Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Gary U.S. Bonds, Stone Pony and Osprey reopenings, more

gary u.s. bonds lake como

Gary U.S. Bonds will perform in Lake Como, May 31.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through June 2.


• Gary U.S. Bonds will sing classic-rock hits such as “New Orleans” and “Quarter to Three,” and much more, at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, May 28 at 6 p.m., with the Eddie Testa Band opening. Bar Anticipation will also present at “Roadhouse Rockers After Party” that night at 9:30, with Testa, Big Daddy, JoBonanno, Joe Bellia, Muddy Shews and others. (UPDATE: This show has moved to May 31 at 3 p.m. because of the threat of inclement weather.)

The Stone Pony in Asbury Park will offer live music for the first time in more than a year this weekend, with shows in a new, outdoor beer garden by The Nerds (with Jack opening), May 29 at 6:30 p.m.; and Waiting on Mongo (with Peak opening), May 30 at 6:30 p.m. Patrons will sit at socially distanced tables. The Pony’s outdoor Summer Stage is not scheduled to begin present presenting shows until late July, with indoor shows resuming later in the year. (UPDATE: The Nerds show has moved to May 31 at 3 p.m. because of the threat of inclement weather.)

Also reopening this weekend will be The Osprey in Manasquan, which will present Lifespeed on May 28, Changing Lanes on May 29, and Screaming Broccoli on May 30, with the doors opening at 8 p.m. each night. This year marks the club’s 75th (!) anniversary.

After being shut down for more than a year, “Springsteen: His Hometown,” an exhibition at the Monmouth County Historical Association in Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold, will reopen on May 27 and remain open through July 31. The exhibition features about 150 items from the MCHA’s collection and other sources. As I wrote last year, “There have been other Springsteen exhibitions over the years, of course, at various locations. But what makes this one … unique and special is the fact that it doesn’t just tell the story of Springsteen’s career, but also takes a deep look at his family roots, and the environment into which he was born.”

Members of the American Symphony Orchestra will perform in Morris Township, May 30.

As part of the Vogel Summer Concert Series, Alli Mauzey and Dee Roscioli — who have played Glinda and Elphaba, respectively, in “Wicked” on Broadway — will team up for a show titled “The Wicked Divas,” May 26 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. at the Arthur Pryor Bandshell in Asbury Park, and will repeat it June 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Bell Works in Holmdel. The show will include songs from “Wicked” and other Broadway musicals, performed separately by the two singers or, in some cases, together.


• Three members of the American Symphony Orchestra — Alexandra Noll (oboe), Shari Hoffman (clarinet) and Marc Goldberg (bassoon) — will present a program devoted to 20th century chamber music, outdoors at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, May 30 at 7 p.m. The program will include music by Charles Koechlin, Jean Françaix, Alexandre Tansman, Claude Arrieu, Albert Roussel, Joseph Canteloube, Francis Poulenc and Gilles Silvestrini. (UPDATE: This show has moved to June 2 because of the threat of inclement weather.)


NJPAC’s Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition — part of its annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival — has helped advance the careers of various singers in its nearly decade-long history. In a free online event that is part of NJPAC’s Live at Home series, Christian McBride will host a conversation with five past winners — Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Quinana Lynell, Laurin Talese and Samara Joy — about their careers and their experiences with the competition. It will take place on Zoom, May 27 at 7 p.m.



In its Troubadour at Home Live Concert Series, The Folk Project, which has a long history of presenting acoustic concerts at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship (but had to put that on hold because of the pandemic), is presenting house concerts in Rockaway this summer for a small number of vaccinated attendees, with free streams also available. Mike Agranoff will perform on May 28 at 7 p.m., followed by Cliff Eberhardt with Louise Mosrie, June 4; Frank & Hank, June 18; Robinson & Rohe, June 25; Toby Walker, July 16; and Abbie Gardner (of Red Molly), July 23.


The South Orange Performing Arts Center‘s new, monthly “Laughs in the Loft” series, hosted by Joe Larson, will launch June 2 at 7:30 p.m., with a small, socially distanced live audience at SOPAC and streaming available for those at home. Larson will be joined at this show by Jay Jurden, Kendra Cunningham and Gianmarco Soresi. Future installments in the series as scheduled for July 7 and Aug. 4.


Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith will show his artwork at Ocean Galleries in Stone Harbor from May 28 to May 31, and be on hand to meet fans there, May 29 from 7 to 10 p.m., and May 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out some of his creations in this video:


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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