Sunday, September 16, 2012


Union County Performing Arts Center's HAMILTON STAGE_logo

Hamilton Stage at dusk.Photo by Camara Edwards

Opening Performance & Party
Hosted by Suzzanne Douglas and Chesney Snow with special guest Liz Callaway

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, at 7:30 PM
360 Hamilton Street, Rahway
$100 Performance and Party; $25 Party only
For tickets, please call, at 732.499.8226, or visit the box office at 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ.
Adjacent to Hamilton Stage is a new brightly lit parking lot with more than 100 spaces, all connected by the beautiful new Arts Riverwalk along the North Branch of the Rahway River.

Hello Hamilton! is a fast-paced, variety-style show featuring vignettes by its six artistic affiliates who will preview their performances scheduled during the Hamilton Stage's opening season.  The first night celebration will culminate with a special guest appearance by Broadway great, Liz Callaway, who will perform songs like "Memory" from Cats and others from her impressive repertoire. 

Stage and screen actress Suzzanne Douglas and World Beatbox Association Founder Chesney Snow will host the opening night celebration, with performances from the American Theater Group, American Repertory Ballet, StrangeDog Theatre Company, Vital Theatre Company, Ballets with a Twist and the Good Music Mostly Classical series, featuring Grammy nominee pianist Ursula Oppens.

Smash's new songwriter, Drew Gasparini, will play a compilation of songs from his original musical, Crazy, Just Like Me, named the "2011 Best in Show" at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Music, lyrics, and book for Crazy, Just Like Me are by Drew Gasparini with additional book by Louis Sacco and Stephen Agosto. Direction is by Stephen Agosto. Hamilton Stage Principal Artistic Affiliate American Theater Group will perform a full version of the play beginning February 27.

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will contribute a piece from their professional-track program, Princeton Ballet School, titled Once Upon a Summer's Day (A Gardener's Fantasy) with choreography by ARB's Mary Barton, formerly a principal dancer with the Washington and Joffrey Ballets.
StrangeDog Theatre Co.'s performance will include a comedic 10-minute play by the Kennedy Center's David Mark Cohen award-winner Ben Clawson with direction by Artem Yatsunov.

American Theatre Wing awardee Vital Theatre Company will lighten hearts with an appearance by cast members of Pinkalicious: The Musical and Ballets with a Twist will present its newest cocktail-based ballet, The Mint Julep, to include cameo appearances by youth dancers selected in a recent local audition. The Mint Julep is choreographed by Marilyn Klaus with original compositions by Stephen Gaboury, a pianist for Cindi Lauper and other popular artists.

Pianist Ursula Oppens, of the Good Music Mostly Classical series is slated for a full performance at Hamilton Stage on January 20 presented by RSI Bank and Peabody Award-winning producers Jim and Genevieve Luce.
Also, as part of the celebration, Hamilton Stage will present "Raconteur Ventures". Alex Dawson, owner and event coordinator of the late and legendary Raconteur, continues the accomplished and eclectic programming that made the bygone bookstore an internationally known venue and a favorite of The New York Times. Raconteur offers unprecedented access to award-winning filmmakers, acclaimed authors, celebrated musicians, and more in this series designed to overlap entertainment and education with screenings, Q & A's, meet and greets and "craft class" experiences. At the opening, Raconteur contributes a short film by two time Academy Award-nominee, Bill Plympton.

As a group, the Hello Hamilton! performers claim Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award Nominations, a Peabody Award, NAACP Image awards, Drama Desk Awards, NYMF awards, American Theatre Wing Awards, Mark Cohen playwriting award, and a People's Choice Award. 
The Hello Hamilton! performance will be followed by an after-party at the theatre featuring music by JCR Entertainment, mixology bar by Patria and surprise pop-up performances.  Event assistance and local support for the evening is also provided by Edge Magazine, Celeste Santana, Allumé Events and Hotel Indigo.

Hello Hamilton! Opening Night & Party is produced by Front of House Services. Executive Producer is Richard T. Bryant.  Producer is Colleen Finnegan.

Hamilton Stage photo by Peter ChollickPhoto by Peter Chollick