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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.

For more by this author, click here

Arijit Singh's New North American Tour Will Include Single Stop In Tri-State Region At Prudential Center on April 13
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Bright Brain Productions, the leading entertainment company based in California announced the “Arijit Singh LIVE Tour” in 12 cities all across the U.S. This is the first of its kind and largest tour done by Arijit Singh or any Indian artist. The tour beings on April 5 and travels through major U.S. cities culminating on May 5.  The tour stops at Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday, April 13 at 7:00pm.
Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!

Event calendar
Friday, Jan 18, 2019


John Forster at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

David Massengill - Folk Concert @ Christ Congregation Church, Princeton - 8:00pm

SAL "THE VOICE" VALENTINETTI @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

The Elvis Birthday Bash @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm


"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Annie Jr. @ The Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Some Girl(s) @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm


Big Apple Comedy Club @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


The Jason Bishop Show to Benefit CASA @ Pfleeger Concert Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro - 7:00pm

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