Kelli O'Hara to Headline 2017 Gala at Axelrod Performing Arts Center

Kelli O'Hara to Headline 2017 Gala at Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) will host six-time Tony nominee and winner Kelli O'Hara for its annual gala on Saturday evening, October 28, 2017.

O'Hara has played leading roles on Broadway in two Lincoln Center revivals of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics "The King and I" and "South Pacific" as well as "The Pajama Game," "Bridges of Madison County," "The Light in the Piazza," "Gershwin's Nice Work If You Can Get It" and several others.

In addition to her Broadway credits, O'Hara has sung with the New York Philharmonic (in concerts of "Carousel" and "My Fair Lady") and has appeared on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera (New Year's Eve in "The Merry Widow" in 2015 opposing Renee Fleming and this coming spring in Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte"). In NBC's live telecast of "Peter Pan," O'Hara played Mrs. Darling, of which Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Kelli O'Hara sang so beautifully, she made everyone forget for a little while that this wasn't an actual Broadway production."

Few modern musical-theater divas have garnered as many consistent raves as Kelli O'Hara, with critics falling over themselves to find new superlatives: "radiant," "angelic," "superb," "exquisite". With ten Broadway roles under her belt, she has become one of the theater's most sought-after leading ladies. New York Times head critic Ben Brantley called O'Hara "one of our greatest reinterpreters of musical standards" in his review of "The King and I": "As played by Ms. O'Hara, [Anna is] a smart, scrappy, willful pragmatist who also happens to know that love is often as strange as it is undeniable. That knowledge infuses every note Ms. O'Hara sings, and it is something wonderful indeed."

Tony-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher "Fiddler on the Roof," "Oslo," "The King and I") raved about his star, "She has the most beautiful soprano in American musical theater."

A recipient of a three-year New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, APAC recently has been transitioning into a regional theater, hiring professional actors, designers and directors to create its musical theater productions. With 500 seats, APAC is the largest professional theater in the area. In addition to Equity actors hired in principal roles, APAC has hosted concerts with such Broadway artists as Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Maureen McGovern and Marin Mazzie. Additionally, classical music superstar Joshua Bell will be performing at the theater on Sunday, October 8, alongside Pamela Frank, Daniel Heifetz and the Smithsonian Axelrod Quartet in "A Concert of a Lifetime," a tribute to the theater's recently deceased namesake Dr. Herbert Axelrod.

"An Evening with Kelli O'Hara" takes place at Axelrod Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 8 p.m. Located at 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park (Ocean Township), APAC provides free, ample onsite parking and is completely handicap accessible. Hearing assistive devices available.

VIP tickets are $180 per person, which includes a pre-concert champagne reception at 7 p.m. and an artist meet-and-greet after the concert. Tickets are also available for $75, $100 and $125. For reservations for "An Evening with Kelli O'Hara" call the box office at 732-531-9106, ext 14 or go online to

Photo Credit: Perennial Entertainment

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