog eat dog world of the corporate world.

The DVD includes commentary from Mike Binder and his editor Roger Nygard. What makes this commentary so interesting is that it was basically the first time the two had watched the film in many years so some of the scenes brought back memories leading to stories and others were scenes they hardly even remembered.

The cast of The Search For John Gissing is tremendous. Many are very well known actors in British films and on the British stage. Even though the chemistry was great for this film, Binder plans to reshoot the film under the name The Multi-National. The cast would largely change, but he says he would like to bring Alan Rickman back for the John Gissing role. The main reason for redoing the film would be to be able to tell the story with a larger budget and be able to distribute it in theaters.

"I think with the original distribution, it was just the wrong time for it," said Mike Binder. "I think that if it had come out a couple of years later it could have worked. It came out during a time when the only independent movies were either really arty or really violent. There weren't comedies down the middle like Waitress or Little Miss Sunshine.

"It got great reviews at festivals - we had plenty of pages of reviews to show distributors. I just think that they thought it was a real tweener. It wasn't an art-house movie and it wasn't a big studio movie. I think I learned that you kind of have to be in one camp or another."

Binder shot the film on a budget of less than three million dollars. The entire thing (with the exception of a few quick shots at the airport) was shot in and around one building. Mike's brother Jack found the building while scouting around London.

"I don't think we could have pulled that movie off without finding that," he added.

The set designers did an incredible job utilizing that one building to its fullest. It was used for everything from corporate offices to a bank to a four star hotel. In each case, you would never have guessed it was the same building. It will be interesting to see what they can accomplish with a much larger budget.

"Sometimes movies just have their own life," said Binder. "I'm a guy that really feels that things happen the way they're supposed to happen. I had a great time making this movie and I'm really proud of it. I just want to do it again, only better. So, I'm kind of glad it hasn't been out too much."

You can order The Search For John Gissing online at www.thefreebird.com. The film is highly reccomended for fans of British comedies or plays by Neil Simon.



For more by this author, click here






NJPAC Presents Maria Bamford
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents stand-up Comedian Maria Bamford on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 8:00pm. The stand-up sensation starred in the semi-autobiographical Netflix comedy series Lady Dynamite, lauded as “revelatory” by Entertainment Weekly and one of 2016’s must-see shows by Variety and Rolling Stone.
Newton Theatre Presents Big Apple Comedy Club On January 18th
(NEWTON, NJ) -- The Big Apple Comedy Club returns with four of New York City's freshest comedians for a show on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 8:00pm. The lineup includes Matthew Broussard, Chris Coccia, Drew Fraser, and Mike Speirs.  Don’t miss the chance to see these hilarious, high energy comics in action! Tickets start at just $19.
Patton Oswalt To Perform At Beacon Theatre
(NEW YORK, NY) --  Patton Oswalt will take the Beacon Theatre stage on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 7:30pm. A comedian, actor and writer, Patton Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows, Oswalt continues to choose work that inspires him and entertains audiences.
Craig Ferguson To Bring His Hobo Fabulous Tour To Mayo Performing Arts Center
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Craig Ferguson's Hobo Fabulous Tour comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:30pm. The show, which will be 100% new material, will never be recorded for any form of broadcast or streaming outlet given Mr. Ferguson's new (ironically) Luddite mistrust of digital technology. Tickets range from $49-$79.
NJPAC Presents Candice Guardino: Italian Bred
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Presents Candice Guardino: Italian Bred on Saturday January 26 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Created, written by and starring Candice Guardino, Italian Bred is based on true-life events seen through the eyes of a little girl.


A Look At 2 Guys From Jersey
In issue 50, New Jersey Stage gave readers the opportunity to learn more about the writers who contribute to the magazine and the daily site. We’d like to give you the opportunity to learn more about the two shows that are featured in our magazine each month.  One is a podcast called 2 Guys From Jersey that runs a new episode every Wednesday. It involves Dr. D, Rocky, and Erin (a recent addition to the team) trying to settle trivial bar arguments that have plagued mankind for centuries.
"Legal Immigrant" Alan Cumming Brings His Cabaret To State Theatre New Jersey
It was the fall of 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected president. And Scottish-born actor Alan Cumming was sworn in as a citizen of the United States.
“Hysterical!” Gallagher LIVE! at The Strand Lakewood
Gallagher is joking with patrons in the lobby of Lakewood, NJ’s historic Strand Theater this Thursday, May 24, 2018 evening. In his audacious style, he’s grabbing cameras out of the hands of patrons who want to take great selfies with him, while also taking the time to sign T-shirts for stand-up comedy fans waiting for him at the merch table.
So You Want To Be A Comedian?
“I feel I have the kind of life where people think I’m making things up all of the time, but weirdness is kind of attracted to me,” said Jess Alaimo, a comedian from Monmouth County.  “So, I just go with whatever happens to me.”
The United States of Russia
Rutgers alum, Ben Rosenfeld released his third comedy album in January.  Entitled, The United States of Russia, the album was released by Comedy Dynamics and continues the Russia born, American raised comedian’s style of mixing tales of his immigrant parents and outsider childhood with topics ranging from millennials, terrorism, politics, and adjusting to life as a newlywed.  We caught up with Ben to talk about the album.






Event calendar
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018


MUSIC

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

HERMAN'S HERMITS STARRING PETER NOONE & THE BUCKINGHAMS @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Nelson Riveros Trio: “The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery” @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Hawaiian Music and Hula @ 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, Ewing - 8:00pm

Pop 2000 Tour @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

THE MACHINE PERFORMS PINK FLOYD @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 8:00pm

THE FAB FAUX A HARD DAY'S NIGHT AND REVOLVER IN THEIR ENTIRETIES @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Swamp Boogie Trio @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Annie @ Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington - 8:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Annie @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 8:00pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Billy Bishop Goes to War @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm

Kiss Me Kate @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Phoenix Productions Presents: The Hunchback of Notre Dame @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Enchanted April @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 8:00pm

Heathers, The Musical High School Edition @ Pebble Players, Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

Into the Woods @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm

The Drowsy Chaperone @ Lauren K. Woods Theatre at Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm


DANCE

BALLET FOLKLORICO DE MEXICO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


KIDS

ROALD DAHL’S WILLY WONKA JR. @ Ridgewood Ave School Theater, Glen Ridge - 1:00pm and 7:00pm

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2018 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.