Plays-In-The-Park’s 50th Anniversary Season Is Underway

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EDISON–Plays-in-the-Park, located in Middlesex County’s Roosevelt Park in Edison, began its Summer 2012 season with “My Fair Lady.”  This show opened on June 20 and will run through June 30 with no show on Sunday, June 24.

The show kicks off Plays-in-the-Park’s 50th Anniversary season, and with good reason, explained Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, Chair of the Infrastructure Management Committee, which oversees the Office of Parks and Recreation.

“‘My Fair Lady’ was the first show to be produced at the newly opened Stephen J. Capestro Theater in 1978, and we thought it was fitting to start our next 50 years with this beloved musical,” Dalina said.

Plays-in-the-Park began in 1963, but a devastating fire destroyed the original building in 1975. In 1978 a new and improved performance space was constructed. It was dedicated in 1998 to former Freeholder Director Capestro, who championed the program and rebuilding effort.

Plays-in-the-Park continues to be a production of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Based on the play “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw, “My Fair Lady” was written by Alan Jay Lerner, with music by Frederick Loewe. The plot centers around a Cockney woman, Eliza Doolittle, who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins in order to pass as a well-born lady in English society. The musical originally opened on Broadway on March 15, 1956, and ran until Sept. 29, 1962, setting the precedent at that time for most performances for a musical. The play became a well-known movie starring Audrey Hepburn in 1964.

This production at Plays-in-the-Park is directed by Gary P. Cohen, choreographed by Michelle Massa, and musically directed by Nick DeGregorio. Once dubbed, “the perfect musical,” this show is sure to please with classics such as “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” and “Get Me to the Church on Time.”

Tickets can only be purchased the night of the performance and the Box Office opens at 5:30 p.m. each night. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under. Patrons must provide their own lawn chair, and the height of the chair-back cannot exceed 40 inches. All shows begin at 8:30 p.m. There are no Sunday performances. Visit for more information about the box office and the seating policy.

In the event of a cancellation due to weather, you can retain your ticket stub and use it to get into another show for free. Ticket stubs are valid for up to one year after the rained-out performance. When you return, just show your stub at the Box Office, and it will be exchanged.

“Please join us for what promises to be an exciting 50th year out under the stars at Plays-in-the-Park,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “Join the hundreds of thousands of fans that have been delighted by our shows over the past five decades! You will be glad you did.”

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