Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Light of Day WinterFest, Richard Thompson, Big Man’s Bash, more

light of day 2023 preview


Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Jan. 19.


The main concert of this year’s Light of Day WinterFest takes place at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. with John Waite, Joe Gruschecky & the Houserockers, Willie Nile, Dave Hause & the Mermaid, Jesse Malin, The Weeklings, Fantastic Cat, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, An Intimate Moment featuring Remember Jones and Jeremy Kaplan (of Dogs in a Pile), Jill Hennessy, Jeffrey Gaines, Williams Honor, Adam Ezra, Ben Arnold and Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise.

Many other events are planned, mostly at Asbury Park rock clubs including The Stone Pony, House of Independents, The Wonder Bar, Langosta Lounge and Asbury Park Yacht Club. For the complete schedule and more information, visit

Also, in conjunction with John Waite’s appearance, the Light of Day Foundation will present a free (though ticketed) screening of the documentary “John Waite: The Hard Way,” Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at Basie Center Cinemas in Red Bank. Visit

And Waite — best known for ’80s hits such as “Missing You,” “Tears” and “Every Step of the Way” — will also perform at BergenPAC in Englewood, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.



• Richard Thompson will headline a sold-out benefit concert for, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, with his son, singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson opening. Richard Thompson’s wife, singer-songwriter and author Zara Phillips, will sing backing vocals on some of his songs.

Jan. 11 marked the 81th anniversary of Clarence Clemons’ birth, and Jan. 13 from 2 p.m. to 2 p.m., Big Man’s Bash, a tribute concert and fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, will be held at The Chubby Pickle in Highlands, with his son Nick Clemons’ band as well as PBR Street Gang, Tuned Up, Gaia Raga, Killer Joe, Mike Rocket, Joe Boris, Kim Dyllain, Jo Wymer, Tommy Byrne, Pat Foran, Erick Metzger, Dale Lakata, Goldie and others.

KRS-One, Redman and Method Man will be among the performers at the All Stars of Hip Hop 2023 show taking place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Joining them will be The Lox, Beanie Sigel, Freeway and Ma$e.

Cabaret performer Michael McAssey — the winner of the Piano Bar Instrumentalist award in the 2022 MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) Awards — will be featured in Showtune Sunday Brunches at the Carriage House at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, Jan. 15 and 22 at noon.



Seven professional dancers from television’s “Dancing With the Stars” series — Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Britt Stewart and Alexis Warr — will perform at “Dancing With the Stars: Live!” shows at The Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m.; The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Jan. 19 at 4 and 7:30 p.m.; and The State Theatre in New Brunswick, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. Gabby Windey of TV’s “The Bachelorette” will co-host.


In addition to its Cabaret Brunches (see above), The Carriage House at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn will present a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery/dinner theater show, “The Big Dog of the Baskerton,” Jan. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 at 6:30 p.m., and Jan. 15, 22 and 29 at 4:30 p.m.

Staged readings of “Destigmatized: Our Bodies, Our Rights, Our Stories,” a play featuring true stories and researched pieces about abortion as well as subjects such as sexual assault and sexual education, will be presented as benefits for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Playhouse 22 in East Brunswick, and at Burlington County Footlighters in Cinnaminson, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.

“Destigmatized” was conceived and written by Colleen Renee Lis, with writing contributions by Nicole Boscarino and Mary Kate Portera. According to the play’s website, “With the devastating news regarding the leaked SCOTUS draft decision, which accurately indicated the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade, Colleen Renee Lis decided to come forward to tell her abortion story on stage in front of a live audience and encouraged other women to tell their own stories regarding women’s reproductive rights.”

Roy’s Hall in Blairstown will screen “Friday the 13th” on Fri., Jan. 13.


Continuing its tradition of screening the 1980 horror classic “Friday the 13th” — filmed in and around Blairstown — every time the 13th of the month falls on a Friday, Roy’s Hall in Blairstown will show the movie, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.


“Ancestral Call,” works by Danielle Scott at Gallery Aferro, Newark. (Through Jan. 21)

“RetroBlakesberg: Captured on Film, 1978-2008,” works by rock photographer Jay Blakesberg at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Feb. 5)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)

“Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!” at Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center, Newark. (Through June 25)

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30, 2024)


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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