Top 15 NJ Arts Events of Week: ‘Dreamgirls,’ ‘A Little Night Music,’ Peter Frampton, more



Keirsten Hodgens, Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Shantel Cribbs will co-star in “Dreamgirls at The McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around New Jersey, through March 7.


The McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton will present “Dreamgirls,” with previews beginning March 6, the official opening night on March 9 and the final show on March 24.

Based loosely on the behind-the-scenes story of The Supremes in the ’60s and ’70s, the musical was a major hit and won six Tonys in its 1981-1985 Broadway run (and made out of Jennifer Holliday, who sang the show-stopping “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”). Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy co-starred in the 2006 film version, with Hudson winning an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat.

Two-time Tony nominee Kate Baldwin (“Hello, Dolly!” “Finian’s Rainbow”) and her husband Graham Rowat (whose Broadway credits include “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Meteor Shower” and “Sunset Boulevard”) will co-star in “A Little Night Music,” which will be presented by American Theater Group at The Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge, March 7-10, and The Hamilton Stage at The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, March 14-17 and 21-24.

Featuring songs by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, the 1973 musical was inspired by the 1955 Ingmar Bergman film “Smiles of a Summer Night,” and contains one of Sondheim’s most famous compositions, “Send in the Clowns.”

The immersive play “Information for Foreigners,” by the Argentine writer Griselda Gambaro, will be presented at The Jersey City Theater Center, March 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at 4 p.m.

According to a press release, the play is about a group of foreign tourists who “find themselves increasingly entangled in a web of bureaucratic absurdity and surveillance. … As the tourists navigate the bewildering and Kafkaesque bureaucracy, they are subjected to arbitrary rules, interrogations, and dehumanizing encounters with the authorities. … Through a series of vignettes and interactions, the play raises questions about identity, power, and the complicity of individuals in oppressive systems.”



• Peter Frampton, who presented farewell shows in 2019 and 2022, returned to the road last year with his Never Say Never Tour, which is continuing into this year with a tour titled Never Ever Say Never. It will stop at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.; and The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Frampton, 73, previously announced his farewell because of health problems; he suffers from inclusion body myositis, a progressive muscle disorder, and now sits while performing, instead of standing. But he is feeling well enough to continue performing and said on his website, when announcing the Never Ever Say Never Tour, “I don’t want to give up my passion and will play as long as I physically can.”

Jaco Pastorius, widely considered one of the most inventive bass players of the ’70s and ’80s, worked with the pioneering jazz-fusion band Weather Report as well as artists such as Joni Mitchell and Pat Metheny before dying, in 1987, at the age of 35.

March 1 at 7:30 p.m., The Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble will present a tribute to him at The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, featuring bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Robby Ameen (both faculty members at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts) as well as guest saxophonist Alex Foster (known for his work with the “Saturday Night Live” house band, The Mingus Big Band and others).



New Jersey Symphony music director Xian Zhang will conduct the orchestra in Carl Orff’s masterpiece Carmina Burana, March 1 at 8 p.m. and March 3 at 3 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark. The program also will include Kodály’s Dances of Galánta; and J.S. Bach’s Oboe d’Amore Concerto.

The Montclair State University Chorale, directed by Heather J. Buchanan, will perform, and the concert’s featured musicians will include Andrew Adelson, oboe d’amore; Jana McIntyre, soprano; Andrew Morstein, tenor; and Hugh Russell, baritone.

• Mnozil Brass, an Austrian brass septet with an offbeat sense of humor — it has been called “The Monty Python of the music world” — will perform at Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., as part of the Kean Stage series. (see video below)

As part of a residency at The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, the Grammy-winning, genre-defying trio Time for Three (violinists Nick Kendall and Charles Yang, and bassist Ranaan Meyer) will participate in a number of performances and other events at the university, from March 4-6 — many are open to the public, though some are student-only — with a final event, a concert at Merkin Concert Hall in New York, scheduled for March 7 at 7:30 p.m.


As part of its annual “A Little Shakespeare” series, Two River Theater in Red Bank will present The Bard’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” March 1-2 and 8-9 at 7 p.m., and March 2-3 and 9-10 at 3 p.m. This is an abridged, 90-minute version of the comedy, performed and supported backstage by local high school students.

Jack Nicholson as The Joker in “Batman.”


New Jersey Symphony, conducted by James Olmstead, will play Danny Elfman’s score, live, for the 8 p.m. March 2 screening of the 1989 film “Batman” (featuring Michael Keaton as the title character, and Jack Nicholson as The Joker) at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark.

• “A Father’s Promise” — a documentary about Mark Barden, a musician whose son was murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting — will screen at SModcastle Cinemas in Atlantic Highlands, March 2 at 7 p.m.

The film, directed by Rick Korn and executive produced by Sheryl Crow, concentrates on Barden’s work as an activist via The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, which he co-founded. And it features music by Barden, Crow, Jimmy Vivino, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, David Shaw of The Revivalists, Alternate Routes, Aztec Two-Step and Bernie Williams.

The screening will be followed by a performance by The Promise Band, featuring Barden, Vivino, Mike Merritt and Rich Pagano.



• Grand Kyiv Ballet will present “Giselle,” March 2 at 7 p.m. at The Patriots Theater at The War Memorial in Trenton; March 3 at 4 p.m. at BergenPAC in Englewood; and March 4 at 7 p.m. at The Rosen Performing Arts Center in Wayne. A portion of the proceeds will go toward renovation efforts at the Kyiv State Choreographic College.

Principal dancers Kateryna Kukhar and Oleksandr Stoianov, who have two young children together, relocated to Seattle after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. “Now we have another mission,” Stoianov, who founded Grand Kyiv Ballet in 2014, has said. “When the war started, we started dancing for our country. It is our cultural front line.”

“Giselle,” first performed in Paris in 1841, features music by Adolf Adan; choreography by Marius Petipa, Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli; and a libretto by Théophile Gautier, Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean Coralli.

Princeton University Concerts will present a program titled “Dance for PD: Exploring the Intersection of Music, Dance & Parkinson’s” at the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, March 3 at 3 p.m. Dance for PD is a program of The Mark Morris Dance Group that offers classes for those with Parkinson’s disease, online, and in 300 communities around the world.

The March 3 event will include a performance by local Dance for PD participants of adapted Mark Morris choreography, set to live music by cellist Joshua Roman; and an experiential panel led by Dance for PD founding teacher and program director David Leventhal and featuring Roman and others.


Comedian Jeff Ross, best known for his hard-hitting performances at celebrity roasts, will present a show titled “Take a Banana for the Ride” at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, March 7 at 8 p.m. The Basie website describes the event as a “one-man show celebrating the lives of his grandfather, his best friends, and his dog. This intimate and revealing show offers a glimpse underneath the thick skin of America’s Roastmaster.”


The Hoboken Historical Museum will present a free event titled “Memory Gardens: A Celebration of Allen Ginsberg,” March 3 at 4 p.m., with livestreaming on the museum’s YouTube page. Danny Shot will host, and four poets who knew Ginsberg — Lee Ann Brown, Eliot Katz, Sharon Mesmer and Bob Rosenthal — will read, and share memories.

Ginsberg, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most important poets of the 20th century, was born in Newark and raised in Paterson, and died in 1997 at the age of 70.


“Tartuffe” at Sitnik Theatre at Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown. (Through March 3)

“Gone Missing,” presented by Vivid Stage at Oakes Center, Summit. (Through March 3)

“Agnes of God” at Summit Playhouse. (Through March 9)

“RIFT, or white lies” at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through March 10)

“Esspy” at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. (Through March 17)

Edward Fausty: Refuge at Watchung Arts Center. (Through March 24)

“Night Forms” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through April 7)

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

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