Top 15 Arts Events of Week: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ more

SPRINGSTEEN prudential center preview

Bruce Springsteen brings his E Street Band to the Prudential Center in Newark, April 14.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will play the only New Jersey show of the current leg of their world tour at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 14 at 7:30. The leg actually ends in Newark; they will be in Europe from late April to late July, then return to the United States for more shows, including ones at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 and 3.

Springsteen is also scheduled to make a presentation at the inaugural American Music Honors show, taking place at the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University, April 15 at 8:30 p.m. Jon Stewart will host, and honorees will include Steven Van Zandt, Darlene Love, Sam Moore and Steve Earle. Southside Johnny, Garry Tallent and Patti Scialfa, along with Springsteen, are scheduled to make presentations. Van Zandt’s Disciples of Soul group, directed by Marc Ribler, will be the house band. Proceeds will benefit Monmouth University’s Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.

Steven Van Zandt & the Disciples of Soul will then take advantage of the two-week hiatus in the Springsteen/E Street tour to perform at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, April 18-19 at 8 p.m. According to a press release, Van Zandt and the band will be “reinventing songs from his two most recent LPs, 2017’s Soulfire and 2019’s acclaimed Summer of Sorcery, as well as fan favorites spanning his iconic career, with newly updated live arrangements. The performance will be captured for a new concert film to be released later this year.”

Van Zandt and the Disciples of Soul have not presented a concert since before the pandemic began.

Here is a roundup of other arts events taking place around the state, through April 20.



• Remember Jones, who has paid tribute to Joe Cocker’s 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen concert album in the past, will do so again this year with a 20-piece band at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, April 14-15 at 8 p.m.; the Gramercy Theatre in New York, April 19 at 7 p.m.; and City Winery in Philadelphia, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. Shows will include all of the album’s songs — including “Feeling Alright,” “The Letter,” “Delta Lady” and “Sticks and Stones” — as well as songs performed on the Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour but not included the album (though added to a 2005 deluxe edition) such as covers of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darlin’ Be Home Soon.”

Pianist and composer Eddie Palmieri — a mainstay of the New York area salsa scene since the 1960s, and an eight-time Grammy winner — performs with his Salsa Orchestra at the Matthews Theater at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, April 15 at 8 p.m. Pre-show entertainment will be provided by DJ Ralphie Mercado, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

• The Chicken Fat Ball, an annual event sponsored by the New Jersey Jazz Society, will offer an afternoon of all-star swing music, April 16 at 2 p.m. at The Woodland in Maplewood. Musicians will include Warren Vaché, cornet; Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; Gary Mazzaroppi, bass; Mark Shane, piano; Ken Peplowski, clarinet and tenor saxophone; Randy Reinhart, trombone; and Paul Wells, drums.

Original Yes singer Jon Anderson will perform the band’s music at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, April 16 at 7:30 p.m., and the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, April 28-29 at 8 p.m. Among the musicians who will be backing him will be bassist and guitarist Richie Castellano of the hard-rock band Blue Öyster Cult and keyboardist Chris Clark of the jazz fusion group Brand X.



The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn presents “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express,” April 19 to May 14, with the official opening night on April 23. This version of the murder-mystery classic, adapted by Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor,” “Crazy for You,” “Moon Over Buffalo”), premiered at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, in 2017. Of course, there also have been multiple film and television adaptations of the 1934 novel.

Casey Hushion, whose recent directing credits include the Paper Mill Playhouse’s “Clue” and the George Street Playhouse’s “Joy,” directs, Anthony Cochrane plays master detective Hercule Poirot, and Karen Ziemba and Donna English play suspects Helen Hubbard and Princess Dragomiroff, respectively.

The 1986 low-budget horror film, “The Toxic Avenger,” was improbably made into a musical in 2008, with music by Bon Jovi member David Bryan and a book by Joe DiPietro (“Memphis,” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”). It premiered at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick and ran off-Broadway in 2009, winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Off-Broadway Musical. The Players Guild of Leonia will present it, April 14 to April 30.


The ShowRoom Cinema in Asbury Park will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the John Sayles-directed, New Jersey-set “Baby It’s You” — co-starring Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano — with a 3 p.m. April 16 screening that will feature an introduction by Caroline Madden, film critic and author of the book, “Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television” (the soundtrack of “Baby It’s You” features the Sprinhgsteen songs “It’s Hart to Be a Saint in the City,” “She’s the One,” “Adam Raised a Cain” and “The E Street Shuffle”).


Sip Studios in Jersey City will present a different kind of comedy show, April 20 at 8 p.m. “Weeding Out the Stoned” presents its comedy with a game show twist. Most of the comedians will be stoned, except for one. Audience members help host Alex Grubard figure out which one is sober. Participants will include Jim Tews, Dan Frigolette, Joe Gorman, Amanda Gail, Justin Williams and Lauren Leroux.



Livingston Philanthropies, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “provide for the homeless, profoundly poor & disenfranchised,” will present a fundraiser featuring Floyd “Uncle Floyd” Vivino, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Livingston.


• Jennifer Holliday, a Tony-winning actress as well as a Grammy-winning recording artist, will appear in the “Broadway Lecture Series” at StageWorks at Studio 237 in Pompton Lakes, April 15 at 7 p.m. Holliday will be interviewed by actor and singer Robert Bannon, and answer questions from the audience. Holliday is best known for starring in “Dreamgirls” on Broadway in the early ’80s and singing, in that show, the show-stopping “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” Her other Broadway credits include “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God,” “The Color Purple,” “Grease” and “Chicago.”

The New Jersey Symphony is celebrating its 100th anniversary in its ongoing 2022-23 season, and The Newark History Society will present a panel discussion, “One Hundred Years of Harmony and Some Discord: The New Jersey Symphony Centennial,” April 19 at 6 p.m. at Centennial Hall at the Newark Public Library. Panelists will include Helen Paxton, author of “New Jersey Symphony: A Century of Great Music, 1922-2022”; former Star-Ledger classical music critic Michael Redmond; and the symphony’s current president and CEO, Gabriel van Aalst.

For those unable to attend in person, a Zoom broadcast will be available; email


George Street Playhouse will present “An Evening With Artist and Activist Maulik Pancholy,” April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Metuchen Golf & Country Club in Edison. Best known as a cast member on television’s “30 Rock,” Pancholy also co-founded the anti-bullying campaign as a member of President Obama’s President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and has written the novels “Nikhil Out Loud” and “The Best at It.” In 2021, he starred in the one-man play “Fully Committed,” which the George Street Playhouse offered in online form only, because of the pandemic.


“The Shot” at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. (Through April 23)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)

“vanessa german: … please imagine all the things i cannot say …” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 25)

“Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!” at Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center, Newark. (Through June 25)

“Komar and Melamid: A Lesson in History” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through July 16)

“Each One Teach One: Preserving Legacy in Perpetuity” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Aug. 27)

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30, 2024)


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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