Mark Jacoby Plays a Playwright at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, June 5-July 1 | Playbill

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News Mark Jacoby Plays a Playwright at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, June 5-July 1 The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will hold a mirror up to showfolk with its new staging of Ferenc Molnar's farce about the art of theatre, The Play's the Thing, adapted by P.G. Wodehouse.

Tony Award nominee Mark Jacoby, of Broadway's Show Boat, Ragtime and the recent Sweeney Todd, stars as a sly playwright in the June 5-July 1 staging, directed by the troupe's associate artistic director Joe Discher.

Jacoby appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Molnar-inspired musical, Enter the Guardsman.


Molnar is the Hungarian-American writer whose play, Liliom, inspired the musical Carousel.

"Considered to be one of the funniest comedies ever written about the act of creating theatre, The Play's the Thing begins with a playwright, his collaborator, and a young composer working on how best to begin a play," according to the not-for-profit theatre located in Madison, NJ. "It isn't long before we know of the love-torn composer's passionate feelings for a beautiful actress and her feelings toward her former suitor — an almost over-the-hill leading man whose histrionics defy description. Overheard conversations, behind-the-scenes trickery, and a clever, conniving playwright with pen in hand, provide the ingredients for a sparkling evening of farce, laughter and delight." Jacoby plays the playwright, Sandor Turai; British actor Colin McPhillamy plays the collaborator, Mansky; Jared Zeus plays Albert, the young composer who is passionately in love with the beautiful actress; Caralyn Kozlowski plays the prima donna caught between the love-struck composer and the advances of her dashing leading man; Robert Gomes plays Almady, who defines the word "melodramatic"; Gregory Jackson plays Mr. Mell, who tries to keep the facts and his duties straight while preparing for the long anticipated performance by the famous actor and actress; John Little plays the butler Dwornitschek.

Set on the Italian Riviera, The Play's the Thing had its Broadway premiere in 1926 and played a respectable 326 performances. Roundabout Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival in 1995. There were also Broadway productions staged in 1928, 1948 and 1973. Holbrook Blinn directed and starred as playwright Sandor in the 1926 and 1928 engagements of the three-act play.

Performances will play Tuesday through Sundays at The Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, NJ, on the Drew University campus.

For tickets or more information, call (973) 408-5600 or visit

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