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New Jersey State Council on the Arts Names Allison Tratner as Executive Director Click here for the story!

Articles By Gary Wien

(HIGHLAND PARK, NJ) -- Ray Andersen has been busy adding another side of music to his resume this year.  The Jersey musician has had four instrumental albums released on the boutique record label, October Night Music in 2018.  It's a label that specializes in relaxing, chill music. Ray's titles include Christmastide, Lighthouse, Winter Hours, and Autumn Road. The latter two will be featured in flight on British Airways starting in 2019.  ... READ ON

For well over a century the world has been wondering what ever happened to Nora Helmer from Henrik Ibsen’s classic play A Doll’s House.  Nora was a woman during the 19th century in male dominated Norway when women could not sign contracts without their husband’s permission.  She challenged this law, essentially committing forgery.  And, even though she committed a crime for the purpose of saving her husband’s life, her actions wound up destroying her marriage when someone tried to blackmail her. ... READ ON

This New Year’s Day will be 15 years to the day that Ryan Nelson’s life changed forever.  The Salem County musician crashed his pickup truck head first into a tree, smashing his C7 vertebra, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.  Doctors told him he died three times on the helicopter ride to the hospital.  He would move on to a second hospital for spinal cord surgery and a third for rehabilitation.  It was there that music literally saved his life by giving him a purpose.  ... READ ON

There’s something absolutely wonderful about A Christmas Carol, the holiday classic penned by Charles Dickens in 1843.  The story has been told in countless films, plays, and cartoons.  It is performed on stages around the world towards the end of every season and is universally loved.  But imagine being one of the many actors of a certain age who get typecast as Scrooge and are forced to relive that nightmarish night over and over again each year.... READ ON








“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,” sang Bob Dylan in his song “Talking World War III Blues.”  Mary Lee Kortes found inspiration in those words to compile a book entitled Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob in which she shares several of her own dreams about Dylan as well as over 100 more from others around the world.... READ ON

(WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- The cover story of New Jersey Stage magazine Issue 44 was on Tom Richards, a musician born and raised in New Jersey, and his battle with an aggressive and incurable form of cancer.  At the time, Tom believed he had a year or two left and was fighting to complete an album in that time.  Sadly, Tom lost his battle on October 2, 2018.  A  celebration of his life will take place at the O'Brien Funeral Home in Wall Township on Saturday, November 17 from noon to 4:00pm.... READ ON

"​​​​Forty years on the highway, living on dreams and gasoline" - That’s a line from the wonderful title track of the album Downey to Lubbock - the first collaboration from Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.  The two artists had been friends for three decades before embarking on a series of acoustic shows in Texas.  Those shows were so much fun and well received that they decided to create an album.  They’re back on tour and will be performing at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on Thursday.  Tickets are $30-$40.... READ ON

Growing up in New Jersey doesn’t generally lend itself to becoming a country music artist. Michael Patrick took a bit of a winding road to get there, but he’s about as Americana as they come.  On his latest release, John Wayne Movies, Michael Patrick weaves country songs alongside rock and roll, folk and rockabilly tunes to create an excellent album that few would guess was born in the Garden State.... READ ON

Damian Rucci is a poet from Keyport, New Jersey.  His first full length book is forthcoming. Being a poet is never easy and over the summer he was able to take part in an arts residency in the midwest.  Since we know many artists not only dream of doing such a thing, but have no idea how to make it possible we thought we’d learn more from Rucci about the experience.... READ ON

Long before we had Twilight and True Blood, one vampire ruled them all - Dracula.  Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel brought Count Dracula from Transylvania to Victorian London.  In this blood thirsty tale of terror, the city seems helpless against his power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage.  But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.  ... READ ON


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