Thursday, December 13, 2018
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Perfect for the whole family or even a date night, admission is free for this concert event. Children under 12 are welcome, but should be accompanied by an adult.
The concert will be held at Livingston High School, 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston at 7:30pm. The Orchestra is looking forward to sharing this magical time of year with the public.
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Wednesday, Dec. 19, 7 to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Mario’s Restaurant, 710 Van Houten Ave., Clifton
The Theater League of Clifton will hold auditions its annual dinner/theater production at on for the show “Golden Girls III.”
The show is seeking performers (six cast members) to play parody versions of characters from the hit TV sitcom “The Golden Girls:” Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia, and Rose; along with a parody character of Adrian Monk from the quirky TV detective show “Monk;” and a parody of Jessica from the classic TV mystery show “Murder She Wrote.” The casting call is open to all genders, ethnicities, abilities and ages.
Performances are slated for Feb. 22, 23, 24 and March 2, 3, 9 and 10 at Mario’s Restaurant, which is located at 710 Van Houten Ave., Clifton. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees starting at 4 p.m.
Erin Woodward is the director of the production while Mark Peterson serves as the producer. Woodward is a graduate of Montclair High School (MSU) and a former president of the MSU School of Visual and Performing Arts. She directs and performs in New York City and New Jersey as a singer, actor, and clown. Peterson
IMAGE: Producer Mark Peterson (left) and director Erin Woodward.
WHEN: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 6pm-8pm
WHERE: Visual Stream Gallery Collective, 7 N. Main St, unit 1, Lambertville, NJ 08530
Participating artists: The five partner artists of Visual Stream Gallery Collective. These are: Alia Bensliman, Aylin Green, Kathleen Hurley Liao, Bruce Lindsay, and Howard Michaels.
Celebrate the longest night of the year with Visual Stream Gallery. “Winter SOULstice” is an artist member exhibit featuring new work inspired by the myths, moods and soul of the season.
IMAGE: "Restoration Wreath," by Kathleen Hurley Liao
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
WHEN: 2 Encore BENEFIT performances! December 14 & 15 @ 8:00 pm
WHERE: MONDO is located at 426 Springfield Avenue in Summit
PLEASE support Alliance Repertory Theatre with this important FUNDRAISER.
For reservations, call 908-472-1502 or visit www.alliancerep.org.
At Rachel’s New Year's Eve party, most of the guests are in the kitchen admiring photos of their babies. In the other room, two lonely strangers find themselves cut off from the rest. Jane (Lilli Marques) was invited because she knows the people in the kitchen. Tim (Brendan Scullin) was invited because he painted the kitchen. The pair spend a drunken night together and a few weeks later she calls him with some unexpected news. Witness their unlikely relationship develop in Alliance Repertory Theatre’s production of The Good Father.
Director Michael Driscoll calls The Good Father “a voyage of discovery that will take the audience through many emotions that are both identifiable and unmistakably human. These two talented actors bring the complex characters to life beautifully.”
Monday, December 10, 2018
West Orange Arts Council Presents Small Works Exhibit and Holiday Boutique at the West Orange Arts Center
Annual Holiday Boutique and Small Works Show
WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 2018 and Sunday, December 16, 2018 from Noon-5pm. Small Works Members Show, which opened in November, can be viewed one hour prior to Luna Stage performances (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30pm - 8:00pm and Sundays from 2:00-3:30pm) and by appointment until December 16. In addition, the West Orange Arts Center Gift Shop will also be open during this time with close to thirty participating artists’ work available for purchase.
WHERE: West Orange Arts Center at 551 Valley Road in West Orange, New Jersey.
The WOAC Holiday Boutique will feature an eclectic selection of original art, hand-crafted jewelry, cards, crochet snowflake mobiles, clothing, candles, custom made skin products and items for the home. Participating local artists include Aaliyah-Nature's Pout, Carol Black-Lemon, Jan Carden, Josie Dakers Brathwaite, Monick David, Juanita Martin (Nitjuan Designs), Amelia Panico, Ann Vollum, Charlotte Wescott and more.
The Small Works Exhibit’s framed paintings, watercolors, pastels, collages and photographs are all under 18 inches in size and priced for a one-of-a-kind gift under $200. WOAC members work in the show include Balkrishna E., Marina Carreira, Ann Ciaglia, Irene Dunsavage, Indira Govindan, Susan C. Harris, Dana Longstreet, Cheryl A. Patterson, C. Daniela Shapiro, Lisa Suss, Julia Thomson, Claudia Waters and Cindy Wolf.
The establishment of the West Orange Arts Center greatly enhances the ability of the WOAC to advocate for artists by creating more platforms for creative expression. For more information about the West Orange Arts Council or the West Orange Arts Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.woarts.org.
The West Orange Arts Council mission is to cultivate, inspire, and support the arts in West Orange. Area artists and community leaders remain the core of this all-volunteer organization that operates the West Orange Arts Center gallery and gift shop at 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ. Welcome to the West Orange Arts Center! is this year’s exciting year-long celebration of the arts, representing various artists, workshops, exhibits, and activities strives to enhance the lives of the residents of the Township of West Orange and neighboring communities.
JOE FERRARA SINGS THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK
WHEN: December 15th from 7:30 to 9:30pm
WHERE: Investors Bank Theater at the Horseshoe Lake Complex, 72 Eyland Ave, Succasunna
TICKETS: RAA Members - $20 online* in advance and $25 at the door, Gen. Admission - $25 online* in advance and $30 at the door
*Online ticket sales close the day before the event
BUY TICKETS HERE
Joe Ferrara is a singer and entertainer who has honed his skills not within the safe confines of academia, but in nightclubs, bars, lounges, concert halls, and other stages throughout North America. His experiences as a steadily working musician and performer in jazz bands, rock groups, Avant-garde ensembles and in theater, have shaped him into the well-rounded performer he is today.
A wearer of many musical hats, Joe Ferrara is also a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and recording engineer. As vocalist and primary songwriter for the rock band Father Divine, he has performed on stages throughout the United States and Canada, and shared bills with artists such as Fishbone, Seplutura, and Stone Temple Pilots. He has also worked as a nightclub entertainer with various acts in the greater New York area such as Harvey and The Wallbangers and The Amish Outlaws. In the world of Jazz, he has worked with the Tim Ouimette Big Band, The Red Bank Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan Swing, The Powerhouse Big Band, Rio Clemente, Lou Pallo and others.
JCTC DANCE: Cocktail Hour: The Show
WHEN: Sunday, December 16 · Doors 5:30 PM / Show 6:00 PM
WHERE: White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Ave., Jersey City
TICKETS: $20 - $35
For group discounts on purchases of four or more tickets, email email@example.com.
For day-of-show student and senior discounts, visit the White Eagle Hall/JCTC Box Offices, with ID.
Cocktail Hour: The Show by Ballets with a Twist, featuring the B-Twist Orchestra
See the Mai Tai, Martini, Manhattan and more spring off the menu and onto the stage in this electrifying production from New York City. Cocktail Hour: The Show, by Ballets with a Twist, reinvents the glamour and excitement of classic entertainment with a 21st-century flair, capturing the timeless American spirit in a series of dazzling vignettes. This sparkling mix of original choreography, music and design is high-style fun for all ages to enjoy.
The cabaret-style engagement will feature live music performed by the company’s own B-Twist Orchestra, an ensemble of internationally acclaimed musicians. Cocktails, mocktails, beer and wine will be available for purchase in the theater throughout the evening.
For every pair of tickets purchased, patrons will have the opportunity to add on a $60 dinner for two (including one drink per person) at Madame Claude Bis, an intimate French bistro located on the ground level of the White Eagle Hall building.
Timing and menu details are below. To redeem this offer, follow the system prompts when purchasing tickets.
Special Pre-Show Dinner for 2 at Madame Claude Bis – Prix Fixe Special
- Choice of Appetizer (1 Per Patron)
- Choice of Entrée (1 Per Patron)
- Choice of Drink (1 Per Patron) - Beer, Wine or Well Cocktails
- Choice of Shared Dessert
Seatings available from 3:30PM-4:00PM and from 8:00PM-8:30PM
Reservations recommended. Please call the restaurant at 201-876-8800.
For more information regarding the dinner offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Day the Rainbow Broke Up
An original children’s show by Casey Bell
WHEN & WHERE: Sun, Dec 16, 2-4pm Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts); Tue, Dec 18, 7-9pm 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Performance dates: Feb 1 & 8, at 7pm, Feb 2 & 3 and 9 & 10, at 1pm and 3pm (double matinees on Saturday & Sunday)
Rehearsals will begin immediately, as holiday conflicts allow, and will be three times per week until Jan 20 (not all cast will be called for every rehearsal). From Jan 21, all cast members need to be available weekday evenings and weekend afternoons for full cast rehearsals.
About the show:
The seven colors of the rainbow have a big fight and break up. As each color goes off to be the rainbow on its own, they encounter creatures from nature who try to show them the error of their ways. But will the colors learn the lesson? Can the rainbow be saved?
With a little music, a little dance, plenty of comedy, and a whole lot of heart, this show is a fantasy of color and costumes that is a hit with the whole family.
Characters (double casting is possible):
The color (kids & teens; gender neutral)
- Red (a happy loner)
- Orange (a dramatic worrywart) Yellow (a natural leader)
- Green (a peacemaker)
- Blue (a chill dude)
- Indigo (snooty but lovable)
- Violet (high-key emotional)
The creatures (adults & teens; gender neutral)
- Indigo bunting bird(s)
- Tree (and shrubs)
- Lion (and other safari animals)
- Fish (and Tiny Bubbles)
- Rose & Bud
- Bee (and swarm)
The personalities and creativity of the cast members will contribute to characterizations. This is a collaborative project where kids can learn stagecraft as well as explore ideas and, keeping with the theme of the play, celebrate cooperation and diversity.
For more information and sides: www.TheStrollers.org/auditions
Questions? write to TheMaplewoodStrollers@gmail.com
Invite peace and wellness to your life with Meditation!
WHEN: Wednesday, December 12th, 6:30-7:30 pm. IN ADDITION, join us for one half-hour of Gentle Yoga before Meditation if you choose. Yoga begins promptly at 5:50 and ends 6:20 (Please bring a Mat for Yoga)
WHERE: Rutherfurd Hall, 1686 Route 517, Allamuchy
FEE: $15 per session for Meditation- $7 for Yoga
Click Here to Register or call (908) 852-1894 ext. 338
This session we will introduce Ignation Guided Meditation/ Prayer.
Facilitated by Fostering the Journey with Jean Marie DuHamel
By The Black River Singers
Directed by Clifford H. Parrish
WHEN: December 15th, 8 PM – December 16th, 2 PM
WHERE: Black River Playhouse, 54 Grove Street, at the corner of Maple Ave., in Chester, NJ
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
Get into the spirit of the season with this light-hearted evening of songs and stories bound to fill even the crabbiest scrooge with the warmth and joy of the holidays.
MONIQUE BOSROCK ~ JASON CILENTO ~ MATT COTTON ~ JEFFREY DOPSON ~ BETH AMIANO GLEASON ~ GAYLE HENDRIX ~ MARIA HLADCZUK ~ KATHRYN DAVIS KELLS ~ PHILIP LAMOUREUX ~ BETH LOHNER ~ BOB LONGSTREET ~ JODI MALOY ~ RICHARD MALOY ~ CLAUDIA METZ ~ CHRIS MORTENSON ~ LORI QUANN ~ THOMAS RODGERS ~ ROSEANN RUGGIERO ~ HANNAH SCHROEDER ~ NANCY WATSON
GROVE STREET STOMPERS
WHEN: Sunday, December 16, at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Shanghai Jazz, 24 Main Street, Madison, NJ
ADMISSION: free to NJJS members and $10 for non-members, and there is a $10 food/beverage minimum.
For more information, call 973 214-3380 or email email@example.com.
One of bassist/vocalist Mike Weatherly’s favorite tunes is “On the Alamo” written by Isham Jones and Gus Kahn. It was first recorded in 1922 by the Isham Jones Orchestra without Kahn’s lyrics. In fact, according to Weatherly, “very few people knew it had lyrics, but I found them on the Internet.”
Weatherly (left) is hoping he will have an opportunity to sing it when the Grove Street Stompers appear at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s annual meeting. But there’s no guarantee. “We don’t discuss what we’re playing ahead of time,” Weatherly says, “until we’re on the stand. There’s a certain repertoire that everyone is assumed to know, but Peter Ballance calls the tunes.”
Ballance (left), a Montclair resident, is a self-taught trombonist who has a day job as a banker. He has been with the Stompers since the 1970s, but the band has been playing on Monday nights at Arthur’s Tavern on Grove Street in Greenwich Village since 1962. “My two brothers had a lot of Dixieland records,” he recalls, “and I learned a lot of the tunes at an early age.” The band’s style is a mix of Dixieland and swing, described by Ballance as “sort of the Eddie Condon style.”
Weatherly has been with the band about 10 years. “I started as an occasional sub, probably about 15 years ago, and when the bass player who preceded me developed Macular Degeneration, I became a regular.” Another long-time regular, clarinetist Joe Licari, joined the band in August 2004. Licari, a resident of New City, NY, received the NJ Jazz Society’s Distinguished Musician Award at the Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp in March. He had also been subbing before becoming a regular. “I must say I really enjoy playing with the present band,” he says. “I look forward to every Monday night with these guys. The crowds at Arthur’s Tavern in the West Village are fantastic. The first set is usually a little light -- about a dozen people -- but by the second set the place is packed. We do a big tourist crowd from all over the world. We get all age groups, though. Lots of younger people in their 30s seem to like our music.”
The band, Ballance points out, has always had a sit-in policy, welcoming professional and amateur musicians to join in. Among those who played with the Stompers over the years, he says, were clarinetist Kenny Davern, clarinetist-saxophonist Bob Wilber, clarinetist Pete Fountain, trombonist Dan Barrett, and cornetist Wild Bill Davison.
One of those well-known “guests”, trumpeter Ed Polcer, will be sitting in with the Stompers on December 16. Although the band was officially dubbed The Grove Street Stompers in 1962, Polcer remembers the origins of it as early as 1958. “I had just graduated from Princeton in June 1958,” he recalls, “and moved to New York City, sharing a loft on South Street with trombonist Dick Rath. Arthur’s was no different then than it is now, always welcoming guest musicians to sit in with the band and just socialize. I only know of two other musicians still alive who go back that far -- trombonist Dick Dreiwitz and banjoist Alan Cary.”
In a 1986 New York Times article, John S. Wilson pointed out that, “two of the founding members of The Stompers—the pianist and leader Bill Dunham, a personnel director in real life, and the trumpeter Jimmy Gribbon, a commercial artist —are in their 23rd year of Monday performances.” The playing, he wrote, “combined the loose, relaxed swing of a jamming group with ensemble playing that was surprisingly crisp for combos that always included some visitors. This was particularly true of an exuberant treatment of ‘Crazy Rhythm’ in which the three trombonists, two of them sitting in, ripped cleanly through three-part passages and took challenging solos . . .” In an article in The Wall Street Journal (April 17, 2012), Richard Morgan called the Stompers’ run at Arthur’s Tavern “a 50-year feat of endurance and consistency virtually unmatched in the city’s musical history . . . In the New York jazz world, few acts have approached the Stompers’ staying power.”
Dunham, who died in January 2016, explained how it all started in a 2013 article in the West View News, a West Village community newspaper. “In 1962,” he said, “I started a band with a wonderful cornet player named Jimmy Gribbon. One day, we walked into Arthur’s Tavern on Grove Street and talked to the owner -- an irascible fellow named Jerry Maisano -- who said we could play on Mondays for no pay. So, we split the tip bowl, and we’ve been there ever since.” The club was eventually sold, and the band does now get paid.
Some of the other current players are John Halsey, who succeeded Dunham on piano, drummer Giampaolo Biagi, and trumpeter Barry Bryson. As per policy, Licari points out that, “I was not told what we are playing [at the NJ Jazz Society annual meeting]. We play a mixture of everything. Everything we do, though, swings. I love playing the ballads myself, like Eubie Blake’s ‘Memories of You’ or a swinger like ‘Three Little Words’ (Bert Kalmar/Harry Ruby). But, generally, I love it all.”
Funding for New Jersey Jazz Society music events 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.
Photos by Lynn Redmile
WHERE: 380 Millburn Ave., Millburn
A new creative co-working space and art gallery called Work Home (www.workhome.work) opened in downtown Millburn on Saturday, December 1st. Over 50 people were in attendanc,e with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Downtown Millburn Business Alliance. Founded by a mother-daughter team, Work Home is a space for entrepreneurs, writers, designers, web developers, artists and more, to socialize, learn, and of course, work.
Located in a historic home right on Millburn Ave, Work Home houses: custom-built desks seating 14 across two plant-filled offices; a downstairs hot desking space with handmade live edge table; a meeting room available for rent; a convenient kitchenette; and a beautiful downstairs art gallery. Designed for individuals to rent desk space on a flexible basis, Work Home is in a perfect, central location for anyone who works from home and has remote or flexible work, or for those often delayed or frustrated by the NJ Transit commute.
Member perks include free coffee, tea, filtered water, wifi, drinks for sale, social member events, black and white printer services, kitchenette access and discounted rates on meeting room bookings ($10/hr). Membership plans are flexible and span from: daily designated desk space; 8 or 12 weekdays per month; mornings or afternoons only; or weekend membership. There is also the option for hot desking, essentially buying a day pass for $25 per day.
Work Home also benefits from an inspiring and light-filled art gallery downstairs that sells mixed media original works and prints, as well as a select collection of beauty and home good items, some supporting Syrian refugees and women around the world.
Co-founder Ilona Kennedy is a career artist with decades of experience in printmaking, oils and encaustic, and has plans over the upcoming year to launch a number of shows featuring artists from all over the world, beginning with her own retrospective. Her daughter and Co-founder Andrea Kennedy spent 8 years living and working in London, first as a historian, and then as a web developer. She hopes to bring the inspiring vibe of tech, design and entrepreneurship to this new venture by building a creative community.
The mother-daughter team redesigned and refurbished the inside of this over 200-year-old home, which sat vacant for the past 2 years, bringing life back to a picturesque, historic downtown building. Work Home plans to become a hub for downtown workers, with ambitions to foster a creative community for Millburn and the surrounding area, through art, events and community.
Work Home’s membership plans can be found here: www.workhome.work/membership
Co-working members can access the studio space weekdays from 8:00am - 6:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am - 4:00pm. Members of the public can visit the gallery and tour the co-working space on Wednesday - Friday from 10:00am - 5:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am - 4:00pm, or can book an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol Channeling, Caroling: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here is a holiday show of a different sort! Carol Channeling returns to the Parsippany Playhouse with her band of merry impersonations for 2 performances only. Ring in the spirit of the season with your favorite celebrities…dead or alive! www.carolchanneling.com
WHEN: December 15 and 16, Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3 pm.
WHERE: Parsippany Playhouse at 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha, NJ. For GPS driving directions, please enter the town of Boonton, 07005.
TICKETS: $25 for adults and $20 for seniors.
To purchase tickets online please visit www.womenstheater.org or call 973 335 3038.
ABOUT THE WOMEN’S THEATER COMPANY:
The Women’s Theater Company’s mission is to provide a fertile environment for the advancement of professional women theater artists and to provide quality theater for the community at large. Through their main stage, educational outreach, and new works development programs, the Women’s Theater Company supports the development of new women artists, promotes new works in the American theater, and provides entertaining and enriching productions for growing audiences. Women’s Theater Company is located at The Parsippany Playhouse, 1130 Knoll Road, Parsippany, NJ. For more information contact 973 335 3038, or email email@example.com.
The Women’s Theater Company is proud to be a member of the New Jersey Theater Alliance Funding for the Women’s Theater Company has been made possible in part by funds for the Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Art/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Women’s Theater is proud to be a member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Pipes of Christmas will celebrate its twentieth anniversary season with performances in New Jersey this December. (Both 2 PM concerts are sold out)
WHEN: Sunday, December 16, 7PM
WHERE: Central Presbyterian Church located at 70 Maple Street in Summit, NJ
Tickets may be purchased online exclusively through SmartTix at www.smarttix.com or by phone at (212) 868-4444. Reserved patron seats are available at both venues.
For those weary of the ceaseless stream of secular seasonal music from department stores to TV, the Pipes of Christmas offers a spiritual and traditional take on the season that connects concertgoers to the holiday in a fresh, meaningful way. The show features tunes such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Joy to the World, and Amazing Grace, all performed live on pipes and drums, harp and fiddle, and organ and brass. Not only does the performance define Christmas cheer but also it inspires those of Celtic descent to retrace and reconnect to their ancestry.
The concert presents the music of Christmas accompanied by readings taken from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Featured performers include James Robinson and Andrew Weir from the film Braveheart, Gaelic Mod champion harpist Jennifer Port of Golspie, Scotland, guitarist Steve Gibb from Inverness, Scotland, Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion, Calum Pasqua, piper Ben Power from Broadway’s “Come From Away,” and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from Redlands, CA.
Proceeds Support Scholarships and More
Proceeds from the concert support an extensive music scholarship program, which includes annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow, Scotland) the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Summit High School in New Jersey.
Proceeds also support the Society’s sponsorship of the US National Scottish Harp Championship, the Gaelic Literature Competition at the Royal National Mod and an annual academic research prize at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye.
Named one of New York City’s “Top Ten” holiday events, the concert is made possible by a generous gift from the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ.
The NJ concerts also conduct a food drive on behalf of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring along non-perishable food items, which will be collected and delivered to the FoodBank on December 17. To date, the concert has collected thousands of pounds of foodstuffs, which go to help those left fortunate during the holidays.
The concert is also producing a special commemorative program book capturing this special anniversary. Information on salute ads can be found on the concert website.
About “The Pipes of Christmas”
Since making its debut in 1999, The Pipes of Christmas has played to standing room only audiences. Now a cherished holiday event, the concert provides audiences with a stirring and reverent celebration of the Christmas season and the Celtic spirit. Audience-goers return year after year to experience the program, many reporting that the Pipes of Christmas has become part of their family’s annual Christmas tradition.
The concert has been lavished with critical acclaim. In his review for Classical New Jersey Magazine, Paul Somers wrote, “The whole evening was constructed to introduce gem after gem and still have a finale which raised the roof. In short, it was like a well constructed fireworks show on the Glorious Fourth. The Westfield Leader described the concert as “a unique sound of power and glory nowhere else to be found.”
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! Mason Gross student, Theodore Davis leads the band and the session. Session special guest, trumpet player Ted Chubb.
"I have followed Dave Stryker since his early days in Omaha through his long stay with Stanley Turrentine ...and he just gets better and better with one of the most joyous feels around." -Pat Metheny." ~Pat Metheny
"......one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years."
~Andrew Hovan, All About Jazz. We're glad to have this guitar powerhouse back with us again!
COME EARLY, TAVERN ON GEORGE FILLS QUICKLY!
Saxophonist & vocalist, Lance Bryant is an Illinois native who now makes his home in NJ. The Berklee College alum moved to NYC in the mid 80s and in 1990 began his relationship with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and in 1993 became the Orchestra's Musical Director and Principal Arranger.Lance traveled extensively with Phyllis Hyman, Jon Hendricks, Pete "LaRocca" Sims, Wallace Roney, Bootsy Collins, James Williams and others. Lance currently performs with the New Lionel Hampton Big Band, South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, as well as performing his own music. Lance is also on the faculty of the JALC education department.
No jazz on Fridays at Due Mari in December!
By Ruth Ross
Let’s do the numbers: Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol 175 years ago. The Chatham Players are celebrating their 97th season. The troupe has performed the Philip William McKinley and Suzanne Buhrer musical version of Dickens’ classic Christmas/ghost story for 30 years—the first 10 annually, the next 20 biannually. Thirteen members of this year’s large cast have performed in A Christmas Carol before—one in the very first. And this is the tenth time I have reviewed the production.
Nevertheless, the Chatham Players’ version of this old chestnut is one of the pleasures of the holiday season. Oh, the actors may change, the set might be a bit different and the levels of talent may vary, but the present production preserves the Tale’s haunted atmosphere complete with four ghosts, comments about gross materialism, scenes of abject poverty and the general nastiness of Victorian London, making the tale feel unfortunately appropriate for the 21st century.
Using Dickens’ own words and those of the tale, McKinley and Buhrer have fashioned a tale for the ages. Chip Prestera and Alan Semok return as Charles Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge, respectively, in performances so fresh as to make us think this is the first time they’ve played the roles. Prestera’s avuncular Dickens steadily guides the story of the haunted miser along, drawing connections between his work of fiction and his own life—and sometimes inserting himself into the action. Semok’s twisted face (left) conveys the close-minded penury of Scrooge as he grimaces and frowns; he’s so disagreeable that his conversion at the end, when he kicks up his heels with glee at discovering his love of humankind, is all the sweeter. He’s especially nasty as he contemplates “The Jingle of Money” in his strongbox, fingering the coins and letting them drop just to hear the lovely sound.
The 25-member cast consists of actors of all ages. Christina Eliades (right) is magical as the Ghost of Christmas Past, sprinkling fairy dust and using her lovely voice to lead Scrooge through his sad and difficult past. As the Ghost of Christmas Present, Will Carey is so hearty and bountiful that he shames Scrooge into feeling bad at witnessing the Cratchits’ pitiful holiday feast. And Luke Williams as the Ghost of Christmas Future is scary and imposing—even though he he speaks nary a word.
Joëlle Bochner is a kind, long-suffering Mrs. Dickens; Jody Ebert an appropriately spectral Marley, whose exhortation to Scrooge to change his ways sets the entire haunting into action; Ken Magos a grasping undertaker; Adelaide Prekopa a winsome Belle, Scrooge’s ex-fiancée; Michael Barthel Scrooge’s eternally upbeat nephew Fred; Scott Baird earnest Bob Cratchit (left, with Zoe Davies, Owen Finnerty and Parker Ebert); and Michelle Finnerty his loving spouse. The latter two break hearts singing “If I Could Hold You in My Arms,” lamenting the death of Tiny Tim (played with poise by young Owen Finnerty—a chip off the old block of his talented mother).
Rounding out the principals are Howard Fischer and Andrea Thibodeau as Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig (right), the very embodiments of the Christmas Spirit who ebulliently exhort the partygoers to “Dance with Your Dumpling.” Leslie Gayle Williams, Will Carey and Andrea Thibodeau join Magos to salivate over the belongings they’ve pilfered from the departed Scrooge.
Once again, Jeffrey Fiorello firmly maintains the performance’s stead as he moves many bodies around a small space fluidly and without any collisions. Jack Bender’s orchestra supply able accompaniment to singers without overpowering the smaller voices of the little ones. Roy Pancirov’s set design evokes a mid-nineteenth century London street scene, with mullioned windows and stone facades, Richard Hennessy’s lighting adds atmosphere and Frances Harrison’s lavish costumes really give a sense of time and place.
Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol more as a ghost story and social criticism than as a holiday entertainment; he meant it to serve as a warning to the citizenry of Industrial Revolution England that they should not forget the poor and downtrodden in their quest for money. This means that there are some scary events and effects that might frighten very young children but would exhilarate those age eight and up who often love to be scared. (Above: Alexia Davies, Michelle Finnerty, Parker Ebert, Owen Finnerty, Zoe Davies and Scott Baird; back: Will Carey and Alan Semok)
For this 30th anniversary production, the Chatham Players haven’t been as niggardly as Scrooge. Artistically and creatively, they present a production as fresh as the first one I saw in 2000. It’s a real theatrical bonbon perfect for the Christmas holidays. So, if you’ve never seen this show—even if you’ve gone numerous times—call the box office for tickets before they’re sold out! (Right) Magos, Williams, Carey and Thibodeau)
A Christmas Carol will be performed by the Chatham Players at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Avenue, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. through December 23. For information and tickets call the box office at (973) 635-7363 or visit www.chathamplayers.org online.
Winter Family Programs at the Morris Museum: Exhibitions, Hands-on Activities, Theatre and More for All Ages
WHERE: The Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Hgts. Rd., Morristown
The Morris Museum has programming this winter for children of all ages to enjoy. Programs range from a new exhibition about firefighters to a Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day, Teddy Bear Tea, Vacation Day programming, and children’s theatre.
Many programs are free with Museum Admission. Please check for registration information for each event. For Children’s Theatre tickets visit https://morrismuseum.org/childrens-theatre/ or call the Box Office at 973.971.3706.
Take a closer look into the lives of volunteer and full-time firefighters, who make it their profession to put the safety of others above their own. While the passion and dedication needed to be a firefighter have remained the same, over the years, firefighting technologies and procedures have evolved to be safer and more sophisticated.
On display in this exhibition will be turnout gear, uniforms, helmets, badges, radios and other communication technology, equipment, hoses and nozzle, fire extinguishers, and apparatus. All the objects for this exhibition come from local fire departments in the communities of Morris County.
An exhibition of this kind has never before been mounted for the Fire Departments of this county. The goal is to recognize and celebrate their valiant efforts and the vital role they have played since their founding.
Experience more than 40 trumpet-like instruments across time and cultures with surprising shapes, sizes, and names, like didgeridoo, serpent, firebird, flintstone, and Uncle Sam. There will be special content available for children to explore through iPads. Adults will enjoy learning about these instruments as well.
This exhibition is by special arrangement with the National Music Museum, America’s preeminent collection of historic musical instruments in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Mega Model Trains
December 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019
From December–February, the Morris Museum opens its Mega Model Train Display—an intricate model train that meanders across a 288-square-foot landscape replicating a bustling city and pastoral scene, equipped with a waterfall, planetarium and even a sasquatch.
The exhibit features 500 feet of O-gauge track surrounded by an eclectic array of buildings, figurines, cars, trees and all sorts of other interesting minutia. Along the sides of the display are 48 buttons, each activating a unique light or a moving device, allowing guests to interact with the exhibit. Almost like a real-life Where’s Waldo book, half the fun of Mega Model Trains is admiring the incredibly detailed scenes dispersed throughout.
This winter, the Mega Model trains are ensconced in their new home on the first floor of the Morris Museum and will delight visitors of all ages on a daily basis!
Winter Vacation Celebration – Family Fun Day
Thursday, December 27, 2019, 11:00AM – 4:00PM
Children and their families can embrace the spirit of the season with a day of indoor winter fun at the Morris Museum. Visit the exhibitions, enjoy crafting and special surprises! Also, participate in a Touch the Music workshop with Claudia Lemmerz. The variety show Jack Frost Magical Holiday will be performed in the Bickford Theatre at 11:00AM and 1:30PM (separate admission fee).
This Family Fun Day is FREE for Museum Members and FREE with Museum Admission for Non-Members.
This yearly special event offers a respite from the colder weather with scrumptious treats and a magic show with circus flair in the Bickford Theatre. Each child will receive a remembrance of the day. It is perfect for families with children ages 3–8, and offers a great opportunity for a winter-themed family photo.
TICKETS: Museum Members: $25; Non-Members: $30
To purchase tickets, visit morrismuseum.org/special-programs-families or call the Box Office at 973.971.3706.
Vacation Day Workshops
Drop In between 12:00PM – 2:00PM
Enjoy two days of activities at the Morris Museum when school is closed.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 21, 2019 – participate in craft making to celebrate Dr. King’s life and mission
- Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 18, 2019 – Claudia Lemmerz from Touch the Music will offer a patriotic program with musical instruments.
These days are FREE for Members and Free with Museum Admission for Non-Members.
Homeschooled children ages 5-8 can join us for hands-on activities involving interesting absorbent materials. Experiment with some household products before exploring an amazing chemical with a noteworthy property.
This event is FREE for Members and Free with Museum Admission for Non-Members.
Tickets for these shows can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973.971.3706. Combination tickets with Museum Admission are also available by calling the Box Office. More details are available at morrismuseum.org/childrens-theatre
TICKETS: Members:$10, Non-Members: $12, Group Rate (available for groups of 20 or more): $9, Combination Ticket: Museum Admission and Theatre: $15
Children’s Theatre Subscription for three performances: $24
A colorful new musical from ArtsPower. Nugget, a minnow, and Fan, a shark, get along swimmingly until Nugget’s first day of school when he learns that minnows are supposed to fear sharks! Witness a great story of the power of friendship and individuality.
Jack Frost Magical Holiday
Thursday, December 27, 2018, 11:00AM and 1:30PM
Join the mischievous and frosty-fun antics of the one and only, Jack Frost, himself as he searches for the true meaning of the holiday season. This variety show is filled with holiday magic and opportunities for audience participation. Presented by Currier’s Magical Mania. Purchase a combination ticket and visit the Morris Museum for the Winter Vacation Celebration before and after the show.
Other Family Programming coming up this winter at the Morris Museum
Other learning experiences for families this winter at the Morris Museum include studio art, Family Fun Days and children’s theatre.
- Studio Art Classes – Sunday classes for children and teens start January 13 morrismuseum.org/studio-art/
- Chocolate Family Day, Saturday, February 9, 2019, 11:00AM – 4:00PM morrismuseum.org/family-fun-days/
- Dr. Seuss Family Day, Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:00AM – 4:00PM
Early Access for Families with Disabilites at 10:00AM
- Children’s Theatre morrismuseum.org/childrens-theatre
Morgan’s Journey, Saturday, February 9, 2019, 11:00AM and 1:30PM
- Seussology, Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:00AM and 1:30PM
Sunday, December 9, 2018
By Ruth Ross
Like Measure for Measure and The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays.” Considered a romance, the play often feels a bit schizophrenic: It involves tragic situations (morbid spousal jealousy, cruel tyrannical behavior, unnecessary deaths) leavened with broad comedy involving a hilarious pair of dopey shepherds and a manipulative con man. And, true to Elizabethan comedic formula, it ends with a group wedding. Above all, the world of The Winter’s Tale is one of excess, especially that of extreme action, and that excess casts a bit of a pall over The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s final production of the season.
First off, the convoluted plot of The Winter’s Tale is often improbable and ludicrous. From the opening scene, King Leontes Sicilia excessive and demonstrable attention to his queen, the lovely and, as we are told several times, virtuous Hermione, raises red flags about the solidity of their relationship and his maturity. Overcome by jealousy when he perceives the pregnant Hermione acting too attentively toward their houseguest, his boyhood friend Polixenes of Bohemia (left, Erin Partin and John Keabler), he rashly imprisons her, and after she gives birth to a daughter, he instructs his general Antigonus to abandon the child, an act that brings about Hermione’s death.
Fast forward 16 years: That daughter, aptly named Perdita (“the lost one”), rescued and raised by a family of shepherds, has matured into a lovely young woman who has caught the eye of King Polixenes’ son Florizel (Right, Courtney McGowan and Ryan Woods). In the face of his father’s disapproval, the couple flees to Sicilia where, after even more complications, Hermione is restored to life and husband, and the lovers wed.
Adding to the feeling of excess, the performance clocks in at close to three hours (including a 15-minute intermission); the first act is one hour, 45 minutes long! The second act has a disquisition by the rogue Autolycus (played with arch manipulation by William Sturdevant) that feels interminable. Some judicious cutting would be in order during his two stretches onstage. That Shakespeare appears to throw in every ingredient common to Elizabethan drama also draws out the action. It’s all there: violence, madness, revenge, disguises, mistaken identities, goofy rustics who act more honorably than the nobles, and the redemptive marriage at the end.
Even Jon Barker’s performance as the obstinate and immature Leontes, approaches “scenery-chewing” heights as he suspects his wife of infidelity. Barker (right) shakes, his eyes bug out of his head, he paces, he explodes; he’s having a nervous breakdown before our very eyes! While this outlandish reaction to the friendship between his wife and boyhood friend is warranted in the plot, it is uncomfortable to watch and borders on laugh inducing. This behavior stands in stark contrast to the way he interacts with his son Mamillius (the adorable Jeff Lin), making his unbridled jealousy even creepier.
Bonnie Monte directs The Winter’s Tale, “a sad tale…best for winter,” on a magical, fairy tale set designed by Brittany Vasta with snow-covered moveable panels, chandeliers with icicles hanging from them and costumes in a palette of somber colors (designed by Nikki Delhomme and coolly lit by Tony Galaska) that match Leontes’ coldness as he accuses and subsequently punishes Hermione and her newborn daughter. In contrast, the pastoral landscape of pastel tones and bright daylight telegraph Bohemia’s warm life and spirit. As scenes switch frequently and the mood changes, the large cast moves effortlessly around the stage.
Perhaps most important for modern audiences, Shakespeare has created a trio of formidable women in this, his next-to-last play. As Hermione, the object of Leontes’ anger and distrust, Erin Partin gives a luminous performance that immediately arouses our sympathy for her. Loving toward Leontes (lots of public displays of affection reinforce her feelings for him), she’s all too willing to extend the hand of friendship to Polixenes (played with elegance by John Keabler), unaware perhaps that she overdoes it a bit and sets off her insecure mate. She’s especially lovely in the penultimate scene as a statue who later comes to life. So good is she that there’s not an ounce of animosity in her reaction to her husband’s change of heart.
Marion Adler’s loyal physician Paulina (Right, center, with Barker and Robert S. Gregory) defends Hermione aggressively, talking back to the king despite what he can do to her. No shrinking violet she. And as the lost daughter Perdita, Courtney McGowan projects a sweetness learned at the feet of her foster father, the Old Shepherd (played with good nature and inherent goodness by Ames Adamson) coupled with a nobility inherited from her biological parents, especially her mother. (Above: Jon Barker, Erin Partin)
Patrick Toon and Raphael Nash Thompson are fine as the steadfast, principled courtiers Camillo and Antigonus, respectively. Seamus Mulcahy (left, center, with Adamson and Sturdivant) is wonderfully dense as the Young Shepherd, and William Sturdivant’s Autolycus gets laughs as he artfully parts the shepherd from his money and his clothes! And Ryan Woods’ Florizel is winning as the Bohemian prince smitten with Perdita.
The last time STNJ produced The Winter’s Tale was December 2008. Unfortunately, what was true then (during the economic downturn) remains true today. As Monte says in her Director’s Notes, “[The play] focuses its important and urgent light on the need for ordinary people to do the right thing, to be good and to let their moral compass guide them when the world in which they live turns upside down.” Thus, despite its several shortcomings, the elegant 2018 iteration of this sad tale is worth seeing to make us feel better about ourselves and what we can do to heal our wintry world.
A Winter’s Tale will be performed at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison (on the campus of Drew University) through December 30. For information and tickets, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org online or call the box office at 973.408.5600.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
By Phoebe Farber | Directed by Jane Mandel
WHEN: Monday, 10th December | 7:30 PM
WHERE: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
ADMISSION: $15 Suggested Donation or Pay What You Can
Raylene works at the Homestead poultry processing plant in rural Shenandoah County, Virginia, gutting chickens and removing their legs and wings. It’s a disgusting job but it pays well, so she keeps her head down. But Ray feels trapped by her dead-end job, unhappy marriage, and an unfulfilling affair with a high school crush. Things start to change when Carla, an animal rights activist, arrives to organize a strike and opens Ray’s eyes to the cruelty all around her.
This play was originally developed in PlayGym at Luna.
Phoebe Farber is a playwright living in Montclair, New Jersey. Phoebe’s plays have been seen at Dixon Place, The International Fringe Festival—NYC (Best Bet), Emerging Artists Theatre, Luna Stage, The Depot Theater, The Bickford Theater, the Jersey City Theater Center and Nora’s Playhouse. Phoebe was a 2016-2017 fellow with the Emerging Women Playwrights of Writers Theatre of New Jersey. In the summer of 2017 her play BAM was workshopped at UC Davis as part of the Ground and Field Theater Festival. Phoebe’s play Psychodrama will be produced as part of Dreamcatcher Theater’s 2019 season in Summit, New Jersey. Phoebe is also a practicing psychotherapist (MSW--1993, Ph.D.--2002) with a specialty in adolescents and young adults. She has worked in the psychiatric emergency rooms at Bellevue Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, with adolescents at the Newark Juvenile Detention Center and the Covenant House Homeless Shelter for mentally ill youth. Phoebe is a professor at Montclair State University where she teaches psychology and a class called Creative Thinking. In November 2017, she participated in a TedX Montreal and spoke about the dynamics of judgment.
Jane Mandel is the founding Artistic Director of Luna Stage Company and served as Artistic Director for over twenty years (now AD Emeritus). With her guidance Luna Stage has earned a reputation for producing excellent, intelligent, and provocative theatre. Scores of new and classic plays are brought to audiences through readings and full productions. One of her passions is for creating devised theatre. She developed and directed In The Name of the Woman, an original exploration of women’s history beginning with the ancient time of the Goddess: “we don’t have enough sugar for the public,” an exploration of racism; and The American Project, an exploration of what it means to be an American. She co-created and directed Mi Casa Tu Casa, a bilingual Latino-based play with music.
Jane holds an MFA from NYU School of the Arts where she taught theatre games/improvisation/acting and was a full-time faculty member. She taught at The New School, The Whole Theatre, Montclair State University, Purchase College, The Teaching Artist’s Collective, Luna Stage, and in schools, prisons, and different venues around the country. She was a member of The Shaliko Company and acted in The Measures Taken, Ghosts, and Woyzeck while in residence at The Public Theater and on international tour. Jane currently directs, acts, and coaches acting.
Inductees Trumpets Hall Of Fame
KATE BAKER, CARLOS FRANZETTI, CARRIE JACKSON, VICK JURIS, HERNAN ROMERO & TRUMPETS JAZZ QUARTET
WHEN: Sunday, December 9, 3:00 PM-6:00 PM
WHERE: Trumpets Jazz Club & Restaurant, 6 Depot Square, Montclair
ADMISSION: $15 pp music charge, $30 pp general admission for hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine, beer or soda, cake, award ceremony and show $12 pp minimum (food/drink), $12 pp minimum (food/drink Dinner specials available)
Trumpets will offer a dinner special and a la carte menu this evening.
Trumpets will honor internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists at a very special event.
- Kate Baker–vocalist and vocal coach, educator & producer
- Carlos Franzetti–composer, arranger, pianist, educator, producer
- Carrie Jackson–vocalist/stylist, teacher, educator & actor/ producer
- Vic Juris–guitarist, composer, arranger & educator, producer, actor
- Hernan Romero–composer, arranger, guitarist, vocals, percussionist
Featuring the Trumpets Jazz Quartet: John DiStefano–piano, Enrico Granafei–guitar, chromatic harmonica Bass, drums, and many guest performers