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The Dental Team at Red Bank Smiles — pictured left to right, Diane Davis, RDH; Heidi Whelan, RDH; Dr. Benjamin B. Klayman and Joanna Kondek, RDA — recently offered a free dental clinic to the students of the RBR SOURCE Program and their families.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School 

The importance of good dental health is becoming more and more accepted in society as a medical necessity, versus the luxury of having sparkling white teeth. Medical research links poor dental hygiene to such health issues as cardiovascular disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes and low birth weight — and yet some people either cannot afford dental services and lack access to dental benefits, so they go without the services of a dentist.

For one day this past February, the team of professionals at a borough-based family dentistry practice opened its doors to the students of The SOURCE, the School-Based Youth Services program at Red Bank Regional High School, as well as to their families.

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Michael Cumpsty, Brandon Dirden and Ruben Santiago-Hudson (pictured at an August 2016 event promoting the Two River Theater production of MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM) are among the returning artists who are scheduled to contribute to the upcoming 2017-18 season at the Bridge Avenue arts center.

It’s a season highlighted by a bevy of returning talents, both on the stage and behind the scenes. A season that boasts an enhanced slate of offerings for young theatergoers; more outreach to the area’s growing Spanish-speaking audience, some never-before-seen works, and several fresh perspectives on familiar stories — including two by a certain Wilde man of English letters, as well as one even Wilder.

When Two River Theater Company raised the curtain on its upcoming 2017-2018 schedule of productions on Sunday night, it did so via a genuine “rite of spring” tradition at the Bridge Avenue artspace, as TRTC’s celebrated artistic director John Dias and a panel of guests heralded the company’s 24th season with a “debt of gratitude” to founders Robert and Joan Rechnitz (“the two most glorious people I know”), a tip of the hat to the faithful supporters (“we know you care about this as much as we do”), and a brief channeling of Sally Field (“you actually like us!”).

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Dr. Ryan Brandau directs members of the Monmouth Civic Chorus during a past concert event. The Red Bank-based arts organization will be conducting scholarship auditions for high school seniors, and hosting its annual gala fundraiser, both on April 29.

Press releases from Monmouth Civic Chorus

A set of auditions for prospective scholarship applicants — and a gala fundraising dinner/auction with a Broadway theme — add up to a busy April 29 for the Monmouth Civic Chorus, the borough-based vocal organization that performed its most recent concert at Red Bank’s Tower Hill Church.

More than $2500 in scholarship funds will be awarded by the MCC this year to vocally talented New Jersey high school seniors who plan to pursue higher education. The Chorus now under the direction of Dr. Ryan Brandau will be conducting auditions by appointment on April 29, with an application deadline of the preceding Saturday, April 22.

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“A Window’s View” by Louis Rissland of Shrewsbury (above) and “Counting Humans” by Ed Deverell of Little Silver (below) took prizes in the ‘Eyesights’ group photography show that continues through Saturday at the Guild of Creative Art. 

With receptions and special events tonight, Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening, it’s a busy weekend for art lovers on and around the Greater Red Bank Green — one that begins with a reminder about Eyesights 2017, the annual juried group show that spotlights some of the area’s finest photographic talents at Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art.

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Community YMCA President-CEO Rhonda Anderson and Rotary Club of Red Bank President Ken Scaggs prepare for the 17th annual Two Rivers Food and Wine Tasting to be held at Navesink Country Club.

Press release from The Community YMCA

On Monday, April 24, the Rotary Club of Red Bank will present its 17th annual Two Rivers Food and Wine Tasting event, hosted at the  in Middletown and dedicated this year to The Community YMCA.

Scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., the fundraising event will recognize the work of the Shrewsbury-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization CYMCA, and its mission to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to access life-changing Y programs and services.

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From East Side Park to Asbury Park, in a series of confidence-building, non-intimidating steps…as Red Bank Recreation invites “less-than-active adults” to a new Couch to 5K program of introductory running classes.

How do you get from couch potato to 5K? According to Red Bank Parks & Recreation director Charlie Hoffman, it’s not as epic a journey as it may seem…not if you sign up for a new series of introductory running classes that begin this coming Monday, March 27.

Offered for a second consecutive year, and designed “for those of us who have not been exercising very much in recent history and need a little motivation,” the Couch to 5K program is described as “very fun, positive and non-intimidating” — an activity that allows aspiring distance runners to work up to their goals in an atmosphere of encouragement, community and camaraderie.

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Dozens of local vendors make for a well-rounded Wedding Walk experience when the annual spring event returns to town this Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Stressed out over planning and preparation of an impending Big Day? Red Bank RiverCenter has some advice — and that’s to “walk it off,” when the annual springtime Wedding Walk returns to the borough’s walkable downtown and waterfront this Sunday.

Nearly 40 local businesses — ranging from dressmakers, cake bakers and picture takers to jewelers, florists, caterers and more — are signed up for the 2017 edition of the townwide promotion, which is designed to introduce brides, grooms, partners, wedding attendants and their families to Red Bank as a one-stop shopping destination for all things wedding-related.

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Committee members for the upcoming Casino Night fundraiser benefiting The SOURCE program at Red Bank Regional include (back, left to right) Anna Lichnowski, Sheila Olt, Claire Harbeck Izzo, John Addonizio, Stacy Poliner, Emily Doherty, Joanna Mozino, plus (front, left to right) Lori Lopez, Alexis Keller, and SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller. Not pictured are fellow committee members Gregg Abella, Cathy Balto, Regina Cochrane, Bob Curley, Arden Dean, Jill Quaranta, and Cindy Webster.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The SOURCE Foundation, the school-based youth services program at Red Bank Regional High School, will hold its seventh annual Casino Night on Saturday, April 1.

Taking place from 7 to 11 p.m., the event will once again be hosted at the Oyster Point Hotel on Bodman Place. Proceeds will benefit the 501©3 organization program whose mission is “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in the community.”

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Courtesy of Gilda Rogers

In a recent visit from children’s book writer Sandra L. Richards (pictured at left), the children of  Monmouth Day Care Center were treated to a reading of the author’s RICE & ROCKS. Illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, it’s the story of a boy whose embarrassment over the traditional dishes served up by his grandmother is turned into a celebration of cultural diversity, thanks to a favorite aunt and a talking pet parrot. The kids of MDCC were also treated to their own free copies of the book, courtesy of a generous donation from Morgan Stanley.


The new rooftop deck at Teak, with the onetime borough hall in the background, is the setting for a fashion show featuring stylings by downtown shops. (Photo by Life as Fine Art. Click to enlarge)

Downtown Red Bank will be the scene of its first open-air fashion show in recent memory next month.

The aim of the event is to “showcase that retail is very much alive in our amazing little city,” said Angela Courtney, owner of the Sweetest Sin lingerie shop on White Street.

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This Thursday, March 23, Red Bank Primary School invites the community to view an exhibit of student artwork, and take part in fun interactive art/science activities, as the River Street school hosts its 2017 Night of the Arts and Sciences. All students in grades K through 3 will have their creations on display, with Kindergarten and First Grade children and their families invited to attend from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and Second and Third Grade children and families welcomed between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. Parents and guardians are advised to remain with their children at all times, and more information (plus a closer look at all of the activities and exhibits) can be found by going here to the Red Bank Primary School Art website maintained by the school’s art educator, Ms. Rachel Mambach.


Press release from Belfer Communications

In honor of the late retail fashion legend and community leader Larry Garmany, the store that bears his name teams with one of downtown Red Bank’s most exciting new neighbors— Detour Gallery — for “Fashion Is Art,” a black tie event that celebrates life, fashion and raising awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Hosted on Saturday, May 13 at the gallery on 24 Clay Street on Saturday, the 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. affair will treat guests to a catered cocktail gathering with music, exciting interactive art, and fashion installations in partnership with the gallery’s curated artists. Each featured work of art will be brought to life by models wearing inspired fashions, hair and makeup depicting the mixed media creations.

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Press release from First Baptist Church of Red Bank

It’s being called “The Sheepishly Awesome, Amazingly Grand Billy Affair” — a way for families to welcome the coming of Easter Sunday, in a way that offers a delightful alternative to the usual egg hunts.

On Saturday, April 8, the corner of Oakland Street and Maple Avenue will the scene of a Parking Lot Party, as First Baptist Church Red Bank invites young members of the community to enjoy face painting, bounce houses, crafts, welcome gift and goodie bags, and a chance to meet and greet some really cute baby sheep and goats.

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Zuzanna Szadowski, Jason O’Connell and Nicole Lewis are the whole company in the Two River Theater staging of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ playing through March 26. (Photos by T. Charles Erickson. Click to enlarge.)

Whether it was an amateur outing in a gnat-infested public park or a top-ticket import from London’s West End, veteran observers of William Shakespeare’s works have by now gotten used to seeing the great dramatist’s plays twisted, teased and teleported into all manner of settings — more than a few of which might have made him flip his folio.

From Romeo and Juliet in modern Miami and Hamlet on Wall Street to a World War II Richard III and a Tempest on a planet named Altair IV, it seems as if there’s no place in space or time from which the Bard is barred — and at Red Bank’s Two River Theater, where last year we saw Pericles re-imagined as the world’s most epic saloon story, the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor continues for two more weeks, during its long-term stay at the sort of roadside motel that would normally specialize in hourly rates.

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Sock Monster,’ by Middletown South sophomore Victoria Pater, is among the finalists in the High School category of this year’s Project FX festival at the Count Basie Theatre this Saturday.

High school and college student filmmakers from all over New Jersey — including two from here on the Greater Red Bank Green — are among the finalists who will see their short works displayed on the big screen of the historic Count Basie Theatre when the Project FX statewide film competition invites the public to its third annual festival this Saturday.

Sponsored by Bank of America and presented in partnership with Sony Pictures Classics, the contest assembles hundreds of short-form narrative and documentary entries each year, showcasing young talent in acknowledgment of the DIY revolution that’s placed pro-grade videography and editing tech into the hands of aspiring filmmakers everywhere.

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Press release from Red Bank Charter School

With a little more than two weeks to go, Red Bank Charter School, a high-achieving, racially and ethnically integrated, tuition-free preK-8 public school, is encouraging Red Bank families to submit an application for the 2017-18 school year by noon on March 29, 2017.

Admission to Red Bank Charter School is open to all children who live in Red Bank. There is no test required for admission. The school offers a weighted lottery designed to increase the chances that children from low-income families can attend the school.

Since there are a limited number of openings at the school, a random lottery will be held on March 30 at 7 p.m. to select students.  Children who were not selected in the lottery are invited to be placed on a waiting list for admission to the school. The school is presently filled to capacity, with more than 100 students on the waiting list.

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Two generations of Quons — 103-year-old artist Milton, and Fair Haven favorite Mike — team up for their first tandem show at the Oyster Point. 

Though Mother Nature is preparing to swat us like a lion, the atmosphere here on the Greater Red Bank Green is alive with the pent-up energy of a local art scene anxious to bust out of its cabin-fever confines.

In addition to the current juried shows on display at Red Bank’s Art Alliance and Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art (detailed here in a previous post), art explorers have plenty of impetus to brave an artwalk on the wintry side.

It begins tonight with a first look at a new installation on the walls and walkways of Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel — a “Two Generations of Art” display that pairs a redbankgreen favorite, Fair Haven-based painter and illustrator Mike Quon, with a special colleague: his 103-year-old father, Milton Quon.

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The Center for Visual Arts building at Brookdale Community College hosts a Wednesday evening reception for the annual Teen Arts Festival, during which Monmouth Arts formally introduces its new exec director, Teresa Staub.

Press release from Monmouth Arts

The Board of Trustees at Monmouth Arts has announced Teresa Staub as the nonprofit organization’s new executive director, in an appointment that became effective on February 23.

A professional who has worked in development and leadership positions in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years, Staub replaces longtime executive director Mary Eileen Fouratt, who now serves as a Program Officer for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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Press release from United Methodist Communities

Dressed in the tradition of her native Liberia, executive director Gertrude Kehleay (left in photo) greeted an intergenerational, multicultural group of about 100 people, gathered at United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan for their annual Black History Celebration. All American citizens, they came together on the last day of February to celebrate the history and contributions of African Americans, as well as their ancestry representing nearly every continent around the globe.

Keynote speaker Rev. Darlene Wilson (right in photo) of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank, recounted, “Although we dig down deep in February to discover Black History, it is every month…Black History is history.”

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The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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Choreographer Moses Pendleton brings his MOMIX dance company back to the Count Basie Theatre on Sunday for a new look at their classic work, ‘Opus Cactus.’

In an interview that appeared in our paperless pages several years back, famed choreographer Moses Pendleton shared his thought that “if people appreciate what I do, if they go out from one of our performances with a little less gravity in their skip, then I’ve been successful.”

Since 1971, when he co-founded the revolutionary Pilobolus dance company, Pendleton has done his part to fight the good fight against gravity — both the stodgy old natural law, and the sort of attitude that too often keeps a “fine arts” institution from having a joyful sense of humor about itself. When he left Pilobolus to forge the meeting of movement and stagecraft magic known as MOMIX, the self-described “avant gardener” renewed his mission of “exploring new and surprising ways to move and bend.” And when the troupe returns to the Red Bank stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, they’ll be newly exploring one of the works that made them one of the most celebrated forces in modern dance.

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Works by prize winners Joan Myers (above) and Peter Smejkal, (below) are among the featured works in the juried photography show ‘Eyesights,’ opening Sunday at the Guild of Creative Art.

Two highly anticipated annual juried art shows — one of them judged by a couple of Red Bank’s favorite f-stoppers — highlight a self-guided art walk for the month of March on the Greater Red Bank Green.

It begins this Saturday on the sidewalks of downtown Red Bank, where Monmouth Street fixture the Art Alliance of Monmouth County hosts an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for a pair of group shows organized under the themes URBAN and RURAL.

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Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, seen in a file photo from January 2016, is the newest member of the Count Basie Theatre’s Board of Directors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

The nonprofit Count Basie Theatre announced yesterday the appointment of Monmouth County Freeholder and open space / historic preservation advocate Lillian Burry to its Board of Trustees.

Burry was elected to the board as a special meeting to fill a vacancy which expires in June 2018. The board’s annual elections and meeting are held in May.

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Bruce Hornsby, above at lower right, joins fellow Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs for a Monday night matchup at the Basie, followed on Thursday with a much-anticipated appearance by the Hot Sardines, below.

Picture this: you’re a celebrated, Grammy-winning musician and songwriter whose seemingly effortless mastery has seen him move with past the often artificial barricades of classic rock but your most immediate identifier remains the smash hit single that launched you out of the gate a generation ago. And that, fans, is just “The Way It Is.”

Undaunted, Bruce Hornsby continues to embrace that “elephant in the room” signature song with a “vibrantly expansive” new arrangement that stands as one of the highlights of his current tour — an ambitious itinerary that finds him stepping onto the stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight in the collaborative company of another multi-faceted music maker, his friend and fellow Grammy getter Ricky Skaggs.

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Two River Theater hosts two very different takes on Shakespeare’s comedy ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ beginning with Saturday’s first preview of a three-actor free for all. 

When William Shakespeare put quill to parchment and began work on The Merry Wives of Windsor, he probably wasn’t laboring under the illusion he might create something to be dissected by critics and scholars for hundreds of years to come. The more immediate tastes of the popular audience were calling out to him, and with Wives the busy Bard had the opportunity to spin one of his most crowd-pleasing creations — Sir John Falstaff, the portly and roguish companion to the future king in the two parts of his historical drama Henry IV — into a rowdy (and cheerfully out-of-time) little knock-down farce.

Beginning this Saturday night, the Two River Theater offers Red Bank audiences not one but two rather unique takes on one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies: one an intimately scaled three-actor adaptation that goes in search of the play’s “dark undercurrent;” the other an abridged full-cast version showcasing a talented company of high school age performers.

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