(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- George Street Playhouse is current presently the new musical A Walk on the Moon, now through May 21st at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick. Welcome to the iconic summer of 1969, when men walked on the moon, the Vietnam War raged on, Woodstock was going to change the world, and in upstate New York, one woman took a giant leap of her own. It's based on the award-winning movie by Pamela Gray.
Every year, Pearl Kantrowitz packs up her family for another summer in the Catskills with the same friends, same mah-jongg games, and the same Blouse Man. But this summer is different. A free-spirited salesman sweeps through the Jewish bungalow colony and awakens Pearl to a version of herself she'd forgotten. While contending with a rebellious teenage daughter, a mother-in-law who knows too much, and a loving husband who is content with the status quo, Pearl must decide if she's willing to break free from her predictable world to embrace the unknown.
In the new musical A Walk on the Moon, one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same. "After a two-year hiatus, during which so many of us embarked on our own journeys to rediscover what matters most to us, how thrilling to follow Pearl on her journey of exploration in the exciting summer of '69! Sheryl Kaller and her wildly talented team of writers, designers and actors bring us this largest, most dazzling production in the history of George Street Playhouse with the help of producers Ruth and Steve Hendel," said David Saint, Artistic Director.
A Walk on the Moon stars Wicked alums Jackie Burns (Broadway's longest running Elphaba) and Jonah Platt (NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar) as Pearl and Marty Kantrowitz and John Arthur Greene (Tootsie) as the Blouse Man Walker Jerome. They're joined by Jill Abromovitz (Beetlejuice), Carly Gendell (School of Rock), Cody Braverman (film: The Harbinger), Maya Jacobson (Off-Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), Wesley Zurick (Off-Broadway: On the Shore of the Wide World), Blair Goldberg (Kinky Boots), Jonathon Timpanelli (School of Rock), David R. Gordon (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Megan Kane (Emojiland), Stephanie Lynne Mason (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), and Dan Rosales (Spamilton).
Book Writer Pamela Gray, who has adapted her award-winning film for the stage, says, "This story began as a love letter to the working-class Jewish bungalow colonies of my childhood. The Summer of '69, when I saw men walk on the moon and hippies walk past the mah jongg games on their way to Woodstock, was the perfect setting for a mother-daughter coming-of-age story that still resonates today." Gray also spoke with New Jersey Stage in a feature that can be read here.
A Walk on the Moon received its world premiere in 2018 at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, where critics praised "A Walk on the Moon comes alive when it embraces the heady, hopeful spirit of 1969…Pearl desperately wants to be part of something beyond herself and the new world of 1969 will do." (San Francisco Chronicle) and described it as "a gem of a musical" (The Daily Mail).
The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center is located at 11 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Tickets for A Walk on the Moon are available for purchase online. The theatre's current COVID policies can be found here.
The production has also launched a previously announced barrier-breaking partnership with The Workshop offering a unique fellowship program for early career BIPOC-identifying theatre professionals. Working with The Workshop founder, Kendall Pinkney, three fellows will directly support A Walk on the Moon working in the areas of sound, playwriting and directing/choreography.
A Walk on the Moon Design and Production team features: Scenic Design by Marina Draghici, Costume Design by Linda Cho, Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel, Sound Design by Leon Rothenberg, Projection Design and Scenic Consultant by Tal Yarden, Associate Director Drewe Goldstein, Musical Director Greg Kenna, Assistant Choreographer Logan Epstein, and Production Stage Manager Samantha Flint.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1997, and Kelly Ryman -- Managing Director since 2013, the Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. As New Brunswick's first producing theatre, George Street Playhouse became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the City's arts and cultural landscape. With its 47-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.
Beginning with the 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick. Featuring two state-of-the-art theatres -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.
Founded by Eric Krebs, George Street Playhouse, originally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick. In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum at Rutgers University during construction of its new home.
The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin' the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013. American Son, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasqual, and appeared on Netflix in 2019. Other productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger. In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Others include the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at the Playhouse during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.
George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.
PHOTOS BY T. CHARLES ERICKSON