All posts for the month April, 2013

Westfield’s Hedgehog and Feather Theatre Presents “The Secret Garden”

Published April 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Secret GardenLeft-right, Tom Schaefer, Sara Hedgepeth and Ty Jacobs (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Two Fridays ago I had the honor to interview artistic producer, Sara Hedgepeth, her husband Tom Schaefer, who works on set, and actor/choreographer Ty Jacobs.

Here is my article about the “The Secret Garden” production:

Montclair Museum Event Celebrates Paterson’s ‘Past and Future’

Published April 29, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0731Paterson national park superintendent Darren Boch (left)

with Leonard Zax, president of the Hamilton Partnership

Yesterday I had the pleasure of covering this amazing event at Montclair Museum:

So cool that my former hometown, Montclair, had a featured event on the town I was born in, Paterson!

SAM_0725One of the Paterson inspired pieces by Oscar Bluemner

I honestly wish I had better pictures to post. The event was at a weird time from 12 to 1:30, so I was very hungry for lunch and couldn’t wait to get to Veggie Heaven. Luckily Montclair Museum had healthy Terra chips to hold me over!

All in all, it was a great, gorgeous day! Spring has sprung in New Jersey.

Happy Birthday Tommy James!

Published April 29, 2013 by Maryanne

tommy-james-and-mary-anneTommy James, Maryanne, 2011

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite artists, Tommy James!

In honor of his birthday, I am directing you to a blog I wrote last year on my other blog page, “Maryanne’s Jukebox” which describes my first experience going to see Tommy James perform back in 2010, and at the end includes an article I wrote about him that was published in several Patches online.

I truly feel that seeing Tommy James perform “Crystal Blue Persuasion” live planted a seed in me becoming a Christian. One day I was sitting in my car and heard “Crystal Blue Persuasion” started breaking down in tears and at that moment rededicated my life to Jesus Christ. Then just a few years later, I found my home church.

(Interesting side note, today I found a Christian magazine that needs writers — such a coincidence on Tommy James birthday! I’ll let you know what happens!)

Please enjoy my Jukebox page about Tommy:

Essex Special Skaters 2013

Published April 28, 2013 by Maryanne


Last night my husband Dennis and I had the pleasure of going to see Robby Stutts, son of our dear friends Bob and Marie Stutts, ice skate in the Special Skaters Spring Spectacular, along with other special needs skaters.

It was quite a show! Robbie was fantastic. In fact, he even won medals for his talents! (Here’s a recent article about him and some adorable pictures:

And here is a video of Robby skating from 2012: Robby Stutts

Robby is such a sweet kid and an inspiration! Go Robby!

SAM_0702Robby Stutts and Maryanne

Note: The delicious looking cupcake was made by Robby’s dad, Bob Stutts aka Mr. Fun, Funtime Cakes

You can like Funtime Cakes on Face Book:

SAM_0701Maryanne and Bob Stutts (Robby’s dad)

SAM_0704Robby (far right) and his friends

After the show there was a little party for the skaters with coffee and Bob’s Funtime Cakes. It was so nice to see Bob, Maria and Robby again. All the kids were so adorable and having such a great time. Very inspiring!

Afro-Cuban Festival in Paterson School 24

Published April 27, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0690Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Yesterday I had a very rewarding assignment, interviewing the students who participated in this amazing performance. (It was so cute, the younger ones that I interviewed were calling me “Miss Reporter.” I loved it!)

Here’s the full article, plus a video that someone else took. Enjoy!

Site Stats Through the Roof!

Published April 24, 2013 by Maryanne

site stats

Monday and Tuesday of this week my site stats were higher than ever — practically through the roof!

I almost cringed thinking the reason was for my vent on the ever-so-unprofessional-bad-customer-service-supermarket, Whole Foods. Maybe someone higher up was reading my blog and something would be done — finally?

Uh, no.

Truth be told … all of a sudden several hundred people started reading a blog I wrote last January on Angelyne, the 1980s Billboard Queen:

I was like, Whoa! Why the sudden interest in Angelyne? Did she die?! I hope not!

No, Angelyne is alive and well. But the latest news is that the beauty queen took a tumble:

Amazing that a little old lady falling brought so much attention to my blog! I’m glad she’s okay. I think she’s great. Anyone who spends so much time and effort on their looks in order to keep their persona going after all these years is A-OK in my book. I’ve always admired those walking work of art types, especially since I’m just the opposite, more of a blow and go kinda gal  (well, not so much “blow” anymore, as I haven’t used a blow dryer since Hurricane Sandy!)

Love you Angelyne!


Paterson Teacher Writes Environmental Children’s Book

Published April 24, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0640Author/Teacher Paulette Szalay

Monday I had the honor and pleasure of meeting/interviewing Paulette Szalay, author of “Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville.”

Paulette was such a doll and even autographed a book for my 11-year-old nephew, Matthew.

I was late getting there due to heavy traffic because of an accident, but some kids were allowed to be pulled from their classes so I could talk to them for the article.

Here’s the full article including a link to the website if any one wants to purchase a book:

Doors Legend John Densmore at Vintage Vinyl, Fords, NJ

Published April 24, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0650John Densmore

Over 600 fans waited outside Vintage Vinyl in Fords, New Jersey to meet John Densmore, legendary drummer of the Doors who was there promoting his new book, “The Doors: Unhinged.”

When I got my book signed, Densmore took the time to compliment me on my jacket before he signed my book. “Wow, that’s a great jacket!” he said.

I told him, “It’s an honor to meet you!” and shook his hand.

There’s a limited run on the books, 2500 only. I’m number 662!

I started reading the book last night and it’s super good. He illustrates the finer side of Jim Morrison, the genius that he was, rather than how he was known as a drunk. Also how Jim didn’t want his music used in commercials as a sell-out, he wasn’t in it just for the money. Good stuff and I can’t wait to read more.

SAM_0647My very good friend Johnny and I

(Look at all those CDs and records!)

Note that we didn’t plan this — it was just spur of the moment fun!

RIP Richie Havens

Published April 23, 2013 by Maryanne

Ritchie HavensRichie Havens

Rest in peace to another legend. Richie Havens died of a heart attack on Monday at age 72.

Richie Havens was one of the musical legends that played at Woodstock in 1969, his most famous song, “Freedom.”

My husband Dennis and I had the honor of meeting him a few years ago when he played at Crossroads in Garwood. As we were walking in, he was standing out in front getting a breath of fresh air, so we said hello. He was a very kind man.

Here is his song Freedom to honor him on this sad day:

Richie Havens

And his version of Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

God bless his family, friends and fans in this time of sorrow.

Hooray for Yoga!

Published April 23, 2013 by Maryanne

Richard HittlemanRichard Hittleman, “Yoga for Health”

The first yoga show I watched as a kid in fourth grade!

Hooked ever since!

It’s amazing how stress can have such a negative outcome on your personality and your health.

After having a fantastic Friday, between the stress from the reporting job on Saturday and then the incident at assWhole Foods on Sunday — all the joyful fun stuff that DID happen over the weekend (church, the concert, quality time with my husband, record store gift) — I wasn’t able to fully enjoy because the stress settled in my back, neck, shoulders. I felt so weak, bitchy and not myself.

Yesterday was super busy and I drove in two hour traffic early in the morning with back pain. I had to cover a story in Paterson (this was a positive thing) and then manage my musicians, and then I ended up writing and editing until 8:30 p.m.! I worked so hard in spite of my pain.

Finally I ended my day with some yoga. It’s amazing, just some simple moves and I felt the tension release and the pain dissipate! WOW!

I was like, “Amazing, I feel really good again.” Yoga is part of my health routine, but every day I do a different type of exercise and I guess I kinda neglected my yoga for a couple days.

For the first time in two days I woke up without back pain! I’m so happy because while I love acupuncture and chiropractors, I was having a hard time finding a doctor whose schedule agreed with mine.

I do not like appointments right smack in the middle of the day! It upsets my flow. If I can’t go in the morning, I want to go in the night. I don’t want to be working on a story — then, oh, 2 o’clock, gotta stop and go to acupuncture. No … that ain’t cutting it! When I write, I don’t even stop to breathe sometimes!

So between who doesn’t have an early appointment, who doesn’t have evening hours, and who is closed on the day I’m least busy … YEAH, WHATEVER …

All I can say is hurray for arnica and yoga! Worked like magic and I saved money. I feel like a brand new person, all fresh and good to go.

Happy, healthy day to all!