Category Archives: Local Live Theater

LOVE HURTS-Hudson Shakespeare Presents Romeo & Juliet in Hudson Parks

  Rival Families, Two Teens in Love, A Dismal Fate Awaits

By Sally Deering

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume.”

 Love Hurts Romeo and Juliette

Mackenzie Menter as Juliet and Joshua Blount as Romeo in HSC’s Romeo & Juliet.

What happens when two feuding families poison the love of their offspring with their hatred? Do the sins of the fathers cast evil on their children?  Can love ever survive when surrounded by hate?

These are the questions that come to mind in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the story of two star-crossed lovers who cannot escape the rivalry of their families and although they are madly, deeply in love, theirs comes to a tragic end.   Continue reading LOVE HURTS-Hudson Shakespeare Presents Romeo & Juliet in Hudson Parks

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Mile Square Theatre presents the Peanuts Gang in their Hit Musical!

GOOD GRIEF, HOBOKEN!

 Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Schroeder, Sally & Charlie Brown on Stage Feb. 3-26

 

 By Sally Deering

Good Grief Charlie Brown In 1967, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown opened Off Broadway at Theater 80 in the East Village, and 50 years later it still charms and delights audiences of all ages. Songs like “Suppertime” and “Happiness” are classics of musical theater and cartoonist Charles M. Schultz’s characters Snoopy, Lucy and Charlie Brown are as iconic – and adorable – today as they were back then.

Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken opens its 2017 season with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown beginning Friday, Feb. 3 and running through Sunday, Feb. 26. The musical, featuring Schultz’s Peanuts Gang is a series of vignettes about Lucy who worships Schroeder who worships Beethoven; curious Sally and Linus, who doesn’t feel complete without his blanket; and Charlie Brown and his funny, loyal and precocious pup, Snoopy. Mary Kate Burke directs with musical direction by Terri Gorgone, and choreography by Sarah Weber-Gallo. Jen Price-Fick designed the set.

Continue reading Mile Square Theatre presents the Peanuts Gang in their Hit Musical!

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URBAN SHAKESPEARE  Hudson Shakespeare Company plays The Bard in Hamilton Park, Jersey City

 

   Next Up:  Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2

Shakespeare in Hamilton Park Jersey City
Swordplay abounds in EDWARD III put on by Hudson Shakespeare Co.at Hamilton Park in Jersey City. Rachel Matusewicz as Countess of Salisbury clashes swords with Isaac Andrew as King David of Scotland; while Lord Audley (l.), played by Conrad Aurelius battles with Douglas, a Scottish Nobleman played by Keith Hale. 

By Sally Deering

 Never mind getting upstaged by fancy swordplay or an actor taking too long for his death scene. Hudson Shakespeare Company’s adaptable actors must endure teens on skateboards, barking dogs, ambulance sirens, even low-flying helicopters while they project the dense and rhyming lines of The Bard.

Such is the actor’s life when performing with the Hudson Shakespeare Company, now in its 25th year. This summer, the ensemble puts on three Shakespeare plays and will bring Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 to Hamilton Park on Thurs, Aug. 18 at 7 pm.  Admission is free thanks to support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs and other supporters of the arts.

On a recent Thursday evening, local park-goers gathered in Hamilton Park for Edward III.

In a quasi-amphitheater setting that turned the steps leading down from the gazebo into audience seating and the circular walkway surrounding the gazebo into the stage for the play, the actors adorned in capes, boots, breastplates and leather accoutrements acted Edward III against a moving backdrop of kids playing ball, people walking their dogs, and commuters heading home from a long day at the office. Continue reading URBAN SHAKESPEARE  Hudson Shakespeare Company plays The Bard in Hamilton Park, Jersey City

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Mile Square Theatre Breaks Ground on Its New Facility at the Artisan in Hoboken

 

Hoboken's Mile Square Theater
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, Zabrina Stoffel, President of the Mile Square Theatre Board of Trustees, Chase Leyner, Mile Square Theatre Education Coordinator, Larry Bijou, Geri Fallo, Hoboken Administrator of Cultural Affairs, BCB executives Joseph Javitz, Thomas Coughlin and Kenneth O’Neill, Mile Square Theatre Artistic Associate Joseph Gallo, were among the crowd gathered for a ‘ground breaking’ inside the new theater space at the Artisan. 11/13/15 Hoboken,NJ photo by Joe Epstein/JoeEpsteinPhotography.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On  Friday,November 19,  Mile Square Theatre staff and trustees shared a momentous occasion for the arts in Hudson County with an excited group of stakeholders. Leading the way with a ceremonial groundbreaking was MST Trustee President Zabrina Stoffel, MST Education Director Chase Leyner, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.

Mile Square Theatre’s new facility is designed by Nastasi Architects and is being built by Sabia Construction. It’s scheduled to open in March, 2016. MST Education programs will operate from the new facility, and the company will soon announce its first season of plays at the Artisan.

Also on hand at the groundbreaking were Hoboken Cultural Affairs Director Geri Fallo, Larry Bijou, Larry and Diana Henriques, Mark Villamar, Clark Machemer, Bayonne Community Bank’s Tom Coughlin, Joseph Javitz, and Kenny O’Neill, and Clifton Savings Bank’s Tricia Hrotko. Other MST participants were Trustee Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin, MST Managing Director Lauren Ciborski, MST Playwright-in-Residence Joseph Gallo, and MST Artistic Associate Mark Cirnigliaro. Continue reading Mile Square Theatre Breaks Ground on Its New Facility at the Artisan in Hoboken

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Hudson Shakespeare Company at Historic Jersey City and Harismus Cemetery

Hudson Shakespeare
Cast photo featuring top down Carlos Muniz, Makenzie Daris, Andrew Benvenuti, Olivia Dreyer, Chris Morriss, Noelle Fair, J.P. Makowski and Samantha Morrice.

The Hudson Shakespeare Company of Jersey City kicks off its
24th Shakespeare in the Park series with a new twist on old favorite presenting a cross gendered “Love’s Labours Lost” where the men play the women and the women play the  men. The show is running coming to:   Saturday, June 20 at The Historic Jersey City and Harismus Cemetery at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. A
suggested $10 donation will be charged at the door and
concessions are available.

Continue reading Hudson Shakespeare Company at Historic Jersey City and Harismus Cemetery

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HOUSE OF SHARDS-Art House Productions “The House of Atreus” an American Vet Returns Home to More Casualties

Art House Productions’ New Play opens June 4th

By Sally Deering

“A cursed bloodline. A family on the edge.  If this house could speak, what stories it would tell.”

Creative Team at Art House Productions
THE HOUSE OF ATREUS’ Creative Team,
Christine Goodman, Mason Beggs and Meagan Woods

 That’s the tagline for the new play THE HOUSE OF ATREUS which premieres Thursday, June 4, at Art House Productions in Jersey City. It’s a collaborative work between Christine Goodman (Executive Director of Art House Productions) who wrote the piece, Mason Beggs, who directed, and choreographer Meagan Woods.

Gabbie Cowdie in Art House Productions House of Atreus
Gabbie Gowdie and Ema Lakovic in The HOUSE OF ATREUS

THE HOUSE OF ATREUS is an immersive and unconventional theater piece. Instead of putting the actors on stage and the audience in rows of seats to observe, the set takes up the entire theater with a chair and TV in one area, a broken down porch in another, and a dining room table at center. The audience enters through a haze of smoky fog and is encouraged to find a spot of their choosing to watch the play as it unfolds around them. This immerses the audience into the play’s action, which becomes part of the overall theater experience.

Adam Resnick in Art House Productions  House of Atreus
Adam Resnick plays Alan in THE HOUSE OF ATREUS, Presented by Art House Production in Jersey City

“The audience will be active observers,” Goodman says, sitting on set with Beggs and Woods during a break in tech rehearsal. “We’re changing the audience’s perspective.”

The play’s plot focuses on the main character Alan who returns home after serving in Iraq. He comes back only to find his house in ruins and his family broken and as war torn as the place he left behind. Continue reading HOUSE OF SHARDS-Art House Productions “The House of Atreus” an American Vet Returns Home to More Casualties

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Hudson Theater Ensemble presents “THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER”

Hudson Theater Ensemble presents  Songs, Laughs, and Positive Messages

By Sally Deering

 Hudson Theater Ensemble Once upon a time in Hoboken a little theater company decided to put on plays for adults and kids, and now, celebrating its 14th season, Hudson Theatre Ensemble presents the newest musical in its “Silly on Sixth” children’s series, THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER

 

Richard Dwyer in Hudson Theater Ensemble The Elves and the Shoemaker
Richard Dwyer and Deborah Michels rehearse their roles as elves in
THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER

The show, adapted from the old fairy tale, is by Karen Boettcher-Tate and takes a comedic twist on a shoemaker and his wife who have a very demanding landlady. When their luck seems to run out, a complete stranger invites three kooky elves into their lives who start making magical shoes that save the poor shoemaker and his wife from eviction and the unemployment line.

Continue reading Hudson Theater Ensemble presents “THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER”

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PHOENIX ENSEMBLE ON THE RISE

Theater Company to Enrich Jersey City’s Cultural Life with Performances, Readings and Workshops

 By Sally Deering

Jersey City Phoenix Ensemble
Cast of IMPERFECT WOMEN OF THE BIBLE by Marsha Trice, performed by the Phoenix Ensemble of Jersey City

Sometimes friendships lead to creative collaborations and nobody knows that better than Marsha Trice, Artistic Director of the Phoenix Ensemble theater company in Jersey City. Trice and several company members met taking acting classes and doing plays in college and now they are collaborating as producers, actors, costumers – you name it – as the Phoenix Ensemble once again becomes a viable theater venue on Jersey City’s cultural landscape.

Phoenix Ensemble
Oliver Pinkard and Marsha Trice of Phoenix Ensemble of Jersey City

Phoenix Ensemble began in the early 1990s and it has been on again-off again until recently, when the company regrouped with Trice as artistic director with co-founders Tony Wilkes, Oliver Pinkard, Michael Laval and Dave Robinson sharing the helm. Together with producer Michele Baldwin, the creative team supports Phoenix Ensemble’s mission to bring theater, workshops and classes to Jersey City residents, especially to kids and teens who need creative opportunities to express themselves.

Continue reading PHOENIX ENSEMBLE ON THE RISE

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Hudson Shakespeare Company presents “On the Waterfront” at The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery and Other Venues

Taking a break from its usual program of touring Shakespeare, the Hudson Shakespeare Company of Jersey City delves into a modern story that is known as a classic film but not as a stage play. In honor of the film’s 60th anniversary, the company will be producing a stage adaptation on:
WHERE:
•Saturday, October 11@1pm at The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ Continue reading Hudson Shakespeare Company presents “On the Waterfront” at The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery and Other Venues

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ATTIC TREASURES Jersey City Theater Company Attic Ensemble Raises the Curtain on its 43rd Season

 By Sally Deering

ae-sand  Tucked away in the back of Barrow Mansion, a beautiful old building on Wayne Street in Jersey City, men and women dressed in 1940s costumes roam the rooms like ghosts waiting for their guests to arrive.

And arrive they will as The Attic Ensemble prepares for the first show of its 43rd season with the 1949 police drama DETECTIVE STORY by Sidney Kingsley. It opens Fri, Nov. 8th and runs the next couple of weekends. Directed by Attic’s Executive Director Billy Mitchell, DETECTIVE STORY features 22 actors who play 34 shady and not-so-shady characters who come through the doors of a New York City police station.

It’s a Sunday evening just five days before the show opens and actors are rehearsing in their costumes – designed  by Yolanda Keahey of Jersey City – while Mitchell keeps things moving, correcting lighting cues and coaching actors in their scenes. The stage is set with old, worn-out  desks and chairs, period typewriters and telephones which ring constantly throughout the play. Think TVs “Barney Miller” only set in the 1940s instead of the ‘70s.

There’s a certain charm about The Attic Ensemble even though there’s an underlying uncertainty about its future. For the past 42 years Attic has presented contemporary plays and musicals in Jersey City and after 42 years of struggling to make ends meet, the company’s future is as wobbly as a backstage prop table. Continue reading ATTIC TREASURES Jersey City Theater Company Attic Ensemble Raises the Curtain on its 43rd Season

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