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Articles By Christopher Benincasa

The 21st Garden State Film Festival

This year's Garden State Film Festival kicks off Thursday, March 23, and will be serving up a four-day weekend of more independent films and one-of-a-kind events than even the most die-hard moviegoer could take in.

published on 03/09/2023

Sons of Serendip Bring "Christmas: Beyond the Lights" to South Orange Performing Arts Center

Classical crossover ensemble Sons of Serendip broke onto the scene in 2014 after competing on America’s Got Talent, and they’ve been going strong ever since. They’re currently touring the country spreading their signature style of holiday cheer and will perform at South Orange Performing Arts Center Dec. 7.  

published on 12/01/2022

Daniel Bernard Roumain, Resident Artist Catalyst at the New Jersey Symphony, on Black Classical Music, Hip-Hop, and The Newark Museum of Art’s Summer Concert Series

Earlier this week, composer, performer, educator, activist, and New Jersey Symphony Resident Artistic Catalyst Daniel Bernard Roumain brought jazz and jazz-inspired classical music to the Newark Museum of Art’s Summer Series along with a co-host, Grammy Award-winning clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, and the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Players.

published on 08/05/2022

The Haunting of Night Vale... and NJPAC

Next Friday, June 24, the team behind the hit podcast series Welcome to Night Vale brings its live show, The Haunting of Night Vale, to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey.

published on 06/17/2022

A Special Reading of "Whittier," New Docudrama by TyLie Shider, Inaugural Playwright in ArtYard Artist Residency Program

This Saturday, May 21, theatergoers are invited to join ArtYard in Frenchtown for a reading of Whittier, a new docudrama by TyLie Shider. Whittier is a neighborhood in Minneapolis, close to where the murder of George Floyd took place. Shider’s new play follows residents of Whittier grappling with that tragedy, as well as the stresses of life during the lockdown of 2020. A playwright, poet, and journalist, TyLie Shider is also the inaugural playwright in ArtYard’s artist residency program, curated by Deonté Griffin-Quick. We spoke with Shider, Quick, and director Andrew Binger about bringing Whittier to the stage.

published on 05/16/2022


PODCAST: Roxey Ballet and Artist Malcolm Mobutu Smith Join Creative Forces at the Hunterdon Art Museum

This Saturday at the Hunterdon Art Museum, visitors are invited to a unique experience that brings together the visual and performing arts. Roxey Ballet Company has teamed up with artist Malcolm Mobutu Smith – whose exhibition Evermore Nevermore closes this weekend – and have created an exclusive 45-minute showcase that will be presented outdoors on the Toshiko Takaezu Terrace, overlooking the museum’s iconic view of the Raritan River. (This event is free, but please register to attend.)

published on 04/21/2022

PODCAST: On His Way Around the World, One of Vox Sambou's First Stops is New Jersey

On Wednesday, April 13, Vox Sambou and his band will take the stage at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. He writes and performs in Haitian, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and his music focuses on the traditional rhythms of Haiti mixed with elements of Afrobeat, Jazz, Reggae, and Hip hop. Vox Sambou is currently - and it seems usually - touring the world. We spoke with him shortly after he arrived in the US after a visit with family in Haiti.

published on 04/08/2022

PODCAST: Ms. Lisa Fischer Wants You To Be Her Valentine

On Thursday, February 10, powerhouse vocalist Ms. Lisa Fischer will perform An Evening of Love Songs at South Orange Performing Arts Center. The legendary singer has performed with the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross, Tina Turner, YoYo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, and many others, and is a Grammy-winning solo artist. We recently spoke with Fischer about her special Valentine’s Day concert, what it’s like to be one the most in-demand singers in the world, and how she creates “music that heals, but still rocks the house.”

published on 02/10/2022

PODCAST: Rebuilding Roxey Ballet Company

This past September, Roxey Ballet Company’s studios, offices, and theatre in the river town of Lambertville were totally destroyed by Hurricane Ida. This coming Sunday, December 19, they’re throwing a big fundraiser - Rise Up and Rebuild the Ballet - at their temporary home, the New Hope Eagle Fire Hall, right across the river from their New Jersey facilities. There will be food, drink, and a lot of dancing.

published on 12/17/2021

PODCAST: Sesame Street's Sonia Manzano Reads Tales After Dark at Kean University

This Saturday, October 31, 2021, the hit public radio and podcast series Selected Shorts returns to Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University for an evening of beguiling tales for the Halloween season. One of the three readers is actor, writer, and creator of the new PBS Kids show “Alma’s Way,” Sonia Manzano, who is famous for her iconic, long-time role as Maria on “Sesame Street.”

published on 10/30/2021

PODCAST: Growing Stage Young Playwrights Competition 2021

On Saturday, September 18, four young playwrights will present four new plays at The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, in Netcong. They are the finalists in The Growing Stage’s first Playwriting Festival for Young Writers: Violet Baker, Maya Abraham, Maxine Ting, and Alethea Shirilan-Howlett.

published on 09/17/2021

The Lighthouse International Film Festival Leads the Way Back to the Movies

The Lighthouse International Film Festival begins its first post-lockdown, not-virtual festival on Thursday, June 3. The four-day celebration of filmmaking takes place once a year on New Jersey’s famous Long Beach Island and features cutting-edge, thought-provoking international and independent feature films, narratives, shorts, documentaries, episodics, comedies, surf films, and more.

published on 06/03/2021

PODCAST: And the Beat Goes On: Celebrating Arts Ed at the 2021 NJ Governor’s Awards

The 2021 New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education took place Saturday, May 22. The ceremony honored 98 students and 17 education leaders who have demonstrated excellence in and dedication to arts education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the second virtual Governor’s Awards in its 41-year history.

published on 05/26/2021

A Borderless Exhibit at the Noyes Galleries

Right now, 21 artists from 14 countries are being featured in a new exhibition at the Noyes Galleries at Kramer Hall in Hammonton. “Borderless: Digital Practices in Changing Times” can be viewed in person at Kramer Hall and online through May 9, 2021. We recently spoke with six of the artists: Khaled Hafez from Cairo, Egypt, Max de Esteban from Barcelona, Spain, Seet Van Hout and Uwe Poth from Nijmegen, Netherlands, and curators Suzanne Reese Horvitz and Robert Roesch from Philadelphia – whose studio is in the South Jersey Pinelands – about overcoming the obstacles thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

published on 03/14/2021

Multiple GRAMMY Nominations for Westminster Choir College Alums

The 2021 GRAMMY Awards took place on Sunday, March 14, and, for the first time, a Westminster Choir College graduate participated in each of the five recordings nominated in the Best Choral Performance category. We recently spoke with five of the artists in that category – Donald Nally, Laquita Mitchell, Adam Luebke, Benedict Sheehan, and Christopher Jackson – about the nominated recordings.

published on 03/14/2021

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"Bad Dates" at George Street Playhouse

We recently spoke with the family behind George Street Playhouse’s latest offering, “Bad Dates.” This one-woman show starring Broadway’s Andréa Burns was directed by her husband Peter Flynn, with cinematography by their son Hudson Flynn – a filmmaker and high school senior. The play, written by Theresa Rebeck, is a comedy about a single mom on the hunt for shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two at a great restaurant.

published on 02/27/2021

An Art School Quaranteam Keeps the Caroling Going at Kirkpatrick Chapel

Since 1958, Christmas in Carol and Song has been an annual tradition at Rutgers University’s historic Kirkpatrick Chapel in New Brunswick. Patrick Gardner, distinguished professor of music and director of choral activities at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, has led the Rutgers Kirkpatrick Choir and the Rutgers University Glee Club for more than 25 years.

published on 12/10/2020

Celebrating Hope, Joy, and Resilience with Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday POPS! Concert

Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday POPS! concert series is one annual tradition that will not be cancelled because of COVID-19. This year, the concert will be available virtually, free of charge, every weekend before Christmas.

published on 12/09/2020

PODCAST: From Fort Lee to D.C. to Bloomywood with Actor and Writer David Meyers

We recently spoke with Fort Lee, NJ native David Meyers, who left the world of Washington, D.C. politics behind to pursue a career as an actor, playwright, and screenwriter. In between projects for the stage and screen, he co-created the comedic web series “Bloomywood,” in which he stars as Hollywood hopeful Michael Bloomstein. 

published on 10/21/2020

The 2020 Exit Zero Jazz Festival: A Weekend of Live, In-Person Performances

Starting tonight, the Exit Zero Jazz Festival is taking over the historic shore town of Cape May, which is on an island past the end of the Garden State Parkway. Hence the name “Exit Zero.”

published on 10/01/2020

The Return of Art All Day

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many arts events to either be canceled or adapt to an online format. Art All Night, Trenton’s annual 24-hour arts and entertainment event, went virtual in August. Now, just a month later, Art All Day, Trenton’s open studio tour and creative showcase, is scheduled to kick off this Saturday at noon in real life.

published on 09/17/2020

Hudson Theatre Works Virtual Festival

The Hudson Theatre Works Virtual Festival kicked off earlier this month, and, so far, there’s no end in sight. Founded in 2012, Hudson Theatre Works is a Weehawken-based, nonprofit Equity theatrer committed to nurturing new voices. Their Virtual Festival is currently presenting readings of new short plays by contemporary playwrights, giving them and the actors involved an opportunity to share their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

published on 08/20/2020

Celebrating 40 Years of the New Jersey Governor's Awards in Arts Education

Last month, the New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education celebrated its 40th year. Established in 1980, the program was created to promote awareness and appreciation for the arts by honoring individual students, and to honor education leaders who have demonstrated excellence in, and dedication to, arts education. Usually held in May at the historic Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, this year’s awards ceremony, like so many other arts events, moved online – and took place in late June.

published on 07/09/2020

COVID Can’t Stop the 10th Annual Rutgers NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibition

Like most COVID-era arts events, the 10th annual Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Collaborative ARTS exhibition is going virtual. A summer standard, Rutgers NJMS has always provided the venue for the Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled’s WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center and the Matheny Arts Access Program to fill with the work of artists with disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented this special show from happening in its usual space, but, for two organizations devoted to transcending limitations, re-creating the exhibition online was a welcome challenge.

published on 07/04/2020

PODCAST: Missing Live Music? New Jersey Has You Covered

While staying home to do our part to stop the coronavirus, we’re developing different media diets, which includes the art we’re choosing to enrich our days in isolation. For this podcast, we’re focusing on some of the new music that’s being made available online. We got on the phone with the folks behind the online content programming for four New Jersey arts organizations – New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Dave Rodriguez, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Patrick Chamberlain, The Folk Project’s Mark Schaffer, and Rowan University’s Debbie Shapiro, who is currently running the Live to your Couch series, which features Rowan’s College of Performing Arts faculty.

published on 04/29/2020


How Three New Jersey Film Festivals Are Flipping the Script

This has been a profoundly challenging time for all arts organizations, but one silver lining is the online culture that has emerged to keep everyone connected through the arts in new and powerful ways.

published on 04/25/2020

American Theater Group Stages Stirring and Powerful "Till: A New Musical"

It premiered in July 2019 at the New York Musical Festival, where The New York Times praised it as “by far the best of the festival’s four shows,” and Theater Mania called it “a beautiful tribute to Emmett and his mother, Mamie Till.”

published on 02/27/2020

The New Brunswick Jazz Project Turns 10

Did you know that New Brunswick, N.J. is the only place in the country where you can see live, world-class jazz every week for free? You can thank the New Brunswick Jazz Project. We recently sat down with the New Brunswick Jazz Project team at Tavern on George, where most of their events take place. Jimmy Lenihan, Virginia DeBerry, and Michael Tublin are long-time friends who share a passion for jazz, and, 10 years ago, they set out on a mission together to bring live jazz back to New Jersey in a big way.

published on 02/20/2020

The Best of Broadway and Dance Theatre of Harlem Ring in the New Year with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra

You have two opportunities to welcome 2020 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. They’ll be presenting their annual New Year’s concert on New Year’s Eve at the Westfield High School Auditorium, and at the Fellowship Cultural Arts Center in Basking Ridge on New Year’s Day.

published on 12/30/2019

PODCAST: New Jersey Youth Symphony Presents "Two Nutcrackers" at UCPAC

The music of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” is about as well-known and loved as any given Christmas carol. In 1960, 68 years after the piece premiered, jazz masters Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn created a rollicking re-interpretation of the classical holiday standard. This coming Sunday, the New Jersey Youth Symphony will perform both Nutcrackers, side by side – bouncing Ellington and Strayhorn’s arrangements off of Tchaikovsky’s original compositions – at the Union County Performing Arts Center.

published on 12/06/2019

"The Other Mozart" Comes to the Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre

We recently spoke with the two women behind the award-winning play that The New York Times called “strikingly beautiful” – “The Other Mozart.” Created and performed by Sylvia Milo, “The Other Mozart” tells the true story of Maria Anna Mozart (nicknamed Nannerl), a keyboard virtuoso and composer who performed throughout Europe with her brother (Wolfgang Amadeus) to equal acclaim. However, unlike her famous brother, her work and her story were lost to history.

published on 10/16/2019

Learning to Listen to "The Firebird" with The Discovery Orchestra

The Discovery Orchestra invites music-lovers ages eight and up to immerse themselves in a watershed achievement in music history. Its performance of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” on Sunday, September 22, from 2:45 PM to 4:30 PM at the Delbarton School in Morristown will be televised.

published on 09/19/2019

Molly Hatch at the Newark Museum

We recently spoke with artist and designer Molly Hatch, whose signature style is currently on display in a large-scale ceramics installation at the Newark Museum called “Repertoire.” Hatch graduated from art school in 2008 and hit the ground running – working in the studio, selling her work, and teaching on the side. Then, international retailer Anthropologie tapped her to design her own line of products – she’s since worked with over 40 other companies worldwide, and is represented by Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary in New York City.

published on 08/29/2019

Steampunk Fashion at the Morris Museum

We recently spoke with the artists of “Steampunk Fashion,” on view at the Morris Museum through October 6, and curator Kathy Francis. Paige Gardener, Amber O’Boyle Kulp and Colleen O’Neill all have original costumes and accessories in the exhibition, alongside examples of 19th-century, Victorian-era styles from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as hand-crafted fascinators, pins, earrings and necklaces in the Museum Shop.

published on 08/21/2019

Discovering William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Outdoor Stage

We recently spoke with director Brian B. Crowe and the cast of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) – Connor Carew, Jonathan Finnegan, and Ryan Woods. Written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, this play features many of Shakespeare’s beloved characters colliding onstage – in this case, the outdoor Greek Theatre in Morris Township. The play runs through August 4, and tickets are free for anyone under 18! Read the full interview and find out what four veterans of live Shakespeare have to say about this irreverent and hilarious tribute to the Bard.

published on 08/01/2019

PODCAST: "Summerland" in Cape May

East Lynne Theater Company’s production of the supernatural mystery “Summerland,” directed by Tom Byrn, is running now through July 20th at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May. Written by Alaskan playwright Arlitia Jones, “Summerland” is a spooky work of historical fiction, based on a real case that went before the Court of Special Sessions in New York City in 1869.

published on 07/01/2019

A Conversation with Sarah Dash

Before Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, there was Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and LaBelle. Sarah Dash was a member of both of the latter two super groups. In 1975, LaBelle – Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Dash – were the first black, female artists to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. They were also the first to play the Metropolitan Opera House, as well as many other revered venues.

published on 06/13/2019

An Interview With Novelist and Playwright Ngugi wa Thiong’o

On Wednesday, April 17, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o read from his work as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing. Man Booker International Prize-winning South Korean novelist Han Kang will also be reading.

published on 04/18/2019

Objects Count At The New Jersey State Museum

We recently took a stroll through the New Jersey State Museum with Curator of Cultural History Nicholas Ciotola to explore the exhibition Objects Count: A Decade of Collecting at the New Jersey State Museum. The show draws from all four museum collections: Fine Art, Natural History, Archaeology/Ethnography and Cultural History. Each curator chose 10 objects that had been acquired by the museum over the last 10 years, and the result is a fascinating and unlikely cross-section of New Jersey culture. From the flight suit of a South Jersey woman who became an aviator in the 1930s, to 8,000 year old arrowheads, to contemporary painting and photography, this show has a lot of stories to tell, each one from a unique and surprising angle. Objects Count is on view through April 28, 2019.

published on 03/07/2019

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme

This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.

published on 01/16/2019


PODCAST: Garland Jeffreys At SOPAC

At the age of 75, singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys continues to rock. The Brooklyn native got his start in New York City’s club scene in the mid-60s, and had a breakout hit in the 70s with the single “Wild in the Streets.” He met his best friend Lou Reed while studying art history at Syracuse University, and he recorded with The Velvet Underground’s co-founder John Cale before striking out on his own. In 1977, the year his album “Ghost Writer” was released, Rolling Stone pronounced him Best New Artist. In the decades since, Jeffreys has recorded 12 more albums, including last year’s “14 Steps To Harlem.”

published on 12/21/2018

PODCAST: An Artist Asks "The 20 Most Important Scientific Questions Of The 21st Century"

In this podcast, we speak with them about art, activism and how women invented Postmodernism. “The 20 Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century” runs through December 14th at Douglass Library.

published on 11/01/2018

Artist Mel Leipzig At 83

We recently met up with artist Mel Leipzig at Artworks in Trenton. He was there to do what he does every day – create big paintings of people he likes. While the Artworks staff went about their business getting the space ready for this year’s Art All Day event, happening this Saturday, Mel pulled a few of them aside to capture them in their natural habitat in acrylic.

published on 10/31/2018

"Bright Star" at Surflight Theatre

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Broadway musical “Bright Star” has come to Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven. The comedian and the songwriter created the show after collaborating on a Grammy-winning bluegrass album called “Love Has Come For You.” “Bright Star” is set in the American South in the 1920s and ’40s, and it’s on a similar musical wavelength. We recently spoke with Surflight’s Artistic Director Steve Steiner, actor Adrianne Hick and director Elizabeth Lucas about bringing “Bright Star” to Long Beach Island.

published on 09/06/2018

"By The Water" at The Waterfront South Theatre

“By the Water,” a play about a family dealing with the aftermath of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, will have its regional premiere at the Waterfront South Theatre in Camden on September 7, 2018. Written by New York City-based playwright Sharyn Rothstein, “By the Water” has been called a “Superstorm drama” by Time Out (New York), “a first-rate play” with a “bittersweet ending” by The Huffington Post, and “a solid play about a dissolving world” by The New York Times. It’s part of the theatre’s current Celebrating Female Playwrights season, entirely dedicated to work by women.

published on 08/30/2018

Newark Black Film Festival

​​​​​​​Richard Wesley is a playwright, screenwriter, and professor of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and has been involved with the Newark Black Film Festival for well over three decades. A Newark native, he’s currently the Chairperson of the festival’s Selection Committee. The NBFF is currently in full swing, with a screening of Cadillac Records tomorrow, and the biennial Paul Robeson Awards for young filmmakers taking place on Wednesday, August 8. This season’s program also features the films Selma, I Called Him Morgan, The Art of the Journey, Coco, and Hidden Figures. We recently spoke with Wesley about the history and mission of the Newark Black Film Festival, the role it plays in the lives of young filmmakers, and a chance encounter with Sidney Poitier that launched him into the film industry.

published on 07/25/2018

The 2018 Lighthouse International Film Festival

​​​​​​​Passes are now on sale for the 10th annual Lighthouse International Film Festival, which takes place on an idyllic barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean: Long Beach Island, aka LBI. – Some film buff trivia: it’s where one of the infamous Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 happened, which inspired the infamous “Jaws.”

published on 06/01/2018

PODCAST: "The Sting" at Paper Mill Playhouse

The new musical “The Sting,” now entering its last weekend at Paper Mill Playhouse, was pretty much totally sold out before it even opened. A musical adaptation of the classic, Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, this new version stars Harry Connick, Jr., J. Harrison Ghee and Kate Shindle – to name a few. Theater-goers know Ghee from his inimitable performance as the drag queen hero Lola of the Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots,” and they know Shindle from Broadway productions of “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Cabaret,” “Wonderland” and the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home.” We spoke with both of them earlier this week as they were preparing for their final performances of this smash-hit run at Paper Mill.

published on 04/26/2018

Evelyn Colbert On The Montclair Film Festival

The seventh annual Montclair Film Festival kicks off this Thursday with a world-class program, featuring more than 160 films, special events, parties and discussions with Jeff Daniels, Ethan Hawke, Rachel Weisz, Claire Danes and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. The festival will also feature a performance from MacArthur Genius Award-winner Taylor Mac – “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)” – which The New York Times writer Wesley Morris called “one of the great experiences of my life.” We spoke with Evelyn Colbert, President of the Board of the Montclair Film Festival – and wife of Stephen Colbert – about this year’s crop of new films, and how sharing stories can strengthen a community – and maybe a country.

published on 04/25/2018

James Razko: Visions

In “James Razko: Visions,” on view through March 28 at the Stockton University Art Gallery, Iraq veteran and Stockton alumnus James Razko recounts and reimagines his experiences of combat through his paintings.

published on 03/22/2018

"Heroes of Comic Art" At The Arts Council of Princeton

Looking at the paintings of Charles David Viera, one wouldn’t guess that he’s a life-long comic book buff, but a new exhibit he curated for the Arts Council of Princeton is shining a light on the genesis of the medium.

published on 01/17/2018

Twelve Twenty-Four's Last Show Of The Year

Twelve Twenty-Four, the holiday rock orchestra, is coming to the Levoy Theatre in Millville this Saturday, December 30. We recently got to talk with vocalist Joey James and bassist Dirk Yahraes as they navigated their way to a gig in a tour van. As we learned, when your job is rocking out to super-charged Christmas tunes in front of huge crowds for the whole holiday season, you have way more than shopping for presents on your mind.

published on 12/28/2017

Maestro Tramm's "Prayer For Peace"

This Friday, the second “Prayer for Peace” concert series will conclude at NJPAC in Newark. “Prayer for Peace: The Power of One Voice” will be the New Jersey premiere of the series – the last cycle’s final performance took place at Carnegie Hall in 2015.

published on 10/26/2017

PODCAST: "The Honeymooners" at Paper Mill Playhouse

We recently spoke with Tony Award-winning director John Rando about the new musical comedy “The Honeymooners” – based on the classic television series – which recently had its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse. The common ancestor of many, if not most, television sit-coms, “The Honeymooners” told the stories of married, working-class Brooklynites Ralph and Alice Kramden, their best friends Ed and Trixie Norton and people from the neighborhood around their apartment building.

published on 10/14/2017

NJ Rep's "All About Eve" Festival Of The Arts

1 week. 28 new plays. 100 photographs of 100 extraordinary women. Plus poetry, music and great restaurants – all just a couple of blocks from the beach. New Jersey Repertory Company’s “All About Eve” Festival starts next Sunday, October 1, and it’s a perfect time to visit historic Long Branch. We recently spoke with NJ Rep founders (and dynamic married duo) Gabe and SuzAnne Barabas about the festival, which is a benefit for their dream project: the West End Arts Center.

published on 09/28/2017


Photographer Maryann Vitiello's "Resilience" at Exhibit No. 9 In Asbury Park

Right now at Exhibit No. 9 gallery in Asbury Park, a photography show 40 years in the making, but never intended to be on display for an audience, is up through June 17th. The work of MaryAnn Vitiello ranges from portraits of the AIDS patients she has treated around the world as a nurse, to Cambodian landmine victims, to Asbury Park itself – her home since the early ‘90s. Beyond the urgency and tragedy found in her images, Vitiello says she is documenting miracles, and that, for her, it has been a “tremendous privilege.”

published on 06/06/2017

New Jersey Young Filmmakers’ Festival

Today the New Jersey Young Filmmakers’ Festival is open for submissions! For 43 years, the festival has created a space where students can share their films with a broad audience, and develop their skills while exploring the medium. In this conversation, we get in to how the festival works, who can enter and what kind of films make it to the top. This interview was conducted via email with Festival Director Jane Steuerwald and Advisory Board Member Chris Corey.

published on 03/08/2017

PODCAST: “For Sale!” at Camden Repertory Theater

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Camden Repertory Theater, and to celebrate, founder Desi P. Shelton has brought one of her signature plays back to the stage – or, in this case, a house. ”For Sale!” is the name of the play, and it’s a site-specific theatrical experience happening at 445 Mechanic Street in Camden, New Jersey.

published on 02/16/2017

PODCAST: “The Bodyguard” at Paper Mill Playhouse

Whitney Houston’s smash hit single “I Will Always Love You” was everywhere in the nineties. It was the musical centerpiece of the 1992 Oscar-nominated romantic thriller “The Bodyguard,” starring Houston and Kevin Costner. In a way, the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack was as big as the movie.

published on 12/22/2016

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