Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Bon Jovi, Dave Davies, Bill Murray, more

Bon Jovi Prudential Center

Bon Jovi will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 7-8.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place throughout the state, through April 10.


• Bon Jovi — which was the first band to headline at the Prudential Center in Newark, with ten shows in 2007 — has two shows there, April 7-8 at 7:30 p.m. There’s a special significance about these shows, too: They will be the last two the band does before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, in Cleveland. In a nice touch, the opening slots are going to two up-and-coming New Jersey bands: The Revel, on April 7, and Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, on April 8.

• Dave Davies of The Kinks will perform at The Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, April 7 at 8 p.m., with Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne opening. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock guitarists, ever, Davies, 72, co-founded The Kinks with his brother Ray, bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory in 1963. While Ray always handled most of the songwriting and lead vocals, Dave also penned and sang some of the band’s material, including “Death of a Clown,” “Strangers,” “Living on a Thin Line” and “Rats.” He has also been releasing singles on his own since the ’60s, and albums since 1980; he is currently preparing a collection of previously unreleased material from the ’70s, which he plans to release this summer.


The Americana trio Red Molly (Abbie Gardner, Laurie MacAllister and Molly Venter) has been on hiatus for the last couple of years, as its individual members pursued their own solo projects, but they are back on tour, and coming to the South Orange Performing Arts Center, April 6 at 8 p.m., with singer-songwriter Ellis Paul opening.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silkroad Ensemble, devoted to exploring music from various countries and cultures along the ancient trade routes that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, will perform at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, April 8 at 3 p.m., and the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.

You may not have noticed, but in October, the actor Bill Murray made it to No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s classical albums chart. He did it with New Worlds, an album released by him, cellist Jan Vogler “… and Friends.” Murray both sings and recites poetry, eccentrically, on the album. Other tracks on the album feature songs by Foster, Gershwin and Mancini, classical compositions by Bach, Ravel and Saint-Saëns, and readings from Whitman, Twain and Thurber. Murray, Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez, who have previously brought their show to Carnegie Hall and other venues, will present it at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. (see video below)

Larry Kirwan of the Celtic-rock band Black 47 and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Sharp will team up for a show titled “Ireland: A History of Song,” April 5 at 8 p.m. at Salt Gastropub in Stanhope.


Pianist Jerry Vezza and singer-songwriter-guitarist Grover Kemble will present a show titled “Tunes and Tales,” featuring songs and stories drawn from their more than 25 years of making music together, at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. Joining them will be bassist Rick Crane, drummer Tom Sayek and saxophonist Anton Denner.

The new Rutgers Interactive Music Ensemble will present a free concert, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Blanche & Irving Laurie Performing Arts Library (Douglass Library) in New Brunswick. The concert will feature “pieces for acoustic instruments and electronic sounds as well as contemporary literature for laptop ensemble,” according to Rutgers’ web site.

As explained in the Oscar-winning 2012 documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man,” Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (known professionally as Rodriguez) is a Dylanesque singer-songwriter from Detroit who released two albums in the late ’60s and early ’70s that didn’t sell well in the United States, but made him a star — without him even knowing about it, until many years later — in South Africa. He’ll perform at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, April 9 at 8 p.m., with Lily & Madeleine opening.


Appealing to fans of both Shakespeare and Snooki, Rachel Evans’ “The Comedy of (Jersey) Errors” moves the action of the Bard’s famous farce to the Jersey Shore. It will be presented at the Zella Fry Theatre at Kean University, Union, April 4-7 at 8 p.m. as well as April 7 at 2 p.m. and April 8 at 1 p.m.

A touring version of the frantically funny “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” — which won four Tonys, including Best Musical, in 2014 — will be presented at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, April 6-7 at 8 p.m. as well as April 7 at 2 p.m.

The Centenary Stage Company presents the world premiere of “Hitler’s Tasters” — a play about a group of women whose job it is to eat some of Hitler’s food before he does, to make sure it’s not poisoned — April 6-8, 11-15 and 18-22 at the Kutz Theatre at the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown.

Raconteur Radio presents a radio-play reproduction of “War of the Worlds” — the infamous 1938 Orson Welles broadcast that inspired panicking among people who assumed its news bulletins about invading martians was real — at the Investors Bank Theater at Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.

William Stoehr’s “No More Words #9” is part of the “Artivism” exhibition at Monmouth University.


• “Artivism,” a juried exhibition about art that addresses a variety of social and political issues, featuring works by more than 40 artists, opened this week at the Pollak Gallery at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, and runs through May 31.


The Garden State Comic Festhas three editions, taking place in Jackson, in May; in Morristown, in July; and at the Showboat in Atlantic City, April 7-8. Atlantic City attractions will include vendors, panel discussions, contests, workshops, a performance by the band The Cybertronic Spree, and appearances by people like actors Eric Roberts, Summer Glau and David Dastmalchian, and artists Jim Steranko and Kevin Eastman.

The Newark School of the Arts will celebrate its 50th anniversary, April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark, with a concert featuring performances by alumni such as tap dancer Savion Glover and salsa singer Frankie Negrón, as well as current students and faculty members.

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