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Headliner Spotlight
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Headliner Spotlight

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JUSTIN WILLMAN:

MAGIC FOR HUMANS IN PERSON

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

What to expect: Magician, comedian and TV personality Justin Willman is the creator and star of the show “Magic for Humans” that has been popular on Netflix for three seasons so far. He got his professional start as a child magician who performed private shows in his hometown of St. Louis, Mo., under the stage name Justin Kredible. He has since become one of the most sought-after magicians in the country, making regular appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Conan” and others. He also regularly hosts such shows as “Cupcake Wars” and “King of Cones” on the Food Network, and “Win, Lose or Draw” on the Disney Channel. His live show has been hailed as “simultaneously mind-blowing and hilarious, and will likely keep you up at night wondering how the heck any of it was possible.” His show takes place at Borgata’s Music Box theater.

How much: Tickets, priced at $30.02 and $39.45, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: JustinWillman.com, Borgata.MGMResorts.com

SECONDHAND SERENADE

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City

What to expect: Secondhand Serenade is band led by singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist John Vesely that specializes in emo-pop, which is a blend of pop music and emo — an alternative rock genre with an emphasis on emotional expression. The band hails from the San Francisco Bay section of California and has produced five studio albums since its 2007 founding, with a sixth, entitled “Just Because You Sing Loud,” soon to be released. Popular songs by Secondhand Serenade include “Fall for You,” “Your Call,” “Vulnerable,” “Like A Knife,” “Stay Close,” “Don’t Go,” “Maybe,” “It’s Not Over,” Half Alive,” “Why” and “Stranger.” The Anchor Rock Club is located at 247 South New York Ave. in A.C.

How much: Tickets, priced at $20, are available at AnchorRockClub.com

More info: SecondhandSerenade.us, AnchorRockClub.com

JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel

What to expect: A talented musician and songwriter in his own right, Jason Bonham is probably best known as the son of the late John Bonham, the drummer for the iconic British rock band Led Zeppelin. Jason Bonham first picked up the sticks himself at the age of 5, and by age 17 was a member of the band Air Race that routinely opened for such acts as Queen, Meat Loaf, Ted Nugent and AC/DC. In 1988, Jason Bonham took his father’s spot in the televised Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert that included surviving Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. He also joined Plant, Page and Jones in Led Zeppelin’s famed reunion at London’s O2 arena in 2007. His Atlantic City show will encompass hits through Led Zeppelin’s entire career, from 1968 through 1980, disbanding the year John Bonham died. Songs Led Zeppelin fans will likely hear include “Stairway to Heaven,” “Good Times Bad Times,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Communication Breakdown,” “Ramble On,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Immigrant Song,” “Kashmir,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Fool In the Rain,” “Hey Hey What Can I Do,” “Heartbreaker” and others. The show takes place at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves theater.

How much: Tickets, priced at $49, $69 and $79, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: JasonBonham.net, HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS: THE BOB SEGER EXPERIENCE

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Tropicana Atlantic City

What to expect: Fronted by a lead vocalist who is the spitting image of a younger Bob Seger, Hollywood Nights: the Bob Seger Experience bills itself as the ultimate tribute to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, a group of Detroit, Mich.-area, roots-rockers who formed in 1973. The nine-member, New Jersey-based tribute band recreates the originals down to the smallest detail, including touring with a baby grand piano similar to that used by the Silver Bullet Band. Show-goers will hear such Seger favorites such as “Night Moves,” “Traveling Man,” “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Main Street,” “Katmandu,” “Turn the Page,” “Still the Same,” “Like a Rock,” “Fire Down Below,” “You’ll Accompany Me,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Fire Lake” and others. The show takes place at Tropicana’s Showroom.

How much: Tickets, priced at $25, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: HollywoodNights Band.com, Tropicana.net

MACBETH

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: The Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River

What to expect: The Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Grunin Performing Academy presents William Shakespeare’s play “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” under the direction of Anthony Ciccotelli. Estimated to have first been performed in 1606, “Macbeth” is the classic tale of unchecked ambition and all its perils. The violent tragedy, based primarily in Scotland, begins with three witches revealing to Macbeth, a military general, that he will one day be the King of Scotland. Armed with this information, and through encouragement from his wife, Macbeth begins to kill out of both desire and paranoia. His murderous spree ultimately leads to civil war, chaos and rampant bloodshed. Filled with witches’ spells, prophesies, overthrown kings, murder and betrayal, “Macbeth” is among the most popular of the 39 plays Shakespeare wrote from an estimate period between 1585 until his death in 1616. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is located on College Drive in Toms River.

How much: Tickets, priced at $20, are available through GruninCenter.org.

More info: GruninCenter.org

NORSTEP PRESENTS:

METAL AT BOURRE

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Bourré in Atlantic City

What to expect: Norstep Productions brings to the Bourré stage four bands steeped in the heavy-metal tradition — Machines of Penalty, Edge of Chaos, Illusions of Grandeur and 12 Days Straight. The quintet Machines of Penalty has been based in South Jersey since its 2008 founding and is heavily influenced by such metal icons as Iron Maiden and Tool. The band released two full-length albums, with a third currently in production. Edge of Chaos is a power trio formed in 2015 that “combines old-school thrash with new-school groove,” borrowing influences from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer and Bullet for My Valentine. The female-fronted foursome Illusions of Grandeur bills itself as a theatrical hard rock/fantasy metal band hailing from Lancaster, Pa. It has become well known among metal heads for its Siren Saga live show, which tells the story of the journeys, perils and triumphs of the Siren and her warriors. The quartet 12 Days Straight is another South Jersey-based band focused on keeping the heavy-metal scene alive in the area. Bourré is located at 201 South New York Ave. in A.C.

How much: Tickets, priced at $9 and $13, are available at Eventbrite.com

More info: 12DaysStraight.com, IOGmusic.com, EdgeOfChaosBand.com, MachinesOfPenalty.com, BourreAtlanticCity.com

REAL ESTATE

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City

What to expect: Real Estate is an indie rock band from Bergen County that formed in 2008. The band’s Atlantic City show is part of a 10th anniversary celebration of the quintet’s second album “Days,” which is an album that had a huge influence on the band’s future sound, according to its website. Real Estate has released five full-length albums and three EPs, most recently their six-song “Half a Human” EP that dropped in April. Now based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Real Estate songs that cracked the Billboard indie-rock charts include “It’s Real” and “Green Aisles” from “Days”; “Talking Backwards” from their 2014 album “Atlas”; “Darling” from their 2017 album “In Mind”; and “Paper Cup” from their 2020 album “The Main Thing.” The Anchor Rock Club is located at 247 South New York Ave. in A.C.

How much: Tickets, priced at $30, are available at AnchorRockClub.com

More info: RealEstateTheBand.com, AnchorRockClub.com

THE ULTIMATE QUEEN CELEBRATION

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Resorts Atlantic City

What to expect: The Ultimate Queen Celebration features Marc Martel, a Canadian singer and musician who bears a striking resemblance to late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in voice and appearance, and once performed with the surviving members of Queen on “American Idol.” The Ultimate Queen Celebration is billed as “an explosive, attention-commanding tribute, where some of the most iconic rock anthems of all time collide with a theatrical performance style and eye-popping production.” At its core, the band focuses on the extremely diverse body of work by Queen, including the megahit “Bohemian Rhapsody” and others such as “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Under Pressure,” “Somebody to Love,” “We Are The Champions,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Keep Yourself Alive” and others. The show takes place at Resorts’ Superstar Theater.

How much: Tickets, priced at $55, $65 and $85are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: MarcMartelMusic.com, ResortsAC.com

FRANCIS ELLIS

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20

Where: Atlantic City Comedy Club at the Claridge Hotel

What to expect: Originally from Freeport, Maine, and a graduate of Harvard University, Francis Ellis is a comedian, actor and writer who hosts “Oops! The Podcast” with his friend Giulio Gallarotti through the program Anchor.fm. The podcast “examines the mistakes that change the trajectory of people’s lives: the bad decisions, the aftermath, the path to redemption and all things in between.” Ellis is also a writer for Barstool Sports, where he hosted the popular Sirius XM morning radio show “Barstool Breakfast with Willie Colon and Large.” Ellis is known for his dry, dark sense of humor, and for incorporating his satirical keyboard into his act. His musical comedy is performed regularly in New York City, and he has also performed in China, Australia, Sweden, British Columbia, and across the United States. His show takes place at the Celebrity Theater at the Claridge Hotel, 123 S. Indiana Ave, A.C.

How much: Tickets, priced at $25, $29 and $37, are available at ACComedyClub.com

More info: FrancisEllis.com, ACComedyClub.com

EAST COAST MUSIC

HALL OF FAME

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Harrah’s Resort

What to expect: The East Coast Music Hall Of Fame will host three separate, multi-show packages of old-school rock ’n’ rollers at Harrah’s Concert Venue. Friday night’s lineup includes Jay Siegel’s Tokens, famous for such songs as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Tonight I Fell in Love”; The Vogues (“Turn Around, Look at Me,” “You’re the One”); The Skyliners (“Since I Don’t Have You,” “This I Swear”); and 22-year-old Chris Ruggiero, who has been described as an “old-soul youngster dedicated to a bygone era,” performing songs by the Platters, the Duprees, the Righteous Brothers, the Drifters, Jerry Vale and others. Saturday’s matinee show will feature singers Joe and Doreen Armino, Vinnie Medugno, Gerard Esposito and others dedicated to the doo-wop and vocal-group harmony genres. Saturday’s late show will star Philly’s own Bobby Rydell (“Wildwood Days,” “Volare”); Charlie Gracie (“Butterfly”); The Tymes (“So Much in Love”); and Emil Stucchio & the Classics (“Till Then”). Artists are subject to change. All shows take place at the Concert Venue at Harrah’s.

How much: Tickets for Friday and Saturday evening shows start at $49.70 per person, and Saturday’s matinee show starts at $19.75. Three-show package deals are priced at $113.73, $149.76 and $184.76, and are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: EastCoastMusic HallOfFame.org, Caesars.com/Harrahs-AC/shows

BLACKBERRY SMOKE

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20

Where: Showboat Hotel

What to expect: Blackberry Smoke is a seven-man band from Atlanta, Ga., that specializes in Southern rock, blues and country music. The band has released seven studio albums and five EPs of mostly original material since its 2000 founding, including back-to-back albums in 2015 and 2016 — “Holding All the Roses” and “Like an Arrow” — that each reached No.1 on the Billboard Country chart. When not touring as a headliner, the band has served as a supporting act for such artists as the Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Gov’t Mule. Earlier this year, Blackberry Smoke released a four-song EP called “You Hear Georgia” that features the title track along with the songs “Hey Delilah,” “Ain’t the Same” and “All Rise Again.” Other popular Blackberry Smoke songs to hit the airwaves include “Pretty Little Lie,” “Ain’t Much Left of Me,” “Living in the Song,” “Holding All the Roses,” “Waiting for the Thunder,” “Believe You Me,” “Let Me Down Easy” and “I’ll Keep Ramblin’.” South Jersey rockers the Billy Walton Band will be opening for Blackberry Smoke on Friday night. Both shows take place at Showboat’s Bourbon Room.

How much: Tickets, priced at $39 and $49, are available at SeeTickets.us

More info: BlackberrySmoke.com, ShowboatHotelAC.com

KENNY ‘BABYFACE’ EDMONDS When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Tropicana Atlantic City

What to expect: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is among the most creative forces in music history. Since materializing on the music scene in the mid-1970s, he wrote and/or produced 42 R&B and popular-music hits, including 16 No. 1 hits on the Billboard charts; released three consecutive multi-platinum albums; and won 12 Grammy awards. His smooth and soulful voice has touched audiences for more than five decades, during which time he wrote, produced or collaborated on hits for Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Pink, Bruno Mars, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Toni Braxton and others. The list includes such hits as Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” Clapton’s “Change the World,” Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You,” and Earth, Wind and Fire’s “You Want My Love.” Hit songs that multi-instrumentalist Edmonds made popular himself include “Tender Lover,” “Never Keeping Secrets,” “When Can I See You,” “Every Time I Close My Eyes,” “He Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout It,” “Love Saw It,” “Two Occasions,” “Love Makes Things Happen,” and “It’s No Crime.” Having written extensively for television and film soundtracks, Edmonds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013, and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2017. His show takes place at Tropicana’s Showroom.

How much: Tickets, priced at $60, $75, $80 and $85, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: BabyfaceMusic.com, Tropicana.net

ABBA MANIA

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Bally’s Atlantic City

What to expect: ABBA Mania is a band that has toured the world since 1999 in a quest to pay tribute to the music of the Swedish supergroup ABBA. The tribute band has performed throughout Europe and the United States, as well as Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Singapore. The original members — Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni, whose first names form the palindrome ABBA — were a perpetual presence on the radio airwaves during their 1972 to ’82 heyday, and one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music. ABBA Mania has been touted by critics as the closest audiences will get to experiencing the live music of the originals, who produced 48 hit singles throughout their career, the most popular including “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Fernando,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “Mamma Mia,” “The Winner Takes it All,” “Super Trouper,” plus many others that continue to be heard on classic radio and in dance clubs worldwide. The show takes place at Bally’s Grand Ballroom.

How much: Tickets, priced at $58, $88 and $118, are available at BallysAC.com/Entertainment

More info: AbbaMania.com, BallysAC.com

GIN BLOSSOMS

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel

What to expect: Gin Blossoms is an alternative rock band that was born out of Arizona in the late 1980s and began to grow a huge following outside of its hometown of Phoenix in the early 1990s. The band’s music has been likened to a later version of the jangle-pop, heavy-treble sound that bands such as the Beatles, Byrds and Everly Brothers pioneered a couple of decades earlier. The band’s second studio album, “New Miserable Experience,” marked their rise to superstardom, featuring the hit songs “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs. Rita,” and “Found Out About You.” They had later hits with the songs “Til I Hear It From You,” “Follow You Down” and “As Long As It Matters.” Between 1993 and 1996, the Gin Blossoms appeared as the featured musical act on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and twice on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” including performing the song “Christine Sixteen” with the band KISS during a “Letterman” appearance. The Gin Blossoms only made three studio albums before disbanding in 1997, then reunited and released three more studio albums: “Major Lodge Victory” in 2006, “No Chocolate Cake” in 2010 and “Mixed Reality” in 2018. Their show takes place at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves theater.

How much: Tickets, priced at $24, $29 and $34, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: GinBlossoms.net, HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com

THE JAZZ LOBSTERS BIG BAND FEATURING TONY CORRAO

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21

Where: The Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River

What to expect: The Jazz Lobsters Big Band is an ensemble of more than 15 of the East Coast’s finest musicians and includes five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones and the Kickin’ Lobster Rhythm Section of drums and bass. The band performs the jazz and swing music that was popular during the big-band era, mixing in Latin and Salsa, new arrangements on old classics, and timeless tunes by Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Quincy Jones and other legends. Led by keyboardist and arranger James “King Salmon” Lafferty, the Jazz Lobsters boast the vocal stylings of singers Tony Corrao, Carrie Jackson and Michael Andrews. In June of 2015 in Hoboken, Corrao competed with 15 other singers for the coveted title of Sinatra Idol during the Frank Sinatra centennial celebration. Corrao won with an elegant version of the song “The Best is Yet To Come,” going on to perform at the Sinatra Birthday Party at the Stevens Institute in Hoboken and becoming a cast member of the Sinatra Centennial Birthday Bash at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is located on College Drive in Toms River.

How much: Tickets, priced at $13, $20 and $24, are available through GruninCenter.org.

More info: JazzLobsters.com/ The-Big-Band, GruninCenter.org

THE RAT PACK: BACK IN TOWN

When: 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21

Where: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel

What to expect: The Rat Pack: Back in Town pays tribute to three renowned entertainers whose careers were all deeply rooted in the Atlantic City entertainment scene — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The cast impersonates the late legends’ voices, styles and mannerisms in impressive fashion. The show also includes a Marilyn Monroe impersonator singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The show takes place at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves theater. Rat Pack fans can expect to hear such hit renditions as “Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick In the Head” and “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Martin; “The Candy Man,” “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” “That Old Black Magic” and “Mr. Bojangles” by Davis; and “New York, New York,” “My Way,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “It Was A Very Good Year” by Sinatra.

How much: Tickets, priced at $24 and $29, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: HardRockHotel AtlanticCity.com

TANTRIC

When: 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21

Where: Bourré in Atlantic City

What to expect: Norstep Productions and WMGM 103.7-FM present the Louisville, Ky.-based, heavy metal rock group Tantric on Sunday, with additional appearances by fellow metal bands Monte Carlo, The Age of Ore, Silvertung, Robert’s Basement and Cult Tides. Tantric is a foursome that released eight studio albums since 1998, most recently “The Sum of All Things” that featured the hit song “Living Here Without You.” Tantric’s sound has been likened to a blend of post-grunge — a genre known for its emphasis on distorted electric guitar and multi-layered vocal harmonies — and nu-metal, which is considered a blend of heavy metal, hip-hop, funk and grunge. Among Tantric’s songs that progressive metal heads might recognize are “Breakdown,” “Astounded,” “Mourning,” “Hey Now,” “The Chain,” “After We Go,” “Worth Waiting For,” “Stay with You,” “Locked Out,” “Down and Out,” “Mind Control” and “Coming Undone.” Bourré is located at 201 South New York Ave. in A.C.

How much: Tickets, priced at $16, are available at Eventbrite.com

More info: TantricOfficial.com, BourreAtlanticCity.com

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