Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Margulies Mania!

In David Saint's first season here at the playhouse he brought the extraordinary Uta Hagen in Donald Margulies' Collected Stories fresh from its run in New York. In January, Margulies's OBIE award winning play, Sight Unseen will open here starring Matthew Arkin (from last year's The Scene and the original cast of Dinner with Friends). Mr. Margulies who has also written Dinner with Friends and Brooklyn Boy, has two new works opening this year on both coasts. Shipwrecked, An Entertainment, will open with in New York at Primary Stages starring GSP alumn Michael Countryman, and Time Stands Still starring Alicia Silverstone at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles directed by Dan Sullivan. As the saying goes, it's all in the timing. Incidentally, all three shows will be running virtually at the same time. We're thrilled to be apart of Margulies Mania this year!

posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tony Nominees perform at GSP for the Holidays


and now for a shameless plug and late breaking news.

Tony Nominees Sally Mayes (She Loves Me) and Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) will perform in our 1st annual Holiday Cabaret.

Sally is perhaps best known for her performance in the Roundabout Theatre revival of She Loves Me for which she won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Urban Cowboy garnered her another Drama Desk nomination, (Featured Actress in a Musical), and she most recently appeared in Steel Magnolias. She has also starred in several Off-Broadway productions, including Closer Than Ever (Outer Critics Circle nomination), and Das Barbecue, Pete N'Keely (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical), She drew raves as Mae West in the National Tour of Dirty Blonde. Sally also appears on countless cast recordings, including Closer Than Ever, She Loves Me, Das Barbecue, Bye Bye Birdie, Lost in Boston, Unsung Musicals, Unsung Sondheim, Night of the Hunter, etc. Sally has four solo albums, The Dorothy Fields Songbook and Our Private World, The Comden and Green Songbook, The Story Hour, Boys and Girls Like You and Me, and her latest release, Valentine. You can visit her website at www.sallymayes.net

Bob is currently here performing as Mr. Lockhart in The Seafarer, but is best known as a musical theatre performer having recently done Camelot, Phantom, and Jacque Brel....

Below is a clip from his performance shortly after receiving the Tony Nomination for Jekyll and Hyde on the Rosie O'Donnell Show.



posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Read 'em and Weep Boys


George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint has, for the past few years, chosen shows during the holidays that are certainly off the beaten path. This year is no different with our production of The Seafarer. But it is quite rewarding when it's met with enthusiastic critical and audience response.

Below are a few highlights from the recent reviews. Have you seen the show? Write your own below and we'll post it!

The Star Ledger's Peter Filichia raves - "The Seafarer is MUST SEE tragicomedy"

The Home News Tribune writes: "Brilliant ensemble allows George Street's spirited "Seafarer" to shine
US 1 Newspaper writes - " It’s a soul-satisfying gem of a modern Christmas tale that finds magic, humor, and love in a world full of grit and evil’s temptations. Director Anders Cato’s intimate and honest production is a triumph."
photo of Matthew Boston by T. Charles Erickson, posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Wheels on the Bus...

The Home News Tribune recently featured George Street's bus trips from the Monroe area. The journalist (Laurie Granieri) expertly captures the personalities of the matinee crowd, if I must say.
-----

Gold and 34 other women from active adult communities around Monroe Township are headed to a Thursday matinee of the kooky monster-mash musical "The Toxic Avenger." They sit in pairs aboard a chartered bus bound for New Brunswick's George Street Playhouse.

Some are gussied up for the occasion in low heels, leather coats and matching jewelry; others choose sensible shoes with Velcro fasteners, windbreakers and loose-fitting athletic pants.
Gold is in the former category: lipstick, a lightly made-up face and short blond hair curling softly toward her cheekbones.

Gold isn't sure she'll like the show. But now that Mabel Metz has told her the well-received musical is moving off-Broadway, Gold's willing to give it a chance.

"A couple friends who saw it said it isn't good, but now I can go with an open mind and enjoy it," Gold says.
"I'm an old-time New Yorker," Metz adds. "I go with an open mind. Not everyone has the same taste."

Metz, Gold and the rest are participating in George Street Playhouse's Monroe Township Bus Package. For $52, residents of certain active adult communities receive round-trip transport and a ticket to a Thursday matinee. The theater offers the service for $49 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during previews.
Michelle Bergamo, George Street's marketing and group sales associate, is stationed up front with a list of participants' names. She has coordinated the program since its inception five years ago. Today Bergamo is overseeing four pick-ups at Clearbrook, Greenbriar at Whittingham, Concordia and Rossmoor. She assures Shirley Horowitz that the musical is "silly."
Horowitz is pleased.

"Silly is good," she says. Horowitz steers the conversation to another subject.

"Let's get personal," she says to Bergamo. "How's the wedding?" Horowitz has participated in the Monroe Township Bus Package for three years, and she's gotten to know Bergamo, as have the other ladies.

"It's coming," Bergamo replies.

"You inviting all of George Street?" Horowitz asks.

They laugh. Bergamo says she and her fiance are prepared for the big day.
She corrects herself: "I should say I am."

"Most of 'em don't (help with planning)," Sylvia Wouk assures Bergamo. "You're probably better off doing it yourself."

The bus takes roughly 30 minutes to wind its way from the leafy gated communities of Monroe Township to downtown New Brunswick. The women, most of whom are George Street subscribers — nonsubscribers from participating active adult communities may sign up for the package as long as there's space on the bus — say they enjoy the trips because, as Irene Kent puts is, "someone else is doing the driving . . . I'd do a lot more theater, symphony, if they offered a bus."

Many women say they no longer travel into Manhattan for cultural events and would not attend shows at George Street if it were not for the bus package; some refuse to drive at night.

Fran Berger used to drive herself to George Street, but now that she has a brace on her leg, she worries about finding convenient parking in New Brunswick.

"We're getting old, we can't do certain things," she says. "I love theater; this helps me get there."
Berger used to live in Brooklyn, N.Y. She says she and her husband, Dan, attended Broadway shows once a month. Dan died 14 years ago.
"We saw everything worth seeing," Berger says.

Later on, the Bergers moved to Convent Station, where Fran commuted into the city to work as an office manager for a handbag designer. Berger keeps a lipstick-red crocodile bag on her lap. It matches her manicure and her earrings.
Berger says for many years she couldn't imagine retiring.

"I said, "What do you do when you're retired?' " Berger recalls. "A woman said, "You take one day at a time.' "
Attending the theater allows Berger to do just that.
"Every day I try to do something," she says.

Later, a reporter asks Gold if she can telephone her the next day to ask about the show. Gold smiles and says: "We'll try to fit you into our schedule."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In Rehearsals with The Seafarer


It's not very often a director is interviewed by the press, but the Princeton Packet recently interviewed The Seafarer director Anders Cato. Mr. Cato is a favorite here at George Street Playhouse and has directed fresh productions of recent Broadway shows including I Am My Own Wife, Souvenir, and Doubt in the past several seasons to great acclaim.

Below are some excerpts of Anthony Stoeckert's interview with Anders and David Schramm (TV's Wings) who plays Richard Harkin.


For me it’s been a great place,” Mr. Cato says of George Street. “It’s nice when you can come back to a place. And I feel like (Artistic Director) David (Saint) has trusted me with really great material.”

Mr. Cato’s cast includes David Schramm and David Adkins, both of whom he worked with this past summer in a production of Waiting for Godot at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Working with actors he’s familiar with has been particularly helpful with The Seafarer, he says, because of the ensemble nature of the five-character play. ”It makes a big difference,” he says. “You don’t have to start from zero... It helps you communicate on a level where you can take many shortcuts.” Mr. Schramm is best known to audiences for his role as Roy Biggins on the ‘90s sitcom Wings, and is an accomplished stage actor. This marks the third straight play he and Mr. Cato have collaborated on (they also teamed up for George Bernard Shaw’s Candida in the Berkshires this past summer).


"Any director who goes from Shaw to Beckett and can do them superbly, is a really good director,” Mr. Schramm says, adding that Mr. Cato has an ability to get actors to take risks while maintaining a level of trust. “Anders encourages you to go out on a limb, to sort of do it in space almost, (to) jump off that thing and see just what happens when you let go of all those things that actors tend to hold onto.”
Mr. Cato says The Seafarer’s success hinges on actors striking a delicate balance between the real and the fantastical. The play is rooted in Irish legend (its time and place description says the coast of North Dublin has “long been the focus of myths and legends”) and is often very funny while also requiring actors to go places that are, in the director’s words, “dark and vulnerable.” ”(The characters) are carrying around, most of them, these terrible things from the past,” Mr. Cato says.

“And during the course of the evening, it surfaces. But what (Mr. McPherson) does so well is bring in that Irish mood (while staying) connected to those old stories.” As Richard, Mr. Schramm plays a blind Irishman who drinks too much. (“A little blindness, a little Irish brogue, it’s a comedy, it’s a tragedy! You’ve got it all,” he says.) While those factors make for a rich character, they can also lead to traps.

"The dialect coach keeps saying things like, ‘You don’t want to sound like a Lucky Charms commercial,’” he says, adding that the coach, who is Irish, also told the actors that Irish people do not say, “Top of the mornin’ to you.” Of over-playing the brogue or Richard’s other characteristics, Mr. Schramm says, “It’s a question of trying to avoid them by being as real as you can, so consequentially, the cliché that you might go to if you fell into the trap, doesn’t stand a chance. You get out on a limb... and you see there’s a million options. There’s not just the one choice that you go to immediately because it’s the easy one or the obvious one.”

Mr. Schramm studied with John Houseman at Juilliard and was a founding member of Mr. Houseman’s The Acting Company. The actor worked steadily for nearly 40 years, then took some time off, which he was able to afford after Wings’ nine-season run. In discussing his break, Mr. Schramm says that of course he was always appreciative of getting steady work as an actor. But he wanted some time away from the profession and remembers telling a friend, “I spend my life dressed in somebody else’s clothes, saying somebody’s words, feeling somebody else’s feelings.” His time off included taking classes, traveling, going to opera and becoming a subscriber at Carnegie Hall. Five years later, he returned to the stage. ”I said, ‘I’ve got to stop because I can’t do this anymore because it’s not right,’” he says of early retirement. “Because this is what I am. I am somebody who struts around in somebody else’s clothes.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toxic Avenger: Reviews and Blog roundup


The Toxic Avenger will come to a close this weekend, a bittersweet moment at GSP, but we're already in rehearsals for The Seafarer ( blog forthcoming!). There's been lots of press on the show, but perhaps more interesting is that sci-fi bloggers have fallen in love with Toxie! Below are just a few of the reviews from official and un-official press!


Charles Paolino of the Home News Tribune calls the show "a raunchy plunge into a vat of incorrectness."

Peter Filichia writes in
The Star Ledger "the building must now have many cracked walls from all the explosive applause and laughter"


Stephen Wells' reviews The Toxic Avenger in The New York Times and says "there’s a show at George Street that is bringing audiences spontaneously to their feet."

Kelly-Jane Cotter raves "The Toxic Avenger Musical" is a scream" in the
Asbury Park Press


If that's not the enough read the blog reviews at






So if you haven't seen it yet! Get your tickets now. Ask about our Monster Happy hour on Thursday 10/30 or our costume contest on halloween! Have you seen the show? Post your review here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Opening Night Coverage: AMC Sci-Fi

Ever wonder what it's like to attend an opening night at George Street Playhouse? AMC Sci-Fi got an all-access pass and interviews the cast of The Toxic Avenger and creator of the original movie and head of Troma films, Lloyd Kaufman.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Audiences Love Toxie!

The Toxic Avenger is still in previews, but word of mouth has been extraordinary! See for youself!

"Just saw it. Great! Will be back & bring some more Jersey friends. Have a great run!!"

"Saw the show last night at George Street and had a blast! I'm not usually a musicals person but this was such a fun show - with great writing and music. Loved the physical comedy too."

"We just saw opening night in New Brunswick last night, what a fantastic musical! Everything was excellent from the writing, the music, to the amazing actors! We can't stop laughing about it!"




Thursday, October 2, 2008

Birth of a new musical!


I recently sat with Joe DiPietro to talk about the creation of The Toxic Avenger which began previews last night to an enthusiastic audience! Below is an excerpt of my interview.


Q: What was your reaction when first asked to make The Toxic Avenger a musical?

Joe DiPietro: It’s funny, because I get a fair amount of calls about people trying to turn various movies into musicals. I had seen the movie about 20 years ago, so I immediately thought, “Oh My God, I love that idea, it’s so off the wall, and I know the perfect guy to write it with.” So I hung up the phone, so excited and immediately started writing an outline of what I wanted to do, and within an hour I knew it was going to have five people, three of them play many roles, I just had the whole feel of it. It’s a pretty good sign when you can write like that…

Q: What are some of the challenges of adapting the movie to the stage?


JD: When I first watched the movie again, I thought it was a weird, odd, fun movie, but aimed at teenage guys under the influence. I didn’t think the movie would work on stage and wasn’t interested in doing a literal translation. I loved the premise of the story so much, that if Lloyd Kaufman (who is the creator of the Toxic Avenger) would let David and I make up our own story, but stay true to the spirit of the film, then I could do it.


Q: How did you come up with the other characters?

JD: It’s a bit of Charles Ludlum’s “Theatre of the Ridiculous”, and also from my experience with I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change having 4 people playing sixty characters. I love that theatrical conceit, the idea of people playing multiple roles. We obviously have two actors playing 20 characters each, of every gender and age imaginable. The movie was a low-budget movie and I thought this needed to be a fun low-budget musical. Obviously, the subject matter is so over the top, it had to match the feel of that.

Q: What about The Toxic Avenger makes it appropriate for a musical?

JD: Well, I wouldn’t want to go see a “monster play” but a monster musical is much more interesting and I really haven’t seen any of those. Musicals need to have a specific milieu that gives it an environment. The Toxic Avenger is essentially set in a toxic waste dump in New Jersey, which is pretty offbeat for a musical. It’s such a heightened story, with heightened emotions, so there’s a lot of passion to sing about. We really worked hard to make sure that the love story between the Toxic Avenger and the blind librarian he falls in love with remains central to the story.

posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meet Steven Jones


I am unspeakably excited to be a part of this years touring company at George Street Playhouse. I am a recent graduate of Rutgers University where I studied Theater Arts and English and received the oh-so-coveted B.A. Degree in both of those subjects! (This means I am soon to be making the BIG BUCKS)

Born and raised in Trenton NJ, the arts have always been an outlet for me. Always the clown or the showoff at all family events I knew from an early age that a future in performing was inevitable for me. I attended the Mercer Country High School of Performing Arts and it was there where I really fell in love with Acting as a craft and Theater as an art. That love carried me into the B.A. program at Rutgers (the greatest University that was ever established…literally…out of all of them…Rutgers is the best one). I have had the fortune of performing in about 15 shows while at Rutgers; most notably: Ragtime, Once on This Island, Glengarry Glen Ross, Six Degrees of Separation, Line, The Brig, and Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Plays 365 Days, which was directed by GSP’s very own Dan “Da Man” Swern.

I am having the time of my life working with the amazing people at GSP and I think that this year’s tour is assembled of some of the finest actors and greatest people with whom I have had the pleasure of working. I am looking forward to what exciting things and adventures there are to come.

Hometown: Trenton, NJ

Favorite Thing to do on a day off:
Just kick back and relax with a good book and a game or two or six of NFL Madden for PS2

Audition Piece: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” by August Wilson, “Free Will and Wanton Lust” by Nicky Silver

What do you listen to on the way to work: A very eclectic mix but more than likely something by Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, or Musiq Soulchild.

Most embarrassing stage moment
: During a performance of Julius Caesar at the Belasco Theater in NYC: Completely zoning out backstage in between entrances and leaving a helpless Denzel Washington on the stage to do nothing else but to yell my character’s name at the top of his lungs, to get my attention. I hauled butt onto the stage and delivered my lines (out of breath), then exited stage left, and immediately proceeded to die a little bit.

First Broadway Show: Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”

Must See TV: HEROES!!! Top Chef, Inside the Actors Studio

Latest Movie Recommendation: Burn After Reading

Meet Timothy Regan

My name is Timothy Regan and I come from Bogota NJ. It is a very small town in Bergen County with a JR/SR high school with only 500 students. I graduated in 2004 with a class of 85 students. I attended Kean University as a Theatre Education major for two years then switched to a BA Theatre and made it out in four years! And now I am here at George Street Playhouse happier than ever, to be part of such a talented and welcoming group of people.

Hometown: Bogota, NJ

Favorite Thing to do on a day off: Sleep in, watch TV, play poker either online or with some friends.

Audition Piece: I tend to rotate through several...Dramatic: Two Rooms Comedic: The Jerk, Classic: Richard III

What do you listen to on the way to work: Mainly my ipod on shuffle or FRESH 102.7

Most embarassing stage moment: My senior year at Kean during the first act Pirates of Penzance my pants had unhooked and unzipped and slid out from under my belt to around my thighs before I noticed that my boxers were now showing and I still had a lot of dancing to do and not a convenient time to try to exit to fix my situation!

First Broadway Show: Beauty and the Beast

Must See TV: One Tree Hill. Used to be Boy Meets World!!

Movie Recommendation: Boondock Saints

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two For One!

Today we catch up with the Toxie Cam as Nick Cordero continues his adventures in rehearsals for The Toxic Avenger, with not one, but two episodes!




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meet Angela Cucco: Fearless Leader of the Tour


After 5 years in various areas of Pennsylvania, with summers on Martha's Vineyard and at Williamstown, MA, Angela is oh-so-glad to be back in New Jersey. While looking at colleges years ago, she remembers seeing the George Street Playhouse while visiting Rutgers, and even back then she wanted to work here.
A proud Jersey girl at heart, she attended Lehigh University for theatre, and is happy to be the touring stage manager this season. Angela is obsessed with anything "Jersey," so imagine her excitement when she found out GSP was producing The Toxic Avenger! She always believed New Jersey was totally lacking a superhero.... until now!
Angela is looking forward to touring and seeing lots of kids go crazy over the shows and the actors, especially when in their Peacemaker costumes. She is also excited to get acquainted with the city of New Brunswick, discover all ways to avoid taking Route 18, and get back her Jersey accent.


Hometown: I'm a proud resident of the 201 (Bergen County, that is.)

Favorite Thing to do on a day off: Sleep in, read, and be social with people outside the theatre world.

Audition Piece: I carry around a big, overstuffed 3" binder from Inherit the Wind from my senior year at Lehigh.

What do you listen to on the way to work: Shuffle on my ipod. But I'm trying to go through all of my CDs, finding old, forgotten favorites, now that I am commuting an hour each way to work (yes, I'm still living in Bergen County). The most prominent artist on my ipod is Nine Inch Nails.

Most embarassing stage moment: I avoid onstage moments. I work where you don't see me. And I like to keep it that way.

First Broadway Show: The Radio City Christmas Show. But since I don't really count that as Broadway, the real answer is Once on This Island. This show opened in 1990. Which means I was 5 when I saw it. {Although, I will say that when I was younger, I totally wanted to be a Rockette. And I have seen the Radio City Christmas Show numerous times since then. Cause it's awesome.}

Must See TV: The West Wing (I guess that's a must see DVD). How I Met Your Mother.

Latest Movie Recommendation: Does anybody have one for me?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Toxie Cam: Vlog Episode 2

Check out the latest video diary from Nick Cordero, who plays the title role in The Toxic Avenger.

Monday, September 8, 2008

7 Questions for: Nikelola Balogun

Well how about from the sort of beginning? Well, my name is Nikelola I am 18+ years old (ha-ha) and I am originally from the WEST COAST ! Yup, guess which wonderful state. Cali -Forn- I-A! Yup. I'm an L.A. girl, minus all those stereotypes, like I don't always like twirl my hair, like, and like talk like valley like and have fake boobs like and am like super Barbie plastic like? Hmmmmmm. Well, anyhoo I'm just a silly and interesting chickadee from Cali and you can say that I've wanted to be an actress since I can remember, though my background says otherwise. I actually went to school for Business (Tulane Univ) and only did it as a safety net, but I knew my true calling was acting. So after I graduated I tried my luck as an actress in Los Angeles and yikes!!! T'was really difficult and I got scammed and failed miserably. At that time, I got discouraged and decided retire my acting jersey. I then packed my bags, moved to the big apple (NYC if any of you are like, whah?) and got a job in the Fashion industry. I thought that this would make me happy but after some time of having nightmares and getting visits from celebrity ghosts in my dreams (you know how Ebenezer Scrooge got visits from 3 ghosts showing him what his life would be like if he didn't exist?) well I got a visit from Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey (please don't ask) showing me how my life would be without acting. So waking up sweaty and fearful of such a horrible future, I was reborn and decide I could put aside this dream no longer and have been back to pursue my dream/passion for acting ever since.;-) And now, here I am at the George Street Playhouse-- There's no place like home...


Hometown: Los Angeles, CALIFORN I-A

Favorite Thing to do on a day off: Watch my Korean Dramas and brush up on the foreign languages i am learning.

What do you listen to on the way to work: The traffic on the street?

Most embarassing stage moment: Getting clothes-lined on my way to class, while ridding my back in front of the entire football team.

First Broadway Show: The Lion King

Must See TV: Heroes & Korean Dramas

Lastest Movie Recommendation: Batman


posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Toxie Cam: Vlog Episode 1

Meet Cailin O'Connor!

As we gear up for a new educational touring season, it's a pleasure to introduce the actors that will be gracing elementary and middle school stages across the state (and some parts of NY and PA!)

First up! Cailin O'Connor:


Cailin O'Connor is oh-so-glad to be with George Street Playhouse. She grew up outside Syracuse N.Y. where she Irish Step danced with her absurdly large Irish Step dancing/fiddle-playing family and, of course, participated in the Oklahoma's and Music Man's of small town theater. She entered college thinking she would rock the biology/environmental science and save the earth but quickly discovered an affinity for fine art and an anti-affinity for pre-meds. So she, oh heck, I studied film, making a mix of strange experimental feminist pieces and ridiculous music videos, concurrently acting in whatever I could and studying theater with whoever I could. After graduating I spent a few years lost in the world, tap dancing in the subways, wandering in India etc before at last deciding to give acting a shot and landing in your laps!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And We're Off...!

Photobucket



Music has filled the halls of George Street Playhouse, doors are slamming, phones are ringing, and several new employees are still learning everyone's name, but it all means one thing...

OUR SEASON HAS FINALLY BEGUN!

The Toxic Avenger officially went into rehearsal today! The day started with a production meeting between the director, all the designers, the choreographer, and the production staff. As an outside observer, I find that whole process fascinating to watch. When so many creative people are in one room, it's easy for one fastic idea to start a momentary tangent. of a hundred possibilities When even discussing the concepts are funny, it certainly leaves no doubt that this is a musical COMEDY.

Here are some quotable moments, without giving the some of the surprises away:

  • "The bigger the gun, the better the option"

  • "Do you have access to exploding flesh?"

  • "How grotesque is this baby?"

  • "Every time he reaches underneath the table, I'm terrified!"

In the coming days look for an introduction to the new educational tour, reports from more rehearsals, and much more as the GSP Blog kicks back into gear! Tickets for the season are now on sale. So hurry up and get some already!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Briefly Speaking with: Karen Price

Ok, try to remember that time in February where we promised you a new installment of the blog...you can't? Well that's ok, because we're bringing it to you again! Every once in awhile I try and steal a few minutes of the staff's time to get them to contribute to the blog. Hopefully we'll have more involvement this coming season! For now, our Business Manager was happy to take a few minutes to fill out our questionnaire.

Karen Price, recently celebrated her 20th season with GSP(yes you read that right) as Business Manager. She basically handles all financial matters of running the theatre, including serving as a one person human resources department! (we're a small, but mighty band)

Hometown: Craig, Nebraska

Favorite Thing to do on a day off: movies, shopping, reading (Karen's mourning the loss of the Borders on Route 18 too, she feels your pain).


Favorite Restaurant recommendation in New Brunswick: Soho on George

Favorite GSP moment: In our 2002- 2003 season, we cancelled the first preview of The 75th/Vibrator because the NY Times wanted to see and review the show prior to opening. We protected the playwright, Arthur Laurents and actors Liz Wilson and Tom Aldredge.

AND In 2004, When we honored David Saint at the Gala, he called the staff to come to the stage to be recognized and our marketing director, Kelly Ryman, was present by cell phone, because she was in labor at the time!

First Broadway Show: A Radio City show & movie

Must See TV: Project Runway



posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Variety interviews Joe DiPietro

More Toxic Avenger related news has hit the trade paper, Variety. Casting is currently underway for our fall premiere at George Street Playhouse.

"It's tough to decide what's the biggest geek-chic surprise about "The Toxic Avenger," a new tuner based on the 1985 B-movie about the slimy superhero with the toxic-waste origin.
First of all, the cheeky New Jersey-set tale will preem this fall at the Garden State's own George Street Playhouse -- with a score by David Bryan, one of the founding members of Jersey band Bon Jovi.

Possibly even better? The production set up a booth at the New York Comic Con in April.
That might be topped, however, by the fact that this musical version of "Toxic"-- with book by Joe DiPietro ("I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," the upcoming "Nice Work if You Can Get It") and featuring songs titles like "Hot Toxic Love" -- is the third tuner version of the movie to hit the boards.

That's right, the third.

First there was "Toxic Avenger: The Musical," staged in Omaha, Neb., in 2004. Then came "Toxic Avenger: The Musikill" in Portland, Ore., in 2006.
"It's such a cult classic," DiPietro says of the story's appeal to stage creatives.
This incarnation of Lloyd Kaufman's Troma Entertainment pic was suggested by Jean Cheever, who co-produced Broadway tuner "All Shook Up," for which DiPietro wrote the book.

"Toxic," which aims to broaden the Avenger's appeal from his core stoner demo, bows in New Brunswick Sept. 30, with a cast of five under the direction of John Rando("Urinetown"). A New York move seems a likely bet if the show works.

"Like the Tromaville movies, the idea is to make it low-budget and fun," DiPietro says. "It's a quintessential Off Broadway show."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SciFi on Stage: Toxic Avenger

AMC recently covered several musicals that have been adapted from SciFi films. They'll be here on opening night covering The Toxic Avenger. Will you?
For an interesting history of other SciFi musicals....take a look.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Schedule!


Well, the season has come to a quick close here, but we're still busy planning next year! Our educational tour continues for a few weeks as well.

Please stay tuned for future updates and entries over the summer. We'll return to our normal schedule in August.

above: David Saint and Marlo Thomas, on the evening before the final performance.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Audience Reaction and Response: Roger is Dead

During our talk backs you've gotten to ask questions to David Saint, an actor or two, or the guest director on a production. This season, audiences were treated to discussions with Jack Klugman, Paul Dooley, Rosemary Harris, Frank Dunlop, Matthew Arkin, and today...the ENTIRE CAST of Roger is Dead, led by the fascinating Marlo Thomas. In all, it was one of those moments, (and I'm not just saying this because I happen to work for George Street Playhouse), where you sit and want to pinch yourself in disbelief that you are part of the experience.

Today was our Sunday Symposium, a regular discussion about the play with the creative team and cast members that we offer with each production. It differs in a lot of ways from our talk-backs with the audience during the preview period, and today was no exception. Discussing a new piece like Roger is Dead is a rare opportunity for the audience. It's a chance to ask the actors questions about their characters, plot points, and sometimes observations that were unclear.

During previews, discussions were led by Artistic Director David Saint. He discussed how the show came to GSP, the process it had gone through before production, and answered questions from the audience. Elaine May, the show's director, was unable to take part due to a note session with the cast based on the performance.

Today however, the entire cast participated in the discussion, led by Director of Education, Danny Tamez. In a rare Q&A with the entire cast, the audience discussed nearly every topic the play addresses; from historical figures, the state of youth education, Carla's marriage as it relates to reality, Elaine May's career, and the relation between the working class and the privileged. Marlo Thomas noted in the discussion, "at first I thought,' why did Elaine want me to play this role? Then as I read it, I was attracted by all the layers it had."

One audience member pointed out how the character of Michael was unclear to him and perhaps even somewhat under-developed. Mark Blum, who plays Michael, noted that as an actor, “you fill in the blanks to try and make it clearer for the audience. I agree with you," he said to the audience.

In taking questions, Ms. Thomas pointed out that each person's experience watching the play was different, and reflected on particular highlights she felt were important.

In a candid moment, Thomas also revealed a similarity between her marriage with Phil Donahue, and the marriage between the characters of Roger and Doreen, in the play. "Many years ago, my husband and I were on a Hawaiian vacation....very in love and newly married." Walking along the beach they noticed a "wrinkly old woman" and Thomas said, "Phil, will you still love me when I look like that." He turned to her said, "it depends what I look like."

When asked what the next step might be, Thomas replied "well we'd like to bring into New York." Gushing, one audience member said, "I LOVED IT! I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST!"

In all, it was a truly remarkable way to end a star-studded season.

Have a question about Roger is Dead? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Post your comments on this blog! For a schedule of future Sunday Symposiums please visit our website after our season announcement.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Podcast with Marlo Thomas

"State of the Arts" producer Amber Edwards talks with Marlo Thomas about her theater work, the GSP production of Roger is Dead, and her groundbreaking 1960s TV series "That Girl" in this podcast. It's a fascinating listen!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Toxie Commercial!

One of the most frequently asked questions at NY Comic Con about Toxic Avenger was "Where's LLOYD?" Lloyd Kaufman is the owner/creator of Troma Films, and has gleefully endorsed this production. Here's a commercial he recently shot for us, but I should note, that the opinions expressed by Mr. Kaufman, as offbeat and hysterical as they may be, are not necessarily that of George Street Playhouse, its Board of Trustees or staff.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a bird...It's a plane...

What do Spiderman, Spongebob SquarePants, the Incredible Hulk, and THE TOXIC AVENGER all have in common? They were all at NY Comic-Con April 18 - 20, and GSP was there promoting our new fall musical! In addition to a slimy, smoking, barrel of toxic waste, GSP's own Chris Bailey appeared as Toxie himself, in a costume made by our fantastic costume shop, and the original Toxie mask on loan from Troma Films. Thousands turned out to the event, and hundreds posed for pictures with the famed "Superhero from New Jersey!" The excitement was unbelievable. One thing's for sure, if you saw Evil Dead: The Musical, last year off-Broadway, this is a show for you!



It was a busy weekend for the GSP folks, as well also attended an event for the Edison Wetlands Association Earth Day event, which drew over 200 people!

(Left: Bob from the Wetlands Assocation and Toxie)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lessons in Laughter


Well the reviews are in and George Street has ended its season "on a high note."
For those of you who have missed recent posts about Roger is Dead with now is your LAST CHANCE! You have 3 weeks left to catch it . As the
Two River Times says, "Elaine May is at the top of her game, which, for those who might not remember, is to entertain with an edge."


While many of you may know who Elaine May is, I only recently discovered just how funny Ms. May and her partner Mike Nichols really were as a comedic duo. During her stay here in rehearsal everyone would refer to the "telephone call" or the "doctor / nurse sketch", and quote lines like "It's a mother's love". Well I recently happened across this podcast with STEVE MARTIN, courtesy of Public Radio, with clips from the old Nichols and May routines. It's a great resource and hysterically funny.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Backstage Tour

Here's a look backstage of ROGER IS DEAD from last weekend's technical rehearsals. The set design is quite meticulous. Roger is Dead takes place in Carla and Michael Kerns' apartment, a "very small, shabby" home in Manhattan, as designed by R. Michael Miller. Mr. Miller has designed more than 15 shows at the playhouse and is on the faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts.


View from the Tech Table last weekend Close up of the kitchen area, notice the detail.
Actual photos of cast members adorn the dresser.
Past the front door entrance to the apartment, is an actual hallway to another apartment! The hallway floor received the same hardwood paint treatment as the main floor / living area,

Carla and Michael's bedroom hallwa, a work still in progress of being "dressed" during Tech.



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Blog Feature!


Now you can subscribe to the blog! Best of all, its FREE! Know immediately when we update the blog with content and subscribe by clicking on the subscribe tool to the right.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Intimate Evening with Idina Menzel

Last night, Idina Menzel launched her tour at George Street Playhouse promoting her new album "I Stand." In a truly intimate setting, Idina shared stories of growing up "as a jewish girl in Marlboro and Somerset" and thinks she probably lived in New Brunswick before moving to Long Island. "I don't say that in every city I go to," she told the sold-out crowd. Spaced between each number she spoke of her survival job as a wedding / bar and bat mitzvah singer, "Ladies and Gentleman your salad course is now ready" and did bits of Michael Jackson and The Girl from Impanema in her early nineties sparkle gown which she's saved. In addition to the wedding segment, Idina spoke on her views of religion, "I'm a very spiritual person, but was raised Jewish," her desire to have kids someday, "I love you honey!" she said to her husband, Taye Diggs, who remained her silent support! "I don't like to know where he is, I get very nervous," she said. The George Street Playhouse stop, wass her first time performing this material before an audience as she goes out on the road to Barrington Stage, and other venues, before taping her concert for PBS at Rose Hall in New York!. Of course, she closed her concert with a thrilling performance of "Defying Gravity" from her Tony-Award Winning turn as Elphaba in Wicked. The final note ended in screams, cheers, and a standing ovation! We're thrilled to continue to be the safe location where artists feel they can develop their work.


Her fans have already posted some of their reactions:


"She was in amazing voice, looked lovely and had a charming stage presence and personality. She indicated that she was very nervous as it was her first show. You couldn't tell from her singing at all - picture perfect. "


"What an incredible concert.....very small, intimate theatre...the power of her voice would blow you out of your seat"


"Tonight we shared an evening with Idina (and about 375 other fans) at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. Idina was awesome - beautiful, real and, even, emotional at times. It was a special night with a very special lady. Idina: we wish you all the very best on the tour"
All in all, one special evening.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"It's gonna run!"


Back in the summer, the artistic director handed me a script and a cd of a new musical written by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan. After listening to the music, I burned several copies, and quietly distributed it discreetly to the staff. Not only is the staff big fans of this new piece but George Street has just announced the debut of the world premiere of The Toxic Avenger, a new musical to be directed by Urinetown's Tony Award Winner John Rando. We've been working on the logistics for several months already and we're so excited about this announcement.

There's so much content on the website thats been specially developed for this production, it's too extensive to list here. But join our
Facebook or MySpace Page or stay tuned to this blog for updates throughout the summer leading up to the big premiere on September 30th! Also, stay tuned for a blog from self professed"major fan of anything Toxic Avenger" - Chris Bailey, GSP's very own Production Manager and Lighting Designer.

Read the announcement in the Star Ledger. Be sure to visit the Toxic Avenger official website for music samples too!

Tickets are on sale to the public March 28th! In the meantime, check out this exclusive video from the summer reading with Kerry Butler, Daniel Reichard, David Josefsberg and more!





posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GSP TV!

Several weeks ago cast members of The Scene took time out of their break in rehearsal to speak with local television news program Edison On Stage about their roles and the production. If you haven't yet caught the show, there are 8 performances left. See it now through Sunday the 23rd. Special thanks to host Joe Vierno for the coverage.

video

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Theatre Rocked!

On Thurday March 13 George Street teamed with New Jerey Young Professionals and the NJ Theatre Alliance for Theatre Rocks. Over 50 people attended a performance of The Scene and enjoyed samples of Zyr Vodka, our production product sponsor (who's stylish blue bottle appears in the show!) David Saint, our artistic director stuck around to meet the many new patrons to the theatre. Here's a look at the event. If you missed out, don't worry, another NJYP night is in the works for next season.

Special thanks to NJYP and the Theatre Alliance for their work in promoting this unique event to the atypical theatre crowd! NJYPer Steve (center; pictured below) was the lucky winner of a bottle of ZYR.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rutgers Grads make appearances in Roger

Two days ago the staff gathered in our cabaret for our final meet and greet of the season as we began rehearsals of Roger is Dead a new play by Elaine May. The cast includes Tom Bloom, Mark Blum, Julia Brothers, Carman Lacivita, Patricia O'Connell and Marlo Thomas. The world got a little smaller as they introduced themselves and spoke to the staff.

Carman Lacivita is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He recently appeared opposite Kevin Kline in Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway. Julia Brothers, who is well known in the San Francisco Bay Area actually appeared in a children's production her senior year at George Street Playhouse when it was run by founder Eric Krebs. Mr. Krebs at the time, was just starting the theatre, and taught classes at Rutgers University. It just proves you are never too far away from your roots and it's always nice when "hometown actors" appear on our stage.

posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

GSP Gets a Concert!

Every once and awhile there's an opportunity too good to pass up. This is one of those whiles.

IDINA MENZEL (Elphaba in Wicked) will launch her tour to promote her album I Stand at George Street Playhouse. Tickets are on sale today. Here's a clip of her music video as well.

Be sure to catch her at George Street April 1st at 8pm.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

From GSP to Hollywood


It's not exactly something that happens frequently around here at the theatre...so when a student of our GSP Academy gets a lucky break, we like to brag about it. Eshaya Draper, 9, is currently making his big screen debut starring as Trey Porter in Walt Disney Pictures' College Road Trip, opposite Raven Symone and Martin Lawrence!

A recent NY Times article mentions that the director, Roger Kumble found Eshaya to be "the most well-mannered kid I’ve met in my life, and he takes direction incredibly well.”

Eshaya received a scholarship to attend classes at GSP off and on for years, and recently generously donated part of his earnings on the film so that others can receive scholarships as well.

The article also mentions that "Eshaya and his mother credit George Street with forging a path to Hollywood: before he got an agent and started doing commercial work for Wal-Mart and Sony, among others, around 2005, he was selected for individual training at the theater."

For more information on the GSP Academy including summer and spring classes vist our website
posted by Scott Goldman, Executive Assistant
Left: Eshaya as Trey Porter with Albert the Pig (c) Walt Disney Pictures