Greater Morristown (semi-virtual) Weekend Preview: Pandemic Poetry, Kristin Chenoweth, and Kris Kringle, too

Compiled by Nicholas Voltaggio and Kevin Coughlin

Greater Morristown’s weekend entertainment options include Dodge poetry for a pandemic, a Zoom gala with the effervescent Kristin Chenoweth, a Halloween deep dive into Frankenstein, and music from more genres than you can shake a baton at.

You might even catch an early glimpse of Kris Kringle. The Morris Plains Community Band is getting a jump on the holidays with an outdoor Christmas concert–because the pandemic may make indoor merriment unlikely later on.

Scroll down for details. Check our handy calendar for even more activities–and add your own events, too!

THURSDAY, OCT. 22, 2020:

Join Morris Arts for a free hour-long virtual Pumpkin Illumination workshop, with artist Dan Fenelon, at 4 pm. All ages welcome. (Young children should be accompanied by an adult.) Carve your own pumpkin! Sign up here.

The 10th annual Morris Arts Pumpkin Illumination in Morristown, Oct. 28, 2019. Photo by Katharine Boyle

The Dodge Poetry Festival has gone virtual. It starts at 7 pm, and runs through Nov. 1. Livestreams are free; donations are suggested for on-demand viewing. Here is the poet roster.

Join the Morristown and Morris Township Library at 7 pm for its virtual Book Lovers’ Circle discussion. This week, a Halloween edition: Mary Shelley’s eternal chiller, Frankenstein.The discussion is open to fans new and old, over the free GoToMeeting. A free PDF of the tale is here.

African American Regiments in the Confederacy? At precisely 7:14 pm, join historian James R. Hedtke for this little known story, at a virtual meeting of the North Jersey Civil War Round Table. Email here for Zoom address.

The Church of God in Christ for All Saints is distributing free food to Morristown families from 1 pm to 6 pm, and again on Oct. 29, 2020, at the church. No walk-ins; you must schedule your pickup online, or call ‪(973) 936-8891.

Tame the quarantine blues with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Shaw! Shaw! Shaw!, three-one-act plays by George Bernard Shaw, at 7 pm at the Back Yard Stage, at the Kean Theatre Factory in Florham Park. Shows runs Wednesdays-Sunday through Oct. 25, 2020; evening shows at 7 pm, plus Sunday matinees at 4 pm. Tickets start at $30. Social distancing; masks required. Call (973)408-5600.


Start your day with yoga at 9:30 am. The session will be in-person and socially distanced, on the side lawn of the Morristown and Morris Township Library, weather permitting. Attendees should bring their own yoga mats. The library also offers yoga classes on Monday nights.

Need some perking up? Watch Broadway and film star Kristin Chenoweth perform at 6 pm, in a free livestream of the Mayo Performing Arts Center’s annual Starlight Ball fundraiser. For $150, you can support MPAC in these challenging times, with a ticket that also gives you access to a pre-event kickoff, a post-event VIP dance party Zoom, and a silent auction that includes a guitar signed by Jon Bon Jovi.

Kristen Chenoweth sings with MPAC Performing Arts Company, September 2016. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Kristen Chenoweth sings with MPAC Performing Arts Company, September 2016. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The Folk Project presents singer-songwriter Dave Kleiner, an original member of the Folk Project known for his unique ability to blend the sentimental and the comedic, on its Acoustic Stayaway virtual stage at 7 pm. Free.

Dave Kleiner

The Folk Project also is part of a consortium of organizations presenting an on-demand stream of a Judy Collins concert, today and Saturday. Virtual passes are $25; a $75 VIP pass includes a group Zoom chat with the artist, her  Winter Stories CD, and a concert poster.

Judy Collins

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents Shaw! Shaw! Shaw!, outdoors in Florham Park at 7 pm. See Thursday entry for details.


Grow It Green Morristown’s summer farm stand continues, from 10 am to 2 pm, at The Urban Farm, 31 Hazel St., Morristown.

Anonymously dispose of your unwanted or expired prescription drugs from 10 am to 2 pm, during Operation Take Back, a joint effort of the Morris County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s offices; police from Morris Township, Morris Plains, Randolph and Hanover; and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Please wear a mask. Permanent drop-off locations are here. Saturday’s sites:

Shoprite of Greater Morristown
178 East Hanover Ave.
Cedar Knolls 07927

Stop and Shop Supermarket
245 Littleton Road
Morris Plains 07950

ACME Supermarket
690 Millbrook Road
Randolph 07869


The Mayo Performing Arts Center presents Rainere Martin in The Ultimate Donna Summer Tribute, an homage to the queen of disco, at 3 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets: $50-$75; livestream at 7:30 pm, $20. Theater seating limited, masks required. At 100 South St., Morristown, 973-539-8008.


Join The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in wishing Ludwig Van Beethoven a happy 250th birthday, at the Morris Museum’s final outdoor concert of the  Lot of Strings Music Festival. The 6 pm show features performances of Beethoven’s Septet 
and Strauss’/Hasenoehrl’s Till EulenspiegelTickets: $50 for an eight-by-eight-foot block for two patrons. Bring masks and chairs. At 6 Normandy Heights Road, 973-971-3706.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra outside the Morris Museum, October 2020.

Greater Morristown jazz favorite Grover Kemble takes his show on the road, with fellow troubadour Bob Marks, in a 4 pm benefit for the venerable Stanhope House, a legendary Morris County music venue fighting to survive the pandemic. Grover and Bob will perform in the beer garden.

Bob Marks and Grover Kemble

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents Shaw! Shaw! Shaw!, outdoors in Florham Park at 7 pm. See Thursday entry for details.

Fresh off the release of her EP Classic, singer Brynn Stanley shares her silky stylings and girl-next-door charm from her living room, every week at 8 pm


The Morristown Farmers’ Market continues its 30th season, from 8:30 am until 2 pm every Sunday until Nov. 22, behind the Morristown Post Office in Municipal Lot 10, between Morris Street and Dumont Place.  Safety protocols will be maintained for everyone’s health.

Merry Halloween! The Morris Plains Community Band presents its annual Holiday Concert early this year — figuring the pandemic will make indoor concerts unlikely during the Yule season. Christmas in October happens at 2 pm, in the parking lot of the Morris Plains Presbyterian Church, 400 Speedwell Ave. The Morris Plains Community Choir will sing carols and the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. Please bring a lawn chair and mask, and hope for good weather — there is no rain date.

The Folk Project presents Joe Guzzo’s Stayaway Sundays Show at 3 pm. Guzzo shares performances and interviews with Folk Project favorites.

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, conducted by Morris Township maestro Helen Cha-Pyo, gives its first concert in seven months, at 3 pm in New Providence Centennial Park. Admission: Free.  The symphony, a program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, will feature works by Charlie Parker, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland, among others. On Academy Street.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey concludes Shaw! Shaw! Shaw!, outdoors in Florham Park at 4 pm and  7 pm. See Thursday entry for details.

Lyrica Chamber Music’s Last Sunday of the Month virtual concert features Catherine Gregory and David Kaplan performing pieces for flute and piano by Gabriel Faure and Francis Poulenc, at 5 pm. Free; suggested donations $30/performance, $150/season.

Catherine Gregory and David Kaplan



One highlight of this unusual Halloween season is the Super Hero Halloween Virtual Half Marathon. Participants can run 13.1 miles on the course of their choice, and upload results until Oct. 31, 2020. The event is costume-optional; feel free to suit up as Wonder Woman or The Flash! Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers.

Morristown’s classic downtown Trick-or-Treat is on hiatus, but the Morristown Partnership and the Town of Morristown are sponsoring The Great Morristown Pumpkin Hunt. Participants will receive clues, guiding them to landmarks and points of interest around Morristown, where they will find numbered pumpkins. Families who submit their participation form by Nov. 2, 2020, will be entered in prize drawings. Contact the Morristown Partnership at (973) 455-1133.

The Morristown Department of Recreation is making sure all candy-lovers can engage, safely, in their favorite holiday tradition. On Saturday, Oct. 31, from 2 pm to 4 p.m., the Department is sponsoring a “trunk-or-treat” event in the parking lot behind Town Hall. Instead of going door-to-door, try going car-to-car! Pre-registration, before Thursday, Oct. 29, is required and available through Community Pass. The event is mask-mandatory and open to all Morristown residents. Email here or call 973-292-6717.

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