Paper Mill Announces Cast and Creative Team for Sister Act

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts- Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced the cast and creative team for the hit Broadway musical Sister Act with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner, and additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane, based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard.  Sister Act begins performances Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and will continue through Sunday, April 26, 2020 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ).  Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2019-2020 season is proudly sponsored by Investors BankOpening Night is Sunday evening, April 5, 2020 at 7:00pm.

The cast will feature Tony nominee Nancy Opel as Mother Superior, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz as Deloris, Jarran Muse as Curtis, Lael Van Keuren as Sister Mary Robert, Christian Dante White as Eddie, Blake Hammond as Monsignor, Anthony Alfaro as Pablo, Diane J. Findlay as Sister Mary Lazarus, Kara Mikula as Sister Mary Patrick, Ryan Gregory Thurman as TJ, and Jacob Keith Watson as Joey.

Rounding out the cast are Michael AndreausJared Bradshaw, Rachelle Rose Clark, Madeleine Doherty, Denzel Edmondson, Dion Simmons Grier, Ashley Masula, Stephanie Miller, Alaina Mills, Chandler Reeves, Michael Schimmele, Alyson Snyder, Anne Fraser Thomas, Ariana Valdes, Zuri Washington, Christian Dante White and Kristen Beth Williams.

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World Premiere Production at Paper Mill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse is pleased to announce that Michael Wartella (Wicked) will star as Dion alongside Christy Altomare (Anastasia) as Dion’s wife Susan and Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block; Waitress) as Dion’s right hand man Johnny in the world premiere of The Wanderera new musical based on the life of Rock n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Dion DiMucci. Further casting to be announced at a later date.

The show will begin performances at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse on May 28, 2020 and play through June 28.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

The Wanderer is written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Cruel Intentions National Tour, “Rent on Fox”). It is produced by Paper Mill Playhouse in association with Jill Menza and Charles Messina.

Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. But how does a kid from The Bronx make it to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame? In The Wanderer, the incredible musical journey of a troubled young man turned teenage heartthrob (and, ultimately, Rock n’ Roll icon) is told in intimate and no-holds-barred detail. Dion’s music helped define a generation of Rock n’ Rollers. His lifelong battle with addiction shed a stark light on the darker side of fame and success. This musical takes both subjects head on, set to the iconic sound of an incomparable era in American music, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. The Wanderer is the riveting true story of Dion, New York’s rebel king, the man Bruce Springsteen calls “the link between Frank Sinatra and Rock n’ Roll.”

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Audition Registration Open for Paper Mill Playhouse’s Competitive Summer Musical Theater Conservatory

Challenging training opportunities for aspiring musical theater artists ages 10 – 18

 

WHAT-          Paper Mill Playhouse young artist auditions for 2020 Summer Professional Training Programs

WHEN-          Saturday, February 1, & Saturday, February 8, 2020

Audition appointment is required.

WHERE-       Montclair State University, College of the Arts/Life Hall, 1 Normal Ave., Montclair, NJ 07043

(Millburn, NJ) Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts-Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, will hold auditions for students to be a part of the their prestigious Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and August Musical Theater Intensive for 2020 on Saturdays, February 1 and 8, at Montclair State University, College of the Arts/Life Hall, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ.  Students who earn coveted spots in the July Conservatory in the Senior (ages 15-18), Junior Plus (ages 13-14), and Junior companies (ages 10-12) are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert at Paper Mill Playhouse on July 31 and August 1, 2020, titled New Voices of 2020: Oh, the Places We’ll Go! The concert is the culmination of the five-week program. Summer Professional Training Programs and New Voices are supported by Investors Foundation.  Paper Mill Playhouse Education and Outreach programs are proudly sponsored by The Goren Family and The Harmony Helper App.

An audition appointment is required.  To request more information or to schedule an audition appointment please email [email protected] or call (973) 315-1666. For audition guidelines and other important information, click here.

“Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and August Intensive are two of the finest young artist professional development programs for musical theater in the United States,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director. “It is amazing to see these young performers learn, grow, and improve themselves toward becoming professional artists and demonstrate that in a performance produced by leading industry professionals.”

As one of the nation’s leading regional theaters, Paper Mill Playhouse has a well-earned reputation for bringing new works to Broadway stages. Since its inception in 1996, the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and the New Voices Concert have ignited the careers of many notable performers.  Conservatory alumni include Academy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Tony Award winner Ali Stroker (Oklahoma!), TONY award nominee Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire), Jelani Remy (Ain’t Too Proud), Olivier Award nominee Jared Gertner (The Book of Mormon) and Shanice Williams who played Dorothy in NBC’s The Wiz Live!.  For the full list of notable alumni, click here. 

Conservatory alumna Julia Knitel, who played the role of Carole King on the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, remarked, “Growing up, I was always in the ensemble. That was where I’d feel comfortable because I love being a team player. That’s one of the things that was so great about being at Paper Mill Playhouse, because in their Conservatory you had an equal amount of dancing, singing and acting training every day. I got a great foundation for being a team player and ensemble member and serving a production. The producers and creative team of Beautiful saw in me something they couldn’t find elsewhere.”

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Now at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

We just saw the latest production at NJ’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and it was just delightful. Fun, adorable, and timely ( gotta love those shows that update their material to be relevant to the times and situations), it was a good time for any age. Both cute and funny, the show was a modern take on the classic (and the folktale) Cinderella, who takes a lot less guff then her cartoon buddies did. While still being oh so sweet and of course a bit of a doormat (because, face it- she kind of has to be to survive) she makes her own way, her own friends, and is pretty feisty at times. While you wouldn’t necessarily jump to call her a “hero”, she’s kind to everyone and inspires people to be their best selves and to do the right things- and in this time? That’s pretty heroic. Self rescuing heroine, pleased to see that. No fainting maidens in distress, waiting for some man to save them. Appreciate that.

Take your kids. Take your family. And have a nice date night.

This enchanting, Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of the songwriting duo’s loveliest tunes, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists. Add a dash of fairytale romance, magical onstage transformations, and the iconic pumpkin and glass slippers—and you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

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Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Paper Mill Playhouse #Theater

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents , presents Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, new book by Douglas Carter Beane, and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella began performances November 20, 2019, for a limited engagement through Sunday, December 29, 2019 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ. Opening Night is Sunday evening, November 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Directed by Mark S. Hoebee (Paper Mill’s Beauty and the Beast) with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter (School of Rock, Paper Mill’s Annie), and music direction by Michael Borth (Paper Mill’s Beauty and the Beast), the principal cast features Ashley Blanchet (Frozen) as Ella, Donna English (Paper Mill’s Lend Me a Tenor) as Marie, Rose Hemingway (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) as Gabrielle, Dee Hoty (Paper Mill’s Follies) as Madame, Andrew Kober (Beautiful) as Jean-Michel, Angel Lin (Once) as Charlotte, Christopher Sieber (The Prom, Paper Mill’s Annie) as Sebastian, Billy Harrigan Tighe (Pippin) as Topher, and Michael Wayne Wordly (Miss Saigon) as Lord Pinkleton.

Rounding out the cast are John Barsoian, Kelly Berman, Antonio Beverly, Erin Burniston, Monica Cioffi, Taeler Cyrus, Richard Gatta, Ricky Loftus George, Christopher M. Howard, Derek Luscutoff, Kate Marilley, John Peterson, Dave Schoonover, Cynthia Thorne, Leslie Blake Walker, Isabella Ward, CorBen Williams and Minami Yusui.

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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 PLAYHOUSE 2019-2020 WEEKEND CHILDREN’S THEATER SERIES

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE 2019-2020 WEEKEND CHILDREN’S THEATER SERIES

A MORE PERFECT UNION

Sat., October 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

Pushcart Players

Ages 5 & up

The story of “A More Perfect Union” begins in Boston, 1773 and ends at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, 1787. The play covers the critical and tempestuous time in our nation’s history in which revolution, war, and a failed attempt at self-governing finally led to the writing of the U.S. Constitution and the birth of our country as we know it today.

           

LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD EARNS HER WHISTLE

Sat., November 30, 2019 at 10:00 am

ArtsPower National Touring Theatre

Ages 4 & up

Little Blue Engine dreams of someday leaving the train yard to pull the big cars on the main line track. But can she convince Big Silver that she is worthy of being a main line engine? ArtsPower’s dynamic, song-filled adventure portrays Watty Piper’s timeless tale about hard work, determination, and loyalty.

 

THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS

Sun., December 01, 2019 at 10:00 am

ArtsPower National Touring Theatre

Ages 4 & up

The funny and poignant story of a young boy who doesn’t want to eat his peas. When a crafty monster appears underneath his kitchen table, the boy is ready to make a deal with the monster. But, when the monster raises the stakes, will the boy refuse the monster and make the difficult decision to face his own fears? Children and adults alike will be entertained and engaged by this wonderfully written tale about the value of will power.

DOG MAN: THE MUSICAL

Sat., December 07, 2019 at 10:00 am

TheaterWorksUSA

Ages 6 & up

Dog Man: The Musical is a hilarious new production based on the worldwide bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants. Best buds George and Harold have been creating comics for years, but now that they’re in 5th grade, they figure it’s time to level up and write a musical based on their favorite character, Dog Man, the crime-biting sensation who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!!

AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE

Sun., December 08, 2019 at 10:00 am

TheaterWorksUSA

Ages 6 & up

Dog Man: The Musical is a hilarious new production based on the worldwide bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants. Best buds George and Harold have been creating comics for years, but now that they’re in 5th grade, they figure it’s time to level up and write a musical based on their favorite character, Dog Man, the crime-biting sensation who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!!             

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