Paper Mill Playhouse Education/Outreach Programs

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts- Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, is thrilled to announce that The Goren Family and the Harmony Helper app have partnered with the Millburn theater as the inaugural sponsor of the not-for-profit’s education and outreach programs. The sponsorship includes additional resources for Paper Mill’s staple arts education programs including: Adopt-A-School Project (https://tinyurl.com/ArtsEducate1), Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards presented by Investors Foundation (https://tinyurl.com/PMPRISING),  annual New Voices Concert (https://tinyurl.com/NewVoicesConcert), Summer Musical Theater Conservatory (https://tinyurl.com/PMPSMC) and the company’s Theater for Everyone program (https://papermill.org/access-for-all/), among others.   The Goren Family and the Harmony Helper App are also a major sponsor of Paper Mill Playhouse’s mainstage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, running from November 20 through December 29.

“Paper Mill Playhouse is deeply grateful for the Harmony Helper app and the Goren family’s visionary support of our arts education and outreach programs,” commented James Fakult, Chair of Paper Mill’s Board of Trustees. “Paper Mill champions nearly 40,000 students each year with transformative education programs, which are at the heart of our not-for-profit organization.”

“Paper Mill feels a keen responsibility to ensure children should have access to theater’s life-changing opportunities, regardless of economic, physical, or developmental challenges,” stated Michael Stotts, Paper Mill’s Managing Director. “Paper Mill responds with high-quality arts education, cultural partnerships, and outreach – impacting teens, aspiring artists, and families of children with autism and other cognitive and developmental disabilities.”

“Paper Mill Playhouse is an invaluable non-profit organization that enriches the national theater community and gives performers of all abilities the opportunity to participate in the arts,” said Andrew Goren, founder and chief executive officer of Harmony Helper. “Harmony Helper is thrilled to give back to this organization that represents our shared values. Much like Paper Mill Playhouse, our goal at Harmony Helper is to provide equal access to training resources for performers.”

Harmony Helper®, the premier app that provides singers the convenience and control of a 24/7 digital rehearsal room anytime, anywhere, announced the full launch on October 29 of the first and only product that adds customizable sheet music scanning to simplify practicing and help singers deliver their best performance. The Harmony Helper app allows singers that cannot afford a vocal coach or rehearsal space to develop the skill levels they need to make the most of their time in the spotlight. It levels the playing field for amateurs and pros alike.

Based on patented technology, the app is the first comprehensive, easy-to-use learning tool that features accurate real-time feedback, vocal part customization, pitch tracking, record/playback, and vocal part volume control.

Harmony Helper’s new customizable sheet music scanning feature is the first and only of its kind. Users simply upload or take a photo of their sheet music. Harmony Helper then uses Optical Music Recognition (OMR) technology to auto-generate vocal parts. The user then creates their own custom vocal part by answering a few questions about the song. The song is then translated into an easy-to-read piano roll format with accompaniment and flexible part volume controls, giving singers the ability to isolate specific vocal parts and sound while practicing. This unique feature makes all music available to practice the moment a singer is ready to begin learning. For singers who are just learning or struggle with reading sheet music, this patented technology eliminates the friction to allow the aspiring singer to practice. Performers no longer need to be dependent on scheduling time with accompanists to play and record music, and the real-time feedback feature takes away the stress of scheduling with a coach to quickly prepare for an audition or performance.

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Speaking out against LGBTQ bullying #SpiritDay

stand up to bullying

Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz support “Spirit Day 2019” in the attached image.  This year’s Spirit Day (Thursday, October 17) is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.  Feel to use this image on your websites, social media and broadcast. Photo by Emma Rhyner.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents the New Jersey premiere of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation & additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz  will run through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones, Orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryTuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.

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“Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz” at Paper Mill Playhouse

papermill playhouse

We just saw the new play,”Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz”, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Continuing until October 27, this world premiere focuses on the early life of Francis Gumm, who became Judy Garland. Best known for her breakout performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, her life and family are brought to life in a musical.

Honestly, I thought it was a bit….well, lets say “light hearted” in it’s presentation. Her mother, well documented as a nightmare stage parent, was portrayed as a little rough but doting. Her father, whom she adored, was also a bit much. His homosexuality was really hammered on, with long, dramatic songs, and quite a few scenes that a fellow theater-goer described as “over the top and self indulgent”- to which I agree. Over indulgent and almost mocking, so light hearted (and even joking) was made of her theater experiences with her mother and different people in the business, such as directors, owner, and other cast members. She had such a rough go in reality, and to present it in this way really seemed to belittle her life and to mock her life and experiences. It seemed very unfair to her, in my opinion. Abuse should not be downplayed as bumbling or nonsensical, her body shaming and resulting dysmorphia and eating disorders barely touched upon and again, very light, drug abuse (which killed her) pushed upon her and encouraged by those that should have been there for her, never mentioned.

NJ theater

The songs were odd and disjointed, nothing really played all the way through or presented in any sort of logical way, with the exception of “All Ma’s Children”, which was both fun and lively, as well as made sense in it’s placement (and was the entire song in one go). In my opinion, it was the best part of the show. Some songs, such as “You Made Me Love You” were done over and over, in bits and pieces, some of which were weird- such as between Judy and her father. Love songs between parent and child, not great.  The music was all over the place and jumbled, we really would have loved some consistency. As well, some more upbeat numbers to fill the 3 hour show.
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Paper Mill’s “Half Time” Announces Cast Recording and Pre Order

FEATURING PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE’S STAR-STUDDED LINEUP OF BROADWAY LEGENDS INCLUDING NEW TONY AWARD WINNER ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS, TONY AWARD WINNERS LILLIAS WHITE & DONNA MCKECHNIE PLUS A FINAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE LATE GEORGIA ENGEL.

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts- Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, along with Sony Masterworks Broadway announces the July 19th release of HALF TIME (ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING), with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean.  Available for preorder now, the album features music from the Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin-written musical, which made its 2018 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse and tells the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

The Half-Time (Original Cast Recording) features some of the last songs written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away during the show’s early gestation.  The album also features a who’s who of Broadway talent, including five-time Emmy Award-nominated actress Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Everybody Loves Raymond), Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, Sesame Street), Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) and Emmy Award winner André De Sheilds (The Wiz), who most recently won a Tony for his role in Hadestown.  The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of Georgia Engel.

Based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Bernstein, Half Time tells the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team., inspired by the true story of the Brooklyn Nets NETSational dance team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing—instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers—and the young coaches who inspire them along the way—as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game—it’s Half Time.

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Holiday Inn is now playing at NJ’s Papermill Playhouse

I’m excited to tell you, if you don’t already know, that “Holiday Inn” is now playing at NJ’s Papermill Playhouse in Millburn. A classic film that features quite a few all time favorite songs by the beloved Irving Berlin is now on stage, and it is a delight. I’ve loved this movie since I was a child, I’ve watched it many times, with my grandparents, now with my kids. I had been looking forward to seeing it since it came out on the season’s list, and it didn’t disappoint.

holiday inn

Papermill Playhouse always has fantastic shows. I love that we can go see such quality productions without having to go into the city or fight for parking, a night at Papermill Playhouse is always one of my favorites, and I look forward to them always.

Next up will be “My Very Own British Invasion”, “Benny and Joon”, and “Beauty and the Beast”. There are quite a few children’s shows that rotate as well, take a look. They are wonderful productions, we have seen quite a few with my little ones.

In this musical based on the beloved Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film, Jim Hardy leaves behind the hustle and bustle of showbiz for a quiet life on a Connecticut farm. Jim’s agrarian efforts are a flop, but things start looking up when he falls for a talented schoolteacher, and together they infuse their sleepy rural setting with some Broadway razzle-dazzle. Fresh from a Broadway run, this heartwarming, toe-tapping production features more than 20 classic songs from the Berlin catalog, including “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” and “White Christmas.”
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Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn at the PaperMill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, based on the film from Universal Pictures, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, and book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge.  Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn begins performances TOMORROW, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, and will continue through Sunday, December 30, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Bank of America is the Major Sponsor of Irving Berlin’s Holiday. Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

holiday inn

Directed by Mr. Greenberg (The Baker’s Wife1776 – Paper Mill), and with choreography by Denis Jones (Mary Poppins – Paper Mill,Holiday Inn – Broadway, Tony nomination), music direction by Shawn Gough (Annie, Paper Mill), the principal cast features Paige Faure(Honeymoon in Vegas – Paper Mill) as Lila Dixon, Jordon Gelber (Avenue Q) as Danny, Ann Harada (Avenue Q) as Louise,  Jeff Kready(Thoroughly Modern Millie – Paper Millas Ted Hanover, Hayley Podschun (Peter Pan – Paper Mill) as Linda Mason, Nicholas Rodriguez(Tarzan) as Jim Hardy with Jian Harrell and Aidan Alberto alternating in the role of Charlie Winslow.

They are joined by Jordan Beall, Gene Biscontini, Colin Bradbury, Tricia DeSario, Taylor Fields, Kelly Gleason, Juliane Godfrey, Berklea GoingJoshua Israel, Julie Kavanagh, Mallory Nolting, Clifton Samuels, JT Teeling, Karl Skylar Urban, Amy Van Norstrand,Scarlett Walker, Travis Ward-Osborne, and John T. Wolfe.

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Announcement- PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE WILL OPEN NEW SEASON WITH THE HIT MUSICAL THE COLOR PURPLE #Theater

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is proud to announce John Doyle’s production of The Color Purple will open the 2018-2019 season, replacing the previously announced Unmasked. The Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple that exhilarated Broadway will thrill audiences at Paper Mill Playhouse from September 26 to October 21. With a soul-raising, Grammy-winning score infused with jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, The Color Purple is an unforgettable and moving revival of the American classic. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Academy Award-nominated feature film, The Color Purple leaves its mark on the soul. Casting will be announced at a later date.

From Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film comes a stage musical with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, and Allee Willis. This stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life. The original Broadway production ran from 2005 to 2008, earning eleven Tony Award nominations. An enthusiastically acclaimed Broadway revival opened in late 2015 and ran through early 2017, winning two 2016 Tony Awards—including Best Revival of a Musical.

The Color Purple is a title that has been on my wish list for a number of years and we are thrilled to produce this masterpiece for our audience,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, the theater’s Producing Artistic Director. “John Doyle’s visionary reimagining of this powerful tale will take our audiences on an unforgettable journey. We received news last week from our producing partners in London that due to unforeseen scheduling issues, Unmasked can no longer be presented as part of our 2018-2019 Paper Mill Playhouse season. We look forward to presenting it in a future season.”

Paper Mill Playhouse will produce eight performances a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Three, four and five-show subscription packages are available now starting at just $111. Each subscription package includes a different level of special benefits (see www.PaperMill.org for details). Youth subscriptions are available for children ages 4-18 with the purchase of an adult subscription with accessible discount pricing. Single tickets will go on sale on August 20 starting at just $35. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Subscribers who have chosen Unmasked as part of their series will automatically have their seats transferred to The Color Purple. If subscribers would like add tickets to The Color Purple or modify their subscription, they can call the Paper Mill Playhouse subscriptions office at 973.379.3717.

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PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “UNMASKED”

THE MUSIC AND STORIES OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER ON STAGE AT PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 28, 2018.

Millburn, NJ (February 16, 2018) — Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, announced today the world premiere of UNMASKEDwhich will feature some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most iconic work and the stories behind its creation, along with new music and memories from his extraordinary life and career, will open its 2018-2019 season.

UNMASKED will be a funny and warm musical portrait drawing from Andrew’s extensive body of work, with intimate and sometimes unexpected interpretations of his best-loved songs, rediscovered gems and some new material specially written for this production.

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