Princeton WannaBe Blog
I'm not a real historian. I didn't grow up in Princeton. I don't have an Ivy League education.
I'm a total Princeton WannaBe.
Still, I gush about loving the heart of Princeton as much as I can!
WHEN A friend of a friend (of a friend) gets you into an IMPROMPTU THINK TANK EVENT AT McCARTER THEATRE it's called "crushing" ....
a lighter form of crashing!
Here's how it went down:
Ken Ludwig (center) called up Mara Isaacs (far right - she's wearing that hat because she just accepted a Tony last week) to see if she could assemble a world class group of actors and smartypants audience to make sure he was headed in the right direction for his new play, The Gods of Comedy.
In Greek, "Mara Isaacs" means Producing-Director-Who-Gets-Things-Done
MARA CALLED THE GODS AND GODDESSES AND GOT WORLD CLASS ACTORS AND ACTRESSES TO READ THE FIRST 35 PAGES OF HIS UPCOMING PLAY!
The best part? After the reading, Mr. Ludwig asked smarty pants Princetonians questions and asked if they had any suggestions.
(Yes, I rose my hand and made a comment. I can't really remember what I said, I just wanted to say I had face time with Ken Ludwig.)
For those that may not know, Ludwig is an internationally-acclaimed playwright whose work has been performed in over 30 countries in over 20 languages. He's been nominated three times for a Tony Award and had 6 Broadway shows and 6 in the West End. He's won two Laurence Olivier Awards and, just when you thought he couldn't get any more sparkly ..... he studied music with Leonard Bernstein ..... at Harvard!!!!
For those that may not know, McCarter Theatre is the busiest regional theater in America wih more world premieres than ANY regaional theater. Stage debuts of the likes of Jimmy Stewart, John Lithgow, Christopher Reeves, Ethan Hawke and Lucille Ball got their start at McCarter. More Broadway hits have been funded by Princetonians than any other zip code in America!
I KNOW! I KNOW! i know!
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McCarter Theatre had their annual block party last week and it's another example of how Princeton feels like living in Mayberry .... only better!
(The only difference? We have Andy Griffiths living here and a ton of genius too! Some would say I'm kind of the Barney Fife of the situation .... anyhoo ....)
It was a beautiful evening with AN INCREDIBLE turnout with free games, food and music by Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra! The reknown orchestra was directed under Joe Bongiovi, the band director of our public High School ..... Princeton High School.
(See what I mean about Mayberry?)
Photo'd here is Brian McDonald!
(He's pretty sparkly ..... he was raised in Princeton and had a big job at Princeton University for a long time. Now he's part of a uber cutting edge start up company and uses his incredible professional experience to volunteer as Board President of McCarter Theatre.
(I KNOW IT'S ENOUGH FOR ME TOO!)
Anyhoo, if you've taken a tour, you know I have a COMPLETE CRUSH ON McCARTER THEATRE.
Not many towns can say they have a world class regional theater with more world premieres than any other regional theater in America!
(Maybe that's why Lucille Ball, Ethan Hawke, John Lithgow, Christopher Reeve AND Bebe Neuwirth had their stage debuts there!)
Be sure to subscribe to McCarter's season or at least commit to going to at least one production!
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The brass of the Princeton Symphony, Westminister Choir College, McCarter Theatre and Princeton University Art Museum joined forces to create an exclusive Cultural Gift Package for Princeton realtors!
What is the Princeton Realtor Cultural Gift Package?
For a single price, realtors can give new residents to the area:
A family membership to the Princeton University Art Museum
Did you know the museum offers wine and cheese art openings every quarter? Did you know it's open and free to the public 52 weeks a year? TRUE!
Two tickets to McCarter Theatre
Did you know McCarter is the most attended performing and presenting theaters in the nation? Did you know Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Ethan Hawk and John Lithgow had their first stage experience on their stage? TRUE!
Two tickets to a Westminister Choir College performance
Did you know Westminister Choir College has recent graduates who are currently in Jersey Boys and Spiderman? They routinely perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City! TRUE!
and Two tickets to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra
Did you know the PSO the was nationally recognized with a prestigious ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Award for Adventurous Programming? TRUE!
Did Princeton realtors LOVE the collaboration?
(If a PACKED room of sales experts gushing over the idea is any indication,
I think the brass of Princeton's top cultural gems are onto something with this idea!)
I'm a licensed real estate agent. How can I get my hands on that package?
Licensed real estate agents can purchase the gift package directly from the Princeton University Art Museum! Just email Jennifer at email@example.com
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Just when I thought I might have to recycle my gushy blogs about Princeton .....
Enter Hamlet ........
(The school program offered to local schools by McCarter Theatre. Bill Ciruillo and the PTO of Riverside raise money to make sure the kids get exposed to the classics in theater ...)
Performed by Riverside Elementary .......
Directed by Rebecca .....
( I didn't learn her last name - I prefer to keep her in character in my mind - I heard she's a genius at theater, production and artistic education. She even starred on Broadway! I KNOW! Anyhoo, all I know is she made my son fall in love with Shakespeare so, to me, she's a bit of a heavenly being .....)
Rebecca brought in a REAL fight choreographer with Broadway experience ...
Rebecca brought in HUGE speakers with modern songs like "Let's Dance" to break up the dialogue .....
Rebecca made this classic relevant the kids so they're more likely to stay curious about theater!
(If you're decent at reading between the lines, she and the gang at Riverside and McCarter Theatre made sure EVERYONE felt like a super star. More importantly, these kids are learning that cultural arts add to the joy in your life!
Just ask Stosh and his buddies!
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Here I am with THE Emily Mann ....
(She's the Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre ..... I KNOW!)
She's a fan of BOLD programming, BOLD young playwrights and, you can see here, BOLD personalities like mine!
Yes, this is the first time she ever met me and look how sweet she looks in spite of my semi- stalker ways.
I got invited to an Artistic Tea and sat with some AWESOME Princeton Greats who taught me more about McCarter Theatre and Princeton!
(The guests taught me that many of the homes around Carnegie Lake were the summer homes of Princeton University professors? TRUE! They would leave their homes close to the University and live in little cottages along the lake!)
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