The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn brought us a ripping good production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific." Based upon the collected stories of James A. Michener, "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical introduces us to the young men and women from small towns and cities around the United States in the 1940s.
"The Wild Party" is a wild party indeed. Based on an epic poem by Joseph Moncure March, and borrowing the poem's words for its lyrics, it is billed as a musical, but is more an operetta. Very little of the dialogue is spoken. Most of it is sung in a bold, brazen, somewhat dissonant but still melodic contemporary score.
The Ritz Theater recently put on the period piece "You Can't Take It With You," written by Moss Hart and George Kaufman. Set in 1938 New York City it is about a family who are a group of zany, eccentric creatures that follow their own pursuits based on what they want to do, rather than on what societal norms tell them to do.
"Signature Duets: Dances of Daring and Devotion" was the name of the mixed bill presented by the American Repertory Ballet at the Hamilton Stage on Friday, March 21. There were five pieces presented this evening. "Fantasy Baroque" by Mary Barton to music by J. S. Bach opened the program.
The Paper Mill Playhouse invited the press to a dress rehearsal in New York on November 14 for "Oliver!" This will be one of the largest casts Paper Mill has ever had, yet one of the smallest rehearsal spaces. With a cast of 49, there wasn't much space for cameras and reporters. Shane Austin Miller, director of press relations, introduced Mark S. Hoebee, who directs the musical, and is also the the playhouse's producing artistic director.
The American Repertory Ballet ("ARB") presented the ballet, "Romeo and Juliet," at Raritan Valley Community College ("RVCC") on Saturday, March 8. The ballet was choreographed by artistic director Douglas Martin, with music by Sergei Prokofiev to William Shakespeare's tale of the doomed love of Romeo of Montague and Juliet of Capulet.
"Coriolanus" features actors who might be little known here, but be assured that they are quite famous in the UK. During the HD show intermission, it was said that the entire Donmar Warehouse run was sold out in days. What a treat this HD presentation is.
Like Carnegie Hall in New York, which has a main stage, Zankel Hall, and Weill Hall, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia has several venues under its roof. "Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas" is the wonderful musical being offered by the Independence Studio on 3 at the Walnut Street Theatre from now until December 29.
The 50th anniversary national tour of "Hello Dolly" was presented at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown on Saturday, November 9. The title role of Dolly Gallagher Levi was performed by Sally Struthers to a packed house. Many in the audience still remembered Miss Struthers from her role as Gloria Stivic on the television series, "All in the Family." A little older, yes; but she was still able to turn on the little-girl, winsome charm her character first exhibited on the 1971 series, and her adoring audience definitely came to see.