Top 15 NJ Arts Events of Week: Maplewoodstock ’23, Brandi Carlile, The Doobie Brothers, more

Maplewoodstock 2023 preview


Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through July 13.


Louis Cato (leader of The Late Show Band on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”), Mihali (the Maplewood-born co-founder of the jam band Twiddle), Remember Jones, Red Baraat, the Tia Holt Experience and Q-Tip Bandits will be among the bands at this year’s edition of the Maplewoodstock Festival, taking place at Memorial Park in Maplewood, July 8-9, with the music starting at noon each day. In addition to the bands, there will be art and food vendors, a beer garden and a Kid Zone.

There will be no admission charge. For the complete schedule, visit

Brandi Carlile will headline this year’s Count Basie Center Summer Gala, taking place at the Basie’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre in Red Bank, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. According to the theater’s website,, “Funds raised from the gala will go towards the Count Basie Center’s Forever For Everyone Endowment’s promise of providing hundreds of scholarships to study at the Count Basie Center Academy of the Arts, Conservatory of Music and other partnership programs.”

This is Carlile’s only currently scheduled New Jersey show, though she also will open for Pink at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., Aug. 3; and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Sept. 18-19.

BRT Weekend (Beach Roadtrip Weekend), which advertises itself as “The World’s Biggest Caribbean Music Festival,” takes place on the beach and Boardwalk of Atlantic City, July 7-9, with Machel Montano & the Monk Band, Kes the Band, Shenseea, Spice, Voice, Massive B, Majah Hype, Travis World and others, at Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk.

From left, Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston, Michael McDonald and John McFee of The Doobie Brothers.

• The Doobie Brothers‘ pandemic-delayed 50th anniversary tour will include shows at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, July 8 at 8 p.m. and July 9 at 7:30 p.m.; the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, July 11-12 at 7:30 p.m.; and the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.

The band will feature co-founding singer-songwriter-guitarist Pat Simmons as well as longtime multi-instrumentalist John McFee, plus Michael McDonald, who sang lead on hits such as “Takin’ it to the Streets,” “What a Fool Believes” and “Real Love” during his 1975-1982 stint with the group. Co-founder Tom Johnston, who had been planning to participate in the tour as well, is recovering from back surgery and unable to join his bandmates on the road.

The influential New Jersey punk-rock band The Misfits — billed as The Original Misfits and featuring original singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only as well as longtime lead guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein — will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, July 8 at 7 p.m., with The Gaslight Anthem and Fear opening.

Although The Gaslight Anthem’s brand of rock is very different from The Misfits’, Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon is a longtime fan. He explained in a 2020 interview: “When I was very young, I heard The Clash and Minor Threat, everybody, awesome. I did not see the difference between them and Bob Dylan, the difference between the things my mom was influencing me with and the things I was discovering on my own. They’re all colliding. There’s definitely no difference between Elvis Presley and the Ramones, that’s very close. Even the Misfits, they just brought in horror. I saw it as Americana storytelling.”

• Speed the Plough and Yung Wu, two New Jersey bands who share a lot of history as well as certain members (including Feelies guitarist Glenn Mercer), will perform at Prototype 237 in Paterson, July 8 at 8 p.m. Click here for a full-length preview.


Former Kiss guitarist and solo hitmaker (“New York Groove”) Ace Frehley will headline a benefit for the American Cancer Society taking place July 8 from noon to 10 p.m. at Schaefer Farms in Flemington. Other artists will include Big Hix, Lisa Bouchelle & the Bleu, C.C. Coletti, the Billy Joel tribute band We May Be Right and the John DeRosa Band.

A Food Truck & Jazz Festival that will take place at Monte Irvin/Orange Park in Orange, July 8 from noon to 8 p.m., will feature an abundance of jazz and blues talent, including Lance Bryant & Shout Big Band, John Lee & Friends, the Matt Chertkoff Trio featuring Houston Person, Blues People, the Victor Jones Orchestrio, the Dave Stryker Trio, the Bradford Hayes Quartet, J.D. Warren & the Rudiment and the Peter Lin Quartet (in a tribute to Slide Hampton). There will be no admission charge.

This year’s edition of NJPAC’s annual Horizon Sounds of the City series of free outdoor concerts begins, as it traditionally does, with Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue Dance Party, July 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. And it will continue with The Sugarhill Gang, July 20; “Newark Salutes Its Own,” July 27; Edgar Joel & Anthony Colón, Aug. 3; Kurtis Blow, Aug. 10; Kindred the Family Soul, Aug. 17; and Bilal, Aug. 24.


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present “And a Nightingale Sang …” at the F.M. Kirby Theatre at Drew University in Madison, with previews starting on July 12, the official opening night on July 16, and the last show on July 30. The 1977 play by C.P. Taylor, whose title was inspired by the frequently recorded song “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” is about a British working class family during World War II, and has often been described as a bittersweet comedy.

The Asbury Park Theater Company presents “The Bikinis: A Musical Beach Party” at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, from July 7 to July 22. The jukebox musical is about a group of four friends who formed a vocal group in the ’60s and are now reuniting for a benefit concert 20 years later, and features pop hits from the ’60s and ’70s such as “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss),” “Heat Wave,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” “I Will Survive” and “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.’ ”

Patrick Wilson in “Insidious: The Red Door.”


Patrick Wilson, the director and co-star of the new movie “Insidious: The Red Door,” will participate in a question-and-answer session at an 11:30 a.m. July 8 screening at The Clairidge in Montclair. (Wilson is a Montclair resident.) “The Red Door” is the fifth film in the supernatural horror movie series. Wilson previously appeared in 2011’s “Insidious” and 2013’s “Insidious: Chapter 2”; the other two installments are prequels. (See trailer for “Insidious: The Red Door,” below.)

A digitally restored version of the D.A. Pennebaker-directed 1979 concert film, “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars,” will be shown in more than 1,500 movie theaters worldwide — and in more than 500 in the United States, including many in New Jersey — this month. Click here to find locations. The footage was shot on July 3, 1973, at the Hammersmith Odeon (now the Eventim Apollo) in London, at the last concert appearance for David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona. A 50th anniversary soundtrack re-release, featuring remastered audio and new mixes by Tony Visconti, is due out Aug. 11 on the Rhino label.

Both the film and the soundtrack have been expanded to include Bowie’s cover, from the 1973 show, of Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around,” and his medley of “The Jean Genie” and The Beatles’ “Love Me Do.” Both numbers feature the late Jeff Beck on guitar.

The Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee presents a series of Martin Scorsese-directed films titled “Scorsese’s American Epics,” with screenings of “Casino,” July 8 at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.; “Gangs of New York,” July 8 at 7:15 and 10 p.m.; “The Irishman,” July 9 at 1 and 4:30 p.m.; and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” July 9 at 5 and 8 p.m.


An exhibition titled “Order’s Up! Paterson and the Rise of the New Jersey Diner” will open at the Paterson Museum on July 8 and run through Sept. 23. Michael Gabriele, whose books include “The History of Diners in New Jersey” and “Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community,” served as co-curator; Gabriele and museum director Giacomo DeStefano will appear at an opening reception, July 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.


“Spring Awakening”at Vanguard Theater, Montclair. (Through July 16)

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

“NJ & Me: Imperfect Together”at Drawing Rooms, Jersey City. Works by Alan Ostroski, Anne Percoco, Anne Trauben, Dorie Dahlberg, Doug Madill, Eileen Ferara, Edward Fausty, James Pustorino, Jean-Paul Picard, Jessica Rohrer, John T. Meehan III, Kevin McCaffrey, Lauren H. Adams, Sue Ellen Leys, Tim Daly, Tim Heins. (Through July 29)

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

“Where There’s Smoke” by Lance Weiler at ArtYard, Frenchtown. (Through Oct. 1)

“Spiral Q: The Parade” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

“Local Voices: Memories, Stories and Portraits” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

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


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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