Spotlight on New Jersey's Stages - Fall 2017
From beloved classics to brand-new productions, New Jersey's stages are alive with performances that will entertain and inspire. Take a front-row seat, and see what's happening now and into the holiday season!
Now in Its 55th Season
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is known for its summer performances of the Bard, but did you know they also offer a year-round calendar of classics geared towards contemporary audiences? Here's one to get you in the holiday spirit: It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, which takes you back to a 1940s radio station to bring the classic to life in a new and amusing way. Runs November 30-December 31, on the campus of Drew University in Madison.
Nearly 100, and still going strong! The Summit Playhouse, New Jersey's oldest continually running community theater, is staging Elf The Musical Jr., based on the popular film, in December. Founded in 1918 as a WWI relief organization, the historic playhouse has mounted over 300 productions.
3 Regional Theatre Tony Award Winners
New Jersey is justifiably proud of its three Regional Theatre Tony Award recipients: McCarter Theatre (1994), Crossroads Theatre (1999) and Paper Mill Playhouse (2016). McCarter (Princeton) is staging the ever-popular A Christmas Carol (December 5-31), while Paper Mill (Millburn) mounts the beloved Annie (November 22-December 31). For a foot-stompin' holiday gift, get tickets to see the award-winning musical Ain't Misbehavin' at Crossroads, coming up February 1-4.
America's 6th Largest PAC
You can always count on the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for an exciting calendar of live music, comedy, dance, theater and speakers. Coming up this world-class entertainment destination presents evenings with Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee (December 2) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (December 13).
For the Youngest Theater Lovers
Thanks to The Growing Stage in Netcong, young audiences can get their first taste of live theater. Billed as "The Children's Theatre of New Jersey," The Growing Stage offers a family-friendly production of Cinderella, A Holiday Musical from November 24-December 17.
A "Taste" of Theater
Does live theater make you a little hungry? For the classic pairing of "dinner and a show," head for the hills—the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, that is. The Hampton venue presents A Playhouse Christmas, billed as a festive holiday music revue, through December 21.
Over One Dozen Equity Theaters
For a small state, New Jersey has an amazing number of equity theaters, ranging from Cape May Stage to Two River Theatre (Red Bank). Check out the production of the award-winning musical Newsies at Centenary Stage Company (Hackettstown) November 24-December 10. For one night only (December 2), Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre (Summit) offers A Very Special (Holiday) Special—an annual holiday tradition!
New Jersey's "Broadway"
Sure, you could fight the traffic and crowds to go to a Broadway show in New York—or you could just go to the historic 1926 building (with original restored 3/8 Kimball theatre pipe organ) in South Jersey that houses the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. On the heels of Return of the Phantom: A New Musical (closing November 19), the theater will stage the heartwarming musical, One Unforgettable Christmas, December 1-17.
100 Seats or Less
For an intimate theater experience, visit Dover Little Theatre (Dover, 100 seats), Mill Hill Playhouse, home of Passage Theatre Company, (Trenton, 100 seats) or Luna Stage (West Orange, 99 seats). Dover is mounting a fractured fairy tale version of a holiday classic in December with Fairy Tale Christmas Carol. Or check out SoloFest at Luna Stage from December 8-17, featuring solo performances from five New Jersey artists.
4 World Premieres
Fall was a big season for world premieres in the Garden State, including F Theory at the New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch), The Honeymooners at the Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn), A Year in the Trenches at the East Lynne Theater Company (Cape May), and The Mecca Tales from Crossroads Theatre Company (Edison). While these premieres have closed, another is waiting in the wings: The Sting, A New Musical—which brings the Oscar-winning 1973 movie to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage! (March 29-April 29, 2018.)
New Brunswick's Stages, 1921 to 2019
New Brunswick has its own "theater district" with the State Theatre, located in a 1921 restored vaudeville/silent film house, and George Street Playhouse, which has announced it will open a new state-of-the-art theater for its 2019-20 season. From December 15-17, enjoy the State Theatre's production of The Nutcracker, the only American Repertory Ballet performances featuring a live orchestra and choir. Or see Kathleen Turner in the hilarious comedy, An Act of God, playing at George Street, November 28-December 23.