Since its inception in the late 1930’s, Paper Mill Playhouse has been a regional favorite for arts, culture, and entertainment. Now, more than 75 years later, our community still can’t seem to get enough of what the beloved theater has to offer. We are extremely fortunate to have this incredible venue so close to home, and when you also consider this year’s performance schedule, there’s no question that the Paper Mill Playhouse should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list between now and June 2016.
The 2015-2016 theater season marks the 77th year for Paper Mill Playhouse, and it is absolutely teeming with can’t-miss performances, including one world-premiere musical in February. Unfortunately, for most of us, making it out to every single show of the season is simply not practical. So, if you have to choose, here are our top three suggestions for this year’s must-see performances at Paper Mill Playhouse:
A Christmas Story: The Musical
A Christmas Story, the movie, made its debut in 1983. It quickly became a favorite for wintertime audiences, seemingly without regard for cultural or generational boundaries. We’ve all found ourselves watching (and reveling in) this movie a time or two, which is why it is an absolute joy to find A Christmas Story: The Musical on this season’s Paper Mill Playhouse lineup.
Until January 3, 2016, you can catch Ralphie, his Red Ryder BB Gun, and all of the hilarity that we’ve come to expect from this heartfelt holiday tale. It is appropriate for audiences of all ages, and there is an autism-friendly production being offered, as well.
A Bronx Tale
If you have to choose only one show to attend this season, choose this one! You’ll find it featured in the L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playbill, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and a variety of other major publications across the United States. So, what’s all the fuss about?
A Bronx Tale is based on the acclaimed one-man Broadway show, written by Chazz Palminteri, about a complicated love story set against the culture of organized crime and segregation in the 1960’s. The story itself is extremely moving and is a masterpiece in its own right, but the media is over the moon about this one for an entirely different set of reasons: A Bronx Tale will be co-directed by two-time Oscar winner, Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner, Jerry Zaks. This, along with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, is a recipe for artistic perfection.
When it originally played on Broadway in 2007, the schedule for A Bronx Tale was extended due to overwhelming ticket demand. You can be sure that the same thing is going to happen here, so if you plan to attend, try to purchase your tickets early. A Bronx Tale will be playing at Paper Mill Playhouse from February 4, 2016 – March 6, 2016.
West Side Story
West Side Story is the celebrated musical against which all Broadway performances have been measured for decades. It has really set the tone for what live theater should be. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing this exhilarating medley of dance, music, and storytelling in person, now is your chance. Don’t miss out.
West Side Story was first produced in 1957 and is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. For generations, audiences have relished the show’s nefarious theme, beautifully complex sounds, and sophisticated choreography. This show is a representation of a turning point in American theater production, and it’s a poignant tale that you are sure to enjoy immensely.
Catch West Side Story at Paper Mill Playhouse from June 1, 2016 through June 26, 2015.
Having Paper Mill Playhouse right here in Millburn is like having Broadway in our own backyard. It’s a part of our community that should be celebrated and supported by locals and visitors alike.
For information about the venue or scheduled performances, visit www.PaperMill.org or call 973-315-1639.