Will Connolly (center) stars as Jeremy Heere in the world premiere of “Be More Chill” at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. The company includes, from left: Paul Whitty, Gerard Canonico, Lauren Marcus, Katie Ladner, Stephanie Hsu, Jake Boyd and Katlyn Carlson. (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson Photography)
Will Connolly (Jeremy Heere) and Eric William Morris (The Squip) in the world premiere of “Be More Chill” at Two River Theater.compan in Red Bank, NJ. (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson)
Will Connolly (Jeremy Heere) and George Salazar (Michael) in the world premiere of “Be More Chill” at Two River Theate, Red Bank, NJ. (PHOTO: T. Charles Erickson)
Stephanie Hsu (Christine) and Will Connolly (Jeremy Heere) in the world premiere of “Be More Chill” at Two River.(PHOTO: T. Charles Erickson)
For actor Gerard Canonico, hitting the sweet spot is all about artistic collaboration and a new, edgy musical is the best way to achieve that goal.
It’s based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini about a high school student who considers himself a loser, is tormented by bullies, invisible to girls. Then he learns about “squips”—a quantum computer in pill form that once ingested communicates with your brain. It could be his ticket to the high school hero highway.
Nonprofit theaters around the country have been adding value to their brand for years with such things as pre- and-post-performance talks. Two River Theater in Red Bank (NJ) has really thrown itself into building a community by offering lots of free audience-pleasing events other than a 6-play season.
On Monday (May 11) the regional theater, under the artistic direction of John Dias, announces its 2015-’16 season. But instead of sending out a press release to local media, the public is invited to reserve a free ticket in the 399-seat main stage space and hear what’s on the schedule from the directors, artistic staff, and actors who will be part of the season. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event is followed by a reception.