Upcoming shows from Jenna Pastuszek include ‘Me, Myself & Barbra’ at the Jersey shore and an appearance at NYC’s Birdland

After taking her original solo show Me, Myself & Barbra to six different states from New Jersey to California, singer, actor, creator, voiceover artist, voice teacher, and performance coach Jenna Pastuszek – alum of NYU, co-founder of Innovative Voice Studio, where she trains Broadway artists, and the voice of Amazon, Starbucks, Crest, Pepsi, and more, as heard by everyone on Pandora Radio – is returning to the East Coast with “the music that made Barbara Barbra,” for two shows on Monday, August 14, at The Surflight Theatre on Long Beach Island, NJ.

Jenna Pastuszek in Me, Myself & Barbra. Photo by Shani Hadjian.

Accompanied by music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator Joshua Zecher-Ross (Be More Chill; Once Upon a One More Time) on keyboards, Maestra’s Yuka Tadano on bass, and Meghan Doyle on drums, Pastuszek performs a blockbuster set list of songs sung by the young Streisand between 1959-65, which includes “Happy Days Are Here Again,” “Lover Come Back to Me,” “Have I Stayed too Long at the Fair,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “He Touched Me,” “People,” and more of her signature hits, along with some lesser-known early numbers, interspersed with fun facts about Barbra and personal anecdotes about how Pastuszek was influenced and inspired by her.

Jenna told me that one of the things she admires most is that “Barbra is not afraid to be herself. She’s never tried to blend in or do what’s popular/expected of her. She’s also always been very involved in every aspect of her artistry, from her arrangements, keys, tempos, stylings, etc. She’s a true musician, who’s always collaborated with her musicians to create art together, so it’s something that they can all be proud to put their stamp on.” She also revealed to me that “one favorite Streisand song I love to sing is ‘Where’s That Rainbow’ by Rodgers & Hart, from her album My Name is Barbra, Two,” released in October 1965, to coincide with the rebroadcast of her debut TV special. “I think it’s one of Lorenz Hart’s best and most under-appreciated songs,” she added, “and the arrangement Joshua Zecher-Ross put together for us is incredible.”

Jenna Pastuszek, Me, Myself & Barbra. Photo by Shani Hadjian.

The show is now part of a developing concert series Pastuszek and Zecher-Ross are calling “The Original American Idols,” following their successful 2020-21 debut tour of Get Happy!: An Evening Celebrating the World’s Greatest Entertainer, Judy Garland, which also played two packed performances at The Surflight – a home-away-from-home for Jenna, where her family had a house in Beach Haven from the 1930s-2019, and she spent summers with her grandparents seeing shows there. And as an undergraduate history major, putting together the two tribute concerts felt like more full-circle moments for her. “Whenever I sit down to research a performer I admire, I learn so much about myself too. I may be singing songs and telling stories of women moving through the world 60 years ago, but so much of what they were facing then is, unfortunately, still present today. What a gift to explore my own history with such a beautiful score behind me.”

Before you go to Me, Myself & Barbra, you can check out the sizzle reel here:

For those who can’t make it to the Jersey shore, Pastuszek will be appearing in NYC on September 25, performing in the New York premiere of Bill Russell: My Side of the Show at Birdland Jazz Club, where she was previously seen at Jim Caruso’s open-mic-night Cast Party, as well as on the Pajama Cast Party that he hosted virtually during the pandemic. Russell will offer an inside look at his process in creating the book and lyrics for the Tony-nominated musical Side Show – the story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who were the highest paid entertainers in the history of Vaudeville.

Jenna Pastuszek (left) and Ashley Sweetman in Side Show at Media Theatre. Photo by Maura McConnell.

Jenna, who played Daisy in a regional production of Side Show at Pennsylvania’s Media Theatre, is one of four featured singers joining him on stage, along with Erin Davie, Charity Angél Dawson, and Jason Veasey, all of whom also appeared in past productions of the musical. And our Philadelphia readers can catch Pastuszek as Priscilla Presley in ELVIS – A Musical Revolution in October, at the historic Walnut Street Theatre, founded in 1808, and the oldest operating theater in the US.

So if you’re in the mood for a beach getaway this month, with some great entertainment and masterful vocals that pay homage to the legendary Barbra Streisand, it’s just a little more than a two-hour drive from NYC to Long Beach Island, down I-95 and the Garden State Parkway. Or you can wait to see Pastuszek back in the city at Birdland in September, or hop the train down to Philadelphia in October for ELVIS. Whichever you choose, be sure not to miss the outstanding talent and engaging charm of Jenna Pastuszek.

Me, Myself & Barbra plays on Monday, August 14, 2023, at 5 and 8 pm, at Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven, NJ. For tickets (priced at $41.50), call (609) 492-9477, or go online. Masks are not required.

Bill Russsell: My Side of the Show plays on Monday, September 25, 2023, 7 pm (doors open at 5:30) at Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street, NYC. For tickets (priced at $20-30, plus fees), call (212) 581-3080, or go online. Masks are no longer required.

ELVIS – A Musical Revolution plays October 3-November 5, 2023, at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. For tickets (on sale to the general public starting on Sunday, September 10, 12 am), call (215) 574-3550, or go online.


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