From the Press

'Bell, Book & Candle' now in Spring Lake

By Karen Meister

October is traditionally a month of crisp weather, pumpkins and mums, and, of course, goblins and witches performing what they do best — witchcraft.

The Spring Lake Theatre Company has taken the festivities one step further, with the romantic comedy “Bell, Book, and Candle,” now playing at the theatre.

This 1950s Broadway hit play opens in the New York City plush apartment of witch Gillian Holroyd, who seems upset with her bohemian lifestyle. She is tired and bored of globetrotting and free spiriting. Her dear brother, Nicky, and her aunt, Aunt Queenie Holroyd, are also members of the warlocks and witches clan. Although they have good intentions, trying to help Gillian out, it becomes a bit more like interfering.

Gillian acquires a new tenant, whom she admires from afar. Shep Henderson, the tenant, comes to visit Gillian with some complaints about his neighbor, who happens to be Queenie. Gillian apologizes and all is well, until a spell needs to be put on Shep to keep him interested in her. Well, the magic works and the spell-bound Henderson falls deeply in love with Gillian. Now Gillian is forced to decide for love [and loose her supernatural powers] or magic [and remain a witch].

Even her black cat, Pyewacket, becomes annoyed with her and leaves Gillian to her own fate.

The three-act play is so engaging that the time just flies by, with the audience still wanting more and more of this performance, produced by Pat Barry and directed by Jeff Skalecki.

The roles of the main characters were adeptly assigned and performed by some very talented actors.

Chrissy Reinhard plays the beautiful witch, Gillian Holroyd, with Bill Reinhard playing the handsome and debonair Shep Henderson. The whimsical Aunt Queenie is perfect for Amy Skalecki and Eric Peduto does a great job as brother Nicky.

There is one more character who adds so much fun to this performance and that is Joe Ronga as the famous or infamous Sidney Redlitch, the writer of the “Witch Chronicler.”

The cast, as well as the production staff, do a top-notch job, making the evening so entertaining.

I find it interesting how the production received its name.

It is a reference to excommunication by witches, which is performed by a bell, book and candle. It is opened by the ringing of the bell, opening the book, and lighting the candle. It is closed by ringing the bell, closing the book, and quenching the candle. Poof — magic begins!

If you are looking for something to do on a brisk October night, then “Bell, Book, and Candle” is just the ticket.

The play will be running Oct. 19, 20, 21 and 26 & 27. Curtain is 8 p.m. There is a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21.

Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 732-449-4530.

The theatre is located at the corner of Third and Madison avenues, in Spring Lake.