Top 15 NJ Arts Events of Week: Five Steely Dan shows, Chiller Theatre Expo, more

by JAY LUSTIG
nj steely dan 2021

Donald Fagen and Steely Dan will perform in Red Bank and Morristown.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 7:

MUSIC

• Steely Dan‘s Absolutely Normal Tour will come to The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Nov. 1, before four concerts at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Nov. 3-4 and 6-7. Each of the Morristown shows will have a different focus. Nov. 3 will feature the album The Royal Scam in its entirety. Nov. 4 and 7 will feature Gaucho and Aja, respectively, while Nov. 6 will be devoted to “Greatest Hits.”

(Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker died in 2017, but singer-songwriter-keyboardist Donald Fagen has kept the band going with most of the same musicians since then.)

The 2021 edition of the Lantern Tour, which was presented for the first time in 2018, will include a concert at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m., with a lineup of Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Amy Helm, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, and Gaby Moreno. This show is part of a three-city mini-tour that also will include dates in Tysons, Va., and Munhall, Pa. Proceeds will benefit the Women’s Refugee Commission, which protects women and children fleeing danger and crisis.

The show can’t happen at its usual home, Asbury Park’s Convention Hall, this year, because that venue is closed for repairs. But following annual tradition, Asbury Park bands will perform a Halloween week show as other artists at the “Local Legends Halloween Bash,” Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Stone Pony. Participants will include Des & the Swagmatics (appearing as Donna Summer), Foes of Fern (appearing as My Chemical Romance), Mister Tickle Hands, Daughter Vision (appearing as Devo), Natalie Farrell (appearing as Jennifer Lopez) and Olivia Bec (appearing as Nirvana).

MARK WEISS

D.D. VERNI

• D.D. Verni of the heavy metal band Overkill recently released his first album with his group The Cadillac Band, Let’s Rattle, and will perform with them at The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. The group plays high-energy, rockabilly-influenced big band swing music, more or less in the style of Brian Setzer, and a few musicians who have performed with Setzer are featured on the album.

Check out their “Cadillac Man,” below.

The Adelphi Orchestra will present an Opera Gala, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Fair Lawn Community Center Theatre, with Louis Kosma conducting a program of music by Verdi, Bizet, Puccini and Mascagni. Featured musicians will include Amy Shoremount-Obra, soprano; Theodore Chletsos, tenor; and Sooah Jeon, flute.

• Three Dog Night — which has been active since the ’60s and still features two original members, singer Danny Hutton and guitarist Michael Allsup — will perform at BergenPAC in Englewood, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. The group’s remarkable string of hits from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s included “Joy to the World,” “One,” “Black and White,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Never Been to Spain” and “The Show Must Go On.” Singer-songwriter Jay Psaros will open. (For a chance to win a pair of tickets, send an email to njartscontest@gmail.com by 10 a.m. Nov. 1 with the word “Dog” in the subject line.)

RICK WAKEMAN

Keyboardist Rick Wakeman — best known as an on-again, off-again member of Yes since the ’70s though he has also been a prolific solo artist and worked with David Bowie, Elton John, Lou Reed and others — brings his The Even Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour (which follows his Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour) to the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.; The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.; and the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.

DANCE

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater‘s “Dancing in the Dark: A Bewitching Night at the Ballet” — which it will present at the Theater at Bell Works in Holmdel, Oct. 30 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Oct. 31 at 2 and 5 p.m. — will include works inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” as well as a new take on the ballet “Giselle.”

“Look Who’s Coming to Dinner,” by choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland and her Company SBB, is a dance-theater piece inspired by the 1967 film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” which is about an interracial couple and the resistance they face from their families. It will be presented, as part of the Peak Performances series, at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Nov. 4-5 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 7 at 3 p.m.

ERIC BOGOSIAN

THEATER

The Black Box Performing Arts Center in Englewood will offer a workshop presentation of “1 + 1,” a new play by playwright and actor Eric Bogosian, from Nov. 4 to Dec. 5. According to the theater’s website, the play “explores how a modern woman can still rise and fall at whim of the men in her life. … an unsuspecting aspiring actress in Los Angeles makes a seemingly innocent choice that lures her into the lucrative world of internet porn, and her fate seems caught between the two men who couldn’t seem more opposite yet might have more in common than first meets the eye.”

Michael Gardiner, Katie North and Daniel Yaiullo will co-star. (Bogosian himself will not appear in the play.)

The Union-based Theater Project will offer an online version of “Dracula, The Radio Play” from 6 p.m. Oct. 29 to midnight Oct. 31. In a press release, Bill Mesce, who wrote the adaptation, called it “a tongue-in-cheek treatment. We wanted to play with the styles of old-time movies, radio, and horror films, which were scary but not too scary to bring the kids. They often included a lot of humor, which we’ve done here.”

MUSEUMS

• “Stowed Away: A Traveling Philographist and His Arctic Uke,” which opens at the Morris Museum in Morris Township on Oct. 29 and runs through March 6, features the ukulele that Richard Byrd took with him on his flight over the North Pole in 1926. Later, Richard Konter, who had participated in some of Byrd’s expeditions, collected, on it, signatures of scores of dignitaries, including Calvin Coolidge, Charles Lindbergh and Thomas Edison. The exhibition tells the story of the ukulele and ongoing efforts to verify the autographs (123 of the 158 are known with certainty).

FILM

• “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” (2010), the seventh of the eight films in the hit series, will be screened at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m., with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra playing Alexandre Desplat’s score live.

The Montclair Film Festival began on Oct. 21 and continues through Oct. 30. Among the films still to come is “Listening to Kenny G,” which takes a novel look at the jazz-pop saxophonist. According to the Montclair Film website, “Kenny G is the best-selling instrumentalist of all time, and ‘Listening to Kenny G’ examines why that makes certain people so angry.”

“Listening to Kenny G” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Clairidge Cinemas.

The cover of the book, “Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos.”

OTHER

“The Sopranos” cast members Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri) have collaborated on a new book, “Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos,” and will promote it with appearances at the Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.; and Bookends book store in Ridgewood, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. They will also do an online event for Barnes & Noble, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.; visit eventbrite.com.

Vincent Pastore (Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) will also appear at the Atlantic City event.

The Chiller Theatre Toy, Model and Film Expo takes place at the Hilton Parsippany, Oct. 29-31, with vendors, Halloween costume contests, and appearances by film, television and music stars including Ronny Cox, Morgan Fairchild, Loretta Swit, Tom Berenger, Jerry Mathers, Kid ‘n Play, Corbin Bernsen, Mackenzie Phillips, Donna D’Errico, Kevin Dillon and others.

Kean Stage will present “Selected Shorts: Tales After Dark,” Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside. This will be a live, Halloween-themed version of the public radio and podcast series “Selected Shorts.” The storytellers will be actors Boyd Gaines, Sonia Manzano and Anthony Rapp.

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