October 20, 2021

By Stuart Mitchner

Described as “the gun that almost killed Arthur Rimbaud,” a 7mm six shooter purchased by his lover and fellow poet Paul Verlaine in July 1873 sold at Christie’s in November 2016 for 435,000 euros, more than seven times the estimate, according to the November 30 Guardian.

So why would an “unknown bidder” pay a small fortune for the gun that almost killed Rimbaud, who was born on October 20, 1854, and died 120 years ago on November 10, 1891? Because we’re talking about a legend, a star, an action hero of literature who gave up poetry for good at the age of 21. As it happened, Verlaine was in a drunken delirium at the time and no more capable of doing away with Rimbaud than he was of helping Bob Dylan write “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (“I been shootin’ in the dark too long … Relationships have all been bad / Mine have been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud’s”).

Rimbaud and Rambo

Verlaine’s gun was sold three weeks after Donald Trump was elected president. Remember those flags and yard signs showing Trump as a bazooka-wielding Rambo? It’s possible that some super rich supporter bought the gun as a souvenir for the Donald, not that he’d want anything soiled by the hands of a poet. In fact, Rimbaud not only rhymes with Rambo, he was symbolically present at the birth. When David Morrell first conceived the hero of his 1972 novel First Blood, he intended the name of the character to rhyme with the surname of the poet, aware that the title of Rimbaud’s Season in Hell fit with the horrific POW experiences he imagined his Rambo enduring and from which sprang the blockbuster film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. The OED extends the implicit Rimbaud connection, defining Rambo as a term “commonly used to describe a lone wolf who is reckless, disregards orders, uses violence to solve problems, enters dangerous situations alone, and is exceptionally tough, callous, raw and aggressive.”  more

The Princeton University Glee Club will take part in a benefit concert, virtually and in person, with the glee clubs from Harvard and Yale universities, on Friday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert, titled “Hand in Hand,” is streamed online, but each choir will be performing for live audiences from their home venues. Princeton’s club will sing at Richardson Auditorium, and admission is free.

For more than a century, choruses from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale universities have celebrated their friendship with a season of collaborative concerts during the fall semester. Last year, the Princeton University Glee Club continued to honor this tradition at a time of extraordinary change and challenge with a series of two virtual benefit concerts titled “Hand in Hand.”  more

BACK ON STAGE: Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey brings works by American composers to the War Memorial in Trenton, marking its return to the theater since the pandemic.

Capital Philharmonic New Jersey (CPNJ) returns to Trenton’s Patriots Theater at the War Memorial on Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. with “The Dream of America,” first presented four years ago and brought back by popular demand.

The performance launches the orchestra’s 2021/22 season after suspending its performances at the War Memorial in March 2020.

“The musicians and I are absolutely delighted to be returning to the stage,” said Music Director/Conductor Daniel Spalding. “It has been a long 20 months. We were able to come together for several outdoor performances and a recording session, but walking out onto the Patriots Theater stage will really feel like we are coming home.” more

The Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey (YOCJ) begins the 2021- 2022 season with rehearsals and performances resuming safely in person, along with a range of activities throughout the year.

In addition, as part of its ongoing partnership with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO), YOCJ welcomes Kenneth Bean, assistant conductor for PSO, as its new Symphonic Orchestra conductor.

The partnership is the formalization of an ongoing relationship established through the PSO’s BRAVO! Education Program, which encourages young musicians and their families to be exposed to extensive performance repertoire and be inspired by professional artists. Integral to the partnership, the PSO has expanded its assistant conductor position to include leadership of YOCJ’s Symphonic Orchestra.

“From our first meeting with Kenneth Bean, our staff and students felt an instant connection. He brings a wealth of knowledge and youth orchestra experience; but most of all, he brings a warmth and love for students. We are so excited to have Kenny as our Symphonic Orchestra conductor and to continue our partnership with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra” said Phillip Pugh, YOCJ artistic director.  more

“LE ANTICHITA ROMANE”: This work is part of “Piranesi on the Page,” now on view in the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery of the Princeton University Library. Visit library.princeton.edu/Piranesi for reservations. (Photo by Brandon Johnson)

Princeton University Library now presents its newest exhibition in the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery, “Piranesi on the Page,” which tells the story of how Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), the foremost printmaker in 18th-century Europe, made the book the center of his artistic production. The exhibition is open to the public through a reservation system.

Celebrating Princeton University’s collection of Piranesi works, the exhibition draws from the Library’s Special Collections including Graphic Arts, Numismatic, and Rare Books; the Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology; and the Princeton University Art Museum. The exhibition also features a number of loans from national and international collections, including several works that will be on display for the first time.  more

“TUESDAY AFTERNOON”: This painting by Ilene Rubin is featured in “Points of View,” an art show and sale featuring five local artists, running October 22 to 24 at the Saw Mill, part of Prallsville Mills in Stockton.

The seventh annual  “Points of View,”  an art show and sale featuring five local artists, will once again be presented at the Saw Mill, part of Prallsville Mills, located at 33 Risler Street in Stockton.

The show will begin with an opening reception on Friday, October 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. It continues Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24, from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free and abundant. Entrance is in the red barn building. Look for the banners and flags. All COVID-19 precautions will be adhered to, and masks will be provided.  more

“HOOT’S MILL”: Artsbridge’s Distinguished Artist Series event on October 21 at 7 p.m. will feature award-winning Bucks County artist Dean Thomas in an open forum discussion and demonstration of the woodblock printing process.

Award-winning Bucks County artist Dean Thomas will demonstrate multicolor woodblock printing at Artsbridge’s Distinguished Artist Series on Thursday, October 21 at 7 p.m. For the first time since the pandemic began, the meeting will be held in person at Prallsville Mills, 33 Risler Street in Stockton.

The open forum discussion and demonstration of the woodblock printing process will include initial drawing, block preparation, palette selection, carving tools and techniques, and final printing.

Thomas graduated from Glassboro State College in 1983, and launched right into his decades-long career as a professional artist. Initially working as a printmaker in New Jersey, he produced over 100 hand-engraved plates for monotype and colored prints–using watercolor to hand color each print. His small editions of Southern New Jersey landscapes and village scenes were widely exhibited in New Jersey and Philadelphia — where he was an exhibiting member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Club. more

“SKY FALL”: Works by artist Erin Delsigne, shown here, and award-winning photographer Edwin Torres will be featured at a “Third Thursdays” presentation and artist talk at MCCC’s James Kerney Campus Gallery in Trenton on October 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. The public is invited in person or via Zoom.

“Third Thursdays,” the monthly photography presentation and artist talk at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus (JKC) Gallery at 137 North Broad Street in Trenton, will take place on October 21 from 7 to 8 p.m.

This month’s focus is on the award-winning photography of Edwin Torres and film collage artist Erin Delsigne. The show is curated by Heather Palecek and Habiyb Shu’Aib and the public is invited.

Hosted by Michael Chovan-Dalton, director of JKC Gallery, the event will take place in person and on the Zoom conferencing platform. To register, visit JKCGallery.online or email JKCGallery@mccc.edu.  

“Last semester’s ‘Third Thursday’ monthly events at JKC attracted a growing contingent of fine art photographers and members of the public,” said Chovan-Dalton. “There is a palpable sense of excitement during these sessions as the artists display their work and explain their motives and inspirations.  The question and answer sessions are an amazing educational experience for everyone.”

Delsigne, aka Film Collage Artist, is most known for her instant film collages using Polaroid and Fuji Instax film to create psychedelic landscapes and surreal portraiture. Delsigne earned her education from Humboldt State University and Cal State Long Beach; studying photojournalism, black and white film, and digital and commercial photography. more

October 13, 2021

By Stuart Mitchner

Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America

—Paul Simon

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon marks his 80th birthday today, Wednesday, October 13. Incredible but true, this is the first time I’ve written about him, unless you count the caption headed “A Hazy Shade of Winter” I wrote for the front page photo of a snow scene on January 26, 2011. Sharing the same page in the same issue is a photo of someone I’ve come back to again and again over the years, Simon’s fellow New Yorker, J.D. Salinger, who died in January 2010. As Holden Caulfield would say, “if you really want to know about it,” I’ve always thought of Simon as a Salinger character, like maybe Holden’s brilliant, long lost song-writing baseball-playing cousin from Queens.

Also incredible but true, the last time I was in the city was in early November 2019, for the J.D. Salinger centenary exhibit at the New York Public Library. And the last time I was in Simon’s New York was the other night listening to “Bleecker Street” and “The Sound of Silence” from Simon and Garfunkel’s debut album, Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.

He’s In Your Head

Comparing poetry and popular music, Billy Collins, another New Yorker who grew up in Queens, points out that because “pop songs get into people’s heads as they listen in the car, you don’t have to memorize a Paul Simon song; it’s just in your head and you can sing along. With a poem you have to will yourself to memorize it.”

The Simon songs playing most often in my head over the years along with “Sounds of Silence” have been “Dangling Conversation,” “Homeward Bound,” “59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)” “Slip Slidin’ Away,” “The Boxer,” and “America,” along with lines like “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” from “Mrs. Robinson,” the song heard ‘round the nation on the soundtrack of The Graduate (1966). more

By Nancy Plum

After more than a year and a half, Princeton University Orchestra has resumed live performance in Richardson Auditorium, so one would think the musical world has returned to normal — but not quite. More than 100 strong, the University Orchestra performed two concerts this past weekend, but with players in masks (including the winds), no formal intermission, and ushers reminding audience members to keep their masks up and not congregate in the hallways, it was clear that things were slightly different than before the University shut down last spring. It was also evident that multi-page printed programs may be a thing of the past — audiences on Friday and Saturday night could refer to cards listing the program with a QR code to scan for more detailed information.

Some things never change, despite an 18-month “Luftpause” in the Orchestra’s performing life. The Richardson space on Friday night’s first of the Orchestra’s Peter Westergaard Memorial Concerts was full of students eagerly waiting to see their friends onstage and Princeton residents who turned out to hear the full orchestra resonate in the Richardson acoustics. Under the direction of conductors Michael Pratt and Mariana Corichi Gómez, the University Orchestra delivered a performance of both elegant and opulent symphonic music.

To celebrate the return to Richardson, Pratt opened the concert with a violin concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which brought out the composer’s playful side. The chamber-sized Orchestra was joined in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major by recent Princeton University graduate Hana Mundiya. A member of the class of 2020 who has an incredible number of performance credits for someone her age, Mundiya fit right into the light and refreshing orchestral texture which conductor Pratt elicited from the ensemble. Pairs of flutes and horns added color to the orchestral palette but were not overpowering, with the oboes demonstrating particularly well-tuned thirds throughout the work. Mundiya’s solo violin emerged elegantly from the musical texture in the first movement, with repetitions of phrases stylistically delicate. The ornamental figures in the solo line were clear, and Mundiya effectively took her time in the cadenza closing the first movement.  more

“EVE’S DIARY”: Theatre Intime has staged a reading of “Eve’s Diary,” presented October 10 at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Directed by Anna Allport ’23, the show dramatizes Mark Twain’s retelling of the Creation story. Adam (Ally Wonski, standing left) and Eve (Oriana Nelson, standing right) meet. Seated, from left, are Mel Hornyak, Jill Leung, Elliot Lee, Madeline Buswell, and Sheherzad Jamal. (Photo by Elliot Lee)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Eve’s Diary is a witty but poignant re-imagining of events in the Garden of Eden. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) writes from the title character’s point of view, adding intermittent comments from Adam. First published in 1905, this anachronistic version of Genesis is strikingly relevant in its satire on conflicts in relationships between men and women, as well as its consideration of the search for one’s identity and purpose.

Twain’s story first appeared in the Christmas issue of Harper’s Bazaar, and subsequently in the anthology Their Husband’s Wives. In 1906 Harper and Brothers published it as a book. It is a successor to Extracts from Adam’s Diary (1893).

On October 10 Princeton University’s Theatre Intime presented a live, in-person staged reading of Eve’s Diary, at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Both the cast and the audience were masked.

Director Anna Allport reveals in a program note that she performed a monologue from the story in high school, and was enamored of the work’s “delightfulness and surprising complexity,” as well as Eve’s endless curiosity, headstrong spirit, and unshaken optimism.”

Because the presentation is a staged reading, the only production element is the lighting by Greyson Sapio. An apple, placed in the center at the edge of the stage, is the only prop. However, there is enough movement to provide visual interest. Allport keeps the pacing tight by avoiding pauses between monologues. Twain’s prose is divided among seven actors; four actors share Eve’s lines, and three read for Adam.

As Eve, Oriana Nelson opens the show. She stands up, and — with spring in her step — moves toward center stage. “Saturday — I am almost a day old,” she recites, gesturing expressively. Twain immediately imbues Eve with a mixture of self-confidence and philosophical introspection. “I feel like an experiment,” she muses early in the story, though she senses that her experiences will be “important to the historian some day.” Nelson accentuates Eve’s self-confidence.  more

NEW WORKSNayara Lopes and Jack Thomas in one of the works being presented by the Philadelphia Ballet this weekend. (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev)

Philadelphia Ballet presents “The Spark,” a limited run of contemporary ballets in an intimate setting, October 13-30 at Performance Garage in Philadelphia.

The kickoff to Philadelphia Ballet’s 2021/2022 season of in-person performances, this special triple bill features world premieres by choreographers Angel Corella and Matthew Neenan, as well as a remounting of Connection by Juliano Nunes. Tickets are limited to 70 seats per performance for this 15-performance run. more

“COMPANION SPECIES (CALLING ALL MY RELATIONS)”: This work by Marie Watt is featured in “Companion Species (At What Cost): The Works of Marie Watt,” one of four new exhibitions on view through January 9 at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton.

The Hunterdon Art Museum now presents four new exhibitions, on view until January 9.

“Companion Species (At What Cost): The Works of Marie Watt” spotlights two textile works assembled from panels of cloth embroidered during sewing circles. Watt pieced together these smaller panels into two monumental tapestries: in 2020, the 16 ½ -foot-long Companion Species (At What Cost), and, in 2018, the 17 ½-foot-long Companion Species (Calling All My Relations). Watt (born 1967) is an American artist and citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians, one of the six tribes of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Watt has continued a tradition in Indigenous art, in which Indigenous insight is engendered at the exhibition venue. 

About her sewing circles, Watt says that “stories and talk tend to flow,” bringing people together, and that “each person’s stitch is unique, like a thumbprint. As the threads intersect and blend, I see them as a metaphor for how we are all related.”

At the center of this show are Watt’s diverse textile works. The selection presented foregrounds what she calls “Iroquois protofeminism and Indigenous teaching.” These include at least two overlapping topics: the recognition of Indigenous matriarchies (predating modern feminism by centuries, hence Watt’s use of the prefix proto); and the recognition of Indigenous ecological traditions of profound interconnection between people and the Earth.

“Alisha Wormsley: Remnants of An Advanced Technology” focuses on Wormsley’s well-known work with Black futurism, a genre that reimagines Black life with a futuristic style. The show incorporates images from Wormsley’s established body of work, “Children of NAN,” which can be described as an archive of objects, photos, video footage, films, sounds, philosophies, myths, rituals, and performances she has been compiling for over a decade to document the ways that Black women care for themselves, each other, and the Earth.  more

“FOUND, GIFTED, SAVED!” This Fly Tying Kit is part of a new exhibit of Bucks County artifacts, on view at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pa., October 15 through April 10.

The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pa., operated by the Bucks County Historical Society (BCHS), has announced its new major exhibit, “Found, Gifted, Saved! The Mercer Museum Collects Local History,” on view in the Martin & Warwick Foundation Galleries from October 15 through April 10, 2022.

The exhibit displays a vast array of artifacts collected by the Bucks County Historical Society between the years of 2000 and 2021. These objects, images, and documents help illuminate the people, history, and culture of Bucks County.

“Found, Gifted, Saved!” consists of a series of thematic groupings that connect diverse objects, images, and documents in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. These groupings are intended to suggest themes that range chronologically and geographically across Bucks County’s past. 

Highlighted artifacts on display include a Brewster F2A “Buffalo” Fighter Cockpit, a Joseph Ellicott Tall Case Clock, a Brashears Family Crazy Quilt, and a Graflex Press Camera of Gene Asro. more

“FEATHERS”: Works by Miriam Carpenter are featured in “Shaping the Ethereal,” her first solo show at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa. The exhibition is on view through March 20.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., now presents “Miriam Carpenter: Shaping the Ethereal,” an exhibition showcasing sculpture, furniture, prints, and drawings by woodworker, designer, and artist Miriam Carpenter. It is on view through March 20.

In this exhibition, her first solo show at the Michener Art Museum, Carpenter explores the possibilities within materials as she seeks to create new forms and solve challenging design problems. Appearing deceptively simple at first glance, each of Carpenter’s pieces involve complex calculations and an intimate understanding of her chosen material.

Laura Igoe, Michener’s chief curator and curator of the exhibition, said, “Miriam Carpenter’s work is strikingly beautiful and amazingly complex. She draws inspiration from the natural world and encourages viewers to be more attuned to the beauty that surrounds us, from the smallest feather to the largest tree.” more

“BLUE CRYSTALS REVISITED NO. 8”: This work by Janet Filomeno is part of “Talk to Me,” her joint exhibition with Katherine Parker, on view at the Arts Council of Princeton October 16 through November 20. An opening reception is Saturday, October 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton will exhibit “Talk to Me,” a collection of abstract paintings by longtime friends and collaborators Janet Filomeno and Katherine Parker, October 16 through November 20. The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, October 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Filomeno and Parker met in Hoboken in 1991. They felt an immediate affinity as both were painters of large, expressionist works. Each were grappling with the challenges of finding new language to reinvent and personalize the ideas of abstract painting for their generation. A conversation started between the two friends that has continued over 25-plus years, and both have continued to paint and show extensively in the New York/New Jersey area. The visits to the studio which have unfolded over the years have been an important touchstone for each, a means of trying out and sharing new work, of examining challenges. A trusted voice is paramount as this process takes place.

“When artists are friends, they spend years, even decades, watching one another’s work change and grow,” Filomeno and Parker share. “They talk together in studios, galleries, museums, and cafes, discussing the intersection of life and art. These conversations are so important to artists, as a studio practice is quiet and sometimes lonely. The shorthand developed over years of conversation can ignite a body of work, deepen a theme or reimagine an idea just beginning to take shape. It’s no surprise that such friendships have historically been so important to the development of new ideas and schools of thought.” more

October 6, 2021

By Stuart Mitchner

Charlie Kaufman’s film I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) and Iain Reid’s debut novel of the same name (2016) share the same first-person point of view, the same opening sentences, the same time sequence of settings and events, ending in a haunted high school in the middle of nowhere with a blizzard raging outside. What happens or appears to happen there is the difference between filmgoers focused on questions of meaning (“the ending of Ending Things explained”) and readers responding to the “ferocious little book’s … visionary, harrowing final pages” and a “psychological torment so impenetrable it’s impossible to escape.”

A “Molecular” Woman

I saw the film on Netflix almost six weeks ago, as I was starting a column on Camus and Afghanistan. I was so impressed by Jessie Buckley’s performance that I wanted to write about it immediately. I even tried to find room in the philosophy of the absurd for a concept in which a film’s most sympathetic character, the one who carries it, lights it up, gives it mind, heart, and soul, exists only in the imagination of her boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons), who may be the younger self of an elderly, terminally depressed high school janitor.

In a Sept. 17, 2020 IndieWire interview, Buckley says “Just before I went to do the audition, I got a note from Charlie that said, ‘This woman is molecular.’ I didn’t know what that meant! I was awful at chemistry, but I kind of loved that note. It could be anything to you. It kind of meant there was nothing solid, it was something that moved and broke apart and joined other atoms.” Referring to the screenplay, she describes the way it “transcended and shifted and moved from when I read it to when I was playing it, to afterwards when I watched it.” Explaining why she read Reid’s novel prior to the audition: “I take in everything. I’m like somebody who puts too much chili on my food when I cook, because I just think, ‘Just whack it all in.’ I take all the bits and I try and throw away all the bits as well, once we get to shoot.” more

By Nancy Plum

After a year of innovative and imaginative outdoor and online programming, Princeton Symphony Orchestra invited audiences back to hear the ensemble in person and indoors this past weekend at McCarter Theatre Center’s Matthews Theatre. Joined by solo violinist Simone Porter, Princeton Symphony, at full strength and led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, performed music of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, as well as a piece by contemporary American composer Jessie Montgomery. 

Orchestras often begin the first concert of the new season with the “Star-Spangled Banner.” In this celebration of restarting indoor concerts with a live audience, Milanov chose to open Sunday afternoon’s performance with a contemporary setting of this country’s national anthem — one which represents the wide diversity of populations within this nation with musical inspirations drawn from a variety of American sources. 

New York native Jessie Montgomery is one of this country’s most prominent up-and-coming composers and one with strong local connections. Currently a graduate fellow in music composition at Princeton University, she has been commissioned extensively by musical organizations nationwide. Montgomery’s 2014 Banner was commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the American national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  In this piece, Montgomery created a rhapsody on the anthem, designed to capture what Montgomery describes as the “contradictions, leaps and bounds, and milestones that allow us to celebrate and maintain the tradition of our ideals.” 

Princeton Symphony Orchestra began Montgomery’s work with shimmering in the violins, contrasted with fragments of the familiar national anthem melody from other instruments. The violins were lean, and the lower winds well-blended, and the ensemble played cleanly in the acoustic of Matthews Theatre. A string quintet within the orchestra, comprised of the principal players of each string section, conveyed melodic material well, and an understated brass color was provided in some passages by hornist Jonathan Clark.  more

“SNIPER”: Performances are underway for “Sniper.” Presented by Theatre Intime and directed by Sabina Jafri ’24, the play runs through October 10 at the Hamilton Murray Theater. After (fictional) teenager Anthony Vaccaro (Dominic Dominguez, standing, center) commits a fatal mass shooting, he probes his relationships with people in his past. The cast includes, from left, Violet Prete, David Smith, Luke Pascucci, Nemo Newman, Solomon Bergquist, and Kate Stewart. (Photo by Elliot Lee)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Sniper is a psychological, often harrowing drama that examines the past — and state of mind — of a teenager who fatally shoots multiple citizens of his small town. Playwright Bonnie Culver loosely bases the play (which ran at Center Stage, NYC in 2005) on a shooting in Olean, N.Y., where she happened to be at the time.

In 1974, 17-year-old Anthony F. Barbaro randomly fired on people from third floor windows of a high school, onto a shopping center. Three people were killed, and 11 were injured. Eleven months later, Barbaro hanged himself in his jail cell.

Princeton University’s Theatre Intime is presenting Sniper. The production is in person, but both the cast and the audience are masked.

Director Sabina Jafri states in a program note, “We have been challenged on our decision to produce such a sensitive piece of work. However … it was important to bring this show to the stage because it examines a significant issue that will not be resolved unless it is acknowledged and discussed.” more

Half of Lambertville’s homes and businesses were damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Recovery is far from over for many people. Capital Health and The Lambertville Chamber of Commerce plan to help by presenting the Lambertville Helping Hands Benefit Concert on October 9 at 11 a.m., and October 10 at 12 p.m. 

Concerts are at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 1207 Route 179, Lambertville. Tickets are $50 at the door or $35 in advance.
Advance tickets are available online at  lambertvillechamber.com/helping-hands.

“It really is exciting to me to see neighbors playing for neighbors,” said Bryan Schreck, music director for the festival. “Those who can chip in [will] help their friends, their families, their neighbors. This is Lambertville helping Lambertville.”

The concert will feature local favorites like The Shackers and The Swiss Guard. On Sunday, local resident Darius de Haas will perform. De Haas sings the part of Shy Baldwin on the show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. more

LIVE ON HOME STAGE: American Repertory Ballet, shown here in David Fernandez’s “Mexican Music,” returns to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center this month. (Photo by Eduardo Patino)

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) returns to its home venue, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, with a program titled “Emergence on Saturday, October 23 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 24 at 2 p.m.  

These performances mark the first program curated under ARB’s new Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.

“ARB is thrilled to welcome our guests back to the theater and have the opportunity to reaffirm the value and power that live performances have in uplifting our spirits and communities,” said Stiefel.

On the program are works by Stiefel, Amy Seiwert, Ryoko Tanaka, and David Fernandez. The program marks the first time all of these pieces are performed live by the company. more

FALL FILMS: The Princeton Environmental Film Festival returns this fall with a schedule of virtual films, including “Rust,” a documentary directed by Rafal Malecki.

The Princeton Environmental Film Festival, a signature Princeton Public Library event, returns to an online platform for a second installment this fall.

Opening Tuesday, October 12, and running through Sunday, October 24, the 15th annual festival features 34 films (20 shorts, 13 feature-length documentaries, and one short narrative film.) The festival is under the direction of Susan Conlon and Kim Dorman, who curate and present films with local, regional and international relevance.

In The Ants and the Grasshopper, directors Raj Patel and Zak Piper deliver a portrait of activist Anita Chitaya, who has worked in Malawi to bring abundant food from dead soil, make men fight for gender equality, and end child hunger in her village. Now, to save her home from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real. The film is presented in partnership with NOFA-NJ.

Baato filmmakers Kate Stryker and Lucas Millard join the journey by Mikma and her family, who annually travel by foot from their village deep in the Himalayas of Nepal to sell local medicinal plants in urban markets. This year, construction of a new highway to China has begun in their roadless valley, changing everything. more

Cleaning woman and soothsayer Cassandra (Cat Miller, center) provides some dubious predictions to Masha (Cathy Liebars) and Spike (Michael O’Hara) in ActorsNET’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” The comedy by Christopher Durang opens October 15 and runs until October 31 at 635 N. Delmorr Avenue in Morrisville, Pa. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2. Tickets are available at www.actorsnetbucks.org.

“TUSCANY”: This painting by Kathleen Zwizansky is part of HomeFront’s ArtJam 2021, running October 15 through 30 at 19 Hulfish Street in Palmer Square. The pop-up gallery will feature more than 75 artists and include paintings, sculpture, pottery, and other original works.

HomeFront’s ArtJam 2021 launches on Friday, October 15 and runs through October 30 in Palmer Square. The art event will bring life and color to an empty storefront by creating a pop-up gallery that combines undiscovered artists who have experienced homelessness, professional artists, and the community in a celebration of creativity, inclusiveness, and empowerment.

ArtJam 2021 benefits ArtSpace, HomeFront’s therapeutic art program for those experiencing homelessness. HomeFront is a nationally recognized program that supports Mercer County’s families that experience or are at risk of homelessness by providing housing and resources.

“This event is a labor of love by many supporters — our volunteers, artists who contribute their works, and local businesses. We deeply appreciate that the community comes together to produce and support this artistic, fundraising event,” said Ruthann Traylor, director of Artspace and its sister program, SewingSpace, at HomeFront. “We have learned to navigate uncertain times, and we have proven over and over the arts can lift spirits, empower our artists, and enhance their self-esteem.” more

“TRUE AMERICAN”: This watercolor painting by Marge Chavooshian is featured in “Trenton’s Treasures,” on view at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park October 9 through November 14. An opening reception will be held on October 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion will celebrate the lives and work of iconic Trenton watercolorists in “Trenton’s Treasures: A Retrospective of Watercolors by Marge Chavooshian and Robert Sakson,” opening Saturday, October 9. The wide-ranging exhibition will feature some 100 works by the two late artists, many of them depicting scenes in and around Trenton.

The museum will host an opening reception on Sunday, October 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., and the show will be on view through November 14. Many of the works in the show will be available for purchase. more