Thursday, October 31, 2019

UCPAC Presents 90’s House Party featuring Rob Base, Tone Loc, and Young MC

The Union County Performing Arts Center presents 90’s House Party featuring Rob Base, Tone Loc, and Young MC on Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm.

Fans can expect to hear chart-topping hits like “Bust A Move,” “It Takes Two,” “Funky Cold Medina” and many more during a fun-filled night out that doubles as a 90’s old-school, hip-hop party!

Young MC began rapping at the age of 10 and continued honing his skills until he was signed to Delicious Vinyl in 1987 during his junior year of college. While completing his last 2 years at USC, Young MC helped write “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” for Tone Loc. Wild Thing would sell nearly 4 million copies and Funky Cold Medina would sell

well over 2 million copies. In February 1990, Young MC won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance.

Rob Base first began performing with various group; Sure Shot Seven, Cosmic 3 MC’s, Freedom Force and Disco Enforcers. He and partner DJ EZ Rock would eventually separate from the groups to form Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s music began to gained momentum and they would receive a distribution deal with Profile Records. In 1988, they released debut album, It Takes Two. Its title track became a massive single, and both were certified platinum by the RIAA.

1980s rap pioneer Tone-Loc was the second rap act ever to reach #1 on Billboard’s album charts. His album Loc’d After Dark (1989) spawned the hit singles “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”; they remain Loc’s best-known tunes.

Also, local rapper NisaF (NisaFbaby) from the Linden/Rahway area will be the opening act for the show! She gets her sound from her idols and fellow female rappers Missy Elliott, Eve, Lil Kim, and Queen Latifah. She recently released a single, “Who Gon Check Me?”
Orchestra and Loge tickets are now buy one, get one free! No code needed.

The Union County Performing Arts Center’s Main Stage is located at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway, NJ.Tickets can be purchased at, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 732-499-8226. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Renée Taylor’s award-winning autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET next at George Street Playhouse

Renée Taylor’s award-winning autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET will arrive at George Street Playhouse next month, with performances beginning November 19 in the Arthur Laurents Theater at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

In MY LIFE ON A DIET, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning writer and actress Renée Taylor looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets. A self-described “diet junkie” who used to think that if she ate like star, she’d just might look and live like one, Renée dishes out both juicy anecdotes about and weight loss tips from Hollywood legends such as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, and Barbra Streisand. 

She also shares hilarious and poignant stories about Joseph Bologna, her partner in work and life for 52 years. In telling about her high and lows – on and off the scale – this comedy legend proves the ability to laugh gets you through it all.

“We are so fortunate to welcome Ms. Taylor to our new home in the NBPAC this season,” George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint said. “This hilarious show is the perfect opportunity to see an icon
on our stage.” 

MY LIFE ON A DIET is written by Ms. Taylor and Joseph Bologna, and was originally directed by Mr. Bologna. It made its New York premiere last summer with a critically acclaimed, extended run Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clements. In November 2018, Ms. Taylor won the annual United Solo Special Award for MY LIFE ON A DIET for her significant contributions to solo theatre during the year.

Audiences are encouraged to purchase early for the very best seats. 

For tickets, to buy a subscription, or to bring a group of 10 or more at a special group rate, visit 

RENÉE TAYLOR (Performer, Co-Writer). MY LIFE ON A DIET is one of 22 plays, four films, and nine TV movies and series that Renée and Joseph Bologna created together.  Renée and Joe appeared together on Broadway in their plays Lovers and Other Strangers (1968), It Had to Be You (1981), and If you ever leave me … I’m going with you! (2001); and Off-Broadway in Bermuda Avenue Triangle (Promenade Theatre, 1997). For film, they received an Academy Award nomination for the 1970 film adaptation of Lovers and Other Strangers. The following year, they co-wrote and co-starred in Made for Each Other (Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Comedy). Renée and Joe co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1989 film adaptation of It Had to Be You, and the 1996 film Love Is All There Is (which introduced a young Angelina Jolie). For television, the couple won Emmy Awards in 1973 for writing “Acts of Love and Other Comedies,” and were nominated once again the following year for writing the TV movie “Paradise.” They co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1984 HBO movie “Bedrooms” (Writers Guild Award). Renée made her professional stage debut at 15 in a Purim Pageant at Madison Square Garden, and earned her Actors Equity card at age 19 for appearing in The Rehearsal at The President Theatre. Her other stage credits include: Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Agatha Sue, I Love You (directed by George Abbott); Luv (directed by Mike Nichols); Elaine May’s 1964 improvisational revue The Third Ear; and William Gibson’s Dinny and the Witches at the Cherry Lane Theatre.  Her many film credits also include: Jerry Lewis’ The Errand Boy, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Elaine May’s A New Leaf, Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Lovesick, White Palace, Life During Wartime, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, and more recently, The Do-Over and How To Be a Latin Lover. Known for her Emmy nominated role of Sylvia Fine in “The Nanny,” Renée’s other notable TV acting credits include “Daddy Dearest” and the groundbreaking HBO sitcom “Dream On” (she had the distinction of appearing on these three television shows simultaneously).  More recently she has had recurring roles in “How I Met Your Mother,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Happily Divorced,” and can currently be seen on Amazon’s “Gown and Out in Beverly Hills.” In addition winning the United Solo Special Award for Outstanding solo show, Renée was recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 due to the success of MY LIFE ON A DIET.  She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Hofstra University.

JOSEPH BOLOGNA (Co-Writer, Director) was born in Brooklyn, NY on December 30, 1934.  Bologna graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history.  Following a tour with the U.S. Marines, Joe started directing short films and writing special comedy material. Bologna made his Broadway debut as the co-star and co-author of Lovers and Other Strangers, and he made his film debut as the co-star and co-author of Made for Each Other.  His other film credits include Cops and Robbers, Mixed Company, The Big Bus, Chapter Two, My Favorite Year, Blame It on Rio, The Woman in Red, Love Is All There Is and Big Daddy. His television credits include the Emmy-winning television special “Acts of Love and Other Comedies” (co-written with Ms. Taylor), and the made for TV films “Honor Thy Father;” “Paradise;” “What’s New, Catherine Cutis?;” “Torn Between Two Lovers;” and “One Cooks, the Other Doesn't;” among others. An Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning playwright and screenwriter, Joe, with Renée Taylor, his wife and partner of 52 years, collaborated on 22 plays, four film screenplays, and nine TV movies and series.
The national tour of MY LIFE ON A DIET is presented by Julian Schlossberg.

About George Street Playhouse

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, and Kelly Ryman -- Managing Director since 2013, the Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work.  As New Brunswick’s first producing theatre, George Street Playhouse became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the City’s arts and cultural landscape.  With its 45-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.

Beginning with the 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse will move to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick.  Featuring two state-of-the-art theatres -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the NBPAC will mark a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.

Originally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, George Street Playhouse was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick and played a major role in the revitalization of the downtown area.  In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum during construction of its new home.

The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin’ the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013.  American Son, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasqual, and will appear on Netflix.  Other productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger.  In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway.  Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Others include the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at the Playhouse during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. 

In addition to the mainstage season, the Playhouse’s education department provides extensive programming for children, youth and adults.  Partnering with administrators and educators throughout New Jersey, the Playhouse provides unique education experiences that both reinforce classroom curriculum and investigate issues such as bullying, diversity, immigration, health and wellness, and the rising epidemic of opioid addiction. 

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.  Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.  

Final Weekend to see 'The Body of an American' at HTW

'Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library' extended at Luna Stage

Luna Stage’s critically acclaimed World Premiere of Jenny Lyn Bader’s Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library will extend thru November 17. Praised by Oleg Sulkin of Voice of America as “a powerful and timely tour de force,” the production was originally slated to close Nov 10.

Broadway Radio’s Peter Filichia declared in his review: "I won’t be surprised if it makes the leap to New York City where I think it really does belong." 

Set in 1933 Berlin, Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library is a fantastical drama about one of our deepest thinkers, inspired by real events.

Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven calls the production “An intimate, riveting revelation of insight and courage expressed in unexpected ways... providing optimism for the fate of the human race!”

And Johanna R. Ginsberg writes in New Jersey Jewish News "In a moment of intense polarization in our own political discourse, the play is more than a history lesson and a drama; it’s also a dissertation on how to speak to another person across a seemingly impassable gulf.”

About the Play
Johanna Stern will become one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. But at the moment, no one has heard of her, or even of the name she writes under, Hannah Arendt. She is merely a graduate student with one book under her belt. Karl Frick is a young officer, recently promoted from the criminal police force to the political police force, a new division in 1933 Berlin. His first interrogation in this new job promises to be his most challenging one. 

Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library stars Giuliana Carr, Karl Kenzler and Brett Temple, and is directed by Luna Stage’s Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith. The play is appropriate for family audiences, and recommended for ages 12+.

Luna’s World Premiere production of Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library began performances October 17 and runs through November 17. Tickets are $25-$40, and are available at or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. The full schedule of special events, including pre-show LunaLit book-related events and post-show conversations, will be posted at

About Luna Stage
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. We bring communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District—a crossroads of cultures—we celebrate the diverse voices that surround us.

Luna is committed to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists. In addition to its artistic season, the company offers classes for children and adults, and developmental programs for early-career artists.

Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 100 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Luna’s unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.

Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library
by Jenny Lyn Bader
Directed by Ari Laura Kreith 
At Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ | Luna Office: 973-395-5551
Performance Schedule: Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm 
Closes: Sunday, November 17
Tickets: $25-$40 at or OvationTix: 866-811-4111
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Jersey Symphony and Music Director Xian Zhang to present Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with pianist George Li

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Xian Zhang present Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with pianist George Li, December 5–8 in Newark and New Brunswick. The program opens with the NJSO premiere of Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms—a tender string work Clyne wrote after the loss of her mother—and closes with Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.

Performances take place on December 5 at 1:30 pm, December 6 at 8 pm and December 8 at 3 pm at NJPAC in Newark, and on December 7 at 8 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

NJ Advance Media praised Li’s skill in his NJSO debut, when the pianist performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto during the 2018 Winter Festival: “Li delivered full, 88-key arpeggios in the Andantino and the insanely difficult flurry of notes in the finale with exquisite skill.”

Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). Student tickets are $10, available at one month in advance.

December 7 is College Night; $10 tickets for college students include the concert and an exclusive post-concert party. More information on College Night is available at

NJSO Accent events also include a pre-concert singalong in the Prudential Hall lobby on December 5 at 12:30 pm and a Prelude Performance by the NJSO Youth Orchestras’ Chamber Ensemble, led by conductor and NJSO violist Henry Kao, on December 8 at 2:15 pm. The NJSO will collect new, unwrapped toys for the Orchestra’s annual Toys for Tots drive. Learn more at

Learn more about the program at

Thursday, December 5, at 1:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark
Friday, December 6, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark
Saturday, December 7, at 8 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick
Sunday, November 10, at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

XIAN ZHANG conductor

ANNA CLYNE Within Her Arms (NJSO Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8

Singalong Fun – Dec 5 at 12:30 pm
Join fellow music lovers and sing along to an entertaining selection of favorites in the lobby.

College Night – Dec 7 after the concert
$10 tickets for college students include the concert and a post-concert party with refreshments and live entertainment.

Prelude Performance – Dec 8 at 2:15 pm
Enjoy a special 25-minute lobby performance by the NJSO Youth Orchestras’ Chamber Orchestra, conducted by NJSO violist Henry Kao.

Toys for Tots Drive
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the NJSO’s annual Toys for Tots drive.

Bank of America is concert sponsor of the December 8 performance.

Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People and the NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez. NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or at

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YouTube: @NewJerseySymphony

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.