Friday, February 14:
RED BANK: Valentine’s Day — that interlude of cabernet and clinking cocktail glasses; of candlelight coronas, candy kisses and cardboard cupids — also sounds a keynote for the final weekend of As You Like It, the Shakespeare play on stage at Two River Theater.
Michael Sexton’s take on the Bard’s characteristically convoluted “comedy of cross-dressing heroines and triumphant heroes” comes complete with some of the author’s funniest gags and laugh lines, some solid comic turns (by Brendan Titley and former Cosby Show regular Geoffrey Owens), and a double-dynamite lead role by Miriam A. Hyman as the exiled beauty Rosalind and her flannel-shirted alter ego, Ganymede. Throw in some savvy use of song (put forth with gusto by J.D. Webster) and you’ve got a fine point of entry to the Shakespearean perspective on romance, mating, and gender politics. Take it here for tickets to the last round of shows 8 pm Friday; 3 and 8 pm Saturday; 3 pm Sunday).
FAIR HAVEN: Her fanbase is generally among the most dedicated (and the most youthful) in the biz — and her collaborators have been known to include vocalizing Giraffettes, reed-roaring Saxosaurs and a bass-playing Blue Bonobo. But when kindie-rocker “Miss Sherri” Ehrlich isn’t recording or gigging at area venues with her Little Animal Band, she’s doffing her trademark top hat to apply her prodigious musical skillset to a more grownup context, under the name Sherri Pie. The founder of Honey Child Music takes the stage of the Nauvoo Grill Club at 121 Fair Haven Road, for several sets (8-11 pm) of pop standards and originals to further flavor your Valentine’s victuals. Round up a babysitter, rekindle that romance — and call (732)241-6898 for more info.
Saturday, February 15:
RED BANK: In this day and age, when the moviegoing experience has been all but harshed by those grating PSAs warning against talking, texting, throwing popcorn and belting out showtunes, it’s comforting to know that there’s still one place where the hills are alive. And with Julie Andrews herself having called an end to her singing career, it falls upon a legion of fans to keep The Sound of Music reverberating off the balconies and baffles of our nation’s movie houses. A cross between a family-friendly Rocky Horror and a nunsensical costume party, “Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music” screens the classic cinematic adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in glorious, full-screen Technicolor — complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along — plus a free “Magic Moments Fun Pack” and a chance to get up on stage for “the famous fancy-dress competition, in which everyone who has come in costume is invited onto the stage to show off their fantastic tailoring skills.” It all happens at the biggest screen in Monmouth County — that’s the Count Basie Theatre — with tickets for the 2 pm event ($12) available here.
RED BANK: In the days before dockside trophy photography, toilers of the seas relied upon the “Fish Story” (and its close cousin, the waterfront barroom brawl) to spin sagas of their travails and triumphs against the unforgiving briny. Over in Japan, they had a little art form called Gyotaku — a method of recording and verifying a catch that involved making a rubbing/ contact print of the actual fish. Between the hours of 6 to 9 pm, the always stylish cut-and-color space Salon Concrete is the setting for an art opening and reception that spotlights a new twist on the venerable fish tail — courtesy of artist, surfer and businessman Scott Szegeski.
The spouse and partner of restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach (of Pop’s Garage and other Jersey Shore landmarks), and the founder of Asbury Park’s Lightly Salted Surf Mercado, Szegeski presents a display of Gyotaku prints made not from fish but “Fish Surfboards” — the vintage fiberglass items distinguished by a “swallowtail” cutout in the tail section. The public is welcome to take a first look at this “Float/Swim” exhibit from Concrete Galleries, a “festive atmosphere which will combine inspirational art with music, dancing, cheese (from the Cheese Cave) and BYO wine.”
Sunday, February 16:
LINCROFT: Forget the Sunday talking-head shows. The real conversational action is happening during the Sunday Morning Dialog series, which continues apace at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County with a special appearance by nationally certified acupuncturist and herbalist Carrie M. Koo. The NCCAOM “Diplomat in Oriental Medicine” addresses the most commonly asked questions regarding the modality of Chinese Medicine in a free presentation entitled “Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine: Is It For You?” As always, complimentary refreshments will be served prior to the 9 am session.
Then switch gears and come back to the Unitarian Meeting House at 6 pm, for the latest in the monthly Social Action Film Series — The Murder of Fred Hampton, the 1971 documentary that began as a profile of the Illinois Black Panther Party leader — and became a eulogy when the 21-year-old was killed by members of the Chicago Police Department midway through filming. It’s free and open to the public; refreshments are served and more info can be had by calling (732)284-6312 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RED BANK: As we were so repeatedly reminded recently, Sunday is prime time for the Beatles — and even if the fans who thrilled to the Fabs’ milestone first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago have a hard time making it to prime time these days, the Count Basie Theatre has us all covered. At 3 pm, it’s a special EarlyBeatle matinee concert starring Rain, the acclaimed and internationally touring “MockTops” tribute that “has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome,” in the course of having been together longer than the Liverpudlian Lads themselves. It’s a multimedia experience that employs costumes and projections in the course of presenting a gamut of classics that range from the chirpy early hits (“I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night”) to the studio sturm-und-drang of the later masterworks (“Come Together,” “Hey Jude”) that they never took out on the road. Tickets ($35 – $69) can be reserved right here.