March 16, 2016

Art_Wilson

WOODROW WILSON EXHIBIT: On April 4 Princeton University will open an exhibit that examines the contested legacy of Woodrow Wilson. The exhibit will be held in the Bernstein Gallery, Robertson Hall. In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a panel discussion on April 8 discussing Wilson’s life and career held in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The contested legacy of Woodrow Wilson forms the focus of a new exhibition and panel discussion at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  more

On March 28 at 6:30 p.m., more than 200 singers will gather on the Mayo Concert Hall stage at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) campus in Ewing. TCNJ students will perform alongside five high school choirs from Japan who all come from the region affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster. The performance is part of Project Hand-in-hand, which aims to support the recovery of the Japan disaster by using music to support cultural exchange and communication. This will be the fourth time in five years that TCNJ has partnered with Project Hand-in-Hand.  more

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.12.16 AMPrinceton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Executive Director Marc Uys returns to his musician roots when he performs live at the PSO’s Spring Chamber Concert Sunday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Uys, harpist Bridget Kibbey, and soprano Mary Mackenzie will perform works by composer and former Princeton University professor Edward T. Cone, IAS’s Artist-in-Residence Sebastian Currier, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Written nearly 50 years apart, Cone’s Duo for Violin and Harp and Currier’s Night Time are significant contributions to the repertoire, reflecting the influence of Béla Bartók’s compositional symmetry and rhythmic manipulation upon their individual styles. Also on the program is Saint-Saëns’ Violons dans le soir, based on the eponymous poem by Anna Elizabeth Mathieu.

Prior to joining the PSO, Uys was concertmaster of New York City-based Arcos Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. He collaborated with harpist Jacqueline Kerrod in the duo Clockwise, touring South Africa performing premieres of newly commissioned works by 10 South African composers. In 2007 he led performances of Philip Miller’s RewindA Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony, including its world premiere in Cape Town and U.S. premiere in New York.  more

Art_Indo

This artwork by Nadini Chirimar entitled “City Journal” is apart of the Indo-American Arts Council’s seventh annual “Erasing Borders 2010: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora.” The piece is a 44×66 inch mix of drawing, woodblock printing, gold leaf, collage, and embroidery on Japanese Kozo paper.

Theater rev

MURDER LURKS: Mollie (Jessica Bedford) finds herself in the midst of a deadly intrigue, in an isolated old manor house, cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded by an odd assortment of complete strangers, one of whom is a murderer, in McCarter Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” the longest running play in the history of English theater. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952, and 64 years later, after more than 25,000 performances, it is still playing, by far the longest running show in theater history. Though McCarter’s current rendition of the classic murder mystery will run only two more weeks, until March 27, the high-energy, captivating Matthews Theatre production displays vividly the lasting appeal of this show. Whether you’re a whodunit aficionado or not, this show with its eight finely drawn, deftly presented characters and its rich visual appeal is highly entertaining from start to finish. more

This season, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director, Rossen Milanov, have dedicated programming to the creativity of women, and this past Sunday afternoon’s performance at Richardson Auditorium featured one of the more creative artists on the music scene today. Composer Caroline Shaw, who doubled as violinist soloist in her own Lo for Violin and Orchestra, crossed many genres of music as both composer and performer. These multiple genres of music thoroughly permeated her three-movement work, which was effectively played by the Princeton Symphony. With movements delineated by tempo markings rather than titles, Lo seemed to be semi-autobiographical, showing bits and pieces of many composers whom Ms. Shaw has credited with influencing her own creativity.  more

Theater_PPL

The first African-American expedition to climb Denali, North America’s highest peak, is the subject of An American Ascent. The film is being screened Saturday, April 2, as part of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival at Princeton Public Library. Now in its tenth year, the festival features a line-up of more than 25 acclaimed films with filmmakers and other speakers presented over the course of 7 days. For a complete list of festival films, and updates on speakers, see princetonlibrary.org

March 10, 2016

HillierDrawing

Chef Max Hansen has announced plans for a 25,000-square-foot new catering venue in an old farmhouse on Carter Road in Hopewell. The $7 million project geared to weddings, corporate events, and catered affairs is scheduled to open by the summer of 2017. The project will create some 100 full-time jobs.

The location will also become the headquarters for Mr. Hansen’s entire operation. For the past 25 years, Max & Me Catering, Max Hansen Caterer, and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery in Bucks County have served the area. more

March 9, 2016

movie rev 3-9-16The conventional wisdom for shooting a sequel to a successful action movie is that “bigger is better.” In the case of this follow up to Olympus Has Fallen, that means bigger guns, more elaborate chase scenes, a higher body-count, and more pyrotechnics, including exploding cars careening off cliffs in flames.

Directed by Babak Najafi, London Has Fallen stars Gerard Butler in his role as Mike Banning, the Secret Service Agent who is in charge of protecting the president of the United States. Also reprising their roles are Radha Mitchell as his wife, Leah; Aaron Eckhart as President Asher; Morgan Freeman as Vice President Trumbull; Angela Basset as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs; Melissa Leo as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan; and Robert Forster as General Clegg.

At the point of departure, the Bannings are examining paint samples for their first baby’s nursery. Leah is due in a couple weeks, and the prospect of fatherhood has Mike seriously contemplating retirement. But before he can tender a letter of resignation, word arrives that the British Prime Minister has unexpectedly passed away.

Over his worried wife’s objections, Mike grudgingly agrees to join the detail that is accompanying the president to the funeral. Despite very heavy security in London, chaos ensues when radical Muslims — disguised as Bobbies and Beefeaters — open fire, assassinating several of the 28 leaders of the world leaders who are attending the funeral.

Mike instinctively springs into action to escort the president from Westminster Abbey back to Air Force One. Of course, this is easier said than done, since it’s almost impossible to tell the good guys from the bad, and terrorists armed with automatic weapons and RPGs are lying in wait at every turn.

With the help of cartoon physics and a bulletproof physique, Mike manages to prevail against the army of bloodthirsty jihadists who are working for the diabolical mastermind, Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul).

Very Good (***). Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity. Running time: 100 minutes. Distributor: Gramercy Pictures.

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Mark Doty

Mark Doty will be the featured speaker at the People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos annual benefit, “Notable Words: An Evening Honoring Keith Wheelock” on March 11. The evening of readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Nassau Club, Princeton.

Proceeds from the event will go to the reading and discussion program, which is offered in English or Spanish for adults and young adults who have had limited opportunities to experience the “transformative power of great and enduring literature.” more

BOOK PIC51i+IIjLn0L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_-1Patrick K. O’Donnell, a bestselling military historian and the foremost authority on America’s elite fighting units, will discuss his new book, Washington’s Immortals (Atlantic Monthly Press $28) on Monday, March 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at a benefit for The Princeton Battlefield Society at Princeton’s Metro North Grill, 378 Alexander Rd.

For $50 per person, guests will receive an autographed copy of Mr. O’Donnell’s newly released book, appetizers, and a complimentary ticket for wine/beer. The author will talk about his book and answer questions. The novel is seen through the eyes of the Maryland Regiments, whose actions at key battles from Brooklyn, Trenton to Princeton, and from Cowpens to Yorktown, “changed the course of American history.” Grounded in “an unprecedented access to unpublished primary sources and personal accounts,” Washington”s Immortals presents, “for the first time, a Band of Brothers-style account of the Revolutionary War.”

O’Donnell is a bestselling military historian and the critically acclaimed author of 10 books, including Beyond ValorDog Company, and First SEALs. He served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah. An expert on espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency, he is a frequent contributor to several prominent national publications.  more

book revFrom a gang land point of view, it makes more sense to put a body in the Pine Barrens than in the Hudson River. — John McPhee

I’m beginning a column about Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) with a quote from John McPhee to note the fact that yesterday, March 8, the author of The Pine Barrens celebrated his 85th birthday. While it may be difficult to imagine two writers with less in common, I have no doubt that McPhee could sit down tomorrow, do a month of research, and produce an essay or even a book that would stand as the go-to work about pulp fiction, the mass market paperback revolution, the McCarthy Era, and the author of Kiss Me, Deadly, who once admitted he’s not sure which side of midnight 1918 he was born on (he went with March 9).

Reading McPhee, who grew up in Princeton, you are in the company of a renowned master of non-fiction prose. Reading Spillane, who grew up in Elizabeth and made his fortune writing about the world of buried bodies, you are partaking of an experience that has been compared to eating take-out fried chicken. He himself once used a beloved American snack to tease “those big-shot writers” who “could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.” Besides creating Mike Hammer, the last word in brutal, sex-crazed private eyes, Spillane sold the equivalent of 200 million packs of “salted peanuts” worldwide, and as of 1980, seven of the top 10 all-time fiction best-sellers in America were written by him.  more

Rider_Art

“THE SEASONS”: “June, or What I Thought I Knew,” the oil on linen featured above, is one of the works by Deborah Rosenthal included in the solo exhibit “The Seasons” at the Rider University Art Gallery from now through April 10.

The Rider University Art Gallery’s exhibition titled “The Seasons,” featuring the work of Deborah Rosenthal, is on view now through Sunday, April 10. An artist’s talk will be held in the gallery on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. Admission for all events is free. more

 

PEAC_Art

FIRESTONE’S PHOTOGRAPHY AT PEAC: Pennington photographer Arthur Firestone will have his photos on display at PEAC Health & Fitness for the month of March as part of their monthly Art on Display program. His above photograph, “Greek Columns,” was shot near the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis in Greece.

As part of its Art on Display program, PEAC Health & Fitness will display original works of art from Pennington photographer Arthur Firestone for the month of March 2016. more

Each year, the Princeton University Orchestra holds a concerto competition, allowing student performers to select their own repertoire and challenge themselves for a chance to perform with the orchestra. Some students might play it safe and choose music of the old masters, but not this year’s winners. Soprano Solène Le Van, violinist Jessie Chen, and pianist Evan Chow selected works of the 20th and 21st centuries, showing musical diversity and a deep range of curiosity. Led by conductor Michael Pratt, the University Orchestra presented these three winners this past weekend in Richardson Auditorium. more

Avi_Music

Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital presents an adventurous program at McCarter Theatre on Sunday, March 13 at 3 p.m. Accompanied by accordionist Ksenija Sidorov and percussionist Itama Doari, Avital will perform works spanning from Bach concertos to Bulgarian and Turkish folk tunes. To purchase tickets, call the box office at (609) 258-2787 or visit www.mccarter.org. (Photo by Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon)

Les Noces de Jeannette (Jeannette’s Wedding Day) is a two-person opéra-comique composed by Victor Massé in 1853 to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. The opera, which some consider to be Massé’s best work, revolves around the wedding ceremony of Jean and Jeannette, two villagers in 19th-century France, that goes horribly wrong when Jean runs from the altar, leaving Jeannette as the laughing stock of the village.  more

March 3, 2016

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March 2, 2016

movie revGrowing up in Cheltenham, Michael Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) told anybody who would listen that he would be an Olympic athlete one day. Although mercilessly teased by playmates and barely tolerated by his skeptical father (Keith Allen), the boy clinged to the unwavering encouragement of his supportive mother (Jo Hartley), who encouraged him to fulfill his seemingly unreachable dream.

Despite being farsighted, born with an unimpressive physique, and bad knees, Eddie pursued a variety of track-and-field events as he was growing up. When none of those panned out, he eventually tried downhill skiing, hoping to represent England in the winter games.

However, after failing to qualify for the Olympics as a racer, he turned his attention to ski jumping where he would have no rivals, because England hadn’t competed in that sport since the 20s. So, he went to Germany — one of the few countries that had the requisite training facilities — to begin his training.

There, Eddie began his quest under the tutelage of Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman). First, in order to meet the Olympic’s minimum entry requirements, he had to complete a series of jumps greater than 60 meters.

Of course, that was easier said than done, for it takes not only skill, but a lot of courage to ski headlong down a long ramp and launch yourself into the air. Furthermore, the key to success requires mastering what Bronsan referred to as the “Jumper’s Paradox,” the counter-intuitive instinct to lean forward while in the air, which is the opposite of the natural tendency to straighten up.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill), Eddie the Eagle is a heartwarming adventure describing the actual exploits of the underdog who became a crowd favorite during the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Though initially content just to participate in the games, Eddie became more ambitious as his skills improved.

The movie also makes a passing reference to the Jamaican bobsled team, another group that developed a following in Calgary. Their feats were recounted in Cool Runnings (1993), a picture very similar to this one.

Excellent (****). Rated PG-13 for smoking, partial nudity, and suggestive material. In English, German, and Norwegian with subtitles. Running time: 105 minutes. Distributor: 20th Century Fox.

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FukushimaLabyrinth Books will host a discussion of two new books at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9: Noriko Manabe’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima (Oxford 2015) and Jonathan Pieslak’s Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015).

According to Michael K. Bourdaghs, University of Chicago, “Contrary to widely held stereotypes, Japan has a long and loud history of public protest. As Noriko Manabe shows in her important new book, the massive demonstrations in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster belong to this tradition but also have produced their own distinct soundscape. Her detailed ethnographic and musical analysis of the parts numerous musicians have played in the movement vividly captures the sonic dimensions of this latest chapter from the history of Japanese street democracy.”

In Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015), Jonathan Pieslak discusses music’s transformational impact on the radicalization, reinforcement, and motivational techniques of violent political activists in four radical groups: al-Qa’ida, racist Skinheads, Christian-affiliated radicals, and eco-animal rights militants.
Benjamin J. Harbert, co-editor of The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity, calls Radicalism and Music “a well-argued foil to the notion that music is a universal language that brings people together. The subtheme of music and its relationship to the Internet provides important groundwork for thinking of music as a particular ‘information technology’ without divorcing it from its ritual function.”  more

Art_PDS

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”: This photograph by Olivia Nini, grade 10 — Ken Lockwood Gorge, High Bridge, New Jersey is part of the “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River” exhibit at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery on view through March 30.

D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River,” fine art photography by Princeton Day School students of Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, head of Upper School photography. Focusing on the historic Raritan River, the images are on view through March 30, 2016.

The Beauty section evokes the river’s course through stunningly beautiful New Jersey locations, home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals — many threatened and endangered. The “Beast” segment of the exhibit chronicles effects of the river’s use for transportation; as an energy source for crucial industries; and, tragically, receptacle for toxic wastes.

“We have canoed and photographed the Raritan from New Brunswick to Edison,” says Hohmuth-Lemonick. The Raritan is New Jersey’s longest river and includes the state’s largest contiguous stretch of wildlife habitat. D&R Greenway was founded to preserve land adjacent to waterways such as the Raritan River. more

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EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING: Diana Weymar’s “Telegraph Creek: Tanning a Moose Hide” is part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s new exhibition, “Every Fiber of My Being,” on view in the Taplin Gallery, March 5 – April 17.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents Every Fiber of My Being, a group exhibition featuring textile and contemporary embroidery. Visitors can expect original works from artists Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Danielle Hogan, and Katie Truk. 

Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials — photographs, clothing, text — to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation. more