Sarah's Sneak Peeks!
Posted on 11/04/2018
I have had the great pleasure of working in presenting theatres like State Theatre New Jersey for most of my career. Although producing theatres are important creators of stories, I love the opportunities made possible by curating multiple genres for a community. As they say, “ya never know what you’re gonna get”…or what might appeal to you next. One day a classical concert, the next a Broadway musical, and then a world-renowned dancer or headlining musical act. State Theatre has been a curator of these powerful experiences for residents of New Brunswick, Middlesex, and the larger central New Jersey area for many years and I am honored to join this historic organization and continue this curation of the power of live performance!
In the coming months, I am particularly excited by the wide variety of performances we have to share with you. Specifically, I invite you to consider:
- The sheer joy and amazing athleticism of Savion Glover graces our stage on February 7 and to call this a “dance performance” would be too narrowly defining. Glover and his magical, masterful feet become an integral part of the band, accompanying the vocalist or riffing with the drummer. The speed and precision of his “foot drumming”—both with and without accompanying music—mesmerize and his energy is transcendent.
- The incomparable talents of Kander and Ebb can be enjoyed as part of our Broadway series in Chicago The Musical (February 15-17). A bit of trivia I learned recently about one of the longest running and incredibly popular musicals—it was based on true stories covered by the reporter and playwright Maurine Dallas Watkins in Chicago in 1924. Its dark humor, amazing Fosse choreography, and vaudevillian-inspired musical score, transport us back to the Jazz Age where criminals became celebrities and could literally get away with murder!
- One of my earliest memories of attending a live performance is of a production of Swan Lake. As a young girl, I was transported by the music and the heartbreaking imagery of a classic good versus evil story. The power and beauty of this classic ballet and sweeping score have endured through the centuries (having first premiered in 1877) and even today, the choreography is still heavily influenced by the St. Petersburg production in 1895. (Coming March 16 featuring the Russian National Ballet.)
- Of all the performing arts, I find modern dance to be the most expressive—incorporating movement, light, and sound to tell a story that can be amusing, enlightening, or, as in the case of one of the pieces in the program for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (April 11), deeply personal and socially conscious. A Letter to My Nephew is a profoundly moving piece influenced by world events and I am particularly excited that we will host a post-performance talkback with the company to discuss the themes that inspired its creation.
In addition to presenting quality and diversity in the performances on our mainstage, we are also focusing on engaging with our community in more profound ways. For me this is really only effective with the assistance of partners within the community. This coming December, we are honored to be partnering with Crossroads Theatre Company to produce COMMON GROUND (December 16), a musical celebration of cultures from around the world. Featuring performers from our community and beyond, it will be a rich exploration of the many traditions and celebrations that occur during the holiday season.
I hope you will join us for one—or many—of these performances or the numerous others we have planned (and continue to add frequently). The magic of live performance is epitomized in the unique immediacy of the event—you may hear the song again or see the artist again but it will never again happen exactly as it happened in that moment, at that venue, with that audience. And that is why I so enjoy what I do. Come enjoy the power of live performance with me!
By Sarah K. Chaplin, President & CEO