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Thinkery & Verse Presents Shakespeare's
"Much Ado About Nothing"

originally published: 06/11/2018

Thinkery & Verse Presents Shakespeare(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Thinkery & Verse presents William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing from June 14 through July 7th at Assembly Hall at St John the Evangelist in New Brunswick. In the play, Benedict and Beatrice, Shakespeare’s whip-smart and quarrelsome lovers, must choose sides when their friends against each other over a young woman’s perceived infidelity. They are presenting this classic play with a modern edge in a historic building. Following this run, the play will then tour throughout the tri-state region.

The production will be directed by J. M. Meyer with a tight-knit cast of just three other actors, all of whom just graduated from the acting conservatory at Rutgers Mason Gross: Hannah Hale (Benedict / Verges / Conrade / Margaret), Regan Sims (Beatrice / Dogberry / Balthasar / Antonio/Friar), and Karen Alvarado (Claudio / Hero / Don John / Sexton). Ashley Basile (BFA Rutgers '18) created the props, posters, and set design for the performance, reprising the same position she held for Thinkery & Verse's workshop production of Bride of the Gulf in February and March. 

According to Karen Alvarado, "We have it in our power to make the art we want to make right here, right now--we don't need to wait on New York. We also have the opportunity to embrace a truly theatrical style. We're not pursuing perfection, we're pursuing an art that feels dynamic, more immediate, more alive, more passionate." 

"It's a gloriously rough and tumble Much Ado," Meyer adds. "I've never had this much fun in the rehearsal room. With only four actors, the collaboration is quite tight, earnest, and honest. It helps that Regan Sims and Hannah Hale came straight out of Mason Gross. Their training lends them a professional focus and confidence that let's us focus solely on the work."  

Throughout the process, the four artists have been accompanied by the steady coming and goings of the congregation at St. John the Evangelists, local artists invited to "crash" the rehearsals, and Karen and John's eight month-old baby, Matthew "Mateo" Marlowe. 



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"Mateo sets the energy level in the room," Alvarado says. "He lets us know when we need a break, when we need a snack, or when the play gets a little too scary. He can sit up, but he can't crawl yet: he's the very definition of a focused (if captive) audience member." 

The four person casts induces some zaniness. At one point, the whole cast turns into a pack of dogs to chase down the villains of the play. During a climactic wedding scene, the actors change characters with a breathless pace, but aim for drama, not just slapstick. 

Tickets are available online.  St John the Evangelist is located at 189 George Street in New Brunswick, New Jersey.





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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