Roxy’s Best Of… Mendham, New Jersey

The Best of Mendham, NJ, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to shopping

Apr
23

Hexagon Players Presents Little Shop of Horrors: Friday, May 11th - Sunday, May 13th and Friday, May 18th - Saturday, May 19th

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Hexagon Players of Mendham will present Little Shop Of Horrors (music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman) at Grace Lutheran Church, 65 Main Street, Mendham, on Friday, May 11 (7:30 pm), Saturday, May 12 ( 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm), Sunday, May 13 (2:00 pm), Friday, May 18 (7:30 pm) and Saturday, May 19 (2:00 pm/7:30 pm). This comic high energy musical, about a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Tickets are $20 each (for mature audience members please) and can be purchased by calling the Hexagon Players Box Office at 973-543-8770 or by going on their web site at
www.Hexagonplayers.org. Seating is limited.

Cast members include, from bottom left: Mariella Klinger of Basking Ridge; Street Urchins Nicole Spadafino of Bethlehem, PA, and Samantha Giustiniani of Cranford. From middle left: Lona Alpert (Ensemble) of Far Hills, Puppeteer Graham Helfrick of Mountain View Middle School in Mendham, Cassandra Clavelli (Ensemble) of Roselle Park, Puppeteer Patrick Sprouls of Mendham High School, Gina Clavelli (Audrey) of Roselle Park and Bonnie Perkins (Ensemble) of Basking Ridge. From top row left: Colin Dino (Ensemble) of Bedminster, Paul Mucha (Seymour) of Roselle Park, Chris “Chip” King (Mushnik) of Sparta and Mike Piacenza (Orin and other parts) of Morris Plains.

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop of Horrors never fails to entertain.

Directing the show is Debbie Kirsch of Bernardsville, who was recently honored for her long list of accomplishments and commitment to Arts/Entertainment in the county and state, receiving an “Outstanding Woman of Somerset County” Award by the County’s Commission on the Status of Women. She is a past 3 time nominee for Outstanding Director of NJACT’s Perry Award for Community Theater and is President of Hexagon Players.

Claire Kerr of Mendham is Producer, Music Director is Stan Dunn of Harding and Choreographer/Assistant Director is E. Nicole Spadafino.

Founded in 1970, Hexagon Players is a community theater group based in the Grace Lutheran Church in Mendham. Over the last 30 years, the group has produced approximately 90 productions including its most recent shows of The Wizard of Oz, Annie, 13, Willy Wonka, Peter Pan , Seussical, Children’s Letters to God, and Drop Dead. For more information on Little Shop of Horrors or Hexagon Players, call 973-543-8770 or order tickets on line at www.hexagonplayers.org/.

Mar
05

Mendham Township Middle School Presents Dear Edwina Jr. This Thursday, March 8th Through Saturday, March 10th

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The Mendham Township Middle School and the Mendham Township Recreation Department are pleased to present Dear Edwina Jr., a musical about the joys of growing up. Edwina Spoonapple is an advice-giver extraordinaire who stages “The Dear Edwina Show” every Sunday afternoon from her garage. She gives advice through songs on topics such as being polite, making new friends, and how to save money. Preschoolers, grandparents, and everyone in between will love this “School House Rock” type musical.

Directed by Debbie Kirsch, cast members include: Ava Stefanelli as Edwina Spoonapple, Liam Wintz as Scott, Avery Smith as Becky, Hannah Staples as Kelli, Arianna Berisha as Annie, Davis O’Neil as Bobby, and Aroan Saha as Billy. Also featured are Lauren Rapp as Aphrodite, Lauren Hassell as Susie, Alexandra Smith as Abigail, Zachary Catron as Vladimir, Noah Davie as Frank, Kolina Ungar as Carrie, Shannon Epstein as the Fairy Fork Mother, Deidre Thompson as Chef Ludmilla, Krista Chen as Periwinkle, Stephanie Do as Lola, Luke Potash as Harry, Jared Elgarten as Ziggy, Natalia Lalin as Farmer Jerry and Cassandra Garner as Mary Sue Betty Bob.

Come out and see London and her friends perform in your choice of four shows: Thursday, March 8th at 7:00pm; Friday, March 9th at 7:00pm; and Saturday, March 10th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, all at Mendham Township Middle School. Tickets are $12 for all performances.

Mar
04

Hexagon Players Spring Auditions for Little Shop of Horrors Scheduled for Sunday, March 11th and Tuesday, March 13th

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Hexagon Players of Mendham will hold auditions for its May production of “Little Shop of Horrors” (music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman). Auditions for teens and adults will take place on Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 pm and Tuesday, March 13th at 7:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall 65 East Main Street, Mendham, NJ. Please bring your own sheet music to the audition. Show performances are May 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th and 19th. For further information, please visit hexagonplayers.org or contact (973) 543-8770.

Feb
14

Back to the Drawing Board: Mendham Township Superintendent Kris Harrison Moves On at End of June 2012

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Yesterday, I received the following eBlast from the Mendham Township Board of Education:
“It is with regret that the Board of Education informs you that Kristopher Harrison has notified us of his intent to end his tenure as superintendent of schools at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year. It is his desire to pursue a similar position at a K-12 district in New York state. Although we are deeply saddened that Dr. Harrison is leaving, we want to express our appreciation for his outstanding leadership during the past four years. Thanks to our administration, staff and community we are among the highest performing districts in the state. Please be assured that the Board of Education will move deliberately to name a highly qualified superintendent to continue our success. Our focus will remain on continuing to deliver an excellent educational experience for our children.
Thank you. –
Mendham Twp Board of Education”

Apparently, Dr. Harrison is exiting Mendham Township at the end of the school year in June for a K-12 poition with Irvington School District in West Chester, New York. I am sure it is an excellent opportunity for Kris Harrison after a solid run with Mendham Township and I wish him all the best. Since he came to us from Maplewood four years ago, we’ve seen attractively higher scores and strong achievement levels on statewide testing and a noticeable schooll environment of enthusiasm and cooperation among students, staff and administrators.

With his departure, school boards in Mendham Township and our neighboring districts (Mendham Boro and West Morris Regional High Schools) can consider a concept that should be familiar to most kindergartners — sharing. It’s rumored that Mendham Borough has already approached (and been rejected by) the Township about sharing a superintendent, since the NJ school budget cap on superintendent salaries at $135,000-$150,000 (due to the small number of students in the districts) will make it difficult for either school to hire high quality replacements when Mendham Borough super Janie Edmonds retires at the end of the school year.  In addition, the West Morris regional school board forced out their superintendent Anthony di Bautista late last year, so there are big vacancies at the top.

Whaddya think about sharing, Mendhams? 

Jan
26

UPDATED TIMES: Mendham Little League Baseball and Softball Player Evaluations Scheduled for January 28 and February 5, 2012

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Registration for Mendham Little League baseball and softball remains open at mendhamlittleleague.org. Player evaluations will be held at Mendham High School’s gym.
Saturday January 28
Baseball 9am-11:30pm
Softball 11:30pm-1:00pm
Sunday February 5
Softball 10-11:30
Baseball 12:30-2:30
All boys in AAA Minors or Majors or girls in Minors or Majors must be evaluated. This includes returning boys playing the Majors.

Jan
17

Spring Fever…Mendham Little League Baseball and Softball Player Evaluations Scheduled for January 28 and February 5, 2012

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London and Maddie returned from ice skating at Bryant Park and cupcakes at Crumbs’ Bakery in NYC on Martin Luther King Day to a two-hour delayed opening at Mendham Township Middle School and Elementary School this morning due to the hail and sleet and ice on the roads…so I can’t really claim that Spring is in the air. The good news, however, is that Mendham Little League is open for registration. I’ve signed up Maddie and London to play softball and they are training hard over the winter with the Branchburg Blaze 10U travel team.  When April comes around, it will be all softball all the time.

This season, there’s a lot of good news from Mendham Little League:

1. MLL has hired West Morris Baseball Academy to work with the boys’ baseball teams for the 2011 season, and MLL is developing a softball training program for the girls, too. West Morris Baseball is one of the areas premier baseball and softball training organizations. Every player signed up for A,AA,AAA and Majors baseball will receive, at no additional cost, weekly professional training (approx. 18 hours ) throughout the season.
2. Every player registered in Mendham Little League will have the opportunity to receive additional private training from West Morris Baseball at a discounted rate not available to the general public. For more information go to www.westmorrisbaseball.com
3. Mendham Little League Spirit wear. Check out our website for a great selection of shirts,shorts, hitting jackets, bags and more! Go to www.mendhamlittleleague.org
4. Expanded snack bar at Borough Park. MLL will continue its food and beverage service for all regular season, playoff and Allstar games at Borough Park. New food and drink items will be added is season!
5. New fencing at Borough Park. Extensive fencing improvements have been made to all three baseball fields including a new back stop at Lower Borough field.
6. New equipment sheds. New sheds have been added to Wysong, Mosle and Brookside fields to store lining equipment, rakes etc.

I am already looking forward to Spring.  In the meantime, mark your calendar for the following Player Evaluation Dates:
Saturday January 28
9:00am - 11:30am Baseball
11:30am - 1:00pm Softball

Sunday February 5
10-12pm Softball
12:30-2:30 Baseball

Jan
03

London’s First Chance at the Mendham Township Middle School Play: Dear Edwina Jr. Coming in March 2012

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This afternoon, London and her Mendham Township Middle School classmates are meeting to learn about auditions for this year’s school play, Dear Edwina Jr.

According to Wikipedia, Dear Edwina is a musical by Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). A children’s one-hour musical, it concerns a young girl who gives her neighborhood friends and family advice through singing in a musical show. It is set in the town of Paw Paw, Michigan, although the setting is more like Deerfield, Illinois, where Marcy Heisler was born. Dear Edwina premiered Off-Broadway at the DR2 Theatre in New York City, opening November 14, 2008 through April 19, 2009. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven G. Kennedy, the cast features Janice Mays as Edwina. This production received two 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations, for Outstanding Music (Zina Goldrich) and Outstanding Lyrics (Marcy Heisler). A return engagement ran at the DR2 Theatre from December 11, 2009 to February 15, 2010. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven Kennedy, the cast featured Ephie Aardema as Edwina. Dear Edwina had a third holiday season run at the DR2 Theatre from December 17, 2010 to February 25, 2011. Again directed by Timothy McDonald and with Steven G. Kennedy’s choreography, this cast featured Beth Cheryl Tarnow as Edwina.

13-year old Edwina Spoonapple has very talented siblings. But because of this, she thinks that she isn’t special or talented. Yet Edwina has many talents including leadership, singing and advising, and she combines all of them by directing musicals out of her garage. The topic of these musicals is letters written to her by neighborhood kids who need advice. She gives them advice through songs and dances that she orchestrates with her friends. One of the main themes of Dear Edwina is Edwina’s desire to be in the “Advice-a-palooza” festival because she feels it will prove that she is as talented as her siblings. This is all going on while Edwina’s love interest, Scott, is trying to win her over. But, since Edwina is so concerned about her show, she doesn’t care about Scott. Scott wins her heart by singing her a song as an impromptu performance on the show. The talent scout calls, and asks for Scott to perform at the festival, not Edwina. She is heartbroken when she runs into Katie Spoonapple, who has just run away from the Summer Math Olympics because she was getting made fun of by the other girls. She tells Katie not to listen to those kids, and to do what you love to do. Katie hugs her, and Edwina realizes that love is far more important than getting a prize.

As a fifth grader, London won’t likely have the starring role, but I wonder if she could win the part of Kelli, the ballerina??
The characters include:
Edwina Spoonapple - A 13-year-old girl who wants proof of her accomplishments, just like her siblings.
Becky - An enthusiastic cheerleader and friend of Edwina’s.
Scott - A neighbor of Edwina, is in love with her.
Kelli - A ballerina and Edwina’s neighbor.
Bobby - Edwina’s friendly new next-door-neighbor.
Lars, Billy and Cordell - The Vanderplook triplets who live in Edwina’s neighborhood.
Annie - A Girl Scout & Edwina’s friend.
Vladimir - The scary, Dracula-like uncle of Edwina.
Frank - A rude & sarcastic kid in Frankenguest.
Lola - A shy girl from Peru visiting her cousin in Honolulu
Harry - Lola’s cousin & the reason she left Peru.
Hephaestus - a young boy who writes to Edwina about his picky brother.
Katie Spoonapple - Edwina’s youngest sister, a math whiz.
Myra Sppoonapple - Edwina’s older sister.
Jo Spoonapple - Edwina’s older brother.
Forks, knives, spoons, & plates - dancers.
Fairy Forkmother- singer in “Fork, knife, spoon.”
Chef Ludmilla- singer in “Fork, knife, spoon.”
Susie and the Napkins-a singing group.
Abigail - Letter writer with a pressing problem about her brother’s etiquette.
Ziggy- A lover of reggae music who writes to Edwina.
Periwinkle- A young girl whose parents have bought a ski school in Sweden and doesn’t know how to speak Swedish.

In Dear Edwina Jr., the songs include:
Paw Paw Michigan
Up on the Fridge
Dear Edwina
Hephaestus
Say No Thank You to You
Abigail
Frankenguest
Carrie
Fork Knife Spoon
Periwinkle
Hola, Lola
Ziggy
Put It in the Piggy
Edwina
Sing Your Own Song
Up on the Fridge(reprise)

I will see if I can get the soundtrack from Amazon, so London can start preparing for auditions.

Oct
25

Roxy’s Secret Is Out…I Love Love Love My Mechanic: Moro Automotive in Mendham, NJ

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Before I met Dennis Moro of Moro Automotive in Mendham, my service calls at the car dealer sounded something like this:

  • “It’s gonna cost you a grand just to open her up and take a look.  Of course, we’ll credit that against your [sky's-the-limit] total repair bill once we find the problem.”
  • “I know you brought her in for our $29.99 oil change, but with the other standard service items we like to do at 30,000 miles, your total bill comes to $665.95.”

And that doesn’t even include the car salesmen who’ve called me “little lady” and suggested I come back with “the man of the house” to help me make the buy-or-lease decision on my SUV.

With Moro’s Automotive, my last three service calls have sounded more like this:

  • “The repair code is for the timing chain, which shouldn’t need replacing for another few years.  But hey, your Acadia’s what, a 2009?  It should still be under warranty, so you should take it to your GMC dealer for the repair and they’ll have to do it for free.”
  • “Your little rodent friends chewed through two different cables on your convertible…the parts are more than $900 if I order them new from Toyota, but if you give me some time, I’m sure I can find them in a junkyard for a fraction of the cost.”
  • “Just an oil change today, but we found out what’s making that grinding noise, let me know if you want us to fix it and I’ll order the part, should run you about $262 all in.”

So I’ve given up the nightmare of regular service visits to three different car dealership service departments, and bring my 2009 GMC Acadia, 2006 Chevy Suburban, and 1996 Toyota Celica convertible to someone I like and trust with my cars: Dennis Moro. 

Moro Automotive Service
8 Cold Hill Road
Mendham, NJ 07945-2024
(973) 543-7282

Sep
11

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to London’s Debut with Hexagon Players in the Wizard of Oz

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Follow the yellow brick road to Bernards High as London makes her debut with Hexagon Players as they present one of the best loved musicals of all time…The Wizard of Oz. The outstanding cast, led by Director and Hexagon President Debbie Kirsch of Bernardsville, draws on talent from many local communities.

The Wizard of Oz, which will be staged at Bernards High School, 25 Olcott Ave in Bernardsville, on Friday, September 23rd at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, September 24 at 3 p.m., Sunday, September 25 at 2 pm., Friday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. and two performances on Saturday, October 1 at 2:00pm and 7:30 p.m

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased on http://www.hexagonplayers.org or by calling 973-543-8770.

May
29

What to Expect When You’re Expecting…a Puppy. Family Dog Clinics at Well Bred in Chester, NJ.

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It’s been just about a year since I reported to our loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Roxy’s Best Of… readers that we had added our first cockapoo puppy, Peanut Butter, to our family. And just like I had my two girls 13 months apart, we’re expecting again…a Cockapoo sister for Peanut Butter, 8-week-old Honey…is due next weekend. Right now, it feels like I’m taking care of an energetic toddler while being nine months pregnant, getting ready for the new baby and working hard to finish things up at the office ahead of maternity leave in less than a week. Last year, Maddie planned for months, doing research and learning how to take some of the responsibility for training and grooming our new arrival. Getting ready for Peanut Butter, I read and studied “Puppies For Dummies as well as the Dog Whisperer’s “How to Raise the Perfect Dog” by Cesar Millan and ordered his six DVD Boxed Set as “a present for Maddie.” This time around, with Honey on the way, I’m skimming through the books this weekend as if I were cramming for an exam. Off to Petco for a second set of food and water bowls, more bully sticks, find where we stored PB’s old puppy-size bed when she outgrew it. Plan on sleep deprivation and puppy-proofing the house.
Next weekend, we have a big weekend planned. London and Maddie have the annual Lemon Ball at Mendham Township Elementary School on Friday night, followed by their softball championship game on Saturday morning, hopefullly followed by an ice cream celebration at Penguin in Bernardsville. Then it’s off to Pleasant Valley, New York with the whole family, including Peanut Butter, to pick up our new cockapoo puppy at Mulberry Farm.
We need Puppy Nanny 911 (again!)… stat!
Lucky for Roxy, we have just such a service right here in Mendham, NJ… Justine Schuurmans and The Family Dog to the rescue!! Justine is a kinder, gentler local dog whisperer (better, safer, positive — consequences and kindness — training techniques) right here in Morris County, NJ. She’s also a fellow Mendham Township Elementary School mother who came to our rescue when Peanut Butter arrived on the scene last year.
The Family Dog is a local Morris and Somerset County service just like Super Nanny or Nanny 911, only for dogs! What I’ve learned from my Dog Whisperer books and videos so far is that while it’s great to take your new puppy to obedience school, it’s the people who really need the training, and most families need help where it counts - at home. That’s where The Family Dog comes in…. two fun-loving, long-time professional dog trainers who are juggling a full schedule, with four dogs and four children under six between them. They both teach classes at St. Huberts, but realize that families need a different kind of help.
The Family Dog is the only dog training company in the area that is specifically designed for FAMILIES! When I first spoke with Justine, I realized that their approach is really designed to fit in with my busy schedule…and, as I remind both my loyal readers and my mother, I’m not really a housewife, nor do I play one on TV… I’m a full-time investment banker and mother of two. Clearly I need to make time for our new puppy, but it is great to know that Justine understands and can help me to develop a schedule that enables the whole family to share the responsibility for Peanut Butter. No matter how long you’ve had your dog, The Family Dog has a program that will ensure the best possible future for him or her. Justine and/or her partner, Leah Hatley (who is based out of Morristown, NJ), can help prepare you and your family for a new dog, give your puppy the best start in life, create good habits for your adolescent dog, and help your children learn the best ways to respect and nurture your four-legged friend. Each of your training sessions will be conveniently held in your own home.
That means NO traveling, NO scheduling conflicts and you will be practicing in the place you need it most!
Maddie and London adore Justine, who met with me pre-Peanut Butter to do some puppy-proofing and gave the girls a private session before our puppy arrived to give all of us the info and training we need to set off on the right foot. She brought one of her own dogs to coach us and let the girls practice on, so they felt like experts when Peanut Butter came home with us. Justine helped us through all of the early puppy (and family) training, and now PB sits, lies down, waits for food, and fetches when asked. More importantly, Maddie and London know how to respond to calm Peanut Butter down when she’s over-excited…and now it’s time to put those skills to good use when Honey arrives. So much is in the preparation, and now, with another one on the way, we’re back to writing the term paper on the night before it’s due!
The Family Dog, serving Morris and Somerset Counties with DogNanny 911 services from Mendham and Morristown, NJ.

Phone: (973) 910-0364. Be sure to let Justine know that Roxy sent you!!

And now for something new and different from Justine and The Family Dog…Clinics at Well Bred in Chester, NJ. Your new puppy: What to do. What to buy. And what you can safely ignore. Learn the dog trainer’s secrets (what the training books won’t tell you) for $25/person or $40/couple on Wednesday, June 8th from 7:00pm-8:30pm. Thinking about it? Getting one? Just got one? Don’t miss your chance to learn EVERYTHING you need to know about owning a new puppy:

  • How to choose the right puppy for your family
  • Preparing your house and your family
  • Buying the right equipment. What you need and what you don’t.
  • What is “socialization” and why is it so important?
  • House training 101
  • What type of training is best? Group or private in-home classes?

Sign up online at The Family Dog.