Greater Morristown Weekend Preview: Spring Arts, Great Conversations, AIDS Walk and more

great conversations 2013

We’re thrilled this weekend to kick off our third MG Kids Art Show, a celebration of student art organized by MG Kids Editor Sharon Sheridan and our friends at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church as part of a Spring Arts Festival.

The festival starts with kids’ activities and a jazz coffeehouse on Friday, continues with our WordPlay III poetry night on Tuesday and culminates next weekend with a full day of art workshops for kids aged 6-13.

This weekend, meanwhile, abounds with great activities, from Great Conversations for Morris Arts to fundraisers for AIDS research, Africa surgery and hunger charities.

A piano concerto will be premiered. Captain Sig sails into town. You can learn about cakes and hearths. Ride a pony on Derby Day. Take the kids on a magical train adventure.

Read on for more. And if that’s not enough, see our handy calendar–and add your events, too.

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013:

Great Conversations returns for a night of stimulating dinner conversations with movers and shakers from the arts, business, media, politics and more, to benefit Morris Arts. Cocktails start at 6 pm at the Madison Hotel, One Convent Station, Morris Township. Tickets are $200. This year’s roster includes former Gov. Thomas Kean, retired state Supreme Court Justice Stewart Pollock, author Wynne Whitman, S. Dillard Kirby of the F.M. Kirby Foundation and Star-Ledger columnist Mark DiIonno.

great conversations 2013

This one is a a few miles down the road, but who can pass up free beer?  It’s a Cinco de Mayo beer tasting/networking party in Livingston, hosted by PowerNet and featuring Dave Hoffmann, brewmaster and founder of the Climax Brewing Company, the state’s oldest microbrewery. PowerNet is a networking organization based in Essex County. The free event starts at 6 pm at Eppes Essen Restaurant, at 105 East Mount Pleasant Avenue–but admission is by RSVP only.  You can RSVP online  or by email, or call 973-736-7973.



spring arts fest logoOur nine-day MG Kids Spring Arts Festival, a collaboration between and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, starts at 3 pm with three hours of kids activities.  Then, at 7 pm, enjoy a jazz coffeehouse, featuring the Peter Moffitt Medicine Show. Both events are in St. Peter’s Great Hall, at 70 Maple Ave. in Morristown.  Student art from area schools will be showcased there all of next week. And be sure to mark your calendar: WordPlay III, a night of poetry, comedy and more, is set for Tuesday, May 7, at 7 pm.  On Saturday, May 11, it’s a Children’s Day of Art, with workshops in drama, eco-sculpture, mural painting, music, poetry and pottery for kids between 6-13.

Clergy from Morristown plan a marriage equality rally  on the Morristown Green; it starts at 5:30 pm with a march from the Hyatt Morristown.


The Minstrel in Morris Township welcomes singer-songwriter Ellis at 8 pm. Her craftsmanship and earnest, down-home style have won her a wide following. Opener Greg Klyma evokes “a flavor of Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie and David Sedaris,” according to the Folk Project. Admission: $8, children under 12, free. At the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship,  21 Normandy Heights Road.

The Dicey Riley Band will give a benefit concert for Africa Surgery –which provides surgery to children in Sierra Leona, West Africa–at Assumption Church in Morristown at 8 pm. Harpist Linda O’Connell will join the band, and the Randolph High School String Ensemble will play pieces from Bach to Rock. Chef Melody of the Main Event and parishioners will serve refreshments. Suggested donation: $10; children, free. The church is at 91 Maple Ave. Call 973-539-2141 for more information.

We prefer our seafaring adventures in the comfort of a landlocked theater, where Dramamine is optional.  And the Mayo Performing Arts Center is happy to oblige, presenting a night with Captain Sig & Friends from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Captain Sig Hansen and fellow crew members will share stories and personal videos from the Bering Sea that you won’t see on TV. A question-and-answer session will follow. Tickets: $29-$89; the top price includes a meet-and-greet. The Mayo is at 100 South St., Morristown. Call 973-539-8008 for more.



How in the world did they prepare meals in the days of open hearths?  Find out at Historic Speedwell, with Susan McLellan Plaisted of Heart to Hearth Cookery. She will guide you as you cook a full meal, using period equipment and ingredients. The class runs from 10 am to 4 pm and costs $60. At 333 Speedwell Ave. in Morristown. Call 973-285-6550.

'The Little Engine that Could,' at the Morris Museum on May 4, 2013.
'The Little Engine that Could,' at the Morris Museum on May 4, 2013.

Looking for some kids entertainment? The Little Engine That Could Earn Her Whistle comes to the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre for two shows, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It’s billed as “a dynamic, song-filled adventure … about hard work, determination, and the meaning of true friendship.” Tickets are $12 for the general public, and $10 for museum members. The Museum is at 6 Normandy Heights Road, in Morris Township. Call 973-971-3700 for more.

Hats, Horses, and Mint Juleps are the order of the day at Acorn Hall, where you can celebrate the Victorian roots of the Kentucky Derby from noon to 3 pm. Pony rides and games for the kids, a hat exhibition, and special carriage-house exhibit about 19th-century working horses in Morristown await you, with refreshments courtesy of the Westin Hotel. Cost: $10 donation for adults/seniors, $7 students, free for children under 12. At 68 Morris Ave., Morristown. Call 973-267-3465 for more.

What is the secret to writing hit songs? Chip Taylor (“Angel Of The Morning,” “Wild Thing”), Maia Sharp (“I Don’t Want Anything To Change,” “A Home”) and Dan Navarro (“We Belong,” “You Don’t Have To Go Home Tonight”) can tell you, at 8 pm at the Sanctuary concert series in Chatham. They will perform in the round.  Admission is $25. The show is at the Presbyterian Church, at 240 Southern Blvd.

Famed opera soprano Kathleen Battle brings a repertoire ranging from baroque to Broadway to the Mayo Performing Arts Center at 8 pm. Tickets: $49 to $79. Call 973-539-8008 for more.

nj aids walk 2013 logo

For the third straight year, Morristown-based New Jersey AIDS Services and its residential facility, the Eric Johnson House, will serve as host organization for the New Jersey AIDS Walk. Registration begins at 11 a.m. on the Morristown Green.; Step-off at 1 p.m. To participate or to make a donation, go to

Pianist Paul Zeigler of Madison will premiere his Piano Concerto with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey  at 3 pm, at Dolan Hall of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township.  Other selections include Ballet Music from Aida, by Verdi, and Symphony No. 1, by Beethoven. Tickets: $35/$25/$5/Adults/Seniors/Students under 22 with ID. A gala reception is scheduled afterward; tickets are $65 and may be purchased here.  At 2 Convent Road; call 973-366-8922 for more.

Feed your soul with music, while feeding the hungry. That’s the idea behind Music-for-Food, which transforms concerts into fundraisers for food organizations. Lyrica Chamber Music will present such a show in Chatham at 3 pm, featuring the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet and violinist Samuel Rhodes of the renowned Juilliard String Quartet. They will perform works by Ravel, Britten, and Mozart, with all proceeds  benefiting America’s Grow-A-Row. Tickets are $25 general admission / $20 seniors / students and children, free. They can be purchased at the door or by calling 973-309-1668. At the Presbyterian Church, 240 Southern Blvd.  Here is video of Grammy-winning violist Kim Kashkashian talking about Music for Food:


You can be sure that Buddy Valastro won’t come off half-baked at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. The star of TLC’s Cake Boss will share stories about his hit series and colorful Italian upbringing in New Jersey, field audience questions and demonstrate techniques.  Two shows, at 3 pm and 7 pm. Tickets: $39 to $89. Call 973-539-8008 for more.

The Diderot String Quartet: Johanna Novom, violin, Kyle Miller, viola,  Adriane Post, violin and Paul Dwyer, cello.
The Diderot String Quartet: Johanna Novom, violin, Kyle Miller, viola, Adriane Post, violin and Paul Dwyer, cello.

It will be like Old Home Week for the Diderot String Quartet at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum. At least, it will be for violinist Adriane Post.  The graduate of Oberlin and Juilliard is great-granddaughter of Dorothea Miller Post, the last family member to live at Macculloch Hall in Morristown. Adriane even will play an 18th century violin owned by Dolly, as Dorothea was known. Sunday’s program starts at 4:30 pm and will include works of the young Beethoven. Tickets are $12 and go on sale from 1 pm; no advance sales.  At 45 Macculloch Ave.

Morristown’s Sunday Night Portrait Drawing Sessions continue at ArtSpace at 14 Elm St. Sessions run from 6 pm to 9 pm and feature live models and camaraderie for $10

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