Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Keep up to date with the arts events in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Focus: An RFH PAS Final Bow

It was no performance.

When Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Performing Arts (PAS) seniors got together for a banquet recently, it was more like a very real final bow to one another for a bittersweet goodbye flush with impromptu performance and love of the arts and one another.

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Focus: Rumson-Raised ‘Punk Rock Queen of the Jews’ Rossi’s Homecoming

Who says you can’t go home again?

Oh, it’s been said, but clearly not by anyone who ever knew the RFH grad and famed raging skillet full of chef, author, playwright and punk rock queen of the Jews known as Rossi. Yes, that’s a mouthful of matzo ball soup with a little “L’Chaim!” on the side.

Continue reading Focus: Rumson-Raised ‘Punk Rock Queen of the Jews’ Rossi’s Homecoming

RFH Wins Big with Basie Award Nominations

They got the callback!

The 2024 Basie Award nominations have been announced; and, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) performers, directors and crew got thunderous audition applause with 17 chances at award wins for on-stage and behind-the-scenes work in two shows.

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Living the Dream: Staying Authentic with Another Memoir from RFH Grad Rossi

Does the world really need another memoir?

It’s a question with which famed New York City caterer, author and playwright of The Raging Skillet known as Rossi — we’ll get to her real name later — grappled. Originally, the wild child and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate of a different kind figured the answer was a hard “Yes.” After all, when it’s all about how a gay Jewish punk rock queen plucked the jewels out of her own crown, who could resist?

After ingesting too many opinions like a bad bowl of matzo ball soup — as if there could be such a thing — it was Rossi’s healing try at third-person fiction writing of her story that opened a buried crown-induced wound leading to a full-on bleed-out. It was when she doused the wound in hydrogen peroxide’s purifying sting that its authenticity got an air-out healing in what became her second memoir — The Punk Rock Queen of the Jews.

After all, she figured, the world could really use a good dose of what it takes to pull those jewels out of the crown of a 1981 Crown Heights experience as a not-so-good Jewish girl. Who couldn’t use a story of endurance and hope simmering under a heap of authenticity?

So, the second Rossi memoir, sans recipes and the more silly, albeit unbelievable, misadventures, was launched last week with a reading in New York. Now Rossi is coming home again to the Rumson-Fair Haven area with a reading, signing and gathering of hometown friends and townies at River Road Books in Fair Haven on Thursday, May 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m..

Continue reading Living the Dream: Staying Authentic with Another Memoir from RFH Grad Rossi

Scene Around: RFH Tower Players Playing & Winning

Five, six, seven, eight … and curtain up! Every player plays. But, behind the glaring spotlight on every Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players stage performer is a lot of rehearsal and skill honing.

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Staged: RFH Tower Players Tap into Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’

Call it a staged Bon Voyage! The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players are about to set sail on the S.S. American in their production of Cole Porter’s classic golden age musical Anything Goes.

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Scene Around: A Rumson Family’s ‘Shelter in Solitude’

Have you seen her? Probably. At the store, in the car, at local haunts, at charity events, at the schools, at church — and on stage, on TV … and in the movies. The latest you’ll see of her, other than around the towns, is on screen in the now streaming movie Shelter in Solitude.

She’s Siobhan Fallon Hogan. She’s a Rumsonite. And, among (or sometimes above) other things, she’s an actress. Rumson’s local celebrity. And seeing her in the movies these days means also knowing that it’s a Hogan family affair in independent filmmaking. Call it, rather, a Rumson family production/acting entourage of three RFH grads — her husband Pete and kids — and a character actress star/screenwriter imported to Rumson by marriage.

Continue reading Scene Around: A Rumson Family’s ‘Shelter in Solitude’

Scene Around: RFH PAS Elf on the Winter Concert Shelf

It’s not every day that the artsy elf on someone’s shelf escapes to the lobby of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) on a merry mission. It’s just at winter concert time.

And this was an elf on a mission — to promote RFH performing arts and pedal some snacks and RFH Performing Arts Society swag, of course. The elf off her shelf? Well, that’s RFH PAS President Patty Gagliardi.

Though you might have thought she was Santa Claus considering all the festive RFH PAS loot she had to sell for the good cause of keeping the performing arts going strong in the school. Shop, not workshop, set up for before, during and after the concert, there were RFH PAS ornaments, magnets, tote bags, mugs and water bottles.

It was really more like elf in a box — a holiday gift box. A box full of the myriad gifts of music and performance all wrapped up with an RFH PAS bow.

The concert wrapped up, too, those RFH PAS elves’ goodies are bound to get unwrapped somewhere. The gifts? Behind each RFH PAS piece of swag is an enduring memory and a little support.

Bravo, RFH PAS musicians and singers! Sing and play on!

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Focus: RFH Tower Players’ ‘Robin Hood’ Curtain

Bow, curtain, mingle and pose. The show time tradition continues for Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players. After the final show, there’s always a time for lobby cheers, tears and smiles.

That’s what happened with this past weekend’s fall production of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood. The players played to full houses and took their final bow at the Sunday matinee.

The after-show lobby time? Well, not only did they pose, but, as usual the cast was flanked by flowers, family and friends and, yes, even some Tower Player alumni.

The smiles are telling. All was a success. Take a look (Click on one photo to enlarge and scroll!)

And, RFH PAS reminds all that the spring musical is Anything Goes!

For this one, there was an “interest” meeting on Monday. There will also be mandatory tap workshops from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 29 and Dec. 5. Auditions are set for Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 6 p.m..

In line with the Anything Goes theme song, “times have changed.” Interest in the spring musical was always enthusiastic and highly competitive. Get those tap shoes tapping, players!

— Photos/courtesy of RFH PAS