New Jersey Stage

Sunday, October 13, 2013

NJ Rep Presents "middlemen"

(Long Branch, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, is proud to announce the New Jersey Premiere of "middlemen", written by David Jenkins and directed by Marc Geller, on November 7 through December 8, 2013.

Ripped from the headlines, this highly topical play deals with the cynicism and corruption that has come to characterize our financial institutions and Wall Street. Amid the drone of industrial air conditioning and the buzz of fluorescent lights, middle manager Stan (Duncan Rogers) and fiscal analyst Michael (David Friedlander) toil away on an exhaustive annual report in their desolate sixty-floor office tower. One-by-one, their co-workers have mysteriously disappeared, but neither really seems to care about anything, except that no one bought milk for their break-room and one of them may have been responsible for the collapse of Bolivia.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm; Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; and Sundays at 2:00 pm November 7 - December 8. Special reduced price previews are on Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Saturday, November 9 at 3:00 pm. Opening night with reception is Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 pm.

Tickets are $40; Previews are $35; Opening night with reception is $50. Discounts are available for seniors (65+), students (full-time 13-25), 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. Follow NJ Rep on Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Tumblr.

Monmouth Arts Announces 2014 Local Arts Program Grants

(Red Bank, NJ) -- Monmouth Arts is pleased to announce their Local Arts Program Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2014.  These grants help Monmouth Arts meet its mission to enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts.  These grants to 28 local arts groups will result in over 2,000 high quality, low cost art events including art exhibitions, concerts, dance, theater, film and festivals throughout outh County. Twenty eight (28) groups submitted grants requesting a total of $392,301. The awarded grants totaled $91,000 including 8 mini-grants that will be awarded during the year.

Grants are awarded through a competitive process evaluated by a panel of arts experts with recommendations sent to the Monmouth Arts Board of Trustees for approval.   Applications were evaluated on the following criteria:  Artistic Excellence and Organizational Capacity: broad public benefit; accessibility to the public; commitment to life long learning in the arts; accountability (financial soundness with broad support).  Funds for these grants come through the Local Arts Program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The awards were presented at a networking meeting held at The Spring Lake Community House and Theatre on September 18th and included highlights from ArtHelps, Monmouth Arts' program bringing the healing power of the arts to communities hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

After losing their community mosaic mural to Hurricane Sandy, the Arts Society of Keyport is rebuilding the mosaic again on the water front of Keyport, NJ.  "We were given another chance through the help of Monmouth Arts and ArtHelps.  I dare any storm to do that again," said Arts Society of Keyport member Mary Ann McKay.  Monmouth Arts encourages everyone to visit to learn more about ArtHelps. 

The grants include General Operating Support (GOS) for arts organizations, General Program Support (GPS) for other types of non-profit organizations that have significant arts programs, Special Project Support (SP) for all types of non-profit organizations, Small Scale Arts Activity Grants (SSAA) and Mini-grants (MINI) for small and emerging groups.   For further information on the Local Arts Grant Program contact Mary Eileen Fouratt at or at 732-212-1890 ext. 2.

The programs of the Monmouth County Arts Council are made possible in part by funds from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the Monmouth County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

FY 2014 Grant Awards

Organization                              Type      Town                       Discipline        Grant Amount

ARC of Monmouth                       SP         Tinton Falls                Visual Arts                    1,000

Arcadian Chorale                        GOS       Matawan                    Choral music                3,100

Art Alliance of Mon. Cty.             GOS       Red Bank                    Visual Arts                   1,840

Atlantic Highlands Arts Cncl        GOS       Atlantic Highlands       Multi-disciplinary          1,800

Ballet Co Performing Arts Ens.     GOS       Red Bank                    Dance                          4,300

Belmar Arts Council                    GOS        Belmar                       Multi-disciplinary          1,900

Black Box of Asbury Park             SSAA      Asbury Park                Multi-disciplinary          1,000

Center Players                            GOS       Freehold                     Theatre                       6,190

Company of Dance Arts               GOS       Red Bank                    Dance                          6,500

Latino Coalition Foundation         SP          Freehold                    Multi-disciplinary          1,000

Derling Dance Arts                       SP         Red Bank                   Dance                           2,300

Downtown Concert Series             SP         Freehold                    Multi-disciplinary           1,000

Guild of Creative Art                   GOS       Shrewsbury                Visual Arts                    2,500

Heart of New Jersey Chorus         GOS       Hazlet                       Choral music                 1,300

Holmdel Theatre Company           GOS       Holmdel                     Theatre                        7,154        Jazz Arts Project                         GOS       Red Bank                   Music                           5,300

Liberty Oak Chorus                      SSAA      Freehold                    Choral Music                1,000

Middletown Arts Council               GOS       Middletown                Multi-disciplinary          4,250

Monmouth Civic Chorus                GOS       Red Bank                   Choral music              10,000
Monmouth County Historical Aso.  SP         Freehold                    Visual arts                    4,466

New Jersey Chamber Singers        GOS       Red Bank                   Choral music                1,150

New Jersey State Youth Orch.       SSAA      Red Bank                   Instrumental Music       1,000

Phoenix Productions                    GOS        Red Bank                   Theatre                       6,600

Premier Theatre Co.                    GOS        Asbury Park               Theatre                       5,500

Red Bank Rivercenter                   SP          Red Bank                    Multi-disciplinary         2,600

The Shrewsbury Chorale               SP          Shrewsbury                 Choral Music                1,250
Mini grants (8 awarded during 2014)   MINI       various                       various                       4,000

 TOTAL                                                                                                                     $ 91,000


(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present its popular fourth annual Something Wicked This Way Comes - a one-night-only event - on Monday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.   The event kicks off Halloween week and will be held at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. in Madison.  Tickets are $33 and can be purchased online at or by phone by calling the Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600.

Titled from a line in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a

90-minute delightfully bone-chilling evening, featuring esteemed actors from The Shakespeare Theatre company as well as guest artists.  "We are thrilled to present the fourth annual Something Wicked This Way Comes. Audiences can expect with a brand new line-up of classic ghost stories and tales of horror," said Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte.

Directed by Brian B. Crowe, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a ghoulish collage of dramatic readings from the classic canon of the macabre including Shakespeare, Poe, Stoker, and Lovecraft. "The stories come alive in front of an audience. We combine talented storytelling and haunting music to create a wonderfully spooky atmosphere," says Crowe.

Composer, musician, and one of the world's foremost theremin players, John Hoge, will provide the music for this unique evening.  The theremin was one of the very first electronic instruments, and was invented in Russia in the early 1900s by Lev Termen.   It is the only musical instrument played without physical contact. The theremin was "discovered" by film composers in the first half of the 20th century, and its sound became an iconic signature of such scores as Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still.  It was eventually heard in hundreds of B movies.  Now enjoying a resurgence in popularity, the theremin is used by rock bands and on the symphonic concert stage. 

Hoge has performed with the New York Theremin Society and is the editor of  He can be heard on Spellbound, the internet radio theremin show.  He has played the theremin on stage in Looking for Limbo - part of the American Living Room Festival 2006 - and Theremin in the New York Fringe Festival 2007. He has composed music and worked as sound designer for various theatres including The Public Theatre NYC, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Indiana Repertory Theater.  For many years he worked as an organist and conductor in New York City churches.

Tickets for Something Wicked This Way Comes are $33 and are now on sale.  To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit    Something Wicked This Way Comes will be performed at the F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road) in Madison.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company whose Main Stage is 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 largest 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.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey'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, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F. M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Drew University, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals.  The 2013 Outdoor Stage production of As You Like It is sponsored by Bank of America.


(PRINCETON, NJ) -- With live music and beautiful visual metaphors, Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman brings her staging of this fantastical transcendent romance to life on the Matthews stage of McCarter Theatre.

Tony Award-winning director and playwright Mary Zimmerman will transform the Matthews stage of McCarter Theatre Center with her sublime theater magic with her production of The White Snake, based by the classic Chinese fable. This electrifying, radiant, and delightful play will run October 15 through November 3.

The White Snake is an ancient Chinese story—girl meets boy and falls head over heels. The only problem is that the girl is a white serpent from the spirit world, and to win her love's heart she must come down from the mountain and take human form. Full of heart, this elegant and dazzling production promises an adventure for audiences of all ages, and is a love story like you've never seen before.

McCarter Theatre Artistic Director Emily Mann places Mary Zimmerman among the top theater creators working in America. As a director and adaptor, her work has been seen at McCarter previously with The Odyssey, Secret in the Wings, and Argonautika. "Mary is a visionary, adapting ancient myths and fairy tales from around the world into new theatrical masterpieces. Her work is always inventive, sublime, and revelatory, and it has been a joy to share it with you over the years. The White Snake is possibly my favorite of all of her wonderful projects, and I hope McCarter's audiences will enjoy it immensely," says Ms. Mann. 

The cast includes Matt DeCaro, Emily Sophia Knapp, Vin Kridakorn, Tanya McBride, Jon Norman Schneider, Eliza Shin, Lisa Tejero, Kristin Villanueva, Amy Kim Waschke, Gary Wingert, and Wai Yim. The ensemble also includes three musicians: Tessa Brinckman (flutes), Ronnie Malley (strings and percussion), and Michal Palzewicz (cello).

The White Snake features a creative team renowned for helping Ms. Zimmerman create magic on stage: Daniel Ostling (scenic design); Mara Blumenfeld (costume design); T.J. Gerckens (lighting design); Andre Pluess (original music and sound design); and Shawn Sagady (projection design).  

Tickets,  starting as low as $20, are available online at, by phone 609.258.2787 or at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, 91 University Place in Princeton.

About Mary Zimmerman
Mary Zimmerman's Broadway credits include her Tony Award-winning production of  Metamorphoses. Her other works include Arabian Nights, The Odyssey, Argonautika, and The Secret in the Wings (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Candide, Journey to the West, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Mirror of the Invisible World, Silk, Galileo Galilei, an opera with Phillip Glass (Goodman Theatre); Eleven Rooms of Proust (About Face Theatre, Lookingglass, Goodman). These shows have been subsequently produced at such theaters as the BAM, Second Stage, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, McCarter, Huntington, Mark Taper Forum, and Seattle Rep. Other credits: Pericles, All's Well That Ends Well (Goodman); Henry VIII, Measure for Measure (New York Theatre Festival's Shakespeare in the Park); The White Snake (Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley RepSF). Metropolitan Opera: Lucia Di Lammermoor, La Sonnambula, Armida. She is the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Fellowship, and is a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. She is currently working on Disney's The Jungle Book (Goodman, Huntington). Upcoming: Lucia di Lammermoor  at La Scala.


Tuesday           October 15      7:30 pm         

Wednesday     October 16      7:30 pm         

Thursday         October 17      7:30 pm         

Friday              October 18      8:00 pm (Opening Night)      

Saturday          October 19      3:00 pm         

Saturday          October 19      8:00 pm

Sunday            October 20      2:00 pm         

Thursday         October 24      7:30 pm         

Friday              October 25      8:00 pm         

Saturday          October 26      3:00 pm         

Saturday          October 26      8:00 pm         

Sunday            October 27      2:00 pm         

Thursday         October 31      7:30 pm         

Friday              November 1    8:00 pm         

Saturday          November 2    3:00 pm         

Saturday          November 2    8:00 pm

Sunday            November 3    2:00 pm         

Mason Gross Extension Division presents FREE series of visual arts workshops for children

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- The first of the Mason Gross School of the Arts' Visual Arts Workshops for children in grades 3 through 8 at the Henry Guest House of the New Brunswick Free Public Library will take place 1-3 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013. The event is free and co-sponsored by New Brunswick Free Public Library and Community Perspectives, a Rutgers University student organization whose mission is to more fully engage the school's resources with the area community. This is the first of four workshops happening throughout the school year.

The first workshop of the school year, Día de los Muertos Altars,  is led by Extension Division Visual Arts Department Chairperson Brian Bulfer. The workshop offers children the opportunity to sculpt and decorate dolls, commemorative clay skulls, and other traditional offerings for a group ofrenda (offering) installation dedicated to Latino civil rights leaders who have died.

More information is available by emailing or by calling 732-932-8618. All workshops take place at the historic Henry Guest House at the New Brunswick Public Library, 58 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick.

Upcoming workshops at the Henry Guest House are as follows:

Día de los Muertos Altars
October 26, 2013, 1-3 p.m.

Sculpt and decorate offerings honoring Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Participants are encouraged to explore the experience of personal loss when making their creations.  All images and objects made will be included in a single alter to conclude the workshop.

Native American Sand Painting
November 23, 2013 1-3 p.m.

Help create a piece of the puzzle as we design a Native American-style mandala out of sand, leaves, and other materials.  Personal designs will be joined to make a single image at the end of the workshop.

Holi Color Celebration
March 15, 2014, 1-3 p.m.

Through paint and collage, artists will explore basic color relationships such as primaries, secondaries, complements, value, and saturation.  Multicultural patterns and color symbolism will become the subject for abstract compositions.

Dream Kite Making
May 3, 2014, 1-3 p.m.

Students will create an inspiring vision and/or dream for the future on a personal kite they will build and fly at the end of the workshop.

State Theatre presents Irish Chamber Orchestra

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents the Irish Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 3pm. Led by Conductor JoAnn Falletta and featuring flutists Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway, the program includes Harty's In Ireland, Mozart's Flute Concerto in D major, Hammond's Carolan Variations, and Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56. Tickets range from $35-70.

In addition to the performance, there will be a pre-performance cocktail reception and post-performance dinner and silent auction, both held at the Heldrich Hotel as part of the Annual Classical Season Celebration. Tickets for the celebration cost $250 and include the pre-performance cocktail reception, a premium orchestra seat for the performance, and the post-performance dinner and silent auction. Sponsorship opportunities and upgrades from concert-only tickets to Celebration tickets are available. For more information about the Classical Season Celebration and how you can support this event, please contact Alisson Canavera at 732-247-7200, ext. 543 or

Irish Chamber Orchestra
The Irish Chamber Orchestra is a world class orchestra based in Ireland, renowned for its energy, unique sound, and outstanding musicianship. Following a succession of illustrious artistic directors including Fionnuala Hunt, Nicholas McGegan, and Anthony Marwood, the orchestra has taken a new approach, appointing two artistic partners who are taking the orchestra on a musical voyage of discovery over the coming years. Working with the celebrated Hungarian maestro Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and one of Germany's finest composers and virtuoso clarinetists, Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner), the Irish Chamber Orchestra strengthens its position as a force to be reckoned with on the international music scene.

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
JoAnn Falletta is internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader. An effervescent and exuberant figure on the podium, she has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "one of the finest conductors of her generation." Falletta serves as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center.

Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world's finest symphony orchestras. This year, she will make return engagements with the Krakow Philharmonic in Poland and the Goettingen Symphony in Germany, and debuts with the Czech Philharmonic and Croatia National Philharmonic. In November 2013, she will lead the Irish Chamber Orchestra in a U.S. tour with flute soloist, Sir James Galway. She is the first American and the first woman to lead the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Sir James Galway, flute
Regarded as both the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire and a consummate entertainer, Sir James Galway is a modern musical master. Sir Galway has held orchestral positions with the Sadlers Wells & Royal Covent Garden Operas, the BBC Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. He launched his solo career in 1975 and since then has performed both classical and modern repertoire with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world. Sir Galway has commissioned various new works for the flute, as well as publishing articles and books and releasing over 65 CD's. His many honors and awards include the Recording Academy's President's Merit Award, the Classic Brits Lifetime Achievement Award, numerous gold and platinum albums, and an induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. He has been honored twice by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with The OBE in 1979 and again in 2001 with a Knighthood for his services to music.

Lady Jeanne Galway, flute
One of the leading female flute soloists of the decade, Lady Galway has regularly performed with her trio, Zephyr, and actively teaches through her Galway Junior Network and International Flute School in addition to her successful career as a soloist. She has performed for the Empress of Japan, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Queen of Norway, the Queen of Spain, and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

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 to 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.

Two River Theater Presents "A Map of the Soul: The Tricky Part and All the Rage"

(RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2013-2014 Season with The Tricky Part and All the Rage, two plays written and performed in repertory by Martin Moran and directed by Seth Barrish under the umbrella title A Map of the Soul. Two River's performance calendar includes days when both 80-minute performances can be seen as a single theatrical event, with a break between performances. The two shows can also be seen independently from each other, in any order. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or  Performances run fromSaturday, October 26 to Sunday, November 17, 2013 in the Rechnitz Theater.

The Tricky Part is the story of a boy who was forced to grow up too quickly—and the man he became, whose journey to forgiveness takes him to the heart of a paradox: what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace. The Tricky Part tells the true story of the sexual relationship Moran had with an older man, a counselor he met at a Catholic boys' camp, between the ages of 12 and 15. Now an established New York actor (Monty Python's Spamalot, Floyd Collins), Moran won an Obie Award and two Drama Desk nominations, including one for Best Play, for the original 2004 production of The Tricky Part. His memoir of the same title (published by Random House, Anchor Books) won numerous honors including a Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and a Lambda Literary Award.

All the Rage, Moran's 2013 solo performance, was written in part in response to a question he encountered while performing The Tricky Part: why wasn't he angrier about what happened to him as a boy? The question inspires a quest that takes him from Manhattan to west of the Rockies and south of Johannesburg. The people he encounters along the way—his estranged stepmother, a guide who can't read maps, and an African refugee seeking asylum in the US—underlie the distance between anger and compassion. All the Rage received the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding Solo Show.

To encourage conversation and engagement with the themes and ideas of A Map of the Soul, Two River is hosting post-play conversations following every performance, moderated by a member of the theater's Artistic staff and featuring Moran and other guest speakers at occasional performances.

Moran is performing The Tricky Part and All the Rage in repertory for the first time with Two River's production of A Map of the Soul. As an actor, his Broadway and Off-Broadway performances include Cabaret, Titanic, and John Guare's Three Kinds of Exile (Atlantic Theater Company). His film and television work includes guest appearances on The Newsroom and The Big C. He wrote the book and lyrics for the 2012 "Inner Voices" solo musical, Borrowed Dust, with composer Joseph Thalken. He is at work on his next book, Analphabet, and is writing a new play as a commission for Two River.

Director Seth Barrish directed the original New York productions of The Tricky Part and All the Rage. His other credits include Mike Birbiglia's award-winning shows My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show) and Sleepwalk With Me (Nightlife Award for Outstanding Comedian in a Major Performance), which he also co-directed as a feature film. He directed Waiting for Godot at Two River Theater in 2006. He is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of New York's The Barrow Group.

The creative team for A Map of the Soul includes scenic designer Mark Wendland and co-scenic designer Warren Karp; lighting designer Russell Champa; sound designer Leon Rothenberg; and projection designer Bart Cortright. The stage manager is Kate Crossdale.

"The Tricky Part and All the Rage are two very personal and ultimately universal plays about redemption, forgiveness, and the challenge of empathy," says Artistic Director John Dias. "Two River Theater helped Marty develop All the Rage through a series of readings prior to its premiere in New York last season; we are now the first theater in the country to present these two plays as one continuing story. By presenting them in repertory, we are giving our audiences the opportunity to see these two remarkable plays in conversation with each other." 

Inside Two River
"Inside Two River" is a new series of events that are free and open to the public—including open rehearsals, film screenings, literary chats, panel discussions, and more—curated for each of Two River's productions throughout the season.

Text in Context: With A Map of the Soul, Two River will launch Text in Context, a new book club that will be led throughout the season by Literary Manager Anika Chapin. Moran will participate in a discussion of his memoir, The Tricky Part, on Sunday, November 10 at 5pm in Two River's Mastrobuono Library.

Guest Speakers: Two River Theater will host guest speakers during its scheduled post-play discussions throughout the run of A Map of the Soul. Dr. Christine Hatchard, a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at Monmouth University, will speak following the 3pm performance of The Tricky Part and 7pm performance of All the Rage on Sunday, November 3, Dr. Hatchard received Monmouth University's 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero award her work on behalf of survivors of abuse. Additional guests will be announced at a later date.

Ticket Information
Patrons who purchase tickets to both The Tricky Part and All the Rage received a 20% discount.

Ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $24 and include the best available seats at every performance. All prices are subject to change. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

The Tricky Part and All the Rage contain include adult themes and sexual content.

Two River Theater is fully wheelchair accessible and offers assisted-listening devices and large-print programs at every performance.  Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater's front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13 at 1pm; an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, November 17 at 3pm. Tickets to these performances are offered at the discounted rate of $15 for patrons needing these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets audio-described or open-captioned performance, patrons should call 732.345.1400.

Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts Announces Emerging Choreographers Competition and Showcase

(LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ) -- Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts invites emerging choreographers for ballet and contemporary dance to participate in a new Emerging Choreographers Competition and Showcase that will be held at Rider University during the 2013-2014 season.

The competition is open to any emerging choreographer who is a United States citizen or resident. There is no age limit, but he/she should be in the early stages of his/her professional career.   Choreographers interested in participating should submit a six-minute video of a work set on a minimum of three dancers.   Videos will be reviewed by a four-person panel that includes legendary dancer Edward Villella.

Semi-finalists, who will be selected from the video submissions, will be invited to perform their works in person for the panel at Rider University on Saturday, January 18, 2014.  The panel will select five finalists, who will perform their completed works in a showcase on Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Theater on the Rider University campus in Lawrenceville, N.J.

The competition panelists reviewing the submissions are Edward Villella, legendary dancer and artistic director; Douglas Martin, artistic director of American Repertory Ballet; Kimberly Chandler Vaccaro, professor of Dance at Rider University; and Kerry Gallagher Rowan, master teacher of the American Dance Legacy Institute.

"The Emerging Choreographers' Competition and Showcase gives aspiring dance-makers a platform to develop their artistic voices as well as an opportunity to present and develop an audience for their work," says Robert L. Annis, dean and director of Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts.  "We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to these emerging artists."

Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts educates and trains aspiring

performers, artists, teachers and students with artistic interests to pursue professional, scholarly and lifelong personal opportunities in art, dance, music and theater.  The College consists of three divisions: Westminster Choir College, the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Westminster Conservatory, a community music school.  It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, a four-year performance-oriented program that includes courses in dance history, movement theory, choreography and pedagogy.

To learn more about this program and for submission information go to or contact or call 609-896-7725.

Marshall Crenshaw & the Bottle Rockets Will Smoke the Stage at The Newton Theatre

(Newton, NJ) -- The quirky Marshall Crenshaw & the Bottle Rockets will perform at the Newton Theatre on Saturday, February 1st, 2014.  

Over 25 years since breaking through to critical and commercial acclaim with his 1982 self-titled debut and its infectious, era- defining pop hit Someday, Someway, Marshall Crenshaw creates an incredible new chapter in his career with his 429 Records debut Jaggedland. Crenshaw's first studio recording in more than six years is his most musically dynamic and lyrically intimate collection yet. Classic Crenshaw attributes including an indelible sense of melody and tuneful essence combine to create a rich warmth and intimacy on every song of Jaggedland. The recording has a powerful vibe of immediacy thanks to Crenshaw's warm vocals and riveting guitar work.

The album title Jaggedland is a term Crenshaw says best describes the current state of his brain and consciousness. The 12 songs are musical observations about the human experience, mortality, the state of the world and of course, love as viewed through the inimitable Crenshaw perspective. "As things went along, I started to feel like the material was taking on some unexpected dimensions and it dawned on me that I still have such a huge appreciation and respect for records as an art form--and a deep love for the power of songs and music. Even at this late stage of the game, with so many years and recordings behind me, I felt compelled to step up and reach as deep into myself as I could. That renewed sense of passion and commitment is the driving force behind the songs on Jaggedland, which I truly believe are some of my best ever."

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Crenshaw began playing guitar at age ten and he received his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway company of Beatlemania. In 1987, he played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic "La Bamba."

Living in NYC, he recorded the single Something's Gonna Happen, which led to a deal with Warner Bros. His debut album, Marshall Crenshaw, was acclaimed as a pop masterpiece upon its release in 1982 and established him as a first-rate songwriter, singer and guitarist. The record spawned the Top 40 single Someday, Someway. Crenshaw's second album, 1983's Field Day, was another critical smash and led to a successful slate of 20-plus years of studio recordings that offered a fascinating evolutionary journey through an array of musical landscapes.

A quote from Trouser Press sums up Marshall Crenshaw's early career: "Although he was seen as a latter-day Buddy Holly at the outset, he soon proved too talented and original to be anyone but himself." All Music Guide captured Crenshaw's vibe perfectly: "He writes songs that are melodic, hooky and emotionally true, and he sings and plays them with an honesty and force that still finds room for humor without venom."

Crenshaw ventured once again into the film world, co-penning the title track to the hilarious, critically acclaimed John C. Reilly film "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"; the track was nominated for a 2008 Golden Globe and a 2008 Grammy Award.

Over the last few years, Crenshaw has played 40 - 50 shows a year on what he dubs "the NPR singer-songwriter circuit." Says Crenshaw, "When people ask me why I keep making music after all these years, I have a simple answer: because I have to. For lack of a more colorful term, there is truly something magical to it and I never take it for granted."

The Bottle Rockets dubbed themselves "the best band on the planet". Their new album, Lean Forward, is suffused with the determination and resilience of their distinctly midwestern roots; theirs is a celebration of pragmatism and tempered optimism, not the delusions and exhortations of glassy eyed zealots—they aren't going to fall for that. Oh, it's a flat out, smoking rock record, too.

Tickets for Marshall Crenshaw & the Bottle Rockets are $32.00 for Premium seating, $27.00 for the Orchestra and $22.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, October 11th 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    


(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Real Friends will be performing at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on Saturday, November 9th along with Mixtapes, Forever Came Calling, Pentimento, Batten Down The Hatches, and Cross Town Train.

Real Friends is an emo/pop punk band from Chicago, IL. They have rapidly become one of the biggest unsigned bands in the genre.With their "do it yourself" attitude, they have gained the respect of bands and fans all over the map. Real Friends continues to grow in popularity daily with their hard work, relatable lyrics, energetic music, and dedicated fan base. The band self-released their new E.P. Put Yourself Back Together back in June, and recently put out a music video for their song "Late Nights In My Car."

Mixtapes is a pop punk band from Cincinnati, OH. The band released their album Ordinary Silence on No Sleep Records this past June to positive reviews.

Forever Came Calling is a pop punk band from Twentynine Palms, CA. The band released their debut album Contender last year on Pure Noise Records. The band was also featured in the VANS Warped Tour documentary No Room For Rock Stars.

Pentimento is a punk rock quartet from Buffalo, N.Y. Pentimento released in late 2012 its debut full-length album, aself-titled record that was released independently for free on theInternet. Supporters of the band came out in full force, generouslydonating to the band to help it pay for its recording budget.

New Jersey acts Batten Down The Hatches and Cross Town Train are also on the bill.

Tickets for the event are $13 (Advance) $15 (Day of Show). 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


by Gary Wien

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Whether you thought the eighties were awesome or not, you're bound to have an awesome time at "Getting the Band Back Together". Based on what I saw, the season opener for George Street Playhouse will not only be a major hit locally, but will very likely shoot up the road and be a hit on Broadway for the next few years. More of a comedy than a straight musical, it's the type of play that has universal appeal; it's got wonderful music, is very funny, and puts forth the optimistic mantra that it's never too late to follow your dreams. It has just the right amount of campiness, hilarity, and sentimentality; and the music is pretty good too!

The world premiere musical opens George Street's 40th anniversary season. The play begins with a birthday celebration at the office for Mitch Martino, a former musician turned investment banker on Wall Street. As he holds up a cupcake with a lit candle in it, he quietly sings:

"Happy Birthday... Happy Birthday Mitch
Turning 40... Ain't that a bitch"

In a matter of moments he's fired from his job and forced to return home to live with his mother in Sayreville, New Jersey. The raucous musical number "Jersey!" (which features the chorus "In Jersey... Hell Yeah!") follows him on his ride via the Garden State Parkway to what he imagines will be his own private hell. The song sets up one of the major themes of the play his hometown may be a great place to live, but it's not New York. In fact, the song pokes fun at the Garden State by describing New Jersey as "otherwise known as New York, Plan B" a line that will play well to New York audiences.

We then flash forward to his childhood rival Tygen Billows, the lead singer in Mouthfeel, a band beaten by The Juggernauts (led by Mitch) in the first ever Battle of the Bands competition in Sayreville. While Mitch gave up music for a career, Bart soldiered on, winning the next 20 Battle of the Bands trophies, touring as the opener for Ratt, and earning enough money from a television jingle to buy half of the properties in town. As he stares at his Battle of the Bands trophy case, he knows he wants the one that's missing... and one he believes should have been his all along.

It doesn't take long for Mitch to run into his childhood friend and neighbor (Bart Vickers), his high school girlfriend (Dani Franco), and Tygen Billows. Mitch originally shrugs off Bart's suggestion that they get the old band back together, but a foreclosure notice on his mother's house forces him to rethink the idea. He winds up making a deal with Tygen: if the Juggernauts win at the Battle of the Bands, Tygen agrees to stop the foreclosures and if Tygen wins he'll get the trophy he's long sought.

Of course, there's just one little problem... Tygen's band has been playing and practicing every day for years and Mitch doesn't even have a band yet. So, Mitch and Bart try to convince (and sometimes blackmail) their old bandmates to get on board. One is a policeman trying to pass the detective test (although he hates the job), another is a math teacher (who sucks at math and hates his job), and another is a dermatologist (who basically hates his job). Mitch learns that the final member, Kenny (as in "they killed Kenny...") passed away a few years ago while playing in a Meatloaf tribute band called Anything For Loaf.

Mitch recalls how the last time he saw Kenny was at his father's funeral. Kenny was broke, had no job, and was driving around with all of his music gear in a Dodge Caravan.
"I remember thinking, I have a 401K, health insurance... why am I jealous of this guy?" said Mitch as the guys launched into "Kenny's Hymn" -- a wonderful ode to an old friend, and one of the best songs of the show.

Bart recruits Ricky Bling, one of his math students, to replace Kenny after auditions reveal that America is apparently lacking for talent. Bling looks like he would be better suited for a hip hop group and wants no part of hanging with guys twice his age, but can play guitar like a prodigy and the band eagerly accepts him.

"Getting the Band Back Together" has a bit of everything for the 80s fan. There are musical numbers which sound like songs you would have heard on the radio in the 80s, scenes that look like MTV videos with lighting and slow-mo effects, Rocky-like montages, a hilarious first gig for the band, a dramatic reading of "Jessie's Girl" and even plot twists which involve Mitch's mom and her days a groupie (she prefers the term "traveling rock enthusiast") with a famous musician and her return to the dating world with a surprising new beau.

"Jersey!", "Kenny's Hymn", "Ride On, Cowboy", "Bart's Confession", and "Power Tool" were my favorite songs. The music is mostly comedic in nature, but features strong melodies. You may not remember entire songs afterwards, but the choruses will stick with you and keep the laughs coming.

Throughout the play, we're treated to amazing performances by the entire cast but especially Brandon Williams who steals scene after scene as the "arch nemesis" of Mitch. Jay Klaitz is wonderful as Mitch's old friend and neighbor. Alison Fraser is simply amazing as Sharon Martino, playing Mitch's mother with a scratchy, northern New Jersey-like voice and a look as if she's aiming for a reality show of her own. Of course, Mitchell Jarvis holds everything together as Mitch. He does a great job of portraying a man who thought he abandoned childish dreams, but learned that sometimes we all need a little kid inside of us.
Written by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with music and lyrics by Mark Allen, "Getting the Band Back Together" is really about keeping dreams close to one's heart. As Mitch learns, you're never too old for a do-over.

"Getting the Band Back Together" runs now through October 27th at George Street Playhouse (9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ). The play is performed in two acts with a 15-minute intermission. It features adult humor and is probably best suited for ages 14 or 15 and up. Think of the humor as if it's of the South Park variety...

                                            All photos by T. Charles Erickson



(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will hold its Costume, Prop, and Scenery Sale on Sunday, October 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Theatre's production facility at 3 Vreeland Road in Florham Park. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. sharp. Admission and parking is free. 

This popular annual sale will feature one-of-a-kind items from the Theatre's prop, costume, and scenery stock and is a must-go event for those seeking costumes and unusual items for the Halloween season or for school productions. From gowns to masks, to decorative and furniture items, to scenic elements, to fabric remnants, there is sure to be something for everyone from bargain hunters to quilters to drama teachers. All items are priced to sell.
For more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit . The sale will be held at the Theatre's administration/production facility, 3 Vreeland Road, Florham Park. 

All proceeds from the sale benefit The Shakespeare Theatre's artistic and educational programs. As a not-for-profit regional theatre, only 58% of the annual cost to produce The Shakespeare Theatre's season of productions and educational programs is earned through ticket sales. The company relies on contributions from corporate, foundation, and government sources and donations from individuals to maintain its Main Stage, Outdoor Stage and educational programming. Only with such support can The Shakespeare Theatre continue its high-impact initiatives such as Shakespeare LIVE! which brings Shakespeare and other classic works to schools throughout the mid-Atlantic region; the Student Matinee Series which offers middle and high-school students and teachers the opportunity to attend school-time performances of Main Stage productions; and the Summer Professional Training Program which offers young actors, designers, technicians, and administrators hands-on professional training.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company whose Main Stage is 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 largest 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.


(BERGEN, NJ) -- Aaron Neville celebrates his critically acclaimed new solo album My True Story with a second leg of his U.S. tour dates and covering much of the country through December. Joining Neville and his five-piece band will be brother Charles on saxophone supporting the iconic R&B vocalist and multiple Grammy Award winner as he revisits some of his favorite classics from the doo-wop era, adding a few new spins along the way. On Saturday, November 16, 2013, Neville makes a stop locally at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

Released in January on Blue Note Records, My True Story, was co-produced by Blue Note Records president Don Was and Rolling Stone Keith Richards, who contributes guitar work throughout. (Watch EPK here). From heart-tugging ballads as "Ting A Ling," and "Tears on My Pillow" to upbeat numbers as "Money Honey," "Be My Baby" and "Work With Me Annie," and the bittersweet Jive Five chestnut that provides the album's title, My True Story is one of the most personal projects that Neville has ever undertaken. Renewing his collaboration with Richards in concert, Neville joined the Rolling Stones on stage recently for a rendition of the albums "Under the Boardwalk."

The stellar collection has earned the singer not only his first Top 10 album and highest-charting set of his five-decade career, (No. 7 on Billboards Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart) but also some of his best reviews. People magazine noted that "if ever there was an album that Aaron Neville was born to make, its this collection of doo-wop classics," while Rolling Stone said, "Welcome back to the sweetest falsetto in human history" and called Neville "a true soul master at work." 

A busy spring found Neville with a May cover article in Keyboard Magazine the same month the DVD of his star-studded PBS concert special was released, with appearances at such prestigious festivals as the Tri-C Jazz Fest in Cleveland and the Houston International Festival, as well as perfoming in the closing spot at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Additionally, Neville was presented the honor of featured artist on the 2013 official JazzFest poster, affirming his status of Crescent City musical royalty.

Joining the positive press for the album have been exceptional concert reviews, with the Birmingham News reporting, "Neville has a knack for making old songs sound fresh and new," while the Houston Press said, " a horde of listeners had gathered to hear and see the legend for themselves, getting everyone to snap their fingers and dance along If Sunday's performance was any indication, Neville's still got soul to spare, and he won't be slowing down anytime soon."

Aaron Nevilles remarkable career has seen him move seamlessly between his solo work and his role in the first family of New Orleans music, the Neville Brothers. Beginning in 1967 with his first Number One single, the immortal R&B/pop crossover "Tell It Like It Is," Neville has built an influential body of work over the past five decades encompassing more than a dozen solo albums ranging from R&B to gospel to pop standards, including his Grammy-winning triple-platinum 1989 collaboration with Linda Ronstadt Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, and another dozen releases with the Neville Brothers. With My True Story, the follow-up to 2010s highly praised gospel album I Know I've Been Changed, Neville has returned to his place among musics greatest.


(Rutherford, NJ) -- A stellar cast of musicians including Grammy Nominee, multi IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award winner Tony Trischka, finger style guitar virtuoso Toby Walker, JAM (Jersey Acoustic Music) award winner for "Top Female Songwriter of the Year" Loretta Hagen and more are coming together to help raise funds for the medical needs of Baby Logan. 

Logan was born ten weeks early with EA "Esophogeal Atresia," which has caused a series of complications ranging from life threatening to severe chronic lung disease. The Love For Logan Benefit Concert will be held Sunday, October 27, at the Rutherford Congregational Church, 251 Union Avenue, Rutherford, NJ with concert beginning at 5:30pm.

"Logan has two rare congenital disorders, the most critical of which is called an "Esophageal Atresia" or "EA". A series of surgeries and a need to constantly maintain and protect Logan's ability to breath has kept Logan and his parents Dave and Lisa Meredith of Wood-Ridge, NJ stranded in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) for the past 11 months and counting.

After five months, when Logan was large enough, surgeons pulled the esophagus together and attached the two ends. The connection was tight and never really healed like it should, causing a stricturing (closing) of the repair site. This causes several complications, which include a pooling of secretions that spill into his airway and lungs. He literally is drowning on his own saliva.

Since the surgery they have been performing weekly dilation procedures that stretch open the site with hopes that it will eventually remain open enough to allow swallowing and as normal a function as possible. This plan has, unfortunately, not been working out and the surgeons are now planning a change of course. One primary option is to redo the entire operation once he is bigger with more healthy esophageal tissue to work with. Most children with this condition are home within weeks. That's what Dave and Lisa expected when this started 11 months ago, but life had other plans. Now, livelihoods on hold, they are with Logan constantly in the NICU, as his daily struggle continues. And as much as he struggles, Logan still has no shortage of smiles!"

This special event will feature performances by the some of NJ's best musicians who graciously stepped forward to help Logan.

Grammy nominee and multi IBMA award winner Tony Trischka, is perhaps one of the most influential banjo players in the roots music world, and for more than 35 years has inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. The New York Times calls Tony Trischka "the Godfather of new acoustic music." 

Internationally and nationally acclaimed Toby Walker has been hailed as a roots music finger-style guitar virtuoso while the London Sunday Times calls him "an acoustic gem."
Loretta Hagen JAM (Jersey Acoustic Music) award winner for Top Female Songwriter of the Year delivers rich alto vocals, award winning lyrics and tightly woven harmonies. Her current album "Mud and Stone" remained #1 for NJ on the Roots Music Report. WFUV's John Platt says "Loretta Hagen writes songs that sound like they can come from the Heartland, but they also really come from the heart." Loretta is Logan's Aunt and one of the organizers of the concert, saying, "It is so amazing and beautiful how people reach out to help in any way they can when there is a need. I'm so grateful for the generosity of friends and family, even those who don't know Logan but have heard of his struggles who want to help. When asked to perform at the show, these wonderful artists responded with "absolutely, just tell us when and where!"

Performances will also include Dogs Like Us an "almost" acoustic string band with Joe Rosolyn, lifelong friend of Logan's parents, Wood-Ridge natives Dave and Lisa Meredith. Kyle Hancharick a young, up and coming gifted singer-songwriter from West Milford and John Dull who has been a contributing member to the folk music community for 30+ years will also appear. Dull, well known in the Rutherford community, has worked and performed with many of the prime mentors of the folk genre, including Pete Seeger.

The night is sponsored by businesses from all over the country including RE/MAX Whitehouse, Boiling Springs Bank, Listen Live! Music, Bearfort Recording and Sound, c3 Premedia, Trespass Music and emceed by "Joltin" Joe Pszonek host of Radio Nowhere at WMSC in Montclair and Michelle Fortier. Doors will open at 4:30pm, and concert will begin at 5:30pm. Tickets, which includes the concert, appetizers, light fare and non alcoholic beverages are $25 per person and can be purchased at Steve's Stamp and Coin, 2 Franklin Place, Rutherford, or online at and at the door at Rutherford Congregational Church the evening of the concert. For donation and sponsor information please visit or contact


(NEW JERSEY) -- While performing in Cranford and Maplewood, The Theater Project has been encouraging young writers from around the state through its annual Young Playwrights Competition. Past winners have gone on to pursue degrees in theater and playwriting, and they often return to The Theater Project to present prizes and share their journeys with the newest honorees.

And having run the competition successfully for the last dozen years, The Theater Project has decided to reach out to young movie enthusiasts as well in a Young Filmmakers Competition.

The two separate competitions will begin accepting entries in January 2014, and winners will be recognized in ceremonies in March (Young Playwrights) and April (Young Filmmakers).

"In tough economic times, the arts sometimes get short shrift as people struggle to make ends meet and schools see their budgets shrink," says Theater Project producer Daaimah Talley. "But when kids lose out on arts experiences, they miss opportunities to develop critical thinking and reading skills that are needed now more than ever - we want to make sure that kids know how important their creative endeavors are by showcasing them in front of the community." Winners and runners-up will see their work presented to an audience and receive prizes in addition to recognition.

"Putting words and images together in a meaningful way is not only about communication, but also teaches the critical thinking skills so necessary to success in education and the workplace," says Theater Project artistic director Mark Spina.

The competitions were inspired by a generous donation from Linden resident Bill Mesce, Jr., an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, whose recent short story collection, PRECIS, was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press. He is also the author of OVERKILL:THE RISE AND FALL OF THRILLER CINEMA, and writes regularly about film and television for the award-winning website, Sound on Sight. Mesce says of the competition: "It is not only impressive but inspiring to see how young people apply themselves to an art form, given the opportunity."

The Young Playwrights Competition is coordinated by Kevin Carver of Hillsborough; Young Filmmakers by Will Budnikov of Woodbridge. Competition guidelines are available at .


(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre has added two performances to the 2013-14 line-up. The added performances are The Beach Boys Christmas on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 8pm and The Oak Ridge Boys Boys Night Out on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 8pm. 

The Beach Boys Christmas
Tue, December 17, 2013 at 8pm

For more than three decades, The Beach Boys have been one of Americas most beloved groups with a ton of hits including "Surfin USA," "Kokomo," "Help Me Rhonda," "I Get Around," "California Girls," and "Wouldnt It Be Nice." Now, this Christmas the Boys are back with an evening of their most famous hits and some Christmas favorites including "Little Saint Nick."

Line-up includes Mike Love (lead vocals), Bruce Johnston (keys, vocals), John Cowsill (drums, vocals), Tim Bonhomme (keys), Randell Kirsch (bass, vocals), Scott Totten (guitars, vocals), and Christian Love (guitars, vocals).
Tickets: $35-85

The Oak Ridge Boys
Boys Night Out
Thu, March 13, 2014 at 8pm

See the Grammy Award-winning group The Oak Ridge Boys sing their greatest hits including "Elvira," "Bobbie Sue," "Dream On," and "American Made." The groups distinctive four-part harmonies and their roots in gospel, rock and roll, blues, and country have earned them 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album with a double platinum single.

The men who make up the Oak Ridge BoysJoe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterbancomprise one of the most successful touring groups and present around 150 shows per year. With their ever-evolving music and fine-tuned shows, The Oak Ridge Boys have stood the test of time after 40 years of performing to sold-out venues across the country.
Tickets: $35-65

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 to 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 peoples 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 Theatres 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.


(Newton, NJ) -- Kenny Vance & the Planotones will perform at the Newton Theatre on Saturday, January 18th, 2014. Growing up in New York, Kenny Vance was captivated by the magic of rock 'n' roll. At 15, he was hanging around the Brill Building meeting other singers and songwriters, and eventually formed the successful group Jay and The Americans. They went on to record 15 albums and tour extensively, opening for the Beatles' and Rolling Stones' first U.S. Appearances.

Kenny remained with Jay and The Americans throughout their entire 11-year career. In the years that followed, Kenny launched an expansive new chapter in his own career, kicking off by producing the first recordings for Walter Becker and Donald Fagen Steely Dan. Kenny went on to compose, supervise and produce a long list of scores and soundtracks for feature films and television. He gave musical life to American Hot Wax, the definitive big screen story of pioneering rock 'n' roll deejay Alan Freed, by recreating the groups of the '50s and early '60s for the film. The Planotones were formed as a fictional group specifically for the movie, and were reformed 14 years later, jumping from the movies to the world's concert stages with an illustrious career that's been going strong since 1992.

Kenny also was music director for NBC's Saturday Night Live and music supervisor for such Hollywood hits as Animal House, Eddie and the Cruisers, and a number of other films, including Hairspray and Streets of Fire. More recently, Kenny was music supervisor, producer and composer of the original score for Looking For An Echo, starring Armand Assante (Vance and The Planotones also performed all the music).

Among today's great vocal pop musicians, Kenny's voice has an original and inviting dimension. His material is influenced by the music of the '50s and '60s, but he consistently brings a unique and musically sophisticated point of view. In this sense Kenny is a classicist, opening the eyes of a new generation to a rich historical musical style. With his cool and sultry approach, filtered through a soulful Brooklyn vibe, Kenny gives a gift to those who are discovering him for the first time.

In 2002, Kenny Vance was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame. In 2007, he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame in conjunction with the release of Countdown to Love.

Tickets for Kenny Vance & the Planotones are $49.00 for Premium seating, $39.00 for the Orchestra and $29.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, October 11th 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 .


(Beach Haven, NJ) -- Surflight Theatre will hold local auditions for Principal, Ensemble members and the role of Susan Waverly in Irving Berlin's White Christmas on Saturday, October 12 from 10am-6pm at Surflight Theatre. The breakdown is from 10am-12Noon vocal auditions; 1pm-2pm dance (jazz and tap); and 3pm-5pm callbacks.

White Christmas, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by David Ives and Paul Blake, will be directed and choreographed by Norb Joerder. Rehearsals begin November 11 in Beach Haven with matinee and evening performances from November 29 through December 22.

Based on the 1954 smash hit Paramount movie, White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz buddies who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and find their perfect mates in the bargain. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, White Christmas promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family. The show features classic Irving Berlin hits such as "Blue Skies," "Sisters," "Happy Holiday," "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "I Love a Piano" and the unforgettable title song, "White Christmas."

Auditions are open, no need to call for appointment. All actors (16 +) must act, sing, and move well. An accompanist will be provided. Those auditioning should bring headshot and resume and prepare 16 bars of music in the appropriate key you will sing. No transposing available. Dancers will be invited back in the afternoon (bring tap and jazz shoes). All ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

Auditions for the role of Susan Waverly will also be held on October 12.
Susan Waverly - (9-12 years old, to play 9 years old) The General's granddaughter, Susan is a lovable and outgoing real kid. She is very smart, wise beyond her years, and cares deeply about her grandfather. Once bitten hard by the showbiz bug, she demonstrates everything that is winning in the ultimate child performer. She must have an excellent belt voice, and be able to move well.
Sings reprise of "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy."

For audition information visit or call 609-492-9477x208.


(UNION, NJ) -- Under the direction of Al Terzo, the Accordion Pops Orchestra will perform a repertoire of light classical, Broadway, big band and popular music using full symphonic orchestra scores in Wilkins Theatre on October 20, 2013 at 3 p.m. Featured soloists include Havard Svendsrud, Leonard M. Davis on balalaika and Laura Addeo on flute. You won't believe your ears!

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

Ticket prices are $30 Standard; $20 Senior, Student, Child.

Tickets are available at the Wilkins Theatre Box Office on campus, by calling

908-737-SHOW (7469), and online at .


(Bloomfield, NJ) -- 4th Wall Theatre will hold open auditions for all roles in the musical Sunday in the Park with George, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. The musical will be presented in concert form, directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Hauck. The show will be presented at The Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ, where the company is in residence. Rehearsals (which will be very sparse until after New Year's) will begin on or around December 2, 2013, and the performances are scheduled for February 21-23, 2014.

Sunday in the Park with George is about two artists, living 100 years apart, who are trying to reconcile their passion for creating art with how to live in the world around them. In Act One, set in 1884, painter Georges Seurat pushes away the people in his world (most notably his lover Dot) while creating his pointillist masterpiece Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. In Act Two, 100 years later, his great grandson, also an artist, struggles to rediscover his passion and creativity after being stuck in a rut of expectation and commerce. 4th Wall's production will be presented in concert format, without costumes or sets, and will focus on the journeys of all of the characters, the glorious Sondheim score, and the universality of the story.

Auditions are scheduled for Monday, November 11, and Tuesday, November 12, at 7:00 pm. Sign-up begins a half hour prior to the audition start time, and anyone auditioning must arrive no later than 8:00 pm. All auditions will be held at the Westminster Arts Center, 449 Franklin Street in Bloomfield, easily accessible by train or bus from Manhattan; directions are available on the 4th Wall website. Callbacks will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at an assigned time, if required.

We are seeking 15-20 very strong singers/actors, most of whom will play significant roles in both acts; the tracks and doubling listed below may change depending on who is cast. All roles are open. Non-traditional casting will be strongly considered. Prepare two contrasting 32-bar selections from classic musical theatre songs that show off your voice in the range and style of the character(s) you are auditioning for. Bring sheet music in your key; if you bring a Sondheim song, make sure your music is clearly copied and marked. An accompanist will be provided. Also bring a headshot and resume stapled together, and be prepared to provide all potential conflicts for evening and weekend rehearsals beginning November 30. No pay.

For additional information including directions to the theatre, please visit .

Character Breakdown
George Seurat, the artist/George - modern-day artist and the great grandson of Seurat
Age range: 20s-40s
Vocal range: Tenor to A flat
The 19th Century George is married to his work, necessarily and painfully separating himself from those around him in order to observe them and complete his painting, his obsession. The modern-day George is stuck in the rut where art, commerce, and expectation meet; it is Dot who helps him realize what he needs to do to move on. An enormously challenging role vocally and emotionally.

Dot - Seurat's mistress/Marie - modern-day George's grandmother
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: Mezzo to F
Dot is a feisty and outspoken model who desperately wants George's full attention and love but ultimately realizes she must make other choices. Marie is a wise, sweet, simple woman who makes her points quietly. Dot returns in Act Two to help modern-day George understand the beautiful lessons of the past. This role requires maturity and serious acting and singing chops.

Old Lady - George's mother/Blair Daniels - an art critic
Age range: 50s-60s
Vocal range: mezzo to F
Old Lady is opinionated and a bit senile; George needs her approval, but she is unable to give it. Blair respects George but doesn't approve of his latest work and wants to help guide him.

Old Lady's Nurse & Mrs. - an American Southerner/Harriet Pawling - an arts patron
Age range: 30s-50s
Vocal range: Soprano to A flat
Nurse puts up with Old Lady and breaks the monotony of the job by having an affair with Franz. Mrs. is the counterpart to Mr., and they are typical uncultured tourists. Harriet cares more about being seen near the art than about the art itself.

Franz - a German coachman to Jules and Yvonne/Dennis - a technician
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: Baritone or tenor to F
Franz has a German accent.
Franz resents his working class status. Dennis has been George's technical director for a long time but quietly reaches the end of his patience with his stuck collaborator.

Louise - the young daughter of Jules and Yvonne/no second act counterpart
Age range: 9-12
Vocal range: Soprano to F
Louise is loud and demanding because she wants attention, and since her parents don't give it to her, she seeks it everywhere she goes.

Jules - a well-respected artist/Bob Greenberg - a museum director
Age range: 30s-50s
Vocal range: Baritone to F
Jules is a successful artist who is both awed and puzzled by George's techniques; they want and need each other, but they remain cool and competitive due to their separate insecurities. Greenberg is trying to keep his museum solvent and open.

Yvonne - Jules' wife/Naomi Eisen - a composer
Age range: 30s
Vocal range: Mezzo to F
Yvonne is proper and dutiful, though she secretly admires Dot's passion. Naomi is an eccentric electronic music composer who collaborates with George on his art installations.

Boatman/Charles Redmond - a visiting curator
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: Baritone to F
The Boatman may be rough and uneducated, but he sees through the class system and speaks plainly and coarsely about it. Redmond is a visiting curator.

Louis - a baker/Billy Webster - Harriett's friend
Age range: 30s-40s
Vocal range: Tenor to A flat
Louis is the successful, stable, everyman baker, as unremarkable as George is special; he
deliberately does not have spoken or sung solo lines. Billy is Harriet's date at the exhibition.

Soldier/Alex - an artist
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: Baritone or tenor to F

The Soldier is a a typical good-looking, pompous braggart; he and his non-singing twin enjoy being pursued by the Celestes. Alex is a whiny artist who is jealous of George's career.

Celeste #1 - a shopgirl/Server at the museum
Age range: 18-20s
Vocal range: Soprano to G
The Celestes are giddy, gossiping girls who like coming to the park to fawn over men. The server is working at the exhibition for the night.

Celeste #2 - another shopgirl/Elaine - George's former wife
Age range: late 20s
Vocal range: Soprano to G
The Celestes are giddy, gossiping girls who like coming to the park to fawn over men. Elaine is still a good friend and supporter of George's, but she probably realized she couldn't stay married to an artist who couldn't put her before his work.

Frieda - German cook to Jules and Yvonne and Franz's wife/Betty - an artist
Age range: 20s-40s
Vocal range: Mezzo or soprano to F
Frieda has a German accent.. Frieda doesn't mind being a cook, doesn't mind her husband's dalliances, and doesn't mind dallying herself. Betty and Alex like chatting about George.

Mr. - an American Southerner/Lee Randolph - the museum's publicist
Age range: 40s-60s
Vocal range: to E flat
Mr. is the counterpart to Mrs., and they are typical uncultured tourists. Randolph would love to get a little piece of George to boost his own career.

Man Lying on the Bank & Man with a Bicycle/Museum Assistant
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: TBD
This actor will serve primarily as a vocal ensemble member and will participate in some light staging in both acts.

Woman with a Baby Carriage/Photographer
Age range: 20s-30s
Vocal range: TBD
This actor will serve primarily as a vocal ensemble member and will participate in some light staging in both acts.

Possibly 2-3 more singers, vocal ranges TBD. Choral rehearsals only.