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Articles By Jesse North & Dave Tavani, JerseyArts.com

Cultures and Kin Clash in Family Drama "Her Portmanteau" at George Street Playhouse


A story about a mother and her daughters, split by cultures. In “Her Portmanteau,” a George Street Playhouse production on stage at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center Oct. 11 — 30, we follow a Nigerian-American family trying to reunite amid the stark differences of lifestyles and values when relatives are spread across continents.

published on 09/29/2022

Reflection, Collaboration Take Center Stage in American Repertory Ballet’s “Kaleidoscope”


American Repertory Ballet is launching its 2022-23 season with “Kaleidoscope,” a program featuring four unique dance performances, at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. One performance joins ballet with an original music composition, blending contemporary dance with an eclectic score for piano and cello.

published on 09/08/2022

VIDEO: New Musical "A Walk on the Moon" Launches Romance Amid Historic Summer of '69


A summer of change, for one family and the country. Set in 1969 against the backdrop of Woodstock and the first moon landing, “A Walk on the Moon” is a new musical adapted from the 1999 movie that focuses on a woman torn between her family and a surprising new love. We talked to leads Jackie Burns and Jonah Platt, and the director and Sheryl Kaller about this George Street Playhouse production. “A Walk on the Moon” runs through May 21, 2022 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

published on 05/06/2022

VIDEO: Something from a Dream - "The Bridges of Madison County" Makes Beautiful Music at Axelrod PAC


Get ready for a night of romance and soaring ballads. The Bridges of Madison County, a musical about lovers who meet at an unexpected time in their lives, is now playing at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center. Join Jesse and Dave as they talk with the stars lighting up this moving show.

published on 03/17/2022

VIDEO: Mad-Cap Comedy "Clue" Keeps You Guessing


It's a whodunit of hilarity: the stage mystery "Clue" is now playing at Paper Mill Playhouse. Based on the '80s movie and inspired by the classic board game, this killer comedy has all your favorite characters: Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, and the whole suspicious gang. Join Jesse and Dave in Millburn to talk to the suspects — err — stars of this campy show.

published on 02/10/2022

The Golden Anniversary of New Jersey Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

'Tis the season for tradition and this one's extra special: the New Jersey Ballet production of "The Nutcracker" is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Considered to be the longest-running professional production in New Jersey, this "Nutcracker" has been performed more than 900 times by more than 6,000 performers. Performances run until December 26.

published on 12/21/2021

There's no White Rabbit, but there is... a demonic teddy bear? "Alice in Slasherland" at Centenary Stage

Forget Wonderland. The theatrical thriller "Alice in Slasherland" is set to frighten the bejesus out of audiences at Centenary Stage Company November 4-8. The play by Qui Nguyen is a send-up meant to delight horror fans, but also gets in a few genuine scares. Join Jesse and Dave at rehearsal and Hackettstown as they talk to the cast and director about this spooky show that might just scare up a few laughs as well.

published on 10/29/2021

The Day Has Come: Introducing Crossroads Festival Theatre

Live theatre is back and Crossroads Theatre Company is returning in a big way. Kicking off its season with the first Crossroads Festival Theatre, the company is taking over the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center with two main stage shows, community readings, and free family entertainment.

published on 10/06/2021

VIDEO: A New View for Camden

Turning trash into art. That's what the outdoor exhibit A New View Camden is doing with large-scale installations throughout the city. An innovative, six-month-long exhibition featuring six, one-of-a-kind and family-friendly public art projects, A New View helps to raise awareness around the issue of illegal dumping. Join us as we visit the sites and learn more about this urban art event.

published on 07/28/2021

A Hero for These Times - Camden Comic Con Goes Virtual

There's never been a better time for a superhero. Luckily, Camden Comic Con is here to save the day. Started at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in 2014, this celebration of all things graphic, illustrated, and heroic is going virtual this year due to the pandemic, but its powers remain strong. Jesse and Dave talk to some of the organizers behind this increasingly popular event to find out how this year's convention came together.

published on 04/09/2021

Art Against Racism - Memorial.Monument.Movement

As protests and marches swept the country, calling for justice for the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other people of color, the organization Art Against Racism worked to capture the Black Lives Matter movement for the art world. What resulted is "Memorial.Monument.Movement," a virtual exhibition that captures dozens of videos and photos of murals, memorials, and images of protests.

published on 12/23/2020

And All That Jazz House Kids

How do you bring the power of music education to students during a pandemic? Jazz House Kids, based in Montclair, has fully leaned into the digital space to make sure the music plays on. We talked with Jazz House Kids leaders — and married couple — Melissa Walker and Christian McBride about how they've adapted during this time.

published on 10/09/2020

Here Within These Walls: One on One with Nicole Vanessa Ortiz

In March of 2020, the art world came to a virtual standstill. As COVID-19 continues to affect many aspects of our lives, the theatre industry tries to figure out what the future looks like. We dropped in on Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, who was set to star in Paper Mill Playhouse's production of "Sister Act" right when the pandemic hit. We talked to her about how she's stayed creatively active during this time and what she sees for the future of theatre.

published on 09/02/2020

"Aerosol: Graffiti | Street Art | New Jersey | Now" at Morris Museum

Graffiti as you've probably never seen it before: in a museum. Morris Museum has opened its doors – and walls – to some of the greatest graffiti and street artists in New Jersey. The exhibition celebrates the vitality of the aerosol art in our state today through the work of 12 established and emergent artists, painted directly on the museum’s walls. Check out Jesse and Dave’s visit to Morristown to talk to three of the artists about this unconventional exhibit, which runs until March 15th.

published on 02/12/2020

Andrew Lloyd Webber Is "Unmasked" at Paper Mill Playhouse

Andrew. Lloyd. Webber. His name is synonymous with Broadway blockbusters. His scores for shows like "Cats," "Evita," and "Phantom of the Opera" are some of the most beloved in all musical theatre. Paper Mill Playhouse is taking a behind-the-scenes look at the composer’s life and work with "Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber." Featuring songs that you know and love as well as new hits, this world premiere reveals how some of his greatest music was created. Join Jesse and Dave at rehearsal to find out more!

published on 01/30/2020

Learning and Wellness through Art at Grounds For Sculpture

In this hands-on video, Jesse and Dave go inside a classroom at Grounds For Sculpture for a botanical illustrations class. Check out Jesse

published on 01/02/2020

"All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914"

On December 20 and 21, Franklin Theatre Works brings to stage a seasonal story you may not have heard before. "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914" recounts the events of Christmas Eve and Day during World War I when the German and the Allied soldiers called a cease-fire and celebrate Christmas together, sharing what little they had with song and fraternity. Join Jesse and Dave at rehearsal in Flemington to find out more about this moving holiday musical.

published on 12/12/2019

Two River Theater Premieres Joe Iconis' "Love in Hate Nation"

A world premiere musical from one of theatre

published on 11/16/2019

"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" at McCarter Theatre

Perhaps the most famous horror story monsters of all time, Frankenstein is taking over McCarter Theatre in a bold new way. In "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," an acclaimed production from Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre, the novel's author is at the forefront of the story, making new connections between creation and creator. Join Jesse and Dave in Princeton to find out more about this eerie show.

published on 10/23/2019

The Golden Girls Like You've Never Seen Them Before - "That Golden Girls Show - A Puppet Parody" at Avenel Performing Arts Center

It’s your four best friends from Miami, but as you've never seen them before. Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia are taking the stage this week in Avenel in "That Golden Girls Show - A Puppet Parody." This riotously funny show revives classic moments from the hit TV show — and throws in some fun of its own! Join Jesse and Dave at Avenel Performing Arts Center to get a slice of cheesecake and find out more about this hilarious hit.

published on 10/02/2019

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