Saturday, April 21, 2018


Image result for luna stageBy Ruth Ross

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the Lorraine Motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, the morning after he delivered his “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speech in support of the city’s sanitary workers. Although we don’t know how he spent those hours preceding the rally in his motel room, playwright Craig Alan Edwards imagines him mulling over his life; his personal relationships with his father, wife and colleagues; his successes and failures; his anxieties; and the future of the nonviolent movement to secure civil rights for blacks and poor people of every race and creed.

The result is The Man in Room 306, written by Edwards 23 years ago, workshopped at Luna Stage in 1995 and produced in 2008, starring Edwards and directed by Cheryl Katz, which is where I first reviewed the play. In the half century (!) since Dr. King’s death, one might have hoped that his goals had been reached; sadly, just looking around us, it’s all too plain that while some have been achieved, we still have work to do.

To commemorate this milestone anniversary, Luna has revived The Man in Room 306 but with a new actor and director. Once again, this tour de force production reveals a more human side to the great civil rights leader that few people know or remember, in an absorbing, extraordinary piece of theater and art—rendered even more relevant with the rise of the alt-right and prevalence of hate speech on social media.

Scenic designers Christopher and Justin Swader have replicated King’s actual motel room to evoke the venue where he spent his last hours. A half-eaten meal, an unfinished game of solitaire and papers strewn about suggest the life of a real human being soon to be interrupted. A video projected on the room’s back wall and depicting the preceding march adds immediacy to what we know lies ahead. Andy Evan Cohen’s sound design includes pigeons cooing, wings flapping and gun shots “heard” by King in a recurring nightmare, along with the prescient sounding thunder of an impending storm. And to convey the passage of time, Devon Cameron deepens the light coming through the motel windows, adding to the ominous atmosphere.

Image result for luna stageDirector Jerome Preston Bates keeps the action tight and focused, but it’s Jamil A.C. Mangan who carries the performance on his broad shoulders—always front and center—and speaking nonstop in the dulcet Southern vocal intonation that morphs smoothly into King’s more familiar preacher declamation style. Addressing the audience directly, he gives voice to his anxieties and dreams, and recalls important people in his past, even adopting their voices as they “speak” to him. His grandmother, Mama, who instilled a love of vocabulary in her precocious grandson; his overbearing and opinionated preacher father, who had his son’s life mapped out for him yet admonished him to “play it safe”; and his lively, sometimes neglected, wife Coretta who worried that his only suit might disintegrate from constant wearing! Edwards and Mangan reveal a man who would rather read the newspaper sports section than write a speech for the next day’s march, a man who dreams of being a major league baseball pitcher, a man who delights in playing practical jokes and having them played on him. And Mangan is masterful in the long, opening telephone conversation with an unknown caller; his delivery is natural, convincing and paced just like a natural conversation.

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Mangan’s King is anguished by the death of a 16-year-old boy killed in the Memphis march after he left the demonstration; by the memories of the four little girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing; and by the Mississippi children so poor that all they ate for lunch was a quarter of an apple and some crackers given to them by their teacher. Yet this King is not without humor; witness his recreation of meeting Coretta in Boston and snowing her with his oozing charm or his admission that he once wanted to become an opera singer! In a stirring scene that has him on his knees, weeping and singing a hymn to God, seeking forgiveness and, ironically, asking the Lord to “take him home”—presumably to Heaven, Mangan ably conveys King’s struggle with his personal doubts and limitations.

Luna Stage Presents 'Man In Room 306' In Honor Of MLK

And finally, Mangan’s delivery of King’s speech to the rally of sanitation workers is prophetic and sad, communicating the power of the words so beautifully that one weeps for what might have been if King had not been murdered.

The best thing about Craig Edwards’ script and Jamil Mangan’s splendid performance is that an iconic figure is humanized, reminding us that many of our idols have feet of clay, whether they be our preachers, our politicians or our parents, and that forgiveness of missteps is important if we are to move forward to the Promised Land, whatever that is for us, individually or collectively.

The play’s title says it all: The Man in Room 306 is the story of a man, not a symbol. As such, this production, appropriate for an audience including both teenagers (who might not know much about Martin Luther King, Jr., other than what they’ve read in history textbooks) and those old enough to remember seeing him on television or, perhaps, marching with him in Washington, D.C., deserves to be seen. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

The Man in Room 306 will be performed Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange through May 13. The theater is wheelchair accessible and has an interesting Context Room for background information about Dr. King and the production. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.395.5555 or visit online.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Tom Frascatore

WHEN: April 20, 21, 27, 28 – 8PM; April  22 - 2PM
36 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel
Students $15, Seniors $20, Adult $25
Please note all online order are subject to a $2.50 Processing fee.
At door orders are subject to a $1 Facility Fee.
For more info contact
**We've been experiencing internet outages at the theater, if you plan to buy at the door please have cash. Sorry for any inconvenience.**

Please Join us for a "merry war" between the sexes. William Shakespeare's most beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return.


Beatrice​​​....Tess Ammerman
Benedick​​​....James Weeks*
Leonato​​​....Ed Faver
Hero​​​​....Elizabeth Colagrande
Claudio....​​​Shan Williams
Don Pedro​​​....Andrew James Gordon
Dogberry....​​​Rupert Ravens
Don John​​​....Peter Newes
Friar Francis....​​​Howard Smith
Borachio​​​....Mark Zebro
Margaret​​​....Jessica Freeland
Antonio....​​​Mike Sockol
Conrade​​​....Joseph Walter
Ursula....​​​​Julia Lupi
Messenger/Balthazar​/Watch​....Bella Ashton
Sexton.....Sami DeSocio
Verges.....Laurie Devino

*appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Upcoming Auditions!

The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton
adapted by Christopher Sergel
Directed by Kirk White

WHEN: Wednesday May 16 & Thursday May 17, 2018 7-9:30 PM; Callbacks (if necessary) Saturday May 19 2:00 PM
WHERE: 36 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel
Production Dates: July 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, Aug 3, 4, 5


WHEN: Sunday, April 22, at 7PM
: SuzyQue's BBQ and Bar, 34 S. Valley Rd, West Orange
ADMISSION:  For $10, you’ll hear a variety of songs, plus a teaser from Legally Blonde!

Save the date! The cast & crew of #LegallyBlondeTheMusical will be doing a special #BendandSnap cabaret fundraiser ! 



Discover the Joys of Creating Art Outdoors

WHERE: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St., Clinton

Celebrate spring and ignite your creativity with an outdoor class or workshop! The Museum offers a variety of programs for adults and teens ages 16 and up throughout the year. All classes and workshops are taught by professional artists, ensuring a fun and enriching classroom experience.
Plein Air and Still Life Painting with Oscar Peterson (starts Wednesday, April 18 at 9:30 a.m.): Artists have been painting en plein air for hundreds of years. Learn the techniques to start, establish and finish a painting outdoors. Fundamental principles of capturing color, light, planes and structure will be covered. Classes will be held at a variety of locations throughout Hunterdon County including the Dvoor Farm. Visit HAM's website for more information and to register. Join Us!

imageAnimals & Landscape Plein Air One-Day Workshop with Andrea Gianchiglia (Monday, April 23): Picturesque views, old barns and beautiful horses will serve as the inspiration for this one-day workshop in drawing and painting en plein air. You can work with pastel, oil, acrylic or watercolor. Learn all about perspective, foliage, color theory and atmosphere. Depicting animals will also be included in the lesson plans with a focus on drawing, proportion, texture and color application. All skill levels are welcome! Sign Up!

Plein Air Throughout Hunterdon County with Andrea Gianchiglia (starts Monday, May 7): Scenic views of Hunterdon County will serve as the inspiration for this three-week course in drawing and painting en plein air. You are welcome to work with pastel, oil, acrylics or watercolor, as you learn about perspective, foliage, color theory, atmosphere and more. Join Us!

Landscape and Flower Photography Workshop with Nancy Ori (Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m.): Learn all about capturing color, composition, close-up photography, white balance, lighting, getting good exposures in bright sun and shade, camera controls, accessories and use of the tripod. The Dvoor Farm is the perfect place for a photography workshop thanks to its beautiful variety of landscapes including wetlands, meadows and an old-growth forest. Sign up here!

ArtParty 2018 Offers a Fun Night for a Great Cause

Have a great time for a great cause! Get your tickets today for ArtParty 2018: The Secret Garden!

Then get ready to join us here at the Museum on Saturday, April 28 at 6 p.m. and discover a secret garden of earthly delights replete with fragrant flavors, enchanting music, signature cocktails and more.

The Toshiko Takaezu Terrace will blossom into a magical and intimate garden. Guests will step through an arch of birch and pussy willow branches into a garden of flowers and greenery, a fountain, a butterfly garden and bird sanctuary. The décor is courtesy of Greens & Beans of Clinton and Eggostic Events of Hampton.

Get Your ArtParty Tickets Here!

Mia Emerson of 15 Landsdowne Catering, who is donating the food for this event, has created a menu to tempt anyone’s taste buds featuring: Dungeness crab salad, Nashville hot chicken, steak toasts, chimichurri beef, crispy polenta cake and Tuscan ‘Arista’ pork tacos. Carving stations will offer diners smoked paprika rubbed beef and garlic roasted leg of lamb. Capping off the meal will be an assortment of desserts provided by The Lucky Cupcake Company.

See the complete menu here!

Metropolitan Seafood Co. is donating its seafood bar featuring fresh shrimp, oysters and clams. Accompanying the food will be an assortment of wines. Guests can sip cocktails while enjoying live jazz performed by La Vie en Rose.

The evening also features a silent auction where everyone can bid on one-of-a-kind works of art and exciting experience packages. The Museum will raffle off an array of prizes too.

“Attending ArtParty is a great way to support the Museum and the arts, and what could be better than enjoying a fabulous meal, cocktails and live music at one of the state’s most picturesque sites?” said Marjorie Frankel Nathanson, our executive director.

TICKETS: $175 each, and can be purchased online or by calling 908-735-8415. All proceeds benefit the Hunterdon Art Museum’s educational programs and exhibitions of contemporary art, craft and design.

ArtParty Secret Garden sponsors are: 15 Landsdowne Catering, Evco Mechanical Corporation, Provident Bank, The Lucky Cupcake Company, Greens & Beans, Eggsotic Events, Metropolitan Seafood, Starr's Party & Tent Rentals, Unity Bank and St. Luke's University Health Network.

The Hunterdon Art Tour Begins at HAM May 4

The Hunterdon Art Tour (THAT) kicks off its second annual event at the Hunterdon Art Museum Friday, May 4 at 7 p.m. with a benefit exhibition and party.

About 40 artists are participating in the self-guided tour. THAT artists’ studios and group exhibitions at multiple locations will be open to the public on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit The Hunterdon Art Tour website for a complete artist directory, interactive maps and updates.

Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday with ASC: April 21 for information


Talented cast for the Bickford hit A Dog Story; photo by Jack Grassa

By Ruth Ross

They’re called “man’s best friend.” They’re treated like members of the family. People purchase houses only if there’s room for them to run and play. Who are they: DOGS!

But dogs are also “chick magnets.” At least that’s the premise of Eric Weinberger’s charming, if predictable, musical, A Dog Story, now receiving its New Jersey premiere at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown, after a 2014 world premiere in Key West and an Off-Broadway run in 2016.

Roland (Daniel Robert Sullivan) meets Blair (Clare Fitzgerald); photo by Jack Grassa

The book by the late Eric Weinberger revolves around Roland, a shy, socially awkward 24/7 workaholic. Observing that he’s being passed over for partner in his law firm because he’s not married, Roland is determined to find a wife by Labor Day when the next slot will become empty. To solve the dilemma, his testosterone-driven roommate Guy advises him to get a dog, better yet, a puppy—a fool-proof way to win a girl’s heart. At first, the scheme appears to work, when Blair, a young woman Roland has spotted in Central Park, shows up in the Hamptons where he’s taken a summer cottage and is attracted to him because of the pooch, aptly named Cupid. Because Roland knows zilch about raising and training a pup, he hires Miranda from Good Dog Training who wisely observes that she’ll have to train Roland before the dog can be considered “trained.” But Blair turns out to be too much of a hot number for Roland, and he falls in love with the dog intended as a prop to be given away at the end of the summer. At that point, Roland discovers Miranda’s charms—and well, you know the rest of the story. (Above, Daniel Robert Sullivan as Roland spies Clare Fitzgerald as Blair in Central Park)

Directed by Bickford Artistic Director Eric Hafen, the peppy, pleasant music and sometimes clever lyrics penned by Gayla D. Morgan are delivered by a quartet of young actors, all with good musical ability. Daniel Robert Sullivan (Roland) shows his professional experience (he played Jersey Boys’ Tommy DeVito in Vegas, Toronto and on tour) as he makes his character’s charming awkwardness palpable. From the show’s very first number (“Married Over Labor Day”), he owns the stage. He’s especially winning performing the “Vacation/Training Tango” with Miranda or begging a missing Cupid to “Please Come Home.” It’s hard to take your eyes off him.

Miranda (Allie Ambriano) and Guy (Shabazz Green) sing Better Saturday Nights; photo by Jack GraOver the play’s 90-minute running time, Allie Ambriano’s Miranda (left, with Shabazz Green) morphs from nerdy, no-nonsense, unfashionable dog trainer to a very attractive girl worthy of the notice of hot-to-trot Guy and Roland. At one point, she even appears (in a nightmare) as a dominatrix! She sings well with both men and even manages to make the treacly sweet “Cupid’s Lullaby” (“Puppy, puppy pie,” she warbles) bearable. Of course, because she’s not so blatantly sexy, she’s the perfect match for Roland, and we sure root for them to get together.

Shabazz Green has a fine time flexing his very obvious muscles and thrusting his pelvis as he gives the nerdy Roland advice on attracting—and hooking up with—girls. Unfortunately, Weinberger and Morgan have created a cartoon character who’s more buffoon than real. But Green has a good voice and comedic timing, so he adds some levity to the tale.

Roland (Daniel Robert Sullivan) and Blair (Clare Fitzgerald); photo by Jack GrassaOf the four, Clare Fitzgerald (right, with Sullivan) as Blair appears to be uncomfortable onstage. Sexy in very short skirts, her character, too, is more caricature than real and requires her to utter some over-the-top dialogue that’s rather off-putting. She does a fine job declaring her love for the “Freedom” of a summer vacation from her high-charged job as the senior manager at a hedge fund, but she doesn’t have much to do except strut around the stage and lunge at Roland in a quest to “Make Some Noise.” Fitzgerald sings well, but the part doesn’t require much of her in the way of acting, leaving her looking awkward most of the time.

What about the dog, you ask? Well, Morgan and Weinberger have specified that Cupid be depicted as invisible so each audience member is free to imagine him as the dog breed they love best. To make this work, the actors—chiefly Sullivan and Ambriano—have to pick “him” up, cuddle him and pet him so that we “see” him, a feat they carry out with genius.

The plot unfolds on a functionally furnished stage set designed by Jim Bazewicz, using projections of what appear to be paintings of window views, beachscapes and Hampton cabins to set and change the scenes effortlessly. Roman Klima’s lighting and sound enhance the summer atmosphere; thankfully, no barking or yipping sounds intrude. Hailey Benson’s costumes suit each character, even if I experienced some moments of trepidation about the shortness of Blair’s skirt. The two-man orchestra, directed by Stephanie Lindley provided good, if sometimes too loud, accompaniment.

Yes, boy meets dog meets girl loses girl meets right girl may sound a bit trite, but A Dog Story reminds us that there is room in the theater for diverting musical comedies to take our minds off the weighty matters of day-to-day living. The Bickford Theatre’s production may not solve the Syrian crisis, but it does remind us that, in the “war” of relationships, humor and love—of human or dog—can bring about a happy if unexpected ending.

A Dog Story will be performed at the Bickford Theatre in the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Hgts. Road, Morristown, through April 22. For performance information and tickets, call 973.971.3706 or visit online.

Photos by Jack Grassa.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary on April 19 at Rutgers-New Brunswick



WHEN: April 19, 7 pm
: Rutgers Hillel, 70 College Avenue, New Brunswick, with free campus parking in Lots 11, 26, 30 & College Avenue Deck.
TICKETS: Free and open to the public
Advance registration is requested by emailing, calling 848-932-2033, or on the Bildner Center’s website. For more information, visit the website

A special event honoring Israel’s 70th anniversary will be held at Rutgers-New Brunswick. The program will feature a lively panel discussion, “New Trends in Israeli Music and Dance,” followed by a rocking concert by the Israeli cover band ISRABAND.

The program is presented in partnership with NJPAC, Rutgers' Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, and Rutgers Hillel. It is funded in part by the Ruth and Alvin Rockoff program fund.

GaleetDardashti 4a10cDinaRoginsky 46574The panel discussion begins at 7:00 p.m. and features two experts on the topic of Israeli music and dance: Dr. Galeet Dardashti (left), assistant professor of Jewish music and musician-in-residence at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and founder of the renowned all-woman ensemble Divahn (right); and Dr. Dina Roginsky, a senior lecturer of modern Hebrew language and culture at Yale University, who specializes in Israeli culture, folklore, dance, and ethnicity. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Yael Zerubavel, professor of Jewish studies and history and the director of the Bildner Center.

Image result for israband

At 8:30 p.m., ISRABAND will take the stage for a concert performance. An Israeli cover band based in New York City, ISRABAND specializes in providing the audience with an authentic and refreshing experience through a variety of the biggest hits of Israeli and Jewish music. Their repertoire includes popular hits by Arik Einstein, Shlomo Artzi, Kaveret, Mosh Ben-Ari, Eyal Golan, Yehudit Ravitz, and others.

The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life connects the university with the community through public lectures, symposia, Jewish communal initiatives, cultural events, and teacher training.

Thursday, April 12, 2018



A new dramatic staged reading by Lori Roper and Rick Sordelet at the Newark Symphony Hall Newark Stage (Black Box Theater).

Directed by Marshall Jones III


CALL BOX OFFICE 973.643.8014

WHERE: Newark Symphony Hall, 1030 Broad Street, Newark


WHEN: Saturday, April 14th, 11:00-4:00. Mini Painting Sessions
Allamuchy Crafters and Artisan Fair

WHEN: Thursday, April 26th 

  • 6:30-8:00 pm Kid's Paint Night
  • 7:00-9:00 pm Adult Wine and Paint Night

To register for any program: CLICK HERE or call 908-852-1894 Ext 338


Jenny-logo35_roseSnap, Crackle, Pop

WHEN: April 14, 2018. There will be an encore performance at a matinee on April 15th at NJPAC.
WHERE: NJPAC, Victoria Theatre, 1 Center St., Newark
TICKETS: General admission tickets for April 14 evening and April 15 matinee are available from $25 - $45
here. Individual gala tickets start at $235 and include a post-show reception that includes light supper, cocktails, dessert, dancing and music by The Hubcaps at Nico private room, inside of NJPAC. Gala sponsorships, tickets, and virtual advertisements can be purchased online at

Carolyn Dorfman Dance, whose bold and dramatic works connect life and movement, is premiering a new work in collaboration with Pilobolus during its yearly performance and gala benefit on at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). The new piece is being co-choreographed by Carolyn Dorfman, Renée Jaworski, Co-Artistic Director of Pilobolus and former Dorfman company dancer, and the dancers of CDD. It is co-commissioned by NJPAC. The evening performance will also feature a re-creation of Carolyn Dorfman Dance repertory pieces Lifeline and Cercle d’Amour—connecting the company and its audience in celebration of Dorfman’s 35th Anniversary festivities.

This Pilobolus and Carolyn Dorfman Dance collaboration is the first-of-its-kind for both companies—the first co-choreographic creation with an external choreographer for Carolyn Dorfman and the first time a Pilobolus creation will join another company’s repertory. The historic premiere, which encapsulates Dorfman and Jaworski’s vision of delving into human connections across time and culture, will remain exclusively a part of Carolyn Dorfman Dance’s repertory for two years, and then be added to the Pilobolus repertory.

The two choreographers agree that, while their processes originate from different perspectives, their work together is bringing them down a path that is both familiar and filled with unexpected discoveries.  “Collaborating with Renée and my dancers on this new work has been exhilarating,” says Carolyn Dorfman, “We work entirely different and yet remarkably similar. I love her spontaneity, craft, and the extraordinary physical Pilobolus trademarks embodied in this work. It has taken us all to a new, yet somehow familiar, place. For Renée Jaworski, “to celebrate an American Modern Dance company’s 35th anniversary is a rare and wonderful thing. Carolyn has always done what it takes to keep her audience engaged, and that is a desire I share. The fact that we come at that goal from our own perspectives is bringing us both to unexpected and exciting places.”

Merging their signature styles and processes, Dorfman, Pilobolus and the 11 company dancers come together to create a new premiere about connection; past, present and future. Cercle d’Amour jubilantly explores movement evoked by the American icon, the Hula–Hoop, and Lifeline utilizes ropes to showcase the strong bonds created across multiple generations.


Snap, Crackle, Pop (2018) - World Premiere

  • Choreography: Created in collaboration with Carolyn Dorfman, Renée Jaworksi and the dancers of Carolyn Dorfman Dance
  • Music: David Van Tieghem
  • Lighting: Thom Weaver
  • Costume: Anna-Alisa Belous

Delving into iconic American cultural experiences and common bonds that shape us, the premiere explores the phenomenon of commercials (content, jingles, song), social and political events, the technology explosion, and the evolution of human communication.

Lifeline (1987)

  • Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
  • Music: Robert Kaplan
  • Lighting: Thom Weaver
  • Costume: Original - Russell Aubrey, recreated and adapted by Anna-Alisa Belous

“The tension from the ropes and the interconnectedness of the dancers make a strong and exciting statement about the bonds that join individuals across generations.” - The New York Times

Cercle d’Amour (2010)

  • Choreography: Carolyn Dorfman
  • Music: Andy Teirstein
  • Costumes and Prop Design: Anna-Alisa Belous
  • Custom Hula Hoop Construction: KaytiBunny Roberts

Cercle d’Amour is Carolyn Dorfman’s choreographic response to what she was once told: “laughter, too, can change the world.” The piece explores the visual and movement metaphors evoked by a resonant and versatile prop, the hula-hoop. Featuring music by Andy Tierstein, the ensemble work illuminates various aspects of relationships including play, competition, and fantasy.

The evening is presented as part of NJPAC’s Jersey Moves! Festival of Dance and made possible by generous grants from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Newark Choruses and Crescent Choral Society Sing Durufle on April 14 in Plainfield

Crescent Concerts presents the Crescent Choral Society presents

Photo 2 - The Crescent Choral Society under the baton of Dr. Deborah S. King

Durufle’s Requiem and Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine

WHEN: Saturday, April 14, at 4:00 pm 
:  the historic Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church at Watchung Avenue and East Seventh Street in Plainfield.  Ample free secure parking is available for the concert.
TICKETS: General Admission-$20; Seniors-$15 and Students-$5
Tickets for this unprecedented and highly anticipated collaboration may be purchased at the door on the day of performance
For more information, call 908-756-2468, visit or follow Crescent Concerts on Facebook.

Photo 1 - Newark Boys Chorus, along with the Arts High School Advanced Chorus, will perform witJoining the Choral Society for this concert of French music are the Newark Arts High School Advanced Chorus (the nation’s first public high school for the Arts) and the  Newark Boys’ Chorus Touring Choir. “What a joy it is for us to perform a major masterwork such as Durufle’s Requiem alongside young artists!” said Artistic Director Dr. Deborah Simpkin King.   

“Both directors—Donald Morris of NBCS and Jerry Forderhase of NAHS—are brilliant and dedicated educators, as well as long-time friends and colleagues, and their students’ singing is inspirational!”

Mahwah Museum Presents a Jazz Guitar Workshop with Vic Juris and Ed Laub

Jazz Guitar Workshop with Vic Juris and Ed Laub

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Mahwah Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah
$85.00 per person. The $85.00 cost includes take-home materials, lunch, and a two-year individual Mahwah Museum membership. 
Students are asked to bring a guitar (acoustic or archtop, preferably, as amplifiers will be limited) to the workshop.  All levels, from beginner to advanced, are welcome.

Join Jazz Guitar Master Vic Juris, assisted by Rhythm Guitarist Ed Laub, for an all-day Jazz Guitar Workshop, where you will spend your day exploring and discussing jazz guitar, chord development, improvisation and techniques! 

The workshop will conclude with a private performance for the students by Laub and Juris, and an improv session with participants.

There is a 20 person limit, so please register ASAP. For further information, please visit or contact

Advanced registration is required.  Space is limited to twenty students, so please register early. To register online via PayPal, visit PayPal registrations will need to pay the full $85.00 cost at time of purchase.
Please check back soon to for information about another exciting workshop to be held at Ramapo College on June 9th, 2018.  Produced by Ed Laub, the June event will feature classes by outstanding musicians Roni Ben-Hur, Gene Bertoncini, Paul Meyers and luthiers Dale and Tyler Unger, followed by a performance by the instructors. Don’t miss these great events!
These workshops are made possible by a grant from the Les Paul Foundation and are hosted by the Mahwah Museum Society Inc. These workshops are produced by Ed Laub.

Instructor Vic Juris (top, left) has been called one of the leading jazz educators throughout the world; he is also the author of several educational jazz books. Vic studied with Charlie Banacos and Pat Martino and has performed with Barry Miles, Richie Cole, Eddie Jefferson, Jimmy Smith, Mel Torme, Nancy Wilson, and Sarah Vaughan.  An instructor at The New School in NYC, the New York Jazz Workshop School of Music, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, Lehigh University, The Pennsylvania Jazz Collective, and a Youth Jazz Canada Artist-in-Residence, his workshops have been called “an absolute must for serious jazz guitarists.”

Born in northern Bergen County, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Ed Laub (top, right) studied guitar with Bobby Dominic and Bucky Pizzarelli.  He has performed in Jazz Festivals, concert halls and clubs throughout the New York/New Jersey area, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kitano, The Iridium, Birdland, PNC Arts Center, Bickford Theatre, NJ-PAC, Berrie Performing Arts Center, The Annual Elkhart Jazz Festival and Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village.  For many years he has partnered with his close friend and mentor, the renowned Bucky Pizzarelli, playing jazz festivals and venues in the Metropolitan area and in cities across the US.  When not working with Bucky, Ed is in demand as an accompanist; as one of the more accomplished 7-string guitarists, he adds a pianistic style that makes a duo sound more like a trio. 


"A Dog Story" to open at the Bickford Theatre on Friday, April 13th


by Eric H. Weinberger
music and lyrics by Gayla D. Morgan
directed by Bickford Theatre Producing Artistic Director Eric Hafen

WHEN: April 12 – 22, 2018. Thursday, April 12, 7:30PM and April 19, 2:00PM and 7:30PM; Friday, April 13, and April 20, 8:00PM; Saturday, April 14 and April 21, 8:00PM; Sunday, April 15 and April 22, 2:00PM
: Bickford Theatre, 6 Normady Hgts. Rd., Morristown
TICKETS: $45 General Public; $40 Seniors; $38 Morris Museum Members; $33 Groups (10 or more); $20 Students (with a valid student ID). There is a $3 service charge per ticket.
Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 973. 971.3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office. The Bickford Theatre is an integral part of the Morris Museum, located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00am to 5:00pm.

imageA hit in its Off-Broadway run in late 2016, A Dog Story is an enchanting musical that follows the story of Roland, played by Daniel Robert Sullivan (left), who starred in both the Broadway and National Productions of Jersey Boys. Roland is a career-driven lawyer, who thinks he must be married to get the partnership he desperately wants. He takes the advice of his best friend to get a dog in order to attract the attention of women. With first dates, angry tangos, and a sudden disappearance, Roland ends up discovering there’s more to life when you “get a dog”!

“Reading this bright and positive new musical made me smile. Hearing the music made me laugh and love. Everyone knows that a dog can be emotionally transforming to the soul. If you love dogs as much as I do, you will love A Dog Story," commented Director Eric Hafen.

imageMs. Morgan (left) will attend the opening of A Dog Story on Friday, April 13, and join the cast and creative team at a party for Bickford Theatre subscribers and the press.

Special Events:

There will be an opening night cast party for Bickford Theatre subscribers and members of the press following the performance on Friday, April 13. Composer and lyricist, Gayla D. Morgan will be in attendance this evening.

There will be a post-performance chat with the cast and creative team on Thursday, April 19. Composer and lyricist, Gayla D. Morgan will also be in attendance this evening.

Win tickets to A Dog Story
The Morris Museum hopes to engage the community further with this production. The theater has announced an opportunity on Instagram to share one's own dog story and photo for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the opening night performance followed by the cast party on Friday, April 13. Visit the Morris Museum Instagram page for details.

Eric H. Weinberger (Book) was delighted to combine his passions for musicals and dogs in A Dog Story. His other musicals are Wanda's World, which was nominated for Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards, and ...And Then I Wrote A Song About It, which had productions in New Jersey and California and was presented at 54 Below in New York City in May 2016. Eric also wrote a number of plays. His Class Mothers '68, starring Tony-winner Priscilla Lopez, was produced in New Jersey and Off–Broadway. Tea For Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty, which he wrote with Elaine Bromka, who also stars in the show, has been touring the country since 2004 and is published by Dramatic Publishing. Eric passed away in 2017 after a valiant 4-year battle with cancer, leaving behind husband Steve, Jack Russell mix Milo, and his ever-grateful friend and collaborator, Gayla.





WHEN: Friday, April 20 – Sunday, April 22, 2018.* special events around the production include a Relaxed Performance on Saturday, April 21 at 4pm **
: Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its season of Theater for Young Audiences productions with The Young King, for audiences age 8 and up. Created by Slingsby Theatre, Adelaide Australia, The Young King is based on a short story by Oscar Wilde, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom, and directed by Andy Packer. The lead sponsor is Monmouth University and the production sponsor is Rumson Country Day School. 

What kind of king would you be? A naive boy raised by goatherds is discovered to be the heir to the kingdom. Treasure and privileges are laid at his feet, but at what cost to others? The young and young-at-heart are invited to join the Young King in this enchanting, moving, and immersive adaptation (children are invited to participate throughout the show!) of the fairytale by Oscar Wilde. It is a coming-of-age story that grapples with the ethics of beauty, leadership and compassion, and includes unique and interactive stagecraft, puppetry and live music. Free pre-show coronation activities begin 30 minutes prior to each performance.

The Young King won the 2017 People’s Choice Award at the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase.

*Friday, April 20, at 10:30 am (student matinees, tickets are $15) and 2pm; Saturday, April 21, at 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm (relaxed performance) ; Sunday, April 22, at 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm

**Relaxed Performance, Saturday, April 21, at 4pm: Two River is proud to offer relaxed performances that support young people on the autism spectrum and welcome them to the theater. Adjustments are made for relaxed performances, including keeping house lights on at low levels, and sound at comfortable levels, especially for startling or loud sounds. Patrons are free to talk, move around, or leave their seats during performances, and iPads and other electronic devices used for therapeutic purposes are allowed in the theater. Two River staff and volunteers with autism training provide assistance at all relaxed performances.

bergenPAC Presents The Carole King Songbook 4/13


Tapestry: The Carole King Songbook

WHEN: FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018 – 8 PM
: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood
TICKETS: $49-39-29
Tickets available at: or Box Office (201) 227-1030

When singer/musician Suzanne O Davis performs she brings a combination of integrity, sophistication and rock ‘n roll. She has shared stages and opened for acts like America, KC and the Sunshine Band, Taylor Dayne, Eddie Money, Orleans, Gary Puckett, the Village People and BJ Thomas. She continues this amazing journey with her latest and most heartfelt tribute to Carole King.

Not only does she channel the characteristics of Carole at the piano but her comfortable stage presentation really endears her to the audience. “I really like to have fun and talk ‘with’ the audience about the history of the songs. I think people want to feel that we’re all sharing these moments together…and we are.”

About bergenPAC
Founded in 2003, the 1,367-seat Bergen Performing Arts Center, or bergenPAC, is the area’s cultural mecca. Housed in a historic Art Deco-style theater boasting one of the finest acoustic halls in the United States, bergenPAC attracts a stellar roster of world-class entertainment. The jewel in our crown is The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC – the innovative, educational performing arts initiative that, through programs, classes, outreach, school shows, and main theater presented shows, reach more than 30,000 students and community youth annually. The Performing Arts School provides community youth, age 2 months to 21 years, with unique, “hands-on” training in music, dance and theater by industry professionals. It is through the ongoing generosity of sponsors, donors, members, and patrons that the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation bergenPAC and The Performing Arts School are able to thrive and enrich our community.

For updates, “Like” bergenPAC on Facebook (!/bergenpacfan), follow @bergenPAC on Twitter, follow us on LinkedIn and visit our website at



Dancing at Lughnasa


WHEN: Saturday, April 14 - Sunday, May 13, 2018. Opening: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7pm
Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the complete cast and creative team for its production of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play. Dancing at Lughnasa will be directed by Jessica Stone, who previously directed acclaimed productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Absurd Person Singular at Two River Theater.

Friel’s play—set in the summer of 1936, during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa—is a modern masterpiece about the Mundy sisters, five unmarried women who live together in County Donegal, on the west coast of Ireland. Their brother, Father Jack, has just returned from 25 years as a missionary in Uganda. The story is framed by the memories of the narrator, Michael, the grown-up illegitimate son of one of the sisters, who also speaks the lines of his seven-year-old self as he remembers that summer, when everything seemed to be on the brink of change. Dedicated to Friel’s own aunts, Dancing at Lughnasa is suffused with both tenderness and darkness as it evokes two days in the life of the family, and their desires, struggles, and ambitions.

The company includes Megan Byrne (Kate), Michael Cumpsty (Jack), Meredith Garretson (Chris), Mylinda Hull (Maggie), Cillian O’Sullivan (Gerry), Christa Scott-Reed (Agnes), Mandy Siegfried (Rose), and Harry Smith (Michael).

The creative team includes choreographer Connor Gallagher, scenic designer Tobin Ost, costume designer Gabriel Berry, lighting designer Jason Lyons, sound designer Drew Levy, hair designer Cookie Jordan and dialect coach Blake Segal. The casting is by Alaine Alldaffer & Lisa Donadio, and the production stage manager is Megan Smith.

Inside Two River

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit or call 732.345.1400. 

Travel Chat: A Taste of Ireland
Led by CIE International Tours & Excel Travel
WHEN: Sunday, April 15, at 1pm

Experts from CIE Tours will present an audio-visual presentation about the unique travel experiences that can be enjoyed in Ireland. This event will include an opportunity for participants to ask questions and receive exclusive discounts.

A Series of Irish Talks
Presented as part of the Conversation + Play salon series curated by the producers of the TEDxAsburyPark conference and Two River Theater
WHEN: Monday, April 16, at 7pm

Three guest speakers will each present brief talk on their area of expertise. A Q&A session will follow and light refreshments will be served

Meet-up with Madeleine
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, following the 3pm performance

Meet-up with Madeleine is a post-show discussion series with Two River’s Playwright-in-Residence, Madeleine George. Patrons are invited to enjoy refreshments and conversation on topics including Brian Friel, the play’s themes, elements of the production, and more.

Audience Extras

Before Play

Audiences will learn about Brian Friel and this production of Dancing at Lughnasa in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, April 25 at 7pm; Sunday, April 29 at 3pm; and Wednesday, May 2 at 1pm.


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

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 at 1pm; an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 at 3pm; and a sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Sunday, May 12 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail

Guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur Perform Together at New Jersey Jazz Society April 15th Social

Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur

WHEN: Sunday, April 15. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the music is performed from 3:30-5:30 p.m., with one short intermission.
: Shanghai Jazz, 24 Main St. in Madison
TICKETS: free for New Jersey Jazz Society members and $10 for non-members. There is also a $10 food/beverage minimum.
For more information, email, or call 973 372-5409.

gene bertonciniIn 2008, guitarists Gene Bertoncini (right) and Roni Ben-Hur recorded a duet album on the Motema Music label called Smile, a fundraiser for the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood Hospital. In his review in the Washington Post, Geoffrey Himes said the two musicians “sound extremely comfortable together”, adding that Bertoncini “plays a nylon-string guitar with classical and Brazilian influences like the late Charlie Byrd,” and “Ben-Hur plays a hollow-body electric guitar in the boppish style of Pat Martino.”

RoniBenHur_highres_1Bertoncini and Ben-Hur (left) will again be playing together, at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Sunday jazz social held at Shanghai Jazz in Madison. Bertoncini, a member of the jazz faculty at William Paterson University in Wayne, started out his career as member of the Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson’s tenure. He has worked with composers and arrangers such as Michel Legrand and Lalo Schifrin and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Ben-Hur has appeared and recorded with such jazz legends as pianist Barry Harris, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and trumpeter Clark Terry. They will be joined by bassist Josh Marcum.

Funding for the New Jersey Jazz Society socials has been made possible in part by Morris Arts through the N.J. State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Stuart Little” comes to Montclair’s Studio Playhouse

1. Meet Stuart Little


WHEN: April 14 – 22, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:30pm
: Studio Playhouse, 14 Alvin Place, off Valley Road near the Acme, in Upper Montclair
ADMISSION: $8; discounts available for groups of 20 or more that prepay.
Tickets can be purchased online at  or by calling 973-744-9752.

2. Five Cats and One Mouse, What Could Go WrongStuart Little, the classic children’s novel by E.B. White adapted by Joseph Robinette, comes to Montclair’s Studio Playhouse.

Join Stuart Little, everyone’s favorite mouse on a mission, and his neighborhood friends on Stuart’s many adventures! Boat races, dastardly cats, toy car road trips, and much more await you!

Stuart Little is directed by Alicia Hayes of Butler and Stage Managed by Matt Marino of Bernadsville.

MCCC’s James Kerney Campus Gallery Presents Niko J. Kallianiotis ‘America in a Trance’ Photo Exhibit April 12 - May 10


America in a Trance
an exhibit by photographer Niko J. Kallianiotis

WHEN: Thursday, April 12 through Thursday, May 10. Wednesday, April 18, Artist’s Talk and Reception with Kallianiotis from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The talk will begin at 5:30 p.m
JKCG MCCC's Trenton Hall, 137 North Broad Street, across the street from the Kerney Building.
Additional hours for this exhibit will be posted on the JKCG website:

Kallianiotis was born in Greece, but immigrated to Scranton, Pa., 20 years ago. Since then he has crisscrossed the state, taking numerous photographs of Pennsylvania's small towns, including Scranton, Aliquippa, Lehighton, and many places in between. He notes that he came to America with visions of prosperity and vibrancy based on Hollywood movies. But what he discovered was something very different. (Top: Apocalypse)

Kallianiotis_HousesHe has seen abandonment of buildings that once were sites of prosperous factories. He has seen casinos rising where industry once thrived. More recently, he has observed parallels between the troubled economy of his home country and the one in Pennsylvania: rising unemployment, a glut of services, and no industry. Now, he has turned those photos into the project he calls “America in a Trance” (above: Houses).

Kallianiotis was recently featured in an interview by Elizabeth Flock on PBS Newshour. During the interview, he said, “I include the human element. But it’s more about the place, and passing through it.”

On his website, Kallianiotis states: “This project is an ongoing observation of the fading American dream so typified in the Northeastern Pennsylvania landscape but widespread across the United States…Through form, light and color, I let my work develop organically, and become commentary both of place, but also of self…I seek to visualize the core values of American society, while at the same time reevaluate my own.”

Gallery Director Dalton notes that Kallianiotis’ work is both reactionary and commentary. “He has witnessed the economic rise and falls in both his hometown of Scranton, Pa., and in his homeland of Greece. His work explores the social landscape of the places he has lived and visited while exploring his identity in both cultures,” Dalton said.

Kallianiotis’ work has been extensively featured in solo and group exhibitions from local shows in Pennsylvania to galleries in Vermont, Arizona, New York, California, Israel, the United Kingdom, and his native Greece. He has been featured in a long list of publications, including Focus on the Story, Edge of Humanity, iFocus, Fraction Magazine, C41 Magazine, Phroom Magazine, Photographers Quarterly, ArtCore Magazine, Vice Magazine, The New York Times Lens Blog, and International Street Photographer Magazine.



The Long Island Vegetable Orchestra


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled. Please contact the box office for a refund or more information. We are sorry for any inconvenience.


A Cook on the Wild Side

Film and Discussion

Does environmental sustainability mean hunting, poaching, and foraging are acceptable practices? Celebrity chef, food writer, and environmentalist Hugh Fearnley tackles these sometimes-controversial issues in the film. A post-film discussion on the ethics and importance of hunting will be led by Iain Kerr, co-founder of SPURSE.


WHERE: Cheng Library Auditorium, William Paterson University, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne

Click here for directions and a map of the William Paterson University campus.

For more information, please visit



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

“The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi” opens this coming weekend!

The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi by Y York

Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional theatre, presents Y York’s young audience adaptation of

The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi
By Y York 

WHEN: April 14-May 6, Saturdays @ 3pm and 7pm and Sundays at 11am and 3pm. Performance will be followed by a talkback with the cast.
Mile Square Theatre, 1400 Clinton, Hoboken, NJ 07030
TICKETS: $30 Adults all performances, $15 Kids all performances
Tickets can be purchased at
For information about Thursday and Friday daytime performances for school audiences:

Age Appropriate: 4 and older
Performance running time: approximately 60 minutes

MST_RTT_27_fullrtezRestaging its 2011 production for a new audience, MST is thrilled to reunite much of the creative team from the earlier production, including MST Artistic Director Chris O’Connor and actor Blaire Brooks (Bull, Blacklist) as Darzee the Tailor Bird. The cast includes MST regular Andrew Baldwin (Frog and Toad), Cameron Blankenship (Lyric Rep), and Arielle Legere (Princess K.I.M.).

York’s adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story playfully dramatizes the conflict between Nag the Cobra and Darzee the Tailor Bird, Chuchu the Muskrat, and Rikki the Mongoose. Darzee, the diva, is incensed when Rikki washes up in her pristine garden. She and Chuchu attempt to run off the pesky, cheerful mongoose, until they see the cobra Nag run in fear when Nag discovers that a mongoose is on the loose. This comedy about sharing, cooperation, and growing up will appeal to all audiences 4 years and older.

The 2011 production was loved by audiences and critics alike:

  • “A spirited production, adults will wind up having a much better time than they thought they would.”—Star Ledger
  • “Rikki Tikki Tavi is worthy of our kids; intelligent, creative, multi-layered and deserving of the overused term ‘magical’. And it’s funny. Really funny. For kids and adults.”—Mommy Poppins