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This weekend, New Jersey honors one of its own.
“Philip Roth Unbound” is a three-day, all-star exploration of the work, life and legacy of the Newark-native author presented by the city’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
“New Jersey is a big, big part of Roth’s body of work,” said actor and filmmaker John Turturro, who co-starred in HBO’s Emmy-nominated, Newark-set, Paterson-shot 2020 adaptation of Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America.”
Turturro will be in Newark as part of “Philip Roth Unbound” to preview select scenes from his and Ariel Levy’s upcoming theatrical adaptation of Roth’s National Book Award-winning novel “Sabbath’s Theater.”
Coinciding with what would have been Roth’s 90th birthday, the 6:30 p.m. Sunday performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center will be followed by an on-stage discussion moderated by Scott Simon, host of “Weekend Edition” on NPR.
Eric Bogosian, Jane Kaczmarek, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marjan Neshat, Cynthia Nixon, Peter Riegert, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Benjamin Washington and Sam Waterston will participate in a staged reading of “The Plot Against America” at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Victoria Theater, co-presented by the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Friday night events include “Newark in Roth’s Life, Work and Imagination” at 7 p.m., with actors Matthew Broderick and Peter Riegert performing dramatic readings of Roth’s work. At 1 p.m. Saturday, there's a dramatic reading by actor Morgan Spector ("The Gilded Age" and "The Plot Against America) of one of "Defender of the Faith," one of Roth’s earliest and boldest stories.
Roth’s home state, Turturro said, “is in ‘The Plot Against America,’ but it’s (also) in ‘Sabbath’s Theater.’ It’s in ‘American Pastoral,’ it’s everywhere you look. There’s a kind of a robust, hardiness to it, the spirit of being a little bit outside. You’re not from Manhattan, you’re not from New York.”
Turturro, who grew up in Queens, can relate.
“He writes about it in such a specific way, also about growing up on the Jersey Shore by the ocean, and you can see where America began and also wanting to get away from America, too,” Turturro said. “There’s a kind of pioneer New Jersey spirit that a lot of artists from New Jersey have had, and it certainly pervades Roth’s work."
Go: “Philip Roth Unbound,” Friday through Sunday, hosted by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark; for a full schedule of events and to buy tickets, visit njpac.org/series/philip-roth.
Here’s what else is happening in New Jersey this weekend:
Happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend! If you are going to a parade, the Highlands Business Partnership's 19th annual march begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, starting at Bay and Waterwitch Avenues. More information is at highlandsnj.com.
What started in 1976 with one bagpiper joined by local police, fire and first aid squads and a small group of marchers continues in much grander fashion when the South Amboy St. Patrick's Day Parade steps off at 2 p.m. Sunday, starting at South Pine Avenue and Louisa Street. More information is at southamboyparade.com.
Of course there are plenty of Jersey Shore restaurants serving classic corned beef, like Kelly's Tavern in Neptune City, P.J. Sweeney's Restaurant & Irish Pub in Brick, St. Stephen's Green Publick House in Spring Lake, and Harrigan's Pub in Sea Girt.
But chefs also are getting creative with the ingredients, and we rounded up five fun dishes being served this St. Patrick's Day Here's one: The Irishman at Burger 25 in Toms River. It's made with an Angus beef patty topped with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut or coleslaw, Thousand Island dressing and pickles. To keep the traditional flavor profile going, they serve it on a rye bun.
Artis Brewery grand opening and St. Patrick’s Day party
Artis Brewery, which opened on South Street in Freehold in December 2022, is finally ready to have its grand opening celebration — and they’ve picked a big weekend to do so.
On Friday, the brewery hosts a combination grand opening bash and St. Patrick’s Day party. Doors open at noon and the fun goes until 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Smooth Mary will keep the music playing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Go: Artis Brewery grand opening and St. Patrick’s Day party, noon Friday, 36 South St., Freehold; artisbrewery.com.
E Street time in Belmar
D’Jais Bar and Grill, located on Ocean Avenue in Belmar, is not that far from the borough’s E Street.
It’s also not far from the thoughts of E Street Band members. Bruce Springsteen wistfully pined about summer nights at the Jersey Shore landmark during the depths of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“D’Jais in Belmar, what are we going to do this summer! Hell, let’s go dancing in the street,” said the Boss during a May 2020 broadcast of his “Bruce Springsteen: From My Home To Yours” on SiriusXM.
On Sunday, the D’Jais crew will take a step to preserve the legacy of E Street with a Piano in Pyanoe Plaza project fundraiser. The mission is to install a weatherproof piano at the plaza in honor of David Sancious, former keyboardist for the E Street Band, and his mom Stelma Sancious, an educator in Neptune and Belmar who helped generations of students.
The E Street Band is so named because Sancious lived there.
“I’m very honored by that,” said Sancious previously of the piano project.
Holme, Pat Roddy, Tommy LaBella, Danny White, Tommy B and the Deep Blue Sea, Dan Leeds, Cody Faye and Trice, Stringbean and the Boardwalk Social Club, E Boro Bandits, Nikki Aerosmith, Richard Blackwell, Bobby Bandiera and surprise guests will be at D’Jais on Sunday.
Visit belmararts.org for more information on the piano project.
Go: Piano in Pyanoe Plaza Concert Fundraiser starring Holme, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, D’Jais Bar and Grill, 1801 Ocean Ave., $20 in advance, $25 at the door; djais.com.
Arthouse Film Festival in South Orange and Asbury Park
You never know what you’re going to get at the Arthouse Film Festival, but you know it’s going to be something exceptional.
A longtime fixture of the New Jersey arts community, the festival hosts preview screenings of highly-anticipated films, often followed by conversations with filmmakers and actors. But attendees have little to no advance notice of what they’ll be seeing on a given evening.
“The program will always be flexible in order to take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” said festival director Chuck Rose in a statement. “Wonderful surprises and fantastic celebrities can pop up out of nowhere, so we try to keep the schedule as fluid as possible.”
Special guests over the years have included Kevin Smith, Ethan Hawke, Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Sorkin.
The 10-week festival kicked off Monday at the Village at SOPAC in South Orange, and begins its Thursday night residency this week at the ShowRoom Cinema in Asbury Park.
Go: Arthouse Film Festival, 7:15 pm. Mondays at the Village at SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, and 7:15 p.m. Thursdays at the ShowRoom Cinema, 707 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park; $146 for five weeks, $257 for all 10 weeks, $247 for an eight-movie flex ticket; arthousefilmfestival.com.
Raise a glass to Girl Scout cookies in Aberdeen and Atlantic City
Aberdeen brew pub Alternate Ending Beer Co. will host its second annual Girl Scout cookie and beer pairing in its Route 34 taproom at noon on Sunday. Head brewer Brendan Arnold has curated flights of beer to be paired with the cookies, and there will be a special Girl Scout cookie-inspired dessert created by Alternate Ending’s baking team.
Further south, the Ocean Casino Resort on the Atlantic City boardwalk will be offering Girl Scout cookie-inspired cocktails at its Lobby Bar, Makai restaurant and Sky Café through March 30.
Ocean will donate $1 from each sale of the specialty cocktails — Caramel Surprise, PB&B, Lemon Kiss and Berry Chocolatey — to Girl Scout Troops of South Jersey and Central New Jersey.
Go: Girl Scout cookie and beer pairing, noon Sunday, Alternate Ending Beer Co., 1057 Route 34, Aberdeen; https://bit.ly/AltEndResy.
Also: Ocean Casino Resort, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; theoceanac.com.
Learn how maple syrup is made in Manalapan
Did you know it takes between 35 and 40 gallons of maple tree sap to make a gallon of maple syrup?
Learn facts like this and more during Happy Day Farms' maple sugaring demonstrations. The farm does its sugaring the "old-fashioned" way, using buckets to collect sap then boiling it down to sugar in their sugarhouse.
Demonstrations include a tractor ride, a tour, and a visit with the farm's animals. Pancakes and maple syrup will be available for purchase.
Go: Maple sugaring demonstrations, 10 and 11:15 a.m., 12:30, 1:45 and 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Happy Day Farm; 106 Iron Ore Road in Manalapan; $18 cash only; 732-977-3607, happydayfarmnj.com.
Rustin Center anniversary party and open house
The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, a community activism hub and safe space working to support kids in the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and their allies, has been a Princeton fixture for five years — and the team wants to meet you this weekend.
The Rustin Center moved into its current headquarters on Stockton Street a year ago, and the organization will host an anniversary party and open house gathering there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Go: Anniversary party and open house, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, 12 Stockton St., Princeton; rustincenter.org.
Sarah Griesemer and Chris Jordan contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Jersey Shore things to do include St. Patrick's Day parades