SOPAC partners with North Jersey Pride for a weekend of programing exclusively highlighting LGBTQIA+ artists on Friday, June 9 – Saturday, June 11.
In partnership with North Jersey Pride, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) presents its inaugural SOPAC Pride Weekend on Friday, June 9 – Saturday, June 11, celebrating SOMA’s robust LGBTQIA+ community. The weekend exclusively features LGBTQIA+ artists, including TikTok comic sensation, Jessica Kirson, “far-ranging sonic nomad” (Chicago Tribune) singer-songwriter AKENYA, and DJ Ryan The Person. Get your tickets today!
“As Executive Director of SOPAC and an out and proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I’m proud to be part of this movement and this moment,” Stephen Beaudoin said. “Pride is a feeling: it’s a movement, and it’s a moment. At SOPAC, we want it to be radically joyful, thoughtfully inclusive, and always oriented in the direction of community, celebration, and love. Our first ever SOPAC Pride Weekend signals the beginning of our ever-expansive commitment to community, creativity, and connection.”
Stand-up comedian and South Orange native Jessica Kirson kicks off Pride Weekend on Friday, June 9 at 8PM. Racking up over 50 million views on social media, Kirson’s vulnerability and silly characters brought her wide appeal to a multigenerational audience. Kirson was awarded “Best Female Comic” by the MAC association in New York City and received the prestigious Nightlife Award for “Best Stand-up Comedian.” In her spare time, Kirson is a regular contributor to The Howard Stern Show, where she produces and stars in prank calls.
The weekend continues with a concert by “far ranging sonic nomad” (Chicago Tribune) AKENYA as she makes her SOPAC and NJ debut on Saturday, June 10 at 8PM A Chicago native, AKENYA has collaborated with some of the city’s leading artists including Smino, Saba, and Chance the Rapper. Her music is a distinct blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul, pop, classical, and world music. She is also part of SOPAC’s “New Voices, New Visions” series celebrating today’s up-and-coming artists and their revolutionary creative visions.
Immediately following the concert, SOPAC will host The Night Before Pride Party in the Loft, beginning at 10:30PM. With music provided by DJ Ryan The Person, this night of dancing and revelry will celebrate SOMA’s vibrant and passionate LGBTQIA+ community. The first 75 tickets purchased to this party include a complimentary beverage from the bar (cash bar for all other purchases).
To round out the Saturday night of music and celebration, SOPAC is offering patrons a 25% discount when they purchase tickets to both AKENYA’s concert and The Night Before Pride Party. (To redeem this offer, use code PrideNight25 at time of purchase.)
SOPAC Pride Weekend concludes with a Tony Awards Viewing Party on Sunday, June 11 at 7PM. SOPAC invites all Broadway lovers to don their red carpet best and experience the 76th Annual Tony Awards on SOPAC’s Mainstage. This event is free (with a suggested donation of $15), and friends and supporters of North Jersey Pride receive exclusive early access to tickets.
“We’re thrilled to partner with SOPAC for this special Pride weekend,” North Jersey Pride Executive Director CJ Prince said. “SOPAC is demonstrating its commitment to providing safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ artists and performers to tell their stories, while also creating opportunities for engagement, dialogue and education around LGBTQIA+ inclusion and equality. It’s so critical for our LGBTQIA+ youth to be able to see themselves on stage and to know that community organizations like SOPAC support them—this Pride weekend lets them know they are seen and celebrated.”
SOPAC Pride Weekend events:
Friday, June 9 at 8PM
Stand-up comedian and South Orange native Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage! Winning the coveted Nightlight Award for “Best Stand Up Comedian” in New York City, she’s a hilariously relatable performer of sheer silliness, vulnerability, and ridiculous characters. Don’t miss your chance to laugh the night away with Kirson as part of SOPAC’s first ever LGBTQIA+ Pride weekend!
Tickets starting at $33.
Saturday, June 10 at 8PM
“Far ranging sonic nomad” (Chicago Tribune) and singer-songwriter AKENYA makes her SOPAC and NJ debut at SOPAC’s first ever LGBTQIA+ Pride weekend! In her decade-plus career, AKENYA has emerged as a songwriter and singer deftly moving among jazz, hip-hop, and R&B influences, including guest appearances with Chance the Rapper, Saba, Nubaya Garcia, and many more. Following the concert, dance the night away with AKENYA at The Night Before Pride Party. If you purchase tickets to both AKENYA’s concert and The Night Before Pride Party, you will receive a 25% discount off the total ticket price (to redeem this offer, use code PrideNight25 at time of purchase).
Tickets starting at $31.
The Night Before Pride Party
With DJ Ryan The Person
Saturday, June 10 at 10:30PM
Let’s get this party started! Grab your friends, throw on your rainbow gear, and dance the night away at The Night Before Pride Party in the Loft at SOPAC! Celebrate the vibrant and passionate LGBTQIA+ community with a fabulous night of great music provided by CJ Ryan The Person. And don’t miss your chance to mingle with up-and-coming R&B powerhouse AKENYA, who will attend the Party immediately following her performance on the SOPAC Mainstage. If you purchase tickets to both AKENYA’s concert and The Night Before Pride Party, you will receive a 25% discount off the total ticket price (to redeem this offer, use code PrideNight25 at time of purchase).
Tickets are $35.
Tony Awards Viewing Party
Sunday, June 11 at 7PM
Get your crew together, wear your red carpet best, and celebrate Broadway’s biggest night with your friends and neighbors at SOPAC! View the 76th Annual Tony Awards on the big screen. Friends and supporters of North Jersey Pride receive exclusive early access to tickets, so act fast and secure your seats today!
Free event, with a suggested donation of $15 and required RSVP.