Tag Archives: theater

Retro ‘Oliver!’ Show Time at The Barn Theater

The Barn cast of Oliver! circa 1972
Photo/Jeff Blumenkrantz

“Consider yourself at home. Consider yourself one of the family. We’ve taken to you so strong …”

The line in the song from Oliver! captures the tenor of the actors’ bond in community theater. And it couldn’t be better encapsulated than in a photo of the cast of Oliver at the iconic Barn Theater in Rumson in 1972.

With the March 10 passing of Mark Hughes Jr., the snapshot is a reminder of the beginning of something big that lasted a lifetime … a family legacy of theater and togetherness. Playing together, staying together via the stage.

This show was a special one for the Hughes family. It was their first at The Barn. Mark Jr. played Mr. Brownlow. Nan was the Artful Dodger. The rest were somewhere on or off stage. It was a Hughes family affair. Can you spot the rest of the clan? And the connection lasted a lifetime and built a legacy.

“How he loved the Barn,” Nan said. He went on to play Mr. Darling (in Peter Pan) to Mimi’s Mrs. Darling (and Paul and Patrick as John and Michael Darling), Mark as a pirate and Nan as slightly soiled the island boy).

This “led to his using a Mr. Darling quote in our house occasionally ‘A little less noise, please! A little less noise.’

“It was also very funny to see this well dressed man (bow ties were his ‘casual look’) dress in a t-shirt and suspenders, waving a cigar in the role of the stage manager in Gypsy.”

Some in this Barn snapshot of the past by Jeff Blumenkrantz are gone. Anyone remember Billy Fansler, who also worked extensively as an actor and director with Monmouth Players? The rest are mostly still in touch, a living testament to the title song/credo in Annie Get Your Gun: “There’s No Business Like Show Business!”

So, let’s go on with the show of forging and keeping longtime bonds, on or off stage! Curtain up! Encore!

Focus: Dress Rehearsing RFH’s ‘Footloose’

It’s that time — dress rehearsal time for the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH) annual musical theater production. This year it’s Footloose. And as tech week winds down and things are fine-tuned, the cast settles into dress rehearsals, with that final dress rehearsal set for tonight.

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Retro RFH Summer Theater

Summer theater productions are opening all over the Rumson-Fair Haven area. This seasonal show time for locals has proven as popular as hitting the beach with buddies — OK, far away from the invasion of the outta town tourists.

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RFH Tower Players Applauded with Awards

RFH Tower Players 2017-18
Photo/RFH

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players are taking a bow for a successful awards season.

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Going Retro with Rumson’s Barn Theater

A production of Bye Bye Birdie at The Barn Theater, Rumson, circa 1977.  Photo/Sally Van Develde
A production of Bye Bye Birdie at The Barn Theater, Rumson, circa 1977.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day brings us back to shows at The Barn Theater, formerly on Avenue of Two Rivers in Rumson,  in the late 1970s.

Pictured are a bunch of area high school students, from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional and other area high schools, performing a scene in Bye Bye Birdie.

It’s a bit blurry, due to the lack of focus, and perhaps unsteady hand, on the instamatic camera with the rotating flash cube, but it was one of many moments at the popular theater.

Do you know anyone in this picture? Check it out.

 

A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

A theatrical kind of weekend is on tap in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, starting with opening night of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) production of Miracle on 34th Street on Friday.

Curtain time for the holiday classic is 7:30 p.m. on Friday with a Saturday show at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” according to RFH staff.

Continue reading A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

RFH Tower Players & Their ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

 

Miracle on 34th St. poster, courtesy of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
Miracle on 34th St. poster, courtesy of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Yes, Rumson-Fair Haven area theatergoers, there is a fall high school show.

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players is aiming to make audiences believe in Santa Claus with its Dec. 12, 13 and 14 stage production of Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, a release from RFH said.

Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” by staff.

The show, according to the release, will feature 38 cast members bringing to life the original storyline of Kringle’s holiday trials and tribulations as he insists he is the real Santa.

The contemporary component of the RFH production manifests itself in large-scale dance numbers choreographed to a rock-based soundtrack, the release said.

The popular plot, the release said, unfolds like this:  A kind white-haired man is asked by Macy’s bigwig Doris Walker to portray Santa in the famous flagship store on 34th Street in New York City.

Trouble starts to brew when the man, who says his name is Kris Kringle, claims that he is the actual Santa Claus. His claims are seriously doubted by Doris Walker and her daughter Susan, both of whom don’t believe in the existence of Santa Claus.

As Kris’ sanity comes into question, his danger of being committed to a psychiatric institution grows. Doris, concerned for Kris, enlists her friend and neighbor Fred Gailey to defend Kris in court. The highly practical Susan befriends Kris as well and, in doing so, end up with the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.

In the RFH production, Kris Kringle is played by senior Laurence Morales. Doris Walker is played by senior Emily Mangiavillano, with senior EIise Roncace as Susan Walker. Senior Andrew Maris plays Fred Gailey.

Also featured, in a ballet performance of toys coming to life, are sophomores Sara Safarian and Rachel Makstein.

The Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street, The Play is directed by Suzanne Sweeney, with choreography by Patty McCarron and costumes and props under the direction of Carole Malik.

Tower Players alumna Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director and Stefania Flecca is production coordinator. Sets, sounds and lighting are provided by Matthew Leddin and his 30-student crew, with set design contributions from the RFH Stagecraft class as well.

Tickets — $10 general admission and $6 for senior citizens, children and students — may be purchased by visiting the RFH website (rumsonfairhaven.org) or by contacting Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at 732-842-1597, extension 826.

Tickets will also be sold at the theater box office in the auditorium lobby from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 and 4. Tickets will be sold an hour before each performance as well, based on availability.

Curtain time for the production’s Friday opening  night on Dec. 12 is 7:30 p.m., followed by a show on Saturday at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.