Watch Highlights from the 2022-23 Performance Season
The incomparable Carpenters gave us some of the most unforgettable ballads and melodic pop songs of all time, including “Close To You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Yesterday Once More.” Enjoy a nostalgic journey through the Carpenters greatest hits as well as holiday favorites like “Merry Christmas Darling” while sharing the backstories behind the music.
Top Of The World is The World’s Premiere Tribute to The Carpenters! Fronted by singer Debbie Taylor, her Karen Carpenter vocal resemblance is absolutely astonishing. She is backed by a seven-piece band consisting of top-notch, professional industry musicians who have had amazing careers in their own right. The band members are all multi-instrumentalists and at times use 3 keyboards to recreate the incredibly complex arrangements created by Richard Carpenter. The attention to detail paired with saxophone, trumpet, flute and many more instruments complete every song to perfection!
This show does not use tracks or pick up musicians like other shows. Top of the World brings the most authentic versions of the Carpenters music to the stage. No doubt, you will be singing along. Debbie captures the warm tones and contralto range that made Karen’s voice so unique. Sit back and sing along to your favorite Carpenters hits.
Prices: Gold Circle $55.00, Orchestra/Front Loge $50.00, Rear Loge $40.00
Sunjata Kamalenya (translated: Sunjata for Youth) is a new completely interactive production by Experiential Theater Company which celebrates the greatest hero of West African legend, Sunjata Keita, the first mansa (king) of the ancient Empire of Mali. The great 13th century epic takes place in a magical world filled with sorcery and enchantment. Based on the story of the Lion King, this production chronicles the struggles of a boy destined to be the leader of the Mande’ people of West Africa.
Both parents and children can participate in the show. Traditional music, costumes, and scenery whisk you away to 13th century Mali where the jelimuso (storyteller) guides your journey as you sing, dance, and act alongside professional actors and musicians. Audiences gain a unique experience that celebrates the spirit of determination and the love of family in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
This play was developed as a staged workshop performance at the McCarter Theatre Center, as part of the 2010 McCarter Lab. It was then introduced at the Kennedy Center during New Visions, New Voices.
Running time: 66 minutes Age Range: K-6
Admission: $25 Adults - $20 Children
Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Under Mr. Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s cultural exports, touring more than 50 countries across the globe. Step Afrika! now ranks as one of the top ten African-American dance companies in the United States.
Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional West and Southern African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.
Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. The Company reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theatres and performs globally as Washington, DC’s one and only Cultural Ambassador. Step Afrika! has earned Mayor’s Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (2005); Innovation in the Arts (2008); and Excellence in an Artistic Discipline (2012); and performed at the White House for President Barack Obama and the First Lady.
Step Afrika! is featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African-American History & Culture with the world’s first stepping interactive. In 2017, Step Afrika! made its Off-Broadway debut with the critically-acclaimed production, The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence.
To learn more, visit www.stepafrika.org
Admission: $10 all tickets
Since 1974, The Robert Cray Band has been touring and recording their unique groove, born from a love of Soul, R&B, Gospel, Blues and Rock n Roll. The 50th Anniversary Tour celebrates numerous accolades, including five Grammy wins, 20 acclaimed studio and live albums that punctuate his induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. He also earned the Americana Music Awards Lifetime Achievement for Performance. His 2020 release, That’s What I Heard, celebrates the music of Curtis Mayfield, Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Sensational Nightingales and more, alongside Cray’s own songs.
“Having had the opportunity to play with some of our heroes was more than we could have ever imagined,” says Robert. “Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and the big stages with The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, and Eric Clapton.”
Cray’s producer Steve Jordan adds, “People gravitate to his guitar playing first, but I think he’s one of the best singers I’ve heard in my life.”
Robert’s band features Richard Cousins (bass), Dover Weinberg (keyboards) and Les Falconer (drums). The Robert Cray Band has released over twenty acclaimed albums and has sold millions worldwide. “The Band continues with the same enthusiasm and joy in what we do, and no matter the accolades,” says Robert. “Today is all that matters!”
Tickets: Gold Circle $65, Orchestra/Front Loge $55, Rear Loge $45
“AMAZING, DYNAMIC, SPECTACULAR…she had the sold-out crowd applauding her every move…” -Salt Lake Tribune
The most highly acclaimed female illusionist in America, Lyn Dillies delivers a dazzling display of spectacular magic for the entire family! From the grandeur of New York City’s Lincoln Center to Hollywood’s Magic Castle, rave reviews accompany her unique brand of mystery, comedy and audience participation. Dillies amazes and astounds with some of the most masterful, mind-blowing illusions in magic today.
Lyn Dillies is one of a handful of female illusionists in the world. Known for her magic with a message, Lyn loves to enrich people’s lives. A pioneer in the male dominated profession of magic, Lyn strives to use her talents to nurture the arts and civics. “Magic has been my vehicle to not only WOW and entertain audiences, but inspire lives and make a difference. It is what I was born to do.” Lyn has received rave reviews from the grandeur of NYC’s Lincoln Center to the Magic Castle in Hollywood. She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards for her contributions to magic.
Admission: Adults $25, Children $20, Family 4-Pack (2 kids, 2 adults) $75
At a moment when musical streams are crossing with unprecedented frequency, it’s crucial to remember that throughout its history, New Orleans has been the point at which sounds and cultures from around the world converge, mingle, and resurface, transformed by the Crescent City’s inimitable spirit and joie de vivre. Nowhere is that idea more vividly embodied than in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for morethan60years, all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history. PHJB marches that tradition forward once again on So It Is. The album redefines what New Orleans music means today by tapping into a sonic continuum that stretches back to the city’s Afro-Cuban roots, through its common ancestry with the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and the Fire Music of Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane, and forward to cutting-edge artists with whom the PHJB have shared festival stages from Coachella to Newport, including legends like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and the Grateful Dead and modern giants like Beck, The Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, and the Black Keys.
Admission: Gold Circle $57, Orchestra/Front Loge $53, Rear Loge $47
Colin Hay first came to international fame with seminal ’80s hitmakers Men At Work. While the band would reach the heights of stardom—they took home a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist and sold more than 30 million records worldwide on the strength of #1 singles like “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under”—by 1985, they’d called it quits and gone their separate ways. Hay released his solo debut the following year and, over the course of the next three-and-a-half decades, went on to record twelve more critically acclaimed studio albums that would help establish him as one of his generation’s most hardworking and reliable craftsmen. Rolling Stone praised his “witty, hooky pop” tunes, while NPR’s World Café lauded his “distinctive voice.”.Hay’s performances are likewise buoyant and full of life, drawing on vintage pop charm, pub rock muscle, and folk sincerity to forge a sound that’s at once playful and profound, clever and compassionate, whimsical and earnest. Over the course of his remarkable solo career, Hay developed a reputation as a gifted raconteur with serious comedy chops, and his frequent appearances at LA’s Largo club helped garner him a legion of fans in the entertainment world. Among them was actor/director Zach Braff, who called Hay’s mix of heartfelt songwriting and hilarious storytelling “one of the most amazing things I had ever seen.” Braff would go on to feature Hay’s music prominently in the GRAMMY-winning soundtrack for Garden State and invite him to appear as himself on the hit series Scrubs, which helped introduce his music to a whole new generation of listeners.On top of his rigorous schedule as a solo artist, Hay has also managed to tour the world several times over with Ringo Starr & His All–Star Band, release an audiobook of Aesop’s Fables, star in the award-winning documentary Waiting For My Real Life, and even provide the voice for Fergus Flamingo in Disney’s The Wild.His latest project born out of the pandemic, Now And The Evermore, was released in 2022. This extraordinary solo album faces down struggle, lose, and mortality with grit and wit. Who knows what happens when we die? Perhaps our consciousness lingers on long after we leave our bodies. Perhaps the curtains simply close and the show ends for good. Regardless, Now And The Evermore reminds us that we’re all alive right here, right now. For Colin Hay, that’s plenty to smile about.Admission: Gold Circle $85, Orchestra/Front Loge $65, Rear Loge $50
The internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian, Keiko Matsui, has worked with everyone from Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Bob James, and Hugh Masekela. There is a reason why the stunning, soft-spoken, and petite powerhouse with such a commanding presence at the piano has amassed a devout following through the years. “When I tour around the world and witness how my music cuts through our differences and connects everyone, it makes me feel euphoric!” exclaims Keiko. Keiko harnesses this joy on her anticipated new and 30th recording Euphoria(Shanachie Entertainment). She enlists an all-star contingency of special guests including vocalist, and daughter of Donny Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mike Stern, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vibist Joel Ross, harmonica player Grégoire Maret and pianist/arranger John Beasley. Keiko is also joined by her touring band, bassist Rico Belled, guitarist JP Mourao and drummer Jimmy Branly, who she credits for making the rigors of touring bearable. Euphoria promises to be a watershed moment for Keiko as she has poured her heart and soul into this project and the result is an utterly inspiring and epic statement. Keiko declares, “At the core of this album is beauty, strength, energy, love, and hope. These are all the things in life that we need to move forward on a new path. This music is dedicated to a new era.”
She recalls, “I unconsciously receive inspiration from the things around me, like people I meet while traveling, events happening in the world, the news or the movies,” explains the pianist. A master storyteller, Keiko Matsui crafts passionate, emotive, and timeless anthems colored with rich harmonies and global rhythms. From tender love songs to reggae-tinged and soul-stirring tracks to stunning melodies and cascading piano, Keiko Matsui’s draws from many influences and appeals to fans from all backgrounds.
Her music was prominently featured in Say It, Fight It, Cure It, a Lifetime special profiling several courageous women battling breast cancer. Her 1998 album release Full Moon And The Shrine was accompanied by the acclaimed PBS-TV special Keiko Matsui: Light Above The Trees.Keiko Matsui’s CD Deep Blue (2001) topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts for three consecutive weeks. She is the first Japanese artist to achieve this honor.
Keiko who masters the delicate balance between career and motherhood (she has two daughters) feels an urgency to leave the world a better place for future generations. “I want to make a positive impact for children in this generation and the future. Keiko succeeds in conjuring a harmonious affair on Euphoria. As a humanitarian, Keiko strongly supports causes that resonate with her. She dedicates her music to show gratitude and give back. In 2004 the title track of Keiko’s Wildflower was used to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s efforts in Africa. Keiko has also collaborated with Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) in numerous charity concerts. In addition, proceeds from her 2001 mini-CD, A Gift of Life, went to The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation in support of A3M.
The highly sought-after pianist continues to solidify her place as one of the most significant and thrilling pianists in contemporary jazz. Keiko concludes, “During the past few years, I have witnessed the loss of life and seen people's sadness and it has been really painful, but it has helped to remind me of the precious gift of time and the importance of gratitude for what I have now,” confides Keiko.” “Euphoria is my gift to my fans around the world.”
Admission: Gold Circle $60, Orchestra/Front Loge $53, Rear Loge $47
A Golden Oldies Extravaganza featuring Bobby Wilson, The Duprees, The Vogues, The Drifters, Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams, Bob Miranda and The Happenings, The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, and The Chiclettes
Hosted by Vinnie Medugno of Music Radio 77 WABC
Come see your favorite acts as they perform their greatest hits backed by the famous Coda Band.
Tickets: Orchestra $79, Loge $69
Emerging Superstar and Latin Grammy Award nominee Daniela Darcourt comes to Wayne, NJ for her Shea Center Debut.Reserved Seating: Gold Circle $99 . Rear Orchestra $89 . Front Loge $89. Rear Loge $79Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. There is an additional $5 charge PER TICKET if purchased at the box office on the evening of the show.
This performance is being sold to full capacity. Please take your personal comfort level into consideration prior to purchasing tickets.
About WP Presents
WP Presents! strives to bring to campus high caliber touring artists across a range of disciplines including acoustic and world music, contemporary folk music, theatre, dance, family programming and other eclectic fare. The series is built on a foundation of excellence and continuously seeks innovative programming to serve the campus, and the community.
A multitude of artists including David Crosby, Graham Nash, Lucinda Williams, DMC, Los Lonely Boys, Wanda Sykes, Paula Poundstone, Dar Williams, David Bromberg, Roy Haynes, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Ventura, The 5th Dimension, Judy Collins, Southside Johnny, John Sebastian, Jim Messina and Dark Star Orchestra have graced our stage. We have presented works from national theatre tours of The Second City, Moscow Ballet, Aquila Theatre Company, American Place Theatre, TheaterWorks USA, Vital Theatre, and the National Theatre of the Deaf. Family Performances have included participation in New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival, and sensory friendly productions presented by a variety of artists and theater companies. Many of our visiting artists conduct educational outreach programs, for both the community at large and the University.
The WP Presents! events are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470