Vanguard announces its mainstage professional season and more

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MONTCLAIR, NJ — Vanguard Theater, which recently completed its first full year in its new home in Montclair, announced its upcoming season of professional mainstage shows, the first of which is “The Spitfire Grill,” followed by “Passing Strange,” “Cabaret” and “Spring Awakening.” Season tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 9, and individual tickets go on sale Monday, Sept. 12. To purchase tickets, visit

Non-union and guest-equity artists may submit auditions to for “The Spitfire Grill,” which follows a young woman anxious for a fresh start as she travels to a new town and finds a job at the only eatery in this struggling town. As a prequel to the show, the theater will partner with community organizations to spotlight their work, hosting a Taste of Downtown Montclair on Oct. 15 in partnership with Latinos of Montclair to highlight the diversity of downtown restaurants, especially those in the 4th Ward. 

“One of the ways Vanguard seeks to change social and cultural narratives is through cross-sector partnerships that amplify each other’s work, voices and effect,” founding artistic director Janeece Freeman Clark said. “One of the key themes of ‘The Spitfire Grill’ is a town’s efforts to save a beloved restaurant. We want to celebrate the restaurants in Montclair, particularly in the 4th Ward, that struggled to thrive during the pandemic.”

Vanguard Theater is partnering with various local groups for its upcoming season. The second Thursday night performance of each mainstage show will spotlight Broadway House for Continuing Care, New Jersey’s only specialized care facility for people living with HIV/AIDS. The second Friday night performance of each mainstage show will be an Out Montclair night at the theater. Stay tuned for other community partnership announcements with Toni’s Kitchen, Montclair History Center, Covenant House NJ and more.

Vanguard will also offer two youth performance programs this year, “Alice in Wonderland” for ages 8-13, and “Fame, the Musical” for ages 13-19. More info, registration and audition information is on Vanguard’s website.

Finally, Vanguard has opened registration for classes for youths, teens, young adults and adults, and looks forward to welcoming all levels of thespians, dancers, singers and more at its Montclair theater, 180 Bloomfield Ave.

Photos Courtesy of Vanguard