Friday, January 19, 2018

Sons of Jazz Legends Coming to the Bickford Theatre

WHERE: Bickford Theatre, 6 Normandy Hgts. Rd., Morristown

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play

WHEN: Saturday, January 20, 8:00 PM
start at $45

T.S. Monk

WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 7:30 PM
start at $35

Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 973-971-3706 or visiting The Bickford Theatre offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Many performers are children of famous musicians but it is not always easy to carve an independent path in entertainment world. For instance, there was Frank Sinatra, Jr. or Natalie Cole. But this winter, the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey will present two sons of jazz legends who have become musical stars in their own right: Dave Brubeck’s son Chris Brubeck with his group Triple Play and Thelonious Monk’s son T.S Monk with his ensemble.


Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play brings together three exceptional musicians whose good-time music draws on folk, blues, and jazz.

A Grammy-nominated composer and musician Chris Brubeck has been called “one of the finest jazz trombonists around today” by Downbeat Magazine and “one of the most capable electric bassists” by the Los Angeles Times. He began touring and recording with his legendary father when he was young and has gone onto international acclaim as a performer, composer, and band leader. He has worked with a diverse cross section of artists including opera stars Frederica von Stade and Dawn Upshaw, pop stars Willie Nelson and B. B. King, and jazz greats Gerry Mulligan, Stephane Grappelli, and Bobby McFerrin.

His trio Triple Play delivers an epic sojourn through American music unlike any other band today and includes Peter “Madcat” Ruth, a virtuoso musician who is considered one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world and singer/guitarist Joel Brown a much in-demand soloist and chamber musician.

Chris Brubeck explains that Dave was always just dad to him. “I recall a couple of experiences when I was very young that got me thinking differently about my dad. One night after a concert with the famous quartet, we went to a classic New Jersey diner where they had a jukebox. I remember sitting in the booth and noticing “Take Five” on the playlist and being amazed. The other time it hit me that my dad was famous was when the Beatles came to America. When I heard them say in an interview that they listened to Dave Brubeck, I knew that Dad was important.”

Triple Play has one foot in the jazz world and another in the blues world but their repertoire includes many famous Dave Brubeck tunes including “Take Five,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “Unsquare Dance,” “It’s A Raggy Waltz,” and the beautiful “Thank You.” The rare New Jersey concert will include an appearance by their good friend, New Jersey harmonica star Rob Paparozzi.

TS Monk behind drums; photo courtesy of artist

Drummer T.S. Monk and his group will pay tribute to his famous father, Thelonious Monk, the second most recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and many of his works have become jazz standards: “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” “Straight, No Chaser,” “Rudy, My Dear,” and “Well, You Needn’t” to name just a few.

T.S. got his first drumsticks from a regular visitor to their family home, Max Roach, and eventually joined his father’s trio, touring with him until he retired in 1975. Setting out on his own, Monk had two hit records with his R&B group, Natural Essence, before returning to jazz in 1992. He now heads up the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to promote jazz education, provide scholarships for music students, and promote his father’s legacy.

“Thelonious Sphere Monk was just daddy,” says T.S. Monk. “He took me and my sister, Boo Boo [nickname], everywhere, and taught me how to treat girls, spin tops, and change my sister’s diapers, among many other things. I can’t recall even one time in my life when I ever called him Thelonious, or Monk, or pop, or anything other than daddy.”

Both Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk were family men and raised their children well. You can see the results in these two great concerts in January and February.





Get on Board for Laughs as Theater To Go presents “Twentieth Century” at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre


Twentieth Century
by Ken Ludwig

WHEN: Fridays, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Jan. 27, and Feb. 3, at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, at 2 p.m.  A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Jan. 26.
: Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road
TICKETS: $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure. (Above, from left, Dan River, Jeffrey Millstein, Charles Acosta, Erin Leder, Jack Bathke, Kate Blazo, Jake Zillioux, Barry Leonard, Joyce Porter, Tom Chiola, and Stan Karuzis. Photo by Ruth Markoe)

TwentiethCentury_ChiolaLederAcostaThe year is 1932 and Oscar Jaffe, an egocentric and eccentric Broadway producer, is in desperate need of a hit. Traveling with his entourage aboard the Twentieth Century Limited, he plots to entice his former lover and protégé, Lily Garland, a now famous Hollywood actress, to star in his next play. Jaffe has less than 24 hours to persuade Lily to return to Broadway, with failure meaning game over for Jaffe. The twisting, turning story plays out at breakneck speed as oddball characters get entangled in his scheme and add to the chaos. (Above, From left, desperate Broadway producer Oscar Jaffe (Tom Chiola), Hollywood star Lily Garland (Erin Leder), and Lilly's agent and current paramour George Smith (Charles Acosta).

The original Twentieth Century, by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur, was made into a blockbuster Hollywood film in 1934 starring John Barrymore and Carol Lombard. It has had several stage revivals, including a 1978 musical called “On The Twentieth Century.” This latest adaptation by Ken Ludwig (of Lend me a Tenor and Moon over Buffalo fame) ran on Broadway in 2004 starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche.

The cast features Tom Chiola of Trenton as Oscar Jaffe; Erin Leder of Bordentown as Lily Garland; Joyce Porter of Piscataway as Ida Webb; Barry Leonard of Monroe as Owen O’Malley; Stan Karuzis of Lawrenceville as the Conductor; Dan River of Philadelphia, Pa., as the Porter; Jack Bathke of Robbinsville as Dr. Lockwood; Kate Blazo of North Brunswick as Anita; Jake Zillioux of North Brunswick as Mr. Clark; Jeffrey Milstein of East Windsor as Max Jacobs; and Charles Acosta of Langhorne, Pa., as George Smith.

The production team includes Director Ruth Markoe, Stage Manager Melissa Rittmann, Costumer Ruth Rittmann, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik, Sound Designer Eric Collins, Set Designer John Russell and Set Decorator Amy Bessellieu.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018



Artwork by Students in Independent Study Programs to be Displayed at RVCC

Zoey-Russomano_ziploc-bagRVCC Independent Study Students Exhibition

WHEN: January 22-February 9. An artists’ talk will be held Friday, January 26, from 5-6 p.m., in the Art Gallery, followed by a reception from 6-7 p.m. Both are free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
: Art Gallery, 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg
For further information, visit

This year’s exhibition, organized by RVCC faculty members Darren McManus and Christopher Koep, will include advanced work in such media as ceramics, visual communication, painting and digital/multimedia. (Above, left, “Ziploc Bag 1,” by Zoey Russomano, experimental image-making via scanned Ziploc bags, created Spring 2017)

The annual exhibition highlights the artwork of students who completed an independent study during the Spring, Summer and Fall 2017 Semesters.

Michael-Brailove_Fantasy-FlowersAdvanced art students at RVCC work with individual instructors in their various fields of interest. The independent study projects are usually of an advanced nature. Students develop a more independent studio practice than in a classroom situation, and this gives them a concentrated opportunity to develop their own ideas and visions.

Gallery hours are Mondays, 3-8 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Fridays, 1-4 p.m. For further information, contact the Visual and Performing Arts Department, 908-218-8876. (Right: “Fantasy Flowers,” by Michael Brailove, ceramic, created Fall 2017)



Photo: American Repertory Ballet, Princeton Ballet School
DOUGLAS MARTIN, Artistic Director
Mary Barton
Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer
Photo Call/photographed: Friday, August 25, 2017; 1:30 PM at Princeton Ballet School, Princeton, New Jersey;
Photograph: © 2017 Richard Termine  PHOTO CREDIT - Richard Termine2018 Summer Intensive programs

WHEN: Saturday, January 27:

  • 16 years old and above, Registration: 12:15 pm, Audition: 12:45-2:15 pm
  • 13-15 year old, Registration: 2:15, Audition: 3:00 -5:00 pm. 

WHERE: Princeton Ballet School, 301 N. Harrison St., Princeton
FEE: There is an audition fee of $30 (the pre-registration audition fee is $25).
For those unable to make the in-person audition, a video audition is possible.
To pre-register and for more information, please visit or call (609) 921-7758.

Leading the audition will be Douglas Martin, Artistic Director, American Repertory Ballet, and Pamela Levy, Director, Princeton Ballet School.

First held in 1982, Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive is one of the longest running Summer Intensive programs in the United States. The Summer Intensive program runs from June 25 through July 27, 2018.

The Summer Intensive is a program of serious study in a warm and companionable atmosphere. The faculty provides caring and careful instruction conductive to technical and artistic progress. In seeking to maintain a feeling of community, Princeton Ballet School purposely limits the number of students in class. Students receive individualized attention and intensive training led by ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin, Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, and master teachers Kathleen Moore and Maria Youskevitch. Guest faculty have included Franco De Vita, Raymond Lukens, Kirk Peterson, Trinette Singleton, Aydmara Cabrera,Sterling Baca and Unity Phelan, among others.

“The Summer Intensive has always been my favorite time spent in the classroom both as a student and as a faculty member,” says Martin, a former principal dancer for Joffrey Ballet. “As a student I was excited to spend my entire day focused on dancing and I couldn't wait to experience the intensity of the workload and feel the daily progress that I was making through that intense study. As a faculty member, I get a similar thrill from seeing the students' tremendous progress over the course of the five week program.”

Auditions are conducted by Princeton Ballet School faculty members throughout the United States and Europe to select 100 students for the program. The audition will give students the opportunity to experience the approach to classical ballet technique that Princeton Ballet School is known for teaching. Students must be 13 and older; classes are held at the Princeton Studio location with optional housing at Princeton University.

“A Good Farmer” debuts in American Theater Group’s inaugural mainstage production at SOPAC


See A Good Farmer at SOPAC

American Theater Group's

A Good Farmer
WHEN: WED, JAN 24 - SUN, FEB 4; Wed, Jan 24 and Thursdays Jan 25 & Feb 1 at 7:30PM, Fridays Jan 26, Feb 2 & Sat, Jan 27 at 8PM, Sat Feb 3 at 3PM & 8PM, Sun Jan 28 at 3PM 
WHERE: : South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange
TICKETS: $25-$45  
To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at (973) 313-2787 or visit     

What is the life of an immigrant worth? Are immigrants entitled to the American Dream? Explore these questions and more when you come to see this new play by Sharyn Rothstein. 

Ripped from today's headlines, this is the story of a farming community and its struggle with issues of immigration, loyalty, family survival and compassion.

Written by Sharyn Rothstein, directed by Kel Haney, featuring Janice Amaya, Todd Lawson, Brenda Withers and Ariel Woodiwiss.

See Janice Amaya in A Good Farmer

See Todd Lawson in A Good Farmer

See Brenda Withers in a Good Farmer

See Ariel Woodiwiss in A Good Farmer

Producer Jim Vagias notes “I had no idea when I read this play in October 2016 that it would become even more relevant a year later. Sharyn Rothstein puts a human face to all we are reading about, and she does so in a compelling, compassionate way.”

As an additional value to further explore the topics addressed in A Good Farmer, there will be a panel discussion following the SUN, JAN 28, 3PM performance. The Immigrant Experience: Escaping the Shadows, moderated by esteemed immigration attorney Michael Noriega, features leaders on the front lines of this complex situation who experience first-hand the hurdles immigrants face as they engage with the difficulties of modern day America.

SOPAC, known for presenting music, comedy, dance and other genres in its intimate theater, is partnering with American Theater Group as its theater company in-residence. A Good Farmer is the first of two full productions this season. It will be followed by Small Town Story, a musical about a small town that is divided by a controversial high school production, presented May 30-June 10, 2018.

Sharyn Rothstein is a playwright and television writer, whose plays and musicals have been workshopped and produced around the country, as well as internationally. Her play By The Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova in 2014 and was the recipient of the 2015 American Theater Critic’s Association Francesca Primus Prize for a play by an emerging woman playwright. Her play All The Days was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation Award and was produced at the McCarter Theater Center in 2016, directed by Emily Mann. In addition to playwriting, Sharyn is a writer for the USA Network drama SUITS.  She holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College, with a concentration in Urban Health.

Her unique background helps her to see the humanity in many situations. She says, “I believe that theater does its job best when it’s full of heart and full of complexity and, usually, has a nice helping of funny to go along with it. I’m driven by questions of social responsibility, of what we owe each other, and by strong, dynamic characters that don’t take easy “no’s”.”

Director Kel Haney will lead a cast that includes Janice Amaya, Todd Lawson, Brenda Withers and Ariel Woodiwiss. Ms. Haney’s credits include several regional theatres in the New York area and beyond including Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane, Keen Company, Labyrinth, The Lark, Ma-Yi, Naked Angels, New Dramatists and New Georges. In addition to her work with American Theater Group directing the hugely successful The Way We Get By by acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute, New Jersey audiences may remember her productions of Deborah Brevoort’s My Lord What a Night and James Christy’s At Liberty Hall at Premiere Stages.  



WHEN: Sunday, January 21, at 2 PM
Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25.00 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12 in advance.  As with all concerts, jazz and special events ticket prices increase $5.00 day of the performance.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 PM and two hours prior to every performance.  The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

Centenary Stage Company’s January Thaw Music Festival continues with Danny Bacher in Swing That Music! A Jazz Tribute to the Three Louis. Vocalist- saxophonist, Danny Bacher swings the praises of the three Louis ... Armstrong, Prima & Jordan in an unforgettable performance paying homage to the era of jumpin' jive with a dollop of Dixieland.  "It is about making hot music but staying cool, about cutting up while maintaining effortless self - control, about having a blast with friends." —Stephen Holden, NY Times

A dynamic entertainer with world-class talents as an actor, musician, writer and comedian, Danny Bacher is a fresh new face on the jazz landscape.  Bacher has been a fixture on the New York stage and has toured internationally with his original works.  Raised on classic Jazz and the American popular songbook, Bacher possesses a warm smoky tone and favors a lush lyrical soprano sax style that complements his role as storyteller. Bacher unleashes his substantial chops and signature wit to pay homage to three jazz firebrands in a series of kinetic tracks that vibrantly reimagine classics from the three Louis' repertoire for today's audience.

Centenary Stage Company’s January Thaw Music Festival continues on Saturday, January 27, at 8 PM with the Brazilian bluegrass of Matuto. Centenary Stage Company’s January Thaw Music Festival is made possible in part by Home Instead Senior Care 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.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018



Film Club Spring Series

La Cinémathèque Film Club: Women Directors 
WHEN: Sundays at 2 PM, March 25, April 22, May 6      
WHERE: SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange (behind train station)
TICKETS: Film Club Membership is $50 for 3 Film Screenings
Film Club Membership: $50


La Cinémathèque Film Club continues this series into the spring. The Women Film Directors series is a chronology of pictures directed by women from around the world. It explores the social, economic and political aspects of each director’s home country and the cinematic language of the female filmmaker. After each screening, there will be a discussion about the different viewpoints of these great directors, their impact on the world of cinema and their impact on the lives of women from various cultures.

MAR 25  |  The Piano (1993) 
directed by Jane Campion, New Zealand

APR 22 | Blackboards (2000)
directed by Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran

MAY 6  |  Fish Tank (2009)
directed by Andrea Arnold, England

Gerard Amsellem
Gerard Amsellem is a French and American citizen. He spent the first 25 years of his life in Paris, France where he studied painting at the University of Paris and earned his Masters Degree in French Literature and Art History. In 1982, Gerard moved to the U.S. and continued to paint and develop his interest in film. His paintings have been exhibited abroad in Paris and locally at GAS Gallery & Studio and at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center. Gerard has been studying film throughout his life. He currently teaches World Film at Livingston High School and has directed several short films. Gerard’s special interests lie in foreign and independent films from all over the world.

Questions about La Cinémathèque Film Club can be directed to Gerard Amsellem at

The Theater Project Brings STEEL MAGNOLIAS to the POP-UP Theater at Unity Bank, Union

Terri (2)Barbara_opt_preview.jpegDAAIMAH TALLEYSTEEL MAGNOLIAS
by Robert Harling

WHEN: Saturday, January 20, at 8 PM and Sunday, January 21, at 2 PM
Unity Bank, 952 Stuyvesant Avenue, Union, NJ
TICKETS: $20 or 908-809-8865

Come to Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" have come to have their hair done in time for Shelby’s wedding. Shelby is marrying a traditional “good ol’ boy” who wants a traditional wife and family—and these ladies have a lot to say on that subject and many others.  Robert Harling’s hit play went on to become a star-studded film, but nothing captures the immediacy of these friendships like live theater.

Steel Magnolias is the next in a series Pop Up Theater—performances in unexpected places—continuing in Union’s Downtown Center, presented by The Theater Project in a cleverly converted annex at Union’s Unity Bank. These events are designed to bring more foot traffic to the township’s central business district; The Theater Project has added a directory of Union Center eateries to its web site to encourage audiences to explore the area.

The series has been hosted by Unity Bank in their Stuyvesant Avenue branch, with the support of the Union Chamber of Commerce, and is sponsored by a Union County HEART grant and Union’s Downtown Center.

The Theater Project, an award-winning company that has just celebrated its 23rd anniversary, presents its main stage season at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood. It offers many programs, including classes for kids and showcases for new writers, in Essex and Union Counties, all on display at their web site.

IMAGE: Terri Sturtevant, Barbara Guidi, and Daaimah Talley, part of the STEEL MAGNOILIAS cast.



WHEN: Saturday, January 20, at 8 pm
Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $48 for adults and children in advance.  As with all concerts, jazz and special events ticket prices increase $5.00 day of performance.   
The performance is presented in partnership with the Hackettstown Rotary Club.  Proceeds to benefit Hackettstown Rotary Club local scholarships.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  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.

Hollywood's most recognizable face, Larry Miller returns to Centenary Stage Company for  a special fundraiser stand-up performance.  Actor, comedian and writer Larry Miller has an extensive career spanning over 100 film/television credits and Broadway performances. He began his career alongside Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  Miller has since gone on to unforgettable roles in such films as The Princess Diaries, The Nutty Professor, Bee Movie and 10 Things I Hate About You. He's also a proud member of Christopher Guest's ensemble cast in the films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

Miller has made dozens of appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and Real Time with Bill Maher. He has also starred in his own HBO comedy specials and on Broadway in Neil Simon's play, The Dinner Party. His other television credits include Seinfeld, Desperate Housewives, Medium, Burn Notice and Law & Order, in addition to a recurring role on Boston Legal. Miller is the also the only "bad guy" to return on Law and Order as an unrepentant – and uncatchable – wife killer.  He currently hosts the weekly podcast called The Larry Miller Show about the absurdities of everyday life, and he’s a humorist for both the Huffington Post and The Weekly Standard as well as the author of the best-selling book Spoiled Rotten America.  Miller frequently tours the country with his one-man comedy show, Cocktails with Larry Miller.

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, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

bergenPAC presents Rufus Wainwright on Jan. 21


Image result for Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright

with special guest Lucy Wainwright Roche, presented by WFUV

WHEN: SUNDAY, JAN. 21, 2018 – 8PM
: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood
TICKETS: $69-59-39-29
Tickets available at or by calling bergenPAC’s Box Office at (201) 227-1030.

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer-songwriter released seven studio albums, three DVDs and three live albums, including the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, which captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007.

Wainwright has received Juno Awards for Best Alternative Album in 1999 and 2002 for Rufus Wainwright and Poses, respectively, and nominations for his albums Want Two (2005) and Release the Stars (2008).