By Philip Dorian
The area’s theatrical pickings are slim in January, but a small variety of offerings could be choice.
They include something old at Two River Theater, something new at New Jersey Rep and something borrowed and blue already up and running at First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands.
Here, in performance-date order, are details:
At First Avenue, where nary a weekend seems to pass without a serving of preshow desserts, “The Underpants” is playing through Jan. 25.
“Borrowed” by Steve Martin from a 1910 German play, and “blue” as in slightly racy, “The Underpants” unfolds after the wife of a government clerk inadvertently loses her bloomers while watching a parade. The frilly mishap sets in motion a roundelay of subtle, sexy byplay. Martin deftly pokes fun at the effect the brief undies-sighting has on the male libido – and on the woman whose lingerie made a fleeting appearance and who morphs into a budding feminist.
Through Jan 25 at 123 First Ave., Atlantic Highlands. Shows: 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m Sunday. Dessert served half-hour before the show. 732-291-7552 for reservations.
New Jersey Repertory Company confronts a vexing social problem with comic undertones when “Admit One,” opens on Jan. 16.
It’s a how to get your underachieving offspring admitted to a top-rated university. Howard Everett has solved the problem by becoming a major donor to the school – or has he? Howard hasn’t counted on a stern admissions officer with her own ideas about student readiness. The world premiere comedy by Wendy Yondorf stars NJ Rep veterans Ames Adamson and Catherine LeFrere; Karen Carpenter directs.
From Jan. 16 through Feb. 16 at 179 Broadway, Long Branch. Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Info and tickets at 732-229-3166.
“All the world’s a stage,” as Two River Theater Company demonstrates when that quote’s source play “As You Like It” opens on Jan. 25.
The romp through the Forest of Arden is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. The romantic tale excites young people who identify with Rosalind and Orlando’s passion and stirs the hearts of those whose lovesick silly-seasons are fond memories.
Two River’s modern production reunites the director (Michael Sexton) and star (Jacob Fishel) from 2012’s highly praised “Henry V,” and those who remember the shimmering emerald green evening dress from “Present Laughter” will be delighted to learn that Tilly Grimes repeats as costume designer for “As You Like It.”
From Jan. 25through Feb. 16 at Two River Theater, Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Performances: Wednesdays through Sundays with frequent adult and student matinees. For information and tickets: 732-345-1400 or at www.trtc.org.