Thursday, August 16, 2018

Allan Harris Swings in with Music of Nat King Cole & Eddie Jefferson, Friday, August 24th

Allan Harris Quartet: Music of Nat King Cole & Eddie Jefferson

WHEN: August 24, 2018, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Rutherfurd Hall, 1686 Route 517 - Allamuchy
TICKETS: $30 in Advance or $35 at the Door
(908) 852-1894 Ext 338

Tickets available locally in Hackettstown NJ at Mama's Cafe, Baci &
Panther Valley Pharmacy

The outstanding and internationally renowned vocalist, guitarist and composer Allan Harris sums up his personal perspective on music in clear and straightforward terms. “There is nothing that I have found that defines and gives credence to my place in this wild and mysterious universe than this thing called music.”

Over the past 20 years, Harris has steadily developed his reputation as one of the finest vocalists of his era. Aptly described by the Miami Herald as an artist blessed with, “the warmth of  Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King' Cole,” the ample and aural evidence of Harris’ moving and magisterial artistry can be heard on his ten recordings as a leader; his far-flung and critically-acclaimed concerts around the world, from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, to the 2012 London Olympics, and a number of prestigious bookings in Europe, The Middle East and Asia, and his numerous awards, which include the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist” – which he won three times – the Backstage Bistro Award for “Ongoing Achievement in Jazz,” the Harlem Speaks “Jazz Museum of Harlem Award”  and the DownBeat Critic’s Poll Award “Rising Star Vocalist.”

Drummer, educator, clinician, author and health coach, Shirazette Tinnin was born and raised in North Carolina. Her early influences were gospel music, R&B and soul music.  Her stylistic influences would eventually expand into jazz, rock and music from many parts of the African diaspora.

A graduate of Appalachian State University, Shirazette studied with Todd Right, Dr. Rob Falvo, Rick Dilling and Scott Meister. She studied and continues to be mentored by drummers Cindy Blackman, Lewis Nash, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ernie Adams and more. Shirazette received a full scholarship for drum set and jazz pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, where she studied under professor Ron Carter.

A 2008 recipient of The Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars for IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) Award, Shirazette has also taught on the collegiate level at Columbia College in Chicago. Currently residing in New York City, Shirazette was the house drummer for The Meredith Vieira Talk Show, Season 1 on NBC.

Known for her innovative ability to incorporate contemporary melodic, rhythmic and harmonic devices in both her playing and writing, New York-based jazz pianist, composer and educator Arco-Iris Sandoval hopes to promote environmental and social awareness through her music.

Born into a musical family, Arco-Iris began studying piano as a young child, giving her first recital of original compositions and Bach Preludes when she was 6 years old. At the age of 12 she orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Tucson Symphony and Tucson Pops Orchestra. By high school ArcoIris was performing regularly with professionals in the area and was the pianist for the Tucson Jazz Institute’s award winning Ellington Big Band. She was also featured twice in 2004 and 2007 performing original solo piano works in high school and then in college on a nationally televised event held at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix, AZ called "Cox Everyday Heroes.”

While attaining a bachelors degree in piano studies from the University of Arizona under the tutelage of jazz pianist Jeff Haskell and classical instructor Paula Fan, Arco-Iris had the opportunity to perform at major festivals throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and China including the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Telluride Jazz Festival. She is a recipient of the 2013 and 2015 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award and she also participated in the 2013 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. under the artistic direction of Jason Moran. In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright grant from the US Embassy for traveling abroad with Camille Thurman's stet.

Philly-born bassist Nimrod Speaks certainly has kept his ears open. According to Homer Jackson of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, “Speaks is one of the most in demand bassists in the Mid-Atlantic region and a powerful songwriter." Speaks started his musical progression at the age of 16 years old. First learning the electric bass with Ricardo Jackson and eventually adding the upright double bass upon entering college. While obtaining his Bachelor’s in Music from Kutztown University and a Masters in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, Nimrod continued his musical journey on the bandstand and honed his craft in not only jazz, but gospel, classical, soul, R&B and African Rhythms. Speaks splits his time between teaching privately, ministering with nonprofit organizations and traveling with Greg Osby, Ronnie Burrage, Doc Gibbs, Hanible Lokumbe, Jerry Topinka, Shirazette Tinnin, Dr. Matthew Clayton and others. Most recently, you can hear Nimrod as part of the Allan Harris Band or locally with the Leon Jordan Sr. Trio and also as part of the Luke O’Reilly Trio.

Nat King Cole (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965) was an American jazz pianist and vocalist. He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits on the pop charts. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. Cole also acted in films and on television and performed on Broadway. He was the first black man to host an American television series.

Eddie Jefferson (August 3, 1918 – May 9, 1979) was a jazz vocalist and lyricist. He is credited as an innovator of vocalese, a musical style in which lyrics are set to an instrumental composition or solo. Jefferson himself claims that his main influence was Leo Watson. Perhaps his best-known song is "Moody's Mood for Love", though it was first recorded by King Pleasure, who cited Jefferson as an influence. Jefferson's songs "Parker's Mood" and "Filthy McNasty" were also hits.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Returns to the Summit Farmers Market in August


The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and local artists will return to the Farmers Market in Summit after a successful outing that captivated attendees in July.

WHEN: Sunday, August 19, from 8 AM–1 PM
: Park & Shop Lot #2, at the corner of DeForest Avenue and Maple Street in Summit.

During that outing, visitors to the Art Center’s tent were asked to participate in a shared vision board and were given instruction on how to create mandala drawings. Artists Nan Ring and Asha Ganpat will further engage the community in discussions about artistic process while creating and displaying original artwork.

Ganpat will work on large cardboard sculptures of a life-sized outhouse and an old tube-television. Ring will invite visitors to write stories of compassion onto squares of silkscreened vintage flour sacks, which will then be added to her compassion quilt.

“Compassion is what I think the world needs more of now,” said Ring, explaining her work. “The quilt is made from flour sacks because they literally once held sustenance, and as they become a quilt of our compassion stories, they will again hold sustenance, but this time metaphorically.”

Both Art Center presentations at the Summit Farmers Market have been organized by Sarah Walko, Director of Education & Community Engagement. “The farmers market is a great place to meet and interact with our neighbors,” said Walko. “In July, artists engaged the public with communal expression and we hope to be able to do that again with our upcoming visit. Art brings people together and bridges the community.”

Image result for "Nan Ring" artistNan Ring has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her artwork, including a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Creative Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship Award in Drawing. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, where she was awarded an honorable mention in painting at the Art Center’s 25th Silver Anniversary Juried Exhibition. Additionally, her work has been displayed at Drawing Rooms in Jersey City; 73 See Gallery in Montclair; The Drawing Center and Gallery Henoch in New York City; and Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.

Image result for Asha GanpatAsha Ganpat is a New York City-area artist, originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. Ganpat has shown at institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Queens Museum; Exit Art and the Nathan Cummings Foundation in Manhattan; Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University, in Galloway Township, NJ; and Jersey City Museum. Her work was cited as one of the “10 Best Interactive Summer Art Installations” in New York City by Complex Magazine in 2012. She has participated in the Emerge program at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, which focused on strategic career management for emerging artists; ChaNorth, ChaShaMa’s upstate artist residency located in the Hudson Valley; and the Alice Yard residency program in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She is a professor of sculpture at Montclair State University and co-founder of Red Saw Gallery in Newark.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
For 85 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned Studio School, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, New Jersey. Adult and children’s group tours are available throughout the year. Gallery Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Friday, 10 AM–5 PM; Thursday, 10 AM–8 PM; and Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours. Visit for more information.

Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided in part by the Walter V. & Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation, the Wilf Family Foundations, and Art Center members and donors.


JC Wave Fest at White Eagle Hall Features Diverse Mix of Jersey City Music



JC Wave Fest

WHEN: Saturday/August 18; Doors: 5:30/Show: 6:00; JC Wave Fest: 6:00pm – 12:30am
White Eagle Hall, 335-337 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
TICKETS: $15 (Student & Senior Citizens discounts available with valid ID)
To purchase tickets, visit:
For JCTC information, call: (201) 795-5386

Get ready to ride the wave! Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents JC Wave Fest, a music and performance festival celebrating community, the arts and creativity.

The premier edition of what is destined to become an annual event features a unique lineup of musicians, singers and songwriters who hail from the diverse corners of the thriving and always eclectic Jersey City music scene.

Not only are well-known artists such as Shayfer James, Kelly Saint Patrick and Sylvana Joyce featured performers, but JC Wave Fest also presents the White Eagle Hall premiers of After School Activities and Spaghetti Sessions—“underground” musical collectives that have garnered growing followings for their memorable evenings of original, provocative music—written and performed by a very local mix of newcomers, rising stars and scene veterans.

This unique collection of musical talent have come together to support the arts in Jersey City. All proceeds from JC Wave Fest at White Eagle Hall go to JCTC programing, helping to subsidize the many free and/or affordable events—art openings, readings, performances and other programming—JCTC will present in its upcoming season.

“One way JCTC serves Jersey City is by giving opportunities wide range of artists from our community,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “The JC Wave Fest brings together original talent for an evening of diverse music and performances at White Eagle Hall.”

This indoor, festival-format, 6-hour concert features some of the best musicians now creating much of Jersey City’s current soundtrack. JC Wave Fests combines the well-known and the upstarts, putting established J.C. musicians alongside new artists now emerging from the vibrant Jersey City music scene, forming perfect-storm conditions for a wave of innovative music magic.

Instead of the usual bars, galleries and raw studio spaces where many of these artists typically perform, the JC Wave Fest gives both their fans and local music scene aficionados the rare opportunity to experience this thrilling, original music in an optimum live concert setting: the newly restored, historic White Eagle Hall with its cutting-edge sound & lighting system, comfortable, inviting atmosphere, barrier-free sightlines and full bar.

Songwriter and keyboard extraordinaire Shayfer James, accompanied by his long-time drummer Corby Hewson and local Jersey City bassist Donovan Cain, will perform several songs from March of Crows, a song-cycle inspired by Jersey City murals. "There is something really exciting and special about performing songs in this city that exist only because of it and the incredible arts community here,” said James. “JCTC is such an amazing supporter of artists and it's a pleasure to support them in all their efforts."

Kelly Saint Patrick, one of Jersey City’s most beloved singer-songwriters, returns to her adopted hometown for the JC Wave Fest. She lived in Jersey City for 13 years as she built an international following through two well-received albums, local shows, tours and soundtrack spots. Thousands now follow her travels and exploits on social media, which recently included a handful of European shows. Throughout this past year Kelly has released multiple tracks, available everywhere online, as part of her latest work under Soda Box Music. Her JC Wave Fest appearance will be her first concert in the United States in more than two years, the opening date of a soon to be announced ‘official’ homecoming tour.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to lend my talents for an evening to celebrate JCTC,” said Patrick, who performed at Personal & Universal, a JCTC-event that opened Merseles Studios in 2014. “When I first met Olga I was completely blown away by her vision for Jersey City. Her drive and motivation for developing a space for the arts is genuine and runs deep. The entire team at JCTC is just as passionate and truly have made waves in this city. Which makes the title of this show so perfect!”

One segment of JC Wave Fest will be devoted to Spaghetti Sessions, a Jersey City-based Performing Songwriter Workshop. Since 2011, these live workshops – held in venues ranging from living rooms to bars and gallery spaces – fostered a growing community of musicians, many of whom have gone on to perform throughout the New Jersey/New York area and beyond. The JC Wave Fest Spaghetti Session set features songs developed through this songwriting think tank and performed by an all-star lineup that includes: Junestar MrBlackman, Tiphanie Doucet, Sid Whelan, Frank Ippolito and Sylvana Joyce.

Closing out JC Wave Fest will be After School Orchestra, a rotating band of musicians, singers and spoken-word artists known for their improvisations and uncanny ability to spontaneously create collaborative songs live on stage. After School Orchestra’s open-source jams have attracted a growing following with their memorable performances at various venues throughout Jersey City, including Archetype, an artist-run performance space and the black box theater at Merseles Studios.

The Wave Fest After School Orchestra features Nick Afflitto (trumpet, guitar); Zach Herchen (sax); Rich Jedrzjek (bass), Michael Rodgers (drums), Benedicto Figueroa (vocals/poetry); Alex Pergament (guitar, vocals); and Ariel Guidry (vocals).

Dan Pieraccini, Manager, JCTC – curator of The BOX, an evening of performances that concludes each of JCTC’s thematic series—organized JC Wave Fest. Frank Ippolito, founder of Spaghetti Sessions and Alex Pergament, founder of After School Orchestra—also are Musical Curators for JC Wave Fest.

TOP: JC Wave Fest performers include: (from left) Frank Ippolito, Alex Pergament, Kelly Saint Patrick, Sylvana Joyce, and Tiphanie Doucet (holding guitar). Photograph by Bang Chau.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life.

Free MORRISTOWN JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL Brings Top Artists to the Green

WHEN: Saturday, August 18, from noon until 10:00 p.m.
: on the Green  in Morristown, New Jersey
The annual free concert is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors who are well-known in the region.
Many local restaurants will be offering specials for festival attendees. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. For more information, visit

Image result for rhythm in blue jazz ensembleThis year’s festival begins at noon with Rhythm in Blue, the dynamic new jazz ensemble from the United States Air Force. Comprised of 14 talented musicians, the jazz band draws on a classic well-known big band repertoire with an unparalleled level of excitement and versatility.

Jazz fans know that the military jazz bands have a rich history of spawning superb musicians. During World War II, many top jazzmen joined the service bands, the most well-known being Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. But many younger musicians honed their chops playing in the service as well including a young Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and a singer who has gone on to have a pretty good career, Tony Bennett.

Image result for Bria Skonberg At two o’clock a New Jersey Jazz Society favorite, trumpeter, singer and songwriter Bria Skonberg returns to the Green for the first time in three years, taking over the slot held for the past several years by Bucky Pizzarelli. Unfortunately, the hot sun of August has become too much for the legendary nonagenarian so the mantle has passed to the young musician who continues to win critical acclaim and more awards.

Since her Festival debut in 2015, Bria has had two new releases, won the prestigious JUNO Award, received the Swing! Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center, took home a Hot House Jazz Magazine Award last fall, and most recently won Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Her band includes Evan Arntzen on reeds, Mathis Picard on piano, Devon Starks on bass, and Darrian Douglas on drums.

Image result for Richie “LaBamba” RosenbergFollowing Bria will be New Jersey’s own LaBamba and the Hubcaps. Led by long-time Conan O’Brien band member Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, this explosive ensemble has been a fixture on the Asbury Park music scene for many years and was the stage band for the first five induction ceremonies of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Equally at home with swinging jazz, and blues and funk, the Hubcaps provide a perfect transition from hot swinging jazz in the afternoon to steamy blues at night.

Trombonist Richie Rosenberg got his start with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, but quickly became one of the most sought-after horn men around, leading Bruce Springsteen’s Miami Horns at the Super Bowl, and joining drummer Max Weinberg and the Conan O’Brien Band more than two decades ago. 

Image result for Bernard Allison GroupAt six o’clock, the music turns to the blues with the European-based Bernard Allison Group. Born in Chicago in 1965, Bernard Allison was first introduced to the blues by his father, the legendary guitarist Luther Allison. Bernard developed his guitar chops with the Koko Taylor Blues Machine as well as the legendary Willie Dixon. A star in Europe, Bernard is beginning to get a lot of notice here in America through appearances at Festivals and radio airplay.

Image result for Davy KnowlesWrapping up the day is blues guitarist Davy Knowles who may just be in his early thirties, but has been turning heads with his mature playing. He has toured with a long list of top blues guitarists and has headlined at festivals such as Lollapalozza, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits. He is praised by guitar greats such as Joe Satriani who proclaimed Knowles his “favorite modern bluesman” and Peter Frampton who called him “the gunslinger guitarist of the 21stcentury.”

Festival co-producer Linda Smith of LKS Associates looks forward to the show this year. “It is great to feature some young artists, such as Bria Skonberg and Davy Knowles, along with established stars like LaBamba. We love the variety that this festival can provide.”

Mayor Tim Dougherty, who initiated the festival in 2011, commented, “With swinging jazz in the afternoon and hot blues in the evening, there is great music for everyone. The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival has become a much anticipated event and we thank our generous sponsors for making this day possible.”


bergenPACThe Lords of 52nd Street

Legends of the Billy Joel Band
WHEN: Thursday, August 23rd • 8PM
WHERE: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood

Celebrity Housewvies

featuring Teresa Giudice, Dorinda Medley & Kelly Dodd
WHEN: Saturday, September 15th • 8PM
WHERE: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood

Naked Magicians

WHEN: Friday, September 28th • 8PM
bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood

BONJ 2018 Summer Music Festival concludes with annual Summer Breezes Orchestra Concert on August 19

Image result for baroque orchestra of new jerseySummer Breezes Orchestra Concert

WHEN: Sunday, August 19, at 3:00 pm
Dolan Hall, The Annunciation Center, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown
TICKETS: Adults: $40, Seniors: $30, Students (under 22, with ID): $5. For further information and to order tickets: 

The 2018 concert will open with the World Premiere of Piano Concerto #2 by John Ivor Alexander. Alexander’s style is inspired by Baroque models and structures, while developing a sound all his own. The concerto is in three movements. The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey premiered Alexander’s first concerto in January 2016. Mr. Alexander will fly from Spain to be here to discuss his work and meet the musicians and audience.

Following the premiere, the orchestra will play the Keyboard Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058. Bach’s brilliant melodic energy is evident throughout the concerto’s first and third movements, while the second movement Is inspired by the sublime nature of Bach’s writing.

Performing both concerti will be pianist John Pivarnik. Mr. Pivarnik has appeared several times with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey as both performing chamber music, continuo realization, and concertos. He performed the premiere of Alexander’s first concerto. He has also performed concertos by Mozart and Bach. In addition, John has been accompanist at the BONJ cabarets. John is organist and choirmaster at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Essex Fells, NJ. He is also pianist for the Amitie Trio.

The first half will conclude with the allegro movement from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dramatic Piano Concerto #24. Performing the work will be pianist Sherwin Pan, a winner of the 2018 Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition. Mr. Pan has won several competitions and performed with Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow and the Belgorod Symphony Orchestra.

The second half will have special guest soprano Dominika Zamara singing arias from Mozart's Don Giovanni.  Ms. Zamara recently appeared as Donna Elvira in Italy.  She will also sing Fanny's aria from Rossini's La Cambiale di matrimonio.  Ms. Zamara will be performing the role in future performances in Italy.

The major work on the concert will be Felix Mendelssohn’s moving Symphony #5. The symphony was nicknamed “The Reformation Symphony” by Felix’s talented and perceptive sister Fanny. The work incorporates and is built upon familiar themes such as what is referred to as “The Dresden Amen” which inspired other composers of the Romantic era. Mendelssohn also expressively incorporates the great chorale tune “Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott” to bring the symphony to a rousing conclusion.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Karen Pinoci

Below is a quote from BONJ Conductor and Music Director Robert Butts.

“Karen Pinoci was a deeply respected colleague as musician and conductor.  While she was principal cellist with the orchestra, I so greatly enjoyed both her musicianship and being able to discuss music from the conductor’s perspective.   I greatly valued her sense of collegiality in a field which is far too often marked by competitiveness.  Among many great memories was the night of the first full orchestra rehearsal for our performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre.  It was one of the most exhilarating rehearsals I could imagine.   Nobody really wanted the music to end.  We all went out to Charlie Brown’s to have a few drinks and dinner together.  Karen and friends suddenly broke into an impromptu singing of the Ride of the Walkyries, quickly joined by everybody in the room.  The music was more than just music.  It was life.”

The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey was founded in 1996 with music of the 17th and 18th century at its core. The group performs a variety of genres from concertos to symphonies to operas. Under the auspices of its Pearl and Julius Young Music Competition, the organization has nurtured the talent of many promising young musicians. Under the auspices of its Artistic Director Maestro Butts, the orchestra’s repertoire has expanded to include 20th century and modern pieces by the likes of Joaquin Rodrigo and others.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



WHEN: Wednesday, August 22, 2018; Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
: Monmouth Reform Temple, 332 Hance Avenue, Tinton Falls, NJ
ADMISSION: $10 at the door ($5 for students) includes refreshments and score loan. No advance reservations are needed.
Information:, e-mail or call 732-933-9333

Mozart’s Requiem is a choral masterpiece that is emotionally stirring and musically thrilling. Its genesis is shrouded in mystery and facts about its commission and completion are often disputed. The work is believed to be commissioned by an unknown stranger.  Mozart died before finishing the Requiem and there are many theories about who finished the work we hear today. Regardless, perhaps Beethoven put it best: “If Mozart did not write the music, then the man who wrote it was a Mozart.” Today, singers across the globe are honored when given the opportunity to perform this musical jewel.

The Summer Sing is an opportunity for singers to get to know the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus and its Artistic Director, Dr. Ryan Brandau. Dr. Brandau holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music, an MPhil in historical musicology from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), and a BA in Music from Princeton University. Dr. Brandau is Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, and works with the Symphonic Choir of Westminster Choir College.

Singers are invited to audition for the Monmouth Civic Chorus 2018-2019 season. Audition appointments are available on Wednesday evenings beginning in September. For membership information or an audition appointment, visit, e-mail or call 732-933-9333.

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Shakespeare Theatre's Season of Comic Relief Continues with “Blithe Spirit”

WHEN: Performances begin August 15*
: The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison
TICKETS: $29 for preview performances and begin at $49 for regular performances. Prices range from $29 to $69. The Theatre is proud to bring back its successful 30 UNDER 30 program for the 2018 season. Patrons aged 30 and under can purchase tickets for only $30 with a valid ID, subject to availability.
Patrons can purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at

When an eccentric medium is asked to conduct a séance as an evening’s entertainment at the country home of Charles and Ruth Condomine, their pristine English country house is turned upside down when Elvira, the stylish ghost of Charles’s past wife is conjured up. Hilarious mayhem ensues as the wife from the afterlife and the wife from this life battle over Charles’ affections. One of Coward’s most popular plays, it has not been presented at The Shakespeare Theatre in over 20 years.

The Cast:

After receiving much critical acclaim for his performance as the title character in this season’s opener, Tartuffe, Brent Harris returns to play Charles Condomine. Mr. Harris’ company credits include The Merchant of Venice, Exit the King, The Alchemist, and To Kill a Mockingbird, amongst others. Mr. Harris has appeared in the national tours of The Lion King as Scar and The Screwtape Letters as Screwtape.

Kate MacCluggage makes her STNJ debut as Ruth. She was most recently in the Broadway production of The Farnsworth Invention and was in the entire Off-Broadway run of The 39 Steps. Her regional credits include McCarter Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Portland Center Stage and Theatre for a New Audience.

Last seen on the STNJ stage as Mary Hatch in the holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Susan Maris returns for her seventh season as the spirit Elvira. Her company credits include Much Ado About Nothing, A Christmas Carol, Othello, and The Grapes of Wrath, amongst others. Her film and television credits include Limitless, The Blood Painting, and College Humor.

Tina Stafford returns for her eighth season as the eccentric medium, Madame Arcati. She was last seen opposite Ms. Maris in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and her other company credits include A Christmas Carol, Carnival!, and Oliver Twist. Ms. Stafford recently toured for two years in the first national tour of the Broadway musical Once.

In the role of Dr. Bradman, Ames Adamson returns for his 16th season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Blithe Spirit marks his 20th production with STNJ. He was most recently seen in last season’s Shakespeare in Love.

Margot White will play Mrs. Bradman for her second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Ms. White was most recently seen in Broadway’s Farinelli and the King, and has also performed in Love, Love, Love at Roundabout Theatre and the national tour of Dirty Dancing. Her film and television credits include Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, and The Leftovers.

Rounding out the cast as Edith, the maid with ESP, and making her STNJ Main Stage debut is Bethany Kay. She can currently be seen on the hit show Dietland. She has appeared in Sleep No More in New York, and her additional television credits include Gotham, Boardwalk Empire, and Difficult People.

The Director:

Victoria Mack is in her 10th season with The Shakespeare Theatre and makes her directing debut at STNJ with Blithe Spirit. Her company credits as an actor include Red Velvet, The Guardsman, As You Like It, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Pride and Prejudice, Pygmalion, and many others. She has performed on Broadway in Venus in Fur and Off-Broadway in A Fatal Weakness, A Little Journey, Flight, and Happy Birthday, among others.

The Creative Team:

Blithe Spirit’s design team includes the creative talents of Scenic Designer Charles Calvert, Lighting Designer Michael Giannitti, Costume Designer Hugh Hanson, and Sound Designer Käri Berntson The Production Stage Manager is Alison

Special Performances:

For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For Blithe Spirit, the symposia will be held following the Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, September 1 at 2:00 p.m. performances.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket, and for Blithe Spirit will be held on Thursday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m.

The Shakespeare Theatre now offers Captioned performances and Audio Described performances. Captioned performances will take place the first Sunday performance of every Main Stage production. The captioned performance for Blithe Spirit will be on Sunday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Box Office. The Audio Described performance for Blithe Spirit will be on Sunday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m.

*Performance Times:

  • Tuesdays (7:30 p.m.): August 21 and 28
  • Wednesdays (7:30 p.m.): August 15, 22, and 29
  • Thursdays (8:00 p.m.): August 16, 23, and 30
  • Fridays (8:00 p.m.): August 17, 24, and 31
  • Saturdays (2:00 p.m.): August 18, 25, and September 1
  • Saturday (7:30 p.m.): August 18
  • Saturdays (8:00 p.m.): August 25 and September 1
  • Sundays (2:00 p.m.): August 19, 26, and September 2
  • Sundays (7:30 p.m.): August 19, 26, and September 2

Singers: Audition for the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Chorus to Perform in NORMA


norma_2_graphicVerismo Opera Chorus to Perform in Bellini's Norma

WHEN: August 22 and 29 and September 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For all auditions, singers must make an appointment in advance by contacting (201) 886-0561 or
WHERE: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, located at 840 Soldier Hill Road in Emerson, New Jersey

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's Artistic Director Lucine Amara announces the Verismo Opera Chorus will holds open auditions for singers in August and September. Professional, amateur, and retired male and female singers may apply.

Applicants complete and submit an application HERE.

The Verismo Opera Chorus performs in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's new production of Vincenzo Bellini's Norma on October 28, 2018. The company presents this dramatic work at 3 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.

Under the direction of Associate Conductor/Chorus Director Michael Wittenburg, the Verismo Opera Chorus performs live singing in Italian. Preparation includes instruction in the pronunciation of the text in Italian, vocal warm-ups, learning and memorizing the words and music and following detailed staging. The opera is fully staged, and the cast performs in costume accompanied by an orchestra led by Principal Conductor/Music Director Maestra Lucy Arner.

Audition Process

Male singers, representing all vocal ranges and ages, are especially needed. Adult applicants require a rudimentary working ability to read music and experience singing. Teenagers, ages 17 to 19, may also audition for the Verismo Opera Chorus and must read music and have some prior vocal experience singing with a school, choir, or another performing group or organization. Previous stage experience and foreign language study are desirable, but are not a necessity. Preference is given to applicants with these skills and experiences.

During the audition process, a pitch matching and range exercise assesses each singer's appropriate placement within the chorus. Applicants may bring a short song to perform for the audition. Vocalists accepted to the Verismo Opera Chorus stay for the rehearsal that evening as a trial basis. Singers invited to join the chorus pay a nominal fee of $60 to cover costs for the production's musical score, costumes, and related expenses. 

Accessible Site

The audition site is handicapped accessible and designated handicapped parking is available in the parking lot. Restrooms are available for wheelchair access. The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible. Vocalists requiring a special accommodation or with specific questions about the physical features of a facility where Verismo Opera performs may call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks prior to the audition.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera is the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company. Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for artists through semi-annual productions and concerts, directs an international vocal competition drawing artists worldwide, and organizes opera workshops and master classes.

For information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Official Jersey City Pride Festival Event: “In Living 90's” @ White Eagle Hall

WHEN: Thursday, August 16, doors open 9 PM, show starts 11 PM
White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Ave, Jersey City
TICKETS: $10 entry before 10, and $15 dollar entry after 10. Come in your best 90's fashion for reduced admission.
It's 21 to enter, but 31 to remember!

Hudson Pride Center and Argentilly, in partnership with Jersey City Theater Center, bring you an official Jersey City Pride Festival Event: In Living 90's, featuring 90's RnB cover group Mixtape.

JCTC Wave Fest Performing Arts Festival

WHEN: Saturday, August 18, doors open 7 PM; show starts 7:30 PM
WHERE: White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Ave, Jersey City

Sunday, August 12, 2018

SWG/dancetheatre and Jacobs Dance Collective present he Sarah and Whitney Show in Hoboken

MST: Mile Square Theatre

The Sarah and Whitney Show! Fun! Excess! Risk! Live Dancing at MST!

WHEN: August 16th, 17th, & 18th ONLY
Mile Square Theatre, 1400 Clinton St., Hoboken—accessible by car, PATH, New Jersey Transit Trains, NY Waterway Ferry, and New York City bus via the Port Authority (eight minutes door-to-door!). Directions are available at:

FUN HEAD Brings the fun!Choreographers Sarah Weber Gallo and Whitney Jacobs join forces for this evening-length devotion to all things FUN. As the dancers careen through layers of excess, effort, risk, messiness, laughter, extreme embarrassment, and the inevitable morning after, The Sarah and Whitney Show makes space for our collective need to seek pleasure, companionship, and debauchery. Because WE WANT YOU TO HAVE MORE FUN!

Celebrating effort, excess, risk, and gigantic messes, The Sarah & Whitney Show is devoted to all things FUN! Choreographers Sarah Weber Gallo and Whitney Jacobs invite audiences to Mile Square Theatre for three evenings of free-range dance in celebration of our collective need to seek pleasure, companionship, debauchery, and laughter!

Sarah Weber Gallo is the Artistic Director of SWG/dancetheatre, and the Dance Director for Mile Square Theatre, where her 2016 production The Magic Hour had its world premiere (“Stunning!” - Dance Enthusiast). She is the senior dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center.

Whitney Jacobs is a choreographer, performer, and educator based in New York City. Her choreography has been produced by the 14th Street Y, Joyce Soho, Triskelion Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, Brooklyn Lyceum and the Aronoff Center for the Arts (Cincinnati, OH), among others. Most recently she performed in Ghana with the acclaimed University of Ohio-based West African dance and drum ensemble Azaguno

Featuring SWG/dancetheatre and Jacobs Dance Collective

Estimated run time: 60 minutes
Recommended for all ages

Learn More

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Summer Meet the Artist reading Wednesday, August 15

by David Lee White 
directed by Josh Schnetzer

WHEN: Wednesday, August 15th, @ 7 pm
Oakes Center, 120 Morris Ave., Summit
ADMISSION: General Admission $10.00 at the door

What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

Ronnie doesn't want help. Valerie and Daryl don't want to reunite. But high school vows bind pretty tightly. Broken promises and dark humor fill David Lee White's new play about friendship, mental illness, and facing the truth.

About the playwright: 

David Lee White

David Lee White is a New Jersey based playwright and educator that has worked with Passage Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, PlayPenn, Rider University and Drexel University as well as many other theatres and theatre programs in the NJ/NY/PA area. He was recently commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Passage Theatre to create the play SANISM, which will premiere in 2017. In the summer of 2015, David creat-ed the show FIVE MINUTES TO PLACES for the McCarter Theatre Education Program's Comedy Conservatory. His play BLOOD: A COMEDY was been produced at Passage Theatre (2009) and Dreamcatcher Rep (2012). David also worked with Passage's Artistic Director June Ballinger to create the mainstage shows TRENTON LIGHTS and PRO-FILES, which made use of interviews with Trenton residents on the topics of race, identity and history in Trenton, NJ. His play SLIPPERY AS SIN also received its world premiere at Passage in 2011. The one-act play WHITE BABY was originally produced at Passage Theatre, then at Emerging Artists Theatre in NY. His newest play REAL TRUE CRIME received a reading in the Hive Exposed series in NY in March of 2015, and his solo show PANTHER HOLLOW will be seen at Dreamcatcher Rep, Drexel University and the United Solo Festival in the NY in the Fall of 2015. 

Since 2005, he has been creating oral-history based plays with Trenton area teens based on social and cultural issues. IF I COULD IN MY HOOD I WOULD... was about inner-city gangs, FIRE GIRLS took on the issue of girl-bullying and URBAN CENTRAL examined the 1967 race riots that took place a Trenton Central High. Subsequent shows in this vein include GET OFF THE BUS and BOBASHELA. He created "Stoop Theatre" with the Trenton High drama club and created the show THIS TRENTON LIFE which was the subject an Emmy-Award nominated broadcast on PCK Media's STATE OF THE ARTS.

David Lee White is the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Playwright at Passage Theatre in Trenton. He also runs the Passage Play Lab which has aided in the development of plays by New Jersey-based playwrights. David is also the curator of the Rider University New Play Festival , an instructor at PlayPenn in Philadelphia and teaches Dramatic Analysis at Drexel University. He is currently working on the play THE FESTIAL QUARTET and the musical LIVE STREAM with singer/songwriter Sarah Donner and director/co-creator Adam Immerwahr. The piece has been workshopped twice at Bristol-Riverside Theatre as part of their "America Rising" series.

What is the Meet the Artist Series?

The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward.  Feedback from these evenings helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work. These evenings provide a fun and lively way to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher's mainstage in the future.