June 8, 2016

1NathansonJeff Nathanson will be stepping down as executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) at the end of 2016, the ACP announced yesterday.

The Arts Council on Witherspoon Street has experienced a significant transformation in the 11 years since Mr. Nathanson took the helm in 2005.

“Jeff successfully led the Arts Council through an exciting time of tremendous growth for the organization,” stated Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert. “He’s been an effective and effusive champion for the role of the arts in building community. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him, and am very sad to see him move on.”

ACP Board of Trustees President Ted Deutsch echoed the mayor’s praise, describing Mr. Nathanson as “an outstanding leader not just for the arts community, but for the Greater Princeton community as a whole. His in-depth experience in arts program development and management helped the organization dramatically expand and improve its arts-related offerings over the past decade. At the same time he has kept the ACP focused on its historic mission to serve the local community through free, accessible and inclusive events and scholarship programs for children and families.” more

Four British authors will discuss their novels June 25 in the intimate setting of an 18th-century literary salon at Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, and the Center of Theological Inquiry’s Luce Hall, 50 Stockton Street, with their friend across the Atlantic, Gladstone’s Library in North Wales.

The authors are Stella Duffy, James Robertson, Sarah Perry, and Andrew Nichol. The moderator is the well-known BBC broadcaster Sally Magnusson.  more

Khalil Gibran

Executive Director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the author of “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America,” will be appearing at Friend Center 101, Olden and William Streets, in Princeton at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. The program will be moderated by Rhinold Lamar Ponder. Admission is free, though registration is suggested.

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FOREST IN THE MOUNTAINS (Forêt dans la montagne): Edgar Degas, ca. 1890, monotype in oil on paper, 11¾ x 15¾ inches. (Museum of Modern Art, New York, Louise Reinhardt Smith Bequest)

Degas was another wonder painter. I’ve never seen a bad Degas. — Ernest Hemingway

Thanks to a press pass that permitted me into “A Strange New Beauty: Edgar Degas” ahead of the paying public, I had the exhibit galleries more or less to myself for one precious, quietly hallucinatory hour. What follows should be about what I saw during a Sunday morning early opening at the Museum of Modern Art. But when the task of commenting on monotypes by Degas (1834-1917) coincides with the death of Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), all bets are off.  more

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“DADDY’S ARMS”: This artwork by Nategna L. is part of an upcoming exhibition at the Hunterdom Art Museum featuring work done by clients of HomeFront, an organization that aids the homeless in central New Jersey. The show runs until September 4.

The Hunterdon Art Museum (HAM) and HomeFront have partnered to create an exhibition that aims to empower the homeless. The opening reception for the exhibit called “The Many Meanings of Home” is Saturday, June 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the museum, 7 Lower Center Street in Clinton. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and suggested admission is $5.  more

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This collage painting is one of 50 artworks by Meredith Remz on display at Triumph Brewing Company until August 7. Among Remz’s art inspirations are industrial design and nature.

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The 25th annual garden tour in this Trenton neighborhood of brick brownstones and tidy townhouses is offering up 26 spaces this year, in a range of shapes, sizes, and styles. The event will be held Saturday June 11, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance; $15 the day of the tour and includes a pre-hour talk at Artworks, on Everett Alley, with Jim Simon, Isles Deputy Director of Urban Agriculture. “Tiny, Tasty and Attractive: Ornamental and Edible Gardening for Small Spaces” is from 11 a.m. to noon. Plenty of free parking is available.

Visit trentonmillhill.org for full information.

June 6, 2016




Photography by Erica Cardenas

The Historical Society of Princeton’s Concert Under the Stars took place on Saturday, June 4 at Updike Farmstead in Princeton. Guests enjoyed wine and dined outdoors while exploring the property’s six acre estate. This year’s fundraiser featured a 90-minute live performance by The Samples, an indie rock band formed in 1985. The event proved to be one of the most memorable nights of the summer.

June 1, 2016

movie rev 6-1-16With over three billion downloads, Angry Birds is arguably the most popular app of all time. Nevertheless, you don’t need to be familiar with the video game in order to enjoy this delightful animated adventure.

The cartoon was co-directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis who are making their debut with this silly comedy that features enough sophisticated asides to keep adults thoroughly entertained. The production is laced with witty one-liners (like “Something isn’t Kosher about these pigs.”) as well as lots of cute sight gags (such as a billboard for “Calvin Swine” underwear).

The story is set on idyllic Bird Island, a tropical paradise that is inhabited by a variety of very happy flightless birds. As the film unfolds, we’re introduced to four birdse who actually have trouble controlling their tempers. We find that Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Terence (Sean Penn), are attending an anger management class being taught by Matilda (Maya Rudolph), a former angry bird who has become a therapist.

The plot thickens with the arrival of a big boat containing two green pigs (Bill Hader and Tony Hale) who claim to be alone and are explorers coming in peace. Of course, the pair have a hidden agenda that is about to be executed by their army of pigs hidden in the boat.

After persuading the gentle gullible birds into letting down their guard, the invaders steal every egg on the island and then set sail for home. When the birds realize that they’ve been duped, the angry quartet, led by Red, springs into action.

Because they can’t fly, they realize their best chance of retrieving the eggs depends upon enlisting the assistance of Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), the only bird on the island who can still fly. Unfortunately, he’s lazy and hasn’t flown in ages. Of course, Red and company coax him into joining forces with them to help save the day. The movie is a kooky comedy with lots of laughs for kids of all ages.

Very Good (***). Rated PG for action and rude humor. Running time: 95 minutes. Distributor: Sony Pictures.

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“PORTRAIT OF MY FATHER”: This painting by Henriette Wyeth will be on display at the Michener Museum come December 2017.  Thanks to a large grant awarded from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener will have a retrospective exhibition examining the work of the late husband-and-wife artists Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd.  

The James A. Michener Art Museum has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the MAGICAL & REAL: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd: A Retrospective exhibition with an accompanying catalogue. Co-organized with the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico, the exhibition will examine the work of husband-and-wife artists Henriette Wyeth (1907-1997) and Peter Hurd (1904-1984). The exhibition will open at the Michener Art Museum in December 2017. more

book rev

I grew up with a picture of her in my bedroom hanging over my bed … watching over me … not as the icon, not as a sex symbol, but as an ordinary girl, her arms outstretched, her head back, the sun’s out, she’s laughing, barefoot in the grass, at Roxbury, where she lived with Arthur Miller.

—Michelle Williams, from an interview about My Week With Marilyn 

Pictures of Marilyn are all over Times Square, for sale to tourists who want to take home a souvenir from the sidewalk caricaturists lining 7th Avenue, plying their trade, deftly capturing the essence of someone’s husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, or child.  more

BRODSKY pic Rider Honor and President Del Omo, Rider University commencement 2016

Artist, educator and arts advocate Judith K. Brodsky receiving an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Rider University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo. In her address, she gave the Class of 2016 a “twofold message, one is to be passionate about something in the world, and the other is don’t just accept things as they are.” (Photo Courtesy of Rider University)

May 25, 2016

movie rev 5-25-16Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) was a working class guy from Queens who never had enough money to play the stock market until his mother died and left him $60,000. The truck driver put every penny of that inheritance into IBIS Clear Capital, a stock that was promoted by TV money guru Lee Gates (George Clooney) as being “safer than a savings account.”

Gates is the glib host of Money Monster, an investment advice show on the mythical FNN Network. The clownish character played by George Clooney was obviously inspired by Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money.

Unfortunately, in less than a month, Gates’s “stock pick of the millennium” goes bust, leaving Kyle frustrated, broke, and at the end of his rope. So, he crashes the set of Money Monster while it is being broadcast, and forces Lee Gates to put on a vest filled with explosives, while Kyle holds the detonator switch for the vest in one hand, and a gun in the other. Producer and director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) has no choice but to give in to Kyle’s demand that the show continue to broadcast.

With his finger on the trigger, he demands answers from Lee about why the stock collapsed while ranting and raving about how “The system is rigged!” Kyle is sure that Gates knew that the stock was going to tank, and demands that all of the IBIS shareholders be reimbursed for their $800 million in losses.

Meanwhile, the police descend on the set, led by Captain Powell (Giancarlo Esposito) who summons a hostage negotiator. During the ensuing standoff, the truth about IBIS emerges in front of millions of viewers, and the company’s CEO, Walt Camby (Dominic West) is shown to be involved in a shady manipulation of his company’s stock.

So unfolds Money Monster, a thriller directed by Jodie Foster. The movie is also a modern morality play that levels some serious accusations at Wall Street. Credit goes to George Clooney and Julia Roberts for committing fully to a production that rests on a farfetched premise that could’ve very easily proved unconvincing in less talented hands.

Excellent (****). Rated R for profanity, brief violence, and some sexuality. Running time: 98 minutes. Studio: Smokehouse Pictures. Distributor: Sony Pictures.

Ever since Einstein revealed his special theory of relativity, we’ve known that time travel — at least moving forward through time — is possible. Einstein didn’t pull this theory, or even the notion that time travel is possible, out of thin air. Rather, he took the knowledge of the day, saw an inconsistency — a piece of a puzzle that didn’t fit, so to speak — and thought about possible explanations. — PBS, Nova Online

Viewers immersed in the Starz series Outlander, where a feisty English nurse is transported from 1945 to the mid-18th-century Scottish Highlands, will know why I’m time-travelling back to January 3, 1777, and Brigadier General Hugh Mercer. The most sympathetic figure to emerge from the Battle of Princeton, Mercer might as well have been a time-traveller himself, given the shape-shifting sweep of his story.  more

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Harriet Coulter Joor, decorator, Joseph Meyer, potter, Vase with a Design of Daffodils, ca. 1903. Ceramic. Newcomb Art Collection, Tulane University 2012.6.2.

“Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise” is on view at the Princeton University Art Museum until July 10, 2016. The free exhibit features over 100 objects including pottery, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, graphic arts, and bookbinding.  more

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ART THAT “WOWS”: This artwork by Princeton artist Priscilla Snow Algava exemplifies the talented work by local artists that are included in her new Pop-Up Art Gallery, “Wondrous on Witherspoon” (WOW).

Princeton artist Priscilla Snow Algava will open “Wondrous on Witherspoon” (WOW), a PopUp Art Gallery in downtown Princeton. Former student and current colleague of Algava, Shannon Rose Moriarty, will curate the exhibit.  more

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A PRESTIGIOUS PRIZE: Max Azaro and his mother, Kathy Azaro, attended the opening of American Ballet Theatre at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. As part of the festivities, Max was presented with the coveted Northern Trust Scholarship. (Photo Courtesy of ABT Jackie Kennedy Onassis School)

Max Azaro was already studying gymnastics when he first took his place at the ballet barre at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Forrestal Village. For the energetic 10-year-old, there was something about this different way of movement that grabbed his attention. He has never looked back.

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Princeton Pro Musica closed its 2015-16 season with a concert of Americana this past weekend. In this election year, Pro Musica Music Director Ryan James Brandau chose to program Sunday afternoon’s performance at Richardson Auditorium in the hope that the spirit of American classical music might effectively ground people amidst the political flurry. With a sampling of 20th and 21st-century choral works, the 100-voice Pro Musica ended their season in uplifting fashion. more

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The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is pleased to be partnering with the Princeton Festival and Princeton Garden Theatre to present Voices of Light, an oratorio by Richard Einhorn with the 1928 silent film classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, on Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. at the Princeton University Chapel. It is a first collaboration of the orchestra with the festival, made possible through the generous support of long-term PSO patrons Enea and Dave Tierno.

PSO Executive Director Marc Uys elaborated on the benefits of the new partnership, “The PSO is always looking for opportunities to work with other arts organizations in the community. This partnership with the Princeton Festival is ideal as it provides patrons and new audiences the chance to experience the excellence of PSO musicians in a unique setting, accompanying beautiful vocals with the added element of a classic film.”

The Princeton Festival’s General and Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk is equally pleased with the collaboration. He said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the PSO on this very engaging and moving multi-media project.”  more

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Princeton Day School (PDS) Director in Residence Stan Cahill announced that Austin Phares ’16, star of the fall production of Our Town, was named Outstanding Actor in a Drama at the 2016 New Jersey Theatre Awards held at Montclair State University on May 16, 2016. The cast of Our Town was also named Outstanding Acting Ensemble. Productions from 57 schools across New Jersey were eligible.  more

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Many dance schools place students in classes based solely on age. At Princeton Ballet School, age is only one factor in determining a student’s placement. Entering students with prior dance training for 1st through 5th grades, and grades 6 and up are welcome to audition. Open enrollment for all other students is underway, as well.

For more information, visit www.americanrepertoryballet.org. (Photo Credit: Theresa Wood) more

May 23, 2016

Theater Rev

MOTHER-DAUGHTER MATTERS: Ruth (Caroline Aaron, left) and her daughter Miranda (Stephanie Janssen) are completely bonded, and in conflict on almost every possible issue, in Sharyn Rothstein’s world premiere family “dramedy,” All the Days, at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre through May 29. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Dysfunctional families have always provided material for great literature and theater. From the ancient Greeks—Odysseus and the battling family of Olympian gods, the Trojan War, the families of Agamemnon and Oedipus—though the great tragedies may have played out in the global, public sphere, the issues always had their roots in family conflict. more

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By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Like the diamonds she uses in her timeless designs, Yanina Fleysher is equal parts elegance and strength. As the founder and owner of Yanina and Company in Cedar Grove and Basking Ridge, Fleysher is one of New Jersey’s premiere jewelers. But before her baubles attracted the likes of Caroline Manzo and Kim Kardashian, Fleysher was catering to a far more humble crowd. more

May 18, 2016

book rev

Charles Mingus and his music gave the impression of howling assurance and terrifying emotions. His bass echoed like a giant’s threat, to be soothed by his balmy melodies…He was dogmatic, pensive, demagogoic, irreverent, furious, nostalgic…He is the best example we have of disciplined turmoil.

—Gary Giddins, from Visions of Jazz

On midwest radio nights around the middle of the previous century teenagers up past their bedtime could pull in clear-channel stations like CKLW in Toronto, WLS in Chicago, and WLW in Cincinnati which, legend had it, beamed a signal so powerful it could be picked up on backyard fences and, some said, on the fillings in your teeth. In a college town 200 miles south of Chicago, a high school sophomore listening to a station in Dallas/Fort Worth on “a little crackerbox AM radio” picked up the music that changed his life. more

Art Rev

ALL-STAR ARTISTS AT PRINCETON: Pictured above is a large-scale painting by senior Veronica Nicholson, one of the artists to be featured in the Senior All-Star Show at the Lewis Center’s Lucas Gallery at Princeton University. (Photo by Veronica Nicholson)

The Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present an exhibition of recent work in a wide range of media by graduating seniors in the program. The exhibition, Senior All-Star Show, will highlight work by students completed as part of their senior thesis projects and will be on view until Tuesday, May 31 in the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street. The exhibition is free and open to the public. more