Hopewell Theater’s popular performance showcase returns tonight, December 14 at 7pm, with a curated local lineup of short performances by artists from the area.
Patrons are encouraged to support their neighbors and regional talent by attending this lighthearted and entertaining event as audience members.
This month’s show will feature a stand-up comedy act by James Christy, solo live music performances by Stephen Dijoseph, Nikolai Margulis, and Meg Russell, and band performances by Cushetunk and event hostess Michelle Klein’s band, Mine Road.
James Christy (Comedy)
James Christy Jr. is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. His solo show Not Right Now had a sold-out run at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September, and his feature film Love and Communication won the Audience Award at the New Hope Film Festival in July.
Meg Russell (Live Music – Solo)
Singer-songwriter Meg Russell is an award-winning Nashville recording artist. Meg is transitioning from an accomplished children’s musician with two full-length, award-winning CDs to an adult contemporary musician. Meg brings us her warm vibe and unique sound with her newest originals along with a special holiday tune. Meg will be releasing her new EP, Hidden Spaces, in 2023!
Nikolai Margulis (Live Music – Solo)
Nikolai Margulis first fell for the banjo at age five and hasn’t put it down since. He’s played in the kids award show band at the International Bluegrass Music Awards for the past two years, and was recently a finalist for the Freshgrass Banjo Award. He’s a high school tenth grader from Princeton.
Stephen Dijoseph (Live Music – Solo)
Cushetunk (Live Music – Band)
HOUSE BAND MINE ROAD
Mine Road was born thanks to our vibrant local musical network.
In 2019, longtime multi-instrumentalist Bill Flemer launched a series of Monday night music evenings at The Peasant Grill in Hopewell, NJ. Bill often invited others to share the bill, guaranteeing a fun night out for folks and a warm reception for performers. A steady group of supportive listeners welcomed the spontaneous, unpredictable atmosphere.
Eventually, Bill dragged Michelle Klein, owner and baker at the restaurant, out of the kitchen to sing. (She didn’t need much prompting.) Soon, an early version of Mine Road called Michelle’s Blues Band was performing at The Peasant Grill. Then, they landed a gig at the newly reopened Hopewell Theater as house band at open mics.
Drawing from various musical backgrounds and influences, the group enjoyed an immediate synergy, developing a repertoire of standards, blues, and torch songs with the occasional pop tune thrown into the mix.
The band meets and rehearses regularly in an old farmhouse on Mine Road in beautiful Hopewell Township. Thus the name! There’s enough space to feel the music, and a friendly spirit you can feel on stage.
Meet the Players:
A would-be chanteuse since age five, Michelle has finally found her people and her voice. A born storyteller with a love for jazz and blues and a powerful delivery, she interprets lyrics like an old soul and knows music can make sense out of life.
Michelle is also the host of Your Stage at Any Stage at Hopewell Theater!
Bill was germinated many years ago from an acorn at his family’s tree nursery in Kingston, NJ. He has played guitar for 55 years and hopes to get the hang of it any day now. His other interests involve sawdust and topsoil.
An only child, John is the eldest of 10 and a delicate mite. The Southern California transplant (since 1981) is classically trained on the flute, which is why he has played bass for so many far-famed local bands, including Hopewell’s own Snapperhead Zydeco, plus The Barncats, Left Wing, Combo Bossa Nova, Dark Whiskey, and now, Mine Road.
Guy is a NJ Blues Hall of Fame member and has played in blues, country, and rock and roll bands for 50 years.
Leslie J. “Chuggy” Carter is a noted American percussionist born and raised in Harlem, New York City. He has made contributions to many types of music, including soul, jazz, funk, gospel, salsa, samba, and rock and roll. Chuggy has also worked on film and television scores.
He counts among his most memorable performances his shows with Donny Hathaway at Carnegie Hall during the Newport Jazz Festival and those with Patti Labelle at The Metropolitan Opera House.
At the age of five, Jim was chosen to be the MC of his kindergarten class’ Christmas play. He was first out on stage greeting the crowd and introducing the skits. Since then not much has changed.
At last check, Jim has logged over 2000 gigs in the last few years in more than 175 different venues. Notable performances include a run of shows in the Northeast backing jazz legend Richie Cole (Doc Severinson, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton) and opening for Los Lonely Boys, Dave Mason, Marshall Tucker, and Butch Trucks.
Get tickets to YOUR STAGE AT ANY STAGE at 7pm on Wednesday, December 14 here.
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