Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Richard Thompson, State Fair Meadowlands, more



Richard Thompson performs in Woodbridge, June 23.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through June 27.


The Mayor’s Free Concert Series, featuring shows for socially distanced audiences at the football field at Woodbridge High School, begins next week. The series will include shows five nights of each week during the summer, with each day having a different theme. Oldies Mondays begins June 21 at 7:30 p.m. with Elvis Presley impersonator Jesse Garron. Tribute Tuesdays start June 22 at 7:30 p.m. with the Sensational Soul Cruisers, playing classic pop, rock and R&B. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Richard Thompson kicks off Woodbridge Wednesdays, featuring national and international touring acts, June 23 at 7:30 p.m., with Zara Phillips opening. Dead Cowboys will perform at the first Local Band Thursday show of the summer, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. And Southern Steel will play Southern rock favorites as the Country Sundays series begins, June 27 at 7 p.m.

The late Clarence Clemons’ son Jarod Clemons will mark the 10th anniversary of his father’s death (on June 18, 2011) by performing with his band The Late Nights at a concert titled “A Ten-Year Toast to the Big Man” at the South Side Beer Garden at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, June 18, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Billy Livesay, a member of Clarence Clemons’ Temple of Soul Band, will also participate in the show (with his band The Livesays), as will J.T. Bowen of Clarence Clemons’ Red Bank Rockers band. And a pop-up gallery will feature photos of Clarence Clemons by renowned rock photographer Danny Clinch.

Barron Ryan, left, and Donald Ryan.

Ramapo College’s Berrie Center for the Arts will present Donald and Barron Ryan — the father-and-son piano duo known as Ryan & Ryan — in a free concert celebrating Juneteenth. It will be available as a livestream from June 17 to June 23; it is free, though you must register here. They will play jazz, ragtime, classical and gospel music, and take part in a pre-concert conversation with Berrie Center director Lisa Campbell.

The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown will kick off its 2021 summer Drive-In Concert Series at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township this week, with The Nerds on June 17 and The Sensational Soul Cruisers on June 18. Coming up later in the summer are Southern Steel, with its Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute, on July 14; “David Clark’s Songs in the Attic: The Music of Billy Joel,” July 15; The Jersey Tenors, Aug. 18; and Boat House Row’s “The Yacht Rock Experience,” Aug. 19. All shows are at 6:30 p.m.


After having to cancel last year’s event because of the pandemic, the annual State Fair Meadowlands at the MetLife Stadium parking lot in East Rutherford will be back this year, June 18 to July 11, with rides, carnival games, food vendors, fireworks (on July 3 and 4), a petting zoo, racing pigs, hypnotism shows by Steve Bayner, magic shows by Jay Mattioli and Bob Bohm, and more.


As part of Rahway’s Culture Crawl Pop Up Series, ReFrame Dance Theatre will presented a free program of dances titled “Remember Me,” June 18-20 at 7 p.m. in the Rahway Arts District Park, with a post-performance talkback on June 19.

According to a press release, “Remember Me” is “a dance born from a conversation amongst 20-somethings regarding how they want to be remembered as artists, friends, and people. The trio of dancers comes together and falls apart as they navigate their ever changing relationships across time, bouncing between original poetry and nostalgic classics — all the while accumulating memories in the form of roses.”

Parking will be available in the lot of the Union County Performing Arts Center’s Hamilton Stage.




The West Orange Recreation Department and Pleasant Valley Productions will present a “Comedy Under the Stars” show, June 18 at 7:30 p.m., with Jersey comedy legend “Uncle Floyd” Vivino plus Rich McDonald and host Kevin Joseph Garifo, at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange.


The Black Box Performing Arts Center in Englewood will present a Sam Shepard Play Festival, June 18-20 and 25-27 and July 8-11 at 8 p.m. with script-in-hand productions of five of Shepard’s one-act plays: “Fool for Love,” “Cowboys #2,” “The Holy Ghostly,” “The Unseen Hand” and “Back Bog Beast Bait.”


Succeed2gether’s Montclair Literary Festival will present Salman Rushdie in an online discussion about his new book, “Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020,” with fiction writer Nathan Englander, June 22 at 8 p.m.

For the second straight year, the huge annual Art All Night Trenton event will not be able to take place in person, but an online version, with art, music, film and panel discussions, is scheduled for June 19 and 20 at


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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