New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu

Articles By Brent Johnson

Shakespeare Theatre Creates PPE (Pandemic Playhouse Entertainment)

“All the world’s a stage,” William Shakespeare famously wrote about the often-helpless nature of the human experience. Those words could also be a mantra for how the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

published on 02/06/2021

A Very Jersey City Christmas — Nimbus Dance's "Jersey City Nutcracker: The Movie"

Some things are certain each holiday season: sugar cookies, last-minute shopping, Andy Williams’ Christmas songs, and countless performances of “The Nutcracker” ballet all over the globe. But, as far as we know, Nimbus Dance in Jersey City puts on the only “Nutcracker” set in New Jersey’s second largest city — complete with dozens of local children and Garden State-centric characters that include the Statue of Liberty, a corrupt politician, and a creature known as Mama Cannoli.

published on 12/23/2020

And the Music Plays On: Rowan Students and Instruments Mask Up for New School Year

It’s not only people wearing masks at Rowan University this semester. Samantha Graifer had an unusual item on her school supply shopping list when she and her roommates — all music majors at the Glassboro college — traveled to a nearby Target at the start of the new academic year. She needed pantyhose for her trumpet.

published on 09/24/2020

Art in the Time of COVID: Princeton University Arts Fellows Will Davis and Danez Smith

Art isn’t easy in the age of coronavirus. Just ask theatre director Will Davis and poet Danez Smith.

published on 05/12/2020

"One Year After" Work by Hamlet Manzueta at Art House Gallery

Hamlet Manzueta was many things in his nearly six decades on earth. A fashion designer. A drag queen. A TV host. A longtime Jersey City resident. He was also a painter and artist, whose work often featured dark colors and cartoonish but gritty figures with large heads, big eyes, and exaggerated mouths.

published on 03/12/2020


Multitasking, Method Acting and Mothering: Ariel Woodiwiss in "Goodnight Nobody" at McCarter Theatre

Even on a break, Ariel Woodiwiss is multi-tasking. The actress is lying on a sofa, taking a much-needed rest before rehearsal begins on the new play she’s starring in at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. At the same time, she’s fitting in a phone interview about her role in the show.

published on 01/23/2020

Rowan Presents "Groove" Dance Show

Paule Turner sees different sides of South Jersey when he looks out the window each morning on his way to work. For more than two decades, he’s taken a combination of trains and buses — and lately Lyfts — from his home in Philadelphia to the suburban borough of Glassboro, where he’s a dance professor at Rowan University. Along the way, he passes through the urban landscape of Camden.

published on 11/28/2019

Life Is "Beautiful" on Tour

If it weren’t for those guys from New Jersey … “Beautiful,” the Tony-nominated hit about iconic singer-songwriter Carole King, ended its six-year residence on Broadway this past Sunday, and did so with a stamp on the record books. It closed as the 27th longest-running musical in Broadway history and ranks second among biographical shows about actual people. The only one above it: “Jersey Boys,” about Frankie Valli and his Four Seasons.

published on 10/31/2019

“Laura & Linda Benanti: The Story Goes On" in South Orange

A few years ago, Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti sang a duet with her mother during an appearance at the Manhattan cabaret club Feinstein’s/54 Below. It wasn’t a gimmick.

published on 10/09/2019

Susan Seidelman's "Boynton Beach Club" Debuts at Surflight Theatre

Susan Seidelman has made a number of movies you may have seen. She’s directed both Madonna and Meryl Streep. She helmed early episodes of “Sex and the City.” And she’s been nominated for an Oscar. But over the last few years, the 66-year-old Philadelphia native has been doing something she never expected: bringing a stage musical to life.

published on 09/12/2019

Go Ask Alice About Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater

It started, of course, as a whimsical 19th century children’s book. In the 1950s, it was transformed into a Disney cartoon. And 60 years later, Tim Burton turned it into a piece of modern cinema.

published on 08/14/2019

Sounds of the City: The Wailers’ Julian Junior Marvin at NJPAC

Would you rather play with Stevie Wonder or Bob Marley? It sounds like a wild scenario. But Junior Marvin says he actually faced that musical conundrum on Valentine’s Day 1977.

published on 07/24/2019

Rie Hasegawa - "Untrashed"

You’ll find them in most supermarkets and many convenience stores: cheap, disposable plastic containers that package vegetables like arugula or spinach. Maybe you casually tossed one in the trash after cooking or snacking recently. But in Rie Hasegawa’s hands, a flimsy lid that once sealed one of those containers now has a second life. She turned it into a piece of art. Or, more precisely, something she used to make a piece of art.

published on 06/27/2019

Margaret Fanning's "Snapshots" at The Center for Contemporary Art

​​​​​​​About a decade ago, while she was still in college, Margaret Fanning began sifting through boxes packed with albums of old family photos.

published on 05/29/2019

(Re-)"Introducing John Lloyd Young"

An original “Jersey Boy” is coming to New Jersey next weekend. Well, coming back, to be exact.

published on 03/28/2019

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Faye Driscoll Debuts "Thank You For Coming: Space" at Peak Performances

About seven years ago, the acclaimed dancer and choreographer Faye Driscoll had a vision about her next project. Make that projects. Driscoll didn’t want to focus once again on creating a “standalone piece.”

published on 03/27/2019

Poet, Essayist, and Cultural Critic Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib once tried being a musician. It didn’t last long.

published on 02/27/2019

One-Man Show "To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter From Fred Hampton" Comes To Passage Theatre

On Dec. 4, 1969, Fred Hampton was 21 years and just weeks from the birth of his son. But Hampton, a leader of the Black Panthers, never lived to see that happen.

published on 01/31/2019

Mike Davis and The New Wonders

Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.

published on 01/03/2019

Betsy Aidem Puts A Woman's Touch On George Street Playhouse's "A Doll's House, Part 2"

Betsy Aidem is a veteran actress you might have seen on Broadway. Or maybe on an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.” Or maybe on the big screen last year in “The Greatest Showman.” But over the next few weeks in New Brunswick, Aidem is adding a brand-new section to her résumé — by helming a sequel (of sorts) to a classic play that’s more than 100 years old.

published on 12/06/2018

The Last Apple Pie: "Apples In Winter" Opens At Centenary Stage

Jennifer Fawcett’s new play centers around a mother in a kitchen, doing something countless people across America will take part in over the upcoming holiday season: making an apple pie.

published on 11/08/2018

"Legal Immigrant" Alan Cumming Brings His Cabaret To State Theatre New Jersey

It was the fall of 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected president. And Scottish-born actor Alan Cumming was sworn in as a citizen of the United States.

published on 09/27/2018

Fossils And Boomers At Morris Museum

You won’t find many places where Billy Joel and Erin Brokovich rub shoulders with ancient shark teeth and fossilized raindrops. But such is life — for at least the next few weeks — at the Morris Museum in Morristown, where you can take two very different trips through American history in two separate exhibits.

published on 08/16/2018

Difficult Questions "Linger" at Premiere Stages

There are two key questions at the heart of Craig Garcia’s play “Linger”: How well do parents actually know their children? And what things — even terrible things — are they capable of?

published on 07/17/2018

Art By The Ocean: Exhibit No. 9 In Asbury Park

Picture an art gallery by the ocean. Tom White knows what you might be thinking — walls being lined with paintings of “sail boats and people with beach umbrellas.” Exhibit No. 9 is different.

published on 06/28/2018


Who In The World Is Artemisia Gentileschi?

You know of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Van Gough and Picasso. And, if you’ve ever been to elementary school, you’ve probably been taught about Georgia O’Keeffe. But what about Artemisia Gentileschi?

published on 05/09/2018

Boundary-Defying Black Violin Blends Classical, Hip-Hop, Rock and More

It happens mostly at the airport. Or when they’re getting on an elevator. Wil Baptiste says when he and longtime friend Kevin Sylvester are spotted carrying their musical instruments cases, people usually assume that saxophones or trumpets are inside.

published on 04/06/2018

New Brunswick Jazz Project Celebrates Women In Jazz

More than a dozen artists will perform in the Women in Jazz series organized by the New Brunswick Jazz Project this month.

published on 03/07/2018

Rufus Wainwright To Appear At BergenPAC For 20th Anniversary of Career

Rufus Wainwright has seen a lot in his wildly eclectic and colorful music career the last few decades — but never what happened last month in Minneapolis.

published on 01/11/2018

Heavens to George Street! "An Act Of God" Opens In New Brunswick

Over the next few weeks, Stephen DeRosa and Jim Walton will transform into angels … in a barn-like building in New Brunswick … where they’ll interact with God … in the form of Kathleen Turner.

published on 11/29/2017

The "Jersey Boys" Come Home - State Theatre Hosts NJ Premiere

Twelve years after its Broadway debut, the Tony Award-winning musical about the rise — and falls — of four kids from New Jersey who became Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will finally make its Garden State premiere with five performances at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

published on 10/11/2017

“Synthesizing Nature” At The Center For Contemporary Art

Don’t worry, Katrina Bello says. If you look at her latest piece of art and aren’t quite sure what you see, that’s fine with her. Some people, the New Jersey artist says, think it depicts a rock formation. Others might see a stretch of soil. It’s so vivid, you might even think it’s a photograph of a landscape somewhere.

published on 09/14/2017

Monmouth Film Festival Returns For Its 2nd Year

When the second annual Monmouth Film Festival rolls into Red Bank next weekend, one of the top selections is a movie about the making of a movie — more specifically, the most famous movie in Monmouth County history.

published on 08/03/2017

"False Indigo" at Hoboken's Proto Gallery

These aren’t the kind of floral paintings you’ll find hanging in the lobby of most motels or for sale at your local department store. At first glance, you might not even realize that some of the Rob Ventura pieces that currently line the walls at Proto Gallery in Hoboken depict flowers at all. They’re filled with abstract shapes, wild brushstrokes and deep, dark hues of red, orange, purple and black.

published on 06/21/2017

Henri Matisse’s Influence Around Every Corner (and Canvas) at the Montclair Art Museum

One is the sketchbook of a pioneering American artist from 1907. Another is an abstract piece from the late 1950s by a New York City painter — who happens to be Robert DeNiro’s father.

published on 05/26/2017

Paper Mill Playhouse Presents Sensory-Friendly Performance of “Charlotte’s Web”

On the surface, the rules for Saturday morning’s performance of “Charlotte’s Web” at Paper Mill Playhouse might surprise you. The house lights at the Millburn theater will remain on throughout the production, albeit dimmed. The volume of the show will be lower than usual. And parents and their children won’t be stopped if they want to walk around — or even change their seats. But the reason is simple.

published on 04/27/2017

Atlantic City Welcomes the 2017 Garden State Film Festival

When the Garden State Film Festival descends on Atlantic City this weekend, it will include one movie that takes place — and was partially shot — just steps from the screening room in the casino-laden resort town.

published on 03/30/2017

The Suffers Bring “Gulf Coast Soul” Music to Vineland

Ask Kam Franklin what kind of music she plays with her band, The Suffers, and she’ll first give you a three-word answer: “Gulf Coast soul.” Then, if you don’t quite understand what that means, she turns to a trusty food comparison.

published on 02/23/2017

VoicePlay-ing at UCPAC

Years ago, Eli Jacobson recalls, people often had the same image pop into their heads when he spoke about the style of music that he and his group perform.

published on 02/01/2017

Winter Wonders at Monmouth Museum

It’s not often when visitors walk into a museum to hear the sound of a train whistle tooting — and at the same time see a painting on the wall depicting a pair of dogs pulling a sled filled with apples through the snow.

published on 12/20/2016


Two River’s “The Lion in Winter” Offers a Historical Reflection of 2016 Themes

The way Tyne Rafaeli sees it, the fall of 2016 is the perfect time to go back 833 years and visit the court of England’s King Henry II.

published on 11/15/2016

New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 811, Belmar, NJ 07719

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms. If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy