From March 14 to 23, Island residents and visitors can enjoy the area debut of two shows to LBI — The Bellarine Theatre Company’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies from March 14 to 23 and Our Gang Players, Inc.’s production of “Love, Sex & the IRS” at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven from March 14 to16.
‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’
“Spelling Bee’ is a musical featuring six young people and a few not-so-grown-up grown-ups who learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t make you a loser,” said Jessica Evans, founder and artistic director of the Bellarine Theatre Company in Tuckerton. “Directed by Caitlin Hughes, our production features nine professional actors from throughout the state as well as top local talents and includes Jim McCabe, Jannah Tabbacchino, Maddie Ernst, Nicole Picinic, Mike McEntee, Jenna Kuerzi, Chris Huch, Corey Smith and A.J. Mendini. Our production also involves audience participation, something new to our local theater scene.”
With a goal of “exposing our audiences to new works and fresh ideas,” Evans launched The Bellarine Theatre Company four years ago and is delighted about its existing relationship with Pinelands Regional High School as well as the new partnership it’s forged with the LBIF.
Of ‘Spelling Bee,’ “the audience will enjoy one of the biggest gut-busting musical comedies to come from Broadway in a long time, while a few lucky volunteers will become part of the competition and take a trip back to the hilarity of our younger years,” Evans said. “And everyone will get to experience the first show performed at the LBIF in its long history as a cultural icon in our area.”
‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ will be performed at the LBIF (120 Long Beach Blvd., Loveladies; 609-494-1241) on March 14,15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students/seniors. For tickets and more information, call 609-661-2083 or visit www.bellarinetheatre.com/shows. Upcoming productions by the Bellarine Theatre Company at the LBIF will include the children’s piece “Dorothy Meets Alice” on May 30th to June 1 and the musical “Bat Boy” in October.
‘Love, Sex & the IRS’
Founded in 1977 and in its 37th season, the all-volunteer Our Gang Players, Inc., whose membership is comprised of a range of children and adults, is excited to launch its debut of the three-act comedy entitled “Love, Sex and the I.R.S.” from March 14th-16th. “It’s the story of Jon Trachtman and Leslie Arthur, out-of-work musicians rooming together in New York City but filing tax returns as a married couple to save money,” said Stacey Schnepp-Stoops, Our Gang Players, Inc.’s Assistant Artistic Director. “The situation soon leads to hijinx when they’re investigated by an auditor and misunderstood by family members and significant others. It’s a wild farce with twists of fate, mistaken identities, and hilarious comic lines -- truly a fun night out for anyone looking to have a few laughs,” Schnepp-Stoops said.
“The show involves a local cast of young and mature adults who truly represent a wonderful mix of talent, including veteran Our Gang actor Jon Reilly in the lead role of Jon Trachtman, supported by fellow actors Lisa Jones, Rachel Guida, Glenn Parker, Arianna Centamore, Neil Goldstein, Rick Mellerup and newcomer Bill Schalk,” she added. “Director Lou Monaco selected ‘Love, Sex and the I.R.S.’ based on its funny and lighthearted script and broad public appeal. It’s an evening to come out, forget your troubles and get caught up in a world of mistaken identity, physical comedy and many twists and turns that will keep you laughing all night,” she said.
‘Love, Sex and the I.R.S.’ will be performed at The Surflight Theatre (201 Engleside Ave., Beach Haven) on March 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and March 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for
seniors/students, and $8 for children 12 and younger and can be purchased by calling 609-597-0553, visiting www.ourgang.org or purchasing tickets through The Surflight Theatre by calling 609-492-9477. Ask about a ticket special available only by calling 609-597-0553 on March 14. Upcoming shows by Our Gang Players, Inc. at the Surflight Theatre include “Godspell” on April 11 to 13 and “The Sound of Music” on Oct. 16 to 19.