Saturday, February 28, 2009

The things that are outside of me.

Backstage at most shows I've been a part of there usually are packages of Ricola laying about. Ricola are the only all-natural throat drop containing no synthetic materials used by professional performers. These little drops are saviors for the voice when performing the difficult music and dialogue night after night.

It was a friday night, my friend and I were going to the theatre. Andrew, a fellow actor you might remember from All Shook Up, was in the passengers seat of my car. He found a pack of Ricola, unrapped on and savored the taste.

"This is what we taste during shows," he noted. And he was right. Theatre has a very distinctive taste.

The performance was followed by a long drive to find a place to eat. Five Points, a classic 24-hour diner was all that was available. The era of these diners seems to be slipping away from us and is mostly frequented by theatre-goers.

As we sat, we noticed groups of high school drama kids in make-up enjoying a post-show meal. The theatre was all around us at midnight, reminding me that in the midst of our world, the theatre still exists and burns brightly. We tasted it in our late night processed hamburgers, in our un-sweetened hot tea, and in my glass of merlot. So many a time have shows finished and those involved ended up in a diner all through the night. We revel in our transcedent conversations, how we will conquer the world, how these tastes remind us of the theatre or of each other, or how the world might not be ready for us yet. But whatever it might be, thank God for our blessings and that these tastes are so close to home.

"When we share our points of view
You get a glimpse of me
I get a glimpse of you
And I dont really care
If I dont change your ways
We will always have a tasty place

Am I really all the things that are outside of me?"
--from TASTE by Animal Collective
featured on their 2009 album "Merriweather Post Pavillions"

drowning my drafts.

TRAGEDY aboard my new iPod.

I just bought a new application for blogging through my iPod touch. I thought everything posted without formally checking, but it only saved as a draft. Many thanks to my friends for asking me why I hadn't blogged in so long...won't make that mistake again.

High school round up

High school seems to be where our seeds are planted to begin on any path of life we choose. No where is this more evident than in the drama guilds. It was not but a few years ago that I was blessed with knowledge that I carry over to what ever stage I'm on.

There is so much talent available in our local high schools. Here is a list of just a few schools you can support while seeing quality theatre this weekend:

Glassboro High: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat- 550 Bowe Bvd. Glassboro NJ 08028. (856) 881-2200

Woodstown High: Brigadoon- 140 East Ave. Woodstown NJ 08098. (856) 769-4636

Depford High: Bye Bye Birdie- 575 Fox Run Rd. Woodbury NJ 08096 (856) 232-2731

Break a leg!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Country's Good: IN REHEARSAL

Director and full-time Professor of Theatre David Sullivan directs "Our Country's Good," a play based around the establishment of Australia as a prison colony during the late 18th century. This marks the third mainstage production of the Rowan University T&D Department's 2008-2009 season.

Now in rehearsals, OCG cast members Andrew Clotworthy and Maggie Corl, both junior theatre majors, sat down with me in the Lab Theatre's green room for interviews for an upcoming preview article I am working on for The Whit due out next Thursday. They both overwelmingly praised Sullivan for the challenges he gives the actors. One fun thing to watch for is the dual-roles played by ten of the twelve actors.

Sullivan, who directed "The Atheist" (starring Chris Pine) at the Off-Broadway Center Stages theatre, now teaches full time at Rowan. He chose this particular show because of the challange it give the actors. Mostly, the show is about a Governer who stages a comedy for the prisoners in Australia. The show is for MATURE audiences only, and may shock some at the lewd humor, but audiences will see at the heart of the play, a look at seeing the humanity in other human beings.

Our Country's Good opens at the Tohill Theatre (in Bunce Hall) on February 27th at 8pm. Performances run February 28, March 6 and 7 at 8pm and March 1 and 8 at 3pm. Tickets are $10 Adults and $5 Students, Seniors, Alumni, and Staff. Rowan students are entitled to one free ticket with their ROWAN ID at the box office prior to the performance.

WATCH - The Whit - for my preview article this coming Thursday and for my review of the performance NEXT Thursday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Checking in with the NEIGHBORS

Our "neighbors," of course means the New York Theatre District in Times Square, NYC.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Backstage at All Shook Up

On my iPod touch backstage right now at the final performance of All Shook Up with the Off Broad Street Players Theatre Company. This show was so much fun to be a part of. Get involved while you can with the theatres in South Jersey.

One cast member remarked "It has been fantastic," Zach Ott, 15, says about being involved in theatre. Ott, who plays the comic Dennis in All Shook Up, has been imvolved for two years and has been most notably seen as Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar. "Its been a great opportunity," he said.

All Shook Up played its final performance on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at the Robert L. Sharp Auditorium of Bridgeton High School.

The 12th Season of the Off Broad Street players will continue with the Ken Ludwig farce "Moon Over Buffalo" directed by John Muller.

Also this month on the SJR are:

DEATH OF A SALESMAN - Haddonfield Plays and Players and can be seen fron now until the 28th of February. Visit the HPP link on the side for more details or

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being part of the cast of ALL SHOOK UP

The Elvis-inspired musical ALL SHOOK UP is being featured tonight at 7:30pm for only $7 as a promotional "Family Night" event hosted by the Off Broad Street Players Theatre Company. The performance is at Bridgeton High School on Broad St. in Bridgeton. I will not be posing a review of the show because I was sucked into the cast. Haha, funny way of putting it. The Off Broad Street Players held auditions for ALL SHOOK UP only a few months ago, but needed an extra ensemble member, so I was asked to join.

Sadly enough, my work schedule has been so busy and my spring semester just began at Rowan University. Joining the cast was a difficult commitment because I knew I would not have nearly enough time to devote to learning the dances and songs as everyone else had.

But with my constant love for the theatre and feeling that I was in a position for needing a high-energy musical in my life, I joined. Luckily, I was welcomed with open arms by the cast, most of whom I'd just finished performing with in HELLO, DOLLY! last November (as Cornelius Hackl).

I attended a few rehearsals here and there and learned two or three of the dances I needed to be in, but I wasn't caught up until Tech week (the final week of rehearsals). So, like my normal self, I goofed around a little backstage, then finally went out and learned everything just in the nick of time for Opening Night.

The last time I was in a high-energy musical (usually a rock-music based musical) was when I played Ren (Kevin Bacon's movie role) in FOOTLOOSE, in January of 2007, so I was way over-due for another. Being part of the show every night has been a release of energy and a massively loud foot-stoming experience. Note: when I stomp my feet on stage, I like to really drive my feet and legs into the floor, I see actors on Broadway do it, so I mine as well take something from them! The cast is so solid, led by Andrew Jarema (The Wizard of Oz, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Katie Cox (The Secret Garden, Jesus Christ Superstar) who have the utmost perfect on-stage chemistry in my opinion. But as solid as the show is, there are always new fun things that happen every night. No two performances are the same, EVER, in any show, especially in this show.

It's been a joy to work with such a talented cast. In fact, as I am writing this I just received a text message from one of the Production Managers and ensemble member, Dominic Barnes (Ain't Misbehavin' Hello, Dolly!), wishing the cast a good performance tonight. Come see us tonight for only $7!!!, and if you miss us tonight, there are three more performances: Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Sunday @ 3pm, Bridgeton High School, Tickets for the last three performances are $15 Adults and $13 Students/Seniors.

Visit for more info.

ALSO - To the cast of DEATH OF A SALESMAN in previews tonight 7:30 at Haddonfield Plays and Players, Break a Leg! More info to come, they are opening tomorrow night at 8pm. for more information.

ALL SHOOK UP this weekend!

The Off Broad Street Players Theatre Company proudly presents "ALL SHOOK UP" an Elvis-inspired musical, Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $15 for Adults and $13 for Students and Seniors. A family night performance will be featured on Thursday at 7:30pm for $7 general admission. All performances are held in the Robert L. Sharp auditorium at Bridgeton High School.

This show set in a square town in a square state during a square decade. Here a lonely young girl, Natalie Haller, dreams of hitting the open road. Into her life rides a guitar playing roust-about by the name of Chad who changes everything and kick starts a hip swivelin, lip curlin’ adventure that will have audiences jumpin’ out of their blue suede shoes. The score features such Elvis hit classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Burning Love,” “Jailhouse Rock” and more.

ALL SHOOK UP stars Andrew Jarema as Chad and Katlin Cox as Natalie Haller. Jarema, a Rowan student, has most notably been seen on the OBSP stage as the Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ, and as John the Beloved in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. He has also been featured in productions of SOUTH PACIFIC and HELLO, DOLLY!. Cox has been featured on the OBSP stage most recently as Mary Magdeline in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and has appeared in productions of THE SECRET GARDEN, FOOTLOOSE, and SOUTH PACIFIC (to name a few). Starring as Natalie's father Jim, is Lee Cox (Kaitlin Cox's real-life father). He has most recently been seen as playing Judas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and Luther Billis in SOUTH PACIIC.

More information can be found at

--No review will be posted of this show considering I have a small cameo role and also I am featured in the ensemble.
--Our Assistant Stage Manager snapped a picture of me backstage in costume. I play a small walk-on role as a bus driver. For my character development, I've resurrected a "nerdy" character I played during SOUTH PACIFIC (the Professor) and made him the new ALL SHOOK UP bus driver. Picture is below.

(photo cred. AMY HOEY)