One of the nation's most esteemed Shakespeare outfits, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has brought the playwright's work to life for the past half-century. But the troupe takes its name more as an inspiration than a strict limit, also mounting productions of other classics by writers such as Thornton Wilder and Noël Coward. Once a summer, the company takes to the College of Saint Elizabeth's outdoor amphitheater—modeled after Athens' Theater of Dionysius, a favorite venue for Shakespeare performances in Greece—to present the bard's work in the way he intended: alive under the open sky.
The New York Films Critics Series culls professional reviewers and armchair critics under one roof to revel in advance screenings of highly anticipated motion pictures. Bigwig film critics, including Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone and Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly, are slated to host, helming fact-crammed introductions and popcorn-eating competitions before each film. Though the stereogram algorithm that reveals the season’s lineup has yet to be deciphered, films on the docket may include the latest movie from Academy Award-winning director Pedro Almodóvar, Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize award-winner Like Crazy, and the adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp. Screenings are often followed by interviews with special guests, such as actors, screenwriters, and Oscar-worthy best boys. Past appearances include writer /director/actor Josh Radnor (TV's How I Met Your Mother) and actress Zoe Kazan (Me and Orson Welles).
Nestled in the Morris Museum, the Bickford Theatre's cast of canny actors transmits theatrics directly to each of the auditorium's 312 house seats. Their latest production, the Tony-nominated I Hate Hamlet, charts the comedic trials of protagonist Andrew Rally, a successful actor offered the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. The leading character is haunted by his eponymous hatred for the show, and he inadvertently summons the ghost of John Barrymore, history's greatest Hamlet. The play's multifaceted plot incorporates madcap antics to generate bellowing laughter—maintaining a replay value comparable to a YouTube video of a koala sneezing and falling into a vat of flour. The Bickford Theatre produces four plays every season and hosts jazz concerts, children's theater, and performing-arts classes.
Thanks to the NY Film Critics Series, Rolling Stone film critic and series moderator Peter Travers can be in 50 places at once. Movie stars and directors can, too. It's all thanks to the series' signature technology: a live, interactive simulcast broadcast to 50 independent theaters across the country. Through the series, fans everywhere can engage with their favorite stars and watch pre-release films, such as Like Crazy, director Drake Doremus's Breathe In, or the upcoming Lion King 15: Lions Evolve Into Humans and Go To Starbucks.
Recently opened after a complete renovation, CityPlex12 Newark fills its 12 screens with a schedule of first-run Hollywood hits. High-backed rocker chairs make up the stadium seating, while 4K digital projection allows audiences to see each and every molecule that form their favorite star’s face. The centerpiece of the complex is its Shaq*DX theater, equipped with a towering 47-foot screen and Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound.
Playwrights Theatre stages productions of up-and-coming plays each year through its New Play Development program. The 2010–2011 season keeps the theatre's long-standing commitment to fresh ars theatrica with three works: Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan, MoM A Rock Concert Musical by Richard Caliban, and Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie by Julie Jensen. Your season subscription to Playwrights Theatre entitles you to view all three performances, receive a 50% discount on two tickets for family or friends, gain admittance to opening-night parties, and attend post-show talkbacks about new-play development and the inside story on plays. You'll also receive a pass to the FORUM staged reading series, enough to attend a reading of each of the series' 13 new plays and discuss the material with artists in an intimate setting.