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OnStage News & Notes - January 2014

MPOnStage NewsletterIn January, we look back at Monty Python's Spamalot, look forward to auditions for Shrek the Musical, introduce Love Valour Compassion, An Evening of One Acts and The 39 Steps; tell you about a Robbinsville Theater Fundraising dinner; and provide a round up of MPO Alumni Happenings for the next three months.


TICKETS FOR MPO'S 'SHREK THE MUSICAL' NOW ON SALE!

PRICE: All Tickets $20

DATES:
May 30, 31 & June 6, 7, 2014 at 8pm
May 31, June 1, 7, 8, 2013 at 2pm

VENUE: Kelsey Theatre

Buy
Shrek The Musical is based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks film and brings the hilarious story of everyone's favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess.(more)


Monty Python's Spamalot Delivered the Laughs
...and Some Spam


MPO’s Production Hit #3 on Kelsey’s List of Best Attended Shows

The laughter continued unabated for three weeks before the curtain finally came down at Kelsey Theatre on Maurer Productions OnStage’s presentation of Monty Python’s Spamalot. Before it was over, audiences cheered and laughed, MPO staged the most successful production in its long history, and Spamalot became the #3 ranked show on the Kelsey list of best attended musical in the last 10 years, falling just short of the number one and two rankings held by Playful Theatre Productions’ Oliver (2004), and Cats (2006).

The show, which involved over 30 actors, production staff and crew, is lovingly ripped off from the motion picture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is an irreverent parody of the Arthurian legend. The story featured rude Frenchmen, can-can dancers, the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, a killer rabbit, and catapulting cows. But it was the Knights who say "Ni”, lead by Kevin Palardy as the lead knight, which proved to be one of the most popular characters to grace the stage during the run. Each night audiences applauded and laughed even before Palardy could deliver his lines. And each evening audiences were treated to something fresh as Kevin’s ad-libs, which were perfectly Python-esque, grew more outrageous. His tribute to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who drew an especially warm reception.

The bonding of the cast and all of their hard work during the months of rehearsal, under John Maurer’s direction, was evident on the stage. The cast’s energy, camaraderie, and passion for Python came through in every performance. Keep an eye on the MPO Alumni Happenings in this and future newsletters to see where these wonderful actors will be working next.

While the cast included many MPO alumni, the company is proud to say that it also included a lot of talent that is new to the MPO family. The newcomers in this production were Stuart Myles as King Arthur, Kevin Palardy as Sir Lancelot, Mimi Frances as the Lady of the Lake, Justin Derry as Sir Robin, Sean Downing as Sir Galahad, Paul Phalen as Prince Herbert, Candace Chmielewski and Dominique Shaw as Laker Girls. Maurer Productions OnStage would like to thank these new comers and the entire cast and crew of Monty Python’s Spamalot for delivering a stellar production.

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OPEN AUDITION:
MPO to Hold Auditions for Shrek Jan. 23-26.

Maurer Production OnStage (MPO), the award-winning company that brought smash hits like Monty Python’s Spamalot, Avenue Q, and Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA to Kelsey Theatre will be holding open auditions January 23rd, 25th and 26th 2014 for its upcoming production of Shrek the Musical. Approximately 21 roles for adult (and teenage) actors, singers and dancers, as well as 4 roles for children ages 8-12, will be available. All roles are open.

Actors who are interested in auditioning for Shrek the Musical are encouraged to visit the MPO Audition website to book an appointment online and download the Shrek Audition Packet.

“Shrek is a twisted fairy tale that promises to be fun for the whole family,” said Laurie Gougher, the show’s director. “And from an actor’s perspective, it will be a blast to perform as a member of the cast. The score is exciting, the costumes are crazy and cute, and the ensemble will have a lot of opportunities to shine. The majority of roles are geared toward adults and older teens, but there are four fun roles for children as well.”

Gougher is not new to large family-oriented productions, having directed Pennington Players’ production of Seussical the Musical and their production of the rocking fun teen show, 13 the Musical. She also recently received a Kelsey Award for her music direction of Pinnworth Productions’ The Pirates of Penzance and a Perry Award nomination for her music direction of MPO’s Avenue Q.

Shrek will also feature music direction by Peter de Mets, choreography by Stephanie Venanzi, stage management by Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, costume design by Kathy Slothower, set design by John Maurer, and lighting design by Kitty Getlik. The show will be produced by John Maurer, Diana Gilman Maurer, and Dan Maurer. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, this live stage version of Shrek was nominated for eight Tony Awards including best score and best book for a musical when it originally opened on Broadway in 2008. It is set in a faraway kingdom turned upside down, where an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won't shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand...and his name is Shrek. Full of all-new songs, great dancing, and great scenery, the show even features a 24-foot dragon.

Shrek the Musical opens at Kelsey Theatre on May 30th and runs through June 8th. For tickets call 609-570-3333, or click here to visit the Kelsey Theatre website.

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MPO Taps Stephanie Venanzi to Choreograph Shrek

Maurer Production OnStage (MPO) is thrilled to announce that dancer, choreographer and educator Stephanie Venanzi has been brought on board to choreograph the company’s upcoming production of Shrek the Musical.

“The whole team is excited to be working with Stephanie,” said Shrek Director Laurie Gougher. “She is a strong talent and an accomplished choreographer who I know will bring a lot of energy to the show.”

A dancer for 20 years and a professional dance instructor for 7 years, Venanzi has designed dance numbers and ensemble numbers for a variety of shows including Seussical the Musical, Once On This Island, Oliver, Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, Grease, Bye By Birdie and South Pacific. She is a teacher at Nottingham High School North in Hamilton, and a dance instructor at Downstage Center in Morrisville, PA.

Strong choreography has always been a staple of MPO productions. In fact, Gougher points to the success the company has had with long-time board member and choreographer Jane Coult. Her three Perry Award nominations for outstanding choreography for MPO’s Singin’ in the Rain, Man of La Mancha, and Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA, have helped set the bar. But since Jane is taking a break from this production to vacation and help the company in other ways, MPO knew they would need to look elsewhere for Shrek. This is nothing new to MPO, which has made its reputation in New Jersey community theater by fostering a collaborative environment and embracing new talent.

“Meeting and working with talented new people like Stephanie is always fun,” said Dan Maurer, one of the show’s producers. “On Shrek, we look forward to tapping into her broad experience with a variety of contemporary dance styles. We’re confident she will bring the same energy, creativity and professionalism to our group that Jane has done in the past.”

Maurer Productions OnStage will present Shrek the Musical at Kelsey Theatre May 30 through June 8, 2014. For tickets, call 609-570-3333, or click here to visit the Kelsey Theatre website. MPO is now booking audition appointments with actors, dancers and singers interested in performing in Shrek. Click here for more information about Shrek auditions.

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Love! Valor! Compassion!
PinnWorth to Deliver Award-Winning McNally Play Jan. 10-19

Set against an idyllic lakeside backdrop, the drama of the real world is never far from view as eight friends gather over three summer weekends in Love! Valor! Compassion! Presented by PinnWorth Productions, this Tony Award-winning play by Terrence McNally comes to Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre Fridays, Jan. 10 and 17 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Jan. 11 and 18 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Jan. 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Don’t miss the opening night gala immediately following the performance on Jan. 10, and the Rainbow Reception following the January 17 performance.

Theater goers are invited into the lives of a special group of friends as they celebrate Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day at the vacation home of Gregory, an aging Broadway choreographer, and his twenty-something lover, Bobby. Their guests include Arthur and Perry, an affectionate professional couple of long standing; the irresistible dancer Ramon; a soured ex-patriot Brit, John Jeckyll; his gentle twin brother, James; and Buzz, a costume designer and maniacal lover of musical theater. Flirtations and skinny-dipping combine with soul-searching, truth-telling, and monumental questions about life and death in the era of AIDS. At turns poignant and hilarious, the action culminates in a wacky dress rehearsal for Swan Lake performed in tutus.

According to the show’s director, Lou Stalsworth, the show is all too often depicted as a play about gay men coping with the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. “What that doesn't address is the play’s general tone, which is often breath-taking funny, always spot-on, and probably the best since ‘Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’” he observes.

Stalsworth notes that the show’s title beautifully sums up the theme and context of the material. “These are human emotions on display. Love and the pain of love gone bad knows no gender. Nor does the ability to forgive and start anew,” he says. “These characters speak with an honesty and frankness seldom seen on stage.”

The cast features a group of talented actors including many MPO alumni:. They are Mark Applegate of Hamilton as Bobby (Spamalot, Avenue Q, Drowsy Chaperone); Chris Arena of Ewing as Perry (Drowsy Chaperone); Lynn Baskin of Lambertville as Gregory (Driving Miss Daisy, Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA); Tony DiDia of Toms River as Arthur (Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA); William Mercado of Hightstown as Ramon (Avenue Q, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels); Bill King of Interlaken as James & John Jeckyll; and Jonathan Polanco of Hamilton as Buzz.

The show's choreographer is Jody Person (pictured), coordinator of the MCCC Theatre/Dance Program. Kate Pinner is the show’s set and costume designer; Bob Terrano is the lighting and sound designer. The stage manager is Matt Luppino. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

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An Evening of One-Acts at Kelsey Theatre
M&M Stage Productions Spoofs Theater and Its Fans Jan. 24-26

Poking fun at theater and theater people has become a popular subgenre that winks and nods straight to the funny bone. For one weekend only, M & M Stage Productions presents theater parody at its best at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre with two one-acts; Lawrence Casler’s A Night in the Theatre and Christopher Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare. These delightful one-acts will be performed Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Jan. 24.

A Night at the Theatre features two couples who are at the theater for their weekly dose of culture, this time in the form of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. What ensues between Margaret and Stanley (Jennifer Nasta Zefulte and Peter Bisgaier) and Donna and Walter (MPO Board Member Diana Gilman Maurer and Dave Christofferson) is theatrics of a different sort, as they chatter incessantly about themselves, their children, dead friends, hunger – and even occasionally Hamlet. Secrets emerge and friendships unravel. Audience members will join in the joke as they recognize these obnoxious theatergoers as the people who sometimes sit behind them!

In The Actor’s Nightmare, an accountant (Tim Moran) wanders on stage, where he is confronted by Meg (Morgan O’Neil Petronis), the stage manager. She informs him that he is the understudy for the lead actor and that he must perform in the lead’s stead. Inexplicably, he is referred to as "George" and “Stanley” throughout the play, despite his feeling that neither one is his name. Adding to the strangeness, he cannot remember attending any rehearsals or, in fact, being an actor at all. And no one will tell him the name of the play! One actor, Sarah (Gina Rose Tiso), tells him that it is a Noël Coward play, while another actor, Ellen (Jennifer Nasta Zefulte), tells him it’s a play by Samuel Beckett. A third actor, Henry (Dave Christofferson), reads from “Hamlet.” Literally shoved on stage, George tries to improvise his lines, but the plot keeps shifting between the plays as he finally learns that his role is that of Sir Thomas More – and the execution scene seems a bit too real for his liking. He tries to convince himself that he is merely in a dream…but is he?

The appealing ensemble cast includes MPO alumn Peter Bisgaier of Princeton Junction (Spamalot, A Little Murder...), Dave Christofferson of Lawrenceville, Chuck Denk of Princeton, Tim Moran of East Windsor, Morgan O’Neil Petronis of Ewing, Josh Stanlaw of Columbus, Gina Rose Tiso of Lawrenceville, and Jennifer Nasta Zefulte of Cranbury.

Mike DiIorio is the director for A Night at the Theatre and Dan Spalluto directs The Actor’s Nightmare. The show is produced by Mike Almstedt and Mike DiIorio. Lighting design is by M. Kitty Getlik; sound design is by Mike Almstedt; and costumes are by ElleryJane Rodger-Ring.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

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Fast-Paced, Hilarious Whodunit, The 39 Steps
Comes to Kelsey Theatre Jan. 31 to Feb. 9

Combine a Hitchcock movie classic with a comic homage to the whodunit genre and you’ve got The 39 Steps, to be presented by Theater To Go in collaboration with Pierrot Productions at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre. Dates and show times for this Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-winning play are Fridays, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 1 and 8 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Feb. 2 and 9 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Jan. 31.

In a show that has been described as one part Hitchcock, one part Monty Python, and one part Ringling Brothers Circus, Patrick Barlow's adaptation of "The 39 Steps” delivers a rapid-fire, hilariously irreverent re-invention of the famed 1935 mystery film. A cast of four actors breathlessly attempts to re-enact all of the characters, locations and famous scenes from the film with just a few props and a lot of theatrical ingenuity. The leading man, Richard Hannay, meets a mysterious woman at a London music hall who asks for his help in uncovering a spy ring, thus entangling him in a web of murder, espionage and intrigue. Along the way he encounters an assortment of characters played by two actors who switch personas at breakneck speed. It all adds up to a thoroughly entertaining evening of mischief and merriment. And those who listen carefully will catch veiled references to some of Hitchcock’s most memorable films.

In addition to the opening night reception on Jan., 31, the cast and creative team will host a “Talk Back” after the show on Friday, Feb. 7, to discuss Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps and their production. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the company will host “The First Annual and Last Ever Alfred Hitchcock Look-Alike Contest” following the show, inviting audience members to appear as their best Alfred Hitchcock selves.

The multi-talented ensemble cast features MPO alumn Casey Woods (Laughter on the 23rd Floor) of Sayreville as the protagonist, Richard Hannay; Mariel Rosati of Ivyland, Pa., who takes on several roles; and Andrew James Gordon of West Windsor and MPO alumn Jennifer Barron (A Little Murder..., Dirty Rotten Scoundrals) of Hamilton, who play all of the remaining characters.

The 39 Steps is produced by Pete LaBriola and Ruth Markoe, who also directs the show. The stage manager is Tara Simonelli; lighting and projection design is by Kitty Getlik; props are by Amy Bessellieu; and sound design is by Nick Mastelesz. Costumes are by Ruth Rittmann and set design is by Pete LaBriola.

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Beef, Beer & Auction Night
Robbinsville Theatre Troupe Holds Fundraising Dinner/Auction Feb 15

MPO Alum Caroline Maurer (Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor’s New Clothes) will be joining her fellow members of the Robbinsville-based Fellowship of the Ravens theater troupe as they hold a fundraising dinner and auction to support their journey to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where they will premiere a new play.

The group’s Beef, Beer & Auction Night will be held at 6 PM on February 15 in The Hibernian Club, located at 2419 Kuser Road, Hamilton Square, NJ. Tickets are $35 per person, $55 per couple. The Auction will offer a variety of items including Giants tickets, Jets tickets, a week long rental in the Outer Banks, an apartment rental in Paris, and much more. All proceeds go to help fund the group’s travel and production costs.

<< CLICK HERE DOWNLOAD A TICKET ORDER FORM >>

The Fellowship of the Ravens is a company of extraordinarily talented high school students from Robbinsville, NJ who have been invited to represent the Robbinsville community at the world’s largest arts festival, the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Their original play, Where to Begin, is an ensemble-based piece which represents the experiences, rather than the symptoms of teenage mental health issues by folding in elements of fantasy, storytelling, and archetypal psychology. By bringing young peoples’ stories to the forefront, by treating these narratives with respect, by encouraging high-schoolers to talk honestly about what they’re going through, the arts can create an environment of safety and acceptance, rather than fear and shame. The act of storytelling is more than a structural principle in this play – it is a call to action.

The transformative experience of producing this show will forever change the lives of the more than twenty young people committed to the project. Producing an original play that will travel abroad is a costly venture and the group is counting on events like the February 15 dinner and auction to make the trip possible.

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Backstage Pass Podcasts:

Talking About Love! Valour! Compassion!

LoveValourCompassion In this Podcast we talk with the director and some of the cast of Love!, Valour!, Compassion! being produced by Pinnworth Productions at the Kelsey Theatre on the campus of Mercer County Community College. Our guests include Director Lou Stalsworth, and cast members Mark Applegate, Lynn Baskin and Jonathan Polanco.

Listen to the Podcast.


Talking About A Night of One Acts!

ANightOfOneActs In this Podcast we talk with the director and some of the cast of A Night in the Theatre & The Actor's Nightmare, two one-acts being produced by M&M Productions at the Kelsey Theatre on the campus of Mercer County Community College. Our guests include Directors Mike DiIorio & Dan Spalluto, and cast members Peter Bisgaier, Dave Christoferson, Tim Moran, Gina Rose Tiso and Jennifer Nasta Zefutie.

Listen to the Podcast.

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MPO Alumni Happenings - January, February, March

Love! Valour! Compassion! at Kelsey Theatre

Lynn Baskin (Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA, Driving Miss Daisy), Chris Arena (The Drowsy Chaperone), Mark Applegate (Avenue Q, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot), Bill Mercado (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Avenue Q), and Anthony DiDia(Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA) will be appearing in PinnWorth’s Love! Valour! Compassion! at Kelsey Theatre.

Synopsis: The story of eight friends who gather at a home in upstate New York over three summer holiday weekends. Flirtations, love, mortality and the nature of friendship are explored against the idyllic country setting of the lakeside house, where the drama of the real world is never far from mind. At turns poignant and hilarious, Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning story of these eight gay men was described as "...a big, generous, haunted comedy...both very funny and filled with intimations of time's passage, of loss and death..." by the New York Times.

Show Dates:
Fridays, January 10 & 17, 2014 at 8p.m.
Saturdays, January 11 and 18 at 8 p.m.
Sundays, January 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

Tickets:
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at (609) 570-3333 or Online

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Location:
The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.
Directions to Theatre: http://www.mccc.edu/welcome_directions_wwcampus.shtml




Moon Over the Brewery at Off-Broad Street Theatre

Kayla Mostello Donnelly (Avenue Q) will be appearing in Moon Over the Brewery at the Off-Broad Street Theatre in Hopewell, NJ.

Synopsis: Miriam Lipsky, unmarried and living with her thirteen-year-old daughter, Amanda, works as a waitress to pay the bills, but it is her painting that really matters to her. Good subjects are scarce in the drab Pennsylvania coal town where they live, so Miriam dons a miner's lamp and paints at night, when moonlight softens and transforms the stark landscape. Miriam is also desirous of male companionship, a need which the precocious Amanda (she has an IQ of 160) has discouraged by driving away suitor after suitor with her barbed comments. Amanda, compensating for the lack of a father, has also created an imaginary friend, Randolph, who appears (only to her) in a resplendent white suit and provides mischievous advice and guidance. Matters come to a head when Miriam brings home Warren Zimmerman, a rather unprepossessing, somewhat paunchy mailman who, at first, appears to be a perfect target for Amanda's (and Randolph's) caustic remarks and demeaning intelligence tests. Until, that is, he quietly but firmly beats Amanda at her own game. In fact it is the surprisingly resourceful Warren who is able, at last, to wean Amanda away from her dependence on Randolph and into reality—and who, in time, may also be the one able to fill the aching needs of both Amanda and her lonely mother.

Show Dates:
January 10 through February 8, 2014

Performances:
Friday Nights: Doors open at 7:00; Curtain at 8:00
Saturday Nights: Doors Open at 7:00; Curtain at 8:00
Sunday Matinee: Doors Open at 1:30; Curtain at 2:30
Dessert is served before curtain.

Theater Info:
Off Broad Street Theatre
5 South Greenwood Ave.
Hopewell, NJ 08525
Telephone: 609-466-2766
Directions to theater: http://www.off-broadstreet.com/id4.html
For ticket prices and information, please call the theater.




An Evening of One Acts: A Night in the Theatre by Lawrence Casler and The Actor's Nightmare by Christopher Durang at Kelsey Theatre

Diana Gilman Maurer (Co-founder and board member of MP OnStage) and Peter Bisgaier (Spamalot) will be performing in M&M’s production of A Night in the Theatre.

Synopsis: Christopher Durang’s The Actor's Nightmare is a hilarious parody of Absurdist Theater--and theater itself. M & M Stage gives us a wild account of every actor’s worst nightmare, waking up on an unknown stage in an unknown show, unable to recall his lines. And to make matters worse, even though he is costumed as Hamlet the play seems to keep changing! Every week Walter and his wife Donna, get together with their dearest friends, Stanley and Margaret for A Night in the Theatre. This week's ordeal is Hamlet. After they seat themselves with some confusion, the play consists of their incessant and hilarious chatter about themselves, their children, a dead friend and even occasionally Shakespeare's play. Secrets emerge and friendships unravel amid the audiences' laughter. Wait, could these rude playgoers be the obnoxious people who sometimes sit behind you?

Show Dates:
Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25 at 8 pm
Sunday, January 26 at 2 pm

Tickets:
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at (609) 570-3333 or Online

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Location:
The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.
Directions to Theatre: http://www.mccc.edu/welcome_directions_wwcampus.shtml




How I Learned to Drive at Circle Players

Kristen Bennett (Brighton Beach Memoirs), Faith Dowgin (A Few Good Men), and Michael Sundburg (Avenue Q) will be appearing in How I Learned to Drive at Circle Players.

Synopsis: A Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive is a darkly funny and devastating tale of survival; a view into a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. The pop music accompanying Li’l Bit’s excursion down memory lane cannot drown out the ghosts of her past. Sweet recollections of driving with her beloved uncle intermingle with lessons about the darker sides of life. Balmy evenings are fraught with danger; seductions happen anywhere. Li’l Bit navigates a narrow path between the demands of family and her own sense of right and wrong. *Due to mature themes, this production is not suitable for audience members under 16*

Performances:
Performances are 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays, January 24 through February 8, with a 3 pm Sunday matinee on February 9.
A wine and cheese reception will follow the opening night performance.

Ticket Info:
Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors. For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at www.circleplayers.com. ($1 per ticket discount online.) Ticket purchases are non-refundable. Sorry, no credit cards can be accepted at the theater box office, but may be used online.

Theater Info:
416 Victoria Ave.
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Telephone: (732) 968-7555
Directions to theater: http://www.circleplayers.com/circleplayers_009.htm




The 39 Steps at Kelsey Theatre

Jennifer Barron (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Casey Woods (Laughter on the 23rd Floor) will be performing in Pierrot and Theater-to-Go’s The 39 Steps.

Synopsis:
Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python - and you have this fast-paced mystery for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! Pierrot Productions brings you this Award-winning treat, packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, this is unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

Performances:
Fridays, January 31 and February. 7, 2014 at 8 pm
Saturdays, February 1 and 8 at 8 pm
Sundays. February 2 and 9 at 2 pm

Tickets:
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at (609) 570-3333 or Online

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Location:
The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.
Directions to Theatre: http://www.mccc.edu/welcome_directions_wwcampus.shtml




Art Isn’t Easy: A Sondheim Review Forté Dramatic Productions

John Zimmerman (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Jim Petro (Singin’ in the Rain, Man of La Mancha), Meera Mohan (Man of La Mancha, Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA), Nicole Spadafino (Lucky Stiff, Hollywood Arms, Avenue Q), and musical director Peter de Mets (conductor, keyboard, Musical Director for Shrek) will be appearing in Forte’ Dramatic Productions’ first production, Art Isn’t Easy: A Sondheim Review, an evening of songs featuring lyrics and music by the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

Dates:
January 31 and February 1, 2014

Tickets:
General Admission, $20 plus $1.69 service fee
Tickets available at: forte.brownpapertickets.com

Theater Info:
Princeton Friends School
470 Quaker Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
Directions to Theatre: http://www.princetonfriendsschool.org/podium/default.aspx?t=136130




The 14th Annual Freshman One Act Festival Intime, Princeton University

Matthew Blazejewski (Children’s Letters to God) will be performing in the Freshman One-Act Festival at Princeton University.

Synopsis:
The newest members of Theatre Intime strut their stuff in a night of one-acts directed, acted, and produced by the freshman class of 2017. With one-act plays of all shapes and sizes, this is a night you don't want to miss! Join us in welcoming our rookies to the Intime stage! In the comedy Please Have a Seat and Someone Will Be with You Shortly by Garth Wingfield, two strangers whose psychiatrists share the same waiting room finally break the ice and reveal the images they have constructed of each other.

Dates:
Friday, February 7, 8 pm
Saturday, February 8, 2 pm
Saturday, February 8, 8 pm

Tickets:
General Admission: $12
Senior Citizens / Faculty / Staff: $10
Students: $8 or Student Events Eligible Tiger Ticket
Please note that you cannot buy senior citizen, faculty, or student tickets online.
We also encourage patrons to come directly to a box office for ticket purchase to bypass the online and phone order processing fee.
The Theatre Intime Box Office is open from forty-five minutes before any show until showtime. Additionally, the Frist Ticket Office is located on the 100 level of the Frist Campus Center across from the Welcome Desk, for ticket purchase and pickup.
To buy tickets online go to the Princeton University Ticketing Service. http://www.princeton.edu/utickets/tixuselinks.html

Theater Info:
Hamilton Murray Theater is located near the University Chapel, not far from the intersection of Washington Road and William Street, and just south of Nassau Street / Route 27. Directions to theater: http://www.theatreintime.org/node/12




Twelfth Night or What You Will Newtown Arts Company

Stuart Myles (King Arthur in MPO’s Spamalot) will play Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night

Synopsis:
In Elizabethan times, Twelfth Night marked the end of Epiphany or the Christmas season with much merrymaking. According to tradition, the world was turned upside down, the normal order was reversed, the impossible became possible. Shakespeare incorporates these elements into one of his best-known comedies, written in the early 1600's as entertainment for the celebration. A woman pretends to be a man. Twins each believe the other is dead after a shipwreck. A peasant thinks he can become a nobleman. What ensues is a delightful flight of fancy all in the pursuit of love!

Dates and Times:
February 13 to 19, 2014 Thursday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinee at 3:00 p.m.

Theater Info:
Newtown Theatre 120 N. State Street Newtown, PA 18940

Ticket Info:
$17 Rear Reserved* $20 Front Reserved* To reserve your tickets, call 215-860-7058 or e-mail tickets@newtownartscompany.com. For More Information visit http://newtownartscompany.com/en/twelfth-night-2014/




Spring Awakening Cranford Dramatic Club


Zach Mazouat (Avenue Q) will be performing in CDC’s Spring Awakening.

Synopsis: Spring Awakening, winner of 8 Tony Awards, is a rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind's 1891 expressionist play about the trials, tribulations, and exhilaration of the teen years. Set in 1981 Germany, Spring Awakening follows the lives of Wendla, Melchior, Moritz, and their friends as they struggle through their journey from youth to adulthood. Spring Awakening explores the confusion and desperation that ensue when the onrushing tide of hormones meets the ignorance of children. *Because of the adult themes showcased in Spring Awakening, the CDC strongly suggests that this production is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 16.*

Performances:
Fridays: February 14, 21 and 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Saturdays: February 15 and 22, and March 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Theater Info:
Cranford Dramatic Club
78 Winans Avenue
Cranford, NJ 07016
Telephone: (908) 276-7611
Directions to theater: http://www.cdctheatre.org/directions.html

Tickets:
Adults: $25, Seniors (Over 62): $23, Children (Under 18): $23. To purchase tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=cdc Box Office: (908) 276-7611




Master Class at Kelsey Theatre

Synopsis: Laurie Hardy (Lucky Stiff, Hollywood Arms) will be appearing as Maria Callas in Pennington’s Master Class.

Synopsis: Maria Callas is teaching a master class in front of an audience. She's glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny. An accompanist sits at the piano. The play is based on master classes that Callas taught at the Juilliard School. Over two 6-week periods in 1971-72, Maria Callas taught a master class "The Lyric Tradition" for young, beginning professional singers at the Juilliard School. Included in this course was a series of semiweekly 2-hour public working sessions with the variety of voices and repertoires in the class, intended to pass on her knowledge and experience to the students collectively, as well as to the public at large. When she died in 1977, she was 54.

Performances: Fridays and Saturdays, February 21, 22, 28, and March 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm Sundays, February 23 and March 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Tickets:
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at (609) 570-3333 or Online

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Location:
The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.
Directions to Theatre: http://www.mccc.edu/welcome_directions_wwcampus.shtml




Peter Pan at Kelsey Theatre

Liz Rzasa (Man of La Mancha) and Stephen Szemis (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) take the stage in Yardley Player’s Peter Pan.

Synopsis: Join Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, and John in the high-flying timeless Broadway musical that will whisk you away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Based on J.M. Barrie's classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris "Moose" Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved and frequently performed family favorites of all time.
Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick Tinkerbell visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and with a sprinkle of pixie dust begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates, and of course the villainous Captain Hook.
Featuring the iconic songs "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Never Never Land," and a rousing book full of magic, warmth, and adventure, Peter Pan is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.

Performances: Saturdays: March 8, 15 and 22 at 2 pm and 8 pm Sundays: March 9, 16 and 23 at 2 pm Fridays: March 14 and 21, 2014 at 8 pm

Tickets:
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at (609) 570-3333 or Online

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Location:
The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.
Directions to Theatre: http://www.mccc.edu/welcome_directions_wwcampus.shtml



King of the Nerds on TBS Television

Katie Correll (Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor’s New Clothes) will be a contestant of "King of the Nerds" this season on TBS. On the show and its promos, Katie is described as a roboticist and puppeteer whose work has appeared on Broadway and who formerly performed in ballet companies.

The season premiers on January 23. Check your local listings for channel and time. Synopsis: Hosted by two of the stars of the movie blockbuster Revenge of the Nerds, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, King of the Nerds invites competitors to face challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture prowess. The nerds compete as teams before moving on to individual challenges, all with the goal of being named the quintessential master of all things nerdy.

 

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MPO Theater Quiz:

A New Year and a Fresh Start on Broadway.

How well do you remember the details of your favorite show? Where did the lead charector live? Where did they go to school? Who many people have sat in the same seats as you have over the years. Try our January edition and see.

Try out our January edition


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