One of the area’s most anticipated events — “An Evening of Shining Stars” — featuring members of the special needs community from Cranford and around Union County, will take place on Friday May 4th, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

Founded by Cranford resident Sally Curci, the 7th annual showcase will feature “Music From the Decades” — with the cast set to sing and dance their way into your hearts as they show off their amazing talents.

And for the very first time — the “Shining Stars” cast will take to the professional stage at the beautiful and historic Union County Performing Arts Center — where many of America’s biggest names have performed.

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“We are so excited to give our special cast the chance to perform at such a great venue,” noted Sally Curci. “Our audience has grown each and every year, and our cast continues to grow as we spotlight talent from around Union County. It’s going to be a night to remember.”

When the lights will go up, the “stars” will shine, entertaining you with music from the 20’s through today, with solo acts and full cast dance choreography — which is one of the highlights of the show.

Adam Fleissner, who has performed in every show, can’t wait to take the stage again, as he prepares to sing “Help!” by the Beatles. “We meet so many great people,” said Fleissner. “We get new people in every year and everyone has a good time meeting each other and performing. All of it is just fantastic.”

Caitlin Madden is also excited to team with volunteer buddy Mark Lynch on the Elton John song, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” — with rehearsals in full swing. “I’m very excited for the show, I like my number,” said Madden. “I like all the years I’ve been doing it. It’s fun. Come see us!”

Courtney Curci will be performing Sing A Song by the Carpenters with background singers from Walnut Avenue School. "I'm so excited. I can't wait."

Tickets are on sale now at www.UCPAC.org/events. Find the Shining Stars logo, select your seatsand you’ll be in for one of the best nights of the year!

“An Evening of Shining Stars” is presented by Shining Stars Network, Inc., a 501(c)3 non profit organization based in Union County that shines the light on the special needs community by creating inclusive events such as their annual talent show, dances at local high schools, and our Ambassadors basketball team, which travels to play local first responders to promote friendship and understanding.

SSN will also host their 2nd annual two week performing arts camp — “Camp Shine” — from August 20th through August 31st in Scotch Plains/Fanwood. To reserve your spot, or for more information on any of these programs or events, email shiningstarsnetwork@gmail.com, or check out their website at www.ShiningStarsNetwork.org.

Sincere thanks to our lead sponsors for their generous support: Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,  Investors Foundation Cranford Elks, CAU (Community Access Unlimited) and the Cranford Jaycees. We sincerely thank all of our incredible sponsors for supporting our Shining Stars.