Progress. The Count Basie Center for the Arts has announced the reopening of Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre.

The crew at The Basie never ceases to amaze me. Throughout the pandemic, they have been remarkably innovative. First, with their outdoor partnership with Monmouth Park over the summer and now with the introduction of a 'pop-up' stage.

Count Basie Center for the Arts
Count Basie Center for the Arts

What is a pop-up stage? It's the Basie stage you know with an elevated flooring platform which will allow the audience to sit at seated, socially-distant tables and enjoy performances. Genius, right?

The pop-up stage extends the length of the theater stage nearly halfway across the room, providing the space necessary to seat up to 150 visitors at cabaret-style tables.

All performances will be presented with strict COVID-19 safety measures in place:

  • Shows will be seated with tables sold in “Table For Two,” “Table For Four” and “Table For Six” configurations only.
  • Tables will be positioned 6’ apart, with the front row of tables 12’ from the performers.
  • Only 150 seats will be available for performances at this time.
  • Drinks and concessions will be sold table-side; i.e.: no lining up at bars.
  • Patrons must wear masks at all times while inside the theater, except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Patrons are expected to abide by social distancing norms.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the door. Patrons with a body temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to enter. A refund will be issued.
  • Fans must remain seated at their purchased table unless using the restroom or exiting.
  • There is no re-entry.
  • For nights with two shows, entry for the second show will begin once the previous crowd is cleared and the venue is cleaned / sanitized.
  • For late shows, New Jersey mandates bar service must cease at 10 pm. The last call will be 9:45 pm.
  • Tables will not be permitted to be split and resold. Patrons holding resold tickets will be denied entry and refunds will not be offered.
  • Patrons will be required to remain seated unless getting up to leave or use restrooms.
  • Restrooms will be limited to two (2) patrons at a time.
  • Tables will not be permitted to be split and resold. Patrons holding resold tickets will be denied entry and refunds will not be offered.
  • These events will utilize Ticketmaster’s touch-less, mobile entry system. No paper tickets will be accepted.
  • Venue security will enforce ground rules, which will follow the current CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines for indoor events.

The first performance in the pop-up stage configuration will be local artist Chris Pinnella on Saturday, December 19. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 11 at 10 am through

Consider treating yourself to a show at The Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at The Basie Center for the Arts. They are integral to keep the arts at the Jersey Shore alive.


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