(FLORHAM PARK, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) is opening up their Back Yard Stage in Florham Park, NJ again for an outdoor concert series titled, “Autumn Night Music.” Three of STNJ’s most luminous alums will bring music to the night air in three very different concerts. Elena Shaddow, Benjamin Eakeley, and Kate Baldwin will be appearing in that order from October 8-15.
STNJ is thrilled to be able to continue to produce live entertainment in the safe and beautiful environment of their Back Yard Stage. Festival seating (first-come, first-served), Great Lawn-style, means that patrons are welcome to bring their own blankets or chairs. The front lawn of the Theatre Factory will be open to any audience members that wish to picnic prior to the concerts, all of which begin at 7:30 and will last a little over an hour. A rain date for each concert has been set and can be found on the STNJ website.
Elena Shaddow, October 8, 2021 – was last seen on Broadway in Terence McNally’s The Visit. On television, she was featured as Sister Sophia in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. She originated the role of Francesca Johnson to critical acclaim in the pre-Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County at Williamstown Theater Festival, directed by Bartlett Sher. Also on Broadway, she’s appeared in the revival of La Cage Aux Folles, The Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Sweet Smell of Success, and Les Misérables. Off-Broadway, Elena starred as Fanny in Fanny at City Center Encores, and she was a member of the Greek Chorus in The Bacchae directed by Joanne Akalitis at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. In London, Elena had the honor of playing Magnolia Hawkes in Show Boat at the Royal Albert Hall. She also originated the role of Clara Johnson in the First National Tour of The Light in the Piazza (2007 Helen Hayes Best Actress Nomination) opposite Christine Andreas. Regionally, she has appeared at The Paper Mill Playhouse, The Muny, and has performed in three productions at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey including Illyria. Elena has performed in numerous concert venues including NYC's 54 Below and The Metropolitan Room, The Fox Theatre in St. Louis, New Brunswick's State Theater, the Newport Performing Arts Center, and many others.
Benjamin Eakeley, October 9, 2021 – Will present his “Best of the Songbook” series, with material from his Broadway Swinger Vol. 1, Broadway Swinger Vol. 2 cabarets as well as an upcoming concert that he is developing for the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Time Out named the Broadway Swinger series a Critics’ Pick and “One of the Best Cabarets in NYC.” Joining Ben on stage is a wonderful jazz trio led by Music Director James Olmstead on piano. Ben has performed in four Broadway musicals and has taught voice in Yale University’s Shen Curriculum for Musical Theatre. He also maintains a private voice studio in NYC. Ben has performed in many productions at STNJ over the years, most recently turning in a beautiful performance in Bonnie J. Monte’s production of The Rainmaker in 2019.
Kate Baldwin, October 15, 2021 – Ms. Baldwin was last seen at STNJ’s Backyard Stage last Fall in two concert performances titled “A Kind of September: An Evening with Kate Baldwin”. She has also performed at STNJ in Shakespeare’s Henry V and performed in the company’s Annual Gala Cabaret. She will be accompanied by her long-time friend and collaborator, Georgia Stitt. Ms. Baldwin will perform signature songs from her rich repertoire that has evolved over the length of her acclaimed career. Hailed as “the redheaded firecracker” by Stephen Holden of The New York Times, the performance will include gorgeous music and expert storytelling from songwriters like Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Jerry Herman, and Ms. Stitt. “We suppose there are some things that Baldwin cannot do, but over the past decade we have yet to see her be anything but superb,” said Steven Suskin of Playbill.
There are a limited number of VIP seats, where audience members can enjoy champagne, gourmet tidbits, and cabaret table seating for a higher ticket price. Ticket prices are $40 for current subscribers, $45 for regular ticket buyers, and VIP tickets are $80. Tickets are available for purchase online. STNJ will be following all recommended health and safety guidelines. For more information, contact STNJ’s Box Office at (973) 408-5600. All proceeds from ticket sales will support the many education programs and artistic offerings of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
All performances will take place at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Back Yard Stage, located at 3 Vreeland Road in Florham Park, New Jersey.