Friday, March 22, 2019

State Theatre New Jersey presents Grammy Award®-winning Duo


WHEN: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 8pm
: State Theatre, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $39-$99
For tickets, more information, or group discounts, call State Theatre Guest Services at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at State Theatre Guest Services, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm; Saturday from 1pm to 5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified. Additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

This duo’s hits include “Closer to Fine,” ”Galileo,” “Power of Two” and “Least Complicated.” Joining the Indigo Girls for this performance is violinist Lyris Hung.

Thirty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and countless U.S. and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music business. Selling over 14 million records, Ray and Saliers are the only duo to have Top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 charts in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

The power of unity, both in music and in life, has been an Indigo Girls calling card ever since they burst into the spotlight with their 1989 self-titled breakout album. Since then, the band has racked up a slew of Gold and Platinum records, taken home a coveted Grammy Award®, and earned the respect of high profile peers and collaborated with people from Michael Stipe to Joan Baez. NPR’s Mountain Stage called the group “one of the finest folk duos of all time” while Rolling Stone said “they personify what happens when two distinct sensibilities, voices, and worldviews come together to create something transcendentally its own.”

In 2012, the Indigo Girls embarked on a bold new chapter, collaborating with a pair of orchestrators to prepare larger-than-life arrangements of their songs to perform with symphonies around the country. The duo found an elusive sonic sweet spot with the project, creating a seamless blend of folk, rock, pop, and classical that elevated their songs to new heights without scarifying any of the emotional intimacy and honesty that have defined their music for decades. Now, after more than 50 performances with symphonies across America, the experience has finally been captured in all its grandeur on the band’s stunning new album, Indigo Girls Live With The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

About Lyris Hung

Lyris Hung began her violin studies at the age of three in Fairfield County, Connecticut. At 11, she was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division and at 17 she started a double-degree program between the Juilliard School and Columbia University.

At college, Hung was active in contemporary music performance, playing regularly with the New Juilliard Ensemble and at the Museum of Modern Arts Summergarden concerts. At Juilliard during that time, she performed with a number of stellar conductors such as James DePriest, Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, and Bobby McFerrin, and toured Japan and Korea with the Juilliard Orchestra.

Since then, Hung has become an active session violinist in NYC, performing and recording with artists from many genres. She has been heard on Bryan Adams' MTV Unplugged, live with Bono and Quincy Jones at the 1999 NetAid concert, live with the 2003 Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and has toured Europe and America with RCA recording artist Ke. In addition to touring regularly with the Indigo Girls, Hung has also played with hip-hop giant Jay-Z and Beyoncé with QuestLove of the Roots, Dan Zanes, Ornette Coleman, Toshi Reagon, and many others.

Morris Museum Continues with Second Installment of Four-Year Exhibition Series ─ “A Cache of Kinetic Art: Simply Steampunk”

A Cache of Kinetic Art: Simply Steampunk

WHEN: now through Sunday, August 11, 2019
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Hgts. Rd., Morristown

The Morris Museum is pleased to present Simply Steampunk, the second installment of the four-year juried exhibition series, A Cache of Kinetic Art, celebrating the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata.

Following the success of last year's inaugural exhibition, this year explores the theme of steampunk art─incorporating the aesthetics of 19th-century industrial design and steam engine machinery─through 18 works of kinetic sculpture by 12 artists that were selected by a jury of practitioners in the field. The artwork on view ranges in scale from jewelry to room-sized installations, and in scope from traditional retrofuturistic sculpture to more broadly-interpreted light and soundscapes. These imaginative creations are marvels of design, engineering, storytelling, and fantasy that demonstrate the ingenuity of steampunk art today.

The themes of A Cache of Kinetic Art change annually:

  • Curious Characters, 2018
  • Simply Steampunk, 2019
  • Tiny Intricacies, 2020
  • Timeless Movements, 2021

“Enthusiastic support for A Cache of Kinetic Art continues to grow, not only among artists but also visitors who have come to enjoy, respect, and expect artwork that provokes thoughtfulness and engagement through movement,” states Michele Marinelli, Curator of the Guinness Collection. “The variety and breadth of the 18 pieces featured in Simply Steampunk are simply fabulous, from traditional steampunk designs reminiscent of 19th-century scientific novelties to contemporary constructs using present-day materials.”

This year's exhibition jurors are:

  • Rein Triefeldt, New Jersey: Solar Kinetic Artist and Co-founder of Kinetic Art Organization (KAO)
  • Brett King, North Carolina: Steampunk Artist and Costumer, Founder of AutomataCon
  • Ann Aptaker, New York: Independent Curator, Art Writer, and Professor at New York Institute of Technology.

A People’s Choice Award

Visitors are encouraged to actively participate in bestowing the People’s Choice Award. Voting by the public begins on Friday, March 15, 2019 on-site at the Museum and concludes on Sunday, June 30, 2019. The People’s Choice Award will be announced on the Museum’s website and through social media on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

“The submissions for the second in our series of A Cache of Kinetic Art exhibitions have not failed to amaze us. Creative and beautifully executed artworks that incorporate movement are exponentially more difficult to conceptualize, not to mention fabricate while maintaining artistic integrity. The many challenges to overcome are why so few artists attempt it and why so few kinetic works are created each year. We’re very pleased that they can find an appreciative audience and venue here at the Morris Museum,” states Jere Ryder, Conservator of the Guinness Collection.

Exhibiting Artists and Their Works:

  • Time Machine, 2018. David Bowman, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Pterence, The Pteranodon, 2018. David Bowman, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania  (above, right)
  • Tink, The Northern Pike, 2018. David Bowman, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Bruce, 2017. Chris Cole, Bend, Oregon
  • RoboTarium No. 5, 2017. Chris Cole, Bend, Oregon
  • The Flying Machine, 2015. Ken Draim, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (top image)
  • Transformation, 1991. Kyle Dries, Glen Oaks, New York
  • Celesta, 2014. Kyle Dries, Glen Oaks, New York
  • Steampunk Valentine, 2018. Bradley N. Litwin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Professor Ignatius and Assistants Flee the Citadel, 2018. LoHiFi Productions (Chris Little and Theofani Pitsiavas), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Wedding Ring, 2018. Kenneth MacBain, Morristown, New Jersey
  • Spin Stack, 2017-18. Mike Richison, Ocean Township, New Jersey
  • Lumia Series: Orion Lumia, Hubble Lumia & Messier Lumia, 2017. Will Rockwell, West Orange, New Jersey
  • The Buddha, 2016. Walter Rossi, New York, New York
  • The Going, 2014. Walter Rossi, New York, New York\Deliriums: Cluster A, 2018. Matthew Steinke, Austin, Texas
  • Deliriums: Cluster B, 2018. Matthew Steinke, Austin, Texas
  • Deliriums: Cluster C, 2018. Matthew Steinke, Austin, Texas

Information about the participating artists is available upon request.

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by our partners at M&T Bank.

Related Events

Tea and Treasures:  Simply Steampunk, a Curator's View (Lecture and Tour)
March 20, 2018, 2:00PM

Guinness Collection Curator Michele Marinelli offers an entertaining journey into the world of kinetic artworks, including live demonstrations. This event includes light refreshments.

Museum Members: $10
Non-Members: $15 (Includes Museum Admission)

Steampunk 101: Scorsese’s Hugo with Curator’s Tour
Sunday, April 7, 2019, 1:00 – 4:00PM

Join us in the Bickford Theatre for a big-screen showing of the film, Hugo, directed by

Martin Scorsese. Parisian orphan Hugo discovers a mysterious automaton. Following the film, join the Guinness staff for a tour of Simply Steampunk.

Museum Members: FREE

Non-Members: $8 (includes Museum Admission)

Curator Tour for Upper Level Members: Simply Steampunk
Wednesday, May 8, 2018, 6:00PM – 7:30PM

Join Guinness Collection staff for a tour of Simply Steampunk and live demonstrations of unique pieces in the exhibition. Artist Will Rockwell will join this tour to share his insights on his work in this exhibition! Members at the Friend ($175) level and above are invited. To RSVP, or to upgrade your membership level and attend this event, please call 973.971.3721 or email

Build an Automaton! Children’s Workshop
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 12:30PM – 2:00PM

Join the Guinness staff at a maker’s workshop to assemble and decorate a kinetic sculpture to bring home. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children to invite their favorite adult to help create an automaton. Each child receives one kit.

Workshop Fee: $15.00 per child

A parent must accompany the child attending but has free admission.

Advance reservation is required to ensure receiving an automaton kit: 973.971.3706

Last Look: Behind the Scenes of Simply Steampunk
Thursday, August 8, 2019, 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Mad science and time travel! Accompany the Guinness Collection staff into the world of steampunk kinetic art to catch a final glimpse before it closes. Artist David Bowman will join this tour to share his insights on his works in this exhibition!

Museum Members: FREE

Non-Members: $15

To purchase tickets: 973.971.3706

Location and Hours

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members.  For more information, call 973.971.3700, or visit

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Women in the Arts

WHEN: March 3 to April 7. Gallery hours for Women in the Arts will be held from Mondays to Wednesdays, 10am to 1pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm to 4pm, excluding March 17 and March 31.
450 King George Road in Basking Ridge, on the historic grounds of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead

The Farmstead Arts Center presents the Women in the Arts show, an exhibition which will display work by notable women artists in honor of Women’s History Month.

Farmstead Arts’ annual celebration of Women’s History Month will kick off with the Women in the Arts exhibit, featuring work by five regional artists: Roberta Scott of Middlesex, Laura Shabazz of Bernardsville, Harmony Dougher of Summit, Irene Grabowski of Basking Ridge, and Diane Churchill of Nyack, NY. The exhibit will feature a variety of mediums, including painting, collage and photography. Most works will be for sale.

Farmstead Arts offers art classes, workshops, art exhibits, theater, concerts, dance, children’s activities, and lectures in history and the arts. The Farmhouse is wheelchair accessible. For more information contact Kathy Harris at 908-636-7576 or by email:

Funds for this event have been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

1. Clouded Mirror by Diane Churchill

2. Del Barton Bridge by Harmony Dougher

3. Steph #2 by Roberta Scott


Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series presents

Tom Chapin 

WHEN: Friday, March 22, at 7:30 pm
: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown.
ADMISSION: Admission is $10.00 per adult at the door. Children 12 and under are free.
For further information, call 973-335-9489 , or visit . The Folk Project website also offers music samples of Minstrel performers: .

Dan Pelletier will open.

In a career that spans six decades, 26 albums and three GRAMMY® awards, Hudson Valley Troubadour Tom Chapin has covered an incredible amount of creative ground. In addition to his work as a recording artist and concert performer, Chapin has acted on Broadway, as well as working extensively in television, radio and film.

As a music-maker, the multi-talented singer/songwriter/guitarist has maintained two long and productive parallel careers, both as a highly respected contemporary folk artist and as a pioneer in the field of children's music. In both roles, Chapin has established a reputation for insightful, heartfelt songcraft and effortlessly charismatic live performances. He continues to engage the hearts, minds and imaginations of young listeners with witty, life-affirming original songs delivered in a sophisticated array of musical styles. In either format, Chapin's infectious songs, sterling musicianship and personal warmth consistently shine through, whether he's performing on record or in a concert hall, an outdoor festival, a school, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse.

The New York Times called Chapin "one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music," while Billboard called him "the best family artist around" and described him as "totally captivating." Parents magazine stated, "Nobody today is writing and performing better kids' songs than Tom Chapin."

Chapin launched his solo recording career with 1976's Life Is Like That. It was the first of a string of albums that further established his reputation as both a gifted storyteller and a natural entertainer, winning him an uncommonly loyal fan base in the process. He also continued to venture into other creative areas, playing the lead role in the hit Broadway musical Pump Boys and Dinettes, working off-Broadway as musical director of both Cotton Patch Gospel and Harry Chapin: Lies and Legends , and serving as host of TV's National Geographic Explorer.

He's also written and performed satirical topical songs for National Public Radio's Morning Edition , and had a cameo role as the Vice Presidential candidate in Jonathan Demme's 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

Sit for an hour with Dan Pelletier and you’ll walk away chuckling, shaking your head, wanting a long, cool drink and the red, tender lips of someone to love. He will show you himself, yourself, your lover, your family and friends and quite a few characters you may not know, but will instantly recognize. They jump out of his songs full of beauty and blemishes, brilliance and foolishness, insanity, humor, intensity and tenderness.

The Folk Project is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation whose mission is to present high caliber folk music performances and instructional workshops for the public and members; to encourage development of

musicianship and performance skills in the northern New Jersey area; and to provide interesting social and learning activities relating to traditional and participatory folk music and dance.

Funding has been made possible in part by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County Presents “The History of the Italian Jews”

The History of the Italian Jews
A talk by Rabbi Michael Klein (Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Ahavat Olam, Howell, NJ)

WHEN: Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 2 PM
The 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.
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 Maximum capacity is 100, so paid reservations are recommended.

The history of the Jews in Italy spans more than 2,000 years. The Jewish presence in Italy dates to the pre-Christian Roman period and has continued, despite periods of extreme persecution and expulsions, until the present. The Jewish community in Rome is likely one of the oldest continuous Jewish communities in the world, existing from classical times through today.

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.



WHEN: Saturday, March 23, at 8pm
Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: $25.00 for adults, $17.50 for children under 12 and available on-line at or by phone at (908) 979 – 0900.

Darrah Carr Dance joins Centenary Stage Company to present Ceilidh an Evening of Irish Music and Dance. The evening’s performance will also include a special pre-show presentation by An Clar School of Irish Dance.

The Bessie Award-nominated company, Darrah Carr Dance brings a bold new twist to conventional Irish dance. Their acclaimed performances draw from Irish music, step dance footwork and spatial patterns to create high–energy, rhythmically based work that is accessible to a broad audience. The company is comprised of championship Irish Dancers including Trent Kowalik, Tony Award-winner and the original star of Broadway’s Billy Elliot and Timothy Kochka two-time winner of the World Irish Dancing Championships and former member of Riverdance. Artistic Director Darrah Carr was named one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year” by Irish America Magazine and was awarded the Irish Heritage Award from the New York City Comptroller Office in recognition of her contribution to the cultural life of New York’s Irish community. In addition to their acclaimed performances Darrah Carr Dance offers a variety of community outreach programs which include a whirlwind introduction to Irish dance, including its history, costumes and traditions. Other residencies activities include in–school performances, lectures/demonstrations, workshops and master classes.

An Clár School of Irish Dance opened in 2011 in Albany, New York, followed by Byram (Sussex County), New Jersey in January 2012. Under the instruction of Lexa Hickey, ADCRG An Clar School of Irish Dance offer classes available to children age 3 & up, ranging from tiny tots to championship level and for new and experienced dancers. Students of An Clar have the opportunity to compete at the local, regional, national & international level as well as regularly perform at dance-outs and at the annual An Clár dinner dance.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm and two hours prior to every performance. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of Centenary Stage Company’s performing arts events is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors HMC Atlantic Health, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.


For more information and pricing, click here.

Questions? Call 973-845-6732 or visit

WHITNEY MARCHELLE & FRIENDS Honor Woman in Jazz— Wednesday, March 27th

Honoring Woman in Jazz

WHEN: Wednesday, March 27th 7:00-10:00 pm
Jazz973 Clements Place, 15 Washington St., Rutgers NJ 07102
ADMISSION: No Cover and Complimentary Refreshments


  • Whitney Marchelle Jackson - Vocals/piano,
  • James Gibbs – Trumpet
  • Lakecia Benjamin-Sax
  • Anthony Wonsey – Piano
  • Endea Owens – Bass
  • Lafrae Sci – Drums
  • plus surprise guests

Whitney Marchelle - Award Winner. Vocalist songwriter arranger plays some piano. BET, Tonight Show. Worked with: Quincy Jones ,Herbie Hancock, Steve Turre, Dee Dee Bridgewater Frank Lacy. Opened for Kiss, Bill Withers, Fat Head Newman. Style: Bebop, Soul. American Jazz Standards. Music of :Sarah Vaughn, Rachel Z, Ella, Nancy Wilson, Billie, Irene Reid, Chaka, Hoarce Silver. Jazz Times - "Formidable vocalist, a swinger of immense energy" Plays some piano, Jazz Casttanets. Sold Out shows.Cd DigDis :Features Camile Thurman, Clark Terry,Frank Lacy,Patience Higgins, Sabu Adeoyla, Terreon Gulley & More.

James Gibbs: Newark Native. Trumpet. Performed with Dr. Betty Carter,Wynton Marsalis, TS Monk, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Thomas & More.

Lakecia Benjamin: Native New Yorker. Sax. Performed with: Clark Terry Stevie Wonder,Alicia Keys, Roots.  Performs Dizzys Club, Kennedy Center.

Endea Owens: Detroit Native.Bass. Julliard Grad. Performed with: Dee Dee Bridgewater,Wynton Marsalis,Steve Turre, Jennifer Holiday.

Anthony Wonsey: Piano. From Chicago Illinois. Anthony has played with Roy Hargrove,Nicholas Payton Kenny Garrett, Nneenna Freelon. Leads his own band performing at the Kennedy Center and more.

LaFrae Olivia Sci: Okinawa, Japan Drums. Musical director for Sandra Bernhard’s Musical previously Everything Bad and Beautiful. Leads Music education Program for Jazz@Lincoln Center. Worked with Rachel Z. Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Celebrating Women's Month: A Tribute to Women in Jazz—Sarah, Ella, Billie, Carmen and Dinah

WHEN: Friday. March 22,  7PM-11PM. Seating First Come, Served 
St. Joseph's Plaza at The Priory Restaurant, 233 West Market Street, Newark. Secure parking on premises.
ADMISSION: Jazz Stimulus No Music Cover. Food or Beverage Purchase is Required Full Bar & Lounge

Special Guests:


SHERRY GIBSON & The Guys in The Band: Radam Schwartz, pn; Takashi Otsuka, bs; Gordon Lane, drms

Carrie Jackson & Friends

WHEN: Tuesday, March 26. Jam Session / Open Mic 8pm-11pm
16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro, 16 Prospect Street, Westfield, NJ
Jazz Stimulus No Music Cover 

Great Food, Full Bar & Lounge, Fine dining Area in Rear

Charlie Sigler, Guitar
Dave Braham, Organ
Les Mc Kee, drums

@WPU: A Night of Americana with The Weight Band & “THE VELVETEEN RABBIT

Featuring members of The Band and the Levon Helm Band

WHEN: MARCH 22, 8:00 PM
Shea Center for Performing Arts , 300 Pompton Road, Wayne
TICKETS: $35 Orchestra; $28 Loge

Inspired to carry on the legacy of the unforgettable rock group, The Weight Band has kept the spirit of Americana/Roots Rock music alive for today's audiences. Their live set features Weight Band original songs as well as fan favorites from The Band's treasured catalog, including "Up On Cripple Creek," "The Weight," and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."

NJ Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival presents

Pushcart Players' The Velveteen Rabbit

WHEN: March 23, 2:00PM
Shea Center for Performing Arts , 300 Pompton Road, Wayne
TICKETS: $10 Adults; Free admission for kids under 18.*

*Children must be accompanied by an adult.

A young boy's love and a little nursery magic help transform the Velveteen Rabbit from a favorite plaything into a real rabbit. In this musical re-telling of one of America's favorite storybooks, the Boy and Velveteen embark on exciting imaginary adventures, and together they learn the true meaning of friendship.

Recommended for grades Pre-K to 5.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

NJPAC: Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies” March 21-24

Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies

Directed by André De Shields

A Co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company

March 21, 2019, 7pm

March 22, 2019, 7pm

March 23, 2019, 2pm and 7pm

March 24, 2019, 2pm

WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center Victoria Theater, 1 Center Street, Newark NJ
TICKETS: $69 - $89

Duke Ellington's high-style music is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields.

Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, this revival of Sophisticated Ladies brings the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club into the 21st century. André De Shields returns to NJPAC after directing and choreographing the first co-production between NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company, 2018’s critically acclaimed Ain't Misbehavin'.

All those glorious Ellington numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Mood Indigo” – are in full swing with a glamorous cast of Broadway veterans, bright young stars and an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer. It’s a high-stepping salute inspired by the ritzy nightlife and sensuous highlife of a man who lived to love.

When asked about reviving one of the most popular Broadway shows of the 1980s, De Shields said, "Fast forward nearly four decades to 2019, and the culture has gone through a tectonic shift. No longer made solely of the solidly impervious fabric of male dominance, contemporary American culture has been stretched to the point of porosity. And those porous imperfections are currently being mended by the stitch work of twenty-first century, self-empowered womanhood. Flipping the script has become a necessary tool of the postmodern female. Since it is the responsibility of my generation to explain to the succeeding generations how we got from there to here, I searched for a piece of entertainment that could be unpacked for its implicit information regarding the psychological, emotional and intellectual relationships between men and women. It occurred to me that Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies was ripe for the picking."

"From this new production of Sophisticated Ladies, audiences can expect dynamic entertainment, sparkling enlightenment and nuanced ecstasy. My creative team and I have not changed any lyric or adulterated any melody. What we have done is made the choice of not drenching the production in luxury. The set design features simple, yet elegant, Art Deco highlights while the costume design is not anchored in a singular historical period but rather subtly reflects the changing status of the female over various windows if time. The entire physical production is meant to be minimalist in order to emphasize our investigation: 'what does the authentic sophisticated lady have to say about herself?'”

Mr. De Shields' creative team will include Burke J. Wilmore (Set and Lighting Design), Kimberly Schafer (Choreography), Gail Brassard (Costume Design), with a full cast being announced soon!

André De Shields made his NJPAC debut six years ago in Prudential Hall as Zeus during an orchestral performance of The Creatures of Prometheus. He returned in 2017 to direct and choreograph the first co-production between NJAPC and The Crossroads Theatre Company, the critically acclaimed Ain't Misbehavin'. In his half-century artistic career, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. His numerous accolades include an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award, the Black Theatre Network's 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, and many more. His body of work includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, feature films, television, and cabaret. A multiple Tony Award nominee, Mr. De Shields is best known for his show stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain't Misbehavin', and The Wiz (title role).



WHEN: March 20, 2019–May 22, 2019; Monday to Friday 7am-7pm; Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 20, 6-8pm
WHERE: Academy Square Gallery, 33 Plymouth Street, Montclair

The Studio Montclair Incubator at Academy Square Gallery presents In Stitches, a show of works by two local artists, Randy Keenan and Catherine LeCleire.  Their collections are connected through their methods of stitching artwork together to tell a larger story of expression through printmaking, assemblage, quilting and encaustic painting.

Randy Keenan’s work spans a variety of media from master quilts to multi-media assemblages. Her breathtaking quilts and fiber arts are rich in color, line and texture. Keenan’s collages express her inner consciousness.  Displaying strong colors, shapes and lines, these works have a familiar but almost unnerving quality. Her other assemblages, or mica pages, are gilded and transparent.  Layered with intrinsic items and words, each one draws in the viewer for a quiet moment of study and reflection. Each work embodies a fantastical narrative waiting to be discovered.

Catherine LeCleire’s works function in synergistic counterpoint with Keenan’s. Her prints and silkscreens offer a playful, yet powerful repetition of images or words. Using her innovative technique of transforming plastic bags into printable material, LeCleire stitches this material together to create large-scale quilt pieces with a unique awe-inspiring opacity. LeCleire’s encaustic works display strong colors and amazing textures with tremendous luminosity. Some of these works include silkscreened maps and writings embedded in the wax, whereas others consist of landscape compositions, minimalist in style yet rich in both color and texture.  

Keenan, a long time resident of the area, studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Massachusetts and worked as a landscape artist creating her “Randscape” gardens throughout Montclair. LeCleire was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, attended the Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts) and went on to graduate school at University of Southern California. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and Montclair State University. In Stitches has hemmed Keenan and LeCleire’s different works together as complementary exemplars of tapestry as a powerful means of artistic expression. (Right: Randy Keenan, Infinity, 2006, fabric collage, 12" x 9")

About the Artists

Randy Keenan graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she studied studio arts, exposing her to principles of composition, environmental design, landscape architecture, and art history. With a deep interest in the arts, she has attended experimental art conferences and workshops focusing on book making, collage, shibori dyeing, color, design, amongst others. She has been featured in 15 group shows, 14 juried exhibitions, and 24 publications.

Catherine LeCleire was born and raised in the Philadelphia area.  She attended Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts) and went on to graduate school at University of Southern California. While in California she taught at Otis Art Institute, California State University Dominguez Hills and California College of Arts. LeCleire is currently an Adjunct Professor at both Pratt Institute and Montclair State University; she teaches a variety of classes such as Silk Screen, Beginning Printmaking, Book Arts, Painting Processes, and Photo Printmaking. As a bookbinder, she has bound books for Bruce Connor, David Salle, Octavio Paz, Joan Mitchell, James Brown, Janet Taylor Pickett and others.  

About the Incubator Program

Studio Montclair’s Incubator Program, directed by Lisa Diamond Rosenthal and Sara Holliday, seeks to mentor new and emerging artists and provide them with a space for what is often their first solo or small group show exhibit. Kathryn Waggener McGuire was guest mentor to Keenan and LeCleire, helping with installation, concept, and marketing advice.