Dickens to host ‘Music to Warm a Cold Winter’s Evening’

Eileen Stamnas, Jim Gibney and the rest of their bandmates will be back at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville this weekend, putting on a concert performance of “Music to Warm a Cold Winter’s Evening.”

The concert will be a little different than the group’s cabaret-style show last year, featuring a variety of music numbers from artists including Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Louis Prima, Pat Benatar and Michael Buble.

“There will be some cabaret moments,” Stamnas assured. “It’s a music venue. Normally we do dance gigs. This is a listening crowd, so it’s a different sort of repertoire.”

Some of the musicians are local, including Stamnas, but many of them will travel from nearby states, such as Maryland and Virginia — like Gibney’s D.C.-based group The Main Event. Other musicians involved include veteran symphony players, some of whom have even toured with notable groups, including Earth, Wind & Fire.

“The majority of these musicians are with my brother’s band,” said Stamnas of Gibney, noting that two more of her siblings will be featured in the group, as well. “We cover a wide variety of genres. It is just some excellent musicians.”

Despite the range of locales, the group meshes — as not only are four of the members siblings, but many of them have also performed together throughout their musical careers, including Stamnas and Gibney at three inaugural balls at the White House.

The concert will benefit the Bethany Area Repertory Theatre, or BART, which is set up as a non-profit organization with the goal of bringing theater to the area and offering scholarships to local high school students pursuing careers in the arts.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to do what we love for a good cause,” said Stamnas. “That’s the whole idea at this point in our careers — we’re doing it for the passion. We would like to see more of the arts supported.”

After the show, everyone will return to the parlor to enjoy some magic from Dickens’ founder Rich Bloch, which, according to Stamnas, is an aspect that makes Dickens such a unique venue.

“To me, it’s his gift to the community,” said Stamnas of Bloch and the theater. “The community is very lucky to have this theater. I have a love for the place. It’s a wonderful place to perform. It’s a special little jewel, really, in the area.”

Tickets for the concerts Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28, are available on the theater’s website at www.dptmagic.com. The event is set for 7:30 p.m., but the parlor will open at 7 p.m. Call Dicken’s Parlour Theatre at (302) 829-1071 for more information.