Thursday, June 30, 2016

REVIEW: MAYHEM REIGNS @ STNJ OUTDOOR STAGE TO AUDIENCE MERRIMENT

By Ruth Ross

  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2016. Directed by Jeffrey M. Bender. Pictured left to right: Connor Carew, Patrick Toon, Jon Barker.

Quick! Someone call the authorities to report the antic mayhem perpetrated by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in the amphitheater on the campus of St. Elizabeth College in Convent Station. It seems that three terrorists have hijacked the 37 plays by William Shakespeare and are treating them with extraordinary disrespect. It's so bad that they are performing abridged versions of the comedies, tragedies and histories in 90 minutes. Worse, these three terrorists insist on playing more than 100 characters—even women—adorned in crazy wigs, outlandish costumes, colored high-topped sneakers and athletic socks! (Above L-R: Connor Carew, Patrick Toon, Jon Barker. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia)

Oh, okay. Onstage are three of the troupe's most versatile and accomplished actors (directed by another who is world-class clown) performing Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield's irreverent spoof, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridge) (revised), on the outdoor stage where it runs through July 31.

 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2016. Directed by Jeffrey M. Bender. Pictured: Jon Barker.So just who is responsible for this zaniness? First off, primary blame goes to Jeffrey M. Bender, STNJ's resident comic actor, who keeps the action moving at full tilt so no on— neither the actors or the audience—has time to take a breath or reflect on the indignities being inflicted on the works of our greatest dramatist. Shakespeare’s original Elizabethan language is preserved, providing further merriment, in addition to the liberties the cast takes with their interpretations. Contemporary references (the revised part of the title) to Game of Thrones, Hamilton and Donald Trump keep the production fresh and topical. (Right: Jon Barker. Photo by Jerry Dalia)

Actors Jon Barker, Connor Carew and Patrick Toon attempt to convince us they know everything there is to know about Shakespeare, but they manage to mangle, mix up and manipulate the plays to a fare-thee-well. They switch roles with alacrity—often confused about who is playing whom—and even coerce the audience to participate in the pandemonium.

Think Monty Python meets the Marx Brothers. “The Scottish Play” (a k a Macbeth) out‑Scottishes the most ardent kilt‑wearer, and the gory Titus Andronicus becomes a cooking show. Hamlet is presented four times—once backwards! Othello is performed as an Hamilton rap number. Because Shakespeare is a formula writer, the comedies are combined into one, entitled “Cymbeline Taming Pericles, the Merchant, in the Tempest of Love As Much as You Like It for Nothing” or “The Love Boat Goes to Verona.” The history plays are performed as a football game, with a crown as the pigskin!

 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2016. Directed by Jeffrey M. Bender. Pictured left to right: Patrick Toon, Connor Carew, Jon Barker.This daunting feat is pulled off with the help of Tiffany Lent's collection of fright wigs, puppets and outrageous costumes, along with loads of frenetic running back and forth across the stage and in and out of the exits. Benjamin Kramer's ingenious set (top image) resembles stacks of books with drawers and doors cleverly hidden. Carew's physicality is astonishing; as most of the female characters, he slips, slides and tumbles, never missing a line, and gets up ready for more! Barker gamely tries to control the hilarity, and Toon valiantly attempts to provide gravitas that is especially ludicrous in light of the merriment constantly swirling around him. (Above L-R: Patrick Toon, Connor Carew, Jon Barker. Photo credit: Jerry Dalia)

  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2016. Directed by Jeffrey M. Bender. Pictured left to right: Jon Barker, Connor Carew.Sophomoric? Yes. Burlesque? Yes. Filled with more information on Shakespeare than you thought possible? Unquestionably. Guaranteed to produce unending laughter? Absolutely! The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised) is a treat for the entire family (well, maybe not the little ones). This giddy, energetic romp, Shakespeare on speed, is pure entertainment, perhaps the funniest show in 500 years. You’ll kick yourself if you miss it. (Above: Barker and Carew. Photo by Jerry Dalia)

Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised) will be performed at the Greek Amphitheatre on the campus of St. Elizabeth College in Convent Station through July 31. Evening performances begin at 8:15. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.408.5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org  online.

HOT SUMMER EVENTS @ TWO RIVER THEATER IN RED BANK!

Summer Jazz Cafe

Indie Street Film Fest

LOL Comedy Show

Sights and Sounds Tap Show

TwoRiverTheater.org

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Two River Theater | 21 Bridge Avenue | Red Bank, NJ 07701 | 732.345.1400 | tworivertheater.org | info@trtc.org

Monday, June 27, 2016

1ST INSTALLMENT OF EPIC SAGA DEBUTS @ BLACK BOX PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN TEANECK JUNE 22-30

BLACK BOX STUDIOS and TRUE GROOVE RECORDS Proudly Present

DIANA & NAVY & THE GOLDEN TOOTH

You never can tell where the danger lies.
Book and Lyrics by PHOEBE NIR
Music by TOMAS DONCKER
Featuring THE TRUE GROOVE ALL-STARS BAND

Directed by MATT OKIN
Musical Direction by TOMAS DONCKER
Choreographed by MICHELLE PUSKAS

WHEN: TWO-WEEK LIMITED ENGAGEMENT - Performances begin Wednesday, June 22nd and run through Thursday, June 30th, 2016; Mondays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
WHERE: BLACK BOX PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 200 Walraven Dr, Teaneck
TICKETS: $18.00 ($12.00 Student/Child/Senior), and are now available online at www.blackboxnynj.com or by calling 201-357-2221.

Diana & Navy & The Golden Tooth is the first installment of the epic saga of the Webber sisters, two extraordinary African American girls struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic Southern bayou.

Following his collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunykaa ("perfect... heavy duty, industrial blues" —Huffington Post), composer Tomas Doncker has teamed up with Presidential scholar of the Arts Phoebe Nir to create a new musical about the throbbing heart of America. This first workshop production, directed by Matt Okin, is presented at Teaneck's Black Box Performing Arts Center.

With Laura Alba, Ellen Camacho-Walsh, Acadia Colan, Dana Ferguson, Brianna Fernandez, Eitan Hiller, Mike Kinzer, Vikki Martin, Aaron McMillan, Nate Murphy, Zaia Rolfe, Brandon Shapiro and Aurelia Williams*. Featuring The True Groove All-Stars Band.

*Appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. AEA approved Showcase.

The production features set design by Frank Avellino and lighting design by Gerard Bourcier. Haia Bchiri is the production stage manager and Naima Hirsch is the assistant to the director and stage manager. Produced by Tomas Doncker, Marla Mase, Huey Esquire and Matt Okin.

Running Time: 2 hours

Website: www.blackboxnynj.com and www.dianaandnavy.com

LIMITED SPOTS LEFT FOR RISING STAR ACADEMY IN RED BANK

 

I Am Not Throwing Away My SPOT!

LIMITED SPOTS LEFT!
Register today for upcoming Rising Star Academy July Sessions before all spots are full!

Choose from one of our THREE Options for July!

OPTION ONE: "Rising Stars Youth Production - High School Musical Jr."
WHEN:
Session I (July 11-July 29) 

The smash Disney phenomenon comes to exuberant life in this adaptation that is fun and educational for the entire family.  This half-day, afternoon camp for grades 1-12 culminates in a final performance on Saturday, July 30th.  Your Youth Production tuition includes three complimentary tickets to the final show! (Additional tickets will be available for sale as needed.)

OPTION TWO: "Triple Threat Camp" Broadway Revivals Focus 
WHEN: Session I (July 11-July 29)

Campers’ final showcases will focus on the study and performance specific to recently Tony-nominated Broadway Revivals such as South Pacific, The King and I, Annie, The Music Man, Pippin, Shuffle Along, Forty Second Street, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, and others.


OPTION THREE: "Broadway or Bust!" - High School Musical Jr. Session 1 (July 11-July 29)

Immerse yourself in a full day of musical theatre fun! The Full Day, "Broadway or Bust" option combines you child's desire to both train and perform. Get a solid foundation in your triple-threat training each morning from 9:00am-12:30pm, and rehearse for the musical production of High School Musical, Jr every afternoon from 1:00-4:30pm!

CLICK HERE or the "Option" links above to fill out a registration form or request us to contact you.

P.S. Planning to audition for Gypsy? Don't forget to "Let Us Entertain You" at our Gypsy Audition Workshops June 25 and 26th!

 

About Phoenix Productions

Phoenix Productions is a non-profit community theatre organization.

We recreate your favorite broadway musicals in full scale revivals.

WHERE: Phoenix Productions, 59 Chestnut Street, Red Bank
732-747-0014
www.phoenixredbank.com
 

 

AN EVENING OF THE WORLD’S BEST SHORT FILMS IN TENAFLY

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Asbury Shorts 2016 Faid'hiver

Asbury Shorts–An Evening of the World's Best Short Films

WHEN: Tue, Jun 28, 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
WHERE:
Kaplen JCC, 411 East Clinton Avenue, Tenafly
ADMISSION: $12.00 JCC member; $15.00 non-members.
Sponsored in part by Brad-Core, Humanism in Building.

When the Best Short Film Oscar nominations come out, do you find yourself thinking “Where are these films and why haven’t I seen them?”

Well, now you can. Asbury Shorts, a touring exhibition that presents these highly entertaining films in high prestige venues around the country, will bring its nationally-acclaimed, short film exhibition to the JCC. The night will include a full evening of award-winning films, curated from the top global film festivals and will feature a mix of Oscar winners and nominees in short film comedy, drama, animation and documentary.

This program offers a rare opportunity for people to see great films on a large screen in a real theater setting. A sample of films that will be screened include: Fait d’hiver; directed by Dirk Belien; The Timmy Brother’s Water, directed by Paul Riccio; and Hypothetically, directed by Peter Zinn.

To register call Kathy at 201 408.1454 or visit www.jccotp.org.

TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL TO GRACE STAGE @ CHESTER THEATRE GROUP JULY 1-17

5-Time Tony Award-Winning Play by Rick Elice
Based on the Novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Music by Wayne Barker
Directed by Alan VanAntwerp
Music Direction by Jack Bender
Choreography by Megan Ferentinos

The show is suitable for younger audiences but most enjoyable for ages 10 and up

WHEN: July 1 – 17; Fridays and Saturdays 8 PM; Sundays July 3, 10, 17 at 2:00 PM
WHERE:
54 Grove Street, at the corner of Maple Ave., in Chester, NJ
TICKETS: $25.00; Senior citizens 65+ and students under 18: $23.00
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
www.chestertheatregroup.org

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is the most hilarious-filled evening of madcap fun! In this 5-time Tony Award-winning play, a dozen brilliant actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters using their enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination. This swashbuckling grownup prequel to Peter Pan will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight.

Featuring

  • Allie Acquafredda as Molly
  • Zachary Catron as Ted
  • Lewis T. Decker as Slank/Hawking Clam
  • Joe Guardara as Grempkin/Fighting Prawn
  • Jeff Maschi as Lord Aster
  • Steve Nitka as Smee
  • Mike Patierno as Black Stache
  • Mark Piltz as Prentiss
  • Joel Redmount as Alf
  • Scott Tyler as Boy/Peter
  • Walter Zimmerman as Mrs. Brumbake

Sunday, June 26, 2016

ENJOY JULY 4TH AS THE FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD HAVE WANTED IT!

RevTimes 2016 logoRevolutionary Times Weekend
WHEN: July 2 to July 4
WHERE:
various venues
ADMISSION: FREE

For the fourth year in a row, visitors to, and residents of Morris County will have the opportunity to enjoy an authentically, patriotic 4th of July the way the Founding Fathers might have imagined it. This year, in addition to celebrating the country’s independence, the event will also salute the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the 200th anniversary of the Trustees of the Morristown Green. The schedule of events spans a period during which Morristown National Historical Park will be free and open to the public in honor of their Centennial and the July 4th holiday.

On Saturday, July 2nd, the Hanover Township Landmark Commission kicks off the weekend with a free tour of its 1718 Burying Yard located off of Route 10 East in Whippany. This one-hour tour will highlight people who first settled Morris County and are buried in the cemetery. Morristown National Historical Park will be free and open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors will be able to view a special National Park centennial exhibit, as well as the museum and Ford Mansion at the Morristown unit of the park.

On Sunday, July 3rd, Morristown National Historical Park will host a Revolutionary War encampment at the Ford Mansion. Costumed reenactors will be on hand demonstrating a soldier’s life in the Continental Army. The park will be free and open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. the park welcomes the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps for a lawn concert. Bring blankets and chairs. Rain location will be on-site in the Washington’s Headquarters Museum auditorium.

The Morris County Park Commission, the Morris County Tourism Bureau and The Town of Morristown are pleased to present a fireworks display, also free to the public, on Sunday, July 3rd. Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. at Central Park of Morris County, off West Hanover Avenue in Morris Plains-Parsippany. Parking is limited and early arrival and carpooling is recommended. Central Park of Morris County will be open for picnicking beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, July 4th, events will begin at the Ford Mansion where the Continental Army reenactors will march to the Morristown Green at 11 a.m. The public is invited to fall in and march with them. At the Morristown Green there will be family activities beginning at noon. Eric Olsen and Tom Winslow of Morristown National Historical Park’s ranger corps will provide the colorful, annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence, a long-standing Morris County tradition, at 12:30 p.m. Following the reading there will be a musket salute and free guided tours of the Presbyterian Church of Morristown’s church and Colonial-era graveyard. This is a rain or shine event. In case of rain the event will be held indoors at the Presbyterian Church, 57 East Park Place, Morristown.

For more information, contact the Morris County Tourism Bureau at www.morristourism.org or call 973-631-5151.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

bergenPAC SCHEDULES WESTFIELD GARDEN STATE PLAZA CONCERT SERIES

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Westfield Garden State Plaza Concert Series

  • Abba the Concert
    TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2016 – 8PM
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket & Rusted Root
    TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2016 – 8PM
  • Tommy James & The Shondells with Felix Cavaliere's Rascals
    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 – 8PM
  • Paula Poundstone
    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 – 8PM
  • 38 Special
    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 – 8PM
  • Bret Michaels: The Party Starts Now!
    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016 – 8PM
  • Odd Squad Live!
    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2016 – 2PM & 5:30PM

As part of our partnership with Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, NJ, bergenPAC, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, NJ announces the “Westfield Garden State Plaza Concert Series.” 

To purchase tickets for the “Westfield Garden State Plaza Concert Series,” visit www.Ticketmaster.com, the bergenPAC Box Office or call 201.227.1030.

“This is a wonderful collaboration between our two community-minded organizations,” said Dominic Roncace, bergenPAC CEO. “With the support of Westfield Garden State Plaza we can further our mission of bringing live performing arts and arts education to our whole community. This is an exciting time for bergenPAC and we are thrilled that Westfield Garden State Plaza is joining our efforts to reach everyone.”

Toad The Wet Sprocket 300dpiAlso included as part of the “Westfield Garden State Plaza Concert Series” is Toad the Wet Sprocket and Rusted Root. Toad the Wet Sprocket have made 5 studio albums which sold over 4 million copies, had 5 major hits including "All I Want," "Walk On The Ocean."  Having collaborated with one another for two decades, Rusted Root, has honed the perfect combination of musical intuition, freedom and virtuosity, which has allowed them to organically shape shift their music into their own distinct and undeniable vision.  

Rounding off the series are the following exciting shows:

Tommy James & The Shondells with Felix Cavaliere's Rascals

A double bill of classic rock, featuring Tommy James (“Mony Mony,” ”Crimson and Clover,” “I Think We’re Alone Now”) and Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals (“Good Lovin’” “A Beautiful Morning,” “People Got To Be Free”). The music of Tommy James is heard continuously, every day, in every country in the world.  For legendary singer songwriter, Felix Cavaliere, making people feel good is primary to his illustrious 50-year career.

<<enter caption here>> at The Ice House Comedy Club on July 12, 2012 in Pasadena, California.Paula Poundstone

32 years ago Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country—stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went.  She went on to become one of our country’s foremost humorists. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s #1 show, a rascal of a weekly news quiz show, "Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me".

 

38 Special

After more than three decades together, 38 Special continue to bring their signature blast of Southern Rock to over 100 cities a year. Thousands of audience members are amazed by the explosive power of the band's performance.  Best known for their hits, “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” and more – timeless hits that remain a staple, immediately recognizable from the first opening chord.

Bret Michaels: The Party Starts Now!

Bret Michaels is a multi-platinum global superstar who has turned his passion for music into a multi-faceted brand that encompasses record breaking touring sales. Michaels first rose to fame as the frontman of Poison. As one of rock's most iconic and enduring bands, Poison defined the fast, gritty, and glamorous rock 'n' roll scene. Bret’s solo career has charted its own course with numerous solo albums.

Odd Squad Live bergenPAC 300dpiOdd Squad Live!

Attention Odd Squad fans, something very odd has happened in your home town. Ms. O needs you to team up with Odd Squad agents in this live, interactive adventure to solve an exciting case. There will be gadgets! There will be villains! There will be music! There will be comfortable seats, but you’ll only need the edge… because, frankly, it’s bad for posture to sit all the way back. Well, what are you waiting for? Go!

“We are excited to move into the next phase of our partnership with this concert series,” said Brian Gaus, Westfield Garden State Plaza Senior General Manager. “We are proud to be a part of this special opportunity to help support bergenPAC’s non-profit mission to bring the live performing arts to our community.”

FREE CONCERT PRECEDES HARMONIUM’S TOUR OF THE BALTIC STATES

Firstnight3BON VOYAGE CONCERT

WHEN: Monday, June 27, at 7:30 PM
WHERE:
Christ the King Church, 16 Blue Mill Rd. New Vernon, NJ
TICKETS: free

 

Harmonium Choral Society will take 50 members on tour to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from June 29-July 9, kicking it off with a free Bon Voyage concert. The concert features American composers from Oliver Holden to Elizabeth Alexander, Matthew Harris to Fenno Heath, Eliot Levine to Undine Moore, as well as Baltic composers and folksongs from around the world.

About a third of Harmonium’s members are music teachers and church musicians, among a variety of other vocations, and they range in age from High School to retired. The many fine soloists are drawn from within the group. Previous international tours were Greece and Turkey (2013), Spain and Portugal, Northern Italy, Eastern Europe, and the UK.

The tour chorus will perform on Saturday July 2, St. Joseph’s church, Paluse Lithuania, 6 pm; Monday July 4, 6 pm St Saviour’s Church, Rīga, Latvia; Wed. July 6, 7 pm St Elisabeth’s Church Pärnu, Estonia; Friday July 8, St John’s Church, Tallinn, Estonia.

Dr. Anne Matlack is Harmonium’s Artistic Director. She holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Cincinnati and is music director at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, NJ. Harmonium, one of New Jersey’s leading choral arts organizations, is known for its eclectic programming and community spirit, sponsoring commissions, premieres, and musicianship workshops, as well as an Outreach Chorus which performs in schools, nursing homes and other venues. They are wrapping up a crowd-funder for their award-winning NJ High School Student Composition Contest.

To learn more please click here. For more information, visit www.harmonium.org or follow us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook!