Beth's Book Review

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal NJ is Not to be Missed

Usually this column reviews both non-fiction and fiction books. Today I would like to digress and inform you about a true New Jersey gem, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, located at 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ. Nestled in a suburban area, just a couple of miles from the Atlantic Ocean, this stunning venue is housed in a JCC building. Its easy to access location, just off Route 35, ample parking, and modern theater makes it a perfect place to hold outstanding concerts and Broadway quality theatrical performances.

` I found out about the Axelrod Performing Arts Center through a newspaper advertisement announcing a production of In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's precursor to the astonishingly successful Hamilton. Having missed In the Heights (it played at the Richard Rogers Theater from 2008-2011), I was tickled to learn that orchestra seats at the Axelrod were a whopping $38 per person, with senior and student discounts available.

Of the production, Director-Choreographer Luis Salgado wrote in the Playbill, “In the Heights is a story that must be told at this moment when many are being forced to question their belonging in our society within the United States. Exploring this idea grounded the work and the importance of the “why” to every actor's commitment to the truth of not only their characters but themselves. I could not be prouder of this cast and every person who has contributed to telling this story.” Salgado credits his friend, Lin-Manuel Miranda for “his incredible example as it serves as a key of possibility to us all,” and to choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler who created the dances in the Broadway production. Salgado was the Latin dance choreographer for the Broadway production and also performed the role of Jose in the original cast of the show.

Sign Up for E-News

In the Heights won the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreograpy and Best Orchestrations. The Broadway cast scored a Grammy for Best Album as well.

Everything about the production at the Axelrod was Broadway quality. The talented cast was assembled from around the globe. Jonathan Mousset, who starred as Usnavi, the narrator of the tale, sounded eerily like Lin-Manuel Miranda, as he sang about longing for the Dominican Republic, where he had immigrated from as a young child. Maite Uzal, a native of Spain, played Abuela Claudia, the matriarch of the piece. Her rich voice was positively haunting. The willowy and gorgeous Laura Lebron played Vanessa, love interest of Usnavi.

The Latina dancing in the show is so hot that the stage sizzles, and the performers managed the free style rap with ease and grace. Despite the intensity and rapidity with which the raps are delivered, no lines are lost and the rich and meaningful themes are conveyed with passion. Everything about this production reflects the commitment of the musicians, actors, dancers, and crew to delivering a thrilling theatrical experience. In fact, the Axelrod had to add extra performances due to the sell-out crowds clamoring to see the production.

Upcoming events at the Axelrod include a Pop concert series with a Bob Dylan Tribute, Jay Siegel's Tokens and the Shirelles' Shirley Alston Reeves, and The Hit Men---Leendary Performerw with Frankie Valli, Carole King, and Cat Stevens.

A Broadway and Jazz Concert Series include a concert commemorating Ella Gitzgerald's 100th Birthday, Over the Rainbow with Art Topilow and Ann Hampton Calloway celebrating the music of Harold Arlin, and Carmen Cusack and Jeff Blumenkrantz.

Tony Award winner, Kelli O'Hara, will be performing a special gala concert on Saturday, October 28. Tickets for this performance begin at $75 and go up to $180. The top seats include a pre-show reception and post-show artist meet and greet.

The next show to grace the stage at the Deal location is La Cage Aux Folles, followed by the world premier of Time and Change, a new play by written Mark Medoff, who won the Tony for Children of a Lesser God. This would be a unique opportunity to witness the launch of a new play by this distinguished playwright.

The Axelrod offers a Youth Performing Arts Program, whose next production will be Disney's The Little Mermaid, coming in May. The Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts production is directed by Lisa Goldfarb and choreographed by Wendy Roman with musical direction by Randy Hurst.

Finally, coming in November is the Jersey Shore premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a musical based on the Victor Hugo novel with songs from the Disney film. I was fortunate enough to see this haunting show when it appeared at the renowned Paper Mill Playhouse two years ago. I have already ordered nine tickets to take my entire family to see the November 19th production at the Axelrod. The Hunchback has not made it to Broadway yet, but when it does, and it will, the price per ticket will be quadrupled. If you are a musical theater devotee, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this production.

To see the entire upcoming events list and to order tickets, visit www.axelrodartscenter.com or call 732-532-9106. You will not be sorry that you did.

 

Beth Moroney, former English teacher and administrator in the Edison Public School District, specialized in teaching Creative Writing and Journalism. Recently Moroney published Significant Anniversaries of Holocaust/Genocide Education and Human/Civil Rights, available through the New Jersey Commission on the Holocaust. A passionate reader, Moroney is known for recommending literature to students, teachers, parents, and the general public for over forty years. Moroney can be contacted at trackdak19@hotmail.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Found: Green Brook and Warren, Do You Know this Dog?

April 18, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Do you know me? I'm a young, male German Shepherd who appears to be around a year old. Found near Warrenville Road near the Green Brook, Bound Brook border and now at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. Call  908-725-0308.

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work ...

Looking for a Summer Program? Try Brain Training

Looking for an enriching and fun summer program for your children?  Why not try brain training?  Find out more: LearningRx in Warren is offering free trial sessions on May 2nd and May 9th.  Click on the following link for more information: https://www.learningrx.com/warren/local_page/free-1-hr-trial-session/. 

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Baby Seal Waddles Its Way onto Belmar Beach

BELMAR, NJ — A baby seal waddled its way onto the Fifth Avenue beach earlier today to enjoy one of the warmest days of spring so far.

Around noon on April 12, photographer Nancy Orlowski took these snapshots, which have also been posted on the Belmar Facebook page where it states that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has been notified.

This is the second known instance ...

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 12, 2018

 

TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 17, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

WHRHS Baseball: Watchung Hills Tops Morristown, 6-3

April 11, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Senior Joe Blajsa picked up his first win of the season and Kevin Badger went 4-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and one RBI to lead Watchung Hills over Morristown on Wednesday, 6-3.

Blajsa pitched six and 2/3 innings allowing only six hits, striking out five and walking one. Junior Ben Ant came in for the strikeout save to pick up his ...

New DMV Facility Should Ease Crunch in Somerville

April 23, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - B. Sue Fulton is just beginning to find her away around her new office in Trenton , but the newly-sworn director of the Department of Motor Vehicles found her way to Somerville Saturday at the invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman for a visit to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place which has been causing headaches for neighborhood residents.

She ...

Blue Mass Celebration at Immaculate Conception School Honors Police

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Immaculate Conception School hosted a “Blue Mass” Friday morning at Immaculate Conception R.C. Church to honor the men and women of law enforcement.

The mass was attended by all students and staff in the K-8th grade school, with more than 100 members of law enforcement, including Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

The annual mass was also ...

Watchung Borough Council Recognizes Watchung Hills Senior Julia Cunningham, Proclaims April 19 Julia Cunningham Day

WATCHUNG, NJ - Watchung resident and Watchung Hills Regional High School graduating senior, Julia Cunningham was recognized at a special meeting of the Watchung Borough council Thursday. 

Councilman Bill Nehls praised Cunningham, “ as probably one of the best basketball players in the state,” and “an inspiration for girls in the seventh and eighth grades, ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

TAPintoTravels Area Teens Invited to the First Meeting of Aviation Explorer Post 523

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Exploring helps young people make more informed decisions about future careers and learn about different jobs within a particular field. 

In that vein, Aviation Explorer Post 523 will hold its first meeting for young men and women, ages 14-20, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., at DM Airports, 8 Airport Road in Morristown. Future meetings will ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...