April 24, 2024

Princeton Record Exchange was one of thousands of independent record stores around the world to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, April 20. Fans of the iconic store known as PREX turned out to browse and buy from the slate of titles, many of which have limited production runs. (Photo by Sarah Teo)

By Donald Gilpin

Graduate students at Princeton University have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming to have a “strong majority” of graduate students who have signed union cards. They are hoping for an election in the next month.

The Princeton Graduate Students United (PGSU) is currently in discussions with the University administration and the NLRB regional office in Newark to arrange elections and set a date for voting.

If recognized, the PGSU would be affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE) and would be the largest union at Princeton University. Except for the University of Pennsylvania, where graduate workers are holding a union election next week on May 1 and 2, Princeton is currently the only Ivy League school that has not formally recognized a graduate student union. more

By Anne Levin

Contemplating how to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Morven Museum & Garden, staff at the historic house on Stockton Street came to the conclusion that digging into their own collections was the way to go. “Morven Revealed: Untold Stories from New Jersey’s Most Historic Home,” a show of rarely exhibited objects and newly discovered photographs, opens Friday, April 26 and remains on view through March 2, 2025.

A lit-up Baby Jesus, a lavish inaugural gown, a child’s ring uncovered during archaeological work, and a history of all the pets who lived at the house are among the curiosities on display. Way before it became a museum, Morven was home to numerous notable residents — Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Robert Wood Johnson Jr., Johnson & Johnson heir; and five New Jersey governors have occupied the property. All had families and staffs.  more

By Wendy Greenberg

Last week at The Jewish Center Princeton, about 30 men and women over the age of 85 gathered for the “Seasoned Souls” lunch group, with bag lunches and desserts provided by volunteers. Later that day, sixth graders and their families met for a program and had dinner together.

The age range in the building was typical. The Jewish Center seems to have something for everyone: Yoga, Torah and Tea, knitting with Interfaith Stitchers, a book club, adult education, programs tied to religious holidays, weekly Shabbat (Sabbath) services, and more.

As its mission statement says, in part, “Our congregation includes children, parents, grandparents, and friends – families who have been here more than seven generations and recent college graduates. We embrace interfaith families, Jews by choice, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals. We provide a home for teens, empty-nesters, and seniors.” more

TIGER AND FRIENDS: Tiger, Princeton Public Schools’ goldendoodle therapy dog, has been a frequent visitor to all four elementary schools, and Princeton High School junior Kayla Resnick has founded an Animal Therapy Club with regular visits by therapy dogs and recently two miniature horses. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Moore)

By Donald Gilpin

Two unusual visitors interacted with students, parents, and teachers, on the front lawn at Princeton High School (PHS) on a Friday afternoon after school earlier this month. They were Bleu and Big Mac, two miniature horses accompanied by handlers from the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Center in Philadelphia.

“Not a lot of people have seen miniature horses,” said PHS junior Kayla Resnick, the founder of the PHS Animal Therapy Club who arranged the visit. “Their reactions were partly the shock of ‘Oh, my god, what is that?’ Bringing miniature horses to our school is a dream come true.” more

By Anne Levin

It is billed as Local Author Day. But the annual event at Princeton Public Library, now in its 13th year, is actually a weekend-long celebration of area writers, their books, and the strategies that go into getting them published.

The celebration April 26-28 will blend live and virtual presentations designed to appeal to a range of ages and preferences. The main event is Saturday from 1-4 p.m., when 42 local authors take over the library’s first floor to sign books and meet the public. Two online workshops and one in person are also on the agenda.  more

BUILDING BRIDGES: Andrea Dinan (left), director of the PHS Ideas Center, and PHS social studies teacher Christine Carbone have led an English language Boot Camp program in the city of Merida, Mexico during spring break week over the past six years. They have forged strong alliances between their students at PHS and the school in Merida. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Dinan)

By Donald Gilpin

Andrea Dinan, director of the Ideas Center for tutoring at Princeton High School (PHS), and PHS social studies teacher Christine Carbone, spent their spring vacation week in the city of Merida, Mexico, leading an English language Boot Camp program for a high school populated mainly by Mayan and itinerant workers.

The high school, Unidad Academica Bachillerato con Interaccion Comunitaria (UABIC), helps to prepare the students to take the college entrance exam in June, and the Boot Camp program, now in its sixth year, is the outgrowth of a Fulbright Distinguished Teachers Program award that Dinan received in 2016.

The two teachers worked with UABIC students daily and coordinated a number of electronic exchanges with PHS, including live Zooms and a pen pal letter program. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey (HarperCollins 2004) was the year’s number one fiction best-seller when it was published in 1927; it also received the 1928 Pulitzer Prize and is still in print, reportedly selling seven thousand copies worldwide every year. So how is it that in my long life as a reader I ignored it until April 17 of last week, Wilder’s 127th birthday? There may be a clue in the wording of the New York Times December 8, 1975 obituary: “Aloof from the 20th century’s preoccupation with politics, psychology and sex,” Wilder “concentrated in his novels and plays on what he construed as the universal verities in human nature. He seemed to be examining mankind from an Olympian platform.”

In his foreword to the 2004 edition, novelist Russell Banks, who died in January 2023, says that Wilder’s novel is “as close to perfect a moral fable as we are ever likely to get in American literature.” The book “feels, in its exquisite universality and ease of timeless application, ancient, classical, almost biblical.” Probably aware of the “aloofness” issue, Banks admits that while “in certain ways, the prose seems antique,” it’s “not in the least antiquated,” the “sentences are elegant, but never self-admiring, exquisitely balanced, yet not overformal, and complex without being elaborate.” Banks’s way of bringing the novel into contemporary America, circa 2004, is to suggest an analogy between the fictional fall of the bridge that “precipitated five travelers into the gulf below” on July 20, 1714 and the terrorist attack that killed thousands when it brought down the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. more

By Nancy Plum

The period in England between 17th-century composer Henry Purcell and the early 20th century was bleak for native composers. Ralph Vaughan Williams began putting British composition back on the map in the late 19th century, soon joined by Sir Edward Elgar, who had been knocking at the door of recognition for quite a while before the premiere of his epic choral/orchestral The Dream of Gerontius. Taking the practice of incorporating chorus into symphonic works to a new level, Elgar’s Gerontius traces the journey of the title character from deathbed to judgement before God. The Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club joined forces this past weekend to present this monumental work at Richardson Auditorium. A combined Walter L. Nollner and Stuart B. Mindlin memorial concert, this performance also acknowledged graduating seniors of both ensembles, sending them off into the world celebrating a musical achievement and contemplating the cycle of life questions Elgar raised.  more

RENAISSANCE MEN: These Juilliard graduates mentored by Itzhak Perlman make up the Renaissance Quartet, on stage at McCarter Theatre in November.

McCarter Theatre Center’s 2024-2025 Classical Music Series, starting in November, will feature the Renaissance Quartet with Randall Goosby, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing Bach’s The Brandenburg Concertos, Grammy award-winning chamber choir The Crossing, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and Julia Fischer & Jan Lisieki.  more

Alison Bolshoi

Now in its 35th season, Boheme Opera NJ is celebrating by bringing together stars of the company’s past and future for its 35th Anniversary Reunion Concert. The event is May 5 at 3 p.m. at Hillman Performance Hall on the Princeton Campus of Westminster Choir College.

“In 1989, Boheme Opera NJ realized the dream of bringing world-class opera to the regional stage. Thirty-five years later, we are thrilled to celebrate our milestone achievement with some of the outstanding artists who continue to make our mission a reality,” said Artistic Director Joseph Pucciatti.

Pianist Sandra M. Pucciatti, Boheme Opera’s managing director; and Doug Han, the company’s principal rehearsal pianist, will be the accompanists for the event’s vocal performers.  more

SING OUT: Westminster Choir of Rider University is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a new recording on the GIA Masterworks label.

Serenity of Soul, a new recording by the Westminster Choir that celebrates its 100th year, will be released on May 3 on the GIA Masterworks label. The recording marks the recording debut of GRAMMY-nominated James Jordan as conductor of the choir, the seventh since the group’s founding in 1920 by John Finley Williamson.

The centerpiece of Serenity of Soul is the cantata Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten, based on the poetry of Christopher Smart. It was recorded in Gill Memorial Chapel on Rider’s campus in Lawrenceville and Christ Church in New York City between May 4 and 11, 2023. Comprising 15 tracks, it features Gregory Stout on piano and Mary Dolch on organ. more

WATCH OUT FOR THE PLASTICS: The hit Broadway musical comedy “Mean Girls” will be at State Theatre New Jersey on May 11 and 12.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Mean Girls, the new musical comedy adapted from the Paramount Pictures film, on Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 12 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $40-$105.

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer Tina Fey (30 Rock), composer Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), and director Casey Nicholas (The Book of Mormon). more

BACK ON THE SCHEDULE: The Doric String Quartet is coming to Richardson Auditorium following a previously booked concert that was cancelled due to the pandemic. (Photo by George Garnier)

After a pandemic-related cancellation, the U.K.-based Doric String Quartet at last makes its Princeton University Concerts (PUC) debut on Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus. Their program includes Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2, Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887, and Brett Dean String Quartet No. 3 Hidden Agendas, a work written for the Doric String Quartet and inspired as a response to today’s political climate.

The composer first began collaborating with the Doric String Quartet in 2007, when he heard them play his composition Eclipse at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. more

Sara David Buechner
(Photo by Yukiko Onley)

Sara David Buechner joins the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) for performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 the weekend of May 11-12. Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the program which includes John Luther Adams’ Become River and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120.

The concerts take place on Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 12 at 4 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University. The Sunday performance will be preceded by a 3 p.m. pre-concert talk hosted by Milanov, which will include Ms. Buechner, and augment a Mother’s Day outing to the concert hall.

Buechner recently performed with Milanov with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, of which Milanov is music director. “Patrons will be riveted by Sara’s technical expertise and exceptional artistry prominently on display in performance of this first concerto by Beethoven,” he said. more

“CELL”: The Arts Council of Princeton will show mixed media works by Heather Cox as part of “Making Do,” a group show excavating the beauty of everyday objects. The exhibition will be on view April 27 through May 24, with a gallery opening on May 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will show “Making Do,” an exhibition of mixed media work, in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery April 27 through May 24. A free gallery opening will be held on Friday, May 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. This group show features the work of Karla Carballar, Heather Cox, Shannon Curry Hartmann, Mollie Murphy, Rachel Perry, and Emna Zghal.

To “make do” is an idiom. Grammatically, it is a phrase. It means to work with what one has on hand or to persevere through difficult circumstances. Each artist in this show makes work that exemplifies this term. Some of the group has always worked in this way: gleaning the metaphor from the world, finding meaning in everyday objects, and excavating the strange beauty they perceive in the cast-offs in the street, field, and forage. Others found their way to this kind of work during the pandemic: forced into isolation, they questioned, examined, played with, and discovered new and fruitful ways of working. more

“GORILLA JABARI”: This image by Mathew Renk is part of a photography exhibit by the Cranbury digital Camera Club (CdCC), on view May 6 through May 31 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. 

The Gourgaud Gallery will host a photography exhibit by the Cranbury digital Camera Club (CdCC) May 6 through May 31.

The show will feature original, framed photographs of various subjects and sizes taken by club members. Most photographs will be for sale at prices ranging from $75 to $350, with 20 percent of all sales benefiting the Cranbury Arts Council.  more

HUES AND HAPPINESS: The Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s Color Fun Run + Walk, which culminates with a group color toss, is on Saturday, May 4 from 3 to 4 pm at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township. (Photo by Benoit Cortet)

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council has announced the return of the Color Fun Run + Walk on Saturday, May 4 from 3 to 4 pm at Woolsey Park at the new Hopewell Township bandshell. This event promises an explosion of color and joy, catering to everyone from avid runners to leisurely strollers, all in support of the arts in Hopewell Valley.

There will be non-stop entertainment, including a dynamic dance party with music and warm-up sessions led by Angela, the hula hoop virtuoso from Color Me Hoopy. Participants will experience waves of color as they navigate the course, becoming living art pieces. The event culminates with a group color toss, a celebration of hues and happiness.  more

Works by Spriha Gupta are featured in “2nd Life: Rediscovering Nature’s Canvas,” on view at Artworks Trenton, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, through May 24. An Artist Talk is on April 27 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. For more about the artist, visit sprihagupta.com

FAMILY LAW SPECIALIST: “I like helping people understand the legal and financial context of their changing family, strategizing their move forward, and making concrete suggestions for how to get on with their lives after a divorce. This is a stressful, rough time for them, and I try to help find a resolution that is respectful of their needs.” Jeffrey K. Epstein is a certified matrimonial attorney and specialist in family law at the Szaferman Lakind Law firm.

By Jean Stratton

Szaferman Lakind Law firm has a long history of helping clients in New Jersey, and particularly in Mercer County. Established in Lawrencevile by three former deputy attorneys general, Barry Szaferman, Arnold Lakind. and Jeffrey Blumstein in 1977, it is a multi-faceted law firm with highly sophisticated and accomplished areas of specialty, including family law, personal injury, trusts and estates, general litigation, transactional business and commercial real estate, employment law, land use, and workers compensation.

The firm provides legal representation for businesses, investors, professionals, families, and individuals.

As the firm grew from three attorneys to 30, It moved to its current location at 101 Grovers Mill Road in the Quakerbridge Executive Center in 1986.

The firm epitomizes “True Counsel”, meaning that they provide realistic solutions to complex legal problems, and emphasize rendering quality advice and direction while being practical and cost effective. As its mission statement explains, “The attorneys at Szaferman Lakind strive to provide True Counsel to all our clients through every step of the legal process, both personally and professionally. To us, it is a pledge of high quality, efficiency, ethical standards, and compassion. Our attorneys are advisors, confidants and strategists.” more

BARN BURNER: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Tommy Barnds heads to goal in recent action. Last Saturday, senior midfielder Barnds tallied two goals and one assist to help Princeton defeat Penn. The Tigers, now 8-4 overall and 3-2 Ivy League, play at Yale on April 27 in their regular season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Tommy Barnds left the Class of 1952 Stadium last Saturday evening after his final regular season game on the field for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team, he got a special embrace.

Princeton head coach Matt Madalon walked over to Barnds and gave him a bear hug, telling the senior midfielder how proud he was of him.

Patiently working his way into the lineup over the years, Barnds contributed two goals and an assist to help Princeton defeat Penn 15-10 before a standing room only throng of 2,766 as the Tigers improved to 8-4 overall and 3-2 Ivy League and stayed alive in their pursuit of a spot in the the upcoming Ivy postseason tournament.

Coming off a disappointing 13-12 loss at Brown a week earlier, Barnds and his teammates were determined to get back on the winning track. more

AMAZING GRACE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Grace Tauckus races upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior attacker Tauckus scored four goals to help Princeton defeat Dartmouth 17-11. The Tigers, now 9-5 overall and 5-1 Ivy League, play at Harvard in April 27 to wrap up regular season play before it heads into the Ivy postseason tournament. (Photo by Steven Wojtowicz)

By Bill Alden

After playing through rain in each of its home games this spring, the sun was shining on the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team last Saturday afternoon as it hosted Dartmouth and held its annual Senior Day celebration.

Enjoying the finally pleasant weather, senior attacker Grace Tauckus was ready to shine in her last home game.

“It was our last day on ’52, it was obviously an emotional one for all of us,” said Tauckus. more

ALEX THE GREAT: Princeton High baseball player Alex Winters takes a cut in recent action. Last Thursday, senior center fielder Winters went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs to help PHS defeat the Princeton Day School 10-0. The Tigers, who fell 15-9 to Allentown last Monday to move to 4-5, host Hopewell Valley on April 26, play at Colts Neck on April 27, hosts Franklin on April 29 and plays at Lawrence on April 30. (Photo by Steven Wojtowicz)

By Bill Alden

Alex Winters lived up to his role as the catalyst for the Princeton High baseball team with aplomb as it hosted Princeton Day School last Thursday.

Senior center fielder and leadoff hitter Winters started the bottom of the first inning by stroking a single and stealing a base to ignite a two-run rally.

“That is always the goal, getting a good start especially with the top of our lineup,” said Winters. more

MAD GOOD: Princeton High softball player Maddie Castillo takes a swing in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior Castillo went 3-for-4 with a run in a losing cause as PHS got edged 8-7 by Hopewell Valley. The Tigers, who lost 11-1 to Allentown last Monday to move to 2-5, play at Florence on April 25 before hosting Lawrence High on April 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Maddie Castillo may seem to be a little old to be playing with dolls but she was all smiles as she clutched a Barbie after the Princeton High softball team hosted Hopewell Valley last Friday.

PHS senior third baseman Castillo received the doll after going 3-for-4 with a run in a losing cause as PHS got edged 8-7 by HoVal in a back-and-forth contest.

“Teams give out a game ball for the MVP, this is like our game ball, it is Barbie,” said Castillo.

“Natalie [Hester] got it last game and now next game I will get to give it to the next person.” more

FAMILY BUSINESS: Princeton High track standouts Devin Levy, right, and his sister, Naomi, display their javelin form. Last weekend, the Levy siblings excelled as PHS competed in the Mercer County Relays. Devin, a junior, had the second-best throw of any competitor and combined with sophomore Simon Obregon to take second place in the boys division. Naomi, a sophomore, had the top throw in the girls division as she threw 82’10, a personal best for her.

By Justin Feil

Devin Levy and his sister Naomi Levy borrowed javelins last spring for the chance to continue to practice in the offseason.

The extra work and dedication is paying off for the Princeton High siblings this year.

Devin, a junior, had the second-best throw of any competitor and combined with sophomore Simon Obregon to take second place in the boys division at the Mercer County Relays last Saturday at Lawrenceville School.  more

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