Wednesday, April 30, 2014




WHEN: May 9 – June 29, 2014; opening reception will be held on Friday, May 9, from 6 PM – 8 PM and is a free event open to all.
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit
: Adults $5; Seniors/Kids $3; Art Center Members free

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey’s Spring Exhibitions will feature the work of three New Jersey artists on view through June 29. (Image: Jon Rappleye, Awakened from Winter’s Tranquil Slumber, 2009, acrylic and spray enamel on paper. Photo courtesy of the artist)

Jon Rappleye: In Tangled Splendor (Main Gallery) showcases imaginary landscapes filled with hybrid creatures, fantastic vegetation and unworldly colors. Part science-fiction and part fairy tale, Rappleye’s paintings and sculptures explore the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Rappelye’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to evoke the subconscious distinguish his paintings. As the artist describes, his work is a “flight of the imagination where the lines between organic and manmade have become increasingly blurred.”

Jon Rappleye received his BFA from Utah State University and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and has been an artist in residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; MacDowell Colony; the Headlands Center for the Arts and John Michael Kohler Arts Center, among other venues. Rappleye’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles; The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Clough Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis; the Salina Art Center, Salina, Kansas; the Jersey City Museum, New Jersey. His work is featured in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; The Progressive Corporation, Ohio; West Collection, Pennsylvania and U. S. Art in Embassies. He currently resides and works in Jersey City, New Jersey.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Jan Garden Castro will accompany the exhibition.

#Baroque #TechStyle: Portraits by Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern (Eisenberg Gallery) features large-scale portraits that blend traditional style portraiture with modern technology and pop culture. Her work draws an interesting parallel between the worlds of fashion and technology and incorporates subtle references to luxury brands in her backgrounds, imagery and titles. To complement these works, the artist created a custom wallpaper design based on traditional toile de Jouy—a printed fabric originating in France in the 1760s that illustrated pastoral scenes of the French countryside. Juxtaposed against backgrounds inspired by Baroque textiles, the sitters use a variety of personal electronic devices such as iPods, mobile phones, and tablet computers. 

Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern is a New Jersey-based artist and educator. She received her BFA in surface design from Parsons the New School of Design, and earned her MFA in painting from New Jersey City University. Prior to receiving her graduate degree in fine art, Lisa served as an executive designer for the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation for eight years, overseeing all areas of home design, with particular emphasis on textile products.  She has widely exhibited in numerous solo and group juried exhibitions in venues including The George Segal Gallery and The Noyes Museum of Art in New Jersey, the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago, Artists’ House Gallery in Philadelphia, and the Hunter College/Times Square Gallery in New York. She was voted artist of the month by the Arts Guild of New Jersey in June of 2013. Her work has been featured in Studio Visit Magazine Vol.10 and she has won numerous awards, including a 2006 Geraldine Dodge Fellowship. She is an adjunct professor of painting and drawing at New Jersey City University and Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey.

Thea Clark: The Quick and the Deep, (Studio X) is a site specific installation that reveals the effects on habitat under the influence of rapid climate change. The installation features textiles, asphalt shingles, insulation and an edited video clip taken from the 1956 program Science in Action, to demonstrate in the artist’s words:

“My current work is about habitat under the influence of rapid climate change, considered from the global to the micro and personal perspectives. I am interested in the visceral responses people have when they experience the menace, power, and destruction of weather.”

The Quick and the Deep is Thea Clark’s first solo show. Previously she has shown sculpture at the the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences and at the Martha Gault Art Gallery at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. Her art jewelry has been included in the two person show “Cyan Silhouettes”, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, as well as numerous national and international group exhibitions.  It is part of the upcoming “Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography” at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, and the international traveling “La Frontera”, previously at Museo Franz Meyer, Mexico City, San Francisco, Indiana and soon to be at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Her work has been published in seven books in the US and Europe. She was resident at the Vermont Studio Center and has presented an artist talk at Glassell School of Art, Houston. Thea has been an instructor at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and the former Arts Workshop in Newark.

Pairings: Selected Faculty & Student Works (Joe & Marité Robinson Strolling Gallery II) Showcasing a variety of media, this exhibition includes a selection of works by the Art Center’s faculty and their students.

Gallery Information
Gallery Hours: Monday – Wednesday and Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Thursday 10:00 AM – 8 PM; and Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours.


Art Afternoon: This free program for all ages will take place on Sunday, June 8, 2 PM – 4 PM. Join artist Jon Rappleye in the Main Gallery as he tells a tale about the imaginary world he has created. Let your imagination run wild as his portraits come to life!

Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by 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 Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, the WJS Foundation, the Audrey & Zygi Wilf and the Wilf Family Foundation and Art Center members and donors.





May 2 | USHPIZIN, Rea Bochner, Featured Writer & Columnist, Ami Magazine

May 9 | FORCED MARCH (Public Screening), Dick Atkins, Producer & Writer

May 16 | KISSING JESSICA STEIN, Rabbi Karen Perolman, B'nai Jeshurun

May 23 | DRESSING AMERICA, Steven Fischler, Producer

May 30 | THE GATEKEEPERS, Dov Gardin, Former IDF Sergeant & International Security Expert

June 13 | THE REAL INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, Congregation AABJ&D

WHERE: Maurice Levin Theatre, Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Northfield Ave., West Orange
FEES: Member: $60 | Senior: $75 | Guest: $90


  • Online:
  • In-person: Steiner Court Reception Desk
  • By Phone: Call NJJFF at 973.530.3417
  • At the Door: 20 minutes before class begins


Course Code: CJ-CA314NJJ2

Visit to watch trailers and find out more




Reviewed by Michael T. Mooney on April 26, 2014
Thanks to Rick Busciglio of for sharing this review



There's an old saying in the theater that “good plays are not just written—but rewritten.” That axiom is sure to hold true for two new shows on Jersey stages this week, each at a different phase of its all-important development process.

The state's most valuable resource in introducing new plays is undoubtedly Long Branch's New Jersey Repertory Company. This cultural gem at the Jersey shore is currently offering up the world premiere of A VIEW OF THE MOUNTAINS by Lee Blessing. While many NJ Rep playwrights are new writers, Blessing is a veteran. His most famous play, A WALK IN THE WOODS, was nominated for a 1989 Tony Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. MOUNTAINS is not exactly a sequel to WOODS, but it does continue the story of one of its characters, Reagan-era arms negotiator John Honeyman.

We catch up with Honeyman (John Little) just before a big national election. A right-wing Presidential candidate is about to nominate a conservative Tennessee senator as his running mate. It just so happens that the senator, Will Branch (John Zlabinger), is also his estranged son. Liberal Honeyman will stop at nothing to stem the Republican tide, including the possibility of blackmailing his son with a long-buried family secret. He invites Branch to his wife Ilsa's (Katrina Ferguson) Catskills estate to make him an offer he surely can't refuse. Branch brings along his scheming wife Gwynn (Eva Kaminsky) for support and security—literally.

The premise of MOUNTAINS has great potential for political and familial fireworks. But director Evan Bergman often allows the play to devolve into Jerry Springer-like antics. The main cause for derailment is the character of Gwynn; an offensive, shrieking, shrew who immediately frisks her hosts with a metal detector and then confiscates the refreshments to test for poisons. She verbally assaults her in-laws with a barrage of outrageous remarks that would cause any reasonable person to show her the door, if not the back of their hand. The character might have been reminiscent of Claire Underwood of TV's “House of Cards”—an iron fist in a velvet glove. But Bergman and Kaminsky take a less subtle route, one that has audiences rooting for her to be thrown off the nearest Catskill mountain. Her disruptive shenanigans take precious time away from the far more interesting father/son—and later husband/wife—dynamics. When the 70-minute play briefly concentrates on these relationships, it shows promise—especially in scenes involving Ferguson, one of New Jersey's busiest actresses, who is terrific as Ilsa. (Above: Katrina Ferguson and John Little; photo S. Barabas)

But let's remember that this play is still in its infancy, and infants are sometimes messy, frequently loud, and often behave inappropriately. Under strong “parental” guidance from Blessing, MOUNTAINS may indeed grow into something respectable, if not quite remarkable.

At New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch and will run through May 25, 2104. For tickets, contact the NJ Rep Box Office at 732.229.3166 or visit 

A child at a much later stage of maturity is American Theater Group's new musical MARRY HARRY,which is enjoying a superb New Jersey premiere at the pristine Hamilton Stage in Rahway, a new venue of the Union County Performing Arts Center. 

As the title might suggest, MARRY HARRY is an old-fashioned boy-meets-girl love story. Set in New York City today, the musical follows Little Harry (Howie Michael Smith) who works at his dad Big Harry's (Danny Rutigliano) failing restaurant while secretly hoping to land a coveted job with celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich. In the meantime, he falls in love-at-first-sight with recently jilted Sherri (Jillian Louis), whose doting mom Francine (April Woodall) is the restaurant's landlord. In addition to money woes, Big Harry also has relationship issues with long-term girlfriend and business partner Debby (Michele Ragusa). Before you can say 'homemade biscotti' Little Harry and Sherri are hastily headed for the altar. Complications ensue, naturally.  

The tuneful new score by Dan Martin and Michael Biello is a lot like the aforementioned biscotti—sweet, satisfying and easily digested. If all this sounds terribly conventional—it is. Delightfully so! Book writer Jennifer Robbins inserts a modern sensibility, but it is really the uniformly excellent cast that grounds MARRY HARRY and keeps it consistently entertaining. 

Director Kent Nicholson never forgets that the most important ingredient in this character-driven show is chemistry and toward that end he has assembled a first rate cast. Howie Michael Smith and Jillian Louis are bright and attractive nearly thirty-somethings—just as delightful to watch fall 'head over heals' as they are to listen to when they sing about it. As Big Harry and Debby, Danny Rutigliano and Michele Ragusa match them witty word for word and notable note for note. There isn't a finer musical theater character actress than Ragusa, who infuses every moment with expert comic timing and nuance. 

It's obvious that the development process has fine-tuned MARRY HARRY, an old-fashioned musical about falling in love. The result is a heart-felt love letter to musical comedy. Performances continue through May 11 at Hamilton Stage in Rahway. 


Actors perform nine original one-act works of local playwrights.

WHEN:  Friday, May 2, at 8 PM, Saturday, May 3, at 8 PM and a Sunday matinee at 2 PM. Running time is approximately two hours.
WHERE: Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott St., Dover
TICKETS: $15. Groups of 10 or more receive tickets at $12.00 each

Please be advised that there is a gun shot and some explicit language.

Reservations can be made by calling 973.328.9202.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014


UCPAC Classic Film Series presents Charlie Chaplin in The Adventurer
WHEN: May 3, 7 PM 
UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway




Cliff Eberhardt
presented by Split Level Concerts
WHEN: May 3, 8 PM
WHERE: UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $20.




UCPAC New Film Series presents motorcycle documentary Why We Ride
WHEN: May 8, 8 PM
UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway
TICKETS: $20, barbecue and movie, $10 movie only.



Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute presented by Mystic Vision Players
WHEN: May 9-17.
WHERE: UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway (6 shows).
TICKETS: $15. 




Tracy Bonham and Jim Boggia presented by Split Level Concerts
WHEN: May 17, 8 PM 
: Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $20.  




Comedian Mike Marino
WHEN: May 17, 8 PM 
: UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $35, $22.50, $18.50.




Kinderhook in Concert
: May 18, 2 PM
WHERE: Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $15.  




Aesop’s Fables
a TheatreWorks USA production starring puppeteer Jim West and presented by Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders
WHEN: May 18, 2 PM
: UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
A performance specially designed and adapted for children with autism and sensory sensitivity.


Ballets With A Twist presents Cocktail Hour
WHEN: May 30-31 at 8 PM; June 1 at 3 PM
Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $25. 



Vance Gilbert
presented by Split Level Concerts
WHEN: June 7, 8 PM
UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $20. 




Peter Pan
a TheatreWorks USA production
WHEN: June 8, 2 PM
UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.




Total & Friends featuring Pam Long and Kima Raynor 
WHEN: June 13, 8 PM 
UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $25. 

Damn the Torpedoes: Ultimate Tom Petty Tribute Band
WHEN: June 13, 8 PM
Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $20.




Jeanne Jolly
presented by Split Level Concerts
WHEN: June 21, 8 PM
UCPAC Loft, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $20. 




Comedian Rob Schneider 
WHEN: June 27, 8 PM
UCPAC Mainstage, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway NJ.
TICKETS:  $51.50, $36.50, $26.50, $21.



For showtimes and ticket prices, call the Union County Performing Arts Center box office at 732.499.8226 or go online to


Barbara_O'Neill__Luminous_ForestExhibitor’s Co-op Show and Sale

WHEN: Sunday, May 4, thru Sunday, June 8. Opening Reception Sunday, May 4, 1 to 4 PM. On-going gallery hours will be Sunday, May 18 and 25, and June 1 and 8 from 1 – 4 PM and by appointment. 
Farmhouse Galleries, 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge
Image: Luminous Forest by Barbara O’Neill

Farmstead Arts will host The Exhibitor’s Co-op Art Show and Sale featuring the works of over a dozen of their members. The exhibition opens with a free reception with live music, refreshments and a chance to meet the artists.

Mike_Dziomba_-_On_FireExhibitor's Co-op is a New Jersey based group of artists meeting weekly to critique each other's work and present exhibitions. The group has displayed their art in galleries and museums across New York and New Jersey.  Farmstead Arts is their first show in Somerset County.  Member artists have enjoyed individual success with New York City gallery exhibits, commissions and been accepted into national and international juried shows. Many have won awards and some have been published as book illustrators and in art books. Images of many of the works to be in the show may be seen on the Farmstead’s website at (Image: On Fire by Mike Dziomba)

Cathleen_McCly_Bristol_W_25th_and_10thParticipating artists include Maryann Ficker from Bridgewater, Barbara O'Neill of Madison, Florence Weisz, Annette Kushen, Sarah Petruziello, Sybil Archibald, Cindy Wolf and Jill Jackson from South Orange, Gail Winbury  and Jeanne Shottland of Westfield, Cathleen McCoy Bristol  and Joy Yagid from Maplewood, Lisa Suss, Mary Haviland-Keefe and Sarah Canfield  of West Orange, Rudy Martin of East Orange, Barbara Donahue and Heidi Lang Parrinello from Glen Ridge, Sharon Sayegh from East Brunswick, Jo Bradney from Morris Plains, Nette Forné Thomas,  Judy Levy and Roberta Reynolds from Maplewood and Mike Dziomba of Mendham.  (Image: West 25th and 10th by Cathleen McCly Bristol)

For a complete list of Farmstead Arts events and classes and to register for classes, visit, or visit Facebook.  For more information, e-mail, or call Ann Rosenblum, President at 1.347.927.8748.

The farmhouse is wheelchair accessible.  Anyone anticipating the need for additional accessibility services is requested to make a request by sending an email to at least three weeks in advance.

Funds for these events have 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, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.


2014 Annual Tibetan Art Lecture: Tuesday, May 1, 6-8 PM

Directions | Upcoming Events | Membership | Museum Tours | Planetarium




Free First Thursday Nights

WHEN: First Thursday of the Month, May 1, 5–9 PM
WHERE: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair
Join us for Free First Thursday Nights at MAM every month from October through June, and enjoy an evening of free art and dynamic programming, including live music, tours, and interactive entertainment. A full-service bar with special First Thursday Night prices sponsored by Pig & Prince, one of Montclair's most celebrated eateries, is open all evening, and food trucks serve a variety of delicious fare.

Programming changes each month, providing something new to see or do at every First Thursday Night. In May, guests will preview the inaugural Montclair Poetry Festival, go behind-the-scenes of Robert Smithson's New Jersey with MAM Exhibit Designer/Preparator Karl Allen, hear jazz performances by the Florian Schantz Jazz Combo and MSU's Cali School of Music students, celebrate MAM's and the Bellevue Avenue Library's Centennials, and more. View the full schedule.


Closer Look Tour
WHEN: First Friday of the Month, 2 PM
Coincides with the MAM's Free First Fridays
Join us for informal 20-minute gallery talks that provide an in-depth examination of one to two works of art on view in the galleries. Tours are led by MAM educators and docents.

New Member Highlights Tour
WHEN: Saturday, May 3, 11:30 AM
New MAM Members are invited to discover the highlights of MAM's collection. Space is limited. To reserve your spot, please contact Elana Castelli at or 973.259.5151. To find out more about MAM membership and to become a member today, visit our Membership page.

NEW! French Language Tours
Un après-midi au Musée
WHEN: Sunday, May 4, 2–3 PM
Robert Smithson’s New Jersey
ADMISSION: $20 nonmember, $15 member
Attention French language learners! Please join France native Claire Négrin for an artful afternoon as you discover les chefs-d’oeuvre du MAM by looking closely at selected works on view and discussing them in French. Learn some new terms and engage in fun, stimulating conversation— tout en français! All levels welcome.


Photos by Audrey Blake Breheney. All photos taken with an iPhone.<br />

Photos by Audrey Blake Breheney. All photos taken with an iPhone.

iPhoneography Workshop
WHEN: Thursday, May 8, 6:45–9 PM
ADMISSION: $40 member, $50 nonmember
Enjoy a night out at MAM with some friends, have a glass of wine and be inspired to turn your photos into keepsakes. Learn the art of iphoneography from Audrey Blake Breheney, lifestyle photographer and blogger, including:

  • Lighting & composition basics
  • The best apps on the market
  • How to manage your storage
  • How to turn your memories into art

Price includes wine and light hors d'oeuvres. Contact or 973.259.5151 for further information.

MAM and the Adult School of Montclair
Legendary Locals of Montclair

Discussion and Book Signing
WHEN: Sunday, May 18, 2–4 PM
Registration through the Adult School of Montclair. Call 973.746.6636 to register; enroll EARLY!
ADMISSION: $20 MAM members, $25 nonmembers
In honor of The Montclair Art Museum and the Bellevue Avenue Library’s Centennial Celebrations, the two organizations will cohost with The Adult School of Montclair a discussion regarding Montclair history. Legendary Locals of Montclair author Elizabeth Shepard, a professional archivist in New York, was the Montclair Public Library local archivist from 1995 to 2001, and coauthor Mike Farrelly was Montclair’s official historian since 2004. Together, they will address the many great Montclair personalities who have come before us. Paintings by Montclair’s favorite son, George Inness, are part of MAM’s permanent collection and currently featured in the exhibition 100 Works for 100 Years.

Book signing to follow. Book available through your local library or available for purchase through The Store at MAM. This program is cosponsored by The Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library.

MAM Contemporaries: Tour and Reception at the Elizabeth Foundation

WHEN: Wednesday, May 28
ADMISSION: Free for MAM Contemporaries*
Visit studio spaces of contemporary artists at the Elizabeth Foundation in New York City.

*This event is only available to members of MAM Contemporaries, a dynamic group celebrating contemporary art at the Montclair Art Museum. For more information about MAM Contemporaries including how to join, visit


Artful Outing
WHEN: First Tuesday of the month, 11 AM–12 PM

MAM invites people with dementia and their care partners to attend a FREE, interactive gallery program led by MAM docents and educators. Interact with current exhibitions in a meaningful way through hands-on activities and gallery engagement. If you are an individual caregiver or program coordinator for a care facility and wish to participate, please call 973.259.5136 or contact to make a reservation.

Art in the Afternoon
WHEN: Second Wednesday of the Month, 2–3:30 PM
ADMISSION: $10 seniors, FREE members
MAM invites area seniors to the Museum for an artistic social outing each second Wednesday of the month. Participants enjoy an opportunity to learn about and creatively respond to art from the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Each session will feature tours and engaging conversations in the galleries and thematically related art activities in Leir Hall. Refreshments will be served.


Looking for a great way to spend time with your family? MAM's monthly family programs offer a regular opportunity for families to engage with the Museum and learn together.

Park Bench
WHEN: Second Wednesday of the Month, 9:30–11:30 AM
$18 per family, $6 Family-level members and above
Parents with young children will enjoy MAM Park Bench, a program that introduces children to the Museum and serves as an artistic social outing. Get acquainted with other parents and young children, work on fun art projects, and take a guided tour of the Museum. Storytelling provided in the galleries courtesy of the Montclair Public Library.

Home School Days
WHEN: Third Thursday (Ages 9–13) and Third Friday (Ages 4–8) of the month
12–2 PM
$18 per family, $6 Family-level members and above
The Montclair Art Museum invites you and other Home School families for a fun and educational afternoon. These two-hour programs include a gallery tour and studio art project led by MAM educators Peg Kenselaar (ages 9–13) and Emily Kenselaar (ages 4–8).

New! MAM Family Art Adventure
WHEN: Third Saturday of the Month, 2–3 PM
ADMISSION: $15 per family, $6 Family level members and above

Come to MAM for an hour-log, drop-in gallery program for children 5 and up and their adult companions. Explore and discuss artworks and engage in fun activities in MAM’s galleries and sculpture garden.


View the full MAM Calendar.
Share MAM's events with friends on Facebook.
MAM Members receive discounts on every program and class held at the Museum. Join today!

Exhibitions on View:
Monika Bravo: New Work through May 4. Robert Smithson's New Jersey through June 22. 100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration and Robert Barry: Diptych, Window-Wallpiece for the Montclair Art Museum through Fall 2014. Spencer Finch: Yellow on ongoing view.

3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042



International String Trio

International String Trio
WHEN: Thursday, May 1, at 12 & 7 PM
The Theatre at RVCC , 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg
TICKETS: $10 at 12 PM, $25 at 7 PM

The International String Trio, founded in 1999 by its musical director and guitarist, Slava Tolstoy has performed at more than 1000 venues across the USA and has gained national recognition for its distinct sound and stylistic diversity. The trio's repertoire includes classical, Gypsy jazz, popular and world music and their unique concert program is highly entertaining, energetic and musically gratifying. This performance will take audiences on a cultural musical journey, as they perform music from countries around the world.

The International String Trio has such a unique sound and a large repertoire of music, ranging from Bach to The Beatles and from Elvis to Duke Ellington. The show was simply amazing! —ST. PETERSBURG NEWS, RUSSIA


Tchavolo Swing - International String Trio



Each 7 PM performance in our relaxed on-stage cabaret setting is approximately 2 hours long & includes light snacks. * Tickets: $25

Each 12 PM performance in our on-stage theatre style seating is approximately 1 hour in length. * Tickets: $10

Pre-order a box lunch (at least 24 hours prior to curtain) for $5.00 and have lunch at the Theatre before the noon show.




By Molière
Translated into English Verse by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
WHEN: September 13-October 5, 2014

Two River Theater opens its season with Molière’s classic comedy about a rich, middle-aged bachelor named Arnolphe, whose plan to groom his innocent young ward into the “perfect” wife goes quickly awry. The School for Wives received its first production in 1662, with Molière himself as Arnolphe. One of the world’s funniest playwrights, Molière’s verse plays also include Tartuffe and The Misanthrope.

Director Mark Wing-Davey first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop. Since then he has worked extensively in New York City for NYTW, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and The Public Theater, directing Troilus and Cressida and Henry V in Central Park. Wing-Davey is the Chair of Graduate Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Also an actor, in June 2012 he embarked on a six-week National UK tour reprising the role he created—Zaphod Beeblebrox—in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live on Stage, playing to thousands of people a night. 

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Directed by David Lee 
WHEN: November 15-December 14

Director David Lee (Two River’s critically acclaimed production of Present Laughter and TV’s Frasier, Wings, and Cheers) directs one of the great musicals in the American theater canon, showcasing the youth and vitality of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Lee’s Broadway-bound revival of Cole Porter’s Can-Can will open the season at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse just prior to Camelot’s run at Two River.

Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (My Fair Lady, Gigi) in 1960, this timeless love story, based on The Once and Future King by T. H. White, includes “I Loved You Once in Silence” and “If Ever I Would Leave You” and other favorites. Camelot will be performed by an eight-actor ensemble and eight-piece orchestra.

Presented by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
WHEN: December 19-22, 2014

Three beloved stories by Eric Carle (The Mixed-Up Chameleon, Little Cloud, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar) are retold on stage through the magic of evocative music, stunning visual effects, and innovative puppetry. On the road continuously since 1999, the Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a component of assorted compilations with four other Eric Carle stories) is an imaginative and delightful hour-long production that has delighted audiences in 12 countries. This production is recommended for ages three and up.

By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Jessica Stone 
WHEN: January 10-February 1, 2015

Press Opening: January 16

A laugh-out-loud look at how three English couples deal with their relationships, social standings, and the pressures of three successive Christmas gatherings. Sir Alan Ayckbourn is an Olivier, Tony, and Molière Award-winning playwright who has written 78 full-length plays. Absurd Person Singular (number 12) had its world premiere in 1972 and is considered one of his greatest works; it holds the record for the single longest run of an Alan Ayckbourn play in both the West End and on Broadway. My Wonderful Day (number 73) charmed audiences at Two River in 2011/12.

Director Jessica Stone has worked as an actor on and Off-Broadway, in television and film, for the last 20 years. Her Broadway credits include Anything Goes with Sutton Foster, Butley with Nathan Lane, and The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Her directing career began with her 2010 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the Williamstown Theater Festival, which was met with critical acclaim. Her upcoming productions include Christopher Durang’s Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike for The Old Globe and June Moon for Williamstown. 

By Tony Meneses
Directed by Daniella Topol
WHERE: Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
WHEN: February 14-March 15, 2015

This beautiful new play introduces audiences to Guadalupe Castillo, a Mexican woman whose daughter’s untimely death leaves her struggling to connect with her American son-in-law, in a country whose language she barely speaks. Written by the rising young playwright Tony Meneses and directed by Daniella Topol (A Wind in the Willows Christmas at Two River Theater), Guadalupe in the Guest Room is a moving and funny celebration of life, connection, and the unexpected healing power of telenovelas.

Mexican-born playwright Tony Meneses has had work presented in New York, Austin, Chicago, San Diego, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Guadalupe in the Guest Room was part of the 2013 LARK Playwrights’ Week. He is also a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-award winning writing group Youngblood. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and BA from The University of Texas at Austin.

Written and Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater
WHEN: April 11-May 3, 2015

When liberal, Upper West Side resident Judith befriends Zeke, a highly educated yet once-homeless man she meets at a soup kitchen, their fragile hold on history begins to slip. Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s Seven Guitars) crafts a provocative, daring, and immensely powerful world-premiere drama about race, sacrifice, and legacy. 

As a playwright, Santiago-Hudson won an Obie Award and critical acclaim for his solo show Lackawanna Blues, and his screenplay for the HBO adaptation received the Humanitas Prize, Christopher Award, National Board of Review Honors, and NAACP Image Award. His directing credits include Two River’s critically acclaimed productions of August Wilson’s Jitney and Two Trains Running.

Adapted and Directed by Jason McDowell-Green
WHERE: Marion Huber Theater
WHEN: April 23-May 1, 2015

Two River’s new “A Little Shakespeare” series launched during the theater’s 20th Anniversary Season with a production of As You Like It. This year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of Shakespeare’s most famous, magical, and romantic comedies, will be performed by a cast of local high-school students in a 90-minute version adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green. The schedule will include both public performances and six student matinees, and will launch on April 23, 2015—Shakespeare’s birthday.

Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
Book by Joe Tracz
Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini
Directed by Scott Ellis
WHERE: Rechnitz Theater
WHEN: May 30-June 21, 2015

Two River Theater will conclude its season with a commissioned world-premiere musical by two of the most exciting young voices in the musical theater, Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, based on the acclaimed 2004 novel by Ned Vizzini (It’s Kind of a Funny Story). Jeremy Heere is just your average dork trying to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. When he swallows a pill-sized supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most, he is transformed from complete geek to the coolest guy in class. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?

Joe Iconis (The Black Suits, TV’s Smash) is a musical theater writer and a fixture on the New York cabaret scene. He is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, an ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award. Joe Tracz’s musical adaptation of the first book in the popular Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief (written with composer Rob Rokicki) will premiere at the Lortel Theatre this summer, then tour nationally with Theatreworks USA. Scott Ellis (Curtains, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) is a six-time Tony Award-nominated director for theater and television.

Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit  

Ticket Information
Season ticket packages (beginning at three plays) are on sale now; prices range from $88.80 to $318.50. Two River Theater offers flexible blocks of tickets that patrons can divide up however they like, with a special discount of 25% off regular ticket prices.

Ticket prices for all productions except The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites and A Little Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. 

Ticket prices for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites and A Little Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream are $20 for adults and $15 for children under age 12. 

Sponsors and Supporters
Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, Brookdale Community College, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of creating great American theater performed by award-winning artists. We produce an eight-play season on two stages, including American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater; invites its audience to be part of the creative process through readings and open rehearsals; and cultivates students and young people to participate in innovative arts-education programs and become a new generation of theatergoers. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater. For more information, visit or call 732.345.1400.




Sheila and OreoBy Sheila Abrams

In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to inform my readers that I have known Robert W. Butts for many years, in a professional relationship that has evolved into one of friendship and great respect. I find it hard to determine how much that fact has influenced my response to his Symphony No. 1, which is reflected in this review.

The symphony was a focal point of a concert presented by the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey on April 27, at the Dolan Concert Hall, College of St. Elizabeth, in Madison. Butts conducted the orchestra, sharing composition honors with a pair of giants: Bizet, whose Entr’acte for Act 4 of the opera, Carmen, opened the program; and Beethoven.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, The Emperor, was the centerpiece of the first half of the program. It featured Paul Ziegler as soloist. It took a lot of courage for Butts to let Beethoven go first, so to speak. The Emperor is one of the most popular and powerful works in the Western musical canon, and Ziegler is an outstanding interpreter of Beethoven’s work.

Ziegler’s great gift is a keen insight into the music’s emotional foundations. He seems to plumb the depths of the composer’s psyche as it is revealed in the music—virtuosic and sensitive, not given to displays of high-speed and meaningless flash favored by some soloists. With Ziegler, we get to know Beethoven.

That insight Ziegler’s performance gave us into Beethoven was especially important on Sunday, because it made clear that good music is a reflection of the character, the personality, indeed the soul of the composer. And thus the audience, many if not most already familiar with Robert Butts, the man, was prepared to hear his music.

MaestroRobertButtsAs he has said frequently, and in particular in program notes written for the concert, he has been composing most of his life—songs, suites and even opera. But the idea of a symphony, he admits, was overwhelming.

Though he may have been wracked with doubt as to his ability to pull it all together, the result makes it clear that the time for this work had come. It is a symphony that reflects the man.

The first movement, lento/allegro, begins with a theme introduced by a solo horn, a plaintive call for attention, from which a number of themes evolve. The exploration of themes takes the path of an emotional odyssey, slow to fast, thoughtful to exultant.

In the second movement, scherzo, a playfulness emerges. Butts in his program notes says that he was inspired by an idea from Mozart, to employ a folk-dance theme. There is a fresh and youthful quality in it.

The third, traditionally slow, movement, adagio, does not have a clear end and moves into the fourth, allegro, in a way Butts describes as “almost violently.” The final movement includes an absolutely beautiful fugue.

Another unique feature of this work is that includes vocalise, the use of the human voice as an instrument in the orchestra. Two wonderful sopranos, Karole Lewis and Justyna Giermola, did the honors, singing on a single syllable (no words), individually, in unison and in harmony.

The names given to symphonic works come from a variety of sources: who inspired them, who commissioned them, even where they were first performed. And these names were often not designated by the composers. May I suggest, then, that this wonderful composition be identified as “The Joshua Symphony,” in honor of the late Joshua Plaut? It was in memory of this young man that the symphony was commissioned by his parents, Anne and Jon Plaut, family and friends.



Monday, April 28, 2014



Chatham Playhouse’s 20th Annual
JERSEY VOICES One-Act Festival

WHEN: Monday, May 12, and Tuesday, May 13. A separate dance audition will be held on Wednesday, May 14. All auditions will be held at 7:00 PM.
Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham.
Performances will take place on July 24, 25, 26, 31 and August 1 and 2.

Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995.

We have chosen 10 plays and 2 dance pieces to represent the 20 years of Jersey Voices this coming summer. They will be presented in repertory, with interlocking casts, in our black box theater in Chatham.

They are looking for men and women, ages 16 to 70 to fill roles in the 5 comedies, 5 dramas and 2 dance pieces which, we hope, represent the breadth and depth of work by New Jersey Playwrights that we have seen over the past 20 years.

Actors may read from sides available at the auditions or they may present a monologue. For those who are interested in becoming familiar with the one-acts, full scripts will be available for reading at the Library of The Chathams, across the street from the Playhouse

Presented One-Act Plays are:

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.

  • Woman (50's-70's) very composed and must have great emotional depth and restraint.

by Frank Briamonte
Directed by Arnold Buchianne
A cherished childhood memory is revisited.

  • One elderly man, one middle aged man 40's-60's.
  • One woman, age is flexible.

by Ian August
Directed by Jon DeAngelis
Eleanor wants to buy a print of a painting for her husband's birthday. To do that, she must wrestle with what is Art, what is its purpose in life, and why is this sales clerk such an ass?

  • Eleanor (30’s to 50’s)
  • Clerk (Any age) . Humorless foil to Eleanor’s plans, will play 4 characters (French and Afghan accents a plus).

by Eric Alter
Directed by Jon DeAngelis
A father and son cannot communicate with or accept each other until forgiveness for either of them weighs too heavily.

  • Andrew (20s to 30’s)
  • Dad (50s to 70’s)
  • (Voice of Mom)
  • (Voice of Greg)

by Henry Meyerson
Directed by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln
A tongue-in-cheek look at what we suspect is really happening when we call the Tech Help desk.

  • Voice 1: Sees herself as a reasonable person, but is eventually driven over the edge.
  • Voice 2: Creatively devilish, gets through an otherwise boring day by playing “Cat and Mouse” games with unsuspecting callers. Asian Indian accent preferred.

by William Kovacsik
Directed by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln
A father gets an unexpected second chance to tell his son things he meant to say.

  • Father (Late 60's - early 70's) Man of few words, but deep emotions, especially love for his family.
  • Son (Mid 20's) Compassionate, principled, strong, gentle sense of humor.

by Amanda Mayer
Directed by Steve Catron
What goes on when a wife drags her husband to a marriage counselor?

  • Man (30's-50's)
  • Woman (30-50's)

by Margaret Ruvoldt
Directed by Steve Catron
What goes on when a woman drags her fiancé to register for wedding gifts?

  • Man (30’s)
  • Woman (30’s)

by Grace Wessbecher
Directed by Joann Scanlon
Two grandparents each narrate their own story by reminiscing about growing up in Ireland in two different religions and therefore two different neighborhoods. There is an attraction between them that would never have been allowed but that was then and this is now.

  • Grandfather (60+) Protestant
  • Grandmother (60+) Catholic
  • (Both Irish accents)

by John Dowgin
Directed by Joann Scanlon
Two old codgers run gas stations across the street from each other since forever. One talks a blue streak, the other mumbles answers. One thinks they are identical copies of each other, the other knows different. When modern life enters the differences begin to show and the quiet one wins the day.

  • Two Men (late 50’s and up) old codgers with southern accents

Presented Dance Pieces are:

by Desirée Caro and Anthony Rubolotta
Directed and Choreographed by Desirée Caro
A lyrical dance piece centering on the romantic exploits of “Charlie” and his three femme fatales, cautioning us that, in love, everything has its price.

  • Charlie (male, 18-45) Handsome, athletic noir scoundrel. A real “lady killer.”
  • First Love (female, 16-30) Bright-eyed and vibrant. Embodies the elation of new love.
  • The Starlet (female, 20-35) Emblematic 40’s film actress. Glamorous and coy.
  • The Vixen (female, 25-40) Sexy and strong but cynical. No stranger to love without promises.

All four dancers should be adept at portraying great emotion. Training in modern, ballet and jazz, as well as the ability to execute lifts are a plus, but dancers of all styles are encouraged to audition.

written by Don Howes
Directed and Choreographed by Don Howes
This is what happens when inattention meets imagination in this rocking dance piece.

  • One male dancer
  • Three women dancers
  • One gender neutral gorilla.

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 Leslie Reagoso at 973.769.3886 or email her at

For directions or additional information, please visit


A Celebration of the Exhibition

WHEN: April 30, 2014*
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, Hamilton Street, New Brunswick




  • 4:30 PM / Reception and Curator-led Tour
    Olena Martynyuk leads a tour through the exhibition, Odessa's Second Avant-Garde: City and Myth, for which she selected more than 50 works—many on view for the first time in the United States—from the Zimmerli’s Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union
  • 6:00 PM / Lecture
    Myroslava Mudrak presents a lecture on the art of Odessa titled From Lucidity to Freedom: On Color and Light in the Intrepid Art of Modernist Odessa

Visitors to the events have an opportunity to meet several of the artists featured in the exhibition.

For details, visit the webpage.

The exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, with additional support from Arts Trend Company, Riga, Latvia

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 Fund, 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 Zimmerli Art Museum.



Music & Lyrics by William T. Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Directed by Roseann Ruggiero
Music Direction by Tracy Lee Witko
Choreography by Billy Brisley

WHEN: May 2nd – 18th; Fridays and Saturdays 8 PM; Sundays 3 PM
WHERE: Chester Theatre Group, Black River Playhouse, 54 Grove Street, at the corner of Maple Ave., Chester
TICKETS: $25.00; Senior citizens 65+ and students under 18: $23.00

Six young people in the throes of puberty vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. Along the way, they learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. A hilarious tale of overachievers angst set to music.



Celebrate Our Town, The Ballet with A Special Discount Ticket Offer from our friends at American Repertory Ballet

Philip Jerry's Our Town is a ballet based on Thornton Wilder's classic play and set to the majestic music of Aaron Copland.

American Repertory Ballet is please to offer friends and patrons of George Street Playhouse discounted $15 tickets to its presentation of Our Town, the ballet.

Our Town, The Ballet
WHEN: May 2, 7:00 PM
Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $15 with promo code OurTownFriend
Purchase tickets online and enter the promo code OurTownFriend
to receive the discount.



2014 Summer Theater Academy 
June 30 – July 25, 2014

View Class Descriptions and Prices for Ages 5 - 8
View Class Descriptions  and Prices for Ages 9 - 12
View Class Descriptions and Prices for Ages 13 – 18

George Street Playhouse’s Summer Theater Academy celebrates each student’s creative expression; providing a fun, engaging environment to explore theater, develop self-confidence, and collaborate with others.

Registration is open, but limited. Auditions are not required.


Our nurturing staff of professional theater artists offers classes for students 5-18 in the foundations of acting, movement, voice, musical theater and design.

Contact Diana Gundacker 732.846.2895 x117 for more information.

Photo of ARB by George Jones