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Page 22 Thursday, March 23, 2000 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION


Arts & Entertainment

Cheri Rogosky for The Westfield Leader and The Times

MUSIC MAKERS... The New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO) rehearsed recently for an upcoming concert, “Made in America: A Celebration of American Music,” which will be performed on Sunday, April 16, at 3 p. m. at Cranford High School. A preconcert event, “Meet the Musicians” will be offered at 2: 30 p. m. with audience participation encouraged. For more information, please call (908) 7090084. Pictured, left to right, are: “Bishop of Jazz” composer and teacher and jazz musician Rio Clemente, conductor and founder of NJIO Lorraine Marks, and composer and conductor Mario Lombardo.


By Michael S. Goldberger

Oscar Picks, 1999 Monkeying Around

With the Winners

The cinematic witching hour nears. The Oscars approach. ‘Tis the season when the film critic is asked to lay his reputation on the line. When he is mercilessly humbled, virtually goaded into handicapping the winners like a common gambler. The readers demand it.

Writes Mary Kwitecontrari: “Dear Mr. Goldberger, Although I truly enjoy your reviews and find them helpful in my movie choices, I was terribly disappointed by your Academy Award prognostications last year. Though you picked almost all of the major categories correctly, you missed ‘Best Picture. ’”

She continued, “Only suckers thought Private Ryan would take it. How could you? We were so embarrassed here that we kept the children home from school the next day. Which actually didn’t work out so badly, though, because they were so bored that they rolled all the pennies we had in the gallon Chianti bottle. We then took the money and ate out that night. I had a great chicken dish, Bill had a nice prime rib and the twins had the breaded eggplant with marinara, which I tasted.... not bad. So thanks for that.”

“But be on notice, Mr. Goldberger, she warned, “Should you fail us this year, should you again make monkeys of us, we’ll be in the market for another film critic. Good Luck, your formerly loyal reader, Mary K.”

Monkeys? ‘Yes, monkeys, ’ I mused to myself. ‘By Jove, that’s it! ’ It was like an epiphany.

The proverbial light bulb fired above my head. Alas, it was time to go ahead with an experiment in animal behaviorism I’d been working on in the basement in my spare time. But, dare I? Was it too early? It wasn’t the schedule I had planned on.

I then rationalized: ‘Why... many other scientific discoveries were inspired by a sudden urgency. After all, necessity is the mother of invention... right? Besides, Mary K. had read me the riot act and I had to come through. I would cut out the human variable. ’

What I then did could very well change the way we predict the Oscars.

We’ll know for sure Sunday night. Ten chimpanzees, five males and five females, were put in a room with ten word processors. Their names, you ask? Why, of course. My illustrious pioneers are: Alice, Edith, Veronica, Dutchess, Margo, Henry, Phil, Cal, Cheetah and Mr. Phibes.

The monkeys were instructed to resist the temptation to write the Great American Novel, and to instead focus on making their Academy Award picks.

Here’s what they chose:

·Best Picture— American Beauty;

·Best Actor— Kevin Spacey;

·Best Actress— Annette Bening;

·Best Supporting Actor— Michael Caine;

·Best Supporting Actress— Chloe Sevigny;

·Best Director— Sam Mendes,

American Beauty;

·Best Original Song—“ Save Me,” from Magnolia, Aimee Mann;

·Foreign Film—All About My Mother, Spain;

·Adapted Screenplay— John Irving,

The Cider House Rules;

·Original Screenplay— Alan Ball,

American Beauty;

·Art Direction—Topsy Turvy;

·Cinematography—Sleepy Hollow;

·Sound—Star Wars— Episode I: The Phantom Menace;

·Sound Effects Editing—The Matrix;

·Original Score—The Cider House Rules, Rachel Portman;

·Costume—Topsy Turvy;

·Documentary Feature—Buena Vista Social Club;

·Documentary Short Subject— The

Wildest Show In The South: The Angola Prison Rodeo;

·Film Editing—American Beauty;


·Animated Short Film—My Grandmother Ironed The King’s Shirts;

·Live Action Short Film— Kleingeld

(Small Change);

·Visual Effects: Star Wars— Episode I: The Phantom Menace.


The Dining Table

RATING: Highest Possible Rating: 4 chef hats


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD – Hidden away very unobtrusively in a strip mall in Westfield, we find South Side Roman Bistro – a delightful little bit of Italy snuggled neatly among other stores.

Greeted by two benches in front of the restaurant, diners are about to be taken back to the old restaurants of Naples with terra cotta walls, subdued white tablecloths and mellow Italian melodies in the background. The Bistro brilliantly creates a setting for fine dining and an enjoyable evening.

Manager, Sergio Marino welcomes you with a warm smile while you are escorted to your table. The restaurant is owned by the Cioffi family which was been in the restaurant business since 1963. Joseph Cioffi manages the daytoday operation at the Bistro.

The Chef is Patrick Appolonio, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.

Unquestionably, one of the most important aspects of the restaurant is the service. I rarely highlight an individual waiter, but I must make an exception in this case. Michael, our waiter who hails from Egypt, has complete knowledge of the menu and suggests and recommends combinations and special dishes where it is necessary.

He operates in a manner that is indicative of the fine services in

the restaurant field. The proof of the pudding is in the dining experience. The menu of the Bistro is quite extensive.

In their Antipasti Napoleon of Wild Mushroom, they feature ovendried tomatoes and m a s c a r p o n e cheese in a crispy pastry that is decadent and delicious. The combination of the cheese and tomatoes is a very unique approach, not to be missed.

Another signature appetizer is Charred Tuna Carpaccio. Accompanied by arugula, avocado, spicy tomato salsa, crispy shallots in a garlic aolie, this dish is too spectacular and must be sampled.

Another selection among the 12 appetizers offered is Crispy Polenta. A famous Northern Italian dish, this is a bread staple of Tuscany. Served with sliced sausage and topped with mozzarella and red pepper coulis sauce, this is a typical Italian dish with a twist. Most palatable and delightful, the Crispy Polenta is something the palate must not miss.

The Bistro is famous for their soup which has achieved local notoriety. Escarole and Beans features beans sautéed in a broth with garlic and spices. In years gone by, this was considered a peasant dish.

Pasta ’n Fagioli is also a famous soup at the Bistro. The delightful pasta and beans swim in an elixirlike broth. I recommend this soup be eaten with a raw onion as my grandmother taught me.

The Bistro builds a beautiful salad. Piled high, the salad is also wonderfully presented. Baby Spinach and Artichoke Salad showcases a crispy pancetta and toasted almonds with preserved orange oil. This is not a heavy salad, but is a good continuum to a fine meal.

They also offer a Caesar Salad with sliced vine ripened tomato with arugula, radicchio, roasted pepper and homemade mozzarella and basil oil.

Twelve varieties of pasta are offered to hungry diners, running the gamut from Penne with Fresh Tomato to Rigatoni Ala Vodka served to perfection.

The entrees are incredibly unusual and imaginative. I must comment immediately on my selection, Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna. Approximately oneinch tuna steak was grilled with a sushi technique to eliminate the raw outside. The steak is then grilled to perfection with a light pink, succulent interior. Served with olives, capers and shallots, sautéed broccoli rabe and hot pepper vinegar, this dish was a winner.

I don’t recall ever having a better tuna entree – many stars for this dish.

The Bistro also serves Spicy Barbecue Shrimp which lures the diner with Long Surinam shrimp grilled with Mediterranean spices served over wild mushrooms and Northern bean salad. Another must.

The restaurant prides itself on the Herb Crusted Filet Mignon, which is covered with spices, green and black pepper and served with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes and Roasted Pepper Timbale with a PinotNoir reduction.

The bread was served crispy and warm.

While the Bistro does not have a liquor license, diners are invited to bring their own wine and spirits. I will quickly say a few words about their dessert.

Tiramasu and Italian Pastries are highlighted by excellent coffees, cappuccino and espresso.

A seasoned diner appreciates an ambiance of quiet and order, as well as excellent service without being pestered. All of these can be found at the Bistro. Hats off to the owner.

See you again at the Bistro.

Please send all Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases to : Michelle H. LePoidevin at

michelle@ goleader. com

Elements Quartet to Perform In Mid-Day Musicales Concert

WESTFIELD — The First Congregational Church of Westfield, 125 Elmer Street, has announced the continuation of their MidDay Musicales series of free halfhour concerts with a program by the Elements Quartet at noon on Wednesday, March 29.

Called “an important new ensemble” by Pulitzer Prizewinning composer David Del Tredici, the Elements Quartet, Kyoko Kashiwagi and Evan Mirapaul, violins, Brett Deubner, viola, and Peter Seidenberg, cello, is made up of four talented and unique musicians.

Their vibrant sound has been likened to a natural combination of the four essential elements in early Greek science, with Kashiwagi’s liquid tone and Mirapaul’s firey attack blending with Deubner’s airy grace and Seidenberg’s earthy approach.

According to John Graham, former violist of the Galimir Quartet, the group has been “meticulously assembled by four brilliantly wellmatched musicians. The Elements Quartet is bound to become a major string quartet.”

The Elements Quartet has given recent performances in New York, New Jersey and Detroit, and will perform in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey in early 2000, as well as at the Soclair Festival and Norfolk Festival this summer.

Following the concert, a soup and sandwich luncheon will be

available in the church social hall for $4.50. Parents are encouraged not to bring children under the age of five to these concerts.

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 and a grant from the Westfield Foundation.

The Elements Quartet

Charles Schultz Tribute Slated By Westfield Y, Roosevelt Intermediate

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Y, in conjunction with Roosevelt Intermediate School, will sponsor You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, as a special tribute to the cartoonist of “Peanuts” who recently passed away.

The production will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, at 7: 30 p. m. in the auditorium of Roosevelt School.

Clark Gesner penned the music and lyrics of the play, which is based on the “Peanuts” cartoon series.

Admission for adults is $5 and student admission is $2. For more information, please call the Teen Department of the Westfield Y at (908) 2332700, Extension No. 270.

Benefit Cabaret Production Set By WCP and CDC Theaters

WESTFIELD — John Schweska, a member of Westfield Community Players (WCP) and the Cranford Dramatic Club (CDC), is reprising his New York City cabaret show Love and Other Things

as a benefit to help both community theaters on Saturday, April 8, at 8 p. m. at the CDC, 78 Winans Avenue, Cranford.

Mr. Schweska will be joined by vocalists Joanne Guida and Robert Duffy. Joining the vocalists will be accomplished pianist and arranger, Andrew Cooke.

The show will take its audience through the whirlwind of love “in all its explosive as well as its manysided and zany aspects.”

Mr. Cooke directed this New York cabaret and has extensive credits in New York and regional theater. He has been the associate conductor of Broadway’s

Sweeney Todd and pianist for the Broadway production of Aspects of Love and the offBroadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

Most recently, Mr. Cooke was musical director for the Guthrie Theatre’s professional production of Sweeney Todd.

Mr. Schweska, a lyric baritone, has been singing cabaret for over 10 years. He has appeared in many local musical productions including She Loves Me and The Wizard of Oz at the Cranford Dramatic Club and Romance, Romance

at the WCP. Mr. Duffy has been seen in

many local productions and will soon be heard on the concept album for the new musical A Tale of Two Cities.

Ms. Guida has also sung and acted in many local musical productions, most recently in WCP’s production of Romance, Romance.

The performance will be followed by a reception. For reservations, please call the CDC box office at (908) 2767611. Tickets are $12 each.

Westfield Art Association Looks Ahead to Annual Show in Spring

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Art Association (WAA) has announced that Stephen Sennott, Executive Director of the City Without Walls gallery in Newark, will be the judge for the WAA’s 76th Annual Watercolor, Graphics, and Photography Exhibition, Saturday through Tuesday, April 1518, in the Westfield Community Room, 425 East Broad Street, Westfield.

Mr. Sennott, as the executive director, is the administrator of all exhibitions and educational programming at the Gallery. He is the curator and designer of all onsite, offsite and traveling exhibitions.

The City Without Walls gallery features the work of over 200 artists annually.

Mr. Sennott is an artist, writer and musician. He studied at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Miss. earning a Bachelor of Music Degree in Theory and Composition with a minor in Art, Magna Cum Laude, and University of Arizona at Tucson in Art History and History of Photography at the graduate level.

He was an instructor in Art History, Drawing, Music and Humanities at Central Arizona State Col lege, A. S. P. Campus, Florence. He

was an instructor in Art History at the Tucson Museum of Art and Pima Community Collegein Tucson.

In New York City he was assistant director at Arras Gallery and Gallery Manager at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery and LittlejohnSmith Gallery. Mr. Sennott is an exhibiting visual artist in painting drawing and photography, a musician, composer and writer. His published work includes fiction, photography and graphic design.

The Westfield Art Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing artists and the community an opportunity to learn about many aspects of fine art since 1922. In addition to the judged entries the show will feature a portfolio sale of unframed works of art in watercolor, drawing, mixed media, prints and photographs.

WAA President Barbara Schwinn has invited area artists to join the association and exhibit their artwork in the show.

For membership information, please call (908) 2327058 or (908) 2323381.

WESTFIELD — The Town Book Store of Westfield will host a special author appearance on

Kid’s Corner a a a a aa a a a a a aa a a a a a a a

Children’s Author to Attend Town Book Store Signing

Tuesday, March 27, with award winning children’s author Johanna Hurwitz from 4 to 5

p. m. M s . Hurwitz

has written over 50 books for children and young adults, including “The Just Desserts Club,” “Llama in the Library” and “Aldo Applesauce.”

She will appear as a special guest at Franklin Elementary School on Monday and Tuesday, March 27 and 28, meeting with the different classes to discuss her career as a children’s author.

Reserved copies of Ms. Hurwitz’ books are available. For more information, please call The Town Book Store, (908) 2333535.

Photography of Tom McGuire Set at Westfield Art Gallery

WESTFIELD – An exhibit featuring the photography of Tom McGuire will be hosted at The Westfield Art Gallery from Sunday, until Thursday, April 20. An opening reception will be held on March 19 from 2 to 4 p. m.

Mr. McGuire’s focus in his photography is landscape scenes, featuring sites along the New Jersey coastline. His objective is to capture the essence of each shore town from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

The photographer has been published for nationally distributed postcards and calendars. This will be Mr. McGuire’s first exhibit in Westfield.

For more information, please call the Gallery at (908) 7899696.
Copyright 2000 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)