Hypnotic hijinx, magical macaws, mallet-masters and Honest Abe, too: Coming to First Night Morris 2018

The Great Scott and his winged sidekick, Thurston.
The Great Scott and his winged sidekick, Thurston.

By Nicholas Voltaggio

Amazingly, only a few days remain in an eventful 2017. But Morristown plans to close out this year with a bang!

FIRST NIGHT MORRIS 2018 LOGOOn Sunday night–New Year’s Eve–thousands are expected to visit 80 events at 24 venues for the 26th annual First Night Morris County.

Dozens of acts are gearing up to entertain audiences with everything from rock and roll, to dance, to magic. We’re especially excited about the off-beat acts.

Where else, for example, can you enjoy “hypnotic hijinks”? 


Marc Marshall, aka HypnoMarc, signs his emails “Hypnotically Yours.” He wants everyone to know that hypnosis is real, and he is determined to deliver a passionate, whimsical, humorous performance that will keep spectators talking all year long.

Turning down other gigs in favor of  “the premier First Night celebration in New Jersey,” he said, was a no-brainer.  He applauded organizers’ efforts to “bring people together to celebrate… in a safe and sober environment.”

Where else can you meet Abraham Lincoln?

Robert Costello as Honest Abe
Robert Costello as Honest Abe

Bob Costello returns for the fourth time to make revelers “feel like they are in the presence of Lincoln.”

He has worked for years mastering Civil War history and facts of our 16th president’s life, a pursuit he calls a labor of love.


Where else can you see a magical macaw?

Scott Drukker of the “Great Scott Magic Show” is bringing one, named Thurston. They have appeared on Conan, Letterman, and at countless venues across the country. Drukker’s mentor was the late, great Harry Blackstone Jr. Thurston is keeping his inspirations to himself.

Where else can you watch a real, live “Mallet Master”?

Mallet Master Greg Giannascoli.
Mallet Master Greg Giannascoli.

That’s Greg Giannascoli, making his fourth appearance at First Night Morris.

His weapon of choice is the marimba, an “exotic and visually exciting instrument” similar to a xylophone. Giannascoli adds a new level of musical intricacy to beloved works such as Flight of the Bumblebee and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

First Night Morris starts at 4:45 pm and runs to midnight. One $25 badge (group discounts are available) gets you into as many acts as you like. Most acts are within easy walking distance; free shuttle buses also will be running.

All acts (except for two fireworks shows over the Morristown Green) are indoors. The Masonic Lodge, a performance venue on Maple Avenue, will double as a warming station. Parking is free in town parking garages starting at 5 pm.

Morristown Green correspondent Nicholas Voltaggio is a freshman at Morristown High School.

MorristownGreen.com is a proud sponsor of First Night Morris. Tickets are on-sale on the First Night website through 2 PM on New Year’s Eve. 
 Also at: The MPAC Box Office, in-person or over the phone. On New Year’s Eve, buy them at MPAC or the Command Center in the Hyatt Regency Morristown starting at 10 AM; will call pickup at the Morristown Library from 3 PM to 8 PM. Tickets also are available at Morristown High School (Atno Avenue Entrance) from 4 PM; and at the Morristown Green from 6 PM.


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