Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Jason Alexander, Asbury Music Awards, more

Jason Alexander Broadway

Jason Alexander performs with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, April 14 in Newark and April 15 in New Brunswick.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place throughout the state, through April 17.


• Jason Alexander may be best known as a cast member of “Seinfeld,” but the Livingston native is also a Tony-winning stage actor, and will present an autobiographical show titled “The Broadway Boy” with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bob Bernhardt, at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, April 14 at 8 p.m., and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, April 15 at 3 p.m. The Newark show is part of the NJSO’s Spring Into Music Gala, which also includes a cocktail reception and silent auction at 4:30 p.m. and a dinner at 6 p.m.

The 25th annual Asbury Music Awards take place at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, April 12 at 6:45 p.m., with awards in more than 40 categories and performances by Waiting on Mongo, The Burns, Dentist, The Double Negatives, Black Suburbia, Sekond Skyn, The Cold Seas, The Billy Walton Band, We’re Ghosts Now, Bone and Marrow, Tara Dente, Avery Mandeville, Sonic Blume and more.

• Marc Ribler, the current guitarist and music director for Little Steven’s Disciples of Soul, will present a tribute to The Who at The Dome Lounge at The Manor in West Orange, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. He’ll lead a group called Marc Ribler and Friends, which will also include bassist Jack Daley, keyboardist Andy Burton and drummer Rich Mercurio all of whom have played with Little Steven as well — and singer Dale Toth.


And, speaking of The Who, the Missouri-based bluegrass group The HillBenders will put their own spin on the band’s music at “The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry,” taking place at Grunin Center at Ocean County College in Toms River, April 13 at 8 p.m. (see video below)

Singer-songwriter and former Del Fuegos member Warren Zanes will read from his 2015 Tom Petty book “Petty: The Biography” and answer questions about it — and also perform Petty’s music — at Little City Books in Hoboken, April 13 at 7 p.m. Richard Barone, James Mastro, Freedy Johnston, Tammy Faye Starlite and others will join him for the musical part of the evening.


Contemporary jazz saxophonist and songwriter Boney James will perform at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, April 11 at 8 p.m., and the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, April 12 at 8 p.m., with Project Grand Slam — a New York-based group led by bassist and songwriter Robert Miller — opening. The show is part of James’ Honestly Tour, named after his September album, which spent four weeks at the top of Billboard’s contemporary jazz albums chart, and also made the magazine’s pop Top 40.

The New Brunswick Jazz Project, which brings jazz to various New Brunswick area venues all year round, will hold its Eighth Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser at The Barn in Somerset, April 14 at 7 p.m., with music by the Winard Harper Group.


A new organization, the Hub City Opera and Dance Company, will present its first performance — of Carl Orff’s one-act opera “Der Mond (The Moon),” which is based on a German fairy tale — at the Nicholas Music Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, April 15


The Two River Theater in Red Bank will begin previews of “Dancing at Lughnasa,” Brian Friel’s Tony-winning 1990 play about five unmarried sisters on the West Coast of Ireland in 1936, on April 14. The play officially opens on April 20 and runs through May 13.

“The Man in Room 306,” Craig Alan Edwards’ play about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3, 1968 — the day before his assassination — opens at Luna Stage in West Orange on April 12, with Jamil A.C. Mangan as King, and runs through May 13.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance will celebrate its 35th anniversary at NJPAC in Newark, April 14-15.


• Carolyn Dorfman Dance will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a program featuring signature works “Lifeline” and “Cercle d’Amour” — plus “Snap, Crackle, Pop,” a new dance created with Renée Jaworski of Pilobolus — April 14 at 7 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark.

The Peak Performances series will present “M Stabat Mater” — a meditation on motherhood featuring choreography by Israel’s Inbal Oshman and and music, including Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, played on period instruments by the New York Baroque Incorporated ensemble — at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, April 12-13 at 7:30 p.m., April 14 at 8 p.m. and April 15 at 3 p.m.


• “The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi,” a play adapted by Y York from a short story about a mongoose in Rudyard Kipling “Junglebook” anthology, opens at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken April 14, and runs through May 6. It is recommended for ages 4 and up.

Opera Theatre of Montclair will present an interactive, family-friendly version of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” at the West Caldwell Public Library, April 14 at 1 p.m., and the Cedar Grove Public Library, April 22 at 4 p.m. Both shows are free


The late Scotch Plains resident Pat DiNizio is having a portion of Scotch Plains’ Montague Avenue named after him, with a ceremonial street sign saying Pat DiNizio Way added at the corner of Montague Avenue and Westfield Avenue, where he lived, and where his mother still lives. The unveiling ceremony will take place April 17 at 5:30 p.m. Jim Babjak, DiNizio’s bandmate in The Smithereens, will speak, and Rick Winow, DiNizio’s bandmate in The Scotch Plainsmen, will perform his tribute song, “A Song for Pat.”

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