Touchstone brings Mardi Gras to Bethlehem

After a successful kick-off last year, Touchstone Theatre presents its second concert fundraiser Jakopa’s Punch Bowl on Friday from 7-10 p.m. at the Charles A. Brown Ice House. This Mardi Gras-themed evening of eclectic music by three local bands, New Orleans-style lite fare, and all-you-can-drink beer and wine supports upcoming original works at Touchstone, including the April premiere of Dictators for Dummies.

Touchstone house band Jakopa’s Punch first came together in early 2016 to pay musical tribute to David Bowie for a local concert. Last February, the band reunited to headline Jakopa’s Punch Bowl with a collection of quirky covers and then again to play a score of original music in the outdoor, summer puppet spectacular The Jakopa’s Punch Processional. This year, after the February fundraiser wraps, Jakopa’s Punch accompanies Touchstone’s spring production Dictators for Dummies, a new musical satire penned by Touchstone Ensemble Member and Jakopa’s Punch instrumentalist Christopher Shorr.

The Jakopa’s Punch Bowl fundraiser will feature headliner Jakopa’s Punch, a band composed of Touchstone company members and guest artists, performing “reimaginings” of classic pop hits. The evening also features an opening singer-songwriter circle featuring Mike Roi, Carter Lansing, and Jason Hedrington, and closing act The Charts Funk Band, comprised of students from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. Attendees will also enjoy New Orleans favorites, like jambalaya and beignets from local restaurants The Bayou, Southside 313 Bar & Grille, and The Wooden Match; along with beer, wine, “Jakopa’s punch,” and other refreshments. All food and drink is included in the price of admission.

Other activities include live painting of the evening’s events by “plein air” visual artist Lynn Beedle, tarot card readings, and a 50/50 raffle. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best/most festive Mardi Gras wear; from the most enthusiastic party-goers, a king and queen will be crowned from the concert stage.

Touchstone is supported locally by season sponsor RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship, and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship.

Tickets to the Jakopa’s Punch Bowl are $40 at the door. Price of admission includes music, food, beer, and wine. Learn more at touchstone.org.

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