Greater Morristown weekend preview: Where talk is cheap–and valuable

The New York African American Chorus Ensemble comes to Morristown on Friday.
The New York African American Chorus Ensemble comes to Morristown on Friday.

Compiled by Katrina Langer and Kevin Coughlin

Talk is cheap in Greater Morristown this weekend–and extremely valuable.

You can chat with great artists, and learn how to start a great art collection. You can digest a film about nutritional cures and then talk it over.

There are talks about raising teenaged boys, and about orbs and shadow men. Robert E. Lee gets another look. And Deepak Chopra will reveal the meaning of life. Or not.

Other best bets include musical tributes to Nelson Mandela and Anne Frank.

If that’s not enough, check our handy calendar for even more options–or add your own!

THURSDAY, FEB. 27, 2014:

Maestro Anthony LaGruth
Maestro Anthony LaGruth

What makes an orchestra tick? Ask a maestro, at the Morristown & Township Library.  Anthony LaGruth, conductor of the Garden State Philharmonic, will talk music at 1:30 pm. The event was rescheduled from earlier this month, and it’s sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters. In addition to his duties as conductor and music director of the philharmonic, the Maestro also conducts the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, TX, and the Shrewsbury Chorale. He has worked with celebrated composers such as Hans Werner Henze, John Corigliano and Pulitzer Prize winner Karel Husa, and soloists including Philip Smith, Devy Ehrly, Christopher Collins Lee, and Neal Sedaka. The library is at On Miller Road in Morristown.

It’s A Moveable Feast at the Therese Maloney Gallery at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township. Meet the artists behind this exhibit celebrating Art, Food & Migration.  The reception runs from 4:30 pm to 7 pm; the exhibition continues through May 4, 2014. The college is at 2 Convent Road; the Gallery is in the Annunciation Center, where a panel discussion is scheduled for 7:15 pm.

art food migration art show cse feb 2014

Do you like beer? Or bourbon? How about beards? If you said yes to any of the above, you won’t want to miss A Night of Bourbon and Beards at the Morris Museum. Beginning at 6:30 pm, enjoy tasty food, sample a variety of microbrews and bourbons, and enter your epic facial hair into the beards contest, all while listening to great jazz. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, please call (973) 971-3706 for more information. At 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township.

grow it green screening forks over knivesGrow it Green Morristown and the Foodshed Alliance continue their Food for Thought film series with Forks Over Knives, a closer look at the idea that degenerative diseases can be cured with healthier eating habits. Meet special guest Melissa Sweeney of Be Well , and enjoy refreshments from C’est Cheese. Seating starts at 6:45 pm, and the film will roll at 7 pm sharp at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, 3rd Floor Training Room, 14 Maple Ave., in Morristown. All tickets are will call and are available here! 

Rosalind Wiseman, author of Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Your Son Cope with School Yard Power, Lock Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Realities of the Guy World, will give a free talk at the Delbarton School’s Fine Arts Center at 7 pm. Wiseman – author of the book that inspired the blockbuster Mean Girls — is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, bullying, and social justice. Delbarton  is at 230 Mendham Road in Morris Township.

Disembodied voices. Orbs. Shadow men. 'Paranormal Reader' by gail caldwellSpooky…but true? Gail Godfrey, author of A Paranormal Reader, will make her case at the Morristown & Township Library on Feb. 27, 2014, at 7 pm. The Caldwell writer’s talk, Stories of the Supernatural: True Encounters: Mediums, Ghosts, Consciousness & Science, is free and refreshments will be served. Perhaps we’ll learn once and for all whether ghosts have a sweet tooth. The library is at One Miller Road in Morristown.

Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee

The North Jersey Civil War Round Table will convene at 7:14 pm for its 113th meeting at the Haggerty Education Center at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Guest speaker Dr. Frank J. Wetta of Kean University will discuss How The South Won the Civil War: Resistance and Memory. Admission is $5, and first-time guests and students are free (as always). The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is at 353 E. Hanover Avenue in Morris Township.

Physician, holistic health advocate, best-selling author and New Age guru Deepak Chopra, will share his thoughts on alternative medicine at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. A book signing will follow the lecture, which begins at 7:30 pm at 100 South St. Tickets are $49-$99. Call (973) 539-8008 for more.


The mysteries of 21st-century art collecting will be revealed by Virginia Fabbri Buteracurator of the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of Saint Elizabeth. Ginny, a scholar and art consultant who chairs the school’s art and music departments, will be joined at The Gallery at 14 Maple in Morristown at 6 pm by artists Kiyomi Baird, Willie Cole, Richard Eger and Wayne Charles Roth for a free two-hour talk that will dissect the $66 billion global art market.  Novice collectors and connoisseurs both are welcome.

Willie Cole with his sculpture, 'Mother and Child,' at The Gallery at 14 Maple in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Willie Cole with his sculpture, ‘Mother and Child,’ at The Gallery at 14 Maple in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The monthly Critical Mass bike ride rolls from behind Morristown Town Hall at 200 South St. for a leisurely half-hour loop, starting at 6:30 pm. Bundle up!  For more info, see Bike. Walk. Town.

Morristown will celebrate Black History Month and the legacy of Nelson Mandela in style this week, with a performance by the New York African Chorus Ensemble in partnership with both the Morristown Neighborhood House and Cornerstone Family Programs. Emceed by Mike Bethune, the show includes special guests The Kenjex and Bello Lamadieu and a tribute to Keith Bodden of the NAACP, all starting at 6:30 pm at Morristown High School. Refreshments unique to the African American culture will be served. Advance admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children and senior citizens or $23/$12 at the door. Call Linda Murphy, the Nabe’s community development director, at 973-538-1229, ext 14 for more information.

The New York African American Chorus Ensemble comes to Morristown on Friday.
The New York African American Chorus Ensemble comes to Morristown on Friday.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast comes to the Mayo Performing Arts Center stage at  7 pm, and returns on Saturday for shows at 1 pm and 7 pm. Tickets are $49-$79. At 100 South St. in Morristown. Call (973) 539-8008 for more.

L'il Rev
L’il Rev

It’s not the size of your instrument that matters; it’s how you use it.  That’s the message at The Minstrel in Morris Township, where rising ukulele (and guitar and harmonica) star L’il Rev brings his pre-war blues and early jazz stylings to The Minstrel  at 8 pm. Rounding out the show is Bob McNally, inventor of the three-stringed Strumstick. The Minstrel is at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship at 21 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township.


Bob McNally plays his three-stringed invention, the Strumstick. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Bob McNally plays his three-stringed invention, the Strumstick. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Beatlemania Again is about to invade the Bickford Theatre.
Beatlemania Again is about to invade the Bickford Theatre.

It’s Beatlemania Again! at the Bickford Theatre at 8 pm. This celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ debut on the Ed Sullivan Show by the National Touring Beatles Stage Show will  trace the band’s career from its first American appearance in 1964 to Abbey Road. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Call (973) 971-3706, for more. The Bickford is at the Morris Museum, at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township.


If cabin fever is setting in, celebrate the onset of spring with the Maple Sugar Festival at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham. From noon-4 pm, watch maple sap get cooked into syrup, enjoy a variety of maple treats and apple cider, and set loose the kids for a variety of crafts and games. Admission is $4 per person, at 247 Southern Boulevard.

Anne Frank in May 1942.
Anne Frank in May 1942.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is back at the Mayo Performing Arts Center for shows at 1 pm and 7 pm. See Friday entry for details.

Anne Frank, the plucky teenager whose Holocaust diary has inspired millions, deserves more than a lofty pedestal. The Harmonium Choral Society will explore this real life girl-next-door in Annelies, a cantata based on The Diary of Anne Frank.  At the Morristown United Methodist Church, 50 South Park Place, at 8 pm. General admission: $25; seniors and students, $20. A 3 pm matinee is scheduled for Sunday.

John McEuen and David Amram join forces for a rare performance at the Sanctuary concert series in Chatham. McEuen, founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and David Amram, a musical powerhouse for decades, will show their stuff at 8 pm, in the Presbyterian Church at 240 Southern Boulevard. Tickets are $25.



Judge Kenneth MacKenzie will discuss the Crime of the Century--the 19th century--on March 2, 2014 in Morristown.
Judge Kenneth MacKenzie will discuss the Crime of the Century–the 19th century–on March 2, 2014 in Morristown.

Annelies, a cantata based on The Diary of Anne Frank, will be performed by the Harmonium Choral Society at 3 pm in the Morristown United Methodist Church. Please see Saturday entry for details.


The ghost of Antoine LeBlanc has struck at Macculloch Hall: A talk about Morristown’s most notorious 19th century criminal has been canceled due to parking restrictions imposed ahead of today’s predicted snowstorm. The museum, which is closed as a result, hopes to reschedule the event.

Morristown’s Macculloch Hall Historical Museum kicks off a monthly lecture series, Controversies: The More Things Change…  at 4:30 pm with a talk about the infamous 1833 murder trial of Antoine LeBlanc. Retired Superior Court Judge Kenneth MacKenzie is an expert on this bizarre and gruesome case, which thrust Morristown into the spotlight in the 19th century. The series enhances an exhibit exploring local events of national significance. Admission: Adults $8; seniors $6; children 6 – 12 years $4;children 5 years and under and Museum members are free. At 45 Macculloch Ave.


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  1. Program cancellation
    Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is unable to open today as Macculloch Avenue is being closed to parking from 2pm today due to the impending storm. Unfortunately this means we cannot open for tours this afternoon or hold our program in conjunction with our Controversies exhibit “The 1833 Antonie Le Blanc Case” with Judge Kenneth C. MacKenzie at 4:30pm. Both are cancelled. If rescheduled we will post to local calendars and to our website and Facebook page.
    Thank you for your understanding.