Posts Tagged ‘Performing Arts’


Get ready to Rock & Roll in July!

April 25, 2011

By Kayla Steinbach, PR & Marketing Intern

The month of July brings sunshine, pool parties, and Rock & Roll to New Brunswick. We have four rockin’ acts set between July 10-23 including four Grammy® Award-winners!

On Sunday, July 10 at 7pm come out to the State Theatre for Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter, Rick Springfield. He has had 17 top 40 singles, including the smash hits “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody,” “Celebrate Youth,” and “Rock of Life.” Springfield is also a TV actor starring in General Hospital and Californication.

Huey Lewis and the News are set to perform on Tuesday, July 12 at 8pm. For one night only, the Grammy® Award-winning band will pay tribute to Memphis soul with the Soulsville Tour including songs like “Respect Yourself” and “Got to Get You Off My Mind. But don’t worry, the band will also play all those classic Huey Lewis and the News songs you know and love— like smash-hits “The Power of Love,” “If This is It,” “Doing It All For My Baby,” “(Too) Hip to be Square,” “Workin’ For A Livin’,” and “Back In Time.”

That weekend on Saturday, July 16 at 8pm, Shawn Colvin & Loudon Wainwright III will take the stage. In her 19-year career, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, best known for her Top 10 hit “Sunny Came Home,” has won three Grammy® Awards and released eight albums. Grammy® Award-winning folk singer Loudon Wainwright III has recorded over 20 albums. His songs include “Dead Skunk,” “Needless to Say,” and “My Girl” with John Hiatt. Wainwright has also appeared on the TVshow M*A*S*H as the singing surgeon, Capt. Calvin Spaulding.

To close out the month, Glen Burtnik & Friends are back at the State Theatre on Saturday, July 23 at 8pm for their fifth annual Beatles Bash. Marking the 45th anniversary of Revolver, Glen and friends are to perform the Beatles album note-for-note! Songs include “Eleanor Rigby,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “I Want to Tell You,” and “Taxman.”

For tickets and more information please visit


The Festival of Imagination At Play

January 26, 2010

This winter we are proud to present the 4th annual Hub City Carnivale—a winter festival for the imagination at play. It’s a non-stop schedule of events and activities for kids from 1 to 100 with 67 events packed into 30 days from January 30-February 28, beginning with One-Man Star Wars Trilogy (1/30) and ending with three magical performances of Le Grand Cirque (2/27-28).

On February 5, don’t miss the chance catch a brilliant performance by Scrap Arts Music—an adrenaline-laced power-percussion performance rooted in street performance, jazz, and world music traditions. If you like Stomp, you will love Scrap Arts Music! A one-of-a-kind blend of intricate rhythms, athletic choreography, raw energy, and theatrical flair, the group performs on more than 140 invented instruments crafted from industrial scrap.

Joining the festival line-up comic genius Tomáš Kubínek (2/19) in his State Theatre premiere! A self-proclaimed “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible,” his inspired fusion of clowning, acrobatics, music, magic, and absurdity will astonish and delight people of all ages.

Other festival highlights include the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra (2/14) in a special Valentine’s Day all-Tchaikovsky program; the very funny one-man stage show, My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m in Therapy! (2/21); folk singer Ani DiFranco (2/2); a celebration of the music of THE WHO by local musician Glen Burtnik & Friends (2/13); and a special one-night only performance of the Broadway favorite, Jesus Christ Superstar (2/20).

Returning this year is State Theatre’s “Family Day on Presidents Day,” where you and your family can spend the whole day here. In addition to offering three performances of Fan Yang’s “Gazillion Bubble Show” Stage Spectacular (2/15), we invite everyone to participate in a variety of free activities, including face painting, balloon animals, and sing-a-longs, as well as a variety of workshops for kids and parents.Bring your friends and family, and join us in beating the winter blahs this February at Hub City Carnivale. For a complete Hub City Carnivale schedule including family day workshops and special happenings, visit

Hope to see you soon!

Wes Brustad
–President & CEO


Yes, it’s true. We are Star Wars fans!

August 20, 2009
You may or may not know this, but we are presenting the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy in February 2010. Yes, that’s right folks, a ONE-MAN STAR WARS show. How you say? Well, it’s a simple concept actually (and crazy to watch), one guy performs the entire trilogy, all the characters and all of the voices in…less than 2 hours. Curious? Check out Charlie Ross’ (the actor who performs) website. Or watch the video below of a commercial Charlie did for Cinemax.

To quote the New York Times, “You had better start investing in a light sabre.”

Anyway, to spread the word on this show, we have partnered up with the Somerset Patriots who are hosting Star Wars night on August 24. They promise to have over 10 costumed characters including Darth Vader. These special appearances will be provided by the New Jersey Chapter of the 501st Legion, the premier costuming organization of Star Wars characters (who knew there was such a thing? Who knew NJ has it’s own chapter?!). See you at the ball game!

For more info on the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy performances, click here.

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 Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube.


Cedar Lake Touching Performance

April 29, 2009
As a Rutgers student currently enrolled in Modern dance, it was highly recommended that I see Cedar Lake perform their contemporary Ballet pieces this past Friday at the State Theatre. Having been familar with this particular genre in dance, I was the upmost impressed and blown away after this performance. In my opinion, never has a dance company make such connections through real-life emotions and present the uncut truth of it to an audience with such grace. Completely, taken aback by a mind-blowing performance, I am proud to say I was one of the many in the audience who gave the performers a standing ovation.

The show had three seperate pieces that each symbolized human life at its most truthful element. There was the first, that dealt with issues of relationships-displaying a variety of differnent and individual dynamics each relationship had. What also was an apparent theme was the fact there were outsiders watching, passing judgements. To represent the “passing of judgments” they had the onlookers walking across the stage whispering or making gossiping-like sounds, literally “passing” by the couple that was having issues. Also, interesting to note, the only couple on stage to dance as if they were happily “dancing through life” without a care, had their gossipers walk away, because it was no longer something dramatic to talk about; two people just being happy and content with each other.

This type of truthfulness exsisted within the other two pieces, although more abrstract from the first. The second was only two women, one of which was in a trance or sleep-like state, and the other was darkness, and represented the seduction and control it has over one’s sleeping body. The dance itself was one with at times with a nightmarish feel to it, which gave an overall erie feeling. Different, this dance led into the final act with got possibly darker with emotions, and yet a sense of relief of a common feeling among us all that we share.

With the final act, there was also a feeling a eeriness and a dream like state, but what the piece seemed to represent is shared fears among the human population. The dances not only had strong movements with their bodies, but played the parts of the characters and the fears each one was facing.

All represented through movements of the body, and the old rule of Ballet with now less restrictions, Cedar Lake did a fabulous job at crafting the natural human reactions.

–Ashley Petersen, Marketing/PR Intern

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


The Rise of the Meet & Greets

April 13, 2009

Theater perks…everyone is looking for something more than just a show these days and for us, the big one right now are “Meet & Greets” with the artists. People absolutely LOVE them and can’t seem to get enough of them. I would say that this season the number of Meet & Greets that we have held has easily doubled from last season. And it hasn’t been just one or two genre of artists…Jazz musician John Piazza, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, dance group Pilobolus, actress Tovah Feldshuh, kid’s character Bob the Builder, the national touring cast of Hairspray, are just a few examples from this season.

Now, looking at that list, you can see that these are all very different artists with different audiences (although I do admit there is some crossover). So, what do they all have in common? I am not really sure, but I can take a guess. Today, people feel closer to their favorite artists than ever. Today, you can look up your favorite artist online and actually SEE what they are up to, maybe read about their day, and possible chat with them online. Artists have become more accessible, and have come to realize how important it is to connect with their fans and seeing them in person before or after a show is no exception. So, bottom line is, meet & greets are on the rise and the artists as well as us State Theatre folk realize just how important they have become.

Interested in a Meet & Greet with an upcoming State Theatre artist? E-mail

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


“Backstage Access” – From The Belly of The Beast

April 8, 2009

This past Thursday the children’s character Waldo, from the Where’s Waldo book series took over the State Theatre. Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) held a charity event to not only collect books for the local New Brunswick school district, but attempted to break the Guinness World Record of the most amount of people dressed as Waldo in one location. Starting at 7pm students lined Livingston Avenue and around the corner to George Street to donate their books and receive a costume, provided by RUPA. As the students came into the theater various student performance organizations took the stage including the band The “N” result, The Jugglers Club, The Iota Phi Theta Step team, and the Livingston Theatre Company. In the end the students almost doubled the record with 1,052 Waldo’s and over 3,000 books for the New Brunswick Schools. Here are some great videos, pictures, and articles of the event:

Saturday night, was a totally different experience. We presented the classic Mikado, performed by G&S repertory company, Opera A La Carte. Arguably the most famous operetta ever written and obviously still wowing audiences since its debut in 1885 had our audience smiling for two and a half hours. Here’s an interesting piece of info…The idea for The Mikado first sprang into W.S. Gilbert’s mind when an old Japanese sword, which had been hanging on the wall of his study for years, suddenly fell from its place. Gilbert took this as an omen and determined to leave his own country alone for a while and turn his biting satire instead towards the East. He did not have to look far to research the subject of his new play. He found all the material he wanted in Knightsbridge, a little village of Japanese immigrants within a mile of his own home in South Kensington. Hopefully, they will back to visit us soon with one of their other productions.


(A really proud moment Saturday night for us here at the State actually happened in Cleveland. Our head sound engineer who is also the keyboardist/music director for Little Anthony and The Imperials played live on the national broadcast of The Rock and Roll hall of Fame induction ceremonies!)

Sunday and Monday we were host to the National Acrobats of China. Not a lot of fun backstage for me since no one spoke English but there was certainly not a dull moment onstage. It was quite apparent that this group practices relentlessly as there were no mistakes. Some of the routines just seem impossible to do…riding on top of someone’s shoulders on a bicycle and jumping to the next person’s shoulders in front of them on another bicycle, just crazy stuff. The age ranges of the audiences were from 0 to very old and everyone loved it. I can tell you that backstage they have a book that if you make a mistake you get written up. Now judging on how serious they are about not getting written up , well I am not sure of the penalty, but their tour manager told me that at one show one acrobat went flying off the stage to catch his hat and jumped up like a center fielder yelling I got it!

Not a lot of crazy things backstage this weekend but check back later this month when I report on Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Brian Regan, and k.d. lang. Thanks and remember come out and see a show!

–Larry  S. Dember, Director of Production

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


Twitter and the Arts, perfect together

April 3, 2009

Last minute changes to the program, new discounts, added shows, these are all things that happen on a daily basis in the theater business. So, how do you go about giving people the 411 as soon as possible? Snail mail? Forget it, 2-3 days later is way too long. E-blast? What if you need to tell someone something that they need to know before the end of the day? The answer, Twitter.

Twitter is quickly becoming the best way to communicate with constant updates and instant feedback to questions. Plus it lets people know that you are around and when you are around, which makes the theater an approachable and accessible place. It’s a connection that isn’t made with an email announcement, people can’t ask an email questions, but they can ask the person tweeting. The State Theatre has only had an account for a couple of months, but it’s already proving to be worth the time and effort and it’s only going to get better. Go Twitter.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


Mom and Dad, please put down that video camera!

March 18, 2009

Live performances — theater, music, whatever, there is nothing like it. Sharing the experience with your family, priceless. You buy the tickets, refreshments, some quirky show merchandise, and sit to enjoy the show. But there’s one problem, there is a square box of brightness distracting you (and blinding you) from a few rows up. Someone in front of you is filming every second of the show …Argh! You sit and bear it, but a few minutes later a few more bright little screens pop up…cameras, phones, etc.

This is exactly what happened at our recent performances of Dora the Explorer Live. One parent would see another parent filming the show and so THEY would start filming the show. Our ushers would politely ask them to stop filming, but some people would intially refuse stating “Well that person is taping, why don’t you stop them.” Yikes! What to do, what to do…

Well, the filming of live performances at a performaning arts center like ourselves, is not allowed anywhere, at any time. However, saying that to patrons, is a difficult task. So, I just want to say think before you try to sneak a few pictures or video footage because it ruins it for everyone, plus you know you are never going to watch the footage more than once. Why spoil the moment by trying to recapture it for later? You are at the performance right now, so sit back and take it all in. You might just miss the most amazing moment because you are trying too hard to hide the fact that you are taking pictures or taping.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


Rocking Opera Like No Other Group – East Village Opera Company

February 26, 2009
Opera? Rock? How about Opera rocked? Yes, music fans, there is a new genre of music where 300 year old arias are being re-imagined and re-worked as Rock songs. And the group leading the way is East Village Opera Company. With their leather pants and kick-ass performances, East Village is making waves across the music industry with their unique and explosive new sound. They even have the Grammy nominations to prove it! And, classical and rock fans alike are loving it!
Check out the video below and see for yourself!

East Village Opera Company performs live at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, on Friday, April 3 at 8pm.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.


State Theatre’s Third Annual Family Day

February 20, 2009

Every year the State Theatre hosts Family Day on Presidents’ Day, a nonstop schedule of both free and paid activites at the State Theatre , George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Uniter Methodist Church, and the Hub City Big Top. Each time Family Day gets bigger and bigger and this year was no exception. There were ten workshops, five performances at the State Theatre and Crossroads Theatre, and free sing-a-longs and story telling all day long at United Methodist Church. The size was not limited to just the events, but also to the size of the Hub City Big Top, a 30×75 foot heated tent that shuts down Livingston Avenue from George Street to New Street, when last year’s was only 20×50 feet.

Live characters from popular children shows filled the street, while volunteers from the community, like Rutgers University, ran a variety of free activity stations. Our most popular station was face painting where kids could get colorful penguins, flowers, Hello Kitties, and Elmos on their cheeks. A close second was balloon animals where kids could choose from a dog, elephant, mouse, horse, monkey, snail, sword, hat, or bunny.

The bunny was clearly the most popular balloon animal of the day. Once the children saw Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny they all wanted one of their own. These two performances were the main attraction of Family Day.

So after all was said and done, and the last cheek was painted and the last balloon was handed out, kids and parents alike went home with lifted spirits and smiling faces. It is those faces that make us want to continue this tradition for years to come.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.