New Jersey Stage

Saturday, September 28, 2013

DRIVE-IN Film Festival Begins its Sixth Season at Delsea Drive-In

(Vineland, NJ) -- The DRIVE-IN Film Festival, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit film festival in its sixth year, is launching its annual festival. Unlike many film festivals that celebrate films in one city or location, the DRIVE-IN Film Festival brings fresh, independent films to drive-ins across America. On October 5th, the festival will be launching its sixth season at Delsea Drive-In, New Jersey's only drive-in theater, to celebrate and promote film selections, as well as bringing awareness to the existence of drive-in movie theaters.

The DIFF will be featuring several films this season, GOING ATTRACTIONS, and two short films KEEP THE CHANGE and MOVE MOUNTAIN, with more films to be announced.

Continuing the film festival's mission to bring films to audiences that would not get to have the experience at a local multiplex, the DIFF chooses to screen at family-owned drive-ins like the Delsea to bring together independent films and a dying American tradition. The event will include film screenings, trivia, raffle prizes and giveaways.

With the rise of social media, drive-ins across the country have been able to network online with fans, post news about upcoming films and ticket deals. They have also been able to call for help -- with the need to keep up with technology and convert to digital projectors, a switch that could cost up to six figures, drive-ins have shared fundraising campaigns with their fans. Honda has even launched their own campaign, Project Drive-In, in which they promise to save five drive-ins in America from going dark.

"All moviegoers should have this nostalgic experience. We want everyone to join us in celebrating drive-ins and independent movies. Holding the DRIVE-IN Film Festival here at the Delsea is a great way to bring audiences to the drive-ins," says C.C. Webster, Founder and Creative Director of the Drive-in Film Festival.

The DRIVE-IN Film Festival brings a classic tradition into the present-day by bringing independent films to drive-ins, as well as releasing film content and drive-in information online. All proceeds will go to benefit the Delsea Drive-In.

The event will be held October 5th at Delsea Drive-in, in Vineland New Jersey. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Broomstick" Rides Into Long Branch

by Gary Wien
(LONG BRANCH, NJ -- SEPTEMBER 21, 2013) – NJ Rep's latest premiere, "Broomstick", opened last weekend.  Set in a remote cabin deep in the woods, the one-woman play is a fascinating study into the mind of a serial killer told as if it was a fairy-tale.  It's sort of like Dahmer meets Hansel and Gretel.  It's spooky, funny, and extremely well acted – perfect to get you into the spirit of Halloween.

Andrea Gallo stars as an old, single woman who has lived in that cabin for years.  Yet, oftentimes, she hasn't lived alone.  The self-proclaimed witch has had a series of children be her guest for spells at a time.  Some were runaways; others simply found lost in the woods; regardless of how they arrived, the witch convinces them they don't have anyone who cares for them on the outside.  As the play opens, she wakes in the night to the sounds she thinks are of someone at the door.  When she looks outside, she believes it's one of her kids returning home, years later as an adult. 

Written by John Biguenet, the play is a masterful look inside the psychological problems that could cause someone to go off the deep end and venture where evil lurks.  For the witch, this involves a series of "coincidences" through the years where she was blamed for someone else's misfortunes.  There were crops that wouldn't grow, skin rashes that caused itching to the point of anguish, and strange insects that appeared to be under her control.  Just enough history to have people swear they had a witch in their midst.
"When things go wrong, it's always me they blame," she says.

In her mind, all she was ever trying to do was keep the children from harm.  Yet, something bad always seems to happen.  She's haunted by the memory of each former guest and she's haunted by the memory of her one true love; a loss that led her to becoming the woman she is today.

Biguenet's script is often read in rhymes, furthering the nursery rhyme effect.  As the play moves forward, it becomes more and more entangled into the world of schizophrenia and real-life horror. You'll likely find yourself remembering just how warped the lyrics in your old nursery rhymes really were...

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

Gallo is tremendous.  She's got the role down so well it's one of those performances you couldn't imagine followed by anyone else. Equally amazing is the incredible lighting and sound effects within the play (by far the best I've ever seen at NJ Rep) and a stunning stage design.  The special effects for the mirror alone are worth the price of admission.  Between the effects, Gallo's breathtaking performance, and superb direction by SuzAnne Barabas, "Broomstick" is a clear winner for the season!  Highly recommended!

Note: while the subject matter revolves around a witch, it is clearly meant for older audiences.  The play runs about 90 minutes straight, no intermission.  It runs at NJ Rep through October 13 and then will move on to three additional venues as part of its rolling world premiere from the National New Play Network.   Next up is a run at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey in January, Southern Rep (New Orleans) in June 2014, and Montana Repertory Theater next September.

NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, NJ.  For more information visit

Photo by SuzAnne Barabas

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rock To Prevent Social Media Ticket Giveaway Competition

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Two of the bands featured at Rock To Prevent (a show benefiting Prevention First) on Sunday, October 6 at the Stone Pony are running a special social media blitz contest seeking the most creative posts on their Twitter and Facebook pages.  The benefit concert takes place from 1p to 5:30pm and features performances by The Project, First to Friday, The Euphoric Tones, Stone Bullets, Ardvark Smile, Mildly Medicated, Sibling Rivalry, Veronica Kole, Jake Tavill, Gabby Bryan, Ashley McKinley, Lakehouse Music Academy Pros, NY5, Emily Ainbinder & Kenny Iselhart, Hope Vista, Victoria Quartararo, and Chris DeCarolis.

Ardvark Smile and Jake Tavill are running the contest.  The way it works is you have until Monday, September 30 at 8pm to post as creatively as you can about the show on Twitter with the hashtag #rocktoprevent and mention @jaketavillmusic and @ardvarksmile1 or tag their like pages on Facebook.  The goal is to get as many likes, favorites, shares, and retweets as you can.

Each like/favorite is worth 1 point and shares/retweets are worth 2 points.  When the competition ends on September 30 at 8pm, the points will be calculated and prizes awarded.  The top 2 point earners will each receive a free pair of tickets and the most creative post will receive a free ticket as well.

If you do not wish to compete, but would still like to go to the concert, you can purchase tickets at for $15.

The show is all-ages (21 to drink) with doors at 12:30 pm. 

Prevention First is committed to improving the lives of Monmouth and Ocean counties' children by teaching them how to make healthy, responsible decisions.

Rock and Roll Royalty Returns To Asbury Park

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Six years ago, Sean Lennon performed at The Stone Pony on a Monday night.  The room was packed with just about every musician and music fan in town and the special guest put on an amazing show. It was one of those rare occasions when an artist truly seems to be glad to be there.  Sean talked about wandering around town (with Lou Montesano of Status Green as his tour guide), global warming and the weather, and the town's redevelopment.  He said he hoped it wouldn't become a cheesy tourist town.  After his show, he headed over to the Hot Dog House for what has become a legendary jam with local musicians.  It was like a match made in Heaven.

This Friday (September 27), Sean returns to town with his partner Charlotte Kemp-Muhl as Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.  The duo will perform at The Saint (601 Main Street, Asbury Park) along with Wreaths and Brother JT.  Doors are at 8pm; admission is $15.

Judging by the response to his last visit to town, you should get there early or risk being shut out of a chance to see something wonderful.  For a review of the first visit to town, go to:
Here's a little about the band from the band's official website: 
"The GOASTT is two people, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. It is, in itself, a chimera; a fabulous creature made with parts of two distinctly different creatures. It is also an acronym, as you might guess from its being capitalized like that. By virtue of being a friend to, and fan of, both the zygotes in this organism, I know what its letters stand for, but it's not mine to reveal. I expect they will do so at some future point.

Having driven my Ducati to Sean and Kemp's house through the darkened October streets of 4 am New York to type these words, I realize the absurdity of my task. If I wrote a novel and gave its protagonists stories of origin like the ones from which the two parts of GOASTT arose, people would say I was a fabulist in need of a hyperboectomy. Or an artless sophomore. But life is allowed a liberty with plotlines that novelists are not. Take these two:

Sean Lennon is a man of many hats. Like an alien who fell to earth and had to quickly assimilate humanity, he is a vast rolodex of accents, facts, farce, a myriad of motor skills (from archery to sketching) and can play any musical instrument (as if all undertakings are merely transposable keys to a song he knows by heart). Hyper-aware, there's almost nothing he isn't good at... This may be the result of his legendary genetic endowment, or simply the enormous pressure of his parentage; his father was perhaps the most accessible and experimental songwriter of his century. But, just as he reached the age of 5 when his father might have reared him with the milk and honey of nurture rather than the iron fist of nature, Sean's father was assassinated. As a consequence of this huge event and other shadows, Sean's life has been strangely both circumscribed and exaggerated. To the insouciant improvisational "Art is a Verb!" nature of his parents was added a welter of natural anxieties that would have made Woody Allen feel at home.

When I briefly encountered Sean's mother as an avant garde artist at Wesleyan University in January of 1966, I thought she had the most original mind I'd ever met. Later as she was dragged across the yawning screen of American hypercelebrity, I didn't know what to think, save that she, and all around her, seemed improbable.

And improbable was the first word that came to mind when I met Kemp Muhl almost exactly 40 years later.

Though her background was as unlikely as Sean's, hers was as private in its peculiarities as his was public. And her origins as the Georgian daughter of a military lieutenant colonel who had been nipped off to be a supermodel in New York, at about the tender age improbably beautiful girls are usually abducted - which is, chronologically at least, almost criminally young - did not in any way explain the fact that she has the other most original mind I had ever encountered.

After meeting Kemp, I followed her around- to the extent that I could move quickly enough- not, like most others, for the scenery, but because I found her casual triple-entendres, her "Kempisms," to be so improbably delicious in my mind...

She is such a free-running spring of cool creativity, that it didn't surprise me much when, shortly after she paired off with Sean and began to experience the musical ecosystem that is his unique mind, she revealed herself to have an utterly original sense of melody and lyrical realization as well. Her lines are like Borges short stories. I might have known.

As a symbol of her transformation for Sean, she now goes by Charlotte (her first name), much like a Native American who gets a new name upon having killed their first buffalo. Erstwhile Sean, (since his past chapters of turmoil and Shakespearean tragedy,) has shed the dark scales of his brooding artist skin for that of a newfound composer and puckish poet of an invincible fiber.

My great fortune lies in being an audience very close at hand to the gestation, birth, and early being of The GOASST. It is beautiful and strange and new. Let us watch it grow together."
-John Perry Barlow

South Camden Theatre Company Opens its Ninth Season with Regional Premiere of KINGDOM OF EARTH by Tennessee Williams

(CAMDEN, NJ) -- South Camden Theatre Company, a nonprofit professional theatre company located in Camden, New Jersey announces its ninth season titled "Everything's Relative" with the regional premiere of  KINGDOM OF EARTH written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Connie Norwood.  The cast includes Alissa Nesson as Myrtle, John Schultz as Lot and Roderick Slocum as Chicken.  Production Opens October 11 and runs Through October 27, 2013 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.

KINGDOM OF EARTH is a Southern Gothic play by Tennessee Williams that is set in 1960 during a storm ravaged night on the Mississippi River as a man and his new bride return to his ancestral home to battle his half-brother for control of the estate.  Also titled THE SEVEN DESCENTS OF MYRTLE this rarely produced play from an American master playwright confronts race and sexuality against the backdrop of Southern mythology.

Producing Artistic Director Joseph M. Paprzycki states, "KINGDOM OF EARTH marks the fifth time South Camden Theatre Company has produced a work by Williams as he is a key playwright for our company.  I was inspired to bring this rarely produced play to our audience after seeing an amazing production by Abrahamse-Meyers Productions a Cape Town, South African company at last year's Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival." 

All performances will be held Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. at the 96-seat Waterfront South Theatre located at 400 Jasper Street in Camden, New Jersey. Tickets are available for purchase for $20 online at, by calling 1-866-811-4111 or at the door. This production is recommended for mature audiences. For more information about South Camden Theatre Company, please visit Follow the company on Twitter at @ArtWillSaveUs and on Facebook at

About South Camden Theatre Company, Inc.
The South Camden Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional theatre company dedicated to helping revitalize the City of Camden, New Jersey by producing meaningful, professional theater in the City's Waterfront South District. Founded by a playwright, the South Camden Theatre Company stages seldom-seen, classic plays and original works as the resident theatre company at Waterfront South Theatre. South Camden Theatre Company is a proud member of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, South Jersey Cultural Alliance, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. For more information on South Camden Theatre Company and Waterfront South Theatre, visit

Blues Legend Robert Cray Comes to The Newton Theatre

(Newton, NJ) --    Guitar Great Robert Cray will perform at the Newton Theatre on Saturday, November 23rd. With 5 Grammy Awards, 15 nominations, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold out performances, rock blues icon Robert Cray is considered "one of the greatest guitarists of his generation." Rolling Stone Magazine credits Cray with reinventing the blues with his "distinct razor sharp guitar playing" that "introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues" with the release of his Strong Persuader album in 1986.

Since then, Cray has gone on to record fifteen Billboard charting studio albums and has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker. Recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, he is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor. His astonishing three-decade career is punctuated by his trademark sound, distinct playing style and explosive live performances.

Cray still remembers the first love that led him here. "My dad was in the army, so we moved around quite a bit," he explains. "I had a lot of time and the guitar became my friend. Also, when I first picked up a guitar, The Beatles were just out, and that's why I got one. That's why a lot of kids got guitars. The whole atmosphere of that time was, 'Hey, I learnt this'. 'Well, let me show you this...' So that's what sparked my interest, and it never really went away."

Cray cites Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy and B.B. King as formative guitar influences, alongside singers like Bobby 'Blue' Bland, but just as pivotal for the aspiring bluesman was witnessing Albert Collins play a set at his high-school dance.

It was that Collins performance that led to the formation of the Robert Cray Band in 1974, a four piece touring band featuring Cray on lead vocals and guitar and longtime friend Richard Cousins on bass, whose thrillingly modern take on the blues was the talk of the circuit. In 1976 after two years of touring and in the first of many pinch-yourself moments the band was invited to be the house band for Albert Collins; a stellar musical apprenticeship and schoolboy fantasy that lasted over 18 months.

Opening their account with 1980's Who's Been Talkin', the Robert Cray Band fired off three albums in quick succession, and although 1985's False Accusations hijacked the charts and won an industry blues award, it was the following year's Strong Persuader that achieved lift-off, hitting a US#13 chart position that was unprecedented for a blues record in the synthesizer age. "I guess Strong Persuader just captured a good spirit and energy," Cray reflects. "People are still calling out for some of those songs at shows. It gave us a good springboard. I guess it was the songs, but it was also the era, because radio and MTV gave us a foothold, and we had videos out too."

Cray had arrived in the big leagues. As songs like "Smoking Gun" scaled the singles charts across the planet and word spread of his incendiary live shows, his name began to be mentioned in the same breath as the blues heavyweights, and he was regularly to be found working alongside them. He spent the years that followed guesting on Eric Clapton's Journeyman album, jamming live with Keith Richards, appearing in Tina Turner's TV special, posthumously inducting Howlin' Wolf into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, and supplying solos for the late John Lee Hooker, who he did a lot of shows with. "We became good friends," says Cray of this latter hero. "It was fantastic. He was a real one-off."

The oft-quoted line reads 'that bluesmen improve with age', and Cray's evolving output through the next two decades gives weight to the theory. "In the '90s, we had the I Was Warned album (1992), and then Sweet Potato Pie (1997), which was a Memphis kind of thing that got into the soul bag," he recalls. "I really liked those two records: there was some good songwriting."

In 2000 he took home a Grammy for the album Take Your Shoes Off and went on to release two additional Grammy nominated albums Twenty (2005) featuring the poignant anti-Iraq war song of the same name, and This Time (2009) featuring the soul drenched favorite "I Can't Fail." The following year, the Robert Cray Band released the live album Cookin' In Mobile (2010) and once again toured worldwide to sellout crowds.

"We have been very lucky," says Cray, "with music becoming mostly digital in recent years and artists not selling the same number of physical records, we're afforded the luxury of having a great loyal and amazing fan base around the world, allowing a band like ours to continue to work."

It's quite a humble and unassuming statement, given his illustrious career – but that's always been Cray's style. He doesn't take anything for granted, doesn't rest on his laurels. So on his sixteenth studio release, Robert Cray is once again laying down his cards, testing his talent, fusing that dazzling voice to some of the most powerful material in his three-decade back catalogue and offering his fans Nothin But Love, a blend of blues, rock, soul and jazz with a lyric-sheet that examines the triumphs, fallouts and follies of life and love.

Tickets for Robert Cray are $57.00 for Premium seating, $52.00 for the Orchestra and $47.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, September 27th at 11:00 am. Purchase tickets by visiting or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.

The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County's premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it's rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey's Skylands region. More information about The Newton Theatre may be found by calling 973-383-3700 or by visiting its website at    


(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents comedian Bill Engvall on Friday October 4, 2013 at 7:30pm and 10pm. Tickets range from $35-75.  Engvall, known for his signature "Here's Your Sign" bit, was a member of the very popular Blue Collar comedy group alongside Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Ron White.

Recently announced, Engvall has been added to Season 17 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which premiered on September 16th. His partner is professional dancer and newcomer to the show, Emma Slater.

For 15 consecutive weeks, Engvall held the #1 Billboard spot on the Comedy Chart with his platinum album Here's Your Sign. His second album, Dorkfish, ranked #1 on the Billboard for comedy albums as well, and was certified gold. His other albums, including 15o Off Cool and Aged and Confused, also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Comedy Chart. Engvall starred in his self-titled TBS sitcom for three seasons. He has also been in the USA Network movie Bait Shop with Billy Ray Cyrus. Engvall hosted several TV shows (Lingo, Mobile Home Disasters), and has acted in feature films such as Strawberry Wine with Christina Ricci and Bed and Breakfast with Dean Cain.

In 1992, he won the American Comedy Award for "Best Male Stand-Up Comedian." Engvall has written several books, including his successful 2007 autobiography entitled Bill Engvall – Just a Guy.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday, 1pm-5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates, unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

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.

Local art auction to benefit East Lynne Theater Company and other nonprofits

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company is pleased to announce that it is one of three nonprofit organizations receiving a portion of the proceeds generated by a silent art auction held on Wednesday, October 9 from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at The Mad Batter, 19 Jackson Street, Cape May.  Patrons have the opportunity to see the artwork and begin the auctioning process on Tuesday, October 8. The bidding ends at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, after a reception.

     Center for Community Arts and The Nature Center of Cape May, along with ELTC, were selected because they have all demonstrated their commitment to teach art to all ages in the Cape May Community. 

     ELTC is the only organization in Cape May County that has continually provided theater workshops in schools for over thirteen years.  Now in its fourth year of working with the Wildwood School District, ELTC continues to procure funding so its artists-in-residence can direct plays at West Cape May Elementary School. During the summer, ELTC has its popular Student Workshop where participants perform an admission-free show for the community, and in March, in partnership with The Henry Sawyer Inn, ELTC has its playwriting workshop for adults.   

      The work being auctioned is the original art from the book "Cape May A to Z," recently published by SeaGrove Press of Cape May.  After two years of collaborating with the community of Cape May on the illustrations, this is the first book by authors and art educators Paige Cunningham and Janet Payne.  

     Working through the alphabet, the subjects for this unique artwork were carefully chosen, and the result is a book filled with wonderful illustrations as diverse as Cape May itself.  For example, "A" is for Atlantus, the sunken ship at the end of Sunset Boulevard, "C" is for the sandcastles on the beach, and "Z" is for the zebra at the zoo.

     The process began with a photograph of the subject, which was enlarged on a copy machine to 20" X 20" and gridded and cut into 64 squares.  Each square was colored over by a member of the community using oil pastels.  Squares were colored by all ages from all backgrounds, from people at the West Cape May Farmers' Market to visitors at the Nature Center of Cape May, and many community events over the past two years.  Once the squares were colored, the picture was reassembled onto a 20" X 20" canvas.  A list of those who colored the illustrations is in the back of the book, along with a scavenger hunt that anyone can play.

     "Cape May A to Z" is available at the following Cape May locations; Whales Tale, Cape Atlantic Books, Exit Zero Stores, Spirit Catcher Photography, Happy Baby, The Carriage House at the Physick Estate, Swallowtail Studio at the West End Garage, Good Scents, and the Nature Center.

      Currently, ELTC is presenting a 1932 comedy about the art world written by Sidney Howard, who received the Oscar for Best Screen Play Adaptation for "Gone with the Wind."  The talented cast of nine is under the direction of Gayle Stahlhuth and runs Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. through October 13, except there is no show on Wednesday, October 9, and an added show on Sunday, October 13. Location is The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, Cape May, where the company is in residence. Contact ELTC at 609-884-5898 or for information and reservations.


Craig Fols, Robert LeMaire, and Mark Edward Lang in East Lynne Theater Company's production of "The Late Christopher Bean." Photo credit: Gayle Stahlhuth 


(Newton, NJ) --    The Burton Cummings performance at The Newton Theatre has been rescheduled for Friday, November 15th at 8:00 pm. The original July performance had to be postponed due to a scheduling conflict. Tickets from then will be honored on the new date.

Few artists have achieved the level of public success and critical acclaim that Burton Cummings has enjoyed in a dazzling career spanning more than forty years. Whether as lead singer, songwriter and keyboardist with the Guess Who or on his own, Burton Cummings has amassed more hit records than just about any other Canadian performer in history. Hits including These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, Stand Tall, and You Saved My Soul all bear Burton's distinctive stamp. His voice has been rated among the finest in rock music.

Burton Cummings is one of the most celebrated rock artists in Canadian music history, honored  as a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Walk of Fame, several BMI (Broadcast Music Industry) awards for over 1 million airplays of his songs and other industry honors. With the Guess Who he earned the first US platinum album by a Canadian artist, and on his own the first quadruple platinum Canadian- produced album. Altogether Burton has earned some 80 platinum and gold record awards. Recently, the best-selling book The 100 Top Canadian Singles ranked American Woman the greatest Canadian single of all time. He also enjoys a world-wide stature shared by only a select few Canadian artists.

The consummate artist, performer and professional, Burton possesses an extraordinary gift for entertaining. As a concert draw, he is second to none delighting audiences from 10 to 10,000. His most recent album, 2008's critically-acclaimed Above The Ground, was his first ever to feature all original songs by Burton. Fans and critics alike glowed with superlatives citing the album as his best work in decades.

Canadian rock music royalty, Burton Cummings remains at the top of his game as an unrivaled singer, songwriter and recording artist.

Tickets for Burton Cummings are still available and cost $49.00 for Premium seating, $39 for the Orchestra and $29.00 for the Balcony. Purchase tickets by visiting or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.

The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County's premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it's rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey's Skylands region. More information about The Newton Theatre may be found by calling 973-383-3700 or by visiting its website at  

Lakehouse Music Academy Announces New Programs for October

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Asbury Park community is buzzing and for good reason!  If you haven't yet heard, Lakehouse Music Academy has partnered with an accomplished team of Broadway veterans and professional songwriters to bring knowledge, experience and education to students along the Jersey Shore. The Broadway Intensive Program begins October 20th, and the Songwriting Series begins October 7th.

The Broadway Intensive Program is a boot camp designed to immerse students into the art of musical theatre.  The program is spearheaded by Theresa Fowler, who has appeared in such on and off Broadway productions as Sex and the City, Grease and Guys and Dolls.  The Junior Program is for young Broadway enthusiasts eager to participate in a real-life "Glee" experience while the Senior Program is exclusively designed to assists high school students in the professional musical theater and college audition process.

The Broadway Intensive features guest artists such as Constantine Maroulis, American Idol finalist and Tony nominated actor in Broadway's Rock of Ages; Serena Soffer, original Broadway cast member of Footloose; Eddie Bennett, 14th year original Broadway cast member of Chicago, Sabrina Harper, star of the Original Broadway Revival Cast of Pippin!; and Kristy Lynn Cavanaugh of the Broadway National Tour: Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and 101 Dalmations.

The Lakehouse Songwriting Series aims to create an environment in which people can hang, write, and hear stories from world renowned songwriters, participate in Q&A sessions with industry reps, and write and record your own song at the world class Lakehouse Recording Studios. The series is being directed by Allie Moss (Ingrid Michelson Band) and will include guest teachers such as Glen Burtnik (Styx) and Charlotte Sometimes (finalist on NBC's The Voice).

Lakehouse Music Academy (LHMA) is a progressive music school, featuring group performance and individual lessons. They are committed to the development of comprehensive musicianship for every student, at every level, at every age.  Lakehouse Music Academy is housed in the Lakehouse Music Building, under the same roof as two world-class recording studios, ten rehearsal rooms, music store, and many notable music industry professionals

The Broadway Intensive takes place on Sundays from 12-3pm (Seniors) and 2-5pm (Juniors) beginning October 20th through November 24th.  The Songwriting Series takes place on Mondays from 4:30 to 7:30 beginning October 7th through January 6th. For additional information you can visit or call the office directly at (732) 455-5462.

Friday, September 20, 2013


(SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 -- BELMAR, NJ) This Monday, The Penguin Rocks will hold its annual Bruce Springsteen Day to celebrate the birthday of New Jersey's greatest rocker. From 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST), the online radio station will play songs from throughout Springsteen's career including covers by 100 artists. The station is available everywhere at .

"Due to special rules that apply to internet radio, setting up a day like this is quite a challenge," explained Gary Wien, Program Director for The Penguin Rocks. "It's something we started about five years ago that has simply grown with each year. We've got famous covers by artists like David Bowie and Manfred Mann alongside rarities by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the Pet Shop Boys, and Vampire Weekend. We've even got never before heard songs given to us just for the show. Each year we search the Internet for new songs to play. I think we're playing about 40 covers this year that we've never played before!"

The Penguin Rocks is a labor of love for Gary Wien, a music journalist from the Jersey Shore. While the station largely spins new indie rock and roll from artists throughout the world, Wien hosts a daily one-hour show called "Beyond the Palace" which is centered on music by artists from New Jersey. In 2003, Wien's book by the same name because the first comprehensive look at the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park.

"New Jersey has such a great music scene that I wanted to have a show that put the spotlight on the Garden State," said Wien. "The station has the support of artists and listeners from around the world and we're proud to let them hear the sounds of our local artists each day. And, to me, New Jersey's music scene always comes back to Bruce. We hope Springsteen fans tune in at work and celebrate his birthday with us. They're bound to hear incredible covers they've never heard before. Whether we're spinning Springsteen himself or a cover, the day's music will prove what an amazing songwriter he truly is." 

About The Penguin
In June, The Penguin celebrated its 6th anniversary as an online radio station. Broadcasting out of his sunroom, located a few blocks from the legendary 10th Avenue E Street which gave the E Street Band their name, the station is a leader in playing alternative rock and roll. The station plays a mix of rock, punk, Americana, folk, and country from a playlist of new music created every two weeks by Wien. Artists are encouraged to submit their songs to the station in mp3 form to .

The station's motto is "We don't follow the charts we make our own." In addition to its regular playlist, the station features several original and syndicated shows each week. Shows include: "Beyond the Palace" hosted by Gary Wien, "Lazlo's Den" by Lazlo of , "Rock 'N Roll Gas Station" with Jim Testa, "Radio Show with dw dunphy", "Best of British Unsigned", "Sideways With A Badger", "Deuce Radio Show", "Classic Artists Today", and "Rock On Radio with Danny Coleman." 

For more information on the station, please visit the station's website at or on Facebook and Twitter @thepenguinrocks.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Evening with PETER WOLF, the Voice of the J. Geils Band, Comes to The Newton Theatre

(Newton, NJ) --    Peter Wolf, lead singer of the acclaimed J.Geils Band,  will    perform at the Newton Theatre on Friday, November 1st. Peter Wolf was an artist from the start. As a child and teenager he drew constantly. When he was seven, and his father was working at the Tanglewood Music Festival, he would spend afternoons at the studio of local painter, Norman Rockwell.

Peter also had a heart for music. His father was a musician and music always filled his house.  When Peter was 14 he left home in the Bronx and went to live in Manhattan to pursue his art. During this period, Peter frequented Birdland, the renowned jazz capital of the world, as well as the acclaimed Five Spot and Village Vangard. There he saw jazz greats Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus.

Peter attended high school in Harlem, near the legendary Apollo Theater, which he attended religiously and developed a love of soul music. He saw an endless list of soul and jazz legends such as James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Billy Stewart, Dinah Washington and Ray Charles, all of whom had a profound affect on his musical development and, later, his stage persona.

One night, Peter attended a loft party where the band that was performing, had a little too much to drink and the singer couldn't remember the lyrics to a song. Though he had drunk several glasses of wine himself, Peter jumped in and helped the band finish the song. Performing at this party was a revelation for Peter. The experience was so powerful that he became completely consumed with the idea of joining this band. After much persistence, Peter became a member and, eventually, the band's lead singer. They all dropped out of art school to devote themselves completely to the band. They called themselves the Hallucinations and became one of the most popular young groups in New England.

In 1967, several members of the Hallucinations began to pursue other artistic interests, leaving Peter bandless. In his search for new musicians to play with, Peter attended an open mike night at a Boston coffeehouse where he met J. Geils, and other musicians and they decided to form a new band, which became the J. Geils Band.
In 1968 the band was signed to Atlantic Records when Mario Medious, a hip, south side Chicago, fast-talking promotion man for Atlantic Records, heard the J. Geils Band from the back room. He assumed they were a south side Chicago blues band and went backstage to introduce himself. To his surprise, Mario found five young, white musicians from Boston. Instantaneously impressed, he called his boss, Jerry Wexler, then co-owner and Vice President of Atlantic Records.

Seth Justman, a young Boston University student and musician from Washington, DC, after much persistence, became the final member of the J. Geils Band. Seth and Peter cultivated a strong friendship, and shared many musical interests and became the band's song writing team.

The J. Geils Band established a reputation for their exciting live performances and built a large following in New England. This grassroots enthusiasm reached the ear of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham, and he invited them, sight unseen, to perform at his famed concert hall Fillmore East. After the band received five encores, Bill immediately booked them again and asked them to appear at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. This started the band's long journey outside of Boston and began to expose them to a national audience.

In 1970, the band released their first recording The J. Geils Band. They toured non-stop, building a fan base in every city they played. Soon, they appeared on television for the first time on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

In 1978 the band signed to a new record label, EMI America. The company provided hope and energy for the financially distressed and road weary band. They recorded a series of albums, each one further expanding their popularity. Their first release on EMI America was Sanctuary in 1978, followed by Love Stinks in 1980.

In the new decade, the fast-paced lifestyle began to exhaust some of the group's members. Ironically, in 1981, during the making of what later became their greatest commercial success, Freeze Frame, some of the members expressed a desire to leave the band. But with the release of Freeze Frame, the advent of MTV, and a worldwide tour with the Rolling Stones, the J. Geils Band finally achieved international acclaim and became known as one of America's great rock 'n' roll bands. During their own headlining tour, one of their opening acts was U2, who were just beginning to gain recognition.

For the first time in more than 12 years, the band was finally out of debt and filling arenas and stadiums as headliners. Just when they seemed to achieve everything they had worked so hard for, artistic differences between Peter and Seth became more divisive. The tension continued to build and the band rejected many of Peter's songs. They felt his material was too roots and R&B-based and wanted to move in the Pop direction that Seth was leaning towards. Ultimately, the band decided to continue without Peter's involvement. After 17 years with no personnel changes, Peter was gone and Seth became the band's new lead singer.

Peter turned the materials he had written for the J. Geils Band into his first solo effort Lights Out, which was released in 1984. Peter continues recording and touring and has even reunited with the J. Geils Band over the years, including an end of the century tour in 1999.

In 2005, the J. Geils Band reunited again for a special charity event hosted by the Cam Neely Cancer Foundation, Denis Leary's Firefighters Association of New England and Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease Research Foundation.

Tickets for Peter Wolf are $39.00 for Premium seating, $34.00 for the Orchestra and $29.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, September 13th at 11:00 am. Purchase tickets by visiting or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.

The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County's premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it's rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey's Skylands region. More information about The Newton Theatre may be found by calling 973-383-3700 or by visiting its website at    

Fall 2013 Acting and Improv Classes Enrolling at Dreamcatcher

(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will offer Acting and Improv Comedy classes for kids, teens and adults this fall beginning October 14 and concluding with a class showcase on December 13.

Actors' Workshop will be offered Mondays for students aged 10-12 from 4:00-5:30, and for students 13 and up on Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30.  It will be taught by Jessica O'Hara-Baker, the director of Dreamcatcher's Summer Theatre Conservatory. In addition to studying acting technique and script analysis, the students will collaborate to develop and create their own original short play, which they will perform at the end of the semester. The program will empower and inspire students to acknowledge their own creative abilities, and to encourage collaboration and teamwork in a creative setting.

Improv Comedy will be offered Tuesdays for students aged 10-12 from 4:00-5:30 and for students aged 13 and up on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30. It will be taught by Dave Maulbeck, the director of Dreamcatcher's improv comedy troupe Multiple Personality Disorder. From day one, students will be onstage exploring the basics of improvisation through exercises and games. Prepare to amaze yourself with your own wit and the outrageously fun choices you will find yourself making and then put your new skills into practice at the class show.

A class presentation at the end of the session on December 13 will allow students from all classes to share their work with friends and family. The fee for any of the eight-week classes is $240, and the deadline for registration is October 6.

In addition, Dreamcatcher will offer an adult improv workshop on Saturday, November 9 from10:00 – 12:00. Why should the kids have all the fun? Get in touch with your creative side as you play improv games, unleash your spontaneity and just plain enjoy yourself. The cost for this workshop is $40, and the deadline for registration is November 1.

Classes will be held at The Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit.  Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre on Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center on Morris Avenue.  The facility is wheelchair accessible.  To register for the classes or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please visit or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654.

About Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre:
Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment.  We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

Dreamcatcher's core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company's activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.

Dreamcatcher's programs are funded by the New Jersey State council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Area Public Foundation, the Manley-Winser Foundation, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals.  Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Arthouse Film Festival Starts September 30

Imagine seeing a festival-winning gem before release to the public, then the lights come up, and there in front of you are the creators of the film, ready to answer questions and discuss their work.

Starting September 30th, Arthouse Film Festival will run for ten weeks at two New Jersey theatres: AMC Loews Mountainside and AMC Loews Monmouth Mall. 

The festival has hosted 1,585 movie premieres with 1,020 live guest appearances over the past 22 years.

Oscar winners and nominees Danny Aiello, Alan Arkin, James Cromwell, Frank Darabont, Jesse Eisenberg, Ethan Hawke, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Melissa Leo, Viggo Mortensen, Chazz Palminteri, John Sayles, Aaron Sorkin, Fisher Stevens and David Strathairn have joined Dylan Baker, Famke Janssen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Derek Luke, Mary Stuart Masterson, David Morse, Connie Nielsen, Joe Pantoliano and Kevin Smith as guest speakers who have come to share their insights with festival participants.

"The program will always be flexible in order to take advantage of opportunities as they arise," said festival director Chuck Rose.  "Wonderful surprises and fantastic celebrities can pop up out of nowhere, so we try to keep the schedule as fluid as possible.  In the past three years, we have premiered 95 films that later earned a total of 26 Oscar, 24 Spirit Award, 23 Golden Globe and 34 British Academy Award nominations."

    "Even before we started 22 years ago, I began working to create an international VIP network of actors, directors, screenwriters, producers, journalists and film industry pros whose jobs involve creating and evaluating the cream of Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Venice, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca and the other important film festivals.  We also work to ferret out potential hits in the development and production stages so we are ready to pounce on the best films first," explained Rose.
For information, to see which films were screened in the past, or to register, visit:  or call 1-732-870-6012.

     The festival is open to anyone, but seating is limited, so early enrollment is advised.  Subscription is $133 for five weeks or $235 for all ten weeks.  Also being offered is a specially priced flex ticket so the user may choose any eight out of ten nights for their convenience.  Discounts will be available for early registration. 
    Confirmed films and those under consideration for the upcoming festival include: "12 Years a Slave" with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, director Steve McQueen; "About Time" with Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, director Richard Curtis; "All the Light in the Sky" with Jane Adams, Sophia Takal, director Joe Swanberg; "American Hustle" with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, director David O. Russell; "August: Osage County" with Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, director John Wells; "Black Nativity" with Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, director Kasi Lemmons; "The Broken Circle Breakdown" with Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens, director Felix van Groeningen; "Capital" with Gabriel Byrne, Gad Elmaleh, director Costa Govras;"Cut to Black" with Dan Eberle, Jillaine Gill, director Dan Eberle; "Four Dogs" with Oliver Cooper, Dan Bakkedahl, director Joe Burke; "Forev" with Noel Wells, Matt Mider, directors Molly Green & James Leffler; "Generation War" with Volker Bruch, Tom Schillilng, director Philipp Kadelbach; "Gloria" with Paulina Garcia, Sergio Hernandez, director Sebastian Lelio; "Grace of Monaco" with Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, director Olivier Dahan; "Her" with Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, director Spike Jonze; "Hide Your Smiling Faces" with Ryan Jones, Nathan Varnson, director Daniel Patrick Carbone; "How I Live Now" with Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, director Kevin Macdonald; "The Immigrant" with Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, director James Gray; "Inside Llewyn Davis" with Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, directors Ethan & Joel Coen; "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" with Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, director Justin Chadwick; "The Monuments Men" with Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, director George Clooney; "Nebraska" with Will Forte, Bruce Dern, director Alexander Payne; "Philomena" with Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, director Stephen Frears; "The Retrieval" with Tishuan Scott, Ashton Sanders, director Chris Eska; "The Wolf of Wall Street" with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, director Martin Scorsese; and "The Young and Prodigious Spivet" with Helena Bonham Carter, Kathy Bates, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


Filmmakers Symposium was founded by Chuck Rose in 1990.  Since then, Rose has curated and staged over 1,500 movie premieres, importing and interviewing over 1,000 actors and filmmakers from all over the world.  His film festivals and symposia have been sponsored by Universal Pictures, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Rutgers University, Kean University, Caldwell College and a dozen other film industry, academic and arts organizations.

Inspiration for Filmmakers Symposium Arthouse Film Festival grew out of Rose's experiences at the University of Southern California where Professor Arthur Knight screened a variety of not-yet-released movies followed by discussions with actors and filmmakers.  Specifically, the seed was planted after an evening when Professor Knight's surprise guest was Alfred Hitchcock.  Rose remembers, "Everything changed after that.  Just being in the room with Hitchcock was life altering.  His simple, yet brilliant explanations of technique, and his droll, but hilarious anecdotes about directing Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and the rest, thrilled and motivated a pack of know-it-all film students.  Hitchcock and Knight had more than a glass of wine with dinner, so the gloves were off, and no one was spared."

Spending time on both coasts, Rose has authored 24 screenplays, directed "Vietnam Vets" starring Danny Aiello, worked in the story department at Orion Pictures, served as a Contributing Editor at "Movies USA", and written feature articles on the film industry for "The Hollywood Reporter".

He has held faculty positions at Seton Hall University, Adelphi University and The New School where he developed a program in Film Script Analysis adopted by executives at HBO, ABC and many independent production companies.

Rose is an alumnus of the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, and holds a Master of Arts in Cinema History, Criticism and Aesthetics from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from New York University.

Currently, Rose has under development a World War II drama, "Ziggy's Only Son."


(UNION, NJ) -- Now 86 and still in superb voice, the revered country and bluegrass singer, Dr. Ralph Stanley will include a performance at Kean University's Wilkins Theatre on his farewell tour on Saturday, October 12 at 7:30pm.  The Man of Constant Sorrow Tour: The Dr.'s Farewell will be a fantastic celebration of the life of Dr. Ralph, the mountain music he's made famous and his legacy that will endure through the course of time.   Over his historic career, Dr. Stanley has won virtually every honor America has to bestow on its master musicians.  He has three Grammy awards, one as best male country vocalist, a category in which he competed with Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett.

Opening for Dr. Stanley will be the YouTube sensation, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys playing their up-tempo acoustic string music inspired by Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers.

Wilkins Theatre is located on Kean University's main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

Tickets are $30 Standard; $20 Senior, Student, Child and are available at the Wilkins Theatre Box Office on campus, by calling 908-737-SHOW (7469), and online at

Fanny Brice comes home to Bergen County

(BERGEN COUNTY, NJ) -- Skyline Theatre Company launches their 12th season in October presenting the Broadway classic, FUNNY GIRL starring Bergen County native Lauren Palmeri as the iconic diva, Fanny Brice.  

Fanny Brice had a career that spanned Vaudeville, The Ziegfeld Follies and Hollywood and led her to become one of the most celebrated entertainers of her time.  The musical, which famously launched Barbra Streisand's career, follows Fanny as she rises from the Lower East Side to Broadway and finds the one man she'll love, no matter what. Featuring the classic hit songs "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade," FUNNY GIRL comes to Skyline for a limited run October 11-13 at the George Frey Center for Arts and Recreation in Fair Lawn.

Lauren Palmeri returns home to Bergen County and Skyline Theatre Company from roles in the smash success national tours of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Elf. Ms. Palmeri's regional credits include My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line (Diana Morales), The Sound of Music (Leisl), Carousel (Julie Jordan) and Skyline Theatre Company's Pirates of Penzance. Ms. Palmeri, who grew up in Glen Rock, holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The cast also features Benjamin Lynch of NYC as Eddie, Brad Grimmer of NYC as Nick, Richard Maloy of Cedar Grove, NJ, as Flo Ziegfeld, and Sue Boland of Clifton, NJ, as Mrs. Brice.

The production will be directed by Skyline Artistic Director Sam Scalamoni and choreographed by NYC's Chandon Jones. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Duane McDevitt of Newark and Lighting Designer Ben Bauer of NYC. "This is a beautiful American musical with themes that transcend time. This will be an intimate, evocative retelling of the iconic story," says Scalamoni, one of the company's founders. "We are thrilled to have such a talented Bergen County native taking on the classic role of Fanny Brice. Ms. Palmeri's voice will electrify Fair Lawn."

Skyline Theatre Company, "Broadway's Home in Bergen County," brings professional performers, designers, and staff from New York City and the surrounding area together to produce an exciting array of musicals and plays. The company is proud of its Artists in Focus program which brings professionals from Broadway and television into the classroom and an apprentice program that trains arts students with professionals while in production.  Skyline is a proud associate member of the prestigious New Jersey Theatre Alliance and their board is comprised of a diverse group of artists, business people and educators who are committed to bring high quality theatre and programs to Bergen County.

FUNNY GIRL runs October 11 and 12 at 7:30pm and October 12 and 13 at 2:00pm at the George Frey Center for Arts and Recreation in the Fair Lawn Community Center (10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn). Tickets are $28 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $18 for students.  To make reservations by phone, please call 1-800-474-1299.  To purchase tickets online, please visit

State Theatre and Metropolitan Entertainment present The Laurie Berkner Band -- A Holiday Celebration Concert

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre and  Metropolitan  Entertainment present The Laurie Berkner Band – A Holiday Celebration Concert on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2pm. Concert tickets range from $25-$35. Special $100 VIP packages are available that include preferred seating and an after-show meet and greet.

Children's music superstars and preschool television favorites The Laurie Berkner Band will perform in a series of Holiday Celebration concerts along the East Coast in November and December including a stop in New Brunswick on December 14. The concerts will include music from the critically acclaimed 2012 album, A Laurie Berkner Christmas (Two Tomatoes Records/Razor & Tie). According to the Associated Press, "If you have kids under the age of five in your house, this is probably the only Christmas album you need this year." The band will perform tracks such as Jingle Bells, Laurie's original song Candy Cane Jane, and the Hanukkah song Candle Chase (Laurie's version is available on iTunes) among many more festive seasonal favorites.

A former preschool music teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started selling her music over ten years ago out of her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records. Time Magazine lauded Laurie as "a kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow…Berkner inhabits a kid's curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated—very repeated—listenings." The Wall Street Journal called Laurie "one of the most popular children's performers in America…Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups."

The Laurie Berkner Band features: Laurie Berkner, vocals/guitar; Susie Lampert, keyboards; Brady Rymer, bass; and Bobby Golden, drums/percussion.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday, 1pm-5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates, unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

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.

Rutgers Theater Company presents Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest

(New Brunswick, NJ) --  Jealousy, revenge, plotting, airs of desperation--if the Kardashians were wearing higher necklines and lived in 1880s Alabama, they would feel right at home in Rutgers Theater Company's Another Part of the Forest, opening Tuesday, October 1, and running through Sunday, October 6, 2013, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater. New Jersey residents involved in the production include cast member Kate Villanova of Montclair, director Kevin Kittle of Bergen County, and designers Seancolin Hankins of Freehold, Rachel Pollard of Metuchen, and Jason M. Flamos of Murray Hill.

Written in 1946 by Lillian Hellman as a prequel to her 1939 Broadway hit The Little Foxes, Another Part of the Forest is the story of the devious Hubbard family: characters exhibiting varying degrees of cruelty, selfishness, and a penchant for back-stabbing.

"What's wonderful about this play is that it's like a prime-time soap opera about family members who are just nasty to each other," director Kevin Kittle says. "It explains a certain aspect of human nature—it's very political. It's just nasty fun."

Regina (later Mrs. Horace Giddens in The Little Foxes), a sweet belle with a mean streak, and her two brothers, foolish Oscar and conniving Benjamin, live under the tyranny of their greedy father Marcus, who grew wealthy as a Civil War swindler. Regina and Benjamin lust for wealth and power while Oscar simply lusts for Laurette, the local prostitute. Benjamin is armed with damning secrets about his father and is poised to topple the entire family.

There is, however, a "sliver of hope" in the character of Lavinia, mother of the Hubbard clan and "redeemer of the family," says Kittle. Abused by her husband and neglected by her children, Lavinia dreams of fleeing the family and repenting for their sins by opening a school for children of former slaves.

But it's mostly blackmail, bargaining, and negotiation for the Hubbards, with a healthy dose of sinister scheming.

"I wanted a play with good parts," Kittle says. "And they just don't write plays like this anymore."

Another Part of the Forest runs from Tuesday, October 1, through Sunday, October 6, 2013, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511. Please note: The ticket-office number will be 848-932-7511 on or about September 27, 2013.

Caption: (from left) Angel Moore and Kristen Harlow. Photo credit: Larry Levanti

Ritchie Blackmore's Band, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT to Perform in Newton

(Newton, NJ) -- Blackmore's Night, headed by guitar great Ritchie Blackmore, will deliver an exhilarating performance to the Newton Theatre stage on Sunday, November 10th at 8:00 pm. Superstar guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and Gothic princess Candice Night teamed up in 1996 to form the Renaissance-influenced band Blackmore's Night.  Music, merriment, and a deep respect for ancient musical traditions have distinguished the group for its profoundly unique approach to music and entertainment. Their music is inspired by medieval music with themes of love.

In the late 1960s Ritchie Blackmore was an original member of the heavy rock band Deep Purple. The band's first single Hush reached #4 on the US charts and they later went on to release the immortal rock song, Smoke on the Water. Later Blackmore headed the successful band Rainbow, which fused baroque style music with hard rock.  Blackmore came in the top 50 of Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Candace Night has been singing since she was six months old. She did modeling in her teens and 20s and wrote poetry and lyrics along the way. She met Richie Blackmore during her stint as a radio station intern. She worked with him in Deep Purple and Rainbow, before they began their ultimate collaboration known as Blackmore's Night.

Tickets for Blackmore's Night are $44.00 for Premium seating, $39.00 for the Orchestra and $34.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, September 13th at 11:00 am. Purchase tickets by visiting or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.

The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County's premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it's rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey's Skylands region. More information about The Newton Theatre may be found by calling 973-383-3700 or by visiting its website at    

State Theatre presents Foreigner

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents Foreigner on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8pm.  With 10 multi-Platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, Foreigner is one of the biggest bands in rock history. Foreigner's hits include "Juke Box Hero," "Feels Like the First Time," "Urgent," "Cold as Ice," "Hot Blooded," and the worldwide smash "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Foreigner includes founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones, lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bass guitarist Jeff Pilson, and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Saturday, 1pm-5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates, unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

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.

Tickets range from $35-95.

Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' lights up the stage at Monmouth U

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- It's a place that could be as out of reach as the far side of some parallel universe — or as close at hand as the house next door. A place where the words and ideas of the ages die screaming in flames — while a society slowly lulls itself to death in a haze of prescription drugs, earbud headsets, and giant interactive screens.

On the evening of Friday, September 27, The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University welcomes the touring company of New York's Aquila Theatre, in a dramatization of one of the most controversial and thought-provoking novels of the past century — Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451."

The American master of fantastic fiction adapted his own 1953 novel for the stage in 2006, incorporating elements of French New Wave director Francois Truffaut's somber screen version some forty years earlier. The story of Montag — a "fireman" charged with the burning of books, in a dystopian future where literature and poetry are outlawed — comes to the Pollak Theatre in a fully staged 8:00 p.m. performance.

Bradbury — who identified himself as "Author of Fahrenheit 451" on his gravestone, prior to his passing in 2012 — peopled his tale with such characters as Clarisse, the unorthodox young girl through whom Montag discovers another way of life;  Mildred, the fireman's doped-up and disengaged wife; the disillusioned fire chief Captain Beatty; and the underground society of intellectuals who are determined to keep the storytelling torch from being snuffed out.

It's a story born of the times in which it was written; the mid-century tilt toward Red-baiting and censorship tracing a direct line to the continued boycotting, banning and abridgement of many works of literature — including "Fahrenheit 451" itself. And, even in its most fantastic trappings, it's a story that hits home in numerous ways, to readers in 21st century America.

Bringing the world of "Fahrenheit 451" to life on stage will be the actors of Aquila Theatre, the not-for-profit company founded in London by Peter Melneck in 1991. Performing the Shakespearean canon, Greek classics and modern literary adaptations in over 50 cities each year — and in venues that range from Carnegie Hall to the ancient Stadium at Delphi — the troupe under the artistic direction of Desiree Sanchez maintains its stated mission to "bring the greatest works to the greatest number."

Before the show, join the director and members of the cast at 6:30 pm for a pre-performance discussion about censorship and the creative process of turning Bradbury's novel into a theatrical production.

Tickets for Aquila Theatre's presentation of "Fahrenheit 451" are priced at $25/35 and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at Tickets for other upcoming events in the 2013-2014 Performing Arts series at Monmouth University  — including "A Celebration of Harold Pinter" featuring Julian Sands (October 18), and a new series of high definition broadcasts from the National Theatre of London, are on sale now.


(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company is proud to present noted playwright John Biguenet's "Rising Water Trilogy" inspired by his personal experiences during Hurricane Katrina and his return to his home after its catastrophic flooding and destruction. 

The plays will be presented on three consecutive Mondays as part of NJ Rep's reading series on September 23, September 30 and October 7 at 7:00pm at NJ Repertory Company located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch. 

The reading of the three plays will complement the opening of Biguenet's new play, "Broomstick", which will run from September 19 through October 13 as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere.

Biguenet's experiences and observations of Hurricane Katrina should resonate with many residents of the Jersey Shore who experienced similar loss last October and are still struggling to cope with the destruction from Hurricane Sandy nearly a year later. As we approach the one year anniversary of Sandy, tens of thousands of property owners continue to recover from the unprecedented disaster. 

"We here in Louisiana had a real compassion for New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy knowing first-hand the consequences and the human toll." said Biguenet. "Even eight years later, victims of Hurricane Katrina are still struggling and many are fighting insurance companies and the federal government in an effort to rebuild their lives."

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive tropical hurricane to hit New Orleans and was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Nearly 2,000 people were killed and total property damage was estimated at $81 billion. 

Detailing his personal experience, Biguenet recalls, "We were homeless and slept in a daycare center without hot water... and in that daycare center I wrote 15 newspaper columns and shot 2 videos for the New York Times and told what was really going on in the city. The truth of the matter is that the levees collapsed and it was a man-made disaster that struck New Orleans. These plays are designed in some sense to give an accurate depiction of what happened and also in the year following."

"The first play, "Rising Water", deals with the first night after the hurricane has passed and people went to bed that evening thinking that things would be alright, but woke up the next day with flooding in their homes up to 8 feet, and had to run to their attics. The temperatures were 120 to 130 degrees and people had to find a way to get to the roof. The United States government didn't send any significant help for three or four days. An American city was destroyed, seven times the size of the entire size of Manhattan." said Biguenet.

The second play, "Shotgun", takes place four months later, and is about a man who has lost his wife and then develops a relationship with his landlord. He is white and she is black. It's about rebuilding one's life and tackles real-life race relations issues.

The third play, "Mold", is set during the first anniversary of the collapse of the levees, and is about a young couple figuring out whether to rebuild or move elsewhere.

As Jersey Shore residents know, the storm is not over once the hurricane has passed, but continues well after. Biguenet reflects upon the deep wounds that still exist. 

"As my wife and I have watched couple after couple break up under the stress of lost homes and lost jobs and lost self-esteem, I've discovered that if one is to depict the human toll of a massive disaster, it's effect on relationships is the most visible embodiment of that catastrophe." reflects Biguenet. "I could not have guessed before the flood that in composing a trilogy about the destruction of a city, I would wind up writing three love stories." 

Seating for the trilogy reading series is very limited. Seats must be reserved by contacting the NJ Rep Box Office at 732-229-3166. Admission is $10.

Performances for "Broomstick "are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm; Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; and Sundays at 2:00 pm September 19-October 13. Special reduced price previews are on Thursday, September 19 and Friday, September 20 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Saturday, September 21 at 3:00 pm. Opening night with reception is Saturday, September 21 at 8:00 pm.

Tickets are $40; Previews are $35; Opening night with reception is $50. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and groups of 10 or more. NJ Rep is a year-round, professional, non-profit theater located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch only minutes from the Jersey Shore. Free on-site parking is available and there is easy access from NJ Transit (North Jersey Coast Line) and Academy Buses.

For tickets, contact the NJ Rep Box Office at 732-229-3166 or visit to reserve your seats online. 

About New Jersey Rep
New Jersey Rep is a member of the National New Play Network, The New Jersey Theater Alliance, Theater Communications Group, and the Monmouth and Long Branch Arts Councils. Support for NJ Rep is provided in part by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the Stone Foundation of New Jersey, the Baumol Family Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, the Investors Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Jewish Communal Fund, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Dramatists Guild Fund, Actors Equity Foundation, ERBA Company, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the American Theatre Wing.


Ken Davenport is an award-winning producer whose list of credits includes Broadway and Off-Broadway plays such as revival of "Macbeth", "Godspell", "Oleanna", "Speed the Plow", "You're Welcome America", "Blithe 13", "Altar Boyz", "The Awesome 80s Prom", "My First Time", and "Kinky Boots" which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical. He was featured on a national commercial for the iPhone, named one of Crain's Forty Under 40 for 2008, and runs a blog about theatre at

Ken's new musical, "Getting the Band Back Together", makes its debut at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick this month. The play revolves around Mitch Martino who is 40 and has just been fired from his job on Wall Street. He moves back to Mom's house in Sayreville, NJ and reconnects with the old gang for an epic high-stakes battle of the bands.
You can catch the initial run of "Getting the Band Back Together" September 24 - October 27 at George Street. Judging by his track record, the play will almost certainly be moving on to a New York City location in the near future. New Jersey Stage caught up with Ken during final rehearsals in New Brunswick.

I love the idea behind this play - a guy in his forties gets fired and moves back to his mother's house (in Jersey, of course) and reconnects with his old bandmates and puts the band back together. How did the idea come to you? Did you bump into someone with a story like that?
I think everyone has dreams of being a rock star at some point in their life, whether they're singing in the shower or watching something on tv. I don't remember exactly what it was, I just imagined that all of those people like myself - I was in a band growing up and thinking about doing it again. And then something very specific happened. After I started working on it, I was sitting around a table for a union negotiation and our lawyer practically jumped out of his seat. He had his Blackberry in his hand and he said, "Yes!" I took it as a sign we had gotten what we wanted or that the negotiation was over. I said, "What is it?" He said, "We got a gig!"

I was like "what?" and he said "My partners here at the firm and I put together a rock band and we're playing my buddy's bar mitzvah!" He was so excited he had to share it with all of us. He had found a way to bring back the joy that he had at 18, playing music, and being with his buddies - and that's so much of what this show is really about.

Is it true that your "garage band" was a jazz trio?
That is true. I also managed because I didn't have a lot of talent. I'm not really a rocker kind of guy. I managed another band that was very short lived and I was in another band where I played a little bit of bass, but the primary one was the jazz trio. We were going to play Barry Manilow tunes at weddings.

Dreaming big, eh?

Since word got out about the play, have people been coming up to you and telling their own band stories?
Oh, absolutely. I talk about what I do a lot and people always ask me what are you working on and when I tell them about this show I usually see their eyes light up in front of me. Because they immediately know what it means and what it's about. I usually ask if they were in a band and the memories just come flooding out.

What's it been like working at George Street Playhouse?
It's an incredible group of people. There are a couple of people that were involved in the original conception of the show that are now speaking words, some of which they helped write through improve rehearsals many years ago. I couldn't be more blessed. I was thinking about this the other day: four years ago this was just an idea in my head. Then we put all the stuff down on paper and now to be so lucky to have these actors speaking these words and singing these tunes it's just an incredible thrill.

Do you get the same type of thrill producing a show as you do producing a show that you actually wrote? Is there a difference for you?
Well, sure there's a difference. When you're sitting in a rehearsal room like I am now and you're watching something that four years ago was just an idea in your head and now is being physically realized in front of you it's quite a thrill.

And, a lot more nerve-wracking?
Yes, of course. (He laughs) With more thrills come more nerves! There's no question. It's like riding a roller coaster. It's exciting to get on, but you're also going to be scared.

So, what's the deal with having the schlub come back to New Jersey? It that another dig at us here? I saw an interview where you said audiences automatically laugh when you say the words New Jersey.
Look, this is a show that is set in New Jersey and is a little about that New Jersey rock and roll experience. New Jersey has given the world some of the greatest rock bands of all time. And I thought it was real important to debut the show here. Obviously, we have big hopes and dreams for the show going forward, but I thought the first audience that should witness it should be a Jersey audience.

Speaking of music that New Jersey has brought to the world... they may be a Columbus, Ohio band, but lead singer Scott Terry is from South Jersey. Tell me about your film project on the band Red Wanting Blue - "These Magnificent Miles". How did that film come about? It's hard enough thinking about doing a film about a famous band, but even harder to do one on a band the mainstream world has never heard about.
That was one of the reasons I wanted to do that. I was first introduced to that band because Scott's girlfriend was the lead (head cheerleader) in my show "The Awesome 80s Prom". One night after the show she begged me, she said, "You've got to hear my boyfriend's band." I offered her a hundred dollars if I could not go! And she wouldn't take it. She begged and begged and begged and she got me there and I was blown away. It was not only the talent level on the stage and the music, but when they were done blowing the roof off of the joint, they packed up all of their gear, put it in the van, and got ready to go to the next town. I was just amazed by that.

I talked to them over a long time about doing stuff - even a musical at one point - and I realized the story I really wanted to tell about them was their own. Most bands have a shelf life of like a year and a half or two years, but for some reason that band just will not quit. They keep going and going and going. They're so passionate, love what they do so much, and they work so hard. They sleep in that van! And I did it with them in 100 degrees heat. It's a tough life, but they will not give up. And that's an amazing story.

Final question: you have had a great string of successes in the past few years. You also are very active in social media, often speak at seminars, and run a popular blog. Do you think the constant interaction helps you have more of a pulse on what people want? Has that played a role in your success?
I'd say this, I like to listen to people. I listened to that lawyer get excited and listened to other people talk about their garage bands. I know that's something that resonates with a lot of people. So I decided to create something that could galvanize that emotion within them. I just like to listen and social media and the web allows me to do that. I write a blog, but the most interesting thing about that blog is not what I say but the conversations. I get to listen and hear what people think about the theatre today. Listening makes you a better anything. And I think listening makes me a better producer and a better creator because I have an idea what's on top of their minds.