SOPAC Gala To Be Presented Virtually And In-Person At Drew University

On November 6, guests at the SOPAC Gala will enjoy a dazzling night of gourmet food and drinks, a silent auction, plus a performance by Great American Songbook ambassador Michael Feinstein.

The SOPAC Gala brings together patrons, community leaders and artists to celebrate the nonprofit theatre’s achievements and pay tribute to supporters. As SOPAC’s largest fundraising event of the year, the gala raises critical funds for both arts education programs and operating support.

Typically held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, this year’s soiree is being moved off site as SOPAC recovers from damage caused by Hurricane Ida. During this hybrid event on Saturday, November 6, guests can choose to participate in-person or virtually.

This year, Drew University’s picturesque, forested campus serves as the backdrop for SOPAC’s Gala. The evening begins at Mead Hall, a building listed on both the Federal and New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Beginning at 6PM, attendees can enjoy cocktails and a strolling dinner. Alternatively, guests can opt for a catered takeout meal from Bistro d’Azur in South Orange.

Michael Feinstein

At 8PM, the honoree tribute ceremony commences in the Concert Hall, located within the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts. At-home guests can experience the entertainment portion of the evening via livestream. This year, SOPAC honors Diana Hart, a former SOPAC Board member and owner of Diana Hart Fine Catering. John Lee, a Grammy Award-Winning Producer & Jazz All-Star, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Following the tribute, Michael Feinstein takes the stage. Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy-nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe at such iconic venues as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, Feinstein’s work as an educator and archivist defines him as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

Whether attending the gala in person or from home, guests can participate in the Silent Auction through the online auction platform, GiveSmart. The Silent Auction will open during the week of November 1 and will close on November 6 at 8:30PM.


In-Person Tickets, $300 per person:

· Option 1, in-person cocktails, strolling dinner, honoree tribute & entertainment

· Option 2, catered takeout meal, in-person honoree tribute & entertainment

Virtual Tickets, $100-$300 per person:

· Option 1, $300, catered takeout meal, virtual livestream of honoree tribute & entertainment

· Option 2, $100, virtual livestream of honoree tribute & entertainment

COVID-19 Policy: In-person attendees must be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine, and must show proof of vaccination along with a government ID to check in. Non-vaccinated attendees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time. All attendees are required to wear masks at all times while inside, except when actively eating or drinking.