Anthony D’Amato Named Producing Artistic Director of the Strand Theater, Lakewood
The Board of Directors of the Strand Center for the Arts, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, New Jersey, has named Anthony D’Amato, known by the stage name Remember Jones, producing artistic director of the Strand. D’Amato’s responsibilities include working closely with management in project and performance evaluations, giving input in production choices, and producing his own theatrical and music events, among others.
The 31-year-old D’Amato of Asbury Park has developed an impressive body of work since beginning his association with the performing arts as an usher at the Strand when he was a teenager. During his career in the arts, D’Amato has directed and produced shows, including his original concept of The Rocky Horror Show that played to sold-out audiences at the Strand in 2013.
He served as musical director for Exit 82’s production of Rock of Ages, recently performed at the Strand. He previously directed critically acclaimed sold-out performances of HAIR, heralded by HAIR’s original Broadway and film Producer Michael Butler (a mentor to Anthony), co-writer James Rado, and Tom O’Horgan, director of the original production. This led to an appearance and co-director contribution by Anthony to the documentary HAIR, Let the Sunshine In, available on DVD.
He was the first producer and director to bring the household name DEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH to the New Jersey state at the Baronet Theatre in Asbury Park in 2007. Among his honors, D’Amato was named the 2010 Asbury Park Top Vocalist Award Winner and is a past Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nominee.
D’Amato envisions some exciting offerings at the Strand in addition to art performances. “We share a vision for making this truly a center for all the arts, a social scene. We will not only be producing performing arts performances but also planning to have artists from the region display their work in The Gallery, a unique venue unto itself. We plan to feature local and touring musicians, piano bar, open mike nights, poetry and play readings, comedy, and more. We will also be having movie events using the full theater with theme nights, double/triple features, sing-alongs and cult film celebrations,’’ said an enthusiastic D’Amato.
D’Amato will begin his tenure as producing artistic director at the Strand with a first of its kind event. Remember Jones will perform the premier of R. Kelly’s soap-hip-hopera, Trapped in the Closet with a 16-piece orchestra at The Strand on October 31, 2015.
“Anthony D’Amato is an incredibly talented performer and evaluator of talent with a unique gift and vision that we are confident will help us make the Strand an even more important venue in the arts, education and culture of the Jersey Shore entertainment scene,” said long-time Strand board member and Lakewood Committeeman Ray Coles.
D’Amato’s upcoming events include performing with Glen Burtnik, wailing in Joe Cocker’s honor in the Summer of Love Experience. He will debut his own re-creation of Cocker’s famous “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” era August 27 at the Axelrod Theater, Deal, N.J. His 25-piece orchestral tribute to Amy Winehouse, “back to BACK TO BLACK,” sold out Asbury Park’s beloved venue Asbury Lanes, and continues to tour.
For more information contact Anthony D’Amato at 732-278-1709 or Strand Board president Scott MacFadden at 732-778-4584.