Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Darlene Love, Duran Duran, more

by JAY LUSTIG
trans-siberian Orchestra newark

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs at the Prudential Center in Newark, Dec. 27.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Dec. 30.

MUSIC

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra– the long-running group that specializes in explosive progressive-metal music, often with themes relating to Christmas, and elaborate stage shows — will present a concert titled “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO and More,” Dec. 27 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark. The show will feature the group’s 1999 rock opera “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” in its first half, and hits and other songs in its second half.

In a similar vein, The Wizards of Winter, featuring former members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will perform their own holiday rock opera, “The Christmas Dream,” Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Levoy Theatre in Millville.

DARLENE LOVE

Powerhouse singer Darlene Love was one of the featured artists on one of the greatest holiday albums of all time, 1963’s A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and other classic material — plus, maybe, her new collaboration with Chris Ruggiero, “Grown-Up Christmas List” (watch video below) — at a show titled “Love for the Holidays,” Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.

Duran Duran, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year after 15 years of eligibility, performs at Ovation Hall at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. The band still features four of the musicians who were part of its lineup during its ’80s pop-idol heyday: singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor, who are joined by guitarist Dominic Brown (who will also present a DJ set at Ocean Casino Resort’s Nola Bar & Lounge after the concert, at 11 p.m.).

The Queen’s Cartoonists, a group that plays the music of classic and contemporary animated films, while showing clips from the films themselves, will present a holiday season show titled “Holiday Hurrah,” Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park will present a pair of concerts to celebrate 2022 titled “What a Wonderful Year” (and advertised as “Asbury Park’s Annual After Party”). Performers will include Jarod Clemons & the Late Nights, The Extensions, Candy Cavity, Olivia Bec, Levy Okun, Renee Maskin, Drewsie, Nikki Nailbomb and Izzy Miz, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.; and Alexander Simone & WHODAT? Live Crew, The Foes of Fern, Pamela Flores, Blaise, Karma Gambit, King Ramses, 8Dayzstr8, Dan Apy, Lexx Banko and Scxtty, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.

New Jersey Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Dec. 22-24 and 26-27.

DANCE

New Jersey Ballet’s annual joint production of “The Nutcracker,” presented in partnership with New Jersey Symphony, continues with performances Dec. 22-23 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 26 at 1 and 6 p.m. and Dec. 24 and 27 at 1 p.m. at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. The Dec. 22 performance will also be livestreamed.

FAMILY

Field Station: Dinosaurs in Leonia has put together a stage show, “Dinosaurs Dynamite!,” that it will present at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, Dec. 27-29 at 2 p.m., and Dec. 28-29 at 11 a.m. The show, which is described as a “mix of science, silly and scary,” will feature music, puppets and more.

THEATER

Middlesex County’s Plays-in-the-Park program — which presents shows every summer at the Stephen J. Capestro Theatre in Edison — also produces, annually, the Bible-inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. This year’s shows take place Dec. 28-30 at 7 p.m. as well as Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.

In conjunction with the shows, Plays-in-the-Park is sponsoring a coat drive; coats to be donated can be dropped off in the lobby at all shows, and will be distributed to the homeless by the Coming Home Middlesex organization.

MARK RICCADONNA

MUSIC/COMEDY

Veteran Broadway actress Danielle Ferland, comedians Mark Riccadonna and Walter Deptuch, Ben Shanblatt’s jazz trio and percussionist Billy Martin of the adventurous jam band Medeski, Martin & Wood will perform at the “Evening of Music, Comedy, and More” benefit for the Black Box Performing Center in Englewood, taking place Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the theater.

REVIEWS

“American Stories: Gifts From the Jersey City Museum Collection” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through Dec. 23)

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” at Mile Square Theatre, Hoboken. (Through Dec. 24)

“JOY,” presented by George Street Playhouse at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. (Through Dec. 30)

“The Sound of Music” at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. (Through Jan. 1)

“Twelfth Night” at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey at Drew University, Madison. (Through Jan. 1)

“Thread Hijack” at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton. (Through Jan. 8)

“RetroBlakesberg: Captured on Film, 1978-2008,” works by rock photographer Jay Blakesberg at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Feb. 5)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)

“Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!” at Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center, Newark. (Through June 25)

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30, 2024)

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