May 8, 2024

TEMPTATIONS AND MORE: The Broadway hit “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations” is among the shows coming to the State Theatre New Jersey in the coming season. (Photo by Johan Persson)

State Theatre New Jersey has announced its 2024-25 Broadway Season, featuring five shows with Tony Award-winning hits, Broadway fan favorites, and multiple State Theatre debuts. Season tickets for the 2024-25 Broadway Series are now on sale.

Shows are TINA—The Tina Turner Musical, October 3-5; Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, October 25-27; The Addams Family, January 25-26; and Dear Evan Hansen, March 28-30. Also included as an add-on to season tickets is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, November 23-24.

State Theatre New Jersey is offering season tickets to its Broadway Series. Season ticket holders can order their series tickets now before single tickets go on sale to the general public on August 2. They are also able to secure some of the best seats in the historic theater and those seats will remain theirs, year after year, for as long as they remain season ticket holders. Season tickets also come with added benefits such as 20 percent savings off single ticket prices, half-price drinks at concessions, ticket exchanges within the series, and a bring your friends discount that allows single tickets (once on sale) to be added on at a 15 percent savings off single ticket prices.

The State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Visit stnj.org.

SOUNDS OF IRELAND: Ivan Goff, left, plays uileann pipes, Irish flute, and whistles; and Katie Linnane, right, is on fiddle at a May 17 concert at Christ Congregation Church.

The Princeton Folk Music Society presents Irish music duo Ivan Goff (uileann pipes, Irish flute, and whistles) and Katie Linnane (fiddle) on Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m., at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

The couple are stalwarts of the New York City Irish traditional music scene. Goff has toured with several Irish traditional bands, including Dervish, Danú, and the Eileen Ivers Band. He also has performed in theatrical productions, including extended engagements with Riverdance (on Broadway and on tour), and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.

Linnane got her start in the “Irish Riviera” music scene of Pearl River in Rockland County, N.Y. She studied with Willy Kelly and has been influenced by other players including Paddy Canny, Patrick Ourceau, and Mike Rafferty. She performs with other New York-based groups such as The Murphy Beds, Lúnasa, and Green Fields of America. She also is an accomplished step dancer and teacher.

Tickets at the door: $25 ($20 members, $10 students 12 – 22, $5 children 11 and under). Ample free parking. A livestream also is available. For more information: www.princetonfolk.org.

KOREAN COMPANY: Bereishit Dance Company, which is based in Seoul, is among those scheduled to appear at McCarter Theatre Center in the coming season. (Photo by Javier Labrador)

McCarter Theatre Center’s 2024-2025 Dance Series will feature Ballet Hispánico; “SW!NG OUT” from choreographer Caleb Teicher; “Noli Timere” — a new collaboration between Director/Choreographer/Princeton University Professor Rebecca Lazier and sculptor Janet Echelman; Seoul-based Bereishit Dance Company; and Twyla Tharp Dance. Also included as an optional season encore is the return of Pilobolus.

“Our 2024-2025 Dance Series showcases an exceptional lineup, featuring some of the most celebrated artists of the past 60 years alongside emerging talents poised to shape the future of dance,” said Director of Presented Programming Paula Abreu. “This season, we will journey from the streets of Seoul to 25 feet in the air on a voluminous net sculpture, savor ballet infused with Latin rhythms, master the Lindy Hop, and traverse through six decades of the legendary Twyla Tharp’s groundbreaking choreography.”

Subscriptions to McCarter’s 2024-2025 Dance Series for new and returning subscribers are now available at Mccarter.org or by calling (609) 258-2787. Subscribers save 20 percent on tickets and receive benefits like free exchanges, exclusive pre-sale access, and preferred seating.

“SHHH”: This 7-foot-high work by multidisciplinary artist Ana Teresa Fernández is featured in “Slow Motion,” on view at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton through September 1, 2025. (Photo by Bruce M. White)

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) in Hamilton now presents “Slow Motion,” an exhibition guest-curated by Monument Lab that expands the boundaries of contemporary sculpture through the use of unconventional materials and processes. Founded in 2012, Monument Lab is a nonprofit public art and history studio based in Philadelphia that cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. Traditional approaches to monument-making emphasize durability, solidity, and myths of enduring permanence; however, “Slow Motion,” on view through September 1, 2025, embraces the pleasures and possibilities of material transience.

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“HORSE IN A FIELD”: Artist Vivian Slee, whose work is shown here, is the speaker for the Inside the Artist’s Studio series event on Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Princeton Makes in the Princeton Shopping Center.

On Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m., artist Vivian Slee will be the featured speaker for the Inside the Artist’s Studio series at Princeton Makes in the Princeton Shopping Center. Slee, a member of the Princeton Makes artist cooperative, is a Colombian American artist who makes figurative and landscape paintings. She will share insights from her career and art practice.

Raised in Trenton, Slee earned her undergraduate degree in visual arts at Drew University, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. She worked in the art world in New York and Germany and lived in Moscow and London before settling in Princeton with her husband and two daughters. She creates compelling figurative paintings that capture narratives from her community and lived experiences.

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Works by the late Dick De Groot, a Dutch American painter, sculptor, and inventor, are on view at SFA Gallery, 10 Bridge Street, Frenchtown, through May 31. An opening reception is on Saturday, May 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit sfagallery.com or call (908) 268-1700.

Lawrence P. Booth

The New Hope Colony Foundation for the Arts (NHCFA) has announced Lawrence P. Booth of New Hope, Pa., as its new president of the board of trustees. Booth takes the helm of the nonprofit organization that is centered in the village just north of New Hope Borough that is the “birthplace” of the Pennsylvania Impressionists. The NHCFA seeks to preserve the buildings that make up the art colony and propel the area into the future by encouraging and promoting the arts.

A resident of New Hope since 1995, Booth is a longtime teacher at Carrier Clinic/Hackensack Meridian Health in Belle Mead. He also is a director of the Delaware Valley Fire Museum and has served on the boards of the Free Library of New Hope & Solebury and Friends of the Free Library of New Hope & Solebury. He proudly served in the U. S. Air Force. Booth brings a wealth of knowledge, ability, and enthusiasm to the New Hope Colony board.

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HERE’S TO YOU! “We enjoy offering our guests a welcoming, enjoyable experience at our vineyard, including even more events. We want coming here to be a pleasure for everyone.” Sergio and Violetta Neri, owners and winemakers at Hopewell Valley Vineyards, are proud of their award-winning wines and of their congenial setting for dining, wine tasting, and events and social gatherings of all kinds.

By Jean Stratton

Hopewell Valley Vineyards not only offers first class wines for purchase and tasting, it is also a destination in itself.

Located on 75 acres at 46 Yard Road in Pennington, its rustic setting is a popular spot for weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthday parties, corporate meetings, benefits, and other events.

In addition, many visitors enjoy stopping in for light dining and a glass of wine, and live music entertainment on weekends, all the while relishing the engaging atmosphere and attractive setting.

Owners and husband and wife Sergio and Violetta Neri take great pride in the vineyards, which were established in 2001. Both of their families, Sergio’s in Italy and Violetta’s in Greece, had experience in wine-making, but the Hopewell Valley Vineyards were not even on the horizon when Sergio and Violetta each arrived separately in the U.S.

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HOT HAND: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Coulter Mackesy, left, looks to elude a defender in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, junior attacker Mackesy tallied three goals and four assists to help second-seeded Princeton defeat fourth-seeded Penn 18-11 in the final of the Ivy League Tournament in Ithaca, N.Y. The Tigers, now 11-4 and riding a four-game winning streak, will head to the NCAA tournament where they will play at seventh-seeded Maryland in a first round contest on May 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team got upset 13-12 in mid-April by a mediocre Brown squad, its hopes for any postseason play were put on life support.

“The big thing about the Brown loss is that it put our season at risk, we were at the risk of not even making the Ivy tournament,” said Princeton head coach Matt Madalon. “I think that was the most challenging part of it.”

The Tigers proved to be up to the challenge, ending the regular season with a 15-10 win over Penn on April 20 and a 15-8 victory at Yale a week later to earn a spot in the four-team Ivy League Tournament.

“I think to gain that sense of urgency a little earlier, now we are comfortable playing with it,” said Madalon. “We just understand the expectations, we have been in playoff mode for a while.”

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STILL GOING: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Jami MacDonald, right, heads to goal in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, sophomore attacker MacDonald tallied four goals and two assists as Princeton fell 18-14 to Penn in the Ivy League Tournament semis. The Tigers, now 10-6, will get to play in another tourney as they were named as an at-large selection to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Princeton will face Drexel (13-5) on May 10 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., in an NCAA first round contest. The winner faces second-seeded and host ACC champion Boston College (16-3) on May 12 in the second round. (Photo by Steven Wojtowicz)

By Justin Feil

The announcement last Sunday night of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament helped the Princeton University women’s lacrosse in a number of ways.

It enabled them refocus on another goal ahead, it took away some of the sting of falling 18-14 to Penn in the Ivy League tournament semifinals last Friday, and was heartening after the program missed out on the NCAAs last year.

“This group has worked incredibly hard,” said Tigers head coach Jenn Cook. “To get this opportunity, starting from the end of last year they have really put the work in and really have built relationships on and off field that have really shown on the field, and they have put in the work in order to have this opportunity and all of us are very, very excited.”

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TOUGHING IT OUT: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Sarah Henderson, left, unloads the ball in a game last season. Last Thursday, Henderson, who has bounced back from serious injuries over the years, came up big on her Senior Day, tallying one goal and four assists to help PHS defeat Robbinsville 11-7. Last Monday, Henderson scored a goal as sixth-seeded PHS fell 13-8 to third-seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinal round of the Mercer County Tournament. The Tigers, now 10-6, host Hun School on May 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Sarah Henderson, making it to her Senior Day for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team last Thursday proved to be a bit of an ordeal.

During her high school career, Henderson has dealt with serious injuries, suffering a torn ACL and undergoing major foot surgery along the way.

“It is definitely a challenge, me and my teammate Sylvie [LeBouef] have gone through really similar things,” said star attacker Henderson. “We really help support each other. We both play low attack and we talk through it. Like when our knee is hurting or we are having the same struggles with our brace, having to tape it. We are able to talk to each other and that is a really great connection to have because we understand the struggle of it.”

Going through injury struggles has required Henderson to modify her game.

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ON COURSE: Members of the Princeton High girls’ golf team are all smiles as they display the plaque they earned last week for placing first in the Mercer County Tournament at Mercer Oaks West. Pictured, from left, are Kyuyoung Chung, Jackie Zang, Tia Sindhu, Shreya Gaekwad, and Yasna Shahriarian. Last Monday, PHS followed up the county title with a third-place finish in the Central Jersey sectional at Rutgers University Golf Course in Piscataway. The Tigers finished one stroke ahead of Bridgewater-Raritan for the final qualifying spot for the state championships that will be held May 14 at Raritan Valley Country Club in Bridgewater.

By Justin Feil

Tia Sindhu elected to cover up the scores when she opened the live scoring app used in high school golf competitions this year. She prefers to write it down on paper, but never does the math until the end.

“When I write it down, I’m not adding my score or anything in my head,” said Sindhu, a member of the Princeton High girls’ golf team. “I just write it down, keep playing with my game, kind of to keep me in the same zone because once I start adding up my score I feel like things go wrong at that point because then I start analyzing and thinking, which is not what you want to do. You just want to stay in the moment and keep playing the best golf that you can.”

The lone senior on the PHS team had no idea how the team had done when she finished her round in the Mercer County Tournament last Thursday at Mercer Oaks West, and it added to her thrill to discover that the Tiger girls’ golf team had repeated as MCT champion, edging runner-up Lawrenceville School by a single stroke.

“It felt amazing and I think it felt even more special this year because it’s my last season playing for Princeton and I really wanted to make the most of it,” said Sindhu. “I feel like all of our girls played so well. I think we were all in the right mindset in the beginning and we were just ready to ready to win this, ready to keep the Mercer County title the second year.”

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RECORD PACE: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Tessa Caputo races upfield in game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Caputo tallied five goals and four assists as PDS fell 16-15 to Notre Dame. On Monday, Caputo scored seven goals with two assists as fourth-seeded PDS fell 14-11 to fifth-seeded Hun in the quarterfinal round of the Mercer County Tournament. Fairfield University commit Caputo recently broke the program record of 232 career goals and now has 242. The Panthers, now 11-4, are next in action when they play in the Prep B state tournament where they are seeded second and are slated to host third-seeded Morristown-Beard in a semifinal contest on May 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tessa Caputo has been piling up the milestones this spring in her final season for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team.

Star attacker and Fairfield University commit Caputo recently broke the program record of 232 goals and now has 242. She also holds the Panther mark in points with 386 as she closes in on joining the 400 club.

While Caputo is proud of those achievements, she is not dwelling on stats.

“It is definitely something fun to look at but at the end of the day, it is not something that I am focused on going into games,” said Caputo. “My mom is all over it, she loves it.”

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By Bill Alden

Charlie Batista tapped the left side of his chest as he was greeted by his Hun School baseball teammates by the dugout after striking out the side in the sixth inning to cap a stellar mound effort against the Hill School (Pa.) last Friday.

Showing heart, senior Batista dug deep in his final inning of work.

“I was thinking coming into that sixth inning, I was getting up there, the most I pitched before this game was like 78,” said Batista. “I got up to 91 pitches. I felt good all the way through. That was a nice way to end.”

Batista produced a nice effort overall, yielding just one hit with eight strikeouts and three walks as Hun prevailed 3-0.

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ON THE BALL: Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Allison Lee, right, goes after the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Lee tallied seven goals and two assists as Stuart fell 14-12 to South Brunswick. The Tartans, who lost 14-5 Hopewell Valley in the Mercer County Invitational last Monday to move to 3-9, host Delaware Valley on May 9 and then play at Princeton Day School on May 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though time was running out on the Stuart Country Day School lacrosse team as it trailed South Brunswick by three goals in the waning moments last Saturday, Allison Lee wasn’t about to give up.

Stuart junior star Lee darted into the crease area and fired a shot into the back of the cage with 26.9 second left in the game to tally the final goal of the day as the Tartans fell 14-12.

While Lee was disappointed by the result on a day when Stuart jumped out to a 4-2 lead heading into the second quarter, she exemplified the way the Tartans battled to the final horn.

“We got into a really good rhythm at first, we were really focused and into it,” said Lee, who ended up with seven goals and two assists in the defeat.

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May 1, 2024

Fifteen locations throughout town hosted more than 80 musicians, including RPG Jazz Project, shown here on a porch on Jefferson Road, for the Arts Council of Princeton’s third annual music festival on Saturday. Attendees discuss their favorite styles of music in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Sarah Teo)

By Donald Gilpin

At its meeting on Tuesday night, April 30, which took place after press time, the Princeton Board of Education (BOE) was expected to approve a proposal for a $85 to $89.5 million facilities referendum, planned for December 2024 or January 2025, and also a 2024-25 budget of $119.2 million.

The referendum proposal, for new construction and renovation at Community Park Elementary (CP), Littlebrook Elementary (LB), Princeton Middle School (PMS), and Princeton High School (PHS), is anticipated to be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). The specific dollar amount, which could be smaller with the inclusion of potential state aid, and the final form of the referendum questions will be determined after the NJDOE reviews the application and advises which portion of the costs is eligible for state funding. more

GAZA SOLIDARITY ENCAMPMENT: Pro-Palestine demonstrators at Princeton University moved into the sixth day of their “encampment” on Tuesday, moving the demonstration from McCosh Courtyard to Cannon Green between Nassau Hall and the Whig and Clio halls. Thirteen protesters were arrested on Monday evening during a takeover and sit-in in the Clio administration building.

By Donald Gilpin

The Gaza Solidarity Encampment pro-Palestine demonstration at Princeton University entered its sixth day on Tuesday, April 30 after a tense Monday evening during which protesters marched from their previous base in McCosh Courtyard and occupied Clio Hall for several hours before settling on Cannon Green, directly behind Nassau Hall.

In an email sent to the Princeton University Community at 10:30 p.m. Monday, following the arrest of 13 people, University President Christopher L. Eisgruber noted that all 13, including five undergraduates, six graduate students, one postdoctoral researcher, and one person not affiliated with the University, received summonses for trespassing and have been barred from campus. Two other demonstrators, both graduate students, were arrested at the start of the demonstrations on April 25.

“The students will also face University discipline,” he added, “which may extend to suspension or expulsion.” There were no injuries reported during the incident. more

By Anne Levin

At its meeting on Monday night, April 29, Princeton Council was given a progress report on the town’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), which was adopted in 2019 to reduce carbon emissions and help the community become more climate-resilient. Sustainable Princeton, which has been leading the effort, delivered the presentation.

Among other items on the agenda was the adoption of a resolution appointing nine members to the Princeton Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing, Human Services, and Racial, Social and Economic Equity. The committee was formed after the controversial consolidation in January of the former Civil Rights Commission, Human Services Commission, and Affordable Housing Board.

Council also passed ordinances related to loading zones and parking on Chambers Street once construction of the Graduate Hotel is completed, and license agreements for the new Hermes and Faherty stores, among other issues. Resolutions included a shared service agreement with Princeton Public Library for information technology services, a consulting agreement for community solar development, a contract for bicycle-safe grates and curb piece faceplates, and an urban tree canopy assessment. more

INNOVATION CENTER: The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony on May 9 for its new $109.7 million Princeton Plasma Innovation Center (PPIC), as Fusion Energy Week features a number of engaging activities, in-person and virtual, for the general public. The above rendering of the PPIC building, scheduled for completion by 2027, shows the three-story North Wing with the roof garden to the left, and the South Wing laboratory building. (Rendering courtesy of SmithGroup)

By Donald Gilpin

The first-ever Fusion Energy Week, a worldwide initiative to inform and engage the pubic with the world of fusion energy, is coming up, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL) will be kicking off activities on May 4 with a pop-up Science on Saturday presentation on the quest for fusion energy at the PPPL since 1951.

PPPL Science Education Department Head Arturo Dominguez, who is one of three leaders of the U.S. Fusion Outreach Team and one of three organizers of the week’s activities, noted that there are events scheduled in person and virtually all over the world, with information and registration available at usfusionenergy.org. more

NEVER TOO LATE: Residents of Maplewood at Princeton have been taking piano lessons from 15-year-old high school sophomore Pranayaa Jeyaraman, who was among those honored last week for their volunteer work.

By Anne Levin

Pranayaa Jeyaraman has been taking piano lessons since she was in first grade. Since February, the Woodbridge Academy Magnet School sophomore has been spending some of her time at the keyboard with enthusiastic students who happen to be decades her senior.

They are residents of the senior living community Maplewood at Princeton, and they study with the Monroe Township resident on Saturday afternoons. Results have been so positive that Pranayaa was among those honored last Saturday, April 27, at an appreciation luncheon, where she was given a certificate and a special key chain hand-made by Maplewood residents. more

“BEYOND THE SPECTRUM”: Members of the Princeton Police Department were among those on hand to help out at this special Autism Awareness Alliance event on Saturday, April 27 at the Dinky Bar & Kitchen.

By Anne Levin

According to a March 2023 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of children identified with autism spectrum disorder is one in 36 children nationally. Here in New Jersey, it is one in 35.

This and other statistics related to the developmental disorder inspired Sean (Shenyao) Xu, a sophomore at the Hun School, to help families — especially Chinese families — deal with the issue. Last Saturday, April 27, the 15-year-old, who moved to Princeton from China with his family a few years ago, helped organize a special “Beyond the Spectrum” event with the nonprofit Autism Awareness Alliance of Princeton. more

By Stuart Mitchner

The adolescence of a whole American generation was mediated by Dylan’s songs…

—Helen Vendler (1933-2024)

The last week of National Poetry Month began on Tuesday, April 23, William Shakespeare’s 460th birthday. Right now a whole generation of listeners is being “mediated” by Taylor Swift, whose latest album The Tortured Poets Department opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, “with historic numbers,” according to the New York Times. It’s hard to ignore an album with that title in a month celebrating poetry, not to mention the fact that Swift’s work is the subject of courses being taught at major universities, including Harvard, which offers an English Department class called “Taylor Swift and Her World.” more

By Nancy Plum

Members of professional orchestras often have successful performing careers on their own, both individually and as part of chamber ensembles. Princeton Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Alistair MacRae maintains a bi-coastal performing life, with faculty and principal appointments on the West Coast in addition to New Jersey. One of his affiliations is as a member of the Puget Sound Piano Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the University of the Puget Sound School of Music in Tacoma, Washington. Princeton Symphony Orchestra presented MacRae and his colleagues in the Trio, violinist Maria Sampen and pianist Ronaldo Rolim, in a concert at Princeton’s Trinity Church last Wednesday night. With the music of Franz Joseph Haydn, Miguel del Aguila, and Felix Mendelssohn, the Trio showed how its four-decade history has created both musical cohesion and high-level performance.  more