Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: NJ Ballet, Bleachers, ‘To India With Love’ benefit, more

NJ Ballet bickford

New Jersey Ballet will return to the stage with a June 15 performance in Morris Township.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through June 16.


New Jersey Ballet returns to live performing by presenting a show titled “New Look: Classical and Contemporary Works New to the Repertory,” June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township. As the title implies, the program will include new works created while the company was away from the stage during the pandemic, as well as a few familiar NJ Ballet favorites.


Bleachers — which will release a new album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, on July 30 — will stream a performance filmed on a bus taking them from Brooklyn to Asbury Park, June 10 on Spotify. The stream will include “songs we’ve never performed before,” Bleachers leader Jack Antonoff has said on social media.

The Allman Betts Band — featuring Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley, the sons of Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley Jr., respectively — performs at the Landis Theater in Vineland, June 15 at 6 and 10 p.m. Among the other band members is New Jersey’s own John Ginty, on organ.


The New Jersey Jazz Society and the Metuchen Arts Council will offer a monthly, online educational series, Sundays at 3 p.m., with the following schedule:

June 13: “Louis Armstrong 101: The Wonderful World of Satchmo,” with Ricky Riccardi
July 18: “Jeru’s Journey: The Life & Music of Gerry Mulligan,” with Sanford Josephson
Aug. 15: TBA
Sept. 19: “Nat King Cole @ 100,” with Will Friedwald
Oct. 17: “An Informal Survey of the Great Baritone Saxophonists,” with Frank Basile
Nov. 21: “Ellington and Strayhorn, Alone and Together: How Two Geniuses Transformed American Music,” with David Hajdu

The series is free, with donations accepted. Register at

Camille Saint-Saens, 1835-1921.


To honor French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, who died 100 years ago (1921), the Adelphi Orchestra will present “Saint-Saëns at 100,” a free concert featuring his Carnival of the Animals and Suite for Orchestra as well as Schumann’s Cello Concerto, June 12 at 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Westwood.

The Ember Ensemble, the performance ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson in Jersey City, will present a concert, “Emerge,” in which, according to a press release, “we seek to express observations about what we can learn from this time of global pandemic. … how do we emerge from this time of relative dormancy? Do we ‘go back’ to all as it used to be? Can we really even ‘go back?’ ”

The concert will feature music by Rosephanye Powell, Ola Gjeilo, Trent Worthington, William V. Malpede, Paul Simon (“Bridge Over Troubled Water”) and Mark Miller.

“One of our compositions, ‘Unicornis captivator’ by Ola Gjeilo, draws upon a theme represented in most religions as well as in mythology that points to the healing power within each of us, if we listen to it,” said Ember’s founding artistic director, Deborah Simpkin King, in the press release. “We all find our own unique way, and, as always, the notion that we can be ‘a bridge over troubled waters’ for each other in times of trial is heart and soul of how we seek to live and love and sing, as Ember.”

The concert will be presented at St. John’s in the Village in Manhattan, June 12 at 7 p.m., and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange, June 13 at 5 p.m., with streaming also available for the New York show.

Will Nolan will star in “Gay History for Straight People!” in Orange and Montclair.


Will Nolan will play Leola — described in promotional material as “your new favorite Kelly Clarkson-worshipping, senior citizen, redneck lesbian” — in his “Gay History for Straight People!,” which Luna Stage is presenting outdoors at the ValleyArts Courtyard in Orange (in association with ValleyArts); and at the Van Vleck Gardens in Montclair (in association with Out Montclair), June 18 at 8 p.m. The show is recommended for those 16 or older.

The Passage Theatre Company will present a “public developmental reading” of “The OK Trenton Project,” June 12 at 5 p.m. at the Mill Hall Park Amphitheatre in Trenton. Passage is planning to present a full production of the play during its 2021-22 season.

According to a press release, it is about “the reaction to a sculpture entitled ‘Helping Hands,’ which was designed and built by local students and installed on a vacant city-owned lot in Trenton, NJ. Following concerns that the sculpture too closely resembled a gang symbol and could send the wrong message to residents, the piece was ultimately removed. Told through the words of Trenton’s law enforcement, city officials, artists, residents, and students, this play tells the story of what one piece of art can mean to a community.”


Hoboken’s free, annual Movies Under the Stars series begins June 16 at sundown, at Pier A Park, with the ABBA-inspired musical “Mamma Mia!” Next up is the Elton John biopic, “Rocketman,” June 23.


• “To India With Love: A Benefit for COVID Relief in India” will include a dance performance by Rimli Roy & Surati and a screening of the 1995 Bollywood movie “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” with Indian snacks and other food available, June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City.

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