Home For The Holidays: Glen Burtnik's Xmas Xtravaganza Returns To New Jersey. After 15 years of performances held mainly in New York City, Glen Burtnik is bringing his annual Xmas Xtravaganza to his hometown of New Brunswick, NJ. The show, which features over thirty talented musicians and benefits the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, will be held on Friday December 10th, at the State Theatre, 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 5th.
Glen Burtnick's annual holiday show has grown larger each year, evolving into a New York-New Jersey area tradition not to be missed. It features a colorful cast of characters which changes from year to year, but has included such luminaries as Patty Smyth, John McEnroe, Phoebe Snow, Marshall Crenshaw, The Patti Smith Band, Fred Schneider (B-52's), Jill Sobule, Idina Menzel, Jeffrey Gaines, Freedy Johnston, Steve Augeri (Journey), Dan Bern, John Waite, Curtis Stigers, STYX, Mary Lee Kortes, and Willie Nile, among others. Shows have been sold out for the past four years running.
"It's a celebration of the music of the season," says Glen Burtnik, "which I've always found a magically effective genre. Once I realized it was a worthwhile undertaking, I decided it'd be most appropriate to the spirit of the show to give the profit to people in need. Each year, I've sent the do-re-mi to two NY/NJ area food banks, which effectively distribute food to the poor in the area. A lotta people need help in this world, and when I began the show, the focus was on distant countries (Band Aid, We Are The World). But I also know there are political complications - I once read a convincing article suggesting much of the food sent as a result of Live Aid ended up rotting in warehouses due to the politics of the region. Hence, I chose to go with the old addage 'Charity Begins At Home', in hopes of helping people near where I live."
This year marks the first time Glen Burtnick's holiday show has been held in his hometown of New Brunswick. "Bringing the Xmas Xtravaganza to my hometown, in this gorgeous venue is a bit of a full circle for me personally. It's the movie house of my youth. When I was a kid, my folks would drop me off at the State Theatre, where I saw films that changed my life, like "Let It Be" and "Woodstock". And now, to have all these elements coming together - my family, my friends, and the musicians I admire - for the cause of helping those who need help locally, well, it's really quite an occasion."
The historic State Theatre is a magnificently renovated 1921 1800-seat vaudeville and silent film
palace that is today a premier center for the performing arts. "I take the overall show as a great compliment," continues Glen Burtnik. "That all these amazing artists, assistants and technicians
donate time for no pay so I can raise some money for local charities. This is a blessing I do not take lightly. That the audience brings so many giant Hefty bags full of canned food, warm clothes and toys so my family and I can distribute them to soup kitchens and family shelters - simply because I ASK, is a gesture which causes me to tear up."
WHAT: GLEN BURTNIK'S XMAS XTRAVAGANZA
WHEN: Friday, December 10th @ 8:00 PM
WHERE: The State Theatre, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. 1-877-STATE-11 or 732-246-7469. www.statetheatrenj.org
TICKETS: $35, $30, $25, $20, available at State Theatre Box Office or www.tickets.com
A benefit for New Jersey food banks and Elijah's Promise in New Brunswick. Audience members are encouraged to contribute warm clothes, new toys and canned food for those less fortunate.
Glen Burtnick "Welcome to Hollywood" album (+ Bonus Dvd): ORDER IT NOW.