(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Theater Project is presenting A Jersey Cantata, a comedy about four longtime ‘Jersey guys’, from August 18-28. This is the second live, in-person show in The Theater Project’s Three Plays in Three Months summer season at the Maplewood Burgdorff Cultural Center. Photographer John Posada was on hand at a dress rehearsal to take photos.
The play by Bill Mesce, Jr. looks at the life of Big Sal from the deli, Francis the local funeral director, go-go bar owner Caruso and IQ-challenged Albie, friends since childhood and all singing the same tune, no matter how offkey.
“You will never get better dialogue than what you overhear at Italian weddings and funerals,” said Mesce, a New Jersey playwright, novelist and screenwriter who has won several major playwrighting honors, including the NJ State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship and the American Theatre Cooperative Playwrighting Competition. He was also a finalist in the Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest and finished second in the William Faulkner Literary Competition.
The cast includes Michael Bias, Scott Cagney, Philip Casale, Darin Earl, Stella Ferra, Eli Ganias, Gary Martins, Matt McCarthy, and Alexa Teebo. The production is directed by Harry Patrick Christian.
Made possible in part by funds from the Essex County Division of Cultural Affairs, show times are Thursday-Saturday at 8:00pm with a 2:00pm Sunday matinee. Masks and proof of vaccination are required at all performances at the 40-seat theater.
A leading incubator for rising talent and a showcase for New Jersey artists, The Theater Project is returning to the Burgdorff Cultural Center with its first live performances in two years. The first show, Finishing it Off!, received outstanding reviews from the audience.
“Producing live theater after two 'virtual' years was very challenging and very rewarding,” said Theater Project artistic director Mark Spina. “The reception from the audience included several standing ovations, and people commented on how much they enjoyed the intimacy of the venue itself.”
Here are more photos from the production.
As a means of celebrating its return to live, in-person theater, The Theater Project—a 501(c)3 non-profit, professional theater producing off-Broadway quality shows for New Jersey audiences—is offering a wide variety of pre-pandemic ticket pricing, including a multi-show FlexPass and reduced prices for seniors and students.
Single ticket prices are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. Senior Sunday (August 21 and September 11) prices are $15 for seniors. FlexPasses are $40 for a two-play pass. Masks and proof of vaccination are required at all performances. Tickets are available online at TheTheaterProject.org or by calling the box office, 908-809-8865.
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.