Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Montclair Jazz Festival, Kiss, more

Montclair Jazz Bettye Lavette

Bettye LaVette will perform at the Montclair Jazz Festival on Aug. 10.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Aug. 14:


Latin-jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri and his Afro-Caribbean Jazz Sextet and the dependably dynamic song interpreter Bettye LaVette will be among the performers at the 10th annual Montclair Jazz Festival, taking place in Nishuane Park, Aug. 10 from noon to 9 p.m. Other performers at the free event will include bassist Christian McBride (the festival’s artistic director), organist Joey DeFrancesco, guitarist Mark Whitfield, drummer and keyboardist Quincy Phillips, saxophonist Mike Lee and student and faculty ensembles of Jazz House Kids, the Montclair-based educational organization that produces the festival. Jazz House Kids is also presenting a number of events in the days leading up to the festival, including a screening of the movie “Round Midnight” preceded by live music by Jazz House Kids students at Cinema505, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.

Two days after performing with Bruce Springsteen at the premiere party for the movie “Blinded by the Light” in Asbury Park, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes performs at Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. Another Jersey-rock luminary, John Eddie, will open with his Dirty Ole Band.

Heartland rocker and romantic balladeer Bryan Adams and punk-rocker turned MTV star Billy Idol may not seem like kindred spirits, musically, but they both peaked, commercially, in the mid-’80s, so they must share some fans. And so it does make a certain amount of sense that they would be touring together, this summer. They’ll perform at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m.


Kiss co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, joined by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, will bring the band’s End of the Road farewell tour to the Prudential Center in Newark, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. This is the tour’s only currently scheduled New Jersey stop, though it is expected to last until 2021, and no concerts have been confirmed past December of this year.

Singer-songwriter and bassist Ronnie Penque, a current member of the long-running country-rock group New Riders of the Purple Sage, will perform NRPS material with his own Panama Dead band in a free concert in the Country Sundays series at Parker Press Park in Woodbridge, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. It is recommended that attendees bring a lawn chair or a blanket.


Among the films to be shown at the Monmouth Film Festival, taking place Aug. 8-11 at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, is “You Don’t Nomi,” described as a documentary that explores “the complicated afterlife of 1995’s biggest film flop, Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Showgirls,’ from disastrous release to cult adoration and extraordinary redemption.” It will screen Aug. 10 at 10:45 p.m. Other festival attractions include many other screening of both feature-length and short films plus a conversation with the comedian Sinbad, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m.; a digital film expo, Aug. 10 from noon to 8 p.m.; a film industry panel discussion, Aug. 10 at 3:15 p.m.; and workshops on subjects such as “The Art of Producing,” “The Art of the Audition” and “The Art of the Pitch” on Aug. 11.


• “Topdog/Underdog,” Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 2001 play about the troubled relationship between two African-American brothers, will be presented as part of the Princeton Summer Theater series, Aug. 8-11 and 15-18 at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater.

“Sidekicked” — a new play about actress Vivian Vance — will be presented at Cape May Stage through Sept. 20. Vance played Lucy’s best friend Ethel Mertz on the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy”; the play’s action takes place on the day when the last episode was filmed.

The cover of Candace Bushnell’s book, “Is There Still Sex in the City”


• Candace Bushnell — whose 1997 book “Sex and the City” (a compilation of her New York Observer newspaper columns) inspired the HBO series of the same name as well as its two movie sequels — will sign copies of her new novel, “Is There Still Sex in the City?,” Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood. In the novel, Bushnell has a created a new group of friends, over 50. She follows them as they “navigate the ever-modernizing phenomena of midlife dating and relationships” and shows “what it’s really like to go on Tinder dates as a fifty something divorcee,” according to publicity material.

Aug. 10 at 9 p.m., the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City will present a “Sinatra Meets the Sopranos” show: “Sopranos” cast members Michael Imperioli (who played Christopher Moltisanti), Vincent Pastore (Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) will make appearances, telling stories about their work on the landmark HBO series (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year), and Michael Martocci will sing material made famous by Frank Sinatra with a 20-piece orchestra. There will also be a meet-and-greet for VIP ticket-holders after the show.

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