July 26, 2017

The image shown is Anna Alma-Tadema’s Girl in a Bonnet with Her Head on a Blue Pillow, 1902, watercolor and bodycolor with some graphite on board, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. 

BBC America’s Broadchurch and HBO’s Game of Thrones have descended on our household just in time to impact my impressions of the Princeton University Art Museum’s (PUAM) current exhibit, “Great British Drawings from the Ashmolean Museum.”  more

“SALT MARSH, BIRDS”: This painting by Lucretia E. McGuff-Silverman is featured in the exhibit “Celebration III by Creative Collective Group,” running August 6 through August 25 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. An opening reception will be held on August 6 from 1-3 p.m.

The Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury will host the exhibit “Celebration III by Creative Collective Group” from August 6 through August 25. An opening reception will be held on August 6 from 1-3 p.m.  more

PERCUSSIVE MULTI-TASKING: A typical performance by Sō Percussion, which concludes its summer institute at Princeton this weekend, is never confined to traditional instruments. (Photo by Claudia Hansen)

In a popular YouTube video from 2014, four men seated on a stage with their backs to the Los Angeles Philharmonic are snapping twigs in carefully timed unison. As the orchestra, led by famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel, continues to play a piece called man made by composer David Lang, the four turn their attention from the twigs to rows of wine bottles, which they clink and plonk with precision. more

On Thursday, August 24 at 7:30 p.m., singer-songwriter and social activist Jill Sobule will perform at Congregation Kehilat Shalom in Belle Mead, New Jersey to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Teaching Tolerance Project. SPLC is dedicated to “fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.” The Teaching Tolerance project distributes award-winning classroom documentaries, lesson plans, and curricula free of charge to educators nationwide. more

IT’S A WITCH HUNT: Princeton Summer Theater cast members Robby Keown and Ben Diamond address a stoic Abby Melick in rehearsal for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Performances will be held at the Hamilton Murray Theater located on Princeton University’s campus, July 27-30 and August 3-8. A talkback will occur after the evening performances on July 28 and August 4 with the director, cast, and creative team. (Photo Credit: Princeton Summer Theater) 

Princeton Summer Theater’s third show of the 2017 season opens Thursday, July 27 with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Regarded as a classic of American theatre, The Crucible uses the proceedings of the Salem witch trials to examine the manic effects of mass hysteria in society. As an increasing number of upstanding townspeople are accused of witchcraft, Mr. Miller emphasizes the contagious nature of fear and the elusiveness of truth. The 1953 Tony Award-winning play invites us to question the importance of upholding morality in times of hardship. more

On Friday, August 25, Boheme Opera NJ will perform at Arm & Hammer Park, home to the Trenton Thunder. This is Boheme’s third summer event at Arm & Hammer Park. The chorus will open the game at 6:45 p.m. with the National Anthem. The game will feature the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. Trenton Thunder. Tickets must be purchased in advance at $12 per person. Checks should be made payable to Boheme Opera NJ and sent to:  Sid Morginstin, ATTN: GAME, PO Box 8101, Trenton, NJ  08650. Purchased tickets will be mailed directly to the recipients.  Please send your order with return address by August 10 to allow time for ticket delivery.  more

The repertory for orchestral trio includes music for almost every combination of instruments imaginable, but especially for piano, violin and cello.  The Lysander Piano Trio, formed at the Juilliard School, is less than ten years old, but is nevertheless a major ensemble player on the chamber music scene.  The Lysander Trio came to Princeton last Tuesday night for a concert at Richardson Auditorium which showed that the appeal of these three instruments together has never faded, from the time of Mozart to the present day.   more

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton will host a Meet and Greet on Sunday, August 27 at 5:30 p.m. for prospective singers. The 35-voice choir is currently seeking new singers, especially tenors and basses for their adult choir. The choir sings every other Sunday morning, September through June, and rehearses on Wednesday evenings.  more

Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Dance faculty invites the community to a free performance entitled, “Dance Dialogues” on Saturday, July 29 starting at 8 p.m. Performances will be held in the Studio Theatre on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

According to Dance Program Coordinator Jody Gazenbeek-Person, this is the college’s first full faculty dance concert, with every member of the faculty contributing original work, including Gazenbeek-Person, Jill Molinaro, Jennifer Gladney, and Rebecca Brodowski. Most of the pieces will feature professional dancers, including those from faculty members’ own dance companies. Two pieces will be performed by Mercer’s Dance students. more

ON THE RISE: Seth DeValve leaps for the ball during his career with the Princeton University football team. DeValve is getting ready for his second training camp with the Cleveland Browns, which starts this Thursday in Berea, Ohio. Tight end DeValve made 10 catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns last fall in his rookie campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Despite being hampered by injuries that caused him to miss a big chunk of playing time in his final two seasons with the Princeton University football team, Seth DeValve caught the eye of the National Football League.

The star receiver was chosen as the 138th pick in the fourth round of the 2016 National Football League draft by the Cleveland Browns, the highest-drafted Tiger in the modern era. more

RED ALERT: Connor Fletcher head upfield this spring in his freshman campaign for the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout Fletcher enjoyed a big debut season for the Big Red, tallying 32 points on 22 goals and 10 assists. (Photo by Dari Zehr, provided courtesy of Cornell’s Office of Athletics Communications)

It didn’t take long for Connor Fletcher to make an impact in his freshmen season for the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team. more

PACKER NATION: Kevin Johnson dribbles the ball in recent action for the Packer Hall All-Stars in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, Johnson scored seven pouts as seventh-seeded packer edged top-seeded majesty Foundation in the first game of the league’s best-of-three championship series. Game two is slated for July 26 at the Community Park courts.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Last year, Kevin Johnson helped the Majeski Foundation win the title in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. more

The Princeton Recreation Department is offering an eight-session water polo program to boys and girls, ages 6-17, with no experience necessary.

Participants must be a Princeton resident or have a Community Park Pool membership to register for the program. Cost is $54/participant. The program runs on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m. from August 1 – 24. Space in the program is limited. more

A fairy fashion show was just one of the fun activities at Saturday’s Fairy Festival at the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Reserve in Pennington.  Children, who were encouraged to dress in fairy and gnome costumes, also created magical crafts, danced around a maypole, walked along the fairy trail, and played in the stream with water sprites. Participants share their favorite fairy stories and characters in this week’s Town Talk, and more photos are featured on page 16. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

July 24, 2017

DOING WELL: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Zach Dudeck takes a cut in recent action. Last Wednesday, center fielder and lead-off batter Dudeck contributed a double and a walk in a losing cause as Post 218 fell 19-2 to South Brunswick. The defeat left Princeton with a final record of 2-20 this summer. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Zach Dudeck, changing his priorities helped him enjoy a breakout year this spring in his senior campaign for the Princeton Day School baseball team.

The center fielder starred as PDS posted a 10-10 record, hitting .322 with 16 runs and 17 RBIs.

“I started focusing mainly on baseball; before I was trying to do soccer and baseball,” said Dudeck, reflecting on his final high school campaign. more

July 21, 2017

XIYUE WANG AND FAMILY: Shown here with his wife Hua Qu and their son, Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, was arrested in Iran last summer while doing research for his doctoral dissertation and has been sentenced by Iranian authorities to 10 years in prison for espionage. (Family Photo Via Princeton University)

An Iranian court announced Sunday that it has sentenced Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, to 10 years in prison for spying. A Chinese-born U.S. citizen, Mr. Wang, 37, was arrested last summer in Iran while conducting research on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty for his PhD dissertation. more

July 19, 2017

Rider University’s announcement last week that a new dance studio will open on its campus in Lawrenceville does not sit well with those working to keep the University from closing Westminster Choir College (WCC) in Princeton, which Rider owns and wants to sell.

Members of The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton have used words like “infuriating” and “insulting” on social media, one likening the opening of a $700,000 studio at Rider while the future of Westminster remains uncertain to “a punch in the face.” more

Don’t miss the biggest pool party of the summer!

For souvenir giveaways, ice cream, Zumba dancing, and free hot dogs and water bottles provided by McCaffrey’s Food Markets; displays of emergency tools and equipment by the Princeton Police Department (PPD), Fire Department, and First Aid Squad; and a host of other activities; the Community Park Pool at 380 Witherspoon Street is the place to be on Tuesday, August 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. for Princeton Community Night Out. more

THE FAMILY THAT RUNS TOGETHER: Susan Hrabchak’s husband and four children have joined her on occasion as part of her 50 States Marathon Project. Pictured here at the finish line in Anchorage, Alaska are son Thomas; daughter Allie; Ms. Hrabchak and her husband, Rick; and sons Jimmy and Robert.

Comparing notes a few years ago about their experiences running marathons, Princeton residents Susan Hrabchak and Isabella de la Houssaye realized they could each claim credit to races in about 20 of the United States. From that calculation, the two friends came up with a challenge. more

Trattoria Procaccini, an Italian kitchen at 354 Nassau Street next to Whole Earth, recently unveiled a new bambino-friendly cost-effective offering for parents and those with little loved ones.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, one free plate for children under 10 is given for each adult entrée. Kids can eat baked chicken nuggets, handcrafted pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, or cheese tortellini. Little ones also get treated to gelato for dessert with their meal.  more

What’s your favorite area restaurant? Do you have a landscaper that you love? What about your top auto shop? Town Topics Newspaper is pleased to announce its Readers’ Choice Awards competition. Let us know which area businesses and services deserve to be recognized as outstanding in our community.

The voting starts now. See the ballot in today’s newspaper, which you can fill in and mail to: Town Topics Readers’ Choice Awards, 4438 Route 27, P.O. Box 125, Kingston, NJ 08528. You can also share your favorites online at towntopics.com, send an email with your responses to editor@towntopics.com, or call (609) 924-2200. The ballot will also be in the July 26 and August 2 editions of the Town Topics newspaper. more

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the biggest of its kind in the country. On the weekend of July 28-30, Solberg Airport in Readington hosts the annual event, which sends 100 balloons from around the world into the air at once, twice each day. Then there is the music part of the festival, headlined by Pat Benatar. For information, prices, and directions, visit www.balloonfestival.com or call (973) 882-5464.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are still on the agenda at Princeton High School (PHS), but students, faculty, and administration are demanding more in response to these troubled times and will be introducing new courses for 2017-18 in racial literacy and harmony, as well as world religions and current events.

Based partly on “the need and desire expressed by students and parents to have rich conversations about issues that really matter to kids today,” the new course offerings will enable students and teachers “to focus more on the modern world” and “to make connections to lives in the contemporary world,” according to Humanities Supervisor Mark Shelley. more

HomeFront’s Stop Hunger Now campaign launched last week with the announcement of a $75,000 match from two generous donors. This means that every dollar will have twice the impact.

“The need is dire,” said Connie Mercer, HomeFront executive director. “Children are hungry in our own backyard, and yet it is hard to recognize. Summertime is especially dreadful when 37 percent of Mercer County children who depend on subsidized school meals no longer have access to this life-sustaining program.  more