New Jersey Stage

Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Bongos for the Price of None!

By Gary Wien


(BELMAR, NJ -- AUGUST 29, 2013) -- It was supposed to be the first concert in this year’s 90.5 Songwriters Series, but it wound up being the last... And it was worth the wait.  The show finished up what hopefully will be the first of many years in Belmar with a huge crowd (the biggest of the ones I was able to attend) and amazing music by The Sunday Blues and Richard Barone.

The Sunday Blues kicked off the night with songs from their recently released disc, <i>City Folklore</i>, as well as a few new tunes.  It was fun seeing Lindsey Miller and Keith McCarthy get the opportunity to play in front of a large crowd and they sounded great!  I love seeing artists get out of their comfort zone to see how they’ll do and these two hit it out of the park.

“It was awesome to look at the ocean while we played, it was a great crowd and it looked as if everyone was really listening!” said Lindsey Miller. “It certainly was one of the biggest crowds we ever played for, especially cool, because it was basically full of people who had never heard our music before or even knew us. We sold a bunch of CD's and got really great feedback from all the people. I'd say it was a wonderful night.”



It’s kind of funny hearing a band like The Sunday Blues play new songs just weeks after having a CD released, but the new songs really sound to me as if they’re among the band’s strongest material.  I guess they recognize that too and don’t want to wait to play them.  It’s nice to see that their writing has not only continued, but is getting better and better.  Hopefully it won’t take another 4-5 years for them to release a followup record.

Up next was Richard Barone who was joined by his Bongos bandmate, Rob Norris, on bass.  “Like I said on Facebook today, it’s two Bongos for the price of none!” said Barone.  This set was a real treat as the two of them circled through a virtual Greatest Hits of Richard’s solo career and songs by The Bongos - including songs like “My Wildest Dream” from the band’s long-awaited and soon-to-be-released album <i>Phantom Train</i>.   The set list also included “The Bulrushes”, “I Belong To Me”, “Miss Jean”, “Tangled In Your Web”, “River To River”, “In The Congo”, “Video Eyes”, “Barbarella”, and the closer, “Number With Wings”.

In between Richard played a couple of rarities like his “Hey, Can I Sleep On Your Futon?” tune that was inspired by the classic “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” -- a Great Depression era tune.  Richard’s song was recorded  for the <i>Occupy This Album</i> record.  Richard also gave a wonderful cover of “It’s Only Love” by The Beatles.

One of the highlights of the night came from when Richard tried staring out into the crowd, but struggled in the darkness to see past a handful of people.  He asked if anyone was out there and if they were to light up their cell phones.  A sea of lights soon filled the beach.  “I wish I could put this on my Instagram,” said Richard as he gazed out from the stage.
 
“The Jersey Shore is a very special, almost sacred place for me that I've been going to every summer for most of my life,” Richard said via email.  “I've written many songs and performed many of my most memorable shows there, such as that last night of the Green Parrot. So to have a concert there now, especially on the actual Beach of Belmar and after the devastation of last year's Hurricane Sandy, was something very close to my heart.

“I always feel a special kind of love and acceptance from the Shore crowds - It's a rare sensation of being onstage yet also feeling I am part of the crowd myself,” he continued.  “Last night's show was about connecting - connecting the past and present with the songs we chose, and connecting with the awesome crowd in every way we could. It was such a beautiful, clear, cool breezy night - a perfect beginning to that last weekend of summer. I wanted to see and sense every person in the audience. That's why I asked them to light up their phones. It looked so beautiful from the stage; Like hundreds of stars twinkling and glowing right there on the beach. Which is, in a way, exactly what they were.”  

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how important The Bongos and Richard Barone’s music was to New Jersey music history, but these songs are like classic rock to many of us.  Richard was the last artist to perform at the legendary Green Parrot rock club and recently performed with The Bongos on the last official night of Maxwell’s in Hoboken.  Those two nights are like bookends on a stellar career that is far from done.  In fact, the new release by The Bongos is about to write a new chapter in the band’s history and introduce them to a whole new generation of fans.  The Bongos, to me, are like a new wave version of The Velvet Underground.  Their songs always reached towards places others dared not go.  Musically and lyrically, both bands were extremely unique, highly influential, and timeless.


For someone like me that lives in Belmar, it’s hard to express just how great it is to have 90.5 bring their Songwriters series to town.  Music on the beach and boardwalk has always been a huge part of my summers, and being able to walk to a free show like this is incredible.  Plans for 2014 are still up in the air, but I’m hopeful the series will return to Belmar.  Watching the size of the crowd build after each show, I know I’m not alone.  With the Taylor Pavilion being rebuilt, 90.5 just might be able to have the best of both worlds in Belmar -- a tremendous location on the beach and boardwalk, plus an indoor facility in case of rain.  And, judging by the weather of the last few years, an indoor location next door would be very welcome.

“Nothing says summer on the Jersey Shore more than hanging on the beach with friends, listening to great tunes,” said Rich Robinson of 90.5 The Night.  “That's basically what Songwriters on the Beach was all about. Thanks to the people of Belmar for letting us bring our weekly party to the beach. Hope we can do it again next year.” 

Friday, August 23, 2013

RED WANTING BLUE ANNOUNCE US TOUR WITH WILL HOGE, SWEAR AND SHAKE

2012 was year of growth for Columbus, Ohio-based band Red Wanting Blue featuring lead singer Scott Terry who grew up in South Jersey. Starting in January with a Top 10 debut on the Billboard "Heatseekers" chart for its best-selling album to date, From The Vanishing Point, the band supported the album with non-stop touring all year. The "From The Vanishing Point Tour" took Red Wanting Blue all over the US and Canada with sold-out shows at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Lincoln Hall in Chicago, and at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC where Red Wanting Blue drew a crowd five times larger than just one year previous.

The band also sailed on The Rock Boat cruise for the second time (in the company of Brandi Carlile, NEEDTOBREATHE, Good Old War, and others), made its network television debut on "The Late Show with David Letterman," appeared on VH1's "Big Morning Buzz Live," taped a session for Daytrotter, and received press attention from Rolling Stone, MTV, Paste, and more. Late last year, Red Wanting Blue recorded a set for NPR's heralded "Mountain Stage" program which will now air the week of August 23 ( http://www.mountainstage.org/mtnstageevent.aspx?id=26309) The set will also be available online starting next week.

Red Wanting Blue is now hard at work wrapping up the recording sessions for the follow-up to From The Vanishing Point. Working once again with producer Jamie Candiloro (REM, Ryan Adams), singer-songwriter Scott Terry spent a week in Candiloro's Los Angeles studio cutting demos before convening with the entire band in its Columbus, Ohio warehouse studio to begin the sessions. The new album will once again be released by Fanatic Records, distributed by Caroline/Capitol Music Group. A release date for the as-yet-untitled record has yet to be announced.

In the meantime, Red Wanting Blue will be doing what the band does best. The upcoming "Dime-Store Circus Tour 2013" will take Red Wanting Blue around the country again, on headlining dates and on shows with Will Hoge and Swear and Shake.




Red Wanting Blue "Dime-Store Circus Tour 2013"

Tickets for all dates: http://www.redwantingblue.com/tour

08/23 Bloomington, IL @ Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
08/30 Troy, OH @ Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Troy Stopover Downtown Street Festival 12AM
08/31 Troy, OH @ Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Troy Stopover Downtown Street Festival 430PM
09/01 Indianapolis, IN @ WARMfest
09/26 New Buffalo, MI @ Hard Rock Cafe @ Four Winds Casino
09/27 Washignton, MO @ Otis Campbell's
10/03 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
10/04 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
10/05 Sioux Falls, SD @ Latitude 44
10/11 Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar Acoustic Show (SOLD OUT)
10/12 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall w/ Swear and Shake
10/16 Buffalo, NY @ TBD w/ Swear and Shake
10/17 Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint w/ Swear and Shake
10/18 Boston, MA @ Church w/ Swear and Shake
10/19 Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live w/ Swear and Shake
10/20 Fairfield, CT @ StageOne w/ Swear and Shake
10/25 Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre *
10/26 Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle *
10/27 Greenwood, SC @ Music on Maxwell @ Sundance Gallery
10/31 Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House Music Hall
11/01 Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *
11/02 Charleston, SC @ Music Farm *
11/08 Kearney, NE @ Exhibit Building @ Buffalo County Fairgrounds
11/09 Evanston, IL @ SPACE
11/10 Evanston, IL @ SPACE
11/15 Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard *
11/16 Austin, TX @ F1 Event
11/17 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
11/21 San Marcos, TX @ Cheatam Street Warehouse *
11/22 Wilmer, TX @ House of Rock *
11/23 Houston, TX @ House of Blues *
11/30 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works *
12/05 San Diego, CA @ The Griffin *
12/06 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour *
12/08 Mill Valley, CA @ Sweetwater Music Hall *
12/11 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
12/12 Seattle, WA @ Barboza *
12/13 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
12/15 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
12/17 Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room *
12/19 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *

GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE TO OPEN 2013-2014 SEASON WITH PREMIERE OF NEW MUSICAL COMEDY "GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER"

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- 9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick will be rockin' every night beginning September 24 with music and laughter. George Street Playhouse and Artistic Director David Saint have announced casting for the opening production for the venerable theatre's fortieth season. Gettin' The Band Back Together (formerly titled Garage Band) is a rockin' valentine to the Garden State, and will be directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando who also helmed The Toxic Avenger in New Brunswick (and New York) a few seasons back. Gettin' The Band Back Together will rock the house beginning Tuesday, September 24 and continue through Sunday, October 27. Opening night is set for Friday, October 4. Gettin' The Band Back Together is performed by special arrangement with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Inc. and Roy Putrino.


The cast is comprised of Broadway veterans, many of whom will be making their George Street Playhouse debut: Heather Braverman (Circle of Friends), Evan Daves (The Coast of Utopia), Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith), Ryan Duncan (Soul Doctor), two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser (GSP's Lend Me a Tenor, Gypsy on Broadway), Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line), Christopher Gurr (Memphis national tour), Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages), Jay Klaitz (High Fidelity), Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone), Adam Monley (Mamma Mia!), Emily McNamara (Around the World in 80 Days), Manu Narayan (Bombay Dreams), Tad Wilson (Wonderland), and Brandon Williams (TV's Entourage, Stay at Home Dad).

Gettin' The Band Back Together boasts a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg, and music and lyrics by Mark Allen. 

Orchestrations are by Doug Katsaros, Fred Lassen serves as musical director, Kelly Devine is choreographer and Tony Award-winner John Rando is director. Creating the world of the play are scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Ken Billington, costume designer Gregory Gale and sound designer Peter Fitzgerald.

The Grundleshotz is a group of performers and writers comprised of Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Berman, Michael Hirstreet, Jenna Coker Jones, Craig Jzorack, Nathan Kaufman, Jay Klaitz, Emily McNamara, Jennifer Miller, Bhavesh Patel, Sarah Saltzberg and Fletcher Young, who helped develop Gettin' The Band Back Together through a series of improvisational rehearsals.

Fast paced and hilarious, Gettin' The Band Back Together is the tale of Mitch recently forty and cut loose from his job on Wall Street. Forced by finances to move back to his childhood home in Sayreville, NJ, Mitch a fine musician thought to be the next Bon Jovi reunites with his high school band mates in a high-stakes battle of the bands. Best buddies, old girlfriends, high school bullies who never grew up and one hot New Jersey momma make for fast times and the ultimate do-over for this Jersey Boy.

Individual tickets, priced $38-$62, are on sale now, as are a variety of full and flexible subscription packages. Contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office 732-246-7717 for tickets and information, or visit the Playhouse website: www.GSPonline.org , on which can also be found directions to the Playhouse by public transportation, or by car, as well as parking and dining recommendations. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's vibrant downtown and steps away from parking, transportation and fine dining for every cuisine and budget. 

KEN DAVENPORT (Book) co-conceived the award-winning Altar Boyz, and also wrote and directed the Off-Broadway hits The Awesome 80s Prom, My First Time and Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage. On Broadway, Davenport's producing credits include Macbeth, Kinky Boots, Godspell, Chinglish, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (Tony nomination), Blithe Spirit and 13. Featured on a national commercial for Apple's iPhone and named one of Crain's "Forty Under 40," Ken is one of the co-organizers of TEDxBroadway. He created and developed the Broadway board game Be a Broadway Star, recently seen on the "Today" show, and a smartphone app called AT THE BOOTH, which gives a listing of available shows at the TKTS booth in Times Square and was featured on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List." Ken also released These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, a documentary on one of the top unsigned rock bands in the country. His blog, TheProducersPerspective.com , has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable and Imedia and has spoken about the theater and arts marketing at conferences around the world. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of Somewhere in Time at Portland Center Stage this spring. For more information, visit www.DavenportTheatrical.com .

MARK ALLEN (Music and Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, songwriter and arranger. He is a 2009 recipient of the American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant, 2007 Frederick Lowe Award, 2005 ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award. He also an accomplished studio vocalist and voice over performer. Credits include: Tinyard Hill, with Tommy Newman (Theatreworks - Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT 2007); Band Geeks! with Newman, Gaby Alter, and Gordon Greenberg (Goodspeed Musicals 2010, NAMT 2009); The Joker's Game with Louis St. Louis and Jim Racheff. Film music: Intercession (dir. Davey Fisher, 2011), Going Down (dir. Ryan Hamelin, 2011), A Viking Saga (2008 Best Original Score -- First Take Film Festival). www.markallenmusic.com . He currently works at Nylon Studios in New York and has created commercial music for companies such as Windex, Corona, Whole Foods, Dell, Castrol and Fisher Price.

JOHN RANDO (Director) was director for The Toxic Avenger which opened George Street Playhouse's 2008-09 Season. He is the 2002 Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning director of Urinetown the Musical. Other Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. With New York City Center Encores! He has directed several highly acclaimed productions: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, The Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, Strike Up the Band and It's a Bird, It's a PlaneIt's Superman. Off-Broadway credits include the New York transfer of The Toxic Avenger (2009 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Off-Broadway Musical), Pig Farm at Roundabout Theatre Company, Bright Ideas at Manhattan Class Company, Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club, Mere Mortals at Primary Stages and The Comedy of Errors at The Acting Company among many others. His numerous credits in regional theatre include American Conservatory Theater, Alley Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, the Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage Company among many others. He was a 1992 Drama League Directing Fellow, and his accomplishments have been recognized by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television with the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award, and The University of Texas with the 2004 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.


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, and are seen by more than 60,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

SIMGE KEEPS LABOR DAY WEEKEND ROCKING THIS YEAR

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Labor Day Weekend is typically jam packed with great shows and family/friend outings throughout the weekend but since most of the world has Monday, Speak Into My Good Eye (SIMGE) wants to help you keep the celebration going this year. The online music site is hosting a tremendous night of music at Asbury Lanes on September 2nd featuring The So So Glos, Diarrhea Planet, Ba Babes, and the final performance of Elevator Art. That's right, the band that was one of the most exciting to come from the Jersey Shore in years will be disbanding after this performance. Just one of many reasons this show is a must attend.


"As we move towards the latter half of summer, it's time to start thinking about how best to spend Labor Day Weekend 2013," said Chris Rotolo of SIMGE. "Sure Friday, Saturday, and Sunday get plenty of deserved attention, but what about Labor Day itself? After the BBQs and fireworks nobody ever seems to have anything fun to do come Monday. Well allow us to fill that particular void."

The So So Glos from Brooklyn and Diarrhea Planet from Nashvill headline the bill. Admission is $10; doors open at 6pm with music scheduled to begin at 7pm.

For more information on the bands visit:

  • The So So Glos: http://www.speakimge.com/tag/so-so-glos
  • Diarrhea Planet: http://www.speakimge.com/tag/diarrhea-planet
  • Elevator Art: http://www.speakimge.com/tag/elevator-art
  • Ba Babes: http://www.speakimge.com/tag/ba-babesAsbury Lanes is located at 209 4th Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ.


    So So Glo
    A post modern narcissist who's devotion to ones ego surpasses their devotion to any social, political or moral cause. A so so glo is an apathetic, pleasure seeking individual who always looks his/her best. A so so glo usually lives with a feeling of "impending doom" or a sort of apocalyptic nihilism.The glow that is emitted from a portable electronic information device such as a phone, computer , ect. The glow that reflects from a device onto a individuals face is often referred to as a "so so glo"

    KEAN STAGE ANNOUNCES 2013-2014 PERFORMING ARTS SEASON

    (UNION, NJ) -- Kean Stage's 2013-2014 performing arts season boasts an impressive lineup of world-class performances all across its campus.


    The Wilkins Theatre season this year features the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Ralph Stanley in his "Farewell" Tour, Jersey's-own Sleepy Man Banjo Boys and Broadway vocalists Betty Buckley, Andrea McArdle, Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie and Faith Prince.

    Dance enthusiasts will enjoy the "Romeo and Juliet" of Chinese folklore performed by the Shanghai Ballet and ballet classics like Swan Lake performed by Moscow Festival Ballet, New Jersey Ballet's Ballet on Broadway and New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble's The Nutcracker.

    The Gene and Shelly Enlow Recital Hall opens the 2013-2014 season on October 5 with the legendary Herbie Hancock. The line-up also features leading musicians and legends of our time in classical, jazz, pop and world music including classical pianist, Emanuel Ax, sitarist, Anoushka Shankar, the blues of Taj Majal, Sutton Foster and a holiday show by Wilson Phillips. New this season, our resident chamber ensemble, Arco will present Concert & Caf, two concerts followed by light refreshments in Yumba Caf where the musicians will be available to discuss the performance.

    Returning again this year is our International Film Series featuring award-winning modern foreign cinema on Sunday afternoons in the Jules Irving Schwartz Lecture Hall in the new STEM building.

    The Kean University main campus is located at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J. and the address for the East Campus where Enlow Recital Hall is located is 215 North Avenue in Hillside, N.J. 


    Tickets are available at the Wilkins Theatre Box Office on campus, by calling908-737-SHOW (7469), and online at www.keanstage.com .

    2ND ANNUAL BELMAR MUSIC FEST

    (BELMAR, NJ) -- The town a few miles away gets all the hype, but Belmar has done a pretty good job of hosting live music this year. Between shows organized by the town in Pyanoe Plaza on Main Street to WBJB (90.5 The Night) presenting great acts on the 5th Avenue Boardwalk, the town is beginning to shed its reputation as strictly a covers bar location.

    One man who has been instrumental in the town's musical evolution is Danny White, owner of Beach Music Studios and long-time Jersey Shore rocker. In 2012, White launched the Belmar Music & Arts Festival along with Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. The festival returns for a second straight year on Tuesday, August 27 at the 5th Avenue Boardwalk from 6pm to 9pm.

    This year's festival features performances by Danny White & Band (who will be releasing their 2nd CD of original music within the last year and a half) and The Pat Roddy Band. Both White and Roddy are proud to call Belmar home. Also performing will be the Beach Music Rock Band -- students from Danny's studio.

    The Belmar Music & Arts Festival was created to celebrate Belmar's rich history of original music & arts. From Gershwin vacationing on Ocean Ave in the 1920's to Bruce Springsteen putting the E-Street Band together on Belmar's E Street & 10th Avenue and to thriving music and arts scene today. Live performances can often be seen throughout the bars and coffeehouses in town from Connelly's Station to Stay Gold. Many would be amazed to learn of the artists who have performed in Belmar.

    Last year's festival attracted a huge crowd to the beach and boardwalk for a great night of music. If you're looking for something fun to do during the last week of summer, come out to Belmar for the free show!

    MIDTOWN DIRECT REP PRESENTS A THEATRE IN THE LOFT READING OF EVIL TIME, BY DAVID JOHNSTON

    (South Orange, NJ) -- Midtown Direct Rep will present a reading of David Johnston's Evil Time at SOPAC (One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ) on Sunday, September 8 at 7pm. The reading is part of Midtown Direct Rep's play development series focused on new and innovative American theatre: Theatre in the Loft.


    Following on the heels of MDR's successful development of Rated P (for parenthood), MDR's program, Theatre in the Loft, aims to do the same for other previously unseen material. MDR now presents monthly readings or workshops of new plays and musicals one Sunday night a month at 7 PM in the SOPAC loft. With a cash bar and post show discussions with the casts and creative teams, MDR fosters a fun and collaborative environment to nurture the development of top notch theatre right here at home.

    Evil Tim by David Johnston will be directed by Robert Ross Parker. Cast TBA.

    From the playwright ...
    Ray, a clean young Christian, arrives at King of Kings World Media Corp. (a nexus of power, media and political influence in the Christian right movement) to begin his internship. But all is not as it seems to be around the office: Dr. Billy has visions, Florence carries a gun, and before long Ray is having hot gay sex with a mysterious UPS carrier, and the two of them uncover a fiendish plot by religious conservatives to bring about the end of the world. Violence, religious extremism and black comedy all collide in this slapstick tragedy.


    About Midtown Direct Rep (MDR)
    With perhaps more professional theater artists than any suburb of NYC, Maplewood/South Orange (NJ) is "where Broadway comes home to sleep." MDR, a theatre company created by and for these NJ-based artists, develops and presents relevant, world-class theatre for its community. www.midtowndirectrep.org .


    Midtown Direct Rep company members include two- time Tony Winner, Norbert Leo Butz, Tony Nominee, Christiane Noll, and "Law & Order; SVU" regular, Joel de la Fuente, among others. The Company is managed by Co-Artistic Directors Sandy Rustin and Jeremy Dobrish, Managing Director Jeffrey Shubart, and Producing Director Evan Fleischer.


    This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

    JON KOONES DISPLAYS WORKS FROM "LOVE-PETRA" SERIES AT SPECTRUM NEW YORK ART FAIR

    (New York, NY) -- New Jersey multimedia artist Jon Koones will be displaying new and current works from his Love-Petra series at Spectrum New York Art Fair from October 3rd through October 6th. Inspired by the entrance to the treasury monument in PETRA, Jordan, Koones will be showing two dimensional paintings and one 7' painted wood sculpture. The work features strong abstract female form using metallic irridescent and bright acrylic paint on canvas. The sculpture will consist of various layers of wood with painted finish. Using triangle form to spell the word LOVE, that is both ancient and contemporary in appearance, Koones uses acrylic and acrylic polymers to achieve three dimensional high lifts off the canvas. 


    "It started as an experimental piece of work that I have repeated over and over in different forms and materials. Like the emotion of love it continues to expand. Let it be seen in may places, in many forms." - Jon Koones on LOVE. 

    Jon Koones is a self-taught artist creating art for almost 30 years. Koones creates strong linear and shape form based contemporary art. His style ranges from simple to complex as well as tight to loose in application. Melding the need to create and be self-sufficient, Jon works as a carpenter and dog trainer. He has exhibited his work in New York City, New Jersey, Fort Lauderdale and Toronto. Jon lives in Essex County, New Jersey. 

    For more information and images, please go to: http://www.koonesart.com


    Spectrum New York 2013 will be held at Javits Center North, 655 West 34th Street in New York City. Spectrum New York is a juried contemporary art fair featuring high-quality artwork by talented mid-career artists who have experience working with galleries. Spectrum was created specifically to offer gallery owners, designers, architects and collectors innovative works by innovative, established artists. For information, registration, show schedule and tickets, please go to: http://spectrum-newyork.com

    THE BAND OF HEATHENS' SUNDAY MORNING RECORD COMING SEPTEMBER 17

    (AUSTIN, Texas) -- In the course of their evolution from loose assemblage to world-class rock 'n' roll outfit, the Band of Heathens has built a potent body of recorded work that's won the Austin, Texas ensemble a reputation as one of its hometown's most vital musical resources. They've won a fiercely loyal fan base and a reputation as one of America's hardest-working touring acts, while revealing a musical and lyrical depth that consistently enriches the band's infectious songcraft.


    Sunday Morning Record, the Band of Heathens' fourth studio album (and seventh overall), marks a milestone in the resilient outfit's development, capturing the musicians' remarkable creative chemistry along with the deepening melodic and emotional resonance in the songwriting of founding singer-guitarists Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist. The 11-song set, produced by Austin studio vets and longtime BoH collaborators George Reiff and Steve Christensen, is the product of an intense period of change within and around the group.
    "Sunday Morning Record was born in the midst of change," agrees Quist. "Life changes, lineup changes, geographic changes. It was a rollercoaster of a year, but that change served the album well and became our muse."

    "We set out to make a record that chronicled the journey of the band through a really difficult and uncertain time," Jurdi states. "In the midst of all of this, Gordy and I were writing songs, starting families, moving families and trying to find a thread to hold onto with our music."

    The musicians' journey is documented with insight, humor and empathy on such compelling new tunes as "Shotgun," "Caroline Williams," "Miss My Life," "Girl With Indigo Eyes" and "Records in Bed," which embody the catchy tunes and punchy performances for which BoH is known, while showcasing the subtlety and introspection that have become increasingly prominent in the band's work, with an added emphasis on the acoustic textures that have long been present in their arsenal.

    "I really think that this is the most personal group of songs we've ever released," asserts Quist. "We had over 30 to choose from, and they were written while we were pondering some major life changes and digging to find the essence of what the band is."

    Sunday Morning Record released, like all but one of their prior albums, on the band's own BOH Records label also benefits from the powerful rapport between founding members Jurdi and Quist, longtime keyboardist Trevor Nealon, and the most recent addition to the band, Richard Millsap on drums.

    "We closed the circle smaller around us," Jurdi notes. "We worked at George Reiff's house and kept the vibe as relaxed as possible. We worked fast, cutting a song a day. We worked in the moment, creating songs during the session, changing others, and eliminating the ones that didn't fit."

    The qualities that make Sunday Morning Record so compelling have been built into the Band of Heathens from its origins in 2005. It was then that Jurdi, Quist and Colin Brooks all of whom had already issued solo albums and were working separately as singer-songwriters around Austin joined forces after informally sitting in on one another's sets at the now-defunct West 6th Street club Momo's. The like-minded tunesmiths soon forged a long-term collaboration, and the aggregation became a full-fledged rock 'n' roll band. 

    The Band of Heathens' imposing reputation as a live act was reflected in their decision to launch their recording career with a pair of live albums, 2006's Live From Momo's and 2007's CD/DVD Live at Antone's. 2008 saw the release of their eponymous first studio effort, produced by iconic Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard. That album won widespread fan approval and copious critical acclaim, as did 2009's One Foot in the Ether, which, like its predecessor, reached the #1 slot on the national Americana charts. Also in 2009, the band gained substantial TV exposure, performing live sets on PBS' Austin City Limits and the legendary German music show Rockpalast, as well as being honored as Best New Band at the Austin Music Awards.

    In 2011, the Band of Heathens' third studio album Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster's Son became the group's most expansive and adventurous statement to date, expanding their sound with a dose of psychedelic sensibility. It was followed by the two-CD/two-DVD set The Double Down: Live in Denver, which once again spotlighted the band's mastery as a live unit.
    Later in 2011, the Band of Heathens experienced its first major personnel shakeup, with Brooks deciding to move on to new projects, founding member and bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman soon exiting as well. Jurdi and Quist reorganized with keyboardist Trevor Nealon, a longtime friend of Gordy's who had joined in 2009, and new drummer Richard Millsap, who had been recommended by his predecessor Chipman, along with a revolving assortment of bassists. The retooled lineup proved its mettle through some diligent road-testing before getting to work on Sunday Morning Record.

    Meanwhile, other changes were afoot, with Gordy and his wife preparing for the birth of their first child, while Ed was in the process of relocating his family to Asheville, N.C. The longtime bandmates both agree that the finished results on Sunday Morning Record justify the extra effort that went into the album's creation.

    "This record's a bit on the quieter side dynamically, but I feel like it's sharper around the corners, both lyrically and musically," adds Jurdi. "I think people see us as a rock 'n' roll band, which we are. But for us, a lot of the best stuff we've done is our quieter stuff, and we did more of that on this record. The further into life you get, the more you realize that life isn't black and white, and that there are millions of shades of grey in between. And as we become better songwriters and better musicians, I think we're better able to explore those grey areas a little more." 

    Sunday Morning Record's more intimate focus is also reflected in the album's title, which was inspired by a line in "Records in Bed" and nods to the value of escaping from the noise of everyday life in order to absorb music, art and life in a more personal and immediate way.

    "It seems like it's gotten harder and harder for people to turn off the constant stream of information and distractions and just lose themselves in art for a little while," says Quist. "Now we're connected to everything in the world at all times, and maybe that makes our lives richer in some ways. But I think that there's also a richness that we miss out on, of just being present in the now and experiencing the world directly. I hope this album moves people to turn off the noise of life for a morning to connect with themselves and with some friends through our music."


    "I'm interested to see how these songs are received when we take them out on the road, because I think that they may make people think differently about the band," Jurdi concludes. "In all of the chaos surrounding us, music has been a refuge from all of the madness. We chronicled our trip through a strange, weird and intense time. You can hear it all here: the joy, the heartache, the disappointment, the longing and ultimately the resolution that this band has found to continue to make albums and perform shows together."


    UPCOMING TOUR DATES

    Aug. 23 FRISCO, TX Grover's Grill & Bar
    Aug. 24 BRYAN, TX Grand Stafford Theater (Ed and Gordy duo)
    Aug. 25 HOUSTON, TX The Mucky Duck (Ed and Gordy duo)
    Sept. 14 MIDLAND, TX Yucca Theater

    **RECORD RELEASE TOUR**
    Sept. 18 NASHVILLE, TN Americana Music Conference
    Sept. 19 NEWPORT, KY Southgate House
    Sept. 20 EVANSTON / CHICAGO, IL SPACE
    Sept. 21 ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
    Sept. 22 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
    Sept. 24 ANNAPOLIS, MD Ram's Head Onstage
    Sept. 25 VIENNA, VA Jammin' Java
    Sept. 26 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
    Sept. 27 FAIRFIELD, CT Stage One
    Sept. 28 BOSTON, MA The Sinclair
    Oct 1 NEW YORK, NY Mercury Lounge
    Oct 3 NORTHAMPTON, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
    Oct 4 FRYEBURG, ME Fryeburg, ME
    Oct 4-6 AUSTIN, TX ACL Festival
    Oct 11-13 AUSTIN, TX ACL Festival

    MONMOUTH ARTS HOLDS ANNUAL NETWORKING MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 18

    (Red Bank, NJ) -- Artists, arts entrepreneurs, nonprofit arts organizations, nonprofits with arts programs and all those interested in how the arts contribute to our community are invited to join Monmouth Arts at the Annual Networking Meeting at Trinity Restaurant & Lounge, 84 Broad Street, Keyport on Wednesday, September 18 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    Monmouth Arts is a nonprofit organization and the official County Arts Agency formed in 1971 to enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts. The vision of MCAC is a vibrant arts community that enhances the quality of life throughout the county. 

    Monmouth Arts supports artists and arts groups through networking and resources, the Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival, the Local Arts Grant Program and the Teen Arts Connection and by highlighting arts performances and exhibitions throughout Monmouth County in Get Out Get Art! and Monmoutharts.org . MCAC's programs and the groups it supports serve over 700,000 people each year and bring over 2,600 arts events to Monmouth County. 

    Mary Eileen Fouratt, Executive Director will share highlights from ArtHelps, Monmouth Arts' program to bring the healing power of the arts to communities hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.
    Monmouth Arts created ArtHelps to assist local artists and nonprofit arts organizations affected by Superstorm Sandy to access information, resources and emergency funding. Through a $150,000 grant from the NJ Recovery Fund, ArtHelps has expanded into a partnership between Monmouth Arts, Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission and Meridian Health's Art Therapy Program. Twenty community art projects developed by local arts groups based on their town's specific needs have been taking place from Keyport to Tuckerton, with more on the way. Art supplies have been donated by Liquitex. 

    The New Jersey Recovery Fund is focused on bold, long-term solutions that promote economic vitality, healthy ecosystems, strong and engaged communities, government transparency and a fair distribution of recovery resources. The Fund has awarded grants to a range of organizations focused on three broad categories: planning and public policies that promote community resiliency and environmental protection; engaging and informing the public about recovery decisions; and using the arts to foster individual and community healing and revitalization in impacted communities. 

    The Arts Society of Keyport, a recipient of an ArtHelps grant to replace the Asiaih Zagar Mosaic Mural that was lost in the storm invite people to come early at 5 pm to see their replacement design that is underway at the Keyport Waterfront Park. 

    After the tour of the art installation, networking and a presentation on ArtHelps will continue at Trinity Restaurant & Lounge from 5:30 -7 p.m. In addition the Local Arts Program grants for Fiscal Year 2014, through a partnership with the New Jersey State Council of the Arts will be announced. These competitive grants are awarded to local nonprofit arts organizations that provide over 2,600 high quality art events throughout Monmouth County each year. 

    A Monmouth Arts Board meeting will commence at 7:15 and is open to the public.
    R.S.V.P. to Mary Eileen Fouratt at mef@monmoutharts.org


    The programs of the Monmouth County Arts Council ares made possible through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.
    (Cape May, NJ) -- Caution: This is not for the faint of heart. Throughout the months of September, October and November, Cape May Stage will be presenting Danger: Stay AwayI, a series of staged readings meant for only the most intrepid of theatregoers.


    How do famous parents deal with having a transgender child? What happens when a couples sexual games go too far? What happens when a man with two lovers must choose only one? Whats it like to battle addiction in its many forms? Where do you draw the line between emotional intimacy and pure carnal desire?

    If these provocative issues intrigue you, then Danger: Stay Away! is meant for you. These staged readings are designed to stimulate, provoke, challenge, and most of all, make you walk away from the theatre with a broader understanding of the human condition and the contemporary world in which we live. We dare you to come. 

    The schedule for Danger: Stay Away! is as follows:


    September 9
    F2M by Patricia Wettig

    The celebrity parents of a transgender student show up unexpectedly at his college for parents weekend.



    September 23
    The Lover by Harold Pinter

    A married couple's sexual role-playing begins to destroy their psyches in an erotic, emotional look at their attempts to fulfill each others needs and desires.



    October 7
    Straight Marriage Plays by Michael Tucker

    The juxtaposed stories of two married couplesone confronting a challenge and the other a massage therapist.



    October 29
    A Celebration of Halloween

    An original collection of readings and vignettes about Halloween including poetry, Poe, the backs of horror film DVDs, and much more.



    November 4
    Cock by Mike Bartlett

    A man must choose between his longtime boyfriend and his new girlfriend he ends up torn between the two who are more than willing to fight to keep him theirs.



    November 18
    The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis

    A former drug dealer finds the inadvertently misplaced hat of his girlfriend's lover, threatening his relationship, his parole, and his sobriety in an intoxicatingly vulgar look at recovery from addiction.



    November 19
    The Bus by James Lanz

    The secret rendezvous location of two boys falls in danger of exposure and they become caught in a conflict between the most powerful church in town and the gas station owned by one of their fathers.




    November 20
    The Eros Trilogy by Nicky Silver

    Three short stories connecting four characters: a comically elegant lady deals with real-life grit; her volatile, drug-addicted son creates some real-life grit; and a vitriolic epistolary.

    STATE THEATRE PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH SINBAD

    (New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre presents family-friendly comedian Sinbad in An Evening with Sinbad on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 7pm. Tickets range from $35-60.


    In 1983, Sinbad embarked on his self-sponsored "Poverty Tour" traveling by Greyhound to comedy clubs across the United States, delivering stand-up comedy, working for meals, and changing out of hotel restrooms. He got his first big break on the hit TV show, Star Search. His success on Star Search led to a co-starring role on The New Redd Foxx Show in 1986. He eventually caught the eye of Bill Cosby, who cast him in the very successful sitcom, A Different World. 

    Sinbad's zany but clean comedy talent and appeal kept him busy throughout the 90s. In 1993, he developed and starred in his own ABC variety show, Sinbad & Friends All the Way LiveAlmost. He also took both on-screen and off-screen roles as the star and executive producer of his FOX TV sitcom, The Sinbad Show, as well as his HBO Summer Jam Weekend specials. The latter subsequently won the NAACP Image Award in the "Most Outstanding Variety Series/Special" category, two years in a row.

    Sinbad's movie credits include Jingle All the Way, Houseguest, First Kid, and Necessary Roughness. His television credits include The Cosby Show, A Different World, The Sinbad Show, and more recently, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org . The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday, 10am-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.

    MONMOUTH ARTS CELEBRATES THE SOUL OF THE SHORE

    (Red Bank, NJ) - Monmouth Arts will present a cocktail party entitled "ArtHelps: Celebrating the Soul of the Shore" on Friday, October 4, 7 -10 p.m. at McLoone's Supper Club 1200 Ocean Avenue, on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. The event honors individuals who have worked to enrich the lives of the people who live & work in Monmouth County through the arts. This year's honorees are being recognized for their use of the arts to help our region recover from the storm. The honorees are Tom Donovan, President/Publisher, Asbury Park Press; Chris Daggett, President & CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Hans Dekker, President, Community Foundation of New Jersey. 


    The Asbury Park Press published Sandy: The Jersey Shore in the Eye of the Storm featuring photographs taken by their staff documenting the storm damage and response. Proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the American Red Cross for immediate response and to the Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau to get the word out that many businesses, restaurants and venues were still "Open for Business". 

    The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey led a joint effort between local and national foundations, New Jersey corporations, and individuals to launch the New Jersey Recovery Fund to support local nonprofit organizations working in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Organizations supported by the Fund focus on engaging local residents in community-building and restoration projects, improving quality and access to information about recovery and rebuilding, using the arts to foster individual and community healing, and impacting critical policy decisions involving land use planning. The Fund supports projects with an emphasis on innovation, collaboration, resiliency and sustainability as New Jersey recovers from Hurricane Sandy.

    Monmouth Arts created ArtHelps to assist local artists and nonprofit arts organizations affected by the hurricane to access information, resources and emergency funding. In partnership with the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission and Meridian Health's Art Therapy Program, and with a $150,000 grant from the New Jersey Recovery Fund Monmouth Arts expanded ArtHelps to work with local artists and arts groups rebuilding spirits as communities rebuild homes and businesses. Over 20 projects have taken place or are planned to bring the healing power of the arts to towns from Keyport to Tuckerton.
    The evening will include lavish hors d'oeuvres and great entertainment. Monmouth Arts invites the community to join us at this fun event featuring performances and artwork from ArtHelps. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Monmouth Arts' arts education and community arts programs and services, including ArtHelps.

    To purchase tickets, sponsorships or advertisements please go to our payment page
    ( http://bit.ly/di4IOM) or contact Mary Eileen Fouratt, mef@monmoutharts.org or at 732-212-1890 x 2. 



    Tickets are limited. The programs and services of the Monmouth County Arts Council are made possible through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.

    THE NEWTON THEATRE 2ND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ALUM JIM BREUER!

    (Newton, NJ) -- The Newton Theatre's second anniversary as a performing arts venue will be celebrated with a live performance by comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer on Saturday, September 7th. Those attending the show should plan to arrive early to enjoy a piece of Anniversary cake and participate in the festivities. 


    The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. For most of its history it was operated as a movie theater. Two years ago new co-owners, Jonathan Peirce and Paul Larena, fully renovated it into a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. In September 2011 The Newton Theatre opened it's doors for a sold-out performance by Todd Rundgren! 

    Since then the theatre has been rocked by bands such as Blues Traveler, the Gin Blossoms, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the Bacon Brothers, Graham Parker, the Winery Dogs, Kansas, and the Wallflowers. Many other memorable artists have graced the stage including Judy Collins, Joan Osborne, Christopher Cross, Richard Marx and Lyle Lovett. Various other types of shows have included comedy, the Irish Rovers and school and family events. 

    The Newton Theatre continues to book new and diverse acts like the upcoming world renowned psychic Sylvia Browne, the funk / soul / rock band Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Celtic Tenors, up and coming country star Sarah Darling, the return of Southern rock greats the Marshall Tucker Band and the Outlaws, top comedians like Paula Poundstone and Ralphie May, a fun family show with The Pop Ups, the greatest big band of all time The Glenn Miller Orchestra and a celebration of the 100th birthday of the acclaimed Woody Guthrie by his son, legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie. 

    In celebration of these past performances and in anticipation of the exciting future ahead the Newton Theatre's anniversary fete with Jim Breuer will be an awesome night out for those who attend. Cake, ticket giveaways and other surprises will be in store before the show begins. 

    With over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience, Jim Breuer remains one of today's top entertainers and continues to win over audiences with his off-the-wall humor and lovable personality. Named one of Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time," Breuer is one of the most recognizable comedians in the business, known for his charismatic stage antics, dead-on impressions, and family-friendly stand-up. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com 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 www.TheNewtonTheatre.com .

    THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY EXTENDS RUN OF THEIR ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF TOVARICH

    (MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey announced today it was extending the run of its critically acclaimed comedy Tovarich through September 1st. Added performances of this long-forgotten treasure, by French playwright Jacques Deval and adapted by the American author Robert E. Sherwood, are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 29th, 30th and 31st at 8 p.m.; and Saturday August 31st and Sunday, September 1st at 2 p.m. 


    "Our audiences and the critics have raved about this production and we are thrilled to be able to extend its run so that even more people can experience this rarely-produced and extraordinary theatrical gem," said Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte. "There has not been a significant revival of Tovarich in more than 50 years, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is the only theatre in the nation and perhaps the world where this play can be seen! It's a special gift for our audiences and I am delighted by the enormously enthusiastic response that it's getting." 

    Performances of Tovarich take place at The Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Tickets range from $42 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 www.ShakespeareNJ.org . Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts. 

    Written by Jacques Deval in 1933, Tovarich was adapted in 1935 by Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning writer Robert E. Sherwood, renowned American author of numerous plays including Idiot's Delight and Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Rarely-seen since the first half of the 20th century, this rich theatrical piece tells the improbable tale of an indomitable Russian Grand Duchess and her dashing Prince of a husband living in exile in Paris after the Russian Revolution. In the years between its premiere and the start of World War II, Tovarich was one of the most popular and widely produced plays in Europe and America. 

    Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs the production which is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
    The original Broadway production of Tovarich premiered in 1936 at the Plymouth Theatre, starring Marta Abba and John Halliday. City Center's 1952 revival starred three-time Tony Award-winner Uta Hagen and Luther Adler. Warner Brothers brought Tovarich to the "silver screen" in 1937, with Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer. A musical adaptation premiered in 1963 with book by David Shaw, music by Lee Pockriss, and lyrics by Anne Croswell. Vivien Leigh starred in the musical and took home the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. 

    Four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert E. Sherwood, a New York native, was an original member of the Algonquin Round Table, a New York City social group for actors, writers, critics, and wits. Sherwood began his career as an editor for Life magazine and went on to an illustrious career as a playwright. His notable works include The Road to Rome (1927), Waterloo Bridge (1930), and The Petrified Forest (1935). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his plays Idiot's Delight (1936), Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938), and There Shall Be No Night (1940). His intense interest and involvement in politics led him to write speeches for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and later pen the intimate portrait, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (1948) for which he received his fourth Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock's Academy Award Winning film Rebecca (1940) and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 1946 Best Picture-winner The Best Years of Our Lives.


    The Cast
    The cast features Shakespeare Theatre leading man Jon Barker as Prince Mikail Alexandrovitch Ouratieff and Carly Street, making her Shakespeare Theatre debut, in the role of the Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna. Shakespeare Theatre veteran Colin McPhillamy plays Chauffourier-Dubieff; Alison Weller and Matt Sullivan play Charles and Fernande Dupont, and Seamus Mulcahy plays their son Georges. Mary Dierson plays Madame Van Hemert and Anthony Cochrane is Commissar Gorotchenko.

    The cast also includes, Blythe Coons, John Greenbaum, Einar Gunn, Christy Richardson, and Rachael Fox.

    About the Director
    2013 marks director Bonnie J. Monte's 23rd season as Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Since 1990, she has directed more than 50 productions for the company, including most recently As You Like It, Trelawny of the Wells, Man of La Mancha, Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol, The Misanthrope and Othello, No Man's Land, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet. 


    The Artistic Staff
    Creating the world of Tovarich are set designer Brittany Vasta, costume designer Paul Canada, sound designer Karin Graybash, and lighting designer Steven Rosen. Alison Cote serves as production stage manager.


    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 www.ShakespeareNJ.org


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


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

    EAST LYNNE THEATER COMPANY'S HOLDS ANNUAL RAFFLE AND FUNDRAISER

    (CAPE MAY, NJ) -- On Thurs., November 7, the award-winning, non-profit, Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company presents its annual fundraising gala at Aleathea's Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. The evening begins at 5:30p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. At 6:00p.m. is a sumptuous dinner, and at 7:00p.m., the entertainment begins.


     Once more, ELTC is selling 50/50 Raffle Tickets for $50 each, with a limit of only 200 tickets to be sold. First place will be given 30% of the amount received for all tickets sold, which could be $3,000; second place receives 15%; and third prize receives 5% of all tickets sold. The raffle will be the night of ELTCs November fundraiser, and purchasers don't have to be present to win. Patrons may purchase tickets now by making checks out to East Lynne Theater Company and mailing them to ELTC's office, 121 Fourth Ave., West Cape May, NJ 08204. Tickets will then be mailed to purchasers. Raffle tickets may also be purchased at ELTC's box office on the night of a performance.

    Those who have items to donate for ELTCs auction that will take place on November 7, may contact the office at eastlynneco@aol.com or by calling 609-884-5898.

    ELTC will be celebrating the near-end of its 33rd season, as it kicks off its exciting line-up for its 34rd year of world premieres, New Jersey premieres, American classics, nationally touring productions, and educational outreach for all ages.


    Meanwhile, East Lynne's 2013 Cape May Season continues with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" playing through August 31, followed by "The Late Christopher Bean" from September 18 October 13.

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Rock Wilk returns to the Crane House with a taste of 'Privilege'

    (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- "Sketches from life," is how a young aspiring author named Stephen Crane described some of his first attempts at short fiction — a body of work that included his very first story, written when he was a teenager living at his mother's cottage on Fourth Avenue in Asbury Park.

    Nearly 130 years later, the former home of the celebrated American novelist, poet and journalist best known for "The Red Badge of Courage" will be the setting for "Sketches From Life" — a new series of theater and spoken word events, spotlighting poetry, prose and performance that speaks to this still-young century — even as it illuminates the long and dynamic history of The Stephen Crane House.

    Presented in the house's Lecture Room, the series is being programmed by Tom Chesek, theater reviewer and arts correspondent for the Asbury Park Press and Gannett Newspapers since 2002, and a writer whose articles on New Jersey culture and history have appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and websites. For the inaugural event, the Crane House welcomes an encore appearance by an artist whose drive and vision has taken him from that intimate 30-seat space, to venues around the world.

    It was on a summer evening in 2008, when the performance poet, playwright, singer, songwriter and storyteller Rock Wilk came to the Crane House to deliver the very first performance of "Ma'Plej" — an autobiographical piece that mixed multimedia and monologue with music from the veteran musician's CD "Broke Wide Open." Centered around Wilk's search for his birth mother — and his own place in a world that's as confusing as it is captivating — the solo show would gradually morph, mutate and evolve into the 2012 Off Broadway production "Broke Wide Open," an intense and exhilarating work that toured coast to coast, garnering rave reviews from national media like NPR and the Huffington Post.

    On Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m., Rock Wilk returns to The Stephen Crane House — and to Asbury Park, "that magical town that I got to spend almost three years in" — with an all-new play entitled "Privilege." It's a "very provocative" script, described by the artist as "a beautifully tragic love story that exists around four main characters (Bed-Stuy residents Saint, Esther, Jamaal and Queen) and explores how life treats each, and how race and gender plays into each of their existences in the most fundamental ways." The show made its first workshop appearance in New York, and has since received readings in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Chicago.

    "There are no songs in 'Privilege,' and very little poetry, but I hope it reads like a symphony, like a beautifully tragic opera," notes the playwright who, despite having performed to thousands of fans and supporters throughout North America and Europe, is enthusiastic about returning to the Crane House — a place that "will always have this magical significance for me…it was where 'Broke Wide Open' really began to come of age, to morph into what my entire life was supposed to look like as a work of art."

    "I am thrilled and honored to be back in Asbury," adds Wilk. "The Stephen Crane House, where I feel a deep connection, is perfect…and is truly a PRIVILEGE for me."

    Admission to the August 27 performance of "Privilege" is $10, and the play is recommended for audiences age 16 and older. Light refreshments will be served at the performance, and seating is extremely limited, with attendees encouraged to reserve tickets in advance through rockwilk.com. Contact The Stephen Crane House on Facebook, or at (732)361-0189 for directions or additional information, and check the Facebook page or the official website (thestephencranehouse.org) for updates on additional events in the "Sketches From Life" series.


    Originally constructed in 1878 under the name of Arbutus Cottage, The Stephen Crane House has been rechristened here in the 21st century in honor of the American novelist, journalist and short story author Stephen Crane (1871-1900), who resided in the Fourth Avenue home at the beginning of his career as a writer. Having been rescued from the brink of demolition, the historic house is in the process of being renovated as a museum dedicated to the life and times of the man who wrote "The Red Badge of Courage" and other literary classics. Frequently in use as a host venue for theater, film, music and spoken word events, as well as a meeting place for arts groups and other nonprofit organizations, The Stephen Crane House is committed to serving the greater Asbury Park community as a resource for the support and celebration of our city's rich cultural life and heritage.

    November 2013 Events At The State Theatre

    (New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre's schedule for November features a wonderful mix of music and dance. The month starts off with the Irish Chamber Orchestra featuring esteemed flutist Sir James Galway (11/3/13). Next, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble will take the stage with their exciting dance show, Gypsy Romance (11/9/13). November also features the musical Godspell (11/10/13), the Shanghai Ballet's The Butterfly Lovers (11/16/13), and rock band ZZ TOP (11/18/13).

    NOVEMBER EVENTS


    Irish Chamber Orchestra
    Sun, November 3, 2013 at 3pm

    JoAnn Falletta, conductor
    Sir James Galway, flute
    Lady Jeanne Galway, flute
    Program: Harty, In Ireland; Mozart, Flute Concerto in D major with Sir James Galway, flute; Hammond, Carolan Variations with Sir James Galway, flute and Lady Jeanne Galway, flute; Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 ("Scottish")

    The living legend of the flute, Sir James Galway, joins the Irish Chamber Orchestra for a wonderful matinee performance led by Conductor JoAnn Falletta. The performance will also feature flute soloist Lady Jeanne Galway. Concert tickets range from $35-70.

    In addition to the concert, State Theatre will be hosting a Classical Season Celebration that day. This special event features a pre-concert champagne reception at 2pm and a post-concert dinner and silent auction at Christopher's Restaurant (10 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick). For more information on the event or sponsorship opportunities, call 732-247-7200, ext. 543. Proceeds from this event support the classical performing arts at the State Theatre.

    Gypsy Romance
    Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
    Sat, November 9, 2013 at 8pm

    The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, accompanied by the Folk Orchestra and the world-famous Gipsy Orchestra, presents their show Gypsy Romance, a wonderful performance of authentic dances from throughout Hungary's history. Celebrating the heritage of Hungary, the Ensemble performs in beautiful traditional Hungarian costumes, while the orchestra performs on authentic, traditional Hungarian instruments. Since it was established in 1951, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble has performed in 44 countries across four continents to more than 7.5 million people. Tickets range from $27-57.


    Godspell
    Sun, November 10, 2013 at 2pm and 7pm

    Prepare ye for Godspell, the beloved musical from Stephen Schwartz, the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning composer of Wicked. Enjoy all the good gifts of one of the most enduring shows of all time in a brand new intimate, one-of-a-kind production. Raise your spirit with the Tony®-nominated score filled with the popular hits "Day By Day," "Light of the World," "All Good Gifts," "By My Side," and "Turn Back, O Man." Tickets range from $35-75.


    The Butterfly Lovers
    The Shanghai Ballet
    Sat, November 16, 2013 at 8pm

    With a history of 33 years, the Shanghai Ballet has created and staged new folk-styled ballet productions of The Butterfly Lovers, and A Sigh of Love. Xin Lili, the Artistic Director of The Butterfly Lovers, won the Silver Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition in 1987 and the first Grand Prix Couple in the third Paris International Dance Competition. The Butterfly Lovers premiered at the Ceremony of the Shanghai International Arts Festival in 2001 and has been modified and perfected since then. Tickets range from $27-57.


    ZZ Top
    Mon, November 18, 2013 at 8pm
    ZZ Top has a musical style all their own rooted in the blues, and always transforming into something different, whether its punk rock, electronica, or new wave. This American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass), and Frank Beard (drums). The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers' hits include "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Sharp Dressed Man," "Legs," "Rough Boy," "Cheap Sunglasses," and "La Grange." Tickets range from $45-125.


    For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday, 10am-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.

    GLENN TILBROOK of Squeeze Comes To Newton Theatre

    (Newton, NJ) -- The Newton Theatre has added Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, a key voice of the New Wave generation, to their schedule on Tuesday, October 15th at 7:30 pm. Best known for singing and writing such iconic hits as Tempted, Pulling Mussels from a Shell and Black Coffee in Bed,  Tilbrook will bring his outstanding vocals and powerhouse pop songs in an amazing acoustic performance!

    Mention Glenn Tilbrook and most people may immediately think of Squeeze. After all, with his writing partner Chris Difford, Tilbrook was responsible for Top Ten hits all around the world such as Tempted, Pulling Mussels from a Shell, Black Coffee in Bed, Hourglass, Cool For Cats and Up The Junction. Ever since their first EP in 1977, Squeeze has delighted audiences with their brand of honky-tonk new wave and pithy lyricism, while their stock in the music world has seen the likes of Jools Holland, Paul Carrack and Elvis Costello all contribute to their work. 

    However, since an acrimonious split in 1998 Squeeze has been on the backburner. Although you might forgive him for resting on his laurels after 13 albums and countless tours all over the world, Tilbrook has continued to write and perform with the same enthusiasm that he brought to Squeeze's earliest recordings. With his two solo albums, "The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook" and "Transatlantic Ping-Pong", he proved he's lost none of the joie-de-vivre that became Squeeze's trademark. For 2009's album "Pandemonium Ensues", he injected some fresh faces by recruiting new band The Fluffers and some prestigious guests in the shape of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. This has been complemented by a conversational live show that is delightfully shambling in its approach – Tilbrook loves blurring the boundary between crowd and performer by performing requests and even taking his audience for walkabouts to set up impromptu gigs!

    Although a Squeeze reunion had always looked unlikely, Tilbrook and Difford's paths slowly began to cross with more frequency, leading to a series of low-key gigs together in 2007. In 2008, super fan Mark Ronson presented them with the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, while Lily Allen called them the Robert De Niro of music when they received the Nordoff-Robbins Icon Award. With the addition of former Squeeze bassist John Bentley, and Fluffers pair Stephen Large and Simon Hanson, this lineup has been winning fans all over again with gigs and festival appearances at the likes of V, Oxegen, T in The Park, Guilfest and Latitude, reminding us all of the outstanding back catalogue that Squeeze possess.

    Yet it is away from music that Tilbrook is now making his most important contribution. He is a member of the charity Love Hope Strength, set up by his good friend Mike Peters (The Alarm). Work for this has involved record-breaking treks up the likes of Everest and Kilimanjaro with fellow musicians, raising money to buy equipment to help cancer sufferers across the world.

    Clearly, for Glenn Tilbrook playing is about enjoying the moment, and it's that desire and enthusiasm that sets him apart from so many of his peers. Whether he's playing to a room of 50 people or to a festival crowd, either with Squeeze or solo, Glenn Tilbrook still gets the buzz from playing and making music that is all too rare among his peers or those he has inspired, and marks him out as a performer to be cherished.

    Tickets for Glenn Tilbrook are $34.00 for Premium seating, $29.00 for the Orchestra and $24.00 for the Balcony. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com 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 www.TheNewtonTheatre.com. 

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    GARDEN STATE FILM FESTIVAL MOVES TO ATLANTIC CITY

    (ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- After 11 years as a signature annual attraction in and around Asbury Park, the Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) is moving to Atlantic City. The festival is held over a long weekend in early spring and screens hundreds of shorts, features, documentaries, music videos and trailers from around the world, with a special emphasis on New Jersey filmmakers. The event is highlighted with celebrities, workshops, casting calls, seminars, parties, awards and outreach to special populations like members of the military and veterans, the elderly, people with special needs and students K-12. 


    Lingering disputes between the City of Asbury Park and developer Madison Marquette raised questions about the future use of the festival's main venues, the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall Atrium. GSFF cannot be presented in Asbury Park without those spaces dedicated to the four-day event. "Timing is everything," said Ms. Raver. "The festival has had a wonderful home in Asbury Park for more than a decade but Atlantic City can provide us the opportunity to present and compete at a whole other level. With almost limitless venues for screening, events, and hospitality plus a local airport, the possibilities are endless." The festival draws an estimated 30,000 people annually to the off-season event which has been a boon to local business. GSFF received the 2012 Monmouth-Ocean Development Council (MODC) Tourism Achievement Award in recognition for its significant contribution to improving the economy of the bi-county area through tourism. According to Asbury Park's Department of Commerce, the event generates more than $825,000 into the city each year.

    "This is a terrific example of a great public/private partnership. The festival is a great event which will continue to grow year after year; Atlantic City is an amazing venue that is reenergized and revitalized and the combination of the two will make for phenomenal synergy," said John Palmieri, executive director, CRDA. "We are thrilled to partner with the Garden State Film Festival and to add this event to our growing number of attractions and reasons to DO AC!"

    The partnership with CRDA includes support that will afford the festival time and fiscal stability to replace sponsors attached to the Asbury Park location, build new relationships, and increase attendance numbers by marketing to audiences from Philadelphia in the west to Washington, D.C. in the south, and continue to serve their audiences from Northern New Jersey and New York City. "Asbury Park is a wonderful, nostalgic place to thousands upon thousands of film aficionados who grew up on the Jersey Shore but Atlantic City is an international destination that can provide all the amenities and infrastructure we need to grow the festival," added Ms. Raver.

    The festival has attracted a long roster of artists from famed actors - including its co-founder the late Robert Pastorelli, - as well asGlen Close, Celeste Holm, Laine Kazan, Ed Asner, Phillip Bosco, James Gandolfini and Diane Ladd, to famed musicians including Bruce Springsteen, and many up and comers who made their debut as filmmakers and performers at the GSFF. The four-day festival includes an array of events in addition to the screenings, and a robust arts education component that will be replicated in the Atlantic City area public school districts. "Currently, we mainly serve as a presenter to students but have long relished the idea of providing related curricula and even hands-on film making training," notes Ms. Raver. 


    Since the 2011 Tourism District Act legislation was enacted, the CRDA and its non-profit marketing partner, The Atlantic City Alliance, the nonprofit marketing arm of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, has had great success implementing the strengths and appeal of arts and culture to market and attract more visitors to Atlantic City. Attracting the GSFF is a cornerstone of this effort. The festival's 12th anniversary in its new home will be held April 3-6, 2014.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    The Sunday Blues: Worth The Wait

    (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- AUGUST 10, 2013) -- Sometimes I worry when bands take several years to release a record.  Will they lose momentum? Will people still care? For one incredible night at the Saint in Asbury Park, those questions were answered for The Sunday Blues.  A packed house full of fans, friends, and family came out for the official cd release of "City Folklore" proving that sometimes good things can come to those who wait.

    "City Folklore" is an outstanding record, one of the best of the year in my opinion.  It's a mix of alt-country rock and americana that moves smoothly from the lead vocals of Keith McCarthy to Lindsey Miller and times when the duo works as one.  Produced by Arlan Feiles, it's a great sounding debut record.  For the record release party, the band (which also contained Andrew Clelland on bass and Johnny Macko on drums) played all but one of the songs on the new record and threw in a few newer tracks as well.

    Seeing Lindsey and Keith on stage with these songs took me back to the days of the old Twisted Covers at the Twisted Tree Cafe in Asbury Park.  The Sunday Blues were sort of forming at the time and some of the songs on this record were written and performed back then - even before they had a band name.  Amazingly, the songs sound just as fresh today as they did when I first heard them many years ago.

    Highlights of the set for me included: "You're Breaking Me", "Miranda" with Kerry McNulty (Lindsey's old bandmate from Divine Sign) on lead vocals, "The Overthrow", and "Four In The Morning".  As with the album, the set flowed back and forth between Keith on lead vocals and Lindsey on lead.  The new songs ("Holy War" and "You Know It's True") and the closer, "When I Paint My Masterpiece" by Bob Dylan were great additions as well.

    The show was proof that if a musician supports the scene, the support will be there for them as well.  Arlan Feiles, Eric Ginsberg, Frankie and Kelly McGrath, Michael Dante Summonte, Kerry McNulty, Danny White, Gregory Schwartz, Jerzy Jung, and Michael Askin were just some of the folks in attendance.

    Lightning Jar opened the show, followed by Rick Barry.  They all returned to the stage at the end to join The Sunday Blues in a cover of "Homegrown Tomatoes" by Guy Clark.

    Prior to The Sunday Blues' set, Rick Barry gave another great solo set, playing a few songs I haven't heard him do in years like "Stupid American" which Lindsey had requested.  He told the story of how that song was written at the Saint.  Ironically, I was there that night and still remember the pad of paper with the original lyrics.  One of the words in that song was actually banned by Scott Stamper at the Saint for many years.  On this night, Rick let it fly! 

    His set included the "So Sweet And So In Love" tune written for his old Works In Progress series; "All Your Mistakes Have Names"; "Perfect Portrait (of a coward)"; "Atlantis" -- performed with Lindsey Miller; and a wonderful cover of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by the Smiths featuring Keith McCarthy on guitar.  It was interesting seeing Keith tone down his Keith Richards vibe for a Johnny Marr look on stage.  I always wanted to have a Twisted Covers - Smiths show and seeing this made me wish we had done one.

    Unfortunately, a set like this just makes me remember the times when you never knew what to expect from a Rick Barry show.  He used to be so prolific that he would sometimes rattle off a completely new set list from one show to another -- all with brand new tunes.  While, that's not exactly the way to build a fanbase, his show today is somewhat like a set lost in time.  When his last EP was released, I thought he had dozens of songs that were better at the time than the ones chosen.  While the record did earn him some praise from people who hadn't paid attention to him at the time, many long-time fans felt the way I did -- that a better album was inside him.  Some of the songs that are rumored to be on his upcoming disc are actually songs I wished were on that last one.  Between some of his more popular "hits" and the songs that were written around the time of his last record, but never released, it's almost as though he's playing catch up.  It's almost like he needs to release his next record and immediately start recording the next to get back in the right time frame.  Although, if there's one thing the Sunday Blues showed tonight... it's never too late.