Category Archives: Two River Theater

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

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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

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

‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ opens in two weeks at Two River Theater

Poster image for "Dancing at St. Patrick’s Day is in the rearview mirror but two weeks from today Brain Friel’s  “Dancing at Lughnasa,” winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, begins performances at Two River Theater in Red Bank. Opening night is April 20.

Friel’s play — set in the summer of 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa — is considered a modern masterpiece about the Mundy sisters, five unmarried women who live together in County Donegal, on the west coast of Ireland. Their brother, Father Jack, has just returned from 25 years as a missionary in Uganda.

The story is based on the memories of the narrator, Michael, the grown-up illegitimate son of one of the sisters. He also speaks the lines of his 7-year-old self about that summer, when everything seemed to be on the brink of change. Continue reading ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ opens in two weeks at Two River Theater

Two River adjusts season so Santiago-Hudson can helm NYC ‘Othello’

Exterior of Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ.
Exterior of Two River Theater Company in
Red Bank, NJ.

Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, is swapping out  “Ooo-Bla-Dee,”  written by Regina Taylor and the last play of the season  (June 9-July 1), for “Songbird,” written by Michael Kimmel with music and lyrics by Lauren Pritchards, so that Ruben Santiago-Hudson  can make his directorial debut at Shakespeare in the Park with “Othello” in Manhattan.

Well that certainly beats “My dog ate my script” excuse. And congrats Mr. RSH. Hope to snag one of those free tickets this summer

Santiago-Hudson was nominated in 2017 for a Tony for Best Direction of a Play for “Jitney,” which also featured Two River Theater regular Brandon J. Dirden. Continue reading Two River adjusts season so Santiago-Hudson can helm NYC ‘Othello’

Comic book hero El Coqui stars in new Latino play at NJ’S Two River Theater

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El Coqui, a small nocturnal arboreal frog native to Puerto Rico with a  high-pitched call that was introduced into Hawaii and southern Florida, now has invaded New Jersey.

But in this case El Coquí is a human-sized Puerto Rican superhero who gets his power from a vejigante carnival mask in the world premiere play “El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom” at the Two River Theater in Red Bank now through Feb. 4.

Written by Matt Barbot and directed by Jose  Zayas, the play questions individual and national identity and explores what it means to be Latino or not Latino enough in contemporary America via the superhero/comic book genre. Continue reading Comic book hero El Coqui stars in new Latino play at NJ’S Two River Theater

Two River Theater’s staging of ‘Earnest’ is absolutely delightful

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It’s always amazed me how insults delivered with an upper-class English accent don’t sound so harsh.

For instance, “I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result,” which appears in Act II of the laugh-a-minute  comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

Yes, Wilde was Irish, not English, and not upper class. As one of the best-known personalities of his day and one of the greatest wits of all time, his words held up a mirror to the rigid and, at times , severe class system of late Victorian England while writing one of the funniest plays ever. Continue reading Two River Theater’s staging of ‘Earnest’ is absolutely delightful

‘A Raisin in the Sun’ cast deliver performances in a play not to be missed

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“You people,” says the man from the all-white Clybourne Park Welcoming Committee — repeatedly —to the Younger family living in a one-bedroom rundown apartment on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s.

He’s so polite that the Younger family, at first, believe Mr. Lindner (Nat DeWolf) is sincere until it becomes clear he’s not. He’s there to offer them more money than the purchase price of their new three-bedroom house so that their neighborhood won’t be sullied by black people.

The dream of leaving a cramped cockroach invested apartment where the shared bathroom is down the hall, for an airy suburban home with a yard waiting for a garden, is so visceral it took them a few minutes to realize his visit was about race, not open arms.

Continue reading ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ cast deliver performances in a play not to be missed

‘A Raisin in the Sun’ opens tonight at Two River Theater in Red Bank

The Younger family's hope for achieving their dreams is at the center of "A Raisin In the Sun" featuring Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in at Two River Theater in Red Bank. (PHOTO) T Charles Erickson
The Younger family’s hope for achieving their dreams is at the center of “A Raisin In the Sun” featuring Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in at Two River Theater in Red Bank. (PHOTO) T Charles Erickson

“Raisin in the Sun” opens tonight at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank with a cast that would do a Broadway production proud. It includes Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Nat DeWolf (Karl Lindner), Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Willie Dirden (Bobo), Charlie Hudson III (Joseph Asagai), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), and York Walker (George Murchison). Andrew Binger and David Joel Rivera play the Moving Men.

Continue reading ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ opens tonight at Two River Theater in Red Bank