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This Week in Theatre: Previews for Plays Taking Place July 2-9, 2024

originally published: 07/02/2024

This Week in Theatre: Previews for Plays Taking Place July 2-9, 2024

Here are previews of plays taking place from July 2-9, 2024 including a look at productions currently being presented and those coming soon. Click on the title to go to the full preview. New Jersey Stage covers Equity, community, college, and high school theatre. Check back every week for the weekly theatre preview. Jump to Featured Events, Event Previews, Coming Soon.

Send press releases to info@newjerseystage.com to have your events previewed at New Jersey Stage. There is no cost for preview articles. Featured listings are found in the NJ Stage calendar, reserved for advertisers, and provided with individual event pages for every performance. Event pages are also available for $10 per event (multiple performances count as a single event). Click here for more information on our event pages. Event pages are also included with every banner ad purchase. Banner ads run from $50-$100 for a full month of coverage.

FEATURED EVENTS

PHOTOS from "South Pacific" at Surflight Theatre  (BEACH HAVEN, NJ) -- Surflight Theatre is presenting the beloved musical theatre classic South Pacific from June 19 through July 7, 2024. It takes place during World War II where Nellie, a nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a local French estate owner, Emile. Meanwhile, Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent girl with whom he's fallen in love. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe's life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness. Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.

Vivid Stage Presents Summer Solos Every Week in July at the Visual Arts Center of NJ  (SUMMIT, NJ) -- Vivid Stage presents Summer Solos readings every week from July 1-24, 2024 at the Visual Arts Center of NJ at 68 Elm Street in Summit. Performances in the series will take place on the lawn of the Arts Center at 6:30pm. Patrons are invited to bring chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner. The rain and extreme heat location for all performances is the Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ.



 
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EVENT PREVIEWS

Paper Mill Playhouse announces cast and creative for "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"  (MILLBURN, NJ) -- Paper Mill Playhouse has announced the full cast and creative team for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, featuring a book by Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award nominee Douglas McGrath and words and music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. Casey Hushion will helm the production, with choreography by Jennifer Werner and music direction by Wendy Bobbitt Cavett. Beautiful will play June 5 to July 3, 2024 at Paper Mill Playhouse. Click here for photos from the production.

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey kicks off Outdoor Stage season with the comedy 'As You Like It'  (MADISON, NJ) -- Romance and laughter abound in Shakespeare's delightful comedy As You Like It, which kicks off the summer season at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The beloved play, one of the most popular in Shakespeare's canon, will be presented on the Outdoor Stage at St. Elizabeth University from June 19 - July 14, 2024.

'Uncle Buck' actress Elaine Bromka to Bring 'Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty' to Cape May  (CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Three former First Ladies will share some very intimate secrets during East Lynne Theater Company's critically acclaimed production of Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty from June 19 to July 6, 2024.

Scott Ehrenpreis Shares His Inspiring Mental Health Journey in solo show, "Clowns Like Me"  (NEW YORK, NY) -- Mental illness is no laughing matter, but in the new solo show Clowns Like Me, audience members are encouraged to laugh, cry and enjoy the ride into the unknown. Clowns Like Me will have its New York Off-Broadway Premiere at the DR2 Theatre this summer. The witty, timely, and inspiring story is based on Sarasota actor and storyteller Scott Ehrenpreis’ true life struggles with mental illness and its stigmas. The play was written by Jason Cannon, who also directs. Previews begin on June 21, for a limited engagement through August 18, 2024.

The Stage Comes Alive With the Yardley Players and 'The Sound of Music' at Kelsey Theatre  (WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- One of the most beloved musicals of all time will light up the stage when the Yardley Players present The Sound of Music June 28 to July 7, 2024 at the Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College (MCCC).

Lauren O'Brien's "Lolo's Boyfriend Show" comes to Turn the Lights On Festival at Playhouse 46  (NEW YORK, NY) -- The charming, adventurous and witty Lolo is back with more show dates! Weaving together theater, multi-media, and music, award-winning performer Lauren O'Brien's hit solo show Lolo's Boyfriend Show, returns to NYC with 4 performances (July 5-14, 2024) at the Turn the Lights On Festival at Playhouse 46.



 
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Music Mountain Theatre presents "Anything Goes"  (LAMBERTVILLE, NJ) -- Music Mountain Theatre (MMT) presents a three-weekend run of Anything Goes from July 5-21, 2024. Anything Goes, the classic 1930s musical comedy, will be the ninth mainstage show of MMT's 2024 season, with direction and choreography by Louis Palena.

COMING SOON

Shakepeare Theatre of NJ presents "The Book of Will" by Lauren Gunderson  (MADISON, NJ) -- How far would you go to honor and preserve a friend's legacy? What if that friend was William Shakespeare and his plays were about to be lost to history forever? Lauren Gunderson's acclaimed play The Book of Will shines a light on the amazing true story of two ordinary men whose love for their friend and his genius continues to influence our world four centuries after Shakespeare's death. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present The Book of Will at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University from July 10-28, 2024.

Centenary Stage Company's Summer Musical Series Includes 'Grease' and 'I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change'  (HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- This summer, Centenary Stage Company presents the 2024 summer musical series featuring Grease and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Performances for Grease will run July 11–21 and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will run August 1-11 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center of the Centenary University campus in Hackettstown.

Premiere Stages presents "Still" - a play based on true events in 1850s NJ  (UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages at Kean University will present the premiere production of Still by Benjamin V. Marshall, the recipient of the 2023/24 Liberty Live Commission, July 11-28 in Kean University's Bauer Boucher Theatre Center. Directed by Marshall Jones III, Still will feature actors Ashley Nicole Baptiste, D. Malik Beckford, Brian D. Coats, Perri Gaffney, Carl Hendrick Louis, and Nafeesa Monroe.

NJ Rep presents the World Premiere of "The Bookstore" by Michael Walek  (LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) presents the world premiere of The Bookstore by Michael Walek from July 11 through August 4, 2024. The play takes place in a small independent bookstore in New York City, like the ones we all love to frequent and are rapidly dying out. Carey, the owner, rolls up the grate, unlocks the front door, carries in boxes, turns on the heater, turns on the kettle, and turns on the lamps and her computer. And so her day begins.

Centenary Stage Company presents "Grease"  (HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company kicks off their summer musical series with Grease from July 11–21, 2024 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center of the Centenary University campus. Here is Rydell High's senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby socks and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this musical.

Jersey Arts TV: Premiere Stages at Kean University Delves into the Underground Railroad with "Still"  New Jersey history is at the helm of the newly commissioned play by Premiere Stages. Thanks to the Liberty Live commissions series, a unique partnership with Kean University's Liberty Hall Museum, Premiere Stages seeks to produce new plays that celebrate New Jersey's rich and diverse history.

Four Badass Women Take On The French Revolution in "The Revolutionists" at The Theater Project  (WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- The Theater Project presents The Revolutionists, a zany comedy about four women living boldly through the French Revolution, from July 11-21, 2024. Playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, lose their heads, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in revolutionary Paris.

Black Box Studios presents selections from "The Rock Musical SOUL SEARCHING" and scenes from "Twist of Faith" at Debonair Music Hall on July 11th  (TEANECK, NJ) -- Featuring the music of Avi Kunstler, a special evening of selections from The Rock Musical SOUL SEARCHING, preceded by a staged reading of scenes from the play Twist of Faith, will be presented by Black Box Studios on Thursday, July 11, 2024 at Debonair Music Hall. Showtime is 7:00pm.



 
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Classic American Tales presents more "Tales at the Dormer House" in July  (CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Pulitzer-prize winner and Algonquin Round Table wit, Edna Ferber (1885 – 1968) wrote short stories, plays, and novels, many requiring extensive research. For example, she lived on a riverboat before writing "Show Boat." Many of her novels were adapted into other mediums, including "Show Boat" (musical) and "Giant." (movie). "The Royal Family" and "Dinner at Eight" were just two of the plays she wrote with George S. Kaufman.

OCC Repertory Theater presents "All Shook Up"  (TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- It's 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing young man who changes everything and everyone he meets. Loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy known as All Shook Up will be presented by OCC Repertory Theater Company across two weekends (July 12-14 and July 19-21, 2024) at the Grunin Center for the Arts.

The MAC Players at the Middletown Arts Center presents "Legally Blonde the Musical"  (MIDDLETOWN, NJ) -- The MAC Players at the Middletown Arts Center presents Legally Blonde the Musical over two weekends, July 12–14 and July 19–21, 2024. This fabulously fun, award-winning musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Music and lyrics by Laurence O'keefe and Nell Benjamin; book by Heather Hach; and based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture, Legally Blonde. Action-packed and exploding with memorable songs and dynamic dances – this musical is so much fun, it should be illegal!

Red Horse by David Burke at Bernards Inn to Host Live, Interactive Professional Murder Mystery Dinner  (BERNARDSVILLE, NJ) -- Test your problem-solving skills while enjoying a three-course dinner at a live Murder Mystery Dinner with a professional cast at Red Horse by David Burke at Bernards Inn, on Friday July 12, 2024 from 7:00pm-10:00pm. This is not dinner theater! It is three full hours of fun, food and laughter as you and your table mates try to solve a murder. It is an interactive, challenging, fun and social night with a delicious dinner created by Chef David Burke!

Thank You 5 Productions presents "School of Rock" at Kelsey Theatre  (WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- Can a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher transform nerdy fifth graders at an elite prep school into contenders at the Battle of the Bands? The answer will be revealed when Thank You 5 Productions brings "School of Rock" to the stage of Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) Kelsey Theatre, July 12-21, 2024.

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "Cats"  (MANASQUAN, NJ) -- Algonquin Arts Theatre presents Cats from July 13-28, 2024. The classic musical features Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. Prepare for a purr-fectly mesmerizing performance of the world-renowned musical sensation - Cats!

Gateway Playhouse presents two performances of "Crying on the Camino"  (SOMERS POINT, NJ) -- Gateway Playhouse will produce the award-winning, one-woman show "Crying on the Camino," written by and starring Celeste Mancinelli for two performances only - Saturday, July 13 at 7:00pm and Sunday, July 14 at 3:00pm.

Center Players presents 'Coyote' - an original musical about love & immigration  (FREEHOLD, NJ) -- Center Players presents Coyote, an original musical by Freehold resident Tim McCorry about love and immigration, at the Park Avenue Complex in Freehold, from July 19-28, 2024.

Brundage Park Playhouse presents Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' in July  (RANDOLPH, NJ) -- Brundage Park Playhouse presents Disney's The Little Mermaid across two weekends (July 19-21 and July 26-28). This is a stage musical produced by Disney Theatrical, based on the animated 1989 Disney film of the same name and the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea and gives up her voice to find true love. It features a Book by Doug Wright; Music by Alan Menken; and Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Glen Slater.

"Million Dollar Quartet" to Rock Bell Theater in Holmdel  (HOLMDEL, NJ) -- The Axelrod Performing Arts Center will present the smash hit musical Million Dollar Quartet from July 19-28, 2024 at the new Bell Theater at Bell Works in Holmdel. With a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, Million Dollar Quartet recreates the true story of a one-night impromptu jam session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The Theater League of Clifton presents Madcap Whodunit "Murder on the Menu"  (CLIFTON, NJ) -- The Theater League of Clifton will present its second dinner/theater production of the season, "Murder on the Menu," beginning on Saturday, July 20, 7:30pm, at Mario's Restaurant (710 Van Houten Ave) in Clifton.

Jackson Library to Host Staged Concert Version of "The Addams Family" to Benefit Entertainment Community Fund  (JACKSON, NJ) -- New Jersey's Jesse Walker, host of the online celebrity show "The Jesse Walker Show," in support of Entertainment Community Fund, will present a staged concert version of the Broadway musical The Addams Family on Monday, July 22, 2024 at the Jackson Library. Performances take place at 2:00pm and 6:00pm.

OffBook Productions to hold auditions for "The Laramie Project"  (LITTLE FALLS, NJ) -- OffBook Productions will hold auditions for its upcoming fall production of The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theater Project on July 23-24. The play was first produced by Denver Center Theater Company in February 2000. OffBook's production will run from October 24 to November 2, 2024 at First Reformed Church of Little Falls in Little Falls, NJ, a returning venue for the group's shows.


FEATURED EVENTS

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Cats

Friday, July 19, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Algonquin Arts Theatre
60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736
category: theatre

Click here for full description


The MAC Players at the Middletown Arts Center presents "Legally Blonde the Musical"

Friday, July 19, 2024 @ 7:00pm
Middletown Arts Center
36 Church Street, Middletown, NJ 07748
category: theatre

Click here for full description


Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Friday, July 19, 2024 @ 12:00pm
Count Basie Center for the Arts
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: theatre

Click here for full description


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EVENT PREVIEWS

The new season of Premiere Stages at Kean University opens with with a powerful production of Benjamin V. Marshall's play Still. This play is the true story of William Still, a man who ran an abolitionist office in Philadelphia. Kept under wraps but shown in this play is the work he does as an African American leader in the Underground Railroad. It is said that he helped over 600 slaves escape to freedom. The intensity of all that these pieces of Still's life entails is brought out through fine theatrical crafting including the use of well written dialog and strong theatrical components.



Community Access Unlimited presents "The SpongeBob Musical" - This Weekend Only!



New Jersey Lyric Opera Returns to Kelsey Theatre for Summer Opera Festival



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