Oct. 4- 20, 2013
Running through October 20th, Centenary Stage Company’s professional production of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap is fit for the Halloween season. One of the most popular successes in Broadway history, this theatrical triumph with gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter, is a chilling murder-mystery mixed with a healthy dose of humor.
Playing at The David and Carol Lackland Center in Hackettstown, Deathtrap is a play within a play following the struggles of Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers battling a crippling dry spell. Sidney has experienced a string of flops and a shortage of funds when suddenly help seems to come from out of nowhere. He receives a script in the mail from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller Sidney recognizes as a potential Broadway hit. What happens next is the stuff of Deathtrap.
Award-winning Artistic Director Carl Wallnau will be directing and also starring in this complex thriller that he calls “one of the best constructed plays.” He also quotes the main character of Sidney Bruhl himself when describing the appeal. Sidney says in the opening of the play, “Deathtrap…A juicy murder in Act One, unexpected developments in Act Two. Sound construction, good dialogue, laughs in the right places. Highly commercial.” Audiences will be held spellbound to the very end
Bittersuite: Songs of More Experience
Nov. 7-10, 2013
Composer Elliot Weiss and lyricist Mike Champagne (Photo Below) have won several acclaimed awards over the years including the Eugene O’Neill Award for Musical Theatre. And now they’re bringing a WORLD PREMIERE musical revue BITTERSUITE: SONGS OF MORE EXPERIENCE to the Centenary Stage Company’s third annual Black Box Festival November 7-10. This third installment of their popular song cycle trilogy covers life’s ups and downs, highs and lows and the bittersweet moments in between.
The original BITTERSUITE: SONGS OF EXPERIENCE ran Off-Broadway for a year to critical acclaim, and a revised version, BITTERSUITE: ONE MORE TIME ran several months after that. Since then, the original version has had long running productions in LA and Chicago and been produced all over the world. One San Francisco critic called the original “A giant box of candy for those with a sweet tooth for musical theatre.”
This new edition focuses on how people grow and learn life’s vital lessons, both serious and humorous. Champagne says, “What the audience finds appealing [in these shows] is that they recognize themselves and people they know. The emotions expressed in the songs seem to ring the right bells.”
Audiences will recognize star and director David Edwards from CSC productions Light Up the Sky, Mousetrap and The Cripple of Inishmaan. He was also part of the National Broadway Tour of The Producers. Edwards has been an integral part of Weiss and Champagne’s work over the years and recently released an album "David Edwards...Giving Voice to The Music of Elliot Weiss" with several songs from the Bittersuite Trilogy.
Miracles and Mindgames With John B. Born
Nov. 14-17, 2013
Born has dedicated his life to the performance and advancement of the magical arts. He now travels the world as a full-time entertainer, lecturer, writer, and innovator in the magical arts. He has written two best selling instructional books on magic and mentalism, and is featured on ten instructional DVDs filmed out of Las Vegas and Reno. Here is a chance to witness the close up magic, miracles and mind games of John B. Born in the intimate Kutz Theatre.
The Essence - A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum
Nov. 21-24, 2013
It’s time to close up CSC’s third annual Black Box Festival with the show that played to sold out audiences in last year’s New York Fringe Festival. The Essence: A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum is a rollicking comedy that lets audiences in on the best kept secret—Yiddish is actually cool—and it’s playing November 21-24 in the Kutz Theatre of the Lackland Center.
The Essence… is a fast-moving revue for people who know nothing about Yiddish and couldn’t imagine attending a show with Yiddish in it. It’s about the most expressive and theatrical language in the world, with scenes, sketches, songs, and oddball diversions with an irreverent introduction to all things Yiddish.
Actor and Director Allen Lewis Rickman invites audiences to “see what happens when you sin with a shiksa, come jam to Soviet Yiddish Rock, and hear Einstein’s theory debated by imbeciles.” Rickman and fellow actor Yelena Shmulenson are better known as the shtetl couple from the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated A Serious Man and are joined on the stage by Broadway veteran Steve Sterner.
A Christmas Carol, The Musical
Nov. 29-Dec. 15, 2013
“A tonic for children and adults…a transfixing journey…,” raved the New York Times about the show that ran for ten years in Madison Square Garden. 2011’s smash hit returns to the Centenary Stage Company in this season’s Family Holiday Spectacular A Christmas Carol: The Musical, running November 29 through December 15 in the Sitnik Theatre. Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas classic comes to life as a musical extravaganza in the Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center in Hackettstown.
Feb. 21 - Mar. 9, 2014
Love and laughs are in the air at Centenary Stage Company (CSC) in this season’s romantic comedy The Liar by Pierre Corneille, adapted for modern audiences by celebrated playwright David Ives and starring a vibrant cast of classical and Broadway luminaries. Running February 21st through March 9th at The Lackland Center, this story of mistaken identity and half-truths has delighted audiences and critics time and again. The Wall Street Journal says, “I laughed so hard that I was sore the next day…By wedding [Ives'] verbal prestidigitation to Corneille's mistaken-identity plot, Mr. Ives has come up with a play in which the laughs flow freely and joyously."
Dorante is a charming young man newly arrived in Paris, and he has but a single flaw: He cannot tell the truth. In quick succession, he meets Cliton, a servant who cannot tell a lie, and falls in love with Clarice, a charming young woman whom he unfortunately mistakes for her friend Lucrece. What the hero regrettably does not know is that Clarice is secretly engaged to his best friend. Nor is he aware that his father is trying to get him married to Clarice, whom he thinks is Lucrece, who actually is in love with him. From all these misunderstandings and a series of breathtakingly intricate lies springs one of the Western world's greatest comedies, a sparkling urban romance as fresh as the day Pierre Corneille wrote it, brilliantly adapted for today by David Ives of Venus in Fur and All in the Timing fame. The Washington Post says, “The Liar and its mischievous adapter, David Ives, want you to savor every meticulously groomed conceit, every stylishly turned-out couplet, every assiduously manicured joke.”
The liar himself is actor Brian Sheppard (New York, NY), who recently played Hamlet with The Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Playing the role of Dorante’s servant Cliton is Tom Morin (Queens, NY), returning to CSC after starring in last spring’s The Cripple of Inishmaan. Having performed at the legendary Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, UK Native Dana Gartland is making her CSC debut as Clarice. The role of Lucrece is being played by young yet experienced Shakespearean actress Erica Knight (Berkeley Heights), who has worked regularly with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and The American Globe Theatre in New York. The role of Dorante’s father is played by Broadway and CSC veteran Alan Coates. Mr. Coates’ Broadway credits include the Tony award winning productions of Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and Scapino, and he regularly performs at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Phil E. Eichinger (Rahway) returns to CSC to play Alcippe after being featured in CSC’s 2008 production of You May Go Now, and he was recently in an episode of NBC’s Law & Order. Rounding out the cast is Centenary College Theatre alum Christopher J. Young (Wharton) returning to the CSC stage after completing his MFA in Acting at Ohio University, and current Centenary student in her CSC debut, Morgan Mack (Old Bridge).
Directing this production is CSC’s “Master of Comedy” Carl Wallnau. Emmy Award-winning designer Bob Phillips has once again been chosen to beautify the stage of the Sitnik Theatre with his stunning and life-like set designs. Resident Costumer and Centenary College Professor of Fashion Julia Sharp lends her expertise to dress the cast in period garb.
Music and Dance Events - 2013-14 Season:
The New Jersey Ballet
in a Tribute to Sousa
Nov. 2, 2013 / 8pm
January Jazz Fest
Igor Butman Moscow Jazz Band
Jan. 25, 2014 / 8pm
Bishop Townsley's Jubilee
Feb. 8, 2014 / 8pm
Lustig Dance Theatre
The Art of Motion Dance Theatre
Apr. 11, 2014 / 8pm