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Wassily Kandinsky (18661944)
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Wassily Kandinsky, abstract master, once confided, “I applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could.”
A multifaceted individual with talents in law, economics, writing and analyzing spirituality, Kandinsky became inspired by the work of Claude Monet when he attended a French Impressionist exhibit when he was 29. He then left Moscow to study lifedrawing, sketching and anatomy in Munich, Germany.
Although he found his motivation in the works of Impressionists like Monet, he started to lean toward the technique of abstraction in which he stretched the boundaries of method and application to the extreme by using
geometric and freeflowing form. A prime example of this technique can be found in “Improvisation Sintflut,” pictured above.
Kandinsky participated in various rebellious movements in the 20th century and continued to not only express himself with the brush, but with pen and paper in his theoretical essays.
Before his death in 1944, Kandinsky’s studio was frequented by admirers such as Miro, Magnelli and Tauber.
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Kassy Ciasulli “The difference between false memories and true ones is the
same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most unreal, the most brilliant.” -Salvador Dali
By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MOUNTAINSIDE – Rising star and Mountainside resident, Kassy Ciasulli, has been singing her way to the top this summer with performances at local sporting events as well as the prestigious honor of performing in Oliver! at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
Here’s a quick recap. You might remember the May 6 review in The Westfield Leader and The Times on Kassy’s razor sharp and sassy performance with The Tim Gillis Band at Governor Livingston High School. She delivered rock lyrics with grit and gospel hymns with grace. She stole the stage.
Most recently, Kassy has song the National Anthem for the New Jersey Jakals. She has also stepped up to the plate to sing that patriotic tune at the home games of the Jer sey Pilots, at PAL events for Berkeley
Heights, Mountainside sport programs and the Senatorial Rally which was held last year in her home town.
However, one of Kassy’s biggest dreams is about
to come true. On August 5, she will perform the National Anthem at the
Race before a packed audience after she polishes off a week of performances in Oliver!
A student at Governor Livingston High School, Kassy has told The Leader and The Times that she hopes to record her own album, just like her favorite artist, Cher. For Kassy Ciasulli, it looks like dreams have a way of coming to fruition.
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CRANFORD – The New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO) will host a cocktail party and chamber music fundraiser to benefit the group on Sunday, July 25, from 3 to 6 p. m. at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marks, 6 Sycamore Way, Warren.
The afternoon will include hors d’ouevres and cocktails with the sounds of the Sterling Duo, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Violinist Joe Gluck and his wife, Pianist Mary Babiarz.
For more information, please call (908) 7090084 or (908) 2720782.
Snow White Performance Set By Summer Workshop
Members of the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
WESTFIELD – The halls of Edison Intermediate School in Westfield will become alive on Wednesday
and Thursday, July 28 and 29, when
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
is performed by members of the Westfield Summer Workshop.
Evening and matinee performances will be held on both days at 1 and 7: 30 p. m. Tickets are currently available at the ticket booth at the school for $6 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens. Matinee tickets are $3.
Snow White will be played on alternate nights by Christine McGrath of Westfield and Jennifer Shapiro of Clark.
Other local residents included in the cast are: Anne Hagstrom, Ryan Leonard and Deenie Quinn, all of Westfield, Katie Downy of Scotch Plains and Andrew Harris of Mountainside.
Rachel Hawkins, Ellington West, Samantha Hermann, Aaron Covington, Michael Nocera, Shaun Elwell, Dan FoltzMorrison, Erica Greene, Sarah Graziano, Heather Novorro, Patti Veltri, Steven Bellog, Kevin Bellog, Lorena Zamarelli, Eliza Zimmerman, Andrew Rago and Shannon Gilmartin are also members of the cast.
For more information on the show, please call (908) 7899696.
Concert Review Concert Review Concert Review Concert Review Concert Review
ARTFUL ACTORS… Oliver Twist was portrayed by Katie Rae Mulvey, left, and The Artful Dodger was played by Darren Levy in Oliver! at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Both performances garnered thunderous applause on opening night, July 16.
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By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MEADOWLANDS — If rock ‘n’ roll was a religion, then Bruce Springsteen would be its minister.
While the rousing revival meeting he staged with his reunited E Street Band last Thursday night at Continental Airlines Arena may have been a case of preaching to the converted, none of the 20,000 fans whooping it up for the man known as “The Boss” seemed to mind having their faith reinforced and reinvigorated.
For three hours, Springsteen and his eightmember band, which hadn’t played together in concert for more than a decade, blasted joyfully and energetically through 26 songs, some of them dating back to the mid1970s, when Springsteen, a Freehold native, was just another guitarist and songwriter with dreams of becoming a big rock star.
Two things set Springsteen concerts apart from others: their length — three hours these days and four hours plus in the 1970s and 1980s — and the fervor of his fans.
Despite the comfortable seats, which sold for $37.50 and $67.50 through official outlets and as much as $1,000 elsewhere, no one sat for long last week. Fans danced in the aisles, sang along with just about every song, screamed themselves hoarse with choruses of “Brooooce” before, during and after each song, and were whipped into a delighted frenzy from the time the arena lights were turned off and the stark and spare stage was lit.
After his eight bandmates took their places, Springsteen stepped on stage to wild cheers and opened the show with “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” a song from his 1998 fourCD collection of previouslyunreleased tunes, “Tracks.” Then he took out his harmonica and stormed into “The Promised Land,” followed by “Two Hearts” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
By the time he ended the fifth song of the night, “Darlington County,” the arena seemed set to explode. The set also included such fan favorites as “Badlands,” “Tenth Avenue FreezeOut” and “Backstreets,” his Oscarwinning “Streets of Philadelphia,” and slightlyreworked versions of “The River” and “Youngstown.”
Of the 26 songs Springsteen performed, half were ones released prior to his 1984 album, “Born in the USA,” which made him a worldwide superstar. After a twohour set, Springsteen, dressed in black, opened an hour of
encores with an acoustic folksong, “Freehold,” an often humorous autobiographical reminiscence of his hometown.
He then shook the arena with thunderous versions of “Stand on It,” “Hungry Heart,” “Born to Run,” “Bobby Jean” and “Thunder Road.” He ended the night with “If I Should
Fall Behind,” with several band members taking turns singing the chorus, and the newlypenned “Land of Hope and Dreams” before exiting the stage to loud cheers at 11: 10 p. m.
Springsteen, who turns 50 in September, has always been an energetic performer. Last week, he certainly didn’t act his age, as he displayed as much verve and ebullience as he did 10 and 15 years ago. And he seemed happy to be reunited with the E Street Band, 10 years after informing them he would be pursuing other musical avenues without them.
After last Thursday’s show, the first of 15 soldout performances at the arena, exhausted but delighted fans were unanimous in their reactions.
Dale Cassidy, a Jersey Shore native who drove five hours from her present home in suburban Washington, D. C., told The Westfield Leader that “the energy in there was absolutely phenomenal — from the band and the fans. That is exactly why I came all this way tonight. I’ve been to a dozen Bruce concerts in my life and there is a different level of passion and intimacy in there than anywhere else.”
Her husband, Greg, was seeing Springsteen for the first time last week. “I’m spoiled now,” he told The Leader. “I’ve been to concerts before and I’ve never seen anyone put on a threehour nonstop show. I don’t want anyone to tell me that anyone else is the hardest working man in show business.”
Julia Yanovich, a 13year old from Westfield who was attending her first Springsteen concert, said she thought it was “a really good show.” She told
The Leader she “liked being a part of the audience because everyone was singing along and having a good time.”
After the 15 shows this month and in August, Springsteen will pass the 1 million mark in attendance at the Meadowlands (both the arena and Giants Stadium), making him the bestselling artist in the complex’s history.
Anyone wondering why worshipers continue flocking to Bruce Springsteen’s ministry of rock ‘n’ roll need only have attended opening night to discover the reasons.
By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
NEWARK — The rounds of applause for the performance of Oliver!
by the Westfield Young Artists’ Cooperative Theatre, Inc. (WYACT) crackled and ripped through the audience like thunder at the Victoria Theater of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark on July 16, opening night.
Phenomenal. Exceeding all expectations – these are the phrases that come to mind when recalling the ensemble cast and thoroughly professional production which was clearly beyond Broadway standards.
Artistic and Stage Director of
Oliver! and founder of WYACT Cynthia Meryl, who is known by Westfielders, thespians, and her students for her pursuit of perfection, reached for that level and never missed the mark. Ms. Meryl told The Westfield Leader and The Times during an interview for This Is Westfield what an honor it was to be asked back to NJPAC after the 1998 production of
Carousel. It was clearly an honor and privilege for both parties to enter into that partnership once again.
“I’m very proud of the kids. I think they did a super job,” noted Ms. Meryl. She added that the ensemble was responsible for learning a large amount of material in such a short period of time. “They pulled it off!” she said.
Lionel Bart provided the adaptation of this Charles Dickens’ classic, with music and lyrics that encouraged audience members to weep with the ballads and clap along with songs that brought the house down.
All details were impeccable. The face of each cast member was authentic Dickens. Did someone open up a lifesize version of the “Oliver Twist” novel, only to let the actual characters pop out of the book and take the stage? One could almost see Mr. Dickens beaming with pride on the sidelines, nodding with approval.
I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Bertha, who played Faggin in Oliver!
during the This Is Westfield interview. He mentioned his performances in A Christmas Carol and Isn’t It
Romantic. However, when I saw his stellar portrayal of Faggin, I was bowled over and thoroughly impressed. Marc is brimming with talent and possibility. He delivered one of the most commendable performances in Oliver!
Katie Rae Mulvey, who portrayed the male character of Oliver Twist, delivered a strong rendition of the wideeyed orphan longing to find love
in a family. Anne Brummell’s depiction of Nancy, a woman in love with an abusive man, was worth a standing ovation. She displayed grit, vulnerability and tenderness with continuity. She didn’t miss a trick. Her voice was flawless during “As Long As He Needs Me,” and she held her character’s personality from scene to scene. She never faltered.
Kassy Ciasulli, who is the understudy for Nancy, is certainly no understudy. She held her own with the depiction of Mrs. Sowerberry, the prudish yet comical undertaker who has temporary custody of Oliver. She segued into other parts, such as Strawberry Vendor, with the same professionalism she gave to her starring role.
Abigail Sparling’s portrayal of the Widow Corney was hysterical and a true standout performance. “I Shall Scream,” which was part of one of the best scenes in Oliver!, featured Abigail’s comical antics as well as her operatic voice, which fit the part perfectly.
Darren Jeremy Levy as The Artful Dodger was one of the best performances I have ever witnessed. When he stepped out on the stage, he owned the stage. All eyes could not help but to search out his character and appreciate the professionalism he brought to his part.
Other notable performances included Arion Jackson as Mr. Bumble, The Beadle; Kate Fraser as Charlotte, and Richard McNanna as Mr. Brownlow. However, it seems that each member of this ensemble has Broadway potential.
According to Elisabeth Ssenjovu, Programming Assistant at NJPAC, the dedication to theater didn’t stop with rehearsals for Oliver!, but continued with practice runs for Bertholt Brecht’s
The Threepenny Opera, which is part of The Arts Incubator Festival at Kean University. This production will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, July 30 and 31, August 6 and 7, and on Sundays, August 1 and 8.
The Threepenny Opera performances will begin at 7: 30 p. m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and may be purchased at the Music Staff or at the door.
A nonprofit organization, WYACT is comprised of dedicated professionals who provide topnotch theater. To donate to the group, please make checks payable to WYACT, 656 Westfield Avenue, Westfield, 07090. Donations are taxdeductible.
Oliver! will continue at NJPAC on Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24, at 7: 30 p. m. and Sunday, July 25, at 2: 30 p. m. Tickets are $8 for children and $16 for adults. To order tickets, please call 1888GONJPAC.
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