Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
They came. They questioned. They wrote.
Come hear the work of our first ever Civic Playwriting Class as they explore the timeless and timely issues of life in our community.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
ADMISSION: This event is free. No reservations are necessary.
Professional actors will read the short plays that have been written by our students over the course of the last 10 weeks.
Featuring plays by Liz Azukas, Della Brown, Marian Calabro, Jonathan Citron, Sandrine Dupiton, Phoebe Farber, Lisa Mary MacNair and Todd Murphy
Discussion will follow.
Come Support These Creative Members of our Community!
Saturday, April 18, 2015
THIRD ANNUAL POETRY READING
WHEN: Sunday, April 19, at 2:00 PM
WHERE: the Investors Bank Theater, 72 Eyland Ave, Succasunna**
ADMISSION: Suggested donation of $5 will be accepted at the door. Questions? Call 862.219.1379
The Roxbury Arts Alliance is hosting its 3rd annual Poetry Reading afternoon.
Four poets, Wanda Praisner, Susanna Rich, Edwin Romond, and Sander Zulauf will be featured reading some of their works.
There will be books for sale, book signings, and you can meet with the poets at the end of the event.
** Entrance for performance will be on the side of the building at the Social Services Entrance
American Repertory Ballet Present
WHEN: April 24 and 25, at 8:00 PM
WHERE: Union County PAC’s Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway, NJ 07065
TICKETS: Box Office: 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ 07065
Signature Duets will be a mixed bill—an evening of dance that appeals to a wide variety of tastes and displays the wide range of talents of American Repertory Ballet's professional, international dancers. (Photo by Leighton Chen)
Broadway World has praised ARB’s dancing and mixed-bill programming at Hamilton Stage: “Performed at New Jersey's own Hamilton Stage - a small but sophisticated theatrical space- [American Repertory Ballet’s] offerings are neatly fitted...Small format, but broad emotional resonance. For the most part, these are dances that...burst into fantastic heat and light.”...“ARB's fresh, wondering, fantasy-filled approach to motion and color requires plenty of aesthetic intelligence.”
Signature Duets features a world premiere by renowned choreographer Kirk Peterson, former dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Peterson's emotionally resonant Tears of the Moon, ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton's dynamic and inventive Shades of Time, and excerpts from ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin's signature story ballets Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
LATIN SOCIAL DANCE CLASS
WHEN & WHERE: The class will be after the performance on Friday, April 24 at 10:30 PM at Patria Latin Bistro in Rahway. On Saturday, April 25, the class will begin at 6:30pm, before ARB’s 8:00pm performance, in the Fazzioli Room at Hamilton Stage
COST: $10 per person
In addition to the performances, ARB is partnering with Contento Dance to enhance patrons’ evenings at the theater. For just $10 per person, patrons can take a Latin social dance class with Contento Dance. Celebrate the idea behind ARB’s Signature Duets: “It takes two to tango!”
By Ruth Ross
Memory is elusive. Memory plays tricks on us. Two people recalling the same incident will remember different details. Nailing down a memory in real life is hard, but just try to do it on paper or on a stage.
In her most accomplished effort to date, Tammy Ryan splendidly manages the latter in her memory play, Tar Beach, now receiving its world premiere at Luna Stage in West Orange. The title refers to the Queens, New York, apartment house's tar-covered roof where, during a sweltering summer, the residents go to sunbathe (and, in the evening, to cool off).
The time is 1977. The hottest summer on record. The year that Son of Sam was on the loose, murdering young girls—especially those with long, brown hair. The year of the massive blackout that plunged New York City into Stygian darkness and set off a wave of looting and menace. The summer when something awful—and "irreversible"— happened to Reenie Dolan, a shy 14-year-old middle schooler with a penchant for Greek mythology.
From her very first words, "Pretend this is a dream," Reenie portends something unusual is about to happen, something that becomes a nightmare by the time the lights come down. Cradling her papier maché head of Medusa, Reenie recounts the story of the beautiful young woman who, upon being raped by Poseidon, is turned into a monster with snakes for hair by a jealous Athena. The head creeps out many people, especially her 16-year-old sister Mary Claire, with whom she shares a room, and her doting father Roger, an alcoholic who has just lost his job. Roger is very protective of his daughters in this fear-fraught environment, refusing to let Mary Claire go out with her friend Mary Frances at night unless she takes Reenie with her. Ostensibly, the girls go to a band concert, but when the overloaded electrical grid blows and the lights go out, the two older girls are separated from Reenie, who has gone with the handsome Anthony; when she returns, in the morning, Reenie is a different girl, an injured bird, unable to speak the unspeakable. (Above, L-R: Emily Verla, Emmanuelle Nadeau and Alanna Monte. Photo Credit Steven Lawler)
Ryan's play benefits from Cheryl Katz's taut direction and amazing performances by the five actors in the cast; that Ryan has provided natural-sounding dialogue that is convincingly spoken to fit character, time and place makes this play all the more riveting. Emmanuelle Nadeau is superb as the dreamy Reenie, just on the cusp of womanhood, shy, anxious for her first kiss and totally innocent. She spends her days in her mother's closet, filled to bursting with family photos, school drawings, handmade Mother's Day gifts and report cards. It is a refuge for her in a house where her parents, both of whom suffer from unfulfilled expectations, battle daily—and loudly. Her portrayal of the Reenie who returns from the night out will take your breath away.
Emily Verla's portrayal of Mary Claire is equally as fine. She alternately cajoles and mocks her little sister, knowing that the only way she will get out of the house (and get up to some teenage mischief) is if she takes Reenie with her. Despite her bravado and big talk, Verla's Mary Claire is still a child; her anguish at her sister's disappearance is palpable. As her friend Mary Frances, Alanna Monte is every parent's nightmare, a girl who seems to have no respect for boundaries and who even fantasizes about catching the Son of Sam and seems unconcerned about Reenie's disappearance.
As portrayed by Bart Shatto and Heather Benton, Roger and Brigit Dolan, at first, are rather unlikable people who fling insults at each other in front of their daughters, but they gradually reveal themselves to be two disappointed, lost souls caught in a net that is not their making. When pressed about why she had children, Brigit tells her daughter that it was what one did back then. Shatto is a funny duck when interacting with Reenie; she is clearly the apple of his eye, so that he is especially shattered when she returns home. And Benton's final scene with her younger daughter reveals the bruises inflicted by poor parenting; with no viable role model herself, Brigit is unable to mother her girls the way they should be. In fact, she tells them that they will have to do it themselves. Yet, it is this admission and what follows that opens the door to hope in what, on the surface, appears to be a heartbreaking situation.
Brian Dudkiewicz has assembled 175 cardboard cartons into a set that includes a hidey-hole of a closet, a teenage bedroom, a kitchen and, of course, tar beach. Minimal props mean that we can focus on the characters and events instead of set decor. Oliver Wason has used light (and the lack thereof) to great advantage to capture the scorching temperatures and the cataclysmic breakdown of the overloaded electrical circuits plunging the city into total darkness. And Eric T. Lawson's sound design replicates the city noises, adding to the dream-like quality. And finally, Deborah Caney has dressed the characters in costumes that telegraph their roles very well. There's even an "I Survived Son of Sam" tee shirt!
Proust's Remembrance of Things Past and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird are two well-known novels of memory; Tammy Ryan's Tar Beach is a worthy example of a memory play. As its final offering of the 2014-2015 season (and the third world premiere they've produced this year along), Luna Stage has once again shown itself to be a vanguard of professional theater. We are lucky to have such a theatrical gem in our area, a theater willing to take chances on new works, thus broadening the play-going public's experience and enjoyment. Bravo!
Tar Beach will be performed through May 9 at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange. For information and tickets, call 973.395.5551 or visit www.lunastage.org online.
April is National Poetry Month. I have not been posting a poem each day, but this one caught my eye. It comes from www.poets.org:
AFTER THE WINTER
by Claude McKay
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.
And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.
WHERE: Cranford Dramatic Club Theatre, 78 Winans Ave., Cranford
TICKETS: www.dcdtheatre.org or 908.276.7611
Friday, April 17, 2015
www.DreamcatcherRep.org for information and tickets
WHERE: The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Ave., Summit
The Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB) welcomes you to their perennial walking tour series. Experience the rich history Morris County has to offer with a knowledgeable guide
WHEN: various Saturday mornings during May and June. All tours begin at 10:00 AM
WHERE: various venues
TICKETS: $15 - $20 depending upon the program length.
Please pre-register and pre-pay online at www.morristourism.org.
For additional information call 973.631.5151.
The Courtship of Betsy Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton (New!)
During the Revolutionary War, a young and dashing Alexander Hamilton, General George Washington’s aide-de-camp at the Ford Mansion, spent the winter and spring in Morristown while his future wife, Betsy Schuyler, was nearby at the home of the Campfields. Hear the romantic tale of their courtship from members of the D.A.R., the conservators of the c. 1760 Schuyler-Hamilton House. This tour will only be given once this year.
WHEN: Saturday, May 9 at 10 AM
WHERE: Schuyler-Hamilton House, Five Olyphant Place, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 25.
The Many Monuments of Morristown Tour (New!)
Morristown residents have participated in all of the wars involving America. Take a walk through Morristown with an American veteran to view the various monuments built to honor our servicemen and women. The tour begins at 6 Court Street, winds through the heart of Morristown and concludes with a picnic at the Thomas Paine statue in Burnham Park where Paine’s contributions to American independence will be discussed.
WHEN: Saturday, May 16 at 10 AM a
WHERE: 6 Court Street, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 25.
The Seeing Eye’s Training Ground
North America’s first guide dog training school, The Seeing Eye of Morris Township, was founded in 1929 by Morris Frank. You’ve noticed the statue of Morris and his dog Buddy off the Morristown Green, maybe even toured The Seeing Eye’s campus. During this tour you’ll learn about the history of The Seeing Eye, walk the streets where the dogs train, and see how Seeing Eye dogs respond to their owners. The tour begins at their in-town training center, passes sites important to the history of the organization and concludes at the statue of Morris and Buddy for a photo op.
Husband and wife, Jim and Ginger Kutsch, lead this unique tour. Jim serves as the president and CEO of The Seeing Eye; Ginger is a volunteer with the organization. Both are graduates of The Seeing Eye. This tour sells out fast, so book early. This tour will only be given once this year.
WHEN: Saturday, June 6 at 10 AM.
WHERE: Tour begins at 14 Maple Avenue, between Market and DeHart Streets, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 30.
The CCC and the Creation of Morristown National Historical Park (New!)
In 1933 America’s first National Historical Park was created by law, to be built at Morristown to preserve and interpret the two winter encampments here by General George Washington and the Continental Army. Young men hired by the Civilian Conservation Corps camped in town and built the park and the museum. Tour the national park with a park ranger and hear the story of how the park was created.
WHEN: Saturday, June 13 at 10 AM.
WHERE: Tour begins in the lobby of the Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown.
COST: $20.00 includes admission to the park for the whole day.
Trial of the 19th Century: Antoine LeBlanc
Learn all about Morristown’s most famous murder trial as you sit in the actual courtroom where Antoine LeBlanc was tried in 1833 for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Sayre and their servant Phoebe. The triple murder shocked the entire state and resulted in LeBlanc’s execution by hanging on the Morristown Green. The program will be in lecture format and take place in Courtroom One, preserved to look as it did in 1833.
The story will be told by the Honorable Kenneth C. MacKenzie, retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, historian, and member of the Board of Trustees of Historic Speedwell. He will share his legal insights into one of Morris County’s most notorious trials. This tour will only be given once this year.
WHEN: Saturday, June 20th at 10 AM
WHERE: Meet at 6 Court Street, Morristown.
The Spring 2015 historical walking tours from the Morris County Tourism Bureau are being graciously sponsored by Robert Lloyd Coutts and Sons, Insurors and by Century 21 Department Stores.
The Morris County Tourism Bureau is a Destination Marketing Organization that positively affects the economy of Morris County by promoting the area’s exceptional historic, cultural and recreational opportunities by providing services to residents, business travelers and tourists.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Announcing Luna's 2015-2016 Season*
Limited time offer - Prices Valid Through May 8th Only
WHERE: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
THE TALL GIRLS
by Meg Miroshnik
East Coast Premiere
WHEN: October 8th-November 1st, 2015
The tiny hamlet of Poor Prairie doesn't see a lot of folks coming into town—least of all men—so when one gets off the train, everybody talks, especially since he has the only inflated basketball in town.
Set in the historic 1930s Dust Bowl in the rural Midwest, The Tall Girls explores class, gender, and the history of women in sports, and asks just who can afford the luxury of play.
Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story
A Musical by Stephen Dolginoff
NJ Professional Premiere
WHEN: December 3rd-20th, 2015
Relationships can be murder. A two-character musical drama that recounts the chilling true story of the legendary duo who committed one of the most infamous and heinous crimes of the twentieth century.
"Stephen Dolginoff's pocket musical about the Leopold and Loeb murder case lands like a well-placed punch, arresting and a bit breathtaking. Others have told the tale in plays and films, but there is something brazenly satisfying about Mr. Dolginoff's rendition. It's a reminder that evil often looks and sounds beautiful." —NY Times.
The Brothers Size
by Tarell Alvin McCraney
WHEN: February 4th-March 6th, 2016
In the Louisiana bayou, big brother Ogun Size is hardworking and steady. Younger brother Oshoosi is just out of prison and aimless. Elegba, Oshoosi's old prison-mate, is a mysterious complication. A world that begins in ritual, evolves into a tough and tender drama of what it means to brother and be brothered.
"The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more." —Chicago Tribune.
Old Love New Love
WHEN: April 7th-May 8th, 2016
A mother and daughter navigate the choppy waters of infidelity under very different circumstances: Gloria's husband Colin has fallen for another Alzheimer's patient at the facility where he resides. Michelle's husband Matt has strayed in a more traditional manner after losing a local election and wrestling with his identity as one of a few black men in their small Maine town. A play about what we can't remember and what we can forgive, Old Love New Love explores what happens when old love faces new challenges.
* Season and Schedule Subject to Change
Early Bird Season Pass Options
Early Bird Full Season Pass - $99
Pick any performance and pay just $99 for all four shows - a savings of 30% off of the single ticket price.
Early Bird Thursday/Previews Only Season Pass - $70
This limited subscription is for Preview and Thursday performances only. At just $70 for all four shows you save 30% off of single ticket prices.
Under 30 Pass - $50
We want you to become a life-long Luna fan, so we're offering this special pass to young theater goers - if you are under 30, pay just $50 for all four shows. That's only $12.50 per show - the same as a movie ticket.
Note that the Early Bird special discount will expire on May 8th, 2015.
Early Bird Subscriptions are not valid for Opening Night performances.
by George Segal
WHERE: College Avenue Campus at Rutgers University, New Brunswick
There’s a new presence on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick: Walking Man, a permanent outdoor installation by internationally renowned sculptor—and longtime South Brunswick, New Jersey, resident—George Segal. You can find the single bronze figure in stride at the refurbished northwest corner of George and Hamilton Streets, where it appears headed toward the museum’s entrance.
“Creative Expression and the Human Experience is an integrating theme of the university’s strategic plan,” stated Richard L. Edwards, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chancellor at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, “and Walking Man symbolizes our respect for the value of human expression—an expression that transcends national borders and differences in politics, religion, culture, language, and areas of study. We are proud of our leadership in the arts and delighted to provide a home for this work by an important American artist and Rutgers graduate.”
The sculptures of George Segal (1924-2000) may be some of the most recognizable in the world, even to those unfamiliar with art history or the work of 20th-century artists. Originally cast in 1988 at the Johnson Atelier in Hamilton Township, Walking Man was donated to the Zimmerli by the George and Helen Segal Foundation in 2011, in honor of Jeffrey Wechsler, a longtime senior curator at the museum. The Segal Foundation also supported conservation and preparation of the sculpture to ready it for installation outdoors.
“Walking Man is an iconic work within George Segal’s career. The Zimmerli’s sculpture is distinguished by its human scale, everyday demeanor, and relationship with passersby – sharing their life, joining their world,” observed Marti Mayo, the Zimmerli’s interim director. “The sculptor was an important part of the development of the visual arts at Rutgers and, with this gift, his work in the museum’s collection becomes more representative of his long and productive career as a seminal artist of the 20th century.”
Born in New York City, George Segal moved with his family to South Brunswick in 1940. His father started a chicken farm, a business Segal continued on land he purchased across the road – until he turned to art as a profession and converted the chicken coops to studio space. In 1942, he began his relationship with Rutgers University, where he took courses over the next few years. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, he became associated with Fluxus artists who were active at the university and hosted some of their legendary events – including Allan Kaprow’s first “Happening” – at his farm. Segal went on to earn a master of fine arts degree from Rutgers in 1963 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1970. In addition, Segal’s daughter and niece graduated from Rutgers.
While painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking were always important aspects of the artist’s production, Segal’s international reputation was built on his sculpture. His best known works feature human figures cast in plaster directly from models, which are placed (alone or incorporated with artifacts and backdrops) directly into the environment, both indoors and outside. “In many ways George Segal’s engagement with everyday life in his sculpture transformed the way that we all experience space, objects, the city, other human beings, and art,” noted Donna Gustafson, the Zimmerli’s Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator. “Like many of Segal’s sculptures, Walking Man expresses a profoundly human moment: a pause that suggests reflection, indecision, or possibly regret in the midst of moving forward.”
The Zimmerli’s Walking Man is one of two casts of the figure made by Segal that is on public view; the other is located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Walker Art Center in Minnesota. A number of Segal’s other works from the Zimmerli’s permanent collection are currently on view in the museum. Bus Shelter (1996) greets visitors in the lobby, its anonymous figures expressing their empathy for those who wait and watch, in this case for a public bus. The George Segal Gallery on the lower level includes Old Testament Moon (1958-59), an expressionist work from the artist’s career when he worked in two-dimensional media, and the seven-part Pregnancy Series (1978), his only foray into a three-dimensional work with serial imagery. Blue Woman on Black Bed (1996) currently shares the company of work by other contemporary artists in the American Gallery.
The installation of Walking Man coincides with the exhibition George Segal in Black and White: Photographs by Donald Lokuta, which offers museum visitors a rare opportunity to see the artist’s studio through Lokuta’s intimate images. The two met in 1984 at the sculptor’s studio in South Brunswick, sparking an artistic alliance that would last more than 16 years and result in nearly 15,000 negatives. The first selection of this two-part exhibition, through May 16, considers Segal inside and beyond his studio (with friends, family, and models), as well as the studio itself as subject. The second installment, on view May 23 to July 31, focuses on Segal at work on his iconic figures. The show is accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, which contains 70 reproductions of the photographs (Blue Woman on Black Bed is captured in several) and written contributions from Robert Pinsky (United States Poet Laureate, 1997-2000), Donna Gustafson, Donald Lokuta, and former Zimmerli director Suzanne Delehanty. The catalogue is made possible by the George and Helen Segal Foundation, with additional support from Suzanne Delehanty in memory of Helen Segal.
Group Singing Classes are back!
WHEN: Every Wednesday, from 7:00 – 7:45 PM
WHERE: St. John the Baptist Church, 69 Valley Street, Hillsdale
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 201-725-5927.
All ages and singing levels are welcome to attend FREE Group Singing lessons, led by Roberto Sabastiani, NYC Juilliard School Master’s graduate. New attendees are encouraged to join at any time—class will run through December 2015 and are held in the beautiful acoustic and architecture of the 1,200-seat St. John the Baptist Church.
Well-known for setting all singers at ease with his disarming attentiveness and gentle wit, Sabastiani presents techniques of breathing, timing, pitch, and use of the microphone. More importantly, he will show how to earn the attention of the audience through detailed interpretation and creating a variety of expressive sounds. Incredible guest singers and teachers will also be invited. Accompanying himself at the large Baldwin concert grand, all singers are welcome in any musical styles, from beginner through advanced professional levels. Accompaniment mp3s/CDs are also welcome.
Sabastiani has had a 35-year professional vocal career encompassing opera, Broadway, pop and church genres, and has performed throughout the Eastern US in seven foreign languages. He sang the leading tenor roles in La bohème with Sarasota Opera, in Carmen with Greater Miami Opera, and in Der Rosenkavalier with the Spoleto Festival, as well as with the prestigious 92ns St. YMCA in NYC. Sabastiani played the lead tenor role Most Happy Fella in FIT in NYC, and starred as the lead role of Tony in West Side Story. He has also appeared as pop pianist/singer at Tavern on the Green, Water Club, Water’s Edge, Windows on the World, and many other venues.