Asbury Park continues to blossom as the music and art scene on the Jersey Shore. One new arts group plans to bring another much-needed art form to the area. Asbury Park Theater Company is a newly formed non-profit theater company with a mission to produce invigorating theater from new works, reimagined classics to provocative high-energy musical performances.
A benefit concert, hosted by Sally Struthers, will be held Aug. 2 at the Asbury Hotel. It will feature songs and stories from Broadway performers Carter Calvert, James Edward Alexander and Jim Newman.
Struthers, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, is most known for staring in the two iconic TV series “All in the Family” and “Gilmore Girls.”
Struthers’ TV movies include “A Gun in the House,” “And Your Name is Jonah,” “The Great Houdinis,” “Hey… I’m Alive,” and “In The Best Interest of the Children.”
She co-starred in two legendary motion pictures in the 70’s: “Five Easy Pieces” with Jack Nicholson and “The Getaway” with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw.
Struthers’ first two Broadway forays were in “Wally’s Café” with Rita Moreno and Jimmy Coco and Neil Simon’s female version of the “Odd Couple” with Brenda Vaccaro. For three years she starred as “Miss Mamie Lynch” on Broadway and on tour in the Tommy Tune production of Grease. In the 20th Anniversary National Tour of “Annie,” playing the role of Miss Hannigan.
Recording artist and performer Carter Calvert appeared in the Tony-winning Broadway musical It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, toured in the Broadway National production of Cats, and has been seen in the role of Patsy alongside Struthers in theaters all across the country in “Always, Patsy Cline.”
Toms River native James Edward Alexander was featured in Leigh Scott’s film “Witches of Oz” and on TV in “The Switch,” and in Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele’s new comedy series “The Last OG.” In New York, he appeared in “The First Noel” at the Apollo and toured in the Broadway National production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Jim Newman is best known for the award winning web series “Daddyhunt the Serial,” the Emmy-winning series “After Forever,” “Hustling,” and “Hope & Faith.” On Broadway he appeared in The Who’s “Tommy,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Steel Pier,” “Minnelli on Minnelli,” “Curtains” and “Hands on a Hardbody.”
“I am thrilled that Sally is coming to help us kickoff our theater company. I have known her since we worked together at Algonquin Arts Theatre where she brought down the house in two sold out shows that I produced there,” said William Whitefield, APTCo’s producing artistic director who lives in Asbury Park. “I am thrilled to be a part of this new theater company that strives to create powerful, invigorating and transformative professional theater that inspires, celebrates and enriches our community.”
Whitefield, who has worked as an actor, singer, composer, director and producer, brings nearly 30 years of vast professional experience to his new position. Some of his notable past credits include serving as executive director at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, acting alongside Rich Little in “The Presidents” on PBS, and appearing as the Construction Worker in the world famous disco band Village People.
Bob Angelini will serve as the managing director of the organization. Angelini was the founding board president and a former artistic director of ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park. He directed “Clear Air Turbulence” at Barrow Group Theatre, “Pippin” and “Red” for ReVision Theatre, and “The Diary of Anne Frank” for the Axelrod Theatre.
“The people of Asbury Park and our surrounding communities hunger for culture,” Angelini said. “We will bring unique theater to a unique city.”
Two ticket levels are available for the benefit. General admission is priced at $50 and VIP tickets are priced at $100 and include upfront seating for the show and admission to an after party reception. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit the APTCo website at www.asburyparktheatercompany.o