New Jersey Stage

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monmouth University Center for the Arts announces 2013-2014 Performing Arts series

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University announced today that tickets are now on sale for the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series on the West Long Branch campus — one of the most eclectic slates of music, dance, drama, film, spoken word and visual art offerings in the state of New Jersey.

From the sounds and storytelling forms of the planet's indigenous cultures, to the next-generation bearers of American music's greatest pedigrees, no other presenting entity has brought more of the world to coastal New Jersey than Monmouth University. When the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy cast the eyes of the world upon the Jersey Shore — and the determination of its people to renew their commitment to a region in which creative energy is a natural resource — the Center for the Arts renewed its own commitment to an ongoing mission of education, enrichment and dedication to the community.

According to Vaune Peck, coordinator of arts programming, "the galleries, lecture halls, stages and screens of our beautiful and historic campus represent that rare place where the world comes together in real time and space…a setting where the ‘interactive experience' refers to a very real exchange between the artist and the audience."

It all happens in a conveniently located campus that boasts venues ranging from historic Wilson Hall and restored Lauren K. Woods Theatre, to the new MAC at Monmouth arena. Primary host stage for the Performing Arts Series will be the modern Pollak Theatre building, where brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith open the new season with a concert by their folk-infused rock band Dawes (Wednesday, September 25, 2013) — the first area appearance by a band whose musical journey has taken them from the festival skies of Bonnaroo to the concrete canyons of Occupy Wall Street.

For theater aficionados the fall offers two live productions on the Pollak stage. NYC's acclaimed Aquila Theatre brings their innovative stage adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 — Ray Bradbury's dystopian tale of a future where books are outlawed, and learning is on the edge of extinction — to Monmouth on Friday, September 27, 2013. British actor Julian Sands ("A Room with a View," TV's "24" and "Dexter") performs in person A Celebration of Harold Pinter, in which the poems and short works of the late Nobel Prize winning playwright are spotlighted in a solo setting that's directed by stage and screen powerhouse John Malkovich (Friday, October 18, 2013).

Some of the greatest legacies in popular music  — and the extraordinarily talented women who bring them to renewed life — are on display in November, beginning with a rare area appearance by Grammy winner Rosanne Cash (Friday, November 1, 2013). The eldest daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash has garnered renewed acclaim for her explorations of the essential country songs that informed her own evolution as a songwriter and performer — and she's followed on Friday, November 8 by the ever-eclectic Ani DiFranco, the resolutely indie icon whose "lifelong list of co-conspirators" has included everyone from Pete Seeger to Public Enemy's Chuck D.

The works of two of the most monumental songsmiths ever to emerge from Canada — from "Both Sides Now" to "Hallelujah" — are interpreted by Outstanding Cabaret Performer of the Year Lauren Fox in a program titled Love, Lust, Fear and Freedom: The Songs of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen (Saturday, November 16, 2013). A fervently followed favorite of Shore area audiences, Matisyahu, the chameleonic artist once known for his mix of roots reggae beats and Hasidic dress presents a stripped-down spotlight for the ever-evolving sounds and styles of the self-proclaimed "Spark Seeker". (Thursday, December 5, 2013)

The master musicians who energized some of the most legendary vocalists in pop music — including Frankie Valli, Tommy James, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Elton John and Jim Croce — have teamed up as The Hit Men, and they're visiting Monmouth for the first time in a special Holiday Show (Friday, December 13, 2013) that mixes the 60s and 70s hits of those mega-stars with a set of holiday season favorites.

The Sounds of Asbury Park and other Shore points are celebrated at the Pollak Theatre on Saturday, March 29, 2014, when a pair of musically minded Jersey Joes — Joe D'Urso and Joe Rapolla —  bring their Songwriters by the Sea series of intimate, relaxed and inspired round-robins to the Pollak Theatre stage, with a cast of very special guest artists to be announced at a later date. The delightfully uncategorizable, NYC-based string quartet ETHEL joins forces with the woman who Rolling Stone described as one the "new guitar gods" —  Kaki King — for …And Other Stories (Friday, April 4, 2014), a program that spans a re-imagined Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 by Bach, as well as selections from the artists' own repertoires, and the world premiere of a piece by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov.

The new season also spotlights some returning favorites, prominent among them the ever-popular annual holiday concert by Father Alphonse Stephenson and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea (Friday December 6, 2013 at 8 p.m.). The traveling "1940s Musical Revue" known as In the Mood brings the sounds, steps and styles of the World War II era back to life on the afternoon of Sunday, April 6, 2014 — and over at the nearby Lauren K. Woods Theatre, the premier interpreter of traditional Irish words and music Seán Tyrrell plays an intimate encore performance on (Thursday April 10, 2014).  These are just some of the exciting events in the new Performing Arts season with more big name acts to be announced throughout the summer.

The Center for the Arts has much more to offer throughout the 2013-2014 season — including the acclaimed Visiting Writers series at Wilson Hall; the area's exclusive venue for live High Def screenings from the Metropolitan Opera (including an all new Falstaff conducted by James Levine) and the National Theatre of London (new productions of Shakespeare classics ("Othello" and "Macbeth"); professional children's theatre productions by Theatreworks USA; major concerts at the MAC; showcases for the art and performance talents of our students and faculty; plus exciting new developments at our on-campus art galleries. Look for the 2013-2014 Season Brochure appearing soon, and check for complete schedule details and updated information on upcoming events at Monmouth University.

Tickets to all events in the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series are on sale now, with reservations available online, or by calling the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889.

Performing Arts Series Events at the Lauren K. Woods Theatre:

April 10, 2014/ 7:30 p.m.

Performing Arts Series Events at the Pollak Theatre:

September 25, 2013/ 8 p.m.

Aquila Theatre's FAHRENHEIT 451
September 27, 2013/ 8 p.m.

October 18, 2013/ 8 p.m.

November 1, 2013/ 8 p.m.

November 8, 2013/ 8 p.m.

LAUREN FOX: The Songs of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen
November 16, 2013/ 8 p.m.

December 5, 2013/ 8 p.m.

FATHER ALPHONSE STEPHENSON and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea
December 6, 2013/ 8 p.m.

WINTERSONG, A Holiday Concert
December 12 / 7:30 p.m.

THE HIT MEN's Holiday Show
December 13, 2013/ 8 p.m.

April 6, 2014/ 4 p.m.

March 29, 2014/ 8 p.m.

ETHEL featuring Kaki King
April 4, 2014/ 7:30 p.m.

SPRING AWAKENINGS (Department of Music and Theatre Arts Concert)
April 17, 2014/ 7:30 p.m.