Top 15 NJ Arts Events of Week: Ms. Lauryn Hill and The Fugees, ‘We Can Survive,’ more

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Ms. Lauryn Hill will perform with and without The Fugees at the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 17.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Oct. 19.


• Ms. Lauryn Hill is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with a tour that comes to the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. She will perform the album — which features the hits “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Ex-Factor” and “Everything Is Everything” and won five Grammys, including Album of the Year — in its entirety, and also participate in a reunion set with her group The Fugees.

Hill said in a press release: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is and was a love song to my parents, my family, my people, my musical and cultural forebears, my teachers, my loves, my Creator. I wrote love songs and protest songs — (still love songs) about the subjects and interests that inspired and moved me. I was confident that what inspired me would resonate with an audience that had been led to believe that songs of that kind could only live in the past.

“I loved music, I loved people, I truly felt grateful to God for my life, and genuinely blessed to have a platform where I could share wisdom and perspective through music. I felt a charge to challenge the idea that certain kinds of expression and/or certain kinds of people didn’t belong in certain places. I loved showing what could work or happen provided there was imagination, creativity and LOVE leading the way.”


Maroon 5, OneRepublic and Kelly Clarkson will be among the performers at Audacy’s 10th annual “We Can Survive” concert, which will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. David Kushner and fan vote contest winner Izza are also on the bill.

According to a press release, the show is “Part of Audacy’s ongoing I’m Listening mental health initiative (and) celebrates music’s power to unite people, strengthening mental health in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”

Audacy is a network for more than 200 radio stations and thousands of podcasts. The previous “We Can Survive” concerts have taken place in Los Angeles.

The New Jersey Symphony will kick off its 2023-24 season with concerts at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. Robert Spano will conduct, pianist Aaron Diehl will be featured on William Grant Still’s “Out of the Silence,” and Diehl’s jazz trio (also featuring bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Aaron Kimmel) will perform on Duke Ellington’s “New World a-Comin’.”

The symphony will also perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” and Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja, Anthem for Unity.”

The Australian Haydn Ensemble.

• The Australian Haydn Ensemble will present two different programs at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, Oct. 18. There will be a chamber music concert at 2:30 p.m., featuring Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major; Boccherini’s String Quintet in E Major, Op. 11, No. 5; and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London,” arr. Salomon (flute and string quartet). Then the full chamber orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m., with the program including Johann Christian Bach’s Symphony in G Minor Op. 6, No. 6; Haydn’s Symphony No. 6, “Le Matin” and Symphony No. 8, “Le Soir”; and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A Major.

• Dave Rimelis’ Americana will perform country, bluegrass and Cajun music, with a guest appearance by singer Brynn Stanley, at the Presbyterian Church of Livingston, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. The concert is being presented by the Livingston Philanthropies organization in partnership with the West Essex Tribune, and proceeds will be used to assist Livingston Philanthropies in its mission “to provide for the homeless, profoundly poor & disenfranchised.”

Grace Episcopal Church in Madison will present a “Beer Choir” event, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. All attendees will be encourages join in on group, piano-accompanied version of drinking songs, pop songs, hymns, choral songs and original songs from Michael Engelhardt’s 2015 book, “Beer Choir Hymnal.” Glenbrook Brewery in Morristown will supply the beer. Proceeds will benefit the Harmonium Choral Society.


Violent Femmes (from left, Brian Ritchie, John Sparrow, Gordon Gano and Blaise Garza).

• Violent Femmes will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their audaciously original self-titled debut album — whose songs such as “Add It Up,” “Blister in the Sun” and “Kiss Off” remain fan favorites — by performing it in its entirety at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. Singer-guitarist Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie remain from the album’s lineup; they will be joined by drummer John Sparrow and saxophonist-keyboardist Blaise Garza.

The duo Quintron & Miss Pussycat will open.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, this year, NJPAC will present, on Zoom, “A Conversation on Hip-Hop’s First Five Decades,” Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Documentary film maker, professor and record producer Bill Stephney will moderate, and panelists will include Chuck D of Public Enemy; rapper and NJPAC teaching artist MC Debbie D; and DJ and producer GrandMixer DXT. The documentary “From Scratch: The Birth of Hip Hop” will be the springboard for the discussion, so it is recommended that participants watch it in advance, HERE.

Drummer Chad Wackerman, who played with Frank Zappa throughout most of the ’80s, will perform with band The Furious Bongos at Roy’s Hall in Blairstown, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. While the group plays Zappa’s music, according to their web site, “we don’t think playing Song X from Album Y note-for-note while staring at our shoes is the proper way to go about this. The result of that approach (combined with a lot of homework) is a show that pays respect to Zappa’s legacy, but is also new and different and dangerous and FUN, with lots of eyebrows.”

Kate Baldwin and Aaron Lazar co-starred in “The Bridges of Madison County” at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, last year.

• Kate Baldwin and Aaron Lazar, who co-starred in a memorable 2022 production of “The Bridges of Madison County” at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, will return to the venue and sing some of those songs again, and more, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m., in a show titled “Celebrating Broadway & Hollywood.” The American Pops Orchestra, conducted by Luke Frazier, will be featured along with them.


American Repertory Ballet will present a program titled “Elevate,” Oct. 13-14 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 14-15 at 2 p.m. at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. New works choreographed by Meredith Rainey (with new music by Mirand Scripp) and Stephanie Martinez will be performed, as will Ethan Stiefel’s “Wood Work,” set to modern renditions of Nordic folk songs played by the Danish String Quartet.


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present “A Man for All Seasons” at its F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre at Drew University in Madison, with previews starting on Oct. 18, the official opening night on Oct. 21, and the last show on Nov. 5. Robert Bolt’s 1960 play about 16th century British Lord Chancellor Thomas More’s conflict with King Henry VIII also was made into an Oscar-winning 1966 film starring Paul Scofield.

The Ritz Theatre Company in Haddon Heights will present August Wilson’s explosive drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” about a 1920 blues diva and the tensions among her supporting musicians, Oct. 13-15, 18, 20-22, 25 and 28-29.

Growing Stage presents “The Hardy Boys in The Mystery of the Haunted House,” Oct. 13-29.


The Growing Stage at the Palace Theatre in Netcong will launch its 42nd season, Oct. 13-15, 21-22 and 28-29, with “The Hardy Boys in The Mystery of the Haunted Hause,” based on the 1927 novel “The House on the Cliff” from the popular Hardy Boys series, about amateur teenaged sleuths Frank and Joe Hardy. “The House on the Cliff” was the second book in the series; there were nearly 200 more before the series came to an end in 2005.


More than 100 artists will display their work at this year’s edition of the annual Art Fair 14C, taking place Oct. 12-15 at the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The fair is part of Jersey City Art Week, which also includes the 34th annual JCAST (Jersey City Art and Studio Tour), the International Sculpture Center’s International Sculpture Conference, and more.


• “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour,” a concert film documenting Swift’s ongoing The Eras Tour, which began in March and is currently scheduled to end in November 2024, will be released to AMC theaters and other venues on Oct. 13. According to a press release, “Every U.S. AMC Theatre location will run at least four showtimes per day on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.” To find out where the film is playing, visit and

The tour included three shows at MetLife Stadium in May; click HERE for the review, plus a photo gallery.


“The Pianist,” presented by George Street Playhouse at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. (Through Oct. 22)

“Hair” at Two River Theater, Red Bank. (Through Oct. 22)

“Romeo & Juliet,” presented by The Curtain at Nimbus Arts Center, Jersey City. (Through Oct. 22)

“Anne Trauben: Step Up on a Stool to Reach the Sky” at Watchung Arts Center. (Through Oct. 22)

“Mona Brody: Portals, Apparitions and Other Voices” at Watchung Arts Center. (Through Oct. 22)

“Welcome to Matteson!” at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. (Through Oct. 29)

“Searching for Drama,” works by Allan Gorman at BrassWorks Gallery, Montclair. (Through Dec. 15)

“It’s Not Paint!,” works by Lisa Lackey at Hillside Square Gallery, Montclair. (Through Dec. 15)

“The Brodsky Center at Rutgers University: Three Decades, 1986-2017” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through Dec. 22)

“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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