Saturday, January 14, 2012
New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts students performed “Children of Eden” for a two-night run on Friday and Saturday nights.
The young performers at the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts played to a sold-out crowd January 13 and 14 with the two-night production, “Children of Eden.” The musical retelling of three Bible stories: “Adam and Eve”, “Cain and Able” and “Noah’s Ark” cast a new light on the age-old tales, bringing them alive for modern audiences. The crowd knew they were in for a great show from the start as the cast sang a remarkable rendition of “Let There Be,” led by Einar Gunn as “Father”. “The Spark of Creation” sung by Cindy Edwards as “Eve” was equally accomplished. Branden Mangan as “Older Cain” may have appeared unsure when he began “Lost in the Wilderness” but about halfway through his voice suddenly soared, eliciting applause from the …
Friday, December 16, 2011
The Yates Musical Theatre Company delighted an audience of children with a one-night showing of the classic tale
With Christmas about a week away, a small army of children got an early present in the form of a theatrical event: “A Christmas Carol” at the Westminster Arts Center. Of course, some of the rambunctious youngsters risked getting on Santa’s naughty list waiting for the show to start. But once the lights went down and the show began, the children took their seats and became quickly enraptured. Produced by the Yates Musical Theatre for Children, the production began with a musical introduction by keyboardist, Jim Campadonico. He ran through a medley of Christmas carols that got the whole audience singing or mouthing the words to the songs. The play itself was that seemingly age-old story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserable miser who forgoes …
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Montclair Operetta Club (MOC) opens its 87th year with the rock opera, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at the Westminster Arts Center
The Montclair Operetta Club's Jesus Christ Superstar scored big with audiences this weekend, as the company brought the classic Andrew Lloyd Weber musical to the stage with a local cast that did it proud. Operetta Club President Richard O’Connor said Superstar was a last-minute, surprise addition to the fall theater line up. “Our season was supposed to have been ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Evita’," he admitted. "I had a contract for the rights to ‘Anything Goes’ and . . . the next day in my email I had a rescission of those rights. So I lost our fall show." Because local theatres cannot perform shows during their Broadway runs, Evita was also axed. "After finding out that there was an “Evita” revival on the horizon, the original season was …
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
4th Wall Theater kicks off its 15th anniversary year with the musical, The Spitfire Grill.
“Chick flicks” get a bad name. The term, used to denote a “touchy-feely” movie with primarily females in the lead, usually means you’re in for a lot of women bonding and crying together. But what’s wrong with that? “Thelma & Louise”? “A League of Their Own”? “Terms of Endearment”? Some really excellent films can definitely be dubbed “chick flicks”. Kicking off their 15th anniversary, 4th Wall Theater would like you to add “The Spitfire Grill” to that list of great films. Only this one is on the stage. Adapted from the Lee David Zlotoff film of the same name, the story begins with Percy Talbott (Alexis Field) leaving prison and arriving in a small Midwest town called Gilead. She quickly gets a job working for Hannah Ferguson (Jodi Freeman …
Friday, September 30, 2011
The Rogues Company presents “The Revenge of Hamlet”, a post-World War II update on Shakespeare’s play, at the Westminster Arts Center.
Hamlet is disaffected youth. Hamlet is contradiction to authority. Hamlet is rebellion without a cause. And so is the vision of director and actor James R. Karcher. With his version of Hamlet, titled “The Revenge of Hamlet,” playing this weekend at the Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College, Karcher takes William Shakespeare’s play to the post-World War II era. Along with that period change comes a new version of the story. “I didn’t want to do the same Hamlet,” said Karcher after Thursday’s opening night. “These guys that came out of that school – Brando, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman – all those guys, in a way, were doing their own version of Hamlet in their movies; not just melancholy but the brooder, the intense …
The White Elephant Burlesque Society offers a raunchy and riotous performance at Pianos Bar & Grill to celebrate their 5th anniversary.
Sex and comedy are not the most obvious bedfellows. One seems like it should be undertaken with the utmost seriousness and the other should be a fun romp. Which is which, depends on the individual. Fortunately, the packed house audience at Pianos Bar & Grill didn’t have to choose. The White Elephant Burlesque Society’s performance on Saturday night, delivered what their website promises: “ [the] melding of a gypsy cabaret approach with vaudevillian burlesque … featuring a variety of bawdy humor, salacious dancing, and a sincere, modern adaptation of the classic style that has never been more relevant.” After performing to the song “Candy Man” and littering the audience with treats, Viktor Devonne, master of ceremonies for the evening, …
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Joseph Nagy, singer/songwriter and prodigal son of New Jersey, returns to play Pianos Bar & Grill, one of the few venues for burgeoning talent.
The crowd was bustling as the Pianos Bar & Grill slowly
started to fill up. The night’s performer seemed to be running late as the waitress was even wondering where he might be. Then, all of a sudden, an unassuming figure steps out of the
crowd and takes a seat behind the piano. Clad in a novelty t-shirt, sporting blonde hair, boyish looks and a beer in hand, Joe Nagy is ready to perform. Nagy, born in Jersey, studied piano and music business at Belmont University in Nashville, before moving to Los Angeles for four years. There, he worked at a piano store and played music at a café on Sunset Boulevard until returning to Jersey a year
ago. After his return, there were, obviously, few places that
would allow an unknown to take the stage. …
Friday, July 29, 2011
The NJSDA presents ‘Seussical the Musical’ at the Westminster Arts Center for some mid-summer fun.
With the theater near to capacity and the audience all abuzz, Corinna Sowers-Adler, director of the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts production of “Seussical the Musical”, took the stage to remind everyone to “remember how to be a kid again.” When the lights came up on the Westminster Arts Center stage (which looked like pages right out of “Green Eggs and Ham”) a child named Jojo (Henry Gardner) opened a box and out popped the Cat in the Hat (Tyler Lynch). From that point forward the show never stopped. For anyone unfamiliar with the play, “Seussical the Musical” takes the children’s rhyming books of Dr. Seuss (nee Theodor Seuss Geisel) and combines them in a non-stop musical. The plot centers on young Jojo getting caught in the tiny …
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Rhonda Denét, of the Silver Songs Trio, performs her show “From Jazz to Soul” at the Bloomfield Public Library.
“I’ll be doing everything from Ella to Aretha,” said Rhonda Denét as she opened her show “From Jazz to Soul” at the Bloomfield Public Library. This time she was unfortunately flying solo, as part of her three-piece band was out sick. Luckily, for the cozy midday crowd Denét didn’t let that stop her from commanding the modest stage with her melodious voice. Next to her simple electronic set up Denét launched into her first song, “The Lady is Tramp” by Ella Fitzgerald. She moved on to “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Billie Holiday (especially apt given the sporadic weather) and “I Wish You Love” by Nancy Wilson. Denét really hit her stride with “My Baby Just Cares for Me” by Nina Simone, dropping her voice to match Simone’s low tenor and even …