HACKENSACK, NJ -- The sparkling new Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC) featured two wonderful female vocalists at a spectacular performance on Saturday evening at the Hackensack Meridian Health Theater at 102 State Street.
The show was headlined by Mandy Gonzalez, a multi-talented performer and singer currently appearing on Broadway in the huge hit “Hamilton.” Gonzalez is a Broadway veteran (at 39 years of age) having previously appeared in “Wicked” as the Green Witch and later “In the Heights.”
Gonzalez sang for well over an hour backed by a strong four piece band and also mixed in interesting personal anecdotes about her family’s Mexican/Jewish heritage. Her repertoire was broad and vibrant, ranging from classic standards like a souped up “Que Sera” and even Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” She also sang several original songs from her debut album including the title piece “Fearless” which was composed for her by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. “This is our anthem now,” she told the wholly absorbed audience, referring to a non-profit she has started to help young people overcome obstacles.
Preceding the Gonzalez performance was Rachel Zegler, a 17 year old local high school senior with a great future ahead of her. Featuring a powerful voice, stage presence and an engaging personality that bubbled over with teenage enthusiasm, she left the unmistakable impression of a future Broadway – and who knows what else – star. Rachel gave a shout-out to HACPAC Artistic Director Greg Liosi during her performance for his help in advancing her budding career.
Among the large crowd enjoying the performance were Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse, his wife Debbie and Deputy Mayors Kathy Canestrino and Dave Sims, as well as Main Street Alliance Board Member Eddie Decker.
“Really great show, we had a really wonderful time,” said Mayor Labrosse. “Watching Rachel is like watching a star being born right in front of our eyes. And Mandy Gonzalez is just a tremendous performer.”
To learn more about HACPAC and upcoming events, visit www.HACPAC.org.