A Weehawken theater group is coming back to the township after disbanding nearly two decades ago.
Former Weehawken Cultural Arts Director Guy Iacono has been reviving a theater group he first formed in the town back in the 1980s and helped run until he left his position in the 1990s. Although the new reincarnation of the group is independent of the township, some of Iacono’s original associates – like famous songwriter and longtime Weehawken resident Trade Martin and former Guttenberg Mayor Peter LaVilla – have signed on to work on the project.
The theater will accept actors from the tri-state area.
“Both guys are very talented people to have working alongside me,” said Iacono, who still lives in Weehawken, last week. “They worked with me back in the original Skyline Players – rekindling relationships with people who are still working in the business.”
Trade Martin, who has lived in the township for over 45 years, has collaborated on several projects for the blues legend B.B. King and written music for such recording greats as Cher, Patti LaBelle, Dusty Springfield, Vanilla Fudge and Dave Edmunds.
LaVilla, since leaving the mayor’s office years ago, has produced several independent films.
The group’s beginnings
According to the founder, the name for the group was inspired by Weehawken’s peculiar geography. “We were basically living right on top of the skyline on the cliffs,” Iacono said. “We’d see it every day.”
The theater will accept actors from the tri-state area and hopes to benefit local charities.
“We’re a non-profit, so it would just be a matter of covering expenses,” Iacono said.
“It’s a cool thing. Were looking for a lot of involvement from the community. TV sucks, and you can only go to the bars and drink so much. It’s a great thing to do at night.”
For Iacono, community theater was a “no-brainer” in the talented township of Weehawken.
“That’s the fun thing about community theater and especially about this project,” he said. “There’s no money involved, and such great individuals. It just takes out a lot of the pressures.”
He added, “It’s designed to be a platform for up and coming actors, directors, writers – people involved with film. Basically, for people who are trying to get their work out into the public showcases at local restaurants. Our venue will be throughout Hudson County. I’m just picking up where I left off.”
Iacono has acted for all of his life. He said that for the arts, “There’s nothing better than Weehawken. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s such a unique town surrounded by so much activity. It’s almost like suburbia.”
He added, “Sure, there are traffic overflows once in a while, but it’s so peaceful. And the skyline is probably the eighth wonder of the world.”
During his time as cultural arts director for the township in the 1980s, he and the township held art shows along Boulevard East, as well as 20 theatrical events, the proceeds of which were given to charity, Iacono said.
“We did a lot of standard productions and some Broadway stuff,” he said. “It was great working with local charities.”
For more information on Guy Iacono and his new theater group the Skyline Players, please call (732) 546-7661.
Sean Allocca can be reached at email@example.com