Melissa Errico and James Monroe Iglehart perform crowd-pleasing favorites and share backstage stories
JUNE 8, 2022 – NEWARK, NJ – NJ PBS, New Jersey’s public television network, announced that it will premiere two new episodes to kick off the fifth season of the award-winning music series, American Songbook at NJPAC on Tuesday, June 21 and June 28 at 9:30 p.m. on NJ PBS (check local listings). The season will continue with new episodes this fall. After each broadcast, episodes will be archived on MyNJPBS.org.
American Songbook at NJPAC, co-produced with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), was taped before a live audience at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater. The series premieres with a performance by Melissa Errico, a Tony nominee for Amour and a celebrated interpreter of the songs of Stephen Sondheim, on June 21 at 9:30 p.m. on NJ PBS (check local listings). Along with sharing personal and professional stories, she performs a selection of Sondheim favorites including “I’m Not Getting Married” (Company), “Send in the Clowns” and “No One Is Alone” (Into the Woods). Watch a trailer.
The talents of James Monroe Iglehart are featured the following week, on June 28 at 9:30 p.m. on NJ PBS (check local listings). A Tony winner for his unforgettable turn as the Genie in Aladdin, Iglehart also starred in the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in Broadway’s Hamilton. He shares stories of his work on those and other productions as well as his love for American Songbook standards. Among the diverse songs he performs are blues standard “T’Aint Nobody’s Business,” “Friend Like Me” (Aladdin) and “Make Them Hear You” (Ragtime). Watch a trailer.
Each performance will be followed by an on-stage Q&A session with the stars conducted by Ted Chapin, the former president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.
“NJ PBS is thrilled to partner once again with the Arts Center on the American Songbook at NJPAC broadcast series,” says NJ PBS General Manager Joe Lee. “Our two mission-driven organizations are dedicated to the celebration and preservation of great American music and the vibrancy of art and culture in New Jersey. We take pride in making these wonderful performances accessible to all New Jerseyans through the power of public media.”
“For more than 100 years, American composers and lyricists have written the songs that provide the soundtrack of our lives,” says John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. “There’s nothing like this music, and we’re thrilled that this wonderful tradition of live performances for public television has returned to NJPAC.”
The American Songbook at NJPAC broadcast series is a production of The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and NJ PBS. It is directed by David Stern and Annette Jolles. Executive in Charge of the production is Joe Lee. Executive producers are Michael Kostel for NJ PBS; John Schreiber and David Rodriguez for NJPAC. Producers are Jennifer Rowe for NJ PBS and Craig Pearce for NJPAC.
AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC TALENT BIOGRAPHIES
MELISSA ERRICO: Melissa Errico is a Tony Award-nominated Broadway star and lauded concert artist. The Wall Street Journal called her 2018 album, Sondheim Sublime, “the best all-Sondheim album ever recorded.” Her Sondheim roles on stage have included Dot in Sunday in The Park with George at The Kennedy Center; Clara in Passion at Classic Stage Company; and Leona in the NY City Center Encores! production of Do I Hear A Waltz? In 2020, she sang “Children and Art” in the Sondheim 90th Birthday Concert. Her starring roles on Broadway include My Fair Lady, Amour, and High Society. She has also sung countless concerts of American Song, including stints at Joe’s Pub, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Lincoln Center’s Allen Room, and 54 Below.
JAMES MONROE IGLEHART: James Monroe Iglehart is an award-winning actor of stage and screen, most recently seen as Billy Flynn in the longest-running American musical on Broadway, Chicago. He has also appeared in the musical Hamilton, in the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, in Freestyle Love Supreme and won the Tony for Best Featured Actor for his comic triumph as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin the Musical. He has been seen on TV in shows including Maniac, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Elementary, Law & Order: SVU and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He has also voiced many animated characters for Disney, Nickelodeon and Apple TV productions.
HOST: TED CHAPIN: For forty years, Ted Chapin ran the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Under his auspices, eight Broadway revivals won the Tony Award: On Your Toes, Carousel, Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific, Oklahoma! and The King and I – twice! – and successful television productions of The Sound of Music (Live) and a multi-racial Cinderella were presented. He was the producer of both the Musical Theater Lab and two acclaimed seasons of Lyrics & Lyricists at 92Y. His book Everything Was Possible – The Birth of the Musical ‘Follies’, based on his experience as the production assistant on the Sondheim musical, won an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award when it was published by Alfred A. Knopf. A new revised edition is being published this summer by Applause Books.
ABOUT NJ PBS
NJ PBS, New Jersey’s public television network, brings quality arts, education, and public affairs programming to all 21 counties in the state. Headquartered at the Agnes Varis NJ PBS Studio in Newark, the network offers diverse local programs including American Songbook at NJPAC, Chat Box with David Cruz, NJ Business Beat with Rhonda Schaffler, Here’s the Story, Drive By History, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, State of the Arts and Treasures of New Jersey and PBS favorites such as Nature, NOVA, Amanpour and Company and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Its award-winning news division, NJ Spotlight News, provides multiplatform reporting from across the Garden State on its weeknight newscast, NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi, and digitally via NJSpotlightNews.org, plus live news specials, community engagement events and daily newsletters. It recently launched its first podcast, Hazard NJ, investigating the effect of climate change on NJ Superfund sites. The MyNJPBS.org network website offers streaming programs and free digital resources for educators via PBS LearningMedia New Jersey. NJ PBS is operated under an agreement with the state of New Jersey by Public Media NJ, Inc. (PMNJ), a non-profit affiliate of The WNET Group, the parent company of award-winning New York public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It 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 more than 10 million visitors (including almost two million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit NJPAC.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.