Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: North to Shore Festival, Santana and Counting Crows, more

by JAY LUSTIG
NORTH TO shore Newark preview

Kevin Hart will perform at The Prudential Center in Newark, June 30, as part of the North to Shore Festival.

The North to Shore Festival, currently presenting events in Atlantic City, will move to Newark from June 23 to June 30, with a variety of both free and ticketed events in the fields of music, comedy, theater, health, technology and more.

Offerings include Kevin Hart, June 30 at The Prudential Center; A Day to Remember, June 26 at The Prudential Center; Matchbox Twenty, June 27 at The Prudential Center; Samara Joy, June 23 at Prudential Hall at NJPAC; Zarna Garg, June 28 at The Victoria Theater at NJPAC; Blues People, June 26 at Clement’s Place; Brothers Osborne, June 28 at Prudential Hall at NJPAC; Gabriel Iglesias, June 28 at The Prudential Center; Jeezy and Scarface, June 28 at Symphony Hall; Sommore, June 29 at The Victoria Theater at NJPAC; Jhené Aiko, June 29 at The Prudential Center; Samar Newsome and others in “Glory in the Garden: A Newark Celebration of Gospel Music,” June 30 at Newark Lab High School; film director Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Sure” talk, June 30 at The Victoria Theater at NJPAC; and “The Amethyst & Amber Griot Gala: A Celebration of Newark Poetry,” June 30 at The Kruger-Scott Mansion.

For more information and complete listings, visit northtoshore.com.

Here is a roundup of other arts events taking place around New Jersey, through June 27.

CARLOS SANTANA

MUSIC

• Santana‘s 1999 Supernatural album was a huge comeback hit, yielding two of the biggest singles of the year, “Smooth” (featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty”) and “Maria Maria” (featuring Wyclef Jean and The Product G&B), and winning nine Grammys (including Record and Song of the Year, both for “Smooth,” and Album of the Year).

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the band — led by the legendary guitarist Carlos Santana — is spotlighting it on its current double bill tour with Counting Crows, which comes to The Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, June 21 at 7 p.m.; and The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, July 19 at 7 p.m.

New Jersey Symphony will present five free outdoor concerts this summer, with each one including selections from Bizet’s “Carmen” and works from composers Valerie Coleman (Seven O’Clock Shout), Aaron Copland (“Saturday Night Waltz” and “Hoe Down” from Rodeo), George Gershwin (selections from Porgy and Bess), John Philip Sousa (Atlantic City Pageant March and Stars and Stripes Forever), John Williams (Liberty Fanfare) and others. Joshua Gersen will conduct.

The shows will take place at Ocean County College in Toms River, June 25 at 8 p.m.; Raritan Bay Waterfront Park in South Amboy, June 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Branch Brook Park in Newark, June 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Marine Park in Red Bank, June 29 at 8 p.m.; and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

MIHALI

Singer-songwriter Mihali, formerly of the jam band Twiddle, will kick off a series of free shows at Wellmont Arts Plaza (outside The Wellmont Theater in Montclair), June 21 at 7 p.m.

Among the other acts that will perform in the series are Dopapod, July 11; Wallace Roney Jr., July 25; The Ries Brothers, Aug. 8; Vanessa Perea, Aug. 22; and Spafford, Sept. 18.

The annual Horizon Sounds of the City series of free outdoor concerts at NJPAC in Newark will return June 27 at 6 p.m., with its traditional season-opener, DJ Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue Dance Party.

Subsequent performers will include Cyro Baptista, July 11; Kofi Kinaata, July 18; Galactic, July 25; KRS-One, Aug. 1; and Big Freedia, Aug. 8.

Singer-songwriter S.G. Goodman — who won the Emerging Artist of the Year award at the Americana Music Honors & Awards (presented by The Americana Music Association), last year — will perform at The Outpost in the Burbs at First Congregational Church in Montclair, June 23 at 7 p.m. Tim Peyton’s Secular Pets project will open; Peyton is planning to release a Goodman-produced album later this year. (UPDATE: The show has been postponed because of the predicted extreme hit; the building has no air conditioning. The new date has not been determined yet.)

• Alan Cumming — who is best known, of course, as an actor — will present a cabaret show titled “Alan Cumming: Uncut,” June 22 at 8 p.m. at The State Theatre in New Brunswick. Henry Koperski will serve as music director and accompany Cumming on piano.

Cumming, who has presented cabaret shows quite often over the last decade, has said that “Uncut” is “all over the shop. It’s kind of eclectic, like me.”

NATHAN JOHNSON

SANTINO FONTANA

As part of The Princeton Festival, actor Santino Fontana (whose Broadway credits include “Tootsie,” “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “Hello, Dolly!”) will present a cabaret show at The Performance Pavilion of The Morven Museum & Garden in Princeton, June 22 at 7 p.m. He’ll perform audience-selected Broadway songs, jazz standards and more, with accompaniment by pianist Cody Owen Stine.

DANCE

The Fort Lee Club for Russian Speaking Community and The Barrymore Film Center will present a Tchaikovsky Ballet Gala, June 22 at 7 p.m. at The BFC. American Russian Ballet Theater will perform excerpts from “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty,” and Petr Borchenkol from The Bolshoi Theater of Belarus will participate.

THEATER

• “Banned in Boston,” a cabaret fundraiser benefiting Vivid Stage, will take place at The Oakes Center in Summit, June 21 at 7 p.m., and feature “scenes and songs from plays and musicals that have been banned, canceled or protested.” The scenes that will be performed, and briefly discussed, are from “Spamalot,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “The Vagina Monologues” and other works. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, beverages and dessert.

FILM

Kevin Smith — who wrote, directed and acted in the 1997 romantic comedy “Chasing Amy” — and King Mustafa Obafemi, who played the character Hooper (he was billed as Dwight Ewell), will participate in a question-and-answer session following a screening of it at Smith’s SModcastle Cinemas in Atlantic Highlands, June 22 at 7 p.m.

LYNETTE SHEARD

MULTI-GENRE

The 40th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, taking place from 3 to 8 p.m. on June 22 on the grounds of Giralda Farms in Madison, will include a performance by New Jersey Symphony, a set by jazz singer Lynette Sheard with the John Lee Quartet, an art show, children’s activities, and food trucks. (UPDATE: Because of the expected heat, this event will move indoors, to Liquid Church, 299 Webro Road, Parsippany.)
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Click HERE for a list of free shows taking place throughout New Jersey.
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REVIEWS

“Pippin” at Vanguard Theater, Montclair. (Through June 30)

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. (Through July 3)

“George Segal: Themes and Variations at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through July 31)

“Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Sept. 1)

“Morven Revealed: Untold Stories From New Jersey’s Most Historic Home” at Morven Museum & Garden, Princeton. (Through March 2)

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Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, 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 NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.

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