Archive for June, 2010

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Experiencing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

June 30, 2010
As someone who works for a live performing arts and entertainment venue, I sometimes find myself looking past the “magic” of an entertainment experience and directly to the “yeah, I know how they did that.” I don’t do it on purpose, but when you are “behind the scenes” a lot, you sometimes forget how to just become the spectator.

I recently spent my vacation in sunny Florida in which I was lucky enough to visit the brand-new section of Universal Studios – Islands of Adventure, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It was insane. Insane crowds, insane lines, but more importanly it was insane just how much effort was put into every little detail of this imaginary world. And for the first time, in a long time, I didn’t know what to say….and the best part is, I didn’t want to know the secrets of how they “did this” or “created that.” (And I couldn’t even begin to guess on some things.) I walked through Hogwarts Castle in line for the “Forbidden Journey” ride and I didn’t want to move forward because I wanted to soak up every inch of every room that we passed by (Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom). Not to mention, the ride itself, is truly something that other rides should aspire to be.

Now, don’t get me wrong, after I left the park I had plenty to say (just as we all do, after we see a great movie or show). But, while I was there, I was in sort of a Harry-Potter-coma. I wanted to live in Hogwarts, eat nothing but chocolate frogs from Honey Dukes, and drink endless cups of butter beer. But alas, I am back in New Jersey and back to reality. And I can’t wait for my next dose of Harry Potter magic (bring on Deathly Hallows!).

-Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

If you are thinking about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and have a few questions, I would be happy to answer whatever I can. Please email pressrelations@statetheatrenj.org

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This Summer – Music and Air Conditioning!

June 10, 2010

Summer is here! And for us, summer means music! And this year we have 3 big music concerts: Ringo Starr (7/5/10), Melissa Etheridge (7/16/10), and Squeeze and Cheap Trick (7/18/10). We are super excited and ready to rock! So, now you know what we have this summer, but what you don’t know is why only 3? That my friends, is because we are gearing up for an installation of a new HVAC system! I know, not as exciting as our 3 star concerts, but important nevertheless. For years, as an older venue, we have had on again, off again issues with our air conditioning and heat (as some of you may recall). So, finally after years of “temporary fixes,” this summer Middlesex County has decided to invest a million dollars into a new HVAC system for the theater. And because we are an older building (est. 1921) the process will take much longer than most. This the reason why we must temporarily close down the building for the summer following our 3 music concerts.

In fact, preliminary work has already begun. We are in the first stage, which is the “foundations for steel” stage (not quite sure what that exactly means just yet). So, we have a long way to go, but I will definitely keep everyone posted on the project. For now, stay cool and don’t forget to buy your summer concert tickets before they sell out (because they will)!

—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations