What The Butler Saw @ Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison. First performed in 1969, two years after Orton’s murder at the age of 34, this scathing farce shocked audiences when it was first produced. Now, almost 50 years later, what were racy subjects are far less so, and we are able to both laugh more and see better the acid bullets that Orton fires in a startling pace from beginning to end. This hilarious comedy unveils the fragile state of truth in the hands of those in power, and the power of truth despite our easy ability to twist it. For more on the play, click here. Presented September 6 through October 1.
The Learned Ladies @ Centenary Stage Company, 400 Jefferson Street, Hackettstown. Centenary Stage kicks off the season with The Learned Ladies by Moliere, adapted by Freyda Thomas. Philamente and her daughter Armande are rabid supporters of the new intellectual movement among women. In her overzealous zeal, Philamente plays marriage matchmaker for her sweet younger daughter Henrietta. Add to this a meek husband, a loony if lovable sister, a practical brother-in-law and a couple of mouthy servants and you have the makings of a sprightly evening of theater! On stage October 6-22.
Guys and Dolls @ Algonquin Arts, 60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan. Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler, Nathan Detroit, tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for fourteen years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result. On stage from October 7 through October 22.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change @ George Street Playhouse, 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick. Playhouse favorite Joe DiPietro returns with a fresh, new, contemporary look at his record-breaking off-Broadway musical. The world of dating has evolved, and this newly revisited musical will tackle modern love in all its forms. From the first date, to marriage, children and the twilight years, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change follows the arc of relationships in insightful and hilarious ways. This production begins George Street’s temporary home at 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ. The productions runs October 10—November 12.
Shakespeare In Love @ Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison. This exuberant theatrical “love letter” is based on the award-winning film of the same name and it’s no less a joy than the original screen version. Filled with music, a huge cast of colorful characters, the play captures the Bard as he struggles with writer’s block and a forbidden romance with the woman who becomes the muse who inspires some of his greatest work. An epic Elizabethan extravaganza, it is rousing, funny, and a beautiful homage to love, art, and Shakespeare himself. On stage from October 11 to November 12.