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See a Classic, Or Something New—Up to You

There's something for everyone on stage in North Jersey, so go out and see a show.

One of the all-time classics is coming to the area when Brundage Park Playhouse presents “The Sound of Music,” with a run beginning Feb. 4. The Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite about the von Trapp family features some of the most well-known songs in Broadway history, such as “My Favorite Things” and “Do-Re-Mi.”

Fans of musicals looking for something a little more modern might want to check out "Leader of the Pack” at Somerset Valley Players or “The 25 Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Villagers Theatre.

There’s also plenty of comedy to choose from, including ““Boeing-Boeing” at Paper Mill and “The Ladies Man” at the Centenary Stage Company.

Actors also have a shot at joining Brudage Park Playhouse’s next production, when it holds auditions for “The Crucible.” Other audition opportunities, along with music and standup comedy presentations await. Just read this week’s On Stage Scoop to learn about them. The Scoop runs every Tuesday.

ON STAGE SCOOP:

Chatham Community Players Seeking Volunteers: is looking for volunteers to assist the state manager as it prepares for its production of “Grapes of Wrath.” The theater is looking for volunteers to cue actors from the script, read lines of actors not present and to handle some set presets during rehearsals. No experience is required. If you have always wanted to work on a big show, here’s your chance. The stage manager will be at each rehearsal, you will not be working alone. If you’re interested or have questions, contact Mara Lundstrom at  mlundstrom@gmail.com  or 201-921-6821.

Shakespeare Theatre Announces 50th Anniversary Season: has announced its lineup of shows for 2012, which is the Madison-based group’s 50th anniversary season. Things will kick off on May 30 with a run of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Part I,” which the theater is presenting for the first time in 20 years. Up next is a new adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s French farce “The Liar.”  Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is this summer’s outdoor show at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris, opening June 20. Also set for the summer back at the indoor stage is “Measure for Measure,” directed by Bonnie J. Monte, the Shakespeare Theatre’s artistic director. The fall will see an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” by Neil Bartlett and directed by Brian B. Crowe opening Sept. 12. The Shakespeare Theatre will present its first musical since 2004 when it stages “Man of La Mancha” opening Oct. 17. Monte directs and Robert Cuccioli will play Don Quixote. The theater will wrap up the year with the rarely produced romantic comedy “Trelawny of the Wells” by Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Monte, and running Dec. 5-30. For more information, or to purchase a subscription, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.

Love, Life and Laughter: is performing Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” through Feb. 4 at the theater, located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville. In the show, Bessie, who has been caring for her ailing father, Marvin, and for her Aunt Ruth, learns that now she too is sick and turns to her sister for help, bringing to surface long-buried resentment and overwhelming love. Tickets cost $15 and can be ordered by calling 973-334-9320. The box office is staffed every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, go to BarnTheatre.org.

Finding Their Way: The Growing Stage Children’s Theatre in Netcong is presenting Suzan L. Zeder’s “Mother Hicks” through Feb. 5. Set during the Great Depression, the play tells of three outsiders—a girl, a deaf boy and Mother Hicks, who is accused of being a witch—through poetry and sign language, according to the theater’s website. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Thursday performances include a question-and-answer session with the actors and director. Tickets cost $18, or $14 for seniors and children. Recommended for ages 7 and up. The theater is located at 7 Ledgewood Ave. in Netcong. For more information, call 973-347-4946 or go to GrowingStage.com.

Ahead of the Pack: Somerset Valley Players is staging "Leader of the Pack:  The Ellie Greenwich Musical" through Feb. 5 at the company’s playhouse, located at 689 Amwell Road/Route 514 in Hillsborough. The musical features classic songs of the 1960s in a rags-to-riches story of Greenwich, who whose songs include “Chapel of Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “And Then He Kissed Me.” Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $18, $16 seniors/students. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or visit SVPTheatre.org.

Comedy Through Story Telling: at will present “Speakeasy” on Feb. 7 beginning at 8 p.m. Part of the theater’s long-form storytelling series, the evening will see comics perform through storytelling instead of stand-up comedy. Performers include Jane Condon, Kambri Crews, Andy Christie, Bonnie Levison and Greg Walloch. Audience members can perform at the door for a chance to go on stage and give it a try. Tickets cost $20.  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.

Show Me the Way to Morristown: Peter Frampton’s tour in celebration of the 35 anniversary of his classic “Frampton Comes Alive!” album will make a stop at for a Feb. 8 concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. According to the Mayo’s website, the three-hour show will feature a complete performance of the album and other songs from Frampton’s career. 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.

Hear the Voice that won “The Voice:” Javier Colon, the winner of the NBC show “The Voice,” will perform a concert at on Feb. 9, beginning at 8 p.m. Colon will perform songs he sang on the hit show, as well as music from his debut album. Tickets cost $29.50 to $75. 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.

That’s Amante singing about Amore: The “people’s tenor” Michael Amante will take stage at for a Feb. 10 concert beginning at 8 p.m. Billed as “An Evening of Romance,” the concert will feature Broadway songs and opera pieces. Featuring guest soprano Marissa Famiglietti. Tickets cost $42 to $57. 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.

There’s Laughter in the Air at Paper Mill: is staging Marc Camoletti’s “Boeing Boeing” through Feb. 12. The farce follows an American playboy in ’60s-era Paris who is juggling relationships with three different flight attendants around the world, but his dream setup is headed for disaster after a new, superfast jet changes the women’s schedules. For more information, go to PaperMill.org or call 973-376-4343.

What’s Going on in that Room? in Morris Township is presenting Ira Levin’s “Veronica’s Room,” through Feb. 12. The theater’s website describes the play as a thriller that explores the line between fantasy and reality. In the play, a young couple ends up at a mansion whose owners are struck by the young woman’s resemblance to their dead daughter. NOTE: The play contains adult language. Tickets cost $40. For more information, call 973-971-3706 or go to MorrisMuseum.org.

Rock and Symphony: David Garrett will perform a concert titled “Rock Symphonies II” on Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at . Garrett’s violin playing explores everything from Mozart to Metallica with a sound geared toward all generations. Tickets cost $37 to $87. 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.

Villagers is the Place to “Bee:” Villagers Theatre in Somerset will perform the musical hit “The 25 Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Feb. 3 through 19. The show is about six nerdy, needy contestants competing for a spelling bee championship. Performances are Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $18, or $16 for seniors and students. The theater is located at 475 Demott Lane. For tickets and more information, call 732-873-2710, email boxoffice@villagerstheatre.com or visit VillagersTheatre.com.

Latin Sounds: Paquito D’Rivera will take stage at on Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. The Cuban-born D’Rivera plays sax and clarinet, and won two 2011 Latin Grammy awards, for Best Latin Jazz Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Tickets cost $37 to $67. 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.

The Hills of Randolph are Alive with “The Sound of Music:” Brundage Park Playhouse will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” Feb. 4 through Feb. 19 at the theater, located at 2 Bungalow Lane in Randolph. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20, or $15 for seniors and for children under 12. For reservations, call 973-989-7092. For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Like a Fish Out of Water: Pax Amicus Castle Theatre will present “The Little Mermaid” on Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 11 a.m. In the play, the mermaid leaves her home in the sea to visit land, where she falls in love. Tickets cost $12. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For more information, call 973-691-2100 or visit PaxAmicus.com.

Irish Sounds in Hackettstown: The Prodigals will take stage at Centenary Stage’s Lackland Center for a concert on Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. The band has been acclaimed for its blend of traditional Irish music with a funky American sound. The theater is located at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, on the campus of Centenary College. Tickets cost $25 in advance, $27.50 on the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased by calling 908-979-0900 or online at CentenaryStageCo.org.

Sparkling Diamond: Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond cover band, will perform a concert at on Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. Audiences can sing along to “Sweet Caroline,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue” and other hits. Tickets cost $32-$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.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo? He’s in Morristown: Toronto’s Classical Theatre Project will perform “Romeo and Juliet” on Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. at . The production features Shakespeare’s language, while telling the classic story of young lovers in a staging designed to engage 21st-centry audiences. Tickets cost $20. 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.

A Poet With a Secret: Villagers Theatre in Somerset will perform a staged reading of Sean O’Leary’s “Walt Whitman’s Secret” on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. In the play, which is part of the theater’s New Playwrights Series, Whitman is an old man and a young friend Horace seeks the poet’s love as he spreads his fame. The theater is located at 475 Demott Lane. For more information, go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Audition Alert, “The Pied Piper:” Villagers Theatre in Somerset is holding auditions for its April production of “The Pied Piper” on Feb. 9 and 15 from 7-10 p.m. and Feb. 11 from 3-6 p.m. at the theater, located at 475 Demott Lane in Somerset. Please be prepared to perform a song for children. Sides will be provided for readings and direction. Rehearsals begin Feb. 27. Performances are April 14 -22. The theater’s website describes the show as a fun musical adaptation of the legend. It’s intended for young audiences, and Villagers is looking for performers who can communicate the emotion of the story with words, song, and movement while entertaining both very young and old audience members alike. For more information, including a character breakdown, go to VillagersTheatre.com or email the director at Jeff@Villagerstheatre.com.

The Queen of Mean Reigns in Morristown: Standup comic Lisa Lampanelli will being her adults-only brand of comedy to on Feb. 11 for a show beginning at 8 p.m. 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.

Dance of India: Ragamala Dance will present a program titled “Sacred Earth” at on Feb. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. According to the Mayo Center’s website, Ragamala Dance presents innovative works within the southern India tradition of Bharatanatyam dance. Tickets cost $20. 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, “Off Book:” Pax Amicus Castle Theatre is holding an open casting call for the next generation of "Off Book!" (including improv comedy lessons, games and theory) on Feb. 11 at 1 p.m., Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Callbacks will be held at 7 p.m. Come to as many audition sessions as desired. Each will last about 90 minutes. Off Book is seeking two adults to join the group. Rehearsals and classes begin in March. For more information, contact Nick at Nick@OffBookImprov.com or visit OffBookImprov.com.

Getting Jazzy for Valentine’s Day: St. Valentine's Day Massacre featuring Herb Gardner will perform a concert as part of the Bickford Jazz Showcase on Feb. 13. The show will begin at 8 p.m. Ticket cost $18, $15 in advance. For tickets and information, call 973-971-3706.

Audition Alert, “The Crucible:” Brundage Park Playhouse will hold auditions for its production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” on Feb. 13 and Feb. 15, 7-9 p.m. at the Playhouse, located at Brundage Park in Randolph (enter 2 Bungalow Lane on your GPS for directions). Auditions are open, no appointments are necessary. Callbacks will be on Feb. 16 if necessary. Performances are May 4 through 20. Rehearsals will begin in February. All cast members must be available for all performances and tech rehearsal days. Auditions will consist of sides from the play. Actors are asked to please be familiar with the play, and the period in which it takes place. Younger performers interested in auditioning for the roles of Betty Parris and Ruth Putnam are asked to arrive during the 7 p.m. hour. Parents should familiarize themselves with the content of the play. For more information, including a character breakdown, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Bill Maher Tickets on Sale: Tickets for Bill Maher’s May 20 performance at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall in Newark are on sale now. Maher hosted ABC’s “Politically Incorrect” from 1993 to 2002 and currently hosts “Real Time” on HBO. He is known for his controversial, politically charged humor. Tickets cost $39.50 to $95 and are available by calling 1-888-466-5722 and at NJPAC.org.

Getting in on the Act: The is seeking original, one-act plays, short musicals and/or original dance pieces, written by New Jersey authors, for the 18th annual Jersey Voices presentation. Play submissions of any genre, style and length up to 20 minutes running time will be accepted through March 15. Selected pieces will be performed in the Players’ Black Box Theater in July and August. To email submissions or to request more information, go to jerseyvoices@chathamplayers.org.

Summer Camp at Playwrights Theatre: Registration is open for the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey’s Creative Arts Academy summer camp for kids and summer theatre program for teens beginning June 25 and running all summer long in two-week sessions. Summer programs include a Full-Day Theatre Academy, which costs $525 when enrolled before Jan. 31. Also being offered are a Half-Day Summer Camp, and a Getting Ready To Audition class for high school students. For more information, call 973-514-1787 or visit ptnj.org.

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