Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: NJ Symphony, Light of Day, ‘Ibsen’s Ghost,’ more

augustin Hadelich njs

Violinist Augustin Hadelich will perform with The New Jersey Symphony in Princeton, Red Bank and Newark.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around New Jersey, through Jan. 18.


Augustin Hadelich will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony, conducted by music director Xian Zhang, at The Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.; The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m.; and Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. The program will also include Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures at an Exhibition; and Daniel Bernard Roumain’s i am a white person who _ Black people.

Most Light of Day WinterFest events — raising money and awareness in the fight against Parkinson’s disease and related disorders — will take place later in the month (its big weekend will be Jan. 19-21). But a handful of events are scheduled for before then, including:

Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute), Taylor Simon King (James Taylor/Carly Simon/Carole King tribute) at Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank.

Jan. 14, 3 p.m.: “Asbury Park & Me” (songs and stories) featuring James Dalton at ShowRoom Cinema, Asbury Park.

Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.: “Songwriters on the River” with Willie Nile, Paul Collins, John Easdale & Peter Wood of Dramarama, James Maddock, Williams Honor, Danielia Cotton, Joe D’Urso, Anthony D’Amato, Adam Ezra, Amanda Cross & Derek Cruz at City Winery Loft, New York.


Reagan Richards and Gordon Brown of Williams Honor.

Jan. 18, 7 p.m.: “Light of Day Kick-off” with Williams Honor, Fantastic Cat, Jarod Clemons, Jake Thistle, Emily Grove, Lisa Bouchelle & the Bleu, Adam Ezra and others at Asbury Lanes.

Jan. 18, 7:15 p.m.: “Sandy Mack’s WonderJam Deluxe” with Abandoned Outcasts, Waiting on Mongo, Secret Sound, Lovelight and others at Wonder Bar, Asbury Park.

Jan. 18, 8 p.m.: Monmouth University’s Blue Hawk Records Showcase at The Break, Asbury Park.

Light of Day originated in 1998 and has been held annually since 2000. For this year’s complete schedule, click HERE.

Jan. 11 marks the 82nd anniversary of Clarence Clemons’ birth, and Jan. 13 from 4 p.m. to midnight, The Headliner in Neptune hosts a tribute, “Big Man’s Bash,” as a benefit for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, with Clemons’ son Nick and his band, JoBonanno & the Godsons, Layonne Holmes, The Chuck Lambert Band, The Jo Wymer Band, Pam McCoy, Phil Robinson, West End Dogs, Night Owlz, Dave Vargo and others.


The Centenary Stage Company’s Winter Thaw Festival will begin with trumpeter, singer and composer Jumaane Smith in a show titled “Louis! Louis! Louis!” — celebrating the music of Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima and Louis Jordan — Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown. Smith has performed with Michael Bublé, Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick Jr., Jackie Evancho and many others over the course of his career.

Upcoming shows in the series include Reverie Road, Jan. 20; Rosaway, Jan. 27; and Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba Feb. 3.

The All Stars of Hip Hop Mixtape 24 for 2024 show taking place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m., has a bill with a whopping 24 artists: KRS-One, Flava Flav, Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Rob Base, Schoolly D, Craig G, Chubb Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Stetsasonic, Ultramagnetic MCs, DJ Kool, Fatman Scoop, The Furious 5, Kid ‘n Play, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Tag Team, Tuff Crew, 69 Boyz, Busy Bee Starski, Parry P, Sam The Beast and Sweet Tee.

• “All You Need Is Love” — taking place at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. — represents an all-star celebration of the 60th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in the United States, with bassist and singer Kasim Sulton (Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Meat Loaf, Blue Öyster Cult), guitarist Steve Kimock (Jazz Is Dead, The Other Ones, RatDog), drummer Prairie Prince (The Tubes, Journey, Jefferson Starship), narrator Michael Des Barres (Power Station) and others.




Charles Busch wrote and will star in “Ibsen’s Ghost: An Irresponsible Biographical Fantasy,” which will have its world premiere at The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Jan. 16-21, 24-28 and 31 and Feb. 1-4. This is a George Street Playhouse production, presented in association with Primary Stages.

According to a press release, the play “tells a tall (and hilarious) tale of the legendary Norwegian playwright’s wife Suzannah the week after the great man’s state funeral. A fierce keeper of the flame, Suzannah is confronted with a series of predicaments: her husband’s long lost illegitimate son, his former protegee peddling a libelous diary and an enigmatic rodent exterminator known as the Rat Wife. This is the play Ibsen never wrote but with more laughs and a happy ending.”

The Black Box Performing Arts Center will present a free staged reading of “Life After Warsaw: The World of Isaac Bashevis Singer,” a new play by I.M. Gurin — based on the writings of the Nobel Prize-winning author, and created in association with The Singer Trust — Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck.


Dancing with the Stars: Live!, featuring 11 performers from the popular TV competition show — Val Chmerkovskiy, Jenna Johnson, Xochitl Gomez, Brandon Armstrong, Rylee Arnold, Alan Bersten, Daniella Karagach, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Britt Stewart — will be presented at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Jan. 14 at 3 and 7 p.m., as well as at The Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.; and The State Theatre in New Brunswick, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.



Jan. 10 marked the 100th anniversary of jazz drummer and composer Max Roach’s birth, and Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., The Newark Museum of Art will screen the new documentary “Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes.” The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Roach’s son Raoul and daughter Dara, and the film’s director-producers Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro.

The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway with present a “Sail Away Party,” Jan. 18 at 6 p.m., with a screening of “Titanic” at 7 plus live organ music before the movie begins, specialty drinks, complimentary popcorn, photo ops and “other surprises.”


One of the images in Ellen Harvey’s “The Disappointed Tourist” exhibition.


The Rowan University Art Gallery & Museum in Glassboro will present “Ellen Harvey: The Disappointed Tourist” from Jan. 16 to March 9, with an opening reception and artist talk, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. The Rowan website describes the project as “an ongoing project of 300 paintings of lost sites suggested by members of the public. It was inspired by the urge to repair what has been lost due to the forces of war, time, ideology, gentrification, and natural disasters. It attempts to honor the trauma underlying the nostalgia that results from our collective and individual losses, while celebrating the human attachment to places both real and aspirational.”


“I’m Not a Comedian … I’m Lenny Bruce” at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. (Through Jan. 13)

“From Flame to Flower: The Art of Paul J. Stankard” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Feb. 4)

“Elana Herzog: Ripped, Tangled, and Frayed” at The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit. (Through Feb. 4)

“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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