New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jersey Author Holds Book Release Party At The Wonder Bar On August 12

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) – One of the best musical lineups of the year will help usher in the release of Gary Wien's latest book, Are You Listening? on Friday, August 12 at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park.  The book that takes a look at Wien's picks for the top 100 albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey artists will literally come alive when five of the top 11 albums are represented on the Wonder Bar stage.  

"I really couldn't have dreamed of having a better lineup help me celebrate the book's release," explained Wien.  "The lineup contains the artists behind my #5 album (Brian Fitzpatrick with his solo album "Further Down The Line"), #7 album (Arlan Feiles with "Razing A Nation"), #8 (The Commons with "Come On Get Gone"), #9 (Brian Molnar and the Naked Hearts with "Temperance and the Devil), and #11 (Val Emmich with "Sunlight Searchparty"). 

“The artists involved all have multiple albums featured in the book.  Brian Fitzpatrick, Arlan Feiles, and Brian Molnar each have two releases; while Val Emmich has three and The Commons (who are reuniting for this show) have two plus a solo album by Keith Monacchio, the band’s lead singer.  They are, in essence, among the very best artists in the state and I am honored that they have agreed to be part of the show."

Wien, who was born in Red Bank and grew up in Lincroft, has been covering music for the past decade.  In 2003, the Middletown South graduate released Beyond the Palace, the first comprehensive look at the history of rock and roll music in Asbury Park.  In the years that followed, Wien has interviewed hundreds of artists, named Asbury Park’s Top Music Journalist three times, and published a successful arts monthly called Upstage Magazine for several years.

While doing research for Are You Listening?, Wien graded over 2,200 CDs by New Jersey artists released between 2001-2010.  He listened to the good, the band, and the very ugly; yet somehow remained a music fan through it all.  The book represents a diverse look at New Jersey’s rich rock and roll scene with artists from all parts of the Garden State including the music scenes of Asbury Park, New Brunswick, Hoboken, Trenton, and Jersey City.  Artists in the book with Monmouth County ties include Bruce Springsteen, Arlan Feiles, John Eddie, Val Emmich, Jon Caspi, The Bouncing Souls, Wicker Hollow, Lost In Society, The Amboys, Mimi Cross, Rick Barry, Joe Whyte, Divine Sign, Bob Burger, The Contes, Alex Brumel & Janel Elizabeth, Highway 9, Laura Warshauer, Jessie Poland, Status Green, Janey Todd, Michael Brett, Nicole Atkins, Steel Mill, Kill The Alarm, deSol, and Agency.

“With outstanding album facts on everyone from Arlan Feiles to The Gaslight Anthem, Are You Listening? is getting a resounding yes!” said John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian.  “We hear you loud and clear. This is the kind of constant reader that goes right next to my well-worn copy of The Wall Of Fame, New York City’s Legendary Manny’s Music by Henry Goldrich.”

Are You Listening?
is available from Amazon.com and select book and record stores throughout New Jersey.  Copies will be available at the show and the author will be signing books as well.  The book costs $19.95 for the black and white version and $40 for a full-color version.  For more information on the book, visit www.NJmusic.org

This book release party will be followed by one held at Trenton Social (former site of the Urban Word Cafe) in Trenton on Saturday, August 20.  Artists scheduled to perform at that show include The Successful Failures, Zak Smith Band, Jon Caspi and the First Gun, and The Amboys.  Additional release parties are being scheduled throughout the state.

CAMELFEST MUSIC FESTIVAL AUG. 12-13 TO BENEFIT ROOTS & WINGS

(GREAT MEADOWS, NJ) - Members of the New Jersey and regional music scene are coming together to support young adults who have aged out of the child welfare system in the Garden State, announcedDromedary Records, a Great Meadows-based independent record label. The effort will launch with Camelfest 2011, a two-day music festival to be held Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13, at Maxwell's, the legendary club in Hoboken, N.J.

Proceeds from Camelfest will benefit Roots & Wings, a nonprofit organization based in Mountain Lakes, N.J. Founded in 1999, Roots & Wings provides safe housing, educational support and practical life skills to youth who have "aged-out" of the child welfare system; for many, services are discontinued at age 18. Roots & Wings assists this high-risk population of disadvantaged young adults, helping them replace dependency with self-sufficiency.

Twelve bands will perform during three shows at Camelfest. On Friday night, beginning at 8 p.m., Richard Barone, Robbers on High Street, Readymade Breakup and The Mommyheads will take the stage. Saturday afternoon, Camelfest will kick off at 3 p.m. with Charlotte Sometimes, Wild Carnation, Speed the Plough and Yung Wu. And, on Saturday night, again beginning at 8 p.m., the lineup features The 65s, The Library is On Fire, Varsity Drag andStuyvesant. Admission is $10 per person for each show, with tickets available online at http://maxwellsnj.com and at the door. Maxwell's is located at 1039 Washington Street in Hoboken.

"We're thrilled to have assembled such a great lineup of bands for this worthy cause," said Dromedary Records owner Al Crisafulli. "New Jersey has a rich history of indie rock music, and young people have always been a huge part of keeping it going. It's great to be working with bands that are so willing to donate their time and talent to give something back, and to be bringing them together at one of the state's best music venues."

Additionally, Dromedary Records will contribute a portion of proceeds from its next six releases to Roots & Wings. This includes forthcoming albums from Speed the Plough, Shirk Circus, The Mommyheads, Cuppa Joe, The 65s and Guy Capecelatro III.

"Because Roots & Wings is funded almost entirely by private donations and special events, support from individuals and organizations that work hard to put on events like this one are critical to our sustainability," explained Kim Spangenberg, executive director of Roots & Wings.

"Often becoming suddenly homeless with no plan for the future, youth who phase out of foster care can find themselves alone with no one to depend on, leaving them at disturbingly high risk for dependence on welfare and unemployment, homelessness, unplanned pregnancy and incarceration," she added. "Roots & Wings provides these young people the support they need to become successful, contributing members of society. Without the generosity of groups like Dromedary Records and its bands, Roots & Wings could not exist."

For more information, visit the Dromedary Records website at www.dromedary-records.com or the Camelfest website at www.camelfest.com.

Glen Burtnik to release digital tribute to Asbury Park on August 1st

What do the Bouncing Souls, Pete Steinkopf, Glen Burtnik, and the Asbury Park High School Choir have in common? They're all part of Burtnik's creative team on his latest tribute to Asbury Park. Glen Burtnik is a composer that doesn't sit on his laurels and he's always looking for the next musical challenge that's around the proverbial bend.

For this song Glen had to look no farther than his beloved neighborhood to come up with his ultimate tribute. Burtnik decided to simply compose a song that described the historic area he has come to love and call home. Recorded entirely in the city by the sea, "Where Music Lives," forgoes the sounds of blue-collar yesteryear for an updated summer of love feel supplied by the musicians that continue to keep Asbury Park on the rock-and-roll map.

"Where Music Lives" addresses a special place that's close to everyone's heart. Asbury Park is a town that has weathered great highs and crushing lows, and it's part of the overall allure and character that this magical town possesses.

As Glen says, "Songs are like children. They're born, you nurture them, and you eventually let them go out into the world, hoping they have their best shot at life. I wanted to invest some effort into making the most of this song, which has a special meaning to me, and hopefully anyone else that loves this town like I do." "Where Music Lives" is available exclusively at CD Baby beginning on August 1st, 2011.

For further information head over to www.glenburtnik.com

New Jersey Film Festival Announces Call For Entries For Spring 2012 series

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Film Festival has announced a call for entries for its Spring 2012 series.  The deadline for receipt of entries is Tuesday, November 1 at noon.

The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center proudly announces the Bi-Annual 2012 New Jersey Film Festival.  The Spring 2012 festival, held on weekends between January 27 through March 3 at Rutgers University, will showcase the best in independent film and video, featuring premiere screenings of award winning works and guest appearances by emerging and recognized film and video makers.

For more information go to www.njfilmfest.com, call (732) 932-8482 or e-mail them at NJMAC@aol.com; njmac12@gmail.com

Monmouth University Selected for International Program to Bridge Cultural Divide Between American and Muslim Cultures

(West Long Branch, NJ) --  Monmouth University is in the vanguard of a new international program aimed at establishing greater understanding between American and Muslim societies. Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet is a groundbreaking artistic and cultural exchange program meant to showcase the diversity of contemporary Islamic cultures through their art and culture.

Caravanserai is led by Arts Midwest, the non-profit regional arts organization (RAO) serving America's upper mid-west on behalf of the nation's six Regional Arts Organizations.

Caravanserai is funded by a one million dollar grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (DDFIA) Building Bridges program.

Monmouth University successfully applied to be one of five pilot organizations for Caravanserai, which will launch in October 2011. Nearly two years in the making, Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet begins with a pilot program in five US cities, including West Long Branch, NJ.  Caravanserai comprises a series of community-based performing arts and film programs featuring art and artists from Muslim cultures.

The pilot program will focus on music and film from Pakistan and will feature compelling contemporary vocal and instrumental music as well as an award winning Pakistani filmmaker.

Future programming will feature other geographic regions and artistic disciplines and will travel to more cities in the United States.

"We look forward to hosting Caravanserai in the fall.  I am proud that Monmouth was selected as a pilot site.   The University community will enjoy and learn from the  many  music, film, cultural, and educational events that Caravanserei will enable" stated President Paul G. Gaffney II.

"The name Caravanserai was carefully selected for this program," says David Fraher, executive director of Arts Midwest. "Historically, in the east and middle-east, stopping places for caravans were called caravanserais. Safe places to sit around the fire, come together, and exchange stories. The name evokes that imagery of travelers in a safe haven, in a place where cultures meet. We're delighted that Monmouth University is providing one of those stopping places for an exciting cultural experience."

Caravanserai will come to West Long Branch, NJ in October and will include three arts residencies including two weeklong musical residency tours with Ustad Tari Khan, Najmuddin Saifuddin Qawwals, Arif Lohar and Sanam Marvi.  Caravanserai also will include a residency with Pakistani filmmaker Ayesha Khan.  South Arts, the RAO serving the southeastern US is managing the film component of Caravanserai.

Monmouth University will have several announcements in the coming months regarding specific Caravanserai events throughout West Long Branch, NJ.


For more information, visit www.caravanserai-arts.org


The complete Caravanserai tour includes:

v  The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire;  Littleton, NH
v  Artswego SUNY Oswego;  Oswego, NY
v  FirstWorks;  Providence, RI
v  Monmouth University;  West Long Branch, NJ
v  The Myrna Loy Center;  Helena, MT

Military and other savings at East Lynne Theater Company

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company continues to offer savings to its patrons with dinner and B&B combinations and online ticket services.  Also, for the last ten years, those actively serving in the military, have been, and still are, admitted for free. 

     There are four restaurants that partner with ELTC, and patrons make reservations by calling the restaurants and asking for the ELTC dinner/show combination. At Aleathea's Restaurant, total amount is $47.00 for dinner and a ticket; at 410 Bank Street and Frescos, patrons pay $15 for a ticket along with dinner; and at The Washington Inn, the ticket price is $10 plus the price of the meal.

     The two bed and breakfasts are The Henry Sawyer Inn, at 722 Columbia Ave., and The Victorian Lace Inn, 901 Stockton Ave.  Tickets at both locations are $20.00, offered only to the B&Bs' guests, and must be purchased at the inns.

     East Lynne Theater Company ticket prices are $30.00 for general admission and $25.00 for seniors and those with disabilities and their companions, so these packages offer a considerable savings.  ELTC ticket price for students is $15.00.  Tickets for students and for those who are ages 12 and under, who are admission-free, may be picked up at the box office.  Those providing proof of active military service at the box office, receive a complimentary ticket.

     Another way to save money on an ELTC ticket is online through njArtstix.org.  Several half-price tickets are available for almost every performance, 24 hours in advance.

     Currently, ELTC is presenting the world premiere "The World of Dorothy Parker" running through September 3, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May,  with its seating capacity of 150. The season continues with "Dulcy," "Helpful Hints," the silent film version of "Phantom of the Opera" with live organ music (in partnership with The Cape May Film Festival), a new Sherlock Holmes radio show, and the Christmas show.  To learn more about the mainstage season which runs through mid-December, or to make reservations directly with the theater, call 884-5898 or go online to www.eastlynnetheater.org.   

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thirst-e Productions Presents "The Maiden's Prayer"

(Monmouth County, NJ) -- Thirst-e Productions, in collaboration with The Showroom, presents Nicky Silver's brutally hilarious tale of love, need and triangles "The Maiden's Prayer" August 4-13, 2011.  The play stars a revelatory group of young actors who bring heat and sex appeal to their parts. Locals Anthony Younes (Holmdel) and Samantha Ambler (Long Branch) flip between hilarity and heartbreak, while Tammy Owens (Cliffwood) and Jason Propst deliver gut wrenching performances.

This is the fourth production by Thirst-e, which is a labor of love of some dedicated theater folks, who strive to present exciting "outside the box" productions for the Monmouth County theater goer. Thirst-e presented "Closer" and "Reasons to be Pretty" at The Showroom in 2010 to audience acclaim. "The Maiden's Prayer" centers on the difference between loving someone and needing them, and how we often hurt ourselves and those around us in pursuit of our desires. 

"The Maiden's Prayer" is directed by James Walsh (Leonardo) and features Rudy Palma (South Amboy). Shows run Fridays and Saturdays August 5-13 at 8pm at The Showroom, 708 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park. With a special benefit performance for Jersey Shore Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays on Thursday, August 4 at 8pm.

Tickets are $20 and are available at 732-495-9591 or by emailing Thirst-e@hotmail.com 


*photo: Jason Propst, Tammy Owens, Rudy Palma, Anthony Younes, and Samantha Ambler.

LONNIE, ANTHONY D'AMATO, ISRAEL NASH GRIPKA: A SOLID TRIO AT THE SAINT

by Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ - JULY 20, 2011) -- Mid-week shows at The Saint in Asbury Park are always the best in my opinion.  These are the days when you really get a chance to see up-and-coming artists before the music press gets a hold of them, the hype machine starts spinning, hipsters latch on, and tickets become hard to get.  It's also the kind of day when clubs get to present some of their most interesting acts.  On Wednesday, July 20, the Saint presented a night that featured two up-and-coming artists along with the club's debut of a wild avant-garde performance act.  While attendance was extremely light, I have a feeling all three of these acts will almost certainly play before much larger crowds when they return.

Up first was Lonnie featuring Lonnie Rutledge.  Now I had seen him perform at the Saint many times, most notably in bands like Sunshine Flipside, but I was totally unprepared for this new incarnation.  Beginning with audio from the Teletubbies, Lonnie bounced around on stage from left to right blowing out candles that his daughter and another guy (whose name I didn't catch) kept lighting.  Physically challenging and rather demanding, it was one of those oddly fascinating scenes that grabbed you and didn't let go.    And the weirdness didn't stop there. 

The three each wore a white t-shirt with a different expression on it.  One said "Yes", another said "No", and the third said "Maybe So."  The three played out what I imagine to be some sort of conceptual show about a looney bin.  It was almost like someone created an entire performance skit out of an episode of Dr. Demento.   Lonnie sang and played harp to recorded music that bore a bit of a resemblance to the Lost Boys soundtrack from the 80s -- largely, dark, moody music.  But in keeping true to the Dr. Demento idea, he even covered the 60s novelty hit "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" which sort of lightened things up a little while being haunting in its own way.

At one time unblown balloons were snapped into the audience, another featured the two  wrapping Lonnie up as if he was in a straight jacket.  With Lonnie's father (Sonny Kenn) watching on, it was truly a wild debut for the new project.   Instead of trying to follow his father's legendary axe abilities, he dared to take the guitar out of his hands and succeeded in my opinion.  I'm generally not a fan of many avant-garde acts, but I'd definitely check these guys out again.

Anthony D'Amato was up next.  An extremely promising young singer-songwriter currently based in New York City, Anthony has been written up in everything from Paste Magazine and American Songwriter to features in the New York Times and artist of the weeks nods from the nationally syndicated NPR show World Cafe.  He's also been a favorite of mine for many years now - ever since he moved from the world of young music journalist to an original artist in his own right.

His voice has gotten better and better over the years, no doubt helped by his increased confidence in performing live.  While in the past some of his best work was left for his recordings, he is now able to fully present that side on stage as well.  At the Saint, he ran through a set comprised mostly of the best songs from his most recent album, "Down Wires" including "Ballad of the Undecided", "Holy War", "My Father's Son", "Hank Williams Tune", and the title track. 

Currently working on a new album, Anthony played a handful of tracks which will likely be on the next release.  My favorite was a song called "Arrowhead" that made its debut about a month ago when he performed it at the Montreal Folk Festival.  On each of his previous two albums was a song or two that I consider among his best and this song looks to continue that tradition.  He's in the groove.  That wonderfully maniac period of brilliant writing that artists dream about.  For me, "Arrowhead" took me back to a period of time when I couldn't wait for an album to come out because I loved the first song so much.  When you hear that special song, you just know.  As a music writer, that feeling gets rarer and rarer as I get older, and it becomes that much more special when it returns.  

Other new songs included "On The Banks Of The River Where I Died" - a song inspired by Woody Guthrie and "Songbirds" - a tune that was written around the time of "Down Wires" but didn't quite fit with the rest of the album.

If you've never heard Anthony's work, check out the first three tracks of "Down Wires" and "Skeleton Key" from the prior release.  They're about as imaginative and brilliant as anything being played today.  Visit http://www.myspace.com/anthonydamatomusic for more info.

The final act of the night was the New York City band Israel Nash Gripka, who had a very good rock and roll sound blended with a touch of Americana/country rock.  They sort of reminded me of a NYC band from the late 80s called The Brandos  - a harder edge than most Americana and a little less twang than most country rock. 

Making their debut at the club, they largely played in front of empty barstools - the curse of the touring bands trying to extend their reach.  It was the type of night when you look across the room and wonder where the crowd was.  It sort of reminded me of the first time I saw Ingram Hill at the Saint.  Only a handful of people were there that first night, but within a gig or two the numbers were quite substantial.  Saint owner Scott Stamper has a knack for finding these types of bands and booking them before anyone else does.  This was definitely a word-of-mouth kind of band and I'd expect them to do much better when they come back to town.

Performing songs off of their first two albums, my favorites were "Pray For Rain" (which reminded me of The Band) and a new song called "Wichita" about a true life bar fight gone bad.   They also did a blistering take on Neil Young's "Revolution Blues" for an encore.

During the show, I wondered if a little Orwellian plot spread across social networks could pack a club on slow nights like this.  I can just imagine a false "Springsteen just entered the club" rumor placed on Facebook with bartenders timing how long it took to get the bar stools filled.  It's a shame that in an area that appreciates live music so much, it's still so hard to get people to come out during the week.  Just remember their name because it might be a bit more difficult finding a good seat next time they're in town.  For more information visit http://www.israelgripka.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Casting Complete for It Shoulda Been You at George Street Playhouse Includes Richard Kline Of Three's Company Fame

 (New Brunswick, NJ)  - George Street Playhouse and its Artistic Director David Saint have completed casting for the New Brunswick theatre's 2011-2012 season opener, It Shoulda Been You.  Richard Kline, from Broadway's November and City Of Angels, as well as the classic sitcom, Three's Company, and two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin , Broadway's longest running Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, as well as stage veterans Tom Deckman, Carla Duren, Jessica Hershberg, Curtis Holbrook, Lisa Howard, Mylinda Hull and David Josefsberg comprise the cast.  Running October 4 – November 6, 2011, the musical, whose book and lyrics are by Brian Hargrove, and score is by New Jersey native Barbara Anselmi, will be marking the directorial debut of Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce.  They will join the previously announced Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris and Edward Hibbert.

It Shoulda Been You, is a musical comedy for anyone with parents.  The bride (played by Ms. Hershberg) is Jewish.  The groom (played by Mr. Hydzik) is Catholic.  Her mother (played by Ms. Daly) is a force of nature, his mother (played by Ms. Harris) is a tempest in a cocktail shaker. And when the bride's ex-boyfriend (played by Mr. Josefsberg) 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 (played by Ms. Howard) is left to turn a tangled mess into happily ever after!

Thrust in the middle of the marital mishegas is Albert, the wedding planner (played by Mr. Hibbert).  Mr. Kline will portray the bride's father Murray, and Mr. McGillin will portray the groom's playing opposite Ms. Daly and Ms. Harris, respectively.

The remainder of the creative team consists of choreographer Noah Racey, music director Greg Anthony and three-time Tony Award-winning orchestrator Douglas Besterman.  Creating the world of It Shoulda Been You is scenic designer Anna Louizos, five-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting designer Paul Gallo and sound designer Mark Menard.

While Richard Kline is probably best known to TV audiences for his work on Three's Company, he has also appeared on Broadway in November, City of Angels and on tour in Wicked, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Oliver! and Jake's Women.  Howard McGillin's Broadway credits include Phantom of the Opera, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, Theatre World Award), Anything Goes (second Tony nomination opposite Patti LuPone) and The Secret Garden, will also be making his debut at Feinstein's in September.  Tom Deckman has been seen on Broadway in Good Vibrations and the national tour of Spamalot.  Carla Duren was seen in the recent Broadway revival of 110 in the Shade starring Audra McDonald.  Jessica Hershberg understudied both of the Ingalls sisters on the national tour of Little House on the Prairie.  Curtis Holbrook's Broadway credits include the recent revival of West Side Story, Xanadu and All Shook Up.  Lisa Howard can be seen in Silence! The Musical, and her Broadway credits include 9 to 5 and the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific.  Mylinda Hull's Broadway appearances include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Sweet Charity.  Matthew Hydzik was recently seen as Tony in the recent Broadway revival of West Side Story.  David Josefsberg from Broadway's The Wedding Singer and Grease returns to George Street Playhouse after originating the role of "White Dude" in The Toxic Avenger.

Full season and flexible admission subscription packages, as well as a select block of individual tickets, are now available through the George Street Playhouse Box Office, 732-246-7717.  Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more may be purchased by calling 732-846-2895, ext 134.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district, and easily accessible by car or 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.

State Theatre Presents Three Dog Night

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents Three Dog Night  Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8pm. Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs with customary impeccable harmonies and exciting arrangements, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including "Mama Told Me (Not To Come),"  "Joy to The World," "Black and White," "Shambala," "One," "Liar," "Celebrate," and many more songs that drive their chart and sales success. Opening for Three Dog Night will be Vic Della Pella. There will also be a performance in the State Theatre lobby by the band, The Fine Print for ticketed patrons prior to the show. Tickets Range from $25-60.

Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night enter their fourth decade bringing with them some of the most astonishing statistics in popular music. In the years 1969 through 1974, they delivered 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including 3 #1 singles, 11 Top 10's, 18 straight Top 20's, 7 million-selling singles and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.

Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar), and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals), and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations.

Initially brought together in 1968 by Danny Hutton and Cory Wells, Three Dog Night recorded the music of the best (and mostly undiscovered) new songwriters of their time including Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Elton John, Laura Nyro, Paul Williams, and Hoyt Axton among many others. The group's eclectic taste, combined with their ability to recognize and record hits in a unique, distinctive and appealing style, resulted in Three Dog Night dominating the charts for years. The now-famous name came from a magazine article about Australian hunters in the outback who curled up with their dogs for warmth on cold nights; the coldest being "three dog nights." 

Recently, Three Dog Night added new songs to their arsenal with the release of their first double-A sided single in nearly 25 years. The blistering performance of "Heart of Blues" and the timely, beautiful a-cappella ballad "Prayer of the Children" are available now in an exclusive online release. 

After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business. They maintain an aggressive schedule of concerts at theaters, performing arts centers, fairs, festivals, corporate events, and casinos. Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday 10am to 5pm; and at least two hours prior to curtain on performance dates. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517.

Chester Theatre Group Holds Auditions For The Cocktail Hour By A.R. Gurney

(CHESTER, NJ) -- The Chester Theatre Group will be holding auditions for its November 2011 production of The Cocktail Hour by A. R. Gurney. The production will be directed by Cindy Alexander and will have performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. beginning November 4, 2011 thru November 20, 2011.

Auditions will be held on Sunday August 28 2 p.m. and on Tuesday, August 30 at 7 p.m. at the Black River Playhouse located at the corners of Grove Street and Maple Avenue in Chester, NJ.  Readings will be from the script. Needed are two female and two male actors

Bradley – early 70's (70-74) – WASP patriarch of a wealthy up-state NY family. (Buffalo) Dresses well, plays golf, goes to "the club" and presides over the bar at the evening’s cocktail hour.

Ann – His wife- could be a couple of years younger than her husband but not by much. Also very tastefully dressed, Ann is an elegant lady who is skilled at handling the tasks of running a household. (i.e. managing the servants) She is also very refined and seemingly a little dotty. However, she is the northern version of a Steel Magnolia –stronger than she looks.

John – Their son- early 40s (42-44) Lives in NYC and works as an editor in a publishing house. However, his true calling is as a playwright. He has had several plays produced, but is by no means successful at it. He is in the midst of evaluating his life thus far.

Nina – Their daughter – two years older than her brother John. Happily married daughter who stayed in her hometown. She is obsessed with animals, particularly dogs and longs to change her life. She should have a repressed edge.

THE STORY: The time is the mid '70s, the place a city in upstate New York. John, a playwright, returns to his family's house, bringing with him a new play which he has written about them. His purpose is to obtain their permission to proceed with production, but his wealthy, very proper parents are cautious from the outset. For them the theatre is personified by the gracious, comforting era of the Lunts and Ina Claire, and they are disturbed by the bluntness of modern plays. And there is also John's sister, Nina, to contend with, although her reservations have to do with the fact that John has given her character such a minor role. Their confrontation takes place during the ritual of the cocktail hour, and as the martinis flow so do the recriminations and revelations, both funny and poignant. In the end it is evident that what John has written is closer to the truth than his family has heretofore been willing to admit, and that beneath their WASP reserve his parents and siblings are as beset with uncertainties and frustrations as their presumed "inferiors." But while they seem shackled by the past, and tantalized disappointments and, with unfailing warmth and humor, converting pained resignation into cautious but hopeful anticipation.

Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award as Best Off-Broadway Play. A long-run New York success, this witty, perceptive play blends mordant humor with moments of affecting poignancy. "THE COCKTAIL HOUR is as funny and moving as The Dining Room…it could be the best play he has done so far." —The New Yorker. "It makes for a deliciously funny and also occasionally touching evening, as Gurney's family sit around raking over old coals and settling old scores with a quite new and beguiling freshness."—NY Post. "The lines in the play crackle and pop with an electricity all their own." — Drama-Logue. "…when I watch Gurney at his best, as he is here, I laugh through the tears." —NY Daily News.

Cape May Stage Presents Aging Is Optional

(Cape May, NJ) – Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier Equity theatre, is delighted to welcome a Broadway legend to the Robert Shackleton Playhouse.  On Monday, August 8th, multiple Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh lends her unparalleled voice and inimitable spirit to the Otto and Phoebe Haas Stage.  Join her as part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Broadway Series as she entertains audiences at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse with her one-woman show, Aging Is Optional.

Tovah Feldshuh starred on Broadway as Irena Gut Opdyke in Irena's Vow, for which she received the BroadwayWorld.com Theatre Fans' Choice Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play.  For her work on the New York stage, from Yentl to Saravà! to Lend Me A Tenor to Golda's Balcony, Tovah Feldshuh has earned four Tony nominations for Best Actress and won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Obie, the Theatre World Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress (for Golda's Balcony).  On October 3, 2004, Golda's Balcony became the longest-running one-woman show in the history of Broadway.

Other Broadway appearances include Cyrano (with Christopher Plummer), Rodgers and Hart and Dreyfus in Rehearsal.  Feldshuh portrayed the title roles in the Roundabout Theatre's She Stoops to Conquer and Mistress of the Inn, BAM's Three Sisters with Rosemary Harris and Ellen Burstyn, and played in the long-running hits Love, Loss, and What I Wore and The Vagina Monologues. She also starred as the legendary Tallulah Bankhead in her own Tallulah Hallelujah!, which was chosen as one of the Ten Best Plays of the Year by USA Today.  Among other roles, Ms. Feldshuh has portrayed Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop, Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Sarah Bernhardt, Stella Adler, Sophie Tucker, Katharine Hepburn, three queens of Henry VIII and nine Jews from birth to death in Off-Broadway's Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh.  She also played Ms. Hepburn in Matthew Lombardo's one-woman show Tea at Five.

Ms. Feldshuh is thrilled to present the world premiere of Aging Is Optional at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse.

Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Broadway Series, Tovah Feldshuh will appear Monday, August 8th at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.  Tickets are $75 and include an after party at the Wine Bar at the Washington Inn, Cape May's new hip, relaxing, contemporary meeting place at the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets.  There, you'll have a chance to mingle with Ms. Feldshuh, while enjoying delicious complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a well-stocked cash bar.  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.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shane Cooley and Rosa Wallace to perform at The Saint

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Nationally-touring singer/songwriters Shane Cooley and Rosa Wallace have been on the scene as solo artists for quite some time.  Now, they have decided to join forces.  The Heart on a Suitcase Tour is their first tour as a duo, making stops throughout the Northeast and New England.  The artists will be performing their solo material, as well as their newly co-written work.  Rosa's performance has been described as "physically and emotionally unable to stop listening to," (Jellyfinders Podcast), as Shane has been described as "giving the audience all that we could ask for - short of setting his guitar on fire," (Magazine 33). 

The Heart on a Suitcase Tour will be performing on Tuesday, August 2 at The Saint, located on 601 Main St.  Also on the bill will be Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sharif.

Shane Cooley, who is no stranger to Asbury Park, is particularly excited to return.  "I've fallen in love with it, and I've made it a tour stop ever since I performed at the Wave Gathering in '08," he said.  "I think it's important that touring artists continue to pass through and help in spread the word about Asbury's vibrant music scene."  Cooley recently won 2nd place for "Best Male Artist" in the International Acoustic Music Awards.

Rosa Wallace, a North Carolina native, has been writing and performing music since age twelve in various bands. With a background in musical theatre, she is now pursuing a full-time career as a singer/songwriter.  Both artists have toured the U.S several times.

After a week of writing and performing in Cooley's home state of Virginia, both artists were excited to hit the road as a collaborative act. "The first thing that struck me about Rosa is that she is just as determined as I am," said Cooley.  "We are both very driven artists, and we challenge each other.  We also have a musical chemistry, which is something that cannot be faked."  Their personal chemistry is also evident in their stage banter.

Although Wallace and Cooley's solo material is mostly in the folk rock vein, Motown is also an influence for their duo work.  The Heart on a Suitcase Tour is named after one of the first songs they wrote together, which symbolizes their lifestyles as travelling musicians. 

http://www.sonicbids.com/shanecooleymusic
http://www.sonicbids.com/rosawallace

KILL THE ALARM PLAYS BROOKLYN BOWL ON JULY 28

(BROOKLYN, NY) -- Kill The Alarm returns to Brooklyn's own Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday July 28th. KTA is a band with deep, dark rock-and-roll roots, and anyone who takes a close look at producer, vocalist, and guitarist Garen Gueyikian will notice one recurring theme in his presentation. He controls it all, from the initial stages of composition right down to the guys who play in the studio and on the stage. His sound is precise and bold, floating somewhere between the influential, fire-hot choruses of Fuel and pop-chopped sensibilities of Kings of Leon. 

Their latest album, Against the Grain, is an intelligent EP that ranges from fast- paced rock punk elation to black, mid-tempo lost-love ballads, and it's a winner.

KTA is continuing to cause quite a stir in the big apple. After selling out shows at Bowery Ballroom and Irving Plaza, the band is poised to be the next contender to break out of the area. Hailed as "the only band that's really shaking up NYC's rock scene," by John Pfeiffer from The Aquarian Weekly, Kill The Alarm is drawing all the right attention with their latest cd, Against The Grain.

Known for his deep, soulful voice, and thought-provoking lyrics, Garen's sound can be best described as "intense and real." If you love Linkin Park, Paramore, or early Goo Goo Dolls then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Against the Grain, and witness an interesting pop-rock contender that still has the right formula to take them into the next decade and beyond. 

KTA has been featured at the top of Purevolume, YouTube, The Aquarian Weekly, and Alternative Addiction. Their music has been a hit with music gamers on Rock Band, Rhythm Racer, and online music game JamLegend, who recently named Kill the Alarm their "Top Artist of All Time" with over 2 million plays. Their music can be heard on numerous TV shows like CBS's "Amazing Race", E! Network's "Keeping up with the Kardashians", MTV's Real World, as well as the latest ESPN promos.

Come see Kill The Alarm live at Urban Noise: Summerfest 3.0 located at Brooklyn Bowl. Special guests include Atomic Tom, Man On Earth, Reckless Sons and Night Fevers. DJ set afterwards by ?uestlove of The Roots! Free Admission if you get there before 7:00 pm!  Brooklyn Bowl is located on 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. For further information go to the band's site: www.killthealarm.com or the venue site at: www.facebook.com/urbannoise

UP NEXT AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY IS DARIO FO'S FARCE ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST


(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues the summer portion of its 49th season with Dario Fo's wincingly funny Accidental Death of an Anarchist.  Performances begin August 3rd and continue through August 28th 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.    The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.

Written by Italian playwright, actor, satirist and former politician Dario Fo, Accidental Death of an Anarchist is a hysterically sly and caustic slapstick farce inspired by a real-life event involving a man accused of a crime who "fell" from the window of a police station.  Filled with physical and linguistic acrobatics, Accidental Death of an Anarchist embodies the modern Fo-brand of commedia theatre that has helped define him as a playwright of the people.  In awarding Fo the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, the Prize committee called him "a writer who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden."  Today, Fo remains an active participant and campaigner on various political, social, and cultural issues in Milan.  The translation from the original Italian script is by Ed Emery.


The Cast

Kevin Isola returns for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as the clever "Maniac" who tries to outsmart police investigators.   Previous credits with The Theatre include: Around the World in Eighty Days, King Lear, and As You Like It. Isola also appeared on Broadway in Brooklyn Boy and has also appeared at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, 59E59 Street Theatre, NYSF/The Public Theater, and Lincoln Center.  His film credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas and he has also appeared on television in Boston Legal, Law and Order, and All My Children.

Playing the interrogator Inspector Bertozzo is Philip Goodwin, who returns for his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre having previously appeared in The Little Foxes. Goodwin has appeared on Broadway in the productions of Tartuffe, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The School for Scandal. Goodwin received a Drama Desk nomination for his performance as Henry VI with Theater for a New Audience. As a company member of the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C., he received Helen Hayes awards for Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, and An Enemy of the People. He has also appeared in the films The Pink Panther, The Pink Panther 2, Men and Black II, and the TV show, Law and Order.

Returning for his sixteenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre is Edmond Genest, who plays the Superintendent.  Most recently, he appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre's productions of No Man's Land, Noises Off, Around the World in Eighty Days, King Lear, The Time of Your Life, Pride and Prejudice, The Cherry Orchard, Life of Galileo and many others.   On Broadway, Genest appeared in The Elephant Man with Billy Crudup, A Few Good Men, Whose Life is It Anyway?, Onward Victoria, and Dirty Linen and New-Found Land.  Off-Broadway, he appeared in the original production of Real Inspector Hound and Later Life at Playwrights Horizons. Genest has also worked with several the Long Wharf Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, among many others.

Andrew Weems returns for his sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as the "Inspector in the Sports Jacket."  His Shakespeare Theatre credits include Noises Off, The Time of Your Life, Rhinoceros, King John, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Weems appeared on Broadway in Born Yesterday, Inherit the Wind, The Green Bird, and London Assurance, as well as in several off-Broadway productions.  Weems is the recipient of the Actor's Equity Bayfield Award for Troilus and Cressida, a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Cymbeline, and the San Diego Theatre Critics Award for Don Juan.

Returning for his twelfth season with The Shakespeare Theatre is Jeffrey M. Bender as The Constable.  He has appeared in the Theatre's productions of The Servant of Two Masters, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Rivals, Life of Galileo, The Tempest, Enrico IV, Three Sisters, The Blue Bird, and many others.  Recently, he appeared at the Denver Stage in Reckless and in A Time to Kill at Arena Stage at D.C.  He has also appeared at the Old Globe in San Diego, Seattle Rep., Lincoln Center , Delaware Theatre Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, and Shakespeare on the Sound.

Rounding out the cast is Kristie Dale Sanders who plays the determined journalist Maria Feletti.  Sanders returns for her seventh season with The Shakespeare Theatre where she has appeared The School for Wives, King Lear, Measure for Measure, The Rivals, Illyria, and The Threepenny Opera.  Sanders appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown, and The Sound of Music.   Her television credits include All My Children and The Wire.


The Director

With this production, director Paul Mullins celebrates his twentieth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where has also directed The Lion in Winter, Noises Off, Private Lives, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Richard II, Illyria, King John, The Illusion, Tartuffe, Rhinoceros, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well and The Threepenny Opera. As an actor, Mullins has appeared in many of The Theatre's productions including  No Man's Land, Richard III, Othello, Carnival!, Three Sisters, The Forest, Blithe Spirit, The Winter's Tale, The Homecoming and Diary of a Scoundrel.   He has also directed productions at The Old Globe, The Studio Theatre, DC; Chautauqua Theatre Company, Portland Stage, Dorset Theatre Festival, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama and The Juilliard School.

The Artistic Staff

Setting the stage for Accidental Death of an Anarchist are set designer Michael Schweikardt, costume designer Jacqueline Firkins, lighting designer Shelly Sabel, and sound designer Rich Dionne.

Tickets

Single tickets for Accidental Death of an Anarchist 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.   

T-34's w/ Zak Smith Band At Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse

(DUNELLEN, NJ) -- On Thursday, July 28, Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse features The T34's with special guest Zak Smith Band.  Admission is $10 and showtime is 9pm.  Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse is located at 745 Bound Brook Road in Dunellen, NJ.  For reservations call 732-529-4464.

The T34's are a tight, hi-energy, groove driven type of rock and roll band. They fuse classic rock, punk rock, blues, country and grunge influences into captivating songs that sound best while driving down the highway. Their sound combines heavy rock of Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana with singer songwriter influences of Elliot Smith, Hank Williams, Elvis Costello and John Lennon. Their music also echoes with the quirkiness of Beck and the raw power of Iggy Pop and Punk Rock. This is all combined in a Cosmic American Rock sound that makes the listener feel that its the Summertime and the widows are down going 80 mph.

Zak Smith's songwriting and lyrical talent is something beyond a pencil & a piece of paper. This "something" is what you feel when you get wrapped up in his words and emotions while fighting the urge to drop to your knees in surrender or jump out of your seat in celebration. Influenced by his roots of Leonard Cohen & Elvis Costello, Zak reveals prevailing choruses and melodic hooks in an alternative rock genre leaning towards new favorites, Kings of Leon & The Killers. His music has been described by critics as "haunting indie rock with Americana accents" (Berkeley Place), as "rocks with oodles of soul" (Muzik Reviews), and as "someone opening up their life to you" (Jersey Beat).

4TH WALL ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR "THE SPITFIRE GRILL"

(Bloomfield, NJ) – 4th Wall Theatre, a non-union, professional theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles in the musical, The Spitfire Grill with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley.  Under the direction of 4th Wall Artistic Director Kate Swan, and musical direction by Markus Hauck, The Spitfire Grill will be presented at The Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ, where the company is in residence.  Rehearsals will begin in late August/early September and the production runs October 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

Auditions are scheduled for Thursday, and Friday, August 4 and 5 at 7:00 pm at the Westminster Arts Center, on the corner of Franklin and Fremont streets in Bloomfield.  Sign up starts at 6:30 pm and you must sign-in by 8:00 pm.  Callbacks will be on Saturday, August 6 at 2:00 pm.  Actors should prepare two songs in a strong folk/country or musical theatre style.  Women auditioning for Percy and Shelby should have a strong belt to D.  Bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided. All singing characters must be able to carry tight harmonies. Please bring conflicts and headshot and resume (stapled together) to the auditions. Non union/small stipend paid.

Based on a 1996 film of the same name, The Spitfire Grill details the story of a young woman who is released from prison and decides to start a new life in a small mid-western town.  She finds a place for herself working at the Spitfire Grill. But she – and the town – have old wounds that need healing, and it takes an unusual contest to pull everyone together to learn from one another and about themselves.  The show is a tuneful and stirring tribute to small town life, and offers a charming and honest tale of hope and redemption.  Additional details about the show (and the original cast recording is available) at www.thespitfiregrill.com.

For additional information, including a cast breakdown and directions to the theatre, please visit www.4thwalltheatre.org.

Paula Poundstone Comes To Bergen PAC

(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ proud to present comedian Paula Poundstone in concert is Thursday, July 21 st. It's impossible to attend a Paula Poundstone performance without marveling at her ability to interact spontaneously with audience members in conversations bound to garner riotous laughter. Armed with nothing but a stool, a microphone and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula's ability to create humor on the spot has become the stuff of legend. Little wonder people leave Paula's shows debating whether the random people she talked to were "plants" – which, of course they never are, and complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter.

Paula continues to be the National Spokesperson for (ALTAFF), The Association of Library Trustees Advocates Friends & Foundations, a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. Paula is supporting libraries on a local level by partnering with promoters and the local Friends organization in cities where she performs. The local Friends group receives tickets for use in fundraising or promotion as well as a portion of the book and CD sales after her performance where she makes herself available for signings. Says Poundstone: "It's funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed. If you haven't been to your library lately, you're over-due."

Poundstone's razor-sharp wit makes her a perfect fit as a regular panelist on NPR's popular weekly news quiz show, "Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me." (2008 winner of the prestigious Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence) Her first book, "There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say," (with foreword by Mary Tyler Moore) is out in paperback and also is now available on audio. (Highbridge) Paula is hard at work on her second tome for the same imprint. (Harmony Books, a division of Random House) Paula's commentaries have been heard on NPR's "Morning Edition" and her blogs appear in the Huffington Post, and 23/6, as well as the NPR Opinion Page.

Paula was recently inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame. Chief Archivist of the Hall said she was unanimously chosen for "Her wit, insights, intellect and fantastic capacity to improvise helped to set the bar for all artists in stand-up in the modern era. Simply put, No literate history of comedy could be told without Paula's voice. She also was just named to a list of top Unconventional People to Follow on Twitter.

Awards and distinctions: First woman to perform at the White House correspondent's dinner; first woman to win a cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Performance. Paula is also an Emmy and Ace Award winner for Best Program Interviewer. TV appearances include several standup comedy specials (HBO, and Bravo), her own show on HBO and ABC, and all the major talk shows. In 2010 Paula was invited to serve as judge in the humor category of this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The Awards are the largest, longest running recognition and scholarship program for teenage artists & writers. Paula has been recognized as one of Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand ups of all time! Poundstone also released her first comedy CD: I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Maine, 60 minutes of hilarious comedy recorded live at the sensational Stone Mountain Arts Center – because as Paula says, "It's very hard to do it any other way."

GET A LAUGH with Paula's comedy CD "I Heart Jokes" http://www.paulapoundstone.com/NewCD.html
Watch Paula on Craig Ferguson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL-MWIftAlQ
Visit Paula at: http://www.paulapoundstone.com
www.facebook.com/paulapoundstone

www.myspace.com/paulapoundstone
http://twitter.com/PaulaPoundstone

Showtime: 8:00PM Tickets: $29.00 - $49.00 Call: 201-227-1030 Visit: www.bergenpac.org

The Bergen Performing Arts Center is located at 30 North Van Brunt Street Englewood, NJ 07631

Cape May Stage Presents Steel Magnolias

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier professional Equity theatre, is proud to announce the opening of Robert Harling's heartwarming comedy, Steel Magnolias.  This alternately hilarious and touching play will begin performances on Wednesday, August 3 (with an official opening on Thursday, August 4) and will run Tuesdays – Sundays at 8 p.m. through Saturday, September 10 at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse located at the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.

The all-women ensemble cast featuring Broadway and TV/Film veterans includes Karen Ziemba as M'lynn (Tony Winner Contact, Curtains), Ellen Dolan as Truvy (Guiding Light, As the World Turns), Nicole Lowrance as Annelle (Dividing the Estate, The Merchant of Venice), Kate McCauley Hathaway as Clairee (I Hate Hamlet, Les Miserables), Marlena Lustik as Ouiser (Foxy, Pousse Café, I Hate Hamlet), and Meredith Riley Stewart as Shelby (Boardwalk Empire, Jeanne Ruddy Dance).

Directed by Cape May Stage's Artistic Director Roy Steinberg, the artistic team includes Robert J Martin (sets), Michele E. Sinacore (costumes), Brian Aldous (lighting) and Benjamin Loverin (stage manager).

Louisiana-born lawyer/actor/playwright Robert Harling wrote Steel Magnolias originally as a short story to help him deal with the untimely death of his diabetic sister following childbirth. "My nephew was about to turn five," he explains, "and I suddenly realized that if I didn't put down on paper what happened to his mother, he'd never know who she was." Luckily, Harling elected to tell his tragic story with a heavy dose of Southern humor, and he set it in a place in which he claims he has never set foot – a beauty parlor, the mysterious and fascinating place where his mother and sister would disappear for a few hours each week with their friends. "I realized the story really had nothing to do with the men," he says. "It was about these women and their support systems. I wanted to have the women comfortable enough to let their hair down."

Six soft-hearted "magnolias" with steely dispositions gather regularly at Truvy's Beauty Salon, the unofficial hub of Chinquapin, La., to chitchat with, counsel, criticize and comfort one another. The wise-cracking Truvy, with the help of her new glamour technician, Annelle, dispenses liberal doses of shampoo, hairspray, free advice and gossip to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser; an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee; and the local social worker, and M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby, is on the verge of marriage. The play visits these women over the course of two years in which together they experience love, joy, pain, death, and rebirth.

Steel Magnolias premiered at the WPA Theatre in New York on March 22, 1987, and subsequently transferred to the off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Theatre, where it ran for an impressive 1,126 performances and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award.  The first “Broadway” production of the play opened April 4, 2005.  The story achieved widespread acclaim and popularity in a 1989 movie version.

Performance Information

Steel Magnolias officially opens Thursday, August 4th and will run to Saturday, September 10th at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May. Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors, and $15 students. Friday, August 12 will be a half-price performance for senior citizens. Following the August 4th opening, all ticket holders are invited to join the opening night after-party at the Pier House, with the chance to mingle with the cast and crew.  Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.com.

Steel Magnolias is co-sponsored by Capri Motor Lodge and Tisha's.  This season's sponsors include 410 Bank Street/Frescos, Exit Zero, CapeSCape, The Corner Cottage Apartments, Harry's Bar & Grille at the Montreal Inn, La Mer Beachfront Inn, Lucky Bones, Cape May Winery, and The Washington Inn.

East Lynne Theater Company presents "The World of Dorothy Parker"

     (CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Dorothy Parker was a sharp wit, whether the medium was short stories, poetry, screenplays, plays, or play or book reviews. In one of her classic Broadway reviews – about Katharine Hepburn – Parker wrote, "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B."  The first edition of "The Portable Dorothy Parker" was selected by Alexander Woollcott in 1944 as the fourth in a series of volumes intended for soldiers overseas.  It has never been out of print.    

     The award-winning East Lynne Theater Company is proud to present a world premiere based on the works of this famous Algonquin Round Table personality. Titled "The World of Dorothy Parker," it is adapted and directed by Gayle Stahlhuth, and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. from July 27- Sept. 3 at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, where the company is in residence.

     During this engagingly delightful evening, the following stories are brought to life: "A Telephone Call" (1930), "Here We Are" (1931), "The Lovely Leave" (1943), and other tales and poems by the woman who quipped about "women who wear glasses."

     "A Telephone Call" involves a woman who waits anxiously for a man to call.  She counts to five hundred by fives, seeks God's help, and wishes the man were dead, only to change her mind.  "After all," she says, "it's silly to go wishing people were dead just because they don't call you up the minute they said they would.  Maybe the clock's fast."

     In "Here We Are," newlyweds are on a train headed on their honeymoon. Awkwardness prevails, and the young man only makes it worse when he says to his new bride, "When I was standing up there in that old church waiting for you to come up, and I saw those two bridesmaids, I thought to myself, 'Well, I never knew Louise could look like that!' Why, she'd have knocked anybody's eye out."

     It's World War II in "The Lovely Leave," and a couple believes they have twenty-four hours only to find out that in an hour, he's being shipping out. She made such great plans for those twenty-four hours – how to reduce them to one!  She says to him, "you have a whole new life – I have half an old one.  Your life is so far away from mine. I don't see how they're ever going to come back together."  But for one hour their lives do come back together, and the leave is indeed "lovely."

      All four actors are ELTC favorites: Suzanne Dawson, Tiffany-Leigh Moskow, Drew Seltzer, and John Cameron Weber.

     Suzanne has had roles in four ELTC productions, including that of the matriarch in last season's time-travel adventure, "Berkeley Square." She has performed Off-Broadway in "CBS Live," "The Last Musical Comedy," "The Great American Backstage Musical," and the revival of "New Faces of ’52."  Regionally, she has worked at Florida Studio Theatre, Buffalo Studio Arena, The Alliance in Atlanta, and Paper Mill Playhouse.

     Tiffany-Leigh Moskow has been in three ELTC productions, including playing the charming missionary in last year's "The Dictator." She performed at the Fringe Festival in Scotland and has appeared several times at Syracuse Stage and The Caldwell Theatre Company in Florida, and recently finished filming, as a recurring character, the television series "Girlhattan," premiering this fall on Karmaloop TV.       

     Drew Seltzer made his ELTC debut last season as the spendthrift son in "Berkeley Square." He has performed in several Off-Broadway shows including four years with "Tony n' Tina's Wedding;" regionally at Princeton Rep and Hedgerow Theater; and is the lead in the upcoming feature film "Leaving Circadia" opposite Michael Cerveris. 

     John Cameron Weber played Dr. Remington in ELTC's recent "He and She," and "The World of Dorothy Parker" marks his fourth production with the company.  He played Michael Husted in CBS's "As the World Turns," has worked at Cortland Rep in New York, Arrow Rock in Missouri, and performed in several American musical productions that toured Europe.

     The audience is invited to mingle with the cast and crew at the after-show opening night party on July 27 at Lucky Bones, 1200 route 109 South.  Another opportunity to engage in conversation is an after-show Q&A on Friday, August 5.  A special ASL performance is on Friday, August 26.

     Meanwhile, "He and She," highly recommended by Terry Teachout in his recent "Wall Street Journal" review, runs only through July 23. 

     ELTC wished to thank the NAACP for authorizing this use of Parker’s work.

     The company wishes to also thank Season Sponsors Curran Investment Management, La Mer Beachfront Inn, and Aleathea's Restaurant, and others who have helped to finance ELTC's 2011 Mainstage Production Season. 

     Tickets for "The World of Dorothy Parker" 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.  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, and The Washington Inn.  Call the restaurants for reservations and mention the ELTC-Dinner-And-A-Show Package.

Tony n' Tina's Wedding Says "I Do" to New Jersey

(Marlboro, NJ) -– Tony n' Tina's Wedding, the hit Off-Broadway dinner comedy, will play the Bella Vista Country Club in Marlboro on Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m.

Tony n' Tina's Wedding is the original interactive comedy hit where audience members play the roles of "invited guests" at a hilarious wedding ceremony.  The evening begins with the nuptials, followed by a rousing reception featuring a full Italian dinner, wedding cake and dancing.

"Tony n' Tina's Wedding, coupled with the elegant fine dining and beautiful décor of Bella Vista, is truly a successful marriage," said Gary Shaffer, the production's marketing director. "I've worked with this show in New York, Vegas and Orlando, and the Marlboro production will have the best food hands down."

Since its original New York opening in 1987, Tony n' Tina's Wedding has garnered many rave reviews.  The New York Times called it "Audaciously Imaginative" and syndicated columnist Liz Smith of The New York Post, hailed it as "One of the Most Successful and Imaginative hits in Off-Broadway History!"  People Magazine labeled Tony n' Tina's Wedding "A Hit!" while UPI described it as "Hilarious Fun!"

Tony n' Tina's Wedding performs Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m., at the Bella Vista Country Club, 100 School Road East, Marlboro, NJ. Tickets are $125 and include a full dinner, champagne toast, wedding cake and dancing. Group discounts are available. For tickets and show information, call 347-600-8293 or visit www.tonyntinastour.com.

SHADOW LAWN STAGE PRESENTS MOLLY SWEENEY

(West Long Branch, NJ) -- Three professional actors who have performed all around the United States and beyond are returning to Shadow Lawn Stage at Monmouth University this season for its Irish drama, Molly Sweeney. Molly Sweeney is the off-Broadway hit by Brian Friel, the prize-winning Irish dramatist who also authored Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations, Philadelphia, and Here I Come! This is the first production of Molly Sweeney in New Jersey since its successful run at the Irish Repertory Company in New York this past spring.

The central character of Molly, who has been blind since childhood, is played by Katrina Ferguson, who previously appeared in Shadow Lawn's 2010 season in The Sunshine Boys and The Au Pair Man. Molly undergoes an operation to restore her sight because, as everyone says, "what has she got to lose?"  Her husband Frank is portrayed by Patrick Toon, who was in Brian Friel's Lovers at Shadow Lawn back in 2004 and is returning after performances at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and the Pearl Theatre in New York.  Mr. Rice, who performs the operation, is played by Bradley Mott, who starred in the The Sunshine Boys last season, and provided many laughs as Signor Geronte in the just completed Shadow Lawn production of Scapino.

Molly Sweeney is being directed by John J. Burke, director of Monmouth University's Theatre Arts program.  The show opens July 15 and then runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm until July 31, with a preview performance on July 14 at 8 pm.  Shadow Lawn Stage is a professional Actor's Equity theatre, performing at the beautiful Lauren K. Woods Theatre on the campus of Monmouth University, at the junction of Cedar and Norwood Avenues. It is supported in part by the NJ State Council on the Arts and is an affiliate member of the NJ Theatre Alliance.

For tickets or more information, call 732-263-6889 or visit www.monmouth.edu/shadow_lawn_stage.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Snubbing The Snobbery, or, How I Learned To Stop Complaining And Love The Cover Bands

by Donald W. Dunphy

Summertime along the Jersey Shore can mean many things, but often includes one in particular – local clubs, bars, and amenable restaurants will be inundated with cover bands playing everything from doo-wop to stuff from the Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops and Hooligans album (not that I'm really sure I need a lounge version of "Grenade," but whatever). At one point I would have thrown my nose way up into the air, righteous in the belief that these bands were taking the easy way out, that they hadn't the courage to be a band, and questioning whether four or five people playing music from anyone but themselves could justify being called a band at all.

I've since changed my mind on the subject, with lingering reservations.

While I still am prone to getting my snob on when it comes to shows like American Idol, The Voice, and the upcoming The X-Factor, believing them to be at their worst moments nothing but glorified karaoke, the cover band indeed has a fight to wage, and that fight is the one any band, no matter what they play, has to take on: the right to exist. After all, what is the difference if your performance of an original song, or Guns ‘N Roses' "Paradise City," sucks? To amp up the degree of difficulty, do you approach the cover in your own style or as G'NR would have. The latter flirts with dangerous stuff and can force an audience to question whether they're in Jersey or Branson, Missouri.

I prefer the cover bands that dare to tweak the originals, just enough to make the songs their own, but not enough to turn the dude in the back row shouting, "Play "Free Bird"!" violent. For example, I saw a contest (on YouTube) a bar held for best cover band of Such and Such County (the locality now escapes me). Most of the bands played it straight-faced, mimicking body language, inflection, riffs, and the whole sordid story. There happened to be the world's worst Freddy Mercury impersonator there and he didn't even have the moustache. I know Mercury didn't always have the lip-fuzz, but if you're covering Queen in their prime, at least have the moustache (and try to stay on key, if you positively cannot sing like Freddie), but I digress.

A band came up to the stage and did Judas Priest's "You Got Another Thing Coming," but they did it like gut-bucket Delta blues. At first the audience had no idea what was going on, since the arrangement was so radically different from the original, but by the end the band had each and every one of them in their pocket. Did they win the contest? Well, no. The winner was a young woman with plunging cleavage. Scandalous.

We also have to consider the endless parade of bands who have not released new music in years, sometimes decades, and are still trooping around the world playing their oldies, and doing quiet well at it. Never mind that they've had to drop the key several steps down just so the singer can get through the biggest hits without passing out, if the attendees did not get their favorite song in some vaguely relevant form, they would have left the show feeling cheated.

While this is understandable, have they not reduced themselves to a cover band status? Most of these groups are more like symbols of foster care, adopting soundalike members that drift in and out of the organization, than a band unit. I think there are currently three sets of The Temptations touring America and, dare I say it, I believe most of the original Temptations are dead by this point. Unless every audience member gets a Ouija board with their ticket, it is impossible to classify them as the "Original Temptations." And still, if they don't do "My Girl," or "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," many will leave the venue sans gruntle.

We also have to account for the artists that never really recorded original tunes to begin with, who made their bones on reinterpretation and never took crap for doing so. As far back as the earliest days of rock & roll, white artists were co-opting the songs coming from the black R&B labels, and some of them became huge stars. In the 1960's, that stardom was increased exponentially. Consider that, in their formative stages, The Beatles were just as likely to cover Chuck Berry as they were to play an original track. Led Zeppelin was formed, not only as an extension of The Yardbirds under Jimmy Page, but from the roots of Willie Dixon.

The 1970's found the LA Scene, Laurel Canyon, Troubadour singer/songwriters arm-in-arm with interpreters, and alongside James Taylor you would be hard-pressed not to find Linda Ronstadt. Now, Ronstadt has done original songs, but what were her biggest hits? Tunes from Buddy Holly, the American Songbook under Nelson Riddle's direction, and so forth. Another ‘70s stalwart from another continent entirely, Rod Stewart, left the Faces with a little original material, but was just as often found singing (in later years) Robert Palmer ("Some Guys Have All The Luck"), Tom Waits ("Downtown Train"), etc.. His box set, Storyteller: The Complete Anthology, is just as much about the material he chose as it was about the material he wrote.

So the lingering belief of inferiority some apply to cover bands, and especially Jersey Shore cover bands, is misplaced in the face of rampant precedence, provided what they do is, you know, good. A lousy cover band, while initially entertaining, loses their cache quickly when they move on to mangle your all-time favorite tune. Fortunately, most of the coast-dwellers are music fans themselves, and many wish they could have an independent career in music. The problem is simply that the industry is prohibitive when it comes to newcomers, and grows more constricting with each successive talent-show TV entry. The flash success of YouTube darlings are just as quickly turned around into flash demise, and just as frequently are taken for a joke and not seriously at all. Will we see Rebecca Black in five years? Will she be forced into a lifetime of "Friday"s?

So for those who have found decent, stable day-jobs, or are writing material in batches of stolen moments, or just want to be able to play for the joy of playing, and for the positive energy from a crowd (who may or may not be half-buzzed at the time) the cover circuit is not a bad place to be.

Sitting in front of hairless Freddy Mercury; now that's a bad place to be.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview with Joel Plaskett & The Emergency

by Gary Wien

Joel Plaskett is a Juno Award-winning artist from Nova Scotia, Canada, whose band’s set at the 2011 Southern Shore Music Festival in Millville was one of the highlights of the day.  Jersey Arts caught up with Joel after his set to talk about his band, Canadian music, opening for Paul McCartney, and building an audience in the States.   His band will be returning to the area on Thursday, August 18th when they take part in the Philly Folk Festival in Schwenkesville, PA.

How did it feel to be called back for an encore? I was here last year and I don’t think there was an encore all day.
That was really cool.  I love playing and reaching out to a new audience.  I really feel like we built it slow and steady in Canada and I like the idea of getting something happening in the States -- especially on the Eastern Seaboard.  It’s right down from Nova Scotia and makes a lot of sense; it’s a lot closer than Vancouver.  There’s a lot of people down here and I think there’s a lot of shared tastes.

Believe it or not, but I became a fan of your band from Iceberg 85!
Right on!

I was wondering if Canadian bands are finding a lot of fans from satellite radio these days?
It’s hard for me to tell how many... has satellite radio grown in popularity? It might have bubbled a bit, I’m not sure.

Well, every new car has it now...
Right! We haven’t been to the States a lot over the past few years, but I see stuff posted online at Facebook and get requests for us to come play in a particular place in the States.  I figure a lot of that is from people finding us from satellite radio like Sirius or the CBC station.  Those stations are cool because their mandate is to support Canadian artists.

Iceberg has been very good to me and my profile in Canada has been steadily building, but that border -- unless you get radio support, it’s a different world as soon as you step across that border.

The CBC is a national station in Canada, but thanks to satellite radio it’s like a North American station as well.
Absolutely.  It’s very cool.  I did a bunch of shows in the UK last year and people are finding music in a lot of different ways.  That’s the first thing you notice.  Everybody has their own “go to” station.  I still like radio as a way to discover new stuff if it’s good.  The problem is most radio is so poorly curated.

I actually didn’t know where your band was from when I checked out the websites for the bands playing the festival, but I really dug your sound and made a note to check out your set.  I’m not sure why it is, but I have a habit of liking Canadian bands.  If you played me ten acts, I’d almost certainly be able to pick out the one from Jersey and the one from Canada. 

Forgetting about any accents, do you think there is a particular Canadian sound?
I would say there’s some stuff in common.  I think there’s a shared sense of melody.  It’s influenced very much from the States and from England.  It’s a real hodgepodge for us because where we’re from in Halifax there’s a Celtic music influence and a real traditional music influence, which touches down to my music a little bit.  But rock and roll is a huge part of my world and I get it from American and British records.

There’s definitely a bit of a Canadian sound with bands like Sam Roberts, us, and Sloan.

In a weird way, Canadian music always reminds me a bit of 80s rock.
It’s pretty tough to generalize completely, but I do think that Canadians like choruses -- they like big choruses and the records are not really clean, but they’re sort of like square in the way they hit you.

I’ve always been able to find bands like Sloan, The Weakerthans,The Trews -- I never understood why, but maybe there is some sort of connection with them all.
It could be the shared influences.  We all grew up within the same area.  I’ve played with all of those bands and we all know each other; it’s a small scene. 

Well, actually the only band I’ve never seen or even cross paths with are The Weakerthans.  I know we basically know each other without knowing each other, but they’re always on tour when we are.

You said on stage that this was your first time actually in New Jersey.  I bet this area here isn’t quite like you see on TV.
We’ve driven through it a bunch, but we’ve never stopped and played Jersey.  I actually played Hoboken once years ago with my old band, Thrush Hermit.  That was at Maxwell’s, maybe 1994.  I’ve been touring since 1993.  I was with Thrush Hermit until 1999 and then we broke up and I started doing stuff under my own name.  I’ve been at it a long time.

Tell me about the band, how long has this group of guys been together?

Dave Marsh who plays drums with me has been on deck since 1999 where it first started; Chris Pennell who plays bass joined around 2007; and Peter Elkas who plays guitar didn’t make this trip. 

I also do a lot of solo shows and play a little with my father.  There are a few gals who sang on my last record who’ve done some shows with us as well.  There’s kind of an extended family, but the core of the band is me, Dave, and Chris.

We opened for Paul McCartney in Halifax, which was a really big outdoor show and we had a seven-piece that night.

Did Paul choose your band specifically for the show?
That’s what we were told.  We got the email from his management.  It was like “Paul would like to invite you” so let’s go!

He probably doesn’t get turned down very often.
It was a super cool show.

Do you have any plans to be back in the area anytime this year?
We’ll actually be back in August... let me check the date.  It’s August 18th for the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

One final question, who’s a Canadian artist on the rise that we should keep a look out for?
Hmm... Do you know Two Hours Traffic?  They’re a really good band from Prince Edward Island.  I’m a little biased because I produced a couple of records for them, but I think they’re a pretty great band.

There’s a lot of good stuff happening out there.  Canada’s got a real happening scene right now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hollywood Squares host PETER MARSHALL and Gilligan's Island DAWN WELLS star in SURFLIGHT THEATRE'S "LOVE LETTERS" by A.R. GURNEY

(BEACH HAVEN, NJ)  -  Surflight Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director and Surflight alum Roy Miller and Executive Producer Timothy Laczynski, present A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters" for six performances only from July 14 through 17.

Starring Peter Marshall (the five-time Emmy Award-winning host of The Hollywood Squares from 1966-1981 and the original Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from the classic TV series Gilligan's Island), Surflight's production of Love Letters is directed by Nancy Robillard.

Gurney's Pulitzer Prize nominated play chronicles the relationship between Andrew Makepeace Ladd (Marshall) and Melissa Gardner (Wells), whose poignantly funny friendship and ill-fated romance takes them from second grade through adolescence, young adulthood and into middle age.  Love Letters is about a fifty-year love affair carried on primarily through letters, written in and about a world where letter-writing was very much an essential mode of communication.

A.R. Gurney has been writing plays for most of his life. Among his many works are The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, and Sylvia. He lives in Connecticut and New York City.

Nancy Robillard's directing credits include extensive work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional and summer theatre.  Robillard has directed a number of world premieres including Fast Break (Culture Project), Honor and the River (Luna Stage) Rosemary & I with Olympia Dukakis (Metro Stage) and Unsinkable Women (Walnut Street Theatre and National Tour).  New York productions: Culture Project, Vital Theatre, Directors Company, Algonquin Theatre, Theatre for the New City, and HERE.  Regional: the Kennedy Center, Walnut Street Theatre, MetroStage, Northern Stage, Luna Stage, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Gateway Playhouse, Keystone Rep, and Tri-Arts. On Broadway Robillard was assistant director to Mike Ockrent on Big, and Alan Arkin on Taller than a Dwarf.  She also assisted Alan Arkin on the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Power Plays.

Robillard has an MFA in directing from Illinois State University (home of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre) and has taught acting and directing at several colleges. Currently she works with emerging writers in the MFA program at NYU. This fall she will direct the world premiere of the musical Slow Dance with a Hot Pickup by John Pielmeier and Matty Selman, which will open in Boulder, CO.

Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, is located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey.  Love Letters performances are Thursday at 8:00pm; Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 8pm.  Tickets are $36-$54.  Season Subscriptions are still available.  Tickets are available online at www.surflight.org.  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Surflight box office, by phone at 609-492-9477.  For groups (15 or more) call: 609-492-9477 x201.

ReVision Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Team for the NJ Regional Debut of Spring Awakening

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- ReVision Theatre is pleased to announce the cast and creative team of the N.J. Regional Debut of Spring Awakening.  This stellar cast features Billy Lewis (Spring Awakening Nat'l Tour, ReVision's Tommy), Elena Ricardo (Bring It On the Musical), Noah Zachary (Dear Edwina, Tommy), Hannah Shankman (Bway Hair, Rent Nat'l Tour), Teddy Toye (Lysistrata Jones), Renee Bang Allen (B'way Company), Spiro Galiatsatos (Altar Boyz, ReVision's Hair, Full Monty ), Spencer Kiely (High School Musical), Jonny Beauchamp (Pinkalicious), Travis Mitchell (Spring Awakening Nat'l Tour), Shira Elias (ReVision's Rocky Horror, Xanadu) and Chelsea Zeno (ReVision's Kingdom, Nickelodeon's Story Time Live Nat'l Tour).

Carlos Armesto (DisOriented, ReVision's Kingdom, Tommy) will direct, with choreography by Elisabetta Spuria (ReVision's Hair, Tommy), and Musical Direction by Michael Thomas Murray (ReVision's Kingdom, Tommy, The Bikinis, Rocky Horror, Xanadu).

The Spring Awakening creative team includes, Steven Kemp (Set Design), Sarita Fellows (Costume), Jake DeGroot (Lighting), and Karoline Budna (Sound Design).

Spring Awakening is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind.  It features music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater.  Set in late 19th century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality.  The original play was banned for some time due to it's portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and teen suicide.  In the musical, alternative rock is employes as part of the folk infused rock score.  Spring Awakening received eleven Tony Award nominations, winning eight including Tony's for best musical, direction, book, score and featured actor.  The show also won four Drama Desk Awards while its London production won four Olivier Awards.

As always, ReVision audiences should expect a newly charged and intensely provocative take on this extrordinary piece of musical theatre.  This production is not to be missed!

Spring Awakening opens on August 4 and runs through August 28 at The Carousel House located at 700 Ocean Avenue on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

Tickets and season subscriptions are on sale now! www.revisiontheatre.org or by phone 732-455-3059 or at a ReVision Theatre  ticket outlet, Flying Saucers Retro Kitchenware, 659 Cookman Ave,  in Asbury Park.   Please consider buying your season tickets in advance as you will receive the greatest discounts.

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