(ASBURY PARK) -- The Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) hosts the official opening of the newly restored Arthur Pryor Bandshell on the Asbury Park Boardwalk with a special concert event on Wednesday, May 12, at 6:30pm featuring the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (PRO). They kick off the Vogel Summer Concert Series which APAC is presenting on Wednesday nights throughout the summer in Asbury Park.
The management of the Asbury Park Board “is ecstatic to announce the official reopening of the Asbury Park Bandshell” with such an impressive variety of Broadway stars and favorite local musical artists.
The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the only band specializing in the original music and arrangements of legendary Asbury Park bandleader Arthur Pryor.
Tim McLoone, of the Iron Whale, the restaurant that provides food and beverage service for the Bandshell, enthuses, “As a musician myself, I could not be more excited about finally activating the Arthur Pryor Bandshell and with that brilliant music. This is just the start of a brand-new era of live music on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.”
PRO conductor Rick Benjamin, born in Asbury Park, established PRO after discovering thousands of Pryor’s scores in an abandoned warehouse in Asbury Park in 1985. He and his fellow students from Julliard gave the first concert of this outrageously happy ragtime music at Lincoln Center the following year.
“What a joy it is to return with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra to Asbury Park and the Arthur Pryor Bandshell—the place where, at age 15, I played my first professional concert—to pay tribute to an historic musician who has greatly influenced my career,” says Benjamin. “Arthur Pryor’s music was world renowned and even today transports us to magical, simpler times. And that’s the experience we look forward to bringing to our live audiences in the great city of Asbury Park.”
The Arthur Pryor Bandshell, in its current location on Fifth Avenue, was originally constructed in 1962, replacing the original uncovered bandshell on Eighth Avenue. After being closed to the public for a couple of decades, today’s bandshell has been newly restored by Madison Marquette and will officially open to the public on May 12 with this inaugural concert of Arthur Pryor’s music just in time to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary.
The Vogel Summer Concert Series continues with The Wicked Divas on May 26, starring two of Broadway’s favorite witches from the blockbuster musical, Alli Mauzey and Dee Roscioli, who will sing favorite songs from “Wicked” and other Broadway musicals.
On June 9, “American Idol” alum and twice-Tony-nominated Broadway star Constantine Maroulis (“Rock of Ages” and “Jekyll and Hyde”) will perform original songs and favorite rock songs with his band.
On June 23 Tony-nominated Broadway star Jarrod Spector (“Jersey Boys” and “Beautiful”) is joined by his wife Kelli Barrett (“Wicked”).
The Weeklings, the popular Beatles inspired band led by Jersey artists Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger, will perform on July 14.
Tony-nominated Broadway star, from the original company of “Rent” and “Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida,” Adam Pascal will perform on July 28.
“American Idol” darlings and Broadway stars Ace Young (“Grease” and “Hair”) and Diana DeGarmo (“Hairspray”) will take the stage on August 11.
The Shore’s most popular Motown tribute band The Motor City Revue will create their authentic musical magic on August 25.
The Arthur Pryor Bandshell is located at 1200 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Show times are 5:30pm and 8:00pm for most shows.
APAC also is presenting the concert series on the scenic rooftop deck at Bell Works in Holmdel on Thursday nights with full bar service and menu provided by Bar Bellà and Bell Market. The schedule at Bell Works includes soul and rock sensation Remember Jones on May 13 and May 21, jazz greats Dr. Art Topilow, Danny Bacher and Grammy winner Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks (“Boardwalk Empire”) on May 27, Constantine Maroulis on June 10, Broadway stars Ali Mauzey and Dee Roscioli (The Wicked Divas) on June 24, the Weeklings on July 15, Adam Pascal on July 29, the Doo Wop Project, five guys from Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” and “Motown the Musical” with a five-piece band, on August 7 and 8, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo on August 12 and the Motor City Revue on August 26.
Bell Works is located at 101 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel, New Jersey.