Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Royal Affair Tour, BeardFest, 6th Borough Comedy Festival, more

Yes NJ concerts


Yes (from left, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Alan White, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood) will headline the Royal Affair Tour.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through June 19:


Yes is headlining the Royal Affair Tour, a sort of traveling progressive-rock festival that will also feature Asia, John Lodge of The Moody Blues, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy (with guest vocalist Arthur Brown). There will be shows at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, June 15 at 7 p.m.; and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Palmer is also Asia’s drummer, and Yes guitarist Steve Howe, a co-founder of Asia, will play with that band for part of its set.

Bassist Billy Sherwood and keyboardist Geoff Downes are members of both Yes and Asia.

Brown is best known for “Fire,” his 1968 hit released under the name The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; Palmer did not play on the single but was a group member in 1968 and 1969.

In addition to Howe, Sherwood and Downes, current Yes members include drummers Alan White and Jay Schellen and singer Jon Davison.

The city of Hoboken held its 12th annual “Sinatra Idol” contest last year, and on June 13 at 7 p.m., four of the winners from various years — Greg Meyers, Tony Correo, Zack Alexander and Jerry Pearce — will sing songs associated with Ol’ Blue Eyes, backed by Swingadelic Big Band, at a free “Sinatra Showcase” at Hoboken’s Sinatra Park.

The New Jersey Proghouse organization, which has promoted prog-rock shows in the Garden State for the last 20 years, will celebrate its anniversary with two marathon days of music at Roxy and Dukes in Dunellen., June 15 at 11 a.m. and June 16 at noon. June 15 performers will include Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly, NDV (Nick D’Virgilio), The Tea Club, Brett Kull and Ray Weston (of echolyn), Randy McStine, and Advent. On June 16, the lineup will be The Devil’s Staircase (featuring Mattias Olsson), IZZ, No More Pain and Tammy Scheffer.

• “Rockin’ ” Rob Stoner — whose credits including playing bass on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Tour, and on Don McLean’s “American Pie” — will perform with his trio at Jiggs’ Corner in Butler, June 13 at 8 p.m.

Allison Semmes in “Oo-Bla-Dee” at Two River Theater in Red Bank.


Regina Taylor is best known as an actress, but she is also a playwright whose works include “Oo-Bla-Dee,” which won the American Critics’ Association award for best new play in 2000; and “Crowns,” which the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton produced in 2002 and revived in 2018. The Two River Theater in Red Bank is currently presenting “Oo-Bla-Dee,” which is about an African-American, all-female jazz band in the 1940s. The first preview was on June 8, the official opening night will be on June 14, and the last show in the run will be on June 30.

The annual Plays in the Park series at Roosevelt Park in Edison begins with the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical, “Evita,” which will be presented June 19-22 and 24-29 at 8 p.m. “Evita” will be followed by “Newsies,” July 10-13 and 15-10; and “The Addams Family,” July 31 and Aug. 1-3 and 5-10.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey at Drew University in Madison will open its 2019 season with “Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers.” Previews begin June 12, with opening night on June 15, and the last show on July 7. Ludwig’s adaptation, which was first produced in 2006, makes many changes to the classic story, including the introduction of a new female character: Sabine, the tomboy younger sister of of a musketeer who becomes involved in his adventures.

Avant-garde performance artist Penny Arcade, who is strongly associated with the Downtown New York arts scene, will make a rare trip out to New Jersey to present her “Longing Lasts Longer,” which she describes as “a rock n’ roll blend of stand-up comedy and memoir,” at the Avenel Arts Center, June 12 at 8 p.m.



The 6th Borough Comedy Festival will offer standup, improv, sketch comedy and podcast tapings at various venues in New York City’s unofficial sixth borough (i.e., Jersey City) from June 12 to June 15, culminating with standup performances by Jessica Kirson and Kevin Farley, a roast of Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop and other offerings at the city’s Harborside Atrium on June 15.


BeardFest, taking place June 13-15 at the Paradise Lakes Campground in Hammonton, bills itself as “A Three-Day Celebration of Creative Expression,” and features music, collaborative painting, and workshops on dance, yoga, comedy, ecology, holistic health and more. Musical acts scheduled to perform on two stages — with sets beginning at 4 p.m. June 13 and 11 a.m. June 14-15 — include Out of the Beardspace, The New Deal, Too Many Zooz, Anomalie, The Main Squeeze, Ghost-Note, Yellow Dubmarine, Becca Stevens, Deep Creature, Medusa’s Disco, Miss Cantaloupe, and the West Philly Orchestra. The annual event started in 2012 as a going away party for Out of the Beardspace, which was relocating from Cherry Hill to Virginia.

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