Sayreville theater co. excited about new digs

Plans include

expanding production

of children’s shows


Staff Writer

The Main Street Theater Co. has a new home.The theater company closed its doors Jan. 31 at the Step Inn Ballroom, MacArthur Avenue, Sayreville, after 10 years of productions there.

The troupe has since signed a three-year lease to use the Garden Friends Learning Center facility on Bordentown Avenue.

Theater officials had considered the possibility of leasing the former Krome nightclub building on a temporary basis while the borough and a developer discussed plans for an age-restricted community and marina on the site. But ultimately, the troupe chose to pursue the more long-term site on Bordentown Avenue.

The former Step Inn Ballroom, purchased by Parag Kashiparekh — who also owns the Crestwood bar and restaurant on Old Bridge Turnpike, South River — is being turned into a bar and restaurant similar to the Crestwood.

Vic Morosco, an actor and director with the Main Street Theater Co., said members of the troupe are very excited about the move.

“This really came about as we were about to move out [of the Step Inn Ballroom],” he said. “This is really great how it worked out.”

The location, which prior to serving as a day care center had been used as a temple for a religious organization, is much newer, larger and better kept than the old location had been, Morosco said.

“We leased the whole inside banquet [area], where we’re going to build a whole stage and everything,” he said. “It has a kitchen, [so] we’re going to continue with our dessert venue.”

Artistic director Mark Ilardi said he too was looking forward to the new theater.

“The stage will be taller, bigger,” he said. “There’s dressing rooms, accessible bathrooms, the kitchen facilities are laid out better and cleaner.

“I think it’s exciting,” he added.

Morosco said the new theater will be able to house about 160 attendees, which is slightly more than the Step Inn Ballroom accommodated.

This year, Ilardi said, the theater company will stick to its traditional six-show format, with “The Scarlet Pimpernel” serving as the inaugural performance at the new location. The show opens May 6.

In addition to the regular shows, the theater company is looking to expand its children’s theater program.

It is also in talks with the borough to hold two performances at John F. Kennedy Park on Washington Road this summer, using the borough’s new portable stage, a 24-foot-deep by 26-feet-wide self-contained trailer.

“[There’s been] a growing interest in performances in the park,” Mayor Kennedy O’Brien said this week. “The Main Street Theater Co. said they would be delighted to do summer [performances].”

Other performances this year include “The King and I,” Neil Simon’s “Dinner Party,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and in December, “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Though the theater company’s first official show at the new location is a couple months away, Morosco said he hopes the facility can be ready as early as April so that children’s productions can be organized.

“We’re thrilled to be there,” he said.