Rock, Classical and Jazz music icons, as well as award-winning comedians and dance troupes are highlights of ’s Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts’ 2012 fall season.
“This is an exciting lineup for the Berrie Center,” said Stephanie Chaiken, interim director of the Berrie Center. “There is something for everyone in the entire family in our calendar of shows ranging from concerts to comedy, to theatre and dance. Our patrons can experience incredible performances right here in Northern, NJ, with free parking.”
The Berrie Center will begin the fall season on Saturday, September 22 with Hall-of-Famer and former member of The Lovin’ Spoonful, John Sebastian, as he continues spreading his gospel of American roots music. Some memorable hits include: “Do You Believe in Magic,” “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Younger Girl,” “Nashville Cats” and “Six O’clock.” John is a master musician, writer and performer and he is one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had.
Les Paul’s legendary longtime sideman, Lou Pallo, brings his acclaimed trio to the Berrie Center, on Saturday, September 29. Lou and Les Paul performed together for nearly 40 years. The trio also features Nickie Parrott on bass and John Colianni on piano.
On Friday, October 12, Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in a fast-paced, 90 minutes of hilarity. The two-act comedy, An Evening with Groucho consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs, including "Hooray for Captain Spalding" and "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady."
On Saturday, October 13, the Berrie Center tips its hat to Joni Mitchell. Taking its title from Joni’s landmark 1970 album, Blue: The Music of Joni Mitchell presents a concert of “Blue” in its entirety, along with many other favorites from her other early albums (“Song To A Seagull,” “Clouds,” “Ladies Of The Canyon,” “For The Roses” and “Court And Spark”). In this intimate, acoustic concert, Joni’s exquisitely crafted words shine through Grammy winning lead vocalist Leslie Ellis and singer/songwriter/actress Jo Williamson.
The Berrie Center’s SCHOOLTIME PERFORMANCE SERIES begins on Friday, October, 19 with two performances of World of Animals and Birds of Prey. Naturalist, Bill Robinson, returns to the Berrie Center with a variety of winged creatures and cold-blooded reptiles. In this exciting, interactive program, Robinson teaches about the ways animals have adapted for survival and the important role that animals play in the balance of nature.
One of the things the Berrie Center is well known for is Jazz. This year is no exception. On Saturday, October 20, Platinum award-winning singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway Sings the Music of Barbra Streisand and celebrates the music of America’s most powerful and enduring musical artist. Singing timeless classics from five decades of Barbra Streisand’s multi-faceted career, Callaway crafts a loving musical portrait of the icon who once described herself as being “simple, complex, generous, selfish, unattractive, beautiful, lazy and driven.”
Another highlight of the fall season will be the thrilling collaboration between heralded classical artists ETHEL and ‘70’s icon Todd Rundgren in “Tell Me Something Good,” on Sunday, October 21. While touring together in the United States and Europe in 2005, these innovators forged a deep connection and ongoing friendship. Each has assaulted the boundaries of convention with dynamic creativity. Critics have proclaimed the energy onstage to be explosive and inspiring.
In the comedy department, Friday, November 30 brings the Ladies of Laughter Funny and Fabulous Tour,which follows the heralded national contest in search of the funniest female comediennes. Featuring 2012’s winner - NJ's own Robin Fox "The REAL NJ housewife,” plus two more national champions. “This was one of the best shows we ever did…” said the Senior VP-Entertainment-Madison Square Garden.
December features a month of delight, beginning with The Von Trapp Children on Saturday, December 1. Meet Justin, Amanda, Melanie and Sofia Von Trapp, the great grandchildren of Captain and Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music. These Von Trapps have toured worldwide, including performing with many major symphonies in the United States, Canada and South Korea. The Von Trapps present a variety of folk and classical songs from various European and American traditions, as well as timeless pieces fromThe Sound of Music. Their effervescent voices mesh in the way only a family’s can, with beautiful harmonic blend and pristine tone.
Next, on Sunday, December 9, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul capture the spirit and magic of the season with two performances of their heartwarming holiday show, An Irish Christmas – An Nollaig. Nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and music star of Riverdance, Eileen Ivers will change the way you think about the violin. Hailed as one of the great innovators and pioneers in the Celtic and World Music genres, Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today. "... the Jimi Hendrix of the violin." - The New York Times.
The busy season wraps up on Sunday, December 16 with The Doo Wop Project, starring leading cast members from the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash, Jersey Boys, including Jarrod Spector. The project features a night of songs for all ages mixed with individual stories and nods to their upbringing and experiences in the business; particularly backstage at The August Wilson Theatre (home of Jersey Boys) where the idea for the group was conceived. The Doo Wop Project performs songs such as "Denise," "Little Bitty Pretty One", "Since I Don't Have You," plus classic contemporary songs by Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse.
A world of stellar entertainment…very close to home, the Berrie Center has exceptional seating, affordable ticket prices and free parking. For tickets and more information on these fall 2012 events, plus a description of spring 2013 events, call the Berrie Center Box Office at 201-684-7844, or order online.
The above is a release from the Berrie Center of Ramapo College.