Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Guns N’ Roses, ‘Shakespeare in Love,’ more

The reunited Guns N’ Roses performs at the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 12.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Oct. 15.


It seemed so unlikely, for so long, thatGuns N’ Rosesbandmates Axl Rose and Slash would ever perform together again that when they finally decided to do it, last year, they titled their tourThe Not in This Lifetime …Tour. The tour, which marks the first timeRose, Slash and bassistDuff McKaganhave played together since 1993, came toMetLife Stadiumin East Rutherford in July 2016 and will return to the state, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m., for a concert at the Prudential Center in Newark.Rounding out Guns N’ Roses for this tour are keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese, guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer.

• Halsey — whose “Closer” collaboration with The Chainsmokers was one of the biggest hit singles of 2016, and whose second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (released in June), includes the hits “Now or Never” and “Bad at Love”— performs at the Prudential Center in Newark, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., with PartyNextDoor and Charli XCX opening.

Progressive-rock music will get a festival of its own with ProgStock, featuring bands beginning at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 11 a.m. Oct. 14 and 15 at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. Participants will include The Dave Kerzner Band, The Tangent, Glass Hammer (celebrating its 25th anniversary), Karmakanic, Aisles, Circuline and many more.

•Stephen Stills and Judy Collins, who were lovers in the ’60s and also recorded together for the first time then, have been touring together for several months, and released a joint album,Everybody Knows, in September. They will be atBergenPAC in Englewood, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.; they’ll share a band and be onstage together for most of the evening.

Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton.

• Lisa Fischer — whose life as a backing vocalist was examined in the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom— is also a commanding frontwoman in her own right, and frequently works with the band Grand Baton, which has roots in the Caribbean and is now based in New York. They will team up for a show at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.

• Joan Osborne, who released an album of Dylan covers in September, will emphasize it in a show titled “Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan,” taking place Oct. 14 at theJay and LindaGrunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College in Toms River.

• Emily Saliers of The Indigo Girls— who recently released her first album as a solo artist, Murmuration Nation— will present a rare solo show at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, Oct. 14, with doors opening at 7 p.m.


• Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band will present its annual Peace Concert, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. at Trumpets in Montclair. The show will feature guest vocalists Marcelino Feliciano and Allison McKenzie and guest composer, Caleb Rumley, and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thelonious Monk’s birth. It is also being presented in conjunction with Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international, month-long series of concert promoting tolerance in honor of Pearl, a journalist, originally from Princeton, who was kidnapped and murdered by Pakistani terrorists in 2002. (Monk and Pearl were both born on Oct. 10).

• The Greg Bufford Quintet will present a 100th birthday tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. at Crossroads in Garwood. Bufford, a drummer, is joined in the group by trumpeter James Gibbs, tenor saxophonist Gene Ghee, bassist Belden Bullock and pianist Alva Nelson.


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, which launched its 2017-18 season last weekend, will have another busy week, with concerts at NJPAC in Newark, Oct. 12 at 1:30 p.m. and Oct. 15 1t 3 p.m.; the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.; and the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. NJSO music director Xian Zhang will conduct and Alban Gerhardt will be featured on cello on a program that includesKernis’Musica celestis; Tchaikovsky’sVariations on a Rococo Theme; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.”

Jersey Boys

Cast members of “Jersey Boys.”


•“Jersey Boys,” the jukebox musical about the glory days and backstage conflicts of Frankie Valli and his hit-making band, the Four Seasons, will make its New Jersey debut at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., Oct. 14 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Oct. 15 at 2 and 7 p.m. Jonny Wexler, who will play Valli, and Tommaso Antico, who will play Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio, have performed in the Broadway production, though in different roles.

The stage version of “Shakespeare in Love,” based on the 1998 film of the same name that won the Best Picture Oscar, among other awards — and was about was about a fictional relationship that the Bard had with an actress while struggling to write”Romeo and Juliet” — was first produced in London in 2014, and will make its Northeast debut at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey at Drew University in Madison, through Nov. 12. Previews begin Oct. 11, and the official opening night is Oct. 14.

• “A Night With Janis Joplin,”a musical built around the songs of the titanic blues-rock singer — known for hits such as “Piece of My Heart,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Down on Me” — was presented on Broadway in 2013 and 2014, and will be at theMcCarter Theatre Centerin Princeton through Oct. 29, with Kacee Clanton and Kelly McIntyre alternating in the title role. Previews began on Oct. 10, and the official opening night will be Oct. 14. Music by some of Joplin’s influences — such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Bessie Smith — is featured in the show as well. (For a chance to win two tickets to the 8 p.m. Oct. 14, 2 p.m. Oct. 15 or 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 performances, send an email tonjartscontest@gmail.comby midnight Oct. 12, specifying your preference by writing Joplin14, Joplin15 or Joplin19 in the subject line.)

A new arts center is currently being built on the portion of Livingston Avenue that formerly housed The George Street Playhouse. George Street will move back there when the project is completed, in fall 2019, but in the meantime, it will present shows at the former site of the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, on College Farm Road. The first play there will a new version of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” which features various vignettes about relationships and is the second-longest-running musical in off-Broadway history (playing at the Westside Theatre from 1996 to 2008). It began previews on Oct. 10, officially opens on Oct. 13, and runs through Nov. 12.

The Women’s Theater Company kicks off its 25th season with “Seminar,” Theresa Rebeck’s barbed comedy about power struggles in a writing workshop led by a famous novelist. Performances will take place Oct. 13-14 and 20-21 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 15 and 22 at 3 p.m. at the Parsippany Playhouse in Lake Hiawatha.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company, best known for its manically funny “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),” will perform its “All the Great Books (abridged),” condensing 89 cultural landmarks into a 100-minute show, at the Pollak Theater at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Dar Williams



Singer-songwriterDar Williamshas written a book titled “What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities — One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time.” She’ll discuss it and perform a short acoustic set at the Word bookstore in Jersey City, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The Morristown Festival of Books takes place at various downtown Morristown locations, Oct. 13 and 14. Dozens of writers will be featured in talks and signings, including biographer Ron Cherow (whose “Alexander Hamilton” inspired the musical, and whose latest work is about Ulysses Grant), poet Paul Muldoon, novelist Alice Hoffman, Matthew Futterman (author of the best selling “Players: How Sports Became a Business”), Laurie Hernandez (the gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast, who has written a memoir, “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond”) and Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies and Leviathan series for young adults).

Former Star-Ledger reporter Barbara Kukla has written six books about Newark and its jazz scene. She will talk about her latest one, “The Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz,” Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Montclair Public Library. The event will also feature a performance of jazz standards by The Charlie Jones Trio.


• “Threading the Needle,” an exhibition that opens at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey at Congregation Ahavas Sholom in Newark on Oct. 15, and runs through Dec. 10, features paintings, sculptures, dolls, quilts and artifacts related to the tailoring trade. Works by Paula Borenstein, Eleta Caldwell, Larry Dell, Jody Leight, Joanne Leone and Diana Savona will be featured. The opening reception, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m., will be followed, at 2 p.m., by a tribute to legendary jazzman James Moody at Ahavas Sholom, featuring saxophonist Mark Gross and members of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program.

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