New Jersey Stage

Thursday, March 31, 2011

George Street Playhouse EXTENDS RUN of HIT COMEDY Ken Ludwig's The Fox on the Fairway

(New Brunswick, NJ) -– George Street Playhouse is thrilled to announce they have extended the run of their hit comedy Ken Ludwig's The Fox on the Fairway.  Acclaimed by both audiences and critics alike, the New Brunswick Playhouse has added the following performances:  Thursday, April 21 at 8pm, Friday, April 22 at 8pm and Saturday, April 23 at 2 pm and 8pm.

In his review for The Star-Ledger, Peter Filichia called it "phenomenally funny" and writes:  "…fans of slamming doors and double entendres had best run to the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick as fast as, well, a fox on the fairway.  Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo had one run on Broadway and his Lend Me a Tenor enjoyed two.  This one deserves a chance in New York because it's the best of the three."  Rick Busciglio in examiner.com said:  "three words describe The Fox on the Fairway – hilarious, hilarious and hilarious."  Bob Brown in the Princeton Packet described it as "…simply sheer fun and more laugh-out-loud moments than you can shake a nine-iron at."

Tickets for Ken Ludwig's The Fox on the Fairway may be purchased by calling the George Street Playhouse Box Office at 732-246-7717 or by visiting the Playhouse website:  http://www.gsponline.org/.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district.

Sex and water hazards collide in this madcap adventure about love and golf.  With a ridiculous personal wager at stake, two arch-rival country club execs go head-to-head over their annual golf tournament.   Hopes are dashed and domestic happiness threatened when the star player switches sides at the last minute --  until a hilarious chain of events leads to missing valuables retrieved, secret liaisons revealed and an unlikely golfer recruited.  The production, directed by George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint, features farceurs Reggie Gowland, Amy Hohn, Michael Mastro, Lisa McCormick, Peter Scolari and Mary Testa. 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theater, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists.  Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.  In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 70,000 students annually.   George Street Playhouse programming is 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 its lead season sponsor Johnson & Johnson.  Continental Airlines is the official airline of George Street Playhouse.
 

Inside Abbie Gardner's New CD, "Hope"

By Scott Wolman

Abbie Gardner has followed up her brilliant "Honey On My Grave" CD with another fine piece of artistry called, simply, "Hope."  The Red Molly member continues a long tradition of diversity in her music, with ample displays of blues, jazz, country, and pop/rock.

Gardner opens with "Break It Slow," which does nothing of the kind.  Her skill on the dobro comes quickly to the fore in this rollicking, bluesy beginning.  But this track is merely setting a mood that is prevalent throughout the eleven songs on this CD.  And that is what I believe defines "Hope's" essence; it is a mood.  Each song is unique, but they all blend together to create a feeling that the listener is sitting in a dark and smoky bar, with drink in hand, leaning back, and taking in musicianship extraordinaire.

Gardner brings vocals to the table that are at once sweet and soft, while also feeling edgy and sly.  Her voice gives the impression of a wink and a knowing, furtive smile.  The dobro only enhances that sensation with its alluring pull of playful, soulful, street-wise touch.  Add in the smooth base of Craig Akin, slick piano of father Herb Gardner and the unassuming organ of sister Sarah Gardner (Can everyone in this family play at a high level!?), and the atmosphere of the downtown Chicago or New York bar/nightclub flourishes all the more.  This is a tight group of musicians, also including Ben Wittman on drums and Emily Hope Price on cello, playing together as if one.  The backing vocals of fellow Molly, Laurie MacAllister, along with Robbie Hecht and Fred Gillen, Jr. are also placed brilliantly and seamlessly throughout the tracks.

"Comes Love" is the ultimate seedy-tavern song, with Herb Gardner's ivory keys dancing about throughout the track.  His lively playing joins hands with Abbie's bouncy and smiling, "It's You," later on.

Abbie Gardner is also a gifted songwriter, and this has rarely been more clearly on display than in the title track, "Hope."  She sings:  "Got no cause to believe, but my hope just won't leave."  This, with the vibe her dobro transmits, and the musical accompaniment enhancing all the songs, is really what Gardner is most attempting to convey here.  We should never lose faith, even in the worst moments, and Gardner has to "give up.  I give in;" she won't fight the reality any longer that she is a sucker for the promise that we tell  ourselves; that in the bleakest moments, there is … hope.

Gardner also cannot resist other elements that define her.  In "Bang Bang," she is mischievous, devious, conflicted, and unsure.  "I could aim for her or aim for him," or she could do herself in or walk away.  Bang bang takes on multiple meanings and possibilities here and one can only guess who gets banged, or not, in the end.

When taken as one, "Hope" always comes back to mood.  The bar is filled with ominous-looking folk, there is a lot of something going on just beneath the surface or in the shadows and no one really knows what will happen next.  However, through it all, there is a sense of possibility and insinuation that makes us wish to stay and see where it all goes.

Abbie Gardner gives us "Hope:" listen, feel, love and, most of all, hope.

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Scott Wolman is a Monmouth County resident, poet and music lover. He writes on topics social, political, musical, and anything else that strikes him.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rick Barry's "A Night In Progress" Returns On April 20

(Asbury Park, NJ) – The series began as a dare for songwriter Rick Barry to come up with new material, but wound up leading to songs on recent records by April Smith, Val Emmich, Allie Moss, and others.  In fact, even the veteran songwriter Glen Burtnik thanks Rick and his show for lighting a fire in him.  Burtnik, along with James Wells (from the Gay Blades), Allie Moss, and Amanda Duncan will perform in the special return of Rick Barry's "A Night In Progress" on Wednesday, April 20th at The Saint in Asbury Park.

Billed as a special one night return, it will be the first time the show has taken place in over a year.  During the two years this monthly series ran, it challenged artists to perform sets of all new material written specifically to be showcased at the event. In 2009 the series won the Asbury Music Award for "Best thing to Happen".

The show will feature sets of all new material from each of the artists as well as the host, Rick Barry.

There will be a limited ammount of tickets available for this intimate, listening room event.  As with preview "A Nigh In Progress" shows, the show is a zero tolerance, no talking show. Attendees who talk during the artist's performances will be asked to leave without refund.

DREAMCATCHER'S MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER: IMPROV COMEDY ON APRIL 9!

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- DREAMCATCHER REPERTORY THEATRE, professional Theatre in Residence at the Baird Center in South Orange, nears the end of its sixteenth season with its improvisational comedy troupe, MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER, on Saturday, April 9.  This unpredictable evening is packed with laughs from start to finish, and affordable and appropriate for the whole family.

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER features a cast of Dreamcatcher regulars, including Clark Carmichael, Harry Patrick Christian, Laura Ekstrand, Noreen Farley, Dave Maulbeck, and Jessica O'Hara-Baker.  The troupe is directed by Maulbeck, who is now appearing at the Magnet Theatre in New York with a variety of improv and sketch comedy groups.  The show includes improvisational comedy sketches that use audience suggestions to shape the scenes that the actors instantly create onstage.  Performers use ingredients such as everyday objects, strange maladies, and unusual circumstances to cook up unconventional mini-plays that appear and disappear in a matter of minutes.  At the troupe's previous performances, sketches have taken place at an emotionally volatile Starbucks, on a beach in Tahiti, and on an episode of The Dating Game, where the contestants are particularly peculiar.



MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER will appear (and disappear!) at Dreamcatcher on Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $13.00 when purchased in advance, and $15.00 at the door.  To purchase tickets in advance, go to www.dreamcatcherrep.org or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.



The performance is at the Baird Center, located at 5 Mead Street in Meadowland Park, a few blocks from the center of downtown South Orange.  For information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079, 973-378-7754, ext. 2228, www.DreamcatcherRep.org.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey hosts Open House for Volunteers On April 28

(MADISON, NJ) —- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is seeking volunteers to assist with ushering, concessions, and the Theatre's gift shop during the 2011 Season which begins in June.  The Shakespeare Theatre will hold a Volunteer Open House on Thursday, April 28 at 6 p.m. at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue, in Madison.   Community members interested in volunteering are invited to attend this open house to find out more about The Shakespeare Theatre and volunteer opportunities, meet the professional management staff, mingle with veteran volunteers, and learn about the 2011 Season from Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte.  For more information, call 973-408-3694 or email harney@ShakespeareNJ.org.



In return for each performance a volunteer works, they receive a ticket voucher good for one admission throughout the season.   Performances are held Tuesday through Sunday evenings and Saturday and Sunday matinees beginning June 1 at The Theatre's Main Stage – the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison.  Volunteers are also needed for the Theatre's production on its Outdoor Stage – the Greek Theatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, running June 22 through July 31.  For a full schedule, more information, or to sign up to volunteer, contact Heather Arney at 973-408-3694 or harney@shakespearenj.org.   Information about The Shakespeare Theatre can be found online at ShakespeareNJ.org.

  

The 2011 Main Stage Season includes Moliere's comedy The Misanthrope (June 1 through June 26); William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (July 6 through July 24); Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo (August 3 through August 28); Othello by William Shakespeare (September 7 through October 2); To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; adapted by Christopher Sergel (October 12 – November 20); and A Christmas Carol, adapted by Neil Bartlett (December 1 – January 1).  



The Shakespeare Theatre will once again present Shakespeare under-the-stars at its Outdoor Stage – the Greek Theatre at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station.  William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will run June 22 through July 31.



For more information about volunteering, contact Heather Arney at 973-408-3694 or harney@shakespearenj.org.



The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from Routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.   The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described, captioned and sign-language interpreted.  Contact the theatre for more information.   For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.



The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

Monmouth County Arts Council to benefit from Two Rivers Food & Wine Tasting

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The non-profit Monmouth County Arts Council serving the Monmouth and Ocean County communities since 1971 has been selected as the beneficiary of the Red Bank Rotary's Eleventh Annual Two Rivers Food and Wine Tasting to be held on Monday, April 11 at Branches Catering in West Long Branch, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC, www.monmoutharts.org) celebrating 40 years of service is the official County Arts Agency. The MCAC works with artists, arts groups, municipalities, social service, community groups and the public to ensure that the arts are incorporated into all aspects of the community. MCAC's programs and the groups it supports serve over 745,000 people each year and support over 2,728 arts events in Monmouth County.

"For the past 10 years the Red Bank Rotary, through the Red Bank Rotary Foundation, has sponsored the Two Rivers Food & Wine Tasting, enabling us to donate over $225,000 to local charities," says Red Bank Rotary President Chuck Watson. "Past recipients include the Community YMCA, VNA of Central Jersey, Parker Family Health Center, Love INC, Jewish Children & Family Services, Collier Services, Holiday Express, HABcore, Lunch Break and the Affordable Housing Alliance."

The Monmouth County Arts Council will receive the entire net proceeds from the event. "We are honored that the Red Bank Rotary has selected the Monmouth County Arts Council as the beneficiary of this year's event," says Mary Eileen Fouratt, MCAC's Executive Director. "These funds will enable us to ensure that everyone in the county can participate in and enjoy low cost and free concerts, film festivals, plays, community art projects, and dance in their own backyard.  Especially in difficult economic times, the arts lift spirits, inspire creativity, contribute to the economy, and builds community. We are grateful to the Red Bank Rotary for recognizing the importance of the arts to our community, especially in our 40th anniversary year."

The Two Rivers Food and Wine Tasting event has grown to be a fun and prestigious networking event. Each year approximately 350 guests savor samplings from more than 25 of the area's best restaurants, food purveyors, and beer, wine, and spirits distributors. Reservations are $65 per person. For reservations please call 732-933-9111, e-mail DrSteveDC@live.com or visit www.redbankrotary.org.

New Jersey Rep Presents the World Premiere of Night Train by John Biguenet

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -– The New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, is proud to present the world premiere of "Night Train" by John Biguenet, April 28 thru May 29, 2011.

There is something mysterious about trains that has crept into our collective consciousness. Perhaps it is the idea of boarding a railroad car and then passively sitting back as it speeds down tracks that cross borders and are seemingly immune to barriers of terrain. Unfazed by day or night, snow or rain, up snow-peaked mountains, over lakes and tumbling rivers, through isolated forests, and meadows painted with flowers, rushing and clattering past the darkened windows of abandoned buildings, factories and tenements, and above deserted streets, providing a glimpse into the underbelly of foreboding and unfamiliar cities and towns. And then of course there are the anonymous passengers, wending their way to unknown destinations. Agatha Christie famously captured this atmosphere in her well-known mystery, "Murder On The Orient Express." She found the setting of trains constantly inviting for telling a good thriller as she placed her illustrious protagonists, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, on other trains as well in "The Mystery Of The Blue Train" and "4:50 From Paddington." Alfred Hitchcock capitalized on the story-telling possibilities of a train ride on the big screen when he adapted Patricia Highsmith's novel, "Strangers On A Train," and now New Jersey Rep perpetuates the genre by presenting the world-premiere of John Biguenet's comic-thriller, "Night Train."

Biguenet is a writer of varied talents who has gained prominence by publishing six books including "Oyster" and "The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories", released by Ecco/Harper Collins. He has received an O. Henry Award for short fiction and a Harper's Magazine Writing Award, and his poems, stories and essays have appeared in "The Best American Mystery Stories", "Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards", "The Best American Short Stories", "Best Music Writing", and various anthologies. As a guest columnist for the New York Times, Biguenet chronicled his return to his home in New Orleans after the catastrophic flooding and efforts to rebuild the city. As a writer for the stage, his play "Rising Water" has won many awards and has been widely produced. He is currently the Robert Hunter Distinguished University Professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.

"Night Train" begins with Alex, a well-dressed, well-heeled banker, played by Michael Irvin Pollard, riding the midnight train alone in his first-class compartment. His starting point and his destination are unclear but we know that he will arrive by morning, anxious to rejoin his young wife. Into his compartment barges Max, a gregarious stranger played by Philip Lynch, who claims that he is seeking refuge from a noisy second-class compartment nearby. Like the speeding train the play takes many twists and turns and when Max introduces Alex to the sultry and mysterious Marta played by Maria Silverman, we know that we have boarded a train where all our expectations will be derailed and where our final destination will remain shrouded by the drifting smoke of the locomotive until the final jarring stop.

State Theatre presents JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 8pm. Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and his band perform an intimate and unforgettable night of rock n' roll in an evening of all Led Zeppelin music. Tickets range from $30-68.

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience is a unique trifecta of an over-the-top rock concert featuring the unforgettable blues-rock music of Led Zeppelin, atmospheric video and light displays and the history that Bonham shares with the legendary rock n' roll band. The show features Jason Bonham on drums, Tony Catania on guitar and theremin, Stephen Leblanc on keyboards/pedal-steel guitars, Michael Devin on bass, and James Dylan on lead vocals.

The band performs 20 iconic Led Zeppelin songs encompassing the band's albums including their 1969 debut Led Zeppelin ("Your Time Is Gonna Come," "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," "Good Times Bad Times"), 1969's Led Zeppelin II ("Thank You," "Lemon Song" and "Moby Dick"); 1970's Led Zeppelin III ("Since I've Been Loving You" and "Celebration Day"); 1970's Led Zeppelin IV ("When The Levee Breaks," "Black Dog," and "Rock and Roll"); 1973's Houses Of The Holy ("The Ocean," "Over The Hills And Far Away"); 1975's Physical Graffiti ("Kashmir"), and many more Led Zeppelin favorites.

This concert, which thrilled audiences last year on an acclaimed and successful 38-city trek of North America, is back due to popular demand. The tour returns for a limited run, launching May 4. "I never imagined that the tour would have received the overwhelmingly positive reactions that it did," says Jason Bonham. "It's been beyond my wildest dreams to come out and represent my family, my father and the music of Led Zeppelin."

In his live review for RollingStone.com, David Fricke said "…Jason a keen student of Zeppelin concert bootlegs, revived and built on his father's live improvisations in ‘How many More Times' and the extended closing turbulence of ‘Dazed and Confused.' …In this show, he [Jason] gets to have Bonzo in the house every night—a reunion, at last, of father and son."

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm and at least one hour prior to curtain on performance dates. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517.

The State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people's lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre's programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Continental Airlines is the official airline of the State Theatre. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre.

Chester Theatre Group Holds Auditions For The Musical "Grey Gardens"

(CHESTER, NJ) -- The Chester Theatre Group will hold open auditions for the musical, GREY GARDENS on Sunday, April 17th at 2.00pm and Monday, April 18th at 7.00pm at The Black River Playhouse (corner of Grove St & Maple Ave in Chester, NJ).

Performances are planned for weekends in July, 2011 (Friday & Saturday evenings and 2 Sunday matinees).  Those interested in auditioning are asked to arrive in the first 30 minutes of the audition, and should bring music in an appropriate key (accompanist will be provided).  Each Auditioner will sing first and may be asked to stay and read from the script.  Call Backs (if needed) will be by appointment.   This CTG production will be co-directed by Jeffrey Fiorello and Mark Happel, with musical direction by Clifford Parish  and choreography by Billy Brisley.


Available Roles:

Edith Bouvier Beal (Act I) / 'Little' Edie Beal (Act II):  (Female: plays mid 40's - mid 50's).  Must be excellent actress and a singer with a large, flexible range (ability to sing both legit and belt). 

Edith Bouvier Beal 1970's (Act II):  (Female: plays 70's).  Must be an excellent actress and a singer with a strong belt style voice (and an ability to sing legit). 

'Little' Edie Beal (Act I) / Ensemble (Act II):  (Female: plays mid 20's).  Excellent singer, strong soprano mix. 

Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (Act I) / Jerry (Act II):  (Male: plays mid 20's).  Strong singer; lyric baritone. 

George Gould Strong (Act I) / Ensemble (Act II):  (Male: plays mid 30's - 40's).  Strong tenor voice; this character is accompanist of Edith Beal - piano skills are a plus, but NOT required. 

J.V. 'Major' Bouvier (Act I) / Norman Vincent Peale (Act II):  (Male: plays early - mid 70's).  Character Actor; baritone. 

Brooks Sr. (Act I) /Brooks Jr. (Act II):  (Male - African American: plays 30's). 

Jacqueline Bouvier:  (Female, 12-16 yrs old: plays 12 years old) Edith's niece; will become Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Lee Bouvier:  (Female, 10-14 yrs old: plays 9 years old) Edith's niece, a bit of a tom-boy; will become Lee Radziwell.


 GREY GARDENS is based (in part) on the Albert & David Maysels documentary concerning the relationship between Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' eccentric aunt and cousin.  The touching and heart felt musical explores the unconventional mother-daughter relationship between former socialite Edith Bouvier Beal and her adult daughter Little Edie "body beautiful" Beal.  GREY GARDENS tells an entertaining and poignant story of two unconquerable women, once known as two of the brightest stars in the social register, who later become East Hampton's most infamous "reclusive inhabitants", sharing a rundown 28 room mansion with 52 stray cats and rabid racoons.  From the glittering high society of 1940's New York to the tabloid headlines that rocked the Kennedy clan in the 1970's, GREY GARDENS hurls you into American royalty and leaves you to ponder the questions: "when do private lives become public fascinations?; How much is too much?; and Where does it stop?"

Mike Errico Holds CD Release Party On April 12

Mike Errico will celebrate the release of Wander Away at Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street, New York) on April 12, 2011.  Admission is $20 and tickets are available online at www.joespub.com, by phone at 212-967-7555, or at the box office.

Wander Away, the sixth release from New York City's Mike Errico, is lush pop-rock that draws comparison to Elbow and Iron and Wine. From the urgent "Ready or Not" to the otherworldly "Everybody Knows," Errico expands his signature songwriting style with new instrumentation — including dobro, string sections, harmonium, and pedal steel — a varied group of cowriters, and a vocal vulnerability only hinted at previously.

In welcoming cowriters for the first time, Errico says, "I think of it as social networking within the artistic process. I've toured with (Soulive's) Eric Krasno and Ari Hest, met Raul Midon and (Goldfrapp/Peter Gabriel keyboardist) Angie Pollock through friends, and worked with (Grammy-winning producer) Ben Mink before. Together, we went places I wouldn't have thought of on my own. And it was a lot of fun."

For Wander Away, Errico reunited with producer Ken Rich at Grand Street Recording. "Ken and I go way back," he says. "I have always respected his naturalistic approach, and felt it would be a great match for the songs I was writing. We both introduced fantastic musicians to the mix, and he kept me open to choices that opened me up and were deeper as a result." Together, they reached back into Errico's catalogue, rearranging "1000 Miles" and "Someday" and orchestrating "You Could Be Anywhere" and "Count to Ten," songs that were originally released as solo performances.

A surprise addition to Wander Away is pedal steel master Bruce Kaphan, known most for his work with Mark Eitzel and American Music Club. After hearing the rough tracks, Bruce enthusiastically joined the album, trading takes over the Web from his studio in Northern California. "The first track he came back with was 'Wish You Well.' My jaw hit the floor," Errico says. "There aren't many guitarists I'd die to have on one of my records. There's Angus Young. Eddie Van Halen. And Bruce."

Errico's mother, the painter and sculptor Angela Errico, provides the cover art. "It's called 'Toxic Walk in the Park.' I don't know what the figures are doing, what they're walking away from, or towards. I do know that they're outfitted for a tough journey, and they're together, maybe walking out of the frame entirely. Listening to the record as a whole, I can hear these characters." He says, with a laugh, "For better or worse, I can relate."

Concurrent with the release of Wander Away, Errico has launched The Mike Errico Podcast, which includes live takes, stories, and interviews with the many people that influenced the new release. The podcast is available for free on iTunes and his own Web site, www.errico.com. Also available at www.errico.com is the video for the album's first single, "Count to Ten."

For all its expansion, Wander Away is, at heart, Mike Errico at his most focused and distilled. "I don't know that I've ever been prouder of anything I've ever done," he says. "The combination of my writing and the artistry that was brought to it — it's an unrepeatable moment."

iPoet returns to Long Branch for Poetry Month, on April 9

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -— In case you didn't know, April is National Poetry Month — a month, as established by the Academy of American Poets, that's perfect for "acknowledging and celebrating poetry's ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated." These days, that could mean a cell phone on a subway, every bit as much as an oh-so-civilized literary salon.

"Every month is poetry month, or not, goes the argument, and poetry is not a dessert topping or a line of athletic shoes," wrote distinguished former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. "On the other hand, why not celebrate poetry more than usual, at some time of year or the other?"

Pinsky, of course, is a born-and-bred native son of Long Branch — just one of the more famous novelists, journalists, songwriters, Oscar/Grammy/Pulitzer winners, wits and wordsmiths that have spent some time, gathering inspiration and putting pen to paper, in and around our seaside city. On the afternoon of Saturday, April 9, the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway salutes the contemporary poets of New Jersey, for the latest celebration of new poetic voices known as iPoet.

Sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, the Long Branch Free Public Library and the Long Branch Historical Association (and supported by Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Monmouth County Arts Council and the City of Long Branch), the event known as iPoet represents the next generation of a medium that's powered not by the latest in personal tech gadgetry, but by the power of words. It's a series that spotlights the words of area students — many of them sharing their poetry for the first time in public — alongside published professionals, veteran amateurs, notable "guest readers" and anyone who wishes to participate; at a friendly forum in which no one is graded by professors, criticized by workshop groups or hooted down by hecklers.

Scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. inside the library's Community Room, the April 9 event (presented around the theme of "Living New Jersey Poets") offers up a chance to hear a collection of guest speakers — including local historian Sharon Hazard, graphic designer Michael Clemens and dedicated poetry lovers from New Jersey Repertory Company, the Free Public Library and the Historical Association — read from a selection of verse by contemporary writers whose work took root in the Garden State. At the heart of the event is a chance to see and hear the work of some talented and creative young writers, from area grade schools and colleges.

The organizers of iPoet are also excited to welcome back Rock Wilk as host for the event on April 9. The Brooklyn-based singer/ writer/ producer/ performance poet — an intensely original artist whose spoken works have gathered acclaim at venues from the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© to Asbury Park's Showroom — has recently undertaken the first national tour of his autobiographical one man show, "Broke Wide Open." Find out more about Wilk at his website, www.wilkmusic.com.

Admission to iPoet is free of charge, with participants invited to bring family and friends, and enjoy complimentary refreshments while meeting fellow poets and enthusiasts during a post-event reception.

There's still time for young poets from grades 6 through college level to get on board. To obtain a sign-up form or find out more about iPoet, contact Kate Angelo, director of Outreach and Adult Programming at Long Branch Free Public Library, at kangelo@lmxac.org.

The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and "people power" that are unique to our beloved city.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Accepting Applications for Summer education programs

(Madison, NJ) -– The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has begun enrollment for its summer educational programs which offer training in classical theatre by professional theatre artists for middle- and high-school aged students.   Applications for the Junior and Senior Corps are now being accepted.   For more information or to register call 973-408-3980, email Classes@ShakespeareNJ.org or visit www.shakespearenj.org/Education/classesandtraining.



THE JUNIOR AND SENIOR CORPS

The Junior and Senior Corps provides a forum in which young people ages 11 to 17 can expand their performance skills and gain a deeper understanding of classic texts, while at the same time, meet new friends and have a great time.



The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Junior Corps is a two-week summer acting program for ages 11 through 14.  The program offers a unique opportunity for aspiring young actors as well as youngsters making their first foray into theatre.



Each two-week Junior Corps session offers daily classes including training in voice and speech for the stage, movement for the actor, Shakespeare's text, improvisation, stage combat and scene study.  The focus of the Junior Corps program is ensemble work.   The sessions culminate in a short original production, adapted from Shakespeare or another piece of classic literature, which is performed before an audience of family members, friends, local residents and Shakespeare Theatre company members. While developing basic acting skills, the Junior Corps curriculum also emphasizes self-confidence, collaboration, creativity and teamwork. The Junior Corps offers two sessions-- July 11 through 23, and July 18 through July 30.   No audition is required for admission into the Junior Corps, but space is limited. Tuition for each two-week Junior Corps session is $650.  A $100 discount is applied to returning students or those whose parents are subscribers to The Shakespeare Theatre.   To register, or for more information, call 973-408-3980 or email Classes@ShakespeareNJ.org.



The Senior Corps is a three-week program designed for students ages 14 to 17 who demonstrate an aptitude for performance or a strong interest in theatre.  The Senior Corps builds upon the foundation of the Junior Corps curriculum with an enhanced focus on Shakespeare, the rehearsal process, performance techniques and the nuts and bolts of the profession.



Students take daily classes in voice and speech, movement for the actor, improvisation, Shakespearean scene study, stage combat, and audition technique.   The sessions culminate with a performance piece – either a collection of Shakespeare scenes, or a condensed version of a Shakespeare play – which is presented to family, friends, local community residents and Shakespeare Theatre company members. Admission to the Senior Corps is by audition only and space is limited. 



Students will meet with The Theatre's professional resident artists in master classes and discussions.   Each student will also come away from the program with a rehearsed and critiqued Shakespeare monologue of his or her choice – a great asset for auditioning for colleges or other theatre programs.   All members serve as ushers at the Theatre's performances providing an opportunity for students to work with the public while experiencing the Theatre's professional productions.



Two sessions are offered -- June 20 through July 9 and August 1 through 20.   The three-week Senior Corps sessions are $750 each.  Returning students or children of 2011 season subscribers receive a $100 discount.  To sign up for an audition slot, or for more information, call 973-408-3980 or email Classes@shakespearenj.org.



The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sounds Of Asbury Park 30th Anniversary Concert Highlights Another Big Weekend Of Music

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you love music and love Asbury Park then you will not want to miss the special events going on in the city on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2.

From a special 30th anniversary concert celebrating the release of "The Sounds of Asbury Park" album; to a special panel discussion about the city's soul and rhythm & blues scene; to a truly historic concert featuring the famous 1960s musicians from Asbury Park's Westside- it is all coming together that weekend.

A special 30th anniversary concert celebrating the release of "The Sounds of Asbury Park" album will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1 the Wonder Bar (Fifth and Ocean avenues). Tickets are $10 and available at the door. The concert will feature Boccigalupe & The Bad Boys, Lance Larson, Ken Viola, Sonny Kenn, and other special guests.  Viola is expected to speak about the Asbury Park music scene in the 1960s & 70s.

"The music that has poured out of Asbury Park over the years reflects the special caliber of its scene. And that's what "The Sounds of Asbury Park" is all about. A blend of personalities, varying styles and influences of musicians and vocalists, uniting devotion with a three decade history of popular music," wrote music critic Robert Santelli.

Get to meet and hear from some of Asbury Park's most influential musicians at a special discussion held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Admission is free.

Author Daniel Wolff (4th of July, Asbury Park) will moderate the April-2 discussion, with speakers including Southside Johnny Lyon and special guest musicians from the city's famous Westside, including Billy Brown (The Moments; The Broadways; Ray, Goodman & Brown), and Bobby Thomas (The Vibranaires, The Orioles). Other guest appearances are possible.  For more information about the lecture, please visit www.asburyparkmusic.org.

"We'll talk about soul, rhythm & blues, and the history of race and music in Asbury Park," Wolff said.

And, as a follow-up to the special forum and, in what will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime concert, Asbury Park's own Nicky Addeo, with the Night Owl Band & Vocal Group, will appear with many well-known performers from the city's 1960s Westside music scene at the Wonder Bar on Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m.

In addition to Brown and Thomas, veteran Westside musician Ronald Coleman (The Uniques, The Broadways) and Robert Conte (The Broadways) and C.J. Morris (The Juveniles) are scheduled to appear, with other special guest appearances likely.

"For too long, soul, rhythm & blues, funk and doo wop have been the under-reported ingredients in the Asbury sound. It's past time for us to pay our respects to and discover the many pleasures of this great, Westside music," Wolff said.

Doors open Saturday at 8 p.m. and purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on-line at www.aphistoricalsociety.org, or at the society's museum (open weekends only) at the Shoppes at the Arcade (lower level), 658 Cookman Avenue in downtown Asbury Park. Tickets can also be purchased at Flying Saucers, also in the Shoppes at the Arcade; or at the Experience Asbury or at Asbury Galleria, both located in the Convention Hall. Tickets will be available at the door of the Wonder Bar; advanced reservations are suggested.

Monday, March 21, 2011

FESTIVAL FOR HUMANITY A 4-Day Music & Art Festival in Vernon, NJ

(Vernon, New Jersey) -- A new 4-ay music and art festival will take place May 27th - May 30th at Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, New Jersey called the Festival for Humanity. The festival has been created and aims to benefit charities of suicide prevention, health and nutrition. Set to headline the festival this year includes: Third Eye Blind, From Good Homes, The New Pornographers, The Misfits, Sister Hazel, Soul Asylum and many more! Early Bird Tickets are currently offered at half face value through April 1st. For tickets and more information, please go to: www.festivalforhumanity.com.

Festival for Humanity is a cooperative effort of business, charities and artists both visual and musical to create an eventful holiday weekend that attracts fans to support the work of people dedicated to a greater good. With the partnerships of Woodfired Management and Mountain Creek-Crystal Springs Resort, this event was made possible to support and encourage charities from all over the U.S. to continue spreading their message.

Woodfired Management will share 33% of all Festival for Humanity related merchandise directly with the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and has pledged 10% of all Net Ticket Sales to the charities of Humanity Village. These shared revenues should accumulate into the hundreds of thousands as the festival unfolds. There is no cover charge for a charity to set up an information booth at the festival and they are still accepting applications. To have your charity at the Festival for Humanity, please go to: http://festivalforhumanity.com/?page_id=61

Founder of the Festival For Humanity and Woodfired Management, Anders Thueson is an advocate for a number of causes and artists. He has over 30 years of management, design and production experience in several disciplines including television, print media, music, art and the culinary arts. Anders has been commended in numerous publications for his work with music, art and food most notably in Vail Colorado, Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York's Hudson Valley. As co-founder of the Hudson Valley Blues Society with the late NYC filmmaker Fred Jackson, he produced seven highly successful festivals featuring Blues luminaries Rod Piazza, the late Son Seals, Jimmy Vivino with John Sebastian, The Holmes Brothers, Mighty Sam McClain, Ann Rabson, Little Sammy Davis, the late Bill Perry, Doug MacLeod, Steve Guyger, Queen of Slide Ellen MacIlwaine, Paul Rishell & Annie Raines and many others. In 1998 he was asked and produced a memorable outdoor benefit with Jazz greats Pat Metheny, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. Later under Woodfired, he produced four successful Emerging Songwriter Series. Thueson stated that, "Festival for Humanity represents the ultimate opportunity to create an annual cultural celebration of music and outreach to bring attention to those who make a difference through selfless service to humanity through charitable causes."

40 BANDS - 2 STAGES - 20 CHARITIES

HUMANITY VILLAGE

For 2011, Humanity Village will be anchored by Kristin Brooks Hope Center, the founders of 1-800-SUICIDE and the many affiliated charities related to Suicide Prevention. There will be a Graffiti Art Therapy Project led by abstract artist, Franck de Las Mercedes during the entire Festival along with a Post Secret Exhibit where concert attendees can add their own secrets. QPR Trainings for suicide prevention will occur throughout the 4 day festival at no cost to the trainee.

The American Red Cross, YMCA, Feeding America, Vet2vet, Cop2Cop, Music for Humanity, DALI, Farm Aid Member Regional Growers led by Abundant Life Farm's Linda Borghi and a long list of others will be joining in support with a focus on health and nutrition as a foundation for strong mental health. With weekend attendance expected to reach 25,000 to 30,000 people, we are confident that the awareness, outreach and fund raising achieved through the festival will set a new standard for a "first of its kind" event.

CONCERT VENUES

There will be two stages for entertainers, the Main Stage or Humanity Field will be an outdoor venue with a capacity of approximately 13,000 and a Second Stage or Humanity Village Stage will accommodate up to 3,000 in a covered setting. Headlining artists are falling into place with the signing of The Misfits, Subcommittee and CC Coletti for Friday, Third Eye Blind, Soul Asylum, Coolie Ranx, Bronze Radio Return, Good Charlotte, A Clear Blurr for Saturday, Pick Up the Phone Tour Headliner Rebbie Jackson, American Idol's Caleb Hawley, Scissor Sister Chrissi Poland and Las Vegas Stars Modern Science withYouTube Phenomenon Lisa Scinta, Lovebettie and Duwende on Sunday, and on Monday, the legendary New Jersey reunion band From Good Homes co-headlines with Canada's top band The New Pornographers, Sister Hazel, Amber Rubarth, Matt Lowell, Runaway Dorothy, The Gallery and James Maddock. With a few more big name artist announcements left to be shared for Sunday, they will all be supported by the finest Rock, Soul, R&B, Folk and Jazz original artists emerging today. We are confident that our line-ups will rival those of some of the biggest festivals across the nation and draw to near capacity levels. Unique to this Festival, all artists will play in succession from 9:30am to 11pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday rather than simultaneously to allow the attendee to enjoy every moment of performance!

MOUNTAIN CREEK & CRYSTAL SPRINGS RESORT

Located just 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge, Mountain Creek is the New York metro area's closest ski resort, offering 167 skiable acres on four mountain peaks, 100% night skiing, the region's highest vertical and the East Coast's only true All Mountain Terrain Park south of Vermont. The resort also offers Mountain Biking at their Diablo Freeride Park, home of the U.S. Open of Mountain Biking, coincidentally held during the same weekend. There are seven golf courses on the resort property, a large water park, full-service spa, miles of hiking trails and Gondola rides. Ample lodging is available on-site and in adjoining towns as well as several camping options nearby. Mountain Creek and Crystal Springs Resorts will be the exclusive food and beverage providers for the event aligned with the theme of health and nutrition featuring whole food options to elevate a finer experience for the fan.

Please visit:
http://festivalforhumanity.com/
http://www.hopeline.com/
http://twitter.com/FestforHumanity
http://www.facebook.com/FestforHumanity

Red Bank, NJ's The Musician's Studio's Rock Band Camp Named to Hulafrog's 31 Cool Camps List

Hulafrog.com , a parent's guide to life with kids in the greater Red Bank area of  NJ, is helping local moms find fun, unique and educational summer camps and programs for their kids. Each day in March Hulafrog will highlight One Cool Summer Camp in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

And the March 18, 2011 Summer Camp Pick is: The Musician's Studio's Rock Band Camp

This four-day camp incorporates all the important elements of being in a rock band. It covers music theory and history, songwriting, music instruction, and recording.  Kids should have at least four months of training on an instrument. Instruments include guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboard, vocals, mandolin, violin, viola and others.  Classes have five to six kids and are constructed with the idea of creating a band—one guitar player, one bass player, etc—some bands created through these classes have stayed together for years!

Dates: July 18-21, August 1-4, August 15-18
Time: 11:00 AM -2:00 PM
Ages: 11 years and up
Cost: $250
Location: Red Bank
Phone: 732-741-5915

Check out the list of 31 Summer Camps here: http://www.hulafrog.com/Content/31-Summer-Camps.aspx

Hulafrog.com ( http://www.hulafrog.com/ClassesRoot/Camps.aspx ) has a summer camp directory that lists summer programs in Monmouth County, NJ for kids including, arts camps, sports camps, educational camps, computer camps, dance camps, music camps, all around camps and more.

Clarissa Lotson Named State Champion at NJ Poetry Out Loud Competition

(Trenton, NJ) -- Clarissa Lotson, an eleventh grader from West Orange High School, was named State Champion at the NJ Poetry Out Loud competition, a national poetry recitation program. The state finals took place yesterday at the College of New Jersey's Kendall Main Stage Theatre in Ewing. Ms. Lotson will move on to represent New Jersey in the national finals in Washington, DC next month to compete against 52 other champions from every state and territory across the nation, all vying for the national title and the chance to win prizes including college scholarships.

Now in its sixth year, Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, and implemented by state arts councils across the country. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts sponsors NJ Poetry Out Loud and works closely with a network of partners to maximize the impact of the program. Program partners include Playwrights Theatre of NJ, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Community Theatre at Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Two River Theater, New Jersey Network, and Discover Jersey Arts, a cosponsored arts marketing initiative of the Arts Council and ArtPride NJ Foundation. Support for the program is also provided by the Karma Foundation and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

"These outstanding students help remind us of the power of words, and the importance of self-expression," remarked Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. "Through the arts, and specifically through this program, New Jersey students gain life-changing experiences and develop critical skills that will serve them well no matter the career path they choose. Thanks to great programs like Poetry Out Loud, the arts will continue to play a pivotal role in making the state more competitive in a 21st century innovation economy."

The state finals are the culmination of a competition that began in the fall and included more than 16,000 students from 86 high schools. The eight state finalists successfully competed in classroom, school, and regional-level contests before qualifying to compete in yesterday's competition. Along with Clarissa Lotson, Kristin Tsuo, a sophomore from The Lawrenceville School, earned the title of State Runner-Up. Following is a list of the eight student finalists:

State Champion: Clarissa Lotson from West Orange High School
State Runner-Up: Kristin Tsuo from the Lawrenceville School
Amber Knox from Atlantic City High School
Ashley Jackson from Mainland Regional High School, Linwood
Kaitlyn Quis from Lawrence High School
Jake Ohring from High Tech High School, North Bergen
Sophia Laurenzi from Montville Township High School
Rachel Alvey from Madison High School

"The Arts Council is proud to sponsor New Jersey's Poetry Out Loud program because it demonstrates what is possible when the arts are an integral part of education and our lives," remarked State Arts Council Chair Sharon Burton Turner. "Through the process of memorizing and personalizing each poem, students are challenged to think critically and creatively, and to build the self confidence so vital for today's changing world."

Yesterday's winners receive cash awards and stipends provided by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation for the purchase of poetry books by their schools. State Champion Clarissa Lotson receives an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to compete in the national finals for prizes totaling $50,000 in awards and school stipends. All monetary prizes are provided by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation.

Learn more about New Jersey Poetry Out Loud, and watch clips from the state finals at http://www.jerseyarts.com/pol

ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD
Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the NEA, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies of the United States. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance- to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. To maximize the positive impact of the program in New Jersey the New Jersey State Council on the Arts partners with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey to provide intensive school residencies by professional poets and performing artists for interested schools. For more on the national program visit www.www.poetryoutloud.org.

ABOUT THE HORIZON FOUNDATION FOR NEW JERSEY
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey began operations in 2004 and plans to promote health and the arts by supporting charitable organizations making a positive impact in the lives of people in communities throughout New Jersey. For more information about the foundation, visit www.HorizonBlue.com/foundation.
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PHOTO: NJ State Council on the Arts Executive Director Steve Runk, NJ Poetry Out Loud Runner-Up Kristin Tsuo, NJ Poetry Out Loud State Champion Clarissa Lotson, NJ State Council on the Arts Chair Sharon Burton Turner -- Photo credit: Frank Wojciechowski

George Street Playhouse to Host An Intimate Evening with STILLER AND MEARA on Monday, April 4

(New Brunswick, NJ) -– David Saint, Artistic Director of George Street Playhouse, announced today that the renowned comedy duo Stiller and Meara, comprising the considerable comic talents of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, will make a special appearance at the New Brunswick theatre Monday, April 4 at 8pm.  Proceeds from this "one night only" event will benefit the Playhouse's mainstage and educational programming.  Tickets to the event are priced at $100 and $50; the $100 VIP ticket price includes premium seating in the theatre and an exclusive, private reception with Stiller and Meara after the performance.

The intimate evening with the comic duo, hosted by GSP Artistic Director David Saint will include the couple's reminiscences about their incredible life and career, spanning decades and including working with such noted personalities as Ed Sullivan, Sir Laurence Olivier and their son, Ben Stiller, as well as their unique take on everyday life and current events.  The delightful evening promises backstage stories and anecdotes sure to be unforgettable – and funny.

"We at George Street Playhouse are incredibly grateful to Anne and Jerry for donating their time and talents for this special benefit evening.  For years we have enjoyed their appearances at our Annual Gala evenings, and I look forward to a lively conversation on our stage."

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the George Street Playhouse Box Office 732-246-7717, or by visiting the Playhouse website, www.GSPonline.org.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district, steps away from  incredible dining experiences for every taste and budget.

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara honed their comedic talents first as members of The Compass Players which later became The Second City comedy troupe.  Later, as the comedy team of Stiller and Meara, they often brought their real-life squabbles on stage with hilarious results.  After a number of years performing together, Ed Sullivan asked them to make the first of 36 appearances on his show.  During this time they made numerous appearances on television, in movies and on the radio, most notably a series of commercials for Blue Nun wine, which won a Clio award.  While successful as a team, they each had their individual careers as actors and writers as well – Jerry's acting career includes the films The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Hairspray (the original John Waters film and the later musical remake), The Ritz and Zoolander , as well as memorable roles on television in the series Seinfeld (receiving an Emmy nomination and American Comedy Award) and King of Queens.   He has been on Broadway in Hurlyburly, The Ritz and Three Men on a Horse.  He is also author of the book Married to Laughter: A Love Story featuring Anne Meara.  Anne's work on the TV series Archie Bunker's Place and Sex and the City garnered her five Emmy nominations.  In addition, she co-wrote and starred in the CBS movie of the week The Other Woman, which won a Writers Guild Award. Film credits include Lovers and Other Strangers, The Boys from Brazil, Fame, The Independent, Sex and the City: The Movie, and many others.  Anne originated the role of Bunny in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, and received a Tony nomination for Anna Christie at The Roundabout Theatre.  She is well known to George Street Playhouse audiences as both playwright and star of After-Play (which won the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for New and Promising Playwright) and playwright of Down the Garden Paths, which had its premiere at George Street Playhouse, subsequently moving to New York.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists.  Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include Tony-award winner Joe DiPietro's Creating Claire, the Outer Critics Circle Best New Off-Broadway Award winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.

George Street Playhouse programming is 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 its lead season sponsor, Johnson & Johnson.  United Airlines is the official airline of George Street Playhouse.

Garden State Rollergirls Hold Home Opener On March 26

(WALLINGTON, NJ) -- The Garden State Rollergirls (GSR) have their intraleague home opener on March 26 at the Inline Skating Club of America (551 Main Avenue, Wallington, NJ). Doors are at 7:30pm, whistle blows at 8:15pm. Tickets are available at www.GardenStateRollergirls.com. Adults $10 in advance, $12 at the door, children 10 and under half price.

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.Garden State Rollergirls are also proud to announce that we are 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 http://wftda.com/

The home schedule for the Garden State Rollergirls is as follows:

4/23 - Ironbound Maidens vs. Mason Dixon Roller Vixens (MD)
5/14 - Double Header! Maidens vs. Suburbia (NY) and Brick City Bruisers vs. Hellions of Troy (NY)
9/27 - Ironbound Maidens vs. Queen City (Buffalo, NY)
10/8 – Ironbound Maidens vs. Pioneer Valley Roller Derby (PA)
11/12 - Ironbound Maidens vs. Hudson Valley Horrors (NY)

The Broadway Theatre of Pitman Presents "Over The River and Through The Woods"

The Broadway Theatre of Pitman will present "Over The River and Through The Woods" September 9 through October 2, 2011.  Written by Joe DiPietro, recipient of the William Inge Theatre Festival New Voices in American Theatre Award and O'Neill National Playwright's Conference MacArthur Award for comic writing, performances will take place Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm with an added show on Sunday Sept. 25th at 7:00pm.

Nick is a single Italian-American from New Jersey. His parents retired and moved to Florida, but that doesn't mean his family still isn't in New Jersey. In fact, he sees both sets of grandparents every Sunday for dinner. This is Nick's comfortable, daily routine until he lands the dream job he's always wanted, which would take him away from his beloved grandparents. His grandparents find out, and thus begin a series of schemes, including introducing him to the lovely Caitlin, to keep Nick around. This hilarious comedy will have you laughing the whole night.

The Broadway Theatre of Pitman is dedicated to breathing life into exciting theater productions written for a diverse audience. Through various outreach and educational programs, The Broadway Theatre of Pitman will be a performing arts beacon in S Jersey.

FirstEnergy Park, NJ, to Host Jersey Shore Wine Festival

(LAKEWOOD, NJ) -- The Garden State is home to a number of quality wineries that are producing a variety of great wines.  To promote New Jersey wines and increase the public's familiarity with varietals produced in New Jersey, The Lakewood BlueClaws will be hosting the Jersey Shore Wine Festival June 4th and 5th at FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood. 

The centerpiece of the festival will be wine tasting by more than 10 New Jersey wineries from around the state; the event will also feature live musical entertainment, food, crafters and the BlueClaws play area for children.  Festival hours are 12 noon to 5 pm daily and admission is $15 in advance or $18 at the gate for adults 21 years and older. Those under 21 years of age or designated drivers are free.  Each paid admission includes a commemorative wine glass to use for the tasting.  Advance tickets go on sale March 21 and can be purchased by visiting www.blueclaws.com and going to the FirstEngery Park page; calling 732-901-7000 or visiting the event's Facebook page.

Participating wineries include Valenzano Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Tomasello Winery, Plagido's Winery, Cape May Winery, Cream Ridge Winery, 4 JG's Orchards & Winery, Laurita Winery, and Alba Vineyard. New Jersey's wineries offer nationally and internationally acclaimed wines, with varieties such as cabernet, chambourcin, chardonnay, vidal, and more, including fabulous dessert wines.  Many of the wineries have won medals in tasting competitions both in New Jersey and at events throughout the country.    

"These festivals are a great way to introduce people to our wines" says Anthony Valenzano, a third generation grower from Shamong, NJ.  "As the public becomes more familiar with the great wines being produced right here in the Garden State, demand continues to grow" he continues. 

Attendees can sample all the varieties that each winery has available and purchase individual bottles or cases on the spot. Festival goers are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the live bands lined up for the event. 
Saturday will feature the acoustic rock sounds of Astronaut Jones, followed by the blues/soul sound of The Christopher Dean Band. On Sunday, modern rock will fill the stage with The Larry Stevens Band. The band has toured all over the East Coast and have recently opened for performers Kenny Loggins, Todd Rungren and the Doobie Brothers.

A portion of the proceeds from the festival will benefit Sylvia's Children, a 501(c)3.   Sylvia's Children was founded in 2003 after Sylvia Allen returned from a humanitarian trip to Uganda, Africa.  The children at the Mbiriizi Primary School "adopted" her as their honorary grandmother. Allen saw the ravages the AIDS pandemic had on the community and was compelled to help her newly adopted grandchildren. She founded Sylvia's Children to feed, clothe and house orphans in Masaka and provide education for as many children as possible. For more information please visit www.sylviaschildren.org. 

For more information on the festival, visit the Jersey Shore Wine Festival page on the Lakewood BlueClaws website, under FirstEnergy Park; "like" the event on Facebook, and use links there to visit the websites of participating wineries. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call the BlueClaws at 732-901-7000 or Allen Consulting at 732-946-2711.

4th Wall Theatre Holds Open Auditions For "A Man Of No Importance" On March 28 and 29

(BLOOMFIELD, NJ) -- 4th Wall Theatre will hold open auditions for all roles in its 2010-2011 season finale: A Man of No Importance on Monday and Tuesday, March 28 and 29 at 7:00 pm at The Westminster Arts Center (WAC), corner of Franklin and Fremont Streets (449 Franklin St) in Bloomfield, NJ, where the company is in residence.
Sign up starts at 6:30 pm. Those auditioning must sign-in by 8:00 pm.

Actors should prepare a song that best shows off their range and ability to tell a story. An accompanist will be provided. Sides will be available at the auditions. Ages 18-60s are encouraged to audition and must be able to learn an Irish accent. All roles are open. Please bring a headshot and resume (if available) stapled together.
Rehearsals will begin the last week of April and the production opens June 3, and runs 3 weekends. Non-union, small stipend paid.
Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Terrence McNally, and based on the film starring Albert Finney, A Man of No Importance tells the story of Alfie Byrne, a closeted bus conductor and Oscar Wilde devotee, in 1964 Dublin. As he leads his amateur theatre troupe toward a production of Wilde’s Salome at the local church, he struggles to find acceptance, not only from his sister, co-workers, the church and world-at-large, but within himself.
Directed by 4th Wall Artistic Director, Kate Swan. Musical Direction by Markus Hauck.
A Man of No Importance will be staged at The Westminster Arts Center (WAC).
Callbacks: Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 pm.
For more information visit: http://www.4thwalltheatre.org
Cast Breakdown
ALL cast members must be able to learn an Irish accent. The Ensemble is full of well-defined featured parts, and its members will be very involved in the telling of Alfie’s story as a sort of Greek chorus. Seeking one male or female Irish folk or step dancer for a small feature during “Our Father.”

MEN

ALFIE BYRNE (Baritone, 40 - 50)
A middle-aged Dublin bus conductor and closeted gay director of an amateur theatrical troupe, the St. Imelda’s Players.

ROBBIE (Tenor, 21 - 35)
The handsome, young bus driver Alfie begins to fall in love with.

CARNEY (Baritone, 45 - 60)
The butcher, Lily’s boyfriend, and one of St. Imelda’s prominent actors until he reports Alfie to the church sodality for putting on an "obscene" play. Might also play Oscar Wilde (see below).

OSCAR WILDE (40-46)
The famous Irish, 19th century playwright, novelist, and poet who haunts Alfie Byrne’s waking hours until Alfie cannot tell where Wilde ends and he begins.

JAMES MICHAEL “BALDY” O’SHEA (Baritone, 50 - 70)
Alfie’s retired friend and stage manager who takes every opportunity to poke at Alfie about St. Imelda’s rag-tag productions.

BRETON BERET (21 - 35)
A handsome, dangerous young man who tries to seduce Alfie. Ensemble.

FATHER KENNY (50 - 60)
St. Imelda’s curmudgeonly but caring priest. Ensemble.

ERNIE LALLY (30-45)
St. Imelda’s actor and propmaster who is extremely dedicated to his craft. Ensemble.

RASHER FLYNN (40-55)
Former gymnast and St. Imelda’s resident electrician. Ensemble.

SULLY O'HARA (30 - 40)
Currently unemployed, Sully has occupied his extra time by joining the St. Imelda’s Players. Ensemble.


WOMEN

LILY BYRNE (Alto, 42 - 52)
Alfie’s sister and roommate who wants nothing more than for Alfie to find a wife and move out so that she is free to marry Mr. Carney.

ADELE RICE (Soprano, 18 - 25)
A pretty young woman who has fled her hometown after becoming pregnant out of wedlock. She meets Alfie on his bus, and he woos her into taking the leading role in Salome.

MISS CROWE (30-55)
A member of the St. Imelda’s Players, Miss Crowe has taken on the additional responsibility of costume design. Ensemble.

MRS. CURTIN (35 - 45)
Mother of nine kids, St. Imelda’s player and choreographer with a strong tendency towards tap dancing in her choreographic choices. Ensemble.

MRS. GRACE (35 - 55)
A kindly woman who recently took time off from St. Imelda’s players to tend to her ailing husband. Mrs. Grace paints watercolors. Ensemble.

MRS. PATRICK (40s)
The middle-aged married woman who is having an affair with the younger Robbie. Ensemble.

Tim Burton Receives a Heartfelt Tribute by Movie Legend on Kickstarter


Kickstarter, an online fundraising platform, was once the domain of unknown artists seeking funding for small, low budget creative projects. Now, more ambitious projects with higher profile names like Tim Burton and Sir Christopher Lee are beginning to materialize on the site. Buzz is building about a new a six-minute stop-motion animation tribute to visionary filmmaker Tim Burton entitled TIM, which is inspired by Burton's first short film VINCENT. Using clever rhyme and Burtonesque imagery, TIM tells the story about a young boy who wants to be like Tim Burton.

The idea was conceived by writer/director Brian Joseph Ochab who secured the voice talents of film legend Sir Christopher Lee to do the narration. Ochab said, "I was thrilled when Sir Christopher agreed to do the narration. Vincent Price was a dear friend of Sir Christopher Lee's and also the narrator of VINCENT, so it really brings this idea full circle."

Recently Sir Christopher Lee received the prestigious Fellowship Award from BAFTA in honor of a career spanning six decades. The fellowship is BAFTA's highest honor and was presented to Sir Christopher by Tim Burton.

For Lee's part, he was happy to contribute to TIM and said, "I think this has been done in a delightful way, and I think Tim will be very pleased." The veteran actor has immortalized himself in numerous unforgettable roles in films such as DRACULA, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, STAR WARS episodes 2 & 3 and, of course, several Tim Burton films.

TIM has been in development for a year. As other means of funding became unavailable, Ochab and his team turned to Kickstarter with the hopes of energizing the public as well as devoted Tim Burton fans.

With a funding goal of $150,000, TIM is one of only a select few projects on Kickstarter raising money in the six-figure category, and the deadline to raise the funds is March 28th. Reaching the public, getting the word out and mobilizing audiences to pledge has been the key (and the challenge) for every Kickstarter campaign large or small. Chad Frye, a co-producer and the art director of the film said, "It is our hope that the fans of Tim Burton will also see this collectively as their project too."

Frye's comments sum up the "crowd funding" model and possibly the future of independent film. By putting the money power in the hands of the audience, it allows them to directly participate in the creation of a project often giving life to an artist's dream such as Ochab's TIM.

To potentially be a part of Hollywood history, visit http://www.timthemovie.com . Featured there is Ochab's Kickstarter pitch video, which gives an overview of the project, a glimpse into the story, conceptual art and a behind the scenes peek of the creative team behind TIM. In addition, it features a heartfelt appeal from Ochab who explains his humble beginnings of having to sleep in his car upon his arrival to Los Angeles while pursuing his dream of directing.

For the uninitiated, anyone wishing to invest in the project will need to create an account on Kickstarter, which is very easy to do. Backers may pledge as little as $10 or as much as they would like to contribute. In return for contributions, a tiered reward system has been set up. With larger pledges come larger rewards packages from exclusive limited addition artwork to signed DVD's and even screen credit for help in funding the final film.

For more information, visit http://www.wondermotionstudios.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Alice in Wonderland" at West Cape May Elementary School

West Cape May Elementary students, with Gayle Stahlhuth in the center in the back row, who performed "Robin Hood" four years ago as part of another East Lynne Theater Company residency. 
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- On Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm, enter the wonderful world of "Alice in Wonderland" at the West Cape May Elementary School, 301 Moore St., West Cape May, performed by 23 students under the direction of East Lynne Theater Company's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth.  The script is based on Chicago playwright Alice Gerstenberg's 1919 Broadway production adapted from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass."

     The residency began on Monday, March 14, with a few acting exercises, reading the script, and everyone writing down what three parts they would like to play.  The next day, based on the above information, Gayle assigned roles and rehearsals began.  On Wednesday, Gayle met with Cindy Smilyk to discuss props and costumes, and with the support of teachers, Ms. Stoner and Ms. Calabro, students were encouraged to memorize lines and think about their own props and costume needs. There are only eight one-hour rehearsals before the show goes up, with lines learned, blocking complete, props in place and costumes done. 

     This is the fifth year Gayle has been able to provide this acting residency for West Cape May Elementary School due to funding from New Jersey Theatre Alliances' (NJTA) "Stages Festival and Family Week at the Theatre."  NJTA is the statewide consortium of professional theaters in the Garden State, of which East Lynne Theater Company is a proud member.  For an up-to-the-minute schedule of "Stages Festival" events throughout March, visit the website at www.stagesfestival.org.

     Admission to "Alice in Wonderland" is free and open to the public, but donations of paper products for The Food Closet will be gratefully accepted.

     For reservations and information about this and other East Lynne Theater Company events, contact the theater at 884-5898 or online at www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Smithsonian Exhibition Prompts City-Wide Celebration Of Music

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Steering Committee announced its plans today for a city-wide celebration of Asbury Park's rich musical heritage in conjunction with New Harmonies:  Celebrating American Roots Music, a traveling Smithsonian exhibit.  On display at the Asbury Park Library through April 17, the city is celebrating New Harmonies every weekend with music-themed events and happenings.

The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Steering Committee has programmed the following events from March 18 through April 17:

March 18-20: Folk, Country and Blue Grass Weekend
 March 18 - Spring Fling Square dance at Atonement Lutheran Church, 8:00 p.m.
 March 19 -  Free Sacred Harp Singing Lesson & Demonstration at Convention Hall Grand Arcade, 2:00 p.m.
 March 20 - M Shanghai String Band w/ Allison Williams at the Wonder Bar ,7:30 p.m.

March 25 - 27:  Jazz Weekend
March 26 - Tribute to the late Charlie Rouse Sr. at Chico's House of Jazz, 9:00 p.m.
March 27 - Roots, Rock and Ray at The ShowRoom with Helen Pike and Gary Walker of WBGO, 1:00 p.m.
March 27 - An evening of Blues at the Wonder Bar with Bobby "Blue" Bland, guitarist Sonny Kenn, and university student Jeff Cafone from Outside the Box
March 31 - Music & Film: John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers) and The Dust Busters at The ShowRoom; An old-time string band concert and screening of John's documentary film, 7 p.m.; tickets $15.

April 1 - 3: New Music in Coordination with the Garden State Film Festival
April 1 - Ken Viola Presents the Sounds of Asbury Park Album Live at the Wonder Bar
April 2 - Author Daniel Wolff and special musical guest talk about American roots music at Stephen Crane House Museum This program is sponsored by the Asbury Park Public Library Board of Trustees
April 2 - Rock & Roll Tour of Asbury Park
April 2 - Nicky Addeo & Friends Celebrate The Music of Asbury Park's Westside at the Wonder Bar

April 8 - 10:  Broadway, Cabaret and Opera
April 8 - Celebrating Broadway Concert at the Paramount Theatre
April 10 - Lecture, Jazz Legends of Asbury Park & Madonna Carter-Jackson book signing at St. Augustine's Church
April 10 - Celebrating Broadway Concert at the Paramount Theatre

April 15-17: Big Band Weekend
April 16 - Big Band Boom at McLoone's Supper Club


Following New Harmonies, The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Steering Committee will use momentum from the national exhibition to launch "Asbury Park:  Where Music Lives," a year-long celebration of music.    Live performances, lectures, rock-and-roll music tours, film, educational programming, book signings and more will help celebrate Asbury Park and the important role music has played throughout the city's history.

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music is free and open to the public seven days a week through April 17.  It is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about New Harmonies, visit www.MuseumOnMainstreet.org.

The anthology, "Asbury Park Where Music Lives," created in conjunction with New Harmonies and edited by celebrated author Helen-Chantal Pike, features a series of essays by noted Shore musicians about the genres they know best.  For more information or to purchase the anthology online, please visit www.asburyparkmusic.org.

Asbury Park Celebrates New Harmonies Exhibit With Show At The Paramount

By Colie Brice

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Last Sunday, 3/13/11 I attended The Smithsonian's New Harmonies: Celebrating Asbury Park Concert at the Paramount Theatre. In keeping with the theme of the Smithsonian's exhibition, local representatives of distinctly American musical genres were supposed to perform on the Paramount stage.  I arrived in time to see the formidable Steve Forbert do a few of his strong and capable tunes, yet I was utterly dismayed by the lack of a local, homegrown folk smith.  Where the hell was Rick Barry, Micheal Brett, George Wirth, or Keith Monacchio for God's sake?  Did anyone planning this event even know who's who on the local scene?  No offense to the great Steve Forbert, but this was a squandered opportunity to showcase any number of terrific local songwriters to a receptive audience of true Jersey Shore music fans.  Asbury Park also has a huge population of great female musical artists and songwriters, where were they?

Next up was drummer/jazz impresario Chico Rouse's band with the absolutely incredible Jeff Levine on organ,  my apologies, but I didn't catch the guitar player's name or sax player's name). The quartet grooved with the smooth ease of pros and sounded great due to exemplary efforts of Jason Dermer of Asbury Audio - crystal clear highs, toned lows, and articulate mids at a reasonable volume ensured luxurious sonic enjoyment.

This was followed by Nicky Addeo a popular regional R&B singer who was backed up Steel Mill featuring original E Street Band drummer Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez.  Mr. Addeo reverently led a doo-wop reunion featuring former members of Asbury groups such as the Broadways and the Uniques.  It was quite moving to see some of these old school cats get some of the props they've long deserved.  Highlights included Bobby Thomas, who sang with the Asbury group the Vibranaires covering the Orioles' "Crying in the Chapel." Billy Brown of Ray, Goodman and Brown fame casually riffed on a snippet of "Love on a Two-Way Street", before everyone, including Lopez on bass vocals, came together for a rousing rendition of "Gloria."

Steel Mill was up next and Vini's soaring tenor vocals and exuberant performance had the aura of a Lion in command of his pride.  Fellow band mate and S.O.A.P. (Sounds of Asbury Park) honoree Steven Lusardi demonstrated tasteful restraint, sheer poise, and smoothed it all out with his utterly tasty, dynamic B3 work (yes I'm biased).  Adam Glenn (additional keyboards), Ed Piersanti (bass) and John Galella (guitar) all made fierce and indelible contributions as well.  Steel Mill plays with the aggression and conviction of a young band on a do or die mission and I suspect anything led by Vini will never play with anything less than full force, Rocky I type power and ambition.

The night culminated with a full stage packed with jamming Asbury Park musicians.  A classic Asbury Park rock 'n roll spectacle!

There he was.. Southside Johnny, the Godfather, holding court and belting away on vox and harp. Then there was fellow Juke and touring Bon Jovi member Bobby Bandiera, exchanging leads with local guitar heroes Sonny Kenn, Billy Hector, and younger gun Matt O'Ree.  What was amazing was the level of professional dynamics among such an arsenal of guitarists.  All greats in their own right.  Max Weinberg beat the hell out of the kit with his trademark precision and notoriously bombastic energy.  Jeff Levine's organ playing gave a revivalist tinge to the overall mix.  I didn't catch who the bass player was, but the man held it down. Not an easy task with such a full stage.  One nice thing to see was local blues guru and living legend Kenny "Stringbean" Sorensen up there as well.  GRAMMY Museum Director, Rock & Roll historian, and long time Jersey music scene advocate Robert Santelli did a great job hosting the event throughout the evening and provided real informative context of the artists who were performing.  Bob's obviously a good dude.

All in all it was great to see the usual dignitaries prove it one more time, I just wish there had been more room on the bill for some of the current Asbury Park based musicians who deserve a chance to be heard in that setting.  The city is currently promoting its heritage with its "Where Music Lives" marketing campaign and indeed Asbury Park's musical legacy is a great one.  Yet there is a certain hypocrisy when simultaneously, places like Old Man Rafferty's, the Brick Wall, the Twisted Tree, and even artists in residence such as Geena find it increasingly difficult to practice or perform live music anywhere along Cookman Avenue.  Perhaps the slogan would better read - "Where the Music Lives Quietly In Permissible Places.."?  Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that the city is embracing and promoting its musical heritage more aggressively, I just think the folks organizing this effort are a bit out of touch with what's really going on.

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Colie Brice is an active Asbury Park musician, scene promoter, and 25 year music industry veteran.
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Hudson Theatre Ensemble presents "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" by Alfred Uhry

(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- The award-winning Hudson Theatre Ensemble presents “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” the wildly popular, humorous, and poignant examination of Southern Jewish culture that won the Tony Award for Best Play by Alfred Uhry  (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his hugely successful  “Driving Miss Daisy”).  “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” proves that a play can cause us to think and explore profound themes while also making us laugh often and laugh heartily. 


The year is 1939 and the place is Atlanta, where the film “Gone with the Wind” is having its premiere, while Hitler has begun his rampages in Europe.  The well-to-do Freitag and Levy families are part of an ingrained culture so assimilated they barely know what being Jewish is, other than to chafe at the bigotry of the gentiles who keep them from mixing in the South’s highest society. So they create their own, the annual Ballyhoo cotillion at their exclusive country club in turn manifesting their own anti-Semitism because they have found a group against which they themselves can discriminate  - "the other kind" - a code phrase meaning Jews of Eastern European extraction, more recently arrived, more religious, and more obviously ethnic.  But when a handsome stranger from Brooklyn, New York arrives, comic drama, sweet romance and unexpected turns lie just around the corner. So to learn a little about the nature of prejudice and the power of love to conquer it, get thee to this heartwarming, yet stirring and intelligent romantic-comedy-drama.  

“The Hudson Theatre Ensemble  is such a treasure for Hoboken. You always put on such fantastic productions," said Geri Fallo, Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Hoboken.  

Location & Directions:
Hudson School Performance Space 601 Park Avenue (6th & Park) Hoboken, NJ   07030
http://www.hudsontheatreensemble.com/directions.html

Our beautiful ground-floor theater is completely barrier-free & accessible to persons with disabilities.


Tickets & Reservations:
$18 General Admission;   $15 Seniors/Students
Info/Reservations:  201-377-7014 or reservations@hudsontheatreensemble.com


Dates & Times:
Fridays @ 8PM: April 8 & April 15, 2011
Saturdays @ 8PM: April 9 & April 16, 2011
Sunday Matinee @ 3PM: April 10, 2011

CAST: Mark Bogdanos, Anneli Curnock,  D. A. Gravel,  Lauren Hayden, Florence Pape, Ross Weinberg, Steve Yates



This program is 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, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Garden State Film Festival Director Diane Raver To Be Presented The 2011 Alice Guy Blache Award By The Fort Lee Film Commission On April 1

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- The Fort Lee Film Commission is proud to announce its 2011 Alice Guy Blache Award recipient, Diane Raver, Executive Director of the Garden State Film Festival.  The Alice Award was established in 2008 by the Fort Lee Film Commission to promote the legacy of the first woman director in cinema history who built Solax Studio in Fort Lee, NJ in 1912.  Madame Blache produced, wrote and directed hundreds of films at this location through World War I before women had the right to vote.  Prior to her arrival in the United States she was one of the first three filmmakers in France and she worked on synchronized sound and color films in the early 1900's.

Previous recipients of the Alice Award are Academy Award winning actress director Lee  Grant (2008), Director's Guild of American Vice President and One Life to Live Director Gary Donatelli (2009) and actress Parker Posey (2010).  This award will be presented to Ms. Raver during the Garden State Film Festival opening ceremonies Friday April 1st a the Paramount Theater, A symposium about Alice Guy Blache will take place April 2nd 3 PM symposium Reel Jersey Girls:  Alice Guy to Today- a Century of Women in Film at the Parlor Gallery, 717 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ as a part of the GSFF festivities.

Jersey Shore Roller Girls To Kick Off 4th Season On March 26

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Jersey Shore Roller Girls are at it again! Their 4th season is set to open on March 26th with another powerful display of grace and grit as the Murder Beach Militia take on the Anchor Assassins in Asbury Park's legendary Convention Hall. The bout will be a rematch of last year's nail-biting Championship Bout in which Murder Beach Militia eked out a five point win over the relentless Anchor Assassins. This season opener is sure to deliver 60 minutes of lightning-fast, hard-hitting, heart-pounding Roller Derby action. Don't worry, you'll have a chance to catch your breath during Soup's Internationally Known, Dog Catcher, Silver String, Submarine, All Start Competition Bagpipe Band entertainment and the family-favorite Chuck-A-Duck half-time event.

As always, the Jersey Shore Roller Girls - made up of hard working women from Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Mercer and surrounding counties - have partnered with a charity for this bout to support and promote a very worthy cause. Representatives from Zonta International will be on hand during the bout to educate attendees about their mission and work. Zonta is a not-for-profit charitable organization that seeks to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Learn more about their tireless efforts at www.zonta.org.

The March 26th bout also pairs with the Wonder Bar for the bout after party. Across the street from Convention Hall, the Wonder Bar will offer those bout attendees with a wristband no cover charge. The Roller Girls will be on hand and fully energized for any fans that want to keep the party going. The roller derby bout itself will prove to be another exciting evening of women's flat-track roller derby. Roller derby is the newest, extreme sport for women rapidly sweeping the nation. Roller derby has been re-vamped into a flat-track version of the old-school style of a bank track. This is the real thing, not an orchestrated match-up. Jersey Shore Roller Girls, a league which formed in 2007, skates under the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rules and regulations.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first whistle blows at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available online for $17 at www.jerseyshorerollergirls.net or directly at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/102197.  Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 with military ID and $5 for children.

For more information about the Jersey Shore Roller Girls, visit http://www.jerseyshorerollergirls.net or email info AT jerseyshorerollergirls.net