Remember Jones’ recently announced Halloween night concert presentation of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” at The Strand Center for the Arts in Lakewood may be a good indication of the kind of innovative programming the venue will be presenting in the future. Anthony D’Amato, who uses Remember Jones as a stage name, has been named the historic theater’s new producing artistic director.
According to a press release, “D’Amato’s responsibilities include working closely with management in project and performance evaluations, giving input in production choices, and producing his own theatrical and music events, among others.”
Other Remember Jones projects have included a performance of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album at Asbury Lanes in April, with a 25-piece orchestra, and a live presentation of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen album at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, scheduled for Aug. 27.
D’Amato’s other credits include being music director for Exit 82’s production of “Rock of Ages,” which was presented at the Strand, and producing and directing “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at the Baronet Theatre in Asbury Park.
D’Amato, 31, has big plans for the Strand.
“We share a vision for making this truly a center for all the arts, a social scene,” he said in a press release. “We will not only be producing performing arts performances but also planning to have artists from the region display their work in The Gallery, a unique venue unto itself. We plan to feature local and touring musicians, piano bar, open mike nights, poetry and play readings, comedy, and more. We will also be having movie events using the full theater with theme nights, double/triple features, singalongs and cult film celebrations.”