The sounds and sights of the holidays are gone, but there is still enough brightness in area galleries, stages, and concert halls to chase away the winter blues. Just check out this list of some of the events and attractions welcoming 2019.
On the Walls
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton campus. 609-258-3788, artmuseum.princeton.edu.
“Time Capsule 1970: Rauschenberg’s Currents” will be on view from Saturday, January 19, through February 10. Drawn from the museum’s collection, the 18 40×40 inch black-and-white screenprints incorporating photos and newspaper collages reflect a groundbreaking moment in the career of innovative American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008). In fact the artist referred to them as an “active protest attempting to share and communicate my response to and concern with our grave times and place . . . the most serious journalism I had ever attempted.”
“Picturing Place in Japan” remains on view through Sunday, February 24. The exhibition of nearly 40 paintings, prints, books, and photographs created between the 16th and 21st centuries explores the Japanese approach where “pictures of place “were a means of exploring brushwork and form, as well as evoking poetry, paradise, distant China, sacred locations, and the familiar or remote famous places of Japan.”
Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, 848-932-7237 or zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu.
“Tiananmen Square, 1989: Photographs by Khiang H. Hei” commemorates the 30th anniversary of China’s momentous Tiananmen Square protests. The eyewitness photographs are by the Cambodian-born American photographer who was studying in Beijing during the historic event. The exhibition continues through July 28. Coming up is “Seeing and Knowing: The Natural History Drawings of Robert Bruce Horsfall,” April 6 through September 29. Horsfall (1869-1948) was a New Jersey-based artist and wildlife illustrator who also created illustrations and dioramas.
Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. 609-497-2441 or wws.princeton.edu/about-wws/bernstein-gallery.
Marsha Levin-Rojer’s “Music Made Visible: Metaphors of the Ephemeral” was created in conjunction with the residency of Gustavo Dudamel at Princeton University Concerts and to promote reflection on the meaning and uses of music. It is on view through January 31. A panel discussion on music is set for Wednesday, January 9. The Bernstein Gallery will then take a hiatus for gallery and building renovations. Stay tuned.
Artworks Trenton, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton. 609-394-9436 or www.artworkstrenton.org.
Artworks Trenton is presenting two exhibitions, running from January 22 through February 21: “Beyond Mark Making — Star Wheel Printers” features work of the Philadelphia-based collective of professional printmakers “who aim to support, promote and share printmaking with other artists and communities in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City” areas. This exhibition “celebrates the individual’s use of mark marking to create a visual impact.” And “People in Geometry,” by noted area architect and photographer John Clarke, is an international look at the relationship between people living in geometric surroundings. An opening for both is Saturday, January 26.
Future exhibitions include “High and Soft” by Pennsylvania-based artists Peggy and Gene Hracho and “Distance and Happiness, Dreams and Time — Group Exhibition,” curated by Trenton artist Jeff Evans, March 12 through April 13. And “The Shared Meal” group exhibition curated by regional artist Lora Durr and “All in the Family,” a group exhibition coordinated by Ewing artist Laura Beard, run from April 30 to June 1.
Morven Museum, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, 609-924-8144 or www.morven.org.
The “Masters of Illusion” exhibition of two New Jersey trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) masters — past and present — is now on view. The past is John F. Peto (1854-1907); the modern master is Gary Erbe, born 1944. And while the exhibition continues through May 12, look for two January events: a talk, tour, and book signing with Erbe on Saturday, January 12, and “Inside Peto’s World: An Evening with John F. Peto Museum Curator Harry Bower” on Thursday, January 24.
New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton. 609-292-5420 or www.statemuseumnj.gov.
A main floor and an upstairs gallery are highlighting the art of collecting. One focuses on the Museum Foundation — formerly the Friends of the Museum — and the objects the organization acquired for the museum through fundraising. The other is from various acquisitions and community gifts. No matter, both show off some unusual treasures from New Jersey, ranging from fossils to Colonial-era silver to Davy Crockett lunchboxes, ceramic dolls, and artwork and more artwork.
McCarter Theater Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, 609-258-2787 www.mccarter.org.
The Tony Award-winning theater opens 2019 with “The Niceties,” playwright Eleanor Burgess’ clash between a black student and a white professor. The sparks start flying Friday, January 11. Waiting in the wings are “Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy,” about a young professor hoping to get some love-life help from some ancient gods, March 12 through 31. The London and Broadway award-winning hit “Skylight,” under the direction of Emily Mann, closes the season, May 5 through June 2.
Passage Theatre Company, Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton. 609-392-0766 or www.passagetheatre.org.
Trenton’s only professional theater company continues its annual solo flight, single person, productions with “To My Unborn Child: A Letter from Fred Hampton,” about a Black Panther murdered by the Chicago police (Friday through Sunday, February 8 through 10), and “Bicycle Face,” a look at a feminist theory class taught 150 years in the future (Friday through Sunday, February 15 to 17).Then look for the main stage production “Morir Sonyando,” where a mother and daughter confront long-buried pain when the mother is released from prison. It runs May 2 through 19.
George Street Playhouse, 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, 732-246-7717 www.gsponline.org
Laiona Michelle heats up the season with the one-woman show “Nina Simone: The High Priestess of Soul,” January 29 through February 24. It’s followed by “The Immigrant,” playwright Mark Harelik’s biographical telling of his Jewish grandparents finding refuge in a small Texas town, March 12 through April 7. And “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” by up-and-coming African-American playwright Jereh Breon Holder, about a bright young college bound man of African ancestry who in 1961 joins the Freedom Riders, April 23 through May 19.
This season marks the end of the GSP’s temporary residency on College Farm Road. Next season GSP will be among the tenants in the newly built New Brunswick’s Performing Arts Center on Livingston Avenue.
Pegasus Theater Company, West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction. 609-759-0045 or www.pegasustheatrenj.org.
The nonprofit professional theater is celebrating its third season with the East Coast premiere of “Fiction” by Steven Dietz. It is directed by founding member Peter Bisgaier and runs April 5 through 14.
Bristol Riverside Theater, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pennsylvania. 215-785-0100 or www.brtstage.org.
American playwright Ernest Thompson’s “On Golden Pond,” the popular drama exploring love, family, reconnection, and acceptance, is on stage January 22 through February 10. The late Neil Simon’s comic look at cranky vaudevillians, “The Sunshine Boys,” plays March 12 through 31. And the season ends with “The Christians,” a play about a congregation forced to examine its beliefs and behavior, April 30 through May 19.
Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, Pennsylvania. 215-862-2121 or www.bcptheater.org.
“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” returns to musically tell the story of the rock ‘n’ roll legend who created the hits songs “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” and more. The show runs February 8 through March 3.
American Repertory Ballet at the State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. www.americanrepertoryballet.org.
The company that began its life 55 years ago as the Princeton Ballet is marking its anniversary with a company and world premiere and some classics.
The ARB season concludes with the world premiere of Kirk Peterson’s full-length ballet “Beauty and the Beast,” set to music by Tchaikovsky and performed at the State Theater on Friday, May 10.
Roxey Ballet, Canal Studio Theater, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville. 609-397-7616 or www.roxeyballet.org.
The company is presenting “Carmina Burana,” the dance interpretation of Carl Orff’s 1936 cantata based on secular poems by monks contemplating the joys and dangers of the sensual world. The presentation is in two different venues and manifestations. The first is a more intimate and dance-focused event in the company’s Canal Studio Theater on Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10.
Then the company arrives at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium to perform with Princeton Pro Musica and Princeton Girl Choir. The reprise of last year’s premiere event featuring pianos, percussion, lights, and new choreography and costumes is set for Saturday, May 17.
The Roxey’s Classic Children’s Series’ full-length production of “Cinderella” will be performed at the College of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5.
The company closes its season with “WE vs C: Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors,” touted as a “world premiere of dance, music, art, and theater collaboration celebrating the lives of breast cancer survivors.” Developed in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Foundation, D&R Greenway, Grounds for Sculpture, and the Breast Cancer Resource Center, the performance features original music by Lambertville composer Robert Maggio and New York composer and lyricist Matthew Hardy and original choreography by Mark Roxey. The event takes place at the Canal Studio Theater on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2.
McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787 or www.mccarter.org.
The region’s powerhouse dance presenter offers programs mixing old and new companies, classical and contemporary works, and world traditions. The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, February 10: National Ballet Theater of Odessa returns to McCarter to present Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” The Ukrainian company is dedicated to maintaining Russian classical dance traditions.
Saturday, February 23: “Farruquito: Return of a Flamenco Legend,” featuring the grandson of legendary flamenco artist El Farruco.
Friday, April 26: Trinity Irish Dance Company from Chicago returns after a 14-year absence to bring its mixture of tradition, innovation, percussive power, and agility.
Friday, May 17: The Mark Morris Dance Group returns with four works, including the McCarter premiere “Numerator,” a worked inspired by composer Lou Harrison and called “an enduring masterpiece” by the New York Times.
State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-246-7469 or www.statetheatrenj.org.
The State Theater in New Brunswick is also a major dance presenter with a series that features major American and international companies and choreographers.
Thursday, February 7: Savion Glover’s “All Funkd’ up, the Concert.” Heralded by the New York Times as the “greatest tap dancer who has ever lived” and now celebrating 35 years on the stage, the New Jersey-born Glover arrives with a six-piece band and company of dancers to celebrate new music and movement.
Saturday, March 16: Russian National Ballet’s “Swan Lake.” Founded in 1989 and helmed by dancers who had worked with the Bolshoi, Kirov, and Marinsky ballet companies, the company arrives with a full production that includes Tchaikovsky’s famous score and original choreography by Maurice Petipa.
Thursday, April 11: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Born out of the collaboration between contemporary American choreographers Jones and Zane, this State Theater debut highlights the nine-member company’s vision of “creating a world we want to live in” and includes the highly personal work “Letters to My Nephew,” featuring composer Nick Hallett performing with baritone Matthew Gamble.
Princeton University Concerts, Richardson Auditorium and other venues. www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org or 609-258-2800.
The Princeton University Concerts (PUC) continues to celebrate its 125th anniversary with a series curated by its first artist-in-residence, noted Los Angeles Philharmonic artistic director and conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
Events include Berlin Philharmonic musicians performing music by Wagner, Shubert, and Princeton composer Steve Mackey, Tuesday, April 23; Dudamel conducting the Princeton University orchestra and Glee Club, Friday, April 26; and the El Sistema Festival Performance on Sunday, April 28, all at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus.
Dudamel will also lead the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club in a free concert at the Trenton War Memorial on Saturday, April 27, at 4 p.m.
Other PUC events over the next few months include:
French composer Olivier Messiaen’s acclaimed “Quartet for the End of Time” will be performed by Stefan Jackiw, violin; Jay Campbell, cello; Yoonah Kim; clarinet; and Conrad Tao, piano, on Wednesday, February 6; Richardson Chamber Players, Sunday, February 10.
And vocalist and composer Gabriel Kahane presents his “8980: Book of Travelers” a song-cycle created during his 8,890-mile train trip across the U.S. without a phone or internet, Thursday, February 14; Schubert Octet for Winds and Strings, Tuesday, February 19; and celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato presents “Songplay,” a musical song journey ranging from the Italian Baroque to the American songbook, Sunday, March 10.
Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University. princetonsymphony.com
Princeton Symphony Orchestra welcomes 2019 with the Saturday Night Pops! Presentation of Broadway performer Ryan Silverman presenting ballads, Broadway favorites, and cabaret showstoppers, Saturday, January 26; Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with Brahms’ First Piano Concerto played by piano soloist Dominic Cheli, Saturday and Sunday, February 2 and 3; Chelsea Knox, principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and former principal flute of the PSO, performs Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Missy Mazzoli’s “Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)”, and Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony, Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24; and contemporary composer Derek Bermel’s “Mango Suite,” based on the novel “The House on Mango Street,” Sunday, May 19.
Capital Philharmonic, Trenton War Memorial, Trenton. 609-558-2292 or www.capitalphilharmonic.org.
The Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey starts the year with a performance of “Youth Orchestra Festival” consisting of 30-minute performances by three young performing groups and a group performance of area youth orchestras on Saturday, January 26. American composer Florence Price’s “First Violin Concerto” is on the bill for Sunday, February 24; a concert featuring harpist Cheryl Cunningham is set for Saturday, March 9; and young violinist Joseph Hsia and members of area youth orchestras will participate in the season finale on Saturday, May 4.
Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton. 609-734-8000 or www.ias.edu.
The Edward T. Cone Concert Series of free concerts featuring international artists and groups continues with American opera tenor and Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago co-founder Nicholas Phan performing Shubert’s song cycle story “Die Schone Mullerian” (the beautiful miller), Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2; and actor Paul Lazar and the Brooklyn-based Sandbox Percussion presenting John Cage on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9. Concerts take place in Wolfensohn Hall.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University. www.njsymphony.org or 800-255-3476.
Popular soprano Dawn Upshaw returns to Princeton to perform in the orchestra’s premiere of American composer Maria Schneider’s “Winter Morning Walks,” Friday, January 18; contemporary American composer Andrew Norman’s co-commissioned Cello Concerto is on the program for Friday, March 22; and Princeton composer Steve Mackey’s “Four Iconoclastic Episodes,” a concerto for violin and electric guitar — with Mackey performing on the guitar — on Friday, May 17.
Opera and Voice
Boheme Opera of New Jersey. www.bohemeopera.com
The region’s only professional opera company — and one of New Jersey’s oldest — mounts a fully staged production of Verdi’s monumental “Aida” on Friday and Sunday, April 5 and 7. Performances are at the College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing. Then the company celebrates its 30th season with a reunion concert at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton on Sunday, May 19. The company will present great moments from its long history with a live broadcast over classical music radio station WWFM.
Westminster Choir College, 101 Walnut Lane, Princeton. 609-921-2663 or www.rider.edu/events
Westminster College of the Arts continues its series of musicals with Steven Sondheim’s “Assassins,” February 27 to March 3; and “The Will Rogers Follies,” May 1 to 5.
Princeton Pro Musica, Richardson Auditorium and Princeton University Chapel. www.princetonpromusica.org.
The company celebrates its 40th anniversary season with a return performance of Carl Orff’s cantata “Carmina Burana” at Richardson Auditorium, Sunday, March 17; and with an “Anniversary Season Finale” at Princeton University Chapel on Saturday, May 4.
McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787 or www.mccarter.org.
And McCarter Theater will liven up the winter when the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players and Orchestra arrive to present “Pirates of Penzance” on Saturday, February 9.