Axelrod Performing Arts Center

CARMEN CUSACK AND JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ

Saturday, May 20, 8 PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

Tony nominees Carmen Cusack and Jeff Blumenkrantz are reunited after their highly praised performances in Broadway’s Bright Star. Jeff, a West Long Branch native who received a Tony nomination for his contribution to the score of Urban Cowboy..., is not only a sought-after performer on the Broadway stage but also a composer of theater songs. Carmen, whose pre-Broadway roles include Elphaba in Wicked and Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera, was nominated for her Tony last season for her lead in Bright Star.

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TRANSCENDANCEGROUP Presents G*D, A Family Story of Survival During the Holocaust

Sunday, May 21, 3 PM

Adult $36; Senior $34: Student $18

New York contemporary dance troupe, TranscenDanceGroup, led by choreographer Gabriel Chajnik, perform an original work G*D, a multimedia dance play based on the true story of Haim Tzvi Rosmarin, a Polish Holocaust survivor who after liberation settled in Argentina. Haim wrote a testimony to his family’s survival which his daughter Hannah, Gabriel’s cousin, published in both Yiddish and Spanish. Gabriel created this dance play in honor of his uncle, with a film by Joseph Rodman, lighting design by Yuriy Nayer and an original score. The program features renowned violinist Niv Ashkenazi, winner of the 2010 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition.

This program co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and the B’nai Sholom-Beth El Foundation.

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ELLA FITZGERALD’S 100th BIRTHDAY CONCERT: Carl Topilow leads Gabrielle Stravelli and Swing Orchestra

Sunday, May 28, 3 PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

MAC and Bistro Awards winner (2015) Gabrielle Stravelli pays tribute to jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald in honor of her centennial, accompanied by a 14-piece jazz band playing the famous Nelson Riddle arrangements, conducted by Carl Topilow of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Gabrielle will recreate some of Ella’s immortal performances of standards by the Gershwins, Ellington, Mercer, Kern, Porter and more. Concert made possible with the cooperation of the Nelson Riddle Estate.

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JAY SIEGEL’S TOKENS AND THE SHIRELLES’ SHIRLEY ALSTON REEVES

Wednesday, June 28, 8 PM

VIP $52: Premium $45; Regular $38

Jay Siegel’s Tokens are one of pop music's most versatile, talented and enduring groups. Since their first hit in 1961, The Tokens have remained popular generation after generation. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tonight I Fell In Love” introduced the world to their irresistible harmonies, and today tenor Jay Siegal with Bill Reid & Kurt Yaghjin continue to bring their classic sound and timeless hits to fans both old and new. Shirley Alston Reeves, the legendary lady of the Shirelles, continues to perform to delighted sold-out audiences, singing hit after hit, including "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Sha La La," "Baby, It's You" and "Mama Said."

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La Cage Aux Folles

June 2, 3, 8, 10, 15, 2017 at 8 PM; June 4, 11, 18, 2017 at 3 PM

The Axelrod PAC is proud to welcome Broadway star Nat Chandler (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Phantom of the Opera) in his APAC debut as Georges, appearing opposite Jersey Shore theater icon Joe Necci returning to the stage as Zaza. Tony Award-winning “Best Musical,” LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (Helly Dolly!, Mame) and book by Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray, Kinky Boots) is a family musical comedy revolving around the recently announced nuptials of Georges and Albin’s son Jean-Michel. The two (still unmarried) fathers run La Cage Aux Folles, a drag nighclub in St. Tropez where Albin stars as the divine Zaza. The first meeting of the two families is the stuff of musical farce heaven. The original play by Jean Poiret is also the source of the film The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The show is being directed by Kathryn Markey and choreographed by Todd Lebron Underwood.

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OPENING NIGHT RECEPTIION TO BENEFIT GARDEN STATE EQUALITY
Join us on opening night of La Cage, June 2, at 7 PM for a special martini and prosecco reception in the theater lobby, benefitting Garden State Equality, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Banfi Wines & Bolla and Cabaret for Life, Inc. A donation of $55 includes the reception and tickets for the opening night performance of the show. Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be matching your donations dollar for dollar! Cabaret for Life is providing bartenders & finger food.

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TIME AND CHANCE, A New Play by Mark Medoff

July 9 & 16 at 3 PM, July 12 & 13 at 8 PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

A world premiere written and directed by Mark Medoff, Tony Award winner for Children of a Lesser God, TIME AND CHANCE is the story of four women—a recovering alcoholic, world famous painter; her partner, a former NY Times art critic, now gallery owner, unbeknownst to her partner, dying of a rare, hereditary disorder; an abandoned teenager with a startling gift for prevarication and drawing; and a music professor who yearns for the courage to find out if she can be a career musician, who has just discovered her late mother’s diary from the concentration camp, Theresienstadt. Each of the women plays a character from Theresienstadt, where the young professor’s mother and grandmother were incarcerated. From the fear, vitriol, cruelty, humor, and, ultimately, love and mercy, come the redemptive power of family. The play will feature a set designed by Robert Steinberg and lighting by Steve Wallace.

MARK MEDOFF received the Tony and Olivier Awards for Children of a Lesser God and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Award for the film script of Children. He received an OBIE Award for When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? Mark is a Distinguished Achievement Professor at New Mexico State University where he has been on faculty and an artist in residence since 1966. His most recent play, Marilee and Baby Lamb: The Assassination of an American Goddess, is scheduled to open on Broadway in the 2017 season. He will direct. The movie The Heart Outright, based on his 1992 play, directed by Mark’s son-in-law, Ross Marks, is presently out to film festivals.

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BOBBY COLLINS

Wednesday, July 19, 8 PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

A native New Yorker, Bobby Collins remains one of the nation's greatest comedians touring today. An uproarious storyteller, Bobby is able to truthfully translate the human condition and skillfully dissect everyday life with charisma and effortless flair. As a professional stand-up comedian, he’s worked alongside Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Drew Carey, as well as many others, and has appeared on Letterman and The Tonight Show with both Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno. His CD “Out of Bounds” earned him a Grammy nomination.

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THE HIT MEN — Legendary Performers with Frankie Valli, Carole King, Cat Stevens & mor

Thursday, July 20, 8 PM

VIP $58; Premium $48; Regular $38

More than a tribute band, the Hit Men are the professionals who performed with legendary singers like Frankie Valli, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Tommy James, Elton John, Carly Simon and others. The Hit Men, the original musicians on many Billboard Chart toppers, lead audiences through a tour of rock and roll history, performing gold and platinum hits and sharing insider stories about their famous artist colleagues. You’ll even remember where you were when you first heard these “best time of your life" songs and feel like you're 21 all over again!

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Ain’t Misbehavin’

August 13 & 20, 2017 at 3 PM; August 17, 2017 at 8 PM

A sassy, sultry musical celebration of legendary jazz great, Fats Waller, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ brings to life the illustrious Cotton Club of Harlem during its golden age in the 1930s. This musical revue, assembled by Richard Maltby, Jr., evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of Thomas “Fats” Waller, as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs that he made famous in a career that ranged from Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood. The musical includes 30 great honky-tonk, jazzy and bluesy tunes, including “Honeysuckle Rose” “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now,” “T’ain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness” and, of course, the title song!

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REMEMBER JONES IN CONCERT

Thursday, August 24, 8 PM

VIP $52: Premium $45; Regular $38

“Soul sensation” (Asbury Park Press), Remember Jones received Asbury Park Music Award’s Top Vocalist in 2016. The captivating “showman” (The Star Ledger) and his powerful backup band returns to the Axelrod with a brand new concert that promises to tear the walls down. Remember Jones's electric personality and powerful, soulful voice harken back to the great rock and roll legends of times gone by, and his tributes to such pop luminaries as Joe Cocker, Amy Winehouse and Jeff Buckley have played to sold-out houses around the Northeast.

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JANIS SIEGEL IN CONCERT

Wednesday, August 30, 8 PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

Janis Siegel, 9-time Grammy winner and 17-time Grammy nominee, has been a member of The Manhattan Transfer for three decades and has also sustained a solo career. Janis was recorded more than a half dozen finely crafted solo albums and participated in numerous collaborative projects with top jazz musicians from around the world, amassing a large international fan base. Siegel’s versatile, velvety voice and scintillating performances have garnered consistently high critical praise from lovers of jazz and pop music alike.

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TRAVIATA

September 9 at 8 PM and September 10 at 3 PM

TICKETS: Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

Giuseppe Verdi’s operatic masterpiece La Traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas fil’s popular play La Dame aux Camélias, has remained one of the most popular operas of the standard repertory—both before and after Richard Gere took Julia Roberts to the opera in Pretty Woman (another story about a streetwalker with a heart of gold)! In Hollywood, La Traviata was famously filmed by the great Italian director Franco Zeffirelli with a starry cast led by Placido Domingo as Alfredo and Teresa Stratas as Violetta. Fully costumed and staged, La Traviata will be presented in collaboration with Pacific Encores with a live orchestra conducted by Jason Tramm.

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KELLI O'HARA: A Gala Concert

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 8 PM

TICKETS: $75, $100, $125, $180 *includes pre-show reception and post-show artist meet and greet

Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in Lincoln Center's critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her a 2016 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. The Jason Robert Brown musical The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of Peter Pan alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year’s Eve 2015, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming.

She made her Broadway debut in Jekyll & Hyde and followed it with Sondheim’s Follies, Sweet Smell of Success opposite John Lithgow, and Dracula. Kelli starred in The Light in the Piazza on Broadway in 2005 earning her first Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. She joined Harry Connick on Broadway in the 2006 Tony award-winning production of The Pajama Game, for which she received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. Kelli starred in the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, enrapturing audiences and critics alike with her soulful and complex interpretation of Nellie Forbush, and garnering Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. She later teamed up with Matthew Broderick in Broadway's musical comedy Nice Work if You Can Get it, earning Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations, as well as the Fred Astaire Nomination for dance. 

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THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Peter Parnell

November 3, 4, 11, 18 at 8PM; November 5, 12, 19 at 3PM

Premium Adult $42; Premium Senior $39; Regular Adult $38; Regular Senior $35

Based on the classic Victor Hugo novel, the live stage musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases songs from the Disney animated feature plus new songs by eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell). Like Les Miserables, also based on a Hugo novel, this sweeping musical features a large superb cast of singers, dancers and actors and a soaring contemporary score. A new book by Peter Parnell retells the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer in the Notre Dame cathedral who falls in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmerelda. The award-winning score of this musical, which debuted at the Paper Mill Playhouse, includes the songs “Out There” “God Help the Outcast” and “Top of the World.” Audiences of all ages will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical that is destined to become a classic.

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American Repertory Ballet presents THE NUTCRACKER

December 22 & 23 at 7PM; December 23 at 2PM

Tickets: Adults $35; Senior $32; Student $25

American Repertory Ballet brings the beloved classic The Nutcracker to the stage with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, thrilling choreography and a cast of more than 100. A holiday tradition for more than 50 years, American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker is one of the longest, continuously running The Nutcracker productions in the nation. Directed by Artistic Director Douglas Martin, ARB’s professional company will be joined by select students from Princeton Ballet School to tell the story of a young girl named Clara and how a mysterious gift from her Uncle Drosselmeyer brings about enchanted dreams and fantastical scenes. American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a perfect holiday treat for your entire family!

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Axelrod Performing Arts Center
100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ 07723
732-531-9106
jlevy@axelrodartscenter.com