SOPAC Winter/Spring Calendar Crosses Spectrum of Genre and Talent

by The Village Green
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South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has released its Winter-Spring 2017 calendar which includes performances by Rosanne Cash, Julliard @ SOPAC, The Second City, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, David Sedaris, and many more. The calendar also includes a number of Kids ‘N Family productions such as Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as well as the SOMA Film Festival. Find the full schedule below along with times and ticket prices.

To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at (973) 313-2787 or visit SOPACnow.org. SOPAC is located at 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079.

January 8: American Theater Group: Single, A New Musical (Staged Reading)

Music and lyrics by Karen Bishko
Book by Karen Bishko and Nat Bennett
A punk rock star in the 90s, now a high powered NY divorce attorney. And she’s still looking to find a nice, normal guy for herself.

7PM Tickets: FREE

satisfaction-logoJanuary 13: Satisfaction- The International Rolling Stones Show

Satisfaction-The International Rolling Stones Show is the international touring tribute show to the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band. This Billboard & Pollstar highly rated show is entering its 15th year in production with over 2500 performances listed to their credit. This highly acclaimed production showcases the most authentic cast & costuming of its kind. The likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and cast bring a colorful performance to over 50 years of classic hits.

8PM Tickets: $30-35 

January 14: Comedy @ SOPAC: Tom Papa
Tom Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country finding success in film, television and radio as well as on the live stage. The New Jersey born-and-raised comedian is host of the hit podcast and SiriusXM show, Come to Papa, a weekly, hour-long show.

8PM Tickets: $35

gewirtzman

Tomer Gewirtzman

January 15: Juilliard @ SOPAC: Tomer Gewirtzman, piano

Hailed by The Washington Post as an artist of “formidable virtuosity and stylistic sensitivity,” Israeli pianist Tomer Gewirtzman has impressed audiences around the world.  He performed recitals in London in Steinway Hall and in Paris in the Salle Cortot of the École Normale and with symphony orchestras throughout the world.

3PM Tickets: $15-$20 

mike-griot

Mike Griot

January 15: Blues in the Loft: Hat City Kitchen Contest Winners

Co-hosted by Al Gold and Mike Griot

Hat City Kitchen, the North Jersey Blues Alliance and PWI Entertainment & Media hosted a series of “Live Blues” contests during the Blues Jam Afternoons at Hat City Kitchen in the Fall. The winners of this contest will perform at SOPAC on Sunday, January 15 with the HCK Blues Jam Afternoon House Band!

7PM Tickets: $20 

lionwitchwardrobe1

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

January 21: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Kids ‘N Family)
C. S Lewis’ beloved and magical novel, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, comes to life on the SOPAC stage through dance! The classic story, set in the fictitious Narnia, features all of your favorite characters, Follow them through the land of forever Winter to see if they can break the evil spell cast by The White Witch.

2PM Tickets: $20-$25

January 28: Mammoth Follies (Kids ‘N Family)

This program dramatizes historic and scientific facts (as well as some myths) about the great age of the dinosaur. Enormous puppets populate the stage, including your host Willie Mammoth, Smiley the Saber-Toothed Tiger, Bessie the lovable 27-foot long Apatosaurus, Tony and Trixie Triceratops, Terry the Pterodactyl, and the 11-foot tall T. Rex in a musical trip through pre-history.

2PM Tickets: $20

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The Altezza Piano Trio

January 29: Juilliard @ SOPAC: The Altezza Piano Trio

Launched in 2016, the Altezza Piano Trio began through mutual passion  and dedication for musical collaboration. The trio is dedicated to presenting the jewels of the Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century piano trio repertoire.

3PM Tickets: $15-$20 

greg-bufford

Greg Bufford

January 29: Jazz in the Loft: Greg Bufford and Ty Stevens

Greg Bufford has worked as a professional drummer on the international level with such names as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Weston, Freda Payne, Dakota Staton, Leslie Uggams and many more.

Ty Stephens is an award-winning singer-songwriter and choreographer and also star of the new Off-Broadway hit “On Kentucky Avenue.” As a Jazz vocalist he has appeared with Harry Belafonte, Gregory Hines, Phyllis Hyman, Toshi Kubota, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Phoebe Snow, Smokey Robinson, Jon Hendricks, Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole, Ledisi, Savion Glover and more.

7PM Tickets: $20

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Rosanne Cash (Photo by: Clay Patrick McBride)

February 3: Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal

Singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash’s exciting show celebrates her highly-acclaimed and three time Grammy Award-winning album, The River & the Thread, a collection of original songs that connect and re-connect Rosanne to the American South, the place of her birth and the home of her ancestors. Rosanne follows her acclaimed Grammy Award-nominated and award winning album The List (2009) with her own poetic survey of places and people of the South on these beautiful and varied songs written with her collaborator, musical director, guitarist and husband, John Leventhal. 

8PM Tickets: $55-$70 

February 5: La Cinematheque Film Club : Resnais & Cassavettes Hiroshima My Love (1959) Directed by Alain Resnais

Film Club memberships are $60 and available for sale in advance of a series and through the second film screening as discussions around each film build upon prior events.

An homage to two of the greatest creative spirits in cinema.

Alain Resnais, was a French film director whose career extended over more than six decades. His films frequently explore the relationship between consciousness, memory, and the imagination, and he was noted for devising innovative formal structures for his narratives. Throughout his career, he won many awards from international film festivals and academies. 

American director John Cassavetes was also an actor and screenwriter. He was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.

Additional screenings April 9, May 21, June 25. Visit www.sopacnow.org/resnais-and-cassavetes/ for details. 

2PM Tickets: $60 for a four-film series. 

sierra-leone-all-stars-2

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

February 15: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, they have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands.

7:30PM Tickets: $30-$35

littlemermaidFebruary 18: The Little Mermaid (Kids ‘N Family)

The Little Mermaid follows the dreams of a young girl who believes there is a better life for her out of the water. Of course there’s a handsome prince, an evil baddie and a bucket loads of laughs along the way. With stunning scenery, eye-catching costumes, original songs plus up-to-date chart songs, not forgetting loads of audience participation, this show makes for a thoroughly entertaining family day out.  

2PM Tickets: $18

February 19: Jazz in the Loft: Frank Noviello

Frank Noviello is a true Jazz vocalist adhering to a tradition of swing and spontaneous performance. He has performed and recorded with many of the area’s world class Jazz players and appeared at such notable venues as Birdland, Village Gate, Shanghai Jazz, Kitano, and the Blue Note.

7PM Tickets: $20 

February 24: The Improvised Shakespeare Co.

No written scripts or rehearsals! The Improvised Shakespeare Co. creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your very eyes! All of the dialogue is said for the first time and the characters are created as you watch. And if you’re wondering where the story is going…so are they!

8PM Tickets: $28-$38

February 25: Boogie on the Bayou: A Mardi Gras Celebration featuring Marcia Ball and the Subdudes

Marcia Ball and The Subdudes are sure to astound and delight longtime zydeco music fans and give newcomers plenty of reasons to join this feel-good Mardi Gras Celebration. Marcia Ball mixes Gulf Coast Blues, New Orleans R&B, swampy Louisiana ballads, and jumping, Tex-‐Mex flavored zydeco into a one‐of‐a‐kind musical gumbo. The Subdudes draw most of their inspiration from the sounds of their native New Orleans, blending Blues, Gospel, Funk, and R&B.

8PM Tickets: $45-$65

choo-choo-soul

Choo-Choo Soul

February 26: Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve (Kids ‘N Family)

Genevieve is the hippest of all singing train conductors. Together with DC, her beat boxing, break dancing railroad engineer, Genevieve brings Choo-Choo Soul to South Orange for a show full of soulful renditions of the ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, and all your favorite Disney songs covered with catchy beats. 

1PM & 4PM Tickets: $20

March 4: Aesop Bops! With Storyteller David Gonzalez (Kids ‘N Family)

Fast-paced, funny, and packed with audience participation, Aesop Bops! features a potpourri of Aesop’s classic stories including The Lion and the Mouse, The Fisherman and His Wife, and The Turtle’s Shell. This feast of funky, physical storytelling leaves young audiences feeling like they had just performed the show too! Aesop Bops! rocks, and rolls out the red carpet – inviting your kids to join in the fun.

2PM Tickets: $18

bomsori_kim

Bomsori Kim

March 5: Juilliard @ SOPAC: Bomsori Kim, violin

Bomsori Kim, a young violin sensation from South Korea, is bursting onto the classical music scene with competition wins from around the world. She has appeared with major symphonies ranging from Seoul, to Moscow, to Belgium. Recently she had a great success in the two biggest international competitions, the 15th Tchaikovsky International Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Laureate) in 2015.

3PM Tickets: $15-$20

regina-bonnelli

Regina Bonnelli

March 5: Blues in the Loft: Eliza Neals & Regina Bonelli  “Blonde Ambition Blues”

Eliza Neals is an award-winning sultry and powerful Blues Rock soul vocalist, recording artist, composer, performer, publisher, and producer who has been compared to some of the greats such as Etta James, Janis Joplin, and Ricki Lee Jones. The ‘Detroit Diva’ is the voice of the ‘21st Century blues’ for a new generation.

eliza-neals

Eliza Neals

Inspired by early Blues and R&B legends of the ’60s and ’70s, Regina Bonelli began singing and playing piano at the tender age of five. A fierce dedication to the music has led the singer, songwriter and keyboard player to be voted #8 of the Top 25 Women In Blues by Blues E News magazine. Her recent, all original debut album, Open Up the Door, topped worldwide blues charts and is being played on over 300 radio stations, including Sirius XM BB King’s Bluesville station. It has remained in the Amazon Top 100 Blues Bestsellers chart for almost 2 years. 

7PM Tickets: $20

March 9-12: SOMA Film Festival

Showcasing new, entertaining and innovative films from local, student, domestic and international filmmakers.The following films are just a sample of the diverse work that will be shown throughout the Festival:

Female filmmakers take center stage in these two award-winning documentaries. Cameraperson by Kirsten Johnson and Solitary by Kristin Jacobson. The screenings will be followed by a question and answer session.

The feature film Hear the Silence by Ed Ehrenberg centers on a small group of German soldiers who occupy a settlement of Russian – Germans after WWII. At first welcomed by the villagers, the dynamic slowly changes as a brutal assault causes mistrust and escalating violence.  

Tony Award-winner Reed Birney stars in the short Shy Guys joining the 2016 Academy Award short narrative finalist The Way of the Tea.

For the full schedule (posted after January 10) and more information about the Film Festival visit www.SOMAFilmFestival.com  or www.sopacnow.org/soma-film-festival

Tickets and passes: $25-$85

alborada-dance-company

Alborada Dance Company

March 17: Triple Threat Dance Showcase

Umoja Dance Company, Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre and Nimbus Dance Works bring the excitement of three different styles of dance to the SOPAC stage. The power and infectious rhythms of African drumming and dance, the elegance and passion of Spanish dance, and the grace and beauty of ballet summon a delight to the senses, and an exceptional evening in the SOPAC theatre.

8PM Tickets: $15-$20ab

March 19: Jazz in the Loft: Dave Stryker

Whether you’ve heard Jazz guitarist Dave Stryker leading his own group (with 26 albums recorded to date), co-leading The Stryker/Slagle Band, or as a featured sideman with Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, and many others, you know why the Village Voice calls him “one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years.”

7PM Tickets: $20

March 23: David Lindley & Chris Smither

Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley performs music that redefines the word “eclectic.” Lindley, well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, has long championed the concept of world music. The DavidLindley electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African,Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources.

Chris Smither is a folk/blues singer, guitarist and songwriter who was on the cutting edge of the “blues revival” of the ‘60s. Smither is best known for his great songs, like “Love You Like a Man” and “I Feel the Same,” both of which have been recorded by guitarist Bonnie Raitt.

7:30PM Tickets: $30-$48

vinicius-cantuaria

Vincius Cantuaria

March 24: Vinicius Cantuaria Canta Antonio Carlos Jobim

Spend an evening with the well-known Brazilian singer, guitarist, composer, drummer and percussionist, Vinicius Cantauria. He was the pioneer of neo-Brazilian music in the 1990s, then became one of the most important downtown New York figures, collaborating with artists as eclectic as Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Brad Meldau, Arto Lindsay, and Bill Frisell.

8PM Tickets: $30-$38

March 26: 10,000 Maniacs

10,000 Maniacs is one of the most acclaimed bands of the last three decades. Notorious for their powerful lyricism, performances, and conscious material. The authentic alternative rock band was one of the first pave the way for alternative rock bands on FM Radio.

7:30PM Tickets: $38-$58

March 31: An Evening with POCO

One of the first and longest-lasting Country-Rock groups, Poco had their roots in the dying embers of Buffalo Springfield. Richie Furay and Jim Messina were joined by Rusty Young to form the new group. Poco began performing in Hollywood at clubs like The Troubadour and gained the attention of several record companies. They signed with Epic in the fall of 1968 and released their debut album Pickin’ Up The Pieces, in 1969. Since then, the group has continued to perform with guitarist Rusty Young as the leader and mainstay.

8PM Tickets: $45-$65

oleta_adams

Oleta Adams

April 1: Oleta Adams

Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One, and the impassioned hit single “Get Here,” Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart through songs that draw deeply from her roots in Gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of Soul, R&B and Popular music.

8PM Tickets: $38-$58

April 2: American Theater Group: A Good Farmer (Staged Reading)

Ripped from today’s headlines, a farming community struggles with issues of immigration, loyalty, family, survival and compassion.

7PM Tickets: $20

April 6: David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms & political correctness proves that he is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

[words] Bookstore of Maplewood will make books available for sale in the SOPAC lobby. David Sedaris will be signing books both before and after the mainstage event.

7:30PM Tickets: $48-$78

belafleck_abbywashburn

Abigail Washburn & Béla Fleck

April 7: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

“The King and Queen of the banjo” (Paste magazine) grace SOPAC’s stage with a classic performance. Banjo players Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck have a musical partnership like no other. Béla Fleck is a sixteen-time Grammy Award winner who has taken the instrument across multiple genres and Abigail Washburn a singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player who re-radicalized it by combining it with Far East culture and sounds.  

8PM Tickets: $55-$70

rainbow-fish

Rainbow Fish

April 8: The Rainbow Fish (Kids ‘N Family)
With her lovely coloring and shimmering scales, the Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. A delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others.

2PM Tickets: $18

April 9: La Cinematheque: Resnais and Cassavettes My American Uncle (1980) directed by Alain Resnais

Film Club memberships are $60 and available for sale in advance of a series and through the second film screening as discussions around each film build upon prior events.

An homage to two of the greatest creative spirits in cinema. 
Alain Resnais, was a French film director whose career extended over more than six decades. His films frequently explore the relationship between consciousness, memory, and the imagination, and he was noted for devising innovative formal structures for his narratives. Throughout his career, he won many awards from international film festivals and academies. 

American director John Cassavetes was also an actor and screenwriter. He was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.

Additional screenings May 21, June 25. Visit www.sopacnow.org/resnais-and-cassavetes/ for details.

2PM Tickets: $60 for a four-film series

john-lee

John Lee

April 23: Jazz in the Loft: John Lee & Friends

Join world-renowned Jazz bassist and producer John Lee in what can only be defined as a super-cool Jazz party with the man who’s got the greatest contact list of all time. He has played with all the best, including Gary Bartz, James Moody, McCoy Tyner, Philip Catherine, Joe Henderson, Jasper Van’T Hof, Joachim Kühn, Charlie Mariano, Tete Montoliu, Aldo Romano, Sahib Shihab, Jeremy Steig, Toots Thielemans and many, many more.

In 1984 John Lee began working with Dizzy Gillespie, and now he is the executive director and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars. John Lee is also the artistic director and CEO of the recording label JLP, Jazz Legacy Productions, a label dedicated to the continuance and development of the Jazz art form. 

7PM Tickets: $20

April 30: Blues in the Loft: Mike Griot & Friends Blacks & Blues” A Living History

This internationally-acclaimed bassist and musical director leads an all-star ensemble in a journey through the blues and all of its unique musical destinations. Pulling from his fabulous South Mountain International Blues Festival events, Griot’s performance will present a “blues/soul/rock” cavalcade of premier musicians and performers – all heavyweights in their own regard.

7PM Tickets: $20

May 4: Roger McGuinn

As the founder of The Byrds, Roger McGuinn is firmly established as an indisputable industry icon.  From his signature 12 string Rickenbacker sound, to his instantly recognizable vocals on hits like “Turn,Turn,Turn”,“Eight Miles High”and “Mr. Tambourine  Man,” McGuinn didn’t just make music; he made history.

7:30PM Tickets: $33-$43

May 5: Storm Large with Le Bonheur

With Stormy Love, Storm Large and her vivacious band Le Bonheur make a grand return to the SOPAC stage. The Times (UK) calls her “an intoxicating and unmissable cocktail of power and vulnerability.” Known for her passionate vocal interpretations, and her sizzling stage presence, you will be “taken by Storm” as you experience this sublime and unique performer.

8PM Tickets: $28

happily-ever-after

Happily Ever After

May 6: Happily Ever After (Kids ’N Family)

Get ready to laugh out loud at our hilarious renditions of some of the best stories from the Grimm Brothers’ iconic works. In this (not-so-grim) adventure, our engaging performers transform into Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin and The Elves and the Shoemaker. 

2PM Tickets: $15

kathy-mattea

Kathy Mattea


May 6: “The Acoustic Living Room” Songs and Stories with Kathy Mattea Featuring Bill Cooley

Dynamic duo, Kathy Mattea and longtime collaborator, guitarist, Bill Cooley welcome you into “The Acoustic Living Room” to share stories near and dear to their hearts—including Kathy’s beloved classics such as “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” “Where’ve You Been?,” and many other hits.

8PM Tickets: $33-$43

May 7: Juilliard @ SOPAC: Juilliard Jazz Ensemble

The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and its ensembles play more than 50 performances annually including appearances at the Detroit Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tour to destinations, such as Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, and Brazil. Juilliard Jazz Ensembles perform regularly at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the world-renowned Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.

3PM Tickets: $15-$20

May 12: Second City

Full of the live and in-your-face entertainment Netflix can’t provide, The Second City’s We’re All In This Room Together features improvised comedy, audience interaction, and of-the-moment sketches and songs from the legendary sketch comedy archives made famous by superstars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more. Never the same show twice, join us in the “Room” where it happens during this special engagement, touring January thru August 2017.

8PM Tickets: $30-$45

theweight_band-photo_ac

The Weight

May 13: The Weight

Replicating the music of The Band is a tall order. But interpreting the music of The Band is an art. See The Weight band perform timeless hits such as “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” “Ophelia,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Rag Mama Rag,” and so many others. Come and take a load off. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 8PM Tickets: $27-$38. (973) 313-2787. www.SOPACnow.org

May 21: American Theater Group: A Mind Out of the Gutter (Staged Reading) 

By Erin Mallon. A crotchety senior citizen learns about life and forgiveness from his new neighbor – a precocious 9 year-old.*Ms. Mallon is a New Jersey playwright and resides in Maplewood.

7PM Tickets: $20

June 2: Gaelic Storm

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is looking sharper than ever with their latest release, Matching Sweaters. The new album mixes traditional Irish music with modern influences, creating a sound that’s as wide-ranging as the band’s own audience. Matching Sweaters follows in that hard-working tradition, dishing up all the ingredients fans have come to expect from Gaelic Storm — the drinking songs, sea shanties, furiously-strummed instrumentals and sing-along melodies — while spiking the mix with newer flavors.

8PM Tickets: $35-$48

kelli-ohara-hi-res

Kelli O’Hara

June 16: An Evening with Kelli O’Hara

Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically lauded revival of The King and I recently garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. Since her debut on Broadway she has been universally acclaimed for her golden voice and the beautiful characters she creates in shows such as The Light in the Piazza, The Pajama Game, the revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center and Nice Work If You Can Get It, all garnering her Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Nominations.

8PM Tickets: $58-$78

June 18: American Theater Group: TBA (Staged Reading)

7PM Tickets: $20

To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at (973) 313-2787 or visit SOPACnow.org. SOPAC is located at 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079.

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