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.
The Women with no name walks into a karaoke bar (a former Tastee-Freeze) in Anywhere, U.S.A. in 1996 packed with people who’ve been there for awhile.
She orders a drink, listens to the singers while observing the crowd, and as it slowly thins out sits at a table and starts talking about the summer of 1972 when “A Horse with No Name” was rockin’ the charts and a local radio station was running a contest to name it.
The New Jersey Repertory Company is throwing a coming out party for its new West End Arts Center during the first week of October with a Theater Brut arts festival featuring 28 new short plays, plus music, poetry, art and photography events.
This is the fifth Theatre Brut (pronounced brew) for the professional, non-profit theater founded in 1997 and the most ambitious since it acquired the 28,000 square-foot former grammar school in the West End section of Long Branch as a second space.
Theater Brut’s stated goal is to foster the “creative impulse unfettered by social and artistic convention.” That objective also could be applied to the founders, artistic director SuzAnne Barabas and executive producer Gabor Barabas.
Instead of going the traditional route of first raising money to fund a complete renovation before opening the doors to the public — which could take years, not counting building a cinema arts theater and apartments for visiting artists as well — the decision was made to create programming and invite the public in as soon as possible.
Deborah Rennard, the writer of “For Worse,” running through April 10 at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, has seen her share of troubled marriages. She was, after all, the actress who played JR’s secretary on TV’s hit show “Dallas” from 1978-1991.
(If you don’t know “Dallas,” ask your mom or click here)
Her four-character, two-hour world premiere has a twist she might not have seen on that TV set: a man who confesses to his wife of nearly 30 years (and three daughters) that he has been having a four-year affair with a much younger woman and plans to leave.