NJFO to Present New Year’s Spectacular, Tribute to Sondheim

WESTFIELD — On Friday, December 31, at 7 p.m., under the baton of Maestro David Wroe, New Jersey Festival Orchestra (NJFO) again presents one of New Jersey’s most popular New Year’s Eve musical celebrations. This year’s performance, “Steppin’ Back Out,” promises a superb review of American musical theatre song and dance showstoppers presented in glorious symphonic splendor to herald the arrival of the New Year.

This year’s intergenerational program reads like a Who’s Who of the best of Broadway. It’s “eclectic, dynamic and a grand retrospective of the some of the choice song and dance numbers from Broadway,” said Music Director David Wroe. “All the great composers are represented.”

Songs by classic American musical composers Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Lerner and Loewe will be included, as well as a special tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

This year’s guest artists this year all come from the Broadway stage —Paige Faure, (Miss Saigon, Cinderella), James Moye (Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin), and Marissa McGowan (Les Miserables and Kiss me Kate’). Dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem will also join the cast for some dazzling dance numbers.

“Maestro Wroe has put together a fabulous program,” said guest vocalist Paige Faure, who many will remember from NJFO’s summer show Back to Broadway. “ Its music that calls for dramatic interpretation – it’s passionate as well as comedic, and I’m thrilled to come back to NJFO for such an exciting celebration.”

Continued Wroe: “This concert is an opportunity for adults to reminisce to songs they all know, for kids to learn more about some of the most exciting characters to grace the stage and screen, and for us all to revel in the genius of America’s finest composers. And it’s a great way for a family to celebrate New Year’s Eve together”.

“People want safe, familiar and uplifting events to bring in the New Year, and the NJ Festival Orchestra has built a tradition of being the place to be on this special night, commented NJFO Board President Keith S. Hertell.  It also fits perfectly in people’s plans — the 1,000-plus audience members either come directly from a dinner, or leave the concert to head off to their final dinner or party. The event is a highlight of the year for our community.”

The NYE concert will take place in Westfield High School auditorium, 550 Dorian Road in Westfield, and will finish at approximately 9 p.m. The concert will be repeated on New Year’s Day at Fellowship Cultural Arts Center, Basking Ridge. Both concerts are presented through the generous support of The PNC Bank, The Westfield Foundation, The NJ State Council on the Arts, and Livingston’s Helene and Jerome Dreskin.

Tickets range from $42 to $70, with a special discount price of only $15 for kids under 18.

Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required. NJFO will also adhere strictly to all other safety protocols set by each of the venues at the time of the concert.

Tickets are available on line at www.njfestivalorchestra.org. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (908) 232-9400 or visiting the NJFO office at 224 E. Broad Street, Westfield (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).