Top 12 Arts Events of the Week: Concerts on the Green, Vogel Summer Concert Series, more

Bandiera Suneagles


Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through May 20.


The Count Basie Center for the Arts will begin presenting outdoor, socially distanced concerts in the Concerts on the Green series at the Suneagles Golf Club in Eatontown, May 14-15 at 7:30 p.m., with Bobby Bandiera & Friends’ “Runnin’ Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty.” Both shows are sold out. Coming up later this month are Citizen Cope, May 21-22; Mike Birbiglia, May 23; the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, May 28; and Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, May 29-30. For a complete list of shows, visit or

Also starting this week is the Vogel Summer Concert Series, which will include outdoor shows at the newly restored Arthur Pryor Bandshell on the Asbury Park Boardwalk and the rooftop deck at Bell Works in Holmdel. Socially distant seating will be available at both venues. The Asbury Park shows will begin May 12 at 6:30 p.m. with The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, presenting a program of music written by trombonist and bandleader Pryor, who was based in Asbury Park for much of his career. The Holmdel shows will start May 13 and 21 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. with Remember Jones presenting a live version of the “Cocktail Hour” shows he has done online, during the pandemic. For a complete list of other shows taking place throughout the summer, visit


• Jordan Rudess, who plays keyboards in the progressive-rock band Dream Theater as well as releasing solo albums, will bring a solo tour — featuring Dream Theater songs and other rock material “reimagined” for piano — to New Jersey for socially distanced concerts at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, May 15 at 8 p.m.; and The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, May 22 at 8 p.m. The South Orange show also will be available online, via a livestream.

• Valerie Simpson of the great songwriting, producing and recording duo Ashford & Simpson (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Solid”) will be interviewed by NJPAC president and CEO John Schreiber and perform a few songs in a Zoom broadcast, May 18 at 7 p.m. The show is part of NJPAC’s monthly American Songbook Series and titled “Music, Mentors & Motown.”


Van Gelder Studio, which opened in Hackensack in 1952 and moved to Englewood Cliffs in 1959, has one of the most impressive resumes of any jazz-oriented recording studio, yielding classics by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and others. The next episode of the Live From Rudy Van Gelder’s Studio online series, which launched last year in response to the pandemic, will feature organist Joey DeFrancesco with drummer Billy Hart, guitarist Peter Bernstein and saxophonist Houston Person, May 15 at 9 p.m., with additional streams to accommodate those in different time zones, May 16 at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. (see video below).


Esiah Waheed plays the Stepmother in “Islamic Snow White.”


Camden Repertory Theatre presents “Islamic Snow White” — based on Fawzia Gilani’s children’s book “Snow White: An Islamic Tale,” adapted for the stage by Camden Rep founding artistic director Desi P. Shelton and featuring music by Jamal P. Dickerson — outdoors at the Clinton Street Amphitheater, May 13 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Demarest Farms in Hillsdale — which presented drive-in movies last year, in response to the pandemic — will start doing so again this week, with “Wonder Woman 1984,” May 15 at 8:30 p.m., and “Babe,” May 16 at 8:30 p.m.

Schaefer Farms in Flemington presents a “Halfway to Halloween Celebration Rocky Horror Weekend,” with screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” costume contests, live music by the band The Way and more, May 14-15 at 8 p.m.


The Borgata Comedy Club, located at the Music Box at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, has been dormant throughout the pandemic, but will begin shows again May 20, with three standup performers a night: Initial shows will include Greg Stone, Charles McBee and Nathan Macintosh, May 20-22; Gordon Baker Bone, Liz Miele and Mike Yard, May 23-24 and 27-29; and Dave Temple, Leah Bonnema and Matthew Broussard, May 30-31 and June 3-5.

Dancers from moe-tion dance theater will perform outdoors at Centenary University, May 15.


Centenary University dance and theater professors Maureen Glennon Clayton and Lea Antolini-Lid have created a Centenary Stage Company series, Outside the Lines, in which theater companies will present site-specific dances throughout New Jersey. The first installment in the series will feature dancers from Glennon Clayton’s moe-tion dance theater and take place on the lawn of the Hackettstown university’s Seay Building. The performance takes place May 15 at 3 p.m. and is free, though donations will be solicited.


Danny Clinch, one of the leading rock photographers of the last few decades, debuts “Unseen,” a collection of never-before-seen or -printed photographs from his archives, May 13 at his Transparent Clinch Gallery in Asbury Park, and will celebrate with live music on the gallery porch, May 15-16, by Bobby Mahoney, Rachel Ana Dobken, Tara Dente, Cranston Dean and Renee Maskin.

Chris Lentz, who took thousands of photos of Les Paul from the 1980s to the guitarist and inventor’s death in 2009 — many at the New York nightclubs Fat Tuesday’s and Iridium, both onstage and backstage — will show some of them, and talk about them, in a free Zoom webinar, “Photographs of Les Paul Through The Lens of Chris Lentz,” hosted by the Mahwah Museum, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Register in advance at


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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