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One-Act Plays a Short Twist for Some Summer Stages

Check out something different as two theaters present short productions.

Full-length plays, both comedies and dramas, are often found on North Jersey's stages, but this summer, two area theaters are offering something a bit different with productions of one-act plays.

Chatham Community Players are getting ready for the 18th annual Jersey Voices One Act Festival, which begins July 27. The summer tradition offers New Jersey playwrights a chance to get their work performed on a stage.

And Chester Theatre Groups is offering "An Evening of One-Acts" July 27-28. This special event will put the spotlight on two short plays, "Exchange" by Bennett Fisher and "Scooter Thomas Makes it to the Top of the World," by Peter Parnell."

That's just the start of what's happening on area's stages. There are plenty of concerts to see, family-friendly theatrical productions, and some good old plays and musicals.

There's actually an awful lot happening on a stage near, so read the On Stage Scoop and start making your plans.

THE ON STAGE SCOOP

Audition Alert, "Blithe Spirit:" Brundage Park Playhouse will hold auditions for Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" on July 17 and 19, 7-9 p.m. If you are unable to audition during these times, please contact the director at kitchenguy123@optonline.net to arrange an audition. For more information, including a character breakdown, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Audition Alert, "Macbeth:" The Shakespeare Initiative will hold auditions for "Macbeth" on July 18, 7-9 p.m. at the RoxPAC/Investors Bank Theater, 72 Eyland Ave., Roxbury. The production will be presented in collaboration with the Roxbury Arts Alliance. Auditioners are requested to prepare a Shakespearean monologue (memorization is not necessary). Since TSI productions are generally quite physical, a movement/stage combat section to the audition will also be conducted. Please wear comfortable clothing you can move in. Auditioners should bring a current headshot/photograph and a copy of their theatrical resume. Appointments are not required. Auditions are open to those in their late teens and up. All roles are open. Performances will run October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14. If you are unable to make the scheduled auditions or for further information please email: director@theshakespeareinitiative.org. For more information, visit TheShakespeareInitiative.org.

All Aboard for Opera: Opera New Jersey will stage Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore" on July 18 at 8 p.m. at the . The operetta features sailors on the high seas, love and crowd-pleasing music. Featuring full orchestra, soloists and chorus, the show will be sung with English supertitles projected above the stage. Tickets cost $20-$110. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Summer Theatre for Children at the Bickford: 's Summer Theatre for Children series continues with the sleight-of-hand talents of "Magic Jim's Deluxe Magic Show" on July 18, and "Bubble-ology," starring the Discovery Channel's Keith Michael Johnson, on July 19. Performances on both days begin at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12. The theater is located at the Morris Museum. For more information, go to MorrisMuseum.org.

Don't Freak Out, It's Just "Zappa Plays Zappa:" Dweezil Zappa will bring the music of his father, Frank Zappa, to life with "Zappa Plays Zappa" at the on July 19, 8 p.m. Tickets cost $39-$79. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org. 

Audition Alert, "Baby Bear and the Big, Bad Wolf:" Villagers Theatre in Somerset will hold auditions for its first KidsVill show of the 2012-2013 season, "Baby Bear and the Big, Bad Wolf," on July 19, 7-9:30 p.m. and July 21, 1-4 p.m. Callbacks are scheduled for July 22, 1-4 p.m. The show will be directed by Leslie Hochman and will feature fairy tale characters teaming up to fight an evil force. For more information, including a character breakdown, go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Go 'Sea' The Little Mermaid: will present "The Little Mermaid," July 20 through Aug. 5. The family show tells Hans Christian Andersen's tale of a mermaid's adventures on the ground. Performances are 8 p.m. on Fridays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $10. The theater is located at 689 Amwell Road in Hillsborough. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or go to SVPTheatre.org.

Here Comes Wynonna: Grammy winner Wynonna will perform with her band, the Big Noise, on July 20, 8 p.m. at . Wynonna hit the big time music scene in the 1980s as a member of the Judds and has been called the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline by "Rolling Stone" magazine. Tickets cost $57-$97. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Life in Song: Marc Cohn will perform at The Newton Theatre on July 20, beginning at 8 p.m. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter's hits include "Walking in Memphis," "Silver Thunderbird," "Miles Away" and "Ghost Train. The theater is located at 234 Spring St. in Newton. Tickets cost $34-$49. For more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Going for the Laughs: The Newton Theatre will present "Big Apple Comedy Club VI" on July 21, 8 p.m. Comics on the bill include Dan Naturman, Bernie Pauley, Al Ducharme and Ross Bennett. The theater is located at 234 Spring St. in Newton. Tickets cost $20-$25. For more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Funny Lady: Kathy Griffin will bring her brand of adults-only humor to on July 21, with performances beginning at 7 and 9:30 p.m. The Emmy winner will be riffing on Hollywood and celebrities. Tickets cost $67-$115. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Say Yes to Some Classic Rock: Yes, with special guest Procol Harum, will perform at on July 22 at 7 p.m. The pioneering progressive rock band has been recording and performing since the 1970s, with hits such as "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Tickets cost $67-$117. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

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

Comedy Tonight (through July 21): Bernards Township and Trilogy Repertory Company continues its Plays in the Park season with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum" July 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. For more information, call 908-204-3003 or go to TrilogyRepertory.com.

Curiouser and Curiouser: Brundage Park Playhouse is staging "Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr." through July 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 Hatter, the Chesire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and more. Performances are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. July 12-14, 20-21 and 2 p.m. July 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.

Ease on Down the Road to "The Wiz:" The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is presenting "The Wiz," through July 29 at the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong. The musical is an urbanized retelling of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," adapted from the 1975 Broadway hit for young audiences. The story follows the adventures of Dorothy, who is transported to the Land of Oz, which resembles a fantasy version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the land to seek an audience with the mysterious "Wiz", who is believed to have the power to send Dorothy home. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, 4 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $12. For more information, call 973- 347-4946 or go to GrowingStage.com.

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.

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

Protecting her Hood: Pushcart Players will present "Red Riding Hood… and other stories" July 25 at 11 a.m. in the Wilkins Theatre at Kean University. The show will feature such tales as "The Princess and the Pea," "The Emperor's New Clothes," and, of course, "Little Red Riding Hood." Tickets cost $15. The Kean University campus is located at 1000 Morris Ave. in Union. For more information, call 908-737-7469 or go to Kean.edu/PremiereStages.

Have a Ball with the Harlem Wizards: The Harlem Wizards will bring their hilarious brand of basketball to the Bickford Theatre on July 25. The show promises antics that will have crowds clapping, cheering and stomping their feet. For ages 3 to adult. Performances begin at 11:30 a.m. (limited availability) and 1:30 p.m. The Bickford will continue its Summer Theatre children's series with "Pinocchio" on July 26 and Snakes, Scales & Turtle Tales on July 27. Tickets cost $12. For more information, go to MorrisMuseum.org.

Guitar Man: Tommy Emmanuel will perform at the on July 26 at 8 p.m. Emmanuel is known for his "finger style" of playing, in which he uses all of his fingers. Tickets cost $27-$52. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

You Say You're a Princess? Prove It: The Madison Recreation Department and Playwrights Theatre will present "Once Upon A Mattress" July 26-28. The musical retelling of the classic fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea" is about a kingdom where no one is allowed to marry until a prince finds a suitable bride — suitable to his mother, that is. Enter Princess Winifred, who just might be the one, if she can pass a test involving a pea and a whole lot of mattresses. The production is for ages 12 and older. It will be directed by Danielle Constance with musical direction by Jane Keitel. The cast includes youth and adult performers. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on July 26-27 and 2 p.m. on July 28 at Madison High School, 170 Ridgedale Ave. in Madison. Tickets cost $10, $5 students/children. For more information, call 973-514-1787, ext. 31. Senior Citizens will be admitted for free and should call the senior center at 973-593-3095 to secure their tickets.

Singing Fairy Tales:
will continue its Kaleidoscope Theatre for Youth season with "Into the Woods Junior" July 26-28. The adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical offers music, laughter and a few twists on classic fairy tales. Ticket cost $15. For more information, go to SummitPlayhouse.org.

Double Down with Chester Theatre Group: will present "An Evening of One-Acts" on July 27-28 at the Black River Playhouse in Chester. The two plays are "Exchange," written Bennett Fisher, about passengers in New York waiting for a Subway, and "Scooter Thomas Makes it to the Top of the World," by Peter Parnell, about a man who finds out that his childhood best friend has died. Performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Black River Playhouse, 50 Grove St. in Chester. Tickets cost $10. For more information, call 908-879-7304 or go to ChesterTheatreGroup.org.

Get in on the One-Acts: will present their 18th annual Jersey Voices One Act Festival beginning July 27 and continuing through Aug. 4. This year's festival will include six original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights.

The plays include "6 in the Kid" by Ralph Greco Jr. of Clifton, in which a young writer interviews for a job as an assistant to a famous playwright. In "The Buffer" by Mike Allegra of Scotch Plains, Sarah convinces Bill that they should go out with her best friend, and her best friend's annoying husband. Basking Ridge resident Jane Walsh wrote "Ping," a one-woman play about a mother's love for her grown child.

Also being performed are "The Portrait Gallery" by Gary Shaffer of Toms River; "Children of September" by Eric Alter of West Orange; and "The Incident Report" by E.M. Lewis of Princeton.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. on July 27-28 and Aug. 3-14. Performances will be at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave. in Chatham. Tickets cost $15, $10 18 and under. For more information, call 973-635-7363 or go to ChathamPlayers.org.

Drama in the Park: Trilogy Repertory Company will continue its summer season of Bernards Township’s “Plays in the Park” with the drama, "Inherit the Wind," July 27 to Aug. 4 at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge. The play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is a fictionalized dramatization of the trial of John Scopes for teaching the theory of evolution in a Tennessee high school science class. The play debuted on Broadway in 1955, and had revivals in 1996 and 2007. It was adapted into a movie starring Spencer Tracy in 1960 and a made-for-TV movie starring Jack Lemmon in 1999. Trilogy's production is being produced by Nancy Becker and directed by Hugh Wallace. Pleasant Valley Park is located on Valley Road (next to the Veterans Hospital at Lyons) in Basking Ridge. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For more information, call 908-204-3003.

Have a Mad Time with Alice:
Disney's "Alice in Wonderland Jr." will be performed at the Brook Arts Center on July 27, beginning at 6 p.m. The show brings audiences on Alice's madcap adventures in Wonderland as she discovers characters like White Rabbit, Dodo Bird and the Queen of Hearts. Tickets cost $15, $10 children. For more information, go to BrookArts.org.

Music at the Newton Theatre: The Newton Theatre will present concerts by Spyro Gyra on July 27 and 7 Walkers on July 28. Spyro Gyra released its first album 35 years ago, and has sold millions of records and has won Grammys. Tickets cost $39-$52. 7 Walkers is led by former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Tickets cost $34-$44. Both shows start at 8 p.m. For more information, go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

"Spring Awakening" in the Summer: Villagers Theatre will present the Tony-winning musical "Spring Awakening" July 27 through Aug. 12. as part of its TeensVill series. This production contains mature themes and is designed to encourage conversations between parents and children. This production will not feature nudity. Tickets cost $16. Performances are Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For more information, go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Art Garfunkel, Glen Campbell and Paul Anka Tickets on Sale: Tickets for concerts by Art Garfunkel, Glen Campbell and Paul Anka at the are now on sale. Garfunkel will perform on Oct. 5, Campbell will bring his Goodbye Tour to Morristown on Oct. 19 and Anka will perform "Christmas My Way" on Dec. 6. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Barn Theatre Announces New Season: in Montville has announced its schedule of shows for the 2012-13 season. First up is Michael Frayn's "Noises Off," Sept. 7-29. The musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!" will run Nov. 9-Dec. 1. "Fuddy Meers" by David Lindsay Abaire is scheduled to run Jan. 11-Feb. 2. "God of Carnage" will be on the Barn stage March 15-April and "A Chorus Line" will close out the season, starting May 17.  Tickets for musicals cost $20, $15 for plays. Subscription options are available. For more information, go to BarnTheatre.org.

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