Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SERIES OF WEDNESDAY EVENING SUMMER PROGRAMS @ THE JEWISH HERITAGE MUSEUM IN FREEHOLD

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www.jhmomc.org or call 732.252.6990 for tickets

SONGS FOR A SUMMER NIGHT @ CHESTER THEATRE GROUP

Directed by Clifford Parrish
Music Direction by Clifford Parrish

WHEN: July 10th – 12th; Friday & Saturday 8 PM; Sunday 2 PM
WHERE:
Chester Theatre Group, Black River Playhouse, 54 Grove Street, at the corner of Maple Ave., in Chester
TICKETS: $25.00; Senior citizens 65+ and students under 18: $23.00

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

908-879-7304
www.chestertheatregroup.org

SONDHEIM MUSICAL TO BE PERFORMED BY LONJ IN JULY

imageA LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC  
Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by HUGH WHEELER
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, Suggested by a Film by Ingmar Bergman, Originally produced and Directed on Broadway by
Harold Prince  
Directed by Jeffrey Fiorello
Musical Direction by Lois Buesser
Produced by William Corson

WHEN: July 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8:00 PM and July 12 and 19 at 2 PM
WHERE:
Founders Hall Theater at the Morristown Beard School, 70 Whippany Rd, Morristown
TICKETS: $25-$30. Buy tickets online at http://www.lonj.org/tickets/ or by calling 908-655-6023.

Set at the turn of the 20th century in Sweden, A Little Night Music spins a tale exploring the meaning of love versus desire and the significance of family. Desiree Armfeldt, a once-successful actress, must reconsider the decisions of her past when an old lover, Fredrik Egerman, returns to town with his young wife, Anne. Considering her young daughter Fredrika and overbearing mother Madame Armfeldt, Desiree must choose between her present liaison, insanely jealous Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, and Fredrik during a dramatic weekend in the country with their wives and extended family.

Starring:

  • Barbara Haag (Chester, NJ) as Desiree Armfeldt
  • Robert Jacobson (Chester, NJ) as Fredrik Egerman
  • Kevin Grace (Pottsville, PA) as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
  • Penny Hoadley (Brookside, NJ) as Madame Armfeldt
  • Adelaide Precopa (Ringwood, NJ) as Fredrika Armfeldt
  • Lauren Dwane (Kinnelon, NJ) as Anne Egerman
  • Shane Long (Paramus, NJ) as Henrik Egerman
  • Sandra Taylor (Landing, NJ) as Charlotte Malcolm
  • Madison Washer (Oak Ridge, NJ) as Petra
  • Adrian Rifat (New York, NY) as Frid
  • Alex Corson (Basking Ridge, NJ), Kristin Roney (Montclair, NJ), Jarrett Smith (Long Valley, NJ), Lyssandra Stephenson (Bound Brook, NJ), and Susanna Su (Boonton, NJ) as the Quintet.

LONJ is a premier operetta, opera and musical theater company founded in 1995 by William Corson, executive producer, and Lauran Corson, artistic director.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GUEST REVIEW: “CLOSURE” BY RICHARD DRESSER DEBUTS @ NJ REP IN LONG BRANCH

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Image result for michael t. mooneyReviewed by Michael T. Mooney June 28, 2015 at 7:00pm

New Jersey Repertory Company must be the proudest 'parent' in the theater world. When giving birth to each of their world premiere plays, they regale them with the greatest birthday party a playwright could imagine. Richard Dresser's CLOSURE, the 105th play of their remarkable 18 seasons, is no exception.

First, the party guests—a cast that Broadway might envy. To their recent list of world-class actors like Jill Eikenberry, Dan Lauria, Michael Tucker, and others, add Wendie Malick and Gary Cole. Their amazing contributions toward making CLOSURE a must-see summer show cannot be over-stated. Although currently known for their work on small-screen comedies (she on “Hot in Cleveland” and he on “Veep”), both do compelling work in this primarily dramatic stage play about parents whose teenage daughter has gone missing on a Dutch-run Caribbean island. Malick plays Jane, the teen's distressed mom, and Cole is Roy, the island's police detective. They are ably joined by Victor Verhaeghe as Peter, Jane's distant husband, and Biniam Tekola as Ken, the waiter selling something more than drinks. Cole anchors the play with a self-assured confidence, skillfully dealing with Jane's rum-soaked search for closure. Malick and Cole have a palpable chemistry that makes it clear that Dresser's narrative has some twists and turns in store. 

Then there's the party favors—an absolutely stunning physical production designed by Jessica Parks. The play's action requires several different locations and Parks skillfully gives us a tropical setting that takes full advantage of every inch of the theater's shoe box stage without ever looking cramped. Parks even manages to hint at a neo-noir vibe in Roy's office, outfitting it with a rotary fan, metal file cabinet, coffee maker, and old school black phone—all without looking dated. Jill Nagle's blue and green infused tropical lighting and Patricia E. Doherty's skillfully complementary costumes are equally impressive. Merek Royce Press supplies steel drum-based music to blend with the sounds of the surf. All of this is under the skilled and focused direction of Joe Cacaci. 

The much-expected twists in the plot will come as no shock to any viewer of “Cold Case.” With only four characters, the play's 90 intermissionless minutes provide plenty of time for pondering the possibilities. Dresser's script sometimes meanders and misfires, but Cole and Malick manage to make even the less compelling moments watchable. While considering the actual fate of Jane’s daughter, you can be forgiven for imagining a brand new prime time detective series starring Cole and Malick - a sort of island “Hart to Hart.” Like CLOSURE, it would be well worth watching. 

The world premiere engagement of CLOSURE by Richard Dresser continues at New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey, through July 19th. For tickets and information visit www.njrep.org or call 732-229-3166.

Photo: Victor Verhaerghe, Biniam Tekola, Wendie Malick and Gary Cole (by Suzanne Barabas)

Thanks to Rick Busciglio (www.njfootlights.net) for sharing this review.

SUMMER READING CHALLENGE: HOW MANY OF THESE BOOKS HAVE YOU READ? SOME SUGGESTIONS, TOO.

PACK A PICNIC FOR SUMMER PERFORMANCES @ THE VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF NJ IN SUMMIT

Shakespeare in the Garden

SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN

Back by popular demand, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will host Shakespeare in the Garden. This summer, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Next State Ensemble will perform Romeo & Juliet and The Triumph of Love in the Art Center’s Garden. Each performance is an hour followed by a question and answer session with the cast.

WHERE: the garden of Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit
TICKETS: sold at the door on the night of the performance; non-members $12, members $8
For more information please visit us online at www.artcenternj.org/shakespeare or contact Cara Bramson, Director of Programs at (908) 273-9121 x213.

Romeo & Juliet
by William Shakespeare
WHEN: Thursday, July 9, 7:00 pm

The Triumph of Love
by Pierre de Marivaux
WHEN: Thursday, August 6, 7:00 pm

Cabaret: Music of the Movies
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 7:00 pm
WHERE: the garden of Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit
TICKETS:
To purchase tickets visit Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s ticketing site. $20 advance; $25 at the door. Art Center Members: $15, call 908.273.9121 or e-mail cbramson@artcenternj.org for the discount count code.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

For more than 80 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.

SUMMER CLASSES FOR ADULTS, CHILDREN IN BEDMINSTER

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Summer Classes in Painting, Drawing & Ceramics for Adults
Summer Art Camps for Children

WHEN: various dates
WHERE:
2020 Burnt Mills Road in Bedminster, NJ.
For further information, please call (908) 234-2345 or visit The Center for Contemporary Art online at http://ccabedminster.org/

The Center for Contemporary Art is excited to announce its summer schedule of art classes and workshops for adults as well as summer art camps for children. There are ten summer evening classes and six weekend workshops for adults. Nine weeks of summer art camp will be available for children ages five through teens. Classes are offered for artists of all ages and levels of expertise in a variety of media including oil and acrylic paint, watercolor, drawing, photography and ceramics.

Adult Art ClassSpecial summer workshops such as “Portrait Painting in Oil,” a two-day workshop with Gary Godbee, provide unique opportunities for local artists to work from a live model as they explore the major forms of the head and individual features of the face. Another two-day workshop offered is “Watercolor Painting” with Steve Zazenzki. One-day workshops include “Animal Portraits” with Charlie Churchill, “Abstraction in Collage” with Nancy Shill, “Glass Mosaic” with Donna Conklin, and “Portrait Drawing” with Gary Godbee.

Summer Art Camps at CCAThe Center’s summer art camps are designed to stimulate creative expression through projects and activities that change each week. All sessions are led by professional teaching artists. Starting this year, full-day camps will be offered to allow children to experience both mixed media morning projects and themed programs in the afternoon. There will be a supervised lunch for full-day campers. Children interested in only coming for a morning session or afternoon session can register for half-day camps. An after-care program is also offered.

Parents from last year stated, “Camp was great! The kids learned a lot!"

For further information or to register for a class, please visit The Center for Contemporary Art online at www.ccabedminster.org or call (908) 234-2345.

About The Center for Contemporary Art
Founded in 1970, The Center for Contemporary Art is a vital regional art center with a vibrant studio art school, extensive exhibition program and important community outreach component. The Center for Contemporary Art is committed to enabling all visitors to experience its classes and workshops, exhibitions and public programs. If you require an accommodation or service, please contact The Center at least two weeks prior to your scheduled visit.

Monday, June 29, 2015

JODY JOSEPH TO APPEAR @ MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY JULY 11

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Jody Joseph stars in

4 Common Threads; One Heartstring

WHEN: July 11, doors at 6:30PM
WHERE:
The Pollak Theater at Monmouth University, Howard Ave, West Long Branch
TICKETS: $20-$45
Tickets on sale at the box office: 732.263.6889, prompt 1. http://www.monmouth.edu/university/box-office-information.aspx

In an intimate setting, Jody Joseph reveals her feelings about life and love through the powerful songs of four legendary artists. While unveiling the musical DNA that threads through the heart and soul of Jody Joseph, and the artists who influenced her life: Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, she sings and talks about the common thread that weaved its way thru her own musical life and also shows the parallels in her own songwriting. This particular show, where Jody is performing as herself, is up front and personal, riveting, witty and real.

Vintage performances, as well as a glimpse of her pilot, Heart Strings, which is Jody’s personal mission, will show the journeys of her young vocal students and the healing power of music.

A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund a musical enhancement program run by The Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA). The Heartstrings program provides a holistic component to the Family Crisis Intervention Unit for at-risk youth, to help their young clients foster creativity, alleviate stress, and reach their personal goals.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

PRINCETON SUMMER THEATER CONTINUES WITH THE RAZOR-SHARP “PYGMALION”

Pyg2PYGMALION
By George Bernard Shaw
Staged and Directed by Princeton lecturer in Theater and English R. N. Sandberg

WHEN: July 3-5, 8-12, and 16-19. Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Wednesday, July 8th at 8pm. Special talkbacks with the cast follow every Friday evening performance: join us on July 4th after the 2pm matinee for a reception with hoagies by Hoagie Haven!
WHERE:
Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton University’s Campus
TICKETS: $27.50 for general admission, $22 for students and matinees. We also offer season subscriptions for only $60 (a 30% discount!), which ensures a reserved seat for each of our three remaining main stage shows this season. To order tickets, visit http://www.princetonsummertheater.org/metamorphoses/ or call the PST box office at 1-732-997-0205.

Pygmalion is a sharply funny commentary on class, gender and what it means to be true to yourself.

Pyg3This vibrant and hilarious new production highlights the battle of wits and wills between Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. Speech professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can transform cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle from a low-class nobody to the toast of society at an upcoming garden party. He soon realizes, however, that this feat might not be so easily accomplished; Eliza has strong opinions of her own, and she is prepared to fight Henry every step of the way on her transformation from street urchin to sophisticated duchess. The inspiration for the musical My Fair Lady, the story of Pygmalion has captivated audiences for decades. 

Starring guest artist Jake Robertson as Henry Higgins and Princeton Summer Theater company member Bits Sola as Eliza Doolittle (top image). Also featuring Ross Barron (Pickering), Maeve Brady (Mrs. Higgins), Sarah Cuneo (Mrs. Eynsford Hill) Caroline Hertz (Mrs. Pearce/Miss Eynsford Hill), Kanoa Mulling (Freddy Eynsford Hill), and Evan Thompson (Mr. Doolittle).

PRINCETON SUMMER THEATER’S ANNUAL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

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Each year, Princeton Summer Theater produces extremely affordable family entertainment and educational programming. This programming includes a series of Young Artists' Workshops and an interactive, musical Children's Show.

The Legendary True Story of Sparrow Jones and the Jersey Devil
a new play for young audiences by Brad Wilson and Maeli Goren, director of The Magic Rainforest

WHEN: 11am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from July 2-August 8
WHERE:
the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton Summer Theater in the Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton University’s campus
TICKETS: $10, free for children under 3
Discounted group rates and parties are also available: call 1-732-997-0205 or email contact@princetonsummertheater.org for more information.

They say there's a monster out in the Pine Barrens, but when Sparrow Jones gets lost in the woods, she won't let the legend of the Jersey Devil scare her!  Sure to engage audience members of all ages, The Legendary True Story of Sparrow Jones and the Jersey Devil is a musical, magical, and interactive journey through New Jersey folklore. Have you seen the Jersey Devil?

The show will run for approximately 30-45 minutes. After each performance, actors come out to meet with children, sign their programs, and talk about the characters and the play.

YOUNG ARTISTS’ WORKSHOPS

In addition, Princeton Summer Theater will be hosting a series of six Young Artists’ Workshops for children ages 6-12. Come learn and play alongside the 2015 PST Company!  Over the course of 6 weeks, we will explore some of the fundamentals of theater and work together to create our very own show, which we'll perform for family and friends at our last session together.  Come to one or come to all—we always welcome drop-ins!

This year’s workshops are:

  • Puppets and Masks—create fun characters using the transformative power of time-tested theatrical traditions
  • Movement and Physical Theater—learn how to use your body to create characters, express emotions, and make stage pictures
  • Making Music as an Ensemble— learn how to make to music with a group of friends in order to tell a story
  • Improv—who says you need a script to do theater? Learn the art of making it up
  • Playwriting—there are lots of ways to tell stories, and our playwriting lab will let you experiment and hone your skills
  • Fundamentals of Acting, Script to Stage—take the page to the stage and learn how to act out stories from scripts!

WHEN:  Friday afternoons from 1:30-4:30pm, July 3-August 7.
TUITION: Each workshop costs $35 to register—save 20% by registering for all six workshops for $145! Ages 6-12.
Register by emailing princetonsummertheater@gmail.com.

MORRIS MUSEUM EXHIBITS HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF NJ IN EARLY MUSIC INDUSTRY

ReginaphoneMUSICALLY, MADE IN NEW JERSEY

WHEN: now through October 18, 2015
WHERE:
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown

Beginning this June, the Morris Museum will present a new exhibition that explores the prominent role played by New Jersey manufacturers in the early music industry, featuring more than a dozen mechanical musical instruments and other related objects.

By 1885, New Jersey was the musical box manufacturing center for the United States, if not the western world. There were no less than six manufacturing companies located in Rahway, Jersey City, Bradley Beach and Hoboken. These companies employed hundreds of workers and produced several hundred thousand instruments. The mechanical musical instruments manufactured in New Jersey introduced new audio technology to the masses. (Image: Reginaphone, Style 171, 1908, Regina Music Box Company, Rahway, NJ. Image courtesy of Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey)

Musically, Made in New Jersey includes a 1908 Reginaphone by the Rahway based Regina Music Box Company. This hybrid machine plays both punched metal discs and 78rpm records. The exhibition also features a Capital “cuff” Music Box by F. G. Otto and Sons of Jersey City. This unique instrument includes perforated metal cones on a rotating mandrel. Also represented are mechanical musical instruments manufactured by the Aeolian Company of Garwood, the Symphonion Manufacturing Company of Bradley Beach, the American Music Box Company of West New York and Hoboken, and others.

The Morris Museum, through this exhibit, will be the first institution to ever shine a spotlight on the mechanical music industry that made New Jersey it’s “home” during the very late 1800’s and into the early twentieth century.” Said Jeremie Ryder, Conservator of the Guinness Collection. “Virtually nowhere else in the United States was such a tremendous pool of talented engineers, machinists, musicians and craftsmen, who together with the entrepreneurial spirit, supplied the masses with music from around the world.”

Musically, Made in New Jersey features instruments selected from the Museum’s Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata, one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world. The exhibition also includes objects lent by the Museum of Music Box Society International, Altenburg Piano House, and other private collections.

In conjunction with Musically, Made in New Jersey the Morris Museum will hold the following program. Further program and ticket information is available by calling 973.971.3706 or online at morrismuseum.org.

Capital Music BoxGuinness Spotlight: New Jersey Music Makers
WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 6:30pm
TICKETS:
$7 Members/$9 Non-Members.

The Guinness Collection staff invites you to explore the New Jersey mechanical music industry, and enjoy a curator’s tour of the featured exhibit, Musically, Made in New Jersey.
(Image: Capital Music Box, Style C, c1895-97, F.G. Otto & Sons, Jersey City, NJ. Image courtesy of Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey.)

About the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection
In 2003, the Morris Museum was awarded the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of 750 historic mechanical musical instruments and automata (mechanical figures) and more than 5,000 programmed media, ranging from player piano rolls to pinned cylinders. Highlights of the collection are displayed in a spectacular 4,300 square foot permanent exhibition Musical Machines & Living Dolls: Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata from the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection. This interactive exhibition features more than 150 pieces from this extraordinary collection and takes visitors on a journey through the history of on-demand musical entertainment. Viewable storage provides visitors with broader access to the balance of the collection.

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

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

Location & Hours
The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members.  For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit www.morrismuseum.org.

SUBMIT YOUR FILMS TO THE RAHWAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BY JULY 1!

WNYC radio touted Rahway as a hopping, upcoming place for the arts! Check out this event:

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CALLING ALL FILMMAKERS: FILM SUBMISSIONS WANTED

Submit your film today! The Rahway International Film Festival is now accepting short films (5-45 minutes) and feature films (46 minutes or more) until Wednesday, July 1st.

This year's Third Annual Film Festival will take place at Union County Performing Arts Center's Hamilton Stage Friday, August 28 through Sunday, August 30, 2015.

For more information/details, visit http://www.rahwayfilmfest.com or email rahwayfilmfest@gmail.com with subject "Submission Inquiry."