Valentine’s Day assortment

Candlelight, roses, poetry … check. Let NJPAC take care of the performance.


When the lights dim and the music swells, you and your beloved will be glad you decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the theater.


Nothing sweetly whispers “hey, nice going!” like a pair of tickets – especially if they’re slipped into a 5-pound box of Godivas.


NJPAC has had 20 years of experience playing Cupid (show-stopping weddings in the building are applause-worthy productions), so its February lineup is custom-made for a special evening à deux. You might want to couple the performance with a visit to another downtown Newark attraction or a nearby restaurant – and you can’t get much closer than the cozy-chic NICO Kitchen + Bar at NJPAC, which will undoubtedly be stocking up on decadent desserts and pouring plenty of cocoa-dusted martinis.   


Those who subscribe to the theory that music is the food of love, read on. For lovers of lighthearted entertainment, there’s a little comedy included, too:


A Night of Love

We’re recommending this February 9 event at Newark’s Prudential Center, not to be confused with NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. The Arts Center and “The Rock” (at 25 Lafayette Street) are co-presenting this ultra-romantic, R&B concert featuring Anthony Hamilton, Keyshia Cole, Tamia, Eric Benét, Avant, and Donell Jones. Guaranteed to pin the needle on the swoon-meter.


Valentine’s All-Star Comedy Show

Comedy is a great way to break the ice in a budding relationship, and the bigger the lineup, the more the laughs. On February 10, in Prudential Hall, the stand-up sensations include Tommy Davidson, Aries Spears, Ashima Franklin, Mark Curry and Alex Thomas, with host Smokey Suarez. But wait … there’s more: Another option is to catch the show the night before at Kings Theater in Brooklyn, produced by – you guessed it – NJPAC.


Perlman and Zukerman

This concert with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman was rescheduled to February 11 from earlier in the season – an unexpected opportunity for classical music aficionados in the market for a rare Valentine’s experience. Fittingly, the program for these two greats includes works by Romantic composers – Wieniawski, Bartók and Moszkowski – with Bach’s Sonata in C Major for Two Violins and Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Viola for good measure. Sonic pyrotechnics are promised.


Jazz Jam Session

Here’s a Valentine’s occasion – especially for you Rutgers-Newark students – that only seems expensive. It’s free. The Arts Center hosts Jazz Jam Sessions at Clement’s Place, the club space at 15 Washington Street (“Fifteen Wash”) on campus. Jazz runs hot and cool on February 15, when professional musicians and students alike take their turn at the mic. Listeners can count on starry selections from the Great American Songbook, like “My Funny Valentine.” Seating goes quickly, so be sure to reserve in advance.


Animal House 40th Anniversary

Delta. Shout! Toga. Food fight!: All are words immortalized in the comedy classic National Lampoon’s Animal House. For a night of nostalgia (February 16), old college sweethearts will love seeing this movie unreel on Prudential Hall’s 40-foot screen. Better yet, star Tim Matheson (“Otter”) will share yuks with Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers. Roman attire encouraged.


Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live!

There’s a good reason why this one-man show about the yin and yang of the sexes keeps returning to NJPAC for multiple performances: Couples can’t get enough of its humorous takes on relationships. The John Gray self-help bestseller on which it’s based never seems to age, as our storyteller, Amadeo Fusca, ruminates on universals like dating, marriage – and a mental point system that rates mates. Four performances are scheduled in the intimate Victoria Theater (February 17 and 18).


Hot Latin Nights with the Mambo Kings

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, NJPAC’s principal resident orchestra, presents this get-up-and-dance combo of the Mambo Kings, a Latin jazz ensemble, with musicians of the NJSO. Shake it with the one you love on February 17 as Thomas Wilkins conducts sultry works by Piazzolla, the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Tito Puente, jazz by Dave Brubeck, and pop-driven Beatles tunes.


Jan. 22, 2018