What do You want to do this weekend?

What do you want to do this weekend? Play a little poker? See a little roller derby? Celebrate Earth Day the right way? Man, this is your weekend.

 Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament

When/Where: Friday at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 423, Jefferson

Why Go: To help out the Jefferson Arts Committee

Cost: $100

 2012 ‘Canine Cotillion’ Benefiting St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

When/Where: Friday, 7 p.m., Westin Governor Morris, Morris Township

Why Go: You want to help benefit the homeless animals while having a good time.

Cost: $275 per person includes one dog

Morristown Townwide Cleanup

When/Where: Saturday at 9 a.m. (heavy rain date Sunday at 9 a.m.) from Town Hall, 200 South St.

Why Go: You want to help make Morristown an even prettier place by picking up.

Cost: Free

 National Day of Puppetry

When/Where: Saturday at 9 a.m. at the 4-H Center on Milltown Road, Bridgewater.

Why Go: To celebrate a day about marionettes and puppets with the Garden State Puppetry Guild that will host different workshops to learn about using puppets, while also hosting performances of this fun art.

Cost: $15

 Flea Market

When/Where: Saturday at 9 a.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Jefferson.

Why Go: To find some cool treasures and help the church

Cost: Bring your wallet

 German Language School Open House

When/Where: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. at Morristown-Beard, Morris Township

Why Go: You want to learn about the German Language School of Morris County

Cost: Free

 New Jersey Roller Derby Season Opener

When/Where: Saturday, 6 p.m. at Inline Morristown

Why Go: You want to cheer on the region’s newest roller derby group.

Cost: $10 presale, $12 at the door

 Benefit Concert for Cystic Fibrosis

When/Where: Saturday, 7 p.m. at Sona Thirteen, Morristown

Why Go: You want to listen to the Eric Hayes Band, while helping out a pair of causes.

Cost: $65

 SCARS Healing Workshop

When/Where: Sunday, 10 a.m. at Morristown Neighborhood House

Why Go: You want to participate in a free day of healing for women overcoming serious illnesses or challenging circumstances.

Cost: Free (registration required)

2012 Earth Day Experience

When/Where: Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. at the Dehart Street Parking Garage, Morristown

Why Go: You want to check out sustainable vendors, get tips, learn more about sustainability and how you can be part of the process.

Cost: Free to attend

Collage Concert – One World, One Language

When/Where: Sunday, 4 p.m. at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown

Why Go: You want to hear some good music with good people.

Cost: Free

Schedule via Morristown Patch

A Suburban Town Sees Housing Where Retail Rules

via The New York Times

Luxury condos overlook the historic Green in Morristown, N.J.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Jordan Eppolito has taken a liking to his new home here in the Morris County seat, about 30 miles west of New York City. Mr. Eppolito, a 28-year-old entrepreneur who plans to open a pizza shop this fall on South Street, lives in a new condominium overlooking the Morristown Green, the historic park at the center of town.

His condominium, called 40 Park, is part of a burst of development and redevelopment that has brought more than 500 new residential units to Morristown in the last three years, attracted young professionals and well-to-do baby boomers, and ignited interest in the town of about 19,000 … READ MORE

Aztec Two-Step brings 40th-anniversary tour to Morristown

via The Daily Record  

Written by Bill Nutt | For NJ Press Media

They’ve never had a hit song. They’ve never won a Grammy. They’ve never been the subject of a popular movie. They’ve never even appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Aztec Two-Step is (from left) Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman. / File photo

But against all odds, Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman — who record and perform as Aztec Two-Step — have managed to stay together as a band since 1971.

The duo’s 40th anniversary tour will take them to the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship Friday (Aug. 12) after previous stops at the Strand Center for the Arts in Lakewood and the Sanctuary Concerts series at the Presbyterian Church in Chatham.

To hear Fowler explain it in an interview earlier this year, Aztec Two-Step came together almost by accident. In 1971, he was playing the Stone Phoenix, a club in Boston that would showcase as many as 12 acts in one night.

“You had to get there in time to be in one of the Top 12 spots,’’ he said. “One night, Neal and I were the last two.’’

Practically from the beginning, the two musicians were in sync.

“I had been looking for someone to accompany,’’ Fowler said. “I heard Neal jamming, and I thought, this guy is good. Later I found out he had been looking for someone to play with.’’

“Neal was 17, and I was the old man at 23,’’ Fowler said with a laugh. “We fit each other to a T.’’

Within a year, Aztec Two-Step (taking its name from beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti) released its debut album.

The folky harmonies, spare acoustic arrangements and literate lyrics made Aztec Two-Step something of an oddity from the start.

“Over the years, we released 12 to 15 singles, and not one charted,” he says. (A 1999 documentary about the band that aired on PBS was rather pointedly titled “No-Hit Wonder.”)

Nonetheless, Fowler and Shulman found a devoted following.

“We had what were called turntable hits,” Fowler said. Songs such as “The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)” became staples of college stations and what was then known as “progressive’’ radio.

Aztec Two-Step also earned a reputation as a solid live act.

“When I played by myself, I’d get “golf applause,’ ’’ Fowler said. “When Neal and I got on stage together, I felt like The Beatles on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ Audiences responded immediately.

In some ways, the lack of a popular single is liberating, according to Fowler.

“We don’t have that canon of hits that would make us a nostalgia act,’’ he said. “We’re able to play new material and keep (those songs) in the repertoire.” That means that a setlist of an Aztec Two-Step concert is likely to include not only songs from the early 1970s but also tracks from the 1986 album “Living in America’’ (which garnered a New York Music Award for best folk album) and the 2004 release “Days of Horses.’’

Aztec Two-Step’s most recent studio album was “Time It Was: The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook’’ in 2008.

“When we started, Simon and Garfunkel had already broken up, and we were often compared to them,’’ Fowler says. “We resisted that at first, but 35 years into our career, it seemed like a no-brainer to do a tribute to them.’’

Fowler and Shulman have pursued various side projects over the years. Fowler produced a documentary about Elvis Presley called “200 Cadillacs,’’ as well as “Imagined: The John Lennon Song Project.’’ The latter CD, a collection of covers of Lennon songs, was nominated for an Independent Music Award.

Still, neither Fowler nor Shulman seems interested in dissolving Aztec Two-Step.

“I want to say how delighted we are that people still consider us relevant,’’ Fowler said. “People do want to hear certain (older) songs, but they accept the new songs. They’re still entertained by our interaction on stage.”

‘Don Giovanni’ meets the Baroque Orchestra of N.J.

via The Daily Record 

Written by Mike Tschappat | For NJ Press Media

"Don Giovanni" culminates the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey's Summer Festival / FILE PHOTO

Don Giovanni is one of opera’s most complex characters. He’s charming, but he’s also a seducer, a bully and a murderer.

Baritone Robert Prowse is charged with bringing to life one of music’s greatest scoundrels when the Baroque Orchestra of New Jerseypresents a concert performance of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in Dolan Performance Hall at the College of Saint Elizabeth on Aug. 21.

It’s the culmination of the orchestra’s Summer Festival that begins Sunday (Aug. 14) with a concert that includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1, played by Vincent Ip, winner of the Pearl and Julius Young Rising Stars Music Competition. The festival will continue with music throughout the week.

Prowse has worked on the role of Don Giovanni (Italian for Don Juan) with New York Opera Forum, but this will be his first performance of the opera before an audience. He’s eager to get inside the head of Mozart’s rogue.

“Different singer-actors have different takes on Don Giovanni,” Prowse said. “He, of course, is known as a womanizer, but it’s often difficult to decide how much that defines him.”

In the course of the opera, he tries to seduce Donna Anna, kills her father the Commendatore, tries to seduce Zerlina, beats up Zerlina’s boyfriend, tries to seduce Donna Elvira’s maid, and eventually gets dragged to hell by the statue of the Commendatore.

“I’m not sure what a psychologist would do with him,” Prowse said. “He definitely has some issues there.”

In opera, the dramatic portrayal is guided by the music, and Mozart didn’t make it easy for the singer of the title role. There are lengthy recitatives (sung dialogue), and Prowse said it’s easy to lose one’s place.

“Another part is the extended ensembles, the big finales, Act I and Act II. Both acts have lengthy finales where a lot goes on and the music continually changes along with the drama. And so propelling that forward is also a challenge.”

This will be Prowse’s first appearance with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. He has worked with its maestro, Robert Butts, when they collaborated for Opera at Florham’s production of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” He sang the role of Germont.

“I enjoy him so much,” Prowse said of Butts. “He’s very knowledgeable and easygoing and yet he accomplishes so much. He’s just a very fine musician and he really knows how to pull things together musically.”

Although this is a concert performance, there will be costumes and some stagecraft. Prowse will be working with Karole Lewis as Donna Anna, Kevin Peters as Don Ottavio, Tonia Manteneri as Donna Elvira and Don Sheasley as the Commendatore.

“It’s a wonderful cast,” Prowse said. “We have some amazing singers. It’s just going to bring the music to life.”

A symposium, “The Enigma of the Don,” starting at 1 p.m. and led by Butts and Jude Pfister, will precede the performance.

Those who prefer their music instrumental can enjoy Sunday’s orchestral concert. It will include music by Handel and Bach, but also works by lesser-known composers such as Chevalier de Saint-George, Franz Doppler and Joseph Reicha.

But the centerpiece of the concert will be the 19-year-old Ip playing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Ip, who began playing the piano at age 5, is a student at the John J. Cali School of Music in Montclair.

Those who are hard up for cash can still enjoy the Summer Festival by dropping in at 12:15 p.m. at Grace Church in Madison to hear keyboard recitals by a variety of artists. Admission is free.

The church will host a chamber music concert on Aug. 19. A play with music about the late Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, famous for his imaginative madrigals as well as for murdering his wife and her lover, will be staged at the church on Aug. 20.

Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey Summer Festival

Orchestra Magic

3 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 14)

Dolan Performance Hall, College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morris Township

$35; $25 seniors; $5 students (age 21 and younger with ID)

Lunchtime Keyboard

12:15 p.m. Aug. 15-19

Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison


An Evening of Great Chamber Music

7:30 p.m. Aug. 19

Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison

$20; $15 seniors; $5 students (age 21 and younger with ID)

Gesualdo: A Music Drama

7:30 p.m. Aug. 20

Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison

$20; $15 seniors; $5 students (age 21 and younger with ID)

‘Don Giovanni’

3 p.m. Aug. 21

Dolan Performance Hall, College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morris Township

$35; $25 seniors; $5 students (age 21 and younger with ID)

973-366-8922; www.baroqueorchestra.org


The Open Drawing Studio Project at St. Peter’s

By Barbara Snyder via Morristown Patch

  • Where: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 70 Maple Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960 (Classes at 125 South Street)
  • Date: Weekly on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • Time: 9:00am–10:00pm
  • Next on: Today, August 5, 2011
  • OPEN to anyone and everyone looking to draw
  • DRAWING models, still-lifes, architecture, abstract
  • STUDIO a public space stocked with drawing materials & equipment
  • PROJECT starts August 3rd and ends August 28th

The Open Drawing Studio Project takes over a vacant space owned by St. Peter’s Church in Morristown, New Jersey.  An artistically minded congregation has invited us to reinvent a portion of an underused building on the campus for the month of August 2011.

Models for both life drawing and portraiture, still-lifes, and the amazing surrounding architecture will provide instructional and inspirational content. Materials will be available for drop-in drawers and easels and tables for setting up personal workspaces.  There’s a kitchen, bathrooms, and an auxiliary room for meeting and meals.

The Open Drawing Studio Project offers this space to professional artists from all disciplines who want to take a break from their private studios and production work and key back into the fine art of drawing.   Students and anyone interested in taking a serious crack at drawing are invited to share in this open studio environment.

Thank you for backing this project and for investing in the potential of those that come to the studio!

See the video about this project at Kickstarter.

Open studio drawing for students and professionals:  figure, still life, plein air, architectural, landscape, abstract.

Three sessions daily:  9am – Noon; 2pm – 5pm; 7pm – 10pm.  Wednesdays through Sundays, August 3rd through 28th.


A Squirrel’s Misstep, a Lost Day at the Courthouse

Morristown, July 20, 2011--A fire broke out in the Morris County Courthuse Wednesday morning causing the evacuation of all personnel. (Photo courtesy of the Daily Record and BOB KARP/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER / Staff Photo)

Backup battery fire leads to building closure

by Abbott Koloff and Matt Manochio Daily Record Staff Writers

The Morris County Courthouse was closed early Wednesday morning after a backup battery caught fire during a power outage caused by a squirrel.

Morristown Acting Fire Chief Jon Prachthauser said firefighters responded to an 8:58 a.m. report of smoke coming from a third-floor courtroom, and that employees already had been evacuated from the historic building, which was filling with smoke.

Jersey Central Power and Light spokesman Ron Morano said a downed wire caused by a squirrel being electrocuted led to a power outage at 6:30 a.m. for 500 customers, including the courthouse and Morris County administration building. He added that the equipment that caused the smoke at the courthouse had nothing to do with JCP&L.

Read more from the Daily Record.