BANDSTAND, A Cappella Lie And Ballet Folclorico Come to MPAC In March

By: Feb. 11, 2020

BANDSTAND, A Cappella Lie And Ballet Folclorico Come to MPAC In March

Get ready for an aca-perfect night of amazing vocals when MPAC presents A Cappella Live, Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $29-$69.

Built on the classic Motown review tour model, A Cappella Live features four of the nation's greatest a cappella acts to performing arts centers around America: the charming boyband sound and moves of The Filharmonic; the rich harmonies of gospel legends Committed, winners of The Sing-Off season 2; the chart-topping beatbox of Blake Lewis, American Idol season 6 finalist; and 2017 International A Cappella Open champions Women of the World.

Deke Sharon, vocal producer of NBC's The Sing-Off and musical director and arranger for the Pitch Perfect trilogy, is creative artistic director of the show.

Semi-finalists from The Sing-Off Season 4 featured in Universal Pictures' Pitch Perfect 2. Vocalists Vj Rosales, Joe Caigoy, Trace Gaynor, Vocal Bass Jules Cruz, and Beat Boxer Niko Del Rey became a viral sensation after their appearance on The Late Late Show and appeared on more than 150 stages nationwide in 2016 and were the #1 college booked entertainment group of the year.

Grammy-nominated, Season 2 champions of NBC's hit musical competition The Sing-Off. For over a decade Dennis Baptiste, Geston Pierre, Maurice Staple, Robert Pressley, and Theron Thomas have been traveling the world sharing their harmonies, teaching workshops, and using their influence to make an impact in various communities.

Blake Lewis
Runner-up on the sixth season of ABC's American Idol, Blake Lewis is a singer, songwriter and beat boxer. His album Audio Day Dream has sold over 350,000 copies.

The 2017 International A Cappella Open champions, Women of the World is a quartet of musicians who perform in more than 31 languages. Ayumi Ueda, Annette Philip, Débo Ray, and Giorgia Renosto have performed in venues from Blue Note Jazz Club to Carnegie Hall.
Mexico's cultural ambassadors, Ballet Folclorico Nacional de Mexico de Silvia Lozano, perform at MPAC on Friday, March 13 at 8 pm. Tickets are $29-$59.

The Ballet Folclórico Nacional de Mexico is an institution tasked with the dissemination, preservation and promotion of the Culture of Mexico, both at home and abroad. As of 2020, the BFNM will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of its artistic career, continuing the legacy of Mexico's leading researchers and practitioners of folklore, dance, music, and costumes.

In its long career, they have performed in over forty countries and five continents, receiving numerous awards and prizes, as well as being designated an Ambassador of Mexican Culture. In addition to its international tours, the Ballet Folclórico Nacional de Mexico maintains residencies in Mexico City and Cancun.

The Ballet Folclórico Nacional de Mexico was featured in the original production of "Xcaret Mexico Espectacular," which performed 365 days a year for nearly20 years, with over 200 artists taking the stage throughout its run. This show was directed and choreographed entirely by SILVIA LOZANO, General Director and Choreographer The Ballet Folclórico Nacional de Mexico.

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Bandstand comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center for two performances, Tuesday-Wednesday, March 17-18. Tickets are $59-$99.

Originally directed and choreographed by three-time Tony winner and Hamilton choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, featuring music by Richard Oberacker with book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker, this poignant and inspiring new American musical explodes with infectious music and high-octane, heart-stopping dancing.

The touring cast features several New Jersey natives including co-lead Jennifer Elizabeth Smith of Florham Park, Louis Jannuzzi III of Hillsborough, Mallory Nolting of Wood-Ridge and Matthew Mucha of Fair Lawn. (full cast below)

It's 1945. As America's soldiers come home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, struggles to rebuild the life he left behind. When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation's next great musical superstars, Donny sees a lifeline for himself and some fellow veterans that gives them the purpose they so desperately need. Together, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice, and finally feel like they have a place to call home.

Bandstand is "both a peppy celebration of can-do spirit and a more somber exploration of what American servicemen experienced when they marched home from World War II. It's a great argument for why theater can sometimes tell a story more boldly and more viscerally" (The New York Times). "The show defies you not to be moved" (Time Out New York).

The national tour cast stars Zack Zaromatidis as Donny Novitski and Jennifer Elizabeth Smith as Julia Trojan. They will be joined by Roxy York (Mrs. June Adams), Rob Clove (Jimmy Campbell), Benjamin Powell (Davy Zlatic), Scott Bell (Nick Radel), Louis Jannuzzi III (Wayne Wright), and Jonmichael Tarleton (Johnny Simpson).

The cast also includes Shaunice Alexander, Beth Anderson, Michael Bingham, Milena J. Comeau, Ryan P. Cyr, Sarah Dearstyne, Michael Hardenberg, Andre Malcolm, Kaitlyn Mayse, Matthew Mucha, Mallory Nolting, Taylor Okey, Katie Pohlman, Oz Shoshan, and Cameron Turner.

The award-winning Bandstand design team includes Tony Award nominee David Korins and associate Justin West (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Paloma Young (Costume Design), Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Nevin Steinberg (Original Broadway Sound Design), David Thomas (Tour Sound Design), J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova (Makeup, Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award nominee Greg Anthony Rassen (Co-Orchestrator and Music Arranger), Tony Award winner and 2017 Tony Award nominee Bill Elliott (Co-Orchestrator), Fred Lassen (Music Supervisor), Gina Rattan (Tour Director), with choreography restaged and additional choreography by Marc Heitzman. Tour Casting by Kate Lumpkin, CSA.

Bandstand is produced by Work Light Productions and was originally produced on Broadway by Tom Smedes, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck, Roger Horchow, Peter Stern, Michael Palitz, Jane Dubin, Tom Kirdahy, David Lyons, Sarah Perot, James L. Nederlander, James & Catherine Berges, Darren DeVerna & Jere Harris, Jeff & Ellen Adler, Nancy & Randy Best, Deep End Productions, Patty Baker, Terry D. Loftis/Scott D. Huffman, Independent Presenters Network/Charles & Lisa Siegel, Rosie Gunther McCooe/J. Scott & Sylvia G. Bechtel, Roy Putrino/Heather Shields, Diane & John Kalishman/Alison & John Ferring and The Shubert Organization in association with Paper Mill Playhouse.

Bandstand features several cast members with New Jersey roots, available for press:

Jennifer Elizabeth Smith is a Florham Park, NJ native that currently plays the role of Julia Trojan in the Bandstand National Tour. She graduated from Boston Conservatory with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre and has also been seen in the National Tour of Something Rotten! playing the role of Portia. Jennifer likes to play the ukulele and the mandolin.

Louis Januzzi III plays the role of Wayne Wright in the Bandstand National Tour. He was born in Hillsborough, NJ and graduated from DeSales University with a B.A in Musical Theatre. Some of his equity credits include Evita, Les Miserables, and Fiddler on the Roof. Louis is also a professional instrumentalist, he plays the violin, guitar, trombone, ukulele and percussion.

Mallory Nolting was born in Wood-Ridge, NJ and is part of the Ensemble of the Bandstand National Tour. She is a dancer, singer, and actor that graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC with a B.A in Dance. Mallory has also been on the road with the National Tour of 42nd Street and performing on cruise ships. She loves teaching and choreographing at local dance studios and judging for conventions/competitions.

Matthew Mucha was born in Fair Lawn, NJ and plays the role of Andre and is part of the Ensemble for the Bandstand National Tour. He graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC with a B.F.A in acting and Musical Theatre. Matthew loves acting, Batman, and acting like Batman when no one is looking.

Michael Hardenberg is a dancer, singer, and actor born in Verona, NJ. He is part of the Ensemble of the National Tour of Bandstand and is an understudy for the roles of Jimmy and Johnny. Michael graduated from Messiah College with a B.A in Theatre and a Music Minor. He is the Co-Founder of We Dance, a dance studio in New Jersey where he is a Ballet and Tap instructor

For more information, visit

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