An Interesting Musical
By James Dombrowski
The final show at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn for the highly successful 2017-18 season is Half-Time which will be playing until July 1st. It is a show about an idea crafted by the New Jersey Nets over 10 seasons ago to add a Senior Citizen Dance Team (Cheering Squad) to their program to perform in conjunction with their young dance team. Each team would be assigned a designated time slot during the game with the first time appearance occurring at “Half-Time.”
Photo: The supporting cast of Half-Time
I covered the Nets as a beat reporter during their Eastern Conference Championship runs, and also when they tried to set the record for futility. I can truly say I reported on the highs and lows of Nets basketball before they deserted the Garden State for Brooklyn where their seasons have been floundering and full of lost chances; giving away Draft Picks which have resulted in small crowds and losing seasons. But the advent of the Senior Dance Team was well received, and, at times, when the team’s play was less than acceptable, this squad got more applauds than the young Dance Team. I actually covered the try-outs which occurred at the East Rutherford practice facility and the turnout was huge. And, yes, only one male made the team. The New York Liberty of the WNBA also have a Senior laden dance team which performs at the Westchester Civic Center – the new home of the Liberty – and they draw terrific revues.
The creative team of Half-Time, from the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots and an All-Star Cast, makes this show a fun production proving there’s life for performers after 60. As another world premiere set on the stage of The Paper Mill with eyes on Broadway, the 2017-18 once again shows the country that there is no better venue in America to run your future Broadway production than in Milburn, NJ. Mark Hoebee and Todd Schmidt have set a standard of excellence running the Paper Mill that can be followed by any theater company in the world.
Jad Dombrowski, James Dombrowski, Talia Dombrowski and Andre DeShields who plays Ron. Andre plays the sole male dancer in Half-Time. Andre’s career spans nearly 50 years which includes an Emmy Award. He starred in The Wiz and Ain’t Misbehavin’.