Making her NYC debut

One time Bayonne resident to appear in play

As a secretary for the New Jersey State Troopers, Roberta Davis has taken a bit of ribbing from officers over the name of the new play she will be appearing in.
Davis, a graduate of Lincoln School and Bayonne High School, has been involved with a variety of plays over the last few years, but few so provocative as “Men Are Dogs,” in which a psychologist and her discussion group of divorced and single women are thrown into disarray with the appearance of “the perfect man.”
Davis, born and raised in Bayonne and resides in Holmdel, will make her New York debut on June 18 for a two week engagement at The American Theatre of Actors, 314 W. 54th St. in Manhattan.
Although she was a honor student, Davis said she didn’t take part in theater while attending schools in Bayonne, but got caught up with community theater about six years ago after she had gone through a troublesome surgery.
“I started going to plays,” she said. “But I never had the chutzpa to try out,” she said.
Six years ago, without any formal training, she went to “view” an audition. The director, Donna Jeanne, saw talent in her and cast her in “The Mummy’s Claw” as Mary, a maid with an attitude and an English accent. She even fooled an English gentleman in the audience who was heard asking Roberta at the meet and greet after the show, in his own English accent, “Do I detect a bit of Cockney?” to which Roberta, in her obvious Jersey voice, replied, “Not a bit!”


“But working for the state police, I’ve received a bit of busting because of the name.” – Roberta Davis

Since then, Davis has gone on to appear in other Community Theatre shows, such as “Love Always,” “Towards Zero,” “The Best Man,” “Caught in the Net,” “Five Tellers Dancing in the Rain” and “ Men Are Dogs.” After finishing the month long run of “Men Are Dogs” last August at The First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands, the writer asked her to reprise her role as Loretta when he takes the show to New York.
Employed as a sectary for a state trooper station commander, she has received some ribbing over the play’s title.
“You can’t judge the play by its title,” she said. “But working for the state police, I’ve received a bit of busting because of the name.”
She said the play is very funny, but said she doesn’t have a huge role.
“It is heart warming and has an unexpected ending,” she said. “But it is not a play for children.”
Although Davis lives out of the city, she is often here in Bayonne serving as the director of Religious Education at Saint Joseph/St. Michael’s in Bayonne and owner of
“I’ve been a religious instructor 18 years and I’m still in Bayonne at least once a week, and have family who still lives there,” she said.
Roberta has two children, Erica Tarrazi and Matthew Davis, and three grandchildren, Joei (Josephine) and Logan Tarrazi and Nate (Nathaniel) Davis, whom also reside in the Holmdel/Hazlet area.
“My goal is to act in a play with my granddaughter,” Davis said. “Although she is only five, she has attitude. I don’t know if she wants to go that route, but if she does, I would like to be on stage with her.”
“Men Are Dogs,” written by Joe Simonelli, will run June 18 to June 28 and includes four matinees. The show is being performed at The American Theatre of Actors, 314 West 54th St. in Manhattan. Tickets may be purchased by calling Simonelli Productions at (732) 984-7128, or online at

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