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Theatre Preview: January 2018

originally published: 12/26/2017

Theatre Preview: January 2018

Each month, New Jersey Stage Magazine presents a special advertising section promoting shows around the Garden State.

The Calling @ New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch
Warm up your winter with a heart-pounding, mind-bending psychological thriller, peppered with comic relief and served up by award-winning playwright, Joel Stone. In an empty church following Mrs. Callahan’s funeral, a man of faith and a burned-out ICU nurse wage a battle of wits and deep convictions about life and death, conscience and faith, that culminates in a shocking resolution. Commissioned by NJPAC’s Stage Exchange in Association with NJTA and NJ Rep. Directed by Evan Bergman, this World Premiere includes Ames Adamson and Jared Michael Delaney. On stage from January 4  through February 4.

El CoquÍ Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom @ Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank
In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a masked figure has been spotted: the Puerto Rican superhero, El Coquí Espectacular. In reality, it is out-of-work comic book artist Alex, who has been secretly dressing up as his favorite creation. As Alex learns that fighting crime is harder than it looks, his older brother Joe wants Alex to join him at his advertising agency, selling sugary soda to Latino consumers. Can El Coquí defeat his own self-doubt and be a hero for his neighborhood? Written by Matt Barbot and directed by Jose Zayas, this World Premiere production is on stage from January 6 through February 4th.

A Good Farmer @ SOPAC, One Sopac Way, South Orange
A Good Farmer takes place in upstate New York and focuses on two women: Bonnie who owns a farm with her husband; and Carla, a recent immigrant from Mexico who works the farm along with members of her family. Ripped from today’s headlines, this is the story of a farming community and its struggles with issues of immigration, loyalty, family, survival and compassion. Sharyn Rothstein has artfully managed to reveal the humanity behind some of today’s contentious political issues. This World Premiere play is presented from January 24 through February 4th.

Harvey @ Algonquin Arts, 173 Main Street, Manasquan
To avoid future embarrassment for her family - and especially for her daughter, Myrtle Mae - Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. At the sanitarium, a frantic Veta explains to the staff that her years of living with Elwood’s hallucination have caused her to see Harvey also, and so the doctors mistakenly commit her instead of her mild-mannered brother. The truth comes out, however; Veta is freed, and the search is on for Elwood, who eventually arrives at the sanitarium of his own volition, looking for Harvey.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy is presented from January 27 through February 3.



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American Hero @ George Street Playhouse, 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick
An Iraq war hero’s perfect life starts to unravel when a fellow soldier seeking justice shows up threatening to expose a hidden past. From Christopher Demos-Brown, the author of last season’s American Son, this probing drama shines a light on how America honors its veteran soldiers as well as the corrupting effect of awards and commendations, and questions what it truly means to be a hero. American Hero is directed by David Saint and presented at George Street Playhouse’s temporary home from January 30th through February 25th.






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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