Friday, April 18, 2014

THE FUTURE OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC AT MCCARTER

NicoMuhly byMatthewMurphyAN EVENING OF MUSIC FROM COMPOSER NICO MUHLY
Featuring Sam Amidon (banjo/voice) and Nadia Sirota (viola)

WHEN: FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 8:00 PM
WHERE:
McCarter Theatre, Matthews Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton
TICKETS: Tickets start as low as $25 when using promo code “MUHLY”, and can be purchased online at www.mccarter.org, by phone at 609.258;2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

“Nico Muhly has acknowledged many musical influences, including Benjamin Britten, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, his mentor Philip Glass…with his keen ear, he is able to fold these inspirations into his own style.” —The New York Times

If American contemporary music has a “composer of the moment,” it’s Nico Muhly, whose incidental music was one of the highlights of McCarter’s recent production of The Winter’s Tale. Muhly has released several albums not only of his own music, but also as arranger and conductor for others.

At the young age of 32, he has already created a wide scope of work for every possible genre you can imagine including orchestras, dance companies, films, and pop groups. His first full length opera, Two Boys, was described as “serious and radiant” by The New York Times, and garnered much critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic with its 2011 English National Opera and 2013 Metropolitan Opera productions. This special concert event will include showcase Muhly’s powerful and forward-thinking original compositions, as Muhly is joined onstage by friends and frequent collaborators Sam Amidon and Nadia Sirota.

Construction Updates

Construction continues around McCarter for Princeton University’s Arts & Transit project and the expansion of the Lewis Center for the Arts. This will have an impact on parking, traffic, and transit in and around McCarter through early Fall 2014. Stay informed by visiting mccarter.org/VisitorInfo to get the latest construction updates.

YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS’ WORKS SHOWCASED IN OCEAN GROVE NEXT SATURDAY

WITCH’S TALE
By Dennis Gribben
A staged reading
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2 PM

RIPPLED REFLECTIONS
By Nicholas Ryan and Julie Murtha
A book-in-hand production of a musical drama
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 8 PM

WHERE: Coastal Artists Productions in the Jersey Shore Arts Center (the old Neptune High School), 66 South Main Street, Ocean Grove New Jersey.
TICKETS: $10 and $7 for Students and Senior Citizens with ID
To purchase tickets for A WITCH’S TALE or RIPPLED REFLECTIONS please visit www.coastalartists.org/theatre or www.lastradaensemble.org. For more information about LaStrada Ensemble Theater of Monmouth, send an email to LaStradaEnsembleTheater@gmail.com  or call 732.455.2748.

Oscar Wilde may have said “Youth is wasted on the young,” but LaStrada Ensemble Theater of Monmouth begs to differ in the case of young playwrights Dennis Gribben, 20, and Nicholas Ryan, 18, and composer Julie Murtha, 16—all of them from Brick Township, N.J. 

Gribben’s play A WITCH’S TALE takes place long, long ago, when a Witch finds a Lost Boy in the Dark Forest and raises him as her own son, whom she names Todd. Seventeen years her Magical Crystal Ball tells her that Todd is fated to kill her. Meanwhile, Todd meets some Royal Knights who tell him he is the long-lost Prince, and he must decide which is stronger – the lure to be a Prince—or the love of a mother (even if she is a Witch)?

140418-1_Dennis Gribben“I’m usually more comfortable writing comedy, but with A WITCH’S TALE, there is a step-up in drama,” said Gribben. "I have been working on the play for over a year now. I wanted to make sure that not only the story had a strong conflict, but that the focus was on the characters, their motivations, their overall purpose in the story—and how they grow from the beginning to the end of the play."

“I am blown away that someone so young could write such a fully-realized play that is not only extremely funny, but is also chock-full of conflict and with such rounded characters,” said Stephen Larsen, LaStrada’s Managing Director, who worked with Gribben as dramaturge for A WITCH’S TALE. “The spirit, and sense of drama, of Dennis’ play reminds me of the movie A Princess Bride, but with a little Mel Brooks-type humor sprinkled into the cauldron,” added Larsen.

140418-2_Nicholas Ryan (left) and Julie Murtha (right)Ryan’s and Murtha’s musical RIPPLED REFLECTIONS is the story of two young men, Hal and Tom, who are in love, but a dark secret from the past threatens to tear their relationship and lives apart. The story asks the question: Will Tom and Hal have the courage to be who they are in a world that can be brutally intolerant?

"RIPPLED REFLECTIONS was born from staring into a puddle on a rainy day, two years ago; I approached Julie, who wrote a breathtaking score, and here we are,” said Ryan. “I think it is truly a story that needs to be told, about how difficult it is to be comfortable in your own skin, and to be proud of who you are."

“First off, I am amazed at the fact that anyone can write a musical,” said A.J. Ciccotelli, LaStrada’s Artistic Director, who worked with Ryan and Murtha as dramaturge for RIPPLED REFLECTIONS. “But with this musical, we have two teenagers who are tackling serious subject matter – homophobia, bullying, friendship, love and commitment. Strip away the fact that it was written by two youngsters and what you still have is a solid, hit-you-in-the-gut, well-crafted and superbly-executed tragedy on the highest scale."

MAY EVENTS @ SOPAC IN SOUTH ORANGE

SOPAC South Orange Performing Arts Center

Brooklyn Chamber Music SocietyDido and Aeneas
by Henry Purcell
WHEN: THU-SAT, MAY 1-3, AT 8 PM; SUN, MAY 4, AT 2 PM
An opera based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid recounting the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her.

Presented by Seton Hall University Arts Council and the MidAtlantic Opera Classical Concert Series/Seton Hall Theatre.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation.
4 Performances! - Buy Tickets


Brooklyn Chamber Music SocietyJazz in the LOFT: Wincey Terry
WHEN: SUN, MAY 4, AT 7 PM
Jazz singer Wincey Terry is a native of Newark, NJ who went from the choir stand to the music and film business working with industry giants like Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Sting and Tina Turner.

In the LOFT at SOPAC is an intimate series of music and theater events hosted in the casual cabaret-style setting of the SOPAC Loft.
Tickets Just $15


Brooklyn Chamber Music SocietyTom Paxton & Holly Near
with Special Guest
Emma's Revolution

WHEN: FRI, MAY 9, AT 8 PM
An evening with two legendary folk musicians. Tom Paxton has been an integral part of the songwriting and fold music community since the early 60s Greenwich Village scene and continues to be a primary influence on today's "New Folk" performers. Holly near is a unique combination of entertainer, teacher, and activist. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality.
Buy Tickets


Brooklyn Chamber Music SocietyListen To Your Mother
WHEN: SAT, MAY 10, AT 5 PM
Listen To Your Mother is a national series of original works about motherhood. The mission of Listen To Your Mother is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that gives a voice to motherhood (in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor) in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their local authors.
Buy Tickets


The South Orange Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization. For more information about supporting SOPAC please visit www.sopacnow/support or call our Development Department at 973.382.1033.

SOPAC is committed to making the arts experience as complete and enjoyable as possible for all patrons. If you or a member of your party is in need of assistance, please notify the SOPAC Box Office at 973-313-ARTS (2787) at the time tickets are purchased. Patrons may also contact the Patron and Ticket Services Department at 973-382-1028 at least 7-10 days prior to attending an event to request assistance.

SOPAC programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Singer Songwriters are sponsored in part by Investors Bank. Media Sponsor: WFUV.org.

NEW JERSEY BALLET at bergenPAC THIS WEEKEND

bergenpac

njb_balletonbroadway_600

BALLET ON BROADWAY

WHEN: Saturday, April 26, at 8 PM
WHERE:
bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood

Buy Tickets

04 photos with Esmeralda 600

CINDERELLA

WHEN: Sunday, April 27, at 1 PM & 4 PM
WHERE:
bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood

Buy Tickets

“IN THE CAR WITH BLOSSOM AND LEN” FILLS 2nd SLOT IN CSC WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS SERIES

IN THE CAR WITH BLOSSOM AND LEN
By Joni Fritz

WHEN: Wednesday, Apr 23, at 7:30 PM
WHERE:
Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: Admission  is by donation and reservations are requested.   
For   reservations and information contact the Centenary Stage Company Box Office at 908.979.0900, or visit online at www.centenarystageco.org

Family dynamics can be the source of endless comedic material, as is the case in the 2nd play of the CSC Women Playwrights Series. In this funny and poignant new play, a basket full of unpaid bills for chemical engineer Lenny Gold’s laboratory is discovered one of his adult  daughters, unveiling a lifetime of secrets, a mysterious silent partner, and a few other challenges which must be met by this family. In the Car… is a delightful family saga  about growing up, growing older and … where you put the keys.

HEADSHOT Joni FritzPlaywright Joni Fritz (right) has worked in theatre and television as a writer and actress, with appearances in NYC and regional theatre, film, television and commercials. Her writing credits run the gamut from theatre to videos, documentaries and sketch comedy for USA Network. Most recently, Joni's play "Girl's Room," starring Broadway legends Carol Lawrence and Donna McKechnie, directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, enjoyed successful runs in NY and LA.  Her work has been seen in several theatres in the NYC area, including Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Women’s Theatre Company and Dreamcatcher Rep.  She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatist Guild, and resides in Pompton Plains, NJ.

Broadway veteran Lynne Taylor-Corbett  helps bring this play to life as director in this Hackettstown presentation. Taylor-Corbett has been nominated for Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award for Broadway’s Swing!,  and received Drama Desk and Lortel nominations for My Vaudeville Man and Wanda’s World. She recently directed and choreographed a new production of The Seven Deadly Sins for the New York City Ballet with Patti LuPone in the role of Anna. Her choreography can be seen in feature films Footloose and My Blue Heaven and in Disney's stage show, Aladdin, at the Hyperion Theatre in California, and she also choreographed two hit shows on Broadway, Chess and Titanic,  in which CSC Artistic Director Carl Wallnau also performed (First National Tour). Taylor-Corbett has enjoyed a vast career directing Off-Broadway and regional houses, such as The Minetta Lane, NY Fringe, Hartford Stage, and NJ’s own George Street Playhouse.   

About the Women Playwrights Series

Now in its 22nd year, the Centenary Stage Company Women Playwrights Series ( WPS) presents 3-4  new plays each year  in rehearsed staged readings throughout the month of April.  Led by Program Director Catherine Rust,  the WPS is dedicated to providing a working forum for the unique and underserved voice of women writing for the theater today.   The Series features the finalists in the Susan Glaspell contest, which offers the winner further development support worth $35,000 in a full production on the CSC professional Equity main-stage season, as well as a cash payment to the author. 

Centenary Stage Company is an affiliate member of the National New Play Network (based in Washington, D.C.), and participates in the “Extended Life” and “Rolling World Premiere” programs, designed to give playwrights larger exposure and sustained life throughout  the country in their first year of production.

COMING UP

HOW WATER BEHAVES
By Sherry Kramer
WHEN: Sunday, April 27 at 2 PM
WHERE: Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown

CYGNUS
By Susan Soon Ye Stanton
WHEN: Wednesday, Apr 30 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown

A FREE WRITING WORKSHOP
WHEN: Saturday, Apr 26 from 10 – 2 PM
Led by John Pietrowski, of the Playwrights Theatre of NJ.  
Advance reservations are required, and can be made through the CSC Box office.

The  CSC Women Playwrights Series  is made possible in part through the  generous support of   the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation ,  the NJ State Council on the Arts,  The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Heath Village Retirement Community, and the many CSC members and sponsors. 

LEONIA CHAMBER MUSICIANS TO PERFORM FINAL CONCERT OF 40TH SEASON

clip_image001

Final Concert of the Season

WHEN: April 27, 2:30 PM
WHERE: 
American Legion Hall, 399 Broad Avenue, Leonia, New Jersey.
ADMISSION:
$20 for adults, $15 for seniors over 65, and students under 18 are admitted free.
Reservations are highly recommended.
Contact Daryl Goldberg at 201.947.3923 or dgcello@aol.com for reservations.
The concert is open to the public.

The family oriented program features Peter and the Wolf, a favorite children’s story set to music by Sergei Prokofiev and narrated by four-time Tony® Award nominee Gregg Edelman. Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gioachino Rossini will also be performed. (Above: Leonia Chamber Musicians Society Inc. members L-R, Patricia Dougherty, bass; Daryl Goldberg, cello; Edward Brewer, harpsichord; Marsha Heller, oboe; Theresa Norris, flute; and William J. Scribner, bassoon. Photo credit: Rob Mathewson)

The concert will include the Rossini overture Italian in Algiers and the Allegro movement, nicknamed "The Hunt", from String Quartet No.17 by Mozart. The Leonia Chamber Musicians and guest performers for the concert will be Cenovia Cummins and Roy Lewis, violins; Maggie Speier, viola; Daryl Goldberg, cello; Pat Dougherty, bass; Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Eric Weidman, clarinet; Atsuko Sato, bassoon; Lauren Hosford, French horn; and Eric Borghi, percussion. Andrejs Jansons will conduct Peter and the Wolf.

Refreshments will be served after the concert. The audience will have an opportunity to meet and greet the musicians.

This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

About Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc.
The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, enriches the cultural environment of the community by presenting a series of high quality, affordable, and accessible chamber music concerts.  The members of the Leonia Chamber Musicians generate the excitement of a live performance with professional talent: all of them perform in the major concert halls of New York City.

Music for the programs is selected to educate the audience about different periods and styles of music.  Throughout the concerts, presentations are given about the music being played, the composers, the musicians and related subjects.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. are welcome and encouraged to continue the tradition of quality concerts at affordable prices.  Checks may be made to the attention of Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. and mailed to P.O. Box 473, Leonia, New Jersey 07605.  To be added to the mailing list, send an e- mail to dgcello@aol.com or call Daryl Goldberg at 201.94.-3923. 

For more information about the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., visit https://www.facebook.com/leoniachambermusic

SPEND A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN SEVILLE, SPAIN AT THE APRIL FAIR @ WOODBRIDGE PARK

clip_image001Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre presents

FERIA DE SEVILLA

WHEN: Sunday, April 27 (Rain Date Sunday May 4), 3:00 – 6:00 PM
WHERE:
Parker Press Park, 428 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge
Admission: FREE!
For more information: call 732.598.3979 or email AlboradaDance@optonline.net

Ole! Spend a Sunday afternoon in Spain as Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre transports you and your family and friends to Spain’s famous April Fair of Seville. (Above: Flamenco singer Gisele Assi with guitarists Jose Ramos and Ivan Max; Photo credit: L. McCullough, 2013)

clip_image001[5]Feria de Sevilla will celebrate Spain's unique cultural heritage with live Flamenco music and traditional Flamenco dances performed by Alborada’s professional artists, clicking castanets, gorgeous ruffled costumes, castanet and dance workshops, children’s arts and crafts, plus delicious foods and drink, ALL Spanish Style! (Left: Alborada dancers Elena Reyes and Claudia Morena dancing Sevillanas in the park.)

The Feria de Sevilla is a weeklong festival in Seville, Spain, where the local population gathers to celebrate their vibrant culture. Alborada recreates this special event with its own Feria de Sevilla.

As part of the Woodbridge Arts Alliance Family Cultural Event Series, this event will not only celebrate Spain's unique cultural heritage with a New Jersey flair, but also provide an enjoyable family oriented event for people of all ages. Enjoy an afternoon of colorful costumes, dances performed by Alborada’s professional company, joyous live music, clicking castanets, stomping feet, children’s arts and crafts, delicious foods and drink, ALL Spanish Style!

About the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre

Through dance, drama and music, Alborada’s passionate artistry reveals the many diverse and historical threads that comprise the multicultural fabric of Spanish culture. Both entertaining and educational, the variety of its repertoire runs the artistic gamut of Spanish Flamenco and traditional dances, to Hispanic, Celtic, Moorish cultural influences and beyond. As stated by Tammy LaGorce, New York Times, Alborada is “awhirl in drama and color”.  Visit www.AlboradaDance.org for more information. Alborada can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alborada.dance.

About the Woodbridge Arts Alliance

The Woodbridge Arts Alliance provides Arts and Arts Education services to the residents of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, through the presentation of public programs that develop, expand and promote community interest and appreciation of the Arts.

Presented by the Bank of Woodbridge, Division of BCB Community Bank in collaboration with the Woodbridge Arts Alliance, and also sponsored in part by UPS and AmeriHealth New Jersey.

STUDENT ART ON VIEW @ THE MORRIS MUSEUM THROUGH JUNE 1ST

clip_image002

Blood-Orchid-by-Katrina-Utkina[1]Fresh Perspectives: A Juried High School Art Exhibition
WHEN: April 10 – June 1, 2014
WHERE:
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown
ADMISSION: Admission to the museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens.
Admission is always free for Museum members and is free to the public every second and third Thursday of the month between 4:00 and 8:00 PM. For more information, call 973.971.3700, or visit www.morrismuseum.org

Fifty outstanding artworks by talented New Jersey high school students will be on view in the 25th Annual Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Morris Museum. (Above: Katrina Utkina, Blood Orchid, Fresh Perspectives 2005)

The annual Fresh Perspectives juried exhibition began in 1989 to give artistically accomplished high school students a professionally organized museum exhibition experience and to recognize art teachers for their encouragement and the effective teaching of these talented student artists. An exhibition catalog with the names of all of the students, as well as the names of their teachers, will be available.

This year, 144 teachers from 40 schools representing 10 New Jersey counties submitted 446 works of art created by high school studentsFifty of these works were selected by the judges for inclusion in the exhibition. Fresh Perspectives includes examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, computer-based graphic design and works made with found objects.

Brock Danner and Dan Fenelon served as the judges for this year’s exhibition.  Danner is the founder and creative director of Design Made Inc., an agency that specializes in brand creation and customer experience design. He is also an architect and designer that has designed award-winning projects in retail, broadcast, visual identity, graphics, and customer experience. 

Fenelon is talented graphic designer and illustrator with over twenty years of experience. 

This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; and the F.M. Kirby Foundation

About the Morris Museum

Celebrating 100 years, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through high caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities.  The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums. 

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on the second and third Thursday of the month.

“NUNSENSE” WITH A MALE TWIST @ THE PARK PLAYERS IN FORT LEE

1458510_806686979360093_2048706731_aNUNSENSE A-MEN!
MUSIC, LYRICS, BOOK BY DAN GOGGIN

WHEN: 4/25, 4/27, 5/2, 5/4 at 8 PM, 4/26, 5/3 at 2 PM
WHERE:
Church Of The Good Shepherd 1576 Palisade Ave., Fort Lee
TICKETS: Adults $15, Seniors & Students $13 Groups of 10 or more $11
For tickets call 201.941.6030
For credit card purchase www.brownpapertickets.com
http://www.parkplayers.com/

The original Nunsense show with all of the characters being portrayed by male musical comedy performers. Think of it as Mrs. Doubtfire enters the Convent. Joseph D. Conklin reprises his side splitting portrayal of The Reverand Mother. (Above: Joseph Conklin as The Reverend Mother Regina and John Fiorenza as the streetwise nun, Sister Robert Ann)

Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease.”

Nunsense A-Men is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

WALTER MOSELEY’S “LIFE” OPENS AT CROSSROADS THEATRE TO RAVE REVIEWS

WHERE: Crossroads Theatre, 7 LIVINGSTON AVE. NEW BRUNSWICK
www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org
732.545.8100

Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:
Johnson & Johnson
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission
New Brunswick Cultural Center
New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment

LATIN JAZZ @ MUSIC IN THE MOONLIGHT JAZZ SERIES AT LUNA STAGE

The Oscar Perez & Bob DeVos Quartet

The Latin Side of Jazz

WHEN: Sunday, April 27, 7PM
WHERE:
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
TICKETS: $18 In Advance; $20 At The Door
Purchase Tickets HERE

Master pianist Oscar Perez and master guitarist Bob DeVos have much in common: they are musician to audience communicators, have deep improvisational and compositional chops, and enjoy vast experience in straight ahead jazz as well as Afro Cuban, Latin and Brazilian.

The Latin Side of Jazz features DeVos and Perez's arrangements of works by Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The concert marks Bob DeVos's second appearance in Luna's Jazz Series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

“HAIR” REVISITS TURBULENT ‘60S @ MCCC’S KELSEY THEATRE

HAIR

WHEN: April 25 to May 4, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM; A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on April 25.
WHERE:
County Community College (MCCC) Kelsey Theatre, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road, East Windsor
TICKETS: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students and children. Tickets are available online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609.570.3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

The Theatre Program at Mercer County Community College takes audiences back to the turbulent, free-wheeling 1960s for the groundbreaking, exhilarating and heartbreaking musical Hair, a product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of that remarkable decade. [Above, cast members include, from left, Tia Brown, Tonya Treadwell, Jonathan V. Polanco, Dan Johnson, Richard Ward, Reginald Brockington (back), Nicholas Andrejco, and Domonique Jarrett (kneeling); front: Caroline Scott.]

An anthem to free love, the idealism of youth and the cost of war, HAIR intertwines the stories of Claude, who is wrestling with what to do about his draft notice, Berger, who urges him to resist, and the Tribe, that just wants to "tune in, turn on and drop out.”  The story is embellished with an unforgettable musical score, featuring such numbers as the title song “Hair,” as well as “Aquarius,” “Easy to Be Hard,” “Let the Sunshine In,” and “Good Morning Starshine.” The most recent Broadway revival of Hair came to the stage in 2008, with Time magazine writing, "Today 'Hair' seems, if anything, more daring than ever."

Director Lou Stalsworth observes that the show has taken on significant historical value. “My job is to lead a young cast back in time,” he explains, noting that as part of their preparation for the show, cast members have been looking at old news reels, reading headlines and listening to old music to provide context for their portrayals.

“They've worked hard and it's paying off,” Stalsworth says, adding that his biggest directorial challenge is creating moments on stage that appear to have no structure, but are in fact carefully orchestrated.

“We anticipate an audience that will be a mix of those who lived through that era and a whole new generation that has only read about the ‘60s or seen movies that attempt to capture it,” Stalsworth says.

Starring in HAIR are Reginald Brockington of Hamilton as Hud; Dan Johnson of Ewing as Berger; Mariah King of Dayton as Crissy; Liz Lackey of Hamilton as Sheila; Jonathan V. Polanco of Hamilton as Claude; Joe Schachter of East Windsor as Woof; and Tonya Treadwell of Ewing as Dionne.

“Tribe” members include Nicholas Andrejco of Mercerville, Dwayne Barnes of Trenton, Tia Brown of Lawrenceville, Christian DiTullio of Lawrenceville, Patrick Gallagher of Hamilton, Seret Gomez-Ryan of East Windsor, Domonique Jarrett of East Windsor, Elizabeth Koenig of Yardley, Alex Kornberg of Princeton, Maria Laurenti of Chesterfield, Mike Miele of Belle Mead, Zoe Morrison of Lawrenceville, Mina Ramzey, Caroline Scott of Skillman, Alden Stewart of Lambertville, Richard Ward of Hamilton Square, Darrell J. Watts of Plainsboro and Amariss White of Trenton.

In addition to direction by Stalsworth, the show is produced by M. Kitty Getlik, with choreography by Jody P. Person, musical direction by Anthony DiDia, and sets and costumes by Kate Pinner. The stage manager is Matthew Luppino. Lighting and sound design is by Robert Terrano, who will be assisted by MCCC students Eric Collins, Roodshield Deravil, Devin C. Dopson, Evan Griner, Nicholas J. Mastalesz, Starrika C. McCloud, Evan Pain, and Sean M. Palombi.