October 3, 2018

“SALT PEPPER KETCHUP”: Performances are underway for “Salt Pepper Ketchup.” Directed by Jerrell L. Henderson, the play runs through October 14 at Passage Theatre. Paul (Justin Pietropaolo, left), a representative of a food co-op, shows restaurant owners John Wu (Fenton Li) and his wife Linda (Chuja Seo) an article about their new partnership — but the results are different from what has been promised. (Photo by Jeff Stewart)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Passage Theatre is opening its season with the first professional production of Salt Pepper Ketchup. Playwright Josh Wilder was born and raised in Philadelphia, where the play is set; this is reflected by the script’s urgent realism. Director Jerrell L. Henderson, who directed the equally thought-provoking Caged for Passage’s previous season, has elicited uniformly strong performances from the gifted cast. more

Princeton Theological Seminary is hosting a film series this fall focused on movies that explore faith. The movie screenings are a part of a class, Faith and Film: Ministry in the Movies, which examines theological themes and pastoral issues portrayed in cinema that Christian leaders may face.

“By viewing these films, I want participants in the course to encounter a broad range of commonplace occurrences in modern ministry and to reflect, scripturally and theologically, on their responses to experiences they themselves are someday likely to encounter,” said Clifton Black, Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at the Seminary.

Films scheduled are Babette’s Feast on October 5, Dead Man Walking on October 12, The Apostle on October 19, Doubt on November 2, Of Gods and Men on November 9, Calvary on November 16, and First Reformed on November 30. more

TOUGH LOVE: Princeton University quarterback John Lovett looks for an opening in a 2016 game. Last Friday evening at Columbia, senior star Lovett rushed for a career-high 174 yards with two touchdowns and passed for 135 yards and two scores to help Princeton roll to a 45-10 win over the Lions in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The 23rd-ranked Tigers, now 3-0 overall, host Lehigh (1-3) on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Early in the second quarter of its Ivy League opener at Columbia last Friday evening, the Princeton University football team was clinging to a 13-10 lead over the Lions.

With Columbia having marched 75 yards to score a touchdown to draw within three points and 14:51 remaining in the first half, it seemed like the momentum could be shifting to the hosts. more

SHUTTING THE DOOR: Princeton University women’s soccer goalie Natalie Grossi makes a save in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior star Grossi recorded her third straight shutout as the Tigers battled Dartmouth to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two overtimes. The Tigers, who moved to 6-2-2 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League with the draw, were slated to host Bucknell on October 2 before resuming league play by hosting Brown on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Natalie Grossi recorded her third straight shutout and the 21st of her career for the Princeton University women’s soccer team as it hosted Dartmouth last Saturday afternoon.

But junior goalie Grossi was disappointed with the outcome as Princeton played the Big Green to a scoreless stalemate through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, moving to 6-2-2 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League. more

CLEAR SAILING: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth races past a foe in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, sophomore star Roth scored a goal to help No. 5 Princeton defeat 24th-ranked Boston University 3-1. The Tigers, now 8-3 overall and 2-0 Ivy League, plays at Columbia on October 5 and at No. 2 UConn on October 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After being sidelined due to injury for the first four games this season for the Princeton University men’s soccer team, Kevin O’Toole is looking to make up for lost time.

Last Saturday against visiting Dartmouth in the Ivy League opener for both teams, sophomore midfielder O’Toole came off the bench some 24 minutes into the contest and made his presence felt immediately, assisting on a goal by Sean McGowan and then finding the back of the net himself as the Tigers overcame a 2-0 deficit to make it a 2-2 game at halftime. more

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Grace Marshall hits a forehand in action last week at the Mercer County Tournament. Junior Marshall took first in third singles, outlasting Melissa Liu of WW/P-South 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the final. Marshall’s victory helped PDS place seventh of 19 schools in the team standings at the event, held at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In mid-September, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya set the world record for the marathon, clocking a time of 2:01.39 in winning the Berlin Marathon.

Last Thursday at the Mercer County Tournament, Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Grace Marshall found herself in a marathon match that ended up lasting nearly twice as long as Kipchoge’s landmark run, playing four hours to defeat Melissa Liu of WW/P-South 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the third singles championship match. more

SO GOOD: Hun School girls’ tennis player Sophia Lin hits a forehand last week as she competed in the Mercer County Tournament. Sophomore Lin placed fourth at first singles, helping Hun take fifth of 19 schools in the team standings.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Going through his first Mercer County Tournament as the head coach of the Hun School girls’ tennis team, Antonio Balson gained some valuable knowledge from the competition last week.

“It is good to see where we stand,” said Balson, who previously coached at the Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Fla. more

IN THE ZONE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Catherine Martin (No. 33) celebrates after a goal a game earlier this season. Last Friday, sophomore forward Martin chipped in a goal to help Stuart defeat the Solebury School (Pa.) 5-0. The Tartans, who dropped to 6-2 after falling 2-1 in overtime to the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Pa.) last Monday, host Peddie on October 3 and Mt. St. Mary’s on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Catherine Martin came into this fall determined to become an impact player in her sophomore season with the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team.

“I just needed to step up my game,” said Martin, who worked with the USA Field Hockey Futures Program over the summer. “I wanted to show my team that I could be a leader and help everyone else out by improving myself.” more

DOUBLE TAKE: Princeton High first doubles players Bella Lependorf, left, and Jordan Johnson celebrate a point last week at the Mercer County Tournament. The pair of freshman Lependorf and senior Johnson went on to win their flight at the MCT, defeating Sabrina Chang and Kirthi Chigurupati of WW/P-North 7-6, 6-3 in the final. The victory by Lependorf and Johnson helped PHS take second of 19 schools in the team standings at the event held at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jordan Johnson is a senior and Bella Lependorf is a freshman but that age difference didn’t prevent them from developing an instant chemistry when they were paired together to play first doubles for the Princeton High girls’ tennis team this fall.

“It is total fun; I love Bella, she is a great player,” said Johnson. “She makes great volleys and can get to a lot of the balls at the net.” more

BREAKING THROUGH: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson fights for extra yardage in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Johnson rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns to help PHS defeat Cherry Hill East 21-14, snapping a 21-game losing streak. The Little Tigers, now 1-3, play at Lawrence High on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Locked in a 14-14 tie against Cherry Hill East with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter last Saturday, the Princeton High football team got the ball at its 29-yard line and was primed to end its 21-game losing streak.

Starting just his second game at quarterback, junior Judd Petrone was sticking to basics as the Little Tigers started the possession. “It was just score a touchdown,” said Petrone. more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Brooke Smukler, left, controls the ball in a 2017 game. Last Thursday, senior forward Smukler tallied a goal and an assist to help PDS defeat Lawrenceville 3-0. The Panthers, who topped the Shipley School (Pa.) 3-1 last Saturday to improve to 7-1-1, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 3 before hosting Pingry on October 5 and Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brooke Smukler got herself in the right place at the right time for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team as it played at the Lawrenceville School last Thursday.

Early in the first half in the matchup of rivals, senior forward Smukler found the back of the net to give PDS a 1-0 lead. more

September 26, 2018

The works of more than 80 authors and illustrators were featured at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival at Hinds Plaza on Saturday. Presented by Princeton Public Library, the annual event is one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

In the face of widespread criticism and concern, voiced through public statements at meetings, through petitions, and elsewhere, Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) is considering narrowing the scope of its $129.6M bond referendum proposal.

As of press time yesterday, before last night’s BOE meeting, where listening to the community and discussing options — but no vote for two more weeks — were on the agenda, the BOE’s latest compromise plan called for a reduced referendum total of about $82.5M. more

By Anne Levin

If you use plastic bags to dispose of recyclables, don’t expect your recycling to to be picked up any time soon. Princeton is getting tough on those who continue to dispose of newspapers or any other recyclables in plastic bags, Mayor Liz Lempert said at the Monday, September 24 meeting of Princeton Council at Witherspoon Hall.

“Plastic bags and other contaminants will not be picked up,” she said. “We have a real problem in this country, and here in Princeton, with plastic bag recycling. Our recycling costs are going up by 40 percent with our new contract next year, in part because China has closed its doors to U.S. recycling. But we are working with our hauler to clean up our own, and see if it will bring our costs down.” more

NEW AND IMPROVED: The first floor galleries at Morven Museum and Garden opened September 7 after a major redesign. Visitors that evening inspected a 19th century grand piano that was sold to Commodore Robert Field Stockton in 1864, two dueling pistols, and other historic artifacts.

By Anne Levin

Since its conversion to a museum 14 years ago, Morven has focused on the lives of such noteworthy residents as Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and other patriarchs key to the history of New Jersey, the nation, and the house itself.

But there was a lot more to the story of this National Historic Landmark on Stockton Street. Thanks to “Historic Morven: A Window Into America’s Past,” visitors can now learn not only about famous residents, but about the women, children, enslaved men and women, immigrant servants, and others who lived and worked at the 18th-century property. The exhibition, which is on the first floor of the museum, opened a few weeks ago. more

WELCOMING THE SCHOLARS: Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Director Robbert Dijkgraaf welcomed four new permanent faculty members and 268 visiting scholars from around the world at IAS’s opening celebration on Monday. He promised “an environment that reflects the highest standards and most inclusive principles of the scientific community, as well as encouraging the expansive sharing of knowledge around the world.” (Photo by Mason Pilcher, Institute for Advanced Study, 2018)

By Donald Gilpin

With research on tap that includes theoretical machine learning, quantum information and black holes, the structure of space-time, the origins and long-term fate of the universe, analysis of ancient DNA to elucidate history, origins of modern democracy and human rights, and much more, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) celebrated its Welcome Day on Monday, September 24, greeting four new permanent faculty members and 268 visiting scholars and scientists.

From young postdoctoral fellows to distinguished senior professors, the new visiting scholars represent 25 countries and 116 institutions from around the world.

The four new senior professors include two historians: Francesca Trivellato from Yale University, specializing in economic, social, and cultural history; and historian of science Myles Jackson from New York University; as well as two mathematicians: geometric analyst Camillo De Lellis from Universitat Zurich and Akshay Venkatesh, a number theorist who won this year’s Fields Medal, from Stanford University. more

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council has asked New Jersey Transit to send a representative to the next meeting of the governing body to address concerns about a halt in Dinky train service between Princeton and Princeton Junction, planned to take place between October 14 and mid-January.

The transit agency announced last week that the suspension is necessary in order to meet federal deadlines for an automated braking system, known as Positive Train Control (PTC), throughout the state by the end of December. The Dinky train service will be replaced by buses during the three months.  more

NEW JERSEY CLIMATE ACTION: New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy delivered the keynote address to a gathering of students, researchers, policymakers, and business and nonprofit leaders Friday at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Emphasizing the central theme of the two-day symposium, “Accelerating Climate Action,” she delivered a wide-ranging commentary on New Jersey’s initiatives in the battle against climate change. (Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy)

By Donald Gilpin

Calling for “a new mindset” in her keynote address last Friday at Princeton University’s conference on Accelerating Climate Action, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy stated that she and her husband are committed to making New Jersey a “magnet for innovations and solutions” in the battle against climate change.

Murphy urged an audience of about 100, including a mix of students, researchers, policymakers, and business and nonprofit leaders gathered at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, to join in the efforts to find solutions. Quoting the title of one of the day’s panel discussions, she highlighted “the interplay of technology innovation, public policy, market forces, and human behavior” in achieving environmental goals. more

By Stuart Mitchner

“Dr. Ford has said that they were stumbling drunk at the time that this occurred …. That has to be part of any relevant questioning.”
—Senator Richard J. Durbin, quoted in the New York Times

With the dark side of high school drinking dominating the national conversation these days, what was meant to be a column marking the shared birthdays of T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) and George Gershwin (1898-1937) has taken an unexpected turn.

Romancing under the influence is practically a genre in itself in the Great American Songbook, from loving hyperbole (“You go to my head like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew”) to barfly camaraderie (“We’re drinking my friend to the end of a brief episode … so make it one for my baby and one more for the road”).

Jump ahead a few decades and it’s Ray Davies’s “Sunny Afternoon” where the rich slob’s girlfriend has run off with his car and “gone back to her ma and pa telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.” In the mid-70s the Kinks were singing “Oh demon alcohol,” with Davies lugubriously lamenting how booze “messed up his life when he beat up his wife” while reciting the booze hound’s litany: “barley wine, pink gin, port, pernod or tequila, rum, scotch, vodka on the rocks.”  more

ScienceSeeds has a robotics program for everyone. From young children ages 4+ to middle-schoolers we love to help kids discover the amazing world of STEAM through experimentation. http://www.scienceseeds.com

By Jean Stratton

A tennis ball that records velocity and acceleration; a piano staircase with sensors installed to create music as one walks (or dances!) up and down the stairs; mini Ferris wheels and race cars; an underwater robot; a 3D vision system for robot soccer; a quadcopter and hexacopter; a “chatbot” mimicking human intelligence … and more.

These are not figments of a would-be scientist’s imagination or the whimsical fantasies of a hopeful inventor. They are actual devices designed, built, and programmed by students in robotics classes and clubs in the Princeton area.

Enthusiasm for robotics is increasing by leaps and bounds as both boys and girls enjoy the opportunity to design, build, and program a variety of intriguing items. And they are certainly up to the challenge! more

By Nancy Plum

Bobby McFerrin is a vocal visionary, stretching the capabilities of the human voice to new heights and palettes of sound. Through his recordings, live improvisational concerts, conducting engagements, and his innovative professional ensemble Voicestra, McFerrin has shown that he is so much more than his signature musical command “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” As part of Princeton University Concerts’ 2018-19 season, McFerrin brought his unique brand of musical performance to Richardson Auditorium last Friday night in a joint concert with the Princeton University Glee Cub and the vocal ensemble Gimme5. The informality of the evening was set when the members of the Glee Club took the stage dressed in everyday collegiate attire, however the quality of this concert was anything but casual.

The musicians performed less than 10 musical selections within the 90-minute concert, but each was a creative unfolding of sound and vocal color, undulating in dynamics and timbre as singers were added and subtracted from the musical palette. Princeton University Concerts wisely chose to begin its 125th anniversary season with singing, as more people participate in singing than any other performance medium, and the crowd-unifying elements of Bobby McFerrin will no doubt pique the interest of new attendees for later events. more

PRAISE THE LORD, I’VE BEEN SAVED: Louis Zamperini was persuaded by his wife to attend a revival meeting led by Billy Graham, where the preacher’s message transformed Louis’s life and alleviated his PTSD.

By Kam Williams

The movie Unbroken (2014) portrayed the ordeals undergone by the Olympian athlete and Air Force bombardier Louis Zamperini in a Japanese POW camp during World War II. Directed by Angelina Jolie, the biopic was adapted  by the Coen brothers from Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller of the same name.

The sequel, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, is also based on Hillenbrand’s book, but unfortunately the creative team is not as outstanding as that of the earlier film. The cast has also been changed, with Samuel Hunt now starring as Louis.

Unbroken 2 picks up where the first film left off. The original closed with Louis kissing the ground upon landing back in the states after he was liberated from the POW camp, thereby implying that he lived “happily ever after.”

True, he did meet and marry Cynthia Applewhite (Merritt Patterson) and the happy couple moved to California to start a family. However, Louis becomes haunted by flashbacks to the torture he underwent during World War II at the hands of Corporal Mutsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe (David Sakurai), a sadistic guard at Sugamo prison.

Unfortunately, Louis is suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and he has become angry, abusive, and an alcoholic. In desperation his wife persuades him to attend a Billy Graham Christian revival meeting (in which Billy Graham is portrayed by his grandson, Reverend Will Graham).

The charismatic Baptist preacher’s plea to “just reach out and take the hand of Jesus, and every problem will be washed away,” resonates with Louis. When Louis falls to his knees, it is clear that he has been saved. The closing credits show scenes of Louis being featured at subsequent evangelical revival meetings.

Very Good (HH½). Rated PG-13 for mature themes and disturbing images. Running time: 98 minutes. Production Studio: Universal 1440 Entertainment/Matt Baer Films.Studio: Pure Flix Entertainment.

PLANT-BASED SPECIALTIES: “We felt so much better after we began our plant-based diet that we wanted to share what we had discovered and experienced. We wanted to provide healthier food for others.” Francesca Avitto (left) and Kate Wnek are chef-owners of Lady and the Shallot, the popular new lunch eatery in the Trenton Farmers Market.

By Jean Stratton

It is not named for the famous poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson!

As the owners are quick to explain, it is a fun name for a new lunch eatery focusing on a healthy plant-based cuisine.

“We have tried to make healthy food into fun food,” point out Francesca Avitto and Kate Wnek, chef-owners of Lady and the Shallot.

Located in the Trenton Farmers Market at 960 Spruce Street in Lawrence Township, it opened in May to rave reviews, which have continued as increasing numbers of customers enjoy the variety of tasty lunch-time dishes. more

SCORING MACHINE: Princeton University football player Jesper Horsted heads upfield in a 2017 game. Last Saturday, senior star Horsted made eight receptions for 150 yards and three touchdowns as Princeton routed Monmouth 51-9. Horsted’s third TD catch of the day gave him 20 for his career and a program record, breaking the previous mark of 19 set by Derek Graham. The Tigers, now 2-0, open Ivy League action by playing at Columbia on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jesper Horsted produced one of the greatest receiving seasons in Princeton University football history last fall when he made 92 receptions for 1,226 yards and 14 touchdowns, establishing program single-season records for catches and TDs.

As a result of his landmark campaign, Horsted entered the 2018 season on track to set Tiger career marks in catches, receiving yards, and TD receptions.

Last Saturday against visiting Monmouth, Horsted eclipsed one of those records as his three touchdown catches gave him 20 for his career, breaking the previous mark of 19 set by Derek Graham. more

GETTING HIS KICKS: Princeton University men’s soccer goalie Jacob Schachner boots the ball in recent action. Junior star Schachner posted two straight shutouts as Princeton defeated Boston University 1-0 on September 15 and then edged Rider 1-0 in overtime last Wednesday to extend its winning streak to three and improve to 4-3. The Tigers were slated to host Loyola on September 25 before starting Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on September 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into its game against Temple on the evening of September 12, the Princeton University men’s soccer team faced a crossroads even though it was just two weeks into the season.

Having lost three of its first four games, with all three defeats coming by one goal, Princeton needed to find a way to come through in crunch time to prevent losing from becoming a habit.

“We put ourselves in a hole where we knew that the next few games were really, really important,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow. more