Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: NJ Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, more


Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place throughout the state, through May 7:

The 10th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, May 6 at 7 p.m., and for the first time, it will be live-streamed (at Inductees from the arts and entertainment world will include Steven Van Zandt, The Four Seasons (Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Joe Long), Gloria Gaynor, Debbie Harry, Harlan Coben, Anna Quindlen and Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro.


One of the New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees, Steven Van Zandt — also happens to have a New Jersey show of his own, the night before the ceremony. He and his Disciples of Soul band will be at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, May 5 at 8 p.m.

Richard Lloyd’s Alchemy Band is a sort of alternative-rock supergroup: Singer-guitarist Lloyd (of Television) is joined by guitarist James Mastro (of The Bongos), Tony Shanahan (of Patti Smith’s band) and drummer Vinny DeNunzio (of The Feelies). The group will perform at the free, outdoor Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival, at 3 p.m. May 6, and be followed by The Dream Syndicate at 4:30 p.m. Other performers at the event — which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Washington Street, and feature arts and food vendors in addition to music on two stages — will include Long Neck, Jaime Rose, Maxima Alerta, Jeremy Beck and the Heavy Duty Horns, Joe Taino, Beninghove’s Hangmen. There will also be a children’s stage with entertainers such as Ron Albanese and Kid Notes Music.

• Richard Lloyd also has performances scheduled May 4 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, and May 7 at 8 p.m. (with the Ribeye Brothers and gods opening) at The Saint in Asbury Park.

To celebrate its first anniversary, White Eagle Hall in Jersey City will present a free concert, May 5 at 7:30 p.m., with Rye Coalition, Will Wood and the Tapeworms, The Rock n Roll HiFives and Long Neck. There will be no admission charge, but attendees must RSVP in advance on the nightclub’s web site.


In 2010, singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell released a concept album, Hadestown — a modernized retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth — that was later turned into a musical that is scheduled to open on Broadway next year. She has released two albums since Hadestown, though, and still has a strong presence on the singer-songwriter circuit. She’ll perform at the Outpost in the Burbs at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation (67 Church St.) in Montclair, at 8 p.m. May 4, with Robinson & Rohe (Liam Robinson, the musical director for “Hadestown,” and Jean Rohe) opening. (For a chance to win two tickets to the show, send an email to by midnight May 2 with the word “Mitchell” in the subject line.)

The free Montclair Center Stage Music Festival takes place from noon to 8 p.m. on Lackawanna Plaza, with the indie-rock band Hodera and other artists — including Tula Vera, Samad Thomas, Smock, Wyland, John Finnegan and Friends, Rockstar Racecar — presenting sets throughout the afternoon and early evening.

The 1995 death of Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon seemed to put an end to the group, best known for its hit single “No Rain.” But guitarists Rogers Stevens and Christopher Thorn, bassist Brad Smith and drummer Glen Graham regrouped, in 2006, with singer Travis Warren. They released a new album, For My Friends, in 2008, and have been intermittently active since then. They’ll perform at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, May 3 at 9 p.m., with The Cringe opening. (For a chance to win two tickets to the show, send an email to by 3 p.m. May 2 with the word “Melon” in the subject line.)

The Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch will present a Concert for Autism Awareness, May 5 at 8 p.m., with legendary shore musician Stormin’ Norman Seldin and Vance Villastrigo playing in a “dueling pianos” format, a guest appearance by Tim McLoone, and young pianists Taksh Gupta, Elizabeth Williams and Andy Milsten.



Stephane Wrembel’s Django a Gogo Music Festival and Camp is a May 2-6 celebration of the music of the legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt, mostly taking place at The Woodland in Maplewood, but also featuring an all-star 8 p.m. May 5 concert (with Wrembel, Sam Bush, Stochelo Rosenberg and many others) at Town Hall in New York.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center regularly presents Jazz in the Loft and Blues in the Loft concerts, but for the first time, will present a “Best of the Loft” show on its main stage, rather than the smaller Loft, May 6 at 7 p.m. Performers will include Claudio Roditi, Dave Stryker, Billy Hector and Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, with Ty Stephens hosting.

For his show “Dick Hyman Plays the Decades,” taking place at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, May 7 at 7:30 p.m., the legendary jazz pianist will improvise on tunes from nine decades (1890s to 1970s), including Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite,” Fats Waller’s “The Minor Drag,” Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind” and The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood.” (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight May 3 with the word “Hyman” in the subject line.)

The County Seat Jazz and Blues Street Fest, taking place May 6 from noon to 6 p.m. on West Main Street in Freehold, will feature sets by the Chuck Lambert Band, the Nat Adderley Jr. Trio, The New Standard (featuring Layonne Holmes) and The Shady Street Show Band.



Ning Feng will be featured on violin, with Dima Slobodeniouk guest conducting, at New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concerts taking place at BergenPAC in Englewood, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, May 5 at 8 p.m.; and the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, May 6 at 3 p.m. The program will include Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, and Faberlund’s Isola.


• “Turning Off the Morning News,” by Tony-winning playwright Christopher Durang (“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”), will have its world premiere at the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, with previews starting on May 4, the official opening on May 12, and the last show on June 3. The play is a “black comedy (that) exposes the mayhem of contemporary family life in a time of alternative facts, nonstop streaming news, and social media saturation,” according to a description on the McCarter web site.


The seventh annual Montclair Film Festival began on April 26, and will keep going strong through May 6, with scores of event at various venues, including appearances by Claire Danes, Ethan Hawke, Stephen Colbert, Jeff Daniels, Nick Offerman, Patrick Wilson, Dan Reynolds (of Imagine Dragons), André Leon Talley and Paul Schrader; and Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)” concert (May 4 at the Wellmont Theater).


Having already spoofed westerns (“Blazing Saddles”), horror movies (“Young Frankenstein”), silent movies (“Silent Movie”) and other genres, Mel Brooks turned his attention to “Star Wars” and other science fiction movies in 1987’s “Spaceballs,” whose cast featured John Candy, Rick Moranis, Joan Rivers, Bill Pullman and others. The film will be shown at Prudential Hall at NJPAC, May 6 and 3 p.m., with a question-and-answer session with Brooks following.


• Shen Yun — the Chinese dance and music company devoted to keeping the country’s artistic traditions alive, onstage — wraps up a series of shows at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, May 2 at 2 and 8 p.m. and May 3 at 2 p.m.

Over two nights, The South Orange Performing Arts Center will turn its spotlight on nine leading New Jersey choreographers in its “Artists Who Innovate” showcase. Featured choreographers will include Claire Porter, Nancy Turano, Stephanie Nerbak and Kyle Marshall, May 4 at 8 p.m.; and Hillary-Marie, Loretta Fois, Lauren Connolly, Samuel Pott and Keith Thompson, May 5 at 8 p.m. (see video below)


Attractions in the Free First Thursday Night series at the Montclair Art Museum, May 3 from 5 to 9 p.m., will include music by Dr. Lou and the Jazz All Stars, and the WomanSong Intergenerational Chorus; a flamenco dance performance and demonstration; and tours of the museum’s “Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist” exhibition.


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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