New Jersey Stage

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspired Life Studios Presents "Dia de Los Muertos"

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Inspired Life Studios is pleased to present the opening reception for "Dia de Los Muertos", an art show inspired by the 'Day of the Dead' celebrations of Latin Cultures.  The art work will be on display from 7:30pm to 11:30pm, on Friday October 8th accompanied by live music by a surprise grouping of local eclectic musicians and performance artists.  This event is free and open to the public, and suitable for all ages.

Curator/Owner Christine Murphy has put together this show not only as a nod to Halloween (Oct.31), All Saints Day(Nov.2), and All Souls Day(Nov. 2), but as celebration of life, by honoring the beauty, mystery, and seductive quality that can be found in the macabre.  Artists showing will include George Morales of 1st Class Tattoo here in Long Branch, Nicholas Penta of DeadSeagull Art & Apparel, Dan Castellano of Tattoo Nation, Dylan Wise resident SICA artist, and Reverend Chris Murphy.  The art will be on display through November 2nd and can be viewed after the reception by appointment only.

Inspired Life Studios is a donation based yoga studio and art gallery, located at 560 Broadway #202, at the corner of Pearl Street in Long Branch.  Parking is available on Pearl Street, Broadway, or in the municipal lot across the street, accessible from Branchport Ave.  For more information, call (732) 222-4524 or visit the website: You can also check out Inspired Life Studios on Facebook. 

Inspired Life Studios offers monthly art shows, as well as donation based yoga classes 7 days a week, and other workshops and events.  Inspired Life is dedicated to bringing arts and creativity to the community in an accessible and affordable way that anyone and everyone can enjoy. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cape May Stage Hosts a "Beatles Brunch" on October 17th at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse

 (Cape May, NJ) -- Last month's cover of Rolling Stone magazine, featured The Beatles as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. With their names back in headlines, there is no better time than the present to celebrate the iconographic music this band created in such a short period of time that molded an entire generation.  On Sunday, October 17, the Cape May Stage Board of Trustees and staff invite the public to "Come Together" to enjoy a Sunday morning outdoor brunch party in the piazza on the Playhouse grounds featuring the music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo with a delicious all-you-can-eat Brunch buffet.

If you're already a fan, you'll be humming and tapping your toes as Cape May's self-penned "hippie folk rock" entertainers, Acoustic Mayhem, take the stage and sing all of your favorite Beatles tunes as well as the classic sounds of Simon and Garfunkel, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, America, The Grateful Dead and The Band among others. Guests will enjoy complimentary "Please Please Me" delicious dishes and "Strawberry Fields" gourmet desserts while sipping our signature Bellinis and Bloody Marys. You can gorge yourself on a feast of gastronomic delights while entertainers Will Knapp and Terry O'Brien invite you to brush up on your favorite Beatles tunes and become the stars of the show!  With a cap of only 12 karaoke performers allowed, guests can join in the musical fun by singing the lead on their favorite Beatles tune, and entertain the crowd with their favorite song.

In addition to the beats and treats, the Stage has assembled a secret live auction item that will have guests out-bidding each other to win a once-in-a-lifetime "theatrical" opportunity.  Details for this exclusive auction item will not be revealed until the day of the event as Cape May Stage's Artistic Director Roy Steinberg kicks off the bidding!  However, if you prefer the game of chance, tickets will be on sale to participate in a 50/50 cash raffle where your odds of winning get better with each ticket you purchase!

Gather all of your closest friends and treat yourselves to a late morning brunch filled with food, fun, and new friends to be made!  The attire is casual, so pull out your favorite Sunday jeans, paisley shirts, and Harrington Jackets, or darn your favorite 60s-style Beatlemania-inspired duds and get ready to rock and roll!

The fun begins at 11:00 am in the courtyard of the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May in the "Good Day Sunshine".  Tickets are $65, and proceeds support the ongoing artistic, cultural, and educational programs at Cape May Stage – a non-profit company that has been performing professional Equity theatre in Cape May since 1988. Reservations for the event are highly recommended. Visit or call (609) 884-1341 for tickets and information.

Celebrate John Lennon's 70th Birthday with Jerry Levitan, Author of "I Met The Walrus"

(RED BANK, NJ) -- In 1969, when he was just 14 years old, Jerry Levitan cut school, tape recorder in hand, on a mission to interview John Lennon.  With the innocence and persaverance of a child, he succeeded.  Lennon candidy spoke of war, politics, the "Two Virgins" album and supposed subliminal messages in his music.  That tale is told in the Levitan's book, "I Met The Walrus: How One Day With John Lennon Saved My Life Forever".  You can meet the author and hear his personal stories at NovelTeas in Red Bank, NJ on October 9 - the day John would have celebrated his 70th birthday.

Levitan will be at NovelTeas from 3pm to 5pm.  Tickets for the event are $25 and include a hard cover copy of "I Met The Walrus".  Advance registration is strongly suggested.  Select lithographs of artwork by John Lennon and previously unreleased lyric sheets will be offered for sale and live music will be performed by Rockit! (up and coming youth musicians performing Lennon and Lennon/McCartney standards) from 4pm to 5pm.

The book, "I Met The Walrus", is illustrated by acclaimed artist James Braithwaite and features never before seen photographs of John and Yoko.  Also included in the book is Jerry's memorabilia from that day -- notes from John and Yoko, the secret code to contact him, drawings, John's doodles, and much more.  The book comes complete with an audio and video DVD of the interview that inspired the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name.

Jerry Levitan is a musician, actor, filmmaker, writer, and lawyer living in Toronto.

New Jersey Media Arts Center Spring 2011 Filmmaking Workshops Announced!

Workshops include "Introduction To Screenwriting", "Filmmaking I", "How To Raise Money For Film & Video Projects", "The Film Business: Basic Legal and Business Aspects of Motion Picture Production and Distribution", and "Mastering Audio For General Production Work".

Introduction to Screenwriting
Instructor: Jeff Cohen

Screenwriting is a combination of creativity, craft, and commerce. With a strong emphasis on structure, this class will introduce students to the nuts and bolts of screenwriting, as well as the reality of selling your work and getting it produced. Film clips will illustrate specific points, and students will be shown how to absorb the rules, in order to break them intelligently.
Day/Time/Place: 2 Sundays, February 6+13, 2011 - 12 Noon to 3:00 PM
Loree Hall #024, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee: $200 (Materials not included) = General Public
$180 (Materials not included) = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
About the Instructor: Jeff Cohen is a screenwriter, novelist, and freelance writer whose screenplays have been developed by Jim Henson Productions, CBS, Gross-Weston productions, and others. His Aaron Tucker mystery novels have been optioned for television or film, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Premiere, The Star Ledger, USA Weekend,  Writer's Digest, and Entertainment Weekly.

Filmmaking I
Instructor: Albert Gabriel Nigrin

This hands-on workshop for beginning and intermediate students welcomes those who wish to become more adept at filmmaking.  Participants will shoot and edit a short film directed by the instructor. While working on this film, students will be instructed in the fundamentals of film production: use of the camera, lighting, editing, sound, and other special techniques. Limited enrollment.
Day/Time/Place: 3 Sundays, February 27, March 6+27, 2011 - 12 Noon to 3:00 PM
Loree Hall #024, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee: $345 (Materials not included) = General Public
$335 (Materials not included) = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends

How To Raise Money For Film & Video Projects
Instructor: Albert Gabriel Nigrin

This grant writing workshop includes discussions on designing media projects to make them attractive to potential funders; answering the most important questions before looking for funds; where the funding sources are; researching private and public dollars; targeting likely prospects; talking to funders; creating a professional proposal; dealing with grant acceptance and rejection. Limited enrollment.
Day/Time/Place: Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 12 Noon to 3:00 PM
Loree Hall #024, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee: $100 (Materials not included) = General Public
$90 (Materials not included) = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
About the Instructor:  Albert Gabriel Nigrin is a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University.  In addition, he is the Executive Director of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc., which presents the New Jersey Film Festivals and the United States Super 8mm Film + Digital Video Festival. Mr. Nigrin has an M.F.A. in Visual Arts/Film and Video from Rutgers University and he is also an award-winning experimental media artist. Mr. Nigrin was a 2002 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Media Arts Fellowship winner.  In addition, his films/videos were screened as part of the 2004 Enter The Screen: Experimental Film programin Changzhou, China, the 2005 Floating Images: Experimental Film program in Shanghai, China . the 2006 Toronto Images Film Festival, and the1998-2001 Big as Life: An American History of 8mm Filmmaking Retro at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Film Business: Basic Legal and Business Aspects of Motion Picture Production and Distribution
Instructor: Steven C. Schechter, Esq.

This workshop is designed to inform participants about the legal and business aspects of the motion picture and entertainment industries. The workshop welcomes producers, film/videomakers, film/video students, lawyers, as well as amateurs and the general public. Participants will learn the general rules of law which apply to the production and distribution of motion pictures and other audio-visual productions and will learn the basic provisions of common contracts used in the motion picture industry. Topics will include: what rights are needed to produce a motion picture; how to obtain music, film clips and other clearances for audio-visual productions; and typical financing and distribution arrangements.
Day/Time/Place: Sunday, April 10, 2011- 12 Noon to 3:00 PM
Loree Hall #024, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee: $100 (Materials not included) = General Public
$90 (Materials not included) = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
About the Instructor: Steven C. Schechter is a film industry attorney who practices law in New Jersey and New York and is a lecturer on entertainment law at Seton Hall University. Mr. Schechter received his law degree from Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City and has a B.A. in Television, Radio, and Film Production from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Prior to establishing his own firm, Mr. Schechter was associated with Chasen & Lichter, a New York entertainment law firm, where he practiced entertainment, art, and publishing law, and with the legal department of New Line Cinema Corp. in New York City. He is an advisor to the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

Mastering Audio For General Production Work
Instructor: Mitch Hiller

This course will begin with a tour of the sound chain from sound waves principles, through the basic electrical properties producing audio signals and finally the digital encoding processes.    Microphones will be discussed with respect to their many types and basic placement concepts.  Signal levels and proper interfacing will be examined using various examples.  We will allow individual questions and interests to partly guide the direction of certain course material, as seems appropriate, to provide a springboard to address many related subjects including balanced lines, noise control, reading meters, troubleshooting, a basic no math intro to the decibel, gain staging, etc.
Day/Time/Place:  Sunday, April 17, 2011  - 12 Noon to 4:00 PM
Loree Bldg. # 024 , Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee:   $100 (Materials not included) = General Public
$90 (Materials not included) = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
About the Instructor: Mitch Hiller is a graduate of The Institute Of Audio Research and has been teaching basic and advanced audio principles for 20 years.  Mitch consults in areas of live sound reinforcement, studio troubleshooting & design and multi-track recording of live events.  Mostly, he works in his recording studio with musicians and songwriters as a tracking, mixing & mastering engineer or co-producer.

New Jersey Media Arts Center 2011 Workshops Registration Form

___Introduction to Screenwriting
$200/$180 Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
___Filmmaking I
$345/$335 Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
___How To Raise Money For Film & Video Projects
$100/$90 Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
___The Film Business: Basic Legal and Business Aspects of Motion Picture Production and Distribution
$100/$90 Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
___Mastering Audio For General Production Work
$100/$90 Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends

Total Enclosed=


Completed registration forms must be accompanied by the workshop fee(s), which are non-refundable unless a class is canceled. Seating is limited and 90% of our workshops sell-out quickly, so register early. Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends must enclose proof of current membership to qualify for discounts.
Make checks payable to: New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.
Send this form and payment to:
Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC
(018 Loree Hall-Douglass) 72 Lipman Drive
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8525
For more information call us (732) 932-8482 or email


(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– Continuing a season-long exploration of the body as a theme in contemporary art, Rowan University Art Gallery presents a group exhibition reflecting on the contemporary female experience to the gallery October 11 - November 13, 2010. A reception to welcome the exhibit will be Wednesday, October 20 from 5:30 – 7 pm.

"Body Mind and Hair" includes the work of 10 woman artists examining the theme of the contemporary female experience through video, sculpture, painting, works on paper and photography. These works utilize historical references from art and literature – with contemporary imagery and perspectives – that at times challenge accepted views and at other times are in harmony with them. It is a reflection of the constant flux in which current societal notions of female beauty, identity, and purpose are considered.

The artists – who hail from Philadelphia and New York - include Alison Brady, Yoon Cho, Wanda Ewing, Laura Frazure, Deborah Hamon, Jenny Laden, Alyssa Monks, Anastasia Owell and Kathleen Sweeney. Frazure, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, will be guest speaker at the reception.

Brady's work is a series of color photographs that stimulate unconscious emotions, desires and sexual compulsions, all unified within a dynamic that vacillates between the real and the fantasized. Cho, from Korea, is inspired by the adaptation to new social and physical environments across national and international borders, focusing on the process of loss and the search for identity while examining the impermanence and instability of human nature that is constantly changing and evolving in time. Ewing explores the subjects of race, beauty standards, sexuality and identity and creates humorous narratives inspired by images found in popular culture. Frazure, attentive to classical ideas about form, sense and its communicative potential, models figures that are theatrical and contemporary, highlighting form and form development with no subsequent meditational processes. Hamon's work examines the construction of identity for girls, through both painting and photography that create universal portraits addressing ideas about identity development. Laden's paintings play with the power of beauty, at times succumbing entirely to it, and at other times rejecting it harshly to portray an internal struggle of the female desire for the power of enticement, which comes with beauty, and wanting the power of seriousness, which can deny beauty. Monks' work takes on narrative figuration, playing with the tension between abstraction and realism in the same work and using different filters to visually distort and disintegrate the body. Moore's most recent group of large-scale works, "Second Skin," explores aspects of identity that are revealed by the form and surface of the tattooed or intentionally marked body. Owell uses drawing as an act of exploration, allowing her to depict an emotional state, and sometimes draw from personal ethical confusion in its complexity. Sweeney's "Wave" is a single-channel digital video that layers footage of girls wearing white dresses while swimming underwater in a turquoise pool with reverse-motion imagery of Atlantic Ocean waves, alluding to a power below the surface, myths of nymphs carried out to sea and a subtext of girls gone missing.

Admission to exhibit and reception is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.

Musical Theatre Maven SETH RUDETSKY Joins LAUREN KENNEDY, TYLER MAYNARD, and SUSAN MOSHER In OBIE Award-Winning Musical Comedy [title of show] at George Street Playhouse November 16 – December 12

(New Brunswick, NJ) -– George Street Playhouse, David Saint, Artistic Director, has announced casting for its second production of its 2010-11 season, OBIE award-winning musical comedy, [title of show].  Musical theatre maven, musical director (he recently collaborated with Betty Buckley in a series of concerts), author and host of "Seth's Big, Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM radio Seth Rudetsky, will play the role of Jeff.  Joining him in the role of Hunter, is Tyler Maynard from Altar Boyz, Broadway's The Little Mermaid and the new off-Broadway musical The Kid.  Lauren Kennedy, from Broadway's Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard and Side Show, and Susan Mosher seen on Broadway in Hairspray and on television in a recurring role on The L Word, play two friends of the collaborators.  Matt Lenz, who recently directed the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Hairspray, and also served as the Broadway production's Associate Director, will helm [title of show].   Jesse Vargas will music direct and play the role of Larry, the music director.  

"I am so thrilled to welcome this extraordinary group of artists, including my old friend Seth Rudetsky.  As this season has come together, a theme has emerged common to all five plays:  the importance of discovering one's true self and what one truly desires as opposed to what the world tells us we should want," said Artistic David Saint.  "The other prevalent theme in [title of show] is relationships and how they evolve as life happens.   The truly remarkable thing about this musical is how these very profound ideas are conveyed, and the show is truly hilarious and touching.  This is a perfect show for our audiences."

Creating the world of [title of show] are scenic designer R. Michael Miller; costume designer Michael MacDonald; lighting designer Phillip Rosenberg; sound designer Walter Trarback and projection designer Michael Clarke.

[title of show] is a musical comedy for anyone who has followed a dream.  When two struggling writers, Jeff and Hunter, make a commitment to write something new in three weeks, they quickly find that writing a comedy about the process of writing is more interesting than anything else they could write.  A show about four friends taking risks, creating art, killing Vampires (the dream-destroying kind, not the Dracula kind) – and how relationships change when life happens.

Tickets beginning at $25 are available now, as well as various flexible subscription packages.  Performances run from Tuesday, November 16 to Sunday, December 12 and Opening Night set for Friday, November 19.  To purchase, or for further information, contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office, 732-246-7717 or shop online at  Groups of 10 or more are entitled to a discount; for further information contact the GSP Group Sales Department at 732-846-2895, ext.134.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, steps away from public transportation and some of the area's finest restaurants for every taste and budget.

Lauren Kennedy (Heidi)  Broadway:  Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show as Daisy Hilton, and Les Miserables as Fantine. Also, Cinderella at New York City Opera. Off-Broadway: Good Ol' Girls at The Steinberg Center for The Performing Arts and Vanities at Second Stage. London: Trevor Nunn's revival of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush. New works and premieres:  Vanities (Pasadena Playhouse), The Ten Commandments with Val Kilmer (Kodak Theater, LA) Lone Star Love (Seattle 5th Avenue), Waiting For The Moon (LENAPE), & The Last Five Years (Northlight).  National Tour:  Sunset Boulevard as Betty Schaeffer. Both her new album Here And Now and her debut album Lauren Kennedy Songs Of Jason Robert Brown are available on PS Classics.  She is also the Producing Artistic Director of Hot Summer Nights at The Kennedy.

Tyler Maynard (Hunter) made his Broadway debut 2002 in the cast of the musical Mamma Mia!  In 2003 and 2004 he appeared in several stage productions, including On the Record, and during that time  also worked shooting roles in the films Palindromes, Parents Wanted and Red Doors. In February 2005 Tyler landed a starring role in Altar Boyz, a musical which achieved significant critical acclaim. For his role as Mark, Maynard earned a Drama Desk Award nomination, and won Outstanding Breakthrough Actor at the Theatre World Awards.  From August to October 2005, Maynard took a break from performing in Altar Boyz to perform in the shows Miracle Brothers and The Great Big Radio Show!  Maynard resumed his performance in Altar Boyz in January 2006. From 2008 to 2009, he played Flotsam in the original Broadway cast of The Little Mermaid.  In 2010, he played Chad in the off-Broadway musical The Kid.

Susan Mosher (Susan)  Broadway: Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Suds, Back to Bacharach & David. TV: Nurse Jackie, Without A Trace, HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2 with Vanessa Redgrave, Veronica's Closet, and a recurring role on Showtime's The L Word. Film includes: A View FromThe Top, The Wedding Planner.  Susan recently debuted her critically acclaimed solo show, The Great Daisy Theory.

Seth Rudetsky (Jeff) was a piano major at Oberlin Conservatory and spent years on Broadway as a pianist/conductor.  Musical career highlights: Artistic Producer/conductor for the Actors Fund Dreamgirls concert with Audra MacDonald (Nonesuch records) and Hair with Jennifer Hudson (Ghostlight Records, Grammy nom).  TV:  Legally Blonde reality show, Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List  and the requisite Law & Order.  Stage:  Arnold in Torch Song Trilogy at The Gallery Players, Sheldon in The Ritz on Broadway and Vernon opposite Sutton Foster in They're Playing Our Song. Seth is the Broadway host of "Seth's Big Fat Broadway" every afternoon on Sirius/XM radio, has a weekly column for and his newest novel will be published by Random House.

Matt Lenz (Director), Recently directed the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Hairspray.  He also directed the Hairspray national Tour and Toronto production  . Previously resident director of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and tour and Assistant Director on Aida. Other directing credits include Dirty Blonde, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Scituate, Confidentially Cole, Hair, Twelfth Night, The Who's Tommy, Saint Heaven, The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy. Member: Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Born and raised just outside of NYC in Central NJ, Jesse Vargas (Musical Director/Larry) has worked internationally as a music director, arranger, and pianist. He is recognized across the country as music director/arranger for pop singer Clay Aiken. His work with Mr. Aiken has spanned from conducting Christmas concerts since 2004, to assembling, arranging, and orchestrating his latest summer symphonic tour. Jesse has and continues to work extensively in the musical theatre world as well. Music Direction credits include: Saved (Playwrights Horizons); Xanadu (First National Tour); Bare-A Pop Opera (Off-Broadway, Cast Recording); Dreamgirls (Critically acclaimed Philadelphia revival); Bright Lights, Big City; Barry Manilow's Copacabana; The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Detroit-Assistant); A Chorus Line; Guys & Dolls; A Little Night Music; Little Shop of Horrors; as well as readings of new musicals Sunfish (NAMT); Rooms; Hurricane (NYMF); and Up In The Air (by Henry Krieger & Bill Russell). Orchestration/Arrangement credits include: Glory Days (Also Music Supervisor-Signature Theatre/Broadway);The Ritz (Broadway); Rooms-A Rock Romance (Off-Broadway, also Music Supervisor); Peep Show (Planet Hollywood-Las Vegas); Beach; Bright Lights, Big City; The J.A.P. Chronicles; Pippin (Goodspeed/Tour-Dance Arrangements); Junie B. Jones (Theatreworks);Chess (2003 Concert); HAIR (2004 Concert); Seth Rudetsky's Broadway 101; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Opening (since 2003); and others. Recordings include Rooms (Off-Broadway Cast Recording), Glory Days-OBC; Dreaming Wide Awake-The Music of Scott Alan; Keys; Hair(2005 Grammy Nominated Recording); and Bare-The Album.

Jeff Bowen (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for and starred in the Broadway musical [title of show] for which he won an OBIE Award, as well as a GLAAD Media nomination and, along with his cast mates, a Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance by an Ensemble. He was awarded the Jim Owles Human Rights Award and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Out Magazine. He has written music and lyrics for Villains Tonight! for the Walt Disney Company, the Easter Bonnet competition for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Actors Fund 125th Anniversary Gala, the Vineyard Theatre's 25th Anniversary Gala, the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards, Broadway in South Africa, and Broadway Bares 18: Wonderland. He has composed music for several shows at P.S. 122 including Avant-Garde-A-Rama in Sparklevision, Hello, My Name Is Avant-Garde-A-Rama; Sparklefest 2000 at Dixon Place; The A-Train Plays; and the film Boat Mime. As an actor he has performed works at The O'Neill Center, Manhattan Theatre Source, Ars Nova, the Vineyard Theatre and appeared in the Actors Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the August Wilson. He co-wrote and starred in the web series, "the [title of show] show" as well as scoring and performing its theme song. He is currently developing a half-hour sitcom for ABC. Jeff is a proud member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Actors Equity Association, the Writers Guild Association, the Dramatists Guild of America, Yale Dramat, and National Audubon Society.

Hunter Bell (Book)earned an OBIE Award, a GLAAD Media nomination, a Drama League nomination, a Jim Owles Human Rights Award, and a 2009 Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical all for [title of show]. Other credits include the book for Silence! The Musical, the book for the 137th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, Bellobration!, and the book for Villains Tonight! for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment/Disney Cruise Lines. He has contributed material to numerous benefits and events including the Easter Bonnet and Gypsy of the Year competitions as well as Broadway Bares, all for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He is also a co-creator of the web series the [title of show] show on A finalist in the Warner Brothers Comedy Writers' Workshop, Hunter has written numerous spec scripts, pilots, and industrial films, and developed new works at the Dramatists Guild, the O'Neill Center, Irish Rep, PS 122, Goodspeed/Chester, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Neighborhood Playhouse, CanStage, and the Manhattan Theatre Source, and is currently in development with ABC television creating a new half-hour sitcom. As an actor, he has performed both on and off Broadway, at the St. Louis Rep, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the North Shore Music Theatre, The MUNY, Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Vineyard Theatre, Stages St. Louis, Alliance Theatre, Carnegie Hall, York Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, and the Paper Mill Playhouse. In 2003, he won the Connecticut Outer Critics Award for Best Actor in a Musical. TV credits include, "Guiding Light," Disney's "Out of the Box," and Great Performances on PBS. Film credits include: Goodbye Baby, and Men Who Stare at Goats. Born in Tuscaloosa Alabama, Hunter is a graduate of Woodward Academy, a distinguished alumnus of Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts (where he earned a BFA in Musical Theatre), an honorary inductee to the Yale Dramat, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity, SAG/AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America.

Cape May Stage Presents Killadelphia: One-Man Mixtape of a City

(Cape May, NJ) -– Cape May Stage, as part of their ongoing commitment to quality theatre, is proud to announce a one-night limited engagement of Sean Christopher Lewis' masterwork Killadelphia: One-Man Mixtape of a City.  Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series, Lewis plays himself and nearly twenty other characters in this unexpected theatrical tour-de-force.  Killadelphia plays one night only, Monday, October 4th at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.

In the early 2000s, Philadelphia averaged over 400 murders a year, giving rise to the popular idiom that the city had "more bodies than days".  With its murder rate on par with some third-world countries, the city earned the unfortunate nickname "Killadelphia".  In response, the Mural Arts Program – a non-profit organization charged with the protean task of bringing works of art into areas of the city untouched by anyone but a tagger's spray can – approached Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company and their playwright-in-residence Sean Christopher Lewis to commission a theater piece about the program and the prisoners who create these murals to beautify the city.  As Lewis began interviewing inmates about the murals, their imprisonment, their crimes, and their lives on the inside, he found that he had more questions than answers, eventually expanding the scope of his inquiry beyond the mural project.

The result is a 75-minute one-man theatrical documentary, giving voice to nearly twenty separate individuals ranging from "lifers" at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Gratersford, Pennsylvania, corrections officers, victims and their families, and Mayor Nutter.  Universally hailed by critics, Killadelphia has been called "a must-see evening of theatre… an epic… a satisfying one-man symphony," by, and "a call to action as well as a plea to open our minds," by the Philadelphia City Paper.  Metromix gives the production five stars, it has won the 2010 Smith Prize for Drama (for plays that focus on American politics), it's been cited by Central Ohio Critics Circle for Best Touring Production, and has been nominated for a 2010 Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration.

Sean Christopher Lewis is the inaugural recipient of the Rosa Parks Award for Social Justice in Playwriting from the Kennedy Center. A former NNPN Emerging Playwright in Residence at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, he has toured his critically lauded solo shows I Will Make You Orphans (Uno Festival of Solo Performance, Available Light 01 Festival, Equinox Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Center for Independent Artists, Galapagos Art Space, Hyde Park Theatre, TIXE Arts Center, Bowery Poetry Club) and The Gone Chair (Penn State University's Cultural Conversations Festival, Openstage Harrisburg's Flying Solo Festival, Riverside Theatre).

His other plays include Militant Language (National Premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Halcyon Theatre of Chicago, Bang and Clatter in Cleveland, and Theater for the New City in NY) and The Aperature (Cleveland Public Theatre). He has been a playwriting fellow at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and has had his work developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, Lark New Play Development Center, Orlando Shakespeare Festival's Harriet Lake Festival of New Work and at the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University. A noted actor, he has worked Off-Broadway at the Pearl Theatre, in NYC at La Mama ETC, regionally with companies like the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and mostly recently in the feature films God Country and Blood Fantasy.

Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series, Killadelphia: One-Man Mixtape of a City will run Monday, October 4th at 8:00pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.  Tickets are $20.  Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website,  Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series is presented through the gracious support of Chris and Dave Clemans.

Old Bridge Library To Present "Pageant"

(OLD BRIDGE, NJ) -- The Fair Lawn Recreation Departments Old Library Theatre is presenting Pageant, a beauty contest musical. Pageant is a 90 min. musical farce spoofing your typical beauty pageant and five audience members are chosen as judges. It is cast with men as women, in every competition from bathing suits, to evening gowns to talent and beauty spots. The show is a real crowd pleaser for every audience member and a pre Halloween treat. The show takes place at the Miss Glamouresse beauty pagent. The show is written by Bill Russell (Side Show) and Frank Kelly, with music by Albert Evans and Conceived by Robert Longbottom.

Cast members are J.Edmund Fond of Secaucus as M.C. Frankie Cavalier, Mac McCormick of New Milford as the reigning Miss Glamouresse and other contestants are Douglas Smith of New Milford, Craig M. Tiede and Brendan J. Bartlett of Jersey City, Evan Martinez of Hazlet, eric Parkin of Belleville and Tim Avant.

The show is directed by Linda Wielkotz of Fair Lawn, musical direction by Charles Santoro and choreography by Eleanor Bakalis of Wyckoff.

Performances are Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Oct. 15,16.17,22,23,24  Fridays, Saturdays, 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.Performances are held at the George Frey Center for Arts and Recreation, Fair Lawn Community Center, 10-10 20th St. Fair Lawn, NJ. Tickets are $20.00, $18.00 students and seniors.  Group sales can be ordered by calling 201-797-3553. Tickets can be reserved online at with no service fee charged.


(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– Internationally-acclaimed pianist Santiago Rodriguez performs at Rowan University on Thursday, October 7 at 8 pm in Boyd Recital Hall, presented  by the Steinway Society of South Jersey and the university's College of Fine & Performing Arts.

The program features Rodriguez performing Mozart's Sonata in C major, Schumann's Allegretto Carnaval, Op. 9 and Rachmaninov's Three Preludes and Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor. In addition to his concert, the pianist will offer a master class on Friday, October 8 from 12 – 4 pm in Boyd Recital Hall, as well.

Hailed as "a phenomenal pianist" by The New York Times, Rodriguez was born in Cuba and began his piano studies at age four. After Castro seized power, his parents sent him and his brother to America under the care of the Catholic Charities. He spent the next six years in an orphanage in New Orleans. Money - and a note - concealed by his mother allowed his musical education to continue. Two years after his arrival, he made his concert debut at age 10 performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 with the New Orleans Philharmonic.

His international career was launched in 1981 when he won the Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since that time, he has appeared around the world in recital, as a chamber musician and with leading orchestras including the London Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle, Weimar Philharmonic, Yomiuri-Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Japan, Tampere Philharmonic of Finland, Berliner Symphoniker and the Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Seattle, Indianapolis and Houston symphony orchestras. Rodriguez made his Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of Dennis Russell Davis. He has toured extensively as member of a piano trio with Ruggiero Ricci and Nathaniel Rosen and he recently fulfilled a life-long wish to collaborate in a performance of Schubert's Winterreise; realized in partnership with the renowned Swiss artist, Françoise Loup. Commanding a repertoire of more than 65 concertos, he has performed the work of Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Gershwin, Liszt, Schumann, Franck, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov in his 35-year career. His recording, The Rachmaninov Edition, encompasses the entire catalog of the composer's original solo piano compositions in three volumes.

Tickets are $20, general admission; and $15 for seniors and non-Rowan students (under 18 or with college ID). Rowan students and Steinway Society members are admitted free. Boyd Recital Hall is located in Wilson Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ. Seating is limited so reservations are suggested. For more information, call (856) 663-8888. For directions and other information, visit

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CD REVIEW: Ben Arnold – "Simplify" (3 ½ Stars)

Ben Arnold's latest solo album, "Simplify," reminds me of what you might have experienced during an early concert by Billy Joel when he was still experimenting with one musical style after another.  Arnold weaves from New Orleans-based rock and roll to smoky piano-bar ballads to upbeat pop numbers with ease.  The result is a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely catchy record.

Arnold has released several records on his own as well as records with the bands 4 Way Street and U.S. Rails.  In my opinion, "Simplify" makes a far better use of Arnold's raspy delivery than his previous records.  His voice is a truly unique instrument and has the ability to transform songs.  In many ways, this record is like an East Coast version of Dr. John coming to grips with middle age.  Take the title track for example:

"Don't need so many possessions
My money's saved in a jar
I live in a constant state of recession
So I can sleep under the stars
Gotta simplify"


There are a lot of really great songs on this record.  Some of my favorites include "Love Don't Lie", "Breakfast for Dinner", "Slow Learner", and "O' Holy Night."  Throughout the record you get great melodies with simple lyrics that pack a lot of punch.

"I'm a slow learner
I feel like a beginner
I thought I was a winner
Well, I didn't know the game"

--Slow Learner

Ben even has the courage to cover John Lennon's classic "Watching The Wheels" in a slower, more dramatic way.  His version somehow becomes equally inspirational and sad because it reminds us that Lennon is gone.  It's almost more of an ode to Lennon than a cover, and provides the perfect ending to the disc.

If you're a fan of Ben Arnold from his work on 4 Way Street or U.S. Rails, you will probably enjoy this record but the songs are very different from his work with those bands.  It's far more of a piano-bar/Dr. John-influenced record.  The style really allows his lyrics to take hold and his vocals to take center stage. 

"Side by side, we'll look around
What I've lost and what I've found
If only I can hear the sound
Your footsteps in the night"

--O' Holy Night

CD REVIEW: U.S. Rails (4 Stars) I+18m%B+mrgin-right%3C+1em%2s%22%3E%3CimgAsorder$3D%220%2;00%2FUSRailsCD.jpg%22+width%3D%22200%22+%2F%3E%3C%2Fa%3E 3C%2Fdrv%3E%0D%0AU.S.+Rails+is+the+new+name+for+the+former+Philadelphia-based+band+4+Way+Street.%26nbsp%3B+Long-time+fans+will+not+be+disappointed+in+the+direction+of+the+band+as+the+debut+by+U.S.+Rails+may+be+even+stronger+than+the+lone+record+released+by+4+Way+Street.%26nbsp%3B+The+%22supergroup%22+of+sorts+continues+to+include+Ben+Arnold%2C+Scott+Bricklin%2C+Joseph+Parsons%2C+and+Matt+Muir+and+now+adds+Tom+Gilliam+to+replace+Jim+Boggia.%26nbsp%3B+The+pairing+brings+together+a+mix+of+great+songwriters+who+all+have+very+distinct+vocal+styles+that+compliment+each+other.%26nbsp%3B+The+end+result+is+a+largely+brilliant+fo~lowup*Jecord+that+is+sure+to+please+long-time+fans+and+make+many+new+ones.%0D%0A%0D%0AAs+with+4+Way+Street%C+the+um+is+once+again+greater+than+its+parts.%26nbsp%3B+U.S.+Rails+is+an+amazing+group+that+clearly+conjures+up+memories+of+Crosby%2C+Stills%2C+Nash+%26amp%3B+Young+through+their+wonderful+harmonies+and+acoustic+guitars.%26nbsp%3B+Band+members+once+again+rotate+lead+singer+duties+throughout+the+record+and+occasionally+all+take+part+as+in+the+great+opening+tune%2C+%22Lucky+Stars.%22%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ci%3E%22Does+anybody+know+how+lucky+we+are%3F%0D%0AJust+bangin%27+on+drums%2C+strummin%27+our+guitars%0D%0AJust+tryin%27+to+have+fun+in+some+dark+and+dusty+bar%0D%0AIn+the+morning%2C+when+I+wake+up%0D%0AI+thank+my+lucky+stars%22%3C%2Fi%3E%0D%0A--+Lucky+Stars%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+record+steers+a+bit+more+towards+country-rock+than+its+pop-rock+based+predecessor.%26nbsp%3B+Songs+like+%22Gonna+Shine%22%2C+%22Good+Times%22%2C%26nbsp%3B+%22Burning+Fire%22%2C+and+%22Man+Down%22+are+closest+to+those+found+on+the+4+Way+Street+record%3B+while+tunes+like+%22Simple+Plan%22+and+%22Shine+The+Light%22+have+an+almost+%E2%80%9870s+classic+rock+kind+of+feel.%0D%0A%0D%0AOverall%2C+it%27s+an+extremely+strong+disc+that+I+recommend+highly.%26nbsp%3B+In+fact%2C+it%27s+probably+one+of+my+two+or+three+favorite+records+of+the+year+and+a+staple+on+my+car+stereo.%26nbsp%3B+If+you+were+a+fan+of+4+Way+Street%2C+go+ahead+and+pick+up+a+copy%2C+you+won%27t+be+let+down.%26nbsp%3B+If+you%27ve+never+heard+of+the+former+band%2C+but+are+a+fan+of+artists+like+CSN%26amp%3BY+or+the+Indigo+Girls%2C%26nbsp%3B+you%27ll+dig+this+too.%26nbsp%3B+%0D%0A%0D%0AI+think+one+of+the+reasons+CSN%26amp%3BY+succeeded+where+others+have+failed+is+because+their+songs+didn%27t+sound+forced%3B+they+sounded+as+if+they+were+meant+to+be+recorded+that+way+--+the+harmonies+weren%27t+a+gimmick%2C+but+an+integral+part+of+the+equation.%26nbsp%3B+The+same+thing+is+happening+here.%26nbsp%3B+U.S.+Rails+is+a+bunch+of+long-time+friends+who+realized+one+day+that+they+could+all+add+to+each+other%27s+tunes+and+take+them+to+a+higher+place.%26nbsp%3B+There%27s+no+denying+that+the+band+enjoys+playing+music+together+and+is+having+fun.%26nbsp%3B+When+that+sort+of+thing+happens%2C+it%27s+an+amazing+experience.%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ci%3E%22These+are+the+good+times%2C%0D%0AWe+drink+to+remember%2C+we+drink+to+forget%0D%0AYeah%2C+the+good+times%0D%0AAnd+we+ain%27t+seen+the+best+of+them+yet%22%3C%2Fi%3E%0D%0A--+Good+Times

CD REVIEW: The Amboys - "Everything Between The Moon & The Sun" (3 1/2 stars)

The Amboys have been one of my favorite New Jersey-based bands ever since they first started kicking around the Asbury Park area a year ago. Their debut record, "Everything Between The Moon & The Sun" provides brilliant country-infused garage rock and roll that reminds me of Johnny Cash waking up on the wrong side of the bed after an all night binge, taking some speed, and heading out to the local punk rock bar to jam with whoever was on stage. It's got a true kick ass spirit to it.

Songs have the energy of Jason & The Scorchers in the 80s and the bite of Social Distortion. The record features some of the best rock and roll keyboard I've heard in a while -- that great B3 sound found in classic ‘60s garage rock tunes. It's a sound that's timeless, very cool, and rarely used as well as it is here.

"With late nights and heavy drinking, the in-between hours of the moon coming up and the sun coming back around, many things can and do happen. Lost love, one night stands, overdue phone calls, shots of whiskey and too many cigarettes," is how the band describes the record. I'd agree.

My favorite tracks are "Can't Live Here", "Kid In the City", "This Very Thin Line" and "Drunk Mistake".

"She said she could live here, she could live there
She could live just about anywhere
Said there's one thing I just can't do
I can't live here with you."

--"Can't Live Here"

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Brunswick Beatles Rock The State Theatre

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – SEPTEMBER 18, 2010) – "I would like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we've passed the audition", said Bob Burger, echoing the words of John Lennon as Glen Burtnik & Friends closed out a set that saw the band cover the American versions of "Help!", "Rubber Soul", and "Let It Be" -- complete and note for note as originally recorded while images and videos of The Beatles played in the background.

Roughly thirty years ago, Glen Burtnik first performed as Paul McCartney in Beatlemania alongside Marshall Crenshaw as John Lennon. Nowadays, Burtnik and Burger form the perfect combination of Paul and John. In fact, the couple next to me initially thought Bob was Marshall Crenshaw on stage! I guess first impressions really do last. Friends and songwriting partners, Burtnik and Burger led an inspired Beatles tribute band that also included John Merjave, Marc Muller, Eric Troyer, Dusty Micale, Dave Anthony, and Joe Nocco. Special guests such as Kasim Sulton, orchestral musicians, and a choir featuring over 15 backup singers were added throughout the night.

This was the fourth such "Jersey Beatles Bash" presented by Burtnik over the last few years. Previous editions have covered such landmark records as "Abbey Road", "White Album", and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Covering three records in one show was a new twist and one that provided an interesting look at how the band's music changed over time. Starting with "Help!", Burtnik and his talented cast led the audience through a half decade of music that took the Beatles from topping the charts to changing pop culture and ultimately to the breakup of the band and the group's final release.

Highlights for the Help! Album included: "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "You're Gonna Lose That Girl", and "Ticket To Ride" which all featured Bob Burger on lead vocals; and "The Night Before" and "Another Girl" which had Glen Burtnik on lead vocals. The latter is the kind of upbeat, pop song that I will always associate with Burtnik. It's the kind of song I remember hearing him play when I first started following him in the mid-80s at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
Throughout the evening, Burtnik seemed to be having a ball. I think that's what makes these shows work so well. It's obvious that the entire band puts in a great effort to learn the songs note for note and are accurate and deferential to the originals, but, more importantly, they love the songs as well. They don't simply go through the motions; they're having fun on stage.

Hearing these records live, you notice just how much the record company changed the albums for the North American market. In North America, songs like "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" were left out of the release of "Help!", while songs like "Nowhere Man" and "Drive My Car" existed outside of "Rubber Soul". Even though I don't like what they did, I've got to hand it to the record executives because they knew exactly which songs to build other albums around. There was such an abundance of riches to work with during this period. Few bands have ever had such an amazing height of creativity and mainstream hits at the same time.

"There were, of course, two Beatles albums," explained Burtnik. "There were ten in Britain that they turned into about 40 for America!"

"Rubber Soul", the album which rocked the world – literally and figuratively – was next. Highlights included wonderful takes on "I've Just Seen a Face" (Burtnik on lead vocals); "Girl" (Marc Muller on lead vocals); and "The Word", "It's Only Love", "In My Life", and "Run For Your Life" (Burger handling lead vocals for all four). "It's Only Love" really showcased the range of Burger as his vocals echoed beautifully throughout the venue as if sung by Roy Orbison. As for "In My Life", well, that's simply one of my favorite songs of all-time and Burger nailed it perfectly.

I've always been more of a John Lennon fan than McCartney fan – you can clearly notice who your favorite is when you listen to a few of their albums in their entirety. Ironically, one of the McCartney-led songs I was really hoping to hear Glen do was done brilliantly by special guest Kasim Sulton. The song, "I'm Looking Through You", was one my friend and I used to try getting Glen to cover in the 80s. In fact, I think one day we even wrote a note requesting the song and left it on his car! Sadly, I still haven't heard him tackle that number, but Kasim's take on it was very good.

Also worth noting was impressive sitar work by John Merjave during "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and nice lead vocals by Eric Troyer on "My Michelle". In addition to having someone who provided backing vocals on John Lennon's "Double Fantasy" album (Eric Troyer), Burtnik pointed out how Bob Burger performed with Paul McCartney during a party a few years back.

"Unfortunately, Paul couldn't be with us tonight," said Burtnik.

After a short intermission, the band returned to close things out with the "Let It Be" album. Kicking off with a spectacular version of "On Our Way Home" sung by Burtnik and Burger, they followed with one of the most magical moments of the night – a beautiful version of "Dig A Pony" in which John Lennon was singing along with Bob Burger simultaneously as the "Let It Be" video played on the screen behind the band. If the band ever wanted to prove they were hitting everything note for note, this was the proof. The few moments when this took place gave me chills and was an image I'll never forget.
You could just sense the momentum building when a Steinway grand piano was wheeled out for Burtnik. There was no way the final numbers were going to be played on a keyboard! As the band closed out the night, at least 15 backup singers, various horn players, and violinists were brought on to the stage. Of the backup singers I could see, I noticed Jo Wymer, Lisa Bouchelle, Joanna Burns, Jerzy Jung, and I believe a pair of Glen's daughters.

The ultimate highlight for me was the title track, "Let It Be". Glen sat at the piano, minus the beard as I remember him in a photo from Beatlemania that used to reside at the Asbury Park Rock ‘N Roll Museum. He led the way through one of the best songs ever written, in my opinion. When "Let It Be" hits that instrumental bridge towards the end, I honestly don't know if there's anything better.

I've been fortunate enough to see all four of Glen's Beatles shows and each time there's one particular song that blows me away live that never really interested me before. Tonight it was "I've Got a Feeling". Sung by Glen, this song seemed to be a perfect match for him and sounded much better live than I would have imagined.

One of my favorite things about the "Let It Be" album is the song "One after 909". For some reason, I've always loved how the song was one of the first ever written by The Beatles but never released until what would ultimately be the band's final album. I think I still have an old bootleg record by The Quarryman showcasing an early version of the song. I've always believed that the inclusion of this song was a great tribute to the band's early years and a rock and roll spirit which stayed true till the end.

Glen returned to the Steinway for "The Long and Winding Road". With the stage completely full of musicians and singers, it reminded me of when Glen and his friends tackled "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". At one point during the night, Glen pointed out that they would be using about 30 musicians to recreate the music of the Fab Four and he was right. It's amazing when you think of it.

You could feel the energy from the audience as we came to "Get Back", the final number on the album. The crowd was clapping, stomping, dancing, and singing along as Glen grabbed the microphone and strutted across the stage. At times, he even lied down on the piano, showing the effects of a long night. Towards the very end of the song, Glen even missed his cue! If you looked closely you saw Glen smiling and laughing briefly, perhaps even expressing a little relief. I'd say that was acceptable considering the band had done everything perfect up until that point.

Apparently three complete Beatles albums weren't enough for the crowd as the band was brought back for an encore. "We only have time for one more because frankly we're all a little tired of playing The Beatles at this point!" said Burtnik before settling down at the Steinway again for a fitting cover of "Hey Jude". As the song neared it finish, dozens of people started pouring on stage. Men, women, and even children danced around and shared microphones with the band. It was a Hollywood ending to a magical night.

Glen's Beatles Bashes combine history lessons and music appreciation with a simply incredible rock and roll experience. They show how the music of The Beatles remains timeless. Tonight's audience ranged from those old enough to have seen The Beatles live at Shea Stadium to kids younger than my Beatles CDs. To see the members of the audience up on stage, relishing in the sounds of albums released more than 40 years ago, was a wonderful image. For some reason, I left the theatre humming a song not released by the Beatles -- "Rock and roll is here to stay, it will never die." Those words never seemed more appropriate to me than tonight...

The Sun Doesn't Always Shine In Asbury Park

(ASBURY PARK, NJ -- SEPTEMBER 5, 2010) -- As the summer came to a close, more than twenty musicians performed during the afternoon on stages set upon the Asbury Park boardwalk. These artists were loosely part of the Paramount Sessions, a night deemed a celebration of the Asbury Park music scene that featured three artists at the Paramount Theatre followed by an after-party at The Stone Pony. I use the term loosely because none of the twenty-odd musicians were listed on the show posters nor in the press release; in fact, they were not even listed in the information provided on the show's Facebook page. In essence, while 900 people packed the Paramount that night, the artists performing during the day were on their own when it came to promotion and, sadly, many wound up performing largely in front of empty chairs and a dozen folks or so.

Now, I applaud the Paramount Sessions for what it attempted to do and congratulate them for what they achieved at night, which was an overwhelming success; however, I think it was wrong to treat the early performers in this fashion. They should have been part of the original promotion as well. Some performers were told there just wasn't enough space on the posters to list everyone and while that could be true, couldn't they have made a little room? Maybe made a second poster to promote the afternoon? Or squeezed them into the press release? At the very least, couldn't they have been listed on the event's Facebook page where one would think space would not be an issue?

I can't even begin to describe the feelings that some artists shared with me after their performances. They were all very happy to have been able to perform, but many were left disappointed overall. Some felt betrayed, even felt used, as if they were asked to work solely to ensure a good turnout for the show at the Paramount. Others were flat out pissed.

The artists that performed will most likely never speak out publicly and for good reason. As for myself, I've been burned and banished by the Asbury Park music scene so many times what's one more scar? I know what it's like to be left alone with nobody standing up for you and since several of the early performers are among the few people in the local music community I truly call my friends, I'll stand up for them here.

The performers on Sunday, September 5, 2010 were as follows:

1st Avenue Green Space
Jo Wymer, Tommy Strazza, George Wirth, Sheli Aarden, Keith Monacchio, Emily Grove, Anjelia & The Boy, Captain James & The Pain, Colie Brice, The Obvious, Divine Sign, The Amboys, Matt Wade, Mike Askin

4th Avenue Green Space
Carl Chesna, Gerry Perlinski, Jon Caspi, Michael Brett, Christian Beach, Joe Miller, Joe Barcatta Band, Dale Lakata and Eden, Vextion, Tom Richards, and Lost In Society

I'll never understand what it is with promotion in Asbury Park, but the town and its artists are different than anywhere else. I've been heavily involved in arts & entertainment websites and magazines for nearly a decade now. In that time, it never fails to amaze me how few venues, artists, or event promoters in the Asbury Park area ever bother to send a press release. While it is possible that they haven't heard about us, that's a pretty weak argument. In fact, it's no argument at all because if you are an arthE orenue you shogld knnO every media outlet in your area. Ever hear of the Indie Music Bible? Musicians and venues from outside the area sure have. We get contacted by people in other states who saw our listngs inIAat puclication every single monuU 2C but I n't recall ever hearing from someone in the local area who found us there. My recommendation -- pick up books like that, they are incredible resources for you. Even a quick search on Google can help you find plenty of media outlets in the area that should know about your show or event.

Venues and event promoters generally say they don't have the staff or time to send out press releases, but a decent release takes less than 15 minutes to write and send out. And, for some reason, venues outside of the area always manage to send out releases. Maybe that's because they know that media attention helps to sell tickets. Maybe its because they also understand how the Internet works and how it helps drive ticket sales as well. Every press release or event listing put online is found by search engines. These search engines bring up the information based on keywords -- sometimes something as innocent as "boardwalk" can bring up a press release that's online and get someone interested in a show they had never heard about and most likely weren't even searching for.

Several artists were upset at the lack of promotion for the early shows at the Paramount Sessions, but overall I'd say the promotion was weak for the entire event. Many local websites told me they never received any press release or information about the show; those who did write about it largely grabbed information from the show's Facebook page. Similarly, several radio stations - online and FM stations - said they had to hunt for information as well. The funny thing is that virtually everyone in the area would have been glad to support an event like this. All the media asks is that they don't have to search for information. Running websites, radio stations, and magazines all are hard work. I know because I have done all three. More times than not these things are done as a labour of love - not for financial gain. If you depend on the media to find out information about a show you'll be disappointed more times than not because there simply isn't enough time.

Now, I'm not letting the artists off the hook either. While some of the artists did reach out to various media outlets, not nearly enough of them did. Promotion has to go both ways. Artists can't complain that the club/venue/event failed to bring a crowd for them if they failed to do adequate promotion on their end. In my opinion, posting event information on Facebook, Myspace, or in an email sent to an artist's mailing list should be part of their promotion, but it should, in no way, be all of the promotion. When you provide information to these places you're basically reaching people who already know you and may even know about the event already. True promotion reaches those who do not already know you, and may have simply stumbled upon the event. For example, let's say you are a musician who is on vacation somewhere for Labor Day weekend. Chances are you might pick up a newspaper or local entertainment magazine to see if anything was taking place, right?. Don't you think the Jersey Shore - an area with tens of thousands of tourists - is similar? People undoubtedly picked up newspapers and other local publications to see if there was anything of interest for them. How do you expect those publications to promote your event if they haven't been contacted?

Outside of the traditional print media comes local websites. Many people used to laugh when I said that Upstage Magazine had a larger audience than the Aquarian, but it was true. Our audience just happened to be 80% online. Now that the Aquarian is online, ask long-time writers if they've noticed a jump in their readership. I'm betting they have. Local websites have long had incredible numbers and loyal followings. Many of the local websites not only provide free advertising for events on a regular basis, but are glad to do so. You just have to reach out to them.

In many ways, these websites want to be part of the local music community, but they're usually on the outside looking in. The Asbury Park Music Community should include those in the local media, but I don't believe it does. I've been asked several times why I don't participate in the Asbury Rock Star Charity Softball Event. Other than timing issues, the main reason is because the event is meant to involve the local music community, which is something I do not believe I am part of.

Why not?

Well, for one reason, writers like me are never asked for feedback on ways to promote events such as The Paramount Sessions or the Wave Gathering. In fact, the original meeting invitation for The Paramount Sessions sought "Asbury Park Musicians, Bands, Singers & Songwriters" to provide input on setting up the event. It really shouldn't surprise me that nobody considered talking to the media because that's par for the course in Asbury Park. Even though members of the media cover lots of events and festivals in different areas and could easily offer plenty of tips, nobody ever bothers to ask us to share our knowledge or experiences.

And I know it's not just me saying this because I heard the same thing from a half dozen people I contacted for this article.

Advanced press coverage and media promotion of events such as The Paramount Sessions should be a given, but it's not when the media isn't contacted. Unless you have a plan in place, you'll wind up getting very excited when you see any press coverage at all. For example, some people involved in The Paramount Sessions were happy to see an article written in the Asbury Park Press about the artists performing on the boardwalk. While press is generally a good thing, a close look at the article actually showed it wasn't nearly as flattering of a piece as they would have liked. The article basically pointed out that several artists were playing to empty chairs and people walking down the boardwalk were often seen turning their head to see what the music was all about.

In other words, they were on the boardwalk and either didn't know something special was going on or hadn't heard about it beforehand.

Banners along the boardwalk promoting the day would have been nice. Putting a list of performers and their times in front of the stage on a sandwich board would have been nice as well - something that would have let people know that music was taking place all day long. You could even have had people walk up and down the boardwalk handing out flyers or program guides or mentioning the event on a bullhorn. Oh to dream! The key is to make sure people know something special was taking place.

Unfortunately, the idea that this was something special was also lost during the day. A jazz band, who was not part of the Paramount Sessions, performed elsewhere on the boardwalk; DJs blasted music at several restaurants including one extremely close to the 1st Avenue Green Space; and, perhaps worst of all, the Beach Bar located outside the Paramount Theatre actually had a duo performing covers throughout the afternoon. I say worst of all because the Beach Bar would have been a tremendous location to have original acts perform. It's a great place that has a built-in crowd already and is right next to where the big night-time show was taking place; yet, the bar helped treat the day as if it was just another summer day by featuring a covers duo.

I'm not suggesting that all of the artists should have been given the opportunity to perform in the Paramount Theatre, I'm just saying they should have been promoted as well. If the afternoon was truly part of The Paramount Sessions, why was it treated as if it existed on its own? But, as I said before, the blame has to rest on both sides.

I wish I knew why musicians from outside the area treat Asbury Park differently than those from the area. They seem hungrier for media attention and work harder. Are local musicians lazy? Do they just not understand how the media works? Or do they simply fail to see its potential? As someone in the local media, I think I speak for everyone when I say we want everyone to succeed. It's much better covering a scene that people care about than one that's dead. We're not out to get anybody.

I can already foresee people tattooing another Scarlet Letter on my chest because of this article, but it was not written to blast those involved in the Paramount Sessions. I think the Paramount Sessions should be called a success based on how the night turned out. I'm just hoping to provide some suggestions for improving the next go around. There are too many people willing to cover up mistakes and pretend things never happened around here. Shows like the Paramount Sessions are good ideas that can become better if people have an honest discussion of what worked and what didn't. Unfortunately, too many writers are afraid of ever saying anything that can be miscontrued as negative - even if it's only constructive criticism. We have people involved in the music scene just waiting to tear writers apart. I know because I've felt their wrath many times before. To me, it's the people who refuse to let the truth be spoken who are the biggest problems in the local scene, not the ones who try telling the truth.

More attention to how promotion and the media work would do wonders for this area. You do not need to spend a lot of money promoting shows if you put the time in to do the adequate steps of promotion. Yes, it's hard work but it's also part of your job. Whether you're a musician, promoter, or venue you need people to come to your shows. Why make it harder than it has to be?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Theater Project Presents Script-in-Hand Staged Reading of Two Plays by NJ Playwright’s Shane Mullery on September 25

(Cranford, NJ) -- The Theater Project, Union County College's Professional Theater Company, will perform a script-in-hand staged reading of two plays by New Jersey playwright Shane Mullery on Saturday, September 25 at 3pm. The production will be followed by a lively discussion with the playwright, director, actors and audience.

The performance will take place in the Roy Smith Theater at the Cranford campus of Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue. Admission is free.

The opening piece titled "Lucinda's Color" is a comedy that centers around a woman who learns of a long-held secret moments before planning her mother's funeral. The second piece is "#4 Three Gables Run" and is a dramatic one-act play about a late night encounter between a young man out walking and the eccentric owner of an exquisite that proves fatal.

Reservations are not required. For more information, contact The Theater Project at (908) 659-5189 or by email at

Hundreds Pack Paramount & Stone Pony As Locals Take Center Stage

(ASBURY PARK, NJ – SEPTEMBER 5, 2010) –There may not have been a music festival in Asbury Park this summer, but the local music scene was still able to make waves. Over 900 people packed the Paramount Theatre on September 5th to close out the summer with a free show featuring a trio of local acts (Jerzy Jung, Outside The Box, and Rick Barry) and several guest stars hosted by John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian. Afterwards, most of the crowd headed over to The Stone Pony for another free show, this time featuring The Sunday Blues. By all accounts, the night called The Paramount Sessions, was a smashing success.

"I thought the whole day was great," said Keith Monacchio. "It was great weather, everyone was in good spirits, and the music was good all day. The night was surprising, to be honest. I don't think anyone thought 900 plus people would show up, but they did, and they seemed to really enjoy the show."

For years, local musicians have pushed for the opportunity to get the choice opening slots on major shows. Thanks to Madison Marquette, that dream came true; local artists not only had their shot on the big stage, but they made the most of it. Nine hundred people is an impressive show of the local scene's pull. More importantly, word is that Madison Marquette is interested in setting up three of these Paramount Sessions per year.

"The Paramount stage is really exciting," said Jeff Cafone of Outside The Box. "It was our third time playing there (Light of Day 2010 and Arlan's ‘Asbury Rocks For A Cancer Cure' with James Otto) and the theatre sounds and feels amazing. The Paramount Sessions was something new and exciting for Asbury Park and the music community. I think the turnout surprised and surpassed expectations, making for a great night."

The after party at The Stone Pony reminded me of the old closing night parties of the Wave Gathering festivals that were held at the club. Everywhere you looked you saw musicians and music fans hanging out and having a great time. As with the closing parties for the Wave, the show by The Sunday Blues let the music flow and provided the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

"The after party was great," recalled Lindsey Miller of The Sunday Blues (and Divine Sign). "That was the 2nd time my band The Sunday Blues was able to play a ‘Musicians Party' at The Pony. I definitely think that if a band's audience is big enough they should be given headlining shows. The after party was different as it sort had a built in crowd, but it was an amazing night and day all together."

Prior to the show at The Paramount, over twenty acts played sets at two parts of the Asbury Park boardwalk from 11am to just before the Paramount doors opened for the night. Hundreds of people who didn't attend the night show saw and heard the artists while walking the boards or lying out on the beach. Artists ranged from singer-songwriters to complete bands and included a diverse mix of the local music community.

According to Miller, the idea for The Paramount Sessions came early in 2010 when Gary Mottola of Madison Marquette said he thought it was time to begin showcasing Asbury Park's up-and-coming talent at the"Town Jewel" – the Paramount Theater. The original intention was to showcase all of the amazing talent in the area to the tourists and the boardwalk crowd. A group began planning the event and held a meeting at the venue in which roughly 150 artists attended to show their interest and to provide their ideas and feedback as well.

"Without that meeting, and the artists themselves, I do not think this event would have been as successful as it was," added Miller.

As someone who has been a fan of The Wave Gathering festival since the beginning, I was disappointed when I learned that there wouldn't be a festival this year. Thankfully, the Paramount Sessions not only provided some of that same magic but helped the local music scene take yet another step forward.

"I think the Paramount Sessions was the perfect way to end the summer of 2010! It was absolutely successful," said Sheli Aarden. "We did exactly what we set out to do. We had a goal to create a celebration of the Asbury Park Music Scene by the Asbury Park Music Scene. I think we achieved that goal."

Cape May Stage Presents Pulitzer Prize Winner Topdog/Underdog

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier professional Equity theatre, is thrilled to announce a production of a modern classic: Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog. Directed by Cape May Stage favorite James Reynolds – Co-Artistic Director of the Fremont (CA) Centre Theatre and star of Days of Our Lives – and starring Stephen Rider and Jed Reynolds, Topdog/Underdog opens September 30th at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is a modern fable concerning two African American brothers, set in the here and now. Named Lincoln and Booth by their drunkard of a father as "his idea of a joke", their childhood was spent abandoned by their parents, eventually learning to depend on each other for sustenance and survival. Now in their thirties, the two are still searching for ways to bring themselves out of poverty, with varying degrees of legality and success. Link, a reformed gambler, is making a living by donning whiteface and top hat, impersonating his namesake (Lincoln) in an arcade and allowing customers to assassinate him several times an evening. Booth, however, is attempting to follow in his brother's footsteps as a Three-card Monte hustler – insisting throughout the play that his brother call him by his newly-coined nickname "3-Card" – and attempting to augment his living as a petty thief. As the title suggests, the two are in constant competition with one another, with each brother victorious in his turn – in the areas where one brother is successful, the other loses – their roles continuously reversed throughout the play. Imbued with a strouW sense of history – both personal and national – Parks crafts a fascinating drama rife with trials and triumphs, brotherly bonds and betrayals, and, ultimately, rivalry and resentment.

Topdog/Underdog received its premiere at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival on July 26, 2001. Directed by George C Wolfe, the production starred Jeffery Wright and Don Cheadle. The production moved uptown to the Ambassador Theatre for an April 4, 2002 opening. In the Broadway production, Cheadle was replaced by Mos Def. This production comes to Cape May after a critically acclaimed run at the Fremont Centre TheatK.

Topdog/Underdog is a raw, gritty work, presenting a truthful glimpse of life outside Victorian Cape May. As such, this production represents a bold choice for Cape May Stage, one aimed at exposing the theatergoing community to the validity of differing viewpoints celebrated by today's modern theatre. "Producing an African American woman's play is part of the mission of Cape May Stage," notes Artistic Director Roy Steinberg. "Variety says, 'the gritty lyricism of Parks' writing are unlike anything on a Broadway Stage'. Topdog/Underdog is poetry" he adds. Theatergoers are to be warned that the production contains extremely strong language and adt themes. A Pulitzer Prize winning play, Topdog/Underdog is part of Cape May Stage's commitment to providing the highest caliber of theatre to the community.

About the Cast

Stephen Rider (Booth) originally from Wilmington, DE & a graduate of William Penn HS, Stephen has a BA from Morehouse College & an MFA in acting from UCLA with a certificate in acting from the British American Drama Academy. Stephen can be seen in The Great Debaters, directed by Denzel Washington. Theatre credits include: The world premier of Kindred (Ivar Theatre), Choice, Hambone, Activist Project, Three Sisters, True Love, Elements of Society. Stephen attributes all of his success to his mother & grandmother.

Jed Reynolds (Lincoln) is a Los Angeles native. Professionally, he has been blessed to have performed at the Fremont Centre Theatre, including Ravensridge and National Pastimes where he helped originate the role of Jackie Robinson. He also was in the Native Voices original production of Stoneheart, which was fortunate enough to travel to San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. This past summer, Jed was in Chicago performing in another original piece, Without a Parachute. He has also worked in children's theater with Parson's Nose. Jed studied under Stephen Book, as well as in the BFA program at UC Santa Barbara. His film credits include M.O.G. and numerous appearances on Days of Our Lives. Outside of the acting profession, Jed has been most proud to give back to his high school Alma Mater. He coached the boys' basketball team at South Pasadena High School for five years and became instrumental in helping to raise thousands of dollars for the team through the annual Celebrity Basketball game. Hopefully success on the stage can lead to more success helping others.

Show Information

Topdog/Underdog opens Thursday, September 30, 2010, at 8:00 pm with a half-price preview performance scheduled for September 29 at 8:00 pm, at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May. Performances thereafter are Wednesday through Sunday through October 23 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors, and $12.50 students. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website,

During the current run Cape May Stage is participating with eight Cape May gourmet restaurants in a money-saving "Dinner & A Show" package promotion - a special night out. Restaurants involved in the promotion include 410 Bank Street, The Blue Pig Tavern, Harry's Bar & Grille at the Montreal Inn, The Ebbitt Room, Frescos, La Verandah at the Hotel Alcott, The Mad Batter, and The Washington Inn. Call the individual restaurants for reservations and information.

Topdog/Underdog is presented through the gracious support of the Dog Friendly Billmae Cottage, Carney's, and by Fairthorne Bed & Breakfast. This season's sponsors include 410 Bank Street/Frescos, Exit Zero, The Washington Inn, Cape May Winery, and Lucky Bones.

Photo credit: Dove Huntley
Pictured: Stephen Rider and Jed Reynolds in "Topdog/Underdog"

ReVision’s Rocky Horror Show promises to Thrill, Chill, and Fulfill!

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- After an electrifying summer with sold out and critically acclaimed shows like The Who's Tommy and The World Premiere of The Bikinis, Revision Theatre is back at The Carousel House and prepared to close its 2010 season with a huge bang with rock musical and cult favorite The Rocky Horror Show.

"We realize that ReVision Theatre audiences have grown to expect the highest quality productions from us, and there should be no exception for our upcoming Rocky Horror Show. We continue to follow our mission of making every effort to surprise and hopefully surpass our audience expectations of both creative and quality theatre here is Asbury Park", says David Leidholdt, one of the Producing Artistic Directors.

The Rocky Horror Show follows squeaky-clean sweethearts Brad and Janet on an adventure they'll never forget, with the scandalous Frank'n'Furter, rippling Rocky and vivacious Magenta. Get ready for a nightof fun, frolics and frivolity at ReVision Theatre's production of Richard O'Brien's classic and beyond thrilling rock musical. Bursting at the seams with timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, ReVision Theatre's Rocky Horror Show is set to be a non-stop party!

Producing Associate/Casting Director Alecia Brooks states, "Our Rocky cast is amazing and this show is meant to be a wild ride from beginning to end! Audiences will definitely leave telling their friends and wanting more".

Celebrate the Halloween mania in Asbury Park beginning October 28 through November 7. Performances are Thursday through Sunday at The Carousel House on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. There are a few show dates with multiple performances including Saturday October 30, on Halloween Eve, when there will be three performances beginning at 2 pm, 8 pm and ending with a Midnight show! Please call 732-455-3059 or visit the website for all available show times.

ReVision's Rocky Horror Show is directed by Thomas Morrissey, with Musical Direction by Michael Thomas Murray and choreography by Katie Nanni.

In accordance with the madness also be on the look-out for thousands of zombies taking over the streets for the annual Zombie Walk, and don't be surprised when some of these un-dead show you to your seat at the show! For more information on the zombies, please visit

Rocky Horror Show Tickets $15-$50. To order tickets or for more information call 732-455-3059 or order on-line at For guaranteed best seating order in advance.

ReVision Theatre is a professional regional theatre company dedicated to producing invigorating theatre with a fresh new perspective reaching the diverse community of Asbury Park and beyond. ReVision Theatre produces reinventions of previously produced classics, overlooked or forgotten work in a new way, and new work with a fresh voice. ReVision Theatre produces readings, workshops, cabarets, concerts, and mainstage productions. ReVision Theatre is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garden State Rollergirls Host Double Header On September 25

(WALLINGTON, NJ)-- The Garden State Rollergirls (GSR) will host a roller derby double header in Wallington, NJ on Saturday, September 25th featuring the two GSR's teams. The Ironbound Maidens will battle the CN Power from Toronto and the Brick City Bruisers take on the Petticoat Punishers from Central Massachusetts. It is sure to be an exciting, action packed night of roller derby, so don't miss it!

The Garden State Rollergirls LLC is a skater-owned and operated roller derby organization, with members hailing from all over northern New Jersey and the NYC metro area. GSR was established in spring 2006 to bring the classic sport of roller derby to New Jersey in a new action-packed form. The league skated its first three seasons at Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark, NJ before moving to Inline Skating Club of America in Wallington, NJ.

Roller derby involves two teams of four blockers skating round an elliptical track, while a point scorer from each team ("the jammer") tries to fight their way through, gaining a point for each opposing player they pass. Trips, grabs, elbows, and fighting are all illegal – but spine-crunching shoulder barges, hip checks and booty blocks are legit. For more information on the league and the sport of roller derby visit us at

Garden State Rollergirls is currently the only team in New Jersey to have full membership in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). For more information on WFTDA, please visit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Colie Brice Releases 15th Solo Album

(Asbury Park, NJ) - AERIA Recording Artist Colie Brice releases 15th solo album entitled Rock & Roll Tiger featuring aggressive arena rock, nostalgic Jersey Shore Sounds, and gut bucket blues.

Colie Brice states, "Another eclectic offering from yours truly.. More slightly strange rock music with a sauntering Jersey Shore aroma.. Some extremely grandiose, melodramatic hyperbole mingling with some soft quiet moments of introspection, mellow jazz explorations, and plenty of southpaw blues..."

Track listing Includes:
1. Sunday Morning Blues 3:24
2. Rock & Roll Tiger 2:44
3. Can't Escape 2:53
4. Walk Away 3:22
5. Sher Shan Suri 4:16
6. Summer's In Season 3:30
7. 父親是在中國 4:47
8. 811 5:02
9. I Don't Want To Fight 5:50
10. Searching 3:50
11. Give Love 2:02
12. Chiots à Jouer 2:14
13. I'm So Tired 3:45
14. Happy Birthday J.A.M. 1:14
15. New Beginnings 4:11
16. Can You Hear Me? 3:49
17. Anyway You Want It (live 4/9/10) 5:51
18. I'm Still Waiting 3:34
19. Had Enough 2:08
20. The King of Kings Hath Been Born (Christmas 2009)

**SPECIAL APPEARANCE** Friday 9/24/10 at Sand Witch on the Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk

Please visit: or for additional information.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Paper Mill Playhouse Presents Hairspray

(Millburn, NJ) -- Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to announce casting for Hairspray. Directed by Matt Lenz, with choreography by Michele Lynch, Hairspray will run at the Millburn theatre from September 22 through October 24, 2010. Family Week is September 22 through September 26 and during this period children's tickets are half off the regular price (certain restrictions apply). Hairspray is proudly sponsored by American Airlines, the official airline of Paper Mill Playhouse.

Hairspray will play the following performance schedule: Wednesdays at 7:00PM, Thursdays at 1:30PM & 7:00PM, Fridays at 7:00PM, Saturdays at 1:30PM & 7:00PM and Sundays at 1:30PM & 7:00PM. (Extended week has an alternate schedule. Check Paper Mill Playhouse's website for more information on the extension.) Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25 to $92. Student rush tickets are $25 and are available the day of performance in person with current student ID. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Paper Mill Playhouse's brand new website: Paper Mill Playhouse gift cards, available in any denomination, can be purchased at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted. Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 25% discount or more on tickets and should call 973-379-3636, extension 2438.

Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Hairspray launches Paper Mill Playhouse's 2010-2011 season, aerosol-style. You'll tap your feet to the beat as Tracy Turnblad and friends triumph over high school bullies, racism and enemies everywhere of big girls with big hair. Music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, viewers young and old will be shimmying in their seats as they enjoy hit favorites such as "I Can Hear The Bells," and "You Can't Stop The Beat." It's hair-hopping family fun in dazzling color and style.

Hairspray brings a brilliant cast to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. The Turnblad Family includes: Christine Danelson (Tracy Turnblad) returns to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage, where she first performed as part of its Summer Conservatory in the annual New Voices Concert. She performed in the first national tour of Hairspray (Standby Tracy). She also appeared in off-Broadway's Cloaked, and in West Side Story and South Pacific at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Lee Roy Reams (Wilbur Turnblad) has numerous Broadway productions to his credit including: The Producers; 42nd Street; Beauty and The Beast; La Cage Aux Folles; Hello, Dolly!; An Evening with Jerry Herman; Applause; Lorelei; Oklahoma! & Sweet Charity. Paper Mill Playhouse appearances include: La Cage Aux Folles; Show Boat (PBS); No, No, Nanette; Victor/Victoria; 42nd Street (Director) and Anything Goes (Director). Christopher Sieber, (Edna Turnblad) a two-time, Tony nominated actor (Shrek and Spamalot), made his Broadway debut as Agis in the musical Triumph of Love. Following this role, he appeared as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Billy Flynn in Chicago.

Other principals include: Arielle Campbell (Little Inez) played the Romanian and Monaco Princesses in the international tour of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. West End Credits include: Dirty Dancing and Shirley in Saturday Night Fever. Alex Ellis (Penny) last performed as Penny in Hairspray at the Cape Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse and Maine State Music Theater. National tours include: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), and Legally Blonde (Margot, Kate/Chutney). Donna English (Velma Von Tussle), a Paper Mill Playhouse veteran, was last seen on the Millburn Stage as Ms. Darbus in Disney High School Musical. Ms. English also performed in Broadway's Lend Me a Tenor. Kasey Marino (Corny Collins) performed on Broadway as Brad in Hairspray. Kasey was also featured in Paper Mill Playhouse's productions of Godspell and Ragtime. Kevin Meaney (Male Authority Figure) appeared on Broadway in Hairspray. His televison credits include: Dr. Katz, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Garfield and Friends, Rocko's Modern Life, London Underground, and Duckman. Kathleen Monteleone (Amber) most recently preformed as Elle in the National Tour of Legally Blonde the Musical. Other theatre credits include: Vixen in Angels-The Strand Theatre, Shreveport and Pam in Urban Cowboy - Gateway Playhouse. Susan Mosher (Female Authority Figure) also played Female Authority Figure in the Broadway and Vegas runs of Hairspray. She has appeared on television in The L Word, Without a Trace, View From Top, and Cashino. Constantine Rousouli, (Link) a Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Conservatory Alumnus, returns to Paper Mill Playhouse following his Broadway debut as Link in Hairspray. Caliaf St. Aubyn (Seaweed) played Levee in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. NaTasha Yvette Williams (Motormouth Mabel) appeared on Broadway in the role of Sofia in The Color Purple and at Paper Mill Playhouse in Ain't Misbehavin'.

Rounding out the Hairspray cast are: Callan Bergmann, Iris Burrus, Brittany Conigatti, Willie Dee, Shelese Franklin, Deidre Haren, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Anthony Johnson, Kyshawn K. Lane, Christopher Messina, Nicole Powell, Alex Rolecek, Rashidra Scott, Dani Spieler, Beth Cheryl Tarnow, Laurie Veldheer, and Jake Wilson.

"We are thrilled to welcome back to the Paper Mill Playhouse Stage two former Summer Musical Theater Conservatory students who have had great success on and off Broadway," says Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee. "Christine Danelson (Tracy) and Constantine Rousouli (Link) are now professional actors returning to the theater that nutured their talent. This is personally endearing to me and a testament to the world class arts education programs at Paper Mill Playhouse."

Hairspray will be directed by Matt Lenz (original Broadway Direction by Jack O'Brien). Mr. Lenz was the Associate Director for Hairspray on Broadway, Las Vegas and Toronto. Other directing credits include: Wicked's 5th Anniversary Celebration at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway, Saint Heaven, a world premiere musical at The Stamford Center for the Arts, Hairspray in South Africa, The Irish Curse by Martin Casella for the NY International Fringe Festival, South Pacific at Casa Mañana and North Carolina Theater, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast at The MUNY in St Louis. Michele Lynch joins the production as Choreographer (Original Broadway Choreography by Jerry Mitchell). Ms. Lynch returns to Paper Mill Playhouse where she choreographed Little House on the Prairie, featuring Melissa Gilbert and Happy Days: The Musical. Her Broadway credits include: Everyday Rapture and The Coast of Utopia. She served as the Associate Choreographer to Jerry Mitchell for Broadway's The Full Monty.

Michael Allen will serve as Set Coordinator. Costume Coordinator is Brian Hemesath. Lighting Design is by Paul Miller. Sound Design is by Randy Hansen. Mark Adam Rampmeyer is the Hair and Wig designer. Tom Helm will serve as Music Supervisor. Production Stage Manager is Thomas J. Gates.

In conjunction with Hairspray, Paper Mill Playhouse is proud to announce a series of free audience enrichment activities including: The Director's Viewpoint, September 22nd at 6pm, Conversation Club, every Thursday evening at 6pm and Q & A With the Cast on October 16th following the matinee. Visit for more details on Paper Mill Playhouse's Free Audience Enrichment Activities.

Celebrate the opening of the 2010-2011 season at The Hairspray Blowout Bash held in Taylor Park and Main Street in Downtown Millburn on Sunday, September 19th from 1:00pm until 5:00pm. This is a free, fun-filled event for the entire family featuring; games, rides, contests, music and more.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.