Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shama shama elma commama!


Neil Simon's
Opening tonight!

Paul Bratter: Matt Reher
Corie Bratter: Laurie Halloran
Victor Velasco: Pat DeFusco
Ethel Banks: Elaine Fydrych
Phone repair man: Troy Cooper
Delivery man: Dick Guzinya

Directed by: Ed Santiago
Asst. Dir: Deb Kelley

Comedy by Neil Simon. Presented this ONE WEEK only. Preview night (Wednesday), tickets are only $10.00 (half price). This is an "Industry Night". Bring your headshots, resumes and business cards. There will be directors and producers in the building from Stage Left, The Sketch Club and other area theatres. It's a great night to market, mingle and see a great show for only $10.00. Tickets Thursday through Sunday are $20.00.

Also, Thursday the 21st we are offering "dinner and a show". Dinner at 6pm at Gia Nina's Italian Restaraunt in Woodbury. Soup/Salad, soft drinks and choice of 3 entrees (Baked Ziti, Chicken Parm or Fish). Tix price is just $30 for the dinner and the show! This option is available by going to our site.

All shows at The Sketch Club of Woodbury, NJ. 433 Glover St, Woodbury, NJ 08033
You can purchase tix at

Call 215-205-0192 or email for info.

Friday, October 1, 2010

When every leaf's a flower.

I don't know about you, but I had no desire to put away my summer decorations. Where did it go?! I'm sure you're feeling the same way. But what better motivation to welcome the Fall by going to see a great show during South Jersey Rialto's Fall Line-Up.

OPENING: (break legs tonight players!)

LOVE LETTERS - Off Broad Street Players (Bridgeton) - STARRING John Muller & Beverly Beardsley. Oct. 1 & 2 at 8 p.m. and 3 at 3 p.m. Bridgeton High School Auditorium. Tickets $13/$11

TITANIC - The Landis Theater (Vineland) - Oct. 1, 2, 8, 9 at 8 p.m. 3 & 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets $20/$25

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Sketch Club Players (Woodbury) - Oct. 1 - 17. Fridays & Sats at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets $17/$15


LAST RITES - South Camden Theater Company (Camden, 4th & Jasper) - FINAL WEEK - Oct 1 & 2 at 8 p.m. 3 at 1:30 p.m. $15 General Admission.

LOST IN YONKERS - Broadway Theater (Pitman) - FINAL WEEK - October 1 & 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets $25 General Admission.

BILOXI BLUES - Haddonfield Plays & Players - FINAL WEEK - October 1 & 2 at 8 p.m. - Tickets $20. (Special* October 1st - $10)


TWELVE ANGRY MEN - Ritz Theatre Co. - Playing through October 23. Tickets $20 - $30. Fridays & Sats 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OPEN CASTING CALL "A Christmas Carol"

Charles Dickens'
Adapted for the stage by Jim Cook Jr.

August 30 & September 1
Doors open at 7 p.m. 
Headshots and Resumes accepted at door.
Looking for Actors, Singers Musicians ages 7 - 70. (snapshot photos may be substituted for headshots if you dont have professionals)  
Actors- will do readings from the script, please bring a headshot/snapshot and resume.  
Singers - prepare 32 or more bars of any broadway-style song, headshots/snapshot and resume  
Musicians - any solo audition song, one per instrument. No headshots required.

FOR MORE INFO call Jim Cook Jr at (856) 275-4240

Performances - November 12 - 21, Fri & Sats at 8 p.m. Suns at 3 p.m.
Tix $15/13
Special Family Performance November 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Collaborative Act Studio and Wioncek are puttin' on the ritz!

(Wioncek in the TCAS South Jersey Tour of "Groucho: A Life in Revue")

The Ritz Theatre Company recently announced that Producing Artistic Director, Ted Wioncek III and his critically acclaimed theatre company, The Collaborative Act Studio (TCAS), will join forces with The Ritz Theatre in Haddon Township, NJ.  Ted will become the Associate Producing Artistic Director of The Ritz Theatre and TCAS will play a vital role in its effort to provide daring and edgy works in addition to The Ritz Theatre’s theatrical landscape. 

“We are very proud to be able to give The Collaborative Act Studio a new home and I am sure our association with TCAS will enrich our organization and give us new and exciting offerings to pass on to our patrons and audiences. We are all looking forward to the synergy this partnership will create." said Bruce A. Curless, Producing Artistic Director of The Ritz Theatre.

The group will be transferring their production of  GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVUE to the Ritz Theater Co.  on August 20 & 21 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. 

Founded in 2007, by Ted Wioncek III, TCAS burst onto the Southern New Jersey theatre scene with its critically acclaimed production of William Inge’s Splendor in the Grass. The Collaborative Act Studio has since taken several of their productions on tour throughout the tri-state area, including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) & GROUCHO: A Life In Revue. TCAS was recently honored with a New Jersey Association of Community Theatre (NJACT) Perry Award.  TCAS was nominated for a total of eight Perry Awards.

Wioncek was recently profiled in a “People to Watch” interview in SJ Magazine. Ted, a member of Actor’s Equity Association, is currently performing in Burt & Me at Act II Playhouse and Beauty and the Beast at Storybook Musical Theatre. Ted has performed at many area professional theatres including The Walnut Street Theatre, The Wilma Theatre, Act II Playhouse, and The Montgomery Theatre.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And the livin' ain't easyyyyy

Check out the new up and comings on the Rialto this month!

First and foremost to our friends on the South Jersey Rialto who need it the most!

COME TOGETHER: A TRIBUTE TO THE ROAD COMPANY - The Road Company. July 29, 30, and 31 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are by donation of $18 for Adults and $15 for Students/Seniors. Group rates available. (Personal Note: I suggest everyone go to see this, it is a revue of past pieces by the Grand Theater that tragically lost their beautiful historic performance space last May. They are also preparing a special fund called "MAKE IT GRAND AGAIN" as a rebuild. PLEASE GIVE ANYTHING YOU CAN by clicking HERE.)

THE DOLL: A RAGGEDY MUSICAL - Sketch Club Players. July 9, 10, 16, 17 at 8 p.m. 11 & 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 General Admission.

ANNIE - Cumberland Players. July 15, 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8 p.m. 11th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15.

THE JUNGLE BOOK - Oakwood Summer Theater. July 21, 22, 23 at 10 a.m. 22 & 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission.

THE PRODUCERS - The Ritz Theater Co. - July 16 - August 7. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, with matinees on Sunday. Tickets are $20 - $30 admission.

GREASE - Haddonfield Plays & Players.(*OPENING NIGHT*: July 15 at 7:30 p.m.) July 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31, Aug. 6 & 7 at 8p.m. July 18, 25, & Aug 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 general admission.

JOSEPH..DREAMCOAT - Broadway Theater (of Pitman). July 16 - Aug. 7. Ticket are $25 general admission. 

13 (by Jason Robert Brown) - Broadway Bound Players. July 29, 30, 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sad day

This is so sad....

The Grand Theater in Williamstown collapses. They put on some amazing pieces of theater, thank god no one was hurt, and I trust they will keep the company going despite the theater damage.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

S.J. Premier of Hairspray!

As of this afternoon, the Off Broad Street Players Theater Company of Bridgeton, NJ were named the first theater company in Southern New Jersey to obtain the performance rights for the wildly-popular musical "Hairspray!" Audition information is as follows-

OPEN CALL - South Jersey Premier of "HAIRSPRAY"

AUDITIONS - May 24 & 26
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Trinity United Methodist Church
14 Fayette St. in Bridgeton, N.J. 08302
Headshot & Resume not required but welcome
Prepare a song from any Broadway musical other than "Hairspray"

Performances August 6, 7, 13, 14 at 8 p.m. and Aug 8, 15 at 3 p.m.
Special Family Performance August 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Director Walter A. Webster is looking for a large multi-ethnic cast.
Roles being auditioned for - 

Tracy Turnblad - A high-spirited, irrepressible, chubby teen girl; she loves to dance and is eager for her life to kick in.
Edna Turnblad - Tracy's hefty loving, somewhat repressed mother, a laundress with deferred dreams. Looking for a male actor for the role.
Wilbur Tunblad - Trachy's father, a mischievous joke shop proprietor but always reliable dad.
Penny Pingleton - Tracy's ditzy but devoted best friend.
Corny Collins - The smooth and smart adult host of Baltimore's local T.V. teen dance show.
Link Larkin - The show's teen male dreamboat, ambitious but essentially good-hearted.
Amber Von Tussle - The show's resident blonde princess, conniving and selfish, but superficially perky.
Velma Von Tussle - The T.V. Station manager; a rich, bigoted, bossy widow who's pushing daughter Amber to the stardom she herself never had.
Motormouth Maybelle - The big brassy, all-embracing black radio D.J. and once-a-month guest host on Corny's show; she wears a blonde wig as her trademark
Seaweed J. Stubbs - Motormouth's sexy teen son, street smart but easygoing; his unique dance lessons give Tracy the edge she needs to catch Corny's attention.
Little Inez - Seaweed's litle sister, 12. She's cute but angry, impatient for the promised land of actual civil rights.
Prudy Pingleton - Penny's incredibly uptight and small-minded mother.
Male Authority Figures - Assorted middle-aged male roles: a nervous businessman, a condescending high school principal, a flamboyant fashion boutique owner, a cop and a corrupt jail gaurd.
Female Authority Figures - Assorted middle-aged female roles: a sadistic gym teacher, a cop, and a sardonic prison matron.
The Dynamites - A trio of ultra-glamorous black divas who emerge from a poster to be the magical hostesses of Tracy and Edna's whirlwind visit to the emerging swinging sixties.
Teen ensemble - Brad, Tammy, Fender, Brenda, Sketch, Shelly, I.Q, Lou Ann.

For more information please contact Walter A. Webster at (856) 451-5437. email Jim Cook Jr at or visit 

Also, visit the Off Broad Street Players fan page on Facebook.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fiddler on the Rialto

The cast of Fiddler on the Roof (Rowan University: April, 2010)

Stage left is NOT where the fiddler sat. Number one. The show began as a piece of symmetry with Tevye, a poor milkman on one side of the roof and the fiddler on the other side. One man explained in words of the meaning of this show and the other told it through singular notated music. But this story is not about a fiddler. And it is not a compelling story about Tevye who tries to maintain a Jewish life. This show is about one thing.


Nothing in the history of Rowan University has ever encapsulated theatre filled with such energy. The life that Director Lane Savadove and Music Director Marian Stieber breathed into this new production was fresh, raw, and brilliant. And the magic of this production was beyond palpable. I have only one word for this theatrical event: Dazzling. And thank God this production is not transferring to Broadway, because my bank account would be depleted from buying eight tickets a week. Because I could watch this production every day and it would never get old.

But back to the symmetry. The entire production utilized symmetry in the literal sense of its own characters, and in the implication that this piece is far from being outdated. It may even have something to say about our own lives. The opening sequence was symmetrical, the blocking, the emotions, and the energy were spot on. And the final level of symmetry was Rowan's ability to produce professional live theater and professional live music, all in one production.

After Tevye (played by Kevin Melendez...I'll tell you how he did in a minute) descends from the roof, he introduces us to the Russian shtetl (small town) of Anatevka in 1905. Finally, Tevye breaks into the music by declaring "Tradition" with the entire cast. But ironically, Savadove's direction broke the tradition of this musical and re-imagined the opening number from what once was a primal dance into a panorama of struggling socio-economic Jewish families, all laboring in their thankless jobs for the love of their community. Subtlety was the life of the opening sequence, and the lives of each member of the society.

The musical focuses in on the small village of Anatevka and a milkman Tevye who is confidant in tradition but struggles not to lose his own soul within the loss of tradition in his family. And the only reason that point was made clear was because the role was played by Kevin Melendez.

Melendez stripped away the conventional structure of Tevye and exposed everything he could muster as a performer. His singing seemlessly melded with the rawness of his portrayal of the character.

Tevye's three daughters, Tzeitel (Kerry Baglivio), Hodel (Jenna Kuerzi), and Chava (Jade Froeder) are all in a power struggle against the traditional arrangements of marriages, deciding to abandon the matchmaker and marry for love. This, naturally, is where Tevye begins to struggle, but eventually bend for the marriages of Tzeitel and Hodel. However, Chava's marriage to a non-Jewish Russian official is the breaking point for Tevye and he disowns her, but gives a glimmer of hope to her before the family leaves Anatevka.

The chorus was a powerhouse of choreography and energy, especially the "L'Chaim" sequence in the bar.

Baglivio gave a wonderful performance and Froeder stretched her capabilities with grappling the dynamics of her roles. Kuerzi gave a flawless flow from acting into singing without overplaying the character as often is seen in many musicals. Her work was honest and genuine, especially in "Far From The Home I Love"

Andrew Clotworthy played a difficult middle-aged single man searching for new love. I must apologize to Clotworthy because in my past reviews of work at Rowan, I have not given credit where credit is due. And credit is due to Mr. Clotworthy. The inner sadness that Clotworthy's Lazar Wolf experiences came across vibrantly, his work in Fools last season was hysterical (a show that was senselessly reviewed by another writer...I thought that show was awesome), and his work in Our Country's Good was stunning. He and Melendez have developed a rapport of fresh talent.

Tevye's wife, Golde (Rachel Bauer) was brash and true, culminating in an enlightening view of household women in Russia. Especially nice were her moments in "Do You Love Me?"

Let's also not forget the unforgettable performances of Chris Bratek as Perchick who gave a strong portrayal of a young man in search of himself and his own rebellion, along with the always great A.J. Mendini, playing a very gentle Motel who heartwarmingly sees the innocent beauty of live.

The technicality of the production was a blessing for Rowan's vast departments. The balance of sound, the orchestra, and the phenomenal lighting (especially with the stars) all lent life into the production.

As a graduating senior (this May) I want to thank the Rowan Theater and Music Department for letting me review your work over the past two years. I have the utmost respect for each and every one of you. You all really went out this year on a bang. Keep doing what you do, because your productions are Rowan's greatest TRADITION!

-Jim Cook Jr.

p.s. When Fruma-Sarah began to come out of the bed I really started thinking 'oh no, they're going to do the "Wicked" thing' but don't worry. I've seen Wicked. Yours was not only better, but it was the coolest thing I've ever seen done on a stage. True story.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't "april showers" on my parade!

Rowan U. Musical Theater Company
Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Starring Steve Meridian at Jesus
Tickets at $7 Adults and $5 Students/Seniors
All performances at Williamstown High School

The LANDIS THEATER ACTORS have announced casting for their inaugural production of "The Producers" The production will be performed at the Landis Theatre in Vineland, N.J.

The Producers’ Cast List
Max Bialystock…Sean McGrellis
Leo Bloom………Daniel Caraballo
Ulla … ………......Deena Parr
Roger de Bris…..Teddy Petrie
Carmen Giya……Will Baez
Franz Liebkind …Todd Kinder

Ensemble and others (in alphabetical order)

Tammie Biagi
Stephanie Chiofolo
DiDi Gawryolek
Dina Kirchner
Susan Kowalski
Jennifer Leigh
Ariana McTamney
Caelyn Palmer
Jennifer Parr
Angelica Quiles
Hilary Scull
Phillip Hopf
Thurman Hogan
Mark Leigh
Shaun Laurencio
Michael Matos
Tommy Serra
Nate Offer

Also on the Rialto this month:

OUT OF SIGHT...OUT OF MURDER - Sketch Club Players. April 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 at 8 p.m. and 11, 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 Adults and $15 for Senior citizens.

NOISES OFF - Ritz Theater Co. April 22 - May 22. Tickets are $20 - $30.

TAKE ME OUT - Haddonfield Plays & Players. FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. April 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8 p.m. and 11, 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 general admission.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC - The Road Company. April 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, May 1 at 8 p.m. and April 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for Adults and $15 for Students and Seniors

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Free play reading on the Rialto!

The Collaborative Act Studio is presenting their free play reading of:

The 5th of July by Lanford Wilson
March 24th 7:30 p.m.

Please be sure to be a part of this special medium of theater in South Jersey.

You may choose to participate or just watch.  After the reading will be an open discussion. Questions such as "What was the author's intent?" and "How hard do you think it would be to produce this work?" are sure to arise. Or occasionally, “I'm sorry, I kept my mind open, but apparently that let the play go in one ear and out the other - what was it supposed to be about?!”

The evening is open to everyone.

THE 5TH OF JULY by Lanford Wilson
Wednesday, March 24th, 7:30PM
Fusion Performing Arts Center
1931 Olney Avenue, Suite 100
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's 60 degrees outside!

I hope you like my new layout. My sincerest apologies for not updating sooner. I have been wildly busy with my final semester of college, graduation looming, my internship at The Daily Journal (Vineland, NJ), and my job. But those little vampires aren't stopping me from going to the theater! Has anyone been outside today? 60 degrees! What a nice break after the disaster, laden in our hearts, that we'll always remember as "February 2010."

STEEL MAGNOLIAS Cumberland Players (Vineland, NJ) March 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8 p.m. and March 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13 General Admission. Starring Lauren Van Embden, Heidi Dugan, Carol Heney, Lisa Heney, Bobbi Kukal of Millville, and Rita Danna of Vineland.

DOUBT: A Parable. - The Road Company (Williamstown, NJ) March 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8 p.m. and March 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 Adults $15 Students/Seniors. ($12 Student/Senior/Children on Matinees.) Starring Anne Buckwheat of Woodstown, NJ.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE - The Ritz Theater Co. (Oaklyn, NJ) March 13 - April 3. Tickets are $17 - $30.

NUMBER THE STARS - Haddonfield Plays & Players (Haddonfield, NJ) - March 9, 11, 16, 18 at 10 a.m. March 10 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 General Admission. *This is a FEATURED EVENT not part of the main stage season*

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Broadway Theatre (Pitman, NJ) - March 12 - April 3. Tickets are $25 General Admission.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Magic to do!!!

The Off Broad Street Players Theater Company will open its 13th season with the Stephen Schwartz musical “Pippin.”

Performances will be presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 and 13, 3 p.m. Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Feb. 19 and 20 and 3 p.m. Feb. 21 in the auditorium of the Broad Street School, West Avenue and Broad Street, Bridgeton. Also, a family performance will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18.

Pippin follows a group of actors led by a Leading Player, telling the story of King Charlemagne’s first-born son, his love for Catherine, and his search for his place in the universe.

Cast members are Domonic Barnes of Cedarville as Leading Player, Andrew Jarema of Pittsgrove as Pippin, Katie Smith of Millville as Catherine, Don Fransko of Vineland, Ellen Mather of Vineland, Heather Harrington of Millville, Andrew Fralinger of Hopewell, Justin Peterson of Elmer and an ensemble of 13.

Walter A. Webster of Bridgeton is the director, Heather Boner of Bridgeton is the choreographer and Nancy Bello of Elmer will conduct a live orchestra during the performances.

Tickets for the family performance only are $7. Tickets for all other performances are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

For tickets or more information, call (856) 451-5437 or or the “Off Broad Street Players” Facebook fan page.

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Day But TODAY!


By Johnathan Larson
Produced by The Road Company
Tickets available online!

January 22, 23, 29, 30
February 5 & 6 at 8 p.m.
$18 Adults
$15 Students/Seniors

January 24, 30 at 2 p.m.
$15 Adults
$12 Students/Seniors

Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer-prize winning Broadway musical based loosely on Puccini's opera La Bohème. It follows a year in the lives of seven friends living the disappearing Bohemian lifestyle in New York's East Village. AIDS and both its physical and emotional complications pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom, and Angel; Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble; Benjamin has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends; and Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general, always behind the camera recording the events but never playing a part.

Mark Cohen - Sean Casey
Roger Davis - Dave McConney
Tom Collins - Marquis Cole
Angel Dumott Schunard - Bobby Walker
Benjamin Coffin III - Fernando Gonzalez
Joanne Jefferson - Lani Campagno
Maureen Johnson - Amy Sprouse
Mimi Marquez - Marjorie Southerland

Ensemble: Courtney Gardner, Danielle Harley, David Mooney, Dwight Merritt, Edward Elder, Ed Farrell III, Jackie Smith, Mary Fajardo, Melanie Owens, Melissa Baker, Richard Smith, Scott Angehr.

Thursday, January 7, 2010



DON FRANSKO (Curly) and KATIE COX (Laurey) in a scene from OKLAHOMA!

The Off Broad Street Players Theatre Company of Bridgeton is transferring it’s production of the classic musical “Oklahoma!” to Lower Cape May Regional High School on January 9 at 7pm and 10 at 3pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

This production originally opened in November at Bridgeton High School, when the group was approached with an opportunity to bring their production to a new audience.

This classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical follows the young ranch hand Curly (Don Fransko, Vineland) who is in love with Laurey Williams (Katie Cox, Millville). They are much too proud to admit they love each other, resulting in Laurey accepting an invitation to the local dance by the shadowy Jud Fry (Richard Smith, Bridgeton)

Meanwhile, raucous cowboy Will Parker (Andrew Jarema, Pittsgrove) has just returned from his trip to Kansas City. His girlfriend, Ado Annie (Stephanie Bello, Elmer), unfortunately, is a girl who just can’t seem to say no to other men. Thus, the ever-classic story unfolds with a rich score featuring such songs as “O What a Beautiful Morning,” “People Will Say We’re In Love,” “Kansas City,” “Many a New Day,” and the title number “Oklahoma!”

The Off Broad Street Players are very excited to bring their production of “Oklahoma!” to the audiences of Cape May and Atlantic Counties. More information can be found at, by calling (856) 451-5437, by emailing, or by following the “Off Broad Street Players” on Facebook.

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