Join Us Oct. 5 for a “Concert for Change”: A Musical Fundraiser!

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Come join us for a fantastic evening of performances by world-class singers, actors and musicians from Berkeley Heights and neighboring New Providence!

On Thursday, October 5, beginning at 7:30, the Berkeley Heights Democrats are hosting a musical evening at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. Event-goers can enjoy the entertainment, light refreshments and learn about Susan Poage and Alvaro Medeiros, our Democratic candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Council; the election is on Nov. 7. Longtime active members of our community, Susan and Alvaro will talk about their vision of Change We Can Agree On for our wonderful town. Friends from neighboring towns are welcomed to come out for a magical night of music!


Take a look at the talented local artists who will be performing for you:


Caitlin Alongi

CAITLIN ALONGI, soprano, has been praised by the Two River Times for her “gorgeous voice, nigh perfect pitch, and thrilling high notes.” Ms. Alongi was most recently seen as Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Light Opera of NJ. Past productions include West Side Story (Maria), Into The Woods (Cinderella), Les Misérables (Cosette), The Music Man (Marian), Anything Goes (Hope), Kismet (Marsinah), Hello, Dolly!ToscaSuor AngelicaStreet SceneThe Merry Widow, and Il Tabarro, among others. Caitlin lives in Westfield with her husband and their sweet little girl, and maintains an active voice and piano studio. Bachelor of Music from Mason Gross School of the Arts.







Joanna Hoty Russell

JOANNA HOTY RUSSELL is a performer, stage/music director and private voice educator for over 24 years in NJ.  Currently she is in her third season as the Music Director of The Larks [sponsored by the Junior League of Summit] and was recently appointed Conductor of Shir Libeinu of Temple Sinai, in Summit.  Joanna proudly serves as President of Light Opera of NJ, responsible for show selection, casting, administrative, technical and production elements.  She also serves as Music Director for Footlights, llc, a children’s theatre program in Martinsville, conducting Seussical, Jr., Shrek, Jr, Into the Woods, Jr, Once on This Island, Jr, High School Musical, Jr, Annie, Jr  and Honk, Jr . As a performer, Joanna has sung a wide range of musical theatre and operatic roles, including:  Miss Andrew (Mary Poppins), Muzzy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), 2nd Lady (Magic Flute), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) and Domina (A Funny Thing Happened…..). Stage and Musical directing credits include: Aladdin, Jr (Stage and Musical director), Amahl & the Night Visitors (Stage Director), and The True Story of Cinderella (Stage Director).





Julie Waldman-Stiel

JULIE WALDMAN-STIEL, a native Californian, left home to pursue a theater career in NYC.   Since arriving. she has performed in the National Tour of Cats (Grizabella US), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel US) starring Topol and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Featured Vocalist) starring Michael Crawford.   She was an entertainer at Tokyo Disneyland and has also performed her one woman show on various cruise ships.  Other regional/community theater credits: Sunset Boulevard (Norma), Evita (Eva), Triumph of Love (Hesione), The Graduate  (Mrs. Robinson), Little Women(Marmee), I Do, I Do (Agnes), City of Angels (Donna/Oolie) Into the Woods (Witch), Oliver (Nancy).






Madison Washer

MADISON WASHER attended Westminster Choir College and graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre with a concentration in voice performance from Montclair State University. She has worked with various theater companies in the NY and NJ area for the past 6 years, most recently worked with White Plains Performing Arts Company in the NY Regional Premier of Heathers, where she played the role of Miss. Fleming.  She also recently finished a holiday contract with the NJ and NYC Yuletide Carolers.  Other recent roles include Petra in NJ Light Opera’s production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Percy Talbott in Hackensack Cultural arts Centers production of Spitfire Grill, Mary Poppins, in YArts Theatre company’s production of Mary Poppins and Nancy in Montclair Operetta Clubs production of Oliver. When Madison is not on the stage she works as the Youth Program and Event Director at the Montclair Golf Club in West Orange and teaches voice and dance at various studios around NJ.






Jenna Rose Ravendra

JENNA ROSE RAVENDRA is a graduate of New Jersey City University with a degree in Music Education and a concentration in classical and musical theatre voice. She is a private voice and piano instructor in North Jersey and an active performer in NY/NJ. Some favorite credits include Urinetown (Little Sally), Spelling Bee (Olive/Logainne), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Les Misérables (Cosette), The Secret Garden (Lily), and Little Women (Jo March).  She is currently performing with NYSOM, The Music of Billy Joel and has spent countless hours in the recording studio doing original music but also in collaboration with GKM, Sony Records, and The Metropolitan Opera. Jenna has appeared in the USA World Showcase at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas where she took first place in “Best Original Song.” Additionally, she has performed with the Encore Orchestra of New Jersey and at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and NJPAC where she had the pleasure of opening for Kool and The Gang.







Ken Magos

KEN MAGOS is thrilled to join these incredibly talented colleagues onstage! Opera/Concert Highlights (US and Italy): principal roles in Boris GodunovSamson et DalilahLa Fanciulla del WestRodelindaIl Turco in ItaliaWertherCarmenMaskeradeTaming of the ShrewLa TraviataRigolettoAidaIl Trovatore, Tenor Soloist in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Mozart’s Requiem, multiple Three Tenors concerts throughout the NY/NJ/CT region, command performance for Queen Elizabeth II.  Theater Highlights:  Sweeney Todd (Sweeney) at SOPAC, The Apple Tree (God) at the Chicago Theater, South Pacific (Emile de Becque), Deathtrap (Sidney), Spamalot (King Arthur), Light in the Piazza (Sr. Naccarelli), Boys from Syracuse (Antipholus from Syracuse),  My Fair Lady (Freddy), Rapunzel’s Song(Joshua, world premiere), Sunday in the Park with George (Soldier/Lee Randolph), Follies (Ben Stone), Footloose (Rev. Shaw), EvitaA Christmas Carol.  Film/TV:  Dangerous Affections (w/ Judith Light and Jimmy Smits), Plain Clothes(w/Arliss Howard and Loren Dean), Delco Radio commercial (w/ The Beach Boys).  He is the Series Creator and Host of the NJTV/PBS series Drive By History produced by SMTWTV.  He teaches voice privately in Maplewood and NYC, and on faculty at Seton Hall University.


David Simon

DAVID SIMON has been performing with various theater groups for over three decades. Locally, he has performed with 4th Wall Theater, Light Opera of New Jersey, Summit Playhouse, Chatham Players, Cranford Dramatic Club, Montclair Operetta Club and The Village Light Opera Group in New York. Favorite roles in dude Tateh (Ragtime), Chairman (Drood), Barfee (25th Annual … Spelling Bee), Cogswoth (Beauty and the Beast), Finch (How to Succeed), Britt Craig (Parade), Guiteau (Assassins), Andrews (Titanic), Professor Bhaer (Little Women), Charlemagne (Pippin) and several of the comic baritone roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. By day, David manages attorney professional development at an international law firm. He grew up in Mountainside and has been a Berkeley Heights resident since 2005. He lives herewith his wife Stacey and his twins Hunter and Hailey.





Susan Kirkland

SUSAN KIRKLAND has taught choral and vocal music at New Providence High School since 2003. She was recognized as NPHS Teacher of the Year in 2013. She has also taught for Durham Public Schools in NC, UNC-Greensboro, and The Actors Institute in NYC. She has performed with New York City Opera National Company on their national tour of La BohèmeLight Opera New Jersey, Liederkranz, Di Capo, and Des Moines Metro opera companies, American Opera Projects, NYGASP, Opera at Florham and Opera at the Algonquin in NYC.   She earned a Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree with concentrations in Voice and Piano from Shenandoah University and her M.M. in Voice Performance from UNC-Greensboro. Last summer, she spent three weeks conducting the American Music Abroad Red Tour Concert Choir throughout Austria, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia.  







Karen Cantor

KAREN CANTOR‘s professional credits include the role of Venus in the long-awaited revival of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus at the Goodspeed Opera House. She played Louisa in The Fantasticks with the Miami Opera, toured as Susan in The Desert Song with Ron Raines, played the title role in Naughty Marietta in New York City, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, The Mistress in Evita with Carolee Carmello, Anna in Tintypes, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Starting Here, Starting Now in the Cayman Islands. On the concert stage, Karen’s credits include West Side Story at the Caramoor Festival, musical comedy selections at Carnegie Recital Hall, and a debut as Cunegonde in Candide at Michigan’s Midland Center for the Arts. On television she has been seen as Katie on ABC’s All My Children. Karen has written and/or directed several New Jersey productions that have met with popular acclaim, including many cabaret shows/revues such as Gershwin Cabaret, Kern Cabaret, and Rodgers & Hart Cabaret (Light Opera of New Jersey), and South Mountain TheatreWorks’ Broadway Broads. Also for South Mountain TheatreWorks, Karen served as Assistant Director of The Rocky Horror Show, and Director of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. A fervent aficionado of The American Songbook, Karen’s cabaret performances have been seen at such spots as “Here’s to the Arts”, “The Dancing Goat”, the “Watchung Arts Center”, and countless private functions, charitable fundraisers, parties, and corporate events. Recent roles include Alaura/Carla in City of Angels, Phyllis in Iolanthe, Liliane LaFleur in Nine, Signora Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza, and Tessie in Gypsy. Karen teaches Musical Theater and Voice at the Elefante School for the Performing Arts in New Providence.



Justin Luciano

JUSTIN LUCIANO is excited to be a part of this concert with such extraordinary artists! Recent credits include Rock of Ages at The Eagle Theatre and the tour of The Lightning Thief with Theatreworks USA. Other favorites are Tony in West Side Story at both Interlakes Summer Theatre and Cortland Repertory Theatre, as well as Footloose, Rags, and Columbinus at MMC. BA in Musical Theatre from Marymount Manhattan College.








Stacey Simon

STACEY SIMON is a full-time immigration attorney which is the main reason she is involved in theater. Favorite roles include: Little Red Ridinghood, Into The Woods; Katherina, Taming of the Shrew; and title role in Roxanne. Stacey is also the VP of Village Light Opera and most importantly, mom to 8-year-old twins Hunter and Hailey







When: Thursday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts

60 Locust Avenue, Berkeley Heights

How: Register at:

Contributions at the event welcomed!






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