Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Stevie Nicks, ‘Million Dollar Quartet,’ more



Stevie Nicks performs at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 2.

A guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through April 3:

• Stevie Nicks, who headlined at Madison Square Garden in December, returns to the area for a show at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 2 at 7 p.m., with The Pretenders opening. (The Pretenders will also perform on their own at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, April 1 at 9 p.m.)

“Million Dollar Quartet,” the jukebox musical built around a real-life 1956 jam session, starts previews at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, March 29, opens on April 2, and runs through April 23. Actors will appear as — and sing the hits of — iconic rock ‘n’ rollers Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.

• An upcoming exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum will explore the relationships between historic, modern and contemporary American and Native American art and culture. The museum will offer a preview of sorts when the its chief curator, Gail Stavitsky, and artist Jeff Kahm will participate in a talk at the museum titled “Crosscurrents: Native American and American Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries,” March 30 at 7:30 p.m. 

The New Brunswick building that currently houses the Crossroads Theatre Company will present its last event before being razed (to make way for a new performing arts center that will house Crossroads and other arts institutions) March 31 at 8 p.m. It’s the Hub City Jazz Festival’s “Higher Ground: A Musical Salute to 39 Years of Artistic Excellence,” a fundraiser for Crossroads that will feature the group Sage (with Ragan Whiteside and Jazzmeia Horn), Khailah Johnson and the New Brunswick District School Jazz Band, and will be hosted by tap dancer Omar Edwards.

• FabForward will offer a twist on the Beatles cover band tradition, playing the solo-career hits of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, March 31 at 8 p.m. at the Cornerstone Playhouse in Sussex.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will present “Red Firecracker,” a show about the origin of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, April 1 at 2 p.m. at the Sitnik Theater at the Lackland Center in Hackettstown, with an open-to-the-public school matinee March 31 at 10:30 a.m.

Bands performing at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest, taking place at the Atlantic City Convention Center, include Flogging Molly, Skinny Lister and Residuels, March 31 from 8 p.m. to midnight; The Front Bottoms, Thin Lips and American Trappist, April 1 from noon to 4 p.m.; and Streetlight Manifesto, Nonstop to Cairo and Sensamotion, April 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. There will also be several acts on an acoustic stage at each session. And, of course, lots of beer.


“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah and novelist Paul Auster will be among dozens of writers and publishing professionals participating in the first Montclair Literary Festival, taking place March 31 and April 1. The event is organized by, and will benefit, Succeed2gether, a Montclair-based nonprofit that provides educational opportunities to low-income students. Noah will speak about his memoir, “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood,” and Auster will talk about his new, Jersey-set novel “4 3 2 1.”

Director John Waters, actors Matthew Lillard, Traci Lords, Michael Berryman and Ted Raimi and mentalist The Amazing Kreskin will be among those making appearances at the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival, taking place at the Crowne Plaza Edison, March 31-April 2.

• “Disruption,” an art show featuring works inspired by “major economic, social, and environmental shifts (that) have propelled the nation into a period of crisis,” opens at Merseles Studios at the Jersey City Theater Center and March 31, and runs through June 9. Featured artists will include Luis Alves, Bang!, Andrew Blumenthal, DISTORT, David LaMorte, Shehrezad Maher, Meredith Miotke, MR MUSTART, Sam Pullin, Giovani Santoro, Fabricio Suarez and Noah Tavlin. In conjunction with the exhibition, JCTC will offer a variety of theater and dance programming revolving around the same theme.

One of the all-time-great singer-songwriters, John Prine — whose latest album, For Better, or Worse, is a collection of duets with female singers such as Iris DeMent, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves — performs at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, April 1 at 8 p.m., with the duo Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams opening.

As a tribute to Dave Franklin of the band Vision, who died in January, Convention Hall in Asbury Park will host a concert, April 2, titled “Doing It for Dave.” Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., and performers will include Point Blank, Ex Number Five, Damage Done, Supertouch, Bold Search, Maximum Penalty, Floorpunch, Ensign, Sheer Terror, members of Lifetime and Bouncing Souls, Release/Resurrection, Shades Apart, Murphy’s Law, Breakdown and Leeway. Proceeds will benefit the North Shore Animal League and the Riot Fest Foundation.


• At two April 1 concerts at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Richard Dowling will play the complete piano works of ragtime giant Scott Joplin (who died in New York on April 1, 1917). Dowling will also team up with Jeff Barnhart for “Two Sides of Scott Joplin,” taking place at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. The two will play individually, together on two pianos, and together on the same piano. (For a chance to win two tickets to the Bickford Theatre show, send an email to by midnight March 30 with the word “Joplin” in the subject line.)

Marin Mazzie and Melba Moore will co-headline the “Stars Shine on Autism New Jersey” benefit at the Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Other performers will include comedian Sunda Croonquist, mentalist Manlow and Montclair State students. This is the sixth annual benefit for Autism New Jersey; all have been organized by Montclair State students.

• At the All Terrain String Festival: Bolcom 4×4, taking place at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University as part of the Peak Performances series, the Shanghai Quartet and other quartets will perform works by William Bolcom and other composers, both modern and classic. The festival will culminate April 2 at 3 p.m. with the Shanghai Quartet premiering Bolcom’s String Quartet, No. 12. The Shanghai Quartet will also perform with other artists at concerts taking place March 31 at 7:30 p.m. (Harlem Quartet, bassist John Patitucci), April 1 at 5 p.m. (Chiara String Quartet) and April 1 at 8 p.m. (Arditti Quartet, guitarist Eliot Fisk).

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