Theatre Season Begins with Sopranos Star Dominic Chianese

College also unveils new film series “Cinema Ciccone.”

PARAMUS, N.J. – Sopranos star Dominic Chianese opens Bergen Community College’s 2018-2019 theatre season with an evening of music and stories about his New York roots and Italian heritage Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the College’s Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre (400 Paramus Road). Joined on-stage by Bergen Professor John LaBarbera, Chianese will perform renditions of traditional and popular songs, including his own original music and virtuoso guitar playing.

With an acting career spanning more than 60 years, Chianese is widely known for his role as Uncle Junior in “The Sopranos” and Johnny Ola in “The Godfather: Part II.” In addition to his love of acting, he also has a passion for music. For the past 33 years, he has played guitar at nursing homes and created the non-profit organization “Joy Through Art,” dedicated to improving the lives of nursing home residents through regular interaction with professional artists, using music and theatre techniques.

Show ticket prices for the general public are $35, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and students. Guests can purchase tickets by calling (201) 447-7428 or online at tickets.bergen.edu.

Cinema Ciccone

October also will feature the premiere of the College’s Cinema Ciccone program – a series of five award-winning documentaries – where audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a post-screening discussion with the film’s director or producer. Each program also includes a pre-screening buffet with light refreshments.

Admission is $20 per person with the exception of the first film, which is free. Guests can save 25 percent and purchase all four films for $60. For additional information, please call (201) 447-7428 or visit tickets.bergen.edu.

The series begins Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 12:30 p.m. with the screening of the film “Love Wins,” a documentary produced by RJK Media, chronicling the story of two women who married in New Jersey after 45 years together. Audience members will have the opportunity to meet the film’s director Robin Kampf, and the married couple, Jan and Em, following the screening. The College’s Bergen PRIDE: The LGBTQ+Alliance also will present an award to Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s state-wide advocacy and education organization, for their efforts in securing marriage equality in New Jersey. Admission is free.

The following four films in the series will begin at 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, Oct. 18: “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald” – Chronicles the lives of several young boys who were freed from the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Award-winning producer Steve Moskovic will participate in a question-and-answer session following the film. His father was one of the children liberated from Buchenwald.
  • Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019: “Sacred: Milestones of a Spiritual Life” – depicts the importance of faith and spirituality in daily life. Directed by Academy award-winner Thomas Lennon, this film includes footage from more than 25 countries and features an array of religious traditions. Following the film, executive producer and Emmy award-winner Dr. Bill Baker, will host a question and answer session.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019: “Assunta Spina” and “The Immigrant” – Romantic tragedy and comedy come together with these two classic movies from the silent film era. Bergen professor John T. La Barbera also will perform two newly composed scores to enhance the realism experience.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2019: “Bill Evans: Time Remembered” – This award-winning documentary, written by filmmaker Bruce Spiegel, chronicles the life of the late jazz pianist Bill Evans, a resident of Closter, NJ. Prior to the film, there will be an introductory concert featuring the Joel Zelnik Trio and vocalist Annette Sanders.

Bergenstages

The Bergenstages theatre troupe will also host a new season of student-run productions. Show ticket prices for the general public are $15, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests. For additional information, please call (201) 447-7428 or visit tickets.bergen.edu.

  • Oct. 28, 29 and Nov. 1, 2 and 3 – “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon
  • Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 6, 7, and 8 – “Into the Woods” – music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by James Lapine
  • Feb. 22, 23, 28 and March 1, 2 – “Cyrano De Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand
  • April 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 – “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn

The season also features:

  • Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. – “Fusion Tango,” created by choreographer Sandra Antognazzi, is a company that fuses tango with modern dance. The performance depicts a tale of romance, seduction, and betrayal, with innovative choreographies and unexpected twists. Tickets are $35 for the general public, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests.
  • Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. – “Sal on Songbook – Feeling Wicked: The Magical Side of the American Songbook” featuring the timeless music of Harold Arlen, Lerner and Loewe, Cy Coleman, Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Disney classics like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Love Potion Number 9.” Tickets are $35 for the general public, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests.
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. – “Annual Holiday Concert” with the Bergen Sinfonia Orchestra, featuring conductor Murray Colosimo and Metropolitan Opera lyric soprano Sara Beth Pearson. Tickets are $35 for the general public, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests.
  • Saturday, March 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – “Ireland and America: A History in Song” featuring Larry Kirwan and his Irish-rock band Black 47. The evening includes a mix of storytelling, acting and singing, while exploring the roots of the Irish and British conflict. The band’s upcoming single “Heroes/Belfast,” which is based on a conversation with David Bowie, also will be featured. Tickets are $35 for the general public, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests.
  • Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – “Garry Krinsky: Toying with Science” is a fast-paced program that combines circus skills, mime, original music and audience involvement in the exploration of the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, fulcrums and simple machines. Tickets are $15.
  • Friday, May 3, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – “Just a Jersey Guy and Son” includes an evening of story-telling and stand-up comedy featuring writer and story-teller Brian Altano and his son Dan, a stand-up comedian. Tickets are $35 for the general public, with discounts offered to senior citizens, Bergen faculty and guests.
  • Saturday, May 18, 2019– “Renaissance Singer Chuck Wicks” returns to Bergen to play his favorite country music hits. Tickets are $45, which includes a pre-show brew and barbeque.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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