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On Stage: School's Out, Take the Kids to a Show

Summer is an opportunity to introduce children to live theater.

With school out for the summer, this is a great time to introduce kids to the magic of theater.

Kid-friendly shows coming to the area include "Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr." at Brundage Park Playhouse, "Sleeping Beauty" at Pax Amicus Castle Theatre and "Disney's Winnie the Pooh Kids" at the Summit Playhouse.

Young ones can even experience Shakespeare as The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey opens "The Comedy of Errors" as its annual outdoor show. You can even bring a picnic for that summer tradition and the theater promises hijinks and chases designed to get everyone laughing.

The Shakespeare Theatre also continues its indoor season with "The Liar" opening July 4. There are also plenty of concerts, comedy shows and audition opportunities for kids and adults.

And just as always, The On Stage Scoop is here to tell you all about them.

Laugh it Up with "The Comedy of Errors:" is performing "The Comedy of Errors" as its annual outdoor stage at the Greek Theatre on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township, through July 29. The family-friendly production features two sets of identical twins, mistaken identities and a chase sequence to rival all chase sequences. Audiences are invited to bring their own chairs or blankets, and a picnic. For tickets and information, go to ShakespeareNJ.org.

Audition Alert, "The 39 Steps:" is holding open auditions for "The 39 Steps" June 26 at 7 p.m. The fast-paced comedy is based on the novel by John Buchan and the film by Alfred Hitchcock. The production runs Oct. 5-20 at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave. in Chatham. Rehearsals start in early August. Bell Wesel directs.

Needed are four extremely versatile actors with great comic flair to play a multitude of roles. Must be physically agile and creatively fearless. Characters are: Richard Hannay: 30s to 40. Attractive, comic leading man type. Upper class British. Slightly full of himself but totally engaging. Annabella/Pamela/Margaret: 20s to 30s. Attractive and adaptable, great with physical comedy. Must play three distinct characters, Upper class British, German and Scottish. Clown 1 and Clown 2: Two wildly versatile and energetic male actors to play more than 100 roles (Upper and lower class British, Scottish, German, some male, some female and some inanimate objects). Great with verbal and physical comedy and quick changes.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. All roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Call Leslie Reagoso at 973-769-3886 or email her at lesliereagoso@yahoo.com. For directions or additional information, visit www.chathamplayers.org.

Audition Alert, "God's Favorite:" Villagers Theatre in Somerset is holding auditions for Neil Simon's "God's Favoite" June 26 at 7:30 p.m. with callbacks scheduled for June 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Successful Long Island businessman is a modern-day Job with a high-maintenance wife, ungrateful children, and wise-cracking household help. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse he is visited by Sidney Lipton aka A Messenger from God (and compulsive film buff) with a mission: test Joe’s faith and report back to the “Boss.” The following roles are being cast: Joe Benjamin, approximately 50-plus; Rose Benjamin, around the same age as Joe; Sarah Benjamin, around 20-plus, Ben Benjamin, around 20-plus; David Benjamin, around 30-plus; Mady, around 40; Morris, around 40; Sidney Lipton, around 30-45 (male or female). The ages of the cast will depend upon the role of Joe Benjamin. The ranges above are approximate and can easily vary another 10 years. Sara and Ben are the same age and are referred to as the “clueless twin.” Performances are Sept. 14-30. The theater is located at 475 Demott Lane in Somerset. For more information contact: roz@villagerstheatre.com.

Audition Alert, "There's No Business Like Show Business:" Brundage Park Playhouse will hold auditions for this year's Kids Cabaret, "There's No Business Like Show Business, June 27-28, 5-8 p.m.

Kids ages 9 to 20 are invited to audition for this year’s For Kids By Kids Kid’s Cabaret. Please come prepared with at least 32 memorized bars of show tune.

Callbacks will be held June 30, 9 a.m. to noon. Rehearsals will begin July 1, and will be held on Sunday evenings and two or three other evenings each week. Until run-throughs begin on or around July 30, each cast member will normally not be called more than three times per week. No outdates can be accepted between July 30 and Aug. 19. Run-throughs (Acts and/or Full Show) will be held the evenings of July 30, 31, Aug. 1, and 5. Tech will be the evenings of Aug. 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 14 and the morning of Aug. 9.

Performances will be held evenings Aug. 15-18 with a matinee on Aug. 19.
For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Tap Into This: Dover Little Theatre will present Jam Fest An Evening of Tap and Jazz featuring Jeffry Foote and Kyle Wilder of the NJ Tap Ensemble on June 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. Foote and Wilder will perform with a musical trio and vocalists Aubrey Parasolle and Lynette Sheard. Tickets cost $15. For more information, call 973-328-9202.

Here's the Truth About "The Liar:" is presenting David Ives' contemporary adaptation of Pierre Corneille's "The Liar," July 4-29. The show promises hijinks surrounding young lover in Paris in the 1600s. For more information, go to ShakespeareNJ.org.

Curiouser and Curiouser: Brundage Park Playhouse will present "Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr." July 6-21. The show is based on the Disney film of Lewis Carroll's classic story of Alice who encounters strange characters such as the Mad Hater, the Chesire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and more. Performances are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. July 6-7, 12-14, 20-21 and 2 p.m. July 8, 15 and 21. The Playhouse is located at 2 Bungalow Lane in Randolph. For reservations, call 973-989-7092. For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Learn Your Comedy: Death by Improv is holding a two-day workshop at Villagers Theatre in Somerset, July 6-7. Death by Improv performs monthly in New Jersey and has also performed in New York City and Philadelphia. Middle school students through adults are welcome to attend and test their comedic skills. The workshop is scheduled for 8-11 p.m. on July 6, and 1-6 p.m. on July 7. Death by Improv will perform at Villagers July 7 at 8 p.m. The workshop costs $40. Admission to the performance costs $20. For more information, call 732-873-2710 or go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Feelin' Alright? Then Go See Dave Mason: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dave Mason will perform at The Newton Theatre July 8 at 7 p.m. Mason was a member of Traffic and has performed with the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. Jeffrey Gaines will also perform. Tickets cost $34-$44. For more information, call 973-383-3700 or go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Getting Into the Swing of Things at Centenary Stage Company: Swingadelic will open the Centenary Stage Company’s Jammin’ in July Summer Concert Series on July 7, 8 p.m. The band will perform the traditional big band music of Ellington, Basie and Sinatra, mixed with the soulful sounds of Ray Charles, as well as sophisticated, classic standards a la George Gershwin and Cole Porter.  In a new venture at CSC this summer, a special dance floor area will also be available for this performance for patrons who are motivated to get up and dance to the beat. Tickets cost $30, $25 advance. For more information, call 908-979-0900 or go to www.centenarystageco.org.

Fairy Tale Theater: Pax Amicus Castle Theatre will present "Sleeping Beauty," a musical for children, July 11-20. Performances begin at 10 a.m. on the following dates: July 11, 13 and 17-20, and at 11 a.m. on July 14 and 21. Tickets cost $12. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For reservations, call 973-691-2100.

Comedy Tonight (Starting July 12): Bernards Township and Trilogy Repertory Company will open its Plays in the Park Productions with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum" July 12-14 and 19-21 at the amphitheater. The show is based on ancient comedies from Rome and features music by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 908-204-3003 or go to TrilogyRepertory.com.

Get Ready for Some Magic: will host "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" by Encore Performing Arts, July 12 with performances set for 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This original adaptation with songs follows the adventures of Aladdin and the Genie. Tickets cost $12. For more information, go to MorrisMuseum.org.

Silly Old Bear:
will open its Kaleidoscope Theatre for Youth season with "Disney's Winnie the Pooh Kids" July 12-15. Visit Hundred Acre Woods to meet Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Tigger and Owl. The 30-minute show is based on the 2011 movie. Ticket cost $12. For more information, go to SummitPlayhouse.org.

Trilogy Repertory Seeking Actors for "Inherit the Wind:"
Trilogy Repertory is looking for several adult men for minor speaking and non-speaking roles for its production of Inherit the Wind. This courtroom drama is based on the famous Scopes Monkey Trial and will be presented in Basking Ridge at the outdoor amphitheater in Pleasant Valley Park on July 27, 28 and Aug. 2, 3 and 4 at 8 PM.

The available parts remaining are for townspeople and jurors and offer both non-speaking roles and roles with several lines. Rehearsal schedules are flexible for these parts until July and then will be three times per week. Have you ever thought about being on stage? This is the perfect opportunity to get involved in live theater with an experienced company. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact the producer, Nancy Becker at nanbecker@gmail.com or by phone at 908-432-8024.

Centenary Stage Company Dance Scholarship: The Centenary Stage Company will be offering one full scholarship to a deserving dance student for the 2012 Summer Dance Intensive. The scholarship will be awarded based on talent, merit and need.  Students interested in applying will be asked to write a letter of intent and schedule an interview with Professor Lea Lid, assistant professor of dance and theater at Centenary College. The intensive will run July 9-12, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be led by Carolyn Dorfman and her Company. The program is open to students ages 12 and up. Tuition is $175. For more information on the scholarship, contact the CSC box office at 908-979-0900.

For more information on sibling discounts, or day player rates, call the box office or visit CentenaryStageco.org

Centenary Stage Co. Announces 2012-2013 Theater Season: Agatha Christie's record-breaking mystery, "The Mousetrap" will kick off Centenary Stage Company's 2012-13 theater season, Oct. 5-21. The production will be directed by Carl Wallnau, the company's artistic director.

Centenary Stage's Black Box Festival will include "A Couple of Blaguards" by Frank and Malachy McCourt Nov. 1-4; Parallel Exit will perform "Room 17B" Nov. 8-11 and Bill Bower's “Under a Montana Moon” will be performed Nov. 15-18.

The family musical "The Wizard of Oz" will have a holiday run, Nov. 23-Dec. 9. Martin McDonagh’s comedy-drama “The Cripple of Inishmaan" will be performed Feb. 22-March 10.

From CSC’s Women Playwrights Series comes the world premiere of “The English Bride” by New Jersey playwright Lucile Lichtblau, April 5-21.

Tickets for productions cost $20-$29.50. The Box office is open.  1-5 p.m. in the Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave. in Hackettstown. A new Main Street ticket location is scheduled to open soon.

For tickets and more information, call 908-979-0900 or visit www.centenarystageco.org.

Summer Shakespeare Master Class at Centenary Stage Co.: Centenary Stage Company is presenting a master class titled "Returning to the Source: The Merchant of Venice," July 10 through July 26. The class is being taught by Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso and will offer actors the opportunity to study Shakespeare by returning to the source material on which "The Merchant of Venice" is based. Participants will explore the play word by word and scene by scene in the contest of the time and place in which it was created. Kim and Occhiogrosso founded the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in 1981. Occhiogrosso had directed "Hamlet," "The Tempest," "Romeo and Juliet," "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "The Merchant of Venice," and many other classic works. The class is limited to 15 participants. Class will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m. July 10 through 16 at Centenary Stage Company on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown. Tuition is $400 after June 25. To register, call the Centenary Stage Company Box Office at 908-979-0900. 

This post is shared across Patch sites serving Morris, Somerset and Sussex communities. Comments below may be by readers of any of those sites.

Nicole Faulkner June 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Thanks for this! Saves a lot of time researching individual theaters myself!
elizabeth June 26, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Don't forget Circle Players' summer childrens' show! Circle Players, 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway, will present “The Adventures of Nate the Great,” which follows the plots and retains the style of Marjorie Weinman Sharmat’s beloved children’s books. “Nate” is directed by Alicia Harabin of Somerville, and co-produced by Barbara Gianotto of East Brunswick and Bernice Woldman of Somerset. Nate the Great is the sharpest kid detective ever to solve his neighborhood's mysteries. With his faithful dog Sludge and his friends, he solves important cases, always remembering to leave a note for his mother and wear his galoshes! It's a spoof of "B" movie mysteries and a perspective of a child's vision of life's everyday mysteries — when past, present and future all combine to create a wonderful now. Show dates are noon and 3 p.m., Saturdays, July 14 and 21. All tickets are $10. For reservations, call 732-968-7555, or buy online at www.circleplayers.com. No credit cards can be accepted at the theater box office, but may be used online.

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