#h#What’s Up at Crossroads#/h#

In 2004 Maurice Hines, star of stage, screen, and television, directed the Crossroads Theatre Company production of “Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song,” starring Freda Payne. From Thursday through Saturday, April 26 to 29, Hines returns to Crossroads, this time taking over the stage himself. The Sherrie Maricle DIVA Jazz Orchestra — a unique all-women’s band — will be featured along with jazz pianist Frank Owens.

Hines began his career in tap performing with his brother, famed tapper Gregory Hines, and their father, whose act was known as “Hines, Hines, and Dad.” Eventually Maurice pursued a solo career and starred in the National Touring Company production of “Guys and Dolls” and went on to Broadway in “Eubie!,” “Bring Back Birdie,” and “Sophisticated Ladies.” He earned a Tony nomination as best actor in a musical for “Uptown… It’s Hot,” which he also conceived, directed, and choreographed. His most recent Broadway production was last season’s “Hot Feet,” which he also choreographed and directed.

In addition to the Maurice Hines performances Crossroads will also hold a benefit reception and private screening of the 2006 documentary film “The Diary of Immaculee” by the Academy Award-nominated team of Steve Kalafer and Peter LeDonne on Sunday April 29, at the Zimmerli Art Museum. The screening will be preceded by a reception including hors d’oeuvres and wines.

LeDonne and executive producer Kellie Pyffer will be on hand to discuss the making of the film and their experiences traveling to Rwanda with Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived the holocaust in that country in 1994. All proceeds from this event will support Crossroads Theatre Company’s 2007-’08 programming initiatives.

U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne, honorary chair of the benefit, currently serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health and was one of five members of Congress who accompanied President Clinton on a historic six-nation tour of Africa. He also headed a Presidential mission to war-torn Rwanda.

“The Diary of Immaculee” is an inspirational film that explores the power of the human spirit as it traces the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza. She has since emigrated to the United States where she became familiar with the work of New Jersey film maker Steve Kalafer (and Flemington-based car dealer)and asked him to put her own story on film.

Kalafer brought her together with his key filmmaking team, Peter LeDonne and Kellie Pyffer, and the result according to Kalafer “is a film that vividly conveys how intrinsically decent people can turn to unthinkable violence through their own fear, yet conveys an underlying current of hope and salvation. It is a tribute to inner belief and inspiration for people throughout the world.”

An Evening with Maurice Hines, Thursday through Sunday, April 26 to 29, Crossroads Theater, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. $40-$45. 732-545-8100. www.tickets.com or 800-766-6048.

Also, Crossroads Theater Benefit, Sunday, April 29, 6 to 9 p.m., Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick Wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and screening of “Diary of Immaculee” followed by discussion. Suggested Donation: $100, proceeds to benefit Crossroads Theatre Company.

#h#A Princeton Animator Creates Graphic Novel Series — ‘Lost Colony’#/h#

Grady Klein has worked around the country as an illustrator, designer, animator, and cartoonist. After studying philosophy at the University of Chicago, Klein moved to New York City, where he pursued interests in animation and publishing. He then moved to Princeton to work as an illustrator and award-winning graphic designer for the Princeton University Press.

On Thursday, April 26, the conTEMPORARY Art Center will have an opening reception for an exhibit, “Imagining America: The Hidden Secrets of the Lost Colony,” featuring artwork from Klein’s critically acclaimed “Lost Colony” series, a graphic novel series which he writes and draws, published by First Second Books.

Set on the banks of a fictional 19th-century American river, “The Lost Colony” series chronicles the unlikely friendship of two children, Birdy Snodgrass and Louis John. In book one of the series, “The Snodgrass Conspiracy,” Birdy brings Louis from a slave market to the hidden island community where she lives. Slave-catchers follow in hot pursuit, which throws the magic island into an uproar.

In book two, “The Red Menace,” to be released in June, the community explodes with intrigue as more strangers appear on the island. This time Birdy’s grandfather invades, flanked by a pair of war profiteers. Their arrival threatens the island’s delicate status as a haven for runaways and outcasts of all sorts. In the Lost Colony, human nature plays out in all its grim hypocrisy and hilarious contradiction — and just like most things on the island, the Red Menace itself isn’t what it seems.

Klein’s animation work includes the short film “The Dust Bunny,” in collaboration with the Princeton-based composer Paul Lansky. An avid Ultimate Frisbee player, Klein lives in Princeton with his wife, Anne, and their son, Liam.

Opening reception for “Imagining America: The Hidden Secrets of the Lost Colony,” Thursday, April 26, 6 to 8 p.m., conTEMPORARY Art Center Gallery, Princeton Shopping Center. Artwork from the graphic novel series “Lost Colony” by Grady Klein. Through Saturday, June 9. Book signing on Friday, June 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. www.artscouncilofprinceton.org or 609-924-8777.

#h#Can Prayer Heal Stress?#/h#

National speaker Tim Myers took a circuitous route to becoming a Christian Science practitioner, a prayer-based system of healing. He served for three years as an officer in the U.S. Army, attended Occidental College in Los Angeles where he earned a degree in English with the goal of becoming an English teacher. owned his own business in the construction industry, and served on the board of directors of a teen center in town, where he studied conflict resolution and provided counseling. He has also taught Sunday school at detention centers in the Southern California.

Myers presents an interactive talk “Can Prayer Heal Stress and Clutter?” on Saturday, April 28, at 4 p.m., at 178 Nassau Street in the Christian Science Reading Room.

On Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. he presents “Let’s Talk About a Spiritual Approach to Healing” at the Princeton Family

YMCA/YWCA on the corner of Route 206 and Paul Robeson Place.

#h#A Slice of Capital History#/h#

Choose from four different historical perspectives of Trenton with the 21st Four Views of Trenton Tours, “The Many Phases of Trenton” on Saturday, April 28.

In the Colonial Tour, conducted by Trenton city historian Sally Lane, you will visit the new mural depicting the reading of the Declaration of Independence in Trenton, view the site of Trenton’s historic battles from atop the Battle Monument, and visit the houses of worship and grave sites of Trenton’s patriots.

The tour will stop at the 1719 home of William Trent, who gave his name (“Trent’s Town”) to Trenton and the 1796 Emlen House on West State Street (the later site of the Old Stone Tea House). This tour also features a view of colonial-era fire equipment and a visit to the Old Barracks Museum, the site that sealed Trenton’s place in Americas colonial heritage.

The Industrial tour, conducted by Richard Hunter, an archeologist and founder of Hunter Research, starts with “Trenton Makes — the World Takes,” eliciting thoughts of wire rope, rubber, and pottery. This tour adds stories of the immigrants and industrialists, of cigars, dolls, a cannery, and more. At the Roebling Wire Mill Complex, the issues involved in retrofitting a huge industrial complex become evident. You’ll see the wire cable-making machine and the first restoration, the NJ Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency. Stops include Ana Design Candles, Trenton’s Blacksmith Shop, the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Trenton, Trinity Cathedral with its exquisite windows and icons, Tri-Gen (the plant that supplies energy to many of Trenton’s largest buildings), and the archeological firm of Hunter Research.

In the Victorian tour, led by Don Cox, past president, Victorian Society of America — Delaware Valley chapter, you will be transported to the elegance of centuries past as you tour Trenton’s magnificent Victorian mansions. Ellarslie, the City Museum; the New Jersey League of Municipalities; and Mount Carmel Guild were once private homes and now house important city institutions.

Homes on Greenwood Avenue and in Mill Hill showcase how the residences of the past have been renovated to become homes in the present. The Trenton Fire Museum features fire equipment of the Victorian era and the Victorian Townhouse Museum preserves the ambiance of Victorian times and provides a backward glance into Trenton’s history.

In the Renaissance tour, led by John Hatch, an architect with Clarke, Caton & Hintz, you can witness the city’s progress as Trenton “remakes” itself. You will tour Mill Hill homes that showcase the rebirth of a Trenton neighborhood, and the luxury lofts of the Ice House property. Enjoy a preview of the lofts now being developed on the site of the Original Trenton Cracker Company.

You will visit the newly updated plaza-like Agabiti Park and see the new uses for “Trenton ‘s first skyscraper,” the Broad Street Bank building with its spectacular rooftop garden. This tour also includes a visit to the Trenton waterfront, site of much development, and the Roebling mansion that has been recently preserved by the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

Four Views of Trenton, Saturday, April 28. Buses leave from 176 West State Street, Trenton, at 9 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. $45, includes coffee, the guided bus tours and lunch. 609-882-0507, 609-585-0224, or 215-295-1498.

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