Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet - The Group to Watch

In the entertainment business, you see this tag line very enough: "A don't-miss event" or "an event not to be missed," etc. And since we see it so often, we become numb to it. Now, I'll admit, we still use the line from time to time but only when WE (as in the staff) feel strongly about it. For example, in the case of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. We have had Cedar Lake here every year for 5 years and WE (the staff) just can't seem to get enough of them (and neither can many of our patrons). Each year, they come with a new piece or program that just wows us. The dancers for Cedar Lake are amazing. They can handle both the choreographed pieces and the pieces that involve some improv with the same ease. And there is something about these dancers that sticks into your brain. I have seen hundreds of dancers come through this theater and yet, I could spot a Cedar Lake dancer out of a crowd if you asked me to. I don't know what it is, I guess they have that "Je ne sais quoi" thing going for them. But, really, if you love dance, you HAVE to them. And if you have never seen a dance performance, this is the group to see. Check them out online at: http://www.cedarlakedance.com/

—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at State Theatre
Friday, April 9, 2010 at 8pm

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Man Who Planted Trees - An Inspiration to Us All

There were four school performances of The Man Who Planted Trees at the Crossroads Theatre over March 16th and 17th. There were approximately 940 people there over the two days in grades 1 through 6 and every single person that walked out of the theater loved the show. Anybody who has seen the show is quick to tell you that the dog, who is one of the best puppets I’ve ever seen in theater, is their favorite part. The play follows the narrator, Jean, through France in the early to mid-1900s and through both World Wars, but he always manages to return to visit Elzéard Bouffier and his little dog. We watch as Elzéard plants hundreds of thousands of trees of all types all over southern France and turns a dry, barren expanse into a lush green area. To help us experience the change, the actors waft lavender throughout the auditorium and explain that in the original climate, the only thing that can grow is lavender, a durable plant that doesn’t need much water. Later, we are shown the new forest when we are misted with “rain” and get to experience a truly woodsy scent as it’s dispersed throughout the audience by one of the actors.

The adults and the children in the audience laughed at the dog’s comedic relief and watched in awe as the simple set, originally covered in brown fabrics, is transformed into bright green trees and landscape. While a very simple show, The Man Who Planted Trees showed that you don’t need special effects to connect with an audience and get them to enjoy the show.

—Jennifer Cunha, Education Assistant

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Technology Continues to Pave the Way for New Means of Listening to Live Music

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Nicole Connelly

Anyone who knows me, knows, it is no secret that One Tree Hill is one of my all time favorite shows. I have been watching it since it aired in 2003 (the show is currently in its seventh season). Not only is it a TV show, but it is also an outlet to discover new music. One Tree Hill has introduced me to a multitude of uber-talented musicians that I would never have heard of if it wasn’t for their music being featured on the show; and now this music has pioneered its way into my home in a different capacity.

We are all well aware that today’s technology has jumped leaps and bounds over the past decade. If you thought viewing concertgoers’ video clips the next day on YouTube of a prior night’s concert was out of this world, you haven’t seen anything yet. What if I told you that a certain Brooklyn based band that has been featured on One Tree Hill did free live music stream’s weekly through the use of Facebook? It’s true! The band is called Wakey!Wakey! fronted by the talented musician Michael Grubbs (also known as the bartender “Grubbs” on the show). Every Monday at 8pm from now up until April 19th you can catch the live music stream via Wakey!Wakey!’s Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account, it’s very easy to set up. All you have to do is search on Facebook for the Wakey!Wakey! page, once on the page click on the music stream tab, then click on the play button, and you are set to go! The live stream will start at approximately 8pm (or a little after) and there you can enjoy musical bliss as well as chat with fellow people who are watching the live stream. I love this because not only do you have a live performance streaming in the convenience of your own home, but you can chat live with Wakey!Wakey!’s manager Wes who answers all of your Wakey!Wakey! questions and takes song requests to pass onto Mr. Grubbs. Additionally, if you can’t catch the live stream on Monday nights the next day the previous night’s music stream is posted for you to watch at your earliest convenience. Thus, every Monday at 8pm until One Tree Hill comes back from hiatus, you will find me watching the Wakey!Wakey! live music stream while chatting amongst other fans and music enthusiasts.

Let it be known that this amazingly talented band is a breath of fresh air! No matter what kind of music you listen to, I truly believe that everyone can appreciate the raw talent that exudes Wakey!Wakey!. You can find their latest full length album Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You, as well as other songs, on their MySpace page, iTunes, and their record label’s website thefamilyrecords.com.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Porgy and Bess - It's Finally Here

The 1935 opera The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess is an opera that is considered part of standard operatic repertoire. And it has also eluded us here at the State Theatre for a couple of years now. It seems like forever that we have been trying to book this show, because no matter what we did, inevitably something always went wrong -- we didn't have an available date, the timing was just off, etc, etc. And now after years of follow-up and determination, we are finally presenting Porgy and Bess on March 25. And, even better, it is the full-scale production of the opera. You may know Porgy and Bess from all of the iconic Gershwin songs including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’,” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So." And now, you can see it brought to life, right here in central Jersey.

I hope to see you there. I know I certainly can't wait (anymore).
—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations