Spring Comedy, Drama, History and Music on Stage in Cape May

Posted 3/10/09
By Debra Donahue

Cape May, NJ — Springtime in Cape May — when the painting trucks and contractors outnumber the residents, the traffic lights along Beach Drive stop blinking, and the whole town sets to spit-shining and polishing up for the hundreds of thousands of visitors they will welcome in the coming months.

It's also the time when Cape May's theater season steps out for its first bows. Visitors don't have to wait unitl summer to sample productions by both of Cape May’s Equity Theaters.

Cape May Stage and The East Lynne Theater Company are planning productions with a little something for everyone — comedy, drama and music — from one-woman shows to ensembles.

East Lynne Spring Season

The Cape May theater season starts March 20 with East Lynne's offering for Sherlock Holmes’ Weekend.

East Lynne Theater Company focuses on American classics and artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth has unending grist for her mill. Some East Lynne productions are written by Stahlhuth herself, whose love of history and passion for theater meld perfectly for the Company.

Sherlock Holmes' Adventure of the Speckled Band

“Sherlock Holmes' Adventure of the Speckled Band” is a stylish radio-style performance based on one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite stories, and his rarely produced play “The Stonor Case.”

Mimicking the 1930’s radio series, East Lynne's production includes live sound effects and commercials! East Lynne is has elevated this style to an art form, and the production is not only entertaining, but also a glimpse into the richness of how radio played an important role in our culture before television took over the universe. Just a two day run.

Alice on the Edge

The East Lynne spring season continues with a run of “Alice on the Edge” from June 17 and into the summer..

This production is a collection of Alice Gerstenberg’s enticing one-act plays. Gerstenberg's Known for her “futuristic/cubistic” style.

Among the featured one acts; “Fourteen” and “He Said and She Said,” and two dramas, “The Illuminati in Drama Libre,” and “Overtones,” one of the most popular plays of the 1915 Broadway season, performed in London by the actress Lily Langtry. It featured (for the first time on stage) the interplay of two characters and their alter egos.

East Lynne's performances take place at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, Cape May.

Head over to the theater page page for more info on tickets and times..

Cape May Stage Spring Season

Cape May Stage blooms this spring with a brand new Artistic Director, Roy Steinberg, who has spent the winter planning the Equity company’s 2009 season.

A newly minted resident of Cape May, Steinberg has ambitious plans for the theater with six plays on the season roster and plans for other events and productions.

Noted Steinberg, “I wanted to have a season that was well-balanced — with a selection of comedy, drama, and music. I also wanted to take advantage of the vast amount of talent that was available to me, and so I also chose some plays with particular actors in mind.”

Cape May Stage’s spring season opens with an award-winning musical comedy.

Souvenir

The season begins with “Souvenir” running from May 20 – June 20.

“Souvenir is a musical comedy about a society lady named Florence Foster Jenkins, who became a singing phenomenon in the 30s and 40s. But not for singing well! She became famous for singing so badly that she became a huge success.

She performed in a packed Carnegie Hall but naively mistook the laughs for cheers. Later, she learns the devastating truth — she was not the great coloratura soprano she thought herself to be.

Playwright Stephen Temperley brings this story to life, and in a timely twist, makes the audience ponder the parallels to our culture’s theater of self-perception, self-deception and fame, “American Idol.”

Say Goodnight Gracie

As the spring turns to summer, Cape May Stage offers “Say Goodnight Gracie.”

There is no better lens through which to observe the 20th century than that of the wry, sly George Burns — cigar in hand, tongue in cheek.

Written by Tony award-winning writer Rupert Holmes, this poignant and uplifting love story, and homage to Burns’ wife, Gracie Allen, was nominated for a Tony Award for ‘Best Play’ and won the National Broadway Theatre Award for ‘Best Play’ in 2003.

Originally embodied on Broadway by Frank Gorshin, the play reminds the audience of the brilliance of the comedians of that era, and Burns and Allen were among the very best.

Cape May Stage performances take place at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at Bank and Lafayette Streets in Cape May.

Head over to the theater page page for more info on tickets and times..

And that’s the scoop! Come out and support Cape May’s live theater. It's one of the many things that make Cape May so extraordinary.

Both theater companies offer reduced prices for season tickets and also dinner and a show specials.

Stay tuned for the summer theater preview, coming soon to a laptop near you!

Debra Donahue is a writer and public relations gal with a long history in Cape May.

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