Curious George at the Growing Stage

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  • Jenna Morris

  • Davis Cameron Lemley

By Laurie Gordon

NETCONG - Curious George, that inquisitive, lovable monkey-star of books, movies and the award-winning PBS television show, will hit the stage in a musical entitled Curious George: The Golden Meatball at the Children's Theatre of New Jersey (The Growing Stage) located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong.

The show is specifically designed for young audiences and runs March 15-31, with performances Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. and a special opening night performance, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a post-show reception.

Featuring Music by John Kavanaugh and book & lyrics by Jeremy Desmon, this production is directed by Danny Campos, TGS Theatre Artist and Audience Development Director with Musical Direction by Stephen Fox and Choreography by Jillian Petrie.

In Curious George: The Golden Meatball, All You-Can-Eat Meatball Day comes just once a year, Campos said.

“George has been waiting all month for that day, a day almost bigger than his birthday, On Meatball Day, George helps his friend, Chef Pisghetti, cook some delicious meatballs and serve them to the hungry crowd. But this year, the crowd had vanished.

“Something is keeping people away… something pretty big, and that something is Phinneas T. Lightspeed and his speedy Meatballs-o-Matic machine. In despair, Chef Pisghetti vows to cook no more. Determined to help his friend, George goes on a mission to enter the Chef’s meatballs in the world-famous Golden Meatball Contest in Rome.“

Returning to the Palace are Growing Stage favorites: Davis Cameron Lemley (Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Wizard of OZ), of Cedar Grove, as Chef Pisghetti; Jenna Morris (Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Wizard of OZ) of Hoboken, as Netti and making their Growing Stage debut are Will Brockman, of Dover, as Man In the Yellow Hat; Gregory Banks, of East Brunswick, as Phinneas; Melody Lieberman, of Parsippany, as Doorman and Sara Giacomini, of South Bound Brook, as George.

“I'm thrilled to be back at The Growing Stage for another exciting production," said Lemley.

He's a member of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). He had had leading roles in a number of Growing Stage performances and was a part of other NJ regional productions of Rent, Into the Woods, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Les Miserables, Hairspray, Little Women, Children of Eden, and Next to Normal.

“A big thanks to Danny, Lori, Jill, Liz, Stephen Fox, and Stephen Fredericks.,” Lemley said. “Best of luck to the cast on this magical experience.”

Morris has also been in a number of Growing Stage performances and said, “Thanks to Brian and Xander for their love and support.”

“We picked this play because it’s recognizable with a fun score and it’s really for the entire family,” Campos said. “It just fits perfect with The Growing Stage and our mission.”

Ticket prices are $28 for adults, $22 for seniors and $18 for children. To purchase tickets, visit or call (973) 347-4946. Group rates are available. On March 24th at 1PM, the Growing Stage will present its first sensory friendly performance. At this performance, enjoy high-quality live entertainment in a safe, supportive environment. The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Growing Stage continues to nurture the development of the performing arts through education, and to create, produce, and perform works that engage the entire family. For further information, contact: Danny Campos (973) 347-4946/

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