Thursday, June 22, 2017



A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

WHEN: Friday, June 30th, through Sunday, July 16th; Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM
WHERE: Black River Playhouse, the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue, Chester
TICKETS: $25.00 with a discounted price of $22.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18.
Tickets may be purchased online at

Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: a comedy tonight! is the promise of Broadway’s most loved musical farce. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the story of Pseudolus, a Roman slave who attempts to win his freedom by helping his master woo the pretty girl next door. But the road to romance is never smooth, as our crafty hero dodges a riotous succession of stunning surprises, mistaken identities, wild chases, bawdy humor, and zany characters—all in the pursuit of love and freedom! A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum may be a 50 year-old musical based on 2000 year-old plays, but it remains a breath of fresh comic air, perfect for a summer evening! (Above: Jim Clancy and Dale Monroe. Photo by Steve Catron)

This fast-paced, witty and irreverent romp features infectious tunes and laugh out loud lyrics by musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim, with a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, creator of the hit TV show M.A.S.H. The original production of Forum won several Tony Awards and has enjoyed two Broadway revivals. Every actor who has opened in the role of Pseudolus on Broadway (Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, and Nathan Lane) won a Best Leading Actor Tony Award for his performance. (Left: Dale Monroe, Lauren Layfield, Sam Mullaney and Jim Clancy)

The cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum includes Lenny Klein as Erronius; Thomas Courtright as Miles Gloriosus; Sam Mullaney as Hero; Cassandra Lindeblad as Vibrata; Lauren Santarelli as Panacea; Kristina Meier as Tintinabula; Lauren Layfield as Philia; Arlene Knight as Geminae; Sky Spiegel Monroe as Gymnasia; Will Roper, Rory Hoban and Bob Sackstein as Proteans; Steve Nitka as Senex; Rachel Lichter as Geminae; TJ Reissner as Lycus; Judi Laganga as Domina; Jim Clancy as Hysterium; and Dale Monroe as Pseudolus.

The Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhbouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member.

For more information, visit the CTG website at

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Beloved Trenton

Beloved Trenton
Photo Exhibit by Habiyb Ali Shu'Aib

WHEN: June 19 to July 17; Gallery Talk, June 23; Gallery hours are Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays, noon to 6 p.m., and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Gallery at JKC, Trenton Hall at 137 North Broad Street (across the street from the James Kerney Building), Trenton

Shu'Aib was born and raised in Trenton. At age 9 his parents gave him a disposable camera, which ignited his love for photography and photographing the city he calls home.

According to JKC Gallery Director Michael Chovan-Dalton, coordinator of the MCCC Photography and Digital Imaging program, he selected to showcase Habiyb’s work because “he shows us Trenton as home as opposed to Trenton as problems, which is often how photographers depict the city. He fits well with the goal of the gallery to be both an opportunity for up-and-coming photographers and a destination for more established photographers. Habiyb is part of the vibrancy of the Trenton art scene that the gallery and I am excited to be a part of,” Chovan-Dalton said.
Chovan-Dalton notes that Shu'Aib's photographs depict Trenton with honesty, affection, familiarity and curiosity.

“Trenton can be a complicated place to describe because it is a city that struggles with its identity and it is perceived differently by those who only know it through the media, by those who work here but live elsewhere, by those who left here, by those who moved here, and by those who never left,” Chovan-Dalton said, adding that Shu’Aib’s work reads like a journal about the place he grew up.
“The viewer, in turn, is given an experience that may reflect our own perceptions of Trenton but also remind us of something familiar and beloved in our own travels,” he said.

Shu’Aib’s work has been featured regularly around the area in recent years: Trenton’s Art All Night and Art All Day, Trenton 365 Show (WIMG 1300), Soul of The Message with SAGE Coalition at Casa Cultura Gallery, Trenton Makes at Capital Health Medical Center, I See Storytellers Exhibit at Hopewell Valley Vineyards, and, most recently, the Anthracite Fields Art Exhibition at Roebling Wire Works.

For more information, visit


The Bungler

WHEN: July 5 - 30
The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey located at 36 Madison Avenue, Madison
TICKETS: begin at $29 for preview performances and $49 for regular performances. Prices range from $29 - $69. The Theatre is proud to bring back its successful 30 UNDER 30 program for the 2017 season. Patrons aged 30 and under can purchase tickets for only $30 with valid ID, subject to availability
Patrons can purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey located at 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, or by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at

The play highlights Molière at his frothiest and silliest as it follows the hilarious adventures of a clueless young lover and his clever servant attempting to help him win the heart and hand of a beautiful gypsy girl. Molière’s brilliant wit, colorful characters, and unexpected twists – not to mention the delightful costumes and sets from this stellar design team – are sure to inspire giddy laughter for people of all ages.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers various cost-saving opportunities, including $15 student rush tickets, which are available 30 minutes prior to each performance, with a valid student ID, and a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets for every performance on a first come, first serve basis. Season Memberships and subscriptions are also available and provide a variety of cost savings.

The Cast:
Kevin Isola
returns for his eighth season at The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Mascarille. Company credits include Equivocation, The Alchemist, and The Liar, among many others. He has appeared on Broadway in Brooklyn Boy and has appeared on many New York stages including Cherry Lane Theatre, 59E59, and Playwrights Horizons.

Aaron McDaniel returns for his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Lélie. He previously appeared at the Theatre in the 2015 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has performed in New York in The Woodsman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Make It Play.

Veteran company member James Michael Reilly returns for his 24th season in the role of Anselme. Company credits include Equivocation, The Alchemist, Our Town, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Television credits include Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, and Law and Order. Mr. Reilly has performed internationally with the European tour of West Side Story.

Making his STNJ debut is Sam Ashdown in the role of Léandre. He has performed regionally with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, American Players Theatre, and Montana Shakespeare in the Park.
Sophia Blum begins her fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Célie. She began her STNJ career in the Theatre’s education programs including the Apprentice and Next Stage Ensembles. Additionally, she has appeared regionally with Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Manhattan Rep. Theatre, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

Eric Hoffmann is in his 10th season with The Shakespeare Theatre as Trufaldin. Company credits include Henry VIII, Oliver Twist, Timon of Athens, and King Lear, among many others. His film and television credits include Gone Fishing, Fisher King, and Law and Order.

In the roles of Pandolfe and Ergaste is Drew Dix for his third season. Company credits include Henry IV, Part One and Man of La Mancha. He has performed regionally with Luna Stage, Open Book Theater, and Firebone Theater.
Rounding out the cast are Devin Conway as Hippolyte and Danilo Ottaviani as Andrès and Messenger.

The Director:
Brian B. Crowe
is in his 22nd season with The Shakespeare Theatre, where he currently serves as Director of Education. His directing credits include Coriolanus (named one of the Star-Ledger’s Top 10 Productions of 2016), Pericles, Love’s Labour’s Lost (2004), Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and Timon of Athens on the Main Stage, among many others; Love’s Labour’s Lost (2015), The Learned Ladies, and The Taming of the Shrew on the Outdoor Stage; and the 1999 world premiere of his original script, Wonderland (…And What Was Found There) on the Other Stage. He has also directed over 20 productions of Shakespeare LIVE!, including the 2017 touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mr. Crowe received BFA degrees in directing and acting from Wright State University, and was a Fellow at the 2000 International Salzburg Shakespeare Seminar.

Special Performances:
For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For The Bungler, the symposia will be held following the Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 15 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 22 at 2:00 p.m. performances.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket, and for The Bungler will be held on Thursday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Know the Show talk will be broadcast live on the Theatre’s Facebook page so patrons can watch and interact live from home on their electronic device.


Yadin-Israel author talk image

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Ohmygaaash, today's the day!

The online Writer Babes program is officially open for enrollment!

Whoo hoo!

(See, even Marcia's over the moon!)

I've been facilitating Writer Babes workshops in person for over 15 years. During that time, I've often heard from people who don't live anywhere near NJ (where I offer most of the workshops) saying: "I want to be a Writer Babe! When are you going to go online with them?" (Say that to yourself in a Veruca Salt voice, cause: fun.)

It's not that I was trying to keep the groups exclusive and in-person, it's just that I wanted to be sure an online group would be able to offer a similar feeling of safety, intimacy, and inspiration.

And by George, I think I've finally got it, and I'm so excited to share this new version with you. Read on, or find out more on the website.

Today, the doors open for early bird registration of The Writer Babes.

  • $99.
  • 30 days.
  • Four 70 minute calls.
  • Private Facebook group.
  • Lots of support, prompts, and exercises for reflection and learning.
  • You can participate from wherever you are.

All you need is a phone, a Facebook account*, and something to write with/in, and a real desire to dig in, and rediscover yourself amidst the chaos, craziness, and celebrations that are part of this wild rollercoaster called midlife.

We’ll kick things off on July 10th, but when you sign up now (or any time before June 25th) you’ll not only pay $40 less than the regular price, you'll also get some early bonus goodies and inspiration, so you can start getting as excited as Ms. Brady herself.

Did I say just $99 for the early bird? Yeah, I did.

You can also snag one hour of private coaching with me at 50% off my usual price. With 1-on-1 coaching, you’ll have the chance to go deeper with 100% focused, individualized attention and support. Schedule it in a one hour call, or break it up in two half-hour calls.

The early bird private coaching? Just $80 more. (After the 25th, it goes up to $100.)

If you want to start showing up differently in your own life, and declare your independence from the things that no longer serve you (but you can't seem to shake); if you want to explore your options, and start taking steps to make changes, then come join the Writer Babes.


By Ruth Ross

Despite having watched The Last Comic Standing on television and attending shows by such famous comics as Buddy Hackett and Jackie Mason (back in the Dark Ages), I have never seen a live comedy club show. That’s why I was intrigued by an invitation from Gnome Promotions to review their production, Funny Club Live! at the Renaissance Hotel in Rutherford last Saturday night.

There, for one night only, the audience was treated to four stand-up comedians—one newbie, one up-and-coming, and two seasoned comics. The result was a mixed bag of humor, delivery and shtick.

Thirty-nine-year-old Brian Roth served as emcee for the evening. He livened up the presentations by indulging in some of his own comedic stories before and between the various presentations. He told some inevitable New Jersey jokes (turnpike tolls, Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll), riffed on marriage (and being supported by a wife with a lucrative job so he can pursue his comic dreams) and even talked about the size of his head/baseball cap. He looked comfortable onstage and had an ironic delivery.

Opening the show was Jill Abel, new to stand-up. She had some funny bits about being married to a born-again Christian (she’s Jewish, from Livingstein, an ancient joke) and eating goyish Spam and Dinty Moore; working for the state of New Jersey; her husband’s recent purchase of a sports car; and what to do after retirement. For a newcomer, Abel displayed an easy manner and smooth delivery.

She was followed by Richard Dweck, a 23-year-old self-described virgin who talked too fast, had to consult his joke list stored in his pocket and looked extremely uncomfortable onstage. While that may have been part of his act, it was painful to watch. He proclaimed himself to be an eternal 10-year-old, and he certainly dressed the part in sneakers, jeans and a plaid shirt. His comedy revolved around his success with women and a lack thereof—since elementary school. Despite having appeared in New York comedy venues, he lacked polish.

Third on the bill was Vernita Bostick, a school guidance counselor in a relationship (after 10 years). She expounded on ways to attain and maintain physical health with a funny bit about exercise—to be specific, yoga—and the difficulty of some of those awkward poses. Black names, high cost of attending college and some R-rated bits were part of her energetic, enthusiastic, snappy delivery. She was very funny.

The “main event,” Francesco Palatino, presented a set made up of several bits that seemed at odds with his dinner jacket and “cool” hairstyle more closely associated with a nightclub comedian. A woman from Houston, Texas, opened with a country-style guitar solo of the Cranberries’ anti-war song “In Your Head (They Are Dyin’)” that seemed strange in a comedy routine. Palatino never referred to it again, except to thank the woman for appearing with him. The gold dinner jacket also undercut Palatino’s subjects: breastfeeding in public; preferring his kid to a pet; children’s names and little girls’ play dates; Discovery Channel shows; going to the gym; and kids’ cartoons—all delivered like a disgruntled curmudgeon. It was a buffet of subjects that, while funny on their own, didn’t jell into a coherent theme. It certainly was not what I expected, given his attire and appearance. Or maybe that was supposed to be funny, part of his act.

So, my first experience with a live comedy show was, like The Last Comic Standing, a mixed bag. Abel showed promise; Dweck looks and sounds like he needs more practice and work on his delivery; Bostick nailed the persona and appropriate humor; and Palatino could use some tweaking of his subjects and appearance to attain more coherence.

Thanks, Gnome Promotions, for inviting me to review. It was an interesting experience, and one I can add to my critical arsenal.

Funny Club Live! was performed at the Renaissance Hotel, just off Route 3 in Rutherford on Saturday, June 17. If you like live comedy, keep your eyes peeled for another show or go to to see what’s up next.

Monday, June 19, 2017



Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn
For tickets to this special performance, please call the Paper Mill Playhouse box office at 973-376-4343 or visit

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is pleased to announce a special Autism-Friendly performance of its hit musical Mary Poppins.

This performance is designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, and is planned in cooperation with Paper Mill Playhouse’s Autism Advisory Team. The theater environment will be altered for this performance, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound.

Additionally, Paper Mill Playhouse will host a free open house titled Meet Your Seat on Thursday, June 22 from 3:00 to 5:00pm.  This is an opportunity for children who are new to the theatrical experience to visit the theater space before the show. Often children with autism or other developmental disabilities become anxious in new surroundings, new experiences, and they need time to transition. The Meet Your Seat open house provides an opportunity for children to come to the theater in advance of the performance and take time to feel comfortable in this new space. 

Paper Mill Playhouse embraces a long history of providing access services to patrons of the theater. This is the fourth time Paper Mill Playhouse has expanded its autism-friendly performances to a mainstage production after successful performances of Elf, A Christmas Story and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In addition to autism-friendly performances, Paper Mill Playhouse offers a wide variety of access programs and services including: sign-interpreted performances, open-captioned performances, audio-described performances, pre-show sensory seminars and barrier-free access theater-wide. 

Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, PSEG Foundation, and Summit Area Public Foundation. For more information on Paper Mill Playhouse’s programs for people with autism and other developmental disabilities visit

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.    


PictureAbstracts in Motion

WHEN: the month of June through June 29
WHERE: Main Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair

The Montclair Public Library’s popular art and photography series continues with an exhibit of paintings by Montclair resident Fernando Mariscal.

Mr. Mariscal is a member of Studio Montclair and has exhibited frequently at Studio Montclair’s Academy Square gallery. Examples of Mr. Mariscal’s work can be found at

An image of his painting “High School 2014” was featured on the cover of Montclair Townscape 2015-2016. Mr. Mariscal began his artistic career in his native Peru. He was commissioned by the Royal Inca Hotel to do a mosaic mural of Machu Picchu. He has received art awards from the Newark Public Library for his exhibits celebrating the independence of Peru and also from the Peruvian Consulate. He is the Building Manager of Bellaire House in Montclair and his works are on display in the basement of the building (see Montclair Patch (2013), “Building Basement Doubles as Gallery for Montclair Artist”).

In an interview with artist, art critic and curator Joyce Korotkin in 2013, Mr, Mariscal said "I paint the echoes of my subconscious; some are places, some are forms that I welcome into this reality”.  Ms. Korotkin wrote “Mariscal represents this psychic duality with hauntingly distant grounds populated by heavily textured layers of geometric planes and shapes in evocative colors that are infused with luminous light, inviting the viewer to meander through an invented space in quiet contemplation.”

For further information, contact Fernando Mariscal at or 973-652-3163.



Affordable All-Day Theatre Camp for Youth and Teens

WHEN:  July 3 - 28, 2017;  Monday through Friday, 9am - 4pm.

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

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

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


For buyers and vendors of 78s, LPs, CDs & memorabilia

43rd Annual Jazz Record Collectors’ Bash

WHEN: June 23-24, 2017; Doors open 8:00am on Friday & Saturday
: Hilton Garden Inn, Edison / Raritan Center, 50 Raritan Center Parkway, Edison, New Jersey
ADMISSION: General admission: $20.00 covers buyer’s admission for two days (Friday & Saturday). After 5:00 p.m. Friday (including Saturday re-entry) and all day Saturday admission is $10.00. Early buyers will be admitted Thursday evening after 7:30pm for $40.00. Admission free with Bash admission or $5 for each film show only.

Rare vintage videos each day

Friday, June 23, 8:00pm:

Rare film and TV clips by jazz collector and film historian David Weiner

Jazz collector and film historian David Weiner will present two hours of rare film and TV clips, showcasing jazz and pop artists from the 1920s to the present. Among the featured performers in this all-new show will be soloists Louis Armstrong, Papa Celestin, Pete Fountain, Melba Liston, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich & more; the bands of Paul Whiteman, Hudson/DeLange, Gus Arnheim, Ted Weems, Jan Savitt, the Dorsey Brothers, Tony Pastor; and vocalists Ethel Waters, Ruth Etting, Dick Powell, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers, James Melton, Rosemary Clooney, Mahalia Jackson & Louise Beavers. Plus vintage jazzy cartoons and batch of current bands superbly recreating the sounds of Fletcher Henderson, Ben Pollack, the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks, Artie Shaw, Spike Hughes and the Boswell Sisters!

Saturday, June 24, 4:00 to 6:00pm:

Will Friedwald Clip Joint


2017 is a banner year for one-hundredth birthdays of jazz and other musical greats! Come join us at WILL FRIEDWALD’S CLIP JOINT (at the 2017 Bash) as we honor the centennials of such iconic performers as: Dean Martin, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Helen Forrest, Celeste Holm, Betty Comden, Dave Lambert, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Jo Stafford, Desi Arnaz, and Hans Conreid.

Plus a very special shout out to three living legends of song who have just turned 100! Vera Lynn, Bea Wain, and Louise Tobin.

Lastly, an even more special salute to three more great American artists who are all still going strong even as they celebrate their 90th birthdays (between 2016 and 2018): Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, and Marilyn Maye!

Rare footage will be shown for each – stuff, that, as in all CLIP JOINT shows, can NOT be seen on home video or youTube! Presented by Will Friedwald with the invaluable assistance of Stephen Kramer.

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR (and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and Citiview). He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

  • THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, October 2017)
  • SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU – NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)

Saturday, June 24, 8 PM

Ron Hutchinson of the Vitaphone Project

Ron Hutchinson, co-founder of The Vitaphone Project, will be screening over a dozen rare early sound music and vaudeville shorts this year, including many only recently restored in the Project’s partnership with Warner Bros, UCLA and The Library of Congress. Included are 1928-29 shorts by Molly Picon, vaudevillians Zelda Santley, Gil Wells, singing quartet The Croonaders, corpulent vaudevillians The Big Paraders, comedy duo Barry and Whitledge, and the only surviving reel of Willie & Eugene Howard’s The Music Makers set in a Victor demonstration room! Also to be shown are shorts with Paul Whiteman’s Ramona and The Three X Sisters. Ron will also report on the latest film discoveries and restorations.


By car:

IMPORTANT: Although the hotel address is on Raritan Center Parkway, it is safer to enter the hotel grounds from King Georges Post Road. For those approaching the hotel via Raritan Center Parkway, online mapping websites and GPS devices will instruct you to make a U-turn. Ignore those instructions and follow those below.

Via I-95 (NJ Turnpike) to exit 10. Keep right, follow signs for and merge into County Road 514 – Woodbridge Ave. Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. Continue on Raritan Center Parkway. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road. Make first left to hotel.

Via Garden State Parkway south: Take exit 129. Keep right at fork and follow signs for County Road 501. Take CR 501 about 1.5 miles. Entrance to hotel is on right, just before Raritan Center Parkway.

Via Garden State Parkway north: Take exit 127 (Industrial Ave / Riverside Dr). Continue on Riverside Dr approximately 2 miles. Turn right on Clearview Rd and take it to end. Turn left on King Georges Post Rd. Hotel entrance is about ¾ mile on right, just before Raritan Center Parkway.

Via I-287 south: Continue to NJ-440 North and take exit for County Road 514 West – Woodbridge Ave. Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road. Make first left to hotel.

From Outerbridge Crossing:

1. Take NJ 440 South to exit for Industrial Ave / Riverside Dr and then follow directions as Garden State Parkway north, above.


2. Take NJ-440 South to I-95 exit toward County Road 514 (Woodbridge Ave) West. Merge into CR 514. Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. Continue on Raritan Center Parkway. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road. Make first left to hotel.

By public transportation:

Convenient from Penn Station in New York City, Newark Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport and Trenton, NJ. Take NJ Transit to Metuchen station on Northeast Corridor line. From Philadelphia 30th Street Station, take SEPTA to Trenton, NJ and transfer to NJ Transit NEC.

From Metuchen Station:
[or any point within a 3 mile (5km) radius of the hotel] A free shuttle is available to hotel guests and attendees of the Bash. Call the hotel ahead of time for shuttle pickup. From NYC, Metuchen is one stop past Metropark.

Hotel Reservations

It is now past the deadline to make room reservations at the special event rate of $119 + tax. The regular rate is $209, however, there are discount rates for AAA, AARP, seniors, etc. Check: Hilton website

Vendors / Dealers

Vendor space: All tables are 6ft x 3ft. Cost in advance is $85.00 per table for 2 days, $55 for Friday only or $35 for Saturday only. A 50% deposit is required. On or after June 22nd, cost will be $90.00 per table (for 2 days) on a space available basis.

Dealer Setup: Dealers may set up on Thursday night after 7:30 pm. The room will not be available prior to that hour.

Payment Methods: Payment in advance by check or money order. Cash and checks will be accepted at the door.

R.I.P. Rich Conaty

Longtime Attendee Of The Jazz Bash

Rich Conaty: 1954-2016



Local author Azzan Yadin-Israel presents groundbreaking research on
Bruce Springsteen and religion, spanning The Boss’s 40-year career

WHEN: 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017
WHERE: Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.
ADMISSION: free and open to the public

Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty member Azzan Yadin-Israel will speak about his book The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen (Lingua Press, 2016.

Bruce Springsteen is beloved among fans in New Jersey and across the world for his marathon live performances and the blue-collar Americana embodied in his songs. Azzan Yadin-Israel’s latest book, however, looks beyond the hot rods and love stories to reveal the rock-and-roller as poet, tracing complex religious and theological motifs that emerge and are reworked over the course of Springsteen’s career. This probing and fresh look at over 40 years of recordings establishes a new critical framework for scholarship in the emerging field of Springsteen studies and allows for a greater appreciation of Springsteen’s sophisticated lyricism by academics and fans alike.

The Grace of God and the Grace of Man is divided into three parts. The first section traces the evolution of theological ideas in Springsteen’s early albums with a focus on critiques of traditional religious institutions and the possibility of redemption on the open road, a notion that Springsteen ultimately rejects in Darkness on the Edge of Town. The second section looks at records after Darkness and Springsteen’s refashioning of three common religious concepts: sin, grace, and the struggle within. The book’s final section—named “Springsteen’s Midrash” after the ancient commentaries on Hebrew scriptures—looks at songs with explicitly biblical source material, such as “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Jesus Was an Only Son,” to examine how Springsteen recasts traditional biblical stories to grapple with his own uncertain faith.

Following the presentation, Yadin-Israel will take questions and sign copies of the book. The Rutgers Office of Summer & Winter Sessions will sponsor a drawing for 10 free copies, and additional books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Rutgers Barnes & Noble. Free parking (for non-university guests only) is available in Rutgers Lots 26, 30, or the College Ave Parking Deck.

Azzan Yadin-Israel at the Asbury Park boardwalk. Credit Frank Veronsky 2016Azzan Yadin-Israel earned a bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union. A professor of Jewish studies and Classics in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick, he teaches courses on rabbinic literature, classical Jewish philosophy, the history of Jewish mysticism, and Plato.

AuthorTalks is a series of talks cosponsored by Rutgers University Libraries and the Office of Summer & Winter Sessions. From great books come great ideas, and this series intends to engage the Rutgers community during the summer and winter sessions in both. Featuring faculty authors from Rutgers and other universities, these book readings and discussions are free and open to the public.

Rutgers University Libraries support and enrich the instructional, research, and public service missions of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, through the stewardship of scholarly information and the delivery of information services. With more than five million volumes and thousands of digital resources located in 26 libraries, centers, and reading rooms in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden, Rutgers University Libraries rank among the nation’s top research libraries.


Music by Mike Reid
Lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger
Book by Sarah Schlesinger, Mike Reid and John Dias
Based on the film The Ballad of Little Jo by Maggie Greenwald
Music Direction/Dance and Incidental Arrangements by John O'Neill
Choreography by Marc Kimelman
Directed by John Dias

WHEN: June 3 - 25 / 2017
WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701


June 15 at 1pm • June 22 at 1pm

This soaring musical about the American West is inspired by the real-life-story of Josephine Monaghan— a young woman from Boston who, in the late 19th century, made a new life in an Idaho mining town disguised as a man called “Jo.” Writing in The New Yorker, John Lahr called The Ballad of Little Jo, "the real thing—the best piece of musical theater storytelling I've seen in a decade."

Tickets range $40 - $70 (prices subject to change). Groups of 10+ save up to 30%!


Photos, top to bottom and left to right: The Company; Teal Wicks; Teal Wicks; Daniel K. Isaac & Teal Wicks; The Company; The Company; Jane Bruce & Eric William Morris. All photos by T. Charles Erickson.

Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701

732.345.1400 |


IMG_2890My America

WHEN: June 21 until September 11. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from Noon to 5PM.  Other times by appointment. The public is cordially invited to our Opening Reception on Sunday, June 25, from 4 to 6 pm. Refreshments will be served.
: ACL Gallery’s new facility at 2310 Carillon Way, Town Center. 

In keeping with the theme “My America”  artists will be displaying works depicting what America means to them whether it be by color, red, white and blue, a special location in America, Americana art, or a symbol or historic theme. The artwork includes paintings, wearable art, accessories, jewelry, pottery, quilts, sculptures and photographs.

Shown in the photo is Sheila Bernard of Verona, NJ, along with two of her photographs of "Shop America" buildings taken in New Mexico and Utah.  Sheila began photographing Patriotic Americana buildings when she saw one all decked out in red, white and blue in Philadelphia and the Star Spangled Banner twirled in her head.  It happened another time in New York five years later.  Inspired to capture these red, white and blue buildings in all fifty states, “2 down and 48 to go,” she told herself.  And off she went, researching buildings around the country along with their stories and capturing photos of them and publishing in local newspapers.  Each one has its own story which Sheila is pleased to share with anyone who will listen.  One ice cream stand has ice cream cones for stars painted all over the building.  And one is a garage that was fully operating  repairing cars and farm equipment until a change came to the commerce in the community and his parking lot was empty at the photo shoot.  When word got out in the local paper along with the photo, people flocked to his garage and he was back in business.  Sheila's work is having a positive impact on many communities throughout the USA.

The ACL Art Gallery is a cooperative venue and a completely volunteer-staffed gallery.  For further information or to make an appointment, call Vivian Olshen at 973-650-6374.


DSC_9826 (2)Summer Dance Camp for Children

WHEN: July 10-14, July 17-21, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Princeton Ballet School, New Brunswick Studio, 80 Albany Street, New Brunswick
COST: $250 per week + $50 for Before/ After Care (optional)
Ages 6 +
Student pick- up no later than 5:00 p.m.
Before Care: 8:30 a.m. Drop Off
After Care: 5:30 p.m. Pick- Up
For more information about this event, please contact Kathleen Smith at or (732)249-1254, ext. # 10

Princeton Ballet School, the official school of American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey’s premier professional ballet company, has created a new summer camp program for children interested in learning dance. Dancers will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of classes, including Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Zumba and more! Classes will be taught by the professional staff of the New Brunswick studio. Before care and after care is also being offered to help busy parents.

"Our hope for the students who attend our New Brunswick Summer Dance Camp is to take home with them a love and appreciation for all that is dance,” says Kathleen Smith, DANCE POWER Coordinator. “To build lasting friendships with one another and make this an experience and opportunity that they will endure forever."

American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and beyond through artistic and educational programs, presented by a financially responsible organization.

For more information about American Repertory Ballet and this event please visit:




Programs for Kids & TeensSummer Programs for Kids, Teens

Spaces are still available in summer programs for kids and teens at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC). For a complete listing and descriptions of all summer courses available for children and teens, visit

WHEN: Monday through Friday, June 26-30
RVCC’s Branchburg campus, 118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg

  • Make First Video Game: ages 8-14, 9 a.m.-noon; $205
  • Chapter Book Authors: ages 11-14, 9 a.m.-noon; $190
  • Chess I: ages 6-14, 9 a.m.-noon; $190
  • Chemical Magic Plus: ages 6-9, 9 a.m.-noon; $190
  • Film & TV: ages 11-16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $325
  • Minecraft Designers: ages 8-14, 1-4 p.m.; $205
  • Fun with Photoshop: ages 11-15, 1-4 p.m.; $180
  • Boost Your Abilities with Puzzles, Games and Contests: ages 8-14, 1-4 p.m.; $190
  • Diggin’ for Dinos: ages 6-11, 1-4 p.m.; $190

Programs for Kids & TeensAs an added convenience for parents, before- and after-care are available for students.

To register for these courses and other RVCC classes for children and teens, visit For information only, email or call 908-526-1200, ext. 8404. The Youth Program office is located on the first floor of Somerset Hall, in room S147.

Programs for Kids & TeensRaritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. For further information, visit


alexis showtime crop

The Alexis Morrast Quintet

WHEN: Wednesday June 21, 6:30-8:30 - Seating begins at 5:30.
Rutgers Gardens, 112 Ryders Lane, North Brunswick, NJ (Roy DeBoer Evergreen Garden)
ADMISSION: $5 donation to Rutgers Gardens.
Bring your picnic and chairs/blankets.
Parking on site

Singer/song writer, 16-year-old Alexis Morrast is a native of Newark currently lives in Plainfield, New Jersey. She began singing in church at the age of three, leading her first solo in the adult choir by seven. Since that time Alexis has performed on several stages including the U.S. OPEN in 2013, 2015 Central Jersey Jazz Festival in New Brunswick featuring trumpeter Sean Jones, NJPAC with Christian McBride, Clement’s Place in Newark, South Jazz Parlor – Philadelphia, the APOLLO THEATRE where she won Amateur Night twice and subsequently returned to the show as a special guest. In February 2017 she was chosen WINNER of the nationally televised SHOWTIME at the APOLLO hosted by Steve Harvey. Most recently Alexis performed on Millennium Stage at The KENNEDY CENTER in Washington DC.

tia green smileThe Tia Fuller Quartet

WHEN: Thursday, June 22, 7PM-9PM
The Yard - 40 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
Parking: Gateway Garage- 7 Wall St across from the New Brunswick Train Station
Bring and chairs/blankets.

Alto saxophonist Tia Fuller and her band continue The New Brunswick Jazz Project’s celebration of the arrival of summer. Fuller performs as part of the Summer Evening Serenade Series at The Yard on Rutgers New Brunswick campus.

As a member of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé, Tia has played in venues throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Tia appeared with Beyoncé on major television programs including Oprah, Today and the 2010 Grammy Awards and performed for President Obama at the White House. An accomplished leader in her own right, Tia has recorded three CDs with her quartet. Ms. Fuller also tours regularly with many well-known artists including: Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding and Dianne Reeves and has also performed with musical luminaries like Ralph Peterson, Rufus Reid, Geri Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Chaka Kahn, Ledisi, Jay-Z, Jill Scott, Pattie Labelle, Nona Hendryx, Sheila E, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick, Janelle Monet, Patrice Rushen, Erica Badu and Aretha Franklin. Joining Tia on stage Thursday will be her sister, pianist Shamie Royston, Mimi Jones on bass and drummer Joe Dyson.

“…she molds all of the elements in the modern jazz melting pot to her liking. She is fierce, friendly, cutting, kind and calculating all at once…” ~Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“Fuller has one foot firmly grounded in jazz pedagogy and the other freely stepping forward.” ~ The Wall Street Journal

“…one of the most gifted jazz musicians of her generation.” ~ Ebony

“Tia Fuller has been steadily strengthening her footing as a solo artist.” ~  The New York Times

The New Brunswick Jazz Project, a recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is in its 8th year of presenting multiple world class free jazz performances each week in New Brunswick & other Central Jersey venues.


clip_image002A staged reading of

Dying for Vermont
by Evan Krachman, one of the Black Box playwrights
A black comedy that will have you laughing at Death!

WHEN: Sunday, June 25th @ 2:00pm
WHERE: Flipping Fun, 23 East Front Street, in Red Bank NJ ( Right across from the parking garage near Riverview Hospital).

This play takes place in our future and follows Renata and Eric as they face, Love, Death and the Absurdity of a real possible future as death is a big corporate business.

Also stay tuned, we have another event in July by Alexis Kozak. If you missed our last event, check out, or go to itunes to download last month’s Guild of Creative Art. We have 5 new plays presented for you!  Just search PlaywrightsSpeak (all one word) on iTunes and enjoy more content for Free.


Summer 2017 Classes and Camps at Farmstead Arts

WHEN: Classes begin the week of July 10th.
WHERE: Farmstead Arts, 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge
FEES: Class fees range from $35 - $195, depending on class length. Theater camp fees are $225-$275. With the exception of knitting classes, all materials are included in class fees. Further information and course descriptions are available on the Farmstead website at

To register, visit For questions, please call Kathy Harris, Operations Manager, at 908-636-7576 Mondays through Wednesdays, or send an email to

A variety of time-frames are available, including one, three and four-day workshops, and classes which run from 3 to 6 weeks. Workshop subjects include nature themes such as “To the Seashore” and Butterflies, as well as Landscapes, Watercolors, Mixed Media, Art Sampler, Drawing for Adults, Photographic Style, and Portfolio Development for teens. Longer-running classes include Portrait class and Figurative Drawing, Drawing and Painting from Photographs, and Illustration and Cartooning.

Debbie Limoli of Warren will teach her popular Play with Clay classes for ages 7 through adult on Thursdays from 5 – 7 PM or by appointment. Other returning instructors include Basking Ridge photographer Jim DelGiudice, Warren residents Doug Schiller and Margaret Fanning, Millburn’s Oscar Peterson, and from North Plainfield, Stefano Junior, whose art show “Works of Wonder” has been delighting viewers at the Farmstead throughout the month of June. New to the Farmstead is fiber artist Deborah Lavine, of Pie Crust Designs, LLC. She will be offering three-week beginner and intermediate knitting classes for teens and adults. The Farmstead is also pleased to welcome guest artist/instructor Larissa Danowitz, known for large-scale murals and involvement in the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, who will be leading a ChromaDepth 3D Workshop in the Barn on July 14th from 1-3pm.

Farmstead Arts is also offering a variety of exciting summer camps for kids, including three weeks of theater camps from 9am – noon in August:

  • Theater and Imagination for 8-10 year olds from August 14-18
  • Acting for Young Performers ages 10-12 from August 21-25
  • Musical Theater for Young Performers for 11-13 year olds from August 28 – September 1.
  • In addition, Doug Schiller will be teaching a one-week Drawing and Painting camp for kids ages 9-12 from 2-3:30 pm from August 7-11
  • Deborah Lavine will offer “knitting with kids” four-day camps in July and August.

The farmhouse and barn are wheelchair accessible.  Anyone anticipating the need for additional accessibility services is requested to make a request by sending an E-mail to the at least 2 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.


Make Music Day Montclair

WHEN: Wednesday, June 21, noon – 6 PM
various venues in Montclair center

This free community-based event takes place in 750 cities across 120 countries throughout the world. The Montclair Orchestra is glad to present musicians locally— join us lunchtime in Watchung Plaza, or early evening in Montclair Center for some free entertainment!

Local Coffee
Watchung Plaza
12:00pm - 2:00pm

DollyMoo / MishMish Cafe
215/217 Glenridge Ave
5:00pm - 6:00pm

We are only a small part of the entertainment for the day. For the complete schedule of music throughout Montclair, visit Or, if you aren't lucky enough to be in Montclair on Wednesday, visit to see what events are taking place where you are!



WHEN: 12 AM, Wednesday, June 21 through 11:59 PM Thursday, June 22.

The State Theatre’s Two Day No Fees Summer Sale means no fees on all tickets at the State Theatre in 2017-2018 for two days only! For information on the Two Day No Fees Summer Sale visit 

The Two Day No Fees Summer Sale runs from 12am, Wednesday, June 21 through 11:59pm, Thursday, June 22 only and is not retroactive. This promotion is not offered on Ticketmaster purchases.

State Theatre New Jersey—creating extraordinary experiences through the power of live performance.The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of State Theatre New Jersey. Magic 98.3 is the official radio station of State Theatre New Jersey. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of State Theatre New Jersey. United is the official airline of State Theatre New Jersey.

Sunday, June 18, 2017



34th Annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival

WHEN: Sunday, June 25. Gates open at 4pm for activities and picnics (no pets, no BBQ’s). The concert starts at 6pm.
WHERE:  Giralda Farms, Dodge Drive and Madison Ave. (Rt. 124), Madison, NJ
Rainsite: Mennen Arena, 161 East Hanover Ave., Morristown (Doors open at 4pm for activities (no pets, or BBQ’s ). The concert starts at 6pm.
TICKETS: (take advantage of lower pricing for advance tickets!)
In advance: Adults: $15 adults (over 12); Children: $4; under 4, free.
At the gate: Adults: $20 adults (over 12); Children: $5; under 4, free.

Advance Tickets can be purchased at:

  • Morris Arts online at or (973) 285-5115, x14
  • Kings Food Markets (Morristown and Chatham)
  • Gary’s Wine and Marketplace (Madison)

If you require special accommodation, please contact Kadie Dempsey (973) 285-515, x17.

The perfect way to start the summer? At Giralda, you can hear the state’s top orchestra, relax on the beautiful lawns of former Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge estate, see (and purchase) original artworks, enjoy family/children’s arts activities, indulge your ice cream cravings at the fully stocked antique ice cream truck or just picnic with friends and family. Best of all, weather is not a concern at all! By special arrangement with the Morris County Park Commission, our rainsite at the Mennen Arena, 161 East Hanover Ave., Morristown will host the same, full experience of the Giralda Music & Arts Festival as you would have outdoors—with the art show and sale, family arts activities, picnics (and prizes) and, of course, the concert!

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clip_image001[6]Under the baton of Sameer Patel, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Giralda program will feature Key’s Star Spangled Banner, the “Allegro con fuoco” from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “From the New World,”  Grofé’s “Mardi Gras” from Mississippi Suite, Price’s “Nimble Feet” from Dances in the Canebrakes, Miller’s (arr. Holcombe) St. Louis Blues March, Anderson’s Summer Skies, Wilson’s (arr. Hayman) The Music Man: Symphonic Impressions, Rodgers (arr. Bennett) Selections from Oklahoma!, Copland’s “Hoe Down” from Rodeo and Fanfare for the Common Man, Hooray for Hollywood (medley arr. Holcombe), Korngold’s “Garden Scene” from Much Ado About Nothing, Kander’s (arr. Ricketts) Chicago Medley, Menken’s (arr. Holcombe) Beauty and the Beast; Williams’ “The People’s House” from Lincoln and Liberty Fanfare, Lowden’s Armed Forces Salute and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.

In keeping with Giralda tradition, there will be very generous prizes for the most inventive picnics and the fabulous 50/50 raffle, which nets some lucky person a big cash prize (often over $1,000)!  Invite that special someone, friends, family, neighbors, club members or college chums to share a picnic and help support the important work of Morris Arts, which has been building community through the arts for 44 years.

Morris Arts wishes to thank our sponsors:

Corporate Arts Partner: affiliated with The Star-Ledger

Giralda Property Sponsors: Open Spaces Management Association, GRC Management Corp., Lincoln Equities LLC, Giralda Farms RE LC, Linque Management Company, Inc., American Realty Capital, Madison Giralda Property Owner LLC, Normandy Real Estate Partners, 1 Giralda Realty L.L.C., 2 Giralda Realty L.L.C. , 7 Giralda Realty L.L.C. and Mack-Cali Real Estate

Community Sponsors: Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation, Mariner Wealth Advisors-Madison, Crum & Forster Insurance, MetLife Foundation, Kings Food Markets, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, County of Morris, Township of Chatham and Morris County Park Commission

All proceeds benefit the many programs and services provided to artists, arts organizations, schools and the community by Morris Arts.

Become a part of the Giralda tradition and bring your friends, families, classmates, neighbors or come by yourself to welcome summer with Morris Arts in this fun and most affordable way!