May 16, 2013 View All News

NJPAC Announces Its 2013-14 Season



Performance Highlights Include:
Motown Legends Diana Ross, The O’Jays, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson,
The Temptations and The Four Tops

An NJPAC Exclusive — Up Close and Personal: On Stage with Alan and Marilyn Bergman

Pop Performances by Current Broadway Sensation Cyndi Lauper, Grammy®-winners Johnny Mathis and Kenny Rogers

Cirque Eloize, Black Violin and Cinderella Remix to Delight Family Audiences

Gospel Stars Mary Mary, BeBe Winans and Kirk Franklin

A Special Collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra on
The Music of Led Zeppelin

Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City featuring Naughty by Nature, Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Sheila E., Shaggy, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, The Ohio Players, Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue and Richard Bona with Mandekan Cubano

Seven Unique Concerts to Highlight American Song Series

Holidays Celebrated through Dance, Including Performances of An Ellington Christmas: The Ellington Nutcracker with Savion Glover and a Celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by
Dance Theatre of Harlem

The TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival and an Expanded Jazz Season under the Direction of Grammy®-winning Bassist and Composer Christian McBride

A Focus on Russian Artists in the Bank of America Classical Series

(May 16, 2013) Newark, NJ – John Schreiber, NJPAC’s president and CEO, and David Rodriguez, Executive Producer of the Arts Center, announced today NJPAC’s 2013-14 season. Beginning Thursday, July 7, the season is the Arts Center’s most diverse and engaging yet. With 78 performances scheduled in the acoustically superb Prudential Hall, Victoria Theater, Chase Room and outdoors in Theater Square, by artists ranging from Motown legends to the world’s top orchestras; from hip-hop violinists to comedic geniuses; from leading dance companies to world music superstars; and from jazz icons to engaging family artists, NJPAC’s 17th season has something for everyone. And this is only the beginning. In a strategy inaugurated last year by Schreiber and Rodriguez, NJPAC will add more than 60 additional performances throughout the season as well as a variety of special events.

“We had tremendous success in the current season adding a multitude of new performances all year long,” said Schreiber. “We were able to take advantage of unique booking opportunities that came up to add exciting programming that audiences really responded to. The world-class artists announced today are the backbone of the new season, and we plan to add dozens of more presentations as the season progresses."

“In terms of program diversity, what Carnegie Hall, the Beacon Theater and The Apollo are to New York, NJPAC is all that and more to New Jersey audiences, all while providing important educational opportunities for young people linked to most performances,” said Rodriguez.

Summer 2013
This summer at NJPAC will be its busiest programming season yet, with six mainstage pop performances and the return of Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City. The 2013-14 season kicks off on July 7 when Cyndi Lauper, fresh off of her Broadway triumph with “Kinky Boots,” makes her NJPAC debut on her new She’s So Unusual Tour, which includes a full performance of her 1983 debut LP as well as a variety of other hits from her career.

Detroit invades NJPAC this summer with three of the golden age of Motown’s greatest stars, made possible by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Diana Ross – who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, was named “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard, and is listed in the Guinness World Records as “the most successful female music artist in history” – will fill Prudential Hall on August 16 with her hits and her legion of loyal fans. On August 23, Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famers The O’Jays, who topped the charts with timeless hits like “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train” and “I Love Music.” will share the stage with eight-time Grammy®-winning “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, the impassioned song stylist behind hits like “Every Beat of My Heart,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

NJPAC also looks to the Caribbean islands this summer, with a July 21 Prudential Hall performance by one of the world’s leading zouk bands. For more than three decades, Kassav’ has combined elements of kompa, salsa and calypso to form its distinctive, pan-Caribbean sound. And two of contemporary reggae’s top stars, Beres Hammond and Luciano, will make their NJPAC debuts in a shared bill in Prudential Hall on August 3. Known for his “lovers rock” style of reggae and his soulful voice, Hammond’s recent CD, One Love, One Life, topped the Billboard Reggae charts in 2012.

Coming off its most popular summer ever in 2012, with between 4,000 and 6,000 attendees each Thursday night, Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City, NJPAC’s free, outdoor concert series, returns to the Arts Center’s Theater Square as a community event that offers attendees a taste of what they can expect to hear on the mainstage in the upcoming season. With reggae, funk, Latin music, world music, hip-hop, soul and pop on the bill, Thursday evenings (5-10pm) at NJPAC between July 11 and August 29 will showcase many of the hottest artists in a variety of genres. Leading off on July 11 will be the return of the popular Rhythm Revue Dance Party with Felix Hernandez, complete with a dance floor and all the grooves heard each week on Hernandez’s popular radio show. Grammy®-winning local hip-hop royalty Naughty By Nature headlines the July 18 Sounds of the City concert. Last summer, group leader Treach whipped the crowd into a frenzy during his cameo appearance with Big Daddy Kane. Composer, keyboardist and founding member of the quintessential funk collective Parliament Funkadelic, New Jersey native Bernie Worrell brings his orchestra to Newark (July 25) for a night of rock, funk and jazz fusion. On August 1, percussionist and vocal pop star Sheila E., a former member of Prince’s band, will perform a solo set of songs from her CD The Glamorous Life in addition to other hits. Grammy®-winning reggae star Shaggy, whose hits include “Bombastic,” “It Wasn’t Me” and “O Carolina,” brings some island spice to Theater Square on August 8 with songs from his hot selling string of albums. Widely considered the standard bearer of contemporary Latin music, the Grammy®-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra returns to Newark on August 15 with its classic New York salsa. The Ohio Players, one of the busiest touring bands in the business, will have concert-goers grooving on August 22 to their 1970s street funk and underground R&B hits, including #1 hits “Love Rollercoaster” and “Fire.” Rounding out the summer series on August 29 will be Cameroonian singer, composer and bass player and bandleader Richard Bona with Mandekan Cubano.

American Song
NJPAC’s enhanced American Song series includes six intimate concerts in The Chase Room and one triumphant return to Prudential Hall. Starting the series off with a sizzle on November 2, Tony DesSare makes his NJPAC cabaret debut with an evening entitled Making Love Songs. The program will include his romantic, swinging and sensual originals and his vibrant interpretations of the Great American Songbook. On November 24, nine-time Tony® Award-winning “Living Landmark” Tommy Tune brings his solo cabaret show, Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales to NJPAC, taking an autobiographical tour through his auspicious career in song and dance, set to personal renditions of standards by Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Burt Bacharach, the Gershwins, and more.

On December 13 in an NJPAC exclusive, producer Michael Kerker, director of Musical Theatre for ASCAP, moderates Up Close and Personal: On Stage with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, an evening with the Bergmans, lyricists and winners of three Oscars® and multiple Emmy® and Grammy® awards. Kerker will lead the audience in an intimate look inside this musical couple’s creative songwriting process on hits such as “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “It Might Be You,” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” A special guest vocalist will perform some of the duo’s best loved songs, and audiences can expect Alan Bergman himself to sing.

Conceived and hosted by WBGO Jazz 88.3’s Michael Bourne, My Jazzy Valentine: Jazz and the American Songbook (February 8, 2014) features jazz and cabaret vocalists Hilary Kole (the evening’s music director), Christopher Gines and LaTanya Hall, who carry the tunes as Bourne guides the audience through his handpicked selection of romantic jazz standards—from “Misty” by Erroll Garner, “Round Midnight” by Thelonious Monk, “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn, and many more hits by Duke Ellington and Fats Waller. KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler, cabaret’s dynamic duo, return to The Chase Room on March 22, 2014 to host A Swell Party – RSVP Cole Porter, a celebration of the witty, romantic and sometimes naughty words and music of the supreme musical sophisticate of the 20th century. In his NJPAC debut, Tony®-nominated Norm Lewis (for his role as Porgy opposite Audra McDonald in Broadway’s recent The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) lends his rich baritone to an eclectic set of Broadway tunes and American pop standards on May 3, 2014. Audiences will also recognize Lewis from TV, where he is currently starring opposite Kerry Washington on ABC’s hit series Scandal.

On March 1, 2014, NJPAC Hall hosts two-time Tony® Award winner Patti LuPone, who has been called “American musical theater’s greatest living star,” and Mandy Patinkin, one of Broadway’s most accomplished leading men in addition to his starring roles on TV (Homeland) and film, for An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. The two friends join forces for a concert of medleys and duets that they have performed together around the globe.

Whether modern or traditional, percussive or fluid, NJPAC has always presented the world’s top dance companies and choreographers. This season, NJPAC expands its dance offerings and celebrates multiple holidays through the genre, starting on December 8 with An Ellington Christmas: The Ellington Nutcracker featuring tap dance virtuoso Savion Glover and arranger and conductor David Berger (and others to be announced) in an evening produced by the Apollo Theater Foundation. The performance includes a concert of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (a jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s famed score) and excerpts from his Sacred Music, and features Newark native and NJPAC board member Savion Glover, as well as a 16-piece orchestra, choir, soloists, and dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem School.

At the Center’s annual Kwanzaa celebration on December 14, NJPAC welcomes Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, a multi-ethnic company of dancers and drummers that is visually inventive and daringly theatrical. The Kwanzaa celebration also features a tribute to community elders.

Renewed and reinvigorated under the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson, a former principal dancer in the company, Dance Theatre of Harlem headlines NJPAC’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 17, 2014. The legendary ballet company was founded in 1969 as an artistic means to turn despair into hope following the assassination of Dr. King, making it the perfect company to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the 20th century’s most inspiring civil rights leader. And on January 25, 2014, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, New Jersey’s acclaimed Nai Ni Chen Dance Company will offer a Year of the Horse celebratory performance, including both traditional and modern choreography.

NJPAC’s 2013-14 Season also features two other audience favorites: the Arts Center’s Principal Resident Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will perform works from the company’s classic repertoire and as well as new pieces on Mother’s Day weekend (May 10-11, 2014), and the Rudolf Nureyev State Ballet Theatre from Russia, with its full 50 corps de ballet, performs Tchaikovsky’s fairytale classic Sleeping Beauty on February 9, 2014.

The US tour of the Tony®-nominated Broadway hit Forever Tango stops in Newark for one night only on November 10. The production, with a company of 26 Argentinean dancers and musicians, has mesmerized audiences on the Great White Way, on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and on stages around the globe.

Rock, Pop & Country
Classic and contemporary rock, pop and country music take center stage at NJPAC this season. Lesley Gore, with 25 million records sold and hits such as “It’s My Party,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and “That’s the Way Boys Are” makes her NJPAC debut on October 13, while three-time Grammy® Award winner and American music icon Kenny Rogers arrives in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall on December 5 with his Christmas show, a collection of greatest hits interspersed with holiday songs.

Internationally “sold-out” wherever he performs, Johnny Mathis, a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, appears at NJPAC accompanied by an orchestra on March 28, 2014 for an evening of timeless classics including “Wonderful, Wonderful,” “Chances Are,” “Misty,” and more. As original cast members of Broadway’s phenomenal Jersey Boys, The Midtown Men are together again, and becoming pop stars in their own right. They come back to Jersey for their NJPAC debut on April 25, 2014, celebrating a new PBS special with a polished production that showcases some of the biggest hits of the 1960s: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Up on the Roof,” “Let’s Hang On,” “Happy Together,” “California Dreamin’,” and more.

Classic rock’n’roll aficionados will delight in two concerts in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall this season. In its first New Jersey appearance in seven years, The Music of Led Zeppelin, a genre-busting production that bridges the gulf between rock’n’roll and classical music, features 18 of Zeppelin’s greatest hits, including“Stairway to Heaven,” “Heartbreaker” and “Black Dog.” At the concert on April 4, 2014, the music will be played by the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra featuring Randy Jackson of Zebra. The Broadway hit RAIN: The Beatles Experience, a multimedia show covering the full range of The Beatles catalog, takes the NJPAC stage on February 13, 2014, with hits such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and others recorded by the original band but never performed by them live.

The classic Detroit Motown sound is featured prominently this summer at NJPAC, and it continues all season long. After Diana Ross, The O’Jays and Gladys Knight leave Brick City in August, chart-topping singer-songwriter, Motown icon, Grammy® “Living Legend” awardee and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Smokey Robinson, who has a career that spans over four decades of hits including “Shop Around,” “Ooo Baby Baby” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me,” returns for a Prudential Hall performance on October 11. A month later, on November 2, The Temptations and The Four Tops come to NJPAC with the songs that helped to define the Motown sound in the 1960s. With hits like “My Girl,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Get Ready” and “Just My Imagination,” The Temptations have been one of the most enduring groups for over 50 years. Grammy® Lifetime Achievement winners and Rock and Roll Hall Fame vocal group The Four Tops co-headline the concert, performing hits including “I Can’t Help Myself,” and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.”

On July 27, gospel music royalty BeBe Winans pairs with the multi-Grammy®-winning duo Mary Mary (sisters Erica and Tina Campbell) for an uplifting celebration of soul, R&B and contemporary gospel. And on October 18, contemporary gospel icon Kirk Franklin lends a vigorous and youthful excitement to Christian music with hits like “Stomp,” “Whatcha Lookin’ For” and “Revolution.” This inspirational Grammy® winner was the first gospel artist to sell more than a million copies of his debut album (Kirk Franklin & The Family). A “divine” repertoire of uplifting songs will be flavored with jazz, pop and hip-hop grooves.

World Music
In addition to the hot lineup of world music artists during the summer, including Kassav’, Beres Hammond and Luciano, NJPAC spans the globe throughout the season. NJPAC’s Latin music programming has taken off in the last few seasons, and the perennial sellout, Salsapalooza, returns for the fourth year in a row on December 7, with Puerto Rico’s vocal sensation Andy Montañez, a Latin Grammy®-winning pioneer of world music fusion; the famous Colombian unit Grupo Niche, known for its vigorous, up tempo dance music as well as for slower-paced, irresistibly romantic numbers; and Grammy® and Latin Grammy® nominee Jerry Rivera, the Latin pop sensation whose CD Cuenta Conmigo holds the record as the best-selling salsa album in history.

Crossing the ocean, Paddy Moloney and the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning Chieftains, Ireland’s premier musical ambassadors, perform at NJPAC on February 28, 2014 with a variety of guest musicians, vocalists and Irish step dancers.

Children and Families
One of the founding missions of NJPAC revolves around serving children and families, and with one of the largest arts education programs in the country, NJPAC delivers fun, engaging and educational performances for thousands of kids in the region each season. On November 3, Kevin Maynor, a leading American bass known for his performances at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, stars in Trilogy: An Opera Company’s Paul Robeson Remembered, a production that recaptures the words and songs of Paul Robeson, the legendary singer, actor and activist. Aladdin and Other Enchanting Tales, an inventive production for young audiences featuring masks, magic, pantomime and puppetry by the Enchantment Theatre Company, will be presented on November 23; the return of the Hudson Vagabond Puppets in Mammoth Follies, a larger-than-life musical revue that explores the wonders of evolution through giant puppets, on March 1, 2014; We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a musical adaptation of the award-winning children’s book from author Michael Rosen and illustrator Helen Oxenbury, on March 29, 2014; Dallas Children’s Theater’s take on E.B. White’s classic Stuart Little on May 17, 2014; and the return, on June 7, 2014, of Imagination Stage, this time with Cinderella Remix, an ultra-contemporary version of Cinderella imagined through song, dance and hip-hop. Black Violin, the virtuoso violin duo of Kev Marcus and Wil Balso, returns to NJPAC on February 22, 2014, with their own musical fusion that includes classical, jazz, blues, R&B, and hip-hop. And two performances for children and their families are pure spectacle: the return of Montreal-based Cirque Eloize on December 13 with its production of Cirkopolis, and the acrobatic stagecraft from the The Peking Acrobats, an elite group of gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists, and tumblers, on February 23, 2014.

Comedians filled the house time and again last season, and NJPAC keeps the laughs coming this season with two of the top comedic minds of our time. In An Evening with Don Rickles on October 17, Emmy®-winning insult comedian Don Rickles brings his six decades of putdowns to NJPAC, and Bill Cosby returns to Prudential Hall on March 7, 2014 with his one-of-a-kind perspective on the twists and turns of domestic life.

Announced in April 2013, Grammy®-winning bassist and composer Christian McBride became NJPAC’s jazz advisor for the Arts Center’s largest jazz season ever, featuring the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival in its second year, and three different jazz series, one curated by McBride, another by one of the world’s greatest pianists, Bill Charlap, and a third hosted by Newark’s “First Lady of Jazz,” Dorthaan Kirk. The season highlights includes performances by Sérgio Mendes, Eliane Elias, Lee Ritenour, Joe Lovano, Dianne Reeves, Al Jarreau, Jeffrey Osborne, George Duke, ACS featuring Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding with The Philadelphia Experiment featuring ?uestlove, Uri Caine and Christian McBride, Jazz Meets Sports with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bernie Williams and The Christian McBride Trio, Sean Jones, Charlap with his wife, Renee Rosnes, Freddy Cole, Jimmy Green, Lewis Nash, Sandy Stewart, Houston Person, Cecil Brooks III, The Steve Turre, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath, Paquito D’Rivera and Antoinette Montague Quartets, the Mulgrew Miller Trio., celebrations of Amiri Baraka’s Blues People at 50 and Lorraine Gordon and the legendary Village Vanguard, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Melissa Walker, Cyrille Aimée, and The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. For a full jazz lineup, visit:

Bank of America Classical Series
Announced in January 2013, NJPAC’s 2013-14 Bank of America Classical Series is filled with six of the world’s finest orchestras and a solo recital, including a strong focus on internationally recognized artists from Russia. Performances include the return to NJPAC of Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Orchestra during his 60th birthday year; two maestros who will both conduct and perform as soloists on the same program (violinists Pinchas Zukerman leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Spivakov leading the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra); the NJPAC debut of Gianandrea Noseda directing the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; violinist Joshua Bell, who joins the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and a recital by acclaimed young pianist Evgeny Kissin, who returns to NJPAC for the first time since his sold-out 2005 performance. For a full classical lineup, visit:

NJPAC joins Participant Media, the leading provider of entertainment that inspires and accelerates change, for a series of film screenings and talkbacks for New Jersey high school students and for the general public. The series, entitled Movies That Matter, is funded by the Women’s Association of NJPAC and, over the next season, will bring in students from across the state to watch “Last Call at The Oasis,” “A Place at the Table,” and the yet-to-be-released “Chavez.” Through the series, NJPAC will work with Participant's Social Action team and campaign associates to foster opportunities for New Jersey students and the public at large to take action on the issues illuminated by the films in the series.

The Arts Center also announced that it has chosen Ticketmaster as its exclusive ticket vendor.

“This is NJPAC’s most diverse season ever, and as such, demands the largest resources ever to make it successful,” said Schreiber. “After a year-long search process, we selected Ticketmaster, with unique features designed specifically for arts centers and theaters, as our new ticketing provider. Ticketmaster allows greater convenience and new services for our patrons, including the option to print tickets at home for free, expanded phone sales hours, express delivery of tickets, the ability to purchase tickets on mobile devices, and enhanced online donations capabilities. When we have an exciting onsale, NJPAC will now be able to reach three million new potential ticket buyers.” He stressed that the move to Ticketmaster will not increase fees to NJPAC’s patrons.

Single tickets for all performances are now on sale and may be purchased by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), in person at the NJPAC box office located at One Center Street in downtown Newark, or online at NJPAC’s Flex Tix program is a new, innovative way to customize the theater-going experience. Patrons may combine three or more performances and save up to $12 per ticket for performances after July 1. Tickets must be purchased before September 6. For more information on the Flex Tix program, parking, or other questions, please go to or call NJPAC Ticket Services at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-866-466-5722).

NJPAC’s 2013-14 Season Sponsors are Prudential Foundation, ADP, American Express, Bank of America, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Capital One, PSEG Foundation, TD Bank, Verizon Wireless, PwC, Wells Fargo, and the Women’s Association of NJPAC.

Major support is provided by Toby & Leon Cooperman, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Betty Wold Johnson, The MCJ Amelior Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation, Panasonic Corporation of North America, The Smart Family Foundation/David S. Stone, Esq., Stone and Magnanini, The Star-Ledger, Victoria Foundation and Judy & Josh Weston.

Additional support is provided by Allen & Joan Bildner, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, McCrane Foundation, The Sagner Foundation, Steinway & Sons, Surdna Foundation, John & Suzanne Willian/Goldman Sachs Gives and United Airlines.

Programming has been made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Discover Jersey Arts.

NJPAC is a wheelchair accessible facility and provides assistive services for patrons with disabilities.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey -- where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (including more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.
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