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http://www.nj.com/entertainment/arts/index.ssf/ New Jersey Entertainment on NJ.com en Copyright 2016 Tue, 27 Dec 2016 18:21:37 UTC http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss

Former County College of Morris President Edward Yaw has been named to The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s board of trustees

MORRIS TOWNSHIP — Former County College of Morris President Edward Yaw is going to the theater.

Yaw, who retired in August after 30 years as the college’s president, has been named to the The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s board of trustees.

“I’m very happy to be joining that board. I’m looking forward to it very much,” Yaw said. “I was an English major in college. I still have my complete works of Shakespeare.”

County College of Morris announced the new role for Yaw, who holds the honorary title of president emeritus, on Thursday.

A Morris Township resident, Yaw was the longest-serving of New Jersey’s 19 community college presidents upon his departure.

His wife, Karen Milne, is a violinist performing in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Yaw and a second newcomer, Edward C. Leithead III of Chatham, were elected to the 22-member board Dec. 5.

The board’s president, Thomas Keffer, said the organization “will benefit from Dr. Yaw’s long history as an education leader, and Ed Leithead’s expertise in corporate management and financial matters.”

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is among 25 professional theater companies in New Jersey and former Gov. Thomas Kean is its honorary chairman.

The company marked its 50th anniversary in 2012 by moving its headquarters to a renovated factory in Florham Park.

It also uses an indoor stage at Drew University in Madison, and an outdoor stage at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Florham Park.

The 2016 season, underway since April, will conclude Jan. 1 with a performance of, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

Rob Jennings may be reached at rjennings@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobJenningsNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

 

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Rob Jennings | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2016/12/retired_college_president_embracing_new_theatre_ro.html Tue, 27 Dec 2016 18:21:35 UTC 2016-12-27T18:21:37Z NO VALUE Rob Jennings | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Former County College of Morris President Edward Yaw is show arriving at the college’s graduation ceremony in May, his final one as president.

“Natasha, Pierre,” “Oslo” and “The Crucible” are all on our list of favorites.

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On the one hand, 2016 offered no critical and commercial juggernaut like last year’s “Hamilton.”

On the other hand, there wasn’t a “Hamilton” to suck all the oxygen out of the room, meaning shows of many different stripes — musicals and dramas, revivals and new work, small-scaled shows and epics, off-Broadway and on — were able to garner the attention they deserved. Here’s my list of the year’s best. (For most of these titles, you can click on the title to read my original review.) 

1. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Josh Groban stars in the brilliant “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” a musical based on a portion of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (Photo by Chad Batka) 

Utilizing a Broadway theater as never before (the set design, by Mimi Lien, is a slam-dunk for the Tony), Dave Malloy’s adaptation of a section of Tolstoy’s “War & Peace” doesn’t just offers an immersive, exhilarating experience — it expands the boundaries of musical theater right before your eyes.  

2. A Streetcar Named Desire

On a constantly revolving set at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn — one that keeps challenging and altering the audience’s perspective on what they’re watching — British director Benedict Andrews made the Tennessee Williams’ chestnut feel completely fresh and deeply unnerving. And Gillian Anderson proved a Stella DuBois for the ages — hers was the finest performance of any I saw this year.

3. Sweat

Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat,” which originated at the Public Theater, will transfer to Broadway in the spring (Photo by Joan Marcus) 

From Pulitzer-winner Lynn Notage (“Ruined”), a wrenching, ripped-from-the-headlines drama, set in a Pennsylvania community where the local factory begins outsourcing jobs. In a year when the political became the personal (and vice-versa), “Sweat” — which premiered off-Broadway at the Public, and will transfer Broadway in the spring — should be mandatory viewing.

4. Oslo

Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays star as a pair of Norwegian diplomats in the drama “Oslo,” which will transfer to Broadway in the spring (Photo by T. Charles Erickson) 

A three-hour play about Middle East peace talks might not sound like the stuff of rip-roaring entertainment, but J.T. Rogers’s “Oslo” — which premiered off-Broadway over the summer and will be remounted on Broadway in the spring — understands how much drama can be wrung from watching the sausage get made. Here’s hoping stars Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays, as a pair of in-over-their-heads Norwegian diplomats, are remembered for Tony nods.

5. West Side Story

A co-production of The Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall, the one-weekend-only performance of “West Side Story” at the Knockdown Center in Queens was a thrilling reinvention of the classic musical (Photo by Richard Termine)  

For a traditional take on this classic, you could turn to New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, which also produced “West Side Story” last year. But if you wanted to see it mounted with more imagination and flair — and hear its Leonard Bernstein score conducted with unforgettable gusto by Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop — you needed to catch one of the handful of performances of “West Side Story” presented by Carnegie Hall and the Weill Music Institute at The Knockdown Center in Queens. I’ve seen many versions of this show, but none as memorable as this one.

6. American Psycho

A production so audacious and strange — a musical based on Bret Easton Ellis’ postmodern classic of late 80s social breakdown — was probably never going to last long on Broadway. But it’s still a shame more people didn’t get the chance to see Benjamin Walker’s transfixing performance as psycho killer Patrick Bateman, or to experience director Rupert Goold’s alternately ghoulish and hilarious staging. 

7. Hadestown

 

The myth of Orpheus gets retold with a blues and zydeco score by Anais Mitchell in this transporting, gorgeously performed musical, which also offers some of the catchiest and most creative news songs since “Hamilton.” (Both this and “Natasha, Pierre” share a director — the immensely talented Rachel Chavkin). 

8. Familiar

Joby Earle Joe Tippett and Myra Lucretia starred in Danai Gurira’s “Familiar,” the playwright’s excellent follow-up to “Eclipsed.” (Photo by Joan Marcus) 

Although she received the bulk of attention for the Tony-nominated “Eclipsed,” actress-playwright Danai Gurira offered up an even stronger effort with this sharply observed comedy-drama about cultural and generational differences among an African family living in the Minneapolis suburbs.

9. Sell/Buy/Date

Sarah Jones portrays dozens of characters in this one-woman show (which she also wrote) that considers the modern-day sex industry — traffickers, prostitutes, pornographers, academics — from the perspective of the future. Sounds eggheady, but the extraordinary Jones (who changes accents and personas more fluidly and quickly than a butterfly flutters its wings) makes it completely accessible and fascinating.

10. The Crucible

Ivo von Hove’s version of “The Crucible” starred Saorise Ronan (“Brooklyn”) as one of the young girls who set off a wave of hysteria in 16th century Massachusetts (Photo by Jan Versweyveld) 

Director Ivo von Hove’s spookhouse take on the Arthur Miller classic played up the creepiness factor — there really do seem to be witches in these Massachusetts woods — and offered one of the year’s most galvanizing performances, from British actor Ben Whishaw as the tortured John Proctor. 

Christopher Kelly may be reached at ckelly@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chriskelly74. Find NJ.com/Entertainment on Facebook.  

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Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/12/best_nyc_theater_of_2016.html @arts broadway Thu, 22 Dec 2016 18:24:08 UTC 2016-12-22T18:25:11Z NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Josh Groban stars in the brilliant “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” a musical based on a portion of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (Photo by Chad Batka) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com J.T. Rogers’ “Oslo” will also transfer to Broadway in the spring, where it will compete against “Sweat” for the Best Play Tony. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Lynn Nottage won a Pulitzer for her play “Ruined,” and might yet win another for “Sweat,” a bruising study of working class decline (Photo by Joan Marcus) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Gillian Anderson, best known for “The X-Files,” delivered the performance of the year in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (Photo by Teddy Woolf) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Hollywood stars Saorise Ronan and Ben Whishaw lead in an extraordinary cast in Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s vivid update of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” (Photo by an Versweyweld) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com A star was born in Denee Benton, who plays Natasha in the magnificent musical “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” (Photo by Chad Batka) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com “West Side Story” featured a mix of professional and student actors in a thrilling, modern-dress take on the show. (Photo by Richard Termine) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Benjamin Walker made for a chilling and sexy Patrick Bateman in the inventive, vastly underrated “American Psycho” (Photo by Jeremy Daniel) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The small-scale musical “Hadestown,” which played at the New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village, deserves to find a much larger audience (Photo by Joan Marcus) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays star as a pair of Norwegian diplomats in the drama “Oslo,” which will transfer to Broadway in the spring (Photo by T. Charles Erickson) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Ivo von Hove’s version of “The Crucible” starred Saorise Ronan (“Brooklyn”) as one of the young girls who set off a wave of hysteria in 16th century Massachusetts (Photo by Jan Versweyveld) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat,” which originated at the Public Theater, will transfer to Broadway in the spring (Photo by Joan Marcus) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Joby Earle Joe Tippett and Myra Lucretia starred in Danai Gurira’s “Familiar,” the playwright’s excellent follow-up to “Eclipsed.” (Photo by Joan Marcus) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com A co-production of The Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall, the one-weekend-only performance of “West Side Story” at the Knockdown Center in Queens was a thrilling reinvention of the classic musical (Photo by Richard Termine) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Our list of the year’s best shows includes musicals, plays and revivals, from small-scaled works to Broadway behemoths (Photo of “American Psycho” by Jeremy Daniel) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Sarah Jones daring and funny one-woman-show “Sell/Buy/Date” offered an incisive look at the sex industry (Photo by Joan Marcus) NO VALUE Christopher Kelly | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com “Familiar” was one of two plays by the gifted Dania Gurira to play in New York last spring — the other was “Eclipsed” starring Lupita Nyong’o (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Gutzon Borglum’s ‘First Landing Party of the Founders of Newark’ has been rededicated after more than a decade in storage.

NEWARK — After more than 10 years out of the public eye, a piece of Newark’s history is back on display.

City officials and residents gathered at NJPAC Monday for the unveiling of the restored “First Landing Party of the Founders of Newark” monument, which had been out of sight, in storage, for more than a decade.

The 9-foot-tall, 13,000-plus-pound statue, sculpted by Gutzon Borglum – best known as the talent behind Mount Rushmore – was originally erected in 1916, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Newark. This year, the statue was rededicated, and erected on NJPAC’s Symphony Lawn as part of the city’s yearlong celebration of its 350th birthday.

Photos that prove Newark can be a greener city

“We are pleased to have helped in the restoration of the ‘First Landing Party of the Founders of Newark’ statue. Landmarks speak to our history and strengthen our community pride,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said in a statement about the monument.

“To have this Gutzon Borglum work of art rescued and rededicated reconnects us with our glorious past.”

Newark Celebration 350, the group that has been putting together hundreds of events all year long in celebration of the landmark anniversary, spearheaded the resurrection.

The statue is one of three “legacy” gifts the group has dedicated to the city. Along with a 350 tree planting initiative, and a “Newark College Student Success Fund” that will provide scholarships to city students, the legacy gifts are meant to last long beyond 2016, NC 350 organizers said.

The group raised about $60,000, with $35,000 from the Essex County Recreation & Open Space Trust Fund, $15,000 from The Hyde & Watson Foundation, and $10,000 from individual donors, to have the monument restored.

“I love this city and am proud to share its historical gifts with the world,” said NC 350 chair Junius Williams.

“Today’s legacy gifts ensure that Newark’s impact is never forgotten.”

Jessica Mazzola may be reached at jmazzola@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @JessMazzola. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2016/12/mt_rushmore_artists_monument_resurrected_in_newark.html @arts @news @river newark Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:20:33 UTC 2016-12-20T16:21:39Z NO VALUE Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Newark Celebration 350 unveils the Landing monument at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Monday. The historic Gutzon Borglum monument was last on

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