Top 12 NJ Arts Events of the Week: BobFest (Dylan tribute), Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, more

bobfest 2022 preview

The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank presents the Bob Dylan tribute, BobFest, May 26.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through May 26.


Bob Dylan turns 81 on May 24, and May 26 at 7:30 p.m., Pat Guadagno and his all-star Tired Horses band — featuring musicians such as Rob Paparozzi and Steve Delopolous — will pay tribute to him at their annual BobFest concert at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. The show will focus on the music of Dylan’s legendary 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue, and feature, as a guest performer, Rob Stoner, who served as Dylan’s bassist and music director on that tour.

The 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen — which took place at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway near Watkins Glen, N.Y., and featured The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and The Band — is considered to be the biggest rock festival in United States history, attracting a crowd of 600,000. The Flanders Swim & Sports Club will host a “Watkins Glen Revival” concert, May 21 from 2 to 10 p.m., with This Old Engine playing songs by the Grateful Dead, The THE BAND Band covering The Band material, and The Peach Project paying tribute to The Allman Brothers Band.


The band The Slambovian Circus of Dreams will perform at the Rock and Roll and Steampunk Fair, which will also feature sets by A Halo Named Fred and Psych-a-Billy and take place at Veterans Park in Washington (Warren County), May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Freedom Mortgage Pavilion (formerly the BB&T Pavilion) in Camden will host Philadelphia radio station WMMR (99.3 FM)’s annual MMR*B*Q concert, May 21 at 1 p.m., with Disturbed, The Pretty Reckless, Royal Blood, Living Colour, Low Cut Connie, Crobot, Lilith Czar, Huxley at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion, Camden.

The brave and adventurous band Primus will play Rush’s 1977 A Farewell to Kings album in its entirety, as well as a set of its own songs, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, May 21 at 7 p.m., and the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, May 27 at 8 p.m.

Rutgers University in Newark will host an AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) Jazz Fest, May 22 from 1 to 10 p.m., with music on the University’s Great Hall and Clement’s Place stages as well as panel discussions and networking opportunities. Performers will include Helen Sung, Ron Jackson, Lisa Liu, Kevin Sun, Victor Lin, AAPI Jazz Collective, Austin Zhang, Tyler Kaneshiro, Birsa Chatterjee and Ace Williams. The music will also be streamed at

The vocal duo of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé will be saluted in “A Toast to Steve & Eydie,” featuring singer and Tony-winning actress Debbie Gravitte and the duo’s son, David Lawrence, May 21 at 8 p.m. and May 22 at 3 p.m. at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal. Russ Kassoff — whose many credits include work with Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Charles Aznavour — will conduct the band.


Felicia Temple, who competed on “The Voice” in 2017, and banjo master Tony Trischka will be among the performers at “Survivors! A Tribute to Musicians Who Kicked Cancer’s A$%!,” a benefit for the American Cancer Society that takes place at Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, May 25 at 7 p.m. Temple, Trischka and others will perform music by artists who have survived cancer, including Elton John, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Ron Isley of The Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead, Olivia Newton-John and Carly Simon.


Cape May Stage will present “Double Play,” consisting of the baseball-related one-act plays “Becoming Satchel Paige” and “Happy,” from May 25 to June 26. “Becoming Satchel Paige,” written by Dan McCormick, is about the legendary pitcher, who played mostly in the Negro leagues before becoming the first Black pitcher in the American League, joining the Cleveland Indians at the age of 42. “Happy,” written by veteran comedy writer and producer Alan Zweibel (“Saturday Night Live,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show”) is about an adult baseball fan who meets a former player he idolized when he was young.


• New Jersey Symphony will team with Nimbus Dance for a family-oriented program, May 22 at 2 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark. Nimbus Dance will join the symphony for selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2. The symphony will also perform John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”; Mendelssohn’s Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and selections from Bizet’s Carmen.


• The New Jersey Ballet, which was recently named the resident ballet company at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, will perform a “Repertory Evening” there, May 21 at 8 p.m., and “Cinderella,” May 22 at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. The “Repertory Evening” will include George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux; Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux; Bettijane Sills’ Masquerade; Jackson Ferreira’s About Happiness; and Margo Sappington’s This Thing Called Love.

The late Nai-Ni Chen.

• The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will celebrate the legacy of Chen, who died in December at the age of 62, and also commemorate the start of the Year of the Water Tiger, May 21 at 2 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark. Chen was a prolific choreographer and the program will feature many of her works, including “Double Lions Welcome Spring,” “Raindrops,” “Green Lotus,” “Festival/Dragon Parade” and “Incense.” The Ahn Trio (sisters Lucia Ahn, piano, Angella Ahn, violin, and Maria Ahn, cello) will perform on some numbers.


“A Walk on the Moon,” presented by George Street Playhouse at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. (Through May 21)

“The Burdens” at Mile Square Theatre, Hoboken. (Through May 22)

“The Giant Void in My Soul” at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through May 22)

“Curse of the Starving Class” at Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken. (Through May 22)

“Exposed” at Black Box Performing Arts Center, Englewood. (Through May 28)

“Revival: Post-Pandemic Visions” at the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center. (Through May 22)

“Ride the Cyclone” at Berlind Theater at McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton. (Through May 29)

“Theda Sandiford: Joyful Resistance” at Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster. (Through June 4)

“Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 26)


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