Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 26
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

(Photo by E.J. Greenblat)
SINGING IN THE SQUARE: Opera NJ bringing the sound of music to Palmer Square, with tenor Neil Darling and the entire cast performing a number from “Beautiful Girls.” For more information and the summer schedule, visit

Front Page

Borough Police Chief Federico Dies

Dilshanie Perera

Chief Anthony V. Federico of the Borough Police Department died suddenly on Sunday while on vacation at his summer home in Maine. He was 55. The cause of death is still unknown.

Master Plan Amendment Previewed for Borough, Shade Trees Assessed

Dilshanie Perera

Marvin Reed and Lee Solow of the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Regional Planning Board of Princeton presented a draft amendment to Borough Council last Tuesday outlining general principles for reducing expansion and encroachment of institutions, with specific guidelines directed toward Princeton University.

Plans for Rehabilitation of Mountain Lakes Recognize Historic, Environmental Issues

Ellen Gilbert

A presentation by the principals involved in the Mountain Lakes Dam restoration project was the main event at last week’s Environmental Commission meeting.

Other News

Community Preparedness Survey Proposes “All Hazards Approach,” Communication Strategies

Ellen Gilbert

“The Princeton Regional Health Commission (PRHC) has had a very strong concern about emergency preparedness for many years,” said Health Officer David Henry in a recent conversation about the department’s current “Emergency Preparedness Survey.”

Sustainable Princeton Plans Ways for Homeowners to Save Energy

Dilshanie Perera

The non-profit environmental group Sustainable Princeton held a meeting last Thursday to focus on ways homeowner associations can encourage their residents to engage in greener practices.

Taking the Measure of Books: Reading Harvard Classics, “The Whole Five Feet”

Ellen Gilbert

Since his current biography describes him as an assistant editor at Harper’s Magazine, Christopher Beha, author of The Whole Five Feet, has, apparently, embraced a traditional lifestyle (or at least some semblance of one). Several years ago, however, his anxiety at the prospect of being an ordinary Joe led him to quit his regular job when he was on the brink of getting a promotion.

More of the Other News…


Ending 25-Year Tenure Guiding Ivy League, Orleans Proud of Being in Middle of Progress

Bill Alden

When Jeff Orleans took charge of the Ivy League athletics office in 1984, he came into a barebones operation.

Legendary for Its Winning Ways and Chemistry, Tiger’s Tale Enters Summer Hoops Hall of Fame

Bill Alden

In the 1988 Eddie Murphy film Coming to America, the My-T-Sharp barbershop is a hub for jokes, gossip, and good times.

PHS Boys’ Hoops Toiling in Summer League Laying Foundation for More Winter Success

Bill Alden

Last March, the Princeton High School (PHS) boys’ basketball team produced an electrifying state tournament run that captured the imagination of the school and turned heads in local hoops circles.

More Sports…

DVD Review

Seeing Is Believing: The Video Passion of Michael Jackson, Burning Bright

Stuart Mitchner

From the mid-eighties on, he turned himself into a “What Is It?” With genius and generosity as an artist; with solitary and fearsome zeal as a man.

Margo Jefferson

The day Michael Jackson died, last Thursday afternoon, June 25, 2009, my most immediate image of him was the one I’d been averting my eyes from since 2003, if not before. My reaction had nothing to do with the child-molestation trial and the attendant media feeding frenzy led by that perpetually sneering piranha, CNN’s resident prosecutor, Nancy Grace. I just found it painful to look at his face. The fact that he’d already resorted to cosmetic surgery undermined the rationale that the drastic whitening of his skin was solely due to the pigmentation ravages of vitiligo. My doubts were amplified by the Pulitzer-prize-winning African American journalist Margo Jefferson in her novella-sized book On Michael Jackson (Pantheon 2006):


Idealistic Poor Battle Villainous Corporation in “Urinetown;” High-Powered, Campy Musical Comedy Opens PST 2009 Season

Donald Gilpin

The following exchange, typical of the show’s self-mocking, satiric tone, takes place near the end of Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ Urinetown.

Little Sally: I don’t think too many people are going to come see this musical, Officer Lockstock.

Lockstock: Why do you say that, Little Sally? Don’t you think people want to be told that their way of life is unsustainable?

Little Sally: That — and the title’s awful. Can’t we do a happy musical next time?

Yes, Little Sally does have a point about the title. But fortunately the silliness, the wild humor, and an appealing dose of song and dance prevail over the sardonic social commentary in this show that often looks like Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s scowling Threepenny Opera with an overlay of punning, wisecracking, and larger-than-life self-satire. In fact, Urinetown was the surprise hit of the New York Fringe Festival in 1999, continued to surprise the theater community as it moved to Off-Broadway in the spring of 2001, then became a Broadway hit in the fall of 2001, winning three Tony Awards and running for two years before its national tour. Numerous successful productions have taken place since then all over the world, and, yes, Little Sally, many people are coming to see Princeton Summer Theater’s current production — impressively high-spirited, polished, and running at Hamilton Murray Theater on the Princeton University campus for just one more weekend.

The Princeton Festival Chorus Presents Sublime “Requiem” in University Chapel

Nancy Plum

With such an emphasis on the sung voice over its five year history, it was only a matter of time before the Princeton Festival turned its attention to choral music. Festival Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk began his tenure with the Opera Festival of New Jersey as chorusmaster, and as Director of the Princeton University Glee Club, recognizes the strong bond between opera and chorus. This year for the first time, the Festival included a choral workshop. Simon Carrington, who initially made his reputation as an original member of the King’s Singers and with a second successful career at Yale, came to Princeton for a week to prepare a 40-voice chorus for a performance this past Saturday night of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. The Princeton Festival dedicated the performance in the University Chapel to Jack Ellis, a long-time supporter of the Festival and for whom the Requiem was a favorite piece.

It’s New to Us

Fun New Twist Yogurt on Nassau Street Offers a Variety of Self-Serve Creations

Jean Stratton

They’re lining up at Twist Yogurt! The popular new frozen yogurt emporium at 84 Nassau Street is a magnet for customers of all ages.

Dynamic Destination Dining Out Experience Is Highlight of Popular elements Restaurant

Jean Stratton

It’s been a hot topic in town since it opened last October, and it is definitely a destination dining out experience.

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