CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
One Popcorn, Poor • Two Popcorns, Fair • Three Popcorns, Good • Four Popcorns, Excellent
By Michael S. Goldberger
Arts & Entertainment State of the Art
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark (NJPAC) will offer a concert with Diana Krall on March 3 at 8 p. m. in Prudential Hall. NJPAC will also offer Salzburg Marionettes in a Mozart Opera Festival on March 3 at 7: 30 p. m. or March 4 at 2 p. m. or March 5 at 7 p. m. at Victoria Theater. Violinist Itzhak Perlman will perform on March 5 at 3 p. m. in Prudential Hall. For more information, please call 1888GONJPAC.
The Summit Chorale will present “Red, White and New: Modern American Composers” on March 4 at 8 p. m. at Summit Middle School on Morris Avenue. Tickets are $13-$ 18. For more information, please call (908) 7628586.
The First Congregational Church in Westfield will host MidDay Musicales with Barbara Thompson, organist, on March 8 at noon. Admission is free. For more information, please call (908) 2321776.
The Union County Arts Center in Rahway will continue its 19992000 Classic Film Series with a presentation of Gigi on Wednesday, March 15, at 1 and 8 p. m. For more information, please call (732) 4998226 or visit www. ucac. org.
Westfield Art Association
will host a demonstration on contemporary figure painting with Roy Steinberg on Sunday, March 19, from 2 to 4 p. m. at the Westfield Community Room, 425 East Broad Street, Westfield. For more information, please call (908) 2327058 or (908) 2323381.
The New Jersey Ballet will perform at Kean University’s Wilkins Theater at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union on March 4 at 8 p. m. Tickets are $10$17. For more information, please call (908) 5272088.
Continued From Pg. 24 Continued From Pg. 24
Disgrace Under Pressure 2 & 1/ 2 popcorns
If there were a god of greed, Boiler Room would play at his shrine. This overthetop pressure pot is to the financial world what the second
Scarface (1983) is to the gangster genre. In short, it’s a bit much.
Frothing with three parts avarice and two parts synthetic male hormone, writerdirector Ben Younger’s paean to profit for the sheer thrill of it is an outlandishly cartoonish exaggeration. At least, let’s hope that’s what it is.
To think that this frantic saga about young men in stocktrading sweatshops selling their morals wholesale has more basis in fact than in satire would, indeed, be hardtack for the psychological digestion. Worse is the nightmarish thought that future generations might look back at Boiler Room and knowledgeably opine, “Yup, great period piece..... typical of the stock market boom during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.... anything for a buck back then, you know.”
And when Boiler Room’s ranting divulgences are especially convincing, the applicable words of the poet ominously come to mind: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked....” (Howl, by Allen Ginsberg, 1956).
It also bears noting that Mr. Younger’s seething diatribe of the securities game treads dangerously close to misogynistic ground. For starters, save for one mother figure and a secretary (Nia Long) stereotypically enlisted for Mata Hari duty by the FBI, there are no truly important female roles.
But a far more indicting sequence has to do with the instructions newcomer Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) receives on his first day at J. T. Marlin, a firm isolated suspiciously far from Wall Street in the hinterlands of Long Island.
Explaining that women are just too much trouble to deal with, Ben Affleck, in an homage to the fearmotivating role Alec Baldwin portrayed in
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), orders: “We don’t pitch the B——. But while this is meant to depict the folkways and mores of the subculture in question, one gets the impression that the screenplay is enjoying the tenor of its vindictive manifesto a tad too much. Or maybe I’m married to a feminist and just know what’s good for me.
That said, it bears noting that Boiler Room is a guilty pleasure, its high relief pronouncements and hyperventilating performances often proving an entertaining source of diversion. In a curious metaphor, it reduces finance to a sport of mental violence, replete with a locker room animus and an end justifiesthemeans nihilism pervading it.
And into this world comes our narrating innocent, Seth, imbued with a naturally magnetic verve by young Mr. Ribisi. Well, he’s not really that innocent, which might explain Seth’s immediate success at the Stocks R Us “chop shop.” The employment is merely the latest in a long string of attempts to please his everdetracting father, a Federal judge played with icy delicacy (“ I’m not your friend. That’s your mother’s game. I’m your father”) by Ron Rifkin.
Just previously, after not being able to find his niche at college, Seth sought ego gratification and commercial success by running a casino out of his apartment. Of course it didn’t bode very well with Dad once he got wind of the venture.
But strangely, Seth mourns that Dad
doesn’t recognize his entrepreneurial skills. Okay, so your nononsense father is more Mr. Spock than Dr. Spock. But what gives with you, Seth?
In any case, with Seth’s new employment things now look like they might, at long last, be improving. That is, until we learn just what kind of a place J. T. Marlin really is. The poor kid just can’t catch a break.
While obsession with the accumulation of wealth is hardly a new topic, this variation on the theme does have spirit. Ostensibly, it’s a gang that Seth has joined. ‘Vanquish the enemy and become a millionaire before you are thirty’ is the doordie mantra. He has been guaranteed wealth and power.... he need only apply himself.
More importantly, yet only tacitly implied, he has been promised friendship.
The tentative camaraderie of these latter day lost boys who work for the opulent but naggingly shady J. T. Marlin makes for a strangely antagonistic support system. This includes, but is not limited to, afterwork diversions such as beating up stock brokers from the blue chip firms when detecting their effrontery at a mutual watering hole.
But more telling about this kinship is when they all gather at one of the young millionaire’s sparsely decorated but toyfilled manses to watch Wall Street (1987). Reverently treating it like the epic tome of their origin, cheering as their financierhero (Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko) finesses his stock market swindles, they take turns mouthing dialogue that they have committed to memory.... like a Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) for the latest brave new world.
And to think, just yesterday they were singing along with the characters on “Sesame Street.” It’s a good scene. Problem is, there are more good scenes here than good movie. Borrowing from the Oliver Stone school of high intensity/ low substance studies, auteur Younger supplies neither groundbreaking sociology nor the sort of heady connective tissue that might have made Boiler Room
explode with truly steaming realism. * * * * *
Boiler Room, rated R, is a New Line Cinema release directed by Ben Younger and stars Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Nicky Katt. Running time: 110 minutes.
10 seasons of an airhead wasn’t enough.
I recently turned on “Party of Five” earlier this month only to find the plot revolving around Bailey Salinger reconsidering his pledge not to take another beer. Producers obviously realized how successful Bailey’s tumult was many seasons ago. Why not resurrect the story again? Maybe it will breathe more life into the show? Stick a fork in it, guys, it’s done.
The $2.2 millionperepisode price tag and the threatened departure of Spelling and Brian Austin Green, caused FOX execs to let the Beverly Hills bomb die a slow and timely death. Costs and poor ratings have also caused the network to consider sending six seasons with the Salinger family off the deep end. The decision by Neve Campbell, who portrays Julia Salinger, has also carried some weight in the show’s impending doom.
When 90210 first aired, and Party of Five followed, I used to gather in the rec room of one of my high school friends to watch the trials and tribulations of the teenagers. With Bagel Bites, Pepsi, and popcorn in hand, we used to wonder if Bailey and Sarah would stay together or if Donna made the right decision going to the prom with David. Big concerns for teenagers, but it kept us gathering night after night.
Still, there is not enough sentiment attached to these shows for me to shed any tears or make any tributes. Programs that once started out trying to bring to light issues of importance and controversy, slowly slid down the slope to paltry, nonimportant wastes of time without plots or significance.
Please don’t send me any Kleenex for the series finales. I won’t need any.
Organist Barbara Thomson Sets Mid-Day Musicales Concert
WESTFIELD – The First Congregational Church in Westfield will resume its MidDay Musicales series of four halfhour concerts with a program by organist Dr. Barbara Thomson at noon on Wednesday, March 8.
Dr. Thomson will include works by Buxtehude, Franck and Widor in her program.
She has performed at churches throughout the Metropolitan area and in Washington, D. C., Baltimore and Massachusetts.
Dr. Thomson has also been a guest soloist for the National Convention of the American Society of University Composers in Memphis, the Festival Maria Schutz in Austria and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
She was also a finalist in the International Congress of Organists Organ Playing Competition, and has recorded for Voice of
America, Radio Bremen in Germany, Vermont Public Television and Spectrum Records.
Dr. Thomson is currently Voorhees Chapel Organist at Rutgers University, Organist/ Director of Music at the First Congregational Church in town, and Organist/ Music Director at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pennsylvania State University, received a master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, earned her doctorate at the Peabody Conservatory, and did further study at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
Following the concert, a soup and sandwich luncheon will be available in the church social hall for $4.50.
Funding for these concerts has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
“The students learn about the science behind baking. They learn management, how to present the product and all about merchandising,” Mr. DiIorio told The Leader and
The Times. “They also learn how to gauge and budget a business.”
The Baking Program, which began in 1967, includes approximately a dozen to 16 students who attend two classes per day at three hours each before returning to their high school classrooms.
“They cook just about everyday,” Mr. DiIorio noted.
Mr. DiIorio explained that when students learn about a different type of biscotti or a new form of quick breads, they have the chance to sell that new item as a special to Bake Shop customers on Fridays afternoons.
Aaron, a student who took some time out from his selling responsibilities, told The Leader and The Times, “The program shows me how to do it (baking) on my own. Breads are my favorite things to make.”
Lenore, another pupil, reported, “This teaches me how to bake on a commercial level.” She added that she enjoys baking cookies so much that she would like to begin her own cookie business.
Mr. DiIorio discussed one of his students, Julio, who he described as one of his “hardest working” pupils who truly applies himself to his craft.
Julio, who plans to attend Hudson County Community College once he completes the VoTech program, said that the school has given him more experience than ever before. The Union resident who loves to bake Napoleons, revealed that he would like to open his own restaurant or bakery in the future.
Mr. DiIorio stated that after two years in the Baking Program, most of his students continue in the baking industry, replying to the high demand for bakers at supermarkets, which supply full benefits to employees.
Some of his students continue their careers at county colleges or the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N. Y.
“The kids work hard and they like to hear compliments,” said Mr. DiIorio. “It gives them incentive. There are very few complaints and it’s better for them to make their mistakes here than out in public.”
Believing in the success and potential of his pupils comes easy for Mr. DiIorio who concluded, “The only thing that will stop them is themselves. If they are motivated, they can go far.”
Damn Yankees on Tap At Linden High School
Editorial Philadelphia Flower Show Trip
Set By Reeves-Reed Arboretum
Pirates of Penzance Slated At Governor Livingston HS
LEADING THE PERFORMANCE… Pictured, left to right, are the seven lead characters in the performance of The Pirates of Penzance: Mark Papier, Kassy Ciasulli, Chris Vassil, Morgan Timmerman, Dan Perez, Jason Thomas and Sal Arpino.
BERKELEY HEIGHTS — The Governor Livingston (GL) Hilltop Players will present The Pirates of Penzance on Thursday, March 9, at 7: 30 p. m. and Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at 8 p. m. at Governor Livingston High School, 175 Watchung Boulevard, Berkeley Heights.
Approximately 48 students will participate in the Gilbert and Sullivan comedy opera.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for senior citizens on Saturday evening.
Tickets are available at the box office or in advance at Berkeley Print and Copy Center, Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights or by calling (908) 4649038.
SUMMIT – ReevesReed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Street, Summit will sponsor two bus trips to the Philadelphia Flower Show, “Gardens for the New Millennium” on Tuesday, March 7, from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. and on Thursday, March 9, from 12: 15 a. m. to 9: 15 p. m.
The buses will depart from St. John’s Lutheran Church, 587 Springfield Avenue in Summit.
Gardens for the New Millennium will highlight three New Year’s Eve parties, each marking events of their time – a 1920 Singapore celebration inspired by
the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, a 1945 London festivity anticipating the end of World War II, and a 21st century Philadelphia City Hall Millennium Party with flowers of tomorrow.
Lunch or dinner will be available at the show’s food court and refreshments will be served en route round trip.
The fee is $60 for Arboretum members and $70 for nonmembers. Advance registration is required.
For a brochure or registration, please call ReevesReed Arboretum at (908) 2738787.
‘House Music’ Organized By Musical Club of Westfield
WESTFIELD – The Musical Club of Westfield will present an evening
program of “house music” from the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries on Wednesday, March 8, at 8 p. m. at the First Baptist Church in Westfield.
House music is considered the type of music families might perform in their homes before the dawn of the Victrola.
The program will highlight pianists Deborah Brown and Vicki Griswold, who will play the slow movement of Beethoven’s “Third Symphony” as it would have been heard in the early part of our century.
Paul Somers will join Ms. Brown and Ms. Griswold to perform two pieces for piano six hands, written by Rachmaninoff. The first selection, “Romance,” contains the beginnings of the slow movement of Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto,” and is followed by the “Waltz.”
Flutists Janet Somers and Clarissa Nolde will be joined by two of their pupils, Elizabeth Grausso and Lindsay DellaSerra to perform the four movements of Reicha’s “Quartet for Flutes.”
Lindsay is a sophomore at Cranford High School, where she performs in the select Regional Band. She made her symphonic debut with the Summit Symphony, playing piccolo last fall.
Elizabeth is a junior at Scotch PlainsFanwood High School. She is also a member of Regional Band, as well as the New Jersey Youth Symphony.
Soprano Elsa Gail Hahn and pianist Mary Beth McFall will perform six songs of the period. They will begin with H. H. A. Beech’s “The Year at the Spring,” set to the poem “Pippa Passes” by Browning.
They will also include “Rusalka’s Song to the Moon” by Dvorak in their program, as well as Gilbert and Sullivan’s “A Regular Royal Queen,” “From the Land of the Sky Blue Waters” by Charles Wakefield Cadman, “Toyland” by Victor Herbert, and “A Birthday” by R. Huntington Woodman with words by Christina Rossetti.
FABULOUS FLUTISTS… Janet Somers, back left, and Clarissa Nolde, back right, practice with students Elizabeth Grausso of Scotch Plains, front left, and Lindsay DellaSerra of Cranford for a performance for the Musical Club of Westfield on Wednesday, March 8, at 8 p. m. at the First Baptist Church of Westfield.
Union County College Reveals Exhibit By Landscape Painter
League of Women Voters To Sponsor The Price Play
WESTFIELD – The Westfield Area League of Women Voters will sponsor an evening of Arthur Miller’s The Price by Westfield Community Players (WCP) on Friday, March 17 at the WCP Playhouse, 1000 North Avenue, West.
Complimentary refreshments will be offered at 7: 15 p. m. and during the intermission. The performance will begin at 8 p. m.
For $15 tickets, please call (908) 6546252. Profits from this fundraising event will be dedicated to the League’s Scholarship Fund.
A scholarship is offered annually to a student from Westfield High School and a pupil from Scotch PlainsFanwood High School. These students must demonstrate an interest in government.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization, dedicated to informing the public on issues of public policy.
For more information, please call (908) 6548628 or visit www. westfieldnj. com/ lwv.
CRANFORD – Tomasulo Gallery at Union County College will feature an exhibit entitled, “Retrospective,” by landscape painter Mark Metcalf from Friday, March 10, to Thursday, April 13.
Mr. Metcalf, who died in 1994, concentrated most of his works on New York City’s bridges, streets and waterfronts. He centered most of his life in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
He once stated, “I am a realist at heart. Nothing is more incredible, evocative and moving than the real world caught unaware and ingenuous. The poetry is everywhere, even in the industrial wasteland with its ordinariness and misuse and ruin, and when light plays across its features or fills a sky with limpid hues at sunset, I am compelled to paint, and do so with great excitement.”
The exhibit will debut on March 10 with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p. m. The Gallery is located on the first floor of the MacKay Library on the campus of Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue, Cranford.
Gallery hours are from 1 to 4 p. m. on Mondays through Thursdays and on Saturdays. Evening hours are from 6 to 9 p. m. on
Tuesdays through Thursdays. For more information, please call the Gallery at (908) 7097155.
Please send all Arts & Entertainment
Press Releases to : Michelle H. LePoidevin at
michelle@ goleader. com
LINDEN – Linden High School’s Musical Theater Group will present a production of Damn Yankees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 30, 31, and April 1.
All performances will be held at 8 p. m. at the high school, which is located at 121 West Saint Georges Avenue in Linden.
Tickets are $10 for adults and children. For tickets and more information, please call (908) 4865432 or (908) 9254818.
All seats are reserved.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)