Jessica Martin Articles by: Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin is a retired production editor for medical, nursing and allied health books. Her last employer was F. A. Davis in Philadelphia. She has been active in community theatre for more that 40 years, mostly with the Village Playbox of Haddon Heights, New Jersey. She has also appeared at the Ritz Theatre in Haddon Township, Merchantville Playcrafters and Haddonfield Plays and Players. Favorite roles include Lucy in Dracula (a long time ago!), Delia in Bedroom Farce, Clairee in Steel Magnolias and Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace. She trained at The Dramatic Workshop (an offshoot of Actors’ Studio), The Philadelphia Theatre Company and Walnut Street Theatre School. She has also written plays, some of which were presented by Penn Players at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Ritz Theatre. With her late husband, Jim Martin, she reviewed plays for The Speedliner, a newspaper distributed to riders of the PATCO High Speed Line.

GYPSY Still Wows ’em at the Ritz

Professional Theatre November 10, 2014 at 10:31 am 0 comments

GYPSY has been called by some critics and writers “the greatest musical of the twentieth century.” It’s a little early to tell, but if the production at Haddon Township’s Ritz Theatre is any indication, it may also be the greatest musical of the twenty-first century. In addition to its memorable […]

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Ritz Invites You to THE WILD PARTY

Professional Theatre May 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm 0 comments

When director-choreographer Brian Rivell got the go-ahead to stage Andrew Lippa’s controversial musical THE WILD PARTY, he warned publicists that the show is “unlike any show you’ve seen on the Ritz Theatre Company stage.” This is true, but somehow it doesn’t seem all that wild except for the energetic singing […]

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Playbox Presents a Real Charmer: BE MY BABY

Around the Region May 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm 0 comments

Fans of playwright Ken Ludwig expecting the usual madcap farce such as MOON OVER BUFFALO may be surprised by BE MY BABY, but chances are that they will also be delighted. Director Steve Allen and his talented cast and crew have created a unique theatrical experience. The play, set in […]

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Ritz Revives Fun Classic YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU

Professional Theatre March 8, 2014 at 8:38 am 0 comments

This seems to be a good time for the revival of 1930s-era comedies, with recent local productions of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE and now YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU at HaddonTownship’s Ritz.  Theatre. This play by George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart, leading playwrights of their time, was a […]

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SUGAR BABIES: A Sweet Success at the Ritz

Professional Theatre November 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm 0 comments

SUGAR BABIES, now playing to sellout crowds at Haddon Township’s Ritz Theatre, is a tribute to—or revival of—a bygone theatrical form, the burlesque show. Many younger readers may not be familiar with the term “burlesque.” Its original meaning was a show or work of literature making fun of, or lampooning, […]

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Playbox Revives a Comedy Classic: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Around the Region November 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm 0 comments

Unlike the gentlemen in its famous cellar, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE has seen many revivals, the latest being at the Village Playbox in Haddon Heights. Joseph Kesselring’s only successful play, set in pre-World War II Brooklyn, was first presented on Broadway 75 years ago and still has audiences laughing at […]

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Ritz Pulls out All the Stops for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Professional Theatre September 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm 0 comments

The Ritz Theatre of Haddon Township has gone all-out for its production of Tracy Letts’ AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. The stage has been expanded to accommodate the amazing multi-room, tri-level set. The cast is made up of top-notch Ritz actors, some of whom have been with the 28-year-old theatre group since […]

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THE PRODUCERS at HP&P: Brilliantly Directed Crowd Pleaser!

Around the Region July 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm 0 comments

As you probably know, Mel Brooks’ madcap musical farce, THE PRODUCERS, is about two guys who attempt to make a fortune by producing a flop show. Haddonfield Plays and Players, however, is taking the more traditional approach of producing a sure-fire hit. With its zany plot and far-out characters, it’s […]

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Ritz Goes Happily Greek with XANADU

Professional Theatre July 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm 0 comments

What is Xanadu? Some may remember it from the first lines of a Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem:  “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan his stately pleasure dome decree.” Others may recall it as the name of Citizen Kane’s palatial home in the celebrated movie. But you won’t learn its “real” meaning […]

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39 STEPS to Fun at Haddonfield

Around the Region June 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm 0 comments

It took a lot of people to create the present version of THE 39 STEPS, now at Haddonfield Plays and Players. It was adapted by Patrick Barlow from a mystery novel by John Buchan, a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and an original four-actor concept by Simon Corble and Nobby […]

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Sketch Club Players Stage a Stunning CHAPTER TWO

Around the Region June 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm 1 comment

Take a still-grieving widower, a divorcee who wants to start a new man-free life, and their nearest and dearest, who think they ought to be together, and you might think you have a typical Neil Simon comedy. But Simon’s CHAPTER TWO, in an amazing production by Sketch Club Players of […]

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Carolyn Hand, Michael Hicks and Scott Mandel in a scene from MOON OVER BUFFALO at Village Playbox.

MOON OVER BUFFALO Rises at Village Playbox

Around the Region May 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm 0 comments

Despite the title of Ken Ludwig’s madcap farce MOON OVER BUFFALO, now at the Village Playbox of Haddon Heights, the moon is nowhere in sight because most of the action takes place in the afternoon. But when it does rise, you can be sure it will be full, considering the […]

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High-Spirited LEGALLY BLONDE at the Ritz

Around the Region January 17, 2013 at 3:49 am 0 comments

A soggy Friday evening rain could not dampen the spirits of either the cast or the large audience of LEGALLY BLONDE (THE MUSICAL), the season opener at Haddon Township’s Ritz Theatre. If only we could bottle the energy coming from that theatre! Ritz newcomer Martha Marie Wasser stars as bubbly, […]

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Ritz Theatre Brings Us LUV

Around the Region September 15, 2012 at 10:14 am 0 comments

Murray Schisgal’s LUV, now at the Ritz Theatre in Haddon Township, has been described as a combination of typical Broadway comedy and theatre of the absurd at its best. The original Broadway production was nominated for five Tony awards, won three of them, and ran for 901 performances. There was a […]

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Lively BIRDIE in the Pinelands

Around the Region August 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm 0 comments

Pineland Players’ choice of BYE BYE BIRDIE as their summer musical is a happy one. This lightly satirical musical, set in the 1950s, seems to appeal to all ages. It tells of a famous rock superstar whose impending induction into the army has far-reaching effects on the citizens of the […]

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Faust and Baseball Meet in DAMN YANKEES at OBSP

Around the Region February 21, 2013 at 5:50 am 0 comments

For their first production of 2013, the Off Broad Street Players have chosen a classic musical from the 1950s, DAMN YANKEES. They are to be commended for choosing a show that is not often staged nowadays. It is as entertaining as ever as it takes us back to a different […]

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GOD OF CARNAGE—Mayhem at Haddonfield Plays and Players

Around the Region January 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm 0 comments

Yasmina Reza’s GOD OF CARNAGE is known as a comedy, though a very dark one, and it must be admitted that most members of the audience at Haddonfield Plays and Players laughed heartily and frequently. But with the laughter there is an uncomfortable feeling that there may be too much […]

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THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Arouses Delight at the Ritz

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Arouses Delight at the Ritz

Professional Theatre April 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm 0 comments

Don’t be fooled by the title. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, now at Haddon Township’s Ritz Theatre, could suggest a Restoration comedy, a Victorian melodrama, or any number of things. It’s actually a fictional musical within a comedy, and it’s great fun. At the opening, a man, superbly played by Ritz regular […]

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THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA Visit Collingswood Shakespeare Company

Around the Region April 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm 0 comments

Collingswood Shakespeare Company is to be commended for producing one of the Bard’s lesser known plays, THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. It is thought to be one of his earliest plays, even his first. However, it presents themes and devices that Shakespeare made much use of in later works:  friendship […]

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BOEING BOEING Takes off at the Ritz

Around the Region March 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm 0 comments

The most performed play of French origin in the world, BOEING BOEING, is now flying high at the Ritz Theatre in HaddonTownship. With its hilarious plot and madcap humor, it’s a great audience pleaser. Bernard (Ian Kimble), a 1960s Parisian playboy, really believes that variety is the spice of life. […]

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