New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CD REVIEW: Earthman Remember

by Colie Brice
In the Asbury Park music scene artistic alliances are often enthusiastically formed and then tumultously broken.  Getting a group of people together to volunteer their time, talent, and committment to a common unified goal can often be elusive at best.

Yet often within the triumphs and tragedy of band politics, musicians start cross pollinating into side projects that often take root.  Such is the case of Earthman.

Comprised primarily of members who are in or used to be in Capt. James and the PAIN among other well know Asbury Park based bands, Earthman is a spectacular group featuring cohesive, well thought out pop compositions, luscious production values, and very mature performances that serve the overall song rather than any particular ego in the band.

This is admirable considering the virtuoso capability of Matt King as a guitarist.  Having played with him for a couple of years in the P.A.I.N., I was often awed by his sheer technical ferocity.  Truthfullly he reminded me a bit of back when I used to play in Phantom's Opera with Michael Romeo of Symphony X fame - a true guitarist utterly devoted to his craft.  Yet in Earthman, his playing is so tastefully subtle and restrained that the whole ensemble remains the focus - not any one individual player.

Mike Smith, formerly of Last Perfect Thing makes a striking debut as a lead singer.  Confident, clean, toned, and emotionally intense but still centered -  his vocals on Remember illustrate an entirely new dimension of the man's considerable talents.

Now I had previously heard some really good studio work that producer/keyboardist Jared Beckerman had done in urban oriented genres, but have to admit that I was genuinely stunned by the quality of his mixes and utterly tasteful, classic but contemporary sonic choices he made for this bonafide progressive pop rock album.  For some reason this release reminds me a wee bit of Porcupine Tree's more accessible moments.

Kevin Conroy on drums.  What can be said?  He lends his talents to many great acts in the area and it's just a matter of time before he gets snatched up into the major leagues.  The kid's a clock and plays with impeccable feel and dynamics.  Basically he's a true bad ass rock & roll animal.  They only come around so often..

Chris Smith makes his Earthman debut on bass, and it's quite clear to hear that talent runs deep and bottom heavy in this musical bloodline.

Last but not least, Capt. James Peacock himself, steals the show on his guest vocals for "Lost in Thought".  The song's incisive but heartfelt lyrics are served graciously and reverently with Capt. James stately yet somber, brooding, eloquent, and elegant delivery.

Overall this is a serious, professional, debut by some old space pirates turning a new earthly leaf.

PERFORMER'S THEATER WORKSHOP TO HOLD A BENEFIT CONCERT June 5th at St. George's Church in Maplewood, NJ

(Maplewood, NJ) -- Performers Theater Workshop will hold a concert to benefit its scholarship fund, on June 5th that will include performances by noted PTW alumni and faculty.

Since 1983, Performers Theatre Workshop has been committed to bringing the arts alive to students of all ages and levels. PTW's expert faculty is comprised of well-trained professionals who love to teach and share their expertise, experience, and love for the performing arts with others.. PTW offers a warm, supportive, culturally rich environment, where students learn at their own pace, feel good about their accomplishments and build lasting friendships. 

"The most exciting part of our history", says Executive Artistic Director, Dean Kravitz, son of the founders Esther and Howard Kravitz, "is that PTW alumni have become successful in all aspects of life, in many diverse professions, and have attributed much of their success whether in theatre or outside of theatre to the training, work ethic, and self-confidence they received at PTW".

The June 5th Concert will be held to raise funds for the PTW Scholarship Fund and for this very special performing arts school while enjoying a wonderful evening of songs with friends old and new. The evening will conclude with a post-performance reception and include a delightful assortment of savories, sweets, and libation.  PTW families and friends will have a rare opportunity to experience the wonderful talents of the faculty and student alumni.

The PTW Scholarship Fund is a non-profit corporation established to provide financial assistance to students who otherwise would not be able to attend classes at Performer Theatre Workshop.

"Scholarships have been made available to students who would benefit and/or would contribute to our community, but whose parents would not be able to afford the full tuition.  Many families are reluctant to ask for help, so we have intentionally been very discreet with the scholarships.  It is our intention that we will continue to offer students assistance in attending PTW with the same level of respect and confidentiality" says Liz Kravitz, Executive Program Director and wife of Dean Kravitz.  "Raising money for this fund is critical, and will ensure that we can continue to help students who need it", adds Kravitz.


The concert will be held at 6:30 PM on June 5th, 2011 at St. George's Church, where PTW holds Saturday classes.  Ticket prices are $50 for adults, and $20 for students, include a desert reception and are available through PTW at 973-327-2250

There are also special sponsorship packages: Individual PTW Friend Package: $100, including a premium ticket, an autographed copy of the Event DVD and recognition in the program book.  PTW supporter: $250, including two premium tickets, an autographed copy of the Event DVD, recognition in the program book and partial support of a semester course for a particular student.  Additional patron packages which support a specific scholarship student are available through PTW.  For information and tickets call 973-327-2250, visit PTWonline.com, or email ptwevents@gmail.com.

About PTW:
Performers Theatre Workshop's mission is to provide the highest caliber of performing arts education to students of all ages and abilities, and foster individual growth in a caring, supportive artistic community.

PTW offers over 87 classes on Saturday and throughout the week during the school year including classes in Voice, Song Interpretation, Musical Theatre Performance, Jazz/Hip-Hop, Tap, Ballet/Modern, Stage Acting, Acting for TV and Commercials, and Comedy & Improv.  PTW offers full tracks of acting, dancing and singing training for various ages and levels of experience. Private lessons are also available in voice, acting, dance, guitar, bass, piano, songwriting, music theory and audition preparation.

Performance opportunities are an integral part of the artistic curriculum.  PTW offers a number of exciting performing opportunities throughout the year. Shows in December (fall semester) and May (spring semester) are the culmination of the semesters' work. Also, as part of the Winter mid-session, select PTW students have the exciting opportunity to perform in February at the legendary NYC nightclub Don't Tell Mama, in the heart of the Broadway Theatre District!

PTW also has an exciting summer conservatory program for students ages 10-18 with a performance at Don't Tell Mama at the end of the session, as well as summer camp for children ages 5-9, also with a performance at the end of the camp.

Special Food Deals During 2011 New Jersey International Film Festival Evenings!

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The 2011 New Jersey International Film Festival will be held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from June 3rd to June 19th, featuring filmmakers from all over the world that have created a variety of films. Participating New Brunswick establishments such as George Street Ale House, Jimmy John's, Maoz Vegetarian, Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill, Panico's Brick Oven Pizzeria, Panico's Italian Restaurant, Paulie's Pizza, and Tula Restaurant & Lounge will be providing samples prior to some film screenings and/or providing discounted dinner options on certain days during the festival with proof of film ticket stub. For more information about the scheduled film screenings, visit http://www.njfilmfest.com

Special Thanks to the participating restaurants listed below and to Fawn Stephens and Pam Stefanek of New Brunswick City Market for making this possible!
  • George Street Ale House: Purchase two entrees and get a Free Appetizer or Free Dessert. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19.
  • Jimmy John's: Providing samples during on June 3rd and June 5th, at the film screening.
  • Maoz Vegetarian: Receive 10% off total purchase. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19. Valid for one purchase only.  
  • Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill: Providing samples on Saturday, June 4th, at the film screening. Receive 10% off total purchase; valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19.
  • Panico's Brick Oven Pizzeria: Receive 10% off total purchase. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19. 
  • Panico's Italian Restaurant: Receive 10% off total purchase. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19. 
  • Paulie's Pizza: 3 Course Meal for $10 Per Person before or after a film screening. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19.
  • Tula Restaurant & Lounge: Date Night Menu Special: Two Appetizers, Two Entrees, Two Desserts & a Bottle of Wine for $90 OR 15% off total purchase. Offers cannot be combined with any other offers or gift certificates. Valid on film screening days only, between 6/3-6/19.

The New Jersey International Film Festivalsm Summer 2011 is funded and sponsored in part by The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center; The Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies/School of Arts and Sciences; Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission/Board of Chosen Freeholders thru a grant provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Eastman Kodak; Johnson & Johnson; New Jersey Books; WCTC/WMGQ; The Home News Tribune;  The Highland Park Mirror; The Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences; the Rutgers University Office of Academic Engagement and Programming; The Rutgers University American Studies Department; Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program;  Rutgers University Center For Middle Eastern Studies; Writers Boot Camp; Jungle Software; New Brunswick City Market; Showbiz Software; The Rutgers University Office of Community Affairs; Rutgers University  Libraries; Rutgers University Presentation Services; The Rutgers University Enhanced Classroom Support Department; Design Ideas; Advanced Printing; Steven C. Schechter, Esq.; Share and Harris.

For more information visit http://www.njfilmfest.com

East Lynne Theater Company presents "He and She"

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Ann Herford is a wife, mother, daughter, and a successful artist. She's been able to balance all of these roles until she enters a major art competition that pits her work against Tom Herford, her husband.  What's at stake is more than the $100,000 prize in Rachel Crother’s "He and She."  When East Lynne Theater Company first produced this provocative play in 1997, "The Newark Star-Ledger" awarded it "The Best Play of the New Jersey Season."  Patrons have asked for its return, and ELTC is proud to revive it.

     It's not just Ann and Tom who have to figure out where they stand with each other in their relationship. Tom's assistant, Keith, and Ruth, a friend of Ann's who works for a magazine, are in love, but Keith's not sure he can be married to a "working" woman. Tom's sister, Daisy, is the Herford's secretary and appears to be determinedly independent, but is she?  Suddenly, the Herford’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Millicent, wants to get married.  Who wins the prize and who walks down the aisle is all revealed by the end of the play, but there are a few expected and not so expected bumps in the road along the way.

     "He and She" runs from June 15 through July 23, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence.  On opening night, Wednesday, June 15, is an after-show party at The Washington Inn where patrons have the opportunity to meet and talk to the cast and crew.  On Friday, June 24, is an after-show Q&A, and on Friday, July 15 is an ASL Performance.      

     Playwright Rachel Crothers, beginning with her first Broadway success in 1906, "The Sum of Us," and continuing through "Susan and God" in 1936, had a Broadway hit almost every year.  She also directed and produced most of her work, and played Ann in the 1920 production of "He and She."  Most of her themes involve smart, working women with families, and this play is no exception.

    The cast includes several ELTC favorites: Tom Byrn (Tom Herford), Emily Cheney (Ruth Creel), and John Cameron Weber (Dr. Remington, Ann's father), and new to ELTC: Molly O' Neill (Ann Herford), Grace Wright (Millicent Herford), Ashley Kowzun (Daisy Herford) and Dave Holyoak (Keith McKenzie). The production is directed by ELTC’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth.

     Tom Byrn portrayed the wisecracking telegraph operator and John Cameron Weber, the scheming American Ambassador, in last season's "The Dictator," cited in "The Philadelphia Inquirer" for its terrific ensemble acting. Tom was also in ELTC's "The Ransom of Red Chief" and recently performed in "The Tempest" at Act II Playhouse in Ambler, PA.  He's worked with other Philadelphia area companies, and, for twelve years, acted and directed at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, PA. John was in ELTC's "The Butter and Egg Man," and played Michael Husted in CBS's "As the World Turns," and has worked at Cortland Rep in New York and Arrow Rock in Missouri. Emily Cheney played Kate Petigrew, the sister who was supposed to marry the Yankee in ELTC’s highly-praised time-travel adventure, "Berkeley Square."  Emily's work includes "Company" with EgoPo Productions, "A Christmas Carol" at The Walnut Street Theater, and "Berlin to Broadway" at The Ritz Theatre Company.

     Molly O'Neill most recently has worked at Trinity Rep in Provincetown, RI where she played Dabby in "Our Country's Good" and Miranda in "The Tempest" among other roles. Dave Holyoak has worked recently at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre in such shows as "Is He Dead" and "Dirty Blonde." Ashley Kowzun recently played Lady Caroline in "Enchanted April" at Women's Theater Company in Parsippany, NJ. Grace Wright, from Cape May County, has had leading roles in local productions of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and "Twelfth Night."

     Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; $15 for students; and anyone age twelve and under is free.  Season tickets are available through June 30 and the recipient can choose what days to attend – and even bring friends!  Five tickets cost only $100.00, and patrons may see five different productions, or bring friends to see one or two shows, use all five for one performance, or give a ticket or two to friends! There are five separate tickets in the Season Ticket packet, so individual tickets may actually be given to others for their use. For information and to make reservations, call 609-884-5898 or go online at www.eastlynnetheater.org.  ELTC is partnering with the following restaurants for dinner and theater ticket savings: Aleathea's, 410 Bank Street, Fresco's, The Washington Inn.  Call the restaurants for reservations and mention the ELTC-Dinner-And-A-Show Package.

     The production of "He and She" would not be possible without show sponsor The Henry Sawyer Inn; season sponsors Curran Investment Management, Aleathea's Restaurant, and La Mer Beachfront Inn; funding received through grants from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the generosity of many patrons.

Photo: The cast of East Lynne Theater Company's "He and She" after their first rehearsal: Dave Holyoak, Tom Byrn, John Cameron Weber, Emily Cheney, Grace Wright, Molly O'Neill, and Ashley Kowzun.

Shore-based Band Echo Movement Announces New Album & Reaches For NJ's Support

New Jersey's only nationally-touring reggae/rock band Echo Movement is playing one more show in the shore area at The Saint in Asbury Park on June 2nd before leaving for a nationwide tour this summer and releasing their new album "Music Played On" on September 13.  The Saint show is headlined by reggae/rockers Ballyhoo! from Maryland.

According to the seven-piece band's founders, brothers Stephen and David Fowler of Neptune, the new album includes select remakes of songs from their early albums. Although those early releases were heralded by iTunes as "a cohesive blend of roots reggae and pop songwriting smarts," they are being discontinued this summer, to be replaced by Music Played On.

"Those early works were me and my brother playing all the parts ourselves, so the songs never had a chance to sound like the band that's known today as Echo Movement," said Stephen Fowler.

The new album is being released while the band is home between two national tours. Tour dates for summer and fall will be announced soon.

Echo Movement is also calling on New Jersey residents for support through a Kickstarter.com project campaign.

"Most reggae/rock bands are from California. And, no thanks to MTV, the perception of the New Jersey Shore is at an all-time low," said David Fowler. "So we play against the odds. We're asking our home state to rally behind us, to help push us into the entertainment spotlight so New Jersey is known for more than its tourists. We're proud of our state, so anything good for Echo Movement is good for New Jersey."

For more information, please follow Echo Movement on Facebook and Twitter.

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse With A Pair Of Interesting Shows

(DUNELLEN, NJ) -- Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse will host a pair of interesting shows on June 10th and 11th.  On Friday, the club hosts Cheers Elephant with Great White Caps.   And on Saturday, the club presents Hub Kings with the Hot Club of the D&R with Anthony Daniels.  Both shows start at 9pm with $10 admission.

Bruce Warren, WXPN Philadelphia says this about Cheers Elephant, "Their indie-psychedelia is a twisted yet innocent, intricate yet trouble-free collection of fantasia. It's like they sift Jefferson Airplane and Village Green-era Kinks with 13th Floor Elevators and occasionally they'll drop some seriously cacophonous prog-like shit into the mix that makes me think they either have no idea how to play together or they’re actually geniuses."

Born in retro basement bars, to the sounds of spinning vinyl, the Hub Kings conjure a setting where high ball glasses tip to head bopping funk and bossa beats. Their jazz influenced vibe, swings from the classic style of Booker T. & The MG's to more contemporary artists like Medeski, Martin, & Wood. The band is centered on the smoky tones of the Hammond organ, whose swanky sound dominated urban centers like New Brunswick and Newark in the 60's and 70's.

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse is located at 745 Bound Brook Road in Dunellen.  For reservations, call 732-529-4464.  For more information visit http://www.roxyanddukes.com

Loser Slam wraps iPoet 2011 with workshop, performance on June 11

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Every Thursday night, tucked away in a corner of the oldest, most venerated, crazy beautiful coffeehouse on the entire New Jersey Shore, the revolution comes equipped with rules of etiquette. In the city that gave the world Mailer, Parker and Poet Laureate Pinsky, the future sometimes speaks with a floorboard creak or an attic draft — and in this arena of competition, it's the "Loser" that walks away victorious. To put it another way, "we heart irony."

When the event known as iPoet wraps its season of performance poetry showcases at the Long Branch Free Public Library, it will join forces in a special presentation with Loser Slam, the performance poetry cooperative whose weekly workshops, tournaments and Open Mic events at The Inkwell have kept the city's literary tradition alive and thriving in a fast-changing landscape. On the afternoon of Saturday, June 11, the library building at 328 Broadway will play host to the fourth and final edition of iPoet 2011, an expanded session that kicks off with a workshop for aspiring poets.

Whether you're a published poet or are just beginning to find your voice, you're invited to bring examples of your writing to the workshop portion of the program, scheduled to run from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. inside the library's Community Room. Registration is open to all ages, and topics touch upon all aspects of the creative process — from composing an effective poem, to delivering a compelling spoken word performance. Following a break for conversation and complimentary refreshments, the iPoet program resumes at 2:00 p.m. with an opportunity for workshop participants to share their words in performance.

Conducting the workshop and hosting the performance program will be Nicole Homer, a writer, storyteller, educator and charter member of the Loser Slam group who has competed nationally as a finalist in such major competitions as the Individual World Poetry Slam and Women of the World Poetry Slam. Nicole — whose most recent published volume Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women, is available from New Haven Press — will be joined by some of her Loser Slam poetic partners in a showcase of their original work.

Sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, the Long Branch Free Public Library and the Long Branch Historical Association (supported by Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Monmouth County Arts Council and the City of Long Branch), the iPoet series 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, grades six through college — 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 take part in a "family friendly" forum.

In a statement on their website loserslam.com, the poets declare that "poetry should be available to everyone" — and that "when presented in an engaging and lively fashion, everyone is at heart a lover of words." The Loser Slam founders, who recently started a new series of 7:30 p.m. teen poet workshops on the third Thursday of each month (scheduled next for June 16 at the Inkwell), will also be starring in a special Evening with Loser Slam at Asbury Park's Showroom on Friday, July 3.

There's still time for poets of all ages to register for the June 11 workshop. 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. Admission to iPoet is free of charge, with participants invited to bring family and friends.

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.

Joe Hurley Accepts Top Award for "LIFE," a Memoir of Keith Richards, at 16th Annual Awards Ceremony

(New York, NY) -- New York based pop singer and songwriter, Joe Hurley, who narrated the critically acclaimed "LIFE" with Keith Richards and Johnny Depp, accepted the prestigious Best Audio Book Of The Year Award at tonight's 2011 Audie Awards Ceremony in New York City.  "LIFE," the audio book released by Hachette Audio, captures the rock-n-roll spirit and life of Keith Richards and is narrated by Hurley and award winning actor Johnny Depp. The Audio book has won accolades since its release including New Yorker Magazine,  Amazon's Best of 2010, Publisher's Weekly and numerous celebrities including Jimmy Vivino and Julie Sweeney to name a few.

Hurley took the stage to accept the award and through a surge of emotions, told the story about seeing the Rolling Stones in London, his first rock concert, and now turning to this great privilege in his life which he simply described as a "helluva joy ride."

Long considered the "Academy Award" amongst Audio Books Awards, "LIFE" competed against The Woody Allen Collection, written and narrated by the famed director himself and The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan and narrated by Katherine Kellgren and Kevin P. Free for the award. "LIFE" also won "Biography Book of the Year" also accepted by Joe Hurley at the ceremony.

"When I heard they needed me on this project, there were no questions asked," said Hurley. "I was sound checking Singing Back Home in Paris when I got the call. I went straight to the airport flew for hours, lost my luggage and had no sleep but we recorded it on time and the result is this amazing memoir to music icon, Keith Richards."

The Audie Awards (Audies) is the only awards program in the U.S.A. devoted solely to spoken word entertainment. They are annually bestowed upon recipients for outstanding audio books. The Audies have been granted by the Audio Publisher Association, a not-for-profit trade organization since 1996. Nominees are announced each year in January.  Winners are announced in the Spring.

Joe Hurley is a singer, songwriter, actor, playwright and voice-over artist and leads the award winning bands Joe Hurley & The Gents and Joe Hurley & Rogue's March. He is the founder and curator of the Allstar Irish Rock Revue, a musical – literary homage to "The Great Irish Songbook," celebrated annually around St. Patrick's Day. Raised in London to Irish parents, Hurley now lives in New York City. His roots in three distinct heritages inspired his eclectic songwriting which has been described as a blend of punk, rock and roll balladry and traditional Irish Folk. Musically, Hurley is often noted for his soulful baritone and storytelling quality of lyrics.  Most recently asked to narrate rock icon Keith Richard's memoir, "LIFE," Hurley joined Osacr winner Johnny Depp in the collaboration which has won rave reviews from media, critics and artists alike. For more information on Joe Hurley go tohttp://www.roguesmarch.com/  

Liberty Hall Museum Hosts Brigade of the American Revolution Weekend

(UNION, NJ) -- Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University (Union, NJ) will travel back in time as it hosts Brigade of the American Revolution, the renowned living history association.  On Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Brigade will reenact historical moments of the American War for Independence as they encamp on the grounds of the museum throughout the weekend.

In commemoration of the 231st Anniversary of the Battle of Connecticut Farms and the Bicentennial of the Kean Family's acquisition of Liberty Hall, the museum is offering a weekend of energetic and colorful activities. During Friday night and early Saturday morning, the 18th century camps are set up, complete with soldiers' tents, officers' marquees, cooking areas and craft displays.

After Saturday's reveille and officer's call, the Brigade is assembled, inspected and drilled in maneuvers and firings. All the day's activities are announced by period drum signals.  Featured activities include field music and artillery demonstrations, camp tours, cooking demonstrations and the "People of the Brigade" clothing program.  In the afternoon, a tactical weapons demonstration is staged with American Continentals & Militia facing the Crown Forces of British, Tories and Germans. The day ends with a formal retreat ceremony with honors to the flags, accompanied by the Brigade's Field Music.  Sunday begins with optional church services, conducted by a chaplain in proper 18th century vestments. The remainder of the day follows a similar schedule to that of Saturday, and camp is struck late on Sunday.

The Brigade of the American Revolution is a non-profit organization dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence. Members represent elements of all the armies involved (Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish, and Native American forces) in addition to civilian men, women and children.

Since 1962, the Brigade has been recreating a broad spectrum of the 18th century activities including military encampments, tactical exercises, firelock shooting competitions, craft demonstrations and social activities. The Brigade also conducts annual schools and educational seminars featuring experts from several fields of 18th century study.  Visit its website at www.brigade.org.

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University, chronicling more than 200 years of American history is a treasure trove of significant riches.  The museum served as home of New Jersey's rebel Governor William Livingston (1776-1790).  Both British and American troops camped and skirmished on the grounds.  The main house was ransacked by both sides repeatedly during the war.

Home to the Livingston/Kean family for over 225 years, the Liberty Hall grounds have remained virtually unchanged since Governor Livingston's residency.  Both Alexander Hamilton and John Jay have long associations with the Livingston family and the house, which has been visited by eight U.S. presidents, including George Washington and First Lady Martha Washington in 1789.  The Museum's archival collection includes correspondence from George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and John Jay.

Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey. Admission to Brigade of the American Revolution reenactment weekend is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and children.  Museum members, Kean University faculty, staff and students and children under three are admitted for free.  For further information, contact Liberty Hall Museum at 908-527-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall

GENE & SHELLEY ENLOW RECITAL HALL Announces 20011-12 Season at KEAN UNIVERSITY

(UNION, NJ) -– Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University (Enlow Hall) announces its second concert season with a line-up of 15 performances featuring world-renowned musicians in classical, jazz, pop and world music, highlighted by a special one-evening concert by Grammy(R) Award-winning singer/songwriter John Legend.  The 2011 – 2012 Season also features performances by Jane Krakowski, The Creole Choir of Cuba, John Legend, Holland Wind Players, Sweet Honey In The Rock, The 5 Browns, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Arco Ensemble, Holiday Brass, Les Violons du Roy, Christine Brewer, Ravi Coltrane and Kathy Mattea.

Located on Kean University's East Campus (215 North Avenue in Hillside, NJ), Enlow Hall opened its doors last year for its Inaugural Season.  Artists and audiences alike have been awed by the stunning and acoustically pristine concert hall.  The 300-seat setting provides an intimate performance atmosphere to hear today's leading musicians and performers.
A special event concert, An Evening with John Legend (Friday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m.) offers a rare "up close" opportunity to hear the nine-time Grammy(R) Award-winning recording artist. The evening features performances and storytelling with invited interaction from the audience.  Legend is a multi-platinum recording artist and philanthropist, and is listed among Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People."

Enlow Hall's 2011-12 Season gets underway on Opening Night (October 1 at 7:30 p.m.) with Tony(R) Award-winner and two-time Emmy(R) nominated singer/actress Jane Krakowski performing an unforgettable evening of show-stopping hits.  Krakowski has triumphed on the stage and screen, earning a Tony for her stunning portrayal in the Broadway hit Nine and accolades for her award-winning roles on 30 Rock and Ally McBeal.  She recently released her solo debut album, The Laziest Gal in Town.  Opening Night Event tickets may be purchased for $75 and include a reception and performance.

The fall season continues with The Creole Choir of Cuba (October 9 at 3 p.m.), a remarkable 10-member ensemble performing a capella melodies with rich harmonies and vibrant dancing to musical treasures originating in Haiti, Dominica and Cuba; Holland Wind Players (October 16 at 3 p.m.), a world-renowned ensemble invited as special guests to The World Music Conference and acclaimed for their innovative programming of music for winds; Sweet Honey In The Rock (November 6 at 3 p.m.), the  American Grammy(R) Award-winning and internationally celebrated ambassadors of a capella music capturing blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies and jazz improvisation; The 5 Browns (November 19 at 7:30 p.m.), who have excited audiences around the world performing onstage individually and together in various combinations from duo to complex five piano arrangements.  The first family of five siblings ever accepted into The Juilliard School simultaneously, The 5 Browns have released 3 CDs that each soared to #1 on Billboard Magazine's Classical Album Chart; and Branford Marsalis Quartet (December 9 at 7:30 p.m.), lead by three-time Grammy(R) Award-winning saxophonist Brandon Marsalis, of the world's most distinguished musical families, who is known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope. The quartet performs an evening of jazz.

Enlow Hall celebrates the holidays with two special performances: Arco Ensemble: An Arco Holiday (December 10 at 7:30 p.m.), New Jersey's virtuoso string chamber ensemble that will showcase music of the season led by world-renowned guest conductor, Bruce Hangen; and Holiday Brass (December 18 at 3 p.m.), the perfect way to celebrate the yuletide season with sonorous arrangements of music for brass and percussion.

The spring season opens with Les Violons du Roy (February 3 at 7:30 p.m.), the ensemble widely acclaimed for their exceptional energy, brilliance and vitality of their performances specializing in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra, performed in the stylistic manner most appropriate to each era; George Winston (March 4 at 3 p.m.), who is known for his personal style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano including his most recent album Love Will Come – The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol. 2, featuring compositions by the late jazz pianist including favorites from the Peanuts(R) TV specials;  Christine Brewer (March 24 at 7:30 p.m.), the international vocalist who has wowed audiences in the world's greatest opera houses. Brewer's range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist; Arco Ensemble (March 31 at 7:30 p.m.), which celebrates Iberian heritage with their program lead by guest conductor Gisele Ben-Dor and featuring clarinestist Alexander Fiterstein;  Ravi Coltrane (April 14 at 7:30 p.m.), the critically acclaimed Grammy(R) nominated saxophonist, bandleader, composer and founder of the prominent independent record label, RKM; and Kathy Mattea (April 29 at 3 p.m.), beloved Grammy(R) Award-winning singer of such classics as 18 Wheels and A Dozen Roses, Where've You Been and many other hits as well as her recently released new album COAL.


A 2011-12 season subscription is available for all fourteen concerts (the John Legend special event is not included).  Season subscribers receive exclusive VIP benefits to enhance their Enlow Hall experience including priority seating, special invitations to elegant receptions, recognition in Enlow Hall concert programs, reserved VIP parking, personal assistance on the subscriber phone line and more. As an added benefit, season subscribers may request two complimentary tickets to a performance of their choice (subject to availability).  A 2011-12 season subscription is $400, representing a total savings of $150 off single ticket prices.


Enlow Hall offers a variety of ticket packages to provide savings opportunities on single ticket prices to specifically designed performance series.  "The Classical Package" features five concerts: The 5 Browns (November 19), Arco Ensemble: An Arco Holiday (December 10), Les Violons du Roy (February 3), Grammy(R) Award-winning American soprano and opera diva Christine Brewer (March 24) and Arco Ensemble (March 31).  The Classical Package is $165, a $30 savings.

"The Popular Package" is comprised of five performances including Opening Night with Jane Krakowski (October 1), Branford Marsalis Quartet (December 9), George Winston (March 4) Ravi Coltrane (April 14), Kathy Mattea (April 29).  The Popular Package is $200, a $25 savings.

"The Matinee Package" includes four Sunday afternoon concerts in Enlow Hall. The Creole Choir of Cuba (October 9), Holland Wind Players (October 16), Sweet Honey In The Rock (November 6), Holiday Brass (December 18). The Matinee Package is $100, a $30 savings.

The Concert Series in Enlow Hall presents musical performances by renowned artists, established local musicians and Kean University music faculty members. American String Teachers Association Chamber Music Institute (ASTA/NJ) will perform its seventh annual professional concert series at Enlow Hall.  The "Summer String Series" features Concert Artist Ensemble of Kean University (Sunday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m.); Voxare String Quartet (Thursday, August 4 at 8 p.m.); The Dalí Quartet (Sunday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m.) and JACK Quartet (Thursday, August 11 at 8 p.m.).  Single tickets are $25. "The Summer String Series Package" is $75 and includes all four concerts, a $25 savings.

Kean University Music Faculty Concerts include four performances as part of the Concert Artist Series at Kean University and one performance by pianist Martha Marchena.  The performances in Enlow Hall include The Late Romantics (Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m.) featuring chamber works by Raff, Draeseke and Brahms; The Music of João Guilherme Ripper (Thursday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.) showcases new compositions by Kean University's Concert Artist Composer-in-Residence including the World Premiere of String Quartet No.1; Holy Károly: The Music of K. Goldmark (Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.) features chamber music for piano and strings; A Tribute to Cuban Composers: The Musical Legacy of Cuba from the 19th Century to the Present Day (Wednesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.) performed by pianist Martha Marchena; Ars Longa (Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.) is comprised of new works in chamber music by today's leading composers including the World Premiere of Piano Quintet No. 1 by João Guilherme Ripper.  Single tickets are $25.  "The Music Faculty Concert Package" is $100 and includes all five performances, a $25 savings.

Tickets to Enlow Hall's 2011-12 Season and An Evening with John Legend Special Event Concert as well as Concert Series in Enlow Hall go on sale Wednesday, June 1. Tickets can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469), online at EnlowHall.kean.edu, or in person at Kean University's Wilkins Theater Box Office.

WNYC is a media sponsor of Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall.  For complete Enlow Hall 2011-12 Season information, please visit http://enlowhall.kean.edu

Friday, May 27, 2011

100 Reasons Why New Jersey Should Be Known for Music Instead of Snooki

BELMAR, N.J., May 27, 2011 — How did the State that was home to such great musicians as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, and Count Basie become synonymous with Snooki? That question rumbled through the mind of award-winning music journalist Gary Wien. The Jersey Shore native decided to see for himself if New Jersey was still the home of amazing musicians or if it had truly become the freak show appearing on the former music television station.

Between September 2010 and January 2011, Wien listened to over 2,200 albums by New Jersey artists released within the last decade. He listened to the good, the bad, and the very ugly; yet somehow remained a music fan through it all. He describes the Top 100 albums in his new book, Are You Listening?, which is available at http://www.njmusic.org and select bookstores.

“New Jersey has played a major role in the country’s musical history, from jazz to rock and roll and everything in between,” said Wien. “After spending hundreds of hours listening to the work created within the last ten years, I’m proud to say the State’s musical history is still being written.”

Are You Listening? takes a look at the artists who’ve sprung from such fertile music scenes as Asbury Park, New Brunswick, Hoboken, Trenton, and Jersey City. Popular national artists like Bruce Springsteen, My Chemical Romance, and Fountains of Wayne are featured alongside independent singer-songwriters like Keith Monacchio, Arlan Feiles, and Anthony D’Amato. Genres range from the folk of John Gorka to the indie rock of Titus Andronicus; from the Americana of Brian Molnar & the Naked Hearts to the punk of The Bouncing Souls; and from Jon Caspi’s pop to Thursday’s post-hardcore.

While many music writers would go crazy with such an undertaking, the project was a perfect fit for Wien. His first book, Beyond The Palace, was a comprehensive look at Asbury Park’s rock and roll history. He followed that by publishing a magazine called Upstage, which took its name from the legendary Jersey Shore venue that was instrumental in the development of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, and Bill Chinnock. While publishing the magazine, Wien was named Top Music Journalist in the Asbury Music Awards three consecutive years. He currently writes for New Jersey Arts and NewJerseyStage.com while producing a bi-monthly magazine for a national association.

Are You Listening? features over 100 photographs, full album track listings, and more than 30,000 words providing information about each artist and release. At 8.5″ x 8.5,” its unique design is meant to represent an over-sized compact disc. The book is available in color ($35.00), black and white ($19.95), and e-book ($9.95) versions.

“Snooki may have grabbed the media’s attention, but she’s not even from Jersey – hardly anybody in the cast is,” said Wien. “If you want to see the real New Jersey, it’s in our music!”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Interview With Michael Brett

Photo by Kristen Driscoll

By Gary Wien


Michael Brett will celebrate the release of his new album on Sunday, June 5 at Rosie's Cafe at the Atonement Lutheran Hall (308 First AVenue in Asbury Park, NJ).  The show runs from 5:00pm to 8:00pm and will include performances by Matt Kay, we are., Emily Grove, along with Michael and special guests.  Admission is $5.  BYOB and some food to share.

On June 5, you'll finally release your next album after many years in between. What took you so long?
I'm a bit of a control freak. I recorded the entire album at home, playing many of the instruments myself, using my 8 track digital recorder. I wanted to make sure that everything was right. (I'm still not entirely sure everything IS right...haha...but i'm sure many artists feel that way with their final project. We are often our own worst critic, I suppose).

Do you enjoy the recording process or is it something rather frustrating for you?
Like I said, I'm a bit of a control freak. I love the creative process behind the song-building, adding instruments, etc. You know? Adding a little vocal harmony here, adding a little mandolin here, a little guitar here. I love that part of it. But I don't consider myself a pro or a recording engineer by any means. So the frustrating part for me was learning the basics of the "machine" I had. I'm STILL learning it, actually. It's not an easy task.

What do you enjoy more: recording or performing live?
I enjoy performing live just a little bit more. Don't get me wrong. I dig the creative process behind the recording and all the stuff I mentioned previously. But when performing live, I get to connect with people. For example, I've had people come up to me and tell me that my song "A Man and His Chair" made them cry after I played it live. I get to see the reactions on people's faces when playing live (both good and bad reactions...haha). And since I'm a very introverted person, I think...performing live is the one time when I am a little more outgoing with people. I'm not sure which is the real me, honestly: the introverted, shy dude or the outgoing live stage performer.

You recently had the chance to perform at the Tin Angel, a great listening room in Philadelphia. While the crowd was loud at first, they settled down and gave you a true listening room experience. What was that like for you? I think that was one of the best shows I've ever been involved with. Partly because of the other talented guys on the bill (Mike Askin, Keith Monacchio, Tony Tedesco), but also because of the "true listening room experience". There IS a big difference between playing at the Tin Angel, where they are actually listening to your songs, and a noisy bar or coffeehouse where somebody is loudly ordering a beer or a mocha latte.

Are there any venues like that in New Jersey that you've played? Would you consider the Rosie's Cafe shows on that level?
Rosie's Cafe is definitely one, and I think that is because Brenda Wirth & Cook Smith are both strong supporters of live music and want the singer/songwriter's music to be experienced the RIGHT way by everybody involved (the singer/songwriter AND the listeners). I also think Espresso Joe's in Keyport is another venue like that. Sonny is incredibly supportive and respectful of the local acoustic singer/songwriters. Espresso Joe's is a great listening room.  

What is your new album's name and what songs are on the album?
The title is "Some Kind Of Solitude". It is a phrase from "Hey Bulldog", one of my favorite Beatles tunes. As soon as I heard the phrase, I thought it fit me and the project very well because I'm a bit of a loner. Songs on the album include "Gamblin' Man", "I'm Taking All My Secrets With Me To The Grave", "Vanishing Act", and "A Man and His Chair", all of which I've playing live for a few years now, and songs like "Fishing" which I don't play out very often.

Are there any guest appearances to note?
Guests include Sheli Aarden, John Hanney... and Melissa Anthony & Moon Motel (known collectively as "we are.")...all of them ridiculously talented people. And my friend George Wirth, who's one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time, mixed and mastered it for me.

Your last release was included in my book, Are You Listening? As one of the top 100 albums of the past decade by New Jersey artists. What did you think when if first told you that the album made the list?
I was very surprised. Considering all of the amazing talent in the Top 100, including some legendary NJ-based bands, I was very surprised and very honored. You told me awhile back and frankly, I'm still shocked. Well...that album would not have been made without the hard work, generosity, and support of George Wirth. I have so much respect for him as a singer/songwriter, but more importantly, as a person. He's such a great friend.

In addition to the album, your song "(in one ear and) out the other" was included in my list of top 100 songs of the decade. At the Tin Angel you played a couple of songs from that album. What are your favorites from that album?
My favorites are "In One Ear...", "Union Man", "The Last One", and "Work Of Art". I still play all of these songs live. I'm very proud of all the songs on the album, but especially proud of these 4 tunes. I still get requests for them, which makes me feel wonderful.

Do you ever still play any of your even earlier material or have those songs been retired?
With the exception of my song "Before Edison" from my first EP "done.", which I play occasionally, I have retired most of those songs. I haven't even listened to them in years. I think many artists can relate to this: where they've written songs from an era where they hadn't found themselves yet. I think I have matured, learned a lot, and have gained more self-confidence in the last 7 years.

Finally, a few months back you took home a Jersey Acoustic Music Award. What does it mean to you to be recognized in that way? Especially since many people feel you've been rather shunned by the Asbury Music Awards through the years...
Well, I don't think awards should be the reason that any of us play music. But, it means a lot to me to be recognized for something that I love doing, by people of the greater Asbury Park community. The awards were part of a wonderful evening. There was so much love and support in that room. I don't think I heard a single negative comment by anybody that evening. It was all positive. That wonderful evening happened right after the devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. So, I considered myself, and STILL consider myself, very lucky to be part of something so positive.

MICHAEL HURST NAMED MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TWO RIVER THEATER COMPANY

(RED BANK, NJ) - — Todd Herman, President of the Two River Theater Company Board of Trustees, announces the appointment of Michael Hurst as the theater's new Managing Director. Hurst was selected following a national search conducted by Albert Hall & Associates, and was the unanimous choice of the theater's board.

Hurst was affiliated with The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival for 16 years, working in a variety of capacities including six years as Managing Director and four years as General Manger. He began his career at The Public in 1990 as a part-time associate in the theater's Box Office. As Managing Director, Hurst was responsible for the management and budgeting of all productions at The Public Theater and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and was part of the team responsible for the theater's annual operating budget of up to $16 million. During his tenure, he was part of strategic planning for the theater's operations, including its artistic leadership transition and the opening of Joe's Pub, and he was the chief negotiator for all productions, overseeing numerous transfers to Broadway.

"We are excited to have Michael join Two River Theater," says Herman, "especially because he has a long history of working with our Artistic Director John Dias at The Public Theater. They were senior leaders there together for 12 seasons—and we are delighted that they will be partners here, as Two River continues to grow. It's a testament to our theater that we attracted someone of Michael's stature in the national theater community. His expertise in executive management, organizational oversight, and financial stewardship will be great assets to our work."

Most recently, Hurst served as Chief Operating Officer of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he oversaw the construction of a new three-theater, $40-million facility, as well as changes to the Society's infrastructure in support of this expansion. His work in the commercial theater includes working as an Executive Producer for San Francisco-based producer Carole Shorenstein Hayes and opening her New York office, and consulting for 101 Productions, the Broadway and tour management company.

"Michael is one of the great managers in the American theater," says Dias. "He is an exceptional strategic thinker, a great institutional leader, and he has a deep commitment to supporting all of a theater's stakeholders, from its artists to its board and donors. As longtime colleagues at The Public, I know that we share a vision for producing the kind of exceptional work—both large-scale classics and ambitious new plays—that will make Two River a theater of national consequence."

A graduate of Rutgers University, Hurst intends to establish his primary residence in Asbury Park, after having lived in the community part time for more than four years. "I'm delighted to be working with John again, and to be joining the team at Two River Theater," he says. "The company is an important part of its community, and Red Bank brings a unique and sophisticated audience to the theater's work. It is poised now, with John at the helm and a passionate board and staff, to become a place for artists to develop new American plays and musicals that could have a life on the national stage. I am excited to work with John in leading the theatre to new growth and new adventures."

Hurst's appointment comes one week after Two River announced its 2011-12 Season, the first chosen by Dias. The theater's lineup will expand to eight plays on both stages of its two-theater complex, along with year-round developmental projects and arts-education programming.

"I am very pleased with the choice of Michael Hurst as our new Managing Director," says Two River Theater founder and Executive Producer Robert Rechnitz. "He is knowledgeable both about the field and New Jersey's own theater community, and his long history with John is a great plus. This theater was founded to be a place where people who have a hunger for culture can come together as a community. Over the past 16 years, our artists, audiences, and supporters have responded to that call, and I'm thrilled that we are now poised for the next leap forward in our work."

George Street Playhouse Announces Two World Premiere Musicals and Tony Award Winning Play for Fall/Winter 2011/12

(New Brunswick, NJ) -– George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint announced the slate of productions for the fall and winter of the New Brunswick theatre's 2011-2012 season – its 38th.  Keeping true to its mission of producing new work, the season will begin with two world premieres – both musicals –followed by a New Jersey premiere of a recent Tony Award-winning play in early 2012.  Two additional productions for spring 2012 are still to be announced.

The fall/winter season begins with the world premiere of a new musical, It Shoulda Been You, with a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi.  Just in time for the holidays comes The Nutty Nutcracker Musical, a spoof of the holiday classic – complete with Tchaikovsky's score – with a book and lyrics by two masters of musical parody: Emmy Award-winning writer Peter Brash, and Gerard Alessandrini author of the long running hit Forbidden Broadway.  The New Jersey premiere of the critically-acclaimed and Tony Award-winning play Red begins 2012.

George Street Playhouse's 2011-2012 Season will be dedicated to the memory of playwright, director and long-time friend Arthur Laurents who passed away on May 5, 2011 at the age of 93.

"The theatre has lost an extraordinary talent and George Street Playhouse has lost a great friend," said Artistic Director David Saint.  "Arthur was so passionate about new work and so very committed to George Street, I think he would be pleased that we are dedicating this season – which will begin with the world premieres of two musicals – to his memory.

"It is a pleasure to welcome my two great friends, Tyne Daly and David Hyde Pierce, to open our season with the charmingly funny It Shoulda Been You," said Mr. Saint.  "And then for the holiday season, to premiere a brand new comedic send-up of The Nutcracker story."

Five-play, three-play and flexible admission packages are currently on sale.  Individual tickets will be available at the Box Office beginning September 6.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district.  For tickets and information, patrons may contact the Box Office directly at 732-246-7717 or may purchase online at GSPonline.org.  Groups of ten or more are entitled to discounted tickets contact the Group Sales office at 732-846-2895, ext. 134 or 155 for further information.


FALL/WINTER 2011/2012:


IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU
Book and Lyrics by Brian Hargrove
Music by Barbara Anselmi
Based on a concept by Barbara Anselmi
Directed by David Hyde Pierce

Produced in Association with Scott Landis and Michael Hanel

A musical comedy for anyone with parents.

The bride is Jewish.  The groom is Catholic.  Her mother is a force of nature, his mother is a tempest in a cocktail shaker. And when the bride's ex-boyfriend shows up, the perfect wedding starts to unravel faster than you can whistle "Here Comes the Bride!"  Plots are hatched, pacts are made, secrets exposed – and the sister of the bride is left to turn a tangled mess into happily ever after!

We are thrilled to welcome Tony Award and four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce (from TV's Fraiser) to direct this exciting new musical comedy – starring Tony Award and six-time Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly (from TV's Cagney and Lacey and Judging Amy) as the mother of the bride.

It Shoulda Been You is slated to begin performances October 4, 2011 and run through, November 6.  Opening night is set for Friday October 14, 2011.


THE NUTTY NUTCRACKER MUSICAL
an original musical
Conceived and created by Gerard Alessandrini & Peter Brash
Directed by David Saint

More Talking!  More Singing! Less Dancing!

A new holiday comedy for the family from the theatre – and director -- that brought you Inspecting Carol! Young and old will enjoy this nutty send up of The Nutcracker story featuring Tchaikovsky's glorious music with a hysterical new story and lyrics by the award-winning masters of musical parody Emmy Award winner Peter Brash and Gerard Alessandrini, author of the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway.

At a chaotic dress rehearsal for the local dance company's annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet, the lead dancer has an unfortunate accident with a prop Christmas Tree -- bringing new meaning to the old adage "Break-A-Leg!"   When the pain killers kick in and visions of sugar plums begin to dance in her head, we're off for a wild adventure in Snow Globe City with a life sized Nutcracker (of course) and the Sugar Rush Fairy in hot pursuit.  A wacky, wonderful holiday comedy -- complete with magic nuts and mistletoe!

The Nutty Nutcracker Musical begins the holiday festivities November 29, 2011 and runs through January 1, 2012.  Opening night is set for December 2, 2011.



RED
By Academy Award nominee John Logan
Directed by Anders Cato

In 1958, abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko had just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art -- a series of murals for New York's famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that followed, Rothko worked feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery.  But when the assistant gains the confidence to challenge the master, Rothko must face the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.

A huge hit both in London and on Broadway, this provocative play won six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Red begins performances in New Brunswick on January 31, 2012 and runs through February 26.  Opening night is set for February 3, 2012.


SPRING 2012 -- To Be Announced

Two more plays, scheduled for spring 2012, will be announced in the coming months.

Cape May Music Festival's Second Week to Feature Lea, Mesterhazy and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Afro-Cuban and jazz music as well as a classic chamber performance take the stage for the 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival's second week of concerts, Thursday, June 2 through Wednesday, June 8, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), with funding provided in part by a PNC Arts Alive grant. The three week concert series includes world-class orchestral and chamber music performances, a world traditions series and Bach's Lunches through Wednesday, June 15.

After their highly acclaimed performance in 2010, the Babatunde Lea Quartet brings the much anticipated return of Afro-Cuban Jazz to the Cape May Music Festival on Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Hughes and Decatur streets. "The Babatunde Lea Quintet took us on a compelling musical trip through the African Diaspora, hunkering into the rich shores of jazz right here in Southern California," declared Dee Dee McNeil of Allaboutjazz.com. Babatunde Lea is a distinguished drummer/percussionist whose music is steeped in the rhythms of the African diaspora. Lea's recordings are innovative and deeply in touch with spiritual essences. Lea's tremendous showmanship behind the trap drumkit that he plays simultaneously with a surrounding arsenal of congas and percussion (an innovative set up which he calls a ‘Traponga') thrills audiences and routinely inspires standing ovations at his live shows. The music of Babatunde Lea will open you up to its spiritual quest in a way you will find both stimulating to the body and "educultural" for the mind. General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

Cape May's favorite jazz pianist and Grammy nominee, George Mesterhazy, takes the stage on Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Hughes and Decatur streets. Mesterhazy performed nationally and abroad with jazz legend Shirley Horn until her death in 2005. His performing and arranging credits include the two Grammy-nominated Shirley Horn recordings "Loving You" and "May the Music Never End." The George Mesterhazy Trio with Paula Johns will perform familiar treasures from the Great American Songbook, many of which were originally hits in foreign countries. They will be celebrating the music from Brazil, Spain and France that influenced many of our favorites. General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) Chamber Players present a program of classic chamber repertoire with two mini-concerts on Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. Although it was officially founded in 1922, the NJSO, traces its beginnings to 1846, when the Eintracht Orchestra and Singing Society of Newark was founded. The NJSO has grown into one of the premier American orchestras comprised of some of the country's finest musicians playing a fabulous collection of "Golden Age" string instruments. Their Cape May Music Festival concert will feature Brennan Sweet on violin, Fatima Aaziza on violin, Brett Deubner on viola, and Stephen Fang on cello. Delight in the sounds of Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76, No. 4 "Sunrise" and Bartok's String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17 Sz. 67 during the first mini-concert and Ravel's String Quartet in F major during the second mini-concert. General admission is $10 per mini-concert or $20 for both, seniors $7.50 per mini-concert or $15 for both and students $2.50 per mini-concert or $5 for both.

Symphony and scones combine! The 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival presents a Bach's Lunch featuring members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony performing a mini-concert on Wednesday, June 8 at 12:30 p.m. First enjoy a Chef's Choice Tea Luncheon at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café located on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Indulge in this Victorian tradition of freshly baked tea breads and scones, selection of tea sandwiches and delicious desserts while overlooking the lovely garden. Afterwards, members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony present an intimate concert featuring favorites from the classical repertoire. Tickets are $30 per person and reservations are limited to 50 people. Bach's Lunches sponsored by the Priester Family Foundation (Sue Priester) and John and Sylvia Baer (in memory of Fred and Sarita Kuhner).

The Cape May Music Festival is funded in part by PNC Arts Alive, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding through The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement. For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit www.PNCARTSALIVE.com. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey promotes health, well-being, and quality of life in New Jersey's communities.

The 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC's year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC's Web site at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508.

2011 New Jersey International Film Festival Begins June 3!

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program In Cinema Studies, Showbiz Software, New Brunswick City Market, Writers Boot Camp, Jungle Software, Johnson and Johnson and Eastman Kodak, is proud to present the 16th annual New Jersey International Film Festival Summer 2011.  Showcasing new international films, American independent features, animation, experimental and short subjects, and cutting-edge documentaries, the New Jersey International Film Festival Summer 2011 will feature 33 film screenings and workshops. The Festival will run from June 3-19, 2011. All the works selected were screened by a panel of judges including media professionals, journalists, students, and academics. These judges selected the 31 finalists which will be publicly screened at our Festival. These finalists were selected from over 371 works submitted by film and videomakers from around the world. In addition, the judges chose the Prize Winners (including over $6,000 in prizes) in conjunction with the Festival Director. Prize winners will be announced before the screenings on Sunday, June 19.

Film Premieres:
31 films will have their New Jersey or Area Premiere (Middlesex County) screenings as part of the New Jersey International Film Festival Summer 2011. Some of these include: Noemie LaFrance's incredible experimental performance film Melt; Gerry Curtis beautifully eerie short Savasana; Peter Luisi's playfully surreal romantic feature comedy The Sandman from Switzerland; John Langan's Bowling Balls -- a short comedy about two teenagers from Bayonne, New Jersey who attempt to steal an unpublished short story by J. D. Salinger from the Princeton University Library; Abdullah Al Kaabi's existential short The Philosopher starring Jean Reno; Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon's hilarious sex comedy with a twist Virgin Alexander; Debora Kodish and Barry Dornfeld's Eatala: A Life in Klezmer - an exhilarating celebration of the traditional folk music of Eastern European Jews, and a portrait of Elaine Hoffman Watts, a renowned klezmer percussionist; New Jersey native Ariel Frenkel's quirky black comedy Pluto; Matt Rashid and Alicia Arinella's compelling feature For Belly which tells the story of three women on the brink of transformation; Gary Mortensen's riveting documentary Shepherds of Helmand which takes viewers deep into the ongoing war in Afghanistan that is rarely seen even by reporters; Chris Campbell's Voices of Sculpture – a gorgeous documentary about the Grounds for Sculpture, a 35-acre park outside of Princeton, New Jersey; M.T. Silvia's Atomic Mom is a timely documentary about two women whose lives were directly impacted by the development of the atom bomb; Cy Kuckenbaker's Bush League is a moving and profoundly engaging ethnographic documentary of a tiny village in Northern Malawi; Rolla Selbak's Three Veils -- a poignant feature film by an Arab-American filmmaker about three young Middle-Eastern women living in the United States; and many others. See the attached schedule for more information on these and the other films or visit our website: www.njfilmfest.com.

Special Guest Appearances by Directors, Artists, and Scholars:

This summer we are pleased to announce over twenty confirmed special guest appearances by film/video directors, artists, actors, and scholars to the 2011 New Jersey International Film Festival! All visiting directors will introduce their work and do a Question and Answer session after the screenings. For more information on these special guest appearances see the attached schedule or go to our online site at www.njfilmfest.com. Note: more filmmakers will be appearing but were not able to confirm their attendance at this time. So check our website for updated information.

Film/Video Workshops: 

The New Jersey Media Arts Center will offer 2 of its most popular workshops this summer including: Screenwriting I and The Film Business. For more information on these workshops see the attached schedule or go to: www.njfilmfest.com.

Sponsor Promotion:
Now in our 22nd year, Writers Boot Camp's approach to teaching the Tools and process necessary for full development has evolved from its original Basic Training course - emphasizing first-draft productivity - to a focus on Professional Membership, an opportunity for inspired creative artists to join a Membership that provides education, support, industry knowledge and community.

Our alumni have been nominated for Oscars™, and have won Emmys, Golden Globes, WGA awards - even the Tony award. Alumni screenplays have brought in more than 3/4 of a billion dollars in Box Office, and our alumni have created or been staffed on close to 100 TV shows.

With live classes in LA and NYC, and Online Coursework available everywhere, we can help you elevate your projects and your craft level, no matter what level of experience or goals you have. For information on membership and coursework, see www.writersbootcamp.com, or call 800/800-1733.

All NJIFF participants receive a $300 scholarship towards professional membership!

Last year, we added the Writers Boot Camp Fellowship awards. Each month, we award three $5000 full scholarships to our Online Professional Membership (OPM), including an opportunity to compete for an annual writing/development deal with Writers Boot Camp Productions and/or a studio, network or independent producer.

Entrants compete in three categories each month: Feature Film, Television Pilot, and awards for diversity in subject matter and lead characters, as well as inspired writers based on personal experience and circumstances. Fellowship candidates just need an original idea for a feature film or television series pilot, and a scene (no more than three pages) conveying the entertaining potential of your idea.

For info about Writers Boot Camp coursework, or to Apply Now to Become a Fellow, Go to writersbootcamp.com, or call 800/800-1733.

Sponsors:

The New Jersey Film Festivalsm Summer 2011 in part by The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center; The Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies/School of Arts and Sciences; The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders/ Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission thru a grant provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Eastman Kodak; Johnson & Johnson; New Jersey Books; WCTC/WMGQ; The Home News Tribune;  The Highland Park Mirror; The Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences; the Rutgers University Office of Academic Engagement and Programming; The Rutgers University American Studies Department; Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program;  Rutgers University Center For Middle Eastern Studies; Writers Boot Camp; Jungle Software; New Brunswick City Market; Showbiz Software; The Rutgers University Office of Community Affairs; Rutgers University  Libraries; Rutgers University Presentation Services; The Rutgers University Enhanced Classroom Support Department; Design Ideas; Advanced Printing; Steven C. Schechter, Esq.; Share and Harris.


Information:

Albert Gabriel Nigrin, Executive Director/Curator,
New Jersey International Film Festival,
Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center,
72 Lipman Drive 018 Loree Hall, Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414
Phone : (732)932-8482 Fax : (732)932-1935; E-mail: njmac@aol.com; www.njfilmfest.com


East Lynne Theater Company's Student Workshop

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Mr. March, while performing his duties as a minister for the Northern troops during the Civil War, became ill. His wife, known as "Marmee" to Alcott fans, must leave their daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, to take care of him, leaving the household in the care of the faithful maid, Hannah.  The next door neighbors, Mr. Laurence and Laurie, are on hand to help the March family, too, in Elizabeth Lincoln Gould's 1900 adaptation of the timeless Louisa May Alcott classic "Little Women."

     To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and to celebrate a much beloved American author, East Lynne Theater Company presents "Little Woman," performed by the 5th Annual Student Workshop actors.

     ELTC's Student Workshop, where participants ages 11-18 perform after a 9-day rehearsal schedule, is much anticipated, and has yearly been seen by an appreciative standing-room-only audience. The performance of "Little Women" is Tuesday, July 7 at 8:00p.m., admission-free, at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St. in Cape May, where the company is in residence.

     The fee is only $200.00 to be included in this exciting Workshop, and there are only a few openings left. The nine rehearsal days are between June 21-July 1 from 12:30p.m.-3:30p.m. and on July 5 from 2:30-5:30.  ELTC's Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth will direct, with support from ELTC's Technical Director, Lee O'Connor, and other ELTC artists. To receive applications, call ELTC at 609-884-5898, e-mail eastlynneco@aol.com, or go the web site www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Comedy Night at Chester Theatre Group's Black River Playhouse

(CHESTER, NJ) -- June 4th at 8pm The Black River Playhouse in Chester, NJ, is hosting their second annual comedy night as a fundraiser for the Chester Theatre Group. Featured comedians Katherine Brower, Dan Hoffman, Fred Holzapfel, Julie McCormick, Karen Muha, Peggy Robinson, and Phil Sweet, are alumni of the Humor in the Midst Comedy Workshops conducted by comic Kate Lyn Reiter. Last year's comedy night was a sold-out hit. Suggested donation is $15. The Black River Playhouse is located at the corner of Maple And Grove in Chester Borough. The box office: 908.879.7304 or online at www.chestertheatregroup.org.


Kate Lyn Reiter is an MFA graduate of the YALE School of Drama. She has written and performed character comedy and stand-up comedy in the New York City area for several years and been a comedy speaker at various events throughout the area.  Her comedy performances include appearances on Comedy Central, Fox Network and New York City clubs, and  have earned her a NYC Backstage Bistro Award for Comedy Performance and a nomination for Manhattan Association of Cabarets' MAC Award.  Her acting credits include performing with Robin Williams and John Lithgow in the film, "The World According to Garp."

Kate Lyn's comedy workshops have been presented in conjunction with Centenary College, Centenary Stage Company, Chester Theatre Group, Warren County Cultural & Heritage Commission, New Jersey Teen Arts, & Roxbury Alliance for Arts Council.

Kate Lyn is a Certified Teacher and has been an adjunct instructor  at Centenary College, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Warren County Community College.  Kate Lyn has been a guest lecturer at the YALE Summer Drama Program Film Workshop. She is a member of the professional unions, AEA and The Dramatists Guild.  She has directed theatre professionally and been a regular director for the Centenary Stage Company's Women Playwrights Series for several years.

Also experienced in the business world, she has tutored executives on giving presentations, and developed presentations and guides for businesses.  Kate Lyn is an accomplished writer and playwright. Her play, "St. Louie Dreamer" garnered praises in the New York Post.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey receives grant to support Pay What You Can performances

(MADISON, NJ) — The Smart Family Foundation of Wilton, CT has awarded the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey a grant to support its Pay What You Can performance series, the Theatre announced today.  The Smart Family Foundation is an independent family foundation with a core mission to support primary and secondary school education.  In their most recent reporting year, the Foundation reported assets of more than $84 million.

"The Smart Family Foundation is proud to support The Shakespeare Theatre in its efforts to make theatre accessible to people of all means," said David S. Stone, Managing Partner of the Short Hills commercial litigation firm Stone & Magnanini, and Trustee of The Smart Family Foundation.

Pay What You Can performances offer the opportunity for those who might not be able to attend the theatre to purchase a ticket at The Shakespeare Theatre for a price they are able to pay.  The first performance of each production is designated Pay What You Can.  Patrons can visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on the day of the first performance and purchase a ticket for what they are able to pay for that evening's 7:30 p.m. performance.

The Smart Foundation funds a variety of organizations, many of them arts and education related, including NJPAC, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Paper Mill Playhouse and Harvard Law School.  "We are very grateful to the Smart Foundation for their gift to support this very important program," said Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.

The Shakespeare Theatre's  2011 Season – the 49th Anniversary Season of New Jersey's only professional theatre dedicated to Shakespeare's cannon and other classic masterworks – includes six Main Stage productions and one production on its Outdoor Stage.



The 2011 Season begins with the 17th century comedy of manners The Misanthrope.  Moliere's enduring masterpiece about the hypocrisy of polite society bites as sharply and as hilariously now as it did in Paris in 1666 where overzealous honesty proves as destructive as overwhelming sycophancy.  Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs The Misanthrope which runs June 1 through June 26.



For its annual Outdoor Stage production at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, The Shakespeare Theatre will present the world's most popular comedy, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  This newly conceived, exuberant, 90-minute production will be perfect for children and families of all ages.  A Midsummer Night's Dream which will run from June 22 through July 31 and will include new 4:30 p.m. twilight performances on select Saturdays and Sundays in addition to 8:15 p.m. performances Tuesdays through Sundays.



Back on the Main Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre will present Timon of Athens. This taut 90- minute version of Shakespeare's rarely-produced play has been created by Brian B. Crowe and in his inventive hands will feature imaginative staging and a sublime blend of Grand Guignol, Vaudeville, and Brechtian theatricality.   Timon of Athens will run July 6 through July 24.



Dario Fo's brilliantly funny, irreverent political farce, The Accidental Death of An Anarchist, embodies the modern Fo-brand of commedia theatre that has helped define him as a playwright of the people. The Nobel Prize Committee called him a writer "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden." Inspired by a real-life event involving a man who "fell" from the window of a police station, Fo has invented an outrageously sly and caustic comedy filled with physical and linguistic acrobatics.   Accidental Death of An Anarchist begins performances on August 3 and continues through August 28.



The Fall portion of the season will launch with Shakespeare's great tragedy Othello.   This tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal remains as compelling today as when it first exploded onto the stage in 1604.  Othello will begin performances on September 7 and continue through October 2.



Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's beloved American classic To Kill A Mockingbird will begin performances on October 12 and continue through November 20.

Featuring the characters Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley who have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience, this Pulitzer-prize winning tale is considered to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century.



The season will close with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett.  Neil Bartlett's unique and inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale, and profoundly captures the true essence of the original novel.  With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production features a new visual landscape which conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale that, in the end is always beautifully touching.  A Christmas Carol will begin performances on December 1 and continue through January 1.



Complete Works subscriptions, the best available seats to all six Main Stage productions, are now on sale.  Complete Works subscriptions range in price from $108 for Previews to $378 for Opening Nights.  Student subscriptions are available for $60.   Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600.   The Complete Works subscription features up to 43% percent savings off the cost of regular tickets, the best seats to all Main Stage productions; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance.



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 Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown.   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.  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.

Metuchen's Junebug ArtFest Announces Special Guest Lecturers

(METUCHEN, NJ) -- Metuchen's Mystical Magical Junebug ArtFest has moved itself up a notch...or five. Two Modern Masters of visual art will participate in the annual event as guest lecturers and extend the "every-Friday-night-in-June" activity into two Thursday evenings as well.

Internationally recognized conceptual artist, sculptor and photographer SANDY SKOGLUND will present an overview of her work on THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 7:30PM at the Old Franklin School, 491 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen.

JANE DICKSON, described as "the woman who brought celebration to the daily commute" with her mosaics of New Year's Revelers in the NY Subway, will present an overview of her work on THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 7:30PM, at the same location.

Skoglund's studio has been portrayed as an "unlikely cross between a playground and a laboratory where high-minded ideas commingle with basic materials and other worlds emerge..."  (www.sandyskoglund.com )

Jane Dickson, a professor at PACE University in NYC, is widely known for her paintings on astro-turf and interactive City Maze installed in the Bronx. (www.janedickson.com )

Both artists are at the peak of their careers and active participants in the NYC art scene, and the Metuchen art community is delighted by their participation in the event.

"When the Junebug Committee gathered last October to 'evaluate and dream,' we spoke about the need to take the event to the next level," explains Linda LaStella, one of the Chairpersons. "We are thrilled to be able to bring artists of this stature to our Central Jersey community."

The Junebug Committee is able to provide these two lectures thanks to a successful fundraising campaign through the arts funding website www.kickstarter.com.

We are hoping for a large turnout those two Thursday evenings in June when Metuchen truly becomes a "haven for artists and a heaven for art lovers."

For more information: Visit the Junebug web site - junebugartfest.com

Contact Linda LaStella at 732-906-4137 or earthsongsceramicstudio@gmail.com

Gary's Wine & Marketplace hosts Wine Tastings in Celebration of The Shakespeare Theatre's The Misanthrope

(MADISON, NJ) —- In celebration of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2011 Season opening production of Moliere's brilliant comedy The Misanthrope, Gary's Wine & Marketplace will hold a free Great Wines of France wine tasting on Saturday, June 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at its Madison, Bernardsville and Wayne locations.   The tasting will feature a repertoire of France's finest summer rosés, reds and whites.  During the tasting, each location will hold a raffle to win a pair of tickets to The Misanthrope which begins performances on June 1 and continues through June 26 at The Shakespeare Theatre's F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison.   For more information about Gary's Wine & Marketplace, visit www.GarysWine.com.   For more information or for tickets to The Misanthrope, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or call 973-408-5600.

"We are thrilled that our friends at Gary's Wine & Marketplace will help us celebrate the first production of our 49th Season in grand style," said Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.  "The Misanthrope premiered in Paris on June 4th, 1666, and exactly 345 years later to the day, not only will we toast the opening of our production, but Gary's Wine and Marketplace will offer everyone the opportunity to sample the great wines from Moliere's birthplace."

"We support the local arts in any way we can, so pouring French wines in support of this classic French production is the perfect fit," added Gary Fisch, owner of Gary's Wine & Marketplace.

Considered one of the world's greatest masters of comedy, Molière is also the author of The School for Wives, Tartuffe, The Miser and The Imaginary Invalid among many others.  The Misanthrope, often considered Molière's finest achievement, features the misanthropic Alceste – a "fallen idealist" whose obsession with honesty and his rejections of society's often hypocritical social conventions wreak havoc on his life.  Molière's enduring masterpiece bites as sharply and as hilariously now as it did in Paris in 1666, and while the play supplies a hefty dose of laughter and delight, it also delivers profound and sharp barbs about humankind's foibles and transgressions.  

Gary's Wine & Marketplace locations are in Madison at 121 Main Street; Bernardsville at 100 Morristown Rd. (Rt. 202) and Wayne at 1308 Rt. 23 North.

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 Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown.   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.  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.

Surflight Theatre Announces Partnership with New York's Legendary Comedy Club CATCH A RISING STAR

(Beach Haven, NJ) -- CATCH COMEDY AT SURFLIGHT! Celebrating its 62nd Season of Broadway at the Beach, Surflight Theatre, a Jersey Shore entertainment destination for over 60 years, now under the leadership of Producer and Surflight alum Roy Miller, is proud to announce Surflight Theatre's partnering with New York's legendary comedy club - Catch a Rising Star for an all-star lineup of stars and concerts coming to Long Beach Island for Monday nights at 8pm this summer from June 27 through August 29.

"As part of our efforts to take the new Surflight to the next level of excellence, I am proud to welcome Catch a Rising Star to our theatre and join forces with Catch partners Craig Neier and Suzy Yengo," said Producer Roy Miller.  Miller continued, "Our starry line-up for Monday nights at Surflight include:  June 27: New Jersey's own Uncle Floyd; July 11: Law & Order star - Richard Belzer and the Belzonics; July 18: Gilbert Gottfried; July 25 (two shows at 6 and 8pm): John Pizzarelli Quartet and featuring special guest Bucky Pizzarelli; August 1: Mike Marino, August 8: Kevin Meaney, and August 15: Long Live The Beatles, and August 22: Jackie ‘The Joke Man' Martling.  Stay tuned for added stars!"

"The partnering of Catch a Rising Star with Surflight Theatre will create the hottest new entertainment destination on Long Beach Island!," notes Catch partners Craig Neier and Suzy Yengo. The challenge of bringing a full season of national headliners to Beach Haven has been met, and every single week beachgoers will have the opportunity to enjoy the top quality talent that makes us the longest-running comedy club in the universe!"

Catch a Rising Star -- the Original NY Comedy Club that launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Rosie O'Donnell, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Richard Belzer, Ray Romano, Jon Lovitz, Chris Rock, Dane Cook, Bob Saget, Robert Wuhl, and many others -- has been providing Comedy of Legendary Proportions since 1972, with regular clubs in Reno, Nevada, Providence, Rhode Island, Princeton, New Jersey and Jersey City, New Jersey.  More info is available at www.catcharisingstar.com.

Miller and Neier met in 1975 while attending Hanover Park High School in East Hanover, NJ. Coincidentally, they both began their careers as magicians and appeared together in a teenage magic competition on the Sunday morning children's television show "Wonderama."

"Additional performers will be added to the Catch roster and announced soon," added Miller.  "You might just see a magician or two appearing as well by summer's end."

Be sure to visit www.surflight.org to buy tickets online for Surflight's Catch a Rising Star lineup, as well as the exciting mainstage season, children's theatre and other exciting events through the summer.

Surflight Theatre is located at Engleside and Beach Avenues in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey.  Performance times: 8:00pm, Tickets: $29-$59.  Tickets may be purchased in person at the Surflight box office or by phone at 609-492-9477.  Tickets are also available online at www.surflight.org.