The world premiere of American Theater Group’s newest musical Marry Harry highlights the Spring theatre menu at Union County Performing Arts Center and Hamilton Stage in Rahway.
The month kicks off Friday April 4 with Fearless Productions staging Broadway hit The Scene by Theresa Rebeck and ends with Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty mounted by Mystic Vision Players.
For all showtimes and ticket prices, call the Union County Performing Arts Center box office at (732) 499-8226 or go online to www.ucpac.org.
* Apr. 4-13: The Scene by Theresa Rebeck presented by Fearless Productions at UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ. Tickets: $25. (6 shows)
Blondes don’t come any more toxic than Clea, a femme-fatale weapon of mass destruction who lays waste to a seemingly solid marriage in this sharp-witted, sharp-elbowed comedy about the savage economies of sex and show business in contemporary Manhattan. Fearless Productions is a New Jersey drama ensemble that just completed an Off Broadway engagement at Snapple Theater Center with Sex, Relationships and Sometimes … Love.
* Apr. 23-May 11: Marry Harry, premiere of a 10-member musical presented by American Theater Group at Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway NJ. Tickets: $30-35 (15 shows)
Sparks fly when Harry, an aspiring chef trapped as cook at his dad’s failing East Village restaurant, meets landlord Sherri, come to collect overdue rent after dumping her cheating fiancé. They fall madly in love, fast-tracking to marriage — until everything predictably and hilariously implodes. With humor and heart, Marry Harry explores ideas about family loyalty, marriage, love and finding one’s path in life. Book by Jennifer Robbins, lyrics by Michael Biello and music by Dan Martin.
* May 9-17 (6 shows): Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute presented by Mystic Vision Players at UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ. Tickets: $15.
“Reasons to Be Pretty is the finale to a fierce trilogy of plays (The Shape of Things and Fat Pig) that explore America’s obsession with physical beauty, as four friends confront a sea of deceit and infidelity while facing the question: How much is pretty worth? The answer will surprise you.”
The Spring stage blossomings are enhancing Rahway’s growing reputation as a showcase center for new theatre development in its 1300-seat Mainstage auditorium, 65-seat Loft blackbox and 199-seat and 70-seat Hamilton Stage rooms. “We’ve had 21 national and local productions in Rahway during the 2013-14 season,” says Union County Performing Arts Center executive director Lawrence E. McCullough. “I don’t know any community in the state offering that much live theatre on a consistent basis.”
This July, Paper Mill Playhouse of Millburn will bring their nationally-renowned Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory to Hamilton Stage and Union County Performing Arts Center, supplementing UCPAC’s annual youth theatre camp week with Children’s Stage Adventures in August. “Arts education is a major part of our UCPAC mission,” says McCullough. “It’s how you create new audiences and the next generation of performers, and it’s the core element of the community building efforts going on in Rahway Arts District right now.”
In addition, UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage is home to a year-round drama development company, American Theater Group, that prepares new works for full production and presents readings with the ASCAP Cy Coleman New American Musical Reading Series hosted by playwright Stephen Schwartz.
“American Theater Group has mounted stellar new productions here in Rahway and attracted a very diverse audience base,” says McCullough. “Based on their success, we’re issuing an open call to other theatre companies and producers in the region to take a look at our facilities and see how they can use them to advance their work.”
** For showtimes and ticket prices, call the Union County Performing Arts Center box office at (732) 499-8226 or go online to www.ucpac.org.