December 14, 2016

Black Violin, a strings-playing hip-hop duo, recently brought their unique sound to the Hun School of Princeton. “They were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Hun student Delia Lawver ’17, of the band. “They made the violin really cool and modern, and had the whole school up and dancing.” Violinist Kevin Sylvester and violist Wilner Baptiste, who go by the stage names Kev Marcus and Wil B, did a 15-song set for the Hun community as part of the School’s Centennial Speakers Series. The duo, who are classically trained musicians, have performed with Alicia Keys, the Wu-Tang Clan and other stars. They also have collaborated with music world luminaries such as Kanye West, Aerosmith, Tom Petty. For more information, go to blackviolin.net.

Last June, Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) announced it was pursuing a partnership with Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania’s health system. This week, the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees voted for the plan, following approval from the Penn Medicine Executive Committee and the PHCS Board. All that remains to finalize the deal is approval by state and federal authorities. more

McCarter Theatre is proud to announce its reimagined production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Directed by Adam Immerwahr, A Christmas Carol runs from now through December 31 in the Matthews Theatre. Boasting a gigantic list of Broadway, regional and international credits, the cast of A Christmas Carol features returning McCarter veterans Jessica Bedford (The Mousetrap), Warner Miller (Antony & Cleopatra), Lance Roberts (Sweet+Hot), and JD Taylor (The Understudy). They are joined by first-time McCarter artists Elisha Lawson, Anne L. Nathan, Jamila Sabares-Klemm, A.J. Shively, Sue Jin Song, Greg Wood, and Frank X. Pictured above are Zachary McDevitt, Warner Miller, and Liam McKernan. Purchase tickets online at www.mccarter.org or call (609) 258-2787. (Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson)

For the past 41 years, Princeton Airport will host Santa Claus on the day of Christmas Eve. Santa is scheduled to arrive at the airport on Route 206 at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 24. Parents are advised to bring children prior to that time. more

END OF SEMESTER DANCE PERFORMANCES: The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance will present a series of showings of new choreography created by students and choreography learned during the past semester on December 14 through 16 and on January 23 in the Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio and 3rd Floor Dance Studio at 185 Nassau Street and New South Dance Studio. All performances are free and open to the public. (Photo Credit: Larry Levanti)

Princeton University students will perform choreography learned and new student choreography created during the fall semester on December 14 through 16 and January 23 in the Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio and 3rd Floor Dance Studio at 185 Nassau Street and New South Dance Studio. more

Nine women who embody the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women will be inducted into its list of honorees. The event will take place March 9 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

The fundraising evening celebrates the achievements of women from the greater Princeton area who have made significant contributions to their professions, communities, educational institutions, or organizations, and whose accomplishments reflect the YWCA’s mission. more

We’re just in time for a 100th birthday toast to Jack D. Ripper, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget Bat Guano. In real life, the clinically paranoid general who precipitates the nuclear apocalypse in Dr. Strangelove was played by Sterling Hayden and the paranoid colonel with a thing about “preversion” was done to a dead-eyed turn by Keenan Wynn. Both actors entered the world in 1916 and left it in 1986, and while both had 40-year-long Hollywood careers, their place in cinema history will be forever linked with Stanley Kubrick’s black-comedy masterpiece and its we’re-just-kidding-folks subtitle, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. As for George C. Scott (1927-1999), who was unforgettable as Gen. Buck Turgidson, and Peter Sellers (1925-1980), whose chameleon comic genius infused Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, president Merkin Muffley, and the title character, both Scott and Sellers had roles (i.e. General Patton, Inspector Clouseau) that transcended their association with Strangelove.  more

Chita Rivera

The ten-time Tony-nominated actress, dancer, and singer Chita Rivera discussed her extensive career on Broadway in musicals such as West Side Story and Chicago with Broadway director John Doyle, a professor in Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. The discussion took place on Monday, December 12 at 2 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ‘32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street as a part of Doyle’s fall course, “Luminaries of the American Musical Theater.” Presented by the Lewis Center’s new Program in Music Theater. more

Princeton Public Library will screen free movies for children and families during the winter school break, December 26 through 30.

Films will begin at 3 p.m. in the Community Room and include: Zootopia on Monday, December 26; Finding Dory on Tuesday, December 27; The Secret Life of Pets on Wednesday, December 28; The Jungle Book on Thursday, December 29; and The Wild Life on Friday, December 30. Also shown on December 30 will be Ghostbusters: Answer the Call at 6 p.m.  more

More celebratory than a glass of champagne, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Eve Concert at the State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick is a delight for the eyes and ears. The concert features the Strauss Symphony of America, conductor Imre Kollar (Budapest), soprano Katarzyna Dondalska (Berlin-Warsaw), tenor Zoltan Nyari (Budapest), dancers from the National Ballet of Hungary, and International Champion Ballroom Dancers. Guests are guaranteed to fall for the “Blue Danube Waltz” all over again! For tickets, call (732) 246-7469 or visit www.statetheatrenj.org.

As Princeton University Orchestra conductor Michael Pratt explained in his concert remarks, at first glance the four works performed this past weekend by the orchestra would seem unrelated to one another. Beethoven, Gershwin, and Stravinsky, combined with Princeton University composer Juri Seo, sounded like a set of pieces without a common thread, but conductor Pratt and the musicians of the orchestra found a way to allow four diverse works to speak to one another as well as the audience. Friday night’s University Orchestra performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was also presented last Thursday night) featured tight ensemble playing, elegant instrumental solo work, and a display of both compositional creativity and keyboard virtuosity from a composer who premiered her own concerto. more

RICHE MAN: Princeton University men’s hockey player Alex Riches glides up the ice in a game last winter. Last Friday, sophomore forward Riche chipped in a goal and an assist as Princeton defeated No. 7 Quinnipiac 5-3 at Baker Rink in the first game of a home-and-home set. A night later in Hamden, Conn., Riche and the Tigers prevailed again, posting a 4-1 win over the Bobcats. Princeton, now 5-7-1 overall and 3-6-1 ECAC Hockey, hosts No. 19 Minnesota State for a two-game set on December 16 and 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Alex Riche helped the Princeton University men’s hockey team get off to a fast start last Friday as it hosted No. 7 Quinnipiac to start a home-and-home set. more

NIC OF TIME: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Nic Petruolo heads up the ice in recent action. Last week, junior defenseman Petruolo scored two goals to help PDS pull out a 3-3 tie against St. Joseph High (Metuchen). The Panthers, now 3-3-1, will be hosting their 47th annual Harry Rulon-Miller ’51 Invitational from December 16-17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey missing star goalie Logan Kramsky and high-scoring forward Tyler Coffey as it hosted St. Joseph High (Metuchen) last week, Nic Petruolo was ready to shoulder more responsibility. more

December 7, 2016

SIDE BY SIDE: Mayor Liz Lempert and Santa Claus are beaming with the Christmas spirit during Saturday’s holiday celebration at the Princeton Shopping Center. Santa arrived in style on a Princeton Hook & Ladder Fire truck and the mayor led the countdown to the lighting of the courtyard Christmas tree as the Princeton High School Girls Choir performed songs of the season. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Princeton Charter School has applied to the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) to expand its enrollment by 76 students next year, a proposal that Princeton Public Schools (PPS) superintendent Steve Cochrane has claimed would drain funds from PPS and ”compromise the quality of our students’ education.” more

BREAKING THE ICE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Max Veronneau heads up the ice in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore forward Veronneau tallied two goals and two assists to help Princeton rally to a 6-5 win over Rensselaer in overtime as it earned its first ECAC Hockey victory of the season. Princeton, now 3-6-1 overall and 1-6-1 ECACH, faces Quinnipiac this week in a home-and-home set, hosting the Bobcats on December 9 before playing them at Hamden, Conn. a day later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Max Veronneau was feeling snakebitten in the first nine games of the season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. more

At a meeting of Princeton’s Planning Board last week, developer Charles Yedlin received approval to put an office building on the site of the former headquarters of a longtime animal shelter. The Herrontown Road location was home to SAVE, a Friend to Homeless Animals, for 74 years before the organization moved to a 10-acre expanse in Skillman in August, 2015. more

The successful Dual Language Immersion Program at Community Park School will be an ongoing initiative in the district, after last month’s unanimous affirmation by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.

Started as a pilot initiative at the beginning of the 2015-16 year for sections in kindergarten and first grade, the program expanded to second grade, with 43 kindergarteners, 41 first graders, and 38 second graders. It is scheduled to include K-3 in 2017-18, K-4 in 2018-19, and K-5 with full implementation in 2019-20. more

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) brings the beloved classic “Nutracker” to the stage with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, new sets, thrilling choreography, and more than 100 performers. A holiday tradition for more than 50 years, ARB’s is one of the longest continuously running “Nutcracker” productions in the nation. Directed by Artistic Director Douglas Martin, ARB’s professional company will be joined by select students from Princeton Ballet School to tell the story of a young girl named Clara and how a mysterious gift from her Uncle brings about enchanted dreams and fantastical scenes. For tickets, visit www.statetheatrenj.org or call (732) 246-7469. (Photo Credit: Leighton Chen)

Simon Morrison was hoping to pursue a career as an orchestral musician when he fell in love with 20th-century Russian music. From that fascination grew an interest in Russian ballet. Soon, these subjects, and their histories, eclipsed his plans to play percussion or tuba in a symphony orchestra. more

EGYPTIAN EXPLORATIONS: Justin Mathews and Connie Escher team up to investigate the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and many other wonders of the ancient world with their sixth grade social studies students at John Witherspoon Middle School. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Tim Charleston, K-8 social studies supervisor for the Princeton Public Schools, described Connie Escher and Justin Mathews, sixth grade ancient world cultures teachers: “As a team they complement each other phenomenally. They both have significant individual strengths. They’re at the top of their game professionally. They take pride and pleasure in providing learning experiences for their students. They approach social studies in a hands-on way, and they care deeply about their students and about history.” more

Princeton Council voted on Monday, December 5 to approve an extension to March 31 of a developer’s agreement requested by architect J. Robert Hillier (a Town Topics shareholder).

Mr. Hillier had asked the governing body at its November 28 meeting to modify an amendment to the original agreement for the Waxwood, a former school for black children in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood that he converted to 34 rental units over a decade ago. The agreement dictated that eight of the 34 rental units would be sold after a period of five years. Mr. Hillier would like to keep them as rentals. more

There’s a crack in everything — that’s how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

A famous singer songwriter dies, someone you never found time to appreciate, so you go back and start listening and recognize the distant music you heard long ago walking through the fairgrounds of rock, a snatch of song coming from over there, not far, just a whisper away if you’d taken another turn somewhere between Van Morrison and David Bowie. more

Award-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri and book designer Amanda Weiss will discuss Ms. Lahiri’s The Clothing of Books (Penguin $7.95) at Labyrinth on Tuesday, December 13 at 6 p.m.

The conversation will consider the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. The Clothing of Books probes the relationships between text and image, author and designer, and art and commerce. Ms. Lahiri discusses the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.” more

“SNOW ON THE CANAL AT LUMBERVILLE”: This wintery painting by Bucks County artist Glenn Harrington is a perfect addition to the Home for the Holidays Open House at the Silverman Gallery in Pa. The event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11. The gallery is located five miles south of New Hope and just north of Pa. 413 in the Buckingham Green Shopping Center, located at 4920 York Road (Route 202) in Holicong, Pa. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional hours, shipping, delivery and in-home consultation are available by appointment at silvermangallery.com.