Michael Feinstein to host ‘American Songbook at NJPAC’ series



In its fourth season, the “American Songbook at NJPAC” series is making a major change with the introduction of Michael Feinstein as host.

“Besides being our country’s leading ambassador of American popular song, Michael Feinstein is also the music’s most literate and engaging historian,” said NJPAC president and CEO John Schreiber in a press release. “This new season of ‘Songbook’ will feature Michael as singer, pianist, raconteur and moderator.”

Shows will be taped in a concert setting at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, Dec. 1 and 2. There will be two shows a night, with guests such as Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joshua Bell and Andrea McArdle, plus students from the Songbook Academy of Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Foundation.

These four shows, plus two “best of” specials — one featuring love songs, the other showcasing Broadway composers — will air in a six-part series debuting on NJTV Jan. 25, and on Channel 13 and WLIW21 in the spring.

The guests will be:

Dec. 1, show 1: Violinist Joshua Bell, Billy Porter (“Kinky Boots”), Brighton Thomas (Songbook Academy).

Dec. 1, show 2: Andrea McArdle (“Annie”), Rachel York (“Victor/Victoria”), Jared Grimes (“After Midnight,” “Carefree: Dancin’ with Fred and Ginger”), Julia Goodwin (Songbook Academy)

Dec. 2, show 1: Lillias White (“Dreamgirls,” “Fela!”), singer José James, Nick Ziobro (Songbook Academy)

Dec. 2, show 2: Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Kiss Me, Kate,” “Ragtime”), Ana Gasteyer (“Saturday Night Live”), Lucas DeBard (Songbook Academy).

The tapings start at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available at njpac.org.


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