Arts & Entertainment

Lurie Looks to Book Variety of Artists, Acts for SOPAC

Steve Lurie is booking performers for SOPAC.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – To attract performers to SOPAC, programming consultant Steve Lurie said he will be relying on his years of experience in the music industry.

Lurie knows a lot about music. As the president and founder of Music Without Borders, he has produced thousands of concerts throughout the country and has consulted for labels, artists, and film and television directors. He also co-owns a record store, has taught music in schools including New York University and has contributed articles about music to a newspaper and magazines.

As a voting member of the Recording Academy, he even helps decide who wins at the Grammys.

Sign Up for E-News

Lurie said having built up relationships with agents and the media and knowing the area and its residents will help him succeed in his job at the center.

The position was created as SOPAC moves in a new management direction. While Executive Director Mark Packer will handle the venue’s business operations, Lurie is responsible for booking the shows. And though he only started the job in mid-January, he already has a clear vision in mind for the performing arts center.

“My plans are to bring in a diverse roster of artists that speaks to many different demographics in the surrounding areas,” Lurie said. “I want to rebuild the brand to have… varied programming that people in the northern New Jersey area and New York City area will be interested in seeing.”

Lurie said he has about 15 shows confirmed so far including comedian Paula Poundstone, folk artist Loudon Wainwright III and singer Southside Johnny. Plenty of family programming has also been booked. He said he wants to bring back past shows that have been successful in addition to attracting new talent, especially big-name performers who wouldn’t normally play smaller venues.

Echoing Packer’s wish, Lurie also said he hopes to establish SOPAC as a niche for singer-songwriters and has already moved to do so by booking Steve Earle and the Dukes and Son Volt. He said performers of the Americana genre will do well in South Orange.

“I want to provide a steady diet of those types of artists because in the tri-state area that style of music has got a strong fan base,” he said.

Assisting him will be Packer, who will help Lurie decide which artists to bring in to SOPAC. Lurie said that though he only met Packer for the first time recently, he’s eager to start their working relationship.

“Mark’s got a wealth of experience,” Lurie said. “I’m really looking forward to working with him to make SOPAC a wonderful and dynamic venue.”

Lurie is additionally looking forward to accomplishing one of his biggest goals for SOPAC – making nearby residents realize “there’s this great theater right in their own backyard.” He said that performing arts center and the surrounding neighborhoods are reasons why he’s happy in his new job.

“It’s a very lovely area,” Lurie said. “The theater’s very nice. So I’m excited.”  

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Thefts from Unsecured Vehicles Reported

May 25, 2018

May 14 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours electronics and coins were removed from two unsecured vehicles parked on Lexington Ave.

May 14 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours a wallet and other items were removed from two unsecured vehicles parked in a driveway on Princeton St.

May 18 - Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on the 500 block of Richmond ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested and Charged with DWI

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 24

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, actor(s) unknown stole his black & white Gary Fisher mountain bike, which had been locked and secured to the bicycle rack under the main train station.

Commercial Burglaries - Two adjacent West South Orange ...

South Orange's Spiotta Park is Renovated and Ready for Summer

May 26, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The community came out on Wednesday to celebrate the newly renovated and revitalized Spiotta Park, which at the corner of South Orange Avenue and Village Plaza, is in the heart of downtown South Orange.

Matt Glass, Chair of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) Board of Directors, welcomed all and shared his gratitude to those who worked together to ...

Maplewood and South Orange Events for Memorial Day Weekend - and What's Closed

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There is a lot going on in the two towns this Memorial Day weekend, as well as some closures on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.


The Maplewood Community Pool opens at noon for the 2018 season. (The South Orange Community Pool is opening June 2, details here.)

Downtown After Sundown presents "Jazz on ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, May 27, 11:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Memorial Day Colloquy: What We Honor and How We ...


Thu, May 31, 5:30 PM

Arden Courts, West Orange

Living with Alzheimer's for the Middle Stage ...

Education Health & Wellness


Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Millburn

Rocky Marciano, Jr. Unveils Rocky Marciano Wine ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, June 1, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Marines Land at Millburn High School

May 26, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ – After getting rained out last year, United States Marines successfully landed four military aircraft on the Millburn High School football field on Friday under sunny skies. At 10:00 am an MV-22 Osprey, a CH53 Super Stallion Helicopter, a UH-1 Huey Helicopter and an AH-1 Super Cobra Helicopter touched down to create static displays for the students to explore and interact with ...

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates SOFIA Honors Local Leaders During Annual Gala

WEST ORANGE, NJ - More than 200 supporters gathered at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on Sunday to celebrate 9 years since the founding of S.O.F.I.A (Start out Fresh Intervention Advocates).

Founder Cynthia Walker and the gala committee of Chaz Moore, Kelly Moore, Lisa Boyd and Ida Walker pulled out all stops incorporating the color of purple throughout the venue for ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 24, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

SOMA Two Towns for All Ages to Host Transportation Summit on June 6

May 26, 2018

On June 6, SOMA Two Towns for All Ages will host a Transportation Summit with speakers and vendors focused on transportation options for older residents.Come and hear about the important role transportation plays in an individual’s independence and health.  

Learn more about the South Orange and Maplewood Senior Bus services. Sign up for classes by AAA, NJTIP, and more.  alk to ...

Free Adult Health Screenings at the Maplewood Library on Wednesday, June 6

Free Adult Health Screenings    

Wednesday, June 6           

10:30 am-noon at Main Library 

Blood pressure and carotid bruit screening, medication, weight & health counseling, Open to Maplewood residents 18 and older. Staffed by Maplewood Health Dept. nurses. Drop in.

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - and a Memorial Day Coupon

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Wheatgrass Shot  $2.99 (Bakery)
Corn 4/$2.99
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb(Prep Food)
Boar’s Head Beef Pastrami  10.99lb(Deli)
Cooked Shrimp $17.99(Ashley Fish Market)
Cave Aged Gruyere $16.99lb ...