Sunday, July 31, 2011


For a critic, summer is like a vacation from school, unlike the rest of the year WHEN openings that seem to occur on the same weekend. It's a time to breathe and, when one has to write a review, to enjoy the break from the dread deadline.

However, summer has another joy: Chatham Community Players' annual production of original one-act plays by New Jersey playwrights, Jersey Voices, which made its 17th appearance this past weekend and will run at the Chatham Playhouse on North Passaic Avenue in Chatham through August 6.

Over those 17 years, CCP has showcased the work of 67 playwrights and 42 directors. From the 130 plays submitted this year, the production team selected 12 for consideration before winnowing down the list to a final six—five plays and one dance number—for production. And while all were interesting, three plays were unqualified successes, and the dance sequence told an interesting, and local, tale through movement and music.

MrX_5The evening started off with a bang: Mr. X by Susan Barsky and directed by Arnold J. Buchiane. A seedy café provides a meeting place for two men in trench coats engaged in some kind of espionage involving hidden identities and secret codes. Jim Clancy (right in photo to left) is terrific as Man #1, who questions the veracity of Man #2 (who purports to be Mr. X), played by David Hoffman with a jumpiness appropriate to one engaged in a surreptitious endeavor. The conversation whereby #1 attempts to ascertain the truthfulness of #2's credentials is very funny; Clancy retains #1's cool (after all, he has something #2 desperately wants) as he breaks down #2's secretive demeanor, reducing him to beg for the code. The surprise ending truly is a surprise, but necessary if the play is to work. Go find out for yourself; it's hilarious!

CC_3Tom Tunnington's Cold Calling is reminiscent of CCP's recent production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, minus the obscenities but starring Robert Mackasek (right), who was so brilliant as George Aranow in that play. Here, he's Knox, a salesman adept at "cold calling," making telephone contact with a name on a list with an eye to getting a "sit down" for the recipient to listen to him pitch his product (never named here). Knox brags of his prowess to the unseen Louie, eventually agreeing to a $200 bet that he can score on the next call he makes. That call will be the greatest pitch he ever has to make. Mackasek is splendid as the blowhard Knox, who becomes more earnest as he spins his shpiel, as he convincingly conducts the phone conversation. Director Joann Lopresti Scanlon directs with a deft hand so the entire encounter sounds and feels natural.

WaD_1The third knock-out play, Whatever and Delicately by Pia Wilson, is set in, of all places, the ladies' room of an upscale Mexican restaurant where, over the course of less than half an hour, a young drunken patron’s encounter with an immigrant restroom attendant shatters all the prejudices she harbors. Bridget Burke Weiss (photo, left) is fabulous as Yadra, the Mexican attendant, maintaining the woman's dignity and elegance in the face of unkind comments uttered by Lisa, played by Samantha Kaplan (right) as a convincing drunk. Again, over the course of about 20 minutes, Kaplan's character undergoes a sea change, becoming the woman she should have been from the outset, coaxed along by Yadra's astute observations. Talk about conflict so necessary to drama; Wilson's play has it in spades, and Beth Amiano Gleason's impressive direction ratchets up the tension until something's got to give. When it does, the effect is cathartic.

Ahtu_3In Dance of the Ahtu, Desireé Caro and Anthony Rubolotta have put together a story in dance that will resonate in Chatham, where the Lenni Lenape Indians once camped on the banks of the Passaic River (so named because it is the "place where the land splits," a valley). Eight supple dancers represent two groups of people, one peacefully worshipping the Ahtu (deer) and the other hunting and killing them. To music by Sigur Ros (Saeglopur), the two tribes meet and cultures collide (above). To find out which one "wins," come see the performance for yourself. The dance sequence really uses movement and music to tell an intriguing story.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


"Looking for a true rock band with talented musicians and lyrics made for kids? You'll find it in StarFish!"– Laurie Berkner, The Laurie Berkner Band


StarFish rock band will appear at the following sites during the rest of the summer. All are free concerts well suited to families and kids.

  • StarFish rocks Spring Lake Park, S. Plainfield, NJ
    Sunday, July 31, 6:30 PM 

    C'mon out and rock for this FREE event!!!
  • StarFish Rocks the Ramsey Public Library, Ramsey, NJ
    Thursday, August 4
  • Green Summerfest, Mt. Olive, NJ
    Saturday, August 13
  • Shipyard Park, Hoboken, NJ
    Tuesday, August 16, 7 PM
    Free concert
  • StarFish Rocks Waterfront Park, South Amboy, NJ
    Wednesday, August 17

    Let's rock the park! FREE event!
  • Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, NJ
    Thursday, August 25
  • Union County MusicFest, Clark, NJ
    Sunday, September 18
    The band rocks the Kid's Kingdom stage - 2 sets!

starfish & kids

Kids and parents alike: get ready to ROCK! StarFish is changing the face of family-friendly entertainment and making the young—and young at heart—sing, dance and play air guitar. This 5-piece band electrifies kids' music and gives parents the opportunity to share a real rock concert experience with their children. With such lively songs as "Stop, Drop and Rock and Roll," "Air Guitar" and "The StarFish Stomp," StarFish gives kids' music a classic rock makeover.

Based in Maplewood, NJ, StarFish consists of 5 lifelong musicians (who are also dads) who aim to bring a little bit of rock and roll to the little ones. The band performs original, energetic, classic rock-based tunes with kid-friendly lyrics covering such familiar territory as sibling rivalry, school rules and fun times with friends. Parents are StarFish fans too, and enjoy musical nods to a wide range of rock influences, such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Phish and Tom Petty.


Through Others' Eyes
WHEN: August 3-18; Opening Reception: August 3, 7 PM
At Puffin Cultural Forum, 20 Puffin Way , Teaneck NJ
TICKETS: Free and open to the public.

This inspirational photographic exhibition is named after a unique project of the same name under the auspices of Givat Haviva, a non-profit educational institute in Israel, and highlights a selection of works created by Arab and Jewish Israeli high school students and women.

Through the project, the camera is a tool to bring these multicultural populations together and open up outlets for self-expression and group communication. The photographs reflect emotions and activities of daily life in the participants' communities, homes and with one another.

At the Puffin Cultural Forum’s gala opening reception, 20 members of the youth group will be present to discuss the project and its impact on their lives.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 12-4 PM or by appointment.


Here is a group I just learned about. They have lots of activities centered on the arts. This outdoor performance of a little-performed Shakespeare comedy is just the ticket for a summer night outdoors:

Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot –


WHEN: Sunday, July 31, 4:00 PM
At Puffin Cultural Forum, 20 Puffin Way , Teaneck NJ
TICKETS: Adults $10, Children under 12 Free
Reservations Recommended

Shakespeare’s delightful coming-of-age comedy is a witty and hilarious ode to youthful aspirations, infatuations and follies. The young King of Navarre, along with three of his loyal friends, decide to dedicate themselves to the “noble pursuit of knowledge” for three full years, locking themselves away from all distractions…especially women.  (Image, Courtesy of The Shakespeare Theater of NJ)

Their “ivory tower” is soon shaken with the arrival of the lovely Princess of France and her three gamesome ladies-in-waiting. Filled with dazzling wordplay, strong comic characters and a few unexpected twists,

Love’s Labour’s Lost charms and touches the heartstrings of young and old alike. Director Abigail Isaac As You Like It tour, 2010) returns with an exciting new staging of this delicious Shakespeare confection. Performed by the NextStage Ensemble.

Weather permitting, the performance will be outdoors. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Friday, July 29, 2011


TLC is committed to bringing quality community theater to the City of Clifton, our annual fundraiser helps to offset the rising costs of our productions. It is by the generosity of our supporters that we can continue our endeavors.  So, put on your best French accent, invite your best “ami” and join us for an enjoyable evening

For more information,  please see our website:

Les amis, le dîner et le spectacle de cabaret

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The Friends of Historic Speedwell present


Live In Concert

Calling all families! The Fuzzy Lemons make their first journey to Morristown for a unique blend of Rock n' Roll the whole family will enjoy!

WHEN: Saturday August 6th, 11 AM and 1 PM
WHERE: Bickford Theater, 6 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown
TICKETS: $8 per person
To purchase tickets call the Bickford Theatre Box Office at 973.971.3706.

Also included with your admission to the concert will be Family Fun Day at Historic Speedwell! only a few miles from the Bickford Theatre. Enjoy face painters, jugglers and other family-oriented fun!  Family Fun Day will last from 11:30 AM - 3:00 PM

For more information about activities at Historic Speedwell, call 973.285.6550, or e-mail the museum at 333 Speedwell Ave, Morristown NJ, 07960.

The Friends of Historic Speedwell is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports educational initiatives and historic preservation projects at Historic Speedwell, a historic site of the Morris County Park Commission. All proceeds will benefit educational programs at Historic Speedwell — the "Birthplace of the Telegraph" in Morristown.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Here’s a special early Christmas/Hanukkah gift for you (the play may have Christmas in it’s title, but the original song was written by Irving Berlin, a Jew!):

Click HERE to purchase tickets on line! Do it before July 31!



The Barron Art Center Hosts

Body Scapes 2011: The Annual Show for Barron Life Drawing Group

WHEN: August 1-21; Reception August 4, 7-9 PM—Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 732.634.0413.
Barron Arts Center, 482 Rahway Ave. Woodbridge
Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday 11 AM-4 PM; Saturday and Sunday 2 –4 PM
ADMISSION: Donations are appreciated and are essential to the continuation of free quality arts programs and exhibits.

The Barron Arts Center once again host Body Scapes, a collective of professional life model drawing by members of The Barron Life Drawing group.

For several years The Barron Life Drawing Group has been using the impressive Barron Arts Center as a source of inspiration in their classic representation of the human form. The group, co-directed by artists Ray Skibinksi and Joan Katen, will display more than 50 examples of the beauty that is the human body in several media, including pastel, charcoal, pencil and ink.

Skibinski and Katen know that contemporary artists enjoy few opportunities to work with live models; therefore, they formed the drawing group which meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 10:00 PM for eight-week sessions twice a year. The next series will start in September 2011 and is held in The Barron Art Center. For more information or to register, please call Ray Skibinksi at 732.549.7920.

The exhibition is sponsored by The Woodbridge Township Cultural Arts Commission chaired by Dr. Dolores Capraro Gioffre with support from Mayor John E. McCormac.

About the Barron Arts Center – Woodbridge Township’s Center for the Arts  The Barron Arts Center, listed on the national Register of Historic Places, recently celebrated its 130th Anniversary. With the support of the Woodbridge Township Cultural Arts Commission and under the direction of Cynthia Knight, the Barron Arts Center offers programming to the public free of charge.

For more information or directions, please call 732.634.0413.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


sponsored by Main Artery Studio and Gallery

WHEN: Sunday, July 31, 2-7 PM
Stanhope House, 45 Main Street, Stanhope

Eight artists will paint live to the sound of four bands unplugged! The Stanhope house will BBQ, along with other food specials. The event will demonstrate the similarities in art form and unite them for one heck of a show!! There will be plenty of art set up to see. All ages are welcome!

Main Artery Studio and Gallery, located at 39 Main Street in Netcong, was founded by aspiring artists who, in developing this gallery, have put to action all they would like to see in an art gallery! The founders want to help emerging artists, and get art into the community. 

The concept is to have a gallery where artists hang work that changes often, along with a public studio space for exhibiting artists to work. The public will thus have the opportunity to see work in progress, because that's the most critical part to the finished product. This will make art be more accessible by involving everyone in the community to see and even come to work at the gallery! 

There is also a showroom to give each artist a solo exhibition for constant art exhibitions going on! The idea is to build experience, confidence and productivity!  Each show will run about three days, fast paced but a venue that will help help get emerging artists seen and sold!  All of Main Artery’s artists are contracted for two months; then the group will change.  Main Artery Studio and Gallery is located right next to the train station, Netcong needs visual art’s perfect!

Every Tuesday—CREATE NIGHTstarts at 6 PM. Come whenever you like! All are welcome—you have to do is bring something to work on.


  • AUGUST 6-8
    Original works by Theresa Sandoval
    Reception SUNDAY AUGUST 7 @ 6 PM
  • AUGUST 10-12
    Original works by Ian Mauck
    Reception THURSDAY AUGUST 11 @ 6 PM
  • AUGUST 17-22
    Original works by Jaime Perrelli and Jessica Doerrer
    Reception with the Artists FRIDAY AUGUST 19 @ 6 PM
  • AUGUST 24-29
    Original works by Courtney Fredette and Vicki Blodnik

    Reception with the Artists FRIDAY AUGUST 26 @ 6 PM
    Original Works by Tiffany Plante
    Reception THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1 @ 6 PM
    Original Works by Mike Zichella
    Reception SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3 @ 6 PM
  • SEPTEMBER 7-10
    Original Works of Bob Sanford and Jesse Jaremczak
    Reception FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 @ 6 PM
  • SEPTEMBER 11 Netcong Day! Come out join the town street fair and stop in because We will be hosting our first Art Auction 5pm

Gallery Hours 

  • Monday: By Appointment
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10-4
  • Thursday: 11-6
  • Friday: 11-6
  • Saturday: 10-4
  • Sunday: 10-4

For more information go to their website at

For directions or more info, please e-mail or call 973.527.4924

Friday, July 22, 2011


Hayley’s Heroes FUNdraiser
a day of music, arts, crafts, food and fun to raise money for The Comet Fund for Hayley Filippini.
WHEN: July 30, 12-4 PM
Pickell Park, Mountain Road off Rt. 523 (behind the Municipal Building), Whitehouse Station, NJ
TICKETS: $5 donation minimum

12-year old Hayley Filippini, of Readington Township, NJ, was diagnosed earlier this year with high-risk pineoblastoma, a rare and malignant pediatric brain tumor. She also faces fifteen tumors that have developed on her spine. Ms. Filippini underwent aggressive treatment over the past few months and recently started a high-dose, high-frequency five-month chemotherapy process.

Hayley’s Heroes FUNdraiser is a day of family fun being planned to raise money for the Filippini family to aid the medical expenses for Hayley’s treatment.

Planned activities include

  • a magician
  • a caricature artist
  • face painting
  • sand art
  • fun family games
  • hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, snow cones and cotton candy
  • live music by Eytan from Eytan & the Embassy

This event is being made possible, in part, by donations from ShopRite Flemington, ShopRite Hillsborough, Walmart Flemington, Shell Gas Hillsborough, Mama Cakes of Hunterdon County, Tommy D’s Pizza in Whitehouse Station, BJ’s Wholesale Club Flemington, Drew’s Entertainment, and Grand Rental Station in Bridgewater.

This event is not sponsored by Readington Township Recreation, and any and all questions should be directed to

Donations are being accepted by those who are unable to make the fundraiser – please contact

Official Facebook event page is at

Pickell Park website is at http://www.readingtontwp.o​rg/parks/Pickell-Park.html

Thursday, July 21, 2011



FAME: The Musical

WHEN: Friday, July 29, & Saturday, July 30, 8 PM
bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood
TICKETS:  $25.00


Bergen Performing Arts Center beyondEducation gets ready to debut their long anticipated musical Fame, set during the last year of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts on 46th Street (1980- 1984).

The musical is a bittersweet but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students committing four years of grueling artistic and academic work. With candor, humor and insight, the show explores the issues that confront many young people today.

This production of Fame is more than a musical; it is an experience to see. The story will inspire those of all ages while the acting will surprise and engage the audience. These select students have put time and passion into this production, a guarantee that this production will be fantastic. All ages are welcome to see a musical of absolute artistic genius and wonder.

This production of Fame the musical was developed through the beyondEducation program, and the performers come from the local area. The beyond Education program offers world-class instruction close to home while giving students the opportunity to attend master classes by touring artists performing on the theater’s main stage. Students were mentored by bergenPAC staff and other professional stage crew members, designers, musicians and choreographers to provide them with real life experience that they could use to pursue a career in theater.



Next Stop Atlantic and A Bridge Delivered

WHEN: July 29-September 25; Opening Reception: July 29, 2011, 6–8 PM; Closing Reception: September 23, 6-8 PM
WHERE: 68 Elm Street,
Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery: Monday –Thursday 9:30 AM – 8 PM, Friday 9:30 AM – 5 PM, and Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM
SUGGESTED ADMISSION: Adults $5; Seniors/Kids $3; Art Center Members free

Splish- Stephen Mallon 2010Next Stop Atlantic is a photographic series by Stephen Mallon documenting the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority’s recycling program that builds artificial underwater reefs from old subway cars. Taken over the course of three years along the Eastern seaboard from Delaware to South Carolina, these photographs track the final passage of hundreds of decommissioned subways cars as they make their way to their last stop: the Atlantic Ocean. The photographs dramatically capture the moments before, during and after these subway cars are dropped into the sea to spend their “retirement” as a new home for undersea life.

The New York City Transit authority joined the artificial reef building program off the East Coast in 2000. Stripped and decontaminated subway cars were shipped on barges to be dropped into the ocean to build refuge for many species of fish and sea life to colonize the structures. Commenting on these photographs Mallon notes, “Seeing these massive mechanisms being tossed into the ocean like a toy in the bathtub is a ping in my heart. I have always been attached to these machines, their surreal beauty integrated into their functional engineering. At first I was stunned, the moments of violent recycling, watching the water quickly adapt to its new underwater houses. After being pushed and stacked like a sardine in these subways cars over the past decade, it is nice to see the sardine actually getting one of these as its new steel condo.”

Mallon’s related time-lapse video, A Bridge Delivered, chronicling the 136-mile journey of the Willis Avenue Bridge from upstate New York to its final home at 125th Street, will also be on view.

Stephen Mallon is a New York-based industrial photographer. He gained wide recognition for his dramatic series of photographs, Brace for Impact: The Salvage of Flight 1549, documenting the salvaging of the US Air flight Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger managed to emergency-land safely in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Recently, Mallon spent over six months producing a short film about the transport and installation of the new Willis Avenue Bridge. Produced from over 30,000 still images, the time-lapse film A Bridge Delivered was reviewed by the Wall St Journal, New York Magazine, GQ, PDN and WIRED. Mallon’s photos have been honored by Communication Arts 2008 and 2009, the New York Photo Festival 2009 and the Lucie Awards 2009.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Founded in 1933, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is the state’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Comprising a renowned studio school and a thriving exhibition, education and programming schedule, the Art Center welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year.

Image: Stephen Mallon, Splish, New Jersey-Delaware 2010, 20 in. x 30 in.


clip_image002JERSEY BOUNCE

WHEN: Opens July 29
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit

MPascual_UNTITLED_2010 (detail)Jersey Bounce explores the visual “conversation” that occurs when works of art are installed in a gallery setting. 

Art Center Curator Mary Birmingham has invited several other NJ-based curators and collectors to collaborate with her on this exhibition. Participants include collectors Ann Schaffer and Ellyn Dennison; Alexandra Schwartz, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montclair Art Museum; Jeanne Brasile, Director of the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University; Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liason for Academic Programs and Curator at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum; and Katherine Murdock, Exhibitions Manager at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

Beginning with several key pieces of work, each participant has, in turn, chosen another work that responds in some way: formally (by composition, material, color, etc.), conceptually or by subject matter. The sequencing of these art objects creates a narrative thread linking one work to the next and forms a web of interesting connections.

Featured artists: Willie Cole, Ho Sup Huang, Julia Jacquette, Lisa Letinsky, Laurel Nakadate, Marlo Pascual, Ry Rocklen, David Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Hidemi Shimura, Alyson Shotz, Charles Spurrier, Linda Stillman, Jude Tallichet, Wahala Temi, Hank Willis Thomas, Ryan Trecartin, Josette Urso, Paul Villinski, Brent Wahl and Rachel Perry Welty.

Jersey Bounce celebrates the practice of colleagues bouncing ideas off one another and documents a conversation among art lovers. The show also acknowledges the relevance and vitality of New Jersey as a site for contemporary art while honoring the Art Center’s long history of curatorial collaborations.

The exhibition title is borrowed from the song Jersey Bounce, written by Tiny Bradshaw, Eddie Johnson and Bobby Plater, with lyrics by Buddy Feyne. It was a #1 hit in 1942 for the Benny Goodman Orchestra and has been recorded by countless performers including Ella Fitzgerald.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Founded in 1933, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is the state’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Comprising a renowned studio school and a thriving exhibition, education and programming schedule, the Art Center welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year.

Image: Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2010; Laser cut C-print, dimensions variable
Ann and Mel Schaffer Family Collection

Photo courtesy of Casey Kaplan Gallery



WHAT: The Downtown Rahway scene comes alive with the sound of music
during this season's Mayor's Concert Series.
WHERE: On the concert stage at the Rahway Train Station Plaza (intersection of Irving Street & Milton Avenue).

Nicole Atkins and The Black Sea
Thursday, July 21, at 7 PM World Within

Total Soul
Thursday, July 28, at 7 PM
World Within



Joseph Bowie & Adam Rudolph Duet
WHEN: Thursday July 21, at 8 PM

Highland Place Steak
5 Highland Place, Maplewood
TICKETS: General admission: $15     
Student/senior: $10

Adam Rudolph: handrumset (congas, djembe, tarija), frame drum, thumb pianos, gongs, percussion and mulitphonic singing, sintir, piano
Joseph Bowie: trombone, electronics, vocal, harmonica, congas, djembe, percussion)

"The evening was transformed into an extraordinary and lyrical happening with music of ethereal light" IL GIORNALE



SEPTEMBER 17, 2011-MAY 5, 2012

Seven years ago, an unsuspecting New Jersey township, population 37,569, became the epicenter of the international avant-garde.  The culprit is named Peak Performances.  Refusing to rent celebrities or Hollywood names to sweeten the lure, Peak chose not to blink and to go hardcore. 

Peak Performances continues its radical mission this coming season when it brings some of the world’s most original and challenging artists from across the globe to brighten the stage of the Kasser Theater. Jedediah Wheeler is Peak’s Artistic Director.

WHERE: Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theater, located at 1 Normal Avenue.

Here are the offerings through December:

From the Steppes to the City: A Celebration of Music from Inner Mongolia
WHEN: September 17 at 8 PM, September 18 at 3 PM
The mysterious history and bejeweled riches of Mongolian culture will be revealed and vividly celebrated through the haunting and joyous music of the nation that has been a crossroads of commercial and cultural exchange since the beginning of recorded time. AnDa Union, created to ensure the preservation and share the wealth of this artistic treasure trove, will present an evening of instrumental and vocal music, which includes the sounds of the morin huur (horseheaded fiddle), the double-sided Mongolian drum, Mongolian lute and power of hoomai (throat singing). A 2010 documentary that embodies the visual power and dramatic sweep of the
Mongolian landscape and culture will be interwoven throughout the performance.

ID:ENTIDADES and Chapa Quente

WHEN: September 22, 23 at 7:30 PM, September 24 at 8 PM, September 25 at 3 PM
When Companhia Urbana de Dança | Sonia Destri made its U.S. debut last fall, the eyes of even the most been-there-saw-that critics opened wide with amazement. Her boldly original mix of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip hop infused both forms with new rigor, meditative one moment, explosive the next. Locating the true heart of hip hop, Destri strips it of its easy tricks, bringing it back to its original emotional depth, expressive range and poetic integrity. For her company’s Peak shows, Destri will present the American premiere of Chapa Quente (Portuguese for Hot Plate), in which samba is interwoven with hip hop and ID:ENTIDADES, which had its
New York premiere last fall.

Trilogies (Squiggle Zipper, Ebb Cast and Double Trio by Colin Riley/Log, Line, Loud
By Graham Fitkin)
Piano Circus, a sextet of pianists dedicated to new music, obviously cannot avoid a challenge. For its Peak Performances debut, the band of music adventurers will present the witty and provocative Trilogies, three pieces of music by Colin Riley and three by Graham Fitkin, which use six keyboards and two baby grands, plus visual art by William Simpson and Simon McCorry. Riley describes the six cameras suspended from the ceiling, which project onto a giant screen, allow audiences a new perspective on piano playing as “a choreography of hands.” Piano Circus began life 22 years ago when the musicians joined together to play Steve Reich’s Six Pianos.

WHEN: October 6, 7 at 7:30 PM, October 8 at 8 PM, October 9 at 3 PM

David Gordon has the rare gift of slyly slipping profound commentary into what appears a wacky good time. Example: DANCING HENRY FIVE, which will be revived after four years at Peak Performances this fall. Using physical staging, movie, music and select bits of Shakespeare’s own language, this severely condensed version (from five hours to one hour) of the Bard’s anti-war play takes on contemporary relevance through its veiled, and sometimes not-so-veiled, allusions to politics, love and war, proving some things never change.

Paul Hillier, Artistic Director and Conductor, Tarik O’Regan’s Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy
WHEN: October 16, 3 PM
The 17-member National Chamber Choir of Ireland, under the direction of conductor Paul Hillier, will present the regional premiere of Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy, an English language work by Tarik O’Regan that combines ancient lore and contemporary religion. The hour-long epic
tale tells us of St. Patrick’s encounter with Caílte and Oisín, the last of Fionn mac Cumhaill’s legendary band of warriors.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Evening of one-act plays enables writers to showcase original scripts, while allowing directors and actors to experiment with new roles

Jersey Voices 2011 Graphic-bw17th annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival
WHEN: Performance dates are Friday and Saturday evenings, July 29, 30 and August 5 and 6. There is one Thursday performance on August 4. All performances begin at 8 PM
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave Chatham, NJ
$15 for adults (19 and older) and $10 for youth (18 and under). They can be ordered by visiting CCP’s Web site at and clicking on TicketLeap. For more information, call the box office at 973.635.7363 or go to It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Patrons with special needs requiring seating accommodations should contact the Playhouse at least 24 hours prior to the performance. Without prior notice, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.

This year’s production will include five original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights, as well as one original dance piece.

Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995. "I’m constantly amazed and excited by the creativity, the resilience, the persistence of the playwrights of New Jersey whose plays we get to present every summer. This year's Jersey Voices includes 5 one-act plays which range from spy intrigue to an interaction in the Ladies Room—you know, the usual great stuff that New Jersey authors send us," said Producer Bob Denmark.

Denmark also added, "Many people, when they think about Jersey Voices, think about one-act plays—and why wouldn't they, we're a one-act play festival and over the years we've produced more than 100 of them. But, the first Jersey Voices, seventeen years ago, also included an original dance piece. Over the years, Donald Earle Howes has created some wonderfully creative, dances set to explosive rock music for JV. Last year, Desiree Caro crafted a murder mystery in dance to Tom Wait's Kiss Me Deadly. This year, Ms. Caro's Dance of the Ahtu, written with Anthony Rubolotta, is the story of the tribal rites or the Lenape Indians who lived in Chatham many years ago."

Each of the following pieces will be performed each night of the festival:

  • DANCE OF THE AHTU by Desirée Caro and Anthony Rubolotta— A tribal dance piece set in a primitive wilderness that explores man's symbiotic relationship with nature and the struggle for survival. This production features Daniel Mages of South Amboy, Michael Montalbano of Astoria, NY, Jenna Corine Cataldi of Wayne, Sarah Jes Austell of NYC, Melissa Kaban of Westfield, Megan Ferentinos of Cranford, Samuel Spare of Howell and James Lopez of Lake Hiawatha.Directed & Choreographed by Desirée Caro of Montclair.
  • COLD CALLING by Thomas Tunnington — A salesman extraordinaire meets his match in a curious little girl. This production features Robert Mackasek of Union. Directed by Joann Scanlon Chatham.
  • CANAAN WEDDING or The DISCIPLES GONE WILD by John Dowgin — How different would a Biblical story look like if it was written today? This production features Jim Clancy of Basking Ridge, Lou Savarese of Randolph, Will McHugh of Bedminster, Paul Bettys of Denville, Steve Gabe of Madison, Colleen Labella of Clark, Daniel Mages of South Amboy, Michael Montalbano of Astoria, NY, James Lopez of Lake Hiawatha and Stacey Simon of Berkeley Heights. Directed by Jon DeAngelis of Chatham.
  • FORSAKING ALL OTHERS by G.A. Perrie — What happens when the family of the Bride and the family of the Groom meet? This production features Beth Gleason of Chester, Jean Kuras of Glen Ridge, Lou Savarese of Randolph and Diane Lotti of New Providence. Directed by Loretta Napolitano of Denville.
  • WHATEVER AND DELICATELY by Pia Wilson — It's never wise to make snap judgments. This production features Bridget Burke Weiss of Boonton and Samantha Kaplan of Pompton Lakes. Directed by Beth Amiano Gleason of Chester
  • Mr. X by Susan Barsky — Jim Clancy of Baskin.g Ridge, David Hoffman of Summit and Nick Clarey of West Orange. Directed by Arnold Buchiane of Summit

About the Chatham Community Players
The Chatham Playhouse is home to the Chatham Community Players (CCP). CCP has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs. For more information, including details of CCP’s upcoming 90th Season (2011-2012), visit


This is an excellent and inexpensive way to introduce your kids to theater. And they love to see other young people perform!

Summer Festival of Shows
WHO: Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop
WHEN: August 6-14
WHERE: The Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown, NJ.

Seussical the Musical
Book by Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens,
Co-conceived by Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and Eric Idle
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
WHEN: August 5 at 8 PM, August 6 at 2 PM, August 7 at 1 PM, August 13 at 8 PM and August 14 at 4 PM

Based on the beloved characters and stories of Dr. Seuss, incorporates elements from 15 Dr. Seuss books, including appearances by many of his most famous characters. Seussical the Musical follows the adventures of Horton, an elephant, who one day hears voices coming from a speck of dust. He soon discovers that within this tiny speck exists the smallest planet in the universe.  The performances of Seussical will feature Brendan Fogherty of Hackettstown as The Cat in the Hat, Neil Ianniello as Horton the Elephant of Lebanon and Melissa Barrow of Flanders as Gertrude McFuzz.

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown - Performed by YPW Summer Festival of Shows 2007YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN
Based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schultz, with book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner
WHEN: August 6 at 5 PM, August 7 at 4 PM, August 12 at 8 PM, August 13 at 8 PM, and August 14 at 1 PM.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, starring Dan Marion of Newton in the title role and Nicolette Policastro of Lebanon as Lucy Van Pelt, glides through a day made up of little moments picked from all the days of Charlie Brown—from Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends and strung together on the string of a single day, from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening. (Above: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown performed by YPW Summer Festival of Shows 2007)

Blood Brothers - Performed by YPW in Summer 2006BLOOD BROTHERS
Written by Willy Russell, with music and lyrics by Willy Russell
WHEN: August 6 at 8 PM, August 7 at 7 PM, August 13 at 2 PM and August 14 at 7 PM

Blood Brothers tells the story of the Johnstone twins, Mickey(Alex Evans of Hackettstown) and Eddie (Andy Calderone of Blairstown), brothers separated at birth, who reunite and become friends in their childhood, unaware of their relation to each other or of the consequences their relationship will bring about. According to the London Evening Standard, Blood Brothers “rings out as a rich, detailed and desperately moving piece of work.”  (Above: Blood Brothers performed by YPW in Summer 2006)

By Neil Simon
WHEN: August 9, 10 and 11 at 7 PM

A coming-of-age comedy, Brighton Beach Memoirs focuses on the life of a poor boy in a crowded house. Eugene, a young Jewish boy, recalls his memories of his time as an adolescent, living with his parents, his aunt, two cousins and his brother Stanley.

WHEN: August 13 and 14 at 11 AM

Includes three One Act Plays and is free to the public.

TICKETS: $10 for adults and $8 for children.
To purchase tickets for the YPW Summer Festival of Shows, contact the box office at 908.979.0900 or visit >.

The YPW is the educational arm of the professional Centenary Stage Company, an Equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary College. Programs at the Centenary Stage Company are made possible through generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts and the following local businesses: Heath Village Retirement Community ( the CSC Platinum Sponsor), Panther Valley Pharmacy, Skylands Community Bank, and the Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, as well as individual CSC members and sponsors.

CAST: Melissa Barrow (Flanders), Jenna Black (Hackettstown), Allyson Borgstrom (Hackettstown), Andy Calderone (Blairstown), Zack Clark (Hackettstown), Izac Cruz (Blairstown), Gracelyn Donovan (Blairstown), Alex Evans (Hackettstown), Tom Farber (High Bridge), Brendan Fogarty (Deland, FL), Monica Gallagher (Budd Lake), Neil Ianniello (Lebanon), Rachel Lee (Flanders), Sarah Lee (Flanders), Jaclyn Lutz (Hackettstown), Daniel Marion (Newton), Laura Mocker (Annandale), Joy O’Brien (Blairstown), Quinn O’Hara (Hackettstown), James O’Rourke (Glen Rock), Tom O’Rourke (Glen Rock), Raphael Pelczmann (Morristown), Nicolette Policastro (Lebanon), Brian Rigney (Great Meadows), Hanna Rose (Blairstown), Anthony Sica (Sparta), April Rose Sigler (Stanhope), Christina Stanton (Hackettstown), Julie Ullman (Newton), Kali Wright (Stockholm), Michaela Yanosy (Hackettstown), Meghan Yarussi (Hackettstown), Anthony Zas (Hackettstown)



Group Photography Exhibit

WHEN: August 1-28; Meet the Photographers Reception:  Sunday, August 7, 1-3 PM
Waltuch Gallery of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 East Clinton Avenue, Tenafly

Internationally-recognized photographer Rachel Banai and twelve students in her Puffin Camera Club will exhibit Beautiful Israel: a special photo exhibition highlighting a recent trip to Israel.

Western Wall ColDuring their ten day trip, the group experienced life on Kibbutz Samar, near Eilat, and went on to capture beautiful images of Israel, including the dunes in the Negev, a date plantation; a lighthouse in the seaside town of Eilat; the ancient copper mines at Timna Park, the Dead Sea, Masada, Tel Aviv and more.

Crossing the border to Jordan, they toured the city of Aqaba and explored the archaeological wonders in Petra. While in Jerusalem, they toured the Arab marketplace and the Old City to see Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holy sites. They also visited Kibbutz Neot Smadar and photographed the natural crater Mitzpe Ramon.

In addition to capturing the beautiful sites, the group also had the opportunity to meet and photograph interesting people during their journey. Among them was Miriam, a Bedouin entrepreneur who grows her own herbs to produce a line of medicinal oils and creams based on ancient Bedouin practices; Margaret Tayar, who runs a sea food restaurant in Jaffa; and a Finnish host at the bed-and-breakfast where they stayed in Maoz Tzion near Jerusalem.

“My goal was to offer my students a grand tour, where they would get to know the people of Israel, as well as all the many sites that make Israel such a special place to visit and photograph,” Banai said. This exhibit really shows the many faces of Israel through various lenses.”

Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 AM – 10 PM; Friday and Sunday, 9 AM – 4 PM; closed Saturday and Jewish holidays. Admission is 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


I heard the actors in Red on Broadway talk about this play on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC, but I was unable to get into the city to see it. Now George Street Playhouse is bringing it to NJ in January. Once again, they are pairing reading the book with seeing the play. This would be a good choice for your Book Group:

Read. Talk. See.

Attention Book Clubs: Add Red to your reading list!
Read, discuss and see this Tony-Award winning Best Play

"Logan's script is peppered with dialogue that's sharp and funny as well as intelligent, thought provoking and often devastating." - CurtainUp

READ: Red by John Logan

TALK: with your book club members - OR -
invite a member of the George Street Playhouse staff to attend your club meeting or to meet your group before or after the show.

SEE: Red at George Street Playhouse
January 31 - February 26, 2012

Book Club Package Includes:

  • A ticket to see a performance of Red at George Street Playhouse on the date of your choice (based on availability)
  • The published script of Red by John Logan
  • A study guide
  • A discussion with a member of the George Street Playhouse staff (optional). We are happy to travel to attend your book club meeting or host your club here at the Playhouse before or after you see the show.

Complete package price: $56.50/person*
* Includes required $1.50 facility fee. Shipping & handling is not included and is based on size of the order. No shipping & handling fees if packages are picked up at the theatre. No minimum number of people required.

Not a member of a book club?
You can participate on your own (or with a friend) and join us at the theater for one of our pre-scheduled discussions. Call or e-mail for dates.

By Academy Award nominee John Logan
Directed by Anders Cato

In 1958, abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko had just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art—a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that followed, Rothko worked feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when the assistant gains the confidence to challenge the master, Rothko must face the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.

A huge hit both in London and on Broadway, this provocative play won six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Michelle at 732.846.2895, ext. 134 or


The energetic opening number presages the success of Ridge Light Opera's Plays in the Park summer production, Footloose. Bill Corson's expert direction elicits terrific performances from the large cast—most of them teens or twenty-somethings—as they sing and perform Beth Amiano Gleason's complicated choreography, moving with agility around the small stage.

imageThe plot is familiar to people who have seen both film versions (1984 and 2011). If you missed either, here's the story line: After his father abandons the family, Ren McClintock and his mother move from Chicago to Bomont, a small town in the West where rock music and dancing have been banned after a tragic accident killed four teens returning from a dance five years earlier. Although he tries hard to fit in, Ren suffers an acute case of culture shock. The only person who relieves his loneliness is the lovely Ariel, daughter of the Bible-thumping minister responsible for the ban, a girl who rebels by dating the town thug. With the senior prom on the horizon, Ren rallies his classmates to overturn the ordinance and free the townspeople from repression. (Above: Samantha Ferrara and Ariel, Lauren Morra as Urleen, Mariella Klinger as Wendy Jo, Alex Corson as Ren, and Jeff O’Donnell as Willard)

Jaye Barre has designed a set that fits multiple uses; the church pews morph into soda shop booths and a train trestle spans two pews. Musical director Marion Doerr uses musical bridges to accompany scene changes so the mood doesn't dissipate. Bill Corson's lighting design directs our attention to various groups who appear on each end of the stage from time to time, and Marylea Schmidt and Eleanor Klinger's costumes recall the 80s and a small town in the middle of nowhere very well.

While there are too many actors to mention (most of them are in the chorus of high school students and townspeople), several stand out. Ren McCormack is winningly portrayed by a grown-up Alex Corson (I remember him in the choruses of many previous shows), who commands the stage whenever he's on it—which is most of the time. He sings and dances extremely well, especially in the jittery "I Can't Stand Still" and his duet with Ariel, "Almost Paradise." As Ariel, Samantha Ferrara is dynamite, from her petulant imagefacial expression and stance to the sadness of  "Learning to be Silent," which she sings with her mother (Joanna Hoty Russell, above) in fine voice) and Ren's mom (Laurie Wood). Their nemesis, Reverend Shaw Moore, is played by Tom Donelan (right), whose tuneful prayer, "Heaven Help Me," makes us feel some sympathy for this man so hardened by the loss of his son that he punishes all the young people in town with his moralistic edicts. Lisa Littman and Ted Roper provide able support as Ren's Aunt Lulu and Uncle Wes.

As for the kids of Bomont, they certainly are a lively bunch, despite being repressed by their elders. Allyson Hern (Rusty), Lauren Morra (Urleen) and Mariella Klinger (Wendy Jo) act like a Greek chorus, commenting several times on the town and its inhabitants, a place where "Someone's Eyes" are watching all the time. Tyler Ableson is appropriately crass and scary as Chuck Cranston, the town thug; he's matched very well by Jeff O'Donnell who plays the good ole boy Willard as a bit dim but with a great heart. He leads the entire company in a rousing version of "Let's Hear It for the Boy," setting everyone's toes a-tapping and making us itch to get up and dance! (Left: Alex Corson as Ren and Jeff O’Donnell as Willard).

imageBy the time the lights go down, by the time the orchestra and singers have sung the last note and danced the last step to the finale "Footloose," you'll have had a grand time out in the hills of Somerset County and learned a few good things besides. Suspicions, repression and no fun spell "trubl," as Willard so succinctly puts it. And as Mrs. Moore tells her husband, "If we don't trust our children, how can they become trustworthy?" A good thought, that!

Footloose will be performed at Pleasant Valley Park on Valley Road in Basking Ridge, next to Veterans Administration Hospital Thursday, Friday and Saturday through July 23. Performances begin at 8 PM and are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Bring a chair or blanket (and a jacket—the evenings can be cool) and a picnic and get set for an evening of fun.

If you attend the event, tell them you learned about it from the NJ Arts Maven! Subscribe to get free daily updates!


Memory and the Work of Art

A year of exhibitions, concerts, performances, and lectures to mark the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001

How do the arts shape our collective memory of the past? How does art decipher loss and inform our experience of global events? This collaborative investigation into the relationship between the arts and cultural memory is organized by arts and cultural institutions at Princeton University and in the Princeton community throughout 2011.

Tim Davis, Colosseum Pictures (The New Antiquity), 2009It's About Time: A Summer Party to Remember

WHEN: Thursday, July 28, 6-9 PM
Princeton University Art Museum galleries, Princeton
HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00 AM. to 5:00 PM,
Thursday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 PM.
The Museum is free and open to the public.

Celebrate the summer season with three exhibitions that explore time, transformation, and memory: The Life and Death of Buildings, Cartographies of Time, and The Bunnell Decades. The evening will include light refreshments. These exhibitions are presented as part of the yearlong collaborative investigation MEMORY AND THE WORK OF ART.

Zhang Dali, Demolition-World Financial Center, Beijing, 1998The Life and Death of Buildings

WHEN: July 23-November 6
WHERE: Princeton University Art Museum galleries, Princeton
HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00 AM. to 5:00 PM,
Thursday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 PM.
The Museum is free and open to the public.

The Life and Death of Buildings, opening this weekend, considers buildings, photographs, and the ways they embody time and perpetuate memory. The camera reveals historical continuity in the long-term flux of built environments: their birth, evolution, decline, excavation, re-use, and re-invention. The exhibition is a cornerstone event in a yearlong collaborative exploration, MEMORY AND THE WORK OF ART, organized by arts and cultural organizations at Princeton University and in the Princeton community.

Cartographies of Time

WHEN: June 25, 2011 - September 18, 2011
WHERE: Princeton University Art Museum galleries, Princeton
HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00 AM. to 5:00 PM,
Thursday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 PM.
The Museum is free and open to the public.

How do you map time? Is history linear? The exhibition Cartographies of Time will explore graphic representations of European and American history, and the evolution of the modern timeline, through a selection of 27 rarely seen books, manuscripts, charts and other ingenious devices, drawn primarily from the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the Princeton University Library.


csc logoThe Centenary Stage Company will launch its second season in the David and Carol Lackland Center this fall, boasting  a 7-play extravaganza of theatrical entertainment.

By Moss Hart
Directed by CSC Artistic Director, Carl Wallnau
WHEN: September 30 – October 16
The Sitnik Theatre in the Lackland Center, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown

A backstage drama becomes the stuff of a “sprightly laugh-fest” in  wherein a group of New York theatre folks go through their paces with gusto and dramatic temperament as their play moves from hit to flop to “who knows what” in this classic comedy.   

The first annual Black Box Festival will include three uniquely theatrical events over three weeks.

Performed by RadioTheatre
WHEN: November 3 – 6
The experimental space of the Edith Bolte Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown

Inspired by the  “Pulp Fiction Era” when the genres of Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction and Crime dominated American popular culture, RadioTheatre combines the artistry of the golden years of radio, when sound and storytelling were preeminent, with a  dynamic presentational form.   London’s Total Magazine stated, “ Of all the treasures of NYC's contemporary avant-garde theatre scene, it is difficult to find a performance art company as innovative yet traditional as RadioTheatre."

 November 10-13
The experimental space of the Edith Bolte Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown

Influences of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin populate the work of the company Parallel Exit, who will perform their comic masterpiece of movement and clowning. Known for works which blend theater, dance and music into works of physical theater that transcend age, language, and cultural barriers, the company was rated 4-stars by Time Out New York.

Anthony Zerbe performing It's All Done with MirrorsIT’S ALL DONE WITH MIRRORS
WHEN: November 17 –20
WHERE: The experimental space of the Edith Bolte Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown

Emmy Award-winning screen and stage actor Anthony Zerbe comes to CSC to perform his tour-de- force evening with America’s beloved and iconoclastic poet, e.e.cummings.  With a long career in television, movies and stage, Zerbe’s major film appearances include roles in “The Turning Point,” “Papillon,”  “Cool Hand Luke,” and “License to Kill.”  It is said of e.e.cummings that “he was everything an American poet should be: fiercely independent, unsparingly amorous, joyfully Bohemian, dourly patriotic and engagingly eccentric…he was P.T. Barnum, Charles Ives, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buster Keaton, and Frank Zappa [ Fred Chappell].” The performance of  It’s All Done with Mirrors has been hailed by Fordham University as “a marriage of great acting and extraordinary poetry.”