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This Week in Theatre: Previews for Plays Taking Place November 28 to December 4, 2023

originally published: 11/28/2023

This Week in Theatre: Previews for Plays Taking Place November 28 to December 4, 2023

Here are previews of plays taking place from November 28 to December 4, 2023 including a look at productions currently being presented and those coming soon. New Jersey Stage covers Equity, community, college, and high school theatre. Check back every week for the weekly theatre preview. Click on the title to go to the full preview. Jump to Featured EventsEvent PreviewsEvent ListingsComing Soon.

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FEATURED EVENTS

Avenel Performing Arts Center presents "ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center"  (AVENEL, NJ) -- Avenel Performing Arts Center presents ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center from November 30 through December 2, 2023. In this production, Mrs. Claus has opened the annual Elf-Help Meeting at Santa’s Workshop, surrounded by some of the finest elves: Pixie (President of the Elf Appreciation Society); Ramon, (a bossy head elf); and Moshe (dedicated to putting a little Manischewitz in the Christmas punch).

George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say"  (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- George Street Playhouse presents Having Our Say, the Tony Award-nominated play by Emily Mann (A Streetcar Named Desire, Anna and the Tropics). Having Our Say is adapted from the book by Sarah (Sadie) L. Delany & A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany with Amy Hill Hearth and is directed by Laiona Michelle (Her Portmanteau). The production begins previews Tuesday, November 28, 2023, with opening night set for Friday, December 1 for a limited run through Sunday, December 17, 2023.



 
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The Growing Stage presents "Ella Enchanted"  (NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage: The Children's Theatre of New Jersey will present a holiday production of Ella Enchanted from December 1-17, 2023 on Saturdays and Sundays with a special opening night performance on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 7:30pm. Written by Karen Zacarias with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, Ella Enchanted is adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine and introduces us to Ella of Frell, who is given the "gift" of obedience by Lucinda, her misguided Fairy Godmother.

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"  (MANASQUAN, NJ) -- Algonquin Arts Theatre presents its holiday show, Elf: The Musical from December 2 through December 17, 2023. Based on the 2003 film, Elf: The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf.

Moorestown Theater Company spreads holiday cheer with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jr."  As December approaches, theaters across the country scramble to get their holiday programming together and ready for audiences. From classics like "The Nutcracker" and "A Christmas Carol," to orchestral and choral performances, there's an event out there for anyone looking to spread some holiday cheer. This holiday season, the Moorestown Theater Company (MTC) in Burlington County will present "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jr." and the acclaimed youth theater organization will do it all with a cast of elementary and middle school students — as well as a few ninth graders.

EVENT PREVIEWS

Lantern Theater Company presents "Crumbs from the Table of Joy"  (PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Lantern Theater Company continues its 30th anniversary season with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage's dramatic gem, Crumbs from the Table of Joy. Director Bianca LaVerne Jones makes her Lantern Theater Company debut, leading a cast of Philadelphia theater artists that includes Monet Debose, Walter DeShields, Morgan Charéce Hall, Hillary Parker, and Brett Ashley Robinson. The production runs Thursday, November 9 through Sunday, December 10, 2023, at St. Stephen’s Theater, the Lantern's resident venue.

Cape May Stage presents "A Tuna Christmas"  (CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Cape May Stage presents A Tuna Christmas from November 15 through December 30, 2023. Spend the holidays in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas! With twenty-two different characters, dozens of costume changes, and just two actors, this play is a fun-filled, satirical look inside the workings of a small town at Christmas.

Centenary Stage Company presents Disney's "The Little Mermaid"  (HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- This holiday season, Centenary Stage Company presents Disney's The Little Mermaid from November 24 – December 10, 2023 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center of the Centenary University campus at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown, NJ. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages.



 
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Lewis Center for the Arts presents When Pages Breathe, a series of events highlighting oral interpretation of literary works  (PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Lewis Center for the Arts' Program in Theater and Music Theater at Princeton University presents When Pages Breathe, a series of three events that highlight the oral interpretation of literary works. The series is conceived in collaboration with the Princeton University Library's current exhibition, In the Company of Good Books: Shakespeare to Morrison, and Lecturer in Theater Chesney Snow's fall course, "The Oral Interpretation of Toni and William."

Mile Square Theatre presents "The Christmas Tree Farm"  (HOBOKEN, NJ) -- Mile Square Theatre presents the World Premiere of The Christmas Tree Farm by Adam Szymkowicz from November 30 through December 23, 2023. This is a heartwarming, bittersweet comedy about love and joy. Get a glimpse of your neighbors in a collection of delicious, bite-sized scenes including a breakup, a breakdown, a meet cute, four Santas, high school sweethearts, a film director and a group of carolers - all taking place at a Christmas Tree Farm! The production is directed by Rachel Dart.

Vanguard Theater presents "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill"  (MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- To kick off their third Mainstage season in Montclair, Vanguard Theater Company (VTC) presents the Tony Award-winning musical play, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Vanguard Theater will be transformed into Emerson's, a seedy bar in South Philadelphia. Guests will be up close and personal, seated just a few short steps from the music and the history, to take in every word and note of this intimate portrait of the celebrated Lady Day. The production runs Thursdays through Sundays from November 30 through December 17, 2023.

Asbury Park Theater Company presents "Always... Patsy Cline" starring Sally Struthers and Carter Calvert  (OCEAN GROVE, NJ) -- Asbury Park Theater Company (APTCo) presents Ted Swindley's Always... Patsy Cline starring Emmy Award-winning actress Sally Struthers and Broadway's Carter Calvert for nine performances from December 1-10, 2023 at The Palaia Theater inside Jersey Shore Arts Center in the neighboring town of Ocean Grove.

West Hudson Arts & Theater Company presents "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"  The holiday production opens for six performances run starting December 1 at The Theater at WHATCo, 15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South, Harrison NJ.

Haddonfield Plays & Players presents "An American in Paris"  (HADDONFIELD, NJ) -- Haddonfield Plays & Players presents An American in Paris, a Tony-winning Broadway musical, from December 1-16, 2023. This is the romantic, dance-filled story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city... all set to the immortal score from George and Ira Gershwin. The production stars Monica Matteo in the role of Lise Bouvier, whose previous work at the theater includes Urinetown and Cabaret.

Hackensack Performing Arts Center presents "The Christmas Caper"  (HACKENSACK, NJ) -- Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC) presents The Christmas Caper from December 1-3 and December 8-9, 2023. Written and composed by MaryAnn DiMaria and Nick Picciallo, The Christmas Caper is a two-act ninety-minute seasonal fantasy saga of Santa's stolen sleigh.

Art House Productions to present reading of "Dearest Pawel" by Christian Mendonça  (JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Art House Productions presents a new play reading of Dearest Pawel written by Christian Mendonça on Friday, December 1, 2023. New Jersey playwright Christian Mendonça has been developing this play with dramaturg Emily Dzioba and Art House Productions for the past year. The play reading will feature professional actors and will be directed by Dev Bondarin. The reading is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Ritz Theatre Company presents World Premiere of "Hollystalk"  (HADDON TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- This Christmas, The Ritz Theatre Company presents the world premiere production of its second-ever original holiday panto, Hollystalk (Or, How a Giant of a Mistake Became the Best Christmas Surprise!), a fast-paced and fun-filled musical romp inspired by Great Britain's beloved theatrical tradition of holiday pantomime. The show runs at The Ritz from December 1-17, 2023.

First Avenue Playhouse presents "A Christmas Chaos"  (ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ) -- First Avenue Playhouse presents A Christmas Chaos by Michael Wehrli in December. When the Royal Shakespeare Company doesn’t show up to perform their  stirring rendition of a Christmas Carol it’s up to this intrepid band of hapless actors and technicians to put together their own production in less than seven hours.



 
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Bergen County Players presents "A Christmas Carol, The Musical"  (ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America's longest-running little theater companies, will ring in the holiday season with Broadway heavy-hitters Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens's musical adaptation of the timeless Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol. Hailed as "soaring, delightful musical theatre with a treasure house of beautiful, evocative music" (Talkin' Broadway), A Christmas Carol, The Musical tells the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge through a lavish and thrilling score. Music is by Alan Menken, lyrics is by Lynn Ahrens, and book is by Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent. Musical direction is by Steve Bell, with choreography by Elisabeth Julia. Direction is by Larry Landsman, director of BCP's last season hit Ragtime, The Musical. Performances run weekends from December 2-17, 2023.

Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center presents "Love Letters" as Fundraiser for duCret Center of Art  (PLAINFIELD, NJ) -- Five years ago, Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center, a nonprofit community theater, moved to Plainfield and found a home at duCret Center of Art. Dragonfly was founded in 2014 and had had many homes up to that point, but none were permanent. Since moving to duCret, Dragonfly has presented 21 productions and is now the theater in residence.

Hunterdon Choral Alliance presents "The Holiday Musicle That Goes Wrong"  (FLEMINGTON, NJ) -- Get ready to laugh, share holiday cheer, and enjoy the start of the holiday season as the Hunterdon Choral Alliance (HCA) proudly presents "The Holiday Musicle That Goes Wrong" - An Original Musical Comedy and Holiday Concert." This uproarious event is set to take place on December 2nd at 7:30pm & December 3rd at 3:00pm at Hunterdon Central (HC) Regional High School.

American Theater Group Presents Free Monday Night Play Readings Starting with "An American Tree" by Di Shawn J. Gandy  (RAHWAY, NJ) -- American Theater Group (ATG), a professional theater company in Central NJ, will launch a series of Monday night play readings beginning December 4th with An American Tree by Di Shawn J. Gandy. The performance will take place at the newly-reopened Hamilton Stage in Rahway, NJ at 7:00pm and is free, with donations gratefully accepted.

EVENT LISTINGS

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 @ 8:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 @ 7:00pm - OCVTS GPAA Winter 2023 Showcases at Grunin Center, 1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 @ 8:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Thursday, November 30, 2023 @ 6:00pm - ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center at Avenel Performing Arts Center, 150 Avenel Street, Avenel, NJ 07001

Thursday, November 30, 2023 @ 8:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Friday, December 1, 2023 @ 6:00pm - ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center at Avenel Performing Arts Center, 150 Avenel Street, Avenel, NJ 07001

Friday, December 1, 2023 @ 7:30pm - Ella Enchanted, the Musical at The Historic Palace Theatre, 7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong, NJ 07857

Friday, December 1, 2023 @ 8:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 1:00pm - A Christmas Carol at Grunin Center, 1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 2:00pm - Elf - The Musical at Algonquin Arts Theatre, 60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 2:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 4:00pm - Ella Enchanted, the Musical at The Historic Palace Theatre, 7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong, NJ 07857

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 6:00pm - ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center at Avenel Performing Arts Center, 150 Avenel Street, Avenel, NJ 07001

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 6:00pm - ChrisMYSTERY: Suspicion at the Elf-Help Center at Avenel Performing Arts Center, 150 Avenel Street, Avenel, NJ 07001

Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 8:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901



 
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Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 2:00pm - Ella Enchanted, the Musical at The Historic Palace Theatre, 7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong, NJ 07857

Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 2:00pm - George Street Playhouse presents "Having Our Say" at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 3:00pm - Elf - The Musical at Algonquin Arts Theatre, 60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736

Monday, December 4, 2023 @ 3:00pm - A Christmas Carol Performed By Gerald Charles Dickens at The Vogel, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701

Monday, December 4, 2023 @ 7:00pm - A Christmas Carol Performed By Gerald Charles Dickens at The Vogel, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701

COMING SOON

McCarter Theatre presents "A Christmas Carol" starring Joel McKinnon Miller  (PRINCETON, NJ) -- McCarter Theatre presents A Christmas Carol, starring veteran stage and screen actor Joel McKinnon Miller (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Love) as Scrooge. For more than four decades, McCarter has welcomed more than a million audience members from across Central New Jersey and beyond to experience Charles Dickens' timeless classic. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge on a fantastical journey through Christmases past, present, and future with this family friendly production that runs December 6-24, 2023 in the Matthews Theatre.

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents "A Midwinter Night's Dream"  (MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) will conclude their 61st season with a slightly altered version of Shakespeare's most popular comedy A Midwinter Night's Dream. "Re-seasoned" by Bonnie J. Monte and Joseph Discher, with direction by Brian B. Crowe, this production is rife with magical winter wonderment and fun for the whole family. This holiday season do not miss being transported into the dazzling and frosty world of Shakespeare's hilarious romantic comedy that is sure to warm the coldest hearts. This production will run December 6-31, 2023.

Black Box presents a Reading of Edward Albee's "The Play About The Baby"  (TEANECK, NJ) -- In association with The Estate of Edward Albee, the Black Box presents 2000's The Play About The Baby on December 6, 2023 as the next monthly staged reading in Edward Albee: From A To Zoo, An Exclusive Stage Reading Series of Edward Albee's Plays.

'Twas the Night Before...' by Cirque Du Soleil comes to Chicago and NY  (NEW YORK, NY) -- Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) announced that the acclaimed family holiday theatrical – 'Twas the Night Before... by Cirque du Soleil – is returning to both The Theater at Madison Square Garden and The Chicago Theatre this holiday season. The holiday themed show will run concurrently at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and The Chicago Theatre for 28 performances each from December 7 through December 28. Tickets for both engagements go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 10:00am local time.

Tony Award-winning Actor Bill Irwin to Perform "On Beckett" at Two River Theater  (RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater is proud to present Tony Award-winning actor and master clown Bill Irwin in his one-man show On Beckett, running December 7-10, 2023 on the Joan and Robert M. Rechnitz stage.

Studio Players presents "It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play"  (UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Studio Players presents It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play across two weekends (December 8-10 and December 15-17, 2023). Adapted by Liz Zazzi from the Lux Radio Theater archives, the production is directed by Sharon Garry.

CDC Theatre presents "The Wizard of Oz"  (CRANFORD, NJ) -- We're off to see the Wizard! This December, the beloved tale of a Kansas farm girl who travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, comes to CDC Theatre to enchant families during the holidays. CDC Theatre presents The Wizard of Oz across two weekends (December 8-10 and December 15-17, 2023).

Middlesex County's Plays-in-the-Park presents "Any Dream Will Do" – An Evening of Andrew Lloyd Webber  (EDISON, NJ) -- Middlesex County's Plays-in-the-Park will present an exciting new production this winter: Any Dream Will Do, a musical revue and tribute to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Performances take place Saturday, December 9th and Sunday, December 10th at the intimate, indoor stage at Plays-in-the-Park in Edison.

The MAC Players to Hold Auditions for "Jesus Christ Superstar"  (MIDDLETOWN, NJ) -- The MAC Players at the Middletown Arts Center will hold auditions for the production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Monday, December 11, 2023, from 5:00pm-10:00pm. The 1970 Broadway rock opera tells the story of the last week of Jesus' life through modern rock music and contemporary slang, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Ocean Casino Resort presents "My Big Gay Italian Christmas"  (ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Hold on to your cannoli's and get ready for a snowy ride! My Big Gay Italian Christmas by Anthony J. Wilkinson is coming to Ocean Casino Resort's Ovation Hall on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 8:00pm.


FEATURED EVENTS

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George Street Playhouse presents "The Club"

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 @ 8:00pm
New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC)
11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: theatre

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Cenicienta: A Bilingual Cinderella Story

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 @ 7:00pm
The Vogel
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: theatre

Click here for full description


George Street Playhouse presents "The Club"

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 @ 8:00pm
New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC)
11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: theatre

Click here for full description


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LATEST NEWS


Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

(ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America's longest-running little theater companies, continues its 92nd season with the longest-running musical classic, The Fantasticks. Full of buoyant humor, charming tunes, and a sprinkle of magic, The Fantasticks has been hailed as "a beautiful, poetic, and highly theatrical tale of the power and depth of love — gained, lost and found again" (Broadway World). Performances run March 9 through April 6, 2024.


Classic American Tales to hold acting workshop at End of the Road Theater




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