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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...10/1/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 10/01/2015
Stephen Joshua Sondheim (Pronounced Sond Haim) was born in New York City. He grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side and later, on a farm near Doylestown, PA. He saw his first Broadway play at the age of nine and the rest as they say, "Is history."  In time, this son of dress making parents would go on to become a man whom many consider to be one of, if not the greatest songwriter of all time. 
Garnering eight Tony Awards, including one for "Lifetime Achievement," eight Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize and a Laurence Olivier Award; to utter that Sondheim's contributions to music and theater are outstanding; is an understatement. So then, it's easy to understand why the man who gave us lyrics for classics such as "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," who composed the music for "Sweeney Todd" and countless other well known works, the man who was mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II and is perhaps the most revered composer and lyricist as well as one of Broadway's brightest lights, will be honored at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark at the "Spotlight Gala of the Women's Association of NJPAC-An Evening of Song in Celebration of the 85th Birthday of Stephen Sondheim." 
October 3 the stars will come out to sing, dance and act in a tribute to Sondheim. Tony Award winners and nominees such as Judy Kuhn, James Monroe Iglehart, Tony Yazbeck and the incomparable Vanessa Williams, along with a special guest appearance by Len Cariou; will be under the musical direction of XM Radio's Broadway Channel host Seth Rudetsky. 
"This is a great array of singers," says Rudetsky. "Judy Kuhn is one of the best tenors on broadway; Vanessa? First off, she is just stunning and so talented as is the entire group; this is going to be spectacular." 
In his role as the host of Sirius/XM's "Broadway Channel," Rudetsky gets six hours daily to air his favorite Broadway show tunes; he's got less than 36 hours to put this how together before the Gala. "It's a nice band," he explains; "A contractor finds me the musicians and they are some really amazing and talented players. We have an orchestra-tor; which really helps and our first rehearsal is Friday and then all day prior to gala Saturday. Friday will be with the performers and the band, then Saturday with the band and crew. These musicians are used to reading charts and the sound guys at the PAC are so good that I really don't need to worry." 
The gala itself is the largest "Black tie affair" in New Jersey, with over 1,000 professionals, philanthropists and attendees; all uniting to raise funds for the NJPAC and its Arts Education Program. The "Signature event" of the "Woman's Association of the NJPAC," the gala is their primary fund raising event; assisting the venue in their efforts to bring top notch, quality entertainment and the arts to the masses. This year's soiree promises to be one of the best yet, as these self professed "Broadway geeks" mark the great Sondheim's landmark birthday. 
Rudetsky forged his relationship with the gala in 2014,"I was recommended by a friend," states Seth. "He recommended me to the ladies last year and they hired me; they asked me back again this year. Unfortunately, I don't know Stephen Sondheim personally but I am very much looking forward to working with the cast and crew and I've prepared what I feel is a very entertaining program. Many people feel that Sondheim is esoteric and heavy because of his work like Sweeney Todd but he also is so much more. There will be light moments, comedy and dancing; I've put together a fun show. There will be no, "And the next song will be...Boring," he said with a chuckle. 
Being the musical director for an undertaking such as this may have its challenges. Things such as schedules and egos can often frustrate those in charge but Rudetsky says that working with this cast is not hard at all."Working with big names like these; gosh they're all big stars and not at all difficult to work with. Last year was a bit easier music wise but this group; they're all extremely accommodating. I think, at least based on my experiences, that Broadway people have no egos; that's more Hollywood and film. This cast is very easy to work with." 
The NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street in Newark and kicks off with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail and networking reception followed at 7 p.m. by the show with a gourmet dinner at 8:45 p.m. To discover more about the event; please go to 
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!


Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton

(609) 924-5555
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Thursday Jazz" feat. Ben Krejci Trio
Sun. 9 p.m. Barley Harvest
Wed. 8 p.m. Mike & Laura
All shows 21+


Amalfi's Restaurant

146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

Fri 8:30 p.m. Highway 41

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Ten Foot Tall w/ Jeanne Yarrow

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor
(609) 448-7144

 Fri. 8 p.m. Rock & Rhythm

Sat. 8 p.m. Meg Hanson Band feat. Billy Hill


Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

 Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 


Bruno's Bicycles, One Sweet Ride

19 South Main St. Allentown

(609) 208-0544

Fri. 7 p.m. Radio Fiction


The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton

Sat. 5 p.m. Cut The Act, The Electric Backwards Man, Results Not Typical. All ages, $10

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Mon. 5 p.m. Stitched Up Heart, Run To Cover, (TBA). All ages, $10/$12


Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612

 Sat. 3 p.m. Joanna Pascale. (No cover-$10 minimum)


Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182

 Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs

Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night


City Streets

510 Route 130 South East Windsor

(609) 426-9400

Sat. 10 p.m. Gyrl Band


Dog & Bull Brew House

810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.

(215) 788-2855

Thurs. 8 p.m. Dane Rosenfeld

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.


Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  


Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897

Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Little Feat Tribute w/ Sailin' Shoes. Doors at 6 p.m., $15

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Coast 2 Coast

Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Wed. Pat Foran and Friends


Hopewell Valley Vineyards

46 Yard Rd. Pennington

(609) 737-4465

Fri. 6 p.m. Deb & Mike


Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 10 p.m. Papa Delux

Sat. 10 p.m. Honey Spot Blvd. 

All shows 21+


John & Peter's 

96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981

Fri. 9 p.m. Moonbreaker

Sat. 9 p.m. River City Healers w/ Jeremiah Tall

Sun. (3 p.m.) Hank Woji (9 p.m.) Sea Man

Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic w/ Tim

Tues. 9 p.m. Fred & Bill

Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational

All shows 21+


JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke


Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Laurita Winery

85 Archertown Rd. New Egypt

(609) 752-0200

Sun. 6:30 p.m. Radio Fiction 


Palermo's Of Hamilton

310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 838-7979

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

All shows 21+ 


Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780

Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sensei Juan & the Black Belts

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Kevin Toft & The All Stars


Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008

Fri. 9:30 p.m. 80's Undercover

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit


Plumstead Grill

457 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge

(609) 758-5552

Fri. 9 p.m. Dirty Red


Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766

Sun. 11 a.m. Meet Mark & Mark of "Weird NJ" Magazine


RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Night" w/ DJ Paul Desisto. Ages 21+, $5 (with college ID), $15 (without)

Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) Black Frost

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 


The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020

 Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke


The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555

 Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee

Sat. 10 p.m. Twisted Charm

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron


The Roost

181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge

(609) 208-2500

Fri. 9 p.m. The Polish Nannies

Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction

The Sticky Wicket

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007

Fri. 9 p.m. (TBA)

Sat. 9 p.m. It Starts With 


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200

 Check web site for upcoming events


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554

Fri. 9 p.m. Bill Shannon

Sat. 9 p.m. John Patrick Bastiani

Sun. 3 p.m. Irish Sessions

Tues. 7 p.m. "Live Radio Broadcast" feat. Hank Woji / hosted by 40 Foot Hole Studio

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000

 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat


Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

 Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday Presents: "Old Work Meets New" by Howard Michaels

Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.


Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300

Fri. 10 p.m. Lover's League w/ Owl and Wolf. ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 12 p.m. Oktoberfest 

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign ups 6:30 p.m.)

Wed. 9 p.m. Abbie Morin

All shows 21+


Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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