Thousands will come to the city and line up to catch the broadcast of America’s Got Talent, the NBC competition filming from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center through early September.
NJPAC has taken this as an opportunity to showcase another group of gifted performers -- youth from throughout the area, especially Newark.
The outdoor stage at the downtown venue will feature local performers every Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as a DJ, shortly before each filming of “AGT.” These performances are free and open to the public.
The series kicked off last night with a performance co-sponsored by the All Stars Project, a nonprofit which offers extracurricular instruction in the performing arts to inner-city youth in New Jersey, New York City and elsewhere in the country. (The second All Stars performance is tonight at 6:00 pm; call NJPAC at 973-642-8989 for exact show times for the rest of the summer.)
Performers last night included vocalist Wolf Nerd, dancers C-Blaze and Bunny Rabbit, and variety act Ashley-Yah Yah - Frequency.
The All Stars Project is about more than teaching youth to master their singing range or to handle the mechanics of producing a show, said Gloria Strickland, founding director of the All Stars Project in New Jersey. Along the way, program participants learn a bit about the wider world as well.
“If you can perform on stage, you can perform in life,” Strickland said.
“We thought is was a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the young, up-and-coming talent here in Newark,” John Schreiber, president of NJPAC, said of the partnership with All Stars and this summer’s concert series.