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RED BANK: NEW SPIN ON THE ‘ABSURD’

Absurd_Person_Singular_press_1Mary Birdsong, Brooks Ashmanskas and Melissa Van Der Schyff are in the kitchen with Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR, now on stage at Two River Theater. (Photo by T.C. Erickson)

By TOM CHESEK

“You’re no longer a man I care about enough to throw myself out a window for,” says long-suffering wife Eva (Liz Wisan) to Geoffrey (Scott Drummond), her philandering, condescending and probably incompetent architect husband — and the fact that the line gets a laugh tells you all you need to know about the level of sympathy elicited by these “two bitter lemons” and their faux friends in Absurd Person Singular, the ensemble comedy now on stage at Two River Theater.

Written and set in early 1970s Britain, the play by the prolific Sir Alan Ayckbourn opened this past weekend, and continues its limited-engagement Red Bank run with a mix of matinee and evening performances Wednesday through Sunday.

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RED BANK: A CHEAP CASE OF WHIPLASH

WhiplashGolden Globe winner J.K. Simmons offers patient mentorship to Miles Teller as the indie hit film WHIPLASH gets a recession-buster screening at the Count Basie Theatre  Tuesday night. 

If the Golden Globes be truly the gateway to Oscar’s soul, then the indie hit film Whiplash has the drumbeat of momentum behind it, having just netted five Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture).

It happened a few days after workhorse character player J.K. Simmons took home the Globe trophy for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture — a hard-earned accolade for which he competed with a field that boasted a Hawke, a couple of Hulks, and a Robert Duvall.

Audiences primed to handicap this year’s main event can catch up with the buzzed-about dramatic feature from writer-director Damien Chazelle, when it comes to the big screen of the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday  for a one-time showing at a price that cannot be refused.

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WEATHER: MILD FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY

rb ice 011715Skaters and ice boaters shared the freeze-hardened Navesink River Saturday, as seen from Cooper’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown. Then came Sunday’s daylong deluge of nearly an inch-and-a-half of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast for Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day: partial sunshine and a high near 41 degrees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

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RED BANK: NEIL BEFORE THE MASTER

100YearsComposer, pianist and producer Neil Berg (second from left) brings his latest edition of the all-singing revue 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY back to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, January 18. (Photos by Ron Elkman)

His many collaborators have included song-and-dance dynamos Bernadette Peters and Rita Moreno, plus phave Phantom Michael Crawford — in addition to longtime MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin, and Dan Spitz from thrash-metal band Anthrax. But when he’s not composing musical adaptations of beloved literary works, scoring film projects or playing alongside friend and Jersey music guy Joe D’Urso, Neil Berg can most often be found out on the road with his long-running showcase of showtunes, known these days as 100 Years of Broadway.

A dependable crowd-pleasing attraction at the Count Basie Theatre and other central Jersey stages, the revue returns to Red Bank this Sunday, January 18, for a matinee about which the onstage bandleader and impresario humbly observes, “For a Broadway fan, this is as good as it gets.”

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FAIR HAVEN: TALES FROM THE BLACK FOREST

HollyBlackBlack in Blue: the fantasy worlds of Holly Black converge at River Road Books in Fair Haven, where the award-winning author materializes for a Sunday afternoon reading and signing appearance keyed to her latest novel, THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST.

Her many fantastic works of fiction for kids and Young Adults include the illustrated adventures of The Spiderwick Chronicles, (basis for a 2008 movie of that name) as well as the Curse Workers and Modern Faerie Tale trilogies. Her glittering trophies on this plane of existence include the prestigious Newbery Medal for kid-lit, the Andre Norton Award for YA sci-fi, and a finalist recognition for comicdom’s sought-after Eisner Award.

On a more localized level, Holly Black can claim provenance right here in eastern Monmouth County — and on Sunday, January 18, the West Long Branch native and NY Times chart-topper comes home for an afternoon drop-in at River Road Books in Fair Haven — an appearance timed to the publication of her latest novel, The Darkest Part of the Forest.

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RED BANK: CLASSICAL CHATTER AND CHANG

Sarah-Chang-bannerThe skilled and glamorous Sarah Chang pays tribute to the star-crossed lovers of WEST SIDE STORY as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra returns to Red Bank for a pair of events Saturday.

For their latest in a long-running seasonal series of presentations at the Count Basie Theatre, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has not-so-quietly introduced something new to the mix: the concept of the “No Shush” concert event.

Designed specifically for energetic and culturally curious young listeners ages 3 to 12, the family-friendly offering makes its Basie bow this Saturday, January 17 at 3 pm with a pre-show “instrument petting zoo” and other activities in the lobby — taking it inside to the auditorium for a performance (including selections from Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf) by the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Players. It’s being billed as “classical music with all the chatter, questions, dancing and moving around desired” — so let the fuddy-duddies stew in their boxes; this one’s an expansively entry-level entertainment aimed at the folks for whom much of the world’s loftiest music was created in the first place.

Then at 8 pm, the NJSO sticks around Monmouth Street to complete the second half of Saturday’s twi-nighter — a star-kissed (and conceivably shush-worthy) program that pays tribute to a pair of 20th century American masters.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP PLAN RAPPED FOR SIZE

rb zoning 011515 1Audience members reviewed exhibits during a break in Thursday night’s hearing. Below, a rendering of the eight townhomes proposed for Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap hudson 011515After a five-month layover that included meetings with neighbors and extensive revisions, developer Ray Rapcavage returned to the zoning board Thursday with his plans for a greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank.

But the first round of questions from the public indicated that neighbors still consider the project too big.

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SEA BRIGHT MULLS MORE BACK-IN PARKING

BETTER NEXT TIME on Make A GifA motorist attempts to park in a reverse-angle space in Sea Bright last June. Mike Dannemiller, below left, addresses the council Thursday morning. (Photos by John T. Ward)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb council 011515Hoping to piggyback on a plan by the state to repave the town’s main drag in coming weeks, Sea Bright officials gave informal approval Thursday to the creation of bike lanes on Ocean Avenue.

They stopped just short, however, of doing the same for a proposal to expand the new-to-Monmouth County use of reverse-angle parking.

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RED BANK: BROTHERS STILL CLOSED

brothers pizza 011015A frozen pipe that burst was the culprit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Brothers, a Red Bank bar and pizzeria darkened for the past week by a water leak, is likely to remain closed for another week or more, an owner tells redbankgreen.

Ralph Ventre was awaiting word from his insurance adjuster for the go-ahead to embark on extensive repairs to the building he and his partners own at West Front Street and Morford Place, he said Wednesday.

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RED BANK CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of January 8 to January 15, 2015. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Shoplifting occurring on 1-12-15 at N. Bridge Ave.—Liquor Store. Unknown white male shoplifting a bottle of Johnny Walker Scotch and left store without paying for same. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

ARRESTS

Agapo Davila-Sanchez, male age 39 of Red Bank was arrested on 1-14-15 in the area of Shrewsbury Ave. for Terroristic Threats, Unlawful Poss. of a Weapon, Poss. of a Weapon w/ Unlawful Purpose by Ptl. Jorge Torres

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LINCROFT: CALLED TO JURY BEAUTY

36th-invite-cropped-bottom-e1420475703761Works of art in all manner of 2D and 3D media are spotlighted in the main gallery of the Monmouth Museum, as the 36th annual Juried Art Exhibition keynotes the new year beginning with a Saturday reception. 

It’s a local art event that’s served to “ring in the new” each January since the Carter-country year of 1979 — but even if the Monmouth Museum has played host for each of its 36 editions, it’s really been only five years since the Museum took the reins of the annual juried art exhibition founded by the Monmouth Arts Council.

Beginning with a free reception and awards ceremony this Saturday from 4 to 6 pm, the group show assembles one of the most eclectic collections of “emerging artist” creatives — working in a variety of genres and media, and hailing from all over New Jersey and the great big garden beyond.

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RED BANK: WILL YOU PLEASE NOT BE QUIET??

A new family-friendly series known as ‘No Shush’ debuts at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank this Saturday. Structured  for kids aged 3 to 12, the program combines classical music by the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Players, a performance of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ by the Monmouth Academy of Ballet and a pre-show ‘instrument petting zoo’ – all in an atmosphere designed to encourage chatter, questions, dancing and movement.

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RED BANK: PARKING REPORT UNDER WRAPS

rb white lot 2 032814Town officials have yet to disclose the recommendations of a consultant on what to do with the White Street lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A document that could lay the conceptual groundwork for a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank remains under wraps.

Delivered last month, the roughly 100-page report, by the civil engineering firm CME Associates, offers recommendations on how the town should leverage an asset: its 2.3-acre White Street municipal lot, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: MAN PUNCHED BROTHER, COPS SAY

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014A Red Bank man was charged with busting up a house and popping his brother in the mouth earlier this week, police say.

James P. Williams, 28, of 57 East Sunset Avenue, was reported to have kicked in the door at that address, smashed a TV set on the floor and punched his brother in the face shortly before 3 pm. Tuesday, according to a police report.

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LITTLE SILVER: CAR FLIPS ON RUMSON ROAD

ls crash 011415just_in1The lone occupant of  a 2015 Volvo wagon escaped with what appeared to be minor injuries after the vehicle veered into a utility pole and rolled over on Rumson Road  in Little Silver at about 2:33 Wednesday afternoon, police said. Sara Simpson, of Cary, North Carolina, got out of the wreck under her own power, but was transported by Little Silver First Aid volunteers to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune as a precaution, said police Detective Greg Oliva, who is investigating. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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