Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Steve Winwood, Fest for Beatles Fans, more

Steve Winwood Newark


Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place throughout the state, through March 12.


• Steve Winwood, who released an album of concert recordings titled Greatest Hits Live last year, will bring his tour of the same name to Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, March 8 at 7:30 p.m., with his daughter, singer-songwriter Lilly Winwood, opening. On the tour, he has been performing material from the bands he has been in at various times in his 55-year career (Traffic, Blind Faith, The Spencer Davis Group) as well as songs from his solo albums.

• Yung Wu — a pop-oriented side project for Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman— will re-release its sole album, 1987’s Shore Leave, on the Bar/None label in April, and will make a rare appearance at the Rent Party concert series at The Woodland in Maplewood, March 9 at 8 p.m. The Campfire Flies (featuring members of Speed the Plough, The Cucumbers and The Thousand Pities) and Wild Carnation (led by The Feelies’ Brenda Sauter) will also perform. Like all Rent Party shows, this one will raise money to help fight hunger in the community.

The Saint in Asbury Park is usually inactive during the day, but will open its doors at 3 p.m. March 11 for an early show by critically acclaimed Irish-American singer-songwriter Pierce Turner, performing with singers Kath Green and Andriette Redmann (both of the group Avon Faire), trombonist Fred Parcells (one of the mainstays of the group Black 47) and guitarist John Rokosny. This will be an “Asbury Cafe” show, meaning there will seats in the club and, hopefully, no talking while the music is being made.


New Jersey’s biggest annual Beatles event, The Fest for Beatles Fans, takes place March 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City.British Invasion artists Peter Asher (of Peter and Gordon) and Jeremy Clyde (of Chad and Jeremy) will perform together as Peter and Jeremy. Also, Randy Bachman (of The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band) will premiere his CD tribute to George Harrison,By George, By Bachman.Other participants will include Beatles collaborator Billy J. Kramer, Gene Cornish of The Rascals, Neil Innes of the Beatles parody band The Rutles, Roy’s Boys (Roy Orbison’s sons Roy Jr., Wesley and Alex, appearing in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Traveling Wilburys’ formation), the bands Liverpool and The Weeklings, saxophonist Mark Rivera and drummer Liberty DeVitto.As usual, there will also be a Beatles marketplace,film screenings, panel discussions, art displays, book signings, karaoke, trivia contests, dance parties and much more.

• Neil Innes (see above item)— who, in addition to being in The Rutles, was also in the eccentric British group The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and worked so much with Monty Python’s Flying Circus in the ’70s he was nicknamed “The Seventh Python”— will also appear at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, March 8 at 8 p.m., and The Vault in Berlin, March 14 at 8 p.m.

• Buckcherry, formed in Anaheim, Calif., more than 20 years ago, overhauled its lineup last year with a new lead guitarist (Kevin Roentgen) and drummer (Sean Winchester) joining singer Josh Todd, rhythm guitarist Stevie D. and bassist Kelly LeMieux.But its commitment to raw, no-nonsense, hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll remains the same. The band performs at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, March 10 at 8 p.m., with Dog, The Revel and Empire Fallen opening. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight March 7 with the word “Buckcherry” in the subject line.)



Adventurous bluegrass masters Tony Trischka (banjo) and Michael Daves (guitar) will team up for aBluegrass Brunchat Rivara’s Owl Pub and Restaurant in Fair Lawn, March 11 at 11 a.m., in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society organized byRelay for Life of Fair Lawn.

Singer-songwriter Allison Pierce, who some people may know as a member (with her sister Catherine) of the duo The Pierces, released her first solo album, Year of the Rabbit, last year, and was named by Rolling Stone as one of the“10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” She will headline the next concert in the New Voices series at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair. Robinson Treacher opens the 8 p.m. March 10 show, which takes place at the Guild Room of the First Congregational Church at 40 S. Fullerton Ave. Pierce also performs at The Saint in Asbury Park at 6:45 p.m. March 12, with August & Oak and Sean Tobin. (For a chance to win two tickets to the Outpost show, send an email to by midnight March 7 with the word “Pierce” in the subject line.)


To celebrate the 115th anniversary of jazz pioneer Bix Beiderbecke’s birth (on March 10, 1903), theBickford Theatreat the Morris Museum in Morris Township will present aBeiderbecke Birthday Bash, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., with cornetist Mike Davis and his New Wonders band, featuring Dan Levinson (clarinet), Joe McDonough (trombone), Jared Engel (banjo), Dalton Ridenhour (piano), Jay Rattman (bass saxophone) and Jay Lepley (drums). (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email tonjartscontest@gmail.comby midnight March 8 with the word “Bix” in the subject line.)


Performances of Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini and selections from his score to the ballet Sleeping Beauty will be featured at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra‘s “Zhang Conducts Tchaikovsky” concerts taking place at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, March 9 at 8 p.m.; the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, March 10 at 8 p.m.; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, March 11 at 3 p.m. NJSO music director Xian Zhang will conduct, featured instrumentalists will include Sara Daneshpour (piano), Eric Wyrick (violin), Jonathan Spitz (cello), Robert Ingliss (oboe) and Robert Wagner (bassoon), and the program will also includeHaydn’s Sinfonia concertante, and the world premiere ofRichard Danielpour’s Carnival of the Ancients for Piano and Orchestra.

TheCapital Philharmonic of New Jersey will present a concert titled “The Jazz Age,” March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the George Washington Ballroom at the War Memorial in Trenton. The program will feature jazz-influenced music by classical composers, including Igor Stravinsky’s Ragtime for 11 Instruments;Darius Milhaud’s Creation of the World;Kurt Weill’s Suite from “The Threepenny Opera”; andGeorge Antheil’s Jazz Symphony. Daniel Spalding will conduct.


•moe-tion dance theaterwill perform at the Sitnik Theatre at Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown, March 11 at 3 p.m., in the first of three shows that will be part of the venue’s Dance Fest, which will also present the XY Dance Project on March 18, and Nimbus Dance Works, on March 25.



Colin Quinn presents a show titled “One in Every Crowd,” revolving around the idea that there is one person in every group situation who ruins everything for everyone, March 9 at 7 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark.

Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish, who had a major breakthrough in 2017 via her appearance in the movie “Girls Trip,” will do standup at the Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, March 9 at 9 and 11:30 p.m.


The Growing Stage in Netcong will present the world premiere of a new play, Mike Czuba’s“Boy Sees Flying Saucer” — about a boy who tells a lie, with many complications ensuing— March 9, 16 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and March 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25 at 4 p.m. It is recommended for ages 7 and up.

The mathematical constant Pi (π) is roughly 22/7, or 3.14. And former Princeton resident Albert Einstein was born on March 14. And so March 14 (3/14) is known, in Princeton, as Pi Day.Pi Day Princeton, a series of events taking place on March 10 and 14, features a variety of activities — mostly free, and many related topie, pi and Einstein — in various locations, including pie eating, pie throwing, pi reciting and Einstein look-alike contests; Einstein in Princeton walking tours; and a Princeton Symphony Orchestra violin exhibition recommended for children 3 to 8 years old.

In conjunction with the month-long Stages Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre at Drew University in Madison will present abridged, family-friendly versions of two Bard classics, March 10:“The Comedy of Errors,” at 11 a.m., and “Macbeth,” at 2 p.m. The former is appropriate for all ages; the latter, for ages 11 and older.

In a similar vein, the Two River Theater in Red Bank is presenting a family-friendly version of “The Comedy of Errors,” daily through March 11, as part of its Little Shakespeare series.

Live puppets by IBEX Puppetry will help make“Sing Along with The Muppet Movie” — taking place at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, May 11 at 2 p.m.— into an interactive experience.

Opera Theatre of Montclairwill present a shortened, family-friendly, interactive version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” March 10 at 3 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair.

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