Tuesday, January 30, 2018

LUNA STAGE SEEKS USHERS FOR “RAZORHURST” PERFORMANCES

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WHERE: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
Please contact Alexa Teebo at alexa.teebo@lunastage.org for more information!

CHILDREN’S SHOW OPENS IN MAPLEWOOD THIS WEEKEND

Image result for the strollers maplewoodThe Electronic Dragon
Book by Lee Frank Turner
with additional material by Carol Cornicelli
Music by Joshua Stone
Lyrics by Jim Beloff
Direction by Carol Cornicelli
Musical Direction by Ebony Wiggins
Produced by Mary Clare Cardoni
Stage Managed by Kelley Blessing

WHEN: Friday, February 2 - 7:00pm, Saturday, February 3 - 2:00pm, Sunday, February 4 - 2:00pm; Friday, February 9 - 7:00pm, Saturday, February 10 - 2:00pm, Sunday, February 11 - 2:00pm
WHERE
: The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood
TICKETS: $10

The Electronic Dragon is The Strollers' children's show for the 2017-2018 season. The show is a fun, futuristic, family musical sure to please the whole family!

​Cast: Richard Bull, Mary Clare Cardoni, Dena Daniel, William Davenport, Vlada Duran, Amanda Feliciano, Frank Guerrasio, Rory Hoban, Norman Metz, Debra Osofsky, Luke Petricha, Vicki Ridley, Derrick Simmons.

COMING UP @ WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents

Swan Lake
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

WHEN: FEBRUARY 7, 7:30 PM
WHERE:
William Paterson University, Shea Center, 300 Pompton Ave., Wayne
TICKETS: Gold Circle $65; Rear Orchestra $55; Loge $45; Rear Loge $35

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia, now under the direction of award-winning dancer and Moiseyev dance company soloist Nikolay Anokhin, presents one of the greatest classical ballets of all time. This full-scale production features some of Russia's brightest ballet stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life!

Food for Thought presents
Jen Chapin Trio

WHEN: FEBRUARY 23, 8:00 PM
TICKETS:
$25

Jen Chapin's music is described as urban folk music with a jazzy edge that reflects her musical upbringing and passionate activism through work with WhyHunger (founded by her late father, singer/songwriter Harry Chapin).


The 39th Distinguished Lecturer Series, in conjunction with Food for Thought, presents

An Evening with American Chef and Farm-to-Table Activist Alice Waters

WHEN: MARCH 2, 7:30 PM
TICKETS: $28

Chatham, NJ native Alice Waters is internationally recognized as the pioneer of a farm-to-table movement that advocates for organic, sustainable, and locally sourced food for everyone. Waters' restaurant, Chez Panisse, is ranked among the "World's 50 Best Restaurants," and her commitment to finding the highest-quality ingredients has created a network of farmers and purveyors dedicated to viable agriculture. Waters has authored ten books, including her memoir Coming to My Senses, which will be available for purchase.

Book signing immediately follows lecture.

D&R Greenway Presents John L. Clark, Ph.D., Lecture on Stewardship and Research

Image result for John. L. Clark, Ph.D Lawrenceville School

What Can a Journey to the Mountains of Ecuador Teach about Land Stewardship in Central New Jersey?
Lawrenceville School’s Aldo Leopold Distinguished Teacher John L. Clark will take attendees on a journey to connect the dots

WHEN: Thursday, January 25, 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
WHERE:
D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton.
RSVP at (609) 924-4646 or rsvp@drgreenway.org.

John. L. Clark, Ph.D., Aldo Leopold Distinguished Teaching Chair, Environmental Science and Ethics, the Lawrenceville School, will lead participants on an exciting journey, sharing his experiences as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and further research in Ecuador.

Dr. Clark is no stranger to D&R Greenway—he has led public walks on trails in the Sourlands, demonstrating how buds, bark and scent can be used to identify local trees and flora. Dr. Clark lived in Ecuador for six years, first as a high school exchange student and later through Peace Corps service, as a Fulbright scholar and a guide. In 2015, Dr. Clark, who earned his doctorate in biology at George Washington University and is a Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, left a position as associate professor at the University of Alabama to join the Science Department at the Lawrenceville School.

“It was an honor to work for the university that is the alma mater of the father of biodiversity (E.O. Wilson) and then transition to a school that is the alma mater of the father of wildlife conservation (Aldo Leopold),” says Dr. Clark. The move allowed Dr. Clark, a New Jersey native, to be near family and near his wife’s position as headmistress at Princeton Junior School.

As Aldo Leopold Distinguished Teaching Chair, Dr. Clark promotes wilderness ethics and biodiversity. “One of my first goals was to establish a long-term project in Ecuador to provide a wilderness-based experience for students and generate scholarship to promote biodiversity,” he says.

The Lawrenceville School’s Ecuador program is designed to teach students field-based research, to develop skills in remote travel in the tropics, and experience Ecuadorian culture. Students hike, camp, install a small plot on which to evaluate tree diversity, and explore culture in the capital, Quito. “Our students demonstrated significant grit, curiosity, and eagerness to learn more about the biology and culture of this remarkable region,” says Dr. Clark.

A prominent feature of these mountains is nutrient-poor soils that harbor uniquely adapted flora that can tolerate the extreme habitat. As a result, the flora is distinctive and locally abundant species on the flat summits are often globally rare. Four new plant species were discovered during the expedition.

"Saving our planet's biodiversity requires efforts like D&R Greenway's to
take place in remote areas like an Ecuadorian forest as well as right here
in our backyard," enthuses Linda Mead, D&R Greenway's President and CEO.
"Conservation runs in Dr. Clark's family. His parents, Charles and Cindy
Clark, worked with D&R Greenway to permanently preserve their woodland in
the Sourland Mountains. With Dr. Clark's lecture, we are learning from
each other about the rich natural resources of our Earth and strengthening
global connections as its stewards."

RVCC Planetarium to Present Star Shows, Laser Concerts with Music from Movies, Queen in February

GE DIGITAL CAMERA              WHERE: Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.
TICKETS: $8 for one show or $14 for two shows on the same day. Reservations are strongly suggested for all Planetarium shows. For additional information or to make reservations, call 908-231-8805 or visit www.raritanval.edu/planetarium.

From laser rock shows featuring music by Queen, to stars shows and special programs for children, the Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg has something for every age and interest in February. The month includes a brand new laser show offering music from some favorite Hollywood movies. The following programs will be presented:

Follow the Drinking Gourd
WHEN: Saturdays, February 3 & 10, 3 p.m.
Learn to find the Big Dipper and other stars in the night sky. Then we’ll go back in time to follow a family trying to escape oppression. The Big Dipper guides them through a frightful but rewarding voyage. Sing along with the slaves who used the song of the Drinking Gourd to travel north on foot from Alabama to Canada. Based on Jeanette Winter’s same-titled book, the show describes the astronomy behind the slave song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”  (Recommended for ages 6-12)

Laser Hollywood 2Laser Hollywood
WHEN: Saturdays, February 3, 10, 17, 4 p.m.
Watch lasers “dance” on the Planetarium dome while you listen to themes from some favorite movies in this brand new show. Music from such movies as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pink Panther, Star Wars, and Beverly Hills Cop will be featured. (Recommended for ages 6-adult)


Astronomy Tonight
WHEN: Saturday, February 3, 7 p.m.
Using the Planetarium’s DigitalSky digital theater, experience a guided tour of the night sky. Learn about some of the popular constellations visible from sunset to sunrise, as well as the stories behind them. Hear about how and where in the sky to find the brightest planets. Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open after the show. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)

Rock of Ages Laser Concert
WHEN: Saturdays, February 3 & 24, 8 p.m.
Enjoy a laser concert with songs drawn from the popular Broadway show and feature film. Sing along to “We Built This City” by Starship, “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister, and “Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison.

Laser Queen
WHEN: Saturdays, February 10 & 17; Wednesday, February 14, 8 p.m.
Enjoy a laser concert featuring some of Queen’s hit songs including “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Under Pressure,” and “We Are the Champions.”

Two Small Pieces of Glass
WHEN: Saturdays, February 17 & 24, 7 p.m.

Discover which stars are visible in tonight’s sky. Then explore the evolution of telescope technology from Galileo’s experiments, to the Hubble Space Telescope, and beyond. An incredible Universe can be observed with just two small pieces of glass. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)

Rockin’ Rocket Ride
WHEN: Saturday, February 24, 3 p.m.
Put on your space suit and blast-off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun and planets. A lively experience for young people, the show includes selected music from “Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy. (Recommended for ages 3-8)

Storybooks in Space
WHEN: Saturday, February 24, 4 p.m.
Enjoy story time in the Planetarium as young audience members learn about the stars and planets. (Recommended for ages 4-8)

Leonia Chamber Musicians Society Performs “A Passion for Music”

LCMS Group Photo Redu

A Passion for Music

WHEN: Sunday, February 4, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:
All Saints Episcopal Church, 150 Park Avenue, Leonia
TICKETS: purchased at the door for $30 adults, $25 seniors, and students, under age 18, will be admitted free.
For more information about the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., visit https://www.facebook.com/leoniachambermusic

The concert will highlight Leonia soprano Wonjung Kim, singing excerpts from Handel's German Arias, including Süße Stille, sanfte Quelle and Meine Seele hört im Sehen. Kim will also perform four songs set to William Blake's poetry composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. (Above: Photo credit: Stan Kurtis)

Musicians Theresa Norris, flute and Daryl Goldberg, cello will also play a duo "A Little Sweet," by New Jersey composer Stanley Grill. The final piece on the program will be the gorgeous Dvorak String Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society's members—Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Roy Lewis, violin; Maggie Speier, viola; Daryl Goldberg, cello; and Patricia Dougherty, bass—will be joined by guest violinist Ashley Horne.

Wonjung KimSoprano Wonjung Kim (right) has performed internationally in Europe and Asia, as well as throughout the United States with esteemed organizations, such as Solisti Veneti, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Named Best Classical Artist in the KBS Awards in Korea, she also received an Ovation Award nomination for her starring performance as Queen Min in The Last Empress, produced in Seoul, New York and in Los Angeles. 

The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society will return to All Saints Church to close the season on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at 4:00 p.m with Timeless Romantics: Bridging the 19th and 20th Centurie'. The concert will begin with melodic music by Ernest Dohnányi, Louise Farrenc and Francis Poulenc. The audience is invited to meet the musicians, make new friends, and enjoy refreshments after each concert. This program has been made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, welcomes contributions to the organization to continue the tradition of quality concerts at affordable prices in the community. Donations are tax-deductible as permitted by law and may be mailed to P.O. Box 473, Leonia, New Jersey 07605.

About Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc.
The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, enriches the cultural environment of the community by presenting a series of high quality, affordable, and accessible chamber music concerts.  The members of the Leonia Chamber Musicians generate the excitement of a live performance with professional talent: all of them perform in the major concert halls of New York City.

Music for the programs is selected to educate the audience about different periods and styles of music.  Throughout the concerts, presentations are given about the music being played, the composers, the musicians and related subjects.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. are welcome and encouraged to continue the tradition of quality concerts at affordable prices.  Checks may be made to the attention of Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. and mailed to P.O. Box 473, Leonia, New Jersey 07605.  To be added to the mailing list or receive a subscription form, send an e-mail to dgcello@aol.com or call Daryl Goldberg at 201-947-3923. 

Mile Square Theatre Kicks Off 2018 season with “Driving Miss Daisy” This Weekend

DMD-Playbillad

Driving Miss Daisy

WHEN: January 31 through February 25. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm, and Sundays @ 3pm
WHERE:
Mile Square Theatre, 1400 Clinton Street, Hoboken
TICKETS: $30-40 • $18 students and seniors. $15 previews on 1/31 and 2/1.
Tickets available at www.milesquaretheatre.org, or by calling 201-683-7014.
Discount Parking available at The Harlow at 1330 Willow Avenue and at Little Man Parking at 1300 Jefferson Street.
For more information on Mile Square Theatre, please visit www.milesquaretheatre.org.

Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional theatre, kicks off its 2018 season with Alfred Uhry’s powerful masterpiece Driving Miss Daisy. Set in the South between the late 40’s and early 70’s, the play explores an unlikely friendship between an elderly white Southern Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan, and her African-American chauffer, Hoke Colburn.

“When looking for a play to open the 2018 season, I was searching for a work that dealt with the tension between race and class and decided to re-read Alfred Uhry’s well-known play Driving Miss Daisy.” says MST Artistic Director Chris O’Connor. “I was moved by its heart and its strength as a work of drama. And it’s still very relevant in a time in the world when tolerance and acceptance are under assault by a rising tide of bigotry.” 

The cast includes Barbara Broughton (Broadway's Sunday in the Park with George), Count Stovall (Broadway's A Streetcar Named Desire), and Matthew Lawler (MST’s Betrayal and ABC’s The Family).

The creative team, led by director Mark Cirnigliaro (The Net Will Appear) includes MST resident scenic designer Matthew J. Fick (The Net Will Appear), MST resident costume designer Peter Fogel (Betrayal, 39 Steps), and lighting designer Justin Partier (The Net Will Appear).

MST Season Sponsorship: Advance Realty, Bijou Properties, Carepoint Health, CSBK, Halstead Property, Ironstate, Jet.com, Little City Books, The Rockefeller Group

Mile Square Theatre is supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Mile Square Theatre is a member of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Lights Up on Laughter as Fading Actors Get One Last Shot at Success

Maureen Hackett (Charlotte Hay), Angela Fasanella, (Rosalind), Linda Cunningham (Ethel), John C. Pinto (George Hay)Moon Over Buffalo
by Ken Ludwig

WHEN: Fridays, Feb. 23 and March 2, at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 24 and March 3, at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Feb. 25 and March 4, at 2 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Feb. 23.
WHERE:
Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre, located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
TICKETS:
$18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  (Top L-R: Maureen Hackett as Charlotte Hay, Angela Fasanella as Rosalind, Linda Cunningham as Ethel and John Pinto as George Hay)
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater.

Tim Moran (Paul) & Angela Fasanella (Rosalind)A theater couple with a last chance at stardom sets the stage for hilarious farce. Veteran stage actors George and Charlotte Hay are perilously close to the final act of their uninspired careers. Appearing at a repertory theater in Buffalo, New York, their small acting troupe is performing two stage classics in rotation: the Noel Coward comedy "Private Lives” and Edmond Rostand’s drama, "Cyrano de Bergerac.” In the middle of a marital spat, the couple gets word that a famous Hollywood director is coming to town in hopes of casting them as the replacement stars for his current film. All they need is to get their act together for one perfect performance – which may be just too much to ask of a troupe in disarray on every possible level! "Moon Over Buffalo" opened on Broadway in 1995 and ran for 309 performances.

Kelsey Theatre Artistic Director M. Kitty Getlik is taking a turn as the show's director and is having a wonderful time. "It's a play-within-a play, actually it's two plays-within-a-play, making for some very frantic and funny scenes. I am so fortunate to be working with such a talented cast. Rehearsals have been fast-paced and hilarious," she said. (Above: center John Pinto, with Tim Moran as Paul and Angela Fasanella as Rosalind)

The M&M cast includes: John C. Pinto of Yardley, Pa., as George Hay; Maureen Hackett of Robbinsville as Charlotte Hay; Angela Fasanella of Hamilton as Rosalind (Roz) Hay; Christopher Schmalbach of Palymra as Howard; Tim Moran of East Windsor as Paul; Linda Cunningham of Yardley, Pa., as Ethel; Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, Pa., as Richard; and Jennifer Litzinger of West Windsor as Eileen.

In addition to Getlik, the production team includes Producers Mike Almstedt and Mike DiIorio, Assistant Director Elio E. Lleo, and Stage Manager Melissa Gaynor.

Photos by John Maurer.

REVIEW: UPROARIOUS POLITICAL SATIRE SKEWERS CANDIDACY @ THE PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE

By Ruth Ross

Each winter, after a frenetic holiday season, the Paper Mill Playhouse mounts a production of a “straight” (i.e., non-musical) play. Sometimes, it’s a classic drama (The Miracle Worker); other times it’s a thriller (Sleuth) or a farce (Lend Me a Tenor) or a comedy (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). This year, the playhouse presents the East Coast premiere of The Outsider by Paul Slade Smith—just in time for the State of the Union Address.

Appropriate for the government shenanigans in DC, Smith’s broadly satirical comedy takes on the #MeToo movement, a shy Congressman’s avoidance of a town meeting, the public’s penchant for candidates who know nothing about government, the machinations of slick political brokers and the notion that appearances can be deceiving.

The Outsider_PMP_Photo 2When Governor Larry Clarke (whose portrait looms over the proceedings in Act I) is kicked out of office for having sex with the runner-up of a beauty contest, Lieutenant Governor Ned Newley (right) is thrust into the job, acutely understaffed (he has but a Chief of Staff), seemingly unprepared and morbidly shy. That his swearing-in ceremony was a disaster, doesn’t bode well for this accidental Governor. Enter a pollster and political guru to save the day with a harebrained scheme to pass Ned off as a true outsider, totally ignorant of how government works, so he can keep his job—and they theirs. The problem is that Ned, math whiz and former state Treasurer, has been literally running the government for the cavorting Clarke, so he’s going to have to pretend to be a know-nothing. Upending this ruse is a ditzy temp, a principled reporter and a “real person” cameraman, all of whom help Ned find his true voice.

The Outsider_PMP_Photo 4Strongly and steadily directed by David Esbjornson, the comedic chaos moves full steam ahead, with nary a dead spot. Physical comedy abets the clever dialogue and sterling performances by a very talented cast. Manoel Feliciano (left, with Lenny Wolpe) is truly terrific as Dave Riley, Ned’s right-hand man. Horrified by the scheme he’s sure will make his candidate look like a government rube, this voice of reason gamely fights back. He sputters, attempts to put the kibosh on this tomfoolery and wins our sympathy from the moment he opens his mouth. As Ned Newley, Lennie Wolpe gives a master class in physical comedy, as he quivers, mumbles and lets himself be led around by the nose—until he doesn’t. That moment got a round of applause on opening night! The one attempting to lead him, one political operative named Arthur Vance, is played with oily arrogance by Burke Moses as the man you love to hate. Nattily dressed, Moses’ smooth talker steamrolls all naysayers to reach his goal while giving cynical voice to appeal to a citizenry who, tired of government corruption, yearns to shake up matters by electing a leader who looks like an idiot. Sound familiar?

The Outsider_PMP_Photo 1The fourth standout is delightful Erin Noel Grennan (right, with Wolpe and Kelly Curran) as the malaprop-spouting, blissfully ignorant, forgetful temp Louise Peakes; whenever Grennan comes through the door, she elicits a gale of laughter from the audience. One linguistic mistake on Louise’s part sets in motion a plot development even Arthur Vance had not anticipated. And a hilarious bit with colored cards matches Grennan with Wolpe for top comedic honors!

The Outsider_PMP_Photo 6Supporting actors were equally as fine. Julia Duffy’s Paige Caldwell (left, with Moses) is a clear-eyed, calculating pollster called in by Dave Riley to help get Ned settled in his new job. That she has doubts about the outcome of Vance’s stratagem makes us feel kindlier toward her, while reviling him. Kelley Curran’s plucky Rachel Parsons provides insight to the employment stakes an ambitious television reporter risks by bucking her bosses. The chemistry between her and Dave Riley only adds to our admiration for her. And Mike Houston, as cameraman A.C. Petersen, matches Wolpe mumble for mumble until he, too, finds his voice and gives the new governor courage to reveal his true self.

A set designed by Michael Schweikardt and lit by Ben Stanton provides an appropriately august backdrop for these back-door dealings. Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costume design) and Randy Hanson (sound design) are to be commended as well.

With its very broad comedy and dripping dramatic irony, The Outsider provides laughter and delight on a cold winter evening, all with a wink and a nod to the current political situation. The packed house on Sunday night evidently concurred with me, for they were on their feet even before the actors appeared to take their bows. High drama it’s not, but The Outsider hits all the zany notes for screwball comedy and madcap mayhem. Not too shabby, I’d say.

The Outsider will be performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, through February 18. It’s appropriate for teenagers through nonagenarians. For performance times and tickets, call the box office at 973.376.4343 or visit www.papermill.org online.

Monday, January 29, 2018

TWO RIVER THEATER ANNOUNCES THE WINTER/SPRING LINEUP FOR ITS POPULAR NEW SERIES OF MASTER CLASSES

FIRST MONDAY MASTERS
GUEST ARTISTS INCLUDE SARA HOLDREN, JESS GOLDSTEIN AND MATT BARBOT

WHEN: First Monday of every month: February 5, March 5, April 9
WHERE:
Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
FEE: $40
TO RESERVE A SPOT OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, PATRONS SHOULD VISIT THE EDUCATION TABS AT WWW.TWORIVERTHEATER.ORG OR CALL 732.345.1400

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the winter/spring schedule of guest artists for First Monday Masters, its popular new series of  master classes led by artists affiliated with Two River Theater’s recent productions and current season.

Some master classes are for high-school students, some for adults, and some are for mixed ages. Spots are limited. 

The schedule of First Monday Masters for winter/spring 2018 is as follows:

February 5, 6:30-8:30pm 
Adapting Shakespeare for Modern Audiences
with Sara Holdren
For adults and high-school students, limited to 16 participants,

Sara Holdren, a director and teacher, is the Artistic Director/co-founder of Tiltyard theater company and lead theater critic for New York magazine and Vulture.com. She was recently honored with the 2016/17 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and this season she is adapting and directing Two River’s A Little Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors. This master class is for anyone interested in how directors and designers approach producing Shakespeare for modern audiences.

March 5, 6:00-8:00pm
Costume Design
with Jess Goldstein
For adults and high-school students, limited to 16 participants

Tony Award-winning costume designer Jess Goldstein’s Two River credits include The Ballad of Little Jo and The Importance of Being Earnest. His more than 30 Broadway credits include Newsies: The Musical and Jersey Boys. He will walk the class through the costume design process from the page to the stage by discussing his work on new musicals and classic plays. This workshop will take place in Two River Theater’s Costume Shop!

April 9, 6:00-8:00pm
Devising (Creating) Theater
with Matt Barbot
For adults and high-school students, limited to 16 participants

Matt Barbot’s play El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom is now enjoying its world premiere in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater. The Star-Ledger calls the play “smart, warm, inventive, vibrant, and simply a great deal of fun.”  Matt will get participants up on their feet and lead them through devised theater processes and other playwriting exercises.

Sponsorship
Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation,  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Investors Foundation, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Don't Miss This 3 For 99 Deal @ Two River Theater in Red Bank

BOOK THIS PACKAGE IN 4 EASY STEPS!

  1. Pick 3 shows. (See choices below)
  2. Choose your dates.
  3. Save up to 55%!

Enjoy world-class theater at an incredibly low price!

OFFER ENDS FEBRUARY 17! 

Call 732.345.1400 or book online today! or CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS (Use Offer Code: 3FOR99)

TO BOOK ONLINE: Add ticket(s) to your first show to your cart. You'll be prompted to add additional shows and promo code 3FOR99 before checkout.

WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank

ON STAGE THROUGH FEBRUARY 4!

"An epic winner... smart, warm, inventive, vibrant, and simply a great deal of fun." –The Star-Ledger

Fear not, good people of Sunset Park, Brooklyn! No longer will you be prey to the evil deeds of purse-snatchers or  villainous corporations attempting to cash in on your hopes and dreams! EL COQUÍ ESPECTACULAR IS HERE! He is justice! He is the night! He is...actually out-of-work comic book creator Alex Nuñez who keeps getting his butt kicked in alleyways, wearing a kind of embarrassing homemade pajama costume.


Feb 17 – March 18

By Thornton Wilder

Adapted for the Stage by David Greenspan

Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll

An exploration of connectivity and love, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Thornton Wilder, author of the classic American play Our Town.


April 14 – May 13

By Brian Friel

Directed by Jessica Stone

Five sisters, one Irish summer, and the boy who remembers it all. A portrait of love, hardship, and family directed by Jessica Stone (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Absurd Person Singular).



June 9 – July 1

By Regina Taylor

Original Music by Diedre L. Murray

Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

A band of African-American female musicians travel across post-World War II America in this play-with-music. Directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney at Two River and on Broadway).

Invitation to New Singers for Crescent Choral Society

Photo 1 - Crescent Choral Society in performance

Crescent Choral Society

The Crescent Choral Society is welcoming new singers from high school age and up and in all voice parts for its upcoming Spring concert on April 14 at 4 PM

  • No auditions are needed, just a joy of singing great choral compositions from all periods. 
  • While the ability to read music is preferred, it is not required. 

Current Choral Society members come from all areas and towns in central New Jersey and beyond. 

Photo 2- The new Artistic Director of Crescent Concerts, Dr. Deborah S. KingFor the April 14th concert, the Choral Society will be performing Durufle’s magnificent and haunting Requiem, as well as Faure’s “Cantique de Jean Racine,” with full orchestra and guest soloists. 

In addition, the Crescent Choral Society is thrilled to be collaborating with the Newark Arts High School Mixed Chorus and the Newark Boys’ Chorus School Touring Choir. 

This unique and singular collaboration of voices and instruments in the neo-Gothic splendor of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church will be conducted by the new Artistic Director of Crescent Concerts and the Crescent Choral Society, Dr. Deborah Simpkin King (Above, left).

WHEN: Monday evenings from 7:00 to 9:30. Rehearsal dates: February 12, 19, 26, March 12, 19, April 2, 9, and dress rehearsal on Friday, April 13. .
WHERE: All rehearsals and the performance are held in the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church in Plainfield, New Jersey.

If you are a singer looking for a warm, inviting and inspiring musical experience, the Crescent Choral Society can provide it.

For more information or to register to sing, please contact the Choral Society Concert Managers: Dr. Bing D. Bills, anglohye@comcast.net, or Michael Tackvic, myktak@verizon.net.  You can also visit crescentconcerts.org or follow Crescent Concerts on Facebook.

WORLD PREMIERE TO OPEN @ DREAMCATCHER ON FEBRUARY 8TH

What Stays
by
Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta
World Premiere

WHEN: February 8 - 25, 2018. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm*
WHERE:
The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Ave., Summit**
TICKETS: range from $20 to $35, with special rates for subscribers and groups. Purchase tickets at www.dreamcatcherrep.org or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006
Buy your tickets now!

The production is directed by Betsy True (Westfield) and features Dreamcatcher ensemble members Nicole Callender (West Orange), Harry Patrick Christian (Montclair), Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), Noreen Farley (Clinton), Scott McGowan (Maplewood) and Harriett Trangucci (Summit). They are joined by Brianna Kalisch (New York City) and Christopher John Young (Wharton). 

Dorothy has two days to finish packing up the family home and move to a new condo, so she's called in her adult children to help with the task. When several unexpected visitors show up as well, the job becomes even more complicated. What they don't know is that in the course of their visit, she plans to reveal to them something that she's kept hidden for decades. What she doesn't know is that nearly everyone in the house has secrets of their own. Ultimately, the family will discover the cost of hiding the truth and the cost of telling it. Together, they'll decide what stays with them and what will be left behind.

This heartwarming comedy, written by two members of Dreamcatcher's ensemble, was inspired by stories from the company's own lives and created with the members in mind. Over the last several years, the Dreamcatcher ensemble has workshopped the play and prepared it for this world premiere production.

*Special dates: Thursday, February 8 is a preview performance; all tickets $20. Friday, February 9 is opening night, followed by a reception with the cast. Sunday, February 11 is Senior Sunday; seniors age 65+ pay $20. Talkbacks follow the February 11 and 18 matinees.

**Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre at 20 Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center, 100 Morris Avenue. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available for free by prior arrangement.

Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994 as a non-profit professional ensemble of actors, a subset of whom perform in every production. The mission of our ensemble is to build community with the audience by sharing contemporary, life-affirming stories that challenge, energize and entertain. We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks and interactive programs.

Dreamcatcher's core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improv comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.

Dreamcatcher’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Dramatist Guild Fund; The Summit Area Public Foundation; the Manley-Winser Foundation; and many other corporations, foundations and individuals. Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is an Equity Producing Theatre member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey.

World Premiere of New Musical Opens at Luna Stage February 1

Razorhurst
A World Premiere of a New Musical Commissioned by Luna Stage
Book & Lyrics by Kate Mulley
Music by Andy Peterson
Directed by Cheryl Katz

WHEN: February 1 and run through March 4
WHERE:
Luna Theater is located at 555 Valley Road in West Orange, NJ and is part of the Valley Arts District
For tickets and more information visit the Luna website www.lunastage.org or call the Box Office (973) 395-5551.

Razorhurst, a new musical commissioned by Luna Stage, will begin performances as the second show in Luna’s 25th anniversary season. The show is directed by Luna’s Artistic Director Cheryl Katz with book and lyrics by Kate Mulley and music composed by Andy Peterson. The two person cast features Catherine Fries Vaughn as Kate Leigh and Claire McClanahan Tilly Devine, both are New Jersey based performers.

Cheryl Katz, Luna’s Artistic Director says: “Razorhurst marks the first time Luna has commissioned a musical. After the success of Thrill Me by Stephen Dolginoff, a couple of seasons ago, we wanted to do another musical. We started looking around and realized that part of the reason Thrill Me has enjoyed such an incredible life is because there are very few small musicals about something other than romantic love.  So, we decided to make one. Composer Andy Peterson was the musical director for our production of Thrill Me so we asked him to pitch some ideas for a new musical. Being an Aussie, he pitched Razorhurst. We bit, and soon thereafter writer Kate Mulley, Andy's regular collaborator, joined the team.”

About the play: In 1929, the streets of Sydney, Australia, ran with blood as a pair of notorious crime bosses led their rival empires to war. The twist? These two crime bosses were women. Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine spent years battling for control of the booze, drug, and prostitution trades. This new musical traces their historical reign as queens of their domains, and asks if they were truly evil ladies—or just enterprising women ahead of their time.

PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BOB COLE FAMILY FUND

Please note: Razorhurst contains graphic language.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER TO ATTEND NJJFF EXTRA! EVENT SCREENING OF “THE TESTAMENT” ON SATURDAY IN WEST ORANGE

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WHERE: JCC, 760 Northfield Ave., West Orange
www.jccmetrowest.org

In case of inclement weather, call 973.530.3417

Amichai Greenberg, Director and Screenwriter of The Testament, will be at NJJFF EXTRA Event, this Saturday, February 3rd at 8pm.

Watch the Film Trailer

Sunday, January 28, 2018

RAVE REVIEWS ARE IN!

WHEN: through Feb. 4
WHERE
: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge St., Red Bank
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

A World-Premiere Superhero Play

Fear not, good people of Sunset Park, Brooklyn! No longer will you be prey to the evil deeds of purse-snatchers or condo developers! Never again shall you fear the encroaching march of gentrification or the specter of villainous corporations attempting to cash in on your hopes and dreams! EL COQUÍ ESPECTACULAR IS HERE! He is justice! He leaps at night! He is……actually out-of-work comic book creator Alex Nuñez who keeps getting his butt kicked in alleyways, wearing a kind of embarrassing homemade pajama costume. He’s going to get this superhero thing down eventually, no?

Livingston Symphony Closes out month of January

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lsoshakeshack

Shake Shack Livingston Symphony Donation Day

Do you like burgers, shakes, and/ or supporting the arts? Shake Shack of Livingston, 280 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston will donate 25% of your purchased meal price between 11:00 am and 10:00 pm to the Livingston Symphony Orchestra.

Just present a copy or phone photo of the attached  flyer at the register to participate.  Flyers can also be downloaded from the orchestra's website, www.lsonj.org, or Facebook page, Livingston Symphony Orchestra-NJ.

REVIEW: THEATRICAL ROLLERCOASTER RIDE WILL THRILL YOU @ THE BICKFORD THEATRE

By Ruth Ross

In the lexicon of drama, a thriller features a villain-driven plot that elicits feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety, keeping audiences on “the edge of their seats” as it builds toward a climax. Plot twists and mind games abound in narratives that revolve around revenge, death traps, twisted personal relationships and romantic triangles leading to murder. Think Deathtrap, Sleuth, The Mousetrap or Dial M for Murder, to name a few.

Well, add to that list Rupert Holmes’ deliciously convoluted thriller, Accomplice¸ now onstage at the Bickford Theatre in the Morris Museum. Best known for his song “Escape” (aka “The Pinã Colada Song”), Holmes has constructed a plot so full of twists and turns that audience members are in danger of incurring whiplash as the action unfolds! And while you’re trying to figure it all out during intermission, rest assured that the ending will be more convoluted than you ever imagined it to be.

Because we were all sworn to secrecy on opening night, I cannot divulge much about the plot developments. Suffice it to say that it involves adultery, trickery, deception—and murder. This sure puts a crimp in my writing a review of the script—and the acting, lest I give away any plot details by critiquing the performances. I am really going to have to dance around this one.

Accomplice, a two-act, four-scene, four-actor play, takes place in the very isolated, stylish weekend retreat of affluent (but boring) Derek Taylor and his perky wife Janet. The set, designed by Jim Basewicz, is the epitome of the cottage genre—with half-timbered walls, roof beams and an imposing stone fire place—furnished by Dani Pietrowski with low-key, albeit opulent, British-style furniture. Lighting and sound by Roman Klima emphasize the eeriness of the location and situation, and Fran Harrison’s costumes emphasize the couple’s toney status, with a flowing garden party frock and elegant gown for Janet and appropriate bespoke duds for her spouse.

Tait Ruppert and Lilli Marques; photo by Warren Westura

As for the performances, Lilli Marques’ British accent is, at times, difficult to understand, especially for those sitting stage left. However, her character’s tightly wound demeanor is germane to the plot, and she moves like a cat ready to pounce. Emaline Williams and Tait Ruppert (the latter so good in Alliance Rep’s Later Life; above with Marques; below with Williams) also stand out, she with a winning ditziness and he with an easygoing manner that makes him easy to like.

Tait Ruppert and Emaline Williams; photo by Warren WesturaDirector Eric Hafen does a fine job keeping this theatrical rollercoaster on track, no simple task with so many red herrings, plot twists and mind games in play. He manages to keep the audience laughing while perched on the edge of their seats.

That composer Rupert Holmes could write such a terrific spoof of the theatrical thriller should be no surprise. He tells quite a surprising tale in “The Pinã Colada Song,” so it’s no shock, I guess that he would succeed in this genre. After all, he did win an Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award (the Oscar of crime and suspense), along with a Tony Award for The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Holmes’ characters may be more two-dimensional than real and the sexual innuendos a lot tamer than they were when the play premiered in 1989, but the witty dialogue, plot complexities and stylish performances make up for that deficiency. Yes, the final scene rings a tad hollow, but the audiences will go along with the fun.

Despite my not being able to give you many clues and a complete critique of the Bickford Theatre’s current production of Accomplice, I recommend that you see it before it closes on February 4. It’s a date-might treat that will keep you scratching your head as you roar in laughter. And you’ll talk about it during coffee afterward. (Note: not appropriate for children; contains adult language and content)

Accomplice will be performed at the Bickford Theatre, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, through February 4. Call the box office at 973.971.3706 or visit www.morrismuseum.org online for tickets and performance times.

Photos by Warren Westura and the Bickford Theatre.

MCCC Gallery to Highlight High School Art Teachers and Their Students

PassingPalette_TrentonCentralStudentsPassing the Palette: Arts Educators and Students

WHEN: Jan. 22 to March 8
WHERE:
MCCC Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information, including directions, is available at www.mccc.edu/gallery.

Among the participating high schools are Lawrence, Hopewell Valley, Trenton Central West, Allentown, and the Peddie School. Thirty works will be on display. (Above, left: A sculpture project by Trenton students Jeyson Sanchez, Marlon Gonzalez-Aguilar and Astrid Gregorio-Vega)

PassingPalette_Lawrence_SeanCarneyAccording to Gallery Director Lucas Kelly, the Gallery hosted a similarly-themed show several years ago that was well received. “An exhibit like this is important for students. In the classroom, they learn the foundations of creating art. In this exhibit, they have a chance to see how their teachers are applying those principles in their own work outside the classroom. Students will also experience the satisfaction of having their artwork recognized and displayed in a college gallery space.”

Kelly adds that the exhibit reflects on the wealth of talent in Central New Jersey and the community’s commitment to the arts. “These students are part of the next generation that will help the arts move forward. It’s encouraging to see young people seeking to document this time in history through the arts.” (Above, right: "Lambertville Station," a wood stain by Lawrence teacher Sean Carney)