Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Hugh Jackman, Tone, Whoopi Goldberg, more

Hugh Jackman Newark preview


A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Oct. 9:


Hugh Jackman will bring his first world tour, titled “Hugh Jackman — The Man. The Music. The Show.,” to the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The tour features the Tony- and Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated, 50-year-old actor singing songs from “The Greatest Showman,” “Les Misérables” and “The Boy From Oz” as well as pop standards with an orchestra. Keala Settle, an actress and singer who appeared in “The Greatest Showman,” will make a guest appearance as part of the show.

Country-rock star Sturgill Simpson will present a benefit for the Special Forces Foundation (formerly the Green Beret Foundation) at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

Suffering from a severe respiratory infection, dehydration and fatigue, Lou Gramm was hospitalized last week and will be unable to appear at Foreigner’s “Double Vision: Then & Now” show scheduled for Oct. 4 at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. However, the show will go on without him. The “Double Vision: Then & Now” show was conceived to celebrate the band’s 1978 Double Vision album (featuring the hits “Hot Blooded” and “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” in addition to the title track) with both current band members and surviving original members.


In 1974, E Street Band keyboardist David Sancious and drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter left the band, together, to form their own jazz fusion group, Tone, with bassist Gerald Carboy. Oct. 6 at 7 p.m., Sancious, Carter and Carboy will reunite for “An Evening With Tone,” a free event at the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University is presenting the event, which will be hosted by Bob Santelli, founding executive director of the Grammy Museum. He’ll interview the musicians before their performance.

With the help of Broadway performers Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther, Rob Kapilow will explore the music of Cole Porter and other Great American Songbook songwriters in an event titled “What Makes It Great,” Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township.

A new jazz series at the Sprig Market Cafe at the Dry Dock Bistro in Kearney will feature music every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., co-produced by Riverview Jazz, which also organizes the Jersey City Jazz Festival. There is no admission charge, and a tasting menu is offered for $25 a person. The October schedule includes trumpeter James Gibbs III, Oct. 9; guitarist Paul Meyers and percussionist Nanny Assis, Oct. 16; guitarist Bob DeVos and bassist Steve LaSpina, Oct. 23; and pianist Oscar Perez, Oct. 30.



Pianist Simone Dinnerstein will team up with The Shanghai Quartet for a concert at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., as part of the Peak Performances series. The program will include Mozart’s Piano Quartet, No. 1 in G. Minor, K. 478; Mozart’s Piano Quartet, No. 2 in E Flat Major, K. 493; and Bedrich Smetana’s String Quartet, No. 1 in E Minor, “From My Life.”

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra will present a concert titled “Invitation to the Waltz,” Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield, and Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. at The Concert Hall at Drew University in Madison. David Wroe will conduct, Jiapeng Nie will be featured on cello, and the program will include Johann Strauss II’s Emperor Waltz, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, and Richard Strauss’ Waltzes From Der Rosenkavalier.


• “Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz,” a musical about Judy Garland’s early years (see video below), will make its New Jersey premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, beginning previews on Sept. 26, officially opening on Oct. 6 and running through Oct. 27. The cast includes Ruby Rakos, who appeared in “Billy Elliot” on Broadway, as Garland, and Max von Essen, a Tony nominee (for “An American in Paris”), as her father.

Dominique Salerno plays 30 characters, all while staying within the confines of a three-foot by three-foot by two-foot box, in “The Box Show,” which she will present at Art House Productions in Jersey City, Oct. 4-5 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. She has previously presented this show off-Broadway and in Chicago. (see video below)


The Growing Stage in Netcong will kick off its 2019-20 season with “Matilda the Musical,” based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel, Oct. 4, 11 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 at 4 p.m. The 2013-17 Broadway production won five Tonys.



• William Shatner will talk about the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and answer questions after screenings of it at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.

• Sarfraz Manzoor, the Pakistani-British journalist upon whose memoir the movie “Blinded by the Light” was based, will talk about his life and work at the Pollak Theater at Monmouth University in West Long Branch at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8. The event is free. Manzoor adapted his own 2007 memoir “Greetings From Bury Park” for the screenplay of the movie, which was released in the United States on Aug. 16. The film is basically about the role Bruce Springsteen’s music played in Manzoor’s life.

The Asbury Park Music and Film Festival, which takes place in April, will kick off a fall screening series at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park with the concert film “Roger Waters: Us + Them,” featuring footage from the former Pink Floyd member’s 2017-28 tour, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.


The 29th annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour takes place Oct. 3-6, with exhibitions, music, talks, poetry readings, curated tours and more at various locations. A good place to start is JCAST HQ, a pop-up gallery and information hub at 2 Shore Lane, near the Newport PATH station. There will be a kick-off celebration there, Oct. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The offices of Verasoni Worldwide in Fairfield will present a exhibition titled “Emerging Art From War-Torn Syria: War & Hope,” with an invitation-only opening reception Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m., and open-to-the-public viewings from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 5 and from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 6. Featured artists will include Nizar Sabour, Bassem Dandouh, Asma Fayouni, Adnan Hamidah, Omran Younis, Reem Tarraf, Tony Khawam, Manhal Issa, Elias Ayoob, Rami Sabour, Nimat Badawi and Bachir Badawi.



• Whoopi Goldberg will sign copies of her home-entertaining book, “The Unqualified Hostess: I Do It My Way So You Can Too!,” Oct. 3 7 p.m. at Words in Maplewood.

The Montclair Art Museum‘s Free First Thursday Night will offer gallery tours plus special performances and activities, Oct. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m., with no admission charge. Among the attractions are hand-on art activities; a dance/music performance by Danielle Galietti and Matthew Runciman; music by the Silver Foxes; a screening of “I Am Montclair,” a film about disability awareness.; yoga and meditation; and food trucks.

Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., BergenPAC in Englewood will present a “Sinatra Meets the Sopranos” show: “Sopranos” actors Michael Imperioli (who played Christopher Moltisanti), Vincent Pastore (Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) will make appearances, telling stories about the landmark HBO series, and Michael Martocci will sing Sinatra songs with a 20-piece orchestra.

The McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton will present a production of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” Oct. 15-Nov. 4, and in anticipation of that, has scheduled some special events, including a free “Community Read-Aloud” of the complete 1818 novel, Oct. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library; and a screening of the 2017 movie “Mary Shelley” followed by a conversation with Princeton University English professor Susan Wolfson, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Garden Theatre.


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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