The Centenary Stage Company (CSC) is once again bringing in a variety of concerts and special events to round out their theatre season at The Lackland Center in Hackettstown. With the annual January Jazz Fest and Dance Fest celebrations, audiences can also expect an array of children’s entertainment and unique musical experiences. For affordable entertainment all year long in Northwest New Jersey, CSC is the place to be.
January Jazz Fest swings back to the Sitnik stage with three different concerts. Back by popular demand is the Benny Goodman Tribute: by the Stan Rubin Orchestra on January 10th at 8 pm. Benny Goodman is known for his talents as a band leader, conductor, and clarinetist. Celebrating the life and music of Goodman, whose career spanned over 50 years, Stan Rubin is committed to preserving and performing the music as it sounded in its heyday. On January 17th at 8 pm, Stanton Davis and the New Orleans Sound bring the rhythms of Dixieland to our stage. Stanton Davis Jr. is an American jazz trumpeter who was born and raised in the rich musical traditions of New Orleans. He has played with the biggest names in jazz and has even been heard in the orchestra pits on Broadway. Finishing up the festival is Féte Manouche on January 24th at 8 pm. The lord and master of Gypsy Jazz, or Jazz Manouche, was the legendary Django Reinhardt. Clarinetist Dan Levinson discovered Jazz Manouche while living in Paris in the early 1990s and was mesmerized. In 2004 he assembled Féte Manouche and since then has been keeping the Django legacy alive in the New York area, captivating audiences both young and young at heart.
On February 7th at 8 pm, one of the last black string bands in the United States, comes to the Sitnik stage. The Ebony Hillbillies keep an important legacy alive with a rootsy, homegrown style that was a key element in the genesis of All American Music-Jazz, Rock and Roll, Blues, Bluegrass, and Country. They have maintained their grassroots credibility with inspiring heartstring tugs and toe-taps in fans of all types of music with a musical repertoire that pays homage to the traditional while still looking toward the future.
On March 14th at 8 pm, with ageless songs and fine musicianship, the audience will be transported to another time and place with Colcannon. Authentic, joyous Irish music with a touch of chamber music, Colcannon plays with panache, warmth, and wit. They have developed a distinctive, inventive, and contemporary musical style while still keeping in firm touch with the heart and essence of traditional Irish music. Colcannon’s concerts are renowned for their energy, for frontman Mick Bolger’s irrepressible sense of humor and sly wit, and, of course, for the music.
The New Jersey Ballet returns to the Sitnik stage this year with two different performances. Set to the music of Sondheim, Cole Porter, and the duo of Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul, Ballet on Broadway presents some of Broadway’s most memorable dance sequences from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to Kiss Me Kate on November 8th at 8 pm. On November 9th at 2 pm, the New Jersey Ballet presents a delightful double feature showing the power of courage and kindness. Peter and the Wolf/Beauty and the Beast feature original “storyteller” narration. Clever Peter and his friends dance to Prokofiev’s famous score, while Beauty’s gentle ways turn the Beast into a handsome Prince.
Dance Fest returns to the Sitnik Theater March 26th-29th with a wide range of dance styles and entertainment. Moe-tion Dance Theater will start things rolling on March 26th at 7:30 pm. This contemporary modern dance company is dedicated to experimenting and creating new forms of expression. Creator Maureen Glennon is reinventing a piece dedicated to her grandmother who suffered from dementia. Originally a solo for Glennon, Betty will be a three section dance, representing phases of her grandmother's life. Then, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company fuses the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art on March 28th at 8 pm. A blossom of color, energy, and motion, “like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy,” says the New York Times. The company’s productions take the audience beyond cultural boundaries where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from disciple. Closing out the Dance Fest is Claire Porter: Prepositions on a Piano on March 29th at 5 pm. Porter is an American choreographer/comedienne known for blending comedic monologues with dance movement. The Village Voice says, “Porter is always delightful, often wickedly funny.” Prepositions celebrates Claire Porter’s merging of music, dance, language, and humor.
FAMILY FUN SERIES
There is fun for the entire family at CSC with the continuation of the Family Fun Series. Events begin on Saturday, October 25th at 2 pm in the intimate Little Theatre with The Amazing Face. The Amazing Face is an innovative performance art that brings stories to life on the faces of the audience in a fun and surprising way. Audiences will be amazed as they see faces transformed close up alongside exciting and scary tales from around the world and original stories to delight audience members of any age. Next up, is Skullduggery, A Magical Pirate Adventure on Sunday, February 1st at 2pm in the Sitnik Theater. Prepare for a high seas adventure with the most amazing crew of scalawags ever to set sail on the Spanish Main. Illusionist John Bundy and Morgan conjure up a treasure chest of incredible illusions. This will be a thrilling theatrical Pirate adventure that the whole family will enjoy. Finishing up this series is an interactive detective romp for the entire family, Clueless on Saturday, April 11th at 2pm in the Sitnik Theater. After learning a stash of gold is hidden somewhere in the room and that a killer is lurking among them, a familiar cast of characters – including Colonel Ketchup and Mrs. Blueberry – try to outwit each other with the help of the audience in a hilarious race to figure out whodunit. Clueless will have everyone laughing and wondering who the real murderer is.
Tickets for Centenary Stage Company productions range from $17.50-$29.50, and they may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org or by calling the CSC Box office at 908-979-0900. The Box Office is also opened for ticket sales from 1-5 PM in the Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown. Several subscriptions options are available now, with flexible date options and savings of up to 54%.
The 2014-15 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made
possible through the visionary and generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, Bronze Sponsor Fulton Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.