Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through July 25.
• New Jersey’s two biggest amphitheaters, the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, will reopen for the first time since 2019 with shows by the veteran jazz-rock group Chicago, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. (with singer-songwriter Isabela Nanni opening) in Holmdel, and July 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Camden. Both shows were originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed because of the pandemic; original tickets will be honored.
Both shows are billed as “An Evening With Chicago and Their Greatest Hits.”
• The Asbury Park rock club The Saint, which has probably presented more shows than any other New Jersey venue since opening in 1994, will, fittingly, reopen with a double-header. Helen O’Shea & the Shanakees will celebrate the release of their new Know You’re Enough album, July 18 at 1 p.m., with Rick Winowski & MMB and Mike & Jen also performing. And July 18 at 7:30 p.m., the Michigan-based band Electric Six will perform, with Volk opening.
• Also reopening is White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, which will presents local indie-rock band Whiner, PYNKIE, Viktor.digital and Long Neck, July 15 at 8 p.m.
• The free, summertime Sounds of the City series — an annual outdoor tradition at NJPAC since the venue opened more than 20 years ago — will return in 2021 after being cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The first show will be DJ Felix Hernandez’ Rhythm Revue, featuring classic soul music, July 15 at 6 p.m. Upcoming performers in the series will include reggae group Third World, hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, and salsa star Tony Vega. For the complete schedule, visit njpac.org/series/horizon-foundation-sounds-of-the-city.
• Former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page will present a free concert at McLaughlin-Norcross Memorial Dell in Haddon Heights, July 21 at 7 p.m., with The Classic Brown (featuring singer-songwriter Stacey Brown-Downham) opening. The show is part of Camden County’s Sundown Music Series.
• Larry Kirwan, best known as the frontman of the Celtic rock group Black 47, will perform music (backed by Deni Bonet on violin and accordion) and sign copies of his new novel “Rockaway Blue,” set in post-9/11 Queens, N.Y., at a show titled “Rock and Read: The Songs and Stories of Black 47,” July 18 at 6 p.m. at Salt Gastropub in Stanhope.
• Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses will bring their high-energy stage show celebrating Louis Prima Sr.’s music (and including some other swinging material as well) to the free Music Mondays series at Springwood Park in Asbury Park, July 19 at 6 p.m. Louis Prima Sr. was extremely popular from the ’40s to the ’60s with hits such as “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” “Just a Gigolo,” “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Angelina”; Louis Prima Jr. is his youngest child.
• Kean Stage kicks off a summer series of outdoor shows at the lawn of Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside with a concert by jazz guitarist John Scofield‘s trio (featuring bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart), July 17 at 6:30 p.m. (UPDATE: Due to the threat of rain, this show will actually move inside of Enlow Recital Hall.)
• The Monmouth County Fair, which is being held at the East Freehold Fairgrounds, July 21-25, will feature among its attractions nightly music, with the following lineup: The Big House Band and The Jugtown Mountain Band, July 21; Shore Thing, July 22; After the Reign, July 23; Remember Jones and the Motor City Revue, and Yosi & the Superdads, July 24; and Yosi & the Superdads, Chorus of the Atlantic and The Last Whippoorwill, July 25.
• The Summer Jazz Room Series at the Shea Center for the Arts at William Paterson University in Wayne will present daily concerts at 7:30 p.m. July 19-23: The Dave Stryker Quartet with Warren Wolf, July 19: The AVQ (John Allred with Warren Vaché), July 20; The Samara Joy Quartet, July 21; Frank Lacy’s Tromboniverse, July 22; and The Sylvia Cuenca Group, July 23.
• The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will return to its usual outdoor summer stage — the amphitheater at St. Elizabeth University in Florham Park — this year, presenting two shows in repertory: Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” in rotation with “Snug,” a new play written by the theater’s artistic director, Bonne J. Monte.
The shows were originally scheduled to open on July 8 and 9, but the openings were moved — after the stage set sustained major damage in a storm — to July 13 (for “Snug”) and July 14 (for “The Comedy of Errors”).
“Snug” was “inspired by the company of actors with whom I have had the great privilege of working beside throughout the pandemic,” wrote Monte in a group email to the theater’s patrons, volunteers and artists. “It is an homage to them and to Shakespeare’s ever-popular band of Mechanicals from his masterpiece ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ ”
The plays will run through Aug. 1. As usual for this venue, free tickets will be available for those 17 and younger.
• The Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center will present “Last Train to Nibroc” — Arlene Hutton’s 1999 play about a young man and a young woman who fall in love after a chance meeting on a train in the 1940s — at the porch of the duCret School of the Arts in Plainfield, with audience members sitting on the lawn. Shows are scheduled for July 16-17 at 6:30 p.m. and July 18 at 3 p.m.
• In conjunction with its summer music series that launches with John Scofield (see above), Kean Stage will begin a summer series of family shows on the lawn of Enlow Recital Hall with Yates Musical Theatre’s production of the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” July 17 at 11 a.m. (UPDATE: Due to the threat of rain, this show will actually move inside of Enlow Recital Hall.)
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