Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Light of Day shows, Big Man’s Birthday Bash, more

Light of Day opening

James Maddock will perform at three Light of Day shows this weekend.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Jan. 13:


The Light of Day Festival begins this weekend, though most of the shows, as well as the fest’s centerpiece concert (at Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre) won’t be until Jan. 17-20.

Only two of this weekend’s shows are in Asbury Park, where most of the rest of the festival will take place. One will be on Montclair, one in Philadelphia, and — in a first for the festival — one will be at the Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point (Rockland County), N.Y., an approximately 15-minute drive from Northern New Jersey.

Over the years, Light of Day festivals have raised more than $5 million for research about Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.

Here are the lineups for the five shows:

Willie Nile, James Maddock, Williams Honor, Danielia Cotton, Joe D’Urso, Jon Caspi, Christine Martucci, Laura Crisci and Rick Winowski at the Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. The show will include a tribute to the Beatles’ White Album.

Willie Nile, Jesse Malin, James Maddock & Band, The Weeklings, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan at The World Cafe, Downstairs, in Philadelphia, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.

“Cover Me: Best of the Jersey Bar Bands” at Stone Pony, Asbury Park, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. With Best of The Eagles, CSNSongs, Bob Burger (Tom Petty tribute), Moroccan Sheepherders, Bell Bottom Blues (Eric Clapton tribute), Carl Gentry Band.

Jeffrey Gaines, James Maddock, Joe D’Urso, David Frye, Adam Falcon, Arlon Bennett, Over the Line, Annika Bennett at Penguin Rep Theatre, Stony Point, N.Y., Jan. 13 at 3 p.m.

Albert Lee, The Michael Patrick Band at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club, Asbury Park, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.


Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck will host a musically eclectic tribute to the music of David Bowie, “Bowie: A Tribute to Benefit the American Cancer Society,” at 7 p.m. Jan. 10, the day that marks the third anniversary of Bowie’s death. Performers, many of whom are based in Teaneck or elsewhere in New Jersey, will include Andy Falco of the progressive bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters, banjo master Tony Trischka, singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, saxophonist Eddie Barbash, the band Corporate Punk (featuring Sean Trischka and Isa Burke), jazz pianist Loren Daniels, blues singer Valerie Johnson, trumpeter Reggie Pittman and bassist David Wofford. Proceeds will go to Relay for Life of Glen Rock and Fair Lawn; Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. This show is the third in a series of benefit/tributes; previous ones have honored Gregg Allman and Prince.

In honor of the 77th anniversary of Clarence Clemons’ birth, Jersey musicians will perform at two benefit concerts, jointly titled The Seventh Annual Big Man’s Birthday Bash. The shows will take place Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. at the Headliner in Neptune, and Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como. Clemons’ son Nick Clemons and his Nick Clemons Band will be among the performers at both shows, and another one of Clemons’ four sons, Jarod Clemons, will also perform at Bar Anticipation; proceeds will go to the CFC Loud N Clear Corporation, which supports those suffering from addiction, and The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Other performers at the Headliner will include Splintered Sunlight, Secret Sound, Waiting on Mongo, the Pat Roddy Band and Woodfish. The lineup at Bar Anticipation will feature The Bob Polding Band, The Matt O’Ree Band, Colossal Street Jam, Moroccan Sheepherders, Taylor Tote and many others.

• Denny Laine, an original member of both The Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, will perform two albums — The Moody Blues’ The Magnificent Moodies (re-released in The United States as Go Now: The Moody Blues #1) and Paul McCartney Wings’ Band on the Run — in their entirety, with his Moody Wing Band, at the Newton Theatre, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.



Pianist Emanuel Ax will join the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as it begins its Winter Festival with concerts at BergenPAC in Englewood, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. NJSO music director Xian Zhang will conduct, and the program will include Program includes Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony — based on Lord Byron’s gothic poem of the same name — and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22.


Guitarist Jerry Topinka, currently battling pancreatic cancer, will perform and be honored at “A Celebration of the Life and Music of Jerry Topinka,” taking place at the Cranbury Inn, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Topinka will perform with his G13 Band, plus there will be an All Star Jam. A portion of the proceeds will be used to establish a scholarship in his name through the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation.


The New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble will celebrate its 25th anniversary with “Homecoming 25,” taking place at the Wilkins Theatre at Kean University in Union, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. The show will include performances by current and past NJTAP members, and a tribute to the late J. Leonard Oxley, who was NJTAP’s music director from 1994 to 2016.

Pete Davidson NJ

John Mulaney, left, and Pete Davidson.


“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson, who has been in the news a lot lately, will appear in a double bill with fellow standup comedian John Mulaney, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer, at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Jan. 13 at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Davidson, who has publicly acknowledged his mental health problems in recent years, underwent a very public breakup with fiancée Ariana Grande last year, and shared an Instagram post about being suicidal on Dec. 15. Police investigated, but Davidson was deemed sufficiently healthy to make a brief appearance on “Saturday Night Live” later that day.


Thom Zimny, director and co-producer of the film version of “Springsteen on Broadway” and a longtime Springsteen associate, will appear at a free screening of the film at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. He’ll give an “extended introduction” to the movie, according to the university’s website. “Springsteen on Broadway” ran at New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre from October 2017 to December 2018. The film, which is currently being shown on Netflix, was shot at two invitation-only shows in July 2018.

After a screening of the 2004 film “Napoleon Dynamite” at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m., actors Jon Heder (who played the title character), Efren Ramirez (who played Pedro) and Jon Gries (who played Uncle Rico) will participate in a question-and-answer session.


The Montclair Orchestra will present a “Children’s Concert” at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. Offerings will include New Camerata Opera’s “Peter Rabbit,” based on the popular children’s story and set to the music of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore; selections from various classical favorites; and a percussion petting zoo.

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