Surflight Theatre will present the New Jersey premiere - an all-new and entirely original musical comedy Once Upon A Time in New Jersey (it's "The Sopranos" meets "Happy Days") from August 28 through September 15. Opening Night is Thursday, August 30 at 8pm.
Winner of the covetEd Kleban Prize and Richard Rodgers Award, Once Upon a Time in New Jersey is an Italian-American fairy tale set in 1956 Hoboken. Vinnie LoBianco (George Psomas), an unassuming sandwich-maker, is in love with counter girl Angie Moscato (Melissa Rose Hirsch). But Angie's got it bad for Rocco (Mike Longo), the local hunk, whose sights are set on sexy dance teacher Celeste (Crystal Kellogg). When Rocco runs afoul of Celeste's husband Billy (Vincent D'Elia), the result is a series of hilarious misunderstandings and madcap misadventure.
The Chicago Sun-Times praises Once Upon a Time in New Jersey's "delicious songs" and "huge audience appeal". BBC Liverpool calls it "An engaging, light-hearted musical in the tradition of Little Shop of Horrors". And The Daily Herald describes it as a "Tuneful, good-hearted, humorous and-most importantly-original show".
Once Upon A Time in New Jersey stars Crystal Kellogg (Celeste), Vincent D'Elia (Billy), Michael Bernardi (Narrator/Ed), Marsha Waterbury (Millie), George Psomas (Vinnie), Alliy Drago (Loretta), Seth Bazacas (Buddy), Melissa Rose Hirsch (Angie), Kristen Marie (Etta), Scott Shaefitz (Tony), Jillian Riley (Conchetta), Mike Longo (Rocco), Colton Pometta, Chris Batek, Jennifer Margulis, Jenavene Bazacas, and Dana Simone.
Surflight Theatre's production of Once Upon a Time in New Jersey is directed by Cara Reichel with choreography by Christine O'Grady (associate choreographer, Broadway's Hair). The musical director is James Higgins. Scenic design and lighting design is by Kevin Allen. Sound design is by Alan Douches. Costume design is by Rachel Guifoyle. The production stage manager is Julie Watson and stage manager is Kevin Clutz.
Once Upon a Time in New Jersey was initially developed at The Muhlenberg Summer Music Theater Festival in Allentown, PA. Following a series of readings at The Director's Company, it played to sold-out houses at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater in Chicago, the Village Theater in Seattle and the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. Once Upon a Time in New Jersey was one of six musicals selected from across the globe for the Global Search for New Musicals Competition in Cardiff Wales. It received rave reviews at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was performed by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, is located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey. Performances are Tuesday, August 28 at 2pm and 8pm, Wednesday, August 29 at 2pm, Thursday, August 30 at 2pm and 8pm, Friday, August 31 at 8pm, Saturday, September 1 at 8pm, Sunday, September 2 at 2pm, Tuesday, September 4 at 2pm and 8pm, Wednesday, September 5 at 2pm, Thursday, September 6 at 2pm and 8pm, Friday, September 7 at 8pm, Saturday, September 8 at 8pm, Sunday, September 9 at 2pm, Tuesday, September 11 at 2pm and 8pm, Wednesday, September 12 at 2pm, Thursday, September 13 at 2pm and 8pm, Friday, September 14 at 8pm, Saturday, September 15 at 8pm, Tickets are $36-$54. Youth Tickets (ages 12 and under) are ½ price with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. Student Rush tickets are available one hour before performances with Student ID. Student Rush tickets are available one hour before performances with Student ID. Tickets are available online at www.surflight.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Surflight box office, by phone at 609-492-9477. For groups (15 or more) call: 609-492-9477 x201.