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.
The “Be More Chill” segment that closed today’s NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt is great publicity for amusical 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.
With Two River Theater’s current staging of August Wilson’s “King Hedley II,” the Red Bank company has reached the halfway mark inproducing 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.
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.
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.”
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.