Monday, September 30, 2013

TOM RUSH CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF MUSIC @ SOPAC

Tom Rush photo by Bill Campbell (2)clip_image002

TOM RUSH
Co-headliner: John Sebastian

WHEN: Friday, October 11, 8 PM
WHERE: South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC),1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ
TICKETS: $27-$55
For more information and to purchase tickets: call 973.313.ARTS, or visit the http://www.sopacnow.org/567/john-sebastian-tom-rush website.

The master folk performer and song-finder marks his half-century career with live concert CD/DVD featuring his classic repertoire and musical guests David Bromberg, Jonathan Edwards and others!

clip_image002[4]Since Tom Rush’s 1962 debut as an unknown folk-blues musician on the Boston/Cambridge music scene, he has established himself as a consummate performer and singer-songwriter well-known for his “golden ears” in discovering new talent (he was the first to record songs by then-unknowns James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell).

To mark his five-decade career anniversary, Tom chose to revive his much missed annual “Club 47 Series” (named after the Boston coffeehouse that was the city’s early folk HQ). He organized a holiday concert at Boston Symphony Hall last December, playing his own set and hosting old friends (fellow Appleseed artists David Bromberg and Jonathan Edwards, Buskin & Batteau) and new (Dom Flemons of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops string band) as featured frontmen and as backing musicians for himself and each other. .

The sounds and sights of this historic and delightful concert at now available on Tom’s new 2-disc live CD/DVD, Celebrates 50 Years of Music. On the 13-song CD and 17-song DVD, Tom displays his intimate, conversational baritone vocals, adept guitar-work, relaxed charm and droll humor in a program encompassing all phases of his career – the folk-blues of “Drop Down Mama,” a rocking “Who Do You Love,” his best-known composition, “No Regrets” (a hit in four different genres as recorded by other artists), the definitive version of Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going,” and recent originals “Hot Tonight” and “What I Know,” among other signature songs.

In the inclusive “Club 47 Series” spirit, Tom is backed by a stellar house band that includes many of his guests when they’re not in the spotlight themselves. David Bromberg steps out front on the acoustic “Statesboro Blues” and the raucous shuffle “Tongue” (a bonus track on the DVD). Jonathan Edwards contributes a heartfelt rendition of the ’60s anthem, “Get Together,” and the title song from his most recent CD, “My Love Will Keep.” There’s a hilarious song on the DVD called “Jews Don’t Camp” by New England-based folk veterans Buskin & Batteau, who also perform the delicate “Lancelot’s Song (Guinevere)” on the CD. The “new guy,” singer and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons, makes himself at home on the old-timey “Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “My Little Lady.”

Reviewing the new CD, the All Music Guide wrote, “Rush makes each song seem as dependable and solid as the earth itself, somehow mixing a wistful weariness in his voice with an underlying and unerring joyfulness, the same sort of thing he's been doing for half a century now. That he's still doing it as well as he ever has is a testament to his talent and character.”

Rush is no stranger to newer generations of music fans. A live YouTube clip of Tom performing the hilarious “Remember Song” has drawn more than six million hits in the past few years, so he’s reaching a wider audience than ever. His relaxed, expressive baritone, accomplished guitar-playing, droll humor and infallible taste in writing and choosing material have made him a perennial favorite among folk-oriented music lovers. Exclaim Magazine in Canada nailed it: “Never miss a chance to see Tom Rush live: he’s got that rare one-of-a-kind quality that makes you realize you’ve seen somebody who really matters.”

DVD bonus features include interviews with Tom and behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, as well as the four extra songs and onstage banter. When you listen to and watch and laugh and sing along as Tom Rush Celebrates 50 Years of Music, the vibrant spirit of contemporary folk music will be reaffirmed. And don’t miss for Tom’s fall tour!

REVIEW: NJ PREMIERE OF “THE LAST ROMANCE” WILL WARM YOUR HEART

By Ruth Ross

Who says senior citizens can't flirt, fall in love, think about sex? Not Joe Di Pietro! His latest opus, The Last Romance, puts the lie to that dictum in a charmingly bittersweet production at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown, where it runs through October 13.

Director Eric Haven adroitly puts a talented trio of pros through their dramatic paces to tell the story of Ralph Bellini, a lonely 80-year-old widower who has escaped the eagle eye of his caretaker Rose to go to the local dog park—although he doesn't have a dog—where he hopes to make the acquaintance of a pretty woman named Carol Reynolds who comes there with her Chihuahua Peaches each afternoon. There, he "hits on" her using a most unusual pick-up line: "Do you like opera," kids her a great deal and eventually wins her affections. But Rose does some digging and comes up with information that could spell doom for the couple. In DiPietro's skillful hands, the ending is neither too pat nor too depressing—but real and bittersweet.

Roman Klima has designed and lit a set that is serviceable, yet evocative; he accomplishes this by way of a single park bench (and a sofa for the few indoor scenes) and a series of slides projected behind the bench to suggest a park and a neighborhood of brownstones. It's just enough, for the focus here is on Ralph and Carol's developing relationship and the unveiling, little by little, of their multi-faceted characters.

Ralph in La ScalaJ. C. Hoyt (left) is masterful in his depiction of crusty, yet lovable, Ralph (or Rafaelle, as he introduces himself) as an opera lover (he tried out for the Metropolitan Opera as a youth—as he tells Carol several times) whose zest for life has not diminished as the years pass. He still gets excited talking about La Traviata and Pagliacci, and his enthusiasm infects Carol too. Thea Ruth White (left, below) is an appropriately buttoned-up WASP, all goo-goo-eyed over her little rat-like dog Peaches. Ralph and Carol Oct 25We watch, fascinated, as White shows Carol letting down her guard little by little until she too is infected by a desire to see an opera—at Milan's La Scala, no less! And Noreen Farley turns in a sterling performance as cantankerous Rose, annoying in the beginning of the play but she reveals a poignant story to become a very sympathetic character. Young Cory Singer appears from time to time to sing operatic arias, referring back to Ralph's audition and love of the medium and providing a sound track of sorts to the events unfolding before our eyes.

The Last Romance was to have been the Bickford Theatre's winter production last year, but Hurricane Sandy put the kibosh on rehearsal space and time, so the performance was postponed to this fall. DiPietro has just the right light touch for romantic comedy; the Bickford has produced his I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Over the River and Through the Woods to great acclaim. Kudos to Artistic Director Hafen for bringing this tale of mature love to the Bickford Theatre stage. It is a delightful, happy yet sad treatment of an important subject, and it reinforces the idea that one is never too old to fall in love.

The Last Romance will be performed at the Bickford Theatre in the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown through October 13. For performance times, call the box office at 973.971.3706 or visit online at www.morrismuseum.org.

Photos by Tom Kelcec.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

REVIEW: [TITLE OF SHOW] CHARMS @ 4TH WALL IN BLOOMFIELD

By Ruth Ross

Rogers and Hart. Rogers and Hammerstein. Lerner and Lowe. Kander and Ebb. Bowen and Bell. Bowen and Bell? Who? Well, the last two are the authors of [title of show], a delightful and fascinating 100-minute glimpse into the creative process currently gracing the Westminster Arts Center stage in Bloomfield where 4th Wall Theater is performing it for two weekends only (through October 6).

Just as Mickey Rooney's exhortation to Judy Garland, "Let's put on a show," got their friends' creative juices flowing, a notice soliciting musical plays for a new festival unleashes the creativity in Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, two "Two Nobodies in New York." Their goal: to write a completely original musical in three weeks, submit it to the festival and, hopefully, get it produced, if not on Broadway, at least Off.

How do the two—one a composer, the other a writer, both of whom get by on catering and temp jobs—avoid duplicating what has been seen before? Well, they plan to write a musical about two guys writing a musical, using real conversation and enlisting the help of two actresses to help bring the project to fruition.

The result: a play about the theater, and an insightful one, at that. As they create the songs, Jeff and Hunter address cogent questions that have plagued playwrights for centuries: Are we writing for art? Is art a springboard for fame? Hunter especially wants "substance, not fluff," while Jeff finds himself anxiously facing a notebook's blank page when his computer dies and he hasn't saved what he has been working on.

The two engaging, potty-mouthed twenty-somethings are distinct characters, and John Wilkening (Jeff, left)) and Jordan Gulick (Hunter, second from left) convey the differences in their personalities very well. So convincing is their relationship that we never doubt that they have known each other for years. Pudgy Hunter is a television fiend, watching anything and everything while string-bean Jeff is not above correcting his partner's grammar and word usage whenever he feels an error has been made. Adorable Heidi (Alexis Field, second from right), a bubbly actress who has already appeared on Broadway (albeit in ensemble/understudy roles) and sophisticated, world-weary Susan (Marie Nicole, right), a self-described "corporate whore" who has stopped auditioning, are recruited to help; the girls sing a very funny "What Kind of Girl Is She" as each sizes up the other.

To gain inspiration, the company examines old playbills ("Monkeys and Playbills), writes a "Tony Award Song: and fantasizes about being "Part of It All"—the "all" meaning success. To do this, they have to kill the vampire of doubt attacking their ideas (a very funny number entitled "Die, Vampire, Die"). Even filling out the festival application becomes a song!

Success brings its own set of challenges (no, the show isn't over when the play is accepted). After a short Off-Broadway run, the quartet dreams of Broadway. Will success hijack the page? Should they change anything in the script? Should they get known actors (Sutton Foster, for instance) to play the role? They even recall their childhood aspirations to be on the stage (Alexis Field as Heidi does a boffo job with this number; haven't we all put on plays in the back yard?). Finally, eschewing compromise, the company sings about being "Nine People's Favorite Thing (Instead of a Hundred People's Ninth Favorite Thing)" and the rest is history. I mean, we are watching the fruits of their labors, right?

[title of show] really was presented by Bridge Club Productions at the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival, went on to a production at The Vineyard Theatre and opened on Broadway in July 2008. George Street Playhouse produced it a couple of years back, so that the guys succeeded is no surprise. But with four chairs, a keyboard accompanist (a very funny Larry, played by David Maglione) and a flat-screen monitor on the set's back wall, we are transported to a creative lair wherein a hit musical is coming into being! It's quite a fascinating process, and an entertaining one, at that.

Jasmine Vogue Pai is to be commended for her set; Nicholas Marmo for his lighting; Nicholas von Hagel for his sound and media design; and Gregory G. Allen for his sure-handed direction.

If you love theater as much as I do and are interested in the creative process, get on over to the Westminster Arts Center, 449 Franklin Street, Bloomfield, where four talented 4th Wall actors are performing [title of show] for just one more weekend. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.566.9255 or visit online at www.4thwalltheatre.org.

LISTEN TO A TRAILER HERE

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A BUSY OCTOBER @ THE ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM AT RUTGERS

WHERE: 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1248  848.932.7237

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Stars: Contemporary Prints by
Derrière L'Étoile Studio, Part Two

WHEN: Opening October 5

Carroll Dunham, Blue House, 1998. Color lithograph. <br />Gift of Maurice Sanchèz, Derrière L'Étoile.

Featuring significant contemporary prints by many of the artists who defined the American art scene after 1980, this series is the first survey of prints produced by the studio Derrière L'Étoile, founded in New York by printer Maurice Sánchez. Part Two spotlights the 1990s. For exhibition details, visit our webpage.

Supported in part by The Fifth Floor Foundation
(Image:
Caroll Dunham, Blue House, 1998. Color lithograph. Gift of Maurice Sanchz, Derriere L’Etoile)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mali
WHEN: Wednesday, October 2, 3:20 to 4:40 PM
Artist and Researcher, Janet Goldner

Dogon dancers<br />

Goldner examines some of the consequences of the ongoing political crisis that erupted in 2012 and the significance of Mali's cultural heritage to world culture. The presentation focuses on the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Djenne, Gao, Timbuktu, and Dogon. For program details, visit the webpage.

Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies

Supported in part by income from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund

The Civil War in Slavery's Shadow
WHEN: Tuesday, October 8 l 4:30 PM
University of Virginia Professor, Dr. Maurie McInnis

McInnis, American Art and Material Culture Professor, examines American history and visual culture during the Civil War and explains why, as the war stretched on, few artists depicted the subject. For program details, visit the website.

Sponsored by the Jacobs/Mitnick American Art Fund
Co-sponsored by the Rutgers Department of Art History

 

First Wednesdays
WHEN:
5 to 9 PM

The Zimmerli offers extended hours the first Wednesday of each month to provide visitors with access to the galleries on an evening. Join a curator, emerging scholar, or distinguished docent for an in-depth tour of select artworks at 6 PM as we introduce Insights: A New Series of Gallery Talks.

On Wednesday, October 2, join Christine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art, for an introduction to the exhibition, Staging Symbolism: Programs for the Théâtre de l'Oeuvre in Paris.

Z Café
WHEN: Open weekdays 9 AM to 4:30 PM

Z Café featuring The Food Architects serves a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are incorporated into homemade salads and soups, as well as grab-and-go or gourmet sandwiches. Pastries and breads are delivered daily from a Manhattan bakery and coffee is provided by a local roaster. A 10% discount is offered to Zimmerli members.

In the Galleries (click titles for more information)

STARS: CONTEMPORARY PRINTS
BY DERRIERE L'ETOILE STUDIO, PART ONE
WHEN: Through September 29

LEONID SOKOV: IRONIC OBJECTS
WHEN: Through December 31


STAGING SYMBOLISM
WHEN: Through February 2


FREE FIRST SUNDAYS

Admission is FREE to all the first Sunday of each month!
Families may enjoy the museum's lively Family Guide.
Supported in part by Art Within Reach

ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu

The Zimmerli's operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment, and the Voorhees Family Endowment, among others. Additional support comes from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono; and donors, members, and friends of the museum.

 

Friday, September 27, 2013

PREMIERE OF “ROMEO AND JULIET” BALLET @ STATE THEATRE

State TheatreNJ.org

ROMEO AND JULIET

WHEN: Friday, October 11, 8 PM
WHERE: State Theatre, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $57, $52, $42, $37, $27
Ticket Office: 732-246-SHOW (7469)
For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732.246.SHOW (7469), or visit online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Wednesday 11 AM to 7 PM; Saturday, 1 PM to 5 PM; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates, unless otherwise specified.
For information on group outings and discounts, call 732.247.7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

State Theatre presents the premiere of American Repertory Ballet in Artistic Director Douglas Martin’s full-length Romeo and Juliet, with Prokofiev’s score performed live by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Kynan Johns.

Based on Shakespeare’s tragic story, Martin’s version of the ballet features a company of 30 dancers, sets by scenic designer Kevin Lee Allen, and costumes designed by Michelle Ferranti. Scenic and costume design has been executed with careful attention to the aesthetic of what is now known as the early Renaissance era in Italy.

In her review of a spring 2012 preview performance, Marina Kennedy of Broadway World calls the production “an outstanding example of dance being perfectly adapted to dramatic interpretation, with the ARB dancers in full command of their art.”

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ZANY, FAST-PACED “TAKE” ON SHAKESPEARE FOR 5 PERFORMANCES ONLY IN SUCCASUNNA

The Shakespeare Initiative (TSI) and Roxbury Arts Alliance (RAA) present

Complete Works GraphicTHE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED)

WHEN: 5 performances on October 4, 5, 11, 12 at 8:00 PM and October 6 at 2:00 PM
WHERE:
RoxPAC/Investors Bank Theater, 72 Eyland Ave., Succasunna
TICKETS: $15.00 for Adults and $10.00 for students and seniors.
Tickets are available through the TSI and RAA websites: www.theshakespeareinitiative.org and www.roxburyartsalliance.org, at the Roxbury Rec Dept., and at the door, if available.

The cultural touchstone that is The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was born when three inspired, charismatic comics (Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield), having honed their pass-the-hat act at Renaissance fairs, premiered their preposterous masterwork at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987. It quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, earning the title of London's second-longest-running comedy after a decade at the Criterion Theatre.

Featured are all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, meant to be performed in 97 minutes, by three actors: TSI veterans Erik Gaden (Dover), George LaVigne (Hackettstown) and Michael Tarantella (Denville). The production has been directed by TSI founder, Richard Norman (Randolph).

A mix of pratfalls, puns, willful mis-readings of names and dialogue, clunky female impersonations, clean-cut ribaldry, and broad burlesque, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a fantasia of zany energy in the Monty Python/Mel Brooks “anything-for-a-laugh” vein.

The gung-ho vitality is impossible to resist. Fast paced, witty, and physical, it's giddy fun for Shakespeare lovers and haters alike.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is one of the world's most frequently produced plays, and has been translated into dozens of languages.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is presented with the permission of Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

CENTENARY STAGE OPENS THE SEASON WITH A MURDER MYSTERY SPRINKLED WITH COMEDY

And I'm appearing in DEATHTRAP at @[123648164340479:274:Centenary Stage Company].  This classic thriller, with this exceptional cast.  It's a few laughs, it's a few screams.  You'll tinkle in your pants.

deathtrap lineup with weapons 1 (1280x782)DEATHTRAP
By Ira Levin
Directed by Carl Wallnau

WHEN: OCTOBER 4-20; Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. There are 2 PM matinées Wednesdays October 9th and 16th and for the Preview Performance on Friday, October 4th at 2 PM.
WHERE:
Sitnik Theatre, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25 to $27.50 with discounts for students and seniors.
Every Thursday night is “Family Night,” which offers a 2-for-1 rush ticket price when purchased at the door. (Above L-R: Jon Mulhearn as Clifford, Maria Brodeur as Myra, Carl Wallnau as Sidney, and Colleen Smith-Wallnau as Helga; Photo Credit Bob Eberle)

Tickets may be purchased at ONLINE, at the CSC Box Office located in the David and Carol Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, or by calling 908.979.0900. The Box Office is open 1-6 PM Monday through Friday, and 2 hours prior to performance times. The Box Office on 217 Main Street is open 3-6 PM Monday through Friday.

"Two-thirds a thriller and one-third a devilishly clever comedy …Suspend your disbelief and be delighted. Scream a little. It's good for you." —Cue Magazine

One of the most popular successes in Broadway history, a theatrical triumph with gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap is a chilling murder-mystery.

Deathtrap is a play within a play following the struggles of Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers battling a crippling dry spell. Sidney has experienced a string of flops and a shortage of funds when suddenly help seems to come from out of nowhere. He receives a script in the mail from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller Sidney recognizes as a potential Broadway hit. What happens next is the stuff of Deathtrap.

Award-winning Artistic Director Carl Wallnau will direct and also stars in this complex thriller that he calls “one of the best constructed plays.” He also quotes the main character of Sidney Bruhl himself when describing the appeal. Sidney says in the opening of the play, “Deathtrap…A juicy murder in Act One, unexpected developments in Act Two. Sound construction, good dialogue, laughs in the right places. Highly commercial.” Audiences will be held spellbound to the very end.

The five person cast includes local actress Maria Brodeur (Rockaway) who has been seen on the CSC stage in A Christmas Carol, Oliver, and How to Pray. Playing the role of the young playwright Clifford is Pennsylvania Shakespeare alum Jon Mulhearn (Jersey City), who was seen in last season’s thriller Mousetrap. Making his CSC debut is experienced actor/director Paul Whelihan (Bloomfield). And rounding out the cast is Broadway (Crazy For You) and Regional Theatre veteran Colleen Smith-Wallnau (Hoboken). Emmy Award-winning designer Bob Phillips has once again been chosen to beautify the stage of the Sitnik Theatre with his life-like set design.

Deathtrap is sponsored by Bea McNally’s Irish Pub, Old Souk Trading Company, and Heath Village Retirement Community.

REVIEW: THEATER PROJECT’S “HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES” IS NO DOG

By Ruth Ross

He's been portrayed by Basil Rathbone wearing the classic deer-stalker hat, he's been played by Benjamin Cumberbatch as a computer nerd and he's appeared in a television show ("Elementary") as a modern London transplant helping the New York City police solve crimes. But I'll bet you've never seen a Sherlock Holmes like the one onstage at The Theater Project's latest production, Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles, a comedic romp adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson by the novel of the same name.

There, on a nearly bare stage, Mark Spina has directed 3 young male actors—all making their Theater Project débuts—to play 16 different characters in a madcap retelling of the ghostly tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that will set your head spinning and your sides aching from laughter.

PictureThe convoluted story line remains the same as the original novel. Set mostly on the Devon moors of England's West Country, The Hound of the Baskervilles tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. At the bidding of Dr. James Mortimer, Sherlock Holmes sends Watson to Dartmoor to protect Sir Charles's nephew and the only known heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, who has come from Canada to claim his inheritance. Out on the moors, an escaped convict named Selden has sought refuge, terrorizing the villagers. Sir Henry meets naturalist Jack Stapleton and falls in love with his sister Beryl; the hall's butler Barrymore and his spouse act suspiciously.

Holmes suddenly appears, having kept his location a secret so that Watson would not be tempted to contact him and he could appear on the scene at the critical moment. He discovers that Stapleton, Brazilian-born son of Sir Roger Baskerville (younger brother to Sir Charles Baskerville, the hound's latest victim), has come to kill Sir Henry and lay claim to the Baskerville fortune! When Stapleton sets the hound on Henry, Holmes and Watson shoot it. Beryl Stapleton reveals Stapleton's hiding place, the Great Grimpen Mire, but when the detectives look for him there, he's disappeared, presumably sucked into the mud's bottomless depths, leaving Sir Henry and Beryl to wed and enjoy the luxury of Baskerville Hall.

The mayhem unleashed onstage overflows the auditorium, as the actors leap down from the stage, cavort frantically around the various stage platforms and even enter from the Burgdorff Center's audience! They change costumes (designed by Barbara Canace) lickety-split (the dressers backstage are to be commended for their speed), grab props assembled by Madelyn Morrison Lichtman and, in general, raise the theater's roof.

PictureThat the three actors are young helps them perform the strenuous roles. Similar to the troupe's 2011 award-winning Penny Penniworth (also under Spina's helm), the motion is nonstop. Peter Kendall's Holmes (center) is an arrogant, smug, self-satisfied detective who takes umbrage when anyone questions his dominance of the craft. Scott Cagney's Watson (right) is a bit dim, but well meaning, sidekick who comes up with various solutions that Holmes knocks down as being off the mark. And Nick Wolf (left) does more than yeoman's duty playing Sir Henry, a young man who frequently finds himself sans pants and in fear for his life. The list of characters also played by these three actors would be too long to list; suffice it to say that they run the gamut from male and female to British and Canadian, young and old, guilty and innocent. It is exhausting just to watch them—think of what it must be like to play them!

Greg Scalera's sound design is appropriately eerie and ominous, and Thomas DiGirolomo's lighting design is moody and atmospheric. Rick Delaney is to be commended on his choreography; no one dances, but no actor trips over another as they maneuver around the stage.

If you are a Sherlock Holmes purist, this version of Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles might not be for you. But my companion, a member of the Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Irregulars society, found it to be a delightful hoot. So if you like your Holmes with a dash of vinegar and spice, get on over to the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood to see this wacky production. But be prepared to laugh your head off.

Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles will be performed at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Road (just off Maplewood Avenue), Maplewood, through October 13. For performance information and tickets, call the box office at 973.763.4029 or visit online at www.thetheaterproject.org.

IMPROVISATION PERFORMANCE GAMES WORKSHOP @ HOLMDEL: REGISTER NOW

What is more useful in life than improvisation?
IMPROVISATION PERFORMANCE
GAMES WORKSHOP

WHEN: Four Saturdays: October 5, 12, 19, 26 10 AM-1  PM
WHERE:
Duncan Smith Theatre, 36 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel (located in front of Holmdel High School)
TUITION: $40
Explore performance improvisation games of Viola Spolin with
Master Teacher Kathy Hendrickson, build an improvisation team,
and perform the games not only for each other throughout the course,
but for an invited audience in a presentation during the final class.
And have loads of fun in the process!

Kathy Hendrickson is an actor, educator and director, specializing in the theater games of Viola Spolin. In her nearly 20 years of teaching and as Vice President and Senior Faculty of the New Actors Workshop in New York City, she has taught hundreds of classes and workshops both in the United States and around the globe.

REGISTER NOW!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

For more information visit www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org

HUNTERDON ART MUSEUM OPENING RECEPTION SUNDAY

Our Opening Reception Is Sunday

WHERE: Hunterdon Art Museum,7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, NJ

Join us at the Museum this Sunday (Sept. 29) from 2 to 4 PM for the opening reception of our fall exhibitions: "Santiago Cohen: Ex-Vida Project," "John Anderson: Large Works," "Anhi Kruger: Tempered Chaos" and our "2013 Members Exhibition.” Admission is free, and all are welcome. Wine and cheese will be served. Artist Santiago Cohen will discuss his work.

Santiago Cohen: Ex-Vida Project 
When Santiago Cohen wanted to tell his two children the story of his life—as a Jew growing up in Mexico, and as a Mexican starting a career and family in New York—he decided to paint it. When finished, he had 1,150 oil paintings that tell a fascinating story. The paintings were completed in ex-voto style: a narrative form of painting, usually featuring religious imagery, found by the thousands throughout Mexico. Roughly half of these paintings cover the walls of the first-floor gallery. Read more here.


John Anderson: Large Works
John Anderson creates sculptures from fallen tree branches. He strips the bark and carves the limbs into cylinder shapes of varying sizes. Anderson uses metal cables to string the wood together, and these cables are attached to metal plates that hang from the ceiling. The resulting sculptures can be large and imposing or delicate and ethereal. Recently Anderson started working with photography and printing on a large scale. Bite-sized beans resemble boulders, and small fragments of metal appear as colorful shapes much larger than their actual size. Read more about his work here.


Ahni Kruger: Tempered Chaos
Ahni Kruger describes herself as a “bit of a whirling dervish,” and one needs only to view her solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum to catch a bit of her energy. Her paintings all begin with a delicately complex structure—a tapestry pattern from a 13th-century painting about St. Francis, the patron saint of the environment; Bach's reinvention of traditional music forms; and a honeybee hive. She disrupts regular patterns to evoke a sense of uncertainty and fragmentation which echo her concerns about the environment. To learn more, please visit our website.

2013 Members Exhibition
Discover the wonderful talents of the members of the Hunterdon Art Museum in an exhibition that features oil on canvas, photography, ceramic and steel sculptures, book art and much more. Yvette Hendler was selected for the 2014 Member Highlight solo exhibition, and Maria Yakov received the Juror's Prize.


Upcoming Events:

FAMOUS ARTIST FRIDAY
WHEN: Oct. 4, 1 PM

Join us for Famous Artist Friday when Santiago Cohen leads a story time and drawing program on Oct. 4 at 1 PM at the Museum. This special program is for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult. For more information, please visit our website.

FIRST FRIDAY
WHEN:
Oct. 4, 6 PM

The works of Liz Abrams-Morley, Jim Mancinelli and Courtney Bambrick will be featured at the next first Friday poetry reading on Oct. 4 at the Museum. "First Friday" poetry readings start at 6 PM and are free and open to all. The event will also feature an open microphone for anyone interested in sharing their poetry. Refreshments will be served. For more information call  (908) 735-8415. To learn more about the poets, please visit the news page of our website.


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, and by funds from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, New Jersey Cultural Trust and corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Hunterdon Art Museum is a wheelchair accessible space. Publications are available in large print. Patrons who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may contact the Museum through the New Jersey  Relay Service at (TYY) 1 (800) 852-7899

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CENTENARY STAGE PRESENTS A MURDER MYSTERY WITH A DASH OF COMEDY: “DEATHTRAP”

Deathtrap 205DEATHTRAP
By Ira Levin

WHEN: October 4- 20; Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. There are 2 PM matinées Wednesdays October 9th and 16th and for the Preview Performance on Friday, October 4th at 2 PM. 
WHERE:
The David and Carol Lackland Center at Centenary College, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25 to $27.50 with discounts for students and seniors. Every Thursday night is “Family Night,” which offers a 2-for-1 rush ticket price when purchased at the door.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org<http://www.centenarystageco.org/>, at the CSC Box Office located in the David and Carol Lackland Center , or by calling 908.979.0900. The Box Office is open 1-5 PM Monday through Friday, and 2 hours prior to performance times. (Above: Maria Brodeur and Carl Wallnau)

"Two-thirds a thriller and one-third a devilishly clever comedy …Suspend your disbelief and be delighted. Scream a little. It's good for you." —Cue Magazine

One of the most popular successes in Broadway history, a theatrical triumph with gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap is a chilling murder-mystery running at The Centenary Stage Company.

Deathtrap is a play within a play following the struggles of Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers battling a crippling dry spell. Sidney has experienced a string of flops and a shortage of funds when suddenly help seems to come from out of nowhere. He receives a script in the mail from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller Sidney recognizes as a potential Broadway hit. What happens next is the stuff of Deathtrap. Audiences will be held spellbound to the very end.

Talkinbroadway.com describes Deathtrap as “… an enormously appealing play that combines comedy with mystery, ridiculing the conventions of the thriller while reveling in them.”

Deathtrap is sponsored by Bea McNally’s Irish Pub, Old Souk Trading Company, and Heath Village Retirement Community.

The 2013-14 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank, Bronze Sponsors The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

CLASSICAL GUITAR RECITAL IN LAMBERTVILLE

Here is a classical guitarist I just learned about. If you love this kind of music (or think you might find it interesting), I suggest you check him out:

Keith Calmes & Thomas Amoriello—Classical Guitar Recital
WHEN: Sunday, October 6, 3:00 PM
WHERE: Community Church of Lambertville/First Presbyterian Church, 31 N. Union Street, Lambertville
ADMISSION: $5

Solos and duos by Bach, Poulenc, Brouwer, and many others.  This recital will also include a major work by Lambertville composer Robert Maggio (Variations: My Native Land—after Charles Ives)

For more information, contact 908.342.7795 or tom@tomamoriello.com

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LAST WEEKEND TO SEE “ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD” BY LIGHT OPERA OF NJ IN BASKING RIDGE

Orpheus in the Underworld
Music by Jacques Offenbach    
Translation by Robert Derwae

Orpheus…  is a fully staged production presented by the Light Opera of New Jersey (formerly Ridge Light Opera)

WHEN:

  • Thursday September 26th at 8 PM (Understudy Show)
  • Friday September 27th at 8 PM
  • Saturday September 28th at 2 PM
  • Saturday September 28th at 8 PM

WHERE: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 140 So.Finley Ave in Basking Ridge
TICKETS: $20, $25 and $30 and are available on line at www.lightoperaofnewjersey.org or by calling 908.303.7351.

If you are planning to come see Orpheus in the Underworld this week-end we strongly encourage you to get your tickets in advance as all the good seats for the evening shows are almost gone. 

Call 908.303.7351 or go to www.lightoperaofnewjersey.org and click on tickets.  You can select your own seats, pay by credit card and print your tickets at home.

SYNOPSIS:
After a brief overture the curtain rises in the countryside around the ancient Greek city of Thebes. Eurydice enters and sings of the shepherd boy Aristaeus, with whom she is having an affair. Orpheus appears and demands to know what Eurydice is doing. She tells him she loves Aristaeus and adds that she cannot stand Orpheus’s fiddle-scraping. In revenge, Orpheus starts to play his latest 75-minute concerto and completely ignores his wife’s pleas for him to stop.

Orpheus would love to relinquish Eurydice to Aristaeus, but Public Opinion would not allow it. Instead, Orpheus decides to get rid of Aristaeus and tells Eurydice of the nasty surprise which he has left in the shepherd’s cornfield. When Aristaeus appears, Eurydice tries to stop him from entering the cornfield, but he ignores her. Eurydice follows him and suffers a snake bite. Suddenly, Aristaeus turns into his real self: Pluto, Lord of Hades. Eurydice falls, dying, into Aristaeus’ arms; she dies, but Pluto brings her briefly back to life so she can leave a farewell note for Orpheus. That done, Pluto takes her down to his underworld realm.

Orpheus finds Eurydice’s note and, after his initial surprise, realizes how pleased he is to be rid of his wife. His joy is short-lived. Public Opinion enters and demands that Orpheus go down to Hades to get Eurydice back. Orpheus protests, but mindful of his professional reputation, he grudgingly agrees.

AUDITIONS: LITTLE-KNOWN AGATHA CHRISTIE PLAY @ THE STUDIO PLAYERS

AUDITION NOTICE:

black coffeeBLACK COFFEE
Written by Agatha Christie
Directed by Laura Byrne-Cristiano

WHEN: Sun. Oct. 13, at 6:00 PM; Mon. Oct. 14, at 7:30 PM
WHERE: 
STUDIO PLAYERS, 14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair, NJ ~ 973.744.9752
www.studioplayhouse.org ~ www.facebook.com/studioplayhouse

This little-known mystery will surprise and delight Christie fans when a physicist named Sir Claude Amory, who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb is poisoned (in his coffee, naturally), and Hercule Poirot is called in to solve the case. Not before many wonderful twists and turns in true Christie tradition.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

All characters (except those noted below) Speak with an educated British accent. Think Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Emma Thompson for examples. Dr. Carelli-speaks with an Italian accent that does not have to be that authentic. Inspector Japp is decidedly working class. His accent is more rough, less polished. Think the servants of Downton Abbey or the Northerners of Game of Thrones. Think more Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Catherine Tate and Sean Bean for examples.

  • Miss Treadwell (female, late 20’s-60’s) She is the faithful servant, but at the same time knows all “the dirty laundry” of her employers.
  • Sir Claude Amory: (male, 50’s+) He is the irascible Lord of the manor, who has no affection for his relatives and is devoted solely to his scientific discoveries.
  • Caroline Amory: (female, 50’s+) Claude’s dotty younger, maiden sister who never stops talking. She is very conservative, innocent, and prone to not quite getting the full picture of what goes on around her. She has no idea that half of what she says is funny and often inappropriate.
  • Richard Amory: (male, early 30’s-mid 40’s) He is the only son of Claude Amory. He’d rather pursue a military career then be under his father’s thumb. He’s not stupid, but he’s not the scientific genius that his father is. Newly married, he is very much in love with his wife Lucia who he married after a brief whirlwind courtship.
  • Lucia Amory: (female, mid 20’s-mid 30’s) She is Richard’s half-English and half-Italian wife who was largely raised throughout the European continent. She speaks perfect English with an English accent. She is devoted to her husband, but has a mysterious past and is obviously hiding something.
  • Barbara Amory: (female, mid 20’s to mid 30’s) She is Claude’s niece and relies upon him for support as she is orphaned. She is a very modern young woman who speaks her mind, and who likes to live a bit on the wild side. She wants a husband to take her away from her dreary life.
  • Edwina Raynor: (female, 30’s -40’s) Sir Claude’s faithful secretary. Who is observant and intelligent, and somewhat reserved. One of the few people who actually understands his scientific discoveries and is capable of organizing his notes.
  • Dr. Carelli: (male, 30’s-60’s) A mysterious visitor who claims to be an old friend of Lucia’s family. Equally charming and suspicious. Speaks with an Italian accent (not necessarily a good one). The character can be played as a real Italian or someone pretending to be a real Italian).
  • Dr. Graham: (male, 30’s+) Sir Claude’s doctor, and intelligent man who is not fooled by flattery or easily influenced. Very logical and capable of presenting the facts as he sees them.
  • Hercule Poirot: (male, 40’s+) A famous detective from Belgium (slight accent) hired by Sir Claude to investigate a theft and death threats. He later ends up investigating Sir Claude’s murder. He has a great sense of dry humor and a sense of the ironic. Oftentimes only Hastings gets his jokes.
  • Captain Hastings: (male, 30’s+) He is Poirot’s right-hand-man. Not quite as astute as Poirot, but by no means stupid. He often acts as Poirot’s sounding board, and evaluates theories and offers conjecture. He has a great sense of humor and is generally good-natured.
  • Inspector Japp: (male, 30’s+) In charge of the local police. He and Poirot have worked a previous case. He respects Poirot and Hastings very much. He’s not what you would call a polished man, a bit rough around the edges prone to saying what he thinks too loudly rather than being diplomatic. Nonetheless, he is respected as an officer of the law by both Poirot and Hastings.

Sides will be provided.

Performance dates: January 10 – 25, 2014

NEW PLAY ABOUT STAND-UP COMEDY @ HUDSON THEATRE WORKS ONE NIGHT ONLY

Hudson Theatre Works

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About the Play: STAND UP MAN
People see Stand up comedian Thaddeus McGuinn differently. His son would like to see him gone, his wife would like to see him dead, and his audience would prefer not to see him at all. Disgraced ex-altar boy Thaddeus McGuinn is about to face his toughest audience ever, his own sins.

Stand Up Man follows its protagonist over one week, as he journeys back and forth between his audience and his family. Thaddeus is one joke away from total mental destruction and one wife away from owning all the land he ever dreamed of, a burial plot.

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DEREK MURPHY was born and educated in Dublin Ireland.  He moved to New York in his twenties and has called it home ever since.  He is the author of several plays, including "A Short Wake" which premiered at the Derry Playhouse and was chosen as part of the 1st Irish Theatre Festival in New York in 2009.   He is also the author of "Miles Over Man" which was first produced at The Old Museum Theatre in Belfast, "A Couple Of Chekovs", produced by Riverrun Theatre Company in New York, and "Looking For Sympathy at the Silver Spoon" Shotgun Productions, NY.

NEWLY TRANSLATED NABOKOV PLAY RECEIVES READING @ STNJ ON MONDAY!

Be in the first American audience to hear the newly translated Nabokov work, "The Tragedy of Mister Morn." Call the box office at 973-408-5600 for tickets.

www.ShakespeareNJ.org

FREE PERFORMANCE FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY THIS SATURDAY

A FREE PERFORMANCE FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY

WHEN: Saturday, September 28, 3:00 to 5:30 PM
WHERE: New Brunswick High School, 1000 Somerset St., New Brunswick

George Street Playhouse, in association with the New Brunswick Cultural Center, presents

New Kid
By Dennis Foon

New Kid remains GSP’s Touring Theatre's most successful program, addressing racism, prejudice, peer pressure, and conflict resolution. New Kid asks its audience to explore issues of: moving to a new place, being the outsider, making and keeping friends.

Appropriate for Grades K-5

This family-friendly double bill will also include American Repertory Ballet performing a piece from their upcoming season. 

Copyright © 2013 George Street Playhouse, All rights reserved.