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The Whipping Man (05/27 — 06/24)This award-winning play by Matthew Lopez takes place in Richmond, Virginia in April 1865 following the Civil War. In it, a Jewish Confederate officer is home after being severely wounded. His two former slaves care for him on the last night of Passover - the ancient celebration of the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, noting with particular satisfaction the parallels to their current situation. But the pain of their enslavement will not be soothed by this tradition, and deep buried secrets from the past refuse to be hidden forever as the play comes to its shocking climax. Cape May Stage, Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets, Cape May. (609) 770 — 8311 website www.capemaystage.org
George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. (732) 846— 2895 website: gsponline.org Re-opens for the 2016— 17 season in October.
Luna Stage Company, 555 Valley Road, West Orange 07052, Box Office: (973) 395— 5551, website: lunastage.org Re-opens for the 2016— 17 season in October.
All the Days (Now — 05/29) Looking forward to the world premiere of new play by Sharyn Rothstein who won acclaim for her previous play By the Water. In this family centered play, a daughter has done everything in her power to create a life completely different than the one she came from. But a week before a family celebration she suffers a lapse of judgment and invites her deliciously eccentric and overbearing mother to come stay. See review shortly after opening on CurtainUp home page. McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton. (609) 258-2787 web site: mccarter.org
Villainous Company (05/05 — 06/05) This is the New Jersey premiere of Victor L. Cahn’s play in which Claire returns home from an afternoon of shopping and discovers that one of her packages is missing. Coincidentally, just as she is calling the store, a staff member stops by to return the item, then manages to invite herself inside. Before long, larceny and trickery abound as the two women, soon joined by a third, compete in a scintillating and suspenseful game of cat-and-mouse. See review shortly after opening on CurtainUp home page. New Jersey Repertory Company at the Lumia Theatre, 179 Broadway, Long Branch 07740 (732) 229 — 3166 website: njrep.org
West Side Story (06/01 — 06/21) This is the groundbreaking‚ and legendary musical that set the bar for all musical theater. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim contains songs that have become part of our culture. This new production boasts the original Jerome Robbins choreography. See review shortly after opening on CurtainUp home page. Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn 07041 Box Office: (973) 376-4343 website: papermill.org
A Song at Twilight Noël Coward’s final and semi-autobiographical play kicks off the season. About a celebrated writer, his devoted wife, and a glamorous woman from his past, it offers a sprinkling of piano music and Coward’s delicious quips as a compliment to this bittersweet comedy from the master of sophisticated wit. See review shortly after opening on CurtainUp home page. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, F. M Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940 (973) 408 - 5600 shakespearenj.org
I Remember Mama (06/04 — 06/26) Ten actresses will perform all 25 roles in this famous play about a working-class Norwegian family in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. See review shortly after opening on CurtainUp home page. Two River Theatre Company, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank (732) 345 — 1400
As my duties and assignments as a theater reviewer include all Broadway, most Off-Broadway and many Off-Off Broadway shows, my coverage of New Jersey theatres is limited to those that have been a regular part of my beat. I will, nevertheless, post information about up-coming shows worth checking out and mini-reviews of some I manage to catch but don't have time to review in more detail. Once a show we've reviewed closes, it will migrate to our Master Index of All Shows Reviewed at CurtainUp (Master Index) so that the review will still be available for reference. The little box headlined NEW JERSEY CONNECTIONS, includes besides a link to my own annotated list of area theaters, links to the NJTheatre Alliance website and its information regarding special programs and services, as well as several other websites you may find helpful.
Slings & Arrows-the complete set
You don't have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to love all 21 episodes of this hilarious and moving Canadian TV series about a fictional Shakespeare Company