Archive for May, 2010

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NONPROFIT STATE THEATRE BENEFIT RAISES $520,000!

May 26, 2010

On May 22, the State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010, That’s Entertainment! A Las Vegas Experience featuring Lynda Carter honored Dr. Norman Reitman and raised $520,000 for the nonprofit performing arts center. Additionally, the State Theatre distributed its first “Leadership in the Arts Award” to retiring president Wesley Brustad. The Gala festivities, which included dinner and dancing at The Heldrich hotel, also included an authentic casino experience with a variety of gaming tables, raffles, and opportunities to win prizes.

The Gala Chairs were Ann. H. Asbaty, Senior Vice President, National Accounts, CIGNA, and Efrem B. Dlugacz, Vice President, Total Rewards and Health Resources, Johnson & Johnson.

“An incredible Gala Committee and Theatre staff with the support of our individual patrons and corporate sponsors created the magic again. The beneficiaries, of course, are the arts in Central New Jersey and the educations programs sponsored by the State Theatre,” commented Gala co-chairs Efrem Dlugacz and Ann Asbaty.

“In a time when special event attendance and funding seem to be waning, we were thrilled to be busting at the seams in The Heldrich hotel. The State Theatre grossed over half a million dollars with this event, allowing the Theatre to finish its fiscal year solidly in the black. This was in no small part due to Dr. Norman Reitman, our honoree of the evening. If ever there was a man who symbolizes all that is good about New Brunswick and its environs, it is Dr. Reitman. We were proud to stand with him in service to our community,” added Wes Brustad, State Theatre President & CEO.

Brustad, who is retiring this year, was also presented with an award at this year’s Gala. The State Theatre Board of Trustees awarded Brustad with a “Leadership Award in the Arts” award for his years of service to the arts community in New Jersey and around the country.

More than 550 patrons attended the Black-Tie Dinner Dance at New Brunswick’s The Heldrich hotel. Among the attendees were community, arts, business and civic leaders from central New Jersey and around the state.

The State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010 committee included (Trustee Vice Chairman/Gala Co-chair) Ann H. Asbaty of Randolph; (Trustee/Gala Co-chair) Efrem B. Dlugacz of Princeton; Madiha Boraie and Karla Brustad of Milltown; Diane Garback of North Brunswick; Cathy Gombas of East Brunswick; (Trustee) Bill Herman of Clifton; Carolyn and Dave Horn of Hillsborough; (Trustee)Patricia Howard of Manalapan; (Trustee Chairman) Andrew J. Markey of Basking Ridge; Hon. Cathy Nicola of North Brunswick; (Trustee Treasurer) Morton Plawner of Monroe Twp; and Lisa Rapolas of Somerset.

The State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010 Honoree was Dr. Norman Reitman. Dr. Reitman, an alumnus of both Rutgers College and NYU Medical School, has been a patron of the State Theatre since its doors opened in 1921. After starting his medical practice in 1938, Reitman developed a solo practice into Cardiology Associates of New Brunswick, a partnership of 11 physicians.

Thank you to all the sponsors that made this happen, including ACS, a Xerox Company; BNY Mellon; CIGNA; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies; PSE&G, Russell and Stephanie Deyo; Mercer; and Towers Watson; to name a few.

Photo by Kyle D. Barker.
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Two Sold Out Shows = One Busy Weekend

May 19, 2010
We are happy to say that more than 3,700 people attended the State Theatre this past weekend. On Saturday, May 15 people filled the hall for comedian Joel McHale (star of NBC’s Community and E!’s The Soup) as he performed his live stand-up (complete with Ryan Seacrest and Kim Kardashian jokes, and a very funny Hugh Hefner impression). It was an awesome night and I have to say that I have not heard applause and cheers THAT loud from an audience in a while (in fact I am pretty sure the building shook). So, needless to say, we found out that people LOVE Joel McHale and with good reason. Which brings me to our Sunday May 16 matinee, an appearance by someone else who people love and adore, Carol Burnett.

The comedian/actress took the stage for an intimate Q&A with the audience, appropriately entitled “Laughter & Reflection.” Carol, who is still quick on her feet, fielded every kind of question, from the obvious “did you enjoy working with Tim Conway” to the off-the-wall, “who knows where that came from” kind of question. But no matter what the question, Carol (see to the left with the State Theatre stage crew) answered them all with such sincerity that you couldn’t help but to feel just how special this experience was.
It was a wonderful weekend with 2 amazing people that we won’t soon forget here at the State Theatre (And it’s probably the only time that their names will appear in the same story…).
—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations
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Performance Poet Glenis Redmond returns to State Theatre

May 11, 2010

We at the State Theatre are happy to announce the return of performance poet Glenis Redmond as this year’s Artist-in Residence. The North Carolina poet (who is back by popular demand after last year’s residency) will appear in a variety of settings during her three-week residency, May 11-28. During her stay, she will be the State Theatre’s artistic ambassador, offering free poetry performances and writing workshops throughout New Jersey. Her busy schedule takes her to 13 different host sites—encompassing public schools, social service organizations, corporate headquarters, residential treatment centers, transitional housing facilities, and senior communities from Princeton to Newark, Whitehouse Station to Trenton. The three-week residency will culminate in a free public performance at Crossroads Theatre on Friday, May 28 at 7pm. All residency activities are offered to the public free of charge. To reserve tickets for the May 28 public performance at Crossroads Theatre call 732-246-7469, ext. 545. (Look below for a video featuring Glenis.)

For more information on the residency program or on Glenis Redmond’s visit : http://www.statetheatrenj.org/education/artistresidencies.asp.

And a big thank you to The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for their support of this wonderful program.