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DrumLine Live – From the Football Fields to the Theatrical Stage

January 26, 2011

By Katie Smith, Marketing & PR Intern

People ordinarily anticipate football games for the general thrill and excitement of the game, the hype surrounding the players, and whether or not they will make plays in high pressure situations. However, there are many people who anticipate football games for an entirely different reason; the halftime show. At halftime, a show transpires that may often trump what occurs during quarters, and is put on by the athletes of the marching band who exhibit tremendous skills, well equivalent to their football playing peers. While dancing and “stepping” these individuals, play instruments to put on a memorable, high energy performance…and thus Drumline Live was born!

Drumline Live offers audiences a quick look into a popular tradition at America’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The musical team responsible for hit movie Drumline offered their creative talents for this theatrical production, which includes modern hip hop and R&B, classic Motown, brass section highlights featuring the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire, and a vast array of other instruments. The combination of passion and skill exhibited by this 39 member cast brings audiences alive and leaves them inspired.

If you are looking for a good time and a great show, Drumline Live will not disappoint, afterall, “It’s a marching band extravaganza that parades out of the football stadium onto the stage with explosive percussion, resounding brass and dazzling choreography,” said one audience member. What’s not to enjoy?! Tickets start at $32 and are sure to sell fast so visit the http://statetheatrenj.com/drumline_live for more ticketing information, and http://www.drumlinelive.com/ for information about the show!

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STOMP – What the Noise is About

January 12, 2011

By Kelly Backus, Marketing Coordinator

Thirty brooms, eight lids, five short bins, ten 6 foot by 6 inch poles, 15 pounds of sand, four blocks of athletes chalk, 12 pairs of drumsticks, 200 litres of water, eight bananas, and 12 boxes of matches. No, that’s not some crazy shopping list for Home Depot—that’s a list of the materials that the cast of STOMP uses in just one week of performances!

If you don’t know what STOMP is, then that list probably confused you (I know I would be!) STOMP is an international percussion sensation that’s been performing all over the world since it began back in 1991 (350 cities in 36 countries). As you can see, you won’t find your normal percussion instruments in this group! Instead, these performers show us that anything can be an instrument and that normal everyday noise can be made into something beautiful. These talented cast members use anything and everything to compose complex and fun rhythms that will have you dancing in your seat!

And if you think the show is only banging on cans and sweeping up floors, think again! The show is also influenced by dance and martial arts like tap and Shaolin. And make sure to watch the performers interactions—you’ll catch a lot of humor if you pay close attention. This is definitely a show you’ll never forget!

So if you’re looking for a rocking good time, come check out STOMP at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and see just how these talented performers unconventional instruments and turn them into an outrageous performance of rhythms, percussion and dance!

Be sure to check STOMP out online at their website stomponline.com!

For tickets or more info go to http://www.statetheatrenj.org/stomp

Photo by Steve McNicholas.
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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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Dig out those platforms and thank ABBA for the music!

November 19, 2010
By Semira Woldmichael, Marketing & PR Intern

Mamma Mia, how could we resist you? ABBA MANIA, international tribute band is coming to the State Theatre! The music of ABBA has been enjoyed by fans of all ages for almost 40 years and their hits have flawlessly transitioned from records to iPods. Their music has hit almost every medium successfully, whether it be Broadway (Mamma Mia is celebrating their 10th year on Broadway), or the big screen starring actors like Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep. It’s no wonder their songs are kept alive and on the charts with no regard for age (I remember calling Radio Disney when I was nine and winning a Super Soaker water gun for correctly completing the lyrics of “Dancing Queen”).

If you’ve been looking for a trip down memory lane with classic ABBA hits and family fun, look no further. With songs like “Waterloo,” “Winner Takes It All,” “Fernando,” and “Voulez Vous,” why wouldn’t you take a chance on ABBA MANIA? They have toured the world in their quest to bring the the music of the Swedish super group to their millions of fans and now for the first time, they’ve finally arrived in the U.S. Since the super troupe formed in 1999, ABBA MANIA has been selling out shows all over the world with two hours of uplifting, dance inducing and sometimes heart-breaking songs that will leave you dancing in your seats.

Thinking of going with your friends? If you buy 4 or more tickets and mention promotional code BFF4, take $10 off the price of each ticket!

Reviewers of the show have said “…If you close your eyes, it seemed like you were listening to the real thing,” but I guarantee you won’t want to look away! For more information call 732-246-7469 or order your tickets online at: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/abba_mania

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In the Mood – A 1940s Musical Revue!

November 3, 2010

By Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

In the Mood, now in its 17th year, began as a celebration of American music from the 1940’s a time when big bands were drawing record crowds, and when the music of the time, swing music, played a pivotal role in maintaining American morale through WWII. Now, it makes it’s way to the State Theatre for a return engagement on Sunday, November 14th.

In the Mood has played a number of sellout concerts for the National Archives in Washington, DC, including the 50th Anniversary of WWII, as well as a series of USO tours. Since then, In the Mood has visited Europe and in 1997, the band and singers were selected to be part of the entertainment for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration Ball for President and Mrs. Bill Clinton.

More than a concert, In the Mood is a Big Band theatrical swing revue, featuring a company of 19 on stage including the In the Mood singers and dancers with the sensational String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra, performing the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra, and other greats of the 1940’s.

So, come on down and swing with us on November 14th, as we celebrate the big band era of the 1940s!

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Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority lends a hand and bakes cookies!

October 19, 2010

Guest Blog by Rutgers, Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority Treasurer Angelica Poon

On the weekend of October 2nd, the Sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority from Rutgers University were most pleased to volunteer at Milk & Cookies- an event held in the State Theatre to encourage appreciation of the art of theatre in young children. It was the first time we were exposed to this event, which was eye-opening. We felt it was a great education outreach program to encourage learning beyond school. Many of us enjoyed the storytelling ourselves, even though it was aimed at a much younger audience! Our contribution was to usher and sign in guests, and most importantly donate fresh homemade cookies to the program, which were then distributed (free of charge) to the children who attended the event. (Milk was also generously sponsored by another party to complement the delicious cookies!)

We were delighted to see the joy in the young children as they collected their cookies and milk, as we reminisced to our own childhood where milk and cookies were a divine combination and treat to always look forward to. Our Sisters also prepared a milk-free and egg-free batch of cookies and lo and behold, there was a young boy who had egg allergies. Being able to help a child who was originally excluded from the joy of cookies, was extremely rewarding. The Kappa Sisters were more than happy to put in our time to bake and volunteer at the event, as it was fun, eye-opening, and we love to help our community! We would gladly and enthusiastically do this again.

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Living like a Celebrity: State Theatre Date Night Packages

October 12, 2010

By Brigitte Bastaldo, Marketing & PR intern

Fine decadent chocolates, VIP seats to phenomenal theater, palette blinding dining and luxurious hotel accommodations… After a tiresome week of work, noisy kids, and towering piles of household chores, the lifestyle of the glamorous is, without doubt, an experience worth drooling over. As a New Jersey professional, wife and mom the thought of living like a celebrity—for even just one evening—is often far from fathomable. But something has changed recently that brings more glee to my soul than a random impulse purchase of a designer purse. You see, my husband and I just learned about the exciting Date Night packages offered by the prestigious State Theatre. Since then we have had the opportunity to not only see top-notch performances by international artists but we have had the opportunity to mingle backstage, sip wine, dine gloriously and more upon our recent trips to the State Theatre. Truly, State Theatre’s Date Night packages have brought a sense of exhilaration back into our lives—something well overdue.

Most who haven’t tried it yet just don’t understand my enthusiasm and loyalty to State Theatre as well as their Date Night packages. It is true that some other venues, commonly in NYC, occasionally offer some of the same perks I mentioned earlier. But it must be known that there is a distinct difference between State Theatre and these other venues that makes me favor the State Theatre without a blink.

I like the State Theatre and especially these packages because they are customizable; such that the package options are available on countless shows—not just a handful of specific shows throughout the year. I prefer them because, as a New Jersey professional, wife and mom, I don’t have to commute all the way to NYC to enjoy a wondrous night out. I like the State Theatre because I’m feel good about supporting my own community and a New Jersey based not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts.

Thank you State Theatre for the glamour and romance.

Listed below are some the packages offered now:

VIP Tickets

  • Two Seats in VIP Box Right or VIP Box Left
  • Backstage Pass Access
  • Boraie Donor Lounge Access for Complimentary Drinks and Snacks

Tickets Plus

  • Two Mid-orchestra Tickets
  • Two Glasses of Wine
  • One Box of Chocolate

Getaway

  • Two Mid-orchestra Tickets
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • and sometimes Parking & Dining Credits

Dining

  • Two Mid-orchestra Tickets
  • $100 Dining Gift Certificate from Your Choice one of the Featured Restaurants Below
  • One Rose at Your Seat Before the Show

To learn more, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/datenight

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The Bad Boys of Magic Return to the State Theatre

October 5, 2010

By Semira Woldmichael, Marketing & PR Intern

Penn & Teller

Even before I knew Penn & Teller, I KNEW Penn & Teller: They have always kind of just been there, floating around somewhere in the entertainment and pop culture world. Instantly, upon finding out about who they actually are, a liking occurs. Everyone needs a little magic in their lives and theirs is best suited for those of us in suits. An escape from the 9-5? Maybe. An entertaining show that you won’t take your eyes off? Always.

If you don’t know who Penn & Teller are, chances are, you’ve seen then around just like me. In the last 30 years, they’ve performed their provocative combination of comedy and magic at numerous venues since the late 1970s (including the State Theatre in 2001) They have made dozens of television appearances including The Drew Carey Show, Hollywood Squares, Muppets Tonight, The Bernie Mac Show, Fear Factor, The West Wing, Home Improvement, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Las Vegas, and The Simpsons. They’ve also appeared in music videos for Run-DMC in “It’s Tricky” and just recently in Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas.”

Don’t know what to expect: knife flinging, bullet catching, and trapeze swinging fun! Penn & Teller do not really follow the same routine to say the least. Don’t miss your chance to see their return to the State Theatre on November 4th! For ticketing information call 732-246-7469 or go to http://www.statetheatrenj.org/penn_and_teller .

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Smooth Sailing for the Blues and Jazz Festival

October 1, 2010

By Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

Did anyone catch a performance from this year’s New Jersey Blues and Jazz Festival?! Well, if you didn’t, you missed out. The festival is the one time of year that we turn our venue inside out like nothing you have ever seen before. Everything is on stage, and I mean everything…the artist, the audience, the crew, the bar, the brooms, the lights…the works. It is all out there for everyone to see, plus you get an amazing view of the inside of the theater (the view of where you would normally sit). It’s so up close and personal that sometimes it feels a little surreal and to top it off when setting up for the actual festival, the mood is so relaxed and laid back (like the shows) that setting up is effortless. Every year I anticipate something will go wrong and every year I am surprised to find out that the festival goes on without any crazy unexpected shenanigans (yeah I said shenanigans). So, if you missed it, then you missed an amazing time, but I guess there is always next year. Here are some great photos of Regina Carter’s performance by photographer Mary A. Brown.


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Rola-bola of death! Tell me more!

September 16, 2010

By Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

You may or may not have seen, but recently we posted The Passing Zone’s (a juggling duo here on 11/21/10) “Top 5 Dangerous Tricks” …which are…

5. The Chainsaw Ballet
4. The Rola-bola… of death!
3. Wearing white after Labor Day
2. Rat Traps, Leapfrog, Volunteer, need we say more?
1. Hurling dangerous objects so close to the audience, without properly warming up!

Now, I don’t know about you but I want to know what the “Rola-bola of death” is!! And that’s what these guys are all about, keeping us on our toes, in fact they literally keep audiences on their toes since many of their tricks include volunteer participation. I know volunteer participation is not for everyone, but isn’t it funny when your Dad, husband, wife, or crazy Uncle get dragged into it? I think so. Any way, I’ll let you decide for yourself, enjoy the clip below…