Top 12 Arts Events of Week: ‘Return of the Jedi’ in concert, ‘Masters of the Telecaster,’ more

Return Jedi NJPAC

“Return of the Jedi” will be shown with live music by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at three New Jersey theaters this week.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Feb. 9:


The 1983 “Star Wars” movie, “Return of the Jedi,” will be shown with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra playing the John Williams-written score, live, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Feb. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at the Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, and Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. the State Theatre in New Brunswick. After the State Theatre screening, “Cinema Retro” publisher and movie expert Lee Pfeiffer will give a talk about the “Star Wars” movies and their scores.


Jim Weider, who replaced Robbie Robertson as the guitarist in The Band, will join fellow six-string masters G.E. Smith (the “Saturday Night Live” band, Hall & Oates) and Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) for the “Masters of the Telecaster” show at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. Drummer Josh Dion and bassist Lincoln Schleifer will back them on rock and blues classics and other songs.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center will present another notable team effort, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m., when John Doe of X, Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses and Grant-Lee Phillips of Grant Lee Buffalo present a show called “The Exile Follies,” where they will all perform separate sets and also make guest appearances each other. The name, which they have used before, means that they are exiles, in a sense, from the bands that they are associated with.

Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin will perform at the 30th annual “The Gift of Music” benefit concert at Bergen County Academies, in Hackensack, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. The concert will raise money for the JCC Thurnauer
School of Music in Tenafly and its Music Discovery Partnership with the Englewood Public School District, and also feature Turnauer ensembles.


The Brook Arts Center in Bound Brook will host “We Stand With Bound Brook,” a benefit for those those impacted by the Jan. 12 Bound Brook fire, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. Proceeds will go to a fire relief fund and the Salvation Army. Performers will include by Second Wind, Tuesday at Eight with Bill Turner ( formerly of Bill Haley & the Comets), Anthony Didio, and Rachael Wise & The Guys. Also, the event will feature performances by dancers from Serova School of Dance and the Elite Dance Center. Children 13 and younger and first responders will be admitted free



Carolyn Dorfman Dance presents its third annual Dance Union Festival at the Hamilton Stage at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Feb. 6-7 and 9, with master classes, open rehearsals and performances by Union County high schools, dance studios and professional companies. (For a chance to win two tickets to the closing performance, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m., send an email with the word “Dorfman” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Feb. 7.)


The Growing Stage in Netcong will present the world premiere of a “Bunnyboy” Feb. 8 and 15 at 4 p.m. and Feb. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Written by Philip Kaplan, the play — which won the Laurie Award in the The Growing Stage’s 2019 New Play-Reading Festival — is about a sixth grader who develops superpowers and becomes a superhero.


Tammy Locke, Suzanne Stein, Marc Kaye, Matt Jenkins, Donna Vee will perform at “Team LeGrand Comedy Night,” taking place at the Avenel Performing Arts Center, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Team LeGrand is paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand’s subsidiary of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, dedicated to supporting spinal cord injury research and improving quality of life of paralyzed people and their families.


The fourth annual Montclair Literary Festival, presented by Succeed2gether, takes place March 25-29. But three pre-festival events were also scheduled from January to March. In the second pre-festival event, Malcolm Gladwell will talk about his 2019 book “Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know,” Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church. Also, Colum McCann will make an appearance in conversation with Garth Risk Hallberg, talking about his novel “Apeirogon” — to be published Feb. 25 — at Montclair’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation, March 12 at 7 p.m.

Federico Uribe’s “Lifesize Panda,” made with bullet shells, will be part of his “Animalia” exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum.


• “Animalia,” an exhibition featuring works by Federico Uribe, will open at the Montclair Art Museum on Feb. 8 and run through June 21. The exhibition will feature more than 60 sculptures of animals using objects such as colored pencils, shoes and shoelaces. Some of this work has a political component: Uribe’s “Plastic Coral Reef” is made up of hundreds of pieces of the kind of plastic waste that is actually endangering coral reefs; his “Lifesize Panda” looks warm and fuzzy but is actually made out of bullet shells.

Also opening on Feb. 8 (but running through Aug. 8) is “Uncaged: Animals in the Collection,” featuring various works from the museum’s permanent collection that depict animals.


The 30th annual touring Black Maria Film Festival will start at the James Stewart Film Theater in Princeton, with two events this weekend; future tour stops will take place at other locations, in New Jersey and beyond its borders, over the next 12 months. Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., filmmakers Su Friedrich, Edith Goldenhar, Emily Hubley and Lynne Sachs will screen and talk about their work in a program titled “Women in Film.” Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Eugene Richards, winner of the festival’s Stellar Award for Documentary, will show his short film “The Rain Will Follow,” discuss his work and participate in a question-and-answer session; four other award-winning short films will be shown as well.

The Film Institute at Montclair State University will present a free series of Coen Brothers films, Sundays at 2 p.m., with film critic Stephen Whitty introducing them and then discussing them after they screen. The schedule is: “Raising Arizona,” Feb. 9; “The Big Lebowski,” Feb. 16; “Fargo,” Feb. 23; and “No Country for Old Men,” March 1.

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