Top 12 Arts Events of Week: Southside Johnny, Dan Tyminski, Regina Carter, more

Southside Johnny valentine's 2020


A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Feb. 17:


For the third straight year, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes will perform a set full of love songs (but featuring other Jukes favorites as well) at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the week of Valentine’s Day. The show, titled “Third Time’s a Charm for Cupid,” will take place on Feb. 15, with doors opening at 7 p.m. (The band will also perform at the City Winery in Philadelphia, Feb. 13-14.)

• The Dan Tyminski Bluegrass Band performs at Roy’s Hall in Blairstown, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., with the Cirotti Trio opening. Singer-guitarist Tyminski has several claims to fame: He’s a longtime member of Alison Krauss’ Union Station band, sang “Man of Constant Sorrow” on the Grammy-winning soundtrack of the 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” and also sang on the 2013 Avicii hit “Hey Brother.”

Jazz violinist Regina Carter released an Ella Fitzgerald tribute album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, in 2017, and will present a show titled “Simply Ella,” Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside, as part of the Kean Stage series. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email with the word “Carter” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Feb. 13.)


The United States’ only professional piano sextet, Grand Band, will perform at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 8 p.m., as part of the Peak Performances series. Erika Dohi, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore and Isabelle O’Connell will perform Julius Eastman’s “Gay Guerilla” as well as works by Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore and Julia Wolfe (“my lips from speaking,” inspired by the Aretha Franklin hit, “Think”). Mazzoli’s “Three Fragile Systems” will be accompanied by an animated film by Joshua Frankel that was commissioned by Peak Performances and features the work of choreographer Faye Driscoll. A talk with Frankel, Mazzoli and Isabelle O’Connell will follow the Feb. 15 concert.

Feb. 17 at 1 p.m., composer and keyboardist Phyllis Chen (see video below) will present an interactive, family-oriented workshop titled “Floating Verses, Morristown” at the Morris Museum in Morris Township. Participants will draw on scrolls, and Chen will use them as inspiration for a sound collage, “Automatoys,” that will have its world premiere at the museum’s Bickford Theatre, March 13-14, as part of the Live Arts performance series. “Automatoys” will feature an orchestra of music boxes and automatic musical instruments. The March concerts will also feature “Lighting the Dark,” a solo work incorporating two toy pianos, a clavichord, an accordion and custom-made music boxes. The workshop is free with museum admission but advance registration is required at

• Erich Bergen, who played Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio in the “Jersey Boys” film and has also starred in “Waitress” on Broadway and in the television show “Madam Secretary,” will perform songs from “Jersey Boys” and “Waitress” as well as other material at the Avenel Performing Arts Center, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. (For a chance to win two tickets to the Feb. 15 concert, send an email with the word “Bergen” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Feb. 14.)


Singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin will perform at the Hopewell Theater, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. Tempchin wrote the huge Eagles hit “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and also co-wrote other songs that were hits for them (“Already Gone”) and Eagles member Glenn Frey, recording as a solo artist (“You Belong to the City,” “Smuggler’s Blues,” “True Love,” “The One You Love”). He also has written songs that have been recorded by country luminaries such as George Jones, Emmylou Harris and Tanya Tucker. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email with the word “Tempchin” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Feb. 14.)

Ramapo College professor Ben Neill will present the New Jersey premiere of “Fantini Future,” a audio-visual piece, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. at the college’s Sharp Theater at the Berrie Center in Mahwah. He’ll play his self-designed Mutantrumpet 4.0 instrument, which contains both electric and acoustic elements and also controls interactive video projections. Joining him at the concert will be Ryland Angel, countertenor, and Gwendolyn Toth, on Baroque keyboards. “Fantini Futuro” was named after Girolamo Fantini, an Italian trumpeter and composer from the 17th century.


Hudson Theatre Works will defy convention by having a female actor, Bess Miller, play the title character in Shakespeare’s monumental tragedy “Hamlet,” which will be presented from Feb. 14 to March 1 at the Theatre at the Wilson School in Weehawken.


Carl Wallnau in “The Sunshine Boys.”

The Centenary Stage Company will present Neil Simon’s comedy “The Sunshine Boys” at the Sitnik Theatre at the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown, Feb. 14 to March 1. “The Sunshine Boys” premiered on Broadway in 1972 and was made into an Oscar-winning 1975 film co-starring George Burns and Walter Matthau, as well as a 1996 TV film with Woody Allen and Peter Falk. David Edwards and CSC artistic director Carl Wallnau will portray the play’s two main characters, former vaudeville partners who haven’t talked to each other for many years, but are getting back together to make a joint appearance on a television special.


The McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton will present a Valentine’s Day Weekend production of one of the world’s greatest love stories when the National Ballet Theatre of Odessa performs “Romeo & Juliet,” with music by Prokofiev and choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m.


Library of Congress nitrate film vault manager George Willemon will give a presentation titled “Lost and Found: Edison’s 1913 Kinetophone Films,” Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Edison Laboratory Complex in West Orange. According to a press release, the films “were Edison’s unsuccessful attempt to introduce commercial motion pictures with synchronized sound”; eight surviving ones have been reconstructed under Willemon’s supervision.


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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