• This Is Rutherford

This Is The Williams Center Comedy Series

by Jennifer Ersalesi

Judah Friedlander. Photo Credit: Melinda Oswandel.

The Board of the Williams Center for the Arts has been busy planning many different kinds of events. Recently, This is Rutherford brought its readers a story about the Marcus Hall concert series at the Williams Center for the Arts. Board member, Collin Millington, was excited to tell TIR more about the Comedy Series at the Williams Center.


TIR: The people in our town and neighboring towns have been very excited about the Comedy shows at the Williams Center for the Arts (WCA). Tell us more about how the idea for the Comedy Series came about.

CM: Comedy just makes a ton of sense for the space that we have and comedians are always looking for a space where they can perform, so it just works well.


Khalid Rahmann, Jessica Kirson, and Margaret Dodge. Photo Credit: Melinda Oswandel.

TIR: Fortunately, through the efforts of individuals like yourself, the WCA has welcomed quite a few popular comedians. Who are some of the comedians who have visited WCA so far?

CM: In December we had Jessica Kirson for a sold out show. She has been very popular on social media, plays herself on the HBO Series “Crashing” with Pete Holmes, and was a producer, consultant and writer for Robert DeNiro’s film, “The Comedian”. Next, we had Judah Friedlander, who I reached out to through his website. Judah is known for his acting and comedy career. He played Frank Rossitano on “30 Rock” and has been seen in the film, “American Splendor”. He was incredibly professional to work with from start to finish. Currently, we take the time to research comedians, to see who would be a good fit for the location and then we track them down either personally or through their agents.. It has been far more time consuming than expected, but with each show being such a success (many have been sold out), the effort does seem worth it.


TIR: On March 16, Rachel Feinstein performed her stand-up routine at the WCA. What can you tell us about her?

CM: Rachel is fantastic. She is such a crowd pleaser. She has done a lot with Amy Schumer and has been in “Train Wreck”, as well as “Crashing” on HBO, as well as many other shows and movies. She has performed on the Tonight Show, Conan, and the Late Late Show with James Corden. Her supporting cast of AMarie Costello and Irene Bremis are incredibly talented. It was another amazing night. We are about to announce a few more acts soon, so this series will continue for the foreseeable future.

Wayne Narucki, Judah Friedlander, and Chris Fox. Photo Credit: Melinda Oswandel.

TIR: The Board members and volunteers have been working hard to ensure that they bring a variety of events to the Williams Center. What makes this particular series so important to our town?

CM: It is important to provide as many different options as possible for the center to remain viable. We also feel that getting these larger known attractions helps to build the buzz for other events that we will hold as our following continues to grow. Consumers will trust us to put on great events and may come out for things they may not have come to in the past, because they believe in the value of what we are doing.


TIR: How do you feel bringing live musicians and comedians will encourage others to visit Rutherford?

CM: These are events that are not happening in our immediate area and the prices we charge are competitive with others, so it just makes sense for people to come out for a night even if they aren’t from Rutherford. We find in our informal polling at our events we are getting people from town, obviously, and the surrounding towns, but also Montclair, Jersey City, Ridgewood and Glen Rock to name a few.


Visit us at www.williamscenter.org and our Facebook page: Williams Center for the Arts.


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