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RED BANK: MONKEES SWING BACK TO BASIE

Monkees Micky Dolenz Peter TorkOriginal Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork — or the 2016 editions of same — celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Pre-Fab Four” with a Sunday night return to the Count Basie stage. 

Along a media superhighway studded with pop-cultural milestones, one boulder-size birthday looms especially large here on the threshold of summer 2016. And this Memorial Day weekend, the Count Basie Theatre does its part to celebrate the golden jubilee of a genuine boomer-era phenomenon when it hosts a 50th-anniversary tour appearance by the Monkees.

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RED BANK: A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO BOB DYLAN

Pat Guadagno John PosadaPat Guadagno (above) celebrates Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday on the Count Basie stage, while Arlan Feiles (below) takes it to the patio, during Thursday night’s 18th annual “Bobfest.” (Top photo by John Posada)

Arlan FeilesDon’t look now, but Tuesday marks the milestone 75th birthday of Bob Dylan, the American original whose distinctive songcraft and famously Neverending Tour have served as voice and inspiration to a generation and then some.

In the case of Pat Guadagno, a lifelong admiration for Dylan’s words and music inspired the Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme to forge his own lasting contribution to the legend of the Bard of Hibbing, Minnesota — a highly anticipated annual event called Bobfest, which returns to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre for its 18th edition Thursday.

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RED BANK: ZOMBIES AND RASCALS @BASIE

zombiesRod Argent and the 2016 edition of seminal British band the Zombies, above, will be joined on the Basie stage by Felix Cavaliere and his Rascals for a Tuesday two-fer throwback thriller.

Felix CavaliereIt’s a double bill that brings together a seminal British band that experienced its greatest success after breaking up, and a late-60’s hitmaker whose group has been branded by no less an authority than Steven Van Zandt as “the first rock band in the world.”

While you ponder that, make a pilgrimage to the Count Basie Theatre Tuesday night, when the venerable Red Bank venue hosts a pair of acts who regularly scaled the pop-chart heights in that music-mad decade of the 1960’s and have returned to the touring circuit with an inspired vengeance: the moody British Invasion quintet the Zombies, and the Young Rascals ringmaster Felix Cavaliere.

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RED BANK: PRIMA BAND COMES TO THE BASIE

Next-generation swing-king Louis Prima Jr. and his Witnesses bring their brand of raucous rhythm and jet-fueled jive to Red Bank Thursday night.

If they know anything at all about the legendary singer, songwriter, jazz trumpeter and popularizer of hepcat slang Louis Prima, most folks might stop at “Just a Gigolo/ I Ain’t Got Nobody,” a rockingly over-the-top medley that was famously revived note-for-note by Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. Those a bit further in the know could vouch that Prima was the guy who wrote the original version of Benny Goodman’s big-band epic “Sing Sing Sing,” and who provided the voice of King Louie in Disney’s 1960s animated feature The Jungle Book.

While a cerebral hemorrhage silenced the catalyzin’ King of Swing 41 years ago, his spirit is alive and well — and this Thursday night, Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses testify to that effect, on the Red Bank stage of the Count Basie Theatre.

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RED BANK: FILM FEST MURAL GREENLIGHTED

rb IFF Mural 051116A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.

The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.

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RED BANK: TWO NIGHTS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC

Ron LevyPiano virtuoso Ron Levy (above) guests with the Monmouth Symphony in a season-capping event, Saturday night at the Count Basie. Up on Tower Hill, baritone Gerald Metz (below) is among the vocal artists teaming up in HEAVENLY HARMONY for the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

Gerald Metz

There are surely worse dilemmas to be had in this world; more difficult choices to be made. But for local lovers of the classical repertory, this weekend poses quite the pickle, with two Red Bank venues hosting must-see events presented by a couple of the best-loved borough-based performing arts organizations.

It begins up on Tower Hill this Friday, when the Monmouth Civic Chorus continues its current season at First Presbyterian Church with a display of Heavenly Harmony that draws from the “visionary and triumphant” work of some choral music masters.

Then, on Saturday, down on Monmouth Street, the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra concludes another successful season at the Count Basie Theatre with an eclectic concert highlighted by an audience favorite that’s been called the ultimate musical marital aid and audio aphrodisiac. Read More »

RUMSON: SPRINGSTEEN TOSSING KEYS TO FOYE

SPRINGSTEEN signsBruce Springsteen signs autographs outside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Monmouth County records show the deed to the property described in this article was transferred on March 2, when Foye paid the Springsteen trust $1.737 million.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Bruce Springsteen is selling one of two neighboring homes in Rumson, and the buyer is a pro basketball player with New Jersey roots, redbankgreen has learned.

According to a contract filed with the Monmouth County Clerk, Springsteen has agreed to sell a Bellevue Avenue property he owns through a trust to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Randy Foye.

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RED BANK: MAYOR’S BALL II DRAWS A CROWD

philipson menna 050616rb mayors ball 050616 12Mayor Pasquale Menna, above right, welcomed Count Basie Theatre CEO Adam Philipson, left, and more than 200 other guests to the second annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball at the Oyster Point Hotel Friday night. Proceeds from the $125-per-head event were earmarked for the borough-based nonprofits Lunch Break and HABcore

Check out the photos from redbankgreen’s drive-thru of the cocktail hour, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: BOYS, THEIR MOMS, A DOG & MORE

rb mother son 050716 balmer hunterrb mother son 050716 4Red Bank Patrolman Stan Balmer and the police department’s K-9, Hunter, above, were among the role-model guests at the borough parks and recreation department’s first Mother-Son event, held Saturday at the Senior Citizens Center. Balmer recounted that a knife-wielding man dropped his weapon recently only after Hunter was brought into the situation. 

Also offering presentations were 90-year-old World War II veteran Lou Parisi, of Loch Arbor, below; a borough firefighter; and a massage therapist. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb mother son 050716 lou parisi 2

RED BANK: ICE CREAM VENDOR TO RUN STAND

rb rgpark 090513In recent years, the Riverside Gardens concession booth has been open only during borough events in the park, and managed by borough employees and volunteers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A local ice cream business has won the right to run the rarely open concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park.

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream, which has a seasonal store in Sea Bright and one in Long Branch that’s open year-round, won council approval Wednesday night to lease the borough-owned facility for two years.

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RED BANK: A SPLASHY DEBUT FOR PHOENIX

little mermaidsCat Tierney, seen at right with the other Daughters of Triton, stars as Ariel in the staging of “The Little Mermaid that begins a Red Bank run Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

littlemermaid2016After rising to the occasion last year with such gravity-defying entertainments as Mary Poppins and Peter Pan, the folks at Phoenix Productions in Red Bank dive deep for their inaugural production of the 2016 season: the Disney musical The Little Mermaid, which surfaces for a two-weekend run at the Count Basie Theatre.

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RED BANK: PRINCE FANS RAIN PURPLE @BASIE

rb purple rain 042416 4

rb purple rain 042416 15Hundreds of Prince fans turned out at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a free screening of his film,”Purple Rain,” Sunday night, and many honored his memory by donning their finest purple garments, jewelry and lipstick. Check out our photos, below.

Though Prince had never performed at the venue, Basie CEO Adam Philipson said theatre staffers wanted to turn the rock star’s sudden death last Thursday into an opportunity for “joy,” and quickly obtained rights to show the film. Attendees asked to bring canned food for donation to Lunch Break, a Red Bank soup kitchen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: FREE ‘PURPLE RAIN’ SHOW @BASIE

prince purple rainIn honor of the late, great Prince, the Count Basie Theatre will screen his blockbuster film, “Purple Rain,” on Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

just_inPress release from the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank:

The Count Basie Theatre invites the community to a public screening of PURPLE RAIN this Sunday night, April 24th at 8pm.

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