stephen-brackett1Director Stephen Brackett (above) returns to Two River Theater for a one-night reading of THE GREAT PRETENDER this Thursday…while Rumson’s own Maggie McDonald Condon presents her one woman comedy “whodunit” DAMES OF OUR LIVES on Thursday and Sunday (below).

damesTheir acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars has been entered into the books — and November’s take on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is still three weekends away from its first preview performance — but over at the branded Bridge Avenue homestage of Two River Theater Company, the coming days are abuzz and a-twitter with a special degree of activity.

It all begins at 7:30 pm this Thursday, October 22, when the building’s black-box Marion Huber space hosts a free reading of The Great Pretender, a seriocomic new work “about life, death, and the healing power of puppets” from playwright David West Read. Stephen Brackett, who directed last season’s smash musical Be More Chill at Two River, returns to Red Bank for this first look at a script in which a beloved TV kiddie-show host (whose wife and sidekick puppeteer has passed away) invites tension and uncertainty when he takes on a new assistant to lend life and voice to his puppet pal. There’s no charge for admission, but reservations are required by taking it here or calling (732)345-1400.

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