Friday, March 31, 2017

BICKFORD THEATRE COMMEMORATES CENTENNIAL OF SCOTT JOPLIN’S DEATH

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The 100th Anniversary of Scott Joplin’s Death
Virtuoso Pianists Jeff Barnhart and Richard Dowling in Concert

WHEN: Monday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:
Bickford Theatre, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
TICKETS: $17 in advance and $20 at the door.
Tickets may be purchased online at morrismuseum.org, by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office.
The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Scott Joplin, the King of Ragtime, died 100 years ago on April 1st and the Bickford Theatre pays homage to his memory with critically-acclaimed pianists Jeff Barnhart (above) and Richard Dowling. 

Image result for scott joplinAlthough he died penniless, Joplin is credited with setting the standard for ragtime compositions and his hit, “Maple Leaf Rag,” revolutionized American music. As a pioneer composer and performer, he helped pave the way for young black artists to reach a broad audience both white and black. But after his death in 1917, his popularity gave way to other forms of jazz and he was mostly forgotten until the sixties when Joshua Rifkin led the way to a Joplin revival. Then in 1973, the popularity of the move The Sting catapulted the Joplin composition “The Entertainer” to the top of the charts and earned an Oscar for Marvin Hamlisch for Best Original Song, even though Hamlisch took the song directly from Scott Joplin. Scott Joplin has now received the credit he deserves with an induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, a special Pulitzer Prize, his own postage stamp, and a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

On Saturday, April 1, Carnegie Hall will commemorate the 100th anniversary by presenting Richard Dowling in concert with the first public appearance in history of The Complete Piano works of Scott Joplin. Dowling appears regularly across the country in solo recitals, chamber music programs and as a guest soloist with orchestras. His recordings include works by George Gershwin, Frederic Chopin, Camille Saint-Saens, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Scott Joplin.

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Dowling will be joined by his fellow pianist Jeff Barnhart (right), considered by critics to be the premier stride pianist performing today. With a concentration on hot jazz, Barnhart appears as a soloist, guest artist, and pianist in a variety of bands including a recent appearance at the Bickford Theatre with clarinetist Dan Levinson.

“I’m looking forward to saluting Scott Joplin with the remarkably talented Richard Dowling,” said Jeff Barnhart. “I know the audience will enjoy our different interpretations of Joplin’s rags since we each have our unique styles. This concert is an opportunity for us to some fun with renditions of some of the greatest rags ever written. The intimacy of the Bickford Theatre makes it a perfect place to let loose. We will definitely draw on many of the ragtime favorites, playing individually, as a duo and even with the two of us on one piano.”

Photo courtesy of Mystic Rag.

“REVOLUTIONARY PASSION” CONCERT THIS SUNDAY

Revolutionary Passion

WHEN: Sunday - April 2, 2017, 3:00 PM
WHERE:
Dolan Hall, The Annunciation Center, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, New Jersey
TICKETS: Adults: $40,  Seniors: $30, Students (under 22 with ID): $5
For Further information and to order tickets, click here

Pianist Stephen Wu performs the music of Xian Xinghai

The Yellow River Piano Concerto  (simplified Chinese: 黄河协奏曲; traditional Chinese: 黃河協奏曲; pinyin: Huáng Hé xiézòuqǔ) is a piano concerto arranged by a collaboration between musicians including Yin Chengzong and Chu Wanghua, and based on the Yellow River Cantata by composer Xian Xinghai. It had its politicized premiere in 1969 during the Cultural Revolution.  The score is filled with excitement and some of the most beautiful and unforgettable melodies.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony #6 is one of the masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire. Though in many ways in Tchaikovsky's emotionally romantic style, the symphony is in fact quite modernist as well - not least in its use of 5/4 meter in the "waltz" movement and in putting the slow movement at the end. 

Amy Reich's Winter Dances was composed especially for The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey's 20th Anniversary Season.  This performance will be the World Premiere.   The work is in four delightful movements, each of which is filled with positive energy and spirit.

AUDITIONS TO BE HELD FOR “LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS” IN NEWTON

AUDITION NOTICE:

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
WHEN: Monday and Tuesday April 3rd and 4th, 7 PM
WHERE:
13 Washington Street, Newton

Show dates will be June 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11

If you are interested in auditioning for this fantastic show we ask you to email or call us to schedule your audition day and time.

For the audition we ask you to

  • bring a headshot and resume, (if you don't have one it's okay!)
  • have 16 bars of a musical theatre song prepared, sheet music in hand, and have either a music only karaoke track on cd or accessible from a mobile device. 

For more information feel free to contact us at www.dramageekstudios@gmail.com or call us at 973-512-8251.

IT'S A FAMILY WEEKEND AT RVCCArts!

Magic on Saturday and Acrobats on Sunday. Both Matinees.

Sensory FriendlySaturday's performance, designed for the whole community, is offered in a sensory-friendly environment, designed especially for children with autism or related conditions who experience heightened sensory sensitivity, providing a safe and judgment-free space that is welcoming for all families.

Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer 
WHEN: Saturday, Apr. 1 at 3PM 
WHERE:
The Theatre at RVCC, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg
TICKETS: $10 

Kevin Spencer is a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit including 2015 International Illusionist of the Year, 2009 International Magician of the Year and six-time recipient of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year. His reputation has taken him around the world with performances in 38 countries on six continents.

In 2015, Kevin retired his "big, theatrical illusion production" to bring audiences a sensory-friendly, relaxed-family performance that features some of his incredible stage magic. In every performance, Spencer also includes magic that requires members of the audience to be his on-stage assistants. You could be in the show! This fast-paced presentation of magic and illusion is guaranteed to capture your imagination.

Golden Dragon Acrobats

Golden Dragon Acrobats
WHEN: Sunday, Apr. 2 at 3PM
WHERE:
The Theatre at RVCC, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg
TICKETS: $25 & $35

Adults and children alike will thrill to the breathtaking artistry and dazzling athletic feats of the Golden Dragon Acrobats. From tumblers to jugglers to contortionists and more, you'll be treated to the best of a time-honored Chinese tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. Recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premier Chinese acrobatic touring company today, the Golden Dragons combine thrilling acrobatics, traditional dance, gorgeous costumes, and both ancient and contemporary music in an unforgettable performance of spectacular skill and spellbinding beauty.

TICKETS

APRIL PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES @ MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM

FREE FIRST THURSDAY NIGHT
WHEN: First Thursday of the month, April 6, 5–9 p.m.
WHERE: Montclair Art Museum, corner Bloomfield Ave. and Mountain Ave., Montclair
More→

Kids' Creativity Center
WHEN: First Thursday of the month, April 6, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
More→ 

FAMILY FUN

Matisse Spring Family Day
WHEN: Sunday, April 30, 1–4 p.m.
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Drop-in Studio
WHEN: Every Sunday, 1–4 p.m.
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Park Bench
WHEN: Second Wednesday of the month, April 12, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
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MAM Family Art Adventure
WHEN: Third Saturday of the month, April 15, 2–3:30 p.m.
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TOURS

Closer Look Tour
WHEN:
First Friday of the month, April 7, 2–2:30 p.m.
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Public Tour
WHEN:
Third Sunday of the month, April 16, 2–3 p.m.
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HOME SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Home School Day
WHEN:
Third Thursday of the month, April 20, 12–2 p.m.
More→

Home School Class: The Middle Ages (7+)
WHEN:
8 weeks starting on April 11, Tuesdays, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
More→

CREATIVE AGING

Artful Outing
WHEN:
First Wednesday of the month, April 5, 2–3 p.m.
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Art in the Afternoon
WHEN: Second Wednesday of the month, April 12, 2–3:30 p.m.
More→

LECTURES

2nd Annual Gaelen Family Artist Lecture: Mickalene Thomas
WHEN:
Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.
More→

FREE ONE-DAY CABARET IN WAYNE THIS SUNDAY

WHEN: Sunday, April 2, 2017, 7:30pm
WHERE: Our Lady of Consolation Ministry Center, 1799 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ
ADMISSION: FREE! (Suggested donation: $5)

Our One-Day Cabaret is THIS SUNDAY! The production will include songs from Broadway musicals including Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Matilda, Spring Awakening, and many more!

Join us for the show to cheer on our 23 amazing performers, who will be putting up this production in just EIGHT HOURS!

SHORT FILM NEW JERSEY PREMIERE SCREENING GARDEN STATE FILM FESTIVAL, ATLANTIC CITY

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HINDSIGHT

WHEN: Saturday, April 1, 5:30 p.m.
WHERE:
Resorts Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ, Room RSR24
TICKETS: $14 for our screening
http://m.bpt.me/event/2802947

Randy Lao’s short film Hindsight is screening this weekend during the 15th Annual Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City. The 28-minute film focuses on a tormented and suicidal man that has the ability to see horrific visions. A riveting story unfolds as the unique individual lures a murderer for his own demise. Hindsight is a must-see in the festival lineup. Director Randy Lao keeps you on the edge of your seat. There are many moments where Hindsight leaves the viewer breathless.

"We are thrilled to have been accepted to be a part of the Garden State Film Festival," said Randy Lao, director and producer of Hindsight. "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to share this short among the filmmaker communities. I'm very proud of our diverse cast and crew, I wouldn't have been able to do it without their talents and dedication. As this film explores the complexities of suicidal behaviors, I hope the dark nature of the short will open further discussions on the topic of suicide and the conflicts it imposes on humanity."

Hindsight made its festival debut this past fall on October 26, 2016 at FEARnyc, New York City’s biggest horror film festival. Randy Lao wrote, directed and produced Hindsight through his production company Zen Station. The film Hindsight stars actors David Kukla, Mallory Wu, Rob Moretti and Jennifer Sneed. Learn more about Hindsight: Teaser Video Clip and Facebook. Learn more about: 15th Annual Garden State Film Festival

About Randy Lao
Randy is an aspired filmmaker and an avid daydreamer. While he loves films of all genres, he tends to gravitate towards the dark side of things. His first attempt at directing and editing at the Asian American Film Lab 72 hours challenge earned him a nomination for best short and best editor. His 5-hour energy drink commercial was one of the top finalists for the company's crowdfunding campaign. His pursuit of the arts and creative collaborations is what drives him as a person. Randy currently resides in Highland Lakes, New Jersey.

About David Kukla
David is originally from Buffalo NY. Prior to his role in Hindsight he was recently seen on stage in the Alpha NYC Theatre Productions of "Nothing Serious" and "Send in the Ha Has". He's grateful to have performed on stages at both Madison Square Garden and off off off Broadway. Like all other actors he too wishes to one day add "Law and Order-dead hooker" to his resume.

About Mallory Wu
Mallory Ann is an ethnically ambiguous Brooklyn native with a ridiculous age range, and an all-around swell person. She has a BFA with Honors in Drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, a certificate in Classic Pastry Arts from the International Culinary Center, and a great head of hair. Mallory currently resides in New York City.

About Rob Moretti
Rob Moretti began acting at the age of 14.  Within two years of studying his craft, he landed a co-starring role in his first feature film entitled "House on Tombstone Hill."  Not long after he landed other roles in both mainstream and indie films such as "Quiet Winter", "Scenes From A Mall" and "The Beat." In 1994 he created his own production company in an effort to make his first film.  During the process, Rob produced a number of features and short films.  His directorial debut "Crutch" landed in the Top 50 DVD Rentals in 2006 and his second feature, “Truth” was released in 2014 and can be seen in over 20 countries.  

About Jennifer Sneed
Jennifer has co-hosted and co-produced talk shows; starred in commercial, film and video work; appeared on television, in theater and fashion shows. The show "Writers2Writers", the short film "The Florist", and the "4th Annual New Jersey One-Minute Play Festival" are among some of her past projects. When not on a set or stage, she works in planning and public affairs. Jennifer is the former deputy state director for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. She holds a B.A. from Rutgers University in Journalism & Mass Media, Political Science and Communications. Jennifer remains passionate about the arts and currently resides in Newark, New Jersey.

KINNARA ENSEMBLE IN 2 PERFORMANCES THIS WEEKEND

WHEN: Saturday, April 1, at 8 pm 
WHERE:
All Saints' Church Princeton, 16 All Saints' Road, Princeton, NJ 08540
Click here for directions!

WHEN: Sunday, April 2, at 4 pm
WHERE:
Christ Church Newton, 62 Main Street, Newton, NJ 07860
Click here for directions!

Join Kinnara Ensemble and conductor JD Burnett for PROVENANCE—a reflection on the richness and diversity of Kinnara's past decade of music-making!

Celebrating the close of Kinnara Ensemble’s ninth concert season,
we revisit important repertoire from our journey over the last decade.
Brahms’ inimitable double choir motets Fest-und Gedenksprüche, three chansons by Poulenc, and Ginastera’s venerable Lamentations of Jeremiah anchor the program ​to be recorded for commercial release during our tenth anniversary season.

THIS WEEKEND @ UNION COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN RAHWAY

American Repertory Ballet Artistic Director Douglas Martin's full-length ballet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, premiered in early 2015 to high praise. Set to an enchanting score by Felix Mendelssohn, the ballet brings to life the wit and splendor of one of William Shakespeare's most popular comedies. Featuring colorful choreography, costumes and sets, the story portrays the weaving tales of cunning fairies, quarreling lovers and a hilariously amateur acting group as their paths cross in a magical forest.

WHEN: April 1 - 2pm
WHERE:
UCPAC, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway
Tickets

Sensory Friendly Performance
WHEN: April 2
- 1pm
Tickets

An evening of comedy with The Italian Chicks headlined by Maryann "Boom Boom" Maisano and featuring Gina Scarda, Regina Decicco, Mary Dimino, and Tara Cannistraci. Catered VIP meet & greet begins in the Fazioli room at 7PM. 

WHEN: April 1 - 8pm
WHERE:
Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway
TICKETS: $45 VIP; $30 general admission
Tickets


Fashion Meets Finish is not your typical fashion show! We have paired up local architecture and design firms with manufacturing companies to form 16 teams, all of which are competing to win for prize and prestige. Design teams are challenged to design and construct garments using ONLY the materials their manufacturing sponsor represents. With about 8 weeks to design, construct and ultimately display their creations, Fashion meets Finish provides a platform for top design firms to showcase their design expertise in an unconventional way – fashion design.

WHEN: April 6 - 7pm
WHERE: UCPAC, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway
Tickets

ART TOPILOW IN CONCERT WITH ALL-STAR BAND IN DEAL PARK ON SUNDAY

ART TOPLILOW IN CONCERT: Over the Rainbow": The Songs of Harold Arlen  
FEATURING ALL-STAR JAZZ BAND, ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY, KEN WASSER

WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 3 P.M.
WHERE:
Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park
TICKETS: $25.00 - $42.00
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

"Dr. Jazz" as the famous oncologist (Dr. Arthur Topilow, above) from Jersey Shore Medical Center is known will be accompanying one of the world's most celebrated jazz vocalists Ann Hampton Callaway (left) in an all-Arlen concert at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC). Callaway was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical "Swing" and her original compositions have earned her a Grammy nomination. She is one of the nation's biggest proponents of the Great American Songbook, and she has long been associated with the great Harold Arlen, having recorded many of his immortal tunes including "Come Rain or Come Shine," "That Old Black Magic," "Blues in the Night" and "Let's Fall in Love." Her claim-to-fame (in the trivia world) is that she wrote and sang the theme to the TV show "The Nanny." The NY Times reviewed Callaway saying "For sheer vocal beauty, no contemporary singer matches Ms. Callaway."

By day, Arthur Topilow, MD is the Director of Oncology Research for Meridian Cancer Care and Director of Axelrod Research; by night he is a jazz musician with enviable piano and improvisational skills. He shared the stage with many jazz luminaries including Dick Hyman, Derek Smith, Ken Peplowski, Ed Polcer, Randy Sanke, James Chirillo and Aaron Weinstein and has accompanied Broadway stars Bernadette Peters and Christine Ebersol.

With over 400 songs in his catalogue, Harold Arlen could have secured his immortality with just one song, "Over the Rainbow." Recorded by a 17-year-old Judy Garland in the classic film "The Wizard of Oz," the song is regarded by the recording industry and the National Endowment of the Arts as "Greatest Songs of the 20th Century." Arlen's most prolific writing partner was E.Y. Harburg, but he also wrote songs with Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Dorothy Fields, Howard Dietz, Ted Koehler, Truman Capote...and even Peggy Lee.

Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco has always felt that Harold Arlen was the greatest unsung hero in the Great American Songbook. "It struck me decades ago when I was studying that Arlen was the most unpredictable of the songwriters. How could the same guy write "Over the Rainbow," "The Man That Got Away," "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive"? Ahead of Arlen in popularity in the catalogue are more familiar names like George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, both of whom held Arlen in the highest regard. Gershwin said of his colleague: "He's the most original of all of us." Berlin summed it up: "He wasn't as well known as some of us, but he was a better songwriter than most of us..."

Countless great vocalists have secured hits with Arlen tunes: Sinatra with "I've Got the World on a String"  and "Last Night When We Were Young," Tony Bennett's "One for My Baby," Judy Garland with "The Man That Got Away" and "Get Happy," Lena Horne with "Stormy Weather," Bing Crosby with "Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive," Nat King Cole with "It's Only a Paper Moon," Barbra Streisand with "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home " and Dean Martin with "Hit the Road to Dreamland."

OPENING THIS WEEKEND: COME ONE! COME ALL

Morris County Park Commission

FOSTERFIELDS LIVING HISTORICAL FARM
WHERE: 73 Kahdena Rd., Morris Twp.
WHEN: March 31 – April 2, 2017

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Horses – Cows – Pigs – Sheep – Chickens – Turkeys – Ducks – Barn Cats

Churning Butter – Cracking Corn & Feeding the Chicken
Watering the Garden – Washing Clothes – Cleaning the Harnesses

Click here for more information.


HISTORIC SPEEDWELL
WHERE: 333 Speedwell Ave., Morristown

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Discover the ‘Birthplace of the Telegraph’ with interactive exhibits and guided tours at this National Historic Landmark site.

Click here to learn more.


COOPER GRISTMILL
WHERE:
66 Route 513, Chester Twp.

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Visit the working 1826 gristmill at ‘old Milltown’ and witness the amazing power of water as the energy from the Black River is harnessed to turn a steel water wheel and grind grains into flour using two sets of 2,000 pound millstones.

Click here for more information.

Morris County Park Commission

TWO RIVER THEATER CONTINUES ITS SEASON WITH “THE WOMEN OF PADILLA,” A NEW PLAY

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WHEN: April 8 - April 30, 2017; Opening: Friday, April 14, 2017 at 8pm
WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
TICKETS: $40 to $70, 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.
Box Office: 732.345.1400
www.tworivertheater.org

The story of eight women who kept the faith.

From the playwright of one of Two River’s most adored shows, Guadalupe in the Guest Room, comes a beautiful and moving new play, The Women of Padilla.

Linked by their marriages to eight brothers and their shared last name, “Padilla,” eight very different sisters-in-law connect through the power of food, faith, laughter and each other while their husbands are away at war. Meet Mari, the one who quietly leads; Carmen, the one who drinks; Marta, the one with faith; Alejandra, the one who’s expecting; and all the rest of The Women of Padilla.

Inspired by the heightened lyricism of playwright and poet Federico García Lorca, this new play shows there is always a way—even through the hardest of times—to set our love free.

Inside Two River

Operation Homefront: Girls Night Out: Military Wives and Moms
Thursday, April 13 beginning at 6:30pm
in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library
Blue Star Family wives and mothers are invited to attend a free pre-show reception in Two River’s VIP Library Lounge prior to the 8pm performance of The Women of Padilla.

Nosotros: Spanish-language reading of The Women of Padilla (Las Mujeres de Padilla)
Monday, April 17 beginning at 7pm
in the Rechnitz Theater, on the set of The Women of Padilla
Two River Theater will present a Spanish-language reading of Las Mujeres de Padilla, free and open to both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking audiences. The reading will feature cast members from Two River’s production of The Women of Padilla and guest artists.

Audience Extras

Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about The Women of Padilla in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with members of the cast and a member of Two River Theater’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, April 19 at 7pm; Sunday, April 23 at 3pm; and Wednesday, April 26 at 1pm.

Accessibility
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at 3pm.

TICKETS: available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

HEARTWARMING MUSICAL NOW PLAYING IN HAMMONTON

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JOHN & JEN
by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald
Directed by Ted Wioncek III
Musical Direction by Jason Neri
Production Stage Manager: Becca Kestel
STARRING KIMBERLY SUSKIND AND ADAM HOYAK

WHEN: March 10th through April 9th; WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY,   7:30pm; FRIDAY & SATURDAY,   8:00pm; SATURDAY* & SUNDAY,   3:00pm Matinee
WHERE:
Eagle Theatre Inc. • 208 Vine Street – Downtown, Hammonton, NJ
TICKETS: $30 – $40
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

*Take note of our added Saturday Matinee Performances (2nd and 4th week of each production run).

Set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990, this truly original musical sheds a heart-warming light on the power of family. With a cast of only two people, JOHN & JEN is a tour-de-force, taking them from playful childhood, through awkward adolescence, and far beyond.

Jen and her younger brother, John, are growing up in mid-century America. From secret handshakes to hidden family bonds, John & Jen are always there for each other. But, as the country becomes divided over the war in Vietnam, so does the family, and battle lines are drawn between the once-close siblings. When John joins the war, Jen is left to reconcile his memory, along with her son and brother’s namesake, who is trying to do anything he can to find the true meaning of home.

Audiences will find themselves uplifted by this sentimental gem, perfect for anyone who values the love, connection and commitment of family.

DRAMA RECEIVES WORLD PREMIERE @ LUNA STAGE

WHEN: April 13 – May 13, Thursdays through Saturdays 8 PM; Sundays 2 PM; Opening night is Friday, April 21st. Performances on April 16th, 23rd and 27th will be followed by a talkback.
WHERE:
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
TICKETS: from $27-$37 dollars. 
Group sales are available.
$10 Student Rush tickets are available one half-hour before curtain. Individual tickets can be purchased at lunastage.org, or by calling the Box Office Tues.-Fri. 10am-3pm (973-395-5551). 

Please note, this play contains mature situations and frank sexuality. Click Here for More Information

Paralyzed in the car accident that claimed her mother's life, 17-year-old Ellen is determined to experience all her teenage years have to offer. But when the past comes knocking on the door in the form of Ellen's brother, her small family's delicate balance is upended. In a home awash with anger, guilt, and Ellen's raging hormones, Tranquil is a raw exploration of one shattered family striving to be whole again.

Meet the Cast of the World Premiere of Tranquil by Andrew Rosendorf

Tony Knotts: "I think two big issues are ... finding peace within oneself, and if these characters can maybe find peace within themselves they can maybe in turn find peace with the other members of the family. And through that ... is this idea of forgiveness... The question is, are there inexcusable actions? Can you do something so heinous and terrible that there's no way to get back from that?"

Frank Licato:  "This play is ... about empathy. I think it's about trying to understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes, and to also give yourself over to what someone else might be suffering, and I think that's a really valuable thing, especially in the world we live in now."

Brittany Annika Liu: "The issues of the play all revolve around relationships, so, survivor's guilt, forgiveness, connection; I think that this is really about how the journey of relationships change when a trauma occurs, and how the dynamics of a family are ultimately rearranged when a disability is present."

Brendan McGrady: "The play raises issues of loss, obviously, survivor's guilt, learning how to feel when you can't feel, and self-discovery."

Click Here for More Information on the Actors and the Show

Playwright Andrew Rosendorf's plays include Cane (Florida Stage), Brilliant Corners (NNPN National Showcase of New Plays), Good Night & God Bless or The Lone Ranger Rides Again, and The Kid. Andrew is an alum of terraNOVA Collective's Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, NNPN's Playwright-in-Residence program, and has been a VCCA and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He is the recipient of a 2015-2016 Jerome Fellowship and a 2016-2017 McKnight Fellow in Playwriting at the Playwrights' Center. MFA: The New School for Drama, Playwriting. www.andrewrosendorf.com

Tranquil was developed at The Lark Play Development Center, La Jolla Playhouse, The terraNOVA Collective, Actor's Express, American Theatre Company and Luna Stage.

Luna Stage is a small but mighty professional theatre company located in Essex County, NJ, just under 15 miles from New York City. Throughout the past 25 years, the company has earned a national reputation for developing and producing outstanding new plays and timely revivals and for taking on challenging and provocative subject matters in their work.

A proud member of Valley Arts, Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. The theatre is handicapped accessible and offers assistive listening devices.

“CRAZY LOVE II: A FESTIVAL OF PASSION” THIS WEEKEND ONLY IN OCEAN GROVE

La Strada Ensemble Theater returns with

Crazy Love Part II: A Festival of Passion

WHEN: March 31st at 8pm, April 1st at 8pm and April 2nd at 4pm
WHERE: Jersey Shore Arts Center (Old Neptune High School), Herbst Theater on the 3rd Floor, 66 South Main Street, Ocean Grove. 
Visit us at www.lastradaensemble.org for more information.

"We received so many submissions from our company members when we announced Crazy Love that we knew we couldn’t do just one but two parts to this festival.  Our first Crazy Love evening back in January was a hit.  The second evening is even more dynamic and exciting than the first.  With themes in the festival varying from playwright to playwright, how can you go wrong.  Here you have superheroes, plays within plays, horse fetishes (it's not what you think), women teaching men how to be ideal partners, circus performers, potential partners in unlikely places and fallen heroes. Presenting new plays in New Jersey can be challenging with regard to getting an audience but our plays have generated true interest because they are exciting, bold and never been seen before" says A.J. Ciccotelli, artistic director and founding member of La Strada Ensemble Theater.

La Strada Ensemble Theater is 501c3 theater company and resident theater company of Jersey Shore Arts Center.  Since their inauguration in 2014, they have been a mover and shaker of the theatrical scene in Monmouth County producing full lengths, workshop productions, one act evenings, staged readings, a writer’s group every last Sunday of the month and a Wednesday Night acting class. La Strada translates from Italian to ‘The Road’ or ‘The Street.”  It is our passion to bring world and regional premieres to our street in Ocean Grove.

ONE ACT PLAYS FEATURED:

  • TOMORROW'S VALENTINE'S DAY AND I HATE YOUR GUTS by Toms River resident Edward Shakespeare:  In an office, two lovers spew hate while battling it out over their relationship questioning what is real? 
  • FRIEND ME by Chicago resident and founding member Gerry Ringwald:  A lonely guy in a dragon suit tries to make a romantic connection on a NYC subway. Comedy ensures (we hope).
  • DEAR DAPHNE by Neptune resident and founding member Doug Bollinger:  A spring cleanup discovery leads a happy couple to explore their boundaries. 
  • THE CIRCUS STILL COMES TO TOWN by Los Angeles resident, NJ native and founding member Tom Cavanaugh:  A high school girl with a stutter is swept off her feet by a circus roustabout and has a chance at true love, if her older, jealous sister doesn't steal him away.
  • ONE TRICK PONY by NYC resident and founding member W. Allen Wrede:  Mary's performs her one-woman play about incidents in Mary’s life that brought Mary to the life Mary now leads.
  • WRINKLED by Ocean Grove resident Annabel Bisset: Two strangers stumble into each other and discover an unexpected likeness.
  • THE SECOND FLOOR by British resident and founding member Robert Scott:  Chloe is a ruthless businesswoman with little heart. Only one person knows why. When the past catches up with her in a broken lift we learn the truth about Chloe's anger and hatred with the world.

Please visit us on www.lastradaensemble.org, call us at 732-455-2748 or email us at lastradaensembletheater@gmail.com for more information, to purchase tickets, and for information on La Strada’s technique and scene study class for actors of all levels taught by founding members Dr. Donna Ault-Jacobson and A.J. Ciccotelli, M.F.A.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ONE NIGHT ONLY: CHATHAM PLAYERS’ “SUNDAYS @ 7” FEATURES “THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES”

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"Sundays @ 7" Play Reading Series:

The House of Blue Leaves
by John Guare
directed by Gus Ibranyi

WHEN:  One Night ONLY - Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM
WHERE:
Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham.
TICKETS: $5 and can be purchased at the door. (photo) directs this evening's reading.
Light snacks provided, patrons are encouraged to BYOB.

Gus Ibranyi 2Artie Shaugnessy is a songwriter with visions of glory. Toiling by day as a zoo-keeper, he suffers in seedy lounges by night, plying his wares at piano bars in Queens, New York where he lives with his wife, Bananas, much to the chagrin of Artie's downstairs mistress, Bunny Flingus who'll sleep with him anytime but refuses to cook until they are married.

On the day the Pope is making his first visit to the city, Artie's son Ronny goes AWOL from Fort Dix stowing a home made-bomb intended to blow up the Pope in Yankee Stadium. Also arriving are Artie's old school chum, now a successful Hollywood producer, Billy Einhorn with starlet girlfriend in tow, who holds the key to Artie's dreams of getting out of Queens and away from the life he so despises. But like many dreams, this promise of glory evaporates amid the chaos of ordinary lives.

The Cast:

  • Glen D. Post as Artie
  • Scott Baird as Ronnie
  • Carla Kendall as Bunny
  • Debbie Bernstein as Bananas
  • Lindsay Braverman as Corrinna
  • Roseann Ruggerio as Head Nun
  • Maryann Post as Second Nun
  • Nicole Boscarino as Head Nun
  • Roseann Ruggerio as Little Nun
  • John AC Kennedy as Billy Einhorn


With Stage Directions Read by Leslie Williams

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

GUEST REVIEW: HILARIOUS PARODY OF BROADWAY’S GREAT MUSICALS @ WOMEN’S THEATER COMPANY

by Rick Busciglio (www.njfootlights.net)

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The Women’s Theater Company is currently presenting Musical of Musicals (The Musical), written by Joanne Bogart (lyrics) and Eric Rockwell (music), The production is billed as “a hilarious satire of musical theatre.” Guess what? It is…hilarious, it is…a satire, it is…a parody of the classics of musical theatre. If these composers and their shows mean nothing to you----Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Jerry Herman, then you may fail to appreciate the clever, funny parody presented in The Musical of Musicals (The Musicals)

One of our best area directors (and choreographers) Lauren Moran Mills has produced a truly superior production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musicals)…truly the equal to the best of “Off-Broadway.” Where has this musical gem been hiding? (more later). The creators (and original NY cast members), Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, tell the story of the young ingénue who is constantly repeating to her villainous, lecher of a landlord (aren’t they all?) the classic line of a struggling actress (aren’t they all) ‘I can’t pay the rent!’ The sad tale, always with a happy ending, is told five times via an oh so clever parody of the five composers.

In each, 15 to 20 minute, segment we have four characters, the aforementioned ingénue and landlord, plus the young leading man and the older woman. The cast is wonderful; the young actress is nicely played by the fine voiced, attractive newcomer Jenna Rose (Ravenda); the young man Billy, the hero of the piece, is another newcomer, Zachary Mazouat. He is perfect in this role of the imperfect, slightly bumbly, suitor who charms his way to victory (translation: He gets the girl).

Now we come to the two professionals in the cast: the landlord, played with considerable gusto, by another area favorite, Scott McGowan. Scott nails the dastardly villain in his own parody of the baddie from the melodrama The Damsel in Distress. Billed as the Matron, or older woman, is the exceptionally talented, Patricia Durante. Barbara Krajkowski, a certified NJ theater treasure, Artistic Director of the WTC, first introduced us to Patricia several seasons ago in Enchanted April. Since then she has earned ‘standing ovations’ on stages throughout the NY, NJ and PA region. We bestowed a New Jersey Footlights ‘Best Actress’ award for her Always, Patsy (Patsy Cline), also, produced by Barbara and the WTC. Her broad impersonations of Marlene Dietrich and Gloria Swanson are comedy gems. Both Scott and Patricia display great ability to perform with tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. Their obvious pleasure in these roles contributes immensely to the fun.

Now, what is a musical without music? The musical director and lone musician is Deborah Martin. Her piano performance deserves its own round of applause.

The unique fun, for many, in this play is the recognition of the shows and tunes that are being parodied. Thus, we will avoid the temptation to burden you with too much, pleasure robbing, detail. This is a wonderful way to spend two hours. Cast and crew have much to be proud of. Maybe, the best thing I can say to entice you to share in the enjoyment at the little theater in Parsippany, is to reveal that my wife has been on Facebook and the phone sharing her pleasure. Oh yes, you will love the bonus finale.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio Sunday March 26, 2017

musicalCast: Patricia Durante, Scott McGowan, Jenna Rose, Zach Mazouat. Crew:  Producing Artistic Director Barbara Krajkowski, Director/Choreographer Lauren Moran Mills, Musical Director Deborah Martin, Stage Manager Regina Novicky Costumes Frances Harrison, and Props Erica Stepper.

SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR THE THEATER PROJECT’S COMEDY ABOUT EDUCATION!

$5 off Adult and Senior Tickets when you order by April 1.
Cannot be combined with other discounts.

Friday, April 7 Show ONLY:
Free Tix for Teachers with ID
First come, first served, OR may be reserved on line with $2 service charge

Audio described performance for the sight-impaired:
Thursday, April 6, 8 PM
Call Box Office 908-809-8865.

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Maplewood Parking Information

Monday, March 27, 2017

NEW JCTC SERIES EXPLORES CAUSES & EFFECTS OF “DISRUPTION”

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DISRUPTION

WHEN: opening March 31st running through June 9th
WHERE:
Mereseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
For more information or to purchase tickets visit: www.jctcenter.org

Nothing is as inevitable as change, but rarely has change been so rapid and tumultuous. From the environment and climate to industries and social systems, we live in a time of constant disorder. What is being lost, what is being gained and how do we survive these sudden and comprehensive upheavals?

Disruption – the new thematic series by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) – looks at the personal, social and political impact of the current era of disorienting change. Through visual arts, theatre, readings, performances and music, JCTC explores topics global in scope yet relevant to the community. The Disruption series examines how our current era of change is impacting individuals, communities and culture.

Disruption will not only be reflected in the array of art, and performances JCTC presents, but in several new developments this nonprofit arts organization has in store for audiences. Most prominently, Disruption will not only take place at Merseles Studios, in its black box theater and art gallery, but as part of the series JCTC will be presenting two shows at the adjacent White Eagle Hall, the first performances of any kind in this newly renovated, historical theater in more than 40 years.

“Art should disrupt the status quo,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “With the Disruption series and by presenting shows to open White Eagle Hall, JCTC begins a new chapter.”

While the current headlines and news feeds may seem like they’re disrupting many aspects of our lives, the series was actually in development long before the Trump era dawned. The environment and climate change was the original inspiration – and remain important aspects of the series – but as JCTC’s Creative Board further developed the theme – a process that includes evaluating proposals and incorporating the responses by artists – it became clear the real topic of the series should not be limited to ecological issues.

“What we discovered was that artists were thinking about disruption in ways we never anticipated,” said Levina. “This series explores how changes to the environment or society impact every day life. When we disrupt the environment, the environment strikes back and disrupts us. By exploring the cause and effect of Disruption, we see more clearly the connections we all share with each other and the universe.”

Disruption features more than a dozen events and includes the first ever JCTC’s shows at White Eagle Hall. Like all JCTC series, Disruption features an art show in the gallery at Mereseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City. The March 31st Disruption opening is the first public viewing of the new exhibition and includes an artist reception and Artist Talk as well as previews of upcoming Disruption shows and other performances.

The Disruption art show is curated by Allison Remy Hall, a Jersey City art curator renowned for several acclaimed politically provocative gallery shows in recent years. The art show disrupts the Merseles Studios gallery through site-specific installation and interactive pieces created through artist collaboration, turning the gallery into both exhibit space and exhibited art.

Hall hopes Disruption will not only encourage contemp1lation of the meaning of change, but be a call to action to affect positive change in society. Hall herself is donating her curator’s fee – derived from proceeds of Disruption art sales – to the Sierra Club.

“Now is the time in which everyone must use the tools that they have to address the political and cultural situation at hand—whether it be an individual’s phone call to a representative, or a city’s divestment from an unethical corporation,” said Hall. “The artists participating in Disruption are part of this transformative effort.”

The Disruption Visual Artists include: Luis Alves, Bang!, Andrew Blumenthal, DISTORT, David LaMorte, Shehrezad Maher, Meredith Miotke, Mr. Mustart, Sam Pullin, Giovani Santoro, Fabricio Suarez, and Noah Tavlin.

The Disruption opening begins two months of events presented at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. The series includes Proliferate by Nimbus Dance Works and Now I Know by James Judd, presented at White Eagle Hall, and at Merseles, “Anthology” by The Moving Architects, a woman-centric dance performance as well as new play readings, solo-shows and multimedia performances.

NNJCF’S ARTSBERGEN ANNOUNCES CALL FOR ARTISTS TO PROVIDE ANTI-LITTERING MESSAGE THROUGH THE ARTS

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Creative Hackensack’s “The Utility ARTBox Project”

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's (NNJCF) ArtsBergen has issued a call for artists, living or working in New Jersey, for Creative Hackensack's "The Utility ARTBox Project" in Hackensack, New Jersey. ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Englewood-based NNJCF, is working with the Hackensack Main Street Alliance's Creative Arts Team (CAT) and the Hackensack Cultural Arts Department to select five artists and/or artist teams to design and paint murals on five utility boxes in the city.

WHEN: Applications are due Monday, April 17, 2017.

Complete application information may be found HERE.  

Selected artists will be notified if their design has been accepted.

For further information, contact NNJCF's ArtsBergen at artsbergen@nnjcf.org or 201-568-5608.

For further information about the Main Street Business Alliance, visit uppermain.org. Follow Creative Hackensack and the Hackensack Creative Arts Team on Facebook for updates about events and activities at www.facebook.com/CreativeHackensack/.

The Hackensack CAT is a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials collaborating to implement a creative placemaking plan for the City of Hackensack. Creative placemaking integrates arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost the local economy. The Utility ARTBox is among several projects the CAT has identified to implement the Creative Vision Statement developed with input from various members and sectors of the community.

Litter Prevention Through Art

The project's five goals are:

  • to create public awareness of the negative effects of littering through public art;
  • to beautify the community of Hackensack by incorporating public art into ordinary elements of the city such as utility boxes;
  • to provide art-based work opportunities for local artists to celebrate their work through public showcases;
  • to engage and delight passersby and residents; and
  • to endorse arts and culture as a powerful tool to transform, connect, and serve the city of Hackensack.

Funding for the project is provided in part by a Clean Communities Grant, with a primary focus on litter prevention. Each box will serve as a canvas for a painted mural illustrating a clear message of anti-littering, litter prevention, the damages of littering to a community and how anti-littering behavior enhances an area. The incorporation of elements that engage the public is encouraged.

NNJCF's ArtsBergen is recruiting the artists, managing the submission process and working with its partners to implement the project. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to apply and either work or live in New Jersey. A committee will select the artists based on creativity of design, experience, artistic excellence, and how clearly the theme of litter prevention is communicated.

About NNJCF
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

About ArtsBergen
ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts. For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to artsbergen@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

About Hackensack Main Street Alliance
Established in 2004, the Hackensack Main Alliance is a public private partnership between the business community and the City of Hackensack. The organization’s mission is to address the issues facing the business community with the goal of improving the local economy and the City’s overall business climate. Since its inception, the Upper Main Alliance has provided Main Street with aesthetic improvements, clean and green programs, merchant grants, and marketing and events such as the Hackensack Street Festival.