Category Archives: World Premiere

Christopher Daftsios playwriting debut will blow your boots off

Joy Donze and Christopher Daftsios in the world premiere of "Lily" at the New Jersey Repertory Theater in Long Branch. Written by Daftsios, the revenge play centers on an aging, over-sexed country singer who meets his match during a post-performance encounter.(PHOTO: Andrea Phox)
Joy Donze and Christopher Daftsios in the world premiere of “Lily” at the New Jersey Repertory Theater in Long Branch. Written by Daftsios, the revenge play centers on an aging, over-sexed country singer who meets his match during a post-performance encounter.(PHOTO: Andrea Phox)

Can one sorry and sordid aging country music superstar change his tune when confronted one post-show night by a determined young woman who seeks revenge for past wrongs?

You bet he can!

He has no choice in this world premiere of “Lily” at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch playing through Nov. 24.

It’s the first full-length play written by Christopher Daftsios, a NJ Rep regular who also plays the alcoholic singer Toby Crenshaw. The drama is so full of unexpected twists and turns it caused the audience to gasp at times. Continue reading Christopher Daftsios playwriting debut will blow your boots off

Twists, turns, betrayal help make ‘The Source’ a must-see theater event

From left, Conan McCarty, Eleanor Handley and Andrew Rein in a scene from the world premiere of Jack Canfora's "The Source." (PHOTO: SuzAnne
From left, Conan McCarty, Eleanor Handley and Andrew Rein in a scene from the world premiere of Jack Canfora’s “The Source.”
(PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

In the New Jersey Repertory Company’s excellent, nicely staged, absorbing world premiere “The Source,” a newspaper mogul calls a late-night meeting with two of his top executives to plan a strategy to deal with a serious and potentially illegal issue.

Allegations soon will be leveled that his company hacked into the cell phone of a murdered 14-year-old girl to obtain her voice mail messages. 

Illegal or not says Roland (Conan McCarty), the mogul, the company is  not going to look good to the public whose sympathies will be with the dead girl’s family.

 And that’s not all. Continue reading Twists, turns, betrayal help make ‘The Source’ a must-see theater event

‘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

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

World premiere musical ‘The Sting’ releases first production shots

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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

McCarter Theatre reveals 3 world premieres for diverse 2018-2019 season

From left, Douglas McGrath, Dominique Morriseau, Ken Ludwig, Eleanor Burgess, and David Hare all have plays being staged at McCarter Theatre in Princeton next season.
From left, Douglas McGrath, Dominique Morriseau, Ken Ludwig, Eleanor Burgess, and David Hare all have plays being staged at McCarter Theatre in Princeton next season.

Let’s cut to the chase …

The Theater Series in order:

— Douglas McGrath’s world premiere adaptation of “The Age of Innocence,” Edith Wharton’s classic gilded age love story, directed by Doug Hughes.

— Dominique Morisseau’s incendiary “Detroit ’67,”  directed by Jade King Carroll

— World premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ “The Niceties,” a riveting look at race and history directed by Kimberly Senior

— World premiere of Ken Ludwig’s “The Gods of Comedy,” directed by Kathleen Marshall

— David Hare’s Tony Award-winning “Skylight,” directed by Emily Mann, McCarter’s Theatre artistic director and resident playwright Continue reading McCarter Theatre reveals 3 world premieres for diverse 2018-2019 season

Alli Angelou juggles grad school, job, and stage debut with NJRep

Alli Angelou, Lincroft section of Middletown, is in the world premiere of "Wild Horses," a coming-of-age story running at the New Jersey Repertory, New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway in Long Branch Company.
Alli Angelou is in the world premiere of “Wild Horses,” a coming-of-age story running at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch Company. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

Alli Angelou was at work at the New Jersey Repertory Theater in Long Branch recently when her boss, artistic director SuzAnne Barabas, walked in and said she was going to be in their next play.

OK. Sure. No problem.

Angelou, who graduated from Middletown High School South in 2012, has been Barabas’ assistant at the professional, non-profit theater specializing in new American plays for about seven months. But that’s not why she got the job.

“She knew I could sing,” Angelou said. Continue reading Alli Angelou juggles grad school, job, and stage debut with NJRep

Paper Mill’s next season leads with new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJI’m wondering if the project Andrew Lloyd Webber alluded to but wouldn’t name on NBC’s Today show this morning is the world-premiere musical “Unmasked” that leads off the all-musicals 2018-2019 season of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.

Andrew Lloyd Webbers new book, "Unmasked" is being released March 7, 2018. (Harper)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir “Unmasked” to be released March 7, 2018. (Harper)

Based on his new autobiographical book of the same title being released tomorrow, it’s expected to be an intimate and sometimes unexpected interpretations of his best-loved songs, rediscovered gems and some new material specially written for this production. John Doyle directs. It runs Sept. 27-Oct. 28.

Continue reading Paper Mill’s next season leads with new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

God’s mercy, a priest’s responsibility at center of new NJ Rep play

Ames Adamson (left) and Jared Michael Delaney in "The Calling," a world premiere by Joel Stone playing at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Brand, NJ, through February 4, 2018. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)
Ames Adamson (left) and Jared Michael Delaney in “The Calling,” a world premiere by Joel Stone playing at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Brand, NJ, through February 4, 2018. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

Two men. One, an aging priest whose belief that God is merciful and Jesus is his savior, has never wavered. The other, a middle-aged lapsed Catholic who’s an ICU nurse ministering to very sick people, who agonizes over what kind of God let’s good souls suffer.

Both men are passionate about helping people. Both are deeply concerned about human life and death. Both come to drastically different conclusions about God’s purpose in all of this. And both believe he is right.

That’s the premise of Joel Stone’s interesting two-hander “The Calling,” receiving its world premiere through Feb. 4 at the New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch. Continue reading God’s mercy, a priest’s responsibility at center of new NJ Rep play

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