Growing Stage Theatre opens 2006 season with New Jersey premieres

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:52

    Netcong — The Growing Stage Theatre, on Route 183 in Netcong, is the only professional theatre of the Actor's Equity Association in New Jersey that is solely dedicated to young people, offering main stage productions The theater's performances is 23rd Season in 2006 include: "Bunnicula," a New Jersey premiere, will run from Friday, Oct. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 30. The play is a hilarious musical that is told from the point of view of the family pets, Harold the dog and Chester the cat. When the Monroe children find a baby bunny at the movie theater during a showing of the movie "Dracula," they decide to adopt it and bring it home. The pets begin to suspect something is "off-kilter" when Chester, who has been reading a book about Vampires, suspects that Bunnicula, the pointy fanged, nocturnal may, in fact, be a vampire. What ensues is a series of pet-like mishaps to amuse young and old alike. Bunnicula is based on the book by Deborah and James Howe. "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" will run from Friday, Nov. 25, to Sunday, Dec. 18. This is a Growing Stage original production, using L. Frank Baum's own magical biography of the man called Santa Claus, long before the toy stores came up with their version. As a young foundling, he is raised by the Immortals who care for the plants and animals. He is taught to respect nature and to care for its beauty, but as he grows older, Claus yearns to know more of his "own kind." He leaves the protection of the immortals and finds that humans not only don't respect nature they are not too kind to each other either. He builds wonderful toys for the children of the village, but despite his good intentions, the evil Baron attempts to stop Claus from creating "useless distractions that stop progress." Despite the support of his three magical friends, this becomes a battle for the right to imagine. Baum's American mythology celebrates the greatest gift we share with each othe, love. The play has been adapted by Stephen L. Fredericks, with music by Derek Dibbern and David Spellman. "Junie B. Jones and A Little Monkey Business," the second New Jersey premiere of the season, will run from Friday, Jan. 20, to Sunday, Feb. 12. The musical adaptation, based on the wildly popular book by Barbara Park, offers the book, and music and lyrics by Joan Cushing. A high-spirited kindergartner is anticipating the arrival of her new baby brother who she is convinced will be "p.u." When her grandmother comes home after meeting the baby and tells her he is the cutest little monkey that she has ever seen, Junie B. finally has the answer to her show-and-tell dilemma. Her new baby brother will be the coolest one, ever, a real monkey. "The Wizard of Oz," celebrating 10 years at the Palace Theatre, will run from Friday, March 3, to Sunday, March 26. In the land of Oz, Dorothy embarks on an exciting journey with her new friends: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. Together they travel down the Yellow Brick Road to see the Wizard of Oz. This performance is based on the original story by L. Frank Baum, and was adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. "Sleeping Beauty" will run Friday, April 28, to Sunday, May 21. This performance is a comedic twist on a classic tale, when "once upon a time" and "happily ever after" are sandwiched between a fractured fairy tale of mammoth proportions. It all starts with a magical frog who proclaims the arrival of a little princess who is cursed by an evil fairy who is then saved by a group of nice fairies and who is forced to sleep for 100 years, just as she turns 15 and life is getting interesting, while she waits to be rescued by her own true love. Performances at the Growing Stage Theatre are held on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Children and senior tickets are $10 each and adult tickets are $14 each. Season tickets are available through October 1; group rates are also available. Special pricing is available for season (five productions) packages, if purchased prior to September 15, and group rates are also available. For further information, call the box office at 973-347-4946, or log onto Or drop by the historic Palace Theatre (circa 1919 and listed on both the National and State Register of Historic Places) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.