She got the call, and an hour later opera singer Giselle Bellas of Jersey City was in Avatar Studios in Manhattan working out a song with Louis C.K. for the 5th episode of his Peabody and Emmy Award winning TV Show LOUIE (Thursdays, 10:30 pm, FX). Louis C.K. sang the lyrics he wrote into an iPhone and left Giselle to collaborate with his band SweetPro, which does all the original music for the series. The result: Giselle sang a haunting tune called “Diarrhea” that plays over the episode’s losing credits.
Adding Flair to Tradition, Richman’s Dancers Promenade to Madonna
By Sally Deering
Slip the Clutch, Shoot the Star and Roll Away with a Half Sashay; these may be non-sequiturs to most of us but to square-dance fans these terms get them twirling on the dance floor and if Howard Richman’s calling the dance, there might be some Madonna in the mix.
Square Dance calling may not be a typical job found on a resume, but Richman does it to add to his income as a theater artist and he travels throughout the Tri-State area to gyms, schools and church halls to put people through their paces on the dance floor.
“A cursed bloodline. A family on the edge. If this house could speak, what stories it would tell.”
That’s the tagline for the new play THE HOUSE OF ATREUS which premieres Thursday, June 4, at Art House Productions in Jersey City. It’s a collaborative work between Christine Goodman (Executive Director of Art House Productions) who wrote the piece, Mason Beggs, who directed, and choreographer Meagan Woods.
THE HOUSE OF ATREUS is an immersive and unconventional theater piece. Instead of putting the actors on stage and the audience in rows of seats to observe, the set takes up the entire theater with a chair and TV in one area, a broken down porch in another, and a dining room table at center. The audience enters through a haze of smoky fog and is encouraged to find a spot of their choosing to watch the play as it unfolds around them. This immerses the audience into the play’s action, which becomes part of the overall theater experience.
“The audience will be active observers,” Goodman says, sitting on set with Beggs and Woods during a break in tech rehearsal. “We’re changing the audience’s perspective.”
Jersey City’s “Restaurant Row” starts at Grove Street and moves west along Newark Avenue where bistros offer foods of many cultures. Now, there’s a new kid on the block – Raval Tapas Bar & Cocktail Lounge – where guests are invited to enjoy flavors of Spain.
Raval Tapas Bar & Cocktail Lounge recently opened on Newark Avenue with Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop cutting the ribbon at a Grand Opening ceremony and friends gathering for champagne and finger foods to welcome Raval to the neighborhood. Cuisine from Spain is the latest concept from the owners, the Restaurant Development Group (RDG), which also owns the Lucky 7 Tavern, and Satis Bistro in Jersey City.
Bayonne’s Culture Scene Takes Off -Art, Theater and New Outdoor Stage on the Rise
By Sally Deering
Jersey City’s culture scene just got some competition. It seems Bayonne, its Hudson sister to the south has been going through a renaissance of sorts. Art galleries, theater companies and now a new performing arts pavilion are giving the city a cultural facelift.
There’s the JCC of Bayonne’s Fine Art Gallery currently featuring A COUPLE OF IMAGES, paintings and photographs by Bayonne residents and artists Billy Zbylut and Patty Mulligan; the Art Circle of Bayonne at the Bayonne Community Museum which has a Spring Art Show underway featuring Bayonne artists; the new Bayonne Theater Company is hosting a gala on Thursday, May 21, with its first show THE MUSIC MAN in pre-production; and a Bayonne performing arts pavilion which will host local theater, music and dance groups, as well as stars like Willie Nelson is breaking ground in a few weeks. .