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2016 - 2017 SEASON



" IN THE HEIGHTS: I can’t remember the last time I was in a theater as energetic as Kelsey Theatre was on opening night for Pennington Players’ production of “In the Heights.” And that energy wasn’t just on stage, it extended into the audience... This show has a large cast, and there isn’t a bad performance here. But two people really stand out — Ms. Cusumano as Vanessa, and Ms. Keelen as Nina. Both of these women have presence, acting chops and voices that soar. Ms. Cusumano is amazing during “It Won’t Be Long,” and Ms. Keelen is just stunning during Act 2’s “Everything I Know.” Mr. Berry is terrific as Usnavi. He is funny and charming, and there were times where his voice sounded remarkably like Mr. Miranda’s without imitating him. Another standout is Lorraine C. Perri, who is clearly relishing her role as the scene-stealing Daniela. Ms Francis is sure to touch your heart as Abuela. Kyrus Keenan Westcott’s direction is perfect — he has assembled a brilliant cast who not only sing, they capture the truth in these characters. Bryan Schendlinger’s set is terrific, a convincing city scene, and Rachel Tovar’s choreography deserves high praise. "

" THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK: I’m sure most people who see Pennington Players’ production of The Diary of Anne Frank will be familiar with the story of the girl who spent two years with her family hiding from the Nazis, and whose diary become one of the most famous books ever written. But familiarity doesn’t chip away at the power of this story. You may have read the book, seen one of several film and television adaptations, or even the play before, but it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen it told so well. Anne is played by Isabel Kinney, and this is a great performance. Anne isn’t some perfect girl, and she’s no wallflower. She’s smart, strong and determined. Sometimes we don’t like her. Her flashes of teen angst are frustrating when the stakes are so high, and she’s outright cruel to her mother.... "

- Full Review

" VIOLET: Frank Ferrara directed this ensemble effort, with standout performances by Ms. Doyle, Mr. Menahem and Mr. Westcott, all of whom are fine actors and singers. The choral singing is especially strong in pieces like “On My Way” in the first scene, and the gospel number “Raise Me Up” in Act 2, where Jaleesa Moore as Lula has a fine solo. Shannon Ferrara is credited with musical direction. ... there’s a lot to recommend the Pennington Players’ Violet for sheer energy and striking performances by a very talented cast and musicians.... "

- Full Review


The Pennington Players currently perform at Kelsey Theatre. We typically produce two productions each season, usually one musical and one play.



This program is made possible in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.