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A Portrait of Ray: A Vanguard Theater Gala Event
The Woodlands
Maplewood, NJ
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A Portrait of Ray: A Vanguard Theater Gala Event
Born in 1930, Ray Charles was a soul music visionary. His original sound, which infused Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Country Music, aided in the integration of American music. A charismatic musician, songwriter and producer, Ray Charles was not only integral in defining soul music as a new genre, he also used his voice as an instrument for social change. Though often controversial, his music had a profound influence on the world at large and was instrumental in changing the fabric of race relations in America.

A Portrait of Ray will paint the picture of Ray Charles the man, his music, and his social influence. It will be a One Night Only Dinner Theater Experience that will capture the true essence of a 1960's Night Club in the deep south, with period d├ęcor, decadent southern cuisine and top of the line entertainment.

A Portrait of Ray will feature New Jersey's own Broadway Star: Dwayne Clark (Rent, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Porgy & Bess, In the Heights) "Dwayne Clark is quite the entertainer, compared to the likes of a Cab Calloway or a Sammy Davis Jr." New York Times

This exciting Gala event will raise funds for Union & Essex County's brand new Community Based Not for Profit Theater Company: Vanguard Theater.

Vanguard Theater Company is dedicated to diversity, creativity, community engagement, and inclusion. We are committed to bringing new and re-imagined musical theater works of the highest caliber to the richly artistic and diverse communities of Union & Essex County, NJ.

The Gala will include: A Cocktail Hour, Silent Auction, Dinner, Performance & Reception


The Woodlands (View)
60 Woodland Ave
Maplewood, NJ 07040
United States




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