New Jersey Stage

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bask In My Glory For A Price!

By Donald W. Dunphy

How the publishing industry wants you to pay to attend author appearances, and why it is a bad idea.
In a recent New York Times article, it was reported how bookstores are charging patrons for the privilege of attending an author's appearance at that same bookstore all the while, one assumes, engaging in the process of selling the book. It is, in some bizarre way, like somebody dialing up infomercials on demand.

Not that any of this is new. The publishing industry is only following, once again, the path laid bare by the music industry. Remember when the Borders and Barnes & Nobles all said, "Nobody will want to read books on an electronic device. It's so impersonal! Where are the pages? This medium isn't like music at all!”

Cut to just a few days ago when Barnes & Noble announced Nook digital books are outselling everything else three-to-one. Those impersonal, pageless files are one of the few things apparently keeping B&N from circling the same drain Borders is being sucked down into. Amazon's been saying the same thing for over a year now, even as the purists jammed their fingers in their ears and chanted how it wasn't possible.

Count me in with the purists. I still like books on paper and haven't yet tossed my entire library to the data tides. I mean, do I really need one more video screen in my life? Regardless, for their lack of foresight, and for counting on the longtime sticks-in-mud such as I for their continued existence, bookstores are paying a price. And if you absolutely must have a seat in the audience of the latest self-help guru's pitch for their latest self-help opus, you'll pay too.

Some stores are leavening this latest inclination by accepting the entry fee as a purchase of said guru's book, or in the form of a gift card, but it is still at the core asking for money for the chance to have you hear them ask you for more money.

In the remaining record stores across the country, the in-store appearance and signing became commoditized several years ago. In fact, one of New Jersey's most prominent indies sells wristbands for events in advance, sometimes as far back as a month. The three-or-four song, stripped-down, acoustic jaunt has become a source of earnings.

Now, I'm all in favor of artists getting paid for their work. It is only right that if you made it and try to sell it, you should be allowed to profit somehow. It is unfortunate that digital media has dammed up a vital revenue stream. All this contributed to the summer concert season of 2010 being one of the lowest-attended, as prices per ticket were jacked up to counter the album sales shortfall. Consumers rejected the pricing, as if they had a choice. In a bad economy, what do you do? Hit the Def Leppard/Styx tour for one night, or pay your mortgage for the month?

The answer is clear. The mortgage company, because they know where you live.

So we have artists that can't make money from their CDs because people download them for free, can't make money on tour because the prices are sky-high, and all that is left is the in-store appearance where they can gladhand the audience, maybe play a tune or so with drastically altered arrangement, and sign a t-shirt or two.

That'll be $30 per signature, sweetie.

There was a store in Eatontown NJ that, on rare occasions, hosted in-store appearances, all for free and without the explicit exertion of sales lingering in the foyer...maybe a merch table, but that was the extent of it. On this particular night, at Red Bank's Count Basie Theater, Frank Black (a/k/a Pixies' Black Francis) was headlining a tour to promote his debut album on Elektra Records. Label-mates They Might Be Giants also had a new disc out called John Henry, their first with a full band backing them, and they were the opening act.

On this night at the music store, They Might Be Giants played a set of ten tunes (count ‘em – ten) without fear of watering down potential ticket sales for the later gig. Sure, this band is known for their short songs, but they offered up a wide-ranging batch that covered the entirety of their career thus far, from the earliest tracks on the Hoboken-based Bar-None label, to their Tiny Toons Adventures tie-in "Particle Man” (from the Flood album), to cuts from John Henry. It was a performance that they could have charged for.

But they didn't, and you know what? I bought their new CD that night, without a sales pitch or any coaxing, and certainly without the specter of having to buy it just to get inside.

Okay, that music store went out of business several years ago, but that's another story.

The point of this rambling recollection is that an in-store appearance ought to stand on its own as the commercial it is intended to be, and if the presentation is great, it will be remembered by the people in that crowd. If you have to lock in a sale in the process, it is something else entirely, and any expression of goodwill attached to it must be quickly disputed...or, the band better be offering a show's worth of material for the cost.

Publishing industry be warned. Unless you're prepared to have an audience expect an author read their book, from cover-to-cover to justify a performance fee (and isn't that really what we're talking about here?), maybe you'll want to rethink asking for money for the event. Books can take a long time to read out loud, and if I must plunk my money down, you, Mr. or Ms. Writer, better be saying every last word of it.

For more background, feel free to visit the New York Times for this article if, in fact, you haven't hit the paywall for the month: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/business/media/22events.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

ELTC's Student Workshop Production of "Little Women"

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- "Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents," grumbles Jo March in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women."  Join Jo and her sisters, Meg, Beth, and Amy, along with Marmee, Hannah, the faithful servant, Laurie, the next door neighbor, and friends who perform one of Alcott's early plays, in an adaptation by Gayle Stahlhuth, based on Alcott's timeless classic and an Elizabeth Lincoln Gould adaptation from 1900.    

     East Lynne Theater Company's much anticipated Student Workshop Production is back!

     This year, ELTC celebrates Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) and commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with "Little Women."   The Civil War is raging on, and the March sisters do the best they can at home while their mother is in Washington D.C., taking care of their ill father, in this heartwarming and amusing adaptation.

     After nine, three-hour sessions, thirteen students, ages 10-16, will perform "Little Women" on Tues., July 5, at 8:00p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. This marks ELTC's 5th Summer Student Workshop Production, and the past four years it's been standing room only. Admission is free and families are welcome.

     As usual, ELTC’s student productions are based on works written by famous American writers, or plays written by early 20th century Americans, such as Alice Gerstenberg's 1917 Broadway hit, "Alice in Wonderland." 

     The workshop leaders this year are Gayle Stahlhuth and Lee O'Connor, with special acting workshops taught by Tom Byrn, who is currently in ELTC’s mainstage production of "He and She."  

     Meanwhile, ELTC's "He and She," praised by reviewers and audiences alike, runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. only through July 23.

     For information about the workshop, mainstage season, touring shows, and educational outreach, and to make reservations, call 609-884-5898, or go online at www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes Set To Perform Epic Little Steven And The Disciples of Soul Album "Men Without Women"

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have announced they will play the Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul 1982 debut album 'Men Without Women' in sequence during their July 2nd show at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The Jukes will have some help from some friends to perform the album which include former Jukes and original Disciples of Soul members Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg, Mark "Loveman" Pender and Stan Harrison along with Seeger Session Band members Soozie Tyrell and Lisa Lowell.

Men Without Women charted in the US Billboard 200 in 1982 with top 100 single "Forever", which has been a long time favorite at the Asbury Jukes shows over the years.  Steven Van Zandt was a founding member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and longtime member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

All ten tracks of 1982 Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul album to be played in sequence along with current and future Jukes classics on Saturday, July 2 at the Stone Pony Summer Stage.

Also on the bill on July 2:  Pat DiNizio, Outside the Box and Jody Joseph.  Gates open at 5pm; tickets are $30 in advance and $35 day of show.

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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Premiere Stages Produces Compelling True Story Of A Fearless Madame Taking A Stand In Segregated Mississippi

(UNION, NJ) – Premiere Stages, celebrating its seventh year as the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University, announces the premiere of Follow Me to Nellie's by Dominique Morisseau.

Follow Me to Nellie's, takes place in the home of the infamous Nellie Jackson's, where a hopeless blues singer is looking for a way out, a brave freedom fighter is looking for a way in, and a house of downtrodden women are looking for a new day.  In 1955 Mississippi, during the reign of segregation, the price of attaining their dreams may cost them everything.  The play takes a harrowing look at those who risked everything so that all Americans could be afforded the opportunity to vote.  Follow Me to Nellie's opens Thursday, July 14th and continues through Sunday, July 31st.  The exceptional cast features veterans of Broadway, off-Broadway, television and film, including Lynda Gravatt in the title role.

Ms. Gravatt appeared on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 45 Seconds From Broadway, King Hedley II and Doubt.  She has won numerous accolades for her off-Broadway work including the AUDELCO Award and the Theatre World Award.  Television appearances have included roles in "Law & Order" series, "One Life to Live," "As the World Turns," and "Sex and the City."

The Premiere Stages production of "…Nellie's" will include an interactive lobby display and patrons will have the opportunity to register to vote at all performances.

Follow Me to Nellie's is the winner of the 2011 Premiere Stages Play Festival and was selected from more than 300 submissions. The Festival features a uniquely accelerated process in which the region's most promising new plays are developed and fully produced within a year of submission.  Playwrights are also afforded the opportunity to retain the coveted "world premiere" brand.

"In many professional theatres the time span between meeting a writer, staging a reading and producing the play can be years," noted artistic director John Wooten.  "When we discover a dramatist we believe in, our play festival process allows Premiere Stages to fully commit the time, talent and resources necessary to share that writer's work with a broad regional audience."

Standard tickets are $25 with special rates for seniors, students, Kean alumni, groups and patrons with disabilities. The Premiere Package (a new subscription series) saves patrons up to $30.00 and includes discounts on restaurants and free admission to staged readings and other special events.  For reservations, which are highly recommended call the Kean University Box Office at (908)-737-SHOW (7469), or visit Premiere Stages online at www.kean.edu/premierestages.

All performances take place on the Kean University campus, located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J. in the Zella Fry Theatre in the Vaughn Eames Building.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday matinee performances begin at 3 p.m.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking.  Premiere Stages provides discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities and provides facilities that are fully accessible. Patrons should call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances.  Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available upon request.  Publications in alternate formats are available with advanced notice. For information about special events, please call Clare Drobot at (908)-737-4092.  For group and dinner theatre packages, call Paul Whelihan at (908)-737-4077.  For specifics of the season, please contact Artistic Director John Wooten at jwooten@kean.edu or 908-737-4360.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance and through the generous support of individual patrons.

Photo: (l to r) Richard Rella as Scapino, Gregory Ryan as Argante, Allison Miller as Carla, and (in background) Paul Castro as Sylvestro.



(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Shadow Lawn Stage, The Professional Theater of Monmouth University, will present its summer season from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, July 31, 2010.  The season includes "Scapino" from June 23-July 10 and "Molly Sweeney" from July 14-July 31.  Both shows take place at the Lauren K. Woods Theatre.

SCAPINO
Scapino, by director Frank Dunlop and actor Jim Dale, is an outrageous comedy adapted "a long way off from Moliere" but exhibiting the classic elements of the French master and the Italian "commedia d'ell arte." Scapino is the wily servant who twists the rules to trick his master's father into allowing him to marry the girl of his dreams while the waiters, waitresses and customers of a seaside restaurant sing parodies of "O Solo Mio" and the names of menu items like "veal scallopine."

The cast of "Scapino" combines student actors with professional Equity actors - the largest number of students in the cast in the theater's history.  Professional actors include Richard Rella, Jr. as Scapino.  Rella has worked with "Tony and Tina's Wedding" and has a recurring role on "30 Rock."  Bradley Mott, as Geronte, returning for a second season with Shadow Lawn Stage after performing in "Sunshine Boys" last year. Buddy Haardt, as Ottavio, also returning to Shadow Lawn Stage after performing the "Complete Works of Shakespeare" in 2009.  Janine Molinari, as Zerbinetta the gypsy, also a member of "Tony and Tina."

New to Shadow Lawn Stage this season includes Paula Jon DeRose as the lovely Giacinta; Gregory Ryan as the miserly Argante; Billy Edwards as lovestruck Leandro; and Gina Scherzo as Zerbinetta's "nurse."

Student actors include Alex Appolonia, Michael Rosas, Michele Cox, and Taylor Bogan as waiters in the restaurant; Paul Castro as Sylvestro; Henry O. Siebecker as Carlo and Allison Miller as Carla.  The stage manager, Ernie Fimbres, is also assisted by a student assistant stage manager who, with this production, qualified to join Equity, the professional actor's union.

Preview: June 23 at 8 pm
Opening Night: June 24 at 8 pm
Performances: June 25, 29 and 30, July 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.; June 26, July 3 and 10 at 7 p.m.
Cost: Preview night - Adult/Senior $20; Student $10; June 24 through July 10 - Adult $35; Senior $30; Student $15

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOLLY SWEENEY
Molly Sweeney is by the prize-winning Irish playwright, Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations). It is the story of Molly Sweeney, a woman who has been blind since childhood, who undergoes an operation to restore her vision. Based loosely on an essay by Oliver Saks (Awakenings), the tale is told by Molly, her husband, and the doctor.

Molly Sweeney recently finished a run in April at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City. It features three professional actors: Katrina Ferguson, returning to Shadow Lawn Stage after playing a nurse in "Sunshine Boys" and "The Au Pair Man"; Patrick Toon, another person returning to Shadow Lawn Stage, after five years; and Bradley Mott, who will go directly from "Scapino" into rehearsals for "Molly Sweeney."

Preview: July 14 at 8 pm
Opening Night: July 15 at 8 pm
Performances: July 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30 at 8 p.m.; July 17, 24 and 31 at 7 p.m.
Cost: Preview night - Adult/Senior $15; Student $10; July 15 through July 31 - Adult $30; Senior $22; Student $15

For additional information, please visit www.monmouth.edu/shadowlawnstage. Tickets can be purchased online at www.monmouth.edu/shadowlawnstage or by contacting the central box office at 732-263-6889. Group Rates are available. Shadow Lawn Stage is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and an Actors’ Equity Stage.

Photo: (l to r) Richard Rella as Scapino, Gregory Ryan as Argante, Allison Miller as Carla, and (in background) Paul Castro as Sylvestro.

Your Scene Is Born To Die, Kid

by Donald W. Dunphy
Ruminations about how things got worse when things got better.

There is truth in the idea that a music scene coalesces around a sound. One points to the early-90s and the Seattle thing. I bite my tongue when the temptation to say "grunge" comes up. Punk, maybe. Classic rock, surely. There is a lot more of The Who in Pearl Jam than people cared to believe at that time.

There is also truth that scenes arise from virtually nothing, with disparate sounds literally finding commonality under one roof. For these fragile things, the macro-economic picture indicates a neighborhood where bohemians can afford to be bohemian, and can host raucous rent-raising parties without having the neighbors calling the police on you. Rent parties are only effective when you don't spend the proceeds on bail.

This might be why, for the moment, the varied musical communities around New Jersey ought to be buzzing with life. The housing marking is in the dump. As far down as properties have gone, the experts haven't reached consensus over whether there's still farther to go, if that is even possible.

That would mean a lot of people are itching to make some money off those languishing buildings they scooped up when the housing bubble was expanding and floating to the stratosphere. Here's the problem: that's exactly what is happening, but not for the starving artists, singer/songwriters and freak flag fliers. A lot of the available rents are going to people who are under-water in failing mortgages, or have been foreclosed upon, and so the kind of neighborhoods where young, creative, and regularly broke people burst into activity are supplanted by former homeowners, families and such.

It gets worse. Demand dictates price so, even in a lousy market, rents are high and capitalizing on the throngs of recently-interested tenants. Beyond that, when you have buildings suddenly being filled with former suburbanites, who still enjoy the amenities of the suburban life, gentrification can't help but seep in.

I recently covered a story regarding New York's High Line, an attraction few would find fault with except, perhaps, the long-time residents. Again and again, while they showed great appreciation for the architecture and landscaping that have come with the revamped High Line, and how this once-used elevated train line is now a park unique to New York, people want to live near it. They will pay to do so, and they will pay more than anyone else to make sure that happens.

Those who came to the disused meatpacking district for cheap rents, big lofts and wild times were either priced out, shushed up or otherwise driven away by wine bars, cheese emporiums and tourists.

Not that there is anything inherently wrong with wine bars, cheese emporiums and tourists, but they tend to make lousy subjects for singer/songwriters. There's a Chelsea Hotel and there's a Waldorf Astoria. Which one got the song?

The Asbury Park of Bruce Springsteen's time is not the one of today. While there are still some great knockabout clubs that present new live music, the bands seem to be mostly out of town types, not homegrown. We should be fortunate that places like The Stone Pony and The Saint still exist, because it is only a few miles down the line where other clubs are featuring cover bands that are making a hell of a lot more money per weekend, trying not to feel violated when they do Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" while waiting for the drunken crowds to interject "Oh, oh, oh" and "So good, so good, so good!" (When did this practice actually start, who started it, and might I still have the opportunity to kick this person in a vulnerable spot?)

It is an act of bravery, naïveté and maybe a terrible disregard of personal well-being to present one's own songs these days. If American Idol and The Voice have taught us anything, it is that imitation, not innovation, gets you paid, and yet these clubs stubbornly hang on. I hope they have a lot of life still in them.

Having lived in the Red Bank area for most of my life, I've seen firsthand how a town can change. Most will say it is for the better, and aesthetically I believe they're right. In matters of the soul of a place, I'm not so sure. Downtown Red Bank used to be a grimy sort of place when I was young, not particularly rough, but there was a sense of lacking refinement about the area that suited it. Jack's Music had the largest selection of records and tapes in Monmouth County, and right next door was the fully-loaded showroom full of guitars, keyboards, and the bastard child of the music world, keytars.

The convenience stores had the oddest sense of humor about them. That must have been the reason why the comic book rack was right next to the porn rack. Either that or Superman and Wonder Woman had taken the Justice League to a whole new extreme.

The important thing was that almost everyone seemed to be in a band then, or said they were. There was the feeling that any one of these bodies that bumped around on Broad St. could pick up a guitar and, with the right ears tuned in, could be the proverbial something. Some of them actually did.  Monster Magnet came into being during that period, and the members had day-jobs all over downtown Red Bank.

Then came Kevin Smith's View Askew Productions and the unexpected success of Clerks. I am quick to say that it wasn't the presence of his company that started the undoing of the town, because the attitude of one seemed to compliment the attitude of the other. Tonally, it was a pretty good fit.

The problem was the throngs that followed soon after. This town suddenly had potential beyond the yearly fireworks displays. They had a moviemaker setting up shop so, wow, this must be a hip little place. That phrase, "a hip little place," started proliferating, up one street and down another. When ice cream was the designer trend, suddenly there were seven ice cream stores. When coffee houses became the hot thing, bam, eight beaneries overnight. Like a fine cigar? Here are four separate places to get your smoke on.

Aside from one or two stragglers, all of those businesses are gone, even the chain store Haagen Daaz and Coldstone Creamery locations. The vegetarian restaurants? The designer doo-rag emporiums? Gone, gone, gone. With rents high as the highest billboards affixed to the rooftops, little startups haven't a prayer.

What bothers me most is that nobody here seems like they're interested in playing music, not even the ones hanging out in front of the rehearsal studio. It's as if the sponge bath the town took with the "resident upgrade" also wiped off the residue of ambition. They all just packed up and headed across Marine Park and kept going until they hit Brooklyn.

I miss the old Red Bank, knowing all too well that day is over. I would hold it up as a reminder to any nascent artist-occupied community that, with the harsh light of a success, any success, there is also a stopwatch that begins ticking to the end of that slightly sacred thing you've tried to harbor and harvest.

Funny how interchangeable the terms "better" and "worse" can be from one's distinct perspective.

Cape May Stage Presents The Summer SHAKESPEAREience Theatre Summer Camp

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier Equity theatre, is pleased to announce another chapter in their continuing commitment to quality educational programming.  Cape May Stage's Summer SHAKESPEAREience was recently voted one of the #3 theatre camps in New Jersey on JerseyArts.com out of almost a dozen statewide competing theatre arts programs.

This year's Summer SHAKESPEAREience is geared toward students of theatre ages 9 to 18, culminating in a performance of the Bard's Twelfth Night.  We are expanding the camp to include two separate sessions: the first runs two weeks from July 11-16 and July 18-23 at the Wildwood Recreational Center and the second runs from August 8-13 and August 15-20 at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse.  Both sessions will be held from 10 AM to 3 PM, Mondays through Saturdays.

"I'm very excited about the potential for this summer," says Education Outreach Coordinator Donald Toal, who also returns this year as the camp's directors.  "The students we had last year continually impressed us with their intelligence and creativity, as well as their overall enthusiasm.  This year gives us the chance to raise the stakes, and challenge returning campers' abilities even further, as well as offer newcomers a jumping-off point into the world of theatre that is exciting, but never intimidating.  Any student that wants to explore what makes the magic of live theatre possible will be right at home here."

Cape May Stage has established a history of educational programs that give students valuable experiences interacting with their peers and mentors.  The Summer SHAKESPEAREience is no exception. Students will explore acting techniques designed for creating believable characters and honest, spontaneous performances.  They will also learn methods for understanding and communicating Shakespeare's language and style, as well as the background of his life and plays.  Our professional teaching artists provide a supportive, insightful and (most importantly) fun environment that allows students to build new skills, communicate with their peers, and expand their horizons.

Qualified students may be interested in the theatre's Apprentice program, designed to give youths age 16 and older the opportunity to experience theatre as a professional artist and teacher.  The apprentice will shadow a mentor Teaching Artist for the duration of the camp program, as well as gain experience in directing their peers in a scene for the final performance. 

The cost of enrollment for either the July or August session is $325 per student.  Students that qualify for the Apprentice program receive a half scholarship (two Apprentices per session).  A $50 deposit is due at enrollment, with the balance due 2 weeks before starting camp.  For more information about this year's camp, including applications for both the camp and the Apprentice program, log onto our Education webpage at http://www.capemaystage.com/education.html, or contact our Box Office at (609)-884-1341.  Space is extremely limited for both sessions—sign up today!

Chester Theatre Group Presents "Grey Gardens"

(CHESTER, NJ) -- The Chester Theatre Group will present the musical, GREY GARDENS  at The Black River Playhouse (corner of Grove St & Maple Ave in Chester, NJ) starting Friday, July 1st. and running until July 24. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm (July 1,2, 8,9, 15, 16,22, 23) and  Sunday matinees  2 pm (July 17 & 24).  $24 general admission, sr/students $22.
This CTG production is co-directed by Jeffrey Fiorello and Mark Happel, with musical direction by Clifford Parish.

The cast includes (Part-Actor); Edith Bouvier Beale -  Barbi McGuire, "Little" Edie Beale /Edith Bouvier Beale -Barbara Haag,  Young "Little" Edie Beale -Sandy Taylor, George Gould Strong -Robert Jacobson, Brooks Sr. / Jr. - Alistair Williams, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr./ Jerry - Thomas Cioppettini,  Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier - Hannah Curtis, Lee Bouvier    - Julianne Grillo, J.V."Major" Bouvier/ Norman Vincent Peale -Rich Maloy.

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

Photo:  Barbara Haag as "Little" Edie Beale  (photo by Lamont Hill)

Indie Solutions Seeks Jersey Writers

Indie Solutions is reaching out to the NJ arts community seeking those that have written or those planning to finish a book by this summer for an event to be held in Asbury Park this August. Fiction, nonfiction, photography, poetry, etc, we hope to cover it all.

Please contact Indie Solutions here on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jamesdaltonjr#!/pages/Indie-Solutions/159251904123815) or by messaging James at james_dalton@hotmail.com.

If you've got a book, we need you and if it is someone you know, send them our way!

"Capo In the Middle" Productions Presents The "Listen Up" Songwriter Series

(POINT PLEASANT, NJ) -- The "Listen Up" Songwriter Series is a new event that will take place the last Sunday of every month at Rockin' Joes (1805 Route 35) in Point Pleasant, NJ.  The series curators, Sheli Aarden & Keith Monacchio, are not only presenting singer/songwriters, but artists from many different genres. Everything from garage, punk, heavy rock, avant-garde, indie rock, hardcore, rockabilly, anti-folk, power pop, bluegrass and anything else we can think of, in a stripped down acoustic setting. They hope to give the listener a chance to discover some new talent while providing an opportunity for all participating artists to cross-pollinate fan-bases.

The kick off performance is on June 26th 2011 from 6-9PM.  The lineup for the night includes: Anthony Walker, Lightning Jar, Stephen's Gate, and The Vagrant's Fragrence.

THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY CONTINUES ITS 49TH SEASON WITH SHAKESPEARE'S RARELY SEEN TIMON OF ATHENS

(MADISON, NJ) -- For the first time under the 21-year leadership of Bonnie J. Monte, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present William Shakespeare's rarely produced work, Timon of Athens.  Performances of Timon of Athens begin on July 6th and continue through July 24th at the Theatre's Main Stage – the intimate F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.  For tickets or for more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.    Five-play, 4-play and 3-play discount ticket packages are also available.  The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.

This inventive, 90-minute version of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens is an extraordinary explosion of imaginative staging and resonant themes.  The adaptation, by Brian B. Crowe, mixes a sublime blend of Grand Guignol, Vaudeville, and Brechtian theatricality to tell the story of Timon, the play's title character, and his psychological transition from childlike innocence to bitter despair.


The Cast

Versatile company veteran Greg Jackson plays the tragic protagonist, Timon of Athens. Jackson returns for his thirteenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he appeared most recently in The School for Wives, The Winter's Tale, Amadeus, The Comedy of Errors, A Christmas Carol and The Bald Soprano. He appeared off-Broadway in DUET! with the Actors Playhouse, and at many regional theatres including The Acting Company and the Tennessee Repertory Theatre.

Bruce Cromer plays Apemantus, a cynic who mocks Timon for his gullibility. Cromer returns for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, having appeared in The School for Wives, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Life of Galileo. Cromer has also appeared at the New Stage Collective, Human Race Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival.

Making his Shakespeare Theatre debut is Brent Harris, who plays Alcibiades, the banished general. Harris recently played Scar in the national tour of The Lion King. He has also appeared in several regional theatre productions and won the Drammy award for Outstanding Leading Actor in The Beard of Avon with the Portland Center Stage. His television credits include Out of the Box and Guiding Light.

John Seidman plays Flavius –Timon's most loyal servant. Seidman returns for his fourth season with the Shakespeare Theatre where he appeared in The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, and Richard III. On Broadway, Seidman appeared in Eva LeGallienne's revival of Alice in Wonderland. Off-Broadway, he starred in the American premiere of Brian Friel's Give Me Your Answer, Do! at Roundabout Theatre Company. His television and film credits include, Spin City Law & Order, PBS's Bedtime Playhouse, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Jeffrey.

Ames Anderson plays Lucullus, a lord who happily enjoys Timon's hospitality but refuses to do anything for him in return. Anderson returns for his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, having appeared in Hamlet, King Lear, A Christmas Carol, Henry V, Merry Wives of Windsor, Illyria, Love's Labour's Lost, King John, and Arms and the Man.

Lucius, a flattering lord who refuses to help Timon pay off his debts, is played by Scott Whitehurst. Whitehurst returns for his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he appeared in As You Like It, Henry V, Henry VI: Blood & Roses, King Lear, The School for Scandal, The School for Wives, and The Winter's Tale. Whitehurst's television and film credits include All My Children, The Kitchen, Kyoko, Law & Order, Law & Order: CI, Malcolm X, Simple Justice, and 6 Degrees.

Benard Cummings returns for his fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre to play Titus, a servant to one of Timon's creditors. Cummings appeared in the Theatre's productions of The Tempest (Outdoor Stage and Main Stage), Pericles, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Cummings has also been a teaching artist with The Shakespeare Theatre for many seasons. Also a playwright, his plays have been produced in Los Angeles, Chicago, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, St. Louis, New York City and London.

Television, film and stage veteran Geoffrey Owens makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut as a Poet.   Owens played Elvin, Bill Cosby's son-in-law, in the long-running hit television series The Cosby Show.   He has also appeared in Flash Forward, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia .  On stage, he has appeared at the NY Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre and Walnut Street Theatre among many more. 

Rounding out the cast are Jasmine Batchelor, Eric Hoffman, Dan Lawrence, Allison Layman, Quentin McQuiston, and Jessica Morris.


The Director
Resident Director Brian B. Crowe, in his 16th Season with The Shakespeare Theatre, directs Timon of Athens.  At The Shakespeare Theatre, Crowe directed The School for Wives, The Winter's Tale, Henry VI: Blood & Roses, Julius Caesar, Love's Labour's Lost, The Tempest and Comedy of Errors on the Main Stage as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew on the Outdoor Stage.  The Star-Ledger called Crowe "one of the most ingenious directors" for his work on Love's Labour's Lost and named him Best Director of a Drama for Julius Caesar and Wonderland. 


The Artistic Staff
Creating the world of Timon of Athens are set designer Brian B. Crowe and Brian Ruggaber; costume designer Pamela A. Prior; lighting designer Andrew Hungerford; sound designer Karin Graybash; and composer Peter Fleming. Christine Whalen serves as production stage manager.


Tickets

Single tickets for Timon of Athens are now on sale and start at $32.   Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID.   For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email boxoffice@shakespearenj.org.  Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.   

Special Performances

Preview performances for Timon of Athens are July 6th at 7:30 p.m., July 7th and 8th at 8 p.m., and July 9th at 2 p.m.  These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience.   As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night.   Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on July 6th and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening's 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability).  Pay What You Can is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Stone & Magnanini LLP/Smart Family Foundation, an independent family foundation.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances are offered for each show and include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff.   Symposium performances for Timon of Athens will be July 12th at 7:30 p.m. and July 16th and 23rd at 2 p.m.

For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider's perspective on the production.  Know the Show will be held on July 14th at 7:00 p.m.  General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening's 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.

The 2 pm performance on July 23rd will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments.  Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage.  A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience.   The service is offered free of charge. 

Bank Foundation Helps Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Bring New Production to Life

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) — The Investors Savings Bank Foundation, which provides grant funding to community-enrichment programs in the neighborhoods served by the bank, recently awarded a $1,000 grant to support Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, a professional theater company founded in 1995, is in the process of developing an original musical, "The Neighborhood."  Written by Laura Ekstrand, the musical is currently being scored and will be go through a workshop process next year before its official opening in 2013.

"'The Neighborhood' explores the relationships that people have with others in their community, and the way these relationships grow and change over time," said Ekstrand, who serves as the theater's artistic director.

The 75-seat theater, which is located at The Baird on Mead Street, will use the Foundation's grant to offset costs associated with the musical's development, including materials and professional fees for performers and musicians.

"Dreamcatcher is a not-for-profit theater, and we're thankful to have the support and friendship of the Investors Savings Bank Foundation," said Ekstrand.  "The generosity of our donors and corporate partners helps bring productions like this one to life."

About The Investors Savings Bank Foundation

Investors Savings Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With $9 billion in assets and a network of more than 80 retail branches, Investors delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors' banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses.

The Investors Savings Bank Foundation supports non-profit organizations that enrich the quality of life in the communities the Bank serves.  To date, the Foundation has dispensed more than $4.7 million to support initiatives ranging from community and civic improvements to the fight against diseases.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raise A Glass For The Big Man

Photo by Danny Clinch
by Gary Wien

"It's been a long time since we laughed together
It's been a long time since we cried
Raise your glass for the comrades we've lost
My friend it's been a long, long time..."

(JUNE 18, 2011) -- Words fail me.  They really do.  I had just come home from a music festival in South Jersey when I checked my emails to find that Clarence had passed away.  To me, Clarence Clemons WAS the E Street Band.  His sax provided the sound that I fell in love with as a kid.  Through that sax, the definition of the Asbury Park Sound was written.

To say it's been a rough month for the Asbury Park music community is to put it mildly.  Friends of mine lost two very good buddies in Clarence and Kevin Kavanaugh (who passed away on June 4); music fans lost two of the most important musicians in Jersey Shore music history; and I think we all feel a little closer to our own mortality right now.  Let's face it, many of us grew up with the records those two made.  I feel sorry for the people I know who were very close to these guys.  Many people have been friends with them since the sixties.  When you're friends for that long, you become a true family.  These losses hit hard.

For years, I couldn't imagine the E Street Band without Clarence.  The band may have gone on after Danny passed away, but replacing the Big Man seems different to me -- almost sacrilegious.     We all knew this day would come someday, but that it happened so soon was a shock.  What happens now? Is this truly the end of the band?

A message from Bruce Springsteen appeared on his website tonight, "It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."

I say we take Southside Johnny's advice and raise a glass to the comrades we've lost and hope we've seen the end of this run.  Sadly, there are even more people fighting hard just to stay alive right now.  Please say some prayers for guys like Vinnie Roslin.   The Asbury Park music community has had enough tears for the year, it's time for some good news.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Luna Musings By Colie Brice

(ASBURY PARK, NJ -- JUNE 15, 2011) -- Listening to Emily Grove's set at the Saint last night.  It occurred to me that Asbury Park might be better suited to be called Asbury Garden – as it's always heartening to hear and observe successive generations of artists stake their claim in the AP Garden's ever expanding cultural legacy and Emily is doing just that. 

With the well seasoned Michael Brett lending his contemplative guitar style and the seriously talented we are backing her up, Emily did a great job reaching out to the audience and explaining the context of her songs and their inspiration.  With high end sonics delivered by the mighty Hinge, and with my beautiful birthday bride Manuela in tow, everything unified to comprise an enchanting evening of Phanphest style musical connectivity.  Btw, if you haven't been to the Saint lately – you're missing out. 

Scott and Meg have assembled a truly world class, eclectic selection of interesting brews including Shiner Ruby Red which is made with with genuine Texas Rio Red Grapefruit and ginger. This tasty lager features grapefruit tartness and finishes with a 'lil kick of ginger.  A perfect antidote for cotton mouth I'd imagine, but I digress..  Tip your bartender!

The Local Skank Comes To Jersey

New Orleans' 80% female ska / rock / pop / brass act is invading New Jersey for three dates only in June! With their brassy rock and over-the-top stage show, the band which has barreled their way through, and charmed  the South, now returns to their favorite Northern state, New Jersey. A surefire blast, this show is not to be missed. They will be appearing at the following venues:

Sunday June 26th - The Record Collector - Bordenton, NJ (Daytime Show!)
Monday June 27th - The Saint - Asbury Park, NJ
Thursday June 30th - Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse - Dunellen, NJ

Mere chance brought the ladies and gentleman of The Local Skank together in the summer of 2008. Responding to a craigslist ad posted by guitarist Dani Moody, the band quickly fell into place. With bassist Melissa Crory, trumpter Hannah Kreiger-Benson, and trombonist Ashley Shabankareh, the line-up was near complete. However, the band locked into place with the addition of drummer Darryl DiMaggio. Coming from Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, and Louisiana, these ladies and gentleman formed together to create an unique group previously lacking from the New Orleans music scene. With veteran rock musicians to their stylistically different backgrounds, including punk, goth, applachian dance, hip-hop, indie rock, and ska, The Locak Skank has worked towards creating their own musical dogma. Naming themselves after their favorite style of dance, The Local Skank has been bringing a distinctive perspective to New Orleans and will continue to do so for as long as they can rock

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

"The Local Skank could probably skate by on the genius of their name alone but they also happen to be an amazing band! As the cover girls (and guy) of last year's birthday issue, we learned that they're all pretty friendly with each other and on top of some serious chops, make for a truly unforgettable show-going experience. And the Local Skank gets around! They'll be heading off mid-month to take their wacky, ska-punk-fueled good times on tour. In the meantime, look for their awesome calendar, which should be coming out this summer. Each month is a blast. Friendship, travel, exciting PR, ska-punk-- what a great resume!"
—  Antigravity Magazine

 The Local Skank, a New Orleanean all-girl-and-one-guy third wave ska band, took the stage with kick drum mic'ed to the high heavens and the bass amp turned up to eleven. With the rhythm section practically shaking the entire venue, the group's leads – face-painted and Hot Topic-costumed – worked the crowd with a playful tongue-in-cheek horrorcore send-up of rock n' roll femininity (House of a Thousand Tina Weymouths?) that included teaching audience members how to skank, stopping their set for a round of shots, and encouraging the crowd to yell "f**k" as loud as possible."
—  Taylor Gray, BarryFest

"Usually clad in costumes ranging from pirates to Japanese school girls (the male drummer excepted, of course), the Local Skank is determined to stand out. "
—  Erica Colbenson, OffBeat Magazine

Find out more about us at the following links!
www.thelocalskank.com
www.reverbnation.com/thelocalskank
www.twitter.com/thelocalskank.com

Dreamcatcher's 2011-2012 Season: Mainstage Features Three Exciting Plays

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's new season brings three acclaimed plays from the last two years to the stage in South Orange.  After several years of presenting a two-play season, Dreamcatcher is excited to add a third production in the winter months.  As always, the theatre tells stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.  Dreamcatcher, in its seventeenth season, is the professional theatre in residence at the Baird Center of South Orange and a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.  This year, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and its guests will present three mainstage productions, two improvisational comedy nights, two new play readings, one holiday variety show, and one Dreamcatcher Junior show, our annual production for families.

Kicking off the season is Multiple Personality Disorder, Dreamcatcher's improvisational comedy troupe, on Saturday, September 17.  At this first presentation, season passes will be available for the entire season, and the ticket price for the improv show can be applied to the cost of a pass.  This popular event will also be held in the spring on Saturday, April 14.

Dreamcatcher's fall mainstage production is the New Jersey premiere of a play by Geoffrey Nauffts entitled NEXT FALL.  Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 2010, NEXT FALL takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. While the play's central story focuses on the five-year relationship between Adam and Luke, NEXT FALL goes beyond a typical love story. This timely and compelling new American play forces us all to examine what it means to "believe" and what that belief, or the lack of it, might cost us.  During its Broadway run, the New York Times called it "The funniest heartbreaker in town! NEXT FALL embodies something theatergoers have been sorely missing, perhaps without knowing it, for years. A smart, sensitive, immensely appealing and utterly contemporary New York comedy." NEXT FALL will open on October 28 and will play until November 13.

On December 2 and 3, Dreamcatcher will present A VERY SPECIAL (HOLIDAY) SPECIAL, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows.  This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

Dreamcatcher will present its second mainstage production in January, the New Jersey premiere of Steven Dietz's 2009 bittersweet comedy SHOOTING STAR.  Snowed in overnight at a middle-America airport, college lovers Elena Carson and Reed McAllister have an unexpected and life-altering reunion.  As the night gives way to laughter, banter, remembrance and alcohol, Elena and Reed revisit a past that holds more surprises than they imagined—and a present that neither of them could have predicted. Filled with laughter and ache, SHOOTING STAR takes a funny, candid look at the middle days of our lives, and how we got there.  Its Trinity Rep production, reviewed on NPR, was called "hilarious and very serious…Steven Dietz's work is filled with undercurrents. You will find yourself laughing out loud. And then, two minutes later, realizing there's something serious under the guffaws. SHOOTING STAR is a work both funny and sad; a quick and sharp play about our lives, one that gives us all the fun and all the tears of our times." SHOOTING STAR plays January 13 through 29.

The third mainstage production of the season will be the whip-smart BLOOD: A COMEDY, written by David Lee White, the Associate Artistic Director of Passage Theatre in Trenton.  BLOOD had its premiere at Passage in 2009, and will be receiving its second production at Dreamcatcher in March 2012.  Jacqueline Stanzi is an eccentric life-long atheist and college professor who has just lost her tenure for trying to teach intelligent design in a science class. Struggling with confusion and memory loss, Jacqueline decides that the only way to save her mind – and her highly dysfunctional family – from destroying itself is for them all to get religion. What better time for a family confessional than the eve of her daughter's wedding and the joining of two bloodlines?  When the play ran at Passage, Anita Gates of The New York Times wrote, "David Lee White's BLOOD: A COMEDY couldn't be cleverer as it deals with the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a soap-opera-style family shocker and reflections on the existence of God."  BLOOD: A COMEDY runs at Dreamcatcher from March 9 through 25.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist" free new play readings will be held on May 9 and 23, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

After its month-long Summer Theatre Conservatory for students aged 10-17, Dreamcatcher will present its annual DREAMCATCHER JUNIOR production on July 27, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece.  Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that ranges from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities.  All of Dreamcatcher's activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together.  The company's work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available.  The theatre at The Baird is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, audio description and open captioning will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season.  Performances are in the third-floor theatre at the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079.  For more information and tickets for any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please call 973-378-7754, ext. 2228, and visit www.DreamcatcherRep.org.

Shore Repertory Theatre Presents Nunsense

(Manasquan, NJ) -- Shore Repertory Theatre Company is proud to present Dan Goggin's musical Nunsense at The Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan from July 8 to the 17th.  Mark your calendars now, and reserve tickets soon for this wonderful, hilarious show! 

Nunsense opened off-Broadwa y in 1985 and became the second longest running off-Broadway show in musical theatre history, winning Outer Critic Circle Awards for Best Book, Best Music and Best Production. The show is a musical review staged by five nuns seeking to raise money for the burials of departed sisters who have been poisoned by a tainted batch of vichyssoise. Desperate for funds, the sisters co-opt a local high school stage for their review, handily performing star solo turns, dance routines and audience quizzes on a set that remains from the school's recent production of the musical Grease. Nunsense stars stage veteran Maureen Ilmensee from the Broadway National Tour of Chicago and features local favorite Lynne Truex from Brielle as Reverend Mother. The cast is rounded out by Gina Lupi of  Freehold as Sister Amnesia, Karen Ficarra of Ocean as Sister Robert Anne and Katie Lee of Ocean as Sister Leo. Nunsense is directed by Joseph Ficarra of Ocean and musically directed by Anthony Didia of Toms River.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays July 8, 9, 15 & 16th @ 8 pm and Sundays July 10 & 17th @ 3 pm. To order tickets, go online at www.algonquinarts.org, call 732-528-9211, or stop by the Algonquin Arts Theatre Box Office at 173 Main Street in Manasquan. Ticket prices are $27 for adults and $25 for senior citizens and $18 for students.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cancer benefit for Danny Amis of Los Straitjackest at Maxwells on 6/29

(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- Danny Amis, also know as "Daddy O Grande" of the legendary surf instrumental group Los Straitjackets, has been valiantly battling Multiple Myeloma. On June 29th Maxwell's in Hoboken is hosting a special benefit concert to help Danny with his mounting medical expenses. The show will feature a special reunion performance from Danny's old band The Raybeat as well as performances from Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo,The Individuals, The Purple Knif, and The Tall Lonesome Pines plus many other dear friends and special guests.

There is a suggested $15 donation at the door. Tickets are also available via ticketFly at: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/44675

Danny Amis Benefit Shows
JUNE 7, 2011 Mayan Theatre Los Angeles, CA
JUNE 9, 2011 Mercy Lounge Nashville, TN
JUNE 9, 2011 Fitzgeralds Berwyn, IL
JUNE 25, 2011 Lees Minneapolis, MN
**JUNE 29, 2011 Maxwells Hoboken, NJ
JULY 8, 2011 TBA Mexico City, MX


A message from Danny Amis:
Dear Friends...
I can't thank you enough for your generosity. Thanks to your help, and the upcoming benefit shows, I no longer need to stress out over my medical bills. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010. This forced me to stop working and touring. The type of cancer I've been told I have is called "Multiple Myeloma", cancer of the bone marrow. I was caught off guard without insurance, but thankfully was able to obtain insurance
through the Affordable Care Act which passed congress last year and for which I am eternally grateful. Without that insurance I wouldn't have been able to get a necessary procedure to save my life called a Stem Cell Transplant. I underwent that procedure in May, and it seems to have been successful. I now face a couple of months of recovery.

Your generosity has helped immensely, it's a very expensive procedure. Unfortunately, high medical costs are something I'll have to face the rest of my life, as this disease is incurable. I can only hope to knock it into remission for a while. Again, I can't thank you enough for your help!

New Jersey Recording Artist John Jones Reissues His R&B CD Love's Smile

(New York, NY) -- Soulmindz Music Grp/820Music is pleased to announce the reissue of 'Love's Smile', a CD  by New Jersey R&B vocalist and composer John Jones. Featurig the single 'Treat U' , 'Love's Smile' has the sound and groove  of contemporary R&B hits and the unique vocal style of a new voice in American music.  The songs on the CD explore the  romantic visions and experiences of John Jones and are sung with an emotional honesty that makes these recordings universally  appealing to all R&B lovers.

Love's Smile by John Jones is inspired by love, broken hearts, and the joys of falling in love again. John Jones has been on a mission to create a CD that impacts it's listeners like Babyface's "Tender Lover" impacted his life.

"I've been healed by some beautiful love songs in my life, and I want to offer the same healing to people all over the world if I can. The title track 'Love's Smile' was inspired by a beautiful woman's smile that melted my heart one day and I couldn't get her out of my mind. I wrote the song while riding the No. 2 subway train in New York City. The debut single 'Treat U' is track number 6 on the CD. ' Treat U' explores the way I believe a woman should be treated in any relationship. She should be his first priority, and not just an option! The song is mesmerizing and lyrically on point and has tested well with woman."   - John Jones  

LISTEN TO LOVE'S SMILE:  iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/loves-smile/id203641694

John Jones: John Jones is a member of Screen Actors Guild and has appeared in T.V, film, and stage productions. He has been writing and producing songs along with Preston Fullwood at Tritona Studios in NYC, Ray "ShaSkillz" Harry, and Platinum recording producer Chiba Antoine(Groovy Miles Music, The Coors, Destiny Child etc..) and is currently working on a catalog of material to be submitted for motion pictures and commercials. John Jones has tested his skillz at impromptu Open Mic performances at NYC venue's like The Baggot Inn, The Bowery, and the legendary Sweet Waters club. He linked up with music genius Preston Fullwood at Tritona Studios in NYC and recorded the bulk of 'Love's Smile.' The opening track "Brooklyn", "My Girl", and the beautiful "Always" was recorded and produced by Ray  "ShaSkillz" Harry at Light House Studios in Conn. He has recently delivered a digital only release titled "My Story" that's currently picking up steam : http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/johnjones2

Rutgers University Hires Brian Brecht As Men's Lacrosse Coach

(PISCATAWAY, NJ) -- Brian Brecht, who has 16 seasons of collegiate coaching experience and most recently served a highly successful seven-year tenure as head coach at Siena College, has been named by Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti as head men's lacrosse coach at Rutgers University. A native of Long Island, N.Y. and a former Rutgers assistant coach, Brecht was a three-time MAAC Coach of the Year at Siena and this past season led the Saints to a conference championship, an NCAA tournament appearance and the program's first ever national ranking.

"We are thrilled to welcome Brian, his wife Gabrielle, and their daughter Paige to the Rutgers family," said Pernetti. "Brian understands the limitless potential we possess and has an unrivaled passion for Rutgers men's lacrosse. We are convinced that his deep relationships and tireless recruiting efforts to find good people will create a positive environment of excellence on and off the lacrosse field."

"My family and I are very thankful to Tim for providing me the opportunity to be the head men's lacrosse coach here at Rutgers," said Brecht. "I am excited to start and can't wait to meet all the players and alumni as we work together to grow a program that everyone associated with the RU community can be proud of. Tim's vision for the lacrosse program, along with over 100 years of tradition, the foundation that Tom Hayes built, and the hard work of Jim Stagnitta, bodes for a strong future. I'm extremely honored and excited to rejoin the Rutgers lacrosse family."

Brecht, who led Siena to 57 victories (57-28) over the past five seasons, becomes the 11th head coach in the history of the Rutgers men's lacrosse program. He takes on his latest challenge after leading Siena to new heights. Under his direction, the Saints earned four MAAC regular season championships and two MAAC tournament crowns, while also making the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in program history. He was named the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2009, while being cited as the Siena College Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Siena's 57 victories from 2007-11 included 22-straight MAAC wins and 13-consecutive home victories. The Saints' 57 wins over that span marked the sixth highest victory total in the nation, trailing only the likes of Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, Cornell and Notre Dame.

Thirty five players earned All-MAAC honors under Brecht and 41 were cited as Academic All-Conference, including a trio of Academic All-Americans. Brent Herbst, who became the first Siena and MAAC player drafted by the Major Lacrosse League, was a two-time USILA All-American. In total, Brecht developed four USILA All-Americans, three North-South All-Star selections, three MAAC Rookies of the Year, three MAAC Offensive Players of the Year and three MAAC Defensive Players of the Year at Siena.

This past season, the Saints tallied a program-record 13 wins and finished the season nationally ranked (No. 20) in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for the first time in school history. The squad advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where it dropped a tightly contested match to No. 1 Syracuse.

Prior to his arrival in Loudonville, Brecht spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with five different schools. He made stops at Hartwick (1995-97), Penn (1997-99), Army (1999-00), Rutgers (2000-01) and Loyola (2001-04). While "On the Banks," Brecht worked under head coach Bill Dirrigl and served as the Scarlet Knight's interim head coach in October 2001.

A graduate of Sachem High School on Long Island, Brecht played collegiate lacrosse at Springfield (Mass.) College. He earned a bachelor of science in physical education from Springfield in 1995.

Brecht and his wife Gabrielle are the proud parents of a two-year old daughter named Paige.

BRECHT'S PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Present: Head Coach, Rutgers University (Piscataway, N.J.)
2004-11: Head Coach, Siena College (Loudonville, N.Y.)
2001-04: Assistant Coach, Loyola University (Baltimore, Md.)
2000-01: Assistant Coach, Rutgers University (Piscataway, N.J.)
1999-00: Assistant Coach, United States Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.)
1997-99: Assistant Coach, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.)
1995-97: Assistant Coach, Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.)
1995: Assistant Coach, Yorktown High School (Yorktown, N.Y.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jon Caspi & The First Gun recording with Pete Steinkopf of the Bouncing Souls

(Asbury Park, NJ) Pete Steinkopf, guitarist of The Bouncing Souls, is producing the next album for Jon Caspi & The First Gun.  They are currently wrapping up recording at Little Eden Studios (The Bouncing Souls' studio) in Asbury Park, NJ.  Steinkopf has produced projects for other notables such as The Loved Ones, Chuck Ragan (of Hot Water Music), Brian Fallon (of Gaslight Anthem), and of course, The Bouncing Souls.

Jon Caspi has been a longstanding figure on national college radio, fronting a number of bands including the punk outfit Boss Gremlin. His solo work in recent years has been more American rock, but his work with The First Gun has been a return to his punk-indie roots. "Pete has been a great help in putting the punk back into my tunes," says Jon, "He is great to work with and I am really excited about how this album is coming out."  Pete adds, "I am really stoked about these recordings!"  "I have been a longtime fan of the Souls and so working with him has been a huge personal thrill," says Jon.

They are recording 10 songs and the album is expected in late summer 2011. 

To hear music from session: http://www.purevolume.com/JonCaspiTheFirstGun/albums/TBA+SOON  
A short YouTube clip of Pete laying down some guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjpOfZAr_AQ


To catch the band live, their next performance is on Friday, June 24th at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ
For more information:  www.JonCaspi.com

Special Asbury Park Screening of New Documentary "Blaze Foley Duct Tape Messiah" On June 27

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Born in a tree house, killed in a friend's living room, and 86'd from his own funeral Blaze Foley is now a bona fide Texas legend. His songs are covered by Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Willie Nelson and Joe Nichols to name a few. Lucinda Williams wrote her song "Drunken Angel" as a tribute to Blaze Foley. The eclectic songwriter known as the "Duct Tape Messiah" loved wearing duct tape, starting with the tips on his boots all the way up to a suit he'd made entirely of duct tape.

This new documentary brings his extraordinary story to life on the screen for you. The screening will be followed by a meet and greet Q & A with the film's creator Kevin Triplett. For more information on the film visit: http://www.blazefoleymovie.com

In addition to the film there will be special acoustic musical performances by some of Jersey's finest singer songwriters including George Wirth, Michael Brett, Michael Patrick and Kevin John Allen, brought to you courtesy of NJ's own Suburban Roots Concert Series!

The screening will take place 7p.m. on Monday, June 27 at The Showroom independent cinema located at 708 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ (http://www.theshowroomap.com).

Seating is limited and advance tickets are available for $15 by visiting: http://www.michael-patrick.net/blaze.html

About Blaze Foley:
Foley has long been celebrated by the Austin music community as a master singer/songwriter and a uniquely colorful character. Killed in February of 1989, Blaze lives on in the songs he left and the stories his memory invokes. At the time of his death, Blaze Foley (whose real name was Michael David Fuller) was little known outside of Austin's renegade songwriter circles. Several tribute CDs of Foley songs were released by Deep South Productions. Lucinda Williams' Drunken Angel, and Townes Van Zandt's Blaze's Blues are personal tributes to Foley. Born in Marfa, TX in l949, Foley grew up in West Texas, performing at an early age in a family gospel act called the Fuller Family. Foley eventually landed in Austin to pursue his songwriting and performing career. Even in Austin, a city filled with non-conformists, the duct tape adorned Foley stood out. He slept on friends' couches or on the pool tables in clubs. Above all, Foley is remembered for the stark honesty of his songs. They tapped emotions so deep they sometimes reduced his lumbering frame to tears while performing. From aching love songs to provocative political commentary, Foley's songs reflected his uncompromising artistic vision.


About Kevin Triplett:
Kevin thought all families had hall closets filled with cameras, photos, slides and movie reels. In his early teens, Kevin began creating and splicing skits with friends and a Super8 camera, even producing stop-motion animation with a toy monkey doll. After graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree from Texas A&M Kevin continued his interest in photography, shooting alternative garage bands in the late 80's for a startup entertainment newspaper in Huntsville, Alabama. Kevin started Mopac Media, offering broadcast-quality equipment to the emerging DV filmmaker community of Central Texas. Kevin produces video programs for the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, the annual Barbara Jordan Media Awards Ceremony, and photographs of all kinds of weird stuff.

About George Wirth:
George Wirth is a New Jersey singer-songwriter with a gift for telling stories that are shaped by imagery and narrative. His unaffected, lived-in vocal style and subtle guitar arrangements suit his songs perfectly, with images and melodies that resonate long after the music fades. George has been introduced to audiences and shared performances with friends Rod Picott, Amanda Shires, Abbie Gardner and Red Molly. Other performances have had George co-billed with Chris Knight, Anais Mitchell, Greg Trooper, Luke Brindley and Richard Julian.

About Michael Brett:
Michael Brett was born on the Upper East Side of NYC and raised in the artist-influenced community of Roosevelt, NJ. Combining rock/pop, folk, alternative with smidgens of jazz and disco, he drew musical ideas from such diverse acts as the Beatles, David Bowie, and Gram Parsons. Brett recently released his latest CD "Some Kind of Solitude", and can be found performing in rock/folk venues all over the Jersey shore.

About Michael Patrick:
Michael Patrick is an established local performer, who recently shared the stage with such country superstars as Randy Travis, Rosanne Cash and Marty Stuart. Along with his success performing as a solo artist, Patrick currently fronts two bands, MICHAEL PATRICK and THE SUBURBAN HILLBILLIES (http://michael-patrick.net) and RING OF FIRE BAND, Johnny Cash Tribute (http://www.ringoffireband.com). Patrick is also a founder of the Suburban Roots Concert Series (http://www.myspace.com/srcsnj, http://www.facebook.com/suburbanroots.concertseries), a concert promotion group whose mission is to support and promote artists in the Americana, Roots, Folk and Country genres in Patrick's home state of New Jersey.

About Kevin John Allen:
Kevin John Allen is a self-described old, weathered singer songwriter working in the veins of Americana, Country, Reggae and American music. He spends his time playing, writing, travelling around and touching folks' hearts with songs about intimate topics on this carny ride through life. Allen creates music to make you laugh, cry, love, think and dance. His newest CD is entitled "Dark Songs Written on Black Guitars".

About Suburban Roots Concert Series:
Suburban Roots Concert Series' mission is to hold unique and intimate concerts in the New Jersey area, with a focus on national and local, up and coming artists in the Americana, Roots, Folk and Country genres.  We aim to bring in great talent that normally would not make Jersey a stop in their tour plans. Past and future performers include Roy Book Binder, Frank Fotusky, Tony Trischka, Two Man Gentleman Band, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, Chris Knight, Justin Townes Earle, John Eddie and NJ/NY/PA local stars Michael Patrick, Victory Gin, Wandering Bards, Sonny Kenn, Matt O'Ree and many more. Past and future events include The Annual Jersey Country Revival, Jam Away the Blues, Americana Rising and more.

Broadway Smash Comedy The 39 Steps To Trod the Boards at George Street Playhouse As Final Production of 2011-2012 Season

(New Brunswick, NJ) – New Brunswick's George Street Playhouse is ending their 2011-2012 season with the recent Broadway comedy smash The 39 Steps.   The hysterical Hitchcock parody will weave its web of mystery beginning April 24 and run through May 20, 2012.  Opening night is currently set for Friday, April 27.  Its creative team and casting will be announced at a later date.

"Our audiences love a good comedy," said GSP Artistic Director David Saint, "and this is one of the best.  It is an unabashed comedic homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock, but you certainly don't need to know his films frame-by-frame to enjoy this wonderfully witty play."

A mysterious beautiful blonde, Annabella Schmidt shows up on Richard Hannay's doorstep, and, while he was gone for an instant, she is murdered, clutching a map of Scotland.  On the run from the authorities, Hannay must prove his innocence, find the man with the missing finger, romance the beautiful blonde ... and solve the mystery of magnificent proportions!

Full-season subscriptions and other flexible plans are now available, and available through the George Street Playhouse Box Office, 732-246-7717.  Groups of ten or more are entitled to discounts – the larger the group the larger the discount – call the GSP Group Sales Department at 732-846-2895, ext. 134 for further information.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district, and is easily accessible via public transportation.

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

Outside The Box Debut Album "Bridge" Set For Release On July 12

(New Jersey) – Outside The Box, the Jersey Shore based foursome blending classic elements of rock with a modern flare and driving blues-inspired pop edge, has announced the release of their debut album, "Bridge", on Tuesday, July 12 from Schaeffer Records.

"Mark, Francis, Ryan, and I cannot wait to share this record with everyone," said Jeff Cafone, lead singer of Outside the Box. "We spent countless hours in and out of the studio with the help of a great team to make this record, and we feel that the music really captures our personality. We hope that our fans will feel the same passion for the songs that we do recording and performing them."

Outside The Box (outsidetheboxband.com) has quickly developed into one of New Jersey's most dynamic new original rock bands.  Formed in 2004, band members consist of Jeff Cafone (Guitar, vocals), Mark Masefield (Hammond B3 organ, keyboards), Francis Valentino (Drums), and Ryan Wheeler (Bass).

In 2007 and 2008, OTB won the Asbury Music Award categories for Top Young Band and Top Blues Band, and received nominations for Top Keyboard Player and Top Male Vocalist. The band retained the title "Top Blues Band" at the 2009 awards, and was nominated for Top Live Performance & Top Male Vocal.

OTB have shared the stage with artists such as Buddy Guy, Blues Traveler, G.E. Smith, Govt Mule, Steven Van Zandt, Jesse Malin, Ryan Cabrera, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, The Smithereens, The Fab Faux, Jeffrey Gaines, and many more.

The album will be comprised of eleven tracks, all written and performed by Outside The Box and produced by Jeff Kazee.


Album tracks:

Love is The Villain(*debut album single*)
You and Me
Safe Tonight
I'm a Bridge
Robert Schaeffer (Part II)
I Think It's Love
Wisconsin
The Ballad of Jackie Chan
Suddenly Saturday
So Confused
Love To See You Leaving



The Star Ledger's Jim Testa described the recent Outside The Box show:  "Damn the Torpedoes"  (Tom Petty) proved a brilliant choice to showcase OTB's strengths, especially Masefield's double-duty keyboards and Cafone's effortless leads. The band nailed the familiar singles — the biting "Refugee" and the new-wavey "Don't Do Me Like That." But the highlights of the set came from some of the deep album tracks, which Cafone infused with his own personality."


To read the full article in the Star Ledger, please click: Star Ledger/Outside The Box.

Cape May Stage Welcomes Back Barbara Bates Smith as Ivy Rowe

(Cape May, NJ) – Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier Equity theater, is pleased welcome back a very dear friend: for one night only, Barbara Bates Smith recreates her one-woman show Ivy Rowe.  Adapted from the Lee Smith novel Fair and Tender Ladies, Smith returns to Cape May as part of their critically acclaimed Second Stage Series.  Ivy Rowe will be presented on June 27th at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in beautiful downtown Cape May.

Underscored with hammered dulcimer music by Jeff Sebens of Cana, Virginia, Ivy Rowe recounts the intriguing life of a spunky and free-spirited mountain woman with a decidedly sensuous nature and an appetite for a good story.  Ivy takes us, in a flashback, through a lifetime of letters depicting her passionate life of "livin' on love". With a penchant for storytelling, she paints a vivid picture of twentieth-century Appalachian revivals, mine disasters, rural electrification, the Depression, two World Wars and Vietnam. We relish her stand against the coal company's bulldozer, defending her home.

Lee Smith, author of the source material, Fair and Tender Ladies, recalls, "Over 20 years ago, when Barbara first approached me about creating a one-woman play from my novel, Fair and Tender Ladies, I told her she was crazy."  Smith felt that the epistolary novel was unsuited to the stage, but eventually relented.  "The result has been one of the great joys of my life.  Barbara IS Ivy Rowe!  No writer has ever been better served by a production of her work."

Now in its 22nd year of touring, Smith has performed the show almost 700 times."I love it every time," recounts Smith.  "It's both ‘grounding' and ‘uplifting' for me, and, by far, the richest character of any dramatic literature I've ever run across. I feel terribly lucky that Lee Smith would let me have it."

Smith received glowing reviews during her first performance of the show in Cape May in 1990.  "Cape May in '90 was, in a sense, the stepping stone to Ivy Rowe's Off-Broadway debut," recalls Smith.  "Michael Laird and I had been in a play together at Florida's Asolo Theater. Ivy Rowe was barely underway at the time, but Laird booked it right away for that summer, and it played 3 times in Cape May in the early 90's.  A video of the original Tampa production, directed and co-adapted by Mark Hunter, had been viewed by a New York production team who came to Cape May to see it, and decided to bring it to NYC."
Since Barbara Bates Smith's Off-Broadway debut in Ivy Rowe in 1991, Smith's extensive touring of this one-person show has included a three-week run at the 1993 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Village Voice said of the New York production: "A lifetime's worth of sass, whoop, hurt, and reflection"; WOR Radio: "We are captivated and enthralled"; Variety: "Both funny and heartbreaking".

Now after 21 years, Smith is especially thrilled to be returning to Cape May Stage this season.
"One loves Cape May for its charm and beauty, of course, but Cape May has many wonderful ‘Ivy' memories for me; including wading across Michael Laird's boardwalk out at Grassy Sounds with luggage and costumes in tow and boarding there. It was Ivy's first outing at the Chalfonte Hotel stage, too- home of Cape May Stage at the time."

Part of Cape May Stage's acclaimed Second Stage Series, Ivy Rowe will run June 27 at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.  Tickets are $20. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.com.

Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series is presented through the gracious support of Chris and Dave Clemans.

Get Your Soul Set for the Summer: Mash McLain kicks off her summer season

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- Local musician and two-time Asbury Park Music Award nominee Mash McLain is launching into her summer season on June 30th, here in Asbury Park at The Saint. This season she will be spreading her music and talent to some new, and some familiar places around the country.

Audiences will hear different styles from her eclectic range of sound as well as her new single, "2nd St. Station" which will be available at the show and on iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody later in the month. This single is a follow-up to her debut EP, "rail of Tears" collaborating again with Sound Engineer, Peter Andrews of Submergent Studios and two-time Grammy Award Winning Master Engineer, Tom Ruff.

Mash McLain is no stranger to the Asbury music scene but her music has been heard all over the world. Mash is also featured on the Emmy Nominated Series, Driving Jersey, directed by Steve Rodgers. Her inspiring lyrics and original melodies make her music easy to listen to and appealing to a large fan base. Her music could be described as Lucinda Williams meets Johnny Cash. A timeless sound that hits you right in the chest! So come out and kick-off the summer with Mash McLain at The Saint in Asbury Park on June 30th at 8 pm! Other acts for the night include Jerzey Jung, Geena & Dragster, and others.

Mash continues north to Maine, July 22nd -24th to join the Philly Caravan Tour with fellow musicians, Sonni Shine and the Underwater Sounds. Shortly after Maine, the next stop is in the Green Mountain State, Vermont, where they will perform at some favorite venues, including Nectars.

August 19th and 20th PhanPhest in PA.
August 23rd Back at The Saint for an opening performance for Match by Match.

FilmOneFest 2011 Returns In July

(ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ) -- Saturday, July 16,  FilmOneFest returns to Atlantic Highlands.  "We're working hard to make FilmOneFest 2011 'leap' with unexpected moments, new experiences, and beautiful filmmaking" says co-Director Robert O'Connor, promising the best one minute film festival yet.

FilmOneFest presents work of local, national, and international filmmakers, films that capture the essence of an artist's vision in just 60 seconds.  And it's not just film - this outdoor festival is a day-long celebration of summer by the shore, a free family event in historic Atlantic Highlands, "the jewel of the Bayshore."   

The festival begins with a free street fair from 2 pm to 6 pm, with activities for the whole family: food, arts and crafts, live music and more.   At 7 pm, award winning songwriter, rocker, and blueswoman Jo Wymer and her band will take the stage at the Atlantic Highlands Marina. As the band plays, the festival continues, with artists, vendors, clowns, stilt-walkers, food and fun until dusk.  Free popcorn will be provided by Whole Foods Market Middletown.  Artwork, food and souvenirs will be available to purchase.

Beginning at 9 p.m, short short films will be shown on a giant inflatable screen. Films have been submitted by filmmakers from Australia to Atlantic Highlands, with the best entries selected and prizes awarded by an expert panel of judges, including television producer Jon Crowley, film critic Joan Ellis, sound editor Gedney Webb, and film commentator Victor Zak.

Free, with plenty of free parking.  Audience members may bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Premium seating helps to defray the costs of the festival, and is available to purchase for $10 at the FilmOneFest website (http://www.filmonefest.org), or at the festival.  

FilmOneFest supports the AACC Food Pantry in Atlantic Highlands.   Donations of nonperishable food are collected during FilmOneFest and all related events.

In event of rain or high winds, the festival will be held at the Charles Hesse Parish Hall, 55 South Ave., in Atlantic Highlands. Admission and parking are free. 

This program is sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, 732-856-8383 and is made possible in part by the Monmouth County Arts Council through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.  

The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to increase access to the arts and bring contemporary art and music to Atlantic Highlands and the Bayshore region.

Junebug ArtFest: 2012 Sculptor Needed

(METUCHEN, NJ) -- Metuchen's Junebug ArtFest Committee is looking for the artist who will create the FEATURED JUNEBUG SCULPTURE for the FIFTH ANNUAL JUNEBUG ARTFEST that will take place in June 2012.  Each year, the sculpture is the focal point of the Junebug ArtFest, and the unveiling ceremony signals the event's official opening.

The ArtFest has grown tremendously over these four years; this year getting full-page coverage in NJ Monthly and identified as a "heavy-hitting" event by Inside NJ.  Prominent artists are involved this year:  Sandy Skoglund and Jane Dickson are participating as guest lecturers in addition to numerous visual artists, musicians, performers, spoken word artists, and fine crafters from New Jersey, as well as neighboring states.

We are interested to name the 2012 sculptor at this time, since we would like the artist to experience the event first hand before creating the work.  The event has a strong online presence.  You can see information about it (both video and photo) at the following websites:  JunebugArtFest.com, Facebook.com/junebugartfest, and metuchenliving.com.

For additional information and to acknowledge interest, please contact Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella at 732-906-4137 or email earthsongsceramicstudio@gmail.com.