Archive for the ‘Central New Jersey’ Category

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“Springing” into the Music Industry

July 7, 2011

By Audrey Yeager, Marketing & PR Intern

When I was younger, I used to work as a camp counselor. I always found it interesting to ask children what they wanted to be when they grew up, mostly because the question elicited so many original (and occasionally comical) responses: an ice cream man, a rock star, a princess, a doctor, a teacher, a painter, an actor. I was amazed by the amount of responses I received that dealt with professions in the arts. Take a “rock star,” for instance. I know many teens that have followed their passions and started their own bands, practicing out of their garages and booking local gigs. I think it is fabulous that teens today are so involved with music.

I wonder if Rick Springfield knew how successful he was going to be when he formed his first band named “Icy Blues” in high school in 1964. At that time, he was 15 years old. Now seeing the sensation that Springfield has become in his career, it is easy to forget about the fact that he was once a kid too, starting off in music the same way thousands of rock star hopefuls do today. After all, it was only two years earlier, at age 13, that Springfield had received his first guitar as a birthday present. Nevertheless, Springfield’s talent for music was unquestionable. After leaving high school, everything began to fall into place. Pete Watson asked the young Springfield to join Rock House, and the emerging musician accepted. While with the band, which changed its name from Rock House to MPD, Ltd in 1968, Springfield got the opportunity to play gigs in Vietnam. After returning, Springfield formed his own band, Wickedy Wak, but then decided to join the Australian band Zoot in 1969. (Did you know Springfield was born in Australia?)

It was clear that Springfield’s musical career had taken off by the time he recorded and released “Speak to the Sky.” At this point in his life, Springfield had moved to the United States. “Speak to the Sky” was his debut single at age 22; it became a hit. We all know what happened from there: Springfield went on to write and record more and more music that topped the charts. Springfield has released 17 top 40 singles throughout his music career. In 1982, he won a Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance for the song “Jessie’s Girl.” Other hits include “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody,” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Springfield also branched out into acting and appeared in General Hospital. He most recently made appearances on Californication and Hawaii Five-0.

See Rick Springfield live on Sunday, July 10 at 7pm.

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A Hectic Fall Season Rewards the Education Department

November 24, 2010

The beginning of November was a busy time for the State Theatre’s Education Department. From school shows to the Free Milk & Cookies events, we had every age group attending one of our events. It started with two school day performances of Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Frederick, and Inch by Inch on Monday, November 1st. Over 2,000 preK-3rd graders attended the performances and teachers and students alike had a blast. We even got a chance to take some new pictures of the students in the audience! That Monday also marked the beginning of the STREB residency with the high school students at Emily Fisher Charter School in Trenton. Each Monday in November, three teaching artists from the company will visit the high school. I got to watch as they used the 90 minute workshop to introduce the students to Pop Action and begin choreographing the piece that the students will be performing at Crossroads Theatre on December 4th. This was also my third annual visit to the NJEA teacher’s convention – held every year in Atlantic City. Together with representatives from American Repertory Ballet,Crossroads Theatre, George Street Playhouse, and the Zimmerli Art Museum, I was able to talk to teachers at the convention about all the different programs each of our organizations has. It’s always a fun trip (and shopping in the outlet stores isn’t bad either!). Over the weekend, the Education Department also had some of our free Milk & Cookies events for children ages 3 to 8. Cookies were donated by the sisters of the Rutgers University chapter of Kappa Phi Lambda and some sisters from Sigma Lambda Upsilon were in attendance to help run the event. There’s nothing cuter than little kids lining up for their milk and cookies after listening to stories and songs by our storyteller, Ken Galipeau. On Sunday, we were treated to a performance by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Before the performance, we held a Scientists Exploring the Arts event in the Heldrich Room of the State Theatre and welcomed back Pre-Performance Insights. The Education Department rounded out our busy week with three performances of Jason and the Argonauts in Crossroads Theatre, brought to us by Visible Fictions out of Scotland.

It was a hectic week, but I think it’s safe to say that each of these events was enjoyed by everyone who attended, and by myself most of all! As you can see, the Education Department always has something going on!

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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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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.

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A Few Minutes with John Waters

December 2, 2009
Every holiday season we present a lot of the normal family fare such as The Nutcracker, musical acts that play Christmas songs, a feel good musical like Annie or Scrooge in Concert (a musical version of A Christmas Carol), but rarely do we present something well, you know, NOT for the kids. Well, this year, I am happy to announce we have broken that tradition. And with who/what you ask? With none other than cult filmmaker John Waters! His movies including Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and Pink Flamingos, his wacky sense of humor, and his campy personality, have cemented his staying power in Hollywood and helped earn him legions of fans across the globe. Now, I can go on and on about what he’s actually “doing” at the State Theatre, but really wouldn’t you like to hear it from the man himself? So, go ahead and take a few minutes to listen to this podcast (for Jersey Arts by NJN) with John Waters, the man with the pencil-thin mustache.

Click below for the John Waters Podcast: http://www.jerseyarts.com/podcast.asp

Kelly Skinner

–Director of Public Relations
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It’s a Pajama Jammy Jam!

September 10, 2009

Children’s music superstars and NOGGIN channel favorites Laurie Berkner, Susie Lampert, Adam Bernstein, and Bob Golden (Also known as The Laurie Berkner Band) will perform a “Pajama Party” concert at the State Theatre on September 13 to benefit The Pajama Program which provides new pajamas for children entering foster care. In addition to wearing pajamas to the concert, families are also encouraged to bring a pair of new children’s pajamas and/or a new children’s book to donate to the program.
A Note from the Band…

Laurie, Susie, Adam, and Bob are throwing a Pajama Party Concert! Kids, wear your pajamas (parents can too) or bring your favorite stuffed animal (for your head of course) to the concert. At the concert we’re collecting new pajamas and books for children in need in the U.S. and around the world, (many of whom are waiting to be adopted.) At the concert there will be a collection bin for your donations.

Those not attending the concert, are also encouraged to drop off their pajama/book donations to the State Theatre Ticket Office on September 13. So, come out and support a good cause!

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW (7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube.

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MC Bakeshop, Highland Park’s Newest Bakery

August 14, 2009

Waffle DogLooking for a sweet fix this summer? Maybe a little something to woo your friends at your next BBQ? MC Bakeshop in Highland Park (the new guys in town) offer up some homemade baked goods with a twist (including this waffle dog pictured).

Cheesecake cupcakes and cakes, from Southern style red velvet to chocolate to tiramisu, are their signature items, but don’t worry there are plenty of those standbys, brownies, cookies, and dessert bars to be had.

For the more exotic, go for Opera, a French dessert made with almond sponge cake and coffee liqueur sandwiched with French butter cream and chocolate layers.

For more information on MC Bakeshop or too drool over the photos of the yummy goods, visit http://www.mc-bakeshop.com/. MC Bakeshop is located at 314 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW (7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube.