Studio B, the two-year-old Maplewood-based organization, has carved out a niche with distinctive, eclectic arts programming (Story Slams, Boogie Nights and the Speakeasy Series, for example) that highlights the work of local artists and fosters collaboration within the arts community.
Founders Marcy Thompson and Jenny Turner Hall are fond of blending two or even three different genres -- such as visual arts, film, music, dance, etc. -- in ways "that somehow make sense," said Thompson.
"We like to take people's expectations--" began Thompson, "--and flip them," finished Hall.
Hybrids, the kickoff to Studio B's fall season on September 29, is a perfect example. Billed as "an evening of unusual combinations," the show will feature live performances by largely local artists including The DeLorean Sisters, Trix & Solo, ballerina Guada Bas and comedian Jason Good.
The headliner is electric Latin soul (ELS) pioneer Rene Lopez, who blends R&B with Latin and swing. "He's kind of retro but very modern," said Hall.
The DeLorean Sisters -- whose members are from South Orange and Brooklyn -- fuse bluegrass into 80s music. (Look for their banjo-inflected cover of Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough").
"We're a little taste of urban in a suburban climate," said Hall. "People can see something they would see in New York City, but in their own backyards."
Up next for Studio B: Catalyst, a documentary film series featuring moderators including journalist David Brancaccio and Studio 360's Julie Burstein. Patch will have more about the series in an upcoming article.
For more information about Studio B, visit their website.
Hybrids is Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. at The Woman's Club in Maplewood Village. To purchase tickets ($20), go here.