Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Janet Jackson, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ more

Janet Jackson’s Feb. 17 concert at the Prudential Center in Newark has been postponed.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 13.


Two New Jersey Janet Jackson concerts that were postponed last year due to her pregnancy— she gave birth to her first child, a son, in January of this year— will take place this month. She brings her hit-filled but also socially conscious State of the World Tour to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., and the Prudential Center in Newark, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.

Master guitarist Tim Reynolds, who many people know from his frequent work with Dave Matthews, will bring his own TR3 band to the Stanhope House, Nov. 10, withC.R. and the Degenerates and Rosey Bengal opening. Doors open at 6 p.m.

• J.D. Souther has had hits as a recording artist, including “You’re Only Lonely” and his “Her Town Too” duet with James Taylor, but is perhaps better known as a frequent co-writer of Eagles songs, including“Best of My Love,” “Heartache Tonight,” “New Kid in Town” and “Victim of Love.” Souther, who has also written or co-written songs recorded by Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, George Strait and countless others, will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The first Lilith Fair tour took place in 1997, marking the first time female pop, rock and folk artists joined forces for an event on that scale. Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Woodbridge Middle School Theater, a show titled Steady On: Celebrating Lilith Fair at 20″ will feature singer-songwritersSharon Goldman, Trina Hamlin, Lara Herscovitch, Amy Soucy and Sloan Wainwright, performing songs by Lilith Fair artists as well as original material inspired by them.

The Live @ Drew’s house concert series in Ringwood presents its 250th (!) show Nov. 11 at 5 p.m., with Jesse Malin, The Connection and Palmyra Delran and the Doppel Gang. This show is sold out, though the series has several other shows coming up soon: Michael McDermott, Nov. 10; Joseph Arthur, Nov. 18; and Chris Stills, Nov. 19.


Chris Botti performs at NJPAC in Newark, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.


The sixth annual TD James Moody Jazz Festivalis under way, and will continue through Nov. 12 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and other Newark venues. Among the NJPAC concerts coming up are Chris Botti, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Prudential Hall; Christian McBride and Dianne Reeves “One on One,” Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Victoria Theater; John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at Prudential Hall; Grupo Niche and Willie Chirino, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. at Prudential Hall; and a centennial celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, withGregory Porter, Lizz Wright, Regina Carter, Valerie Simpson, Randy Brecker, Sean Jones and the Christian McBride Big Band, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Prudential Hall.

The fall edition of the biannualExit 0 Jazz Festivaltakes place at various venues throughout Cape May, Nov. 10-12, with some of the bigger attractions including Fourplay, Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, Etienne Charles and Creole Soul, Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Orchestra, Jazzmeia Horn, the Paul Jost 4tet and Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution. Also, Nov. 9 at the Cape May Convention Hall, there will be a benefit forMusicConnects Cape May, the festival’s educational outreach arm, featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience.

An all-star “hot jazz” band — featuringclarinetist Dan Levinson, trumpeter Mike Davis, trombonist Jim Fryer, pianist Jeff Barnhart, bassist Brian Nalepka, drummer Stéphane Séva and guitarist/singer Molly Ryan— will perform at the seventh annualBickford Benefit Concert, taking place at theBickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will support future programming at the theater. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email tonjartscontest@gmail.comby midnight Nov. 9, with the word “Bickford” in the subject line.)

Gregory Popovich and one of his pets.

Former Moscow Circus performer Gregory Popovich will bring his troupe of dogs, cats, birds and other animals— known as thePopovich Comedy Pet Theater— to BergenPAC in Englewood, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m.


• “The Importance of Being Earnest”—Oscar Wilde’s best known work, a 1895 comedy of manners packed with sparkling witticisms— begins previews at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, Nov. 11, with the official opening night on Nov. 17, and the last performance on Dec. 3. Tony-nominated actor Michael Cumpsty directs (but will not appear in the production).

One of my favorite new plays of the last few years is “Be More Chill” (check out my review of this quirky and charming science fiction musical in its 2015 world premiere at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, here). The Toms River theater company, Exit 82, will mount a production of it at The Strand Center of the Arts in Lakewood, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., Nov. 11 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.

Presented by OCC Repertory Theatre as part of a national project, “Telling: Jersey Shore” will feature stories of local military veterans, adapted to the stage, at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College in Toms River, Nov. 10 and 16-17 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11 and 18 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton will present the musical “The Fantasticks”— whose off-Broadway run, from 1960 to 2002, set a record that is not likely to be broken — from Nov. 10 to Dec. 10.

• Randy Noojin will play iconic folksinger Pete Seeger in“Seeger: A Multimedia Solo Show,” taking place at theKutz Theatre at Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 10-11 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. (see video below)


In conjunction with “Repertoire,” a commissioned porcelain plate installation by ceramic artist Molly Hatch, the Newark Museum is titling its monthly Second Sunday program, Nov. 9 from noon to 5 p.m., “Full Plate,” and will be devoting it to plate-related activities, including a plate-spinning performance and plate-spinning instruction by acrobat Li Liu; a musical performance featuring plates and bowls by the percussive band Glank; and 10-minute speed etiquette courses.

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