Category Archives: NJ Theater News

‘Pamela’s First Musical’ announces cast for its world premiere

Pamela's First Musical logoWe knew the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” would open the 25th anniversary season of the Two River Theater Company in September. Now we know who’s in the cast and the creative team.

They have more than 25 Tony Awards nominations — and seven wins — among them.

Wendy Wasserstein (“The Heidi Chronicles) adapted her 1996 children’s book for the stage with “City of Angels” composer Cy Coleman and lyricist David Zippel —all Tony Award-winners. 

Christopher Durang, another Tony winner for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” also is involved in the project that has been under development by Two River Theater for several years. Continue reading ‘Pamela’s First Musical’ announces cast for its world premiere

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.

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

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

Two River Theater expands its footprint, public outreach

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Chill with Joe Iconis & Family at fundraiser for Two River Theater

Joe Iconis, an acclaimed New York City-based musical theater writer whose “Be More Chill”  premiered at Two River Theater Company in 2015, is returning to headline a fundraiser for the much-admired  regional theater in Red Bank, NJ.

“An Evening with Joe Iconis and Family” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and will benefit the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, the 350-seat main stage space named after the theater’s founders.  All proceeds will support programs for the development of new musical theater. The company, which is scheduled to announce its 25th anniversary season on April 23,  also stages works in its 99-seat black box theater.

A combination of rock ‘n’ roll jamboree and musical cabaret, the evening  also includes classic tunes, new numbers, and works-in-progress written by Iconis. Continue reading Chill with Joe Iconis & Family at fundraiser for Two River Theater

World premiere musical ‘The Sting’ releases first production shots

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Production photos giving us a first look at the upcoming Broadway-bound world premiere musical “The Sting,” featuring Harry Connick Jr. at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, were released today. Continue reading World premiere musical ‘The Sting’ releases first production shots