Theater-going is a year-round endeavor and this fall, the houses are offering many great shows to fill your calendar. Here's just a sampling of what's to come, near and far.
Two River Theatre in Red Bank, NJ is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is featuring Hair, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, playing September 30 through October 22. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius! The BBC calls Hair 'the musical that 'changed theatre forever.'
Here's the original cast members performing live on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1968. Let the Sunshine In!
At the Count Basie Theatre, also in Red Bank, you can catch The Addams Family, a new musical comedy, playing November 10-12. Wheel of Fortune LIVE! is also on stage at the Count Basie Theatre on November 5. This is one event where audience members get the chance to win cash! Guests are randomly selected to have the chance to spin a full-sized replica of the iconic wheel. Some of the prizes include trips to destinations like Paris and Hawaii, or up to $10,000 in cash. Fun!
At The Strand in Lakewood, you can catch Rock and Fashion Photography on September 23. This unique event is a photography workshop with live bands and a runway show. The event will include hands-on instruction with professional photographers on settings, lighting, equipment and tips. Here's a breakdown of the acts:
Act 1: The Concert
• Enjoy acts from live bands
• All Access Shooting from backstage, pit, and more
• Work on tips and tricks to create stunning and dynamic concert photos
Act 2: Fashion Week
• Enjoy a live fashion show with dynamic models
• Go backstage to get photos
• Learn photo and lighting techniques
On October 1, you can also catch the 2023 NJACT Perry Awards, celebrating 50 Years of excellence in New Jersey community theatre. It will feature performances by the nominated shows.
Of course there are many more events to check out at The Strand, such as Hagerman's Magical Mystery Show on November 11. The vaudeville-inspired show combines one-of-a-kind illusions, comedy, and storytelling.
The Grunin Center for the Arts, located at Ocean County College in Toms River, has a host of events lined up. Menopause the Musical 2: Cruising Through 'The Change' promises to offer a hilarious and heartfelt look at the joys of menopause and friendship — plus hot flashes, mood swings, and memory lapses.Performances are scheduled for October 11–15.
The Grunin Center is also presenting Doctor Frankenstein, a new play by George Allison. The play asks the question, 'What if Mary Shelley got it wrong…on purpose?' Here's the program description:
His life’s work laid to waste by Mary Shelley’s vindictive novel, Dr. Victor Frankenstein summons an audience of ghosts into an imagined operating theatre to present his side of the story in a bid to salvage his name and reputation. Mary Shelley said she created her tale “from a dream” but Victor believes there was much more reality involved – HIS reality. What was a fictional exploit for millions sent Victor down a spiral path of destruction in a story untold…until now.
Performances run October 26–28.
After the final performance of Doctor Frankenstein, the Grunin Center will quickly make way for the cult-classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The evening will feature a pre-show costume contest and a shadow cast, plus Friday Nite Specials. Keep in mind, the show is rated R.
In Manasquan, The Algonquin Theater is hosting The Hunchback of Notre Dame, October 7 – 22. The musical is based on the Victor Hugo novel and will showcase the Disney film's Academy Award-nominated score, plus new songs written for the stage. Expect bold theatrics to transport you to fifteenth–century Paris.
At the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, catch "Celebrating Broadway & Hollywood" on October 14. See two-time Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin (Hello, Dolly!, Big Fish, Finian's Rainbow) and Broadway and television star Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piazza, Filthy Rich), return to the Axelrod PAC in this special concert with the American Pops Orchestra conducted by Luke Frazier.
Worth traveling for
Head north to the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ in Florham Park, to catch Waiting for Godot, which runs from September 13 – October 1. Originally slated for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, this masterwork is considered one of the most groundbreaking and important works of 20th-century literature. Godot has fascinated and infuriated audiences since it burst upon the world in 1953. This funny, cruel, moving, enigmatic metaphor is “theatre of the absurd” at its most breathtaking pinnacle.
The Papermill Playhouse is presenting The Great Gatsby from October 12 – November 12. The musical is based on the acclaimed novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which tells the impassioned tale of eccentric and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby in his tragic pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, the woman he’s loved since his youth.
NJPAC in Newark has numerous shows lined up this fall, and The Price is Right Live on October 5 is just one of them! Come on down! Contestants will be selected from the audience and have the chance to win cash, prizes, and of course, a new car! The Price Is Right Live™ has given away over $15 million in cash and prizes over the past 14 years. Who will be the next contestant on The Price is Right?
Enjoy the New Jersey Symphony at NJPAC as they perform to the movie, Jurassic Park on October 28. It's always a treat to see movies in concert, especially when it's the NJS performing John Williams’ iconic score. Welcome … to Jurassic Park!
Speaking of live music, NJPAC is also presenting Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Live in Concert on October 6. This event pairs a screening of the Academy Award®-winning animated film with live musicians and turntables featuring a DJ scratcher live on stage. Emmy® winner Daniel Pemberton composed a sprawling score of boundary-pushing original music that is complemented by song contributions by Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith, and Nicki Minaj.
Also at NJPAC on November 2 and 3 is STOMP, the inventive show that blends dance, music and theatrical performance in one. The long-running international percussion show now features new material. The hosts say you’ll never look at shopping carts or plumbing fixtures the same way again… or paint cans, or kitchen sinks, or…
So that's the quick skinny of what's to come this fall. We hope that you catch a show or two, or more.
Until next time, peace!