RAHWAY, NJ - 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 7 p.m. Friday, May 4.

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 the professional stage at the beautiful and historic Union CountyPerforming Arts Center — where many of America’s biggest names have performed.

Sign Up for E-News

“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, our cast continues to grow as we spotlight talent from around Union County. It's going to be a night to remember."

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has provided sponsorship for the event. 

“The County of Union is at the forefront of empowering our residents who have special needs and providing them with various opportunities for work and recreation as well as ways to express their creativity,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “As such, we are honored to present this evening of entertainment which showcases Union County talent and demonstrates to all the amazing abilities of our residents with special needs.”

As part of Granados’ “Moving Union County Forward,”  initiatives on behalf of County government for 2018, the Freeholder Board established the state first Office for People with Special Needs, which promotes inclusion, conducts outreach and provides educational, recreational and social opportunities for residents living with special needs.

When the lights go up on the production, 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!"

Tickets are on sale now at www.UCPAC.org/events. Find the Shining Stars logo, select your seats and 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 inclusion, friendship and understanding.

SSN will also host their 2nd annual two week performing arts camp — “Camp Shine” — from August 20-31 in Scotch Plains. For moreinformation on any of these programs or events, email shiningstarsnetwork@gmail.com, or check out their website atwww.ShiningStarsNetwork.org.

Shining Stars would like to thank our lead sponsors: Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Investors Bank, Cranford Elks,Community Access Unlimited and the Cranford Jaycees for their generosity and support.

The Union County Performing Arts Center is located at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway, NJ. Please call 732-499-08226 or go to  http://www.ucpac.org/