Top 20 NJ Arts Events of Week: North to Shore in Asbury Park; George Strait, more

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Lake Street Dive will perform at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, June 14.

Billing itself as “The Festival Only Jersey Can Handle,” The North to Shore Festival will return for its second annual edition, with a combination of free and ticketed events this month, in the fields of music, comedy, theater, poetry, family entertainment and more. Events will take place in Asbury Park, June 10-16; Atlantic City, June 17-23; and Newark, June 24-30.

Asbury Park events will include Alexander Simone & the Whodat? Live Crew at The Watermark, June 11 at 8 p.m.; Gary Clark Jr. at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, June 12 at 5 p.m.; Band of Horses at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, June 13 at 6:30 p.m.; Geena Buono’s show “She’s NorMale: A Transgender Odyssey” at The Showroom, June 13-15 at 7 p.m.; Lake Street Dive at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, June 14 at 5 p.m.; The Weeklings at The Wonder Bar, June 14 at 8 p.m.; Bleachers’ “Shadow of the City” festival at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, June 15 at 2 p.m.; Dramarama at The Wonder Bar, June 15 at 8 p.m.; Steve Forbert and Vini Lopez’s Wonderful Winos at St. John’s Island in Sunset Lake, June 16 at 2 p.m.; and a tribute to Clarence Clemons featuring his son Jarod and Jarod’s band The Late Nights at The Wonder Bar, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be an “Asbury Underground” event, June 15 from noon to 7 p.m., with performances in restaurants, galleries and other locations throughout downtown Asbury Park.

For more information and complete listings, visit

Here is a roundup of other arts events taking place around New Jersey, through June 13.

George Strait, left, Christ Stapleton, right, and Little Big Town, bottom, will perform at MetLife Stadium, June 8.


Country superstar George Strait billed his 2013-14 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour as his last. But to no one’s surprise, he is back on the road again this summer, with a short tour that comes to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, June 8 at 5:45 p.m., with Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town also performing.

Nick Corasaniti’s book “I Don’t Want to Go Home: The Oral History of The Stone Pony” was released on June 4, and on June 8 at 7 p.m., The Stone Pony itself will host a book release party with, naturally enough, lots of music. Marc Ribler of Little Steven Van Zandt’s Disciples of Soul will lead the house band and past or present members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes, The Smithereens, The Gaslight Anthem, Skid Row, The Bouncing Souls, Cats on a Smooth Surface and other groups are planning to attend and/or perform.

• John Fogerty is touring with George Thorogood & the Destroyers this summer, with stops including The Freedom Pavilion Center in Camden, June 7 at 6:30 p.m.; and The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. The shows are part of Fogerty’s Celebration Tour, which is being advertising as “celebrating his songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival.”

Fogerty said in a press release, “George and I have done shows together before but for years we’ve talked about doing a full tour together. This summer we decided time is short, we better do this now!”

The band Hearty Har, featuring Fogerty’s sons Shane and Tyler, will open the shows and also back Fogerty.

nj pop rock listings june

Joe Jackson, left, and “Max Champion” will perform at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, June 13.

The ever-adventurous Joe Jackson‘s 2023 album Mr. Joe Jackson Presents Max Champion in ‘What a Racket!’ features Jackson in the persona of a fictional early 20th century London music hall performer, and he is performing songs from it, as well as older material, on his current tour, which will come to The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, June 13 at 8 p.m.

New wave groups Wang Chung (“Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” “Dance Hall Days”), The Motels (“Suddenly Last Summer,” “Only the Lonely”) and Naked Eyes (“Always Something There to Remind Me,” “Promises, Promises”) are teaming up for a tour, “Abducted by the ’80s,” that will come to The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, June 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The Outpost in the Burbs usually presents its concerts indoors, but will move outdoors, June 9 at 4 p.m., for a show by Jill Sobule, with Karyn Kuhl opening, on the grounds of The Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair.

Austin-based R&B/soul performer Jackie Venson will kick off the 10th annual season of mainstage concerts at Ross Farm in Basking Ridge with a show, June 8 at 6 p.m.

The series will continue with Christian Lopez, June 22; The Young Fables, July 13; and Allison Russell, July 28.

LaLa & Element 88 will perform at the “Mississippi Delta Meets the Jersey Shore” concert presented by The Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music at The Lauren K. Woods Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, June 7 at 8 p.m.


Matt Doyle — the 2022 Tony winner, for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, for “Company” — will perform at Revelry: A Summer Soiree & Gala Concert Fundraiser, benefiting The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, June 13 at 6 p.m., with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction at Mead Hall at Drew University in Madison, and Doyle’s performance taking place at Drew’s F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.

This year’s Princeton Festival will begin with a performance by soprano Angel Blue with The Princeton Symphony Orchestra, June 7 at 8 p.m. at Morven Museum & Garden. The concert will include arias by Puccini, Verdi and Gershwin, and orchestral works by Dvořák, Puccini, Chapí and Delius.

For a complete list of Princeton Festival events, visit

The Crossroads Theatre Company will present Somi Kakoma in a concert titled “The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba,” June 7 at 11:30 a.m. and June 8 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, with a show-opening tribute to Hugh Masekela by Bongi Duma.

Makeba, who died in 2008, and Masekela, who died in 2018, were both icons of South African music who were married briefly in the 1960s and continued to work together, at times, in subsequent decades.

South Valley BBQ & Lounge in West Orange is kicking off a “Sunset Sounds and Sips” series of Friday night jazz shows with Rafiki (featuring Radam Schwartz, Norman Mann and others), June 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Other bookings include Dave Stryker, June 14; and the steelpan group DNA Music, June 21.

Crystal A. Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden.


August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” will be presented at The Two River Theater in Red Bank, June 8-9, 12-16, 19-23 and 26-30.

“Gem of the Ocean” is part of Wilson’s acclaimed “Pittsburgh Cycle” (also known as the “Century Cycle”), a series of 10 plays about African-American life in the 20th century, with one set in each of the century’s decades. Though the first in the series, chronologically — it is set in 1904 — it was the second-to-last to be written, premiering in April 2003, two and a half years before Wilson’s death.

Cast members will include spouses (and frequent Two River Theater actors) Crystal A. Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden, and Tony winner Bill Irwin.

The Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge will present Elaine Bromka in “Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty,” June 9 at 2:30 p.m. In it, Bromka portrays three American First Ladies: Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford. (see video below)

Bromka co-wrote the play, getting the idea after playing eight First Ladies opposite impressionist Rich Little in the PBS show “The Presidents.”

The Lord Stirling Theater Company will present “The Wisdom of Eve” at The Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge, June 7-9 and 14-15. This play was adapted for the stage by Mary Orr from her 1946 short story about a manipulative young understudy who plots to get her big break, at the expense of the older leading lady. The short story was also made into a radio drama and the Oscar-winning film, “All About Eve.”



• Jay Leno will do standup at The State Theatre in New Brunswick, June 8 at 7:30 p.m., with singer-songwriter Emily Grove opening. Tickets are available for either the show alone, or as part of the theater’s annual Benefit Gala, which also will include a cocktail and dinner reception at 5 p.m., and an after-party with more food and drinks and dancing to a live band.

Leno also will perform at Caesars in Atlantic City, June 7 at 9 p.m.

The Bell Theater at Bell Works in Holmdel is starting a new series of Bell Comedy Nights, starting with Ophira Eisenberg — who hosted NPR’s “Ask Me Another” quiz show during its 2012-2021 run, and currently hosts the “Parenting Is a Joke” podcast — on June 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Future comedians in the series will include Carmen Lynch, July 11; Nick Griffin, Aug. 7; Jason Salmon, Sept. 12; and Mike Vecchione, Oct. 17.

The cover of Joan Baez’s book, “When You See My Mother, Ask Her to Dance.”


• Joan Baez will sign copies of her poetry collection “When You See My Mother, Ask Her to Dance” — her first book of poetry, ever — June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood.

According to publicity material, in the book, Baez “shares poems for or about her contemporaries (such as Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, and Jimi Hendrix), reflections from her childhood, personal thoughts, and cherished memories of her family, including pieces about her younger sister, singer-songwriter Mimi Fariña. Speaking to the people, places, and moments that have had the greatest impact on her art, this collection is an inspiring personal diary in the form of poetry.”

Click HERE for a new interview with Baez about the book and more.


Hoboken’s Eliot Katz will host a benefit with music and poetry for New Jersey Peace Action — a chapter of the grassroots peace advocacy group Peace Action — at Hoboken’s 503 Social Club, June 13 at 7 p.m. Performers will include the musicians Elena Skye and Boo Reiners of the Demolition String Band, Karyn Kuhl and Adam Bernstein, and poets Danny Shot, Vivian Demuth and Joel Lewis. In addition to hosting, Katz will also read.

Peace Action, formerly known as SANE/FREEZE, has been advocating for more than 60 years for a world free of nuclear weapons and to reduce “the exorbitant U.S. military budget to leave more funding for social and environmental needs,” according to a press release.


“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey at Drew University, Madison. (Through June 9)

“Queen of the Night at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through June 9)

“Evita” at Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal. (Through June 16)

“George Segal: Themes and Variations at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through July 31)


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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