Got anything going on this weekend? Even if your plans don’t include those twin national pastimes (handicapping TV commercials and scanning for wardrobe malfunctions in the hoary halftime air), there are still any number of alternative ways to socialize in the coming days and nights — and we’ve got a few of them right here.
Friday, January 31:
RED BANK: Those of you easily panicked by a Friday night forecast of SNOW should know that this time, the cool chills are localized beneath the roof of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank on Broad Street, where the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation hosts the first in a new 2014 series of Reckless Steamy Nights house party concerts at the old Anthony Reckless estate. The multi-talented visual artist, writer and performer Maxine Snow – co-organizer of the annual Women of Song events at the historic house – is joined by her bandmates in the Snow Project (keyboardist Kendall Scott, bassman Joseph Peterson, guitarist Mike McKernen, drummer Tony Tomaino) for an unplugged evening that mixes music, spoken word and live art painting to “bring back jazz to the masses.” It all happens between the hours of 8:30 and 11 pm, and it’s BYOB, with a $10 donation requested at the door (proceeds benefit the JSJBF scholarship programs). Call (732)933-1984 for more info.
Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ debuts at the Two River Theater. Below, the pews at Pilgrim Baptist are the VIP seats – and everyone’s favorite team jersey is this weekend’s Sunday Best, as the annual Jerseys for Jesus Super Bowl Celebration warms up for the Big Game. (Photo below by Peter Lindner)
RED BANK: At 8 pm, it’s Opening Night for the Two River Theater Company production of William Shakespeare’s “comedy of cross-dressing heroines and triumphant heroes,” As You Like It. Michael Sexton of NYC’s Shakespeare Society directs Jacob Fishel (last season’s Henry V) and a spirited ensemble in a musically minded staging for which the actors will be singing and providing their own toot-whistle-plunk-and-boom on various instruments. Take it here for tickets to the show that continues with performances at 3 and 8 pm Saturday, plus 3 pm Sunday — and get thee here for an interview with cast member (and former Cosby Show regular) Geoffrey Owens on redbankgreen.
Saturday, February 1:
LITTLE SILVER: When the Dance Major students of the Red Bank Regional High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) present their annual Winter Dance Contest on Saturday afternoon, attendees at the 2 pm program will find themselves transported to “A Night at the Movies” that draws its inspiration from a cavalcade of Hollywood history, with over 20 numbers featured in “an eclectic mix of jazz, contemporary, hip hop and lyrical dance.” Highighted are numbers set to selections from Grease, The Breakfast Club, Twilight and many others — including several segments choreographed by students like Shrewsbury’s Ali Gardella (a theme from Pirates of the Caribbean). As a special bonus, a pair of RBR VPA grads — Alex Vari (“Turn It Up” from Honey2) and Elysha Richman (a Chaplin-inspired salute to the silents) — return to create works for the program, and all 47 dance majors team up to perform in Richman’s “Booty Swing.” Tickets ($10; $5 for students and seniors) can be purchased at the door.
RED BANK: There’s more than one way to warm the cockles during a maudlin midwinter’s interlude — one of them being a pick-me-up pitstop at a friendly neighborhood watering hole like Jamian’s Food and Drink. Then there’s the music of Quincy Mumford, the young local-organic singer and songwriter who seems to bring a ray of summertime with him wherever and whenever he plays. Quincy and his band The Reason Why bring their island-flavored musicianship and deceptively laid-back but savvy songcraft to the corner stage for several Saturday sets; a streetside window on a wind-chill world that could use a little light therapy.
Sunday, February 2:
RED BANK: In what’s become a genuine pre-game tradition here in town, Pilgrim Baptist Church invites everyone in the community to take part in the fourth annual Jerseys for Jesus Super Bowl Celebration of “faith and football,” with Pastor Terrence Porter encouraging one and all to leave their Sunday bests at home, in favor of their favorite team jersey — not just football, but basketball, baseball, hockey, school programs or Police Athletic League. Doors open at 10 am for the 10:45 am celebration, with “special video presentations” accompanying the Pilgrim Baptist Music and Performing Arts Ministries, and a special reception following the service. With Super Bowl XLVIII being All About the Jersey, it’s a lighthearted way to proclaim your team loyalties — just don’t be shocked if the pastor has some good-natured fun at the expense of your team from the pulpit. Call (732)747-2343 for more info.
MIDDLETOWN: By our calculations, the start of Summer 2014 is as close as — well, it’s all just too depressing to contemplate, but out on the far frontiers of the greater Green (that’s Bayshore Waterfront Park, on Port Monmouth Road in Middletown Township) the people of the Monmouth County Parks System invite you to “bring your flip-flops and wear shorts and t-shirt” as they wind back the clock to Summer 2013, with a special presentation that offers a look at “all the fascinating creatures and critters that were found during our summer seining programs in Sandy Hook Bay.” It takes place at 1 pm, inside the historic Seabrook-Wilson House (formerly the Spy House of lore and legend) — the 18th century homestead that’s survived Sandy and all other legendary storms of the Jersey Shore, while serving now as Activity Center for the park in the hard-hit Bayshore area of Middletown Township. Call (732)787-3033 for additional info.