Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: ‘Woodstock: Fifty Years Down the Road,’ Jennifer Lopez, more

woodstock newark


Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through July 24:


• “Woodstock: Fifty Years Down the Road,” a traveling exhibit featuring more than 40 photographs by Henry Diltz, opens this week at the Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center in Newark, and runs through Oct. 6. Diltz is responsible for some of the most iconic images of the landmark rock festival (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer), including the photo of Jimi Hendrix to the right. He was, in fact, the event’s official photographer, and had an all-access pass. Now 80, Diltz is one of the most prominent photographers in rock history, whose work includes album covers for artists such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Doors, The Eagles, Jackson Browne and The Monkees.

• Jennifer Lopez doesn’t tour very often — the last time was in 2012 — but is on the road this summer with her It’s My Party tour, which will stop at the Prudential Center in Newark, July 19 at 8 p.m. The title of the tour, which includes about 32 North American shows from early June to late July, refers to the fact that she will be celebrating her 50th birthday on July 24. Lopez is currently a judge on the reality TV show, “World of Dance,” and “World of Dance” acts Swing Latino, The Lab and Briar Nolet are also performing on the tour.

Powerhouse vocalist Mary J. Blige has been doing a lot of acting in recent years, and was even nominated for an Oscar, in the Supporting Actress category, for her work in the 2917 movie “Mudbound.” But she is back on the concert trail this summer, and will perform at the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, July 20 at 8 p.m.

The Springfield, Mo.-based band The HillBenders will present their “Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry” — yes, a bluegrass version of The Who’s “Tommy” — in a free concert in the Country Sundays series at Parker Press Park in Woodbridge, July 21 at 6 p.m. The Nashville-based duo Maybe April will open. Blankets or lawn chairs are recommended.



The Brubeck Brothers Quartet — featuring drummer Dan Brubeck and bassist-trombonist Chris Brubeck, along with guitarist Mike DiMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb — will present a concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Brubecks’ father, the legendary composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, July 20 at 8 p.m. at the Hopewell Theater.


• Sō Percussion, the Edward T. Cone Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University’s Department of Music, launched its 11th annual summer institute on July 14, and it will continue through July 27. The program includes 10 free percussion performances at various Princeton locations, culminating with a closing concert at the university’s Taplin Auditorium, July 27 at 6 p.m. For more information and a list of events, visit


Actor, director, author, podcast host, sports commentator and fire-breathing “Howard Stern Show” guest Michael Rapaport actually entered show business, about 30 years ago, as a standup comedian, and will be returning to that on a tour that comes to the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, July 19-20 at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., and July 21 at 7:30 p.m.


Light Opera of New Jersey will present “Ragtime, The Musical” at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, July 19-20 and 26-27 at 8 p.m., and July 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Based on the 1975 E.L. Doctorow historical novel (featuring characters such as Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford and Booker T. Washington) and following a non-musical 1981 film version, “Ragtime, the Musical” has a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. It ran on Broadway from 1998 to 2000, and won four Tonys.


• “Gay Chorus Deep South,” a documentary about a tour through the American South that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus undertook in the year of President Trump’s election (2016), will be shown at the Two River Theater, July 24 at 7:30 p.m., to kick off this year’s Indie Street Film Festival. (see trailer below) The festival will continue through July 28 at the Two River Theater and other Red Bank venues.


The Lyceum Hall Center in Burlington will offer “Musical Theatre Quizzo” — a combination of music and trivia described as a “cabaret game show,” and created and hosted by actor-director John D. DiFerdinando — July 19 at 7:30 p.m. and July 20 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Lyceum Hall Center as well as DiFerdinando’s De Novo Theater Company.

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