Posts Tagged ‘State Theatre’

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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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“Weird Al” Yankovic – Summer Tour Kick-off in New Brunswick

May 18, 2011


By Kayla Steinbach, PR & Marketing Intern

As a child I would carry around three different cassettes tapes with me everywhere I went. (You know…the primitive way of listening to music where songs were placed inside a plastic rectangle on a thin ribbon that would constantly get stuck inside and around any machine that would supposedly play your songs. You would then need to use your finger or a pencil to re-wind the tape hoping you wound it properly or at least didn’t rip the ribbon because then the tape was useless!) I carried a tape full of lullabies, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s The Food Album, with classics like “I love Rocky Road” (a satire on “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” made famous by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts) because I did, I loved rocky road ice cream. I preferred Al’s “Eat It” to Michael’s “Beat It” any day of the week. “Eat It” even earned Yankovic his first of three Grammy® Awards.

“Weird Al” Yankovic, is the undisputed king of pop culture parody. He has sold more comedy recordings than any artist in history, with six of his albums going gold (including my beloved The Food Album), eight going platinum, and Alapalooza going double platinum. His satirical twist on songs like Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” (“Amish Paradise”), and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (“Smells Like Nirvana”) have made him a household name. Some of Al’s other hits include “Gump,” “White and Nerdy,” “I’m Fat,” “I Lost on Jeopardy,” “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi,” “Like a Surgeon,” and “Bedrock Anthem.”

Al’s live show is family-friendly with lots of surprises, costume changes, and all the antics you’d expect. I can’t wait to see him and sing along with all my favorite food inspired songs plus so many more! See you at the State Theatre on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 8pm for a laugh-out-loud event that is sure to bring tears to your eyes!

For tickets and more information please visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/weird_al.

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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 http://www.StateTheatreNJ.org.

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Spring Awakening – One of the Best Musicals Out There

March 30, 2011

by Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Spring Awakening on Broadway with the original cast, many of whom are now well known including Lea Michele, who is now in the TV show, Glee; and Johnny Gallagher Jr. who won a Tony® for his portrayal of Moritz, and went on to star in the Green Day musical American Idiot. Since that night, I have had nothing but admiration for this show. From its catchy tunes to the powerful messages within the storylines (some very obvious, others not as much), it has become one of my favorite musicals of the last 10 years. The story is something that many people can relate to, growing up and the pains that come with being a teenager—peer pressure, seeking your parents/friends approval, and the general feeling of just wanting to be accepted. The storylines combined with the music provide such a strong backbone for the actors that when they perform the song “The Bitch of Living,” everything just clicks right into place. And even though it has been a few years, this CD still makes regular appearances on my playlists (especially, “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind” “The Song of Purple Summer,” and of course “The Bitch of Living”) and I can’t say that for every musical that comes out these days. So, I look forward to seeing the national tour performance of Spring Awakening this Saturday, April 2 because as much as I love my soundtrack, nothing beats live theater, don’t you agree? For tickets or more information on the April 2 performances of Spring Awakening, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/spring_awakening

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ONE SINGULAR SENSATION — Come see A Chorus Line!

February 24, 2011

By: Katie Stoppiello, Marketing and PR Intern

Desperate for a job, wondering if you’ll make the cut, hoping for a chance, dreaming for a future… We’ve all been there. It’s the reason why A Chorus Line is a timeless classic. Winner of 9 Tony ® Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and the fourth longest running Broadway show, A Chorus Line tells the stories of 17 dancers hoping to be cast in the newest Broadway production. They open up about their dreams, their life, and the decisions they made to get where they are. A Chorus Line is not your typical musical. It is more than just song and dance or smoke and mirrors; it’s based on the true stories of real dancers.

The musical was formed from several taped workshop sessions with Broadway dancers, known as “gypsies,” including eight who eventually appeared in the original cast. The two dancers running the sessions hoped that they would form a professional dance company to make workshops for Broadway dancers. Instead, their workshops quickly developed into one of the most well known musicals of all time. With book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and music by Marvin Hamlisch, A Chorus Line has been playing around the world for the last three decades.
 
A Chorus Line, will be presented ONE NIGHT ONLY, on Thursday, March 10th at the State Theatre. Visit StateTheatreNJ.org for more information.
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Irish Music Legends Make a Long Awaited Appearance

February 16, 2011

Originally set to perform back in March, The Chieftains are rescheduled to perform on February 18th at the State Theatre! Not even a power outage can hold these traditional Irish musicians from the stage!

Together for almost 50 years, The Chieftains are a six-time Grammy®-winning band. They have performed around the world including places such as London, in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., on China’s Great Wall, and for the Pope in front of an audience of over ONE MILLION people.

Formed by Paddy Maloney in 1962, The Chieftains sound has become instantly recognizable.

Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music has captured a much broader public, making them today the best known Irish band in the world. Beginning as a traditionally Irish band, The Chieftains have transcended music-genre barriers and their distinctive sound can be heard with some of the biggest names in rock and pop including in Paul Mc Cartney and Stevie Wonder’s “Rainclouds” and in Art Garfunkel’s “Watermark”.

The Chieftains have been able to share their love of Irish music with millions of music lovers across the world. Now it’s your turn to come share in the love of music and see Ireland’s Official Musical Ambassadors, The Chieftains, at State Theatre in New Brunswick.

The Chieftains include:

Paddy Moloney, Uilleann pipes/Tin Whistle;

Matt Molloy, Flute; Kevin Conneff, Bodhrán/Vocal;

Triona Marshall, Harp/Keyboards;

Jon Pilatzke, Fiddle/Dance;

Jeff White, Guitar/Vocals;

Alyth McCormack, Vocals;

Deanie Richardson, Fiddle/Vocals

Nathan Pilatzke, Dance

Cara Butler, Dance

For tickets and more info go to http://www.statetheatrenj.org/the_chieftains.

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The Reviews are in – 5th graders Love STREB!

February 15, 2011

Jessica Kennedy, a 5th grade teacher at New Brunswick’s Roosevelt Elementary School gives us her review of the dance group STREB’s recent school day performance on Feb. 4. Also, the kids themselves share a few words with us.

Inertia, motion, force, energy, load, effort, work…the kids are making so many connections to our just-completed science unit on levers & pulleys: today they are seeing trained artist-athletes interact with machines. And it is beautiful. I’ve never seen the excitement level so high: in the first 5 minutes, when i heard a kid behind me shout, “I LOVE THESE PEOPLE.” The loud music, the lights….as fun and unpredictable—and scary—as any rock concert i’ve ever been to. I ADORE, and so do the kids, the subversive boom of directions hurled among the performers…a vital communication missing from all the dance I’ve ever seen…Could there be a more perfect break in the tedium of almost two months of cancelled outdoor recreation at school, where the kids have to sit quietly in the auditorium during recess, because the teachers need to park their cars on the “blacktop” instead of the icy streets. Something like this gives me a much-needed referent to talk about art, commitment, passion…possibilities…wish dance were emphasized as much as sports in our schools.

Glad I was with my 10-year-olds who could explain to me exactly what was going on…they missed nothing! Evocative of Houdini, the first woman to go over Niagara Falls…How brilliant when physical and intellectual bravery are experienced hand in hand.

Reviews from Jessica Kennedy’s 5th grade class:

AJ: “That show made us excited and still. Elizabeth Streb is a genius for making Streb.”

AP: “It reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci. The part where the women spread out like a star reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci’s VITRUVIAN MAN!”

SM: “Streb is unspeakable. It took my breath away. Amazing.”

AA: “The performance was so awesome. Everyone was cheering for Streb when the performance ended.”

KB: “I thought STREB actioneers had a lot of skills. When everyone was in the box I was speechless, also when they were doing their dives. AMAZING’.”

DV: “My favorite part is when the performers climbed this ladder to get on this moving bar. Then this performer said to move the bar as up as it can so she can jump off it, then everyone was screaming then she jumped for the bar and landed on a drop bed and I was amazed. I loved it.”

MA: “My favorite part of the show is the part when you guys got on the round circle because you guys were brave and I saw your owner he was cool you guys rock!”

DS: “The polar wander was the coolest performance in the show.”

JB: “My favorite part was when all of the actors threw themselves from the high spot. It was amazing because it was a high height.”

PM: “This performance was so great!! I was scared when they threw yourselves from a high surface to a sponge all the way down to the floor!!!”

SM: “I liked the way the performers threw themselves off the poles.”

EH: “The show was amazing. They threw themselves like if they action figures. Please be careful when you perform. Have luck when you perform.”

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The Poetry of Coming Home

February 4, 2011

Glenis Redmond

With all the snowstorms, it is hard to believe that Spring is just around the corner and so is my return to New Brunswick, NJ, where I will be working at the State Theatre. I will be Poet-in-Residence for the month of March. Since this is my third return visit, I now think of NJ as my home away from home. Last year I enjoyed working in the schools, senior citizen homes, vocational centers, corporations, and several halfway homes. The great joy last year was culminating with a community reading at the theater with the participants that took my workshop. They were people from all walks of life. The joy in the room that night made me an even more fervent believer that poetry is a great equalizer.

This year, as every year, I am taking my lead from what is weighing on my heart: Place. I will be facilitating workshop participants to reflect and discover their own Sense of Place. It is my belief there are two types of landscapes: the external and the internal, when we reflect and go deep we make connections and find the nexus between the two and what generally surfaces is poetry. I look forward to returning to my 2nd home and having great conversations and classes that will lead to powerful expressions.

Yours-n-Verse,

Glenis Redmond

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Four Days, 44 Shows (Really.)

February 2, 2011

By Lian Farrer, Vice President for Education

The week before last I was in Tampa Bay, FL, at the annual IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) Showcase and conference. And yes, I really did see 44 shows in just 4 days. And went to workshops, meetings, lectures, and a party or two. Despite the grueling schedule, I came home reenergized and excited about the things I saw, heard, and did.

I’ll begin with the sheep. Or, I should say, Les moutons. That’s the name of this bizarre but inspired interactive performance piece presented by a dance company from Toronto called Corpus. They set up a sheep pen (complete with sheep dung that I hope wasn’t real) on the plaza alongside the river walk. Through the crowd came a shepherd driving his flock: dancers dressed in sheep’s costumes. The dancer/actors who played the sheep should all win awards for never once breaking character during the show. They did the usual sheep-y things, including getting shorn and milked. I tasted the milk, warm from the udder. (Don’t ask.) Kids in the audience had a chance to come up to the pen and feed the critters. This show was totally goofy and unexpected. I’d like to figure out a way to work Les moutons into our State Theatre season. Can you hear me out there, Cook College?

Another show featuring herd animals was equally strange and wonderful: The Wolf and the Goat, by Italy’s Compagnia Rodisio. A wolf and a goat, natural enemies, take shelter one stormy night and, not recognizing each other in the dark, become friends. When daylight comes, will the wolf eat the goat? Will the goat manage to escape? Or will they break the accepted order of things and remain friends? (The audience never finds out.) The show is basically two actors—not in animal costumes, thank goodness—a red velvet settee, and three small lighted trees. Dressed in a simple white frock, Manuela Capece, playing the goat was all wide-eyed innocence, while Davide Doro, as the wolf, managed to be both sleazy and seductively sexy at the same time. The Wolf and the Goat was originally in Italian; my colleagues and I were further impressed when we learned that Davide Doro spoke no English, and had learned his part phonetically. Bravo, Davide!

Without a doubt, my very favorite showcase was Grug. Now, I will confess to you here that I normally don’t get too excited about shows for really little kids. But I lost my heart to a character who “began his life as the top of a burrawong tree” and who looks like this:

Grug was created by Australia’s Windmill Theatre and is based on a children’s book series that I confess I’d never heard of. The production was everything theater should be: imaginative, expertly performed, and completely captivating. I loved the clever design of the sets and puppets. Most of all, I was struck by how the actors seemed genuinely delighted to be performing for their young audience; there was no condescension and none of that exaggerated cheerfulness that makes me cringe at so many other shows targeted to kids this age. As we like to remind each other in my profession, children are just like our adult audience, only smaller.
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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!