Now celebrating their 50th anniversary, Plays in the Park has been creating high quality musicals each summer in Edison, NJ for only $7 a ticket ($5 for Senior Citizens, children under 12 are free). The catch is, you have to bring your own chair, and it is outdoors so a lot depends on the weather.
Over the years we have seen some amazing productions. A couple of years ago we saw "Singing in the Rain" three times (once with my parents). I felt the star out-danced Gene Kelly. After all, Gene Kelly only had to perform a scene or two a day and had lots of opportunities for retakes, and these actors had to tap dance their hearts out each hot summer evening under the lights for two weeks (plus rehearsals).
A different year we saw "Thoroughly Modern Millie." I overheard someone in the audience say the costumes were straight from the recently closed Broadway show. Yes, it is that level of a production.
Last month we saw "My Fair Lady." I wish I had taken a picture of the set -- it was two stories high complete with a usable spiral staircase. They must have worked closely with a diction coach because the accents were each unique and consistent. The costumes at the horse race rivaled those seen in the movie with Rex Harrison. It was a top-notch production in every way -- and yes, still only $7.
Friday night's slight drizzle cancelled the production of "Damn Yankees." The conductor did not want to risk damaging the instruments or the rented music. Don and I will try to go later this week.
The season will close out with "Grease."
For as much as I bump into friends in Mercer County, that never happens to me in at Plays in the Park. I hope to see my theater loving friends there later this summer.