A renaissance guy in Red Bank: Harry Connick Jr. makes his first-ever two night stand at the Count Basie this week and the man from NOLA might stand a bit of sightseeing while in town.
By TOM CHESEK
They walk among us, sometimes shopping in the broad daylight of Broad Street, spelunking the nooks and crannies of the Antique Center, sampling the fare at everything from the most sophisticated sit-downs to way-cool WaWa.
We’re talking celebrities, baby many of them in town for a whistle-stop tour gig at the Count Basie Theatre. While the pimped-out tour buses come and go outside the Monmouth Street landmark with regularity, however, every so often a headline act plants it here in the greater Red Bank Green for something more than a one night stand. So it is this Wednesday and Thursday, as the Count’s crib plays host to a still-young veteran who’s long worn the mantle of Renaissance Guy: Harry Connick Jr.
When the jazz pianist, pop stylist, songwriter, composer, Broadway leading man, screen actor and Krewe founder visits the Basie-birthing borough for a pair of concert events on April 20 and 21, he’ll be bringing along his big band (with perhaps a separate trailer just to tote that résumé) in a full-on recreation of his most recent studio set, the collection of jazz and pop interpretations known as Your Songs. Having ably prosecuted his long-playing career through a deft mix of fanbase-friendly favorites and a pretty delightful flair for the unexpected, we’re hoping that New Orleans-rooted Connick (who, we should point out, maintains a place in the city with his family) gets to feeling a little exploratory during his hours in Red Bank and we’re here to toss out a few suggestions to play that stay to the fullest.