Check Out Who’s Coming To SOPAC! 40 Must-See Shows in New Season!

A legendary voice of love, “the funniest woman in the world,” a forefather of Funk, an SNL veteran, the High Priestess of R&B, and the king and queen of the banjo—these are just a few of the 40 highly anticipated acts in the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s 2022-2023 Season.

Experience Grammy winners (Judy Collins, Peabo Bryson, George Porter Jr., Béla Fleck, Paula Cole), genre-defying artists (Sweet Honey in the Rock, Naturally 7, Sons of Serendip, Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway), five Kids ‘N Family shows and the much-loved Laughs in the Loft series.

“We’re thrilled to say SOPAC is SO Back!” says Beth Fylstra, SOPAC’s CFO and Interim COO. “This season will mark our first full, in-person season since the 2018-2019 Season. Alongside our excitement for these captivating artists is our profound resilience as an organization.”

SOPAC persevered through two and a half years of closures due to Covid-19 and Hurricane Ida remediation before fully reopening the Jennifer and Tony Leitner Performance Hall last spring. The venue has a new stage and orchestra pit, freshly painted walls and modern carpeting throughout the building, including The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery.

“We, quite literally, weathered the storm,” added Fylstra. “This season will be the rainbow we’ve been waiting for. We hope you’ll join us as we return to providing high-quality arts experiences.”

The perfect act to kick off this momentous season? Comedian Ryan Hamilton. The epitome of resilience, Hamilton is back on tour following his recovery from car accident-related injuries. On September 9, he will grace the SOPAC stage with his smile and clean comedic style.

Full Season Lineup

Jazz, Rhythm & Blues


Peabo Bryson, Bettye LaVette and Delfeayo Marsalis

Peabo Bryson

SAT, SEP 10 at 7PM & 9:30PM

Tickets: $59-$79

Dubbed the King of Balladeers, Peabo Bryson is a two-time Grammy-winning vocalist known for his hit song, “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” with Roberta Flack. This legendary voice of love offers a timeless mix of Pop, Soul and R&B.

George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners

THU, SEP 15 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $35-$49

A forefather of Funk, George Porter Jr. is best known as a member of The Meters, the New Orleans-based Grammy-winning R&B group he formed alongside Art “Poppa Funk” Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste.

The James Hunter Six

FRI, SEP 23 at 8PM

Tickets: $36-$56

British soulman James Hunter and his gritty, longstanding backing band bring you a sublime evening of no-nonsense Blues. Given their virtuosity, they have shared the stage with acts as diverse as Allen Toussaint, Sharon Jones and Van Morrison.

Billie & Blue Eyes presented by

John Pizzarelli & Catherine Russell

The Songs of Frank Sinatra & Billie Holiday

SAT, SEP 24 at 8PM

Tickets: $48-$68

John Pizzarelli and Catherine Russell are a dynamic duo who will transport audiences to the glory days of Jazz with masterful ease, capturing Sinatra’s cool swagger and Holiday’s effortless grace.

Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet

FRI, SEP 30 at 8PM

Tickets: $35-$45

Acclaimed trombonist, composer and producer Delfeayo Marsalis is known for his “technical excellence, inventive mind and frequent touches of humor” (Los Angeles Times). A New Orleans native, he is the brother of renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Bettye LaVette & Raul Midón

FRI, OCT 7 at 8PM

Tickets: $42-$59

Soul singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette has been called the High Priestess of R&B. Her “pure Blues growl” has earned this Grammy-nominated performer comparisons to Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. Blind since birth, Raul Midón lives in a world of sound. His tropical groove, silky voice and electric guitar are his signature.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!

Valerie Simpson & Friends

Sing Ashford & Simpson

FRI, NOV 11 at 8PM

Tickets: $58-$88

Valerie Simpson has spent a lifetime writing chart-topping anthems with her late husband Nick Ashford as the entity known as Ashford & Simpson. The duo penned timeless hits such as, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “I’m Every Woman” for Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston and others before embarking on a performing career of their own.

Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics

FRI, JAN 20 at 8PM

Tickets: $65-$85

Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics are bringing back falsetto! After a storied more than 40-year career, this Soul group continues to perform their hit R&B ballads, including “You Are Everything” and the Grammy-nominated “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”

Lucky Chops

New Day, New Tour

SAT, JAN 28 at 8PM

Tickets: $26-$35

Big, brassy and unapologetically bold. Born in the multicultural melting pot of New York City, the six-piece band pays homage to the New Orleans brass band tradition while incorporating eclectic Rock, Funk, Jazz, Ska, Gospel and EDM. The group’s irresistible groove is led by co-founder Josh Holcomb’s soulful trombone, Daro Behroozi’s soaring sax and Joshua Gawel’s powerful trumpet.

Singer-Songwriters


Peabo Bryson, Bettye LaVette and Delfeayo Marsalis

David Broza & Trio Havana

SAT, SEP 17 at 8PM

Tickets: $30-$48

Israeli superstar David Broza is recognized for his dynamic guitar performances and humanitarian efforts. His signature sound is influenced by Spanish Flamenco, American Folk, Rock and poetry.

Kathleen Edwards

THU, SEP 22 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $28-$38

After a musical hiatus and period of profound self-reflection, singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards triumphantly returns with her cloud-grazing voice, skilled strumming and Folk/Country music that confronts life’s challenges yet finds the beauty in it all.

Chris Smither & Tim O’Brien with Jan Fabricius

SAT, OCT 8 at 8PM

Tickets: $35-$45

A master of acoustic Folk/Blues, Chris Smither creates a singular guitar sound – a beat-driven finger-picking, layered over his rhythmic, tapping feet (always mic’d in performance). A lifelong devotee of Bluegrass, Tim O’Brien is skilled on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and banjo. He often performs with his wife, vocalist Jan Fabricius.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

WED, OCT 26 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $49-$84

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, “the king and queen of the banjo” (Paste magazine), have a musical partnership like no other. Béla is a fifteen-time Grammy winner who has taken the instrument across multiple genres. Abigail is a singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player.

Darlingside

WED, NOV 9 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $28-$38

Darlingside has long been praised for their mesmerizing harmonies and wistful songwriting, described by NPR as “exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque Folk-Pop,” and compared to Crosby, Stills and Nash; Simon & Garfunkel; and The Byrds.

Paula Cole and Sophie B. Hawkins

THU, NOV 10 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $38-$49

Carried by her radiant voice, Grammy winner Paula Cole has a musical catalog defined by honest lyrics that covers Blues, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Gospel and Americana. Multi-instrumentalist Sophie B. Hawkins has been tugging at heartstrings for decades with her captivating storytelling. Both are known for their indelible 90s hits—Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” and Hawkins’ “As I Lay Me Down.”

An Evening with Josh Ritter

THU, NOV 17 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $39-$49

With an expressive voice, keen wit and evocative way with words, Folk-Rock artist Josh Ritter has been described as “harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler” (The New York Times) and named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine.

Martin Sexton

SAT, DEC 3 at 8PM

Tickets: $38-$48

Martin Sexton’s spirited songs run the American musical gamut, incorporating Soul, Country and Blues. The guitarist has been praised for “his unpretentious heartiness” (The New York Times) and his “soul-marinated voice” (Rolling Stone).

Comedy


Ryan Hamilton, Maria Bamford, Kevin Nealon and Paul Reiser

Ryan Hamilton

FRI, SEP 9 at 8PM
Tickets: $28-$35

The wholesome, Idaho-bred comic’s Netflix special, Happy Face, was called “the special you can’t watch enough times.”

Maria Bamford

SUN, SEP 11 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $30-$45

Comedian Maria Bamford is revered for her deeply personal comedy about mental illness as well as her dead-on impressions. Stephen Colbert called her his “favorite comedian on earth” and Judd Apatow said she is “the funniest woman in the world.”

Kevin Nealon

SUN, OCT 2 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $35-$53

Emmy- and SAG-nominated comedian Kevin Nealon is one of the longest running cast members on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He’s also a critically acclaimed actor known for his roles in the Showtime series Weeds and several films by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions.

Paul Reiser

SUN, OCT 9 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $38-$58

This comedian, actor and television writer can currently be seen in Stranger Things and The Kominsky Method, for which he received an Emmy nomination. He also recently revived one of his most iconic roles in the return of Mad About You, the long-running hit 90s comedy he co-created and starred in with Helen Hunt.

Laughs in the Loft

Hosted by Joe Larson

FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT 7:30PM
Tickets: $20

Join us for Laughs in the Loft, a monthly series featuring stand-up comics from our own backyard, Brooklyn and beyond! Each Laughs in the Loft event features several comedians in a New York City-style showcase. The talent is announced approximately two weeks prior to each show.

Holiday

Judy Collins and Hot Sardines

Hot Sardines Holiday Stomp

THU, DEC 1 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $40-$50

Experience a raucous, razzle dazzle celebration featuring classic Jazz and Swing holiday favorites and original tunes performed by the eight-piece band. Their brassy horn arrangements and rollicking piano melodies combined with the vocals from a chanteuse will transport listeners to a past era.

Judy Collins

Holiday & Hits Show

FRI, DEC 2 at 8PM

Tickets: $58-$78

Celebrate Christmas with Judy Collins! The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter known for her poetic storytelling style will perform holiday classics, songs from her latest album, Spellbound, and beloved songs culled from her six-decade career.

A Rockapella Holiday

A Legendary Tradition

FRI, DEC 9 at 8PM

Tickets: $30-$45

Add extra flair to this festive time of year with the energetic all-vocal magic of Rockapella. Clap along to catchy original Pop songs and contemporary revisions of Motown and Soul classics.

Cherish the Ladies

A Celtic Christmas

SUN, DEC 11 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $30-$40

This all-female collective captivates audiences and embodies the splendor of the Christmas season with their majestic vocals and stunning step-dancing.

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Holiday Show

SAT, DEC 17 at 8PM

Tickets: $48-$68

Sweet Honey in the Rock is an internationally renowned Grammy-nominated a cappella ensemble with a nearly 50-year history of serving as musical missionaries for equality, empowerment and education.

Nefesh Mountain

The Hanukkah Show

WED, DEC 21 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $23-$33

Boundary-pushing group Nefesh Mountain combines elements of Americana, Appalachian Bluegrass, Celtic Folk and Eastern European melodies with messages of inclusivity, diversity and hope.

Rock & Pop

Jim Messina and Naturally 7

An Evening with Jim Messina

THU, NOV 3 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $39-$62

Jim Messina’s legacy of making hit music spans five decades, three super groups (Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Loggins and Messina), a vibrant solo career and scores of producing and engineering credits.

The Last Waltz Celebration

featuring the THE BAND Band with TTBB Horns & Special Guests

SAT, NOV 12 at 8PM

Tickets: $32-$42

Relive the Last Waltz, the famous 1976 Thanksgiving concert that has become embedded in the Rock and Roll lexicon. Hear Eric Clapton’s “Further On Up the Road,” Ronnie Hawkins’ “Who Do You Love,” Van Morrison’s “Caravan” and many more of the songs from that special night.

Sons of Serendip

WED, DEC 7 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $32-$42

Skilled on the harp, cello and piano, this quartet of lifelong instrumentalists and vocalists brings a harmonious synergy to the stage. Melding Classical and Pop, Sons of Serendip has collaborated with several orchestras and opened for John Legend.

Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway

Broadway the Calla-way!

SAT, DEC 10 at 8PM

Tickets: $35-$55

The Tony-nominated Callaway sisters are one singular sensation in their new show “Broadway the Calla-way!” They’ll sing showstoppers from West Side Story, Chicago, Funny Girl, Cats, Carousel, Wicked and more Broadway musicals.

Naturally 7

SUN, MAR 5 at 7:30PM
Tickets: $44-$54

Naturally 7 is more than a collection of great a capella singers—it’s magic! They transform their voices into human instruments, effortlessly producing music of any genre. Their “vocal play” has redefined what is possible with the human voice.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

TUE, MAR 14 at 7:30PM

Tickets: $38-$48

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are an award-winning bagpipe-led ensemble featuring some of the best pianists, guitarists, drummers and overall musicians in Scotland, with an infectious style of feel-good music.

Kids ‘N Family


The Heart & Soul of Magic and The Great DuBois

BubbleMania!

Comedy With a Drip! Featuring Casey Carle, Comic Bubble Artist

SUN, NOV 20 at 1PM

Tickets: $23

Comic bubble artist Casey Carle brings us his amazing one-man show combining spontaneous comedy, jazzy music and, of course, brilliant bubbling!

The Heart & Soul of Magic

No Smoke, No Mirrors Tour featuring Ran’D Shine and Jamahl Keyes

SAT, FEB 11 at 1PM

Tickets: $18-$25

Breathtaking! Mind-blowing! Astonishing! This show features two world-class magicians in a unique production that weaves a tapestry of psychological illusions, comedy and music to create an immersive experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Stone Soup and Other Stories

SAT, MAR 11 at 1PM

Tickets: $18

Highlighting the spirit and customs of different cultures, this familiar brew of favorite stories from Africa, India, Eastern Europe and America is filled with music, color, fantasy and fun!

The Great DuBois: Masters of Variety

The World’s Most Unique 2-Person Circus Show!

SUN, APR 2 at 1PM
Tickets: $23-$28

The Great DuBois: Masters of Variety is a fast-paced, high-energy circus show for all ages showcasing incredible feats of juggling, hula hoops, unicycle, circus stunts, contortion, magic and audience interaction all wrapped up in a blanket of comedy.

The Jungle Book

SAT, MAY 6 at 1PM

Tickets: $18-$20

Join young Mowgli as he learns the laws of the jungle with the help of friends like Bagheera and Baloo. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s time-honored adventure, this tale will delight the young and the young at heart!

At-a-Glance Lineup

New shows will be announced on a rolling basis. For the most up-to-date listings, visit SOPACnow.org/Events

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 AT 8PM: Ryan Hamilton

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 AT 7PM & 9:30PM: Peabo Bryson

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 AT 7:30PM: Maria Bamford

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 AT 7:30PM: George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 AT 8PM: David Broza & Trio Havana

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 AT 7:30PM: Kathleen Edwards

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 AT 8PM: The James Hunter Six

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 AT 8PM: John Pizzarelli & Catherine Russell: The Songs of Frank Sinatra & Billie Holiday

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT 8PM: Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 AT 7:30PM: Kevin Nealon

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 AT 8PM: Bettye LaVette & Raul Midón

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 AT 8PM: Chris Smither & Tim O’Brien with Jan Fabricius

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 AT 7:30PM: Paul Reiser With Special Guest Vance Gilbert

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 AT 7:30PM: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 AT 7:30PM: An Evening with Jim Messina

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 AT 7:30PM: Darlingside

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 AT 7:30PM: Paula Cole & Sophie B. Hawkins

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 AT 8PM: Valerie Simpson & Friends Sing Ashford & Simpson

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 AT 8PM: The Last Waltz Celebration featuring The THE BAND Band

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 AT 7:30PM: An Evening with Josh Ritter

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 AT 1PM: Kids ‘N Family Series: BubbleMania!

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 AT 7:30PM: Hot Sardines Holiday Stomp

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 AT 8PM: Judy Collins: Holiday & Hits Show

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 8PM: Martin Sexton

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 AT 7:30PM: Sons of Serendip

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 AT 8PM: A Rockapella Holiday

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 AT 8PM: Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway: Broadway the Calla-way!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 AT 7:30PM: Cherish the Ladies: A Celtic Christmas

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 AT 8PM: Sweet Honey in the Rock: Holiday Show

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 AT 7:30PM: Nefesh Mountain: The Hanukkah Show

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 AT 8PM: Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 AT 8PM: Lucky Chops: New Day, New Tour

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 AT 1PM: The Heart & Soul of Magic

SUNDAY, MARCH 5 AT 7:30PM: Naturally 7

SATURDAY, MARCH 11 AT 1PM: Kids ‘N Family Series: Stone Soup and Other Stories

TUESDAY, MARCH 14 AT 7:30PM: Red Hot Chilli Pipers

SUNDAY, APRIL 2 AT 1PM: Kids ‘N Family Series: The Great DuBois: Masters of Variety

SATURDAY, MAY 6 AT 1PM: Kids ‘N Family Series: The Jungle Book

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