New Jersey Stage menu
New Jersey Stage home
New Jersey Stage search button

Search website



Lisa Rock To Perform The Music of The Carpenters at Kean Stage

originally published: 01/22/2018

Lisa Rock To Perform The Music of The Carpenters at Kean Stage(UNION, NJ) -- Give your sweetheart an early Valentine’s Day gift and enjoy the soft-rock, uplifting music of The Carpenters as vocalist Lisa Rock performs Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters at Kean Stage on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00pm.  

The Carpenters, featuring brother and sister Karen and Richard Carpenter, had a dozen Top 10 hits on the Billboard charts in the 1970s and early 1980s. Rock, who has the same deep, sophisticated, four-octave voice as Karen Carpenter, recreates Carpenter hits such as (They Long To Be) Close to You, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun, Please Mr. Postman and Rainy Days and Mondays.

“I miss her, I love her, and I honor her every time I’m on stage,” said Rock of Karen Carpenter. “What she left behind is relevant and, in hindsight, so poignant.”

Rolling Stone magazine named Karen Carpenter, who died in 1983, one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Richard Carpenter worked as a composer, arranger and the band’s keyboardist. 

“I’ve listened to the Carpenters from childhood,” said Rock. “My parents had every album. I always loved her voice.”

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Since graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Rock has spent the last 30 years working as an actor, playwright, singer and music therapist. She has written dozens of cabarets and has performed everything from theater to pop music to opera. She returned to her musical roots and performed a cabaret tribute to Karen Carpenter in Minneapolis in 2010, and it sold out. Since then, Rock and her band have performed The Carpenters’ tribute show more than 200 times.

“It’s been a very amazing ride for me,” she said. “My backup singers and my band are extraordinary, every one of them. Some of them weren’t even alive when this music was out, but they love it. The passion they bring to it is very admirable.”

In addition to her spot-on renditions of the hits, Rock encourages audience participation and tells some interesting facts about The Carpenters. One such story involves songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, who penned We’ve Only Just Begun in 1968. It was originally written as a bank commercial in an effort to attract young couples and newlyweds to Crocker National Bank in California. When Richard Carpenter heard the song on TV, he inquired as to whether there was a full version, which there was. The Carpenters recorded it and it soared to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The record became the second gold single for the pair. 

Rock’s vocal range, being so similar to that of Karen Carpenter, allows her to perform these songs in their original key, keeping them more recognizable for the audience.

“When she hits the lower range of her marvelous voice, if you close your eyes, you can see Karen Carpenter’s face,” said Chicago theater writer Alan Bresloff.

Karen Carpenter’s beautiful voice has certainly stood the test of time.

“These songs resonate because they really hit you at your soul,” said Rock. “I’ve sung them hundreds of times and I never get tired of them. I’m transported every single time. Karen’s longevity is a testament to her as an artist.”

To honor Karen Carpenter, who died of anorexia, Rock donates a portion of the CD sales at her shows to a local food bank, in Carpenter’s name. “This is our way of giving back and shining a light on what a serious mental health issue anorexia is,” said Rock. “Instead of Karen being remembered for that, we want her to be remembered for her golden voice.” 

Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters will take place at 3:00pm on Sunday, February 11 at Enlow Recital Hall, 215 North Ave., Hillside, on Kean University’s East Campus. Tickets are $25 to $35 and are available by calling the box office at 908-737-7469 or visiting www.keanstage.com



A Christmas Carol

Thursday, December 08, 2022 @ 7:30pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Matthews Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: theatre

Click here for full description

Vienna Boys Choir

Thursday, December 08, 2022 @ 7:00pm
Grunin Center
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754
category: music

Click here for full description


Thursday, December 08, 2022 @ 8:00pm
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: music

Click here for full description

Seton Hall University Annual Winter Concert

Thursday, December 08, 2022 @ 7:30pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ 07079
category: music

Click here for full description

George Street Playhouse presents "Joy"

Friday, December 09, 2022 @ 8:00pm
New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC)
11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: theatre

Click here for full description

A Rockapella Holiday

Friday, December 09, 2022 @ 8:00pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ 07079
category: music

Click here for full description

A Christmas Story, The Musical

Friday, December 09, 2022 @ 7:30pm
Algonquin Arts Theatre
60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736
category: theatre

Click here for full description

For more event listings, click here


more in music



New Jersey Stage © 2022 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 | info@newjerseystage.com

Nobody covers the Arts throughout the Garden State like New Jersey Stage!

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows