(MANASQUAN, NJ) -- After eight months in the dark, live indoor events are scheduled to return to Algonquin Arts Theatre for two weekends this November. The lineup includes: The Billy Joel Songbook starring Chris Pinnella, Singin & Swingin’ the Clouds Away featuring James Langton, Molly Ryan and Dan Levinson, Viva La Diva starring Carter Calvert and Cabar-AYE, a cabaret style event starring the Algonquin Youth Ensemble.
The four-show series begins on Saturday, November 14, with local favorite and acclaimed vocalist Chris Pinnella (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) performing at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. His program, The Billy Joel Songbook, features a 7-piece band playing through a number of the Piano Man’s hits as well as some deep cuts.
On Sunday, November 15, the stars of the Algonquin’s popular Jazz Series swing into town for shows at 3:00pm and 7:00pm. James Langton, Molly Ryan and Dan Levinson feature in a specially-created program called “Singin’ & Swingin’ the Clouds Away,” packed with sunny songs – mostly from the Swing Era – that were made famous by such iconic performers as Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Fats Waller, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Shirley Temple. The six-person group includes Rossano Sportiello at the keyboard, Rob Adkins on bass and Kevin Dorn on drums.
The second weekend of programming begins with 2:00pm and 8:00pm performances of Viva La Diva starring Carter Calvert on Saturday, November 21. The Broadway star and Algonquin crowd favorite presents a concert full of music from everyone’s favorite divas including Carole King, Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin and many more.
The series closes on Sunday, November 22, at 3:00pm with the Algonquin Youth Ensemble’s cabaret event, Caber-AYE. Students – many who have starred in past productions of shows like Annie, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, Newsies, and Beauty & the Beast – will feature in solo performances.
The Algonquin has put a number of pandemic-related policies in place, a full list of which are available on each event listing at algonquinarts.org. All patrons and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the theatre. A maximum of 125 tickets can be sold for each performance and seating will be spread across the theatre’s more than 500 seats. No front row center seats will be sold and performers will be positioned further upstage than normal.
The theatre has also revised policies to allow patrons who must quarantine or who are not feeling well to stay home and request a refund.
The initial interest in the concerts has been strong. Almost 20% of available inventory was sold less than 24 hours after tickets went on sale to the public on Tuesday, October 20.
“We are looking forward to artists returning to our stage and patrons returning to their seats,” said Algonquin Arts Theatre Board Chair Eliot Arlo Colon. “We recognize that not everyone is ready to come back to the theatre. But until we can host sold-out crowds to large-scale musical productions, we’re going to operate under these ‘new normal’ procedures to provide opportunities for both the artists and our patrons to return.”
Tickets are available online at algonquinarts.org or by phone at 732-528-9211. The theatre’s Box Office is closed to walk-in customers for the time being.
Online purchases are limited to 4 tickets per show, and can only be purchased in blocks of up to 2. Patrons looking to seat a part of 3 or 4 together should call the Box Office directly to place an order. The theatre is asking all patrons to review the new policies prior to purchase.
Algonquin Arts Theatre is currently in the planning stages for December programs and will announce holiday and winter programming on a rolling basis. The calendar website is the most up-to-date source for information, and anyone interested in future shows can join the theatre’s email list at algonquinarts.org.
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501c(3) non-profit center for performing arts, providing cultural enrichment and arts education for residents and visitors of Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore through high quality performances and programs in theatre, music, dance and film. Located in Manasquan, N.J., AAT is an integral part of the Shore Region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. The theatre provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering gr eater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.
Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided by Hackensack Meridian Health, the PNC Foundation, Mansaquan Bank, the OceanFirst Foundation, the Investors Bank Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the generosity of other businesses and our patrons.