Debbie Gravitte and Jim Dale are among those performing crowd-pleasing favorites.

Clockwise from top: Jim Dale, James Monroe Iglehart, Melissa Errico and Debbie Gravitte are among the Broadway stars featured in season five of American Songbook at NJPAC on NJ PBS. Photos by Jeffrey Auger.

September 2, 2022 – NEWARK, NJ – NJ PBS, New Jersey’s public television network, announced new episodes for the fifth season of the award-winning music series American Songbook at NJPAC will premiere this September. After each broadcast, episodes will be archived on MyNJPBS.org.

First up this month, Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ BroadwayChicago and Les Misérables) performs an array of Broadway favorites on Tuesday, September 6 at 9:34 p.m. on NJ PBS (check local listings). Songs include “Bewitched”, “Surrey with The Fringe on Top” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”. Watch a trailer.

Next, Tony Award-winning entertainer Jim Dale (BarnumCandideMe and My Girl) performs pieces from his Just Jim Dale stage show, an autobiographical journey through his esteemed life and career, on Tuesday, September 13 at 9:33 p.m. on NJ PBS (check local listings). Songs include “I Gotta Be Me,” “Me and My Girl” and “Georgy Girl.”

Then, a “Showstoppers” episode on Tuesday, September 20 at 9:34 p.m. featuring Broadway’s best, including Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Tom Wopat, performing unforgettable numbers like “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “If I Loved You” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

On Tuesday, September 27 at 9:34pm, it’s an evening of “Inspirational Women,” in which Andrea McArdle, Christine Ebersole, Marilyn Maye, Maureen McGovern, Jessie Mueller and Valerie Simpson are among the award-winning talent performing favorite songs including “Tomorrow”, “The Morning After” and “I Feel the Earth Move”.

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’ fifth season premiered in June with a performance by Melissa Errico, a Tony nominee for Amour and a celebrated interpreter of the songs of Stephen Sondheim.  Along with sharing personal and professional stories, she performed a selection of Sondheim favorites including “I’m Not Getting Married” (Company), “Send in the Clowns” and “No One Is Alone” (Into the Woods). Stream the episode.

The talents of James Monroe Iglehart were also featured in June. 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.  In this Songbook episode, he shared stories of his work on those and other productions as well as his love for American Songbook standards. Among the diverse songs he performed were blues standard “T’Aint Nobody’s Business”, “Friend Like Me” (Aladdin) and “Make Them Hear You” (Ragtime). Stream the episode.

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.

The American Songbook at NJPAC live performances featured in the broadcast series were presented, in part, through the generous support of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust, the Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund, and the Smart Family Foundation/David S. Stone, Esq., Stone & Magnanini.


Clockwise from top: Jim Dale, James Monroe Iglehart, Melissa Errico and Debbie Gravitte are among the Broadway stars featured in season five of American Songbook at NJPAC on NJ PBS. Photos by Jeffrey Auger.

Debbie Gravitte performs in season five of American Songbook at NJPAC on NJ PBS. Photo by Jeffrey Auger.