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Articles By Charles Paolino

REVIEW: "The Club" at George Street Playhouse

You can learn a lot by eavesdropping, and that's the experience of a teenaged character in The Club, a play by Chris Bohjalian having its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

published on 03/06/2024

Chris Bohjalian Talks About His Play "The Club" which premieres at George Street Playhouse

"It's no time for mirth and laughter," George Ade wrote, "on the cold, gray dawn of the morning after." And you can prove that by Chris Bohjalian's play, "The Club," having its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, February 27 through March 18.

published on 02/25/2024

REVIEW: "Having Our Say" at George Street Playhouse

The sisters in Irving Berlin's song by that name, "Sisters," explained their relationship as follows: "Two different faces, but in tight places / we think and we act as one." The subjects of Emily Mann's play Having Our Say at the George Street Playhouse through December 17, fit that description—to a point.

published on 12/04/2023

Edgar Herrera Talks About His Long Road To Becoming Managing Director At George Street Playhouse and His Plans For The Theatre

Edgar Herrera gave up a manganese mine to go into the performing arts. That's the short version of the journey that brought him to the George Street Playhouse last May as managing director.

published on 11/12/2023

REVIEW: "The Pianist" at George Street Playhouse

If you see only one play this season, make it The Pianist, the first play at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick as it marks its 50th anniversary.

published on 10/09/2023


Emily Mann and Daniel Donskoy on "The Pianist" at George Street Playhouse

The Pianist, a new play at the George Street Playhouse, strikes deep personal chords with the playwright and the actor in the title role.

published on 09/24/2023

Steve Guttenberg talks about “Tales from the Guttenberg Bible”

Steve Guttenberg was having dinner with a group of actors when a woman asked one of them for an autograph and was refused. Guttenberg, now appearing in "Tales from the Guttenberg Bible" at the George Street Playhouse, recalls that one of the group, Sean Connery, got up and asked the woman if she would like his autograph. The woman asked him to address it to Mary and sign it "James Bond," and he did.

published on 05/17/2023

REVIEW: "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

These are the sounds that send a speller home: (Ding!) "That is incorrect!" And those sounds inevitably signal the exit of nine of 10 contestants in the "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," underway at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick through April 9.

published on 03/19/2023

Colin Hanlon Talks About "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at George Street Playhouse

It's a weak mind, according to Andrew Jackson, that can't think of more than one way to spell a word, but that won't fly at “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

published on 03/11/2023

REVIEW: "Clyde's" at George Street Playhouse

For a discouraging piece of advice, it’s hard to beat this one: “Don’t get high on hope.” The title character in “Clyde’s,” now on stage at the George Street Playhouse, lays that on her employees at a truck-stop diner, and she counts on them to accept it, or else she’s in trouble.

published on 02/11/2023

Erika Henningsen talks about "Joy: The Musical"

It’s a universal experience: You look at a gadget you’ve just used—a corkscrew, a wine opener, a cup holder—and you say, “I wonder who thought of this?”

published on 12/10/2022

REVIEW: "Her Portmanteau" at George Street Playhouse

​​​​​​​If you happen to be visiting a home where a family argument erupts, your instinct might be to get out as politely but swiftly as possible.

published on 10/20/2022

A Look at the Language of “Her Portmanteau” at George Street Playhouse

Most of us who see the play that opens the season at the George Street Playhouse—“Her Portmanteau” by Mfoniso Udofia—will be hearing the Ibibio language of Nigeria for the first time.

published on 10/02/2022

Review of "A Walk on the Moon" at George Street Playhouse

If you’ve wondered what is possible for the George Street Playhouse in its new home, wonder no more. A Walk on the Moon, the final show of the season, answers the question to a fare-thee-well.

published on 05/10/2022

Author Pamela Gray talks about "A Walk on the Moon"

A Walk on the Moon appears at the George Street Playhouse this week with drama, comedy, music—and a sigh of relief. The latter comes from Pamela Gray, who wrote the play and who had begun to believe it would never be mounted at the New Brunswick venue.

published on 04/25/2022

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Inside "Baipás" at George Street Playhouse

Baipás, the play that will reignite the George Street Playhouse season, is, in theatrical parlance, a “two-hander,” which means that it has two characters. But that’s only partly true. There are only two actors, but, without saying a word, the audience in this play by Jacobo Morales, plays a role—in fact, multiple roles—that are important to the story.

published on 03/01/2022

REVIEW: "It's Only A Play" at George Street Playhouse

A fine line separates farce from chaos. If you have seen an amateur production of Noises Off, you may have seen chaos. If you see the George Street Playhouse production of It’s Only a Play, you will see farce, and farce well done.

published on 12/07/2021

Doug Harris Talks About "It's Only A Play" at George Street Playhouse

A critic once complimented Doug Harris, who has a principal role in the new George Street Playhouse production of It’s Only a Play, for his “smooth charm.” Harris figures that critic “must have been allowed to drink inside the theater.”

published on 11/28/2021

REVIEW: “Dear Jack, Dear Louise” at George Street Playhouse

You can see Ken Ludwig’s play “Dear Jack, Dear Louise” at the George Street Playhouse, laugh and cry and marvel at two tour-de-force performances, or you can wait till spring and pay gas, tolls, parking and New York ticket prices to see the same play on Broadway. It’s up to you, but you’ve got only until Nov. 21 to decide; that’s when this romantic comedy wraps up its run at the New Brunswick theater.

published on 10/30/2021

Amelia Pedlow Talks About "Dear Jack, Dear Louise" at George Street Playhouse

Amelia Pedlow has looked at life from both sides now, and that includes Ken Ludwig’s play, “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” in which she is costarring with Bill Army. This two-hander, based on the real-life experience of Ludwig’s parents, began in previews on October 26 and opens officially on Friday, October 29, 2021.

published on 10/27/2021

Director Kevin Cahoon On "It's Only A Play" at George Street Playhouse

“There’s no people like show people,” according to the Irving Berlin lyric, and that notion is at the heart of the final production in the George Street Playhouse pandemic season—Terrence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play.”

published on 06/14/2021

REVIEW: "Tiny Beautiful Things" by George Street Playhouse

You want to see Tiny Beautiful Things, the play now being streamed by the George Street Playhouse. You do. You want to see it for several reasons, and they comprise pretty much everything about the play: the work itself, the actors, their performances, the setting, and the manner in which the drama is presented under the direction of David Saint.

published on 05/08/2021

Ryan George Talks About "Tiny Beautiful Things" at George Street Playhouse

​​​​​​​The last thing Cheryl Strayed needed was an unpaid gig writing an online advice column—what with her penurious spouse, their bills, their kids, and the book she was trying to finish. So when a friend who had been writing the column asked her to take it on, naturally she agreed.

published on 05/03/2021

George Street Playhouse Continues Virtual Season With "Fully Committed" Starring Maulik Pancholy

Five people in a basement may not seem like the makings of a professional performance of a play, but this is the pandemic era. Those five and that basement were what it took to produce the George Street Playhouse virtual presentation of Becky Mode’s comedy “Fully Committed,” starring Maulik Pancholy.

published on 03/22/2021

Andrèa Burns Talks About "Bad Dates" at George Street Playhouse

​​​​​​​Andrèa Burns sums up what she has just done by paraphrasing a Stephen Sondheim lyric: “We made a hat where there never was a hat.” By that, she means that she and the George Street Playhouse team have created a show for a pandemic audience in a form that has few if any precedents and no real definition.

published on 02/22/2021


Joe DiPietro Talks About "Conscience" Which Premieres At George Street

Since 1789, there have been 1,984 U.S. Senators; only 57 have been women. As late as 1949, Margaret Chase Smith—a Maine Republican—became only the seventh female member; but she made enough of a splash to inspire Joe DiPietro’s new play, “Conscience,” which will have its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick March 3 through March 29.

published on 02/24/2020

Cast Members Talk About "Midwives" by Chris Bohjalian

“Midwives” is a story with a sharp knife, lots of blood, a death, and a criminal trial—but no villain. Chris Bohjalian’s play, in its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick through February 16, is not about evildoers but rather about a woman going about her business when something goes off the rails.

published on 01/20/2020

Chris Bohjalian Talks About "Midwives"

Fewer than one in a hundred babies in the United States is born at home, and such a birth is the basis for “Midwives,” Chris Bohjalian’s play that will have its world premier this month at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

published on 12/28/2019

Renee Taylor Talks About "My Life On A Diet"

If you’re Lainie Kazan and your voice deserts you hours before a singing gig, who you gonna call? For Kazan, who recently had such a crisis, the answer was Renée Taylor, the actress-writer who is bringing her one-woman show, “My Life on a Diet,” to the George Street Playhouse from November 19 through December 15.

published on 11/13/2019

Steve Kluger Talks About "Last Days of Summer" at George Street Playhouse

When Steve Kluger was pitching his novel “Last Days of Summer” in the 1990s, nobody was interested. But Kluger persisted, the novel became a best-seller, and, two decades later, it is still popular. And, it is the basis for the musical play chosen by the George Street Playhouse to open its first season in its new home, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

published on 10/10/2019

"Too Heavy For My Pocket" - A play about the civil rights movement at George Street

Historical events always consist of much more than is on the surface. No matter how complex the public image of the event—the civil rights movement of the 1960s, say—the image is incomplete without the stories of countless individuals who contributed to the event and were affected by it. This reality underlies Jiréh Breon Holder’s play “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” which will be presented at the George Street Playhouse April 23 through May 19.

published on 04/20/2019

Director Jim Jack Talks About "The Immigrant" On Stage At George Street Playhouse

Mention of the immigration of the early 20th century evokes images of the “wretched refuse” floating into New York Harbor and washing up on Ellis Island. But not all of “your tired, your poor” landed in New York, and we learn about one of the exceptions in Mark Harelik’s play “The Immigrant,” on stage at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick from March 12 through April 7.

published on 03/10/2019

Laiona Michelle Talks About "Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical"

This might be the right time for Nina Simone—15 years after her death. That’s what Laiona Michelle thinks, and, in a way, Michelle will be testing that idea by bringing the singer-activist to life in a world-premiere musical show at George Street Playhouse. Michelle wrote the show—“Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical”—and she will appear in the title role at the New Brunswick theater from January 29 through February 24.

published on 01/19/2019

A Look At Betsy Aidem, Director of "A Doll's House, Part 2" at George Street Playhouse

Betsy Aidem has seen the stage from both sides now. An award-winning actress, Aidem is taking her first professional turn as a director, guiding the George Street Playhouse production of Lucas Hnath’s comedy “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”

published on 11/19/2018

Playwright Walter Anderson Talks About "The Trial Of Donna Caine"

​​​​​​​The political climate in the United States—with its right and left, red and blue, conservative and liberal—prompts this question: Is reconciliation possible?

published on 10/09/2018

Talia Balsam Talks About Her Career And Upcoming Reading At George Street Playhouse

If acting were to come naturally to anyone, it would come to Talia Balsam. Balsam, who will appear in a reading of Eugene Pack’s play “Night with Oscar” on June 8 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, is the daughter of two very successful actors—the late Oscar winner Martin Balsam and Joyce Van Patten.

published on 05/30/2018

A Look At Kevin Cahoon, Director of "The Nerd" at George Street Playhouse

Before there was “American Idol” there was “Star Search,” and before there was Carrie Underwood there was Kevin Cahoon.

published on 05/04/2018

Inside "Trying": Charles Paolino Talks With Joanna McClelland Glass

It’s a long way from Saskatoon to Georgetown, and that doesn’t mean only 1600 miles as the crow flies.

published on 03/26/2018

Talking With George Merrick About "I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change"

Dating and wedding are among the most fraught rituals human beings engage in—and among the funniest to watch.

published on 10/04/2017

Sarah Lee Guthrie To Perform Two Shows In South Jersey

There was a time when Sarah Lee Guthrie was a shy figure on a stage—avoiding eye contact with the audience as she sang and strummed Pete Seeger’s “Sailing Down My Golden River.” There will be none of that reticence when the folk artist—now seasoned and poised—makes two appearances in New Jersey this month.

published on 07/11/2017


Nancy Opel Talks About "Curvy Widow"

What does a single woman “of a certain age” need most? Not so fast! The answer may not be the obvious—at least, that’s the premise of “Curvy Widow,” Bobby Goldman’s autobiographical musical play, at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick from May 2 through May 21. Highly-regarded singing actress Nancy Opel appears in the title role.

published on 04/28/2017

A look at "Bad Jews" at George Street

(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) An appreciative critic referred to the humor in Joshua Harmon’s play “Bad Jews” as “savage.”

published on 03/17/2017

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