When last we looked in on the venerable Monmouth Players, the area’s longest-running stage troupe was making its frankly mind-boggling sixtieth season all about the Neil Simon — but, feeling energized after completing the inaugural season at the reborn and rebranded Navesink Arts Center, the company under the stewardship of Lori and Paul Renick added a pair of surprise bonus features to the normally dormant summer season. For the second production of the summertime, the Players put aside the Simon for a serious look at one of the Twentieth Century’s most celebrated playwrights, Tennessee Williams.
The author known best for such classics of the American stage as The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was also a prolific writer of short-form dramas throughout his long career — two of them, Suddenly Last Summer and This Property is Condemned — are better known than many of his full-length works. For the next two Saturdays and Sundays (August 16, 17, 23 and 24), the Monmouth Players host An Evening of Tennessee Williams’ One Acts, with the Saturday performances going up at 8:15 pm, and the Sunday matinees at 2 pm.
Bob Mira and Lori Renick co-direct a cast that features Bill Golda, Brandon Guerriero, Jacqueline Hennessey, Bob Mira, Paula Mira, Dorothy Turner, Ronnie Marvald, Grace Modla, Alex Prices, John Sheehan and Howard Smith. Admission to all performances is $15, with reservations required at (732)291-2911 or firstname.lastname@example.org — and the Players’ famous spread of homemade desserts sweetening the deal. Check the company’s Facebook page for updates on future events at the former Navesink Library, and stay tuned for the announcement of their 61st season for 2014-2015.