Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Heart, ‘Chasing Rainbows,’ Hoboken Arts and Music Fest, more

Heart NJ preview


Nancy Wilson, left, and Ann Wilson of Heart.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Oct. 2:


Heart’s Love Alive Tour comes to the Prudential Center in Newark, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Maggie Rose opening. The tour is Heart’s first in three years, and is named after a song from their 1977 Little Queen album. Sisters Ann Wilson, on vocals, and Nancy Wilson, on guitar and vocals, will be joined by guitarist Craig Bartock, bassist Dan Rothchild, keyboardist Chris Joyner and drummer Ben Smith.

The always dynamic Remember Jones will headline the fall edition of the biannual Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, a free event scheduled for Sept. 29. This will be an all-originals (or mostly originals) show, not a themed show such as the Queen tribute concerts Remember Jones has scheduled at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Oct. 5, and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Oct. 12. Other performers will include The Swingadelic Big Band, The Schramms, Cliff Westfall, The James Calleo Band, Manouche Bag, Gregory McLoughlin, Maxima Alerta, School of Rock, Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band and Sings for Seeds. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be three stages, plus activities for children, and more than 300 artists, food vendors and others will line Hoboken’s main drag, Washington Street, which will be closed to traffic.

NJPAC season


An all-star cast (Dianne Reeves, Yolanda Adams, Davell Crawford and Jarrod Spector, with music director Ray Chew) will present a tribute concert titled “Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles,” Sept. 28 at 8:30 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark. The show is being presented as part of the Women’s Association of NJPAC’s Spotlight Gala 2019, benefiting NJPAC’s general operating fund and its arts education programs.

The 2019 Jersey Pro-Am, a Sept. 30 golf event at Eagle Oaks Golf Club in Farmingdale, will be preceded by a charity concert, the Jersey Pro-Am Jam, taking place at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. Bobby Bandiera and Friends will perform at the Pony, with the friends scheduled to include Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez, Gene Cornish (of The Rascals), Jim Babjak (of The Smithereens) and Patrick Davis. Big Joe Henry of New Jersey 101.5 FM will host. Organizations that will receive proceeds will include the STI Cares Music Bus program, which creates after-school programs to further arts and music education; and the Asbury Park Music Foundation.

In a show postponed from June, Brian Wilson and his band (featuring fellow Beach Boys alumni Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, and Jardine’s strong-voiced son Matt Jardine) will perform the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds in its entirety, as well as other songs, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m.

Guitarist Glenn Alexander, who is a member of Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes and also fronts his own Shadowland band, will perform with bassist Dave LaRue (who has played with the Steve Morse Band, the Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani and others) in a trio titled LAX and also featuring drummer Van Romaine at Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. The show, which is presented by NJ Proghouse, will also feature an opening set by Randy McStine.

Tristan McIntosh as Linda Ronstadt.

• Tristan McIntosh, who finished sixth in the 2016 season of “American Idol,” will present her Linda Ronstadt tribute, titled “The Linda Ronstadt Experience,” Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. at Roy’s Hall in Blairstown.

In a benefit for the Asbury Park Music Foundation organized by rock journalist Bob Makin (“Makin Waves”), The Asbury All Star Abbey Road, led by Brian Erickson of The Extensions, will play songs from the landmark Beatles album, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The band includes members of Levy & the Oaks, The Burns, The Foes of Fern, The Vaughns, Des & the Swagmatics, Dave Mooney & Viewers Like You and The Paper Jets, and the show will also feature performances by Levy & the Oaks, Des & the Swagmatics and The Foes of Fern.

Asbury Park probably has more musicians per capita than any other New Jersey city, so it’s a perfect setting for a Porchfest, and that’s exactly what will take place there Sept. 28 from noon to 6 p.m., at various locations around town, with free, family-friendly sets by the The Vansaders, The Shady Street Show Band, Dark City Strings, Bobby Mahoney, Emily Grove, The Jo Wymer Band, The Mike Montrey Band, P-Funk North, Carl Chesna & Co., Colton Kayser, The Wag, Joshua Van Ness, Geena and Dragster, Pamela Flores, Drew the Recluse, Paul Whistler, Dave Vargo, The Chuck Lambert Band and many others.

NJ Jazz Listings



The Hackensack Performing Arts Center will present a benefit for the Center for Food Action titled “Autumn Leaves Sunday Afternoon Jazz Friendraiser,” Sept. 29 from 3 to 6 p.m., with the James Austin Trio, Alexis Morrast, Warren Vaché Jr. and Friends, and Adele LaTourette.

Dolan Hall at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown will be the scene of a “Fall Harvest Jam,” Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m., featuring jazz clarinetist Dan Levinson and singer Molly Ryan. They’ll be joined by trumpeter Mike Davis, pianist Rossano Sportiello, trombonist Rob Edwards, bassist Rob Adkins and drummer Kevin Dorn. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email with the word “Harvest” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Oct. 1.)


The Latin Grammy-winning, boundary-stretching, all-female mariachi group Flor de Toloache will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.



• “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.

• “That Golden Girls Show! — A Puppet Parody!”, which debuted off-Broadway in 2016 and now tours, will be at the Avenel Performing Arts Center, Sept. 25-28 and Oct. 2-5 at 8 p.m.; Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.; and Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.


The Liberty Hall Dance Festival takes place at the Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union, Sept. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., with “dance performances inspired by moments in history” by Anthony Alterio, Armada Dance/Jen Roit, Augie Sherman, Breathing Art Company/Toscana Dance Hub, Callie Hatchett Dance, Heather Harrington, Jessica Moore Ruhlin, Jessica Totaro/Movement Arts Project, The Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, Melani De Guzman & Sarah Favinger, Phoebe Ballard, The Well Performance Project, Yamini Kalluri & Parthiv Mohan and Zoe Walders. There will also be movement lessons, and museum tours.


The 10th annual Hoboken Comedy Festival runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, with shows at various locations, including an already sold-out appearance by Artie Lange at Arthur’s Steak House on Oct. 3. Other comedians who will perform at the festival include Keith Alberstadt, Brett Druck, Dan Frigolette, Krystyna Hutchinson, Gina Brillon, Nimesh Patel, Drew Michael, Matt Richards, Daniel Simonsen, Mike Britt and Nick Callas.


Chevy Chase will talk about “Caddyshack,” the classic 1980 comedy in which he co-starred, after a screening of it at the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.



Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg is hosting singer-songwriter Mike Aiken’s Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch, Sept. 26-28. The fest will include a “Songwriters in the Round” concert at RVCC’s Nash Theatre, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., featuring Mike Aiken, LEA and Tim Buppert; workshops in guitar (Ron Fetner), songwriting (Mike Aiken) and indie music promotion (Amy Aiken), Sept. 28 at 11 a.m.; and a Mike Aiken concert also featuring two open mic night winners in the Nash Theatre, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

Also, RVCC’s Community Day will take place Sept. 28 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., with a free Concert on the Quad (featuring Macheis Wind, Jonathan Beedle, Starr Celeste, MSG Acoustic Blues Trio, Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, and Jonathan Byrd); a drop-in “Pickers Tent”; free laser shows in the RVCC planetarium; an art exhibition featuring works by RVCC faculty members; free hand and arm massages; children’s activities; and food and crafts vendors.

New Jersey Repertory Company will present an arts festival titled Some Like It Hot, Oct. 2-6, at its West End Arts Center, with Theatre Brut (featuring 16 one-act plays, four per night from Oct. 3 to Oct. 6), poetry, music, and art and photo exhibits.

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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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