Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: Beatles exhibition, Rufus Reid tribute, NJ Ballet, more

by JAY LUSTIG
beatles exhibit newark previrew

BOB BONIS ARCHIVE

A Beatles exhibition will run in Newark from November 18 to June 25.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 24.

MUSIC

Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center in Newark will present an exhibition titled “Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!” from Nov. 18 to June 25. The Grammy Museum and the company Fab Four Exhibits co-curated this exhibition, which features artifacts and interactive displays and has already been presented in various American cities and in Japan. It focuses on the prime “Beatlemania” era of early 1964 to mid-1966. Items include concert contracts (including the one for the band’s 1964 show in Atlantic City); clothing worn by band members, including Paul McCartney’s jacket from the 1965 Shea Stadium concert; lyric sheets written by McCartney; hand-written setlists; and gold records. Interactive elements will include a drumming lesson by Ringo Starr.

There will be various special events throughout the run. On Nov. 18, for instance, May Pang will preview “The Lost Weekend: A Love Story” (a documentary about her relationship with John Lennon) and be interviewed by Beatles expert Ken Womack.

As part of the Concerts on Main series, NJ Lyric Opera will present Verdi’s La Traviata at Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church in Chatham, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. Performers will include soprano Holly Gash, tenor John Villemaire and baritone Chaka Allen.

CHUCK D

Taking place as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, “Represent! A Night of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Spoken Word” will assemble an amazing cast of participants at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. Jazz bassist Christian McBride will serve as musical director and lead his Christian McBride Situation band; other performers will include rappers Chuck D (Public Enemy), Rakim (Eric B. & Rakim), Black Thought (The Roots), Speech (Arrested Development) and Dupré “DoItAll’ Kelly (Lords of the Underground); poets and spoken word performers Nikki Giovanni, Jessica Care Moore, Newark mayor Ras Baraka, The Last Poets, Sean Battle and Treasure Borde; and saxophonists Javon Jackson and Ravi Coltrane.

• “Giants of Jazz,” an annual series of tribute concerts organized by bassist John Lee at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, returns Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. with a show honoring bassist Rufus Reid. Among the many musicians who will be on hand to pay homage are Bill Charlap, Russell Malone, Roberta Gambarini, TS Monk, Freddie Hendrix, Michael Rodriguez, Don Braden, James Austin, Virginia Mayhew, Roseanna Vitro, Roberta Piket and Evan Sherman.

Drummer Carl Palmer — the last surviving member of the progressive-rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer — and his ELP Legacy Band will present a show titled “Welcome Back My Friends: The Return of Emerson, Lake & Palmer,” Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. at the Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Paterson University in Wayne. Concert footage and audio from 1992 of keyboardist Keith Emerson and singer-bassist Greg Lake will be incorporated into the show.

MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

GEORGE MANAHAN

George Manahan, who served as an interim music director of the New Jersey Symphony from 1983 to 1985, returns to take part in the orchestra’s centennial season, conducting Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark; Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown; and Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. the State Theatre in New Brunswick. The program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, “Prague”; Jessie Montgomery’s Rounds for Piano and String Orchestra (featuring pianist Awadagin Pratt); and Strauss’ Suite from Le bourgeois gentilhomme.

Singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky wrote most of her new album, Last Days of Summer, during the pandemic, and it reflects the mood, and the politics, of that time (though Kaplansky also recorded four covers for it, including Jackson Browne’s “These Days” and Nanci Griffith’s “Ford Econoline”). She will perform at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, with Jesse Ruben opening, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.

Tom Cunningham will present his 17th annual all-request edition of his “Springsteen on Sunday” radio show, Nov. 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. on 107.1 The Boss (WWZY-FM). He’ll broadcast live from Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, with a guest performance by singer-songwriter Joe D’Urso. Requests can be made for a minimum of $25 by those attending or calling (732) 643-5831, with proceeds benefiting Fulfill (formerly known as The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties).

Joe D’Urso and others will perform at a benefit at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, Nov. 19.

The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park will present a benefit for the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music, the Asbury Park African-American Music Project and the Rick Makin Memorial Scholarship at Monmouth University with sets by Joe D’Urso and his Stone Caravan band, Alexander Simone & Whodat? Live Crew, Jarod Clemons & the Late Nights and Stella Mrowicki, along with an Asbury Park music history panel discussion.

DANCE

• New Jersey Ballet, a company in residence at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, will kick off its 2022-23 season — its first under new artistic director Maria Kowroski — at the Morristown theater, with a show titled, appropriately, “New Direction.” The program will include George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?,” set to music by George Gershwin; “Hallelujah Junction,” by Peter Martins; and the world premiere of a new piece by Harrison Ball, featuring costumes by the designer Zac Posen.

FILM

Also as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival (see above), “Oscar Peterson: Black + White,” a documentary about the famed pianist, will be shown at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. There will be no admission charge. See a trailer for the film, below.

OTHER

• “Magic of Lights,” the annual drive-through, holiday-themed light show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, opens Nov. 18, and will be open daily through Dec. 30.

REVIEWS

“Eden Prairie, 1971” at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. (Through Nov. 20)

“The Spitfire Grill” at Vanguard Theater, Montclair. (Through Nov. 20)

“Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks,” presented by the Princeton University Art Museum at Art@Bainbridge. (Through Nov. 27)

“American Stories: Gifts From the Jersey City Museum Collection” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through Dec. 30)

“Thread Hijack” at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton. (Through Jan. 8)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30, 2024)

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