August 24, 2016

“Negro American style” is defined by novelist Ralph Ellison as “the sudden turns, shocks, and swift changes of pace (all jazz-shaped) that serve to remind us that the world is ever unexplored and that while a complete mastery of life is mere illusion, the real secret of the game is to make life swing.”

For anyone looking to make life swing in this hot, heavy summer I recommend the elixir of Christian and Gray. While the joy and energy may be coming from long ago and far away, the message delivered by the electric guitar of Charlie Christian and the tenor sax of Wardell Gray is that the music of life plays on in spite of deranged demagogues, poverty and misery, mass shootings, and terrorist attacks. more

Music_LaShir

Dr. Elyane Robinson Grossman, music director at Sharim v’Sharot, is now holding auditions for all voice parts for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Weekly rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from September through June in Ewing. The choir will perform at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia this November. The theme for the year-end concert in May 2017 is “Songs to Inspire Peace: Shalom, Saalam.” Sharim v’Sharot performs Jewish music of many era and styles at synagogues, concert halls, museums, and community centers throughout the year. Learn more at www.sharimvsharot.org and call (609) 222-4647 to schedule an audition. 

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Violinist Daniel Rowland

On Thursday, September 15 at 8 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents The Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi’s popular The Four Seasons interwoven with Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov. The concert at Richardson Auditorium features Daniel Rowland as violinist and conductor, leading the PSO through Vivaldi’s vividly depicted scenery and Piazzolla’s soulful homage infused with passionate melodies and tango rhythms. more

From the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan to the Top of the Standard in Los Angeles to Lola’s Trailer Park in Fort Worth, Tex., musicians are banding together for The Concert Across America to End Gun Violence on Sunday, September 25th. At Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing there will be a full day of music, food, speakers, art, and peace, as part of this national effort.  more

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So Percussion will offer the first of two free performances in Princeton as part of their Edward T. Cone Residency at Princeton University. On Friday, September 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall, the community has the opportunity to engage in a striking range of music — from John Cage’s Living Room Music transforming household items into instruments, to the world premiere of Emeritus Professor Paul Lansky’s Springs.  more

August 17, 2016

Theater Piaf 8-17-16

Anne Carrere returns to McCarter Theatre on October 17 at 7:30 p.m. to pay homage to French singer Edith Piaf. Join “the Sparrow” on a journey through the streets of Montmartre during the halcyon Paris cabaret days of the 1940s and 50s. For tickets, visit www.mccarter.org or call (609) 258-2787.

August 10, 2016

2016 PST Fool For Love

BATTLEGROUND OF PASSION: Eddie (Matthew Seely) and May (Olivia Nice) can’t live without each other, but they know they can never live together in Sam Shepard’s conflict-fraught drama, “Fool for Love,” Princeton Summer Theater’s final show of the season at the Hamilton Murray Theater and plays for one more weekend. (Photo by Noel Valero)

Eddie: “It’s no fantasy.”

May: “It’s all a fantasy.”

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August 3, 2016

The Princeton University Summer Concerts series has thrived on presenting instrumental chamber ensembles and, to close this summer’s season, added to its offerings by bringing a refined and polished vocal ensemble to Princeton. The German vocal quintet Calmus performed a program based on the works of William Shakespeare last Wednesday night at Richardson Auditorium to one of the best houses the series has seen this summer.  more

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The Board of Trustees of McCarter Theatre Center recently welcomed Leslie Vought Kuenne as its new president. Ms. Kuenne, who lives in Princeton, has been a McCarter trustee since the 2012-13 season. She has served on the boards of the Arts Council of Princeton and Stony Brook Garden Club. Brian McDonald, right, was board president since 2012 and will remain as the immediate past president.

Theater Fool 8-3-16

Princeton Summer Theater closes its 47th season with Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” which opens on Thursday, August 4 and runs through Sunday, August 14. Winner of multiple Obie Awards, the play unfolds in a motel room in the Mojave Desert where two lovers (pictured: Olivia Nice and Matthew Seely) unravel their tangled relationship. A dark exploration into love and family, “Fool for Love” shows us how our pasts surely come back to haunt us. Performances are at the Hamilton Murray Theater located on Princeton University’s campus. To order tickets, call the PST Box Office at (732) 997-0205. (Photo by: Ogemdi Ude) 

Theater Adams 8-3-16

On Saturday, September 10 at 1:30 p.m., the actor Peyton Dixon will portray the Honorable James Adams as he reminisces on his life in Congress, role in the Treaty of Paris, time as vice president, and relationship with George Washington. The program will take place at Rockingham’s historic Dutch Barn, located at 84 Laurel Avenue/Kingston-Rocky Hill Road in Franklin Township, one mile north of Route 27 in Kingston. Dixon is an actor-historian with over 15 years of experience portraying John Adams. The performance is free, but advance reservations are required by calling (609) 683-7132. To learn more, visit www.rockingham.net

July 27, 2016

Recycling company TerraCycle is hosting the 11th annual Jersey Fresh Jam, New Jersey’s biggest showcase of hip hop art and culture on Saturday, August 6. In partnership with Trenton based graffiti artists, Leon Rainbow and Vicious Styles Crew, TerraCycle is providing their headquarters as a canvas for talent around the country to express their artistic freedom. more

Open call auditions for The Pennington Players’ October show, In the Heights, will take place at Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) on Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, August 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. All roles are open and will remain so until the end of auditions. This is a non-equity and non-paying production.  more

July 20, 2016

For the past three years, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has teamed up with Princeton University to present a week-long Composition Institute sponsored by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. Last week, four emerging composers, selected from an international applicant pool of university composition students and composers in the early stages of their careers, worked on the details and refinements of their pieces, aided by the players of the NJSO, Institute conductor David Robertson, and Institute Director and composer Steven Mackey. The week culminated in a performance by the NJSO Saturday night in Richardson Auditorium.  more

Music Martiba 7-20-16

THIS ONE’S FOR THE GIRLS: See 14-time Grammy nominated country star Martina McBride perform at the State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick on Thursday, August 25 at 8 p.m. McBride is well-known for her soprano singing range and country pop materials. Her greatest hits include “Independence Day,” “A Broken Wing,” “Wild Angels,” and “This One’s for the Girls.”

Theater rev 7-20-16

In pursuing its theme of “the Other,” Princeton Summer Theater (PST), last weekend opened its third production of the season, a funny, philosophical, verbally dazzling production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s 1966 masterpiece spin-off from Shakespeare’s Hamletmore

Oscar October (his stage name) introduced Spacetime Riffs, a local improvisational theater group of about ten performers, to the assembled audience at a recent performance.

“It’s not stand-up comedy,” he said. “It’s not set piece comedy. It’s unique. It’s improv.” And just to make sure the spectators were fully prepared, “I’m pretty sure we’ll offend everybody before the evening is over.” more

The city of Trenton and The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) host The Levitt AMP Music Series on Capital Green, July 23 through September 24. Trenton was selected to receive a grant of $25,000 to hold 10 free, family-friendly concerts each beginning at 7:30 p.m. Trenton based NJM Insurance Group is also a presenting sponsor.  more

July 13, 2016

Music_Blue Curt

BLUE CURTAIN RETURNS WITH AN EVENING OF WORLD MUSIC TO HEAT UP THE SUMMER NIGHT: Celebrating 12 years of bringing world-class musicians from around the globe to Princeton for FREE summer concerts, Blue Curtain returns to Community Park North Amphitheater in Pettoranello Gardens on Saturday, July 16 starting at 7 p.m. with Latin jazz legend Papo Vázquez, Mighty Pirates Troubadours and Sofia Rei, who has been called “one of the best Argentine singers ever.”

Featuring Caribbean and South American sounds, Blue Curtain welcomes Papo Vázquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours and Sofia Rei to Pettoranello Gardens on Saturday, July 16 at 7 p.m. The concert is free. more

July 6, 2016

In musical performance, the term “trio” refers to any combination of three instruments, often two stringed instruments and a keyboard. Prima Trio, which performed last Tuesday night on the Princeton Summer Chamber Concerts series, has put their own twist on this tradition by combining piano and clarinet with either violin or viola. Gulia Gurevich has expanded the range of Prima Trio by playing both violin and viola, joining clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan and pianist Anastasia Dedik. Each of these players comes from a unique part of the world, and brought their multicultural backgrounds and solid training to Richardson Auditorium for last Tuesday night’s performance. The members of Prima Trio honed their craft at Oberlin Conservatory and through 12 years of playing together and touring, their performance moved from traditional to contemporary, with much of the program drawn from the 20th century.
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Theater rev 7-6-16

VENEER OF CIVILITY: Two sets of parents come together for a rational, civilized discussion of a playground dispute that has taken place between their sons, in Princeton Summer Theater’s production of Yasmina Reza’s black comedy “God of Carnage.” (L to R) Maddie Meyers as Annette, Billy Cohen as Alan, Olivia Nice as Veronica, and Jake McCready as Michael. (Photo by Ogemdi Ude)

The setting is a fashionable living room in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. The leather furniture is spare and tasteful. A large vase of tulips graces the elegant coffee table, which is covered with art books. An expensive-looking painting fills the back wall.

Two sets of well-educated upper middle class parents are discussing a playground dispute that has taken place between their 11-year-old sons. “Fortunately, there is still such a thing as the art of co-existence, isn’t there?” says Veronica, whose son has lost two teeth in the incident.
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June 29, 2016

Since its inception 49 years ago, Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts has presented many fine string quartets. All-female quartets have been few and far between, and ensembles which can mesmerize an audience as well as the Aizuri Quartet are even rarer. The Summer Chamber Concerts opening event last Thursday night featuring the Aizuri Quartet brought a nearly full house to Richardson Auditorium to hear excellence in chamber music performance.
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June 22, 2016

Theater rev

Princeton Summer Theater’s (PST) 2016 season opener, Assassins, is chilling in its timeliness.

Just five days after a gunman assassinated 49 people in Orlando, the opening-night audience watched as nine characters — all wannabe assassins of U.S. Presidents — paraded across the Hamilton Murray stage, brandishing an array of firearms.  more

This season Princeton Festival has undertaken one of the most complex and challenging operas in the repertory with Benjamin Britten’s dark but poetic Peter Grimes. Like the World War II years in which the opera was composed, Peter Grimes has many levels, reaching back to 19th century morality while drawing on fears and suspicions still prevalent today. The date of the opera’s premiere, in London’s first few post-war months, makes the genesis of this work even more remarkable.  more

Theater Frozen 6-22-16

State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick will host a free screening of Disney’s “Frozen” on Tuesday, July 12 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. The event is part of a Free Summer Movie Series at the State Theatre. Upcoming films include “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Babe,” and “Monsters University.” For more information, visit www.statetheatrenj.org