Arts & Entertainment

Paper Mill Playhouse Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Gala



SHORT HILLS, NJ - The Paper Mill Playhouse embarked upon its 75th year in fine fashion, hosting its largest fundraising event of the year, The 75th Anniversary Gala, on Friday at the Hilton Short Hills.

The festive evening began with a reception and silent auction where guests had the opportunity to mingle, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and bid on a wide array of donated prizes.

Sign Up for E-News

“We couldn’t be more excited to host this sold out crowd to kick off our 75th year,” Todd Schmidt, the Paper Mill Playhouse’s Managing Director said.  He noted that the year’s lineup of shows would consist of five musicals.  “That is something we have not done in years.  For our anniversary, it’s an homage to the tradition of what the Paper Mill is best known for,” he said.

Revelers were then invited into the ballroom, where The Eddie Bruce Band was already in full swing.  The jam-packed evening included dinner, dancing, special performances and awards.  It was clear that the Paper Mill Playhouse is a beloved institution with an influence that spreads far beyond the borders of Millburn and even New Jersey.

Michael Gepner, Director of Marketing for the Paper Mill, said the gala, “was a great way to commemorate our 75th year.  Most professional theaters in this country don’t last nearly that long.” He said the Paper Mill is “the premier musical theater in the country.”

Governor Brendan Byrne was on hand to celebrate, and said, “I have been going to the Paper Mill Playhouse for 50 years, at least.  I just love it.”

Theater fan Milt Meritt of Roseland had similar feelings, saying, “I thoroughly enjoy the performances at the Paper Mill.  It is always a great theater experience.”

Kim Kaminski, the Branch Manager of Investor’s Bank in Millburn, said,  “Investor’s has been a sponsor of Paper Mill for many years.  They are a major benefit to the community and we are very proud of our association with them.”

Students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theatre School, Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and Broadway Show Choir performed for the crowd, reminding all in attendance of the amazing work done in the education and outreach programs of the Playhouse, including The Paper Mill Theatre School, The Adopt-a-School Project, The Rising Star Awards, Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, August Musical Theatre Intensive, Guest Artist Master Classes and Professional Development Seminars.

Jeremy Jordan, star of the NBC musical drama “Smash,” also performed.   He was nominated for a Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical for his lead performance as Jack Kelly in Disney’s hit musical “Newsies,” which had its world premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 before moving on to Broadway. 

There were two special honors presented by the Playhouse:

The Byrne/Kean Arts Advocate Award was presented to Kevin Cummings, the President and CEO of Investors Bank.  This award recognizes his “passionate work on behalf of New Jersey’s arts community.”

The Antoinette Scudder Patron of the Arts Award was given to Carolyn Ferolito, Philanthropist and Paper Mill Playhouse Trustee. This award is named after the Paper Mill Playhouse co-founder who purchased the old Diamond Paper Mill and transformed it into the Paper Mill Playhouse.

All proceeds raised at the gala will be helping to fund the Paper Mill’s productions, professional training programs, arts education and outreach.  Sponsors of the Gala included the Hilton Short Hills, Hamilton Jewelers, American Airlines and Neiman Marcus. As a not-for-profit arts organization, they rely on the generous contributions of corporations, foundations, and individuals.  Learn more at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


A Tale of Two Very Different Town Administrator Searches

Both Maplewood and South Orange are looking for new town administrators at the same time, a rare occurrence.

And their approaches couldn’t be any more different.

Maplewood, whose long-time administrator Joseph Manning is retiring May 31, launched its search last month the old-fashioned way: hiring a recruiting firm and letting them do the heavy lifting (or more appropriately the ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Teens Arrested for Theft from Auto

February 20, 2018

February 12 - Theft; A resident from Burroughs Way reported that sometime over the past day, a snow blower was stolen from an open garage.

February 17- Theft from Auto; At approximately 5:15 p.m., two males were observed going through vehicles on Hillcrest Rd.  Officers responded to the area and were able to locate two males fitting the description. The males, 18 year ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested for Robbery in South Orange

Adult Arrest - Robbery - Shawn Ray Newsome, a 20 year old Newark resident and a 17 year old juvenile were arrested on Saturday, Feb. 3, at approximately 10:45 p.m. for robbery. Two male victims reported that as they were walking on South Orange Ave near the Newark border, they were approached by three actors (described as black males wearing dark clothing and black masks) who ...

Blood Drives in SOMA: Maplewood on Feb. 22 and South Orange on Feb. 26

February 19, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Due to winter storms and flu disrupting blood donations, the Red Cross is urging donors to donate and help maintain blood supply, according to a press release from the organization.

In January, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, ...

Maplewood Seniors Enjoy a Visit from Alfalfa the Alpaca on Valentine's Day

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - If you were at the Maplewood Senior Center on Wednesday - which happened to be Valentine's Day - you would have seen the somewhat unusual sight of an alpaca. Alfalfa the Alpaca to be precise.


The visit from Alfalfa was the first in the "creature comfort" series from the Maplewood Recreation Department.


Maplewood Recreation Director Melissa ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

St. Andrew & Holy Communion Parish Hall, South Orange

Lenten Friday Fish Fry Dinners

Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:30 PM

Maplewood Middle School Auditorium, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School Presents Rogers & ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

February 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Illegal South Ward Rooming House Closed for Life-Threatening Conditions, 12 Relocated

Newark, NJ—An illegal rooming house in Newark's South Ward has been shuttered and 12 people relocated after Newark fire inspectors discovered life-threatening conditions inside the property on Friday.

Newark Fire Inspectors responded after citizen complaints to a one-family house at 46-48 Van Ness Place and found “deplorable conditions” inside the ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Police: 15-Year-Old Westfield Boy Arrested in Strong Arm Robbery, Car Theft

WESTFIELD, NJ — A 15-year-old Westfield boy has been charged in the assault and robbery of another teen and, separately, car theft, according to Westfield police.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was first arrested Jan. 9, along with a 16-year-old boy from Newark, when the two were caught by police Newark with a stolen Dodge Charger from ...

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate in Maplewood on Feb. 27

February 21, 2018

Join Tullamore Dew and St. James's Gate for a 5 course whiskey dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

5 courses with 5 whiskies.

The menu is as follows:

Sea Urchin 2 ways
Scallop crudo in shell
Whiskey injected oysters
Squid ink gnocchi, head on prawn and kobe beef
Whiskey creme Anglaise filled chocolate dipped ricotta doughnut

Call 973-378-2222 to reserve your ...

SOMA Film Festival to Host World and US Premieres

For the first time in it's three year history, SOMA Film Festival will be offering films that will be seen for the first time ever in America, and the world. 

The first of the two world premieres is the profound Fatherhood, a documentary feature about young people from Memphis, LA, New York and London that speak the truth about their absent fathers and perform music videos of original ...

Atlantic Health System Earns Spot for 10th Year on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ List

Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today celebrated a decade of excellence after it was recognized among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking number 74 in its 10th consecutive year on the prestigious annual list.

It is the only health care delivery system from New Jersey, and the top-ranked New Jersey based company on the ...