A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 28:
• John Legend released his first Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas — featuring classics such as “Silver Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,” as well as six originals — on Oct. 26, and will bring his tour of the same name to the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m.
• Paula Abdul was a major pop hit-maker of the late ’80s and early ’90s, though she later, of course, achieved a different kind of fame as a judge for “American Idol” and other TV reality shows. She’ll bring her first solo tour in 25 years, titled Straight Up Paula!, to BergenPAC in Englewood, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m.
• The hard-swinging Brian Setzer Orchestra brings its annual Christmas Rocks! Tour — featuring lots of holiday songs as well as some of Setzer’s regular material— to the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m., and BergenPAC in Englewood, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m., with Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones opening.
• The dependably dynamic Remember Jones will perform Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album Back to Black in its entirety, after a set of his own soul/rock/R&B material, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
• “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn,” a stage production of the hit 1942 Fred Astaire/Bing Crosby movie — featuring some Berlin songs that were used in the original film (“White Christmas,” “Easter Parade”) and some that weren’t (“Cheek to Cheek,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby) — will be presented at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, with previews beginning Nov. 21, the official opening night on Nov. 25, and the last show on Dec. 30.
• Songs such as “Tomorrow,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Maybe” will be heard once again as the Centenary Stage Company presents the comic-strip-comes-to-life musical “Annie” at the Sitnik Theatre at the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown, Nov. 23-25 and 28-30 and Dec. 1-2 and 6-9, at varying times.
• “Magic of Lights,” at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel daily through Dec. 30 (except for Nov. 21), offers more than a mile of holiday-themed light displays that can be viewed from your car, as you drive through.
• The Growing Stage in Netcong will present a stage version of “Babes in Toyland” — featuring songs from Victor Herbert’s 1903 operetta, and inspired by the 1934 Laurel and Hardy Film that was adapted from it — through Dec. 16, with Saturday and Sunday performances at 4 p.m., a special opening night performance, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and a early starting time of 3 p.m. on Dec. 2 due to the Netcong Holiday Parade.
• “Nutcracker” season begins this weekend, with American Repertory Ballet presenting the perennial favorite at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Nov. 23-24 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 25 at 1 p.m.
Also, New Jersey Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” at the Levoy Theatre in Millville, Nov. 25 at 2 and 5 p.m.; and Roxey Ballet will offer it at the College of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater in Ewing, Nov. 24-25 at 2 p.m., Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. (a school show), Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. (a sensory-friendly performance), Dec. 1 at 4 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
• Actor Sean Hayes, best known for his work on “Will & Grace,” and his husband, composer Scott Icenogle, have written a children’s book, “Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings,” and will sign it at Bookends in Ridgewood, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.
• The first “Star Wars” movie — initially released in 1977, and later renamed “Star Wars: A New Hope” — will be screened, with live music by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Nov. 23 at 3 and 8 p.m.; Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Nov. 24 at 3 and 8 p.m.; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.
• Roy’s Hall in Blairstown kicks off a series of black and white movies, every Wednesday night, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. with “The Big Sleep,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The series will continue Nov. 28 with “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”