Theatrical LGBTQ Pride in New Jersey this June!

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Theatrical Pride in New Jersey this June!
Theatrical Pride in New Jersey this June!

New Jersey LGBTQ Pride is not limited to certain select weekends this coming month! For select theatres and performing arts centers, Pride occurs every day in June. Check out these upcoming offerings:

The New Jersey Repertory Company is hosting a month-long Pride event, PRIDE 23, from June 3-25, 2023 at their new West End Arts Center, 132 West End Avenue in Long Branch. For the entire month, there will be an Art Gallery show, Our Way, curated by Mare Akana, and a Photography exhibit, Out Photography, by Andrea Phox Photography.

There will also be five theatrical productions: first, from June 8-11, 2023, back by popular demand after a triumphant run at the International Gay Theater Festival in Dublin, it’s What Doesn’t Kill You. Written by and starring James Hindman, this show covers a heart attack, an obsession with Cher, and a trip to a concentration camp — so, of course, it’s a comedy!

This is followed by The Silver Bell by Alan Flanagan, arriving direct from Edinburgh and running June 8- 18. It’s a boy-meets-boy, boy-loses-boy, boy-punches-hole-in-universe-to-get-boy-back sci-fi romance. From June 15-18 is Miss Delta Township by Joanne Callum Powers, the story of several decades (starting in the 1960s) of life and longing in a typical suburban American family that’s anything but typical… After that, it’s Democracy Sucks by Monica Bauer, running June 22-25. It’s the story of Professor B, a ten-year veteran teacher of Political Philosophy 101 at Upper Michigan State who has taken to drinking during class and using sock puppets of Plato and Socrates to teach his students that democracy really does suck. But he’s on the verge of being fired; his only hope lies in getting an outstanding student evaluation, and he’s going to use his Stage Door Summer Camp experience to give his class the most exciting last course in the history of the school!

Finally, there’s Sister Mary’s Playtime by Tim McArthur from June 22-25. Direct from London’s St. Peter’s of the Sisters of the Third Removed, in the heart of the West End, Sister Mary — rumored to be the love child of West End musical star Elaine Paige — battles the blues with her unique style of comedy. No pulpit, no psalms, no prayers — Sister Mary ain’t that kind of nun! For more information about PRIDE 23, go to njrep.org.

“What else is going on during Pride month?” you may ask.  For starters, Tony Award-winning actress Beath Leavel and Sirius XM Broadway channel host Seth Rudetsky will appear June 3, 2023 at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal performing Deconstructing Broadway. Songs will be dissected, dirt will be dished, and questions from the audience will be answered! Contact Axelrod PAC at axelrodartscenter.com.

New Brunswick’s Crossroads Theatre Company has three shows appearing in early June. They kick off with Starchild: The Legend of Debbie Walker, written by and starring Beyoncé’s former musical director Divinity Roxx, telling her life story through her songs. The show runs through June 4. Concurrently, Crossroads presents two shows as part of their Legacy of Jazz series. First is Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, a tale of the latter days of singer Billie Holiday’s career. This runs from June 1-8. Then it’s I Got Life, featuring songs made famous by singer/pianist Nina Simone, on June 10-11. All three shows take place at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. For more information, go to crossroadstheatrecompany.org.

Also appearing on New Jersey stages in June: The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams, kicking off Artistic Director Bonnie Monte’s 34th and last season, at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison through June 18, 2023; Rent, Jonathan Larson’s rock retelling of the classic opera La Bohème set in Manhattan’s Alphabet City, at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn June 7-July 2, 2023; Two Sisters and a Piano, a new play by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, at Two River Theater in Red Bank June 3-25; and two shows at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania: Tommy and Me, a play about football and heroes, through June 17; and tick…tick…Boom! Jonathan Larson’s other play, running June 23-July 16, 2023.

Just remember, no matter how hot it may be outside, theatres are always cool inside. And what better way to celebrate LGBTQ Pride than by taking your honey on a theatre date. Or plan on going with a bunch of friends to see a fun show.