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originally published: 08/26/2022

(BEACH HAVEN, NJ) — Surflight Theater“Broadway at the Beach” from New Jersey, is indignant about a new production of The Fields of Ambrosia this month of September. Having enjoyed generally outstanding reviews from the production of this show by George Street Playhouse in 1993, and then a less than enthusiastic response in the West End, production artistic director Steve Steiner is delighted to revisit this intriguing piece on the Surflight stage, again for an American audience. Mr Steiner also happens to star in the 1993 production at George Street.

Based on the 1970 filmThe walking executioner the time is 1918 and the place is rural Louisiana in the American Deep South. Jonas is a former con artist and carnival hustler whose world is suddenly turned upside down when he falls head over heels in love with the most seductive and beautiful woman he has ever met. The only problem is that he is currently employed by the state as its one and only executioner, and she is the prisoner who is destined to be its next “client”. What follows is a poignant, funny and surprising musical love story like you’ve never seen before.

Elizabeth Lucas directs Surflight’s ambrosia fields just ran it reimagined Chess currently running at Surflight until September 4th. His favorite directing credits include New, Kiss of the Spider Woman and the Marta Kauffman/David Crane/Michael Skloff-written Rapunzel. Lucas is currently launching the new company free humans, produce immersive story-based entertainment, from site-specific theater to virtual reality. Paula Sloan will provide musical direction and choreography. Ms. Sloan is resident choreographer for the Surflight Theater and has directed and/or choreographed numerous national, regional and casino touring productions. More recently his work was seen at the Laguna Playhouse with Xanadu and at Surflight with American in Paris and The Addams Family. The creative team also includes music direction by Nick Guerrero, scenic design by Andy Walmsley, costume design by Kaitlynn Farnham, sound design by Ian Wehrle and lighting design by Clifford Spulock.

The cast of Surflight The fields includes familiar and new faces. Steve Steiner, artistic director of Surflight’s production, joins the cast along with Sophia Swannel playing Gretchen. Ms Swannell is currently Svetlana in Chess. Other cast members include Dan Beckmann as Jonas Candide, Danny Crowe, Jerrod Ganesh, Tim Steiner, Ricky Pope, Mike Brennan, Noah Lyon, Nick Somodi, Jack Lynch, Jacob Lill, Jamie Baio, Christa Steiner, Dwan Hayes, Giulia Marolda, Alison. Nusbaum, Erinn Dearth, Bridget Gooley.

Performances take place September 7-9, 10, 13-17, 20-24 at 7:30 p.m. and September 8, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets: Adults – $41.00; Children 12 and under – $31.00, to purchase tickets; go to www.surflight.orgor call (609) 492-9477

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Original show writers Martin Silvestri and Joel Higgins and original actress Christine Andreas will be involved in editing this production.

In addition to writing the book and lyrics, Joel Higgins starred in The Fields of Ambrosia in its premiere at the George Street Playhouse and subsequent production at the Aldwych Theater in London’s West End. He also created the lyrics, co-wrote the music and directed Johnny Guitar, the musical at the Century Center Theater For the Performing Arts in New York, where it earned 4 Drama Desk Award nominations (including Best Lyrics & Music and Best Musical), 2 Drama League nominations (including Best Musical), 2 Lucille Lortel nominations (including Best Musical) and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. As an actor, Joel has starred or co-starred in four prime-time series (the long-running silver spoons on NBC, Recovery enablede on ABC, The best of the west on ABC, have faith on ABC), a daytime series (search tomorrow on CBS) as well as several TV movies (Killing At Hell’s Gate, Freshman, Threesome, Laura Lansing Slept Here, Rich Men, Single Wifen) and starred in many other series including Home Improvement, Jag, Crossing Jordan, Edetc On Broadway, he starred as Stone in City of AngelsCurly in the revival of OklahomaBen Gant in Angel (Drama Desk nomination), Sebastian in The music is and James in Shenandoah (World Theater Prize). He was in the first national tour of Fatstarred as George in the LA Music Center production of She loves Me and in numerous regional, stock and touring productions including eight productions (Brigadoon, Showboat, Kiss Me Kate, The Music Man, Guys And Dolls, Three Coins In The Fountain, Damn Yankees and Side by side By Sondheim) at the Muny Opera Of St. Louis as well as Harvey, the stranger, cabaret, same time next year, only regrets, the graduate, etc. in other locations across the country. Joel and his partner in crime, composer Martin Silvestri, have also written or co-written over two hundred commercial jingles and several TV theme songs.

Martin Silvestri is best known for his work as a composer, arranger and record producer. On Broadway, Mr. Silvestri has been a conductor, arranger and supervisor for numerous companies; most notably, his successful and extensive ‘facelift’ of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber’s score for the original Broadway and later productions of Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A Grammy-nominated arranger and record producer; he co-produced the Original Broadway Cast Recording on the Chrysalis label with Lloyd Weber and Rice. His first major work for musical theater in collaboration with Joel Higgins (lyricist), The Fields of Ambrosia, made his critically acclaimed American debut at the George Street Playhouse in 1992. The overwhelming response to this “rhapsodic and reckless adventure” led to the controversial 1996 production at the Aldwych Theater in London’s West End with his wife, Christine Andreas. The Original London Cast Recording was released on First Night Records.

Along with Mr. Higgins, Mr. Silvestri has created the music and lyrics for hundreds of television and radio commercials, clients such as Grant Tinker and Aaron Spelling have hired the team to compose themes and scores for numerous television programs in network. Mr. Silvestri has composed and arranged for artists as diverse as Mel Torme, David Clayton Thomas, Luther Vandross, David Cassidy, Eydie Gorme and Patti Austin. In 2019, Mr. Silvestri was proud to have composed the music for a new short film, April in winter, written and directed by his daughter, Emilie Margaux Silvestri. The film was a finalist at the March 2020 Wasserman Awards and Mr. Silvestri received the ‘Best Score’ award.

Surflight Theater is located at 201 Engleside Avenue in Beach Haven, New Jersey.