img_6371721Buskers, like this unidentified trio from Streetlife 2009, are warming up their pipes for the 2010 edition. (Click to enlarge)


It’s getting closer to that time when the streets of Red Bank become dotted with guitar slingers, mimes and magicians on Saturday nights as part of the summer-long StreetLife series.

But first, they must demonstrate their street creds.

Entertainers get their chance at at winning a spot on this year’s Streetlife roster via auditions next week at Count Basie Theatre.

The tryouts are from 6 to 8p on Wednesday at the theater’s rehearsal studio on the second floor.

It’s expected, as it usually does, to bring out the area’s characters, said Nancy Adams, executive of RiverCenter, which sponsors the series.

Last year, a gentleman showed up in a stone gray suit with a briefcase, and for his audition, simply stood still. You may remember him as the human statue.

“He was almost like public art. It’s cool,” Adams said. “The auditions are a hoot.”

RiverCenter director of operations Harriet Cook said there are about 65 slots to fill, although many past performers fill them, and the selected acts get to use StreetLife as a potential springboard into a brighter entertainment career.

“We’ve had a lot of local talent able to build on their repertoire,” she said, and rattled off the names of some recognizable StreetLife alums, like The Wag, Quincy Mumford and Matt O’Ree.

Think you’re ready for that kind of stardom? Take your three- to four-minute showcase act, plus a biography and references, if available, to the Basie Wednesday.  More info can be found at RiverCenter’s website.

The StreetLife series, entering its ninth year, runs from 6 to 9p every Saturday during the summer, beginning in June and wrapping up in August. However, if a big sponsor comes through, Adams said there’s a chance it will be extended into September.