Documentary Feature Focuses on the Romani Roots of Cinema Legend Charlie Chaplin

Director-writer Carmen Chaplin is directing Charlie Chaplin, A Man of the World, a theatrical documentary feature that adds a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. more

The Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC), a community nonprofit whose mission is to help older adults thrive, offers programs for enrichment and lifelong learning, no-cost social services, resource referrals, and much more. Its 2020 fall fundraiser on Saturday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. includes VIP Virtual Cocktails, humor, and discussion with Senator Al Franken. more

Tosca, Teatro Regio Torino. (Photo by Edoardo Piva)

Princeton-Raised Jonathan Tetelman is One of Opera’s Rising Stars

By Anne Levin | Photos Courtesy of Jonathan Tetelman

Opera star Jonathan Tetelman spent the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic sheltering at his parents’ house in Princeton. Only a month before, he had sung lead roles in La Traviata and La Boheme on the stage of London’s Royal Opera House.

Upcoming European engagements for the 30-year-old tenor were being canceled. But Tetelman, an American Boychoir School graduate who was born in Chile and raised in Princeton, didn’t seem fazed. “It’s nice to spend some time at home, relaxing, doing my taxes,” he said at the time.

A month later, Tetelman was back at his apartment in New York, waiting for things to settle down and clearly feeling more restless. “I was supposed to go to Italy, Warsaw, Germany, and Seattle, but those dates have been canceled,” he said. “And now Tosca in Buenos Aires was just canceled, with the next scheduled performance not until August. It’s very difficult for freelance artists, and so many others around the world, who aren’t able to work during this pandemic, and have no other means of support for themselves and their families.”

Judging by reviews he has been receiving in publications across the globe, this interruption in Tetelman’s schedule shouldn’t pose much of a problem once the music world returns to some semblance of normal.

“In this production we were lucky to have the extraordinary tenor Jonathan Tetelman, a young figure who already receives excellent reviews and begins his career in the great theaters,” reads a review in the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio. “His presence on stage is difficult not to compare to the young Jonas Kaufmann of the 2000s, just before being today’s superstar, with a voice in the transition from light to dramatic-lyrical repertoire.” more

Cook along with five-time James Beard Award winner and New York Times best-selling cookbook author Dorie Greenspan in this special virtual fundraising event for Princeton Public Library (PPL) on Sunday, July 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. more

Dr. Oliver Sacks seated next to his collection of elements and in front of the periodic table of elements. (Photo by Jurgen Frank/Corbis Outline)

On January 15, 2015, a few weeks after completing his memoir, writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks learned that the rare form of cancer for which he had been treated seven years earlier had returned, and that he only had a few months left to live. more

The Asbury Park Music + Film Festival (APMFF) presents Lucinda Williams at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, April 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25-89 and are available for purchase at apmff.org/ticketsmore

Over 1,000 Romantic Letters Unsealed at Princeton University After 60 Years

By Donald Gilpin

The unsealing after more than 60 years of a collection of 1,131 letters written by Nobel laureate T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale, his secret platonic love, caused “the special collections equivalent of a stampede at a rock concert” on the morning of January 2 in the basement of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, according to Daniel Linke, interim head of the Library’s special collections, as told to the Associated Press.

Emily Hale and T.S. Eliot in Dorset, Vermont, during the summer of 1946. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Library)

Released at the same time as a 1960 “disclaimer” statement from Eliot, which had been held in Harvard University’s Houghton Library, those letters, one of the most noteworthy sealed archives in the world, will provide rich fodder for English professors and biographers for many years to come. Eliot aficionados have long debated the true nature of Eliot’s relationship with Hale and her influence on his poetry.  Psychotherapists will also be drawn to this intricately detailed, complex, unflattering depiction of a man who perhaps most closely resembles the persona of his first published poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915).

“Prufrock” is a very odd love song, an interior monologue full of doubt and indecision, anguish, regret, weariness, and longing, but no more odd and frustrating than Eliot’s relationship with Hale as depicted in his letters written from 1930 to 1957. If you thought his poetry was difficult to understand, the complexity and confusion of his love life as revealed in these letters and his 1960 statement disclaiming his relationship with Hale will not surprise you. 

Like his character Prufrock, the Eliot who emerges from the letters to Hale and the subsequent statement, apparently intending to set the record straight, is full of contradictions and uncertainty. He burned Hale’s numerous letters to him when he found out that she had turned over his letters to Princeton University, to remain sealed until 50 years after they were both dead. He died in 1965. She died in 1969.  more

By Taylor Smith

Produced in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library (NYPL) at 476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street) presents an evening of performances and conversations centered around Toni Morrison, the American icon, writer, and intellectual, on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. more

Dana and Christopher Reeve (Image Source: https://www.christopherreeve.org/about-us/christopher-and-dana)

By Taylor Smith

This year’s gala benefit for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation took place on Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street in New York City.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation grew out of the community-driven Stifel Paralysis Research Foundation, which was founded in 1982 when Henry Stifel, a New Jersey high school student, was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed at age 17. The organization evolved into the American Paralysis Association (APA). When actor Christopher Reeve was injured in a horseback riding accident in 1995, the APA was one of the first places that Reeve and his wife, Dana, sought support. By 1999, the APA and Christopher’s foundation united as the Christopher Reeve Foundation (Dana’s name was added to the moniker after her death in 2006). more

Image Credit: NJPAC

By Taylor Smith

Experience two of the sharpest comedic minds onstage for one special evening as Stephen Colbert (a New Jersey resident) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus team up for the Ninth Annual Montclair Film Festival Benefit on Saturday, December 7 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall in Newark. The comedic festivities begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $79.50 and are available for purchase at www.njpac.orgmore

Film still from Cider House Rules

By Taylor Smith

Autumn can often induce feelings of nostalgia. As the weather turns cooler and a hint of the coming winter is detectable in the late evening air, you might be tempted to curl up with your favorite blanket and settle in for a fall movie marathon. Here are a few films that are guaranteed to send you on a journey and make for a memorable evening (or two). more

By Taylor Smith

“I wait for my mother to haunt me as she promised she would; long to wake in the night with the familiar sight of her sitting at the end of my bed, to talk to her one more time, to feel that all the pieces have been put into place, the puzzle is solved, and I can rest.” – Sally Field

The public is invited to “An Afternoon with Sally Field” at Rider University in Lawrenceville on Sunday, October 27 at 1 p.m. The talk is presented by Penn Medicine Princeton Health as part of its Community Wellness programming. Early registration is $40 per person and includes a copy of Field’s memoir, In Pieces. Purchase tickets, here: https://bit.ly/35itbFA more

Charles Addams

By Taylor Smith

Westfield, New Jersey, transforms into all things Charles Addams this October for AddamsFest — a month-long, family-fun series of events including movie screenings, art exhibits, a masquerade ball, paranormal investigations, a costume contest, and a Halloween House Decorating Contest. more

Vladimir Aituganov, Master Mosaic Artist (left) and Mira Nakashima, President of the Nakashima Foundation for Peace (right) stand in front of the Ben Shahn Mosaic.

By Taylor Smith

 “Each tree not only has a different size and shape, but color and character, and each board from each tree has a distinctly different personality.”

George Nakashima

 The Nakashima Foundation for Peace (https://nakashimafoundation.org) aims to build Sacred Peace Tables for each continent of the world and to preserve both the legacy of George Nakashima, a leading innovator of 20th century furniture design, and the National Historic Landmark designated Nakashima Property in New Hope, Pa., for future generations. more

Mike Bloomberg

By Taylor Smith 

“Philanthropy gives us a competitive advantage, we think, in recruiting and retaining talent. And I can tell you from personal experience, it is also good for the bottom line, as good a thing a company can do.” —Michael R. Bloomberg

Headquartered on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Bloomberg Philanthropies was founded in 2006 with the purpose of directing funding and research to five major areas: the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation, and education. By “using data in new ways,” Bloomberg Philanthropies routinely shifts policies and advances progress, legislation, and public opinion. As an example, the organization has potentially saved countless lives by creating solutions proven to curb global tobacco use. According to bloomberg.org, “If left unchecked, tobacco use will kill one billion people this century.” more

By Taylor Smith 

On Thursday, October 10 at 8 p.m., former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver a talk at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. The event is presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University and is part of the New Jersey Speaker Series at NJPAC that has previously hosted former FBI Director James Comey, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, journalist and political activist Gloria Steinem, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ian Bremmer, founder of the Eurasia Group. All events take place at NJPAC’s Prudential Hall.  more

By Taylor Smith

Tickets for the 2019 New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), to be held October 10-13, are on sale now at https://nycwff.org.

Since its beginning, NYCWFF has raised over $12.5 million to help fight hunger. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the event benefit Food Bank for New York City and the No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America and the five boroughs of New York City. Every year, NYCWFF raises nearly $1 million for these charities, effectively aiding in the quest to end the hunger gap in our country. more

By Taylor Smith 

Poet, writer, activist, and musician Joy Harjo will succeed Princeton University professor Tracy K. Smith as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Announced by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the appointment will make her the first Native American to occupy the position.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, June 10 to reveal the 2019 inductees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Among this year’s class are Game of Thrones author and Bayonne native George R.R. Martin. Born in 1948, Martin’s father was a longshoreman. Now residing primarily in Santa Fe, N.M., Martin claims to still be a huge fan of the New York Jets, New York Giants, and New York Mets.  more

Photo Credit: Sandy Honig

By Taylor Smith 

Ira Glass, host and creator of This American Life, will deliver a special presentation on what he has learned about the art and interest of storytelling on Sunday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.  more