October 12, 2022

By Nancy Plum

The Princeton University Orchestra opened the 2022-23 season this past weekend honoring a longtime member of the University Music Department and featuring a dynamic and outstanding piano soloist from within the student body. Under the direction of conductor Michael Pratt, the University Orchestra showed its collective ability to take on any challenge while exploring the most difficult of musical repertoire in the ensemble’s annual Peter Westergaard Memorial Concerts. Friday night’s performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was repeated Saturday night) included two works composed less than 50 years apart, but each a technical wonder in itself and demanding the most from the Orchestra players. 

Composer Frédéric Chopin may have been born in Poland, but his music was heavily influenced by his residency in early 19th-century Paris. Much of the repertoire from Chopin’s all-too-short life was for solo piano, and his music has been an influence on piano composition ever since. Chopin composed only two piano concertos, and his earliest work in this genre bridged musical evolution between the tunefulness of Mozart and the complexity of the mid-19th century composers.

Composed when Chopin was merely 20, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 11 in E minor was a rich symphonic work full of revolutionary musical colors from both piano and orchestra. The first movement’s extended instrumental introduction displayed long melodic violin lines, clean light winds and Chopin’s obvious affinity for the cello. For this past weekend’s performances, the University Orchestra featured senior Kyrie McIntosh, who has studied piano since early childhood. Exuding confidence at the keyboard from the outset, McIntosh began the piano solo with a dramatic flourish. In a movement of wistful reflection, McIntosh demonstrated great fluidity in both hands and considerable sparkle in the highest registers of the keyboard. McIntosh effectively introduced a gentle second theme, accompanied by clean horn playing from Selena Hostetler, and later contrasted by McIntosh’s dramatic left-hand octaves against a nonstop right hand.  more

SAYING FAREWELL: Outgoing McCarter Theatre Managing Director Michael Rosenberg, right, was given a champagne toast by Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen, left, and Board Chair W. Rochelle Calhoun as he departs for a new position leading New York’s City Center. (Photo by Roy Matusek)

Last week, at its first board of trustees meeting for the season, the McCarter board gave Michael Rosenberg a champagne toast and wished him well as he prepares to depart to lead New York City Center later this month.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work at this institution during this unprecedented time in American theater,” said Rosenberg. “I have loved working alongside Sarah Rasmussen as artistic director. Her work is incredible, and I have no doubt she will lead McCarter to wonderful new heights in the years ahead.” more

ONE DAY ONLY: But there are two shows of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at  Kelsey Theatre on the Mercer County Community College campus on October 15 at 1 and 4 p.m.

Kelsey Kids kicks off its 2022-2023 season with Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fable The Emperor’s New Clothes, the story about the foolish emperor who thinks he knows everything about fashion (but his wardrobe isn’t what he thinks it is).

The play, adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller, is brought to life by the Virginia Repertory Theatre in a fresh adaption set during the American Revolution. 

Performances for this one-day-only family show are Saturday, October 15 at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Kelsey Theatre on the Mercer County Community College campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. 

Virginia Repertory Theatre is a nonprofit, professional theatre company with four distinct venues and an educational touring arm. The group has been producing children’s shows since 1975.

Tickets are $12 for children, students, and senior citizens, and $15 for adults. Visit KelseyTheatre.org or call (609) 570-3333.

BACK IN PRINCETON: Guitarist Beppe Gambetta returns to Christ Congregational Church for a concert on October 21. (Photo by Michael Schluter)

Guitarist Beppe Gambetta presents a fusion of American and Italian folk music traditions at a concert presented by the Princeton Folk Music Society on Friday, October 21 at 8 p.m., at Christ Congregational Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

Gambetta is a guitar master (think Earl Scruggs meets Richard Thompson) who taught himself to flat-pick by listening to bluegrass LPs. He combines the folk music of Italy and points east with the bluegrass style of Kentucky. Gambetta is also a vocalist.

Tickets are $5-$25. Masks and full proof of vaccination are required for admission. A livestream is also available. For more information, visit princetonfolk.org.

“AFRICAN SKY”: This painting is part of “Retrieving the Life and Art of James Wilson Edwards and a Circle of Black Artists,” on view October 14 through December 3 at the Arts Council of Princeton. The exhibition is accompanied by a full schedule of programs that begin October 14.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents “Retrieving the Life and Art of James Wilson Edwards and a Circle of Black Artists: Rex Goreleigh, Hughie Lee-Smith, Selma Hortense Burke, and Wendell T. Brooks,” on view in the Taplin Gallery October 14 through December 3. The exhibition reveals how Black artist/teachers were integral and influential members in a predominantly white regional community in the last quarter of the 20th century. While there have been significant exhibitions of contemporary Black artists during recent years of efforts by museums and galleries to become more diverse, this is one of the first exhibitions to explore the historical context from which these artists emerged.

This exhibition focuses on five late 20th-century master artists who lived and worked within 25 miles of each other in the geographic region from Princeton to New Hope, Pa.: James Wilson Edwards, Rex Goreleigh, Hughie Lee-Smith, Selma Hortense Burke, and Wendell T. Brooks. These Black artists represent a diverse and vibrant regional arts community largely overlooked in contemporary American art history. more

WILLOWOOD POTTERY: Works by Master Potter Caryn Newman will be featured at her Annual Fall Sale on October 15 and 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Her studio is located at 7 Willowood Drive in Ewing.

Local Master Potter Caryn Newman opens her studio to the public on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for her Annual Fall Sale featuring her new ceramics.

“I love making all sizes of bowls,” said Newman, who noted that cups, plates, vases and serving pieces round out her line. “People are learning that, in these challenging times, using handmade objects in your daily life around food and home decor enhances these experiences.”  more

“PHILOSOPHER”: This work by Minako Ota is featured in her exhibition of marine creatures and other nature paintings, on view at Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, through November 1.

Marine creatures and other nature paintings by an award-winning Japanese painter Minako Ota are on display at Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, through November 1. It is her third show at this venue.

Born in Osaka, Japan, Ota studied traditional Japanese painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, she attended Cambridge University in England where she focused on Western painting conservation.

Since she left her native country some 30 years ago, she has immersed herself in Western cultures in the U.S. and Europe. Her artwork is a cultural hybrid between Japan and the West, as she combines Western painting techniques that she learned through her 20-plus years as a professional painting conservator and the traditional Japanese aesthetics that she grew up with.

More information can be found at minako-art.com.

“SPROUTING MIND”: This work by Alia Bensliman is part of “Fresh Art I,” her joint exhibition with FlyKickz and Leon Rainbow, on view at the Trenton Free Public Library through October 29.

The Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA) and the Trenton Free Public Library present “Fresh Art I” at the Trenton Free Public Library through October 29.

The exhibition features work by three Trenton artists: Alia Bensliman, FlyKickz, and Leon Rainbow. 

Bensliman lives in Robbinsville. She grew up in Tunisia, North Africa, and her work is influenced by North African and Berber art. She works with mixed media on arch paper and has recently started creating her own watercolor palette made of nontoxic pigments. Her work has been shown throughout the tri-state area. Her painting I Am Roebling is in the permanent collection of the new building of the New Jersey Department of Health.

FlyKickz works primarily with sneakers and uses other materials. She has exhibited locally and distributes her work on the internet. “By combining my love of art and sneakers I’ve created a style of art that can be described as a collection inspired by SOLE,” she said. “My concepts are a mesh of boldness, beauty, and fun — a clear reflection of an artist whose creative talents are both complex and changing.” more

FiNDERS KEEPERS: Winners from the Arts Council of Princeton’s 2021 Ceramic Scavenger Hunt pose with their found pottery. Now in its third year, the Hunt provides an opportunity to explore downtown Princeton while searching for handmade ceramics hidden around town.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) has announced the return of the Ceramic Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, October 15 from 1-3 p.m. Participants are invited to explore downtown Princeton while on the hunt for the 20 pieces of pottery hidden throughout town by the ACP.

To join the free event, follow the ACP on Instagram at @artscouncilofprinceton. From 1-3 p.m., ACP will post hints as to where to find hidden pieces of handmade ceramics. Find one and it’s yours to keep.

“The Ceramic Scavenger Hunt was born in 2020 when social distancing was in full effect,” said Melissa Kuscin, ACP programming/marketing manager. “It was so popular that we brought it back with double the ceramics in 2021, and it was so fun to see folks running around town on the hunt. Now that we’re in our third year, we’ve upped the ante by creating pieces exclusively for this event, meaning the only way to ever get your hands on these ceramics is by finding them during the event.” more

JURIED ART SHOW: The gallery at Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa., now presents a selection of more than 100 framed artworks and sculptures along with many unframed pieces in portfolios throughout the two floors of exhibition space. The show continues through October 30.

The “93rd Juried Art Show at Phillips’ Mill” opened on September 23 and continues through Sunday, October 30. Visitors can meet and greet artists in the gallery throughout the run of the show.

The Phillips’ Mill Community Association Art Committee traditionally invites the artists who created the works lining the Mill walls and sculptures throughout the two floors of display space to spend a few hours mingling with visitors, talking about their work, their process, their inspiration, and history.

Artists scheduled include George Anthonisen, Arthur Areyan, Chee Bravo, Beatrice Bork, Karen Brodsky, Raymond Brown, Shawn Campbell, Mary Carol Cheshire, Larry Chestnut, Elissa Goldberg, Helene Mazur, Shirley Mersky, Bill Miller, Margie Milne, Paul Mordetsky, Mark Oliver, David Orban, Debbie Pisacreta, Shoshana Pofelis, Linda Rhone, Jennifer Hansen Rolli, Sharon Shaw, Mavis Smith, Steve Smith, Dean Thomas, Emily Thompson, George Thompson, Helena van Emmerik-Finn, Charles Viera, Janine Dunn Wade, and Tom Whitcraft. more

October 5, 2022

By Stuart Mitchner

…our enemies are way too numerous, all of the dangers are beyond our powers of calculation…
—Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

…imagining the inferno that would descend on his social and even his most personal mileu just a decade and a half after his death was not in his power ….
—Reiner Stach, from Kafka: The Years of Insight

Stach is referencing the fact that “in the early years of Kafka’s worldwide renown, his work, his achievement as a writer, was insistently categorized as ‘prophecy,’” and that this was “the primary reason for his overwhelming resonance.”

Kafka’s reference to “dangers beyond our powers of calculation” is from “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk,” written three months before his death. I read it after watching the Ken Burns PBS series, The U.S. and the Holocaust. I had never read it before, and at the time I didn’t know it was the last story he ever wrote. When Stach speaks of the inferno’s descent on his “social” and “most personal milieu,” he means the deaths in the gas chambers of all three of Kafka’s sisters, as well as friends, lovers, and other family members.

Imaginings

Describing Kafka’s “sharp and skeletal face” as it appears in a photograph from 1924, Philip Roth says that skulls “like this one were shoveled by the thousands from the ovens” and that had he lived, Kafka’s “would have been among them.” Rather than assume the worst, why not imagine at least the possibility that had he lived, he might have emigrated to Palestine and opened a little coffee house in Tel Aviv with his last love, Dora Diamant (a playful fantasy they shared), or why not go all the way and imagine a powerful secret admirer among the Nazis who would have made sure that he was spared? Nonsense, of course, but then Kafka is an infinitely interpretable figure.  more

BLUES AT ELLARSLIE: Joe Zook and Blues DeLuxe will perform at Ellarslie, Trenton’s City Museum in Cadwalader Park, on Saturday, October 29.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie hosts Joe Zook and Blues DeLuxe on Saturday, October 29. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 to 10 p.m. show. Tickets are $35 for museum members and $40 for non-members, with refreshments included in the ticket price.

The special brand of hard rockin’ blues performed by New York and New Jersey Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Joe “Zook” Zucarello and his fellow Trenton area musicians is a staple of the museum’s 45-year history of musical performances by area artists. Led by Zucarello, the band includes New Jersey Blues Hall of Fame bassist/singer Billy Holt along with John Sopko on keyboards, Tony Buford on harmonica, Steve Kaplan and Angelo Dibraccio on saxophone, and new drummer Kenny Chick.

Parking is available adjacent to the building, which is accessed from the Parkside Avenue entrance to Cadwalader Park. Visit ellarslie.org or call (609) 989-1191 to reserve tickets.

VAMPIRE ALERT: Roxey Ballet’s “Dracula” is back for several performances in New Hope, Pa., complete with sound and lighting effects accompanying Mark Roxey’s choreography.

Roxey Ballet stages its dance adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula October 21-30 at the Mill Ballet Event Center, 46 North Sugan Road, New Hope, Pa. Several of the performances will be live streamed.

The ballet interprets Stoker’s famed horror story through a complete sensory experience of movement, music, and spoken word with pyrotechnic, sound, and lighting effects.

“We’re so excited to celebrate our Halloween tradition in Lambertville with 10 thrilling performances of our popular Dracula ballet,” said Mark Roxey, founding director of Roxey Ballet. “This production is not for the faint of heart, but is appropriate for kids 7 and up and adults alike. The small venue combined with bone-chilling music and multi-media effects draws the audience deeply into 18th century England and the spooktacular story crafted by our world-class artists. The experience is like watching a silent movie, until you scream.”

Roxey’s original choreography is set to a collage of music and sound effects by David Hanoman. Costumes by Alicia Worden and set designs by Tom Rowe and Lisa McMillan follow Stoker’s classic vampire tale.

For dates, times, and tickets, which range from $45-$48 in advance or $50 at the door, visit Roxeyballet.org. Special rates are available for students, seniors, and the disabled. Audience members are encouraged to come in costume. Parental discretion is advised.

JAZZY TRIBUTE: Princeton pianist Larry Fuller is among those performing October 9 in Morristown with the New Jersey Jazz Society, paying tribute to bassist Bill Crow and tenor saxophonist Houston Person. (Photo by Rob Davidson)

On Sunday, October 9, the New Jersey Jazz Society will be celebrating its 50th anniversary by paying tribute to two living legends — bassist Bill Crow and tenor saxophonist Houston Person. The concert is in Morristown, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Saint Elizabeth University’s Dolan Hall.

One of the co-directors is Princeton pianist Larry Fuller, who has served as vocalist Ernestine Anderson’s musical director and played with bassist Ray Brown, drummer Jeff Hamilton, and guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli. Fuller’s co-director is saxophonist/flutist Don Braden, who has been leading his own band for more than three decades and has worked as a sideman for vocalist Betty Carter, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and drummer Roy Haynes.

During the early 1970s, New Jersey jazz fans would gather at the Chester Inn to hear Chuck Slate’s Traditional Jazz Band or at the Hillside Lounge (also in Chester) to see cornetist Wild Bill Davison or alto saxophonist Rudy Powell, or guitarist Al Casey. In October 1972, under the leadership of the late Jack Stine, a liquor store owner in Pluckemin, these informal gatherings were transformed into regular concerts, as the New Jersey Jazz Society was formed. more

“COCKTAILS AT THE CASTLE”: The Mercer Museum’s annual fall fundraiser returns to Doylestown, Pa., on the evening of Saturday, October 15. The event supports the museum’s education programs, exhibitions, and community initiatives.

The Mercer Museum’s annual fall fundraiser, Cocktails at the Castle, returns to Doylestown, Pa., on Saturday, October 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. for a night in support of the Mercer Museum’s education programs, exhibitions, and community initiatives.

Guests will enjoy an evening on the grounds of the Mercer Museum with specialties from Bucks County culinary purveyors, along with craft cocktail creations and entertainment.

The evening begins with a “Pine Street Stroll” cocktail hour, where guests can enjoy an elaborate selection of appetizers from Jeffrey A. Miller Catering and the musical sounds of Birdhouse Center, featuring Bronwyn Bird and Justin Nawn on guitar and nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish instrument.

After the cocktail hour, local restaurant and catering partners will serve their specialties to the attendees. Guests will enjoy sampling a curated list of craft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening. Musical acts include Philadelphia-based party band Where’s Pete.  more

“GIRL IN WINDOW”: This work by Scott Hoerl is featured in “Found Images,” on view at Gallery 14 Fine Art Photography in Hopewell October 8 through October 23. A reception is on October 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Gallery 14 Fine Art Photography will feature the works of Alice Grebanier of Branchburg and Scott Hoerl, of Yardley, Pa., from October 8 to October 23. In the exhibits, the two artists will explore different visions of their individual photographic styles. A Meet the Artists reception is on October 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Grebanier is a longtime member of Gallery 14. She often experiments with new styles and techniques, with exhibits that have always generated conversations on what is being seen. For “Altered Vision,” she explores the world of Infrared photography.

“The title of this exhibit has a double meaning,” said Grebanier. “I used an infrared camera to capture all of the images, so that the light caught on the sensor mostly came from a region of the spectrum that our eyes do not detect. Then, in processing the images, I brought colors from the visible spectrum back in. When walking around with my camera, looking through the eyepiece, I often was delighted by the strange world I saw: glowing white leaves in place of all of the greenery. The luminosity was so very different from normal vision. Then, interpreting the images, bringing in semi-plausible colors in a reduced palette on top of the altered luminosity of the scenes, I found another dreamy, altered vision of the world.” more

 “LUSITANIA”: This work is featured in “Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks,” on view through November 27 at the Princeton University Art Museum’s Art@Bainbridge gallery on Nassau Street.

The Princeton University Art Museum presents “Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks,” an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper that depict contemporary interpretations of historical shipwrecks while confronting current environmental crises, on view at Art@Bainbridge through November 27.

Rockman’s paintings are filled with intricate details that illustrate the impact of human migration, trade, and colonialism on the natural world. Perhaps surprisingly, the artist downplays the presence of people in these narratives, instead focusing our attention on the aftermath of human actions and their implications for nonhuman life.

“Alexis Rockman’s paintings evoke the grandeur of such 19th-century Romantic painters as Caspar David Friedrich and J. M. W. Turner while presenting a uniquely contemporary perspective,” said James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director. “They invite us to consider the interconnectedness of human and animal life against the backdrop of a vast natural world imperiled by human behavior.”

Throughout the exhibition, large oil paintings and intimate watercolors heighten the urgency of addressing the ecological damage wrought by human overdevelopment. Described as an “eco-warrior,” Rockman has a vast knowledge of the natural sciences and a deep passion for environmental activism, both of which inform and enliven the visual language of his work.  more

“WHITE TENDERNESS”: This painting by Saúl A. López is featured in “Salvadoran Art: A Father and Son Exhibit,” on view in the Reading Room at Princeton Public Library through November 27. An open house with the artists is on Thursday, October 6 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The artists whose work is on view this fall at Princeton Public Library (PPL) will be on hand on Thursday, October 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., to greet visitors and answer questions about their work. The informal open house event will be held in the Technology Center on the library’s second floor. Refreshment will be served.

Paintings by Saúl A. López and his son Sual López are on display in the Reading Room through November 27 as part of “Salvadoran Art: A Father and Son Exhibit.” Their work showcases the strong connection they both have with their Salvadoran heritage. Featured in this show are Saúl A. López’s “Petate Paintings.” Each work is painted on petate, a bedroll used in Central America and Mexico that is woven from the fibers of the palma petate plant. Sual López’s artwork features traditional paintings and some that are painted on skateboard decks. more

“BLOOMING”: This work by Carol Sanzalone is featured in “Emotional Odyssey,” her joint exhibit with Joseph DeFay, on view October 6 through November 6 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. An opening reception is on October 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

“Emotional Odyssey,” an exhibit of photographic pigment prints and watercolor and acrylic paintings created by gallery member artists Joseph DeFay and Carol Sanzalone, is on view October 6 through November 6 at Artists’ Gallery, 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville. A Meet the Artists opening reception is on Saturday, October 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Photographing subjects up close, DeFay focuses on details that one would not ordinarily notice. He said that it is fascinating to explore and observe how individual elements interact and to present them on a grander scale than the ordinary, obvious perspective. His intention is to compel each viewer to linger with the same vision that he enjoys behind the lens. DeFay enjoys the interplay between vibrant colors and that special quality of light which invariably captures his attention. He spends a great deal of time with composition, searching from behind the lens for the precise arrangement of the subject. This work allows him to preserve these moments in order to share this experience with others.  more

September 28, 2022

By Stuart Mitchner

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
—T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

….perhaps the most amazing thing about Albert Pujols is that less than two years before he began one of the greatest rookie seasons in baseball history, he was a non-prospect.
—Joe Posnanski, in Sports Illustrated

How the miracle of Albert Pujols came to St. Louis, the city where T.S. Eliot was born 134 years ago Monday, is the stuff of dreams, especially if you’ve followed the St. Louis Cardinals for most of your life, longing for that October moment when, in the poet’s words, “all shall be well / And all manner of thing shall be well.”

A “Grown Man” at 18
Born January 16, 1980, in the Dominican Republic, Pujols was raised in Santo Domingo by his father Bienvenido, his grandmother America, and 10 aunts and uncles. At 16, he moved with his father and grandmother to New York City and from there to his paternal grandparents in Independence, Missouri, where he played ball for Fort Osage High. At 18, he looked old for his age, so much so that managers often walked him, not just because he hit eight home runs in the 33 at bats he was given (one traveling some 450 feet), but because they thought their pitchers should not have to throw to “a grown man.” In his first and only season with the Maple Woods Community College Wolves, Pujols hit .461 with 22 homers. Despite putting up numbers like that in Kansas City’s backyard, he didn’t interest the Royals or anyone else until the Cardinals claimed him in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. He was the 402nd player taken overall. After a year in the minors, the “non-prospect” was the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year, hitting .329 with 37 homers and 130 RBIs.

 more

“THE WOLVES”: Performances are underway for “The Wolves.” Produced by McCarter Theatre, and directed by Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen, the play runs through October 16 at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. Above, from left: Teammates 8 (Maggie Thompson), 14 (Isabel Pask), 7 (Jasmine Sharma, 25 (Mikey Gray), 46 (Maria Habeeb), 00 (Renea S. Brown), 2 (Katie Griffith), 11 (Owen Laheen), and 13 (Annie Fox) discuss current events while they practice soccer. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter is opening its season with The Wolves. The 2016 drama depicts a high school women’s soccer team, whose diverse members discuss current news events — among other, sometimes lighter subjects — as they practice for their games. The Wolves was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in drama.

Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen directs the spirited production. Although this marks the McCarter debut of The Wolves, Rasmussen has prior experience staging the play. Her 2019 production at the Jungle Theater earned her a Minnesota Theater Award for Exceptional Performative Direction.

While writing The Wolves, Sarah DeLappe (who played soccer from ages 8 to 14) was tutoring teenage girls. An exhibit in the McCarter lobby quotes her as saying, “I felt very close to the current experience of female adolescence.” In a 2017 Lincoln Center Theater interview that is excerpted in McCarter’s printed program, DeLappe explains that she conceived the play “as a war movie. But instead of a bunch of men who are going into battle, you have a bunch of young women who are preparing for their soccer games.”

Scenic Designer Junghyun Georgia Lee covers the brightly lit Berlind stage with green Astroturf, honoring DeLappe’s opening stage direction that describes an indoor “soccer field that feels like it goes on forever.” The background is white and gray, but this is deceptive; Jackie Fox’s lighting often adds splashes of color.

As The Wolves begins, the lighting moves in rhythm to contemporary pop music procured by Sound Designer Pornchanok Kanchanabanca. As the soccer players enter, they are dancing as though they are in a nightclub. Immediately we know that the play will be infused with youthful energy.  more

By Nancy Plum

Choral music performance has had a real struggle over the past two years. For the first six months of the pandemic, no one in choruses sang at all. Then, choristers sang into their computers for six months to create virtual performances, followed by a year of singing with masks. Now, as a foray into maskless and hopefully unobstructed live performance, the Princeton University Glee Club, conducted by Gabriel Crouch, presented a concert this past weekend with a vocal ensemble based in Zimbabwe, but with strong Princeton ties.

Saturday night’s concert in Richardson Auditorium featured the fruits of a week-long residency by the seven-member vocal ensemble Mushandirapamwe Singers, whose conductor Dr. Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa is a Princeton University graduate. While an undergraduate in Princeton’s music department, Tawengwa established a legacy of founding an a cappella chorus and a senior thesis musical theater work which later became an off-Broadway production. Since graduating, Tawengwa has built a career as a conductor, arranger, and virtuoso mbira musician, performing worldwide while paying tribute to Zimbabwe’s turbulent history and traditions.

Choral music from Zimbabwe other regions of the African continent is distinctive in its pure chordal harmonies and spirited approach to text. A number of the pieces in Saturday night’s concert, all of which were either composed or arranged by Tawengwa, conveyed a sense of infectious joy and hope, demonstrating why audiences cannot help but get caught up in the enthusiasm of the performers. Tawengwa divided the concert into five parts, with the first chikamu calling the concert to order and then taking the audience on a journey through Zimbabwe’s history, literature, and culture.

Mushandirapamwe Singers both welcomed the audience and introduced themselves individually with a spirited “Anchulele,” answered with well-blended singing from the University Glee Club. Tawengwa sang the lead vocal lines in many of the pieces, but the six accompanying singers of the Mushandirapamwe ensemble were all expertly trained performers in their own right, with backgrounds in opera, dance, classical performance, and Broadway. Tawengwa was equally as proficient on the piano, and accompanied herself and the choruses in several numbers.  more

GEARED TO KIDS AND FAMILIES: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents “Meet the Music: Can Music Tell as Story?” sponsored by Princeton University Concerts. The concert is curated for ages 6-12.

On Saturday, October 22 at 1 p.m., Princeton University Concerts (PUC) welcomes back The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the first family program on the series since the start of the pandemic — “Meet the Music: Can Music Tell a Story?”, curated for kids ages 6-12.

This first of two “All in the Family” events in PUC’s 2022-23 season will take place at Richardson Auditorium. Composer Bruce Adolphe will host the event as Inspector Pulse, the world’s greatest and only private ear, investigating a musical mystery with music by Janáček, Ravel, and Adolphe and improvisations, performed by professional musicians from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The interactive program seeks to spark a lifelong love of music that will begin the moment that a child “meets the music” in person within the setting of Richardson Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Visit puc.princeton.edu, or call (609) 258-2800.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will return on May 20, 2023 for a new program curated for neurodiverse audiences ages 3-6, hosted by guitarist Rami Vamos, called “CMS Kids: Exploring Dvořák.” PUC’s upcoming season also includes the Annual Chamber Jam—a free opportunity for the community’s amateur musicians of all ages and levels to read and play music alongside professional musicians—on Sunday, January 22, 2023. This season’s Chamber Jam will have a mental health focus facilitated by members of the Me2/Orchestra, the only classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them.

NEW PLAY AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Students rehearse for “Icarus and Other Party Tricks,” a new work by University senior Sarah Grinalds. (Photo by Dylan Tran ’23)

Icarus and Other Party Tricks, a new play written and directed by Princeton University senior Sarah Grinalds, will be given a semi-staged reading on Friday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 1 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at the Drapkin Studio, Lewis Arts complex, on the campus. Admission is free.

Audiences are invited into the immersive world of a manic episode, shrouded in color, grief, and tenderness. The piece treads into surrealist and often experimental design forms, depicting mandated therapy sessions, familial confrontations, and fever dreams.

The play is produced with extensive collaboration with professional designer Frank Oliva, as well as mentorship from theater faculty member and award-winning playwright Nathan Davis. Icarus and Other Party Tricks features a performance by theater faculty member Vivia Font and choreography by senior Naomi Benenson. The event is presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University.

Visit arts.princeton.edu for more information.

Dave DiMarchi

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) has named printmaker Dave DiMarchi as its Fall 2022 Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence (AIR). During his residency, DiMarchi will engage in a deeper exploration of his print works — further pursuing research of the interconnected language of collage, drawing, printmaking, and installation in his work.

As AIR, DiMarchi’s residency will focus on working across printmaking processes, allowing the process to direct each new step of the prints. This responsive style of printmaking will push his practice out of its comfort zone, hopefully allowing for a deeper connection to process and product, and a deeper appreciation of making. A suite of new printed works — editions, monoprints, dimensional prints — will be available at the conclusion of the residency.

DiMarchi is a queer, multi-disciplinary printmaker and artist working in printmaking, papermaking, and sculptural book forms. He has exhibited works on paper, installations, and books in the U.S. and internationally. He maintains a collaborative studio and art-making space in New Hope, Pa., working deeply with artists to master printmaking techniques and create new portfolio and exhibition-ready prints; his relentless material practice and print research is the basis of his own art-making practice.

He teaches printmaking, papermaking, and book forms extensively throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area. He is also the owner of 9INHANDPRESS, a nexus of design, print, and education. 9INHANDPRESS hosts an annual International Print Exchange that engages printmakers worldwide in a collaborative portfolio and exhibitions; some nearly 9,000 prints have passed through the exchange since its inception in 2016.

In conjunction with his residency, DiMarchi will create a site-specific mural on Spring Street in Downtown Princeton. The mural is expected to be completed by early November and will be on view until early spring 2023.

“Being chosen as the Arts Council’s Fall 2022 AIR, I’m humbled and excited to pursue a new vein of print-based work,” said DiMarchi. “The time, space, and support of the Arts Council will allow me to focus on creating work that builds on the traditions of printmaking while exploring printmaking through a contemporary, process-based lens. The work I make is largely a conversation between artist, process, and product, centered on domesticity — especially that of queer household-building: the schedules, patterns and routines of ungendered work and the ordinariness of place holding, task-doing, and surviving. My work is an ephemeral record of the normalcy of shared life-living: the whats, hows, and whens of making space. It is my goal to expand that conversation to include community — that of artists, makers, and passers-by — in the processes of making and discovering what’s to come off the press next.” more