Imagine yourself in an intimate place, absorbing the glorious sound of
music or laughing to the
comedian’s antics while surrounded by the inspiring colors and forms of works of art!
The Upper Gallery has 12-foot ceilings, superb acoustics, and a seating capacity of 100.
“Comedy Plus A Side Order of Thinking”
an Offsides NJ Production
Saturday, October 18, 8 p.m.
Offsides NJ Productions
A comedian and three playwrights are joining forces to present “Comedy Plus A Side Order of Thinking,” a variety show of original work.
The evening will include a performance by Joanne Filan, a seasoned observational comedian, and three plays: The Code of Silence by Poet on Watch, Lockdown by Jennifer DiOrio, and Catladies: The Musical That Makes Lawyers Purr by Sarah Dubinsky. A dessert reception will follow the performance. Reviewers and theater representatives are invited to attend. This show is not innocent enough for children.
Filan’s “Upstream of Consciousness” comedy, described as “strong enough for a man but pH balanced for a woman,” complements the three plays which explore love of all kinds, lgbtq issues, social media, and other topics.
An Offsides NJ Production by Jennifer DiOrio, the show is directed by Melanie Heit Rivellese, with Sherr Rase serving as Assistant Director and Stage Manager. Cast members include Melanie Heit Rivellese, Sherr Rase, Deana Loria, Kyle Schickner (of FenceSitter Films), Lara McDavit, Michael Valentine, Poet on Watch, and Sonja Price.
About Joanne Filan: After growing up in New Jersey (but refusing to die there), Joanne has made her way around the comedy club scene and around the comedy country. Performing at well-known places like The Friars Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Caroline’s, New York Comedy Club, The Laugh Factory and more, not to mention being a fixture in the traveling show “The Broads of Broadway,” she is well known in the comedy world. She even reaches the masses through her television and media appearances, including Here TV’s Hot Gay Comics, Comedy Time TV, and in “Comics Favorite Jokes” in the NY Post. Joanne has taken part in festivals and competitions as well, from The New York Underground Comedy Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival in Boston to this year’s The Ladies of Laughter Competition. To find out where she is next, go to www.upstreamcomedy.com and follow the stream.
About Poet on Watch: Poet On Watch is a southern-rooted performance poet, director, and screenwriter. She has worked with theater companies, universities, cultural organizations, social institutions, and individual artists across North America, North Africa, Canada, and Europe through her commissioned writing programs. Poet On Watch has been published in two anthologies, Mother Tongue and Mighty Real: An Anthology Of African-American Same Gender Loving Writing. She is also the author of two collections of poetry entitled Sageburner Simple Pleasure and Poet On Watch published by Freeverse Publishing. Check out http://www.poetonwatch.com for more information.
About Jen DiOrio: A content but curious native of New Jersey, Jen DiOrio is the writer, producer, and sole proprietor at Offsides NJ Productions (founded in 2008). In 2010, she self-produced Offsides, her full-length tragicomedy directed by NY-based Alberto Bonilla at the Watchung Arts Center in New Jersey, where she also produced a 10-minute play showcase featuring the scripts of her writing group (2013). LA-based Kyle Schickner of FenceSitter Films will produce Jen’s upcoming web series, based on her 30-minute triptych also featured at the showcase. A member of the Dramatists Guild and Women Who Write, Jen will be a guest speaker at the 4th Annual Women’s Writing Retreat at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in September 2014. For more information on Jen’s productions, go to http://offsidesnjproductions.wordpress.com.
About Sarah Dubinsky: Sarah loves her pussycats and any other furred creatures she can pet. Her songs, poems, and stories glitter like pyrite and have the depth of a puddle. Surprisingly, Sarah has been rejected by eleven of the very best Master of Fine Arts in Poetry programs in the English speaking world. Fortunately, she already had her law degree at the time she applied. Sarah once dreamed of being a lawyer. Having attained her goal, Sarah then dreamed of being a writer. Having now attained that goal, Sarah dreams of more cats than can possibly fit on the internet. And sometimes those cats dream of her. To meow with Sarah, go to http://www.catladiesthemusical.com.
Saturday, November 8, 8 p.m.
3Stones is a trio that plays the music they love. Inspired by many genres such as bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, and country, 3Stones perform great original songs and a variety of covers that may take you by surprise. The music of this eclectic group ranges from Bill Monroe to Emerson, Lake and Palmer, along with plenty of good stuff in between, all done in their own way with sweet harmonies, heart, soul and fun!
Come enjoy the musicianship of Peter Becker on mandolin and guitar, Bruce Jepson on guitar and mandola, and Sandy Joren on acoustic and electric bass, and the unique harmonic blend of their three voices.
Please note: the date for the February Improvables performance has changed.
Adult Improv: Saturday, October 11, 8 p.m.
Family Improv: Saturday, November 15, 8 p.m.
Adult Improv: Saturday, January 10, 8 p.m.
Family Improv: Saturday, February 7, 8 p.m.
Adult Improv: Saturday, March 14, 8 p.m.
Family Improv: Saturday, April 25, 8 p.m.
Adult Improv: Saturday, May 16, 8 p.m.
The Improvables have been providing the Center’s audiences with zany, raucous one-of-a-kind and never-to-be-repeated humor since 2002. Each show features a series of games in which the performers act out various scenes, based on audience suggestions, without advanced knowledge of the topics. Come ready to laugh at the antics of this wonderful improvisational troupe of actors including Randy Schweriner, David Kritz, Michele Kerekes, and Brandon Lericos of Bridgewater, Phil Hochman of Plainfield, Roberta Maher of Mt. Arlington and Mike Griffin of Hillsborough.
Family-friendly shows are suitable for children 10 and older, while adult shows are “R” rated.
Autumn Serenade featuring
Marty Eigen's Beacon Hill Jazz Band,
with opening act, pianist Bob Aquino
Saturday, October 25, 8 p.m.
Marty Eigen's Beacon Hill Jazz Band will begin its 11th season at the Watchung Arts Center with jazz pianist, composer and arranger Bob Aquino opening the show on solo piano.
Bob is former chairman of Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus jazz studies program. Among his credits are the score to the Cannes Film Festival prize-winning short film Ursula, first-prize winner of the Abraham Frost competition for his composition Three Dances for Seven Woodwinds. He has performed the theme music for the sitcom Strangers, as well as several commercials . He now focuses on solo piano with two recent concerts at Steinway Hall in New York City. This will be his premier performance in New Jersey.
Featuring some of the best musicians in the area, the Beacon Hill Jazz Band has been a perennial Watchung Arts Center favorite, appearing to rave reviews and always with a musical surprise in store. Catch them on stage and off as you mingle with this energetic group during the “Meet-the-Musicians” reception following the performance.
ImpresaRIO Series: Rio Clemente
Friday,November 21, 8 p.m.
Rio Clemente draws the audience up in a musical embrace and then takes them on an extraordinary journey of fanciful melodies and scintillating rhythms. As a master pianist, educator, composer, arranger and recording artist, Clemente mixes a strong classical background with a rich knowledge of jazz history, and then adds an amazing sense of creativity and interpretation. The result is a smorgasbord of music that is different from others, and nearly always produces a standing ovation and cries for “more.” With his passionate musicality, impressive technique and nimble facility at the keyboard, Rio brings something very special and decidedly unequalled to his audience.
Rio was a child prodigy who received a BMI scholarship for musical theatre and then continued his education at the Julliard School of Music. He went from Julliard to Nashville, where he spent two years as a performer and composer, making appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. After several television appearances, Rio advanced professionally to playing at several distinguished concert halls and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Manhattan’s famous Birdland and the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, as well as the Newport and JVC Jazz Festivals, and a memorable appearance at the White House. He regularly appears with groups such as The Morris Choral Society and Orchestra and at jazz venues from Manhattan to Cape Cod and from Florida to California. He has composed three masses and three musicals of which his “Dobdinob” has been published and performed around the country. He has recorded for well-known labels and has published eight CDs under his own label, Etnemelc Music Productions.
A native of Morristown, NJ, Clemente is New Jersey’s own jewel of the jazz world. He is a member of the Morristown Hall of Fame, was named by the NJ Council of the Arts as an Outstanding Professional of the Year, and recognized as one of the “Top 40 New Jerseyans” by the New Jersey Monthly.
He is a proud member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary at Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
Enjoy videos of some of the past season's performances at the WAC
The Three Jazz DivasLauren Hooker sings "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
Saturday, Feb 1
Saturday, May 31.