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Sunday, March 31, 2019

View the Reader by Duncan Rogers


The Reader from Duncan Rogers on Vimeo.

Duncan Rogers is also one of our finest New Jersey actors:


In any play all roles are never quite equal, and that is true even in a two character play as middlemen. Duncan Rogers IS the tormented Stanley Cahill. Rogers, not so simply, is giving a master class in acting.

https://www.njfootlights.net/2011/09/review-last-days-of-mickey-jean-at.html

https://www.njfootlights.net/2013/04/review-simon-plaza-suite-first-rate.html

https://www.njfootlights.net/2015/02/wait-until-dark-fun-thriller-at.html

THE RUNNER 
https://www.njfootlights.net/2016/02/review-runner-stumbles-superior.html

Celebrate Spring and Love at BALAM Dance Theatre's Dances of Love: East and West







BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM) premieres its new Out & About series program, Dances of Love: East and West, in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  This entertaining, family friendly program will be presented at the Fort Lee Public Library, located at 320 Main Street, on Sunday, April 28 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

            The library is wheelchair accessible.  Parking is available on the street and in the lot behind the library building on Hoym Street.  For directions and further information, contact the Fort Lee Public Library at 201-592-3615. 

            "These magical works, with their sumptuous costuming, reflective of their courtly and culturally celebratory heritages, will enchant audiences of all ages.  They will experience a vibrant array of culturally diverse dance gems presented by the romantic eloquence of BALAM Dance Theatre's performers," said Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, BALAM Dance Theatre.

Global Performance

            BALAM, a New York City-based company, offers a new vision of contemporary dance by combining diverse cultural dance styles from around the world and time periods with Balinese theatre.  This latest cross-cultural program features these artists from Indonesia, Japan and the United States:  Nani Devi, Toshinori Hamada, Yumiko Niimi, Carlos Fittante, Robin Gilbert and guest cellist Lisa Terry, Artistic Director of Parthenia, A Consort of Viols.  Performers will dance in beautiful vibrantly colored traditional and fusion costumes.  
            The program spotlights a range of dance forms and movements from around the world.  These include Oleg Tambulilingan (Love Dance of the Bumblebees), a scintillating Balinese courtship dance (photo above), and Hagoromo (Angel Dance), a Japanese Noh theatre masked solo dance.  The Gran Chacona, a whimsical duet, transports the audience to 19th century Andalusia in Spain utilizing the Chacona, a wildly popular music and dance from the 18th century, with original choreography using the Spanish Escuela Bolera technique and castanets.  A live music segment offers excerpts from Sebastian Bach’s acclaimed Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major.

            BALAM Dance Theatre debuts the newly commissioned salsa duet, Fantasia de Amor, choreographed by master salsero (salsa dance expert) Carlos Konig.  This piece is performed with music by Venezuelan salsa singer Eric Franchesky.  The audience will also be invited to learn and try some movements.


About BALAM

            Founded by choreographer and movement researcher, Islene Pinder, BALAM Dance Theatre offers a new vision of contemporary dance that is rooted in the dazzling opulence and magical aura of Balinese theatre.  


            The New York City-based dance/theatre company creates a unique entertainment experience that has universal appeal.  Audiences of all ages and backgrounds enjoy BALAM’s innovative movement alchemy where dynamic athleticism, detailed skills, and movement techniques from around world are fused and enhanced by eclectic music, striking masks, vibrant costumes and fantasy stories.


            The company educates the community about dances and cultures throughout the world.  Through its Out & About Series, free and affordable performances, workshops and creative events at the grassroots level are made available for families, children, students and community residents.   


            BALAM has been featured at numerous festivals and venues including First Night New York; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Downtown Dance Festival; and has also appeared throughout the United States and internationally.  The company has received praise from the New York Times and Village Voice, the Governor and people of Bali and the Indonesian Consulate of New York, as well as others.  


           For further information, call 646-361-9183 or visit BALAM Dance Theatre on its blog, www.balamdancetheatre.blogspot.com, follow the company on Facebook, www.facebook.com/balamdancetheatre, and check for updates on Twitter @BALAMDance.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

No One’s Life Is An Open Book In Pegasus Theatre Company’s Fiction By Steven Dietz




PRINCETON JCT., NJ—Everyone has secrets.  But what happens when those secrets are revealed within an otherwise happy marriage?  Can it survive the betrayal?  Pegasus Theatre Company’s production of Fiction by Steven Dietz, running April 5-14, 2019 at the West Windsor Arts Center, explores these questions.  

Linda and Michael Waterman are happily married writers.  When Linda is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, she asks Michael if she can read his journals.  This sets off a series of events that blur the boundaries between past and present, fact and fiction, trust and betrayal.  The couple’s capacity for forgiveness is tested, and they are forced to face the consequences of their actions.

“The very first time I read Fiction, I was struck by how gorgeous the writing is and then was amazed by how deeply it touched me,” said director Peter Bisgaier.  “This play was love at first sight for me.”  

Fiction uses flashbacks, journal entries, confessions, and confrontations to reveal its story. “It’s a kind of hall of mirrors that reflects this couple’s life together,” said actress Jennifer Nasta Zefutie (Linda). “It’s full of twists and turns that leave you questioning what to believe and whether unconditional love is possible despite our flaws.” 

“The beauty of this play is that, even though it’s about the secrets we keep, it’s such an honest and true telling of what a long-term loving relationship can be,” Bisgaier stated.  “With a simplicity of staging, we’ll reveal the beauty of this story and the depth of the relationships it explores.”

When asked why she loves this play, actress Sarah Stryker (Abby Drake) said, “It touches on fundamental issues, both modern and ancient.  It explores the tension between our public and private lives, exposes the difficulty of taking responsibility for our actions, and it highlights the importance of forgiveness, when all is said and done.”

“Audiences will enjoy Fiction’s beautiful storytelling, its complex yet relatable characters, and a plotline full of surprising twists and turns,” said David C. Neal (Michael).  “I wish I could eavesdrop from the back seat of every audience member’s car as they drive home so that I could hear them sort through the journey of this incredibly written play.”


Pegasus Theatre Company is fast becoming known for its intimate, professional productions. Past productions, including the East Coast premiere of Human Error by Eric Pfeffinger, Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs, and Chapter Two by Neil Simon, have received rave reviews by critics and audiences alike.   



Fiction, written by Steven Dietz and directed by Peter Bisgaier (Princeton Jct., NJ), features Jennifer Nasta Zefutie (Cranbury, NJ), David C. Neal (Fanwood, NJ), and Sarah Stryker (West Windsor, NJ). It will run April 5-14, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, and Thursday at 1pm at the West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Rd., Princeton Junction, NJ. Tickets are $24-28 and can be purchased online at www.PegasusTheatreNJ.org or by calling 609.759.0045.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Two River Theater 25th Anniversary Season to present American classic The Belle of Amherst

Two River Theater continues its 25th Anniversary Season with the celebrated American classic The Belle of Amherst, a biographical drama starring Maureen Silliman as poet Emily Dickinson (photo). The biographical drama is written by William Luce, and directed by the theater’s founder and Executive Producer Robert Rechnitz. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, April 13 and continue through Sunday, May 5. The opening night performance is Thursday, April 18 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The Lead Sponsor is Monmouth University and the Production Sponsor is Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor. Two River’s 2018/19 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center.

“I am thrilled to be part of Two River Theater’s 25th Anniversary season,” says Silliman, “and I’m especially happy to be working once again with director Robert Rechnitz, the founder of the theater. Our Emily is very much a human being, who falls in love, who experiences loss, who dreams of the future. Audiences will see a girl, a woman, who is not so far from themselves, but with a gift of putting her feelings—indeed all our feelings—into such beautiful words.”

Emily Dickinson tells her own story in William Luce’s evocative portrait of the writer, which is drawn from her poems, diaries and letters. The play embodies Two River’s mission to produce “new works and world masterpieces that most richly direct our gaze to the life of the human spirit.” 

William Luce wrote The Belle of Amherst for Julie Harris, who premiered it on Broadway in April 1976; Julie Harris also starred in his plays Lucifer’s Child, about Isak Dinesen, and Brontë, about Charlotte Brontë. Luce’s other Broadway plays include Barrymore, which starred Christopher Plummer as John Barrymore; and Lillian, about Lillian Hellman, which starred Zoe Caldwell. 

Robert Rechnitz was a Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University for 35 years before founding Two River Theater, with his wife Joan, in 1994. An educator, director and writer, he is one of New Jersey’s most esteemed theater leaders. The notable productions he has directed at Two River include Curse of the Starving Class, A View from the Bridge, The Glass Menagerie, Thieves’ Carnival, Uncle Vanya, American Buffalo, You Can’t Take It With You, True West and Barefoot in the Park. In 2015/16, Two River premiered his play Lives of Reason, which he co-wrote with Kenneth Stunkel.

Maureen Silliman first performed at the Two River Theater in 1998 when she was cast in The Real Thing and went on to appear in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Our Town. Also at Two River, she appeared as Sonya in Uncle Vanya and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie under the direction of Robert Rechnitz, as well as in the world premiere of his play (written with Kenneth Stunkel), Lives of Reason. On Broadway, her credits include Jenny in Shenandoah and Liv Ullman’s daughter, Katrin, in I Remember Mama. Off-Broadway, her credits include Reckless, Marathon Dancing (Anne Bogart, director), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Andrei Serban, director), Three Postcards and Blue Window (also in Los Angeles—L.A. Drama Critics and Dramalogue Awards). Her New Jersey credits include plays and musicals at Paper Mill Playhouse (Rags), Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (I Capture the Castle and To Kill a Mockingbird) and New Jersey Rep (Angels and Ministers of Grace).

The creative team for The Belle of Amherst includes scenic designer Harry Feiner, costume designer Andrea Hood, lighting designer Andrew F. Griffin, sound designers Charles Coes & Nathan Roberts, and wig designer Cookie Jordan. The production stage manager is Larry Copeland. 

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400. 

A Night of American Poetry
Thursday, April 11 at 7pm in the Two River Theater Lobby
Two River Theater will celebrate Emily Dickinson and other American poets as notable leaders from our community perform live readings in the theater’s lobby. 

Poems from the Nest: A Celebration of Poetry with Monmouth University and Two River Theater
Tuesday, April 23 from 1:15 – 2:30pm in the Monmouth University Library, Room 101
In conjunction with the university’s Scholarship Week, National Poetry Month and Two River’s production of The Belle of Amherst, students, faculty and artists will read an array of poems in this collaboration between Two River Theater and the Arts and Humanities, English and Honors Schools at Monmouth University.
Book Club: The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
Tuesday, April 23 at 6:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library   
Emily Dickinson was one of the most prolific and profound American poets in history. This collection of Dickinson’s work splits her poems into four thematic categories, which the Two River Book Club will discuss: “Life,” “Love,” “Nature,” and “Time and Eternity.”
Audience Extras

Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about Emily Dickinson and The Belle of Amherst in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Post-play discussions will take place on Wednesday, April 24 at 1pm and Sunday, April 28 at 3pm. 


Accessibility

Working with Google, Two River offers a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Calendar
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm 
Sunday, April 14 at 3pm
Wednesday, April 17 at 1 pm and 7pm
Thursday, April 18 at 8pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, April 20 at 3pm and 8pm
Wednesday, April 24 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, April 25 at 8pm
Friday, April 26 at 8pm
Saturday, April 27 at 8pm
Sunday, April 28 at 3pm
Wednesday, May 1 at 10am (student matinee)
Thursday, May 2 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, May 3 at 8pm
Saturday, May 4 at 3pm and 8pm

Sponsorship

Two River Theater’s 2018/19 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center. The Lead Sponsor for The Belle of Amherst is Monmouth University and the Production Sponsor is Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor. Inside Two River is sponsored by The William T. Morris Foundation and The Gallery Residential Brokerage.

Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes the Alec Baldwin Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Brookdale Community College, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, JKW Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Monmouth University, Ocean First Foundation, Rumson Country Day School, The Shubert Foundation, Bella and Max Shulman Family Fund, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, The John Ben Snow Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, VNA Health Group, Wells Fargo, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.


Since its founding in 1994, Two River Theater has been committed to creating great American theater by developing and producing work by some of the country’s leading artists. We are proud to be viewed as a vital cultural resource in the community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Through 8+ theatrical productions each year (including world premieres, musicals, classics and theater for young audiences) and 40+ annual events happening around Monmouth County, we produce exceptional theater and cultivate engaged audiences. Two River Theater is under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. For more information, visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.  


Pixie Dust Players to Host Spring Workshop for Young Actors



Pixie Dust Players is thrilled to bring back their popular one-week Spring Workshop. Participants will rehearse and perform a 30-minute version of Annie, KIDS! with full lights, sets, costumes, and props in just one week!

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

All rehearsals and performances will be held at the Union County Performing Art Center’s Hamilton Stage (360 Hamilton Street, Rahway, NJ) There is a $350.00 tuition which includes production photos, a DVD of the performance, and a souvenir t-shirt.

This workshop is open to performers ages 5-16. This is great chance for beginners to get a taste of what the theatre process is like and an opportunity for more experienced young performers to play lead roles, including those often reserved for older performers. Learn more at www.pixiedustplayers.org/spring-workshop.

PROGRAM INFORMATION:

ROLE PLACEMENT SESSION: Saturday, April 6 between the hours of 10:00-2:00pm (If you are not available on this date, you may send a video. You may still register for the program even if you cannot attend this session).

SCHEDULE: Monday, April 15-Friday, April 19 from 10:00-2:00pm (30 min lunch break) with performances Saturday, April 20 at 10:00am and 11:30am.

In 2007, Pixie Dust Players was founded by 12 year old Lindsay Maron. What began as a small troupe of young teens touring to nursing homes, children’s hospitals, and special education schools, soon became a full-fledged production company. Since 2008, Pixie Dust has produced 50+ productions including several world premieres and pilot productions.
In 2017, Union County Performing Arts Center partnered with Pixie Dust Players to provide opportunities for young performers to study theater and act in some of their first real productions.


Carolyn Dorfman Dance Gala Benefit and Performance at NJPAC



Annual Encore Award to be given to NPAC Leadership;
 Carolyn Dorfman Dance, a premiere modern dance company based in New Jersey and New York City, will appear at NJPAC for two performances on Saturday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, at 3:00 p.m. as part of the Jersey Moves! Festival of Dance Series. The acclaimed company will celebrate more than three decades of work by their founding artistic director and choreographer Carolyn Dorfman in a program entitled “Love Life Dance.” 

Both performances will feature three repertory favorites. The immersive, multimedia dance “Interior Designs” is set to the original score by Svjetlana Bukvich. When the dance premiered in 2013, it was hailed by the Star-Ledger as a Top Ten Dance Event for the year. Employing X-box technology, it a visually stunning tour-de-force which blends art and technology to create “a complex, digital world.”

The popular creation “Love Suite Love” features the bittersweet love songs of country music icon Patsy Cline. In a nostalgic ode to youthful romance, Dorfman’s choreography uses pillows and chairs as props to enchant the audience. Critic Robert Johnson praised the work, writing that “this hilarious dance was a gem of understatement.”

The third work, “Odisea,” chronicles the journey of 23 Jews leaving persecution in Recife, Brazil, in 1654 and journeying to the New World in North America, landing at New Amsterdam (NYC). With music by composers Greg Wall and Cecelia Margules, the dance is part of the company’s exploration of Ms. Dorfman’s Jewish legacy.  

The April 6th performance will also be part of the company’s annual fund raising gala benefit that raises funds to support the operations of Carolyn Dorfman Dance including touring, performing, and all educational programming that falls under the DEPTH (Dance that Empowers People to be more Human) Initiative. In 2016, the Board of Trustees funded the initial $25,000 DEPTH scholarship that covers the full or partial costs to bring the company’s programs to schools, colleges, and community organizations who could not otherwise afford it. The goal is to sustain that level of funding. 

Two key awards will be given at the gala. The Encore Award will be presented to NJPAC Leadership, John Schreiber, Allison Scott Williams, David Rodriguez and Donna Walker-Kuhne, for the deep and broad partnership Ms. Dorfman and the company shares with NJPAC. Executive Director Anita Thomas will receive the Lifeline Award for providing ten years of dedicated and impactful leadership. Soul Jazz Violinist and Vocalist Charisa the ViolinDiva returns with her quartet to perform during the gala reception.

The gala evening performance will be held at the Victoria Theatre at NJPAC as part of the Jersey Moves! Festival of Dance on Saturday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m. Gala tickets start at $225 and include parking and the performance, followed by a cocktails, a light supper, dessert, entertainment and dancing in the Chase Room. Gala sponsorships, tickets, and virtual advertising can be purchased online at https://cddc.ejoinme.org/gala2019.  


General admission tickets to the Saturday April 6 performance are available for $30 and $45. Tickets for a Sunday April 7 3:00 p.m. matinee are $34, $25, and $15 for children and seniors. Tickets to the performances are available at https://bit.ly/2XTaHYf.

NJPAC located at 1 Center Street in Newark, NJ. There is ample parking nearby and the theater is accessible to public transportation including trains and light rail. For more information, visit www.carolyndorfman.dance

Centenary Stage Company and Centenary University’s all student NEXTstage Repertory to present 'Avenue Q'

Centenary Stage Company and Centenary University’s all student NEXTstage Repertory presents Avenue Q April 25 through May 5 in the Sitnik Theatre of The Lackland Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $10.00 - $22.00 and are available on-line at centenarystageco.org or by phone at (908) 979 – 0900.
Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx the production features music and lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez and a book by Jeff Whitty. The laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that, although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show; a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

The production is directed by Carl Wallnau (photo) and Lea Antolini – Lid (photo below). Wallnau serves as the Artistic Director of the Centenary Stage Company, a not-for-profit professional theatre company in residency at Centenary University, as well as, the department chair for Centenary University’s Fine Arts Department. Antolini – Lid serves as the program director for Centenary Stage Company’s Young Audience Series as well as Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts for Centenary University. The production features students of the Centenary University Theatre Department.

Specific performances of Avenue Q run, Thursday April 25 at 7:30pm; Friday, April 26 at 8:00pm; Saturday, April 27 at 8:00pm; Sunday, April 28 at 2:00pm; Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm; Friday, May 3 at 8:00pm; Saturday, May 4 at 8:00pm and Sunday, May 5 at 2:00pm. All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices range from $10.00 to $22.00.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm and two hours prior to every performance. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.