New Jersey Stage

Thursday, June 27, 2013

George Street Playhouse Announces Slate of Plays For Milestone 40th Season

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- George Street Playhouse and Artistic Director David Saint have announced four of the five plays comprising the New Brunswick theater's 40th Season. The celebrations begin with the world premiere of GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER - THE MUSICAL, with a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz and music and lyrics by Mark Allen and directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, GSP's The Toxic Avenger); continues with the world premiere of Joe DiPietro's CLEVER LITTLE LIES and Jacque Lamarre's adaptation of Giulia Melucci's memoir, I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI; and closes with the inaugural production of a landmark theatrical partnership between George Street Playhouse and Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts – Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN. One other selection for the theatre's five play mainstage season will be announced at a later date.

"You only turn forty once," said Mr. Saint, "so I thought we should celebrate this important milestone properly, with a season of theatrical events. Both Gettin' The Band Back Together and Our Town have the largest casts seen on the George Street stage. Not only are we premiering a New Jersey-based rock musical, much in the same vein as The Toxic Avenger (also directed by John Rando and premiered at GSP), but we have forged a partnership between George Street Playhouse and the Mason Gross School of the Arts. It has been a long-held goal of mine, and I am thrilled that it has come to fruition."

As part of the season's offerings, George Street Playhouse will continue their successful BOOK CLUB PROGRAM, now in its seventh year, with the choice of one of two productions -- I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti or Our Town. The book club package price includes a copy of Giulia Melucci's memoir I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti or the published edition of Our Town, a study guide, a ticket for the production, and the opportunity to have a representative from the Playhouse visit their book club meeting to discuss themes of the play and share behind-the-scenes information about the creation of the production. For book club information, please contact the George Street Playhouse Group Sales Department by phone at 732-846-2895, ext. 134.

Five-play, three-play and flexible admission packages are currently on sale, as are tickets for groups of 10 or more. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district. For tickets and information, patrons may contact the Box Office directly at 732-246-7717 or may purchase online at Groups of ten or more should contact the Group Sales office at 732-846-2895, ext. 134 for group pricing and reservation information.

The Plays:

Gettin' the Band Back Together - The Musical

(previously announced with the title Garage Band)
book by Ken Davenport and The Grudelshotz
music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson Award Winner Mark Allen
directed by Tony Award Winner John Rando
Move over Toxie…. Here's MITCH!
In the same spirit as our 2008 hit The Toxic Avenger, we will open the season with the world premiere of another laugh-out-loud rockin' musical comedy celebration of the great Garden State!
We're gettin' the band back together! Mitch Shapiro is 40. And he's fired. When Wall Street cuts him loose, he moves back to Mom's house (in Sayreville, NJ) and reconnects with the old gang for en epic high-stakes battle of the bands. Best buddies, old girlfriends, high school bullies that never grew up and one hot New Jersey momma make for fast times and a new start for this Jersey boy. Who says you can't go home?
Gettin' The Band Back Together is performed by special arrangement with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Inc. and Roy Putrino.
Gettin' The Band Back Together - The Musical will run September 24 – October 27. Opening night is set for Friday, October 4.

Clever Little Lies

by Joe DiPietro
directed by David SaintA mother always knows when something's up. Bill Jr. is distracted, under pressure and off his game. Will a surprising evening with his parents send him further off-kilter? Secrets are exposed and clever little lies are crafted when a confidence shared between father and son escalates into an unexpected revelation that could change everything. A new comedy/drama from Tony Award winner JOE DiPIETRO, author of the Broadway hits Memphis and Nice Work if You Can Get It.
Clever Little Lies will run November 19 – December 22. Opening night is Friday, November 22.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
adapted by Jacques Lamarre from the memoir by Giulia Melucci
directed by Rob Ruggerio
with Antoinette LaVecchia
"A Delightful Comic Evening... Charming, funny and warm, Ms. LaVecchia connects instantly with the audience, and she makes Giulia utterly irresistible." The New York Times

Life is just a bowl of ... pasta! A mouth-watering comedy, this deliciously hilarious play celebrates Italian home cooking as both an expression of love and a source of comfort when the romance goes cold. Antoinette LaVecchia plays Giulia Melucci, conjuring up a culinary masterpiece before our eyes as she recounts stories about the men in her life and the meals that she made them. From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell-by date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all.

Special Bistro Table Seating: a limited number of on-stage bistro table seats will be available at each performance and will include a glass of wine and a serving of the antipasto, bread, salad and pasta prepared by Miss LaVecchia during the performance!

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti will run March 11 – April 6. Opening night is Friday, March 14.

Our Town
by Thornton Wilder
directed by David Esbjornson

Our University. Our Theatre. Our Town.

The inaugural production of a landmark theatrical partnership between Mason Gross School of the Arts and George Street Playhouse, in which a cast of twenty-four -- both professional actors and graduating superstars of one of the country's most revered masters degree programs -- will bring to life Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play on the George Street Playhouse stage. Award-winning Broadway director (Broadway's Driving Miss Daisy and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?) and Chair of the Mason Gross School of the Arts Department of Theatre, David Esbjornson will helm this history-making production of a true American classic.

Our Town will run April 22- May 25. Opening night is set for Friday, April 25.
Plus one other selection to run January 28 – February 23.

Prices and Information

There are several different Season Subscription Packages to choose from, designed to fit every budget, need, and schedule to assure audiences the most convenient theatergoing experience:The Five-Play Subscription: Fantastic seats for all five plays, plus GSP's full list of subscriber benefits. Choose from three seating areas. $125 - $280.

Choose Three Subscription: Perfect for the busy theatergoer! Choose any three plays in the season and the night of the week you wish to attend. $114 - $183

Student Subscription: Students with valid full-time ID see all five plays for $90. (Not valid Friday or Saturday nights or Sunday matinees. Recommended for high school students and older.)

Senior Citizen Discounts: (ages 65 and older) Seniors save when subscribing to the full five-play season. Please include proof of age with order. $115 - $270

Flex Passes: An extra flexible subscribing alternative! Patrons can purchase four, five or six admissions to GSP that can be redeemed for any performance (as long as there is availability) according to convenience. One couple can see 3 plays, one person can see all five, or in any other desired combination. $160 - $240

Sunday Symposiums: (3rd Sunday at 2 pm) This special series brings respected experts to the stage for a lively, in-depth post-performance discussion of the themes of the play. $153 - $245

Audio-Described Series: (3rd Thursday at 8 pm) Patrons who are blind or visually impaired will hear a live, unobtrusive and objective description of the stage action and other visual elements of the play over a headset. $90 for all 5 plays.

Open-Captioned Series: (4th Saturday at 2 pm) Patrons who are deaf or hearing-impaired can follow the dialogue of the play on a digital screen as the action occurs on stage. $115 for all 5 plays.

Monroe Township Bus Package (select Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 pm, and Thursday matinees) Tickets for all five plays at designated bus package performances plus round-trip bus transportation from centrally-located meeting places are provided for one nominal charge. For further information call (732) 846-2895, ext. 134.

Season Subscriptions for the mainstage can be ordered by calling the Box Office at 732-246-7717 or purchased online at

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For information call 732-846-2895, x. 134

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


(MANASQUAN, NJ) -- When the Algonquin Theatre opened in Manasquan in the 1930s, Groucho Marx was a Hollywood comedy star and Dorothy Gale was introduced on the silver screen in The Wizard of Oz.
This summer, 75 years after the Algonquin's opening in 1938, Groucho and Dorothy again take the spotlight, live on stage as "Frank Ferrante in An Evening with Groucho" and "The Wizard of Oz" highlight the theatre's 2013 Summer Series.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 732-528-9211 or at the Algonquin Box Office at 173 Main Street in Manasquan. The Box Office is open 12-6 weekdays and 12-4 on Saturday. All tickets are subject to $2 per ticket processing fees.

More information on each title is available at, and video previews of many performances are available on the Algonquin's Facebook page at

An Evening with Groucho (Friday, July 12, 8 p.m.)
Award-winning actor, director and playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity. The two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including "Hooray For Captain Spalding," and "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady."

The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Tickets start at $38 for adults and $28 for children for this one-night-only performance on Friday, July 12 at 8 p.m.

"When Frank Ferrante does Groucho Marx, all the shtick-the loping crouch, the rolling eyes, the cigar, the greasepaint mustache-comes back to life. See this man. He is comic genius," raved Seattle Weekly.

Broadway's Next H!T Musical (Saturday, July 20, 8 p.m.)
"Broadway's Next H!T Musical" abandons the same old song and dance on Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m., to create a brand new, fully improvised musical comedy! Every lyric, melody and pantomime is made up on the spot to create a show called "Hilarious" by The New York Times and "Brilliant" by Theatre Week.

Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a evening of spontaneous music and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical - complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore.

The Devil Makes Three (Wednesday, July 24, Doors at 7:30 p.m.)
From Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Devil Makes Three tours the top music venues and festivals across the country.

With a slightly punk perspective on vintage American blues, The Devil Makes Three is a breath of fresh musical air. Laced with elements of ragtime, country, folk and rockabilly, the critically praised, drummer-less trio – consisting of guitarist/frontman Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean – brings forth a genuine approach to acoustic music that is deeply steeped in rhythm.

Sourcing blues and throwing in fierce finger-picking guitar, a little slide, tenor banjo and rocking upright bass, The Devil Makes Three create a multi-spanned bridge between musical styles. Their vocal harmonies wind tightly around original songs and breathe life into favorite covers. It all pours forth from a timeless pulse that pulls you to the past, flies you to the future and has you dancing in the aisles. Tickets are $17.50 in advance and $20 at the door.

The Wizard of Oz (August 2-4 & 8-11)
Follow little Dorothy Gale, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto on their adventure down the yellow brick road to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's summer extravaganza includes a cast of more than 50 playing characters that have been beloved for generations including merry munchkins, melting witches, menacing monkeys and of course the great and powerful Oz.

Adapted from the classic motion picture, the fantastic score includes the favorites "Over the Rainbow, " "The Merry Old Land of Oz" and "We're Off to see The Wizard (Follow the Yellow Brick Road)." Tickets start at $28 for adults and $18 for students and the schedule includes four matinee performances. "The Wizard of Oz" is sponsored by Dr. John Little/Dr. Mary Russo Family Dentistry.

Carter Calvert & The Roger Cohen Trio (Saturday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m.)
Broadway star Carter Calvert returns to the Algonquin stage in concert on Saturday, August 17 at 8 p.m., after she mesmerized audiences last January in the title role in "Always Patsy Cline" opposite Sally Struthers. Best known for originating her role in the Tony nominated "It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues" on Broadway, "Smokey Joe's Cafe," Grizabella in "Cats," her latest album "Carter Calvert and The Roger Cohen Trio" beat out Sir Paul McCartney when it debuted on the CMJ Jazz chart.

Roger Cohen, who also played the drums for "Always Patsy Cline" at the Algonquin, backs Calvert with his acclaimed trio. The concert will feature Jazz Standards, American Songbook classics, Broadway, Blues and Pop hits, making each song her own with her rich, soulful sound. And of course, there will be a reprise of Patsy Cline's biggest hits. Aside from this timeless music, Ms. Calvert is a master story teller. Her hilarious yet heartfelt take on "making it in the biz" will delight audiences of all ages.

Gotta Dance! Broadway Meets Hollywood (Saturday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m.)
Sara Brians, the Resident Choreographer for "Billy Elliot" on Broadway, brings together a group of dancers whose Broadway credits include "42nd Street," "West Side Story," "White Christmas" and "Guys & Dolls" to create a fantastic selection of choreography from both Broadway and Hollywood titles in "Gotta Dance! Broadway Meets Hollywood."

Tickets for this one-night finale for Shore Dance 2013 start at $28 for adults and $18 for students. Lovers of Broadway shows and all varieties of dance won't want to miss this performance that will also include appearances by students from the Shore Dance 2013 Summer Intensive.

In addition to the on stage performances, the Algonquin Performing Arts Academy's Summer Stage program begins on Monday, July 1 offering classes in acting, improvisation, comedy, stage combat, musical theatre and more. More information is available at

About Algonquin Arts Theatre:
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation, by Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and remembering Marialana and her love for children and the arts.

NJ Rep Presents "Saving Kitty"

(Long Branch, NJ) – The New Jersey Repertory Company is proud to present the New Jersey premiere of "Saving Kitty", a provocative new comedy written by Marisa Smith, July 25 through August 25, 2013.

What happens when a daughter brings home a young man to meet her ultra-liberal Upper East Side parents for the first time and he turns out to be the antithesis of everything they stand for? "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" takes on a whole new meaning in this play starring Sarah Nealis as Kitty, Christian Pedersen as her fiancée-to-be, John FitzGibbon as her unflappable father, and Judith Hawking as her mother, a former soap-opera actress who guards her home like a cornered lioness. Directed by Evan Bergman ,"Saving Kitty" won Best Play from Portland Stages' Clauder competition in 2010 and premiered at the Wellfleet Actors Harbor Theater in July 2012.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm; Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; and Sundays at 2:00 pm, July 25 - August 25. Special reduced price previews are on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Saturday, July 27 at 3:00 pm.Opening night with reception is Saturday, July 27 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 Box Office at 732-229-3166 or visit to reserve your seats online.  New Jersey Repertory Company is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740.

NJ Rep is a year-round, professional, non-profit theater, 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 Jewish Communal Fund, Dramatists Guild Fund, Actors Equity Foundation, ERBA Company, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Community Foundation of New Jersey, Investors Savings Bank Foundation, JENNJOE Fund, Hickory Foundation, and the American Theatre Wing.

NJ Rep is the Winner of the National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing, sponsor of the Annual Tony Awards for Broadway.

State Theatre presents Broadway Rocks

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents Broadway Rocks featuring Broadway singers Beth Leavel, Christopher Seiber, David Larsen, and Ashley Blanchet on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 8pm. Featuring four Broadway singers, a 4-piece band, and Music Director Todd Ellison, Broadway Rocks is part of a 3-part collaborative Broadway in Concert series, presented by State Theatre and Todd Ellison. The Broadway in Concert series is sponsored by Investors Bank. Tickets range from $25-50.

The Broadway Rocks concert will include songs from Newsies, Wicked, Tommy, Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Legally Blonde, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance.

Featured Broadway singers in Broadway Rocks include Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Baby It's You, Elf!), Christopher Seiber (Spamalot, Shrek the Musical, La Cage aux Folles), David Larsen (Hands on a Hard Body, American Idiot, Billy Elliot), and Ashley Blanchet (Annie, Memphis).

Todd Ellison
Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway's electric conductors,” Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought after music directors working today. Currently Music Director and Conductor of the new Broadway production of Annie, his credits include Monty Python's Spamalot (Best Musical Tony® Award), La Cage aux Folles (Best Musical Revival Tony® Award), 42nd Street (Best Revival Tony® Award ), Elton John's Lestat, Michel Legrand's Amour, The Wild Party, On The Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How To Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf, and A Class Act.

He was the Music Director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons. As Marvin Hamlisch's Music Director, Ellison worked with him on his productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. For City Center's Encores!, he conducted their acclaimed version of On The Town and was a guest pianist for No No, Nanette. Internationally he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular -Mexico City, World Science Festival -Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall - Cole Porters' Jubilee.

He has conducted over 20 albums including the Grammy® Award-winning cast albums of his shows. He has accompanied such stars as Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Tyne Daly, Bea Arthur, David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry, and Kelsey Grammar. Born in Essex, CT, Ellison began his piano lessons at age six and is a graduate of Boston University School of Music in Piano Performance.

Beth Leavel
Leavel received Tony®, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, and L.A. Drama Critics Awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She also received a Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nomination for her role as Florence Greenberg in Baby It's You. She recently performed the roles of Sally Adams in Call Me Madam at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias at the North Carolina Theatre and the much put upon maid, Berthe, in Boeing-Boeing at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Other Broadway roles Emily in Elf, Donna in Mamma Mia!, Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein, Dorothy Brock in the revival of 42nd Street, Tess in the original company of Crazy For You, Mrs. Bixby in The Civil War, Ellie in Hal Prince's Showboat, and Anytime Annie (her Broadway debut) in 42nd Street. Leavel was also seen in New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette as Lucille.

Christopher Seiber
Seiber has appeared on Broadway in Shrek (Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League nominations), Spamalot (New York and West End, Tony® nomination), La Cage Aux Folles, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Triumph of Love, A Christmas Carol. NYC Opera: Cinderella, Eric Idle's Not the Messiah, a comic oratorio (Toronto Symphony). Seiber has appeared off-Broadway in The Kid, Avow and The Boys in the Band. His television appearances include The Good Wife, Elementary, Morning Glory, Pushing Daisies, Johnny and the Sprites, See You in September, It's All Relative, Two of a Kind, Sex and the City, Ed, Guiding Light, All My Children, and Another World.

David Larsen
Broadway credits include Hands On a Hardbody (Chris Alvaro), American Idiot (Tunny), Billy Elliot (Tony u/s), Good Vibrations (Bobby). Larsen's regional theater appearances include leading roles at Hollywood Bowl, La Jolla Playhouse, KC Starlight, Bay Street Theatre, Goodspeed, Marriott Lincolnshire, and North Shore Music Theatre.

Ashley Blanchet
Blanchet has spent most of her life in musical theater. She began her dance training at age three at the Dance Theater of Harlem. At 15 she was given a scholarship to study acting at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. During this time she also became a part of the Boston Youth Moves dance group at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, and began to study voice at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2009, after graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.F.A. in musical theater, Blanchet made her Broadway debut in Memphis: The Musical and understudied Felicia, the lead female role. She now appears in Annie the Musical as the Star to Be.

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, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday, 10am-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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Announced

 (Jersey City, NJ) On June 24, 2013, the New Jersey Hall of Fame announced its new class of inductees for 2013 during the official christening and launch of the nation's first mobile Hall of Fame Museum. The event was held at Liberty State Park, Jersey City.

 Famed U.S. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, himself an inaugural Class of '08 inductee, announced the following for induction October 21 at the Izod Center: U.S. President Grover Cleveland; American revolution activist Thomas Paine; filmmaking pioneer Alice Guy Blache; sculptor J. Seward Johnson,Jr.; New Jersey Governor Tom Kean; make-up tycoon Bobbi Brown; inventor and radio & TV pioneer David Sarnoff; philanthropist Ray Chambers; vocalists & entertainers Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Celia Cruz; TV (M*A*S*H*) & film star Alan Alda; comedian & film star Joe Piscopo; track Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs; World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe Walcott; and multi-Super Bowl winning football coach Bill Parcells. He also announced the recipient of the prestigious Unsung Hero Award for 2013: Kathleen DiChiara, founder and CEO of Community FoodBank of New Jersey. .
Today's new-inductees announcement coincided with the launch of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum, the first mobile hall of fame museum in the nation.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Commission Chairman Bart Oates notes the significance of the NJ Hall of Fame inductees and the new Mobile Museum, "The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. Now this new Mobile Museum brings this honor to our schools, and reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing."

The Mobile Museum offers a dramatic multimedia exhibition created around the theme "Make a Difference." Through images, artifacts, film, and interactive elements, visitors can explore the ways that Hall of Fame inductees have changed the state and the world: as innovators, as leaders, and as voices for the voicelessoften against overwhelming odds.

The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. Since 2008, some 70 notable people from 15 fields of human endeavor have been inducted including: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Toni Morrison, Buzz Aldrin, Frankie Valli, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, Carl Lewis and Yogi Berra.

Class of 2013 Inductees:


Deceased New Jerseyans whose contributions transcend any one particular category

Alice Guy Blach, Fort Lee, Mahwah (1873-1968)
Born in Paris and a noted French filmmaking pioneer, by the early 1900's she was directing films in color and synchronized sound. She came to America in 1912 and built a $100,000 studio, Solax, in Fort Lee, then America's film center. Before U.S. women had the right to vote, she wrote, directed, and produced hundreds of films through World War I.

Grover Cleveland, Caldwell (1837 1908)
The only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, he is still praised by historians for his honesty, independence and good character.

Thomas Paine, Bordentown (1737-1809)
Born in England, this great thinker immigrated to the colonies in 1774 where he was an author, pamphleteer, revolutionary and leading intellectual in pre-Revolutionary War efforts. Bordentown was his home for more than 25 years.


Scientists, business leaders, inventors, leaders in medicine, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists

Bobbi Brown, Montclair (1953 )
Celebrated make-up artist who launched her own product line in the early 1990s and has built a highly successful corporation; also the author of several books and a frequent television guest.

Raymond G. Chambers, Newark (1942 )
A successful businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian, he currently serves as the United Nation's current Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of Malaria and founded The National Mentoring Partnership and America's Promise Alliance with Colin Powell. He is also the Founding Chairman of NJPAC.

David Sarnoff, Princeton and Camden (1891-1971)
Considered "the father of electronic communications," he formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which went on to produce radio and television broadcasting, color TV and flat-panel display.

Arts & Entertainment

Musicians, singers, songwriters, actors & actresses, artists, dancers, and those who work in the related fields

Alan Alda, Leonia (1936 )
Popular actor, director and screenwriter, he is best known for his role as Hawkeye in the TV series "M*A*S*H," for which he was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards and won five. He is very active in support of St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Whitney Houston, Newark (1963-2012)
With a record seven consecutive #1 hit singles, Houston topped the charts and dominated the Grammys in the eighties and nineties. She came from one of Gospel's first families and never forgot her roots even when she struggled with addiction. An actress, producer and incredible singer, she was beloved by fans all over the world.

Joe Piscopo, Passaic (1951 -)
Jersey Joe is a comedian, actor and entertainer best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. In addition to a demanding schedule as a performer, Joe devotes an extraordinary amount of time and talent to non-profit and charitable activities. He has received many awards for his philanthropic work.

Dionne Warwick, East Orange (1940 )
A Grammy-award winning singer, she ranks second, behind Aretha Franklin, as the most popular female vocalist ever, with 56 chart singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.


Athletes, coaches, and others in the field of sports
Joetta Clark Diggs, East Orange (1962 )This four-time Olympian, six-time U.S. Indoor Champion and five-time U.S. National Champion in the 800 meter race currently runs the Joetta Clark-Diggs Sports Foundation.

Bill Parcells, Englewood (1941 )The former head coach of the New York Giants, the New York Jets and New England Patriots, he has won three Super Bowl titles and currently serves as an ESPN football analyst. Earlier this year he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jersey Joe Walcott, Merchantville (1914-1994)A world heavyweight boxing champion at age 37, he broke the world record for the oldest man to win the world's heavyweight title.

GeneralEducators, military leaders, writers, poets, scholars, religious leaders, civil servants, politicians, and others not specifically falling into the other categories

J. Seward Johnson,Jr. Newark (1930 )One of America's most renowned sculptors, he is an artist lauded for the meticulous detail and candid accuracy of life-size bronze statues depicting people engaged in day-to-day activities.

Governor Tom Kean, Bedminster (1935 )New Jersey's 48th Governor, he has had a far reaching career including long-time President of Drew University and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission; remains one of the most popular political figures in New Jersey's history.

2013 Unsung Hero Award

Kathleen DiChiara, Summit (1945 )She began an emergency food program out of the back of her station-wagon in 1975 in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Newark. By 1982, she had incorporated her food program as a nonprofit, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. As its president and CEO, the organization has grown to feed more than 900,000 people annually.

The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. Since 2008, some 70 notable people from 15 fields of human endeavor have been inducted including: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Toni Morrison, Buzz Aldrin, Frankie Valli, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, Carl Lewis and Yogi Berra.

The Hall of Fame reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models and teaching young people about the voting process, the Hall of Fame is a source of learning, inspiration and hope for children. The New Jersey Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization with two collaborating boards working jointly: the New Jersey Hall of Fame Board of Commissioners, administered by the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Trustees. For more information on the NJHOF and a full list of the inductees, go to .

The Carper Family Comes To The Saint

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Carper Family brings their retro-acoustic sound to Asbury Park on Wednesday, June 26 when they play a show at  Asbury Cafe at The Saint - The Carper Family is a family band like no other, spinning out the effortless harmonies of a born-family with the range and diversity of a made-family...  Whatever the bloodline, the music hits the ear with both depth and simplicity, capturing the essence of true country music.  The Austin-based trio of Melissa Carper [upright bass], Beth Chrisman [fiddle], and Jenn Miori [guitar] applies their signature, stunning three-part harmonies to bluegrass, old-time, country and swing tunes of the standard and original variety, pushing and honoring American musical traditions at every step.

Joining them on the bill will be Rebecca Rego & the Trainmen from Chicago, Andrew Clayton, and Joe Whyte, one of our favorite singer-songwriters here at New Jersey Stage.  Joe is a great folk/americana artist based in New Jersey who regularly performs in New York City.  In fact, this is one of his rare appearances along the Jersey Shore.  We've been fans of his for quite some time now and highly recommend checking his music out.  For more information on Whyte or to download his last EP for free, visit

By the time this musical 'family' was born in the winter of 2010 to take a weekly residency at Austin's legendary Hole-in-the-Wall, each of the members had already established a reputation with her voice and instrument by playing with some of the best local acts.  When their debut studio album "Back When" was named Best Country Album for the 2012 Independent Music Awards, it seemed like an appropriate recognition for the both the upstart band and for the Austin community that they emerged from. 

For several years now, they've been at the very core of the thriving young country music scene there, a vibrant combination of talented bands, lively venues [country hot-spots like the Continental Club, the White Horse, and the hallowed Cactus Cafe], and a passel of locals and visitors who love good country music for dancing, listening, or otherwise good-timing. Each still keeps busy schedule, moonlighting with several other bands, from Melissa's collaboration with Sad Daddy, to Jenn's bluegrass duo Hem & Haw, and Beth's side-work with James Hand, Brennen Leigh, and a handful of other honky-tonk standouts.

Affectionately known within the band and around town as Daddy, Melissa Carper grew up in Nebraska playing country music with her family and performing in a family band.  By the age 10 she had already started studying her instrument, taking the classical lessons that would lead to a lifetime love of the bass.  She later discovered bluegrass, old-time, country blues and swing with time living in the Ozarks of Arkansas and busking on Royal Street in New Orleans.

You can hear the high-lonesome of her birth-state Kentucky in the voice and fiddling of Beth Chrisman, but the warmth comes straight from the festive and tight-knit picking community of Alaska, where she grew up and absorbed the variety of American country music traditions that have a special place among the snowy peaks and pine forests of the far north.  She's come a long way since then, showing up in Austin in 2006 when she started fiddling with local bluegrass and honky tonk groups, and is now well-known for her sit in and studio work with local and touring artists.

Jenn Miori is Texas born and bred, and like many Texans, she grew up playing music with her family, learning guitar from her dad and harmony singing from her mom at a young age. She fell in love with old country music when she moved to Austin in the early oughts to go to the University of Texas.  When she eventually put together her first country band, the Corn Ponies, they quickly became an important part of that blossoming country scene.

In the last few years, the Carper's rise has impressed and entertained audiences and their fellow musicians all over the place.  They've shared stages with any number of country notables, including steel-guitar master Cindy Cashdollar, West Virginia's Ginny Hawker, and Kansas City fiddle legend, Betse Ellis.  And, like any country band worth its salt, they tour hard, crisscrossing North America and Europe to play gigs at festivals from Alaska [Kantishna] and Arkansas [Fayetteville Roots, Ozark Folk] to Norway [Risor, Vinstra, Seljord], and at storied venues like Nashville's Station Inn.

While playing gigs and festivals is clearly at the top of any band's agenda, The Carper Family is equally committed to sharing American country music in educational and communal settings.  To them, country music isn't just about entertaining; it's also about understanding, honoring, and developing American country communities in the city and on the farm.  As such, they've taught workshops and lessons at a variety of gatherings and regularly play at country dances, farmers' markets, and farm potlucks.  Their aspirations, professional and personal alike, point to spirit of the rural places from which they have come and to which they hope to go.

As Jim Caligiuri of the Austin Chronicle has written, "[They] blend their voices immaculately... and write warm and enticing songs that sound like they were new 50 years ago."

Their original songs range from the deeply-moving to the profoundly quirky and their catalogue of lesser known country music is impressive for such a young group. The Carper Family's dedication to the rich and sprawling history of American country music and the joy they bring audiences with their crystalline sound guarantee that these ladies will be introducing this new-old music to folks for years to come.

For more information on the Carper Family Band visit

Opening Weekend of She Loves Me a Sweet Success

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Critics and audiences are raving about Princeton Summer Theater's She Loves Me.  Director Sash Bischoff's fresh vision of this classic musical by the creative team behind Fiddler on the Roof has something for everyone, from breath-taking vocal performances to electrifying choreography.  Inspired by the story that became The Shop Around the Corner, In The Good Old Summertime, and You've Got Mail, She Loves Me is a romp through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of people who find love where they least expect it.  Only one more weekend remains to see this effervescent new production delight audiences of all ages!

Keep an eye out for PST's next production, Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart, July 4th-14th.  The adventures of the Magrath sisters of Hazlehurst, Mississippi are by turns heartbreaking and hilarious in this Pulitzer Prize-winning southern Gothic melodrama.  PST 2012 Artistic Director Daniel Rattner returns to direct.

Mainstage performances run Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.  Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for students.  Call PST's ticketing service, SmartTix, at 877-238-5596 to reserve tickets, or visit

Coming July 4th, PST presents How Thumbelina Found Her Wings, an original adaptation of the best-beloved fairy tale!  It's hard to be a tiny person in a big world.  Join Thumbelina and her quirky crew on an epic adventure full of big laughs and big fun.  Tickets $9, free for children under 3. July 4th-6th, 11th-13th, 25th-27th, August 1st-3rd, and August 8th-10th at 11am.

There is still time to subscribe to PST and save 35% on a flexible package of four reserved seats that can be used at any point over the course of the season.  Subscriptions can be ordered online at or via subscriber hotline at 646-873-8214.  Subscriptions are limited and only offered until July 1st.  With questions, contact PST staff at or by calling our administrative office at 609-258-7062.

For more information, visit

Discounts and specials at East Lynne Theater Company

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company continues to offer savings to its patrons that are both flexible and affordable.  Many theater lovers take advantage of these various discounts regularly. 

     There are four restaurants that partner with ELTC, and patrons make reservations by calling the restaurants and asking for the ELTC dinner/show combination. At Aleathea's Restaurant, total amount is $47.00 for dinner and a ticket; at 410 Bank Street, Frescos: A Seafood Trattoria, and The Washington Inn, patrons pay $15.00 for a ticket along with dinner.

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

     ELTC ticket prices are $30.00 for general admission and $25.00 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions, so these packages offer a considerable savings. ELTC ticket price for students is $15.00, and ages 12 and under are free.  Patrons taking advantage of the B&B and restaurant discounts may call ELTC directly at 884-5898 and ELTC will hold tickets for students and those ages 12 and under at the box office, if it is cheaper for the patron.

     Theater lovers are not tied down to a schedule when purchasing our popular Season Ticket packet of four shows for only $80.00.  These tickets may be used in several ways: see four different shows, use all four for one performance, and any combination in-between.  Many patrons purchase several packets and give individual tickets to friends and family. Season Tickets are only available through June 30 and may be purchased by mailing a check to the office, 121 Fourth Ave., West Cape May, NJ 08204, by purchasing at our box office when there is a performance, and through our website    

     Another way to save money on ELTC tickets is online. A coupon for two-for-the-price-of-one general admission price of $30 is available through Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities at, along with other organizations offering money-saving discounts. Several half-price tickets are available for every performance through, 24 hours in advance.  It costs nothing to sign up to use of this site, and many other theaters throughout the state also have savings listed.  Since 2010, ELTC has also listed its shows with Theater Development Fund (, the same organization that manages the Half-Price Ticket Booth in Times Square. Patrons must have certain qualifications to have access to this site, but savings at many theaters in New York and New Jersey can be found.  In 2012, ELTC began offering discounts through

     By downloading the free CapeMay app, several deals in town can be found, including $3.00 off an ELTC ticket. This same discount is available in the new guide book created and distributed by Steger Beach Service, in the upcoming "Cape May Bike Tour" booklet published by Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, and in several newspaper ads.

     ELTC is in the "Cape May Experience Discount Deck 2013-14" published by Exit Zero. With the ELTC card, $10.00 is taken off the regular ticket price of $30.00.  This "Deck" can be purchased at any Exit Zero store, and offers savings of $460.00 total for Cape May restaurants, shops, and entertainment.  

      Membership has its privileges. By signing up to be a member of, patrons receive a Discover Jersey Arts Card that gives them discounts to cultural events throughout the state. For the first two year, membership is free, and then basic membership is only $10.00 yearly after that.  At ELTC, by showing this card, patrons receive two tickets for the price of one $30.00 ticket on Friday nights.  Also, members of WHYY Public Television in Philadelphia receive the same deal on Fridays.  

     Listen for ticket-give-aways on 98.7 The Coast and 106.3. Occasionally, free tickets are also offered through the "Philadelphia City Paper."

     Complimentary tickets are available to veterans and those currently serving the military through and

     Now in its seventh year, our Summer Student Theater Workshop production is still admission-free. This year, fourteen students are performing "Tales from the Arabian Nights" on Tuesday, July 2 at 8:00p.m.

     In partnership with The Cape May Film Society, ELTC has offered unique films at modest prices for the past two years. In 2013, our showing on June 30 of the 2006 film "Amazing Grace" is $10.00 and the two classic silent films, "The Thief of Bagdad" and "The Cat and the Canary" are presented with original, live organ accompaniment provided by Wayne Zimmerman. Tickets for these showings are $15.00.  Again, as with other events, ages 12 and under are free to encourage whole families to attend.

     ELTC's "Tales of the Victorians" is still only $10.00 and ages 12 and under are free. Now in its 24th year, this popular event takes place at 4:00p.m. every Thursday, except on July 4, during the summer, and on Saturdays in the fall. Patrons enjoy ELTC performers reading classic American short stories on porches of B&Bs, inns, and in tea shops, while tasting teatime treats provided by the venue. Contact ELTC for locations and reservations.

     Currently, on the mainstage, ELTC is presenting the New Jersey premiere "Lost on the Natchez Trace," running through July 20, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m., except no show on July 4 and an added show on Sunday, July 7.  Location is The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where the company is in residence, with its seating capacity of 150. The season continues with "Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Late Christopher Bean," "Holmes and Carter Mysteries" and "Christmas with Harte and O. Henry."  To learn more about the mainstage season which runs through mid-December and other events, or to make reservations directly with the theater, call 884-5898 or go online to   

     ELTC is only able to offer these savings because of the generosity of our season sponsors Curran Investment Management, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and Aleathea's Restaurant; Show Sponsors La Mer Beachfront Inn, The Washington Inn, and Exit Zero; The NJ Dept. of State, Division of Travel and Tourism; NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; playbill advertisers; and the contributions of many patrons and volunteers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Prominent NJ Musicians Releasing Song to Aid Sandy Victims

To raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, prominent New Jersey performers once again rise to the occasion. The anthemic song, "Restore The Shore", co-written by shore singer/songwriter Lisa Bouchelle, will raise funds for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which is chaired by the wife of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (

The song, to be released under the name "Lisa Bouchelle & Friends," will be released to radio on June 21st, 2013, the first day of Summer. It will be digitally distributed through iTunes, Amazon, and other leading music outlets, available starting July 2nd, and physical CDs will be available through a dedicated website shortly thereafter. The song was mixed by renowned producer Michael Barbiero, who is noted for his work on the Guns 'N Roses classic album "Appetite For Destruction," as well as releases by John Lennon, Metallica, Counting Crows, Three Doors Down, Maroon 5, and more.

Featured performers include:
Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) - Bass
Jerry Gaskill (King's X) - Drums
Bobby Bandiera (Bon Jovi) - Guitar
Lorenza Ponce (Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Bon Jovi) - Violin
John Popper (Blues Traveler) - Harp
Southside Johnny (Asbury Jukes) - Vocals
Gary US Bonds - Vocals
Glen Burtnik (Styx, The Orchestra) - Vocals
Winston Roye (Soul Asylum) - Vocals
John Easdale (Dramarama) - Vocals
Lisa Bouchelle - Vocals
Jay Siegal (The Tokens of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" fame) – Vocals
Steve Forbert - Vocals
Fiona - Vocals
Christine Martucci - Vocals
Ernie White – Vocals
Lisa Sherman - Vocals
Jimmy Maraventano (Jimmy & the Parrots) - Vocals

Additional vocals by Pat Guadagno, Corey Wagar, Keith Roth, Bob Burger, Lee Mrowicki, and Hal Selzer. Additional guitars by Scott Rednor, Stephen DeAcutis, and a multi-platinum artist who wishes to remain anonymous. "Restore The Shore" c 2013 by Lisa Bouchelle/Bill Frankel. Produced by Stephen DeAcutis. Co-produced by Lisa Bouchelle, Hal B. Selzer, and Michael Waldman. Mixed by Michael Barbiero. Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Distributed by INGrooves/Fontana Distribution.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


(BORDENTOWN, NJ) -- The NJ Record Company, FDR Label, has announced a July 23rd release date for the new compilation CD, My Hometown: a Tribute to NJ. All proceeds from the sale of the album will go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Label will celebrate with release show on Friday July 26th in Bordentown, NJ at The Record Collector.

My Hometown: a Tribute to NJ is a collection of songs originally recorded by NJ artists - covered by an eclectic mix of super talented indie bands. Fans can pre-order the CD today at and receive an immediate download of one song from the album. Full album will be available on July 23rd.

"It's amazing how much good music came from our little state!" So says Mick Chorba, FDR label founder and president. Chorba adds, "What is amazing is how many great artists aren't even covered here - this could be volume one of a series of 10 and we wouldn't run out of great tunes."

FDR Label has released a series of highly successful tribute compilations including FDR's Tribute to the Who, a Pop Tribute to the Replacements, an 80's movie tribute CD called High School Reunion, and a CD featuring songs with girls' names in the title called About a Girl. Contributing artists have included Guided By Voices, Mathew Sweet, Pat Dinizio (Smithereens), Frank Black (Pixies), Dresden Dolls, and many more including Chorba's own bands The Dipsomaniacs and The Successful Failures as well as FDR label regulars Taggart and Bastards of Melody. Chorba looks to continue this winning formula this time honoring his home state.

For this collection, no song or band was too obvious or too obscure. The great NJ band The Grip Weeds unearthed a classic tune by the Knickerbockers. While Trenton's The Cryptkeeper Five kicked the dust off the Springsteen anthem No Surrender. The Successful Failures paid homage to an early-album Fountains of Wayne song while Cliff Hillis and Steve Butler (Smash Palace) actually recruited a Smithereen (bass player Severo) to record the Simthereen's pop tune Listen to Me Girl. For a full track listing visit the FDR Label site

The label plans to celebrate the CD with a blow-out bash at The Record Collector in Bordentown, NJ on Friday July 26th. Artists performing at the show include The Successful Failures, The Cryptkeeper Five, Janet LaBelle. The Paper Jets, and more tba. Show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $12.00.

My Hometown: a Tribute to NJ will be available to purchase directly from the label at . The CD will also be available for purchase from ITunes, , and most online music vendors. Locally the physical CD can be purchased at the Tunes Record stores, The Record Collector, and the Princeton Record Exchange.


(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Longtime Hub City neighbors Mason Gross School of the Arts and George Street Playhouse have initiated a landmark theatrical partnership that will allow students to launch professional theater careers in downtown New Brunswick. The artistic and educational collaboration will kick off with George Street's production of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic, "Our Town," scheduled to run April 22 through May 25, 2014.

David Esbjornson, chair of the Rutgers University Mason Gross School Theater Department, as well as an award-winning theater director (Broadway's "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?"), will direct the 24-member cast that includes a mix of theater students and professional actors. This Grover's Corners will truly embody "Our Town" as multiple members of the university, city and state communities make guest appearances throughout the run.

"As the legendary actress and acting teacher Uta Hagen said to me when she performed at George Street Playhouse, 'Get those young people here to work with us! They can learn from us and we can be energized by them!" says George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint. "For fifteen years now I have been working to realize this dream of a partnership between this great training ground for exceptionally talented young people at Mason Gross School of the Arts and George Street Playhouse. Our Town with Our Theatre and Our University is the perfect inauguration!"

Graduates and undergraduates will work onstage as part of the alliance. The collaboration will pave the way for students to earn a coveted Equity card, proof of membership in the American Actors' Equity Association, a labor union representing theater performers and stage managers.

"It makes all the sense in the world, from George Street's standpoint and ours," says George B. Stauffer, Dean of the Mason Gross School. "The partnership will allow George Street to present productions with a large cast that includes young, vibrant actors, and it will give our students the chance to work with George Street's seasoned professionals. Most importantly, it will create a new Rutgers-New Brunswick alliance that will benefit the entire community."

Esbjornson agrees.

"I am thrilled that Mason Gross and George Street Playhouse have finally found each other," he says. "This collaboration will be a fantastic experience for our graduating students. They get the rare opportunity to transition directly into the profession."
Stauffer says the partnership "gives students a leg up in the theater world. I hope our students will get a better grasp of what it's like to work in a professional Equity theater, with the obligations, pressures, and rewards that come with it. It will be beneficial to be able to say, 'I've acted on the stage of George Street Playhouse.'"

Saint added, "The symbiosis of the finest professional actors that New York has to offer and eager young actors ready to enter the professional world will spark creative energies and result in thrilling theatrical productions for our audiences."

Our Town runs April 22 through May 25, 2014, at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Ave. in New Brunswick, N.J. More information and ticket packages are available by calling 732-246-7717 or by visiting .

About Mason Gross School of the Arts
Founded in 1976, Mason Gross School of the Arts is the arts conservatory of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and home to the departments of dance, music, theater and visual arts as well as Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, Mason Gross Extension Division, Mason Gross Online and the Rutgers Center For Digital Filmmaking. Its faculty and alumni rosters include arts professionals recognized nationally and internationally, including Kristin Davis, Calista Flockhart, Avery Brooks, Cleo Mack, William Pope.L, Alice Aycock, Sean Jones, and Cristina Pato. The school's enrollment of 729 undergraduates across four departments and 322 graduate students across four departments, combined with a faculty of 224, assures students the opportunity to work closely with accomplished artists within their fields.

About George Street Playhouse
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists.

Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been represented by numerous productions both on and Off-Broadway. Recent productions include The Toxic Avenger (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical), Anne Meara's Down the Garden Paths, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.
In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions and tours to more than 250 schools in the tri-state area, reaching over 40,000 students annually.

George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8pm. Carlile will perform songs from her latest album, Bear Creek, as well as hits such as "The Story" and "Tragedy." Tickets range from $35-55.

Brandi Carlile's music combines elements of folk, rock, and country. She plays several instruments, including the guitar, banjo, and piano. Best known for her 2007 hit song "The Story," Carlile has also been featured on the soundtrack for the popular ABC drama Grey's Anatomy with her songs: "Tragedy," "What Can I Say," and "Throw It All Away."

Carlile's recently released album Bear Creek, reached the #10 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart. She has recorded five albums to date including Give Up the Ghost and Live at the Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. Carlile has also been seen on Rolling Stone's influential list of "10 Artists to Watch."

From fronting her six-piece band at The Ryman Auditorium to leading a symphony at Benaroya Hall; Carlile has earned her reputation as a fearless and consummate performer who is undoubtedly in a class of her own. 

In 2008, Brandi Carlile started the Looking Out Foundation, an organization that supports humanitarian outreach efforts in nearby communities.

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, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday, 10am-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.


(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, South Jersey's premiere Equity theatre, is bursting with delight as they welcome stage and screen star, Ron Raines, as he performs in his one-man show The Great Love of Broadway. Join Mr. Raines as he charms the audience with renowned songs on Monday, July 8 at 8 p.m.

Perhaps best known for his role of Alan Spaulding on the long-running CBS soap opera Guiding Light, Tony, Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award-nominee, Ron Raines has also had a long and outstanding international career that spans the worlds of musical theater, opera, cabaret, classical music, and television.
In The Great Love of Broadway, he will be joined by legendary Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical Director, Don Pippin (Oliver!, Mame, and A Chorus Line). Their repertoire will include a number of renowned Broadway favorites, as well as a selection of songs from Raines' latest album, Celebrating the American Spirit.

Raines appeared on Broadway in Show Boat and Chicago, and has also played in South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, and Man of La Mancha, just to name a few.

He is also a well-respected concert performer who has had the privilege of being on the same stage with the Royal Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, among others. Additionally, he has had the honor of singing for two former First Ladies, Nancy Reagan and Lady Bird Johnson.
The Great Love of Broadway is part of Cape May Stage's acclaimed Second Stage Series. This completely entertaining cabaret show will run Monday, August 5 at 8 p.m. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May. Tickets are $50 and include an after party at the Wine Bar at the Washington Inn, Cape May's hip, relaxing, contemporary meeting place at the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets. You'll have a chance to mingle with the stars, while enjoying delicious complimentary finger foods and a well-stocked cash bar. Call (609) 770-8311 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, .



(NEWARK, NJ) -- Bonnie Raitt will come to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, on Friday, November 22. Tickets run from $39.50 to $99.50 plus service charges and are available online at , by phone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC, or in person at the NJPAC Box Office located at One Center Street in downtown Newark.

More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American music. Named one of Rolling Stones "100 Greatest Singers of All Time," she broke through with her Grammy Award winning albums, Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw, which featured hits such as, "Something To Talk About," "I Can't Make You Love Me" and Thing Called Love. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recently released her nineteenth album, Slipstream. The album marked her return to studio recording after seven years and the launch of her label, Redwing Records. A huge success, Slipstream sold over a quarter-million copies in 2012, making it one of the top selling independent albums, and earned Raitt her 10th GRAMMY Award (Best Americana Album). From the New York Times to People Magazine, 'Slipstream' was also lauded in numerous top critics' lists for album of the year. Raitt performed at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors and received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance from the Americana Music Association.
After a brief hiatus, Raitt is recharged with a batch of great new songs to play in her live set along with the tried and true favorites that have treated her very loyal following to countless memorable shows through the years.



(RED BANK, NJ) -- Phoenix Productions, the award winning community theatre organization, will present the hit Broadway classic The Music Man for two weekends beginning July 12th and concluding July 21st at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

The cast of fifty is headed by Phoenix veteran Joe Caruso, who stars as the charismatic con-man Harold Hill. Phoenix newcomer Caitlin Alongi plays opposite as the charming and curious librarian, Marian Paroo. The cast is mixed in experience and age members who have been in the Phoenix family for more than 25 years work alongside members as young as four years old.

Produced by Andrea Zawadzky, directed by Joe Stefanelli, musically directed by Andrew Macirowski and choreographed by Kelly Gemellaro, The Music Man promises to be a colourful musical experience chock full of wholesome family fun.

The Music Man, with book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, first came to Broadway in 1957. The story follows con-man Harold Hill, who travels to the small town of River City, Iowa to earn his fortune. His plan to convince the town that they need a boys' band so he can run away with their money is threatened by the town's piano teacher, Marian, with whom he falls in love with. Will Harold be able to change his ways to pursue his love for Marian? With musical numbers like "Till There Was You" and "Seventy-Six Trombones", it is no wonder the production took home five Tony awards, which includes beating out the iconic West Side Story for Best Musical.

Performances at the Count Basie Theatre are July 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th at 8pm and July 14th and 21st at 3pm. Tickets can be purchased by phone through the Count Basie box office at (732) 842-9000 or online at .

Phoenix Productions is a non-profit community theatre organization devoted to making high quality theatre accessible and affordable. It has been putting smiles on the faces of theatre lovers from New Jersey and beyond for more than 25 years. Performances at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank are equipped with full-scale sets, costumes, lights and orchestras. Phoenix has become known as "Broadway In the 'Burbs". More information is available at .

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

oël Coward's Comedy Fallen Angels Gets Rare Revival at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's summer of comedy continues with Noël Coward's frothy delight Fallen Angels. Fallen Angels begins performances on July 3 and continues through July 28th at The Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage – The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. Tickets range from $35 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $15. For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison.

Individual tickets and choose-your own 5-play and 4-play discount ticket packages can be purchased by calling the box office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Noël Coward, Britain's popular master of wit, has created a delightful comedy about the seven-year itch featuring tour-de-force roles for two leading ladies. The sophisticated “bubbles” of this vintage Coward are popped throughout by sharp and wickedly-funny barbs about the perils of marital bliss. The original production of Fallen Angels opened at London's Globe Theatre in 1925 and starred Tallulah Bankhead.

The Cast
Leading ladies Julie Jesneck and Melissa Miller play close friends Julia and Jane who are seeking adventure. Jesneck, making her Shakespeare Theatre debut in Fallen Angels, has appeared on Broadway in Rock ‘N Roll and in productions at The Mint Theatre, The Minetta Lane, Roundabout Theatre, and Denver Center Theatre among others. She is a graduate of The Julliard School. Melissa Miller, a native of Westfield, NJ, appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in Macbeth. She made her Broadway debut in Tartuffe and has appeared at The Pittsburgh Public Theatre in Born Yesterday, at Long Wharf Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, Hartford Stage and the Alley Theater among others.

Allison Mackie returns to The Shakespeare Theatre after a 15-year hiatus to play Saunders, the enigmatic and musical maid. Mackie last appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in A Midsummer Night's Dream. On Broadway, she played Roxane opposite Frank Langella in Cyrano de Bergerac and in Candida with Joanne Woodward. She has appeared in productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse and the Lucille Lortel in New York City. Her film credits include Lucky, Almost Perfect, Our Very Own with Allison Janney, Pretty Ugly People, and Rear Window among many others.

Playing the husbands to Julia and Jane are Jeffrey M. Bender as Frederick and Ned Noyes as Willy. In his 14th Season with The Shakespeare Theatre, Bender has appeared in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Henry IV, Part One, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) among many others. He has appeared in Reckless at The Denver Center Theatre, and A Time to Kill at Arena Stage, as well as productions at the Old Globe in San Diego, Seattle Rep and Lincoln Center. Noyes appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre's production of The Time of Your Life. He has appeared off-Broadway and at theatre across the nation including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theatre, and Geva Theatre.

Michael Sharon makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of the charming and sophisticated Frenchman, Maurice. Sharon has appeared at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, GBS Theatre in London, Portland Center Stage and Pioneer Theatre Company among many others.

About the Director
Director Matthew Arbour returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for his 4th season. His Shakespeare Theatre directing credits include Little Foxes, The Bald Soprano and The Rivals. He has directed at theatres across the country including Chautauqua Theater Company, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Two River Theatre Company and many more. He regularly serves as a script judge for The Princess Grace Award for New Dramatists and is a Drama League Directing Fellow.

The Artistic Staff
Creating the world of Fallen Angels are set designer Charles Corcoran, lighting designer Tony Galaska, and costume designer Martha Bromelmeier. Christine Whalen is the production stage manager.

Special Performances
The first preview performance of Fallen Angels on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. offers opportunities for reduced-price tickets, as an incentive to first-time theatergoers. For those who would otherwise not be able to afford a night at the theatre, the first preview performance is Pay What You Can night – pay what you are able for that evening's 7:30 p.m. preview performance. Offer is subject to availability. Call the box office at 973-408-5600 for details.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, Symposium Series performances include the addition of a free post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff, on Tuesday, July 9th at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday July 13th; and Saturday July 20th at 2:00 p.m.

On Thursday, July 11th, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., members of the artistic staff will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider's perspective on Fallen Angels.

General admission to Know the Show is $5 for the general public, $4 for subscribers and ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening's 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.

The 2:00 p.m. performance on July 20th will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Audio description enables patrons to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage. A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to explore props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge.

Tickets & General Information
Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit

The Shakespeare Theatre's 2013 Season
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2013 season continues with Shakespeare's As You Like It at the beautiful and family-friendly amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth. The Outdoor Stage production of As You Like It will run June 19th to July 28th.

On the Main Stage, the summer portion of the season continues with the long-forgotten comedy Tovarich, a wonderfully eccentric, improbable romance about an indomitable Russian Grand Duchess and her dashing Prince of a husband hiding out in Paris. Tovarich, by Jacques Deval, translated by famed American writer Robert E. Sherwood, will begin performances on August 7th and runs through August 25th.

Next, Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby, Jr. makes his Shakespeare Theatre directorial debut with the world premiere of Cathy Tempelsman's A Most Dangerous Woman which explores the extraordinary life of Mary Ann Evans – better known by her pen name George Eliot – the infamous and groundbreaking author of the Victorian era. A Most Dangerous Woman will run September 18th through October 6th.

This Fall, The Shakespeare Theatre will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the iconic and beloved American classic Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Our Town runs October 16th to November 17th and features several school-time matinee performances.

The 2013 season will close with William Shakespeare's Pericles, a fantastical odyssey epic filled with perilous adventures, courageous acts, and a thrilling and climactic rejuvenation. Pericles will begin performances on December 4th and continues through December 29th.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's 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.

Lyle Lovett Plays Newton on July 20

(Newton, NJ) -- The Newton Theatre is very excited to announce the iconic Lyle Lovett will perform on Saturday, July 20th at 8:00 pm. A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has appeared in 13 feature films, and on stage and television. Among his many accolades, besides the four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association's inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was recently named the Texas State Musician.

Garden & Gun recently called Lovett "one of America's most beloved singer/songwriters," and he was featured in the coveted "What I've Learned" column in the February 2012 issue of Esquire.

Lovett has been touring in support of Release Me since its release in February. The album was #1 for several weeks on the Americana charts. Produced by Nathaniel Kunkel and Lovett, Release Me represents the end of an era as it was his last record for Curb/Universal Music Group after being on the label for his entire career. Release Me is quintessential Lyle, mixing a smart collection of originals and songs written by some of his favorite songwriters that show not only the breadth of this Texas legend's deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most infectious and fascinating musicians in popular music.

Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lyle Lovett has evolved into one of music's most vibrant and iconic performers. His oeuvre, rich and eclectic, is one of the most beloved of any living artist working today.,

Tickets for Lyle Lovett are $79.00 for Premium seating, $74.00 for the Orchestra and $69.00 for the Balcony. Tickets for this performance will go on sale on Friday, June 21st 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    

East Lynne Theater Company presents an ASL performance of "Lost on the Natchez Trace"

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- On Thursday, June 27 at 8:30p.m., by special request, there will be an American Sign Language Interpretation of "Lost on the Natchez Trace" produced by the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company. 

     ELTC prides itself on not only producing forgotten gems, but also producing new works that are based on American literature and history. Most of ELTC's works by living playwrights move on to other venues, like "The Poe Mysteries" had a run at Ocean Professional Theatre in Barnegat, and "Emma Goldman: My Life," was at The Metropolitan Playhouse in New York. Although "Lost on the Natchez Trace" was first performed at the Abingdon Theatre Company in NYC in February 2012, plans are in the works to remount it in Manhattan. 

     "Lost on the Natchez Trace," written by Abingdon's artistic director, is directed by ELTC's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, with Leon Morgan, Tom Byrn, and Stephanie Garrett in the cast.  Stahlhuth selected this play to open ELTC's mainstage season in Cape May not only because it's compelling, but also because this year marks the 150th anniversary of America's Emancipation Proclamation. 

The plot revolves around a wounded slave auctioneer in 1825 who is stranded in a wasteland. His yells for help are heard by a runaway slave. To further commemorate this anniversary, ELTC, with The Cape May Film Society, is showing the 2006 film "Amazing Grace" about England's struggle to end the slave trade, on Sunday, June 30 at 8:30p.m.       

     ELTC also prides itself on continuing to present ASL performances for at least one night for each of three mainstage productions yearly. Beginning this practice in the early 1990's, ELTC was the first theater in the area to hire American Sign Language interpreters. The theatrical ASL interpreters for "Lost on the Natchez Trace" are Kathy Filippo and Gina Lanza, who have performed many times for ELTC. The process involves them seeing the production at least once, plus going over the script several times to figure out who will interpret which roles, and in many cases, come up with signage for unusual names and words.  

     There will still be the previously scheduled ASL performance on Friday, July 12.  

     Tickets are $30 general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; and $15 for full-time students. Children ages 12 and under are always free. For "Lost on the Natchez Trace," it is suggested that those attending have an understanding of slavery in this country, and is therefor not appropriate for most under the age of 15. 

     ELTC performs at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. "Lost on the Natchez Trace" runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. through July 20, except pet thSeptember 1 only. For information and reservations, call 609-884-5898 or visit