The Weekend: Carnaval, Blues, Pépin and More

carnavalWant to spice up the weekend? Then head to Rio for Carnaval, and you don’t have to go far. You can do that right in West Orange at Luna Stage.  The world premiere of Nikkole Salter’s Carnaval—a play that was inspired by the author’s discovery of the underground world of sex tourism and man-cations in Brazil. The play follows three young men from Brooklyn to Rio de Janeiro, and runs the gamut from hilarious to devastating, is not without controversy. “Some theaters opted not to produce the play because of the risqué nature of the subject matter and the use of explicit language,” says Salter. “Though the plot and the characters are fiction, the world of the play represents a truth. And sometimes the truth is explicit.” Jane Mandel, Artistic Director and Founder of Luna Stage, decided to produce the play because she felt it tells an important story that will get people thinking and talking. “You can read about these issues in the newspaper or hear about them on the radio, but the theater brings it all to life in a very visceral way. The play is emotionally affecting.”

Previews begin tonight,  January 31 at 7:30 pm.
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ
Tickets range from $25 to $35 and can be purchased in person, on the phone at 973.395.5551, or on the Luna Stage website

The Martin Briley BandOn Friday night, check out The Martin Briley Band at Hat City Kitchen in Orange. From 70s disco move into 80s and contemporary rock on Saturday. Veteran rocker Martin Briley, who has written songs for such musical performers as Kesha, Michael Bolton, Pat Benatar, Gregg Allman, Kenny Loggins, Jeff Healey, and Orianthi, will be performing with his band, The Martin Briley Band.  Best known for his 1983 top 40 pop and MTV hit “Salt of My Tears,” Briley has penned compositions that have sold over twenty million copies around the world. Briley is now a Baristaville resident and loves it. “I moved to the Montclair/Bloomfield area from Manhattan a couple of years ago, to discover that most of the best players on the East Coast live right around here,” says Briley.  “My band features Ira Siegel (guitar/vocals), Frank Vilardi (drums), Doug Hall (keyboards/vocals), and Matt Anthony (bass), who are not only some of the most in-demand musicians in the business, they also live in the neighborhood!”

The Martin Briley Band
Friday at 8 pm
Hat City Kitchen, 459 Valley Street, Orange, NJ
$10 cover. For reservations, call 862.252.9147 or go online here.


Jacques PepinFoodies will want to spend their Friday night at the Shea Center For the Performing Arts at William Paterson University, where Jacques Pépin—author, television personality and seminal dignitary of the culinary arts—discusses his illustrious career, demonstrates techniques and provides new recipes that are sure to satisfy your palate. He’s known as a guest judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, but before the advent of the ubiquitous culinary-based shows that have become a staple in today’s pop culture, there was Julia and Jacques, a show featuring two internationally recognized gourmet chefs, Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.

An Evening With French Chef Jacques Pépin
Friday, January 31 from 7:30 pm – 10 pm
Shea Center for Performing Arts, WPU, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here


Lisa MillsOn Saturday night, you can go to Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza in Montclair to enjoy the music of Lisa Mills, who the Birmington Press said, “Lisa’s singing is phenomenal. Rarely do you get a vocalist who can belt out the blues with such power, then switch straight to a homespun country ballad; there’s obvious training there yet it all seems so utterly natural. She could easily be talked about in the same league as Aretha Franklin or Janis Joplin” Most people agree that Ruthie’s serves up some good pizza, but I suggest you try the best Mac and Cheese in town. Trust me, it’s so good you’ll be singing the Blues when you’ve finished it wanting more.

Lisa Mills
Saturday, February 2 from 7 pm – 9 pm
Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza, 64 1/2 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ, 07042
BYO and no cover


mandolinIf you’re not interested in watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, then you may enjoy the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra concert at the Oakeside Cultural Center in Bloomfield. Enrico Granafei, conductor, will perform Italian and Neapolitan tunes, favorite selections from their repertoire, and debut new selections.

Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra
Sunday, February 3 from 3 pm – 4:30 pm
Oakside Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ
$15 per person. For reservations, please call the Oakeside office at 973-429-0960


To find out what else is going on this weekend, be sure to check our calendar.

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  1. “Salt of my Tears” was a great pop tune …and Mr. Briley’s latest backup band ain’t too shabby either…

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