Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fireworks over New Brunswick for New Year's Eve!

We are happy to announce that there will be fireworks over New Brunswick on New Year's Eve this year! At midnight, the fireworks will be shot off the top of The Heldrich hotel across the street from the State Theatre and in the heart of downtown New Brunswick. This announcement comes after weeks of uncertainty (paperwork, city approval, etc). And for us at the State Theatre, it is a real treat, as we will be throwing our second annual New Year's Eve Party at The Heldrich hotel that night. Lots of food, dancing, live and silent auctions, and now fireworks at midnight! It is going to be a wonderful night and we have to say thank you to all of those involved in making this happen.

For more information on the State Theatre New Year's Eve Party at The Heldrich hotel, click here: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/new_year_eve_party

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

“Backstage Access” - From The Belly of The Beast Part 2


By Larry Dember, State Theatre Director of Production

Once upon a time a long long time ago, I lived in a town called Massapequa.

Many famous people have hailed from the land of the Pequas such as: Jerry Seinfeld (my sister was in Hebrew school car pool and graduated with him), Neil Diamond, the Baldwin’s (their Dad was my football coach/social studies teacher), Twisted Sister, Eliot Eastman (the Cars guitarist), the Baldinger Brothers (Pro football players) , Andre Eglevsky (ballet dancer), Carlo Gambino, John Gotti, Steve Guttenberg, Marvin Hamlisch, Ron Kovic (I played in a band with his brother Jack at the New York Times 4th of July release party for his brothers book, Born on the Fourth of July), Bob Nelson, Helen Slater (spent a couple of Thanksgivings with her at her cousin Hunt Bresky’s house), and of course, all three of the Stray Cats.

I was in a band with Lee (Leon Drucker) Rocker in high school but we kicked him out because he was not a great bass player and had a bad attitude (I hear things have not changed). James McDonnell, aka “Slim Jim Phantom” is the drummer for the Stray Cats and was in an original jazzy band that beat my band in the Nassau County finals of the battle of the bands. Great drummer. A founding member of that band was Brian Setzer. It was my pleasure to present him in concert last week here at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

When Brian was a young teen he would take guitar lessons at my buddy Ralph Agresta’s (nationally accomplished guitarist/songwriter/teacher/vocalist) music store. We all knew Brian was different and very, very skilled, even at 16. I remember going over his house one day and he had just come back from Brooklyn shopping for guitars and he had bought a Dan-Electro double neck bass and six string. Another week, he came into school with his hair dyed bright orange. Back then he was playing the hell out of Zeppelin, Queen, Bowie, and Deep Purple. He was a rock god on guitar. One day in our senior year I was sitting in the little theater at school watching auditions for the Senior Variety show and Brian took the stage with his band and sang “Communication Breakdown” and “Ziggy Stardust”. I was so blown away from the energy and talent exhibited. It is a feeling that I get whenever I see a real virtuoso. His band played the show and dressed like Kiss and rocked the house. In the next years, I had the pleasure of jamming with him at a party and some late night basement jams. He was doing a lot of hard rock and was putting together a punk band called Bloodless Pharaohs. Not my taste at all and we went our separate ways. Mine was the business side of music, his was the UK and reinventing Rockabilly, playing with Robert Plant, touring the world, selling millions of records and winning three out of 7 Grammy nominations.

It must be about 15 years since I saw Brian out at a trade show in California. Last week when I sat with him in his dressing room and we talked about old friends, girlfriends, and jams I told him how proud all of us non-celebrities from Massapequa are of him. He was very humble and gracious as always. You can see in his face that he has led a fun packed life, playing thousands of shows all over the world. It took all my power and restraint not to remind him my band Starfire beat his band in the Massapequa High School Battle of The Bands in 1977. So what he sold millions of records and won 3 Grammys. I didn’t want to rub that old wound in his face, especially before he took the stage for an amazing night of music to a packed house.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Few Minutes with John Waters

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


Friday, November 6, 2009

State Theatre presents Free Program for College Students

Here at the State Theatre we present a variety of free programs for different ages as part of our mission to better serve and enrich the lives of the surrounding community. We do everything we can to make sure people know about these programs. So, with that said, below is some information from our Education department on a FREE program that we offer to college students. If you are a college student or if you know any, please read or pass this on.

Thank you for supporting the arts!

Kelly Skinner
–Director of Public Relations


Are you a college student? Do you like free food, entertainment, and social networking? Then be sure to check out Scientists Exploring the Arts, a unique program inspired by the relationship between performing arts and science. Although you may be wondering what these two seemingly different disciplines could possibly have in common, there are actually several elements that are essential to both: creativity, innovation, problem solving, teamwork, and process. As a way to celebrate and explore these similarities, the State Theatre has partnered with National Starch, LLC. to bring college students Scientists Exploring the Arts. “National Starch is excited to be co-sponsoring this unique event with the State Theatre. The pre-performance lectures and the shows have been outstanding and have provided a memorable evening for all,” commented Joseph Light, Head of Global Development, Customer Solutions & Product Innovation Groups for National Starch and State Theatre Trustee. "I like to think of it as left brain meets right brain...Who says the arts and sciences can't work together?!" added State Theatre President & CEO Wes Brustad.

The program is totally FREE and open to college students (both graduate and undergraduate) majoring in the one of the following: food science, molecular gastronomy, nutrition, chemistry, chemical engineering, statistics, environmental science, food sensory evaluation, material science, business (finance, sales), marketing, computer science, and communications. The program includes a ticket to the performance at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, a pre-performance "Exploration" with an arts educator, and a pre-performance dinner, where there will be opportunities for networking with National Starch employees and other students. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so apply early to reserve your spot! Contact Jennifer Cunha at 732-246-7469, ext. 545 or check out www.statetheatrenj.org/education/scientistsexploringarts.asp to guarantee your space in this incredible program.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Challenge We All Face in Today's Economy

I was particularly struck by Thomas Friedman’s column in The New York Times this morning that I want to share with you. We are in a different and changed economy that has seriously changed our business. The challenge for us is to rise above just processing work as in the past and to fire up our imaginations to re-gain our market. Here’s part of what he wrote:

“A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.

That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables—to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies—will thrive.” (Thomas Friedman)

I’d like to think we are a theatre of the new untouchables.

–Wes Brustad, State Theatre President and CEO

Click here to read the complete column by Thomas Friedman.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The World’s Greatest Artists Visit Central New Jersey

Theaters are magical places; they can take you on a journey around the world and back without even leaving your seat! And right here at the State Theatre, we are very fortunate to present some of the world’s greatest artists that can take you on that journey. The best of the best! From the classical musicians of China to the folk dancers of the Ukraine to the passionate flamenco of Spain, the world is at our doorstep here in central New Jersey! And this year is no exception, as over 12 countries are represented in our upcoming 2009-2010 performance schedule!

In addition to the upcoming Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (11/12/09); the Virksy Ukrainian National Dance Company (11/14/09); and Spain’s Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenco (11/18/09); other 2009-2010 performances from around the world include…
  • Vienna’s famous New Year’s Eve celebration takes the form of a stage show with an orchestra, dancing, and more in Salute to Vienna on December 31, 2009
  • Both Ireland and Scotland are represented with the pipes and drums of the Band of the Irish Guards and the Royal Regiment of Scotland on January 23, 2010
  • A one-of-a-kind spectacle of driving rhythm, athletic choreography, raw energy, and theatrical flair, Canada’s drum group Scrap Arts Music will open our winter festival, Hub City Carnivale on February 5, 2010
  • Russia is well represented with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra and a special Valentine’s Day matinee on February 14; followed one month later by the fantastic Moscow Festival Ballet in Swan Lake on March 12, 2010
  • In addition to the Irish Guards, Ireland is also represented by The Chieftains, March 14, 2010.
  • Japanese drum group TAO, who made their U.S. debut here in 2007, will return on March 27-28, 2010 with a new show, The Martial Art of Drumming
  • Nalmes Folk Dance Spectacular, a 70-member dance ensemble from the North Caucasus in Russia, will make its U.S. premiere on May 7-8, 2010.
For a complete line-up of events and upcoming additions to the schedule, please visit our website at http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

–Wes Brustad, State Theatre President and CEO

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The History of the State Theatre - Since 1921

As an establishment that has been open since 1921, patrons are enough curious of the history of the State Theatre. As someone who has worked here for 5 years I can very easily rattle off a long detailed (sometimes too many details ) history from 1921 until today because I truly do find it quite interesting. But rather than take my word for it, I have posted the story of the State Theatre below. Happy reading!

–Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

Opening on December 26, 1921 and designed by noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb to offer both movies and live entertainment, "Reade's State Theatre" was one of the biggest, most lavish and modern theaters in the region.

The opening matinee audience, who willingly paid the 20-, 30-, and 50-cent admission, was treated to a live orchestra concert and a tenor rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." The first feature presentation was the silent film White Oak, a western melodrama starring stone-faced cowboy hero William S. Hart

. Also on the bill were five vaudeville acts, a newsreel, and a nature film. The State was the "class act in town," with its opulent decor, splendid acoustics, and delightful mix of cinematic and live attractions.

A few years into its operation, the theater's management was transferred to the B.F. Keith theater chain. Benjamin Franklin Keith and his partner, Edward Franklin Albee, operated the largest string of vaudeville theaters and the largest booking agency for vaudeville acts in the east. Eventually, the business merged with the largest western booking agency, Orpheum, to form Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO). The Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which entered the motion picture business after the advent of sound, acquired KAO in 1928. RCA renamed its new subsidiary Radio-Keith-Orpheum, RKO.

The State Theatre continued to thrive well into the 60s; until eventually audiences started flocking to new multiplex cinemas. In the face of this decline, RKO sold the building to a concern that converted the once-proud State Theatre into a road house that occasionally showed adult movies. It persisted in this state until 1979, when it was purchased by the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo) as part of New Brunswick's revitalization project. By this time, the State Theatre had suffered a sorry decline, both in appearance and reputation.

In 1986, the New Brunswick Cultural Center acquired the State Theatre from DevCo, and by fall 1987 work was underway to reclaim the building from the ravages of time. Miraculously transformed back into a state-of-the-art showplace for live performances, the State Theatre reopened on April 24, 1988 and set the press and public raving about the hall's visual and acoustical splendors.

In December of 2003, the theater began an extensive, $3 million restoration/renovation to return the theater as closely as possible to its original appearance while updating its sound and lighting systems to state-of-the-art. Experts from the architectural firm of Ford, Farewell, Mills, and Gatch oversaw the cleaning and repair of the handsome terra cotta exterior. On the inside, artists from Conrad Schmitt of Milwaukee, a century-old firm specializing in historic restorations, researched and physically examined several areas of the theater’s interior to determine the original paint colors, decorative trim style, and other signature details of the Thomas W. Lamb theater. The theater underwent ornamental plaster repair, decorative painting, replacement of house and lobby lighting, and installation of high tech sound and lighting systems.

For more information on the State Theatre visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Multiple One-Man Shows featured in 2009-2010 at the State Theatre

This season at the State Theatre we have quite a few one-person performances, 4 to be exact (not including stand-up comedians). There is no rhyme or reason to it, it's really just a coincidence. In fact, it's become an inside joke among the staff that next season we are going to present only one-person shows! (Just a joke folks.) Yet, we know, as many of us have already seen these performances in NYC or elsewhere, that these 09-10 one-person performances pack a big punch. Comedy, drama, and (sometimes) complete lunacy will ensue as each performer presents their own unique brand of theatrics. So, without further ado, here are this season's one-man performances...

MacHomer
Oct. 27-30, 2009
Imagine Shakespeare’s Macbeth performed in 75 minutes—by a single actor. Oh, and did I mention that all of the play’s characters are portrayed in the voices of over 50 characters from The Simpsons? Read more.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy
Feb. 6, 2010
Actor Charles Ross does it all...the characters, the action, special effects, and even parts of John Williams’ score. Read more.

Tomáš Kubínek
Feb. 19, 2010
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. Read more.

The Amish Project
Mar. 5-6, 2010
A fictional exploration of true events, this is the story of a schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake. Read more.

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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's a Pajama Jammy Jam!


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.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blues & Jazz returns!

Every year in September, we present a little something called the New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club. It's 3 days and 6 sets of Blues and Jazz by some of the top musicians in the Blues & Jazz biz. What's unique about these performances is that both the performers and the attendees sit on the stage, creating an intimate jazz club kind of setting (only 200 seats). Even the entrance to the festival, which is down the alley by the stage door has that small jazz club feel. I have many memories from these festivals and I have met many talented musicians. One of my favorite sets was Jon Faddis with Jimmy Heath. Heath, now 82 years old, can still jam with the best of them, not to mention he is one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. I was able to take a little footage (see below) of their performance at the 2007 festival...the video was filmed a little far back as if I was a fly on the wall, but it's still cool to watch.

–Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations



The 2009 New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival line-up includes:

Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
Thu, September 24 at 8pm & 10pm

Marcia Ball
Fri, September 25 at 8pm & 10pm

Yellowjackets
Sat, September 26 at 8pm & 10pm

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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Review of 2009 NYC Fringe Festival Events

New York City’s Annual Fringe Festival is a chance for artists to come together to showcase what they have been working on to friends, family, industry and theater fans. I attended two shows at the Connelly Theater on the East Side at this year’s festival to see if there was anything out there that our school groups might enjoy seeing in future seasons and I was pleasantly surprised. The first show, Sinking Ship Production’s Powerhouse, is the story of composer Raymond Scott and his passion in discovering new ways to create music. Actually, the entire play leads up to his invention of “The Electronium” (a machine that produced sounds and melodies randomly so you could always listen to something new). The show, which naturally incorporated a lot of Scott’s own music along with other sounds of the time, was well done and well acted with some very amusing puppets acting out the cartoons that Scott had composed for (even though sometimes I wasn't really sure what the puppets were doing). It was touching and I laughed, but I don’t think school groups would be too interested in seeing this show with slightly more adult themes.

Later that day I got to see a great musical version of the Edgar Allan Poe classic, The Fall of the House of Usher from the Woodberry Forest School. When I decided to go see it, I thought, as I’m sure many high schoolers think, that Poe is going to be dark and depressing and kind of boring. I was pleasantly surprised. The music covered several different genres and added a definite tone to the show that helped the audience get into the mindset of the original poet who wrote over 200 years ago. I was impressed with the acting and how passionate they were in their roles and how exciting it was compared to other Poe works, such as “The Raven”. I thought this version is one that high schoolers could very much enjoy if they don’t think so much that they are “learning.”

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful first outing at the Fringe Festival. I enjoyed both shows and got to see what people in the industry were doing. The Festival only runs until August 30th, but I’m already looking forward to next year.

–Jenn Cunha, Education

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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MC Bakeshop, Highland Park’s Newest Bakery

Looking 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.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Food Drive Success!

On Tuesday, August 4th, the State Theatre in collaboration with Elijah's Promise held a community food drive to benefit the Elijah's Promise Food Pantry in New Brunswick, NJ.



And we are happy to report that it was a success!


The food drive—held during the concert, Harry Chapin: A Celebration in Song—was in honor of Harry Chapin and his dedication to the fight against world hunger. (Chapin founded World Hunger Year in 1975.) Many patrons attending the celebration, brought in multiple bags of non-perishable food items (including Costco sized items!). It was a very nice evening and we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of food that we received. Thanks for making a difference and providing a nutritious meal to those in need in the New Brunswick community.


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.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What a Blast -- 3rd Annual Jersey Summer Beatles Bash Proves to Be the Best Yet

For three years, the State Theatre has partnered with local celebrity musician Glen Burtnik (former member of Styx) on a Beatles tribute concert called the "Jersey Summer Beatles Bash." Every year, Glen picks a Beatles album, and some friends (a very talented group of musicians) to perform a note-for-note rendition of that album. This year's album was Abbey Road.


(Above, people browse through the Beatles Rock Art that was displayed during the pre-show Happy Hour.)

From start to finish, this year's performance was amazing. I mean you could just feel the energy of the crowd in the hall, it was electric. (And it's still funny to me that lighters have been replaced by cell phones.) One of these highly charged moments was during I Want You (She's So Heavy)." The song, which is hypnotic without a live performance, was mesmerizing to listen to and to watch, especially as Glen and several other guitarists including Bob Burger (who has performed alongside Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Jon Bon Jovi), John Merjave (from the band Liverpool), Marc Muller (has played guitar for Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson, and Elton John, among many others), and Marty O'Kane (lead guitarist/multi-instrumentalist for award-winning songwriter April Smith) poured themselves into the repetitive guitar riffs of the song (which is in fact 8 minutes long).

The last song of the night was the ever-popular "Hey Jude," where quite a few folks (including some State Theatre staff members, see pic at right) jumped onstage to join Glen & Friends for the song's repeating "Na-Nas". So, it really was a great night and we can't wait for next year's.

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't Stop Believin' on the Great White Way

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Jessica Quinlan

On a recent trip to New York City, I saw the new 80s musical, Rock of Ages. It proved to be an enjoyable and unique experience right from the get go. The theater was packed with a young crowd who grew up in the 70s and 80s – some still clad in their favorite leather jackets and vintage band T-shirts. Before and during the show, the wait staff scurried about the theater selling a variety of beverages to give it that real concert feel. From the moment the curtain rose to the tune of Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock” to its close with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” the music, vocals, and special effects were quite impressive.

The fist pumping audience gave the show an energy and atmosphere in itself. The musical’s dialogue and plot were creative in the fact that they managed to tie the lyrics of many popular unrelated 80s bands together into a story of its own. Laughter often erupted minutes before the next song, simply because the dialogue easily predicted the plot and set list to such 80s fans. (For example, when dialogue started with “I can't fight this feeling any longer” and broke out into REO Speedwagon’s power ballad.)

Set in 1987 California the plot did have some historical basis but this was easily overshadowed by the vivacious personalities of the show’s comedic and loveable characters. Many times throughout the show the cast urged the entire audience to their feet by singing and dancing in the aisles. I found that it didn’t take much to compel this crowd to belt out their favorite songs and relive their “glory days.”

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Toxic Audio: A Cappella with a Twist

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Kelly Dolan

Last week, while on a Royal Caribbean Cruise, I had the opportunity to see many shows. I was beginning to get bored of night after night of subpar shows, when finally I saw Toxic Audio perform. I could hardly believe that they were using nothing but their own voices as the background music to some highly intricate instrumental songs. This five- person a cappella group not only sang popular songs such as Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn the Beat Around” and Mika’s “Grace Kelly” but they also use their own voices to supply all of the background music. When I shut my eyes for a second I felt as though there was a real trumpet, guitar, and piano being used during performance.

The singing was not the only thing that kept me entertained. The performance of each song had some type of twist to it. For example, when they sang “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles they walked around the audience and had members point to random words from a book. By the end cast member Jeremy James, known as the “Rap Master”, was able to create a rap song on the spot using all the words collected from the audience. Toxic Audio puts on a show that keeps audiences in awe throughout the entire performance. After seeing them perform, you may just be tempted to try and move your own nose at just the right angle in order to sound like a trumpet.

For more information on Toxic Audio, visit: http://www.toxicaudio.com/.

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Brief Q&A with Michael Cavanaugh

A brief Q&A with musician Michael Cavanaugh, the original Piano Man in Broadway's Movin' Out on his upcoming tour and his new CD, In Color

How long have you been playing the piano? And did you always want to play the piano? I have been playing since I was 7. My parents purchased a piano for my Mom and immediately loved it and started playing. When I showed up to my first piano lesson I played “It’s still Rock & Roll to me”. Then my first lesson was something like "Mary Had a Little Lamb." I wasn't that interested. I wound up being a poor piano student.

How did it feel to be hand-picked by Billy Joel to star in Movin’ Out?
It was unreal. It was the kind of thing I imagined when I was a kid.

Can you tell us about your new album In Color?
My new CD was one of the greatest experiences I have had making music as we teamed up with producer Rob Mathes and have some great originals as well as some interpretations of some classic songs by Billy Joel, Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend, Bob Dylan, and others. We also received a great distribution deal so it is available at iTunes, Amazon.com, as well as Best Buy and Borders. I will be out front after the show at the State Theatre signing CD’s too!

What’s has been your most memorable performance? What town/city was it in?
There have been many, if I had to pick a few, I would pick playing on stage with Billy Joel in Cleveland, Ohio (my hometown) during one of his shows. Others of note would be the first symphony performance I did with the Indianapolis Symphony because they had such belief in the project and that first night was incredible. And obviously my first night on Broadway was pretty special :)

What are some of the bands/artists that you are listening to right now?
The Beatles, John Mayer, Daughtry, The Eagles, The Who

Would you ever consider performing on Broadway again?
Who knows, I never say never. For now, I have many other projects that I am working on. A new symphony show (Generations of Rock-n-Roll), a new Vegas show (hoping to debut this fall), as well as a tour in the Far East. I plan on having a long career so you never know.

Michael Cavanaugh performs with a full band at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ on Thursday, July 16 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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Amish Project - An Intense Hour Worth Your Time

A group of State Theatre staff members including myself, recently went into NYC to the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater for a performance of The Amish Project (presented by the State Theatre in March 2010). If I had one word to describe this show, it would be captivating. For 65 minutes, I, like my co-workers was glued to every word and every movement made by Jessica Dickey, the one-woman actress/playwright of this show.

The play, a fictional exploration of the true events of the 2006 shootings of 5 girls (and the gunman) in an Amish Schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA, is imbued with poetry, humor, and wonder. Throughout the hour, Dickey moves seamlessly back and forth among different characters (including the gunman, his widow, an Amish child, a news reporter, and a 16-year-old Hispanic girl), deftly weaving a complex and thought-provoking web of differing perspectives that explore the major themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Each character is portrayed with a different voice and very distinct mannerisms that make it clear as to who she is playing at any given moment and all of this while in the same costume of an Amish dress, apron, and bonnet. It is truly a masterclass in acting to watch as she makes you forget that she is playing the deranged gunman while wearing this bonnet.

As intense as the play is, we didn't leave the theater feeling sad, in fact, it opened a dialogue between us. A dialogue that has been ongoing since we saw the show almost 2 weeks ago. And apparently, we are not the only ones still talking about this show, as the run has been extended to July 12 due to critical acclaim and popular demand (New York Times review. NPR review.) Check it out now at: http://www.rattlestick.org/ or catch it at the State Theatre in March 2010.

–Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rutgers and the State Theatre, Perfect Together

Part of my job as University Liaison consists of engaging the Rutgers community in all things State Theatre. We present world-renowned artists in almost every discipline and many times these artists are available for workshops, master classes, Q&A's etc. We want Rutgers students, faculty, and staff to take advantage of all we have to offer. But they need to know about these special opportunities in order to participate. Last year around this time, I organized a presentation to Rutgers faculty and staff to promote last season's events. On Wednesday, July 1st, we will do it again for our 2009-2010 performances. There are several performances we hope will generate excitement, among them The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, MacHomer, Scrap Arts Music, and The Amish Project. We want the Rutgers community, especially students, to see the State Theatre as their neighborhood entertainment and performing arts venue. There is so much more happening here than most people think. Hopefully on Wednesday we will begin to plan for some great collaborations with Rutgers.

–Katie Pyott, Education Associate & University Liaison

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Laughter is the Best Medicine -- And We Need It

"Give us more comedy!"

Every day patrons give us their feedback as to what types of artists we should book at the State Theatre. And leading the pack right now, more than ever, are comedians. Why is that, you ask? Well, it's simple, times are crappy and people want to laugh (and believe me, so do us arts folks). Comedians help us to lighten up and forget, even for just an hour or so, the reality of our situations. So, with that said, you asked for comedy and we have answered. This fall, we have scheduled 3 comedians, all with their own brand of comedy: Lewis Black, Joy Behar, and Jim Gaffigan.



(above is a funny bit about cinnabons by Jim Gaffigan)

So, if you need a laugh, come and visit us at the State or if you want to laugh RIGHT NOW, check out Jim Gaffigan's YouTube page. Either way, treat yourself and find time to laugh...you know you want to...

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Monday, June 8, 2009

State Theatre presents school performances of Harold and the Purple Crayon and more for 2009-2010

Now that the 2008-2009 education season has wrapped up, we are well on our way to putting out information about next season’s shows. We’ve got some orders in already and school’s not even out! The 2009-2010 education season is looking to be a great one, seeing some familiar titles like The Grapes of Wrath, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Nutcracker, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We’ve also got some shows that you may not have heard of, including MacHomer, a one-man version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth told in the voices of characters from The Simpsons. Also, The Man Who Planted Trees a show based on a children’s book about a man who makes it his life’s work to plant trees all over the south of France. Although it’s still very early and we have just put these shows and several others on sale, we already seem to have some favorites including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle Favorites for the preK-3rd grade crowd. This is a return event for us and already we have some big orders for the 3 performances. For older students, it looks like the returning of performance poets and New Jersey’s own the Mayhem Poets will be a favorite. They will be here to help us celebrate National Poetry Month in April. You can find more information about the entire education season at http://www.statetheatrenj.org/education/performancesschools.asp.

–Jenn Cunha, Education

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May is over, but tough times are still ahead

So, we did it. We survived the busy month of May...a month of Gala craziness and the arrival of a brand new outdoor festival. Both of which were two very different events for the State Theatre. The Gala, which takes months and months of planning, is a night of cocktails, entertainment, dinner, dancing, auctions, and the works. This year's theme was a tribute to the movies and leading the concert was long-time Academy Awards® Music Director and Oscar® Award-winning composer Bill Conti (composer of the Rocky theme). The Gala, which is our big annual benefit, helped to raise $570,000 for the theater. It was a success, and a big one in these economic times.

Now, shifting gears, one week after the Gala on May 23, we held our first annual Urban Arts Festival. From reading our previous blog posts, you know that this was no easy task for us. It was tough...with no background in programming urban artists, very little time, and a very tight budget; it had the possibility of being a dud. However, I am happy to tell you that it wasn't! It was a blast! It truly went off without a hitch, well without any major problems anyway. Sure, we had a few sound issues (an outdoor stage will do that) and what not, but that's it.

video

(Above: A short video from Urban Arts featuring the local dance group Strickly Street)

So, for us at the State Theatre, May has been a good month. We couldn't have asked for a better way to end our season. Now, we look to the new fiscal year (ours begins in July) and we start planning for it now in June. It's going to be a tough year for the arts and we hope to meet the challenge.

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Urban Arts Festival is Here! What Do We Do Now?


So, after months and months of planning, it's here and it's tomorrow, Sat, May 23...the State Theatre's first annual Urban Arts Festival. It's an all-day (12pm-8pm) outdoor festival and we've booked so many acts, it's unbelievable. Very quickly, this venture into new territory, the urban arts, has gone from "what do we do and how do we do it," to "what do we do with all these big plans now?"

We have booked 20 plus acts, and scheduled 2 open mic times for local spoken word poets, and all of that must fit into 8 hours...that is going to be some crazy turnaround time for our stage hands. And that is not to mention we have all sorts of other stuff going on at the same time including free workshops, a 25 ft mural project and a hanging "art happening" or art installation, both of which are open to the public for participation. Nevertheless, we are confident in our plans and we just hope that people like what we have put together. We just have to remember, this is the "first annual" Urban Arts Festival, which means you never know...stay tuned (or just stop by!).

For more information on the Urban Arts Festival, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/urban_arts. 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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Appeal of Old Movies - Carnegie Hall

While channel surfing the other night I stumbled across an amazing 1947 film on TCM entitled Carnegie Hall. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039244/fullcredits#cast . The movie itself, largely forgettable, (clearly forgotten in fact), centers on a contrived love story set in and around the famed concert hall. I was initially drawn in by the obviously authentic location shooting, interiors and many exterior shots of that neighborhood in which I used to work. Most remarkable though were the cameo appearances of many 20th century classical music titans: Jascha Heifetz, Artur Rubinstein, Lily Pons, Leopold Stokowski, and Jan Peerce just to name a few. Some overacted in the roles of themselves as eccentric artists, but most simply performed; long, extended, non-sound bite, montage free performances. How much has changed in 60 years. That a movie like this could get made, that a small constellation of classical music stars familiar to the general public even existed, and that their simple one or two stationary camera performances could be considered visually engaging is touchstone of aesthetics long gone. I won’t lament too much though. No doubt the appeal, for better or worse, of many performers who routinely take the stage here will astound the audiences of 2069.

-Andrew Fishman, Director of Programming

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cedar Lake Touching Performance

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow the Bee!

Inspired by the Peeps contests from mycentraljersey.com and the Washington Post we decided here at the State Theatre to do our own twist of a Peeps scene, using The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as our inspiration. State Theatre Marketing/PR interns worked hard on the model, only using Peeps (88 cents per box at Rite Aid!) and supplies found in the office. Now, the Spelling Bee Peeps are set up for 14 days of mischief. They have already started to hit the road, encountering various people and places like Best Buy (with the Geek Squad), the Philadelphia Orchestra (well, sort of, the orchestra was actually out to lunch while they enjoyed a seat on the podium), Officer Dave (yes a real police officer), and all around downtown New Brunswick. And just a few days after being created, the Peeps have already met their first celebrity, comedian Brian Regan!

The Peeps are looking forward to their next exciting journey, wherever it may be. They will be showing up unannounced at random locations in NJ, so keep your eye out and Follow the Bee in order for your chance to win free tickets to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on May 1-2, 2009 here at the State Theatre!

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.
Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Can You Spell R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T and I-N-T-E-R-A-C-T-I-V-E Musical?

As an avid fan of musicals I've seen my fair share, and I've come to one conclusion. Musicals have changed. A lot. The topics have changed, the music has changed, the characters have changed, the relevance of musicals has changed, and even the audience has changed. Think of all the musicals you know that have recently been produced. They don't all fit into one category.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is by far one example of those mold breaking musicals. For starters, when was the last time you heard of a musical based on a spelling bee? Aside from the quirky topic, this musical is relevant. Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest and most politically aware of all the spellers, wears an Obama pin on her shirt. I'm sure she was devastated when it was announced at an Illinois show that former Governor Blagojevich would not be able to attend the Spelling Bee due to his impeachment. It's these little extra touches that make this musical so intriguing, and entertaining to watch, and prevents Spelling Bee from aging. The musical moves forward with time.

Not only is Spelling Bee relevant, but it also interactive. Each performance, a handful of audience members are selected (on a purely voluntary basis) to come up and spell in the Spelling Bee. Audience members who want to sign up are given the chance to do so 30 minutes before the performance, and spellers are selected from that group. As a student speller, you will be on stage for as long as you can spell correctly, just like in a real spelling bee! I've never seen a musical where audience members are asked to come on stage and interact with the cast. This concept is so unique and will be a great time, for both audience members and guest spellers.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is definitely a musical I am looking forward to seeing. It's great to see that this musical continues the tradition of breaking out from the musical stereotype of over the top choreography and singing. Hope to see you all there, and maybe you'll see me on stage as a guest speller!

--Jennifer Luzes, 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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Rise of the Meet & Greets

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 statetheatrenj@gmail.com


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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

“Backstage Access” - From The Belly of The Beast

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:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/ireports/2009/04/04/irpt.wheres.waldo.cnn?iref=videosearch

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emidesu/3408706534/

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/weird/Hundreds-Dress-as-Wheres-Waldo-at-Rutgers.html

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, Willie Weist, 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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twitter and the Arts, perfect together

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Friday, March 27, 2009

An Urban Arts Festival for New Brunswick, New Jersey

For years now, we at the State Theatre have been trying to put together an Urban Arts Festival, a celebrated community experience of music, dance, poetry, and art. And now with the support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, our dreams have come true and the date is set for Saturday, May 23. Now if we can only figure out exactly what we want to do....

The city of New Brunswick is a diverse city, so planning for the festival (which will be free of charge) has been harder than we could ever imagine. We are currently in the process of booking local acts for an outside stage that will be open on the street in front of the State Theatre from 12:30pm to about 6pm. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done in just under 2 months (and that's not to mention the evening performances on the State Theatre stage and the day-time workshops we want to do). There are TOO MANY options (and time is running out) and how often can you say that in times like these?! I guess what it comes down to is that we are very thankful for this opportunity, and we want it to be the best it can be, so our emotions and expectations are running high. And for lack of a better phrase, THE HEAT IS ON!

Performers scheduled for the Urban Arts Festival so far include Mayhem Poets and performance poet Glenis Redmond. If you are a solo performer or part of a group that would like to perform at the Urban Arts Festival, contact Andrew Fishman: afishman@StateTheatreNJ.org. No phone calls, please.

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rutgers to break Guinness World Record of most Waldos in one place!

In any other case, seeing over 1500 people dressed up as Waldo from the book series "Where's Waldo?" would probably frighten you. If you are a child of the 90's you probably remember Waldo as the tall, lanky, guy that always seemed to be lost amidst a crowd of people/objects that looked like his red and white striped shirt at first glance. On April 2, 2009 Rutgers University is attempting to break the Guinness World Record of the largest gathering of people dressed up as Waldo. I know what you're thinking, "THAT'S a world record?" You would be surprised to find out what other bizzarre world records there are out there (actually, last April, Rutgers students broke the world record for the most people dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

This year's record breaking attempt will take place at the State Theatre, with an entry fee of $5 or a new children's book. All books and proceeds will benefit literacy efforts for the students of the New Brunswick School District. So, not only will you be able to be a part of breaking a really unique world record, you will also be helping out the kids that live in the local community. We are living in a time where books are becoming a more and more obsolete source of entertainment for children. It is nice to know that there are still events like this that are fighting for books to remain a part of childhood. So, if you grew up in the 90's looking for Waldo, want to break a world record, or just want to benefit a good cause, put on your Waldo gear and stop by the theater.

--Teisia Park, 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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mom and Dad, please put down that video camera!

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What will you be spending money on three months from now?

What will you be spending money on three months from now? How about six months, or even a year down the road? Will you pop for those $75 tickets to see one of your favorite performers in concert, or dinner and a Broadway show? will I? Chances are neither one of us know answers to these questions. We are currently in the thick if of programming our schedule for the 2009-2010 season, which entails booking shows, setting ticket prices etc. for events as far away as May 2010. Normally we can predict with a fair degree of accuracy what the market will bear, but “normally” has gone out the window. The good news is, that in spite of the uncertainty, we forge ahead. Will we make concessions and adjustments based on the economy, of course, but compare next season to this one, and all that have come before, and you will see the same broad variety of quality shows that the Theatre is known for. We all know what predictions are worth these days, but here’s one thing for certain, three months, six months or a year from now, we’ll be here. Hope you will be too.

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rocking Opera Like No Other Group - East Village Opera Company

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 http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.