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2021 Festival of ABC full of performances, entertainment all week long

By Stephanie Dworkin, Katz JCC, Cherry Hill Marketing Director

The Katz JCC’s 32nd annual Festival of Arts, Books and Culture is set to begin on Thursday, November 4, and there is truly something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to learn something new through the lens of historical fiction, gain a new perspective about a beloved game like Mahjong or even go back in time to the glory days of Atlantic City, the Festival is an engaging, insightful and entertaining time for all.

In this year’s lineup, there are several events that are sure to please, particularly if you just want to sit back and enjoy your time out.

On Saturday, November 6 at 8pm, join us for what will be an incredible high-energy concert by rock band Low Cut Connie. The group released their album Private Lives in 2020 to rave reviews, ultimately earning its place at #34 on Rolling Stone’s “50 best Albums of 2020” list, and #1 on PopMatters “25 Best Americana Albums of2020” list. The New Yorker dubbed front man Adam Weiner, who hails from Cherry Hill, “Pandemic Person of the Year” and the title track “Private Lives,” was also one of “Public Radio’s Most Popular Songs Of 2020.” Low Cut Connie is currently touring all over the country playing iconic spots like The Stone Pony, the Bowery Ballroom and The Fillmore, so don’t miss their stop here in Cherry Hill.

We’ll switch out drumsticks for wooden spoons, knives and a breath of fresh air on Monday, November 8 at 10am with chef Jake Cohen. Cohen, a bright new star and “nice Jewish boy” in the culinary world who recently appeared on Good Morning America and Watch What Happens Live, has reinvented the food of his Ashkenazi heritage and draws inspiration from his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions to offer recipes that are modern, fresh, and enticing for a whole new generation of readers in Jew-Ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch. As Jake reconciles ancient traditions with our modern times, his recipes become a celebration of a rich and vibrant history, a love story of blending cultures, and an invitation to gather around the table and create new memories with family.

If time spent laid back at a brewery is something that’s up your alley, head over to Double Nickel Brewing Company in Pennsauken on Thursday, November 11, where two authors will appear virtually for this fun night out (plus, your first beer is on us!) Brett Axler’s A Theatre Geek’s Guide to Disney, Google, and the NFL is an in-depth guide for current college students and recent graduates looking to land the big gigs. Axler, a South Jersey native provides the steps and lessons to land the dream job.

Double Nickel night continues with Dan Grunfeld who will talk about his book By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, A Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream. This story is about a multi-generational family epic, detailing history’s only known journey from Auschwitz to the NBA. A young boy, Ernie Grunfeld, escaped to America, was bullied as he struggled to learn English and cope with family tragedy, went on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach previously unimaginable heights as an NBA player and executive.

On Saturday, November 13, get ready for something totally different and new when we welcome NY/NY Dueling Pianos, a high-octane fiesta that’s part rock show, part comedy show and all sorts of craziness rolled into one big outrageous party. The audience will become part of the show in a request-driven sing-along, dance-along, thump-the-tables-along extravaganza! The comedy-based dueling pianists sing and play everything from Jimmy Buffet, Garth Brooks, Maroon 5, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Disney, Bruno Mars, Elvis, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Metallica and just about anything else.

The Festival is made possible in part due to the generous contributions and continued support of our major corporate sponsors: HQSI, Townsend Press: Judith Nadell • John Langan, The Heart House, Platt Memorial Chapels, Davis Enterprises, Dashing Designs, Fox Rothschild LLP, Resintech, the Valerie and David Gladfelter Endowment Fund of the JCF, Inc., and SJ Magazine. Tickets are on sale now at www.katzjcc.org/abcfest, or by calling Matthew Lever at x1247. For more information about the Festival, please contact Shonnie Lebovitz at [email protected].

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