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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, March 2, 2000 Page 23


Arts & Entertainment

RATING: Highest Possible Rating: 4 chopsticks


The Dining Table Beau Lia’s Window to the World

Continued From Pg. 24


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

SCOTCH PLAINS – Jade Isle is a wellestablished and wellrun Asian restaurant dwelling in Scotch Plains. For s e v e r a l years, the establishment has been serving a fine c u i s i n e , preferably C h i n e s e , but they also offer Polynesian fare.

I am going to emphasize their Dim Sum Menu, which is available Saturday and Sunday, as well as major holidays from 11 am. to 3 p. m.

Dim Sum, as you know, offers a wide array of small, tasty morsels of dumplings, beef, chicken, shrimp, lobster and other meats in a thin, delectable pastry which is steamed and served at your table by a traveling heated steam cart.

The knack of eating Dim Sum is to try and take as many of the dishes presented and pace oneself by keeping the quantity of each dish to a minimum. Dim Sum is a great brunch type adventure that greatly encourages large parties of 10 people at a round table set with a lazy susan.

Dim Sum is served regularly at many Chinese restaurants, both in New York and New Jersey. Many of these establishments export their Dim Sum from a special Commissarytype facility where the Dim Sum are prepared and steamed.

While these are fine and satisfying to the tastebuds, I believe that Jade Isle is more than a cut above the ordinary. To begin with, all of their Dim Sum are prepared on the

premises by a special Dim Sum chef. The result is a variety of approximately 50 dishes that are more than exotic, creative, tasty, delicate and satisfying.

I will only des c r i b e approxim a t e l y 15 of t h e s e dishes, w h i c h are extraordinary.

Jade Isle serves steamed Shark Fin with a very different and unusual taste. They serve Sticky Rice which is just as the name implies – rice that is steamed and tasty with just a hint of ginger.

They serve Beef Tripe with turnip – also an odd flavor, but wonderful. Jade Isle’s Lobster Chop is created with turnip in a thin pastry, floating in a most delectable spiced sauce. The chef also offers a Stuffed Crab Claw. I have not enjoyed one this good before. It is stuffed and steamed. Excellent.

Stuffed Eggplant is served with a pork stuffing and residue of eggplant. Jade Isle offers a Tender Leek Dumpling, which again has a very delicate pastry with a leek steamed in chicken broth.

PanFried Bean Curd Skin with vegetables is another new dish to me. It was very savory, smooth and tasty. The PanFried Shrimp Balls are right on the money, excellently seasoned, not greasy, served extremely hot and tasty.

Jade Isle’s Spring Rolls are paramount. I have not savored such spring rolls anywhere else. Steamed Chicken Feet are a delicacy that are served in a sort of gluttonous broth. Their Pork Dim Sum are excellent. PanFried Turnip Cake was very unusual, tasty and delicious. One must not pass up the deep Fried Taro Puff made of Taro root.

Turning to the sweets at Jade Isle, they serve a Baked Pineapple Bun and a Cold Bean Curd Pudding With Fruit, as well as a Cold Coconut Cake.

At the beginning of my dining experience, I was asked by the owner if I would like to try a soup made of 100yearold chicken egg. The thought of it confused me, knowing that it was many years old.

But, surprise, surprise! I was served a broth with thick rice and pork. Undoubtedly, it was one of the best soups I have ever tasted.

You have to try this restaurant. Sunday morning, there was not one empty seat in the room, which holds almost 200 people – the majority of which were Asian.

Jade Isle offers an eating experience for the whole family and friends, crosstasting and companionship, all with the sipping of Poo Nee Tea. The festivities come to a halt at 3 p. m. and you go home feeling wellnourished, socially fulfilled, quieted in your brain and longing for a nice, cool, comfortable spot to take a great nap.

I will return to Jade Isle many times. I hope I will see you there.

Glenn Alexander

Guitarist Glenn Alexander Plans Program at Presbyterian Church

WESTFIELD – Widely recognized guitarist, composer and producer Glenn Alexander will offer a concert this Sunday, March 5, at 4 p. m. in the Christian Lounge at The P re s b y t e r i a n Church in Westfield. A program of jazz standards, original compositions and improvisations will be featured.

Mr. Alexander’s recording and performance credits include musicians such as Liza Minnelli, Joel Gray, the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls, Chico Hamilton, L. Shankar and The Epidemics, Jerry Hahn, T. Lavits (Dregs), Randy Brecker, Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb.

He has attained worldwide airplay and critical acclaim on albums featuring his performances as well as his own compositions:

Stretch, Glenn Alexander, Oria, Rainbow’s Revenge (Glenn Alexander), Inside Out (The Connection), We Remember Pastorius,

Hub City Kid (Dave LaRue), Heroes (Michael Davis), Street News (Bob Magnuson) and Guitar on the Edge, Volume No. 4.

Mr. Alexander produced Time Changes for guitarist Jerry Hahn and most recently recorded 13 songs by Paul Simon arranged by Howard Morgan for solo jazz guitar. He is currently writing, recording and performing with L. A. X. featuring Mr. LaRue and Van Romaine (Steve Morse Band).

A Kansas native, Mr. Alexander holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Wichita State University. He also studied with Mr. Hahn, Pat Martino and John Scofield. He is on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College where he serves as head of the Jazz Department, teaching history of jazz, ensemble, improvisation and guitar.

At The New School for Social Research, he teaches jazz history and theory. He lives with his family in Westfield, where they are members of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

Admission to the concert is free. However, a freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, please call the Church Office at (908) 2330301.

Westfield Native Matthew Sklar To Perform at ‘Moveable Feast’

WESTFIELD – Matthew Sklar, who at the age of 21 became Broadway’s youngest conductor, will perform at the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts (NJWA) Gala, “A Moveable Feast” on Sunday, March 26, at the Grand Summit Hotel.

Mr. Sklar, who is a 1991 graduate of Westfield High School, is considered the most distinguished NJWA alumnus having started his musical education at the NJWA’s Westfield Summer Workshop in 1978.

Dr. Theodore K. Schlosberg, Founder and Executive Director of NJWA, recently revealed that Mr. Sklar will perform original songs and will be available at the “Meet the Artists” sessions to share his thoughts on the NJWA and his Broadway career.

Since his debut as the Assistant Conductor of Les Miserables

in 1994, Mr. Sklar has gained a reputation as a conductor and composer of much skill and vision. These attributes were developed in Westfield through local

performances in such classics as

The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and

Hello Dolly, as well as his direction and composition of adaptations of

Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book.

Recently, Mr. Sklar was the Assistant Musical Director of Putting It Together, starring Carol Burnett. His new musical, The Rhythm Club,

a collaboration with lyricist Chad Beguelin will premier this fall at the Signature Theater in Arlington, Va.

Mr. Sklar has also received high acclaim for his piano performances on Broadway in Guys and Dolls, On the Town, and Sunset Boulevard.

He also conducted the orchestras of Titanic and Miss Saigon.

His composer credits include music for Varese Sarabande’s Broadway Bound, the film Hudson River Blues, and the CD single “Remember” performed by the cast of Les Miserables.

For tickets to “A Moveable Feast,” or for more information on Mr. Sklar’s appearance, please contact the NJWA office at (908) 7899696.

Matthew Sklar

Arts Association Announces Members’ Show Winners

SCOTCH PLAINS – Winning entries in the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Arts Association’s Annual Members’ Show were announced by the Chairperson Mary Hovanec on February 19, following a reception to meet the artists in the downstairs gallery of the Scotch Plains Library.

Maria Falconi was received the Best in Show award for her batik, “Dreaming of the Moon.”

Steve Tomczyk held the winning entry for oil and acrylic painting for “Route 365.” Second place went to Ellen Renner for “Down the Rahway River.” Third place was awarded to “Painting on the Penthouse” by Ken Malpas. Honorable mentions went to Gi Wan Song for “Hatching” and to Yvonne Low for “Atlantic Ocean.”

In the watercolor category, first place was awarded to Lydia Brunelli for “Crystal Cameo” and second place went to Marie Gerus for “Hawaiian Memory.” Honorable mentions were earned by Anne Gibbons for “Grandfather’s Home, Ireland,” Christina Scott for “Garden Gate,” to Betsy Ruff for “Yosemite” and to Ms. Hovanec for “Touch of Beauty.”

In the mixed media category, the first place award was given to Marjorie McConnell for “Design for a Window.” Second place honors went to Mary Claire Hahn for her drawing, “The Jury Pool.” Honorable mentions were presented to Joan Westernick for her stained glass work “Peace,” to Shirley Farkas for her flower arrangement “Victorian Splendor,” and to Stephen Westernick for “Vortex.”

Top honors in the photography category went to Bob Hahn for his photograph “Skirmish Line.” Second place went to Peter Hovanec for “Pelican.” Honorable mentions were awarded to Rita Hahn for “Water Park, Floyd’s Fury” and to Diana

Cammack for “Buddy’s Summer Gallop.”

This program is sponsored by the Scotch PlainsFanwood Arts Association. The public is invited to attend the Association’s regular meetings.

For more information, please call Thomas Yeager at (908) 3225438.

Disney’s Aida Musical Slated on March 10 By Rec. Commission

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Recreation will sponsor a trip to see Disney’s new musical, Aida,

penned by Elton John and Tim Rice on Friday, March 10.

The bus will leave from the Westfield Municipal Building at 6 p. m. for the 8 p. m. performance.

The cost of tickets and transportation is $95. For more information, please call (908) 7894085.

A HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS... Mary Hovanec, Chairperson, presents a first place award in oil and acrylics to Steve Tomczyk. Mr. Tomczyk entered his prizewinning piece entitled, “Route 365,” in the Member Show of the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Arts Association.

Please send all Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases to : Michelle H. LePoidevin at

michelle@ goleader. com

Big Performance Scheduled At Westfield High School

WESTFIELD – Three performances of Westfield High School’s (WHS) spring musical, Big, will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 9, 10, and 11, at the WHS auditorium. Curtain time will be 8 p. m. each evening.

The show, which is based on the film by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, and the book by John Weidman, was selected for its fun aspect for both the performers and audience alike.

The 48member cast will include Josh Lerner, Liz Heisler, J. D. Hyman, Sam Fleder, Yari Sigal, Tyler Patla, Shana Golembo, Lyndsay Ruotolo, Ryan Buntain, Sara Mirsky and David Eisenberg.

Returning after his fall choreographic debut with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, WHS graduate Avon Chandler is creating the dance numbers for the Big production.

Mr. Chandler has regional theater credits, as well as Broadway and National Touring company credits. While at WHS in the late 1980s, he appeared in Grease, South Pacific,

and Godspell.

Debuting as Musical Director of

Big, WHS Vocal Teacher William Matthews, holds several years of show experience with Edison Intermediate School in Westfield. He also directs a handbell choir and four singing choirs at the First Baptist Church in Westfield where he has been a Minister of Music for 18 years.

After a sabbatical, Joe Nierle returns to WHS as Director and Drama Teacher. His year away provided new acting techniques, which he applies to the Big performance.

Tickets are $8 with reserved seating. They are available from cast members or by calling the Drama Department at (908) 7894549.

Members of the cast of Big

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Will Be Held on March 11

UNION – Frank Donnelly, Grand Marshal of the Fourth Annual Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will help county residents celebrate the spirit of Ireland on Saturday, March 11, at 1 p. m. Preparade festivities will be held at noon at Morris and Stuyvesant Avenues in Union.

Irish step dancing, live music, clowns and special festivities will be held throughout the day.

In addition, the Irish American Institute and the Union Center National Bank will open a special art show inside the bank at Union Center at 6: 30 p. m. on Tuesday, March 7. Over 12 pieces of artwork depicting Irish participation in the American Revolution will be featured.

Classical and Jazz Pianist To Be Heard During Recital

MURRAY HILL – Eric Olsen, classical pianist, jazz improviser and composer will offer a solo recital on Sunday, March 5, as part of the “Sundays at Three” faculty concert series presented by the Suburban Community Music Center, 570 Central Avenue, Murray Hill.

Mr. Olsen, who is a founding member of the jazz trio, “Urban Survival, will present a varied program of both classical and jazz idioms. He has just released a CD of his compositions.

Mr. Olsen holds a bachelor’s degree in piano and organ per formance from Syracuse University

and two master’s degrees – one in jazz studies and the other in piano performance – from Indiana University.

He currently teaches at the Suburban Community Music Center, Essex County College, the Newark Community School of the Arts, and he is Music Director at the Rutherford Congregational Church.

Admission, at the door, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

For more information, please call (908) 7900700. perimented with color,

he finds that some hues don’t match up as he envisioned.

“I do my drawing to pass the time here,” Beau said.

When asked about his biggest fans, Beau cited his art teacher at McGinn School, Sanford Harlan who taught him the fundamentals of drawing, as well as how to discover and create texture in a piece. Beau proudly noted that Mr. Harlan hangs his artwork in the hallways of the school.

“He’s a wonderful student,” Mr. Harlan told The Leader and

The Times. “He is very talented and very excited about working in all forms of media. He’s very interested in the arts and art history.”

Mr. Harlan also reported that Beau has the ability to absorb

information about artists “like a sponge” with great enthusiasm.

Although Beau has aspirations of owning his own hotel in the future, he would like to keep his paper and pencils handy, drawing as a hobby and learning through life’s everchanging window and creations.

Drawing #1 by Beau Lia Drawing #2 by Beau Lia
Copyright 2000 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)