September 10, 2012 -- For Immediate Release
For more information contact: Richard T. Bryant, Front of House Services; 973-886-5118; Danni Rumsey, UC PAC (Union County Performing Art Center), 732-499-0441
For high resolution photos of Hello Hamilton! Opening Night performers, Hamilton Stage, and its Artistic Affiliates, please visit hamiltonstage.org/pressroom
· Rahway’s new Hamilton Stage will open on September 22 with a benefit performance and post-theater party: Hello Hamilton!
· Hello Hamilton! will feature Broadway’s Liz Callaway and Drew Gasparini, composer for TV’s Smash, and hosts Actress Suzzanne Douglas and World Beatbox Association Founder Chesney Snow
· Hamilton Stage is a significant expansion of the Union County Performing Arts Center and will be home to six Artistic Affiliates this season
Rahway NJ --- Hamilton Stage – a new theatre venue for New Jersey -- will launch its inaugural season on September 22 at 7:30pm with a benefit celebration: Hello Hamilton!
With its 199-seat Proscenium Theater and 60-seat Front Room Theater, Hamilton Stage is a significant expansion of the Union County Performing Arts Center. Its opening accelerates Rahway’s claim as one of the state’s most promising new creative places.
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.
Tickets are limited. Performance and Party: $100. Party only (10 PM): $25. For tickets, please call ucpac.org, at 732-499-8226, or visit the box office at 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ.
Hello Hamilton! Opening Night & Party is produced by Front of House Services. Executive Producer is Richard T. Bryant. Producer is Colleen Finnegan.
More About Hamilton Stage:
Hamilton Stage is a project of the City of Rahway Redevelopment Agency. It is independently operated under the governance of Union County Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization with a volunteer Board of Directors; Samson Steinman, executive director.
Hamilton Stage includes an intimate 199-seat proscenium theater and a flexible 60-seat theater and rehearsal hall designed to complement UC PAC’s 1335-seat Main stage, the 70-seat Loft theater, and the nearby 60-seat concert venue called “1591.” When combined, these five performing arts spaces make the UC PAC campus one of the most versatile creative spaces in the state.
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.
UC PAC/Hamilton Stage is the recent recipient of an Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, one of two such grants awarded in New Jersey this year. Support for the Inaugural Season has also been provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, E.J. Grassmann Trust, Cestone Foundation, and RSI Bank.
Hamilton Stage has been designed by the architectural firm of Farewell Mills Gatsch of Princeton (well known for work at the Westport Country Playhouse, Count Basie Theatre, and Dorothy Young Center for the Arts Music Wing at Drew University). The design project is directed by Michael R. Schnoering, AIA (now of Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC).
Planning, management and fundraising for the launch and opening of Hamilton Stage has been provided by Front of House Services, Richard T. Bryant President.