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MIDDLETOWN PL HOSTS ‘TRASH TO TREASURE’

Press release from Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library

Trash_To_Treasure_SaleOn Saturday, February 6, Middletown Township Public Library will be the setting for a First Annual “Trash To Treasure” Sale event, hosted by the Friends of MTPL inside the library’s Community Room. Going on between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the event is open to the public and will feature over 20 tables of eclectic merchandise, including attic treasures, collectibles, jewelry, antiques, clothing, art, novelty items, baked goods and much more.

Tables are available for $25 to Middletown residents and to cardholders of the library who would like to sell merchandise. Table fees will benefit the non-profit organization Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library. There are a limited number of tables available, and registration must be completed with payment made by January 21. Registration is available by visiting the reference desk of the library., and more information is available by calling the library at (732)671-3700 or by emailing Friends of MTPL president Lori Anne Oliwa at LoriAnne@TheWriteAngles.com.

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MIDDLETOWN: WINNERS, SINNERS AND LOSERS

St VincentMelissa McCarthy and Bill Murray are neighbors thrown together by necessity in ST. VINCENT, one of the free movies screening in July at Middletown Library. 

The free Movie Mondays (and select Fridays) series of screenings continues through July in the climate controlled Community Room at Middletown Township Public Library — a summertime slate that focuses once again on some features of very recent vintage; nearly all of which saw release within the past twelve months.

The Monday matinees resume at 2:30 pm today, July 6 with Melissa McCarthy as a single mom who’s forced to enlist her drinking, gambling, entirely disagreeable next door neighbor (Bill Murray) as adult caregiver to her son — thereby initiating a scenario of illicit kicks and heartwarming bonding — in St. Vincent. The week is bookended with the latest in a recently established series of New Film Fridays, with Jennifer Lawrence and all-star supporting cast in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 — penultimate installment in the four-part “trilogy” adapted from Suzanne Collins’ phenom sci-fi series (and prelude to Part 2, scheduled for release this November).

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MIDDLETOWN: A WALL OF FRIENDS, AT MTPL

HelenErnieAntholisPastel paintings by Eleni and Ernest Antholis are among the works on display and on sale, during an “Off the Wall” fundraiser for Friends of the Middletown Library that includes a Saturday afternoon reception.

It’s being branded as an Off the Wall art exhibit; an event in which the multiple-media works of a couple of Middletown’s most prolific artists is “literally coming ‘off their walls’ to yours.” A benefit for the Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library, the installation (on view now inside MTPL’s Community Room gallery space) spotlights more than 100 original watercolor paintings, pastels, ink drawings and photographs — all of them the work of one particularly busy township-based couple, Helen (“Eleni”) and Ernest Antholis.

The artists (a sampling of whose works can be seen here) are expected to be present for the exhibit’s official opening reception this Saturday, June 13 from 2 to 4 pm. Attendees are invited to meet Eleni and Ernest; observe a pastel-painting demo, enjoy some complimentary refreshments, and browse a collection of work that’s available for purchase, with one third of all proceeds dedicated to the Friends of MTPL and their ongoing mission of helping make possible the library’s many art, music, film, lecture, and instructional programs for kids and adults.

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MIDDLETOWN: OSCAR FILMS AND OTHERWISE

Horrible-Bosses-2-Stills-Latest-WallpapersJason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis stumble into a life of crime in HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, one of the free movies screening in June at Middletown Library. 

They’re the recent movies that you were meaning to see — just not necessarily on a cell phone screen, while waiting in line for another movie. And, as opposed to most other methods of delivery, they’re also fabulously free; presented in the climate controlled Community Room at Middletown Township Public Library every Monday afternoon (and select Fridays) throughout the summer.

Following a Memorial Day break, the Movie Mondays series resumes at MTPL on June 1 with a 2:30 pm showing of the comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2 — in which the trio of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis find themselves swindled by prospective business partners, caught up in a convoluted kidnapping scheme, and forced to enlist the Horrible Bosses (including Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey) from the first film.

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MIDDLETOWN: ‘GYPSY TRAIL’ LEADS TO MTPL

gorillaGorilla Bob and the Champ join The Capo Brothers for a free Monday evening concert at Middletown Township Public Library.  

They describe themselves as Open Mic Gypsies — a group of have-guitar/ will-travel performers whose passion for playing often finds them at such Monmouth County locales as the Belmar Arts Center and Espresso Joe’s in Keyport. On Monday May 11, The Capo Brothers bring their original folk-rock songs (performed “on acoustic guitar in rounds”) to the Community Room of Middletown Township Public Library, in an evening event that finds the trio of Stefan Sartek, Jill Cagney and Patrick “Pat Cat” Taverna sharing the space with some favorite fellow travelers from the local gypsy trail.

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MIDDLETOWN: MAY MEANS MOVIES AT MTPL

tortillaThe 2001 feature TORTILLA SOUP screens on Monday 5/4, as one of the May series of free film events at Middletown Library. 

The monthly series of free Movie Mondays at Middletown Township Public Library continues here in May — and while April’s schedule centered around a food-and-beverage theme, this month extends the celluloid smorgasbord for the next couple of weeks, shifting gears (prior to a holiday break) into somewhat less digestion-friendly dramatic territory.

The banquet at the biblioteque continues this Monday, May 4, with director Maria Ripoli’s 2001 feature Tortilla Soup. Co-written by Ang Lee — the Taiwanese-born filmmaker who gave us everything from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Life of Pi to Brokeback Mountain and the first Hulk movie — it’s a portrait of a Mexican-American patriarch and chef (Hector Elizondo) who seeks to reacquire his taste for better living, with the help of his daughters (Jacqueline Obradors, Tamara Mello). And if you’re wondering just what vintage to pair with such an offering, read on.

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MIDDLETOWN: RESCUING THE ‘LOST DOGS’

Spirit of the SatoProject Animal Worldwide partners with Middletown Township Library for a free Wednesday evening screening of the documentary SPIRIT OF THE SATO: The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs. 

From the city streets of San Juan to the most remote beaches, they’re among the most “invisible” of the homeless population. An estimated quarter of a million Sato (local slang for mixed-breed or “mutt”) dogs roam Puerto Rico, often abandoned by their owners and left to fend for themselves in a US territory where spaying and neutering animals is not common practice.

With the 2013 documentary Spirit Of The Sato, filmmaker Ellen La Torre took a quantum leap toward raising awareness of the plight of the Satos — drawing the participation of experts that include original “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan, and focusing on the efforts of Project Animal Worldwide, the Eatontown-based nonprofit organization presided over by La Torre. Partnering with dog-friendly Shore area businesses like Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar and entities like the Monmouth County SPCA, the people from PAW have run “Sato Reunion” missions to Puerto Rico; matching dogs with adopting homes throughout New Jersey and the region — and on Wednesday, April 29, the feature subtitled The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs receives a free screening at Middletown Township Public Library.

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MIDDLETOWN: WHEN THE SUN HITS YOUR EYE

dave delucaIt’s been called the Italian Decade — that pop-music moment between the D-Day invasion at Normandy and the British Invasion of the Beatles and their peers, a time when a resurgent Frank Sinatra staked his claim as Chairman of the Board, and when Dean Martin, Perry Como and Tony Bennett brought a smoothly passionate brand of crooning to radio airwaves, Billboard charts and nightclub stages.

Characterized by songs that range from old-country favorites like “O Sole Mio” and “Volare” to fun novelties like “That’s Amore” (“when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”), the music of the Great Italian-American Songbook is celebrated in style this Saturday, when singer Dave DeLuca brings his program That’s Amore to Middletown Township Public Library for a free afternoon concert.

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MIDDLETOWN: MAKING A MEAL OF A MOVIE

the-trip-to-italy-rob-brydon-steve-coogan1-600x337Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan star in THE TRIP TO ITALY, one of a smorgasbord of “food themed films” that screen for free during Mondays in April at Middletown Library. 

Whoever opined to the effect that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch” would do well to visit the Middletown Township Public Library here in April, where every Monday afternoon spotlights a different cinematic confection; centered around a foodie theme and served up absolutely free of charge. With all screenings beginning at 2:30 pm, it’s a celluloid smorgasbord that boasts some bold international flavors, some spicy scripting, and maybe just a little bit of scenery-chewing on the part of the actors.

The four-course matinee commences this Monday, April 6, with a showing the 2014 British dramedy The Trip to Italy. Steve Coogan (soon on display in the Showtime series Happyish) and Rob Brydon co-star in director Michael Winterbottom’s film as “themselves;” a pair of talkative friends who maintain an ongoing dialogue (on life, love and other weighty things) while competing for the viewer’s attention with some spectacular scenery and a spread of regional culinary delights. Edited into feature-length format from a 2014 BBC series, it’s a sequel to 2010’s The Trip, in which Rob and Steve similarly tour northern England — and it serves as an engaging appetizer, for the schedule that follows.

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RED BANK, MIDDLETOWN: JOYFUL NOISES

BrandauMuenchDr. Ryan Brandau leads the Monmouth Civic Chorus in song, Sunday at Tower Hill Church — while pianist Julia Muench salutes her immigrant heritage in a free Monday evening concert at Middletown Library. 

Vibrant vocal music in Hebrew and Latin — and a musical history lesson accented with the German immigrant experience in America — are on tap in the days and nights to come, courtesy of some of the area’s premier performers.

Up at Tower Hill Church — aka First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank — Dr. Ryan Brandau and the assembled voices of The Monmouth Civic Chorus inaugurate their 2015 slate of public-welcome concerts with A Joyful Noise this Sunday.

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MIDDLETOWN: MOVIE MAYHEM MATINEE

Tom-Cruise-Edge-of-TomorrowBegin Again: The Tom Cruise sci-fi suspenser EDGE OF TOMORROW screens for free at Middletown Library, kicking off a month of Movie Monday matinees. 

With the “what-were-we-thinking” hiccup of the Academy Award season now a fast-fading memory, Middletown Township Public Library continues its ongoing series of free movie screenings with another month-long slate of recent feature film releases; another chance to catch up with both the multiplex blockbusters and the arthouse curios that slipped between the sprockets.

It’s been called “the best video game you’ll never be able to play;” a smash-up sci-fi epic that unspools like a “Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers” story pitch. Riding a recent wave of futurama action roles, Tom Cruise stars as an awkward and reluctant warrior whose bum luck in the heat of battle — he’s repeatedly killed in action, only to be time-looped back into the fray — finds him forever poised at the Edge of Tomorrow. Kick-ass mentor Emily Blunt molds Cruise into a fighting machine capable of taking on the alien nasties, and Doug Liman directs the 2014 thriller that screens in MTPL’s Community Room today, March 2 at 2:30 pm — with much more to come.

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M’TOWN: INTIMATE CLASSICS, REVERENT JAZZ

JoelDeWittJohnGronertViolinist Joel DeWitt (left) presents a program of chamber duets at Middletown Library on Monday evening…while drummer John Gronert (right) is among the cats taking part in a February 19 jazz service at Lincroft Presbyterian.  

The post-Valentine days and evenings offer discerning music lovers a chance to get all intimate with their preferred sounds — be it a chamber recital at the bibliotheque, or the return of a rather unique public-invited Jazz Service at a local place of worship.

This coming Monday, February 16 sees the Community Room of the Middletown Township Public Library welcoming back an artist who’s frequently made himself at home in that cozy venue, for the latest in a series of MTPL-produced classical music offerings. Violinist Joel DeWitt teams with pianist Brian Gilmore, for a 7 pm session spotlighting masterful duets by Mozart, Debussy and Prokofiev. It’s an hour-long program, for which no advance registration is necessary (and admission is of course fabulously free).

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RED BANK’S FORTUNE PROJECT SPEAKS

TTF houseThe nonprofit that’s working to save the former home of T. Thomas Fortune hosts readings from the words of the pioneering African-American journalist, with events in Middletown, Red Bank, Shrewsbury and elsewhere.

T. Thomas FortuneAs part of Black History Month and the National African-American Read-In, the not-for-profit T. Thomas Fortune House Project will host a series of readings from the works of the pioneering civil rights journalist – and onetime resident of Red Bank – T. Thomas Fortune.

Entitled “The People Speak: the Words of T. Thomas Fortune, ” the series includes public-welcome events at Middletown Township Public Library and Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch, in addition to a student-faculty fundraiser at Red Bank Middle School.

It’s the latest in an ongoing program designed to raise funds and awareness toward the effort to acquire, stabilize and restore the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Landmark at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard where the editor, publisher, poet, author and early civil rights activist resided from 1901-1908.

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MIDDLETOWN: A FEB FILMFEST, FOR FREE

12yearsMichael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor appear in the Oscar-winning 12 YEARS A SLAVE, one of several recent films screening for free this month at Middletown Library.

While February is of course Black History Month, that shortest and some-say-cruelest of calendar pages also serves as a lead-in to the annual Academy Awards; a chance to catch up with some things you’ve missed, on the way to handicapping this year’s current field of (disappointingly white, to many observers) horses. When the ongoing series of free movie screenings continues apace at Middletown Township Public Library this week, it’ll inaugurate a worth-another-look slate of recently released features — a couple of them illuminative of the African American experience, with the rest of the stories drawn from precincts that range from South Asia and the Great White North, to just this side of the afterlife.

It all begins at 2:30 pm on Monday, February 2, when MTPL hosts a free showing of the historical drama that took home the Oscar for Best Picture in 2014 — 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped and pressed into servitude in antebellum Louisiana. Chiwetel Ejiofor offers a star turn as Northup in the harrowing and unflinching feature, with strong support from Lupita Nyong’o (AA for Best Supporting Actress), vividly villainous Michael Fassbender, and an array of actors that includes Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch and American Horror Story‘s Sarah Paulson.

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MIDDLETOWN: CATCHING UP WITH 2014

jerseyboysmovieimageFrankie Valli meets Dirty Harry — when director Clint Eastwood’s cinema treatment of the Four Seasons musical bio JERSEY BOYS screens as part of a month of free 2014 releases at Middletown Library.

Remember 2014? Even if you’re the resolute type who actually meets your personal goals, and who wraps up The Year That Was with a neat little bow, there no doubt remain a number of tiny but torturously nagging regrets — chief among them “that movie you were meaning to go see.” Fortunately, for the latest monthly slate in their ongoing series of free movie screenings, Middletown Township Public Library presents a month of Mondays (and one Friday) designed to offer a chance to catch some last-year releases that may have slipped between the sprockets.

It begins this coming Monday, January 5, with a 2:30 pm showing of a biopic that boasts a special resonance for regionals: Jersey Boys, an adaptation of the Broadway jukebox-musical smash detailing the early career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Director Clint Eastwood (who, it must be recalled, acquitted himself well with the Charlie Parker jazzman bio Bird) works with a cast featuring Tony winner John Lloyd Young (originator of the Frankie role on Broadway) and Christopher Walken — as well as a slew of vintage Bob Gaudio/ Bob Crewe songs that include of course “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Rag Doll.” The January screening schedule continues from there, with some cinematic studies in art, commerce, cooking, passion, and romance with a decidedly mature shading.

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