Category Archives: Two River Theater

Screening of ‘Roxanne’ launches free events at Two River Theater

One of my Top 10 favorite plays — “Cyrano de Bergerac” —   opens the Two River Theater Company’s 26th season beginning next month.

But the pre-play festivities begin much earlier in Red Bank, NJ. Tonight, as a matter of fact, with a free screening of the film “Roxanne,” an 1987 adaptation of the classic 1897 play by Edmond Rostand .

More than a dozen movies have been based on the the Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, a  French novelist, playwright, epistolarian and duelist.

Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah in “Roxanne.”

The romantic comedy stars  Steve Martin as  C.D.  Bales, who is in love with the beautiful Roxanne, played by Daryl Hannah , who is in love with the handsome Chris, played by  Rick Rossovich.

The NYTimes called it a “thoroughly charming performance,.

Click here to reserve free tickets.

Continue reading Screening of ‘Roxanne’ launches free events at Two River Theater

Joe Iconis’ new musical offers free early look at Two River Theater

Joe Iconis in a screen-grab during the filming of the TV series “On Stage.”

“Be More Chill” composer/lyricist Joe Iconis will be competing against himself tonight (Saturday Aug. 17, 2019) in two different venues.

While on stage at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, with a work-in-progress presentation of  his new musical “Love in Hate Nation” beginning at 7 p.m., he also will be featured at 7:30  p.m. on the weekly TV series “On Stage ” presented by Spectrum News NY1. Continue reading Joe Iconis’ new musical offers free early look at Two River Theater

Joe Iconis’ newest show ‘Love in Hate Nation’ reveals all-girl cast

The cast for “Love in Hate Nation” — the follow up to Tony Award-nominee Joe Iconis’ musical “Be More Chill” — has been announced.  

The cast includes Sydney Farley (Gloria “Ya Ya” Meeks), Amina Faye (Susannah Son), Jasmine Forsberg (Brenda “Rat” Ratowski), Lauren Marcus (Miss Asp), Kelly McIntyre (Sheila Nail), Lena Skeele (Dorothy Donaldson), Emerson Smith (Kitty Minx), Ryan Vona (The Guy) and Tatiana Wechsler (Judith Ramone).

The world premiere is scheduled to begin performances at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ, Saturday, Nov. 9 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 1. The opening night performance is 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15.

Tickets available by calling 732-345-1400, visiting the box office at  21 Bridge Ave. and at tworivertheater.org

Continue reading Joe Iconis’ newest show ‘Love in Hate Nation’ reveals all-girl cast

Regina Taylor is a woman who’s always on the go

Actress, playwright and director Regina Taylor is always on the go. (Courtesy of Regina Taylor)

When you ask actress, playwright and director Regina Taylor when she has time to sleep, she just laughs. 

She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in TV’s “I’ll Fly Away” (1993) as well as NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (1995). She’s been a guest star on “The Red Line” and “The Good Fight.” Next year she’s featured in Netflix’s new “All Day and a Night” written and directed by “Black Panther” writer Joe Robert Cole.

“It’s absolutely brilliant and wonderful,” she said about the new series in a recent telephone interview. Continue reading Regina Taylor is a woman who’s always on the go

Last chance to catch delightful staging of ‘The Belle of Amherst’

“The Belle of Amherst” featuring Maureen Silliman as Emily Dickenson. (PHOTO:  T Charles Erickson)

The Two River Theater Company launched  two shows that landed on NYC stages so far this year. It’s a great way for the Red Bank-based regional theater to celebrate its 25 anniversary season.

TRT playwright-in-residence Madeleine George’s “Hurricane Diane” was staged at the New York Theatre Workshop earlier this season and “Be More Chill” opened last month at  the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway.

You might think TRT specializes in new work.

Wrong. The company also produces classic works, and this is the last week to check out “The Belle of Amherst,” based on Emily Dickinson’s life. It’s a loving revival of the one-woman show written by William Luce (he specialized in them, and wrote this one for Julie Harris, who premiered it on Broadway in 1976). Continue reading Last chance to catch delightful staging of ‘The Belle of Amherst’

‘Be More Chill’ has a sister in Joe Iconis’ new musical ‘Love In Hate Nation’

Two River Theater Company announced its 2019-2020 season, which includes a world premiere musical from Joe Iconis. (PHOTO: Gretchen Van Benthuysen)

”Be More Chill” fans rejoice!! Joe Iconis has a new show. It’s about teenagers. Bad girls, really bad girls, in fact, it takes place in a juvie hall in the 1960s. It’s called “Love In  Hate Nation.” Continue reading ‘Be More Chill’ has a sister in Joe Iconis’ new musical ‘Love In Hate Nation’

Classic ‘Belle of Amherst’ at Two River Theater opens tonite, closes May 5

Two River Theater tonight opens the  classic one-woman play “The Belle of Amherst, “a biographical drama (with plenty of laughs) starring Maureen Silliman as poet Emily Dickinson.

It’s directed by the theater’s founder and Executive Producer Robert Rechnitz, a former Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. Continue reading Classic ‘Belle of Amherst’ at Two River Theater opens tonite, closes May 5

Dear world, ‘Be More Chill’ was launched at Two River Theater Co.

Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J.
Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J.

The “Be More Chill” segment that closed today’s NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt is great publicity for a  musical whose original cast album had 250,000,000 million downloads on social media. Only “Hamilton” had more. 

But couldn’t the reporter have thrown a bone to the non-profit Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ, where the show first was produced and created the album. Instead of naming it she said: “When ‘Be More Chill’ closed its first run at a small New Jersey theater, it seemed like that would be it for the musical.”

Ok.Ok. It only has 349 seats. But the Lyceum Theatre is one of the smaller Broadway theatres in terms of capacity, seating only 922. So there.

Watch the NBC video

It is the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in New York City, and the first Broadway theatre ever to be granted landmark status (1974)
It is the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in New York City, and the first Broadway theatre ever to be granted landmark status (1974)

Wilson’s ‘King Hedley II’ very much in yo’ face at Two River Theater

With Two River Theater’s current staging of August Wilson’s “King Hedley II,” the Red Bank company has reached the halfway mark in  producing the 10-plays that comprise the playwright’s American Century Cycle.

Actor Brandon J. Dirden, whose career includes TV, Broadway and five plays here (two by Wilson), has done an outstanding job once again with a superb cast of six very accomplished actors and a skilled technical team.

Dirden also chose to stage the play in the 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The actors are in your face and their thoughts, feelings and desperation are visceral. It’s down-and-dirty theater that, at times, takes your breath away. Continue reading Wilson’s ‘King Hedley II’ very much in yo’ face at Two River Theater

Brandon J. Dirden balances acting with directing, for now

Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King, Jr. in “All The Way.” (PHOTO: Evgenia Eliseeva)

For now, Brandon J. Dirden is an actor who also directs plays. But maybe not for long. He might be transitioning into a director who also acts.

Dirden, 39, is the son of actor Willie Dirden, older brother to actor Jason Dirden, is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and they have a 4-year-old son he calls a “theater rat” because he spends so much time in them.

Dirden made his Broadway debut in “Prelude to a Kiss” (2007) and portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. opposite Bryan Cranston in his Broadway debut as Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way” (2014). Continue reading Brandon J. Dirden balances acting with directing, for now