Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: Darlene Love, Remember Jones, ‘The Nutcracker,’ more



Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Dec. 1.


Powerhouse singer Darlene Love was one of the featured artists on one of the greatest holiday albums of all time, 1963’s A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and other classic material — plus, maybe, her new collaboration with Chris Ruggiero, “Grown-Up Christmas List” (watch video below) — at a show billed as “Love for the Holidays,” Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

Later “Love for the Holidays” shows are scheduled for BergenPAC in Englewood, Dec. 9; and the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Dec. 22.

Black Friday is also Back to Black Friday at The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, where Remember Jones will perform Amy Winehouse’s great 2006 album Back to Black (featuring songs such as “Rehab,” “You Know I’m No Good” and “Love Is a Losing Game”) in its entirety, with a 12-piece band and guest performers, at 8 p.m.

Remember Jones will repeat the show at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.


Anna Gunderson and Matt McCarthy co-star as Mary and George Bailey in The Theater Project’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”


The Theater Project will present a radio play-style production of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Oakes Center in Summit. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is best known, of course, as the 1946 movie that was directed by Frank Capra and co-starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, and is perennially shown on television and in movie theaters around Christmas time.

The new Broadway Lecture Series at Montclair State University’s Presentation Hall will launch, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m., with an appearance by Myles Frost, who won a Tony this year in the Leading Actor in a Musical category for playing Michael Jackson in “MJ.” He will be interviewed by actor and singer Robert Bannon, who also frequently interviews actors on his YouTube channel, and attendees will be given a chance to ask questions.

According to a press release, the event “will be a 75 minute conversation about Myles’ process and his journey to Broadway. He will give his guidance, stories, and antidotes about growing up, training for this moment, learning to dance, and how he embodies Michael eight shows a week.”


Morris County Dance Connections Festival Week, at the Madison Community Arts Center, will feature a wide variety of events, including swing dancing with the Bottle Hill Swing Band at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28, preceded by instruction by Nissreen Almazouni at 7 p.m.; a collaboration by the Antoinette Montague Experience jazz trio and tap dancers A.C. Lincoln and Calvin Booker (who will add to the musical mix with their feet), Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.; storytelling accompanied by dance, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Drew University dancers presented by professor Kimani Fowlin, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; films with dance themes presented by the Thomas Edison Film Festival, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; and The Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and a Ukrainian folk dance group, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians, with proceeds going to The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance’s program on Dec. 3 will include excerpts from Dorfman’s newest work, “The Attitude of Doing” (featuring the music of Regina Carter), “PRIMA!” (celebrating the music of Louis Prima) and “NOW!”

American Repertory Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” will be presented at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Nov. 25-27.

As it always does, “The Nutcracker” will dominate the dance schedule between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of the early productions will include one by American Repertory Ballet at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Nov. 25-26 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 27 at 1 p.m.; a sensory friendly production by New Jersey Ballet at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.; and a production by Roxey Ballet at the Villa Victoria Theater in Ewing, Nov. 26 at 1 (sensory friendly) and 3 p.m., Nov. 27 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 28 at 10 a.m.


The American Dream mall in East Rutherford will present a multimedia Van Gogh exhibition, “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” from Dec. 1 to Jan. 29. It promises projections of more than 300 of Van Gogh’s artworks including “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” “Café Terrace at Night” and various self-portraits.


This year marks the 100th anniversary of Judy Garland‘s birth, and the Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee will celebrate with screenings of eight of her movies: “The Wizard of Oz,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Strike Up the Band,” Nov. 25; “Easter Parade,” “In the Good Old Summertime” and “A Star Is Born,” Nov. 26; and “The Clock” and “The Harvey Girls,” Nov. 27.




Nora Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s daughter) and Robert Santelli — co-authors of “Woody Guthrie: Songs and Art, Words and Wisdom” — will present a conversation and book signing at the Great Hall Auditorium at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Monmouth University English professor Michael Thomas will moderate.

Santelli recently was named executive director of the university’s Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.

Emmy-nominated actor Jonathan Majors (“Lovecraft Country,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” “When We Rise”) and poet Paul Muldoon will talk about the challenges of making art in the modern world in the Atelier@Large series at Princeton University, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the university’s James Stewart Film Theater. The event is free though advance tickets are required


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

“The Play About the Baby” at Black Box Performing Arts Center, Englewood. (Through Dec. 4)

“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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