Triangle toasts the Garden State What do Bruce Springsteen, pharmaceutical companies, and cranberry bogs have in common? They've all called New Jersey home, and consequently, they'll all be lampooned in the Princeton Triangle Club's new revue, A Turnpike Runs Through It , playing Nov. 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. at McCarter Theatre.


The show follows a bus tour through the Garden State, led by two expert guides, and no subject is off limits - Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson 1879, even Washington crossing the Delaware. "We're touching on just about everything we can find," said club president Kelvin Dinkins ’09, "and ultimately, this writers' workshop has made it all funny." Dinkins, back row, fourth from left in the photo above, will fill several roles, including a cheerleader, a first-grader, a talk-show host, and, in the club's traditional all-male kickline, the most famous Jersey girl of all (though legally a resident of New York), the Statue of Liberty. In addition to a strong group of returning cast members, the fall show will mark the debut of 14 talented Triangle freshmen. Of the newcomers, Dinkins said, "I think the audience will be wowed." The professional staff of this year's production draws on four accomplished Triangle alumni -- director Glen Pannell ’87, choreographer Hans Kriefall ’87, music director Peter Mills ’95, and costume designer David Kaley ’97. In late January, the club will take Turnpike on the road with a tour of the southeastern United States. Planned stops include Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, and four Florida performances in Tampa, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Naples. Tour information is available on the Triangle Club Web site . Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Fresh starts for men's, women's basketball

At Princeton basketball's media day Nov. 6, new men's head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 was tight-lipped about his team's starting lineup, focusing instead on his goal of continuous improvement. "If we're better today than we were yesterday, you're talking to a happy coach," Johnson said. So is he happy now? "I'm fairly happy," he said. "I do think I'd be worried if I felt like this is our best basketball right now." Three starters -- Kyle Koncz ’08, Marcus Schroeder ’10, and Lincoln Gunn ’10 -- return for the Tigers, along with key reserves Noah Savage ’08, Zach Finley ’10, and Mike Strittmatter ’09. Penn, the defending Ivy champion, lost three starters to graduation, including All-Ivy players Ibby Jaaber and Mark Zoller, and Cornell, Yale, and Columbia are positioned to be strong challengers this year. Princeton, which was 2-12 in the league last season, aims to join that group. The men play two home games (Nov. 11 vs. Central Connecticut and Nov. 14 vs. Iona) before facing Duke at the EA Sports Maui Invitational Nov. 19. On the women's side, new coach Courtney Banghart named her starters for Princeton's opening game at Maryland Nov. 9: Meg Cowher ’08, Whitney Downs ’09, Caitlin O'Neill ’09, Ali Prichard ’08, and Tani Brown ’10. Of the five, Brown has the least experience, appearing in just 11 games as a freshman, but Banghart hopes that her strong front line can carry the team in its early games. Cowher had a record-setting season in 2006-07, scoring 496 points (17.7 per game) to break the Tigers' single-season high, set by Sandi Bittler ’90 in 1989. Banghart thinks that her star forward's best is yet to come, thanks to her improvement on left-handed post moves. "She has a much more diverse arsenal now," Banghart said. "When someone who is your star also is one of your best workers and is very coachable, that's a deadly combination. She is both of those things." This season, the Tigers will face a challenging non-league schedule as they prepare for Ivy play, with home games against California (Dec. 8), Rutgers (Dec. 12), Syracuse (Dec. 16), and Vanderbilt (Jan. 5).

Jadwin's wild side

With the exception of the players themselves, few students are more excited about the start of basketball season than Jamie Blackburn ’08, Jakob Deitch ’08, and Dave Valentine ’08, leaders of the Jadwin Jungle student cheering section. In October and November, the three seniors canvassed the eating clubs and residential colleges to recruit this year's crop of rowdy Princeton rooters. Getting students to sign up is not too difficult (Jungle members get a free T-shirt -- orange and white tie-dye this year), and getting them to show up for a few games is no problem (free pizza is served before tip-off). But to build a consistently strong cheering section, you need a strong core of fans who feel invested in the team, Blackburn said, and "winning helps." Last year, the men's team's 2-12 record in Ivy games took its toll on turnout in the Jungle. A new season and a new coach have restored some of the excitement, and even if championship play does not return to the court, the three stalwart cheerleaders have learned to devote their energy to more creativity in the bleachers. They've helped to develop a few lasting gimmicks -- yelling "off the hook" when a Tiger sinks a hook shot, falling backward when a Princeton defender draws a charge, and waving cafeteria trays for 3-pointers (or "treys") — but Valentine's favorite idea has remained elusive. "We'd like to get a door so we can hold it up for backdoor [lay-ups]," he explained, "but we haven't figured that one out yet."

Early 'Winter'

Kut Akdogan ’10, left, and Sara-Ashley Bischoff ’09, rehearse a scene from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale , the fall show of Princeton University's Program in Theater and Dance, which debuts at the Berlind Theatre Nov. 9. New York-based director and choreographer Tracy Bersley, a lecturer in the theater and dance program, will direct the production's five performances, Nov. 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17, at 8 p.m. Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

More at PAW Online

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