Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Light of Day concerts, Big Man’s Bash, more

Willie Nile, Light of Day

Willie Nile will perform at the Light of Day benefit concert at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, Jan. 5.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Jan. 8:


For the fourth straight year, Montclair’sOutpost in the Burbswill host a “Songwriters in the Round”-style concert as part of theLight of Dayfestival. Performers at the 8 p.m. Jan. 5 show — which will kick off the Jan. 5-15 festival — will include Willie Nile, James Maddock, Jeffrey Gaines, Joe D’Urso and Emily Grove in the main set, with Isabella Rose, Jon Caspi and Adam Falcon in the opening set. It has also been announced that a Tom Petty tribute will be part of the show. (For a chance to win two general admission tickets, send an email tonjartscontest@gmail.comby midnight Jan. 2, with the word “Light” in the subject line.)

Also as part of Light of Day’s opening weekend, The Stone Ponyin Asbury Park will present a show titled “Cover Me,” and featuring cover music, Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. Performers will include Marc Ribler & Friends (performing the music of George Harrison), Eddie Testa, Light My Fire, Soul Cruisers, Guilty Pleasure, Rockinon and Pat Guadagno & Tired Horses.

• The Capitol Steps, a group that records annual albums of politically oriented song parodies — the latest, Orange Is the New Barack, includes material such as “Wake Me Up in Mar-a-Lago,” “Putin on a Blitz” and “Faking News Is Hard to Do” — will perform at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.; and BergenPAC in Englewood, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.

Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.’

TheNew Jersey Symphony Orchestrawill play music from “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and other films in“Sci-Fi Spectacular: Music From ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Star Trek’ and Beyond,” a concert being presented at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Actress Marina Sirtis, of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fame, will host, Bob Bernhardt will conduct the orchestra, and featured vocalists will includeKristen Plumley and the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir (conducted by Shayne Austin Miller).

The Stone Pony in Asbury Park will present this year’s edition of the annual Big Man’s Bash concert— honoring the late Clarence Clemons, who was born on Jan. 11, 1942— Jan. 6, with doors opening at 4 p.m. Performers will include J.T. Bowen (from Clemons’ Red Bank Rockers band), JoBonanno & the Godsons, Clemons’ son Nick Clemons, Sandy Mack and Friends, Stormin’ Norman Seldin, Vince Martell (of Vanilla Fudge), T.C. Tolliver (of The Plasmatics), Matt O’Ree, Gonzo & His Band of Brothers (featuring Layonne Holmes), the Eddie Testa Band, the Ken Dubman Band, the Joey Evans Band, Step Aside, Killer Joe, Scott Philipp and First of June, Jarod Clemons, Tommy Byrne, Dale Lakata, the Kenny Sadowski Acoustic Project, Mike Butler, Rand Hubiak, Mike “Rocker” Wuetele, Jo Wymer, Nick Ferraro, Woodfish and others.


•“The Chicken Fat Ball,” an annual event presented by the New Jersey Jazz Society, takes place Jan. 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Woodland in Maplewood, with Randy Sandke (trumpet),Randy Reinhardt (cornet, trombone),John Allred (trombone),Adrian Cunningham (clarinet, sax),Nicki Parrott (bass, vocals),Conal Fowkes (piano) and Paul Wells (drums).

Pete Levin, left, and Tony Levin perform together as The Levin Brothers.

Tony Levin — an all-time great rock bassist, known for his work with King Crimson, Peter Gabriel and many others— also plays jazz with his brother, keyboardist Pete Levin, as The Levin Brothers. They will be at Trumpets in Montclair, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m., along with Erik Lawrence on sax and flute and Jeff Siegel on drums and percussion.

Bucky Pizzarelli turns 92 on Jan. 9, and to celebrate, the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township will present a concert titled Bucky Pizzarelli’s Birthday Party, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m., at which the legendary guitarist will be joined by his sons, John Pizzarelli, on guitar and vocals, and Martin Pizzarelli, on bass, plus his longtime bandmate Ed Laub on guitar and vocals, Russ Kassoff on piano, Linus Wyrsch on sax and Aaron Weinstein on violin.


• “El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom,” a new play about a comic book artist who secretly dresses up as a a superhero he created, begins previews at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, Jan. 6, officially opens on Jan. 12, and runs through Feb. 4.


The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway will screen the classic 1925 Harold Lloyd silent-film comedy, “The Freshman,” Jan. 7 at 3 p.m., with live organ music by Luke Staisiunas. The event is presented by the Garden State Theatre Organ Society.

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