SOPAC, located at 1 SOPAC Way in South Orange, has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region since 2006.
"SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment," it says on its website. "The multidisciplinary arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages."
To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at 973.313.ARTS or visit SOPACnow.org.
Fall 2013 performances are as follows:
THU 9/12 at 7:30PM – LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III
Loudon Wainwright III won a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk album with High Wide & Handsome. He appears at SOPAC in support of his 2012 release, Older Than My Old Man Now, which made NPR’s Top 10 Albums of the Year list. Wainwright's songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others. He has collaborated with songwriter/producer Joe Henry on the music for Judd Apatow's hit movie Knocked Up, written music for the British theatrical adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen novel Lucky You, and composed topical songs for NPR's “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” and ABC's “Nightline.”
SUN 9/15 at 7:30PM –NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS
Tickets: $25-$38 / Special VIP Meet & Greet Package $75
North Mississippi Allstars have earned the reputation as one of the most intriguing acts to emerge from the loam of Southern blues and roots rock. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson soaked up the music of their father, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson, and absorbed the North Mississippi legacy while playing and shaking it down in the juke joints with their blues ancestors. Eventually, Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody (drums, vocals) formed the North Mississippi Allstars and pioneered their own brand of blues-infused rock and roll. They released their debut album, Shake Hands With Shorty, in the spring of 2000, earning them a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’. They earned two more Grammy nominations in the same category for 51 Phantom (2001) and Electric Blue Watermelon (2005).
SAT 9/21 at 8:00PM – JOHN SCOFIELD’S ÜBERJAM
John Scofield – Guitar
Andy Hess – Bass
Avi Bortnick – Rhythm Guitar and Samplers
Tony Mason – Drums
After leading and writing for various funky bands in the 80's, and recording and performing with Medeski Martin & Wood in the 90's, Scofield started the Überjam project in 2000. Once he found super rhythm guitarist Avi Bortnick, he played with various bass and drum teams searching for the right chemistry and found it for two cds…Grammy Nominated Überjamand Up All Night. The Überjam sound starts with compositions written for his lead guitar, Avi's funky rhythm guitar and sampled loops in front of electric bass and drums. The project has been reunited in 2013 for the May 2013 release of a new album Überjam Deux, and a worldwide tour.
THU 9/26 at 7:30PM – PAULA POUNDSTONE
Paula Poundstone was the first woman to win an ACE Award for Best Standup Comedy performance and the first woman to be invited to perform at the distinguished White House Correspondents dinner. She has starred in solo specials on HBO and BRAVO and made frequent TV appearances on Letterman & Leno. Attending her performance will leave you marveling at her ability to interact spontaneously with audience members. In conversations bound to garner riotous laughter. Armed with nothing but a stool, a microphone and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula’s ability to create humor on the spot has become the stuff of legend.
FRI 9/27 at 8:00PM – SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE POOR FOOLS
Southside Johnny and The Poor Fools is a stripped down journey through Johnny Lyon's eclectic version of the Great American Songbook. Playing a wide range of music from Dylan, Mose Allison, Muddy Waters, NRBQ, Richard Thompson, Emmylou Harris, The Band, George Jones and more, The Poor Fools also dive into some of the Southside's Asbury Jukes material–revisiting some classics as well as the underperformed deep track.
SAT 9/28 at 8:00PM – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY SINGS THE STREISAND SONGBOOK
"Ann Hampton Callaway's Streisand Songbook evening is a perfect convergence of wonderful things: iconic songs associated with one of the best-loved singers of our time, beautiful orchestrations, and - of course - the gorgeous voice and unmatched musical intelligence of Ann Hampton Callaway." -Keith Lockhart, The Boston Pops
Callaway is one of the leading champions of the great American Songbook, and is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical Swing! and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series “The Nanny.” Callaway is also a Platinum Award winning writer whose songs are featured on six of Barbra Streisand's recent CD's.
9/29 at 7:30PM – ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO & SHELBY LYNNE: AN
EVENING OF STORIES & SONGS
Alejandro Escovedo is a celebrated, versatile, singer songwriter whose punk-rock roots in 70’s San Francisco can still be heard in his roots rock/alternative country style. Alejandro has performed and collaborated with icons Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen. Shelby Lynne is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and jaw-dropping vocalist. She won awarded the Best New Artist Grammy in 2000, with her release I am Shelby Lynne.
THU 10/03 at 7:30PM – JOHN MAYALL WITH SPECIAL GUEST JOHN HAMMOND “AN EVENING OF BRITISH & AMERICAN BLUES”
An incredible evening of British and American Blues! As the elder statesman of British blues John Mayall is renowned as a bandleader, mentor and songwriter. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. 2011 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Winner John Hammond remains one of the world’s premier acoustic blues artists. To date John Hammond has been honored with a total of8 Blues Music Awards and an additional 10 nominations.
WED 10/09 at 7:30PM – TAKE 6
Gospel, A Capella
The most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) celebrates their 25th Anniversary! Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), heralded by Quincy Jones as the "baddest vocal cats on the planet,” is the quintessential a cappela group and model for vocal genius. An intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop. They’ve received praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston.
FRI 10/11 at 8:00PM – JOHN SEBASTIAN & TOM RUSH
An incredible evening with two of America’s finest singer/songwriters. John Sebastian has been thrilling audiences for nearly forty years, and ever since the debut of Lovin’ Spoonful – America’s answer to the British Invasion, Sebastian has remained in-demand as a solo artist, studio musicians, TV/film scorer and songwriter. With top ten hits like, “Do You Believe In Magic,” “Summer In the City,” “Daydream” (to name a few). Tom Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists.
FRI 10/18 at 8:00PM – COLIN QUINN UNCONSTITUTIONAL
“A pleasingly funny amble through American history. Mr. Quinn has always been a little ahead of the curve.” –The New York Times
“Fast, furious and funny! In Quinn we trust.” –New York Daily News
Colin Quinn returns to the stage in Unconstitutional where he tackles 226 years of American Constitutional calamities in 70 minutes. On May 25th, 1787, fifty-five delegates in wigs and tights sat down to create a country from scratch. In 2013, Colin Quinn offers his unique comedic perspective on our national character. From predator drones to the Kardashians, he pulls no punches in asking if this is what the founding fathers planned.
SAT 10/19 at 8:00PM – GIANTS OF JAZZ: HONORING 2013 JAZZ MASTER GARY BARTZ Jazz
by SOPAC, The Baird and the Village of South Orange
Produced by John Lee & Jazz Legacy Productions
Tickets: $50, $60, $100*/ Seniors 65+ and Students: $40, $50, $90* (*Premium ticket includes post-show reception (limited availability) “premier (jazz) festival in the state.” – New York Times
“[Giants of Jazz] is easily one of the top jazz show of the year...anywhere.” – Star Ledger
In 1998, the cream of the jazz world came to take part in Giants of Jazz, an amazing standing-room-only performance. Now in its sixteenth year, Giants of Jazz has become an annual music phenomenon – literally a one-night festival that has established South Orange as a major New Jersey venue for world-class jazz.
A Giants of Jazz highlight each year is the presentation of the South Orange Jazz Masters Award to a distinguished artist whose creativity has had a major impact on jazz performance and/or education. Previous recipients include renowned musicians George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Benny Powell, Dr. Billy Taylor, Frank Foster and Marian McPartland, and Slide Hampton.
MON 11/04 + TUE 11/05 at 7:30PM – IRELAND: THE SHOW
Irish Music & Dance
Direct from Ireland, Ireland: The Show is an innovative and exciting new Celtic production celebrating the very best of Irish heritage and culture—showcased by a cast of world champion Irish Dancers, Musicians and Singers. The show kicks off with a whirlwind of energy, as the musicians create lively tunes, pushing the dancers to new levels of artistic expression, and transporting old traditions from the Irish fireside to the international stage. The expressive language of dance ranges from a gliding shimmer of subtle soft shoe choreography to pounding dramatic hard shoe steps. The execution of seemingly effortless high kicks is married perfectly with modern polish, Irish charm and dazzling Vegas-style Celtic costumes. As the old Irish proverb relates, “There are no Strangers here, only friends you haven’t met.”
FRI 11/08 at 8:00PM – JIM BREUER
With over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience, Jim Breuer remains one of today’s top entertainers and continues to win over audiences with his off-the-wall humor and lovable personality. Named one of Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time," Breuer is one of the most recognizable comedians in the business, known for his charismatic stage antics, dead-on impressions, and family-friendly stand-up. In addition to keeping busy on his current comedy tour, Breuer can be heard on his weekly Sirius/XM Radio show “Fridays with Breuer,” featuring guests such as Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Dennis Leary, and Jeff Foxworthy.
SAT 11/09 at 8:00PM – BETTYE LAVETTE
"Ms. LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation's most vital soul singer." - The New York Times Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette has been performing her soulful blues for more than 50 years. She possesses a voice that compels you to listen to every word she says, sings or writes; rough, tender, sensuous and soaring – it is an instrument of inspiration. Her 2011 album Interpretations: British Rock Songbook was Grammy nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Betty has been incredibly busy as of late, touring with Robert Plant, dueting with Jon Bon Jovi at The Obama Inaugural Celebration at The Lincoln Memorial, and performing with Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr at Radio City Music Hall.
THU 11/14 at 7:30PM - DAR WILLIAMS
The critically acclaimed singer/songwriter has enjoyed a 15 year career which began when Joan Baez, an early fan of her music, took her out on the road and recorded several of her songs. In 1995, two years after self-releasing The Honesty Room, she signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment, beginning a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Along with her six studio albums — also including The Green World(2000) and The Beauty of the Rain (2003), each amply represented on the balanced Many Great Companions — she's also released the onstage documentary Out There Live (2001) and the DVD Live at Bearsville Theater (2007). At the core of Williams' work is a belief in the innate ability of people to make a better world, the product of countless observations in her travels and conversations with her fans.
FRI 11/15 at 8:00PM – DAVID BROMBERG QUINTET
Renowned for his jubilant, loose-limbed concerts, David’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 a raucous big band or hold an audience silent with a 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.
SAT 11/16 at 8:00PM – MAVIS STAPLES
Soul/gospel legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. VH1 named her one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She won the 2011 Grammy Award for You Are Not Alone (produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) for Best Americana Album. He also produces her new album, One True Vine, (June 25th - Anti- Records), which features new compositions by Tweedy and Nick Lowe, plus covers of Lowe, Funkadelic, and more.
FRI 11/22 at 8:00PM – ROBERT KLEIN
For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences, and he continues to have an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television, and in film. Born in the Bronx, he was a member of the famed “Second City” theatrical troupe in Chicago. He was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album of the Year” for his albums Child of the Fifties and Mind Over Matter. He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical They’re Playing Our Song. He costarred in the hit NBC Series “Sisters,” had recurring roles on TV’s “Law and Order,” and appeared multiple times on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
SUN 11/24 at 7:30PM – THE KLEZMATICS with special guest JOSHUA NELSON: BROTHER MOSES SMOTE THE WATER
The Klezmatics and Joshua Nelson join forces to explore the complexity of Jewish identity, Black identity, and human identity. This vibrant and rousing live performance alternates between age-old Hebrew Passover songs, Nelson's own brand of kosher gospel, and traditional Yiddish anthems. The Klezmatics are the world-renowned and Grammy-winning superstars of the klezmer world. They erupted out of New York City's East Village in 1986 and revitalized klezmer for the new century. Joshua Nelson, an African-American Jew known as the Prince of Gospel Music, has been praised by critics across the world for his unique voice, which bears a strong resemblance to the legendary singer Mahalia Jackson's passionate vocal stylings.
SAT 11/30 at 11:00AM + 1:00PM – THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR & OTHER ERIC CARLE FAVORITES
Tickets: $25. Kids 12 & Under: $20
The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia has set as one of its goals exposing young children to theater and inspiring in them a love of reading and storytelling. Featuring literature author and illustrator Eric Carle,The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a triple-bill performance that includes an assortment of favorite Eric Carle puppet characters. Enjoy the adventures of the magical transformations of Little Cloud, a chameleon’s trip to the zoo, and the progression of a little caterpillar into a lovely butterfly. Colorful performances of these characters come to life on stage with the Mermaid Theatre’s use of black light, providing a unique and vibrant experience.
SUN 12/01 at 2:00PM & 5:00PM – THE NUTCRACKER FEATURING NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET Dance, Family
E.A. Hoffmann’s fairy tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, first premiered in 1892. New York Theatre Ballet’s production is the only hour-long Nutcracker presented by a professional troupe in the metro area. It is perfectly suited to the attention span of younger audience members, yet sophisticated enough for the most discerning adult.
THU 12/05 at 7:30PM – CHERISH THE LADIES: A CELTIC CHRISTMAS
Irish, Folk, Festive
Taking their name from a traditional Irish jig, Cherish The Ladies share timeless Irish traditions with audiences worldwide. The Ladies perform classic Christmas carols, in their signature arrangements highlighting unique Celtic instrumentation, beautiful harmonies and spectacular step-dancing.
FRI 12/06 at 8:00PM – DAVID BENOIT – “A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS”
A wonderful holiday program conceived by Grammy nominated Jazz pianist David Benoit that will also feature some of his popular hits. The show features the music from the original hit television show "A Charlie Brown Christmas" performed by David Benoit and his trio with guest vocalist Selina Albright. While primarily focusing on the music of Vince Guaraldi, the original composer of the show, Benoit and the trio also feature new original music, (Benoit was the composer of the last several episodes,) and music from "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" the hit Broadway musical. There are short video clips from the original show that will sure to bring back fond memories. A local children’s choir will also join David for a portion of the concert, sure to be a touching, sweet moment! "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a family friendly, hip jazz show that is warm and entertaining.
SAT 12/07 at 8:00PM – RICHARD LEWIS
Richard Lewis holds the honor of being named by Comedy Central one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and he was charted on GQ Magazine’s list of the ’20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists’. Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a commanding, compelling art form. His early career as a stand-up brought him to the top of his ranks. Over time and through a variety of mediums, he broadened his exposure and more and more came on board to appreciate his brilliantly warped world. With scores of diverse guest acting appearances in TV series and films, the closest to his heart was his four year run in ABC's critically acclaimed series "Anything But Love," co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Lewis co-wrote and starred in the cult classic film Diary of a Young Comic, which first aired on NBC in the "Saturday Night Live" time slot at its highest ratings period. Late night TV viewers and media junkies are familiar with his frequent guest appearances. He may hold the title to having the most late night appearances, chalking up well over 100 appearances with Dave, Jay, Conan, Jon, Stern, Ferguson and Maher.
SUN 12/08 3:00PM – HOLIDAY JOY FROM THE JUILLIARD JAZZ ENSEMBLE, WITH GUEST VOCALIST ALICIA OLATUJA
The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble lights up the stage once again at SOPAC, with an exciting performance of swinging holiday classics. This year’s performance will also feature renowned vocalist Alicia Olatuja, praised by The New York Times for her “strong, lustrous tone.”
FRI 12/13 at 3:30 & 6:30PM – MAX & RUBY IN THE NUTCRACKER SUITE
Ballet, Children, Festive
Max & Ruby bring to life a wonderful tradition this holiday season as they take to the stage their most magical performance yet! Inspired by one of the greatest musical scores ever composed - Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite - the beloved bunny siblings star in Koba Entertainment’s brand new musical production.
SAT 12/14 at 8:00PM – SPANISH HARLEM ORCHESTRA “SALSA NAVIDAD”
Latin Jazz, Festive
Since its original conception by producer Aaron Levinson in 2000, the Grammy Award Winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra (SHO) has established itself as a standard bearer of contemporary Latin music. Directed by world-renowned pianist, arranger, and producer Oscar Hernández, the thirteen-member all-star ensemble has reintroduced the classic sounds of New York City Salsa to music lovers worldwide. In their brand new holiday program, Salsa Navidad, SHO will put their invigorating Latin flare on classic holiday songs and take their rhythmic seduction to the next level.
SUN 12/22 at 7:30PM – GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA “IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD”
Big Band Jazz
It’s time to get ‘In the Christmas Mood’ as the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra breaks open the vault of holiday music. As well as the Miller Christmas hits ‘Jingle Bells‘ and ‘Sleigh Ride‘, you’ll hear other Christmas classics, as well as popular Glenn Miller favorites including: ‘In the Mood‘, ‘Moonlight Serenade‘, ‘American Patrol‘, ‘Little Brown Jug‘ and ‘Tuxedo Junction‘. The most popular and sought after big band in the world today! With its unique jazz sound, the present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.