Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Entertainment guru to visit Ketchum

Ernstoff will be nexStage Theatre artist-in-residence


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Artist-in-residence Jeffrey Ernstoff will perform at the nexStage Theatre and give workshops for Wood River Valley students. Photo by

Jeffrey Ernstoff is a classic showman. The New York City-based writer and musician will bring his talent, heart and musical wisdom to the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum for a week beginning Monday, Sept. 21.

Ernstoff is former creative director for Radio City Entertainment in New York, a member of the Writer's Guild of America and a three-time National Endowment for the Arts fellow. His material has been used on major television and cable television networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC and HBO.

"When I went to Cambridge to study at Harvard, I saw street theater and musicians in Harvard Square," Ernstoff said. "I thought, 'I could do that,' and it led to an off-Broadway production."

In addition, his work has been featured at Boston's Symphony Hall, the White House, Fortune Magazine Global Forum in Delhi, India, and Special Olympics World Games in the U.S. in Boise, as well as in Ireland and China. His recent comedy and musical performances have included Programs Jazz at Lincoln Center and at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles.

"My one-man show, 'Exactly One Hour with An Unstable American Musician,' draws on my many experiences such as at Harvard, Radio City and the New York City subway," Ernstoff said. "I have been held by the FBI as a suspected terrorist because of my musical instruments."

Ernstoff will be an artist-in-residence in the Wood River Valley and will give lectures as well as conduct three musical workshops to students at Wood River High School, Wood River Middle School and The Community School. The workshops "Behind the Scenes: An Insider's Guide to TV, Movies, Theater, the Super Bowl and All That Jazz," "How Music Really Works" and "Making Music" are all part of the nexStage Theatre's 2009 education outreach program.

"Kids are remarkably engaged no matter what the setting," Ernstoff said. "The most productive efforts are the ones that embrace the whole family. When parents bring kids to shows, they walk away with something they can discuss together."

Ernstoff said his solo show has adult material, but it's entertainment that kids over 15 will enjoy. However, the entertainment is not just for kids. Ernstoff will also perform a show, "Gershwin: The Music and the Stories Behind It," on Tuesday, Sept. 22, and Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. The performance will be $20 and $10 for students.

Ernstoff will perform his one-man cabaret act, "Exactly One Hour with An Unstable American Musician," Thursday, Sept. 24, through Saturday, Sept. 26, at the nexStage Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $40 for reserved seating. For details, call 726-9124 or e-mail nexStage@hotmail.com.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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