Sunday, March 31, 2019

IMPROV MUSICAL COMEDY IN BRANCHBURG APRIL 7

WHEN: Sun., Apr. 7N at 3PM
WHERE
: The Theatre at RVCC, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg
TICKETS: $20 & $30
BUY TICKETS

The Tony Awards meets Whose Line Is It Anyway? NYC's original, award-winning improvised musical comedy comes to Branchburg! Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It's all improvised and it's all funny. Join the fun as master improvisers gather made-up hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter.

Cast your vote for favorite song, and watch the cast turn it into a full-blown improvised musical, complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore! Don't miss the next great American musical—it could be written by you!

FAMILY DRAMA TO OPEN @ PEGASUS THEATRE COMPANY ON APRIL 5

FICTION
by Steven Dietz
Directed by Peter Bisgaier

WHEN: April 5-14; Fridays & Saturdays 8 PM; Thursdays 1 PM; Sundays 2 PM
WHERE:
West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Rd., Princeton Jct., NJ 08550
TICKETS: general admission $28; seniors/students with ID, $24

Linda’s request to read her husband Michael’s journals before dying from a malignant brain tumor sets off a series of events that blur the boundaries between past and present, fact and fiction, trust and betrayal. When Abby returns—a woman they both have a history with—secrets and lies test the couple’s capacity for forgiveness and force them to face the consequences of their actions. No life, it turns out, is an open book.

STAGED READING IN CRANFORD ON SATURDAY, APRIL 6

SUNSET PARK
by Joseph Vitale

WHEN:  Saturday, April 6, 2 PM
WHERE:
Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Ave., Cranford
TICKETS: free
Please visit often:
TheTheaterProject.org

“Childhood is its own country—” says one of the characters in Sunset Park,  “is old age?”  The play follow three sets of characters at different stages of life. Sunset Park explores the effects of aging on the human spirit and validates our suspicion that no matter how old we get, love, longing, jealousy and hope remain constants in our lives.

THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Joseph Vitale, a semi-finalist for the 2012 Eugene O’Neill Theater / National Playwrights Conference, is the author of Back Channel, performed at The Theater Project in Maplewood in April 2018. Murrow,  (“a dramatic masterpiece” —Huffington Post), was performed at The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and as part of the ACANSA Arts Festival in Little Rock, AR. The Fourth State of Matter was nominated for the National Playwrights Conference. His one-acts have been produced at The Theater Project, the Hudson Guild, Barrow Group and Manhattan Repertory theaters in New York, and at festivals around the country. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

The Cranford Community Center is wheelchair accessible.

New Jersey Jazz Society's Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp

WHEN: Sunday, April 7, noon to 5 p.m.
WHERE:
Hyatt Regency, 3 Speedwell Ave. in Morristown
ADMISSION: $40 for NJJS members, $45 for non-members; tickets at the door are $45 for members, $50 for non-members. There will be a cash bar and buffet and CDs for sale.
Tickets may be ordered online at www.njjs.org; or by phone at 800-838-3006/Opt. 1.

Fifty years ago, Pluckemin, NJ, resident Jack Stine had an idea. One of his favorite musical performers, jazz clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, had died, and Stine wanted to honor him with a memorial concert. The first Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp was created, and two years later, Stine founded the New Jersey Jazz Society.

Stine, who died last June at the age of 96, combined the first concert with a fundraiser and raised more than $3,000 for a scholarship in Russell’s name at Rutgers University. Now, the event raises money for scholarships at Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Rowan University and William Paterson University, in addition to Rutgers.

Best known for playing in Dixieland bands, Russell was also considered the first post-swing era modern performer on clarinet. An example of his modernist playing was a 1960s Impulse album called Ask Me Now, recorded in a piano-less quartet with valve trombonist Marshall Brown. Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Scott Yanow pointed out that, “Russell, late in life, broke out of the [Dixieland] stereotype and played in more modern settings.”

His legacy will be celebrated at this year’s Stomp with music by Andy Farber and his Orchestra featuring special guests, vocalist Catherine Russell, multi-reedist Adrian Cunningham and trumpeter Warren Vache. Vocalist Roseanna Vitro, a resident of Warren, NJ, will be presented with this year’s Distinguished Musician Award, and jazz radio station WBGO 88.3FM will be honored as this year’s Jazz Advocate. And, as is the tradition, dancing is welcome and encouraged, spurred by a group of vintage-clad dancers who annually grace the Pee Wee stage.

NJ Jazz Society president Cydney Halpin, a resident of Mount Arlington, predicts “an afternoon filled with fabulous music, artistry, and nostalgia worthy of a golden anniversary.”

A new feature of this year’s Stomp will be performances by the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Jazz Orchestra conducted by Roselle Park alto saxophonist Julius Tolentino, who is director of the jazz program at Newark Academy in Livingston; and by players from the Montclair-based Jazz House Kids, led by saxophonist Mike Lee, professor of jazz saxophone at The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Lee, who helped found the JHK in-house jazz education program, just released a new CD, Song For All of Us, on the IYOUWE record label. At one point during the afternoon, NJJS education adviser Don Braden, Cunningham, and Tolentino will join Farber in a "Battle of the Saxes".

Saxophonist Andy Farber studied jazz composition at the Manhattan School of Music, played and wrote arrangements for legendary vocalist Jon Hendricks in the ‘90s, led the orchestra for the Broadway musical revue, After Midnight, and directed the band that backed Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga for the PBS special Cheek to Cheek Live.He has appeared at such venues as Dizzy’s Club  Coca-Cola and the Jazz Standard in New York as well as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

Catherine Russell (no relation to Pee Wee) is a jazz superstar. In 2012, she won a Grammy Award for her appearance as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. Her 2014 Jazz Village album, Bring It Back, received a five-star review from Down Beat Magazine, and her 2016 JV album, Harlem on My Mind, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. When Russell released her debut album, Cat on the World Village label in 2006, the late jazz critic Nat Hentoff wrote: "After listening to a continuous stream of singers who couldn't have lasted through a chorus with Ella Fitzgerald or Betty Carter, it's a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell." Her newest album, Alone Together, was released this month on the Dot Records label. New York Music Daily, pointing out that, "Russell has made a bunch of good records over the years," added that, "This might be the best of them all."

Trumpeter Warren Vache, a resident of Rahway, played with Benny Goodman in the mid-‘70s and was part of the house band at Eddie Condon’s jazz club in the ‘70s and ‘80s, teaming up with the veteran trombonist Vic Dickenson. Condon’s, on West 54th Street, was down the block from another club, Jimmy Ryan’s, where legendary trumpeter Roy Eldridge performed. During their breaks, Eldridge and the young Vache would listen to each other. That, says Vache, was, “the best teaching experience I ever had.” In a review of Vache’s recent appearance at the Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich wrote of “the gracefulness of his lines and the profoundly melodic character of his solos.”

Since relocating to New York City from his native Australia in 2008, multi-reedist Adrian Cunningham has performed at some of the city’s leading jazz clubs including Birdland, the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. And, he has played with some of New York’s leading jazz musicians: trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and pianist Ted Rosenthal, to name a few. Hot House Magazine has called him “indispensable to New York’s jazz scene,” and All About Jazz described him as “a young artist who plays as if he has been playing for over a century.” Both Cunningham and Vache record on Arbors Records.


Roseanna Vitro’s 2011 album, The Music of Randy Newman,on the Motema label, was nominated for a Grammy. Her most recent album, Tell Me the Truth (CD Baby: 2018), was described by JazzTimes’ Christopher Loudon as “a return to her southern roots, the blues, country, soul, gospel, jazz and rock that shaped her musical upbringing in Hot Springs, Arkansas.” She is “honored and blown away to receive the NJJS Distinguished Musician Award. I’ve lived in New Jersey for 34 of my 47 years as a performer and teacher, but I’ll always be grateful to Arnett Cobb, master tenor player in Houston, Texas, for introducing me to jazz.”

APRIL @ THE ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM IN NEW BRUNSWICK

For Zimmerli Members - Last Call

Cocktail Brunch and Watercolor Activity

WHEN: Sunday, April 7 / 10am - noon
WHERE:
Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick
By invitation. RSVP to rsvp@zimmerli.rutgers.edu.

This members-only cocktail brunch reception includes a private viewing of the exhibition Becoming John Marin: Modernist at Work and features an open instruction watercolor art activity.

Tour, Talk, and Music: Art After Hours

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2 / 5 - 9pm
WHERE:
Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick

Stop by Art After Hours for exhibition tours of Tiananman Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang M. Hei, an artist talk by Hei, and genre-bending music from Sound in Color. For evening schedule and details, including parking reservations, visit the webpage. (Khiang H. Hei, Untitled, 1989, C-print. Courtesy of Khiang H. Hei.)

Symposium: Tiananmen at 30: 1989 in International History, Law and Memory

WHEN: Wednesday, April 3 / 2 - 5pm
WHERE:
Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick

Bringing together a group of interdisciplinary scholars, this afternoon symposium explores the subject of the exhibition Tiananmen Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang H. Hei. Both the exhibition and the discussion mark the 30th anniversary of the student protests and the subsequent events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. A reception follows. Visit the webpage for details, including parking reservations. (Khiang H. Hei, Untitled, 1989, C-print. Courtesy of Khiang H. Hei.)

Organized by the Zimmerli Art Museum and co-sponsored by Rutgers Global, Department of Art History, Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Humanities and Art, and the Zimmerli’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund

Film Screening

The Gate of Heavenly Peace 

WHEN: Friday, April 5 / 6-9pm
WHERE:
Murray Hall, Room 301, located on Voorhees Mall next to the Art Library.

The recently restored 1995 documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace will be screened in conjunction with the exhibition Tiananmen Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang H. Hei. Including archival footage and contemporary interviews with a wide range of Chinese citizens, the three-hour documentary provides a compelling story of the rise and fall of the “Beijing Spring.”

Exhibition Celebration

Irina Nakhova: Museum on the Edge

WHEN: Saturday, April 6 / 6-8pm 
WHERE: Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick


Join us for a reception that includes a conversation between artist Irina Nakhova and Jane Sharp, Professor, Department of Art History, Rutgers University, who co-curated the exhibition. Nakhova and Sharp speak about the role art played in Soviet society during the last decades of the 20th century and how Nakhova's own practices evolved to shape those experiences for her viewers. The program includes an audience Q&A, and is followed by refreshments. Visit the webpage for details.

AUDITIONS SET IN DOVER FOR “THE CRUCIBLE”

AUDITION NOTICE:

Black Maria Film Festival Returns to Princeton University Friday, April 5

Black Maria Film Festival
Presented by the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium and Program in Visual Arts of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University

WHEN: April 5 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:
James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton
ADMISSION: Free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Free parking is available in University Lot #10 off William Street, behind 185 Nassau.

Back by popular demand, the Black Maria Film Festival returns to Princeton with a screening of five new short films from the 38th annual tour. This new screening follows a February festival premiere screening that had a standing-room-only audience. These five new, short, documentary, experimental, narrative, and animated films, introduced by Festival Director Jane Steuerwald focus on the human experience and issues of global importance.

The short documentary, experimental, narrative, and animated films, introduced by Festival Director Jane Steuerwald, focus on the human experience and issues of global importance and are by filmmakers from Germany, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Greece. The event is free and open to the public

For 38 years, the Black Maria Film Festival has been celebrating creativity and innovation in the moving-image arts. The festival was founded in 1981 as a tribute to Thomas Edison’s development of the motion picture at his West Orange laboratory, dubbed the “Black Maria” film studio, the first in the world. The studio received its name from Edison’s employees who thought the studio’s boxy shape and black tar paper covering resembled the so-called “black maria” police paddy wagons.

An annual juried competition of short works in all genres, the festival is a project of the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium, which also showcases the New Jersey Young Filmmakers Festival and the Global Insights Collection, an archive of films focusing on the environment, people with disabilities, international issues, and films with themes of social justice. For the 2019 festival, the organization has partnered with the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. A premiere screening kicking off the 38th annual tour held at Princeton in February drew a standing-room-only audience and many requests to bring more films from the festival to campus.

The five films being screened are:

Koka, the Butcher, a documentary film by Bence Máté and Florian Schewe of Berlin, Germany. Koka is a highly respected figure in the pigeon battling scene in Cairo, Egypt. His life revolves around his pigeons. Each year whole areas clash in contests to release and capture each other’s birds. As the face-off between warring factions unfolds, 30-year-old Koka faces unbearable social pressure to leave “pigeoneering” behind, so he can settle down and marry. A race against time begins in a peculiar world where pigeons are the foremost source of martial spirit and pride.

Dawn, a narrative film by Jorn Threlfall of London, takes place in New Mexico in July of 1945 when the paths of an old farmer and a young Navajo boy cross. The world will never be the same after this night.

I’d Never Bother Another Chicken Again, an experimental film by Helen Cho Anthos of Reseda, California, in which a man relives an intense child­hood memory, illuminating his greatest regret.

Familiar Tale, a documentary film by Sumie Garcia & Santiago De la Paz of Mexico City. Yukio Saeki arrived in Mexico from his native Japan in 1955. He opened a photography store in the Santa Maria la Ribera neighborhood in Mexico City, which he named FotoSaeki. At 83 years old, he recalls life in Mexico, family, relationships with his Mexican customers, and remembers the echo of a hot Monday morning in Japan, as he walked across a field toward the ocean as an atomic bomb fell in his homeland.

Inverse, an animated film by Ioanna Tsinividi and Harold Herbert of Athens, Greece. Agastrophos, a Trojan hero, now a marble statue trapped on a tiny island, is focused on an upside-down beetle; its legs and arms are grasping the air in an at­tempt to flip over and save itself. If Agastrophos could simply give it a helping flick, it would “inverse” its destiny and find a second chance at life.

Black Maria received more than 400 submissions for the 2019 Festival tour from every continent around the globe except Antarctica. Following an extensive pre-screening by experts in the field of film curation, media studies and production, the highly regarded Festival jurors, Margaret Parsons, Head Curator of Film at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Henry Baker, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and former director of Synapse Video Center, chose 55 films for the 2019 collection and awarded the top prizes.

The Festival is traveling to more than 50 museums, cultural centers, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and abroad during 2019. Venues interested in scheduling a screening should contact Festival Director Jane Steuerwald at jane@blackmariafilmfestival.org. The Festival offers programming options ranging from a custom-curated program presented by the host site, to an in-person film presentation by the Festival director, including a Q & A and dialog with the audience.

In addition to the support provided for the 2019 tour by the Lewis Center, the Black Maria Film Festival receives generous support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts; the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and Tourism; the Edison Foundations; the Hoboken Historical Museum; WithumSmith+Brown; Lowenstein Sandler, LLP; Adobe Systems, Inc.; and Microsoft through TechSoup.org.

To learn more about the Black Maria Film Festival and Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium, visit blackmariafilmfestival.org. To learn more about the Lewis Center for the Arts, the screening, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year, most of them free, visit arts.princeton.edu.

Jewish Heritage Museum Presents WHAT’S YOUR STORY? A community storytelling event

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
A community storytelling event

WHEN: Sunday, April 7, 2019, at 2 PM.
WHERE:
The Jewish Heritage Museum located in the Mounts Corner Shopping Center, at 310 Mounts Corner Drive Freehold, NJ, at the corner of Route 537 and Wemrock Road (between the CentraState Medical Center and Freehold Raceway Mall). It is on the second floor of the historic Levi Solomon Barn.
TICKETS: $8 members, $10 non-members
For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit www.jhmomc.orgjhmomc.org. Maximum capacity is 100, so paid reservations are recommended.

Storytelling is a timeless skill through which we can find truth and understanding. At this event, coordinated by Robyn Shumer, a storytelling coach and storyteller in her own right, some of Robyn’s proteges will share stories of life changing events. Speakers include Museum volunteer Lola Kline who will reveal the story of survival of her family during the Second World War. Other speakers include Susanne Peticolas, who speaks about assisting refugees; Jackie Allgood who survived several cancer diagnoses; Elisa Torres who talks about human trafficking; and Robyn Shumer’s talk of overcoming obstacles to become a mother.

The style of these talks is reminiscent of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks which focus on “ideas worth sharing,” and The Moth stories on varied themes, heard on PBS radio. Each presenter has been coached in developing an intriguing and meaningful tale.

What’s Your Story? is a storytelling initiative that resulted from a call to action from founder Robyn Shumer. In her TEDx talk, Robyn reflected on her own personal experiences and recognized a simple truth: we can find truth and understanding through sharing our unique experiences and stories. Unfortunately, many of these stories go untold. “What’s Your Story?” is a storytelling initiative that challenges us to open up to others and generate lasting, meaningful, personal and social change, with the mission to provide safe spaces for people to tell the stories that shape their lives. Proceeds from every event goes to non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.wysusa.com.

This program is made possible in part by the Monmouth County Historical Commission through funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The JHMOMC is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Museum is handicapped and assisted listening accessible.

Spring Break Programs for Kids, Teens Slated at RVCC

SPRING BREAK PROGRAMS

WHEN: April 15-18 and April 22-26
WHERE:
RVCC, 118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg


Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) will offer daytime classes for school-age children during Spring Break weeks. Classes will be offered in the areas of visual arts, science, computers and enrichment.

The following classes for children and teens ages 5-14 will be offered at the College’s Branchburg campus:

  • Visual Arts Classes: Edible Art, Comic Book Creation, Creative Art Lab

  • Science Classes: Junior Scientists, Technology & Engineering

  • Computer Classes: Roblox Makers, Adventures in Augmented Reality, Battle Royale: Make Your First Fortnite Style Video Game, and eSports Apprentice – YouTube Streamers & Gamers

  • Enrichment Classes: Cook & Connect, Jewelry Design, Introduction to the Sewing Machine

For a complete listing of all spring courses for kids and teens, visit www.raritanval.edu/youth.

To register for classes, visit www.raritanval.edu/youth.

For information only, email youth@raritanval.edu or call 908-526-1200, ext. 8404. The Youth Program office is located on the first floor of Somerset Hall, in room S147.

Ranked by BestColleges.com, WalletHub.com and Niche.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a 1,000-seat Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses.

For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

HARMONIUM CHORAL SOCIETY PRESENTS BACH’S “ST. MATTHEW PASSION”

Event Image

WHEN: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 1:30pm
WHERE
: St. Mary’s Abbey at Delbarton School, 230 Mendham Road, Morristown
TICKETS: $40 ($35 for students and seniors), but tickets purchased by April 5, 2019 are $35 ($30 for students and seniors).
Please visit harmonium.yapsody.com to purchase tickets.
For assistance or more information, email manager@harmonium.org or call 973-538-6969.

Professional parking shuttle service will be provided for various parking lots on the Delbarton campus.

In celebration of Harmonium’s 40th anniversary, Artistic Director Dr. Anne J. Matlack leads the acclaimed 100-voice choral society in this rarely-performed work, making it a “can’t miss” event.

This gala production features the vibrant New York Times darlings The Sebastians as the double baroque orchestra, GRAMMY-winning Dann Coakwell as Evangelist, and members of the New Jersey Youth Chorus as the children’s choir.

The performance also brings New York and New Jersey’s finest professional soloists to Morristown, including GRAMMY-nominated Stephen Sands (“a tenor with a focused, powerful tone” who sings with “subtlety” and “poignancy” – NY Times); award-winning musical theater and classical artist Michael Maliakel (“a baritone so tender your eyes well” – San Francisco Chronicle); Elena Bird (“…her clear soprano soared through the night air” – NJ Arts Maven); alto Patricia Ruggles (“her warm, luscious mezzo…carried the emotion of the text” – Classical NJ); and baritone Malcolm Merriweather as Jesus (described as “gripping” and compelling by Opera News).

“Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is believed by many to be the most profound and dramatic of Bach’s works, if not the whole choral canon,” said Artistic Director Dr. Anne Matlack. “I am thrilled that Harmonium’s board and fans have allowed us to mount a work that seldom sees local performances due to the complexity of forces and logistics – although the musicianship of my singers is certainly on top of it! It is a bucket list work for me, and I hope many listeners take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Sung in German, the performance will include supertitles of the English translation.

Audience members are encouraged to buy tickets in advance and come early for what looks to be a sell-out performance in the beautiful acoustics of St. Mary’s Abbey.

RVCC Theatre’s April Shows to Feature Acrobatics, Improvised Musical Comedy, Magic

WHERE: Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College , 118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg

From thrilling acrobatics, to hysterical, improvised musical comedy, to fast-paced magic and illusion, the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg is offering a variety of performances for all ages and interests in April. The following shows will be presented:

Golden Dragon Acrobats
WHEN: Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

TICKETS: $25 & $35

Adults and children alike will be thrilled by the breathtaking artistry and dazzling athletic feats of the Golden Dragon Acrobats. From tumblers, to jugglers, to contortionists and more, the performance offers the best of a time-honored Chinese tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. Recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premier Chinese acrobatic touring company, the Golden Dragons combine thrilling acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music in an unforgettable performance of spectacular skill and spellbinding beauty.

Broadway’s Next H!t Musical
WHEN: Sunday, April 7, at 3 p.m.
TICKETS:
$20 & $30

New York City’s original, award-winning improvised musical comedy comes to Branchburg in a show that’s a cross between the Tony Awards and Whose Line Is It Anyway? Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. Join the fun as master improvisers gather made-up hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. Cast your vote for favorite song, and watch the cast turn it into a full-blown improvised musical, complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. You could help write the next great American musical.

Rhonda Badonda—The Adventures of a Girl with a Pain in her Brain
(Rhonda S. Musak)
WHEN: Tuesday, April 9, at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
TICKETS: $15 (General admission; recommended for audiences age 14 and older; includes discussion and light refreshments; audience members may pre-order a $5 box lunch and dine before the 1 p.m. show.)

Rhonda squeaks by in life with a pile of self-help books and coaches in every corner. Why can’t she function normally in the world? When a mysterious pain dismantles her coping strategies, Rhonda embarks on a journey that leads her to the Paris Opera, Mozart and the ultimate face-off—with her brain. This funny and moving piece takes audiences on a triumphant, autobiographical journey through the trials and tribulations of being different, and ultimately to self-discovery and healing. Dive into the shape-shifting landscape of the mind as Rhonda unscrambles a hidden medical mystery and encounters the truth of her baffling and bewildering world.

Illusionist Kevin Spencer
WHEN: Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.*

TICKETS: $10
(*Relaxed performance; recommended for ages 4 and older.)

Kevin Spencer is a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit. The family-friendly, relaxed performance—offering an inclusive environment that is welcoming for all theatre audiences—is brimming with fast-paced magic and illusion guaranteed to capture the imagination. Audience members are selected to act as his on-stage assistants, so this could be your chance to be in a magic show. Spencer’s reputation has taken him around the world with performances in 38 countries on six continents. A six-time recipient of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year honors, he was named 2015 International Illusionist of the Year and 2009 International Magician of the Year.

For tickets to any of the productions, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are available for most performances.

For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

QUEER ARTISTS HIGHLIGHT LIFE ‘IN THE IN BETWEEN’

In The In Between: Contemporary Queer Portraiture

WHEN: on view March 29-April 21, 2019
WHERE:
SMUSH Gallery, 340 Summit Ave, Jersey City

SMUSH Gallery presents an exhibit of paintings, drawings and photographs by John Brooks, Adam Chuck, Mati Gelman, John MacConnell, Melody Melamed, and Joey Sbarro, curated by Joey Sbarro.

In The In Between unites six queer visual artists in the project of removing the barriers of the normalcy imposed by society. The artists in this exhibition use queer bodies to explore themes of intimacy, sexuality and gender identity, in addition to celebrating and and challenging conventional standards of beauty. Collectively, they explore “the in between,” a boundary-defying liminal space which affords a unique perspective on what is considered “normal.” 

The artists seek to mitigate the differences between queer people and the outside world by highlighting the desire of every individual for intimacy, connection and aesthetic appreciation. This drive for connection inspired the artists to bring their work together in time and place, in a shared physical location that provides for deeper, more substantial interaction than is possible on their standard social media platforms.

In addition to welcoming the public to the opening reception on March 30, the gallery and artists will host an evening of discussion, music, performance, and camaraderie April 13 from 6-10PM.

  • An artist panel discussion will take place from 6:00-7:00pm
  • music and performances 7:30-9:00pm
  • a mix-and-mingle reception from 9:00-10:00pm.
  • Details and tickets will be available at smushgallery.com.

All In The In Between events take place at SMUSH Gallery, one of Jersey City’s newest art spaces. SMUSH Gallery hosts creative and community work including visual art, performance, workshops, rentals and professional opportunities for working artists.

Princeton Festival Opens Ticket Sales for 2019 Season

Nixon in China, Singer Jazzmeia Horn, Pianist Rachel Cheung Highlight Adventurous Program

WHEN: June 7-30
WHERE:
Princeton
Tickets for the 2019 season of The Princeton Festival go on sale today on the Festival’s website (www.princetonfestival.org), by phone at 609-258-2787 or in person.

This 15th anniversary season offers 22 performances of nine events:

  • John Adams’s opera Nixon in China, a poetic and thought-provoking modern masterpiece (June 23 and 30)
  • The Princeton debut of Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, called “one of the best voices I’ve heard in over 40 years” by jazz legend Jon Hendricks (June 16)
  • 13 performances of She Loves Me, a charming rom-com of a musical by the team that created Fiddler on the Roof (June 8-30)
  • Internationally known pianist Rachel Cheung, finalist and Audience Award winner at the 2017 Van Cliburn piano competition, playing music by Chopin, Ravel, and Schubert among others in her Princeton debut (June 22)
  • An evening of music by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Kodály from the distinguished Concordia Chamber Players (June 7)
  • The period-instrument Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra in a chamber performance (June 22) and a full orchestra concert (June 26)
  • Choral music by J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi, accompanied by the Baroque Orchestra (June 30)
  • The exciting final round of the Festival’s piano competition (June 9)

The Festival also offers a slate of free events, including eight lectures relevant to the music being performed, the popular Artists’ Round Table featuring performers and directors of the opera and musical, a reading of contemporary Chinese poetry, and a season preview. In addition, there will be two workshops: one on opera and another, limited to high school students, on performing in musicals.

“People who think they don’t like opera, and especially modern opera, owe it to themselves to experience Nixon in China,” said Richard Tang Yuk, the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director. “It is approachable, American, and very moving. The score integrates classical, jazz and popular music, and the drama is a poetic and moving story of human frailties and aspirations.”

Tang Yuk stresses that the rest of the 15th anniversary season is equally attractive. “Our other offerings include one of the most charming musicals ever written, an extraordinary pianist, and a superstar jazz vocalist. There are also a dozen fascinating and inspiring free lectures and workshops.

“If you love the performing arts, you’ll want to visit Princeton this June.”

Full descriptions of all offerings are available on the Festival website, with instructions for ordering tickets by phone, email, or online.

For more information and a link to ticket sales (handled by McCarter Theatre), visit www.princetonfestival.org. To purchase tickets by phone, call McCarter Theatre at 609-258-2787.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Spring into Space at the RVCC Planetarium!

The planetarium is fun and educational for visitors of all ages. Kids, parents, grandparents, teens, and adults—they all can find magic in the night sky.  And the best place to begin that discovery is at the RVCC Planetarium.
  • Children's Shows (some for visitors as young as 3 years old!)
  • General Audience Astronomy Shows
  • Laser Concerts
  • 3M Observatory
  • Sensory-Friendly Shows
  • Monthly Sky Highlights

WHERE: RVCC Planetarium, 118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg


Children’s Shows

Rockin' Rocket Ride
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 3:00 pm

Put on your space suit and blast off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun, and planets.  A lively experience for young people with songs from the CD "Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy.  (Recommended for ages 3-8)


SkyLights
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 4:00 pm

Our youngest audience members can sing along with songs by mr. RAY (Family Ride, Kalien the Alien) and Jane Murphy (Moon Rock Rock, The Planet Song). Some songs are illustrated with lasers and other songs feature video images. (Recommended for ages 3-8)

Magic Tree House: Space Mission
WHEN: Saturdays, April 6 and 13, 3:00 pm

Join Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel and more. Who can help them answer the questions left for them by the mysterious "M"?  Based on the same-titled, best-selling series of novels. (Recommended for ages 5-12)

Laser Light Waves
WHEN: Saturdays, April 6 and 13, 4:00 pm

Lasers dance on the dome while we listen to songs including "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles, "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, "Counting Stars" by One Republic, and "Glad You Came" by The Wanted. (Recommended for ages 6 and older)

Check our website for the public show schedule for now through May 2019, and show descriptions.

ADMISSION: $10 per person for one show; $16 per person for two shows on the same day. Use code STAR1 when you purchase your ticket for a $2 per person discount.

Reservations are recommended. Call to make reservations: 908-231-8805


General Audience Shows

The Planetarium will be closed Saturday, April 20.

From Earth to the Universe
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 7:00 pm

The sky is a place of wonder. Philosophers and scientists, from the Greeks to Galileo, began to unravel some of its mysteries. The invention of the telescope allowed for still more discoveries. Fly by all the planets in our solar system,then travel beyond to view the birthplace and death of stars, and still farther to the myriad galaxies in our Universe. This program includes a brief tour of the current night sky. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

Astronomy Tonight
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 7:00 pm

Using the Planetarium's DigitalSky digital theater, experience a guided tour of the night sky.  Learn about some of the popular constellations visible tonight. (recommended for ages 8-adult)


Exploding Universe
WHEN: Saturdays, April 13 and 27, 7:00 pm

The universe we see today is the product of explosive events. As the universe has transformed into its current state, event the most elementary particles have endured. The show follows the path of one of these particles, a proton, as it participates in nature's astounding events of rebirth and renewal. This program includes a brief tour of the current night sky. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

Laser Concerts

Laser Ladies
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 8:00 pm

Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Beyonce, and Shakira are just a few of the ladies highlighted in this new laser concert.

Laser Beatles
WHEN: Saturdays, April 6, 13, and 27, 8:00 pm

Listen to hits from The Fab Four's long career, like "Twist and Shout," "Revolution," and "Get Back" while lasers animate the songs on the dome overhead.

ADMISSION: $10 per person for one show; $16 per person for two shows on the same day. Use code STAR1 when you purchase your ticket for a $2 per person discount.

Reservations are recommended. Call to make reservations: 908-231-8805


Sensory-Friendly programs

The Sky Above 
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 5 pm

Enjoy music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, Moon, and constellations.  Content is presented on a kindergarten level.

RVCC Planetarium offers special astronomy and music shows designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. These sensory-friendly shows, which are appropriate for audiences of all ages, will provide a comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights will be left dim (instead of dark) and the audio will be lowered and kept at a consistent level.

Call to make a reservation: 908-231-8805.
Visit our website

A "handy" guide to measuring the sky.  Fully extend your arm and then start making measurements

Evening Planets

   Follow the motion of Mars against the background stars.  At the start of April. look for Mars next to the Pleiades star cluster. By April 14, Mars is 6.5 degrees north of the star Aldebaran, marking the eye of Taurus the Bull.  By month's end, Mars is nearing the tips of the horns of Taurus the Bull. Mars sets around four hours after sunset near the beginning of April and about three hours after sunset by the end of April. Earth and Mars move farther from each other this month by 20 million miles.

Morning Planets

Venus and Mercury can be spotted low in the east. Mercury is to the lower left of much brighter Venus. Mercury is at its greatest elongation from the Sun on April 11. Notice the difference in this elongation compared to the elongation in February 2019. This month, Mercury is 28 degrees from the Sun. In February it was just 18 degrees from the Sun. Due to the lower angle of the ecliptic, this apparition of Mercury keeps it closer to the horizon, but with bright Venus as a guide it should be easy to find. Venus and Mercury have a quasi-conjunction on April 16 at just 4.3 degrees apart.

Saturn and Jupiter can easily be spotted towards the south at dawn. The Moon is near Jupiter on April 23 and near Saturn on April 25.

Moon Phases

New Moon April 5

First Quarter Moon  April 12

Full Moon  April 19

Last Quarter Moon   April 26

The Sun has been a mostly blank disk for months, but we were lucky enough to catch an Earth-sized sunspot before it rotated out of view last Saturday.  Photo credit: Amie Gallagher, RVCC Planetarium Director




Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ARTS COUNCIL OF LIVINGSTON SEEKS SUBMISSIONS FOR UPCOMING SHOW

CALL FOR ART SUBMISSIONS:

The Arts Council of Livingston (ACL) Gallery invites all artists and artisans to submit works for its upcoming show

Mother eARTh

All media will be considered including

  • painting
  • sculpture
  • photography
  • jewelry
  • pottery
  • glassware
  • textiles
  • wearable art

To receive the registration form for Mother eARTh and to submit up to 4 JPGs, please contact Hugh Mahon at hughman2000@hotmail.com  by Friday, April 4th.  DON’T MISS THE DEADLINE!

Accepted artwork will be received at the ACL Gallery, 2130 Carillon Circle, Livingston, on Monday April 8th  from 9:30-11:30.  

Mother eARTh runs Thursdays through Saturdays from  Friday, April 12th, 2019 through Saturday, May 18th, 2019.  Artists and the general public are invited to attend the reception on Friday evening, April 12th  at the ACL Gallery at 2130 Town Center Way, entrance on Carillon Circle.

FREE “In Their Footsteps” at the Hamilton Stage in Rahway

IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS

IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS

WHEN: Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:30 PM
WHERE
: UCPAC'S Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway
ADMISSION: Admission is free of charge, but seating is limited and pre-registration is required.
RSVP Here!

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present a free performance of the play In Their Footsteps.

In Their Footsteps is presented through the Union County Department of Economic Development, Office on Women. In Their Footsteps honors five American women who served in the Vietnam War, using their own words to tell the story.

In Their Footsteps was created by the non-profit theatre company Infinite Variety Productions, through interviews with: Ann Kelsey (Special Services Librarian), Judy Jenkins Gaudino (Special Services Recreation Employee), Jeanne “Sam” Christie (Red Cross, Donut Dollie), Lily Adams (US Army Nurse), and Doris “Lucki” Allen (US Army Intelligence Specialist). Infinite Variety Productions was established in 2011 and is dedicated to sharing the many unknown stories from women’s history.

Eclectic Mix Explores Privilege at The BOX in Jersey City

The BOX: Privilege Edition

WHEN: Friday, March 29; Doors: 7:30/Show: 8:00
WHERE:
Jersey City Theater Center, Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
ADMISSION: $10 (suggested donation)
For more information, visit: www.JCTCenter.org
(201) 795-5386

A diverse array of performers and performances will be showcased when Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) concludes its Privilege series with The BOX: Privilege Edition, an evening of music, spoken-word, poetry, multimedia and performances.

JCTC selects a topic global in scope yet relevant to the community, then explores that theme through a variety of events – including visual arts, theatre, readings and other performances – that also feature talk backs with audiences –concluding with one of JCTC’s signature events, The BOX. (Top: Ariel Guidry a jazz, blues and soul singer will emcee. Photo by Bang Chau/Courtesy of JCTC)

Named for the Black Box Theater at Merseles Studios, JCTC solicits submissions for performances on the series theme through notices on social media and other sources. Submissions are open to any and all forms of performance and reviewed by a JCTC panel; the selection process culminates in a curated evening that brings artists, actors, musicians and other performers for a community-oriented event.

Privilege is a hot-buzz word in today’s turbulent times so it’s probably not surprising that the topic solicited the highest number of submissions then previous editions of this homegrown showcase. Many of the performances feature work created especially for privilege theme. The lineup for The BOX: Privilege Edition is an eclectic mix of newcomers and BOX alumni and will be one of one of the most diverse range of artists and performances ever assembled at Merseles Studios

“Privilege really struck a nerve with artists and the community,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director. “The word has gotten out about JCTC programming so we keep attracting new artists with our thematic series, but the response to Privilege has been surprising. We welcome the diversity of artists and there’s no better reflection of the community JCTC serves than the performers and audiences who have made The BOX such a wonderful success.”

The BOX: Privilege Edition was curated by Max Di Biaggio, a local musician, singer/songwriter and photographer who has performed at previous “BOXes.” His band Max & Los Americanos has performed at numerous venues throughout Hudson County and he is also producer and creator of The Hang, a YouTube series featuring interviews with and performances by local musicians and other artists. Ariel Guidry, a jazz, blues and soul singer who has performed at White Eagle Hall, Maxwell’s, FM, the Hutton, and Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair returns to emcee The BOX.

The BOX: Privilege Edition performers include: Ibn sharif Shakoor; Rescue Poetix; Terry Haman;Tyber "Ty" Sky Lentuk Murphy; Chrissy Roberts; Fred Scheier; Cassandra Adams; Jason Schlusser; Sid Whelan; Dr. Janelle Christine Simmons; The Sensational Country Blues Wonders; Frank Ippolito; P. Michael Page; Carol Lester; Amy Kelly; and Anthony Wills.

The Privilege Art Show, currently in the art gallery at Merseles Stuios, will be accessible during The BOX: Privilege Edition. It will also be the last time to view this exhibition, curated by Lucy Rovetto, Visual Arts Coordinator, JCTC.

Funding for Privilege was made possible by generous support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Privilege was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.
Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life.

Circle Players presents "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"

Image result for circle players nj logo

Circle Players and director Richard Butler of Piscataway are proud to present the fourth production of their 2018-2019 season,

Les Liaisons Dangereuses 
by Christopher Hampton
DIRECTED BY RICHARD BUTLER

WHEN: Fridays: March 29th and April 12th at 8:00pm; Saturdays: March 30th, April 6th, and April 13th at 8:00pm; Sundays: April 7th and April 14th at 3:00pm. A complimentary wine and cheese reception will be held following the opening night performance, and a talkback will be held following the Sunday, April 7th performance.
WHERE: 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway
TICKETS: $20 for adults/$18 for seniors/students.
For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at www.circleplayers.org.

Former lovers La Marquise de Merteuil and Le Vicomte de Valmont, two merciless aristocrats, compete in games of seduction and revenge, toying with the hearts and reputations of innocents as they do. But when Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the convent-educated Cecile before her wedding night, events soon spiral beyond anyone’s control.

Cast

Le Vicomte de Valmont – Erik Hall
La Marquise de Merteuil – Faith Dowgin
Mme. de Tourvel – Alicia Harabin
Mme. de Volanges – Nancy Jean McBride
Cécile Volanges – Kate Mochnacz
Le Chevalier Danceny – Kevin Albanese
Mme de Rosemonde – Roberta Steve
Azolan – Bobby Marusiefski
Émilie – Allison Mitchell
Major-domo – Matt Marino

Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

This Saturday & Sunday: LIVE Music & Dance in Hackensack

WHEN: Saturday, March 30th, 7:30pm and Sunday, March 31st, 3:00pm
WHERE:
Hackensack Performing Arts Center, 102 State Street Hackensack
TICKETS: $15-$20
Tickets

Join Nikki Manx Dance Project with guest artist, Embodied Dance, for the premiere of new work with our 2019 season, Gaia.

Choreographers Nikki Manx and Allison Pagano (Embodied Dance) will premiere dances of air, water, earth, fire and waste to reconnect us to the Earth and awaken our human potential in this split program. These two all-female companies heighten the importance of ecological and environmental necessity and responsibility by awakening our consciousness to the Earth goddess, GAIA.  Share in the infinite capacity of dance to awaken human potential and to reconnect us back to ourselves as part of and with the Earth.

Experience the premiere of Consumed, exploring the company's personal relationship with the amount of waste we create and Of Which We Breathe with LIVE harp by Pamela Bruce and the renowned accompaniment of tabla and a percussive soundscape by Seth Moutal.

Join us for a youth-based Dance Jam in the art gallery at 7pm pre-show Saturday. Enjoy complimentary parking on Sunday and a post-show Q&A with Company Directors Nikki Manx & Allison Pagano for a look into the choreography.

Both shows will include a performance by the Art of Motion Junior Performance Ensemble, a nonprofit cultural and educational performing arts studio founded by Lynn Needle and directed by Nikki Manx and Laura Van Dyke.

This program has been made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs from funfs granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. 

9th ANNUAL MARCH WOMEN IN JAZZ CONCLUDES IN NEW BRUNSWICK

Candice Reyes a native El Paso Texas who currently resides in New Jersey has gained a reputation for being an active Latina jazz vocalist. Her innovative spirit has emulated over the course of her career starting with her first solo album with Shade Records’ Crossing Over released in 2014. Reyes, brings a youthful and refreshing sound to jazz. The vocalist performs actively in the tri-state area with the CRQ and will be releasing her newest album "Your Way" featuring six-time Grammy award winner and jazz renowned bassist Christian McBride.

Roseanna Vitro is a jazz singer and teacher from Arkansas. Vitro was exposed to jazz and it became her genre of choice after moving to Houston, Texas in the 1970s. Ray Sullenger discovered Vitro and presented her to the Houston jazz community where she sang frequently with tenor Arnett Cobb. Vitro worked for two years in Houston's Green Room with her group "Roseanna with Strings and Things" hosting a radio show on KUHF-FM. Many jazz musicians stopped in and played with Strings and Things, such as Cobb, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Tommy Flanagan and Keter Betts. Cobb. The Grammy-nominated vocalist has collaborated with musicians such as Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Elvin Jones, Gary Bartz, Kevin Mahogany and David "Fathead" Newman, all of whom have appeared on her recordings. Her last CD, Tell Me the Truth, was released last year to rave reviews.

Solivan has made a name for herself as a hard swinging, passionate, vocalist who has a commanding stage presence and is able to captivate audiences with her joyous exuberance and whit. Her dedication to learning this music led her to study with a varied group of musician -educators who taught the traditional as well as modern approaches to the music. These tools have shaped a vocalist with deep roots in the vocal tradition yet without any of the "retro" feel. Solivan's singing is a mixture of honest storytelling with a modern sense of self and determination.