Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Spark Creativity at Leonia Arts Weekend With the Live Dragon—Call to Leonia Artists, Artisans and Crafters to Display Work

WHEN: October 5 and 6
: Davidson Hall at All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 150 Park Avenue, Leonia (art show); The American Legion (Sgt. Clendenon S. Newell Post #1), located at 399 Broad Avenue (Artisan & Crafts fair)

Be inspired, spark your creativity, sample food, and watch the Dragon come to life at Leonia Arts Weekend. Leonia Arts, a community arts organization, and the Leonia Sculpture Garden, both based in Leonia, New Jersey, present the special two-day celebration of the arts in the borough. The public is invited to attend and view the community's range of artistic talent.

Awaken the Dragon       

The arts celebration begins Saturday, October 5, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. with an art exhibit spotlighting Leonia artists' work in Davidson Hall at All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 150 Park Avenue. Refreshments will be served.

A special feature is the Dragon, a community art project brought to life by the borough's residents. Children created each scale on the Dragon at the Leonia Public Library and at other scale decorating workshops. Prior to the Leonia Arts Weekend, high school student volunteers will attach the scales onto the anthropomorphic reptile. With a touch of magic, attendees will see the Dragon come to life during the festivities. Young artists will also be invited to draw a dragon and add their creations to the art wall.

Artisan and Crafts Fair

The celebration continues on Sunday, October 6, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The American Legion (Sgt. Clendenon S. Newell Post #1), located at 399 Broad Avenue in the borough. An artisan and crafts fair presents local makers' handmade creations available for purchase. 

The Sculpture for Leonia's annual Taste of Leonia returns from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the adjacent Sculpture Garden. Funds raised in the tasting extravaganza of fine fare from area restaurants and businesses support the nonprofit organization's mission to enhance the historically rich art and cultural environment of Leonia through the display of outdoor sculpture in the garden and throughout the community. The Dragon, a guest star, makes a special appearance.  A photographer from The Zoene Studio will capture images of visitors with the Dragon.

Call to Artists, Artisans and Crafters

Leonia artists are invited to display and exhibit their work at the Leonia Arts Weekend celebration. Artists with two-dimensional work may show their work for free in the Art Exhibit on October 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Davidson Hall in All Saints Church. Display space is limited. A submission form must be completed to secure a space in the exhibit. Leonia Arts, at its discretion, reserves the right not to exhibit a piece of artwork. Complete details about artwork requirements, artists' responsibilities, and the online application form are available HERE. The deadline to apply is Monday, September 30.

Artisans and crafters from Leonia may purchase a booth at the Artisan and Crafts Fair on Sunday, October 6, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The American Legion. A registration form must be completed and a $20 registration fee submitted. Space is limited. For complete vendor information and the online registration form, CLICK HERE.          

About Leonia Arts
Founded in 2005, Leonia Arts, a non-profit community based organization, supports Leonia's artists and arts organizations by promoting events, encouraging collaborations, and connecting with art enthusiasts. The organization sponsors several events and activities, including a community wide art project, the Leonia Arts Fair featuring local artists, and the Suzanne Pancrazi Memorial Scholarship for artistic achievement awarded to a graduating senior at Leonia High School.

For more information about the Leonia Arts Weekend, the call for artists, and Leonia Arts' work in the community, contact Visit for additional information about the organization, to join Leonia Arts, or to view a calendar of upcoming arts events, a directory of artists, and other details.

Cyrano—Funny & Romantic—Opens This Friday @ Two River Theater in Red Bank


By Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers
Adapted from the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Directed by Meredith McDonough
A co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

WHEN: September 21 – October 13
21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank
TICKETS: $40–$70; Under 30? Tickets $25


Post-Play Discussions: Wednesday, Oct 2 at 7:00 PM | Sunday, Oct 6 at 3:00 PM | Wednesday, Oct 9 at 1:00 PM
Relaxed Performance: Saturday, Oct 5 at 3:00 PM
Audio Described Performance: Wednesday, Oct 9 at 1:00 PM
Open Captioned and Sign Interpreted Performance: Saturday, Oct 12 at 3:00 PM

Jason O’Connell (Two River’s Noises Off and The Merry Wives of Windsor) leads a five-person cast as the larger-than-life Cyrano, the brilliant thinker, wordsmith and swordsman. He’s a thorny romantic with an outsized reputation and a barely contained love for his childhood sweetheart, Roxane. Filled with wit and heart, this exuberant adaptation of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac is a delightful combination of comedy and romance.

Art, Music, Tours, Wine, Food and Bowling at the Barrow Mansion’s Open House—September 20th from 6 to 9pm

Barrow Mansion Open House
WHEN: Friday, Sept 20, 6 to 9pm
Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne Street Jersey City New Jersey (CLICK FOR MAP & DIRECTIONS)

The event includes live music by the Jack Breslin duo and light fare from local restaurants including Skinner’s Loft, Uncle Momo and Vaibhavusa Restaurant. Sip wine while enjoying a self-guided tour of the mansion.

Currently on view in the parlors is an art exhibit, Neighborhood, which includes an exciting mix of artwork by Jersey City artists Jennifer Brown, Norm Kirby, Robert Piersanti, Diana Buitrago, Jenna Toulantis and Catalina Aranguren. Catalina has also curated the show. (The show closes Sept 21.) Visitors will also have the opportunity to bowl in our landmark bowling alley in the basement.

Join us. Learn about the mansion. Experience local art and music. Meet new friends.

The Barrow Mansion is a Greek Revival-style building (1837) located in the Van Vorst Historic District of Jersey City, New Jersey. Initially constructed as a private residence, the building has been in public use since 1890, when the Mansion served briefly as the Jersey City YMCA. The billiard room, bowling alley and gym (now theater) were added by the YMCA. The property was purchased by St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1897. The Barrow Mansion is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and hosts a variety of community-oriented events each week. Read more online:

The Barrow Mansion Development Corporation was founded in 1985 as steward with the purpose of restoration, preservation, and operations and promoting the Mansion use as a community center. The BMDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Free classes for adults, young people with disabilities @ Paper Mill Playhouse

Theatre for Everyone: Acting & Improvisation

Inclusive theater studies designed especially for adults with learning disabilities or needing other accommodations

In collaboration with Theatre in Motion, this ten-week fall/winter acting studio course will allow adult students with and without disabilities to explore theater improvisation, acting exercises, music and movement. The course will creatively address and include diverse learning styles and modes of communication. Ideally, students should have the ability to memorize some sentences (lines) and/or a short-written poem.  Students should ideally commit to be at all classes. The course will end with a sharing for family and friends.

WHEN: MONDAY nights from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm on: October 7, 21, 28; November 4, 18, 25; December 2, 9, 16, 23
Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Ave, Cranford, NJ 07016
FEE: Free of Charge - Space is Limited

QUESTIONS?  CONTACT Michelle Tempkin at 973-315-1666 or

Theatre for Everyone: For Young People with Disabilities, Ages 7 – 21

WHEN: Fridays, October 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22; December 6, 13, 20; 4 – 5 pm
New Providence Memorial Library, 377 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
FEE: Free of Charge – Registration Ongoing

QUESTIONS?  CONTACT Michelle Tempkin at 973-315-1666 or

Creative Drama

In collaboration with Theatre in Motion, an organization which provides a wide array of arts programming for children & adults with all types of disabilities, this class will include theatre improvisation, storytelling, music, movement, and some visual art. The series will creatively address and include diverse learning styles and modes of communication. When applicable, a student's attendant, who may be a parent, caregiver, nurse, personal aide, or sign interpreter, is welcome to stay for the class. The course will end with a fun sharing for family and friends. Typical siblings are welcome. (IMAGE at top)


RVCC Community Day

WHEN: Saturday, September 28, 12:30 - 5:30 pm
RVCC Planetarium, 118 Lamington Road, North Branch

Aiken & Friends Music Fest and RVCC Community Day. 

  • The Planetarium will run free 15-minute laser shows every half hour from 1:00 - 5:30 pm
  • The Observatory will be open, weather permitting
  • Hands-on activities set up in and around the Planetarium and outside courtyard. 
  • RVCC Cosmetology Students will offer hand & arm massages.
  • Food and Craft vendors will have items for sale. 

The highlight of the day is the Aiken & Friends Fest in the center College Courtyard, including several sets of live music and a drop-in Pickers Tent where local musicians can come together to play. For 13 years, Aiken & Friends Fest has been coastal Virginia's premier music festival featuring national, regional and local artists and songwriters performing original music. Now, RVCC has joined with Mike & Amy Aiken to host a three-day mini fest here at the RVCC. The Music Fest is BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair).  Click for more information

International Observe the Moon Night

WHEN: Saturday, October 5, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Celebrating 50 years of Human Exploration of the Moon.  Explore our lunar exhibits, climb inside a replica Mercury capsule, discover how much you weigh on the Moon, and look at the Moon through a telescope. 

Exhibits and telescope observing are free. 

"Astronomy Tonight" Planetarium show at 7:00 pm and "Grateful Dead" laser concert at 8:00 pm are $10 per person per show.  Call for reservations: 908-231-8805

Check our website for the public show schedule for October - December 2019, and show descriptions.

ADMISSION: $10 per person for one show, $18 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

Updated Laser Concerts

Saturdays in October

Join us for new songs in our October laser concerts!

Kids Jam laser concert, October 5 and 12 at 4:00 pm

Grateful Dead laser concert, October 5 and 12 at 8:00 pm

Fright Light (family friendly), October 19 at 8:00 pm, and October 26 at 4:00 pm

Fright Light (PG-13), October 26 at 8:00 pm

The show schedule changes slightly each week.  Please check our PUBLIC SHOWS website for details.

ADMISSION: $10 per person for one show; $18 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

Saturn on Puzzle

Sensory-Friendly programs

The Sky Above 

Saturdays, October 5, November 2, December 7, 5:00 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


October 5 - May 16, weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  

There is no fee to visit the Observatory.

New Exhibitions Opened This Weekend @ MAM

Opening this week at MAM

Impossible Shadows: The Art of Larry Kagan

Virgil Ortiz: Odyssey of the Venutian Soldiers

LEFT: Larry Kagan (b. 1946). Andy, 2016. Steel and shadow. 45 x 23 x 14 in.

RIGHT: Virgil Ortiz (b. 1969). Aeronaut Theatrical Costume, 2010. Leather, feathers, fur, and foam fabrication, satin (dress and gloves), synthetic hair, crushed aluminum glitter surface detail. Mannequin: fiberglass and resin. Approx. 51 x 25 x 25 in. Courtesy of Virgil Ortiz


by Ruth Ross

Visually stunning, swirling with color and texture, and crisply acted. With production values like these, why does the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s current production of As You Like It fail to satisfy? Last performed on the outdoor stage in 2014 and on the Main Stage in 2005, this long, convoluted tale featuring two sets of warring brothers, good folk being exiled to a forest and a couple struggling to find true love contains some of Shakespeare's most poetical and insightful writing and one of the best roles for a woman. So why didn't I like it?

As You Like It follows the lovely Rosalind who, accompanied by her cousin Celia and the court fool Touchstone, flees her uncle's persecution to the Forest of Arden. Similarly, a young gentleman of the kingdom, Orlando, escapes his evil brother Oliver's persecution, accompanied by Adam, his faithful elderly servant, to hide in the same forest. To complicate matters, before fleeing, Rosalind and Orlando fall in love at a wrestling match in the ducal court; things really get crazy when the two meet again at the camp where the usurped Duke (Rosalind's father) lives with a band of loyal lords. There, Rosalind, disguised as a male youth named Ganymede, instructs Orlando, now madly writing goofy love poems to Rosalind and posting them on trees, how to woo his lady—in this case, herself! Similar wooings among dimwitted shepherds (and Touchstone) are tempered by the melancholic musings of the dour courtier, Jaques. In the end, all gets sorted out, and multiple simultaneous weddings bring the mayhem to a happy close.

So what's not to like? The conceit of a woman disguised as a man is common to several of Shakespeare's plays, but a tiny bit of the woman’s femininity is usually visible under the male clothing—making the clueless Orlando's wooing of Ganymede all the more delicious, for we are in on the joke. In this production, director Paul Mullins and costume designer Nikki Delhomme have dressed the characters in colorful, modern attire, except for Safiya Kaijya Harris (left with Ben Jacobs), who plays Rosalind. When we first meet her at the ducal palace, she wears a lovely burgundy cocktail dress. In the forest, however, she’s donned tweed men’s trousers, work boots, a blazer and a knitted watch cap pulled down over her ears, hiding any hint of femininity. Even more confusing is her donning of a male persona, complete with fist bumps and swagger; where we should see a young woman trying too hard to be manly, she’s too convincing. And her speech fits her appearance; even as she recites Shakespeare's lovely lines, I kept waiting for her to break into Rap. Sometimes, she sounded more like a kid from the 'hood, instead of a well-brought-up, lovely lady trying to connect with her beloved.

The rest of the cast have no such problems. In fact, several of them double in roles both masculine and feminine. Torsten Johnson is a malevolent, nasty Duke Oliver who tortures his younger brother Orlando by withholding from him any learning or activity that would bring him pleasure; he's also Sir Oliver Martext, the lisping minister Orlando has found to marry him and Ganymede/Rosalind in the forest. Earl Baker, Jr., plays the two dukes: cruel, usurping Duke Frederick (in a no-nonsense pin stripe suit, right) and his kindly brother Duke Senior, whom he has banished from his realm. Roger Rathburn plays the loyal servant Adam and the simple shepherd Corin. And Jonathan Higginbotham wins the prize for the most roles played: He's Charles the wrestler; the lovestruck shepherd William; and a forester. Devin Conway plays the male servant Le Beau and Phoebe, a sassy shepherdess in love with Ganymede and pursued by the steadfast Silvius, played by an earnest Ryan Woods. Elizabeth Colwell gets great laughs for her portrayal of the doltish Audrey, who’s won the heart (for a while, at least) of Touchstone the Fool.

The actors who play only one part are equally as fine: Ben Jacoby, coming off a three-year run in Broadway’s Beautiful, is winningly attractive as the almost too-good-to-be-true Orlando; he is especially funny when reciting the doggerel he has written to extol his Rosalind's beauty. Nick Corley’s Touchstone, the wise fool, whose motley consists of a vivid plaid shirt, delivers his lines with a wise guy attitude; his great height and stature add to the hilarity of his role, and his expressive face makes his jokes seem like grand philosophical statements. And Anthony Marble (above left, center) as the dour melancholic Jaques is not shy about voicing his distaste for the rustic life and a nagging cynicism; his recitation of the famous and familiar "All the World's a Stage (Seven Ages of Man)" speech is masterful, and he is a great foil to the almost cloying idyllic forest life.

The aformentioned Safiya Kaijya Harris (right) has the makings of a fine actress, although I believe that Director Mullins has done her portrayal of Rosalind no favors with his choices. Under that cap, it is hard to see the womanly ardor she should attempt to control in the company of Orlando. She's terrific in the opening scenes, regal and cool. As her confidante-cousin, the rather clueless Celia, Sarah Nicole Deaver (right) performs well in a role that takes a back seat to Rosalind; she looks appropriately bored as her cuz extols Orlando's qualities ad nauseum, so that when she falls in love with a now-reformed Oliver, we are glad for her happiness.

Brittany Vasta’s versatile set takes us from the French court, with its two perpendicular coffered walls, to a leafy forest, complete with lots of tree trunks behind which to hide and a shed covered with flowered panels. I don’t know who composed the original music to accompany Shakespeare’s words, but they weren’t very melodic. When the forest troubadour sings, “Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly,” he sounds more melancholic than celebratory. Rick Sordelet has staged raucous, realistic wrestling matches between Orlando and Oliver and Orlando and Charles that get the play off with a bang.

As You Like It was written in 1599 and then disappeared from the Elizabethan stage. Only in the 17th century, when women began to act onstage, was the play re-discovered and enjoyed a renaissance. Yes, the plot is complicated, and yes, we have to suspend our disbelief, but the play contains some of Shakespeare's loveliest poetry and sharp insights into human nature. I just wish I hadn't felt "hungry" after the stage lights went down.

As You Like It will be performed at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave., Madison (on the Drew University Campus) through September 22. For information and tickets, call the box office at 974.408.5600 or visit online.

The Strollers Set to Host Two Nights of Fundraising Fun

This fall, the Strollers are ready to put the “fun” back in fundraising with a wild weekend of bingo and line dancing! The Maplewood-based troupe has announced that this year’s fundraiser will once again consist of back to back events: a classic Bingo Night scheduled for Friday, September 20, and a back-to-the-honky-tonk evening of line dancing set for the following night, Saturday, September 21. Both events will take place at The Woodland in Maplewood, NJ.

Bingo Night

WHEN: Friday, September 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. 
$5 and includes 3 cards. Daubers and additional cards may be purchased at the event.
Fabulous prizes range from a share of the pot to merchandise and services donated by local businesses.
Tickets will be available at the door, cash only. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

An Evening of Line Dancing 

WHEN: Saturday, September 21, from 7 to 9 p.m.
$10 per person. A professional instructor will be on hand to demonstrate moves.
Tickets will be available at the door, cash only. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

WHERE: The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road in Maplewood. 

The Strollers of Maplewood was established in 1932 "to provide an opportunity for artistic and dramatic education and enjoyment for its members and the community." The troupe’s 88th season will open with the eclectic musical Working in November, followed by a children’s theater production, How the World Got Wisdom, in late January/early February. The season continues with Lucille Fletcher’s suspenseful mystery Night Watch in March and concludes with Horton Foote’s heartwarming drama The Trip to Bountiful in May. Visit or email for more information.

“MADISON SWINGS”: Benefit Performance for Madison Community Arts Center on September 21

a celebration of the arts and culture of Madison

WHEN: Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8PM.
: Madison Junior School, 160 Main St, Madison
TICKETS: $50 for the show and $75 for the show and “after party,” which will be held at the Madison Community Arts Center.
Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 800-838-3006 and on the MACA (Madison Arts and Culture Alliance) website,

Madison Arts and Cultural Alliance, in conjunction with the Downtown Development Commission and the Borough of Madison, is presenting its first fundraising event to support the new Madison Community Arts Center. From the Metropolitan Opera to Broadway to the West End, Director of Arts and Events, Eric Hafen, has assembled one of the finest casts.

“The evening promises to a very special night of jazz, pop, Broadway. The talent in this borough is extraordinary. These musicians and singers will kick off the celebration of what Madison Arts and Culture can do, while raising necessary funds to complete the professional outfitting of the new Community Arts Center,’ says Hafen.

Anchoring the evening will be the very popular Jerry Vezza/Grover Kemble Quartet. This dynamic jazz quartet has performed in marquee venues in New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, and Europe for events, jazz concerts, clubs, and music festivals.

The singers for the evening include:

Mark Delavan has appeared in title roles with the Metropolitan Opera, NYC Opera, Dallas Opera, and many more.

Cara Cooper has many Broadway credits including The Prom, Jersey Boys, Elf, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, All Shook Up, Urban Cowboy and the national tours of 42nd Street, The Who’s Tommy and Spamalot.

Tom Sellwood has had an extensive career singing and acting across the world, including Broadway and the West End, in productions of Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret and Showboat.

Gay Willis is an award-winning soprano who won world recognition when she performed in the world tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. On Broadway, she has starred as Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera, Rapunzel in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, among others. She also completed over 1000 performances as Magnolia in Hal Prince's production of Showboat on Broadway.

Warren Helms will accompany the singers. Warren has accompanied Susan Boyle, Ann Jillian, The Irish Tenors, Aretha Franklin and Clay Aiken. Mr. Helms was assistant conductor/pianist for the Broadway production of Showboat at the Gershwin Theatre and is presently the music director of Coro Lirico and Director of Music at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Wayne.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton Shopping Center present “An Evening with Bollywood”

An Evening with Bollywood
Dance performances, folk arts and crafts, and more

WHEN: Saturday, September 21, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m
Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton

The Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton Shopping Center present An Evening With Bollywood, a free, family-friendly event celebrating Bollywood culture. In previous years, this event has attracted over a thousand people from local and surrounding communities.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy folk arts and crafts, vendors, Mehndi henna tattoos, and more. Princeton Integral Yoga Community Center will lead free yoga drop-ins - bring your yoga mat! At 5:30, Uma Kapoor’s NachNation Dance Group will take the stage.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., join us for a Bollywood Dance Party in the courtyard to the tunes of DJ Atresh. 

“An Evening with Bollywood is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the sights and sounds of Bollywood,'' says event coordinator and choreographer Uma Kapoor, “Create crafts, shop a bit, and take in a NachNation dance show. All are welcome, so come and just have fun!"

Free, ample parking is available at the Shopping Center. For more information, please visit or call 609.924.8777.

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

For more than 60 years, Princeton Shopping Center has been a true community gathering place. Its unique design boasts 40 local and national retailers, and a two-acre landscaped courtyard that is warmly referred to by community members as “the living room of Princeton.” Anchored by local and family owned McCaffrey’s Market, the center not only serves as a staple for goods, but is jointly used as a neighborhood events space. Partnering with local organizations, the center remains a vibrant meeting place for residents and visitors throughout the year.


MSG Acoustic Blues Trio

Aiken & Friends Fest

WHERE: The Theatre at RVCC, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, NJ

Blues Evolution with MSG Acoustic Blues Trio

FREE with a reservation: call 908.725.3420, weekdays, 11-4

Aiken & Friends Fest starts with a residency activity, FREE and open to the public, with the MSG Acoustic Blues Trio, discussing the evolution of the Piedmont Blues style, how it reflected life over time and how it has influenced music styles since. M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio has been together for fifteen years and has produced four CDs. Their latest effort, THE FLOOD, made the first-round for the Grammy nominations under the category of Best Traditional Blues Album.

Luna Stage to launch American Voices with Susan Hyon’s “Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!)” on September 21

Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!)
written and performed by Susan Hyon
directed by David Skeist

WHEN: Saturday, September 21 | Closes: Monday, October 7. Performance Schedule: Saturday at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 3:00pm, Monday at 7:00 pm
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ
TICKETS: General Admission tickets $20; BOGOFAM5 $5 student ticket with each adult ticket for Monday Performances
Suggested for mature students, ages 16 and older.
Running Time: 75 minutes, no intermission 

Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!)This darkly comic work is inspired by Hyon’s childhood as the youngest of four unhappy Korean-American children in suburban Pennsylvania. A lively, interactive experience for curious and adventurous theatergoers, Soo Jin… will be the inaugural performance in the newly-renovated Luna2. 

Meet Soo Jin and Susan. Susan is the little engine that could pull herself out of a crappy small-town trainwreck only to speed headlong into another of her own making. And another. And another. And yet somehow she keeps chugging along, accumulating scars and the stories that go with them. Soo-Jin is like that Korean exchange student who introduced everyone to Hello Kitty, Keropi, and cute pencils. Upon hearing of Susan's life as a new mom (finally!), Soo Jin appears, ready for a baby shower. Fresh off the boat (and out of the plastic surgeon’s chair), Soo Jin regales the audience with the virtue of beauty. She prays that Susan will maintain her youthful looks in the face of parenthood.

Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) is a play, a stand-up routine, a confession and a therapy session that will probably make you feel better about your life, the world and a good old-fashioned eye-lift. Soo Jin will talk about light things that will make you feel heavy, and Susan will talk about heavy things that make you feel light.

Performer Susan Hyon and director David Skeist met in the Acting MFA program at Columbia University in 2003. In the years since, Susan has been a performer and resident artist with Target Margin and The Atlantic Theater Co. among others, while David has developed work with Richard Foreman, Elizabeth Swados, and his own company Caborca. Together, they have traveled to Italy, Germany, Baltimore, and California, performing Chekhov, Shakespeare, commedia dell’arte, and more.

Director Skeist says “Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) is the opposite of a pre-packaged autobiographical monologue. It is a real encounter with a person, whose idiosyncratic behavior and way of thinking has led her to startling insights, which she bravely shares. Susan is a fascinating and enlightening person to hang out with as we all try to make sense of our current world.”