New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Patrick Fitzsimmons Celebrates 50th Birthday With Strand Show

(Lakewood, NJ) –-  On Friday, October 21 as Patrick Fitzsimmons returns to the Strand for a very special Backstage Pass. Patrick has celebrated his birthday with a series of Birthday Shows at the Strand for several years, even recording a live CD here during his 2005 show. This year Patrick turns 50, and will debut songs from his forthcoming new CD. Please join us for what will be a very eventful night!

"Some say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Patrick takes you into his soul through his music.
Emotions pour out of his songs like a wellspring..." — Jeff Rusch, WNTI Radio

Come experience the crystal clear voice and heartfelt lyrics of one of the most captivating songwriters around
today!

Tickets are $25 plus service charges.  Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732 – 367 - 7789,
is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

The Strand Theater is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, NJ.

Playwright's daughter Anne Kaufman comes to ELTC's "Dulcy"

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company is proud to announce that Anne Kaufman, the daughter of playwright George S. Kaufman, is attending "Dulcy" on Wednesday, October 12, and will be available for an after-show Q&A with the audience. Kaufman (1889-1961) wrote "Dulcy" with Marc Connelly (1890-1980), and this marks the third Kaufman comedy produced by ELTC in four years, and the third time Ms. Kaufman has left her Manhattan home to attend a Cape May production.

     The mission of ELTC, founded in 1980, is to produce American classics, which means that most plays have not been seen in seventy-five years or more, and there is no one to talk to who would have been connected to these earlier productions. To actually have the opportunity to talk to the daughter of one of the most famous playwrights in theater history is unbelievably exciting, and patrons have been asking when Ms. Kaufman will be in town.

     ELTC's artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth met Ms. Kaufman through a mutual friend in 2008, when the playwright's daughter discovered that ELTC was producing "To the Ladies!" – a play she's never seen nor read.  On Broadway in 1922, this was the second of eight Kaufman and Connelly collaborations and the star was Helen Hayes. Ms. Kaufman was so taken with ELTC's production, that she gave permission for the company to produce "The Butter and Egg Man" royalty-free.  Both comedies were hailed by reviewers and patrons alike, and ELTC thought it was time to bring "Dulcy to the stage; the 1921 comedy that made a star of Lynn Fontanne.

     The theme in "Dulcy" is typical of several Kaufman/Connelly collaborations, in which women want to help their husbands. Dulcinea Smith believes she’s created the perfect atmosphere in her home for a lovely weekend where her husband can make a brilliant business deal with Mr. Forbes – or perhaps with Mr. Forbes’ rival - and Forbes’ daughter can run away with the right – or wrong - man.

     Kaufman became America's most successful playwright in the 1920's and '30's. He collaborated with Dorothy Parker ("Business is Business"); Edna Ferber ("Dinner at Eight," "The Royal Family," "Stage Door"); Ring Lardner ("June Moon"); Morrie Ryskind ("Animal Crackers"); Moss Hart ("Once in a Lifetime," "The Man Who Came to Dinner"); and Howard Teichmann ("The Solid Gold Cadillac").  He directed many of his plays, as well as the works of others, including the original "The Front Page" and "Guys and Dolls."  Kaufman received two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1931, it was for "Of Thee I Sing," with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin, the first musical to be so honored, and with Moss Hart in 1937 for "You Can't Take It With You."

     "Dulcy" is the largest cast that ELTC has ever assembled and includes Erin Callahan, Larry Daggett, Suzanne Dawson, Dave Holyoak, Mark Edward Lang, Megan McDermott, Alison J. Murphy, Drew Seltzer, Thomas Raniszewski, Fred Velde, and Gayle Stahlhuth, who also directs.

     The show runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00p.m. through October 15, except there is no show on Wednesday, October 5, and an added show on Sunday, October 9 at 7:30p.m. The location is The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; $15 for students; and anyone age twelve and under is free.  For information and to make reservations, call 884-5898 or go online at www.eastlynnetheater.org.

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

The Theater Project Returns to West Orange's New Jersey Arts Incubator for "Fully Committed"

(West Orange and Union, NJ) -- The Theater Project, a 17-year old Central New Jersey-based professional theater company, will present its fall production, the zany "Fully Committed" by Becky Mode, from October 13 through 30. The production will take place at the New Jersey Arts Incubator at the Essex Green Shopping Center on Prospect Avenue just off I-280 in West Orange, NJ.

Tickets range from $10-25 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or at brownpapertickets.com. More information is available at TheTheaterProject.org and NJAI.org or by calling (908) 809-8865. The New Jersey Arts Incubator is in the rear of the Essex Green Shopping Center next to the cinemas and behind Panera Bread, 495 Prospect Avenue in West Orange. Additional information is available at TheTheaterProject.org or NJAI.org.

This hysterical, fast-paced show follows a day in the life of Sam Peliczowski, an out-of-work actress who handles the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. She is certainly in demand – not for acting roles, but for prime reservations at the right table. As she juggles scheming socialites, name-dropping wannabes, fickle celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, Sam tries to sort out her own life and career. Sam – along with the nearly 40 demanding characters in "Fully Committed" – are all portrayed by one actress, Jenelle Sosa of Newark.

Directed by Rick Delaney, this hilarious comedy is about being in the right place at the right time, and heroine Sam learns that sometimes it's just best to hang up the phone. The New York Times hailed a previous production of "Fully Committed" calling it "…immensely entertaining, a richly comic affirmation of everything I've ever heard, or suspected, about the bad behavior that good food can inspire." Time Out New York called the production "hilarious and touching, galloping along at a swift, almost frantic pace."

The Theater Project believes that a more thoughtful, inspired and creative community can be stimulated by its unique brand of professional, high-quality and theatrical programming. It is dedicated to the presentation of powerful and relevant productions that explore contemporary values and topic issues in an intimate and engaging setting.

Committed to strengthening the bond our professional artists have with our patrons and donors, The Theater Project provides our Central New Jersey community with a broad range of affordable programming -- ranging from rarely-seen productions to educational offerings and programs supporting next-generation actors and playwrights to a safe developmental environment for the cultivation of new plays by authors of all ages -- in celebration of the special interactive relationship between artists and audiences only live theater can provide.

Cape May Stage Presents Lynn Cohen and Adam Wade in "How to Make a Rope Swing"

(Cape May, NJ) -– Cape May Stage, as part of their commitment to quality original theatre, is proud to announce another world premiere event. How to Make a Rope Swing, a new play written by Shawn Fisher, is a dramatic story about long-buried secrets in a Jersey Shore town, and features guest stage and screen performers Lynn Cohen and Adam Wade, along with Michael Basile (currently starring in Cape May Stage's Main Stage production of The Woolgatherer).  Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series, How to Make a Rope Swing, will be performed on Monday October 17, at 8 p.m. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse.

The story unfolds when the South Jersey town of Oakbranch is replacing the old schoolhouse. Local elders Delores Wright, the beloved town matriarch and former school principal, (played by Lynn Cohen; Sex and the City, Muncih, Social Security, Happy Days) and Bo Wells, a dedicated custodian and longest-serving African American school employee, (played by Adam Wade; Driving Miss Daisy, The Color Purple) have been selected to decide on a person after whom the new building should be named; a person who reflects the history and spirit of the town. As they come together in the soon-to-be-demolished old schoolhouse, they rediscover the circumstances of their first meeting there a half-century earlier.   It was 1951, a time when the school was first integrated and the region earned its nickname, "The Mississippi of the North".  Within the brick walls of the century-old building, a long-suppressed moment in the town's history surfaces and threatens to change the memory of the town and these people, forever.

Shawn Fisher has produced over one hundred shows as designer, director, producer or playwright.   His professional design credits include the New York productions of Seal Sings its Song, Cop Out, and Talking Dog and many plays and operas out west. At Cape May Stage he designed The Woolgatherer, Proof, Topdog/Underdog, and Happy Days among others.  As a playwright, Fisher's original scripts include SCOPE, How to Make a Rope Swing, and Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico.  A native of the Jersey Shore (Ocean City), he loves coming home to work with Cape May Stage. He earned his MFA in Theatre Design from Brandeis University and currently serves as a Professor and Head of Graduate Studies in Theatre at Utah State University.

Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series, How to Make a Rope Swing will appear Monday, October 17th at 8 p.m. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse located at 405 Lafayette Street in downtown Cape May.  Tickets are $10. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.org.

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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY'S 49TH SEASON CONTINUES WITH AMERICA'S BELOVED CLASSIC: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present the highly anticipated To Kill A Mockingbird beginning on October 12th and continuing through November 20th at The Theatre's Main Stage –the intimate F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.  Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, Harper Lee's timeless and resonant story is a must-see for every generation.   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.



To Kill a Mockingbird  is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.



Set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize novel is considered one of the most important works of the 20th century and features the beloved characters Scout, her brother Jem, and their father Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends a black man accused of a crime against a white woman.  Scout recounts her father's struggle to inspire compassion in his community and her narrative proves that even the smallest acts of love have a profound impact on the lives of others.  The story's enduring spell stems in part from the juxtaposition of the simple, yet astute innocence of a child's point of view in the face of terrible and terribly complex adult problems and biases. The fundamental lessons about compassion, integrity, and courage are breath-taking and life-changing.



Brent Harris plays Atticus Finch.  Harris recently appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre production of Timon of Athens and prior to that appeared as Scar in the national tour of The Lion King.  He has also appeared at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Seattle Repertory Theatre.  He was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Leading Actor for his role in Orson's Shadow at Philadelphia Theatre Company.



Making her Shakespeare Theatre debut is seventh grader Emmanuelle Nadeau of Westfield who plays Scout. She played Puck in New Jersey Youth Theatre's musical comedy Midnight Madness and appeared in the Paper Mill Playhouse New Voices Concert I'll Take Manhattan.  She has also appeared in Stuart Little and Maurice Sendak and Carole King's Really Rosie.



Returning for his 10th Season, Jake Berger plays Boo Radley.  Berger appeared in The Theatre's productions of The Grapes of Wrath, The Taming of the Shrew and, on the Outdoor Stage, in The Tempest.  He has also appeared at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival and most recently with Fort Point Theatre Channel and Shakespeare & Company.



Nisi Sturgis returns to The Shakespeare Theatre to play Jean Louise Finch, the grown-up Scout.  Sturgis has appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in I Capture the Castle, Arms and the Man, A Streetcar Named Desire and Pride and Prejudice.  Her Broadway and off-Broadway credits include The 39 Steps, Intimate Apparel, and Perfect Harmony.  This Fall, she can be seen in the HBO hit series Boardwalk Empire.   



Frankie Seratch, making his Shakespeare Theatre debut, plays Jem.   Seratch made his off-Broadway debut as Tony-nominee Kerry Butler's son in Pandora's Box at New York Musical Theatre Festival.  He has also appeared in The Family Shakespeare, Barrier Island, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Music Man, and A Christmas Story.



Marjorie Johnson makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Calpurnia.  Johnson appeared in the Broadway production of Little Foxes and off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Playwrights Horizons and the Pearl Theatre.



Rounding out the cast of 20 are returning company members Maureen Silliman as Miss Maudie Atkinson, James Michael Reilly as Heck Tate, Conan McCarty as Bob Ewell, Don Meehan as Nathan Radley, Eric Rolland as Mr. Gilmer, Jean Burton Walker as Mrs. Dubose, Ray Fisher as Tom Robinson and Ben Sterling as the court clerk.   Making their Shakespeare Theatre debuts are Chase Newhart as Judge Taylor, Eileen Glenn as Miss Stephanie Crawford, Allan R. Walker as Reverend Sykes, Alexis Hyatt as Mayella Ewell, Ethan Haberfield as Dill and Rocio Alexis Mendez as Helen Robinson.  



Special Event

In conjunction with the Theatre's production, Academy Award-nominated actress Mary Badham who played Scout opposite Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most poignant films in cinematic history, will appear at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.  In Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham, the actress will recall her memories on the set of the 1962 blockbuster film and discuss the book's themes of tolerance, justice, and compassion.  Each evening will feature an extensive question-and-answer session with the audience.



Over the years following the release of the film, Badham maintained close contact with Gregory Peck and occasionally accompanied him on his one-man-show lecture tours and to award ceremonies.   Besides To Kill A Mockingbird, Badham is also known for her role as Sport Sharewood in The Bewitchin' Pool, the final episode of the original Twilight Zone series. She also appeared in the films  Let's Kill Uncle and This Property Is Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood before retiring as an actress. In 2005, she was brought out of retirement to appear in the film Our Very Own with Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, and Jason Ritter and directed by Shakespeare Theatre company member Cameron Watson.  Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham is sponsored, in part, by the Morristown law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.



Tickets to the event are $40 and $50 and can be purchased by calling The Shakespeare Theatre box office at 973-408-5600 or visiting www.ShakespeareNJ.org.   The event will take place at The Shakespeare Theatre's F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. in Madison.



The Director

Joseph Discher is in his 21st season with The Shakespeare Theatre, where he oversees casting for The Theatre's various acting companies and aids in training program recruitment, outreach and education programs. His company directing credits include, The Grapes of Wrath (named Best Director by the Star-Ledger), The Tempest, Amadeus, The Play's the Thing, Cymbeline, Life of Galileo, Of Mice and Men (Best Revival of the Year, The Star-Ledger), A Midwinter Night's Dream, The Fantasticks (Best Director of a Musical, The Star-Ledger) and Twelfth Night on the Main Stage; That Scoundrel Scapin on the Outdoor Stage; Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare LIVE!; Brecht's The Visions of Simone Machard for the Next Stage Ensemble; and Travels With My Aunt, Much Ado About Nothing and The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) for the Other Stage.  Discher directed The Play's the Thing on the Main Stage in 2007, as well as Julius Caesar in 2006 for The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, which broke attendance records, playing to 50,000 in three weeks.  Discher is a member of the Actors' Equity Association and is a winner of the National Society of Arts and Letters acting competition (New Jersey chapter).  Discher has also starred in several productions with The Shakespeare Theatre. He sings professionally at St. Cassian Church in Upper Montclair and previously sang for four years at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. He is an alumnus of Drew University, and Delbarton School.



The Artistic Staff

Creating the world of Maycomb, Alabama are set designer Anita Tripathi Easterling; lighting designer Matthew Adelson; costume designer Maggie Dick, sound designer Steven L. Beckel and fight director Rick Sordelet.  Amanda Michaels is the production stage manager.



Tickets

Single tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird are now on sale and start at $32.   Student Rush tickets are available 30-minutes 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 To Kill a Mockingbird are October 12 at 7:30 pm, October 13 & 14 at 8 pm, and October 15 at 2 pm. 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 7:30 p.m. on October 12th 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 To Kill a Mockingbird will be October 18th at 7:30 p.m., October 22nd and 29th  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 October 20th 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 October 29th 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. 



The 2011 Season

Closing the 2011 Season is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett.  Bartlett's unique and inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale, and profoundly captures the true essence of the original novel.  With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production features a new visual landscape which conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale that, in the end is always beautifully touching.   A Christmas Carol begins performances on December 1 and continues through January 1.



The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.



The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described.  Contact the theatre for more information.   The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township.   For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.



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

Back Home Again: Benefit For Jobs In Asbury Park

Photo by Merri Cyr

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- A very special benefit concert will take place on Saturday, October 15 (6pm to 12:30am) at the VFW Hall, 701 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ to raise funds to support a jobs program for the unemployed, poor, minorities and homeless people, including veterans, in the Greater Asbury Park, NJ Area.  The Jen Chapin Trio and Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan will headline the show.

Fifteen percent of the net ticket revenues will go to the VFW Post for the renovation of their building, which is in need of much repair.

The benefit will also feature performances by Zara Philips, Tommy & Abby Anton, Sister Isis & Carol Barbieri's "Circle of Songwriters" and include a silent art auction, jewelry table by Jennie Woods, and merchandise from the artists.  Light food will be available.

Admission is $22.  Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.showclix.com/event/BackHomeAgainBenefitforJobs  or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS between 9am and 9pm EST.

Wanda Sykes Comes to New Brunswick

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre and AM Productions present Emmy® Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8pm. This performance contains mature content and is not suitable for children. First act performed by Keith Robinson, from Comedy Central Tickets range from $35-95.

Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes has been called "one of the funniest stand-up comics" by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. In addition to her two HBO® stand-up specials—Wanda Sykes: Sick & Tired and I'ma Be Me—Sykes is well-known for her appearances on The New Adventures of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Chris Rock Show. As a performer and writer on The Chris Rock Show, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmy's® and in 1999 won the Emmy® for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special."

In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic." She also won three more Emmy's® in 2002, 2004, and 2005, for her work on Inside the NFL for "Outstanding Studio Show." Sykes starred and produced the Comedy Central show Wanda Does It, where she tried various non-showbiz jobs. Her first book titled Yeah, I Said It, published by Simon and Schuster, hit bookstores in September 2004. Yeah, I Said It is a hilarious collection of essays.

Sykes has appeared in numerous feature films including Evan Almighty, Monster-In-Law, License to Wed, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. She is also a voice in the animated films Rio, Over The Hedge, and The Barnyard.

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, and Friday 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday 1pm-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. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

Dean Ween's October Classic Charity Baseball Game on October 2

(NEW HOPE, PA) -- Dean Ween, guitarist and founding member of long running avant-pop duo Ween will be hosting "Dean Ween's October Classic," a charity baseball
game (baseball! not softball) Sunday  October 2 at the New Hope High School (182 West Bridge Street) in his native New Hope, Pennsylvania with all proceeds  benefiting the American Cancer Society. Gates open at 12:30PM and game time is 1:30PM. Admission is $5.

Ween lead singer Gene Ween will be performing the National Anthem, and Glenn McClelland (ex Blood, Sweat & Tears, currently in the Ween) will be providing organ music throughout the afternoon.  Celebrity players will include Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age).  The rest of the players responded to an open-invitation solicitation from Dean via his personal Facebook page.  All the players have contributed $25 to cover the cost of team jerseys and to benefit the charity.

There will be food catered by Ryan Jameson Catering, water and soft drinks for sale, and commemorative t-shirts, caps as well autographed jerseys and baseballs.  All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

Man of La Mancha Currently Playing At The Algonquin Arts Theatre In Manasquan

(Manasquan, NJ) -- The long awaited production of Man of La Mancha opened September 23 at the Algonquin Arts Theatre and has performances on September 24-25; September 30; and October 1-2. The show is presented by the award winning Shore Repertory Theatre Company and will be directed and produced by New Jersey Association of Community Theatres (NJACT) award winner Gina Lupi and musically directed by NJACT award winner Tony Didia.

This five-time Tony Award winner is the epic story of knight-errant Don Quixote, his servant Sancho, and the woman of his dreams, the lovely Dulcinea. The tale is set during the Spanish Inquisition and tells the romantic and noble journey of a man who sets out to right all wrongs and win the heart of a good woman as he duels windmills along the way. The impeccable score includes The Impossible Dream, Dulcinea, and the title song, also known as I, Don Quixote.

Starring as Don Quixote is Jan Topoleski of Brick. Allison Foote of Middletown plays Aldonza ("Dulcinea"), and Sam Rosalsky of Berkeley Heights will play Sancho Panza. Supporting leads are played by Mark Megill of Manasquan as the Innkeeper, Joseph Ficarra of Beachwood as The Duke and Gary Alan Powell of Toms River as the Padre.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays September 23, 24, 30 & October 1st @ 8 pm and Sundays September 25th & October 2nd @ 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.

The Algonquin Arts Theatre is located at 173 Main Street in Manasquan, New Jersey.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theater Company seeking additional Production Crew for "Avow"

(SOMERSET, NJ) -- Triangle Circle Players is proud to announce that Villagers Theater in Somerset NJ, has selected their production of "Avow" by Bill C. Davis, as part of their January 2012 lineup. "Avow" will be produced as part of the Villagers Theater VIP Series. "Avow" is a dramedy dealing with gay marriage, premarital sex, single parenting, the Catholic Church and celibacy. Performances will be held on January 13,14,15 and 20,21,22 in 2012.

Triangle Circle Players is currently seeking additional volunteer Production Crew, to help with the production of "Avow". Crew will be needed at various times from mid October through the January 2012 performances.

Crew positions that may be open include Stage Manager, Technical Director, Lighting/Sound, Costuming, Stage Hands and House Staff. For more information on related positions, see http://www.trianglecircleplayers.org/volunteer.

See http://www.trianglecircleplayers.org/tickets regarding ticket purchases.

Auditions will be held in mid-October. See http://www.trianglecircleplayers.org/audition.

Triangle Circle Players is a new theater production company focused on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual, Queer or Questioning (LGBTIQ) issues and topics. Although they focus on LGBTIQ issues, their production crew and performers are non-exclusive; all are invited to participate/volunteer in their productions! Their logo symbolizes alliance with gay rights and space free from homophobia and they ask for the same from their participants. They also strongly
encourage anyone, heterosexual or other, to attend their productions!

For more information: 732-595-7529 or www.trianglecircleplayers.org.

Wakah Chan Live At The Saint: Thursday September 29th

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Asbury Music Award Nominees Wakah Chan are performing live at the Saint, Thursday September 29 doors open at 7:30pm. Join us for Rock Groove/ Reggae: "Oppressive Heat Fall" Tour featuring from St. Petersburg, FL, Burning Tree/ Colored East, and special guests The Saint is located on 601 Main Street, Asbury Park, and door cover is $10.00.

"Wakah Chan is based in Asbury Park but they call the whole Tri-State area their playground, performing at festivals, clubs and just about any venue that craves their colorful sounds including fundraisers and benefits for charities such as Relay For Life, Strangers Helping Strangers and the Monmouth County SPCA. With a constant impetus to uplift and play to the crowd, Wakah Chan continue to hone their fun and quirky sound while creating an interactive and positive energy exchange on the music scene and dance floors everywhere."

"Wakah Chan is a psychotropic free-form funk/acid lounge jazz ensemble whose roots in sophisticated improvisational jams are flavored with classic feel-good soul, tribal, Latin, dub, middle-eastern and R&B." -John Pfeiffer, "Alive at the Saint," The Aquarian 5/11/2011.

Cape May Stage Presents Nancy Hasty in "Florida Girls"

(Cape May, NJ) -– In the tradition of Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg, Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premier Equity theatre, is delighted to welcome playwright and actress Nancy Hasty to the Robert Shackleton Playhouse in her one-woman play, Florida Girls.  Join her as part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Broadway Series as she single-handedly creates 15 unique and hilarious true-to life characters on Monday, October 3 at 8pm.

Florida Girls is a fascinating, funny play that takes place in Crestview, FL, circa 1965 and focuses on the upheaval in a middle class family where two daughters compete in a high school beauty pageant.  Hasty performs each distinctly drawn character, at times simultaneously, demonstrating an energy and originality rarely seen on, off, or off off Broadway. "Unique in its own right, Florida Girls merits a place alongside Steel Magnolias and Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion," says the Pennsacola News Journal.

Hasty's plays have been produced in New York, internationally, regionally, and on tour.  Her play, The Director, starring John Shea, ran off-Broadway for over six months to critical and popular acclaim, and won "Recommended Play" status from The New York Times.  Florida Girls toured several states after it's off-Broadway run and she continues to perform it around the country.  Her most recent play, Lawnchairs, was produced this season at Scranton's Electric Theatre Company.    In Pennsylvania, she has been playwright-in-residence and taught both acting and writing at area colleges and schools.  Currently, she is directing her fifth production within the Lackawanna County Prison, where she works in partnership with visual artist, Elizabeth Parry-Faist.

As an actress, Nancy has starred off-Broadway in her own plays, most notably Florida Girls and Bobbi Boland.  Other NY productions include her one-woman show, Yankee Women (The Triad), Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth (William Redfield Theater), Mary in The Botticelli Game (American Renaissance Theater).

Nancy is the 2009 First Place winner for the Jerry Kaufman Playwriting Award in New York; a top finalist at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Festival, first place winner in the James Dickey Poetry Competition, and this year‘s "Artist of the Year" in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Hasty's work has been published by Smith & Krauss and Broadway Play Publishing.

Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Broadway Series, Nancy Hasty will appear Monday, October 3rd at 8pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank and 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.

Roxey Ballet announces the 17th annual production of the Holiday Classic "Nutcracker"

(Ewing, NJ) -- The non-profit, Lambertville, based Roxey Ballet Company in partnership with the College of New Jersey's Center for the Arts announces its 17th anniversary production of the holiday classic "Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker" held locally at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey on Saturday, November 26th at 3:00pm & 7:00pm, Sunday, November 27th at 1:00pm & 4:00pm, Monday, November 28th at 10:00am (Special School Show and open to the general public.) Friday December 2nd at 7:00pm, Saturday, December 3rd at 3:00pm & 7:00pm and Sunday December 4th at 1:00pm & 4:00pm. The school show on Monday, November 28th is an educational concert including a post performance question and answer section directly following the concert.

The annual holiday event has been a favorite of area residents and holiday visitors for the past 16 years. The Nutcracker cast is made up of over 100 professional and pre-professional dancers and actors from throughout NJ and PA.

This Nutcracker is a joyous and magical way to begin the holiday season. The show provides a wonderful introduction to ballet for children of all ages. Even the smallest children are mesmerized by the beautiful classical music, costumes, special effects, and classical ballet movements. Clara and her friends promise to take you on an enchanting voyage. During her voyage she comes upon Magical Mice, Giant Rats, Marching Soldiers, Swirling Snow Flakes and Waltzing Flowers. Children should plan to bring their holiday list because each year the Roxey Ballet receives a special visit from the Jolly Elf and his friends!

The cast is directed by Mark Roxey Director and Co- Founder of the professional company. Costume design by Alicia Worden and Nilda Roxey, Lighting Design is by Michelle Synder. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the company website at www.roxeyballet.org or call 609-771-2775. Discounted group rates are available for groups of twenty or more. Tickets prices range from $10-$50

The Roxey Ballet is a world class contemporary ballet company with an extensive New Jersey season and schedule of local, national and international touring. The company is a non-profit organization incorporated in New Jersey in 1995.  Its mission is to deliver artistic and cultural excellence through professional dance performances, residencies, educational programs, workshops and master classes. It is an multicultural and all-inclusive organization, fostering a creative environment of growth for all of its artists. Its unique and diverse works, taking traditions to the next level, strive to inspire audiences and artists alike. The Roxey Ballet seeks to preserve and advance the fine art of dance for generations to come. Access to quality dance performance and education is paramount to the mission of the company The company is accessible to artists and patrons with disabilities.  The Roxey Ballet is supported 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; The Wachovia Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, The Bunbury Company, The Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission and The Geraldine R Dodge Foundation, and individual donors.

Kean Stage Presents Esperanza Spalding

(Union, NJ)  Kean Stage presents Esperanza Spalding in her Chamber Music Society USA Fall Tour on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 pm in Wilkins Theatre, Kean University.  This year's Grammy® Award winner for "Best New Artist," Spalding will mesmerize audiences by deftly blending classical and jazz to create modern chamber music with touches of folk and world sounds as well.

"Esperanza" is the Spanish word for "hope," and bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name.  Blessed with uncanny instrumental ability, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.

After teaching herself to play the violin at age four, Spalding landed a spot on The Chamber Music Society of Oregon, where she played for ten years, being elevated to concertmaster at age 15.  By then, she had also discovered the bass, and all of the non-classical avenues that the instrument could open for her.  Before long she was playing blues, funk, hip-hop and a variety of other styles on the local club circuit.

At 16, Spalding left high school, and -- armed with her GED and aided by a generous scholarship -- enrolled in the music program at Portland State University.  But it was at Berkley College of Music where, after three years of accelerated study, she not only earned a B.M., but also signed on as an instructor in 2005 at the age of 20 – an appointment that has made her the youngest faculty member in the history of the college.

Spalding's journey as a solo artist began with the May 2008 release of Esperanza, her debut recording, which went on to become the best selling album by a new jazz artist internationally that year.  The highly acclaimed release was the first opportunity for a worldwide audience to witness her talents as an instrumentalist, vocalist and composer.  Soon after release, Esperanza went to the top of Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart where it remained for over 70 weeks.

Spalding appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, the CBS Saturday Early Show, the Tavis Smiley Show, Austin City Limits and National Public Radio.  Other highlights included two appearances at the White House, a Banana Republic ad campaign, the Jazz Journalists Association's 2009 Jazz Award for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, the 2009 JazzWeek Award for Record of the Year, and many high profile tour dates, including Central Park SummerStage in New York and the Newport Jazz Festival.  That year she received an invitation from President Obama to perform at both the Nobel Prize Ceremony and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.

If Esperanza marked a brilliant beginning for this gifted young artist, then Spalding's August 2010 release, Chamber Music Society, sets her on an upward trajectory to prominence.  Inspired by the classical training of her younger years, Spalding has created a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements.  The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical chamber music traditions.  Chamber Music Society finds Esperanza with a diverse assembly of musicians: pianist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Quintino Cinalli, guitarist Ricardo Vogt, and vocalists Gretchen Parlato and the legendary Milton Nascimento.  The string trio is comprised of violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin and cellist David Eggar.

Ms. Spalding has presented this album with a number of tours across the USA and Europe, as well as travelling to Japan to play at the Blue Note club in Tokyo and down to the Cape Town Jazz Festival in South Africa.  The album has been supported with television appearances on the top American late night chat shows, such as David Letterman and Jay Leno.

Tickets to the Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society USA Fall Tour are $35 standard, $20 seniors & students, and can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469), online at www.keanstage.com , or in person at Kean University's Wilkins Theater Box Office, located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ.

Sweeney Todd is looking for Blood! Blood Drive at Phoenix Productions Rehearsal Center

(RED BANK, NJ) -- Phoenix Productions will be hosting the Central Jersey Blood Bank for a blood drive on October 8th from 11am to 5pm at the Phoenix Rehearsal Center, 111 Monmouth Street, in Red Bank. All who are planning to donate blood are highly encouraged to pre-register by calling (732) 747-0014. For each pre-registration, Phoenix will be giving away a ticket to select performances of their November show, Sweeney Todd, performed at the Count Basie Theatre running weekends from November 11th through 20th.

"Our production of Sweeney Todd, a cutting edge musical about a mad man out for blood and revenge, seemed like a natural fit for us to spotlight the needs of the Central Jersey Blood Bank", says Community Relations Director, Andrea Zawadzky.  "Being a part of our community and finding ways to give back in clever ways that tie into themes of our shows is a win-win. The buzz created from our shows can be easily directed to help other non-profit groups fulfil their missions to better serve our community."

To secure your ticket to Sweeney Todd and make sure you do not miss out on the mayhem hitting the Count Basie Theatre Stage, call (732) 747-0014 and set your donation time.  Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh over 120 lbs and will need to present current ID at the event.

Phoenix Productions, founded in 1987, is a non-profit community theatre organization based in Red Bank that has produced more than 100 revivals of hit Broadway musicals. More information is available at www.phoenixredbank.com. 

GENE & SHELLEY ENLOW RECITAL HALL PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH JOHN LEGEND

(HILLSIDE, NJ) -- Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University presents a rare opportunity to hear nine-time Grammy® Award-winning singer / songwriter John Legend in an intimate evening of performance and storytelling with audience interaction.  As a special event of the 2011-12 Season, An Evening with John Legend will be at 7:00 pm on Sunday, October 23.

John Legend is a multi platinum recording artist, philanthropist and one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People."  He was a child prodigy whose grandmother taught him to play the piano. He grew up singing in the church choir and attended the University of Pennsylvania where he directed a coed a cappella group.

"I used to watch Michael Jackson on television and I figured I could do what he was doing," said Legend Music has been the central theme in his life for as long as he can remember, and now, some twenty-odd years later, this multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician, arranger and producer is fulfilling his childhood dreams and ambitions.

Family roots are important to Legend and he recalled growing up in a distinctly musical household: "There was a piano in the house and I learned to play and read music early on. By the time I was eight or nine, I was playing in the local church for the choir. My grandma taught me a lot of the gospel songs and between lessons in classical music and singing and playing in church, I really developed my 'ear.' I always loved the feeling when people responded to my singing and playing so I was already making little gospel records in high school. I was ambitious and just loved being onstage."

Legend became an in-demand session musician and songwriter, working with such artists as Alicia Keys, Twista and Janet Jackson. He was soon introduced to up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West, and the two musicians collaborated on one another's demos.  Legend's debut album, 2004's Get Lifted, went platinum thanks in part to the hit single "Ordinary People," a song he originally penned for the Black Eyed Peas.  He went home with three Grammy Awards for Get Lifted: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and Best New Artist. Legend's sophomore effort, Once Again, was released in 2006.

Legend's musical talent has made him a mainstream star. In 2006, he performed at Super Bowl XL in Detroit, the NBA All-Star Game, and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.

Legend's philanthropic work includes numerous performances at benefit concerts all over the world for a multitude of causes.  He established The Show Me Campaign, through which his fans are encouraged to donate funds toward improving the living situations and prospects of victims of extreme poverty in Mbola, Tanzania.  In early 2008, he began touring with Professor Jeff Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute to promote sustainable development as an achievable goal.

"I originally was given the name John Legend by a friend from Chicago because he thought I sounded so much like an old school artist," John confesses; he was born John Roger Stephens in 1978.  "At first, I thought it was funny to be called 'Legend,' but then a lot of my friends started calling me that and it really caught on so much that more people were calling me 'Legend' than my real name. So I started using it as my stage name. I knew it sounded a little presumptuous, but I figured it would definitely make people pay attention to me. And once I have their attention, I hope to make them fall in love with my music.  By being 'John Legend,' I put some pressure on myself but I'm gonna try to live up to it and I hope my music will live up to it."

Tickets to An Evening with John Legend at Enlow Hall are $225 and can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469), online at http://enlowhall.kean.edu , or in person at Kean University's Wilkins Theater Box Office.  Enlow Recital Hall is located at 215 North Avenue, Hillside, NJ 07205.

WQXR is a media sponsor of Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall.  For complete Enlow Hall 2011-12 Season information, please visit the website or contact Ms. Cory Ransom, Director, Operations (908) 737-5932, ransomco@kean.edu.

The Carl Palmer Band Comes to The Strand

(Lakewood, NJ) -– The historic STRAND Center for the Arts presents the Carl Palmer Band on Saturday, October 15 at 8pm. Drummer Extraordinaire Carl Palmer Announces the 2011 "PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION" U.S. Tour. The CARL PALMER BAND is set to present an entire evening the instrumental rock classics of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, including the epic Muggorsky classic.

America get ready. The thunder and the fury are returning….. Carl Palmer, among the most celebrated drummers in Rock history and a founding member of both ELP and ASIA, is returning to the US for his third North American solo band tour since 2006; an appearance at the US premiere of The Solo, an acclaimed UK art film featuring the famed drummer; and to promote the celebrated new iTunes mobile application- Play Carl Palmer's Drums.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Palmer returns during the month of October on stage, the silver screen, and the small screens of iPADS, iPODS, and iPHONES. His US appearances follow a string of successful shows in the UK and Europe, with his band.

"I always love working in America, but this time around, I have some really exciting aspects of my visit," says Palmer. "For me, it's always about how well you can connect to the fans, and the new tour, the film, and my new mobile app, has allowed for greater access than ever before."

Just prior to the launch of his tour, on Saturday afternoon, October 8th, Palmer will be the special guest at Cleveland's ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM, as part of their ongoing Legends Series programming.  This event will also feature the US premier of the art film The Solo (directed by acclaimed art-filmmaker Andrew Cross), a 35-minute movie that portrays the drum solo as a work of physical art, and features Palmer behind his drum kit.

"The film is not a Carl Palmer drum solo, as one might expect," says Palmer. "It explores how the drum kit and the person playing it can connect to create a live example of art, as one would view and absorb in a museum." The film has gotten rave reviews from art and film critics, during its run in UK art museums, and will be available on DVD in the fall.

For the real experience of Carl Palmer's drums, fans will need to see his upcoming tour. Entitled "The Carl Palmer Band – 2011 Pictures At An Exhibition Tour," the show will celebrate bold new arrangements of the best-loved instrumental music of ELP, and other composers. A multi-media experience combining music and video projection, it promises to be among the most musically compelling tours of the year. CPB is a red-hot power trio that features Palmer on drums and percussion; guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick.

"Since the early part of this decade I have been playing with my own power trio, replacing the keyboards with electric guitar. I felt that was the only honest way to approach the music of ELP. I didn't want to have a singer trying to sound like Greg Lake. ELP did so much instrumental music, this format made sense to me. Hearing the keyboard parts done on guitar is certainly different, but just as satisfying. The idea was to re-invent this iconic music."

Palmer has released four solo albums since the last ELP tour 1998. They are: DO YA WANNA PLAY?, a 2 CD anthology and WORKING LIVE VOL 1, Vol 2., and Vol.3, (released on Eagle Rock). Since last year's extensive US-Canadian- South American solo tour, Palmer has remained active with ASIA (Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and John Wetton), touring and recording. The band will return in 2012, for its 30th Anniversary. As for ELP, Palmer closed that chapter of his life when the band played a final show in 2010 at London's High Voltage Festival, where they celebrated their 40th Anniversary.

For this solo band tour, the Carl Palmer Band will play nearly two hours and drum enthusiasts can expect an evening of compelling percussive theatrics, from the man who brought the drum set to the forefront of rock n roll music.

Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732–367-7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

Admission is $26.  Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732–367-7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

The Strand Theatre is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, NJ.

MARY BADHAM, GREGORY PECK'S CO-STAR IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD TO SPEAK AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY

(MADISON, NJ) -- Academy Award-nominated actress Mary Badham who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most poignant films in cinematic history, will appear at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.  In Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham, the actress will recall her memories on the set of the 1962 blockbuster film and discuss the book's themes of tolerance, justice, and compassion.  Each evening will feature an extensive question-and-answer session with the audience.  Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham coincides with The Shakespeare Theatre's production of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, which begins performances on October 12 and runs through November 20.  Tickets to the event are $40 and $50 and can be purchased by calling The Shakespeare Theatre box office at 973-408-5600 or visiting www.ShakespeareNJ.org.   The event will take place at The Shakespeare Theatre's F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. in Madison.

Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham is sponsored, in part, by the Morristown law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.  "We are honored to support this unique and exciting event at The Shakespeare Theatre," said Edward B. Deutsch, Managing Partner.  "As a diverse law practice with spirit and dynamism and lawyers who place the client first, we can think of no better program to sponsor than one that celebrates the integrity, civility and character of Atticus Finch – one of the most famous lawyers in American literature." 

The 1962 classic film To Kill a Mockingbird is based on Harper Lee's timeless novel which celebrated its 50th anniversary of publication in 2010.  The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional county of Maycomb, Alabama and follows the lives of six year-old Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and their father Atticus Finch, a lawyer appointed by the county court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused a of raping a white woman.  For their roles in the film adaptation directed by Paul Mulligan, Gregory Peck, who played Atticus Finch won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Mary Badham, at the age of ten, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – at the time, the youngest actress ever to receive that recognition

Over the years following the release of the film, Badham maintained close contact with Gregory Peck and occasionally accompanied him on his one-man-show lecture tours and to award ceremonies.   Besides To Kill A Mockingbird, Badham is also known for her role as Sport Sharewood in The Bewitchin' Pool, the final episode of the original Twilight Zone series. She also appeared in the films  Let's Kill Uncle and This Property Is Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood before retiring as an actress. In 2005, she was brought out of retirement to appear in the film Our Very Own with Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, and Jason Ritter and directed by Shakespeare Theatre company member Cameron Watson.  Badham is keenly interested in expanding knowledge about the message of social injustice in To Kill A Mockingbird and in ensuring that each generation experiences the film's impact.  Currently, Badham works as an art restorer and a college testing coordinator, and is both a wife and a mother of two.

For tickets to Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham or for more information, call The Shakespeare Theatre box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. 

The Shakespeare Theatre's production of To Kill a Mockingbird features an extended six-week run.  The characters of Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience.  Harper Lee's Pulitzer-prize winning novel is considered one of the most important works of the 20th century, and it is a must for every new generation.  The story's enduring spell stems in part from the juxtaposition of the simple, yet astute innocence of a child's point of view in the face of terrible and terribly complex adult problems and biases.  The fundamental lessons about compassion, integrity, and courage are breath-taking and life-changing.  To Kill A Mockingbird will run from October 12 through November 15.   To Kill a Mockingbird is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

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

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.

The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described.  Contact the theatre for more information.   For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

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

Idiots and Angels Comes To The State Theatre

(New Brunswick, NJ) —- Alex Dawson / The Raconteur and State Theatre present Idiots and Angels on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 8pm. Two time Academy Award® nominee Bill Plympton screens and answers questions about his latest feature film, Idiots and Angels. Plympton will also read and sign his new autobiography, Independently Animated. Plus, a special onstage conversation hosted by cartoonist and Plympton fan Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the comic strip MUTTS. Tickets are now on sale and are $20.

Hand-drawn in pencil entirely by Plympton, the gorgeously creepy Idiots and Angels is a grim, mostly monochromatic, fairy-tale comedy about a boozy, brutish businessman who suddenly sprouts angel wings. A departure from Plympton’s earlier work (which, along with the Oscar®-nominated shorts Your Face and Guard Dog, includes Kanye West’s video for "Heard 'Em Say") Plympton’s sixth and best animated feature contains not a word of dialogue; the only human sounds are bestial grunts and chortles and a growling soundtrack by Tom Waits. If you don't already consider yourself a Plympton groupie, you will after you see this earthy (yet elegant) epic. This screening includes Adult Content not suitable for children.

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, and Friday 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday 1pm-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. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

The State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98. 3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre. United is the official airline of the State Theatre. 

An Afternoon of Wizards at the Strand

(Lakewood, NJ) -– The historic STRAND Center for the Arts and Good Humor Entertainment LLC presents Wizards at the Strand on Sunday, October 16 at 2pm. Join us for an afternoon of mirth and mystery for the whole family! Wizards at the Strand features 3 entertaining performers – Mitch Geier, Mike Spade and Jimmy Brown. This is an all ages show!

Mitch Geier of Good Humor Entertainment will be our emcee for the evening. He was the house magician at one of the largest casino hotels in Las Vegas during the late 70's and has won many awards for his comedy magic.

Mike Spade has performed in Comedy Clubs and Colleges throughout the country, and as an opening act for Regis Philbin, Pat Cooper, Jeff Dunham, Chris Rock, and Many others. Mike Spade has astounded audiences with his unrelenting energy and riotous Comedy-Magic.

Jimmy Brown is a master magician and an engaging entertainer. He is very dedicated and enthusiastic magic performer exhibiting the highest degree of professionalism in everything he does. His magic act is equally enjoyed by people of all ages. Jimmy's upbeat style and winning personality makes him an asset to any show. His great sense of humor and infections laughter always gets the audience laughing with him. As a magician Jimmy can present both the serious and the comic side of magic with gusto. His skills range from the one on one close up trickery to the big full stage production. The Magic of Jimmy Brown has been around the world and back, including two command performances for the royal family of Morocco.

Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732–367-7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

Admission is $9.50.  Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732–367-7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

The Strand Theatre is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, NJ.

GENE & SHELLEY ENLOW RECITAL HALL PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH JANE KRAKOWSKI

(HILLSIDE, NJ) -- Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University opens its second concert season on October 1, 2011 with Tony® Award-winner and two-time Emmy® nominated singer/actress Jane Krakowski, performing an unforgettable evening of show-stopping hits.  Krakowski has triumphed on the stage and screen, earning a Tony, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award for her work on Broadway, and numerous nominations and accolades for her roles on television's 30 Rock and Ally McBeal.  She recently released her solo debut album, The Laziest Gal in Town, adding to a long list of cast recordings.

Krakowski starred in the Broadway revival of Nine playing Carla, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.  Krakowski is known for her famous anti-gravity stunt during the number, "A Call From The Vatican".  She and the director struggled finding a company that would let her do air stunts without a harness; Krakowski came up with the idea of using the method previously portrayed in Broadway Bares, recalling that the material took a long time to arrive, and the second time she ever used it was on the first performance.

In 2005, Krakowski starred as Miss Adelaide alongside Ewan McGregor in the new production of Guys and Dolls in London (Piccadilly Theatre) a role for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Krakowski played office assistant Elaine Vassal on the television series Ally McBeal for five seasons until 2002; her role earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1999.  Krakowski guest-starred in the TV drama Everwood and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Emma Spevak, a serial killer of elderly women.  In 2006, Krakowski was cast in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, where she continues to play Jenna Maroney, a cast member of the fictional late night sketch show TGS with Tracy Jordan.  In 2009 and 2010, she received Emmy nominations for her role in 30 Rock.

Ms. Krakowski's performance at Kean University's Enlow Hall will include numbers from her solo CD, The Laziest Gal in Town and a variety of performances from her vast repertoire of musical theatre and cabaret.  Enlow Recital Hall is a masterful, state-of-the-art concert space completed in 2009.  It is specifically designed to showcase world class musicians in an intimate setting.  The hall is elegant and alluring for live performances, recording artists and audiences alike.  Located thirty minutes west of Manhattan, Enlow Hall is conveniently situated on Kean University's East Campus in Hillside, NJ.  The 324 seat performance venue is home to a handcrafted Fazioli 10 foot grand piano, specifically crafted for the house.

Opening Night Event – An Evening with Jane Krakowski tickets may be purchased for $75 and include a reception and the performance, beginning at 7:30 pm.

A 2011-12 season subscription is available for all fourteen concerts in the Enlow Hall line-up.  Season subscribers receive exclusive VIP benefits to enhance their experience including priority seating, special invitations to elegant receptions, recognition in Enlow Hall concert programs, reserved VIP parking, personal assistance on the subscriber phone line and more.  As an added benefit, season subscribers may request two complimentary tickets to a performance of their choice (subject to availability).  A 2011-12 season subscription is $400, representing a total savings of $150 off single ticket prices.

Enlow Hall offers a variety of other ticket packages to provide savings opportunities on single ticket prices to specifically designed performance series.   Tickets to An Evening with Jane Krakowski and Enlow Hall's 2011-12 Season can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469), online at http://enlowhall.kean.edu , or in person at Kean University's Wilkins Theater Box Office.  Enlow Recital Hall is located at 215 North Avenue, Hillside, NJ 07205.

East Lynne Theater Company presents "Dulcy" -- a screwball comedy

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- "This is probably the first weekend party on record that ended on Friday night," says Dulcy's brother William to his brother-in-law Gordon.  Dulcy is the only one who believes she's created the perfect atmosphere in her home for a lovely weekend where her husband can make a brilliant business deal with his boss – or perhaps the boss's rival - and the boss's daughter can run away with the right – or wrong - man. It may be that an innocent person could go to jail and all of her plans will go awry in this zany, screwball comedy written by Pulitzer Prize-winners George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) and Marc Connelly (1890-1980).

     Produced by the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company, "Dulcy" runs from September 21 through October 15 every Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00p.m., except there is no show on Wednesday, October 5, and an added performance on Sunday, October 9 at 7:30p.m., at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. On opening night, Wednesday, September 21, there is an after-show party at Aleathea's Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May where patrons have the opportunity to meet and talk to the cast and crew.  On Friday, September 30, is an after-show Q&A, and on Friday, October 14 is an ASL Performance.

     Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; $15 for students; and anyone age twelve and under is free.  For information and to make reservations, call 609-884-5898 or go online at www.eastlynnetheater.org.

     "Dulcy's" eleven-member cast includes ELTC favorites: Erin Callahan and Thomas Raniszewski (from last season's "Berkeley Square"), Suzanne Dawson, Megan McDermott, and Drew Seltzer (also from "Berkeley Square" as well as the recent "The World of Dorothy Parker"); Mark Edward Lang and Alison J. Murphy ("The Guardsman"), Fred Velde ("Rain"), Dave Holyoak ("He and She") and ELTC's artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, who also directs. New to ELTC is Larry Daggett who just finished performing in "The Full Monty" at Sierra Repertory Theater in Sonora, CA, and was last in Cape May in Cape May Stage's production of "Souvenir."

     In 2008, ELTC produced "To the Ladies!," the second play written by Kaufman and Connelly. Not only did it receive a lovely review by Terry Teachout in "The Wall Street Journal," but Kaufman’s daughter, Anne, came to Cape May to see the show and enjoy a Q&A with the audience afterwards.  She was so taken with the production that she allowed ELTC to produce the only play her father wrote without a collaborator, "The Butter and Egg Man," which the company presented in 2009, to terrific audience and reviewer response. Anne is looking forward to coming to town again to see "Dulcy" and enjoy another Q&A, the date to be determined.

     Dulcinea Smith was a character created by Franklin P. Adams, who wrote for several New York newspapers and was a member of The Algonquin Round Table, like Kaufman and Connelly.  Not only did "Dulcy" establish these two journalists as playwrights, but it made a star of Lynn Fontanne, who played the title role.

     Kaufman became America’s most successful playwright in the 1920s and '30s, collaborating with Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber, Ring Lardner, Morrie Ryskind, and Moss Hart. His Pulitzer Prizes were for "Of Thee I Sing," with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin, the first musical to be so honored, and with Moss Hart for "You Can’t Take It With You."

     Connelly received the Pulitzer Prize for "The Green Pastures," written for and performed by an all-African-American cast.  He was a regular contributor to "Life" and other magazines.

Jersey Shore Roller Girls Joins Women's Flat Track Derby Association

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- In September, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) announced that Jersey Shore Roller Girls (JSRG) has been accepted as a member of the WFTDA, the national governing body for women's amateur flat track roller derby in the U.S. As a new member of the WFTDA, Jersey Shore Roller Girls joins the ranks of over 75 all-female, skater owned and operated leagues nationwide that have united to lead the growing sport of women's flat track roller derby.  WFTDA member leagues engage in sanctioned interleague play, including regional and national tournaments.  JerseyShore Roller Girls will be a Class B member in the East region.

The Jersey Shore Roller Girls hosted their first home game as a full WFTDA member on Saturday, September 17th in Asbury Park's Convention Hall. 

Founded in 2004, the WFTDA promotes and fosters the sport ofwomen's flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability,sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues. The governing philosophy is"by the skaters, for the skaters." Women skaters are primary owners,managers, and operators of each member league and of the association. WFTDA's operational tasks include setting standards for rules, seasons and safety, and determining guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues. All member leagues have a voice in the decision-making process, and agree to comply with the governing body's policies.  For more information, visit www.wftda.com.

Jersey Shore Roller Girls is an all-women, flat-track roller derby league that was born in 2007 from the dreams of four women with a love for roller derby. JSRG is now more than 70 women with membership stretching from Monmouth and Ocean to Mercer, Atlantic and surrounding counties. The league consists of three intraleague teams (Anchor Assassins, Murder Beach Militia, & Right Coast Rollers) and two travel teams (A team – All Stars, B team – Beat Down) and is completely skater owned and operated. JSRG continues to call the legendary Asbury Park Convention Hall home to its bouts. In addition to hours dedicated weekly for practicing, JSRG members are an active part of the Jersey Shore community and always looking for opportunities to give back. Home bouts are always paired with a charity and they donate time and publicity to local organizations. More info can be found at www.jerseyshorerollergirls.net.

An Afternoon of Aesop's Fables At The Strand

(Lakewood, NJ) – The historic STRAND Center for the Arts presents Aesop's Fables on Sunday, October 9 at 2pm. The Lion and the Mouse, The Fox and the Grapes, The Tortoise and the Hare… Come see the folks from Aesop's famous fables, as only nationally acclaimed puppeteer Jim West and his partner can bring them to life! Enjoy this unbelievable feat of large-scale puppeteering, including the music of Scarlatti, Beethoven, and Chopin.

Aesop, sometimes called the "father of the fable" lived about 2,600 years ago (approximately 620-560 BC). He was born in either Turkey or Egypt (historians aren't sure) and was a slave. He served King Croesus in Lydia, a kingdom that existed a long time ago in West Asia Minor. Aesop entertained the king by telling him stories. King Croesus liked Aesop and his stories so much that he freed him.

Aesop never wrote his stories down. The stories were passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. No one knows exactly how many stories Aesop created, but some books say he wrote over 650!

Don't miss your chance to see Jim West and friends tell Aesop's stories to you! This all-ages show is fun for the entire family!

Admission is $9.50.  Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732–367-7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

The Strand Theatre is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, NJ.

Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra Comes To The Strand

(Lakewood, NJ) -– The historic STRAND Center for the Arts presents the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra on Saturday, October 8 at 8pm. The early days of the Strand Theater come alive again with the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra. The program will feature two silent shorts by comedy geniuses Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, similar to a program that audiences enjoyed at the Strand back in 1922. Accompanying these films is the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra, the United States' premiere college age ragtime orchestra, performing their period correct orchestral scores.

Founded in early 2010, the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra is one of the few groups that uses the original period orchestral scores and instruments to play America's music...ragtime. The orchestra plays theater, dance and concert selections using their collection of over 1,400 pieces. Their collection represents over thirty years of music and features pieces by composers such as W.C. Handy, Victor Herbert, George M. Cohan, Jerome Kern, Scott Joplin and many others. Peacherine is the only group in the United States that has the original 1927 orchestra score to Buster Keaton's silent feature, "College."
 
 The two comedy shorts by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin will be tied together with a selection of ragtime favorites, two steps, intermezzos, marches and more! Don't miss this exciting combination of past and present!

Admission is $16.Don’t miss this show! Make your ticket reservations online at www.strand.org or call 732-730-5925. The STRAND box office, 732 – 367 - 7789, is open on Thursday and Friday, between 12 pm and 5 pm and 3 hours before each show.

The Strand Theatre is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, NJ.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Jersey Rep Presents World Premiere of Jericho by Jack Canfora

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -– "Jericho" is a major new comic-drama by Jack Canfora that will have its world premiere at the New Jersey Repertory Company October 13 - November 13 as part of a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. Following its opening at New Jersey Rep "Jericho" will have productions in Sarasota at the Florida Studio Theatre and the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis.

There are pivotal moments in all our lives, even the most humble ones, when things threaten to careen and spin out of control. Sometimes the event takes the form of what we call a tragedy and cuts to the bone, thrumming every fiber of our being and the rudely struck discordant chords may reverberate within us for the rest of our upended days. "Jericho" deals with such a moment, one that intrudes unexpectedly into the lives of the play's characters, four years before the start of the play.

Despite the intervening years, the resultant wounds are still as fresh as on that fateful day. Beth lost her husband who now haunts her as a ghost as she tries unsuccessfully to rebuild her life. Despite years of therapy she is unable to move on, stuck like an insect in a hermetically sealed display case suffocating for lack of air. When she meets Ethan, he seems to be the ideal one to gently shepherd her back to the fold and rejoin the human race, but it seems that his very kindness intensifies her fears of reconnecting and being vulnerable once again to another person.

Ethan invites Beth to his mother's home for Thanksgiving dinner in Jericho, Long Island and despite her initial protestations she is about to meet Rachel, the bustling take-charge matriarch, Ethan's brother, Josh, who has found religion as an Orthodox Jew, and his sister-in-law, Jessica. As we have all learned at one time or another, holidays are a dangerous time. Not only because of an increase in road accidents but because they are invested with so much more than merely ceremonial significance as many an unfortunate family throughout America has discovered. These communal gatherings with loved ones should be peaceful momentary refuges from life's grinding pressures but all too often turn out to be just the opposite, boiling cauldrons where long pent-up grievances and politely repressed emotions unexpectedly explode to everyone's great consternation. Little does Beth suspect that she is headed for just such a collision, one that will radically alter all their lives and perhaps set Beth, as well as the others, on the long road toward healing. But it will take Josh, and the revelation of his painful secret about the very moment that turned Beth's life upside down, and Jessica's coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage, to be the catalysts.

In "Jericho" although the cataclysmic past asserts its ponderous and pervasive presence, salvation is never far away, and the comic sense of life is never lost, as playwright Jack Canfora pulls out all the stops in this powerful and raucous comic-drama.

Canfora is not new to New Jersey Rep and has had previous productions at the theater including "Place Setting" (2006) and "Poetic License," (2007) and it was recently announced that the latter will be opening in New York City in February, 2012 at 59E59 Theatres.

"Jericho" is directed by Evan Bergman and stars Corey Tazmania, Matt Huffman, Andrew Rein, Jim Shankman, Carol Todd and Kathleen Goldpaugh.

"ANYTHING, ANYTHING" WITH HOST RICH RUSSO RETURNS TO FM RADIO STATIONS

"Anything, Anything" hosted by Rich Russo has found a home on Sunday nights on both 107.1 WXPK FM and 105.5 WDHA FM.  The top-rated "free form" radio show will continue to play rare, underground music tracks of fan's favorite artists as well as local artists – with a healthy does of Russo's stories and brash viewpoints on the state of music.

On Sunday, September 18, the show made its debut on 107.1 WXPK "The Peak" in Westchester County, NY.  The show airs live on Sunday nights from 9:00-11:00pm EST and will stream online at www.1071thepeak.com.

Starting Sunday, October 2, "Anything, Anything" will begin airing on 105.5 WDHA "The Rock of NJ" in Northern New Jersey on Sunday nights from 11:00pm-1:00am and will be streamed online at www.wdhafm.com.

"I am honored ‘Anything, Anything' will be back on two legendary radio stations – WXPK in Westchester and WDHA in Jersey," said Russo. "Both stations are leaders in breaking bands and deeply connecting with their audiences.  I am proud to have the opportunity to keep free form radio on the commercial dial."

The Cranford, NJ resident fittingly named "Anything, Anything" after the hit song by Dramarama. The show first came on the air in 2008 on WRXP in New York City.  The "free form" show quickly grew with a devoted listener base as the result of Russo not having any restraints on his program setlist - along with it's raw and gutsy feel. He will regularly dig into one of his over 100,000 albums that live in his personal music library.  When Russo is not the studio, you may find yourself sitting next to him at a Bruce Springsteen show (over 400 live shows) or Pearl Jam show (over 100 live shows).

Donna Orbits The Moon -- Held Over Through October 2nd

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch is proud to announce that Ian August's "Donna Orbits the Moon" has been held over thru October 2nd due to popular demand. The play is directed by Marc Geller, and stars Andrea Gallo as Donna.

Donna represents all that is good about America. She lives in the heartland and has raised two children, maintains an impeccable household, is a loyal partner to her husband, and is active in her community. She is famous locally for her blueberry blondies, cookies whose recipe she jealously guards. So when Donna unravels and starts hearing voices, and uses her husband's steak, that she has lovingly prepared for his dinner, as a sponge to clean the floor, you know that not only is she in trouble, but America as well. The play moves intriguingly toward unraveling and revealing the mystery as to why this cornerstone of her community has become unglued, and in this revelation lies one of the great challenges to our nation today. A comic-drama of cosmic proportions.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00 pm, now through October 2nd.

All tickets are $35. Discounts available to full-time students (13-25) and to military personnel. For tickets call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org for online ticketing.

NJ Rep is a non-profit, professional theater located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, only minutes from the Jersey Shore. Free on-site parking and easy access from NJ Transit (North Jersey Coast Line) and Academy Buses.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Asbury Park arts collective launches with a series of performances and talks featuring award-winning filmmakers, cartoonists, musicians and visual artists.

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Sonic Garden arts collective will present a line-up of diverse performances at Café Volan (510 Bangs Avenue) in Asbury Park, New Jersey, beginning on Thursday, September 29th and continuing through Tuesday, October 4th.

The series of performances will coincide with the alternative-music festival All Tomorrow's Parties, and will include film screenings, artist presentations, and musical performances by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers, a celebrated illustrator whose cartoons are seen in the pages of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Esquire, a Grammy Award-winning musician/composer, and a world-renowned photographer whose work is in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

"Our intention is very simple" said Sonic Garden's founder David Spelman, "We want to bring inspiration and ideas to the already vibrant mix of cultural offerings here on the Jersey Shore. I'm excited that we'll be providing a chance for audiences to get up-close-and-personal experiences with artists and musicians such as Vernon Reid, Ralph Gibson, and Andy Friedman and filmmakers Graham Leader and Aaron Schock."

Doug Parent, co-owner of Café Volan, where Sonic Garden's events are taking place, commented that, "the idea of hosting this series of cultural happenings just feels like a natural fit for us and we couldn't be more pleased to have the opportunity to share this with the community."

David Spelman is "thrilled that All Tomorrow's Parties is coming to town and it was never our intention to compete with them. We are big fans of ATP's musical taste and their noncorporate leadership style. Once we recognized the date overlap, we decided to embrace the situation and hope that what we're offering will be a nice counterpoint."

Tom Gilmour, Asbury Park's Director of Commerce and Economic Development, recently commented in the New York Times that "a lot of people have a very sentimental feeling about this city and are rooting for it to come back."  David Spelman couldn't agree more, and added that "I believe Asbury Park possesses an ideal mix of micro-urban characteristics, including restaurants, cafes, independent cinema, galleries, yoga studios, and boutiques.  Add to that the diverse mix of artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, surfers and the sizable gay community, and you get just the sort of mix that author and urban studies theorist Richard Florida cites as a key factor contributing to economic development. Florida believes that this ‘creative class' can foster an open, dynamic, personal and professional urban environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. We share his belief that attracting and retaining high-quality talent versus a singular focus on projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, is an excellent use of a city's resources to promote long-term prosperity."



SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

DATE: Thursday, September 29, 8 pm.
EVENT: Heartworn Highways; a rare screening of the 1975 documentary, followed by Q&A with the film's Academy Award-nominated producer, Graham Leader.

Film synopsis: Documentary filmmaker James Szalapski explores the more contemplative side of country music as he visits a handful of outstanding singers and songwriters, most of whom have chosen to work outside the confines of the Nashville establishment. Heartworn Highways features performances from Townes Van Zandt, who shows off his farm and discusses the pros and cons of drinking with a neighbor; Gamble Rogers, who demonstrates his hilarious and ingratiating performing style in a nightclub appearance; Guy Clark, who plays several fine songs in his kitchen; David Allan Coe, who discusses his criminal past during a concert at a prison; and the Charlie Daniels Band, as they gear up for a big show in a small town. Heartworn Highways also includes brief appearances from Rodney Crowell, Steve Young, and a young Steve Earle, a decade before he released his first album. While shot in 1975, Heartworn Highways wasn't released until 1981, by which time several of the performers' features had become considerably better known than they were in 1975.
Film trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx-vJYr73-M
VENUE: Café Volan, 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
TICKETS: $10, all admissions at the door, cash only. No advance sales or reservations.


DATE: Friday, September 30, 8pm.
EVENT: Circo; the New Jersey premiere of the award-winning documentary, followed by a conversation and Q&A with the film's director Aaron Schock.

Film synopsis: The Ponce family's hardscrabble circus has lived and performed on the back roads of Mexico since the 19th century. But can their way of life survive into the 21st century? Against the backdrop of Mexico's collapsing rural economy, the ringmaster must choose between his family tradition and a wife who wants a better life for their family outside the circus.
The film recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Hamptons International Film Festival, took top prizes at festivals in Spain, New Zealand, and Sweden, and features an evocative score by the indie-rock band Calexico.
Film trailer: http://www.circomexico.com/trailer.html
VENUE: Café Volan, 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
TICKETS: $10, all admissions at the door, cash only. No advance sales or reservations.


DATE: Saturday, October 1
EVENT:  TBD

VENUE: TBD
TICKETS: TBD


DATE: Sunday, October 2, 8pm.
EVENT: Vernon Reid; an evening of short films, video art, live music, and conversation with the Grammy-Award winning guitarist, sonic experimentalist and visual artist.

Vernon Reid is a Grammy Award-winning guitarist, composer and boundary-bending artist who began with the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene, lead the pioneering multi-platinum rock band Living Colour, and has collaborated with creative spirits ranging from Carlos Santana, Public Enemy, Defunkt, and Malian singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd.  He composed and performed Bring Your Beats, a children's program for BAM. He produces artists like James "Blood" Ulmer.  He composed the scores for Ghosts of Attica and Almost Home, and was the music supervisor for the Charles Stone film Mr. 3000, starring Bernie Mac.  He founded the Black Rock Coalition in 1984 to help combat the pigeonholing of African-American musicians.  A talented multimedia artist and curator, Vernon created Artificial Afrika, using animation, computer graphics and public domain media to explore historic, often racist, myths and inventions that continue to define the idea of Africa and its culture.
VENUE: Café Volan, 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
TICKETS: $10, all admissions at the door, cash only. No advance sales or reservations.


DATE: Monday, October 3, 8pm.
EVENT: Andy Friedman; an evening with the celebrated cartoonist-turned-country crooner.

His gag cartoons are seen by millions of people every week in the pages of The New Yorker, and other publications, but the songs written by the "hard scrabble singer-songwriter" (Time Out New York) and "erudite redneck" (Boston Globe) Andy Friedman aren't written for laughs. "Friedman has a mastery of wordy self-loathing that many white dudes with guitars would kill for," says the Nashville Scene. Friedman will discuss his late-blooming and unexpected transition from a mailroom jockey at the New Yorker into a full-time life as an illustrator and singer-songwriter on the road.
Also an internationally renowned editorial illustrator, Friedman's ink portraits of cultural luminaries appear in the pages of most popular periodicals, including The New Yorker—where he has been a regular contributor for over a decade, and where he has also published over a dozen gag cartoons under the pseudonym "Larry Hat"—New York Times, GQ, Rolling Stone, New York, Esquire, and scores of other newspapers and magazines around the globe
VENUE: Café Volan, 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
TICKETS: $10, all admissions at the door, cash only. No advance sales or reservations.


DATE: Tuesday, October 4, 8pm.
EVENT: Ralph Gibson; a lecture and image presentation by the world-renowned photographer and filmmaker.

Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the U.S. Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance of "The Somnambulist" in 1970, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date, he has produced over 40 monographs, his most current projects being "State of the Axe" which was published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and "Nude" by Taschen, 2009. His photographs are included in over 150 museum collections around the world, including the The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.
VENUE: Café Volan, 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
TICKETS: $10, all admissions at the door, cash only. No advance sales or reservations.



ABOUT THE SONIC GARDEN COLLECTIVE:
Based in the micro-urban beach community of Springsteen lore, Asbury Park, NJ, Sonic Garden is an association of musos, writers, architects, baristas, painters, surfers and winos committed to pursuing artistic development through residences, exhibitions, and education programs which foster dialogue across disciplines and barstools.

More information on Sonic Garden: www.sonicgarden.org


ABOUT DAVID SPELMAN:
David Spelman is a curator and music producer working in recordings, films, and live events. Best known as the founder and artistic director of the New York Guitar Festival, he's also acclaimed as an artistic advisor and guest curator for music festivals and performing-arts centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

More information on David Spelman: www.davidspelman.com


ABOUT CAFÉ VOLAN:
We Love Coffee. . . almost as much as we love the sea. So why not build a cafe beside the Atlantic? Early mornings of thick salt air will accompany the delicate aromas of coffee from far away lands. As the tide will ebb and flow, stories will be told and creativity will flourish. It will be a place where quality and craft are evident in each cup, prepared under a watchful eye. We call this place eden; this is her first chapter.

Address: 510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712