HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (WARREN COUNTY) — Centenary Stage Company’s Fringe Festival 2023 will open with “MOTHER (and Me)” written and performed by Melinda Buckley.
This 75-minute autobiographical solo play tells the story of a Broadway performer shimmying into middle age as her Hungarian ‘Mama Rose’ is waltzing into dementia. While the subject matter is delicate, Melinda handles it with, showbiz pizzazz and most importantly, with a healthy dose of humor.
It’s a story about stepping up and into your own light that is intended to move the audience, make them laugh and in the end, make for an uplifting night of theater.
“MOTHER (and me)” originally premiered in the FringeNYC Festival at the Celebration of Whimsy where it won Best of Fest. Barbara Whitman, Tony Award-winning producer of “Fun Home” and “Strange Loop,” then took it under her wing. Kimberly Senior, director of the Tony Award-winning play “Disgraced” soon joined the team, and the production began its developmental journey at theatres such as Chicago Shakespeare, off-Broadway’s Second Stage Uptown and Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY.
In 2016, the show premiered in Chicago in the Greenhouse Theater’s ‘Solo Celebration,’ followed by an enormously successful 3-week run at Geva Theatre. More recently, the play was presented to audiences at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY, at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, the Cape Playhouse, the Cotuit Center for the Arts and at Provincetown Works, as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod.
Melinda Buckley has appeared on Broadway and in the National tours of several shows, including Crazy For You, A Chorus Line and Bob Fosse’s revival of Sweet Charity. She performed improv and sketch material with Gotham City Improv and Chicago City Limits, and appeared as a stand up at Caroline’s, Stand-up NY, and Gotham Comedy Club.
She has written and performed several solo shows, her latest being MOTHER (and me). On the other side of the table, highlights include directing Town Hall’s hit musical series, Broadway By The Year, which featured a Tony Award winning cast, and choreographing Paramour, which starred Len Cariou and premiered at the Old Globe Theatre.
For the big screen, she choreographed the musical sequences for Columbia Pictures’, “Stuart Little I and II” with Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathon Lipnicki, the independent film 1999, starring Amanda Peet and Jennifer Garner, and assisted Pat Birch on Working Girl as well as several episodes of Saturday Night Live. Other TV credits include, choreographing the daytime drama “One Life to Live” and an award-winning promo for the CBS Fall Lineup.
Most recently, she choreographed a CBS promo for “Girl Power” which aired during Super Bowl 2019 and was named one of the top ten ads by Paste magazine. She assisted Lonny Price (as SDC Fellow) in the filming of Company at the NY Philharmonic, which starred Neil Patrick Harris, Patti Lupone, Stephen Colbert, Martha Plimpton, and Jon Cryer.
Melinda has written, directed, and choreographed numerous commercial and corporate productions for such clients as Fox, ESPN, WE tv, Sesame Street, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Pepsi, IBM, American Express and Audi. She is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC.
Tickets for MOTHER (AND ME) are $22.50 – $27.50 for adults with discounts available for Students & Children on select performances. Thursday evening performances also feature “Buy One Get One” ticket night starting at 5:30 p.m. in person at the box office. Performances will take place Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. Performances will take place in the Kutz Theatre located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center of the Centenary University campus at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.
For more information, visit centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at 908-979-0900. The Centenary Stage Company box office is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and two hours prior to performances. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Avenue in Hackettstown, NJ.
The 2023-24 Season of Performing Arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, the John and Margaret Post Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the CSC corporate sponsors, including Platinum Season Sponsor the House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors, Heath Village, Visions Federal Credit Union, Explore Warren, and Fulton Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.