The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has an extremely rich and varied roster of shows this month, ranging from rockers Jefferson Starship to comedian Ralphie May, to jazz, Portuguese fado, dance, and much more.
Newly added is a special Christmas show on November 23 by the renowned Blind Boys of Alabama. Formed in the late 1930s, the group has won five Grammy Awards and four Gospel Music Awards.
To order tickets to shows online, visit the SOPAC website or call the Box Office at (973) 313-2787.
Here is this month’s programming:
THU 11/06 at 7:30PM – JEFFERSON STARSHIP
Jefferson Starship, founded by Rock Hall of Fame inductee Paul Kantner (who also founded Jefferson Airplane) and David Friedberg (who also founded Quicksilver Messenger Service), soar into their 40th year, carrying one of rock music’s greatest legacies and halcyon repertoires. The group’s music is the soundtrack of a generation including the smash hits “Somebody to Love,” “White Rabbit,” and “We Built This City.” Recent television specials on PBS and HDNet have only furthered the legendary band’s following. As genuine American good will ambassadors, they have appeared in 30 countries on 4 continents, including Brazil, Japan, Israel, and Serbia at the invitation of the American Embassy.
FRI 11/07 at 8PM – RALPHIE MAY
Since his debut on the very first season of Last Comic Standing, audiences just can’t get enough of this larger-than-life comedian. Ralphie May has a no nonsense point of view and the ability to connect with diverse audiences by pointing out society’s hypocrisies. Ralphie doesn’t shy away from touchy topics or ethnic jokes, nor does he bite his tongue when society suggests, because he sincerely believes that as long as what he’s saying is true, people need to hear it. Voted one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Comics to Watch,” Ralphie recently released his record-setting fourth one-hour special for Comedy Central titled “Too Big To Ignore,” proving that his relatable comedic genius is in higher demand than ever.
SAT 11/08 at 8PM – DAVID BROMBERG BIG BAND
Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Big Band
With a stage full of incredible talent and no set list, the freewheeling David Bromberg Big Band concerts have become the stuff of legends. Bromberg’s sensitive and versatile approach to guitar-playing is steeped in the folk and blues traditions. He’s played with everyone, toured everywhere, and he can lead his raucous big band or hold an audience silent with solo acoustic blues. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, ultimately playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, and Carly Simon.
SUN 11/09 at 7:30PM – ANA MOURA
World Music, Portugese Fado
Moura has a voice “made for melodrama…aesthetically thrilling and emotionally heartbreaking.” Described by Examiner as “a torch singer with Mediterranean qualities,” exquisite vocalist Ana Moura possesses a sound unlike any other in fado. Her voice strolls freely through the Portuguese tradition, flirting elegantly with pop and broadening the soul-bearing genre to stunning results. The BBC raves, “her melancholic intimacy dominates the moment it sashays out of the speakers…setting a mood of mesmerizing sorrow.”
The artist released her seventh full length album, Desfado, in 2013, which was voted the Best World Music Recording of the Year by The Sunday Times of Lisbon.
THU 11/13 at 7:30PM – CAROLYN DORFMAN DANCE COMPANY: THE LEGACY PROJECT A Dance of Hope
“Emotionally “resonant.” -The New York Times
“Ingenious and powerful.” -The Star-Ledger
Acclaimed choreographer and storyteller Carolyn Dorfman has created an exultant “dance-theatre” trilogy that joins us through our common human experience. Told through the lens of the Holocaust and its unspeakable devastation, hope inspires the journey to a land that promises new beginnings! Through trials and triumphs, families are torn apart and come together. Our deepest desires for peace, freedom and family are illuminated in this triumphant work that will make you cry, laugh, think and celebrate the capacity of the human spirit to rise above all circumstance. On the heels of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the infamous “Night of Broken Glass” the evening concludes with “Yesterday’s Story is Today’s Reality”, a panel discussion with the artists and Seton Hall professors, clergy, and guests.
FRI 11/14 at 8PM – GET THE LED OUT, THE AMERICAN LED ZEPPELIN
Classic Rock, Tribute
The premiere Led Zeppelin tribute band returns to the SOPAC stage! Dubbed by the media as “The American Led Zeppelin,” Get The Led Out have captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brought it to the concert stage for a live experience like you’ve never heard before. Get The Led Out is a Philadelphia-based group consisting of six veteran musicians who are intent on re-creating Led Zeppelin’s songs in all their depth and glory with the studio overdubs that Led Zeppelin themselves never performed. When you hear three guitars on the album, Get The Led Out delivers three guitarists on stage. No wigs or fake English accents, Get The Led Out brings just what the audience wants…a high energy Zeppelin concert with an honest, heart-thumping intensity.
SAT 11/15 at 8PM – NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY
Award-winning composer, lyricist, and producer, Neil Berg brings the country’s number one touring Broadway concert to SOPAC. 100 Years of Broadway recreates the greatest moments from the finest shows of the century featuring the stars of shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, CATS, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll & Hyde. These amazing performers light up the stage with songs from the hit shows in which they starred. Neil Berg presents brilliantly revived arrangements of Broadway showstopper classics as well as thrilling numbers from Broadway’s newest hit shows.
SUN 11/16 at 7:30PM- RACHELLE FERRELL
Singer-Songwriter, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Rachelle Ferrell is unquestionably one of the most dynamic talents in contemporary pop music. Very few vocal artists in the industry have Ferrell’s potent combination of range, phrasing, and musicianship. Ferrell first emerged in the United States in 1992 with her R&B debut Rachelle Ferrell, a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing titled “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This.” It was with the release of First Instrument in 1994 (recorded prior to Rachelle Ferrell) that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell’s jazz sensibilities. Ferrell has worked with some of the top names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, George Benson, and George Duke.
FRI 11/21 at 8PM – THE WEIGHT, CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF LEVON HELM AND THE BAND, Featuring members of “THE BAND”, Levon Helm Band & Rick Danko Group
Replicating the music of The Band is a tall order. But interpreting the music of The Band is an art. Songs that have reverberated across history for decades continue to speak to millions of us. And The Weight, a five-piece ensemble featuring Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante from The Band, Brian Mitchell and Byron Isaacs of the Levon Helm Band and Marty Grebb, who worked with Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of The Band, remains a vehicle through which we can continue to share those stories and dance to those back beats. Come and take a load off.
SAT 11/22 at 2PM – THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS
Kids ‘N Family, Musical Theatre
A highly amusing and moving musical about Danny, a boy who absolutely cannot stand to eat peas! When a crafty monster appears underneath his kitchen table, Danny is ready to make a deal… Danny agrees, if the monster will eat his peas, he will surrender any of his possessions. First, it’s his soccer ball, then, it’s his bike. But, when the monster raises the stakes, will Danny refuse the monster and make the difficult decision to face his own fears? Prepare to be entertained and engaged by this wonderfully written tale about the value of will power.
SUN 11/23 at 7PM – THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA
Tickets: $45, $55, $65
Since 2000, the group has won five Grammy Awards, four Gospel Music Awards, and has delivered their spiritual message to countless listeners. Formed in the late 1930s at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, the group has harmonized throughout the turbulent twentieth century and well into the twenty-first, from Jim Crow through Civil Rights and into the Obama era. The Blind Boys of Alabama are touring in support of their most recent album, I’ll Find a Way, produced by Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver). A unique collaboration between one of popular music’s longest-running acts and one of its fastest-rising stars, it is a powerful collection of gospel and spiritual songs new and old.
SAT 11/29 at 8PM- GIANTS OF JAZZ, HONORING MCCOY TYNER
Join us at this annual celebration! Honoree McCoy Tyner will be joined by some of the greatest names in jazz in this star-studded night of music. Check www.SOPACnow.org for the most up-to-date list of musicians performing that evening. Presented by SOPAC, Village of South Orange, and the Baird.