Bergen County Players to Present MODERN ORTHODOX, 1/14 - 2/4


Bergen County Players (BCP) of Oradell presents MODERN ORTHODOX, Daniel Goldfarb's hilarious romantic comedy about a young Orthodox houseguest who upends the lives of an Upper West Side secular Jewish couple. Directed by Steve Bell of Teaneck, Modern Orthodox will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from January 14th through February 4th, 2012 with shows at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200, or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.

Variety said, "Daniel Goldfarb has written an adorable romantic comedy, with honest to God belly laughs, about love and sex and faith and friendship." The New York Times called Modern Orthodox "A sharp, snappy romantic comedy." The New York Post called the play "Hilarious. There are lots of belly laughs, thanks to playwright Daniel Goldfarb's ability to craft genuinely funny one-liners."

In a Manhattan coffee shop Ben (Jordan Zaretsky), a sweet, sensitive Upper West Side financial consultant, meets Hershel (Darren Carfano), a young self-righteous Orthodox jewelry merchant, to buy an engagement ring. Although both men are Jewish, it is their shared religion that instantly divides them. Tensions mount in the midst of the deal when Ben suggests Hershel remove his yarmulke. Desperate to make the sale, Hershel obliges. This thoughtless deed sets into motion a journey of discovery for both the secular Westside couple and the young Orthodox diamond merchant from Brooklyn. When Ben proposes to his girlfriend, Hannah (Vanessa Garrabrant), a sensitive yet strong-minded doctor, the moment is muddled by mixed emotions for each of them and the sudden and unexpected arrival of Hershel on their doorstep. He demands that Ben right the wrong he did by helping him find a new bride. Their efforts result in a riotous first dinner date at a kosher restaurant between Hershel and the outlandish bachelorette Rachel (Joanna Koster). In the end, both sides learn a more universal lesson, the importance of faith, whether in God or in love, and the value of maintaining one's roots.

Director Steve Bell of Teaneck is a long-time BCP Life member and past president who has been active with The Players for over thirty years having directed productions of Curtains, The Little Dog Laughed, The King and I, Urinetown, Deathtrap, Lucky Stiff, The Emperor's New Clothes, Gypsy, Jerry's Girls, Light Up the Sky, and Baby, among others. In addition, Bell served as musical director for numerous productions including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seussical the Musical, Sweeney Todd, and The Most Happy Fella. As a performer, he appeared in a variety of musicals and plays, including The Full Monty, A Year With Frog and Toad, Anything Goes, Into the Woods, Noises Off and Follies (Perry Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical). Steve teaches vocal music at Teaneck High School and is the Artistic Director of the Teaneck Community Chorus.

Jordan Zaretsky of South Amboy plays the funny and charming financial consultant Ben Jacobson. Jordan boasts numerous BCP credits to his name including, Rapunzarella White, Honk, Bus Stop, A Few Good Men, Six Degrees of Separation, Extremities, and Snow White Goes West. By day, Jordan is a firefighter/EMT and commercial pilot/flight instructor. Darren Carfano of Suffern, NY plays the meddlesome neurotic Orthodox diamond dealer Hershel Klein. His previous credits with BCP include Honk and Comic Potential. When not performing, Darren works for Columbia Bank in marketing.

Vanessa (Pellecchia) Garrabrant of Harriman, NY plays Ben's fiancée, the savvy yet sensitive Hannah Ziggelstein. Vanessa's on-stage credits at BCP include roles in Seussical the Musical, Urinetown, A Year with Frog and Toad, Follies in Concert, The King and I and Brooklyn Boy. Vanessa has also served as choreographer for numerous BCP productions. By day, she works as Senior Operations and Finance Assistant for John Wiley and Sons. Joanna (Bell) Koster of Hoboken plays Rachel, the outlandish Jewish bachelorette who wants to seduce Hershel. A BCP Life member, Joanna has appeared at the Little Firehouse Theatre in numerous productions including, Curtains, Gypsy, The...Adventures of Bob, Cinderella, The Most Happy Fella, Urinetown, Seussical The Musical, Our Enchanted Evenings and The Sweetest Sounds. By day, she serves as a talent agent in New York City.

The production team for Modern Orthodox includes Steve Mintz and Michele Roth (Producers), Noel Schoonover (Assistant to the Director); Edie Orlando (Stage Manager); Cliff Dreispan (Assistant Stage Manager); Tim Meola (Set Design and Construction); Tiffany Plante (Set Design and Construction Assistant); Marci Weinstein (Décor); Allan Seward (Lighting Design); Tim Larsen (Sound Design); Ruth Morley (Costumes); Pat Bain, Laura Bateman (Properties); Mark Herrmann, Howard Kerner (Lighting Operators); Paul Reitnauer (Sound Operator); Barbara Schwartz, Victoria Steele (Photography); and Craig Koster, Kathie Robitz, Laura Nafey, and Victoria Buchner (Crew).
Some content not appropriate for pre-teens.


All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.

Tickets for Modern Orthodox are $19 for Friday and Saturday performances and $16 for Sunday matinee performances, and can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 262-0515.

As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a Q & A ("Questions & Artists") discussion following select performances. The Modern Orthodox Q&A will kick off immediately following the Friday, January 20th performance. Admission is included in the cost of the ticket.

Student Rush tickets are available for $5 for students age 25 and under with valid ID, 30 minutes prior to curtain. One ticket per ID. Cash only. Students can also guarantee their seats in advance either online or through the box office for the special student price of just $14.

Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

Further information can be found at

The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters.

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