Thursday, October 19, 2017

SHARE GILBERT & SULLIVAN’S MUSIC WITH THE ENTIRE FAMILY

PATTERMANIA

WHEN: November 3 at 8 pm, November 4 at 2 pm and 8 pm
WHERE:
St Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Pattermania is a special revue of Gilbert & Sullivan's most daring tongue-twisters and famous songs. Directed by William Corson, Pattermania is a delight for the whole family and a chance to share the joy of operetta with friends. The revue features Gilbert and Sullivan's most well-known patter songs "I am the very model of a modern major general" from Pirates of Penzance and "To sit in solemn silence" from The Mikado with many other favorites tunes from both of the shows and selections from HMS Pinafore, The Sorcerer, The Gondoliers, Yeoman of the Guard, Patience, Princess Ida, Iolanthe, and Rudigore.  The talented cast will be accompanied with orchestra so attendees will enjoy the full sound of Sullivan's score with Gilbert's humorous lyrics.

Learn more here

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There is still time to become a season subscriber! Save 10% on tickets to all 3 productions of our season. Return THIS FORM by October 20th to secure the best seats!


Our other upcoming productions are:

Gaetano Donizetti's  THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT
directed by Jamie Baer Peterson and Lauran Corson 
with musical direction by Michael Avagliano

WHEN: March 23 and 24, 2018 at 8 pm
WHERE:
St Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Learn more here


Disney's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Music by

ALAN
MENKEN

Lyrics by

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ

Book by

PETER PARNELL

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
directed by Jeffrey Fiorello
with musical direction by Stephen Fox

WHEN:  July 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2018 at 8pm; July 15 and 22, 2018 at 2pm
WHERE
: South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079

Learn more here

CENTENARY’S FRINGE FESTIVAL BEGINS WITH “SONG & DANCE MEN”

ApprovedPhoto-SongandDanceMen NO LOGO_SMALLFRINGE FESTIVAL: SONG & DANCE MEN

WHEN: Thursday, October 26, at 7:30PM; Friday, October 27, at 8PM; Saturday, October 28, at 8PM and Sunday, October 29, at 2PM. 
WHERE:
Kutz Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25.00 to $27.50 for adults and $15.00 to $25.00 for children under 12
A rush ticket special is available for Thursday evening’s performance with a buy one/get one ticket offer. The buy one/get one ticket offer is only valid when purchasing tickets in person at the CSC box office as early as two hours prior to performance time. BOGO offer is not available for advance ticket sales. 

For more information or to purchase tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to each performance. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in CSC news and special offers.

Direct from New York City, Song & Dance Men launches Centenary Stage Company’s annual Fringe Festival.  Song & Dance Men features famous tunes by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan and the dance stylings of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and many more.  Award-winning director/choreographer, Justin Boccitto is joined on stage by the talented Nicky Romaniello and Eddy Francisco while accompanied on the keys by Sol Bloch. "It's The Rat Pack with tap shoes...New York's best variety show!"  The name of the group coming from the Irving Berlin song, “A couple of Song & Dance Men,” these actors sing, tap, dance and recreate the sounds and music of the time. 

Centenary Stage Company’s Fringe Festival is sponsored in part by The House of the Good Shepherd and Heath Village Retirement Community.

The 2017-2018 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

JEWISH INVOLVEMENT IN WWI FEATURES HISTORICAL RE-ENACTER CAROL SIMON LEVIN IN “NO ONE OWNS THE SKY”

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WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2-4 PM
WHERE:
JCC Alex Aidekman campus, 901 Route 10 East, Whippany
ADMISSION: free

An exhibit to draw attention to New Jersey's Jews who "stepped up" during World War I was prepared by the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey (JHS) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America's entry into the war.

During the run of the exhibit—The Road to Victory: Greater MetroWest and World War I—there will be a public program featuring reenactor Carol Simon Levin who will speak about women serving during the war as pilots.

Most people when asked to name early female aviators can name only one name, Amelia Earhart.  But long before Amelia Earhart’s famous exploits, female flyers had already proved that aviatrices were every bit as brave and daring as their male counterparts. Flying in flimsy wood and canvas aeroplanes, Aida de Acosta, Raymonde de Laroche, Hélène Dutrieu , Marie Marvingt, Harriet Quimby, Katherine Stinson, Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman and Elinor Smith awed and thrilled people on the ground executing audacious acrobatic aerial maneuvers, soloing across the English channel, setting records, barnstorming and buzzing beneath New York’s bridges.  Undaunted by male skepticism, they were determined to show that anything that men could do, they could do too!

Light refreshments will be served.

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The Road to Victory: MetroWest and WWI is an exhibit that focuses on the role of Jews from the Greater MetroWest NJ region both on the field and in the home front during WWI. Please come visit!

WHEN:  Through November 14th
WHERE: Alex Aidekman Jewish Community Center - 901 Route 10 - Whippany, NJ
ADMISSION: Free and open to the public during building hours

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Harry Potter Convention Turns White Eagle Hall into Hogwarts Halloween Weekend

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Wizard Fest: Harry Potter Halloween Party

WHEN: Saturday, Oct 28, Doors: 8:00 PM
WHERE:
White Eagle Hall, 335-337 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
To purchase tickets, visit: www.WhiteEagleHallJC.com

Ages: 21 and over

Harry Potter Fans unite! Grab your cloaks, brooms and wands for the only Halloween Weekend Wizarding Event in the Garden State. An internationally acclaimed, interactive party celebrating everything Harry Potter, Wizard Fest has been presented to thousands of fans in the U.K., Europe, Australia and North America.

The Harry Potter Halloween Party at White Eagle Hall is the first time the ultimate Harry Potter fandom event comes to New Jersey.

A truly magical night, this Harry Potter themed dance party transforms the historic, newly restored venue into Hogwarts. Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite Harry Potter character and unleash their inner wizard for what is guaranteed to be a magical night.

WIZARD FEST FEATURES:

  • LIVE DJ & DANCE PARTY (also plenty of spots to *chill*)
  • DRINK SPECIALS & Harry Potter themed drinks –Fire Whisky, Potent Potions and Buttery Brews.
  • QUIDDITCH PONG TOURNAMENT
  • COSTUME CONTEST
  • MAGICIANS & MAGICIAN-LIKE ACTIVITIES

Group Entries are encouraged for both the Quidditch Pong Tournament and the Costume Contest. Winning prizes include: Cash Prizes, Golden Tickets to upcoming White Eagle Shows (of your choice) and gift bags.

Wizard Fest attendees also will be eligible for their very own magical prizes by posting on the Harry Potter Halloween Party NJ event wall on Facebook. Errol the owl is always updating new and exciting happenings. Keep checking the event page— and tag friends who would like to attend Wizard Fest at White Eagle Hall— for contests, ticket giveaways and other promotional prizes.

Wizard Fest is a 21+ event. Only of age Wizards – and Muggles and Squibs — may attend. There will be absolutely no admittance of any owls, cats or toads!

Originally constructed in 1910, the newly restored White Eagle Hall is an impressive new venue for arts and entertainment, including concerts, theater, performances and other events in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. White Eagle Hall features complete food & beverage service, with two bars on the mezzanine level and one on the balcony level. The restoration enhanced the intimacy and charm of this historic venue while adding the latest in sound and lighting technology, creating a distinctive and memorable audience experience.

Wizard Fest is not an official event of, associated or affiliated with Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros.

TASTING EVENT TO BENEFIT NJ FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA

BUY TICKETS NOW

MUSIC IN THE SOMERSET HILLS PRESENTS “BEL CANTO: THE MUSIC OF GLENN MILLER”

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Music In The Somerset Hills invites you to step back in time to the sounds of the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra at Bel Canto—an evening of musical excellence, MISH's annual gala and fundraiser

WHEN: Saturday, October 28 from 5 to 9 PM 
WHERE:
USET Foundation's historic Hamilton Farm Stables, 1040 Pottersville Rd, in Gladstone.

There will be food, cocktails, and dancing. 1930's period dress is encouraged.

For more information, please visit http://musicsh.org/belcanto/.

To purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.showclix.com/event/bel-canto---the-glenn-miller-orchestra

KELLI O’HARA TO APPEAR @ AXELROD PAC GALA ON OCTOBER 28

WHERE: Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park

Kelli O'Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway's great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in Lincoln Center's critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her a 2016 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations.

The Jason Robert Brown musical The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC's live telecast of Peter Pan alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year's Eve 2015, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming.

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NEW JERSEY JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS EXTRA! SCREENING OF A FILM OF POSTWAR GERMANY

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For tickets: www.boxofficetickets.com/jccmetrowest

Free for 18th Annual NJJFF Sponsors!

3 PROGRAMS HOSTED BY THE JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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For tickets, information and directions, visit morven.org/programs or call 609.924.8144, ext. 113

clip_image001[1]WEST POINT COMES TO GREATER METROWEST

WHEN: On Thursday, November 9, 2017, from 2-4 p.m.
WHERE
: Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus, 901 Rte. 10 East, Whippany
ADMISSION: is free.
Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP to Irene Segal 973-929-2703 or e-mail isegal@jhsmw.org.   

The Jewish Historical Society will host the curator of West Point Museum, Leslie D. Jensen, who will speak about the United States Army during World War I. The program will mark the close of the Society’s exhibit “The Road to Victory” which commemorates the 100 year anniversary (1917-2017) of the signing of the armistice that ended “the war to end all wars.”  There will also be a presentation of colors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States Department of New Jersey.

CELEBRATE DUNELLEN’S 130TH BIRTHDAY & ITALIAN IMMIGRANT CONTRIBUTIONS WITH AN EXHIBIT AND CONCERT ON OCTOBER 28

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WHEN: Saturday, October 28, 5-9 PM; Concert, 7 PM
WHERE:
Dunellen High School, 411 First Street in Dunellen
TICKETS: $15. There is a senior and student discount.
For inquiries, please call 732-968-3033 ext. 8 or email artsandculturecommission@dunellenborough.com

On Dunellen's 130th birthday, an Italian Chorus visits for a once in a life time concert, wine tasting and photo exhibit. Don't have time to travel to Italy for a wine tasting? Well we're bringing an Italian wine expert to you. You can't miss this opportunity to appreciate New Jersey's Italian heritage.

Come help the Dunellen Arts and Culture Commission welcome the Coro Alpino Ana Val Tidone in their first American tour. The Alpini Male chorus consists of mountain military corps veterans of the Alpini region in Italy. This is the only time you will be able to see them perform in the United States! Before the concert, there will be a photo exhibit and a wine tasting.

This is a cultural event that celebrates Italian heritage and art. Please join us for this exciting evening.

JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN, CENTENARY STAGE COMPANY PRESENTS A TWO-DAY SPECIAL EVENT REMEMBERING THE INFAMOUS TILLIE SMITH AND THE TRAGIC EVENTS THAT ROCKED A NATION

Tillie prod photo birdcageTILLIE SMITH GUIDED WALK & STAGED READING

WHEN: Saturday, October 28, at 2PM; Wednesday, November 1, at 8PM
WHERE:
Centenary University, Hackettstown
TICKETS: The Tillie Smith Historical Walk on Saturday, October 28 at 2PM is a FREE event.  There is a $5 reservation fee for the staged reading of The Tillie Project on Wednesday, November 1 at 8PM.  Reservations are highly recommended.  The Tillie Smith Historical Walk and staged reading of The Tillie Project are sponsored in part by The House of the Good Shepherd and Heath Village Retirement Community.

For more information or to reserve tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to every performance.  Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Like and follow to receive the latest in CSC news and offers.

Just in time for Halloween, Centenary Stage Company takes a chilling journey back to the final days of the infamous Tillie Smith. Over 100 years ago, the murder of Tillie Smith, a kitchen worker at Centenary Collegiate Institute (now Centenary University), rocketed the town of Hackettstown to national prominence.  With wildly fluctuating reports driven by what some claim to be yellow journalism, the reputation of Tillie and her accused murderer, James Titus, swung from young innocent to harlot and upstanding citizen to lascivious predator.  To this day, many say her ghost still haunts the campus of Centenary University, with reported sightings in dorm hallways and stories of organ music playing without anyone playing. While James Titus was convicted of her rape and murder, the truth is still unknown as to what actually happened that fateful night.

On Saturday, October 28 at 2PM join Centenary Stage Company for a guided walk, complete with historical narration, following the path of Tillie Smith moments before her tragic death, as well as, a glimpse of old Victorian America and life in 19 century Hackettstown.  Additionally, the historical walk will encourage its participants to act as detectives, separating fact from legend, in the ultimate search for who really killed Tillie Smith.

Then on Wednesday, November 1 at 8PM Centenary Stage Company will present a staged reading of PEW Fellow Jeanne Murray Walker’s play The Tillie Project.  Commissioned by Centenary Stage Company in 2002 under the auspices of CSC’s distinguished Women Playwrights Series, The Tillie Project is the result of an 18 month research and development process including several town-hall style meetings and radio call-in programs, where community members were invited to share their own knowledge of the event.  Additionally, Walker consulted with numerous historians, poured over documented first-hand accounts, combed through newspaper articles from the period, as well as, meticulously scrutinized the actual transcript of the trial that ultimately led to the conviction and sentencing of James Titus.  Although a work of historical fiction, The Tillie Project keeps true to its source material by, at times, borrowing directly from the trial transcript.

Directly following the reading of The Tillie Project, Centenary Stage Company will host a talkback with special guest author, Maryann McFadden.  A Northwest New Jersey resident and Tillie expert herself, McFadden just completed her 4th novel, THE CEMETERY KEEPER'S WIFE, a historical novel about the murder of Tillie Smith in 1886, a potato peeler at Centenary College Institute, which ignited a tide of outrage throughout Victorian America. The novel goes back and forth in time as McFadden interprets Tillie’s life, and death, through the eyes of Rachel Miller, who just moved into Union Cemetery after a hasty marriage to Adam, the 7th generation cemetery keeper. The novel will be released in 2018.  Additional published works include; her self-published novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, which sold at auction to Hyperion Books. THE RICHEST SEASON which became a Target Breakout Novel and was awarded an Indie Next Pick by The American Booksellers Association. SO HAPPY TOGETHER and THE BOOK LOVER, also Indie Next Picks. McFadden is also a speaker and writing coach, and loves to chat with book clubs. Her unusual publishing journey has inspired many aspiring authors.

The 2017-2018 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra S. Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The House of the Good Shepherd, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

REVIEW: UPDATED TAKE ON DATING & MARRIAGE A HOOT @ GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE

By Ruth Ross

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My young friends tell me that the dating scene has undergone a sea change since Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Robert’s musical comedy, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, opened at New York City’s Westside Theatre in 1996; by the time it closed in 2008, after 5,003 performances, it was the second longest running Off Broadway musical. Translated into over 17 languages, it has been produced all over the globe, so it must have touched a nerve with the thirty-somethings who came to see it. (Above: George Merrick, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis and Karen Burthwright)

Nowadays, instead of meetings in bars or clubs, or being set up by friends or relatives, today’s relationships begin online with Tinder, OK Cupid and other dating apps. Prospective partners communicate by text or email, and often never talk to one another in person until they meet face-to-face for a drink, coffee, lunch or dinner. To me, who came of age in a very different time, it all seems rather impersonal, detached.

I guess that’s why David Saint, Artistic Director of New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse thought it would be a good idea to have DiPietro and Roberts revise I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change to serve as the first production of the 2017-2019 season and to inaugurate the playhouse’s interim residence on the Cook College campus of Rutgers University. An updated production would replicate the original’s popularity while appealing to a younger audience.

x-defaultDiPietro has tweaked his original lyrics a bit, with lots of references to navigating the online dating scene; he has added one song and replaced another. Speed dating for “busy, busy” people is hilariously recounted as a couple (Right: Lindsay Nicole Chambers and George Merrick) goes from first date to breaking up to reconciling in the blink of an eye! The number’s title, “I Have Better Things to Do Than You,” doesn’t promise a successful conclusion to a date that began with a few swipes on a cell phone screen. “A Picture of This” replaces a song about him calling her, only this time he sends her a picture of his penis! Is this a peril of online dating? Other musical numbers in the first half of this revue involve some age-old problems facing new couples: men not listening while his date talks; his having to attend a teary movie she chose; a gal cooking lasagna for her new beau; meeting and disappointing the parents; and even matchmaking in Attica Prison. Most of it will touch a nerve no matter what the age of the audience members; some things apparently never change.

The second half of the evening revolves around problems that crop up once the couple has tied the knot. “Always a Bridesmaid” (Chambers, left) is a droll assessment of the plight of the single friend forced to purchase multiple ugly dresses and submit to the brides’ tyranny. On the flip side, new parents often become so googly-eyed over their new baby that they sound moronic; “The Baby Song” depicts male parents talking nonsense as they wield baby toys and discuss their offspring. It’s sickeningly hilarious. Being stuck in the car with the family (or using the car to escape them) and the interminable waiting while a spouse is shopping/watching a football game really hit home. Especially droll is newly widowed Rose Ritz, who sets out to make her first dating video; her ineptitude is tempered by her unvarnished candor, much to our merriment.

Fortunately, DiPietro hasn’t fiddled with two songs late in the show, both of which are poignant and affecting. “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love with You” conveys the sweetness of mature love very well, a nice contrast to the busy, busy people speed dating in the first number. And the couple “meeting cute” at a wake for someone neither of them knows is both funny and bittersweet. Honestly reciting their shortcomings, the two conclude “I Can Live with That,” a rueful acceptance that getting old is difficult and lonely, but less so when you’ve got someone to share life’s ups and downs.

x-defaultThe quartet of actors splendidly presents the material with great comedic timing and wonderful stage presence. Karen Burthwright and Lindsay Nicole Chambers give us a window into the female psyche. Chambers makes our heads spin as the speed dater on steroids but brings her energy level way down when her character discovers love in the funeral parlor. Burthwright’s excitement at making lasagna for her new beau is infectious, and we are as outraged as she when she receives the offensive photo from a guy she just met!

Mitchell Jarvis and George Merrick go beyond the usual guy clichés to provide their characters with humanity. Jarvis is especially fine as the new father (above, with Merrick and Burthwright) and the mature lover; Merrick is especially funny as the husband waiting for his wife as she shops and will touch your heart in the funeral scene.

There’s a reason I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change ran for over a decade: Joe DiPietro really nailed the vicissitudes of dating and marriage, and he’s done it again. Yes, the revue is funny, but the lyrics dig deeper to expose the insecurities, as well as the touching aspects, of love in all its forms. But this fresh, contemporary take on love is exclusively available George Street Playhouse patrons, so if you loved the original, admire DiPietro’s work (four of his works have premiered at the playhouse) or just need a pick-me-up, you won’t want to miss I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change before it closes on November 12.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will be performed at the George Street Playhouse’s interim location in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, 13 College Farm Road, just off Route 1 South on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus. For information and tickets, visit www.georgestreetplayhouse.org online.

Photos by T. Charles Erickson