On October 6th 2012, The Women’s Association of New Jersey’s Performing Arts Center, NJPAC, presented a “Night in Motown.” The evening featured performances from En Vogue, The Four Tops, Valerie Simpson and Darlene Love — all under the direction of American Idol Music Director, Ray Chew.
MJ Rodriguez, a Newark native and NJPAC Arts Education alumni opened the evenings performance. “Rodriguez is a rising star of television and theater – currently starring as Angel in the New World Stages revival of Rent and recently filmed a guest appearance on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie – who will give the audience a firsthand look at the caliber of NJPAC’s Arts Education program.” Darlene Love, a Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee who has work with such artists as Same Cooke, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Cher, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin, sang crowd favorite “River Deep Mountain High,” as well of other of her hits Motown classics.
With only one of its original members, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, The Four Tops belted out such hits as, “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch). Valerie Simpson, half of the legendary songwriting, producing and performing duo Ashford & Simpson, looked stellar as she performed classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
En Vogue closed the show and appeared with original members Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron-Braggs and new addition Rhona Bennet where they performed their hits, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Giving Him Something He can Feel,” and more.
Proceeds from “Night in Motown” support the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and its arts education programs. “Established in 1994, the Women’s Association of NJPAC has since raised over $36.6 million in support of general operations and Arts Education programs at NJPAC and serves as the arts center’s largest annual funding source.”
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