Zombies, vintage cars and the Material Girl are all on the Garden State weekend agenda.
Editor's note: This post was written prior to reports of Hurricane Joaquin impacting the region. As of publication time, all of these events are still scheduled to go on, but please check NJ.com regularly for updates.
NEW JERSEY ZOMBIE WALK
Update: this event is now postponed until Oct. 10 due to inclement weather. Just like the undead it celebrates, the New Jersey Zombie Walk has risen from the dead, and will return to Asbury Park this Saturday. After being put to rest only a few months ago, local bar owner John "Johnny Mac" McGillion has stepped in to assume management and keep the festival going. Regulars fear not, the original keepers of the undead are still overseeing the actual zombie walk. 'Walkers' can register and prepare their costumes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the carousel on the boardwalk. The walk begins at 4 p.m. After-parties will take place at Johnny Mac's House of Spirits on Main Street, and The Stone Pony which will feature a special performance by the amazing heavy metal tribute to the Bee Gees, Tragedy. Free. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Registration) - 4 p.m. kick-off, Asbury Park Boardwalk.
SONDHEIM ALL-STAR GALA AT NJPAC
This Saturday the annual Spotlight Gala for the Women's Association of the NJPAC will honor acclaimed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim with an all-star concert. Sondheim is the man behind such classic American musicals as "Into the Woods," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and "Sweeney Todd." Actress Vanessa Williams and Broadway vets Judy Kuhn, James Monroe Iglehart, and Tony Yazbeck will sing selections from Sondheim's works. Remaining tickets are $50 per person. Saturday, 7pm, Prudential Hall at NJPAC. 1 Center St, Newark.
JOEL MCHALE IN MORRISTOWN
Joel McHale does not like to sit still. The stand-up comic is currently touring the nation with his stand-up show, and he'll be landing in Morristown at the Mayo Performing Arts Center on Saturday. When he's not doing stand-up, McHale is reprising his role as Jeff Winger on the cult sitcom "Community" online. (The series, which was cancelled by NBC in 2014, was resurrected by Yahoo! as one of the flagship shows for its new plan for original content.) McHale can also be seen on his steady gig for nearly a decade, as the hilarious host of E!'s pop culture skewering sketch show, "The Soup." Opening up for McHale will be comedian JF Harris. Tickets: $49-$89. Saturday, 8pm. Mayo Performing Arts Center. 100 South Street, Morristown.
ETHAN HAWKE'S NEW DOCUMENTARY IN SUMMIT
On Friday, the Film Society of Summit will be screening Ethan Hawke's new documentary, "Seymour: An Introduction," which received critical acclaim at the New York, Telluride, and Montreal Film Festivals. The screening will also feature the subject of the documentary, Seymour Bernstein leading a live post-screening discussion about the film. The documentary was inspired by a conversation between Hawke and Bernstein about life as an artist. The doc examines Bernstein's career as a virtuoso pianist who eventually gave up his concert career to become a full-time teacher. Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Friday, 8pm. MONDO Summit, 426 Springfield Avenue, Third Floor, Summit.
For the last 20 years, ChowderFest has signaled the 'end of summer' for Long Beach Island. For many the fest marks the time for people to shutter up the old beach house, but we'd like to think of this as a more joyous event -- an event celebrating delicious, delicious chowder. The unofficial start for ChowderFest is Saturday, with the "Merchant's Market." The market features local vendors and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The official chowder cook-off begins on Sunday at 11 a.m. and will feature local bars and restaurants competing for the best red, white, and 'creative seafood' chowders. Market: free. Tickets for Chowderfest: $25 (General Admission), $10 (Kids), $55 (VIP). Sunday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Taylor Avenue Ball Field between Ninth Street and Taylor Avenue by the way in Beach Haven.
FIDO'S FESTIVAL USA PRESENTS: SUPERMUTTS
Dogs need fun too. Outside of walks, runs, and the occasional tug of war, dogs really don't get their own outdoor celebration. Fido's Festival USA aims to correct that. 'Supermutts' is a celebration of all dogs of every shape, size, and breed, on Saturday and Sunday at the Burlington County Fairgrounds in Columbus. There will be plenty of room for you and your dog to stretch your legs, plus there will be vendors on-hand selling all sorts of dog-related items. Tickets (Single Day): $8 (advance), $10 (door). Two-Day Pass: $15 (advance) Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Burlington County Fairgrounds, 960 Jacksonville-Jobstown Rd., Columbus.
THE VILLAGE PEOPLE TO PERFORM AT HACKENSACK'S 10th ANNUAL STREET FEST
The "YMCA" will be in full effect as The Village People will be the headlining performers at the 10th Annual Street Fest in Hackensack. This free festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will include hundreds of food vendors, merchants, and attractions. One of those includes a mechanical bull where you can prove if you've got what it takes to last the legendary 'eight seconds' or not. Music guests will include the band Skeeter Pants, as well as the kings of disco themselves, The Village People who will perform at 4 p.m. at the Main Stage on Passaic Street. Free. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Main Street Between Atlantic and Passaic Streets, Hackensack.
MADONNA REBELS IN ATLANTIC CITY
No matter how far Madonna may seem from the pop culture spotlight her concerts are still a pretty big deal. On Saturday night The Material Girl rolls into Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on her "Rebel Heart Tour." Madge's latest tour will feature songs off her early 2015 record, "Rebel Heart" as well as a smattering of hits from her mind bogglingly long list of chart-smashing hits. Tickets range from $50.50-$375. Saturday, 8pm. 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. 800.736.1420.