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Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes to Perform at SOPAC Benefit this Saturday 6.19
(Published: June 15, 2010)

South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) proudly presents
An all-day celebration of South Orange/Maplewood arts and community, today's top artists join hands to help benefit SOPAC
Celebration starts June 19th @ 11:00AM with a Community Sing-Along, followed by an Afternoon of Editing Workshop & Rachel Getting Married Film Screening with award-winning editor Tim Squyres, and "Class of ‘93" Artist Talk with Zach Braff & AJ Calloway, and ends with SOPAC's Benefit Gala Hosted by NY1's Budd Mishkin with performances by Ms. Lauryn Hill, Christine Ebersole, Max Weinberg, Kelly Bishop, Lydia Johnson Dance, Christiane Noll, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes, and many more

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) presents SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT, an all-day, star-filled celebration to benefit SOPAC, to honor the South Orange/Maplewood community and its contribution to the arts. From 11:00AM - 11:00PM on Saturday, June 19th, over 1,000 local residents of all ages are anticipated to experience a plethora of performances, workshops, panel discussions, and more. From a morning family-friendly show featuring indigenous music of Africa, to an intimate afternoon conversation with Columbia High School alumni Zach Braff and AJ Calloway, to a glamorous evening with performances by several stars of stage and screen, SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT is an unprecedented festival of the arts! (Detailed program schedule is below.)

"The genesis of SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT is the vision and passion of one impactful South Orange resident, Jonathan Felsman, who lost his battle with cancer last year," explains Ondine Landa-Abramson, SOPAC's Executive Director. "He was committed to making both South Orange and SOPAC premier arts destinations. We hope to reflect his incomparable vision and drive through this extraordinary event." In Felsman's honor, SOPAC will bestow the 2010 Jonathan Felsman Spirit Award to South Orange's beloved traffic control officer Butch Larkin. In addition, the 2010 Spring Gala Honoree awards go to former Secretary of State of New Jersey Nina Mitchell Wells, and founding SOPAC Chair of the Board Barbara Stoller.

A tribute to all the talent that has derived from the Essex County area, SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT showcases local artists including: South Orange/Maplewood residents and/or natives Budd Mishkin (NY1), singer/songwriter Ms. Lauryn Hill, Christiane Noll (2010 TONY nominee), Kelly Bishop (TONY Award winner), Christine Ebersole (two-time TONY Award winner), Max Weinberg (drummer; member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Zach Braff (TV/film actor and director), AJ Calloway (EXTRA correspondent), Tim Squyres (award-winning film editor), Nat Adderly, Jr. (pop/blues arranger), Lydia Johnson Dance (SOPAC's resident dance company), Jessica Kirson (comedienne), Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes (jazz pianists), Sarah Partridge (jazz vocalist), and many more.

Small Town, Big Talent to Benefit the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) and its Artistic and Educational Programs
Saturday, June 19
South Orange Performing Arts Center (One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ)
To purchase tickets or for more info, visit www.SOPACnow.org or call 973.313.ARTS

Tickets: $20 Adults/$10 Children Age 10 and Under

A celebration of family and friends! Join your neighbors in this one-of-a-kind community sing-along featuring songs from around the world. Open to all ages. Guest artists include: Marafanyi Drum, Dance & Song - three NJ-based female drummers who fuse West African rhythms and dance; today's hottest adult-friendly kiddie pop musician Rebecca Frezza; and South Orange's own singer/songwriter Peri Smilow.

12:00 Noon - 4:00PM
Tickets: Workshop & Screening $25/$18 Students & Seniors
Workshop Only $18/$12 Students & Seniors
Screening Only $12/$10 Students & Seniors

"Rachel Getting Married" Screening & Discussion
12:00 Noon

Augmenting the afternoon's Editing Workshop with Tim Squyres, SOPAC presents a special screening of Squyres' recent project, Rachel Getting Married. A 2008 drama film directed by Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married received numerous critics awards including both a Golden Globe and OSCAR Nomination. Rachel Getting Married stars Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin and Debra Winger. Screening will be followed by a Q & A with the film's editor, Tim Squyres.

Film Editing Workshop with Award-Winning Editor Tim Squyres

Ever wonder how film dailies transform into an OSCAR Nominated film?! Come join award-winning editor and NJ-native Tim Squyres for an intimate workshop about film editing. The editor of renowned blockbuster movies including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Syriana, The Ice Storm, Sense & Sensibility, and Gosford Park, Squyres will present an editing workshop appropriate for both laymen and budding film editors alike. Don't miss this rare opportunity to go behind the scenes!

Tickets: $25/$10 Children Ages 15 and Under

It was a very good year... Columbia High School's Class of 1993 was an auspicious group of budding artists. Two alumni return to South Orange for this special afternoon talk at SOPAC. NY1's Budd Mishkin conducts exclusive interviews with: television (Scrubs) and film actor/director/producer (Garden State) Zach Braff; and veteran broadcaster/journalist and EXTRA correspondent AJ Calloway.

Tickets: $25/$10 Children Ages 15 and Under

"The attainment of everything a twelve year old drummer from the suburbs of Jersey ever dared to
dream," cites Max Weinberg of his work of 36 years with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. In addition to touring with and serving as the rhythmic backbone of the E Street Band, Weinberg keeps himself busy performing with the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, Tom Jones, Ringo Starr (on Ringo's drums!), Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bono of U2, and Levon Helm and the Band. Host Budd Mishkin of NY 1 sits down with Weinberg for an intimate one-on-one.

6:00PM VIP Reception with Artists & Silent Auction
8:00PM Performance and Celebration
10:00PM Post-Performance Dessert Reception
$75 | South Orange/Maplewood Resident Seating
Special Performance Only Price for South Orange and Maplewood Residents, Limited Tickets Available. First-come, First-Served. Only Available at SOPAC Box Office. Limit two tickets per resident/household.
$150 | General Seating
Includes One Ticket to Evening Performance and SOPAC Membership (Individual level membership).
$250 | Orchestra Seating
Includes One Ticket to Evening Performance. Access to VIP Reception with Artists & Post Performance Dessert Reception. Valet Parking Pass.
$300 | VIP Seating
All Access Ticket to Morning & Afternoon Programs. One VIP Ticket to Evening Performance. Access to VIP Reception with Artists & Post Performance Dessert Reception. Valet Parking Pass.To Purchase VIP Tickets, Please Call the SOPAC Development Office at 973.382.1033

One spectacular evening soaked with performances by today's top artists, SOPAC's annual benefit gala spotlights both local talent and local humanitarians. Performances by: singer/songwriter Ms. Lauryn Hill; Broadway stars Christine Ebersole, Kelly Bishop, Christiane Noll, Joanna Young, Sandy Rustin, Charlie Pollock, and Jamie LaVerdiere; musical artists Max Weinberg, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes, and Sarah Partridge; SOPAC's residence dance company Lydia Johnson Dance; and comedienne Jessica Kirson. Directed by Jeremy Dobrish, the evening will be hosted by NY1's Budd Mishkin to be joined by Zach Braff and AJ Calloway. Additional guests to be announced...

This year, SOPAC's Spring Gala is inspired by the vision of Jonathan Felsman, a South Orange resident who lost his battle with cancer last year. Jonathan was proud of South Orange, its demographic diversity, and its commitment to the arts. Jonathan's vision was to make South Orange/Maplewood a cultural destination, and SOPAC was at the center of this dream. In honor of him, SOPAC presents the 2010 Jonathan Felsman Spirit Award to South Orange's beloved traffic control officer Butch Larkin. In addition, the 2010 Spring Gala Honorees include: former Secretary of State of New Jersey Nina Mitchell Wells, and founding SOPAC Chair of the Board Barbara Stoller.

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as the premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The multidisciplinary arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC-a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is also a home for Seton Hall University Arts Council's performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz N' the Hall performances, and Seton Hall Theatre productions.

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More Information: http://www.sopacnow.org

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