June 20, 2024

During the current heat wave, the municipality has opened cooling centers at Monument Hall, Witherspoon Hall, and Princeton Public Library.

Through Monday, June 24, the main meeting room at Monument Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Community Room at Witherspoon Hall is open on Friday, June 21 from 1-5 p.m., and Saturday to Monday, June 22-24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Princeton Public Library is open Thursday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, June 23 from 12-6 p.m.

June 19, 2024

Princeton High School saw 366 seniors graduate last Friday afternoon, going on to colleges and universities, into the workforce, or serving in the military. With the graduation season coming to a close, it’s on to summer academic and construction projects at Princeton Public Schools. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

By Donald Gilpin

Activity at the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) might look as if it’s winding down following last Friday’s Princeton High School (PHS) graduation, but two key administrative appointments and a slew of construction projects are two indications of a busy summer in preparation for the 2024-25 school year.

Fifth graders at the district’s four elementary schools celebrated their moving-on-to- middle school ceremony on Thursday morning last week; 257 Princeton Middle School (PMS) students, who will attend PHS in the fall, participated in a moving up ceremony on Wednesday; and on Friday, with the time moved up from 5:30 to 4 p.m. in order to outrun a major thunderstorm, 366 PHS seniors received their diplomas.

Meanwhile, PPS staff who are working with building contractors, architects, and engineers; numerous teachers and administrators with summer projects; and two new administrators, in particular, are wasting no time in getting down to work. more

GROOMING THE GARDENS: Volunteers from the Garden Club of Princeton, Friends of Princeton Open Space, Sustainable Princeton, and the community recently began working with botanists and ecologists from WildLawn to remove invasive plants surrounding the Princeton Battle Monument and replace them with a variety of natives. (Photo courtesy of Sustainable Princeton)

By Anne Levin

Thursday, June 6 was the first official workday of a collaborative project aimed at revitalizing the garden beds surrounding the Princeton Battle Monument.

Located just steps away from Morven, which is certain to be a focal point of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Monument Park is likely to be a much-visited location once the celebrations begin.

“Since one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence [Richard Stockon] lived at the Morven house, we expect many visitors to be coming through this part of town,” said Sarah Ringer, who with Jody Erdman led a group of neighbors, known unofficially as the Friends of Monument Park, on the project along with Sustainable Princeton, Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS), and the Garden Club of Princeton. WildLawn of Bucks County, Pa., was hired to lead the project. more

“MARCH, DANCE, ROLL, SASHAY”: The 2024 Princeton Pride Parade and After-Party will be taking place this Saturday, June 22, with participants marching from the Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street to the YMCA field on Paul Robeson Place for food, music, speeches, dancing, and more. This photo is from last year’s Pride Parade. (Photo courtesy of Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice)

By Donald Gilpin

“Marchin’ in Solidarity” and “Dancin’ in Celebration” the flyer from the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ) reads, as Princeton prepares for its annual Pride Parade and After-Party on Saturday, June 22, stepping off from the Princeton Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street at 11 a.m.

“The Princeton Pride Parade is a joyful lovefest of community celebration right here in Central Jersey,” wrote State Sen. Andrew Zwicker in an email Monday. “I am grateful to the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice for their leadership and efforts to bring us all together and, as always, look forward to marching, dancing, singing, and chanting in solidarity as we recommit ourselves to defending the liberties of the LGBTQIA+ community.” more

THE SHORT LIFE OF A PRINCETON LEGEND: The three-episode podcast “Searching for Hobey Baker” explores previously unreported aspects of the famed athlete’s life, including his struggles as a queer man in the early 20th century.

By Anne Levin

It would be hard to find a hockey fan who isn’t familiar with legendary Princeton University alumnus Hobey Baker. The golden-haired athlete, who excelled at football as well as hockey before graduating in 1914, was a superstar of his time. Collegiate hockey’s most prestigious award bears his name, as does the University’s 2,092-seat ice rink.

Fellow Princetonian F. Scott Fitzgerald idolized Baker, writing him into his novel This Side of Paradise. Tragically, Baker died at the age of 26 after a plane he was piloting crashed mysteriously, just before he was to return home from Europe during World War I.

Theories about that crash are just one focus of “Searching for Hobey Baker,” a podcast released June 12 as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series. The three episodes, narrated by actor and Princeton graduate David Duchovny, also delve into the nature of Baker’s relationship with the extremely wealthy Percy Rivington Pyne II, son of financier and University benefactor Moses Taylor Pyne. Nine years Baker’s senior, Pyne II was obsessed with the athlete and invited him to live in his Gilded Age mansion. more

FAMILY HARMONY: Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser celebrated a recent birthday by appearing in a world premiere choral performance of “The Stone” at Richardson Auditorium with members of her family. From left are daughter Rachel Moser Vassak, Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, granddaughter Serena Vassak, son Alex Moser, and Tim Keyes.

By Anne Levin

When Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser started thinking about how she wanted to celebrate an upcoming significant birthday, material gifts did not come to mind. Moser, who is the director of Princeton Neuropsychology, was considering something more meaningful.

Moser asked her daughter, son, and granddaughter — all singers — to join her as part of the chorus in a performance of the Tim Keyes Consort, which took place on June 15 at Richardson Auditorium. The concert included the world premiere of The Stone, by Keyes, who founded the ensemble 29 years ago.

“Our true legacy is found in the multiple generations of our families who have come to be part of the Consort,” Keyes said in a speech at the performance. “Tonight, however, is a first, as one of our longtime members, Rosemarie Moser, is here with three generations of her family on stage tonight. Additionally, she joins us on the eve of a significant birthday, so I think it only appropriate that we join in singing happy birthday to her.” more

By Donald Gilpin

A Russian court announced on Monday that the trial of journalist and former Princeton resident Evan Gershkovich, who has been imprisoned in Russia for almost 15 months, would begin on June 26 and would be held behind closed doors, according to news sources.

A 2010 Princeton High School graduate, Gershkovich was on a reporting trip for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in March 2023 when he was detained by Russian security officials and incarcerated in a high-security prison in Moscow.

Gershkovich, who is fluent in Russian, which he spoke at home with his Jewish parents, who had been born in the Soviet Union and fled to the United States in 1970, has been charged with espionage. He is the first American to be imprisoned on espionage charges in Russia since 1986 during the Cold War. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Sixteen years ago I wrote about “An American Masterpiece You Can’t See on DVD — Yet.” Now, at last, we can forget the “Yet.” Frank Borzage’s Man’s Castle (1933) has been restored to its original length and released on a Blu-ray disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Although this is an entirely legitimate piece of good news, I can’t help recalling the moment in Mad Men when Pete Campbell goes to Mr. Cooper with proof that the firm’s genius Don Draper is an imposter, a fraud, a criminal, maybe worse, to which the boss croons, three times, “Who cares?”

In his “Front Row” appreciation of Man’s Castle, the New Yorker’s Richard Brody cares; it’s a film that he’s “cherished’” for decades. Referring to the “eight minutes of risqué plot points and dialogue” that were cut in deference to the Motion Picture Code, Brody confesses that his “love of the movie has been accompanied by tantalized curiosity about what was missing.” As he puts it, “the restoration emphasizes all the more strongly the depth and power of Borzage’s vision — and the wit and style with which he brings it to light.” more

By Nancy Plum

It all began with a bet. Three male buddies were arguing over everyone’s favorite topic — fidelity. To prove his point that women are fickle, one dared his companions to entice their fiancées to betray them by pretending to be two other suitors. The companions agreed, and mayhem ensued — all to the delicious music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This, of course, is the plot of Mozart’s popular opera Così fan tutte, which musically addresses the age-old question, “Are women really all like that?” Premiered less than two years before Mozart’s death and full of challenging music for both singers and instrumentalists, Così has remained a popular staple of opera repertory for more than 200 years. The Princeton Festival brought this classic to life this past weekend as a cornerstone presentation of its two-week series of performances and lectures. Accompanied by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and led by conductor Rossen Milanov, six singers took on the daunting assignment of interpreting Mozart’s complex score, delving into the realm of the theatrically silly along the way.

Sunday afternoon’s performance at the pavilion of Princeton’s Morven Music & Garden (the opera officially opened last Friday night) brought a full house under a tent on a perfect weather night for opera. The “Overture” that opened the production was short by 18th-century standards, but set the scene for the action to come. Milanov and the Princeton Symphony players found an elegant Viennese flow to the music, aided by wind solos from oboist Kemp Jernigan and flutist Scott Kemsley. Stage Director James Marvel took the opportunity to introduce the characters during the “Overture” — sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, their respective fiancés Guglielmo and Ferrando, the streetwise maid Despina, and the scheming “philosopher” Don Alfonso. Mozart’s original setting was 1790s Naples, but scenic designer Blair Mielnik and costume designer Marie Miller moved the opening scene far from the 1700s to what looked more like a flamboyant beach community.  more

“DRACULA: A FEMINIST REVENGE FANTASY”: Performances are underway for Princeton Summer Theater’s production of “Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy.” Written by Kate Hamill and directed by Eliana Cohen-Orth, the play runs through June 30 at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater. Above, from left: a Western version of Dr. Van Helsing (Sophie Falvey) strategizes with Dr. Seward (Teddy Feig), Jonathan Harker (Destine Harrison-Williams), and Mina Harker (Meghana Kumar) about ways to defeat the titular vampire. (Photo by John Venegas Juarez)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

In Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Dr. Van Helsing is a feisty American woman in a cowboy hat. Be sure to address her as “Doctor,” not “Madam.” It is for readers and audiences to guess who emerges victorious when this Dr. Van Helsing confronts Dracula.

Playwright Kate Hamill, who has brought a contemporary perspective to theatrical adaptations of several classic novels, loosely adapts and satirizes the Bram Stoker original, pitting the titular Transylvanian vampire against a Van Helsing that seems to be patterned after Annie Oakley (among other characters and archetypes). It is a fun but risky concept that could have come off as gimmicky — but it brilliantly succeeds. more

MULTI-TALENTED: Actor, singer, writer, and multimedia mogul Alan Cumming is at the State Theatre New Jersey on Saturday, June 22 at 8 p.m.

State Theatre New Jersey (STNJ) presents Alan Cumming: Uncut on Saturday, June 22 at 8 p.m.

Multi-hyphenate, multi-award winning, multimedia mogul Alan Cumming returns to STNJ with a new cabaret show, even more revealing, hilarious, and authentic than ever before. Musical direction is by Henry Koperski.

Cumming trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Before graduating he had already made his professional theater, film, and television debuts. In 1988, he appeared in Manfred Karge’s Conquest of the South Pole at the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh. The play transferred to the Royal Court in London, and he received his first Olivier award nomination. He went on to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre where he won an Olivier award for his performance in Dario Fo’s Accidental Death Of An Anarchist.  more

Santino Fontana (Photo by Nathan Johnson)

Actor and television star Santino Fontana takes over the Princeton Festival stage in the performance pavilion at Morven Museum & Garden on Saturday, June 22 at 7 p m.

Pianist Cody Owen Stine joins Fontana in this cabaret performance, “An Evening with Santino Fontana,” which is the final show of this year’s Princeton Festival.

Fontana has received the Tony Award, two Drama Desks, an Outer Critics Circle, a Lortel, an Obie, and the Clarence Derwent Award for his work in both plays and musicals. Most recently seen on Broadway in Tootsie, he is also known for lending his voice to the villainous “Prince Hans” in the Disney film, Frozen. On TV, Santino was seen on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Crazy Ex-Girlfriendmore

SERIES OPENER: The Ulysses Quartet is first on the list of ensembles at the Princeton University Summer Chamber Concert 57th season at Richardson Auditorium on June 23.

The Ulysses Quartet will open Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts’ 57th Season in Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m. Works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Tower are on the program. Ruth Ochs, who conducts the Princeton University Sinfonia, will provide commentary.

Founded in the summer of 2015, the Ulysses Quartet won the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition.  more

“FLOWERS ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA”: This work by Francis Gunther is featured in an exhibit by the Creative Collective Art Group, on view July 1 through August 29 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury.

The Cranbury Arts Council will host an exhibit by the Creative Collective Art Group July 1 through August 29 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. An opening reception is on Sunday, July 14 from 1-3 p.m.

The exhibit includes the members of the Creative Collective Art Group displaying a variety of art mediums — acrylic paintings, oil painting, watercolor, mixed media, and photography.

The Creative Collective is dedicated to fostering a creative and nurturing community for artists, artisans, and art lovers in central New Jersey and beyond.  more

The Trent House Association will host an illustrated talk on how the early battles of the American Revolution have been portrayed visually over the past two and a half centuries. Given by Roger Williams, a well-regarded local historian of the Revolution, this free talk will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 2 p.m. at the Trent House Museum Visitor Center and virtually at tinyurl.com/THATalkJune30. The museum is located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, across from the Hughes Justice Complex. Free parking and the museum entrance are at the rear of the property off William Trent Place.

One of the iconic images of the early days of the American Revolution is that of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve 1776, portrayed in an 1851 painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutz. This painting solidified this crucial event in the public’s mind, and it remains one of the best-known portrayals of the Revolution. Painted in Germany 75 years after the Battle of Trenton, it is not surprising that some of the details are not accurate. This is also true of many of the numerous other artistic interpretations of this and other events of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. Williams will share many of these interpretations during his talk, pointing out how these images have reinforced certain beliefs about the Revolution and created opportunities for exaggeration and even distortion of the actual events. more

“CLOUD SWING”: This wheelchair-accessible public art installation at Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) has received an Innovator Award from the Cultural Access Network Project. Designed by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Isometric Studio, it will be at GFS through October 5.

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) in Hamilton recently received an Innovator Award from the Cultural Access Network Project for its public art installation, Cloud Swing, at the Project’s Annual Excellence in Cultural Access Awards.

Recognized for its innovative approach to public art, Cloud Swing, an art installation that features three plank swings and two wheelchair-accessible swings, allows GFS visitors of all abilities the opportunity to “play” on the interactive sculpture. GFS is hosting Cloud Swing, which was designed by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Isometric Studio, through October 5.  more

“DANCING WITH NATURE”: Works by artist and healing arts instructor Jane Zamost are featured in “Escapades of My Mind,” on view through August 26 in the Investors Bank Art & Healing Gallery at Capital Health Medical Center — Hopewell.

Artist Jane Zamost started her involvement in the healing arts at Capital Health more than 10 years ago, fascinated at how art transforms life’s most beautiful and challenging moments. She said that these experiences shaped her and impacted the way she makes art, prodding her to be uninhibited and free of judgement. The music playing is often her guide as are sunrise walks, life’s joy, and hardships both grand and small.  more

STICKING WITH IT: Beth Yeager dribbles the ball upfield in action for the U.S. national field hockey team. Yeager, a rising junior for the Princeton University field hockey squad, was named last week to the 16-player roster for the national team that will compete at the Olympic Games in Paris that begin July 27. Yeager, who was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022, took a year away from school to focus on making the U.S. squad for the Olympics. (Photo provided courtesy of USA Field Hockey)

By Justin Feil

Beth Yeager delayed her junior year at Princeton University for the opportunity to compete for a spot on the United States national field hockey team.

The night before the final team was to be posted on their training team’s app last week, Yeager was understandably nervous.

“It would be a bit strange if I wasn’t,” said Yeager. “I was definitely nervous. Like the night before, I really couldn’t fall asleep, and I woke up early that morning. I think everyone is. No matter if I had my position on the team, I would have been nervous just because it was my first Olympic selection and obviously it’s something that I’ve worked towards my whole field hockey career.”

Yeager was thrilled to be named June 12 to the 16-player roster for the national team that will compete at the Olympic Games in Paris that begin July 27.  more

STEPPING UP: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Joci Lee races upfield in action this spring. Senior defender Lee helped PHS show marked improvement this season as it went 12-9 after going 7-12 in 2023. The Tigers edged Montgomery 9-8 in overtime in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey Group 3 tournament to post their first win in the state tourney since 2021. PHS ended its season by falling 11-5 at Northern Highlands in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team ended its 2024 campaign with a tough 11-5 loss at Northern Highlands in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, that defeat can’t diminish what the program accomplished as it regained its winning ways.

After struggling through a frustrating 7-12 season in 2023, the Tigers posted a 12-9 record this spring.

“Last year was a hard year for all of the girls, but it was a growing year,” said PHS head coach Katie Federico. “It really allowed a lot of them to mature. The seniors really took on that leadership role this year. It was the confidence and trust in each other — they played so well as a unit. That year of rebuilding really did help, as hard as it was.” more

COMING THROUGH: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Olivia Kim, center, looks to elude two Lawrenceville defenders in the Mercer County Tournament semis. Senior star and Williams College commit Kim enjoyed a big final campaign, talking 57 goals and 11 assist to help the Raiders go 9-8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team ended the spring by losing nail-biters to local foes Princeton High and Princeton Day School, Geoff Chrisman appreciated the intensity and skill level displayed in the rivalry clashes.

“It was a lot of fun, it was definitely good Princeton crosstown lacrosse which is always awesome,” said Hun first year head coach Chrisman, a 2003 PHS alum who played lacrosse and football during his high school days. “You want to see it doing well. There is so much on the line, it feels like. Having played in games when I was here and now coaching in them, you get to feel that emotion. You are going to see those kids at Hoagie Haven. The girls are neighbors, they grew up with each other. They play club together.”

In the 14-10 loss to PHS, Hun was tied 6-6 with the Tigers at halftime but couldn’t close the deal in the second half. more

QUICK ON THE DRAW: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse players Kelly Christie, left, and Shelby Ruf go after a draw in a game this spring. Senior star Christie and junior standout Ruf starred in the midfield this year for PDS as it went 15-6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Lucia Marcozzi took the helm of the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse program this spring, it was all hands on deck.

“It was so much fun, I am lucky with such a good group of girls,” said Marcozzi, a former Bucknell University women’s lax standout who has been coaching in club programs for several years. “It was such a small team that everyone had to do anything.”

That lack of depth hurt the Panthers as the fifth-seeded Panthers fell 14-9 to fourth-seeded to Saddle River Day in the quarterfinal round of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public Group B tournament. more

FAMILY AFFAIR: Tommy Parker, center, the longtime manager of the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team, enjoys the moment with members of his family last Thursday afternoon as the baseball field at Barbara Smoyer Park was dedicated in his honor. The dedication was memorialized by the unveiling of a plaque citing Parker’s “hard work and dedication to the lives of Princeton’s youth,” listing his contributions as founder/GM/coach of Post 218 from 1990-2022, a longtime coach of youth baseball and youth football, and a local leader in civil rights, worker rights, and youth athletics. It marks the first time that Princeton has dedicated a field in someone’s honor. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Recreation Department)

By Bill Alden

With the sun shining brightly midway through last Thursday afternoon, the soccer fields and baseball diamond at Barbara Smoyer Park were quiet with practices and games hours away.

But there was a buzz around the pavilion building in the center of the park as a crowd of around 100 had gathered to honor Tommy Parker, one of the shining stars of the Princeton community.

The throng was on hand for a ceremony dedicating the park’s baseball field in the honor of Parker, the longtime manager of the Post 218 American Legion baseball team and a community activist. The dedication was memorialized by the unveiling of a plaque citing Thomas A. Parker’s “hard work and dedication to the lives of Princeton’s youth,” listing his contributions as founder/general manager/coach of Post 218 from 1990-2022, longtime coach of youth baseball and youth football, and local leader in civil rights, worker rights, and youth athletics. more

IRON MIKE: Mike Kane of Princeton Supply looks to unload the ball during a 2023 game in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Friday night, Kane tallied 14 points to help Princeton Supply defeat Lob City 61-52 in its season opener. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mike Kane enjoyed a superb career with the Drew University men’s basketball team and a memorable graduate season this winter for Widener.

Former Notre Dame High standout Kane totaled 698 points in his four seasons at Drew and then averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds a game this winter as he helped Widener go 24-5 and advance to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Division III tournament.

But while Kane produced many highlight moments in his college career, taking the court last Friday night for Princeton Supply as it faced Lob City to open its campaign in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League held a special meaning for him. more

SWINGING AWAY: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Travis Petrone follows through on a swing in recent action. Last Monday, Petrone, a rising Princeton High senior, had a hit in a losing cause as Post 218 fell 7-1 to Hamilton Post 31. Princeton, which moved to 0-9 with the defeat, hosts Bordentown Post 26 on June 19, plays at North Hamilton on June 21, hosts Lawrence Post 414 on June 22, plays at Broad Street Park Post 313 on June 23, and at Allentown on June 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having lost its first six games this summer, the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team was primed for a breakthrough as it hosted Broad Street Park Post 313 last Thursday evening at Smoyer Park.

“It has been a tough stretch coming into this game,” said Post 218 manager Peter Nielsen. “I see the hunger in these kids. They are ready to get that first win.”

Post 218 built a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth inning on run-scoring hits by Mike Prete and Gavin Lauer. more