Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Southside Johnny & Jeff Kazee; Rock, Ribs & Ridges, etc.

Southside Johnny Bickford interview


Southside Johnny, right, with Jeff Kazee.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through June 30:


Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes keyboardist Jeff Kazee will play a rare duo set at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, June 27 at 7:30. The event celebrates the opening, last week, of a new exhibition of rock photographs, “Bob Gruen: Rock Seen,” which features more than 70 works by Gruen — including well-known photos of John Lennon, Patti Smith, The Clash and The New York Dolls. The talk will be preceded by a interview with me, of Southside Johnny, and the exhibition will continue to run through Nov. 10.

Note: Though the museum closes at 5 p.m., the exhibition will stay open until 7:30 p.m. for attendees who want to see it.

Also, Southside Johnny and the full Asbury Jukes band will co-headline the 10th annual Rock, Ribs & Ridges festival, taking place June 28-30 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta. The event combines a rib competition, craft beers on tap and camping with classic-rock and Southern rock music. The Jukes will perform on June 30 along with The Outlaws, The Marshall Tucker Band and the Farmer Phil Band. The June 29 lineup will include 38 Special, the Artimus Pyle Band, The Weight Band, Blackfoot and the Matt Coffy Band. Music at night for campers only will be provided by the Screamin’ Eagle Band, June 29; and The Outcrops, June 30.

For the first time in 25 years, the Vans Warped Tour won’t be doing a full United States tour this summer. But Warped shows will be presented in three locations, including the Atlantic City Beach at noon June 29-30 . Performers will include 311, A Day to Remember, Andrew W.K., Anti-Flag, Atreyu, Bad Religion, Blink-182, Bowling for Soup, Frank Iero & the Future Violents, Glassjaw, Good Charlotte, Less Than Jake, The Offspring, Quicksand, Reel Big Fish, The Skatalites, Taking Back Sunday, Travie McCoy, The Used and We the Kings.



• Gov’t Mule performs at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, June 28 at 5 p.m., with Nikki Lane opening. Also, at 4 p.m., band members will appear at a nearby signing event at Danny Clinch’s Transparent Gallery, for their upcoming live album and film, Bring On the Music – Live at The Capitol Theatre. Clinch directed the film that is part of the 2-CD, 2-DVD deluxe edition of the album.

• Jillian Rhys McCoy and her Shadows of the Night Band — featuring Reagan Richards, Emily Grove, Arne Wendt, Joe Bellia, Ron Haney, David Biglin and others — will present a show titled “Chicks That Rocked the ’80s,” June 28 at The Headliner in Neptune. The show will feature hits by women and female-fronted bands including Pat Benatar, The Pretenders, Blondie, Heart, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, The Go-Go’s, Berlin, Madonna and Patty Smyth & Scandal.


As part of the annual Princeton Festival, the McCarter Theatre Center presented the 1987 opera “Nixon in China” (music by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman), on June 23, and will do so again June 30 at 3 p.m., with Sean Anderson in the title role, and Richard Tang Yuk conducting. The opera is based on President Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to the People’s Republic of China; other characters in it include Henry Kissinger, Pat Nixon and Mao Tse-Tung.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will continue its series of free concerts this week, with shows at Branch Brook Park in Newark (with fireworks), June 28 at 7:30 p.m.; and Marine Park in Red Bank, June 30 at 8 p.m. NJSO Youth Orchestra artistic director José Luis Domínguez will conduct, and the programs will include music by Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington, Arturo Márquez, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.

The Cali School of Music at Montclair State University will present the eighth Dorothy Taubman Piano Festival, in honor of the music educator (who died in 2013 at the age of 95), June 28-30 at Leshowitz Recital Hall. Performers will include alumni and students of the Cali School of Music, June 28 at 8 p.m.; pianist Mika Sasaki playing music by Scriabin, Fauré, Jonathan Dawe, Rachmaninoff and Justin Dello Joio, June 29 at 8 p.m.; and pianist Tiffany Poon, playing music by Scarlatti, Haydn, Chopin and Schumann, June 30 at 5 p.m. There will also be daily workshops and demonstrations in the Taubman Approach to piano playing.


Every year, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents an outdoor play at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, and this year it will be “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged),” a spoof written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. Both writers are associated with the Reduced Shakespeare Company, which created the popular “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” The first preview will be on July 3, the official opening night will be on July 10, and the last show will be on Aug. 4.


Montclair Improv Comedy will create an improvised film, using audience suggestions, June 29 at 8 p.m. at Cinema505 in Montclair. This is part of a monthly series that will also include shows on July 27, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28.


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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