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On Stage: Little Mermaid, Frankie Valli, Comedy

Theaters throughout the area are raising the curtain on new shows for the new year.

It’s getting cold outside, but North Jersey’s stages are starting to heat up.

Some of the shows that are making their way to area theaters include the family drama “Marvin’s Room” at the Barn Theatre, the comedy hit “Boeing-Boeing” at Paper Mill Playhouse and the family show “Mother Hicks,” opening at The Growing Stage.

Music lovers can take in an evening of Andrew Lloyd Webber music, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons or the jazz stylings of the Denise King Sextet.

There are also plenty of auditions going on, and you can even register the kids for summer theater camp. Read this week’s On Stage Scoop for your performing arts news. The Scoop runs every Tuesday.

ON STAGE SCOOP:

Classes and Camp at Playwrights Theatre: in Madison will hold its winter session of Playwriting Workshop for Adults from Jan. 9 to March 12. Classes are held Mondays, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuition is $275 ($250 for returning students). The spring session will begin March 19 and continue through May 21, and the summer session begins June 11 and continues through Aug. 13. Pro-rated options are available for late starts for this class only.

The Adult Playwriting Workshop, taught by Playwrights Theatre’s artistic director John Pietrowski, is a basic workshop class where students share work in a supportive environment. Enrollment is open to students of all levels of experience; classes will provide exercises to beginners working on their first play as well as experienced writers who are further down the road.

Registration is also being held for the theater’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 the Full-Day Theatre Academy, which costs $525 when enrolled before Jan. 31. Also being offered is Half-Day Summer Camp, and the Getting Ready To Audition class for high school students. For more information, call 973-514-1787 or visit ptnj.org.

Audition Alert, “The Little Mermaid:” Pax Amicus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake is holding open auditions for “The Little Mermaid,” on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. The production is part of the theater’s Generation Next Productions. Everyone between the ages of 13 and 18, beginners and experienced performers alike, is invited to audition. The only things you have to bring are a smile and a sense of fun. Performances will be in February. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For more information, call 973-691-2100 or visit PaxAmicus.com.

Audition Alert, “Wiley and the Hairy Man:” The Growing Stage Theatre in Netcong will hold auditions for its presentation of “Wiley and the Hairy Man” on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. This is a non-union production and community artists ages 10 and up can audition. All auditioning will be reading from the script and should wear appropriate clothing for movement. No boots or tight clothing is recommended. Set deep within the mysterious Tombigbee Swamp, Wiley & the Hairy Man centers around a young fatherless boy, his conjure-woman mother, his faithful dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley’s days and dreams. Performances will be held Feb. 17 through Feb. 26 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Rehearsal schedules are generally two or three evenings during the week, and a weekend afternoon. All cast members are expected for all performances, with no exception since the company does not cast understudies. Performers of color, seniors, women and performers with disabilities are encouraged to audition. For additional information please call 973-347- 4946 or e-mail exdir@growingstage.com.

Memories of a Broadway Legend: will present “The Best of Broadway: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber” on Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. The evening will include songs from shows such as “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Tickets cost $37 to $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.

Audition Alert, “By Jeeves:” The Chester Theatre group will host auditions for “By Jeeves” on Jan. 8, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 10, 7:30-10 p.m. at the Black River Playhouse at the corner of Maple and Grover in Chester. Needed are six male performers and two female performers for lead roles, and three ensemble performers (two female, one male). Click here for a character breakdown. Note that vocal ranges are approximate as this is not a big singing show. However, all auditioning must have impeccable British accents, except for the actor playing Budge, who has an over-emphasized American accent. Also being sought are musicians for the orchestra (piano, woodwinds, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar). “By Jeeves” is a musical comedy by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn, based on the “Jeeves” novels of P. G. Wodehouse.

Audition Alert, “Slush:” Pax Amicus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake will hold an open casting call for adults 18 and over for “Slush,” the adult version of “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs,” on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14 at noon. Neither experience nor talent is necessary, but the ability to have fun and be absurdly ridiculous while running amok is. A combination of Monty Python, “Grimm” and “Family Guy,” “Slush” follows the travails of a less-than-pure princess caught up in palace intrigue where deceit, murder and witchcraft run rampant. Seven randy dwarfs, a murderous huntsman, a less-than-heroic Prince and a Desperate Housewife Queen complete the ensemble. One of the most popular shows in the castle’s 42-year history, the revival will be performed March 3, 10 and 18 at 8 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. The theater is located at 23 Lake Shore Road in Budd Lake. For more information, call 973-691-2100 or visit PaxAmicus.com.

Getting Their Irish Up: Frankie Gavin and De Dannan will take stage at on Jan. 14 for an 8 p.m. concert. Led by fiddler Frankie Gavin, De Dannan performs upbeat jigs, reels and emotional ballads that speak to the spirit and soul of Ireland. Tickets cost $32 to $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.

Making Vows: Triangle Circle Players will present “Avow” at the Villagers Theatre in Somerset, Jan. 13 through 22. The play’s story involves Brian and Tom, a gay couple, their liberal priest Father Raymond, and Brian’s Sister Irene, who is pregnant with a baby Brian and Tom plan to adopt. Tickets cost $12, or $10 for seniors and students. For reservations, go to VillagersTheatre.com, email boxoffice@villagerstheatre.com or call 732-873-2710. The theater is located at 475 DeMott Lane in Somerset.

Love, Life and Laughter: will present Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” Jan. 13 through 29 at the theater, located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville. In the show, Bessie, who has been caring for her ailing father Marvin and 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.

Funny Business: Standup comedian Bobby Collins will bring the laughs to for a concert on Jan. 13, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $37 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. This performance will include mature themes and language.

It’s Time For Jazz in Hackettstown: The Denise King Sextet will kick off Centenary Stage Company’s Jazz in January series with a concert on Jan. 14, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Center. Advance tickets cost $22.50, $17.50 for 18 years and younger. Tickets at the door cost $27.50 for all ages. The series will also feature the DIVA Jazz Orchestra on Jan. 21 and an All Star Jazz Jam on Jan. 28. Tickets for the entire series are available for $70. The theater is located at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, on the campus of Centenary College. For tickets and information, call 908-979-0900 or go to CentenaryStageCo.org.

Audition Alert, “Lend Me a Tenor:” is holding auditions for Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” on Jan. 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. Ron Mulligan will direct this farce about the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, whose members are ready to welcome the world’s greatest tenor for one grand performance, until the star passes out. The theater is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville. For more information, go to BarnTheatre.org.

Seeing Red: will host two performances of “Clifford the Big Red Dog – Live” on Jan. 15, beginning at 1:30 and 4 p.m. In the show, Clifford and his friends Emily Elizabeth, Cleo and T-Bone embark on fun and exciting adventures in this all-new musical celebrating Clifford’s 50th anniversary. Tickets cost $20 to $30. 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.

Oh What a Night It Will Be When Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Come to Town: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will perform three concerts at , Jan 17 through 19. The Jan. 17 show is sold out, and limited tickets are available for the Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 shows. All three shows will start at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $77 to $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.

There’s Laughter in the Air at Paper Mill: will present Marc Camoletti’s “Boeing-Boeing” from Jan. 18 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 schedule. For more information, go to PaperMill.org or call 973-376-4343.

Finding Their Way: The Growing Stage Children’s Theatre in Netcong will present Suzan L. Zeder’s “Mother Hicks” Jan. 19 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. 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, $14 seniors/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.

Dance Classes at Centenary College: Registration is open for dance classes at The Conservatory of Dance at Centenary College. Classes begin Jan. 17 and will be held in the Lackland Center, located at 715 Grand Ave. in Hackettstown. Classes are taught by Centenary College dance faculty and guest artists. Classes are offered in modern, jazz, ballet, and theater dance. Beginner and advanced classes are also available. Prices are $130 for one class a week, $195 for twice a week and $275 for three a week. Register before Jan. 6 and receive a 15 percent discount. For more information please contact Professor Lea Antolini-Lid at 908-852-1400, ext. 2421 or visit CentenaryStageCo.org.

Winter Theatre Classes at Brundage Park Playhouse: Brundage Park Playhouse will begin its winter theater classes on Jan. 30. Classes are being offered in acting, musical theater dance, modern dance and more. Click here for class descriptions, schedules and prices. Randolph Township is also hosting a Stars on Stage program for children with special needs, beginning Jan. 12 and continuing through March. Click here for more information.

Winter Programs for Kids at Growing Stage: Registration is open for the Growing Stage theater’s Winter Creative Arts Program. Classes are offered for kids ranging from pre-kindergarten to ninth grade. Classes include Creative, Dramatics, Performing Arts Workshop, The Actor Speaks and Musical Performance Lab. The theater is located at 7 Ledgewood Ave. in Netcong. Classes begin Jan. 28 and continue through April 21. Click here for more information.

Giving Plays a Chance: Premiere Stages is seeking submissions to the Eighth Annual Premiere Stages Play Festival. The competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental opportunities to four playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut). The winner of the festival will be awarded $2,000 and a full Equity production in Premiere’s 2012 season. The runner-up will receive $750 and an Equity workshop in June. Two other writers will receive staged readings in March and a cash prize of $500. Entries are evaluated by a panel of theater professionals in consultation with the artistic director and resident dramaturge. Agents may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. Postmark deadline is Jan. 15, 2012. No entry fee. Complete submission guidelines available at Kean.edu/PremiereStages.

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