Tag Archives: Musical

Michael Napolitano on Preschool of Rock

Michael Napolitano, founder and director of Preschool of Rock, sat with Joanna Gagis on “A Life & Living Moment” to discuss his experience working with the Blue Man Group.

“Blue Man was a wonderful experience for me,” Napolitano says. He worked with the founders of the company in a small group, developing new content.

“Whatever the mad geniuses wanted to bring out there, we had to make it happen,” he says. This involved creative production, and tons of interesting instruments.

“I used to tune the tubes and create instruments with amazing technical developers,” he recalls. This has transferred to Preschool of Rock in the form of a focus on drumming. “For toddlers, it’s hard to make chords on a guitar, but you can whack on a drum,” he says.

To learn more about Preschool of Rock, click here.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s A Bronx Tale: The Musical


Classic 1993 hit film, “A Bronx Tale” is now hitting the Paper Mill Playhouse stage!

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino recently joined the opening night celebration of, “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” at Ricalton’s Village Tavern of South Orange, New Jersey. She was lucky enough to chat with the a-list actors & actresses of this wonderful musical production.

Based on the real life story by Chazz Palminteri‚ “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” is based on the racial issues and organized crime from the 1960s. Lisa chatted with the young Italian-American boy, Calogero, who is first played by Joshua Colley and later by Jason Gotay. Calogero’s journey is to find the right path in life, as he must choose between the father who raised him (played by Richard H. Blake) or a mob-boss father figure (played by Nick Cordero) who fascinates him. Blake and Cordero share with Lisa their passion for their roles on the stage. Lucia Giannetta (Rosina) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse and Coco Jones (Jane) loves the amount of talent that fills the room envisioning the show being the biggest and the best!

This masterpiece is co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks! Lisa was lucky enough to speak with Zaks about his Off-Broadway experience.

Writer Chazz Palminteri shares with Hip New Jersey his love for the Paper Mill Playhouse stating, “The Paper Mill is literally ‘Broadway’ out here…it’s an incredible theater and if you want to do a great show and you need a space, the Paper Mill is the place to go.” Eight-time Academy Award Winning Composer, Alan Menken agrees with Palminteri saying that, “All the production aspects at Paper Mill are absolutely Broadway caliber.”

Glenn Slater beautifully masters lyrics of this musical and mentions that he is honored to work with heavy hitters like De Niro, Palminteri, Zaks and Menken.

Choreographer and four-time Drama Desk Award nominee Sergio Trujillo shares with Lisa his all-time favorite type of dance: do-op!

Get your tickets today. Visit “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” for more information!

Stay tuned for the 2016-2017 season at the Paper Mill Playhouse.