Lunchtime at Count Basie Fields, where a bit of shade is hard to find. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
It was pretty much roasting at Red Bank’s Count Basie Fields last Thursday morning as a dozen or so day campers huddled under a pop-up tent. On site supervisor Rose Sestito’s cellphone, the Weather Channel app registered a “feels like” reading of 100 degrees.
It was even hotter out on the rubberized artificial turf where the kids had just been playing, said a sweat-soaked counselor, cooling his heels inside the snack bar while a bunch of his colleagues crowed beneath the shade of rare tree on the sprawling facility’s grounds.
A first responder benefitting spring edition of Street Fair returns to Red Bank Sunday while, below, the one and only GROUCHO goes wild, in the person of Frank Ferrante, Friday night at the Basie.
RED BANK: “We all want to be Groucho,” Frank Ferrante told us a few seasons back, “to be that wild, irreverent pulverizer of those in power.”
In the acclaimed stage show An Evening with Groucho, the actor-director gets to be all that and more, as his spot-on channeling of the classic comic force of nature Groucho Marx comes to the Count Basie Theatre for the first time. Performed with piano accompaniment, minimal set and trademark makeup, the 90-minute, all-ages friendly tour de farce mixes canonical Marxist quotes, anecdotes from a life in show business, signature silly songs (“Hooray for Captain Spalding,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady”), and — in a bracingly contemporary touch — an interactive element that finds Ferrante/Groucho duckwalking the theater aisles. “Fully one-third of it is improvised,” says Ferrante. “That’s what Groucho’s magic was, really – the ability to create comedy on the spot.” Get your tickets ($19 – $49) right here — and when you take it ’round the corner for more Weekender wonderment, tell ’em Groucho sent you.
David Prown of Prown’s Home Improvement will be providing free equipment for young Red Bank residents who take part in the spring season sports programs of Red Bank Parks and Recreation, every Sunday from this weekend through the end of May. Read on for details. (2011 file photo by Dustin Racioppi)
For school-age kids, saying there’s “nothing to do” is no longer an option — not with Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Track and Field, Lacrosse, and Camp on the schedule for the coming months. And for those who say they’ve “got no gear” — well, it turns out that’s no longer an excuse either.
Even adults who are in need of working off some of that winter wonderweight will be hard pressed to find reasons why not, as Red Bank Recreation announces a full seasonal slate of programs for borough residents of all ages.
It’s a season that begins this weekend, with the March 29 start of Developmental Lacrosse League activities — to say nothing of the looming registration deadlines for several of the other programs and services offered. There’s still time for Red Bank boys and girls to join players from all local towns in a “Count Basix” Spring Lacrosse Clinic, designed for both beginners and more advanced players of one of America’s fastest growing youth sports. Coaches from United Lacrosse will be on hand at Count Basie Field on Henry Street for eight Saturday sessions that commence on Saturday morning and continue through May 24 — a “fun and energizing environment” that hosts sessions for players in grades 5 to 8 between 10 and 11:30 am, with grades K through 4 taking the field from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
Participants can bring their own equipment (helmet, stick, gloves, shoulder pads, arm/elbow pads and mouthpiece for boys; protective eyewear, stick and mouthpiece for girls) or it can be provided by the program. Cost for the Count Basix lacrosse clinic is $45-$55 for Red Bank residents depending on age group, and $150-$200 for non-residents. Call (732)530-2783 to get in on the action this weekend — and click READ MORE for the rundown on all other seasonal programs from Red Bank Rec.
On a cold, wind-whipped afternoon, it took borough children all of about 90 seconds to charge through Eastside Park and collect all the eggs during Red Bank’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
George Heidelberger heads crossfield on an interception return during Sunday’s flag football game at Red Bank’s Eastside Park. The weekly pickup game returned a week after town officials shut it down over insurance and other issues. (Click to enlarge)
Officials say Red Bank’s parks & rec commission will revisit the field-use ordinance after a group of residents was abruptly kicked out of Eastside Park Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Two months ago Red Bank’s recreation commission started talking about revising its ordinance regulating the use of borough parks. It didn’t get far.
But when a public works employee punted a group of residents who were playing a pickup flag football in Eastside Park last Sunday, the incident raised questions about the borough’s field-use regulations and public works’ maintenance practices. And the backlash may have moved the previous talks to the top of a to-do list.