Entertainment Newjerseynewsroom.com News for New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/entertainment/ Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:08:41 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb NJ Festival of Ballooning: 13 Things to Know http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/nj-festival-of-ballooning-13-things-to-know balloons072515_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Would you like to get a new perspective on New Jersey this weekend? How about looking at scenery from high above Readington’s Solberg Airport?

The 33rd Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is happened there this past weekend, and this year even Yoda will be a part of it.

Hot air balloon Master Yoda made its initial appearance at the Festival, held until Sunday July 26. The Asbury Park Press reports that Yoda is 62 feet high, 92 feet wide, and weighs 265 pounds. Festival executive producer Howard Freeman said, "It's the first time Yoda's going to be east of the Mississippi.”

Local8now.com reports that the event features 100 shaped balloons from around the world, including Yoda, an 86-foot tall Darth Vader, a 121-foot tall seahorse, and the world’s largest free-flying American flag.

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Movies Sat, 25 Jul 2015 15:14:39 +0000
'Scenes from an Execution' Off Broadway Review: Jan Maxwell Paints a Memorable Portrait of an Artist http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/scenes-from-an-execution-off-broadway-review-jan-maxwell-paints-a-memorable-portrait-of-an-artist maxwelljan072315_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

Jan Maxwell declares that, after a 26-year career, she will retire from the stage once the current Off Broadway production of “Scenes from an Execution” closes next month.

If Maxwell truly means it – aw, say it ain’t so, Jan! – fans of this excellent actress can see her give a magnificent farewell performance in a fascinating drama by British playwright Howard Barker.

Revived by the Potomac Theater Project at Atlantic Stage 2, the play is an historical drama set in Venice during the 1570s. Barker’s fictional story centers upon Galactia (Maxwell), a celebrated artist, who is commissioned by the state to paint an enormous canvas celebrating Venice’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in the naval Battle of Lepanto.

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Movies Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:33:55 +0000
'Ruthless!' Off Broadway Review: A Murderous Musical Mash-Up http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/ruthless-off-broadway-review-a-murderous-musical-mash-up ruthless072115_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

A campy musical mash-up of “The Bad Seed” with show-biz sagas such as “Gypsy!” and “All About Eve,” “Ruthless!” was quite a little Off Broadway success back in the early 1990s. The musical now reappears, in a revised 90-minute version, at that basement venue known as St. Luke’s Theater.

In brief, writer-director Joel Paley’s giddy story and lyrics regards Tina, a murderous little tyke “Born to Entertain” (as her opening song proclaims), who will kill for a good role (and does), and Judy, her simple housewife of a pearls-wearing mom, who turns out to harbor even greater gifts for the musical stage.

A sleazy agent named Sylvia St. Croix, Tina’s drama critic of a grandma who hates musicals, and a few others are involved in the twisted plot that deals out several homicides. Marvin Laird’s show-bizzy tunes make “Dames at Sea” sound like “Parsifal” but are neatly suited to this dizzy escapade.

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Movies Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:38:23 +0000
'Amazing Grace' Broadway Review: A New Musical That Is Not So Much 'Les Miz' as Simply Miserable http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/amazing-grace-broadway-review-a-new-musical-that-is-not-so-much-les-miz-as-simply-miserable amazinggrace071715_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BROADWAY REVIEW

Following more than two hours of “Amazing Grace,” an epilogue briefly notes that John Newton, the hero of this new Broadway musical, wrote the same-named hymn in 1772. That footnote is followed by a gorgeous choral rendition of the anthem by the entire cast.

This out-of-the-blue conclusion proves far more stirring than the rest of the less than impressive show that opened on Thursday at the Nederlander Theater.

It is debatable whether the real-life story of Newton’s early times as a rebellious young Englishman who became a slave trader (and then reformed) is an auspicious basis for a musical.

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Movies Fri, 17 Jul 2015 04:06:23 +0000
'Penn & Teller on Broadway' Review: More Than Simply Amazing http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/penn-a-teller-on-broadway-review-more-than-simply-amazing pennteller071514_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BROADWAY REVIEW

Tickets for “Penn & Teller on Broadway” are vanishing as quickly as the elephant whose disappearance caps the team’s enjoyable show at the Marquis Theater. So if you hope to go, better grab a seat now for this engagement that runs only through mid-August.

Marking Penn & Teller’s first New York appearance in 15 years, their 95-minute magic act delivers a series of amazing feats that are humorously annotated with sardonic commentary that what they are accomplishing is mere illusion.

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Movies Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:19:11 +0000
Dion – Return of the Wanderer http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/dion-return-of-the-wanderer Dion_DiMucci_-_Photo_3_optBY JOHN ESPOSITO
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Dion Francis DiMucci, best known to rock and roll fans worldwide simply as Dion, will be appearing at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown on Thursday, July 9. Honing his craft in the mid-1950s on the stoops and rough street corners of 187th Street and Crotona Avenue in Bronx, NY, the legendary singer-songwriter has remained one of the most extraordinarily versatile and popular performers of his generation.

At age 15, the rebel king, street corner poet, and local gang member went about recruiting the three best doo-wop singers in his neighborhood, naming themselves, Dion and the Belmonts. They lifted their name from nearby Belmont Avenue, located in the heart of the ‘Little Italy’ section of the Bronx. By 1957 Dion and the Belmonts were bona fide teen idols, scoring with the rock and roll classics, “I Wonder Why,” “A Teenager in Love,” and “Where or When.” Appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and local dance shows followed, catapulting the group to the top of the music charts. Dion has described their ethnic sound as “Black music filtered through an Italian neighborhood, coming out with an attitude.”

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Movies Wed, 08 Jul 2015 02:51:22 +0000
Shark Attacks Real and Otherwise http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/shark-attacks-real-and-otherwise SHARK_opt_copyBY WINNIE BONELLI
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 

“There’s no limit to what he’s gonna do! I mean we’ve already had three incidents, two people killed inside a week. And it’s going to happen again. It happened before! The Jersey beach…..1916! Five people chewed upon the surf!” shouted Amity Island’s Chief of Police Brody in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster “Jaws” that’s marking its 40th anniversary this summer. Brody’s warning went unheeded and the body count mounted.

In reality, Brody’s emphatic warning was based on historical facts. On July 1, 1916, a Philadelphia tourist decided to take a late afternoon dip off the waters of Beach Haven on Long Island Beach. By the time life guards responded to the 25-year-old’s cries of distress it was already too late. Moving northward 45 miles to Spring Lake five days later, the rogue shark’s next victim was a bell captain at the Essex and Sussex Hotel. Swimming a mere 130 yards from shore, his left thigh was stripped bared by the shark and he subsequently bled to death.

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Movies Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:24:15 +0000
'Of Good Stock' Off Broadway Review: Three More Sisters http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/of-good-stock-off-broadway-review-three-more-sisters ofgoodstock070115_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

Have you ever noticed that sisters tend to come in threes in famous plays?

There is Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” of course. King Lear’s three different daughters. The trio known as “The Sisters Rosensweig.” And let’s not forget that batty Southern threesome in “Crimes of the Heart” and those middle-aged siblings who battle through “August: Osage County.”

Playwright Melissa Ross presents three more sisters in “Of Good Stock,” her pleasant -- though scarcely fresh or consequential -- new comedy-drama that Manhattan Theater Club currently offers at New York City Center Stage I.

The quarrelsome offspring of a celebrated he-man novelist and his long-suffering wife, both dead, the Stockton sisters and their mates gather at their family’s summer home on Cape Cod for what proves to be a tempestuous weekend.

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Movies Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:57:19 +0000
Teaneck Celebrity Chef Danielle Saunders Helps Launch “Food Fighters” Thursday premiere on NBC http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/teaneck-celebrity-chef-danielle-saunders-helps-launch-food-fighters-thursday-premiere-on-nbc daniellesaunders_optBY WINNIE BONELLI
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Coconut oil, grapefruit, kale, and pineapple – those are the four indispensable ingredients Teaneck’s celebrity chef Danielle Saunders often relies on to elevate soul food fusion cuisine to celestial heights while making it healthier.

Earning distinction as the first African-American woman to win Food Network’s “Chopped Champions” title in 2011, an honor that carried with it $100,000 in prize money, Saunders returns to the small screen this Thursday at 8 p.m. to help officially launch NBC’s “Food Fighters’” second season. Exactly what Danielle is preparing and who she’ll be competing against are clocked in secrecy, but her proven track record reflects her ability at overcoming pressure and time restraints.

Serving as Sean “Diddy” Combs’ personal chef for four years, and more recently in the same capacity for R&B singer Mary J. Blige and her hubby, Kendu Isaacs, Saunders has demonstrated her flexibility in prepared breakfast for 30 guests on one-hour notice, or turning out a procession of gourmet style dinners from a gallery sized kitchen on a tour bus.

She interjects, “Experiences like this help build character, make me stronger, more patient, confident, and at the same time humble. Some of my clients are very specific regarding what they want, while others leave the choices entirely up to me. Food has many medicinal benefits and I regularly work with two nutritionists to see what is good and implement those foods in my cooking.”

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Movies Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:30:15 +0000
'Shows for Days' Off Broadway Review: A Writer's Sentimental Journey Into His Beginnings http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/shows-for-days-off-broadway-review-a-writers-sentimental-journey-into-his-beginnings ShowForDays070115_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW

“Shows for Days” is Douglas Carter Beane’s funny, sweet-natured, semi-autobiographical play about a 14 year-old suburban kid who gets involved with a community theater group in Reading, PA.

He immediately falls in love with doing theater; encounters an unforgettable character who affects his future path; becomes aware that he possesses talent as a writer; and has sex for the very first time. These key experiences are agreeably dramatized with humor and warmth by Beane, author of “The Little Dog Laughed” and “As Bees in Honey Drown” among more than a dozen other plays and musicals.

Elevating “Shows for Days” into a prime Off Broadway attraction by their presence, Patti LuPone and Michael Urie head the company of Lincoln Center Theater’s premiere at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.

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Movies Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:37:51 +0000