Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: David Byrne, ‘The Age of Innocence,’ more

David Byrne Monmouth NJ

David Byrne will perform in West Long Branch, Sept. 7.

A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 10:


• David Byrne brings his American Utopia World Tour to the OceanFirst Bank Center at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., with Tune-Yards opening. The show will feature songs from Byrne’s March album, American Utopia, as well as material from his other solo albums, and hits by his former group Talking Heads. On everything, he is backed by an “untethered” band, meaning that the musicians aren’t locked into one spot on the stage, but play their instruments while moving around the stage, sometimes in synchronized patterns.

• Ozzy Osbourne‘s No More Tours 2 farewell tour comes to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, June 10, and the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, June 12. Both shows will open at 7:30 p.m. with a set by Stone Sour. Osbourne’s first No More Tours farewell tour took place a long time ago, in 1992, and his group Black Sabbath did their own farewell tour, titled The End, in 2016 and 2017. “I’m not retiring,” Osbourne said in a press release. “I’m just not doing world tours anymore. I’m still doing gigs. I’m still going to do shows, just no more world tours.”

For his latest album, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, the veteran blues singer-songwriter traveled to Memphis to record with members of the legendary Hi Rhythm Section (who backed artists such as Al Green, Ann Peebles and O.V. Wright on their classic albums for the Hi label). The Robert Cray Band will perform at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m., and BergenPAC in Englewood, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. (with Jay Mickens opening). (For a chance to win two tickets to BergenPAC, send an email to by midnight Sept. 5, writing “Cray” in the subject line.)

The Roots drummer and world-class Prince aficionado Questlove curated the setlist and the arrangements for 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince, which comes to the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. The tour — which features a band and vocalists, augmented by an orchestra — bills itself as “the first and only estate-approved Prince celebration.”



The second annual Hudson West Folk Festival takes place at Grace Church in Jersey City, Sept. 8 from noon to 9 p.m., with two performance stages, workshops, and arts and crafts and food vendors. Performers will include Freedy Johnston, Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes, Harpeth Rising, the Stephane Wrembel Trio, Kirsten Maxwell, Sunny War, Blue Yonder, Blackie Farrell, Evie Ladin & Keith Terry, and Vicki Kristina Barcelona.

The 43rd annual New Jersey Friends of Clearwater Festival takes place at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attractions will include environmental displays, sailboat rides, children’s activities and non-stop music on three stages, with sets by The Wag, The Michael Patrick Band, The Anderson Council, George Wirth, The Nick Ryan Band, Josh Bicknell, Aziz Finney, David Vargo, Lydia Davis Adams, The Capo Brothers, Poppa John Bug, David Kleiner, Dale Lakata and others. There will be no admission charge.

The Asbury Park Oysterfest, taking place at Bradley Park, offers much more than seafood, with a beer tent, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, and music by Waiting on Mongo, Des and the Swagmatics, The Cold Seas, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, Renee Maskin, Chris Brown, The Unknowns and many others. Hours are Sept. 7 from 5 to 10 p.m., Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rent Party, which organizes a concert series in Maplewood benefiting local hunger charities, will present its annual Rent Party Family Picnic, Sept. 8 from noon to 8 p.m. at Maplewood’s Maplecrest Park. The event is free, but attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food to donate to a food drive. Performers will include Heroes of Toolik, The Transplendent, The Campfire Flies, Rebecca Turner, Sad About Girls, Fond Farewells, Elk City, Tri-State and The Lord Calverts.


This year’s edition of the annual Hub City Sounds: Rock New Brunswick festival brings 12 rock, pop, hip-hop and world music acts to Boyd Park in New Brunswick, from 1 to 6 p.m. Sept 8, with no admission charge. Performers will include Hub City Stompers, Priya and Naja, Professor Caveman, Hong Kong Graffiti, Sharief Hobley, Experiment 34, Nalani and Sarina, Silent Knight, Sus Bus, Pleased Youth, Doc Hopper and Circus Place.

The South Mountain International Blues Festival, which bills itself as “Northern NJ’s biggest free blues festival,” takes place Sept. 9 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Oakdale Picnic Area at South Mountain Reservation in West Orange, with King Solomon Hicks, Rockin’ Johnny Burgin, Nation Beat, Black Lace Blues, Debra Devi, The Ben Stein Group.

The Edgewater Arts and Music Festival, scheduled for Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Old River Road at Thompson Lane, includes a juried art competition (with $5,000 in prizes), vendors, and music at 1:15 p.m. by Daly, Piket & Greene (Claire Daly, Roberta Piket, Hilliard Greene); at 2:45 p.m. by Deni Bonet, and at 4:45 p.m. by the Misha Piatigorsky Trio. Shuttle buses will run from Edgewater Commons, where there will be free parking.


• Trevor Noah, the “Daily Show” host and bestselling author (“Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”), returns to his standup comedy roots with shows at the Prudential Center at NJPAC in Newark, Sept. 7 at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.


Sierra Boggess and Andrew Veenstra co-star in the McCarter Theatre Center”s “The Age of Innocence.”


The Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theater Center in Princeton presents a new stage adaptation of Edith Wharton’s classic novel “The Age of Innocence,” with previews beginning on Sept. 7, the official opening on Sept. 15, and the last show on Oct. 7.

A concert version of “Whitman’s War” — a new, Clint Edwards-written musical about the great poet Walt Whitman — will be presented at Shea Recital Hall 101 at William Paterson University in Wayne, Sept. 6 at 5 and 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Premiere Stages will present “Brick City” — a new, Newark-set drama, written by Nicole Pandolfo and developed by the NJ Stage Exchange program — at the Bauer Boucher Theater Center at Kean University in Union, Sept. 6-9, 13-16 and 20-23.

Eddie Mekka — who earned a Tony nomination in 1975 for his work in “The Lieutenant,” and co-starred in television’s “Laverne and Shirley” from 1976 to 1983 and — will star in “Run for Your Wife,” a comedy about a New York taxi driver with two wives (who don’t know about each other) at Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, Sept. 6, 8, 11-13, 15-23 and 25-27 and Oct. 2-4, 6-7, 9-11, 13 and 16-18.


The free, annual Dance on the Lawn festival takes place Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, featuring works by choreographer Javier Padilla, Maurice Chestnut, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Robert Mark Burke, Kyle Marshall and Lauren Connolly. Among the performers will be the dance companies Freespace Dance (Montclair), MeenMoves (Jersey City), Barkha Dance Company (New York) and Ayodele Caseland (New York) and students from Lisa Bachelor’s Unique Performance Arts Center (West Orange), Kathy Costa’s Danceworks & Company (Montclair), the Performance Workshop Ensemble from Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts (Montclair) and Nancy Turano’s New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble (Summit). Lawn chairs or blankets are recommended.

A disassembled windup clock is part of the “Things Come Apart” exhibition at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, through Dec. 2.


• “Things Come Apart,” an exhibition that opens at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, Sept. 8, and runs through Dec. 2, includes disassembled devices, as well as photos and videos of them, and explores “the effects imagination has on technology and the evolution of design,” according to a press release. Items in the traveling exhibition, which was assembled by Todd McLellan, include a clock, a laptop, a Walkman and an upright piano.


The Hopewell Theater will celebrate its one-year anniversary, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m., with a concert by the band Rogue Oliphant, which performs songs and spoken-word pieces by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton University professor Paul Muldoon. Check out a video for the group’s song “Bridge and Tunnel,” below. Accompanying Muldoon at this show will be Sim Cain (Rollins Band), Chris Harford (Band of Changes), David Mansfield (The Alpha Band), Cait O’Riordan (The Pogues) and Warren Zanes (The Del Fuegos). (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by 3 p.m. Sept. 6, with “Rogue” in the subject line.)

The Hopewell Theater will also launch a monthly storytelling series, “This Really Happened …,” Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Joey Novick will host, and featured performers will include Carla Katz, Jude Treder-Wolff, Ken Galipeau, David Lawson and Sandi Marx. The event will also feature an open-mic segment. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by 3 p.m. Sept. 6, with “Stories” in the subject line.)

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