Top 10 Arts Events of Week: The Roots, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Giralda Music and Arts Festival, more

Roots wellmont

The Roots, featuring Black Thought (left) and Questlove, will perform in Montclair on Aug. 28.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 1:


The Wellmont Theater in Montclair returns to presenting concerts this week, with 1964 The Tribute, a night of Beatles music, Aug. 26 at 8 p.m.; and hip-hop group and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” house band The Roots, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. (with Topaz Jones opening).

• Lynyrd Skynyrd started its Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour in May 2018 and were scheduled to end it in October 2020. The pandemic, of course, postponed the last portion of the tour, and when the great Southern rock band hit the road again this year, they renamed the tour the Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’ Tour, signifying that maybe they’re not ready to say farewell, after all. They will perform at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Guitarist Gary Rossington, the group’s lone remaining original member, underwent heart surgery in July and is being replaced on the tour by Damon Johnson, who previously has played with Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Brother Cane and his own group, Damon Johnson & the Get Ready. Guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for COVID-19 in early August and the band was forced to cancel some shows, but he was sufficiently recovered to perform with the group at the Barefoot Country Music Festival in Wildwood last week.

Postponed from July because of the weather, a free “Bob Dylan Birthday Musical Tribute” will be held at Sinatra Park in Hoboken, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m., with Swingadelic’s Cheap Guitars, Gene D. Plumber, Kate Jacobs, Elena Skye and Boo Reiners (of The Demolition String Band), Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried (of The Cucumbers), James Mastro, Abbe Rivers, Ed Fogarty, John Bauers, Dave Post and others.

The Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation presents a free festival, Jazz and Blues by the Sea, Aug. 28 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Great Lawn Stage in Long Branch, with Jonny B & the Blues Blazers; the Sonny Kenn Band; Charlie Apicella & Iron City, featuring Madam Pat Tandy; and Kelley, Ellis & Flynn.



Joe D’Urso will perform with his band, Stone Caravan, at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. And as the opening act, the Light of Day festival organizer and performer will present “Light of Day Generations,” a song circle with three young singer-songwriters who have performed at Light of Day shows: Bobby Mahoney, Tess Cameron and Jake Thistle. (Light of Day, incidentally, has announced that its next Winterfest in Asbury Park and other cities will be on Jan. 7-17.)

The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, in collaboration with the New York Classical Music Society, will present a free concert, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. at the Madison Community Arts Center. The program will include music by Mozart, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Verdi, Handel and Robert W. Butts, and featured musicians will include Lynn Czae, piano; Esther Kim, violin; Nancy Vanderslice, oboe; bass Robert Ellsworth Feng and countertenor Andrew Egbuchiem.


New Jersey Repertory Company will present an outdoor one-act play festival, “Fire Escape Plays,” at its West End Arts Center, Aug. 28-29 at 2 and 5 p.m. There will be three one-act plays at each show. The event is free, though reservations are recommended.

The Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center will present “Popcorn Falls” — James Hindman’s 2017 comedy about residents of a small town who try to save it by hurriedly mounting a play that will bring in some grant money — at the Pearl Street Parking Deck in downtown Metuchen, Aug. 27-28 at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 29 at 3 p.m., with two actors playing more than 20 roles.

Weehawken-based Hudson Theatre Works, which has presented online content during the pandemic, will return to in-person theater with “Live Readings From Our Virtual Festival,” taking place Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Hamilton Park in Weehawken. Works will include Neil LaBute’s “Good for You” (see below). There will be no admission charge.


The 37th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, to be held on the lawns of Giralda Farms Corporate Park (the former Dodge Estate) in Madison, Aug. 28, will include an outdoor concert by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Indian music, art exhibits, children’s activities, plus prizes for the most inventive picnics, and food and ice cream trucks.

Gates open at 3 p.m., and the NJSO concert begins at 5. The rain date is Aug. 29.


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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