Live entertainment and alfresco dining kicks off June 9
Jacques Marra named head chef, debuts new menu at Brookside Cabaret
Paper Mill is pleased to announce the return of its wildly popular Brookside Cabaret starting Wednesday, June 9. The outdoor series, which debuted last summer, features world-class performers and fine dining under the stars at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House Restaurant.
Veteran singers of Paper Mill, Broadway, and beyond will return to the Brookside Cabaret for performances presented Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30PM, featuring Susan Speidel and Joe Regan (June 9–10, August 18–21), Gavin Lee (June 11–12), Kelli Rabke (June 16–19), Rema Webb (June 23–26), Alexander Kariotis (June 30–July 3), The Playbillies (July 7–10), Jenna Pastuszek (July 14–17), Kathryn Allison (July 21–24), Elena Shaddow (July 28–31), Marieann Meringolo (August 4–7), Elizabeth Ward Land (August 11–14), Dion Simmons Grier (August 25–28), Angela Birchett (September 8–11), Andrew Kober (September 15–16), Kyle Taylor Parker (September 17–18) and Nicholas Rodriguez (September 22–25), More artists to be announced.
Brookside Cabaret and Dining are sponsored by JPMorgan Chase.
In addition to enjoying top-notch entertainment, patrons will get a first taste of Head Chef Jacques Marra’s menu, featuring upscale New American cuisine. Previously a chef at the Metropolitan Opera House for 13 years, Marra also headed the kitchens of upscale NYC eateries such as Quatorze and The Biltmore Room.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Paper Mill Playhouse and to serve members of my community as executive chef of the Carriage House Restaurant,” said Marra, a longtime Maplewood resident. “Good food can help make a night out at the theater even better, and I’m excited to kick off my tenure here with the Brookside Cabaret, which is such a perfect fusion of food and entertainment.”
“We are so fortunate to have Jacques Marra at the Carriage House,” said Mike Stotts, Managing Director of Paper Mill. “Not only is he a top chef and a wonderful person, but he has years of experience making sure audiences never miss a curtain! We can’t wait for Paper Mill audiences to experience his out-of-this-world cuisine.”
Brookside seating is $25 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, $35 on Fridays and Saturdays, plus a $30 food and drink minimum per person from a prix fixe menu. Courtyard (side view) seating is $25 plus a $20 food and drink minimum per person from a menu of small plates. Cabaret performances are subject to weather, with rain dates on Sunday evenings.
The Carriage House Restaurant at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House opens for alfresco dining at 5:30PM Wed–Sat beginning June 9. Reservations are required. CLICK HERE or call 973.315.1707.
BROOKSIDE CABARET PERFORMERS
June 9–10 and August 18–21: Susan Speidel and Joe Regan
Susan Speidel and Joe Regan inaugurated the Brookside Cabaret series last summer and were courtyard favorites for their jolly renditions of standards and showtunes. Susan Speidel has appeared on the Paper Mill main stage and has presented cabaret shows in New York and beyond. She has been a soloist with symphonies and pops orchestras, and she has appeared in leading roles in Hello, Dolly!, Gypsy, Nunsense, Chicago, The Pirates of Penzance, Sweeney Todd, and more. Joe Regan is a fixture on the cabaret scene in the metropolitan area, appearing in piano bars and cabaret rooms as well as on international river cruises and at various resorts. He has been nominated numerous times as Outstanding Piano Bar Instrumentalist by the Manhattan Association of Cabaret.
June 11–12: Gavin Lee: Steppin’ Out with Fred Astaire
Gavin Lee reprises his rousing Brookside Cabaret program from last summer, Steppin’ Out with Fred Astaire. The two-time Tony Award nominee sings—and dances!—his way through the celebrated life of his favorite movie musical icon. Gavin appeared at Paper Mill as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. His Broadway credits include Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), Thénardier in Les Misérables, and Bert in Mary Poppins (also West End; Olivier and Tony nominations, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award). Gavin also has performed at Carnegie Hall in Show Boat, at Madison Square Garden as The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and at Goodspeed in the world premiere of Holiday Inn. His TV guest star and recurring roles include Law & Order: SVU, Little America, The Good Wife, and White Collar. Instagram: @gavinleeofficial
June 16–19: Kelli Rabke: Tiny Giants
Kelli Rabke brings her brand-new show to the Brookside Cabaret, celebrating big—though small—ladies of song in Tiny Giants: Petite Powerhouses from Garland to Gaga. In this salute to Edith Piaf, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, and many more, Kelli and her trio (John Fischer, piano; Sean Harkness, guitar) perform unforgettable songs from nine decades of popular music. Kelli got her “big break” as Dorothy in Paper Mill Playhouse’s The Wizard of Oz and went on to play the Narrator in the Broadway revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (US cast recording), and Éponine in Les Misérables on Broadway, among others, and she returned to Paper Mill in the landmark production of Stephen Schwartz’s Children of Eden. Kelli is now a staple in the NYC cabaret world. Her first solo cabaret debuted to a sold-out crowd at Feinstein’s/54 Below, and she has since been featured in shows ranging from Sondheim to Streisand to Bernstein. www.kellirabke.com
June 23–26: Rema Webb: Billie and Me
Rema Webb returns to the Brookside Cabaret with a special tribute to the legendary Billie Holiday. Rema is a Broadway veteran who made her Paper Mill debut in the world premiere of Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and appeared in the virtual Sing in a New Year! this past season. Last fall she took on the title role in Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak on It! at Premiere Stages, and she was previously featured in the Public Theater/Disney Theatrical production of Hercules at the Delacorte. Rema’s Broadway credits include Escape to Margaritaville, The Color Purple, Violet, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, and Ragtime. Her resume also boasts numerous Off-Broadway and regional productions, plus television and film work including The Sound of Music Live!, First Born, and Murphy Brown. Rema is the founder and executive director of On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program. www.remawebb.com
June 30–July 3: Alexander Kariotis
One of the most distinctive operatic tenors on the international music scene, Alexander Kariotis has sung leading roles in La Bohème, Tosca, and Pagliacci, to name a few. As a classical crossover artist, he also possesses a powerful, searing rock voice likened to Steve Perry and Freddie Mercury. Together he and his Rock Opera Orchestra (piano, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums) weave timeless operatic arias into soaring rock melodies (with a second album set for release in October), and their Brookside Cabaret debut will encompass innovative arrangements of the greatest hits of the opera and rock worlds plus Broadway favorites, leaving audiences both exhilarated and breathless. www.alexanderkariotis.com
July 7–10: The Playbillies
The Playbillies, Broadway’s bluegrass band, are Matt Cusack (bass), Mike Rosengarten (banjo), Sam Sherwood (guitar), and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman (fiddle). The quartet was formed when Mike turned to Matt and Douglas and said, “Man, these show tunes are great, but I just wish there were more banjo.” They readily agreed, grabbed their friend Sam, and took off on an adventure to “bluegrassify” every show tune they could! Since 2016, the Playbillies have continued to share original arrangements, marrying two of America’s greatest traditions—bluegrass and Broadway—via social media, live concerts, and private events. Their lively, eclectic set list includes favorites from Chicago, Bandstand, Fiddler on the Roof, Rent, Hello, Dolly!, even Bruce Springsteen, and more. theplaybillies.wixsite.com
July 14–17 : Jenna Pastuszek: Get Happy!
The vibrant singer-actor Jenna Pastuszek and musical director Joshua Zecher-Ross celebrate the world’s greatest entertainer, Judy Garland, in Get Happy!—not an impersonation show, but a cleverly curated set list of both classics and forgotten gems honoring Judy Garland’s legacy. Lifelong Judy fans will enjoy songs from The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, Judy at Carnegie Hall, Judy at The Palace, The Judy Garland Show, and more, while the younger generation will discover an artist who truly transcends time. “Forget your troubles” and join us for a wonderful time! www.jennap.com
July 21–24: Kathryn Allison: The Sophisticated Ladies of Broadway and R&B
Kathryn Allison made a rousing Brookside Cabaret debut last summer and returns, along with featuring music director Elijah Caldwell, to impress with her soulful powerhouse vocals. She was first seen on the Paper Mill Playhouse stage as a student and performer in New Voices and has since appeared on Broadway in Aladdin, Wicked, and the current revival of Company; in concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Joe’s Pub, and Rockwood Music Hall; and in Paper Mill’s streaming Sing in a New Year! celebration. Other TV/film and recording credits include John Cameron Mitchell’s Anthem: Homunculus, Loveville High, Elementary, The Bachelorette, and more. Her debut album, Something Real, was released in 2019. www.kathryn-allison.com
July 28–31: Elena Shaddow with Meg Zervoulis
Elena Shaddow, a familiar face at Paper Mill, makes her Brookside Cabaret debut lending her glorious soprano stylings to favorite Broadway tunes and love songs. She appeared on the main stage as Mary in Mary Poppins, Mother in A Christmas Story, Maria in The Sound of Music, Lili in Carnival!, as well as in the virtual Sing in a New Year!. Broadway: The Visit, La Cage aux Folles, The Bridges of Madison County, The Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Sweet Smell of Success, Les Misérables. NYC, tour, and regional credits include Anna in The King and I, Clara in The Light in the Piazza, Fanny in Fanny at City Center Encores!, The Bacchae at the Public, Marian in The Music Man (Muny), Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County (Williamstown), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare NJ). Concerts with the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Royal Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall, Pacific Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and others. www.elenashaddow.net
August 4–7: Marieann Meringolo: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
Award-winning recording artist and entertainer Marieann Meringolo makes her Brookside Cabaret debut with her critically acclaimed show, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, celebrating the three-time Academy Award–winning songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The Bergmans have written lyrics not only for numerous television shows, films, and stage musicals, but also for some of the biggest and best singers of our time: Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Johnny Mathis, and most notably Barbra Streisand, who has recorded 64 of their songs. Marieann’s heart-soaring tribute, directed by Will Nunziata with music direction by Doyle Newmyer, transports audiences with such unforgettable favorites as “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?,” “Where Do You Start?,” “Nice ’n’ Easy,” “That Face”, “The Windmills of Your Mind”, “It Might Be You,” and more. www.marieannmeringolo.com
August 11–14: Elizabeth Ward Land: Still Within the Sound of My Voice
Elizabeth Ward Land returns with her moving Linda Ronstadt tribute concert, Still Within the Sound of My Voice, which drew audience raves last summer at the Brookside Cabaret; it won the 2020 Bistro Award for Outstanding Tribute Show. Liz is known for her versatile career encompassing musicals, plays, concerts, voice-overs, commercials, film, and television. Her Broadway, Off Broadway, tour, and regional credits include Amazing Grace, Memphis, Passion, Sunset Boulevard, Curvy Widow, City of Angels, Les Misérables, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Singin’ in the Rain, and more. She’s performed sold-out concerts at the Green Room 42, 54 Below, SOPAC, and elsewhere across the country. Liz’s acclaimed debut CD, First Harvest, is available on iTunes. www.elizabethwardland.com
August 25–28: Dion Simmons Grier
Dion Simmons Grier is a lifelong Jersey boy and earned his BFA at Montclair State University. Twice a Rising Star Award nominee, he attended Paper Mill’s Summer Musical Theater Conservatory, performed in New Voices, and was cast in the main stage production of Sister Act (rescheduled to 2022). Dion’s other professional credits include Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls and Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors at Theatre Aspen. He has performed in cabarets, concerts, and musicals at various venues including Lincoln Center and NJPAC. Instagram: @DionSimmons_
September 8–11: Angela Birchett
Brookside newcomer Angela Birchett is a seasoned vocalist, actor, and songwriter. Angela made her Broadway debut in the 2015 Tony Award–winning revival of The Color Purple, which she also toured in and reprised at Paper Mill. Additional credits include Dreamgirls (Effie White), Once on This Island (Asaka), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (BJ), and Hairspray (Motormouth). She has been seen on TV on Kevin Can Wait, Blindspot, and most recently starring in Lifetime’s movie event The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel as Jacky Clark Chisholm, which was the most-viewed cable premiere of 2020! As founder of AB Creative, she has also created educational programming and one-on-one development that encourages individuality and celebrates Black culture through the performing arts. www.angelabirchett.com
September 15–16: Andrew Kober
Andrew Kober makes his courtyard debut after appearing in both Cinderella and Unmasked at Paper Mill. Broadway: Beautiful, School of Rock, Sunday in the Park with George, She Loves Me, Les Misérables, Hair. National Tour: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off Broadway and regional: Roundabout Theatre Company, the Public Theater, MCC, New York Theatre Workshop, the Old Globe, Yale Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, and four summers at Shakespeare in the Park. TV: Fosse/Verdon (FX Network), Ray Donovan (Showtime), House of Cards (Netflix), Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Blue Bloods (CBS), Pan Am (ABC), The Plot Against America (HBO). Twitter: @andrewkober
September 17–18: Kyle Taylor Parker: Broadway Soul
Kyle Taylor Parker, the “king of Broadway soul,” brings an expanded, eclectic set back to the Brookside Cabaret. Known for his dynamic presence, megawatt smile, and a vocal tone that’s as rich as it is bright, KTP will shower audiences with a variety of songs from his two Broadway Soul solo albums, reimagining Broadway classics with an R&B twist. He has originated roles in Kinky Boots and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Parker went on to perform the leading role, Lola, on the first national tour of Kinky Boots (IRNE Award, Best Visiting Actor) before replacing Billy Porter as Lola on Broadway in 2015. His other theatrical credits include the acclaimed Off Broadway revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Chita Rivera Award, Outstanding Ensemble), Finian’s Rainbow, and the world premiere of My Very Own British Invasion at Paper Mill Playhouse. www.kyletaylorparkeronline.com
September 22–25: Nicholas Rodriguez
Nicholas Rodriguez wowed Brookside audiences last summer and has starred in Paper Mill’s productions of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn and Some Enchanted Evening and has had an extensive career on Broadway, film, and the concert stage. He toured the US as Captain Georg Von Trapp in The Sound of Music directed by Jack O’Brien. Off-Broadway he starred in The Toxic Avenger and Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver as well as numerous regional theater productions around the country; he earned a Helen Hayes Award for his portrayal of Curly in Oklahoma! at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, as well as nominations for My Fair Lady and Carousel. His debut album, The First Time…, based on his one-man show of the same name, fuses Rodriguez’s love of theater with jazz, blues, folk and pop. He is perhaps best known for the role of Nick Chavez on ABC’s One Life to Live, for which he received the GLAAD Media Award and the 2009 Visibility Award. www.thenickrod.com