GETTING INTIMATE WITH AIMEE MANN AT TRT

Not exactly hush-hush: indie pop singer and songwriter Aimee Mann is spotlighted in a Friday evening solo concert at Two River Theater, the first in a new projected series produced by MusicWorks Entertainment.

By TOM CHESEK

Viewers of IFC Channel’s Portlandia will recognize her as “Aimee Mann,” a singer-songwriter forced to accept housecleaning gigs by day — and Big Lebowski fanatics might recall her cutting off a toe as part of a failed extortion scheme.

The happy truth, however, is that Aimee Mann has never had to quit her night job — a music career that’s allowed her to transition from one-hit-wonder frontwoman of 1980s band Til Tuesday (“Voices Carry“) to an Oscar and Grammy nominated artist with some 30 years worth of indie cred.

When the LA-based Mann takes the stage of Red Bank’s Two River Theater this Friday night, she’ll be spotlighted in a stripped-down, songs-and-stories format that marks her debut on the greater Green — as well as the premiere of an all-new series that’s being brought to town by a familiar name on the area artscape.

Billed as An Intimate Evening with Aimee Mann, the 8pm show is the first event hosted at Two River for MusicWorks Entertainment, a new concert promotion and production company co-founded by Rusty Young, until recently the chief executive officer of the Count Basie Theatre Foundation.

During Young’s tenure at the Basie, the Monmouth Street theater’s “fundraising and friendraising” arm presented several Intimate Evening events at the neighboring Bridge Avenue performing arts center, culminating in a sold-out solo stand by Judy Collins last August. As the MusicWorks managing partner explains, the Mann concert is being positioned as the inaugural entry in a projected series of 30 or more such events to be featured at Two River and other appropriately scaled venues throughout the region.

While the concert’s not officially billed as a fundraiser, Young reports that a portion of proceeds will be donated to the borough based nonprofit Lunch Break and its ongoing efforts to feed the hungry in the Red Bank community.

Tickets, priced at $49 and $59, are still available from the Two River online box office, with a limited number of $89 premium seating availabilities offered as well. Check the MusicWorks website for anticipated updates regarding upcoming events in 2012.