Six-part series features musical performances by Tom Wopat, Rebecca Luker, Valerie Simpson, Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley, Sandy Stewart & Bill Charlap and Maude Maggart

Hosted by Ted Chapin, series features favorite standards and artist Q&A

Airdates announced on NJTV, THIRTEEN and WLIW21

December 17, 2013 – NEWARK, NJ –American Songbook at NJPAC, a new music performance series from NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), will be broadcast throughout the tri-state area on NJTV and WNET affiliates beginning this January.

The six-part series, taped before a live audience at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, features performances from eight stars of stage, screen and concert halls: Tom Wopat, Valerie Simpson, Rebecca Luker, Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, and Maude Maggart. Each performs their favorite American Songbook standards followed by a Q&A session conducted by Ted Chapin, president and executive director of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagen Company.

AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC begins its six-week run on Sunday, 1/5 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN and 3:30pm on WLIW21 Long Island.  The series will have its primetime debut Wednesdays beginning January 8th at 8pm on NJTV as part of the network’s specially-designated NJmade local programming block.

“Arts programming is a priority for NJTV,” said John Servidio, General Manager of NJTV. “We are one of the few broadcast outlets bringing the arts to the small screen, and to be able to capture this performance genre, with entertainers of this caliber, is very exciting.  We aim to do more shows like this at venues across the state.”

The Great American Songbook is the soundtrack of our lives.  We are excited to partner with public television on the chance to present the music’s greatest interpreters to the widest possible audience,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC.

“The American Songbook is endlessly fascinating, and the combination of first-rate and focused performances by some of our most talented singers with interviews was too alluring to pass up,” added Chapin.

AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC is a production of The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Public Media NJ, Inc..

The American Songbook performance series at NJPAC was presented, in part, through the generous support of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

Funding for the American Songbook performance series at NJPAC has been provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and The Sylvia and David Steiner Charitable Foundation.

Visit NJTVonline.org/songbook for full episodes of the shows, previews of upcoming shows, video segments, scheduling information and links to social media.

Full episodes of the show will also be available on the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App.

Series photos and information available on NJTV’s pressroom: njtvonline.org/pressroom.

Visit NJPAC online at njpac.org, Facebook and Twitter @NJPAC.


AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC Airdates and Episode Descriptions

Episode #101 featuring Rebecca Luker

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 1/5/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 1/8/14 at 8pm

Broadway actress and singer Rebecca Luker takes the stage at NJPAC, performing a selection of music written by the legendary songwriter, Jerome Kern. With classics like “Bill” and “Can’t Help Loving that Man” (Kern/Hammerstein II), Luker dazzles as she celebrates the Kern’s everlasting presence in the world of musical theater.

Episode #102 featuring Tom Wopat

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 1/12/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 1/15/14 at 8pm

Tom Wopat may be best known for his starring role in the ’80s hit television series The Dukes of Hazzard, but his career has spanned from TV to film to Broadway. Onstage at NJPAC he explores new, intriguing musical twists in such Great American Songbook classics as “The Good Life” (Distel/Reardon) “Call Me Irresponsible” (Cahn/Van Heusen), “I Won’t Dance” (Kern/Fields/McHugh/Hammerstein II) and, “I’ve Got Your Number” (Coleman/Leigh).

Episode #103 featuring Valerie Simpson

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 1/19/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 1/22/14 at 8pm

Valerie Simpson, one half of the beloved and legendary songwriter/producers and performers Ashford & Simpson, returns to the stage at NJPAC in a special performance of classic Motown music. Performing Ashford & Simpson hits such as “I’m Every Woman,” “Remember Me,” “Solid,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Simpson dazzles audiences in this electrifying retrospective of her chart-topping career.

Episode #104 featuring Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 1/26/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 1/29/14 at 8pm

Broadway’s hottest couple, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, unites at NJPAC to prove that two great singers are better than one. Both husband and wife have graced the stages of Broadway with critically acclaimed performances in The Full Monty, Next to Normal and Kiss Me, Kate. In this program, the couple gets up close and personal, sharing the romantic details of their lives through the intimate medium of song, performing American Songbook classics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Yip Harburg, Cole Porter and many more.

Episode #105 featuring Maude Maggart

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 2/2/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 2/5/14 at 8pm

Maude Maggart, a chanteuse with a rich family history in show business, has exploded into one of today’s most compelling international concert artists. In her performance at NJPAC, the dazzling Maggart performs American Songbook classics from classic composers like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, as well as more contemporary music by Joan Baez and Judy Collins.


Episode #106 featuring Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap

THIRTEEN: Sunday, 2/9/14 at 12:30pm and WLIW21 at 3:30pm

NJTV: Wednesday, 2/12/14 at 8pm

Sandy Stewart, singer and master of the Great American Songbook, joins forces with son and acclaimed concert jazz pianist, Bill Charlap for a performance of sweet melodies and soulful ballads. Their performance includes such classics as “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (Kern/Harbuck) and “I Thought About You” (Van Heusen/Mercer).


About NJTV

NJTV brings quality public television programs and resources to communities throughout New Jersey and its tri-state neighbors, including acclaimed national PBS series like American MastersNatureCharlie Rose, and BBC World News America and state-focused news, arts and public affairs shows, including Reporters Roundtable with Michael AronOne-on-One with Steve Adubato, Tales of the Jersey ShoreDue Process and State of the Arts. The station’s week-nightly news broadcast, NJTV News with Mike Schneider, features stories from across the Garden State. NJTV complements its growing news staff by partnering with state-wide media and higher education institutions. The network’s website, https://www.njtvonline.org posts the latest local news, information and program schedules, and its education section offers local educators free, classroom-ready, digital resources through VITAL NJ.

NJTV is comprised of WNJN, WNJS, WNJB, and WNJT, which collectively broadcast throughout NJ. Formerly New Jersey Network (NJN), NJTV is operated under an agreement with the state of New Jersey by Public Media NJ, Inc. (PMNJ), a non-profit affiliate of WNET, parent company of award-winning New York public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21. Network sponsorships and partnerships are available.


New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (including one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.