NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY Announce Guest Artist Line-Up for the Year of the Pig Celebration at NJPAC #Theater

NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY
Announce Guest Artist Line-Up
for the Year of the Pig
Celebration at NJPAC
Sat February 2 and Sun February 3, 2019 at 2pm

NJ dance

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will celebrate the end of the Chinese Zodiac cycle with a special program steeped in symbolism and virtue, expressing the Company’s commitment to the art and the culture of the community. For the occasion, the company has invited several world-renowned artists to join its program.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces a colorful and vibrant special Chinese New Year Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102, on Saturday and Sunday, February 2 and 3, 2019 at 2pm. Tickets are $17-35 and are available by phone at (888) GO-NJPAC or online at https://www.njpac.org/events/detail/year-of-the-pignai-ni-chen-dance-company.

This year, Nai-Ni Chen bring a new Bamboo themed production aimed to take audiences beyond cultural boundaries. Nai-Ni Chen chose bamboo as a theme to celebrate the Year of the Pig.

Why Bamboo? First, the Chinese phonetic sound for Bamboo is Zu, is similar to the sound for pig (Zu). Second, and perhaps more important, is because Bamboo is the most celebrated plant in Chinese culture. As far as 1000 years ago, during the Sung Dynasty (960-1269), noted for art and literature and philosophy, scholars have used bamboo as a symbol for the resiliency, humility, and honesty to inspire each other. The great poet and Literati, Su Dong Po said “I cannot live a day without bamboo”.

According to Nai-Ni Chen; in the current social and political climate, artists, like the scholar of the past generations, needs encourage their fellows and communities that moral character of humility, honesty and resiliency needs to be held at the highest no matter which way the wind blows. Art is what defines us as a society and civilization, and these traditional and contemporary dances she has created and choreographed, advocates for the cultural values and morality that she, as a female Chinese immigrant artist, brings to the United States. In this wonderful time of celebration of the end of the Zodiac cycle, she has prepared a festive and colorful experience that everyone can enjoy and yet carries the message of culture and value that we all share in common.

The Year of the Pig is expected to be a festival year of great abundance and prosperity. To celebrate the Year of the Pig, the Company has developed a rich and fantastic program that incorporates many positive aspects of Chinese and Chinese American immigrant culture in the program. Beside the remarkably acrobatic and beautiful dances, the Company has also invited special guest artists: Bamboo Flute master Tao Chen, Peking Opera artist Yun-Hong Jia, and paper cut master Hotien Cheng.

(more…)

A Bronx Tale at PaperMill Playhouse

My son and I recently saw the show “A Bronx Tale” at PaperMill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.  For those of you who don’t know anything about the story, it’s based on the real life of Chazz Palminteri, who then wrote a play about it as well as preformed a one man show.  There is, of course, also a movie with the esteemed Robert De Niro, which did very well. Now preformed with a full cast, music, dancing- the works- A Bronx Tale is a fun musical theater production that you should see before it closes it’s doors.

pic3

“Based on the real life story by Chazz Palminteri‚ A Bronx Tale: The Musical is set against the backdrop of racial strife and organized crime in the 1960s. It is the story of an Italian-American teenager finding his path in life as he must choose between the father who raised him and a mob-boss father figure who fascinates him.”

My son and I enjoyed the show.  I had explained the premise to him beforehand, and since he understands what the civil rights movement was, and how things “used to be in the olden days” as he puts it, he was prepared.  I don’t know that all children of all ages would be able to see the show- there is cursing and some violence (gunshots, people are beaten up, there is a car explosion off stage, etc), but it’s not vulgar- you would need to be the judge of what your child is mature enough to handle.  It is in no way a show I found to be explicit or over the top- but your child would need at least a basic understanding of the times, and you would need to be OK with them hearing bad language now and again.  (It’s not “Jersey Boys” bad language- just now and again.)  You are exposing your child to both history and theater, which is a good thing- just make sure they are mature enough for it at the time.
(more…)

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS TREASURE TROVE

Discover endless riches when an extraordinary lineup of stories from the Disney animated film vault comes to life right in Newark in Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt!

pic4

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove is performing at Prudential Center in Newark, January 13 to 18.

pic 10Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses –Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White.  Ahoy, Mateys!  Set sail with Peter Pan, the always-sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook and his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land!  Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’  Tick-Tock!  Tick-Tock!  Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army of Cards. Set a playdate with Woody and Buzz Lightyear because the toys are back in town. Relive magical moments in this ultimate Disney animation celebration coming to Newark!

(more…)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME

We just saw the new Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show, Circus XTREME.  My son loves the circus, and this year did not disappoint. With amazing circus acts, incredible performers who are able to twist and turn their bodies in ways that most of us can’t even imagine, and acts that make you wonder if your eyes are deceiving you- Ringling Brothers truly is the “greatest show on earth”.

The circus you have loved since your own childhood is back and ready for you to make memories with your children.  Every child should see the circus, and this is a show not to be missed. If you get there early, there is a pre-show available for one hour before the circus begins, where your family can interact with performers.  Try juggling, take photos with performers, and meet the clowns you will shortly see performing.

pic8The All Access Pre-show is free with your ticket purchase. You and your family can meet the international cast of performers and get up close to the menagerie of animals. Try on custom costumes, learn circus skills — like juggling and walking the low wire — from the famous Ringling Bros.® Clown Alley and even have the opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind masterpiece created by one of our very own Ringling Bros. painting pachyderms.
(more…)

Disney On Ice presents Frozen

We recently saw the new Disney On Ice show, Frozen.  My son loved it, but the little miss loved it even more.  Mickey, Minnie, and friends were the first to hit the ice, which brought shouts of joy from the audience. The kids were all excited (and lets face it, everyone loves Mickey and Minnie).  But when Elsa and Anna hit the stage, the screaming and screeching from all the little girls (and plenty of their parents) was deafening.

frozen on iceAll the little Elsa’s and Anna’s in their dress up clothes, with wands and tiaras being shaken around in the air excitedly, could hardly contain themselves as the show began.

frozen liveThe songs were “sung” (or played on the speakers and lip synched) not only by the skating cast, but full volume by every little girl (and some boys) in the audience.  OK, and again- plenty of parents. You know who you are. When “Let It Go” came on, I thought the walls were going to come down, LOL.

frozen live showThe kids had a great time, and you will too.  Check out when the show is coming to your town!  Visit the Disney On Ice website (http://www.disneyonice.com) for a full listing.

frozen on iceFor more information, please read the below-

Tickets On Sale Now for Touring Skating Spectacular
Featuring Dynamic Sisters Anna and Elsa, Appearing for the First Time in a Live Production

Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life. The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers. Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

(more…)

Veggie Tales – Live Shows Coming to a Theater Near You

pic7Who has a child that loves Veggie Tales?  If your child loves the show as much as mine does, then you will be excited to know that Veggie Tales is touring with a live show!  The Silly Sing Along is coming to a stage near you, so don’t wait, and get your tickets now.

We went to see the show this past weekend, and had a great time.  Larry, Bob and all the gang were there with all the silly, wholesome fun you and your kids love from the TV series. The Veggies preform the songs that your family knows and loves already in a fun sing a long, while they and their human friends dance and sing on stage (and the audience does in the aisle as well).

pic5The Veggies are super excited about their new TV show!  But, which song is the silliest?  Chaos is bound to ensue when no one can agree on a favorite silly song.  A new invention is unveiled to reveal the silliest of all silly songs.  But when the machine malfunctions and Jimmy disappears, the Veggies must find a way to get along and get Jimmy back!

(more…)

Oliver! at Paper Mill Playhouse

Just opened last night at Millburn, NJ’s Paper Mill Playhouse is Oliver!  This adorable show is great for the whole family, and both my son and I loved it.  Some of our favorites from the evening were Betsy Morgan, who plays Nancy (thief and more).  Nancy loves the main villain of the story, but wants more out of life then she has a chance to receive.  She takes up for Oliver, and pays for it in the end.   Betsy Morgan has an amazing voice, and every single time she took the stage we were excited to hear her.  Her voice and performance were moving, and she was a pleasure to watch.  My son (age 6) also loved her, and wanted to know when she will “make a CD”.  My son also was excited to see all the children on stage, led by Tyler Moran, who is in 6th grade and plays Oliver Twist.  The children were lively, talented, and great multi-taskers, singing and dancing as different parts and characters.  We had a great time at this performance, and recommend you taking your whole family to the first show that fits into your schedule.
(more…)

Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular

When I first heard about the live performance of How to Train Your Dragon it sounded interesting, but boy was I in for a surprise. The show is a spectacular combination of music and sights, for both adults and kids to enjoy. The show is filled with wonders, such as the combination of live action and video. One part of the show was created to look like the actor is running along a path- but in reality it was an actor running through projected and real scenery while hanging perpendicular to the screen, then all about the stage (and wall) area. The dragons were amazing, the robotics involved to make these creatures move, roar, shoot fire or lasers is truly fantastic. Shadow dragons flying above or shooting fire completed the effect, along with pyrotechnics that shot flames and tied it all together.

The pre-show Hero’s Welcome package was a great idea. The package included all of us getting dressed up as vikings for a posed picture, then meeting the main human characters (Astrid and Hiccup) for photos and Dragon Training Certifications. After the show, they had an explanation of how things worked. Pretty in Pink had to take her certificate for show and tell in school, so that she could show everyone that she is now a Dragon Trainer (she was so proud). Little Man was absolutely aglow from the idea that he was a viking and he had a chance to hold a sword and a shield. He also wanted to hug all the dragons- so no worries that they will be too scary for your little ones.
(more…)