HAPPY NEW LIVE THEATRE YEAR! TRUST YOUR INDUSTRY INSIDER FOR THE LATEST TIPS AND INFO TO MAXIMIZE YOUR ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING THE UNVEILING OF A STATE-SPECIFIC ON-LINE THEATRE RESOURCE

BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI

ALL-NEW NBPAC GETTING RAVE REVIEWS
Last fall, spotlights shown for the first time at the sparkling New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, a $172-million state-of-the-art complex offering musical, dance, and theatrical performances in the heart of the city’s bustling downtown. Opening night was a star-studded a air hosting 450 guests.

Since, the new NBPAC has enhanced and helped transform “Hub City”’s cultural arts district, which includes portions of Rutgers University, restaurants, shopping, and luxury accommodations. Member companies include the George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre Company, American Repertory Ballet, and Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of Arts.

There are two proscenium-style theaters and five rehearsal studios on site. The 463-seat Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater has an 86-foot stage, a 75-foot fly tower, a trap system, and an orchestra pit, while the 252-seat Arthur Laurents Theater features a 60-foot stage. The lobby includes a bar/snack area and barrier-free access to all levels.

“The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center is bringing more patrons to the city to enjoy our cultural and entertainment offerings, hospitality, and nightlife while generating revenue to keep revitalization moving forward,” said New Brunswick Mayor, Jim Cahill. Rutgers President, Robert Barchi, noted, “(This) is the culmination of a phenomenal partnership with the city and the arts community one that provides an outstanding opportunity for our students to perfect and showcase skills and artistry.”

The 23-story, 450,000-square-foot complex includes 207 apartments, some occupied by graphic artists, actors, musicians, dancers, and theater support personnel through a partnership with The Actors Fund. About 30,000 square feet of o ce space is also included, with a 344-space public parking garage adjacent. NBPAC is available to rent for performances, corporate meetings, social events, weddings, galas, and fundraisers. There are three large event spaces available for rental for pre- and post-show receptions and events. NBPAC, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, 732.249.2220, nbpac.org.

NEW SITE RESOURCE FOR STATE AUDIENCES
Launched October 2019 in partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the state’s Division of Travel & Tourism, and 30 participating theatres, performance groups, and other stakeholders, the Jersey specific section of Show-Score.com is bringing a wealth of information and benefits to Garden State theatre-goers. Show-Score.com/NJ is an innovative online community engaging and informing audiences through simplified yet comprehensive listings. It highlights buzzworthy shows, provides direct links to ticket deals, and offers helpful reviews. Among member organizations participating in the development of the site and its features are The Two River Theater in Red Bank, the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, Luna Stage Company in West Orange, Surf light Theatre Company in Beach Haven, and the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. “Show-Score’s ability to harness word-of-mouth and build community for theatre struck us as an intriguing and important model that will help drive new audiences to our professional theatres,” said N.J. Alliance Executive Director, John McEwen.

The site, which maximizes sophisticated technology, already had some 300,000 members. Inspired by how Rotten Tomatoes covers movies, it uses numeric rankings and categories to organize reviews from its user community with those of professional reviewers.

“Show-Score already demonstrated fast-paced growth, and had a significant number of Garden State members,” noted George Street Playhouse Marketing Director, Rick Engler. “We look forward to seeing that grow.” The N.J. Theatre Alliance, founded in 1981, represents 19 Equity producing member theatres and 11 associate member theatres in over a dozen counties. It unites, promotes, and cultivates the state’s professional theatres by developing collaborative and engaging programs and services for members and audiences. Its funding comes from a variety of sources, including the State Council on the Arts, along with foundations, individuals, and corporations, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, The Shubert Foundation, Investors Bank, and The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. Visit show-score.com/nj and njtheatrealliance.org.