IN oRBit: REALLY GETTING INTO THE ACT

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In yesterday’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, we talked to stage illusionist Kevin Spencer about the vanishing of the fabled “fourth wall” between audience and performer. Today we’ll introduce you to some folks working the frontiers of that colorful “gray area” where the show leaves off and the audience takes over.

The oRBit desk talked to producer-director Nick Montesano of NENAproductions Theater Project about his new production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the school-set Tony winner going up this weekend at the old-school Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove. Nick and his NENA crew were the first troupe in the area to present the musical phenom Rent last year, and they’re first out of the box again with Spelling Bee, a show that delightfully blurs the line between cast and crowd.

This weekend also sees the first-ever local screening of REPO! The Genetic Opera, the cult sci-fi musical (with a cast that includes Paris Hilton, pictured above) that’s been pitched as Blade Runner meets Rocky Horror. Like that fan-driven midnight favorite, REPO is often accompanied by live-actor “shadowcast” performers — and we talked to the head of the Shore-based “Traitors to GeneCo” as to what to expect at The Showroom on Saturday.

It’s all here, with lots more picks to come — Oscarized and otherwise — ONLY in Red Bank oRBit!