Thursday, May 31, 2012


Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics: A Benefit Concert for SOPAC

People Make the World Go 'Round
A Benefit Concert for SOPAC

For over 30 years, Russell Thompkins, Jr. was the original lead singer of The Stylistics. His identifiable falsetto voice led the group to international fame and recognition, recording hits such as "You Make Me Feel Brand New," "Betcha By Golly Wow," "Stone In Love With You," "Stop, Look, Listen," and "People Make The World Go Round."

The Stylistics were nominated for a Grammy in 1974 for "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and have 24 gold and platinum albums and singles. Russell Thompkins, Jr. and the New Stylistics formed in 2004 and are dedicated to preserving the sound of the original recordings. They are committed to delivering high quality vocal performances on stage and in the studio in a professional and masterful style. Mr. Thompkins’ major goal and mission is to provide fans, friends, and supporters—who have remained loyal for over 30 years – with the same quality of music and showmanship that they have come to know and love.


South Orange/Maplewood Artists Studio Tour

SOPAC is Proud to Support the 2012 South Orange/Maplewood Artists Studio Tour!
The townships of South Orange and Maplewood are home to a vibrant community of artists who live, work and play all within a short distance of New York City, the capital of the art world. These talented residents make New Jersey one of the top states in the nation to employ artists of every occupation, and it shows in the quality of life and the cultural choices sophisticated residents and visitors to the two towns enjoy.

This year's Artists Studio Tour includes more than 70 artist’s studios, galleries and group exhibitions. The Tour is self-guided so you can set your own pace and select the artists who interest you most.

For a list of artists participating in the 2012 South Orange/Maplewood Artist Studio Tour and a map for all studio locations, please visit


Arts 4 All at Celebrate South Orange
JUNE 8 & 16

Arts for All provides a welcoming environment for the community, introducing new patrons to their local performing arts center, and encouraging future arts attendance and participation. Arts for All is a collaboration between the Village of South Orange, Main Street South Orange, and SOPAC.

  • FRIDAY, JUNE 8, AT 7:30 PM
    Arts for All Kick-Off Event
    Lydia Johnson Dance
    Free Admission
    SOPAC Theater
    The Dance Company in Residence at SOPAC performs a special preview performance of new and recent dances.
    Celebrate South Orange
    Entering its sixth year, Celebrate South Orange is the signature family-friendly downtown community event. Carnival games, inflatable rides, face painting, and prizes are available for the entire family at the Kids Zone. Local merchants and community organizations will be on hand to inform and entertain attendees. Delicious dishes provided by local restaurants and food vendors. The fourth annual Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Eating contest will crown a new winner!
    Craft Fair
    Artisans from all over the region will be selling their wares at the Arts for All Juried Craft Fair. Painters, photographers, jewelry makers, designers and many more will enliven Sloan Street all day long.
    Performances on the Mainstage
    Enjoy a full schedule of live performances throughout the day and evening within the SOPAC/NJ Transit Parking Lot.

Arts for All has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


Hollie Heller: Transcendent Nature
The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery

New Jersey artist Hollie Heller repurposes materials and transforms them into unique works reflecting her fascination with textiles, and primitive art and design. Ms. Heller utilizes transparent mailing labels, old stamps, letters, maps, architectural drawings, match book covers, and eyeglass lenses to create unique designs and compositions. Transcendent Nature is the latest collection of works by Hollie Heller.


South Orange Performing Arts Center
One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079



The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey’s announces its 2012-2013 Main Stage Season—A WORLD OF PURE IMAGINATION! Based in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, the professional Equity theatre company has developed a celebrated reputation and received national acclaim for presenting quality theatre for young people and their families throughout their 31 year history.

Opening September 22 and running to October 14 The Growing Stage opens its season with Roald Dahl’s WILLY WONKA, words and music by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley and adapted for the Stage by Leslie Bricusse & Timothy A. McDonald. Roald Dahl's timeless story of the world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to life in this stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which features the songs from the classic family film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The memorable score features “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” “Oompa Loompa” and “I Want it Now” by Academy® and Grammy® award winners Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

For the holidays from November 23 to December 23 the company presents RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, a musical stage adaptation of the classic 1964 Christmas television special. The stage adaptation by Robert Penola tells the timeless story of a true misfit who transforms into a beloved hero. Set in a magical, holiday world in and around the North Pole, and populated by endearing characters—from a talking snowman to flying reindeer—the production will feature Johnny Marks well-known Christmas songs and the enduring Christmas spirit of the television special which has been seen by over one billion people since 1964.

The New Year begins with the New Jersey Premiere of WITH TWO WINGS by Anne Negri that will run February 1 to the 24, 2013. In a world where people are born with wings and the ability to fly, a young boy named Lyf lives a hidden existence in the woods with his parents. One day, a pair of twins, Meta and Taur, stumble upon Lyf’s isolated home. Meta gives Lyf secret flying lessons and Taur begins to ask questions about Lyf’s mysterious family. When Lyf discovers his father’s top-secret invention, Lyf must confront his parents and face a reality that will either tear them apart or bring them closer together. This piece was selected from the Growing Stage’s 2011-2012 New Play Reading Series that was done in collaboration with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey.

PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL closes the 31st Main Stage Season as it runs from April 12 to May 12. Based on the popular book by Elizabeth Kann & Victoria Kann, PINKALICIOUS features the music of John Gregor, with lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. This is the tale of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament. PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL is about learning the power of self-control and the importance of moderation.

In addition to its Main Stage offerings the Growing Stage will also continue its Youth Theatre initiative—the Studio Series—that provides young people the opportunity to work alongside the Growing Stage professional production team in all-youth productions at no cost.

The Series will open with EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON which was adapted by Brian Kral and is based on the Norwegian Folk Tale which will run from January 11 to 20, 2013. EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON features a young girl battling supernatural forces to free a young man from a terrible spell. Karen is on a quest into the dark Scandinavian wilderness, populated by magical trolls, mysterious hags and talking gargoyles. Without hesitation she struggles to save a young man from the curse that makes him "a bear by day and a man by night." Humor and heroic adventure accentuate this adaptation of the epic of a girl achieving adulthood.

Next in the Series is JUNGALBOOK, adapted by Edward Mast and based on the Mowgli stories of Rudyard Kipling which will run March 8 to 17. This dramatization places the jungle of India on a children's playground. The dialog and action refer to the jungle, but the play draws color and style from a child's intense world of playfulness, loyalty, adventure and betrayal. Mowgli, the human child grows up in the jungle, raised by wolves under the guidance of Baloo the bear. The tiger Sherakhan killed his parents and wants the boy's flesh, but Bagheera, the lone panther, protects him. Mowgli grows up wild and unconcerned, believing he's a wolf; but the tiger works long and hard to poison the wolf pack against him. With rope stolen from the human village, Mowgli meets and destroys Sherakhan; but his use of "manthing" has broken jungle law. Mowgli must choose whether to defy the law or leave the jungle forever. JUNGALBOOK received the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education.

The series concludes with SHUT DOWN by Growing Stage Teaching Artist Danny Campos who will also direct the piece. The performance date has not yet been determined. Technology—has it run amok? Individualism—is it a thing of the past? How do you unplug innovation that has been created to serve the masses, when a part of its outcome steals the creativity of the one? Presented in a unique, free format utilizing words and music—this piece explores the effect the wireless world has on communication, relationships and the social communities where our young people are growing up.

The Growing Stage will also feature THE WAR OF THE WORLDS adapted for the Radio by Howard Koch and based on the book by H.G. Wells. This presentation will be run October 27 & 28, 2012 and will be simulcast by an area radio station. On Sunday, October 30, 1938, millions of radio listeners were shocked when radio news alerts announced the arrival of Martians. They panicked when they learned of the Martians' ferocious and seemingly unstoppable attack on Earth. Many ran out of their homes screaming while others packed up their cars and fled. Though what the radio listeners heard was a portion of Orson Welles' adaptation of the well-known book, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, many of the listeners believed what they heard on the radio was real. All across the United States, listeners reacted. Thousands of people called radio stations, police and newspapers. Many in the New England area loaded up their cars and fled their homes. In other areas, people went to churches to pray. People improvised gas masks. Many people were hysterical. They thought the end was near.

For Season Ticket, Individual Show Tickets, Group Information and Birthday Party Plans call the TGS Box Office at 973.347.4946 or log onto The Growing Stage—The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

The Growing Stage is committed to creating and presenting professional theatre for young people and their families. “It is not an offset or side programming feature of our organization—it’s our life’s work, it’s what we as a company of professional artists are dedicated to create for our audiences” states company director, Steve Fredericks. The Growing Stage strives to provide audiences with the unique and affordable opportunity to share a fun, culturally significant moment in their intimate and very special venue.


Tim Barker in Matthew Lawler's "In the Box." 2012 Stretch. Photo by Joe Epstein.<br />The 10th Annual
7th Inning Stretch:
7 10-minute plays about baseball

WHEN: June 15, 16, and 17; Friday and Saturday 8 PM; Sunday (Father’s Day 3 PM)
Monroe Theatrespace, 720 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Hoboken
TICKETS: $30/adults, $18/students and seniors; TRIPLE PLAY GALA (5/16): $50
Order online or call 201.683.7014 for reservations

Mile Square Theatre celebrates 10 years of its annual tradition, 7th Inning Stretch: 7 10-minute plays about baseball. The 2012 roster of baseball playwrights is led off by Peter Ackerman, who re-tooled Broadway’s recent revival of The Pajama Game and co-wrote the Ice Age movies. Emmy-winning writer John Ford Noonan (St. Elsewhere, Flirting with Disaster) pinchhits with a play, as does Jefferson Award-winner Jeffrey Sweet. Tommy Nohilly—whose play Blood from a Stone was at the New Group, starring Ethan Hawke—gets on base, followed by multi-award winning playwright Ken Weitzman, and Helen Merrill Playwriting award winner Deborah Zoe Laufer is batting cleanup. Our ‘rookie of the year’ is MFA Student Playwright Josh Levine, who was a 2011 Heideman Award finalist.


WHEN: Monday, June 5, from 6-9 PM
The Pilsener Haus and Biergarten, 1422 Grand Street, Hoboken

Come to Pilsener Haus for Happy Hour and celebrate baseball season while supporting Hoboken's own Mile Square Theatre. Purchase the Deal of the Night—the Home Run Flight—a sampling of 4 of Pilsener Haus' refreshing brews and enjoy their famous pretzels to share with your table mates. While you're getting your fill, laugh out loud as MLB's baseball bloopers will be shown throughout the night on the big screens. And it wouldn't be a true baseball event without a bit of team rivalry, so show up dressed in YOUR team's apparel.

Bloopers, Beers, and Baseball is a fundraiser for Hoboken's own non-profit professional theatre company, Mile Square Theatre, which is celebrating 10 years this year. Join MST staff and board for an evening of fun. Watch baseball bloopers, meet the MST family, enter drink some brew. This event is a warm-up to The 10th Annual 7th Inning Stretch!

Photoa from "Beer and Earrings," by Mike Batistick. 2005 Stretch


Dear NJ Arts Maven readers,

On Monday morning of May 28, I published a post about an equestrian show, Apassionata, that will be performed at the Izod Center in East Rutherford this coming weekend.

There was a special promotion included in the post, along with a code for discounted tickets. If you took advantage of the offer, please let me know via e-mail at It would provide me with some leverage to garner similar offers for my wonderful, loyal (and new) readers!

I look forward to hearing from you. Sounds like a terrific show. I am going myself!


Ruth Ross
NJ Arts Maven


Darress Theatre Logo

An Original One-Act Play by Jon Henry
Brought to you by Secret Notebook Productions
Emily Schepker, Producer
Amanda Castro-Conroy, Director

WHEN: Friday & Saturday, June 1 & 2 at 8 PM; Sunday, June 3 at 3 PM
Darress Theatre, 615 Main Street, Boonton
(Not recommended for children under the age of 13.)

Monsters follows Samantha's journey to self-awareness and enlightenment in a world where the lines between reality and imagination are blurred, crossed and all-around confounded.

Visit Secret Notebook Productions on Facebook.

Or, visit the Secret Notebook Productions web site here.


Process to Performance Monologue Audition Class
Ages 13-16
Taught by Matthew Lawler

WHEN: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:30 PM, June 19, 21, 26, 28 and July 10, 12
Monroe Theatrespace, 720 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Hoboken
TUITION: $260; Space is limited to 10 students
For enrollment and registration information:

How do you prepare yourself before going onstage? How do you prepare yourself for an audition? Students will receive instruction in selecting, rehearsing, and performing a contemporary monologue which they will then perform in the last session for veteran NYC casting director David Cady of Donna DeSeta casting. David has cast over 1,00 commercials and tons of film and theater including the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down The Wind directed by Harold Prince. After hearing monologues, David will provide feedback and share his audition tips for success.

Students will learn to build a character through physical, vocal, and imaginative work that will serve them in the audition room and onstage. Experience the demanding but exciting adventure of bringing a fully-realized character to the stage!

Matthew Lawler has made his living as an actor for the last 15 years. He has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and extensively in tv, film, and commercials including: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Law & Order SVU, Law & Order (several episodes) Anything But Love, Knight and Day. He is a founding member of the award-winning rUDE mECHANICALS theater company of NYC. For Mile Square Theatre he has performed in Rounding Third, God of Carnage and, most recently, The Pavilion, where he portrayed over 15 characters, and directed: It's A Wonderful Life and My Italy Story. He holds an MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theater and has taught at The Peddie School, Dowling College, and several studios and public schools in New York City.

“I worked with Matt on a one-man show called My Italy Story. The role called for me to play 18 characters, male and female, from New Jersey all the way to Italy. Matt helped me to discover the characters through a series of unique exercises exploring physicality, voice, and inner life. He encouraged me to find these things for myself and guided me with a light touch which resulted in a performance that I felt ownership of and confident in. It went from the job I was most scared to take to one of the best times I've had performing a show. I have Matt to thank for that.”—Tom Pelphrey, 2-time Emmy winner currently starring on Broadway in Over the Rainbow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders presents Sensory Friendly Theatre

WHERE: Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway
Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Parking is available to our patrons at Rahway's multi-level parking deck, located on the corner of Main Street and Lewis Street (across from the Rahway Train Station and behind Hotel Indigo).  A free shuttle is often available to and from the theatre. 

Click here for directions to the Union County PAC.
Call the box office 732.499.8226 for more information.


Chorus Line 1 copy


WHEN: Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th
campus of Centenary College, Hackettstown

Centenary’s Young Performers Workshop, an acclaimed professional theatre training program for young people ages 8 – 18, will hold interviews.

The 5-week YPW Summer Intensive is offered July 16th – August 19th, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM with additional rehearsals on Saturdays. 

Hailed “a  state treasure” by the Star-Ledger, the  YPW Summer Intensive offers conservatory style training in acting, voice and dance. Tuition is $995.00 for the first student and $895 for the second student. No prior experience is required, but students must complete an interview process to be admitted.  The YPW Summer Session will culminate in full-length musical productions performed for the public in a 10-day Festival of Shows.

For more information regarding the YPW or to arrange an interview for the YPW Summer Intensive, contact the Centenary Stage Company at 908.979.0900 X2 or visit



WHEN: April 26 – August 5, 2012*
WHERE: Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown

ann_helmericks-louder no room at the table WSightlines is an invitational exhibition by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc.) with works by 14 world-renowned fiber artists from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United states. The art quilt is an emerging art form that paints with thread and sculpts with fabric, pushing the boundaries of fine art with new materials, techniques and interpretations. It showcases a diversity of styles, methods, and processes being explored by professional artist members around the world.  Sightlines explores a unique conversation between and among some of the most provocative fiber artists working in the field today. This conversation is represented by a “sightline” that runs through the entire exhibition, linking all of the artwork, and inviting viewers to engage with each artwork and to follow the thread of conversation. SAQA’s Sightlines was curated by Virginia Spiegel. (Above: No Room at the Table, Annie Helmericks-Louder. Image courtesy SAQA.)

*Opening Reception: Thursday, May 31, 6:30-8:00 PM, $15
SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc.) President Sandra Sider will provide a talk and walk-through of the exhibition at 7PM. Light refreshments will be served. Call 973.971.3706 for reservations.

Homer  Low Tide from Every Saturday Aug 6 1870 WOn Vacation with Winslow Homer: Wood Engravings of an American Master
June 7 – October 7, 2012*
WHERE: Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown

Featuring more than 25 wood engravings by one of the foremost American artists, this exhibition celebrates Winslow Homer’s [1836-1910] delight in depicting children as they explore the pleasures of the seashore and countryside.  The works on view examine a range of vacation activities, such as bathing, hiking, fishing, clambakes, picnics, games, and 4th of July fireworks, and reflect the timeless appeal of Homer’s love of country life at its simplest. (Above: Low Tide, Winslow Homer, 1870, wood engraving on paper; from Every Saturday magazine)

*Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 6 (more information to follow on



ImageThe Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for its 18th annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival. Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995.

WHEN: Sunday, June 3, and Tuesday, June 5, at 7:00P M.
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham.

Performances on July 27, 28 and August 3 and 4.

They are looking for men and women, ages 20 to 70, and one female teenager who can play 14-years-old, to fill roles for six one-act plays. Actors may read from sides available at the auditions or they may present a monologue. For those who are interested, full scripts will be available for reading at the Library of the Chathams—across the street from the Playhouse.

Presented Pieces are:

6 in the Kid
By Ralph Greco, Jr.
Directed by Joann Scanlon

A young aspiring writer interviews with a famous playwright to be a research assistant. But the playwright may not be exactly who they seem to be; or maybe they don't really want a research assistant after all.

Interviewee, 20 something, male
Playwright, 50 something, female
Personal assistant, 60 something, female

The Buffer
By Mike Allegra
Directed by Paul Bettys

Sarah has convinced Bill to go out with her best friend and her friend’s annoying, unemployed husband. Bill, who dislikes the husband, realizes that he is going as a “buffer” and doesn’t want to go. Couples negotiations ensue, with an unexpected outcome.

Sarah – 30-something female
Bill - 30s – 40s male

By Mary Jane Walsh
Directed by Arnold Buchiane

A one-woman play that depicts, in a riveting fashion, a mother's unwavering love for her grown child.

Need: Actress is a very composed woman in her 60's-70's, must have great emotional depth and restraint.

The Portrait Gallery
By Gary Shaffer
Directed by Stephen Catron

An older gentleman sits quietly on a bench viewing paintings at a museum gallery, while a younger woman sits quietly on the floor sketching one the hanging portraits. Another man enters the gallery, disrupting their world and learns there is indeed more there than meets the eye.

Older Gentleman
Dudley - Younger Man
Frances - Younger Woman

Children of September
By Eric Alter
Directed by Frank Briamonte

Sometimes wanting to believe is all we have ... and all we need.

Crimson – 14 year old girl
Dr. Hillary Larkin (Crimson’s Psychiatrist) – Female late 40s
Man – 30s–40s

The Incident Report
By E.M. Lewis
Directed By Chris Messineo

When a passenger ends up dead on a plane, an aviation safety investigator attempts to discover the truth of what happened.

Connor - Male (30 to 60) An officious and determined aviation safety investigator.
Petersen - Male (30 to 50) A passenger with good intentions, but racked with guilt.
Lee - Male (30 to 50) A heroic but violent passenger, in denial of his actions.
Morrow - Male (30 to 50) A drunken and belligerent passenger.
Stewardess - Female (20 to 40) Pretty, even-tempered and confident in her role.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition.

Any questions, please call Bob Lukasik, Artistic Director at 201.412.4039. For directions or additional information about each of the one-acts being produced,



WHEN: Friday, June 8, at 8:00 PM
Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham
ADMISSION: $20 per person
The box office accepts phone reservations at 973.635.7363 or go to, to purchase your tickets.
You are invited to bring your own wine, beer or beverage.

The Chatham Community Players presents BIG BAND EVOLUTION, a 17 piece rock big band under the direction of drummer and big band visionary, Joe DeVico. This exciting and powerful evening will serve as a benefit for the 90-year-old theater group.

What will you experience? Seventeen musicians, one mind. Five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar and drums come together to create dynamic and exciting music. Brought together by bandleader and drummer Joe DeVico, these handpicked players are all professional musicians from the tri-state area.

Combining the classic sound of the big band era with a modern repertoire that is easily recognized by even the most casual of music listeners, Big Band Evolution has found a brand-new space in today's music scene. Playing the music of Sting, Michael Jackson, Steely Dan and Radiohead to name a few, the band puts its own spin on what is already great music by these artists. This mix is balanced with some popular Jazz and Fusion songs from the past few decades and some original material composed and arranged by the band members. To learn more about the band, the musicians, and their music, visit

About the Bandleader
Joe DeVico grew up in Chatham and Madison, attended Indiana University's School of Music where he majored in Jazz Studies and Percussion Performance. He has worked on Broadway for shows including Come Fly Away and Baby It's You. Joe is also an active studio musician, playing on more than 22 albums throughout his career. He has recorded with David Baker, Dominic Spera, Jerry Coker, The Joe Elefante Big Band and Don Sebesky. As a composer he has written music for the radio and television for such clients as The Food Network, TBS, the WE Network and TLC.

About the Chatham Playhouse
The Chatham Community Players 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, please visit


Creative Grove Artist & Designer Market

DJPasticheCreative Grove on JC Fridays:

DJ Pastiche (left) delivers 2 hours of minimal techno, together with Groove on Grove’s band features, artists, DIY crafters, vendors, food, lounge and drinks.

WHEN: June, 1, 3 – 11 PM
WHERE: Grove Street PATH Plaza, Jersey City*

Art installation: Giant carbon footprint by Uta Brauser.

Giant footprints are placed on throw-away refrigerators and
discarded TV sets to remind us of our energy behaviors and impact on earth,
bring the viewer to a historical context of the development of energy needs and consumption.

The artist market offers visual art by community based artists,
designer T-shirts, independent fashion, locally created jewelry, innovative recycling, paper designs, candles, dog products, metal and leather works.

Creative Grove is a meeting place, market, art experiment and scene that involves the public, promotes art and culture, and builds community space as a forum for dialogue and exchange. A destination and place to relax, play and express yourself.

Each week a presentation of an artist, craft or a school project will explain the detail(s) of the art or craft, educate the public and bring creative process to the consumer's awareness.

*Grove Path Plaza, the Square surrounding the Grove Path Station in Jersey City. It is only a 3 minute train ride from Lower Manhattan (WTC) and 20 Minute Train Ride from Midtown (34th Street)!

Creative Grove is brought to you by Arts In Action, Inc. a Jersey City non-profit Art Initiative (founded by Uta Brauser and Laura Dejean) and by Fish with Braids Gallery of Jersey City, NJ.



Frank Licato, Artistic Director
Hudson Theatre Works

"Frank works within that rare environment where creativity is a balance of seriousness and playful freedom, rooted in a trustworthy sense of truth and expanded and challenged by boundless imagination." - Michael Ornstein, Chuck Marstein on Sons of Anarchy

"Frank Licato is a wonderful director, actor and teacher in that his stage and TV career has been a stellar combination of acting and directing. He gives his colleagues first-hand knowledge because he has been there and done that. His work is gritty, truthful and on the money." —Richard Vetere, Pulitzer Nominated Playwright (Above: scene from Requiem for a Heavyweight, directed by Frank Licato)

"Frank is a consummate professional. He works closely with his actors, making sure he gets the best performance he can without compromising that actor's abilities. He has a warm way about him which also makes for a great experience. He has an intelligence and great knowledge of theater, film and the arts. He knows how to get, not just a performance from his actors, but the right type of performance. His teaching is just as important.  He more than senses what an individual needs. He seems to intuit it and after creating a secure and safe environment he brings actors to an understanding of their own gifts and voice. I can't recommend him highly enough." —Garry Pastore, President of Hudson Film Group


WHERE: Monroe Center for the Arts, 720 Monroe Street, Hoboken (Plenty of parking available)
CONTACT: CALL 646.522.5689 OR E-MAIL


  • Complete an audition-ready Monologues
  • Learn an enjoyable, reliable monologue technique to take with you
  • Learn a solid audition technique for all types of auditions

DIRECT YOUR MONOLOGUES: Having focused, specific staging is the single most effective help for audition nerves. 

ACT YOUR MONOLOGUES: Specific techniques help you act spontaneously, boldly and truthfully in the moment; you will also learn how to fully "act with no one" and how to keep your acting commitment to your monologue under the pressure of an audition.

AUDITION WITH YOUR MONOLOGUES: This part of the workshop is effective for all kinds of auditions. 

  • How you enter the room
  • How you introduce yourself and your monologue
  • How you leave the room, how to have a strong, confident finish to all of your auditions.


Alan and Frank

Frank on 100 Centre Street with Alan Arkin


Click here or call 973-408-5600 to buy your tickets! (link on graphic will not work)


In September, The Strollers will present Joan Ackermann's


The play is a series of eleven vignettes, all of which take place in a car.

In their production, The Strollers are going to do something a little different.

In an effort to reach out to new folks, and particularly to new directors, they will produce MARCUS as a Director's Showcase. Each of the eleven scenes will be done by a different director.

The plan to perform this showcase at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood for two performances during the second weekend in September. They plan to charge a small fee for admission and to have a promotion for Season Ticket subscriptions as well.

Jerry Ryan will coordinate this project and will work out the details of scene selection, casting, rehearsals and the production with the eleven directors.

But first, they need directors... and that's where you come in.

They are seeking directors. They're especially interested in directors that have not directed for them in a while... or directors that have never directed for them!

If you are interested in being a part of this project, please send an e-mail to Jerry Ryan at Once they have some names, they will get the party started.

And feel free to pass this post along to anyone who might be interested!


logo 2011

featuring Broadway Cast Members of
Jersey Boys
WHEN: Tuesday, July 10, 8 PM

WHERE: Axelrod PAC, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park
TICKETS: $30, $27 Seniors, $25 Groups Click to Purchase Tickets Now


Starring leading cast members from the Tony Award-Winning Broadway smash, JERSEY BOYS.  

Classic hits by every standard for every generation. Backstage Stories from Broadway!The Doo Wop Project features songs by Randy & The Rainbows ("Denise"),Thurston Harris ("Little Bitty Pretty One"), The Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You"), The Capris ("Morse Code of Love") and more.

In addition, the show will include such classic contemporary songs by Michael Jackson ("The Way You Make Me Feel") and "Valerie" best recognized from Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars performances. Taking such contemporary songs and giving them the Doo Wop spin brings a whole new generation to the wonderful music of Doo Wop.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


SCHMITTimothy B. Schmit

WHEN: Saturday, June 9 at 8 PM
The Newton Theatre, 234 Spring Street Newton
TICKETS: $49 for Premium seats, $44 for Orchestra seats and $39 for Balcony seats. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at 973.383.3700.

Timothy B. Schmit, best-known as a member of The Eagles, has seen a wide variety of success throughout his musical career. With five solo albums under his belt, the latest being 2009’s folk oriented Expando, and a string of session work and touring credits, including working with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Toto, Jimmy Buffet, Warren Zevon and Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, Schmit is constantly challenging himself in new musical feats.

Schmit is known for his solo songs So Much In Love from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack, Boys Night Out, For the Children, The Shadow and Top of the Stairs

Founded in 1924 as Sussex County’s premier entertainment venue, The Newton Theatre presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. More information on The Newton Theatre may be found by calling 973-383-3700 or by visiting its website at




WHEN: Friday, June 9, at 8:00 PM
WHERE: McCarter Theatre, Princeton
TICKETS: $45 general admission
To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

The Princeton Festival is an annual month-long celebration of opera, musical theatre, jazz, chamber music, dance, and much more. This year, LDT will perform three works on the Festival’s opening night, the highlight being Artistic Director Graham Lustig’s Appassionato.

The company will present three works: Appassionato, an impassioned response to Franz Liszt’s devilish Mephisto Waltz no. 1 and the serene Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude; Dialogues, a series of duets to a beautifully moving score by Pat Rasile with special guest Alice Teirstein; and Invisible Fields, with live music from members of the Celtic band Trinity. This will be your last chance to see dancer Kristin Naylor (formerly Scott) perform before she retires from the stage.

Lustig created Appassionato in 1994 for the Singapore Dance Theatre and revived the work this season especially to fit the Festival’s Faustian theme. Appassionato is an impassioned response to two piano compositions by Franz Liszt; the devilish Mephisto Waltz no. 1 and the serene Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude. In part one, the pervasive wickedness of the waltz imbues the dancers with malevolence and spite. In part two, the blessings of an inner peace transforms their energies into a more harmonious and contrite ensemble.

The company will also perform Invisible Fields, with live music from the Celtic band Trinity, and Dialogues, a series of duets to a beautifully moving score by Pat Rasile. Support for Invisible Fields has been provided by New Music USA’s Live Music for Dance program. Distinguished dancer and choreographer Alice Teirstein will perform in Dialogues.

Lustig Dance Theatre (LDT) was established in 2010 by internationally recognized choreographer and teacher, Graham Lustig. LDT's mission is to be a vibrant, dynamic organization that awakens the love of dance by performing and educating.The LDT professional company performs at major venues statewide and executes a comprehensive roster of educational programs for schools and community groups. The LDT Dance and Wellness Studio offers classes for all ages and abilities in ballet, hip hop, Pilates, yoga, contemporary jazz, Zumba, creative dance, tap and more. Students present an annual year-end performance and have the opportunity to join the LDT Ensemble, a youth performing group. Anyone is welcomed to LDT’s free Fun Fridays, held the third Friday of most months, featuring excerpts from company and student performances, master classes and social events.

For a complete listing of Fun Friday events, class information and the  company performance schedule, please visit .


BONJ New Header

Annual Chamber Music Celebration
Recording artist pianist Beatrice Long with members of the New Jersey Symphony play Schubert

Beatrice LongPianist Beatrice Long, Naxos and Dorian recording artist, will play Franz Schubert's magical masterpiece The Trout Quintet at the BONJ Chamber Music Celebration.

WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 7:30 PM 
WHERE: Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave, Madison
ADMISSION: Adults: $15, Seniors: $10, Students (Under 22, with ID): $5  

Performing with Ms. Long will be violinist Judy Lin Wu, violist Kathleen Foster, cellist Stephen Fang and bassist Joseph Campana, all members of the New Jersey Symphony.

For further information, READ MORE

Arioso Consorte
Performs music of Corelli, Haydn, Kleinknecht and Groneman

AriosoConsorte WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 7:30 PM
Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave, Madison
Adults: $15, Seniors: $10, Students (Under 22, with ID): $5

Arioso Consorte—Margaret Walker, Laura Ferraro, Liz Cabrera, and Andrew Pecota—return  to perform 18th century music on period instruments in period style in period dress!   

They will perform works by popular composers Archangelo Corelli and Franz Josef Haydn and will introduce New Jersey audiences to the wonderfully charming music of rarely heard Baroque composers Jacob Friedrich Kleinknecht and Albertus Groneman.  Arioso Consorte musicians are members of The Baroque Orchesta of New Jersey.

Also performing on June 9 will be violinists Aimee Briant and Jennifer Schuchman with pianist Robert Dowling performing Suite in G minor by Moritz Moszkowski.   Aimee and Jennifer perform with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey.

For further information, READ MORE

Paul Ziegler Returns With Jazzy Rhapsody

WHEN: June 10, at 3:00 PM
WHERE: The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown
ADMISSION: Adults $35; Seniors $25; Students under 22 with ID $5

Paul Ziegler returns in concert with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey for a not-to-be-missed performance of George Gershwin's jazzy masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue.

Zeigler, internationally renowned pianist and local Madison artist, brings his pianistic and interpretive brilliance to all his performances with BONJ—including the complete Beethoven concerto cycle and memorable performances of concerti of Chopin and Brahms. He adds his own zest and panache to the snappy rhythms and jazzy harmonies of America's greatest composer, bringing the classic work to life with the musicians of the orchestra under the baton of Maestro Robert W. Butts.

For further information on this exciting event, READ MORE

Tickets may be purchased in one of three ways:

  • At the door the day of the concert (cash or check only please)
  • By calling 973.366.8922 to reserve them ahead, with payment to be made at the door on the day of the concert.
  • Online ticket sales are back in Operation! Click here to buy your tickets on line. All transactions are processed securely via PayPal.



Works of Art by Ray Skibinski

WHEN: May 31 – June 16; Artist’s Reception: June 7,  7-9 PM. Light refreshments will be available.
WHERE: The Barron Arts Center,582 Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge*

Ray Skibinski is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Art in New York City. He worked as a graphic designer before branching out as a free-lance illustrator. His illustrations have appeared in many prominent publications such as Time/Life, Reader’s Digest, Doubleday, Western Publishing and national magazines and newspapers.

In 1992 he started exhibiting his fine art works in galleries and statewide juried exhibitions where he has won best in show and awards of merit. He  works in a variety of mediums including oil, watercolor, acrylic and pen & ink. His art is traditional in that it corresponds to the ideals of representation and at the same time is imbued with his own accumulated experience. He brings together elements of dream, where surrealism and symbolism mix.

Ray Skibinki currently teaches watercolor painting with the Oak Tree group in Edison and monitors a figure drawing class at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge.

*Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday 11 AM-4 PM; Saturday and Sunday 2-4 PM.

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.

Donations are appreciated and are essential to the continuation of free quality arts programs and exhibits. The Barron Arts Center always accepts donations for The Mayor’s Food Bank & The Woodbridge Animal Shelter.


clip_image002AUDITION NOTICE:


WHEN: JUNE 6, 10, AND 17*
Kaplan JCC on the Palisades. 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly

(Auditions are open to musicians of all ages and abilities.)

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music, New Jersey’s leading community music school, named a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, is pleased to announce auditions for many of its excellent student ensembles.

Panels of acclaimed faculty members will evaluate prospective students of all ages and abilities on various June dates for participation in the Music School’s three student orchestras; two choruses; and Wind Camerata. Students interested in receiving chamber music coaching may also audition, either individually, or, new this year, as an existing ensemble.

*Orchestral opportunities at the Music School include the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra, led by music director and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra bassist Louis Kosma; Philharmonia; and String Camerata. All orchestral auditions will take place on Sunday, June 10, from 2-4 PM

The Prelude (for students ages 6-9) and Concert (for students ages 10-17) choirs of the Young People’s Chorus at Thurnauer (YPC@T) will hold auditions on two dates: Wednesday, June 6, from 5-7 PM. and Sunday, June 17, from 3-5 PM. The YPC@T is a proud affiliate of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City™, and performed under the direction of the latter’s music director and founder, Francisco J. Núñez, at the Music School’s 22nd Annual Gift of Music Gala Benefit Concert on May 23. All students’ ages are calculated as of October 1, 2012.

*Auditions for the Music School’s faculty-coached chamber music ensembles (all instruments welcome) will take place Sunday, June 10, from 1:30-3:30 PM. The Wind Camerata (wind and percussion instruments) will hold auditions on Sunday, June 10, from 2-4 PM.

For full descriptions of each ensemble, as well as required audition repertoire for the orchestras and chamber music ensembles, please visit All auditions are by appointment only. To schedule an audition, please call 201.408.1465 or e-mail

About the JCC Thurnauer School of Music
The JCC Thurnauer School of Music, New Jersey's leading community music school, has been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Open to everyone with a desire to learn music, it offers a comprehensive program of private lessons for students of all ages on every instrument and voice, plus musicianship classes and orchestral, choral, jazz, and chamber ensembles. Concert and master class artists have included Glenn Dicterow, Pinchas Zukerman, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Paquito D'Rivera, Mark O'Connor, Alan Gilbert and musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Francisco J. Núñez, Bob McGrath, and Colin and Eric Jacobsen. Recipient of a special award for "excellence and high standards" from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the JCC Thurnauer School of Music is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. It is an integral part of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, a non-profit organization serving more than 20,000 people annually from Bergen County and beyond.



Directed by Amy Fox
Musical Director Kristyn Algieri
Choreographer Lynsey Price

WHEN: Sunday, June 10, at 6:30 PM; Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 PM; Callbacks: Sunday, June 17, at 7:00 PM
The Studio Players, 14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair

This Tony Award-winning show is the unlikeliest of musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes; a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

Spelling Bee is a lighthearted spoof about students in the throes of puberty, overseen by adults who barely escaped childhood themselves, who learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.



  • CHIP TOLENTINO (Male, 17 – 35): The reigning spelling champion, athletic and social and confident. Chip is going through some changes (role requires ability to sing high notes) (doubles as Jesus)
  • LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUBENIERE (Female, 17-30): Younger than most of the bee contestants, a driven girl who wants to make her two dads proud. She has a lisp, is uncomfortable in her own skin, but has a commanding presence.
  • LEAF CONEYBEAR (Male, 17-35): A home schooled boy with many siblings, Leaf did not expect to be in the Bee. Being in public is an adventure for him. He has severe ADD, and seems a bit odd, but delights in his wandering focus. (doubles as CARL Dad)
  • WILLIAM BARFEE (Male, 17-35 with a stocky build): with a host of health problems and a lot to prove, William is loud and combative. He is the fat kid who became a bully to avoid getting picked on. Not expecting kindness from anyone but his mom, he is slow to friendship. His spelling talent involves using his “magic” foot to spell out words on the floor.
  • MARCY PARK (Female, 17-35): An overachiever from whom excellence is expected and failure not an option. A product of the parochial school system, Marcy has issues but keeps them to herself. She has moved around a lot and feels confident that she can beat the local talent.
  • OLIVE OSTROWSKY (Female, 17-35): A word lover who leads a quiet life. She is an only child with absentee parents and spends a lot of time alone, words are her friends. She starts out very shy, but blossoms.


  • RONA LISA PERETTI (Female, 25-50): The hostess of the Bee and local realtor, Rona is also a past spelling bee champion. This is her day to be queen. She keeps the bee running, conveys crucial information to the audience. She tries to minimize the importance of her own bee crown because she is embarrassed about how much it still means to her. (doubles as Olive’s Mom)
  • VICE PRINCIPAL DOUGLAS PANCH (Male, 25-50+): An educator stuck in a job he hates without advancement in sight. Doug is frustrated with  his life. He doesn’t understand the drive of the contestants since nothing has ever been important to him. He was not pleased to be asked to substitute at the bee, but is eager to please the local hostess. (May be doubled as Olive’s Dad)
  • MITCH MAHONEY (Male, 20 – 40) The manor of a bouncer, he is an odd choice as comfort counselor – but he is here as part of a community service assignment. He has the unique perspective of an outsider. He has no real idea of how to offer comfort, but as things progress finds himself genuinely wishing he could find a way to help the kids feel better about losing here and perhaps out in the world as well. (Doubles as DAN Dad, may also double as Olive’s Dad)

Please prepare 16 bars of music (bring sheet music along, please).

Come dressed in or bring comfortable clothes for movement portion.

Sides will be provided.

Performances: September 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, Oct. 5, 6


A Jazz Tribute to Romare Bearden with Pianist Geri Allen, June 7, 2012 (link on graphic will not work)

Monday, May 28, 2012


Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
Announces Two Special Afternoon Concerts

TheRatPackTogetherAgainThe Rat Pack—Together Again
WHEN: Sunday June 3, at 2:00 PM
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown
TICKETS: $25 General admission; $20 for Museum members/Seniors/Students

The Rat Pack may no longer be with us, but their music is more popular than ever. Rat Pack impersonators Tony Sands, Johnny Petillo and Geno Monroe take audiences back to a time when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. were the ultimate Las Vegas performers.

A Klezmer Afternoon
Sunday June 24, at 2:00 PM
$25 General admission; $20 for Seniors/Museum members; $15 for Students

The Hester Street Troupe presents their extraordinary repertoire of traditional Klezmer, a style where the clarinet imitates human emotions like laughing and crying; songs from the Yiddish vaudeville and Second Avenue theaters, as well as classic and contemporary Jewish melodies. The musicians in the trio are Morris and Bergen county residents.

Tickets for both performances may be purchased by phone at 973.971.3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre box office. The Bickford Theatre offers free parking and full accessibility. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Walk-up hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 AM to 5 PM.

About The Bickford Theatre
The Bickford Theatre is a professional theater that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children’s Theatre series, a Jazz Showcase, and Blues at the Bickford. The theatre is a Senior Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theaters throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). From its beginnings in 1994 to the present, tens of thousands of theater-goers from across the tri-state area have enjoyed the Bickford Theatre’s many entertaining and diversified offerings in theatre, music and dance.

About the Morris Museum
The Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through the presentation of high caliber permanent and changing exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities.  The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. In 2013 the museum will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary.  These programs are 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; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the F.M. Kirby Foundation and the New Jersey Cultural Trust.

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 PM.; and Sunday, 1-5 PM. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for museum members and is free to the public every Thursday between 5 and 8 PM. For more information, call 973.971.3700, or visit


The Summer Series Begins!

WHEN: Thursday, June 7, at 8 PM
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
For tickets visit or call 973.395.5551

FEATURING: Anthony DeVito, Sean Donnelly,Michelle Wolf...and local newcomer Eric McKenzie!

Hosted By Michael Che

Bring some friends or make it a date night, but leave the little ones at home–this is an evening of humorous fun for the mature audience!

Named one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch 2011”, Michael Che is a native New Yorker who has already gained the respect and admiration of many of the comedians and audiences in New York City. His comedy blends street culture with world issues to hilarious results.

Watch a clip of Michael on Comedy Central's "Comics to Watch" and follow him on Twitter (@CheThinks)!

Anthony DeVito is a comedian, actor, writer, and Brooklyn native who performs stand-up, character, and sketch comedy all overNew York City. He has also appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins, VH1’s All Access series and Comedy Central.

Check out Anthony's Website and YouTube Channel, and follow him on Twitter (@AnthonyDeVito)!

Born and raised in Long Island, Sean Donnelly can be found performing nightly at clubs like Comix, Gotham Comedy Club, Pianos, Mo Pitkins, the Comic Strip and various other gigs up and down the East Coast. He has also performed in the New York Underground Comedy Festival and produces a monthly stand-up/skit comedy show at Karma called, “Don’t Touch Me There”.

Check out Sean's YouTube Channel and follow him on Twitter (@seanytime)!

Hailing from Hershey, PA, Michelle Wolf is an improviser and comedian who has performed at Caroline’s on Broadway, the Women in Comedy Festival, Austin Out of Bounds Festival, and all over NYC. She started improvising in 2008, having trained in improv and comedy writing at the PIT, the UCB, and Magnet theaters in New York.

Watch a clip of Michelle on YouTube and follow her on Twitter (@michelleisawolf)!

And Introducing Eric McKenzie...

Born and raised in East Orange/Newark, NJ, Eric McKenzie was brought up as an only child by his mother and grandparents. He believes that being raised in such a rough and tough environment humbled him and encouraged him to follow his dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. His jokes focus on daily life in his urban community, and what it was like growing up with dysfunctional family and friends.

Follow Eric on Twitter (@thisisdimpz)!

Summer Stand-Up Comedy Shows
  • Thursday, July 12th
  • Thursday, August 2nd
  • Thursday, September 13th