September 18, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

The Wednesday after the Tuesday from Hell I’m in the Community Room at the old library setting up what will be the last Friends Book Sale before the move to a temporary location in the Princeton Shopping Center. Like most people in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I’m still trying to deal with yesterday’s nightmare. So it’s good to have the distraction of a tiring, totally absorbing task. Although volunteers helped in the moving and unloading of donations, ultimately it’s up to me to get everything ready for the Friday morning opening, and I still have at least a hundred boxes to unpack and price. By the time I arrange stand-up signs on the tables for History, Religion, Biography, Science, and Literature, I’m getting punchy, thinking these aren’t books, they’re the broken pieces of western civilization I’m putting in place, one man’s deranged response to what happened yesterday in lower Manhattan against a pure blue sky, a perfect morning, absolute clarity, then out of nowhere absolute apocalyptic carnage.

Gazing out over the vista of tables piled high with books not yet arranged in rows, I see the towering stacks as buildings, or so it seems in the hour of supreme, up-after-my-bedtime mindlessness. Acutely aware of the relevance of the titles to Tuesday’s madness, I begin the first row of Literature with the Modern Library editions of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Balzac’s Lost Illusions. I’m wondering which would cast the longest shadow in a skyline made of classics, a tower of Balzac or a tower of Tolstoy? On any other day, measured in terms of sheer quantity, it would be the many-storied work of the author of the Human Comedy soaring skyward above all others, but War and Peace is the novel I’ve been absorbed by for months, finally, thankfully, for the first time since I was 20 and unable to love it as much as Anna Karenina. What I’m especially grateful for is knowing that on the night before the catastrophe I was reading and rereading Tolstoy’s account of young Petya Rostov’s enchanted final hours. It was something to cherish forever, to have felt the euphoria all readers should know at least once in their lives, to have spent that night of all nights under Tolstoy’s spell.

Now, after a day of non-stop beyond-belief television, I can’t stop seeing terrified New Yorkers in flight from the monstrous mass of debris risen in Satanic splendor from the smoking ruin, headed full-force up Broadway, as if the mad genius terrorists had designs on midtown, even Central Park. That’s when it dawns on me that the Balzac and Tolstoy buildings should be equal in height, like the Twin Towers.     more

LOVE, HORROR, AND MORE: Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” comes to McCarter Theatre’s Matthews Stage October 15-November 3.

Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a visceral adaptation that brings together inventive staging, acrobatics, and a unique in-the-round experience to  McCarter Theatre’s Matthews Stage October 15-November 3.

Mary Shelley herself (played by Cordelia Dewdney) rests at the core of the theatrical adaptation. Ahead of her time in more ways than one, the author was only 18 when she conceived of Frankenstein. Shelley experiences a lifetime of love and passion, of tragedy and loss, all of which unfolds as her characters navigate a new age of science and unintended consequences. Two hundred years later, this cautionary tale is relevant as we grapple with the ramifications of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and algorithms.  more

MORE THAN JUST CONCERTS: This Live Music Meditation from last season is one way Princeton University Concerts strives to bring audiences closer to music and musicians. Several events are planned for this season.

In addition to its lineup of chamber music performances, Princeton University Concerts (PUC) also offers supplemental programs, many of which are free, designed to bring audiences closer to the season’s music and musicians.

These non-concert events, all of which fall under PUC’s “Beyond the Music” programming umbrella, include Live Music Meditations, the annual Late Night Chamber Jam, an At the Movies series at the Princeton Garden Theatre and the Princeton Public Library, and half-hour Warm Ups prior to performances on the Concert Classics series. more

“EASY CHAIRS ON A HOT, SUMMER DAY”: This photograph by Carl LaVO was named the public winner of the 2019 Summer Delaware River Basin Photo Contest. The image will be featured on the commission’s website, social media sites, and annual report.

At the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC) third-quarter Business Meeting last week, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (NJ-7) presented Joint Legislative Resolutions from the State of New Jersey for the winners of the commission’s 2019 Summer Delaware River Basin Photo Contest. Murphy, a hobbyist photographer, was the guest judge for this season, which included a public contest and one run concurrently for DRBC staff.

The photo contest judging team, in addition to the assemblywoman, included DRBC staff. They chose Carl LaVO’s photograph, titled Easy Chairs on a Hot, Summer Day, as the winner of the public contest, and chose DRBC Water Quality intern Scott Jedrusiak’s The Light Within as the winner of the staff contest. more

“BLUE-SPOTTED SALAMANDER”:  Oishee Sinharay, a student at a student at Stony Brook Elementary School in Pennington, won first place for Mercer County in Conserve Wildlife New Jersey Foundation’s 16th annual “Species on the Edge” art and essay contest. The works of county winners are on display at D&R Greenway’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery through October 31.

D&R Greenway’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents the works of the county winners of Conserve Wildlife New Jersey Foundation’s 16th annual “Species on the Edge” contest through October 31.

The annual juried exhibition features art and essays on New Jersey’s threatened and endangered species. Spirited versions of creatures — from Gloucester County’s bog turtle to Passaic County’s Kennedy’s emerald dragon (dragonfly) to Mercer County’s blue-spotted salamander — are on display from 9:30 a.m.  to 5 p.m. each weekday.

The students became virtual wildlife biologists through research and unique art for this statewide educational contest. Open to all fifth-graders, this display of winners launches the fall season of D&R Greenway’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery. more

“OCTAGON”: This mixed media work by Mircea Popescu is featured in the “2019 MCCC Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit” on view at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor through October 10. The community is invited to a reception on Wednesday, September 25 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The focus is on the faculty at the first art show of the season at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), where the college’s own visual arts faculty members have put their personal works on display.

The “2019 MCCC Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit” runs through Thursday, October 10. The community is invited to a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The MCCC Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. more

September 11, 2019

I am English, and my Englishness is my very vision.
—D.H. Lawrence, in a letter from October 1915

By Stuart Mitchner

Earlier the same year, in another letter to another friend, Lawrence wrote, “I know that I am the English nation — that I am the European race.”

You may be thinking, how outrageous, that a mere mortal could ever presume to make such a statement. But then this is no ordinary mortal. The website for “Important Events on This Day, September 11,” begins, inevitably, with a 10-line paragraph about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center; after an inventory of other  events, including a 1973 military coup in Chile and a 1941 speech  by Charles Lindbergh accusing “the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration of trying to draw America into World War II,” the site concludes with “D.H. Lawrence, born Sept. 11, 1885,” followed by a biographical notice almost twice as long as the entry on the American apocalypse. more

ANNIVERSARY SEASON: The Dryden Ensemble begins celebrating its 25th birthday with a benefit October 6. Visit for details.

The Dryden Ensemble will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this season, beginning with their Autumn Benefit on Sunday, October 6 at 5 p.m. This special event will hosted by Brian Fix at his historic home, the first of President Woodrow Wilson’s residences in Princeton.

The evening includes a theatrical entertainment, “An Eyewitness Guide to Versailles,” featuring actors Roberta Maxwell and Paul Hecht, followed by a buffet dinner and silent auction. Reservations are required. Tickets cost $150 per person and may be purchased online or by mail. more

NEW SEASON, NEW HOME: Shown here in “Paquita,” Nanako Yamamoto is among the dancers of American Repertory Ballet appearing at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center this season.

With the 2019-2020 season, American Repertory Ballet marks two major milestones in its history — the opening of its new home at the state-of-the-art New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) and the company’s 40th anniversary.

The company will present four unique programs at NBPAC as well as performances throughout the tri-state region, including appearances in Princeton, Rahway, Trenton, Philadelphia, and New York City.

The season begins September 20-22 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center with Paul Taylor’s Airs; a new work, Overture, by Ethan Stiefel; Beyond the Normal by Riccardo De Nigris; and Fluctuating Hemlines by Septime Webre. more

“RUTH BADER GINSBERG”: This work by Andre Veloux, made of Lego bricks, is featured in “Making Portraits,” on view at the Anne Reid ‘72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School through October 2. The exhibit features eight contemporary artists working in portraiture. A reception will be held on Friday, September 13 from 6-7:15 p.m.

“Making Portraits,” a new exhibition featuring eight contemporary artists working in portraiture, is on view in the Anne Reid ‘72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School through October 2. A reception open to the public will be held on Friday, September 13 from 6-7:15 p.m.

They include Mario Moore, who received an M.F.A. in painting from the Yale School of Art in 2013, and was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University during the 2018-2019 academic year. Currently, he has an exhibition at Princeton University of portraits of blue-collar workers on the Princeton campus, which he created during his Hodder fellowship. The portraits compel dialog about social justice, perceptions and realities of individuals in our society and their representation in American painting. more

“NOSOTRO VENCEREMOS”: The works of Salina Almanzar are featured in “Ni de aquí, Ni de allá — On Being a Third Generation Dominirican,” on view through Sunday, October 13 at the Rider University Art Gallery. An opening reception is Thursday, September 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Rider University Art Gallery presents an exhibit of works by Salina Almanzar titled “Ni de aquí, Ni de allá — On Being a Third Generation Dominirican,” on view through Sunday, October 13. An opening reception and an artist’s conversation with Gallery Director Julia Marsh will be held on Thursday, September 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Almanzar is from Lancaster, Pa., and a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, where she majored in studio art and English literature. She also holds a master’s degree in arts administration from Drexel University, where her thesis topic was Creative Placemaking in the Lancaster Latinx community. She researched and wrote about the ways that the Latinx community in her hometown have created spaces for cultural preservation and the obstacles or successes they may have faced up to this point. She has continued her research collecting stories and create opportunities for cultural preservation in Lancaster. more

September 4, 2019

“Tales of Genji III,” 1998, color woodcut, 119.4 x 106.7 cm. © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York. For more information, visit The exhibit is free to the public and will be up through October 20, 2019.

By Stuart Mitchner

I’m on my own, to be thoroughly me without limits and anything is possible…
—Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011)

Something resembling Helen Frankenthaler’s credo is on my mind every time I begin a column. Now it’s Labor Day weekend, art and work, the charisma of old books, William Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey,” a trip to Hay-on-Wye, and the Frankenthaler exhibition, which will be at the Princeton University Art Museum  through October 20.

The exhibit takes its theme from literary critic William Empson’s landmark study, Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930), a title Frankenthaler borrowed for the large painting on view near the entrance to the gallery. According to curators Mitra Abbaspour and Calvin Brown, the show illustrates “the central principle of Empson’s text: that close reading, like close looking, can yield deep relationships with an abstract composition.”

Given the no-limits, anything-is-possible nature of this column, my idea of “close looking” is expressed in the second stanza of Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” where, “with an eye made quiet by the power/Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,/We see into the life of things.” more

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Princeton Symphony Orchestra begins celebrating the 10th anniversary year of music director Rossen Milanov with a concert featuring twin pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton, who are natives of Princeton, on September 21 and 22. (Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

On Saturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 22 at 4 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) celebration of Rossen Milanov’s 10th Anniversary Season begins with three works by Mozart. Princeton-born twins and virtuoso pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton perform the composer’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major on a program with the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter.”  more

DOYLESTOWN ART FESTIVAL: Scheduled for September 7 and 8, the 28th annual Arts Festival in Doylestown, Pa., will feature 160 juried artists, musical performances on five stages, and an array of art activities and local food vendors.

The 28th annual Doylestown Arts Festival, held in Doylestown, Pa, will this year involve 160 juried artists, 30 musical performances on five stages, and a variety of art activities and local food vendors along with the shops, galleries, and restaurants that line the streets of what USA Today called the “best small town cultural scene” in a nationwide vote.

Expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors, the 2019 Doylestown Arts Festival — on September 7 and 8 — will be preceded by Art Week, an initiative that celebrates the town’s distinctive identity as a year-round destination for arts and culture.

“We are immensely proud of how the Doylestown Arts Festival has expanded so dramatically in recent years and has introduced so many new visitors to our small, very special town,” said Paul Boger, Festival director. “We are equally excited to celebrate Doylestown’s permanent arts and culture attractions, including two significant museums, many art galleries, several historical societies, and dozens of retail enterprises, restaurants, and inns showcasing work by local artists.” more

“SPRING IN BLOOM”: This work by Connie Cruser is featured in “Textures,” a mixed media exhibit at the Lakewood Gallery, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Hamilton, September 7 through November 13. An opening reception is September 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“Textures,” a mixed media exhibit, will be on display at the Lakefront Gallery, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, One Hamilton Place, Hamilton from September 7 through November 13.  An opening reception with light refreshments will be held on Thursday, September 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, “Textures” is sponsored by the Princeton Photography Club. The exhibit will feature the photography of Valerie Chaucer-Levine, the paper quilled art work and pet portraiture of Connie Cruser, acrylic paintings by Sonali Mohanty and watercolors by Gloria Wiernik.

Lakefront Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The gallery is wheelchair accessible. For more visit the Princeton Photography Club website at

“POSTPOSITION/PREPOSITION”: Sarah Hulsey’s woodcuts are featured in an exhibition on the intersection of mathematics and art, on view at the West Windsor Arts Center September 9 through November 1. An opening reception is Sunday, September 22 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) will present an exhibition on the intersection of mathematics and art at the West Windsor Arts Center September 9 through November 1, featuring 17 artists from across the United States. Juried by Lucas Kelly, professor of visual arts at Mercer County Community College, the exhibit examines how artists incorporate mathematical concepts into their work, both as subjects and underlying compositional structures. It includes painting, sculpture, prints, woodcut, and digital media.

An opening reception with the artists will be held Sunday, September 22 from 4 to 6 p.m., with artists be on hand to discuss their work.

Kelly’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and throughout Europe. His work has been the subject of multiple solo and group exhibitions, most notably in the survey of abstract painting The Painted World at PS1 MoMA. In 2019 Kelly was named as the inaugural artist in residence at the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics. A full professor in visual arts at Mercer County Community College, Kelly holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts. He is a member of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid network of artists, and his studio is in Philadelphia. more

August 28, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

A brave man and a brave poet.
— Bob Dylan

In Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel Big Sur, Lawrence Ferlinghetti appears as Lorenzo Monsanto (his real-life middle name), “with his husky shoulders, big blue eyes, twinkling rosy skin, that perpetual smile of his that earned him the name Smiler in college,” a smile “you often wondered ‘Is it real?’ until you realized if Monsanto should ever stop using that smile how could the world go on anyway — It was that kind of smile too inseparable from him to be believably allowed to disappear.”

Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti is still here, still smiling the world on its way his way anyway in Little Boy, a 179-page song of myself/ourself/itself/everyself published March 24 on his 100th birthday (the “Little Boy” is Ferlinghetti as a child). How big is this underwhelmingly titled tour de force? Singer songwriter Tom Waits says, “When I first came out to San Francisco and heard the name Ferlinghetti, I thought it must be a large geographic area. Turns out it is.”

Abandon all hope ye who enter the realm of Ferlinghetti if you’re “half in love with easeful” semicolons and periods. After the first 16 or so pages, the machinery of punctuation is all but dispensed with “like a used-up booster rocket” in the words of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, who calls Little Boy “the last wild, motor-mouth, book-length riff of this poet’s generation … a hip word-flood,” not “a stream” but “a “torrent of consciousness.” In the author’s own words, he’s speaking with the “inexpressible ecstatic at once coherent and incoherent sighing or babbling the voice of all of us heard and unheard loud and soft.”

Prominent among the literary forces at play here is Molly Bloom’s “yes-I-will-yes” soliloquy in the closing chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Other writers cited and sampled in passing range from Twain to Whitman, Eliot to Keats to Yeats, as Ferlinghetti performs a death-and-old-age-be-damned variation on the famous endless scroll of his old friend Kerouac’s On the Road. more

BACK IN REHEARSAL: David A. McConnell leads Voices Chorale as they prepare for the upcoming music season.

In its second season under the direction of David A. McConnell, Voices Chorale is preparing for holiday concerts taking place in December. The first rehearsal is Monday, September 9, and new prospective singers are welcome to join for warm-ups, listening, and experiencing rehearsal. Gathering and refreshments will begin at 7 p.m.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Music Together Worldwide, 225 Pennington-Hopewell Road, Hopewell. Auditions for those who enjoy singing a varied repertoire including classical choral masterworks and contemporary music. Voices is especially seeking tenors and basses, but singers of all voice parts are welcomed to audition.

Auditions will be held prior to rehearsal on September 9, 16, and 23. Contact Audition Coordinator Jen Goings to arrange for a brief, stress-free audition at more

Donnacha Dennehy

The ensemble Alarm Will Sound brings the concert version of Princeton University Professor Donnacha Dennehy’s modern cantata, ​The Hunger, to Princeton Sound Kitchen on September 17, 8 p.m., in Richardson Auditorium.

Rooted in the emotional, political, and socioeconomic devastation of Ireland’s Great Famine (1845-52), the work features soprano Katherine Manley and Princeton University Global Scholar ​Iarla Ó Lionáird. The Irish folk music narrative is interwoven with personal, historical accounts, where the libretto principally draws from firsthand accounts by Asenath Nicholson, an American humanitarian so moved by the waves of immigrants arriving in New York that she traveled to Ireland to report from the cabins of starving families.

The cantata will be paired with performances of compositions by Princeton graduate students Pascal Le Boeuf, Jenny Beck, Alyssa Weinberg, Tom Morrison, Connor Way, and Bora Yoon. The staged version of The Hunger was commissioned by Alarm Will Sound and premiered at BAM’s Next Wave Festival in 2016. The project received financial assistance from New Music USA, The MAP Fund, and the Arts Council of Ireland.

Free tickets are required for this concert, available at and at (609) 258-9220.

“FOUR SEASONS WATERCOLOR ARTISTS”: This painting by Liz Alexander is featured in an exhibit by a group of 10 New Jersey artists who have met bi-monthly for several years under the guidance of professional artist Russ Johnson. It will be on view September 2-30 at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury.

The Gourgaud Gallery, 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury, will host a show of the “Four Seasons Watercolor Artists” from September 2 to 30.

The “Four Seasons Watercolor Artists” are a group of 10 New Jersey artists who have met bi-monthly for several years under the guidance and tutelage of professional artist Russ Johnson. At each session, the members are challenged with a new subject to paint using watercolor, and they also receive a formal critique from Johnson.

There will be several paintings from each artist on exhibit, and most works will be for sale. The artists will be featuring many of their more recent original pieces.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday September 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Cash or a check made out to the Cranbury Arts Council is accepted as payment. All art sold gives a 20 percent donation to the Cranbury Arts Council in order to continue its mission to promote and support the arts through its programs, classes, exhibits, summer art and technology camp, and winter theater camp. For more information, visit

“PUMPKINSEED”: This painting on stone by Patrick Bernuth is featured in “Creature Comforts: Habitat Immersions,” on view through September 20 at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center. The exhibit also features work by artists Annelies van Dommelen, Judith Hummer, and Minako Ota. An artists’ reception is Friday, September 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Desert, meadow, forest, marsh, water — each habitat creates a unique set of conditions for the wildlife that makes them home, offering nourishment, shelter, protection from weather, and other life essentials. In “Creature Comforts: Habitat Immersions,” on view through September 20 at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, four award-winning artists — Patrick Bernuth, Annelies van Dommelen, Judith Hummer, and Minako Ota — demonstrate the vital connection between art and preserving habitat.

At an artists’ reception on Friday, September 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Bernuth, van Dommelen, Hummer, and Ota will talk about what inspires them.

“Through preservation of more than 20,500 acres in central New Jersey, D&R Greenway has been at the forefront of protecting wildlife habitat for three decades,” says Director of Land Stewardship Tina Notas. “The vast, contiguous grasslands at St. Michaels Farm Preserve, for example, provide excellent opportunities to create and enhance habitat for grassland bird populations such as bobolinks, sparrows, and American kestrels.” more

August 21, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration.
— Joni  Mitchell, from “Woodstock”

Joni Mitchell never actually got to Woodstock, but she found her way there in the stardust of her song. According to Mike Greenblatt’s 50th Anniversary Woodstock: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (Krause 2019), she missed the festival because of a scheduled appearance on the Dick Cavett Show. After watching televised news reports from the scene and listening to various musicians talk about it on the radio, she began writing the words and music that became the festival’s anthem. Of all the versions of “Woodstock” on record, the one that best expresses her yearning to be there is by Mathews Southern Comfort featuring steel-guitarist Gordon Huntley. Along with the plaintive singing of Ian Mathews, it’s Huntley’s playing that comes closest to conveying the blissfully unreal reality of longing to be somewhere without actually being there.

“We’re all still at Woodstock,” said Richie Havens, who opened the musical festivities on Friday, August 15, 1969. He was still there when he spoke those words 15 years later in 1984, and although he died on April 22, 2013, he’s still there now, so are we, and so are the couples whose lives together began there. A piece by Paul Kennedy in Greenblatt’s book relates how Kathy and Butch Dukes keep getting asked, “How can you be so liberal?” In the “amused voice” of a woman accustomed to that question, Kathy says, “I tell them, ‘Come on, we met at Woodstock.’”

Kathy was 21 and Butch was 19 when they found themselves “center stage and up the hill, right in the middle of the biggest concert in history.” Introduced by a mutual friend who soon left, they stayed where they were, “surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, talking, listening to music, and, like all couples on a first date, getting to know each other. ‘We didn’t budge,’ Kathy says. ‘Once you sat down, there wasn’t anywhere to go.’”


41 YEARS OF CHORAL MASTERWORKS: Princeton Pro Musica has been presenting choral works for more than four decades. The chorus has announced its upcoming season. (Photo by Jessi Franko)

Princeton Pro Musica (PPM) will open its 41st season on November 3 at 4 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University with an all-Mozart concert.

The Great Mass in C Minor, his majestic setting of the mass text, will feature soprano soloists Clara Rottsolk, last heard with PPM in the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; and Molly Netter, in her first appearance with PPM. As a bonus, the orchestra will perform the Clarinet Concerto in A Major with Paschal Archer as soloist.

PPM’s holiday concert will take place on December 15 at 3 p.m. in the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton. PPM will again be joined by the Trenton Children’s Chorus. The features the “Christmas portion” of Messiah by George Frederic Handel alongside Joy to the World, a suite of holiday carols and songs. more

HEAR THE BEAT: On Friday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m., Sō Percussion gives a free concert at Richardson Auditorium. Tickets are free but reservations are required.

The percussion ensemble Sō Percussion presents a free (ticketed) concert on Friday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, on the Princeton University campus. more

INTRIGUE AND BLACKMAIL: Nicholas Pecht, left, and Tristan Takacs star in ActorsNET’s “An Ideal Husband,” opening the troupe’s season at the Heritage Center Theatre in Morrisville, Pa., September 13-19.

ActorsNET launches its 24th season in September with Oscar Wilde’s comedy An Ideal Husband, adapted and updated by director Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski and Charlotte Kirkby.

“Wilde’s satirical masterpiece of blackmail and political corruption in late 19th century London has been moved effortlessly into Washington, D.C.’s world of politics and scandal during the 1960s,” Rubins-Topoleski said.  “And we’ve assembled an incredible cast to bring this work to life on our Heritage Center Theatre stage.”

Nicholas Pecht and Allison Deratzian costar in this updated comedy. Pecht is the “ideal husband” Robert Chiltern — a respected politician whose great future is threatened by a potentially career-wrecking secret.  Deratzian plays his idealistic wife, Gertrude, whose love is severely challenged when she learns his secret. more