Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: Janet Jackson, Dave Matthews Band, ‘The Book of Will,’ more

by JAY LUSTIG
JANET jackson newark preview

JANET JACKSON

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around New Jersey, through July 11.

MUSIC

• Janet Jackson, who has been putting together dazzling arena tours since the early ’90s, will bring her Together Again tour to The Prudential Center in Newark at 8 p.m. July 9, with Nelly opening.

Jackson and Nelly have collaborated previously, on Jackson’s 2006 single “Call On Me,” though the title of the tour does not refer to that. It’s the title of another Jackson hit, from 1997. She has been using different opening acts at different times in the tour, including Ludacris when the tour made its previous Jersey stop, last year, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, an occasional participant in original Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s Phil Lesh & Friends bands, has launched his own Grateful Dead tribute project, Stanley Plays the Dead, and will present a free concert with it at the Mardi Gras on the Boardwalk series at Kennedy Plaza in Atlantic City, July 10 at 7 p.m. He will be joined by drummer Kenwood Dennard, bassist Greg Koerner, and keyboardist-guitarist Jesse Hiatt.

Jordan has said: “Since I’ve been playing with Phil a lot of his fans have started coming to my shows. I wanted to reward them with something that I knew they would like. I also wanted to bring new people in to share in the spirit of openness and belongingness that this music brings about.”

THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND

• The Dave Matthews Band, who were selected for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year (the ceremony will take place on Oct. 19, in Cleveland), will perform at The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, July 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and The Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, July 19-20 at 7:30 p.m.

The band also won the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s fan vote this year, for the second time. (It did so in 2020 as well, though it wasn’t selected for induction that year.)

Jazz pianist and composer Guy Mintus and his wife, singer and actress Naama Nachum, who live in both Tel Aviv and New York, will perform at The Bell Theater at Bell Works in Holmdel, July 10 at 7 p.m.

“We’ll be sharing with you our interpretations inspired by jazz, classical music, world music, and much more,” said Mintus in a promotional video (watch below). “Do songs of The Great American Songbook: Gershwin, Bernstein, Irving Berlin, John Kander. But also some songs that we chose from The Great Yiddish Songbook or The Latino Songbook and, of course, also, The Great Israeli Songbook. So please join us for an evening of story and song.”

ALBORADA SPANISH DANCE THEATRE

DANCE

• Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre will perform traditional dances, outdoors at the Sounds of a Summer Night concert series at The Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, July 10 at 7 p.m., as well as at the Rose Pavilion Summer Outdoor Free Concert Series at The Madison Community Arts Center, July 12 at 6 p.m.

According to a press release, “the variety of (Alborada’s) repertoire runs the artistic gamut from Spanish Gypsy Flamenco, Spanish classical and regional dances, to cross-cultural programs celebrating Hispanic, Celtic, and Moorish influences, and beyond.”

THEATER

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present Lauren Gunderson’s 2017 comedy “The Book of Will” from July 10 to July 28 at its F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre at Drew University in Madison. It is about the efforts of two of Shakespeare’s friends (and fellow actors), who sought to preserve his works in published form after his 1616 death.

The production will be directed by longtime STNJ artistic director Bonnie J. Monte, who retired from that position last year.

Coincidentally, another play by Lauren Gunderson — “The Revolutionists,” also from 2017 — will be produced by The Theater Project at Luna Stage in West Orange from July 11 to July 21.

The Theater Project website describes it as an “irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris.”

As part of the Premiere Stages series, The Bauer Boucher Theatre Center at Kean University in Union will present the world premiere of Benjamin V. Marshall’s “Still” from July 11 to July 28.

Marshall is a recipient of the Liberty Live Commission, a program that helps New Jersey writers create plays that have to do with the state’s history. The play is set in New Jersey in the 1850s, when its title character, William Still, was aiding fugitive slaves through The Underground Railroad.

Donald Sutherland with Jane Fonda in “Klute.”

FILM

Donald Sutherland’s death, on June 20, inspired many people to start thinking about his greatest movies. One of them, most of his fans believe, was the 1971 psychological thriller “Klute,” which will get a rare theatrical screening July 10 at 7:30 p.m. at The ShowRoom Cinema in Asbury Park.

OTHER

• Danny Clinch is well known as a photographer of Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and countless other rock and rap musicians. And his Transparent Clinch Gallery in Asbury Park shows his work, and also hosts musical performances.

Transparent Clinch Gallery has opened a pop-up gallery called Transparent by the Tracks at 200 Monmouth St. in Red Bank Clinch — who also leads his own Tangiers Blues Band and co-founded the Sea.Hear.Now music festival — will give a talk at the Red Bank location, and answer questions, July 11 at 7 p.m.

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Click HERE for a list of free shows taking place throughout New Jersey.
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REVIEWS

“As You Like It,” presented by Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, outdoors at Saint Elizabeth University, Florham Park. (Through July 14)

“George Segal: Themes and Variations at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through July 31)

“Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Sept. 1)

“Morven Revealed: Untold Stories From New Jersey’s Most Historic Home” at Morven Museum & Garden, Princeton. (Through March 2)

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