Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: Southside Johnny, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Fest, more

by JAY LUSTIG
southside johnny labor day

SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 7.

MUSIC

As mentioned in last week’s column, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band are performing at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 and 3. Some hardcore Jersey Shore music fans will surely take advantage of the day off on Sept. 2 (the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend) to see Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park. Note: Two former Jukes, trumpeter Mark Pender and saxophonist Doug DeHays, will be sitting in for this show.

The outdoor music begins at 5:30 p.m., with Matthew Curry and then the Jukes. There will also be music inside the Pony, though, by Seven Hills, at 4:30 p.m.; Billy Walton & Destinee Monroe, at 5:45 p.m.; and Jarod Clemons & the Late Nights, at 10:15 p.m.

NJPAC’s Sounds of the City series will present a free show titled “Newark Salutes Its Own,” Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. This will be a showcase for local talent including Bri Blvck, Lyle Omolayo, Freakquencee, Prince Derek Doll and Uniiqu3, plus the Other Side of Newark collective (featuring Do It All, Jerry Wonda, Monique the Star and others).

The show was originally scheduled for July 27 but postponed because of weather.

DAN TYMINSKI

The 51st annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival takes place at the Salem County Fairgrounds, Woodstown, Sept. 1-3, with performers including The Dan Tyminski Band, Dailey & Vincent, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Riders in the Sky, Larry Sparks, Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, The Lonesome River Band, The Feinberg Brothers and others.

The second annual “Broadway in the Park” concert takes place at the Memorial Park Amphitheater in Maplewood, Sept. 4 at 4:30 p.m., with the theme of “Dream Roles”: Broadway performers will be singing songs that it is their dream to sing. The cast includes Kennedy Caughell, Dwayne Clark, Jennifer Diamond, Mandy Gonzalez, Laurel Harris, Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Rob Marnell, Kevin Massey, Manu Narayan, Zal Owen, Charlie Pollock, Libby Servais, Ashley Spencer and Stephan Stubbins.

There will be no admission charge, but SOMA Stage suggests a $15 donation in order to help it continue to present programming like this.

Kennedy Caughell (see previous item) will also present a show titled “Kennedy Caughell Sings Carole King,” Sept. 6-9 at the Brookside Cabaret at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, with seating beginning at 5 p.m. and the performances at 7.

Among Caughell’s Broadway credits is “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” in which she performed various roles from 2014 to 2019.

Cyril Neville, the only member of the group The Neville Brothers who is still touring (Art and Charles are deceased, and Aaron has retired from the road), will perform with his son Omari and Omari’s band The Fuel in the free Mardi Gras AC series at Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The Ocean Avenue Stompers will open.

Mat Labotka and Veronique Hurley, who are married to each other, are one of the couples who will perform in “Love Letters” in Cape May.

THEATER

The East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May will present A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” from Sept. 6 to Oct. 14. In each week of the six-week run, the play’s two characters — a man and a woman who read letters they’ve written to each other, over the years – will be played by a different pair of actors who share some romantic history: Three of the couples are spouses, one is engaged, and two dated in the past.

East Lynne artistic director Craig Fols said in a press release, “East Lynne has had two fabulous acting couples for years: Veronique Hurley and Mat Labotka, and Alison J. Murphy and Mark Edward Lang. I wanted to do something special for them, and then thought of asking actors I know from New York, too. It was just this fun idea that I never thought would work out, but somehow all of the stars aligned and we have the most incredible and talented rotating cast.”

Premiere Stages will present the New Jersey premiere of Sylvia Khoury’s “Selling Kabul,” a 2022 finalist for the Pulitizer Prize for Drama, at the Bauer Boucher Theatre Center at Kean University in Union, Sept. 7-24. The play is described on the pulitzer.org website as “A riveting portrait of an Afghan family under extreme wartime duress that explores the agonizing personal choices and human costs of those who aided the effort in Afghanistan at their own peril.”

FAMILY

The annual Scandinavian Fest, taking place Sept. 3 at Vasa Park in Budd Lake, will feature food, crafts, family activities and entertainers including classical saxophonist Anders Lundegård and pianist Yimeng Xu; folk group House of Hamill; magician Ambrose the Astounding; storyteller Jonathan Kruk; folk dancers from the Skansen Children’s Club; and others.

FILM

The Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee will present four work-themed movies for Labor Day Weekend: “Trading Places,” Sept. 2 at 2:45 p.m.; “Parasite,” Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.; “Norma Rae,” Sept. 3 at 2 p.m.; and “9 to 5,” Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m.

REVIEWS

“A Tailor Near Me” at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. (Through Sept. 3)

“Claybash 2023” at Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton. (Through Sept. 3)

“The Stories We Tell” at Akwaaba Gallery, Newark. Works by Mashell Black, Matilda Forsberg, Stephen Abban Junior, Madge Scott. (Through Sept. 16)

“Where There’s Smoke” by Lance Weiler at ArtYard, Frenchtown. (Through Oct. 1)

“Victor Ekpuk: Language and Lineage,” presented by Princeton University Art Museum at Bainbridge House, Princeton. (Through Oct. 8)

“Spiral Q: The Parade” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

“Local Voices: Memories, Stories and Portraits” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

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

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