Six-part series will feature new host Michael Feinstein and musical performances by the best of Broadway and beyond, recorded for public television at America’s most diverse performing arts center
November 30, 2016 – NEWARK, NJ – NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) announced that the 4th season of the award-winning American Songbook at NJPAC series will be hosted by multi-platinum-selling entertainer Michael Feinstein. The six-part series will be taped before a live audience at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater on December 1 and 2and will feature performances by Tony award-winning Broadway baritone Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate); acclaimed violinist and composer Joshua Bell; Tony-winning Broadway star Billy Porter (Kinky Boots); Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer; critically-acclaimed Broadway performer Rachel York (Victor/ Victoria); Tony-nominated Broadway star Andrea McArdle (original lead in Annie on Broadway); award-winning Broadway dancer Jared Grimes (After Midnight) and other top talent. Tickets for the performance taping may be purchased at njpac.org.
American Songbook at NJPAC hosted by Michael Feinstein will have its primetime debut Wednesday, January 25th at 8pm on NJTV as part of the network’s specially-designated NJmade local programming block. The program will also air on THIRTEEN and WLIW21 in the spring.
“We strive to make American Songbook at NJPAC better every season,” said John Servidio, General Manager of NJTV. “Adding someone of Michael Feinstein’s caliber as host and surrounding him with this line-up of talent will take the series to a new, memorable level.”
Performances will be paired with insider discussion between Feinstein, the artists and special guests, offering an intimate look into their lives on and off the stage. This season will also include two “Best of American Songbook at NJPAC” episodes, one featuring love songs to air around Valentine’s Day and one showcasing Broadway composers from Berlin to Sondheim and more.
“Besides being our country’s leading ambassador of American popular song, Michael Feinstein is also the music’s most literate and engaging historian,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. “This new season of Songbook will feature Michael as singer, pianist, raconteur and moderator. I can’t wait!”
American Songbook at NJPAC hosted by Michael Feinstein is a production of New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Public Media NJ, Inc. For Public Media, NJ (NJTV) John Servidio is the Executive in Charge of Production; Mike Kostel is the series executive producer, Judy Moy is broadcast producer and David Stern is director and Annette Jolles is associate director.
For NJPAC, John Schreiber and David Rodriguez are series executive producers with Robert Pullen as producer.
The series, which launched in 2013, received accolades in its first three seasons. Most recently, the series was nominated for two 2016 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards. Its first season was awarded a New York State Broadcasters Association award for Outstanding Locally Produced Television Program.
Clips from previous season episodes can be viewed online at here.
The American Songbook at NJPAC series follows on the success of several other television events from NJPAC, including One-on-One at NJPAC with Steve Adubato, BET’s Black Girls Rock! Awards, HBO’s special Ghetto Klown with John Leguizamo, and NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
Major support for the American Songbook at NJPAC hosted by Michael Feinstein television series is provided by Investors Bank. Additional funding for NJPAC’s American Songbook has been provided through the generous support of The Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and the David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust.
NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to all 21 counties in New Jersey and its tri-state neighbors. NJTV presents acclaimed PBS series such as Nature, American Masters, Charlie Rose, and BBC World News America and children’s programs with diverse local programs including American Songbook at NJPAC, On the Record with Michael Aron, Driving Jersey, NJDocs, Due Process, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Classroom Close-Up NJ and State of the Arts. The network’s flagship news broadcast, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams, features stories from across the Garden State utilizing the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark, its Trenton Statehouse studio and remote cameras at university content bureaus as well as media partners. The NJTV website offers online programs and free digital resources for educators. NJTV is comprised of WNJN, WNJS, WNJB, and WNJT, which collectively broadcast throughout NJ. 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.
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. 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 nearly 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.