Two River Theater expanding its footprint and booking as it turns 25

Mike Birbiglia's one-man show "The New One" is being performed at Two River Theater in Red Bank and the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village this month.
Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show “The New One” is being performed at Two River Theater in Red Bank and the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village this month.

Two River Theater Company, a regional non-profit theater in New Jersey with a national reputation for staging excellent productions, appears to be expanding its offerings with booking a comic and a film festival in the “off-season.”

Mike Birbiglia‘s one-man show “The New One” that begins tonight at the Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank.

There are a limited number of single seats available at the time of this posting for Berbiglia’s six-performance gig. The schedule:  Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m.; Friday, July 13 at 9 p.m.;       Saturday, July 14 at 6:30 and 9 p.m.;  Sunday, July 15 at 3 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $35. The 80-minute show is recommended for people age 16 and older. For more info, click here. Birbiglia also is performing “The New One” in NYC July 18 to Aug. 26 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Those performances have sold out.

For more info, click on this link: bit.ly/TheNewOneNJ.

Regional theaters, during the off-season, usually are dark. That means no main stage limited productions outside the regular season. As Two River Theater sails into its 25th season it is moving full speed ahead.

It recently broke ground for a state-of-the-art Center for New Work, Education and Production Design, an extension for its ambitious artistic activities,  operational needs, and educational programming.

The new space includes two rehearsal spaces,  expanded scene shop spaces, a wood shop for the props department, a larger costume shop and offices for its 23-person production staff. as well as multiple storage areas.

Two River also offers tons of community outreach during the summer.

For students on the autism spectrum, Two River is offering two weeks of specifically designed classes led by teaching artists with extensive experience, plus several support assistants.

Classes will focus on movement activities, storytelling, imagination, and social interaction using a variety of dramatic techniques. Students will improve body awareness, verbal and non-verbal communication and self-confidence through theater.

Classes for ages 10-13 or Middle School, run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 20-24 and 27-31. Classes for ages 14-17 or High School run the same weeks from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Each week cost $175.

For more information, call Amanda Espinoza, Education Assistant, at 732-345-1400 x1804 or SummerCamp@trtc.org

For students entering grades 7 to 12, there are the Summer Intensives. The first two weeks have sold out, but the final week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  July 23–27 is still open.

Two tracks are offered: Onstage Track for actors, singers, and dancers and  Backstage Track for directors & designers & technicians.

The Onstage Track is led by a professional director, musical director, and guest teaching artists. Students  work on a songs, scenes, dances, original material, movement pieces, and poetry, to be performed on Two River’s main stage.

The Backstage Track is led by a professional technical director, assistant TD, and guest teaching artists. Students paint flats, create costume pieces, learn about lighting and sound, and make props for the main stage performance.

The fee for the week is $475. For more information, contact Amanda Espinoza at 732-345-1400 x1804 or SummerCamp@trtc.org.

Although not a Two River Theater production, the International Monmouth Film Festival has rented the theater for its annual event. It runs the second weekend of August with  free Film Panels and Workshops. A Networking Event is  $10 and various packages from $10 to $15. A  VIP All-Access Pass is ​$75

For tickets and a list of films scheduled to be shown, click here.

‘Songbird’ soars for fans of boot-stomping, honky-tonk version of ‘Seagull’

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A new honky-tonk musical based on an Anton Chekhov play is stomping the stage at the Two River Theater through July 1. 

Set in a small Nashville bar where whisky is a food group, music on the out-of-tune piano is more rhythm than melody and dead keys a must, plus the ability to dance the two-step is required, 10 real good friends and relatives are trying to sort out their lives — badly.  Continue reading ‘Songbird’ soars for fans of boot-stomping, honky-tonk version of ‘Seagull’

List of winners for the 2018 Tony Awards

Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq and Katrina Lenk as Dina in "The Band's Visit." (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)
Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq and Katrina Lenk as Dina in “The Band’s Visit.” (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards were held June 10, 2018, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2017–18 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was broadcast live by CBS.

The musical “The Band’s Visit” swept the awards show, with 10 wins, while hot-ticket play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” picked up six awards.

Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their solo Broadway shows
Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their solo shows.

Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their performances on Broadway this season.. Each told a  story about their American experiences growing up

The Grammy-winning rock legend’s sold-out solo show,  “Springsteen on Broadway,” according to New York Times critic Jesse Green, “…  is a painful if thrilling summing-up at (age) 68: a major statement about a life’s work, but also a major revision of it. As music acts go, it thus has more in common with Lena Horne’s revelatory “The Lady and Her Music” from 1981 than with a greatest-hits concert by the likes of Barry Manilow.

Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons” marked his sixth solo venture, following his success on Broadway with “Ghetto Klown,” “Sexaholix…A Love Story” and “Freak (he earned Tony nominations for writing and starring in the latter).

Also, Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber were awarded special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

The winners are noted in bold face.

Best Musical

The Band’s Visit

Frozen

Mean Girls

Spongebob Squarepants: The Musical

 

A scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photograph: Manuel Harlan
A scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (Photograph: Manuel Harlan)

Best Play

The Children

Farinelli and the King

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Junk

Latin History for Morons

Best Revival of a Musical

Carousel

My Fair Lady

Once on This Island

 

Best Revival of a Play

Angels in America

The Iceman Cometh

Lobby Hero

Three Tall Women

Travesties Continue reading List of winners for the 2018 Tony Awards

Edna Ferber festival features 5 new one-acts, ‘Selina Peake’ reading

Why have so few people heard of Edna Ferber?

Before Lois Lane was a ground-breaking female reporter at the Daily Planet, Edna Ferber worked at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal, had published her first novel, and covered both the 1920 Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the United Press Association.
Before ballet choreographer Agnes de Mille created dances that advanced plot and developed character in “Oklahoma!” (1943)

and before Betty Comden, with writing partner Adolph Green, provided lyrics, libretti, and screenplays to some of the most beloved Broadway shows (such as “On the Town, 1944), Edna Ferber’s novel “Show Boat” was made into a ground-breaking Broadway musical  (1926).

It’s recognized as the first “modern” American musical.

Continue reading Edna Ferber festival features 5 new one-acts, ‘Selina Peake’ reading

Comedian Mike Birbiglia books six performances at Two River Theater

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, actor and filmmaker, who also can be heard on Public Radio's  "This American Life" and "The Moth." He also has  released several comedy albums and television specials. (PHOTO: Courtesy Two River Theater Company)
Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, actor and filmmaker, who also can be heard on Public Radio’s “This American Life” and “The Moth.” (PHOTO: Courtesy Two River Theater Company)

Two River Theater Company has announced a special July event featuring comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia in six performances of “The New One” prior to its New York premiere.

Tickets go on sale beginning 10 a.m. tomorrow (May 16) for Two River subscribers and donors, and to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday (May 18.) Tickets are $35 and available at tworivertheater.org or at 732-345-1400.

Birbiglia  has performed in venues around the world, including  the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. Recent shows include, “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” and “Thank God for Jokes,” which were filmed for Netflix. Continue reading Comedian Mike Birbiglia books six performances at Two River Theater

Andrew lloyd Webber out, Alice Walker is in for Paper Mill’s season opener

Adrianna Hicks (Celie), N'Jameh Camara (Nettie) and the North American tour cast of "The Color Purple." (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)
Adrianna Hicks (Celie), N’Jameh Camara (Nettie) and the North American tour cast of “The Color Purple.” (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)

John Doyle’s production of “The Color Purple” will open the 2018-2019 Paper Mill Playhouse season, replacing Andrew lloyd Webber’s previously announced world premiere “Unmasked.”

“We received news last week from our producing partners in London that due to unforeseen scheduling issues, “Unmasked” can no longer be presented as part of our 2018-2019 Paper Mill Playhouse season,” said Mark S. Hoebee, producing artistic director,  in a prepared statement. “We look forward to presenting it in a future season.”

Scheduled to run from Sept. 26 to Oct. 21, the musical features a Grammy-winning score infused with jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, . It’s based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-nominated feature film. Casting will be announced at a later date.  Continue reading Andrew lloyd Webber out, Alice Walker is in for Paper Mill’s season opener

Christopher Durang’s newest comedy opens Saturday in Princeton

The Cast: (clockwise from top left) Jenn Harris, Rachel Nicks, Kristine Nielsen, Robert Sella, Nicholas Podany, and John Pankow.
The cast (clockwise from top left) Jenn Harris, Rachel Nicks, Kristine Nielsen, Robert Sella, Nicholas Podany and John Pankow.

Christopher Durang’s newest comedy, “Turning Off the Morning News,” is in preview at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. It’s the playwright’s third play commissioned by McCarter and closes the 2017/18 season. Opening night is May 12.

His last work here, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” moved to Broadway, resulting in his first Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. Really? It took that long?

It was directed by McCarter’s artistic director and resident playwright Emily Mann who also helms this play, described as “a decidedly dark and daring comedy taking hilarious aim at today’s absurd and dangerous world.” Continue reading Christopher Durang’s newest comedy opens Saturday in Princeton

2018 Tony Awards nominations revealed this morning

Screen Shot of 2018 Tony nominationsIt pays to be “mean” and “square” on Broadway, according to the 2018 Tony Awards committee, with Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants each with 12 nods, including Best Musical.

Close was The Band’s Visit (with 11 nominations) and trailing behind is Frozen (earning three nods). The list was revealed this morning (May 1).

The 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony is scheduled forJune 10 at Radio City Music Hall. Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban  co-host. Continue reading 2018 Tony Awards nominations revealed this morning

Two River Theater expands its footprint, public outreach

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Next fall the Two River Theater Company will celebrate its 25th season and this week it announced a plan to build a three-story Center for New Work, Education and Design.

It’s  all part of its goal to become one of the best regional theaters in the country. And I have no doubt that it will succeed. Continue reading Two River Theater expands its footprint, public outreach

‘Be More Chill’ gets second staging at NYC’s Signature Theatre

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The Two River Theater Company has attracted lots of attention from  Broadway and off-Broadway actors, directors,  playwrights, set, lighting and costume designers who have  worked there.

Now “Be More Chill,” a pop-rock musical first produced by the Red Bank-based theater that commissioned  and produced in 2015,  is attracting world-wide attention for going to NYC. Continue reading ‘Be More Chill’ gets second staging at NYC’s Signature Theatre

News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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