Greater Morristown weekend preview: Treats without any tricks

Long before 'Phantom' moved to Broadway, it lived on the silver screen. Lon Chaney's 1925 silent classic comes to the Bickford Theatre--with an orchestra--on Nov. 2, 2013.
Long before 'Phantom' moved to Broadway, it lived on the silver screen. Lon Chaney's 1925 silent classic comes to the Bickford Theatre--with an orchestra--on Nov. 2, 2013.

Compiled by Kevin Coughlin

This is shaping up as another very musical weekend in Greater Morristown.

We have a pair of piano recitals. And Gatsby-era jazz. And bluegrass guitar. We’ve got choirs and Celtics, Beethoven and opera (Phantom included!).

If you want to change your tune, pop in the ear buds, crank up your faves, and watch a five-ton monster truck pulverize unlucky cars into crushed soda cans.

Some great causes are vying for your donations. We’ll plug the annual Neighborhood House gala; the nonprofit does good work, and Morristown Green is getting an award.

For the small fry, let’s not overlook Halloween. Trick or treating is a go for downtown Morristown on Thursday afternoon.

And for even more things to do, check our handy calendar.

THURSDAY, OCT. 31, 2013:

Trick or Treat!  Kids are invited to downtown Morristown between 3 pm and 5 pm for some Halloween fun. You provide the costumes, local merchants will cough up the candy. Courtesy of the Morristown Partnership.

Feeling entrepreneurial?  In a networking mood? The Madison Tech Meetup is meeting up from 6 pm to 9 pm at Drew University’s Crawford Hall, in the Ehinger Center. This group says it “brings together business leaders, entrepreneurs, interested students and others who want to learn more about emerging companies, new ideas and networking to further business development.”  Carl Lagemann, co-founder of Health Options Worldwide and organizer of Scarlet Startups, will speak at 7:20 p.m., followed by discussion about Accelerators, a start-up mechanism for new businesses, including speakers from Pervasive Group, NuSkool and The event is open to all entrepreneurs, not just techies. Admission: Free.

Piano lovers, take note: The fall film series at the Morristown & Township Library
features keyboard themes, starting at 6:30 pm with Hangover Square, a 1945 film about an up-and-coming classical musician who gets mixed up with a music hall dancer. Admission: Free; refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library. The library is at One Miller Road, Morristown. Coming up: Nov. 7, The Piano (1993); Nov. 14, The Piano Lesson (1995); and Nov. 21, Shoot the Piano Player (1960).

Thornton Wilder’s classic homage to small-town America, Our Town, is being presented by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35-$70, but young people 18 and under can see this show for $20; it’s meant to celebrate the play’s 75th anniversary. The show runs through Nov. 17 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling  973-408-5600 or by visiting  Morristown High School is doing Our Town next month, too. It will be fun to see how both productions stack up.


The Morristown Neighborhood House is hosting its annual gala, and Morristown Green is on the menu!  The Nabe is honoring  Thomas Welsh as Volunteer of the Year… and MG Editor Kevin Coughlin as Community Partner. The festivities run from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Hyatt Morristown. Tickets can be purchased by calling 973-538-1229 ext. 20 or ext. 15, or by emailing for reservations.

It’s Karaoke/ Open Mic Night at the Table of Hope, at 59 Spring St. in Morristown. Door prizes to the 1st and 30th person to attend, with a special prize to the best freestyle and Karaoke singer. Contact Sophia or Krystle for more details.

Jim Hurst, one of the most sought-after guitarists for bluegrass and country recording sessions, brings his dazzling fretwork to The Minstrel in Morris Township at 8 pm. He can sing and write songs, too, as the audience will discover.  The engaging, bluesy Jake Klar opens the show. Admission: $8, children 12 and under, free. At the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road.


The annual Indoor Craft Fair comes to the Morris View Healthcare Center in Morris Township from 10 am to 4 pm. The organizers promise “70 tables of merchandise from hand crafters and vendors such as holiday items, jewelry, candles, books, baking items, as well as various brand name products. Items crafted by the Morris View residents and the Office on Aging will be featured as well as a bake sale, food court, and raffle items.”  Proceeds will help the senior, disabled and veteran populations of Morris County and at Morris View. At 540 W. Hanover Ave. Call 973-285-2800 for more details.

HEY, THAT RED ONE'S MINE! Or used to be... the Raminator will do its thing at a local Ram dealership on Nov. 2, 2013.
HEY, THAT RED ONE’S MINE! Or used to be… the Raminator will do its thing at a local Ram dealership on Nov. 2, 2013.

Are you brave enough to face the Raminator?  Find out at 1 pm, when this five-ton, 2,000 h.p. monster starts crushing cars at Beyer Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at 200 Ridgedale Ave. in Morris Township. (You might want to park your chariot at a safe distance. And be extra polite to the Raminator’s driver, from Hall Brothers Racing.)  Food and beverage purchases will benefit the Fairchild Fire Company in Morris Township. Here is a video preview of the motorized mayhem:

The Morristown High School varsity football team (2-5) will try to get back on track against West Morris Mendham High School (3-3-1) at 2:30 pm in Mendham. Go Colonials!

During halftime of the football game, you might want to scoot over to the Health and Wellness Fair in Mendham’s Kings Plaza.  Vendors will talk about Reiki, oils, massage, nutrition, juicing, dark chocolate, QiGong, Shiatsu. Refreshments will be served, and a brief presentation is scheduled for 3:30 pm.

Pianist Frances Covalesky will present Chopin, Brahms and a Tango! in a benefit concert for the Lithuanian Educational Assistance & Relief Foundation Inc., at 7 pm at Assumption Church, 91 Maple Ave., Morristown. A light reception will follow. Frances is on the faculty at the College of Saint Elizabeth and is a vocal music specialist for the Dover school system. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, she has soloed with the New Jersey Pops Orchestra, among others. Suggested donation: $10. For reservations, call  973-328-2850. If you miss this concert, you get one more chance, on Nov. 5 at 7 pm in the Dolan Performance Hall at College of St. Elizabeth in Madison.

Elise Figa
Elise Figa sings with The Thirteen Chamber Choir, Nov. 2, 2013.

The Thirteen Chamber Choir returns to The Presbyterian Church in Morristown at 7 pm to sing compositions in honor of Saint Cecilia, music’s patron saint. The program, at the church sanctuary at 57 East Park Place, includes Britten, Palestrina, Monteverdi.  And welcome the Princeton choir’s newest member, local singer Elise Figa.  Here are videos of Elise,  and here is a clip of The Thirteen.  Admission is free; donations welcome. Call 973-538-1776 for more details.

Long before 'Phantom' moved to Broadway, it lived on the silver screen. Lon Chaney's 1925 silent classic comes to the Bickford Theatre--with an orchestra--on Nov. 2, 2013.
BAD HAIR DAY: Long before ‘Phantom’ moved to Broadway, it lived on the silver screen. Lon Chaney’s 1925 silent classic comes to the Bickford Theatre–with an orchestra–on Nov. 2, 2013.

You’ve probably seen Phantom on Broadway.  But have you seen its grandfather–the original 1925 silent classic, The Phantom of the Opera?  It’s the ultimate Halloween Spooktacular, and you can shudder along to the accompaniment of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, at 8 pm at the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre in Morris Township.  Acclaimed soprano Maureen Francis will sing the role of Christine Daaé, the Paris opera singer who is the object of Lon Chaney’s ghoulish affections onscreen. As a bonus, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Second Symphony. Tickets are $30 for Museum members, $35 for non-members and $50 for premium seating. Call (973) 971-3706 for more details, or visit the Bickford Theatre box office. The Bickford is at 6 Normandy Heights Road.

The Sanctuary concert series in Chatham is offering a two-fer: Buy one $25 ticket for Maura O’Connell’s 8 pm show, and the second pass is free. Maura is a Grammy-nominated singer who formerly fronted the Irish supergroup De Dannan. Her set list mixes Celtic tunes with Americana by the likes of  Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin, and Tom Waits.  Opening for Maura is our old friend Greg Trooper;  click here for an MG video of Greg performing. The Sanctuary is at the Presbyterian Church, 240 Southern Blvd. Here is a video preview of Maura:

For a taste of Gatsby-esque early jazz, head to the Sixth Annual Armistice Ball, from 8 pm to 11 p.m. at the Madison Community House, 25 Cook Ave. Dance tangos, one-steps, blues, and the Charleston to backing by the Metropolitan Club Orchestra. Light refreshments will be served at intermission.  Tickets are $30 in advance–available online at the ball website– or $35 at the door ($15 in advance/$20 at the door with a student ID). If you need to brush up on your hoofing, a workshop is scheduled from 2 pm to 4 pm held at the Madison Community House from 2 to 4 that day.  The workshop is included in the ticket price. Proceeds benefit The Friends of Geraldine, a nonprofit raising funds to bring a 1921 Ahrens-Fox Model P-4 fire engine back to Madison.  The truck had been donated to the town by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge.


The Morristown Farmers Market runs every Sunday through Nov. 24 from 8:30 am to 2 pm. It’s in municipal parking lot 10, behind the post office, and is operated by the Morristown Partnership.

Buy a taco,  teach a kid about healthy eating! That’s the idea behind a Morristown Junior League  promotion with the Taco Truck restaurant, at 50 Morris St. in Morristown (near the Burger King). From 11 am to 10 pm, 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the league’s Children Making Healthy Choices committee, which teaches healthy cooking and eating habits at outreach locations like the Interfaith Food Pantry and the Morristown Neighborhood House.

Alina KiryayevaWhoever said classical music was stuffy?  Certainly not Tom & Jerry, or the pantheon of Looney Tunes characters. Classical favorites were the soundtrack to their cartoons. Fill this gap in your musical education at 3 pm, when the beautiful and gifted Ukrainian pianist Alina Kiryayeva gives a recital entitled Moving Pictures at the Morristown United Methodist Church.  There is a family donation of $30.  The single suggested donations are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens.  Advance tickets are available ($17 adults/$12 seniors) by telephoning the church office 973-538-2132.  Students with ID are admitted free. At 50 Park Place. Here is a video sample of Alina’s keyboard virtuosity:

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