Here are previews of plays taking place from May 23-29 including a look at productions starting this week, those continuing this week, and those closing this week. Click on the title to go to the full preview. Be sure to send press releases for your plays to email@example.com to be included. New Jersey Stage covers Equity, community, college, and high school theatre. Check back every week for the weekly theatre preview.
(May 6 - May 28) Blues for an Alabama Sky at McCarter Theatre Center (Berlind Theater), 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540. In a Depression-era Harlem apartment building, a close-knit group of friends has become a chosen family. New roommates Angel and Guy — a recently fired blues singer and a promising costume designer with Paris in his sights — live across the hall from Delia, a social worker who sparks a relationship with the hardworking doctor Sam. Their lives are upturned when Southern newcomer Leland arrives and falls hard for Angel, who is torn between a stable life in Manhattan and an exhilarating overseas adventure with Guy. Angel chooses her path, but the decision leads to devastating consequences that shift the trajectory of everyone’s futures and long-held dreams.
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 @ 7:00pm - The Basie Awards at Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 @ 7:00pm - Vivid Stage presents Meet the Artist: New Play Readings "The Festial Quartet" at Summit Public Library, 75 Maple Street, Summit, NJ 07901
Friday, May 26, 2023 @ 8:00pm and Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 7:00pm - Triangle Reunions Encore Performance "Campelot" at McCarter Theatre Center (Matthews Theater), 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
Plays opening this week
Wednesday, May 24 to Sunday, June 11, 2023 - Crossroads Theatre Company presents the 2023 Spring Festival (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The Spring Festival returns to Crossroads Theatre Company, at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) and runs through June 11, 2023. Off the heels of the nationally acclaimed Genesis Festival, the Spring festival of plays and musicals closes out the Crossroad's 44th season, kicking off with Starchild- the Ballad of Debbie Walker, an electrifying new play by Divinity Roxx, former Beyoncé musical director, Grammy-nominated musician, author, and composer. This world premiere will hit the stage, May 24 - June 3.
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - Black Box's "Edward Albee: From A to Zoo" Begins May 24th (ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Black Box, Northern NJ's incubator for new and under produced works from world-class artists, kicks off Edward Albee: From A to Zoo, a remarkable new series on Wednesday, May 24th at 8 East Palisade Avenue, 2nd Floor, between Dean Street and Van Brunt in Englewood, NJ. In association with The Estate of Edward Albee, this series runs from the masterworks to the rarely and almost never seen - and includes some hidden gems from the Albee canon.
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - Middletown Arts Center Presents 4th MAC ONE-ACTS Play Reading Festival (MIDDLETOWN, NJ) -- The Middletown Arts Center is excited to present the fourth edition of The MAC ONE-ACTS Play-Reading Festival, featuring original, one-act works by New Jersey playwrights read theatrically by local actors. The festival will be held in the MAC's spacious theater on Thursday, May 25 at 7:00pm. The plays include Crossing The Line by Rachel Rubin Ladutke; Saint Rocco in Repose by Lisa Ellex; On A Wire by Barry M. Putt, Jr.; Colony 53 by Evan Krachman; and Mary, Mary by Felicia Russell. Some of these pieces contain adult content and language, so parental discretion is advised.
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - Mr. President vs "Mrs. President" - A Debate Between Abigail and John Adams to Take Place in Haddonfield (HADDONFIELD, NJ) -- Abigail and John Adams – one of America's first power couples – will take the stage on Thursday, May 25 for a spirited debate about women's rights and more during the colonial era. Held at The Haddon Fortnightly, this event features actors in period attire in a program that builds excitement for June 3's Haddonfield Skirmish, a day-long, family-friendly colonial festival and Revolutionary War reenactment, featuring soldiers, horses, and clashes between colonists and redcoats.
Friday, May 26 to Sunday, June 4, 2023 - Classic Radio Road Show to Present "Blondie & Dagwood" and "My Favorite Husband" Classic Radio Road Show is presenting "Blondie & Dagwood" and "My Favorite Husband" with performances May 26-27 and Sunday, June 4, 2023 in Freehold, Navesink, and Aberdeen. All the characters will be acted by a handful of talented actors. Sound effects will be performed by a Foley artist, manipulating props to create a soundscape. The cast includes: Duane Noch, Michael Bürgi, Sheldon Fallon, Laurie Noch, Roberta Fallon, and Donna Stiles.
(May 26 - June 4, 2023) - Theater to Go presents "Other Desert Cities" at Kelsey Theatre (WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- Theater to Go in partnership with Kelsey Theatre presents Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, in a production produced and directed by Ruth Markoe. The play will run for two weekends from May 26- June 4. It is a story of an American family and what drives them apart and keeps them together. Set in upscale and conservative Palm Springs California in 2004, Brooke Wyeth returns home after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her family.
(May 26 - June 18, 2023) - Music Mountain Theatre presents "Something Rotten" (LAMBERTVILLE, NJ) -- Welcome to the Renaissance and the outrageous, crowd-pleasing musical farce, Something Rotten, opening at Music Mountain Theatre on May 26 with performances running weekends through June 18, 2023. Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of the biggest star of the era, everyone's favorite bard: William Shakespeare. Something Rotten features large song and dance numbers and a wacky cast of over-the-top characters!
Plays ending this week
Nominees Announced for 2023 Basie Awards, Celebrating Monmouth County High School Theatre (RED BANK, NJ) -- Nominees have been announced for the 2023 Basie Awards, the annual celebration of Monmouth County high school theatre presented by Bank of America, taking place on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.
NJRep to Present the World Premiere of "Our Shrinking, Shrinking World" (LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company will present the World Premiere of Our Shrinking, Shrinking World by Richard Dresser from May 4-27, 2023. The production is directed by Joe Cacaci and stars Molly Carden, Kaileela Hobby, Kevin O'Rourke and Jeff Rubino.
Molière in the Park to Present English Language World Premiere of Molière's "Tartuffe Or The Hypocrite" (BROOKLYN, NY) -- Molière in the Park, in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance and LeFrak Center at Lakeside, will present the English language world premiere of Molière’s Tartuffe Or The Hypocrite, reconstructed by Georges Forestier, translated by Maya Slater, and directed by Molière in the Park’s Founding Artistic Director Lucie Tiberghien. Tartuffe Or The Hypocrite runs May 6-27, 2023 in a limited engagement at Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center in Brooklyn.
McCarter Theatre presents "Blues For An Alabama Sky" (PRINCETON, NJ) -- McCarter Theatre is delighted to welcome audiences to Pearl Cleage's love letter to friendship and the Harlem Renaissance, Blues For An Alabama Sky, on stage in the Berlind Theatre May 6-28. The play marks the McCarter directorial debut of Associate Artistic Director Nicole A. Watson.
The Black Box presents "Guilty Pleasures: An Unapologetic Comedy" by Ken Levine (ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- With performances starting on May 11, Ken Levine's Guilty Pleasures: An Unapologetic Comedy premieres at The Black Box, located at 8 East Palisade Avenue between Van Brunt and Dean Streets in Englewood, NJ. Tickets are $35 ($30 for students and seniors), are on sale now at www.blackboxpac.com! The play runs May 11-28, 2023.
Ritz Theatre Company presents "School of Rock" (HADDON TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- The Ritz Theatre Company presents Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock from May 12–28, 2023. Based on the hit movie, the musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school.
Westfield Community Players presents "The 39 Steps" (WESTFIELD, NJ) -- Westfield Community Players (WCP) closes out its season with The 39 Steps, A full-length comedy spoof, adapted by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan City and the Alfred Hitchcock movie. Performances run on select days across two weekends (May 13 to May 27). In The 39 Steps, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she's a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered.
Plays continuing this week
Bergen County Players presents "It Shoulda Been You" (ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America's longest-running little theater companies, presents the funny, uplifting, musical It Shoulda Been You, weekends from May 6 to June 4, 2023. Under the direction of Dottie Fischer, It Shoulda Been You puts a modern spin on the traditional wedding comedy, proving that when it comes to wedding day insanity, it’s all relative.
Lantern Theater Company Presents William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" (PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Lantern Theater Company concludes its 2022/23 season with Twelfth Night, part of the company's ongoing commitment to produce the timeless stories of William Shakespeare for both the general public and local school students. Featuring live original music composed by Barrymore Award-winner Christopher Colucci, the Lantern's production of Twelfth Night runs Thursday, May 18 through Sunday, June 18, 2023, at St. Stephen’s Theater, the Lantern's resident venue.
Plays coming soon
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents "The Rose Tattoo" by Tennessee Williams (MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s (STNJ) 61st season will begin on May 31st with The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams. This exuberant, extravagant tale of Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian widow living on the turbulent Gulf Coast outside of New Orleans, is an astonishing and poetic ode to this irresistible force of sensuality and the power of longing, hope, and desire. Replete with a Greek chorus-like cast of colorful characters, the play is a boisterous and beautiful celebration of life and love. The production runs through June 18, 2023.
Surflight Theatre presents "Steel Pier" (BEACH HAVEN, NJ) -- Surflight Theatre is excited to be opening their 2023 Season with a show celebrating the magnificent history of Atlantic City's Steel Pier in the 1930's: Kander and Ebb's Steel Pier the Musical. An assortment of depression era souls are eager to dance their way into fame & prizes gather on the Steel Pier. Songs by the creators of Chicago, Cabaret and other classics perfectly capture the rhythms of the 1930's dance era. Performances run June 1-17, 2023.
Dunbar Repertory Company to produce August Wilson's "Jitney" at Middletown Arts Center (MIDDLETOWN, NJ) -- The Middletown Arts Center is pleased to present August Wilson's Jitney, produced by the Dunbar Repertory Company and directed by Darrell Lawrence Willis, Sr., over two weekends, June 2-4 and 9-11. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured play follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys, in the black neighborhood of Pittsburgh's Hill District. Jitney is the seventh in the Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright's ten-play cycle (collectively called The American Century Cycle or The Pittsburgh Cycle) on the black experience in twentieth-century America.
South Camden Theatre Company and The Stride Collective present "Stop Kiss" (CAMDEN, NJ) -- South Camden Theatre Company and The Strides Collective are excited to welcome you to their celebration of equality and love for Pride with the production of Diana Son’s poignant and funny play Stop Kiss. This production is being directed by Jonathan Edmondson, the founding artistic director of The Strides Collective. Performances run weekends from June 2-17. In this comic and dark play, two young women, third-grade teacher Sara, and radio traffic reporter Callie become best friends about to discover something new about their relationships.
The Lord Stirling Theater Company to perform "Blithe Spirit" in Basking Ridge (BASKING RIDGE, NJ) -- The Lord Stirling Theater Company will perform the comedy classic "Blithe Spirit" by Noël Coward in the English Barn Theater at the Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge. Performances run across two weekends (June 2-4 and June 9-11). In the play, novelist Charles Condomine is conducting research for his latest novel about a medium. As research, he and his wife Ruth invite local medium Madame Arcati to dinner, along with their friends the Bradmans. Charles is hoping to find a fraud. But perhaps Madame Arcati actually conjures up more than he expected.
JCTC presents Voices International Theatre Festival -- (JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) will present a series of international performances as part of the Voices International Theatre Festival this June at Jersey City Theater Center. The plays represent a diverse group of nations including Romania, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and the United States. Performances include: Present: Perfect by Jan Mocek; Bowie in Warsaw by Trap Door Theatre; On the Other Side by Elena Demyanenko & Tarik Burnash; The Best Child in the World by Alina Serban; and Pool by Denisa Musilova.
Casts Announced for Initial SOMA Backstage Reading Series Productions (SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has announced the casts for the inaugural SOMA backStage Reading Series productions: Revival by Broadway veterans Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen and Still by Juilliard Fellow Lia Romeo. The casts are filled with Broadway professionals local to the New Jersey community including Tony Award Nominee Christiane Noll. Performances take place June 3-4, 2023.
NJRep presents PRIDE 2023 in June (LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company (NJRep) will present PRIDE 2023 from June 3-25, 2023. This month long celebration includes an Art Gallery Show, a Photography Exhibit, and five one-act plays running throughout the month.
Two River Theater presents "Two Sisters and a Piano" (RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater will conclude their 2022-2023 season with Two Sisters and a Piano, a passionate tale of revolution, art, and dreams written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics), running June 3-25, 2023 in the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater.
Paper Mill Playhouse Announces Cast and Creative for "Rent" (MILLBURN, NJ) -- Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director; Michael Stotts, Executive Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced the cast and creative team for Rent by Jonathan Larson, directed by Zi Alikhan (Resident Director of Hamilton) and choreographed by Steph Paul (New York Theatre Workshop: How to Defend Yourself). The show runs June 7 through July 2, 2023.
American Theater Group Presents Searing Drama "Right to be Forgotten" (BASKING RIDGE, NJ) -- Following the success of its season opening production of Parade, American Theater Group (ATG), Central Jersey's professional regional theater company, has announced its next production -- Right to Be Forgotten -- a searing new drama by Sharyn Rothstein. The show will run June 8-10 at JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ and June 15-18 at the Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge.
Pioneer Productions to present "Songs for a New World" in Morristown (MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Pioneer Productions brings Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown's (The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) powerful musical, Songs for a New World, to the stage at Fellowship Hall in the Morristown Methodist Church in downtown Morristown, NJ. The show will have six performances in June, June 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8:00pm and June 11 and 18 at 3:00pm. Pioneer co-founder, Daniel Peter Vissers of Sparta, directs this musical that examines life, love and the choices we make.