New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? Nearly 100,000 listings were viewed in January. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

By Spotlight Central

originally published: 07/24/2017

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

It’s a beautiful summer night in Ocean Grove, NJ. As we stroll the boardwalk, folks are leaving the beach after a day of fun in the sun, whereas others are just arriving to enjoy the cool evening breeze.

The sky slowly changes colors as the sun begins to set.

Music lovers congregate at the pavilion on the boardwalk to enjoy live music with a religious theme.

Others canvas the beach collecting shells.

Youngsters can be seen happily chasing three-foot-long bubbles on the beach as Roxanne, “The Bubble Lady,” creates enormous amorphously-shaped bubbles using two poles connected with a web of string by dipping them into a bucket of magic solution.



The article continues after this ad

 


But inside Ocean Grove’s historic Great Auditorium, there is a different kind of magic going on as comedian Taylor Mason performs for a crowd of all ages.

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

A winner of TV’s Star Search with Ed MacMahon — the predecessor to today’s America’s Got Talent — Mason is a ventriloquist, musician, and stand-up comedian who has carved out a career in entertainment that has taken him around the world and into living rooms across the United States for the past 25 years.

An award-winning performer, Mason grew up in Illinois where his experience with Chicago’s Second City theater company developed into a career performing on television, on Disney cruise ships, in comedy clubs across the nation, and even at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Unlike many comedians of his generation, Mason’s act is 100% G-rated. As such, in his show, more than anything else, he “concentrates on jokes and punch lines.”

Currently a resident of Moorestown, NJ, Mason still works all over the country, but says he especially enjoys performing in comedy clubs and at college campuses around the Garden State.

And here at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, it’s obvious Mason is having a ball as he tells jokes, “converses” with puppets, and sings, accompanied by his own piano playing.

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

An accomplished ventriloquist, Mason’s act includes hilarious antics with a variety of appealing puppets, notably the cynical adolescent, Romeo.

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

Whether he is singing, telling jokes and stories, or working with kids and adults whom he invites to handle his menagerie of puppets on stage, Mason’s quick wit keeps the show constantly moving and keeps his audience in stitches.

Explaining to the crowd that his act is extremely “low-tech,” Mason reveals that he builds his puppets using everyday items like Clorox bottles, wire clothes hangers, and pipe cleaners.

He brings these inanimate items to life with his hands, his vocal talents, and his imagination so realistically that it’s easy for audience members to forget that these really personable characters aren’t really real.

Throughout Mason’s show, audience participation is key.

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

At one point, Mason performs with multiple audience members who help him to create a memorable puppet musical rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

After giving a penguin puppet to Amy, a mom from Mountain Lakes; a pig puppet to Moshi, a six-year-old girl; and his Romeo puppet to 15-year-old AJ from Brick, Mason stops the show to ask for one more volunteer.

When the children of a father named Matt in the audience volunteer their dad for the job, instead of handing Matt another puppet, Mason places a mask-like contraption over Matt’s mouth which is connected to a controller that will be worked for laughs by Mason.

With his human and puppet entourage now in place, Mason begins an entertaining rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” as each puppet — one at a time — talks and performs lines from the song.

As the “guest puppeteers” — Amy, Moshi, and AJ — respectively move their puppets’ mouths, Mason does all of the voice work, seamlessly aligning his words to each puppet’s mouth movements. Mason’s spot-on use of timing — and pitch — elicits giggles and guffaws from the crowd!

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

Moreover, father Matt takes things one step further, moving around like a cartoon character and chatting like a human puppet with Mason controlling his prosthetic mouth so effortlessly that more than a few members of the audience can be heard exclaiming, “He must be a plant!”

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

Following the show, we take a moment to chat with Matt, who assures us that neither he — nor any of the other audience members who appeared on stage with Mason tonight — “received any coaching whatsoever before the show!”

Matt’s son, Anton, tells us that when Mason asked for a volunteer dad to come up on stage, he pointed to his father because he knew his dad had been a “theater geek” in school and would “play along for fun.”

Says Anton about seeing Mason on stage working so effortlessly in tandem with his father, ”I really enjoyed it — it’s not every day you get to see something like that!”

Anton’s sister, Kaela, reveals she was “kind of embarrassed” when Mason chose her dad to come up on stage, yet quickly notes with a smile, “but he did pretty good!”

In addition to Anton and Kaela, other audience members talk about how much they enjoyed Mason’s show as well.

Amber from Brick calls Mason, “Hilarious!” wondering, “How could you not laugh?”

Amber discloses she first saw Mason perform at a prior New Jersey engagement, acknowledging, “I wanted to see a show the whole family could enjoy.”

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

As a result of that experience, she brought her son, AJ, with her to tonight’s performance in Ocean Grove.

Revealing, “The last time I saw Taylor Mason, I was invited on stage, so I was thrilled when AJ was picked to go up there this time.”

AJ, who got to control Taylor’s Romeo puppet during the hilarious performance of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” says of his experience with Mason, “It was really fun!”

Also adding, “I was laughing a lot, too, when I was in the audience,” AJ speaks for many in the crowd who had a wonderful time laughing out loud to a wholesome family performance that folks of every generation can enjoy.

Near the end of his show, Mason, himself, has a heartfelt chat with his audience of kids and adults of all ages about dreams and how people can make them come true.

Explains Mason, “Dreams can come true — when you help others achieve their dreams.”

Acknowledging to the folks in the Great Auditorium tonight, “God works with people. We’re working together! Tonight, people put on a show for me!” Mason concludes by summing up with a wink and a smile, “We came in as strangers and now we’re good friends.”

“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium

To learn more about Taylor Mason, please go to taylormason.com. For further information on upcoming performances at the Great Auditorium — including Neil Sedaka on August 12 and The Beach Boys on August 19— please click on www.oceangrove.org.


Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power



For more by this author, click here






truTV’s Impractical Jokers Are Headed To The Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Critically acclaimed, world renowned comedy troupe, and stars of TruTV’s hit series Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins have announced a brand-new world tour titled “The Cranjis McBasketball World Tour – Starring The Tenderloins.”  On the heels of the group’s hugely successful “Santiago Sent Us” tour, “The Cranjis McBasketball World Tour” will feature completely new material and hi-jinx for audiences across the globe. This comedy filled event will make a stop at Prudential Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 7:00pm.
Mayo Presents Wayne Brady On August 25
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Multitalented comedian, actor and singer Wayne Brady returns to MPAC for an evening of comedy on Saturday, August 25 at 8:00pm. Five-time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Wayne Brady is a true show-biz renaissance man. Tickets range from $49-$79. 
The Big Apple Comedy Club Returns To The Newton Theatre On September 21
(NEWTON, NJ) -- The Big Apple Club returns to The Newton Theatre with four of New York City's hottest comedians for a show on Friday, September 21 at 8:00pm.  The lineup includes Phil Hanley, Rodney Laney, Kerri Louise, and Matt Ruby. Tickets start at $19.
NJPAC Presents Tom Papa
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents a hysterical stand-up with New Jersey’s own Tom Papa, currently the head writer and a regular performer on Live from Here, on February 23rd, 2019. 
Wellmont Theater Presents Tom Arnold
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- The Wellmont Theater presents Tom Arnold on Saturday, September 22nd at 8:00pm. The comedian recently shot an episode of NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and was in a pair of independent features - BIGGER and SAVING FLORA. His special, TOM ARNOLD: PAST & PRESENT IMPERFECTLY for Comedy Dynamics is up next, along with his own political series for Viceland.


“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.
“We Came in as Strangers, but Now We’re Good Friends” Taylor Mason LIVE! at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium
It’s a beautiful summer night in Ocean Grove, NJ. As we stroll the boardwalk, folks are leaving the beach after a day of fun in the sun, whereas others are just arriving to enjoy the cool evening breeze.
Bad Hombres Comedy
Bad Hombres Comedy is a comedy group created by Brian Nichols, Paul Salazar Jr. and Bernardo Cubría.  The trio all studied together at the University of Houston and have kept in touch ever since.  Together, they create a weekly podcast and a video web series that satirizes the world we now live in thanks to Donald Trump.






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

View all events










 






















For more on our awards, click here








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.