Grease at the Paper Mill Playhouse


Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse; Photo by Jerry Dalia; Shane Donovan (Kenickie) and the boys of Grease.

Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse; Photo by Jerry Dalia; Shane
Donovan (Kenickie) and the boys of Grease.

My son and I just saw the latest show at NJ’s Paper Mill Playhouse- Grease!  This was my son’s first time seeing the show (one of America’s favorites) live on stage, and I could not be happier to have him see it at one of the best theaters in the area.  We absolutely love Paper Mill- they always have amazing, high quality shows and actors, directors, dancers (many who have been on Broadway), where musical theater is celebrated and NJ can see the bright lights and stars of Broadway without leaving our own backyard.  (Not to mention parking is only $8 vs what you would pay in NYC- at least $35.)  In this performance of Grease, you can see TV and Broadway’s Telly Leung as “Teen Angel”- a treat that thrilled the audience.

Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse; Photo by Matthew Murphy; From left to right: Shane Donovan (Kenickie), Morgan Weed (Betty Rizzo),  Taylor Louderman (Sandy Dumbrowski) and Bobby Conte Thornton (Danny Zuko).

Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse; Photo by Matthew Murphy;
From left to right: Shane Donovan (Kenickie), Morgan Weed (Betty Rizzo),
Taylor Louderman (Sandy Dumbrowski) and Bobby Conte Thornton (Danny Zuko).

This is a great show for families, with it’s classic and familiar high-energy music and fun, relatable plot of high school ups and downs, dating, broken hearts, mean girls, and proms.  My son has of course see the movie (starring the sensational Olivia Newton John and John Travolta) but there is nothing like seeing the show live on stage to experience the musical as it was meant to be. It had the whole audience, young and mature alike, mouthing words and dancing in their seats, ending with a standing ovation.
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The Other Josh Cohen At Paper Mill Playhouse

Now showing at the Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ, is the incredibly funny “The Other Josh Cohen”.  This play is about a Jewish man who is down on his luck and broke, but this nice guy just wants to do the right thing when a mysterious check shows up at his home with $58,000 for him.  Not knowing the sender, he tries to make sure that it’s really HIS money before he cashes the check.  His friends and family try to help- which only makes it stranger.  This musical (told in the past and present, with multiple actors playing the same person at the same time, often literally talking to themselves) will have you laughing from start to finish.

Josh didn’t have the best luck with girls, jobs, or even his writing.  But nice guys can finish first, and the show will make you feel good about your own junk luck, and make you laugh at yourself as well as Josh.  Add in a dancing Darth Vader and random visits from Neil Diamond, the strange-sounding show is a real hit, and one I would recommend to anyone.
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Win Tickets to The Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake


We are giving away a family four-pack of passes to see The Royal Ballet’s SWAN LAKE on the big screen for ONE-DAY ONLY on February 20th at the Clifton Commons 16 with IMAX.

pic 1NCM Fathom Events, Mr. Wolf, Arts Alliance Media and the Royal Opera House invite you to experience the timeless tale of good and evil with Tchaikvosky’s Swan Lake when it comes to the big screen in a special one-night ballet event on Thursday, February 20 at 7:00pm (local time) to select cinemas nationwide. Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman he is instantly captivated…but will his love prove strong enough to break the evil spell that she is under? Don’t miss this classic story told through the enchantment of ballet.
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Oliver! at Paper Mill Playhouse

Just opened last night at Millburn, NJ’s Paper Mill Playhouse is Oliver!  This adorable show is great for the whole family, and both my son and I loved it.  Some of our favorites from the evening were Betsy Morgan, who plays Nancy (thief and more).  Nancy loves the main villain of the story, but wants more out of life then she has a chance to receive.  She takes up for Oliver, and pays for it in the end.   Betsy Morgan has an amazing voice, and every single time she took the stage we were excited to hear her.  Her voice and performance were moving, and she was a pleasure to watch.  My son (age 6) also loved her, and wanted to know when she will “make a CD”.  My son also was excited to see all the children on stage, led by Tyler Moran, who is in 6th grade and plays Oliver Twist.  The children were lively, talented, and great multi-taskers, singing and dancing as different parts and characters.  We had a great time at this performance, and recommend you taking your whole family to the first show that fits into your schedule.
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Paper Mill Playhouse is proud to announce two initiatives to help the needy in New Jersey this holiday season. For the 17th year Paper Mill Playhouse will partner with Jersey Cares as a collection site for their winter coat drive.  New and gently used coats can be dropped off during the run of Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of OLIVER! through December 29.  The Millburn theater will also be collecting non-perishable food items to be distributed to area food pantries for their “Food, Glorious Food” Drive.  Any person that donates a coat or non-perishable food item will be rewarded with a Paper Mill Playhouse 75th Anniversary scratch-off game ticket for a chance to win valuable prizes.  Items will be collected in the main lobby at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, New Jersey.

pic3The “Food, Glorious Food” Drive was the brainchild of 12-year-old actor Chance Friedman of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, who plays an orphan Oliver! “I’m having the time of my life singing Food, Glorious Food, but the sad truth is that even in these modern times, people in our community go hungry each day,” remarked Chance. “I’d like to do my part to fight hunger and I could use your help. When you come to see Oliver! this holiday season, please bring a non-perishable food item and drop it in the ‘Food, Glorious Food’ drive bin in the lobby of the theater. Make a donation, and consider yourself part of our hunger-fighting family.” Chance created a special video message to encourage people to donate to these worthy causes:

In addition to Paper Mill’s food drive efforts, the design team of Oliver! considered those less fortunate while finding footwear for the 49 cast members in the production.  Shoes purchased for the production were ordered from Toms and from Bob’s Shoes.  For every shoe purchased, these companies donate a shoe to a child in a developing country.  “The workhouse orphans in Oliver! needed a good homespun-type uniform shoe,” stated costume designer Amanda Seymour. “We thought how perfect the look of Toms and Bob’s are for this production, and how fitting that for every shoe purchased, one went to a child in need.”
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Symphony Space – Theater For Kids


Disclosure- I received tickets to this show in order to review it.  All opinions are my own and honest.

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This past weekend, we headed out to Symphony Space to see the “Treehouse Shakers” preform their latest show, “Hatched”.  A puppet show about life on the farm (complete with lots of farm noises and even several chances to “pet” and interact with some of the puppets), this music and dance show was aimed at the younger audience members.

Kids Theater

symphony space

“Hatched,” written and directed by Mara McEwin, this dance-play offers a generous mix of things that kids love; it’s part farm, part museum and all theatre. Performed via movement, handcrafted puppets, music and minimal human dialogue, the story is set at an American family farm. An adorable, fluffy chick meets a feisty old rooster, a wobbly calf learning to walk, a gaggle of dancing chicks, a lamb, and a noisy nest of baby birds.

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Intimately staged to live music performed by Anthony Rizzo, young audience members are encouraged to interact with the newborn animals as they explore their worlds. Through movement and music, the calf learns to walk, the baby birds attempt to fly, and the lamb makes a new friend with the curious hatched chick. Audience members interact and play with the characters on stage; they give the chicks their feed, milk bottles to the lamb, are licked by the cow, and feed worms to the baby birds. Babies in the audience will be enticed by the animal sounds and textures, while toddlers and preschoolers will love watching and imitating their favorite farm animals as they come to life.
Preschoolers will delight in learning about life on the farm, and older kids will be entertained by the delightful storytelling, live music and dance.

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The Senior Players Workshop at Paper Mill Playhouse

A new Senior Players Acting Workshop, emphasizing creation of one person plays, will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for 20 weeks beginning Monday, September 10 at the Paper Mill Playhouse.  It will be taught by Ed Schiff, star of stage, screen, and TV shows.

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There will be space for actors 55 years of age and up for Mr. Schiff’s acting workshop. If you would like to register, or to get more information, call Ms. McNany at (973) 379 3636, extension 1669. The cost for the 20-week session is $285.
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A Chorus Line Debuts at Paper Mill Playhouse #Theater #Musical

Opening this week at the Paper Mill Playhouse is the classic “A Chorus Line”, the “singular sensation” since 1975. The cast will include Paper Mill veterans and Broadway talent, proving that you don’t need to cross a bridge or tunnel to experience the most exceptional talent the country has to offer.

Paper Mill Playhouse, known for world-class productions, brought it all to the table (or stage, as it were) for this inter-generational audience favorite. With chart-busting musical numbers from Marvin Hamlisch (a score that has won nearly every award one can imagine), the cast has audience members singing along in their seats.
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