Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: Itzhak Perlman, Willie Nile, Gary Gulman, more

izhak perlman state theatre nj


Itzhak Perlman will perform at The State Theatre in New Brunswick, Feb. 24.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around New Jersey, through Feb. 29.


• Itzhak Perlman will perform at The State Theatre in New Brunswick, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., as part of the venue’s Classical Season Celebration, which raises money to support its other classical presentations and arts education programs. There also will be a pre-show cocktail party and post-show dessert reception.

The violinist will be joined by pianist Rohan De Silva on a program that will include Handel’s Violin Sonata in E Major, Op. 1, No. 15; Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”; and Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 73.

Phil Ochs, one of the leading — and most politically outspoken — folksingers of the ’60s and early ’70s, died in 1976, at the age of 35, but many singer-songwriters have continued to perform his songs since then. The Folk Project‘s Troubadour Concert Series at Morristown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a “Phil Ochs Song Night,” Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m., with Greg Greenway, Reggie Harris, Louise Mosrie and Pat Wictor performing his songs, as well as some of their own.

• The New Jersey Youth Symphony, conducted by Helen H. Cha-Pyo, will present a “Black History Month Celebration Concert” at The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. The program will feature Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings (featuring saxophonist Lance Bryant) and William Grant Still’s Afro American Symphony, as well as the world premiere of “Microvids for Piano and Orchestra” by Stefania de Kenessey (and featuring pianist Donna Weng Friedman and narrator Diana Solomon-Glover). “Microvids” has been described as a series of 19 musical “miniatures,” written by de Kenessey during the pandemic.


Willie Nile, who has been a prolific singer-songwriter since the early ’80s, is presenting a concert that is being billed as “A Career Retrospective,” Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. at The South Orange Performing Arts Center.

Singer-songwriters Matt Butler and Mike Montali will perform in a show titled “Growin’ Up: An Evening of Two One-Act Musical Memoirs,” Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. at The Outpost in the Burbs at The First Congregational Church in Montclair.

Butler’s 2023 EP Reckless Son was based on his experiences performing for inmates in prisons; he also has presented a one-man show with the same name.

Montali is a member of the bands Hollis Brown and Fantastic Cat.

• The Rutgers Jazz Lab Big Band will perform Duke Ellington’s 1943 epic Black, Brown and Beige at The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Ellington said that the three-movement work was an attempt to “portray the experiences of the colored races in America in the syncopated idiom.”

“It sits alone in the history of jazz,” Wynton Marsalis has said of it, explaining that it “covers a mosaic of not just Afro-American but of American styles of music.”



Comedian Gary Gulman published a memoir, “Misfit: Growing Up Awkward in the ’80s,” in the fall, and is now on his Misfit: A Gary Gulman Stand Up & Book Tour, in which he will feature material based on the book, but not read from it, per se. He will perform at The Vogel at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Feb. 23 at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

DTF Comedy (it stands for “Damn, That’s Funny!”) will present its first shows at Dream Live event space at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, this weekend, with Tara Cannistraci, Andre Mitchell, Riley Lassin, Dean David and Tristan Bowlin, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m., followed by Corey B., Joey Avery, Olga Namer, Matt Lopes, Andre Mitchell and Dean David, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.


“Goodfellas” executive producer Barbara De Fina will appear in conversation with film critic Glenn Kenny following a screening of the classic mob movie at The Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival — featuring short and full-length films devoted to “the lives, stories and artistic abilities of people with all types of disabilities” — takes place at the North Avenue Academic Center at Kean University in Union, with screening sessions Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., March 1 at 6 p.m., and March 2 at 2 and 6 p.m. The films can also be screened online.

The Clairidge in Montclair will present Reel Rock 18, a collection of four new rock climbing films — filmed in Japan, Ukraine, Peru and Mallorca — Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.

Amy Faris’ “Grid Bone Pink” will be part of the “Gallery Aferro” exhibition.


Gallery Aferro in Newark recently closed after a 20-year run, and The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit will present, from Feb. 23 to May 24, an exhibition titled “Gallery Aferro: Dignity and Beauty”: It features works by past Aferro fellowship recipients Katrina Bello, Anjali Benjamin-Webb, Ruth Borgenicht, Amy Faris, Krystle Lemonias, kara lynch, Bud McNichol, Lisette Morel and Steve Rossi.


“After Midnight” at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. (Through Feb. 25)

“The Scarlet Letter” at Two River Theater, Red Bank. (Through Feb. 25)

“Ghetto Gods in Divineland” at Passage Theatre, Trenton. (Through Feb. 25)

“Expressive Impressions in Linoleum,” works by Tenjin Ikeda at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center. (Through Feb. 25)

“Afrofuturism: 100 Years After the Harlem Renaissance” at The Gallery at Paper Mill, Millburn. (Through Feb. 26)

“Tartuffe” at Sitnik Theatre at Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown. (Through March 3)

“RIFT, or white lies” at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through March 10)

“Night Forms” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through April 7)

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


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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