Friday, August 31, 2018

Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Exploring the Inside of Popular Everyday Devices Coming to Morris Museum


WHEN: September 8, 2018 through December 2, 2018
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
ADMISSION: Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members. For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit

A quarter-inch-thick smartphone can be used as a watch, a camera, a theater, a map and even a mobile bank. Things Come Apart, a traveling exhibition circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and featuring the works of creative photographer and tinkerer Todd McLellan, looks inside the smartphone and dozens of other everyday technologies. (Above: Mantel clock made by E. Ingraham in 1928. Component count: 59. Photograph by Todd McLellan.)

Disassembled_MobilePhone_V02McLellan spent countless hours disassembling objects of all sizes and functions—from a watch to a laptop and a Walkman to an upright piano—with painstaking precision into hundreds or even thousands of pieces. With each object fully stripped to its bare parts, he methodically worked backwards, laying out each item in reverse order from the protective case to the smallest circuits until the true scope of each design was captured. The resulting images, grouped alongside other items built for similar purposes, provide a visual history lesson of mechanical innovation and highlight the contrast between old-world craftsmanship and sleek modern engineering.

Through more than 40 captivating photographs, videos, and objects encased in acrylic, Things Come Apart documents the design and function, both low-tech and high-tech, of the utilitarian objects we take for granted in life today. (Above: Smartphone made by BlackBerry in 2007. Component Count:120. Photograph by Todd McLellan.)

Technological advances have increased with exponential speed since the second half of the 20th century. Consumers have demanded that their gadgets be increasingly capable and reliable while also being sleeker and more portable. The resulting devices are smaller and more complex than ever before while having the life cycle of a fruit fly.

“We don’t always think about the tools we use, but working on this project has given me a greater respect for engineering of newer technology,” said McLellan, who also disassembled bicycles, compasses and power drills, among other things. “It’s remarkable how much modern design packs into so little.”

Younger visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to become part of the experience through the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center’s Spark!Lab activities. These collaborative, hands-on challenges offer hypothetical situations that allow critical thinking and team creativity to flourish and provide fun skill building in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The Spark!Lab activity kits are provided through a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

To sign up for these programs, visit,

Invent-A-Vehicle (Saturday, September 15, 11:00AM and 1:00PM): Visitors sketch and then build a vehicle to solve specific transportation challenges. Vehicles are made from reusable material and components are scaled to encourage collaboration, imaginative play, and real functional testing.

Shaping Space (Saturday, October 13, 11:00AM and 1:00PM): Visitors use their imagination and the provided construction materials to find inventive ways to shape spaces that meet varying engineering and architectural challenges.

Soundscapes (Saturday, November 10, 11:00AM and 1:00PM): Visitors design and assemble wooden blocks, noise-making elements, and marbles to create sound pathways and music. They explore different configurations and try marbles of different sizes and materials to produce the sounds they're looking for.

About Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES)

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at

About Todd McLellan

McLellan is a photographer who specializes in conceptual work. He nurtured his love for conceptual photography at the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002. He released the book Things Come Apart in 2013 and continues to make inspired visuals in his Toronto studio and on location which can be seen at

About the Morris Museum

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through high-caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Location and Hours

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month.

“The Dining Room" Opens at The Barn Theatre in Montville

The Dining Room Closes


WHEN: September 7, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 8pm and September 8, 9, 16, & 23 at 2 pm.
The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287.
TICKETS: $20 (senior/student tickets are $18 on matinees only)
For more reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn Theatre on the web at

TheDiningRoom01-1Set in a single dining room, six actors perform 18 overlapping scenes from different households. Each scene focuses around a different family during different time periods. At its heart, it tells the story of the dying culture of upper-middle class Americans who over time have focused less on tradition and more on family progress.

The cast of The Dining Room features Dale Monroe Jr, Bridget Burke Weiss, Patrick McAndrew, Natalie LaSpisa, Roxanne Wagner & Craig Zimmerman all as Ensemble.

Above: L to R :Dale Monroe Jr, Bridget Burke Weiss, Patrick McAndrew, Natalie LaSpisa, Roxanne Wagner & Craig Zimmerman. Photo Tom Schopper


Buy now!


As always, there are no added fees no matter how you choose to purchase your tickets. The UCPAC has a NO REFUNDS and NO EXCHANGES policy that applies to all ticket sales. Discount codes cannot be combined and cannot be applied to past purchases.

Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM-5 PM, with extended hours of 11 AM-8 PM on Thursdays. The Box Office is also open starting 1 hour before Hamilton Stage events, and 2 hours before Main Stage events.

(Discount code must be applied online when box office is not open. If calling in during box office hours, make sure to give the code to the associate.)

Box Office: (732) 499-8226

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Don’t Delay! Save 50% on “The Trial of Donna Caine” @ George Street Playhouse

The Trial of Donna Caine
by Walter Anderson (CEO and Editor, Parade Magazine)
directed by David Saint

WHEN: October 16 - November 11
WHERE: George Street Playhouse, 103 College Farm Rd., New Brunswick

Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets or with any other offer. Valid August 28-31 only.  Expires 11:59pm on August 30.

A world premiere inspired by true events


Premiere Stages to Present Full Production of NJPAC Stage Exchange Commission


Sept. 6 - 23 at the Bauer Boucher Theatre Center

by Nicole Pandolfo

WHEN: September 6-23. Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Kean University’s Bauer Boucher Theatre Center (Vaughn Eames Hall, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.)
TICKETS: $30 standard, $20 for senior citizens and Kean alumni and staff, and $15 for students and patrons with disabilities. Significant discounts for groups of 8 or more apply.
To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the box office at 908-737-7469 or visit Premiere Stages ONLINE

Tickets are also available for Premiere Stages’ exclusive Brick City Opening Night Party on Friday, September 7. This event features a pre-show party with wine, hors d’oeuvres, live music and breathtaking views of the New York City skyline in Kean’s North Avenue Academic Building event space, reserved seating for the performance and a post-show champagne toast and dessert reception with the cast. Tickets for this exclusive event are $65, and may be purchased by calling 908-737-7469 or emailing

Originally commissioned over a two-year cycle through the NJPAC Stage Exchange and now receiving its first professional production, Brick City features Rafael Benoit, Jacqueline Correa, Madison Ferris and Chris Grant. Jessi D. Hill, who helmed this season’s workshop of Deneen Reynold-Knott’s Baton, directs.

Now in its fourth year, the NJPAC Stage Exchange pairs cutting-edge play development with insightful community dialogue. An innovative partnership between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and three professional producing theatres, the program annually commissions three new plays by three Garden State playwrights, presents free readings of the plays with public commentary at NJPAC in Newark, and ultimately results in three full productions of the plays at the collaborating theatres the following season.

Nicole Pandolfo_color_resizeWorlds collide in Ms. Pandolfo’s topical and compelling new play when Jessie, a combative high school senior with a disability, and Darnell, the star player of the high school basketball team, find themselves together in extended study hall during the most important marking period of their lives. As Darnell inches dangerously close to throwing away a lucrative college scholarship and Jessie a potential career as an artist, both discover things aren't always as simple as they may seem.

Brick City is the culmination of a highly collaborative initiative between Premiere Stages, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and we could not be more excited to end this cycle with a full production of Nicole’s fine play,” stated producing artistic director John J. Wooten. “The project fully embodies our mission and commitment to New Jersey based communities and local artists.”

A resident of Ridgewood, Ms. Pandolfo is a 2017 Dramatist Guild Fellow. Her work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center as a Playwright Observer, at Tofte Lake as a Jerome Foundation Fellow, and the Lark. She was a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award, the Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship, and the Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers. She is a member of The Actors Studio in the Playwright/Director Unit and received her MFA at Hunter College.

Ms. Hill currently serves as the artistic associate for Flying Carpet Theatre Company and the literary team director for Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. She is a recipient of the Denham Fellowship from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, an alumna of the Women's Project Lab, and an affiliated artist at New Georges. She previously served as associate artistic director of terraNOVA Collective, where she co-created the Groundbreakers Playwrights Group and Groundworks new works program.

The accomplished cast includes Rafael Benoit, previously seen on television’s “Law and Order: SVU,” “The Blacklist: Redemption” and “Gotham”; Jacqueline Correa, whose distinguished regional credits include the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage and Arkansas Rep; Madison Ferris, who recently made her Broadway debut opposite Sally Field in Sam Gold's acclaimed revival of The Glass Menagerie; and Chris Grant, a Linden resident and current Kean Theatre Conservatory student making his professional debut.

Patrons are encouraged to arrive early for the performance and enjoy a free art exhibit presented by Kean Galleries in conjunction with the production. Newark’s Papers, a collaboration between Kean alumnus Nelson Álvarez and acclaimed curator Alexis Mendoza, features detail drawings of Newark’s industrial buildings, a favorite subject of Brick City’s fictional Jessie, an aspiring photographer. The exhibit will run now through September 23 in the James Howe Gallery, located on the first floor of Kean University’s Vaughn Eames Hall.

Audience members are also invited to further engage with the issues raised by Ms. Pandolfo’s thought-provoking play through free post-show discussions with community leaders, local experts and artists involved with the production after select matinee performances (September 9, 15 and 22 at 3:00 pm). Featured speakers include Ms.  Pandolfo (Sunday, September 9); Mr. Álvarez and Mr. Mendoza (Saturday, September 15); and Jeremy Johnson, executive director of Newark Arts (Saturday, September 22). Premiere will also offer a series of informal pre-show talks every Saturday evening 30 minutes prior to performance in the lobby of the theatre.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advance notice. Please call 908-737-4077 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant, Les Malamut Art Gallery, Actors’ Equity Association Foundation, and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.



Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Productions of


Auditions are open to REGISTERED actors only
Please contact to register for one of the above dates, and include your head-shot, resume and home town.

WHEN: Friday, September 7, 2018 from 7 - 9:30 pm:  Boys auditioning for the part of Amahl and Dancers for Amahl ONLY
WHERE: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 S Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ
Accompanist will be provided.

Openings are still available for trebles (boys only) for the role of Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors! Those auditioning don't have to prepare something from this opera.  Any classical repertoire that shows clarity of voice and higher range (Amahl has sustained A's) will do. We will teach them a short section from the opera to sing as well.

September 7th is also for Dancers who sing for "Shepherds Dance" in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Both male and female dancers ages 13-25 are preferred.

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 2 - 4:30 pm:  BOTH operas; Wednesday, September 26, 2018 from 7 - 9:30 pm:  BOTH operas
WHERE: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 S Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ
Accompanist will be provided.

Adult Singers for Amahl and the Night Visitors and Cosi fan tutte still available for qualified singers:

  • 13 openings on Saturday September 22nd
  • 16 openings on Wednesday September 26th

Seeking mostly male singers at this point.

All positions paid. Favorable consideration will be made to New Jersey residents and those with adequate transportation.

Performances and Rehearsals will be in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Performance Dates: AMAHL November 30 and December 1, 2018; COSI April 12 and 13, 2019

For further information about audition requirements and roles, click on the "Learn More" button below.



Trevor Noah

WHEN: Fri, Sep 7 @ 9:30PM
NJPAC Prudential Hall, One Center St., Newark
TICKETS: $39 – $99

Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central's Emmy-winning Daily Show, returns by popular demand with an evening of hilarious stand-up!

Trevor Noah was already the most successful comedian in Africa when he was introduced to U.S. audiences in 2014, as the successor to host Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's Daily Show. Since then, Noah has become one of the world’s brightest comic masterminds, thanks in part to his Comedy Central special,Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation. In that show as well as his current material, Noah brings a unique global perspective to American culture and politics, with results that are as thoughtful as they are riotously funny.

Exhibition Spotlighting Cartoonist Alison Bechdel, Whose Graphic Memoir “Fun Home” Inspired Tony-Winning Musical, Travels to Zimmerli This Fall

Image result for zimmerli art museum "alison bechdel"

Self-Confessed! The Inappropriately Intimate Comics of Alison Bechdel

WHEN: On view at the Zimmerli from September 1 to December 30, 2018. The Zimmerli Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and select first Tuesdays of the month, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Bechdel will speak at Rutgers on October 10.
: Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

The exhibit, which encompasses the decades-long career of the illustrious cartoonist and graphic memoirist, explores Bechdel’s work as a writer, an artist, and an archivist of the self, someone who constantly mines and shares her own experiences as a way to communicate something vitally human: the quest for love, acceptance, community, and social justice.

“The bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel) holds a long and proud place in world literature from Goethe to Philip Roth. Alison Bechdel joins this coterie with her wry and poignant graphic novels,” said Thomas Sokolowski, the Zimmerli’s director. “Conjoining her talents as a writer and an illustrator, she adroitly provides a guidebook for young people striving to find out just who they are. For this alone, she deserves our eternal gratitude.”

Related image

With more than 150 objects, Self-Confessed! features Bechdel’s pioneering comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, as well as the graphic memoirs Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. The exhibition presents these primary bodies of work in depth through original sketches and drawings, while incorporating other aspects of Bechdel’s creative output, from early drawings to activist ephemera to large-scale self-portraits. It also includes a model of the set for the 2015 Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home and clips from the New York performances. The exhibition was organized by the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont, where it debuted in early 2018.

“We are delighted to work with our colleagues at the Fleming and Alison Bechdel to bring this exciting exhibition to Rutgers,” said Donna Gustafson, the Zimmerli’s Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs. “Bechdel’s books and comics have a broad following on campus and this exhibition provides an important opportunity for a campuswide conversation about the arts in a variety of forms, the memoir as a device for storytelling, and LGBTQ lives.”

Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For, about the lives of a group of lesbian friends, ran from 1983 to 2008 and was syndicated in more than 50 alternative papers around the country. In 2006, Bechdel published the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which explores her relationship with her father, her coming out, and his possible suicide. Fun Home was a New York Times bestseller and the basis of the musical of the same name. Bechdel followed up in 2012 with Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, which follows her relationship with her mother, girlfriends, therapists, and her exploration of psychoanalytic theory. Both books are works of multilayered complexity, employing nonlinear storytelling and a rich trove of literary and historical references.

Image result for alison bechdelAlison Bechdel lives in Vermont. She serves as the James Marsh Professor-At-Large at the University of Vermont and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka, “genius grant”) in 2014. Vermont’s alternative paper Seven Days, which ran Dykes to Watch Out For, also published new strips by Bechdel that have focused on current political events. In 2017, Bechdel was named the third Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont—a position unique to the state—and portrayed herself in an episode of The Simpsons.

Self-Confessed! The Inappropriately Intimate Comics of Alison Bechdel is organized by the Fleming Museum of Art, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. The presentation at the Zimmerli is organized by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.

PaparazZi Café is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. The café is closed weekends and major holidays, as well as the month of August.

For more information, visit the museum’s website or call 848.932.7237.

RVCC Art Faculty Work to Be Exhibited in Branchburg This Month

Raritan Valley Community College’s (RVCC) Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department presents

ANN-TSUBOTA_Rainbow Crepuscule_2018Art Faculty Exhibition
August 29-September 21.* An Artists’ Talk will be held Friday, September 7, from 5-6 p.m. A reception will follow from 6-7 p.m. Both are free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Art Gallery at the College’s Branchburg campus, 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.
For further information, visit

The show is coordinated by RVCC Art Gallery coordinator and VAPA faculty member Darren McManus. (left: Rainbow Crepuscule by Ann Tsubota)

The exhibition will feature work by RVCC art faculty members representing a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, video, graphic design, digital media, interior design and photography.

DARREN-McMANUS_The-Uncertainty-Principle_2018Work by the following faculty members will be on display: James Adkins (Bedminster), Eric Araujo (New York, NY), Robert Di Matteo (Pittstown), Andrea Freiwald (Highland Park), Barbara Friedman (Freehold), Lydia Grey (Somerville), John Harford (Point Pleasant, PA), Heejung Kim (Bogota), Ji Yong Kim (Brooklyn, NY), Christopher Brand Koep (Hampton), William Macholdt (Raritan), Jeff Mason (Cranford), Darren McManus (Lambertville), Dot Paolo (Flemington), John Reinking (Pittstown), Jonathan Ricci (Trenton), Sarah Roche (Philadelphia, PA), Kathleen Schulz (Annandale), Wes Sherman (Denville), Val Sivilli (Milford), Virginia Smith (Ewing), Donna Stackhouse (Washington), Laura Transue (Philadelphia, PA) and Ann Tsubota (Pittstown). (Above right: The Uncertainty Principle by Darren McManus)

*Gallery hours for the exhibition are Mondays, 3-8 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Fridays, 1-4 p.m.

For further information, contact the Visual and Performing Arts Department, 908-218-8876.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at

The Thurnauer School of Music and Forte Piano of Paramus Hold 14th Annual Piano Sale

image14th Annual Piano Sale

WHEN: Friday, August 31, and Sunday, September 2, from 10 am – 6 pm and Monday, September 3, 10 am- 5 pm
Taub Auditorium of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 East Clinton Ave., Tenafly, NJ.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call or (201) 265-1212 or 1-800-PIANO-55.

Upright, Grand and Digital Pianos at greatly reduced prices!

The sale will feature a wide selection of new and pre–owned acoustic and digital pianos by famous manufacturers including Kawai, Bosendorfer, Schimmel, Baldwin, Steinway, Knabe, Yamaha, Roland and many more, ranging in size from uprights to grand pianos at greatly reduced prices.

About Forte Piano of Paramus

Forte Piano was founded in 1995 with a mission to help musicians and music lovers to realize their goals and find the right instrument for their family. Forte Piano is one of the largest single piano stores in the country, featuring the best piano brands in every quality and price category.

About the JCC Thurnauer School of Music

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music has been named a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Serving nearly 450 students from infancy through adulthood, it offers a comprehensive program similar to the finest pre-college conservatories. The Thurnauer experience includes instrumental lessons, ensembles, and classes, master classes with world-renowned artists; a chamber music series; faculty recitals; and frequent student performances. It is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and received an award for “excellence and high standards” from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Carrie Jackson & Friends Jazz After Dark @ the Sloan Jam Session South Orange


Outdoors at Gazebo, 17 Sloan Street, South Orange, NJ near Train Station


Bring Your Voices / Instruments

Come & Strut Your Stuff to a live Audience Free to The Public

Municipal & Street Parking

Lots of food stores nearby....

Come Early to sign up.....


Time Is Running Out to Enter The 7th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition

718x370 Sarah Vaughan.jpg

Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition

WHEN: Deadline is Wednesday, September 5
Vocalists are invited to submit applications online at by 5 PM

Vocalists—16 years old or older, and who are not presently signed to a major record label—can enter by submitting recordings of at least three songs at at The public can vote for their favorites; songs have been played, commented on, and voted for, hundreds of thousands of times over the course of the competition's existence. The judges are looking for vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation—and the ability to swing. The grand prize winner of the coveted SASSY Award will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

For the seventh consecutive year, singers from around the world will gather online to compete in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition (aka the "SASSY" Awards) -- a 21st century version of the amateur night at the Apollo Theater that helped launch the career of a gifted teenager from Newark, Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan, more than 75 years ago. The deadline to enter this year's competition is Wednesday, September 5 at 5pm.

The competition at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) was originally created for women, and was opened to male vocalists for the first time last year. The Arts Center presents the contest as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival supported by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® (November 3-18)—an autumn celebration that fills both the NJPAC campus and venues throughout Newark with every kind of jazz.

"Sarah Vaughan's artistry is timeless and irreplaceable. The great joy of this jazz vocal competition is discovering the extraordinary voices who will carry her legacy forward," said John Schreiber, NJPAC's President and CEO.

"We're thrilled that every season hundreds of singers from around the world, each in their unique way, advance the future of the music by entering this competition," he added. "We couldn't be happier that Sarah Vaughan continues to inspire musicians and music lovers via the SASSY Awards."

"'Sassy' had a divine voice that inspired so many people throughout her career up to today. Her instrument, the voice, is the basis for the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Opening the competition to all voices, regardless of gender, seemed like the natural progression," said Tony- and Grammy-winning singer DeeDee Bridgewater, who served as a judge during the contest's initial round in 2012.

The competition has become a platform for a single outstanding jazz singer to gain widespread recognition in the music industry. Past winners include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn (winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition), Ashleigh Smith, Arianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, and last year's winner, Quiana Lynell.

The only international vocal competition of its kind, the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition culminates in a rousing performance by the five finalists on Nov. 18, at the conclusion of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival.

Five finalists, who will be announced on Oct. 12, will perform at NJPAC before a panel of judges that includes multi-Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, NJPAC's Jazz Advisor; six-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist-composer Nnenna Freelon; Mary Ann Topper, President of the Jazz Tree, Inc. artist management; WBGO Jazz 88.3FM personality Sheila Anderson, and trumpeter, conductor and composer Jon Faddis.

The incomparable singer Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark in 1924 and was known as "Sassy" throughout her life for her vibrant personality. After winning the top prize of $10 at the Apollo Theater's amateur night at age 18 in 1942, she went on to record with the greatest names in jazz, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine and countless others.

The 2018 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition finals will take place on Sunday, November 18 at 3pm in NJPAC's intimate Victoria Theater. Tickets on sale now at, or 1.888.GO.NJPAC (1.888.466.5722).

About TD James Moody Jazz Festival

The TD James Moody Jazz Festival, co-produced by NJPAC and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM and sponsored by TD Bank, was inaugurated in 2012 and named in recognition of the jazz saxophone virtuoso from Newark. TD Bank is excited to sponsor the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, where families can enjoy extraordinary, live musical performances while also experiencing the TD Bank brand. At TD, we believe that investing in and enriching our communities is both a privilege and a responsibility.

NJPAC's annual celebration of "America's classical music" is a spree of more than two dozen concerts and related activities - over half of which are free to the community. Guided by Christian McBride, NJPAC's Jazz Advisor, the festival has presented artists such as The Manhattan Transfer, David Sanborn, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Sérgio Mendes, Bill Charlap, Esperanza Spalding, Fantasia, Chris Botti, Pat Metheny, and the Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette trio, among many others.

The TD James Moody Jazz Festival is intrinsic to Newark, a city renowned as the home and creative inspiration for jazz geniuses including Sarah Vaughan, Wayne Shorter and pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith, and institutions such as Savoy Records, the Rutgers-Newark Institute of Jazz Studies and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM. Among the festival's unique events are One on One with Christian McBride, a concert-and-conversation series featuring jazz's top talents; Dorthaan's Place Sunday jazz brunches at the Arts Center's NICO Kitchen + Bar; and a schedule of concerts and special attractions held off-campus throughout Newark.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Hudson Theatre Works One Night Only Benefit

Randy Noojin's

Seeger —A Multi-Media Show

WHEN: September 15, 2018, @ 8PM
80 Hauxhurst Street, Weehawken, NJ 07086
TICKETS: $50.00

Hudson Theatre Works presents Seeger, a critically-acclaimed multimedia solo show, about America's beloved folksinger, Pete Seeger. Spend an evening with Pete as he plays a benefit concert.  Where he uses a dozen of his signature songs, including "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," "Turn! Turn! Turn!," We Shall Overcome" and "Guantanamera" to tell the story of his awakening as an activist, and his struggles with the blacklist during the McCarthy-era.


I was blown away when Randy Noojin came on stage and effectively resurrected Pete Seeger. Not only is Noojin a dynamite folk singer who performs around a dozen Seeger classics, he's written a brilliant script that perfectly captures the spirit, personality, and passions of Pete Seeger. -

Noojin disappears into Seeger's persona and whisks us back and forward in time through the American 20th Century. Anybody who is a Seeger fan should make a bee-line for where this song-fest is humming. -

Should not be missed by anyone who loves Seeger or good music or our right and duty as Americans to stand up for justice. -

Your ticket helps Hudson Theatre Works continue it's commitment to low-price tickets.  Which make it possible for everyone to experience first-rate live performance on a regular basis.  Our Affordable Ticket Initiative has helped us to share work we believe in with a growing, engaged community.

We are dedicating our 2018-2019 Season to the memory of our dear sister and company member Heather Sabella.

We are proud members of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and our season is supported by Actor's Equity, UBS Financial, Univest Foundation, Walmart, Hudson County Cultural Alliance, Campbell Foundation and Mayor Richard Turner and the City of Weehawken

Monday, August 27, 2018

Montclair Studio Players announce upcoming 2018-2019 season

The Guys
by Anne Nelson

WHEN: September 7th and 9th. For exact dates and show times, visit 
WHERE: Studio Playhouse is located at 14 Alvin Place, off Valley Road near the Acme, in Upper Montclair
TICKETS: $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors (discounts available for groups of 20 or more that prepay.) Opening night tickets are buy 1, get one 1 free. Tickets for The Guys are available at a benefit price of $20. Magic Trunk tickets are $10.
Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 973-744-9752.

Montclair Studio Players will host a fundraising benefit staged reading of the September 11th elegy The Guys by Anne Nelson, featuring Robert Barwick (of Wayne) and Claudia Budris (of West Caldwell), directed by Bill O’Brien (of Verona).

Proceeds go to support the 9/11 Fund and Studio Players, who themselves are recovering from major flood damage to their theatrical warehouse and who are very grateful for the continued donations and volunteerism from Montclair and the surrounding communities.

The official Mainstage season commences this fall with a return to musicals as it mounts Into the Woods, directed by Ben Liebert (Broadway: Wicked, Boq; NYC: Fiddler Afn Dakh, Motel) (of Verona) November 2nd through 17th. With a 10-member redux gender non-traditional cast, Liebert tackles the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine classic, set in a soon-to-be shuttered children’s library, exploring the musical’s themes of childhood, nostalgia, and the formative stories that inform them.

Following on, Amy Fox (of Verona) will direct the gritty relationship drama Some Girl(s) by Neil LaBute, January 18 through February 2nd, 2019 and Alex Olexsij (of Nutley) mounts Garson Kanin’s golden-age comedy Born Yesterday from March 29th to April 13th, 2019. Closing the season in June from the 14th to the 29th, Studio Players will salute Pride Month and the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, as E. Dale Smith-Gallo (of Montclair) directs a landmark play from the LGBT cannon (to be announced).

Also part of Studio’s season are the Magic Trunk shows, staged for younger audiences. This season, these include:

  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator based on the book by Roald Dahl, dramatized by Richard R. George, and directed by John Fraissinet (of Nutley) (Sept 29 to Oct 7th)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson with stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, by special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson, and directed by Paul Bettys (of Parsipany) with Music Direction by Debra Carozza (of Wyckoff) (December 8th to 16th)
  • Cinderella or the Story of Bigfoot by Elizabeth Ely Moreno and directed by Mirit Skeen (of Montclair) (February 23rd to March 3rd, 2019)
  • Rapunzel adapted by Karen Boettcher-Tate and directed by Beatriz Esteban-Messina (of Union City) (May 11th to 19th, 2019).

New Bickford Speaker Series: SmartTalks—Sneak Preview this fall; full series rollout in spring 2019



WHERE: Bickford Theatre, 6 Normandy Hgts. Rd., Morristown
TICKETS: Museum Members: $10, Non-Members $15
To purchase tickets visit or call the Box Office at 973.971.3706.

To become a Member, and receive the discounted ticket pricing, and visit the museum year-round for free visit, email, or call 973.971.3721.

The Morris Museum launches an innovative, new programming option this season at the Bickford Theatre, a speaker series featuring engaging humanities scholars and authors who will present thought-provoking talks on topics about which they are both passionate and knowledgeable. Lively discussions will follow each SmartTalk.

“We’ve known that there’s tremendous enthusiasm and interest in a speaker series in the community and we’re pleased to broaden the Bickford Theatre’s programming to provide another way to enhance the experience of our visitors,” states Marsha Baldinger, member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris Museum and chair of the Bickford Theatre committee.

“Think of SmartTalks as a ‘university for lifelong learners,’ says Cleveland Johnson, Executive Director of the Morris Museum. “We’re not looking to attract an audience through celebrity speakers. Instead, we want to fill the house because the lecture topics themselves are not-to-be-missed. We’ll cover subjects that are engaging, surprising, mind-stretching, and sometimes even quirky, playful, or even provocative. And the speakers are like that favorite college professor whose breathtaking lectures made the hour seem like minutes.”

011215_7805_ian drakeDo Animals have Rights?
WHEN: Thursday, September 13, 2018, 1:00PM

Through a look at the writings of scientists and philosophers as well as the exploration of some case law, explore the arguments and viewpoints regarding the rights (or lack thereof) of animals.

Speaker: Ian Drake, PH.D, Associate Professor of Political Science and Jurisprudence at Montclair State University

conklinWhat is Jazz and Why Does it Matter?
WHEN: Thursday, October 11, 2018, 1:00PM

Sometimes called “America’s Classical Music,” the tradition and history of jazz embodies the essence of freedom and democracy. From its origins within the slaves songs, to the advent of the blues, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, and other styles, jazz exhibits how each individual (through his/her independence) must function within the framework of a group to better serve the entire community. Through music and discussion, this SmartTalk explores jazz and why it matters.

Speaker: Michael Conklin, Jazz Historian, presently pursuing his Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from Drew University.

BrandynHeppard_RVCCProfPhilosphyLOL, a Philosophical Look at Comedy
WHEN: Thursday, November 15, 2018, 1:00PM

Since itsformal introduction by the ancient Greeks, comedy has been and continues to be more than just laughs. It can be explored from a philosophical perspective and shed light on this aspect of the human condition.

Speaker: Brandyn Heppard, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Raritan Valley Community College

The full series begins in spring 2019 with diverse weekly SmartTalks on Thursday afternoons at 1:00PM.

BURIED CHILD Tickets Are On Sale Now - A Special Deal For You!

This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama marks the first time that we will present a play by Sam Shepard, who sadly passed away last year. A stunning allegory about America, Buried Child is a darkly funny and disturbing depiction of the American dream gone wrong. In homage to this groundbreaking playwright, we are thrilled to bring this modern American classic to life.

Buy Tickets Now!

Click here for directions to the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre and for information about FREE parking. | 973-408-5600

*Offer expires September 7. Cannot be used on prior purchases or combined with another offer. Other restrictions may apply; please call the Box Office for more information.

Illustration by Scott McKowen


Part of NBJP's mission is to showcase the next generation of jazz musicians ... the future "greats!" This is a chance to see them NOW!  Drummer Dom Palombo leads the band the session. Our Session Special Guest Artist* is drummer Ralph Bowen. 

** Special guest artist funding provided, in part, by a grant from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Philly native,Vince is a U of Pennsylvania grad. He began music lessons at nine. Ector spent six years as a percussionist with the U.S. Army Band. Vince has worked with jazz luminaries that include Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, James Moody, Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath, Gloria Lynne, Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr., Dr Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, Claudio Roditi, John Lee and Shirley Scott. Ector's performances have received glowing reviews including "soulful," "ingenious," "electrifying," and "imaginative."

"After hearing this fine pianist perform with Wycliffe Gordon, it was clear to us that he wouldn't be a sideman for long. An improviser and composer with his own distinct voice, NYC native Oscar Perez has expertly combined the traditions of his Cuban heritage with straight-ahead jazz." - Sheila Anderson, WBGO 88.3

" Perez shows his ample skill ...incorporating the stylistic elements of Tyner, Hancock and Chucho Valdes. ...It's just a matter of time before his name enters the jazz public's consciousness."

Calling All Kids Join Garden Street’s Musical Production of “Annie”

Directed by Broadway's Anne Brummel

WHEN: Mondays 4pm-5pm, Sept 10th-Nov 12th
Garden Street School of the Performing Arts, 1018 Washington St., Hoboken
Enroll Online By Clicking Here 

Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie features everyone's favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

With plenty of parts to go around, including featured roles as well as ensemble parts for orphans, servants and tourists, Annie is ideal for productions involving different grade levels.

Meet The Director: Anne Brummel

Anne has spent the past 8 years on and off playing Elphaba in the hit Broadway Musical, Wicked. Recently Anne starred as Donna in Mamma Mia at the Walnut Theatre. Anne has starred in the Broadway National Tours of Evita, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Funny Girl. She is currently working on several new Broadway shows that are in development. She's thrilled to return to Garden Street to direct Annie!

Check Out These Amazing New Performance Opportunities:

Auditions for the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker 

WHEN: Sept 18th at 3:30pm
Ages 6-18 All Dance Skill Levels Welcome

We are the host school for the 3rd year in a row. All rehearsals take place at Garden Street with Ms Lee and Miss Valerie

Mets Dance Day at City Field

WHEN: Sept 29th; Rehearsals are on Mondays at 6pm starting Sept 10th.

Ages 7-Teen All Dance Skill Levels Welcome

Rehearsals with Annie McLoughlin

Perform in Radio City Music Hall at the Christmas Spectacular

WHEN: Dec 1st 7:30pm, Rehearsals some Sundays in Oct/November for Singers ages 7+

Performance includes a full tour of Radio City Music Hall

Join Our Award Winning Dance and Musical Theatre Competition Teams.

Email Annie for more info

Sunday, August 26, 2018


By Ruth Ross

Be forewarned: Mayhem reigns onstage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison. Romantic mayhem. Ridiculous mayhem. Spectral mayhem. Off-the-wall mayhem.

There, Nöel Coward’s English drawing room comedy, Blithe Spirit—last produced by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey almost 20 years ago—is the perfect antidote to a rather contentious summer political silly season. Yes, holding a séance to conjure up ghosts may feel a bit creepy, but that it occurs in a “veddy” proper English country house marks the whole idea as “barmy.”


In this play, which borders on farce, an after-dinner seance runs amok when an eccentric medium manages to conjure up the ghost of a former wife—long since passed. When the ghost refuses to leave and decides she wants her husband back, despite the fact that he is happily remarried, chaos and confusion erupt and hilarity begins. (Above L-R: Ames Adamson, Brent Harris, Tina Stafford, Kate MacCluggage and Monette Magrath)

In her STNJ directorial debut, company veteran Victoria Mack shows she’s as adept behind the scenes as she is onstage. The action hums from the moment the lights go up; the talented cast moves around the stage with elegance and style and delivers Coward’s arch dialogue crisply and naturally—with very credible English accents. The pace holds until the penultimate scenes where too much talking and explanation almost sabotage the momentum; however, that’s Coward’s fault, not Mack’s.

The improbable action briskly unfolds in an English mansion’s elegant drawing room, complete with floral wallpaper and fireplace, designed by Charlie Calvert and atmospherically lit by Michael Gianitti (especially during the seance scenes). From the moment we walk into the theater, we are transported to the early 1940s, courtesy of sound designer Käri Berntson’s use of period music and Hugh Hanson’s elegant costumes.

STNJ_BLITHE SPIRIT_1Oozing elegance from every pore, Brent Harris is wonderful as Charles Condomine, the polished, sophisticated novelist reduced to babbling hysteria when stalked by the ghost of Elvira, his dead wife. Upon his first encounter with the specter, his impeccable comedic timing with a drink brings down the house, and merriment ensues as his responses to Elvira are misconstrued by Ruth, his real and present wife! Harboring no illusions about her husband, Kate MacCluggage’s Ruth above, with Harris) appears crisp and confident at first, but the reappearance of her rival STNJ_BLITHE SPIRIT_2deliciously rattles her, especially since she cannot see or hear the other woman. Her feminine interest in the charms of her husband’s previous wife and their pre-dinner conversation about Elvira is probably the catalyst for the ghost’s return, and watching Ruth fall to pieces as Charles is succumbs to Elvira’s ghostly charm is quite funny. Susan Maris’s elusively fey Elvira (left) is both charming and wicked as she plots to reclaim Charles. Wearing a white gown and floating around the room, she projects the embodiment of a “blithe spirit,” not of this world and out to wreak havoc to get what she wants.

Rounding out the main trio, Tina Stafford (right) is superbly dotty as Madame Arcati, the eccentric medium who surprises even herself with her power to conjure the spirits of the dearly departed. This tour de force role gives Stafford a chance to parade her physical comedy chops, complete with magic mumbo-jumbo, marching and stretching exercises, trances and shaking tables, and she does not disappoint. Her comic facial expressions and general dottiness elicits hilarity from the audience whenever she takes the stage. The role fits her like a glove! Even her raffish attire telescopes the character’s eccentricities. However, Stafford tends to speak very quickly and often faces stage right, meaning that audience members on the opposite side of the auditorium may have trouble hearing all her dialogue.

STNJ_BLITHE SPIRIT_8As Dr. and Mrs. Bradman, Ames Adamson and Monette Magrath (left, with MacCluggage) have less to do. In a rather restrained performance, Adamson isn’t quite as acerbic as one would expect for a self-described skeptic, Magrath is appropriately ditsy, formally calling her hosts “Mrs. and Mr. Condomine” and shaking hands with all the guests. Her nervous giggle and awkward demeanor suggest that she is out of her social league.

But Bethany Kay as the clumsy maid Edith nearly steals the show! From the opening scene when she appears to her final moments, she is a joy to watch. Saying not much more than “yess’m” and “yessir,” Kay relies solely on physical humor, especially the way she alternates between bustling around courting disaster and walking very slowly! Every time we hear a crash offstage, we prepare to laugh.

Nöel Coward, master of the drawing room comedy, purportedly wrote Blithe Spirit in one week during the London Blitz, when England was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Hitler’s war machine. In his version of the genre, Coward sets out to show, as he said, that “death in the abstract is not nearly so solemn and lachrymose as many people would have us believe.” As people in those dark years learned that “it was all too easy to believe someone young and gay and kind was dead,” London audiences probably felt gratitude for the lighthearted relief offered by this ghost story. With its scintillating dialogue, technical skill and showmanship. Coward carries off his trickery with a jaunty air, which is more than half the fun.

It’s not without irony that we note the passing this week of Robin Leach, host of the popular 1980’s television show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. So, while Blithe Spirit might not give us much food for thought, we do get a chance to laugh at the foibles of the idle rich. The adjective “blithe” in its title suggests a “buoyant, cheery, gay, pleasant” way to spend an evening, which it is. Especially an evening in late summer!

Blithe Spirit runs through September 2 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University, 36 Madison Ave., Madison. For tickets and performance information, call the box office at (201) 408-5600 or visit online.