Thursday, June 30, 2011

JAZZ IN JULY RETURNS TO CENTENARY STAGE THIS SUMMER

The swinging sounds of the singular big band era usher in the 2011 Jazz in July Series at Centenary Stage Company this summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Rob Stoneback Big Swing Band

WHEN: Saturday, July 9th at 8 PM
WHERE: David and Carol Lackland Center on the campus of Centenary College, 715 Grand Avenue in Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25 in advance and $30 the day of the concert.
To reserve tickets, call the CSC box office at 908.979.0900 or visit the website at www.centenarystageco.org.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Veteran Trombonist Rob Stoneback leads a 17-piece band with vocalists Dennis Jeter and Robin Work as they perform a “class act” of popular swing standards and contemporary hits. The band has four major recordings, most notably the Simone on Simone, where they back Simone, daughter of Nina Simone. This popular band has performed all over the Mid-Atlantic, including the Berks Jazz Fest, the World CafĂ© in Philadelphia and Lincoln Center.

Known as a consummate musician, Rob Stoneback has individually performed with the likes of Sonny and Cher, Don Rickles, Steve Lawrence and Edye Gorme, Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Bobby Watson and many more.  He is an alumnus of the illustrious Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Harry James Orchestras.

The Jazz in July Series will also include performances by The Four Freshmen, The Al & Zoot Tribute Band and The Dan Levinson Dixieland Bash.  All four Jazz in July Concerts may be purchased in advance for a special subscription package price of $95

Jazz in July is made possible through the leadership of Ed Coyne (Chair of the Centenary Stage Company Advisory Board) and Coyne Enterprises, with the support of Heath Village and Skylands Community Bank.  The Centenary Stage Company is a not-for-profit performing arts series, in residence at Centenary College, dedicated to serving as a cultural resource for audiences of the Skylands region with professional music, theatre and dance events and arts education programs throughout the year. All programs at Centenary Stage Company are made possible in part through the visionary support of Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, as well as CSC sponsors Heath Village (platinum sponsor), Panther Valley Pharmacy, Skylands Community Bank, and Hackettstown Regional Medical Center.

THE DAVID AND CAROL  LACKLAND CENTER: Performances at the Centenary Stage Company enjoy their new residence in the state-of-the-art theatres of  the new David and Carol Lackland Center, opened just 9 months ago in Hackettstown.  Hailed as the most sophisticated performing arts venue in northwest New Jersey, the center includes the new 500-seat Sitnik Theater,  The Edith Bolte Kutz black box theater, a dance studio, as well as  WNTI, the College’s NPR affiliate station, and CCTV, Centenary’s Comcast-licensed television studio.   Named in honor of Carol Burgess Lackland, A Centenary graduate (Class of 1954), and her husband, David A. Lackland, a Centenary College Trustee, The David and Carol Lackland Center, has been designed to enrich student life and bring new cultural opportunities to northwest New Jersey.  

FREE CONCERTS IN THE PARK IN SOUTH ORANGE THIS SUMMER

___________2011 FREE CONCERTS IN THE PARK___________

Presented by Village of South Orange, The Baird and South Orange Performing Arts Center

Free Concerts in the Park series returns this summer at Flood’s Hill in Meadowland Park, South Orange. For five consecutive Wednesday nights starting July 6th, some of today’s top performers will present free outdoor concerts ranging from blues, pop, and reggae to salsa and rock n’ roll. Audiences are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket along to relax and listen. And, of course, dancing is always allowed.

WHERE: Flood’s Hill in Meadowland Park, 70 North Ridgewood Road, South Orange, NJ
Rain Site: South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ
The 2011 Free Concerts in the Park series is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

July 6 - Matthew Friedman and Stiletto

Performing the music of Billy Joel

Matthew Friedman is a musician, singer and performer known best for his role as Billy Joel aka the Piano Man in the First National Touring Company of Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp's acclaimed musical, Movin' Out. And now, with his band Stiletto, Friedman pays tribute to his musical hero by playing Billy Joel's music with the authenticity, appreciation and hard-driving energy that it deserves.

More Information

July 13 - Ray Rodriguez y Swing Sabroso

Hot Latin music with a 10-piece band
Ray Rodriguez y Swing Sabroso's distinctive Salsa Dura style is the result of the band members’ unique and extensive musical backgrounds. The group has performed at Lincoln Center, S.O.B.s, LQ’s Philadelphia Salsa Congress, NYC Salsa Congress, Crystals Night Club and at many festivals and clubs.
More Information

 

July 20 - Dub Proof

Funky Roots Reggae band with a dub influence and a NJ attitude
If you took the conscience of Bob Marley, the funk of George Clinton, the boom-bap of classic hip-hop, and the abstract delays and reverbs of 70's dub reggae you'd have the recipe for Dub Proof's songs. "Dub Proof...brings the free-form vibe of dub to a live music setting for island-flavored reggae grooves,” (MyCentralJersey.com).
More Information

 

July 27 - South Orange International Blues Festival Revue

With Michael Hill's Blues Mob, Mike Griot & Others
The artists from the 2010 South Orange International Blues Festival (SOIBF) return to Flood's Hill highlighting some of the great performances from last years' inaugural festival. Featuring the Michael Hill Blues Mob, bassist Mike Griot, and guest performers Carl Burnett, Al Gold, John Fritz and Shari Pine, the SOIBF Revue promises to be a mid-summer evening of soulful grooves and modern blues.
More Information

August 3 - Rock the Hill

Featuring local garage bands
As part of the Rock the House series, Rock the Hill has been delighting audiences for three years with its eclectic mix of local and visiting garage bands. Known for putting on honest-to-goodness rock shows, Rock the House takes Flood’s Hill to close out the 2011 Concerts in the Park series.
More Information

 

PRESERVE YOUR PAST/OLD PHOTOGRAPHS @ FOSTERFIELDS

Preserving Your Past: Photographs

WHEN: Saturday, July 9, 1:30 PM 
WHERE:
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 72 Kahdena Rd., Morris Township
TICKETS: General Admission Applies

  • Join Jim DelGiudice, Photography Consultant
  • Learn basics of editing images
  • Learn how to properly handle, store and display photographic materials

***Pre-Registration is required. Please call 973.326.7645 for more information.

CHILDREN’S CLASSIC PLAY @ SUMMIT PLAYHOUSE

Oz logo

THE WIZARD OF OZ
By L. Frank Baum
Adapted by Frank Gabrielson
With Music & Lyrics from the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Directed by Lindsay Maron

WHEN: July 29 - August 7, 2011
WHERE: Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
908.273.2192
ticketswill go on sale July 1.

After a tornado whisks away a young Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, to the magical land of OZ, she starts her quest to find the mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion who help her on her journey.

With many of the beloved songs from the famous movie such as Over the Rainbow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road, If I Only Had a Brain and many more, this show is sure to be a great deal of fun!

Kaleidoscope Theatre, a project of the Playhouse Association, was started in 1993 as an educational theater and a community service. Since its inception, Kaleidoscope has produced a number of plays and has conducted several acting and improvisation workshops.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TRAVEL THROUGH TIME AND ACROSS SPACE @ THE PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM THIS SUMMER: IT’S FREE!

Princeton University Art Museum

Artful Adventures 2011

With gas prices and airline tickets so high this summer, a museum is the perfect place to travel…the earth and through time! Admission is free at the Princeton University Art Museum, so bring the entire family for some Artful Adventures!

AUDITIONS FOR “PETER PAN & WENDY” NONMUSICAL @ DARRESS THEATRE FOR AGES 12-21

Darress Theatre Logo

Auditions for

PETER AND WENDY

A Non-Musical Young Performers Theatre Group Production

WHEN: Saturday, July 2, from Noon until 4  PM
WHERE:
Darress Theatre, 615 Main Street, Boonton

Need Actors Ages 12 thru 21

Call 973.334.9292 for more information
Please check web site for details. www.darresstheatre.com


Rehearsal Dates and Performances for Peter Pan and Wendy are as follows:

  • July 12 - 11 AM to 3 PM
  • July 13 – 11 AM  to 3 PM
  • July 14 - 11 AM to 3 PM
  • July 15 - 11 AM to 3 PM
  • July 16 - 11 AM to 3 PM
  • July 17 – 11 AM to 3 PM (Sunday)
  • July 18 - 11 AM to 3 PM and 6 to 10 PM
  • July 19 - 11 AM to 3 PM and 6 to 10 PM
  • July 20 - 11 AM to 3 PM and 6 to 10 PM
  • July 21 - 11 AM to 3 PM and 6 to 10 PM
  • July 22 – 8 PM- opening night show
  • July 23 – 3 PM and 7:30 PM (two shows)

COMMUNITY DISPLAY OF ART FOCUSES ON BEAUTIFICATION OF NEW BRUNSWICK

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PDOA—Public Display of Art
First Installation
Featured Artist: Joseph Schembri

WHEN: July 7 – August 7, OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, July 7 from 6:30  to 10:00 PM, Alfa Art Gallery, 108 Church Street,
New Brunswick
WHERE: This first installation is located at the Ferren Mall, on the corner of Albany Street and Spring Street, across from the NJ Transit New Brunswick train station.

The New Brunswick Community Arts Council is proud to announce the launch of its new project PDOA – Public Display of Art, featuring the works of Joseph Schembri as its first installation. PDOA is a community project focused on the beautification of New Brunswick. The mission of this project is to promote art education within the New Brunswick community.

About the Artworks

The Daily Barr NYIBC The works of Joseph Schembri capture dancers and musicians in performance and at rest. They are photographic images, digitally painted and printed as large format giclees, reminiscent of the impressionists in the late 19th century, with their quick, vibrant strokes. For Mr. Schembri, the aim is to reinvent these captured moments as a dream-like version, a hybrid of reality and illusion. Influenced by Edgar Degas not only in subject but also in color, this collection is delicate but brimming with the performance energy of the subjects. Mr. Schembri’s subjects include dancers from Buglisi Dance Theatre, NY International Ballet Competition, and New Jersey Ballet and musicians including Junior Mance, Warren Vache, Richie Cole, and Rosie Ledet. (Top: Backstage Series 1, The New Jersey Ballet by Joseph Schembri; Above: The Daily Barre)

Rebecca Kelly Ballet About the Artist

Joseph Schembri is a freelance photographer. Within his 26 years of experience, focused on capturing dancers and musicians in performance, he has studied with Sandi Fellman at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, worked with Lois Greenfield in her New York City studio, and has completed various workshops and seminars. He served as the photographer for The New Jersey Ballet Company for 22 seasons and was appointed official photographer of the New York International Ballet Competition in 2005. His work has been exhibited in several galleries in New Jersey, including Artworks in Trenton, the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge, and the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown. His works have also been published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Pointe Magazine, Dance Magazine and Attitude and in the books The Nutcracker Backstage: the Story and the Magic and Paper Mill Playhouse—The Life of a Theater. (Above Left: Rebecca Kelly)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR WEEK-LONG CHILDREN’S THEATRE CAMP @ UCPAC

'Tickets For A Year' Raffle

2011 Children's Stage Adventures
Summer Theatre Camp

Early Bird: Register before July 1 and pay $125 per child per week. 

Regular: Register after July 1 and pay $155 per child per week.

Summer Theatre Camp_photo of boy

Join Union County PAC at the Rahway Recreation Center for one week of Children's Stage Adventures Summer Theatre Camp, providing local students with the opportunity to experience the unforgettable excitement of theater.

This summer from Monday, August 8, through Saturday, August 13
approximately 50 local students will be cast in  Children's Stage Adventures' musical production of The Fisherman & His Wife.

REGISTRATION
Click here to download the 2011 Summer Theatre Camp Registration Form.
Click here to purchase your Summer Theatre Camp Registration.

Click here to view the SLIDESHOW of photos from 2010 Summer Theatre Camp. 


About UC PAC's Summer Theatre Camp featuring Children's Stage Adventures
Children's Stage Adventures offers your child the unique opportunity to participate in a live musical production. The CSA team will arrive in town with everything it takes to put on a play. On Monday morning, August 8, the team will hold an audition workshop at the Union County Performing Arts Center to cast pre-registered students to perform in a musical production. The audition will give CSA participants an opportunity to put their "best foot forward" and places more emphasis on spirit, attitude and participation than talent. Nothing needs to be prepared for this workshop.

The show is rehearsed throughout the week. Rehearsals will be conducted from 10 AM until 3 PM every day of the week prior to performances.

Although not all cast members will be needed at every session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week, and if selected, be able to attend all rehearsals for their role.  A detailed schedule will be distributed at the conclusion of auditions.

At the end of the week, as if by magic, a high-quality musical production of this classic tale is performed by approximately 50 local students—complete with professionally designed scenery and costumes, props and makeup, and sound and lighting equipment. 

Performances will be held on the Friday and Saturday at 1 PM.  Tickets for the performances will be available for purchase throughout the week of camp.

This program is appropriate for students in Kindergarten through 12th grades (ages 5 through 18). Pre-registration is required. 

Parents and teachers are always amazed at what their children are capable of!

For program questions please contact Danni Rumsey, Educational Programming Coordinator, at 732.499.0441 ext: 221.

Monday, June 27, 2011

“FOOTLOOSE” ROCKS THE SOMERSET HILLS

Ridge Light Opera of New Jersey, in conjunction with Bernards Township Parks and Recreation, will present the first of the annual summer “Plays in the Park”

FOOTLOOSE
Directed by Bill Corson
Produced by Lauran Corson
Musical Direction by Marion Doerr
Choreography by Beth Amiano Gleason
Executive Producer: Lorrie Lane

WHEN: July 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23, at 8:00 PM
WHERE:
the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park, Valley Road (next to the Veterans Hospital at Lyons), Basking Ridge
TICKETS: Free admission
Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908.204.3003.

Ariel_and_RenThe popular musical tells the story of Ren McCormack, a Chicago teen who moves to a small town where dancing has been banned. The story is loosely based on events which took place in the small town of Elmore City, Oklahoma, where dancing was banned for almost 100 years until 1980, when its high school students gained permission to dance at their prom.

The movie version of Footloose opened on February 17, 1984, and starred Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest and Sarah Jessica Parker in one of her first movie roles. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Grammy.

The stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie featured lyrics by Pitchford and music by Tom Snow, with additional numbers by Kenny Loggins, Sammy Hagar, Jim Steiniman and Eric Carmen. The show opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater on October 1998 and ran for 709 performances, receiving four Tony Award nominations. Theatergoers will remember hit songs such as “Footloose,” “The Girl Gets Around,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” “ Let’s Hear It for the Boy” and “Almost Paradise.”

Footloose_teensThe cast includes numerous talented local performers, including Jackie Adams, Tyler Ableson, Christine Anderson, Todd Bennington, Rachel Cantor, Angie Cocuzza, Alex Corson, Julie Corson, Lauran Corson, Kate Coultas, Nik Delli Paoli, Sophie Dewil, Ryan Doerr, Michael Doerr, Marion Doerr, Tom Donelan, Donna Lee Donelan, Sophia Donelan, Ellie Escher, Christian Fentress, Samantha Ferrara, Jim Gates, Sam Grubb, Allyson Hern, Alex Herrle, Maria Herrle, Brian Herrle, Joanna Hoty Russell, Megan Hurley, Mariella Klinger, Corinna Klinger, Max Littman, Molly Littman, Lisa Littman, Ethan Lynch, Lauren MacManemin, Rick Morley, Lauren Morra, Jeff O’Donnell, Corin Pankow, Catherine Pankow, Allie Pisano, Chuck Pisano, Rhonda Pisano, Jessica Presuto ,Danielle Presuto, J. Eric Roper, Ted Roper, Kelly Scharff, Emily Sheppard, Shana Tracy, Will Wallace, Michelle Wilson, Laurie Wood, and Jennifer Wydra.

“Plays in the Park” has been a local summer tradition for many years. Bernards Township has produced over twenty years of family entertainment and achieved several awards for excellence in theater programming. Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programing.” “Footloose” is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Ridge Light Opera was founded in December, 2003, to preserve and maintain awareness of the musical treasures of light opera and musical theatre of the twentieth century. Shows include Light Opera (September Song); Opera (OPERAgioius!!), cabarets (based on the works of composers like Gershwin and Kern) as well as full scale productions like The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance. For additional information, go to: www.ridgelightopera.org.

CROSSROADS HOLDS BLOW-OUT SUBSCRIPTION SALE FOR 2011-2012 SEASON

Crossroads Theatre is having a SALE and who can resist a bargain? Their season looks to be an interesting mix of productions. Act now and get in while the price is low:

Membership Sale!!!

EVP COFFEE HOUSE TO SHOWCASE NEW TALENT

 

Coffeehouse

For More Info e-mail EVPCoffeehouse@gmail.com

Valley Playhouse Productions, Inc., 2196 Oak Tree Road, Edison, New Jersey 08820

 

NJPAC SOUNDS OF THE CITY FEATURES BRAZILIAN BAND THIS THURSDAY

Touch-Screen Samba and Joystick Roots:
Percussivo Mundo Novo
Channels Cascading Brazilian Beats and Smiling Cyberfunk

WHEN: Thursday, July 28, Doors Open: 5:00 PM, Show: 7:15 PM
WHERE
: NJPAC, 1 Center Street, Newark
TICKETS: FREE
888.466.5722

PMN has not only only reinvented traditional Brazilian percussion, but also the way in which sound can be created. Band leader Mikael Mutti has gutted countless video game controllers, touch-tone phones and other hardware to create his own instruments, and therefore, a unique style of Brazilian music. Their instruments are played by no one else. That's because they created them. 

Check out their sound here!

WORLD’S “YOUNGEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST” EXHIBITS @ KAPLEN JCC IN TENAFLY THIS JULY

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AGES OF EMPIRE:
Paintings by Stanislav Shpanin

WHEN: July 1-26 • Meet the Artist Reception, Sunday, July 10, 1-3 PM
WHERE: Waltuch Gallery, Kaplen JCC, 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly
Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 AM – 10 PM; Friday and Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM; closed Saturday and Jewish holidays.
ADMISSION: free and open to the community.
Artwork is available for sale.
For more information contact Ophrah Listokin, Waltuch Gallery Director, at 201.408.1408 or visit the JCC website at www.jccotp.org.

4. Stass, Brushes, SistersAt the age of 12, Stanislav Shpanin (Stass) was already listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Youngest Professional Artist in the World.” By that time, he had already exhibited in 10 solo shows throughout Russia, Italy, Israel, Azerbaijan, France and the U.S. Now, only 21, Stass continues to win numerous international art competitions. In 2002, he won the International Grand Prize at the “River of Words” environmental poetry and art contest conducted in affiliation with The Library of Congress, and just last year, he was named one of the “Movers and Shakers” of the year by the Jewish Ledger publications.

3. Nicolas II playing tennis No1,2010. Oil on Canvas. 48 x 36 inAges of Empire, to be exhibited at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in July, will feature a series of compelling paintings that reflect both Stass’ journalistic accuracy and his unique and individual expressionism. Looking to capture the paradoxical life of the European Silver Ages, this special exhibit will include paintings of the Tsar’s familial daily duties as well as genre scenes of that period. Stass’ goal in these paintings is to evoke a cultural memory that questions societies of the past, present and future.

1. Girls on Tricycle , 2010. Oil on Canvas. 48 x 26 in“Growing up in Russia, surrounded by international news, politics, history and science, I became interested not only in painting, but in questioning cultural systems,” says Stass. “I became a visual journalist, eager to find paradoxical images and narratives related to my research. I want my artwork to be convincing and energetic, and to have my paintings reflect the historical and cultural loss that will never be restored.”

2. Rabbi with Chickens, 2010. Oil on Canvas. 36 x 24 inStass’ works are on public display at numerous public and private collections, which include the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art (USA), the Jasper Rand Art Museum (USA), the Museum of Energy and Honor (Israel), the Norway Humanitarian Agency (Norway), the collections of President Heydar Aliev of Azerbaijan and former President George W. Bush, as well as other private collections. The Washington Post has observed that Stass “paints brilliantly-hued still lifes and vivid street scenes, draws sure-handed pencil sketches and composes swirling and unsettling abstract images.”

(From the top: Stass with brushes; Nicholas II Playing Tennis No. 1, 2010; Girls on Tricycle 2010; Rabbi with Chickens 2010)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

REVIEW: “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” @ SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY

Some things are improved outdoors: dining (al fresco), painting (Impressionists en plein air) and theater. For the latter, witness the inane, yet exuberant, romp that celebrates the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's tenth anniversary of its outdoor stage in the Greek amphitheater on the campus of the college of St. Elizabeth.

On opening night (notwithstanding the roar of two airplanes, three trains and fireworks going off somewhere to the west), A Midsummer Night's Dream proved to be the almost perfect play to be performed under starry skies. One of the Bard’s funniest and one of his most accessible plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream features loads of conflict, a plethora of physical and verbal humor, and side-splitting performances to show that “the course of true love never did run smooth.”

But although the acting is superb, the set a delight of hanging colorful Spanish Moss-type streamers and intersecting forest paths, and the lighting atmospheric, the production is almost sunk by costumes that make it difficult for the audience to differentiate between the fairies and the mortals, thus robbing the production of that feeling of otherworldliness so necessary to the mood, not to mention the plot.

That plot in itself is ludicrous, driven by a tyrannical father, his daughter and her beau who escape to the dark forest, unrequited love, the misapplication of love potions that results in chaos—on the part of both mortals and fairies—until order is restored, three couples are wed and the rude mechanicals (read: common workmen) get to put on their play to celebrate the event.

STNJ_Midsummer_DSC_0586The play's poetry is glorious and very funny. As he pokes rude fun at what today would be a community theater production, Shakespeare has a grand time with "inside" theater jokes (there's been quite a bit of that if you've read my reviews for this season), much to our merriment—and, I suspect, his.

The talented cast does a fine job, with many of them taking on multiple roles. Josh Carpenter is commanding as Theseus, Duke of Athens, and equally as petulant as Oberon, the fairy king, who when he doesn't get what he wants has a mega-tantrum and throws everything into flux. Tiny Nitya Vidyasagar is rather too diminutive to project Hyppolyta's majesty, but she's tender and very funny as Titania when she strokes the head of the ass into which Bottom the weaver has been transformed. (Above: Robert Clohessy as Nick Bottom, James Russell as Francis Flute, Conner Carew as Snout, John Hickok as Peter Quince and Zach Fineblum as Starveling. Photo: ©Samuel Allen)

STNJ_Midsummer_DSC_0358The two sets of lovers are appropriately goofy, the better to be bewitched during the night in the dark forest. Rebecca Mozo (Hermia) and Jack Moran (her boyfriend Lysander), and Emily Kunkel (Helena) and the object of her unrequited love, Brian Cade (Demetrius), give their characters just the right comic touch, especially in a scene where the two boys roll around on stage while the girls tussle in a real pond, getting gloriously wet in the process. That Kunkel is tall and Mozo a peanut makes their exchange about height all the funnier. And as Puck, Seamus Mulcahy scampers and climbs around the stage like a circus acrobat as he carries out Oberon's missions and then has to right his mistakes. (Left: Brian Cade as Demetrius pursues his true love Hermia, played by Rebecca Mozo.  Photo: ©Samuel Allen)

STNJ_Midsummer_DSC_0632But the play's true comedic heart lies in the workmen who have come into the forest to get away from civilization to rehearse their play, which they hope to perform at the Duke's wedding the following day. John Hickock's Peter Quince tries mightily to control his rag-tag band, especially the obnoxious Nick Bottom, played with a great South Boston accent by Robert Clohessy, whether he's "auditioning" for every part in the play or whinnying with delight at the ministrations of Titania and her fairy attendants. The rustic company is rounded out by a very funny James Russell who, as Francis Flute, gets to play a delectable Thisbe complete with false breasts and red high heels; Connor Carew as Tom Snout, James Russell as Francis Flute and Stewart Schneck as Snug the Joiner deliver their silly lines with an aplomb appropriate to the seriousness with which they approach their efforts. (Above: Robert Clohessy as Nick Bottom, Conner Carew as Snout and James Russell as Francis Flute. Photo: ©Samuel Allen)

Director Cameron Watson keeps the action swirling around onstage, up and down the amphitheater's steps, so that the 90 minutes seem to fly by.

As for the aforementioned costumes, the duds provided by Kara Harmon are the one fly in the ointment. The fairies are dressed like homeless waifs; there is absolutely nothing ethereal about them. Puck resembles an escapee from The Little Rascals flicks. The Athenian youths look like punks, with the men in saggy shorts or tight jeans, motorcycle boots and garish sneakers; one wonders, who dressed these folks? The rustics are, however, clad in uniforms and clothing appropriate to lower class working men. The problems with the attire make it difficult for someone unfamiliar with the play (like children) to sort out who's who, which should occur at first glance. Don't let anyone tell you that costumes are not as important as the acting and scenery; this aspect of the production is living proof.

So, should you go to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at St. Elizabeth's Greek amphitheater? Of course, you should, because other than the costumes, the production provides further evidence that the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is a real treasure, one worth taking your children to see and inculcate in them a love of Shakespeare. . . and the theater!

A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed through July 31, Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30 PM in the amphitheater on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road (off Madison Avenue/Rte. 124) in Morris Township. Bring a chair and a picnic and make a real evening of it. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.408.5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

JACKIE KENNEDY’S ECCENTRIC RELATIVES SUBJECT OF MUSICAL PRODUCTION @ CHESTER THEATRE GROUP

CTG logoGREY GARDENS 
Co-directed by Jeffrey Fiorello and Mark Happel
Musical direction by Clifford Parish
WHEN: Friday, July 1–24. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Sunday matinees 2 PM
WHERE:
The Black River Playhouse (corner of Grove St & Maple Ave in Chester, NJ) TICKETS: $24 general admission, seniors/students $22.

This CTG production is GREY GARDENS is based (in part) on the Albert & David Maysles documentary concerning the relationship between Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric aunt and cousin.

grey_1934The touching and heartfelt musical explores the unconventional mother-daughter relationship between former socialite Edith Bouvier Beal and her adult daughter Little Edie “body beautiful” Beal. GREY GARDENS tells an entertaining and poignant story of two unconquerable women, once known as two of the brightest stars in the social register, who later become East Hampton’s most infamous “reclusive inhabitants,” sharing a rundown 28 room mansion with 52 stray cats and rabid raccoons. (right: Barbara Haag as “Little” Edie Beale; photo by Lamont Hill)

From the glittering high society of 1940's New York to the tabloid headlines that rocked the Kennedy clan in the 1970's, GREY GARDENS hurls you into American royalty and leaves you to ponder the questions: “When do private lives become public fascinations? How much is too much? Where does it stop?”

The cast includes

  • Edith Bouvier Beale:  Barbi McGuire
  • “Little” Edie Beale /Edith Bouvier Beale: Barbara Haag
  • Young “Little” Edie Beale: Sandy Taylor
  • George Gould Strong: Robert Jacobson
  • Brooks Sr. / Jr.: Alistair Williams
  • Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr./ Jerry: Thomas Cioppettini
  • Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier: Hannah Curtis
  • Lee Bouvier: Julianne Grillo
  • J.V.”Major” Bouvier/ Norman Vincent Peale: Rich Maloy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

MORE TIME TRAVEL FOR THE FAMILY @ HISTORIC SPEEDWELL IN MORRISTOWN THIS WEEKEND

Historic Speedwell in Morristown presents

CIVIL WAR WEEKEND!

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, June 25th and 26th, 10 AM - 5 PM
WHERE:
Historic Speedwell Village, Speedwell Avenue, Morristown
ADMISSION: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children (4-16), under 4 free

Enjoy the following on-going activities:

  • Musket and Artillery drills                         
  • Bayonet drills
  • Signal Corps Demonstrations
  • Tin-type Photography Demonstrations
  • Skirmishes
  • And much more!

This a great program the whole family can enjoy!

Food will be available for purchase.

Parking for Civil War Weekend will be available in the visitor parking lot on the corner of Cory Road and Speedwell Avenue. Additional parking will also be available at the nearby Alfred Vail School located on Speedwell Avenue. A free shuttle bus will transport visitors to and from Alfred Vail School continually.

Please call 973.285.6550 for more information, or e-mail  info@speedwell.org.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A BOUNTY OF ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS & FAMILIES IN SOMERSET COUNTY, JUNE 30–JULY 14

The Gizmo Guys!
WHEN: Wednesday, June 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Watchung Arts Center, 12 Stirling Road, Watchung.
COST:
Free.
Register online at www.somerset.lib.nj.us on the Watchung calendar of events page, or by calling 908.561.0117. Please register all attending adults and children.
For more info: Call 908.561.0117.

The Gizmo Guys are extraordinary jugglers—and more! They've amazed and amused audiences here and around the world, making numerous television appearances, winning international juggling competitions and teaching at top circus schools. But what makes their act so appealing is their uniquely winning combination of dazzling technique and infectious humor. The Gizmo Guys' rapid-fire act will exhilarate and inspire sidesplitting laughter in audience members of all ages. This is a Watchung Library program, but will be held at the Watchung Arts Center.

Gnomeo & JulietLunch and a Movie
WHO: Ages 3 and up
WHEN: Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM   
Where: Bridgewater Library, 1 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater
Cost: Free
No registration required
For more info: Go to www.somerset.lib.nj.us on the Bridgewater page.

Bring your lunch and come watch "Gnomeo & Juliet." Red Gnomes and Blue Gnomes do not get along except the two who fall in love! Who will win the “Garden Wars” when the Gnomes try and keep our star-crossed lovers apart? Bring your lunch or a snack and watch this hilarious movie by the producers of Shrek. No open-top cups, please!

Cupcake Wars
WHO:
Grades 6-12
WHEN: Thursday, June 30, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
WHERE:
Warren Library, 42 Mountain Boulevard, Warren. Program Room.
COST: Free.
Registration required. Register in person or online at www.somerset.lib.nj.us/warren.
For more info: Call Laura at the Teen Services Desk at 908.754.554 ext. 59.

Who will be the ultimate victor in this decorating challenge with a twist?

41st Annual Fourth of July Family Festival
WHO:  All ages
WHEN: Monday, July 4, 5:00 PM 
WHERE:
  North Branch Park, Milltown Road, Bridgewater
COST: FREE.
www.somersetcountyparks.org  or call 908.722.1200 ext. 221.

The evening of patriotism, music and family entertainment will include performers, historical reenactments celebrating the birth of the nation, a reenactment of a Revolutionary War encampment by the Third New Jersey Regiment Revolutionary Encampment, children’s games and activities, plenty of food and a sensational display of fireworks. Stage performances will provide a range of American music styles for the enjoyment of children and adults alike. Central New Jersey’s most spectacular fireworks display will take place at 9:30 PM.

In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks only will be presented on July 5 or the first clear evening at 9:30 PM.

One World, Many Songs!
WHO:
Ages 4 and up
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6, 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
WHERE:
This Watchung Library program will be held at the Watchung Arts Center, 18 Stirling Road, Watchung
COST: Free
Registration required. Register in person or online at www.somerset.lib.nj.us on the Watchung Calender of Events page beginning June 20 at 10am, or call 908.561.0117.
For more info: Call the library at 908.561.0117.

Join multiple national award-winning singer-songwriter Patricia Shih as she presents One World, Many Songs, a program she has performed at libraries across the US. Every one of the songs in her concert involves the audience's participation by singing, dancing, playing games and, of course, loving BOOKS!

One of Patricia's signatures and goals is breaking down barriers between people no matter what age or background, helping everyone feel a part of community. The summer reading club theme of 'one world' makes for a perfect fit! Come to the library to join in the fun and help make one world through many songs.

Mr. Ray Kid and Family Concert
WHO: All Ages
WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 7:00 PM 
WHERE: Warren Township Municipal Complex, 46 Mountain Boulevard front parking lot, Warren
In case of rain, the concert will be held at Watchung Hill Regional HS auditorium, 108 Stirling Road, Watchung
COST: FREE
For more info: Call the Recreation Department at 908.753.8000 ext. 270.

Back by popular demand, it's Mr. Ray! Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets!

"Edgy and wise, Mr. Ray's music makes sense to children"—Parenting Magazine. This rocking family show is music for the kid in all of us! Mr. Ray has been featured on Blue's Clues, XM Kids and Radio Disney.

ENGAGE IN TIME TRAVEL TO A BYGONE ERA @ FOSTERFIELDS THIS SATURDAY

Victorian Day

WHERE: Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Kahdena Road, Morristown

WHEN: Saturday, June 25, from 11 AM to 3 PM

Come to Victorian Day at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm and step back to a bygone era! Visitors of all ages may experience inter-active demonstrations of the Victorian social, culinary, leisure and fashion trends that influenced the times.  

At the house, there will be three reserved, guided first-floor tours of The Willows available. (Reservations need to be made at the Reception Desk for these tours.) The tours’ theme is “Caroline’s Debut” and at the end of each tour, the tour participants can see a “Picnic Basket Preparation” demonstration in the kitchen.

There will also be “The Language of Flowers” garden interpretation at the “Temple of Abiding Peace” cottage and its restored garden. Visitors can learn of the silent meanings of some of the flowers on display in Miss Foster’s garden, which was a favorite Victorian pastime.  Also, there will be Victorian lawn games (badminton and croquet)and other Victorian-era games to play, Maypole dance instruction, and the Sidesaddle riders demonstration, weather permitting.

For tour times, availability and more information, please call 973.326.7645 or visit www.morrisparks.net.

FREE CLASSIC FILMS @ UCPAC TONIGHT!

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7 PM TONIGHT AT THE UNION COUNTY PAC IN RAHWAY:

Free Movie Night_June 2011

 

1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ

BANK FOUNDATION HELPS THEATER BRING NEW PRODUCTION TO LIFE

Here’s some great news about a little Actor’s Equity Theater in Essex County:

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The Investors Savings Bank Foundation, which provides grant funding to community-enrichment programs in the neighborhoods served by the bank, recently awarded a $1,000 grant to support Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre.

neighborhood 1Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, a professional theater company founded in 1995, is in the process of developing an original musical, The Neighborhood.  Written by Laura Ekstrand, the musical is currently being scored and will be go through a workshop process next year before its official opening in 2013.

The Neighborhood explores the relationships that people have with others in their community, and the way these relationships grow and change over time,” said Ekstrand, who serves as the theater’s artistic director.

The 75-seat theater, which is located at The Baird on Mead Street in Sout Orange, will use the Foundation’s grant to offset costs associated with the musical’s development, including materials and professional fees for performers and musicians.

“Dreamcatcher is a not-for-profit theater, and we’re thankful to have the support and friendship of the Investors Savings Bank Foundation,” said Ekstrand.  “The generosity of our donors and corporate partners helps bring productions like this one to life.”

About The Investors Savings Bank Foundation
Investors Savings Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With $9 billion in assets and a network of more than 80 retail branches, Investors delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors’ banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses.

The Investors Savings Bank Foundation supports non-profit organizations that enrich the quality of life in the communities the Bank serves.  To date, the Foundation has dispensed more than $4.7 million to support initiatives ranging from community and civic improvements to the fight against diseases.

For more information contact Investors at 1.800.252.8119 or visit www.isbnj.com