Monday, March 19, 2018


by Ruth Ross

Okay. I’ll admit it: I do love a play about historical events. Drama, comedy, dramedy—it doesn’t matter. And if it involves a battle of wills, then so much the better!

That’s why I was looking forward to reviewing George Street Playhouse’s production of Trying, Joanna McClelland Glass’s two-character play about the time she spent as a young assistant to 81-year-old, ailing Francis Biddle, Chief Judge at the Nuremberg Trials (Spencer Tracey played him in Judgment at Nuremberg) and Attorney General under FDR, among his many government positions.

Trying GSP 3-18  020
Trying, by Joanna McClelland Glass, directed by Jim Jack  at George Street Playhouse 3/11/18
Set Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Esther Arroyo
Lighting Design: Christopher J. Bailey

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson
© T Charles Erickson Photography

Often lacking suspense-producing action, two-handers are notorious for being talky, but this charmingly intimate production features two fine actors portraying interesting personalities who “grow” so much that I found myself a tad melancholy when the play ended—a testament to how well the playwright, director and actors engaged my attention and sympathy over the two-hour running time.

With echoes of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, Glass’s play recounts the final year of Judge Biddle’s life, as he attempts to get his papers (and his life) in order with the help of a new assistant, 25-year-old Sarah Shore. Successor to a line of disastrous predecessors (all middle-aged matrons), this young woman from Saskatchewan, Canada, shows that, despite her demure demeanor, she has the spine to stand up to this formidable, curmudgeonly, internationally known Philadelphia patrician—winning both his respect and, yes, affection that match her feelings for him.

Glass infuses this intimate portrait with serious history and tension-relieving comedy, both conveyed with flair by a duo of consummate performers. Under Jim Jack’s inspired direction and staging, the very air crackles as Sarah and the Judge engage in a verbal duel, advancing and retreating, feinting and parrying to what is essentially a draw.

Trying GSP 3-18  050
Trying, by Joanna McClelland Glass, directed by Jim Jack  at George Street Playhouse 3/11/18
Set Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Esther Arroyo
Lighting Design: Christopher J. Bailey

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson
© T Charles Erickson Photography
tcepix@comcast.netWith his thin mustache and aquiline profile, Philip Goodwin (right) embodies the type of man who would be a long-time civil servant. Despite his failing memory, he always has to have the last word, possesses a wide range of knowledge, asks questions but doesn’t wait to hear the answer, corrects Sarah’s vocabulary and grammar, and feels a bit bereft at finding himself still alive when all his colleagues have died. Goodwin imbues the character with an aristocratic mien, from his patrician accent and demeanor to a standoffishness that eschews physical contact. But what starts out as rather disagreeable and snobbish becomes softer, more empathetic over time, so that by the final scenes we, too, have fallen in love with the old codger.

Trying GSP 3-18  014
Trying, by Joanna McClelland Glass, directed by Jim Jack  at George Street Playhouse 3/11/18
Set Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Esther Arroyo
Lighting Design: Christopher J. Bailey

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson
© T Charles Erickson Photography
tcepix@comcast.netAs Sarah (“with an h,” as the Judge calls her), Carly Zien (left) doesn’t let Goodwin steal the show. Her self-proclaimed “prairie populist” calls out his snobbery about an Ivy League education, argues the merits of “speed writing” vs. the Gregg shorthand method, quotes e.e. cummings, is “inordinately anxious to work” and manages to get the Judge to use “modern” technology—all in a way that’s spunky but not rude. As their intimacy deepens, she reveals personal details about her childhood and marriage that he listens to and responds. Zien’s charming performance enriches what could have been a dry historical tale, and her character’s ability to stand up to a powerful man (albeit a bit of a bully, not a sexual harasser) resonates with the audience.

Depicting the Judge’s study in what used to be the hayloft over a stable on his Georgetown estate, Jason Simms’ set telegraphs the man’s character as well as providing an appropriate canvas on which this relationship unfolds. Lighting by Christopher J. Bailey conveys the passage of the seasons and weather conditions, and Esther Arroyo’s costumes suit the time period, characters’ social statuses and personalities.

Trying GSP 3-18  092
Trying, by Joanna McClelland Glass, directed by Jim Jack  at George Street Playhouse 3/11/18
Set Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Esther Arroyo
Lighting Design: Christopher J. Bailey

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson
© T Charles Erickson Photography

In Trying, Joanna McClelland Glass has given us a charmingly intimate glimpse into the lives of two people separated in age by more than a half century who, struggling to communicate, come to an understanding of how their experiences can influence each other. Smartly written dialogue, appealing characters portrayed by talented actors make Trying a winner for George Street Playhouse. Through “trying” circumstances, Francis Biddle and Sarah Shore “try” to connect. That they do makes for an informative and heartwarming play.

Trying will be performed at George Street Playhouse’s interim location, 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick (on Rutgers Cook Campus) through April 8. For information and tickets, call the box office at 732-246-7717 or visit

Photos by T. Charles Erickson


Hugh M photo


WHEN: Friday evening, March 23, at 7:30.
ACL Gallery 2130 Town Center Way (enter on Carillon Circle), Livingston
ADMISSION: There is no charge for this event.  Light refreshments will be served.
Bring your opinions.

Have you ever thought about what makes a painting, drawing, sculpture or photograph qualify as “ART”? 

You’re invited to hear Hugh Mahon, artist and art teacher, "referee" a dialogue where “The Subject is ART.”  

The works in the ACL Gallery’s latest show, LOOK What I Found and share the reasons why they might merit being considered "art."  Learn the “rules” all art work has to work employ. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Mar 2018 JPEG

Water, Water Everywhere

WHEN: Saturday, March 24, at 7:30 pm
Livingston High School, 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston
TICKETS: $25 for Adults; $15 for Seniors, and FREE for music lovers under 12 accompanied by an adult
Tickets can be obtained at the door or by calling (973)980-1809.
For more information on the concert and the Livingston Symphony Orchestra, please visit, Facebook:Livingston Symphony-NJ, or Instagram: @livingstonsymphonynj.

The Livingston Symphony Orchestra presents a program certain to refresh the soul as they draw music from a pool of water themed works, including Debussy's "La Mer", the Overture to Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman," Smetana’s “Die Moldau” and Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave." Flowing rivers, calm seas, tumultuous storms and crashing waves are just some of the images conjured by themes in these compositions, creating music as powerful and beautiful as the waters they emulate.

A revered ensemble of dedicated level musicians, the Livingston Symphony performs this third of its four 2017-2018 concert programs. As always, conductor and music director Anthony LaGruth brings his gift of easy audience rapport to a performance at a convenient suburban venue is which is handicapped accessible and has adjacent free parking.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Writers Theatre of New Jersey Logo

Nothing Can Keep New Plays New Jersey Down!

We said we'd keep you in the loop as to when our rescheduled New Plays New Jersey performances would be and we've got the dates for you! Two of the readings will take place at The Bickford Theatre in Morristown, as originally planned, but two others are going to be held at Short Stories Bookshop and Community Hub, right here in Madison. We're really happy to be back at The Bickford, which has been home to the series for the past few years, but we're equally as excited to bring some of the readings to Short Stories, which has hosted some of our classes and to our Banned Together Cabaret earlier this year.

Without further ado, here are the new dates for New Plays New Jersey:

At the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown, NJ:

Sunday, March 18th at 7 PM - "Psychodrama" by Phoebe Farber
Friday, March 30th at 7 PM - "La Fonda" by Suzanne Trauth

At Short Stories Bookshop and Community Hub
23 Main Street, Madison, NJ:

Sunday, March 25th at 7 PM - "Nichiiwad" by Hal Corley
Saturday, March 31st at 7 PM - "Turning"  by Darrah Cloud

Parking: The Bickford parking lot is the Morris Museum's parking lot, on the side of the building. Short Stories has parking behind the building - you'll want to use the driveway entrance on Green Village Road, which will be on your left just before the railroad overpass.

Thank you all for being so patient and understanding as the storm forced us to have to cancel and reschedule and we hope to see you on these new dates for the readings!

We also wanted to remind you that both our NJ Women Playwrights Project readings celebrating Women's History Month and our Mile Square Playground readings are still happening this month, in Jersey City and Hoboken respectively.  The schedule for those is as follows:

At the Jersey City Theatre Center
339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ:

Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 PM  - "Wish Bone" by Phoebe Farber 
Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30 PM  - "Pushing the River" by Rosemary McLaughlin 

At Mile Square Theatre
1400 Clinton St, Hoboken, NJ:

Tuesday, March 20  at 7:30 PM  - "The Forest" by Lia Romeo
Tuesday, March 27  at 7:30 PM  - "The Other White Meat" by Erin Mallon

As always, all our readings are free of charge, with a $10 recommended donation (or donate what you can) and you can use any leftover punches on your WTNJ reading passes. If you're interested in purchasing a 7-Play Pass, you can still get those on our website, here. And all of our reading series this month are a part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's annual Stages Festival, a statewide celebration of theatre that brings free and low-cost performances to NJ audiences. For more information on the Stages Festival, click here.

Thank you and we hope to see you soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Music in Our Schools Month Concert

WHEN: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 7:00pm, doors will open 6:00pm  Before the concert, student and adult small groups will perform in the lobby of the gymnasium.  At 7:00pm, the concert will commence with an official welcome by the school principal. The performance is anticipated to be no more than one hour in length
RFIS gymnasium located at 50 Court Street in Flemington
ADMISSION: free with open seating, and all members of the community are welcome!

The Reading-Fleming Intermediate School (RFIS) PTO, in coordination with the RFIS Music Department, will host a free concert featuring the Hunterdon Harmonizers, Whitehouse Wind Symphony and Flemington-Raritan School District K-8 Student Choir. The month of March is recognized nationally as Music in Our Schools Month. This will mark the fifth time that the PTO has presented this concert.

“We are excited to host a very special night of music performed by a variety of talented local musicians in Hunterdon County including our very own Flemington-Raritan School District K-8 Student Choir” said Mr. Anthony DeMarco, Principal at RFIS. “Flemington-Raritan students and families, as well as members of the entire community, are invited to join us for this special free concert filled with music and song.  The event is sure to be exciting as students from across the school district join together with the Harmonizers and Wind Symphony for this special concert!”

After performance by the Hunterdon Harmonizers, the Flemington-Raritan K-8 District Chorus and the Whitehouse Wind Symphony, young concertgoers will have the opportunity to meet with singers and band members, and learn more about how music is made!

The RFIS PTO, RFIS Administrators and RFIS Music teachers look forward to welcoming the community at the Intermediate School!  RFIS is a Title 1 School within the Flemington-Raritan School District and the PTO is a fully recognized non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  Donations to the RFIS PTO are tax deductible.

For more information on the PTO, please CLICK HERE

The Harmonizers are an all-male a cappella singing group, located in Flemington. Performing together since 1984, they are a favorite among locals. The Harmonizers are dedicated to promoting and preserving this truly American art form known as barbershop harmony. For more information, please visit or

The Whitehouse Wind Symphony was founded by conductor emeritus Casey Bork in 1996.  Since its founding, the band has grown rapidly, attracting experienced musicians as regular members from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City and eastern Pennsylvania; it is now comprised of approximately 50 amateur and professional musicians who perform together regularly to enthusiastic audiences throughout central and northern New Jersey.   For more information, please visit or

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.


Dance Union - Open House/Rehearsal at Hamilton StageDance Union Festival

Inaugural Festival Showcases 9 Union County Based Dance Programs

WHEN: March 16-18
WHERE: Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway
TICKETS: Tickets for all events are available here

Carolyn Dorfman Dance (CDD), whose bold and dramatic works connect life and movement, announces the launch of DANCE UNION FESTIVAL as part of its 35th Anniversary Celebration. With its headquarters in Union Township for 30 years, the acclaimed dance company is collaborating with Union County Performing Arts Center and Rahway Dance Theatre to produce the first-of-its-kind festival that will shine a light on dance and diversity in Union County.

Having trained numerous dancers across the county, Carolyn Dorfman, a Union County stalwart, is eager to exhibit the townships’ exceptional dance companies and performers. An open rehearsal during the afternoon and reception on Friday night will recognize the Union County Freeholders and Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs—whose support through the History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands (HEART) grant has made this program possible. Open level and intermediate/advanced ballet and modern classes will be taught on Saturday morning by founding artistic director Carolyn Dorfman and Jay Skeete Lee, director of Rahway Dance Theatre. Sunday’s festivities will showcase performances by Union County dance companies including Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Rahway Dance Theatre and The Well Performance Project. Works by pre-professional dance company New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and five local high school dance programs—Cranford, Plainfield, Union County Vo-Tech Academy for Performing Arts (APA), Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy and Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy in Elizabeth—will also be showcased.

“After 30 years in Union County, we are eager to honor our longevity and connection with the community,” says Anita Thomas, the company’s first African American executive director who has spearheaded the festival. “This is a very diverse and growing county and this festival will highlight that diversity and give the whole community access to high-quality dance performances and training.” Thomas, together with Artistic Director Carolyn Dorfman, is especially excited about the opportunity the festival will present to welcome a broad segment of the community—especially senior citizens and disabled patrons—which the company happily embraces through their Patron Service (sensory) program.


  • March 16, 2018 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Rehearsal, *Free but must pre-register at info@carolyndorfmandance for 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. time slots
  • March 16, 2018 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Opening Reception, *FREE but must RSVP through ticketing link
  • March 17, 2018 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Ballet Technique Masterclass, Intermediate/Advanced with Jay Skeete Lee $15
  • March 17, 2018 10:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Contemporary/Modern Technique Masterclass, Open/Community Level with Carolyn Dorfman $15
  • March 17, 2018 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Ballet Technique Masterclass, Open/Community Level with Jay Skeete Lee $15
  • March 17, 2018 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Contemporary/Modern Technique Masterclass, Intermediate/Advanced Level with Carolyn Dorfman $15
  • March 18, 2018 3:00 p.m. Performance $20 for adults $10 for students/seniors

About Carolyn Dorfman Dance
Celebrating its 35th season, Carolyn Dorfman Dance connects life and dance in bold, athletic and dramatic works by Carolyn Dorfman and nationally renowned choreographers. 35 years strong, the company’s eleven multi-ethnic and stunning dancers tap their unique talents to present high-energy and technically demanding dance that unleashes the powerful storytelling and imagery of its visionary creator. Touring nationally and internationally, Carolyn Dorfman Dance appears at major theaters, festivals, universities, museums/galleries and other non-traditional performance venues. Carolyn Dorfman Dance presents immersive performance and teaching residencies that take the company into diverse communities to share art and process, creating experiences that build connection, understanding and inspire positive social change.



Image result for STROLLERS DOUBT

Doubt: A Parable
by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Robert Pape

Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play

WHEN: Friday, March 16 @ 8pm; Saturday, March 17 @8pm; Sunday, March 18 @2pm; Friday, March 23 @8pm; Saturday, March 24 @8pm
The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood
TICKETS: General Admission: $20; Seniors/Students: $15

As relevant today as ever, Doubt delves into the murky shadows of moral certainty, challenging each of us to separate perception from reality. Set in 1964, just after Vatican II, Doubt takes us within the halls of a Catholic school and tells the story of a suspicion.

The strident Sister Aloysius, both head of the school and subordinate of the newly arrived Father Flynn  her junior in both years and experience, is determined to protect the children in her charge as well as her own position in a new power struggle now in play. When her attention is drawn to Father Flynn’s interest in one particular student, Sister Aloysius must investigate, drawing in novice Sister James and the boys mother. Each with motives of their own, the players in this tense drama are forced to weigh the value of truth against the burden of consequence. But does truth have any weight at all when it is shrouded in doubt?


  • Sister Aloysius -  Cynthia S. Ross
  • Father Flynn -  Jason Kruk
  • Sister James -  Margaret Mikkelsen
  • Mrs. Muller -  Alice Holloway


By David Ives
Directed by Stephen Catron
WHEN:  March 15th – 25th. Additional Performances Added! March 23, 24 at 8pm & 25th at 2pm
WHERE: Black River Playhouse, 54 Grove Street, at the corner of Maple Ave., in Chester
TICKETS: $15.00


Mature Content and Language. Not suitable for children under 16.

Playwright Thomas Novachek is at a loss. There are no actresses talented enough to play his leading lady. Then in walks Vanda, a mysterious actress with the uncanny ability to inhabit his character. The audition quickly escalates into a seductive power play.

With humor and a hint of the erotic, Venus in Fur keeps you on the edge of your seat as you question "Who is really in charge here?"

CTG Black Box Productions present titles that wouldn’t normally be included in our regular season. By giving audiences, actors and directors a venue for smaller, off-beat plays that do not rely on larger sets, elaborate costumes, or similar production values, we hope to offer something different for those that appreciate the unusual.



Wild Horses

Bajou runs a storyteller’s gamut in her animated recollections ... the actress occupies all corners of the stage with a disarming energy; offering up a variety of voice characterizations, while maintaining a sense that this breakneck ramble through suburban bedrooms and dusty fields is going someplace fast. And you can bet that the last jukebox quarter that those wild horses of the title figure into the action - Asbury Park Press

Charming and Compelling ... Estelle  Bajou is outstanding - Broadway World

A tour de force performance - Two River Times

Touching and honest and presented with love and understanding affection - Out in Jersey

Estelle Bajou is particularly effective ... Director Barabas has a knowing way with female actors and characters. Gregory’s play is fragile -  it is handled with care - Scene On Stage

Wild Horses is a great evening of theater, telling a tale of adolescence at once particular and universal - The Link News

WHEN: Thursday, Friday at 7:45; Saturday at 2:45 and 7:45; Sunday at 1:45 now thru March 25.
Call 732-229-3166 or click BUY TICKETS to order your seats online.


Monday Night Salon Readings

Life On My Knees
by William Missouri Downs

WHEN: March 19, 2018. Doors open at 6:30. Readings begin promptly at 7:00 and are followed by a discussion. Seating is first come, first served.

A PhD in English lit isn't worth much—just ask Dr. Helen Hand. Desperate for a job, she drunkenly agrees to teach at a conservative bible college in the-middle-of-nowhere Kansas. The problem—she's a skeptic, a liberal and gluten intolerant. She enters a world of rigid moral rules: no smoking, no alcohol, no doubting. Working undercover she sets out to enlighten the fundamentalist students, but it quickly goes to hell. This small cast comedy looks at our need for faith and reason. 

Next Up ...

Issei, He Say, Or the Myth of the First 
an award-winning new play by Chloé Hung

WHEN: April 19 thru May 20. Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00; Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00; Sundays at 2:00.
For tickets call 732-229-3166 or click BUY TICKETS.

Directed by Lisa James and starring  Stan Egi, Kathleen Kwan, Fenton Li, Christina Liang, Issei, He Say is a story about family, told with humor and pathos, about being the first generation in a new country, the ups-and-downs of fitting in, the history they carry with them, and the prejudices that follow them.
Performances are





: Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ.
Open to dancers ages 10-21.
For more information and to register for the audition, please email Wendy Roman, company coordinator, at

The audition will consist of a short Ballet/Pointe or Jazz/Contemporary/Modern solo (less than 2 minutes).

“A Midsummer Dance Intensive” is a 14-day program, August 13-30, which meets five days a week for six hours a day.  This summer program is designed for young dancers interested in taking their artistic abilities to the next level under the tutelage of choreographer and director Gabriel Chajnik and visiting master teachers. Tuition: $1,200. Scholarships available.

The summer program culminates with a full-length production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream” on Thursday, August 30 at 8:00 p.m. The participating Dance Intensive students will perform alongside the professional company members of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theatre, accompanied by live musicians. The multi-media performance will integrate different styles of dance from Ballet and Pointe to Contemporary and Modern on the spacious stage at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center.

About Gabriel Chajnik

The founding director of the new Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater, Gabriel Chajnik was trained under the tutelage of Maestro Hector Zaraspe and is an alumnus of the Juilliard School.

Chajnik is a former dancer with American Repertory Ballet. His teaching credits expand from Argentina to Europe and the United States at Brooklyn Music School, Princeton Ballet, the Academy of Dance Arts and Gotta Dance in New Jersey. Gabriel’s work has been featured at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., Alice Tully Hall, the Clark Theater at Lincoln Center, MMAC, and the Lambs Theater.

Chajnik is also the Artistic Director for TranscenDanceGroup, whose TDG Holocaust Awareness performance has reached school students throughout the tri-state area. Chajnik has been honored by the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, & Warren Counties.

About Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center fosters artistic excellence by showcasing varied and distinct cultural programs that enrich the imaginative, intellectual, and creative soul, while cultivating an appreciation of diverse communities through the pursuit of the arts. For more information, please visit


Dr. Dubious and the Agnostics

WHEN: Friday, March 16, 7-10 PM
The Jazzberry Patch at Classic Quiche Café, 330 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck
TICKETS: $12 admission, full dinner menu and BYOB. Reservations suggested to insure seating.
Call 201-692-0150

Hot jazz of the ‘20’s and ‘30’s. 6 piece band.

”Home of Jazz in the Poconos”

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 2018, 7pm 11pm 
Deerhead Inn, 5 Main Street, Delaware Water Gap, PA

Carrie Jackson Quartet, Dave Braham, piano
Takashi Otsuka, bass; Les Mc Kee, drums

“Come to The Cabaret” Carrie Jackson & Jazzin’ All Stars

WHEN: Sunday, March 18, 2018, 1:00 pm -3:00 pm
YM-YWHA of Union County, 501 Green Lane, Union

Dave Braham, piano; Thaddeus Expose, bass; Gordon Lane, drums

Bring your Dancin’ Shoes!

Steve Sandberg and Rob Thomas

WHEN: March 18, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, 1867 Sanctuary, 101 Scotch Road
Ewing, NJ + Google Map

World jazz. Steve Sandberg (Piano), Rob Thomas (Violin) Tickets are available online, or call the box office: (609) 392-6409. Discount for members and groups. The New Jersey Jazz Society is a proud co-sponsor of Jazz at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing.

Bob DeVos Duo

WHEN: March, Sundays 18 & 25 – 12 noon-3pm
Marcus B&P, 56 Halsey Street, Newark NJ
(973) 645-0004

Bob DeVos – guitar, Brian Glassman – bass

Marcus Samuelsson is the James Beard Award-winning chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club and is a Top Chef First Place Winner. Come taste why at his newest venue in the historic Hahne’s Building.

Reservations recommended. No music charge.

Celebrating Women's History Month:
3 Divas & The Guys in the Band 

WHEN: Friday, March 23, 2018
The Priory at St. Josephs Plaza, 233 West Market Street, Newark
ADMISSION: Jazz Stimulus No Music Cover. Food or beverage purchase required

Carrie Jackson - Patricia Walton - Phyllis Blanford
The Band: Dave Braham, piano; Takashi Otsuka, bass; Les Mc Kee, drums

REJS Entertainment Presents
An evening with saxophonist/flautist Nelson Rangell

WHEN: Friday, March 23, 2018, 7PM to 10PM
Cranbury Inn, 21 South Main Street Cranbury, NJ
For tickets call 609-469-1228 or 609-218-2284 or visit

Featuring Joel Rosenblatt, Jim Ridi, & John Benitez 

Bob DeVos as Special Guest with the Behn Gillece Trio

WHEN: Friday March 23rd – 2 shows at 8 & 10pm
Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 

Bob DeVos-guitar, Behn Gillece-vibraphone, Chris Simonini-organ, Jason Tiemann-drums

Chris’ Jazz Cafe is Philadelphia’s premier jazz venue.

Danny Tobias/ George Rabbai Trumpet Summit!

WHEN: Saturday, March 24, @ 2:00 pm
1867 Sanctuary Arts & Culture Center, 101 Scotch Road, Ewing + Google Map
Tickets are available online, or call the box office: (609) 392-6409. Discount for members and groups. The New Jersey Jazz Society is a proud co-sponsor of Jazz at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing.
For information please call: 609-392-6409

Danny Tobias/George Rabbai Trumpet Summit in the wonderful acoustics of the 1867 Sanctuary! These jazz trumpet greats are joined by Pat Mercuri on guitar, Phil Orr on piano, and Joe Plowman on bass.

AMANI: 14th annual spring concert

WHEN: Saturday, March 24th, 8 pm 
The Watchung Arts Center, 18 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ for more information.

The Musicians Are: Stephen Fuller – Vocals; Marty Eigen - Sax, Flute and Clarinet; Fred Fischer – Piano; Flip Peters – Guitar; Alex Gressel – Bass; Nick Scheuble – Drums

Carrie Jackson & Friends

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 8pm-11pm
16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro, 16 Prospect Street, Westfield
ADMISSION: Jazz Stimulus No Music Cover. Food or beverage purchase required

Bob de Benedette, pn; Takashi Otsuka, bass; Les Mc Kee, drms

Antoinette Montague

WHEN: March 27th at 5:00pm
Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark

Women In Media Newark’s 9th annual Women’s History Month Film Festival begins on March 27th at 5:00pm at the Newark Museum. At that time Newark’s own Antoinette Montague will be honored as a cultural treasure in recognition of her life long work in the jazz, blues and the arts, and a support role, or as a performer. Will host an international group of independent film by and about women at Rutgers University, and other sites in the state. 

Ellen LaFurn, vocals

WHEN: March 29th at 6:45 PM 
MK Valencia, 228 Main St., Ridgefield Park
201 373-0228.

Vic Cenicola, guitar and Earl Sauls, bass

Great food & drinks!


ADMISSION: Adult $24, Senior $20   Buy Tickets

Though cities like Harlem and Chicago are often most associate with “The Golden Age of Jazz,” it was Queens, New York that was home to more jazz musicians per square mile than anywhere else in the United States. Clarinetist Dennis Lichtman, leader of the fabled Mona’s jam session in New York City, will be bringing an all-star quintet to pay tribute to past denizens of Queens such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke and many more!

Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at (732) 255-0500.

The New Jersey Jazz Society is a proud co-sponsor of MidWeek Jazz.

Antoinette Montague

WHEN: Thursday March 29, at 6:00pm
Rutgers University’s Paul Robeson Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, Newark
ADMISSION: Free to the public

“Passages: Women in Transition,” Women In Media Newark’s 9th annual Women’s History Month Film Festival begins on March 27th at 5:00pm at the Newark Museum. At that time Newark’s own Antoinette Montague will be honored as a cultural treasure in recognition of her life long work in the jazz, blues and the arts, and a support role, or as a performer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rahway’s Warren Vache Leads One of Four All-Star Bands At New Jersey Jazz Society’s Pee Wee Russell Stomp


WHEN: Sunday, March 18, from noon-5:00pm 
: Birchwood Manor, 111 N Jefferson Rd, Whippany,
ADMISSION: $30 in advance for members, $35 for non-members; $40 at the door for members, $45 for non-members. Student tickets (with current ID) are $15 either in advance or at the door.
To order tickets, log onto, call 1-800-838-3006, or send a check payable to NJJS, including a $3 per order handling fee, together with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, to: NJJS, c/o Mike Katz, 382 Springfield Avenue, Suite 217, Summit, NJ 07901.

Performance Schedule

  • Noon-1 p.m.               Daryl Sherman Sextet
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m.           Professor Cunningham and His Old School
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m.           Warren Vache Quintet
  • 3:30-4:00 p.m.           Awards Presentations
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m.           George Gee Orchestra

Warren_Vache_2In the 1970s and ‘80s, cornetist/trumpeter Warren Vache (right) played in the house band at Eddie Condon’s on West 54th Street in New York City. Condon’s was down the street from Jimmy Ryan’s where legendary trumpeter Roy Eldridge performed. During their breaks, Eldridge and the young Vache would listen to each other. That, says Vache, was, “the best teaching experience I ever had.”

A longtime resident of Rahway, NJ, Vache will be leading one of four bands playing at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s 49th annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp. Described by’s Ken Dryden as “one in a long line of important cornetists following Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy McPartland, and Ruby Braff,” Vache will head a quintet featuring the soulful tenor saxophonist Houston Person, along with pianist Steve Ash, bassist Earl Sauls, and drummer Steve Williams.

daryl-in-gold-jacket_at-pianoThe other bands include: The George Gee Swing Orchestra, which includes trombonist/music director David Gibson; trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, who grew up in Teaneck, NJ; and alto saxophonist Julius Tolentino, who directs the jazz band at Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ. Professor Cunningham and His Old School, a septet led by clarinetist/saxophonist Adrian Cunningham, which also features West Orange, NJ, pianist Oscar Perez, trombonist Jim Fryer, and trumpeter Jon Challoner.  The Daryl Sherman Sextet, led by pianist/vocalist Daryl Sherman (left) and including trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, reedman Jay Rattman, guitarist James Chirillo, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Kevin Dorn.

This year’s Stomp will be dedicated to the memory of drummer Chuck Slate, Sr., who died last November. Slate’s Traditional Jazz Band performed at the first Stomp in 1970 at the Martinsville Inn in Martinsville, NJ. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, leading a band or trio, Slate appeared at several New Jersey venues, mostly in Morris County or the Somerset Hills. They included the Ride‘n Hunt Club and the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, NJ, The Store in Basking Ridge, NJ, and Rod’s in Convent Station, NJ. He also performed at the Chester Inn and Hillside Lounge in Chester, NJ, prompting The New York Times’ John S. Wilson, in 1972, to refer to Chester as the “jazz center” of New Jersey. Clarinetist Joe Licari, who played with Slate in the 1980s, will receive the NJJS Distinguished Musician award, and jazz writer and critic Will Friedwald will be honored as this year’s Jazz Advocate.

The George Gee Swing Orchestra is a regular attraction at Swing 46, the jazz supper club on West 46th Street in New York City. In a review of Swing Makes You Happy!, Gee’s 2014 album on the Rondette Jazz label, praised trombonist Gibson’s arrangements, which “give the nonet the feel of a small big band. With a pair of trumpets, a single trombone, three saxes, and three rhythms to work on, his [Gibson’s] writing has the kind of tight, punchy call and response patterns that the late-era Basie band deployed.”