All the World's a Stage, Arts & Culture

The Sting, a New Musical Starring Harry Connick, Jr. at Paper Mill Playhouse, Hits the Mark

The Sting at Paper Mill Playhouse | Harry Connick Jr.
Photo by Jerry Dalia — Left: J. Harrison Ghee (Johnny Hooker), Right: Harry Connick, Jr. (Henry Gondorff).

The Sting, a new musical at Paper Mill Playhouse, transports you to Depression-era Chicago, where jazz reigns, the stakes are high, and the dice are always loaded. And it does it in the most entertaining way.

Based on the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, The Sting, the musical tells the tale of a pair of con men, small town grifter Johnny Hooker (played by J. Harrison Ghee) and big-time hustler Henry Gondorff (played by Harry Connick, Jr.), who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer, Doyle Lonnegan (played by Tom Hewitt).

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All the World's a Stage, Arts & Culture, Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways

Contest: Guess the Paper Mill Playhouse 2017-2018 Season, Win Free Tickets

paper Mill Playhouse Guess the Season Game 2017-2018

Each February, Paper Mill Playhouse, one of our favorite regional theaters, announces its productions for the upcoming season. But they don’t just announce it, they run a contest to build suspense — the “Guess the Season” game!

We’re excited to join in the fun, and even more excited to offer one lucky Playground reader who can guess correctly a pair of tickets to an upcoming Paper Mill Playhouse production!

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All the World's a Stage, Arts & Culture

Could it Be? Yes, it Could. West Side Story at Paper Mill Playhouse is Very Good

West Side Story

The most beautiful sound I ever heard was Matt Doyle singing as Tony in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story.

West Side Story.My 12 year old daughter and I had the pleasure of seeing West Side Story on Sunday night at the official press opening. I fell in love with the film version as a girl her age and wanted to share the experience with her. She didn’t know anything about the legendary musical, so she watched with new eyes. By the end of this fantastic production — which is directed by Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee —she was in love too.

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All the World's a Stage, Arts & Culture

A Bronx Tale the Musical at Paper Mill Playhouse

Jason Gotay (Calogero) Photo by Jerry Dalia
Jason Gotay (Calogero) (Photo by Jerry Dalia)

Paper Mill Playhouse’s world premiere of A Bronx Tale: A Musical, based on Chazz Palminteri’s 1993 film opened last night and, in the words of Sonny, “This one could be one of the greats.”

A Bronx Tale is the coming of age story of an Italian-American kid (Calogero) from the Bronx (Belmont Ave to be exact) trying to find his path in life, choosing between his working class bus driver father (Lorenzo) and a mob-boss father-figure (Sonny) who takes him under his wing. From them both he learns that the “saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.”

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All the World's a Stage, Arts & Culture

Celebrate the Season With A Christmas Story: The Musical at Paper Mill Playhouse

A Christmas Story: The Musical
Photo credit: Billy Bustamante

There’s a reason why the movie A Christmas Story is so popular, and not just with others of my generation who were the the main character Ralphie’s age when the movie premiered in 1983. (How popular is the film? TBS will run it for 24 hours straight on Christmas, its 19th year of the marathon showing). It’s because A Christmas Story truly captures the sweet nostalgia of being a child at Christmas, hoping that Santa brings that one special gift (“an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two hundred shot range model air rifle,” in Ralphie’s case, you know…the one that will shoot your eye out). It also portrays a real American family, warts and all, in a humorous, but loving way. And most of all, it’s a reminder during the holidays of how precious our time together is as a family making memories that will stand the test of time.

Happily, the straight-from-Broadway A Christmas Story: The Musical now playing at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, manages to capture all the joy, humor (the leg lamp! the pink bunny pajamas! the tongue frozen to the pole!), and heartfelt moments of the classic, much loved, film with the added bonus of great music. My family saw the production Thanksgiving weekend, and it kicked off our holiday season in style with lots of good family fun.

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