Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

South Orange Performing Arts Center Announces 2022 Gala

On November 5, join the arts organization at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club for a night of Broadway entertainment, a live auction and more in support of arts education.

South Orange Performing Arts Center Announces 2022 Gala

On Saturday, November 5 at 6PM, patrons, community leaders and artists will gather at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club for the South Orange Performing Arts Center's 2022 Gala. The event-SOPAC's largest fundraiser of the year-will raise significant funds to support local arts education and serve the community through arts experiences that inspire and transform.

Guests will enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, strolling dinner, silent and live auctions, an honoree presentation, entertainment and more.

This year, the SOPAC Gala will honor former SOPAC Board of Governors Chair Paul Bartick for his years of service and dedication to the organization, as well as the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race for their commitment to building and maintaining a thriving, racially integrated, suburban community.

During the entertainment portion of the evening, audiences will be dazzled by Broadway and West End star Mark Evans and two-time winner of Amateur Night at The Apollo, Alexis Morrast.

Tickets to the SOPAC Gala are $300 per person and can be purchased at SOPACnow.org/Gala.

Meet the Honorees:

Paul Bartick joined SOPAC's Board in 2011 and became Board Chair in 2016. During his six-year tenure as Chair, Bartick helped to shepherd SOPAC through the Covid-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida remediation. Through his dedication, Bartick has been instrumental in turning SOPAC into an institution that, he says, "will continue to evolve...by serving [the] community and presenting arts education that transforms."

The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race was founded in 1996 and has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit organization committed to building and sustaining a community where there is equity and equality for all. Run by a Board of Trustees, the Coalition hosts free public conversations, forums, cultural events and trainings on racial integration, racism and racial equality.

Get to Know the Entertainers:

Mark Evans, a West Orange resident and renowned actor, singer, dancer and director, rose to fame on Broadway and the West End by playing lead roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Waitress, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Book of Mormon, Wicked and many others. Evans is also passionate about arts education. In addition to teaching at theatre schools across the U.K and U.S., he founded and directed the musical theatre summer school West End in Wales, which gives students ages 10-18 the opportunity to work closely with West End professionals. Most recently, Evans performed at SOPAC in the world-premiere musical comedy The Last Supper. Next, he will debut a solo show, Hide & Seek, on Sunday, January 29 as part of SOPAC's new Cabaret in the Loft series.

Alexis Morrast, a Newark native and Plainfield resident, first performed at SOPAC in 2018 in the Jazz in the Loft series and, at just seventeen years old, had her own show on SOPAC's Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall the following year. By that time, she had already won Amateur Night at The Apollo, twice. Morrast has gone on to perform at the U.S. Open, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Coltrane Jazz Festival and abroad in Europe and Africa. At NJPAC, she has shared the stage with Christian McBride and at Dizzy's Coca-Cola Club, she performed with Barry Harris. Morrast is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.




More Hot Stories For You


Surflight's Presents Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS, December 3-18Surflight's Presents Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS, December 3-18
November 23, 2022

Surflight Theatre, after a terrific summer and fall season is now thrilled to be presenting the festive and beloved musical White Christmas from December 3-18th.  With spectacular tap dancing and a dazzling score featuring well-known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean”, Count Your Blessings and the perennial title song, White Christmas is an uplifting musical perfect to bring joy in the Holiday Season.

Hudson Theatre Works Presents Its Annual 10 MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL BenefitHudson Theatre Works Presents Its Annual 10 MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL Benefit
November 23, 2022

Hudson Theatre Works presents its Annual 10 Minute Play Festival benefitting Hudson Theatre Works including new plays by John Patrick Shanley, Richard Vetere, Barbara Blatner, Joanne Hoersch, Zach Weed, Lenny Horst, and Sarah T. Schwab with Robert Funaro of the Sopranos.

Visual Arts Center Of New Jersey Receives Multiple GrantsVisual Arts Center Of New Jersey Receives Multiple Grants
November 23, 2022

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) recently received multiple grant awards from several funders signifying VACNJ's continued commitment to empowering people to see, make, and learn about art. The grants awarded to the Art Center were:

Josh Canfield Joins Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater's THE NUTCRACKER ROCKS Beginning On December 2, 2022Josh Canfield Joins Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater's THE NUTCRACKER ROCKS Beginning On December 2, 2022
November 23, 2022

Josh Canfield, actor and former CBS Survivor contestant will reprise his role as Clara’s eccentric rocker Uncle Drosselmeyer in Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT)’s THE NUTCRACKER ROCKS! Canfield has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and at A.R.T., in productions including the Tony Award-winning production of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Doctor Zhivago and the touring Broadway production of Falsettos.

Gas Lamp Players to Present ELF THE MUSICAL This Holiday SeasonGas Lamp Players to Present ELF THE MUSICAL This Holiday Season
November 23, 2022

Gas Lamp Players will bring Elf the Musical to Essex County as its annual Main Stage production. Four Shows will be staged at Ridgewood Avenue School Theater in Glen Ridge. Performances are Friday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday December 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m.