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RUMSON: TARZAN SWINGS INTO RFH IN MARCH

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On the weekend of March 24-26, the award-winning Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present the rollicking, family-friendly musical Tarzan at the RFH auditorium.

Adapted for the stage from Disney’s epic animated adventure — and based on the popular characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs — the musical show features high-flying excitement as well as heart-pumping music by rock legend Phil Collins, with a score that includes the Academy Award-winning “You’ll Be in My Heart” as well as “Son of Man,” “Two Worlds,” and “Strangers Like Me.”

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COMEDY KNIGHT FOR RUMSON-FH PLAYERS

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School

It’s another winner for the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, as the hilarious farce “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” makes its way to the stage.

Performances are set for Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, November 20 at 1 p.m.

Outrageous fun for audiences of all ages, the show tells the story of Sir Gawain (Calvin Bruno), a knight in King Arthur’s court who is compelled to complete a brave deed each year. Because of her long-standing feud with Merlin the Wizard (Arnold Muralt), evil witch Morgan LaFaye (Rachel Makstein) has threatened to destroy Camelot if the court cannot produce the bravest knight in the kingdom. Since Sir Gawain has not yet completed his brave deed, he is called upon by King Arthur (Michael Bogardus) to challenge and defeat the formidable Green Knight (Cameron Spector) — but unfortunately for Sir Gawain, he is as “un-brave” as they come. He accepts the challenge, however, and begins his journey to prove himself and win the hand of his true love, Elaine (Sara Safarian).

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RFH DRAMA STUDENTS TO PERFORM AT NYU

BystanderPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy, a proposal submitted by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, has been accepted by the New York

University Forum on Educational Theatre. Students from Sweeney’s current RFH drama class will perform the play about teen harassment and bullying on April 24, as part of the event that will take place at NYU on April 21-24.

The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy was submitted by Sweeney to the Forum on Educational Theatre, also known as FOET, in the fall of 2015 as a youth theatre production. Proposals need to adhere to a timeframe of 30 to 60 minutes and resonate with the three focus areas for the forum: drama in education, applied theatre, and theatre for young audiences/play production. The proposed production was accepted after what FOET describes as “a comprehensive international peer review process.”

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R-FH PLAYERS ROLL WITH BONNIE & CLYDE

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

As the spring musical production for the 2015-2016 school year, the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Bonnie and Clyde on the weekend of March 18-20.

A thrilling show from Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, Civil War, Dracula), Bonnie and Clyde provides a perfect showcase for the 45-student strong Tower Players cast. It boasts a non-traditional score that combines blues, gospel, and rockabilly styles, plus exciting song and dance numbers including the show-stopping “God’s Arms Are Always Open.” It is based on the real-life adventures of starry-eyed Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (Eli Rallo) and the outlaw Clyde Chestnut Barrow (Matt Hughes), who embarked on a crime spree across the United States at the height of the Great Depression — a story that became the basis for a landmark 1967 film that starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

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THE PLAYERS ARE ON, AT RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

For one weekend in November, the Tower Players at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School return to the stage with their fall dramatic production: The Faerie King’s Daughter, a spellbinding story of what happens when four groups of residents – Fairies, Trolls, Humans, and Elves – interact in an unexpected way that changes life in the Fairy Glen forever. The Players have announced evening performances for 7:30 pm on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21, with a matinee performance on Sunday, November 22 at 1 pm.

A cast of 28 students (under the direction of Suzanne Sweeney and assistant director Kasi Ann Sweeney) is featured in this compelling performance which includes dancing, singing, and elaborate costumes. Over 50 students are participating behind the scenes in costumes and tech crew. Choreography is by Jen Costa, and costume designs are by Carole Malik. Stefania Flecca is Play Production Coordinator.

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RED BANK AREA SCHOOLS DOMINATE BASIES

BasiesStudent performers from over a dozen area schools are the stars of the show at Wednesday’s tenth annual Basie Awards.

Broadway has its well-established Tonys; Off Broadway its Obies — and every other branch of show business its various Grammys, Emmys, and Academys. And when the 10th annual Basie Awards roll out the red carpet in front of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Wednesday night they’ll be doing what they’ve done so well: honoring tomorrow’s talents in the performing arts, both on stage and behind the scenes.

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RUMSON: PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ AT RFH

YoungFrank_4CPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On March 20 through 22, the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present their production of The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, the horror-comedy tunefest based on the laugh-a-minute 1974 comedy film Young Frankenstein, and featuring music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Young Frankenstein tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Laurence Morales), a professor at a medical school who leaves behind his fiancée Elizabeth (Eli Rallo) and travels to Transylvania to claim the estate of his grandfather – the creator of the famous Frankenstein monster. After years spent rejecting his family name, the doctor is helped by the castle’s current residents – Frau Blucher (Julia Mosby), Igor (Bailie Stypa), and Inga (Jen Andreacchi) — in bringing his own monster (Michael Shaw) to life, with hilarious results.

The RFH production features a cast of 42 students in singing, dancing, and acting roles. It is directed by RFH English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, who tailored the script for the high school-age actors and audience.

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RUMSON: ‘MIRACLE’ ON RIDGE ROAD

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Does Santa Claus really exist? The award-winning Tower Players at  Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School want you to “believe,” and will make their case in the most entertaining way with Miracle on 34th Street, the Play.

The comedy/drama, sure to delight audiences of all ages, takes the stage in the RFH auditorium at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13, and at 1 pm on Sunday, December 14.

Directed by Suzanne Sweeney and based on the script of the Oscar-winning 1947 holiday movie favorite (as well as the novel by Valentine Davies), the show is part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment, boasting spectacular dance numbers as well as a rousing rock-based soundtrack.

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RFH NEWS: STROKE, SWIM, SWASHBUCKLE

RFHmusketeersThe Tower Players at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, shown here in THE THREE MUSKETEERS — ALL SWASH AND NO BUCKLE, earned a number of nominations and awards for their 2013/14 season.

From press materials furnished by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and Fair Haven School District

A banner year for the Rowing team, a trophy case of awards for the Drama troupe, a collection of precious-metal medals for a Fair Haven swimmer, and an early welcome to incoming freshmen — all events that capped another memorable school year, as the 2013-2014 session at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School approached its close.

RFH ROWING WRAPS UP 2014 SPRING SEASON 

The RFH rowing community came together at the Ocean Beach Club on Wednesday, June 11, to celebrate the season, recognize outstanding achievements and sadly say goodbye to its graduating seniors. There was much to celebrate, as RFH Rowing captured three First Place and two Second Place finishes at the Saint Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. At the Central New Jersey Rowing Association’s Wagner Cup, held on the Raritan River, the team won eight First Place medals and claimed a First or Second Place in all entered events. The Men’s Junior Quad (Brendan Edwards, Ben Cooper, Matt Bavuso and Sheridan Camarata) won The Bronze Medal in the 2014 New Jersey Garden State Championship, and also qualified for the semi-finals at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest Scholastic Regatta in the world.

Winning the “Hammer” award for the fastest ERG times were Paul Criscitiello and Ryan Kearney for the men and Maren Gierlatowicz and Emily Kean for the women.  The “Beast Mode” awards for outstanding determination to succeed in physical fitness were Kaitlyn Peitler, Helena Van Hemmen and Dawson Epstein. Claiming the “Most Improved Rowing” award were Greg Nixon and Mariah Parsons.

Finally, RFH Rowing said farewell to its graduating seniors including Madison Bess, (Ithaca College), Evan Callahan (Rutgers University), Mary Clare Condon (Boston College), Kate Edwards (Drexel University), Rayan Heard (Notre Dame), Kaitlin Hill (Rutgers University), Katelyn Kearney (Drexel University), Francisco Orejarena (Rutgers University), Elise Reynolds (Lafayette College) Todd Spencer (Drexel University) and Matt Valko (Delaware University).

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TOWER PLAYERS PRESENT ‘EVITA’ IN MARCH

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Eva Perón — the former actress and second wife of Argentine President Juan Perón, who made a meteoric rise from the slums to the Presidential Mansion in the years following the Second World War — once famously said “My biggest fear of all is to be forgotten.”

The late First Lady of Argentina left behind an enduring legacy in those few short years between 1946 and her death in 1952 at the age of 33. Driven by ambition and blessed with intelligence and charisma; she was adored by her people and called a “saint” for her work as a champion of the poor. A the same time, she was also distrusted by her country’s military officers, and reviled by the aristocracy.

The woman called “Evita” became a fighter for women’s rights, and one of the most powerful women in the world — but her own greed, unbridled ambition, and fragile health made her one of history’s most tragic figures. More than thirty years after her death, the Tony award-winning musical Evita introduced a new generation to one of the most endlessly fascinating characters of the 20th century — courtesy of a sweeping, epic score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that gave the world “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”

As complex and as full of surprises as Eva Perón herself, Evita comes to the stage of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in March, as the spring musical production of the RFH Tower Players on March 21, 22, and 23.

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FRENCH TWISTS ON CLASSIC TALES AT RBR, RFH

tartuffeKatherine Kennedy (Avon), Alicia Moeller (Shrewsbury), and Eliana Swartz (Little Silver) rehearse the female lead roles in the Red Bank Regional Theatre Company updating of Moliere’s classic comedy TARTUFFE, opening Wednesday, November 20.

One’s a re-imagining of a French adventure classic, that’s more about the slapstick than the swashbuckle. The other takes the most timeless of comedies by the 17th century French playwright Moliére, and transplants it to the 21st century. When two area high schools present their fall drama productions this month, a couple of beloved tales from the land of the baguette promise to pick up more than a few laughs in the translation.

It all starts at 7 pm on the evening of Wednesday, November 20, when the Red Bank Regional High School Theatre Company presents a new take on Tartuffe, the play-in-rhyme by Molière that remains timeless due to its scenario of a con artist who hides behind the persona of a man of the cloth; the better to cheat a rich man out of his fortune and his frau. Set in the world of the 21st century, the 1664 classic (transplanted to a Dallas-like setting when it was staged by Two River Theater Company several seasons back) continues inside the school’s Red Bank Regional Theatre with 7 pm showtimes on Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22. Audiences can choose from either of two shows (2pm and 7 pm) on Saturday, November 23, and a final 3 pm matinee will be presented on Sunday, November 24.  Tickets are $12 ($7 for students and seniors) and can be purchased directly on the school website, at by calling 732-842-8000, ext. 227.

Over at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, the RFH Tower Players get set to raise the curtain on “a hilarious retelling of the classic Dumas tale of derring-do,” when they unveil The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle.”

Set in 17th century Paris and written by playwright Pat Cook, the story follows a young D’Artagnan (Christopher Brodsky) as he meets up with the Three Musketeers — Athos (John Chiarella), Aramis (Andrew Maris), and Porthos (Laurence Morales).

D’Artagnan desperately wants to join the Musketeers troupe, but first he must prove himself by winning a sword fight and attempting to preserve the reputation of the Queen (Jackie Dixon) by helping the Musketeers finding her “missing” necklace — which she had gifted to her love interest, the Duke of Buckingham (Matthew Hughes).

Will D’Artagnan prevail to earn the respect of the Musketeers and the love of the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, Constance (Mallory McGill)? With the help of some seriously silly narrators, audiences will find out as they follow the misadventures that occur on the roads leading from France to England and back again.The hijinks include sword fights, several star-crossed lovers, a race on stick-horses, a blackmailing Cardinal (Sean Loughran) and his equally conniving assistant (Christopher Tuttle), a fund-raising telethon, and a cast filled with zany characters.

Over 45 members of the Tower Players troupe will be featured in the ensemble of the production, with Suzanne Sweeney at the helm as Director. Props and costumes are under the direction of Carole Malik, and set design under the supervision of Dino Pagano. Sound and lighting are under the direction of Matthew Leddin. Students participating in Stagecraft, a course offered at RFH, are also creating the set designs.

The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle will be presented in the school auditorium on the evenings of November 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm. The Sunday matinee will be featured on November 24 at 1 pm. Admission $10 for the general public, and $6 for students with ID cards.

Tickets will be sold in the lobby of the RFH auditorium for an hour and a half before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Box Office, which is located in the RFH lobby and will be open to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. on November 11, 18 and 21.