Sunday, December 29, 2019

"Pygmalion" Takes the Stage at Black Box PAC in 2020!

by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by MATT OKIN

WHEN: Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm from January 9 through 26
Black Box Performing Arts Center, 49 East Palisade Ave, Englewood
TICKETS: $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors.Tickets are now available at
Group rates for 10 or more are available by calling (201)-569-2070.
Tickets can also be purchased at the venue.

Black Box Performing Arts Center will kick off 202 with a new production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion! Pygmalion is the play that inspired the hit Broadway musical My Fair Lady, but in this version Eliza Doolittle is nobody’s lady. This production will give you a closer look at Henry Higgins’ wild experiment than you’ve ever seen before.

BBPAC’s production is directed by Matt Okin, Stage Managed by Anthony Altavilla, and features the talents of Zach Abraham, Stacy Cancelarich, Michael Gardiner, Kentrell Loftin, Sean Mannix, Ellen Revesz, Ilana Schimmel, Laurence Wallace, and Katherine Anne Marie as Eliza Doolittle. Pygmalion is sponsored in part by Dance Art Creative Center, Bauer Printing, and Michael Pessolano of Friedburg Properties.

Pygmalion will be the first main stage show of 2020. The Black Box Performing Arts Center (home of the performing arts school Black Box Studios, est. 2007) continues to emerge as the Tri-State area’s premiere destination for both cutting-edge professional theater and collaborative performing arts education — now located in Englewood, NJ— just a quick ride over the George Washington Bridge. Black Box was the recipient of the 2017 Teaneck Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Arts Award, and currently serves on the Chamber Board as the Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee. In addition to main stage productions, Black Box PAC will present shows for kids, original material, and special events including Open Mic Nights, Comedy Nights, and staged readings.

Thursday, December 26, 2019


The Brook Orchestra Winter Concert

WHEN: Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 3 pm
WHERE: The Brook Arts Center ( Historic Brook Theater) located at 10 Hamilton Street in Bound Brook
Tickets are available at or at the door one hour prior to showtime.

Under the direction of Thomas Vacca, the orchestra will present selections by Grieg, Beethoven, and Schubert. The featured piece will be Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. The concert is Vacca’s debut performance at the Brook; however, he is certainly not new to the wielding of the baton, as he has conducted the Rutgers Sinfonia, Ravina Youth Symphony and the Princeton Charter School Orchestra.

The Brook Arts Center (Historic Brook Theater) located is dedicated to encouraging and nurturing the arts in Somerset County. The Brook Orchestra is the theater's resident orchestra.

My Funny Valentines—Stand up Comedy Night

WHEN: Friday, February 14, 8 pm. Our doors open at 7 pm, grab a seat, get a drink and laugh with us!
The Brook Arts Center ( Historic Brook Theater) located at 10 Hamilton Street in Bound Brook
TICKETS: $20 online at . $25 at the door. 
Every advance ticket receives a 15% of coupon at Mama Rosina’s Ristorante and Bar. Make your reservation early!

Three of NYC’s most hilarious comedians will take you on a journey of laughter about finding love, being in love, relationships, marriage and more! Bring your sweetheart or enjoy a night out with friends at the Brook Arts Center in Bound Brook, NJ.

Headlined by Adam Oliensis, an actor and comedian whose new album, “Aged Whine” is playing on Sirius XM Radio 99. Adam explores the lessons he’s learning from his wife and especially from his children, along with the adjustments that genuine adulthood is forcing upon his world view.

Tanael Joachim, a standup comedian raised in Haiti, was recently featured on Good Day New York on FOX. Tanael has a very laid back, smooth and conversational style, and he jokes about race, society’s idiosyncrasies and the inherent contrast between life in Haiti and America.

Stephanie Holmes was featured at Caroline's Comedy Club, as a finalist in "The New York's Funniest" Contest for The New York Comedy Festival. She has also recently been featured in Cover Girl's "Stand Up for Beauty" with Aisha Tyler. Stephanie's style of comedy is quirky, insightful, political, and shocking. 

Human Wheels—John Mellencamp Tribute Band

WHEN: February 15 at 8pm
WHERE: The Brook Arts Center ( Historic Brook Theater) located at 10 Hamilton Street in Bound Brook:
Tickets are available at

Rock with us at the Brook Arts Center as Human Wheels  plays the classics of John Mellencamp.  Now in their 20th year, Human Wheels continues to play more Mellencamp in one night than Mellencamp himself. This six-piece band of incredibly talented musicians has long prided themselves in sounding incredibly like John Mellencamp and his band. Close your eyes and listen, you won’t be disappointed. They will rock classic Mellencamp hits from the 70’ -90’s. 

These seasoned musicians have played such popular venues as BB Kings Blues Club in Times Square, Indiana Live Casino near Indianapolis, (Mellencamp's home turf), and many more across the east coast.  Enjoy classics like Pink Houses, Jack & Diane, Hurts So Good, I Need a Lover, Small Town, R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., Authority Song, Cherry Bomb, Rain on the Scarecrow, Paper in Fire, Lonely Ol’ Night, and many more!

Star Shows Focusing on Space Race and Night Sky, Laser Concerts with Music by Beatles, Pink Floyd Set at RVCC Planetarium

The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg will present a variety of star shows and laser concerts in January. Selections include a program focusing on the Space Race, tours of the current night sky, children’s shows and laser concerts featuring music by The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

: RVCC, 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.
TICKETS: $10 for one show, $18 for two shows on the same day.
For reservations and information, call 908-231-8805.
For additional information, visit

The following shows will be presented:

Magic Tree House: Space Mission

WHEN: Saturdays, January 4, 11, 18, 3 p.m.

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"?  The show is based on the same-titled, best-selling series of novels. (Recommended for ages 5 and older)

Kids Jam laser concert

WHEN: Saturdays, January 4, 11, 18, 4 p.m.

Enjoy a new mix of music featuring a song list to entertain kids and kids at heart while lasers “dance” on the dome overhead. Songs include “Bright,” by Echosmith, “YMCA” by the Village People, “Mia” by Bad Bunny, and “Waka Waka” by Shakira. (Recommended for ages 6-12)

Astronomy Tonight

WHEN: Saturday, January 4, 7 p.m.

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

Laser Beatles

WHEN: Saturdays, January 4 & 11, 8 p.m.

Listen to The Fab Four’s hits from their long career, including “Twist and Shout,” “Revolution,” and “Get Back,” while lasers animate the songs on the dome overhead. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

First and Farthest

WHEN: Saturdays, January 11, 18, 25, 7 p.m.

From the first rockets to the first man on the Moon, “First and Farthest” celebrates humanity's great accomplishments in the Space Race. The show may bring back memories for those who experienced the Space Race, and inspire new generations to keep exploring the universe. With its discussion of science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts, “First and Farthest” supports a STEM-focused pursuit of knowledge. The presentation is made possible with a grant from NASA’s New Jersey Space Grant Consortium. Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open after the show. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

Best of Pink Floyd laser concert

WHEN: Saturdays, January 18 & 25, 8 p.m.

Lasers dance across the Planetarium dome while audience members listen to such Pink Floyd songs as “Comfortably Numb,” “Another Brick in the Wall, part 2,” and “Money.” (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

Rockin’ Rocket Ride

WHEN: Saturday, January 25, 3 p.m.

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

Storybooks in Space

WHEN: Saturday, January 25, 4 p.m.

Enjoy story time in the Planetarium. Pages from books are projected onto the dome overhead while we read the stories aloud. Each story then leads us to learn about a different space topic: the planets, our Moon, and the stars in the night sky. Participants are invited to bring stuffed animal friends—at no extra charge, of course! (Recommended for ages 4-8)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

On-Sale Now: Los Tigres del Norte! & MORE

WHEN: Sat, Feb 22 @ 8PM
Prudential Hall
buy tickets

One of the most influential Latin music groups of all time, Los Tigres del Norte are undisputed legends of Mexico’s lively norteño music genre, a high-energy ensemble of 21st-century troubadours recently classified by The New York Times as “Latin music’s greatest statesmen.”

During their four-decade career, Los Tigres del Norte has recorded over 500 songs and sold over 37 million albums worldwide, notching 22 No. 1 albums and more than 50 No. 1 singles along the way. The group has won six GRAMMY Awards and six Latin GRAMMY Awards, as well as the Latin Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, Los Tigres became the first norteño group to star in the popular MTV Unplugged series of performances. As Orlando Weekly recently declared: “Los Tigres del Norte are to norteño music what Elvis is to rock-and-roll.”

Holiday Dreams Cirque

Sat, Dec 28 @ 3 & 7:30PM

A spectacular holiday cirque, with acrobats, aerialists, daredevils & more, all accompanied by a pulsating soundtrack and high-tech effects.

buy tickets

Michael Carbonaro Live!

Sun, Dec 29 @ 7PM

Back by popular demand: Mind-blowing magic and outrageous comedy with the star of truTV’s The Carbonaro Effect.

buy tickets

Ja Rule, Ashanti, Lloyd, and Lil Mo

Sat, Jan 4 @ 8PM

"Always on Time." "Mesmerize." "Livin’ It Up." Yes, Ja Rule and Ashanti are coming to NJPAC to perform their mega-hits!

buy tickets

Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

Thu, Jan 16 @ 7:30PM

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson unravels the mysteries of the universe in this cosmically entertaining evening.

buy tickets

Stephanie Mills and
The Whispers

Sat, Jan 18 @ 8PM

Stephanie Mills, an artist who is at home on Broadway (The Wiz) as she is in the recording studio, appears with The Whispers.

buy tickets

You're Invited to Carrie Jackson's Pre-New Year Eves Jazz & Dance Party!


WHEN: Friday, December 27, 7pm-11pm
: St. Josephs Plaza - The Priory,   233 West Market Street, Newark
No Music Cover

Dave Braham, organ, Charlie Sigler, gtr; Les Mc Kee, drums

Jazz, Swing & Dance Party

Cecil Thomas DJ & Company

Bring your Dancin’ Shoes!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

$5 tickets, this Saturday only! "Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus: A Pop-Up Holiday Reading"

Directed by Nicholas J. Clarey.
Starring: Johanna Erickson, Marla Freeman, Yolanda Hamilton,  Shawn P. Kane, Christopher Learn, Mentha Marley, Celeste Post and Miguel Vega

WHEN: SAT., DEC 28, 7:30PM
The South Orange Skate House, 68 N. Ridgewood Rd/5 Mead St., South Orange, NJ
TICKETS: All tickets are $5 and seating is limited.

Join us for "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus: A Pop-Up Holiday Reading" and enjoy some hot cider and other goodies as we reenact this beloved story.

A young girl writes a letter to the editor of the New York Sun. "Dear Editor, I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says if you see it in the Sun, it's so. Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?" Ed Mitchell, the editor, assigns Frank Church-a reporter on the verge of self destruction-the task of answering Virginia's question. Church's quest and reply have become one of the world's most quoted and beloved editorials.

Tony Award-winning stars of Broadway have joined the cast of upcoming concert reading!

McCarter Theatre Center

Tony Award-winning stars of Broadway have joined the cast of this upcoming concert reading!

An Old Carter Farm concert reading of a new musical comedy
Music and Lyrics by DOUGLAS J. COHEN
Music Direction by FRED LASSEN

McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton

The war is cold but the numbers are hot in this show with a ring-a-ding score that might just bring back the Rat Pack!

It’s the height of the Cold War when Russian spies take over an ocean liner holding all of NATO. Leave it to the lounge singers on board to save the day by teaching the communists to put down their Kalashnikovs and pick up singing, dancing, and comedy. 

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this one-night-only concert reading. Get your tickets TODAY before it sells out!

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Announces 2020 Season

Celebrating 30th Anniversary for Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) announces its 58th season lineup — an electrifying selection of plays in celebration of Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte’s 30th anniversary with STNJ. The company will return to a six-show format on its Main Stage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre and one summer production on the Outdoor Stage - the Greek amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Florham Park. The 2020 season will include quite a few works by Shakespeare, but will also include several modern classics never before seen on the STNJ stage.

The Shakespeare Theatre kicks off its 58th season in May with Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April, a 2003 Tony Award nominee for Best Play. First presented at STNJ as a reading in 2018, Enchanted April was met with wild acclaim and a clear demand from patrons to produce the play on the Main Stage. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs this play based on the 1922 classic novel by Elizabeth von Arnim that inspired the award-winning 1991 film.

Next on the Main Stage will be The Metromaniacs, a Moliere-esque farce translated and adapted by David Ives (Venus in Fur, All in the Timing) from Alexis Piron’s La Métromanie, originally produced in 1738. The plot follows the mix-ups and trip-ups of fathers and sons, star-crossed lovers and that most mystifying species of all—the Metromaniacs—passionate pursuers of all things verse. Long-time company member Brian B. Crowe directs.

Following The Metromaniacs will be William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, staged for the first time ever on the company’s Outdoor Stage. Centered around the bickering and tempestuous duo Beatrice and Benedick — Much Ado About Nothing speaks to love as both a daunting risk and a joyful adventure. STNJ will continue its successful FREE TICKET initiative in 2020, now for patrons 17 and under.

While the Outdoor Stage will feature laughs and levity throughout June and July, the Main Stage will take on a seminal theatrical game-changer, Samuel Beckett’s 20th century masterpiece Waiting for Godot. Waiting for Godot will feature a stellar cast, and will be directed by Bonnie J. Monte.

The fourth Main Stage production will be Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser. The New York Times coined the play, “a stirring evening [that]...burns with a love of the theatre that conquers all...Perfectly observed, devilishly entertaining backstage lore.” The inspiration for the Oscar nominated film, The Dresser will be directed by long-time company member Paul Mullins.

In October, we welcome William Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the Main Stage. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs Shakespeare’s dark masterpiece about the corruptive power of unbridled ambition; this production will take her lifelong exploration of the play to its final stage.

Closing the season will be A MidWINTER Night’s Dream, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Co-adapted and directed by Ms. Monte, A MidWINTER Night’s Dream will provide a sparkling, merry and rollicking gift for the holidays that will delight children and adults alike.

Complete Works subscriptions and Memberships are now on sale! Smaller and flexible discount packages will go on sale in February, and single tickets will go on sale for the 2020 season in the spring.

The Shakespeare Theatre will also continue its successful $30 under 30 ticket program in the 2020 season. For more information regarding the Theatre’s programs, subscription packages and options, visit or call our friendly Box Office at 973-408-5600.

Student matinee performances are available for select productions and dates. For more information, visit

Brubeck Brothers Quartet – A Celebration of Dave Brubeck’s Centennial

2020 marks the centennial year of jazz giant Dave Brubeck. To celebrate his life and legacy, Dave’s sons Chris and Dan Brubeck, who performed
and recorded with their father since the 1970s, curate a multimedia show with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb complete this dynamic quartet.

Through stories told by his sons and music performed by the Quartet, the show invites audiences to travel along the timeline of Dave’s extraordinary life and career.

TICKETS: $32/29/26 Children Under 17: $18; Ramapo Faculty/Staff: $20* Ramapo Students: $8*
*Must present Ramapo ID at Box Office. Ticket limits apply.


TV’s Biggest Dance Show Returns to the State Theatre!

Dancing with the Stars Live!

Dancing with the Stars: Live!

WHEN: Sun, January 19, at 8pm

The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of ballroom dance. The show continues its legacy of performing show-stopping routines, alongside new numbers choreographed just for the live show, ranging from the time-honored dances of the Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Salsa, Tango—and everything in between.

The tour delivers a spectacular night of dance performances from world-renowned dancers including Val Chmerkovskiy, Jenna Johnson, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Witney Carson, Sasha Farber, Emma Slater, Gleb Savchenko, Brandon Armstrong, Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach.

The celebrity joining the dancers in New Brunswick will be
actress Kate Flannery from The Office!

Arts Council of Princeton Announces Applications to Participate in Communiversity 2020 Now Available

Communiversity 2020

Applications are now available for Communiversity ArtsFest 2020, the town-gown event that attracts more than 40,000 people to the heart of Princeton every spring. Communiversity ArtsFest is presented by the Arts Council of Princeton in collaboration with Princeton University and the town of Princeton.

This year’s festivities will take place on Sunday, April 26, 1-6pm – rain or shine. Over 200 booths showcasing original art and contemporary crafts, unique merchandise and taste-tempting food, plus seven stages of continuous entertainment draw attendees of all ages to downtown Princeton on Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, in Palmer Square and throughout the University campus.

All interested participants—including artists/crafters, performers, food vendors, merchants, non-profit organizations and sponsors—should visit to submit an electronic application. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, January 31, 2020. Applicants can expect notifications of decision by February 28, 2020.

The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.

For more information, visit or call 609.924.8777.

TOP: The Arts Council of Princeton’s Communiversity ArtsFest, an event that attracts more than 40,000 attendees to Downtown Princeton each year, is set for Sunday, April 26, 2020.




WHEN: Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:00 PM
: UCPAC'S Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway

The Downtown Bohemian Festival is a three day, five event celebration of the arts community in and around Rahway. Featuring the visual arts, short films, original music, poetry and dance. Come see what’s happening in Downtown Rahway all in one place!


WHEN: Jan 03, 2020 - Jan 05, 2020
UCPAC'S Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway

The Downtown Bohemian Festival is a three-day, five-event celebration of the arts community in and around Rahway. Featuring the visual arts, short films, original music, poetry and dance. Come see what’s happening in Downtown Rahway all in one place!

Special Stand Up New Years Eve Celebration!

New Years Eve Stand Up Special

WHEN: Tuesday, December 31
: Black Box Performing Arts Center (49 E Palisade Ave, Englewood
TICKETS: $50 and include appetizers, desert, and champagne toast! A cash bar will also be available.
Tickets can be purchased at or at the venue, depending on availability. 18+ only

Ring in the New Year with a stand up special! This night of comedy will feature three headliners: Sandy Ehlers, John McClellan, and Chip Ambrogio. Black Box PAC and J. Irwin Productions, the team that brought Gilbert Gottfried and Uncle Floyd stand up specials to Bergen County, are excited to present this fun and comedic New Years Eve night! This event will kick off a series of high level comedy acts at Black Box PAC in 2020, brought to you through their partnership with J. Irwin Productions.

Sandy Ehlers was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey. A twelve-year comedy veteran, Sandy has performed stand-up at many of New York City's major clubs, such as Gotham Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, and The Comic Strip. Sandy's comedy journey began with an appearance on ABC’s The View with Joy Behar in 2003. She has studied Improv at Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC. She was a student of Kendall Cornell’s female clown troop and performed for a Cirque de Soleil cast party in NYC at the Brazilian “Club Pacha” in NYC. Sandy studied two years acting with Joanna Beckson Studios in Manhattan and was selected by the late Albert Maysles to be spotlighted in a weight-loss commercial which was directed by his production company. Sandy has been a contestant in the Cape May Comedy Festival, in which she was a top ten finalist out of 100 comedians and the only female selected as a finalist. Sandy has also been a contestant of the Ladies of Laughter competition at the Gotham Comedy Club this past July 2014. Her comedy is eclectic, funny and eccentric. She's a combination of Joy Behar, Roseanne Barr, and Joan Rivers all rolled up into one. One of the funniest but on-target critiques she's ever gotten was someone telling her she sounded like a female Frank Sinatra when she spoke with her Hoboken accent and her strong conviction of her thoughts and stories, as she takes no prisoners and tells it like it is “her way."           

Called “Brutally Funny by the Chicago Sun Times, John McClellan is a grand prizewinner of The Seattle International Comedy Competition as well as a finalist in the San Francisco Comedy Competition and The World Series Of Comedy, McClellan has opened in concert for acts such as David Lee Roth and Collective Soul.. A regular guest on Sirius Satellite Radio, local morning radio and television shows across the nation, John may be most recognizable from his appearance in season 4 of Bravo TV’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” and his show stopping date to NYC’s Museum of Sex, that made that episode one of the most highly rated in the history of the program.

Chip Ambrogio’s comedy career includes performing on the road and all the major city clubs. Chip has been a contributing writer for The Friars Club Roasts and the Hulu Plus project Don't Know Jack. He is co-creator of Room for Improvement, a reality show pilot selected as a finalist at the New York Television Festival. Currently writing for some of today’s top headliners, he's a sought after joke doctor for established acts and top newcomers. As a comic, he has worked Atlantic City, Vegas and a variety of corporate and private events. Before becoming a standup comic, he was the editor and publisher of Commuter Monthly, a humor magazine for New Jersey commuters. He's had several of his short stories published- amongst them, Plastic Jesus and Deep Tux. He has also appeared in the independent films, Secure and Time of Need.


Monday, December 23, 2019

The Waltuch Gallery at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades Presents “Evolving Art

The Waltuch Gallery at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades Presents

Evolving Art

Oils on Paper by Sheryl Intrator (Urman)

WHEN: On Display January 1–30; Meet-the-artist reception: Thurs, Jan 9, 6:30-8:30 pm
Kaplen JCC, 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly
ADMISSION: All gallery exhibits and receptions are free and open to the community, where JCC membership is not required. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 am - 10 pm; Friday and Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm; closed Saturday and Jewish holidays.

The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades Waltuch Art Gallery presents Evolving Art, collection of paintings and Ketubahs by Sheryl Intrator (Urman).

Sheryl Intrator (Urman), is an artist, curator, art historian, lecturer and teacher, who has exhibited her work throughout the United States and internationally as well. She is active in numerous art organizations including Salute to Women in the Arts, The Jewish Art Salon, and the New York Artist Circle. As a series painter, she experiments with a variety of materials including paints, resins, glazes and gold leaf on wood or other surfaces to bring her work to life. She created Art For Learning, LLC., a vibrant art business that has been in operation for more than 20 years, which incorporates programming, art lectures, and enrichment classes for all ages. She is also the resident Art Lecturer for the L’Dor VaDor program at Ahavath Torah in Englewood, where she is a member.

“Evolving as an artist is important to me, whether it is through experimenting with new materials, new techniques or new artistic themes,” says Sheryl. “I am always drawn to Jewish themed art and subjects that explore contemporary issues of our times in new ways that attract a broader audience. My latest focus is creating Ketubahs, an inspiration that began when my children were getting married.”

The Waltuch Art Gallery is a community space that exhibits thematically Jewish artwork, or art produced by Jewish artists.

For more information on gallery exhibitions, contact Nina Bachrach at 201.408.1406 or

A Musical About Art!

The Oldenburg Suite, with book and lyrics by Montclair native James Feinberg and music by Matthew Dylan Rose, is a sung-through musical about 12 tumultuous years in the lives of the sculptor Claes Oldenburg; his wife, the artist and art historian Coosje van Bruggen; and his brother Richard, Director of the Museum of Modern Art.

A saga of 1970s self-invention narrated by Andy Warhol, the show follows Claes as he struggles to overcome his audience’s preconceptions, Coosje as she becomes an artist in her own right, and Richard as he fights to lend stability to the strike-rattled MoMA and invents the modern museum. It features a collage of ’70s musical styles from funk to folk to disco.

Purchase Tickets

Joining the rich art scene that is Montclair, the Montclair Theatre Project is a new non-profit theatre organization dedicated to the production and presentation of classic and contemporary dramas, musicals and other performing arts for the Montclair community, including exciting new works in development, featuring local writers and artists.

MAM welcomes them to our community!

Friday, December 20, 2019

McCarter presents Rachel Bonds' new play, “Goodnight Nobody,” featuring Dana Delany

Goodnight Nobody
by Rachel Bonds

WHEN: January 10 through February 9
: McCarter’s Berlind Theatre 91 University Pl., Princeton
TICKETS: Tickets start at $25 and are available online at, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.
The production’s running time is 1 hour, 55 minutes with no intermission.

The Big Chill meets This is Us in Rachel Bonds’ play, Goodnight Nobody. In this deeply moving and funny world premiere, a group of old friends reconnect after years apart. They reminisce with wild abandon, until the things they aren't telling each other come hurtling to the surface. More about the production at

Continuing its tradition of introducing major new plays and voices to the American Stage (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Convert, Anna in the Tropics), McCarter is pleased to bring this original commission to life, celebrating the artistry of Rachel Bonds (Five Mile Lake at McCarter), a playwright whose work has a “sublime tone” (The New York Times) in its well-constructed mix of character, potent dialogue, and nuanced subtext.

In Goodnight Nobody, Bonds leans in to a variety of relevant and timely themes. What is the cost of pursuing artistic excellence? Is there a connection between creative brilliance and mental illness? Can a female artist—however disciplined—ever attain freedom from the fact of her own womanhood?

McCarter’s Resident Playwright and Artistic Director Emily Mann remarked “after directing Bonds’ beautiful play Five Mile Lake in 2015, I sensed that Rachel was on her way to becoming a major new American playwright. We immediately commissioned her next work, which became Goodnight Nobody. Rachel explores the bonds and fractures between friends and family. She looks at our responsibly to one another, and she looks without sentimentality at new motherhood—the complex magnitude of that moment in time—in a more genuine ways than most playwrights have dared. With humor and compassion, Rachel gives us a portrait of her generation.”

About the Playwright
Rachel Bonds’
plays have been developed or produced by Ars Nova, WP Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Co., South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others. Her plays include: Curve of Departure (South Coast, Studio, Northlight); Sundown, Yellow Moon with music by The Bengsons (Ars Nova/WP, NY Times Critic’s Pick); Five Mile Lake (South Coast, McCarter, Shattered Globe, Weissberger Award); At the Old Place (La Jolla Playhouse); Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Sky Cooper Prize); The Wolfe Twins (Studio); Michael & Edie (NY Times Critic's Pick); Winter Games (ATL, Heideman Award); and Anniversary (EST). She is currently collaborating with composer Zoe Sarnak on The Lonley Few, a commission for The Geffen. BA, Brown University.

About the Director
Tyne Rafaeli
(Direction) is a New York-based director of new plays, classics, and musicals. Recent productions include Sylvia Khoury’s Power Strip at LCT3 and Selling Kabul at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Ming Peiffer's Usual Girls at Roundabout Theater Company (NY Times Critics’ Pick); Craig Lucas' I Was Most Alive With You at Playwrights Horizons (NY Times Critics’ Pick); Martyna Majok’s Ironbound; the world premieres of Anna Ziegler’s Actually and Amanda Peet’s Our Very Own Carlin McCullough at The Geffen Playhouse; and Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine Women at The Playwrights Realm. Her work has also been seen at La Jolla Playhouse, Classic Stage Company, Cal Shakes, Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Two River Theater, PlayMakers Rep, New York Stage & Film, Goodspeed, Juilliard, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and the O'Neill Playwright's Conference. Tyne is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theater and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction. Upcoming projects include Selling Kabul at Playwrights Horizons.


Dana Delany (Mara) Broadway: Translations, A Life. Off-Broadway: Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties (MCC), Dinner with Friends, Blood Moon. Regional: The Night of the Iguana (A.R.T.), The Parisian Woman (South Coast Repertory), Much Ado About Nothing (Old Globe), Dinner with Friends (Geffen Playhouse, Wilbur Theatre). TV/Film: Hand of God (Crystal Harris), Body of Proof (Dr. Megan Hunt), Desperate Housewives (Katherine Mayfair), China Beach (Colleen McMurphy), Kidnapped, Pasadena, True Women, Wild Palms, Tombstone, Housesitter, Fly Away Home, Light Sleeper, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Can next been seen as Edith Roosevelt in The American Guest on HBO.

Monday, December 16, 2019

OPEN AUDITIONS for “Sweet Charity” at the Somerset Valley Players on December 19


Book by Neil Simon
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Dorothy Field

WHEN: Thursday, December 19, @ 7 pm  Callbacks:  Saturday, December 21, by invitation only @ 2 pm
  Somerset Valley Players, 689 Amwell Road (Route 514), Hillsborough

SHOW DATES: April 24-May 10

A musical comedy from the 1960s about Charity Hope Valentine, a down on her luck taxi dancer who just wants to be loved. Originally choreographed by Bob Fosse, the show features classic musical numbers such as “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.”

6 FEMALES, ages late 20s-40s


  • Auditioners must sign up for an appointment HERE.
  • Please prepare a brief song that shows vocal range and acting ability.  Bring sheet music in the proper key. 
  • An accompanist will be provided. 
  • Bring a headshot and resume. 
  • NOTE:  There will be no dancing at this call.  Women who are called back on December 21st will be taught a dance combination at that time.


CHARITY HOPE VALENTINE, F28-38, a taxi dancer at the Fandango Ballroom in New York City circa mid-1960s; an eternal optimist who only wants "to be loved" yet more often than note she manages to fall for the wrong guy.  Mezzo-Soprano

OSCAR LINDQUIST/CHARLIE DARK GLASSES, M30-45  Charity's love interest; a good-natured, upright and genuinely sweet guy who is also phobic, insecure and shy.  Unintentionally charming, he is kind of messed up./Charity's shyster boyfriend who robs her.  Baritone

NICKIE, F30-45 Charity's fellow dancer at the Fandango Ballroom, and closest friend; has done prison time, but sympathetic and lively, a great friend and fun gal.  Mezzo-Soprano

HELENE, F30-45 Charity's fellow dancer and friend at the Fandango Ballroom; hardened and smart-mouthed, often sarcasatic; sees through the BS, but keeps an eye on Charity.  Mezzo Soprano.

VITTORIO VIDAL, M35-50 A romantic, but slightly faded, Italian movie star.  Baritone

HERMAN, M35-55 The tough, dry, working class New Yawk manager of the Fandango Ballroom.  High Baritone

URSULA MARCH, F30-40 Vittorio's girlfriend; fiery, hot tempered, statuesque.  Soprano

CARMEN, F28-40 Brassy dancer at the Fandango Ballroom.  Very sarcastic. Alto

ROSIE, F26-32 The hot new girl at the Fandango Ballroom.  Fresh of the bus and easily corrupted.  Alto

DADDY BRUBECK, M30-50 The head of a downtown alternative church; a charismatic and inspirational leader. Tenor

MORE INFO:  Go to for complete info and directions to the playhouse.


Dear Readers and Contributors,

I will be having shoulder surgery this afternoon. After a short hospital stay, I hope to go to rehab for a couple of weeks.

Because I will not have access to a computer, I will be unable to post to the NJ Arts Maven Blog until after the New Year.

I have attempted to post notices ahead, but if a contributor sends me something between now and the first of the year (for that period), I will be unable to post it.

I anticipate being able to post after January 3 or so.

I thank you for your continued support and wish you Happy Holidays (whatever you celebrate) and a great New Year.

It has been a pleasure creating and posting on the NJ Arts Maven blog for the past nine and a half years (our 10th birthday is July 2020)!


Ruth Ross

MONMOUTH CIVIC CHORUS Announces "Messiah & More" Concert

Messiah & More

WHEN: Sunday, December 22, 2019, 4 p.m.
Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
TICKETS: Premium seating — $45 adult, $40 senior, $35 group (10 or more), $15 student ;  Regular seating — $30 adult, $27 senior, $25 group (10 or more), $10 student
Tickets and information are available at or (732) 933-9333.

The sounds of the season will spring to life as the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus presents Messiah & More. The highly acclaimed annual performance of Artistic Director Dr. Ryan James Brandau’s Christmas Suite is Monmouth County’s can’t-miss musical event of the holiday season. 

This year’s program will feature expanded selections from Handel’s Messiah, masterfully intertwined with the stirring original settings of holiday classics that audiences have come to cherish. “The holiday concert is a treasured tradition for the chorus, and each year the spirit of the season seems to ring through the Count Basie more palpably than the last,” said Dr. Brandau. “This year we especially look forward to sharing a few more of our favorites from Messiah.” Familiar tunes such as Silent Night, Auld Lang Syne, Deck the Hall, and other well-known carols will help concert-goers ring in the season with warmth and good cheer.

The chorus of nearly 100 voices will be joined by celebrated guest soloist mezzo-soprano Devony Smith and professional orchestra, as well as the wonderful Coriste ensemble from the New Jersey Youth Chorus, under the direction of Patricia Joyce. Monmouth Civic Chorus’ annual holiday concert is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit. It won’t be Christmas without it!

About Monmouth Civic Chorus: The Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called "near-flawless" (Asbury Park Press), "alive and evocative" (The Star-Ledger) and "superior" (Red Bank Green). The Chorus is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, and the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.

About Ryan James Brandau: Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau has broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. In addition to his work with Monmouth Civic Chorus, he serves as Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, a chamber choir and orchestra in New York City. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he has worked with the Symphonic Choir, which he has prepared for performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. He remains active as a choral arranger, composer, and clinician, whose arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles across the globe. Ryan received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music. Prior to pursuing graduate study in conducting, Ryan attended the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Gates Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in historical musicology. He received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

About Devony Smith: Noted for her "strong" voice and "dramatic conviction" (New York Times), Devony Smith is a versatile mezzo-soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire. A California native, Devony makes her mark on New York City as a professional member of Musica Viva NY, where she has recently performed chamber music with Aeolus Quartet, as well as solos for Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Bach's Magnificat. This season, Devony will appear singing Chants d’Auvergne with Brooklyn Art Song Society, Mahler Symphony no. 4 with the Colburn Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yehuda Gilad, and a staged production of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with New Orchestra of Washington. She will create the role of “The Lover” in the world premiere Kate Soper’s highly anticipated new opera, The Romance of the Rose.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Jewish Heritage Museum Presents a Chanukah Open House

WHEN: Sunday, December 22, 2019, from 11 AM to 3 PM
Jewish Heritage Museum is 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.
ADMISSION: free; no reservation required.

The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County’s Board of Trustees extends best wishes for a very Happy Chanukah, and an invitation to a Chanukah Open House. Children’s activities, including dreidel games and make-and-take crafts, and refreshments will be offered.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet the Museum’s new Executive Director, Jessica Solomon.

Funding has been made possible in part by a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Monmouth County Historical Commission.

For more information, call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit

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.

Carrie Jackson Music Notes for December

Facebook Join My List LogoCarrie Jackson Music Notes

Jam Sessions/ Open Mic

WHEN: Tues., December 17, 8pm-11pm Jam Session
16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro, 16 Prospect Street, Westfield, NJ

Carrie Jackson & Friends

Dan Kostelnik, organ
Charlie Sigler, guitar
Les Mc Kee, drums

Jazz Stimulus, No Music Cover
Food or Beverage Purchase

Carrie Jackson & All Star Band Pre-New Years Eve Jazz, Swing & Dance Party

WHEN: Friday, December 27, 7pm-11pm
St. Josephs Plaza - The Priory, 233 West Market Street, Newark
No Music Cover

Dave Braham, organ, Charlie Sigler, gtr; Les Mc Kee, drums

Cecil Thomas DJ & Company

Bring your Dancin’ Shoes!


WHEN: Monday, December 16, 7 PM
Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank

Join us for a work-in-process reading of one of our current commissions, The Rafta Mark Twain/Huckleberry Finn project created by multi-hyphenate talent Rinde Eckert and director David Schweizer. On his deathbed, Samuel L. Clemens aka Mark Twain, is visited by two of his most famous creations, Jim and Huckleberry Finn. Together, Jim and Huck guide Twain on one last trip down the river.

In a piece that bends time and space, Twain, Jim, and Huck encounter a rich cast of characters on their journey including a pair of ruffians, Sir Edmond Halley, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and Twain’s daughter, Clara. Audiences will remember Rinde and David as the team behind our acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles, which we produced in 2016.

Don’t miss this first public viewing of their latest theatrical adventure!