Corrections or additions?
This column was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 15, 1999. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
Who says the performing arts are dead? Lots of people,
actually, including people in the know who work in cities across the
country where live theater, classical music, dance, and opera are
wilting under the competition from sports, dining, video games, cable
television and VCRs, thrill-filled movie multiplexes, and the whole
new world of the Internet.
It’s a demanding public these days. Even the creators of the high
drama special effects for the movies report that their most astonishing
and innovative efforts today get treated with a ho-hum and a yawn
As Jeff Kleiser of Kleiser-Walczak Construction Co. — a cutting-edge
computer animation company whose clients include movie studios and
theme parks — told U.S. 1 earlier this year, "There’s been
an explosion of computer animation in the ’90s, but the bar has been
raised every year in terms of visual complexity; the public quickly
Yet here in central New Jersey, arts venues continue to play to large
houses, and this newspaper devotes 12 pages — beginning on page
25 — to its annual Fall Arts Preview. Here apparently we are still
susceptible to the unique thrills of a new staging of a Greek epic
drama such as "Electra," a Mozart opera interpreted by fresh
new faces, Baroque music on period instruments, and the wonders of
19th-century ballet. Add to this the contemporary arts — a return
visit from Pilobolus, the Kronos Quartet, or the George Antheil music
festival coming to area this season — and you will still find
a lively following for the lively arts.
And who knows what the future holds? The renaissance of Trenton, with
the renovated War Memorial and the soon-to-open Sovereign Bank Arena,
already has added a new dimension to the performing arts scene. We
have all heard about the minor league basketball and ice hockey and
indoor soccer coming to the arena, but pop musicians John Mellencamp,
Sugar Ray, and LFO are lead-off musicians already booked, with more
big-draw acts waiting in the wings.
While some may argue that these shows do not represent inventive programming,
the mere presence of a venue with a capacity of up to 10,000 for concerts,
could change the travel patterns of music fans for the entire region.
It’s a far cry from two seasons back, when the New Jersey Symphony
Orchestra canceled its Trenton season during the War Memorial renovation
because its subscriber base did not follow the NJSO to its temporary
home at the Crescent Temple.
Now the spotlight is on creative artists and producers, for whom that
jaded public should represent an opportunity, not a problem.
IN YOUR ARTICLE "Open Wide, High Tech Dentistry" (U.S. 1,
September 1), you wrote that the air abrasion and other new methods
have "a great impact on patients in need of dental service . .
. and it is all a part of taking the mystery out of health care."
One other thing helps a lot: It is having articles like yours written
to help people understand dentistry. Keep up the good work.
Charles Ortegon DMD
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