Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Oleta Adams at SOPAC April 1

Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $38-$58  
Box Office: (973) 313-2787

Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One, and the impassioned hit single “Get Here,” Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart through songs that draw deeply from her roots in Gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of Soul, R&B and Popular music. Her success, nurtured by worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, has been solidified by four Grammy Award nominations and a seemingly bottomless well of creative energy.

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The youngest of three girls and two boys, Oleta Adams spent her formative years in Seattle before traveling over the mountains at age six to Yakima, Washington. It was there she first demonstrated her budding vocal gifts in the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where her father served as minister. By the time Oleta Adams was eleven, she had already established herself as a piano prodigy and was directing and accompanying four choirs. She credits her further musical development in junior high school to Lee Farrell, “the brilliant Julliard-trained teacher and voice coach who changed my life.”

Turning down the chance to pursue an operatic career as a lyric soprano, along with a scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University, Oleta Adams instead spent a summer in Europe before heading to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. One demo tape and $5,000 later, she discovered that the disco movement had deafened music executives. Her Gospel-flavored voice was not “in.” With the help of Coach Lee Farrell she wound up in Kansas City, where she launched her career playing piano bars, hotel lounges and showrooms.

Oleta Adams quickly became a local institution, with her own billboard and a regular gig at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Celebrities from every musical genre caught her act, including Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Air Supply, Gino Vanelli, Yes and Billy Joel. Finally, serendipity came in the form of the British band Tears for Fears, whose frontmen Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith asked her to appear on their 1989 The Seeds of Love album, video and European tour. Proving that good things come to those who wait, upon her return to the U.S. Oleta signed a record deal for her first solo album in 1991.

With eight albums, worldwide acclaim and over two-and a-half million records sold, Oleta’s musical odyssey continues – spiritually and creatively. For this consummate artist- composer-producer-musician, many goals remain on the horizon.

SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3)charitable organization.
SOPAC received funding through a grant from the NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, visitnj.org.

About SOPAC

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages.  To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC—a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory.  SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions.  SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in-residence, American Theater Group. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.

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SOMA

Maplewood Police Blotter: Two Robberies Reported

June 20, 2017

June 13 - Robbery; At approximately 3 a.m., two males got into an argument at the 7-11 on Irvington Ave.  One male then attempted to take the others keys before fleeing when the police where called. Officers checked the area, but where unable to locate the male. The victim was not injured.

June 13 - Attempted Burglary; Sometime over the previous two weeks the screen to a ...

Maplewood Police Blotter and Traffic Enforcement Summary

June 5 - Theft; A Lyft driver reported that after dropping off four males in the area of Tuscan Rd. and Boyden Ave., he discovered money missing from his wallet.

June 6 - Burglary; At approximately 12:15 p.m., a home on Coolidge Rd. had it’s alarm activated. When the homeowner returned home, they discovered damage to a door. It did not appear that anything was ...

SOMA Film Festival Offers Free Kids Screenings at South Orange and Maplewood Libraries

June 24, 2017

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The SOMA Film Festival, in partnership with the South Orange and Maplewood public libraries, is offering a free screening this July of its successful “Kids Program."

The inaugural “Kids Program” screened to a sold-out Maplewood Theater in March at this years’ festival. According to festival organizers, the program had all ...

XRootsFest Returns to South Orange on June 24 with a Day of Diverse Music, Culture, and Food

Update on June 23: Due to forecast for inclement weather, XRootsFest will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., instead of the originally scheduled noon to 5 p.m. Red Storm Drum & Dance troupe will be there starting at 1 p.m.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – You don’t have to leave the neighborhood or book a flight to travel to four continents in one day. XRootsFest: A Day of Music, ...

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South Orange Rescue Squad Fund Needs New Ambulance

June 14, 2017

Dear Friend and Neighbor,

This past weekend, our cadet members took home the gold at the 4th Annual Bayshore EMS Cadet/Youth Competition. Our youth members are a reflection of the volunteers and services of the South Orange Rescue Squad. Our mantra is Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and we're thrilled to celebrate their victory, because their success is our success!

We at the South Orange ...

The Mommy’s Review - Nashville and Atlanta (Plus Chattanooga!) with Kids

My first and last visit to Nashville was about 15 or 16 years ago with my boyfriend (now husband), and I’ve been craving a return trip for a while, especially since I’m such a big fan of the Nashville TV show on ABC. Luckily, we were able to take the kids on a fun trip there recently, and we wound up flying into Nashville and turning our excursion into a mini-road trip with stops in ...

West Orange to Host Only Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Viewing in New Jersey

June 24, 2017

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The Township of West Orange will pay tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam War when the “Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall” arrives at West Orange High School from July 1 to July 4 in Suriano Stadium.

This will be the only appearance of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in New Jersey this year, and viewing is free to the public

The opening ceremony ...

Short Hills Second-Grader Records Fastest Time at President’s Cup 5K Run

MILLBURN, NJ – Hartshorn School student Chace Redler of Short Hills recorded the fastest time for an 8-year-old at the 38th annual President’s Cup 5K Run held in Millburn. According to published records by CompuScore, Redler’s time of 20:15.28 represents the fastest time for his age in the history of the race. His impressive performance also marks the third fastest time of ...

Roxbury Man Wants Something Done About Unwanted Tossed Newspapers

June 25, 2017

ROXBURY, NJ - Thanks to the Internet, print newspapers have been declining for a decade. There’s at least one Roxbury resident who won’t miss a method used by the struggling industry to stay afloat: The free sample paper thrown on front yards.

That person is Emil Ruesch of Landing. He came last week to a Roxbury Mayor and Council meeting and spoke his mind.

“I’m here ...

Cancer Patient Says Tumor Shrunk with New TrueBeam at Morristown Medical Center

MORRISTOWN, NJ – The latest piece of high precision radiotherapy equipment to treat cancer at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center, the TrueBeam system, went into service on May 8. Ben Christener, who has small cell lung cancer, was one of the first two patients to be treated.

Christener’s cancer was discovered after a CT Scan showed a mass ...

Travel Ideas for Father's Day Weekend in New Jersey

June 15, 2017

TAPinto Travels

Father’s Day is Sunday and North Jersey is brimming with activities designed to honor all of the dads in our lives. Dad is guaranteed to love spending time with his family at any one of the area’s many festivals and fairs this coming weekend.

Tri-County Fair

Bring Dad to the fair this weekend and enjoy rides, carnival games, live music, and ...

Columbia High School To Host A Chinese Teacher Through State Department Program

June 25, 2017

Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey has participated in a nation-wide competition to host a Teachers of Critical Language Program (TCLP) teacher and is one of a total of 26 schools that have been awarded. Niu Xiuqing from China will teach Chinese at Columbia High School for a full academic year.

TCLP is designed to increase the study and acquisition of important world languages in ...

Sweeney Todd at SOPAC for Six Performances in July

July 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8PM & July 16 and 23 2PM

Tickets: $35-$45 
BUY TICKETS | MEMBERS BUY TICKETS 
Box Office: (973) 313-2787

To close our 22nd season in the summer, Light Opera of New Jersey presents Stephen Sondheim’s dark-humored musical thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Jeffrey Fiorello with music direction by ...

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2017 Two Towns Triathlon for Kids

The 4th annual Two Towns Triathlon for Kids was held in South Orange on Saturday, June 17. South Orange or Maplewood children between the ages of 7 and 14 swam laps in the South Orange Pool, biked through Meadowland Park and the West Montrose Neighborhood, finishing the race running around the duck pond in Meadowland Park. Gold and Silver medals were awarded for 1st and 2nd place for boys and ...