New York’s Broadway and London’s West End resuscitated Noel Coward’s 1941 farce BLITHE SPIRIT, last season, with the iconic Angela Lansbury in the role of the eccentric Madame Arcati.
Jersey City’s Attic Ensemble follows in those theatrical footsteps as it ushers in its 44th season with this kooky supernatural stage comedy – just in time for Halloween.
Forty-four years bringing theater to the locals is no small feat and Attic Ensemble keeps the curtain rising even though financially the troupe could use some help filling the coffers. The last few years have been tough-going for the little theater company and there were times the artistic team led by president Billy Mitchell thought the company would be closing its doors for good. But the last two shows attracted large audiences, so the plays go on and hopefully this upswing will lead to a theater angel who may want to adopt the troupe. Continue reading HALLOWEEN CANDY- ATTIC ENSEMBLE OPENS 44TH SEASON WITH ‘BLITHE SPIRIT’ – NOEL COWARD’S DELICIOUS COMEDY→
Saturday, March 1st at 8pm plus Thurs, Mar. 6 at 7 pm; Fri and Sat, Mar. 7 and 8 at 8 pm; and, Sun, Mar. 9 at 3 pm
By Sally Deering
Ken Kesey’s book ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST was a great book that became an even better stage play when Dale Wasserman adapted it for the theater. Jack Nicholson starred in the movie version and it still resonates decades later. ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ tells the story of Randle P. McMurphy, a free-spirited hooligan who thinks he outsmarts prison officials by acting a little nuts and getting sent to a mental institution to serve his time instead of prison McMurphy becomes the hero to a ward of misfits and it doesn’t take long before he locks horns with the ward’s nurse-in-charge, Nurse Ratched, a no-nonsense control freak who runs her patients’ lives with an iron fist and a cold, hardened heart.
This terrific stage classic gets a revival this week when the Attic Ensemble presents ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST for six performances, Fri, Feb. 28 through Sun, Mar. 9, at the Barrow Mansion in Jersey City. The play is directed by George Seylaz and features Sly Augustus, Ryan Bender, Luke M. Blanchard, Ron Leir, Richard Bull, Art Delo, Colin Goodwin, Melissa Harlow, John L’Ecuver, Crystal Schenck, Andre Urban, Ray Velasquez, Catriona Rubenis-Stevens and Brendan Wahlers. (Ms.) Hank Morris plays Nurse Ratched and Benjamin Holmes plays McMurphy. Continue reading WHAT, ME CRAZY? Attic Ensemble Presents Classic ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST→
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.
Kooky Characters Come to Life as Local Live Theaters Begin New Seasons
BY SALLY DEERING
Culture flourishes in Hudson with art, music and dance performances happening throughout its cities. We also have some terrific live theater groups putting on shows for adults and kids and the new season is now kicking off, like J CITY Theater’s production of APARTMENT 3A. Along with J CITY Theater, the Attic Ensemble in Jersey City is celebrating 43 years as a community theater and the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken opens its season with a wink to the kids in its production of the Broadway play A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD.
Here’s a closer look at some local theater companies and their upcoming shows. Why not check out a performance or two? You’ll be supporting local theater and those artists who may work in the cultural milieu of New York City and who also nourish the cultural fabric of Hudson’s community
CRAZY DOES IT ON LIVE TV
Producing Director of the J CITY Theater Clay Cockrell and his wife Sandy Cockrell, who is the company’s Artistic Director are thrilled to be back on the boards after almost a year-long hiatus brought on by Hurricane Sandy. (See our interview with Clay Cockrell following this story.)
This marks J CITY Theater’s 8th season of presenting popular and contemporary plays on the stage of the theater which is located in the basement of St. Michael’s RC Church facing Hamilton Park in Jersey City. The company recently opened its season with APARTMENT 3A, a romantic comedy about a public television employee who loses her faith in God, men and public broadcasting. As the heroine takes a ride on the romance rollercoaster, she eventually has an on-camera meltdown during a pledge drive which leads to pandemonium and hilarity. The play runs through Oct. 26 and features Sandy Cockrell, Stephen Hope, Randall Marquez and Clay Cockrell. Stage Manager is Jack Vandewark and Tech Director is Nick Probst; Jacquelyn Bird is choreographer. Continue reading LIVE THEATER -A FROG, DETECTIVE AND HAMLET, TOO!→
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