NEWARK, N.J., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The traditional programming
boundaries of performing arts centers were expanded today, with the
announcement of an exclusive long-term concert producing partnership between
the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Metropolitan Entertainment
Group and Barrister Productions, it was jointly announced today by Lawrence P.
Goldman, President and CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC),
John Scher, President and CEO of Metropolitan Entertainment Group (MEG), and
Ernest Booker, Founder and President of Barristers Entertainment. This
ground-breaking venture will bring contemporary, rock and urban music into the
NJPAC repertory fold.
"This new partnership reconfirms our mission to create an arts center that
is accessible to all people of all ages," said NJPAC's President and CEO,
Lawrence P. Goldman. "Like us, both John Scher and Ernest Booker have an
abiding commitment to reach all audiences that surround our magnificent new
"In collaboration with NJPAC, we hope to blur the line between what has
been defined as cultural arts fare and what is expected of contemporary rock,
R&B, and popular music concerts," explains John Scher. "Our goal is to help
de-mystify the ivory-tower image performing arts centers usually have with hip
and responsive music presentations."
This latest announcement reflects the inspiration of the NJPAC leadership
as the center nears its opening date of October 18, 1997. The
Metropolitan/Barristers partnership will join a number of great performers
such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra,
American Ballet Theatre, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, Jessye
Norman and many others.
"Given the luxury of a fresh start, we can invent ourselves with our
programming and with our entertainment partnerships," observed Stephanie
Hughley, NJPAC's Vice President for Programming. Hughley will work in unison
with the Metropolitan/Barristers team.
"John and I have always been committed to promotional excellence in our
home state, which is why we choose to live and work here," noted Booker. "The
realization of NJPAC is important to us as producers and reconfirms our
commitment to New Jersey. We are a first-class state and this is a first-
Details and specifics of the upcoming concert programming will be
announced in the near future. Current plans include concerts, cabaret, and
spoken word presentations for both the 2,750-seat Prudential Hall and the 514-
seat Victoria Theater.
John Scher and Metropolitan Entertainment Group have been producing
concerts throughout the Northeast region for more than 25 years. As one of
the top-grossing producers in the country, MEG, a joint venture between the
Ogden Corporation and Metropolitan Entertainment, Inc., includes a Broadway
and Television division, artist management, venue ownership and management,
and the newly launched HYBRID Recordings, in addition to the concert division.
As the founder of Barristers Entertainment Inc., Ernest Booker has
produced numerous events, marketing to the African-American community in the
greater New York/New Jersey metropolitan area during the last 10 years. He
has produced Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Gladys Knight, The
Isley Brothers, Kirk Franklin, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, and numerous other R&B
Conceived for both traditional and popular cultural events, New Jersey
Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) serves as a host to nationally and
internationally celebrated performing artists and as a home to New Jersey's
arts communities. The Center's programs are created to serve New Jersey's
diverse populations, introducing new programs to New Jersey and demonstrating
the State's own rich culture. NJPAC is located on the Newark Riverfront near
Gateway Center, Newark's Penn Station and the Ironbound District, in downtown
Newark, N.J. With two theaters, the 2,750-seat Prudential Hall and the
intimate 500-seat Victoria Theater, NJPAC is the largest performing arts
center built in the Northeast in 30 years. NJPAC is scheduled to raise the
curtain on its inaugural season on Saturday, October 18, 1997. For ticket
information call: 1-888-GO-NJPAC.
SOURCE New Jersey Performing Arts Center