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NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS

“Betcha By Golly Wow!” Spotlight on Singer Chris Ruggiero


Chris Ruggiero is an up-and-coming 22-year-old singer from the East Coast who loves songs from the golden age of rock and roll, performing and recording music from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Spotlight Central recently caught up with Chris and talked to him about his musical childhood, his national television debut on PBS, his relationships with a number of well-known musical friends, in addition to the release of his two new recordings, Time Was and I Am Chris Ruggiero.

Irving Plaza presents Café Tacvba and Diamante Eléctrico on November 1-2

(NEW YORK, NY) -- Café Tacvba, widely recognized as Mexico’s leading alternative rock band, will kick off a 15-show tour at New York’s Irving Plaza with shows on November 1-2.  The tour includes stops in Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and more before wrapping up in El Paso, TX on November 24th at Abraham Chavez Theatre. They are touring with special guests Diamante Eléctrico.

D&R Greenway Land Trust Congratulates Three Local Girls Honored by the Junior League of Greater Princeton for Building Community Through Good Works

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- D&R Greenway congratulates Emmy Stenull [age 13]; Allie Martin [age 12]; and Alexandra Kasimatis [age 9] for having been granted a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Community Work from the Junior League of Greater Princeton in a June ceremony.  The girls were honored alongside HomeFront, Arm in Arm, Mercer St. Friends and RISE.

Vivid Stage Presents Songs in the Garden On August 4th

(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Vivid Stage, professional Theatre in Residence at Oakes Center in Summit, presents Songs in the Garden on August 4 at  the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit. Showtime is 6:30pm. The cabaret will be held on the lawn, and the rain date is Thursday, August 5 at 6:30pm. Patrons are invited to bring chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner.

Princeton Ballet School presents “A Weekend of Dance”

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Princeton Ballet School (PBS), the official school of American Repertory Ballet (ARB), New Jersey’s top professional ballet company, will host “A Weekend of Dance” in the courtyard of the Princeton Shopping Center (301 N. Harrison St., Princeton) beginning on Friday, July 30 at 5:30pm with a performance featuring students from its world-renowned Summer Intensive program, and continuing on Saturday with a series of free dance classes.

Lauren Otis to Step Down at Artworks; Search Initiated for New Executive Director

(TRENTON, NJ) -- Lauren Otis will be stepping down from his role as Executive Director of Artworks, Trenton’s visual arts center. The Board of Trustees of Artworks announced that it is initiating a search for Mr. Otis’ replacement. Mr. Otis will continue to lead Artworks until his replacement is hired. Artworks, a non-profit with over 55 years of history in the greater Trenton area, has become one of Trenton’s most visible arts organizations with programming and events that have elevated the profile of arts and culture as one of the Capital City’s most valuable assets, and harnessed them as a potent force for community wellbeing and revitalization within city neighborhoods.

New Jersey Stage: Daily Edition 07-28-21

Here are the articles published at New Jersey Stage for 07-28-21

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Changes Name To Vivid Stage

​​​​​​​For the last couple of years, Laura Ekstrand thought it was time to change the name of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre. The name had been inspired by Native American culture, but it was created in a different time and, in today’s climate, the name seemed out of place.

Nine Garden State Parkway Service Areas To Be Renamed After NJHOF Inductees

(TRENTON, NJ) -- To showcase the outstanding talent of the people of New Jersey and their contributions to the world, Governor Phil Murphy announced today that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is renaming nine service areas on the Garden State Parkway after iconic New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) inductees in the arts, entertainment and sports.

BergenPAC Presents Foreigners Journey featuring Constantine Maroulis On September 25th

(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) will present Foreigners Journey featuring Constantine Maroulis on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 8:00pm. The band brings together the incredible sounds of two of rocks greatest arena bands of the 80’s -- Foreigner & Journey.

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FEATURES

“Betcha By Golly Wow!” Spotlight on Singer Chris Ruggiero

Chris Ruggiero is an up-and-coming 22-year-old singer from the East Coast who loves songs from the golden age of rock and roll, performing and recording music from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Spotlight Central recently caught up with Chris and talked to him about his musical childhood, his national television debut on PBS, his relationships with a number of well-known musical friends, in addition to the release of his two new recordings, Time Was and I Am Chris Ruggiero.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Changes Name To Vivid Stage

​​​​​​​For the last couple of years, Laura Ekstrand thought it was time to change the name of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre. The name had been inspired by Native American culture, but it was created in a different time and, in today’s climate, the name seemed out of place.

Bob Burger Talks About His Heart Attack, Recovery, And Return To The Stage

Bob Burger has been a part of the Jersey Shore music scene since the eighties when he moved here from Erie, Pennsylvania. He's been a member of the Bobby Bandiera Band, a solo artist, performer in Beatle tributes, and is currently a member of The Weeklings with Glen Burtnik - an artist he's written songs with for decades.  On June 5th, he was just finishing a show at The Vogel in Red Bank when he had a heart attack in the dressing room. 

‘Snug’ Plays Under the Stars

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) returns to their outdoor summer home this month. Since 2002, STNJ has performed in the outdoor Greek-style amphitheater on the campus of St. Elizabeth University with one exception: 2020 when the CoVid pandemic restrictions prevented its use. But now they are back with two glorious productions available until Aug. 1. Running are Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and a new play, Snug, written by Bonnie Monte. Both are comedies and both shows are appropriate for all ages.

Makin Waves with Jerry Ryan: Talkin’ Elephants, Rockin’ Autism

South Jersey indie rock impresario Jerry Ryan has been a tsunami of Makin Waves for more than a decade, and for that, he won the 2020 Makin Waves Tsunami Award for being the year’s biggest behind-the-scenes mover and shaker. Refusing to be stopped by the goddamn pandemic, Jerry kept on keepin’ on by raising more than $21,000 with virtual versions of his annual Elephants for Autism Festival. Inspired by raising his autistic son, Jeremy, as a single parent, the festival supports the families of children and young adults with autism. 

New Jersey Film Festival To Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Live & Virtual Screenings

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies, presents the Fall 2021 New Jersey Film Festival from September 10 through October 10, marking the festival's 40th Anniversary. Showcasing new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals, and cutting-edge documentaries, Fall 2021 New Jersey Film Festival will feature over 20 film screenings - presented live at Rutgers University and available online as well. All the films will be available virtually via Video on Demand for 24 hours on their show date.

PODCAST: RENT’S Adam Pascal Takes the Show on the Road

Adam Pascal was a rock ‘n’ roll musician who had no theatrical credits when he landed the role of Roger in RENT—a show that would garner him a Tony nomination and forever change the sound of Broadway. Now, Pascal shares his journey through the shows he’s performed along the way: Aida, Cabaret, Memphis, Chicago, and more.  His solo acoustic concert, “So Far,” is coming to the Arthur Pryor Bandshell in Asbury Park on July 28 and BellWorks in Holmdel on July 29 as part of Axelrod Performing Arts Center’s Vogel Summer Concert Series.

TaNisha Fordham Talks About "12 Mo' Angry Men"

12 Mo' Angry Men is the story of 11 black jurors and 1 white juror, deliberating on the guilt or innocence of a white police officer who shot and killed a black teen. It is a new and timely reimagining of 12 Angry Men, the classic play and film. It will have its premiere at Newark's Theater in the Park, as part of the city's Summer Fun Events with performances on July 23 & 30, and August 6 & 13, 2021.

"And the Seasons, They Go Round and Round." Emily Grove’s Tribute to Joni Mitchell LIVE! at the Hunterdon County Library

Following a year in which many concerts were cancelled or postponed, music lovers packing lawn chairs and blankets are making their way onto the lawn of the Hunterdon County Library in Flemington, NJ this Tuesday, July 13, 2021. They’re all here to enjoy a live Joni Mitchell tribute performance by NJ singer/songwriter Emily Grove.

"Restored, Refreshed, Renewed in Spirit." The Solisti Ensemble LIVE! at Ocean Grove's Great Auditorium

Following a year in which most concerts were cancelled or postponed, music lovers are currently streaming into Ocean Grove, NJ’s Great Auditorium this Thursday, July 8, 2021 evening for a live performance by one of classical music’s most distinguished string ensembles, The Solisti Ensemble.

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COLUMNS

Radio Jersey Shows For Week Ending 07-24-21

Here are the radio programs aired by Radio Jersey and Beyond the Palace this week. Radio Jersey shows air Monday through Friday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on ThePenguinRocks.com and Beyond the Palace airs throughout the week. Both shows are hosted by Lee Mrowicki and are also available on demand.

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Drift Away" by Tom Kanach Band

Tom Kanach Band includes Pete Wood, Tom Kanach, Steve Buzbee, and Joe Rowley. They will return to Asbury on Aug. 14 at The Saint to play “Welcome Home Matt Pinfield,” a long-awaited homecoming for the East Brunswick music industry icon.

Rock On! This Week's Sound Bites...7/22/21

"Whole Nother World," it's eight tracks and it came out on May 28 and it hit number one on roots charts for soul/blues album, it hit number two on International Broadcasters in the UK so there was a lot that has happened and it's not just me it's the whole project. The musicians are just experts in what they do and the sound engineer; the recording was done in Baton Rouge but he resides in my area and the guy has elephant ears (laughs) and that really was the end point, the mastering was incredible."

Radio Jersey Shows For Week Ending 07-17-21

Here are the radio programs aired by Radio Jersey and Beyond the Palace this week. Radio Jersey shows air Monday through Friday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on ThePenguinRocks.com and Beyond the Palace airs throughout the week. Both shows are hosted by Lee Mrowicki and are also available on demand.

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Lay It on the Line" by Ferocious Designs

Ferocious Designs, the project of Central Jersey-based singer-songwriter Brian Kelley, pictured, has dropped a video for the anthemic Peter Gabriel-like call to social justice, “Lay It on the Line,” in anticipation of a just-released five-song debut EP.

MUSIC


  • “Betcha By Golly Wow!” Spotlight on Singer Chris Ruggiero
  • Irving Plaza presents Café Tacvba and Diamante Eléctrico on November 1-2
  • BergenPAC Presents Foreigners Journey featuring Constantine Maroulis On September 25th
  • WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert To Take Place August 21st In Central Park
  • Judith Hill Brings Her Soul-Funk-Rock Sound to Kean’s Outdoor Stage on July 31st

    THEATRE


  • Vivid Stage Presents Songs in the Garden On August 4th
  • Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Changes Name To Vivid Stage
  • Broadway at the Barn Presents Christina Bianco On September 18th
  • Feinstein's/54 Below Presents "Jay's Birthday Bash: There Is No Place Like Home" on September 1st
  • ‘Snug’ Plays Under the Stars

    FILM


  • New Jersey Film Festival To Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Live & Virtual Screenings
  • Cinema Lab to Reopen at The Village Cinemas at SOPAC Beginning July 22
  • 24th Annual Long Island International Film Expo To Take Place August 10-15
  • NJPAC Presents "The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes" On December 3
  • NJSO and NJPAC Present 7th Installment of Harry Potter Film Concert Series On October 30

    ART


  • Lauren Otis to Step Down at Artworks; Search Initiated for New Executive Director
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum Presents Artist Talks With Pamela Casper
  • Candace Nicholson Takes On New Role at Gallery Aferro
  • Montclair Art Museum Presents Two New Transformative Exhibitions
  • Princeton Holds Mural Dedication Concert On July 29th

    DANCE


  • Princeton Ballet School presents “A Weekend of Dance”
  • The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes Returns After Missing 2020
  • Dance Returns To NJPAC
  • Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Announces Dancers For The Bridge Week of 7/26/21
  • NJPAC Presents Maks and Val Live: Stripped Down Tour on August 10th

    COMEDY


  • The Town Hall Presents Law & Disorder: An Evening With Comedian Eli Castro on November 27th
  • NJPAC Presents Tom Segura On April 1st
  • NJPAC Presents Anthony Rodia July 30-31
  • Newton Theatre Presents Vic DiBitetto October 29-30
  • Newton Theatre presents The Second City: Remix On October 2nd

    COMMUNITY


  • D&R Greenway Land Trust Congratulates Three Local Girls Honored by the Junior League of Greater Princeton for Building Community Through Good Works
  • Nine Garden State Parkway Service Areas To Be Renamed After NJHOF Inductees
  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts Approves Over $35.6 Million in Grants, Establishes Capital Arts Program
  • Newark Launches "Summer Fun In The Park"
  • Bruce Springsteen and President Barack Obama To Release "RENEGADES: Born in the USA" book



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