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Dramarama Returns To Asbury Park for the First Time Since Breaking Up at the Stone Pony

By Gary Wien

(Asbury Park, NJ -- May 6, 2004) -- Nearly 10 years ago, Dramarama played their final show as a band at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Last Saturday night (May 1st), the band finally returned to the city as the surprise guest headliners for the Upstage Magazine benefit show at the Wonder Bar. Even though the band had played a show the night before, Dramarama gave the crowd a full 21-song set that went from 1:15am until 3:30am.

Interest in Dramarama may be at its all-time peak thanks to being part of VH-1's show "Bands Reunited" which attempted to bring classic bands from the 1980s back together. The show managed to get the original lineup of Dramarama back on stage for the first time since that Stone Pony show. The success of the VH-1 special and the release of a new Dramarama record brought the band back on tour.

Dramarama consists of John Easdale, Mark Englert, Peter Wood, Tony Snow, Mike Davis, and Craig Ballam. Chris Carter, an original band member who is now a popular DJ in California, chose not to rejoin the band for this tour. In essence the band is a combination of original Dramarama band members and members of the John Easdale west coast band.

Leading off the show with "Stuck in Wonderamaland", Easdale and the boys ripped through a mixture of Dramarama classics, rare nuggets and new songs. Playing before a crowd of between 100-125 die-hard fans, the band gave the crowd a private party they will never forget. Songs included the popular live numbers "Incredible", "Until The Next Time", "It's Only Money", "Steve & Edie", "I've Got Spies", "No Regrets", "Work For Food", "Haven't Got A Clue", "Scenario", "Last Cigarette", and "Anything, Anything". Highlights of the night included a blistering version of "Everybody Dies" from the band's latest CD and the band's first ever cover of "Knocking On Heaven's Door" with guest vocals by the legendary Jersey Shore rocker, Lance Larson.

The show was a benefit to help raise money for Upstage Magazine, a New Jersey publication that focuses on the arts. Over 20 bands showed their support of the magazine by taking turns on stage. Artists included Dramarama, April Smith, Bobby Strange, Bruce Tunkel, The Trio (Josh Zandman, JPAT, Tommy Anton), Eystone, DIBS, StereoSoul, Audiot, Bob Burger, Jason Shain, Chrisie Santoni Band, D.W.I., Matt O'Ree, Robert Dye Band, Melissa Chill, Wendie Wells and the Wonderboys, Ken Shane, Days Awake, Danny White Band, and The Ayes. Special appearances were made by Josh Zuckerman and the Dave Peel Project.

"Upstage Magazine focuses on giving a voice to many arts organizations that cannot afford to advertise," said Upstage publisher, Gary Wien. "We try to give everyone a chance to have their voice heard. This benefit helped us raise some money to cover our operating costs and be able to continue promoting the arts. In the seven months we have been publishing Upstage, we have helped sponsor film festivals, music events, and art shows. We've donated thousands of dollars of advertising space to help promote local benefit shows and it was good to see the support of the artists when we needed help."

Upstage Magazine is distributed for free in New Brunswick, Princeton, Trenton, Asbury Park, Red Bank, Long Branch, Toms River, Point Pleasant and various towns along the Jersey Shore. In addition, each issue is put online at . Advertising in the magazine ranges from $25 for a business card ad to $300 for a full page ad. Full advertising information is available online at or by calling 732-280-3305.

The Wonder Bar is located across from Convention Hall in Asbury Park at 5th and Ocean. It is being restored to its original look of the 60s and 70s where it was a fixture on the local music scene. Bruce Springsteen fans know the bar as the place where Clarence Clemons used to play and where Bruce filmed the video for "One Step Up... Two Steps Back" from the "Tunnel Of Love" record.

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NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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